10 Oct 2014

By the Numbers - Behind the Scenes VI

Wrapping up the behind the scenes work is Numbers.  The hacker was the first I statted out.  Between her and Charles, I didn't want to spend more pre-NaNo time prepping Oz and Treehugger.  Numbers, though, did need statting out.  The core Shadowrun rules doesn't have an archetype for the social engineering hacker.  Numbers also got a full name, mainly because Herr Wulfe of Saeder-Krupp was going to use it against her.  The negative Notoriety comes from the First Impression quality, which I'll cover later.  The core concept, as mentioned, was a social engineering hacker, someone who not only breaks into computer networks but also hacks social interactions.  Social engineering hackers exist even today; the Nigerian prince scam/spam is a classic, if poorly executed, example.

Name/Alias: Christa Page/Numbers
Metatype: Human
Age: 29
Sex: F
Nuyen: (4d6+3)x100
Total Karma:
Street Cred: 0
Notoriety: -1
Public Awareness: 0
The attributes chosen for Numbers were meant to reflect someone who isn't necessarily physical.  Numbers' biggest asset isn't her strength, it's her logical processing and her personality.  Thus, low Body and Strength and high Logic and above average Charisma that has been augmented.  Numbers isn't meant to get into a physical fight.  If she is in one, something has gone horribly wrong.
  Body        2
  Agility        4
  Reaction    3
  Strength    2
  Charisma    4(7)
  Intuition    3
  Logic        5
  Willpower    3
  Edge        4
  Essence    5.35

Initiative        6
Matrix Init    6/7 (cold sim), 7/8 (hot sim)
Init Passes    1, 2 cold sim, 3 hot sim

