Friday, 29 June 2018

Winter Hyland Remastered - A Re-Statted PC from Night City PD Campaign

So today I thought I'd do something different.  Rather than a writing about a campaign idea I may have had or character concept I'd thought up.   I thought I'd tell you about an old Campaign I once ran and one of the PCs that was involved in that game.  It was back in High School I had just left my first gaming group and struck out on my own.  With the intention of playing games other than Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition.  I'd run a few games of Boot Hill (which was my first non D&D love when it came to Tabletop RPGs) but those had been poorly received.  Clearly the group I started out with enjoyed Roleplaying for different reasons than I did.  So I made the decision to start my own group and run games with them.  Not an easy task at a Catholic High School in a small town in Canada.  It wasn't exactly a breeding ground for players.  Somehow I did manage to get something that resembled a group together.  Though a large part of the recruitment was done by the one friend I'd been able to talk into playing with me.  The rest of the group was made up of co-workers and acquaintances of hers.  In the end it ended up only being her and one of her co-workers that actually played for long.  (One actually left after character creation and never came back, the other never showed up to character creation and proved to be a problem player when he did finally show up.  The single friend from high school who I'd recruited's brother showed up for one session.  Only to get his character's arm blown off by his own grenade!)

This is basically what I had in mind when I was thinking up
this campaign concept.
Now what was the campaign you ask?  Well around this point of my life I was watching a lot of Countermonkeybard videos.  Specifically the ones about Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun.  The idea of playing augmented cyber-criminals intrigued me.  Of course as you may have noticed I never do things the easy way or the way it was intended.  Also around this time I really into Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex (I didn't see the Film until my later teens/early twenties).  It was pretty much the only contact I'd had with Cyberpunk as a genre.  And if I'm honest it's kind of a bad starting point.  Since now being more educated on the subject I'd call the GITS franchise more Post-Cyberpunk.  But I'm rambling, point is I decided that I wanted the campaign to be about Cyber-cops rather than Cyber-criminals.  Specifically a special task force within the Night City Police Department known as SIFT-Div.  (I no longer remember what SIFT was supposed to stand for).  It was supposed to be kind of along the lines of a unit that didn't get tied down by red tape and got results.  I actually had a plot line in mind that never got explored about how the NPC head of SIFT-Div (the PCs' boss) had gotten dirt on the Mayor of Night City and blackmailed him into approving the creation of the unit.

While this image looks nothing like Winter
it does pretty much sum up her approach to
life.  Being a bratty, angst-filled college
drop-out, know it all.  Poking her nose
where it didn't belong.
I'm getting side-tracked again, sorry about that.  I'm supposed to be talking about the character not the campaign overall.  So the character was Winter Hyland the daughter of a Microtech technician.  With a promising future awaiting her in the field of Computer Science when she graduated.  What happened you asked?  She tired of paying off her tuition with money earned tutoring dumb Corp kids.  So she turned to a life of Cyber-crime, stealing money from various places on the net.  She built quite a reputation for herself as the Hacker known as a Lady Cypher.  So-called because of her avatar's appearance as a Victorian era aristocrat with a face of ever-shifting green code.  In hindsight Winter really wasn't much of a hacker, her reputation owed mostly owed to her prolific activities and pure dumb luck.  Her crowning achievement was infiltrating the ZetaTech data fortress.  Her last crime before she was picked up by NCPD's NetSec Department.  She was looking at jail-time if the head of SIFT-DIV (who was in need of a computer specialist) hadn't stepped in to place her under his authority.  It was either work for the NCPD or go to jail, some choice.

