Monday, January 10, 2022

2020 Character Creation 10) Cyberpunk 2020

Day 10 of the challenge! 

So I always wanted to run a campaign that started with Twilight 2000, followed by Cyberpunk 2020, where the explanation for why these disparate PCs are all so tight is that they survived the war together. Of course I would also add in Psi-World, so the radiation and chemicals from time in Europe also gave them ESPer abilities. This may just be me. 

Anyway, today's PC is Apikalia Keli'I, a 20 year old woman from Polynesian descent who spent her childhood with her mom and older sister with an aquatic pirate pack. When her mom died she was swept up by her father, who is in a stable, well placed corporate management job on the mainland. Her sister stayed behind and resents Apikalia for leaving. 

Maybe Apikalia's dad loves her despite her rash and headstrong nature. Maybe he just wants her because of her natural aptitudes. In any event she has learned to most value herself and her word, but this doesn't make her cold – she genuinely likes most people. Her most valued possession is her family diary, kept by both her parents during their courtship, then just her mom, and now her. She keeps it hidden in her closet along with her rows of neat, formal suits, the clips to control her long, straight hair, and her ever-present mirrorshades. When she's out on the street she upgrades to a jean jacket over her dress shirt and skinny tie. 

Shortly after her arrival someone in Dad's corporation tried to use her as a weapon against him, framing her for a theft. Apikalia slipped the frame and got her own back, helping her father reveal the guilty party (or the catspaw of the guilty party). This lead to her first 'job' at the corp and a $700 signing bonus, a financial windfall that let her set up her own funds away from her dad. Her father did provide her with a karate instructor so that she wouldn't be quite so helpless as she started wandering further from the corporate park. Unfortunately, the next attack on her (or was it at her) was more insidious, and she was laid up for weeks with a bioplague that ravaged her reflexes. She has sworn to help others affected by the bioplage. 

Welcome to Cyberpunk's lifepath system, where a bunch of dice throws builds your entire character background totally separate from your career. The only decision I made in there was what her most favored possession was, and the jean jacket to match the picture I found for her. You'd think this would be limiting as a player, but it's honestly freeing and gets you right into the extreme world of Cyberpunk literature. Her background was a little limited because I rolled "big wins, big losses" 4 times on the life events table, so there's no passion or romance in her background yet.

Now, on to the stats and stuff. The 9d10 die rolls clearly laid out who Apikalia is: Intelligence 10, Reflexes 4 (now 3), Tech 4, Cool 3, Attractiveness 3, Luck 7, Movement Allowance 5, Body 8, Empathy 10. She's a natural empathic genius, strong and lucky, but not gifted in other areas. Still, those two 10's explain why her dad wants her around, and makes it clear we're looking at a Corporate for a Role. She's absolutely a Corporate Reader, brought in to empathize with and understand people to better tailor the negotiations for sales, purchases, and acquisitions, and she's very good at it. 

Her Corp skills are Resources 8 (she's managing a small department), Personal Grooming 4, Wardrobe & Style 3 (she has a lot of ground to make up, but she at least fits in), Endurance 1, Strength Feat 3, Swimming 2 (she grew up a pirate and stays in shape), Human Perception 5, Interview 3, Leadership 2, Social 5, Persuasion/Fast Talk 5 (all needed for her job), Awareness 5, General Knowledge 4, Library Search 2, Stock Market 1 (not really her area….). We then add Handgun 2 and her Martial Arts 2 from the sensei background event so she's not totally inept in combat. 

On to her cyberwear. I know I have to keep this low – 9.5 or under Humanity Loss points – or she'll some of the Empathy that makes her so valuable. I know I want to add the contraception package, but that costs 0.5 (really, 1980's game designers?), so we'll use that once we see where we are. Unfortunately, her 2d6 roll for her cyberaudio implants – which I really want – comes up an 8. That leaves me just 1.5 points for other things. The critical Voice Stress Analyzer in her cyberaudio is another 1, and the Sound Editing is another 0.5 humanity loss. She's at 9.5 right now. No contraception for her. Her dedication to the corporation and her father means no safe sex for her. I'm seeing her crying in her room when she makes this decision, and then doing it anyway to get the promotion that gets her free from her father's finances. 

As always these things depend on the campaign, but I can see her need to help the people who weren't so lucky with that bioplague getting her onto the streets and in contact with the other PCs, and her empathy mixed access to corporate resources being of immense value. 

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