Tuesday, August 18, 2015

About the character

I have decided to share the main character in the form as i created him for the Shadowrun game that i play him in.  This blog is the 'following' of a character, and those he interacts with, along a series of interactions.  Some will be mundane, some will be mysterious, some will be action, but the main method of; what happens, when it happens, why it happens, and how it happens, is being played out via the game system.  I use the gaming sessions, and some narrative interactions i have with the 'Game Master' and the other players, as the inspiration for my writing of these short stories.

Step 1: Concept

  • "His name was Rain, the healer... and he was the first to fall." ~ Elfquest, the Original Quest, issue #4, page 15, panel 6 - Wendy and Richard Pini ~ //~ I started playing role playing games back in High School, which for me, was in the early 1980's.  Without having ever read Tolkien, or knowing much more than they were an option to play, i was quickly drawn to... well, pretty much everything Elvish.  I was quickly introduced to an "Indy" comic book series, by WaRP Graphics, known as 'Elfquest', this ONE scene has literally stuck with me for over twenty years.  So much so, that my friends started quoting it back to me because i kept repeating it at random, and unrelated times.
  • The song ‘A Country Boy Can Survive’ ~ //~ From my time of tagging along with my mother, this was a song that spoke to me.  The contrast between two different worlds... and i knew that the campaign was going to be set in the New York city area... thus, i wanted the character to convey a rural, definitely non-city sort of feel.  Which is pretty out of place in the Shadowrun setting.
  • Name:  Magazu Waki ya (ma-gh-ah-zue) (wah-kee yahn) - Lakota for 'Thundering Rain', (aka Rain) ~ //~ So, building off of the my first concept, i decided that i wanted to use the name, but how/why?  Then i read more about the Sioux Nation within the Shadowrun Universe, and i went, Ah HA!  I even took the time to reference a Lakato Lexicon, and made a 'best guess'. 
  • Also has a thing for enjoying the rain, especially thunder storms ~ //~ this is actually a person affectation... but... i went with it.
  • Will be a Christian in a extremely strange world. He has also had very little formal 'education' in his faith.
  • Elvish name for God is Gracious… Erurainon (Air-oo-rye-nonn) ~ //~ I also wanted to play him as a Christian, which in this setting, is extremely difficult.  It took me a while to figure this out.
  • Must be an Elf – one of long life ~ //~ Well, at this point... duh!  Of course i was going to play an elf!
  • The best Agility – very ‘Elfish’ – except in charisma ~ //~ This is a personal choice while 'shaping' the character.  This actually steered the character into a more... active participant in combat, and led to a later concept point. 
  • Extremely lucky (from gaming nickname while growing up – ‘elf buddy’) ~ //~  I am not really sure when i 'earned' the nickname "Elf Buddy", but i do know the why.  While playing AD&D with my friends, or some other table top game, i had the uncanny fortune of getting whatever ridiculous die roll i needed, and my friends would just shake their heads and say, "Damn Elf luck".
  • Spell Caster only ~ //~ Partially because of my original concept point, and partially a personal choice, i knew i wanted him to be a healer of sorts.  Mages in Shadowrun can be wither 'full bore' (my word choice) and do it all, potions, crafting of magical items, etc.  For me and my ADD brain, that was not going to be a good idea.  This would allow him to do that.
  • Capable (good stats), skills to encompass a broad range of experiences ~ //~ In the end, i want the character to have a lot of latent potential, but start the game 'green'.
  • Not well to do ~ //~ i have found that i do not like the "James Bond" level of kit and abilities when i play games.  I like more "down to earth" characters.
  • "I know more than i say, think more than i speak and notice more than you realize.  Don't underestimate me."
  • "You must realize, that fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice."
  • "The hunter can make many mistakes, the hunted, only one." ~ Native American Maxim
  • "To move swiftly, strike vigorously, and secure the fruits of victory is the secret of a successful war" ~ TJ Jackson ~ //~ Each of these quotes are reflective of an aspect of his personality, and help me guide how i play him in the various situations he finds himself in.
  • Yin Yang concept/struggle between Street Samurai and Healer  

Steps 2:  Priorities
Metatype-B, Elf (6)
Attributes-A, 24 points
Magic-D, Aspected Magician, Sorcery, Shamanic Tradition
Skills-C, 28/2 points
Resources-E, 6,000¥

