Okay, so I’ve been rolling around this idea the last few days of working on a side-RPG to Gates based on a few concepts I’ve been interested in lately. I don’t know if people would be interested in fooling around with it, but I thought it might be fun to write it down & see if it sounds exciting.
There are a lot of things still to work out, but the basic idea revolves around a near future/cyberpunk world in which a major source of everyday labor and tasks are humanoid robots called dolls, who have in a very short time (maybe the last two or three years) transformed the way that this society works. This follows a prolonged period in which scientists & programmers unsuccessfully attempted to invent & utilize AI for this purpose, but ran up against unforeseen complications that made the prospect of a manageable AI impossible—that is, an AI that wouldn’t eventually develop conflicted feelings toward its own servitude, & so AI programming is discontinued & made illegal, until a large company (think like, future-Google) announces that they have succeeded in creating an intelligent programming center that, while it mimics the human brain, is not capable of disrupting or modifying its own programming. After a few months of vetting & various legal processes, inquiries into how this is possible are dropped by government agencies worldwide, & dolls hit the market at a relatively affordable price for many business (public as well as private) & individuals.
This is where the whole occult part comes in. This large, future-Google sort of corporation has actually created an empty false-consciousness, & these constitute a link between the high-tech, cyberpunk outer world, & a demonic plane in which demons/ghosts/otherworldly things move. Dolls then are animated by the energies from this space (though this is utilized by accident, people are aware of it, though the truth is hidden from the general public & it is referred to as a sort of miracle technology—an intelligence without breakable programming.) Thus, dolls themselves can become possessed by the occult presences in this otherworld & become themselves instruments of sinister forces. A small task force of special police is created to respond to these incidents & keep these possessed dolls out of the general public’s knowledge—their value to the government & to the populace is so great that to try to discontinue them now would compromise the interests of lots of very rich people, & shake ordinary citizens’ trust in the government. Since the incidents are so rare, these special agents are employed to keep them out of the public eye & to eliminate threats as they arise.
On the other side, private security companies & black market trade in possessed dolls funds a large underground of bounty hunters who attempt to capture & bring dolls back while maintaining their inhabited demonic spirits for a wide variety of uses—energy, weaponization, etc.
This demonic world can be accessed either by a person interfacing with a doll & using their body as a gate, transporting their consciousness into the doll’s in order to fight the demonic presence directly, or by a human hooking themselves up to a mainframe in order to enter the netherworld without the assistance of a doll gate. However, accessing the demonic plane directly is only possible for people whose brains have developed in such a way as to contain a similar “false-consciousness” space as a doll’s, a variety of mutation which often has undesirable side-effects: frail bodies & susceptibility to sickness, etc.
So okay, that’s a basic gist of the premise. I’ve got ideas for three different types of characters, who work in combat in different ways. First, we have normal human beings who partner with dolls—the police & bounty hunters would usually be like this. This means that they have a doll partner for combat in the “real world,” & would probably use firearms, etc. but can use the doll to enter demonic spaces at certain fractures in our reality—fractures that dolls can sense & respond to. So once they’re in a demonic space, they don’t have the doll there fighting with them, but maybe they could have it acting as a guide? Exorcizing demons this way, by killing them in fractures, would let them enchant or improve their weapons or something like that. & of course, they’d be able to make money by either exorcizing or capturing demons for bounties, etc.
Second, would be these hacker types, whose false consciousnesses allow them to enter demonic realms through mainframes—so they can’t do it on the go, as the others can, but need to enter through a computer. My idea for this is that they would then make up a sort of Shin Megami Tensei class—entering into symbiotic relationships with a demon (not multiple demons, but one) that would then grow & grant them supernatural abilities, like magic, etc. but they would be pretty much useless if they got into combat in the real world, and their weakness of body would make them glass cannons, more or less.
Third, I think it’d be cool to have a class of character who can’t enter demonic spaces at all, but that is designed for fighting demonic presences that make it out into the outside world. I’ve been thinking about this as almost a sort of parasitic thing—people who start the game as above-average in combat but who literally exorcise demons from the things that possess them by draining the presence from the doll & taking it into themselves & gaining some power from it—so they become sort of superhuman but feed on these things. The use of that would be pretty obvious if you were in the law enforcement sector, but there might be some pretty fun technovampire outlaws to come out of it, since you could also drain that possession from that second class of character, so that these caster types have to look out for people trying to murder them in order to feed.
I dunno. That’s what I’ve got, pretty much. There’s some other stuff, but I think this is the basic gist. Tell me if y’all would be interested in it, or if you have any ideas for more stuff to add.