Inscrit le: 19 Sep 2009
Ven 2 Oct - 21:33 (2009)
Here are some sample characters for use in your games. The first few are fleshed out, with plot hooks and Themes included, for use as pregenerated main characters. The end of the chapter has several dozen “stat blocks,” as it were, for the GM to use as supporting characters.
Civilization: Disciples of the Void
Core Values: Efficiency 2, Worship 5, Privacy 7, Discovery 4
Themes: Plot Immunity (easily overlooked) 3, Intrigue (eavesdropper) 2, Empathy (reluctant) 3.
Capabilities: Biotech 5, Cognitech 5, Metatech 3, Nanotech 5, Stringtech 2
Professions: Crisis Control 2, Locality (Disciples) 5, Religious 4, Programmer 2, Locality (Replicant) 2, total age: 38 years (expected lifespan 200 years)
Special Benefits: Stealth 7, maximum Biotech and Cognitech 6
Wang’s real name is not spoken; it’s signed in Disciple sign language. He is a Hyperevolute because his grandparents were; while he believes in Efficiency, he won’t be sacrificing anything major for it. Though most people naturally ignore his meek presence, others seek him out to talk to him about their problems and their lives. He doesn’t really want to hear all that, but is too polite to say anything about it, and often ends up giving them some advice just so they’ll be quiet. Unlike most Disciple pilgrims, he went to the Universe of Noise because he wanted to. Wang is eternally curious (thus his Discovery CV), and will often be examining his surroundings while his friends use their weird mouth-talking. He currently lives in Replicant space.
As a pregenerated PC, Wang makes an excellent choice for anyone who wants to discover the world as they play. His inquisitive nature should get him into a little trouble, but Plot Immunity should get him back out, and he can use Empathy and Stealth to surreptitiously gather massive amounts of personal information. If used as an NPC (stripping off his Themes), Wang makes a good unwitting dupe for less ethical people. He’s used to believing things that authority figures tell him, and he’s still pretty intimidated by the world outside his Anchorage. His “natural” stealth ability should let him tail the PCs successfully for quite a while.
Linh Hung Phuong
Civilization: The Tao of History
Core Values: Authenticity 6, Tradition 5, Friendship 6, Honesty 3
Themes: Plot Immunity (Old Friends) 1, Empathy (Good News) 1, Romance (Short-term) 3
Capabilities: Biotech 7, Cognitech 6, Metatech 10, Nanotech 6, Stringtech 3
Professions: Courtesan 4, Media 6, Engineer (Metatech) 7, Locality (Tao) 5, Locality (Masqerade) 5, Locality (Stardwellers) 5, total age: 90 years (expected lifespan 350 years)
Special Benefits: Receives one extra Twist per game, to be spent on Romance, Empathy, or Intrigue.
Linh plays the role of a foreign courtier come to the ancient Chinese court during the Han dynasty. While she does not play the main role (that of the ambassador), she is a popular supporting character, giving her both ample money and time to pursue her own interests. Her ninety years in the Tao have taught her the importance of being a supporting character, and how to make the most of her time on-screen. During her off-time (explained on-screen as visits home to the pre-Vietnam peninsula), she has visited the Masquerade and the Stardwellers, and learned much from them about creating more modern societies. She keeps two martial arts Lenses (one Artist 4, the other Soldier 3) in her library in case of danger, but rarely needs to use them for anything but demonstration.
For those seeking the aid of the Tao, Linh can be a great asset (either as an NPC or pregenerated character). Befriending her is a good first step into the Han court, one of the larger and more influential Tao milieus, and she’s always looking to make new friends.
Core Values: Freedom 7, Diversity 3, Carpe Diem 6, Unity 4
Themes: Comprehension (systems dynamics) 3, Romance (bad ideas) 2
Capabilities: Biotech 10, Cognitech 6, Metatech 4, Nanotech 10, Stringtech 4
Professions: Crisis Control 7, Engineer (Biotech) 5, Engineer (Nanotech) 5, Legal 4, Police 6, Programmer 3, Spy 6, Locality (Stardweller) 5, Locality (Logicians) 3, Locality (Tao) 5, Locality (Replicant) 3, Locality (Masquerade) 4, Locality (Mechanica) 5,
Locality (Independents) 2. Total age: 198 years. (expected lifespan: 700 years)
Special Benefits: Suffers no penalties in zero-g environments. Maximum Biotech and Nanotech are 11.
