Monday, 2 July 2018

Merli Basmi Reloaded - Another Re-statted Character from the Night City PD Campaign

So seeing as the Winter post was such a huge hit.  I decided to get off my but and re-stat Merli, Winter's partner and fellow SIFT-Div detective.  For those of you were awaiting this and you know who you are.  There you go I'm a man of my word.  For those of you who have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, I refer you to this link here.  So without further ado let me tell you about Merli.

I think Merli's player would appreciate the humour in his
character being portrayed by Will Smith.
Merli Basmi was born into a large Corporate family of Brazilian origin.  His parents worked for Biotechnica, and died when he was a child.  They were smart though and made sure that their children would be provided for in the event of their demise.  Merli and his siblings were raised in a Corporate creche for the rest of his childhood.  (In fact he became incredibly attached to one of the nannies working there seeing her as something of a surrogate mother.  She remains an important part of his life even though he is now an adult).  Merli possesses a genius level intellect and a doctorate.  Yet he chooses to work as a Detective for the Night City Police Department.  You read that right, not as a Forensics Specialist or Pathologist as a Detective.  He routinely does his own autopsies and lab work, rather than pushing the work onto the already overworked NCPD Crime Lab.  Needless to say he's regarded as something of an eccentric.  Nobody doubts his skills though, as he has proven himself a capable investigator in both Narco and Homicide.  He was a natural choice for a special unit such as SIFT-Div.

Merli has an interesting origin in terms of character creation.  Instead of playing a pre-gen since he was a first timer Merli wanted to generate his own character.  I remember it took up most of the first session of the campaign (and is partly the reason I now have a Session 0 policy), and took many a strange turn.  It started with me reading out the available roles for Cyberpunk 2020.  (This was before I stopped using the roles, and switched to more free-form style).  I figured he'd seize upon a Solo or a Cop, you know a combat role since that's what most first time RPG players want to do.  Is just kill stuff.  Nope, he decided he wanted to play the party's healer.  In this case that meant playing a MedTech.  Yeah it kind of threw me for a loop.  How do you explain a MedTech being part of a police unit?  It's not like they're Edgerunners who can't afford to explain to the hospital how they got shot.  It's a question that never really got answered and I just rolled with it to save myself the hassle.  The stuff about him being a Pathologist was more an explanation Winter's player and I came up with in between games.  That we never really remembered to share with Merli's player.  Everything about Merli was odd.  He actually had a +9 in Driving, why?  Your guess is as good as mine the player just wanted to invest the points that way.  He also didn't originally have any Cybernetics (due to the player wanting to actually play before the session was over).  The player actually ended up creating his own personality type for the life path for Merli.  Intelligent and outlandish.  It fit his as well as the jumpsuit he wore over his corporate business suit.  Like I said Merli was an odd guy.

Whoever made this poster could've made it about Merli's
work situation with SIFT-Div.
Yet in spite of all of that.  He was the one sane man in SIFT-Div.  May sound hard to believe but it's true.  His partner Winter was an ex-cyber criminal, not much better than a spoiled brat.  Who was so obsessed with Johnny Silverhand that she would've abandoned Merli if someone offered her a chance to go to a Samurai concert.  (An event that never came up in game, and for that I'm somewhat grateful).  Then you had the leader of SIFT-Div (whose name escapes me now) who was a Machiavellian schemer.  Who basically used SIFT-Div as his own personal hit-squad.  And was only able to get the unit because he blackmailed the mayor of Night City.  In hindsight Merli may have been crazy but you know compared to his colleagues he was the voice of reason.  Now while I said he was the voice of reason, that doesn't mean he didn't do some pretty dumb things in his career.  The crowning achievement being practically kidnapped by a drug-dealer and then being beaten by said drug dealer's cook with a rolling chair.  Now to be fair Winter was supposed to keeping an eye on him so she could tail the drug dealer and Merli after they left Club 404.  But that's a story for another time.

I'm actually quite happy with how Merli turned out this time around.  Other than some adjustments to his Social stats (COOL, ATTR and EMP) to fit his personality more and a boost in Reflex.  He's pretty much the same in terms of Stats.  As it turned out 2 Luck was the correct amount for him since he had a bad habit of getting the short end of the stick.  He was Murtaugh to Winter's Riggs.  I've also taken the liberty of giving him the Cybernetics he was missing in his first incarnation.  Which I gotta say was kind of hard to do.  Since R. Talsorian seemed to make Cyberware more with Solos and Netrunners in mind than MedTechs.  His skills have also been adjusted to better suit his police training.  Most notable being the addition of the Rifle skill.  Much to my regret Merli and Winter were issued a shotgun for some additional firepower which was constantly being left in the stake-out van.  Due to the fact that neither of them had the skill to use it.  As I mentioned before he's gotten a little bump in his Reflex stat so he'll be a bit more combat effective.  Since more often than not he was the primary combatant in the partnership.  Largely due to the fact that the person who planned to play a Solo dropped out before the first session even started.  I've also given him the Nightmares disadvantage to reflect an event on his life path regarding an accident he had.  An accident that I don't remember ever being specified.

Merli Basmi

INT: 10  REF: 7/7 TECH: 8  COOL: 7  ATTR: 8  LUCK: 2  MA: 6  BODY: 5  EMP: 7

RUN: 18  LEAP: 4.5  LIFT: 200  SAVE: 5  BTM: -2
DAM: +0  REP: 3 (Just an eccentric Cop trying to do his job)

Alienation Check: 7  Skill Points: 62

Skills: Awareness/Notice +5, Biology +6, Bureaucracy +3, Chemistry +4, Diagnose Illness +6, Drive +3, Education & General Knowledge +4, Expert: Forensics +3, Handgun +5, Human Perception +5, Interrogation +5, Know Language: English +8, Know Language: Portuguese +8, Library Search +2, MedTech +2, Persuasion & Fast Talk +5, Rifle +2, Streetwise +2

Advantages:
Bilingual Background 4 SPs

Disadvantages:
Close Personal Tie (Former Nanny) -2 SPs
Nightmares -2 SPs

Cybernetics:
Cyber Optics (with Image Enhancement, Micro-optics, LowLite, Infrared) 3  2430 EB
Chemical Analyzer                                                                                         4  200 EB

Gear: 
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
Notebook
Medkit

Anyways that about wraps it up.  I'm very happy and proud of my work here.  I feel so much better about this version of Merli compared to how I felt when we first rolled him up.  Lately I've been thinking about re-statting and roughly detailing some NPCs as well as the first adventure from the NCPD campaign.  Which I ran Merli and Winter's players through.  If you'd like to see that be sure to +1, re-share, follow this blog and comment down below.  Until next time have a nice day and may you roll many crits.