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Cyberpsychos .....

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Cyberpsychos .....

So the rules say that if you reach Zero Humanity (or less!!), you become a Cyberpsycho, the Ref takes your character, and bad ... er .... worse things begin to happen. It also says that Cyberpsychosis doesn't HAVE to be "raging anti-flesh killer maniac" syndrome, rather it can be more subtle, taking the form of (likely to be ever-intensifying) standard psychiatric disorders. With that in mind, has the Ref ever let you actually play cyberpsychos, either via Humanity loss resulting in a negative total, or deliberately created that way? (There are some doctors and therapists who REALLY shouldn't be practicing in CP2020)

I did so twice, and although the games were fun, they were short lived. Not due to Carnage or the Psycho Squad, but player issues - When one is a full borg who believes he is a vampire (and is playing things careful and subtle to start), and the other is a full borg with the body of a gorilla with a fish bowl for a head that has antenna on each side, and believes he is from Gorilla City (DC Comics) .... It can be difficult to get the needed group chemistry to gel.

I did like the reaction I got when I said, "Ok, when you make your character, make them a Cyberpsycho". The answer was, "Ok" ... double-take ... "What ??!! ..... You're serious??"

So, am I the only Loony Ref to go down this road (and admit it), or has any one else dared this bridge? C'mon .... out with it .... share those tales of madness!!
 
I don't have any answers, as I'm not a 2020 player. On the contrary, I have more questions.
I was wondering, do the rules, or any houserules or group of players or GM you've had, contemplate other kinds of cyberpsychos that aren't psychotic killers? I was thinking social psychos, like for example a politician who is an actual psychopath who couldn't be more of a misanthropist but who can actually fake emotions, humanity, EMPathy... I know the rules have you lose empathy and humanity side by side, so that seems to always indicate that by becoming a cyberpsycho you become less of a people person, less able to use empathy related skills... what about becoming a psycho that "knows what buttons to push", because he has, say, abused cyberware that allows him to monitor emotional responses and come up with appropriate social skills?
 
Cyberpsycosis done right can make a great role playing addition to a campaign or a campaign in its own right. It should be a struggle to keep up with the other edgerunners and keeping ones humanity. Remember "metal is better than meat" is almost a mission statement for cyberpunk. Cyberware makes you faster stronger "better" than the meatbags anyone who doesn't upgrade is begging for a painful and short life. What It really exists for is keeping cyborgs from getting to powerful in the game.

The problem with playing any mentally disturbed PC is playing it well usually you get comedic crazy or raging mass murderer , a sociopath can get away with low empathy because they have a high skill. to low of an emp stat means the psychosis is running the show, an example is a sociopath who actively harms people vs one can still function in society (yes they do exist).
 
I saw this this morning and was too busy to reply. I jsut have to say, ARE YOU INSANE?

That is a brilliantly crazy idea. Very on-the-edge. Properly run and with great players, I think that could be a lot of fun.

Also, to Dec, re "I was wondering, do the rules, or any houserules or group of players or GM you've had, contemplate other kinds of cyberpsychos that aren't psychotic killers?"

Yes! Well, mostly. Cyberpsychosis can manifest in many ways, but by far the most common result is, inevitably, a psychotic rage/murder state. It might be quiet or it might be loud, but for some reason, most of the sufferers experience the desire to harm others.

I think I remember reading that a catatonic state was also common but of course gets much less attention.

The misanthropist you're thinking of is either a low-Empathy person, or even a high-Empathy sociopath. A high-Empathy sociopath can be seen in the movie Bestseller, but is best described as someone who doesn't feel the emotions very well, but has a natural gift for understanding them.

Really creepy person, if anyone could see past the genial shell.
 
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I saw this this morning and was too busy to reply. I jsut have to say, ARE YOU INSANE?

That is a brilliantly crazy idea. Very on-the-edge. Properly run and with great players, I think that could be a lot of fun.

Also, to Dec, re "I was wondering, do the rules, or any houserules or group of players or GM you've had, contemplate other kinds of cyberpsychos that aren't psychotic killers?"

Yes! Well, mostly. Cyberpsychosis can manifest in many ways, but by far the most common result is, inevitably, a psychotic rage/murder state. It might be quiet or it might be loud, but for some reason, most of the sufferers experience the desire to harm others.

I think I remember reading that a catatonic state was also common but of course gets much less attention.

The misanthropist you're thinking of is either a low-Empathy person, or even a high-Empathy sociopath. A high-Empathy sociopath can be seen in the movie Bestseller, but is best described as someone who doesn't feel the emotions very well, but has a natural gift for understanding them.

Really creepy person, if anyone could see past the genial shell.
But how would you articulate that in terms of rules? Would you give him boosted EMPathy once you've taken the cyberpsycho from the player to make it an NPC? Would you use another stat to substitute empathy or just rely on the bonuses his social cyberware gives him? In general, how would you make that kind of cyberpsycho apt in Empathy based skills?
 
that ones easy the EMP stat on the PC sheet is split your starting EMP and current EMP Ive always used starting EMP for skill, Ands the current EMP for how close to psycohood he is.
 
Hm.

I have not run, nor have run in any games with anyone that's gone over the edge, but I'd be completely willing to run a character that burned up all their Empathy.

As a Ref, I'd be feeding them information, which may or may not mesh with reality. :)
 
You need the right players to do Cyberpsychos.

What I found worked best was to give the person that went off the deep ends character to another player to run with a thumb-nail description of what their psychosis was.

