"A Walk Outside" Campaign
In this campaign, all the PCs are shut-ins who have been forced to leave their homes and go out on to the streets. Banding together for protection, the PCs will face the real world with fear and ignorance.
See also: Walk Outside Con Adventure
Character Creation- The character's starting equipment will be very limited - basically they can only have things which they could order legally via mail order. The characters wouldn't have anything that's only useful outside (like a laptop). It is permissible for PCs to have legal self-defense tools (like pepper sprays, kitchen knives, kubatons).
Description: Although too young and too small to leave the house, the adolescent dreamed of going out on the streets. Rebellious and unsatisfied with the idea of living the same lifestyle as their parents, adolescents voraciously absorb any information they can about real life on the real streets. Sources of information include news-reports, pulp novels about street life, and discussion boards where other adolescents post rumors and experiences. All of these are highly inaccurate sources of information about what it's really like out on the streets. The adolescent may have even tried to train himself or herself in preparation for someday going out on to the streets: running street-fighting simulation programs, making makeshift weapons out of household objects, etc. If not for the intervening events which forced the PC out of his or her apartment, the adolescent might have eventually gotten up the nerve to leave and join the street life, or the fantasy might have remained a fantasy and the adolescent might have become another shut-in.
Pros and Cons: Healthy, eager, with a little knowledge of the streets, but the Adolescent lacks wisdom and physical size that comes with age.
Skills: ATH 8, BIO 9, CMBT 10, CRTV 8, INFO 8, INTL 8, MIL 10, PSY:X 60, PSY:M 50, PSY:S 50, TECH 7, THIE 10, STRT 10, SOC 10. Can make City Knowledge rolls at -10.
Equipment: $50 worth of equipment, can include weapons and armor.
Disadvantages: Youth (4 yrs.)
Description: An obsessive, anti-social geek, uncomfortable with even VR social interactions. The Otaku spends all day scouring the internet for obscure information. The thrill of finding and knowing is the only entertainment the Otaku has, and so he or she is a master at discovering obscure trivia. The internet has provided entertainment and companionship, allowing the Otaku to fall in to a spiral of social avoidance. Otaku communicate mostly with other Otaku, and the communications are terse, shallow and often quite rude.
Pros and Cons: A lot of computer skills and abstract knowledge, but uncomfortable in social situations.
Skills: ATH 20, BIO 9, CMBT 25, CRTV 6, INFO 6, INTL 7, MIL 11, PSY:X 50, PSY:M 40, PSY:S 40, TECH 5, THIE 4, STRT 12, SOC 6. Internet browsing (4), Data Piracy (2).
Equipment: $1000 worth of computer equipment and data.
Disadvantages: Minimum starting CHM of 2.
Description: The Ronin is someone who, upon turning 18, tried to get in to a gated community or corporate living center and was unable to pass the tests. The Ronin spends all day trying to improve himself or herself in order to get in. This improvement can range from education to exercises that promise to improve mental stability. Ronin are ambitious, hard workers, intent on spending every waking moment improving themselves so they can get in. The Ronin is most likely “almost there”: able to meet all the criteria for entry except for one or two little personality “flaws” that they just can’t shake.
Pros and Cons: Well educated with well developed mental attributes, but they have nothing else that might help them survive on the streets.
Skills: ATH 15, BIO 8, CMBT 25, CRTV 7, INFO 7, INTL 5, MIL 12, PSY:X 40, PSY:M 30, PSY:S 30, TECH 7, THIE 15, STRT 12, SOC 6.
Description: This is a person who was on the streets long ago when the streets were vastly different. Most became shut-ins after the Freedom Wars ended and people started to flee the city in to the suburbs. Seniors feel that they are too old and tired to make it out on the streets. Their city knowledge, although outdated, may be useful. Much is different in the city today, but much is the same: a senior PC can still find their way around the city and can still recognize a dangerous thug by their swagger. Most importantly, of all the shut-ins, it is the seniors who have had real life experience dealing with real dangers.
Pros and Cons: Some city knowledge (even though outdated) and a lot of experience, but their bodies (and possibly minds) suffer from age.
Skills: ATH 15, BIO 7, CMBT 18, CRTV 6, INFO 8, INTL 6, MIL 8, PSY:X 40, PSY:M 30, PSY:S 30, TECH 8, THIE 12, STRT 9, SOC 6. History: City (1).
Special Plusses: +5 to save vs. fear.
Description: VR Addicts have found their place in the world inside huge multiplayer VR fantasy games. Here, VR Addicts are adventuring heroes who slay monsters and find treasures. VR is everything to the VR Addicts: entertainment, community, purpose in life. Most VR addicts, if they could, would gladly leave the real world behind and never return. In the real world they are plagued by a constant feeling of weakness: they cannot jump as high, run as fast, swing weapons as huge or even talk as loudly as they can as a VR hero. Still, the city has some similarities with VR worlds: a sword and a shield is sometimes the best weapons one can get a hold of, and VR Addicts PCs may slowly find out that a few of their VR adventuring skills can be useful in the real world.
Pros and Cons: Combat and athletic skills, but atrophied bodies and virtually no knowledge of the real world.
Skills: ATH 10, BIO 9, CMBT 10, CRTV 9, INFO 9, INTL 8, MIL 9, PSY:X 60, PSY:M 50, PSY:S 50, TECH 7, THIE 10, STRT 10, SOC 8.
Disadvantages: Environmental Intolerance.
Character Introductions- There are several possible excuses for why the PCs would leave their homes. Here’s a few sample scenarios:
An earthquake has cut the water lines going to the places the PCs live. The PCs must venture out in search of potable water.
The apartment building the PCs live in has just been shut down by the EPA after being contaminated by a chemical leak from a nearby factory. The PCs are not allowed back in their apartments and must find temporary shelter.
There has been an internet outage throughout the city. The PCs cannot order food deliveries on-line and are growing bored and hungry.
In any scenario, the PCs share a common problem (ignorance of how to survive on the streets) which will bind them together through their various adventures.
Adventures- Survival should be more than enough of a challenge to keep these PCs occupied. A group of huddled-together frightened shut-ins walking the streets is a beacon to every thief, con-artist, pusher or other exploiter on the streets. PCs’ ignorance can hurt them in two ways: First, they may not see the true nature of those trying to exploit them; Second, they may not recognize those who actually want to help (when the gang member with steel claws, battle scars and needle-tracts offers to help, the PCs are likely to run away).
If the PCs ever become oriented enough that survival is not a constant minute-by-minute challenge, the GM can start making them responsible for helping others. PCs may be wary to take on anyone else's problems, but they may be unable to resist in situations such as a small bruised child running to them and begging for protection.
Ending the Campaign- The campaign should end when the PCs get what they have been seeking all along: an apartment, VR, welfare and regular grocery deliveries. The real question at this point is if the PCs want to go back to being shut-ins. If the PCs have had adventures, have found strength and bravery within themselves that they didn't know they had, made friends on the streets, and have actually helped real people in the real world, will they be able to go back to being shut-ins again? If they can't, shut-in PCs can become PCs in a normal campaign. The PCs simply join normal character classes and eventually become level 1s in those character classes (use the Disciplines rules, p.55).