On Sunday I played in a short Shadowrun (5th Edition) adventure, which is likely to become a campaign. I think Shadowrun is a brilliant idea, and I can’t play it without playing some kind of magic-user: the idea of playing a wizard or a shaman skipping through the shadows of a corporate dystopia is too cool to pass up for something mundane like a gun-toting maniac, so I have to do it. For this adventure I decided to make a character reminiscent of my Feng Shui shrine maiden, who I played three years ago in London and who was a huge amount of fun to play. This time I made a Gothic Lolita mage called Rie of the Fallen.
Rie is a classic Gothic Lolita girl, who happens to be a magician. She has no appreciable physical strength, robustness or skills, and as much as possible she avoids any form of exertion or physical activity. All she does is cast spells. She maintains an extremely high class and expensive lifestyle, in order to afford a wide range of expensive clothes and cosmetics, and when asked she will assure you that this is why she is a shadow-runner. She has basically no skills except magic, hiding and looking good. She’s short, a little bit chubby, a little bit haughty and suffers from the negative quality Distinctive Style, which means she can’t hide in a crowd (I wonder why?) Her magic is a mix of attack spells, investigative magic, and support magic – she is not the kind of mage who expects to be ‘running on her own, but as part of a team.
Rie is from the Shamanic tradition, though her particular tradition does not so much ally with its spirits as worship them. She is a follower of the Nephilim, the Watchers Out of Time, angels who fell from heaven after a war with god and who are popular in such diverse cultural traditions as the works of John Dee (16th century British mystic), the Angel Sanctuary manga, and gothic bands like Garden of Delight or Fields of the Nephilim. In fact she has a mentor spirit, Alexiel, who is one of the minor Nephilim.
Rie is also an active member of the Gothic Lolita scene, which in 2070 has become a little more active and shamanic than it is now – a scene like that will get very magical once magic becomes real. In the present, Gothic Lolita events often involve fashion shows and also people selling their own home-made fashion items – there is a big amateur fashion scene. Rie makes hairpieces and lockets for this scene, but uses her alchemy and artificing skills to imbue them with minor magics that might be useful. She also has contacts in this scene, and in the media and entertainment world generally, as well as some knowledge of corporate etiquette connected with this world.
As an example of Rie’s general character and style, we did a brief shadowrun on Sunday, just doing a delivery run from Denver to the UCAS. This was nothing unusual, just a couple of border crossings and a fight with two rival gangs who “ambushed” us in a traffic jam. When our Face had failed to get the two bands to fight each other, Rie realized that the fight was on, so she tapped the man in the car next to her (giving him combat sense), told him to prepare for battle, and started it herself with a manaball. She spent the entire fight sitting primly in the back of the Face’s Ford Americar, directing spells at one gang using her make-up mirror and not bothering to duck or panic. When the gang finally shot the car to shit she simply stepped out on the far side before it could catch fire.
When that battle was over and the last ganger had surrendered, Rie walked over to him, squatted down in that classic Japanese girl way, and pulled a pair of containment manacles from her pristine little bag. Lacy, of course.
Rie’s basic Shadowrun stats are set out below.
- Bilingual (English and Japanese)
- Focussed Concentration 3
- Mentor Spirit
- Quick Healer
- Distinctive Style (negative)
- Lightning Bolt
- Analyze magic
- Detect Magic
- Combat sense
- Trid Phantasm
Rie owns a Honda Spirit, a wide selection of fake SINs, a Gold Docwagon subscription for one year, and various other stuff. Some of her outfits are armored with mesh-weave, and her cosmetics are very high class; it’s possible that with the next job she will be investing in some flash- and fire-proof cosmetics. She uses a traditional clam-shell mobile phone for communication, always carries a bag with her and usually has an extra bag or two that look like they contain shopping (but probably actually contain adventuring gear). Her magic is a fairly innate and antinomial thing (she doesn’t study) and she isn’t that bright, really, but she has a canny sense of what is going on and doesn’t usually miss things, even if she appears to be paying no attention. She is not pretty or sexy, but her careful attention to style means that she always draws attention. She is the very model of a modern-day wizard, walking around completely out of place and time but acting as if it is of no importance whatsoever that the whole world has noticed her difference; and far more dangerous than her weak and timid manner would imply. She also keeps her own counsel: no one will ever know what she really wants or believes.
The perfect companion on a run, she probably is not.