"Body Fixer" or "Fixer" is the slang term for a medical doctor (M.D.); a person who can fix or heal the human body. The Body Fixer O.C.C. is a tough adventurer and, sometimes, freedom fighters dedicated to life and the pursuit of happiness. It is a rogue class, which means that they are not a legal medical doctor as recognized or authorized by the Coalition States. This means most fixers are criminals or rebels in the eyes of the Coalition. Why? Because traditionally, body fixers are more concerned with the human spirit and human body than they are profit or power. They offer their expert services to anybody who needs them and tennd to treat undesirables like down siders, the poor, wilderness peasents, and wasteland vagabonds and adventurers. Even more despircable, the body fixers are doctors who treat mutants, psychics, men of magic, aliens, and intelligent creatures of all kinds. Unfortunately, associating with any of the previously mentioned people are crimes against the State.
Ironically, the doctor's criminal or rabble-rouser label has made the Body Fixer O.C.C. a sort of mercenary with a humanitarian cause, and a folk hero among the downtrodden. Although most fixers will try to avoid violence and the inflicting of serious injury, many as as good with a gun or a knife as they are with a scalpel, and are not afraid to use either. Some of the older veterans of medicine are downright militant and hae the Coalition for their negligent and heartless treatment of people in general, and non-humans and mutants in particular. But even the most grizzled body fixer tends to be gentle and caring as a healer.
Of course, a man of medicine can be a man of action and strength and still remain a pacifist. Or he can be a rough and tumble he-man mercenary. Depending on circumstance and upbringing, the character can be a criminal, butcher, or humanitarian. All are passionate individuals who are willing to fight for what they believe in, whether that be for noble reasons, or for glory, power, or profit. The character can be any alignment, good, selfish, or evil.
The Body Fixer can use any type of weapon, body armor, robot, or vehicle, but tends to travel light, giving priority to medical equipment over everything else. Likewise, their skills can range from the medical sciences to wilderness ruvival and mechanics. However, their major orientation will always be medicine and science.
Perhaps because they know and cherish the pure physical body so much, the body fixer will generally refuse to have cyberneticc mechanisms implanted in himself, unless it is a lifesaving organ or prosthetic, and will seldom implant unnecessary augmentation in others. In fact, the doctor will try to convince other characters to avoid artificial augmentation entirely. He will frown when he sees an excessive or medically unnecessary use of cybernetics and bionics. Despite their disdain for these sins against the human body, they are familiar with the medical use of cybernetics and are skilled surgeons capable of implanting and removing most cyber-parts. Bionics is a much more complex and specialized science.
The city rat is one of the denizens of the cit's who lives in its lower levels, tunnels, and sewers. Most have never been beyond the city walls and view the outside world as wondrous, scary, and alien. Their world is the dark city streets, crowded with people, garbage, vehicles, and vermin. They know the back streets, and often the sewers and access tunnels, like most know the highways and avenues. they can spot a drug dealer from a 1000 feet away and know the advantages and dangered offered by the cyber-doc.
Those who live in the lower levels of a city are generally nicknamed "Down Siders," but the city rat is a designation for a Down Sider troublemaker. Rats are usually young men and women in their teens or 20's who walk on the wild side. They crave adventure and find it by bucking the system. A city rat may be an idealistic rebel who seeks reform and justice in a corrupt and unjust society like that of the Coalition, or he may be a computer hacker, beggar, theif, or gangland thus. The individual's orientation and skills will reflect his alignment, ideals, ethics, and goals.
The heroic city rat is generally an anarchist in the full sense of the word. He tends to see himself as beyond the law and believes that boundries are made to be stepped over. Whether he is a theif who plunders a corrupt government and/or the wealthy (a la a self-serving Robin Hood who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, himself included), or a computer hacker who craves to know things (just to know what is forbidden or secret because it is forbidden or secret), or a rebel who believes it is his duty to make people stop and think about their lives and injustice by disrupting their lives (revealing embarrassing fact about government officials and laws, skirmishes with law enforcers, vandalizing government/police property, etc.), the city rat revels in his perceived image of being a self-made, swashbuckling hero (or antihero).
