“The City by the Brink” is a written narrative of a monthly tabletop game that I’m running with a group of friends. The game is Sixth World, which is a Shadowrun hack of the Dungeon World engine, which itself is a version of the Apocalypse World engine. On top of that, I’ve altered the setting from the typical Shadowrun cyberpunk dystopia. I record each of our play sessions, turn them into written story installments, and post them here for anyone to read. This is an idea that came from a friend of mine who does something very similar in a game she plays (The Vampires of San Francisco); in fact, she pretty much insisted I do this. I have to admit, it’s an interesting writing exercise.

The setting of this story is San Francisco in the near future of 2065. By this point, humanity has experienced several major developments. Not only are cybernetic enhancements and genetic modifications commonplace, but there are a growing number of people who are capable of using magic. Magic surfaced about 20 years prior after a sudden and very dramatic supernatural display in San Francisco. The setting borrows elements from fiction like Shadowrun, Read Only Memories, Men In Black, and Final Fantasy. There’s some cyberpunk, there’s some urban fantasy, and some science fiction. In the background of our protagonists’ adventures is a society that is desperately grappling for some idea of what it means to be human. Organizations, corporations, and governments are arguing, fighting, and positioning themselves to come out on top of the culture war to end all culture wars. In the thick of it all are the characters, each of which is simply trying to carve out their own place in a rapidly changing world.

This is an experiment based on a monthly game played by adults with very busy lives. It may stop at any time. It will likely take twists and turns necessitated by the lives of the players. Most importantly though, it will hopefully be a bit of interesting fun.

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