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I did a search on the forum, and all the posts about Amnesia I've found were for 5-point versions, where the character has no memory of his past or his abilities. What I'm looking for is a good guide on how much knowledge and information is missing with the 2-, 3-, and 4-point versions of the flaw. After the botched Queen Euphoria run, one of the players decided to pick Amnesia 3, and another Amnesia 2, and I'm having difficulty determining how much each character should and shouldn't know.
Go with an arbitrary value.

2 - you don't remember a key moment in your life. Usually incident-specific amnesia, such as an attack or accident. Or a bad run.

3 - you have lost several weeks of your life, whether during a time period or for a period of systematic abuse. No more than a month or think.

4 - months have gone by. Possibly years.

Flashbacks can be quite entertaining when attached to Amnesia. Unexplained phobias also help.

Given these flaws are arising from the Queen Euphoria run, Flashback, Phobia: Bugs and Amnesia 2 are not bad choices.


Jason Farlander
Eh... the point values dont really correlate with the amount of missing time. Rather, they determine how much of your personal ability you remember. A 2 point amnesiac might remember exactly as much (or, well, as little) of his or her life as a 5 point amnesiac, but over time they have come to an understanding of what they are capable of doing. The 5 point amnesiac will get there after a lot of gaming.

By way of an example, think about movies that feature amnesiac characters. Generally speaking, in the beginning of those movies the characters have 5-point flaws. As the movie progresses, they remember their capabilities... such that closer to the end they more closely resemble 2-point amnesiacs. However, they still dont remember who they were or why they have those abilities... until at some point they buy off the flaw entirely (as evidenced by a flashback sequence).
Eh... the point values dont really correlate with the amount of missing time. Rather, they determine how much of your personal ability you remember.

Ok, so how about this:

10 point [completely dysfunctional short-term] amnesia:
You have no short-term memory, and so can't form new memories. You must write notes and keep polaroids of people to know if you've met them before. Your long term memory still works fine for all events earlier than some traumatic event.
Lenny Shelby from Memento.

5 point [total] amnesia:
You're a complete blank slate. You know nothing of your history or skills, but can remember everything from this moment forward. You don't even know if you have unarmed combat skill until someone attacks you and you somehow manage to fend them off (or not). You don't know if you like shellfish until you eat some and find out that you're deathly allergic. Jason Bourne from the Bourne Identity.

4 point [severe] amnesia:
You remember your name, your childhood, and your contacts from the distant past. When you see someone you felt strongly about from more recently, you might have an idea that you know them, but not know the context ("I know that guy, but is he my friend or my enemy?") You have some idea of your skills (which skills, and a low/medium/high assessment from the GM), but no specifics, and no idea where you aquired them. Harrison Ford's character Henry in 'Regarding Henry'.

3 point [typical] amnesia:
A toned-down version of the 4-point flaw. You remember all the normal stuff from long-term memory. You recognize people and things that you know when you see them, but not until you see them ("Hey! That gun[severed pinky, piece of artwork...] looks familiar...Didn't I take that from the Yak boss I shot last year?"). You don't remember anything that's happened within the last couple weeks or months, even with people that you recognize.

2 point [mild] amnesia:
You can remember everything except what's happened in the last short time. Jennings in Paycheck.
Or you could lose all memory from before a certain point in time. To use the movie analogy, you had the 5 point flaw and have since bought it down to the two point version.
As to the specific question asked. I would talk to the players abought how much they want to lose and give them a points value based on how hard do you think it would be to break through the mental block they have erected.
My 2 nuyen.gif
Actually, the 2-point flaw is very specific - the character cannot recall anything about their past. However, they still remember their skills, and the player still gets to make a character (I assume their amnesia generally started a few months or so ago, long enough for them to get some lifestyles, contacts, etc. and start picking up the pieces).

For the 5-point flaw, the GM makes the character, and describes the circumstances of the character first coming to awareness.

