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Starting Characters

It is a relatively quick process to make a new MetaCyber Fate: Core character. The following steps detail the default experience.


You need a name, and though obviously you can fill this in when it comes to you, it's handy to have a handle for the character as you go thru the creation process. You can always choose a different name later if you change your mind.

A conceit of MetaCyber is that many characters go simply by a single name, often a "street name". You can have a "proper" name if you wish, but it is more common to stash that information in your background story. In MetaCyber a Runner is their rep, and a Runner's name is like their brand. Manage it accordingly.

High Concept and Difficulty

You need to define a High Concept, which is the 10,000 foot summary of your character. High Concepts are usually pithy, and ideally convey in a sentence the essence of your character.

You also need a Difficulty, which is the counterpoint to your High Concept. While the High Concept describes your character's essence, your Difficulty describes the main source of dramatic tension in your character's ongoing story, the thing that holds them back, or causes them to get involved in circumstances that they'd rather avoid but which provide interesting interludes to their existence.

A good Difficulty will not only make your character more "real", it also will provide your most reliable means of regaining Fate points during play. Though it seems counterintuitive, a Difficulty that doesn't really complicate your character's existence will make your character weaker, not stronger. You want to be compelled and involved in the narrative, and your character's Difficulty is a primary enabler of that goal.

Not Yet Sure

Sometimes you may not have a fully crystalized concept when you start the character creation process, and thus balk at this step. Don't worry, you can change your selections later if your concept gets refined as you go through the process. However, if you are drawing a blank, just skip this and come back to it later when you are more confident that you understand what the character is going to be about.

Starting Refresh

By default, characters are assumed to already be established Runners or very promising neophytes, and start with 10 Refresh. However, the GM may alter this up or down if they want to start play with more or less experienced characters.

Refresh determines your character's default Fate point threshold; the number of Fate points you are guaranteed to start every session with. However, it also serves as the primary "currency" or resource that you use to gain other abilities for your character, primarily Stunts.

The following chart provides a summary of the most common things you might deplete your Starting Refresh to gain.

Refresh Cost

-1 / var

Stunts: Stunts are by far the most common thing you might deplete your Starting Refresh to gain. Most Stunts reduce your Refresh by 1, but some have a greater impact. If a Stunt has a higher Refresh cost that 1 it will clearly indicate as much.


Aspects: If you want your character to have more Aspects than normal, you can deplete your Starting Refresh to accomplish this. You can reduce your Starting Refresh by 1 to gain 2 additional Aspects, or 1 additional Aspect with a free invoke per session.


Free Invokes Of An Aspect: Invoking Aspects usually requires the expenditure of a Fate point, or an action to create an advantage. However you can if you choose reduce your Starting Refresh to gain 2 free invokes per session for a specific Aspect. This can be useful for enabling certain Aspects that model an intrinisic but tiring or limited use ability, such as many BodyTech abilities.


Raise Skill Pyramid To Superb (+5): If after any modification that occurs from your choice of Origin your character's Skill Pyramid is at Great (+4), you may choose to reduce your Starting Refresh by 6 and increase your Skill Pyramid to Superb (+5).


To make a chracter, first choose an Origin. There are four basic Origins in MetaCyber (though individual GM's may change this up to suit their setting).

Your character's Origin is one of the more important decisions you will make, as it will have a significant effect on what options are available to your character.


Adepts: If you want to play a character that relies mostly on a lot of skills and Gear to get the job done, then this is the Origin for you.

The starting benefit of playing an Adept is that your Skill Pyramid starts at Superb (+5). Adepts have a solid advantage over other Origins in sheer number and potency of their Skills.


Ampers: If you want to play a character with extreme Cybernetics, BioWare, or that's juiced up on PharmiTech (or some combination thereof), this is the Origin for you.

The starting benefit of playing an Amper is that you may choose between 1 and 3 extra Aspects associated with some form of BodyTech enhancement (Cybernetics, BioWare, Pharmitech, Biofeedback Training), and you gain 3 free invokes per session to use on BodyTech Aspects. Ampers have a real benefit over other Origin via using their BodyTech Aspects to for bonuses and to justify actions though the course of a session's narrative.


Tubers: If you want to play a genetically enhanced human with various natural advantages, then this is the Origin for you.

The starting benefit of playing a Tuber is you gain +3 Refresh, and you gain access to special Tuber-only templates that grant peak human and mildly superhuman capabilities. Tubers have a solid advantage over other Origins as they start with an edge in Refresh, and because their templates offer compelling benefits.


Metas: If you want to play a character with strange metahuman abilities then this is the Origin for you.

The starting benefit of playing a Meta is that you gain access to actual MetaHuman abilities, aka superpowers. MetaHuman abilities take the form of Stunts that can often be improved further by taking them multiple times, and in some cases Stunt trees that allow more basic Stunts to unlock more powerful Stunts. Metas have a solid advantage over other Origins as their MetaHuman abilities allow them to do things that other characters simply cannot do, at least not without specialized Gear.


There are an array of recognized archetypes or niches that are useful for various kinds of roles, and provide a convenient model for Fixers and Facilitators when they are planning a Run and assembling a team.

Archetypes are entirely optional, and don't impose any mechanical restrictions on a character; they simply inform the process of choosing abilities, and help provide underpinnings for your character's identity.

