(pen and paper) Chrome for Hire: A world-system building thread
Some of this is looking for feedback, some of this is for my own memory.
Post non-nuclear World War III cyberpunk (basically post Twilight 2020 type thing, the well off in cities have recovered due to strict rationing and recovery, but Joe Average hasn't recovered much at all, many people work on sufferance from home thanks to the grid (at barely starvation wages), in some cities the well off portion is literally walled off with checkpoints, etcetera, while in other cities, they just patrol the well off areas much more then the slums, which hardly get any attention. So, pretty close to a Cyberpunk RED type setup, except the Net isn't a polluted wasteland (yet). In the race to recovery, many cities sold out to the corps, and the already-weakened governments could do little to stop it, so the places THAT do have in-house work can be hellholes, Union organizers get beaten (or shot, or disappeared). Psionics/Mentalism is a thing, (a poorly understood, misconstrued thing), but while it can work wonders, there are limits (force bolts yes, giant meteors now, encourage someone to heal faster, yes, regenerate no (although the corps are working on that)
Current thought is a 1-10 attribute system
Physical Power (read: Strength)
Magnetism (read: Raw Charisma/looks)
Special Ability (only for those rare people with psionic/mentalistic abilities)
Skill checks would be an Attribute+1d10 result (the character would roll 3d10, and take a result based off their skill level in the relevant skill)
Untrained: You must take the lowest die (disregard the middle and higher die)
Trained: You cannot take the highest die, you can take the middle die or the lower die
Master: You can take any die you want
Now, why wouldn't you take the highest die you're allowed to? Dice that you're eligible for can also be used for extra effects, for example, extra base damage may be a 6+ die for an unarmed combat style, or shooting someone to disarm them may require not only that you succeed, but have a die left over of 7 or more).
Skill example: Bruiser A is fleeing a rent-a-cop squad in the slums of the ruined city. He has Physical Power of 7, and is trained in the skill of Unarmed Combat. He spots a locked door leading deeper into an area where the rent-a-goons would be hesitant to go (too many paths that he could take), and wants to make a skill check to break through the door. The GM allows it, sets a difficulty check of 12 (the locked door is sturdy, it would take some real power or knowledge of where to slam through it to break through), but warns the player that without an effects die of 5, he will bruise his shoulder slamming through, and take a -1 Physical Power penalty until he has time to rest and recover.
Bruiser A rolls 3d10: 8 7 3
So, Bruiser A can take the middle or lower die because he is trained in the skill, but because he can't take the 8 (since he is not a master in the skill), he has two options. One is to take the 7 for the skill roll, and the 3 for the effects die. That means he would break through the door (7+7=14), and likely put some distance between him and his pursuers, but he's going to hurt until he can take some time to ice down his shoulder (or take a pain-patch to numb it). Or take the 3, he would fail the skill roll (7-3), but using the 7 as the effects die would mean that while the rent-a-goons would gain ground on him, he might have time to try again (or choose another option)
I need to find the old thread I made on dice probability under such a system to work out the proper difficulty checks, etcetera.
I figure the mental power/control ratings would work to power abilities, with the effects die either being used to resist strain/drain (aid recovery), or boost length of time
A bit of fiction (at least a start)
Denny’s seemed little different from the tens of thousands of other places to get frakkfaced in the City. A corp consultant would have found many faults with the place. It was dark, barely lit, with a bare coating of sawdust covering the floor. Worse than that, efficiency was not catered too, what tables there were, proved to be highly spaced out. No booths to crowd people together, no trays of completely overpriced trash entrees to be a profit center. The walls were bare except for numerous pockmarks and dents caused by various parts of the bar (and more often then not , the bar’s occupants) being smashed into the wall at various levels of speed and aggression when a fight broke out. Not that fights broke out all the time. Its clientele preferred a quiet place to drink away the night and to drink away the memories from their other nighttime activities. There was a good reason that Denny’s was nicknamed the Oil Can, or the Tune Up Shop. It was the place that Augs like myself could get a beer and a quiet place to relax amongst people who wouldn’t give you the side eye or faint in fear at some 280 pound heavily metal-ed up cyb-warrior with metal arms brushing by them.
