Interface 0.6:

The Dark Future of RMSS

Copyright Michael A. Bott, 1999

The last issue of Interface introduced the Criminologist, a 'Thief' of the world of Cyberspace. He marked the third in my series of professions. With these three professions, a number of interesting character concepts can arise. A couple of things are still missing from character creation, however: Adolescence and Training Packages.

I will begin remedying the lack of Adolescence in this issue. I will also be providing a few Training Packages in the future.

A reader recently suggested to me that I procure a copy of "Black Ops," an RMSS expansion focusing on mercenary operations around the world. There is some excellent source material in this book, from professions to adolescence skill sets to training packages. In addition, there are some great descriptions of various government agencies and of global hotspots. Seasoned to taste with the proper amount of cybernetics, drugs, and computers, this book can prove invaluable even if you are merely looking for character concepts.

Suggestions for and contributions to Interface are always welcome--and encouraged. Feel free to e-mail me at mbott@mortis.diabolic.org.

We've got a live wire. Time to deck.


Making it Happen:

The Sprawl Dwellers

"Freezin', rests his head on a pillow made of concrete, again

Oh, feelin' maybe he'll see a little better set of days, ooh yeah"

-Pearl Jam, Evenflow

CULTURE DOSSIER: Lower Sprawler

A.k.a. Gutter Rat, Unwashed Masses

Profile:

Lower Sprawl dwellers are the people who are unlucky enough to be direct descendants of people who lost all hold on any semblance of a middle class over 75 years ago. Market pressures and corporate expansion in the early 2000s, coupled with runaway urban growth through the late 1900s and early 2000s resulted in an expansive population of underprivileged sprawl dwellers. When federal welfare was finally abolished in 2055, the states were forced to pick up the slack. Many families were under the state's radar.

A sort of Urban Jungle dweller, the young Lower Sprawler knows the ins and outs of the street culture of his sprawl. He is extremely streetwise, and normally a bit tougher than your average child. He can scavenge meals, sleep anywhere, and knows where to go after dark. His education is undoubtedly compromised, and his opportunities to live the good life are probably one one-hundredth what they were 75 years ago.

Professions Allowed: All.

Language: Starting Languages: Gutterspeak (S7), Local Language (S7/W4), English (S4/W4), Euro (S4/W4), Japanese (S3).

Special Skills: Everyman: All Urban skills. Restricted: None.

Skill and Category

Ranks

Artistic * Active

0

Artistic * Passive

0

Athletic * Brawn

0

Athletic * Endurance

2

Athletic * Gymnastics

1

Athletic * Gymnastics: Climbing

1

Awareness * Perceptions: Alertness

1

Awareness * Searching

1

Awareness * Senses

0

Body Development

3

Communications

6

Languages

9

Influence

1

Knowledge * General

3

Region Knowledge (Own)

3

Culture Knowledge (Own)

3

Knowledge Category (Choice)

2

Knowledge Skills (Choice)

1

MA (Choice)

2

Outdoor * Animal

0

Outdoor * Environmental

1

Outdoor * Environ: Survival-Sprawl

1

Science/Analytic Categories (choice)

2

Science/Analytic Skills (choice)

1

Subterfuge * Stealth

2

Subterfuge * Stealth: Stalk

0

Subterfuge * Stealth: Hide

1

Technical/Trade * General

3

Technical/Trade * Professional

0

Technical/Trade * Vocational

2

Urban

4

Urban Skills (choice)

4

Weapon Skill Category (choice)

2

Weapon Skill (choice)

1

Hobby Ranks

12

Background Options

6

Talent Points (for Talent Law)

55

Making it Happen:

Character Concepts

Now that there is a culture package to round out your profession choices, I can spawn some ideas for character concepts and background information for your characters.

Corporate Experiment (profession Armsman | Criminologist, culture LSprawler) {

One of my favorite and most successful concepts has been the Corporate Experiment. Militant and fringe Zaibatsu are constantly combing the Sprawls for people who fit the following profile: a) They won't be missed. b) They are unique in some ability or physical characteristic that can be used in an experimental gray or black operations team for the corporation. This is a perfect way to pull a party together while maintaining a tense energy of slight distrust between PCs. The enterprising zaibatsu can either recruit nicely or just kidnap people who fit the above profile.

}

Sprawlgang Member (profession Armsman | Administrator | Criminologist, culture LSprawler) {

Sadly, some members of the lower society end up in a place where they feel like they fit in. A place that purports to give them refuge from the pain of everyday Sprawl life. Sprawlgangs actively recruit and promote in a cycle that sociologists have studied for a century. Anyone is welcome in a Sprawlgang, but it's often pretty hard to get out. Sprawlgangs are involved in various organized criminal disciplines, including illegal drug trafficking, illegal weapon trafficking, illegal tech trafficking, prostitution (though legal in certain Sprawlzones, prostitution still has connections with a criminal element in most states), racketeering, vandalism, and random (or occasionally calculated) acts of violence.

}

Law Enforcement (profession Armsman | Criminologist, culture LSprawler) {

On the other side of the law (hopefully), we have the ever-expanding field of law enforcement. In the early 2020s, state, county, and local police forces increased funding as federal funding and personnel were withdrawn. In the early 2030s, a number of corporations capitalized on this trend by privatizing the training, equipment, and prison services. This was just what the industry needed. By 2040, almost 100% of U.S. police forces were supplied and trained by private security megacorps. In addition, because public funding was no longer "required" for certain aspects of law enforcement, the money could be redirected. This resulted in paramilitary training and equipment for both public and private law enforcement and security. Prisons were managed expertly, and increased funding to private prison firms led them to construct a number of "free prisons" on United States soil.

}

Coming Soon

I am now working on this conversion full time, due to popular demand by a fairly large group of gamers. As a result, we should see more material per column (since I need to prepare for my own game now!). In the next column, expect a cybernetics system, complete with I/O, psychological and physiological effects, surgery rules, and a little tech-fiction to round the whole thing out.

Until next time.


Editor's Note:

Post your comments on this article on the RMSS Discussion Board.