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STAFF&CREW

Writers: Benjamin Wright


Mike 'R oter
,F ront Cover: Lionel Talaro
Back Cover: Mark Schumann
Illustration: Ric Lowry
Angela Lowry
Barry Winston
Matt: J. Haley
Layout & Design: Mark Schumann
Matt Anacleto
Editing: Derek Quintanar. S.E.
:louise Stewart
Playtesters: Ross Winn
Jeff Hexter
Craig Sheeley
Scott Taylor

Copyright 1993 R. Talsorian Games All Rights Reserved. Cyberpunk® is


R. Talsorian's trademark name for its game of the dark future. Wildside is a
trademark of R. Talsorian Games Inc. All Rights Reserved. All incidents, situations,
and persons portrayed within are fictional and any similarity, without satiric intent,
to characters living or dead is strictly coincidental.
CP3271
ISBN# 0-937279-42-0
~ •••• ~. ~.~ •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• » ••••••••• • ••••• •• •••••• •• • •••••• ~ •• •••••

JlJ.WILDSIDE
InsideWildside .................................................................................................................................................... 4

What Mak:es a Fixer Tick:? .........................................................................................................................4

FIXERS ...........................................................................................................................................................................7

What is a Fixer? ............................................................................................................................................7

Streetdeal.........................................................................................................................................................8

ComRIications...............................................................................................................................................17

specialized Fixers ..................................................................................................................................19

The Extended Family .........................................................................................................................35

NAME OF THE GAME.........................................................................................................................................39

Creating a Fixer.......................................................................................................................................39

Forming a 8usiness................................................................................................................................41

Fitting"Fixers In .......................................................................................................................................45

Fixin' The Campaign ............................................................................................................................48

TOOLS OF THE TRADE...................................................................................................................................51

How to Influence Friends and Mak:e People Do What You Want...........51

Electronic Livelihood ..........................................................................................................................53

Money in 2020 ...........................................................................................................................................57

SINs of Identity ...................................................................................................................................... 62

THE STREET ........................................................................................................................................................... 67

The Strip ......................................................................................................................................................... 67

A Sample StriP: Night City's High Street....................................................................68

Upside Down Town .................................................................................................................................74

Tech Effects................................................................................................................................................74

Talk:ing the Talk:.........................................................................................................................................83

It's a "Small(er) World .........................................................................................................................84

APPENDICIES .......................................................................................................................................................89

~nd!X A- Religioo CVld Pditiqs.._....................._...................................................._....................................................89

~ndl~ 8- Reference Materlal..........................................._..........................................._........................................_.93

AppendiX C - StreetslaQg...........................................................................................................93

Appendix D- Atmosphere r~es............................_..........................................................................................................94

WILDSIDE.

tion of Fixers with thieves; this is a bland 2020 that it seems a shame to devote all
oversimplification. Fixers are the brains attention to corporate extractions and
behind the operation while others per­ gang shoot-outs. As the authors of this
form the hands-on dirty work. Fixers book, we hope you will use it~ informa··
work with people; they are go-betweens, tion to expand your gaming horizons. If
By Benjamin Wright masterminds and negotiators. If they you think freelancing for the corpora­
can, they hire other characters to carry tions as a black ops team-for-hire is
and Michael Roter out missions. This fact should help tough, try establishing and running a
highlight the important idea that Fixers successful smuggling operation! Go
Wekome to the Wildside. You now are everywhere: they own the nightclubs ahead and try anything and everything
stand at the gates to the underground ... of which edgerunners are so fond; they in your games ... play a heavily-sculpted
and as you meander through the pages buy restricted weapons and sell restrict­ exotic Fixer, run a gambling casino as a
of this book, you'll get the inside story ed cyberware, and perform all the other Bookie-business adventure, or set up a
on all the deals, scams, rackets and duties which keep covert capitalism "raid & trade" campaign in orbit. Why
lowlife that make up Cyberpunk. The alive. Beyond this, Fixers have many not do aU three? Check out the edges of
Wildside is the prototypical gray area , roles in the "legitimate" world, manag­ Cyberpunk and see what you find .
where nothing is simple and despera­ ing the careers of big-name Rockers, Don't be trapped by any bounds,
tion meets decadence. This is the stuff acting as political favor brokers, hiring even the ones in this book. If there's
of the Street, the dominion of the Fixer themselves out as media talent scouts something you don't like, ignore it. If
and the essence of Cyberpunk The Wild­ and even being your local Avon lady! certain rules would walk all over your
side has always been at the beating No matter what position they fulfill, Fix­ character or campaign, pretend you
heart of the dark future, but so far it has ers can add new dimensions to a Cyber­ never read it or rewri te it to sui t your
been relegated to half-written codes. It punk game. purposes. After all, rules should always
has never been thoroughly explored New dimensions are what Wildside is be secondary to role-playing. However,
and the systems which make it work all about. Cyberpunk may be full of creative be warned that even one rules change
have never been named, published or violence, but it is a world where bullet~ in your game can disrupt the balance of
explained. Until now. Why? Because it's can cut through armor like cheesecloth a campaign. Like all things in Cyber1JUnk,
not pretty. Th is stuff is grungy, nervous, and dying is not only inevitable-it's easy. a pebble thrown into a pond makes
illegal, confused, jury-rigged, menac­ In such an environment, combat is an waves. Technologies used to make
ing, claustrophobic and disturbing. obstacle, not a goal. There are so many weapons will trickle down to the general
Most people want glamour and action role-playing possibilities in Cyberpunk public and show up in toasters, so
out of their endeavors, but there's more remember the law of cause and effect:
to Cyberpunk than that. If you don't want every effect ha~ it~ CAWS.
to know, don't bother reading any fur­
ther. Like they say on the Strip, "If
you're squeamish, don't kick the beach
rubble."
Some people may wonder why this
WHAT MAKES A

book is needed; after all, everyone


knows that street lowlife is an integral
FIX'ER TICK?
part of Cyberpunk and Fixers are just The following was downloaded
thieves and drug dealers, right? from the files of the School of Human
No . Although it may be perfectly Sciences at the University of Hamburg
clear to your average Cyberpunk player in Germany. It contains excerpt~ from a
that the underground exists, some play­ lecture by the University'S Dr. Jurgen
ers fail to grasp all its subtleties and Zielger, Chief of the Department of
nuances. The underground can be diffi­ Modern Anthropology and Sociology,
cult to understand, therefore some roIe­ entitled "Behavior Patterns of the North
players try to gloss over its intricacies. American Fixer." The lecture was given
Now they no longer have to . Despite the at an international Sociology confer­
number of Fixer characters that are out ence held at the Mat~uyama Institute of
there, less has been said about this role Higher Learning in Osaka,Japan . This
than any other in the Cyberpunk 2020 written transcript was translated from
rules. Perhaps the greatest misunder­ German-audio, video and braindance
standing of these characters is the equa- recordings are also available.

J!lWILDSIDE
" ... North America has always been told me of his desire to move into the - the hole in your souL"
noted for its high crime rate. A natural smuggling of stolen human organs. I: "What exactly does that mean?"
but nonetheless disturbing result of this InterViewer: "Your life style must be #23: "It means that one day you
century-long trend of civil rebellion is very exciting? I've seen many popular walk up and put 3 nines in a brat who
the evolution of the so-called Fixer. For braindance chips and videos highIight­ ain't even old enough to shave just
those members of my audience who ing life on the American street~." 'cause he's in your way."
may not be familiar with the term, a #23: "Exciting? I don't think you 1: '"nines?'''
Fixer is an independent street operative really understand what's here, gato." #23: [makes a gun out of his hand
who specializes in the exchange of I: "Please, enlighten us." by pointing with his index finger and
goods-any type of goods, be they #23: Excitement - yeah, I guess. If dropping his thumb] "Bang!!"
found, bargained for or stolen-for as living in a sewer is your idea of excitin'. I: "Uh ... "
great a profit margin as possible. This I: "But, what about the romance, #23: "The hole, gaijin. It means that
lecture centers mostly on the North the adventure?" soap-opera love is too good for ya now.
American Fixer, but as my honorable #23: "Adventure? You want the fairy Best you can hope for is a hot night with
hosts can attest, the phenomena is not tale, don't you? Here's the facts: every some cold fraulein between the sheets
limited to the Americas ... , day you wake up and look over that ... All shake, man, no heat."
" ...The subject of interview #23 hails edge, into that hole in yourself, and I: "Er.... how is your dinner?"
from Quebec. He has spent the last 15 every day it grows a little bit larger... " #23: "Well, I'll say this much, it's
years on the streets of Providence, RI, in I: "How clever, an allusion to Niet­ not like my usual grub-time."
the northeastern region of the United zche, no doubt." I: "Why would that be?"
States of America. During his career, #23: "Who?" #23: "For once, I don't hafta worry
#23 has been a drug dealer, a trafficker I: "Excuse me. You were saying whether the knife or the fork would
in stolen goods and, most recently, a something about a 'hole.'" make a better weapon, if there was trou­
trader in highly illegal software. #23 has #23: "Yeah, the hole in your heart ble .. ."

WIlDSIDE J4t.
JAiWILDSIDE
.:{,:( ;.

In
2020, corporations and conglomerates influence sometimes hire whole Nomad
compete to direct the cash flow of packs to back a client's contrdCt.
In any line of work, people are a Fix­
entire populations, governments strug­
er's most valuable commodity. A Fixer's
gle to maintain their uneven influence, contacts and allies can form a potentially
and crime waves wash back and forth across the vast web of information, intrigue and
cities. While not exactly utopian, this chaotic situa­ coercion, allowing him to pull strings
tion provides an ideal environment for freebooting without acting directly. Through this
entrepreneurs; shady characters such as smug­ network a Fixer can buy and sell favors
and make connections in any kind of
glers, freelance negotiators, organizers and infor­
business, deal or even political group.
mation brokers. In Cyberpunk parlance: Fixers. Fixers are ubiquitous characters; they
A Fixer is a power broker of the Eventually, a successful Fixer moves buy into hot nightclubs, smuggle mili­
Street, a man whose mission is to make out of the nickel-and-dime stuff into big­ tary-surplus weapons onto the street, and
things happen in the semi-legal swamp time action. Most Fixers settle on a par­ play negotiator between sides if a corpo­
that is the cyberpunk's world. A Fixer ticular racket, such as smuggling­ rate war is going down (with a definite
needs to know many people and have a there's big Euro to be made moving eye on the main chance).
lot of information; that way, he can bring illegal weapons over the border. Out of Fixers are, by nature, ruthlessly profit­
the right talent and resources together necessity, any Fixer worth his salt has a oriented, but it is not entirely unheard-of
and accomplish something. Perhaps he's strong talent for making his own oppor­ for a Fixer to do a good deed . A Fixer can
trying to run a successful drug ring; per­ tunities. If you can't break into the gun­ hide someone who needs to get the heat
haps he's putting together a black ops running scene, you might try creating a off, get people housing when there isn't
team-it doesn't matter. Smart business demand which you can supply, such as any, or bring food into blockaded neigh­
is what a Fixer is all about, because busi­ stealing and reselling medical supplies borhoods. Perhaps these uncommon Fix­
ness means money. from the corporations. ers like the idea of helping people in
Most Fixers have a less than glorious While stealing and selling is good need, but it doesn't hurt that these people
past. They commonly start out as small­ work if you can get it, the true center ofa will be in the Fixer's debt, and if they can
time punks; little different from the Fixer's power comes from his contacts, pay for services rendered, well that's even
assorted muggers, streetgangers and so it's only naturdl that many Fixers find better, isn't it? In a the socially fragment­
Solo wannabes. However, the true mark their calling as skill brokers-acting as ed 2020's, Fixers often bridge the gaps
of a Fixer is a certain knack for figuring an agent for talented people. Any major that the proles can't cross on their own.
out what other people want, and how to city has a pool of high-priced Solos and Fixers stand apart from the rest of the
get it for them, a~ well a~ a willingness to Netrunners who need representation. desperate population of the Cyber/Junk
do this only if the price is right. Agent-type Fixers with wide-reaching world by their special ability, Streeldeal.

WILDSIDE .Ill

This "skill" represents their ability to col­ groups are beyond your reach . At level come from the same source: people. Fix­
lect information, make deals and have +9, you are the equivalent of a MafIa ers live and die by their contact~,
contacts in all levels of society. To truly crime lord yourself, privy to every secret whether they know one powerful corpo­
understmd what a Fixer is, one must first that's on the street. Generally speaking, rate or several dozen snitches, making
understand Streetdeal. the capabilities reflected by your Street­ Streetdeal a kind of "people power". A
deal special ability will function as a skill Fixer may not be a great shot, a comput­
added to your COOL stat in game play. er whiz or a big-time music hero, but
when he talks, things happen. Fixers are
S'TREETDEAL organizers. Fixers are motivators. Fixers

This mysterious and powerful Spe­


Streetdeal: The Big
are the power 'behind life on the street.
Anything that goes down on the street is
cial Ability called Streetdeal is the one Picture
usually involved in some Fixer's scheme.
thing that a Fixer cannot exist without. The information you have just read The trick to Fixing and Streetdeal­
What is Streetdeal, and how is it used? It can be found in the CyberJiUnk 2020. rule­ ing is to make use make use of your "peo­
is, as the name implies, a competence in book. As it says, the number of points ple power". In other words, you have to
issues where money and the street inter­ you put into your Streetdeal ability know people. If you don't know anyone,
sect. In game terms, Streetdeal allows reflects not only your competence and you're a crummy Fixer. On the Street,
you to locate and acquire a desired per­ talent, but also your position in your cho­ useful people are called -you guessed
son, place or thing; for example, Street­ sen field-your reputation and compara­ it-contacts.
deal can be used to locate people or get tive status among other Fixers. If your
valuable information. It is, largely, a Streetdeal is 1-5, you are a simple street
runner, but at level 6 you could lead a
reflection ofthe fixer's talent of network­
ing with other people. Having the ability small racketeering gang. At level 7, you
Contacts
of Streetdeal is somewhat like the could run a multi-faceted operation and The use of contacts is where a Fix­
Litepath event of "making a connection" at level 8 you could control an entire er's power comes from. However, con­
(CP2020 2nd printing, pg. 27). Instead neighborhood, either for yourself, or tacts can sometimes be tricky because
of knowing only one particular person, possibly as a lieutenant in a crime family. (annoyingly) they have wills of their
you have made numerous connections At level 9 you are a powerful networker own. In a roleplaying game, you mayor
over the course of your career. Through known citY-Wide, or you are in the inner may not have the opportunity, desire or
his many contact~, a Fixer has a superior circle ofa crime family, while at level 10 capability to fully explore the complex
ability to deal with the underground you ARE an organization unto yourself. networking necessitated by having
information network. Therefore, a Fixer Realistically, a Fixer automatically has a many contacts . For this reason, three
is adept at uncovering rumors and infor­ Reputation score (see Cyberj)unk 2020) different approaches to contact~ will be
mation, finding things which are in equal to one-half his Streetdeal special offered below, and you may choose
demand, putting gossip out on the ability. Therefore, the name of a Fixer which one suits your personality, char­
Street, picking up clues and ultimately with a Streetdeal of 10 will be recognized acter and game best. The first system,
scoring big deals. by others beyond his local area, as is called Down & Dirty, is the fastest and
The number of points you put into befitting a crime lord or other bigshot. simplest way to use contacts in your
your Streetdeal ability reflect~ your com­ Has this answered your questions game. It is best suited to one-shot ses­
petence as a Fixer. The higher your about what Streetdeal is and what it sions, such as Con events and nightly
Streetdeal ability, the more connections does? No? Not surprising. Streetdeal is one-shots. The second system is called
you have, and the more information you the most unique, complex and potential­ Hot Stuff, and it is an intermediate
can gather about things happening ly most powerful Special Ability in the method which is reasonably simple,
around you. As a Fixer's Streetdeal CyberJmnk world; read on and see. roleplayer-friendly, and fast. It is a
increases, so does his group of infor­ This special ability is so powerful "standard-issue" system which takes
mant~, and in turn he can dig up increas­ because it is so expansive. Another good some preparation, and is good for
ingly secretive information (or, more name for Streetdeal might be "Network­ multi-session adventures and shorter
accurately, he can have other people dig ing" because a Fixer's business is totally campaigns. The Big League is the final
lip the information) . A level +3 Street­ connected to interacting with other peo­ system, and it is the most involved. It
deal can get/find weapons , tools , and ple. Fixers, as reflected by their special requires a good deal of preparation
people who can carry out minor illegal ability, have their strengths focused in and is heavy on roleplaying , so it is
operations. At level +5, you can pene­ five main areas: Contacts, Information, advisable that this system be used main­
trate the secrets of anyone you're likely Resources, Streetwise, and Dealmaking. ly in long-running campaigns and solo
to come into contact with; only crime These five categories make up the many Fixer adventures. The three systems are
families, corporations and other large speCial abilities of Streetdeal, but they all explained below.

Jll WIlDSIDE
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Down & Dirty requires the application ofa little com­


mon sense. For example, Mad Man
plating is pretty rare no matter how
you look at it). If Mad Man Mandel
[Do\.ln & Dirty Bonus: +1/2 Street­
deal (rounded dO\.ln)] Mandel is a black market cyberware were not a cyberware-oriented Black
dealer (a B"lack Marketeer type of Fixer Marketeer, he would not have gotten
When your roleplaying environ­ specializing in cyberware) with a the +4 to his roll, so his total roll would
ment is relatively simplified, stream­ COOL of 8 and a Streetdeal of +S. have been 16 + IDIO, which would
lined or otherwise stripped-down, such Let's say a client asks him to get hold of have made it much harder for him to
as in a one-night "pickup" game or a a gold-plated cyberhand with built-in be successful. Similarly, if he were a
Con event, Fixers are best played Down Scratchers, common sense tells us that cyberware Black Marketeer who had
& Dirty. This system requires virtually this comes under his area of expertise been asked to find a missing person,
no pre-planning on the part of the (cyberware). In this situation, Mad he would also not receive his +4 bonus.
player. All you need to have is your Man Mandel's respectable network of Your bonus may also be canceled by
Fixer specialization (see SjJeciaZized Fix­ contacts (underground cyber-techni­ circumstantial difficulties (again, this
ers, page 19) and your current level of cians, inventory managers in cyberware is up to your referee) such as your
your Streetdeal special ability. Down & stores, used cyberware scavengers , familiarity with an area. Mad Man Man­
Dirty contacts are represented by a etc.) wil1 be able to help him out, so he del, a Night City native, would have a
bonus to your Streetdeal roll in your gets a +4 bonus (1/2 of S = 4) to his very hard time finding his client any
particular field. The bonus is equal to Streetdeal roll. His total roll would be cyberware at a ll if he was stranded in
one-half your Streetdeal level (round­ 20 + IDIO (lDIO + COOL-S + Street­ the middle of Africa. However, he
ed down). If the roll does not involve deal-S + Specialty-4). His chance of suc­ could call one of his contacts and se e if
the Fixer's specialty, then no bonus is cess would depend on what his referee they could point him in the right direc­
awarded . Whether or not the situation decides is the difficulty of finding a tion, so the referee should still Jet the
is covered by the Fixer's area of exper­ gold-plated cyberhand with Scratch­ Fixer make a roll (with a hefty negative
tise depends on the situation and ers-probably about a 25 (real gold modifier) .

WILDSIDE JlJ..

Hot Stuff wouldn't be smart; if he settles for just


TheBlgLe~
one roll less, it would only cost him 32
[Hot Stuff Network Points: [The Big League Contact Points:
points-he could afford an extra four (Streetdeal x 2) x (Streetdeal x 2)]
Streetdeal x Streetdeal]
rolls in some other area as well (such as
When playing a Fixer in a "regular" Black Clinics, so he could provide instal­ This is the la~t word in Fixer roleplay­
gaming environment, namely as a mem­ lation and repair services to his cus­ ing. If you are involved in an ongoing,
ber of a group or "party" involved in a tomers). However, Mad Man Mandel's open-ended campaign, or if you are play­
self-contained but multi-session adven­ player decides instead to break up his 64 ing a solo game (not that kind of Solol!),
ture, your contacts become Hot Stuff. points like this: he puts 32 points into with your referee, then this is the only way
Hot Stuff requires that the player spend cyberware, 16 point~ into Black Clinics, 8 to fly. The Big League is highly specific
some time "fleshing out" his character's points into Night City Gangs (so he'll be and totally comprehensive. When playing
network at the time of character creation. in The Big League, the Fixer character's
The procedure is simple enough, but it creation process becomes almost sec­
takes a little th{mght and attention. As ondary to the creation of his network of
with the Down & Dirty system mentioned contact~. Roleplaying is stressed in this sys­
above, you will need to know your Fixer's "If you spealc tem, so there are no numerical bonuses
specialization (see Specialized Fixers, page or other flashy advantages which are
19) and your his/her current Streetdeal English slowly di rectly attached to the Streetdeal special
level. However, instead of receiving a ability. Instead, The Big League draws on
numerical bonus to your Streetdeal roll enough and your StreetdealleveI to generate a broad,
in game play, Hot Stuff simulates your opportunity-rich roleplaying envelope.
interaction wi,th multiple sources, snitch­ loudly The Big League is basically an advanced
es, moles and contact~ by al1()wing you to incarnation of Hot Stuff. In The Big
make more than one roll for the same enough... you League, you multiply your current Street­
task-if you fait to beat the difficulty dealleveI by 2, and then square that num­
number with your first roll,just try againl can get shot ber (multiply it by it~elf)-the resulting
To use the Hot Stuff system, you must number is called your Contact Point~.
square your current Streetdeal level in the head Contact Point~ are used to buy contact~ in
(multiply it by it~elf)-the resulting num­ the form of NPCs, so that the more Con­
ber is your Network Point~. These point~ for being an tact Point~ you have, the more contact~
are spent for extra rolls in a specific field you have and the more useful those con­
or area (such as cyberware, monetary ser­ uncultured tact~ are.

vices, the grapevine, etc.) . One extra roll Contact~, as full-fledged NPCs, may
cost~ a base of 4 poin t~ , doubled for each idiot." be any type of character. An expensive
extra roll after; therefore, two extra rolls contact would be a high-ranking corpo­
cost~ 8 point~, and three extra rolls cost~ -An Unk:nown rate executive, while a cheap contact
16 point~, four extra rolls would cost 32 would be a streetkid who is always high on
point~, and five extra rolls would cost 64 Euro-Fixer 'Dorph. Whoever or whatever the contact
point~. These co.~t~ impose two limit~ on is, they are there to prOvide the Fixer with
the possible number of roles: firstly, no something, be it fake IDs, illegal weapons,
one can make more than six rolls, since cheap thrills or information . Since the
no player can have 128 Network Poin t~ . player pays point~ for his contact~, it is
Secondly, Level 1 Fixers cannot afford to assumed that the contact will be on rela­
get ANY extnl rolls, since they're just too tively good terms with the character (of
lowly, Tough luck, guys. able to find buyers), 4 point~ into Forged course, in Cy1wr1)unh it's a bad idea to
As an example of the Hot Stuff sys­ Documents (so he can make his sales REALLY trust anyone). However, they will
tem, we return to ou r old friend Mad seem legal), and 4 points into Police usually want something in exchange for
Man Mandel (the cyberware Black Mar­ Information (so he'll know when they're their help; it may be money, it may be
keteer with a COOL of 8 and a Streetdeal coming after him). He has no leftover drugs, it may be a favor, but we all know
of +8), who has 64 Network Point~ (8 x 8 point~, so he's all set, but odd Streetdeal nothing's free . Right, gato?
= 64). Mad Man Mandel's player, at the levels will grant another odd number The type of character the contact is
time of character creation, must decide when squared, so some of you are bound will determine what they can provide for
how he wants to allot these points. He to have 1 point left over. One point is of the Fixer. An inventory manager at the
could dump all 64 point~ into cybenvare, no llse to YOll since it won '[ buy any extra local Part~ N' Programs won't be much
granting hirr. five extra rolls, but that rolls . Too bad. Life.iust ain't fair, is it? help with money laundering services, but

.JlS.. WILDSIDE
he'll be very useful for new cyberware. what the contact can actually DO. • Reputation 0-2: This contact is
However, even very powerful contacts When making use of a contact, the ref­ involved with a very narrow field with­
have their limits. A member of Congress eree secretly rolls IDIO and adds the in his occupation. An organized
can be quite handy in many situations, contact's Capability Number. This crime contact would be involved only
but he sure won't be much good in get­ number stands in for the contact's with one of his family's racket~ (such
ting you custom-designed aphrodisiacs. It applicable Stat+Skill totals in h is area a~ protection), a police con tact would
all depends on what the contact's own of expertise (that is, his occupation). be involved only \vith one project
capabilities are. Each contact will have The referee compares the result of (such as infiltrating a particular
their own resources and skill levels, which IDIO plus the contact's Capability to crime family), and a corporate con­
are determined when the contact is the difficulty he has aSSigned to the tact would only be involved with one
bought from the Fixer's Contact Points. task to find out if the contact will be of his corporation's department
Before any Contact Points are spent, able to help the player. There are five (such as accounting). Cost is xO.5
the contact's occupation must be decid­ levels of Capability, as are listed below:
ed. This need not be one of the Roles
from the Cyberpunk rules, although it • Reputation 3-5: This contact is
can be. The descriptions should be limit­ • Snitch: (you meet a lot of people involved with a typical field within his
ed to one 'Job," or lifestyle. Perhaps the that are 95% useless in the "scene," occupation. An organized crime con­
contact is a Corporate, perhaps another but when they do manage to do tact would be acquainted with most
Fixer. Perhaps a Cop, Media or Nomad. something for you, you cultivate of his family's operations, a police
Maybe they are a homeless person or an them) Capability of 5+1DIO. Cost contact would be involved with a
organized criminal. Other options is 5 points whole department (like homicide),
include government employee or official, and a corporate contact would be
private investigator, musician, prostitute, knowledgeable with most of his cor­
club owner, gang member, dock worker, • Incapable:The contact has a Capa­ poration 's a~pect~. Cost is xl.O
thief, construction worker, lawyer, scien­ bility of 10+lDlO. Cost is 10 point~.
tist, soldier, librarian, terrorist, college
professor, mercenary, or an orbital char­ • Reputation 6-8: This contact is
acter of some kind. The options are infi­ • Capable: The contact has a Capa­ involved with a wide field within his
nite, but some kind of occupation must bility of 15+1DIO. Cost is 15 point~. occupation. An organized crime con­
be specified. Then the contact is priced. tact would be acquainted with all of
The cost in Contact Points for each his family's operations and those of
NPC contact is ba~ed on their level of skill • Very Capable: The contact has a the other families in the city, a police
in their occupation, the amount of access capability of 20+1DIO. Cost is 25 contact would be involved with the
and/or influence they have in their given point~. entire local police force, and a corpo­
area of expertise, as well as their availabili­ rate contact would only be familiar
ty and reliability. AJI of these determining with all of his corporation 's aspect~
factors are subject to opinion, so the • Super-Capable: The contact has a and those of other businesses in the
proces~ of buying contact~ should be car­ capability of 25+1DIO. Cost is 40 same industry. Cost is xl.S
ried out with your referee. The list of points.
potential contacts is virtually unlimited, so
the descriptions listed below are rather • Reputation 9-10: This contact is
generdl in their na ture.
Contact Reputation involved with an expansive field with­
in his occupation . An organized
This covers the amoun t of influ­ crime contact would be fully aware of
ence and access the contact has within every single aspect of his family's
Contact Capability his particular area of specialization. operations and knowledgeable of
The capability ofa contact within Once it has been decided what the organized crime around the world , a
his occupation determines the base contact's Capability is, it must be police contact would be involved with
cost of the contact. Once the contact's decided how important they are in an entire national police force (such
occupation has been decided, their their field. This translates directly into as the CIA, Interpol or Netwatch),
level of competence and talent in that their reputation score . Contacts who and a corporate contact would be
occupation is bought with Contact are not very well-renowned in their one of the inner circle of an entire
Points. A very capable contact will be field will be cheaper, as their reputa­ industry (perhaps a corporate pres­
more expensive than a sub-standard tion will tell you how well-connected ident or chairman) . Cost is x2.0
one, so the varying costs determine they are.

WILDSIDE.

dump LUCK points into it. A LUCK­ loyal ... and don't forget, whatever you
Contact Availability based Availability roll may be made once pay your contact, the enemy could be
The trouble with NPC contacts is per day. willing to pay him more.
that they have minds of their own! This
means that they will not always be avail­
able when you need them . It is logical to • Seldom Available: LUCK+IDlO vs. • Unreliable: This contact is
assume that the more important a con­ 18. Cost is xO.5. unscrupulous . If his Capability roll
tact is (that is to say, the higher their rep­ fails, he'll deceive you (give you bad
utation is), the less available they are . merchandise, lie, whatever) and if
This is usually true (just look at the costs • Sometimes Available: LUCK+IDIO the Capability roll critically fails,
otherwise). However, if you have Contact vs. 12. Cost is x1.0. he'll backstab you, sell you out to the
Points to burn, you can buy a contact enemy, or some other treacherous
who is virtually at your beck and call. betrayal. Cost is xO.5.
One a~pect of Availability is determining • Often Available: LUCK+ IDI 0 vs. 8.
how the Fixer regularly contacts this Cost is x 1.5.
NPC-is it by phone, in the Net, at a • Reliable: This is a pretty typical con­
favored meeting place, or by carrier tact. If his Capability rolI fails, he
pigeon? A contact's availability may also • Always Available: LUCK+ IDI0 vs. 5. simply cannot help you and if the
represent how willing they are to talk to Cost is x2.0. Capability roll critically fails, he'll
you. IEthey prefer to hear from you once deceive you (give you bad merchan­
a month or Iless, that effectively makes dise , lie, whatever). Cost is xl.O .
them less available. Availability is based
on a difficulty versus the Fixer's LUCK
Contact Reliability
stat + IDI0. This rolI does not use up This is the final aspect of contact cre­ • Very Reliable: This is a superior con­
LUCK points, unless you also decide to ation. Each contact, being an NPC, is tact. If his Capabili ty rolI fails, he
capable of letting cannot help you now but suggest~
you down . Maybe you try him again in ID6+1 days
they have nothing (another failure then means he's no
useful for you this help). If the Capability roll critically
time, maybe they fails, he simply cannot help you at
just don't want to all. Cost is xl.5 .
help you, or
maybe they're
lying to you and • Super-Reliable: This is an excellent
are selling you out contact. Ifhis Capability roll fails, he
behind your back. will DEFINITELY be able to help
You can't always you in ID6+1 days. If the Capability
know if such a roll critically fails, he cannot help
thing ,viII happen , you now but suggest~ you try him
but you can try to again in ID6+1 days (another failure
prevent it by pay­ then means he's no help). Cost is
ing Contact x2.0.
Points for their
reliability. On a The Big League will create a kind of
case-by-case basis, supporting cast for the Fixer, so that he
you can literally will come with his own pre-generated
buy the contacts network of contact~. Players and referees
reliability by brib­ should endeavor to make these NPC
ing him. This will contact~ as "alive" as they like, perhaps
have to be role­ delineating the history betwee~ the
played out, and Fixer and his contact, the contact's
the referee will appearance and habit~, and perhaps
decide how much even a few of the contact's contact~. This
Euro it will take to is a somewhat slow, painstaking process,
keep the contact but the rewards are a large ca~t of charac­

J!l WILDSIDE

~; ." ..,., .,:" ",., ..:.:., .,


.:.: " .,., : "". ::" .. ; .. .,:

ters (read: plot devices) and an effective contacts. IP affects your game capabili­
roleplaying aid for both the Fixer and ties only when you have gone up a full
the Referee. level; 3 IP won't buy you one more little
contact. Once you have enough IP to
move up a full level, you can increase
Which Is Which? your abilities. It is assumed that when
you go up a level of Streetdeal, you have
The three systems for dealing with a managed to make a big enough score
Fixer's contacts are interchangeable. that your name has become more well­
Whatever system you choose to use when recognized. In making a big enough
creating your character, you can always score (or enough big scores), you now
move to one of the other systems if your have a better rep and thus more people
game calls for it. If you have a Fixer who will be willing to deal with you . Remem­
plays in The Big League, and you decide ber that your Reputation is equal to 1/ 2
you want (0 use her in a one-night pick­ your Streetdeal, so if you go from a 5 to a
up game , you can simply shunt over to 6 in Streetdeal, your Rep will go up from
the Down and Dirty system. Or, if your a 2 to a 3. It has always been true on the
referee doesn't want to deal with all the Street that your Rep is more important
complexities of the Big League, you can than your credit rating(as any Fixer will
compromise with Hot Stuff. Even if you tell you).
create a Fixer with the Down and Dirty
method, after a few sessions she is bound
to interact with several NPCs who would
qualify as contacts of various calibers.
Information
Should you want your Down and Dirty Everybody knows that information is
Fixer to graduate to The Big League,just power. Well, gato, information can also
figure out what kind of Contact Points be free. There are a lot of things you can
these NPC~ would be worth, and spend find out if you know where to look... or
what you have left as you see fit. Then who to ask. Fixers, as people who know
you're all set. people (who know more people), have
Whatever system of contact~ you use, plenty of associates who they can ask for
there are two complications which you information. Even if the contacts do not
WILL encounter. The first is that you will have the information the Fixer wants,
no doubt make new contacts during the the contacts can ask their own contacts.
course of a game, even though you did The process may take some time, but is
not pay any points for them. That's fine . bound to grant result~. In fact, time is an
The systems offered above are designed important aspect of information-gather­
simply to give your character a boost at ing. The longer a Fixer (or anyone, for
the start of game play. If you have a mere that matter) spends seeking out informa­
level 1 in Streetdeal, and you somehow tion, the better the chances are of suc­
establish a relationship with the CEO of cess. If you're looking for a streetgang's
WorldSat, go with it. You may not have secret hideout, an hour-long search is
paid any points for him, but he's there not going to be as fruitful as a day-long
for you now.Just remember that a tried or week-long search . In essence, the
and true contact is more than a simple amount of time spent looking for a par­
acquaintance, it is someone with whom ticular piece of information modifies the
you have a symbiotic relationship. The difficulty number. In other words, the
second type of complication is the issue referee should base the difficulty of the
ofImprovement Point~. A~ you play, you task (to some extent) on the amount of
will amass IP in your special ability, time spent on the task; learning the loca­
which will eventually raise you to a new tion ofa gang's secret hideout in an hour
level of Streetdeal. In the Down and would be Nearly Impossible (Diff=30), in
Dirty method , you get a bigger bonus; in a day would be Very Difficult (Diff=2S)
Hot Stuff, you get another roll (maybe); and in a week would be Difficult
in The Big League, you can afford more (Diff=20). This also works in reverse­
•• ~ •• •• ~ •••• 3 ••• ••••• • •• ••• ~ ••••••• ••••••••• • • •••••••• •••••••••••• ••••• • • ••••••••• • • •••

WILDSIDE Jl
the higher the Fixer's Streetdeal roll, the ware. Does he have a gold-plated hand
less time his information quest takes (for with Scratchers? Well , that's another
every 5 points that the roll exceeds the story ...
Diff. Rating, reduce the time factor by This is a moderate scenario, with a
one catagory). These rules also apply for good amount of skill-rolling and room
other players usi ng Streetwise and Private for plenty of roleplaying. Once again, it
Eyes using their combined Streetwise and all depends on your ga me . However, the
Research (see 'VWlen Gravity Fails, page 45­ Fixer's ability to get information is useful
46) . In fact, Fixers operate somewhat like not only to himself, but also to other play­
Private Investigators, spending time on ers in the party, as well as the referee. Fix­
the streets, in bars and clubs, on the ers are useful for picking up clues, which
phone a nd in the Net trying to dig up helps move any adventure along, and
whatever information they are looking that makes players and referees alike
for (but Fixers can use the added bonus­ happy. If Fixers are well-connected
es of the Down & Dirty or Hot Stuff sys­ enough, and cultivate the right contact~,
tems, or use the connections of their they can dig up secretive information .
contacts in The Big League). This may be for the good of the party, or
Info rmation gathering is a case for their own advantage-they may even
where a Fixer's specialization becomes get dirt on other player charactersl
important. If you are an information-ori­ (Blackmail, anyone?) By tapping the
en ted character, you will get good bonus­ grapevine and accessing the under­
es to finding things out. However, your ground information network, Fixers are
information is only as good as your con­ excellent at "environmental reconnais­
tacts, so the referee must be careful in sance," that is, gathering information
judging the results of any information­ about the things happening around you.
related Streetdeal roll. A Fixer may use A Fixer lives longer if he knows what the
his Streetdeal to find important clues or latest rumors are; a few of them may turn
goods-take Mad Man Mandel as an out to be truel If you heard a rumor that
example. the Mob was going to move in on the
If Mad Man Mandel were looking Yakuza, you might do well to steer clear
for a gold-plated cyberhand with built-in of Little Italy andJapantown . You'd feel
Scratchers for a client, he could start by pretty dumb getting gunned down in a
checking what news is floating around mob war crossfire, wouldn ' t you? With
on the grapevine. He'll hear several their access to information , Fixers
rumors, most of which will be worthless become exceptionally useful game ele­
to him, but if he makes a good Streetdeal ment~, making them attractive as a char­
roll (or roleplays well , or isjust lucky) he acter choice for players, attractive to play­
may hear something useful. Maybe er groups as useful a~set to the team, and
there 's a rumor that a nearby cybernetics attractive to referees as scenario motiva­
warehouse was raided. Mad Man Mandel tors. It is generally advisable that the gath­
smells Biz now, and he decides to talk to ering of information be roleplayed rather
some of his contacts and see if there is carefully, as a reckless roll of the dice
any news about the robbery of the ware­ taken out of context can sometimes
house . Another high Streetdeal roll, reduce an adventure from a quest across
good rolepl aying, or luck, could result in country to a chat on the cell phone. Play it
one of Mad Ma n Mandel's contacts out, but the roleplaying should be com­
telling him that the thieves fenced the plemented by an appropriate Streetdeal
goods with a major black marketeer in roll. A~ long a~ referees are careful not to
town. The enterprising Fixer decides to let this get out of hand, a Fixer's informa­
put a rumor on the Street that he's look­ tion-gathering powers should be most
ing for new cyberware, and if things go helpful. A final note: always cross-check
his way, his Streetdeal / Rep is powerful info from different sources! This is espe­
enough to grant results . Mad Man Man­ cially important when dealing with multi­
del gets a call on his cellular phone from ple contacts of questional reliability.
Jimmy The H, who has the hot cyber- (When weren't they?)

J&l WILDSIDE

·.... ... .:'.. :....:


' :.:.: .~ -:.:.: ..:.:....:........,.. ,

':':':" :':':.:':':'::::':,:,,::, :.:.:.:,...:.:.: .. :':.'..:,.,..'.'.... '.

