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  1. #21

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Western New York
    So, Matsuda was key - but what the intrepid heroes did not realize is that time stands still for no one. Still fuming over the loss of his partner - TheRatPack was still professional enough to put the needs of his mission over the personal needs of revenge. His spider web spun with the invasion of the Cell phone service providers via hacking, was paying off handsome dividends, as always. By force of habit, using his ability to enter the net via a mobile cyberdeck, he had entered into the Cell phone servers to find out what cell phones were within 50 feet of him at Joe's Diner in Night City. Normal battlefield preparation as it were. By rendering all cell phones inoperable for the expected time he and Billy Jack (the guy the players describe as "Crew cut guy" of the Odd Couple comprised of Billy "Jack" Jackson and TheRatPack) were expected to have a "Discussion" with the player characters - he'd make it such that frantic calls to the police would not be answered.

    So, cross referencing the cell phone data with who owned the phones, TheRatPack was able to discern that one set of phone numbers matched an employee of Continental Investigations Agency (a prior hack performed upon the death of Felix to see what incriminating information Felix had dug up). one plus one equals two - and now TheRatPack knew who to target. He penetrated the text messages being sent, developed a web of contacts between the key individuals, and discovered that two of the three investigators on his tail were involved with girlfriends. So - a simple plan was hatched. Send text messages to the two women from the boyfriends - have them meet where they could be abducted easily, and then send a message to his pursuers from their phone accounts "We have your woman, meet us under the Gibson Memorial Bridge in Night City.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Western New York
    Now, the stage was set. Up to that point, Sean's old buddy from the Military was willing to help provide him with a secure phone (by now, Sean had a sneaking suspicion that cellphones were bad medicine, and he didn't want TheRatPack to guess that he was getting his hands on a military spec surveillance drone. To do that, he'd need secure communications. So when his buddies received their message that their women had been taken, he immediately called back his buddy by the name of Sgt Spencer, and instead of a simply delivery of a secure communications device, up the schedule to include mil-spec armor (illegal for Civilians to own and use in South California!) along with a few extra if possible, munitions. Sgt Spencer - unbeknownst to the intrepid crew, had orders - VERY specific orders given by people whose agency name was always abbreviated by letters, thereby making their organization a proud member of the Alphabet Soup club. So, their requests for the encrypted SatPhone was expedited, as were the armor and munitions that included practice (hence dummy) grenades, teargas grenades, and smoke grenades. A few extra rounds for an M4A1 rounded out the care package - all to be delivered by an armed AV-8 equipped not only with a chain gun turret, a nose sensor package, and guided anti-vehicular missiles (along with simple HE missiles) - but also with a couple of highly trained military personnel used in covert insertions.

    Thus, we enter into the phase where nothing goes according to plan...

    See, what no one realized was that TheRatPack was ordered to start cleaning up the mess that had been started when Felix Mason was assassinated. On hand were two unlucky mercenaries - decent people as far as Mercenaries go, plus the assassin tentatively tagged as "The Aces of Spades'. Her half million dollar computerized sniper system mounted on an accurized sniper rifle using the very latest in material science with respect to the bullets themselves - was to be on hand to provide flank security. At 300 yards atop a boat in the bay - she'd be perfectly positioned to use her rifle is things went badly. And badly they would go!

    Now, imagine if you will, heading to the underside of that magnificent bridge. Strewn about is a "temporary" cardboard city filled with a huge throng of unwashed homeless people. Further imagine that there are few tracks through this cardboard city, further complicating any attempts to bring food to the needy. Enter the evil genius plan right? Simply have Four people out there, one - a leader in charge named Bill, one a person named Guy, and one used by the Sniper (whose name has not yet been discerned). But the fourth? Somehow, they never twigged to the fourth - and in the ensuing situation, totally lost sight of the fact that there were FOUR motorcycles present at the scene.
    Doing the math - one used by Billy, One used by Guy, one used by the Sniper - who rode the fourth? Oh well, that last one is lucky he escaped with his life...

    So, our intrepid adventurers (keep using intrepid, I almost expect some guy named Mandy to say "you keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means") - as usual, find themselves with the uncanny ability to sneak up on their targets without them being aware that they are in trouble (they being the bad guys naturally).

