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What exactly is bunraku?

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mcv

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« on: <11-06-21/1853:01> »
I notice quite a number of Shadowrun adventures have Mr Johnson meet the runners in a bunraku parlor. It's clear to me that bunraku is prostitution with surgically altered and personality-chip programmed lookalikes. But are they real people who are forced into this, slaves and prisoners inside their own body, or are they robots with skin? Talk about meat puppets suggests the latter, but everything I can find online about it suggests the former.

Also, in SRM 04-01, the players are looking for a mysterious new mafia boss called Junior, who, among other things, runs a really low-end bunraku parlor where abducted girls get rewired and programmed. This obviously horrified my players, and I think they'd burn any Mr Johnson who tries to meet them in such a place, to the ground.

On the other hand, Project Imago in Corporate Intrigue involves a completely artificial doppleganger, which, as far as I understand, is basically an intelligent robot with skin. And that robot, to my surprise, even has an Essence of 1. The adventure also starts in a bunraku parlor, and in bunraku meat puppets were the same sort of thing, that would be nice foreshadowing that this thing is possible, and would also be less moral imperative to burn Mr Johnson, his mission and the parlor to the ground.

If it's real people forcibly reprogrammed into sex slaves, only the most unprofessional Mr Johnson would use that as a safe meeting place with Shadowrunners. Maybe a Mr Johnson from the Yakuza might use it, but certainly not someone from a legitimate megacorp?

Reaver

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« Reply #1 on: <11-06-21/1914:47> »
Bunraku is a Japanese word, that I think means theater.... (can't remember exactly). But in Shadowrun, it takes on a darker side.

You are right in that it deals with prostitution... but its more then that. The 'joytoys' (as in the sex workers), are cut and chipped to not only look like famous people, but ACT like those people! Or however the client wants...

Ever wanted to bone Black Widow? Well at your bunraku parlour, your partner can not only look like her, but act and sound like her all the while you are doing the nasty...

Thanks to simsense technology, plastic surgery, and other tech, Joytoys can be made to look and act as the clients want. And thanks to that same tech, the "persona" of the joytoy never remembers what was done to them, who the client was, or even was said. Which makes it valuable to a bunch of people, from those afraid of getting caught cheating, to those who need a middle man that will remember nothing (like Johnsons).

As to the Joytoys themselves. They are people. Not robots. Not androids. Not skinsuit drones. Just regular people. How they ended up at the Parlour.... well the same way people end up in the same places today. Basically every reason from poor life choices all the way up to kidnapping and exploitation.

And in SR chances are its more exploitation than poor life choices. (SINless community)



If you need an example: in cyberpunk 2077 you visit what would be a bunraku parlour.... (if you played it)
« Last Edit: <11-06-21/1917:10> by Reaver »
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mcv

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« Reply #2 on: <11-06-21/1948:03> »
I haven't played Cyberpunk 2077 yet, but I get the point.

But that leaves my other question: by would any Mr Johnson meet Shadowrunners there? That seems awfully rubbing the exploitation in their faces. I suspect my players would be very unlikely to take the job, and more likely to blow up any bunraku parlor they know of. How can something so abusive continue to exist? They'd need utter secrecy and very select clientele, not meetings with violent strangers.

Xenon

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« Reply #3 on: <11-06-21/2011:40> »
are they real people who are forced into this, slaves and prisoners inside their own body, or are they robots with skin?
They are real people (to the extent you can call SINless 'real' people). Working as a look-a-like-puppet is a form of prostitution. Some do this as a legal living. Others are forced.


an intelligent robot with skin.
That also exists.

R5.0 p. 165 Realistic Features
The realistic features mod has a Rating of 1 to 4. The Rating sets the threshold of the Perception Test to recognize the machine as artificial.

R5.0 p. 148 Shiawase i-Doll
The latest in a long line of humanoid robots from Japan, the i-Doll is perhaps the most customizable one yet. The core model is designed to be a domestic servant, doing the cleaning and the cooking as expected, but the big selling point is the “Build your own!” section of the Shiawase i-Doll website, where you can make it more lifelike, select personality traits, hair color, and so on as you see fit. Sometimes derided as “robo-girlfriends,” only the most expensive i-Doll models can even try to pass for human.
...
The Class 4 models are where Shiawase’s talent shows. Body temperature, replicated breathing, subtle facial expressions and body motion … they’re more real than real.



But that leaves my other question: by would any Mr Johnson meet Shadowrunners there?
If Mr J is openly representing the Yakuza then it make sense to have the meet at a Yakuza controlled establishment of some sort (nightclub, restaurant, bunraku parlor, tattoo parlor, casino, etc).
« Last Edit: <11-06-21/2014:33> by Xenon »

mcv

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« Reply #4 on: <11-07-21/0754:37> »
I'm now starting to wonder if this might be an inconsistency in the Project Imago adventure from Corporate Intrigue: Renraku wants to know about NeoNET's e-ghost research, so they send a robot that's already a perfect copy of someone working there. Doesn't that mean Renraku already cracked the more interesting puzzle? It's hard to believe their doppelganger would fool co-workers for longer than a brief interaction, unless they managed to program it with the entire personality, consciousness and skills of the original.

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« Reply #5 on: <11-07-21/1033:23> »
I'm now starting to wonder if this might be an inconsistency in the Project Imago adventure from Corporate Intrigue: Renraku wants to know about NeoNET's e-ghost research, so they send a robot that's already a perfect copy of someone working there. Doesn't that mean Renraku already cracked the more interesting puzzle? It's hard to believe their doppelganger would fool co-workers for longer than a brief interaction, unless they managed to program it with the entire personality, consciousness and skills of the original.

Welcome to Simsense and skillwire technology!

Simsense records the emotive responses of the person rigged with it. Skillwire tech gives a person skills they normally don't have...

Combine a skillwire and simsense from the same person.... and your meat puppet acts and performs like the person!
This really isn't anything new to your Runners, as Bunraku Parlour came out shorty after Simsense went commercial... which means what? 60 years? Yea, to your Runners, Bunraku parlours are just.... there. Heck, they might be your Runners favorite haunt! ("Man, can't wait to go back to 'Sunset Dreams' so I can Top their Damian Knight doll... makes that bad run hurt a little less  you know") remember, you ARE talking about people who shoot people for a living :P
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.