Resources Cannon would be closer to 30, and req­


uisitioning a sportscar would probably
knowledge of the seamy side of life, such
as getting illegal and contraband things,
Resources is the special ability of the be out of the question (since cars are not how to talk to the criminal element, and
Corporate character class, but the Fixer part of his business). However, a high­ how to avoid bad situations in bad neigh­
special ability of Streetdeal also func­ ranking member of a Mob family proba­ borhoods. The difference between
tions, to some extent, as a Resources abil­ bly would be able to request a sportscar, Streetwise and Streetdeal is that Street­
ity. The higher a Fixer's level of Street­ since most organized crime families have wise serves as a source of solid knowledge
deal is, the more power and influence he some kind of stolen car or chopshop of your operating territory, while Street­
is going to have in his field. He may be a operation going. However, the reasons deal is general environmental informa­
small-time snitch, he may be a mid-level the Fixer gives to the Don would have to tion (combined with a grasp of
member of a local crime family, or he be good ones (good roleplaying), the sales/bartering techniques and a net­
may be the force behind a global smug­ Fixer would have to be very persuasive work of contacts). The Streetwise skill is
gling operation. Whatever the Fixer (good Streetdeal roll), or he would a street-related common sense, while
does, he has access to some amount of have to be such a powerful member of Streetdeal grants an awareness and rap­
resources. Much like a Corporate's spe­ the family that he just gets what he asks port with the overall street environment.
cial ability, a Fixer's Streetdeal is an for (high Streetdeallevel). In general, The distinction between these two
index of his ability to command his oper­ such a use of Streetdeal would reflect skills is rather subtle. Streetwise, as a skill
ation's resources. In this capacity, Street­ whether you approached your boss in that any character can have, is general in
deal is used much like a persuasion skill, the right way to get what you want­ nature. Streetdeal, as a Fixer's special
with the difficulty proportionate to the basically, it determines if you cut a satis­ ability, is powerful enough to distinguish
scale of the resources desired. This factory deal with your power structure. between specifics. The examples given in
aspect of Streetdeal is almost totally con­ Referees must monitor this func­ the Cyberpunk 2020 rulebook can be of
text-related, and is more applicable to tion of Streetdeal closely, because if it is some help here. A character with a +2
Fixers who are members of a crime fami­ not kept under control, a Fixer's Street­ Streetwise will know how to get hot items
ly than those who are self-employed. If deal ability could turn into an "every­ and score drugs, while a Fixer of a com­
your Fixer character runs a black market thing's free" shopping mall for himself parable level can get contact') for
weapons dealership, you have access to and the players in his party. Also weapons, tools, or minor illegal opera­
any weapon in which you traffic. Howev­ remember that the resources afforded tions. Someone with +5 Streetwise would
er, if your Fixer is a Lieutenant in the by Streetdeal are not always as material­ know how to arrange a murder contrdct,
Mob, you potentially have access to all of istic as weapons, cars or cash. The and be able to call on muscle when he
the family's cars, gunmen, secret hide­ resources afforded by Streetdeal may, needs it; a Fixer with a +5 Streetdeal can
out'), hookers, weapons and bought depending upon conditions, grant a penetrate all but the most powerful
politicians. It's all relative. Fixer such benefits as safe places to hide crime families, and knows a few mobsters
In general, a Fixer's resources will be out, thugs to protect you (or take out who might owe him favors ... Once
more limited than those of a Corporate, someone for you), services performed again, the distinctions are very subtle. A
and his resources will cover different for you (such as money laundering or a Streetwise of +2 means you know, in gen­
areas: drugs, yes, but accounting, no. plain old good time), or even favors eral, the way to get hot items and drugs
The more powerful and well-known a owed to you. This last resource is very (such asking the right questions in pawn
Fixer is (in other words, the higher his subjective, but at some time during shops or hanging around parks late at
Streetdeal and Reputation are), the game play it just might come in handy night), while a Streetdeal of +2 means
more resources he can call upon at any to have a Netrunner owe you a favor. that you actually have contact') who can
one time. Your level of Streetdeal deter­ Depending upon your background and get you hot items, drugs and illegal ops.
mines exactly how much you can request business, this mayor may not be such an In this ca')e, it is a ca')e of general knowl­
from your superiors in your parent orga­ easy thing, but it's always worth it to try. edge versus specific connections. Street­
nization without overreaching yourself, wise at +5 gives you the knowledge of
or how much you can afford to divert how to set up a murder, and the experi­
from your regular operation to serve
your personal needs. Naturally, the
Streetwise ence to know where to get muscle boys a')
backup. A Streetdeal of +5 knows plenty
nature of your character's business and A smart observer will notice that Fix­ of mobsters, and has close enough ties
the nature of any organization to which ers do not get the skill Streetwise in their with them to actually worm his way into
he may belong will affect what it can pro­ career skill package. This is because their information network. Once again,
vide. For a weapons dealer, requisition­ Streetdeal, among all it') other capabili­ Streetwise covers general activities, while
ing of a 9mm handgun would call for a ties, encompasses most aspect') of Street­ Streetdeal involves cultivated relation­
Streetdeal roll versus a Difficulty of 10, wise. A') is said in the CyberjJUnk 2020 rule­ ships. It is a question of general experi­
while requisitioning ofa Militech Laser book, the skill of Stl'eetwise is a ence and specific ability . In both cases,

WILDSIDE
" , .... '.} ~ , ...
,': .':' : :.:..:.:.:.;,,:.:. :.:.:.:.:....:.:.. :.: ...... ,', ,':':', ;':', ~ ..:.::.:.;....:.......:.:.:.:.... ,;:.. .

..... . ............:.:.:;.:.:.:: :"N~' . ~..: '" :-'>'


.... ~~ .:: . '.:. : :'!'o.,':':' "" :m::.. . :.:. :.:.!-~~ .:,:.~...~:.::..
:.: ':': ', ••:.: •.. :.:{ ,,::.:-:.:.:: :,:7

the functions of Streetdeal encompasses ever, Streetdeal also covers making


the functions of Streetwise at a similar deals on the Street. Operating some­
level. what like an Expert skill, Streetdeal
To illustrate the differen tiation includes an appraisal ability, and much
between the general knowledge granted like a Persuasion skill, Streetdeal cov­
by Streetwise and the specific informa­ ers the fine arts of haggling and cut­
tion granted by Streetdeal, take the fol­ ting a deal. When making any kind of
lowing example: two characters (O.D., a exchange or transaction, a Fixer on the
non-Fixer, and Mad Man Mandel, a buyi ng end wi II wan t to appraise the
Fixer) need to get an illegal weapon (say, merchandise (if he can) to decide what
a MAC-l4) . O.D. knows that he needs to the commodity is worth. He will then
go to a rough section of town and see try to talk the seller down and eventual­
what he can find, while Mad Man Man­ ly a deal will be made. If a Fixer is on
del knows that he has to go to Old Down­ the selling side, he will already have
town. Once in the a suitably rough area, appraised the merchandise and will
O.D. knows he should look for a small, know what he wants to sell it for. Be it
privately-owned store and ask a few ques­ selling or buying, making the deal is a
tions, while Mad Man Mandel knows that Fixer's bread and butter. The skill of
he should go to Guevarra's . Should the Streetwise also includes a "haggling"
two characters find themselves facing a ability, but the more refined practices
group of gangers outside the store, O.D. of appraisal and negotiation are the
would know that they are combat­ domains of Fixers alone.
gangers and probably figure that they A Fixer can appraise the value of a
are there for the same reason that he is, commodity by rolling his Streetdeal
while Mad Man Mandel would recognize and comparing to a difficulty number
their colors as those of Maelstrom, and which is determined by the referee .
he would know that Maelstrom is very Generally, figuring the exact price of a
likely to try to knock over Guevarra's. To commodity rather than a ballpark fig­
get into the store without trouble, O .D . ure will increase the Difficulty Number
would have to try to just act cool and not by one level (5 points). The base diffi­
piss the gangers off, while Mad Man culty will depend on the Fixer's area of
Mandel would know the gang's behavior expertise. For example, Mad Man
patterns, probably know the gang's Mandel, as a cyberware Black Marke­
handjive greetings, and maybe even teer, would have an easier time of fig­
know one of the gang members person­ uring the price of a gold-plated cyber­
ally. Armed with this knowledge and hand with built-in Scratchers than a
experience, Mad Man Mandel is more Pimp or Drug Pusher would. A success­
likely to be allowed in, carry out his busi­ ful roll will tell the Fixer the actual
ness, and be allowed to leave before value of the commodity. Ifhe is selling,
Maelstrom attacks the place. O.D.'s he will probably ask for more than this,
chances to escape a chaotic evening and if he is buying, he will probably
would be pretty slim. offer less than this. Such is the Jaw of
The bottom line on the Streetwise­ sales.
Streetdeal issue is that Streetwise is not a Once appraisal has been complet­
Streetdeal for non-Fixers, it is a simply a ed, an exchange usually takes place .
knowledge of what life is like on the Roleplaying out the haggling is recom­
Street. Streetdeal certainly includes that, mended, since this is the most gratify­
but it is much more as well. .. end of ing to both the players and the referee.
story. However, some players may be not con­
fident in their own haggling skills and
Dealmating may supplement their roleplaying with
a Streetdeal roll; sometimes neither
Streetdeal's name reveals a lot players nor referees wish to spend the
about what the skill is for: Streetdeal time to roleplay out every exchange,
allows you to deal with the Street. How­ instead opting for a simple contest of

• WILDSIDE

skills. In such cases, the two characters ripperdoc would sell the cyberhand for combined functions give Fixers advan­
performing the exchange each roll 115% of its actual value. Under normal tages in their element, the Street-but
their COOL+Skill+IDIO. Mter any circumstances, the price will never there are responsibilities attached to
applicable modifiers, the character deviate by more than 50% either way. Streetdeal. Having all this ability opens
who rolls higher wins. The "Skill" may Sometimes the loser of this contest of the door for all sort<; of potential reper­
be either Streetdeal or Streetwise. skills for the deal may not be happy cussions. A<;ide from the large amount of
When the two skills are the same with the results. This is why Fixers usu­ time a Fixer is obligated to devote to his
(Streetdeal vs. Streetdeal, Streetwise vs. ally have some muscular backup in the network (see S/Jeaking OJ Money, pg. 43),
Streetwise), each 1 poi nt of success form of Solos or other goons on call a Fixer's connections can sometimes get
results in a 2% change in price in favor when cutting major deals. him (not to mention other players in his
of the winner. However, when a Fixer party) into all sort<; of trouble.
haggles with a non-Fixer character, his Contacts, as a roleplaying device,
advantage becomes 5%, reflecting his can sometimes do as much harm as
greater prowess at haggling and deal­ good . Depending upon their reliability,
cutting. For example, suppose that
Mad Man Mandel (COOL 8, Streetdeal
COMRICftfICNS
they might be unhelpful to their patron
Fixer, or even sell him out to the authori­
+8) were buying the cyberhand from a ties or other Fixers. Contact<; can also be
ripperdoc with a COOL of 7 and a Streetdeal is unique among Spe­ taken hostage by "the enemy" (whoever
Streetwise of +6. If Mad Man Mandel cial Abilities in that it is so multi­ that might be) and coerced/tortured/
rolled a 24 and the ripperdoc rolled a faceted. Fixers have a much broader brainwashed into handing over PC Fix­
21, Mad Man Mandel would get the range of power and influence than ers and any attached player-characters.
cyberhand for 70% of its actual value. most other characters, since their Spe­ Similarly, being a reputable Fixer is
However, if the ripperdoc rolled a 21 cial Ability combines a status ranking, a dependent upon being talked about,
and mad Man Mandel rolled an 18, the myriad of skills, and a network. These recognized, and known to some extent.

WIlDSIDE J:Il
..... ,:: .:'" .. ::~ :'.
:.:: :.::: ~ :::.: ."

The grapevine, publicity and advertising actlvl tIes, consist.~ of such notorious
are all very closely related, and being groups as the Mafia (from Italy), the
known is not always an advantage. It may Yakuza (fromJapan), the Chinese Tri­
bring in customers, but it also makes it ads, the Sudams (from the Spanish word
easier for "the enemy" to find you. The for South Americans), the Union Corse
more attention you draw, the more pea­ (from France) as well as newcomers like
pie line up to take a swipe at you; for per­ the Jamaican Posses and the Organit­
sonal and official reasons alike. Once skaya (Euro-Russian gangs). Every large
again, PCs who are closely associated city in North America has strong repre­
with a well-reputed Fixer are corre­ sentation by some (if not all) of these
spondingly more likely to be easily locat­ groups, and each city is divided up into
ed. territories controlled by particular
Even if a Fixer is not exceptionally groups with strictly-enforced bound­
well-known, the grapevine has the curi­ aries. Wherever a Fixer operates, he will
ous nature of spreading word around be hard pressed to find a ba~e of opera­
whether you like it or not. They say word tions which is not on someone's turf. In
travels fast, and in the underground general, the Mob will ignore the really
information network, data gets shuffled small-time operators (those with a Street­
around at light-speed. There are always deal of less than 5) and concen trate on
young, ambitious, amoral individuals out the big fish who look like they are actual­
there who would be more than willing to ly taking money away from the Mob's
roll over an established Fixer and hijack business. Those who do attract the Mob's
all his wares. Fixers are often security­ attention will find that the way they are
minded to an extreme, investing in elec­ approached will depend on which
tronic security, bug-stompers, and well­ group's territory they are violating. The
armed bodyguards. Even this is not Jamaican Posse will most likely murder
guaranteed to dissuade the criminal ele­ offending privateers outright, the Yakuza
ment from making attempt~ on a Fixer's would more likely force indie Fixers out
life, stealing his property, hijacking his of their turf, and the Mafia often attempt
supplies, invading his netwoI"k and gen­ to induct private entrepreneurs into
erally being a pain. Once again, anyone their own organization. These situations,
who hangs around with a high-powered even if initially resolved in some way, will
Fixer long enough is very likely to get probably crop up again and again as
caught in the crossfire during such an Mob treaties alter the boundaries of
event. These raids are particularly suited their territories, the leadership and tem­
to Fixer-oriented campaigns. Entire sub­ perament of the local Mob changes, and
plots can be generated around rivalries Fixers expand their operations into new
between Fixer organizations, the shifting dimensions. Pressure from the mob is
attitudes of local gangs as their leader­ another excellent theme for creating
ship changes, and the ever-present subplots in Fixer-oriented campaigns,
threat of BIG organized crime muscling and very prominent NPCs can be made
in on your private little enterprise. out of local Mob bosses. These charac­
Mob takeovers are a constant thorn ters may be feared threat.~ to the Fixer's
in every Fixer's side. In any modern organization (and life), annoying pests
Cyberpunk city, there are numerous Fix­ who are constantly trying to intimidate
ers who start up their own racket.~, such the Fixer's Facemen, or even allies who
as gambling, prostitution, smuggling, will support the Fixer in times oftrouble.
and assorted black marketeering. Very Having an Organized criminal as a con­
few of these indie Fixers ever make it to tact (or even better, a~ a lifepath person­
the big league because the Mob doesn't ality) can be a great boon to any Fixer.
take kindly to small-time operators using From the point of view of shunning the
their "territory." The Mob, which is a Mob, a high Streetdeal can be more of a
blanket term used to describe the power­ liability than an a~set.
ful organized crime groups which con­ Fixers who work for the Mob do not
trol a large part of any city's criminal have to worry about takeovers and terri­

• WIlDSIDE
.' .:;.

:.;.:
.... : .

torial pressures, but they have other than their fair share of them-it's almost
problems. When working for the Mob, a impossible to know when you're selling
Fixer has someone he has to answer to, to the wrong person. While department
rules he must live by, and a stereotype to stores have customer complaint win­
which he is permanently mated. The dows, Fixers are islands unto themselves,
cops are always a concern, since being a and if a customer gets ticked off due to
member ofa crime family makes a Fixer something they paid a Fixer for. .. well,
more visible to the authorities, and the they know exactly who to blame, don't
ever-present threat of Mob warfare they? Many a Fixer has been blown away
looms above. Having to schlep out and by a vengeful customer; sell someone a
fight a running gun battle for your 90­ faulty Minami-lO and the next thing you
year-old Oyabun can really put a kink in know they're chainsawing their way
your business schedule. through your front door, looking for
Be they Mob or indie, player-charac­ payback.
ter Fixers will find that there is one final One way around such troubles is to
drawback to having a potent Streetdeal: operate in rackets which are not quite as
other player characters are always trying high-risk as gunrunning. To cover their
to get your services for freel Player-char­ butts, Fixers usually choose a field of
acter Fixers who are part of a group or expertise at which they know they can be
team during ajob will find that they are successful. I n terms of profi t margi ns,
expected to act as some kind of free sup­ the more narrow your field, the better
ply shop for the party. Referees and your chances are of becoming the best at
Fixer players alike should do their best to your profession. There are all sorts of
keep this from happening-such behav­ markets, both legitimate and illegiti­
ior leads to extended "shopping runs" mate, which are ripe for exploitation by
which take up precious game time and ambitious Fixers. In terms of Cyberpunk
skew the balance of power in favor of the character roles, each Fixer must choose
players. PC Fixers would be poor role­ such a field of expertise; this procedure
players to be so gracious as to provide is referred to as specialization.
free resources to anyone, and any Cyber­
punk referee worth his salt will confound
such attempts anyway. Just because a
group includes an Arms Dealer as one of SPECIALIZED
it~ player-characters, this should not lead
to the players becoming mobile weapons
platforms. Fixers think in terms of
FIXERS
money first and people second (usual­ In Night City, where the "haves" and
ly-this can depend upon the charac­ the "have-nots" are constantly dogfight­
ter's personality, history, special circum­ ing, there are a few Fixers who everyone
stances or whatever), so players should has heard of-the Fireman, Bag Lady,
be charged just as much as any other cus­ and White Lion come to mind. Some­
tomer. Fixers are very conscious of the times the corporates want to find some­
laws of supply and demand, and prefer­ one who has gone to ground in the com­
ential treatment of one group will cause bat zone . Sometimes a boostergang
resentment in other customer groups, wants the lowdown on the Police's patrol
leading to yet another complication: dis­ routes. Sometimes (often, in fact) a
gruntled customers. Street Samurai decides he won't be
A customer can sometimes be a Fix­ happy until he owns the newest milspec
er's worst enemy. Although Fixers, as assault rifle . It is at these times people
largely independent operators, have the seek out a Fixer who specializes in the
right to refuse any-damn-one they needed goods. Sometimes the Fixers
please, they would be unwise to do so on come to them . To maximize their exper­
a regular basis. It's bad for business when tise (and thus their business), most Fix­
you have no clients. There are all sorts of ers specialize in a particular field. The
crazies out there, and Fixers meet more most comfortable lifestyle is enjoyed by
••••••••••••••••• 3 •••••••••••••••• ••••••••• ~ •••••••••••••• • •• • •• • •••••••••• • •• • ••••••••

WILDSIDE
;;, ,. .;. ,.,. ,.,.,' ".,. ,., ". ',...,.,' ., . ,.' . .::.
the big-time "Leeches": the agents and good management, and a little luck.
managers who work well out of harm's Dodging the local authorities is a Black
way and just rake in the Euro. Salesmen Marketeer's biggest concern, so a rela­
are more directly involved in Street tively small and easily rotated staffis use­
action, sweating through tense meetings ful (it confuses The Man). Even when
with nervous clients. Also common to taking such precautions, the life of Black
the street are Mobsters, who get up·dose Marketeer is a nervous one, where point­
and personal with their victims-uh, ing a gun at your client's chest is a lot
clients-and whose lives are often deco­ more useful than shaking his hand.
rated with flash and pizzazz. Some Fixers Black Marketeers deal in many types of
adopt the less glamorous lifestyle of a goods. Popular commodities are
Go-Between, but still enjoy stimulating weapons, electronics, cyberware, body
challenges everyday. The rarest (but usu­ parts, drugs & chemicals, vehicles, soft­
ally richest) type of Fixers are the Money­ ware, slavery, braindance and/or YR,
bags, the loan sharks and money laun­ wetware (bio-science products), and
derers who deal in pure currency. What secret documents. There are particular
follows is a more in-depth explanation of quirks to every market, and a good Black
these colorful characters. Marketeer is always aware of what is hap­
pening in his business. For instance, a
software salesman must move his goods
quickly, since out-of-date programs can't
SALESMEN compete against state-of-the-art ICE.
Slave traders deal in a particularly diffi­
Salesmen are probably the most cult commodity, namely people. There is
well-known breed of Fixer. OpportuniS­ a small but extremely profitable market
tic, persistent and greedy, salesmen keep for humanity, where people are valued
large stocks of products and sell to who­ as sexual playthings, data-storage enti­
ever has the money. There are six types ties; and even food. The drug-dealing
of salesmen: Black Marketeers, Informa­ business for a black marketeer is differ­
tion Brokers, Shoemakers, Pushers and ent from being a drug pusher. Black
Sleazes. All of these fixers have one thing Marketeers who specialize in drugs deal
in common: they have something, and in volume, and hire pushers to move the
they want you to buy it. stuff on the street. They also deal in com­
bat dorphs and brain-boosters, as well as
other strange chemicals. They often
Black: Marketeer have connections with organized crime,
and many have large contract~ with
This type of Fixer makes his money gangs of all types. Even more esoteric
by pocketing a percentage of the sale of market~ exist just waiting for a smooth
things that most people cannot get, operator to turn a profit on them. For
either because oflegal constraint~ or lim­ instance, several Black Marketeers deal
ited availability. The authorities catch on in wetware, selling skillchips, other
pretty quickly when they find people brain-augmenting or -modifying soft­
with things they aren't supposed to be ware, and various forms of bio-implant~.
able to buy, so running a black market Most major cities also have a couple of
business is dangerous work. However, 'Juicemongers", Black Marketeers who
the money is excellent. Contraband can specialize in providing covert electrical
sell for as much as lOx it~ legitimate mar­ power.Juicemongers usually have a cou­
ket value on the street, while locally ple of inside men at power plant~, as well
unavailable goods (which, if you have as a competent netrunner who taps
the right contacts, can usually be bought power from the local grid and siphons it
at a small percentage of their actual off to paying c1ient~ who do not want the
value) can bring in a hefty profit even if authorities to know how much energy
they're sold for 1/2 price. A truly success­ they are using. It's a small, dangerous
ful black market ring requires time, market, but has great potential. Black

JIlL WILDSIDE

Marketeers can, if successful enough, money, but an Information Broker


develop solid reputations-the Fireman knows that in his business, newness is
and the Bag Lady (see Cyberpunk 2020) everything; out-of-date information has
are both Black Marketeers who are both no value as it soon degrades into public
well-known and well-thought of. knowledge. By the very nature of their
business, Info Bros spend a great deal of
time doing research. They usually are
Information Broker somewhat reclusive, hiring underlings to
do their legw·ork. Success in the Informa­
Of all the salesmen, the Information tion Brokerage business demands many
Broker (or "Info Bro") is the most myste­ informants and contacts-preferably
rious, most respected, and most difficult powerful, high-level contacts-as well as
to become. Information Brokers are in a good deal of intelligence and patience.
the business of knowing things, which Low-level Info Bros are simple snitches,
can make them very popular with people selling whatever dirt they have to anyone
who aren't in the know, but very unpop­ with a few Eurobucks. Snitches generally
ular with those who are and don't want are hated as shameless, sniveling lowlifes,
others to know. One great advantage and they have correspondingly short
that Information Brokers enjoy is that lifespans. However, a big-time Info Bro
the authorities are usually not a prob­ wields tremendous respect, and is
lem; it is seldom illegal to know things. often feared more than a little. The
In fact, the authorities often try to culti­ best Info Bros specialize in knowing a
vate information brokers as contacts. great deal about a particular area, such
Depending on what the Info Bro knows, as the security industry, the forefront
he may make very little or a great deal of of high technology, or local/world pol-
Black Marketeer
Streetdeal Awareness
Persuasion Intimidate
Brawling Melee
Handgun (Plus 3 SPECIAL1Y skills; see below)

(BRAINDANCE/VR) (DRUGS) (WEAPONS)


Expert: Braindance/VR Chemistry Expert: Small Arms
Braindance Editing Resist Torture/Drugs Weaponsmith
Electronics Pharmaceuticals Forgery

(CYBERNETICS) (BODY PARTS) (ELECTRONICS)


Forgery Biology Electronics
Cybertech Diagnose Illness Basic Tech
Cryotank Operation Cryotank Operation Expert: High Tech

(SOFTWARE) (SLAVERY) (CARS)


System Knowledge Cryotank Operation Drive
Cyberdeck Design Pharmaceuticals Basic Tech
or Electronics Psychology 'Pick Lock
Programming or Expert: Torture or Electronics Security
or Expert: Software

(WElWARE) New Skills


Expert: Wetware 1) Braindance Editing: TECH-based
Wetware Design 2) Psychology: INT-based (knowledge of, not
or BioTech therapy)
Human Perception 3) Wetware Design: TECH-based
4) BioTech: TECH-based; (see Eurosource, pg.4344)

WILDSIDE . .
•... :>:.:.:.::~.:.: ..:.~:.:::: -:.~:.::.: .:. :.:.:.:.::.;.;.:.::::..,:.

itics. Info. Bro.s usually lead intellectual­ pro.blem. The Dnly way o.ut is a cDmplete
ly stimulating but physically protracted change o.f identity, from co.smetic
lifestyles, so. they tend to. be anything surgery to. alteratiDn Df recDrds. This pro­
from eccentric to. bizarre . This is a cedure is called "getting new sho.es," and
highly specialized and narro.w field, the Fixers who. provide this service are
sui ted to. a very specific type Df per­ kno.wn as ShDemakers. Also. calIed SIN­
sDn-many Fixers sell infDrmatiDn, but Lifters, their business is SIN-surgery,
few deal in it exclusively. The biggest namely the meddling with the files
threat to' Info. BrDs is pDsed by thDse attached to. an individual's State Identifi­
CDncerns abDut whDm he sells info.rma­ catio.n Number. Because it requires a
tiDn . White LiDn (CP 2020, pg. 213) tremendo.us amDunt Df cDntacts,
fDund this Dut the hard way when she reso.urces and mo.ney to. perfo.rm such
sold infDrmatiDn which led to. the drastic Dperatio.ns, the SIN-Lifter busi­
dDwnfall Df a mDb family. She's still ness is very exclusive and is sDmetimes
hiding fro.m the cDntract they put Dut calIed "the PriesthDDd." ShDemakers
Dn her. generally deal with three highly illegal
services: the creatiDn, alteratio.n and
Information Broker era~ing Df electrDnic identities. All three
I Streetdeal Awareness Dfthese DperatiDns (grDuped tDgether a~
PersuasiDn Interview "Identity Fraud") are co.nsidered Prio.rity
FDrgery Library Search 2 crimes (Protect&Seroe, pg.66), and any­
Interrogation Human PerceptiDn Dne asso.ciated with the business, from
Expert: EducatiDn & General the ShDemakers themselves to. their staff
(YDur chDice) KnDwledge and custDmers, is sure to receive hard
time in a high-sec blDck (if YDU mess
around tDo. much in gov't files, they may
even call it EspiDnage) . Shoemakers
need unusually high-pDwered contact~,
powerful members o.f the government
bureaucracy such as the CIA and Immi­
gration, as well as many connections with
credit corporations, insurance compa­
nies and banks. The quality of the identi­
ty services provided by a Shoemaker is
directly related to his Streetdeal. This
fact , and the reality th a t Sho.emakers
Shoemater need such potent contacts (as well as a
great deal of money for computer equip­
With the modem eVDlutiDn Dfthe Net, ment), demands that most Fixers start
the majDrity Df America's pDpulatiDn are out in some o.ther area , such as informa­
registered in the systems Dfthe Net through tiDn brokerage, before gradua ting to the
their State IdentificatiDn Numbers (SINs). Priesthood. As far as staff concerns go.,
This number is the citizen's electronic life­ ShDemakers work very closely with
line, serving as their social security number Netrunners, who perfDrm the hazardous
and tied to. their driver's registratiDn, bank netruns which make SIN-surgery po.ssi­
account numbers, emplDyee identification, ble. ShDemakers also have uses fDr
Net access code and even their phDne num­ Techies, who put together their comput­
ber. While this system ha~ streamlined the er and informatio.n systems, and usually
principles of the e1ectrDnic highways, it can one or two. SDlos on permanent retainer
also. be used by Big BrDther to. keep an as bodyguards. During the cDurse Df
uncDmfortably c1Dse eye Dn YDU (see SINs of their dealings, SIN-Lifters Dften stDckpile
Identity, page 62). Fo.r criminals and identities like any Dther co.mmo.dity and
Edgerunners this system can be difficult, buy, sell and trade them with their cus­
and when they need to. disappear fDr a to.mers (similar to the passport trade of
while, it becDmes a pDtentially serio.us old) . Low-level ShDemakers have very

.JIJt WILOSIOE

small identity portfolios, only being able


to offer you as an alternate identity some­
thing like an obese Eskimo housewife
with mild epilepsy-not exactly incon­
spicuous. Shoemakers sometimes buy
customer's identities from them rather
than perfonning erasure, and unscrupu­
lous SIN-Lifters are not above stealing
identities and vengefully zeroing ene­
mies. The most vicious Shoemakers have
been known to deliberately murder
entire families and appropriate their
SINs and identities. The Priesthood is
very closely related to the various Mobs
because organized crime is one of the
few sources which can provide all the
necessary contacts and connections to
make SIN-surgery possible. However,
there remains a small set of indie Shoe­
makers which is even more exclusive
than the general Priesthood and is
incredibly secretive. It has to be; a great
deal of the independent Shoemakers
business comes from people who want to
hide from the Mob!

Shoemaker
Note: should be considered an NPC
specialty
Streetdeal Awareness
Forgery System Knowledge Drug-Lord type of Fixer may employ drugs. The pharmacological world of
Programming Library Search several Pushers, they will seldom work 2020 is so fast-paced and complex that
Bureaucracy Accounting together, or even know each other. pushers have the edge. Specifically-tai­
Stock Market Education & There are exceptions, depending on lored amphetamine derivatives, syn­
General Knowledge what is being sold, but pushers differ thetic endorphins, hallucinogenic
from the bigger-time dealers in that compounds and biological enhancers
Pusher these scum are generally not involved
in supply, only in sales. Pushers are
of all kinds flood the cities of 2020.
Depending on where they operate,
Despised by the authorities and the always being hassled by the authorities, some pushers can actually be legiti­
general populace, drug pushers never­ and rely on their dealer bosses to bail mate businessman, thanks to the regis­
theless continue to flourish in 2020. them out if they get bagged. It doesn't tration system (see Life on the Pharm,
Pushers are almost universally slimy always happen. Pushers are parasitic, pg. 81). Not all pushers are bad guys
characters, even those who gain the preying on incapacitated, helpless either-some sell the medicines and
money and power to rise above the addicts. Often pushers will demand combat drugs which Edgerunners con­
scum and graduate to becoming a sexual favors from their buyers, some­ stantly need, and some simply sell over­
major drug dealer (see Black Marke­ times leading to beatings, murders, the counter medicines and antibodies
teers). Although they are often supplied revenge shootings, and gang warfare. to the desperate poor who can't afford
by organized crime, they are not true The authorities despise pushers, but full price. However, in most of the
mobsters, and wield no power within an there are usually too many to be effec­ country (and most of the world) recre­
organization; usually buying supplies tively controlled. Some pushers deal in ational drug use is heavily restricted if
and paying dues to some other type of designer drugs which are so new that not absolutely prohibited. This doesn't
Fixer of higher caliber. Pushers general­ they have not yet been ruled illegal, stop the drug scene from being popu­
ly work on their own, only dealing with and some deal in widely-available lar and profitable. Be they JegaJ or
others when buying supplies or selling drugs such as stimulants and depres­ underground, drug dens and chemical
to customers. Although a higher-level sants, brain-boosters and memory parlors can be found in literally ever'f

WILDSIDE

city in the world. At this rate, Pushers Fixer, the package is well-suited to
will never go away. Sleazes, as such low-level fixers tend to
need a variety of hands-on skills.
Pusher
Note: should be considered an NPC Sleaze
specialty Streetdeal Awareness/Notice
Streetdeal Awareness/Notice Forgery Handgun
Persuasion Intimidate Brawling Melee
Brawling Handgun Pick Lock Pick Pocket
Melee Pharmacology Intimidate Persuasion

Sleaze
Sleaze isn't really a profession, it's a
MONEYBAGS
state of mind. These types are the lowest Moneybags are those fixers who deal in
(and most common) breed of Fixer; a pure currency. Money in 2020 has an
close relation to the Vagrant class (in almost magical power (a lot like today,
When Gravity Fails). They occupy the actually). The mega-corporate economy
poorest economic niches in the Fixer has made money the greatest weapon
hierarchy, usually making their living as known to man: it can buy peoples' souls
runners, middlemen, snitches, inform­ and topple nations. Paper and coins,
ers, petty thieves and other lowlife pro­ electronic cash, extended credit lines,
fessions. Their business consist'> of expense account,>, personal checks, non­
leeching money from the dregs of soci­ liquid assets, precious metals and jewels,
ety, so they seldom even enjoy support stocks and bonds are the bodily fluids of
from any criminal organizations. the capitalist organism which is the
Sleazes, if they get really lucky, may world in 2020. Clever entrepreneurs who
form the link between the assorted know how to manipulate currency can
underground organizations and the make out like bandit,> and get away with
general inner-city populace. Sleazes are murder. There are generally four types
simple street salesmen, peddling the of Moneybags: Factors, Fences, Loan
dirtiest wares and lowest services avail­ Sharks and Bookies, but they often over­
able from the corporate center to the lap.
combat zone; petty crime is their forte
(keep in mind that a Sleaze differs from
a "thug"-type character, which would be Factor
a low-level Solo). Because they generally
lead miserably petty lives, most Sleazes Factors are big-time financial bro­
spend their lives hoping for that elusive kers, and as such, are the most large­
"big score" which will raise them above scale of the moneybags. Factors deal in
the filth, but such things rarely happen. such practices a'> money laundering,
It is most common that a Sleaze is a per­ forgery, ghost accounting and embezzle­
son with Fixer potential who suffers ment. There are two kinds of Factor­
from some disadvantage which prevents the rich and the jailed. The c1a'>sic defini­
them from really going anywhere. They tion of a Factor is someone who is
may be illiterate, or drug addicts, or brought in by a company to resolve
simply very young people forced to fend inventory problems. This practice still
for themselves. Sleazes seldom have a happens in 2020. Sometimes companies
Streetdeal level above +4; if they do, find themselves threatened with immi­
they usually graduate to something nent bankruptcy when they cannot sell
more profitable, such as Black Marke­ all of their inventory, and at these times
teering. Sleazes use the standard pack­ they employ a Factor. The Factor agrees
age of career skills from the Cyberpunk to buy all of the company's inventory at a
2020 rulebook. Although these skills reduced price, thus ensuring that the
were supposed to represent a generic company can at least stay afloat, and

.II!. WILDSIDE

then it is his job to find buyers for the tect credit systems. Some Factors spe­
wares and make some kind of profit. cialize in falsifying an account-holder's
Clearly, Factors need to have access to consent to a transaction, which takes
substantial funds even before they begin them into the forgery business-faked
such a transaction, but a smooth opera­ signatures, fingerprints, voice patterns
tor can tum junk into gold. A musicshop and retina scans are the wares of
owner's warehouse full of unpopular forgery-minded Factors . It is very hard
music chips may well become an Infor­ to crack stolen credchips without fancy
mation Broker's airtight smuggling equipment, and Factors (with funds
medium. Such sernces as were provided large enough to afford the equipment
by the classic Factors of old may still and enough Netrunner and Techie
grant high profits, but the modern-day contacts to pull it off) are the affirmed
Factor of the Cyberpunk economy is a experts in the criminal industry of
multi-talented individual (this is the cracking chops and tips; see the side­
point at which Fixers come closest to bar on "Chopping" (Electronic Liveli­
Corps). Insider trading is as common a hood, page 53). Ghost accounting, or
practice in 2020 as it was during the the formation of black-market bank­
1980s, and with talented Netrunners on ing, is another field which is capital­
contract, entire corporations have fallen ized upon by Factors. Face Banks (see
to the manipulations of serious Factors. pg. 55) are complicated arrangements
These Moneybags are also experts at not only from the programming angle,
embezzlement and other accounting but also from a commercial stand­
magic-tricks; every Mob boss has at least point. Every Face Bank has several Fac­
two Factors on the payroll to watch for tors who work as black account man­
treachery from within the ranks as well as agers, making sure that transactions
to "correct" tax returns and bankbooks. made to and from the Face Bank
Factors are also the Fixers who specialize appear legitimate to outside observers.
in pure monetary exchange, and are Routing debits and deposits through
among the few Fixers who are not only front organizations and using legiti­
willing, but capable, of exchanging jew­ mate bank accoun ts as host-systems ,
els and precious metals for solid credit. Factors ensure that Face Banks remain
Some Factors even deal in international secure credit-havens for Edgerunners
currencies which have taken a back seat and criminals alike. A~ the classic Black
to the Eurodollar, and they can work Marketeer-type Fixer is to the Street, so
with cash or credit (although dealing the Factor-type Fixer to the world
with cash often includes with a 3-10% economy.
processing fee). Some of these Money­
bags also provide money laundering ser­ Factor
vices, accepting stolen money from bank Streetdeal Awareness
robbers and other thieves and moving it Persuasion Interview
though a series of small, innocuous Accounting Human Perception
transactions which separates the crimi­ Stock Market Education & General
nals from the incriminating serial num­ Social Knowledge
bers. Money laundering usually costs a Business Sense
hefty percentage of the original stolen
monies (as much 50%), but with the
advent of electronic cash as the econo­
Fence
my's standard currency, electronic A Fence buys stuff super-cheap
money laundering has become more and resells it semi-cheap. Also called
common than the physical shuffling of Pawnbrokers, these Moneybags are
the last hundred years. Because of this, experts at the redistribution of wealth.
most Factors take Programming as a Fences buy assorted loot (that can be
pick-up skill and have several Netrun­ anything), and resell it at a higher
ner contacts to help them circumvent price . Most fences are small-time oper­
the electronic safeguards which pro­ ators and therefore they can get away

