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North Atlantic Metroplex is a sourcebook for the Metroplex game, an original Palladium system Cyberpunk RPG. This book is designed to serve as a location first and foremost; it is entirely possible to use this information to run a Metroplex campaign in Northplex. However, even if you choose to set your campaign elsewhere on Earth, the information in this book is still useful, containing as it does new O.C.C.s, technology, and information.

Welcome to Northplex

Cantech Industries
New Cybernetics

Welcome to Northplex

It's all here.

Population wise, Northplex is right behind the Big London Sprawl and Honshusprawl for all-out largest population center in the world. Northplex is also the largest in North America, or the entire Western Hemisphere, for that matter.

Spread across the Great Lakes and New England, embracing Southern Ontario and several northeastern states, Northplex was one of the first to gain true independence as an extraterritorial entity; it's not a part of the U.S., nor of Canada; it's Northsprawl, pure and simple.

The history of Northplex goes right back to 2007, when Cantech Industries produced the first viable, economical cybernetic prosthetics. That was the start of it all. Under the guidance of the brilliant Dr. Catherine Alarsen, Cantech began to produce cybernetic implants which were unrivalled for quality, capability, and utility, and rapidly began to become incredibly rich. It was the guidance of Cantech which accellerated the urban growth which was leading towards the Plexes. Toronto began to grow outwards, along the shores of Lake Ontario; by 2018 it had met the expanding industrial mass of Detroit, and not far away New York, Boston and Washington had begun to coalesce into a mirror sprawl. By that point, the growth rate increased exponentially; it's an old story, once it gets going, everyone wants in on the act. The New England Urban Land Bridge, the chunk of territory connecting the Toronto-Detroit sprawl with New York, solidified from 2020 to 2029.

Of course, by that time, things were getting wierd on a global scale. Sense tanks were the rage, Proteus had been born and died, Tokyo fell into the sea; Kyodara was making its moves in Iran, but that wouldn't become big for a while yet. By that time the Corps had become fully extraterritorial; Corporate facilities were Corporate land, governed by Corporate law and protected by Corporate militaries. The big boys, Kyodara and Namaru Transglobal, were doing big things around the world. The big noise in Northplex was still Cantech. That was the year they began work on Nervewires, jacking up reflexes and making cyber killers. There was a big fuss when a Cooler packing bleeding-edge Cantech wires slotted some Corp security and diced up the head of Grueber-Hetz GmbH; the corp crashed and burned, the Cooler ended up hanging himself (with help), and everyone was hunting for the secrets of how Cantech made the bloody wires in the first place. That was a good time for Northsprawl; it was the first time that the Plex began to see itself as a true entity, not just Canadian or American cities brushing shoulders. Northplex was big, and it had the hottest cyber going.

Then 2031, the year that everyone learned that the world had changed. A small group of Iranians smuggled a nuclear device with Cyrillic serial numbers into Miami from Venezuela. The plan was to get to Washington and take out the head of the serpent, so to speak, but NIA (the CIA got blitzed back in 2022) agents cornered them and tried to take them all out in a strike. Didn't work, and one of the terrorists turned the key.

Half a million people bought it that afternoon. At least twice that many would die over the next five years from the fallout and radiation that drifted southwards; the Cuban government never released any information on how many they lost. It was as bad as bad gets, and the American government decided Iran had messed with them for the last time. Not that simple, but the Americans didn't know that then.

Kyodara had bought up all kinds of land in Iran and was heavily into the oil biz. Kyodara, one of the biggest Multinationals, wasn't about to let an American military operation spoil their bottom line, so they sent people to talk to the American government in FDC. Didn't work; the invasion was going ahead. Kyodara issued orders for security forces in the region to step up readiness.

Things got tense. The William Allenson went in with 135 aircraft, along with missile cruisers, support equipment, and a Marine amphibious assault carrier. Kyodara fighters messed with Navy fighters, things came close a couple of times, and then two aircraft collided. The wingman of the Navy unfortunate got scared and opened fire. That caused Kyodara assets to retaliate, gunning down an E-16 Eagle Eye and a few patrol interceptors, and things went downhill. The William Allenson began launching aircraft, and the Kyodara field commanders thought they were going to launch a strike against Kyodara oil installations; perhaps they were. They took out the Allenson with an X-Ray laser satellite, burned the thing in half.

Bad news all around. That brought it home to everyone. The corps were powerful, but now they didn't care who knew it. They were willing to defend themselves, and there wasn't a nation on Earth that could hope to win against the big Multinationals.