Breath has worked for most of his life as a security consultant — the kind that tries to break into your building to make sure it’s secure. He loves his work, and honestly doesn’t look forward to the day when his personal tech and ingenuity can’t keep up with improving security measures. Breath has four bodies in his group: three humans (all male, with their own features and odd enhancements), and one crawling insectoid shape. Breath is not, by nature, a bad person, but he has many skills that would make people very dubious of his intentions. He also quite enjoys throwing his fate to the wind and taking a chance on someone who might turn out to be bad for him. Breath’s biotech and nanotech scores include lowlevel fabrication facilities, allowing him to breathe out diseases and sweat nanophages.
As an NPC, Breath of Mist is a great red herring and “swing” character. You never know what he’s going to do next, and whether it’ll be a good idea. He can tell the absolute truth about why he’s hanging around a building, and still leave people wondering whether he’s using a spy mesh. As a PC, he’s an excellent infiltration specialist, and is familiar with half a dozen different civilizations. He’s also likely to be an occasional pain in the butt for his group, and to get himself into giant heaps of trouble. Of all the sample characters, Breath is the most likely to come home with an attractive member of the opposition. Note that his Romance descriptor is “bad idea,” not “lucky break” — it never really works out well in the end, but it might be fun while it lasts.
Core Values: Life 8, Identity 3, Charity 6, Community 4
Themes: Magnetism (reputation) 2, Plot Immunity (allies) 1, Comprehension (medical) 2
Capabilities: Biotech n/a, Cognitech 10, Metatech 8, Nanotech 4, Stringtech 4
Professions: Medical 9, Programmer 7, Researcher (Biotech) 6, Crisis Control 4, Teacher 4, Locality (Stored) 5, Locality (Stardweller) 5, Locality (Tao) 4, Total age: 95 years. (expected lifespan: 700 years)
Special Benefits: Info-body, +2 Metatech for convincing others of trustworthiness and sincerity.
Diantha owns half a dozen remotes, typically rated at Nanotech 7, Stringtech 1. The one she uses most often is shaped like a box on wheels, and contains many pieces of medical biotech and nanotech along with its sensors and manipulators. It has enough processing power and battery life to carry her into areas without infospheres, at least for a few days. She occasionally operates several remotes at once thanks to her high Cognitech score. Diantha’s “reputation” descriptor for Magnetism refers to the fact that she is one of the most highly recognized and well-known surgeons in Stored space, and indeed in the medical profession in general. Her Medical Profession works equally well on Stored and regular humans, though some of the younger Stored who have meddled with their genetic/computer codes need her Programming expertise as well. Her primary server rests on an “uninhabitable” planet in a solar system shared with the Tao of History.
Diantha genuinely cares about helping people, especially protecting those who can’t help themselves. She is one of the genuinely good people in the universe. As a PC, she will be a very effective team player, but may have trouble reconciling the Transcendentals’ goals with individual missions. Logical understanding of their reasoning is one thing, but taking medical technology away from those who need it isn’t something she’s willing to do. In fact, that may be one of the reasons the Transcendentals recruited her: to do what local laws prevent them from doing. As an NPC, Diantha makes for an excellent ally or enemy. Her high morals and belief in the sanctity of life could lead her to infringe on intellectual property laws very easily, and she’s not the sort of person the group can afford to just beat up. Remember that her high Life and Charity CVs make it more difficult to use Twists to convince her to abandon a cause.
Civilization: Rationalist League
Core Values: Logic 6, Efficiency 4, Peace 9, Foresight 3
Themes: Intrigue (government newsfeed) 4, Magnetism (convincing) 4
Capabilities: Biotech 2, Cognitech 3, Metatech 1, Nanotech 4, Stringtech 2
Professions: Locality (Logicians) 5, Locality (Independents) 3, [Locality (Roamers) 5], Political 3, Spy 2, Total age: 35 years. (expected lifespan: 180 years)
Special Benefits: Immune to emotional appeals. Immune to the Romance Theme.
Several of Deni’s statistics are in brackets. This is because he is almost always under the influence of a spy mesh. The bracketed statistics represent his actual scores; unbracketed ones represent the levels he is forced to operate at while the mesh is active. While pretending to be a cultural advisor for a Logician ambassador (to Independent space), Deni is actually a contact person for the Roamers, contracting them to perform various surveilance work. The Spy Mesh persona can be dropped at any time his real personality desires, but he rarely does so. His Foresight CV gives him a slight bonus on planning actions, and prevents others from convincing him to act rashly or move quickly when he doesn’t see the necessity.
