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One of the groups I am Gming will hire a hacker NPC to help them in a run.
-they actually need an extra player, but that is not possible at the moment-

There are three players in that group: an ork sammy with wolverine claws, an egyptian sorcerer following Anubis and a japanese elf with a katana, they always run with a weapon specialist NPC loosely based in the archetype from SR4. So, no hardware skill, no hacking, no drones and virtually no B&E skills sans infiltration and spells; a simple maglock would stop them cold or make them blast through it. The characters just decided they needed a hacker for subtler runs.

Fact is I have currently no good ideas for the hacker NPC, and as it might probably become a recurrent NPC in that group I don't want to make a lousy one.

So, maybe you could jump in and gimme ideas, stats or whatever... I was thinking japanese girl because one of the characters is japanese and has a hacker friend as a contact who hasn't appeared yet.

more needless info here:
[ Spoiler ]

Cheers, Max
or they could just buy an agent, and get about 90% of the utility of a hacker without having to pay it =P

they could then just hire a meat hacker if they ever need it wink.gif

in any event, for any hacker that's going to be equivalent to a chargen hacker, just give them a commlink with response 5, system and firewall 6, and all programs at either 5 or 6 (they will run at 5 until a better response chip is obtained).

for physical tasks (ie the hardware skill) simply get someone a hardware skillsoft.
The nice thing about writing up NPCs in situations like this is that you don't have to bother with too much min-maxing, since the last thing you want to do is have your NPCs constantly stealing the spotlight (which becomes a real risk when you start to approach an even ratio of PC to NPC runners). You can just take the character, make them good at what they need to be and just flat out ignore such things as BP->KP ratio and other metagaming considerations that rule geeks (like me cyber.gif ) get bent out of shape over.

Here's an example sheet for ya, although it probably has too many resources/skills if you are being literal and this Japanese girl is in the 16 to very early 20's range. In that case you may want to rein the resources in a bit and give her a heavier emphasis on Edge and pure hacking instead.

God, I have waaay too much free time.

[ Spoiler ]

One alternative I'd like to suggest, however, is to embrace the lousiness and stick the poor, unsuspecting PCs with a revolving cast of skilled but flakey hackers rather than one fully fleshed character you'd like to develop and keep alive. One week the fixer sticks the PCs with a guy with Badluck and Gremlins: 3, the next week they audition a guy who turns out to have recently developed a severe BTL addiction or some wimp with Low Pain Tolerance AND Combat paralysis. The nice thing is you wouldn't even have to do much to stat the guys out other than give them the Electronics/Cracking groups, some nice programs and then just swap around the flaws. Sometimes playing caricatures is a lot easier than making a solid single character, and it could also give your players a sense of accomplishment as they gain karma and start having the street cred to attract -real- hackers to the fold instead of trying to get by with posers.
Thanks for the suggestions so far.

I think I forgot to mention that the most important concept that I don't have is the look and personality of the NPC. I tend to think about games like some people would think about making a movie. I haven't got a good idea for the hacker so far.

@whipstitch, thank you very much for the stats provided. That character looks like a professional shadowrunner. The GMC bulldog would be a nice addition to the group, and the criminal sin flaw could come handy later on... devil.gif

What do you think she looks like? What about personality? I am really out of ideas these days. Maybe I am studying and working too much.

To the rest of the world: I am still open to other suggestions... be my guest


A quick list of distinctive personality traits I've used/people I've known

a) Extremely organized, likes plans made in great detail, at least what she is supposed to do part. Apartment and workshop full of carefully sorted stuff in labeled containers.
b) Hangs around with bikers and other scum who treat her like dirt.
c) Always late and relies on her charm to deal with it.
d) Never admits that they are over their head, always acts like they've just about got the problem licked even when they don't have a prayer.
e) Always taking apart and rebuilding stuff. Usually the stuff that is needed today is what is laying in pieces on the shop floor and she just needs a "few more hours to get working perfectly". But nothing ever breaks in action.
f) Drinks too much and gets in fights.
g) Feminazi
h) Follower, won't make an independent decision that isn't covered by the plan or SOP.
i) Lazy/undependable. "Forgets" to do jobs that are boring or interfere with other plans.
j) Always cheery and upbeat, even when everyone is bleeding and down to their last magazine.