Which is when we all realized that Cantech was sitting right in Northplex, in Toronto, and Cantech was as big as Kyodara ever was.

Before too long, old ideas like Nations were discarded in favour of new ones. In 2037 Northplex became an autonomous entity; the American parts weren't American, and the Canadian parts weren't Canadian. Northplex was on its own.

Time has been good to Northplex. Cantech has maintained its edge on cybertech; Northplex is still home to the hottest and the fastest, although Chiba has begun producing synthetic-nerve technology which makes for some incredibly fast wires. Still, Northplex and Cantech are the place to be for cybernetics.

New York is still rich, a nexus of trade and industry. The North American Stock Exchange, the old United Nations, and the ever-popular New York Contaminate Zone, aka the Grimlands, call New York home. Detroit is an industrial giant, producing the bulk of the cars for North America, and recently they've got into the mecha business; Namaru Transglobal has a design and construction setup there, producing the hottest milspec hardware for the Euro street wars, Africa, India-Pakistan, pretty much anywhere that people want to kill each other and can afford the tech.

Then there's Washington. With no U.S.A., there isn't much call for a capital, but Washington finds ways to keep current. Washington is home to the Global Multinational Council, where the Corps keep tabs on each other, although they say the Japanese Zaibatsu have their own version, and none of the Euro corps have time to talk to each other.

Yeah, Northplex is the place to find it, as the slogan goes. You can bet your bottom cred that there's stuff going on here that you don't hear about in the news, too; things like the Septs, but you didn't see that here.

Read on . . .

Life in Northplex

The day of the average citizen of Northplex is dominated by the Corps. Then again, that applies pretty much anywhere.

Northplex has a certain reputation. For one thing, it's cold. It gets a lot of snow, it's usually below zero Celcius, and it never gets very warm. Like Toronto, it tends to use Metric systems of measurement; like New York, it has too damn many people, most of whom are packing. Northplex doesn't have the kind of gun control liberties that there are in the South, but some people have estimated the total number of wackos, psychotics and neurotics in Northplex at seven digits.

This tends to manifest itself strangely. For all its pretensions at being the kind, welcoming North, Northplex has some tough customers. There's Cantech, who are supposedly the Friendly Corp, but their Chromers will slot you as soon as look at you, and they've got too much chrome; their souls just aren't in the right place anymore. Then there's the Septs. People don't even like to talk about them. And of course, who can forget that the man who gave Kyodara a bloody nose after Phoenix Embrace, Dark himself, runs the Blackboard somewhere out of Northplex. People who mess with the Corps go home by installments, but Dark cut them good and walked away.

The scary thing about Northplex is that it is all internalized. You just don't see street crime the way you can out West; no drive by shootings, no gangs, nothing like that. No one is willing to try to mug a Norther. You never know if he's got wires, or even just a club and a mental disorder. It's a nervous city, for all that it looks normal on the outside. Walk the streets, and you won't see violence, but you'll feel it, and that's much worse.

Common Stereotypes of Northeners


The Septs got started in New York in the 2020s, or so rumour goes. Some say that the Septs are the reason that there aren't any gangs around Northplex; on their way to the top, the Septs did for the competition, and no one else is willing to try for the same.

The Septs operate below the surface. You never actually see them. You never have to. Rumour is enough. You don't mess around with people like that.

The Septs are a strange bunch, and there aren't really any good examples of similar groups. They are a little like an organized crime cartel, like the Yakuza or the Tongs, but there's more to it than that. You could say the Septs are like the Yakuza with religious overtones and an anarchistic political agenda.

The Blackboard

The Net has been around for awhile.

The Net grew from a military decentralized command system experiment in the U.S. way back when. It exploded into popularity in the 1990s, when it shifted from military to educational institutional, and then to public. Once the average person could field their views on an international forum and download some good porn, things got moving. It was in the latter days of this exquisitely strange decade that the first Darksites got going.

Commerical enterprises were the first. The idea was to put content on line that people would want, and then make it difficult to get at it. The original intent was to sell access to the sites and turn a profit. Trust a Corp to miss the point of a great idea.

The Blackboard was one of the first Darksites, though their forefathers were everywhere and some games and SF theorized their coming; Shadowland was to Darksites what H.G. Wells was to alien invasion films. The idea is simple. A hot codeslinger gets some of his friends, a few coders and a few hackers, and builds a site. Onto this site they pile all the nifty and sensitive info they can grab, and then they wrap the thing in so much ice that it makes Antarctica look like an ice cube. Access is made very selective; almost anyone can get in, but there is always another level that you can't get to, the Steel Onion turned inwards.

