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senior officer Mikael van Atta

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Posts posted by senior officer Mikael van Atta


  1. Since the Chrome Berets made an appearance (sorta-kinda...) in the 2071 - Return to Night City campaign, we had to figure out a few more details about them:

    • sex ratio in the gang is about 90-95% male / 5-10% female. There is no institutional stigma against accepting female members into the gang - simply, few women find the lifestyle & hobby interesting. Of course, this doesn't include hangers-on, sycophantes, groupies etc (often romantically attached to specific gang members). Not that there aren't many testosterone-fuelled junior (often - very junior) gang members who haven't been handed their butt by a more competent female ganger yet: these are pretty common cases, and almost universally being shown how things are, sooner or later.
    • on average, female Chrome Berets are more competent (and more driven) than male ones. Many of them hold positions of authority, though they are relatively very rare as chapter presidents.
    • A number of regionally-specific (city-based) chapters of the gang do exist, but the gang isn't very widespread (in the campaign, so far, we have Night City and Seattle chapters established, with a number of others assumed to exist).
    • The chapters are independent of each other, and only very loosely (mostly in a social way) linked. There's nothing that would be like country-level Chrome Berets "central command": it is mostly each chapter for their own.
    • The chapters are relatively poor in terms of assets they could put into action for a specific goals. For their everyday needs, they're good enough.
    • the gang's tag is a skull wearing a beret, and holding a knife in its teeth. Preferably it is done in silver or chrome paint (spray-can or paint pen, for smaller applications), but very often the gangers have to make do with whatever is available.
    • colors may be either a lapel-pin -style badge depicting the gang's tag, or a military-style gray beret (actual chrome-colored one being a coveted, but very rare status symbol. Properly metallic cloth is a tricky matter, you know - even in Cyberpunk era).
    • gang greeting is a military salute, with different chapters following various takes on it (typically dictated by various armed forces' regulations. To a layman, all these seem to be the same, but there are variations regarding angles, exact placement of one's fingers and the like only a drill afficionado - or other expert on the topic - could tell. It actually makes it pretty easy for the people in the know to tell who's doing it right, and who is only pretending). Keep in mind some armed forces regulations allow saluting only when in some form of headgear (beret, field cap, helmet etc.). Some more inventive chapters may even go for non-modern salutes, like the ancient "fist-over-heart", or a Roman open hand salute, but they are in minority.

  2. Updating 8-Ball's "to-do" list, 1/4th into January:

    • Find the survivors of the Night City Chrome Berets chapter. Also, report his findings to his home chapter in Seattle (should have done that before setting out to the Combat zone, but oh well...).
    • Take a driving test (scheduled for Jan 15th morning).
    • Have a movie date with Mia on Friday, January 16th.
    • spend, well, quite some time at the paintball arena :P Also, ask there for someone doing paintball "gunsmithing" - 8-Ball would like a speed-trigger job (+1 ROF, functionally equivalent to compensator job on a firearm - though IRL achieved by a different mechnical job in a paintball gun) on his SGI Wraith.
    • Generally get around the neightbourhood: one quick walk with Marty is good enough to know where the major points-of-interest are, but not enough to really learn the layout of the land. Being a ganger, 8-Ball does know how important knowing your home territory is, including various nooks and crannies. He's not going to look for trouble with anyone, but won't shy away if the "local colour" is bent on testing the newcomer.
    • Actually the above should include going to the party at local dance club, preferably with Mitzi. A couple of times.
    • ask the Happy Time gang if they can get him Trauma drugs (Stim & Surge, single dose of each). No problem paying the street price, but he stresses the quality comes first. I guess it shouldn't be much of a problem, though likely to take a few days. Also, an autoinjector-compatible airhypo. Can one of them operate it (it calls for MedTech 3+, dunno why, but that's how it is in the rules...)? 

    Also, @Allen1 - please adjust 8-Ball's EMP in the Astral sheet. We haven't put that into accuont during the game, and a few of his social skill rolls should have been a notch lower.


