Designing the Character Sheet (with commentary)

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Designing the Character Sheet (with commentary)

Post  Database on Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:00 pm

This is based mostly on the standard GURPS sheet, with some modifications and annotations that I suggest that should make it jive better with our theme. Each post will cover a "block" of the sheet.

Basic Character Information
-I don't have any special recommendations on what names should look/sound like. We would imagine that our characters generally skew younger and more "hip", but they are not Earthmen, so... who knows?

- Player's Name

Point Total
- At first, this is the initial amount of points to be spent for character creation. Later, this can be updated as XP is earned.

- We have 3 planets as story settings in this RPG, and the 3 main dominant races are the available Races for our players. Differences among these races are cultural, rather than genetic. They are only meant to guide character development, and don't have any impact on points.
Alphans are from the relatively wealthy and advanced Alpha planet, and are therefore (generally) relatively wealthier, relatively more educated, and relatively more comfortable with technology.
Betans are the ones who make many of the gadgets and hardware that make the solar system run. They are like the middle-class of the solar system: they tend to be proficient engineers, practical, hard-working and pragmatic.
Gammans hail from the relatively poor Gamma planet. Their planet is relatively poor: though they produce many valuable raw materials, they are just now beginning to shake off the strong colonial hands of the Alphans and Gammans. They skew more toward physical prowess, useful physical skills, and less complex technologies.

- There are 4 classes available right now. Whereas Race has no direct impact on points/skills, Classes give certain advantages in a particular area, and must be purchased with Character Points. At character creation, classes give characters 1 free point in an Attribute, 8 free points Character Points to spend on skills in the class' Skill Module, and lower the XP cost for developing skills in that Mod once play begins. (more on those later). It costs 20 Character Points to choose a Class.

- Hacker: Bonus point in IQ. Hacker Skill Module contains: Computer Operation, Computer Programming, Computer Hacking, Electronics Operation, Research, and Search.
- Maker: Bonus point in IQ. Maker Skill Module contains: Electronics Operation, Electronics Repair, Engineer, Mechanic, Research, Armoury
- Fighter: Bonus point in ST. Fighter Skill Module contains: Brawling, Martial Arts, Melee Weapon, Missile Weapon, First Aid, and Tactics
- Runner: Bonus point in DEX. Runner Skill Module contains: Escape, Pickpocket Stealth, Camouflage, Smuggling, Lockpicking

- The normal range for characters can be considered equivalent to the normal range for humans. If there are any real patterns, Gammans tend to be shorter/stockier, Alphans tend to be taller and less muscular. But that's a general guide.

- A few words describing your character's overall appearance.

Last edited by Database on Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:55 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Re: Designing the Character Sheet (with commentary)

Post  Database on Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:11 pm

Primary/Secondary Attributes

In general, Primary attributes will not go above 20; an "average" human (an Ungraded person) will have level 10 in each. It costs nothing to take 10 levels in the attributes. Under each Attribute name is the cost to buy a level beyond 10. If you take fewer than 10 levels, you GET that many points to spend elsewhere. Strength and Health are cheaper than Dexterity and Intelligence.

Strength (ST)
±10 points/level

Strength measures physical power and bulk. It is crucial if you are a hand-to-hand warrior, as high ST lets you dish out and absorb more damage in hand-to-hand combat. Any adventurer will find ST useful for lifting and throwing things, moving quickly with a load, etc. Strength is more “open-ended” than other attributes; scores greater than 20 are common among beings such as large animals and robots, and certain humans with heavy modifications (reinforced skeletons, etc).

Dexterity (DX)
±20 points/level

Dexterity measures a combination of agility, coordination, and fine motor ability. It controls your basic ability at most athletic, fighting, and vehicle-operation skills, and at craft skills that call for a delicate
touch. DX also helps determine Basic Speed (a measure of reaction time) and Basic Move (how fast you run).

Intelligence (IQ)
±20 points/level

IQ broadly measures brainpower, including creativity, intuition, memory, perception, reason, sanity, and willpower. It rules your basic ability with all “mental” skills – sciences, social interaction, hacking, etc. Any hacker, scientist, or gadgeteer needs a high IQ first of all. The secondary characteristics of Will and Perception are based on IQ.

