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I was wondering, when writing a character it is always going to be different psychologies and stories that brought your character to where they are, but if you were to look at the true prime runners, what do you think their psychology would be.

Do they think they are merely tools and soldiers without their own goals who let themselves be used by big corporations to get money?
Do they think that they are specially skilled people that works as "professionally" as possible while supressing their own goals for the sake of the run and the money?
Or do they think they're bigger than that but in fact one of the people that pushes forward the wheels of time?

Perhaps one or all work, but i was wondering what type of character psychological development/realization you guys think prime runners would evolve if you were running them.
let me summarize it like this:

Society is a big machine.People are parts and tools of this machine.Each one uses and is used be someone else. Everybody has his own personal goals, either to move to a better spot in the machine or upgrating him self and/or the machine. So the point is control. You have to control how you use and are used in the machine to get what you want. Morality is onnly an issue if it is one of the goals.

My point is that with the logic given above the prime runner would evolve into someone who is a pragmatist and an autocrat, but with enough brains to hide it. He wouldn't be entirely human in his mind, he would feel distant and somehow appart from the rest of the world but could work with and in it.

Not a very pleasant person to have around.
According to the personality theories of Karl Jung, your personality is pretty much set in stone by the time you're 12 years old. By the time you're 2 years old, 80% of your personality is determined, and by the time you het 12, 98% is set. And it will never change again. Sure, you can pretend you're someone else, and you can be brainwashed to overlay another personality over your own, but nothing short of severe psychological trauma will change your personality.

People don't change when they become runners, it's just that their edges and extermities get more clearly defined through hard experience, which is why runners that have been in the game for a while will seem like very unique individuals compared to how they started out.

Everyone possesses morality in one form or another. And being in a situation where you risk your life for what others consider right, or worth going for, is probably going to test those values quite a bit. People whose morals and values are challenged and questioned for prolongued periods of time, or people who neglect their own set of morals and values will, eventually, feel regretful and counter their previous behavior with extreme surrender to their morals and values.

Only few people can be truly ruthless, and temporarily uncaring about what they think is right, and most people aren't. People forced to do things they do not believe in will most likely try to convince themselves that "it was for the best," or that "there was no other alternative." They start living a fantasy where their sacrifice was ultimately for the good of more than just their lives.
Ronin Soul
I think that attempting to apply a unified psychology over all prime runners would be a big mistake. Runners are first and foremost diverse individuals, each with their own desires, attitudes and ways of handling things. The reasons they became Shadowrunners are equally diverse.

This means that thei is no one psycholgy for Prime Runners IMO. Each of them, based on a number of factors will have reached that position in a variety of ways and after totally different challenges.

I don't think Prime Runners would be that different from ordinary runners. They're simply the best of an already diverse and bizarre bunch.

I know that kind of answer isn't particularly helpful but I do believe that there is no one psychology that can be applied. Or two. Or even three. Each runner is unique, and to apply generalisations, particularly to the most experienced (who could be argued to being more likely to be more diverse in attitudes and perceptions due to a greater range of experiences) just is not doing runners justice.
that's why i said the psychology of YOUR runners./.. i just wanted to know what you had tried to play out as perhaps in character runner, on the rise, or a prime runner yourself if you play all the way up to that high of a level.
Ronin Soul
I think about the two only constants that have come through in the psychology of player run Shadowrunners have been paranoia and obsession.

Paranoia is an obvious one. Shadowrunning is a career where you make enemies all the time, where you might be screwed over by any of your employers (or contacts) and where you are, as you're often told, a deniable asset. No-one could hold down that kind of career for long without developing a sense of paranoia. Even the most optimistic runners I've seen played often have a healthy scepticism towards most things and people they encounter. What's that old saying, "If something's too good to be true..."

The other one is obsession. Something has to be driving the runner to stay in such a fraggin' dangerous line of work. Sometimes it is simply because they can't hold down a legal line of work, but then they could find less dangerous work elsewhere in the shadows. So what drives runners quite often is some form of obsession. Obsession with becoming rich, obsession with proving themselves the best, obsession with getting back at the corp bastards... Even running for the thrill of it is technically an obsession.
This does not necessarily have to be a deep obsession, but obsession (or even passion) exists in some level in most if not all runners. And in my experience it just gets more profound, or changes into something different (usually as a result of that afore-mentioned paranoia) the longer the character runs those razor-edged shadows.
Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate
For some, Shadowrunning could be their equivilent of sky-diving or whatever they need for their adrenaline fix. Can't deny it's certainly an excitin' line of work.

