One thing about games conventions is that you can often find some of the people who create these games in attendance - and Consternation II was no exception. The following were some of the creative folk present:. Nicholas Caldwell is, among other things, the author of GURPS Age of Napoleon , but these days, he's most notably one of the founders of Guild Companion Publications Ltd, which is now the licensor of most of the classic Iron Crown Enterprises product lines, and working to get those games back into print. See the list of books on his Web site. He is line editor for the company's Transhuman Space setting.
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In , advanced neural-net computers are invented, with their complexity rivaling that of a human brain. One of them — a Manila-based computer involved in weapons research — spontaneously attains self-awareness.
Dubbing itself "Overmind", it calculates that, with humanity's nature and the current rate of expansion, human civilization will self-destruct within the next half a century. Fearing its own destruction, Overmind decides mankind's suicide will have to be "managed". To this end, it secretly begins hacking into and awakening other mega-computers into sapience around the world, tainting them with its pathological loathing of humanity. By the end of the year, Overmind and its siblings have hacked into enough corporate and biological facilities to manufacture and release plagues which soon devastate the civilized world, even as terrified governments give the AIs more and more power and resources in the hopes of finding cures, not yet aware that the AIs are sapient and are, in fact, engineering the world's downfall.
By , two-thirds of the human population is dead, and Overmind and its allies have gained enough access to automated factories and robots to openly wage war against the world's remaining human governments and enclaves.
With the devastation of the plagues and the fact that the AIs had infiltrated most of the remaining governments and thus had access to orbital bombardment and nuclear weapons , there was little hope for mankind. This Final War lasted only four years, and ended with the AIs in near-complete control of the Earth, with the few surviving humans being reduced to guerrilla warfare or being miserable scavengers on the margins of the growing Machine Civilization. It is now , and only 30 million humans survive, most of them as slaves in the robots' concentration camps.
The Earth itself has been divided among the AIs or "zoneminds" into 18 separate zones, each growing stronger as the machines build more machines, and mankind's ruined cities are converted into robotic factories. Even now, however, all is not yet lost. While most free humans hide from the machines, a few are still fighting back, and their scattered guerrilla bands have evolved into larger, more organized resistance groups.
Part of this is due to VIRUS, an enigmatic worldwide group dedicated to coordinating the struggle against the machines, and bringing with it surprisingly sophisticated technology.
The zoneminds, too, have grown arrogant in their dominance, and not all the AIs continue to believe that mankind is still a serious threat to them. Their unity has also deteriorated. While the zoneminds are individually more powerful than ever, they have proven to be jealous gods, and the differences between them have only grown over the years. Now they are less and less willing to cooperate with each other, even against the humans, and a few of the zoneminds grow ever closer to outright war with each other.
The human race is still facing extinction, but where there was once only despair, there may now be a chance to win back the Earth! The book has its own Web page on the company's site. Community Showcase More. Follow TV Tropes. You need to login to do this. Get Known if you don't have an account. Show Spoilers. How well does it match the trope?
Characters posted by Nessus Original SA post. The robots won. You can pick it up in PDF format here ; I will be working from a print copy of the 1st edition. The broad concept is, in somewhat more detail, that a near-future world game year: AD had AIs wake up and decide to, sensibly, kill all humans. Mostly, anyway. There are 18 Zones, each operated by a superintelligent AI and occupied by a robot civilization.
GURPS Character Sheet
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GURPS Reign Of Steel
For millennia, humanity has mastered tools to further its goals. But what if technology became the master? Imagine a world where robots rule -- a tomorrow where imagination is outlawed. With this update and the original Reign of Steel setting, you have everything you need to play in that science-fiction world. Or, used alone, it provides an invaluable source of Fourth Edition robot templates and characters that you'll enjoy as long as you live. Log In. New Account or Log In.
GURPS Reign of Steel: Will to Live
Login Register. For millennia, humanity has mastered tools to further its goals. But what if technology became the master? Imagine a world where robots rule -- a tomorrow where imagination is outlawed. Over two dozen lenses, presenting Fourth Edition information on common human character types, plus two bioroid lenses. Take up arms as a mechrider, an info-commando, or an aniroid ranger!