Hey there, GURPS Cyberpunk fans, I hope you enjoyed the blog bounty from GURPSDay!
The first PC for the “Darknet” game saw a lot of progress this week, and helped finalize some of the details of how we’re going to handle the interplay between the characters as they exist in the real world and how they exist in the virtual world of the Zone.
Here is Alfonse Camus, the PC played by Bill, both his original and the sheet I returned along with notes on mechanics:
- Cyber Attunement cost changed to 10/level, max. 4. This adds +4 to your IQ while in the Zone, so HEX’s IQ base starts at 16 instead of 12 (Alfonse’s real world IQ)
- Paraplegic cost changed to -30 from -25 (this is just what it is by the book, not gonna quibble over -5 points)
- Added in the default suggested -5 in Unused Quirks. Everyone can fill in five 1-point quirks, things like “Always carries at least two knives” or “Backs up data obsessively,” whatever, just personality quirks or minor details. These can be filled in as the game goes on, but you’re allowed the -5 points at character creation
- Added a Magnum Pistol, the Tech Level 9 equivalent of a Dirty Harry revolver
- Added 2 points in a Guns (Pistol) skill to shoot it (poorly!)
- Added points into Computer Hacking as well as Computer Programming
- Many of the craft/knowledge skills require specialization, i.e., being good at fixing cars doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good at fixing planes. Some choices for specializations follow:
- Electronics Operation and Electronics Repair: Communications, Cybernetics, Drone, Media, Medical, Scientific, Security, Sensors, Surveillance, Virtual Reality
- Engineer: Civil, Clockwork, Combat, Cybernetics, Drone, Electrical, Electronics, Nanotech, Robotics, Small Arms, Vehicle Type (Aerocar, Automobile, Boat, etc.)
- Mechanic: Machine Type (Cybernetics, Drone, Nanomachines, Robotics, etc.), Vehicle Type (Aerocar, Automobile, Motorcycle, etc.)
- Lowered Elec. Repair and Engineer from 14 to 13 to hit the 100 point starting mark
- Mathematics skill added (1 point, prerequisite for the Engineer skill)
And here is HEX, Alfonse’s Zone avatar:
- Bought DX to 12 (to match Alfonse’s real world IQ) as normal, the way ST and HT were bought
- Added a 0-point Advantage called “Cyber Attuned,” equal to Alfonse’s IQ + Cyber Attunement (+4), and brings HEX’s IQ to 16 (Alfonse’s IQ of 12 + Cyber Attuned 4)
- Put the 2 points from Camouflage into Stealth. GURPS Camouflage is the skill of hiding gear or vehicles from enemy surveillance; Stealth is for being a sneaky bad-ass.
- Just a note on the Escape skill: it isn’t an all-purpose “breaking out of here” skill, it’s specifically “The ability to slip out of ropes, handcuffs (-5), and similar restraints” (in the Zone, representations of restraining and binding code). Not sure if that changes whether you want it
- Switched Navigation skills for Area Knowledge, which I think is what you’re after — GURPS Navigation is more like orienteering on land or plotting a course on a ship
- Put 2 points in the Zonewise skill, the virtual reality equivalent of Streetwise (the skill of “getting along in rough company.”)
- Shaved 1 point each from Will, Perception, and Fatigue Points, lowering them from 16 to 15
Most of that should be fairly clear, but how we’re handling the virtual reality of the Zone deserves some mention.
Basically, we’re making the real world character as normal. Then, we’re making the Zone avatar as a completely separate character, with the sole exception that the avatar PC “inherits” the real world PC’s IQ for free (so, for a PC with an IQ of 14, an avatar with an IQ of 14 would cost 0 points). Further, the avatar’s IQ can be modified by a new advantage called “Cyber Attunement,” which adds a +1 IQ per level to a maximum of four levels (costs 10 points per level), similar to the way Magery adds to IQ for the purpose of learning spells.
So, Alfonse the person has an IQ of 12, which cost him 40 points as normal. This automatically gives HEX, the avatar, an IQ of 12 for free, 0 points. Bill also spent 40 points for the Cyber Attunement 4 advantage, meaning his avatar’s starting IQ is 16 (that is, 12 + 4) instead of just 12.
In the zone, IQ — the sole mental attribute for normal GURPS characters — remains a measure of knowledge and perception, and still acts as the basis for IQ-based skills. The physical attributes — ST, DX, and HT — can be bought as usual for avatars, with the understanding that in a virtual space like the Zone they represent various facets of the mind instead of things like how many pounds you can lift or how far you can run.
ST: Mental integrity, ability to withstand punishment and trauma. Basis of Hit Points.
DX: Mental agility and reaction speed. Basis of DX skills, i.e., interacting directly with the Zone.
HT: Mental stability, ability to resist attacks or unconsciousness. Basis of Fatigue Points.
This seems to make the fewest changes to get the job done, pretty much leaving the rules intact and just putting a lens on what the attributes “mean” in a virtual world vs. the physical world.
A few very minor tweaks remain, but these characters are mostly finished and ready to go. Looking forward to the rest!
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