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Big Jim, a character for Shadowrun®, 3rd ed.

Real name: James Johnson

Table of Contents


Initial Concept

To be honest, none. This guy was a very simple variation of the Street Samurai archetype that was further modified to be a Dwarf. Our GM wanted everyone to pick an archetype, and when everyone else picked their favorites, we did not have a jacked up wired machine, so I took this guy. My Street Samurai Mk 2 archetype trades out the cyberlimbs and uses Man & Machine to full effect. While cyberlimbs sound cool, with M&M they got more complicated and to me a million nuyen sammy should be packed full of things you would want to have. I find it hard to believe all sammies are the victim of multiple arm amputation accidents, and arms just aren't cool enough, unless you take advantage of weird cyber unique to them, which the Main Book archetype did not do.

So, the initial concept is he's a Dwarf and he's a Street Samurai. He also has a little bit better hearing and a Willpower 7.*

* - OK, that's just my personal obsession with running high Willpower PCs slipping in there; but shouldn't a PC be at least as stubborn as his player? ;)


The Rationales

OK, the rationales  were used in making the archetype. The idea is that this guy is ready for professional shadowrunning. That means good guns, commo, armor, and an agility to handle just about any situation...provided it has a gun, blade, and/or sneaking solution. For example, he has a Remington Roomsweeper so he has access to the wonderful variety of shotgun rounds (Shocklock for doors, Stun rounds for actually not killing people, and so on).

My Street Sammy archetype dropped the Leadership and traded the Sword for Clubs. Why? Well clubs are just a better all around weapon. Easy to come by, easy to slip by security or "obtain" from security, decent reach, and a milspec stun baton will drop a rhino.

Enough of that. He's cooler, 'nuff said.


The Background

Even though you and Jim were good friends, you had never seen Jim drink before; now it seemed he was making up for lost time. He still had not explained the reason for his mirth. After four synth ales too many, his face cracked into a smile. Although you had seen him do a lot of things with expert skill, smiling was not one of them. You were not entirely sure if he was going to hit you, hug you, throw up, or all three. His glossy drunken stare turned to a thousand-yard stare, and just when you were certain he was about to pass out, he erupted into a monologue. His deep grizzled voice was all the more distinctive with the phlegmy rattle of too much alcohol.

"I wasn't always what I am today, but you probably scanned that, given that most folks don't plop outta their mommas with a million nuyen of wiz cyber, neh? Well, 'course you put a lot of that in, didn't ya?"

His chuckle was unsettling and you were ready to dodge and unexpected regurgitation, when he continued, "No sir. I was just a regular ol' stuntie from Puyallup. I was pretty smart and all, and school was all right. I had a pretty bright future as a sarariman or a techie, if I wanted that. Problem was, I had a friend. Friends, that's what ya gotta watch out for. They'll get ya killed faster than any of that drek we see in the shadows. 'course, you know this friend."

"Anyway, so this friend, Paco, was kinda lyrical and such. Well, he was doing all right in choir and all that, but being in the choir as a guy can get you attention you don't want. That's were I came in. See, Paco and I were inseparable. So, I'd do my homework while he did his singing thing, then I'd get a workout smacking around some stupid slot that thought he'd go pick on the choir boy. It worked out OK, and I learned how to handle myself."

"But we grew up and old Paco was feeling his rebellious youth kick in. Hey, did I mention he was a tusker? Nah, wait, you know that. Anyway, he ate up all that drek about Ork rights and next thing ya know he's the militant poet. Well, the distance between militant poet and rapper selling out for cred is thinner than a monowhip. Next thing you know, I'm not hanging out in the back of the music room, I'm hanging out in a fraggin' mansion and all sorts of pretty people are telling Paco, excuse me, "Puyallup Paco", how "real" he is. Yeah, right, like those posers would know real if it it slapped them in the face."

You remember the Behind the Music special on Paco. It covered most of that drama, but didn't emphasize Jim's role that much, perhaps in an attempt to make Paco that much more of a tragic hero. You have no doubt Jim's story is the truth of it, though. You pulled a bullet out of Paco once and he was pretty scrawny for an Ork; you almost lost him, and the wound wasn't that serious.

"Years go by and Paco's gigs get bigger. Paco knew how much I liked cyber, so he kept tossing money at me to give me the latest wiz ware. I put it to good use. Frag! Most of it went to you! So, the more popular he got, the more cybered his psychos fans got. Before I know it, you had packed as much gear in my body as any of them corp sammies. Don't get me wrong, I ain't complaining. I like my bits and pieces. And you know I wasn't fraggin' around. I took it serious. I mean, where do you think I got the skills I got now? You get enough money and contacts, and you can take some very specialized education, chummer. Frag, a lot of those classes was with them corp razorboys. I still see a lot of them at my dojo. Where was I?"

