More than Human: Races in REWIRED

So I had some fan mail from Tanner Yea regarding thoughts on races in REWIRED. While I intentionally made the core game human centric, I wanted to eventually scheme up a system for races to play outside of humanity. Cyberpunk lit has its share of aliens, mutants, androids and genetically modified species, so it’s not much of a stretch. Also, admittedly, the original inspiration for hacking together these games was that I was a rabid fan of Shadowrun, but wanted something not as clunky or bulky in the rules.

“Not Human!!” by Prithvi-Enoch on Deviant Art.

Back when I was working on WYRED, and adapting from the WyRM system, I had a draft of optional “races” that were based on the race scheme in Warrior, Rogue & Mage — A race gave two free perks in exchange for a big flaw  Sadly, that work was omitted when I shifted WYRED into a PocketMod game, and those rules made it to the cutting room floor. To give an idea, it would look something like this:

  • Replicant: Tough As Nails, Skill Adept (pick a skill associated with your design function)
    Flaw: Socially Awkward

    Roll 4 Dice (Take Lowest) on Interaction Checks

Another approach to races was simply adjusting the attributes, and perhaps granting an extra die (as either a bonus or penalty) for particular situations. This is actually how I went about creating fantasy races for a Shadowrun hack:

  • HUMAN +1 Starting Edge, +1 XP per session/adventure
  • DWARF: +1 Chrome, +1 Data, -1 Wires
  • ELF: +1 Wires, 4 Dice/Take Highest on Interaction Rolls
  • ORK: +2 Chrome, -1 Data
  • TROLL: +4 Chrome, -1 Wires, -1 Data, 4 Dice/Take Lowest on Interaction

And then a third approach is simply to be lazy and not stat a damn thing. I did this for a “Coruscant Nights” setting I did (where we essentially played REWIRED in the Star Wars Universe, focused on the scoundrels and bounty hunter side of things.) Players could be whatever race they wanted, and it was merely a skinning. Didn’t change attributes on anything. Most work we did was rename the guns “blasters” and assumed all vehicles could hover.  And it ran fine. 

So after some correspondence, Tanner has some cool concepts in his game:

  • MDKs (aka Androids)
    1 free cybernetic augment, +2 to avoid poison and addiction, -2 to interact with non-MDKs
  • Humans
    1 free perk
  • Splices (animal/human hybrids)
    +1 to attribute of choice, bioware only costs 1 perk at character creation, -1 to other attribute

((The bioware came in on my suggestion, saying it would be cool if claws or gills were taken as part of the splicing.))
What Tanner has there is pretty simple, not game breaking, but also flavorful and makes each of the races stand out.

So, in short: I don’t really have a single, official solution for races in REWIRED. I’m sorry if that’s a let down, but I feel officially supporting one method omits some awesome opportunities with others. And if you come up with some crazy rules or racial templates, feel free to buzz me! I’ll gladly lend feedback, or even post them on here to share your work with the world.


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