Monday, January 30, 2012

Trauma, with footnotes

Back to 1997, and forward to the technoir future.

I'm a big fan of Cyberpunk 2020.* Someday we should talk about Why Johnny Ace Can't Read. Right now, check out this 14-year-old webpage. Marvel at how it's still around. Enjoy the amazing level of detail that someone poured into this. Think about what a group of enterprising PCs could do if they had access to a fully-equipped Trauma Team AV-4 for just one evening...

They could get hired to extract Achmed Goldman (former intelligence agent for both Mossad and an unspecified Arab nation**). He could have accepted a 6-month contract to work inside a totally locked-down arcology, and that contract could have expired several months ago. The PCs could know a sketchy fixer offering them $10,000 each COD, plus whatever they walk out with, if they brought Goldman out alive. Could be that there's a catch -- the only way in is a false flag operation, disguised as a Trauma Team team, and it has to happen at 9 PM tomorrow.***

It could also be that the PCs barely know how to fly an AV-4, that Goldman has been moved to a different location, that someone else will flag the team down for emergency first aid, and that REO Meatwagon**** will bushwhack them in midair to try and steal their "patient."

Could even be that 2/3 of the PC party***** will develop a crush on a random NPC and generate a whole new set of adventures.

But I don't need to tell you all of this. You can look at this jewel of a page and figure something out for yourself.

*This game alone guarantees designer Mike Pondsmith a place in the RPG Hall Of Fame, to say nothing of the fact that he also created Castle Falkenstein and Mekton. Dude has chops.

**One player was the kind of guy who'd think this detail meant that either Goldman was a total badass or that he was a total con man. I watched him decide where he came down on that question and had Goldman match it. Turns out to be a pretty good trick for wrangling NPCs.

***The arbitrary deadline helped a lot. Players will plan everything to death, and then plan the funeral, unless there's a clock ticking.

****Best stupid organization name ever.

*****Including my wife.


  1. Oh. My. God. Bookmarked and archived. I've been wanting to run a "Trauma Team" campaign for, like, almost a decade now. Thanks for this invaluable resource!

    (Although your write-up of Fake Shemp paramedic-assassins now has me wanting to do something similar--that sounds like a blast!)

    1. Glad you liked it! I can't believe that site is still there, but I'm glad it endures. And I think your campaign idea is great -- PCs could get in sooo much trouble working for Trauma Team. Or one of its rivals. Or as bodyjackers. Or... so many options.