Stalker, Ace Otaku

   Stalker is one of the oldest known Otaku – which makes him almost sixteen. He’s also one of the few who doesn’t need a datajack at all, a matrix nerd (even for an Otaku), a Makah Indian, and the oldest son of a very traditionalist father, who has sent him out on a “vision quest” – and won’t take anything he can find on the Matrix as a suitable vision. Dad wants him to be a Shaman – and regards his sons Astral Sight as an obvious indication that that is what he’s going to be.

   Stalker had severe doubts about his ability to survive for more than a few hours without matrix access, much less without a well-stocked refrigerator and a bag of chips, and so he headed for Seattle – where there were more hallucinogens per square foot than anywhere else he knew of. Besides, Kimiko – pretty much alone among his gaming friends – had actually inquired as to who he really was and had invited him to come by. He was even fairly sure she was female, which made it something of a disappointment when it turned out that she wanted him to use his computer skills on behalf of some other friends while she was in the hospital. On the other hand, the fridge was well stocked and the friends looked halfway unreal to start with, so they might be helpful with that stupid “vision quest” thing.

   Basic Expenditures: Resources 0 (5 KNY), Skills 22 (47 Active Skill Points), Attributes 20 (28 Attribute Points), Magic 24 (Ace, 25 Karma, Karma Pool 1), and Race 0 (Human).

   Basic AttributesBody 5, Quickness 5, Strength 2 (originally 1), Willpower 7, Intelligence 7 (11), Charisma 3 (originally 2). Essence 6, Magic 9, Reaction 8, Initiative 8+2d6 Physical, 9+3d6 Matrix.

   Dice Pools: Combat 11, Hacking 6, Task 2, and Karma 1.

   Edges: Over-expenditure on Basics (6), Educated II (+2 to Knowledge Skill Multiplier, 2), +1 Magic (3), Geneware (1 BI point worth at the cultured price with no BI, 6. Includes a Cerebral Booster II, Synaptic Accelerator I, and +1 die with Endurance/Resist Intoxicants). Net cost: 17

   Flaws: Addiction (Video Games; Common, Mild, -1), Biorejection (-2), Dice Penalties (-3 dice on all social checks, -6*), Hung out to Dry (-4), On File (Salish-Sidhe, -4), and Obligations (minor family duties once in awhile, -1). Net Value: (-10) + (-2/2) + (-6) = (-17)

   *This flaw is exempted from the over-10 halving rule because it’s funny and because it’s a terribly easy way to get the character into trouble.

   Karma Expenditures: Initiate I (Attunement II/+2 MR and Astral Sight, 10. Note that taking Attunement more than once per level is not normally allowed but – as an Otaku – there isn’t that much else to take), Str 2 (4), and Chr 3 (6). That leaves 5, +3 for first adventure (spent on joining an initiatory group, 3).

Ace Powers (18 Magic Points Worth)

