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senior officer Mikael van Atta

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Posts posted by senior officer Mikael van Atta


  1. Not really, to my knowledge. Definitely not in the official material. Since it is much a game setting thing. 

    Your game world can be full of remotely-controlled systems and drones, or there might be very few of them.

    I'd say, set up a percentile chance how does that look in an average situation in your own setting. Say, roll a 1d10. On 5+, there is a remote system available (maybe more of them) but not necessarily useful (unless your netrunner gets creative), if the roll was 7+, there is something actually useful (without much thinking) in this situation, and on a roll of 10+, you hit a jackpot: there's exactly what you'd need.

    Add 2 if the exact area of the setting is drone-heavy, substract 2 if it is relatively drone-light. 

     

    Then there is Geist's cyberpunk city generating sourcebook, and the Remote Droning material I wrote - neither of these tackles the exact probability of a drone being in the vicinity, but apart form that, both could be useful when it comes to drones.


  2. It works a bit different.

    "Stunned" penalty wears off after a moment, but remains "remembered" for a while. If you accumulate these "remembered" Stuns, you pass out.

    Wounded, Severly Wounded and Incapacipated are indeed "hit point"-type wound levels, roughly compatible to Cyberpunk Serious & Critical wound levels in 2020.

    Mortally Wounded is where you need to be stabilised, or you die in a few game turns. 


  3. Hit points... 

    Ah, the older I get the more I like the WEG d6 approach. No hit points, just wound states. You get hit, you either shrug it off, you're stunned for a moment, you're wounded, you're severly wounded, you're wounded so bad you're incapacipated, you're wounded so badly you're actually dying, or you are just dead. 

    But the idea of critical damage is interesting.


  4. Well, I'll give it a look once it is there. The Jumpstart Kit didn't impress me.

    But I sincerely don't think I'm going to play it. CP2020 was a big part of my experience, but it is gone now. I wasn't able to put together a group for years, and recently I've decided to cross a T, and put all my CP2020 stuff on sale. 

    I might run something cyberpunk in the future, but not likely CP2020 anymore. Nor CP Red / 2077.

    It is the music of the past. Nostalgia vibe. But to feel nostalgia, you must know what you're nostalgic for. As you guys have said, R.Tal's Cyberpunk is at its core the '80s Cyberpunk. Sure, it was the classic golden age of the genre. And it was something we knew our way around - but I guess most of us here do remember the 80s, or at least 90s. The kids born in the 90s or 2000s, don't. Simply put, they can't.

    I've had a conversation with a girl who frequents the same local institution-held RPG meetings I participate in these days for my RPG fix. She's 15, or maybe 16. She asked me, "well, so just how did you find any information when there was no Internet? I mean, if you wanted to know something...?" As for her generation the answer is simple - it is all on the Internet... Asking around, visiting a library and checking if there are any books on the subject... no longer obvious for the generation.

    And the same way, the 80s vibe is alien to them.

    Sure, the game has a good chance of being popular for a time. RPG because of the computer game, and the computer game because it has good publicity for it. But I'm afraid it has outlived its window...


  5. I've played it once (a few months ago, at a local event I frequent to get my RPG fix these days).

    The setting wasn't inspiring, IMO. Though it might have had something to do with the GM being... not good, really.

    The game mechanics... were, simply, bad. At least in my eyes. Class special abilities, and you can use them a set (level-dependent) number of times per day...? Mag-dumping a SMG at two junkies at point-blank range, hitting them both, but just doing "half damage, because you attacked two targets in one attack"? 

    And a few other bumps along the road.

    So, in my opinion? No. Nope. Nyet. Nein. Non

    D20 and its level-based, class-oriented mechanics don't work for Cyberpunk, and I can't imagine why they are out there at all some 40+ years after Dungeons & Dragons became a thing...!

     

    Nb. I was testing the waters with a fantasy-set D&D 5e, and I still can't stand the system... though this time I had a decent GM and the story itself was not half bad (well, as far as you can hope with a short adventure with random players...).