Villianous city rats are the street scum that prey on innocent people. These are the bandits, assassins, drug dealers, cyber-snatchers, gang members, and truly vicious and cruel street criminals. They are the brutes who think power is the ability to hurt and humiliate, and to use and destroy, their fellow man.
Whether a brigand or a hero, the city rat is always a cocky, freewheeling scoundrel, bold, and macho. He or she is as conscious of personal image as they are personal goals. The image is one of strength, resourcefulness, success, and looking cool/new wave, even if that image is mostly flash and little substance. They tend to be attracted to glamour, wealth, and fame.
A child of the city and technology, the rat has often subjected his body to cybernetic improvements, usually in the area of implants, not prosthetics or bionics. The rebel be extremely literate and versed in computers, or a complete illiterate who puts his money on skill and cunning rather than words.
In the broadest sense of the word, a cyber-doc is any doctor, surgeon, or scientist who specializes in cybernetics and/or bionics. However the term "Cyber-Doc" usually refers to the notorious underworld figure found in the Down Side of most cities.
The Down Side cyber-doc is a cybernetics doctor who offers his illegal services on the black market, much like the old abortion clinics of 1960's America. The doc can be a well-trained, well-meaning cybernetics physician or he can be an opportunist or a butcher. Since the operations are illegal, the patient has little say about the success or failure regarding the outcome of surgery. Because medical treatment and authorized implantation are generally reserved for the military, political heads, and the wealthy, both are scarce and insufficient for the poor and non-political elite. Thus, in thw Down Side, illegal clinics are in unbelievable demand. Cyber-Docs can be found all over the place, if you know where to look.
The incredible demand for cybernetic augmentation has spawned unthinkable clinics known as "Body-Chop-Shops." THey are filthy and crude facilities operated by the most nefarious malefactors one can find. The proprietors of chop-shops will pay fair prices, no questions asked, for cyber and bionic prosthetics, implants, and organs. This has led to the creation of grisly criminals called cyber-snatchers; fiends who will assault, and often kill, a person to steal an artificial limb or implant for resale at a body-chop-shop. The poorest of the poor and the most desperate are the clientele of these horrid places.
The Cyber-Doc is a medical doctor and specialist in the cybernetic-sciences. He or she is not one of the disreputable doctors who butcher or blackmail people in some darkened alleyway for cybernetic surgery. They are healers who use their unique skills to help the less fortunate. They are versed in all aspects of cybernetics, skin grafting, organ transplants; articial organ replacement, robot prosthetics, implants, internal medicine, neurology, and cybernetic mechanics. Because the focus of their expertise is surgery and cybernetics, they are not as expert in recognizing and treating more mundane diseases/illnesses as the medical doctor (M.D.), but they are trained in the medical sciences. This This character can replace a heart or implant cybernetic devices, service and attach prosthetics, and even build and modify existing artificial parts, providing the facilities, equipment, and materials are available.
Often the Cyber-Doc is a wondering surgeon helping who he can along his travels. Some join up with rebels and adventurers to oppose tyranny or to explore new places and dsicover new people. The character can be a soft-spoken pacifist or a gun-toting adventurer. The exact disposition and combat orientation of the character will depend on the desires he or she has and the types of adventurers he is a party to. The doc is usually considered a rogue, and probably as crminal, if he is practicing medicine without local government authorization, especially in Coalition territory. However, to those in thewastelands, the cyber-doc or any man of medicine is a godsend.