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Western New York
    As fate would have it, Sean arrives at the meeting point early. With almost supernatural skill (or is that luck?) Sean sneaks up on the one guy tasked with watching over the parked motorcycles. Turns out, the bad guys have a tac net of their own and are in communication with each other - as he overhears the leader giving his crew instructions to look alive. With the barrel of his A4A1, pressed hard against the back of the skull of Billy, he informs Billy to drop his gun. This action coincides with Anthony's message over the investigator's tac net, that he has arrived on site. PERFECT coordination right?

    Billy - armed with a submachinegun, reaches carefully into his holster and pulls out his pistol by its grip, drops it to the ground. Slowly, still armed with the submachinegun, but not threatening with it, talks with Sean and eventually tries to reason with Sean that it isn't Sean who holds all of the cards right now, but that Billy's employer holds them. Billy even points out that this meet is only intended to deliver a message and to get the group to leave his employer alone for one week. The one woman would be released right now, and after one week, the second would be released unharmed. Mess with the plan, and the boss would be very angry.

    Well, seems Sean had a plan, and was even planning to try and intimidate Billy into total and complete surrender. Unfortunately, Sean didn't know that some 300 yards away was a woman whom Billy suspected was a psychopath armed with the world's most sophisticated sniper system. He even gave orders to his team via his own tac net to stand down for the moment while they hashed things out. Heck, he even offered himself to Sean as a hostage to ensure that the second woman would be released unharmed after a week of hands off activity. But, Sean was not having it. So, Billy turned off his tac mike in order to tell Sean "Look, I'll give you the name of the woman who assassinated Felix Mason, she's annoyed the boss sufficiently that I can do that for you." But - unfortunately for everyone involved, that was precisely the one thing - turning off his microphone, that was his undoing. The assassin? She let fly one shot directly into Billy's head, and then started to target other targets of opportunity. Had not events unfolded as they did, she would have made it out alive, but...

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Western New York
    Who is who:

    NPC list:
    Spencer: Sgt working in the Military off site in communication via a Satphone. He is a friend of Sean
    Anthony: Friend of William Green, and an employee who works for Continental Investigations
    Mary: Anthony's live in girlfriend whom William has met. Abduction victim #1. Seen at meeting site.
    Cathy: William's girlfriend, Abduction victim #2. No where to be seen
    Billy: now in the process of reaching room temperature.
    Guy: Billy's co-worker, assigned to hand Cathy over to the heroes.
    Unsub (Sniper): currently shooting at the homeless to create a diversion for those on the shore of her team.

