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Musashi Forever
Anyone here ever played an old runner. I mean someone who should be retired, and would be in any other job, but for some reason won't hang up the guns or the mageblade?

I have been inspired to make a character by watching several movies with awesome, and dangerous old men. One of the is Sam Elliot, who I know could kick my ass anytime he wanted to, and the other is Billy Connolley, specifically his role as Il Duce in The Boondock Saints. He's just so cool.

But seriously, these guys are a little past their prime physically, but totally make up for it in slickness, professionalism, and just plain smarts. What kinds of difficulties might an older runner face? What kind of traits would they have that would really flesh out the character?
Lindt
Yep, I run a one shot game every year at Gencon that has the un-retired runners. Its kinda fun.

I tend to add stress points onto things, like structural bioware. Reduce their physical stats a few ticks, but flush their contact list out like no-ones busniess.
Syd
He'll have to overcome bias from Johnsons/fixers/team members. Folks just don't get very old as shadowrunners--they die or they make enough to retire before they get old. As such, NPCs are going to assume he's a has-been or poser. He shouldn't have fantastic physical stats (especially quickness), but his willpower should kick ass.

On the plus side, give him a seude jacket and he could walk into any high-class place he wants to. Not so much for the ork with the shaved head.
Velocity
It also depends on what you mean by "old." Fact is, most runners tend to be hotshots in their 20s and rarely make it to 30 -- the life is just too dangerous. An "old runner" might be barely 40 and still considered over the hill. You shouldn't penalise the physical stats of a 38-year-old runner, but definitely (as Lindt said) flesh out their Contact list and give them a nice fat Karma Pool.
Toptomcat
I think FastJack is about sixty, actually.

As for old PCs, I'm currently playing the last surviving veteran of WWII, the escaped testbed for the Leonization process... a former Waffen-SS colonel. Physically he's about thirty, but mentally he's a hundred and forty.
It's proving to be delightfully twisted.
TheNarrator
I seem to recall that FastJack was born in 1999, making him 71 in the time of SR4. And he's still the baddest decker on Earth, although he might not run as fast in the meat as he used to.

In SR3 I'm currently playing a 45 year-old ex-Marine runner. It's a bit of a contrast from the 20-something characters everyone else is playing, which adds a bit of fun. We made our way across Europe pretending to be a professor and his students. The elf in the party was the most confused... no old people in Tir Tangire, after all.
Feshy
QUOTE (Toptomcat)
I think FastJack is about sixty, actually.

As for old PCs, I'm currently playing the last surviving veteran of WWII, the escaped testbed for the Leonization process... a former Waffen-SS colonel. Physically he's about thirty, but mentally he's a hundred and forty.
It's proving to be delightfully twisted.

I had a similar (but not quite AS old) character who was in his 100's. Also leonized; backstory was he was a wealthy business man who spent his entire fortune on leonization, and as a result of his sudden 60 year decrease in age, was "hung out to dry" by his jealous contacts. As a result, he was forced to turn to shadowrun, and had totally gone "rebellious" in an attempt to recapture his youth -- so he dressed like a freaky goth.

Between the 80 year out-of-date references to "pop culture," the thermographic eyelights (the rigger caught me using these with a drone that was thermo capable, and it was only described by the GM that my eyes where "glowing red-hot"), and the fact that he could summon watchers (and thus, kept tabs on the entire rest of the party at ALL times...), I had a heck of a time. They all believed I was some sort of demon, or at least a vampire.

That's not quite the same as this topic though; as this character's shadow career started only AFTER his old age.
Musashi Forever
Thanks for all of the responses guys.

I am thinking of someone in their mid-fifties, maybe close to 60 (actually, Hartigan from Sin City just came to mind as another influence).

Sounds interesting, I'm just wondering if I can pull it off. cool.gif
Grinder
I play a 40-yeard-old ex-cop, who started running the shadows with 35, after some troubles in his former jobs (Internal Affairs had been after him because of his willingness to accept bribes). He's doing fine, having a long list of contacts and a good handful of useful skills.

I don't see a problem in playing older criminlas, movies like Heat, Ronin or The Usual Suspects are focused around such characters - and they're undoubtly a big influence to SR.

Or simply play an elf wink.gif
brohopcp
For creating a starting character that was old, I'd change a couple things. Knowledge skills Int. X 8-10, contacts doubled and cheaper to buy. But with weaker physical attributes, 'ware' side effects and other problems. Maybe give him some of the old cyberware that's even more obvious than the new synthflesh crap.
Critias
Or, instead of changing the rules, you can just assign yourself lower physical attributes (and take appropriate Flaws alongside it), purchase more Contacts, buy nothing but "old school" basic 'ware selected from the main book (or use the rules for purchased used cyberware, to represent how old it is), and sink active skill points into knowledge skills if you really feel like.

