The Liberated Mind
Announcing the Fifth Data Pack in the Mumbad Cycle
"He with nothing to lose has strength beyond imagining."
–The Saffron Sutra
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of The Liberated Mind, the fifth Data Pack in the Mumbad Cycle for Android: Netrunner!
As the Mumbad Cycle recasts the game's cyberstruggles amid the heated politics and intrigues of the Indian Union, The Liberated Mind explores the more transcendent qualities of life on the Network. Its sixty new cards (including a complete playset of nineteen different cards) draw upon the futuristic spirituality of a people whose philosophy is shaped by Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism as well as the ability to jack into the virtual world for months on end.
The idea of an expanded consciousness runs throughout nearly all of The Liberated Mind, and you'll find the mysterious Temple of the Liberated Mind given shape, alongside several of its members and their philosophies. You'll also find ways for Runners to explore life, death, and rebirth in the virtual realm. And, finally, you'll find ways for Corps to counter the Runners' efforts to expand their consciousness or even to use the Runners to further their own agendas.
Life, Death, and Rebirth
In the Android universe, characters can jack into the Network and direct their digitized avatars through a virtual world at least as vast as the physical one their bodies still inhabit. For most people, this simply leads to accelerated use of the Network and an enriched appreciation of immersive media. Runners, however, see ways to exploit the system and focus on manipulating the virtual world in order to access hidden data.
Still, there are other ways to regard the ability to transfer a human's consciousness into the virtual world, and the members of the Temple of the Liberated Mind (The Liberated Mind, 82) view it as a step toward transcendence. Some of them may even see their virtual lives as a new form of immortality that may free the soul from the infinite cycle of death and rebirth entrapping all those who remain bound to The Turning Wheel (The Liberated Mind, 85).
One of their more optimistic members is Guru Davinder (The Liberated Mind, 84) whose forays into the sacred virtual realm often run for months at a time. There, he meditates with other temple elders while his physical form is sustained by nutriports and electrodes. Although the principles already exist for translating a human mind to digital form, technological limitations prevent the transfer of the mind's full richness, yet Guru Davinder remains hopeful that the technological issues will be resolved within his physical lifespan.
Ultimately, he knows the transfer would not be just the continuation of his life, but a Rebirth (The Liberated Mind, 83) into a new, immortal lifeform, a lifeform solely of the mind (or of the spirit), for which the physical body and all its limitations would no longer be problems. What then might you call this new entity? Some might call it a "soul."
The Corporate Consciousness
The game's Runners aren't the only ones who explore new forms of consciousness in The Liberated Mind. The four Corp factions extend their abilities to perceive and influence events in the virtual world with new ice, operations, and agendas. They range from the integration of bioroid ice to the expansion of Jinteki's psi ops, and from NBN's exchanges of information to the use of top-quality consultants.
And those are only the ways within The Liberated Mind through which the game's Corps seek to expand their own awareness. There are other cards, as well, that introduce some of the ways that the Corps seek not to expand their consciousnesses, but to limit the Runners'. Naturally, these cards run the whole spectrum from simple, low-cost barriers to sophisticated sentries that can change the way the game is played simply because they exist:
- A zero-cost, neutral barrier that boasts zero strength and a single "end the run" subroutine, Vanilla (The Liberated Mind, 95) plays most of its mind-games while unrezzed.
- On the other hand, Haas-Bioroid's Brainstorm (The Liberated Mind, 86) can singlehandedly reduce the Runner's hand size (and the mind that it represents) to nothingness, and will likely weigh heavily upon the mind of any Runner thinking of "face-checking" an unrezzed piece of ice against a Corp with nine or more credits at its disposal.
Free Your Mind
With its sixty new cards, The Liberated Mind permits the exploration of new card combinations, tactical possibilities, and deck types. Will you try to play as a Runner with no hand? Will you design a Corp deck that channels the Runner's forays into Corporate victory? Will you switch your Runner identity in the middle of the game, assuming a new persona better suited to your excursions in the virtual world?
The possibilities are staggering once you free your mind. Let your imagination take flight when The Liberated Mind arrives at retailers in the first quarter of 2016!
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