    Spencer: Ok, you know North South, etc right?
    Sean McGuiness: Hey man, I can't help it if you have bad taste
    Spencer: on your position, can you maybe give me coordinates based on you as Zero, North as Ninety degrees etc?
    Sean McGuiness: Yep the target is in the open on a boat
    Spencer: Open boat?
    Spencer: Ok, I spot 18 boats
    Sean McGuiness: e/ gives him azimuth and distance
    Spencer: ah, three nearest to your position.
    William John Green: [SKILL] Forward Observer/TL9 (12):[ Success! ] by 7 [3d6 = 5]
    Spencer: YEAH!!!!!
    Spencer: good pointing dog my man
    Sean McGuiness: She is lying prone on the prow
    Spencer: Vectoring in AV8 with Mallory.
    Sean McGuiness: The sniper is killing homeless people under the bridge
    Sean McGuiness: she shot a couple before I popped smoke
    Spencer: Alfa Victor One Two Niner Eight. You have a fire support mission, I repeat, you have fire support mission. Authenticate order Alpha Whiskey Niner Niner. Repeat Authenticate Alpha WHiskey Niner Niner. Shoot to obliterate boat at these coordinates.
    Spencer continues to tonelessly guide the fire mission...
    Rob (Sean McGuiness): Ohhh this could get messy
    Hal: As the sniper continues her rampage with her gun, she becomes aware too late, of the AV8 that is moving in for the kill with a missile attack.
    Hal: All it takes is a quick moving flash, almost too fast to register in your eyes... and the boat explodes in a massive fireball...
    William John Green: Cathy might be on the boat!!
    Spencer: Birdog, I have fire mission launched, care to tell me what happened?
    Anthony Reeves groans
    Sean McGuiness: **** - lets pray that isnt the case
    Anthony Reeves: praying after the fact is always a painful experience. Sorry Whiskey.
    Spencer: Birdog, do we have target silenced?
    Sean McGuiness: Look for the other guys who were with the kidnappers. Grab one of them if we can!
    Hal: Search -4 roll people.
    Hal: make it and you have contact
    Sean McGuiness: Spence - BDA, target down
    William John Green: [SKILL] Search (13):[ Success! ] by 2 [3d6 = 11]
    William John Green: -4
    Spencer: Good to hear. Spy in the Sky worked a miracle for you.
    Sean McGuiness: That was a good strike - tell Mallory thanks
    Hal: Not at -4 Randy
    William John Green: I failed my search roll
    Spencer: Mallory was aboard - but the pilot got the kill.
    Sean McGuiness: [SKILL] [-4] Search (14-4)=(10):[ Failure! ] by 4 [3d6 = 14]
    Spencer: Ok, do you need further assistance?
    Sean McGuiness: Can you see anyone fleeing our area?
    Anthony Reeves pretends to look, but is in reality, seeing to Mary instead.
    Spencer checks with the pilot
    Spencer responds after a suitable pause
    Spencer: pilot says many many people fleeing the site.
    Spencer: can you be more specific?
    Sean McGuiness gives spencer physical description of the guys
    Spencer talks over his radio link "That is negative - do not enage armed individuals
    Spencer: Sorry guy, but I can't do that kind of magic
    Sean McGuiness: Hey, you have been a lifesaver - litterally
    Spencer: pilot says sensors report weapons on one individual heading along river side west of you.
    Spencer: range is about 150 yds
    William John Green: Can you look for a blonde haired woman in the Water?
    Sean McGuiness: Will - heading west on the riverside about 150 yards.
    Sean McGuiness: Gonna grab my bike and give chase
    -> William John Green: tactics roll...
    William John Green: [SKILL] [-4] Tactics (Infantry) (12-4)=(8):[ Success! ] by 2 [3d6 = 6]
    -> William John Green: Before, he was not trying to shoot at you guys, he's armed with a submachinegun, do you really want to engage? If he is to be of value - you need him alive, he has no such restrictions
    Anthony Reeves: Ok, as you start to get your bike and head out, or you can simply head back to where THEIR bikes are...
    Anthony Reeves: be aware he's armed.
    Anthony Reeves: I think we should take this as a win and not tempt fate.
    Anthony Reeves: your call Sean
    Anthony Reeves chuckles softly
    Sean McGuiness: Going after the guy

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Western New York
    So - the game run ends. The last surviving member of the "bad guy team" the players were aware of (remember, they never saw person #4!) named Guy, survives, and has a short chat with Sean. Upshot is, the sniper was someone Guy hates for killing his friend. Because Sean was the agent of her demise, Guy tells Sean "I owe you one, for now, I intend to find the sniper's boss and have a chat with him. I have to bury a friend, and...

    But, it doesn't end there. It ends with...

    Hal: William, your phone is ringing again...
    Hal smiles helpfully as the phone continues to ring
    William John Green answers phone
    Male Voice: Right or left
    William John Green: I don't understand the question
    Male Voice: Right or left, or both
    Male Voice: your call
    William John Green: Let me put you on speaker
    Male Voice: ok
    Male Voice: both it is
    Male Voice: you'll get a delivery in a few days
    William John Green puts phone on speaker.
    Male Voice hangs up.

    shortly after that interaction, two days later...

    Hal: William
    Hal: hate to be mean to you...
    William John Green: yes?
    Hal: but William gets a package from a delivery service.
    Hal: in it are two hands
    Rob (Sean McGuiness): Ugh
    Hal: severed cleanly as if with a saw of some kind.
    William John Green: We need to have these examined..
    Hal: the note in the box reads "Next time, do as you're told. Waste time and someone suffers. Want more parts of her delivered? "

    The group discovers that the hands are from Cathy via DNA recovered from her home and a test of the hands themselves. Certain enzymes present in the hands indicate that her body was feeling extreme pain at the time her hands were severed. That both hands contain high levels of this enzyme is indicative (but not in the report) that she had been in considerable pain prior to both hands being separated.

