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Cover art by Jaime Jones
Logo by Nick Greenwood

DIAS EX MACHINA TO RELEASE GSL CYBERPUNK IN 2009

In 2009, Dias Ex Machina will begin to develop and release non-fantasy role playing games which will be 4th Edition compatible and 100% GSL compliant. These games will be developed from a similar baseline and will not only be compatible with each other, but also with Amethyst and most other GSL products.

GSL Cyberpunk
“Everything can be Manipulated”

In the near future, after growing pressure from charter countries, the United Nations shifted their headquarters from New York to a sovereign, self-governing floating city-state between Qatar and Bahrain. It was designated the Special Administrative Municipal Autonomous Zone and christened “Archon” by official mandate. Eventually it went by another name: “Nowhere”. It was built from the ground up as a shining example of the potential and progress humanity had hoped to achieve. It was to be a beacon of peace in a world plagued by conflicts triggered by ethnic violence and starving resources.

The dream faded quickly as Archon became a powder keg, a political microcosm that reflected the hostilities of the rest of the world. Not only did the city have to defend its residents from themselves, but also from terrorists seeking to break apart the new world order. To ensure peace in the city, a counter-terrorism unit was formed to specifically deal with external and internal threats to national security, the Division of Public Safety. The DPS was granted power under the Special Executive Authority, a UN appointed position dealing with threats to state health. They had no oversight and were given jurisdiction over the entire state, including the UN General Assembly building and the more than 200 embassies contained in the city’s borders.

Archon’s unique feature is its parallel reality. It is the first city existing both in a physical world and in a virtual one—two realities which occupy the same space. One might question what’s truly genuine and what’s an illusion. In this city, as is in most of the world, everyone is connected 24/7 to a digital network where part of their memory rests in cyberspace, where your thoughts and even your reality can be modified.  Those who defend the city must do so in both worlds. These threats are not data pirates plugging themselves into terminals but individuals that could take control of human thought, hack directly into people's brains, altering their actions, what they see, and even aspects of their personality. As the world balances on the edge of chaos, all eyes have turned to one city to guide the way.

NeuroSpasta is a new role playing game directly inspired by the new generation of cyberpunk, dealing with the issues of perceived reality and concepts of self-identity in a growing environment prone to anarchy. It deals with political tensions, international espionage, terrorism, and cybercrime. “I feel the genre has made some real leaps since Sterling and Gibson paved the first few steps,” says game designer Chris Dias. “NeuroSpasta takes encouragement from these contemporary examples like The Matrix and Ghost in the Shell along with inspiration from the Bourne films and “24” while also trying to offer an original vision people will find interesting. We wanted to every idea to make sense—to make it a believable setting by rooting with a lot of modern concerns dealing with international relations, ethic violence, and the growing globalization.”

In NeuroSpasta, players will be able to create not only traditional physical characters but virtual ones as well--imitation or real personalities that can interact with the outside world. Characters will not only be able to fire weapons and blow up cars but also “hack” opponents on the fly, altering their senses, even killing them. There will be vehicle combat, power armor, robots, dozens of weapons and a full spectrum of cybernetics.

NeuroSpasta will be 100% GSL compliant and fully compatible with many other 4th Edition books, including Amethyst. It has no distributor so NeuroSpasta is currently destined for PDF and POD but Dias Ex Machina knows the end result will match the gloss and finish of their other projects.

There is no confirmed release date for NeuroSpasta but DEM aims to have it completed for the late fall.

 

Dias Ex Machina received critical acclaim and fan-support for its Amethyst role-playing game, being awarded an Honourable Mention at the 2008 Ennies for best setting. Upon announcement of the 4th Edition update to Amethyst, response was universally positive, eventually leading to it being picked up and distributed by Goodman Games for release this spring.

 

 

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