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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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Getting Started

links to chargen/archetypes FIXME

Useful commands

Words in bold are commands you can enter while playing.

Type commands to see all available actions. Type help to see a list of help topics, for example help newbie to see how to use the channel for new players seeking help.

Basic mechanics

Relevant helpfiles: help tests

Your chance of success at tasks in-game is determined by a number of hidden dice rolls using your attributes or skills. Higher ratings give a greater chance of success, as well as a chance for greater degrees of success. For example, a character with Pistols 2 will have trouble hitting their target at all, while a character with Pistols 12 will almost always hit and can damage foes in heavy armor.

Each roll is made against a Target Number (TN), where a lower target number is easier to hit. For the character shooting a pistol, a smartlink can lower the TN, whereas bad weather can increase the TN.


Radios and phones

Relevant helpfiles: help radio, help phones

Radios are the main in-character (IC) method of communication. Meet new people! If you have a question, try asking there before proceeding to out-of-character (OOC) channels.

Use phone. (Have a phone.) Make sure it's turned on.

They'll still work if they're in the pockets of your gear. They count as miscellaneous items.


Cash and credsticks

Relevant helpfiles: help bank, help credstick.

Your funds are stored in two formats:

  • Carried cash, which you can see with score or balance. Most Johnsons pay out in cash.
  • Money deposited in the bank, which you can see with balance while at an ATM or look credstick while roaming. Your bank balance is unchanged if you die. A credstick is needed for legal transactions, such as shopping at corporate stores and malls.

You'll need to have an actual credstick item to use one. You can buy a branded one at Circuit Couriers in Auburn, or a generic one at Nybbles and Bytes in West Tacoma. The latter stacks with generic credstick drops, though, so don't lose track of it! You can restring it or put it in one of your pockets or containers.

After you acquire a blank credstick, make sure to activate it. It must be in your main inventory to make a purchase with it.

You can transfer funds between cash and your account at any ATM. You can find them at the Neophyte guild and banks like Velasquez Bank in West Tacoma or UCASBank on Espanoza Way in Seattle NE (say UCASBank while in a taxi). Most malls also have one.

I "found" someone else's credstick. How do I use it?

Activated credsticks are locked with a complex PIN. Broadcast with a radio to ask if anyone knows someone who can crack them.

If your character is skilled in Electronics, you can attempt to crack it yourself with the crack command if you have an electronics kit. If you fail, wait before trying as each failure increases the TN of subsequent attempts.

Where can I get gear?

(link to future shopping section) FIXME

For items not found in public storefronts, try asking for a fixer on the radio.

Where can I sell gear?

Find a pawn shop. There are a couple in Little Chiba, Seattle's Japantown. The entrance to the zone is on south Fifth Street in Seattle SE. Tread carefully if you're not a human.

Where can I buy ammo?

There's a store that sells all basic ammo types west, south, west from the exit of the Neophyte guild.

Getting around

Relevant helpfiles: help taxi, help map

Use the taxi while you get oriented. It's free until you reach 100 TKE (total karma earned) and you graduate from the Neophyte Guild. Don't worry, you still have access to the parking lot if you left a vehicle there.

Look at the sign in the taxi. Visit entertainment venues to find work. Collect grid coordinates for later (see below).

Using your vehicle

Relevant helpfiles: help vehicles, help speed, help gridguide

Unlock and enter your vehicle. Switch to move between front and back, if available. Drive and change speed to get going (speeding is not recommended at low skill levels). When you're done, change speed to the lowest level (idle), then leave and lock.

If the commands default to someone else's vehicle, precede them with “my.” e.g. unlock my.americar

Items dropped in vehicles, front or back, will persist. However, they can be lost if your vehicle is destroyed.

Points in driving skills are required to manually drive a car, but an unskilled owner can still use the gridguide system. Use a portable GPS scanner or GridGuide device to find coordinates to enter into your vehicle later.

I don't have a portable GPS unit. Where can I get one?

Have a look around the Lysleul Plaza. You can take a taxi there.

Is there a list of grid coordinates?

Why can't I get to...

Autonav is built into some vehicles, and Gridguide is built into some roads. Autonavigation depends on both and will not function where either have not been installed (e.g. some highways leading out of the city or some of the rougher areas of Seattle). You must drive manually to these areas or take a taxi (surcharges may apply: caveat emptor).

Portland is in another country (the elven nation Tir Tairngire) and requires a visa to enter. You can take a bus, where visas are not checked.

My vehicle is wrecked.

Relevant helpfiles: help tow, help push

A character with a truck can tow it. Then a mechanic (often the same character) can fix it for you.

If nobody is available, there are forklifts in the Tacoma junkyard capable of towing your vehicle, as well as a public vehicle workshop.

