#12rpg Question 10: Mobile phones and the internet in an RPG setting in the modern day world (perhaps with fantastic elements): discuss. What possibilities do they open up? What, if any, issues come up with them when it comes to RPG scenarios?

Mobile devices + the fantastical = affecting everyone and anyone with strange powers from a distance. Can I mind-control you by talking to you over the phone? Can I use all the phones in an area to create a perfect map everyone’s location (like Batman)? Can I send an audio signal that, if you hear it, will erase your personality (like Dollhouse)? Can I use your smartphone to target you with a spell, even if I can’t see you? Can I install a demon-summoning app? Can I transform myself into packets and travel the world, untraced, via HTTPS?

Lots and lots of ideas.

Issues?

A few people have talked about the ubiquity of information thing. I can’t say that I’ve run enough modern games to observe whether this is actually a problem or not. I’m not a big mystery guy, so hidden information isn’t my thing. I’m happy to feed players all they need to know so I can see what they choose to do with it. That’s far more interesting to me.

And, heck, constant communication helps justify table chatter. Almost every superhero game I play involves a team with always-on earpieces. It makes everything easier.

4 thoughts on “#12rpg Question 10: Mobile phones and the internet in an RPG setting in the modern day world (perhaps with fantastic…

  1. I think the recent Persona videogames have had an interesting thing – an app that appears on your phone and allows you to access the magical otherworld. Certainly there’s lots of room for creepy otherworldly communications, summoning, etc. via phones.

    The Japanese Double Cross rpg includes a power set that allows you to pull and read wireless data from the air, anytime, at no cost. This basically makes your character able to intercept, and potentially hack anything.

    Of course, the other thing about easy viral info spreading is if you have any kind of memetical threat, it’s now spread within a few hours at most. (I read some Lovecraft Mythos short story years ago where the “new drug on the street” was a pill to get you high PLUS the mythos words to unlock your mind, I could see this easily becoming a thing online.)