This has certain advantages. For one thing, it draws hackers, rebels and anarchists like honey draws ants. The people running the Board get access to data traffic others would kill to have. More than that, though, you get control. As soon as you give someone access, you have a hold on them, and everyone wants in.

Blackboard was the first, and it's still the best. No one knows where it is hosted, but somewhere in Northsprawl is the best guess. Some people say New York, others guess Detroit; some say the board is from Toronto, no question, or perhaps Kingston, or FDC, or Boston?

Wherever it comes from, it's the place to be. The board is run by Dark. No one knows who he is, just that he Simulacrums as a black cloak fluttering there with nothing but shadow under the hood. He's known to be a coder, specializing in Boards and Ice, and he has a rep as one evil son of a bitch. Street talk says Dark came up with the first Strand Ice. Certainly, nobody in their right mind would ever take Dark on if they could avoid it.


Toronto has usually been the largest city in Canada. In the year 2046, Toronto has grown to rival New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles as the largest cities in North America, although such estimations are difficult given that the end of one city and the beginning of another are rarely clear or well defined.

Cantech Industries

Cantech created the modern field of Cybernetics with its introduction of commercial prosthetics in 2007, and has consistently dominated the field ever since. By most estimates, roughly 45% of all cybernetic devices produced each year are the work of Cantech or a subsidiary.

Full Name: Canadian Cybernetic Industrial Corporation
Primary Production: Cybernetic implants
Tertiary Production: Military optics, heavy machine tools, computer memory components
Estimated Net Value: CR 16 trillion (Third largest global corporation behind Kyodara Technologies [Japan] and Federated Defence [American])
Military Assets: High, estimated at 1.4 million enlisted, including orbital combat satellites and research institutions. Special forces assets include the Royal Canadian Special Forces Division, coloquially known as the Chromers, and the SSF (Devil's Brigade).
Leadership: Thomas Alarsen, CEO, son of Dr. Catherine Alarsen (78% of voting stock). Alarsen's control of Cantech is draconian.
Headquarters: Main headquarters is located in Toronto, North Atlantic Metropolitan Axis. Subsidiary headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, London, Kyoto, Hong Kong and Sydney.
Population: Cantech Industries has approximately 675 million employees globally. This figure is somewhat smaller than expected for its net value (there are nine corporations with higher employment figures than Cantech).
Description: Cantech Industries has dominated the field of cybernetics since its inception a half century ago. Cantech has consistently maintained its position as third largest corporation ever since; this fact combined with the consistent lead position of Kyodara Technologies has led some analysts to make jokes about the various corporations which have held and subsequently lost second place position (currently held by Federated Defence Incorporated). Generally speaking, Cantech is as benevolent as a Corporation can be expected to be, which is to say that they keep their wars private and don't go out of their way to nail anyone who doesn't deserve it. The military assets of Cantech are formidable, and experienced, due to a recent Corporate conflict with Ashikaga-Fumitsu, which resulted in the collapse and bankruptcy of that corporation. The Chromers cybernetic special forces unit of Cantech is among the most respected on the streets, and are always equipped with bleeding edge Cantech goodies, which is to say, the best there is.

Eddie grinned with relief when the fixer stepped out of the shadows. Five more minutes, and he would have bolted. This was way to serious for mistakes. "Man, I was just about gone . . ."

The fixer fell forward. Eddie realized the only reason that the blood- soaked corpse had been standing had been the shadow-cloaked figure holding it up. It wore a longcoat; glints of silver came from it as it moved. Long metallic antennae, back along the skull, came from its temples. Eddie felt his words die in his throat.

"You shouldn't have taken that data, Eddie," it said, its voice a sibilant metallic whisper. It held its hands at its sides; he couldn't see any firearm, but it didn't need any.

"I didn't . . . I mean, I can square it . . ."

"Too late, Eddie. The Man put the word out on you, and you're going to die."

"I have friends," Eddie blustered.

"I'll do them too," it said.

Eddie never saw the one that came from behind him. The blade that slashed through his neck was too sharp to feel. He was decapitated before he knew what was happening.

The first Chromer grinned coldly. "Never learn, do they?"


The Royal Canadian Special Forces Division, known universally as the Chromers, are one of the most feared special forces units employed by the Megacorps. Their name is enough to bring fear and panic around the world; everyone has heard stories of Chromers taking people down. There are other units with records as impressive and members as merciless, like the Kyodara Black Thorns or the S.A.S., but the fear the Chromers carry with them is all the more terrible for their inhuman nature. Each Chromer is augmented to the maximum with the finest Cantech cybernetics available, more machine than men, and as cold and unfeeling as their implants.

