26 Sep 2014

By the Numbers - Behind the Scenes IV

Welcome back.  This week's character study is Treehugger, the crew's getaway driver.  Treehugger's stats are the same ones for the Smuggler archetype in the fourth edition anniversary release of Shadowrun.  I didn't feel like creating TH from scratch, and the Smuggler archetype seemed interesting as written.  To save time, I just went with the sheet as written, then interpreted the concept.  More after the jump.

The Elf Poser drawback was the key to the character.  Treehugger wasn't just another driver; she wanted to become something that she wasn't, an elf.  Some players may find the drawback annoying.  For me, it was a hook for Treehugger, something to build on.  Throughout the story, she makes reference to her inner elfy-ness, while Oz teases her about it.  Instant internal conflict, even if it was mild.

Treehugger's street name came about while prepping the news item that the crew riffed.  Street names aren't taken; they're given, just like Air Force fighter pilot call signs.  A lucky pilot, and a lucky shadowrunner, gets a nickname that isn't embarrassing.  The rest aren't that lucky.  Between wanting to be an elf and once wrapping a car around a tree, Treehugger couldn't be called anything else.  That same wanting to be an elf also gives Treehugger a bit of notoriety.  People know her has that human rigger with the pointed ears who denies she's really human.

Street Name: Treehugger
Metatype: Human
Age: 24
Sex: F
Total Karma:
Street Cred:
Notoriety: 1
Public Awareness: 0

The attributes are pre-generated.  Given them, I figured Treehugger was a lithe, limber woman with keen insight.  Indeed, this did come out to a degree in the story.  She also has the most cybernetics installed of the crew; getaway drivers have changed a lot since the 1920s.  Riggers have to be able to keep up with the abuse that they push their vehicles through.  Treehugger also has a Matrix initiative.  As a rigger, she needs to use a hot simulation with her commlink to get instantaneous feedback.  Vehicles rigged for this sort of driving have feedback sensors to let the rigger know what's going on.  The software and firmware translate the feedback into something that the human body understands.  Treehugger doesn't have front and rear fenders; she does have arms and legs, which can be used as a metaphor for the fenders.

Body        3
Agility     5
Reaction  5(7)
Strength   2
Charisma 2
Intuition   5
Logic       3
Willpower 3
Edge        3
Essence    3.4
Magic        --

Initiative    10(12)
Matrix Init    11
Init Passes    1
Matrix Init Passes 3

Physical Damage Track 10
Stun Damage Track     10

Treehugger's active skills also work towards being an effective driver.  If she has to shoot a pistol, something has gone horribly wrong.  Treehugger has drones to do that for her, and firing weapons from a vehicle, manned or unmanned, falls under Gunnery.  Treehugger also turned out to be the team's negotiator.  She's the one most likely to be onsite and able to talk business.  Charles is the one keeping watch on the surroundings while Oswald keeps an eye on the astral plane.  Numbers focused her social skills on social engineering, hacking a user to get the user's password instead of using a brute force method of cracking security systems.

Active Skills
 Dodge            3
 Etiquette        2
 Electronic Warfare    4
 Gunnery        4
 Mechanic Skill Group    2
 Navigation        2
 Negotiation        2
  Bargaining +2        (4)
 Perception        3
 Pilot Aircraft        4
 Pilot Ground Craft    5
 Pistols            1
 Infiltration        3

I made a change in Treehugger's languages, giving her English as her native tongue instead of Spanish.  This was mostly to avoid unfortunate implications if I kept her Hispanic.  To be honest, all I see of Treehugger right now is long plantinum-blonde hair, most likely maintained using hair dyes.  The rest of the skills are from the rule book.  Treehugger's a smuggler; it's why Two-Tone wanted her to run a package south in payment for using his warehouse.

