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Sorry if it feels like I only come here when I'm stumped, hehe....

A few months of game time back, around July 2070, my PCs were extracting a Mitsuhama technomancer named Michelle Stands-In-Clouds from Rapid City in the Sioux Nation and bringing her to an Evo facility in St. Paul in the UCAS. One PC, our anti-techno Islamist gunslinger Swift Hinola, realized halfway through that the target was a technomancer, and promptly and subtly sold out the run to her Watada-Gumi/Renraku contact, resulting in Ms. Stands-In-Clouds' capture by Japanacorp forces. The most pro-techno member of our group, a Mayan Catholic elf shaman named Torsalo, always suspected but never confronted her per se about it. They spend a lot of time plotting against each other, but so far no overt intra-group violence.

Anyways, we just got to the point where the experimentation on technomancers by Mitsuhama at their Denver hospital has hit the airwaves, and Torsalo wants to look into what happened to her. She's felt guilty all along about how it turned out.

So, I was going to ask if you guys had some thoughts on in what condition she should be in. The possibilities I've played with on my own are:

- Dead
- Alive, but catatonic or a gibbering wreck
- Abilities impaired/gone
- turned to the Dissonance in despair! (Does that work that way? Didn't play during the System Failure era)
- Somehow has actually become more powerful
- Coherent, and blames the PCs as much as the corps
- Coherent, recognizes that Torsalo really tried, otherwise has fairly ordinary torture victim mentality
- Coherent, can provide leads to other corps/organizations involved, like Renraku
- A combination of the above

How would you guys play this, Dumpshock? I'm curious.
Saint Sithney
First thing I imagine someone freed from that situation doing would be fleeing to the TM friendly PCC right south of Denver. Once there, she'd likely join a TM Network like Kivanet. Probably has impaired ability due to mucking about in brainmeats. Dunno how badly it ended with the runners as to how they'd be blamed. Did they pull her out of one bad situation just to get her into a worse one? I dunno.

Mental state, I'd say is pretty cracked. Likely a fugue type who is retreated into near-constant matrix presence. Might hold up in her own bionode for days only to come out chipper for a time. Best advice I can give is to look up common symptoms of PTSD and apply liberally.
The idea I'm inspired to suggest is pretty much completely off the usual path, and while there's nothing explicitly against it in the rules, it's certainly not a common occurrence.

There's a bunch of Matrix Urban Legends on page 11 Unwired. One of them is Ghosts of the Machine, talking about people getting trapped in the Matrix and searching for their bodies. I want to suggest that perhaps Michelle Stands-in-Clouds is in a coma thanks to the testing, while her persona is off in some other node and fairly insane, not realizing she's gone freaking nuts thanks to the testing and living as some other user.

Finding out that her body is in a coma should be relatively easy. Discovering her persona way out on some other node would be much harder.

In order to help her and get her back safely, she has to be convinced of her true state and convince her to go back to her body in a method similar to a mindscape or entering a crazy person's mind and convincing them that they're nuts. On the other hand, crashing her icon, causing dumpshock or breaking her wireless connection will leave her irreparably insane.

This idea requires a lot of work on the part of the players to discover what's going on and even more to cure her again, but makes it possible to do so and gives the PCs the chance to make a difference.
I think it'd be neat if the TM started to back up bits of her important personality, core feelings, persona and memories in private places on the matrix and in the resonance(perhaps even being used by the corp to map out and sneak into the resonance). When your TM is connected to the matrix, everything's fine, she's alright.

When dead zones, jammers, lag - other things get in the way, well, then the mental trauma of being a guinea pig starts to come to the fore with a vengeance. Its a sneaky way to let your players know that -something- is wrong, and leave them scrambling to figure out -what-.
Johnny B. Good
First you'd have to know what kind of person she was beforehand to figure out what kind of impact the testing had on her. I imagine your classic emerging technomancer - confused, paranoid and scared. She was then handed over to people who proceeded to dissect her and put her through terrible matrix-based endurance tests and resonance related experiments. This includes repeated trials of effects of different programs (Including attack, blackout, blackhammer, psychotropic IC, nuke, etc.) as well as repeated exposure to dumpshock and trials including other similarly warped technomancers. She has absolutely no control over the situation, no connection to the matrix (Corp testing facilities undoubtedly wireless-proof) no companionship save sprites in her bionode and will likely suffer from severe mental breakdowns, descending into paranoid schizophrenia or possible multiple personalities.

Immediately after being extracted she would probably be a violent, barely coherent shell of a person focused on eating, sleeping, surviving, and not letting the bad, bad men take her away. Therapy will help, but it'll probably take years. If left untreated she will probably only recover marginally. The only way I could see her functioning at all immediately afterwards (especially if you want her to take revenge) is if there was a more coherent (although not necessarily sane) sprite pulling the strings from her bionode, telling her "How to make sure the bad men never come back" and what to do and how to stay alive. It would probably have to be bound with karma (like a spirit), and it could be one she compiled either while she was in the testing facility in an attempt to keep sane, or as a means of surviving outside of the complex once she was extracted.

Statwise she's probably got some nasty armor, shield and attack programs from the in-matrix testing they put her though. I always think of primal characters having a really nasty ability to either summon very strong spirits or very strong sprites out of pure force of will, so probably high compiling and registering skills too. However she's probably got some terrible logic, and equally terrible physical stats. In a good old fist fight one-armed babies > technomancers.

Hope that helped.
The Jake
Give the target full blown AIPS + Disonance + other mental conditions. Turn her into a technological terror.

Then just sit back and watch the roleplaying.

Your shaman would feel horrendously guilty over failing to provide due care to the target. Your Islamic Gunslinger would most likely feel vindicated in his decision to turn her over. The two of them may well have a showdown over the fallout (at least I'd expect so).

- J.

Xahn Borealis
QUOTE (Johnny B. Good @ Mar 21 2010, 06:10 AM) *
...sprite pulling the strings from her bionode...

Maybe a free sprite?
OK, Johnny's sold me on the idea that she'd have to be a total psychological wreck. And I think I can get plenty of mileage out of that as a prod to Torsalo. I might keep the dissonant-free-sprite manipulation idea in my back pocket, but for the time being, I mean, they're so busy betraying each other and such that adding anybody else seeking revenge beyond whatever syndicate they've pissed off lately is probably overkill.

Anyways, thanks for all the ideas, you guys. You've given me a lot to think about.
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