Health (HT)
±10 points/level

Health measures energy and vitality; It represents stamina, resistance (to poison, disease, radiation, etc.), and basic “grit.” A high HT is good for anyone – but it is vital for warriors and anyone who expects to use a lot of cyber-based skills. HT determines Fatigue Points, and helps determine Basic Speed (p. 6) and Basic Move (p. 6).

Secondary Characteristics

Hit Points (HP) represent your body’s ability to sustain injury. You have HP equal to your ST. For instance, ST 10 gives 10 HP.

Will measures your ability to withstand psychological stress (brainwashing, fear, hypnotism, interrogation, seduction, torture, etc.) and your resistance to supernatural attacks (magic, psionics, etc.). Will is
equal to IQ. Will does not represent physical resistance – buy HT for that! If you have cybernetic systems, Will is also your resistance to cybernetic attacks. [External, Ungraded systems must have their own Firewall trait].

Perception (Per) represents your general alertness. The GM makes a “Sense roll” against your Per to determine whether you notice something. Per equals IQ.

Fatigue (FP represents your body’s “energy supply.” You have Fatigue equal to your HT. For instance, HT 10 gives 10 FP. [Ungraded systems run on external power supplies]

Basic Speed is a measure of your reflexes and general physical quickness. It helps determine your running speed, your chance of dodging an attack, and the order in which you act in combat (a high Basic Speed will let you “out-react” your foes). To calculate Basic Speed, add your HT and DX together, and then divide the total by 4. Do not round it off. A 5.25 is better than a 5!

Dodge: Your Dodge defense equals Basic Speed + 3, dropping all fractions. For instance, if your Basic Speed is 5.25, your Dodge is 8. You must roll under your Dodge on 3d to duck or sidestep an attack.

Basic Move is your ground speed in yards per second. This is how fast you can run (although you can go a little faster if you “sprint” in a straight line). Basic Move starts out equal to Basic
Speed, less any fractions; e.g., Basic Speed 5.75 gives Basic Move 5. An average person has Basic Move 5; therefore, he can run about 5 yards per second if unencumbered.

Basic Lift (ST * ST / 5): Basic Lift is the maximum weight you can lift over your head with one hand in one second. It is equal to (ST¥ST)/5 lbs. If BL is 10 lbs. or more, round to the nearest whole number; e.g., 16.2 lbs. becomes 16 lbs. The average human has ST 10 and a BL of 20 lbs.

Damage: Your ST determines how much damage you do in unarmed combat or with a melee weapon. Two types of damage derive from ST: Thrusting damage (abbreviated “thrust” or “thr”) is your basic damage with a punch, kick, or bite, or an attack with a thrusting weapon such as a spear or a rapier. Swinging damage (abbreviated “swing” or “sw”) is your basic damage with a swung weapon, such as an axe, club, or sword – anything that acts as a lever to multiply your ST. [Cybernetic Body-Mods can enhance your strength; more on those later].

Here is the Damage Table:

ST Thrust Swing
1 1d-6 1d-5
2 1d-6 1d-5
3 1d-5 1d-4
4 1d-5 1d-4
5 1d-4 1d-3
6 1d-4 1d-3
7 1d-3 1d-2
8 1d-3 1d-2
9 1d-2 1d-1
10 1d-2 1d
11 1d-1 1d+1
12 1d-1 1d+2
13 1d 2d-1
14 1d 2d
15 1d+1 2d+1
16 1d+1 2d+2
17 1d+2 3d-1
18 1d+2 3d
19 2d-1 3d+1
20 2d-1 3d+2

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Social Characteristics

Post  Database on Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:13 am

Social Characteristics

These affect the way people react to you, and your standing in society. In the context of the game, anything other than normal are worth points - either a cost, to buy more, or a bonus, to give up some.

Appearance is up to you, of course, and in a world where many of the most modern people have computer parts jammed into their skulls (in greater or lesser degrees of smoothness), the standards of beauty may be slightly different. (Then again, a Graded person might look more favorably on that, whereas a Purist might react with revulsion). Appearance should primarily be role-played, but here are the levels:
Hideous: -4 reaction, -16 point cost (so you get 16 points)
Ugly: -2 reaction, -8 points
Unattractive: -1 reaction, -4 points
Average: 0 points
Attractive: +1 reaction, 4 points
Handsome/Beautiful: +4 from people attracted to your gender, +2 from others, 12 points
Very H/B: + 6 from people attracted to your gender, +2 from others, 16 points.