  • Computer Emulation III (7 Magic Points)
    • Duplicates the functions of an Actlink, Knowsoft Link, Display Link, Audio Link, a Level (Cha) Transducer, and a Cyberdeck with (round up):
      • MPCP = (Int+Will+Chr)/3 = 7
      • Bod = (Will) = 7
      • Evasion = (Int+Chr)/2 = 7
      • Masking = (Will+Chr)/2 = 5 (Detection Factor = 3).
      • Sensor = (Int) = 11
      • Response = (Int+Will)/2 +3D6 = 9+3d6
      • Armor = (Will) = 7
      • I/O = (Int*100) = 1100
      • Hardening = (Will/2) = 4
      • Available Memory (divided between active and storage at whim) of [(Int+Will) x 1000 MP] = 18,000 MP
      • “Hot” ASIST.
    • “Damage” to the “Icon” or “Deck” is taken directly by the user.
    • Damage to “programs” “repairs” itself at one point per hour if the user is physically healthy.
    • Damage to MPCP or Persona “Programs” “heals” at one point a day.
    • Virus Codes, such as Worm, do not affect the user.
    • May adapt minor programs (CAD/CAM, Word Processing, etc) for personal use by either writing or purchasing the program in question and expending one karma point. Rated programs cost Karma equal to their rating to adapt, but can be obtained or written in the same fashion. After adaption such programs are immune to SOTA penalties.
    • +1 to Mental Attribute Limits, -1 to his or her Physical Attribute Limits
    • May use and Specialize the “Channel” skills (Access, Control, Index, Files, and Slave)
    • Automatically adapts to “sculpted” systems.
    • As a “Technoshaman” he gains a +1 bonus on his effective channel ratings.
  • Innate Spell/Remote Link (Self-Only, need not be sustained, 2 points). Note that setting up a link requires either a Superheroics check or an Intelligence check with a TN of 14. Each success provides a transfer I/O of 100. For serious decking, bringing down this target number will be important. As it is, it may often require several tries.
  • New Sense: Machine Empathy (.5 points).
  • Regeneration: One box of damage per Hour (1 point).
  • 3x Extra Damage Monitors (6 points).
  • +3 Dice with the Computer Skill (1.5 points).


  • Active Skills (47): Computer 7 (10), Channels [Access 7 (8), Control 7 (8), Index 7 (8), Files 7 (8), Slave 7 (8)], and Electronics 5.
  • Knowledge Skills (Bases+63): Software Design 6 (4+2), Simsense Games 6 (4+2), Seattle Matrix 6 (4+2), Matrix Search Engines 6 (4+2), Program Scrounging 6 (4+2), Drone Systems 4 (4+0), Computer Hardware 6 (2+4), Quantum Mechanics 6, Chemistry 6, Physics 6, Probability and Statistics 6, Biology 6, Archeology 6, Makah Tribal Lore 2, Smuggling Routes 5, Old Entertainment Programs 6.
  • Languages (13): Makah 5, English 4, Japanese 2, Leetspeak 2.
  • Irrelevant Skills (12): Makah Tribal Lore +4 (6 total), Locating Snacks 4, Light Siege Engines 4.

   Well, normally skills aren’t supposed to start off over 6, no matter how high the linked attribute is – but, in this case (and in view of that absurd intelligence and him being an Otaku) I’ll let the values go up to 7.


  • Mentat-III Program (45 MP, 4500 NY, +2 Int, +1 Task Pool)
  • Armor Vest (2/1 armor, 200 NY)
  • Cellular Phone (50 NY)
  • Knife (30 NY)
  • Tribal Clothing (50 NY)
  • Pocket Game Unit (50 NY)
  • Pocket Flashlight (10 NY)
  • Survival Kit (100 NY)
  • Ration Bars (30 NY)
  • Box of Ginseng Tea (20 NY)
  • Street Lifestyle (Free)
  • Credstick, 460 NY (Originally 500 NY, but he picked up the ration bars and flashlight at a local convenience store).

   Stalker really isn’t at his maximum potential yet: he needs to get some way to bring down that 14 target number for setting up his link – learning the technomancy metamagic, picking up a special power, or taking the Superheroics skill to get rid of the modifier for defaulting to an attribute – and to either pick up some of the programs that his Channels can’t duplicate (Sleaze, Attack, and Cloak) or to upgrade his Computer Emulation to cover them. Similarly, a good Biofeedback program, a will-boosting program, a mathematics program (to boost his hacking pool even further, and a few skill programs could be quite handy. Of course, they’ll all take Karma to adapt.

   On the physical end, some actual physical skills, some decent armor, some pocket tools and supplies, and perhaps a weapon he could at least TRY to threaten people with might be good. Being able to take more damage than two elephants is nice, but avoiding doing it in the first place is probably even nicer.

   Fortunately, he’s picked up plenty of money from his new friends already, and can afford to do a bit of shopping before going off on a dangerous mission.