Part of the reason this worked was at the end of every session the players (I didn't get a vote as GM) voted to award one player a "Role Play" point (a CP2020 Improvement Point or "XP"). they could use on their character. This provided a tangible reward for good role-play.
 
Yes, having the right players is essential.

After a little more thinking, I remember that the main theme of the game was going to be an idea that I lifted whole-sale from a Call of Cthulhu game I had heard about. One of the CoC party had gone into negative sanity, and before they could get them to a sanitarium, the party was exposed to so much horror and mythos that the character had gone past -100 sanity. The GM of that game decided that the poor soul had been exposed to so much, that they went "sane" again, and were generally unaffected by mythos and horror exposure ever again (sanity wise, that is - doesn't make you any less tasty to eat).

My general plan was to have the characters go ever deeper into their psychosis via game events, making Cool saves at increasing penalties to keep from freaking out and going murder-thon. If they made it all the way to -101 humanity without being terminated by themselves, each other, or The Squad, they would "snap" and start again .... at 1 Humanity Point. They would then realize their situation in a profound and lasting moment of clarity, be at complete and total peace with the cybernetic beings they had become, and could seek therapy to help themselves return to having meaningful interactions with society. I had also planned to set it so any further enhancements they received would only cost the minimum amount of humanity. After a quick refresher of the total body conversion rules, I found that was already the case, so I adjusted it such that they would automatically regenerate 2 points of Humanity per week until they reached their pre-cyber EMP score. They could get more back more quickly if they engaged in therapy.

I actually wasn't terribly worried about reaching my end game. My players could achieve dice rolls that would have gotten them banned from Vegas ... or put in the foundation of a new casino, depending on who they had rubbed the wrong way.

Getting them to play the characters in such a way that the game would have been able to reasonably progress .... Not So Much. My fault, I suppose. I told them to make Cyberpsychos, not "Self-interested, survival-oriented Cyberpsychos with the appropriate mindset". Still, might have been fun if they had.
 
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With cyberpsychosis being such a random trick bag of disorders, I would wonder how you could do it without the whole game devolving into a shitshow of players trying to outplay one anothers psychosis. I also wonder how they would even survive on the street. I mean no one is going to want to hire crazy people to do jobs because you cannot predict crazy. Crazy is not professional. It's also a matter of crazy not being able to hide. Most employers, especially corps, have alot of intel on potential edgerunners. Whatever they are doing they are going to be making more money than the player they hire ever will. Are they going to risk entrusting their job to a bunch of kooks from the insane asylum?
 
No one hires, or wants cyberpsychos. You don't play one as an active character. The point is to ride the edge, almost ... almost ... going over it.
 
As empathy goes down the character starts going off the rails. At 3 and below the character is sketchy to violent if not a deranged sociopath. With that said riding the edge of cyberpsychosis isn't as important to an edgerunner as being employable. Lemme put it in todayspeak. You go to that million dollar a cup coffee place that is all the rage with todays yuppies. You're just dying for a nonfat, smoka mocha latte, with extra foam, non fat, and with sprinkles. Now you go to the place and there are two lines. One has a barista who is prompt, gets the orders right, and sends the customers away with a smile. The other can barely get an icewater order right.

Yes metaphors. One is a reliable edgerunner....the other is a toe to the line psycho. One will be more employable than the other and quite frankly that one is going to get all kinds of work and likely be considered a reliable asset. The other will get work on suicide squads and disposable. One has a mission and will get the job done. The other gets the job....but might have to rob a liquor store, shoot up a school, or toss a motorcycle at a passing bus before he remembers he is on a job.

If I'm that fixer...that corporate...I'm going with the pro every damn time. You never know what a psycho will do
 
I don't agree with the rule as written, so I changed it for my homebrew house rules. In my game, if someone LEGITAMATELY loses a limb due to an accident/ disease and opts to get a cyber replacement, it costs them ZERO humanity (Basic limb/organ...no add ons. Those will cost you.). Why? Because, in reality, if you had someone with a disability/ disease that could be rectified by a cybernetic augmentation/ prosthetic, they would tend to feel grateful and MORE alive than feel alienated from their fellow humans and not more like "Just another machine". Now, on the other hand, if someone wants to turn themselves into a full conversion borg or a bloody "Terminator", all bets are off and they'll get hammered with the full humanity loss.
 
I liked the Rules written in the book Dark Metropulis or was it Grim's Cybertales. They broke it down by what type of cyberware you got, would it make you a killing machine or some other type of issues.
 
I liked the Rules written in the book Dark Metropulis or was it Grim's Cybertales. They broke it down by what type of cyberware you got, would it make you a killing machine or some other type of issues.
Grimm's. And they were alternate setting rules for Vampires etc, although interesting nonetheless.
 
Yeah we never had a full on 0 EMP Cyberpsycho in our 2020 group back in the day. Seems like it would be interesting, but nobody wanted to be the test-dummy I guess.
 
Yeah we never had a full on 0 EMP Cyberpsycho in our 2020 group back in the day. Seems like it would be interesting, but nobody wanted to be the test-dummy I guess.
One of mine got down to the minimum Humanity allowed and stayed there for awhile. 1 Empathy, yay. You do things because they must be done - basically a robot at that point. A robot with the urge to kill.
 
I've never played in a game that came close to having a cyberpsycho. If I was to play in a game where one featured, I would want it to manifest in ways other than simple murder-rage. An interesting choice might be to have a politician or famous person, barely keeping it together, using their power and position to cover up the times they do 'lose it'.