In the Shadows of Venus
Character Creation — Rules and Notes
Point totals are fairly mutable in a typical THS game. The PCs will start with 200 points to spend on their racial template (if any) and most of their general abilities. They will then receive a further 50 points to spend on Wealth, implants, biomods, and AI/cybershell allies. AI characters may combine these 50 points with their 200 points for purposes of buying cybershell puppets. Finally, all PCs may take up to 30 points in disads and 5 points in quirks. Note that most physical ailments and mental disorders have been weeded out of Fifth Wave society. As Fifth Wave characters, the PCs are not likely to suffer from any of those types of issues. Disadvantages should be “non-pathological” mental disads (like Honesty) or social ones, like Dependents. The GM will review all disads for campaign compatibility.
The PCs will need to be skilled people persons, investigators, and competent in low-level physical conflict (hand-to-hand, electrolasers, civilian-legal weapons). Ability in more military-level confrontations will be useful, but only in some circumstances. Connections in almost any part of the Solar System are very useful. With the point totals outlined above, PCs can be anything from highly competent gene-fixed specialists to ghosts (human mind emulations) running on advanced cybernetic “shells” (called cybershells).
The way I would recommend designing your character is as follows: after choosing a vague concept, look over the various racial templates. Since we’re playing Fifth Wave PCs, the minimum template you can take is Genefixed Human 0, CT48. This essentially free template simply prohibits genetic and mental defects and unattractiveness. These are all 0 point features in game terms. More likely, you will want to buy a Genetic Upgrade. These are packages of traits that your parents would have paid for prior to your conception. There are quite a few to choose from between Bio-Tech and Changing Times. You can also look at THS: Fifth Wave, which has quite a few more templates, most reproduced for 4th Edition in Bio-Tech. The Alpha Upgrade 41 CT48 is a good starting point. It’s not that these templates are things you can’t buy on your own, but they provide instant justification for those traits.
If you want to be more exotic, look at parahumans and bioroid templates. Parahumans are people genetically redesigned to be substantially different from mere genetic upgrades. Most parahumans are not interfertile with other humans and thus can be considered to be distinct species.
If you don’t want to play a human at all, there are infomorphs. Nonsapient AIs (NAIs) are probably not what you are looking for—they are entirely nonsapient and not really suitable as PCs. Low-Sapient AIs (LAIs) have potential, and start at 82 points for the template. A full Sapient AI (SAI) is more expensive at 153 points, but provides a human-level program that can run on any suitable cybershell (which you also have to pay for). Ghosts are a middle ground. They are mind emulations of real people and start at 86 points (and also need a cybershell or bioshell). Cybershells are bought with an AI and can be quite cheap or rather expensive. When human PCs buy AI allies, they pay for them as Allies with the Constantly Available Frequency of Appearance and possibly Minion enhancement (always for NAIs, usually for LAIs and possibly for SAIs). AI or ghost PCs can buy multiple bodies using the rules on CT39.
Patron & Duty Micro-Templates
Patron/Duty: PCs may select one of the following Patron/Duty combinations. These are “micro-templates” and do not count against the PC’s disadvantage limit. The Argus Group is a decent-sized multinational corporation and is a 15 point Patron for its base cost. The Argus Group, while loyal to its employees, never appears more often than 9 or less, and more commonly appears on a 6 or less, and is therefore often an 8 point Patron. The cost of this Patron is often offset with Duty. Thus, the following Patron/Duty micro-templates are available:
Argus Enforcement Arm: This micro-template is appropriate for Argus’s paramilitary arm of soldiers and bodyguards. You are well-supported, but often called to do extremely hazardous duty. Patron (The Argus Group, 9 or less) 15 + Duty (The Argus Group, Quite Often (12 or less), Extremely Hazardous) -15. Total: 0
Special Investigative Service: This micro-template is for a particularly busy and loyal investigator in the service of Argus. This type of PC rarely takes vacations, always works more than the 20 hours per week assumed, and is often ripe for promotion. Patron (The Argus Group, 6 or less) 8 + Duty (The Argus Group, Quite Often (12 or less) -10. Total: -2