Chiisai groaned with pain as he kneeled to retake his fallen shoulder
bag. It made a horrible sound of broken glass. Fearing the worst,
he opened it.
His beloved VR goggles were broken in half, with no possible repair.
It could be months before he could manage to join enough money
to buy another set. The pocket computer he used to make last-moment
changes to his VM's code had its case shathered; he was almost
certain it wasn't damaged, but now his father would know for certain
that he was "borrowing" it from his desk. And worst of all, the
code disk with the original code of CORA, his sweet Cora (not
the tunned-down version he used usually, but the VM of his dreams,
of which he had no copy), was shattered. He felt a pain inside
him greather than the ones caused by his many bruises.
And added to that, now he was going to be late to class. Again.
Chiisai could not help but ask himself if this stupid kid's struggle
had been worth the trouble it had caused.
"Thank you very much for protecting me from those two bullies,
Kojiro" said Isami to him, her face gleaming.
Chiisai had his answer.
There is an upside to all of these limits: A PCs stats and skills
can improve. Your PC can improve his stats by allocating time
to go do sports, or reading lots of books or whatever is relevant
to improving what you want improved. To do this you have to set
Thanks to the competeting time demands in a teenagers life, they
have to allocate their time carefully. To do otherwise would cause
even further havoc...and get them grounded until after graduation.
There are 6 priority categories that PCs will have to balance.
These categories are:
This covers chores, "quality time" and family activities
This covers your grades, how much time you spend on homework and
This covers your social status in the school, are you a nerd,jock
or prom queen?
- VM Training
How much time do you practice to keep your edge?
- VM Design
How fast can you fix up a new VM to meet a challenge, or an arenas
Do you work, if so how much? Trying to get promoted?
To balance out these demands, players will assign each category
a priority code on a characters weekly basis (for each GAME week).
The priority codes are A through F, A being the highest, F being
whenever you get around to it.
After the priority codes are set, the player will have to tell
the GM what objective he wants to accomplish for each. There MUST
be at least one objective per category (except Job - if you don't
have one -looking for a Job counts as an objective). The objective
can be as simple or as complex as the characters needs are. Failing
to meet an objective can result in your character landing in hot
water. Meeting, or exceeding the objectives in some spectacular
way can provide some unexpected benefits.
Here are some examples of meeting objectives:
- For Family: for meeting your objective, you could be given a bit more on
your allowance, or you could get out of chores for a couple of
days (resulting in more free time!). Failing to meet your objective
here could result in grounding - with the computer locked up,
or result in your parents demanding you spend more "quality time"
with the family and less time playing those @#$%! video games.
- For School: Doing well here can net you FREE skill points (education is a
good thing). Failing (literally) can result in study halls and
detention. Depending on how much you mess this up, it could impact
on your Family.
- For Social: Friends are useful. Being social can get others to help you do
things. They can help you find a Job, help you code that spiffy
auto-plasma cannon in about 1/4 the time you could do it. Being
Anti-social can result in you making Enemies, getting picked on
at School (taking down your grades) and really ruin your chances
of getting a date for the Prom (EEEWWWW!!! Go out with THAT geek - I Think Not!). Flubbing here can also do a real bad number on your REP (more on that later).
- For VM Training: The more you practice, the better you get. If you don't practice
you can lose your touch. Realistically, failing to practice will
give you increased chances at Fumbles and/or catastrophic Fumbles.
If you don't practice you will fumble an a 2 or less on a d10,
and you will get a catastrophic fumble on a roll of 1 on a d10.
You will also be at -1 on initiative. This may seem a bit harsh,
but you will be going up against those who do practice - and they
will know what to do when Something Goes Wrong. If you practice,
you lose nothing and can work out the thebugs in your or your
- For VM Design: learn by doing. If you don't try to design a VM, you can never
create your own. You will be stuck buying off-the-shelf componants....and
those only go so far. Failure doesn't cause problems here, success
could mean victory.
- For Job: do well here and you can get a promotion (more MONEY!!) or at
least keep your job when you blow something. Failure here means
you can be fired. Being fired means you have no money. No money
means you can't pay the arcade to use and show-off your Godlike
VM. Note: Success here could mean you find a job (if you didn't
have one in the first place) or find a better job.
CATCHING SOME "Z's"
If you haven't noticed there is one thing missing from the above
list: SLEEP! If your PC doesn't get at least 8 hours of sleep, they will be
at a -1 for every third skill check. (you are kinda tired), for
having 6 or less hours, the will be at a -1 for every other check
(you are feeling very sleepy), and for 5 or fewer hours of sleep
you are at a -1 for all checks (you're bushed!)
Depending on how much sleep you miss may reaquire a Go Without Sleep roll vs diff 10 (for 7 hours of sleep). The difficulty goes up
by 5 for every 2 hours of sleep you miss (miss 4 hours roll vs
diff 20). If Successful you move up one category (6 hours sleep
+ roll means you are at a -1 for every third check). Imbibing
prodigious amounts of caffinated beverages will give bennies to
the roll...but only the GM knows when the caffine crash will happen.