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> The Circus in 2077, Oh God the clowns, so many clowns
Patrick the Gnom...
post Apr 30 2010, 03:53 AM
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So I'm thinking of having my players go on a run in the circus and I want to come up with some ideas of what they'd encounter there. The type of circus I have in mind would have magic flowing out its ass and all of its other orifices (as well as maybe a few token cyber clowns) and would havesome kind of big show on the scale of Cirque du Soleil where all the top Awakened would show off their magical talents. Illusionists would of course be on the surplus and I have some ideas about what kinds of illusions there would be but what about other types of magic? I have a few cool ideas about Manipulation spells (two Control Actionsed audience members having a martial arts fight on stage seems like it'd be pretty cool) but what else would the players find there? Anybody got any ideas (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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kjones
post Apr 30 2010, 04:03 AM
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Awakened paracritters?
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knasser
post Apr 30 2010, 06:54 AM
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QUOTE (Patrick the Gnome @ Apr 30 2010, 04:53 AM) *
So I'm thinking of having my players go on a run in the circus and I want to come up with some ideas of what they'd encounter there. The type of circus I have in mind would have magic flowing out its ass and all of its other orifices (as well as maybe a few token cyber clowns) and would havesome kind of big show on the scale of Cirque du Soleil where all the top Awakened would show off their magical talents. Illusionists would of course be on the surplus and I have some ideas about what kinds of illusions there would be but what about other types of magic? I have a few cool ideas about Manipulation spells (two Control Actionsed audience members having a martial arts fight on stage seems like it'd be pretty cool) but what else would the players find there? Anybody got any ideas (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)


It's not what you're looking for, but I wrote a module called Carnival which has a fair bit of stuff that you could rip out and put in a circus. The adept performers are an obvious element. The ghoul fortune teller was also a favourite of mine.
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nezumi
post Apr 30 2010, 12:58 PM
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The circus is going to have a tough time competing with vid and BTL, while keeping cost-effective. Unless this mage is hooked up on so many drugs that he isn't sure where he is, he's not going to work at a circus. The cost of a mage is well, well above what any carnival can afford.

Post-SURGE clearly you can have quite a freak show, and the paranormal critters. Frankly acrobats are going to be rather passe compared to what's on the trids now. THe only real lure the carnival can maintain, that I can see, are things that break out of the trid by being more interactive. Such as:
1) Games, junk food, prizes
2) Tacticle content, such as touching the freaks
3) Sex (with the freaks)
4) Drugs

Other than that, I just can't see it being cost effective any more.
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kjones
post Apr 30 2010, 01:46 PM
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The astral connection is something you can't get from a BTL. Maybe this is a circus by the awakened, for the awakened. (and wannabes, and people hopped up on Tempo...)
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Rasumichin
post Apr 30 2010, 01:56 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi @ Apr 30 2010, 01:58 PM) *
Frankly acrobats are going to be rather passe compared to what's on the trids now.


Not when you consider what an acrobat adept could do (especially some of the SURGEd ones).
A dedicated adept could pull off stunts that would seem outright suicidal nowadays.
Of course, adepts would make great contortionists, too.
Or knife throwers, or whatever. You could scale up the usual knife throwing show by having two throwing adepts with Missile Parry throw all kinds of stuff at each other, going back and forth all the time. Add in a level of Increased Reflexes to speed things up a little and there ya go.
Captivating performance is also practically a must for any kind of circus adept.
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Draco18s
post Apr 30 2010, 02:42 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi @ Apr 30 2010, 08:58 AM) *
2) Tacticle content, such as touching the freaks
3) Sex (with the freaks)


You know you want to have sex with that bear shapeshifter.

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nezumi
post Apr 30 2010, 03:27 PM
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QUOTE (Rasumichin @ Apr 30 2010, 08:56 AM) *
Not when you consider what an acrobat adept could do (especially some of the SURGEd ones).


What can an acrobat do under a big tent that that same acrobat couldn't do on the trid?

We go to the circus right now (sometimes) because it's real life - even if it's 200 feet away on an uncomfortable seat, it's still real life. But the technology in Shadowrun is such that virtual life is MORE REAL than real life. So the circus simply cannot compete unless it's offering a sensation or experience not available via the trid.
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Rasumichin
post Apr 30 2010, 04:20 PM
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The advent of simsense, especially with full emotional playback, makes it kinda hard to offer something that cannot be recorded to it's full extend.