You have to know someone whose personality you can bend/exaggerate a bit to make an interesting or infuriating NPC.
One of them could buy Skillwires and some hacking skillsofts.
I noticed I forgot to remove an extra and incorrect list of active and knowledge skills from the original post I made. The character IS legal, but in order to be so, I had to remove a handful of specializations to net some more gear/contacts that I used for some last minute tweaks. I removed the incorrect stuff so everything should be kosher now.

Looks wise, I imagine the character as being a rather petite (strength 2 japanese woman, after all) and probably (at least) in her mid to late 20s, since she's got a lot of nice gear and is already pretty accomplished in her specialty. Caricatures are easy to run with, so perhaps she could be a former employee of a smaller zaibatsu style megacorp that got devoured by one of the big boys in a hostile takeover. Emphasize neatness, a strong work ethic and a tendency to quietly avoid the first member of the group to slack or whine about anything. If you play it right, she should be extremely pleasant much of the time, to the point where it may even take a while for any "whiners" in the group to realize she's treating them like a child. Have her loyalties lie with the PC she knows or perhaps the team's fixer; she'd likely feel obligated to finish what she's started that way, even if none of the PCs quite seem to meet her standards.
Thanks, I'll tell you how it came out. BTW: handle? As it is your character you can have the privilege of giving her a shadow name...



PS: I am starting to come up with other ideas as well, It seems like this thread has really worked as inspiration.
A handful of hackers from WakkaPast:

Mr Fuchi

Mr. Fuchi's the go-to guy for all things Fuchi. He knows their code, he knows their protocols, he knows all their cutting-edge prototypes ... trouble is, Fuchi's been gone for over a decade. Worse, Mr Fuchi got hit a year before they went under with experimental psychotropic IC. Now, he has an insatiable urge to buy Fuchi products ... but there's not any left. He's a fairly average hacker, willing to work for pay, but in his element, he's unstopable. He'll identify old Fuchi products that no one else has ever heard of and he'll do a run dirt cheap for Fuchi barter.

The Hammer

Hammer's a scrawny geek, about fifteen years old, full of pimples and devoid of social skills. He's a low-end hacker with a real knack for attack ... the old brute force method of solving problems. He carries a huge grude against people who he thinks treat him badly and is an utter cyber-bully. Good for showing up, mouthing off, and etting cut off for it, but, he can also be used as an ally if you need something brought down rather than delicately stealthed through. He's also an ace Virtual Shooter. His persona is that of a massive Rambo-like soldier, barechested and dripping with overthought machismo, from his stubble beard to his cigar to his rippling muscles to his HUGE heavy machine gun.


Rewind's area of expertise is observation. If it happened on camera, Rewind has access to it. He hacks security cameras in the streets, in stores, newsfeeds, any broadcast anywhere, he wants to see it and, more importantly, be it. He's got a full sensory package built in, allowing him to see, hear, even *taste* the airwaves, a sim recorder, and an unfortunate habit of playing it back. Rewind's a bit of a space case, in a constant state of fugue, unsure of what he's doing now is happening now or if it's happened before and he's just replaying it. Deja Vu, chummer! Needless to say, actually talking to Rewind can give you a headache.

Pretty Polly Starshine

Polly's a teenaged girl who loves rainbows, kittens, and unicorns, tho not neccessarily in that order. She's *totally* down with the new idols (OMG!) and knows all the words to ALL of their songs! She's a total social butterfly, keeping tabs on everbody at Junior High, who's dating who, who's cheating on who, and what the cafeteria doesn't want you to know about lunch. (Ewww!) She loves pink, and ruffles, and getting her nails done.

