Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Random Cyberpunk NPCs

A friend is running a Cyberpunk RED game and asked us to develop some of the waitstaff at the bar we own. (Yeah, that's right. We don't just meet in a tavern. We own the tavern.)

So, here are three cyberpunk NPCs to populate your own bars and nightclubs. Use and abuse them as you see fit.

Billboard (M) – One of the bartenders at the local watering hole, Billboard is a young Vietnamese-American man. His family is also in heavy debt to one of the triads in the area, so he took this job in the hopes of paying down his debt. Of course, bartending isn’t even his main hustle; to further pay down his debt, he also became a living billboard for various local corps. (As such, he bartends shirtless. It’s in his advertising contract.) He has neon blue chemskin, shift tacts and a techhair mohawk that detect hormonal changes (and so act like mood rings), and is covered by light tattoos advertising various local businesses. Every few weeks, he either adds a new tattoo or changes an old one that isn’t paying as well.

Hiroko Nakamura (F) – One of the waitstaff at the local nightclub, Hiroko is a young Japanese-American woman. She is exceedingly quiet and soft-spoken, a very normal and unassuming counterpoint to a place like this jumping joint. Nobody is certain about her history or why she’s working at a nightclub, which (of course) leads to intense speculation among the other staff. The most common (and likely) theory is that she’s just a quiet college student trying to keep her debt under control with a side gig, but popular theories include: she only knows enough English to greet and serve customers, she just works here to get her drug connection, she’s a full conversion cyborg secretly bristling with weapons and cyberware, she’s an obscure Tokyo pop star on the run from the Yakuza, or she’s a corporate or police spy with surveillance gear in her prescription glasses. Whether any of these rumors are true is currently unknown.

Synth Dragonfire (M) – Synth is a Caucasian man who is also one of the waitstaff at the local bar. Of course, to hear him tell it, waiting tables is just a side job; he’s the Synth Dragonfire, you know, of the band Dragonfire? (He’s always a little crestfallen when someone doesn’t recognize him.) He dreams of being a real live rockerboy, composing electronic prog power ballad synth music about young heroes rising up against tyrannical dragons or some shit. The critics (which is to say, his roommates) describe his brand of rock as, “practically unlistenable.” While at work, he frequently has to be reminded to not harass customers with his demo mix download links. (Plus, isn’t he a little old for this scene? And maybe too high-energy for his age?) He’s sure the club managers are going to invite him to do a live set “any day now.” When not serving the guests or peddling his music, he sells blue glass and synthcoke on the side.

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