WILDSIDE

with more and face lesser conse­ not require as large a staff as black gonk welsh on a debt to a CredShark, he
quences when caught (a Priority 5-6 marketeering rings and prostitution, may find the Government knocking on
crime, Protect & Serve pg.62-64). Fences but it is much more limited in terms of his door for something he didn't do; he
usually pay somewhere between 10­ roleplaying opportunities. Fences might find that all his legitimate bank
30% of the value of stolen goods, and make excellent contacts and NPC accounts have been closed; he may wind
then resell them at half price or so. informants, and are the perfect tools up on a CIA wanted list; or he might
Fences are highly valued professionals for referees who are keen on hatching find that as far as the databanks are con­
in 2020, as there are always shady char­ subplots. cerned, his name is Elvis Presley and
acters who wan t to sell off assorted he's currently living on Mars. On the
wares they have stolen, scavenged, other hand, CredSharks can give their
found, inherited or whatever. Fences
are experts in the confidential
Loan Shart<CredShart) clients up-to-the-nanosecond interest
rates and real-time compounding.
exchange of assorted goods, from These guys will make a loan to just Whether they are back-alley Loan
human organs to stolen cars. However, about anyone, however, their interest rates Sharks or wilderspace CredSharks, these
Fences are generally better off buying are very high and a delinquent payment Moneybags keep their clients hopping.
wares that are easy to sell or otherwise means a broken limb (or worse).Just as
dispose of rather than going for fancy Fences sell tangible goods, Loan Sharks Loan Shark CredShark
stuff like genetic material or atomic sell interest rates. While these interest Streetdeal Streetdeal
bombs. The hotter and more unique rates mayor may not be affordable, not Awareness Awareness
the wares are, the more risk they pose paying get~ your legs broken for free ... Intimidate Intimidate
to the Fence, both from an economic Loan Sharks all have the same basic Shadow/Track System Knowledge
standpoint and a security perspective. staff, which consists of several solos or Accounting Accounting
By the very nature of their business, other goons to hunt down welshers and Human Percep. Programming
Fences require substantial finances to one or more Factors as accountants. The Interrogation Handgun
keep their enterprise going. Before a only variable is how many staff are Melee Electronics
Fence can re-sell anything, he has to involved, this being dependent upon Brawling Interview
buy it from somebody. This is why the scale of the operation. Loan Sharks Handgun Melee
many Fences have other rackets going are prime candidates for Mob involve­
ment, since Loan Sharking is high-profit
on the side-anything from gambling
to prostitution can serve to finance a with relatively low risk and requires a
Bootie
Fence's business. The most common substantial monetary base to keep it The term "Bookie" is a holdover
financial support available to a Fence is going. The 21st century's ultimate evolu­ from the middle 20th century, when
the ever-presen t organized crime sys­ tion of the Loan Shark is the CredShark, gambling odds were recorded in simple
tem. Fences are very popular targets a Loan Shark who deals exclusively paper books (talk about low-tech!). Back
for Mob takeover because they are an through the Net. These electronic Loan then, each neighborhood had its own
excellent source of income, hard-to­ Sharks often operate out of Face Banks, bookie, who could be found hanging
find items and make perfect fronts for working alongside Factors and Netrun­ around the local bar or pharmacy. He
even more devious and unpleasant ners. Their main customers are Netrun­ would know the odds on boxing matches
rackets. This is a difficult specialty for a ners, but all types come to CredSharks and horse races, and "keep book" on
player-character Fixer, because it for their own reasons. Some naive types bets he accepted . Winners would get
requires a great deal of hands-on atten­ prefer CredSharks because they never their payoffs from the pot he had accu­
tion and a solid base of operations have to actually meet their black-market mulated, and he would walk away with
which cannot be abandoned. It does benefactors, but this is just smoke and the excess. In 2020, gambling is a huge
mirrors. CredSharks are as vicious and business, and although they are stilI
Fence dangerous as their meat-eating called "Bookies", in CyberJ)unk, Oddsma~­
Note: should be considered an NPC cousins-perhaps more so. While a ters are technology-based databrokers.
specialty Loan Shark may look up a welsher 's There are two types of Bookies, and their
Streetdeal Awareness/Notice address and have them harassed or beat­ functions overlap so much it would be
Persuasion Intimidate en up, a CredShark attaches tapeworms foolish to list them separately. First,
Brawting Handgun (various forms of computer virus) to the there are the classic Bookies who accept
Melee Forgery electronic credit they front their client~. bet~ and keep track of a "pot" of mc;>ney, '
Accounting Basic Tech or These tapeworms infect other facets of handing out winnings a~ well as monitor­
Expert skill the customer's electronic identity, and ing odds. Then there are the Oddsmak­
(in whatever you may be activated like time-bombs by ers, who are more concerned with keep­
prefer to buy) their CredShark masters. Should any ing track of (and even setting) odds than

.Jll WILDSIDE

they are with covering bets. Bookies in combat-related gambling, resembling


2020 have a lot to keep them busy. military analysts who lay odds and accept
Although gambling on horse races is cov­ bets; their commodities are knife-fights,
ered by legally-sanctioned Off-Track Bet­ gang warfare, and full-blown national
ting groups, and the "numbers racket" conflicts. In 2020, most Bookies rely
has been replaced by state-run lotteries heavily upon the Net, no matter what
like Body-Lotto, there are a variety of their specialty may be. Electronic gam­
other events to bet on: boxing, pro wrest­ bling casinos and betting rings can be
ing, martial arts competitions and major found all the dark corners of cyberspace,
sports events, such as football, basebalI, protected by thick security programs and
basketball and soccer (which is huge out­ staffed with number-crunching netrun­
side of the United States), are alI popular ners. The type of betting varies from
forums for underground gambling cyber-casino to cyber-casino. Some have
rings. There are huge betting rings orga­ their own gambling programs which sim­
nized around illegal casinos and back­ ulate cards, roulette wheels, glorified
alley competitions like knife-dueling, lotto and bingo systems, and the under­
mobile crap games and animal fights. ground equivalent ofa stock exchange,
Among the filthy rich, it is in-vogue to with huge data-structures fluctuating in
bet on anything. Political campaigns, time to the shifting odds of assorted
wars, and even the weather have bets events. Organized crime often plays a
placed on them. Oddsmakers are the large role in gambling, and most bookies
people who set the odds for all these soon find themselves involved with the
racket5. Bookies often make extensive Mob in one way or another. Often times,
use of computer systems and other infor­ the Mob will arrange to have certain pop­
mation-processing equipment to orga­ ular betting events fixed, and walk away
nize their betting pools and get minute­ with huge profits. This is not to say that
by-minute updates on odds. The independent Bookies and electronic
information age has revolutionized the cyber-casinos do not do the same thing,
gambling business. There are it has just always been considered a sta­
screamsheets and on-line information ple of Mob business. Fixed betting usual­
services which are concerned exclusively ly works by altering the posted odds of an
with the information oddsmakers pro­ event (such as a boxing match). More
vide. The Racing Form, a horse-racing often, the competitor who is listed as the
newspaper which has been around since favorite by the odds will be persuaded
the early 20th century, lists everything (one way or another) to "throw" the
any gambler would ever want to know match. Since the by-the-odds favorite is
about the horses in a race-owner, jock­ most expected to win, most bets are
ey, track record, lineage are alI included. placed on that competitor, and fewer
Oddsmakers deal in this type of gam­ are placed on the other competitor(s) .
bling information, setting odds, keeping Then the Bookie colIect5 all the money
tr<lck of odds, and providing their client5 from all the bets, the event begins, the
with tips on good bets. Some Oddsmak­ favorite throws the match and everyone
ers are so talented and well-respected who bet on the favorite loses all his
that their predictions are regularly pub­ money. Only those who bet on the actu­
lished in major newspapers. The most al winner receive any money, and the
powerful source of gambling odds has Bookie walks away with a large wad of
always been Lloyd's of London, a British money in his pocket. If this is a Mob­
insurance company which has been the sponsored event, the Mob gets most of
authority on odds of all forms for a very the money and the Bookie gets a cut.
long time . Lloyd's publishes calculated The trick with fixed betting is not to
odds on everything under the sun, from make it look roo obvious. Many Bookies
sports to politics, and a5 such it has been have been done in by outraged betters
the target of a great deal of attempted who feel they have been double­
computer crime (Lloyd's has stupifyingly crossed. Another quirk in the Bookie's
dense ICE). Some Bookies specialize in world is the fact that with the advent of
• • ~ • •••• ••• • • • P •• •••• •••• • •••• •••• •••• ••• •• •• A ••• • •• •• • •• • • •••••• A •••• ••• ~ • ••• • •••• • •••

WILDSIDE

modern cybernetics, it is possible to get


implants which will count cards and cal­
Talent Scout
will work with these big groups a~ free­
lancers. Indie Talent Scouts are often
culate odds so efficiently that almost A Talent Scout is a Leech who goes small-time operators and more desperate
any gambling system can be outmaneu­ out on tour in search of people with an than their corporate cousins, but every
vered by a better with the means. How­ unrealized talent for acting, musical per­ once in a while, a nobody Scout brings a
ever, most gamblers are small-time, des­ formances, sports, business, and assorted white-hot performer to the doorstep ofan
perate streetscum and wageslaves who black ops like netrunning and assassina­ influential conglomerate and walks away
cannot afford such exotic wetware. tions. Whether they are sent out by an with a finder's fee which will keep him
Bookies and Loan Sharks get a lot of employer to find a particular type of tal­ comfortable for many years to come. Tal­
business from people who are really ent, by a media mega-corporation to find ent Scouts can even work for the Mob,
desperate for money. Loan Sharks are any kind of talent, or are independent seeking out new gunsels and fixers to fill
guaranteed to give you some money, operators who search out talented people holes in a family's ranks. These Mob
but their draconian interest practices without representation and then act as Scouts keep track of criminals who are
make them somewhat unappealing. their Agent, Talent Scouts are the people just getting out of prison, and patrol the
Bookies, on the other hand, are far less who actively seek out talent. Talent Scouts seedy parts of town looking for young
fearsome but the chances that you will frequent hotspots of activity for their tar­ toughs and other capable lawbreakers. It
lose your money are equal to (if not get talent group. When looking for ath­ is very likely that at some point during any
greater than) your chances to make a letes to invite into the big leagues, Talent Edgerunner's career they will receive an
profit. Most gambling is done for fun Scou ts tour the nation's stadiums, public offer of employment from a Mob Talent
rather than out of economic necessity, playing fields and sports bars. When look­ Scout. Solos, Fixers, Prowlers and Netrun­
but the addictive quality of gambling ing for Netrunners to induct into a corpo­ ners are most likely to draw this attention,
ensures that Bookies will always have rate cracker unit, Talent Scouts visit but only if they show some potential-no­
business. VRcades, hang around Netrunner bars talent gonks can pester these Leeches a~
like the Short Circuit, regularly check out much a~ they want, but the best they can
Bookie underground electronics shops and are expect is a beating by the Scout's hired
Streetdeal Awareness constantly scouring the Net for exclusive muscleboys. Talent Scouts give referees a
Intimidate Persuasion BBSs and other virtual hangout.~. Talent great method for bringing PO; together,
Accounting Human Perception Scouts spend a great deal of time socializ­ or for introducing important NPG~, or for
Gamble Handgun ing, schmoozing and asking a lot of generally making a the job of a team of
Brawling Mathmatics unwanted questions. Some people (like players ea~ier or more difficult.
or Melee nightclub owners) think Talent Scouts
are pests, but they are considered invalu­ Talent Scout
able by their employers. Since you never Streetdeal Awareness
know where or when a talented person is Persuasion Intimidate
going to show up, Talent Scouts are Expert: (field) Human Percept.
LEECHES always on the move. They get a great deal Social Ed. &Gen . Know!.
of mileage out of their contacts, who are Expert: (culture) Interview
People are a Fixer's greatest com­ mostly club owners, industry-connected
modity, but for a Leech this is more than a Techies, Medias, or Corporates. A Talent
cliche, it's a code to live by. A Leech is a Scout's profits come from charging their
Fixer who specializes in personnel ser­ employers a "Finder's Fee," which can
vices, be they legitimate or illegitimate. A take the form of a percen tage of the The bulk of the Leech population is
Leech brings employers and employees monies which the talent brings in , or a made up of Talent Agents, whose job is
together, making things happen on the simple financial settlement which mayor less trying and thankless than that of a
street below and in the corporate world may not be prearranged (essentially, Talent Scout. Talent Agent~ are paid by
above. Although there are plenty of gray salary or commission) . Like any Fixer, their (supposedly) talen ted client~ to rep­
and black services which come under the Talent Scouts are always looking for their resent them to potential employers. Since
influence of these Leeches, there are also "big score" in the form of a hot talen t who they are paid to findjob for talented peo­
many totally-legal trades with which they they will be the one to discover. When a ple, Agents spend a lot of time schmooz­
are involved. Be they Talent Agents, Tal­ Talent Scout discovers a truly giant new ing and networking with people in their
ent Scouts or Managers, all make their liv­ talent, both parties are pretty much client~' industry, keeping channels open
ing off of other people's talent, and that is ensured of financial well-being. Although and sniffing out business opportunities.
why even the fairest and most selfless many corporations and other groups Representing a pool of human resources
"People-Person" will find himself unflat­ have Talent Scout~ as regular employees, requires an extensive network of contact~
teringly referred to as a "Leech." there are also many independent~ who so Talent Agent~ usually have several
~* .~~ ~ *.~.~ .. ~~~ .. .... .. ... ... .. ........... .. .... .. ... .. .... . ............ .... .. .... . .

~~

JIll WILDSIDE
people on their payroll, even if the Agent utation-the Agent wilI be able to provide criminal organizations, paying off the Mob
represents only a single person or group. skilled operatives, either by offering some­ in return for the right to u<;e certain area<;.
Most of an Agent's contacts are corporates one who they represent or directing the Through the Mob, many elevate their min­
or other bigwigs in their client's field. An employer to another Agent who has the imal status, becoming the managers of
Agent who represents actors/actresses personnel required. He will also generalIy escort services and other setups. Prostitu­
would have a lot of contacts in Hollywood serve as a middleman between the team tion may be the world's oldest profession,
and London, including media corpora­ and their patrons. For those referees who but the busines.<; ha<; changed a great deal
tions like DMS and Net 54. The number of are running ongoing mercenary-style cam­ over the years. In 2020, the wide availability
clients a Talent Agents might have varies paigns, a player-character Fixer who has of sexually-oriented Virtual Realities/
widely, influenced mainly by the relative specialized as a Talent Agent Leech is a Braindances has dra<;tica\ly reduced the
popularity of the c1ient(s). A'lSume that the great gimmick for setting up adventures, profitability; many pimps are also black
number of clients is very low at Streetdeal bringing in new player-characters and market VR and 'Dance dealers. There is
level-I, reaches its peak at around Street­ involving important NPCs. The Manager also the 2Ist-centuryvariation of the prosti­
deallevel-5 or level-6, and then drops off role must have a very close connection with tute called the "meat puppet," where a girl
again as it approaches Streetdeallevel-IO. his clients-regular business meetings, (or boy) is connected to a braindance
Such high-powered Agents often represent traveling with them, even helping them while carrying out their "busines.<;." The
very well-known people like rockerboy with their personal problems. Overa\l, an meat puppet's body is controlled by a sim­
Kerry Eurodyne, baseball star Ray Isaac, excellent choice for players who are new to ple computer program simulating erotic
braindancer Slade McCallahan or corpo­ playing Fixer characters, since the Manag­ behavior while the actual person is experi­
rate Solo Morgan Blackhand. The truly fut, er will be very much a part of the group of encing a totally different world. This is
big-time Leech racket is being a Manager; players and wi\l usually accompany them somewhat expensive, and cheap meat pup­
such people will inevitably become well­ on business matters. Player-character per­ pet outfit<; often suffer casualties from
recognized and we\l-respected names sonality and background wiJl affect how "technical failure." Because of these alter­
themselves, and their reputation can adventures are conducted, in that some natives, the higher-level pimps may resem­
become so great that they wi\l wield as Agen t/Managers will refuse illegal jobs for ble perverted techies, and the proliferation
much influence in their industry as the tal­ their clients, and others will only accept of horrendous STDs makes it necessary
ents they represent Being in charge of the contracts for certain cau<;es which they sup­ that any Pimp be part Medtech, a<; well.
business affuirs of a single person or group port. However, most Edgerunner Agents Some Pimps specialize in Exotic prostitutes
of talented people combines the represen­ are wilIing and able to arrange anything such a<; Playbeings, or even Full Cyborgjoy­
tative functions of a Talent Agent with the from a corporate concert to a military toys. Although it ha<; greatly shrunk, the
business savvy of corporate division head, coup. In representing an assortment of tal­ simple hooker market still exist<; for those
without the job-hunting worries of a nor­ ented people within a certain industry, who cannot afford the luxuries of escort
mal Agent. Managers have other prob­ business or racket, Talent Agent<;/Man­ services, meat puppet<;, virtual reality and
lems, to be sure, but their close involve­ agers are paid to make their c1ient<;' goals braindance. Depending upon where the
ment with a group or person (to be their own goals, but double-crossing an pimp is ba<;ed, prostitution mayor may not
referred to as the "client") makes the Man­ edgerunner Agent is a rather bad idea, be legal. Generally, where the "real thing"
ager a member of a team, and as such, a since he's bound to have tight connections is illegal, VR sex sells better.
rightful recipient of a percentage of the with the sort of shady characters who he
client's total profits. This benefit carries a could persuade to pay you back in kind..
heavy price, however, in that Managers This role can be one of the most useful of Talent Agent/Manager
lead very stressful lives. They have to take NPC fixers, opening up all sorts ofpossibil­ Streetdeal Awareness
care of all the business arrangement<; perti­ ities for the creative referee. These NPCs Persua<;ion Ldrship or Accting*
nent to their client's career. \-\That these can serve as vehicles for new plotlines, help Interview* Human Perception*
arrangements are depends upon the players out in times of trouble, selI out Social* Expert: (entertaiment)*
nature of their client's profession. their clients to the "enemy," or be captured Intimidate Education & General
Agents/Managers need not always and held hostage! Be they PCs or NPCs, Knowledge
operate within the law. Netrunners, Solos Managers always provide a Cyberpunk
and covert strike teams need repping as campaign with a great deal of color. Pimp
much as Rockerboys and actors. In this The lowest of the Talen t Agen t/ Man­ Note: should be considered an NPC sj>ecialty
respect, edge runner Agents can be ager c1a'lS are the generally shady, sleazy Uses the Manager package with
thought of a<; confidential employment Pimps. They make their living by arranging these changes(*):
agencies. "\Then a somebody is staging a business for theirjoytoys and taking a (u<;u­ Handgun
gray or black operation and need to con­ ally large) percentage of the profits in Melee Brawling
tract a operative or ops team, they can talk exchange for organization, protection and Seduction Diagnose Illness
to an underground Agent with a good rep- care. Pimps are commonly connected to

WILDSIDE

Go-BETWEENS

such mundane jobs as settling disputes


between two individuals (such as the forg­
SmJggIer

ing of a commercial treaty between two With the advent of corporate domin­
In 2020, increasing gaps between the Black Marketeers), or arbitrating a ma~ive ion, the breakdown of federal authOrity;
rich and the poor, inflamed tensions head-to-head clash between warring crime the resurgence of states' right~; the rise of
between racial groups, harsher confronta­ organizations or corporate competitors. free states, and the establishment of free­
tions between multiplying political move­ The size of the conflicts a Negotiator is regu­ trade zones, commercial laws and econom­
ments, deeper divisions between genera­ larly involved in is almost always proportion­ ics differ widely from place to place acm'i.~
tions, enhanced disparities in technology, al to the level of his Streetdeal. A small-fry this once-great nation of ours. The same
and new alienations in humanity itself Negotiator with a Streetdeal of 2 will get holds true for the va rious nations of the
(pure humans, cyborgs, exotics and full most of his work from individual clients and world: victimless crimes are legal in some
'borgs) have led to an almost hopelessly petty gang rivalries. A more talented Nego­ places, illegal in others. In some states you
fragmented society. Like the crossover from tiator may handle neighborhood distur­ can carry weapons openly, in others,
analog to digital technology, society has bances, student riots, workforces on strike, firearms are discouraged. Complex webs
been divided into smaller and smaller unit~, police reliability complaints, and racial dis­ oftariff~ and taxation divide the globe into
leaving no apparent links which "bind us all putes. An extremely talented Negotiator a maze which daunt~ most private traders
together." The resultant future shock has may handle full-scale warfare between and clears the way for corpOl'ate conglom­
made it critical that there are professionals gangs, organized crime, corporations, or erates to control import and export. This
who serve as living interfaces between peo­ even civil wars. The trick for a negotiator is complicated environment is well-suited to
ple--these people are Fixers, and they are to remain neutral enough to be acceptable those Go-Between Fixers who specialize in
called Go-Betweens. Go-Betweens are to both parties and removed enough to not the art of smuggling. Smugglers take
experts at bridging the gaps between indi­ get assassinated by vengeful losers. Becau~e advantage of the variance in economic cli­
viduals or groups, forging connections for of the potential risks involved in being a mates to tum a comfortable profit. If com­
the Street with the Corporations and for the freelance arbitrator, these Go-Betweens puter intrusion software or cloned organs
nobodies with the Edgerunners. Whether often keep a careful eye on the progression are cheap and legal in one zone, and
Go-Betweens do this a~ a matter ofduty, ide­ of all sides in their "Conflict of Interest," expensive and illegal elsewhere, a tremen­
alistic crusading or plain old greed is a mat­ ready to buddy-up with the likely winners dous amoun t of money can be made trans­
ter of individual context, but the business is and thus guarantee safety from any losing porting these items from the first place to
undeniably profitable and fraught with dan­ side. Other Negotiators go nomad, picking the second place. The trick is not to get
ger. In terms of economics, Go-Betweens up their outfit and leaving to"Wl1 (or even caught doing itl Another interesting quirk
are ma~ters ofsupply and demand, smooth­ the country) after each job. A Negotiator's ofthis bmine.'i.~ is that smuggling is not con­
ing the flow ofcommodities (goods, services contacts often include a lawyer (or parale­ fined to illegal wares. Substantial profit~
and information) around the numerous gal), some police officers or other authori­ can be made simply by transporting per­
social and economic groups packed into a ties, and a media or two. The actual staff for fectly legal goods (such a~ liquor and ciga­
Cyberjmnkcity. Go-Betweens know who's sell­ a Negotiator should be kept light, since they rettes) from one area to another without
ing, who's buying, and how to bring them are obliged to attend to the meat of their paying the tariff~ and taxes. Sometimes,
together. A~ with other Fixers, some Go­ business themselves, but a Negotiator can smugglers find themselves involved in such
Betweens deal in gray and black businesses use his Facemen (subordinates) for finding novel enterprises a~ bringing food into a
and others with those that are totally legiti­ new business, keeping track of the parties in neighborhood that ha~ been blockaded or
mate. There are five types of Go-Between , his Conflict of Interest, troubleshooting aiding political offenders in escaping to
each concerned with bringing people (and negotiation proceedings and keeping chan­ other countries. Some Smugglers insist on
products) together. They are Negotiator, nels open with contacts and old clients. handling only operations which are moral­
Smuggler, Traders, Sniffers and Owners. Sometimes Negotiators are kept on perma­ ly supportable, but the great majority of
nent payroll by certain groups, such as the Smugglers are in it purely for the money; if
larger organized crime syndicates, certain someone inJapan w'ant~ Chinese-made M­
corporations, and even the more enlight­ 9 a'i.~ault rifles or Filipino-made Black Lace
ened gangs. combat drugs, most Smugglers will ask no
These Go-Betweens deal in a commod­ questions and gladly accept full payment.
ity which is entirely non-material but is Negotiator Smuggler-type Go-Betweens generally
always in high demand: arbitration skill. Streetdeal Awareness require larger staff.~ than other types ofFix­
With so many social sets, economic classes Persua~ion Oratory ers, because a Fixer who runs a Smuggling
and special-interest groups, there is always a Brawling Human Perception ring certainly isn't going to actually carry
conflict of one type or another which an Social Expert (field of choice) the goods across any borders himself.
accomplished Negotiator can tum to his Know Language Education & General These Go-Betweens usually have anywhere
advantage. Their skills may be applied to of choice Knowledge from one to a dozen Jockeys (vehicle

Jl!l WILDSIDE

:.:..:.:.:.:..:.: ........:-.. :.:-:.::.:.:.:.:;.:.:................... . .... ··········.·:d::·:·:····:······ .········:·:·:.:··....2%:;:.:.~\?#ic::7

.....;.:...:....;...:..:.:.:.....':.:.:..:.:.:.:....:.:........;.;..:.:...:................. .
:.:-:.::::.:.:.::::

experts, see the Runner role in When Gravi­ a Trader's business is to keep an eye on
tyFails, pg. 45) to make the actual runs, a fluctuations in the markets in which he
couple of reliable guards in the form of deals-- you have to know what a Trader is
Solos, and a Techie or two to design secre­ moving to catch him. For this reason,
tive containers for shipping and storage. Traders may be very finicky a~ to what
Smugglers find that politicians make very commodities they will trade, since com­
handy contacts when it comes to dodging mon wares attract little attention, while
border tariffs and having a few friends in unlicensed AI components are compara­
law-enforcement agencies such as the CIA tively high-profile. Traders make their
(which absorbed the FBI DEA in the early eventual profits by making wise decisions
2000's) is a big help when yourJockeys get in what they trade. A smart Trader can
caught A solid contact in the Mob can also exchange a truckload of generic food pre­
go a long way, because smuggling opera­ packs for a building full of business work­
tions are favorite targets of Mob takeover. stations. It's all in knowing who wants
The Mob itself runs numerous smuggling what If the people who have the worksta­
rings, including weapons, drugs, organs tions are starving squatters occupying a
and any other commodities which would closed office building, they will gladly
in terest a Black Marketeer. The most diffi­ trade computers for food. The computers
cult smuggling operation-the covert can then be sold, put to use, or traded for
transport of wares to and from space-is a an even more profitable commodity.
field which is exploited more by the Mob Being a Trader requires a complete mas­
than any independent Go-Between simply tery of bartering (see the Bartering sec­
because only powerful organized crime tion in Money in 2020, page XX), and as
families have the resources and the means such must invest very heavily in informa­
to get through the heavy security regula­ tion . Traders have to know who has what,
tions in LEO. Besides, who else but the who wants what, and how to get them
Mob can afford their own space-worthy together. Traders often rely heavily upon
delta~ and cutters? real-time computer models of citywide
inventories, and as such, most Traders
Smuggler have at least one Netrunner and maybe a
Streetdeal Awareness Factor on the payroll. The ever-present
Persuasion Know Language(s) Solos are useful for security at warehouses
Brawling Hide & Evade and drop-sites. Some cities run fully­
Handgun Forgery or Basic Tech licensed "Barter Houses"; warehouses
Leadership Resist Torture & Drugs where customers can register their prod­
ucts, figure out a relative value (based on
the current market value, minus a small
Trader transaction fee), and post a "want list" of
items they need. Almost every city has
Traders are a very particular brand of underground barter-houses, which use a
Fixer who deal not only in monetary wide number of code phra~es, false IDs,
transactions, but also in pure bartering. and pseudonyms to protect their cus­
Very often Traders have an "Import! tomers. Most barter-houses are run by
Export" business a~ their front, using the Traders, allowing these Go-Betweens to
pretense of dealing in international work in a strictly legal capacity (in which
goods such a~ art or antiques to provide a case they become bureaucrats) or in a
perfect smoke screen for trading black­ more traditional black-market environ­
market commodities through utterly ment. The mysterious "Agoras"_provide
untraceable handshake deals and mid­ useful tools for Traders, as gold is a suit­
night drop-offs at waterfronts and base­ ably palpable commodity which still does
ment loading docks. By exchanging one not qualify as real money (see Agoras,
type of goods for another, Traders do not page 59) . Trader business is absolutely
have to deal in actual cash or credit; their riddled with Mob involvement since orga­
operations are therefore much harder to nized crime is readily capable of procur­
monitor and crack. The only way to trace ing large stockpiles of valuable com modi-

WILDSIDE.

in the usually have two images: society and


grimy, dangerous street). Most denizens of the street and
streets for some Edgerunners do not trust or even like Snif­
rich powerdealer fers, since these Go-Betweens are thought
who doesn't want ofas little more than street-level gofers for
to get his expensive the powers that be, stoolies who serve as
shoes dirty... In the eyes and ears of the oppressive elite.
this respect, Snif­ This is sometimes painfully true. For this
fers are very closely reason, most Sniffers try to adhere to some
related to Private kind of "honor among thieves" code, refu....
Investigators. A ing to sell the street out to The Man and
Sniffer's reputa­ only takingjoh~ which they deem a~ treach­
tion is dependent ery-free (if only it were that ea~y .. . ).
upon his ability to Staffing is usually light, since Sniffers are
find anything and too mobile to have a large entourage­
his wiIlingness to most Facemen for Sniffers will be infonn­
go to any lengths ers and gofers. Organized crime ha~ little
for any client to get interest in self-employed Sniffers, whose
them their desired business is considered too smaIl-time to
wares. Sniifers are merit Mob attention . On the other hand,
the bloodhounds the Mob certainly perfonns many such ser­
of the Fixer under­ vices it~elf, providing the rich and powerful
ground, often sent with illegal toys and cutting a percentage
on lengthy quests off the top, so there are plenty ofSniffers in
which may take organized crime syndicate~. Sniffers are an
them throughout a excellent choice for Player-Characters,
city, state, country since they are not tied down· by big opera­
or even around the tions and numerous employees, are
world. Corporate expected to move around a lot, and are a
R&D executives valuable addition to most roleplaying
ties and providing the physical space to often hire Sniffers to track down the cre­ groups.
store these wares. Besides, the Mob likes to ators of flashy new weedware (street-gen­
keep it~ operations as untraceable as possi­ erated technology) so that their corpora­ Sniffer
ble. Although establishing a Trader opera­ tion can get patent~ on the newtech and Streetdeal Awareness
tion requires a rather large amount of capi­ mass-market it in a hurry. Richkids and Persua~ion Social
tal, once the racket is under way, its other glitterfolk often have steady rela­ Shadow/Track Library Search
operating costs are relatively low and the tionships with Sniffers who regularly fetch Intimidate Human Perception
profit~ generated can be impressive. This is drugs, prostitutes or any other black-mar­ Brawling Handgun
another reason why the Import/Export ket wares their clients may want to have but
business is so crowded with Mafia and
Yakuza enforcers.
not want to take the risk of getting for
themselves. Sniffers have similar jobs to
Owner
freelance Talent Scouts and low-level Info Every city is packed with establish­
Trader Bros, since they travel a lot and are always ments which cater to public entertain­
Streetdeal Awareness looking for something. And that some­ ment and congregation. Restaurants,
Human Percep. Know Language thing might veryweIl be people. White slav­ bars, clubs, casinos, VRcades and drug
Persuasion Edu & Cen Know\. ery is a business which some Sniffers fall parlors are a staple of CyberJJUnk culture.
Intimidate Interview into, nabbing beautiful street kids to The proprietors of these establishments
Melee Handgun become the concubines of filthy-rich for­ are important members oftheir establish­
eign nationals. To make themselves acces­ ment's community. They have contacts
sible to their rich clients, Sniffers usually from all walks of life, make lot~ of friends
Sniffer have offices in reasonably upscale districts,
hang around high-society haunts like
and hear all sorts of rumors. Sounds like
these guys are Fixers, doesn't it? In fact,
This type of Go-Between is also called restaurants and bars, dress presentably and Club Owners and other such social pro­
a "Procurement Person," and these Fixers cultivate a sociable personality (this is not a prietors (referred to, for convenience's
often find themselves hired to schlep universal practice, of course, and Sniffers sake, as Owners) are a type of Go­

.Ill WILDSIDE

Between, since they run a business which Owners


brings people together. Places such as the Note: should be considered an NPC specialty
Grand Illusion and the Night Owl get Streetdeal Awareness
business from almost every social set, Persuasion Social
from partying glitterfolk, to biz-minded Interview Intimidate
Edgerunners to booze-hunting Accounting Human Perception
streetscum. Some Owners are onejoint Brawling Wardrobe & Style
joes, acting as the full-fledged owner and
manager of their own personal establish­
ment, while others are partners, owning
parts of numerous bars and clubs all
Mobsters
across a city, country or even the whole For player characters of almost all
world. The legality of their businesses will varieties, but most especially Fixers, it is
depend on where they are located. Some inevitable that the Mob will make itself
American free states allow whorehouses an issue at some point in the charac­
and drug parlors as legitimate establish­ ter's career. With such a booming
ment~, while some tightwad European underground network a~ exists in Cyber­
countries have a curfew which effectively punk cities, it is unavoidable that orga­
bans late-night bars and clubs. The Own­ nized crime syndicates will want their
ers of these establishments often have a own piece of almost every character's
mixed bag of potential contacts, includ­ action. In 2020, when one says "the
ing politicians, media stars, corporate Mob," one is referring to organized
mega-honchos, glitterfolk, Edgerunners crime groups of all types. There are too
and bums, and their staff requirements many different syndicates vying for
are understandably heavy. Factors to han­ power all over the world identify them
dle accounting, Netrunners or Techies to individually. The Mafia, the Yakuza and
run light~hows, Solos as bouncers, maybe the Triads are generally considered the
a Medtech or two to tend bar, and even major syndicates, but there are many
some small-time Rockers for live act~ and others, and most of these groups have
to be the DJs/MCs. Facemen can act as overlapping spheres of influence
almost any of the above, as well as serving despite their separate geographical ori­
a<; anything from assistant managers to gins. It is possible that when large orga­
coat-check clerks. The level of an Owner's nized crime syndicates exist where the
Streetdeal special ability is directly linked government is corrupt or very weak, the
to the popularity and the importance of his Mob may actually BE the government
establishment(s). Many Owners use their (consider the Warlords of Somalia in
establishmen t<; a<; fron t for other types of the 90's). The character of the organi­
rackets, such a<; information dealing, drug zation a Mobster belongs to will dictate
dealing, talent scouting, negotiations or a great deal about how he lives his life;
anything else that Fixers do. Indepen­ his friends, his lifestyle, even the
dent Owners have a lot to fear from the amount and kind of cyberware permis­
Mob, who are likely to try selling "insur­ sible are determined by the Mob . It is
ance" as part of their protection racket<;, also important to remember that with
while many of these social hot<;pot<; are all the perks that come with belonging
run (at least partially) by organized to organized crime, enemies are also
criminals, and certain restaurants and included in the package. To be specific,
bars are entirely dedicated to Mob busi­ rival syndicates and major law-enforce­
ness . Owners are not very useful as play­ ment agencies.
er-characters, but they make excellent Most syndicates are organized
NPCs, allowing referees to give their along racial/family structures,
favorite Cyberpunk hangouts an added although in the melting-pot world of
dimension of personality in the form of Cyberpunk, the Mob will usually accept
their proprietors, who can get PCs jobs, low-level operatives of any nationality
get them in trouble, or just get them or race. The Mob employs professional
drunk. operatives of every variety. Thugs,

WILDSIDE
;.::: : '7.0:'. .., %:;.;..

bodyguards and hit men are Solos, while they get into your neighborhood . Staffing
other character types occupy the posi­ starts small and works it~ way up, and
tions of accountants (Factors), lawyers mostly consists of big, dumb Solos.
(Lawyers are a semi-legitimate role-see Becoming this kind of watchdog usually
Protect & Serve pg.70), computer expert~ requires swearing an oath of loyalty to the
(Netrunners) and doctors (Medtechs). syndicate, and perks include the recogni­
However, there is only one character role tion and respect (read: fear) of being a
which fits the bill of the classic Mobster, member of the Mob in question. You
and that is a Fixer. There are no specific have the right to a~sociate with the family,
catagories of Mobster; the majority of Fix­ but you'd better follow orders. However,
ers employed by the Mob are Salesmen, the Mob looks after it~ own, and if you
Go-Betweens, Leeches and Moneybags. A need help you'll get it.
select group of Mob Fixers are those who The next step up is a gangleader
have been "Made" (as in the Mafia), or (Streetdeal 6), where you actually get to
"Taken In" (as in the Yakuza). The ba~ic lead other watchdogs and you have a
idea is that they have been inducted into small subgroup of the syndicate named
the hierarchy of the syndicate (some sort after you. By this point, Mobsters have
of initiation procedure is usually called been involved in syndicate operations of
for). These Fixers are different from the some import, so they are allowed to sit in
many other roles employed by the Mob in at meetings and even speak up once in a
that, instead of running a particular rack­ while if they have something really worth­
et or operation, they serve the Mob lead­ while to say. Gangleaders can intimidate
ers, acting a~ the observers and managers local street~cum and low-level watchdogs
of other Fixers. A~ ha~ been stressed in the from rival syndicates, and they are more
other Fixer descriptions, the Mob respected and feared than before, a~ well
employs all breeds of Fixer to handle as drawing the animosity of law enforce­
their rackets. Any kind of Fixer from Fac­ ment authorities. If attacked, a gang­
tors to Black Marketeers can work for the leader can call on his gang's members to
Mob, the difference is that only "Made" help him get revenge.
Fixers are integral part~ of the organiza­ When a Mobster has moved on to a
tional structure. As such, a Mobster's spe­ Streetdeal level of 7, he becomes an
cial ability level serves as an indicator of enforcer-he is a respected member of
his rank within his syndicate, somewhat the syndicate, has authority over several
like the special abilities of Streetpunks, gangleaders and ha~ responsibilities to his
Corporates and (ironically) Cops. A Mob­ Mob organization as a whole. This
ster with a Streetdeal of I -5 is a typical includes the training of new members
wiseguy or watchdog, Streetdeal level 6 who will generally retain some loyalty, and
makes a Mobster a gangleader, level 7 the enforcement of the boundaries of the
represen t~ a serious enforcer, Streetdeal syndicate'S turf. An enforcer's opinions
of 8 is a sub-lieutenant, level 9 is a lieu­ are valued, but at this level the internal
tenant and Mobsters with Streetdeal 10 politics of organized crime dictate that
are full-fledged crime bosses. A Mobster's you watch your step. Most enforcers have
Streetdeal also functions as a sort of committed a few murders and done some
Resources skill, indicating how much of time in prison in their past careers (this
the Mob's resources the Fixer can definitely boost~ the Mobster's reputation
access-this facet of the skill is used like a and credibility) . Attacks against enforcers
persuasion skill with Mob superiors in are considered attacks against the "fami­
accessing those resources. ly," and will certainly provoke a retaliatory
Most of the low-level Mobsters (level response, and enforcers who get arrested
1-5) oversee the cla~sic protection racket~ will usually have bail posted and legal sup­
which sell "insurance" to members of a port provided by the syndicate.
community (sometimes that community With a Mobster's Streetdeal reaches 8
may even be the Net). Nice commodity, or 9, he has achieved the rank of lieu­
that protection ... Racketeers are selling tenant or at lea~t sub-lieutenant. By this
something you may not even need, until time, the Mobster has probably been

JI! WILDSIDE

involved in, if not committed, the murder ofthe way at this point A crime boss's vio­ shoplifting, while more accomplished
of rival Mob members. Reaching the level lent death is likely to come someday, but and sophisticated Prowlers become B&E
ofa sub-lieutenant can be done through not without a full-blown war first. robbers, second-story men and cat bur­
sheer merits, but to become a full-fledged glars. The big money comes from jobs
lieutenant almost always requires that the Mobster which entail penetrating high levels of
Mobster be chosen by a retiring or pro­ Use the standard Fixer template, or security. The inherent danger of such
moted lieutenant in the organization as a specialize according to the racket. jobs often attract~ thrillseekers, as well a~
successor, or that he engineer a secretive that rare breed of criminal who enjoys the
power-play to usurp his superior. At this challenge of playing cat-and-mouse with
strata, the Mobster becomes a member of the authorities. While common thieves
the inner circle (effectively "adopted" by THE EXTENDED
are a dime a dozen, an accomplished
the family) and can control the opera­ Prowler will always find himself in high
tions ofan entire syndicate racket (such as FAMILY demand. A Prowler's Special Ability is
drugs, prostitution, gambling, etc.). Most Sneak, which act~ a~ a kind of counter-bal­
people (including rival Mobsters) will do The range of activities which are cov­ ance to the Combat Sense ability enjoyed by
everything they can not to anger a lieu­ ered by Fixers is vast, but boundaries exist Solos. Since Solos have their Combat
tenant, but the authorities will want to and they must be pointed out to prevent Sense added to their AwaTeness skills (on
take him down something fierce-howev­ confusion. While the previous section cov­ top of any cyberware bonuses), it seems
er, to do s.o would require a major opera­ ered what Fixers do, this next section cov­ nearly-impossible to escape a Solo's
tion. If they do catch him, the syndicate ers what Fixers do not do. Provided below notice. Prowlers live to confound Solos,
would spare no expense in tlying to free is a selection of new character roles which since their special ability adds to their
their comrade. These "made" members will often work very closely with Fixers but Stealth or Hi(k / Evade (CM's choice). This
can invoke the Mob's name under their are not Fixers themselves. These new reflect~ a Prowler's talent for moving
own authority, direct the actions of sever­ roles are Prowler, Con Man, Scavenger, silently, blending into the shadows, and
al gangs, organize powerful criminal net­ Prostitute/Dancer.
works and generally throw a lot of weight Each of these new
around. If attacked or otherwise hassled, character roles is
the Mobster can call on a small army of well-suited to serv­
goons and hitmen, but remember that ing as player-char­
poor leadership is dangerous to your acters or NPCs,
health. and can add great­
At Streetdeallevel 10, the Mobster is ly to a Cyberpunk
a crime boss. In the Mafia, the name is gaming environ­
Godfather. In the Yakuza, crime bosses ment.
are referred to a~ Oyabun. Crime bosses
openly challenge, intimidate and some­
times control authorities such as corpora­ Prowler
tions, police forces, rival syndicates and
even some governments (crime bosses This character
always have a few politicians in their pock­ role is provided
ets, and in some cases they may effectively here to illustrate
dominate their nation's destiny). Feared the all-important
by everyone, crime bosses know every­ point that FIXERS
thing that goes on in their territory (usu­ ARE NOT
ally an entire city), and major figures such THIEVES)) While
as media stars, corporate officials and Fixers are traders
politicians vie for your attention and and dealmakers, a
endorsement They are always stupefying­ Prowler is a thiefby
Iy rich, owning va~t estates and surround­ profession, no mat­
ed by an en tourage of secretaries, body­ ter how his skills
guards, advisors and assorted stoolies who are applied. Low­
live to serve their master's every whim. level Prowlers
Favors, forumes and human lives are trad­ occupy themselves
ed with equally casual waves of the hand, with pickpocket­
and even the police stay pretty much out ing, mugging and

WILOSIOE

generally avoiding the notice of security


personnel. TECH, REF and INT are key
stats for any Prowler, and Sleight ofHand
(REF-based, see Hardwired pg.22) is rec­
ommended as a pick-up skill. Prowlers
use the Netrunner pay scale.