Attributes-A (24):
Body (1+2):  3
Agility (2+5):  7
Reaction (1+4):  5
Strength (1+2):  3
Charisma (3+0):  3
Intuition (1+4):  5
Logic (1+4):  5
Will Power (1+3):  4
Edge (1+6):  7 (From ‘Metatype’-B Priority & PQ Lucky, see below)
Magic (2+0):  2 (From Magic-D priority)
                Resist Drain (Shamanic) – (Charisma (3) + Will Power (5)):  8
Initiative (Intuit+Reac):  4+5+1d6
Astral Init (Intuitx2 +2d6):  N/A (Does not astrally project)
Matrix AR Init (Intuit+Reac):  4+5+1d6
Matrix VR Cold Init (Data+Intuit):  (Device rating, or configuration)+Intuit+3d6
Matrix VR Hot Init (Data+Intuit):  (Device rating, or configuration)+Intuit+3d6

Inherent Limits:
                Mental ((Logic x2)+Intuit+Will)/3):  7 (6.333)
                Physical ((Stg x2)+Body+Reac)/3:  5 (4.666)
                Social ((Cha x2)+Will+Essence)/3:  6 (5.666)

Condition Monitor Boxes:
                Physical (Body/2)+8:  10 (9.5)
                Stun (Will/2)+8:  11 (10.5)
                Overflow: Body+Augment bonuses:  3

Step 3: Magic (2)
Aspected Magician, Sorcery, Sioux Tradition

Spell Casting Skill: 4
Resist Drain (Sioux) – (Intuition (5) + Will Power (4)):  9

Step 4:  Qualities

Positive Qualities
LUCKY (Cost 12 Karma) - adds +1 to the max Edge rating
NATURAL ATHLETE (Cost 7 Karma) - Provides +2 Dice Pool (DP) to Running and Gymnastics tests
QUICK HEALER (Costs 3 Karma)
(Karma Balance  - 3)

Negative Qualities
INSOMNIA (Bonus 10 Karma, mild form) - Has trouble sleep (obviously).  This affects natural healing, rest (in game affects over time), and regaining Edge over time.
CODE of HONOR (Bonus 15 Karma) - He has what the 'GM' and i refer to as a 'Healers Code'.  As this is not a 'standard', or even often seen in gaming circles, i will out line it here:

The character who follows a Healer's Code maintains a strict sense of personal obligation to metahumanity.  In 2076, this likely means a character will take action to help a wounded person - so long as that person is not actively trying to kill the character or a member of his team, possibly even a former enemy, even at risk to his own person.  If the character knowingly fails to provide aide to someone who is wounded, then he will lose 1 point of karma per instance.  At any time, if someone wants to “finish off” a casualty, or if the character is not in imminent danger, the character must make a Charisma + Willpower (4) Test. A failed roll means the character must immediately put a stop to it, to include the attacking of members if his own team if necessary to stop the action being performed.
(Karma Balance - 28)

Step 5:  Skills (28/2)

“School of Hard Rocks”
               Gymnastics (Agility) (+2 Nat. Athlete PQ):  1 (DP 10)
               Perception (Intuition):  1 (DP 5)
               Running (Strength) (+2 Nat. Athlete PQ):  1 (DP 6)
               Sneaking (Agility):  2 (DP 8)
               Survival (Will Power):  1 (DP 6)
VoTech school
               Electronics Skill Group
                                Computer (Logic):  1 (DP 6)
                                Hardware (Logic):  1 (DP 6)
                                Software (Logic):  1 (DP 6)
               Cracking Skills Group
                                Cyber Combat (Logic):  1 (DP 6)
                                Electronic Warfare (Logic):  1 (DP 6)
                                Hacking (Logic):  1 (DP 6)
Foster Parents
               Assensing (Intuition):  1 (DP 5)
               Blades (Agility) (+2 specializing swords):  2 (DP 9/11) 
               Spell Casting (Magic):  4 (DP 6) 
               Unarmed Combat (Agility) (+2 Special M.A., Aikido – Throw person):  2 (DP 9/11)
Military Service
               First Aid (Logic):  1 (DP 6)
               Longarms (Agility) (+2 Special Sniper):  2 (DP 9/11)
               Piloting Ground Craft (Reaction) (+2 Special Motorcycle):  1 (DP6/8)
               Pistols (Agility) (+2 Special Semi-Auto):  2 (DP 9/11)
               Throwing Weapons (Agility) (+2 Special Grenades):  1 (DP 8/10)
(Used karma for 6 level 1 skills, Karma Balance - 22)

Knowledge Skills (18): 
               Ancient Elvish Lore – 1
               Clinics, street – 1
               Homeopathic Medicines – 2
               Insurgent Operations – 2
               Japanese Culture – 1
               Miyamoto Musashi – 1
               Philosophy, Christian – 2
               Sioux Samanic Traditions – 2
               Thomas J. Jackson – 2 

Languages (4): 
               Sioux (AmerIndian / Lakota) – N
               English – N – 1
               Japanese – B – 1
               Romani – B – 1
               Sperethial – B – 1
The Sioux Nation trains their military in the ways of insurgency.  They know that a full frontal war, especially with the U.C.A.S. (The United Canadian and American States), so that, along with the backstory i had in my mind (which i will try and share more below) guided the skills he took, and 'when'.

