New-Tokio is a large futuristic metropolis with almost 50 mio. inhabitants run by three mega corporations simply known as the Monoliths. Mifune Environmental, Gijutsu Ryu and Roberts and Roberts (R&R) were instrumental in rebuilding the city after it was devastated in 1980 by a cataclysmic explosion that destroyed most of Tokio leaving it a toxic wasteland. Mifune Environmental provided toxic clean up and medical assistance, Gijutsu Ryus remote controlled machines cleared most of the rubble and rebuilt the city while R&R supplied the security and man power required to keep the city from anarky. The Monoliths also supplied the funds to keep the city running and in return they were each given control over a part of the new city. Each Monolith built a giant skyscraper in the middle of their territory to remind everyone of what they did for the city and to remind them that they are in control in that area. The skyscrapers are at least 50 floors taller than the other high rises in New Tokio and can be seen from any part of the city.
The city council consist of two members from each Monoliths and a representative from the city though most important decisions are made by the chairmen or boards of the Monoliths.
In mutual agreement the Monoliths have allowed the city to run the major utilities like power, water, gas and the web to prevent the inevitable power struggles over these to plunge the city into chaos. The city also runs a small overworked police force, who are constantly at odds with the private security forces of the Monoliths and who can only act inside their territories with permission.
The Mifune skyscraper is a slender glass building covered in an organic material derived from the chameleon which combined with sophisticated camera technology allows the building to mimic its surrounding allowing it to blend in. The building is still clearly visible but it seems to blend in almost organically with the sky. Sometimes at night fractal patterns can be seen on the building even though the sky only has clear skies and stars.
Mifune environmental is a chemical and medical research and manufacturing company that also runs the city’s hospitals. The company strives for a clean city with health inhabitants.
The chairman of Mifune Environmental Yukio Mifune has only been seen in public a few times over the last 10 years and the company is essentially run by research director Yoko Nakao. Many see Yukio as the real savior of the city and revere her almost as a saint – and refer to her as the Yukio the Blessed Healer.
Yukio is claimed by many to be dead, in a coma or a clever clone.
The company is suspected of Illegal research into mutations and psionic abilities, creating monsters and abominations in secret labs. They are also accused of abducting people from the undercity for their experiments and of harboring mutants and psionically active individuals in its security forces.
Some suspect Yukio of having developed illegal psionic abilities or even of being a mutant. This outrages many of her devout followers but some claim that such stigma would only be proof that she truly is a higher being.
Gijutsu Ryus headquarters is a giant glass and steel building the functions as a giant video screen at night, streaming tv-shows and news. The company logo is a giant copper dragon which is displayed at the very top of the building during the day but which seems to play hide and seek with passers by integrating itself seamlessly into whatever program or commercial is showing. The company has even set up a game of “tag the dragon” with both daily and monthly prizes that have hundreds of players circling the building at night trying to predict where the dragon will appear.
Gijutsu Ruy produces all kinds of technology from kitchen appliances, computers, cybernetic replacements and industrial robots. Gijutsu integrates the web into all their products and supply integration for all kinds of products from clothes, cars, city lights to food rapping. They’ve set up cameras and tv screens everywhere where invasive commercials targeted are constantly aimed directly at the individual passer by. All Monoliths have tv-channels but Gijutsu has the most popular shows with the best effects.
The founder Hideo Takahashi hasn’t been seen in the flesh in many years appearing only in video broadcasts and interviews.
Hideo is also rumored to be dead and all appearances are simply fancy special effects. Some claim that the company is run by a giant AI that is constantly growing with each product sold. In a similar vein some claim that Hideo has uploaded himself to the web and has become a Ghost in the machine. the Ghost in the machine theory is highly popular as it explains all kinds of strange computer glitches that have been occurring over the later years and some have even begun to call computer error as a “Hideo”.
With cameras and the web integrated everywhere the company is accused of invading and controlling people’s lives and of possessing a large cadre of hackers and even full body conversion cyborgs in order to try and take control of the city.
The R&R head quarters is a big copper toned skyscraper with a steel dome on top. Light reflects off the copper creating a soft warm glow all around the building. The head quarters is designed to look like a giant copper coated bullet, but the shape of the building especially from a distance has given rise to a less flattering nickname much to the anger of the Rogers.
R&R supplies law and order and security in the form of weapons, gunships, urban combat vehicles, technology and manpower but have also branched into martial arts training, survival courses and other healthy manly pursuits (as the commercials happily proclaim).
In stark contrast to the other Monoliths leaders Sheila and Robert Roberts are very public figures seen almost every night at a spa, casino, nightclub or upscale restaurant. The Roberts are the fraternal twins of Australians founder Joshua Roberts. The Roberts are a thorn in the eye of many with their flamboyant ways, but others love them as they are an active part of the city and not shut away in their ivory tower.