As a PC or NPC, Deni is a character with a lot to hide. If used as a pregenerated character, we suggest that players make extensive use of his Themes, focusing Magnetism on high-ranking people who also have a lot to hide. The key is to keep the facade up for as long as possible, keeping the other characters (not necessarily the players) from figuring out what’s going on. He makes a terrifying back-room negotiator, especially given his perfectly logical approach and somewhat split personality. As an NPC, Deni works best if the players never actually see him. Any Roamer or Logician surveillance in a campaign might eventually be traced back to Deni , but he’s the sort of person whose existence you deduce through use of the Comprehension Theme, not someone you see in action directly. His Peace CV fits in perfectly with what he does: he believes that if everyone was a Logician, there would be no war. If he knew that some in the Logician hierarchy were considering a move away from pure logic, he would likely become conflicted and seek the advice of a psychohistorian — perhaps one in the PC group?
Astina of the Sun-Circlers
Civilization: Cargo Cults
Core Values: Ritual 6, Worship 2, Property 7, Freedom 5
Themes: Plot Immunity (too insane) 4, Magnetism (bullshit artist) 1, Comprehension (explosives) 3
Capabilities: Biotech 3, Cognitech 3, Metatech 2, Nanotech 5, Stringtech 4
Professions: Soldier 4, Locality (Cargo Cults) 5, Total age: 30 years. (expected lifespan: 110 years)
Special Benefits: Use practical pieces of technology with effective skill 6 (no reserve).
Astina’s home Cult shares a planet unhappily with another. Her Cult (correctly) believes that the planet circles its sun, while the other Cult believes that everything outside the planet is an illusion. Her Property CV comes from the super-capitalist nature of her Cult. Astina’s Capabilities are at the upper edge of her cult’s ranges; she was considered a highly promising government agent. Her built-in Stringtech is in the form of obvious cybernetic enhancements, but she carries around weapons she’s picked up elsewhere as well. Her Nanotech score gives her dermal microbots, but they’re “wild” and won’t respond to most outside communications. Astina is very jittery; the attempt to upgrade her Cognitech and Metatech didn’t work as well as was hoped, and she’s been pushed closer to the edge by her recuitment.
Astina is always chomping at the bit and ready to go. Her soldier’s training gives her discipline enough to wait for an order, but once it’s given she’s already in the fray. As a PC she primarily fills a comic relief role (“Can I blow up the building now, sir?”), and can help her team out of situations where force is required. As an NPC, she works best as someone’s overly twitchy pawn, always jumping the gun and setting off bombs before it’s time. She’s not always at an emotional extreme, but it might seem that way sometimes.
Famulus Sunday Falsach
Civilization: Spacers and Independents
Core Values: Independence 8, Diligence 10, Teamwork 16, Self-Reliance 6
Themes: Comprehension (I love it when a plan comes together) 3, Intrigue (old Spacers’ network) 2, Magnetism (trusted leader) 2
Capabilities: Biotech 7, Cognitech 6, Metatech 6, Nanotech 7, Stringtech 6
Professions: Spacer 7, Explorer 3, Crisis Control 3, Soldier 2, Locality (Spacers) 5, Locality (Independents) 5, Total age: 54 years. (expected lifespan: 330 years)
Special Benefits: Immune to fear. Technology acts at +1 effectiveness on offensive measures, but -1 on defensive measures.
The ship Famulus comes from is a joint venture, run by a group of Independents so impressed by the Spacer ethic that they decided to join whether the Spacers wanted them or not. After a few dozen years the other Spacers grudgingly relented. Famulus’ Comprehension score is used to leave parts of a plan undefined until a later time. For instance, he might leave a powerful member of the group behind on a dangerous mission, only to spend a Twist later and have him come bursting through the walls at exactly the right moment.
Famulus does best when he’s the rock-solid and charismatic leader of a group. He secretly wishes he could take care of entire missions on his own, but is actually happier when he’s leading a team. As a pregenerated PC, his role is obvious. As an NPC, he could be the leader of another group of Inspectors, or could be working his way towards becoming the captain of his home ship. He works best as a rival, rather than an ally or enemy — someone the group can vie with for status or accolades, who won’t stab them in the back, but might edge them out if they don’t keep on their toes.
