Saints in the Shadows
Characters are the life’s blood of any role-playing game, the focal point of every story. Characters represent the best — or the worst — ideals of a given game setting, their actions either bringing a small measure of hope to the downtrodden masses or serving to strengthen the status quo. In the grim, gritty world of Interface Zero 2.0, the characters you play walk a monofilament edge between traditional — some would say outdated or just plain irrelevant — concepts of good and evil as they make their way in the world.
Indeed, it’s hard to be a moral individual in a world where most of the animals prowling the concrete jungle believe principles are character flaws — weaknesses to exploit for their own ends. Your morality marks you as prey, no doubt about it, omae. But if you can keep your moral code, if you can get your job done without selling your soul, you’ll get something most sprawlers never have: Respect.
Evil, on the other hand, is the same as it always has been; there’s just more of it. The wicked always thrive in a world where violence, fear, and control are tools used for self-serving ends, but here’s the thing. Acting like an ass can get you green-lit just as quickly as playing the role of the goody-twoshoes marks you as a sucker, amigo.
Nobody likes a dickhead, even if they don’t say it to your face. Sooner or later, you’ll get a rep for being a hard-ass, and someone who is stronger, meaner, or a bigger asshole than you is going to come along and knock you back to the gutter you crawled out of. That’s why most people keep their heads down and their mouths shut. Don’t make eye contact; it’s a challenge to the predators, and if you don’t have the stones to back up the challenge you’re nothing but meat. But, if you can stay strong and defeat all comers, that commands respect, too.
This chapter provides you with the tools you need to make a character for Interface Zero 2.0. The process is the same as creating a character for any Savage Worlds game, with a few additions. Interface Zero 2.0 introduces Street Cred, Contacts, and Strain to the game.
STEP 1: CONCEPT
The first thing you need to do is decide on a concept for your character. Will you play a hacker? Perhaps a mercenary or bounty hunter is more your speed. Are mercs and hunters too cutthroat for your style of play? If so, you might think about playing a Ronin, an urban warrior who follows his own code of honor. Maybe you want to be the guy (or gal!) who backs the team up with drones capable of laying down covering fire or scouting ahead to see where the bad guys are hiding. You don’t need to have your concept locked in right now, but at least have a basic idea of the type of character you want to play. Take a few minutes and skip ahead to the archetypes section in this chapter to see a variety of options available to you.
STEP 2: RACE
The next thing you need to do is choose a race. In 2090, humanity has reached the point where the word “human” is almost irrelevant. Human DNA is no longer a mystery; It’s a mathematical code technomancers hack, re-write and copy at will, producing genetically superior beings: the Human 2.0. Others snip and paste animal DNA and splice it with human DNA to create genetic hybrids: a fusion of man and animal. Science has even advanced to such an extent that we can create entirely new life forms — living beings known as simulacra — in amniotic vats, growing them until they have matured, filling their synthetic brains with memories and skills they’ll need to do the jobs for which they were created.
STEP 3: TRAITS
Traits are the building blocks of any Savage Worlds character. They define how strong or fast your character is, and what she knows. Traits determine how much cyberware she can put into her body, how much damage she can take before dying, her standing with others, and a variety of other things, all of which are essential to the game.
Five attributes are used to define your character’s physical characteristics. These are Agility, Smarts, Spirit, Strength, and Vigor. Each attribute starts at d4. You have 5 points with which to raise these attributes, and one point equals a rise in a die type (d4 to d6, d6 to d8, etc.). No attribute may rise higher than d12 during character creation, unless stated under a racial ability. For more information on attributes, refer to the Savage Worlds core rules.
You have 15 points to spend on your character’s skills. Your character doesn’t start with any skills and must spend 1 point to get a skill at a d4. He spends 1 point to raise a skill to a higher die type, as long as the skill level is equal to or less than the linked attribute. Raising any skill above the linked attribute, it costs 2 points to do so. No skill may rise above d12 during character creation.
Note: If you are using the skill specializations rules you get 20 points for skills and each new specialization costs 1 skill point during character creation. When your character advances, she may purchase 2 skill specializations for an advance, or a new skill and a single specialization.
SETTING RULE: SKILL SPECIALIZATIONS
Interface Zero 2.0 is an advanced setting where knowing how to do one thing doesn’t necessarily mean you can do something which, under the regular skill rules, would technically be possible with the same skill. Take the various Driving, Boating, and Piloting skills for example.
Using the regular skill rules, a character with Drive could theoretically drive anything from a motorcycle to a semi-truck or a tank. Similarly, Piloting assumes a character has the skills to pilot all types of aircraft including fighter jets and spacecraft! Pinnacle Entertainment addressed this issue by adding the Skill Specialization setting rule in the Savage Worlds core rules, and it is highly recommend that those rules are used for Interface Zero 2.0.
Archetypes – Premade characters