Most of the time, you may not want to invest the substantial amount of time and effort a full blown character requires, especially if the character in question has only a tangential role, or if you’re just making them up on the fly during the game. Edgerunner offers two reduced levels of character definition for such purposes.
Extras are flat characters, meaning they lack the depth of a well “round"ed character. They otherwise have much of the same functionality, and can be upgraded quickly if needed. They have only four aspects, and they may or may not have a stunt. They have 6 skills arranged in a pyramid that peaks at level 3. They have only Cool and Humanity stress tracks, with a base threshold of 3 and 2 more points to assign to them. They take consequences like normal characters.
Download the extra sheet in PDF format.
Goons are the cannon fodder, the lowlife, the faceless minions of the dark future. They affect the story only in a predetermined way, therefore they are only defined by their relevant details. They have two aspects and their skills consist of a stack of three categories at levels 1 thru 3. They have a single general purpose stress track with a base threshold of 4 and a single consequence worth 3 points.
Download the goon sheet in PDF format.
Skill categories are more like broad skills that let you define simple characters with less effort. Rather than trying to figure out multiple skills for a goon, you can just determine a skill category that encompasses multiple skills. The goon is assumed to be competent in all of those skills at the level indicated.
The skill categories are;
Combat (Close Combat, Firearms, Intimidation, Athletics etc.)
Mental (Academics, Science, Research, Business etc.)
Mobility (Driving, Piloting, Athletics, Mechanics)
Net (Netrunning, Hacking, Programming)
Social (Empathy, Intimidation, Leadership, Performance etc.)
Technology (Electronics, Pharmaceuticals, Mechanics etc.)
Notice that there is some overlap among the categories. If a skill exists in more than one category for a given goon, use the better category.
Sometimes, using even goons to represent threats like pack of dogs, a gang of teenagers or a party crowd becomes too tedious. Mooks are groups of characters that are too insignificant individually but constitute a threat when they are in numbers.
In such cases, establish a threat level to represent how much trouble these mooks are. Their skills will be represented with a single skill category. They have a single stress track that is used to mark all hits, with a threshold equal to the threat level.
Mooks have a single aspect that defines what they are, and can be invoked or compelled as appropriate. They usually don’t have upgrades, but their single aspect can be promoted to an upgrade at the discretion of the table.
Download the mook sheet in PDF format.
For comparison’s sake, assume that a level 5 mook is equivalent to a regular character, and a level 4 and 3 mooks are on par with extras and goons respectively. You can use mook mechanics to represent such characters if you don’t want to bother with fleshing them out for a very short stint.
By the way, again for game-balancing issues, any level of mooks is worth two of the lower level. You can use this metric to split or join mooks that represent crowds or swarms of things. So a level 5
Swarm of robotic scorpions may split into two level 4 swarms, or a level 3 bunch of
underpaid beat cops may be reinforced by another of the same to form a level 4 bunch.
An alternate is a special type of secondary character, played directly by a netrunner. It is the online persona the netrunner develops, after spending most of her time in the net. The netrunner assumes this personality when online. The meatbody identity of a netrunner is called the primary.
The alternate has a stack of four skills that can be used only when online. The primary cannot use these skills but the alternate can use the primary’s skill pyramid. If there’s any overlap, the alternate’s skills have precedence.
Remember that the primary and the alternate are the same person, different identities. Therefore the alternate uses the primary’s cool and humanity stress tracks when those are threatened. However, the alternate is a separate identity, whose connection to the primary may not be public knowledge. Therefore the alternate has her own reputation stress track independent of the primary. If the alternate is taken out on the reputation track, the story cannot directly affect the primary.
The alternate has two consequence slots that can be used when online.
While the netrunner can easily run the net as her primary, she can not plausibly replicate her alternate identity in the meat world by default, although social skills may help with this if she wants to.
In addition to her upgrades, the netrunner has a number of mods, the software equivalent of upgrades that allow the netrunner to boost her online performance.
The advantage of mods over regular upgrades is that they can be modified by the netrunner herself. Before any roll involving the netrunner, including rolls made against her, the netrunner gets a chance to activate, deactivate or adjust the boost on one of her mods.
The netrunner can also create mods from scratch, for herself or other online entities, but she must do this as a maneuver action just like a techie, and the target entity must consent and use his action as well.
Mods do cause humanity stress just as upgrades do. It is fortunate that the netrunner can tune her mods to be just right for an anticipated threat.
Download the alternate sheet in PDF format.