Prowler
Sneak Awareness
Hide/Evade Stealth
Pick Lock Handgun
Athletics Electronic Security
Disguise Melee

Con Man
Throughout the years, the Confi­
dence Man has gone by many names:
Hustler, Rip-off Artist, Grifter, Scammer
and Sting Expert all come to mil).d. This
type of character uses his in terpersonal
skills to set up elaborate schemes acter role...except Cops. There are some materials, machinery, equipment, and
(stings) which fool his victims (marks) truly miserable facets to a Con Man's other object~ from junkyards, trash
into essentially giving their money to life-one is that nobody wants to deal dumps and the like. Scavengers must
him. Con Men have the COOL-based with a known Con Man; you have to sometimes scavenge restricted areas,
special ability of Con, which is the ability make an your own business. Another sad such as aircraft graveyards, biohazard
to separate a fool from his money, con­ fact is that once a Con Man is ex-posed sites, mass graves, natural disa~ter areas,
vince a mark to buy them drinks for as such, he has a very short life ammunition dumps, scrap yards, and
hours, or spend money on worthless expectancy. To compensate, Grif-ters demilitarized or corporate industry
trinkets (from When Gravity Fails, page lead the ultimate in mobile lifestyles, zones. Scavengers use the special ability
48). Con can be countered by Streetwise, traveling all the time with no steady of Scrounge, an INT-based ability which
since the more familiarity one has with home to call their own. A Con Men represents the knowledge of where to
the Street, the more likely one is to rec­ needs a high COOL over all else, but a find salvageable materials. The higher
ognize a scam when he sees one. For this high INT is very useful for figuring out your Scrounge, the easier it is to locate
reason, Grifters generally prefer to good scams, and a high MA is also a valu­ unusual and valuable parts. With a
choose out-of-towners (bennies) as their able asset. Pick Pocket and Sleight ofHand Scrounge of +2, you can locate such
marks because a smooth operator (a (REF-based, from Hardwired page 22) common junk as hubcaps, sheet metal,
gato) has a good chance of smelling a are strongly recommended as pick-up shell casings and recyclable garbage.
sting and turning on the hustler. Con skills. Con Men use the Media pay scale. With a Scrounge of +5 you could turn up
Men, more than any other type of street old computer parts, scrapped appli­
operator, use a lot of slang. Another spe­ Con Man ances and other handy stuff. With a
cial a~pect of Con is that it is more than a Con Awareness Scrounge of +9 you can get a hold of
Persuasion/Lie skirl ) t is used to create a Disguise Persuasion/Fast Talk cyberware component~, half-full chemi­
real-time illusion which draws the mark Streetwise Human Perception cal containers and used military equip­
in, and if successful, should end with the Seduction Forgery ment. The trick with Scrounge is that, as
mark thanking the Con Man for taking Gamble Hide/Evade an INT skill, it only tells you where to
his money. This special ability is used fInd the salvageable materials, not how
only for the actual execution of a sting" to get your grubby little mitt~ on them.
the planning of profitable scams that Scavenger
The actual retrieval of the goods will
will actually work is up to the character's have to be roleplayed. Low-Ieve\ Scav­
player. Con Men are usually indepen­ A Scavenger is an expert in finding engers lead desperate lives of squalor
dent operators, but they sometimes have uses for gomi Uunk). He knows what and solitude, living the life of the urban
partners for large, elaborate scams. people throwaway, and he knows what homeless but higher-level Scavengers
These partners can be virtually any char­ to do with it. He can be hired to salvage sometimes have large networks with

. . WILDSIDE

many Facemen and Muscleboys scour­ Iy low on the totem pole in his/her own most members of the skin trade invest
ing the city for valuable junk ("valuable set, but if it is the most powerful set in heavily in cosmetic surgery whether they
junk" is not an oxymoron in 2020). the city, his/her rank is probably higher need it or not (it pays to keep your looks
Some Scavengers specialize in harvest­ than if they were a leader of a nobody in style). In fact, the adven t of cyber­
ing very particular materials, adopting posergang. Rank can also be used as a ware, exotics and full body conversion
the roles of Fleshmen or Cyber-Vultures Expert Knowledge skill pertaining to has created new, previously unheard-of
(see sidebars). Although these Scav­ gang politics, trivia, colors and culture. fetishisms. Whatever these joy-girls and ­
engers often work alone, they some­ Knowing about a gang in one's own area boys are sculpted into, Strippers and
times hire Techies, Prowlers and Street­ of operations is an Easy task. A gang in Hookers are rarely independent opera­
punks to help them find, collect and the same city is an Average task . Another tors-they almost always work for one
make offwith the precious gomi. A Scav­ city is a Difficult task. A different state is type of Fixer or another, be it a Pimp,
enger can oftentimes be employed by a Very Difficult, while solid info about Owner or even Agent. Dancer/Pros­
Fixer who finds buyers for the scavenged gangs in other countries is Nearly titues have the special ability of Vamp,
gomi and takes a percentage of the sales. Impossible. The size and reputation of a which is simply another version of Con
The most important stat for a Scavenger gang can serve as modifiers at the Refs (see Con Men). Vamp is similar to Con
is TECH, but INT is also important discretion. in that it is used to extract as much
(being the base for Scrounge) and REF There are members of some gangs money from customers Uohns) as possi­
is handy for sneaking into and out of that specialize in gang trivia and knowl­ ble, bu tit is a sexually-orien ted varia­
sites and driving transport vehicles such edge. They usually have several Expert tion, which is why it is based on EMP.
as pickups and dump trucks. Scavengers Knowledge skills in various aspects of Prostitues use their Vamp to entice
use the Techie pay scale. gang culture. One such "librarian", johns into "going upstairs" or what-have­
Rolodexter, (of Night City's Brainiacs) you-they might work on the Street, out
Scavenger claims to know the colors (and main of an hotel, in a whorehouse or through
Scrounge Awareness business) of every established gang in an escort agency as a call girl/boy. Strip­
Streetwise Basic Tech the First and Second Worlds. A Librari­ pers, when not on stage dancing, use
Pick Lock Electronic Security an's knowledge can be vital in tricky situ­ their Vamp to get stripclub customers to
Drive Stealth ations of gang etiquette. buy them drinks in exchange for friend­
Handgun Strength Feat For more background information ly company. These Strippers mayor may
on Streetpunks, see Cyberpunk 2020 pp. not moonlight as prostitutes, depending
218-19 (or 228-229 in the newest print­ on how much money they make, their
Streetpunt ing), Solo ofFortune pp.17-21 and Protect
& Serve pp.58-61.
working conditions, and the legality of
prostitution as opposed to stripping in
These are the youth of today: disillu­ their local area. Note that because of the
sioned, alienated and angry. There are Example-Booster risks involved in close association with
countless gangs infesting the cities of Gang Rank Awareness total strangers, Dancer/Prostitutes usu­
the 21st century, but the most common Streetwise Intimidation ally have some sort of self-defense skill.
breeds are: Posers (identity-copying), Dodge & Escape Handgun EMP is a very important stat for the skin
Boosters (cyberware-fetishists), Melee Brawling trade, but ATI is at least as key for obvi­
Chromers (heavy metal groupies), Dor­ Wardrobe & Style ous reasons. In 2020, the age of Lepro-II
phers Uunkie groups), Guardians One Gang-Related Skill and a host of more mundane social dis­
(neighborhood-defense), Familys (sup­ ea~es, Diagnose Illness makes a good pick­
porting streetkids), Skinheads (hate ide­ up skill. Dancer/Prostitutes use the
ologies), Partiers (purposeless and Dancer/Prostitute Media pay scale (successful Strippers
wild), Culties (neo-religious followers), and Hookers can become impressively
Nihilist~ (suicide crazies) and Combat­ Although Fixers have been around wealthy if they have real talent).
ters (ritualistic warriors). Others include a long time, these professionals have
Primitives (back-to-nature low-techs), been around much longer. Their ser­
Thrashers (rollerbladers and skate­ vices are somewhat less popular than in
boarders) and Bikers (motorcycle nut~). all preceding human history due to Dancer/Prostitute
Whatever the label, Special Ability is 2020's advanced virtual reality and Vamp Awareness
the same: Gang Rank. This ability is braindance technology, but for some Streetwise Personal Grooming
much like Family for Nomads, indicat­ people there's nothing like the real Wardrobe & Human Perception
;'fig the Streetpunk's level of authority, thing. Of course, with modern Style Seduction
resources, respect and experience with­ bodysculpting techniques, the "real Brawling or Perform
in the gang. A homeboy may be relative- thing" is subjective. If they can afford it, Melee Endurance

WILDSIDE

WILDSIDE

::.: ."

hen making a Fixer character [particu­ some careful thought. Although you

W larly a player-character), you start in


the usual way, namely by rolling 9010
and distributing the points to the char­
acter's nine Stats. Try to have a character concept
in mind, and tailor your stats to the concept.
will undoubtedly be tempted to make
your special ability as high as possible,
beware-the higher your Streetdeal,
the more responsibilities you must live
up to. A Streetdeal of 10 makes you the
equivalent of a Mafia crime lord or
major underground organizer, and as
Remember that all fixers rely most concern, as Fixers generally hire other such you must run an entire network.
heavily upon their COOL since this people to handle physical trouble. MA This doesn't leave much time for cam­
forms the basis for their Streetdeal can be important, since deals some­ paigning with the rest of the playersl A
ability and their all-important reputa­ times go sour, and there are a lot of sit­ Streetdeal of 6 or 7 is more powerful
tion. INT is very important as well since uations which you would be wiser to than YOll may think-that's what makes
it takes brains to support the complex run away from than face down. BOD is Streetdeal special. This special ability is
networks fixers require, Fixers are utterly unimportant to a Fixer, except so multi-faceted that even +4 gives YOll
organizers and as such they must be in terms of personal preference. TECH street-related powers above and
organized themselves. The other vital is generally not a factor, since Fixers beyond those of mere mortal cyber­
stat is EMP, without which one cannot will usually hire experts if they need punks. Besides, the higher your level ,
interact well with people. Since inter­ them. However, certain types of Fixers, the more time YOll are obligated to
acting with people is what being a fixer such as those specializing in high-tech spend maintaining your status, and
is all about, an above-average EMP is markets, would be wise to have a rea­ thus the more Facemen you have to
key. However, most Fixers do not have sonable competence with their goods hire (see Forming a Business, page 41).
top-end EMP, since if you are too (although an Expert Knowledge skill can Distribute your remaining 40 career
empathic it is hard to remain suffice, or you can even fall back on a skill points to the skills which come
detached, materialistic and ruthlessly chip if necessary). with your specialization, and then go
neutral. There are few cybered-up fix­ Once you have set all your stats, go on to choose your pickup skills. These
ers who are successful-how can you through the Lifepath section and see will be more important than you might
conduct sensitive negotiations if you're how scrambled your carefully-chosen think, because as well as rounding out
a raging cyberpsycho? Fortunately, Fix­ stats get messed up by the roller-coast­ your character and making him / her
ers have little need for cybernetics er of 21st century life. Next , decide unique, they will also make your char­
other than communications gear, so which type of specialization you want acter more capable than all those NPC
?\'eserving your empathy is feasible . for your Fixer (see the StJecialized Fixers Fixers out there. (Why do you think
LUCK is handy but not vital, and the section). After this you must set the PCs always get such excitingjobs, any­
same goes for ATT. REF is not a big level of your Streetdeal. This requires way? There are a multitude of !\kilh
••• •• ~ ••••• ••••• ••••••• •• R •• ••••••• • • ••• •••••••• •• ••••••••• •••••• •••••••• •••• •••••• •• ••

WILDSIDE
~, 7; ,-'
~ }\.:... ~.. ~~ ~: .. ~'
. :.! v :·:·:·:: :.:.::.: :.':':' ', .•:.:.::.:.:..:............ "

,.,.::.:.:.:.::" :': ,.:••••:•••••• ,' ••·••••••::':7·••••.••••••,•• :.:.:.::::.:.~:.::.:.:.: .••..•••••••. ,'"

which would be useful to any charac­ with their markets and clients. Most
ter, but there are some that apply to fixers are decked out with all sorts of
Fixers in particular-these largely cellular phones, pocket radios, pagers,
depend on your specialty. newsdecks and even briefcase commu­
Certain pickup skiIls are useful for nication suites. As far as cyberware
every Fixer. Human Perception is chief goes, all the electronic claptrap can be
among these, as very few deals in Cyber­ avoided with the implantation of a lit­
punk are actually honest, and it's always tle enhanced cyberaudio wetware. A
to your advantage to know what the Voice Stress Analyzer function can be
other guy is thinking. Library Search can useful, but the corresponding humani­
come in handy quite often, as 2020's ty loss is generally not worth the +2
information-based society calls for a b onus. Chipware is as useful for Fixers
certain amount of data-literacy. What's as any other character, so most Fixers
more, many Fixers find themselves in are more likely to have a set of plugs
the role of a Private Investigator who and chip sockets than cyberaudio .
sells things; spending a lot of time Other than chipware and/or cyberau­
researching potential markets and dio commlinks, little cyberware is
looking up buyers. Expert: Ewnomics needed. In fact, due to the loss of
becomes more and more necessary as humanity (and thus Empathy, and in
your Streetdeal grows, since your orga­ turn Persuasion and Human Perception
nization, employees, and financial bur­ ski lis), the less cyberware a Fixer has,
dens wiII grow wi th it. An assortmen t of the better. However, Fixers are money­
languages are very useful for touchy minded individuals and as such they
negotiations, sometimes Streetslang is are likely to stock up on all sorts of
too vague and translator programs can goodies. A common choice for Fixers is
miss a lot of nuances. Speaking to a a pocket computer, which, with the
client in his own language puts his addition of the right CompuMods
trust in you and impresses him to boot. (Chromebooh 2, pg.18), can serve all ofa
Another useful skill is Bureaucracy, the fixer's electronic needs, from a person­
INT skill of maneuvering through gov­ al organizer and client database to a
ernmental red tape, which is most translator, drug analyzer and modem
handy for those Salesmen and Factors for the Net, to a portable voice stress
who find themselves involved in the analyzer and bug detector. A backup
wheeling and dealing of dirty politics pistol or other weapon is advisable
(see sidebar for more on Bureaucracy, a (just in case the hired muscle aren't
very useful skill). For those Fixers who enough), and some distinctive clothes
deal with the higher levels of society, go a long way. If you can afford it, get a
Social, and Wardrobe and Style skills are few good fake IDs and maybe even a
absolute necessities since the filthy full fake identity...and hope you never
rich don't associate with unfashion­ need to use it.
able, uncouth people. On the flip side, Once your outfit is complete, keep
those Fixers who expect to find them­ track of your contact'> -generate them
selves down in the middle of the action with care, and tailor them to your spe­
on the street might be wise to choose cialty. However, don't forget that there
Stealth and/or Hide and Evade, just in are certain contacts who are useful to
case. And remember, don't skimp on any fixer- a contact in the local police
your Awarenessl department is always handy and a
One of the unique twists to creat­ major figure in the local organized
ing a Fixer character is you learn that crime structure is also a near-necessity.
you don't really need a lot of cyberware A corporate in the dominating compa­
or equipment. A Fixer relies most heav­ ny of your area helps, and an Internet
ily upon his mind, his instincts and his executive or media-related contact is
greed . Communications gear is the also nothing to sneeze at. A few low­
only truly necessary equipment for a level gofers or snitches who you can
Fixer, as they have to keep in contact control easily can be a boon, and then

• WILDSIDE

there are the Solos (for those tense as they can on the street, shaking from them), and how to make
midnight meetings at the docks). down what's up . It is a Fixer'sjob money out of it.
Depending on how high you set your to know what's happening; who's
Fixer's Streetdeal, you may need to who, who's in the know, who's in
hire Facemen to support your network need, who wants what, and who • Remember the raison d'etre of
(see Forming a Business). Once you've has what? Fixers should know the being a Fixer: money. It is your
assembled your contacts and your net­ answers to these questions. duty to remember that business is
work is complete, you're ready to play. business, and nothing should be
During the course of campaigning, taken personally.
don't forget these roleplaying tips: • When pOSSible, be patient. The
amount of time you spend on the

• Treat everybody with a reasonable FORMING A


amount of courtesy, since you can
never be sure who your next client BUSINESS
will be. You can turn down anyone "Where

you want to, but don't burn your With any luck, your Fixer will be
bridges . Every person you meet there's a ·
successful enough to establish some
could someday need you, or you kind of business organization. Having
may need them. Favors and match­
ups are the name of the game.
sic",
an organization requires planning,
foresight, leadership, personnel, and
messed-up
the ever-popular money.
First, determine who forms your
• Keep notes on every person and thing you
client base-you have to understand
group that you meet- you never who your buyers are, what they want,
know when they'll be useful, or can 00 t o
why they buy, and where they are . If
what you'll be able to use. You may you fence common items such as ciga­
even be able to sell dirt you have yourself,
rettes, clothes and equipment, your
on them . Everyone has enemies at clients will generally be poor families,
one time or another. there's
gang members on supply runs and gen­
eral down-on-their-Iuck types. If you
someone on
sell software, your clients will be stu­
• Fixers are organizers- they make dents, Techies and (mainly) Netrun­
things happen. They make
arrangements, oversee events, and
the Street
ners. If you perform financial miracles
such as money laundering, account
generally run things . A Fixer tries who's willing
doctoring and forgery, your clients will
not to get involved in gunfights, be very rich people with something to
but he is very good at setting up or to do it."
hide: scheming corporates, dirty politi­
defusing such situations. cians and high-powered organized
-Mantis. Fixer­
crime figures . Fixers who understand
their clients are more capable of fulfill­
• Fixers exist to make situations less at-large
ing their needs, and that's good for
dangerous (for themselves at business. Don't be threatening to cor­
least) . In some ways, they're like porates-you'll scare them away. Don't
underground politicians; cutting street chasing down your problem be patronizing to gang members­
deals, getting information, and will reduce the difficul ty of solv­ they'll get mad and then your Solos
fast-talking their way out of trou­ ing it. will have to gun them down. Keep
ble. It goes without saying that Fix­ everything in context and keep your
ers are nonetheless big fans of get­ client~ happy.
ting other people into trouble . • Always ask yourself, "What can I Knowing your clients leads to a
get out of this?" Streetdeal allows knowledge of where the action is and
you to take a lot of disparate ele­ how to carry out the biz. A small-time
• lfyou have some downtime, don't ments and put them together so 'dorph pusher would do much better
waste it on braindance or naps. th a t you know how to get people in a ghetto area than in a suburban
Fixers should spend as much time what they want (or how to keep it mall. While a big-time information

WILDSIDE
'"
--
".,."
,~/
'~'.:~'
,

broker might frequent the hangouts of establish a solid reputation and build a ness is an appropriate base of opera­
high-powered edgerunners and sneaky full-fledged organization to support tions. A simple and effective definition
corporates, they could just as easily your business. of a "Base of Operations" is the place
"advertise" through the net, posting The process of forming and sus­ from which the money is controlled
cryptic messages on gray BBS systems. taining an organization is dependent and where new business can find you.
There are always certain areas where upon two things : its leadership and it~ Your base of operations must be suited
just about anybody can find action. In staff. The leadership handles the plan­ to the scale of your business, but there
a city this is usually "the Strip" (see The ning and the money, and selects the are an endless variety of choices avail­
StrijJ, pg. 67). Video, Braindance and staff who will do the dirty work. Consid­ able to the enterprising Fixer. Likely
VR Arcades (or VRcades, as they are er your business goals, determine how options include: a street corner, a
sometimes called) are the home of lots many staff you will need and clearly booth in a bar or club, a van or other
of shady deals, and certain bars and delineate their functions. A stolen car vehicle, a s leep-cube, an hotel room, a
clubs are like second homes to certain chopshop will need car thieves basement, an apartment, or a particu­
segments of the population. Sports (Prowlers) , mechanics (Techies), secu­ lar region of the Net (such as a BBS,
events, both institutionalized and rity (Solos) and maybe a Manager and virtual meeting area, or Net-scape
underground, are ripe with opportuni­ accountant (a lower-level Fixer or an landmark). Some of the more secretive
ty, as are racetracks and conference accomplished Techie). Determine a or paranoid Fixers prefer to carry out
halls. Casinos and other gambling system of keeping track of your all their business by proxy, always
houses have potential, and the Net is employees, because betrayal is com­ requiring voice-only communication,
full of special-interest BBSs, Virtual mon in the underground, and your video-conferencing, virtual meetings,
Mai'ls, meeting areas, and even sight­ staff can bleed a lot of profit if you and all transactions being made
seeing sectors which are full of don't watch your books. An accoun­ through middlemen. This method of
promise. Know your business, target tant, secretary, and maybe even a spy to carrying out business is easier for
your clientele, and seek out the action. watch the staff are all recommended. Information Brokers, Talent Agents,
Once the money start~ flowing, you can Also necessary for a successful busi­ and other such Fixers whose services

JIll WILDSIDE

..... : ....

and commodities are not of a solid, with Streetdeallevels of 1-5 make 1,500 which can feasibly be spent streetdeal­
material nature (like drug dealers and Eb per month. This is fine in terms of a ing becomes uncomfortably tight. Play­
fences). The legality or illegality of a player-character's starting funds, but er-character Fixers who are busy taking
Fixer's business will affect what his in terms of typical day-to-day business, part in an adventure have even less
available options are, as will the scope it's more than a little generous. To free time to sustain their personal net­
of his operation . A simple cyberware determine how much Euro low-level work. They will be much too busy
salesman can operate comfortably out (l-5) Fixers make, multiply their undermining Arasaka's power base,
of the back of a van, but a big-time Streetdeallevel by 300 Eb to determine finding missing children, or shopping
cybernetics broker who bankrolls sev­ their monthly profits. This way, a small­ for big guns for the party's Solos. Real­
eral black clinics, buys and sells in time street sleaze with a Streetdeal of istically, one would have a hard time
bulk, and has handshake agreements level 1 will not be making the same spending more than 12 hours out of
with half the gangs in the city requires amount of Euro as the typically well­ any day Streetdealing, so the cutoff
a large complex to cover all his opera­ connected Fixer with a Streetdeal level level for one-man Fixer networks sits
tions. Even more preferable would be of 5. This also becomes very important somewhere around Level 7 Streetdeal.
several small outlets, all tied in to one when you have to hire another Fixer to Those Fixers who are high-pow­
relatively secret and secure base of support your own operations. Since a ered enough to have Streetdeal abili­
operations. Fixer's profits are a direct result of the ties of more than 7 hire underlings to
The operating costs of running any efforts he puts into dealmaking, every take up the slack in their tremendous
business must be kept under strict con­ fixer is obligated to spend a certain Workloads . Only Fixer-class underlings
trol-sloppiness has killed more Fixers amount of time maintaining his net­ can perform this service, as only they
than lack of funds. A good Accounting work and thus ensuring a steady flow of have Streetdeal. This is the way
skill (or better yet, a good accountant) cash from his deals. This is a set tremendous illegal (and semi-legal)
should keep the business afloat, and if amount of time which must be spent, organizations are created, with several
you balance your operating costs with per week, actively networking and deal­ level 10 Fixers running the show and
your range of profit, you'II be fine . The making in order to maintain a Fixer's droves of lower-level Fixers serving as
key here is risk. If you play it safe, you'll current level of Streetdeal. Known as the lieutenants, sub-lieutenants and
stay where you are and eventually get the Workload, this time need not be enforcers who carry out their master's
swallowed up by a bigger fish . Fixers organized into any particular sched­ business at the street level. Setting up
have to take chances and score big if ule, but must be fulfilled each week , or such an organization takes some plan­
they want to survive. Kill or be killed else the Fixer's reputation begins to ning, but for most player-character Fix­
isn't the exclusive terri tory of Solos, drop. The Workload is determined by ers the task at hand will not be to form
y'know. the level of a Fixer's Streetdeal ability; an entire crime family , but rather to
your Streetdealleve1 plus two, squared, put together a small group of street­
is how many hours per week must be wise dealmakers who work for that
Speating of Money... spent maintaining your network-car­
rying out all those invisible little deals,
player-character. These underlings
(sometimes called "Facemen") may be
As is indicated in the Cyberpunk meeting with contacts, and keeping characters from the Fixer's lifepath or
2020 rules, Fixers earn a monthly channels open. [WORKLOAD: (Street­ may be contacts . They may be found
~salary" based upon the level of their deal+2 x Streetdeal+2)] Once a Fixer through other sources, such as those
Streetdeal ability. The term "salary" is starts burning his bridges, he has lost hired away from rival Fixer organiza­
actually misleading, as most Fixers are the edge and his business will suffer. It tions, culled from the underground
independent operatives and as such is clear to see that after a certain point haunts of the city, or they might come
have no boss and no regular salary. A it becomes impossible for one man to to you if your reputation is solid.
better term would be "profits", because maintain such a vast network by him­ Okay, so hotshot Fixers need
a Fixer's monthly earnings come from self. There are 168 hours in a week, underlings. How do they figure out
the profits he makes on the countless and a Level 10 Fixer has 144 hours what to pay these guys? Each Faceman
deals, big and small, carried out in the worth of obligations per weeki This will have a presumably lower Streetdeal
course of a month. Fixers spend a great leaves only 24 free hours per week, into level than their Boss, and each will
deal of their waking hours scamming, which must be crammed 14 hours of expect to earn as much profit~ as their
planning, dealing and trading, and all sleep (minimum, with a sleep induc­ Streetdeal would normally afford
of these activities add up, granting a er), as well as eating, nature's ca ll, and them. If all their deals and all their
substantial amount ofEuro. random hassles. A clearly impossible profits are pooled to serve the Boss's
Well , maybe not substantial. The task. Once one includes time for sleep­ network, how do you divide the pie? As
Occupation Table on page 48 of the ing, eating, and having any semblance an example, let's look at "Sly the Fly," a
Cyberpunk 2020 rules says that Fixers of a private life, the amount of time level 8 Fixer who specializes in illega\
•• • ~ •• ~ •• ~~~ • •• • • ••••••••• A ••• ••••• Q • •••• ••• •••••• •• ••••••••• a • ••• •••••••••• •••• ••••• • •

WILDSIDE

software. With a level 8 Streetdeal abili­ taking out very little Euro-Sly comes built upon the networks of level 9 and
ty, he makes 7,000 Eb per month but out ahead. See below for a full illustra­ level 10 characters.
must spend 100 hours per week main­ tion of how Sly the Fly's organization
taining his network. Since Sly the Fly would work.
likes to have some free time, he
decides he needs some help. He knows
Sly the Fly (Streetdeal 8) has a 100
hour workload and expects to see
What About Lazy

that "Chip," a level 1 Fixer who sells 7,000 Eb of profits each month. To Fixers?

some small-time VR mods is down on support his network, he hires four


his luck, so Sly decides to offer him a Facemen (see TABLE 1 below.) What happens when a Fixer does
job. Under normal conditions (that is, These four Facemen put in a little not fulfill his weekly Workload? First of
self-employment) Chip 's Workload more than 100 hours per week, which all, people understand that there are
would be 9 hours per week and he is the Workload of a level 8 Streetdeal, times when a Fixer's life becomes so
would make 300 Eb per month. Sup­ so they generate 7,000 Eb per month. hectic th<;tt he cannot put in as many
posedly, if he worked for Sly the Fly, he Meanwhile, Sly the Fly must pay these hours as he should. For this reason,
would reduce Sly's Workload to 91 but Facemen 2,250 Eb per month, so he there is a week's grace time during
he would also cost Sly 300 Eb per gets 4,750 Eb per month (close to the which a Fixer may let his obligations
month . However, since he is now serv­ salary of a level 7 Streetdeal). To make slide. However, if the Fixer does not
ing Sly the Fly, Chip has access to Sly's sure he gets his full 7,000 Eb each make up his lost hours after that week,
resources and contacts; because of this month, he decides to work 35 hours he will drop one level of Streetdeal and
support, Chip's Streetdeal is averaged per week, increasing the total work­ will need to earn those IP all over
with Sly's, effectively raising the sub­ load to 144 hours per week, the equiva­ again. For example, if Sly the Fly's
fixer's Streetdeal to level 4 when deal­ lent ofa level-l0 Streetdeal. Now, the operation needs 100 hours per week to
ing with Sly's business. [EMPLOY­ totaled profits are 10,000 Eb per be maintained, 100 hours per week
MENT BONUS: (Sub-Fixer's Streetdeal month, and with the Facemen's pay, MUST be put in (remember that 144
+ Boss-Fixer's Streetdeal)/2; round Sly gets 7,750 Eb per month (the extra must be put to bring in the full profit,
down]. Because of this new Faceman money could be used as bonuses for but 100 are needed to maintain Sly's
status (remember that it only applies the Facemen, or whatever). Not too level 8 Streetdeal). Hours spent catch­
when Chip is working on one of Sly's shabby. To maintain even larger fixer ing up on a previous week's inactivity
deals), Chip can crank out up to 36 networks, assume that each increase do not generate extra Euro. Let's look
hours per week for Sly. It would be over level 10 Streetdeal grants another at a month in the life of Sly's software
unrealistic to expect any Faceman to 2,500 Eb per month (see TABLE 2 ring:
work more than 36 hours per week any­ below. ) Week 1: Business as usual, 144
way. Meanwhile, Sly gives Chip a rea­ These increases are provided only hours put in by the end of the week.
sonable increase in pay (say, a 50% for the purposes of making money Week 2: The cops crack down, Sly's
bonus to 450 Eb per month), but Chip from hours of work; this table will group goes into hiding-no work is
is adding his Workload to the total come in handy for those who want to done by week's end.
hours, increasing total profits while make fixer organizations which are Week 3: The heat is off, Sly's group

TABLE 1.
Faceman Original Increased Workload Monthly
Handle Streetdeal Streetdeal Assigned Pay
Chip 1 4 36 900Eb
Happy 1 4 25 450Eb
Fritz 1 4 25 450Eb
Bugs 1 4 25 450Eb
Totals NA NA 109 2,250 Eb

TABLE 2.
Hours of
Workload 169 196 225 256
Equivalent
Streetdeal 11 12 13 14
Profits in
Euro 12,500 Eb 15,000 Eb 17,500 Eb 20,000 Eb

.lit WILDSIDE

must put in at least 200 hours (100 for and secretaries do not count towards
last week, 100 for this week) to main­
tain level 8; however, the amount of
total organizational Workload) .
The base chance that there will be
OE CF 1lE GuYs

money generated will not match 2 treachery in an organization is 10% In any Cyberpunk game, there is a
weeks of work (288 hours). Instead, per month. For each point by which lot of competition between player­
Week 2 & Week 3, covered by this the Boss' Leadership roll exceeded the characters. Sometimes this escalates
week's 200 hours of work, will generate difficulty number, the chance of into full-blown enmity and even civil
15,000 Eb (because 200 is close to 196, treachery is reduced by 1 %. For each war in the party . Fixers are by no
which is the workload for Streetdeal point by which the Boss' Leadership means beyond this with their superior
12, which gran ts 15,000 Eb per 196 roll missed the difficulty number, the access to information, resources and
hours) . chance of treachery is increased by 2%. influence being good cause for jeal­
Week 4: Back to business as usual, When treachery occurs, the fate of the ousy among other players in a team.
144 hours put in by the end of the Fixer's organization is in the hands of However, Fixers can work very well
week. the referee: it is then time to roleplay with other character roles, each one
an organizational crisis. Anything goes, supporting the other's activities and
from a coup to a sellout. An adventure generally conducting good business.
The Big Paybact could occur where the referee creates
a plot which centered around the
Listed below is a breakdown of the
major character roles , each with an
Although it may seem that hiring treachery plotted by one of the Boss explanation of how they can interact
all these Facemen makes any Fixer's Fixer's Facemen. For this reason, it is with Fixers.
life easier and more profitable, it also advised that the Fixer's Leadership roll
carries a corresponding risk- treach­ be made secretly by the Referee, or
ery. Anyone who works for you can dou­
ble-cross you. Fixers are constan tly
else the player-character Fixer will
know to expect treachery. Treachery
Rocterboys
watching their Facemen for all sorts of adventures are also a great hook for What's the difference between a
backstabs. They might try to embezzle getting a PC Fixer personally involved Rockerboy working with a Fixer and a
your funds, sell your contacts to other in his organization. Nothing gets a Rockerboy working without a Fixer?
Fixers, attempt to usurp your organiza­ Fixer more riled up than finding out An Audience. As a Rockerboy, you
tion, steal your goods or sell you out to that his henchmen is selling secrets to rely on your Talent Agent to get you
one of the big fish. For this reason, a competitorl new gigs or he can find you new talent
each Faceman has a "Maintenance for your band. If you don't have a
Time" attached to them which the Boss recording label yet, you need to get
Fixer must spend keeping in contact the attention of a Talent Scout. A
with them and checking up on them .
What's more, the higher the Faceman's
FITTING Loan Shark can keep your band afloat
in hard times, but beware-Mobsters
level of Streetdeal, the more personal
initiative he has and the more potential
FIXERS IN may run your recording label or even
use it as a front. Meanwhile, c1ub- and
he has for treachery. The hours of With all the information you have bar-Owners will be your temporary
Maintenance Time for any Faceman is read about Fixers, you may be gasping bosses from night to night. To give
1/3rd his Streetdeal, rounded up. So, for breath by now. "Okay, Okayl So direction to your career (once you get
for Sly the Fly, his four-man organiza­ what do I do with this stuff?" We hear one), your Manager will take care of
tion would require 4 hours of Mainte­ you . The previous sections covered your business needs . Pushers will get
nance Time. The total Maintenance what Fixers are, who they are and what you the drugs that give you the energy
Time of an organization is added to 5, they do-this section deals with what to keep on rockin' though interna­
and this number is the Difficulty num­ they're good for. Whether you are tional tours. Info Bros will be able to
ber which a fixer must match or reading this book as a player or as a ref­ tell you who's buying your albums,
exceed with a Leadership roll. The eree, your questions are about to be and Black Marketeers can provide
Maintenance Time of an organization answered. Fixers can function equally chips of the latest trends in under­
can be reduced in various ways: an well as team players, as referee aids, as ground music for you to keep up on .
organizer system such as a pocket com­ plot devices and as comic relief. This Finally, you may have to deal with the
puter or somesuch will reduce Mainte­ section explains how, and is guaran­ big wheels in the media-corporations
nance Time by 2 hours, and a dedicat­ teed to convince you that Fixers can be when you finally sell out and go Top­
ed secretary will reduce Maintenance your best friends ... 40; a Go-Between comes in handy
Time by 12 hours (but of course, you there.
will have to pay the secretary's salary, ...or your worst enemies.