If the player wants another point value, then I would suggest:

3-point version
The character is still made by the player, but may have a few Edges, Flaws, etc. that the GM is keeping secret. The character has only regained consciousness a week or so ago, so lifestyle, gear, and contacts are limited accordingly.

4-point version
The player gives the GM a general idea of the type of character (troll street sam, etc.) but the GM fills in the details. The character has just regained consciousness, and only has gear on his/her person, and no lifestyles or contacts (at least that the character knows about. An apartment key could be theirs, or could be the place where they were ambushed, and so forth).
I have always used the Amnesia flaw as follows:

2pt - Player makes the character, but the character can't remember anything about his/her past. If desired, the amnesia could instead be of a specific part of the character's life (like his childhood, a blank month or so recently.) but then the GM spends some of the BPs for the player, on unknown abilities/gear/edges/flaws/etc...

3pt - no memory of the past, Player looses 1/3rd of their BPs and Knowledge skill points to the GM for use on unknown abilities/gear/edges/flaws/etc...

4pt - no memory of the past, Player looses 2/3rds of their BPs and Knowledge Skill points to the GM for use on unknown abilities/gear/edges/flaws/etc...

5pt - no memory of past, GM makes the entire character. If desired, player can choose race (since that will be quickly apparent anyway).

I also generally ask the player what style/type of character he or she wants to play, and then take that into consideration when I design their character (that doesn't mean they'll get what they wanted, just that I considered it...)

Optional levels:
1 pt - Character cannot recall a certain part of his life (a single event, or short time period). Player creates entire character.

6 pt - GM creates entire character. In addition, the character has problems with his new memories as well and frequently forgets things that happened more than 15-30 minutes ago.
Otaku On Acid
I have a question. How exactly do you work in a character with 5 points of amnesia or even just 2 points into a group of normal shadowrunners. Possibly a two point amnesia character might realize that he/she has some combat abilites that would be best be used by being a shadowrunner, but what metahuman wakes up, realizes he/she has no memory of his/her past, and then decides "I should go break into heavily guarded corporate facilities for money?"
Like anything else - I don't want to squat in a box and eat dead devil rats.

Usually an amnesiac needs help from the GM, plot-wise, to join the group. Maybe the group frees the amnesiac from a corporate facility, or they get ambushed by a gang and get unexpected aid from a squatter bum who suddenly displays incredible combat abilities.

Of course, if the group is smart, they will be wary of such a character. Not just the characters, but the players, as well - the amnesia Flaw is made to provide an evil GM with sadistic plot twists.

I, for one, hate the flaw Amnesia, especially when someone uses it at character creation as a cop-out. I highly consider (with exceptions: I know people that have made wonderful characters with Amnesia) it to be a crutch.

Personally, if I'm a GM and someone uses it as a cop-out, forcing me to do yet MORE work on the campaign (thus detracting from time I could have used to make it better) and do YOUR work for you, you can bet that I will create a background so horrid, so disgusting, so threatening to every fiber of what you would consider decent that you will stay up nights vomiting in disgust. You can very well expect vigorous sodomy with unsanded wooden dowels to be in your character's past.

And, depending on how you play, quite possibly your future.
Of course! Amnesiac characters are there to fuel the campaign and let the GM have free reign with his most far-fetched plans. With amnesia - anything can be brought into the campaign in a natural way.

Ways of incorporating an amnesiac:
For the lower point values (up to 3, possibly 4) you can assume the character has had enough time to get some contacts and start his career - make the player write a short background, after telling him where and how he woke up (or write it for him, to fit the campaign and the background).
For higher point values the suggested 'freed from corporation/twisted cult/organ dealer/whatever' can work. This allows the character to start discovering some abilities in the middle of a run and develop a relation to the other characters. Same goes for the bum/unknown who provides unexpected assistance - for this you can either make the character a bum who has plodded along in his oblivion for awhile, or you can make the character have no memory at all of where he is or why and maybe tie it in with the current run.
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