Charisma: 5 points/level
+1 to reaction rolls with sapient beings (including highest-functioning AI); + 1 to Influence, Leadership and Public Speaking rolls.

Odious Personal Habits: -5, -10, or -15 points.
These take off either -1, -2, or -3 from reaction rolls. Discuss the specific nature with the GM.

Voice: 10 points
You have a naturally clear, resonant, and attractive voice. This gives you +2 with any skill that depends on speaking or singing (with the GM’s approval, of course). You also get +2 on any reaction roll made by someone who can hear your voice.

There are several languages scattered around the 3 worlds of the System (as yet unnamed). Each planet has its own basic language (e.g., Alpha-Common). For each one beyond the character's native Common language of the planet they are from, there are four levels: None, Broken, Accented, Native. They are a point each speaking each level, and an additional point each for writing in each level. (Programming languages are contained in the tech skills).

The general feeling of this RPG is a cyber-punk theme, which means that wealth is not super-widespread. Many times you may need to shift for yourself, designing and building your own items and skills. Nonetheless, everything has a price, and sometimes you can afford it. The recommended levels for this game are Struggling through Comfortable

Dead broke: You've got no job, no money, nothing. (This will severely limit your starting equipment and tech). -25 points.
Poor: Wealth is 1/5 the average for society. -15 points
Struggling: 1/2 average for society. -10 points
Average: 0 points
Comfortable: Twice the average, 10 points
Wealthy: 5 times the average, 30 points
Very wealthy: 20 times the average. 40 points
Filthy Rich: 100 times the average. 50 points.

You define your reputation, and that will affect the reaction rolls of NPCs who have heard of you. For every +1 bonus to reaction rolls (up to +4), the cost is 5 points. For every -1 penalty (up to -4), the cost is -5 points.

Status: 5 points/level
Status is a measure of social standing. In most game worlds, Status levels range from -2 (serf or street person) to 8 (powerful emperor or god-king), with the average man being Status 0 (freeman or ordinary
citizen). If you do not specifically buy Status, you have Status 0. Status costs 5 points per level. For instance, Status 5 costs 25 points, while Status -2 is -10 points. Status greater than 0 means you are a member of the ruling class in your culture. As a result, others in your culture only defer to you, giving you a bonus on all reaction rolls. Status less than 0 means you are a serf or a slave, or simply very poor.
[Note: it is recommended that starting status be relatively low, though it can/may/will increase as a "gift" from the GMs during campaigns.]

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Post  Database on Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:15 pm


An “advantage” is a useful trait that gives you a mental, physical, or social “edge” over someone else who otherwise has the same abilities as you. Each advantage has a cost in character points. This is fixed for some advantages; others can be bought in “levels,” at a cost per level (e.g., Acute Vision costs 2 points/level, so if you want Acute Vision 6, you must pay 12 points). Advantages with “Variable” cost are more complicated; read the advantage description for details.

In THIS game, you have 2 ways of acquiring advantages: "Innate" advantages are any advantages you buy during character creation - you're just that much better, you studly person. "Upgrades" are any advantages you purchase during the course of the game, and must be added as tech! (See the Equipment section later on). They are considered bionic or robotic systems that you are adding to yourself or your equipment later on - as such, they will have a price/character point range ($-$$$) denoting how much money or character points it would generally take to buy them rather than make them during the campaign. Of course, if you take advantages as tech you must explain the Tech that provides the advantage, and will have to either purchase them from an NPC dealer or have someone make the relevant software/equipment with their skills. Please note, some techs cannot be added by Ungraded characters.

The advantages available for this RPG are:

Acute Senses
- 2 points per sense per level; ($)

Each Acute Sense is a separate advantage that gives +1 per level to all Sense rolls (p. 24) you make – or the GM makes for you – using that one sense. The available types are:
• Acute Hearing
• Acute Taste and Smell
• Acute Touch
• Acute Vision

5 points. (Not available after creation.)

You can fight or otherwise act equally well with either hand, and never suffer the -4 DX penalty for using the “off” hand. Should some accident befall one of your arms or hands, assume it is the left one.