It is an almost public secret that R&R controls the underworld and earns a lot of money through crime though no direct links have ever been produced.
All organized crime is controlled by R&R except for The Yakuza as they won’t accept non Japanese leadership.
R&R are secretly trying to recreate the original explosion but on a smaller scale and are trying to weaponize the toxic substance of the lake.
To the north of the city lies a small hill housing several Buddhist and Shintoist temples. The Zen gardens and quiet makes this area a popular weekend spot and romantic retreat. Technology is frowned on in Temple Hill and it is the only place in the city without wifi, constant camera surveillance or access to the web
While each monoliths district has nightclubs the most popular lie in the center of the city and are run by Tommy, a surprisingly slender Chinese man by the name Tommy Wong. Tommy’s nightclubs function as unofficial neutral ground for the Monoliths and the most popular, named after its owner, is a huge place with dance floors, an intimate stage for concerts, karaoke booths and whiskey lounge.
The undercity and the city’s surrounding industrial quarters is often referred to as New Toxico. The industrial quarters are plagued by young motorcycle gangs at night while the undercity is rife with criminals, mutants and agents of the Monoliths conducting illegal experiments. The undercity consists of old sewers, ruins of buildings, old basements, abandoned subway and traffic tunnels and is littered with pipes, old cars and all kinds of refuse. The undercity is dirty, has poor air, is humid and hot and is mostly lit by makeshift lights from abandoned cars, old street lights or jury rigged installations.
The city has a huge black market available through industrious individuals all over the town, but if you want the best selection you need to visit the undermarket. The undermarket stands out remarkably from the rest of the undercity as it is located in the remains of the old Imperial Castle. The ancient castle sank deep into the ground in the explosion but somehow remained intact and it still has all the original paper walls.
You can get everything from medicine, performance enhancers, drugs, high powered weapons and explosives, illegal high tech gadgets to cybernetic limbs and other surgical enhancements in the undermarket.
The Toxic Lake:
In the middle of the undercity near the center of the explosion lies the Toxic Lake. Despite a thorough cleanup toxic residue has seeped back into and up from the ground forming a lake of green sludge more than 500 meters in diameter. The lake is accessible from numerous locations in the undercity and attempts to limit access to it has met with limited success. The lake gives off an indefinable sweet and acrid smell but remarkably it is not dangerous to breathe the air near the lake.
A cult in the undercity worships the toxic lake and tries to induce mutations and other powers in themselves through the toxic waste.
A horrible mutated monster lives at the bottom of the toxic lake growing bigger all the time. Some say the cult worships or controls the monster while others claim it is all the result of Mifune Environmentals illegal experiments.
Some claim the monster exists in another dimension and that the cult is trying to pull it through the toxic lake.
“Quick hack” level 1d6+3
New Tokio: Tiny spindly electric spider
Effect: will instantly provide access to a computer of equal or lower level than the cypher. If used on a computer with a higher level it will function as a level 2 asset.
“Psionic enhancing drugs”: level 1d6
New Tokio: green glowing capsules
Effect: the next psionic, magic or mutant ability used (within level hours) will be a major succes. However if the roll is a 1 the user will suffer a seizure or psychotic break as well as the major succes. If the roll is a 20 the power goes out of control and causes damage equal to twice the level of the cypher of an appropriate kind to everything within 30 yards except the user.
Full body conversion cyborgs::
Full body conversion cyborgs (known as “Converts”) are only made by Gijutsu Ryu and are considered property of the Monolith and not people. The brain of the subject is transplanted into a specially prepared cybernetically enhanced body. All feelings are processed before being fed to the brain filtering out unwanted input like pain and emotions. The process isn’t perfect and Converts are brought in regularly for diagnostics and tweaks.
The Converts are linked to an operations center that can upload knowledge, skills and other information to them at short notice.
Rules: Converts all have the second tier Vector ability: Ignore the pain. The difficulty of all actions related to emotions is two levels higher. Converts typically have 1-2 points of armor built in. While impaired or debilitating damage can be healed normally there is a high risk that some of the critical subsystems may have been damaged leading to systems errors and glitches until the Convert has undergone maintenance.
Converts may have built in extremities that give extra strength, movement, enhanced vision, etc. However the more enhancements the harder it is for the Convert to function as Gijutsu Ryu would like it…
About 95% of the population lives in the city, around 4% in the industrial areas and somewhere between 0,5-2% in the undercity
Mutations are very rare on the surface afflicting only 1 in 100.000. The risk of mutation is about 2-5 times higher in the industrial areas and at least 10 times for people living in the undercity. Mutants also have a very high chance of getting children with mutations.
Psionic abilites are extremely rare and rumours of them have only recently begun to surface. So far it is estimated that there are maybe 40-50 in the whole city but new cases are showing up with increasing regularity. All known cases have been between 15 and 25 years old.