19 Sep 2014

By the Numbers – Behind the Scenes II

The next few weeks are going to focus on the crew and how they came into being. The goal of the NaNoWriMo 2010 was to make sure that the story matched the game. I find it annoying when a tie-in novel ignores key elements of game play. Thus, I made sure that the characters could be created in the core rules. More after the break.

Charles had a few roles. First, he was meant to be the obvious bit of Shadowrun. Trolls are impossible to miss, being big reminders of the setting and the changes done to Earth. To make sure that readers understood that this was a Shadowrun story, Charles became the wall of muscle; a troll with almost maximum strength. He is physically impressive.

Street Name: Charles
Metatype: Troll
Age: 23
Sex: M
Street Cred: 0
Notoriety: 0
Public Awareness: 0

The personal data should be straightforward. Street Cred is based on earned experience, called Karma. Notoriety and Public Awareness come from actions and from Qualities and Drawbacks, listed later. Charles has no Quality or Drawback that would add to either.

With the Attributes, I focused Charles on the physical side. High Body and Strength, representing endurance and physical muscle, are key for a character who will get into people's faces as needed. Numbers in brackets have been augmented through cybernetics; Charles was modified to be stronger than he already was. The mental side of the equation, though, took the hit. While 3 represents the average human, Charles lost out on Charisma and Logic. He's the guy who looks menacing while someone else, usually Treehugger or Numbers, handles negotiations.

Body 9
Agility 3(5)
Reaction 4
Strength 8(10)
Charisma 2
Intuition 3
Logic 2
Willpower 3
Edge 3
Essence 4.0

Initiative 7
Init Passes 1

Physical Damage Track 13
Stun Damage Track 10

The list of skills shows Charles' focus. He is the bodyguard, the crew's muscle. During a run, he's the one standing over Numbers and Oswald as they deal with the astral and the virtual. Charles has their backs, and while he can handle a gun, he's better up close and personal. He has picked up social skills; more to better fit in any setting from a dive bar to a posh restaurant.

Active Skills
Athletics 2
Close Combat 4
Etiquette 4
Firearms 3
First Aid 4
Pilot Ground 3

Knowledge skills are where characters can show some personality on a character sheet. Charles enjoys good beer, not the canned swill from mass brewers. He's picked up some knowledge on music mainly through being a bouncer, and has learned fashion to better fit in no matter where. Charles knows when to wear a tuxedo and the difference between black tie and white tie.

Knowledge Skills
Beers 3
Club Music 2
Fashion 3
Security Design 2
Security Procedures 3

Charles knows two languages. English is his native; he was born in Seattle. The Italian comes from working with one of the Mafia families in his youth. He knows enough to get by, but keeping up a conversation will be difficult.

Language Skills
English N
Italian 2

As mentioned above, Charles has no Quality or Drawback that provides Notoriety or Public Awareness. The mild allergy makes it difficult to get decent implants, but he heals fast from injuries, a great help when the job is to be the wall between the client and an assailant.

Allergy, mild, gold
Quick Healer

Both of Charles' contacts appeared in By the Numbers. Mister Macro, the troll fixer at the Big Rhino goes back a bit with Charles, thus the betting and favour-for-favour. Macro also has ties to the Mafia families. Doc Jade was the street doc Charles provided bouncer service for; not all deals involve money.

Contacts (Loyalty/Rating)
Mister Macro - Fixer (2/3)
Doc Jade - Street Doc (3/2)

Here we come to the cybernetics installed in Charles. The image link lets Charles read his commlink's display directly on his retina, giving him privacy. The smartgun link acts to improve his aim with an appropriately modified gun. The muscle replacement was in payment for services rendered; someone realized that Charles would be impressive if augmented. Finally, the retractable spur means Charles is never unarmed. Sure, he needed to have it disabled during the meeting, but he never has to worry about ruining the line of a suit with bulges caused by weapons.

Image Link, alpha (0.08)
Muscle Replacement 2, alpha (1.6)
Smartgun Link, alpha (0.08)
Spur, retractable, alpha (0.24) (8P damage)

The rest of Charles' equipment. The claymore is the two-handed sword, not the explosive. This was more me wanting to see a troll armed with a weapon that could cut through a door. Should give any katana-wielder pause. The Defiance is a taser; doing as much in stun damage as the spur does in lethal. The Predator is the go-to pistol in the game; it's inexpensive and comes with an integral smartgun link. The Deputy is for intimidation; it's a heavy revolver; Charles brings it out when subtlety isn't getting anywhere. The SCK is a submachinegun and probably the least used weapon in Charles' armoury. Charles hits harder than the pistol, but there's always a moment where being able to release a massive amount of flying lead is needed.

From there, we have Charles' armour. Normally, clothing is handled by lifestyle; Charles has a low one, but that is basically anything you can find at a low-price department store or even second-hand stores. The Morimer suit is anything but cheap; it lets Charles get into high-end locations. The lined coat is an armoured duster, meant to be used in locations where people don't care as much about the clothes worn. Naturally, Charles has a commlink; few people in the 2070s don't. Medkits are always handy, and the Harley Scorpion lets Charles get around without Treehugger needing to modify her vehicles to accommodate him.

Lifestyle: Low, 2 months
Claymore (9P, Reach: 2, AP:-1)
Defiance EX Shocker w/concealable holster, 20 taser darts
(8S(e), AP:-half, SS, 4(m))
Ares Predator IV w/silencer, concealable holster, 3 spare clips, 60
rnds frangible ammo
(5P, AP:+1, SA, 15(c), smartlink)
Cavalier Deputy w/quick draw holster, internal smartlink, 4 speed
loaders, 40 rnds EX-Explosive ammo
(6P, AP:-2, SA, 7(cy))
SCK Model 100 w/sling, 5 spare clips, 180 rnds regular ammo, Gas-Vent 2
(5P, SA/BF, RC:(1), 30(c), smartlink, folding stock)
Mortimer of London Berwick Line: Suit jacket (3/2)*, Dinner
Jacket (2/2)*, Trousers (1/1), Shirt (1/0)
Lined coat (6/4)
Renraku Sensei w/Magnadyne Deva OS, subvocal mike
Medkit (rating 4)
Harley Scorpion

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