WILDSIDE

Talent Scout could show up at any time affordable supplies, usually by barter­
Solos trying to recruit you for the Mob, who ing things such as salvage and services.
Solos and Fixers go together like use Netrunners both for data security Black Marketeers can also sell the pack
bullets and guns. The ever-familiar purposes and for runs against their cheap food, clothing and supplies, and
Black Marketeers can get you all that competition. You could be visited by even Fences can provide cheap goods
fun, illegal cyberware, as well as guns, Talent Scouts from the corporations (or (if you don't mind the fact that they're
armor, explosives and vehicles. Equally the government), who could very well probably hot). Smugglers can bring
useful are those slimy little Pushers, set you up against your hacker buddies. Nomad packs "imported" foodstuff~
who can nonetheless get you those and other regulated commodities, and
handy combat drugs and painkillers, will sometimes help them sneak across
and Smugglers can bring you foreign
weapons (or sneak you into restricted
Medias state borders. If things get desperate,
Loan Sharks could give the pack a
areas). Once you're outfitted, your A Media's unique view of the world boost-as long as the pack can repay
Agent will do his best to get you the puts Fixers in the same context as every­ the debt. Every Nomad pack should
good jobs (the ones that aren't suicide thing else-a story. The masters of sto­ have a Negotiator, who is invaluable for
missions). If you're a true professional, rytelling are Information Brokers, so acquiring temporary employment con­
a corporate Talent Scout may try to Medias tend to spend a lot of time with tracts with agricorps and for settling
hire you into a corporate black ops them. Info Bros give Medias all sorts of disputes with towns or the authorities
team, or another choice is freelance leads in hunting down their stories and (like HiWay). For the less ethical fami­
assassin for the scheming Mobsters. will also pay for certain information col­ lies, remember that Mobsters some­
While you're on the job, Information lected during reporting. If your special­ times hire whole packs to ransack or
Brokers can get you data on targets, ty is sportscasting, then Bookies are full destroy towns, if you like that kind of
and when the op is over (assuming you of great inside dirt on the sport~ players work. Nomads can also use the services
survived) a Fence will be glad to buy and their popularity. Some Bookies will of Shoemakers (if they can afford
any loot you brought back with you. take or even set odds on how your Sto­ them) to become SINless, something
And if, instead, you took ajob that was ries will do in the ratings game. Sniffers which makes being a system-buckin'
just too big, a SIN-Lifter can get you a can go places that you, as a high-visibili­ Nomad a whole lot easier.
new pair of shoes... ty Media, can't or won't go, and when
the plot starts to thicken, Black Marke­
teers can get you the necessary surveil­
Corporates
Netrunners lance equipment. Freelancers who put
their equipment to good use can expect Weasels and worms have more in
Truly hardcore Netrunners don't to be offered a contract from some common than you think-they're both
want to waste time with real-space petti­ mediacorp's Talent Scout, or can rely sneaky and they're both survivors. Cor­
ness. That's what Fixers are for. Black on their own Talent Agents to get them porate weasels recognize the connec­
Marketeers keep you in illegal, under­ the best aSSignments (covering the war tion they have with underground Fix­
the-counter progTams and fancy elec­ in the Philippines, an anchorperson's ers, and they take advantage of (he
tronic gear, and Traders are often good seat, etc). On top of being perfect sub­ relationship. Corporates get the drugs
for second-hand hardware and software jects for docudramas, Smugglers can they need to work those extra hours
in exchange for valuable data. Info Bros also get you into some very secure areas from Pushers, and Sniffers exist to get
sell system maps for most of the big­ if paid well enough. Mobsters have Corporates whatever they want from
name data fortresses (sometimes always been Media favorites, but they the street~ but are afraid to fetch them­
they're even up to date) and will be glad are very bad sports-if you refuse to selves. Info Bros can provide insider
to buy hot data from you. Shoemakers suppress your stories, you might end up trading data and the plans of other
can get you into vital personnel databas­ sleepin' with the fishes. Corporates, and Factors can carry out
es and will fall over themselves to please embezzlement, ghost accounting and
a Netrunner with saleable SINs. If even balance your books if you really
you're any good, a Talent Agent should­
n't have trouble finding you work.
Nomads need it. Bookies love to take bets from
Corporates (they know a Corp is good
Bookies use Netrunners in their elec­ Fixers know that people who have for the money) and some will give odds
tronic numbers rackets, Sniffers often nothing need lots of things. Nomads and accept bets on Corporate endeav­
hire Netrunners to help them electroni­ understand this too, although they may ors. However, every Corporate in 2020
cally track down hard-to-find items and not like it. Nomads buy supplies in will have to deal with a Mob-related
Factors always need Netrunners to exe­ bulk, but are on a very strict budget. Fixer at some point-organized crime
cute financial database tampering. A Traders are their best bet for getting runs too many businesses. Keep an eye

..til WILDSIDE
... ~;: : ..•...

00
o 0

out for well-dressed Talent Scout~, who you specific equipment, parts, tools than a Fixer? Sleazes are born stoolies,
might try to hire you away to work for and even workspace. Fences can be a Pimps and their charges are a perfect
another company; and ifit happens, a good source of random odds and ends, way to have eyes and ears on the Street,
Negotiator can get you better contract and Smugglers can provide restricted and Info Bros are the best informants
arrangements. Negotiators also have components and transport your fin­ around (when they cooperate). In
the annoying habit of representing dis­ ished designs anywhere (no matter how addition to information, Black Marke­
gruntled workers. Even in the middle illegal they are). Mobsters make good teers can get a Cop the hardware that
of cutthroat business deals, Fixers will employers, as well-they could hire you he needs but his department can't (or
show up, jockeying for profit and posi­ for anyone of a number of racket~ (like won't) pay for. If you need a quick bust
tion while fronting for your neighbor autobody shops or black cyberware to fill your quota, Pushers are always
in the office down the hall ... clinics), and if you're really good, a Tal­ good for a collar, and there is an ever­
ent Scout might even hire you to work present enemy in the form of the Mob.
for the corps. If they do, hope you like If you're skilled, or the type to sell out,
Techies lab coats and clock-punch in' ... corporate Talent Scouts might try to
hire you away to a private security force
One good Fixer deserves another. (like Arasaka or Militech), but
Techies often rely on Information Bro­
kers to tell them where to acquire
Cops beware-various Managers will often
try to control you. But then again, who
newtech components and Info Bros They say opposites attract. doesn't?
can also sell secret designs and blue­ Although Fixers and Cops are usually In conclusion, if a player-character
prints. To build those designs, you on opposite sides of the law, that does­ (or anyone else, come to think of it)
could go to a Trader, the best source of n't mean they can't cooperate. Every wants to get ahold of anything on the
raw materials, and the only character police officer has a few informant~ who following list, they will probably need
willing to trade new inventions for your keep him updated on Street news, and to talk to a Fixer (see sideliar, pg. 48).

~ .. ... ........•... ... ...•....•..............•....•............... .. ..•. .. ... .... .. ..

inventions. Black Marketeers can get


~~ ~
who would make a better informant

WILDSIDE

FIXIN'THE
options: one is to have a relatively low
Streetdeal, and the other is for the Fixer

CAMPAIGN
to put his best Faceman in charge of the
network temporarily while adventuring.
The first may seem unacceptable, but
Referees may feel some trepidation think about it- Streetdeal is such a wide­
about including a Fixer character in their reaching, multi-level ability that level-4 or
campaign. Fixers need lots of support, a level-5 put.~ you on the same level with
don't like to do hands-on dirty work and leve1-7 Solos and Netrunners. Putting a
are generally a role with a complicated Faceman in charge for a while is easier,
background. These facts should not bar but it invites mutiny among the ranks. Ifa
Fixers from campaigns. A Fixer's com­ Fixer walks away from his operation for a
plexity makes him an asset. This character few weeks, when he returns he may find
role can function quite well in a "stan­ that the operation is no longer his I
dard" Cyberpunk campaign, and opens up Sniffers and Negotiators fit quite well
whole new gaming possibilities in the into a team, and with a little work almost
form of Fixer Campaigns. any type of Fixer can be worked into a
"Standard" campaigns may be an oxy­ "standard" campaign. However, the
moron in Cyberpunk, but what is meant by numerous specializations available to Fix­
the term in this context is: a game which ers provide ample material for Fixer-ori­
has a team of players, one of which is a ented campaigns. These Fixer Campaigns
Fixer, and all players have roughly equal are based around a Fixer's operations,
status and importance in the adventure . and need not be single-player games.
These campaigns can often involve a lot Fixer operations almost always require
of traveling around, double-crossing cor­ additional staff with varied skills. Each
porate employers and a healthy amount one of the Fixer specializations is cam­
of combat. In such campaigns, Fixers with paign-ready, providing enough material
large networks, numerous employees, and adventure hooks to establish a solid
extensive obligations and poor (or base for an organization which can
nonexistent) combat skills do not fit in employ several characters. Black marke­
very well. However, there are several types teering, information brokerage or run­
of Fixers who do not fit this bill and there ning a nightclub are all possibilities. In
are ways around any Fixer's obligations. such campaigns, the Fixer is the "boss,"
Certain Fixers are well-suited to "stan­ and he employs all the other characters
dard" campaigns, particularly Sniffers or otherwise works with them to support
and Negotiators. As Go-Betweens, Snif­ his operation. For instance, consider the
fers and Negotiators are closely tied to possibilities in running a smuggling cam­
people in general, but they have few paign . The Fixer character would be the
other limitations. They are fully mobile, brains of the operation, but he would
they do not run structured organizations, need to hire vehicle expert~ (Solos or
and both are capable of taking care of Vehicle Jockeys) , mechanics and electri­
themselves. These two specializations are cians (Techies) for maintaining the vehi­
ideal choices for player-characters in cles and coming up with creative smug­
"standard" campaigns, a~ they can greatly gling equipment, computer expert~
add to the capabilities of any team. On (Netrunners) for altering computer secu­
top of their Streetdeal capabilities, Snif­ rity and shipping manifest~, security thugs
fers bring the information-gathering pow­ (Solos) and he could also make use of
ers of a Private Eye to the team, and Nego­ Nomads for large-scale transportation
tiators are as good as having a PR firm, schemes. Even other Fixers such as Fac­
ambassador and professional bullsh*t tors, Info Bros, Negotiators and Facemen
artist all in one team-member. To round could be hired to support the operation.
them out, these characters can amass The smuggling ring could be a Mob oper­
more combat skills (or whatever is need­ ation, in which case a Mobster would be
ed) as pickups. To solve the problem of present, or the ring could even be a deni­
network obligations, there are two able corporation-backed scheme to

JItl WILDSIDE

. . ,' 'f.'

undermine a competitor, in which case a 177 in older printings), but the general be one of the greatest tools of a Cyber­
Corporate or two would be around. The idea is that the edgerunner community of punk referee . Fixer NPCs can provide
smuggling ring could traffic in Brain­ America seems to be slowly organizing information, adventure hooks, employ­
dance, Music chips or other entertain­ itself towards a clash with The Man-the ment, opposition and campaign organi­
ment media, in which case Rockers and corporations, the government and the zation. Player-characters will meet Fix­
Medias would also fit in. Such a campaign system in general. For players who wish ers who are acting as club owners and
would be a real challenge and a great deal they could do something about how dark bartenders, they will need to buy
of fun. The players would have to plan the Dark Future is (check out Home of the weapons and equipment from black
their operations, cultivate contacts with Bravel) , the Cyberpunk Revolution is best marketeers, and they will find employ­
the authorities and payout a lot of bribes, motivation around . ment from Fixers of all kinds. Referees
have to contend with CIA LawDiv or can use these Fixers to introduce new
Interpol harassment, deal with competi­ characters (PC or NPC) into an adven­
tors and find customers. This requires ture, or to get important information to
that not onJy the referee but the players "We're Robin the characters. Fixer NPCs can provide
need to have strong imaginations and all sorts of adventure hooks: temporari­
show a lot of initiative. The adventures Hoods for ly hiring the players, being hired by the
would be generated as much by the play­ players, trying to get rid of them or even
er's actions as the referee's plans. While the good of ratting them out to "the enemy." How­
this type of game is more involved and ever, the gimmick which makes Fixer
more difficult than "standard" cam­ the losers, NPCs most useful to the referee is their
paigns, it can be much more rewarding ability to bring player-characters
and original because the characters have the boozers, together. Remember, Fixers deal primari­
a vested interest in deciding their own ly in people- player-characters includ­
fates. the ugly, the ed. At the start of a game, adventure or
Motivation is the key to a Fixer Cam­ campaign, the referee can make use of
paign. There are generally two choices crazy, the a Fixer to actually make the player-char­
for the motivation of a Fixer Campaign­ acters into a team. Talent Agents and
profit or cause. When profit is the motiva­ drunlcs, the Talent Scout~ are the best type of Fixer
tion, the characters are in it for the Euro. for this task, but any specialization will
In some ways this can be restrictive, perverts, serve, depending on the situation.
because the characters must always meet Remember, Talent Scout~ and Agent~
their quotas and keep ahead of the com­ the lazy..." don't have to work for a mediacorp,
petition. However, profit-motivated Fixer they don't even have to be "legitimate"
Campaigns can also be freeing in that - PopWiU Eat businessmen . They could represent the
they allow the characters to be of almost Mob, another big-name Fixer, or they
any disposition. Profit-mongers can be as Itself, could even be freelance, assembling
mean and vicious as they want since they special ops teams for private c1ient~ like
aren't trying to really prove anything. The
other motivational option is a cause. The
Preaching to blackmailed corporates, distressed
heiresses or even orphaned children
cause could be a political struggle, such as the Perverted (go ahead, pull their sympathy strings­
trying to overthrow or even establish a it probably won't have any affect any­
government, a revenge scheme such as way, knowing most cyberpunks). Also
destroying a powerful Mob family, or remember that Fixer NPCs wield the
even a heroic goal such a~ helping people power of Giri (see sidebar, pg. 16); this
escape or overcome religious persecu­ weapon can always be drawn on the
tion. A less common and broad-based players if they don't cooperate or try to
cause could be the promotion of a certain THE REFEREE'S
weasel their way out of an
philosophy or ideal, such a~ environmen­ adventure ... no player wants his charac­
talism, anti-technology sentiment (Lud­ GO-BETWEEN
ter blacklisted out of existence. Heh,
diteism) or anarchy. However, perhaps heh, heh ...
the most interesting and inspiring cause Even if there are no Fixer player­
for a Fixer Campaign is the Cyberpunk characters in your campaign, don't
Revolution. The idea behind this move­ write these entrepreneurs off. These
ment is outlined on pages 176-177 in the characters are too useful and too color­
new printing of CyberJ)unk 2020 (pg.166­ ful to leave on the shelf. NPC Fixers can

WILDSIDE

~ ~ILDSIDE

..'. ~w.-. W

eing a Fixer demands that your work be There's something to be learned

B your life; the reverse must also be true.


Once you realize that your life is your work,
you have to step back and take a look at
the big picture.
There are areas of knowledge which,
here for other characters as well. In
2020, overpopulation is too large a
problem to let you get away with
ignoring people entirely . Like they
say, if you can't recycle 'em,join 'em .

while seemingly mundane, are vital to


understanding the way the Underground Chilling Out
works. If you don't have a decen t grasp of The most important element in
these concept~, you'll never make it as a interpersonal relations is COOL.
Fixer. This is equally true for any other Although your EMP is necessary to fig­
character role, and the concepts in ques­ uring out what the other guy is think­
tion are common to all characters. ing, his COOL is what determines how
tough a nut he is to crack. Whether
The following section deals with
No matter what thei r busi ness, from you're haggling with someone, seduc­
these areas of knowledge, outlining how running a club to information broker­ ing them or intimidating them , your
they work and how to use them. First it age, Fixers are always dealing with peo­ problem is their COOL. More specifi­
explains interpersonal skills, from seduc­ ple. That means that they have to know cally, your problem is their Stability.
tions to intimidations, and then it goes how to understand and communicate Stability is a Difficulty Number
straight to the bottom line:jack, scratch, with them. However, sometimes simple which represents how diffIcult a per­
conversation isn't enough. You can't son is to sway, confuse, frighten or
Euro--money. After the section on credit
always get what you want just by asking otherwise befuddle. Stability is equal to
and cash, the ever-popular act of theft has nicely; sometimes you have to confuse, COOLx2.5, rounded down. Being
it~ consequences explained in the fencing coerce or seduce your way to what you based on COOL, it is simply a Difficul­
section of "IfYou're Paying Too Much ..... want. If that doesn't work, you can ty Number for overcoming their cool­
Finally, there's a section on SINs and always fall back on threats (this is the ness with your skills. The Stability rat­
identity, where you'll learn what to do if only time when it's actually a good idea ing is consistent with statistical
to let your Solo open his mouth). If a spreads common to the distribution
you just blew that 2 Million Eb deal.
Fixer is to be successful, he absolutely of both Stats and Difficulty Numbers;
Although the understanding ofthese top­ must understand the principles of inter­ if you do the math, you will see that a
ics is essential to a Fixer, it is important personal relations, the most vital tool in person with a COOL of 2 (as uncool

