Sunday, 31 July 2022

Sprawl Goons: Upgraded - Expertise

Art by lap-pun-cheung. Not used in Sprawl Goons. Dammit.

Text taken from the upcoming print edition of Sprawl Goons: Upgraded:

Backgrounds in Sprawl Goons were originally conceived to add flavour to player characters, but here’s some associated benefits in the form of Expertise for each Background type.

To trigger an Expertise roll, the situation must be an appropriate one for the roll to be made and is usually requested by the player looking for a specific advantage, but can be called for by the GM (usually to help newer players). An Expertise roll is allowed once per scene or combat encounter, as stated in the description.

Use the following Difficulty Scores as a guideline for the Expertise roll. Each Expertise type confers a +1 to the roll and specifies which stat to use, as noted in the entries below.
  • Character is under no stress DS10
  • Character is under moderate stress DS12
  • Character is under major stress DS14
Any Upgrade dice are in addition to other Upgrade dice, such as those provided by augmentations, gear, consoles or narcotics.

11. Zone Wars Veteran
• Situational Awareness
+1 to an Equilibrium roll to add Upgrade dice to your attack, once per combat encounter.

12. Komatsu Killmorph
• Mimic
+1 to an Equilibrium roll to successfully copy the mannerisms and vocal tone of another person (after having observed them for a few minutes within the last 24 hours), once per scene.

13. Nodejacker
• Feedwise
+1 to a Cognition roll to accurately navigate cyberspace or to find useful contacts online, once per scene.

14. Syndicate Enforcer
• Intimidate
+1 to an Equilibrium roll to apply pressure through threats of violence to achieve a desired outcome, once per scene.

15. Chemical Edit
• White Lies
+1 to an Affinity roll to fabricate convincing falsehoods (originally developed to compensate for your lack of tangible memories), once per scene.

16. Clone Interrupted
• Masquerade
+1 to an Affinity roll to imitate the person you’re a copy of, but only when you’ve discovered their identity, once per scene.

21. Robotnik
• Machine Mind
+1 to a Cognition roll to teleoperate a drone, remote, robot or vehicle with cold focus, gaining the addition of Upgrade dice, once per scene.

22. Runaway Splice
• Primal Instinct
+1 to a Reaction roll to gain Upgrade dice for your next attack, if cornered or if you’re outnumbered and alone, once per combat encounter.

23. Strato-cabbie
• Top Gun
+1 to a Reaction roll to pilot your hopper with the manoeuvrability of a strike-fighter, with Upgrade dice, once per combat encounter, pushing the vehicle to its limits.

24. Backstreet Biomechanic
• Under Pressure
+1 to an Equilibrium roll to treat injuries with added Upgrade dice in any stressful or dangerous situation, once per scene.

25. Toxic Tweeker
• Hypertolerance
+1 to an Equilibrium roll to resist the adverse effects of chemical or pharmaceutical substances, once per scene or combat encounter.

26. Jaded JurĊjin
• Boundless Resources
+1 to an Affinity roll to request help or finances through family channels (within reason; the family don’t need an audit right now), once per session. And as you well know, they’ll definitely want something in return.

31. Fugitive Cybrid
• Uncanny Durability
+1 to a Morphology roll to ignore any damage that is sustained that round, once per combat encounter.

32. Nexus
• Street Biz
+1 to an Affinity roll to negotiate deals or to enlist suitably shady contacts, once per scene.

33. War Child
• Relentless
+1 to an Equilibrium roll to continue fighting, despite any injuries and without the wound Glitch dice, once per combat encounter.

34. Panzer Mind
• Battle Tech
+1 to a Cognition roll to exploit any vulnerabilities in the transmission, chassis or armour of tank suits and other combat vehicles, gaining Upgrade dice on your next attack, once per combat encounter.

35. Mnemonic Envoy
• Fragmentary Recall
+1 to a Cognition roll to recover potentially useful slivers of memory or portions of data from past clients, once per scene.

36. Datasocialist Insurgent
• Saboteur’s Scrutiny
+1 to a Cognition roll to identify instabilities in buildings and infrastructure, allowing explosives or other forms of attack to deliver their damage to spectacular effect, once per scene.

41. Recoded
• Whispered Intuition
+1 to Cognition rolls to gain an insight into a situation, provided by (and limited by) your master AI’s knowledge, once per scene.

42. Transmissions Cop
• Digital Instinct
+1 to a Cognition roll to follow online leads or notice digital anomalies and clues, once per scene.

43. Freak Fighter
• Threat Analysis
+1 to an Equilibrium roll to pinpoint opponents’ physical weaknesses or gaps in their armour, gaining Upgrade dice on your next attack, once per combat encounter.

44. Nanomancer
• Structural Dynamics
+1 to a Cognition roll to assess the suitability of nearby materials for use by your assemblers, or to determine whether your dissassemblers can break local materials down, once per scene.

45. Combat Chauffeur
• Pedal To The Metal
+1 to a Reaction roll to drive evasively and tactically at speed, avoiding hostile attacks and gaining Upgrade dice, once per combat encounter.

46. Tecstatic
• Earthly Escape
+1 to an Equilibrium roll to meditatively negate the effect of privations, such as pain, fatigue, cold, heat, torture, thirst or hunger, once per scene or combat encounter.

51. Orbital Operator
• Augmented Allure
+1 to an Affinity roll to exploit and influence grubby dirtsiders with your unearthly, lab-cultured attractiveness, once per scene.