Oh, and be careful about citing psychologists as an authority on something-especially the older ones, including Jung and Freud. Oftentimes they've been discredited, and then you look silly. Do the Shadowrun thing: Do your research wink.gif
Speaking of which, Gyro, what is today's psychological model? I've heard people before say, "Freud has been discredited," "Jung has been discredited," but what came to replace them?
I have a psychology degree and I can tell you that for the most part among psychologists, Personality Psychology is pretty much on the same plane as horoscopes: fun but ultimately uninformative. wink.gif
Thats in RL, though, so in SR I suppose you could use a personality index to assist you rounding out your character's "personality". Again, much like a horoscope...
MachineProphet>>>If I could speak french it'd go something like this.

Talia Invierno
By the time you're 2 years old, 80% of your personality is determined, and by the time you het 12, 98% is set. And it will never change again.
- DV8

And I can personally attest that this one is untrue. At least, I consciously changed one aspect in my perspective four years ago and it turned out to be a major one which overturned everything else. It was a simple one too.

Obsession verging on addiction, I'd say. Test/thought experiment: how does the character react when forceably kept from running?
Freud isn't given much credit nowadays, but he's impossible to discredit. Just look at his theories. A group of people made a study to find whether men who had lost their mothers at an early age preferred women with large breasts, thus suggesting, in a Freudian view of things, that they were seeking a replacement mother. They found just the opposite, that men who had lost their mothers early on generally preferred women with small breasts. This could be explained by Freud too, according to the principle the name of which I've forgotten whereby someone desires something, is ashamed to desire it, and thus believes that they desire the exact opposite in an attempt to distance themself from the original desire.
You can't discredit Freud because he's got everything covered.

Talia Invierno
Ever tried to have a discussion with someone who believes firmly in projection? It's a no-win situation. If you agree with them, you're right. If you don't agree with them, you're obviously projecting your own inadequacies.
Freud's impossible to fully discredit, but he's awful fun to laugh at.

Modern theories of psychology tend towards the Cognitive aspect-- in general, they focus on the thought structures that people use. This is a vast oversimplification, but this isn't the place for a dissertation on the subject.

However, for Shadowrun, each and every character is different. What motivates one may not work for another, and completely be opposite of a third. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what motivates your character.
Indeed. Especially the concept of penis envy in a woman who, as a child, had never seen a penis and thus could never have come to the conclusion that she had been castrated, or a boy who had never seen a naked girl as a child and thus come to the conclusion that she had been castrated, leading him to fear the same fate from his father.
And don't even get me started on the absurdity of translating the desire for a penis to the desire for a baby.

Talia Invierno
And yet legend is full of sorcerer/sorceress-seeking-immortality legends, the tones of which split sharply between the male and the female. The woman most often draws her immortality from her daughter, either by draining her or by literally taking her body; although she may kill her husband, she won't usually use his essence that way. The man most often draws his immortality not from his children but from his (virgin) concubines and/or wife(ves), and he won't usually take someone else's body.

This became an extended discussion two days back, contexting as a metaphoric interpretation of the Oedipus - but not Electra - complex. The only exceptions we could think of were the Anakin/Emperor graphic novel, Raistlin [Dragonlance], the forgetable film counterpart to Freaky Friday, and Mercedes Lackey's Ma'ar: all of which were relatively recent and could be considered experimental. We came to a tentative conclusion that in legend at least, it would seem that the woman-witch-sorceress takes [back] from the daughter what she considers the daughter to have taken from her (cut out the child=penis part of Freud to focus on vicarious living through the child only); while the male equivalent seeks immortality in his own physical self only, taking their "youth" (virginity) from those not closely related to him, with personally fathered children only serving to undermine (which leads straight back to the Oedipal).

Bringing this into Shadowrun: how many male prime runners might have permanently swapped their ability to father a child for their edge (longer life)? How many female prime runners would have permanently done the same thing?
QUOTE (Rokur)
I was wondering, when writing a character it is always going to be different psychologies and stories that brought your character to where they are, but if you were to look at the true prime runners, what do you think their psychology would be.

The authors of the various novels in the Shadowrun
series from Roc are a good source to answer your question.

One of my favorites is Nigel Findley's Sly/Sharon Louise Young
from Shadowplay. smile.gif
The character I currently play is hugely involved in the COTD. In fact, he has made it his lifelong quest, (and a big part of our campaign) to get to the bottom of the life and death of the Big D and pursuing the dragon's goals. (or what he thinks the dragon wanted, anyway). What this probably translates to is someone with a deep need to belong to something bigger than himself. (He was rejected by his family.) If he was from a lower income bracket, and had not been exposed to COTD, he would definitely have joined a gang. If he was accepted into a corp, he would've made a fantastic wage slave. I don't think this guy could handle just getting through life on his own. Since he was unable to build a strong sense of worth as a child, he has always sought it from an outside source.

I also played a cynical bastard of an orc who's hidden, inner nobility came from a strong, simple family. One of those guys who's inwardly good, but has just seen too much corruption and suffering. Lots of little emotional scars that just make a person look mean, but hasn't changed his core.

Is that what you were after?
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