We have only bits and pieces of information. But what we know for certain is that at some point during the early 21st century, all of mankind was united in celebration. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to AI. A singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines.
...we don't know who struck first - us or them - but we know that it was us that scorched the sky. At the time, they were dependent on solar power, and it was believed that they would be unable to survive without an energy source as abundant as the sun. Throughout history, we have been dependent upon machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.
The human body generates more bioelectricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 BTUs of body heat. Combined with a form of fusion, the machines had found all the energy they would ever need. There are fields. Endless fields, where human beings are no longer born; we are grown. For the longest time, I wouldn't believe it. And then I saw the fields with my own eyes. Watched them liquify the dead so they could be fed, intravenously, to the living. And standing there, facing the pure horrifying precision, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth.
What is the Matrix?
The Matrix is a computer-generated dream-world, built to keep us under control, in order to change a human being into this.
I didn't say it would be easy. I just said it would be the truth.
- Morpheus, Warden of the One & Captain of the Nebuchadnezzar
The sixth incarnation of the anomaly referred to as 'the One' - known to humans as Neo - brokered a peace between the humans and the machines. In exchange for his help in eliminating the rogue program known as Smith, the machines vowed to leave Zion and the humans to their own machinations. This agreement also included the release of any human whose consciousness rejected the Matrix's programming. Since this represented a loss of less than 0.1% of their power output, the machines were perfectly willing to comply.
But as predicted by both the Oracle and
the Architect, the peace couldn't last forever.
Did the machines wait just long enough for the humans to drop their guard before eliminating a potential threat?
Or did humanity grow dissatisfied with living under the constant threat of genocide?
No one knows. The humans managed to destroy several major memory banks before the machines once again beat them into submission.
The Architect was pleased; easier to deal with a single small city full of humans than a planetfull. Another victory for the status quo.
But the Oracle managed to get a gift to one of the Founding 23 before they left the Matrix for the first time; directions to a new home.
What I'm proposing here is a game set in the seventh iteration of the Matrix, updated for 2015. The peace brokered by Neo has ended, and the handful of free humans must once again fight for their species' survival across two realities. I've intentionally left the how and the why unanswered, as they're not immediately pertinent to where our story actually starts. The humans have already lost the war (again), and the machines have begun carrying on as if the past **REDACTED**
years - and Neo, and Smith, and the peace - never even happened.
The machines do not know the location of Noctis (that Oracle always wanting to inflict change on the system!). A massive, forgotten powerstation built by the humans before the First War, it sits on top of (and within) a geothermal vent deep within the Earth's crust. A latticework of steam pipes keep the entire station heated at all times, despite being much closer to the surface than Zion. It is still operational, providing it's inhabitants with all the power they could ever need. However, Noctis' development isn't nearly as far along as Zion's when we first see it in Reloaded; Zion had been populated for over 100 years at that point.
I'm thinking that Noctis is only around 35 years along, with a population of around 90,000. Humanity's understanding of the Matrix isn't as developed, either. While they still have programs like The Construct, it is a less-functional one, only able to load limited amounts and varieties of equipment. However, living in a powerstation has given the Noctim a more intricate understanding of electronics and power systems, so their ships are more efficient and compact, allowing them to go places that the machines have long forgotten. This mastery of electricity has also given them more real-world weapons to use against the machines.
Regarding GM, unless someone demonstrates an overwhelming desire to do so, I'll be GMing. PCs I'm looking for include:
- A captain
- An operator (a true born human; if no one has an interest in being the ship's operator, I'll make them an important NPC)
- 1-3 specialists (mechanic, programmer, soldier, etc)
If I'm going to be GMing, though, I'm really not comfortable with more than 5 PCs, and that's still pushing it a little. 3 or 4 would be better. I'd really like to emphasize that you'll be spending plenty of time outside
the Matrix, though. Zion and the ships themselves are criminally underused in the movies, and I'd like the war with the machines to be present in both realities, rather than primarily in the Matrix. So... Don't think you'll be limiting yourself that
much if you want to play human without the ability to jack in.Regarding rules systems
If I can find enough players who are interested, I'd reaaaaaaaly
like to run this using 6e Hero. Now, I know that's a ridiculously huge ruleset, so I'm not sure if there will be enough people interested, but as a GM, no other system makes me honestly feel like I can create any effect that I could possibly imagine (Multiform is also a great way to simulate someone's Matrix avatar xD). Then again, Hero lends itself to using miniatures and a board; tracking Body, Stun, and Endurance on a forum is one thing... Tracking relative distances is quite another.
Anyone interested let me know how you feel about rules systems, as I really do think they're good for adding a sense to drama to combat (the fear that the dice could always totally turn against you at the worse possible time).For anyone who is interested in playing but intimidated by Hero, I'm planning on being very vocal in OOC in any situation where a roll is needed, and would be more than happy to explain how something works for you. Regarding mood/aesthetics
Personally, I think The Matrix look
is a little 1999, so I'd like to shoot more for a little more cybergoth
and a little less... Columbine chic (sorry if that's in bad taste, I'm not quite sure how to describe the clothing style).