December 2022

Hey folks!

Nothing particularly new to report, except I'm still writing, still editing, and still (closed) play testing. It's been a busy few months at work, so I've not had as much time to write as I'd have liked. I do, however, have a week and a half off now, so hopefully I'll have some time to catch up and to get the updated Character Rules uploaded. I've also picked up the new Affinity 2 suite, which has some great new workflow features which have helped speed things up!

In the meantime, I'll share some of the updated content from the computers and hacking section of the rulebook. Enjoy the winter season, if that's your thing!

-- Andy

NET Topology

The geography of the NET is ever-changing, as new localNETs connect to and drop off it. Often, collections of networks find themselves grouped or categorised into regions that are commonly referred to as grids. Within a grid, you may find smaller subdivisions: for example, individual Prosperity Zones may find their own grids grouped alongside other unofficial network grids. Some of the more well-known grids are below.

There is no movement through the NET, per se. Connecting to a system and issuing commands and other instructions happens at the speed of electrons, and is subject to physics in the same way as everything else in the universe. This means that connections on the same planet are near-instantaneous, but are subject to network latency at distances beyond that.

The Dust Bowl

This grid stretches west from the central United States, to the west coast as far north as the ruins of Seattle and south to the edges of the MUBZ grid, where it acts as a digital port of sorts for the netizens of the Baja Free Territories.

Taking its name from the Great Depression at the start of the 20th century, the Bowl is a loose network tied together with decades-old fiberoptic, hacked microwave transceivers, ad hoc satellite uplinks and good old-fashioned maker ingenuity. It acts as an invaluable source of communication between the disparate communities that are spread across the desertified remains of the USA. If you want to hook up with one of the more organised scav gangs, hire a smuggler GEV to run goods to or from the coast, or simply to get the latest news from the American outback, the Bowl should be the first place you look.

Jovian Deep Space Network

AGIs, corporate research mainframes, UDC satellites broadcasting deep-space telemetry, and monitoring equipment constantly transmitting back to Earth. These are the sort of systems you’ll find out on the fringes of the stellarNET, typically in the space that stretches from the far edge of the asteroid belt, to Jupiter and beyond. This is the outer fringe of humanity’s foray into space, at least for now.

The biggest problem this far out from the heart of the solar system is the latency involved in communications. With Jupiter sitting around fifty light minutes from Earth, someone issuing commands from the inner system typically queues them up to be executed in quick succession when they arrive. This makes real-time hacks impossible. In short, if you want to attack a system in Jovian space, you better make sure you hitch a lift out there. Fortunately, there are also plenty of Khalasi ports and pirate bases you can call home, at least for a short while.

Martian Free Grid

As its name implies, the Martian Free Grid is an open grid that comprises everything from corporate networks to standalone servers hosted in remote Rush Towns. The grid mirrors the open nature of the Martian people. It’s not uncommon to find public metaspace constructs, chat systems, and bulletin boards offering honest employment in the Martian outback, throughout the planet’s globalNET. If you’re looking to hitch a ride from Odyssey to a Rush Town in the middle of nowhere, the grid can probably hook you up with someone who will be simply glad of the company.

Architecturally, the Martian Free Grid is a hybrid of current-tech systems (most of which have, despite the open nature of the grid, military levels of protection against intrusion) and hacked together networks of second-hand NIBs and always-on techStacks. The former you’ll find clustered around major cities and transport hubs, as well as outlying corporate habitats and ground stations. Above the surface, a network of official and illegally launched comsats sits in a stable orbit and helps get around line-of-sight problems between the powerful central cityNETs and the outlying networks scattered across the outback.


The South-East Asia NET covers the geographical area from China in the north; south through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam; and extends through Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, to Australia in the south and New Guinea in the east. Composed of a mix of high-tech corporate and UDC networks, improvised suburban mesh nets, and outlaw BBSes, it is a grid that is in a constant state of flux.

As well as the mix of high-end corporate hardware and underground systems that form the bulk of SEANET, it is also a popular grid for those wishing to host NIBs away from the prying eyes of the UDC. The ever-shifting topography of SEANET makes it a perfect location for pirate data havens and offshore secure hosting. This also means it has the highest density of metaspace constructs anywhere on the stellarNET, and is the nearest thing to the old concept of cyberspace you’ll find. Thousands of interconnected sims sprawl out across SEANETs grid, home to everyone from Indents escaping the grim reality of life on Earth, through visitors from the Orbitals slumming it in one of the many virtual bordellos to, rumour has it, communities of AIs that have avoided the eye of the Feigenbaum Registry.

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