You either watch a live performance because you have a taste for experiencing things directly, or you simply don't bother and slot a chip.
Or you go there because you want to watch it from the astral.
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Patrick the Gnom...
post Apr 30 2010, 08:37 PM
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Some things might be capturable by a simsense recording, but certain magical effects and experiences are better realized first hand. How many simsense recordings can give the viewer the experience of plunging an entire live audience through an astral rift in a (warded) big top via the Astral Gateway spirit power? Or shapewater water parks with twisting tubes of gravity defying water slides and rentable Oxygenate spells? Or how about a shapechange booth where circus goers can become whatever animal they want for a few minutes? Not to mention that people still go to magic shows now-a-days despite the advents of cgi and special effects. There is a huge difference between a computer-made show put on the trid and a live performance of literally impossible feats performed before your very eyes. As for hiring mages, maybe the circus wouldn't be able to pay its performers as much as the corps but there are a number of other benefits that come with a free-running setup like the circus, especially for criminal mages or mages who can't obtain SINs like naga and shapeshifters.
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Banaticus
post Apr 30 2010, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi @ Apr 30 2010, 05:58 AM) *
The circus is going to have a tough time competing with vid and BTL, while keeping cost-effective. Unless this mage is hooked up on so many drugs that he isn't sure where he is, he's not going to work at a circus. The cost of a mage is well, well above what any carnival can afford.

Take a look at p68 in Street Magic. With the number of people in a circus, a High Resources rating for a magic group is 10k nuyen, divided by the number of people in the group. That lets the members of the group travel around in a Medium lifestyle with a 1d6+10 rating magical lodge and members would get a 40% discount on ritual materials. That's pretty fracking attractive. Medium lifestyle with a great lodge and all you have to do is to cast spells for some freaks? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me, especially if you happen to be one of those freaks yourself.

If a circus magical group had the stipulation that the dues required of any "retired" circus member increases by some amount (since shadowrunners tend to make more), then each runner would reduce the cost of the regular group members by a decent amount.

I started writing up a Circus Group at http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=30957 (I'll post traditions tonight)
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Rand
post Apr 30 2010, 09:41 PM
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QUOTE (Patrick the Gnome @ Apr 30 2010, 04:37 PM) *
There is a huge difference between a computer-made show put on the trid and a live performance of literally impossible feats performed before your very eyes.


Agreed. There is something to be said about "being there."

QUOTE (Patrick the Gnome @ Apr 30 2010, 04:37 PM) *
As for hiring mages, maybe the circus wouldn't be able to pay its performers as much as the corps but there are a number of other benefits that come with a free-running setup like the circus, especially for criminal mages or mages who can't obtain SINs like naga and shapeshifters.


Plus, it is a great base of operations for a group of runners, heck carnies now have quite the reputation for criminal activities - deservedly, or not.

I think a 6th World circus is likely to have many paracritters; both sentient and not.
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Kronk2
post May 1 2010, 05:11 AM
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I think a Cirque would be the perfect place for an artist Mystic adept. I mean, where else are you going to see someone do a trapeze act with out ropes. Just people jumping 35 feet catching each other and trowing masses around ON FIRE!! And can you imagine the kind of dancing you can do when physics no longer apply? And who said that they wouldn't use the best 3 dimensional lighting available at the time. Lighting and shading from apparently non physical sources.
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knasser
post May 1 2010, 10:52 AM
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QUOTE (nezumi @ Apr 30 2010, 04:27 PM) *
What can an acrobat do under a big tent that that same acrobat couldn't do on the trid?

We go to the circus right now (sometimes) because it's real life - even if it's 200 feet away on an uncomfortable seat, it's still real life. But the technology in Shadowrun is such that virtual life is MORE REAL than real life. So the circus simply cannot compete unless it's offering a sensation or experience not available via the trid.


With the carnival in my game, I tried to recognize that. The carnival was not a huge, big business affair, but a smallish, slighty seedy troupe that double up with smuggling activities and did a number of slightly less-legitimate things in their shows. I tried to think of things that would be attractions. You had SIM recording booths where people could go and record themselves having sex and for the right price, the technician would jack the levels on the recording up a little higher than was legal. You had the fortune teller that you wouldn't be able to replicate virtually, you had more dubious while-you-wait body-modifications. And things that you simply couldn't find on the Matrix, such as the Tehran survivor who told her story in small, intimate groups.

But whilst you can mitigate the presence of VR and the Matrix on live shows like this, you can't dismiss it. Which is why the carnival in my adventure was how it was.

K.
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Banaticus
post May 1 2010, 01:34 PM
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QUOTE (knasser @ May 1 2010, 02:52 AM) *
And things that you simply couldn't find on the Matrix, such as the Tehran survivor who told her story in small, intimate groups.

But the most common cyberware is cybereyes and all it takes is one person to record it and post it online -- something that I've had trouble finding a way around. How can piracy be stopped in 2075?
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Banaticus
post May 1 2010, 01:34 PM
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QUOTE (knasser @ May 1 2010, 02:52 AM) *
And things that you simply couldn't find on the Matrix, such as the Tehran survivor who told her story in small, intimate groups.