It's perfectly doable with the existing, standard, character creation rules.

Edit to add -- oh, and for another set of "good example" sort of characters, check out the movie Way of the Gun. It's good stuff.
Edward
An old character dose not necessarily have all old wear.

You can upgrade and keep yourself up to date. If you where a runner in the old days you probably have a strange mix of old and new.
For a magical it works easy. A 70 year old mage that spent some effort keeping fit will be just as good physically as a younger man that didnít take the time for his body so he could learn magic faster.

Edward

DocMortand
For inspiration you can always watch Bubba Ho-Tep. biggrin.gif

Have your shadowrunners have powered wheelchairs (of DOOM) and walkers. smile.gif
Teulisch
well, for orks and trolls, 'old' isnt as old as it is for humans. an 'old' human is a young elf or dwarf. but then theres the question of when you goblinized.

orks live 35-45 years. now, thats compared to a 65 for humans... and orks in better developed countries do tend to be poor, with less medical care, if any.

at 35, an ork could be as healthy as any human at 65. that is, either just fine or stone dead of heart failure. trolls are a bit better at 55 years... its still not much.
TheNarrator
I'm just going to note that the average lifetimes of the metahuman subtypes includes deaths by unnatural causes. So all the orks who die young on the streets or get Methuselah Syndrome or are shipped off to Yomi by the Japanese or just plain live in unhealthy squalor in the Barrens might be throwing off the average. (Didn't we have a thread about this, not that long ago?)

But yeah, an ork might get "old" slightly faster than a human. Whereas a 60-something elf might still be young and fit (and I played a 60-something elf once, a spike baby raised by humans who remembered the days of the U.S.A. and wanted nothing to do with Tir Tangire).
Musashi Forever
"Way of the Gun" and "Bubba Ho-Tep" are both movies I love. I guess I should add James Caan, Elvis, and JFK to my list of inspirations.

I wouldn't want to play a dwarf or elf who still looks young, or at least middle-aged. Part of the style is that these guys look old, but still rock.

Anybody ever made a character based on John Wayne? Now that would be sweet!
ShadowDragon8685
Wasen't I the first person to bring this up? With my idea of an old curmudgeonly doctor who was seriously getting on in years and had to start Running because he was caught in the containment zone?
SL James
QUOTE (Critias @ Nov 19 2005, 07:18 AM)
Or, instead of changing the rules, you can just assign yourself lower physical attributes (and take appropriate Flaws alongside it), purchase more Contacts, buy nothing but "old school" basic 'ware selected from the main book (or use the rules for purchased used cyberware, to represent how old it is), and sink active skill points into knowledge skills if you really feel like.

It's perfectly doable with the existing, standard, character creation rules.

Are you kidding? That idea might actually be implementable.
Herald of Verjigorm
I'll just add that an old runner doesn't neccessarily still have a lot of functional contacts. Unless every one of them is an elf with more resources than a great dragon, death will have taken a few off the list.
The Stainless Steel Rat
"There is only one thing you can assume about a broken down old man in this line of business - he's a survivor."

James Caan, "Sarno" - The Way of the Gun

I've got an early fifties Adversary Shaman in my group right now. He's doing a great job of playing the bitter old curmudgeon who has seen his world go right down the toilet. I think it's great to stretch yourself playing characters of all types, genders, and ages.

Also, I guess I'm missing the main purpose of this thread - all the rules are already written to design a character of any age and flesh them out with the appropriate skills, attributes, contacts, etc... Is playing an older character really that alien a concept?

:not thread crapping - just confused:
Herald of Verjigorm
QUOTE (The Stainless Steel Rat @ Nov 20 2005, 01:26 PM)
Is playing an older character really that alien a concept?

No, but people do tend to think that any individual with more life experience than a new ganger-turned-runner should have some actual in game benefit over the newbie.
eidolon
QUOTE (Herald of Verjigorm)
I'll just add that an old runner doesn't neccessarily still have a lot of functional contacts. Unless every one of them is an elf with more resources than a great dragon, death will have taken a few off the list.

It's not as though a person only knows people their age and older, though.


This is a cool idea. I may have to hang up my social adept I was planning and play a grizzled old has-been-wants-to-keep-being or something.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (Herald of Verjigorm)
No, but people do tend to think that any individual with more life experience than a new ganger-turned-runner should have some actual in game benefit over the newbie.

You mean other than the Senior Discount Wednesday at the local Dennys?

[grin/duck/run]
nick012000
Or the Senile Rambling specialization of the Intimidation skill? wink.gif

"We can't break heads like we used to, but we've got our methods. One way's to tell them stories that don't go anywhere..."