  3. Well, it is good practice to ask in-game, but then again, making general plans and having other players (and the GM!) aware of them can make our life easier :)

     

    @Allen1 - out of curiosity: .357mag is listed in basic rules as dealing 2d6+3 damage. However, in NeoTribes they mention "hotload" rounds with 3d6+1 punch (Blackhand's Street Weapons p.12 & p.13 - description of Nomad .357 handguns, repeated in p. 31 in the description of Nomad rifles.  While these guns come from NeoTribes sourcebook, their description there don't seem to mention that), claiming they "standard" loads are downloaded, so the adolescents could handle them. 

    What's your take on this?

    The reason behind the question is an idea (very vague and distant at this moment!) of having a SHTF bag / package statshed somewhere in the city (or maybe a number of them!), and putting an old reliable .357 gun in these has certain appeal. 


  4. 1 hour ago, Allen1 said:

    All good advice, but please notice that rubber bullets come in boxes of 50, not 100.  Still, the main point is its cheaper to practice using them.  Also, Mitzi has already offered to give Cossack handgun lessons.  She is just as good a shot as any of the men on the Team (well maybe not Hollow) AND is a qualified teacher!  The San Paulo Gun Shoppe does advertise lessons, but they do cost; free is better.

    1/3 price is 1/3 price, regardless how big the box is, I guess.

    Ah well, I hoped 8-Ball couild be of any use there 😅


  5. 5 hours ago, TigerGuard said:
    •  I also need to purchase 2 boxes of standard 11mm ammo for my new pistol and arrange some time in the shop's shooting range to try and improve my newly acquired skill.

    If you ask the more gun-savvy team members, you may get the advice of going for rubber bullets or equivalent (there isn't plastic-coated practice ammo listed in CP2020, but that's exactly what my local indoor range is using*). For basic training they should cut the bill, and their cost is only 1/3 that of normal ammo (and the gun store will be more than happy to sell you those for practice purposes, as it won't be chewing up their shooting range as much as real deal stuff would! Also, less lead dust in the air there, which is better for everybody's health), meaning you'll be able to afford 3x as much bang for your buck.

    Sure, it is not advisable to use such  ammo for advanced training (no in-game difference, but RL point-of-impact is likely to differ with various types of ammo, so theoretically for the best effect you should practice with whatever you're going to carry... though from what I hear, not a common thing, as it gets quite expensive real quick if you're using any kind of fancy ammo!). But IMO, since Cossack is learning "how to put bullet-holes in a man-sized paper target at 12 meters" rather than "how to put your bullet-holes right into bullseye at 25 meters", it will do.

    Also, you may consider asking Hollow or 8-Ball for some pointers and range-time together. 8-Ball is hardly a qualified instructor (in terms of Teacher skill. I have no idea how Hollow does in that department), but he knows his way around handguns, and I guess should be at least able to spot and correct some of the mistakes a beginner is likely to make.

    Of course it is also quite likely that the gun store has a qualified (and certified) instructor among the staff. Again, essentially your choice.

     

    *in game terms, I'd keep it equal to rubber bullets price-wise, and essentially make it ineffective against most armor types. It is meant to provide effective, safe training ammunition, not to put holes in people. It has no place in a gunfight.


  6. Nah, some things on the list are getting crossed out as done (I managed to do the entire Vegas part of the list from my previous list posting, right?). Others come up as needs or means (I do have a "shopping list" of gear, actually predating our return from Vegas. But I assumed I'll have to save for some of the cyberware for quite a few months).

    I thought so - it is a good idea to keep your GM up to speed :P.