52. Ghostrunner
• Mindware
+1 to a Cognition roll to detect the type of digital being or expert system and their influence over devices, software or systems, once per scene.

53. Rogue Shikaaree Type-66 ATID
• Beserker Mode
+1 to a Reaction roll to compute the optimal position and form of attack to strike up to three opponents, once per combat encounter.

54. Telemetric Sniper
• Target Acquisition
+1 to a Cognition roll to estimate the most effective range and angle of an attack, gaining Upgrade dice, once per combat encounter.

55. Cognition Verification Agent
• Synthetic Awareness
+1 to a Cognition roll to discern whether an individual is real, a cybrid or housed in a cybershell, once per scene.

56. Ultrateen
• High Influence
+1 to an Affinity roll to obtain access, by virtue of your wealthy family, to places, both real and virtual, that are usually off-limits to the average citizen, once per scene.

61. Fluid Reality Adept
• Holoactualisation
+1 to a Cognition roll to focus your mind and to generate hyperreal, highly deceptive holographic illusions of exceptional quality, with Upgrade dice, once per scene.

62. Gang War Surplus
• Urban Evasion
+1 to a Reaction roll to discern and utilise an otherwise unnoticed escape route, or to find a bolt-hole and lay low, once per scene or combat encounter.

63. Zero
• Phantom
+1 to a Morphology roll to remain unnoticed and anonymous, blending into the background or crowd, once per scene.

64. Algorithmic Augur
• Are Friends Electric?
+1 to a Cognition roll to enlist the help of a digital entity or sentient program online, once per scene.

65. Turbosensei
• Matrix Moves
+1 to a Reaction roll to athletically capitalise on your immediate environment during a fight; run up walls, swing from ducting, vault off columns, etc., once per combat encounter.

66. Meat Puppet
• Honeyed Words
+1 to an Affinity roll to beguile and charm your way out of tense or dangerous situations, when isolated or cornered, once per scene or combat encounter.

Art by lap-pun-cheung. Also not used in Sprawl Goons. FML.


  1. Replies
    1. Glad to have the time to be able to write one! :)

  2. Does the ''print" version will be availble also as PDF omnibus ?

    1. I'm hoping to do so, just figuring out the best way to do it. ;)

    2. That would be great, just to find everything at one place.

  3. Will this be an upcoming print and PDF with upgraded material?

    1. Kinda. It's the content from Sprawl Goons, the Booster Pack and the Plug-in Pack, with the vehicle combat rules from Metal Express. There's some minor rule revisions, but mostly for clarity. There's some new stuff in there too (I'll say more on release).
      Intended primarily as a POD product from Lulu (and possibly DTRPG), but will in all likelihood be released as a PDF too.

  4. Is it just me, or maybe we need a new character sheet?
    (Personally I prefer to have "rules relevant to your character" all on the CS, so I'd add an Expertise box for the specific game effect)

    1. New character sheet(s) will be made available once the POD is out.

  5. I have another rule question - I hope it is ok to post here.

    Also, it's not specifically about Sprawl Goons but more a *-Goons in general.

    Yesterday we had a session were the two players got themselves in a firefight with a street gang.
    They were able to notice the ambush so they immediately took cover behind a parked car and started shooting to a group of gang members that were running towards them.

    So, no problem here. Attackers were rated 8, armed with guns, players constantly were rolling 11+ so they were basically killing the attackers one by one.

    Now the twist. Unbeknownst by the PCs, another enemy had climbed on a sort of gangway and moved closer to their position, so he now had them in full view, and probably also had at least +1 because he was on an higher position and firing down.

    My problem is this: especially in the first round the PCs did not even see him, so they could not decide to fire at him... and therefore there was no contested roll. He had 8+1+whatever ... and they were using they rolls against the first wave of attackers.

    How is this supposed to work? Should they do a sort of saving throw for trying to dodge or whatever? If they manage to roll more than the attacker's rate, would they damage him? or just suffer no damage?

    In general I think that the abstract fighting system works great for melee, but may have problems with hedge cases where people (NPC) that are at range fire on you and you are not returning fire for any reason... so I would appreciate some ideas about how to handle this.


    1. It's more than okay to ask!

      I'd handle this as an NPC sniper (from the Plug-In Pack Optional Rules section):

      The PC targeted by the hidden sniper must succeed at a Dangerous Action Roll (adding Reaction) versus the sniper’s DS, taking damage as usual if the PC fails.

      If they pass the roll, the sniper does not take damage, but their concealed position is revealed (the muzzle flash is spotted, the angle of the shot gives them away, gun smoke is seen, etc.). The sniper then becomes a regular combatant, albeit one at a distance, unless they change their position.

      Hope that helps!

    2. Thanks!

      Yes, I am perfectly fine with this, and in fact while thinking of it post facto (and preparing my question here) I arrived more or less to the same conclusion: successful roll will mean the target has now some information that allows them to return fire or at least getting a +1 or something to the next dodge roll.

      Another possible idea I had was (take in account that the PCs were already in a fight and were both armed with long distance weapons):

      When the sniper opens fire we resolve it as an "extra" combat round, and if they succeed they are able to return fire immediately.
      (The sniper would have a huge bonus due to surprise, or maybe I'd impose a Glitch roll).

      But I wasn't sure if this "extra combat exchange inside an already ongoing combat round" would really be the right way to handle it.

    3. Sounds okay to me! I'd treat it as a sub-round that takes one PC's attention off the main action.