Back when we first started this campaign Winter's player didn't know anything about role-playing.  So the approach to character creation went something like this.  I gave her the campaign pitch and told her what kind of roles I had in mind for the SIFT-DIV team.  Then gave her the option of calling dibs on one of the roles listed.  She immediately went for a Netrunner/Tech hybrid.  (Back then I was using the Interlock Unlimited from over at DataFortress 2020.  Which allowed for hybrid role characters.  I've since done away with the Role System in my campaigns).  Rather than rolling the character herself she left that in what she referred to as "your capable hands".  I went home created a character then came back the next day and showed it to her.  She was instantly in love.  I actually wrote up a little biography for Winter which I'm still very proud of.  If you're interested I managed to dig out the original document from my files and upload it to my GoogleDocs.  Despite the fact that I imagined her as sort of a Cyberpunk version of Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  (The Lifepath results for look & style as well as a personality of moody and rash were really pointing towards it).  The character sort of took on a life of her own when the player got ahold of it.  She developed into a huge Johnny Silverhand fan.  (After the player read some quotes by Mr. Silverhand in the Core Rulebook when she finally got around to reading it).  In hindsight Winter probably would've worn a bunch of Silverhand and Samurai patches on her leather jacket.  Proudly displaying her allegiance, not unlike what a metalhead friend of mine calls a battle jacket.  Her fascination with the Rockerboy came to the point of obsession.  (She very easily could've gone the direction of obsessed fan that every musician lives in fear of).  She once actually only went out with a guy because he could get tickets to a Samurai concert on very short notice.

Anyways all this reminiscing about the old days got me going back through the old files.  And I realized how much of a mess Winter was in terms of stats.  I clearly had no idea what the hell I was doing when I made her for her player.  (Keep in mind I was 17 and new to Cyberpunk).  Now that I'm older and have my gaming style a little more established.  I thought it'd be fun to go back and revamp the character a little.  Using the character creation method that I currently use for my campaigns.  (For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about I refer you to this link).  Overall I'm quite happy with how the new version of Winter turned out.  She's a great deal more rounded out than when I first built her.  (She actually has a believable level of training in firearms for a Criminal turned Cop in a special unit.  She can somewhat handle herself in a fight with minimal skill.  And she has enough skill in Drive to have a license.  Something she lacked when she was first built).  She also has social stats more in keeping with her personality.

Winter Hyland

INT: 9  REF: 6/6  TECH: 9  COOL: 4 ATTR: 7  LUCK: 7 MA: 6 BODY: 6  EMP: 6/5

RUN: 18  LEAP: 4.5  LIFT: 240 SAVE: 6  BTM: -2
DAM: +0  REP: 7 (As Lady Cipher persona), 1 (as plain old Winter)

Alienation Check: 27  Skill Points: 58

Skills: Athletics +3, Awareness/Notice +2, Basic Tech +9, Brawling +3, Composition +4, Cyberdeck Design +4, Cybertech +2, Driving +2, Education +3, Electronics +6, Fast Talk & Persuasion +3, Handgun +5, Human Perception +2, Interface +2, Know Language: English +8, Programming +6, System Knowledge +2

Advantages: Computer Aptitude 4 SPs, Technical Aptitude 4 SPs

Disadvantages: Compulsion (Johnny Silverhand Groupie) -4 SPs, Criminal Record (Paroled) -4 SPs

Neural Processor                            2 1000 EB
Interface Plugs                                1  200 EB
Universal Link                                 4 400 EB
Chipware Socket                              2 200 EB
Cyberaudio Basic Hearing Module 3 500 EB
Phone Splice                                    3 150 EB
Wearman Stereo Music System       7 100 EB
Wide Band Radio Scanner               5 100 EB
Total Alienation: 27, Cost: 2,650 EB

Concealable Armoured Vest (Consult the Datafortress 2020 NCPD Sourcebook)
Shoulder Holster
Armalite 44 Semi-automatic Pistol (equipped with 911 chip, cookie cutter and gun cam)
Street-tech "Burst"
2 spare magazines of 12mm ammo
Badge, Police ID (Acts as a marker for NCPD cookie cutters)
Officer in Distress Button (Consult the Datafortress 2020 NCPD Sourcebook)
2 sets of Plascuffs
Evidence Kit
Used Cyberdeck (All she could afford on a student budget).
Tech Toolkit
Electronics Toolkit

Commands: Detect/Conceal +2, Locate +2, Infiltrate/Login +2, Query +2, Edit +2
Targets: File/Database +5, System +5

Anyways that about wraps it up for me.  If you liked this post be sure to +1, comment below, re-share and follow this blog.  Who knows if things do really well I may re-stat Winter's partner Merli Basmi. Until then have a good day and may you roll many crits.

Update: Came back and edited a few things that I left out and forgot the first time around.
Update #2: For those of you waiting for Merli's re-statting, rejoice.  It's here.

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