Good sir, are you aware of the location of my vehicle?

Vehicles will remain indefinitely in any room marked with (Garage). Make a note of where you left it! If it was parked on the street during a crash or copyover, it will be towed to the Seattle Parking Garage, which is a taxi destination.

If your vehicle was wrecked when a crash or copyover occurred, check the garage or the Tacoma junkyard. If your wreck was in the junkyard when a crash or copyover occurred, it is gone.

A Remote Control Deck can subscribe each of your vehicles (even for non-Riggers) to help you keep track of their location. If all else fails, you can (go near where you think it should have been and then) pay street urchins to look for it with wheresmycar.

Questing, Jobs, Running the Shadows

Relevant helpfiles: help quests

“Johnson” is a term/nickname referring to an anonymous (probably corporate) employer that seeks to employ you for deniable actions. As a new runner without any reputation, many Johnsons may be unwilling to trust you with certain jobs. In order to build your reputation, you need to go out and find those who are willing to trust you with less sensitive matters.

There are three people who will give you jobs in the Neophyte Guild. These will take you to the locations of other Johnsons. Take notes (actual notes) about their locations. Quests in the Neophyte Guild can give you items which you can read for more hints. Jack Johnson in particular can offer seven different jobs, one of which can reward you a gently used but functional credstick, and another a somewhat unloved pair of ultrasound goggles.

Johnsons may have more than one job. Which one they offer randomly changes approximately every two real minutes (one in-game hour). If you can't access their job, try waiting or making a circuit. Note that reputation limits are per job, not per Johnson - if you don't see the OOC message stating that they do not offer any jobs at all for your reputation level, then you qualify for at least one of their jobs.

Johnsons frequent bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Some may be found in the backrooms of various other locations. You can find many of them on the list of destinations in a taxi.

Where's Beano's Collection Agency?

West Tacoma, across from the coffin motel, which is a taxi destination.

How do I get to Portland?

Traveling out-of-country is tricky (Portland is part of another country in 2064). The highway route has a security checkpoint where they check visas.

Try taking a bus. The taxi can take you to a Hellhound bus terminal.

Are there autoruns for deckers?

They are rarer, but yes. Try these locations:

Difficulty Johnson Zone and Location Travel Comments
EasyPatricia JohnsonSeattle: Neophyte Guildtaxi NeophyteTry here for your first decking run! In the North room.
EasyMike HaynesSeattle: Action Computerstaxi ActionTry here for your next decking run! In the second room.
IntermediateZanderSE Seattle: Rollo's Cafegridguide -65264, 32732
IntermediateMr JohnsonTarislar: Blue Wyverntaxi WyvernOne run involves physical security.
Intermediate/HardPinstripe suitSE Seattle: Penumbra Jazz Clubtaxi Penumbra gridguide -65174, 32687Depends on the job. Funnily enough, AAA rated corps have a tough host.
Intermediate/HardWeston LynnEverett: Gravity Bargridguide -78414, 39307Depends on the job.

I can't do anything because I don't have enough rep.

Here are some places to look for jobs that don't require much reputation or tough combat:

Johnson Location Zone Travel Comments
Jack Johnson Neophyte Guild Seattle SE taxi Neophyte
Ricky Neophyte Guild Seattle SE taxi Neophyte
Patricia Johnson Neophyte Guild Seattle SE taxi Neophyte
Richley Thorn Dante's Inferno (1st hell) Seattle SE taxi Dante
Cent Slitch Pit Seattle SE taxi Slitch While you're here, visit Axehead for tips and practical skills.
Boz Renfield The Reaper Seattle SW taxi Reaper
Mark Kornen Aztechnology food court Seattle NE taxi Aztech Avoid astral perception in the parking lot. This job has both an easy way and a hard way.
Lin Lin's Laundry-mat Seattle NE grid -61242 30721 or taxi to Homewood and move south to the 7th street plaza
Oswald Skylarke Afterlife (Heaven) Tacoma West taxi Afterlife See elsewhere in this FAQ about Portland.
Beano Beano's Collection Agency Tacoma West taxi Coffin
Nick Purple Haze Tacoma West taxi Nybbles then n, w
Bunny Circuit Couriers Auburn taxi Circuit

Inventory management

How do I load my gun?

Relevant helpfiles: help pockets

pockets put all to put all your ammo into your pockets from a box in your inventory. Then wield and reload.

If you have low carrying capacity, you don't need to carry several hundred bullets around. Use pockets get to get ammo from your pockets and fill an ammo box that you can store somewhere.

My jacked/linked skills disappeared!

Relevant helpfiles: help alias

These skills currently do not persist after disconnection. You can create an alias to unjack then jack all physical chips, and unlink then link all programs in headware memory. Run this alias upon logging in.