Physical Damage Track     9
Stun Damage Track    10
Numbers' skill set reflects her role.  She's the hacker, thus the Cracking group, containing the skills needed to defeat intrusion counter-measures.  She's also the deceptive face of the crew, thus Con and Etiquette.  The Corporate focus reflects Numbers' background working for Saeder-Krupp.  The rest are useful skills that a runner should have some knowledge in; it is much easy to sneak past a guard after practicing than it is while stomping and singing "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" at the top of one's lungs.
Active Skills
  Con        4
  Cracking Group 4
  Dodge        2
  Electronics Group 4
  Etiquette    3
    Corporate +2
  Pilot Ground Craft 2
  Pistols    2
  Stealth Group    3
My thoughts on Knowledge Skills in the game is that they should reflect the character's background.  These skills are a great way to make your combat mage different from someone else's; your hacker might not care about music beyond listening to whatever's popular at the moment but may be a coffee snob and know just from smelling the grounds where the beans came from.  For Numbers, the key was her previous life as an accountant at Saeder-Krupp.  She knows how to balance the books, and how to cook them.  She keeps an eye on the financial news; knowing which company is on a downswing could lead to a lucrative job.  The Corporate Fashion is to assist in creating an outfit for infiltrating a company; knowing that the big thing at Ares is navy blue but over at Aztech, purple is the rage helps Numbers fit in.  The rest are more personal.  Numbers prefers Europop and hangs out in a few chat rooms to try to be more herself without letting her implants get in the way.
Knowledge Skills
  Accounting        4 (+1 from College Education)
  Corporate Fashion    4
  Europop Groups    3
  Finances        5
  Matrix Chat Rooms     3
Numbers is from the North America.  I've been entertaining the idea that she's from Toronto or Hamilton, just to maintain the C in UCAS, the United Canadian and American States.  English is her native tongue.  The German is from working at Saeder-Krupp.  It may not be mandatory, but knowing German helps when dealing with the head office in Berlin.  The Arabic is from dealing with the Middle Eastern parts of S-K; Numbers was ambitious and was looking to move up in the corporation before things imploded on her.  Being able to handle accounts from multiple areas of the world was just one way she thought would help her.
Language Skills
  English        N
  Arabic            2
  German        3
The College Education quality is from Runner's Companion, a sourcebook that expanded character creation options.  Use of the book is entirely under the control of the GM, but the qualities listed that weren't tied to specific chapters, such as the expanded metahumans, weren't too bad for regular use.  Numbers has a mind for accounting; she has a degree in it, along with a mind that sees things logically.  Math tends to be logical.  The First Impression quality, the one that reduced Numbers' Notoriety earlier, means that the hacker is a pleasant person when first met.  People react more favourably to her, at least before they get to know her better.  The crew didn't rag on her like they do to each other in part from this quality.  The last two listed, the Enemy and Records on File, all go back to Herr Wulfe being Inspector Javert.  Even if Numbers hacked into the S-K network and set a virus to destroy every last bit and byte of her existance, Wulfe would still have his backups that he could use to restore the lost data.  Wulfe is almost too powerful; it took an effort to get him off Numbers' back even while writing.
  Analytical Mind
  College Education (Accounting)
  First Impression
  Enemy - Friedrich Wulfe, S-K troubleshooter (3/4)
  Records on File - S-K
I may have mentioned this in previous comments, but it doesn't hurt to repeat; Baba Ganoush's name came from a running gag on MXC: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge.  Every episode has someone from the Babaganoush family because different writers used the name without checking with the others.  It's something fun to say, baba ghanoush.  The more I wrote, though, the more Baba reminded me of Balalaika from the manga and anime Black Lagoon.  The two women play similar roles, hiring the main characters to go do something illegal.  They are also several steps ahead in the chess match being played with the crew's lives.  Baba tends to be more open, though.  She likes Numbers, even being aware of the hacker's implants.  Numbers' team is a good one, one that shouldn't be thrown away on a suicide mission on a whim.  Baba would have to receive a much larger than normal sum of money before she'd do that.
Contacts (Loyalty/Rating)
  Baba Ganoush - Fixer (2/2)
  Slamm-O - Jackpoint Blogger (1/5)
  Mr. Johnson (2/4)
Numbers' implants did come into play during the story.  The internal commlink was a given, Numbers is the hacker, as is the datajack.  The rest is a result of me seeing if I could create a character with them while keeping my inner 12-year-old locked away.  The cybernetic breast enhancement is exactly what you'd think; a way to modify the size and shape of the hacker's breasts.  The fibreoptic hair allows for a quick change of hair colour without having to use dye.  Combined, the implants allows Numbers to enter a building as a buxom blonde and leave as a flat-chested brunette, as happened in Chapter 1.  Most people wouldn't notice that the blonde and the brunette were the same person; the hair and shape are very different between the two.  Computer enhanced security might, thus the disguise kits in the Gear section.  The tailored pheromones are a bioware enhancement, giving off pheromones that put people at ease when Numbers talks to them.  The pheromones allow Numbers to talk her way out of a security check if someone did notice a similarity between her two appearances.  "Oh, goodness me, no, Officer.  I wish I looked like that.  I've been thinking about seeing a plastic surgeon about getting implants, but I can't save enough yet."
  Commlink (0.2)
    Hermes Ikon w/Novatech Navi OS, modded for hot sim
    Response 4, Signal 3, Firewall 3, System 4
  Cybernetic Breast Enhancement (0.25)
  Datajack (0.1)
  Fibreoptic Hair (0.1)
  Tailored Pheromones 3 {0.6}
Numbers has a second commlink.  Something that annoyed me in the core archetypes was that all the hackers and riggers and even the Technomancer only had the internal commlink.  (For the Technomancer, a naturally occurring commlink, no surgery required.)  Security looking for a hacker would see them, not see a commlink, and know to keep an eye on them.  They should have a non-implant commlink, even if it's a cheap model that can barely play videos.  The commlink is there for appearance.  Technomancers should have one because the general attitude in the setting is that technomancers should be shot on sight before they can wreak havoc on computer networks across the globe.  There's a bit of hyperbole and fear-mongering against technomancers.
  Lifestyle: Middle (3mos prepaid)
    Erika Elita w/Novatech Navi OS, modded for hot sim
    Response 3, Signal 4, Firewall 3, System 4
    subvocal microphone
    biometric reader
    AR gloves
  Cavalier Scout
    Hidden Arm Slide, 1 spare clip, 30 rnds frangible ammo, 4P, +2AP
  Ares Light Fire 70
    Silencer (extra -1 modifier), Concealable holster, laser sight, 2 spare clips,
    50 rnds regular ammo, 4P
  Leather Jacket (2/2)
  Vashon Island Synergist Line
    Suit Jacket (3/2)*, Short Jacket (2/2)*, Skirt (1/1), High-collar shirt (1/0)
  Armour Vest (6/4)
  White Noise Generator 3
  Fake SIN 3
  Fake SIN 4
  Contact Lenses  w/Image Link, Low Light
  Glasses w/Flare Compensation
  Latex Face Mask x3
  Nanopaste Disguise, 2 sm. containers
Every hacker needs a good set of programs to use to slip past IC.  Numbers prefers a stealthy approach, even if she couldn't flirt a password out of someone.  Most of the programs weren't used in By the Numbers; the core run was bodyguarding, not datatheft.  However, the list is more for knowing how Numbers chose the programs and not necessarily for her using them.
  Analyze 4
  Armour 3
  Attack 3
  Browse 3
  Corrupt 4
  Decrypt 4
  Edit 3
  Exploit 3
  Purge 3
  Spoof 4
  Stealth 3

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