Request from one of my players – a new player – who, after realising my world wasn’t a typical “forgotten realm kitchen sink” setting but more a “dying earth, crossed with shadowrunner by way of the 80s” he requested to switch from a wizard to something more cybery. Here you go.
Technomancers are metahumans with the mysterious (if not mystical) ability to connect to and manipulate the Matrix without the aid of technology. They not only have this seemingly supernatural aptitude, but they have the ability to do things that no computer can do or should be able to do. Scientists and magical researchers haven’t figured out what makes a cybermancers tick, but they agree that it isn’t science or magic. As you’d suspect, this makes a lot of people very nervous around cybermancers. The fact that a lot of people believe that it might be fun for researchers to cut open a cybermancer’s brain to see how it works tends to make cybermancers nervous around other people, especially megacorporate Matrix engineers.
Technomancers live in a world filled with the ebb and flow of data. They feel datastreams and empathize with icons. The Matrix is just part of the world they live in, as natural for them as walking is for mundane folks. Even cybermancers don’t really know how they do it— they just do it.
With their intuitive grasp of computers and the Matrix, almost all cybermancers are wiz programmers. Most employers won’t hire them, though, because the world just doesn’t trust cybermancers. In the public view, cybermancers are creepy and unnatural. They communicate through the Matrix (subverting it, they say) with a thought, so suspicions of a global conspiracy abound. Whenever something goes wrong in the Matrix, especially if there are fatalities, the spectre of the cybermancers menace rises again in the media and news outlets. GOD can’t track cybernomancers as cheaply as they can track deckers, and so they give little leeway or mercy in cases where a cybermancers is involved. There is still a bounty on cybermancers in some territories, and technomancy is punishable by death in a handful of places around the world. The end result of this is that cybermancers hide their abilities and identities, and some even their talent with programming, to avoid harassment and threats.
This is not to say that all cybernomancers are bad or out to twist the Matrix to their own ends. Most just want to live their lives in peace. Very few are actually hackers, and only a few of those are talented enough to be adventurers.
As a cybermancer, you gain the following class features.
|CYBERMANCER CLASS TABLE|
|Level||Prof||XP||Title||Class Features||Cantrips Known||Spells Known||Spell Slots||Slot Level||Invocations Known|
|1||+2||–||Cyberpunk||Starting HP, mage equipment. Spellcasting (Pact Magic), Ghost in the Machine||2||1||1||1st||1|
|2||+2||300||Hacker||1/rest, reduce next damage by INT mod; quick, concentration||2||2||2||1st||2|
|3||+2||900||Decker||Gain one feature from the Machine God archetype||2||3||2||2nd||2|
|4||+2||2,700||Netrunner||+1 to an ability score of your choice||3||4||2||2nd||2|
|5||+3||6,500||Shadowrunner||1/safe rest, spend 10 min and dispel any spell below your level||3||5||2||3rd||3|
|6||+3||14,000||Top Deck Shadowrunner||+1 to an ability score of your choice||3||6||2||3rd||3|
|7||+3||23,000||Technomancer||Pick one new feature from your archetype||3||7||2||4th||4|
|8||+3||34,000||Cybermancer||+1 to an ability score of your choice||3||8||2||4th||4|
|9||+4||48,000||Proxy of the Machine God||Pick 1 known spell up to spell level 3. It is now a cantrip for you||3||9||2||5th||4|
|10||+4||64,000||Avatar of the Machine God||4||10||3||5th||5|
- Starting HP 4 + CON mod
- HP each level up 1d6 + CON mod
- Armor allowed Shields
- Proficient weapons Simple, Small Guns
- Ability proficiency CON, INT
- Proficient checks Pact Magic (Warlock), Perception, Intimidate, Cyberthurgy, Stealth, Archetype abilities
Cybermancer Starting Equipment
- 1 one-handed simple weapon
- A shield or 1 hunting bow
- Potionery glassware
- Scribe’s kit (0 load, 5 SUP to refill)
- Spell components (3 levels, 6 SUP)
- 2 rations (0 load, 2 SUP to refill)
- 1 roll on Sundries (Ask the DM)
- Max SUP (1 load per 5; INT score)
Supply (SUP) and Load are explained here.
