Cambridge, 2024

Caveat lector: this campaign is hackneyed and steals from legends, mythology, and more modern fictions - in short it's a typical AD&D campaign. It's not my best work, but it's fun. So have fun with it, especially if your one of the players, and don't take it too seriously if you've happened to stumble across this from a search engine or from one of my other pages. - Chris.


In many ways, Cambridge in the year 2024 C.E. is the same as the Cambridge of our day. It still features the academic institutions of MIT and Harvard. It still has a diverse student & young professional population. It's still just across the river Charles from Boston.

Some important differences: President Chelsea Clinton (Dem) has elected not to run for re-election this year. Her VP, Ethan Hawke is running against Maria Chavez (Green) grand-daughter of the labor leader, Robert Taft IV (Rep), and Akira Miyasaki (Reform).

The world is no longer in a situation where the U.S. is the sole superpower. It is now on equal footing with the E.C. (European Community) and with Unified China (China + Taiwan, - Tibet).

At least as important though, in world affairs are the global, multi-national corporations. MS-Sony, Gentech-Megamedia & Sushi; ADM-Motorola-Airbus; Disney-Lockheed-Martin; BP-MCI-Coca Cola; and Fox Newscorp dominate world politics.

Technology:

Computers: all the computers are faster & store more data. So much so, that they can make really cool VR video games, where they scan your entire body and when you put on the head set, everything looks and sounds like it would in the real world. Unfortunately, set-ups to fool the other senses as effectively (particularly taste & touch, and balance) are prohibitively expensive for most people, and the touch one - which looks like something out of Lawnmower Man - takes up a hell of a lot of space. Some folks at the MIT Media Lab are working on something less bulky that would tap directly into your brain - right now most of the work has been on trying to develop something that would be less invasive and work with electromagnetic fields - sort of like using a MRI to program how your brain senses things instead of just scanning it.

Biotech - after the success of the human genome project, many genetic related diseases are very treatable & correctable now, although many still aren't. After some setbacks in the mid '00's through the early 10's, with Green Party activists, many smart-foods are available on the market, and if you don't mind that your chicken may have some banana genes in it by way of stapholococcus, then you can eat very healthily on a diet that would have seemed 30 years ago, destined to give you a heart attack by the age of 45.

Nanotech - We don't have cell sized machines yet... at least not that do all that much. Not on their own. Not really. I mean, they'd tell us if they did right? Some nanotech machines have been used, largely in the medical field to do micro-surgery to excise cancers & unclog arteries and things like that w/o damaging healthy tissue. Problem is, that these things are still a little clumsy & even with advances in computers they have very little data storage capacity. Most of them can't do much on automatic & have to be directed by a computer outside, broadcasting the directions via radio. Shielding in these operating rooms is an imperative.

Space - there are permanently inhabited, international space stations on the moon, in low-earth orbit, in geosychronous orbit and at the L5 and L4 Lagrange points 60 degrees ahead and behind the Earth in its orbit around the sun. No person has set foot on Mars yet, but launch of a ship from the geosynch station is scheduled for later this year.

Telecommunications: Almost everyone who would have a phone in 2000, has a cell phone in 2024. Almost everyone who would have a cellphone in 2000 has a sat[tellite] phone in 2024. Cell & sat phones are equipped with GPS, and the larger ones have full internet access with voice recognition navigation & writing capability. These models are about the size of today's cellphones. Latest versions of cellphones consist of a small, hearing aid-sized earpiece, and a lip ring with an embedded microphone (tuned appropriately to elliminate any noise distortion.

Military - Drone Planes, Drone Bombers. Nuke subs are still manned. Carriers are still manned. Concern for being able to powerfully yet effectively handle smaller scale conflict led to the development of a wide range of non-lethal weaponry (ala sticky foam, nets & hypersonics) in the 00's, but then with the South American War of 2012-2014, there was a demand for an upgrade in more lethal infantry & armored cavalry. The importation from Japan to Peru of the first military grade hardsuits in late 2013 proved a decisive maneuver in Peru's defense, and allowed them to repel both Columbia and Argentina. This war has also become known as the Corporate War because of the unashamed and unhidden backing the different participants had from the the MMC's, rather than from individual nations. Non-lethals are now often used by most civilian police forces, but most larger cities also have SWAT teams with a few hardsuits.

Net-heads: people who are online almost all the time. They usually do this by wearing the earpiece/lip- ring cellphone and a set of lower res, VR goggles which look like dark swimming goggles - except that they usually have a small antennae sticking out along one side, which signals to a small, pager- sized computer, usually worn at the belt. The goggles usually work in HUD (head's up display) mode, so that the user can see the outside world and not walk into walls or oncoming traffic, but can go completely virtual. Many of these folks will have a one hand keyboard worn on their left forearm or their right thigh.

Academic Security: All this might make it much easier to cheat, so special isolation rooms have been made such that students much pass through de-Gaussers before entering and white-noise is transmitted over the primary net & cell frequencies within the room. This is also often used in theaters in concert halls to prevent distractions.

Music: in the late 00's, there was an early 90's nostalgia & grunge came back, rejecting the bighair/glam bands which had naturally come to fore- following in the wake of Christina Agulara, Britney Spears & the boy bands. Then in the late 2010's, there was a synthpop/dance revival with a large Indo-Arabic flavor, because people started to think the grunge/punk revival just wasn't enough fun. This wave has just started to get too cheesy & synthetic for most folks and another grunge/punk revival has recently begun to take off. Of course, the really cool, in the know people disdain the second grunge revival, because Brazilian folk music is where it is at. Actually a lot of folks think they are the really cool, in the know people, who dig a particular sub-genre of world music, but the Brazillian stuff is getting just a little more play at "alternative" dance clubs and college stations.

MIT:


Mordred Undead: background
Mordred Undead: The Campaign Thus Far
Gord's Greyhawk
SF and other Fun Stuff

Christopher B. Siren