After humanity began injecting digital information directly into their brains, people immediately reversed the flow and started translating biological signals into digital data. Using special hardware to scan a person’s thoughts and neurological features, technicians have learned to create autonomous, digital replicas of people’s personalities, complete with behaviors, reactions, and memories. This type of artificial intelligence, often called Ghosts, are programs that exist entirely on the Net. AIs exhibit free will, are self-aware, can create novel solutions to problems, and retain some degree of their previous humanity. As an AI, players explore the potential of being a purely digital being in a world inundated with electronics and wireless technology. While AI are powerful and adaptable entities, their programming is extremely valuable to Corps or human users and can easily be corrupted, damaged or captured. Playing an AI is akin to playing a survival-horror game that requires stealth, cunning, and conservation of resources.
- The Dixie Flatline – Neuromancer, William Gibson
- Motoko Kusanagi (The Major) – Ghost in the Shell
- Musical References: SZA, Gorillaz, Death Grips
Advances in technology over the twenty-first century have produced prostheses and mechanical attachments that replicate and surpass the natural capabilities of the human body. Rampant war, chronic illness, cancer, and developmental atypicalities created enormous demand for these cybernetic enhancements. The megacorporations of the world have flooded the market with innumerable styles and models of cyberware. Now, humans can be customized to almost any specifications. When playing a Cyberized, players select from a large list of cyberware options to build their own custom cyborg. Cyberized individuals frequently combine martial arts training and meditation to cultivate the mental discipline required to manage their multitude of mechanical body enhancements. From their inner strength, the Cyberized push their bodies beyond their biological limitations to perform truly superhuman feats.
- Hideo – Neuromancer
- Batou – Ghost in the Shell
- T-800 – The Terminator
- Ng – Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
- Jet Black – Cowboy Bebop
- Musical References: MF Doom, DMX, Janelle Monáe
Feel the metal. Bend it to your will. The world of 2085 is utterly saturated with electronics and hardware. Smart buildings, smart cars, smart sex booths – you name it, and you can probably find it in a range of colors and textures. But at the end of the electronic excess, someone has to construct and maintain all that damn hardware. As an Engineer, players have the ability to modify and build custom gear and electronics. Engineers are skilled at deploying formal and home-brewed explosives, as well as EMP bombs. Furthermore, if a malicious AI invades their hardware, an Engineer can us a special “Ghost Trap” to suck the unwanted guest out of the Net and imprison it.
- The Finn – Neuromancer, William Gibson
- Ellen Ripley – Alien Film Series
- Musical References: Grandmaster Flash, Organized Noize, DJ Kool Herc
The Net connected the world and united the sum total of humanity’s stored knowledge. The Net, however, is also an almost completely unrestricted digital playland. A person with loose morals or a deficit in self-preservation instincts can find a glut of employment and entertainment on the Net. Hackers in the twenty-first century come in a million varieties and flavors. When playing a Hacker, players can write custom software and viruses that they deploy using modifiable computer consoles. Because they still have their physical body, Hackers can exploit their biology to improve their intrusion abilities through the use of pharmaceuticals and cyberware. Even with careful forethought and preparation, console jockeys play a lethal game where mistakes are rewarded with searing neurofeedback that can fry a Hacker’s brain.
- Case – Neuromancer, William Gibson
- Hiro Protagonist – Snow Crash, Niel Stephenson
- The Laughing Man – Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Radical Edward – Cowboy Bebop
- Musical References: Saul Williams, Deltron 3030, Afrika Bambaataa
A gun for hire; a blade in the dark. In a world where Hackers rule the Net, StreetMercs rule the streets. Whatever your biz may be, to survive in the Megacities you need to know the right people. StreetMercs work odd jobs to pay their tabs, but their main business is forming and utilizing social connections. Call them what you will – assassin, bounty hunter, drug dealer, coyote, artist – they know what you want to know or know how to find it. When playing a StreetMerc, you can seize narrative control to improvise street connections and NPCs, use your speed and kick-ass attitude to interrupt enemy’s actions, and expertly apply pharmaceuticals and drugs to keep the team moving after the shit hits the fan.
- Molly Millions – Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive, William Gibson
- Rick Deckard – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, P.K. Dick; Blade Runner
- T. – Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
- Spike Spiegel – Cowboy Bebop
- Faye Valentine – Cowboy Bebop
- Musical References: Mos Def, Wu-Tang Clan, Ludacris, Tupac, Bone Thugs in Harmony