The Operator is sort of a mercenary repairman. They are the mechanical and electrical whiz-kids who can fix just about anything. As such, they are always a welcome sight in any community and are treated with respect and admiration. An operator rarely has to pay for his own meals or a bed to lay on. Of course, the proprietor or town council may have some little repair job that they'd like him to do for a reasonable fee. There are not set fees for a particular job, so the fee and currency changed from place to place. Repairing an irrigation system at a wealthy town may mean 30,000 in credit, at a poor town payment may be a hot meal, a broken-down horse, and some basic supplies.
Remember, while pre-Rift machines and technology are in use, there are a few individuals who fully understand how they work. Consequently, they can not successfully maintain and repair them. The Coalition charges highly for their services. Often the price includes an oath of fealty to a Coalition State, binding the community to it financially and obligating the town to perform certain services, or provide goods, or allegiance to support the CS. This is how the Coalition increases its power base and territory, slowly absorbing the smaller communities around them. The next step is official union with a Coalition State, usualy in exchange for military protection, economic support, and forgiving one's previous debt. Of course, one this appens, the Coalition sends in its advisors and makes the town conform to its standards, routing out magic users, seizing all books and historical documents, and eliminating dangerous dissidents. Consequently, the operayor represents the only means for many small communities to maintain their independence.
Although the operators have no formal organization or guild, they are an unofficial class within the civilized human societies of the Americas, similiar to the Freemasons of old. They have no leader, no gathering place, nor doctrine by which all operators adhere to. Instead they are a loosely knit group of like-minded men and women who share a love and knowledge of forgotten science. How operators came ot be is not exactly known. Most will tell you that some of those who survived the Time BEfore Rifts also saved many of the old secrets. These secrets were handed down from father to son, generation to generation, until today. Indeed, if there is any common threat among operators, it is secrecy. Operators will not share their knowledge with anybody except a fellow operator, relative, or an apprentice.
As a rule, an operator tends to disguise the extent of his knowledge with false modesty and cryptic talk about the Time of Man (or Time Before Rifts) and ancient secrets. In reality, the character is as knowledgeable about modern, high-tech engineering as any Coalition engineer. Furthermore, their love of mechanics keeps their looking and learning more. These individuals love what they do and take an almost fanatical pride in their craft. They are hard workers, inventive, and resourceful.
It has recently come to light that some operators have developed a defree of psychic power that helps them in their work. Approximately 40% of all operators are psychic. The focus of their psychic abilities is mechanics. Not that all psi-operators are considered to be minor psionics.
One of the new Earth's great frontiersmen is the rogue scientist. These men and women suffer from an insatiable lust for knowledge that drives them into the wastelands and wilderness to rediscover their planet, and humankind's past. They explore the ruins of toppled cities and the habits of new and menacing life forms that have emerged from the rifts.
The rogue scientist is not the sterotypical bookworm or lab rat of the 20th century, but a tough, self-reliant explorer of a harsh and unforgiving world. They are usually versed in suvival skills and proficient in at least two weapons. In many ases, they look more like your average headhunter than a scientist.
Far from the cities of the Coalition States (CS), they are highly regarded as men of science and knowledge. THey are a welcome and, sometimes desperately, needed addition to most adventurer groups, mercenary groups, and wilderness towns. Yet these rugged pioneers of our future Earth are frequently feaed by superstitious wilderness folk and by the average people of the Coalition States (CS). Why? Because the scientists bear weapons and words beyond their comprehension. RUmor has it that rogue scientists and scholars cavort with all manner of beings: aliens, monsters, and worse. They also dare to enter forbidden places and hell-spawned dimensions where no god-fearing man would set foot. To many, scientists seem to be men of magic, because, in the eyes of the peasant population, they know they do unnatural, almost magical things.