(apologies to Grandpa Simpson) wink.gif
Mensche
old runners...every group can benefit from one.
the geezer doesnt worry bout nothin, hes been there ...twice. And if it is sumthin he cant handle, oh well. Hes been waiting for this.
"Come on you pricks, I dont got all fraggin day. SHOOT ME already!"
"Hah! What do you know? A grenade!?"
"Oh....so this is what that tarot reader musta been talking about..."

I find personally find theyre easier and more enjoyable to roleplay as well. They're more action, less talk. Talking gets young people into trouble. When you're roleplaying a youngster, sometimes the knowledge that a player brings to the table seems unrealistic coming out of the PC's mouth. But coming out of a geezers, anything is possible. They're wiser than most.

Lots of other good points mentioned above, too. You dont need a cybermonkey or a street sammy to play a geezer. Contacts and Skills, baby. Magic is a bonus. Plus an old bastard having lots of cred makes more sense than a ganger, honestly.

One of my favorite characters is Fritz, a half drunken 50 yr old German military runaway hiding in Seattle from his dark, crooked past. Hasnt been "home" in ages, made Seattles tough streets and bars his home. Doesnt talk much but is able to rely on outdated cyberware and an FN-HAR to do the talking. Rarely misses in combat, always knows the multiple ways to skin that cat. Running the shadows is all he really knows or cares about. Likes making people suffer.

ElFenrir
I had a character who was sort of modeled a bit after Brisco in Law and Order. Tough old investigator type, didn't take crap, real fun guy. Stayed away from cyber, drove an old ass car, had nothing but his pistol, shotgun, nightstick, lined coat, and his own intelligence and willpower. Not to mention a boatload of contacts and knowledge skills.

Old folks can be a lot of fun I find. Sure they have to get by certain things but it is nice for a change now and again.
DocMortand
Easy way to get the entire group cracking up - start talking about how it was harder back in the good ol days...had to walk uphill to get to the corp you were robbin BOTH WAYS....
hyzmarca
It must be said, so I'll say it.

If you are in peril, call The Equalizer.


OLder characters do tend to kick butt far more than the younger characters. They also tend to act more wisely and cautiously. The only problem is a potential lack of knowledge if the player is too young, but that metagaming problem is always there in some form.
The Stainless Steel Rat
QUOTE (Herald of Verjigorm)
QUOTE (The Stainless Steel Rat @ Nov 20 2005, 01:26 PM)
Is playing an older character really that alien a concept?

No, but people do tend to think that any individual with more life experience than a new ganger-turned-runner should have some actual in game benefit over the newbie.

Yeah - I get you, but realistically you're going to have actual in game dificulties too. Simply pick the right set of Attributes/Skills/Edges/Flaws, and PRESTO! Old Character. Also, in the field where it says "Age" or "DOB", you'll want to adjust that accordingly.
Sahandrian
Only things like this we've had in our games have been an early-40s ork mercenary, a master swordsman based on Pai Mei from Kill Bill 2 (NPC), a spike baby elf in her 80s (NPC and leader of a shamanic group), and of course Foreigner.
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (The Stainless Steel Rat)
I think it's great to stretch yourself playing characters of all types, genders, and ages..

Being an older player (yes, I still remember doing "Duck & Cover" drills in school), I find little challenge playing someone of my generation & tend to lean to the opposite extreme of the scale.

The three best examples::

Kyoto Kid - KK started as a 14 year old runaway street kid with latent adept powers. Though now 20, she still has a teenage outlook on life and the obnoxious mannerisms to match.

Leela Groznek - Leela (who was 18 when I started her) suffered from an emotional disability that was caused by the trauma of the attack which killed her family. This caused her to think, act, and speak like a 12 year old even though she had the equivalent of 4 years tech school education. Leela is the most difficult characters to play, but she makes for some interesting and might I say, rather enjoyable roleplay.

Violet - My newest character is a 16 year old wiz kid scrounge who never experienced a real childhood due to being placed in advanced education programmes since age 4. Now on her own, she often finds herself in scenes where she tries to recapture her lost childhood. This is not so much done with mental or social Flaws as it is thorugh her general personality makeup.
Sahandrian
Leela sounds a lot like Rei, the youngest member of a decking group in our games. Of course, the whole group of them are a bit odd. They require every member to use a street name exactly three letters in length, and the middle letter must be an E. The group currently includes Zem, Ler, Mel, Rei, and Kej, and there used to be two others called Kef and Led.
Kesh
I still want to play an older, cranky street mage who walks with a cane to support his (exaggerated) limp. He plays up the "schoolmaster" mentor, acts as a distraction for the guards, and then lends heavy magical firepower when things go south.

Then chews out the kids for letting things go south. biggrin.gif
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