"Oh yeah. So, I dunno, almost ten years had gone by and things were cruising along, pretty routine really, null sheen and all that drek. Me and Paco was still inseparable and I gotta hand it to him, he may have taken their cred, but he still kept it real. Drek, they all say that don't they? Well, it's true, and if ya don't believe it, you can frag off. You didn't see him all that much, but take my word for it. Problem was, he was keeping it too real for some people. Impressionable young breeders were tuning in and entire armies of tuska' posers were created, being human wasn't cool enough for them. Well, Mr. and Mrs. Sarariman didn't care much for this. But hey, what are they gonna do? Write us a stern letter? Null sheen, right? Wrong."

"Ya see, we can't forget our old friends the Humanis Poli-fraggin-club and their good buddies Alamos 20k. Always trying to do the right thing for their fellow HU-man, no matter how many people they gotta kill. Yeah, *those* cowardly fraggin' babykillers. Well, apparently, one too many precious little breeder kids decided he needed to stand up for the plight of his Ork brother and those racist slots decided they needed to save the young breeders from the brainwashing of Paco's rhymes.

"In the end, it all happened pretty quick. You probably just saw the same old footage of smoke, fire and confusion that they played over and over. Well, there ain't much else to tell. There was a bright flash, a loud "whump", and suddenly I could fly. Well, I was flying through the air anyways. The stage had been wired to blow. Took out the whole band instantly, killed a large chunk of the audience, and put me into the balcony seats. A20k ain't all that big on surgical strikes. Break a few eggs and all that.

He pauses briefly and in that pause you remind yourself that what should be an emotional story of nostalgia, reverie, and grief, is being told in a stangely gruff, monotone with an alloofness that betrays the words. You've heard the story before, and lived a small piece of it. You wonder if maybe he has a little too much cyber in him, but you know better than to doubt yourself. You are a master of your craft, and you scanned and logged all of that gear before you put in that spatial recognizer. You'd still be with DocWagon, but you're just a little too "carefree" for the AMA. Fraggers!

Jim's words startle you back to focus, "Me? I survived. I always do, thanks to you. Paco? Couldn't piece him back together with a whole army of Bear shamans.

"And suddenly that was it. Everything changed. I had some cash, but it ran out and I wasn't gonna go join the line of leeches hitting up Paco's woman. She wanted to switch into rich, comfortable, and normal, and I had to respect that. She had enough to keep her, if she just managed it right and I wasn't going to rock that boat. Besides, what would I do in the suburbs? Star in some silly ass movie about a cybered babysitter?

His loud raucous laugh is a startling change from the nigh monotone drone, almost as if he was momentarily possessed by someone that actually cared about the story.

"Neh, that wasn't my thing. Professional "problem" solver. That's the life for me. So, yeah, I know the talk and I can walk the walk. Trying to rustle up some jobs, but it's been slow coming. My contacts tell me I needed a cooling off period, what with my mug being a regular backdrop to an international music star for the last few years. Good thing for me he became more reclusive at the end of his career, or I mighta never got a job. Ah, someone's need for a little aggressive problem solving will always outweight their concerns for my anonymity.

He snaps to, almost as if slapped, and you can tell he's kicked his wired reflexes on.

"Damn, I forgot, I need to get home. I got a call for some gig in a park or something. Scan ya later, chummer! Gotta go make some more money to pay you to oil this tin man!"

He rolls from his chair with a grace that still surprises you, and adopts his taciturn "gameface". Drunk or not, you pity the slot that tries to mug him on the way home.



Jim is slightly taller and heavier than an average Dwarf, but just slightly. He is a mongrel. While his face is primarily Caucasian in structure, he has a touch of Asian at the corner of his his black eyes and a light mulatto complexion that could originate from any combination of genes. His hair and beard are both thick and medium in length and medium brown in color, though his hair does not hang below his collar. Although he has a "flat top" hair style, his hair length is too long to pass for active duty military. He generally wears black pants, a dark brown longcoat and some dark colored shirt.

The heavy amount of augmentation he has from cyber and bioware gives him a detachment that goes beyond cool bodyguard, but he uses that to effect in his typical professional roles. When he does talk, he has a gruff demeanor and a slightly gravelly voice, which he attributes to yelling at concert goers. He is a tough guy and he has played the role far too long to learn a different one.




Growing as a Character . . . (how he has "matured")

  • ? karma for background -
  • Run 1 -


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