Bubblegum Crisis holds a special place in my heart due to the fact that it was one of the first anime I’ve watched that wasn’t aired on local TV, along with Ranma 1/2, Bio-Booster Armor Guyver, and Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. The darker themes of Cyberpunk, awesome hardsuit designs, the idea of killer robots masquerading as humans, matched with glam rock music and fluid animation was a heady mix of awesome that still continues to influence me to this day.
To those unfamiliar with the series, Bubblegum Crisis is a Cyberpunk anime set in year 2032 in “Mega Tokyo” where a mysterious group of Hardsuit wearing vigilantes called the Knight Sabers fight a shadow war against the devious mega-corporation known as GENOM. GENOM is the primary manufacturer of androids known as Boomers, which perform a variety of tasks from construction to cleaning to serving as prostitutes. Unknown to the citizens of Mega Tokyo GENOM also uses these Boomers to serve as corporate soldiers, assassins and spies.
Now that I’ve been thinking about it, it’s certainly possible to update the series from it’s 90′s Blade Runner-esque roots to incorporate some of the existing technologies of today, as well as other near-future technologies without losing the Glam Rock and Chrome.
Dr. Katsuhito Stingray, brilliant head scientist of the BioEscape Corporation was assassinated by GENOM agents out to steal his greatest invention: the synthetic race known as Boomers. However, Dr. Stingray was well aware of GENOM’s plans and had managed to distribute his work and preliminary plans for the creation of Hardsuits to several trusted friends and colleagues in the form of a technology packet that could only be accessed by his children Sylia and Mackie.
All would have gone according to plan had not a traitor attempted to kidnap the children. The Player Characters begin the game at the end of a flashback of a fierce firefight in Dr. Stingray’s home, where they find Sylia shot and dying, and Mackie nowhere to be found. Now having taken the little traumatized Sylia in as their ward, the Player characters must use the technology unlocked in Dr. Stingray’s will and testament and avenge the crimes GENOM has inflicted on the good doctor and his family.
Much of the campaign will be episodic, dealing with the Boomer threats that GENOM deploys to further their own dark plans. The problem of Sylia’s missing brother is going to be a continuing plot hook, and the appearance of opposing Hardsuits will serve as the nemesis of the players.
As with all my campaigns, I’ll also take time to further the player backstories based on whatever concepts they submit for the game.
Themes: Fighting against Corruption, Revenge, Justice, Hope
Character Concepts: Rockstar, Hacker, Biker, Police Officer, Detective, Mechanic
I felt it was too easy to make “Yet another Knight Sabers” team in a different team, but it felt strange and tacked on. So instead, I decided to change the origin story of the campaign from the ground up, using Sylia and Mackie Stingray as plot hooks as opposed to GMPCs. It’s canon heresy, of course, but those are the breaks if you really want to have Mega Tokyo as the real stomping grounds for the players.
Admittedly I’m not too happy about how this pitch turned out. Perhaps it requires too much knowledge of the setting? I’m not sure. What do you guys think? Is this something you’d play in?