For many year there was a misque that surrounded the world of Cyperpunk literature for the various groups of players that have been my privilage to know. Hundreds of people have come across my table over the years. But its my uncle back in the Eighties & Nineties whose memory draws me back down the dusty corridors of time. Back to a time when VHS tapes graced the shelves of video rental places & homes during the Eighties. And this gets into one of my uncle & mine favorite films. Sidney Pollock's 'The Yakuza (1974)' this is a neo noir classic of a great caliber. What I love about this film is its use as inspiration for a Zaibatsu rpg adventure campaign?! Wait what?! How!?
The idea here is that as inspiration you've got a party of retired adventurers who have close familial ties with each other both Eastern & Western on the Hostile rpg's Earth. This goes back to the boiling under tow of 'The Yakuza (1974)' . A George Tanner (Brian Keith) like NPC ( a retired adventurer) has been in bed with the Yakuza & has lost billions on a recent Horizon Survey Craft mission due to Xenomorph interference.The Tano like NPC has kidnapped the daughter of Tanner. The PC's are brought in as 'trouble solvers' to resolved the Yakuza problems & issues that 'Tanner' has caused with the Tano mafia figure. If not solved this could cause an all out 'shadow war' between the Corps & The Yakuza tearing apart corporate society as a whole. Have to save Tanner's daughter & prevent a war! The retired adventurers essential bring in their crew the PC's to help smooth out the situation.
The PC's don't know that the Tanner like NPC has further extended himself by using a rogue up & coming Yakuza rival of Tano to invest in a counterfieting operation. A Saito like NPC sees the weakness of his rival Tano's death & takes his organization out!
And this sets up the next wave where the PC's are up to their necks in a corporate & Yakuza war of attrition. Yes I'm talking about using the cultclassic Michael Douglaas & highly underrated Ridley Scott director Ridley Scott film 'Black Rain' as the second leg of this campaign.
Perhaps the PC's have to reach back to their contacts in New York to deal with some of the blood on streets that's happening in Japan. Or the information from therecent Horizon Survey Craft mission with information about the Xenomorphs out in the fringe's of our solar system is seen as valuable commodity by the Saito like NPC. This information is valuable because it will cement his position for centuries to come within the crime world of the East. And yes both films suffer from time vs current gaming trends with Black Rain suffering from some of the worst cop film tropes. But Zaibastu there's more boiling below the scenes.
But its the familial unity & commitment of the PC's that makes this different from other campaigns. The older adventurers take on old debts & responsibilities passing them down to the PC's creates a unity of obligation & commitment that isn't seen in many rpgs. For the Hostile rpg it sets up a bridge over to a Zaibatsu rpg adventure campaign. And here are six reasons why this works:
- You get hackers involved right from the beginning of this campaign cycle
- There's a Xenomorph undertow adventure plot hanging here.
- You've got a perfect in for outsider PC's to come in.
- This a perfect way to bring in all kinds of 'specialists' into the mix
- A famial tie for the PC's brings home all of the cross points.
- Law enforcement, adventure drama, & big guns are perfect adventure plot mixes with cybernetics & swords.