  7. Updating 8-Ball's "to-do" list, as we're now back in NC and January of 2071 has come (along with the paycheck, huzzah!):

    • buy food. four weeks-worth of good prepack, to carry him through January. Limited by how much the larder can fit, some of it may be simply paid in advance for later delivery / pickup. Also, ocver his other life expenses.
    • find the local chapter of Chrome Berets and pay his respects. Properly. Which probably means an adequate welcome gift (being a ganger himself, he'll definitely know what will be appropriate - I'm guessing a crate / several six-packs of beer?) - tell me please how much I spent on that. Then, establish himself in the chapter's "pecking order". Not going to be anyone significant, being an ex-member of another chapter, and not really intending to be a full-time member of this one, but getting my effective Gang Rank recognized is, likely, going to take a while & some effort. I guess.
    • Look around NCU Fine Arts campus, and try to find Mia.  Set for a movie with Mia on 16th.
    • visit a reasonable cyberclinic and get himself pumped chock-full of nanoware (he's going for an Advanced Muscle & Bone Lace +3, and Lifesaver Skinweave). If possible, on the same visit. And take into account he's likely to feel queasy for a few days after that (well, 2 Neglible surgical codes is still 2 wound boxes... 4 days worth of healing. Lifesaver would cut it down to less than 2, but I assume it needs a few days to kick in, too). 
    • spend, well, quite some time at the paintball arena :P Also, ask there for someone doing paintball "gunsmithing" - 8-Ball would like a speed-trigger job (+1 ROF, functionally equivalent to compensator job on a firearm - though IRL achieved by a different mechnical job in a paintball gun) on his SGI Wraith.
    • Generally get around the neightbourhood: one quick walk with Marty is good enough to know where the major points-of-interest are, but not enough to really learn the layout of the land. Being a ganger, 8-Ball does know how important knowing your home territory is, including various nooks and crannies. He's not going to look for trouble with anyone, but won't shy away if the "local colour" is bent on testing the newcomer.
    • ask the Happy Time gang if they can get him Trauma drugs (Stim & Surge, single dose of each). No problem paying the street price, but he stresses the quality comes first. I guess it shouldn't be much of a problem, though likely to take a few days. Also, an autoinjector-compatible airhypo. Can one of them operate it (it calls for MedTech 3+, dunno why, but that's how it is in the rules...)? 
    • buy a gorram sledgehammer (a dynamic entry hammer would be better, of course, but that's highly-specialized piece of equipment, and even if it is not restricted, it is going to be many times more expensive than your basic sledgehammer). along with a carry rig for it (which may need to be custom-made. Not a really big deal in terms of tech needed, but takes soemone who knows their craft to sew one together. There are ready-made ones, but like the entry hammers, they're speciality items). A Hooligan Tool, too. Also, get himself a package of binder straps (i.e. disposable handcuff tapes).
    • Check around in the gun shop whether they can get him some door-breaching rounds for a 12ga shotgun. Not very likely (that's highly-specialized tool again, if not really high-tech: basicaly ultra-fine shot, bordering lead dust. Messes stuff up over a few centimeters distance, but won't overpenetrate and kill people inside the room you're trying to blast the door to).
    • He's out in the market for a Maximum Lover chip and a bottle of Nymph cologne. 
    • Get scheduled for a driving test with the NC Licensing Authority (to get his driving license valid in North California through 2071). Scheduled for Jan 15th morning.
     

  8. Oh, drones can be anything you want them to be. Just a matter of being creative with them :) Sadly , CP2020 sourcebooks are a bit sparse in that departament.

    But have a look on any Droid-centered Star Wars sourcebook, for example, and you'll get plenty of ideas. Just a matter of adapting these ideas (not the specific designs, of course), to the CP2020 setting.


  9. Please keep in mind I'm now arguing solely for the argument's sake :P Not trying to tell you "man, you're doing it wrong". As I've already said: it is your game, thus it is your rules. 

    We would be able to react to those who we were seeing. It is not about mind-reading, it is seeing what is going on, and reacting to it. The point being - there are many things going on simultaneously during that short, 3,2-ish-second combat turn. People run, shoot, trade blows in melee, shout out warnings and orders. Pulling a trigger and squeezing a shot is momentary, but hosing down someone with autofire takes time (especially with full ROF - that's basically as many times the automatic firearm can effectively cycle in a 3,2 second, isn't it? Then cycling that many times is going to take 3,2 second).