7 Responses

  1. No, I don’t want him in the same zip code as a weapon. He’s more likely to hurt himself than the enemy. Well, maybe if it’s really big and scary and completely unloaded. Skills first, weapon second.

  2. Bio rejection? But doesn’t a Otaku need a datajack and a hot Assist?

    Man Stalker must be in constant pain to get into the matrix, datajack itch and all.

    • Not really; he’s using Computer Emulation and a remote link effect – and thereby doesn’t need either a Datajack or any kind of ASSIST.

      In this case, “Ace” is a technical term. Further information can be found over here:

      The character creation handout .PDF is available here:

      To quote the relevant section:

      “The Otaku are humans and metahumans who have developed the ability to interface with, command, run programs on, and store data from computers with nothing more then a datajack. The change is apparently induced by a quasi-mystical effect called the Deep Resonance, and defies analysis.
      This is a giveaway. The neural nets of the brain, it’s various functions, and it’s biological basis, were all in the process of being fully analyzed at the end of the 20’th century. Current (Shadowrun) science is capable of rewiring portions of the brain, interfacing it with electronics – and even simply programming in skills and reflexes. The only function of the brain that still defies analysis is magic – unless you care to believe that somehow a large computer network has created some new laws of nature.

      • Still refers to the need for a datajack on the site so biorejection is still a very painful way of getting a Otaku.
        DNI is basiclly a datajack, what other method would this otaku has to link up to the network we all know as the matrix without a interface to do so?

        >This ability allows the user’s brain to act as a computer – although a Direct Neural Interface (see Neuralware) or Datajack is still required to make effective use of this ability.

        Bio-rejection is quite simple of a ruling if it isn’t natural it won’t work

        Biorejection; You cannot use cyberware and may only use cultured bioware. This is only a -2 flaw for the magically active, 0 if already suffering from some similar restriction (-5).

        and since cultured bioware is technically on betaware level…
        but that is besides this point.

        Both the DNI and the Datajack are cyberware, Bio-rejection doesn’t really allow for a character to take cyberware and so it is very stupid to go into neural surgery before a run and after a run to implant and take it out before the Bio-rejection occures.

  3. I suspect that you’re missing something: Stalker has an Innate Remote Link effect – which allows him to get along without a datajack or the direct neural interface (the component that translates optronic signals into neural signals) which is built into a standard datajack. He doesn’t have or need a datajack – or any other cyberware for that matter – because he has an ability which works better. He’s rather more powerful than the standard Otaku simply because he’s a Priority-A build, rather than the usual Otaku Priority-B.

    As for cultured bioware, I suspect that you’re referring to the “Geneware” entry. As noted in the discription of that advantage, “Geneware” is innate – that is, something that’s in your genes. Geneware doesn’t have an availability rating and you don’t purchase it; it’s just something you were born with. It’s built with bioware rules because that easily maintains back-compatibility.

    It would indeed be stupid to keep having to install and uninstall cyberware, which is one reason why there’s no build here that requires it.

  4. Thoth I have seen the spell

    Still this is a check similair to one a rigger makes to hijack a drone.
    First Stalker needs to find somewhere to setup a remote connection. (wireless is harder to find in 3rd edition, 4th it’s everywhere)
    Second he must find out what protocol is in use.
    and then adapt to it.

    So that are the basics
    Besides i am not a GM, I just give my opinion.

    • I suspect you need to check the spell description more closely. Note that “wireless” is in quotes and that the actual description is “physical hardlink not required”. Stalker does not require that a system have wireless access, merely that it have the capability for external access via a physical connection. In any case, as also noted on that list, those spells are second edition, in which it was impossible to deck over a wireless link – so no systems had them in the 4’th edition sense. Finally, even if the spell was restricted as you imply, as an Ace’s innate power, Stalker could simply be using his own version – albeit possibly at greater cost if he wanted a notable upgrade.

      As far as protocols go, Stalker has exactly the same difficulties that someone using a conventional cyberdeck with the same statistics has – no more and no less.

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