10 points; ($$)

You subtract five yards from a fall automatically (treat this as an automatic Acrobatics success – don’t check again for it). In addition, a successful DX roll halves damage from any fall (see p. 32). To enjoy these benefits, your limbs must be unbound and your body free to twist as you fall.

Combat Reflexes
15 points; ($$$; Graded only)

You have extraordinary reactions, and are rarely surprised for more than a moment. You get +1 to all active defense rolls (see Defending, p. 28) and +2 to Fright Checks (see Fright Checks, p. 24). You never “freeze” in a surprise situation, and get +6 on all IQ rolls to wake up, or to recover from surprise or mental “stun.”

Danger Sense/Passive Scanning
15 points; ($$$)

You can’t depend on it, but sometimes you get this prickly feeling right at the back of your neck, and you know something’s wrong . . .The GM rolls once against your Perception, secretly, in any situation involving an ambush, impending disaster, or similar hazard. On a success, you get enough of a warning that you can take action. A roll of 3 or 4 means you get a little detail as to the nature of the danger.

15 points; (not available after creation)

Fortune seems to smile on you when you take risks! Any time you take an unnecessary risk (in the GM’s opinion), you get a +1 to all skill rolls. Furthermore, you may reroll any critical failure that occurs during such high-risk behavior

15 points; ($$$)
You have a “feeling” for people. When you first meet someone – or are reunited after an absence – you may ask the GM to roll against your IQ. He will tell you what you “feel” about that person. On a failed IQ roll, he will lie! This talent is excellent for spotting imposters, possession, etc., and for determining the true loyalties of NPCs.

Enhanced Defenses
Variable; ($-$$$)

You are unusually adept at evading attacks! This may be due to careful observation of your foe, focusing chi, or anything else that fits your background. There are three versions:
Enhanced Block: You have +1 to your Block score with Shield skill. 5 points.
Enhanced Dodge: You have +1 to your Dodge score. 15 points.
Enhanced Parry: You have +1 to your Parry score. You may take this advantage for bare hands (5 points), for any one Melee Weapon skill (5 points), or for all parries (10 points). 5 or 10 points.

2 points/level; (Not available after creation)

You are difficult to frighten or intimidate! Add your level of Fearlessness to your Will whenever you make a Fright Check or must resist the Intimidation skill (p. 15) or a supernatural power that induces fear. You also subtract your Fearlessness level from all Intimidation rolls made against you.

5 or 15 points; ($-$$$)

Your body is unusually flexible. This advantage comes in two levels:
Flexibility: You get +3 on Climbing rolls; on Escape rolls to get free of ropes, handcuffs, and similar restraints. You may ignore up to -3 in penalties for working in close quarters (including many Explosives and
Mechanic rolls). 5 points.

Double-Jointed: As above, but more so. You cannot stretch or squeeze yourself abnormally, but any part of your body may bend any way. You get +5 on Climbing, Escape rolls, and on attempts to break free. You may ignore up to -5 in penalties for close quarters. 15 points.

Hard to Kill
2 points/level; ($; Graded can take more than 3 points, Ungraded capped at 3)

You are incredibly difficult to kill. Each level of Hard to Kill gives +1 to HT rolls made for survival at -HP or below, and on any HT roll where failure means instant death (due to heart failure, poison, etc.). If this bonus makes the difference between success and failure, you collapse, apparently dead (or disabled), but come to in the usual amount of time – see Recovering from Unconsciousness (p. 30).

High Pain Threshold
10 points; ($$)

You are as susceptible to injury as anyone else, but you don’t feel it as much. You never suffer a shock penalty when you are injured. In addition, you get +3 on all HT rolls to avoid knockdown and stunning – and if you are tortured physically, you get +3 to resist. The GM may let you roll at Will+3 to ignore pain in other situations.

Variable; (Not available after creation)

You were born lucky! There are three progressively more “cinematic” levels of Luck:
Luck: Once per hour of play, you may reroll a single bad die roll twice and take the best of the three rolls! You must declare that you are using your Luck immediately after you roll the dice. 15 points.
Extraordinary Luck: As above, but usable every 30 minutes. 30 points.
Ridiculous Luck: As above, but usable every 10 minutes! 60 points.
Your Luck only applies to your own success, damage, or reaction rolls, or on outside events that affect you or your whole party, or when you are being attacked (in which case you may make the attacker roll
three times and take the worst roll!).

