Hein (fub) wrote,

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Edo period Japan as a cyberpunk setting

I'm quite sad that our campaign of The Sprawl disintegrated -- we ended basically mid-mission. First we had a player move and have problems with getting a decent internet connection going. And once that was finally resolved, we had a player drop out for personal reasons. Looking through the shards of what was left, no-one seemed to want to make the commitment to return to regular play, and the GM wasn't up to prepping and then not running. So it ended. I would have liked to continue, because I don't think the story of Trip had been told completely -- but that is how these things go.

Meanwhile, we have been watching Onihei, which is set in Edo -- which is now known as Tokyo. It's about the chief of police, so there's lots of daring capers and gentlemen thieves, along with some true ruffians who don't mind a little bloodshed. It reminded me of House of Five Leaves -- except that is told from the viewpoint of the scoundrels (and of course, the visual style is completely different).
And then I thought I could see some parallels between Edo and The Sprawl:
- The setting is very urban, with lots of houses, shops, inns etcetera: enough room to fall in between the cracks;
- There is a stark divide between the haves and the have-nots;
- Information, as well as goods, have power.
The Edo-period is also only 150 years ago, so it's not some fantasy-land: things like photography existed, so it's kind of relatable.

So I was thinking: could I create a 'hack' of The Sprawl set in Edo? You'd have a group of scoundrels contracted to do someone's dirty work: could be a gang of thieves who want to burglarize a wealthy store, could be to spring a captive from the magistrate's prison, could be to collect evidence of some sort from the mansion of a high-ranking shogunate officer...
I tweeted this out, and the official The Sprawl twitter account told me to do it. Maybe I will. I need to think about it a bit more, because it's not a one-to-one translation. It's not just cosmetic!

I think it would be fun though.
Tags: rpg

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