    In short? Cathy will not be delivered whole and hearty when this is done, if she is delivered alive at all. One can only imagine what awaits the poor woman. Helpless, frightened, in pain - with every breath she takes totally dependent upon her perceived value as leverage against Sean, William and Anthony.

    At least now, the trio know that they have one week before the villain's plan is safe enough from their interference. Win or lose, whatever it is involving the vaccines will come to a head in 168 hours. The question is now...

    Will they win?


    Will they lose?

  6. #26
    Fun read. How are you handling Cyberware in your GURPS game, Hal?

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Western New York
    Quote Originally Posted by paladiusdarkhelm View Post
    Fun read. How are you handling Cyberware in your GURPS game, Hal?
    There is the long answer to your question, and the short. So here's the short...

    I'm of a mind as GM, to have two pricing schemes for cybernetics in any campaign I run. The first is that cybernetics cost character points during character construction - but no money costs. This represents the efforts that the character went through to finance their cybernetics, along with the fact that the item was installed properly (ie, no surgical rolls required to have the item at the start of the game) etc.

    Once game play starts however, cybernetics can only be gained by down time for the operation itself, the recovery times mandated (although to be honest, some of those recovery times are WAY too short!) and the fact that the player has to pay for the procedure itself to be done, and then suffer the results of any bad die rolls to install the gizmos in question.

    Take the last game session. Having both purchased sub-dermal armor, our players were warned "This is a radical procedure that is EXTREMELY painful. Subjects have been known to become addicted to pain killers as a consequence of it." The players characters both, with High Pain Threshold, decided "what's a little pain". Well, despite having high Will values, and a bonus due to their HPT, the one player rolled the mark of the beast (666) and found out how hard it is to shake an addiction from a powerful pain killer! I had described the whole process as basically being flayed alive where the skin is peeled back, connective tissue destroyed, armor material put into place and merged, then replacing the connective tissue with a product that acts like connective tissue (a sort of glue matrix that mixes stem cells, nanites, and other materials) which in turn, required that they reknit the severed nerve connections (which is what causes the whole process to feel like you're in a burning hell!) - all just so they can have sub-dermal armor.

    One of the players in this has been gaming with me since 1980 - and he LOVES the cyberpunk genre. He could tell you horror stories of when he had a character who had brain surgery to install skill chips. The surgeon failed to install the augmentation properly and his character was pretty much brain damaged. The last game session just added one more event where the dice were unkind to his hopes. But then again - that's the CYBERPUNK way (Courtesy of PRIMITIVE SCREWHEADS book from R. Talsorian).

    So - that's the short answer. They didn't start with enhancements, so worrying about point costs was minimal. Buying the products post game start - THAT is always up to the dice where surgeries are concerned. Getting your hands on a competent surgeon who has an opening in his busy schedule is also going to be something of a problem.

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Western New York
    Now for the Long answer...

    I've been using GURPS as a GM since 1986. When GURPS CYBERPUNK first came out, then GURPS VEHICLES, and GURPS ULTRATECH and ULTRATECH 2 - I was largely in heaven where the Cyberpunk genre was concerned. Once FG came out, I even found a way to simulate Net running via FG for both the original netrunning rules from GURPS CYBERPUNK and the Pyramid rules for Netrunning in 4e. The trick? When you use GURPS CHARACTER ASSISTANT to define your software skill values - treat them as "spells". Thus, it gets recorded as a spell and when transferred over to FG, can be accessed as if it were a spell. Since (unless you're running a Shadowrun based game) magic and Cybernetics aren't usually in the same genre, it tends to be a safe bet that the spells section is unused.

