In the Shadows of Venus
Transhuman Space — Mystery, Horror, and Espionage in 2100!
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This campaign focuses on a small group of Fifth Wave characters engaging in the for-profit business of private investigations throughout the System. The PCs will often find themselves in Fourth and Third Wave countries, and possibly be led off planet in the pursuit of contract fulfillment. The PCs will begin working for a pre-existing private investigation firm, The Argus Group, Inc. The option will arise to take over the firm or spin off your own company. If a PC wanted to be a manager or owner of the business at the start, that could be worked out.
The company will deal with all manner of 22nd century investigations. These will include missing persons, murders (with jurisdictional challenges), blackmail/whitemail, ransom, memetic operations, and property theft cases. Almost all of the firm’s cases involve foul play or a subject who does not wish to be found. Both are full of adventure opportunities and challenges. The company also offers recovery or extraction services for those that want to pay for more than just peace of mind. Additionally, note that many of the firm’s cases will cross borders, which is why the police simply don’t handle all the matters.
All told, this means that this campaign will attempt to veer away from the recent pattern of most of our sci-fi games and instead emulate Keane’s Call of Cthulhu campaign more than Mass Effect or Halo. That’s not to say there will never be periods of intense action, but I will not be shooting for a game where the PCs waltz around in high tech armor toting high tech guns most of the time. Rather, the PCs will engage in investigative and low-level conflict types of activities. There may be the occasional “suit up and destroy” mission or piece of mission, but by and large the PCs will need to follow the law (or at least not get caught by the law…regardless, the law should at least be a concern). Even though some parts of Earth can be considered lawless, in most cases, there are severe legal restraints placed on the PCs’ activities. Law enforcement in 2100 is serious and highly capable, with many technological tools to solve crimes. These tools will be available to the PCs, but also make “getting away with stuff” quite hard.
For variety, the company will also delve into memetic and/or intellectual property investigations. This is more interesting than it sounds in the world of 2100 where almost anything can be minifactured given the right set of blueprints and where information is often the most valuable asset of any given corporation. Memetics is basically marketing elevated to a potentially dangerous science. Memetic campaigns can affect almost any group in almost any aspect of society. Devious corporate memetic engineers can convince people to watch their invids (interactive videos/virtual realities) while cunning political groups can change the course of a nation. Even individuals can do significant damage using memetics. It’s not quite mind control, but it’s close enough to give those who understand it nightmares.