..that ........
~
everyone knows the score.
~~~&.~ .. ..
~
the any trade . as a person can be without being some
a • • • • » • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •• •• • • • • •

WILDSIDE
kind of mutant reject) has a Stability of
5, which is essentially an instant success
Interpersonal Still point of success results in a 2% change
in price in favor of the winner. Howev­
in terms of skm rolls. However, some­
one with a COOL of 6 (the numerical
Modifiers er, when a Fixer haggles with a non­
Fixer character, the Fixer's advantage
average for every stat) has a Stability of These modifiers add to the actor's becomes 5% per 1 point of success,
15, which is an Average skill roH. Mean­ skill roll against the subject's Stability. reflecting his greater prowess at hag­
while, a character with a COOL of 10 Use your judgment as to what applies; gling and deal-cutting. For example:
(maximum cryochilled nano-coolness) beauty won't help Intimidation, and a Page is a Fixer representing a group
has a Stability of 25, which is Very Diffi­ big gun won't help Seduction. "X" is the of player-characters who want to dis­
cult skill roll to overcome. Actor's most common skill use or char­ pose of 50 1000-round boxes of stolen
The Stability of a character is acter trait (whatever applies to the situa­ 12.7mm ammunition, and Izzy the
important in the application of the fol­ tion). (SeeTABLE 1 below.) Lobo is acting as the Fence. In the
lowing skills: Authority, Charismatic exchange roll, Page rolls his Streetdeal
Leadership, Interrogation, Intimidation and gets a 22, while Izzy's Streetdeal roll
aQd Seduction. In practice, the charac­
ter who is actively using the skill (the
If You're Paying Full
is 18. Page beat Izzy by 4 points, so the
players get Izzy to buy the ammo for
actor) to alter the opinions or behavior
of the other person (the subject) rolls
Price, You're Paying
(4x2%+30%) 38% the market price.
However in another, unrelated
his skill against the subject's Stability.
Take the following situation as an
Too Much
exchange, a group of player-characters
want to move 30MU of hot data though
example: In 2020, haggling is a necessary a Fence named Pagan. The characters
Nelson Davids (aka "Captain in terpersonal skill. Everyone wan ts to have no Fixer in the team, so their
Ginsu") has a corporate contract out get the best deal, and nobody wants to Netrunner, Cybele, represents them in
on his head. Through the grapevine he get taken. Knowing how to talk a dealer the deal. Cybele rolls her Streetwise and
has heard that one of his contacts, a down (or bleed a sucker for all he's gets a 16, while Pagan rolls a 20; Pagan
creep named Yang, plans to rat him worth) is as important to CyberJ)unk eco­ stiffs the players, giving them only (20­
out to the NMF corporation. Nelson nomics as having a grasp of addition 16 = 4, 4x5% = 20%, 30%-20%) 10% of
draws his favorite machete in an and subtraction. When haggling, the the actual value for the 30 hard-earned
attempt to intimidate Yang into keep­ two characters performing the MU. This should tell player-characters
ing his mouth shut. Yang's COOL is 7, exchange each roll their that they need a Fixer (ideally, a Negotia­
making his Stability a 17. Nelson is big­ COOL+Skill+lDI0. After any applica­ tor) representing them in such deals.
ger than Yang, and is brandishing a ble modifiers, the character who rolls A note on dealing with Fences: The
melee weapon, so he gets +3 to his roll; higher wins. The "Skill" may be either base price for any wares is 30% of its
Nelson rolls an 18 (+3 = 21) -Yang is Streetdeal or Streetwise. When the two actual value. If the fence wins the hag­
successfully cowed, and Nelson won't skills are the same (Streetdeal vs. Street­ gle, the percentage still won't go below
need to call in any backup. deal, Streetwise vs. Streetwise), each 1 10%. If the person selling the wares
wins, the percentage still won't go
above 50%. No matter what, you've
TABLE 1. gotta make some profi tt
Subject humiliated if they give in: -1
Subject holds a "trump card" in the situation: -2
Subject has a melee weapon: -2
Subject has a gun: -4 ELECTRONIC

Subject(s) on psychoactive drugs: +STR or -STR of Drug (depends on the drug)


Subject is a cyberpsycho:: RoIIIDI0: 1-5 = -2 to -10, frIO = +2 to +10. LIVELIHOOD

Actor on his home turf: +1


Actor bigger then the subject: +1 It is a common expression among
Actor much bigger then the subject: +2 the filthy rich that "your life is only as
Actor brandishing a melee weapon: +2 good as your credi t." Th is is somewhat
Actor brandishing a gun: +4 of an overstatement, but not by much.
Actor has backup (big goons):+2 1st goon, +1 for each additional goon, max +5. In 2020, it is arguable that the most
Actor on psychoactive drugs: +STR or -STR of Drug (depends on the drug) important factor of your personal life
Actor has a Reputation for X: + 1/2 Rep is your credit history. With the advent
Actor's AIT (for Seduction): of the worldwide Net, electronically­
Average with EMP for Seduction's stat base, then roll vs. Stability. based finances have become a founda­

. . . WILDSIDE

tion for the world economy (this chips, or "Chops") are usually issued to "SINs OfIdentity," pg. 62) and (usually)
trend was started by cooperative EEC all corporate employees free of charge, extensive information concerning med­
banks such as Suisse Bank, Euro­ with the chop's liquid crystal matrix (see ical records, career history, and psycho­
Worldbank, and Sumitomo). Such Credchips, below) being imprinted logical profile. Individuals may, at no
dependence upon an essentially according to the personal information penalty, have multiple chops represent­
intangible structure has led to a dis­ the corporation has on it~ employee. ing multiple account~ at different institu­
tinct paranoia concerning credit A~sorted subscriptions to magazines, bul­ tions, although some people carry just
fraud. In the 21st century, punish­ letin boards and other services can be one chop for convenience's sake. If an
ment for credit fraud has seen attached to a credit account, and applicant cannot provide all the
increasingly harsh sentences . Person­ employees' salaries are automatically required information (which will be
ality adjustment and Braindance are credited to their account, with taxes, checked upon), s/ he could be denied
common for such offenses, consistent­ insurance, and medical coverage (if credit and may be held for further ques­
ly carried out by the corporate police applicable) deducted automatically. The tioning if they are especially suspicious­
of the offended corporation (in accor­ major players in the credit business of seeming.
dance with federal law, of course ... ). 2020 include WeltGeschellshaft Bank, The only other option is to carry
In 2020, credit is the universal lan­ American Express-World, Citibank, ca~h.
guage. Sumitomo, Euro-Worldbank, and
Drdkon Worldwide Fund.
Anyone who is not a corporate
Cashing Out
Getting Credit employee must pay for the privileges
attached to credit (usually a fee of about Cash is, in fact, looked down upon in
Where Credit is Due 50 Eb, and then a monthly 10 Eb service most circles as being old-fashioned and
charge). To open an account, financial "low-tech," as it is less convenient than
Most corporate employees have institutions require the applicant to pro­ credit in the eyes of most. Ca~h is hard­
credit in one form or another. Credit vide his State Identification Number (see er to carry than credit, it is easily stolen,
Chips (most commonly known as Cred­ the section on Blanks and the SINless in difficult to trace, and needs to be physi­
•• *~ •• •*~~ • • • •• •• * •• • •••••••• • •• • •• • ••••• • • • ••• •• • •••••••••••• • ••••••• •• ••• •• •• • • • •••
~ ~

WILDSIDE
·.. :.:.:.~::.;.: ..:.:.,........,... :.:..•:.::.:.:.::.:.:,...:.......... , . '" ..,....... :':.:.:-:::: ; .: ; :,.:. ; ~ ..;;.;.;..:::.;.:....;. ........... : .;. ~.: .:,::.:- : , ...:...... ....... , .... ...........;.:;.......... . . ................. :.:-:.::::~.:.::.:.: ....:............. .

'" ...........:-:.;.;.;.:: ~-:;:.:.:;.:.:- .......•., ..... .

checked) depends
on [he size of the
transaction, and a~
might be expect­
ed, the larger the
transaction limit
the harder it is to
qualify for the
account. The
identification data
must be encoded
on the credchip
before the owner
can make the
transactions.
That's the law,
choomba. An
account which will
only cover transac­
tions of 1000 Eb or
less qualifies as a
Standard account
and credchip and
only requires your
SIN; accounts and
cards which will
deal in up to
10,000 Eb are
Gold and require
your SIN and
cally protected by store-owners. Some thumbprint; Platinum account~ and
establishments actually charge a "pro­ chops will exchange up to 100,000 Eb
cessing fee" (about 2-5%) for dealing and require your SIN, a thumbprint and
with cash (the more things change, the a voiceprin t; the rarest and most coveted
more they stay the same...). type of account gets you a Black cred­
chip- you can make transactions of
1,000,000 Eb and up and requires a
Credchips check on all identification types. Only
the filthy rich and mega-corporate
Almost universally preferred over powerbrokers ever qualify for Black
cash are Credchips: also known as accounts, but once in a blue moon a
Chops, IDs, Keycards, credit cards, cred­ Fixer can get you one which will hold up
keys, and expense cards. These electron­ for a little while. Maybe.
ic cash ticket~ store up to four different There are several heavily-advertised
types of identification (depending on advantages to using Credchips over cash
the level of security) which are encoded in 2020 's information society. Chops
on a liquid crystal matrix microchip: allow instant transactions to be made,
your Personal (or State) Identification without the trouble of counting change
Number (PIN), a thumbprint, a voice­ and other such "cash hassles ." Credit
print, and a retina scan . For each type of pays regular (though limited, about 7­
identification medium, there is a corre­ 10%) interest. Credchips can be used
sponding account classification, transac­ for credit transfer through the net,
tion ceiling and credchip model. The phones, fax, DataTerms and also a llow
types of acc-ount and credchip (and access to ATMs (Automatic Teller
thus, the type of identification which are Machines). Internet ATMs can be found

• WILDSIDE

......... ::
..

in millions oflocations across the world, below) which can achieve this. These money! A Face Bank will usually pay
and actual ca~h (should you need it) can data havens, accessible only through an interest rate of about 20%, but
be taken out by using your Credchip. secret, well-guarded channels, are dif­ there will be a 5% chance that your
The fact that every chop requires the ficult to find and don't work cheap. money will be unavailable when you
entry of your PIN (and sometimes other To create the detail and reliability need it (though you will be able to get
types of iden tification as well) before a necessary for a passable forgery usual­ it later) and a further 5% chance
transaction can be made makes it very ly winds up costing IDIO x 1000 Eb, (only one roll made secretly by the
difficult to use another person's half to be paid up front (the cost may referee is needed)that the bank will
account be modified depending on the afflu­ one day disappear with all your money
In cases where the user enters the ence of the buyer, the amount by in it. You can also get loans from Face
wrong PIN for the chop he uses, most which the buyer succeeds in his Banks easier than from regular banks,
Credit Transfer Devices (CTDs) in 2020 Streetwise task, or the time by which but the penalties for welshing on a
are equipped with verification programs the Credchip is needed). These false debt tend to be extremely severe (see
which will "interrogate" the chop's Credchips are usually 95% reliable Loan Sharks & Credsharks, pg. 26).
owner. The CTD will access the person's and are detectable only to the most
personal data on the chop's LC matrix sophisticated of CTDs.
and display a series of questions on its
display screen. If extremely large trans­
Credit Transfer
actions are made, CTDs will often inter­
rogate the chop owner automatically. If
Face Banks Devices (CTDs)
the user fails to answer the questions (Extrapolated from the Hardwired Present in almost all restaurants,
correctly, or if (in the cases of large Sourcebook for the CyberJJunk system.) stores, and banks, CTDs are perhaps
transactions with exclusive chops) the There is one other option open to the most instrumental hardware to
user's identification signatures do not those who can't meet the credit corps' 2020's information society (next to
match the Credchip's information, the stringent requirements, other than the basic computer). A CTD is a mini­
CTD may deny the user's credit, melt keeping all their money in a wallet: a computer which can be connected to
the user's chop, or even contact the mis­ Face Bank, which is not legally sanc­ the Net via any phone jack or cellular
represented establishment's corporate tioned and doesn't ask so many link. A slot along the side or bottom of
police. It is a well-known fact that credit­ embarrassing questions. the CTD can read from the liqUid
corp police are also well-trained in Face Banks exist only in the Net, crystal matrices of modern Credchips,
"interrogation" techniques ... in which the money exists only as accessing personal data files, identifi­
data. Face Banks usually begin as an cation prints, and credit history. Most
access code on a system, posing as CTDs are equipped with verification
Forging Credchips some small, innocent-looking busi­
ness. You get the access code through
programs which can "interrogate" the
user if incorrect PINs are given
Since Credchips not only contain some acquaintance, and if you pass repeatedly. The CTD will access the
the user's current financial balance the bank's inspection (which is less users' personal data on the chop's LC
but also tell the verifying CTD where demanding than a corporate grilling), matrix and display a series of ques­
to look for to confirm the existence of are then given a chop coded with a tions on the display screen. If incor­
these funds, it makes forging a Cred­ PIN (Personal ID Number-not your rect answers are given, the CTD can
chip very difficult. Since both the SIN). Face Banks can be accessed deny the credit, melt the chop, or
Credchip and the financial institution through the Net, through phones, or even contact the corporate police of
holding the funds contain the verify­ by fax. However, Face Banks cannot the chop's credit establishment. Sev­
ing information, the in-depth cross­ be accessed from an ATM, and do not eral different models proliferate in
referencing between the chop and the allow access to cash. Prices for transac­ 2020, varying from pocket-size calcu­
institution will defeat most forged tions involving gems, precious metals lators to desktop computers.
IDs. and other non-credit/cash transac­ Pocket-CTDs are portable units
Since it would require the informa­ tions (as well as credchip forgeries) about the size of a large calculator,
tion pertaining to the forged chop's can be arranged at the referee's dis­ with a cellular link which is used for
false identity to be inserted into the cretion. Net access (functions in any city area
world's data storages, no character has Face Banks are usually run by with an established cellular network).
the capability to single-handedly forge some form of organized crime and These Pocket-CTDs cost about 100
a Credchip. There are certain shady pay a higher rate of interest than nor­ Eb, and are used by people and busi­
organizations and organized criminal mal credit institutions. Sometimes nesses which usually do not see trans­
elements (such as Face Banks, see they even disappear, along with your actions of more than 5000 Eb, such as
~ •• ~~~ •• ~.~ ••••••• ~ •••• P •••• P ••• • ••••• P •••• D •••••••••••••• • ••••••••••••••••••••• • ••••• »

WILDSIDE

:.::.:.: ::.:.:..-:.:.:.:;~.:.:.
. ,.:.:.:.:~.. '.:.': :.: .':':':':':'-:':':'~':-:':'«~';"'., .•-:.::,:... :.:~ ..:.::.~; :.::.:.:.,.:.:.:.::::.:.:.:::•. :.:.:.::.:.:., :.!: ' ::';'.':',' :':"::,.:.:...:.:.:..:.:.:.;;...;.'

., ".. ;.. ­

' .. ­
restauran ts , shops, and small business­ detecting even the highest-quality
es. Pocket-CTDs are only capable of forgeries. Verification takes around
checking the patron's PIN, and have a one minute .
keyp ad for that purpose . Verification The Pocket-CTD has seen mass
is instantaneous, but they are less distribution by manufa cturers such as
secure since they cannot check other Okidata , L a ng, Kiyoshiru, and Radio
types of iden tification. Shack, and new versions are constant­
Standa rd vendor-purpose CTDs ly being introduced. A popular CTD is
are about the size of a laptop or desk­ a Cybermodem add-on which allows
top computer, with ajack for connec­ transa ctions to be made directly
tion to the Net. Standard CTDs cost though the d e ck's interface (thi s CTD
around 1,000-2,000 Eb, and are used add-on sells for about 75 Eb, and can
by al most all busi n esses and corpora­ be installed to a deck with a Basic Tech
tions, where tra n saction s seldom roll of 15+). Even a cyberarm option
exceed 100,000 Eb . These types of ID type is available. All classes except
verification systems are commonly Pocket-CTDs require special vending
used by security and law-enforcement licensing to be purchased, and posses­
groups for "spot-checks." These CTDs sion of unlicensed CTDs is
can check all types of identification, illegal. .. but a good cyberpunk knows
and have separate patron-fa cing key­ that anything can be found on th e
pads and ID sc a nners. Verification black market if you look hard enough.
takes from 5-10 seconds . Execlltive
CTDs are mor e powerful computers
which require high processing speed
a nd major access to Net systems. They
Hey. Wait a Minute...
cost about 5000 Eb, and are used by Smart cyberpunks who have re ad
elite corporate a nd priva te security this far are probably thinking ,
firms a nd government intelligence "There 's mor e going on here than
agencies, are capable of handling meets the e ye, isn't there?" Yes. Big
transactions of 1,000 ,000 Eb and up. brother watches us a ll, and the elec­
They can a nd do cross-check a ny type tronic econom y brings him a lot clos­
of verification wi th multi pie databas­ er to home . The following is a chapter
es . These systems are infa mous for from the disserta tion of Dr. Richard

.Jl! WILDSIDE

M. Cameron, an Associate Professor at any branch office and you can get a
Harvard University, that examines the new one. Even if the card is stolen, you
consequences and effects of 2020's can cancel it with only a phone
electronic economy. Dr. Cameron is a call.. .assuming they leave you alive.
well known success story. Once a "What this means is that every pur­
influential Fixer in the underground chase you make with a standard cred­
of the Boston Combat Zone, Dr. chip is recorded and can be
Cameron is now Harvard University's retrieved ... what, where, when, how
resident expert on the workings of the many, and how much. With time, a
cyberpunk counter-economy. profile can be drawn up that shows
purchasing preferences, favorite foods
and types of stores (supermarkets or
mom-n-pop groceries, for exam pIe),
MONEY IN 2020
what weapons you prefer (based on
your arrest records, weapon licenses,
"Your credit history is vitally purchases recorded on your credchip
important in this day and age. Money is chip), how you do business ... a fright­
quickly becoming a strictly electronic eningly complete profile. Or, it would
medium (why not. .. it hasn't been be if the various institutions in 2020
backed by anything more solid than a America didn't have such a hard time
promise for over one hundred years co-operating with each other.
anyway), and hard cash is a subject that "Don't think you can get away with
most upscale stores won't even discuss, anything by using only Token Account
and many other stores will talk about Credchips (see sidebar). Mter all, you
only with difficul­
ty (some stores
don't even have a
cash register any­
more,just a termi­
nal hooked into a
credit transac­
tor). Hard cash is
dirty, crinkly, and
speaks of the
underworld and
crime to most ci ti­
zens in 2020 ... at
least any citizens
worth mention­
ing.
"Even many
of the Homeless
in 2020 have a
credchip account
... no credit as
such, just an elec­
tronic debit card.
They are easy to
use, relatively fool
proof, and you
can't lose the
money on them
... if you lose the
card, just pay a
nominal fee at
. ":.:- .:':::' .:;":: :;::> '::;::' :::: >;::. , '",;; : -:::: -; ,", .
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• R •••• R • •• •••••••• • ••• • • ••• • • ~ • • •

WILDSIDE

aren't real likely to put much more on 5,000 Eb limit on unreported


a Tip than you need for your particu­ deposits, possession of amounts
lar purchase , right? Well, guess what. greater than 100,000 Eb being a Prior­
When an interested party plugs into ity 3 felony, and money laundering
their little microcomputer such infor­ being an uncommon art, cash can
mation as: the amount you withdrew sometimes be more of a problem to
(as a credchip), the current market deal with than stolen credchips. Still,
values of purchased items (they have most Fixers prefer cash to electronic
special databases for just that pur­ funds because while electronic funds
pose), and your purchasing history, can't directly get you in trouble, they
they can get a pretty good idea of what are much easier to trace. So you can
you are after. "But," you say, "I could always use cash .. . it's less traceable,
be buying more than one item, or I most places still take it (although they
could get cash back, or I could be may grumble), and it has the same
using the token card legitimately, or I value. Besides, briefcases and bags full
could be expecting my Fixer to only of Eurobucks just feel so good .. .
pull part of the value of the chip, or I
could be building credit..." Sure, you
could. But not all Fixers have a credit
transactor, some don't like to deal in
Bact to the Beglmlng
cash, others aren't trustworthy when Barter is an even more untrace­
"credit" is involved, and people using able means of commerce, but it is very
token credchips aren't likely to be tricky to master and implement. Basi­
involved with legitimate business .. . ifit cally, barter means that you have
was an above-board deal , you wouldn't some merchandise that someone else
care if someone had a record, would wants (high-end pharmaceuticals,
you? say), and someone else has something
'''So it's hopeless,' you say with a that you want (say, some cases of
shrug, and begin to throw your cards weapons and ammo). So you trade,
into the recycler. No, not really. Usual­ right? It's not quite that simple-the
ly no one will be interested enough in other guy might not need drugs. Per­
your accounts to be doing a detailed haps he needs some hot cyberdecks.
analysis. And there are always possibili­ So you have to go and find some
ties; the credit tracing system is by no cyberdecks. This can get very compli­
means perfect. If you don't use a card cated very quickly. Some cities have
in your name, it isn't going to show up barter houses, warehouses where you
on your records. This can be done can register your product, figure out a
with a Token Chop, or even getting relative value (based on the current
yourself a false identity. (see SINs OJ market value, minus a small transac­
Identity, pg. 62). And there's always tion fee), and place a "want list" of
cash or barter." items you need (counter-economy
versions, of course, use a wide number
of code phrases, false IDs, and pseu­
Cash: D'irty Money donyms to protect their customers) .
Such barter houses are usually run by
Cash is still around, it's just that Traders, a specialized type of Fixer
legitimate businesses don't like to who acts as a professional go-between.
deal with it. Many, however, have no Many corporations, almost all small
choice (ostensibly, it is still "legal ten­ businesses, and many Fixers are mem­
der for all debts, public or private," bers of the legitimate barter houses
but some states have passed laws that (who do keep records and collect
say that businesses do not have to rec­ taxes, although they are still a lot
ognize hard cash). Cash is, of course, more anonymous than a straight pur­
the favorite of the Streets. Some Fix­ chase), and most fixers (as well as
ers don't like to deal with it. With a some corps and businesses) belong to

Jl!tl WILDSIDE

. •.
.~ r:,r: .::~ . . . ..::;~: =

one or more underground barter a gauntlet of passwords, recognition


houses. The Corps never know when signs, secret handshakes, frisks and
they may have to dump some stuff on identity checks . Once admitted, an
the black market quickly ... for whatev­ Agoras' customer finds himself in an
er reason. environment which resembles an
underground convention center.
There are believed to be over a dozen
The Blact Martet recognized Agoras in the United
States and Canada. The Agoras utilize
Also known as the counter-econo­ gold as a purchasing standard; all offi­
my, the Black Market springs up any­ cial forms of cash are unusable in an
where that people want goods which
are made illegal, taxed into disappear­
ance, or are just hard to find on the
open market. In the 20th century, that
mainly consisted of illegal drugs,
firearms and sex, so drug lords, gun
runners, fences of stolen goods and
pimps made up the majority of the
Black Market. All of these nasty indi­
viduals still make up a good portion of
the Black Market but many more have "I grok Gloelc

joined in (see Black Marketeers, pg. 20).


Surgeons, sick of dealing with corpo­ - not your

rations, medical insurers, and govern­


mental regulation, set up illegal surgi­ father's

cal centers or do cybernetic


installation procedures on the side, Plastic

P·I Stil"
alongside Info Bros selling the most
precious commodity of all. The few o.

independent farms sell a large por­


tion of their produce and meat on the - Common

black market. (Some people are still


getting paid to destroy 'crops in the Radio Adblip

Midwestern states!) Whether it's


explosives or eggs, memory or meat,
the Black Market is the place to go.

Agoras
Agoras, coming from the Greek
word for "Market," are the ultimate in
Black Markets. Believed to be found­
ed by a radical Libertarian under­ Agoras. This serves two purposes: first,

ground movement, the Agoras are it provides a small measure of protec­

large, organized Black Markets which tion for the clients (gold is not legal

are preferen tially referred to as "Free tender in the US, so they are in fact

Markets" or "Counter-Economies." In bartering, not buying ... itjust so hap­

essence, they are secret marketplaces pens that everyone in an Agoras is in

which serve a private agenda and have the market for gold). Second, using a

their own subversive philosophy. Ago­ gold standard goes along with the

ras are always centered in some hid­ basic economic ideas behind the Ago­

den location, and entrance to these ras of old, which were free markets

hideouts usually requires a running of which utilized a gold-backed econo­


". :-,
~~.~~~ •• ~ ••• ~~~ ••• ~ •• ~ •• ~~.a ••••••• Q •• ~ •• •••••• ••••••••••••••• ~ •••• & ••• •••••••••••• ~ •• ~

WILDSIDE
my. The Agoras' organization has yet ... junk that's hard to burn even I Oh end of the 20th century, it was almost
to be cracked, although assorted well, it's only money, right? impossible to use any other money in
authorities have tried. The task is Europe . .. even the British had finally
believed to be so difficult that some Japanese New Yen (¥): Also called laid their precious Pound to rest . By
corporations have given up fighting Yen, Characters and Tea Leaves, the 2004, most nations had either recog­
and started selling in the Agoras mar­ New Yen is supported by governmen­ nized the Eurobuck as an official cur­
ket (such as the cybernetics giant, tal control and a very strong economy, rency, or given it highly favorable
Raven Microcyb). Meanwhile, other meaning the New Yen is a growing exchange rates. The Russians are the
corporations (like Arasaka) have currency. It is widely accepted in Asia only holdouts ... you can spend the
redoubled their efforts to shut down (about equally popular as the Ebuck in the USSR, but they don't
the group. Several Agoras have been Eurodollar), and thanks to favorable allow employees to be paid in it, nor is
closed down, but always at great cost exchange rates it is also accepted in there any official exchange rate, and
of money and life for the attacking most American businesses as well, Soviet banks are forbidden to
force. During raids, Agoras' casualties even though not an official American exchange Rubles for Eurobucks. Out­
are light, but final; no Agoras' opera­ currency. This kind of unofficial side of Russia though, if you want to do
tive has ever been captured. Their backscratching reflects a growing business with the big boys, you either
losses don't seem to have bothered alliance between the two countries. use Eurobucks or Corporate Scrip.
the Agoras much- it is believed that The New Yen is still a funny currency
the structures are looked on as being requiring about 100 of them to equal
disposable. They are certainly, by all
accounts, profitable.
the buying power of an American dol­
lar (200 to a Eurodollar), but since
Corporate Scrip
everyone in Japan is supposed to a zil­
lionaire, who cares? Just remember
Notes
Hard Currency that if someone offers you a million
New Yen for the job, that's not as
The first CorpScrip was printed
clear back in the 17th cen tury, when
Just because the Eurodollar is the much as it sounds. many private banks printed their own
world standard doesn't mean every­ currencies. This money wa'! accepted by
one uses Eurodollars exclusively. The Russian Federal Ruble (O): Also other banks (usually at a discount,
United States Government doesn't referred to as RedBucks, Junk and depending on how difficult it was to get
print Eurobucks, they print American Rubbles. While the old Soviet govern­ their money back on it), and by any busi­
dollars. They pay their employees in ment collapsed over 30 years ago, this ness in a town that had a bank that would
American dollars and FDIC-backed damn currency still haunts the new accept it. A'! government control spread
banks (the few left) are required to government, and it's still no goodl throughout the Western nations and
pay in dollars. Even though a lot of Russia has a semi-decent economy, they grew more "civilized," the practice
businesses use Eurobucks, others still they just haven't got a real currency. was discontinued.
pay in American dollars. Listed below There is a thriving black currency A'! the power of the megacorps rose,
are some of the major currencies in market throughout the United Soviet these corporations had to find some way
the world market: Sovereign Republics, as everyone is of controlling their employees. Direct
trying to get rid of their rubles for threats on family members are effective,
American Dollar ($): Also known Eurobucks or NewYen. All you've got but complicated, time-consuming and
as Dead Presidents, Prezzes, Leaves to remember is that if someone offers frequently messy. Corporations prefer to
and Grass, the American dollar has you a million Rubles for the job... they ba'!e their control in economic power; if
changed little from that of the 20th ain't paying you nothin', but it's close. you haven't got real money, nor the con­
century. It is a little harder to counter­ tact'! to get real money, it's harder to
feit, thanks to holograms, and is made EuroDollar (Eb): Sometimes become independent from your compa­
out of a plastic that looks and feels called Eurobucks, Ebucks and Smug­ ny. Most corporations pay their employ­
like flanneled paper but is immune to gies, the Eurodollar is the result of the ees in their own corporate scrip (known
most mundane methods of destruc­ ECU (European Common Union) generically as CorpScrip). This scrip is
tion (this cash you can wash, chom­ treaty, signed by all of the major Euro­ accepted by the corporation and it'! sub­
bata) . American dollars are less stable pean nations (with the exception of sidiaries a'! real money (often with a sub­
than before, prone to wild fluctua­ Scandinavia) in 1997. At the same time stantial discount for using CorpScrip),
tions due to inflation and the quirks that the EDF (European Defense and some companies will accept scrip
of a credit-based economy. In such Force) was formed, they also came up from other corporations, although usu­
cases, the holder of a wad of dollar with a common currency based on the ally at a reduced rate. Even corporations
bills can be left holding a pile ofjunk most stable moneys of the time. By the that are actively at war with each other

.JlJl WILOSIOE
.', ......:.... ~.:.:.:,.:,:.L 'N' / .'.:.: .:.: ~.:~:.:.~.::~:.:.:.-: :.:.::. • :.:.:,::::.:~::. :.:.::.%.::::::.:.:..:.:....•..•..' :.:.:.:.::.:.;.;.::.:.:...,:..,:.:.;.:.:::. :.::::.:.;.
· ..
:. :.:. :"~; . , ..:.' .•;.:.:....:.;.:..:.:.: ...•:... .. "',.,.:.:,:,:-::.:.~.: . :.;.:.:.

~L~RJ(. M.

may accept each other's scrip, although grenades. It's not easy, and it's not
the exchange rate will be truly outra­ legal, but credit can be stolen, forged,
geous. and manipulated. It can be tailored
A Corporation's scrip value is through the underground to serve
dependent on a host of factors. What people instead of the system . And as
a corporation values its own scrip at everyone knows in 2020, with credit
only matters when buying or selling comes credibility.
cash within the company. The value of
a given "brand" of CorpScrip is influ­
enced by such factors as the corpora­
tion's economic power, the value of its
goods , its current relations with other
SINS OF
corps, governments and its own
employees, and even its public image.
IDENTITY
This makes CorpScrip one of the most The Net has been hailed as a boon
fluctuating markets of all. to humanity, the greatest tool for
intercultural understanding the world
has ever known . In some ways, this is
true . However, the potential for the
Net as a route to universal harmony
Freelance operatives and modern­ has been overshadowed by its
day privateers can still demand pay­ unmatched power to cater to special­
ment in hard stuff...weapons, drugs, interest groups, serve the powers of
gold, microchips, data or 'wares of the big business, and make information
hard, soft, wet, or cyber-variety. Most the ultimate weapon. One of the
corporate employers don't mind creepier manifestations of this aspect
when the whole job is deniable any­ of the Net is the ability to track people
way. What's more, there are enough through their electronic identity. This
talented Netrunners and Factors out idea represents all the information
there to find loopholes in the credit­ collected on a person and stored in
corps' system-the Cyberpunk revolu­ various databases throughout the Net.
tions' weapons against the establish­ The information which makes up a
ment aren't limited to guns and person's electronic identity (or Skele­ .,' ...... '.' , .: . .... . .
~a3~~~ ~~$~ ~~& $~ ~~& ~~~ ~ ~~~~~ & ~~~~*$~~*~~~~~~~~~*~~~~ » &~~~ ~& ~~~ »~ ~~~»»~~~~~~~~»~~$~ ~~ ~~* »

WILDSIDE
. ....: ;:':':". ':.;:.

ton, as it is called on the Street) starts rebuilt to suit their needs . Still others
and ends with a person's SIN (their want to lead double lives, and wiIl pay
State Identification Number). A per­ to have a second, possibly secret identi­
son's SIN is tied to the governmental ty created for them . SIN-Lifters provide
files of their state of residence and these services, and this is how they do it.
includes all personal identification
and classification data, such as their
criminal record, known aliases,
degrees and qualifications, occupa­
tion, height, weight, eye color, retina
SIN-SURGERY
pattern, and fingerprints (and on rare Altering a person's electronic iden­
occasions, a voiceprint pattern and a tity takes a lot of work. You need to
DNA sample) . A person's SIN is some­ access a tremendous number of data
times used for state taxation purposes, fortresses (all weIl-protected), go
and without a SIN a person cannot though their files to find all material
register to vote, get a passport or dri­ pertaining to your client, change data
ver's license, apply for a (legal) job or in ways no one will notice, and create
even rent decent living quarters. The new documentation, chops and SINcar­
SIN is also a necessary key to tracking ds. All of this is made a lot easier if you
down and accessing other parts of a have contact~ inside the organizations
person's Skeleton, such as military that run those data fortresses. Shoe­
service records, corporate files like makers are the only people specialized
career histories and psychological enough to make all the right moves.
evaluations, medical records and par­ Sure, they may hire a lot of Netrunners
ticularly the person's credit history and Facemen to help them do the job,
(including records of all purchases, but they are the brains behind the
accounting and expenditures). operation and it is their contact~ which
This data, when collected into make SIN-surgery possible . For this rea­
one block of information, can create a son, whenever a character contracts
remarkably thorough and accurate Shoemaker's services, the complete­
profile of the person. A Skeleton ness and reliability of the new shoes is,
exists in the Net almost like a data­ for game purposes, based on the Fix­
only clone of a real person, living its er's StreetdeaZ roll.
life exclusively in bank databases and Creating a satisfactorily complete
government records computers. identity alteration (creation, modifica­
Knowing that this entity could be tion or deletion) is a Very Difficult
"interrogated" or even "kidnapped" Streetdeal roll-if you have the right
by a powerful criminal organization, contacts. Basically, for a Shoemaker it is
corporation or government can very Very Difficult, but for any other Fixer
easily make a person nervous. As the the task is Nearly Impossible (of course,
saying goes, "Forget Big Brother. if some non-Shoemaker Fixer has a
Everyone's watching youl" SIN-Lifter contact, then he can hire
When a likely person (such as an them and their Streetdeal...at cost) .
edgerunner) gets nervous enough, This reflects the Shoemaker's cultiva­
he '11 want to start tampering with his tion of the right connections and
Skeleton and even his SIN. When the resources . If the character has not done
desire (or the necessity) arises, these this (particularly applicable in The Big
edgerunners seek out Shoemakers to League system), then it should be Near­
perform their SIN-surgery. Sometimes ly Impossible for him, too. The greater
they want to be zeroed, having their the Shoemaker's success at the Street­
SIN and all information pertinent to deal roll, the better the new identity,
their Skeletons completely purged and poorer rolls make weaker identi­
from the Net. Sometimes they will ties. A base difficulty of 25 will grant a
want new shoes, altering their present Skeleton that is satisfactory, nothing
identity and getting their Skeleton more . The referee should make sure

.tAl WILDSIDE

that player-character Fixers roleplay records for falsification. The skill Listed below are the various ser­
their way through this process as well rolled should be whatever is most vices a Shoemaker can perform, as well
as making the skill roll. Competent applicable: Accounting if the checker as other variations on the classic para­
SIN-Surgery usually takes about a week is an accountant examining your cred­ meters of iden ti ty:
to complete. (see TABLE 1 below for it history , Bureaucracy for a politicrat
details) checking government documentation,
The reliability column is a general
reference for how often the SIN­
etc. If the checker fails his roll, they
deny your records-related requests,
Zeroing
surgery will work for you . This should but do not call the authorities. Howev­ This is the process of having your
be rolled when any reference is made er, if they beat the difficulty roll for SIN and your Skeleton erased from
to the new Skeleton, such as when trav­ spotting falsification, they know your Net. Once this is done, you will no
eling (pa~sport-related), applying for a records are false and you're in bigtrou­ longer be part of the system and join
job or for licenses, changing your ble. the ranks of the disenfranchised; you
credit services, dealing with the law
(having your criminal records TABLE 1.
checked), or any other applicable situ­ Streetdeal Roll Reliability Difficulty to
ation. If the DI00 roll is under the Spot Falsification
Reliability, then your new shoes hold 30+ 95% Diff = 30
up and you're fine. However, if the 28-29 90% Diff= 28
DIOO roll was over the Reliability, then 26-27 85% Diff= 26
your new identity didn't work right 25 75% Diff= 25
and someone's suspicious. The Refer­ 23-24 60% Diff = 20
ee should then make a representative 21-22 40% Diff= 15
of the party checking the records (PC 0-20 15% Diff= 10
or NPC) make a skill roll to check the

WILDSIDE
...;:: • ".~ \0:' .•.:0 :'• ••' •

. :':'~" .:.:.... '. • % ',' • :.:.;.:••!.:. :·:·:·:.:.V~:'~~ :'.-::':':.., :.:.:..:.<.

become a Blank, a Not, an Unperson, involved in shady or illegal activities


a Nosferatu, a Zip. You do not offi­ (in other words, most good cyber­
cially exist, and therefore have no punks and edgerunners). You can
rights. If the officials find out that contract as many spare skeletons as
you paid to be zeroed, they are likely you want, giving you a whole portfo­
to make an effort to track you down, lio of identities, but this can get
catalog you, and give you a heavy expensive real fast. In terms of gov­
fine, prison term, or mess with your ernment or corporate surveillance,
brain in some god-awful way. Note if a background check is made on
that you cannot have a bank you using only your prints (without
account, a legal job, a driver's knowledge of your name or face)
license or anything else which there is a 50-50 chance that either of
involves official confirmation (like your identities (one of many?) will
marriage), and you also cannot have come up; this will not be much of a
any officially-documented alternate problem, unless the authorities have
identities (although you can have a a good reason to suspect that you
temporary identity). Remember that have other skeletons in your closet.
you cannot access the Net under If they keep on searching, they will
your own name (no Net Access eventually find you other identity(s)
Codes for you), and to protect your and you're busted-once they figure
status as a Blank, you must deal out who you really are, they'll zero
strictly in cash or barter. However, your extra identities and you can
the advantage is that there are no expect a fast ride to the Braindance
records of you in any paper or com­ tanks or the firing squad. One way to
puter files, anywhere. The system avoid this problem is to have your
doesn't know about you. Because of alternate identity use a false set of
this, you are immune to most corpo­ prints. In such a case you could
rate and government surveillance or access this identity only with the use
harassment. You become invisible to of finger booties, voxbox systems
bureaucracies and the system as a and retinal masking-layer nanotech
whole; if someone tries to dig up encoded with the false prints and
information on you, they will find patterns. It is safer but harder to use
nothing at all- and will probably this type of alternate identity, since
get confused, frustrated; then give you must always have all the fancy
up. Usually. gear with, on or in your person, and
Zeroing is a negotiable service, you can't easily use such illegal stuff
but runs around 25,000 Eb and up. in public. The price for a spare
skeleton is about 10-20,000 Eb, plus
the costs of creating phony prints
Spare Steletons and the equipment to use them, and
whatever else the situation warrants.
When you contract this service
from a Shoemaker, you are given an
extra identity which you have com­
plete control over; your SIN, retina
Disposable Skeletons
scans, fingerprints, and voice pat­ Spare skeletons can be designed
tern are registered under two with an expiration date. When you
names, and you have two sets of contract a spare skeleton from a SIN­
licenses, passports, birth certificates, Lifter, you can have it designed to
as well as cred i t cards and ban k only be viable for a limited time peri­
accounts. Remember, although you od; the quality of the work is tailored
will be given new bank accounts, you so that the false records are bound
still have to fill them with scratch to be discovered after a designated
yourself! Spare skeletons can be length of time. The standard is one
handy (if not vital) to anyone week, but is negotiable. After the

..IAl WILOSIOE

'.' ~:':' ;':;; • '. :' ~" ':':"":': •• , .,:.. :. ;.:.;:-••:.:••:-:.;.: ~~.;.:. :. :.:.:.:: ~.~;•••, ....::;.:.:•••::.:.:•••;.:.:.:;•••:••••;.••.•.••-••.••••:.: ~.. • ..... . -:..... .. . ~. • .,0,:.:.; • •• • ;'.:;.0: .~ . • :. ';' •••• ;.;.: : ';':'::::';';':;':':'. ":•.• t. :: :'. "/0'. . ..
: ~.:.:- ;:

~ ••~.:.:•••;.:.: ";~"." ".:••' ',:.:-'»% ••• :.: .~ .'.:.: ~. ,: • • •.,:.:.:••'.••:-.......::::.:...:.::.;••;;.•• :'.:::':-:':;': :.:::: ::;>•.:.:...; ;.;.;.:.;:.,. .....:.;.; ....;.;.:.;..;.: .. .;.;.:;.;.:.;.;; - '" ..........:.:. :.:. ::.:-: .:. ~;:-:. ::. :.;. ;';':':"': ...:::: .;.-::......
:. :.~ .' :.; .: . : : .:~. :.,

time period is up, there is a flat 5% new identity and contracts with
chance per day (cumulative) that black clinics for the surgery proce­
the identity will be busted and dures (arra nged by the Shoemaker).
removed from the system. Dispos­
able skeletons are usually designed
to be used with phony prints and
patterns (requiring the use of some
Secret Identity
fancy equipment -see New Shoes), This is a fictional "person" that
since the identity will be cracked, is used for actions and operations
and you don't want it to be traced which you do not want to be linked
back to youl Disposable skeletons to your "rea}" life. This isn't a Spare
often have a Watchdog-type pro­
gram built into them, which will
place a phone call to the owner of
the identity, warning him when it is
cracked. For double the standard
price, a skeleton can be set up as a
"sleeper," only becoming active
inside the system with a pre­
arranged signal. Because of the
complicated set-up involved in a
sleeper ID, the "active life" of the
identity is usually halved, or the
post-life discovery chance doubled .
Disposable skeletons usually cost
about 2,000 Eb, but this is modified
by the length of the "life" of the
identity and other circumstances.

New Shoes
Many times edgerunners need
to actually switch their identities,
which involves having a set of "new
shoes" created and having their
original identity zeroed. This is
heavy-duty SIN-surgery, and often
requires that the new identity be
based on completely new physical
ch aracteristics-your appearance
will have to be resculpted, and all
identifying aspects of your body will
have to be altered. Your finger­
prints, retina l pattern, and vocal Skeleton or new s hoes. A secret
pattern will need to be nanotechno­ identity doesn't necessarily need
logically tweaked. SIN-Lifters are any false records backing it up (this
experts in providing new shoes, but depends on what you use it for) . You
it is very complicated, hideously don ' t need a Shoema ker to have a
expensive and super-illegal. Shoe­ secret identity-anyone who wants
makers and their clients usually to can say they're someone else .
receive life with no parole, or death Having a secret identity is not tech­
sentences. The going rate for a pair nically illegal, but always be aware of
of new shoes is in the neighborhood the potential repercu ss ions if you
of 50,000 Eb, including zeroing, a are exposed I

WILDSIDE

WILDSIDE

.'.: .W-.:. .

:.:.:

goods. When characters need to find


very city an the face of the planet has one

E
the impossible, the Strip is where
bad section of town, a place where anyone they go .
can buy anything at anytime-that place is In a sense, the Strip is the center
the Strip. of any city's economy. While not
nearly as glamorous as the corporate
Whether it's High Street in Night impressive view, or any other area of towers, the streets of the Strip house
City, the Chiba district of Tokyo or that draws people can metamorphose the same kind of businesses. As a
the Minsk goods market, on the Strip into a Strip. The transformation sidewalk mall, the Strip presents
the action runs full steam around the starts with an increased presence of nearly infinite opportunities to sell
clock. This action, sometimes called common street vendors and the hus­ and buy all types of commodities. In
Biz, is pure, concentrated capitalism. tlers. As the Strip'S reputation grows, effect, every city needs a Strip
Funny thing about capitalism; being more and more people go there to because this is one of the few socialIy­
a concept, it's not reliant on a physi­ move their wares. Eventually, the big­ acceptable places for the classes to
cal location . This means that Strips time Fixers move in, buying and seIl­ mingle (even if only for a short
are more of a mental state than any ing nearby property at greatly inflat­ time); on the Strip, Corporates and
particular physical environment. A ed prices. If they can, the Mob tries other wage-slaves can buy hand-craft­
Strip could be a sprawling outdoor to move in and exploit the area for its ed goods made by families of Nomads
bazaar just as easily as it could be own purposes. Edgerunners start or squatters, view art videos made by
black market complex hidden in a hanging around, and a Strip is born. local street performers, and feed
secret .I ocation. Most commonly, a These market zones fall in and out of their various addictions. Occasional­
Strip will manifest itself in a heavily fashion-the big ones rarely die, but ly, the exchange of goods goes both
trafficked part ofa large city. new Strips can burn themselves out, ways and a shipment of experimental
Howa Strip gets started is largely like fleeting stars. The remains of a corporate products will hit the
a mystery. Sometimes a Strip will dead Strip is a promenade of vacated Street. In addition, the majority of
spring up from the remnants of old shops and burnt-out husks ... the com­ any city's stolen goods re-surface
commercial zoning. Other times, it bat zone of tomorrow. within its Strip. Local merchants
seems like a sort of economic Bonsai No matter what shape the Strip seem to have an uncanny ability to
tree; someone cuts off several takes, there is always something to stumble upon the most interesting of
branches of a growing economy and buy and someone to sell it. Like the city's hot wares. Moreover, the
the Strip manages to develop with a sharks, Fixers prowl the Strip, search­ pawnshops that litter the alleyways of
mind of its own. However, the majori­ ing for an opportunity; they're rarely the Strip insure a constant recycling
ty of Strips are landmark-orien ted. A disappointed. The same holds true of all products, no matter who they
tourist attraction, a spot with an for those shoppers seeking rare originally belonged to .