Night Vision
1 point/level; ($)

Your eyes adapt rapidly to darkness. Each level of this ability (maximum nine levels) allows you to ignore -1 in combat or vision penalties due to darkness, provided there is at least some light.

Perfect Balance
15 points; ($$$)

You can always keep your footing, no matter how narrow the walking surface (tightrope, ledge, tree limb, etc.), under normal conditions without having to make a die roll. If the surface is wet, slippery, or unstable, you get +6 on all rolls to keep your feet. In combat, you get +4 to DX and DXbased skill rolls to keep your feet or avoid being knocked down. Finally, you get +1 to Acrobatics and Climbing skill.

Variable; ($)

You are naturally resistant (or even immune) to diseases or poisons. This gives you a bonus on all HT rolls to resist incapacitation or injury from such things. Resistant to Disease: You may take a +3 bonus for 3 points or a +8 bonus for 5. Resistant to Poison: You have a +3 bonus, costing 5 points.

Cyber-punk Specific Advantages:


This can be a very useful advantage for a cyberpunk campaign. If a character has an Ally, then he has at least one person who he can trust absolutely . . . For the most interesting results (and the most balanced parties), the GM may require Allies to be different types of character.

Alternate Identity 15 points

You have an extra identity, which to all appearances is legally-established. Your retina and fingerprints are registered under two different names, you have two sets of licenses, passports, birth certificates, etc. This can be extremely useful for anyone who is involved in illegal activities. You can purchase this advantages as many times as desired; each will give you a new identity. While the new identity may include credit cards and bank accounts, all money in these accounts must be supplied by the character — it doesn't come with the package.
(For more information on how this works, see the GURPS Cyberpunk manual).

Legal Enforcement Powers
The definition of this advantage will be broadened in many cyberpunk worlds. In some places, the government has chosen to contract out all law enforcement duties to private contractors. Thus, there will be individuals who have the power to enforce the law but are not under the direct supervision of government authority. There may well be "police" who answer not to the courts, but to the chairman of the board!

Military Rank
In a world in which megacorps establish their own militia, rank in such an organization may be as meaningful as rank in a government-sponsored army. However, a mercenary leader may style himself "Captain" or even "Colonel" without paying the points for Rank. Military rank is only an advantage if the general populace recognizes it and other soldiers respect it.

Contacts, Variable

A Contact is an NPC, like an Ally or a Patron. However, the Contact only provides information. Contacts may be anything from a wino in the right gutter to the Chief of State of a country, depending on the character's background. The Contact has access to information, and he is already known to and guaranteed to react favorably to the character. The Contact may want a price, in cash or favors, for the information. The Contact is always played and controlled by the GM and the nature of the price must be set by the GM. The GM may assume that a Contact is, in general, well-disposed toward the PC. However, the Contact is not an Ally or Patron, and is no more likely to give special help than any other generally friendly NPC!

A Contact doesn't have to be created when the PC is first developed. Contacts may be added later. When appropriate, the GM can turn an existing NPC into a Contact for one or more players, possibly in lieu of character points for the adventure in which the Contact was developed and encountered. Whatever the case, the Contact can provide information only about his own area of expertise. The technician at the forensics lab probably has no information about currency transfers, and the VP of the local Takashi branch probably can't do a ballistics comparison. The GM assigns a skill (Streetwise for a minor criminal, Forensics for a lab tech, etc.) to the Contact. All attempts to get information from him require a secret roll by the GM against the Contact's "effective" skill. Note that the effective skill is not necessarily the NPC's actual skill; the actual skill can be set by the GM if the NPC comes into regular play. For instance, the president of a local steel mill might actually have business related skills of 16-18, but he has an effective skill of 21, making him worth 20 points, because he himself has good connections! Point values for Contacts are based on the type of information and its effective skill, modified by the frequency with which they can provide information and the reliability of the information. Importance of information is relative and the list of possible Contacts is virtually endless; a few are listed below as a guide to help the GM determine value.

Zeroed 10 points

As computer information networks become more comprehensive, there are many times when it is an advantage to be an unknown. You are the sand in the gears, the wrench in the works. Whether through an accident of birth, a recordkeeping foulup, a computer crash, or something else, the authorities (and their computer systems) know nothing about you. You do not officially exist. No records of you exist in any paper or computer files at the time play begins. Thus, you are immune to most varieties of government (or corporate) enforcement or harassment.

