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"What kinda VTVs are there? I mean, is there a van-type?"

"Yes, JH... They range up to Van and Small truck designs. The Ambulances run by Lifeline AMR and Jade Cross are van VTVs. They'll be assigned on a per mission basis. You will be issued what is needed; there won't be a regular craft for you to use."

Basically the instincts have been muted down enough to make you all more socially inclined, but you are still much more in tune with your instincts than a human would be and would express them as you see fit. Basically, they would have eliminated the bad traits, such as eating the prey animals of your team.

Basically the technology is this: You can record a person's experiences in a given situation, and lay it back in a another person's head... This is called braintaping. You can use it to force knowledge and experiences into someone. A lot of your basic training and early knowledge was via braintaping. By mixing data from various sources, you can make a braintape that teaches a specific sequence of skills.

"Well, so they peer into someone's mind, record their experience (What they seen, the thoughts that accompanied, any emotions that they felt during), and then are fed it, and experience it? Or is it basically like having a video stuffed into your memory; all you do is see through the recorder's eyes?"

"They get the whole thing... Thoughts, emotions, sensations. This is both its greatest advantage and danger... It's rarely used for training, because unless it's used on someone who is mostly a blank slate it can cause psychosis. It's used only by the VERY wealthy as a form of illegal immortality, and for research..."

"Okay, basically I just want to know how the 'critters' are created... so I know how much instinct/training/etc. to play. That's all! ;)" Collie thinks playing out the instinctual bits could be /way/ fun, but understands that's not everyone's cuppa. ;) "Well, and I'd like to know if we'll all be well-socialized to work with each other. That might be /very/ wise, if we'll all be depending on each other to watch our backs. ;)"

"From scratch... An embryo of the appropriate species is acquired, and the DNA is manipulated while in an artificial womb, until it is of sufficient growth to be removed. Then it is nurtured and cared for, much like a human baby, while its growth is being accelerated through more gene therapy. Before it is given much in the way of human level training, it is exposed to its parent species for a time as well as humans in equal proportions... For the first year, they are mostly genetically manipulated and cared for, to make them as stable physically and mentally as possible. After the first year they are about as mature physically as a 13-15 year old.

Then the real training begins, braintaping, as well as classroom education, with social skills and allegiance to the company being taught by human teachers. Later on the Animal begins to get simulation training, including team simulation with other humans, to reinforce a team mentality... For the remaining 3 years, more advanced versions of the same principle are used... Classroom. Braintape. Simulation.

Physically you are 19ish... Emotionally, no one is quite sure, that is why you are prototypes. The year is 2040, all the above training, from womb to present has been 4 years... Ain't technology grand? And you haven't actually been trained with other uplifts (That's the first night's adventure, the PCs meeting and dealing with each other for the 1st time)."

"Ok, first, how much animal training time have we had? The impression I got was that we were put in n area with our species for only a small period, before we were 1 full year. Also, I would have to ask how much we would learn; some species would be...so much bigger then their animal counterparts; wouldn't the animals be afraid of the uplifts?"

"You have had 6-8 months of direct exposure to your parent species, with gradual introductions in most cases to promote your acceptance. The rest was done via braintaping of zoological experts, dealing with your species as well as classroom education."

"So, some of the braintapes were from animal experiences? Thus implanting a little bit of instinct via technology?"

"Basically... And some was done via direct exposure."

"So, how much instinct is there? I imagine a ferret wouldn't go after something shiny in the middle of a situation, instead of focusing on his task. I mean, I don't want to start sniffing Dirk, when I first meet, to see if he checks out. :>"

"Go with common sense, Hix; like you said, you wouldn't be distracted from a mission by a shiny object... Maybe during downtime you might..."

"Okay, first off: how alike are we to our animal counterparts. Can we eat human food, or are we limited to the animal's diet?"

"You will have leanings, but mostly human... Frex: Collie's and Joel's PCs would prefer meat, but can eat anything...Just as a human. You Greg would have a thing for nutmeats and grains, but likewise could eat meat."

"Okay, secondly, I assume our vocal chords will be altered so we can speak human speech...but can we still talk in our 'native tongue' so to speak?"