  6. Haven't been around for a while...

    Got a second character, an old cop in his 40s, Yurij Vasillievich Toporow. With an adequately long history of failed romances, lost friendships and toes stepped on (nb. not unlikely to be well-connected with assholes he'd have to kiss up in the future). A really decent noir detective :)

    Kicked two of the original four player candidates due to their inactivity and inability to even decide a character concept for over a month.

    Grabbed another one, currently being created: Lukas Krawczyk, a Lithuanian (of mixed Polish / Lithuanian ancestry), a medical school dropout (he was cookin' drugs in his pharmacy classes. Wouldn't be a problem - half the class did it - if he'd given a cut to the professor. He wasn't reasonable about it, and as a result got kicked out of the uni, with a black mark in a police database. Still, that matters only in Lithuania - not in Kal. In Kal, they'd basically hire anyone having a pulse, probably...) in his mid 20s. He decided that, all in all, if there's an arrest on drug case going to happen, he'd prefer to be the one arresting, than being arrested. Lukas - with his medical background - is actually an useful asset in police work, as he can make some forensic reasoning based on an educated guess on a fly, without having to wait for an autopsy report (well, and he's handy with first aid if things go south, too!).

     

    I'm intending for a first game session this month, and since my players are all new to the world, let's make it an introductory one. Maybe drop the team into riot duty (Kal militsya keep no dedicated riot troop, so when SHTF, they simply press everybody available - patrolmen and detectives alike - into Metal Gear, hand them batons and shields, and send them to the streets for crowd control, while the OMON - who are basically local militsya's SWAT / MaxTac /SHTF troop - do the high-profile riot suppressing, like disabling crowd's leaders and so on).

    I could use some ideas for who is rioting and what for, so far the idea I have is basically Communards running a demonstration, and getting opposed by skinheads.

     

    Once that's past us, I guess some real detective work could start next session. Still looking for ideas for that, though.


  7. Making a REP boost equal a promotion? That's a neat idea. 

    Though I'd make it "boost REP, then roll equal or over your new REP to get promoted". So the REF won't skyrocket you on the rank table automatically. If you haven't been promoted, you probably have received a token of recognition in some other form (like, a medal. Primarily in the military, but there are awards of that kind - or another - that might be awarded to civilians. Or the other way, you were given an award for your great deeds, and it equals a REP boost. Say, being a Media type and getting a Pulitzer. Being a a Rockman and getting Grammy. Being a scientist and getting a Nobel. You catch the drift).

    I'm not sure about getting demoted. In most cases I can recall, getting demoted tends to have you kicked from the organization. Except for wartime when they need all the cannon fodder they can get, so you turn up in a penal unit to do the risky, nasty jobs no-one else wants to do. Or getting reassigned to other nasty job (well okay, in a Japanese zaibatsu, if you screwed up, they used to let you keep your desk and salary, but you were given nothing to do. In organized crime, they were likely to kill you. I once ran a C-Punk game with a corporate in it - one day, he managed to screw over his adversary, and the adversary got reassigned to a polar research station, as "head of security", or, as we joked, he was there to watch all those penguins...).

     

    Now, boosting the level of your contact... remember we are going to have 8-10 stats to roll for (I think I'll make EMP use two entries, one of them solely for romantic stuff). I wouldn't really expect a character to hit the same result twice very often, unless we make all the tables be essentially the same table, just used with a different stat.

    Which is not my intention.


  8. Back to the thing...

     

    I think promotions / demotions should be a thing for characters who are a part of an organized group (be it a street gang, organized crime syndicate, corporation, military / police force or a Nomad family etc.). That's pretty easy to deal with, if we keep the results vague.

    But not going to work for freelancers.

    Also, there are several ideas on building wide (if low-level) ties to an organization ("local boostergang / Nomad family likes you"). We could spread these among the stats, I just have to assign what goes where.

    Also, I'd prefer to keep the simple Financial Windfall to LUCK-attributed events only.