    It is not like you're waiting for your sweet spot in that 3,2 second period (determined by your Intiative), and then do your thing lightning-fast in the "initiative tick" you have (some things may be doable that fast, many others won't). You're doing things that take time (measured in 3,2-second chops for the ease of handling them), and Initiative is there merely to decide - if you and the other guy are trying to pull a trigger facing each other - which one of you is going to pull it first, hopefully putting the other out of the fight...


  10. Okay, let's see if I got it right:

    1. I may HOLD my action, covering a specific area within my Line-Of-Sight.
    2. Should a target present itself within my LOS, I may declare I will shoot it (well... or perhaps I may delcare I'll do something else...?).
    3. Initiative applies as normal, with one of higher Initiative acting first - actions HELD or not.

    An interesting, if difficult to grasp, approach could be to do a reverse-Initiative declaration.

    I.e. those with lowest Initiative having to make their mind - and declare - on what they're going to do in  a given combat round first. And those with higher initiative thus being able to react to that what the slower people are doing (naturally, if they are visible or become visible during their initiative  order). The actions get then resolved accoridng to Initiative order. Which, of course, means the faster-acting combatants may spoil the actions of those who are slower.


  11. Patient Bear - I will bear with you

    ;)

    1. If I may suggest -"Doubletap" should be limited to the same target. You're basically holding your sights on it and trying to send lead downrange into your target as fast as you can. Since it comes as faster than standard "two shots" that includes an option for changing targets, it should have a downside, too. Solo or no solo.

    2. Ehh... I need to give the "hold" rules a read a few more times. Maybe tomorrow in the morning, with a clearer head.

    Also, seems we'll be doing quite some of these paintball matches, so you can iron out the rules ;)


  12. Yup, some interesting news :) And 8-Ball is grateful to Mitzi for sharing it - it'd take him weeks to uncover that much on his own. Also, he should ask the Happy Gang if they could supply him with Trauma drugs, should there be a need.

    He's still going to get around, but knowing what he knows now it will be easier to notice any toes stuck out, and avoid stepping on them. Especially any Chinese toes - the Tongs aren't the guys to mess up with.


  13. Ah, you want the skill? 

    Remote Piloting, as per Chromebook 2 /Protect & Serve sourcebooks. Works on average of INT & REF i.e. (INT+REF)/2.

    You can use Netruuner's SA, Interface, instead of it.

    12 hours ago, Slade said:

    Awesome info. This is what I was exactly looking for, the book references etc. And yeah, I'll be limiting control to same area etc. just so he has to be with the team. Thanks!

     

    I'd say, not all the time would be a good idea. 

    Simply zipping around the city block during downtime shouldn't be a problem - the drone might be easily programmed to either park / land in a convenient spot and wait to be recovered if it loses the signal (or perform any other pre-programmed routine - return to a predetermined location, or initiate a spiral search pattern to try and find the signal again) if the link to its operator is broken. "Fly over there on a pre-determiend path, take photos, come back" could be easily programmed, for example. 

    But when things get serious, when the party is relying on a drone for recon / support, then yes - the operator has to be close to the action. Well, unless there is a well-planned network of signal boosters / repeaters to make sure signal doesn't get lost - but such luxuries would be usually available only to whoever is operating on their home turf and has managed to set up such support network for their own drones.

    Tell your drone operator that's how things are. If they decide they want to operate the drones into any troubles from the safety of their own couch, you can then punish them - have the drones lose signal, develop a lag, be taken over by the opposition (well,unless they are protected with good countermeasures...) and generally become useless as helpers... etc etc :)


  14. Well, the books don't give a direct answer to that, when it comes to cyberfoms.

    Mini-cyberfoms from Chromebook 3 use remote control rigs (see into their descriptions). Given these do differ in range, I'd guess they are model-specific rigs, for security purposes (hacker interference!). No such rig is mentioned for Arasaka RDAK (Chrome 2), but I guess it is there anyway.