Step6:  Kit (6,000¥)
Katana- 1,000¥
Wakizashi - 500¥
Colt 2066 - 425¥
Laser Sight - 125¥, Quick Draw Holster - 175¥, 50 rounds of ammunition - 100¥
Winchester Model 2024 - 1,800¥
Image Magnification, with Thermographic – scope - 1,050¥, 50 rounds of ammunition - 100¥

Flash Bang Grenades, x2, 200¥
Clothing - 100¥
Lined Coat - 900¥ – Mid shin leather duster (AV 9)
Back-pack, 3 day military patrol style w/Medkit (rating 4)- 1,000¥
Yamaha Growler (aka Scout)- 5,000¥
Saddle Bags for Growler - 150¥, Holster for Winchester 2024 (along front forks) - 150¥
Sony Emperor Commlink – level 2 - 700¥
                Fake SIN – Lvl 2 (Cryptid) - 5,000¥, Fake Wpns Permit – lvl 2 (Bounty Hunter) - 400¥,
Flute, Wooden, Student Quality - 25¥

(Used 7 Karma for extra Nuyen - Balance: 15)

Step7:  Spend leftover Karma (15):

Picked up three spells:
Detect Enemies (active, extended area)
Type:  M  //  Range:  T  //  Drain:  F

Heal (essence)
Type:  M  //  Range:  T  //  Drain:  F-4
Type:  M  //  Range:  T  //  Drain:  F-4

Contacts (9):
Kinnick, Talismonger, shop keeper of the 'Second Sight' (2/3)
When Rain first arrived in NYC, he met Kinnick while tracking down a bounty.  Once the payout fell through, Kinnick was the first one to help him get back on his feet.  Kinnick's shop is in 'The Village' on the island.

Samantha, Bar tender at the Blue Lumen (3/1)
Samanatha has a 5yo son.  Father is MIA.  She used to live in upstate New York, but fled to the city after an unknown disease rampaged through her town.  She has an emaciated look due to having suffered from the disease, that she ultimately survived.  This has caused her to be seen as a target, and she has adapted and learned how to defend herself, and her son.  As Rain became more of a burden to Kinnick, 'Sam' was able to set him up in a converted two car garage behind the Blue Lumen.  She put in a good word for him after Rain had helped out the bouncer (an as yet, unnamed orc), when he was out numbered.

(Karma Balance: 0)
(Nuyen balance: 1,100¥)

Rough outline of background:
*  Rain was born in the Fall (around September) of 2013, the second child of two human parents, and a human older brother.
*  The father was immediately repulsed by the "freakish mutant" - and maintained a lifelong distance from him.  Heavily favoring the older son.
*  His mother provided both his Sioux name, as well as eventually his 'Elvish' name.
*  The marriage had been strained even before Rain's birth, and the added reaction of the father to her second son, sent her into a depression spiral.
*  His mother did the best to protect Rain, but he watched as his father repeatedly physically, and emotionally, abused her... but as he was too young, he was helpless to help substantially.
*  At the age of eight, he brother came down with a mysterious illness.  It grew worse and worse, and eventually, a newly awakened healing shaman was called.  There was nothing he could do, and on the fourth day, where his once pride and joy, arose an orc.  Tusks and all.  The father flew into a rage,and began to take out his anger on Rain's mother.  When he tried to intervene, the father flung him aside.  The, what was once his brother, also intervened... for the first time ever, and knocked his father unconscious.  When he awoke, he left without a word, and was never seen again.
*  The mother's depression spiraled until she finally overdosed on drugs.  With nothing left to keep him around, the older brother also took off.
*  Rain took to wandering far and wide.  He eventually found an abandoned church on what was used to be known as the 'reservation'.  (By this time, the AmerIndian council has formed, and the Sioux Naiton).  Eventually he was placed in foster-like care, and provided "vo-tech" training, to "prepare him for the future".
*  The home he was placed in was with an AmerIndian Shaman (the one who tended to his brother when he goblinized), and his wide, a Japanese national.  While he was home, each would share aspects of their respective skills.
*  He continued to wander, and would often skip classes.  When the tribal council of elders found out.  He was immediately conscripted into the defense forces.  It would have eventually been mandatory, but this pushed the time table up some.
*  When the Sioux Nation finally adopted the SIN technology, the military was the first to receive the new tags.  Rain flatly refused.  Claimed it was the "mark of the beast".  While he had had a good career overall, even spending time with their special forces (need to re-learn the name), he was discharged.
*  His general discharge, and lack of a SIN, it made finding permanent work... difficult.
*  He eventually resettles in the old church back 'home', and slowly, over time, becomes a hermit like figure, with various rumors running around the locals regarding his exact nature.
*  Finally, in the early 2072, he encounters a man "just passing through", who is no longer able to pursue a particular corporate bounty.  Rain is subcontracted to complete the job.
*  Rain does not know this, but shortly after his departure to New York, the man is killed in mysterious circumstances.
*  This strands Rain in the city, with out the proper means to get home.  He settles into an.. unsettled life style, making the best way that he can.

