Cyberguard - Humans after the robot apocolypse

I was just listening to science Friday on NPR and the author Daniel Wilson (has written “Robopocolypse” and other such books) was on talking about some of his work. As I listened this hack popped into my head.

So as the title suggests the game would revolve around playing human “guards” in a post apocalyptic world controlled by robots. The specific flavor could vary as per a group’s tastes (you could go more cyber and do a Matrix kind of thing, or more of a Skynet idea, or extend it into space and more futuristic settings, etc.).

At its base, the reason I love this is because I think hacking Nature here would be extremely straight forward, and many other ideas I have had for MG hacks have ended when I failed to find a good Nature substitute (as Nature is so essential to the system). In this setting, Nature would pretty much be unchanged from base MG. Men, when compared to the new robot denizens of the earth (or solar system or galaxy, etc.) are essentially mice. They are extremely outgunned. And, after a few generations of near total obliteration, they have been driven underground, their spirits crushed and their hearts filled with fear at the shear power and intellect of their enemies. Thus, it is now the Nature of men to escape, hide, and scavenge from ruins and robo-controlled installations, etc (I guess I would drop the climbing part). The Guard then are those among men who strive to break out of this pattern. In fact this would work with any human post-apocalypse game where the foe they face is significantly stronger than them (aliens, zombies in huge numbers, demons, super mutants, …).

An additional idea (for those who like it) would be to link Nature additionally with technological enhancements. The idea here is that the Guard often undergo enhancement implantation. Think cybernetics: sensory implants, speed and strength, memory back up, and so on. These give them great benefits when facing the machines, but as they go deeper down this hole they become less and less human. Cybernetic eyes might allow a character to “see” the entire EM spectrum, but they would lose the ability to ever see as a human again. A bio-comp drug system that injects a Guard with chemicals to fight pain and give him boosts in speed and reflexes makes him a much more potent fighter, but it dissolves some of his finer nervous abilities and he can never really feel like a human any more. You get the idea. I am not sure how to run this in the system; maybe the number of implants puts a limit on Nature, or effects loss and gain of Nature rate, etc. I would need to think about it.

Well anyway, that’s the general idea. Forgive the fractured nature as I JUST thought of this. It would need development. But it could be an awesome game. And you could have various human factions with different attitudes towards technology, AI, cyberwear, and so forth, all in little pockets like MG cities.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Criticisms? Please share!

Maybe implants could change a nature descriptor? Like, the chemicals to fight pain mean that the guard doesn’t feel the need to run any more, but that she gets ‘fighting’ in her nature; or seeing everything (with the cybernetic eyes) means that the guard doesn’t want to hide any more, as it feels pointless, but she gets ‘seeing’ in her nature. Just a small suggestion - I don’t really have anything to contribute about the overall balance, but it’s a cool idea!

Using AI should be “Acting Against Your Nature” and subject you to Tax.