••• _~~ ••••• ~ •• _~ ••• ~.~ •• • •••••• ••• • •• ••••• •• ••• • •••••• ¢ .~ •••• a ••• •• ••••••••• •• ••••• •• ••

WILDSIDE
The part of the High Street Strip
A SAMPLE located near the corpora~e section and
Japantown is well-protected by locally­
STRIP: NIGHT hired security and the NCPD, both of
whom are ready to chase off anyone who
CITY'S HIGH even looks at a good citizen in the wrong
way. Most hustlers push relatively legal
STREET goods in this area, albeit at a higher price
than nonnal. After all, the corporates can
afford it.
For those unfamiliar with Night City, A~ High Street crosses the Night City
High Street is a large, busy thoroughfare Convention Center, the Strip jumps into
which begins at the fringes ofJapan town high gear. If it weren't for the Municipal
(at the corner of Williams and 16th) and CriminalJustice building, this section of
runs all the way to the San Morro Bay the Strip might have degenerated into a
Bridge. Because of the bridge's proximity virtual combat zone by now. A~ it is, Cadi­
to the heart of the Night City traffic grid, gan Avenue (which runs between the con­
three times a day, High Street's traffic vention center, the Afterlife bar and the
slows to the pace of non-electronic mail main Night City bus garage) is the best­
delivery. In fact, traffic is so slow that air­ known hangout for prostitutes in the city,
ships (you know-balloons, dirigibles) drawing johns largely from the out-of­
often outpace the hundreds ofsport~ cars town convention crowds. The many alley­
on the streets below. Most people see this ways off of Cadigan Ave host a variety of
as a problem, but Night City's Fixers and other criminal activities which pander to
assorted entrepreneurs see this as an the needs, or at least desires, of both a
opportunity. The rush hours create the white- and blue-collar clientele. In an
perfect conditions for commerce. Thou­ attempt to clean up one of these crime­
sands of people stuck in their respective ridden backstreet<;, the Amerline Depot
cars for hours on end provides a captive, was forced to wall in an entire alley. After
yet varied audience. After an hour or so of a group of boosters bla~ted a small
a complete standstill, who can resist an ice entrance hole in one of the walls and
cold Beer or the latest Inla Ganger porno turned it into a temporary home, Amer­
Braindance? line filled in the entire alley with solid

..IA!l WILDSIDE

: New Federalist Party, etc.


, ·"DeIL' i$ Now, merge witll DDI todayl" A techno­
religiOUS prooelytizing storefronL

Night City Strip Encounters


(1) Small·Time Vendor-A low level Fixer
approache$, offering to sell the Players a stolen
watch, cigarettes, crappy electronics (maybe ;
already broken), knock-<>ff perfumes/drugs, a '
copy of tlle Watchtower, a guided tour of tlle city,
or perhaps a book, ,
(2) Sit·Down Vendor-The players pa.s a small :
table covered Witlly goods; tlle owner sit, witll his ,
back to a wall. The table contains numerons items, 'j
';: including illegally copied vid chips, religiom mate- ,
<:: rial and incenses, the latest pamphlet, on some '
,,':;, human right, violation in anotller country or an :
a,sorUllent of children's tapes.
(3) Argllement-A driver takes a few minutes Ollt '
of his blL'y comnlllte to engage a city resident in a
.'.':: conversation conceruing tlle merit, of paying ,
allelltion to the crossillg signals. This "conve rsa­
tion" can be heard for blocks--alld cOllld lurn
::: nasty.
(4) The Heat-A six-man foot patrol of tlle city'"
finest march pa,t tlle players. When tlley're Olll in
{: patrol numbers they Illust be looking for troubl e;
':i hopefully tlle players won't give tllem an eXCIL'C.
(5) Guuer Rats-The players pass a gronp of
22] Cleanroom secnre office maintenance and
'" small, grimy street children playing with whal
Unfilled Space
, looks like a bloo<lltained eyber-foollllodnle .. ,
: 1] Medical School·NightCity Med Center 24 Hour Cafe and Unfilled Space
(6) Ranting Raver-A person SLOpS Olle of the :
'2] Night City Tech College SensuTours travel ageney and Unfilled Space
players and ShOlllS "God said Bob's going to take i
3] Ashcroft Hotel high-<:Iass Night City Harbonlla~ter's Office
tllis cityl" This nlllneeds a few breatll mint" :'
4] Safe Child childcare 26] Unfilled Space
(7) Loud-Illoutlled Punks--A bunch of chromers ;
5] Plaza Medical Services high-<:Iass clinic C. Donut Express Co. shipping colllpany
leaning a building ami heckle any "normal-Iook- ;
, 6] Ashcroft & Hammersmith luxury store
ing" players. These chrolllers are far more annoy­
, 7] Hotel Hamilton mid-<:Iass
ing tllan guns or bombs.
University of Free Calif. Health Science Center
(8) Saleslllan-A mid-level Fixer calls olle of the :
Eurasiabank Plaza ,-rasl.IOOO stall witll ramen, sizzling ___ on
players into a side alley and offers to sell him SOIlle ;
10] Night City Post Office
a stick, whatever ...
illegal service and/or goods. Pick frolll weapons, ':
II] Night City Convention Center
:-F'orltllrle teller. Electronically-<lriven Tarot and
drugs, black markctsoft- (oreyber-) ware. "
12] The Afterlife solo club
I'(;hing.
(9) Siavehunters-A grollp of gangers grab an j
13] The Central mid-<:Iass hotel
,-Pleer·barrel barseUing cnt·rate homebrew to tlle
allnlctive young streetboy, right ill front of the
14] The Grand Illusion major rock club
Streetpunks,
players. They probably intend to sell the kid to
15] Bay Bridge Residential Hotel/Night Owl
"::"ll'.::;;:":. "(::vt>er-maintenance While Yu Wait"
reps froIll tlle S.E. A,ian Slave CircniL "
24-hr. bar
(10) Drug War-A rival drng lord decides to off 'j
16] Night City Fire Station #1 his competition; the players are ulllncky enougll i
17] Long Lost Books indie rare book store
to be nearby. Use 2-3 ralldom tllllgs arllled witll M- ;
18] StreeTemps private employment service for
9s (Chrolllebook I, pg.50) . Dlle to Lrafficjams !
edgerunners
Nomad outfitjllst in witll fresh produce
tlley plan to escape into th e NCART system via a ;
19] Medicross Preservation N.C.'s main
frolll tlle countryside .. .
nearby station,
'hodyhank'
·Quikee AcnpuncUlre, straight from Hong Kong.
NightCityDMV
·A political stand representing exiled refugees,
] Night City Today I screamsheetpublisher
recruiting revolutionaries, a radical offshoot of tlle

WILOSIOE

concrete. Although it is nicely main­


tained, the side streets around the Bar­
Mob Rackets and the
bican Building are the unofficial center
for i'IIegal software selling. Ironically,
strip
the section of High Street which con­ On the Strip, organized crime is as
nects with Cadigan Ave is actually quite pervasive as the roaches and rat~. What­
safe due to its proximity to the police ever criminal syndicate controls an area,
station and constant patrols by the Sil­ whether it be a gang of Tong thugs in
ver Slash guardian gang (who happen service of the Triads, or the local br.mch
to enjoy a 10% discount with most Strip of the Mafia, it collect~ it~ profit~ by sup­
salesmen). plying "protection" to the 10caJ vendors.
The stronger and more organized
groups keep a stranglehold on the Strip.
They dole out individual parcels of Strip
territory in exchange for an unfair per­
centage of the business' profit~. In some
cities, such as Las Vegas, the criminal
syndicate has been recognized as being
the actual government. Las Vegas' Strip
is highly organized, with drug dealers
kept away from the Mafia's l1icer ca~inos
and prostitutes operating out of special
hotels near the large convention centers.
Only in rare exceptions, such as Night
City, are the Strips free of complete dom­
ination by criminal groups. Far more
common are the situations where
decades-long balances of power allow
independent vendors and operators to
play the larger criminal syndicates off
each other.
When an organized crime group
moves into to a region, they target indi­
viduals and organizations to offer their
"protection ." In general, organized
crime groups avoid businesses owned by
corporations or those that con tract pri­
vate security. Once under the wing of
any particular syndicate, the individual
streetdealers will be forced to pay a per­
centage "cut" of their total operation to
the Mob . These charges apply to the
individual no matter what they do ­
legal, illegal or a mixture of both.
Undoubtedly, the most marketable Depending on the nature of the busi­
area ofthe High Street Strip is the Upper ness, the syndicate may also expect cer­
Marina area. The Upper Marina surrounds tain favors . The Yakuza usually treats its
the mouth of the San Marro Bay Bridge "hospitality services" (protection) as a
and is the most traffic-congested delta of straight business relationship, while the
the entire city. In addition a small, pieri ike Colombians may declare a small cafe it~
landing underneath the bridge serves a~ an regional headquarters and staff it with
ad hoc open market. The City and Harbor seven local members. These local mem­
Police tolerate the market mainly because bers wilI expect courtesy in the form of
the vendors prevent the site from becom­ free food, lodging and whatever else they
ing a permanent homeless shelter. want.

JIll WILDSIDE

. ", .

Be Strips," usually located near college


Strip Culture ca mpuses or corporate compounds.
These pseudo-Strips tend to be friendly,
Strips are the mutts of city district~, strictly patrolled and pre-approved
combining any number of styles and clumps of shops almost a lways called
social element~ in a haphazard fashion. "'Something' Emporium."
Many Strips incorporate sections which
could rival mallplexes in their sheer vol­
ume of popular culture. Movie theaters,
VRcades and Braindance parlors
abound. Even more common are the
Modern Crimes for

trappings of counter-culture. In it~ sim­ Modern Times

pler forms, counter-culture mentality Wherever or whatever it is, the Strip


reflects a variety of diverse tastes. On the houses certain criminal activities that
Strip, counter-culture is just another could be held in few other places.
source for sales. Many shops specialize Beca use the Strip balances illegal ser­
in goods that only complete freaks (and vices and conventional goods in an
CyberjJUnk characters) would be interest­ atmosphere that is just safe enough for
ed in-things like nipple rings and bul­ adventurous Corporate types, many
letproof condoms. However, the true moderately-priced illegal services can be
soul of the Strip is anti-culture. Keep in made available to an audience with suffi­
mind that the Strip is about commerce, cient funds to pay for it. Obviously, the
and money can't be bothered by any Strip also contains all the conventional
type of objective standards or morals; if criminal activities such a~ houses of pros­
someone is willing to pay for it, it's good . titution and drug dens. In those cities
In fact, some Strips have become glori­ where the local police are wea k or totally
fied testament~ to bad taste while others, corrupt, these activities a re advertised
almost by luck, fa ll into an understated openly and sometimes even legalized.
film noir atmosphere . Regardless, any However, the competitive spirit of the
type of activity one could want is on sale Strip has recently lead to the creation of
in a store, office or alley nearby. The new, more exotic criminal pastimes. The
only exception (and a minor one at following is a selection of these modern
that) to the above rule are the "Wanna- crimes:

WILDSIDE

PITFIGHTS (Priority 3 crime in being a front for drug trafficking. pool. A good Low Impact Blood Fighter
most areas, Priority 4 if gambling is not Instead, they found a secret doorway can average more than an average
involved): Pit fights have been around a leading to a basement combat arena. Ini­ nomad family can make in a month. Fur­
long time-they are events in which pairs tially, the police suspected either a Pit­ thermore, Bloodsport tradition dictates
of dogs, specially-bred fighting roosters, fighting ring or some sort of Bloodsport. that a sum of money be given to the next
weasels or large city rats are placed in Instead, they found four Exotic males, of kin of any fighter that doesn't make it.
fighting arenas. These animals are pro­ three of whom were dead. According the In the eyes of the law, if the participant
voked into fighting each other by use of case file, these individuals had been held acts willingly (as in "not by gunpoint") he
drugs and/or abusive treatment, while prisoner and kept drugged until they may be sanctioned in the same manner a~
the audience places bets with ringside were forced to fight each other. Bets were the game's proprietor.
bookies. However, the modern version placed by the audience on the type of Sentence: For proprietor and staff,
of this activity is to use animals with cer­ exotic that would win (the snake exotic 500-10,000 Eb fine and/or 1-5 years of
tain cybernetic enhancements, including had two-to-one odds over a bear exotic). Mid Security Block. For the audience, 10­
pain editors, carboglass teeth and sharp­ This arrest received a lot of media atten­ 200 Eb fine and/or 1 day-1 week of Low
ened alloy claw-implants. tion and copy-cat offenses are expected. Security Block
Sentence: For proprietors and staff, Sentence: For proprietors and staff,
100-3000 Eb fine and/or 1-5 years Low Death. For audience (requi,r ing minimal HIGH IMPACT BLOODSPORTS
Security Block. For audiences, 10-200 Eb proof that the person knew the nature of (Priority 2, legal only in Texas and in cer­
fine and/or 1 week to 1 month Low Secu­ the event), 500-10000 Eb fine and 5 tain areas of Mexico and Canada): High
rityBlock months to 1 year Low Security Block or Impact Bloodsports are any type of iIIeg-dl
EXOTIC PITFlGHTS (Priority 2 State Exile. sports-like activity which is likely or cer­
crime in New York State and by Statute in tain to result in the death ofa participant.
many other areas): In 2018, the This includes Competition Knife Fight­
Rochester Police Department raided a LOW IMPACT BLOODSPORTS ing, Monoblade Fencing, Taser Boot
Monroe Avenue book store suspected of (Priority 5 Priority 3 if betting is Kick Boxing, Land Mind Rugby and
involved, legal in Saucer-Grenade Jai AJai. Like Low
certain areas): Low Impact Bloodsports, the participants get
Impact Blood­ a percentage of the proceeds if they win
sports are those and can be arrested as participants in the
sports where death crime.
may occur, but is Sentence: For Proprietor and Staff,
not the goal. This 5000-150,000 Eb fine and/or 10-30 years
includes such in Mid Security Block. For the audience
favorites as Full (requires minimal proof that the person
Contact Martial knew the nature of the event), a 50-1000
Arts, Full 'Borg Eb fine and 5 days-3 years Low Security
Wrestling, Combat Block.
Soccer, Bikergang
Races and Demoli­ GROUP VOYEURISM (Priority 5,
tion Derbys (using although it may be lower depending on
either cars or who is spied upon): Group Voyeurism,
junked AVs). also known as "Peeking Parties", is a social
When legal, these event where the host (often a Netrunner
activities are regu­ or Techie) electronically stalks a victim.
lated to prevent Using numerous public security camera~
fixed competi­ or even their own remotes, the host can
tions, but the Mob invade the person's privacy rights as
tends to influence established by the Privacy Act of 2002 .
the Bloodsport Selling the resulting footage is a separate
scene. Participants crime with an additional sentence.
in these sports are Sentence: For host, 200-2000 Eb fine
almost always will­ and/or 2 months-l year Low Security
ing. Winners take a Block plus a possible civil suit (though
percen tage of the not likely). For Audience, 10-100 Eb fine
entire betting and 1-5 days in Low Security Block .

.JIl WILDSIDE

PERSONA TAMPERING (Priority ally rather easy to obtain). These nearly


2): Persona Tampering is any unautho­ mindless clones could be used for target
rized alteration of another individual's practice, personal entertainment and
personality. Commonly referred to as other unmentionable purposes. Note that
"brainwashing", this crime often involves these technologies are always heavily reg­
the purposeful use of mind-altering ulated and there may be additional fines
drugs, induced Cyberpsychosis, and use for merely using these sciences without
of certain Black ICE programs such as the proper permits and licenses.
Liche and Psychodrome. The most com­ Sentence: 1000-10,000 Eb and 1-20
mon convictions under this crime occur years Mid Security Block.
among posergang leadership, negligent
Ripperdocs, underground wetware pro­ CANNIBALISM (Priority 3): With
grammers and inexperienced chemists. 2020's increases in population growth
Sentence: 2-20 years in Mid Security and overcrowding (combined with vast
Block and possible civil suits and fines. reductions in the standard ofliving), Can­
nibalism has become a potential prob­
PERSONA APPROPRIATIONJPri­ lem . While the ordinary flesh-eater is
ority 2): Persona Appropriation is actually some whacked-out booster, Cannibalism
the lesser in a series of crimes. Grand Per­ is becoming a sick fad among the wealthy.
sona Appropriation is a crime that applies This crime's definition has been changed
to the possibility of virtually copying or to include human flesh from cloned bod­
stealing a person's mind. While no actual ies.
occurrence of this crime has ever been Sentence: Psycho Block, Personality
reported, the theoretical possibility has Adjustment or Death depending on the
people very scared. The lesser version, exten t of the meal.
Persona Appropriation, is designed to
punish the practice of using a person's HOUND TIPPING (Priority 3 on
image in Virtual Realty sales (yes, it's ille­ paper, but actually Priority 2): Hound
gal to sell VR individuals based on real Tipping is a crime placed in the books
people without their permission). This after several pranks were played on the
crime occasionally crosses with copyright Night City Police Department by local
infringement when the Simulation is of a gangs including the Bozos and the Phil­
famous person. harmonic Vampires. Hound Tipping is
Sentence: 100-5000 Eb and/ or 1 day­ performed in the following manner: first,
10 weeks Low Block Security and possible gang members commit petty crimes in
civil suit~. front of police officers on patrol with
Robohounds. Some of the gang members
UNAUTHORIZED GENETIC OR distract the police officers, while the other
BIOCHEMICAL MANIPUlATIONjPri­ punks microwave or EMP the hound into
ority 2) : This crime is related to Persona robotic unconsciousness. Then, the gang
Tampering, but Unauthorized Genetic or quickly switches some of the Robo­
Biochemical manipulation also applies to hound's program modules. Once the
any changes, whether mental or physical reprogrammed, the Robohound is
(short of death, which constitutes Mur­ restarted and the punks run away. Several
der), that are inflicted upon the victim by days later, the new programming kicks in
the other person. For example, tamper­ and the hound start~ reading anyone in a
ing with someone's chromosomes so they business suit as a cop-killer (or some other
prematurely age would be criminal under equally "humorous" scenario) . It goes
this category. In addition, unauthorized without saying that this prank has cost
cloning is covered by the section . Several Night City and police departments
cases have been recorded of the use of around the country great embarrassment
cloning technology by unscrupulous per­ and a fair share of civil actions/ bad press.
sons who have manufactured copies of Sentence: 2000-10,000 Eb fine
unsuspecting victims (this is possible with and/ or 2-20 years High Security Block
detailed genetic samples, which are actu­ (and most certainly an instant beating

WILDSIDE
.-: ~. " , . ..:' :;:.;.:-:. ;.:::••:-;.:.;: :.:.:..:.:..:.:.............. :.:.;.~::.:.:.;~>:.:..:.:........ ,' ..........:.:.:.:.;.::.:.:.:: :.:.::;:::.:.::.:.:....:....... :.:.:.:.::.:.:.:..:.:.:.::::.:-:•..

upon arrest) ; Night City has promised a high enough to see if the person is going
civil suit in addition to criminal prosecu­ to suddenly change his direction. These
tions. defenses come in handy---crime, disea~e
and the occa~ional cyberpsycho make city
life interesting but hardly secure, unless
you make it that way.
UPSIDE DOWN The largest percentage of any city
population in 2020 is Street~cum (for a
TOWN full description of ci tydwellers, see Night
City Sourcebook pg. 39). While some
The Strip is just one urban location Streetscum filter into gangs or cult~, the
where the players may find themselves. majority of these indigents merely contin­
Although the Strip serves as an excellent ue to live another day, scraping together
setting (especially for Fixer Campaigns), what they can to eat. In ci ty life, fla~hy
Cyberpunk action is by no means limited to cyberpunkers and chromed streetpunks
that one setting; the Edge is where you are rare exceptions, not the rule. Many
find itl A group of players might find more people are just struggling, but these
themselves on the Street, in a corporate ma~s poor have become the outcast~ of
boardroom or even in Low Earth Orbit. the modern era. In Cyberpunk games,
However, the "c1a'iSic" C)lberpunk setting is plenty of ''Yonos'' (poor) are always
the concrete wilderness of the city. In around, but a Cyberpunk character may
these types of "classic cyberpunk" cam­ not even notice their existence.
paigns, the Referee should constantly try A~ always, Street~cum tend to congre­
to paint the players an image of the mod­ gate around ethnic-specific area~ like
ern cityscape. Combat Zones and ghettos. Names like
"Little [ethnic group name here)" or
"The [ethnic group name here) Quarter"
City Texture litter the unofficial maps of most cities. In
the 20's, this trend still holds true,
A city is more than just a place with although overcrowding ha~ caused the.5e
too many people in it. Cities have a type of ghettos to become inflamed. In 2020,
"texture." Whether it's the grainy feel of these ghettos and racial turfs can intersect
the street or the sewer-like smell, every and even overlap at some spot~, allowing
moment in the city is loaded with vivid minor incident~ to ignite racial tensions.
sensory input. Corporate skyscrapers Naturally, racial tensions are minor to the
block out the sun making it seem like twi­ true Cyberpunk societal divide---cla').~. Most
light even during the day... not that it mat­ turfs within the Combat Zone (except for
ters, since it's almost always overcast or those controlled by race-hate groups) are
raining anyhow. No need for streetlight~ at lea~t marginally open to all races, but if
though-the extensive use of neon illu­ a Beaver or Corporate enters the Zone,
minates all but the darkest alleyways. he'd better be packing.
Noise pollution has risen to the level ofa
science. Bars, movies and videoboards
compete for your attention; if not with
volume than with sounds designed to jar TECH EFFECTS

the listeners attention. Even the air has a


frenzied feel to it. Technology doesn't exist in a vacu­
Like the city it~elf, urban dwellers um. In fact, quiet the opposite-it
have their own flavor to them . The sheer reshapes the world to fit it~ needs. A
density of city populations creates a Cyberpunk city should not only follow
learned defensiveness. Those who travel this rule, but exemplify it. Cities, espe­
the urban pathways on a regular ba~is cially cyberpunk ones, literally digest
know just where to look when they walk. new technologies and inventions. In the
They know to look at others low enough process, new applications and uses for
so that they don't make eye contact, but the tech are found. The impact~ of new

Jll WILDSIDE

technologies on
city society are
described below.

The City

Never

Sleeps

"It's always day­


time somewhere."
This expression is
overused in 2020 as
a rationalization for
the irregularity of
people's sleep
schedules. Nightlife
is practically an
obsolete term due
to the advent of
such modern tech­
nologies as cheap
but powenul stay­
awake drugs and
sleep inducer sys­
tems . Besides, with
pollution the way
it is, it's hard to tell
the difference between night and d ay which is available in convenient 30-cap­
anyway. Fixers in particular know that sule containers for 4 Eb each; a year's
action can be found any time of the day supply only cost~ your typically overzeal­
or night; biz knows no downtime. Sleep ous corporate weasel 48 Eb. Stylishly
inducers (see Chromebook 1, pg. 11) are modern lifestyles are based on cheap
widely marketed and relatively cheap, consciousness and fast naps, bringingto
allowing one to get a full night's sleep in a screeching halt the d ays of mallplexes
2 hours. This device has revolutionized which closed at 10:00 PM and waiting for
work schedules, and to an even greater banks to open. However, staying awake
extent, play schedules. Clubs party at full longer is not all convenience and cus­
tilt all the night through, and the num­ tomer service. Sociological studies have
ber of 24-hour stores ha~ increased geo­ found a correlation between exposure to
metrically with each passing year. darkness and psychological unrest.
Despite modern technology's best Much like the well-documented "light
effort~, humans are still biologically deprivation depression" which people
designed to go to sleep every sixteen manifest during the week-long night~ of
hours or so, rather than every 22. For this Alaska, the general temperament of
reason, numerous pharmaceutical con­ 2020 society has taken a grimmer atti­
cerns such as Biotechnica have made tude thanks to it~ increased exposure to
tremendous profit'; from affordable the night. The effect~ are felt all the way
uppers and stimulants designed to pro­ down to the family level, where there is
mote wide-awake activity for 22 straight no standard time for rise or rest-no
hours. Perhaps the most well-recognized morning breakfasts, no family dinners,
brand name for this class of drug is all due to a lack of coherence in anyone 's
Xoma Pharmaceutical's "Catch-22," schedules.

WILDSIDE

The fragmen tation of society (diag­ existences, and seek a cure for this life­
nosed as another facet of "Future lessness in one form or another. Many
Shock") has been accelerated by this arti­ people have made virtual careers out of
ficial separation from time, but most finding things to do with their free time,
people still adhere to a day-night sched­ such as turning to the various pointless
ule, as TV ratings studies conclusively diversions mentioned before. Only the
demonstrate. It is undeniably true that lucky ones find some sort of niche, slow­
the majority of corporate employees still ing down and developing a kind of
work traditional 9-to-5 hours, but their schedule. Most bars have clique-like
ability to work la te (and thus collect over­ crowds of regulars which mayor may not
time bonuses). catch up on paperwork at be comprised of close friends (the For­
home, and generally put in extra effort lorn Hope in Night City is an example of
has expanded, and correspondingly, cor­ this phenomenon), and many clubs
porations' potential profits in employing develop ver), long, but very specific, guest
human beings has also expanded. Other lists. This phenomenon of "Freetime
than being able to cover more work­ Herding" is especially common among
related ground, the common man can young corporates, who get together to
also play longer and thus harder. Having drink and relax, but while kissing each
to sleep so little grant~ people much other on the cheek are planning to stab
more free time-perhaps too much free each other in the back.
time. Most clubs, bars and restaurant~ Much of the distinctive color which
stay open 24 hours and see few lulls in characterizes the Cyberj)unk street~ of
business at any time during an evening. 2020 is fallout from this Freetime men­
Larger and larger segment~ of many peo­ tality. Every night of the week, police riot
ple's lives are lacking in purpose or squads are called out to break up illegal
direction, so they pOintlessly waste ener­ parties ("Raves") which have ambled
gy in a desperate search for onto someone 's private property.
direction ... any direction. Those who do Although usually harmless, these raves
manage to find their own direction sometimes degenerate into mass vandal­
become the true Edgerunners of Cyber­ ism or low-powered street rumbles.
punk society. In fact much less than one Other common street diversions like
percent of the population are street­ underground gambling houses, blood­
smart, tough-talking, gun-toting, edge­ sports (such as knife-fighting competi­
running, film-noir personalities like the tions), slamdancing, whorehouses,
archetypal Cyberpunk player-character. VRcades and gang warfare are all thriv­
The rest are either tedious corporate ing thanks to the unrest of the modern
wage-slaves or hopeless lowlife scum . man. Drug manufacturing is up, Body­
These people kill time by cultivating Lotto is paying record prizes, and meat­
addictions to Braindance, VR or other wagons have never had a busier sea~on.
drugs, diving into the depths of drunk­ While this unfocused chaos
enness, partying themselves into a fren­ abounds , Fixers are hard at work in the
zy, participating in no-holds-barred background, fueling the frenzy and mak­
orgies, and committing random act~ of ing a healthy profit. The thing which set~
violence. a Fixer apart from the rest of the crowd is
The social malady of "Lifelessness," that when he's partying, he's working.
much like homelessness which was a seri­ Mingling with people at parties and
ous problem in the 20th century, ha~ bal­ installing oneself in the social network is
looned into a kind of plague for the 21st a day at the office for a Fixer. Fixers
century. Whether they are facing monot­ make the connections which keep this
onous corporate jobs or wallowing in system going, bringing the corporates
unemployment, the majority of the pop­ from their conapt~ to the street~ and set­
ulation suffers from having too much ting the joyboys and girls up with their
idle time while being over-stimulated by joh ns. Wi thout the effort~ of these covert
media images and merchandising ploys. capitalist~, the innumerable freetime

. :;.
These people feel a lack of "life" in their diversions wouldn't work. Fixers are a
~ ~ ;~ e:to 1J. 2. .?;o ~ ~ *" *' -l1> $> 41 ~ » *' * *" »
~ J1) .v '* ~ » ~ tOo ~ » x. ~ '!} :'} ~ » .y q * :;, ~ Ii> .s' * ~ :;:. to .;. ~ *' ,:e. :-;.. ~ *- :::. *'
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WILDSIDE
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::.;.:.;.:.:.:.::.:.: ..:.:.•..; ,:.:.:.:
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:.:.:-~.:.: :.:.,. ..... :.:.;..;...:.:....:.;.:.;: ;.:.: .•......:..:
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.;. ::.;.:.; .. :.:..............:.:.:-:. :.:.:. ..:.;.:.. :.:..; : .:. ~::;:

kind of lubricant necessary to the eco­ nection as a scientific unearthing of the


nomic machine, making sure that the group subconscious; a kind of cybernet­
wealth and the grease are aU spread ic telepathy...
around evenly. They can also be likened
to human circuitry, connecting nodes
with the necessary data; carrying impuls­
es across a vast social body, like neurons
The Box
in a very nervous system. In 2020, every­ As the concept of an Integrated Ser­
one is a junkie for something...sex, vices Digital Network (ISDN) blossomed
drugs, power, money or thrills, so every­ into the establishment of the world­
body needs a Fixer. Fixers are your spanning Net, many previously unrelat­
friends. ed media were blurred together. Tele­
phone lines, cable television, satellite
broadcasting and computer networks all
Cordless Contact became components of the globe's
emerging electronic highways. In 2020
Cellular technology has changed the Net combines all of these services,
the communication patterns of modern granting universal access to almost any
society. In the old days of stationary form of electronic media. Television,
phones, communication was tied to a cable, pay-per-view, home shopping ser­
particular location. If you weren't home vices, telecommunications and comput­
you might miss your messages; there­ er information services are all available
fore people paid even more money to through one cable. The end result of this
get answering machines or services. But super-integration is that it is possible to
even machines and services tended to have one machine which handles all of
be too much of a delay for some people. these functions. Although there are still
As cordless phones became cheaper tons of dedicated phones, computers
and smaller, the emphasis changed to and TVs in 2020, the concept which has
the individual. CeUular communicators emerging as the lest word in consumer
had evolved into truly personal technol­ media technology is The Box.
ogy; portable enough to be carried 22 "The Box" is the common term
hours a day and in any situation . No which has been given to Personal Digital
longer would someone try to catch you Media Universal Systems. The Box,
at home or in the office, but rather they when connected to the Net and any
would call you directly-where ever you automated home systems performs the
are. In continuing this trend, the corpo­ following functions: television, VCR,
rations have created the ultimate in per­ braindance player, stereo, computer,
sonal communication, the cyberaudio full-function telephone, answering
phone splice. The popularity of these machine, video game and virtual reality
implanted telephones has created a cul­ system, screamsheet printer, and home
tural phenomenon of public mum­ systems manager (climate control, appli­
bling. In any public place you can spot ances, ligh ts, etc.). The Box would pro­
people carrying on subvocalized con­ vide full access to the Net and all its ser­
versations with some distant person. By vices, including video-phone
connecting cyberdecks, computers or communication, 500+ channels (stan­
faxes, a person can effectively carry dard service; over 1000 costs extra),
their offices with them. This business­ online video rental services, home shop­
out-of-a-briefcase mindset allows corpo­ ping, party lines, digital radio broadcast­
rate types to perform their business any­ ing, virtual realities, library services,
where. Occasionally, the screamsheets newsgroups and anything and every­
report on a multi-million dollar deal thing else. Of course, the owner of the
completed in a building's bathroom or Box would still need to pay for all these
during a subway ride. Sociologists and services, but the benefit would be that
psychologists have even classified this they would never need to leave their
growing phenomenon of universal con­ home. Ever.

WIlDSIDE
.:.:
". ~ . :.:.:

The Box is still uncommon (similar the planet they are. Only communica­
to HDTV or DATs in 1993) but is rapidly tion out~ide of earth's orbit ha~ any real
growing in popularity, especially in the lag time (two to three seconds delay),
suburbs-it allows the locals of creating a slightly annoying telegraph­
Beaverville to insulate their Jives even like conversation; "How's the weather
further. The easy access to such concen­ down there? ... [stop] ... O.K ... [stop] ".
trated mass media is drawing 2020's soci­ The preferred method for communica­
ety into ever-greater depths of consumer tion with outer space is the use ofElec­
culture, and has been linked to growing tronic Mail (usually under the trade
illiteracy rates around the world. Easily name Message Mail-see Night City
recognizable, standardized icons are SourceBookpg. 184), which is also used
replacing written communications when the other party isn't available for
entirely. Even more disturbing is the Virtual Conferencing. Public utility
potential for alienation and dehuman­ word-processors are available, for a small
ization- face-to-face, human interac­ per hour fee, to compose letters and
tion may soon be obsolete. However, if messages later sent by E-Mail. Other pub­
The Box appeals to you, a typical lic utilities include: The Yellow Base
PDMUS costs about 2,000 Eb and is (basically, Net phone books), phone
about 2'x2'xl' in size; most have voice­ patches (allowing someone in the Net to
operation a~ a standard feature. call someone out~ide the Net on a cellu­
lar or fiber optic channel), World Weath­
er Info, and Translators. The last utility is
If This Is a Boot
only available to peoplejacked into the
Net. It allows near instantaneous transla­
About the Street.
tion of languages among individuals in
the Net. The Net translates human
Why Are We Talking
brainwave patterns into machine lan­
guage to operate in the first place; from
About the Net?
that starting point, it's ea~y for the Net to
interpret that data into whatever lan­
Because the Net is only a video guage the other party understands
screen's distance from the Street. In (Translator gives the user an effective +6
CyberjJUnk information is the key to all language skill, but only with others in the
things, whether you're the president of Net). Privately owned utilities include
EBM or a common street thug. The Net virtual shopping networks, VRcades and
represents access to all forms of data, private Net schools. Of all the possible
instantly. Whether by use ofa DataTerm, uses of the Net, actual criminal Netrun­
computer workstation, cyberdeck or tele­ ning is only a small fraction.
phone, almost everyone uses the Net on You don't have to be a Netrunner to
a regular ba~is. Regardless of the individ­ find out what time your hated enemy's
ual's choice of interface, the Net's icon­ Maglev get~ in. Much information of the
based system allows even beginners to Net is free access. The Net's designers
easily operate basic systems and to find wanted public data to be organized so
requested information nodes. In game that it would be easy to get at (although
terms, the virtual icon system gives every they didn't always succeed). How one
user regardless of experience a basic uses the information is what sets the
knowledge in the following skills: System powerbrokers above the world's gonks.
Knowledge and Libmry Search. (These
bon uses are the equivalen t to a +1 chi p
and do not add to any skills that the per­
son may already have.)
The New Industry
The Net is used for all kinds of com­ Perhaps the single greatest econom­
munication. Virtual Conferencing allows ic force to emerge from the Street is the
one party to communicate instantly with New Industry. Using rental autolathe
others no matter where on the face of technologies, many clever entrepreneurs

JIll WILDSIDE

.,.': ;,; ' = , = ­


have built street-level companies with for common household appliances and
profits large enough to attract the atten­ other mass-produced corporate prod­
tion of the Corporations. Here's how it ucts (home electronics, digital music,
works: Street Techies are always design­ communications equipment- even
ing interesting little trinkets that some­ cars). These designs are broadcast
how make streetscum life a little easier. through the Net via specialized Worm
These designs are often made with a programs. Eventually, some autolathe­
Computer-Aided Design And Manufac­ happy New Industrialist gets hold of one
turing (CADAM) program. Then, the of these designs and goes into business
producer simply rents some time in any producing knockoff products. A1though
one of several robot-operated mini-facto­ these replicated products are generally
ries, such as the world-famous Malorian made with cheaper materials, they are in
Fireanns autolathes (See Night City Source all other respects identical to the original
Book pg. 163). Autolathe factories charge product. The street industrialist doesn't
reasonable rates and a standard fee for have to worry about advertiSing, insur­
raw materials. A surcharge is added for ance or legal fees, and can easily turn a
rarer materials and permits may be profit by piggybacking on the success of
required for the use of dangerous mate­ any particular design that he happens to
rials such as explosives or gunpowder. have.
Since autolathes can run with only very
minimal human staff, pennit difficulties
may be overcome with well-timed bribes.
The entire process is quick-even com­
Throw-Away Tech
plex machines can go from disk to final They say that the future is disposable ,
product in a few hours. but it doesn't end there. A~ the global pop­
While autolathes still can't match ulation swells and urban centers clot with
the huge corporate factories for per­ desperate consumers, mass-production
product construction, the flexibility and ma~s-marketing go into overdrive. In
open to the New Industrialists allows 2020, there are vending machines every­
them to compensate for their higher where. A Consumer Digest Magazine survey
prices by offering individualized prod­ taken in March 2019 reported that in
ucts. Many of these New Industries are America there is a vending machine for
based in the Net, functioning like a BBS every seven people. This disposable society
with dozens, hundreds, or even thou­ needs refills, and for the majority ofpeo­
sands of autolathe programs posted for pie (the poor), streetside vending
sale. Users log on, credit the BBS for a machines are the only reliable and afford­
design, and then take the design pro­ able source ofba~ic supplies. Cigarettes are
gram to a rental autolathe. A~ one might only the beginning; cheap, 24-hour
imagine, many underground BBS deal machine-prin ted clothes dispensers dress a
in black-market CADAM programs good 20% of America's populace. Name­
which will produce knockoffs of copy­ brand drinks, simulated foodstuff.~ and
righted product~ and other illegal wares. mood-booster pills can all be bought from
New Industry groups such as Phoenix armored, automated sales-unit~. Cheap
Armatech and Urban Technologies chipware with a 3-ciay shelf life is sold from
practice this blueprint techno-piracy. Vend-A-Mod machines in most cities, turn­
One of the tenets of the Cyberpunk ing out simple maps and infochips at dis­
Revolution is "information wants to be count prices. Beer, booze, smash and
free." Another buzzword of this move­ "soft" drugs can also be bought from cor­
ment is Appropriation. These two ner machines- the prices are inflated, but
themes come together in the traffic of no questions are asked . Ammunition and
electronic product piracy as practiced by cheap, disposable weapons can also be
renegade programmers and cyberspace bought from vending machines. Many juv­
vandals. These particularly anti-corpo­ iegangs are armed with plastic switch­
rate Netrunners have managed to "liber­ blades and polymer one-shots spat out by
ate" some of the more popular designs their neighborhood Auto-Armory unit.

WILDSIDE

Candies of a thousand noxious varieties recommended amount~, resulting in a


and worthless trinkets still sell well, but temporary pain block. Like other pain
Music-Box machines will burn off a cheap blocks, such as 'dorph and pain editors,
music chip in under 50 seconds. Aspirin, overuse ha~ resulted in some serious
heartburn-medicine, and other pharma­ injuries. According to urban legend, a
ceuticals can also be bought 24 hours housewife on Phosterin accidentally cut
from automateds, but beware of their off one of her fingers and didn't notice
quality-raucous vandals and gangers until her husband found it in the
sometimes mess with AutoRX supplies chopped salad.
just for fun. Often urban predators will On the Street, chern tech is present in
hang around the vicinity of a machine the common form of designer drugs.
just to pick on its customer, but this Pharm programs allow street chemist~ to
depends on the unit's surroundings. The synthesize innovative drugs for almost any
lobbies of corporate towers, hotels, and purpose. The latest street craze is buying
transit stations are all well-equipped to chemically-induced psychoses. These
meet almost any short-term need with an mental disturbances are produced by
army of autonomous sales outlets. Many purposefully creating bio-chemical imbal­
"vendies" are tied into the net to convey ances which the body usually correct~ in
sales information, supply request~ and 2-11 hours. Paranoia is the top seller, with
damage reports to their parent corpora­ an average cost of 100 Eb. Despite the
tions, and many a Netrunner has run potential for the death penalty, some
"Control Remote" on these units to cause Pharmacist~ sell cyberpsychosis (in the
havoc or get away with a free packet of form of human-hatred) to already
Grape Crispies. All these vending boxes deranged boosters at about 200 Eb a shot.
generate a lot of loose tra~h, which urban Other mental diseases available include
wind tunnels blow across the streets like a Technofetishism, Futureshock,
plastic tide, and some even have limited Necrophilia, Stress Syndromes, Phobias
computers which bark slogans and sales (anything from cat~ to phones), Catato­
pitches to pedestrian passers-by. Don't nia, Delusions, Narcolepsy, Hyperactivity,
completely ignore these corporate push­ and Multiple Personality Disorders.
ers, since you never know when you might Then there are the street drugs. The
suddenly need a quick boost. Almost any nasty, nerve-rotting, brain-frying candy
product which comes from a vending that nobody want~ to want. Some drugs
machine would be hard-pressed to last are relatively harmless, being mere sleep­
more than 36 hours, but when you can ing pills or contraceptives, but there are
just buy another one from another just a~ many mood alterers, psychedelics,
machine, who gives a byte? And you can't endorphins and euphorics. Under­
beat the prices. ground laboratories crank out new con­
coctions faster than the authorities can
classify them-modern pharmacology is
such a rapidly-mutating industry that the
Life on the Phann pushers and drug lords are at an advan­
Pharmacology (chemtech) is the tage. Some localities have given up entire­
promise to future generations, or so lyon the war on drugs, and instead have
Biotechnica would have you believe. To semi-legalized all drugs under a system of
date, the greatest chern tech success has "registration." Under this system, one
been DiPhostamine Hydrocloride, an must pay a fee to the local government to
effective pain killer used in brand name be licensed for a particular drug. Licenses
product~ such a~ Painaway and Phosterin. cost anywhere from 10 Eb per year and
This drug works on the same principals a~ up, per drug (the really bad drugs cost
'dorph, but is not addictive if taken in the most, in an attempt to legislate them
small dosages (it's also not as strong, but out of existence). Registration systems
will temporarily stop pain from tooth usually include a "blanket" license of 25
aches, headaches and small burns). Occa­ Eb per year which includes alcohol,
sionally, someone takes more than the tobacco and typical medicines like a~pirin

WILDSIDE

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.. ................:.: .. ........,':.:. ..•:.:....:...... ,........., ....


~ ~. ' .' ' ..:::;:'. ~. :.: ",' .. ,'. ,;.:.,:.:,'.,

and Retin-A. The system of registration, analyzed; in that


practiced by San Francisco and Detroit case, if the drugs
(among others), brings about a whole new are bad you've
world oftroubles with such kinks as license already lost your
dodging and the near-impossible task of money. Oh well.
keeping classification up to speed with Also remem­
production. Experts agree that the drug ber that not all
problem won't be going away anytime drugs are poiso­
soon. nous euphorics.
What's worse, when you buy on the Every once in a
Street, you can't be totally sure of what while a street lab
you're getting. Sometimes a drug may comes up with a
have gotten mixed up with another, so you brew that's actually
wind up buying Widow's Breath instead of useful. Some of
Happy Pills. Other times, a drug may be these underground
tainted with some foreign substance, like drugs are of partic­
particles of another drug, dirt, industrial ular use to
cleaning agents, whatever. The name of Edgerunners in
the game is purity, and it's what portable general and Fixers
drug analyzers were really made for. In in particular. Some
game terms, whenever a character buys a samples are listed
supply of illegal drugs (of whatever kind) below:
the Referee must roll a Purity Check. This
is a roll which determines if the stuffyou're "Mr. Ex"
buying is really worth the money. Since the Type: Stimulant
result~ can have serious repercussions for Strength: +1
the player, the referee should make this Difficulty: 27
roll secretly. If the Purity Check was suc­ Cost: 675Eb
cessful then the drugs are safe, but if the Duration: IDlO+1
roll failed, check TABLE 1 below. Days
If the character buying the drugs has a Mr. Ex is a powerful stimulant ous case of the munchies. Users are
portable drug analyzer with them, and it is which increases metabolic processes to always stuffing their faces with kibble
loaded with an up-tcxlate database on such a level that the character may stay and soyburgers. The drug causes eyes to
street drugs (not always a sure thing), it will awake for very long periods of time . It is become very red and puffy, but does not
correctly identify the purity level of the used primarily by busy Corporates and impair vision, and prolonged use of Mr.
drug with 95% reliability. If you don't have Netrunners, but it is gaining in popular­ Ex can lead to extreme weight loss.
a drug analyzer with you , you can either ity across the board. Its side effects
test the drugs when you buy them and take include -I to COOL for the duration of "Twitch"
your chances, or buy the drugs and them the drug's effects and psychological Type: Euphoric Strength: +2
take someplace where you can have them addiction. Mr. Ex also induces a raven- Difficulty: 12 Cost: 300 Eb
Duration: IDI0+1 Minutes
TABLE 1. Twitch is very useful for Con Men
Purity Check: 1D 1 0 lower than the Pusher's Streetdeal.
and habitual liars. The drug's euphoric
Optional Rule: Another way to perform a Purity Check is to add the Pusher's
effects are very slight-only a small
Streetdeal to the buyer's LUCK, add IDIO and compare to IS.
increase in self-confidence is notice­
able. However, the drug affect~ physical
Check Failed By: Drug's Purity Is:
reactions and responses slightly, caus­
1-2 A Bit Low; duration of effects is reduced by 1/3rd.
ing occasional facial ticks and the like
3-4 Poor; duration is 1/2, STR drops by 1.
(these reduce REF by 1, but it's not
5-6 Bad; duration is I / 3rd, STR -2, roll BOD vs. 10 or be sick.
painful) . The side effect which makes
7-8 Real Bad; duration 1/ 3rd, STR-3, roll BOD vs. IS or be very
Twitch so popular is that Voice Stress
sick.
Analyzers and Lie Detectors cannot be
9-10 The Worst; drug either does nothing or causes some kind of
used on a person on Twitch, and
physical or mental damage (referee's discretion).
Human Perception rolls against people
on Twitch are at -2.
~* ••• ~ •• •• •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •• a • • • R ••• •• •• ~ • •••••• • ••• •• •• •• ~ ••••••••••••••••••••••••

WILDSIDE

..'.."... ...''
"'!
'
.. ••::.

"Char" ing, a constant feed magazine, smartgun


Type: Cool Booster Strength: +3 interlock with variable frequency scan­
Difficulty: 20 Cost: 500 Eb ning la~ers and a Dynaport custom recoil
Duration: IDIO+l Minutes compensation barrel depends entirely
Char is the iceman drug. It induces on who is carrying it.
an inhuman calm, confidence and self­ "Modifications aren't the only thing,
