Audience participation time! I could use your help. While I’m hard at work finishing the first draft of Technoir, I’m wondering how well the overview in the Player’s Guide works for making protagonists. You’ll also need the Twin Cities Metroplex Transmission which has some Connections you’ll need to complete this process. So I’m hoping you can download both documents, make a protag or two, and give me some feedback on the following:

  • Is everything covered by the Player’s Guide? Does it feel like an essential step is missing?
  • Is everything explained clearly? Do certain parts of the process need to be elaborated on?
  • Can you make the protag you want to make? Is something preventing you from creating a character concept that should exist in a cyberpunk setting

Please post your protagonists stats and your feedback in the comments here. And let me know anything else interesting that comes up in the process.


Leave a comment ?


  1. Chargen went by very quick. I like the simple choices. As I posted on my blog (, here is my protagonist, Tanner:

    Coax 2, Detect 1, Fight 3, Hack 2, Move 3, Operate 1, Prowl 2, Shoot 3, and Treat 2. He’s Tough, Sneaky, and Savvy. He has a pistol, knife, jumpsuit, and a cybereye. His contacts are Arma Winn, Dok Petrov, and January Jade.

    There were a few things that was missing from the Player’s Guide:
    1) How to add [+]Adj to yourself and/or others
    2) Can I remove [-]Adj during a contention?
    3) Contact Relationships…no idea how this is supposed to work.
    4) The Entire Book (kidding, I’m just impatient :p)

    I think that’s about it. I’ll probably make another protagonist and comment more later!


  2. I’ll be making a few protagonists tonight, so I’ll focus more on character generation then, but I agree with EF as stated above in that I’m not quite sure how the Relationship with a Connection is important (other than as roleplaying information, which is of course cool). On the character sheet, there is a +/- die next to each Relationship (though I assume it is Locked as the Sticky/Lock boxes are greyed out). Does this mean I can Push the Relationship in conversation with the Connection? I assume so.

    Also, more Gear would be great, but as Gear is easy to create (1 Kred/tag) this is really no problem if you are a veteren cyberpunk player or a techgeek.

  3. EF: Tanner looks cool. It was awesome to read about his adventure on your blog. Are those the standard Objects, or did you customize them at all? Did you need to call in any favors from your Connections?

    caul: Yeah, the Relationship Adjectives can work as positive Adjectives if you’re helping that Connection. They work as negative Adjectives if you are acting against him. You’re right that they’re locked. Though they can be overwritten in certain circumstances.

    And, yeah, as far as the Object go: I’m hoping I gave you enough to get going and that people will make their own.

  4. I just took the standard objects as written. I did “call in” the Splice favor from Dok…and when I asked him to fix me up at the end. But that’s not listed on the “Favors” list.

    Should it be? After all, not every group is going to have a “medic” on staff. This is exactly why I chose Dok as one of my Connections, because I knew I was going to need to be patched up.

    I chose January Jade for the fix mainly, but deal might be important later. Arma was chosen because of the Shark and Fence favors.

    Not sure if that matters or not, but there it is.

  5. Good stuff, EF.

    Yeah, maybe there’s room for a patch favor.

  6. One other thing that came to mind: benchmarks. If someone wants their protagonist to be more observant than the average person, is that Detect 2, 3, or 4?

    Also, where to draw the line between high Verb rating and awesome [+]Adj. [+]Athletic can add to many Fight, Move, Prowl rolls easily. Heck, one could even make a decent argument for it to apply to Operate rolls, too! So being [+]Athletic is actually better in most cases than a high Verb rating.

    Relying on cool [+]Adj can actually show off how getting tired affects your performance without having sticky/locked [-]Adj. As you get tired (meaning, spend Push Dice), you’re not able to call on as many [+]Adj…thus lowering your pool. Tired = less dice.


  7. I wholeheartedly agree that there should be a Patch favor, maybe 1 or 2 Kred for Sticky, 5 Kred for Locked?

  8. I wanted to build a classic Neuromancer fitted out with thorough interfacing. Chargen was easy for the most part. I would have liked a few more Training Program options since I felt a little forced into Criminal. I was able to adapt the character concept, and like it now, but it wasn’t what I initially had in mind.