To maintain this status, you must deal strictly in cash or commodities — any credit or bank accounts must be either blind (the account isn't keyed to an individual, but to whoever knows a certain passcode) or set up through a Temporary Identity. If you are investigated by the authorities, they will at first
assume that there is a computer malfunction when they can't find you. They will become increasingly more animated and concerned over the course of the next few days as no information can be found concerning your life. They will then try to pick you up. If they can't find you, they're likely to shrug and give up. But if they apprehend you, you will be in for a long, drawnout questioning session, possibly involving truth drugs and/or torture. After all, a non-person has no civil rights!. Unless you have taken the right precautions in advance, no one can prove that you are being held, as you don't officially exist! It is possible to become Zeroed, but it's not easy; the national databanks are well-guarded and multiply redundant. Treat cost and difficulty as for an Alternate Identity (p. 19).

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Re: Designing the Character Sheet (with commentary)

Post  Database on Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:34 pm


A bit like advantages, skills can help you to become better at what you do, whenever you have to roll. Skills are based on a certain base attribute (ST, IQ, DX and in one case HT). When you roll to perform an activity requiring a skill, you roll against your attribute + skill (assuming no other mods are involved).

Skills also have difficulties (noted here). It is cheaper to learn one point of an easy skill than of a hard skill. E = Easy, A = Average, H= Hard (one skill is Very Hard). You buy skills based on the final level relative to the base attribute, as seen here:

Your Final Difficulty of Skill
Skill Level Easy Average Hard
Attribute-3 – – –
Attribute-2 – – 1
Attribute-1 – 1 2
Attribute+0 1 2 4
Attribute+1 2 4 8
Attribute+2 4 8 12
Attribute+3 8 12 16
Extra +1 +4 +4 +4

Using a Skill You Don't Have
If you are trying to perform an action that needs a skill you don't have (either you haven't learned it or you don't have a temporary/unreliable Chip installed), you will be at a Default level, which is the base attribute minus 4 for Easy, 5 for Average, 6 for Hard, and 7 for Very hard.

Unless you specify otherwise, skills you have at creation are things you have legitimately learned, independently of your equipment. It is possible, story-wise, to say you have some knowledge chips hard-wired in if your character uses cybernetic implants. However, any skills acquired are generally assumed to be learned - though certain technologies mean you can learn things very quickly (sleep-learning, for instance).

If you want a temporary boost, certain skills will be available as chips that can be purchased/slotted in later on for less than the cost of learning a skill legitimately, but those will be of questionable usefulness/duration (we'll roll to determine those when they are acquired).

*Note on Classes* - as mentioned in the first post in this thread, each class gets a free point in 2 of the skills in their "module." In addition, the cost to develop any skills in their module is reduced by 1 point per level (to a minimum of 1).

I (Database) will not be posting the descriptions of all the skills here - please see the source books, PDFs of which I've posted on this forum.

DX Skills
Acrobatics H
Brawling E
Climbing A
Environment Suit
----Battlesuit A
----Vacc Suit A
Escape H
Jumping E
Martial Arts (Unarmed) H
Melee Weapon
----Fencing A
----Flail H
----Impact Weapon A
----Pole Weapon A
----Swords A
Missile Weapon
----Gunner E
----Guns E
----Flamethrower E
----Crossbow E
Pickpocket H
Shield E
Stealth A
Throwing A
Thrown Weapon E
----Drive A
----Pilot (Air) H
----Pilot (Space) H

IQ Skills
Acting A
Area Knowledge E
Armoury A
Camouflage E
Computer Operation E
Computer Programming H
Crewman E
Criminology A
Diagnosis H
Disguise A
Electronics Operation A
Electronics Repair A
Engineer H
Explosives A
First Aid E
Forgery H
Holdout A
Influence A
Leadership A
Lockpicking A
Mechanic A
Merchant A
---Land A
---Space A
Observation A
Physician H
Public Speaking A
Research A
Savoir Faire A
Scrounging E
Search A
Shadowing A
Smuggling A
Tactics H
Tracking A
Traps A
Computer Hacking VH

HT Skill: Carousing E IQ-4

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Post  Database on Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:21 pm

Equipment & Software: Design, Building, & Use

Equipment is extremely important in a Cybertech/punk game, going beyond mere bags, boots and guns to some really useful and powerful stuff.