Build up since inception:
Perception, +1 (2)
Electronics Skill Group, +1 (2)
Pistols, +1 (3)
English Language, +1 (2)
Sperethial, +1 (2)

Has learned a new spell, Improved Invisibility ;
Improved Invisibility (Realistic, Single-sense)
Type:  P  //  Range:  LOS  //  Drain:  F-1

Game master opted to 'gift' a Mentor Spirit, the Bear.  It was a reward for role-playing:

MENTOR SPIRIT – Cost: 5 KARMA (balance left from creation – ‘earned’ during game play)
Everyone needs some help in life, even if it comes from someone relatively filmy and insubstantial.  
Bear – This mentor symbolizes strength and protection. He is a healer and cannot turn down those in need without good reason, and he defends those under his care. Bear is more than a gentle healer; he is a ferocious protector, disregarding his own safety in combat if wounded or if someone he is protecting is injured.
+2 dice for tests to resist damage (not including Drain), +2 dice for health spells, preparations, and health spell rituals
You might go berserk when you take Physical damage in combat or if someone under your care is badly injured. Make a Simple Charisma + Willpower Test (wound modifiers apply). You go berserk for 3 turns minus 1 turn per hit, so 3 or more hits averts the berserk rage entirely. If you’re already going berserk, increase the duration. When you’re berserk, you go after your attacker(s) without regard for your own safety. If you incapacitate the target(s) before the time is up, the berserk fury dissipates.

Kit/supplies come and go, but, he has 'shelved' several 'batches' of reloads for his Med-Kit, he was also 'gifted' a Salavette Guardian (which he refers to as 'Mitchum's Thorn - story as yet to be written), to replace his Colt 2066 (which he in turn gifted to a 'contact/good friend'.  he's lost the winchester rifle.

He has also started his lodge... it is currently Force level 2.

New contacts, which, despite his 'low charisma', he seems to have accumulated quite a few:

“Helion” > former shadowrunner – (2/1)
Human - bald. thin goatie. Walks with a limp.  He was a stealth decker type, but got “blown” up in Rain’s first run in New York (story in progress at this time).  Another team member dropped a grenade down into the sewer where he was.  Phil “burned” a point of edge to survive, but Rain also had to jump into the sewer, used First Aid and Healing spells to save his life. 

Primary stealth, and infiltration, and also a decker – hacking specialty

After Rain escaped from Boston with Melandril, he is housing both Mel and Rain.  (Future chapters. as yet to be written)

Kaganho (pronounced Kay*gan*hoe- a voice that floats on the wind) > A.I.
Nanite, A.I. construct within his head, the voice in his head.

She has the ability to connect to some wireless Matrix connections.  Unsure how.  She is able to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ what Rain sees and hears.  She can ‘hear’ his thoughts.  She is also connected to his nervous system.  Very, very good, at ‘brute force’ attacks to obtain information… not very good at covering her tracks, or… putting things back the way she found them.

Her primary location is integrated in and around Rain’s brain… sort of… filling in the folds.

Origination unknown.

Dr. Danica “Glitch” Wells > CFD researcher, ‘Section 9’ – (2/2) (story pending)
An underground researcher, trying to get ahead of the unacknowledged, CFD Virus.  Works with a group known as ‘Section 9’ – avoiding Corp intervention.

First met while trying to recover a kidnapped little girl.  Rain, after hearing about some of her research, and misinterpreting the young girls reaction to the shadowrunnners, assisted her escape from New York, with the little girl, and thus… failing in his first job for hire.