    Considering the relationships with Connections was interesting for me, although I felt like I may have been gaming the system with lots of Splice favors and Sharking 10 Kreds. I guess that just makes him very involved in relationships and messy plots from the get-to.

    On a similar vein, I found choosing Objects to be laborious and I again felt like I was maybe gaming the system (but that might have just been my personality). The tags are very particular, but I guess I don’t fully understand how they work so I don’t really get the relative value or interactions of them, or how one would imagine up new Objects.

    I was initially leaning toward an implant katana, but that seemed implausible so I went toward knife, and finally ended with a silenced stinger. Maybe it’s because I’m not so familiar with cyberpunk/noir but I was having trouble conceiving of whether an implant stinger/katana was hidden in a body compartment, or just attached, how all the linked/derma-linked/nerve-linked/etc. interacted with each other. Maybe I’m just trying to be too logical about it all, but it muddled me up. But having an upgraded 10 Kred Headjack for free (Sharked from Adrienne Chao) and implanted for free (Dok or Pen Re) seemed very powerful.

    Either way, here’s Sudo, a child of luxury who was too clever for his own good. He turned to high-level hacking for leisure, drugs, and VR escapism when life’s demands were not challenging to him. Eventually he got out of crime when things got too hot (after he had gotten himself cut off from his family wealth and connections), and started his life (and ID) over in a new city, making a legit living as a deck/network/systems mech. As time passed however, what he had uncovered during his hacking nagged him and his mind has returned to the verge of legality when he could no longer ignore the symptoms and let seemingly obvious conspiracies lie.

    He’s a bit scrawny and loaded with wiring and sensitive electronic signals, so he avoids melee or violent confrontation so his personal network isn’t interfered. He’s sneaky in gaining physical access to local-access nets and hardlines, and when necessary, isn’t above employing a silenced stinger to get the information he needs.

    He was tempted to let Dok fix and splice him a stolen headjack so he could ditch the interface duds and speks, but he decided something so integrated into his mind and nervous system should probably be clean if he can help it. Luckily that was about the time he happened to get in good graces of Adrienne Chao, not realizing how dangerous she was. She enjoyed his company, thought he was useful,a and gladly sharked him a top-of-the-line headjack. The cost of being indebted to the syndicate is yet to be seen.

    (Training Programs: Criminal/Engineer/Investigator)

    Coax: 2
    Detect: 2
    Fight: 1
    Hack: 4
    Move: 1
    Operate: 2
    Prowl: 3
    Shoot: 2
    Treat: 1

    - Clever
    - Technical
    - Intuitive

    - Adrienne Chao (Date, Shark): Complicated, Dangerous (Sharked 10 Kreds for his headjack)
    - Pen Re (Date, Splice): Colleagues, Warm, Reliable, Secretive (Splice Stinger)
    - Dok Petrov (Fix, Splice): Paternal, Corrective (Fix -2 Reflex Stimulators, splice Headjack, Reflex Stimulators)

    - 10 Headjack (cerebral input, experimental, implant, linked, nerve-linked, somatic splice, optical splice, cochlear splice, encryption, firewall, stolen
    - 2 Reflex Stimulators, (Stolen)
    - 4 Stinger (Short range, sharp, implant, silencer)
    - 1 Kevlar vest
    - 3 Stealthsuit (Condition monitor, Thermal dampeners, derma-linked)

  9. Okay, made my character last night. Here he is:

    The Mick
    Coax 1, Detect 2, Fight 2, Hack 3, Move 2, Operate 1, Prowl 4, Shoot 2, Treat 1
    He is Agile, Observant, & Sneaky.
    He owns a stinger, a knife, interface duds, & specks.
    He is connected to Adrienne Chao (Amiable), Dok Petrov (Grudging), & Arma Winn (Friendly).

    I made The Mick in under 5 minutes, and found character creation to be simple yet very open where options are concerned. I decided not to use any of his Connections (yet), but the lure was definately there, and knowing how the plot map works, I could have made some folk very interconnected very quickly.

    To answer your questions, I find the Player’s guide well written and well explained, allowing me to make any character that I might want.

