And is she really human?
She's just so something new
A waking lithium flower
Just about to bloom
I smell lithium now
Smelling lithium now

São Paulo 23° 33' 22'' S 2011-06-05 Lst 11:44 São Paulo 23° 32' 09'' S 2011-06-07 Lst 11:52 São Paulo

Night time photos taken from Thierry Cohen's Villes Éteintes.

Lithium Flower

Wikipedia page on lithium

What is this?

Lithium flower is a transhuman cyberpunk game. It has heavy doses of film noire, conspiracies, and horror. However, it has nothing supernatural, no psionics, no magic, and no mystical creatures. Although some of the latter could easily be mimicked via either cyberware or nanotech.

Background in a nut shell

The year is 2122.

The solar system is open to travel thanks to a network of hyperspace gates. First, it was the moon, then habitats within the asteroid belt, and finally around the moons of Jupiter and Neptune. Then, Mars developed cities and the closest thing to a space elevator we have. Most of the spacers have never seen the Sun rise over a planet's horizon, and those who have are more likely to see it on Mars than Earth. On the rim, the first interstellar gates are being built.

The American Federation, the European Union, the Chinese Empire, and India form a cluster of powerful countries more or less ruling the Earth. Others, like Japan or Brazil, are more of a mask for powerful corporate cartels. Those cartels act more like feudal lords than the companies of old. Yet, they find it easier to have governments to deal with the day to day problems -- the ultimate outsourcing. Democracy is now understood to be more about one share, one vote than one man, one vote. Proxy wars tear the rest of the world where either corporations or nations fight for control of the body, mind, and dwindling resources of a dying world.

Global warming, or as it is more commonly called now global meltdown, makes the climate irregular and unpredictable. Food is no longer a inexhaustible commodity. Cloned meat, vegetables, and recycled food is ubiquitous. Modern nano material fabrics, 3D printers, and nano fabrication units churn custom made items leaving millions out of work. Bread and circuses are provided to keep the masses docile or so the independent pirates news networks will have you believe.

The Mesh, a virtual reality enhanced Internet is ever present. Data flows linking every corner of the world is an ever present data overload. Within the Mesh, fortunes are made and lost, hackers battle each other for information access, and extropians offer a glimmer of hope in those dark times. The Singularity is not here but on a clear day, you can see it on the horizon.

Cybernetic augmentations are common place. Resistance to augmentations was short lived and the cyber psychosis syndrome clinics cater for those that matter and can afford them. The rest die, hunted by paramilitary police forces or bounty hunters. Just another class of criminals. Now, nano technology is mixing with augmentations to offer even more customisation and enhancements. Cyberbrains and full uploads offer the best shot at immortality for the rich and famous. Sleeves are still exorbitantly expensive and losing one can exile all but the riches people into the Mesh.

Money matters but reputation is paramount in a lawless world. Your word, reputation, and honour is what allows other to do business with you. Some sections of the world, mostly in the far reaches of the solar system, have given up on money altogether relying on economy 2.0 systems. But on Earth, money still rules like an ageing King clinging to power and supported by his courtiers.

The rain splashes at your feet, falling from a dark and brooding sky. All around you, the lights of the city flicker with the fake promise of pleasures and fortune. In the distance, you can see the light of the RV cab descending towards its stop. Across the street, some augmented punk argues with a hooker. Your eyes narrow a little, sensing trouble. The RV lands next to you and its driver shouts towards you "Hey, your ride is here!" As you are climbing away from the filthy streets, a Mesh VR advert comes on. You see the winged logo of Eidolon Industries rise above a red planet. A smile crosses your lips. You work for them now. It's a good job, a good pay, and a good company. And it could not come at a better time.

It must be your lucky day.

What are the player characters?

You just got a job offer working security. It involves moving to São Paulo in Brazil and working for Eidolon Industries a Mars R&D company looking to set up offices on Earth. This is good news since your character really could do with a fresh start and this is an offer you cannot refuse -- why? That is up to you.

Characters must:

  • Be Human, Transhuman, or maybe (if you have a really good concept) uplifted animal.
  • Need a job badly enough to take this one -- either because it's a last chance or because of location or ... All I care is that there is a compelling reason to accept and stay there.
  • Be competent in at least one aspect of corporate security: body guard, infiltration, cyber warfare, counter espionage, etc...
  • Know a corporation the character had dealings with -- could be positive or negative.
  • Know a contact that the character had dealings with -- could be positive or negative.
  • Have a dark event in the characters past. Something bad and unresolved which either could or not include either one or two of the above.

Character should -- but not necessarily:

  • Speak Portuguese (implants are fine) but not necessarily be from Brazil.
  • Know of one or more other characters, maybe having worked with them in the past.
  • Know other corporation(s) the character had dealings with.
  • Have contact(s) that the character had dealings with.
  • Have friend(s) that the character had dealings with.
  • Have foe(s) that the character had dealings with.

Anything else is up to you but the more detail and flavour, the more I should be able to work your background into the plot.

Another (optional) thing. What would you like to see in the game? What would you like not to see? This can be anything but if I can I will avoid the things you dislike and include the things you like.

Things that players want to see

  • [Woody] I want to kill a helicopter with a car after a desperate car chase :)
  • [Elaine] Everyone in the party must have their moment of glory.
  • [Everyone] Something in their background being plot relevant.

Things that players do not want to see.

  • [Woody] Spiders -- for obvious reasons.
  • [Elaine] No cannibalistic cults with cooking pots full of baby hands' soup.
  • [JD] No overall plot arc that will rob characters of a major skill set.


No Cyberpunk game inspiration list is complete without Gibson's Neuromancer. So here it is.

Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊) (including Stand Alone Complex, Both movies, and the manga) are clearly sources of inspiration in look and feel of the game.

Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ) would be a good fit as well.

Richard Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs novels are very much sources and so is Black Man.

Charles Stross's Glasshouse has some good elements as well but is set a little too far into the future.

The games Biohazard, Deus Ex Human Revolution, and Max Payne 1, 2, and 3 all have all elements that were inspirational for the game.

Eclipse Phase would be a good source but it set too far into the future although the game could be (but is not) set before the Fall.

Transmetropolitan and kabuki are fine cyberpunk comics too!

The Cyberpunk, Film Noir, conspiracy, and horror are all tropes used here.

City of Gods/Cidade de Deus and Elite Squad/ Tropa de Elite were used to get some cultural flavour for Brazil. Yes, this is unfair...

The soundtrack

  • Max Payne 1.
  • Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne.
  • Max Payne 3.
  • Batman Begins .
  • The Dark Knight.
  • The Dark Knight Rise.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Second GIG.
  • Leonard Cohen's Everybody Know -- the cyberpunk song if there ever was one.