Knowledge Skills
 Auto Mechanics    5
 Border Patrol Tactics    4
 Engineering        3
 Smuggling Safe Houses    4
 Smuggling Routes    5

Language Skills
 English        N
 Spanish    3

Treehugger only has drawbacks.  Riggers are expensive in a point-buy system.  Not only does the player have to afford the cybernetics, but also the vehicles and the skills to drive and maintain them, plus still be effective when everything is parked.  The Elf Poser drawback I've discussed above.  It's a role-playing drawback, but can cause potential problems when running into the likes of the Humanis Policlub or their elven counterparts.  The Low Pain Tolerance didn't really appear, ignoring Treehugger's swearing as her van got shot.  The allergy to sunlight, though, did come into play.  People who can go out and tan may not fully understand, but fair-skinned folk who burn just from a quick shot of the sun on TV will.  Treehugger's allergy goes beyond just burning, though that also happens.  Treehugger is light sensitive; she gets a bad rash that then burns, making it difficult to do anything.  Naturally, she prefers working at night.

 Elf Poser
 Low Pain Tolerance
 Moderate Allergy to Sunlight

Of the contacts she has, Treehugger only dealt with Two-Tone, her mechanic, for any length of time in the story.  Numbers brought in Baba Ganoush, the only fixer to contract the crew.  K-Bob doesn't count; he worked for the dragon before being spread over the city by friends of Charles' friend Mr. Macro.  Treehugger did mention her fixer being on vacation, but that's as far as that went.  Gives me room for future work, though.

Contacts (Loyalty/Rating)
 Fixer (2/2)
 Two-Tone - Mechanic (3/2)
 Mr. Johnson (1/4)

From the archetype, again.  Everything that a rigger could need, including enhancement even when not plugged into a car.  The cybereyes may also have been added to give the smuggler elf-like low-light vision.  If I had created the character, I'd have either gone the same way with the cybereyes or left the eyes natural and added low-light cybernetic receptors to them.

 Plastic Bone Lacing
 Control Rig
 Cybereyes (Rating 3 w/Flare Compensation, Low-light, Smartlink, Thermographic)
 Reaction Enhancers (2)
 Smuggling Compartments (2)

And the gear.  Riggers can act as a backup hacker if needed.  If really needed, a rigger can fill both roles, but may lack some versitility because of the expense of programs.  Treehugger doesn't have any drones; her role is getaway driver and smuggler, not remote viewing.  Note the light machine guns in the GMC Bulldog, Treehugger's van.  She could have used them during the final chase.  If she had, though, a few things would have happened.  Evo would have sent more security, this time in heavier vehicles capable of withstanding being hit by machine gun fire.  Worse, Charles would not have been able to swoop in to end the chase like he did, and Charles needed screen time by that point.  What I picture with the Bulldog is that Treehugger has the machine guns mounted facing forward, just like Bond's Aston-Martin DB V from /Goldfinger/[linklinklink!].  She's more likely to believe she can outrun or outrace anyone chasing her; it's the threats in front that are more difficult to avoid.

 Lifestyle: Low (1 mon prepaid)
 Fairlight Caliban (w/Firewall 5, System 5, Response 5, Sim module modified for
   Hot Sim)
  Command 5
  ECCM 5
  Encrypt 4
  Scan 5
  Stealth 5
  Clearsight 3
  Defense 3
  Electronic Warfare 3
  Maneuver (Ground Craft) 3
  Targetting (Heavy Weapons) 3
 Eurocar Westwind 3K (Pilot 4, Firewall 4, Signal 4, Response 4, ???)
 GMC Bulldog (Pilot 4, Firewall 4, Signal 4, Response 4, Rigger Adaptation,
   Weapon Mount w/Ingram White Knight LMG, 2 belts of 100 Explosive Rounds)
 Ares Predator IV (w/Concealable Holster, 10 clips Explosive Rounds)
  [6P, AP -1, SA, 15(c), smartgun]
 Helmet [+1B/+2I]
 Lined Coat [6/4, 7/6 w/helmet]
 Automotive Toolkit
 Automotive Shop

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