  10. These are great, everyone. Keep ‘em coming!

  11. Perry Hawkins “Night Owl” is a professional that usually works solo employing bullets, speed, and range to his advantage. He has a mild disdain for cybernetics, preferring to rely on natural skill, training, and luck instead. He prefers moving by spheels rather than by foot, since the job often requires waiting, precise action, and then rapid extraction.

    Among his top priorities in the Metroplex is connecting with someone who can do him some chop favors, both to acquire a Switchblade and a SkyRabbit, and to fence boosted rides.

    (Training Programs: Pilot/Pilot/Soldier)
    Coax 1, Detect 3, Fight 2, Hack 1, Move 2, Operate 3, Prowl 1, Shoot 4, Treat 1

    Adjectives Calm, Fearless, Ace

    - January Jade: Fix, Drugs (Cool, Reserved) “Prime Fixer for ammo and servicing Perry’s pets: Hawk[eye] and Jaguar”
    - Arma Winn: Fix, Fence, Ride: (Tolerable) “Envious of her wheels”
    - Pan Re: Splice, Date (Pleasant, Curteous) “Intelligent, well-read company off the job”

    - 3 Interface Duds
    - 3 Specks (+ cam, mic)
    - (0) Kevlar vest (+ linked, stolen)
    - (0) Jaguar (burst, short range, stolen)
    - (4) Hawkeye (+ scope, laser-sight, stolen) (kept in an inconspicuous back-slung case

  12. Reflections from making Night Owl. It went a lot faster without having to think about favors. I guess I took Fixer from January Jade, and would have loved a Chop connection, but instead I morphed the Fearless Ace concept into a sniper. Compared with making Sudo, adding 10 extra Sharked Kreds and dealing with Splices took me a lot longer than Perry’s more straight up guns and glory approach. Maybe the Player’s Guide could use a comment about the effect of favors on the complexity of chargen.

    Also, after seeing a few characters up here all in the same city, I can see fascinating character webs developing between the protagonists and the Connections. They are few enough that various people could have conflicting relationships with them, meaning characters may have to visit an unpleasant contact because another player needs them for a favor or info. I can see that being interesting.

    I wonder if fan-generated Transmissions would be easier to create if you offer a Template to replicate the consistent formatting of your official Transmission, with the circles for Verbs, and Squares for Adjectives, etc. Also, a form-fillable character sheet would be great, but not necessary.

  13. Yeah, the conflicting relationships with a small handful of Connections is a big part of the game. I’m eager to see how that plays out in playtests. This is all motivating me to finish up the playtest doc in the next couple of days.

    Yes, there definitely needs to be a template for Transmissions. I’m thinking it has to be a .doc or .rtf version for general compatibility, but I’ll also make the actual InDesign file available for people who are keen on that. And, yes, a form-fillable character sheet. These are all on my todo list.

  14. In order to make my own antagonists and Transmissions in the near future I have made a simple symbol font that allows me to format very closely to the examples in the Twin Cities transmission. If anyone is interested, and Jeremy doesn’t mind, I’ll find some way to post the font once I’m done tweaking it. Works well with Minion Pro, which is what appears to be used in the playtest docs.

  15. I don’t mind at all, caul. That sound awesome. Mind you: the icons, symbols, fonts, and other graphical elements I’m using might change between now and publication, so don’t get too attached to anything yet. (The logo is definitely changing.)

  16. Oh sure, I get that. All I’ve got is filled and unfilled boxes for Verb training, + and – signs for Adjectives, and the double boxes for Fleeting, Sticky, and Locked Adjectives. Everything else you can do just fin with Word (or OpenOffice which I use).

  17. Caul, can you post it to Google Docs? Or maybe share it from your Dropbox?

    I’m interested in seeing what you have!

  18. Downloaded and printed the docs. Will report back.

  19. Download the current Technoir Symbols font here.

    + = +Adj symbol
    - = -Adj symbol
    f = Fleeting Adj (empty boxes)
    s = Sticky Adj (top box empty)
    l = Locked Adj (both boxes empty)
    k = Kred symbol
    t = Filled Verb box (trained)
    u = Empty Verb box (untrained)
    p = Primed circle empty

  20. Sorry about the weird coding, can’t seem to get the link title to work right. Anyway, you should be able to download it if you have a Google account.

  21. The Mick « Saint Louis Sprawl - pingback on May 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm

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