  9. I have the first character actually in the making, an exotic conversion (lynx, she's a mix'n'match between CatNipp and BigKatt categories - full facial rebuild, but tech-hair instead of the expensive real fur and digitigrade legs. 10k EM starting funds is a pretty generous amount, but those exotic conversions aren't cheap!) female officer I'll affectionately call Dasha (Russian diminuitive for the popular given name Daria). She seems to be a very physical person (maxed out on REF, and heavily invested in firearms and vehicle skills), and likely to be a real asset in combat. Though this kitty can purr - she maxed out into Seduction skill too, and declared she plays both teams there! that exostic package can cut her in the EMP department though (4d6+4, ain't crippling, but not insignificant either). A curious hobby - she's pretty invested into zoology (+3).

    Which, having no better ideas, I'm hoping to use for the adventure, the cue being RL recent scandal with a transport of 10 tigers being stopped on the Polish-Belarusian border. So, let's make it an exotic animal smuggling case, with something appropriately rare - and cute (if not actually cuddly!) - to make the media cry outrage, and press the cops into action. And, well, Daria Ivanovna, you're pretty much an animal yourself these days, so go get me some results, da chierta!

    So, the hook is there, I have now to invent who was smuggling the animals, what for, and why nailing them to the floor ain't gonna be easy!


  10. Why would I be to laugh? I still have fond memories of the Adam-12 series that was airing here back in the '90s if memory serves me (I used to watch way more TV than I do now).

    The problem I have is I don't watch that many TV series, and I'd have to find and download this one (haven't been airing here, to my knowledge... wait a sec, actually it started airing in Poland this month... on a cable channel the very existence I was not aware of...). And then binge-watch it ;)

    Not really something I'd like to do... 

    But having my players as a detached investigation / intelligence team (probably formed ad hoc early in the campaign, and just stayign that way due to sheer inertia at the very least) is na interesting concept :)


  11. Seems we'll be going for a police story after all. There are no other ideas coming form my to-be players.

    I'm undecided whether to make them the detectives, or beat patrol (definitely not the Osnaz / OMON, i.e. Kaliningrad Militsya's special purpose troops who fulfill the SWAT / MaxTac / shocktrooper requirement for the local law enforcement). 

    There's no functional Interpol or LEDiv equivalent in this world - nominally, high-profile cases in the Kal, formally a Russian territory, should be handled by FSB (Federal Security Service, to whom some still refer by their Soviet-era moniker: KGB). The problem is - there's hardly any Russian Federation left to speak of, and whatever FSB / KGB does exist, they have more work in Moscow itself than they can handle (they are far too short on resources and manpower to seriously project their authority elsewhere... as a general rule).

    Naturally, the FSB might try to flex their authority in Kal if something draws their attention (meaning, mainly, a lead drags them in from Moscow, and they feel the need to strongarm the local cops into cooperation and support on it). And they can be a Tiergarten*-level PITA if they really try.

    But generally it is the overworked, understaffed Kal police who have to deal with all the shit. Well okay, there's a hand-picked Special Investigations Bureau with a handful of experienced investigators at the Kal regional-level Militsya HQ who are there to be set on high-profile cases. Still, they are just as understaffed and overworked as the rest of the force.

    I'd be grateful if you could kick an adventure idea or two my way, guys: what are the Kal cops after these days...?

    * I've mentioned them in 20 Questions: Tiergarten (named after their headquarters in the Tiergarten neightbourhood of Berlin) are NeuesDeutschland's special service / intelligence agency, who are much like ninja in our world: hardly anyone has ever seen any (or at least survived to tell the tale), but who are the staple of popular media stories. Well, maybe more James Bond then... as nobody (including the RL British government) denies MI-6s existence, and everybody has seen some of the Bond franchise movies... but hardly anybody outside of the intellignece community can tell they've seen an actual MI-6 field agent, and how unlike the movie character of James Bond these are. Or perhaps they are like our favourite double-oh section operative, actually...?