control. People on Char are imposing, either. When people want something
authoritative and never lose their temper. but can't afford it and don't want to steal
The trick is that the +3 to your COOL is it, they make their own. Probably the
complemented by a -3 to your EMP, so only thing more common on the street~
that you are not just cool, but cold-heart­ than a modified gun is one that's been
ed. Char has no physical side effects, but pieced together out of the usable bit~ of
it is strongly addictive in the psychologi­ one or more broken weapons. Barrels
cal sense; everyone likes being an ice­ get rebored for new ammo, actions and
cool gato. bolt~ get modified to handle ca~eless
ammo, magazines are jammed or
tamped to load smaller rounds. Shot­
Appropriationist guns are mounted under ordinary
weapons, or SMGs are duct-taped to a
shotguns to provide some extra firepow­
Technology er. Actions can be converted to allow full
From A Dissertation on the Counter­ auto or burst fire. Whole weapons can be
Economy (Chapter 6) by Dr. Richard M. scratch-built with a minimum of effort, if
Cameron, an A~sociate Professor at Har­ you have the right facilities. Just plug the
vard University: details into the autolathe, and press the
"The street is alive and humming, a ON button.
vital place that get~ you what you want. .. "There's also the concealed, c1oak­
if you can afford it. A lot of people can't and-dagger style stuff. The armored
afford the latest weapon upgrade, or the briefcase with the tear gas sprayer, the
right interface, or can't afford to feed watch with the dab of C-6 in the casing,
their Polynesian rifle that bizarre the camera in a ring. How about the mir­
6.32mm ammo, or whatever. There's rorshades ... you know, the ones with the
also the fact that most people on the light intensifYing CCD coating and auto­
street can't afford to just throw every­ stepdown features. When you don't
thing away-the future is only disposable advertise your assets, you can get away
for those who can afford it to be. So the with a lot. If everyone knows you have a
M-l carbine that your Grandfather used monowhip, then they' re going to plan
may show up to haunt you, but you for it. But ifit's hidden in your ring, and
might not recognize it. The Street is you rarely use it, then they may not be
filled with canny gunsmiths eager to expecting it. And every advantage is
reconfigure, rechamber, refine or needed when you're walking "these
rebuild almost anything, and a whole mean street~ . "
bunch of fools are willing to build dan­ "That doesn't just go for weapons;
gerous conversions that smart Techies almost anything found on the street~ can
wouldn't touch (like rechambering 10­ be (and frequently is) modified to better
Gauge shotguns to fire 25mm grenades). suit the user. A cellular cyberdeck could
"This means that when one runs be built into a nylon combat helmet for a
into "Irregular Forces" (the military des­ Netrunner who does a lot of B&Ejobs.
ignation for almost anyone besides mili­ Another Netrunner might have his deck
tary or police forces, whether govern­ built into a wrist guard, along with a 10
mental or corporate), it is likely that the shot needier. A Techie's phone might
weapons they're using will be modified also be linked into his techscanner, so he
to their particular needs. Whether this is can download readings into a database
as simple a~ a laserscope or sawed-offbar­ for reference and comparison. Or he
rei, or as sophisticated as integral silenc­ might be using it to link into a 'Deck to

.it WILDSIDE

run analytical software and a Virtual fixture to either end of the tubes, and
Reality, where he can perform real-time power it up. Maybe it won't explode.
tests without actually doing any work on "The future is disposable only if you
the actual goods until necessary. let it be. Thanks to the ingenuity of
"Of course, this kind of modified underground Techies and Scavengers,
equipment is sometimes a little more dif­ the future is recycled and jury-rigged
ficult to repair, especially if the Techie (why do you think that it's a Techie's pri­
doesn't know about the modifications. It mary skill, Choombata?). The Street
also means that if he hasn't got just the makes do with what can be stolen,
right piece of equipment or part to fix begged, or broken so the rich folks
your gear, he might get ideas about forc­ uptown don't want it anymore. The
ing something into fitting right. .. Hey, high-tech wizardware like railguns and
you just dropped it on his bench and said lasers are stilI gadgets for Highriders and
"Make it work," right? You never said the army. These gizmos are just begin­
anything about original parts. You ning to trickle down to the Street, and
should know better than that, or you may most of the ones on the Street now are
end up with a gun that requires the cheap copies, powered by laser crystals
owner to whistle Dixie to get it to fire. On adapted from mining and cutting tools.
the other hand, you might end up with Down on the Street, a Glock-I7 is still a
an extra +2 to your Deck's speed because valid weapon, even if it lacks penetration
of the Neocyb 9099 CPU that Techie against modern armor. You use what
used to replace the old CPU with. The you've got and what you're familiar with,
one that stopped the bullet. but that doesn't mean that it's left the
"The plain fact is that Street techies way it is. Smartchipping, some recoil
mostly work with what the corporations compensation, maybe a little accurizing,
and the government have thrown away. and you've got a 20th century wonder­
This means that there is a wonderful mix nine that performs right up there with
of ca~t off equipment and weapons avail­ the modern stuff. That's appropriation­
able to those who are willing to do some ist technology, Street-style."
scrounging-and occasionally a little
retrofitting and rebuilding. Then there
is the stuff of past generations; a Berretta
M92F is still a good gun (and frequently TALKING THE
all that you can get) but rechambering it
for .4IAE plasticase, adding an integral TALK
laserscope and a barrel comp to help
with recoil makes it a better gun ... and City folks speak their own language.
almost unrecognizable. Many home They have to. As mentioned before, the
built parts and modifications are thrown ghettoization of many areas leads to a city
together without any concern for looks made up of many small groups who com­
or future modifications. The only municate in their own languages. These
requirement is that they work (for the trends are reinforced by the reliance on
moment). Duct-tape and super-glue gangs, local education systems and reli­
seem to be the most common bonding gious organizations to educate the next
materials used; electronics and equip­ generation of Street~cum and urban
ment are often patched together with no youth. However, these individual groups
regard for safety or utility. Just because are not self-sufficient and not completely
an underground gunsmith said he isolated. When members of these ethnic
smartchipped your weapon doesn't quarters travel into other areas to trade,
mean he tested it to make sure it works steal or purchase goods, they have to com­
under all possible conditions. municate with other groups; that's where
"Everything works this way. Got an Streetslang came from. At first, Streetslang
incandescent light fixture, and all you across America was a class of unrelated
can find is fluorescent tubing? No hybrid languages indigenous to any given
sweat-just run some contacts from the area. Then, the Media got hold ofthe idea.

WILDSIDE
I. . . . .. ; '." . . : :.. . :. :.. . ..... !. ~ ......

In the 'teens, lV shows began playing


with Streetslang as the common language
Urban Legends
for anyone not wearing a tie. Some of
these shows became extremely popular, Like the campfires of older times, the
and Street~lang soon became acceptable Net and mass communication systems
for leading characters too. Streetslang was have given birth to a series of stories.
"hip." As lV shows with Streetslang hit the Urban Legends-the new campfire sto­
shores of Europe, A~ia and Africa, lower­ ries. No one knows where these stories
class citizens seeing their own condition came from or even if they are true or not
and struggles reflected in the Steetslang The classic Urban Legend is the infamous
adopted it. These cultures also changed it, "crocodiles that live in the sewers of large
and sent it back to the Americas in the cities." In 2020, urban myths have become
same way they got it-lV. Despite these more important and more direct. In an
formative years, the Streetslangs of differ­ age where VR images are indistinguish­
ent countries have taken separate paths able from reality, good old down-to-earth
and are increasingly influenced by their gossip can be a lifesaver. For example,
resident country's native tongue (See the people still remember the Kibble Scare of
Streetslangsection, pg. 93 and Culture and '16 and consequently everyone knows a
Language Rules, pg.86-87). friend's fourth cousin who ate some kib­
Streetslang wa~ not the first mode of ble and had a kid with some awful disease.
communication which grew from the Other Urban Legends border on philoso­
seamy Streets. Graffiti has been around phy. Some examples include the wide­
as long as there has been spray paint, and spread belief~ that God lives in the Net,
earlier, cruder forms of written vandal­ President Kress is a VR simulation and
ism have existed since the days of the Cyberware sometimes ha~ a mind of it~
Renaissance (and before). Graffiti is as own. Whether or not any of these legends
common a~ concrete in a modern Ameri­ are true is, of course, unknown and in
can city. "Tags" (as Graffiti signs are most cases unprovable. Very often, these
called) can be found on walls, sidewalks, street legends descend into the realm of
streetposts, trash cans, DataTerms, dead pure rumor mill and tabloid stuff, such a~
cars and inside bathrooms. Sometimes the belief~ that the EEC is working with
they are just meaningless scribble, but aliens to take over the world and that the
oftentimes they are saying something Corps are sponsoring space research so
and that something might be important. that they can leave the stagnant Earth and
Some Graffiti qualifies as full-blown art, rule it from orbit.
while other kinds voice public sentiment
against the corporations or government,
and many Tags mark gang territory .
Street-smart characters should know IT'S A
what they are looking at when they
encounter Graffiti, since it might be SMALL(ER)
telling them to leave before the Blood
Razors eat them for dinner. Recognizing
the general nature of a clump of Graffiti
WORLD
requires a successful Streetwise or Streetdeal
roll (granting such information a~ "gang In 2020, two cities separated by an
territory marker," "vandalism" or "art") ocean's distance may be better connected
but to accurately identify the nature and to each other than either are to rural
origin of the Tag requires a successful area~ less than forty miles aWay. This inter­
roll of Streetdeal or an applicable skill connection makes other countries inter­
such as Expert: Area Knowledge, EX/Jert: esting sites for CyherjJUnk campaigns, like a
Streetgangs or Gang Rank (the Streetpunk sort of a sight~eeing adventure .
role's Special Ability). So when you step Eurosourre and Eurotour are good sources
out for a walk in the city, make sure you for these types of games; additional mate­
look at the walls every once in a while ... rial and rules are supplied below.

. . . WILDSIDE

mega-corporate political environment


The International Fixer: has led to a "shrinking" effect on the
global community. Corporations have
A Redundant Term taken on as much, if not more, charac­
ter than most sovereign countries, so
The Cyber[JUnk Fixer of 2020 knows that products, political agendas,
no bounds , literally. A typical well-con­ philosophies and ideologies are no
nected Night City Fixer's day would con­ longer defined primarily by geography.
sist of such trivialities as calling contacts For example, American cities and
in Sweden, zapping some E-mail to near Japanese cities bear a close resemblance
orbit, having a virtual meet in the Net to each other in most ways; consider
with crime lords from Hong Kong and Night City and Tokyo. They are both
London, sending an overnight package harbor cities, centers of light industry,
of rare chromosomes to a medtechie information and business, and they
acquaintance in Bonn, and doing lunch share common ties in terms of social
at a nice little Bistro in San Francisco. and political systems. They have similar,
Any connection between your business if not identical, architectures (such as
and the ground beneath your feet was the arcology designs of 2010's architect
severed the day you were dragged into Thomas Yung Chin), corporate influ­
the 21st century. Travel? Long Distance? ences (most notably Arasaka, but also
Non-issues. Your only limit is your credit Internet, WNS and WoridSat) and crim­
limit. inal e1emen ts (such as the Yakuza) . The
amount of international trade , immi­
gration and refugees have made an eth­
nic hodgepodge of both cities, creating
Around the World in Night City'sJapantown and Tokyo's all­
foreigner Ninsei district. The Chiba
Eighty Nanoseconds Strip and the High Street Strip are, at
least visually, almost identical. The
The 21st century saw the mushroom­ number of languages spoken in both
ing of information technology into a cities is beyond counting, and the
monolithic enterprise . The coalescence Eurodollar is their common standard
of the Net and the galvanization of a currency.

WILDSIDE
;.. '

Thanks to the evolution of the Net sonal skills at a level higher than your
and universal communication stan­ language level. The interpersonal skills
dards, the global community shrank to affected by language are: Charismatic
the global village, and in 2020 it would Leadership, Credibility, Streetdeal (in terms
be more accurate to refer to it as the of dealmaking), Interrogation, Oratory,
"Global Apartmen t." The Net allows Interview, Leadership, Social, Persuasion &
access to any other part of the world as Fast Talk, any INT skill which would
if you were walking into another room. involve the translation of material from
Telephones and videophones long ago or into your language (ComlJOsition,
made face-to-face conversations a non­ Library Search, etc.), Teaching and
issue, while pagers and portable com­ Forgery"
links allow anyone to get connected and As important as knowing a lan­
STAY connected. Fax and electronic guage is knowing that language's corre­
bulletin boards allow unobstructed sponding culture. It is all too easy to
exchange of images, stories and ideas, offend someone from another culture
with online translator programs picking without even knowing that one has bro­
up any inter-lingual slack which may ken any social taboos; for instance, it is
occur. Seemingly hyperactive courier decidedly unwise to order a hamburger
corporations have largely replaced gov­ in India, or for a woman to wear a
ernmental mail systems, so that auto­ miniskirt in Yemen . To deal with situa­
mated Sphere Courier robo-vans ensure tions such as these, one uses the new
that daily visits from the neighborhood INT skill of Culture. Culture functions
postmaster are a thing of the past. Tran­ much like the EMP skill Social, but is
sit is no longer a chore or hassle, but an for use in unfamiliar cultures and is
expected part of one's day. SSTs make more broadly applicable. Remember
'Jumping the puddle" as easy as going that you do not have to leave the coun­
across town, and with civilian AVs like try to need a Culture skill-it could
the Mach selling well, having lunch in a come in handy when you have to cut a
different time zone is standard for those deal with the local Tong in Chinatown.
who can afford it. With full virtual reali­ Culture is a skill which must be speci­
ty and braindance systems readily avail­ fied, exactly like the INT skill Know Lan­
able to the general populace, the novel­ guage. In fact, the rules in the sidebar
ty of actually GOING somewhere to on Page 39 of the CyberlJUnk 2020 basic
have a change of scenery has become rules for Linguistic Families apply here
obsolete. Why spend thousands on a as well; if you have Culture (Bantu), you
vacation to Bermuda when you can pay also have other African cultures at 1/2
5 Eb per hour for DPC's super-realistic your level, rounded down. So, on top of
Tropical Paradise & Harem Roml) person­ the limitations of language, there are
alized vacation package? In 2020, travel many times in which one will also need
and communication are the same thing; to make a Culture roll .
your only obstacle is the phone bill. The difficulty number of the cul­
ture roll is determined by the disparity
between your own culture and (he cul­
When in Rome... ture of the other party. There are four
categories into which all cultures can be
However, there are times when a grouped, and it is advised that the refer­
simulation won't do. Whether you're a ee use his best judgment (and perhaps
Corporate with an international even a little research) in such matters.
lifestyle or an orbit-skimming Smug­ Using American culture as a standard
gler, you will have to interface with dif­ against which other cultures will be
ferent cultures and languages some­ judged (how typical!), the differences
time. To simulate language differences would break down as shown on the next
in game play, the blanket rule is that page in TABLE 2.
when are communicating in another This list is not meant to be compre­
language you cannot use your interper­ hensive or definitive by any means; if

JAl .
WILDSIDE
:'~'.,

. ..... ...;':.:.:..:::':.:-.:.:.:.
'" ', :,:.;.:-::,; :.:; :.:.:;.;.:....:. ......
;.: . ;.: .~ . :.;.:. :.:...::.:-;....:.....;-;.:.;.;:.:.:;::.:.:. :.;.:.:.,: :.:.:;.:.:...... ";",:,:,::::,:,:,:,::,,.:.::::::.,

" ..,.••.,.,.:.:.:..:.;-:.:.:.:.•:.:.:-:.::•..;..:.:..•..• •..••••:.:.:.;:.:.:..••:......•...• . •....•.••;•..:.;.:•.:.:.:.;.:'.:.:. ;.:.:.;:.:.> ,,;.:.:.::::.:.:. :':':':':'::':~'::':'"

you are an anthropology major, feel deal -if the roll was failed by 7 or
free to use your own opinions. The best more, go to the Faux Pas Table. The
source for accurate inter-cultural com­ only way to remove the negative modi­
munication rules is to try it out for your­ fiers incurred by a failed Culture roll is
self, but it may be difficult to find some­ to make another Culture roll which suc­
one of Zambian heritage before your ceeds by the amount you previously
Thursday night game. So we suggest the failed by. Sometimes it's better to just
local library, under the reference sec­ give up ...
tion . Let's say that the American corpo­
Culture rules are used in specific rate is meeting the Yakuza (who is
situations where one's behavior must be blackmailing the corporate) for the first
checked in order to see if it is accept­ time. He must make a culture roll, and
able within the cultural context. An since the Japanese culture is Alien to
example might be a meeting between the American culture, the corporate
an American Corporate and aJapanese must roll a 20 to maintain a pleasant
Yakuza. In this case, the American Corp atmosphere. However, with his INT of 8
would probably be trying to satisfy and his Culture (Japanese) skill of +4,
Japanese etiquette, but in many cases the corporate must roll an 8 to keep this
both parties might be trying to satisfy discussion comfortable. He rolls a 5, for
each other. Once one has decided a a total of 17, which is 3 less than the dif­
Culture roll is needed, the roll is put into ficulty number, so he receives a -3
effect is by (I) determining the difficul­ penalty on all his dealings with this
ty number, (2) making an INT+Cul­ Yakuza, much like a failed facedown
ture+1DI0 roll, (3) checking to see if roll. If the difficulty number had been
the roll was successful, in which case failed by 7 or more, a roll on the Faux
everything is fine, or subtracting the Pas Table (TABLE 3,below)would have
amount the roll was failed by (up to -6) been required. For situations which
to any subsequent skill rolls used in the would require a Culture roll, see the
dealings, such as Persuasion or Street- sidebar.

TABLE 2.
CULTURAL SIMILARITY TABLE
SAME CULTURE (0) SIMILAR (10) DIFFERENT (15) ALIEN (20)
American Germanic Russian Highrider Culture
English French Israeli Zulu
Australian Finnish Jamaican Aboriginal
Canadian Swedish Columbian Japanese

TABLE 3.
FAUX PAS TABLE (IDIO)
1-4 = Minor error of etiquette. No real damage other than the -7 to your
Skill rolls.
5-7 = Obvious error. You come off ac; a Simple-minded foreigner. Not only do
you keep the -7 penalty to the Skill roil, but you also get an additional-l
to any further culture rolls made with the same party.
8-10 = Major insult! You totally blow it. In the mind of the other party, you are
a barbarian who absolutely cannot be dealt with. Don't even bother
making the Skill roll and add (-3) to any future Culture rolls.
Note: Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances. Ifthe corporate had the
only vial of the antidote to a poison hejust put in the Yakuza's drink, and the
Yakuza knew it, the meeting would go on no matter how offended the Yakuza wac;.

WILDSIDE

4 WILDSIDE
...........:.:.:.:••~:.:. :.:-.:-:.:•.•<.............:.:.:.:••:.:<::....~....:........ .•..;.;:.:.:...:•...:.:.;:.:.:.,.

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t. ....,tJ " '-1'... ..'" ~
I; :'. ' .. J•.
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,
I
I L. '- - 'f ~
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........ ......~ __ •

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~~.£J",~~ ....."

th e base of the Muslim faith, During the Middle East Melt·


APPENDIX A RELIGION d o wn in 1997, Mecca was cut off, and many of the other
important sites of Isl a mic wors hip were destroyed , One of
AND POLITICS
Two things that affect the Street, but are not of
the basic tenant~ of Islam is that worshipers perform (if not
con stra ined by poor health) a pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj),
the Street... For the last two decades, the H ajj hasn't been possible
except with expensive decontamin a tion cautions; the Rad
levels surrounding the city are still lethal. There has been
much debate amongst the religious leaders of the Islamic
GODS IN THE GUlTER Sects on the proper interpretation of this terrible situation.
As technology makes the world too diverse and complex There h as been talk of moving the Kaa b a (the cubical build·
to deal with, religion and politics have become important ing co nt a ining the black stone given to Abraham by the
stabiliZing factors in many people's lives. 2020's epidemic of Angel Gabriel) . But no clear-cut d eci sion has been reached .
Future Shock has lead many to seek refuge in religion . Reli­ However, the few surviving fund a mentalists wandering
gion a llo ws one to order his or her life and gives the person through the irradiated sands believe that Mecca's near·
an automatic "family" within the church. This influence is destruction is a clear demonstration of God's displeasure .
especially evident in cults and religion-oriented gangs. The They swear to redouble their efforts to do what they believe
other side of the same coin is, th a t as technology moves, will restore His faith in us. The Jihad continues.. .
even religion gets caught in the waves. Many religions of
2020 incorporate societal and technological changes, form­

D"p:e~t~~p~~U~~~~:,~i:m, ~.~
ing new dogmas. Those faiths that can't adapt often split. It
is in these fissures that many of the small cults take root.
Religion in America as found within Home of the Brave many
(pg . 33) covers most of the major religions and even a few people in the western hemisphere practice &
fringe groups . Included below are additional religions and Voodoo a nd related religions, such as Sante­
some updated notes to tie some of the previously explained ria. Although Voodoo and Sante ria are based in Brazil,
gro ups more closely to the Street. other South American states and e ven Mrica , it<; influences

Q*
can be felt in modern cities around the world. These faiths
a re o ften based on concept<; of a spirit world controlling var·
ious aspects of nature and humanity . Ritual dances allow
Islam believers to ascend into a state fro m which Voodoo spirits
Islam has spread rapidly through many may enter and take over the dancer's body. Once contact­
Ameckan dU". Howevec, it ,""ently faw a ed, these spirits are asked to perform services for their fo\­
serious theological guestion which reaches to lowers, in the form of spells . As popularized in flat-reel
~ .~~ ~ ~~~~~.~ ~ ~.~. ~ • • • • a • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •• • • • • • a ~ .

WILDSIDE

films, Voodoo spells often include various curses, from mild eEvery known Satanist sect has declared
sickness to death, along with potions for love and mind con­ war on the Coalition Against the Satanic Fel­
trol. These spells are also often cast by use of simple animal lowship of the Gods (CASFG, see Home of/he
sacrifices or the use of symbolic representations (like dolls, Bravepg. 35). While the CASFG sees "Satanism"
etc.) . as any type of evil, Satanist~just don't like groups
Voodoo's iconistic system and relative lack of writings that take pride in trying to wipe out their hard-earned lifestyle. A
makes it an ideal religion in the new age of the Net. Further­ player group might be caught in-between these groups, trying to
more, Voodoo practicers see interesting parallels between stay alive or protect others. A particularly weird group could
their teaching and the modern world. They argue that jack­ chose sides, but neither of these religions exudes authority.
ing into the Net (thereby dislodging the focus of one's con­
sciousness) is similar to the practice of channelling or

fOU~:!~I~~~~~~~~i.t(~~~: ~d C.:.,]

accepting a spirit into one's body. Modern Voodoo curses


are not cast with dolls, rather the caster merely burns a
memory chip containing a VR simulation of the spell's
effect.
thing made by man which is infinite, and thus it
is proof of mankind's own godhood. The Net is therefore the
Buddhism center of this godhood: it is the divinity and the nativity in one.
The DDI faith preaches that interfacing with the Net is like
Buddhism is not a religion, philosophy or communion with the true self; that thought in pure electronic
psychology. It's all three at once. Based on form is a heavenly or nirvana-like experience. According to
Eastern thought, Buddhism is a troubling con­ DDI, their belief~ are unlike tho~e of any other religion, and
cept for many Westerners since its goal is for the believer to prove all religions wrong, canceling out their external gods-it is
abandon his or her sense of self in the quest for enlighten­ touted as the Ragnarok of "old" religion. In fact, DDI preaches
ment. The basic tenents of Buddhism are: life is a never end­ that it is the next step in man's spiritual evolution. A~ the physi­
ing struggle to achieve the unachievable, contentment can cal world deteriorates, the Net is man's destiny, a sort of
only be achieved by stepping outside the concept of self, advanced existence. By embracing the Net now, while there is
and removing one's concept of self can only be accom­ still an Earth, one accept~ and knows the way of the universe-it
plished by following the eight practicc:s (such as mediation, is Godlike.
focusing one's attention on seeking enlightenment and Not to be outdone by the old religions, DDI ha~ established
purity of thought). Buddhism also preaches non-violence, Deus, an entity in the Net claiming to be a divine entity. There
hence most cyberpunks aren't Buddhists. However, many has been trouble in paradise recently. Markus Manigault,
Americans are becoming Buddhists. In addition, the influx founder of the ideas behind Digital Divinity, wa~ ousted from
ofJainists from India and the popularity of Zen philosophy the CEO position by his long-time rival Dwight Fray in a board­
has made Buddhism a new religious trend in the U.S. room battle for control ofthe corporate church.
Buddhist~ have a fascination with the Net, which they Today, Digital Divinity is a sensation, the "in vogue" reli­
see as an ideal setting for intense exploration of thought; gion, with it~ following growing every day. Since it is such a
their own electronic equivalent of the Buddha's tree. In remarkably multi-faceted phenomenon, with technological,
2020, many Buddhists meditate by indulging in direction­ philosophical and religious implications, it is perfectly suited to
less exploration of the Net. They believe that this act repre­ it~ age . It is the perfect blend of spirituality and technology,
sents a temporary denial of selfwithin the "oneness" of the wrapped in a marketable, multi-media package. DDI is ba~ed in
Net. San Francisco, and therefore it~ sphere of influence is primarily
North America.

It
Samn;,m
ha.~
;~n~~~~~~e:;on to the U.S.
been practiced in numerous locations
~
~ The Reall"'~~~~::IY ,mali cellglon II""
for years. Satanic worship is more of a rejec­ based on tightly connected small churches
tion of, or opposition to, Christianity than teaching of spread among many of the more technically
another dogma . In modern times, this faith has been advanced cities. Realist~ have one uniting doctrine: they all
espoused by both Boostergangs and Rockerboys. However, believe that the reality everyone takes for granted is actually a
no notable central church has ever been formed. Thus, huge, perfect Virtual Reality simulation and the "real" universe
most worshipers meet together in small cadres, each with is something entirely different. Realist sect~ are divided on
their own separate variation of Satanism. what exactly the "real" universe is, but many believe that all the

J&l WILDSIDE
.:.:. :...
:% .• ~. ,,:

religion's members are actually gods who are bored with their er their strength in their respective home states and spread
never-ending existence and have created this simulation just to their ideologies inter-state. Also, the national political parties
pass the time. can do united what the individual sta te groups can't do
alone, such as start media networks or influence Presidential
policy.
Malism The following are explanations of the largest of some
three hundred American politica l parties; the ones that make
Malism is a religion based on the concept the evening Screamshee l~ regularly.
that the world is perpetually evil. Everything is
evil. Humans were born in sin,live in sin and die ""31I1:!~:!!:::L.
in sin. In Mal ism, there is no redemption, no savior and no
afterlife. The Malist theology is steadfast in its perception of
The Big Two RepjJlicans and
the inherent evil of this universe to the extent that they actually
pray for Armageddon to end the suffering. Ironically, this reli­
Democrats
gion is most widely accepted in Europe, although some splin­ The Republicans a nd Democrats parties are the
ter groups have made it to America. These sects embrace dinosaurs of old, still ever-present in federal issues. Howev­
Nihilist gang members and desperate street scum. er, on the state level their names are usually a little less than
media-labels. Republicans in some states experiment with
Socialist theories, while the Democral~ of Texas are staunch ­
ly anti-gun control.

The Helix Party


Th e Helix P a rty's motto is "Superior Leadership
Though Superior Genetics." This group makes no secret of
its intent. The Helix party wishes to rid the U.S. of "prob­
lem" elemenl~ by the use of genetic cleansing. Rumor has it
th a t the Helix p a rty has offered several million dollars to the
geneticist who can produce a sterilization virus that will
avoid the "genetically pure. " Helix defines purity not only as
a function of being Caucasian, but also as meeting certain
minimal physical and mental standards. Amusingly, a recent
Net 54 piece exposed the fact that 71 % of registered Helix
supporters fail to make the grade. Helix has yet to achieve
much power in the federal government, with the exception
of minor positions in the National Institute of Health.

1lE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE


In a society where life seems almost completely arbitrary,
The United Sectarians
some individuals seek to extend their influence by joining In 2020 America , the righteous have to stick together.
grassroots political groups, terrorist cadres and even the No major religion has survived this modern era without
national government. These activities help a person to center some critical challenge to its dogma . God made man in his
themselves in a fashion similar to ide ntifying with a particular image? Cybernetics can make you better . What's worse ,
religion. In addition, political life can bring materi al rewards. every possible solution could cause a
fissure within the
Political positi o ns can mean power, fam e and wealth, or just a group itself. Religious leaders are con stantly forced to walk
lot of paper work . It all depends on how one plays their hand . a tightrope between accommodating new ideas and keeping
In 2020, the real political power is based in the states. more staunch members. Forty years ago, the Church was
Correspondingly, national politics is widely fragmented. The only up against drugs and rock 'n roll. Now, people are
basic political party molds itself to the particular interests of beginning to worship the Net. Its getting harder and harder
its resident state. Occasionally, these individual state groups for a few bibles to compete with electronically spun realities.
will unite with their out of state counterparls (or at least mar­ These common problems have brought former theolog­
ginally similar groups) and form nation a l political p a rties . ical adversaries together in the enterprise of retaining some

...... ... ....


These national parties attempt to use federal power to boost-
~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ .... ~ ~ .... .... ..
faith in the world. Members from over seventy different
•..• ...... •... . ...••..•••.. . •.... •.... ~ ~ ~ .•. ... •....
WIlDSIDE.
"....."
,~ (: :...«--..,0 :
-f'

Protestant sects, representatives from the Catholic Church,


the National Hasidim College and the United Islamic
The Independent Party
League have joined in one political party, the United Sectar­ Commonly referred to as the "People Party", the Indepen­
ians. Their agenda: political subsidies for religion and cer­ dent Party began in 2008, during the political reorganization
tain ethical restraints on the spread of technology. period. The founders of the Independent party decided the
reorganization was a perfect time to dra')tically change the direc­
tion of the American political system. They saw the problem and
The Neo-Monarchists saw the solution, a new national political party to end the politi­
cal gridlock. Using a combination of resources, the People Party
Citing the never-ending gridlock inherent to democra­ created a media and political empire to advertise their agenda.
cy, Neo-Monarchists rally around the concept of returning Sparing no expense, the People Party hired the brightest stars
to a monarchy. Supported by historians, political scientists and media personalities to act as political Facemen. However,
and sociologists, the Neo-Monarchists suggest that a benign they quickly found out that while the public may allow their prob­
monarchy can be sustained by psychological testing, genetic lems to be reduced to sound bytes, solutions must have more
planning and sensitivity training. Because the group's final meaning. The votes are still coming in, but with each election
goal is far from being accepted by the general public, the the party is being increasingly challenged to produce result').
Neo-Monarchists work towards re-establishing a strong The Independent Party is now suffering from a schism simi­
executive branch as an intermediate step. lar to what it had previously caused in the Republican and
Democratic Parties. In the ensuing chaos, the Party has been
largely paralyzed .
The New Federalists
The New Federalist'), allies of the Neo-Monarchist." wish
to re-establish the sovereignty of the Federal Government.
The Constitutionalists
This group sees most of America's problems stemming from The Constitutionalists are radical libertarians willing to
its lack of central decision making. They believe that with a fight and die for individual freedoms and self-autonomy.
strong centralized power, the U.S. can attain its former This party sometimes act') as the voice for existing free states
gra ndeur and reassert its influence over the rest of the and encourages other states to take the same route. The
world. The New Federalists recruit their members from cor­ Constitutionalists' name is not a reference to the suspended
porate stock, usually attracting those who grew up hearing federal charter,. It is a nickname that the group earned by it')
about the American 20th Century. The New Federalists have continuing practice of helping or forcing states to change
almost no support in the "free states" and only slightly more their state constitutions by incorporating certain protections
in the other states. This group's power base comes from for individuals . This group has been known to start actual
their ground-up approach to the bureaucracy. Many New armed rebellions against state legislatures that don't cooper­
Federalists are career politicrats; joining the individual ate. These practices put the Constitutionalists at odds with
agencies on the ground floor and through years of work the powerful, corporate-backed One World Party and the
moving into positions of power. federal government it')elf.
Critics of this party point to their open-ended protection
of civil liberties. For example, some Constitutionalists want
The One World Party to make all information in the Net public access, which
would destroy all of its commercial value . They also want
The One World Party (also called "Simons") are the unfettered access to cyberware (cyberpsychosis notwith­
graduates of the elite business schools around the U.S. standing) .
Their guiding principal is business doesn't stop at the bor­
der. Strongly internationalist and pro-corporation, this
political group advocates an international free market.
Simons don't make good media images; most Americans
The Humanity Party
don't trust people who use words like "Kensyan Marketing The Humanity Party is the closest thing to a party for the
Heuristics" and who actually wear bowties. However, what homeless there has ever been. It hasn't really won any major
the One World Party lacks in votes, it makes up for in politi­ victories, but in the political world its known as a perpetual
cal appointments. Simons are indispensable to the modern photo-op. Just about any political party can temporarily
workings of the cabinet and remaining bureaucracy, boost it'> popularity ratings by appointing a Humanity mem­
because elected officials realize it still takes people who use ber Dog Catcher. Despite these failings, th e Humanity Party
words like "Kensyan Marketing Heuristics" to run the does occasionally manage to squeak some supplies down to
ground floor operations of governmen t. Nomad families in need.

JIl WILOSIOE

Gaia's Guardians APPENDIX C:


Founded by the sUlvivors of the Two Year Agriwar (from 1994
1996, the Corps clashed with conservationists for control of protect­
ed lands), this group is fiercely protective of the environment. They
STREETSLANG
Cyberpunks live in cynical times. The influence ofintema­
have connections with Europe's 3000 and other "green" groups tionalism and the peIVasion of technology in all facet~ of everyday
throughout America. This grou p is so radical that its pol itical section life have created new expressions for new idea~. Foreign words,
is considered the fringe group. Openly supportive of Eco-terrorism, technical jargon and general callousness are the earmarks of
Gaia's Guardians constantly battle with the One World Party. Their 2020's slang.
greatest sphere of influence is the Free State of Northern California.
2020 Hindsight The wise act of watching your back.

Alien Derogatory earther term for someone who

The V~d of the Protectorate Bennie


lives in space (a highrider).

An out-of-towner (see Gaijin).

The Vanguard is the strongest of the Communist political par­ Boga Vogue, that which is in-fashion (from the

ties drawing partial support from the Wyoming Senators. The Van­ Spanish).

guard has had little success pushing its agenda: conversion of the Bourgie or Common, low c1a<;.~ (adj., from bourgeoisie).

U.S. to a Communist political, economic and social system. Instead, Bourgy


the Vanguard is a constant dissenter. Any elected member of this Brain Potato A Braindance addict.

party given a chance to speak turns a simple introduction into a Bridge & Commuters.

twenty minute speech on the faults of capitalism. Reminiscent of the Tunnel Crowd
Russians at the height of the Cold War, the Vanguard often uses Chop Acredchip.

KGB-style intimidation techniques. These forty-year-old methods are Chopping The process of cracking a stolen credchip.

seriously outdated and often result in the unopposed arrest of the Chunking Eating on the run, eating a~ a secondary activity.

participating members. Corpse A Corporate, an executive, a CORPorate

Sleaziness Expert.

Culture-Vulture A Media.

C-YA Used a~ and sounds like "seeya," stands for

APPENDIX 8: REFERENCE Cylon


"Cover Your A<;.~."

Corporate security officers.

MATERIAL
Below is a partial list of sources for Fixers. the Street.
Deckhead
Dirty
A Netrunner.

Low-tech (derogatory)-pencils, paper,

and other things from the Wildside. walking, etc.

Downtime Free time, time off the job (also Freetime and

Passtime).

Films&TV Doughboy/girl Someone who is wearing too much armor (an

SP20 overcoat in July).

The Fixer, Catch 22, operation Petticoat, The Third Man, Lethal Draga Expensive (from the Hungarian).

Weapon 2 (for Joe Pesci), Goodfellas (for Mobsters), the Godfather Edgezone A strip, a gray area, an area of potential cool­

series (for Mobsters), Casablanca (for Owners), Wall Street (for Fac­ ness; Dinford's Edgezone Hypothesis defines

tors), Deep space Nine (for the character Quark, a Fixer through and an Edgezone a~ the area between two other

through), Other People's Money (for Factors), the Grifters (for Con area~ that touch.

Men), the Sting (for Con Men), Sneakers (for Prowlers), Dr. Detroit (for Facemman A sub-Fixer in the employ of a boss-Fixer, sup­

Managers/Agent~), Reserooir Dogs (for Mobsters). Most of John porting the bo.<;.~' network.

Woo's Hong Kong Gangster films have a Fixer a~ main or supporting Fodder Fixer term for Solos.

character, with plot~ involving deals gone sour (and what to do about Gaijin Derogatory term for an alien, and out~ider

it) . (from the Japanese).

Gato A smooth operator, a cool person - also a

Fixer (from the Spanish).

Novels & Comics Gewalt


Gibson
Violence (from the German).

Someone who tells the future, a psychic.

The first few chapters of Neuromancer, Hardwired, the 'When Giri Honor, duty, obligation (from the Japanese).

Gravity Fails 'series, Clavell's King Rat, Alongside Night (for the Ago­ Gomi Junk (from theJapanese).

ras), Crygender, Crying Freeman (a translated Japanese comic), Sanc­ Gonk An idiot, fool, schmuck.

tuary (another translated manga). Hard A flattering term, like cool, hip, def, tough, etc.

WILDSIDE
......:.:.:.:.::...:.:..:.: ;.;: : . : .: ;. : .: . : .:: . : .: . ~ :. :.:.::.:.:.:.::.:.:. :.:.:.:.':': :.::.:.:.:::: ;.:..:.:.;.:.. :.:....; .....................:.:.:.: ..:.:.:.:....:.....:.:... :.: :.: . :~ ..:.:.:.:..:....

Hexed Having cyberpsychosis - also, being obseS(>ed


eree and the players are in the CyberjJUnk mind set. Atmos­
with the Net.
phere is the key. As a Referee, Atmosphere will help you and
Hotmd-Tipping Popular street practice of ambushing and
your players get into this attitude. The List is by no means com­
reprogramming police robohounds.
pletely comprehensive and a') always the Referee's imagination
Indie Independent, underground, self-employed.
should guide the game.
lnfoBro An information broker.

Jack Money (see Scratch)


(1) Setup: (Describe this list to the players at the beginning of
Kleptoid Thief, Prowler.
the game).
Metalhead Someone whose whole body is mechanical­
~ Date (Year, Month, Date, Day ofthe Week, Time (at
a Full 'Borg.
beginning) ,Wea ther.)
Mob (the) Organized crime, any organized crime syndicate.
~ Broad Location (the Strip", A city-perhaps, specify State,
Mr. Who AJso 'The Who," a name for an employer or
the Combat Zone, the geographical area when in other,
person of higher authority.
less familiar countries)
Mushi Computer glitch (from theJapanese for "bug").

Neh? An expression which means, "Right?" (from


(2) Getting Between the Scenes: (When interesting or the trip

theJapanese) .
is relatively long, describe the following:)

Organitskaya The Ruo;sian Mob.


~ Mode of transportation (Cab, Planes, driving etc.)

Paranoid Someone who ha') all the fucts.


~ Elapse or changes in the Setup

Porky Someone who loves or collect') weapons (from


~ Random Encounters*

"porcupine") .
~ Problems that may arise from tranportation- Traffic*,

Proles The lower cIa'>.'), street')cum.


Breakdowns*, Random Event')*
Ram Personality (from the computerjargon, RAM) .

Recycling Environment-friendly act of killing someone


(3) The Scenes: (Describe to players at every new important
and taking the corpse to a body bank.
location or where necessa ry)
RealityJtmkies Addict') ofVirtual Reality, Braindance, the
~ Any changes in the Setup
Net, or video games.
SIGHT
Rimbo A gun-toting sex kitten (a rambo/bimbo).
~ More
Specific location descriptions. If indoors, describe
Sardine A Powered Armor Trooper.
dimensions, decor and occupant". If in the City, describe
Scratch Money (seeJack).
Video Screens & TVs*, Genre Atmosphere "', Cultural land
Skeleton All the collected electronic records kept on a
marks (Churches in religious area'), etc.).
person; their electronic identity.
~ City
People, RandomJunk*, etc.
Straphangers Commuters.
~ Other
atmosphere m ay be necessary depending on the
Svoluch Someone without honor, without Gin, a
location (for example, desert - sand and lot" of sunlight
ba')tard (from the Russian).
or the sewers - muck up to your waist, little visible light
The Metro The underground.
except through grates and man-holes, etc.).
Tip A token credchip.
~ Cybervision (seeing beyond the normal senses due to
TmCan A sui t of Powered Armor.
cyber-enhancement'»)
'Throwbacks Exotics.
SMELL
Yono A person who is scum, lowlife (from the
~ Any
particularly strong smells (Sewers, Dead People,
Korean, Yonomosekz).
Rotten Foods, etc.)
Vidiot A Virtual Reality or video game addict.
HEARING

VRcade Virtual Reality, Braindance, and vid-game


~ Noise: Random Noise generator*

arcade or parlor.
~ Music (Technoise*)

~ Differences in Language (or dialect,»), Culture*, etc.

~ Cyberaudio (hearing beyond the normal audio range of

APP9I)IXD: humans due to enhancement'»)


TASTE
~ Distinguish between kibble, scop and real food. (If you do
ATMOSPI£RE TABI ES
Chromed nights and neon lights, that's what good

this more often,players will actually try and buy real food)
FEELING
Cyberpun~ games are made of....
~ Exhaustion,
nervous shakes, alcohol / drug-induced
reactions, Claustrophobia, the "denseness" and quality of
CyberjJUnk is a unique genre. It is not just guys with guns the air, etc.
who happen to have part') of their bodies replaced wi th cyber­ * Indicates that the subject mate rial is explicitly covered within
netic.'). Its a mood ...an attitude. In a good game, both the ref­ Wildside.

-"t WILDSIDE

. .• .. r:.;: . . . . .. .. ••• ~. . ••.. ..

The Urban Milieu A Hot Night in the City Tonight


Below is a list of elements of modern life that a Cyberpunk Here's a list (or a random table if you want) of things that
character will encounter while in a city, particularly while on can happen to a city which may either mess up things for the
The Strip. players or give them a great opportunity a t something.

1. Neon- In Cyberpunk, you just can't have too many 1. Riot, Protests or Rants
neon lights. 2. Really Bad Weather- such as Monsoons, Thunder­
2. Solar panels-On every roof and windowsill, even on car storms, Earthquakes, and Tornadoes.
roofs. 3. Big Fires
3. Steam-Billowing from rooftop vents and rising from 4. Parades (Arasaka Appreciation Dayl?l)
grates in the street (or any other type of obfuscation, 5. Power outages and mass public technology failures
such as fog, cigarette smoke or smog). (perhaps a section of the Net, god forbid I).
4. Video screens-Advertising boards, commercial airships, 6. Spontaneous concerts or demonstrations
computer screens and TVs everywhere. 7. Drag Races- Usually at night, but one never knows...
5. Claustrophobia-Taking the form of crowds, sleeping 8. Gang recruitment drives and raves
coffins and traffic. 9. Corporation-sponsored events (Large street demos of
6. Internationalism-Everything comes from somewhere, new products and even an occasional ha nd-out or sneak
why not somewhere else? preview)
7. Brand Names-It's a corporate world and everything is 10. Street performances and Soap-Box Orators
copyrighted. New names are becoming increasingly
scarce as ideas are recycled for the umpteenth time. 'I
Can't Believe Its Not FruitJuicel™'
8. Squalor-From dirt to grease, rust, or garbage, and those
Things That Go Bump In the
who have to live in it. Cyberpunk ain't tidy.
9. Hyperactivity-Focused and unfocused energy formed
Night City
from desperation, always one nanosecond away from Use this random noise generator any time the action get'>
lashing out. slow; it's designed to depict one of the more annoying facet'>
10. Technology-"It's the technology, stupidl" That's been of city life. Wait for one of the pl ayers to start talking to anoth­
our motto. er, and then abruptly interrupt him with .. .

1. "Vroomill" An AV passes overhead.


Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel 2. "Honk I HONKIII Screeech - Crashl" Player's witness a
nearby traffic accident.
Below is a quick random chart of junk or garbage a 3. "Meow - Clatterl" Alley cat'> foraging around in some
cyberpunk character might encounter-this stuff gets in trash cans.
everything, from cracks in the sidewalks to the glove compart­ 4. "Bang, Bang, Bangl" A drive by shooting offin the
ment of your car. distance.
5. "Aaaaaaaa ..." Someone falling off a building, either from
1. A small TV with the screen smashed in. jumping or being pushed .
2. A half eaten bag of Kibble. 6. "Eeeeeeeki Help, Helpl" Someone in distress, yelling
3. A soda can loudly.
4. Used drug paraphernalia 7. "@$*%#&III" An argument between two street
5. A corpse vendors - the volume and cursing knows no bounds.
6. A discarded screa msheet. 8. "Boom-Shaka-Laka-Boom" A nearby chromer with a
7. A few old brass cartridge ca'>ings. suitcase-sized boom box.
8. A fast food wrapper. 9 . "Ahwoooo .. . Ahwoooo .. ." A police car whines by.
9. A wad of chewing gun . 1O. "THEJETSETTER EXECUTfVE BRIEFCASE from
10. A burnt out data chip. ARASAKA.. .CARRY 0 UT YOUR BUSINESS WITH
STYLE AND SECURItY ..." A videoboard advertisement
with audio on maximum.

WILDSIDE
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