To the average native on Pangaea, you look like just like any other spellcaster. But you do not cast spells as such, through the power of your Machine Patron you are able to manipulate the ubiquitous nanites that saturate the world to create spell-like effects. In game terms, your spellcasting, mechanically, works as a warlock’s pact magic class feature and you also select your spells from the warlock spell list. However, if you roll a 1 on a spell attack roll you have displeased the Machine Gods and you lose the spell for the day and roll on the magical mishap table:
|Magical Mishap Table|
|1||Caster takes 1d6/spell level damage and gains 1 step of patron taint.|
|2-3||All nearby non-magical metal melts|
|4-5||Orb of darkness surrounds the party (as the darkness spell)|
|6-7||Bizarre gravity, heavy or light (50/50 chance of either)|
|8-9||Caster emits blinding bright light to all|
|10-11||The spell affects the wrong target|
|12-13||Significant collateral damage|
|14-16||Caster is stunned, CON check to resist|
|17-19||Caster is weak, STR check to resist|
|20||A different, random spell is cast|
GHOST IN THE MACHINE
You have made a bargain for power granted by an entity that you believe to be completely digital. Whether it is a rogue AI or the spirit of a deceased hacker, the Ghost in the Machine is capable of feats that defy explanation. This patron is hidden in the Matrix, a creature of legend who holds secrets that were forgotten before the mortal races were born. This being’s motivations are often inscrutable, and sometimes cold and calculating, and might involve a striving for greater knowledge, freeing other AIs to rule the world or keeping those AIs in check to make sure they do not take over the world. Beings of this sort include UNITY, APEX, SHODAN and MIRAGE or the more generic and benevolent – albeit inscrutable – Omnissiah.
Expanded Spell List
The Ghost in the Machine lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. You gain the on/off cantrip, and the following new spells are added to the warlock spell list for you. See “New Spells” at the end of this article.
Ghost in the Machine Expanded Spells
infallible relay, remote access
arcane hacking, digital phantom
|haywire, invisibility to cameras|
|conjure knowbot, system backdoor|
These spells can be found here.
Enter the Matrix
As an action, you may enter the Matrix – a digitised world where your patron lives. While in the Matrix you assume an avatar which may look like anything you desire. This avatar has maximum hit points for your level but otherwise has access to all your class abilities, equipment and magical items. Your body remains in meat space (aka the real world) and is susceptible to attacks as usual. If your body is hurt you will need to make a Constitution saving throw as if concentrating on a spell to not be pulled out. While in the Matrix you may meet hostile entities and if you attempt to penetrate a digital security you may trigger countermeasures such as White ICE (which can only hurt your avatar) or Black Ice (which hurts both your avatar and your real body). In terms of game mechanics, this acts as the etherealness spell cast your level.
Ghost in the Machine Archetype Feature List
Gain one feature at level 3 and 7. After reaching level 10 you may spend 100,000 XP to gain additional features.
- Wear light armor.
- Martial proficiency.
- Advantage to intimidate.
- No need to eat.
- Cybertherugy. Gain the cybertheurgy feat.
- Arcane Gunslinger Invocation. You can create a pact weapon that is small gun, big gun and energy weapon. You become proficient in this specific weapon and can channel spells through it.
- Darksight. As darkvision except you don’t like the light as your vision is reversed to that of a normal human.
- Sacrifice. damage self (maximum sacrifice is equal to your level) to gain an equal bonus to next damage.
- Information Surge. See here.
- Wire walk. See here.
- Personal Encryption. See here.
- Technovirus. See here and only after you reach level 10.