You can opt to go completely off the reservation and make a character that doesn't fit any standard role, but keep in mind that your Runner will find it more difficult to get hired for Runs if they don't appear to provide any necessary skill set or value.

And of course, perhaps your character isn't a Runner at all, but you'll have to work extra hard to justify your character's involvement with the narrative.

Shooters bring accurate ranged capabilities to a Runner team. Snipers, submachine gunners, "Dirty Harry's", gunslingers, meta Blasters, and even odd ball Archers are all Shooters.

Boomers excel at making things go "BOOM". Heavy weapons, high explosives, and general demolitions are the sort of things Boomers specialize in. Some Boomers are just Shooters with really big machine guns, while others are more bomb oriented, and still others go for unusual weapons with big punch like grenade or rocket launchers.

Scrappers are up close and personal damage dealers. Some still use ranged weapons but they use them from a range somewhere between 30 feet and "in your face". Most Scrappers prefer to mix it up a bit and use a frightful assortment of blades, cybernetic implants, and lethally trained hands and feet.

Hackers come in two varieties; pure skill "Proggers" and VR focused "Deckers". Either way, most Runs involve some kind of Tech aspect that need the expertise of a Hacker.

Drivers specialize in vehicles, as the name implies, both the driving and ownership of them, but not necessarily the repair of them (repair is a Patcher concern). Anything from fast getaway cars, battle wagons, attack cycles, gunships, helicoptors, planes, trains, automobiles, and remote controlled assault drones are a Driver's stock in trade.

Breakers specialize in getting in and out of places they arent supposed to be. Part thief, part spy, part infiltrator, and part inside man Breakers are an important part of many types of Runs. If you need to get into a secure facility to accomplish a contract and can't just force your way in, you had better have a Breaker on your team. Slicing digital locks, beating security surveillance, crawling through air ducts, and social engineering are all part of the job.

Patchers are primarily support types that excel at keeping either Runners or their gear (or both) in good working condition in the field and in the rear with the gear. Some Patchers are medics while others are mechanics or gunsmiths, and some others are both such as cyberdocs. Many Patchers supplement their skills with some minor talent for another Archetype.

Facilitators are movers and shakers, face men, planners, and leaders. Often times the difference bewteen a successful Runner team and an unsuccesful (or dead) one is a good Facilitator. While Facilitators typically also have a small selection of some other Archetype's abilities, they lack the focus necessary to be truly successful in that line of work in the long term. It's their ability to facilitate the success of a Run in the setup & planning phase and to keep things on the rails during the execution phase that makes or breaks them, and determines the level of esteem in which they are held by Runners and Fixers.


Aspects are at the heart of Fate, and play an important role in helping you to define your characters.

In MetaCyber it is assumed that characters start with 3 Aspects, though character creation can modify this upwards.

Your Aspects can be whatever makes sense for your character, but it can be particularly useful if they help to fill in the character's background and provide a foundation for how they came to have their abilities and how they became involved with Running.

If you are at a loss for coming up with Aspects, try the following. Have your first Aspect hinge on your character's formative years, or their Origin. Then, focus the second Aspect on the character's early adulthood and early successes or perhaps failures. Finally have the third Aspect ground what the character has been doing most recently prior to play starting, and perhaps anchor their Archetype.


Skills provide your character with a solid base for their most commonly used abilities.

It is assumed that starting characters have a Skill Pyramid anchored at Great (+4), though this can be modified for individual characters during the character creation process (such as Adepts for instance, who start at Superb (+5)).

The default Skill list provided in Fate: Core is in use for MetaCyber, but a few of the skills have been renamed to better suit the setting.

Fate: Core Skill
New Name








Stunts allow you to differentiate your character, adding the individualistic traits that make your character stand out. Charaters don't start with any Stunts by default, but you may spend your Refresh to gain Stunts in the normal fashion, and some Origins in particular focus on Stunts (Tubers and Metas, for instance), to the extent that being of that Origin effectively mandates you to take some Stunts.


Gear is of great importance in the MetaCyber setting, and characters provision Gear Pools if they want to equip themselves with high-end swag by taking a special Gear Stunt one or more times.

See the Gear section for more information on advanced Gear and the Gear Stunt.


MetaCyber uses the default Fate: Core settings for Physical and Mental Stress boxes starting at 2 each, with Physique and Will modifying the relevant track up to 4 Stress boxes. Further, some extreme abilities in MetaCyber allow a 5th Stress box.


MetaCyber uses the default Fate: Core settings for shared Mild, Moderate, and Severe Consequences, with Physique and Will granting an extra Physical or Mental Mild Consequence at Superb (+5) and above. Some extreme abilities in MetaCyber can grant additional Consequences, and other abilities affect the time increments in which Consequences are recovered from.


MetaCyber uses the Armor mechanic, which either grants a bonus to defend or directly subtracts from inflicted Physical Stress.

Armor: 1 is somewhat common, Armor: 2 is uncommon, Armor: 3 or higher is rare and reserved.


MetaCyber uses the Weapon mechanic, but very sparingly for items or abilities that are not very accurate or easy to hit with but do considerable damage when a hit is made. Most "weapons" just work narratively, or grant a bonus to Shoot or Fight directly, or rely on invocation of an Aspect or usage of a Stunt to grant any relevant bonus.