Tuesday, March 22, 2016

White Box Cyberpunk Class Revisions

In a previous post, I introduced my White Box Retrocyberpunk write-up. After getting some opinions on them, I've come to the following revisions:

Enforcer: No revisions
Face: Remove the Face's "skulk" talent.
Neuromancer: Scrap entirely.

Neuromancers still exist in the setting, but they are not playable characters. They are, however, accessible via the hackers contact category.

I have replaced the neuromancer with the infiltrator, a sort of spot hacker/burglar. They don't jack in directly, but rather use devices and tools to manipulate technology. For visuals, see the cover art to Shadowrun 5 or the character Kasumi Goto from Mass Effect 2.

I'm not crazy about the class name, but it will do for now. With the diverse array of talents, the player can decide whether they want to focus on tech,

Infiltrator
Part hacker, part burglar, the infiltrator uses stealth, subtlety, and sabotage to remove obstacles to the team. 

Level    XP         Hit Dice    BHB   ST        Contacts    Talents
1             0          1             +0        15                2             4
2           1,500      1+1         +0        14              +1           +2
3           3,000      2             +1        13              +1           +2
4           6,000      2+1         +1        12              +1           +2
5          12,000     3             +2        11              +2           +2
6          24,000     3+1         +2         10             +1           +2
7          48,000     4             +3          9              +1           +2
8          96,000     4+1         +3          8              +1           +2
9        192,000     5             +4          7              +1           +2
10      384,000     5+1         +5          6              +2           +2

Infiltrator Class Abilities

Weapon/Armor Restrictions: Infiltrators prefer light, easily concealable weapons, though they may use any light or medium weapon. Infiltrators may wear light or medium armor, but the latter imposes a penalty of -2 to to skulk, climb, or acrobatics.

Saving Throw: Infiltrators receive +2 to any saving throw meant to avoid a trap or security countermeasure.

Sneak Attack: An infiltrator who attacks while skulking or otherwise undetected makes the attack roll at +4 and inflicts double the damage indicated on the dice.

XP Bonus: Infiltrators receive XP bonus for a high intelligence score.

Talents- Similar to the face, the infiltrator has unique talents. These talents are a combination of stealth and hacking techniques. Each talent begins at 1 in 6. At 1st level, the infiltrator receives 4 points to improve their talent scores. A talent that is 6 in 6 only fails if the player rolls a 6 and then another 6 immediately.

*Acrobatics- The infiltrator can perform feats of tumbling and balance, such as walking along a wire, rolling past an enemy in combat, or making a running leap between rooftops.

*Bypass Doors: The infiltrator can crack the security on a door or other barrier. The infiltrator must have tools to do so.

*Climb: Infiltrators can climb sheer surfaces even without the aid of a grapnel or other climbing gear. Failing the roll means the infiltrator gets stuck halfway. Failing a second time means the infiltrator falls.

*Decypher: The infiltrator can use their device to decrypt data or translate languages.

*Detect/Disable Security; The infiltrator can spot hidden cameras, traps, or ambushes. Once detected, the infiltrator can use their device to scramble or disable the countermeasure. Depending on the countermeasure, failure may trip the alarm or trigger the trap.

*Skulk: The infiltrator can move silently or hide in shadows, remaining almost undetectable. (The infiltrator can still be revealed by thermographic sensors, etc)

*Perception: By concentrating, an infiltrator can pick up on faint sounds and minute details such as approaching guards, the hum of a laser security system, etc.




6 comments:

  1. @ DMW:

    Huh. Not bad. I especially like that you removed the "skulk" ability from the "face." A person who makes their living interacting with folks probably shouldn't have powers that make them inconspicuous.

    [for this reason, I'd probably drop the "face-in-the-crowd" ability...probably, instead, substitute a linguistics skill so that they can use their thousand faces and fast-talk in multiple languages. Likewise, not sure "sticky fingers" works with the face concept]

    I like what you have here, but I'd probably ditch both acrobatics and perception. Not sure why the infiltrator would be MORE perceptive than the enforcer or face (both have to be perceptive in their own areas of expertise, right?). And acrobatics? While I see what you're going for, this feels like something that should be available for any class...which to me means it needs its own system.

    If you don't mind stepping away from the whole D&D/WB thing, you might consider a general system for things like climbing and contortion and then give infiltrators the option of pumping up a "bonus" to rolls by investing talent points.

    [similarly, not sure sneak attack needs to be here. Wouldn't the enforcer be more likely to have commando/Green Beret-type training? I'd consider making the sneak attack a GENERAL system, encouraging PCs to ambush opposition. Do even enforcers want to get into straight-up gun battles on an op?]