I can't retrieve something from my fingertip compartment.

Relevant helpfiles: help compartment

Try get finger.

You can put a monofilament whip into a fingertip compartment and ready it.


Relevant helpfiles: help train, help practice, help learn

To improve your abilities, or learn new tricks, you must find NPCs willing to help you. Broadcast with a radio to ask other runners where to look.

Train improves attributes. Practice improves skills. Learn grants new magic.

Improvement costs a certain amount of karma and nuyen. The karma cost increases when your new skill level will exceed its linked attribute, and increases again when more than double.

Please explain decking.

Community member Sunny has made an in-universe guide: Sunny's Guide to Decking

Is there work for deckers?

Please explain rigging.

See Hail's guide here.

Note that vehicle actions, like grid navigation and even entering them, require a character in the room. This means that remote driving must be done manually, and your character will have to be outside a vehicle before controlling a drone to enter it.

Weapon mount numbers start at 0 and count up.

Combat issues

General tips

Relevant helpfiles: help initiative, help smartlink, help recoil, help drain, help pools, help illegal

Unlike most games, high Initiative not only lets you go first, but gives you more actions too.

If you want to use better armor, you'll need more Quickness to avoid penalties.

A smartlink is the most important gun accessory and makes everything easier. A laser sight is less effective, but equivalent for characters without smartlink cyberware. They don't stack! Also, recoil compensation is very important for automatic weapons. Innate recoil compensation does stack with gas vents.

Dodge dice do nothing against melee attacks (because Full Defence is not implemented); move Dodge dice into the Body Soak pool to resist melee damage. You may wish to keep some for dodging if you are getting shot at while in melee. Burst and auto fire are harder to dodge. Body dice can help reduce the damage if you're frequently failing to evade.

To resist direct combat spells, 6 is the magic number for Body and Willpower. That is also the magic number for the Force when casting direct combat spells. Higher ratings are better, but those are good short-term goals.

Law enforcement will attack you if you go around with a drawn weapon or are wearing illegal equipment. Shields, security and military armor, including helmets, are illegal.

How do I recover health?

Relevant helpfiles: help healing

You must rest or sleep. Mental health recovers relatively quickly. Physical health can also be restored with the Biotech skill and with magic.

Medical patches are useful, but do not permanently restore health.

I keep losing all my mana after casting a single spell.

Relevant helpfiles: help drain, help damage

There is no personal mana in this game, only physical and mental health. When you use Sorcery, the effort of it causes drain, a type of mental feedback.

Casting variable-damage-level spells at higher damage levels means you take higher drain damage as well. You don't want to pass out in a fight. Try casting your damage spells at M or S; good rolls will stage up the damage level.

You can still try opening with a big bomb, but it's a risky tactic, because if you pass out you'll probably die (although not all enemies attempt to kill you). If you try this, set your spool to resist drain. Note that some weapons damage mental health (e.g. fists and nonlethal weapons), which is bad if you take high drain damage.

The same recommendations apply to the Force of spirits you conjure. As a rule of thumb, conjuring a Force above your Charisma level will cause high levels of drain.

I just got fragged by something and I have no idea what.

Relevant helpfiles: help ranged combat, help cpool, help armor

If you just took a whole bunch of damage, you were probably a victim of automatic weapons or a shotgun, which hit very hard. Make sure you have good ballistic armor, as much Body as you can afford, and that your cpool is allocated to dodging and/or soaking. If you have a source of vision magnification (from cybereyes, eyewear, or just a scope), you can engage from one or more rooms away, depending on weapon.

If you just bit off more than you can chew, try broadcasting for help; lots of people are willing to help out newbies on a tough job. A character with Sorcery can also cast support spells on themself or others, such as the Armor spell, which is a big defensive boost that stacks with everything, or Invisibility, which makes you considerably harder to hit.

No, I mean I got fragged by something that was literally invisible.

(don't know if this is even relevant for newbies, but here it is at the very bottom)

Relevant helpfiles: help vision, help perceive, help dispel

If you can Astrally Perceive the astral plane, the source of magic, you'll be able to see them just fine. If not, try getting thermographic or ultrasound vision from cybereyes or goggles. Dwarves and Trolls have thermographic vision naturally. Note that thermographic vision helps against Invisibility, while ultrasound vision is required for Improved Invisibility.

Adepts can spend power points to gain astral perception or thermographic vision (the latter is much cheaper). A character with Sorcery can also help out their buddies by attempting to dispel the invisibiity. Try to Astrally Project and assense to scout it out and note what commands you'll need to enter.

faq.txt · Last modified: 2024/05/21 15:57 by