    Larger cyberforms (as described in SoF2) seem to be directly programmed (needing a "hardware key" as well as "computer command" to reprogram, with hacker interference being cited as major concern), so I guess you don't "control" them: they act on their own, according to pre-set programming / mission parameters. Keep in mind they have programming / instincts apparently flexible enough to be able to adjust mission parameters in case something new happens.

    Drones need a control rig ("Drone Control Deck", Chromebook 2, p.30), which can be either portable or stationary. There are 3 variants - one being likely a very traditional remote-control board, the other a glove and goggle interface, and the third being a cybercontrol set. Nothing is said about the size of the portable variant, but if I know anything about radio wave propagation, something that gives you 15km range is likely to be quite a handful. Especially in an urban terrain (for reference, standard RL PMR-ranged walkie-talkie of 0,5-watt power can, in optimum conditions, line-of-sight situation work over several kilometer range. Most producers claim 5-6km over open terrain, but paraglider hobbyists had ood results over 100km from what I heard. In a forrest, it may pull 2km, or - especially if it is hilly - be down to less than 1km. And rain / wet leaves screw the range over a lot. Urban conditions are even worse: I had experienced a PMR-equivalent failing to reach through a brick pillar - granted, it was 3 or 4m across, but the transmitter was in the same room, and less than 20 meters away! When British Army was setting up requirements for their Personal Role Radio - a military walkie-talkie equivalent, meant to equip every squaddie and let squads coordinate - they asked for 1,5km range in rural terrain, and 3 stories of a building in urban conditions: AFAIK, it wasn't easy to do! As a general rule, the higher frequency, the better it does handling data packages, but does worse for range). 

    Another problem is - we didin't had smartphones in Cyberpunk. The game shows how old it is by failing to observe modern technologies. Then again, your game, your rules, you could amend that. I mean, if you think it'll be a good idea for your player to operate his drones / cyberfoms via touchscreen of a smartphone / tablet (or a specialized contorl rig of the same size), go for it! Just remeber that if he can, the opposition can do the same, too.

     


  15. Allright, while still hot on the topic, let's update 8-Ball's to-do list:

    Things to do while in Vegas:

    • Hit a casino. He'll write off 1000e$ for that. Once that much is gone, he's done with gambling on that trip. Naturally, if he's winning, he'll try to keep winning. Not get greedy, though. Have fun, first and foremost.
    • Take Mitzi dancing. A number of times, if possible. He's definitely not aiming to hit on her (1. He has his sights set for Mia for the moment, 2. sleeping around in your fireteam is a no-no): first and foremost, as he said back at the Red's bar, if they are to work as a buddy team, they need to learn how to read each other. And well, he can't put her through a few weeks worth of kill-house training, so dancing a lot will have to be the next best thing. 
    • Try pulling a Net search for NCU Fine Arts students named Mia. There is a slight chance she has some presence online, along with a photo - student function, an achievement, or maybe a work of art put on sale, along with her photo and family name. If he can get that, great. If not, well, he'll have to search the traditional way.
    • Try pulling a Net search for NC chapter of the Chrome Berets chapterhouse (I guess the gang calls it literally their "HQ"). Not very likely it'll bring back an actual address, but one never knows. Mail address or phone number to contact the gang's representative would do as well.
    • Try looking through pawnshops in Vegas, if there's time for that. Looking for: 1. a guitar, preferably acoustic rather than electric one. Something cheap that will "sound right" (...given how good 8-Ball is with a guitar. And he isn't, to be honest), and some guitar tabs to go with it (either on chip or book form). 2. rifle, full-power, preferably semiautomatic (thus legal to own in Night City) and of military design. Inexpensive, relatively accurate (per type. There's not likely to be a chance to test how accurate the specific piece really is, I guess), in sensible working order and not too obscure caliber. And a couple magazines or ammo clips to come with it, too. If that means a 20. century-era, cased ammo piece, that's acceptable (semi-only M14, or  FN-FAL / L1A1, or G3 would be perfect. M1 Garand or SKS would do, too). In a pinch, a lever-action hunting rifle in some serious rifle caliber. Bolt actions are not what he's looking for, but if there's nothing else that'd make sense...