The right mix of equipment can turn a normal, vulnerable nerd into a lightning-quick street samurai. Rather than provide a lengthy list of equipment, we the GMs encourage the players to be creative. In general, the process for getting new equipment (once play starts) is this:

1) Settle on the final effect you want your piece of equipment to have (for instance, +2 to ST; +1 to Perception, etc etc); consult with a GM, who will approve or disapprove.
2) Decide how you want to obtain it: legit purchase from a market (if available); black market (if available); home-made by you, another Player, or an NPC.
3) If you have the money and it's available for legit purchase, you're done, barring any rolls for negotiating, etc. Legit-market items are guaranteed bug-free, but they are expensive. You install it and you're ready to go. [Body modifications require surgical implantation, but that will be role-played at the GM's discretion].
4) If you have to find it on the Black Market, the GM will specify what rolls you have to make (if any). This may involve a Search roll, a Research roll, consulting your Contacts, etc etc. You will then have a chance to choose from 1 or more pieces of equipment with the desired effect, though anything bought on the black market may not be totally reliable, and could be significantly more OR less expensive than legitimate markets.
5) If you are building it yourself or having it made for you, the GMs will specify a cost for the materials involved, and the difficulty of your roll(s) to create it (Computer Programming, Engineering, Armoury, etc). Your success (or failure!) at those rolls will determine how close to "ideal" your final product comes. Home-brew is the cheapest way to get new equipment.

Mods to Equipment

There are various built-in things that may go wrong to make wetware or exo equipment less expensive. Sometimes the player will know all of these; sometimes the player will only see the final cost and may have to figure out what is "wrong" with it on their own.

Detachable (Bionic limb only): +10% cost

Unreliable: -10 or -20%, depending on how prone it is to fail.

Breakdown Prone: -10% or -20%, depending on how prone it is to break

Unnatural (wetware only): -50%/-80%, depending on how bizarre it looks. (The difference between a realistic bionic eye, a glassy-looking one, or a shining silver orb). Note: In some cases, (as in among real tech-heads), this can be an ADVANTAGE to reaction rolls; in others, it can be a real, real disadvantage. (Nobody really wants to look like the Borg...)

"Wet-ware" vs. Exo Equipment
There are 2 kinds of equipment (and weapons as well): Those that are true bionic pieces, installed into your body, and those you wear externally. Wetware is by necessity more complex, and therefore will be more expensive and perhaps harder to find, and malfunctions can be more risky to your personal well-being. However, it also offers more boosts, and a well-made piece of wetware can be entirely concealed in or on your person. (Top-shelf bionic arms look and feel like the real thing, and may be able to get past sensors. El-cheapo arms look like Johnny 5). Some kinds of benefits (e.g. +1 IQ) can ONLY be obtained as Wetware, but the GMs will do their best to accommodate all reasonable requests.

Exo equipment can be stronger for physical tasks, and is more easily swapped in or out and replaced if damaged. However, it is often very difficult to conceal.

It is at the players' and GM's discretion what any given piece will look like, and how well it will be made.

A Note on Equipment Cost:
Tech is expensive, and player characters are generally not going to be flush with cash (this is, partly, a game about managing limited resources). The GMs will generally allow players to "cash in" Character Points for cash, at a rate of $10,000 per CP. You CAN use a combination of cash and CPs to finance your upgrades.

Equipment/Weapons bought before gameplay starts must be financed entirely with CP, again at a rate of 1cp per $10,000. (Anything costing less than $10,000 still costs 1 cp).

Some Examples of Equipment:

Bionic Hand: +1 DX when using the hand, ST 12 for tasks using the hand. $10,000 for basic level; every $10,000 adds 1 more point of DX -or-ST when using the hand for a task.

Hidden Compartment (Must be installed in a bionic body part): $1,000, can conceal small objects.

Fingertip/Hand Claws (can be wet or exo): Affect Climb rolls, and hand-to-hand damage rolls. $50,000 or $100,000 for wetware, $20k or $70k for exo-gloves; the cheaper ones are smaller and do less damage.

