for Cyberpunk 2020®
by Mark Shute
with assistance from Anthony Toledo
Copyright 1999 by Mark Shute
Welcome to my Goon Generator for R. Talsorian Games Inc. CyberPunk 2020 RPG. I developed this utility in order to quickly create full-featured NPCs for my CyberPunk games. I have included some basic instructions, introductory information, and comments on the functioning of this Goon Generator below if you care to read them. The interface above is fairly intuitive however, and you can easily jump in and start cranking out some goons if you like.
When I first began to run CyberPunk 2020, I realized that it took a great deal of time to create realistic NPCs. I tired using the "Fast and Dirty Expendables" generator in the core rules book (CP 3002), but I found that the Expendables I created were cookie-cutter images of each other, and largely geared towards combat and little else. The group I play with can be predictably unpredictable. They make friends and ask favors of Expendables I expect them to blow away, and then start fights with NPCs I had just thrown in for background color.
Now I'll be the first to admit that this is the CyberPunk way, and my players can't be faulted for it. But it often left the players sitting on their hands while I hastily rolled up Expendables in order to get a fight started. My players also have a tendency loot bodies (another very CyberPunk practice that they can't be faulted for) and the Fast and Dirty Expendables often end up with matching Cyberware. Looting became repetitive.
I hit the web for solutions to speed up NPC creation and quickly discovered that some clever folks had computerized the old "Fast & Dirty" generator online. While this sped up the process considerably, it did nothing to make the NPC more varied. And in some cases, the NPCs were so random, I would have to repeatedly generate characters to get what I needed. This was obviously not the answer.
I found a wonderful shareware program on Sabastien Cold's web page called Character Smith that makes character creation much easier and streamlines PC creation, but it still required too much time on my part to pick and choose stats, skills, weapons, cyberware, etc. It wasn't fast enough to create on-the-spot Expendables.
I decide what I needed was a way to create NPCs with a minimum of thought and maximum variety. The Goon Generator was born. This generator uses options from the CP core rules book (CP 3002) - the cyberware, the skills, the weapons, they've all been randomized to create a detailed goon with the click of a button. If you need additional information about anything that turns up in this generator, just consult good ol' CP 3002. I know there is some great stuff in other books, and someday I may include it. This is only version 1.0 after all.
I also wanted to be able to print my goons out so I could make notes and alterations if needed. I didn't want to spend the entire game staring at the computer, click-click-clicking (a pencil and paper are still the best way to do some things, IMHO). The info needed to be compact and well-organized. As a result, I had to abbreviate a lot of things in order to keep it organized on a sheet of paper. My first efforts kept running off the side of the page. Just the same, all of the abbreviations should be easily recognizable.
Now occasionally, this utility will produce some pretty odd results, since everything is random after all. But I quickly realized that the strange results gave the goons depth and personality without taking the time to roll up a life path (incidentally, there are several very good life path generators out there). If needed, these Fast and Dirty expendables could become recurring NPCs with rich pasts and personalities. All I had to do was use my imagination to justify the unusual results I came up with, and the goon's stories unfolded.
So anyway, that's my story. That's how this generator came to be. Thanx for taking the time to read it all. I'll move along to the useful stuff now.
Only two choices are required to create a goon here. You must decide how powerful you want the goon to be, and you must pick a role. After agonizing over these two life-altering choices for several milliseconds, it's all a matter of clicking buttons and letting the computer go to work. Well heck, sometimes even that's too much work for a harried GM. If you want a completely random goon with no thought at all, just leave the two options set to "random" and take your chances.
This box begins with a check mark in it. If the checkmark is removed, then the goon will be created with blank lines instead of Weapons, Cyberware, or Armor. You can use this option if you want to randomly generate stats and skills, but pick and choose the goon's gear yourself.
Create a Goon
Every time you click this button, a new goon will be generated and displayed above any previous goons you have created. In this way, you can create a team of Solos, a band of Rockers, a Corporate board of directors, the crew of a Trauma Team AV, any kind of mixture you can imagine. There is a counter on the right hand side that will keep track of just how many goons you have ready to go.
This does just what it says... well, mostly. I designed this utility for Netsacpe Navigator 4.5, and the pirnt button works perfectly well in Navigator. MS Internet Explorer has some idosyncracies that I don't completely understand tho. You can get the goon to print out from IE, but it's not as easy as clicking a button, and the method differs for IE4 and IE5. Use the browser's print button and play around with it until you get it.
If you find that the record runs off the side of the paper, try adjusting the margins in Page Setup under your browser's File menu. Or you can adjust the size of your fixed width font in your browser's Preferences menu. You can usually fit two goons on a page (half as many as the Fast & Dirty sheet I admit, but look at how much more info you get).
If you look at a goon on the screen and it just doesn't work for you (or if you accidentally create a Cop, when you meant to create a Corp), you can delete it. This button will delete the goon at the top of the display window, so you can get rid of all of them one at a time, not just the last one you created.
This button will wipe the slate clean of all the goons you have created and return you to this instruction page. Use it when you're finished with a band of goons and you're ready to move on.
Each goon is assigned a randomly chosen distinguishing characteristic to help identify that goon when dealing with large groups of NPCs. Each distinguishing characteristic is intended to transcend gender and role.
Each goon's Character Points are randomly determineded between a minimum and maximum value based on the power level chosen. Piss-Ant goons have between 30 and 40 Character Points. Average goons range from 45 to 55, and Bad-Ass goons will have Character Points from 55 to 70. The Character Points are listed at the top of the Stats list as "points". Each goon's starting Stats are randomly generated from the starting Character Points.
