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Shadows of the Soul is a cyberpunk campaign set in the last days of the 22nd Century. Cities float in space, computers interact directly with the mind, and the line between soul and machine is no longer fathomable. Technology has seen fantastic advances in medicine, transportation, and communication: nanosurgeons and metabolically-tailored drugs knit the gravest of injuries in days, Transdermal Direct Neural Interface (TDNI) technology links the brain with machines and the computers of the Matrix, flying cars ply the airways, and with the recent advent of gravtech orbital colonies exist in the greatest comfort.

But the changes in the world are deeper than the technological tools of its inhabitants. In recent years, the long-overextended governments of the world collapsed under the inexorable competition of a handful of gigantic and overwhelmingly wealthy corporations, leaving most territories under the direct control of one company or another. Executive directorships have replaced elected leaders and military tyrants alike; shareholders are the new citizenry. Corporate security enforces company directives, and company lawyers argue contract violations in what once were courts of the people. Meanwhile, those out of the corporate loop by chance or choice struggle in the shadows of every city, in the dirty and decrepit sprawls where company resources (and hence company security) are lacking.

The foundations of Shadows of the Soul were begun in 1990. From 1990 to 1993 I ran several adventures, most of them loosely connected at best, for friends in Birmingham, Alabama. The themes and results of these old scenarios form the basis of this new campaign, set some twenty-five years afterward. The world has changed, but the stories move on. Some tales take years to reach fruition...

Corporate life wasn't bad. They put in some sexy hardware for me, a neural booster and an artificial eye and ears, and sent me on some hairy missions. Third one I got my face damn near blown off by a shotgun. We were making a spoiling raid on Arasaka, didn't know quite what they were going to do but knew they were going to do it to us since some netrunner got a twitch, and we crashed into a house outside SF, me the first in, through the biggest motherfucking plate glass window you ever saw, figured it'd deafen anyone inside when it broke. Except it didn't. I bounced, cursed, shot it twice, and got in when there was a flash and I couldn't see. Felt three others in the room with me, all black hats, one running away, don't worry about him, and two unloading in my direction. Kicked the bastard with the autoshotgun--the most satisfying feeling I've ever had--and my mates nailed the other. The running man didn't even make it out the door. Some corporate slimeball. Still don't know what they were going to do to Tyrell.

--Napoleon Solo, 2170

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