Night vision: Grants "Night-vision" advantage, $10k as exo display screen/goggles, $100k as bionic eye (which also could increase Perception: Vision).

etc etc etc.

Body armor (both concealed or visible), aids to jumping/running, signal scramblers - all are possible.

Software should generally be designed to improve the functioning of equipment or to develop "Macros" - see the section on Software and Macros.

Last edited by Database on Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total


Posts : 15
Join date : 2010-01-21

Character sheet
Character Name: Senor Spielbergo
Gender: Male
Short Description: Narrator

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Re: Designing the Character Sheet (with commentary)

Post  Database on Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:19 pm

So, just as the last thing to do before diving in to work on the background and setting, here's a sample run-through of a character creation. This is for an NPC named "Gypsy," who is mainly a dealer in home-made/stolen equipment and information. He is a supplier to the growing movement to bring down the Alpha Council.

Gypsy is an older guy than most of our players, about 45 years old. He had been a soldier for the Alphan Progress Army. His unit was the first truly bionic military unit, combining cyberware, external tech, and their normal military prowess. The unit was sent to Gamma in order to pave the way for Alphan colonial operations - in other words, to beat the hell out of the locals so the Alphans could establish a presence there. This he did, but he was shaken by his unit's participation a massacre of local villagers. He soon began to speak out against the Alphan colonization - and the Progress Army took him out.

Stripped of all his military tech, beaten half-blind, and abandoned in a dusty ditch on Gamma, he survived and clawed his way back into life. Providing technical advice and information services, he gradually accumulated influence and new tech, and begged, borrowed and stole his way back to Alpha. Now he has a somewhat thriving operation in Prime, the largest city-sprawl on Alpha.

Our characters will start with 175-200 points - Gypsy will start with 250, with many of them spent on his background advantages (since he's been settled and developing a network).

Name: Gypsy
Player: NPC
Point Total: 200
Race: Alphan
Class: None
Height/Weight: 5'11", 180 lb
Appearance: Many scars on his face and head, with a bionic arm that looks metal, and bionic eyes. He is slow to get around on his own, but when he needs it he has a slim-form exoskeleton that can motor pretty quickly. Generally, though, he's behind his desk.

Primary Attributes
Strength: 12 | 20 points
Dexterity: 11 | 10 points
Intelligence: 13 | 30 points
Health: 10 | 0 points

Secondary Characteristics
Hit Points = 12
Will = 13
Perception = 13
Fatigue = 10

Basic Speed = 5.25
Dodge = 8
Basic Move = 5
Basic Lift = 24
Damage: Thrust = 1d-1, Swing = 1d + 2

Points spent so far: 60

Social Characteristics

Appearance: Unattractive | -4 points
Charisma: 4 levels | 20 points
Languages: Gamma Common, Accented speaking, no writing. | 3 points
----Beta Common, Accented speaking, accented writing. | 6 points

Wealth: Comfortable | 10 points
Reputation: + 3 | 15 points
Status: + 3 | 15 points

Points spent so far = 60 + 65 = 125


Ambidexterity | 5 pts
Hard to Kill: + 3 | 6 pts

Points spent so far = 125 + 11 = 136

Missile Weapon: Guns + 3 | 8 pts
Area Knowledge: +3 | 8 points
Armoury: + 3 | 12 pts
Electronics Operation: +2 | 8
Electronics Repair: + 2 | 8
Engineer: +3 | 16
Influence: + 1 | 4
Mechanic: + 1 | 4
Merchant: + 1 | 4

Points spent so far: 136 + 56 = 192

Equipment & Bionics

Eye: 4 pts
--- Acute Vision + 2 | 4 pts
--- Optic Readout | 5 pts
--- Microscopic Vision + 2 | 8 pts

Arm: 3 pts
--- Includes DX + 1, ST 12
--- Built-in Mini-Toolkit: 1 pt

Exo-Frame: 5 points
--- Slim-frame | 5 points
--- Basic move + 2 | 10 points
--- Weapon Mount | 5 points
--- Gauss Needler weapon | 1 point

Points spent: 192 + 51 = 243


Posts : 15
Join date : 2010-01-21

Character sheet
Character Name: Senor Spielbergo
Gender: Male
Short Description: Narrator

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Re: Designing the Character Sheet (with commentary)

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