Thursday, February 24, 2011

Random Musing on Cyberpunk 2020 #1: The Celebrity

As I warned on Twitter, I'm going to be going through my Cyberpunk 2020 rulebook and posting some of my musing about it here. With any luck there will be a reason for all of this, if not at least people will have some cool stuff for their future games.

A few ground rules to this, however. I'm going to be talking about the rules as written and published. If something that I go over was addressed in some online fan supplement somewhere, there is probably a good chance that I saw it already...but fan work isn't what I am talking about in these posts (except obviously my own), so if it isn't in an official rulebook it doesn't count for the purposes of these posts. At first I will be confining myself to the core Cyberpunk 2020 rules, but as time passes (and if there's ongoing interest in these posts) I will include more of the supplements into my musings.

Paris Hilton
Many of these musings will be about how the real world has passed that of the Cyberpunk game and the Night City setting, and how we can remedy that in our games.

For this first musing, an idea came to me last night: The Celebrity. One thing that has become much more prevalent in this day and age are those who are famous mostly for being pretty, already famous, rich or some combination of them. Whether it is someone who got their fame for appearing on "reality TV" (something else needed to be addressed in these musings), or just by being the offspring of the rich and already famous, these glittering kids prance and dance about the clubs and TV screens of the world. Sadly, the old Eurosource and Eurosource Plus supplements would have been a perfect place to explore this the first time but outside of some talk of Goldenkids, there's not much practical for use in play. Interestingly, Call of Cthulhu's Dilettante occupation does a better job of covering this niche than Cyberpunk 2020 has.

Corporates are almost there, but they are still beholden to their bosses and employers. You could do a "Corporate Celebrity" off of the Corporate role, someone who is a celebrity spokesperson/model or reality star, and their Resources Special Ability would be useful for getting things the celebrity needs. You could also loosely model the rich family as the corporation for this sort of character (and Paris Hilton, above, could fit into this sort of Role).

Right now I am going to propose this new Role:

In the world of the future, there are still those who are famous for being famous -- whether that fame came from luck, being in the right place at the right time (and being televised while there), being rich, or inheriting the fame of your family doesn't matter. What matters is that you continue to be in the right places to be seen, and that you look fabulous at the same time.

The Special Ability of the Celebrity is Access. Doors open for you that are closed for others because you can bring exposure and popularity. Add the rank of your Access to Persuade & Fast Talk or Seduction rolls when trying to get people to help you or let you into some place you probably shouldn't be. This shouldn't get you into places that require a security clearance, but you never can tell.

Personal Grooming
Wardrobe & Style
Persuasion & Fast Talk
Human Perception

Up next time will be reworking of one of the existing Roles, either Rocker or Media. Both still have places in Cyberpunk 2020 but their "roles" have changed a bit in this post-Cyberpunk world. Medias need to a little less Edison Carter and a little more Spider Jerusalem meets blogging. Rocker, mostly, needs a name change to cover a variety of differing performers from white hot club DJs to evangelizing actors with a cause. Whichever I get to next will be the one that gets talked about first.