Tokyo:Otherscape Name Change and Lore Drop
Welcome to the Megacity. Industry has swallowed the wilderness. Corporations and crime syndicates run the streets. And underneath the neon lights and clouds of drones, everyone overclocks themselves just to get by.
If you’re a fan of the cyberpunk genre, some of this might sound familiar. But Tokyo:Otherscape is its own beast. In fact, the Megacity can be anywhere, from Tokyo to Brazil to New Orleans. And while the people are content to forget who they are in VR chat rooms, the land the city rests on chooses to remember. The mythos of that land is still alive in its supernatural creatures and relics, all holding onto reality with what little magic they have.
Turns out, magic means power. Power means profits. And that’s where you come in.
A New City
Tokyo:Otherscape is the next Kickstarter to come from Son of Oak Game Studio, creators of the cinematic modern fantasy RPG, City of Mist, launching April 4th! If you’ve been following this channel, you’ve heard us mention the game as Tokyo:Otherworld. Well this video comes with a big announcement. Due to potential trademark reasons, we’re officially changing the name to Tokyo:Otherscape!
In this new world, there is no Mist to separate the natural from the supernatural. Instead, there’s a new force in the near future that keeps the masses in constant apathy. Most people’s perceptions in this world are inundated with distracting media, fantastical virtual realities, consciousness altering chemicals, constant communications, and bio-feedback from their cybernetic augmentations. All of these technological distractions are known collectively as the Noise.
While the Mist in City of Mist obscures supernatural powers and erases peoples’ memories, the Noise works in a different way. When citizens in Tokyo:Otherscape see something magic, they just explain it away as a hologram or fashion trend or they get confused and think they’re still in VR. Even if they do acknowledge what they see, it means nothing to most of them - what difference does it make to their sorry lives? In short, everyone can see the supernatural.
They just don’t &#$%ing care.
Mercs on a Mission
But you, the player, know differently. Every corporation and crime lord wants their hands on magic. As mercenaries within the Megacity, it’s your job to scavenge for relics and clear out Yokai-infested enclaves. And while each job might sound simple at first, things tend to quickly get complicated. One mission, you might be scavenging through a fallen skyscraper for a hidden shrine. On another, you could be fighting a divine-powered tank in the middle of downtown!
The Megacity is unthinkably massive. While some districts are heavily populated, others have been abandoned to the elements, creating urban ruins that are perfect hiding spots for magical creatures and criminals alike. In abandoned areas where the Noise can’t reach or in revered areas where the Noise is repelled, Thin Places are created where Mythoi are strong enough to manifest.
But you won’t just be fighting in the real world. In the Megacity, almost anything can be done online, and we’re not just talking about working from home. Through a process called Harnessing, experienced hackers can connect a human’s brain directly into cyberspace. From there, the brain is given a virtual simulation where their actions translate directly into code.
If you’ve ever seen a movie where someone starts hacking and suddenly their avatar is in a 3D space, flying through pop-up windows, then you know where this is going. Through Harnessing, penetrating a firewall could be experienced as combat; tracing an enemy hacker could be experienced as a chase; and locating and exploiting a backdoor could be experienced as an infiltration mission. This solves a classic problem in cyberpunk games where the whole crew has to wait while the hacker works their way through a cyberspace mini-adventure. In :Otherscape, the hacker can take the crew with them, by harnessing their mind. Think of it like dungeoneering in cyberspace.
Mythos and Noise
What’s different between PC’s in Tokyo:Otherscape versus PC’s in City of Mist is that due to the intensity of the Noise, for the most part, people don’t awaken as a Rift of their Mythos. Instead, magical abilities are usually obtained through interacting with a Source, which is usually an object, a place, esoteric knowledge, or on rare occasions, a person. This means the powers you wield aren’t usually your own. Just like everything else in this hyper-capitalist world, you’re only renting them!
(If you know your City of Mist lore, think of it like you’re always Touched by a Rift, but never a Rift yourself).
Only the oldest and most persistent Mythoi, those with a strong connection to the land, manage to penetrate the Noise and reach the physical reality. Even so, the increasing power of technology is forever threatening to push out the influence of Mythoi. With the Noise making human awakening extremely rare, only about one in 100 million people gain access to the reality-bending powers of a Mythos.
The few people who do awaken often become Avatars. City of Mist fans will recognize these beings as incarnations of their Mythos, living gods that are secretly pulling the strings. These beings will often be found leading large groups toward the goal of reenacting their legend; in :Otherscape this often means heading a corporation, a crime organization, or holding key positions in the government or the military. More than likely, your group will end up taking one of their contracts, or, if you’re really suffering from some brain static, try to go up against one and bring them down.
Ultimately, the world of Tokyo:Otherscape is one about conflict. Conflict between ancient magic and modern technology. Conflict between factions all vying for power. And below it all, the conflict of making it through another day without losing who you are to the endless Noise.
It can also be a conflict between your railgun and a charging demon bear, which is a conflict I desperately want to play out!
Do you want to make this game a reality? Then head on over to the Tokyo:Otherscape Kickstarter page, where you can sign up to be notified at launch. Day One backers will receive early access to the Tokyo:Otherscape codex app, which will include a phone-accessible version of the books along with the game’s mechanics, character creation, and more!
And when you’re done signing up, let us know what you think of the game in the comments, on social media, or on the City of Mist Discord. Until then, have fun!