The mix of high-tech and wilderness is one of the endearing parts of the Rifts setting and I wanted to make a character who would be useful when dealing with the high-tech settings. The idea of a computer hacker and data liberator stuck in my mind so I glanced through my book and used the Rogue Scientist O.C.C. to create this character. To start with our stat rolls that became Jorj, we have IQ – 17, ME – 14, MA – 13, PS – 12, PP – 14, PE – 15, PB – 12, and Spd – 7. With a 6 on his bonus roll, Jorj has an I.Q. of 23 to start putting him at the top of the list for T-Ball’s pack appropriately. His stat line is otherwise unimpressive but not horribly deficient either. His Hit Points start at 15 and he has normal I.S.P. and P.P.E. as he is neither psychic nor magically active. Rifts also includes Structural Damage Capacity, or S.D.C., to reflect non-life threatening injuries and as a “Scholar or Adventurer” O.C.C., he starts with 4D6 S.D.C., or 15.
Rogue Scientists have a fairly limited amount of O.C.C. skills because they make up for it in their Other and Secondary skill lists. There is the obvious need for Advanced Mathematics, Literacy, Basic Radio Operation, and Computer Operation to start. When looking towards using Computer Hacking as one of his “Other” skills, Jorj already has the prerequisites of literacy, mathematics, and computer operation taken care of but we need to add Computer Programming to his skill set. I added Computer Repair and then looked at filling out the other required science skills. This party didn’t have a good investigator type, so I looked at getting into the Criminal Science & Forensics skill which required Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Biology as well making this a truly well rounded scientist. For the rest of his “Other” skills, I picked up more technical style skills like Cryptography and additional Literacies before turning to his Secondary Skills. In my head, this character grew up in the Burbs around a major city and could have been a City Rat if things went a different way, so his Secondary list reads like an escaped City Rat with Hand to Hand Basic, Weapon Proficiencies, Prowl, Streetwise, and Pick Locks.
For his equipment, a Rogue Scientist has a lot of the necessary gear to start so I just kept the standard list for the time being. On the weapon side of things, I went with the Wilks Laser pistol and Wilks Laser Rifle. Since Jorj isn’t that great at combat, the little bonuses from the Wilks weapons go a long way to helping him in combat. Similarly, while most Rogue Scientists start with an Automatic Pistol, I went with a Revolver because of the additional +1 bonus to strike and chose .38 Service-Six Ruger Revolver. Finally, a reinforced cudgel that can double as a walking stick rounds out his weapon choices. Because he wants to sneak around a bit, Jorj also went with the Crusader armor because it is actually one of the lighter armors while providing no Prowl Penalty and better M.D.C. than all but the Gladiator, Bushman, Heavy Deadboy, and Explorer Heavy armors.
Looking at Page 18 of the Rifts First Edition book, here are the results of the Optional random tables to round out the character:
- Birth Order: Fourth Born
- Weight: Thin
- Height: Average
- Disposition: Paternal, overbearing, overprotective of others, especially younger characters
- Family Origin: Human
- Type of Environment: I’m picking the Coalition City or the Burbs for his character
- Sentiments towards Coalition: Dislike and Distrust the Coalition. Well informed and know a lot about the CS’s philosophies, laws, and activities, and they seem to be pretty unjust if not outright evil
- Sentiments towards Non-Humans: Hates demons, but believes that all races can live and work in harmony together. Treats humans and non-humans equally but is a bit suspicious of creatures who are supernatural or whose appearance is extremely inhuman.
In the next section, these will be worked into Jorj’s character description
Say what you will, but the Coalition is a bastion of humanity’s tenacity. On what’s left of the North American continent, Coalition CIties and their Burbs house the vast majority of humans left even if they are an unjust if not outright evil society. The Porgey’s grew up in the Burbs of Iron Heart waiting to be let in as full Coalition Citizens. A large family, well suited to working the mines, Jorj was the fourth child of six and he was always a trouble maker. Young enough to not be on the forefront of causing problems for his parents, but old enough that he wasn’t the baby, Jorj was often left to his own devices.
In the shadow of Iron Heart, Jorj taught himself how to read – a crime if that was ever discovered. He was enchanted by the stories of the past and how the Pre-Rifts world looked from other Burb dwellers and the occasional wandering adventurer who came through. Teaching himself to read also left him with a knack for figuring out computers and electronics – one logical relationship was the same as another in his eyes. He grew up in the streets and slums full of hard luck cases and it shouldn’t ever be said that Jorj is an angel. He can throw a punch, slip the psi-hound’s trail, and pick locks with the best of the urchins. As the Porgeys grew older, waiting for their citizenship, Jorj began to try to tap into the computer systems left ever so available in the arrogance of the Coalition’s leadership. What he found shaped who he became.
He learned that Iron Heart once had great reservoirs of knowledge and history, but that the price of Coalition membership shipped that knowledge back to Chi-Town and Emperor Prosek. He understood that the intent of keeping the Coalition citizens illiterate was to blind them to the past as history and as a prologue to the future. A 15 year old Jorj swore to himself that he wouldn’t let those stories go untold and he threw himself into acquiring all the knowledge he could.
He had to leave home for this, of course. His parents were sad to see him go, but Jorj wasn’t cut out for the physically demanding work of a miner or manufacturer so it really meant one less mouth for them to feed. They still didn’t know that their son was the “data terrorist” that has been causing fits for the Dog Pack patrols in the Burbs. Jorj kept travelling and learning – seeking out places like Lazlo and finding buried history for himself. He was always drawn back to cities as his place of comfort. Whykin and El Dorado were two of his favorite places to visit, even if the Coalition had a presence in both. They were big enough to hold hidden secrets, but small enough that the security wasn’t top notch. In El Dorado, he found a piece of information that set him on his path back to Iron Heart, and along the way he found his best friend.
Jorj came across Annie the remnants of her Dog Pack but he couldn’t just leave her to die. She may have been Coalition, but when you are down and out you help everybody else on the block. You’re only as strong as your weakest neighbor in the Burbs. Caring for this Dog Boy, well Gal, brought a smile and warmth to both of them and when she needed a name, Jorj picked one from his Pre-Rifts anecdotes – Annie. She was a fantastic radio operator and knew her way around communications systems in ways that even Jorj didn’t, but even more surprising was that she kept a journal. A Dog Boy, er Gal, that could not only read but that could write meant that Jorj’s quest to share the stories and history of the world was larger than just himself. A friendship with few peers was forged in the recognition of both of their curiosity.
And so the data liberation quest began between a former applicant for Coalition citizenship and a curious Psi-Hound. It wasn’t long before they made a mistake and found themselves running away from Iron Heart forces! As luck would have it, they ran right into T-Ball who had done …. Something else. She has never been too clear on what she was up to that day. The three of them worked together to escape, each being labeled with the other’s crimes and called in help in the form of Audacious the Juicer and F’arlum, who Jorj had met in his travels around the Magic Zone. Once Mikal shook his head at their inept wilderness survival skills and helped them vanish into the countryside, T-Ball’s Pack was effectively formed. Jorj still has his doubts about F’arlum but he brings some needed magical power to the group, while he worries that Audacious will get all of them killed with his reckless behavior. For now, though, there is a mystery to piece together about what it is any of them know that makes Iron Heart so nervous.
T-Ball’s Pack overview Here.
Jorj Porgey – Rogue Scientist Character Sheet
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