"Yes and no... Yes your vocal cords have been altered to allow for human speech... Yes, you can make natural sounds...But you can't really converse with other squirrels and such, as a lot of animal communication is also posture and body language which you can't really emulate in a humanoid form... However... You can to a very limited degree still understand a the gist of what an animal of your species is doing or reacting to, based on your own instincts and training."

Re tails: a tail would help your agility, and is one of the reasons you will probably be more agile than the average human.

"Ok, how much social stuff do we know, about humans, about the world? What do they let us do for Fun? Have we been exposed to any sort of television, or movie of any kind? Would a character know what 'Ace', or 'Chief', or 'Luck' is?"

"You have a basic grounding in human society... You have had some controlled exposure to the media. Which includes television and movies...Nothing that would foster ideas that you are somehow bad, wrong, or negative, or that the company might be (Robocop is RIGHT OUT, as is Blade Runner). You know basic slang terms, Ace, Loser, Chief, Luck... You know about luck and swearing... Through some of the lower level techs that see to stuff if nothing else..."

"Speaking of such, Jon, have I been exposed to computers/internet, for the sole purpose of hacking and such, or is that all braintape?"
"I'm pretty sure they'd have let us work through the braintape skills for real... just to file the rough edges off and make sure they worked, nicht wahr?"

"Yes, braintaping... Plus in your case Hix, active simulations... hacking into the company from various points inside other parts of the company..."

"No bar codes or visible tattoos on you that you know of."

"Ok, assuming one of us dies. How long does it take, in-gamely, for us to get a replacement? Do they have one sitting in his/her cell, just waiting? Are they on stand-by? If the corporation sees a defect with one species, will they terminate the others of its kind?"

"Ah, I expected that one to crop up... Death is not entirely unlikely in this game... There are other prototypes waiting in the wings, in various stages of testing... If someone dies, they will be replaced, now to keep death from being meaningless, I won't just drop a new character in during a mission...It will have to be RPed through... And it won't be another of the same species that just died.

With the technology (and game system) lethality is going to be low for a C-Punk game, but not impossible. More than likely, you guys are going to get mangled up really badly on occasion, with lost of life and death drama as your teammates try to keep you alive."

"How will we OOCly pay for any cybernetic enhancements?"

"Collie, I am going to assign cybernetics on a discretionary basis... Based on your species and op. These will be free of charge."

The System

The game is called BESM, which stands for Big Eyes Small Mouth. The system itself is called Tri-Stat by the company. Due to the fact that the primary factor in character generation are 3 stats: BODY, MIND and SOUL. These are on a scale of 1-12, with 4 being human adult average, and 12 being universally the absolute pinnacle. Humans rarely get higher than 6-7.

BODY: This governs all physical aspects of a character. It is Strength, Dexterity and Constitution, all rolled into one.

MIND: This governs all raw mental traits. It is Intelligence, Common Sense, and Perception combined.

SOUL: Encompasses all things spiritual and intangible. It is Charisma, Willpower, Luck and overall Spirituality.

From those you have 2 derived values:

HEALTH: Basically your Hit Points - The average of your Body + Soul * 5 this determines how much punishment you can take before collapsing and possibly dying.

ENERGY: Which is a pool that can be used to increase the chance of you performing certain actions, in other genres Energy Points are spent to utilize magical, chi or psionic abilities. Energy Points = Average Mind + Soul * 5. Some attacks can reduce your Energy Point value, if is it ever brought to zero, you are rendered unconscious due to mental/emotional shock or fatigue. Energy can be spent to gain a temporary boost your stats or as temporary healing... It's the willpower factor.

After stats you have ATTRIBUTES, these are basically advantages of various sorts, anyone who know GURPS or HERO will understand that...They are too numerous to go into right now, but they cover everything that falls between stats and skills.

Lastly are skills, which add to your stats directly to determine success or failure of skill resolution... A simplified example: If you had Acrobatics at Level 1 and a Body of 6, you would add them together 6+1=7 and have to roll a 7 or less n 2d6 to do that back flip you thought was such a good idea.

"GM pluses and minuses possible for simple or very elaborate functions, I assume?"

"Yes, and there is a system for crits and fumbles as well... But that is mostly it. There are a few things that I glossed over, but that is the system in a nutshell."

You will have 30 character points and 30 skill points to work with... You can take Defects to gain added points, but they are really meant to be an RP enticement, the points you get for them are minimal.

Last modified: 2001-Jul-11 00:45:26

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