She's also an Ork.


"Have comm, will hack you" reads the card of a man...

Paladin's a Hacker for Hire, willing to work for anyone if the price is right. His skills are a bit above average, his tech is solidly exceptional, but he doesn't do face to face, only Matrix overwatch. He'll gladly serve as a second hacker or a primary, doing whatever the team does. He seems to have trouble staying put, however, rarely working for he same team more than once.

Paladin is, in fact, a Lone Star officer in an ongoing investigation of the shadows. Shadowrunners with talent and a willingness to play by the rules will have their files moved along to the Lone Star Mr Johnson. Those that live for a bodycount or are excessively damaging get added to a second file, which will be turned over for arresting. He's been at this for almost two years and has three months left before he's to call it quits, hand in his files, and call the investigation over. Thusfar, no one's figured out the truth. Thusfar.

The Red Baron

The Red Baron is in it for kicks, breaking into security just to put up huge banners that he was here, recasting corporate websites in his image, taunting security hackers into dogfights and, overall, just having fun. He makes it a rule to never steal or inflict permenant damage, just get in, cause a ruckus, and get away. He's a headache, but he's never been threat enough for any security firm to really go after him. He's about as clean as hackers get!

So why is it that Mitsuhama has suddenly passed word that there's a 20,000 Y bounty on the Red Baron's capture? Alive and with his comm or no bounty to be given... that's just odd.

Phoenix Crescendo

Philadelphia's own Phoenix Crescendo is an average hacker whose Elven frame was cursed with the magical talent of styrofoam. He's a mageophile of no little knowledge and an utter follower of All Things Erhan, but was driven out of the Tir due to a distant relation to a prince and ... well, long story short, he's moved into his parent's basement and is being forced to suffer a terribly droll existance. He's a program designer by trade who hacks on the side, but, his programs are very "Tir" flavored, being chosen for flash and beauty over efficiency. He's quite miffed when other don't understand that he's an artiste.


Cutter's a dwarf. He understands that the best invisibility spell in the world is a dwarf in a jumpsuit, name tag, and a toolbox. When that doesn't work, he's an ace with an Ares Predator and knowns for being more Samurai than Hacker. Cutter specializes in physical intrusion, being a slightly below-average hacker but an above average fighter known especially for taking a beating and still getting up. Cutter's a bit old fashioned, still using a cyberdeck instead of a commlink and insists on wires, not any of "That newfangled wireless drek." Normally level headed and terse, he's absolutely *terrified* of monkies due to an "Incident" while breaking into an Aztechnology compound. He'll say no more than that.
QUOTE (MaxHunter @ Jul 14 2007, 09:36 AM)
Thanks, I'll tell you how it came out. BTW: handle? As it is your character you can have the privilege of giving her a shadow name...

Heh, I'm no good with names. Hrm... Perhaps Aidoru? Her matrix icon could be a famous 2060's singing idol. And you'd be making a thinly veiled William Gibson reference in the process. Would probably make sense to swap out the Matrix Games interest for Pop Music, in that case. Perhaps her BTL addiction arose from her massive collection of concert dreamchips.
Thanks a lot whipstitch, aidoru it is -idol- I have plans for the runner group to later get into music, so it might turn out right.

@Wakshaani: Loved your ideas, particularly Paladin; I also liked Rewind and The Hammer for encounters' NPC. I have already got a character similar to Cutter, with different quirks but a similar concept. Thanks for sharing!


@whipstitch -

I have just checked aidoru's stats and I believe she's short on knowledge skills; easy fix. Fixed. But maybe it's good that I point out: Int + Logic x3 free skill points is RAW. Maybe you just forgot a few points, but maybe you are making your characters in your games less knowledgeable than needed!


I'm betting I probably went through and assigned the knowledge skills before I factored in the modified logic attribute. My bad.
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