    Things to do back in Night City (i.e. after New Year, I guess...):

    • buy food. four weeks-worth of good prepack, to carry him through January. I assume Marty's first check will be due then.  Limited by how much the larder can fit, some of it may be simply paid in advance for later delivery / pickup.
    • find the local chapter of Chrome Berets and pay his respects. Properly. Which probably means an adequate welcome gift (being a ganger himself, he'll definitely know what will be appropriate - I'm guessing a crate / several six-packs of beer?) - tell me please how much I spent on that. Then, establish himself in the chapter's "pecking order". Not going to be anyone significant, being an ex-member of another chapter, and not really intending to be a full-time member of this one, but getting my effective Gang Rank recognized is, likely, going to take a while & some effort. I guess 
    • visit a decent gun shop and get himself two collapsible dump pouches (one small, for his pistol rig, one mid-sized, to go with the shotgun setup). He chooses colors to match his style, so these won't be attracting attention when worn.
    • visit a decent sports / martial arts store and get himself melee training weapons (two rubber knives, two padded batons, maybe something else if it catches his eye). Padded training gloves, too (ones suitable for both punching and grabbing) - one pair, for himself.
    • ask around the team for a sparringpartner to use that stuff with. 
    • spend, well, quite some time at the paintball arena :P 
    • Generally get around the neightbourhood: one quick walk with Marty is good enough to know where the major points-of-interest are, but not enough to really learn the layout of the land. Being a ganger, 8-Ball does know how important knowing your home territory is, including various nooks and crannies. He's not going to look for trouble with anyone, but won't shy away if the "local colour" is bent on testing the newcomer.
    • buy a gorram sledgehammer (a dynamic entry hammer would be better, of course, but that's highly-specialized piece of equipment, and even if it is not restricted, it is going to be many times more expensive than your basic sledgehammer). along with a carry rig for it (which may need to be custom-made. Not a really big deal in terms of tech needed, but takes soemone who knows their craft to sew one together. There are ready-made ones, but like the entry hammers, they're speciality items). 
    • Check around in the gun shop whether they can get him some door-breaching rounds for a 12ga shotgun. Not very likely (that's highly-specialized tool again, if not really high-tech: basicaly ultra-fine shot, bordering lead dust. Messes stuff up over a few centimeters distance, but won't overpenetrate and kill people inside the room you're trying to blast the door to).

  16. Ah, a similar approach to the one I've met in one game. Yea, it makes sense.

    I have it noted on my Astral character sheet in Google Drive (you do have access to it - will that do?). I don't think I noted how many times each of them was used, but I doubt any (apart from Handgun) has seen more than one use (and let's be honest, pulling a trigger twice in the same firefight is hardly "two uses of a skill" in my book...).

    I doubt I had any Crits there.


  17. Yup, 8-Ball was looking for a sparringpartner. Provided he can get his hands on training equipment (well, or improvise some - a visit in a hardware / home improvement store should bring enough material to make batons adequate for practicing, inc. pipe insulation foam and heavy-duty duct tape - while not perfect and not really durable, it'll do for the time before 8-ball can get himself some real stuff).

    I guess we'll start an in-house message board... probably by putting post-it notes on the fridge in team's kitchen :P


  18. No problem with the way you handle expenses :) Also, having a set "upkeep" expense position makes things way simpler (I guess 8-Ball will be overspending there on a regular basis...).

    I'm simply used to monthly schedule for that RL (monthly pay is the standard method of being paid here, except for some rather specific - legally speaking - types of contract).


  19. 17 minutes ago, TigerGuard said:

    Can we have the deductions split between our 2 paydays so that each check is equal?  [...] Or is it all taken on the 1st and the check on the 16th is full?

    That's an excellent observation. Although having some expenses paid as weekly, and others as monthly (while getting paid bi-weekly) is realistic, it seems to be creating some chaos where the complexity doesn't, in my opinion, add to the game.

    As for Vegas... I was under an impression that we were going to fly there...? But well, I could be wrong.

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