  12. I gave the rules another (brief...) look - I believe Operate Heavy Machinery should not be a REF skill, after all. 

    This is the skill for the big stuff. Forklift trucks. Cranes. Huge trucks. That kind of things. Now, from my experience (I do hold proper certification to operate a forklift truck and a gantry crane) I'd say your hand-eye coordination has little to do there. These machines aren't meant to work fast (well, okay, forklift trucks are pretty powerful, as they need to operate massive loads - so when unladen, they have quite a kick. But they tend to be top-heavy, and it takes a reckless operator to drive them fast. They aren't meant for that!). You have a huge mass and thus huge inertia. And you need to be aware of that, and know what you can't pull off. Because if you try any kind of funny tricks with a few metric tons of stuff slung on your Heavy Machinery's cargo handling appendage (fork / hook / whatever), you gonna wreck a hole in the wall. 

    So, either INT+REF (like drone piloting) or even TECH (because it is both thinking, and sure hand). But I'd go along the line of Remote Piloting myself.


  13. So far, not much is happening - the group has not came up with any ideas, so (unless they get something over the weekend) we'll go for a police campaign. 

    One of the girls expressed an interest in playing a (runaway) frankenstein, i.e. gene-engineered clone. And perhaps having a nasty secret.

    I'm thinking on how to handle that. For it is a neat idea: being a frank is a nasty secret enough: you have no rights by the very fact you're a clone (technically clones are considered property. In legalese, "post-natal tissue cultures"). Being a frank is even worse - you're a gene-tweaked clone, an effect of tinkering with a human genome, something most of the world considers a huge no-no. In fact, a reason good enough to kill you, if you're identified - and the courts in most parts of the world might perhaps punish your killer for littering the street with your dead body, if they'd bother at all.

    Now, identifying a basic clone is almost impossible - unless you run into a whole batch of them (there's a limit to how many identical siblings can be. Especially if there's a wide variety of age among them!). Identifying a frank is a bit easier - DNA testing will flag bits that a human (or a basic clone) should not have had. Some franks do have abilities that might betray them, but at least a part of these can pass as effects of cyber/nano/biomods or cosmetic surgery (eg. natural low-light and anti-dazzle capability lifted from cat's eyes). Still, some franks have bodies that would hardly pass as baseline human - or even wouldn't stand a chance there.

    I'm tempting to simply allow her to max stats to 12 instead of normal human maximum of 10. Since the characters will be point-buildt on the same point pool (60 is my current call), maxing it out in some attributes means she'll have to minimize other ones to afford it (also, she informed me she does like characters who are top of the line in one area, and complete garbage in other, so it should suit her). Being a frank will be her very dark secret - and a drawback heavy enough to pay for those superhuman stat values.

    Well, it all depends on what kind of a runaway frank is she going to build. They're, after all, designed for specific roles.

    I'm not sure how to cover potential cyberware-mimickable abilities to keep it fair with the other players. Maybe force her to spend starting cash on these (but at the same time, inborn abilities should have no upkeep cost, and no Humanity cost. Which could do, especially if she goes for a low-EMP build).

    Thoughts?

     

    Mechanics-wise, I decided to go after your lead, @Chaosmeister and dump ATTR. If anyone wishes to look especially stunning, this will have to be arranged as an extra. I'll keep the REF Superstat though.

    I'm thinking about having a 56pts base (with 8 stats, this gives a neat average of 7 points per stat. Want one better than that, need scrap together those points elsewhere). Not decided on skillpoints though. 


  14. Not really related, but seems I might have a team gathering. A visit to the local community house (well... that's a gross simplification of what the institution actually is), where a monthly RPG event is held, with some leaflets (again... as I pulled it already last month, to no effect) brought up three candidates - all of them girls :P adding to that my buddy, the one leftover form the Nomadpunk attempt, we are getting a decent-sized, 4-man team (and there are two potential spraes interested, even!).

    At the moment the girls are chewing through the setting material I have prepared for them, and I've encouraged them to come up with the team idea / characters they'd like to play. One had the idea of a cop (or maybe a singer, or a media...).

    Well, I certainly wasn't expecting a police campaign in Kal, but if they all agree to that, why not...? Otherwise, it might be difficult to fit a cop into a more standard edgerunner team.

    We'll see in a few days :)

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