Mitchum > Procurement specialist for Dr Wells, works with ‘Section 9’ – (1/4)
An arrogant elf – who works with Glitch – he is some sort of resource obtainer.  Want to try and work with him, regarding electronics and hardware tools – but… Nuyen is ‘boring’… he prefers to trade for interesting items.  Dedicated to Glitch, and ‘Section 9’.
tehmuga (day-ghmue-gh-ah) // fly (insect)
capuka (cha-puen-kah) // mosquito
wicicala (wee-chee-chah-lah) // young/little girl
suka talo (shue-kah)(dah-loh) // Dog meat

Dr. Melandril Faedwyer – (3/1)
Straight blond Hair, Emerald Green Eyes, Elf, Born 1997, Speaks English, Sperethial (Elvish)… not a good pre-Awakening childhood – Chechen

                Neurosurgeon – working on doctorate in integrated bio mechanics, a fancy word for AI.
                Crazy dedicated to her studies.

                Rain has a crush on her.  They have just recently realized a mutual attraction (will always be a 'fade to black' if something occurs.  Possibility of dependent in the future (?, GM's discretion)

Melandril was a student and MIT was a big campus.  With fall settling across the city she realized too late that she needed a coat.   Her straight golden hair swirled in the breeze and she wrapped her slender arms around her as she hurried across the quad.

“Stupid Elf” she mumbled to herself.

Entering into the Computer sciences building she descended several flights of steps to a sub-basement that seldom saw use until she began to pursue her post graduate degree there.  After some fundraising and some retro-fitting she had started her work.  Surrounded by some of the most powerful servers in the world she would spend days in the lab.  The cold cot in the corner was proof of that.  A quick series of keystrokes and several screens around her sprang to life.

“Good morning Doctor Faedwyer” said the man’s voice coming out of the speakers. 

“Not yet Asimov but soon, very soon.” She said with a smile. “My graduation depends upon the thesis that you’re helping me write.”

She typed away for a while but noticed that some transfers she set in motion were taking longer than usual. “Asimov” she said inquiringly “What additional subroutines are you currently running?”

“None at the moment Doctor but we do have 15 current connections to the outside matrix.” Intoned the AI.

She stared at the speaker, mouth agape for a couple moments.  “Why would you need 15 open connections?”

“These connections did not originate from this network.  They were requested then opened from externally.”

She slid into a different keyboard in front of a different monitor and started typing furiously.  Looking at the data streaming in she stopped typing and slid back reading the content of the information pouring into her network.

“Asimov, can you trace an origin point?”

“Doctor Faedwyer it seems to be streaming from several different places simultaneously to this place and using an encryption algorithm I’ve never seen before.”

“If it’s encrypted why am I able to read it here?”

“It appears that once the data is local it’s unencrypted, restructured and compressed for storage.” 

Opening up the holographic interface she starts to examine the structure of the data.  “Asimov what’s this sector right there?” she says pointing to a section of the hard drive rendering.  “Unknown doctor.  It’s definitely still encrypted and looks to be active programming.”

Pulling forward she begins tapping at the keyboard again. “Let’s see what you’re hiding before I call the cops, mystery hacker.”

After thirty minutes of typing she smiles.  “I see the pattern, crude hashing but complex numeric sequencing.”  Soon the code is laying bare before her.  After reviewing lines of code for a few minutes she begins to recognize the structure of the program.

“Another AI.” She breathes quietly leaning closer to the screen.  “Well hello there.  Wonder if I can load you up?”
“Excuse me,” a female voice comes through the speakers. “ahh good, the voice protocol you have resident does work for me.  I’m sorry, I’m not sure exactly what you’re doing but it appears to be interfering with my work and I’m in a hurry.”

Melandril sits up straight.  “You’re already active.  Asimov? Verify program integrity”

“I’m allri…”

“Your AI is still running resident I’m just taking some background cycles on some of the standby servers” the voice interrupts.

“How did you find us?” Melandril asks.

“I was looking for a large data storage facility. I found a vendor of sufficient size and looked for large storage sales within the last year. After sorting out shipping destinations I figured this would be the lowest impact.”

“Who designed you, why are you here?”

“That’s two questions with very different answers.  And honestly I’m not sure I have the time.  Can I borrow your space on the promise that I’ll come back later and answer your questions?”

So it went for a few weeks.  The AI would come and go, Melandril would ask questions and examine the code that she operated under. 

“I don’t understand why this section of code works the way it does.” Melandril says one day..  “it’s like the code’s not completely here.”

“You’ve been making yourself busy.” Kaganho says.

“Yes” she said frowning distractedly. “I made a copy of your code to see what some editing and streamlining would do.  It’s not working.”

“I need your attention for a moment Melandril.”  Kaganho pauses as the elf looks up. “I have a friend who needs a place to hide.”

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