The life of a Chromer begins in the Cantech security forces. Security personnel are trained regularily and their performances monitored. If an individual performs physically at a very demanding level, and meets strenuous mental and psychological criteria, they will be offered a place as a Chromer. This is no minor commitment; joining the Chromers is for life, and the only way out is in a bodybag. The Corporation expects the finest from its best troops, and anything less is unacceptable.

Once an individual has been deemed suitable material, and has accepted, arrangements are made to have the individual removed. To his friends, family, and coworkers, the individual dies, gone without a trace, every record of his existence deleted. No Chromer alive has any record of his birth, death, or identity. They are ghosts. They do not exist.

The implantation process is strenuous, as are the training practices put into place. Cantech maintains four companies of Chromers, of which three are active at any time. This is to allow a continuous upgrading of Chromer implants and technology. At any given time, one unit has the old standard of implants, one is being implanted, one is active and retraining in the use of the new implants, and one is active and fully capable with the new implants. This process allows a majority of the strength of the unit to be on hand at any time while maintaining the bleeding edge technological supremacy for which the Chromers are famous.

Control of the Chromers is at the sole discretion of Thomas Alarsen, CEO and major shareholder of Cantech, although he will often designate authority to employ any Cantech asset, including the Chromers, to executives tasked with special missions. Even the threat of their use is often enough to bring problems to quick solutions; the Chromers are cold, merciless, officially deceased and chromed to the gills.

Corporate control of the Chromers is draconian. They are watched from the day they are officially removed from existence to the day they die, when their implants are harvested and their bodies cremated. Chromer PCs, if allowed, would be rare in the extreme and always would have to answer to the orders of Cantech. The GM may well decide that the Chromers are not suitable P.C. material; as always, the GM is the final arbiter.
Attribute Requirements: P.E. 12, M.E. 12.
Bonuses: +1d6 to P.S., P.P. and P.E.; +4 to M.E. +3 to Initiative. Chromers have an HF of 17, due to their cold-blooded and merciless reputation, and their implants.
O.C.C. Skills:
Language: English (98%), Sprawl (98%), one of choice (+35%)
Wrestling Prowl (+35%)
City Survival (+15%)
Pilot: two of choice (+10%) Sniper Streetwise (+10%) Interrogation Firearms (+15%)
3 WP's of choice
HTH: Jujitsu O.C.C. Related Skills:
Select 6 other skills, plus one additional at levels three, six, nine, and twelve.
Communications: any
Domestic: any
Electrical: Basic only
Espionage: any (+25%)
Mechanical: basic only
Medical: First Aid only
Physical: any
Pilot: any
Pilot Related: any
Rogue: any (+10%)
Science: none
Technical: Languages only (+15%)
Weapon Proficiencies: any
Secondary Skills: Select four additional skills from the above in the usual manner.
Standard Equipment: Two firearms of choice. Armour: Longcoat. Chromers tend to stick to their implants.
Money: As required, provided by the Corporation.
Cybernetics: The current setup of a Chromer is, to say the least, extensive.

Cantech has a name for itself as a good guy in the global marketplace. They don't grease people who don't deserve it, don't produce products that kill more than a few people a year, and try to stay out of the way. That's the image, and Cantech drops major cred to keep it that way.

The truth of Cantech is darker than this. No one maintains a lock on cybernetic technology for as long as Cantech has without some maneuvering, double dealing, and backstabbing. The truth is that Cantech is a bit more into this than most people understand.

Cantech cybernetics


The demonstrator turned to his small group of guests, carefully replanted white teeth bared in a tank-job smile.

"Yes, indeed, my friends, here at Kyodara Detroit Division we produce the finest military hardware you're likely to come across, purely the finest. Today we've arranged for a demonstration of the new Mark Four Commando, the latest in the fine XK-221 assault munitions family.

"Now, please note the multiple cluster warheads as they discharge. Of course, it will happen quickly, so keep your eyes open!

"Yes, the military forces of several sides in Europe deploy the Corporate Mark Three variant, with great success. A fine weapon.

"Oh, yes indeed. See that? It's a thing of beauty.

"Now, Sarah will take you down to accounting, I'm sure you'll all want to order a few . . ." Military hardware

New York The Grimlands North American Stock Exchange

Washington Corporate Councils

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