Adults on Bikes (or something)
I've been planning a probably PbtA-esque project in the future. Here's a slightly edited brainstorming dump. This is probably at least a year out on actually working on it. At some point I'll probably try and set up a wiki for this + my other worldbuilding projects and poke away at it.
Basic pitch is near-future bike-themed solarpunk drawing on my own experience with bike activism.
It'll also try and draw on a lot of the fun people get of modern fantasy character building, but like with bikes. Customize your bike. Decorate it. Design stickers for it. Maybe there will be a complicated inventory managment system, because my experience with bikes involves a lot of complicated inventory management. There will be different types of bikes with different pros and cons. Speed, endurance (your endurance), cost and maintenance and what external systems you're dependent on. Drawings of bikes you can modify and draw on and make your own.
Bikes can get damaged, bikes can even get destroyed, but characters can't die or get permanently injured, in a direct and deliberate rejection of realism. Otherwise drawing on real-world bicycle activism and tactics.
I'm not actually the biggest fan of playbooks per se, but I'm thinking of copy and pastable pick-lists. Assemble your character by literally printing out some sheets, cutting them out and gluing them together (or use computers).
Some setting ideas.
- A lot of cars are self-driving and owned by megacorporations. Lots of drones and stuff too. Hacking subsystem?
- Multiple and alternate internets. Corporate internets, local community internets with peering relationships.
- There are city blocks taken over by the community. Food gardens. Art work and message boards and gardens. Solar panels. Little electric carts anyone can use. Workshops. Free food. People have carved out spaces for themselves in the city. Players can have a a pretty major role in shaping this (but NPCs also have opinions). No cops.
- There are walled suburbs, made deliberately unfriendly to anyone who can't afford a corporate car subscription. Giant lawns in the desert, golf courses, heavy police presence.
- Corporate enclaves: private security, drones, heavily policed. The shiny new ones and the ones going into decline. You can get in or out by bike but it's dangerous. There's the corporate bus. Checkpoints. Everything under surveillance - but their control is weak. Also, lots of people work here: the walls are permeable. The modern corporate enclaves seem more like nostalgia for a rapidly disappearing time.
- The ones going into decline are being reclaimed.
- The bus + the bus union as a friendly faction. Trains go up north to the small towns - farm co-ops are other friendly factions. Maybe there's a lot of seasonal moving back and forth between the two on the trains.
- Water shortages, food shortages, environmental threats (heat/fires etc). Have to think about tone here and how much we want to be based on real world problems.
- The terrain matters a lot, and learning the safe and secret routes is very important.
Neither quite utopian or dystopian: a world on the tipping point. Also a world that maybe says something about our own - definitely inspired by real things that are happening, just on a bigger scale. 20 years into the future. Some of the worldbuilding will be as much for myself to imagine where we could go in the future.