Campaign Frame: The War for Nix Olympica

In the Transhuman Space setting, Nix Olympica is a town on the southern slope of Olympus Mons, home to the University of Mars. It has been legally independent of any Earth-based government for nearly 40 years, but like any college town, Nix Olympica is a battleground of ideas. Anyone with an axe to grind or an agenda to push forward comes here, from preservationists and Free Mars advocates to covert operatives of the American and Chinese colonies.

The PCs of a Nix Olympica campaign find themselves in the center of a memetic war. In addition to academic struggles (whether seeking a degree or tenure), they discover various factions launching attacks in the hearts and minds of their fellow citizens. When the conflict heats up and one meme too many causes tragedy, the PCs are the ones to put the pieces back together. Without a dedicated response system of its own, the University asks them to serve as memetic defenders of the city-state.

Characters in this campaign should be built on 150 points, meaning mostly low-powered upgrades and parahumans, bioroids, and infomorphs in cheap or static shells. While characters can have specialties in just about any academic or scientific field, most should focus on hard sciences, especially terraforming. All should have at least some proficiency in memetic skills: Brainwashing, Diplomacy, Expert Skill (Memetics), Fast-Talk, Interrogation, Leadership, Merchant, Politics, Propaganda, Psychology, Sociology, and Teaching. Memetics Talent (p. 40 of Transhuman Space: Changing Times) will be very valuable.

Obviously, the campaign would make heavy use of the memetics rules in Transhuman Space: Toxic Memes. Various rules from GURPS Social Engineering would also be in play.


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