You see, the bar was owned by an ex-Third War merc named Dina Matthews, who happened to be one of the first women to under go voluntary cybernetic replacement to serve time in EuroWar and its various South American client states as an augmented warrior. Not to say that the augmented forces were a bastion to equality at first, her perceived sex meant that she got relegated at first to the shit duties like pulling her comrades out of the line of fire when they took a burst from a RussFed AK-56 in some misbegotten SouthAm (South American) jungle hell hole. She earned the sobriquet “Den Mother” specifically because she rose from the shit details to lead her squad out of a shitty situation where the locals had sold her out. Hunted for a couple weeks across the rainforest, Den Mother led her squad back to civilization, only losing half of her squad then found the locals (and the AmCiv (American Civil Government) liaison who had wrote her off as “acceptable” losses) and wreaked a bloody revenge. While they couldn’t prove that she had anything to do with it, rumor has it that a decade later, they were still finding bones and remnants of body parts in unusual places after the Den Mother was through with them.
They made it back to relative civilization after the AmCiv collapse and the rise of the microstates of America (all boosted by the Corps, of course, where it was much easier to threaten to pack up and take all their jobs and money over to the next city unless city governments kissed their asses and got rid of all those pesky profit-blocking things (like unions, health regulations and basic safety features). The collapse of AmCiv military authority was a blessing, in that the remnanats of the government couldn’t try to reclaim the various bits of metal and advanced electronics they had implanted in them (to be passed on to the next poor sucker who agreed to sacrifice their flesh for their country’s bottom line), but people with her skill set were not exactly looking at a robust job market when they got back. Either she could go work for the corps (and deal with the newdollar-for-brains money counters that had made her life a living hell in the military on a permanent basis), or she could disappear into the the millions of the growing sprawl cities. She chose the latter option and invested what little money she had saved from her military service into buying an old warehouse in the slums of the city, converted into a bar. Den Mother claimed it wasn’t so much a profit-making venture as a place that she could get blotto without having to worry about getting PTSD flashbacks of Bogota and scaring all the norms. She still had reason to use her propensity for violence after creating “Denny’s”, mind you. Between all the various rover gangs in the area who wanted a free place to drink and hang out, and then the crime syndicates who wanted a cut of money for “protection” fees, it took a while, but the message got through. Denny’s was not a place to fuck with.
Maybe that’s because people like Den Mother naturally gravitated to the place, It was deliberately designed for Augs like their owner. Sturdier chairs, wider spaces, perfect place to get hammered amongst people who didn’t mind if you open carried in a bar and would let you drink in peace. Not that Denny’s was just a bar, however, she opened up a below ground firing range for folks to keep their trigger finger skills operational. Most places would look askance at combining copious amounts of synthohol and firearms, but just about everyone who was granted access to the lower levels was enough of a professional to not get stupid while packing. Those that lost their mind, got taken down quickly, efficiently, and more likely then not, permanently. For some folks, it was almost like therapy. They could relive the memory of the smoke and gunfire of their nocturnal activities, and then drink away the emotional high of remembering what it felt like to have live iron in your hand, spitting out lead and ending some corp-sec goon’s shift in a particularly violent fashion.
That’s why I was there. After two weeks under speed-healing (wiping out nearly a year’s profit from my nefarious works), I needed to get out. And Denny’s was the place to go to. Because like Den Mother, I’m augmented. I’ve heard us called various nicknames. Street Samurai, CyberWarriors, WarGods. I prefer Augs, myself, but we got another nickname. The Scarred. Because well, our chosen life means we get them frequently. And they say every scar tells a story. And I was ready for that story to be over. Little did I know, it was just the beginning of that scar’s particular story.
Really interested in your resolution mechanic - seems like that would generate some pretty consistent curves?
yeah, it was inspired by the advantage/disadvantage die in 5E D&D. I have to do a bunch of number crunching to make sure it works. Especially with the effects die.
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