The It’s Like DnD team are starting our curious Sprawl campaign! The game will be using Hamish Cameron‘s Sprawl for table-based gaming and Emily Griggs‘s Rest to fill in our cosmic nonsense in between missions.
Our band of characters is made up of a Killer and a Pusher; an unusual party build, but the original intent was to look at our Urban Shadows characters in a different genre and world. How would things be different in a world where magic and tech blur the borders of reality? What would stay the same for these characters? Would they be trapped in the same doomed cycle of violence and failure?
Kate has a long history of cyberpunk gaming, but the genre is brand new for Rob. Given some of our day jobs, we’re playing around heavily with biological and medical ends of cyberpunk!
Kate’s Killer, Alexa Atreus, AKA Keres, is an Agent of Death; a registered healthcare professional specializing in Medical Assistance in Dying and cloning. In this future, death is just a setback if you have the right insurance coverage.
Rob’s Pusher, Vasilias Cadmium, AKA Menoetius, is a freelancer consultant for Sennheiser-Kraus Consulting. Vasilias was teacher and union leader, driven to end his life by city officials and the board of education. He found himself brought back to life by Keres under questionable circumstances.
Keres feels that her and Meno are connected to each other through unexplained means. She’s had an awakening about dragons; what dragons are is impossible to explain, but they seem to be an important part in fixing the wolrd. These ties weave tie them directly to Toronto’s mayor, at least according to Keres. Meno craves revenge for his death and agrees to go along with Keres’s quest, if only to get a chance to get close to the mayor.
Ontario Health Insurance Plan. OHIP is the provincial public health care provider. Parts of their systems have been cut off and given to private companies, such as…
Helix Innovators Canada. Helix Innovators Canada is a market leader in Death Services; a couple death-to-rebirth system that allows clients to pass away, have a proper funeral and then be reborn into a new clone body. They’re the only full service death company in Canada.
This service has fans in the rich and powerful. Every politician wants to live forever and kickbacks are never in short supply. The CEO of Helix has never died, using the advanced technology in experimental ways to avoid the sting of death. Helix, though, is always leveraging the social benefits of their services and loves to play up the role they take in families. They’re a supporter of Extra Life, an organization that helps families through the child cloning process, and have funded the Helix wing of New Kids Hospital.
Helix Innovators is a Canadian company. All of their tech has been developed out of house by smaller companies and then bought in aggressive contracts.
Sennheiser-Kraus Consulting. SKC is an “impartial” third party that provides consulting services for cities and politicians. It’s not uncommon to see agents of SKC consulting on both sides of a hot issue. It could be said that SKC isn’t an expert in any one thing, but rather has smaller interests in many, many things.
The bulk of SKC’s workforce are freelancers; contract employees with little corporate loyalty. If a freelancer manages to stick around long enough, they may become privy to the information gathering and manipulation that’s occurring behind closed doors.
Think of SKC as ad people who got into politics and you aren’t that far off.
The City of Toronto. Run by Mayor Sebastian Kertesz, Toronto is the biggest city in Canada and one of the biggest in North America. Both Keres and Meno have indirect ties to the city leadership: Keres is technically working for the city through Helix and Meno led rallies and protests against the city before his first death. The direct ties and how real they actually are is in question. It’s not like city council holds open discussions on dragons.
Mission 1: Peaceable Kingdom
Dream of a peaceable kingdom
Dream of a time without war
The ones we wish would hear us
Have heard it all before
Keres and Meno are regulars at The Green Room, a dive bar in Kensington Market that caters to artists and the corporate shills who want to pretend they’re artists. Honestly, the two of them are more firmly in the latter category. Meno’s contacts are what gets him in; he rents office space from a ocular bioartist.
They’re recruited by a Green Room regular (another shill) to scrub her data from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan servers; their client was admitted for a simple cancer removal surgery, but is concerned that an emergency public system procedure will affect their eligibility for future private procedures. Meno quickly figures out the client isn’t telling the whole truth, but he can’t place what’s off about the gig.
Keres suggests that Meno follow up with Angelo, one of her old co-workers who now works as an insurance adjuster. Keres once bought back Angelo’s daughter, MéMoi, as a clone and claimed the procedure on her own insurance. Angelo owes her BIG.
At the meeting, Angelo offers to help get Keres and Meno into the OHIP offices so they can access the servers directly. He’s neck deep in his own shit, though; his daughter has been struggling in school since she was cloned and the school board won’t listen to his pleas for extra support. He’s worried sick that failing grade five will ruin her future. Meno agrees to help out.
Meanwhile, Keres has pulled down as read-only copy of the client’s OHIP records. The hospital visit is listed there with all of the sensitive details, including confusing commentary from doctors. The cancer the client had was unusual, only seen in populations exposed to hostile chemical environments. Before Keres can read more, Helix contacts her: city councilor Hershan Kennedy is dead.
Meno is off dealing with the MéMoi situation; while not directly connected to the mission, he can’t look away from it. He meets with a member of the Board of Education, Charlie Kale, and convinces him to allow MéMoi to have extra classroom support. Meno also lets it slip that he feels that the Board’s days are numbered and their selloff to a private corporation will happen sooner than later. He leaves Charlie his contact information, hinting to contact him when the worst happens.
Hershan Kennedy has died of a brain aneurysm. That in itself is not unusual, but Keres pieces together that it’s tied to some sort of electrical surge caused by Helix’s personality and memory recording implant. Either the device was faulty or someone triggered it externally. She files the information for now and prepares the arrangements. Hershan had the deluxe grieving package with the “Watch Your Own Funeral” add-on.
Keres downloads the memories into the Helix servers and reviews them with Meno. At the time of his death, Hershan was meeting with two SKC agents. Meno knows them, or rather, knows their cover IDs: Lola Chrome and Prophet 0. He asks Keres to search the memories for references to dragons.
One memory pops up, shockingly. Hershan is meeting with the president of Can-United-Future, one of the most powerful corps in Toronto. Can-United-Future owns a little bit of everything in the city, but originally grew out of the media industry. There’s a ornate sword mounted on the wall in Can-United-Future’s downtown offices. In the memories, Hershan feels an almost uncontrollable urge to pick up the sword and claim it as his own. It’s the same commanding emotion that Meno felt when he found the relic sword, Fidelity, at the Royal Ontario Museum.
As soon as Meno turns to tell Keres that he thinks Hershan might be a dragon, the door to the room is kicked in. Helix Security storms in, demanding an explanation for the unlawful access of patient memory records…
Next Time: Hopefully we will get past the Legwork Phase of the Mission!