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The society we live in

I really like the direction taken by the last post about the heat system and bond level in a cyberpunk ttrpg game. Lets go over some tropes about a cyberpunk society. I am not being subtle for the sake of fleshing out the main characteristics of the theme.

  • The corporate top management are at the top of the food chain. They are absurdly rich and powerful. They might have different philosophies but in the end most of their time and energy is spent on maintaining and increasing their power. There are few dozen individuals at this level. All of them are high functioning genius psychopath. Each megacorporation is piloted by a few of those. They have a strong presence in the media. They are the public face of their company and centralize most of the power.

  • Lower executives are the bourgeoisie. They live a nice comfortable life. They are not always immoral but they always work for the system. They represent from 5% to 10% of the population. This level also includes the top state administrative levels. At this level you are a highly skilled worker living in a luxurious glass tower. You are able to effectively ignore all the misery that is not right in front of you. If you are in the richest tiers you are probably a ruthless bastard.

  • Essential workers form the bulk of the population. They have mind-numbing jobs that for some reason is not efficient to automate. Their pay is barely sufficient for their subsistence. Poverty, lawful repression and cheap entertainment maintain them in slavery. This level also includes the state administrations.

It is important to understand that if you are a reasonable and rational person you end up as an essential worker. If you agree that the police is needed to maintain order, that the financial system is not perfect but still brings progress, and that states should help poor people but be careful about their deficit then you cannot resist the forces that will put you in miserable conditions.

You fear making a mistake at your job and losing your sad flat. You fear voicing a slightly unpopular opinion and being called out by your friends and ostracized. You fear calling out an injustice you witness because you know that the police would immediately remind you how fair they can be with their sticks. You shut up and endure thanks to social media stars. And all things being told, you find it pretty normal. It is the way people like you live. You are not aware of anything bad about this whole situation.

Hum. This was not subtle at all but I think we can conclude one thing. If you have joined the rebellion that means you are absolutely mad about something. And you are objectively insane.

  • You want revenge (you have lost a brother because of a police intervention)
  • You are fighting for an ideology (anarchy, ecology, etc)

I would like to think of a third one. Having two is still useful. One can be personal and the other one shared. In the spirit of osr, those should be quick to generate using a random table. A simple way would be to roll an ideology for the group and let each player quickly come up with an event that pushed them over the edge with the help of a random prompt.