Each role has two stats that are augmented based on the stats most frequently used in their career skills. For example, the Corporate role has 4 career skills that are Intelligence based, and three that are Empathy based. Intelligence and Empathy are both augmented for the Corporate role. Augmented stats will not exceed stat maximums, nor are they guaranteed to be the highest stats- they just get an edge.
Each goon is assigned the 10 career skills that correspond to the chosen role. Solos can be assigned a randomly chosen martial art in place of Brawling (with more difficult arts reserved for higher level goons). Techies are assigned three randomly chosen "technical" skills.
Skills are randomized between a minimum and a maximum value based on power level. Piss-Ants have a range of 1-6, Average goons range from 2-8 and Bad-Ass skills range from 3-10. No goon will have a career skill of 0, and no goon will have fewer than 40 points distributed to career skills.
Next to each skill, flanked by a curly bracket, is a single letter representing the Stat that the skill falls under.
In addition, 5 unassigned skill values are randomly generated and listed below the career skills. These values can be assigned to pick-up skills as needed by the scenario.
These secondary stats are automatically computed from the randomly generated character stats. For the purpose of face-offs, goons may have a Reputation. Naturally, more powerful goons will have higher reps.
This section will only be displayed if the goon has one or more cybernetic limbs. The SDP numbers to disable and destroy the cyberLimb will be listed, and they will be adjusted if the limb has Reinforced Joints or other SDP augmentation. If the cyberLimb is armor plated, the SP bonus will be recorded in the appropriate Armor slot.
Weapons are assigned two ways. First by skill; a goon with the Handgun skill will have a chance of having a handgun - the higher the skill, the higher the chance. Second, goons can be assigned weapons by random chance. This allows weapons to be assigned even to those roles with no weapon career skills. The higher a goon's power level, the more likely they are to have a random weapon.
More powerful weapons are assigned to more powerful goons, and certain roles have a better chance of randomly obtaining certain weapon types. There are no impossible weapon assignments, but some are extremely improbable. If your Med-Tech scores a Scorpion Missile Launcher, head for Vegas. Speaking of missiles and other explosives, weapons with an area effect will have the radius of effect listed in parenthesis after the name.
After each weapon name, it's type is listed using standard CP abbreviations.
The skill listed is the computed total of the goon's modified Reflexes, the appropriate weapon Skill (if any), the weapon's inherit Accuracy, and bonuses for using a Smart Gun Link or Targeting Scope optic. This total is listed to save the GM some math time and speed up combat. If a goon has a Smart Gun Link or a Targeting Scope, not all weapons will receive the bonus. Those weapons that are smart gun equipped will be marked with an asterisk (*) next to the skill total.
Following the skill total is the weapon's damage roll. In some cases such as gas or grenade weapons, the GM will have to determine what type of damage the weapon causes. In the case of melee weapons, the goon's Damage Modifier is included with the weapon's normal damage.
The number of shots a weapon holds and its rate of fire are listed together as #/rof.
The weapon's reliability is also listed using standard CP abbreviations.
Other weapon properties, including concealability and range, were omitted for space considerations. These can generally be guessed at by the GM based on the weapon's type.
Cybernetics are assigned to a goon primarily on two considerations - random chance and remaining humanity. Certain roles have better or worse chances of obtaining certain cybernetics, but there are no impossible combinations and there are no guaranteed combinations. A Corporate with full Body Plating is a long shot (and a bit silly), but still a possibility. Conversely, a Solo with a Cyber Optic is not guaranteed a Targeting Scope. Certain powerful or illegal cybernetics are out of the reach of Piss-Ant goons tho.
When a cybernetic permanently affects a Stat or a Skill, that Stat or Skill is adjusted. If the cybernetic only works under certain circumstances, then the bonus and circumstances are listed for the GM to make adjustments as needed. For example, if a goon receives Grafted Muscle, his Body Stat will be increased, as will any Computed Stats based on the Body Stat. On the other hand, if a goon receives an Olfactory Boost, no adjustment will be made to the Awareness/Notice Skill, because the bonus only applies at certain times.
Humanity loss is calculated for each cybernetic that a goon receives, even tho it is not displayed for each individual cybernetic. The final Humanity is calculated under Computed Stats, and the modified Empathy is listed. Altho cybernetics are assigned based on whether or not the goon has the humanity to afford them, it is possible for an unlucky goon to go cyber psycho.
Certain pseudo-cybernetics, such as Smart Goggles, will be listed in this section, but there is no humanity loss charged for them.
Cybernetic weapons and cybernetic armor may be listed in the Weapons and Armor section, but not appear in the Cyberware section. This is to save space. Rest assured that all appropriate adjustments are made tho, including Humanity loss.
Every goon has a chance to have armor. Naturally certain roles have a better chance, and Bad-Ass goons have a better chance than Piss-Ants. The "New Rules" for Maximum Armor and Proportional Armor on page 101 of CP 3002 are observed here, so armor bonuses are given for additional armor layers, and encumbrance value penalties are applied to the Reflexes Stat. SP values are displayed in the traditional CP Hit Location chart.
Armor plating on cyberLimbs is listed with the individual limb in the CyberWare section, but it's SP value or bonus is displayed below. Any SP total displayed in italics indicates that the limb below the armor is cybernetic, and damage to that limb should be counted against the limb's SDP, not against health levels. Incidentally, armor bonuses for Skinweave will be removed from SP totals for cyberLmibs.
A standard CP Health Levels chart with stun penalties is included to record a goon's injuries when the character record is printed out.