Character Creation

Roger Bell_West

1 Basics

TL9 technology is available, as well as TL10 cybernetics. Legality Classes are confused: there are places where you can get away with carrying a backpack commando mortar, but a rooted phone is deep contraband.
Characters are built on 200 points, and at most 100 points of disadvantages.
You may buy starting cyberware with points, and not worry about surgery costs or times. Cyberware acquired in-game will need to be paid for with money, and may alter your point value. Note surgery costs and recovery periods on Ultra-Tech p. 207.

1.1 Special Notes

The people who are in charge now were the kids who grew up with the War on Terror. Being a professed Moslem is a 10-point Social Stigma (Minority Group). Keeping quiet about it is a 5-point Secret (Serious Embarrassment). Either is quite likely to come with Contacts within the community.
Being openly of any other sort of religion may be a 5-point Social Stigma depending on how seriously you take it. Just going to church regularly wouldn’t rate it, but wearing religious insignia in public certainly would. (The Scots, of course, like to see themselves as the true believers who need to help their fellows in the Godless South.)

2 Character Roles

These aren’t character classes, more suggestions of possible character roles. Some of them can hybridise well with others.

2.1 The Rigger

“Caution: multiplexing control channels may induce psychological symptoms.” Yeah, right, and how far are you going to get with just one drone in the air? The automation can look after the basics for the rest of the flock while you’re concentrating on one particular one; you just have to be able to context-switch.
You might have had military or police training, or you might be self-taught. Even some of the gangs are starting to use riggers now.
You run anything from cheap quadrotors to the bigger rigs that can carry hi-def cameras and see in near-total darkness. Mounting a weapon would be illegal, of course, so you wouldn’t think about doing that. Down on the ground, nobody looks too closely at rats, and your ratbots can hold their own against the real thing most of the time — and if you’re somewhere with a smooth surface, don’t overlook the humble toy car or hooverbot. You build and modify your own hardware, or you have a techie mate who does.
Helpful traits: 3D Spatial Sense, Combat Reflexes, Driver’s Reflexes, Neural Interface Jack, Driving (Automobile, Hovercraft, Mecha), Piloting (Helicopter), Mechanic (various), Engineer (various), Photography, Electronics Operation (Comms and Media, maybe Sensors and Electronic Warfare).

2.2 The Fighter

You can be as clever as you like with your live satellite feeds and your toy helicopters, but sooner or later some poor bastard’s got to put his body on the line. They said you’d been made obsolete by drones, but they said the same thing about combat pilots back when missiles were new, and they lasted another seventy years. You’re not planning still to be in this trade by then.
It’s all about graduated response. Sometimes you just loom at somebody, and you get what you need. Sometimes you have to carve the guy up with a knife, or shoot his legs out from under him. Sometimes you have to put a 7mm mushrooming steel dart through his head from five miles away.
You may have started learning your trade on the streets, but chances are you perfected it in the army, back when they still had a use for tough guys rather than videogame players. They still have all the good toys, though it’s surprising how many of those have “gone missing” as they’ve dumped all their manpower back into the urban hellholes it came out of in the first place.
Now you probably take jobs as hired muscle. There’s always a demand for that.
Helpful traits: Combat Reflexes, Gunslinger, Guns (any), Artillery (Cannon or Missile), Knife, Brawling, maybe some martial arts.

2.3 The Hacker

Once upon a time you could install any software you liked on your computer, watch any film as often as you wanted. Or so the old folks say. It’s got a bit harder now, and most people don’t bother: it’s only a quid, why bother to rip it off? Because that quid is friction, it’s a cost on everything you do with the machine. It slows you down, limits what you can be.
But everything’s connected. You shut off alarms, pop your mates’ faces onto the employee database, and pull information out of the dark net.
Helpful traits: Born to be Wired, Neural Interface, Quick Gadgeteer (Software), Eidetic/Photographic Memory, Computer Hacking/Operation/Programming, Electronics Repair (Computers).

2.4 The Techie

“No user-serviceable parts inside.” To the determined bastard with a hacksaw, that’s just a challenge. It’s not just fixing the latest toys to keep them running after some musclehead’s slammed them against a wall, it’s bodging round the cutoffs to keep older hardware going even when the licences have expired, or getting kit from different manufacturers to talk to each other. You also run bugs, because you can never have too much information: cameras, mics, window lasers, wiretaps.
You might have done some sort of technical training, but most of what you do you learned informally, maybe on-line, maybe from mates.
Helpful traits: Artificer, Gizmos, Electronics Repair, Mechanic.

2.5 The Medic

England still has an NHS. It’s not what it was, but someone in trouble can still turn up at A&E and get patched up. And arrested, because those gunshot wounds, chemical burns, microtagged spray paint, all look like “suspicion of terrorism”. So instead they come to you, the street doc.
Maybe you have an actual medical degree, because legit doctoring doesn’t pay the way it used to. Maybe you learned the hard way, patching people up and praying they wouldn’t die while you were still in range of their mates. You’ve got a backup line of work too, installing, modifying and repairing cybernetic parts.
Helpful traits: Healer, Physician, Diagnosis, Surgery, Pharmacy (Synthetic), Psychology, Engineer (Robotics), Mechanic (Robotics).

2.6 The Fixer/Smuggler

You know people. You match up people who need something with people who have it to sell. For getting people what they need more cheaply and more quickly than the government can, they call you a criminal even when what you’re dealing in is completely legal. Not that there’s much legal stuff that people actually want any more.
Sometimes you just make deals for other people, but often you end up transporting the goods yourself. Jagdeep doesn’t trust Staas to supply the container load of jailbroken phones, and Staas doesn’t trust Jagdeep to come over with the money for them, but they both trust you if you show up in person. Drones are all very well, but drones can’t talk their way past the cops or avoid getting shot down by bored kids with shotguns.
Helpful traits: Contacts, Reputation, Streetwise, Connoisseur (some sort of banned food/drink/drug), vehicle skills.

2.7 The Face

Nobody does the long cons any more. More’s the pity. But you’re still the guy who talks to the guards, who persuades the suckers that it’s in their best interests to work with you, who explains to the cops that it was just youthful high spirits. Police drones are a problem, because while you can talk to the guy behind the drone there’s going to be a recording too, so you need to be subtle: you can’t just offer him a bribe, you need to give him a reason for letting you go that actually looks legitimate.
Helpful traits: Voice, Charisma, Fast-Talk, Diplomacy, Sex Appeal, Intimidation, Streetwise, Savoir-Faire.