But the most common cyberware is cybereyes and all it takes is one person to record it and post it online -- something that I've had trouble finding a way around. How can piracy be stopped in 2075?
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Tymire
post May 1 2010, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE
The ghoul fortune teller was also a favourite of mine.


Am I the only one that immedately pictured some hunched back old woman, asking for someone's hand and saying "I see something very intereting happening to you soon....hmmm..... what could it be" nom nom nom <insert screams> nom nom nom (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

One thing to remember about those recordings is that there is no interaction besides what is recorded. Hard to insert any loved ones or friends into a recording someone else did =P.
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LurkerOutThere
post May 1 2010, 03:42 PM
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QUOTE (knasser @ May 1 2010, 04:52 AM) *
With the carnival in my game, I tried to recognize that. The carnival was not a huge, big business affair, but a smallish, slighty seedy troupe that double up with smuggling activities and did a number of slightly less-legitimate things in their shows. I tried to think of things that would be attractions. You had SIM recording booths where people could go and record themselves having sex and for the right price, the technician would jack the levels on the recording up a little higher than was legal. You had the fortune teller that you wouldn't be able to replicate virtually, you had more dubious while-you-wait body-modifications. And things that you simply couldn't find on the Matrix, such as the Tehran survivor who told her story in small, intimate groups.

But whilst you can mitigate the presence of VR and the Matrix on live shows like this, you can't dismiss it. Which is why the carnival in my adventure was how it was.

K.


I think Knassers got the right approach, already circuses are far far smaller draws then they were 100 years ago before the advent of TV, the Matrix and Simsense would be a further hit but I personally believe there would be some niche they could fill and might be a place for a cirque de solei type outfit or even live shows with all the latest technological tie ins at a Horizon associated theme park.

So the question becomes are you running the carnival as a well regulated, santized, and thoroughly tech savy sort of operaiton that corpers bring their kids to to try and connect with some quality family time outside of VR? Or are you taking them through the freakshow where a cow fetus is billed as an alien in the freak show that poorly socialized corp kids sneak off to with their dates.
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Banaticus
post May 1 2010, 06:18 PM
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Why not both? The main three rings, located right by the front entrance of the carnival, are sanitized, safe and quite a lot of fun to see. Walk around the main tent and off on the outskirts of the carnival, some of the tents and booths offer... more... attractions.
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LurkerOutThere
post May 1 2010, 06:25 PM
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Because the kind of outfits with the money and pull to make a high class operation work wouldn't shit where they eat by allowing a low class operation to work in their shadows presumably.

I'm not saying the two can't co-exist, just not likely as part of the same animal.

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MJBurrage
post May 1 2010, 06:55 PM
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Traveling carnivals were family friendly up front, and seedy in the back for most of their history. This also applied to many state fairs. IIRC this only started to change post WWII as the US tried to clean things up to fit its own public perception of 1950s morality.

Given the various levels of societal collapse, the weakening of the governments, and the generally dystopian future, I have no trouble seeing the old style carnivals returning.

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Patrick the Gnom...
post May 1 2010, 07:24 PM
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Ok, ok, fine, but what would you see there? What kind of attractions would you get at a carnival that you wouldn't get from simsense? And sex is definetly not a good enough reason, you can get a BTL of the craziest sex for a lot cheaper than you would need to get it from a real freak.
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Draco18s
post May 1 2010, 07:38 PM
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"Because its on Simsense" isn't really a valid reason not to do something. It just means that its an alternative to the real thing. Remember BTLs are better than life, meaning that the emotion tracks are jacked up to the point at which everything is surreal. Its what life would be like if you were hopped up on drugs all the time, but its not the real deal.

And then there's carnival games. You can't keep the giant stuffed teady you won in a BTL game. Assuming of course that the recorded simsense lets you play the game realistically and that you could win and that you could lose. If you win all the time, even with a jacked up emote-track it'll feel hollow.
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Banaticus
post May 1 2010, 07:45 PM
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QUOTE (Patrick the Gnome @ May 1 2010, 11:24 AM) *
What kind of attractions would you get at a carnival that you wouldn't get from simsense?

Simsense is awesome, but not as cool as actually seeing it, as feeling the rush of emotions yourself when a trapeze artist almost goes splat (or perhaps actually does go splat -- with a magical healer standing by, I could see a carnival planning out how to have someone purposefully break a leg while doing a trick, especially if they had a little dopadrine beforehand. Not every day or audiences would get tired, but enough to keep the thrill up, like how some people watch NASCAR in hopes of seeing a crash.

Because of the risk of addiction, hot sim is usually not available without a hacked/cracked machine. Cold sim BTL is nice, but maybe seeing it real life is better?
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Dumori
post May 1 2010, 07:49 PM
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Cold sim BTL is a lie you can't happen ever.
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