Abraham Ezekiel Driver
Core Values: Tradition 8, Simplicity 4, Worship 6, Humility 7, Family 4
Themes: Comprehension (Emotional) 4, Plot Immunity (Stall for Time) 3, Romance 2 (Matchmaker)
Capabilities: Biotech 2, Cognitech 2, Metatech 2, Nanotech 2, Stringtech 2
Professions: Locality (old-worlder) 5, Farmer 5, Outdoorsman 2, Religious 1. Total age: 50 years. (expected lifespan: 80 years)
Special Benefits: Suffers no low-tech penalties when using the Farmer and Outdoorsman professions.
Abraham (Abe to his friends) is a more-than-middle-aged Old-Worlder. In his youth he spent a few years away from his hometown, traveling around Earth and seeing the museums and blasted battlefields left as a reminder. He returned much more sober than he left, and has been a humble farmer ever since. Though he would never admit it, he is one of the emotional centers of his town, and many come to him for advice. His wife, children, and new grandchildren all look up to him. He is, quite simply, a good person, and in a world where so much can change instantly, that still counts for a lot. Abe’s Worship CV refers to Christianity, as he believes honestly in God and Jesus (perhaps a little more in God). Abe uses this CV to prevent others from attracting him to their religions or cults, to reinforce his Humility and Family CVs, to speak convincingly to other Christians, or to study the Bible.
As a pregenerated PC, Abe will be oblivious to some of what’s going on around him — he lacks dermal microbots, a mesh, and the ability to realistically defend himself against nearly any attack. However, his understanding of what drives people’s emotions, and the essential core of humanity, give him a key to understanding the group’s enemies and allies. As an NPC, Abe could either be another Inspector (making the players perhaps wonder what he contributes and why the Transcendentals chose him), or just the quiet farmer he used to be. Either way, he should be portrayed as a compelling and memorable character rather than merely an anachronism lost in the modern world.
Civilization: The United Worlds of Mechanica
Core Values: Humanity 2; Wanderlust 6; Independence 8
Themes: Comprehension (Intuitive) 3; Comprehension (Explorer) 3
Capabilities: Biotech 4; Cognitech 5; Metatech 4; Nanotech 8; Stringtech 10
Professions: Locality (Mechanica) 5; Explorer 6; Engineer (Stringtech) 4, Total age: 67 years. (expected lifespan: xx)
Special Benefits: Substitutes Stringtech for Biotech, except when dealing with ageing, poison or disease.
Like most Mechanicans, Seeker is a brain in a can, and proud of it. His body is a quadrupedal, elongated and streamlined lozenge, about two meters long and 1.3m wide, with multi-jointed limbs. Each sausage-sized digit can telescope to ever finer sizes, allowing for nanoscale manipulation or sensing.
Seeker carries with him some of everything he needs to survive — air, water, nutrients, machine oil, power — in internal storage compartments linked into his vital systems. There is even space left over for a cargo compartment. In an anaerobic environment, he has enough internal air to keep his brain functioning for two hours. He is equally at home on land or in water, in a gravity well or out, but he cannot maneuver in open space. Seeker’s body is covered in a programmable surface, which he uses to “go chameleoid”, blending into his surroundings with smart camouflage, though he prefers basic black or shiny silver.
In physical combat he uses no particular martial arts skills, relying on his Nanotech and Stringtech to brute-force his way through a fight. Nestled beneath his surface in pop-up turrets are a laser, a rail gun, an inversion beam gun, and a compression beam gun. Seeker believes in watching out for trouble.
Seeker gets along well with most members of the other civilizations. His views on what constitutes “humanity” are very liberal. He doesn’t really understand why the Stored want to live in simulations when the real world is interesting enough, and though he tries to give the impression that the Cognitive Union doesn’t bother him, they really get under his skin with their pseudo-freedom. While not strictly atheist, he ascribes to no organized religion, and firmly believes there is no afterlife. Consequently, he believes in protecting himself adequately.
As an NPC, Seeker would act as a highly independent Inspector, preferring a minimum amount of input from the Transcendentals. He prefers to act, then make a report, rather than request guidance first. Seeker is first and foremost an explorer, driven not so much by curiosity as by itchy feet.
Seeker tends to dive headfirst into dangerous situations, trusting to his high Stringtech score to protect him. He is straightforward in his solutions to problems, and isn’t above cracking skulls together when it’s effective. But he can also be a very methodical and tenacious tracker and detective, utilizing his Nanotech capabilities to their utmost potential.