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    1. @JB- Great feedback. I think I should mention that my idea for the x in 6 talents came from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. I'm not sure how familiar you are with LotFP on a mechanical level, but here's basically how it works:
      There are a number of basic adventuring tasks, like Open Doors or Tinkering. Anyone has a 1 in 6 chance to do it. Some demihumans start with higher levels in some of the skills. Of the three classes, only the specialist ever gets better at tasks, starting with some extra points and getting more every level.

      What I could do here is compile the talents from the face and infiltrator and establish them as basic skills, adding perhaps some kind of repair skill or the like. Sneak Attack would become a skill (it is in LotFP.) All classes would start with 1 in 6, with the infiltrator and face getting better at certain skills. (Maybe I can even throw the enforcer a bonus on perception or sneak attack)

      So that's my newest idea: take the system a little bit "back to formula" and make a general x in 6 system with certain classes getting a bonus for others.

      I should also add that the "only specialists get better at tasks" thing works in LotFP because only fighters get better at combat in that rule set. Since the other classes here improve at combat (albeit at a much slower pace), maybe it's not so bad if the enforcer has some skills, just not nearly as good as the face or the infiltrator.

      ...and I suppose that fits, because all classes have access to contacts, just different access by class.

      Delete
    2. @JB- Great feedback. I think I should mention that my idea for the x in 6 talents came from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. I'm not sure how familiar you are with LotFP on a mechanical level, but here's basically how it works:
      There are a number of basic adventuring tasks, like Open Doors or Tinkering. Anyone has a 1 in 6 chance to do it. Some demihumans start with higher levels in some of the skills. Of the three classes, only the specialist ever gets better at tasks, starting with some extra points and getting more every level.

      What I could do here is compile the talents from the face and infiltrator and establish them as basic skills, adding perhaps some kind of repair skill or the like. Sneak Attack would become a skill (it is in LotFP.) All classes would start with 1 in 6, with the infiltrator and face getting better at certain skills. (Maybe I can even throw the enforcer a bonus on perception or sneak attack)

      So that's my newest idea: take the system a little bit "back to formula" and make a general x in 6 system with certain classes getting a bonus for others.

      I should also add that the "only specialists get better at tasks" thing works in LotFP because only fighters get better at combat in that rule set. Since the other classes here improve at combat (albeit at a much slower pace), maybe it's not so bad if the enforcer has some skills, just not nearly as good as the face or the infiltrator.

      ...and I suppose that fits, because all classes have access to contacts, just different access by class.

      Delete
  2. @ DMW:

    I own a copy of LotFP, though I've never played it. I know I used a similar D6 mechanic for the thief class in my Land of Ice, back in 2011 (roll D6 equal to or under level to succeed...this worked because classes were compressed to five total levels).

    The "distribute-and-add" points thing is fairly similar to the way AD&D 2E handled "rogues," just using a D6 base instead of D% base.

    [funny you bring up LotFP; a certain Finnish game mogul offered to publish CDF when I was first writing it. Would have been a sweet deal for me...]

    RE: combat skills for enforcers...it really depends on how detailed your combat is. If you've only got AC to 2 (like White Box) and auto-fire and smart weapons and whatnot, then yeah, maybe a little something extra would be cool for the Enf (double-fisted shooting? heavy weapons operation?). Though again, it depends on how combat heavy your game's supposed to be...
    ; )

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    1. Heavy weapons and heavy armor are available only to the enforcer, so they retain the edge there. Double shooting is also an option.

      As for combat heaviness, I leave that to the individual GM. While the player might favor stealth, I'd like the enforcer to be a class that can hold their own should things go south or should the players want a more combatty game.

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    2. I like what you're doing here DMW. I think the LoFP skill system is a good fit for a WB-derived game. Just be careful of the skill lists getting too big on you. IMO, D&D is a game of niche protection. At a WB level (compared to modern versions) ther are only a few classes that can be broadly interpreted, but there's very little overlap in skills nonetheless.

      I think your original idea of 3-4 base classes works: Enforcer/fighter - he can be a Solo, Street Sam, Cop/Security Guard, Military/Mercenary, etc.
      Face/infiltrator - the sneaky skills guy/communicator. Works his larceny & people skills & connections. Think Neal from White Collar.
      Neuaromancer - doesn
      t work well as decker/hacker from SR or CP with the minigame problem, but I DO think they can be reimagined as the computer guy for hacking and rigging.

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