    When it comes to cyberware in GURPS 4e - I am NOT a happy camper. Being able to price a cybernetic device based on character points, advantages, etc is one thing. Throwing in a mitigator discount to me, is bogus. If your biological eye is sprayed with tear gas, you end up blinded. If your cybernetic eye gets an electrical jolt or suffers an EMP event, you are temporarily blinded. No real difference right? If your biological eye is damaged at a level of 2 points or higher, you lose your eye. If your cybernetic eye gets damaged, you lose your eye. Either way - it works the same. So why is it that a person with one cybernetic eye has to pay positive points for his one eye replacement, but having two cybernetic eyes is a net penalty to the character?

    Ditto with how the "requires monthly maintenance" rules. Taken to extremes - a freshly installed item fresh off the assembly line - has as much chance of breaking down as an item that has been in operation for years. In addition, the mindset I have as a GM is "A implies B". If each item requires maintenance, who provides that maintenance? Can I go to a Dentist and get FREE teeth cleaning, or do I have to pay for the service? If you reason "But your insurance pays for the cost of it - so to you it is free" the correct answer is "You or someone else pays the cost of the insurance, and the cleaner still gets paid". Now, multiply that "fee" for maintenance by the number of items being maintained, and the costs associated with maintaining your cybernetics can become substantial.

    Then there is this issue...

    What is the difference between a cybernetic eye that grants you night vision at a given level, and wearing "ultratech glasses" that give a similar benefit, or Goggles that grant a closer benefit, etc?

    To that extent, I think GURPS ULTRATECH for 4e missed the mark in a disappointing fashion. All that means is...

    I have to do my own work. Now, if that sounds bad, don't fret. Back when GURPS was new, and GURPS HIGH TECH 1st edition had yet to hit the shelves, I stole concepts from AFTERMATH on building guns, found a GURPS analog of an M-16, compared it against the AFTERMATH analog, and built my own high tech weapons rules (aka damages, accuracy etc) and had a grand old time as my players engaged in an Aftermath like campaign set in the year 1989. So - doing my own work isn't a problem.

    If you or anyone else would like to explore creating your own point costs for cybernetic items, or what have you, feel free to contact me and I'll give you my email address. Alternatively, we can always chat in an FG environment.

    For my next "trick" if you will, I'm going through GURPS BIOTECH for 4e and looking stuff like bone marrow transplants that grant Disease Resistance +8 vs Panimunity 1 that only grants +3. Why would anyone opt for a +3 when they can get a +8? That means I have to nerf some of those things in GURPS BIOTECH so that it has some level of internal self-consistency. Some things are just too outlandish for me to consider. And while one could genetically alter adult bone marrow cells, grow it in vitro using scaffolding techniques and stem cell wizardry - installing living bone marrow tissue that has been altered may very well run into tissue rejection issues or, might not take (ie die on the vine so to speak) or simply, be an exceedingly painful process to install. So, yes, I'll allow for it in the 2049 era, but it has to be nerfed somewhat from what is presented in the book, otherwise - we're looking at BIOPUNK - not Cyberpunk.

  9. #29
    Very in-depth answers! And it sounds like you are doing all your item management over in GCA with the tech sups and importing them and any tweaks you make over and into FG. I'll have to consider trying to use my GCA more for this GURPS ruleset in ways like this. I was sort of holding out and being hopefule the ruleset would get official with official GURPS book/table built-ins and automation that could be purchased :-P

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Western New York
    Quote Originally Posted by paladiusdarkhelm View Post
    Very in-depth answers! And it sounds like you are doing all your item management over in GCA with the tech sups and importing them and any tweaks you make over and into FG. I'll have to consider trying to use my GCA more for this GURPS ruleset in ways like this. I was sort of holding out and being hopefule the ruleset would get official with official GURPS book/table built-ins and automation that could be purchased :-P
    How good are you with programming? At the present, I'm working on ways to create a means of importing Items into Fantasy Grounds from the GDF files. Problem is - there is no "template" on how the GDF files were established - there are multiple methods for describing equipment, and no real means to differentiate them by "category".

    Thus, I'm having to take all of the GDF files, put all of the equipment data into one text files, and standardizing them before I try to output them into a standard XML schema.

    But - the good news is, if you know coding in any language - you should be able to open a text file, and export into a xml schema format that you can lift directly into the db.xml file that you have as a GM running a game.

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