The propaganda from the Coalition States only fuels the flames of fear and superstition. The illterate are constantly bombarded by talk and radio and video telecasts about insane or rebellious rogues who threatened the sanctity of the city. Reports will always have some inflammatory statement like, "Only the demented mind of a rogue scientist (or scholar) could have conceived of anything so diabolical." Or "Several books were found among the assailant's possessions, obviously the source of his delusions." Or warnings like, "Remember, these self-proclaimed men of science are liars and extremely dangerous. THey are misguided hermits who unearth false and dangerous knowledge from the wastelands. Or they are madmen taught dark secrets by inhuman creatures from the rifts! Just think. Where do these rogues come from? Where have they bee? Out in the wastelands. Living on what? Doing what? Is it no wonder that these poor fools go mad? The wastelands are not places for civilized men. Wastelands are empty, devestated territories rife with horrors from the rifts. Remember, it is your duty, as honored citizens of the Coalition States, to report anyone who claims to be a scientist, scholar, teacher, or doctor who does not have a state authorization card. Likewise, report psychics, magic users, mutoids, or any suspicious activity to the authorities at once! The life you save may be your own!"
The Coalition intentionally paints a demonic and frightening picture of the rogue scientist, because it fears their knowledge. The Coalition knows all too well the power of knowledge and the disruption that an inquisitive mind can cause. The Coalition's leaders see the rogue as a troublemaker on every level. They are literate, questioning, curious, resourceful, strong in body and mind, and independent. They are not the sheep that typifies the average CS citizen. They are wolves among the sheep. Wolves who, by their words and actions, may show the sheep how to become wolves themselves. A most frightening and dreaded possibility.
An inventive and resourceful scavenger, the scientist combined all levels of technology to his benefit. He can often repair machines and vehicles, and is skilled in technical areas and the sciences. The exact orientation and skills are left up to the individual player. This means that one scientist may be a whiz-band mechanic/engineer, but know little about biology or nature, while another is an expert anthropologist and linguist, but can't hook up a stereo without difficulty.
The Rogue Scholar may not be quite what you expect. Like the scientist, he or she is frequently a rugged, physically fit explorer and keeper of knowledge. Also like the scientist, the rogue scholar is on the Coalition States' top most wanted list of crminal activists. They are considered to be more dangerous than the men of science, because the scholar seeks out knowledge and truth and teaches it to others. Science s confusing and intimidating to most people, but the scholar teaches on a much more rudimentary level and is therefore much more dangerous. By simply instilling uneducated people with curiosity, teaching them little things like how to read, write, and arithmetic, can sow the seeds of destruction. This completely undermines the Coalition's carefully executed plan to keep its citizens illiterate, uneducated, and complacent. A curious mind will always ask questions and ultimately challenge the authority before it when those questions are not satisfactorily answered. Something the powers that be dislike.
Rogue scholars and scientists are men and women of the world, having shared time with mutoids, D-Bees, men of magic, and other societies not under the repressive regime of the Coalition States (CS). The CS has built an empire using secret technology, forgotten sciences, and fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of that which is different. The rogue's teachings could destroy the walls of fear with the light of knowledge and the walls of differences could tumble down by learning just how similar people of all kinds really are. To give their words greater impact, scholars frequently possess forbidden artifacts from man's past and articles from other civilizations of the present. Terrible objects such as books, photgraphs, artwork, recordings, film, and other things from the past and present. Things that could threaten the Coalition States' empire.
In a strange way the CS respect the scholars and scientists who dare to pursue knowledge knowing full well that it may cost them their lives. The Coalition also recognizes that these men and women may have uncovered knowledge that could be vital to the CS. Remember, while the Coalition States promotes ignorance among its citizens, its political network, military elite, and own scientists are extremely educated. As a rule, rogues are captured and interrogated. A cooperative individual who comes to realize that he was "misguided," may be released or asked to join the Coalition as one of their operatives. The more stubborn will be imprisoned for years. The defiant will have their knowledge partially extracted during a period of imprisonment that could be a matter of weeks or years, before being executed as terrorists.
The rogue scholar is usually clever, resourceful, and giving to thinking before he acts. This can make for the beginnings of a good strategist, tactician, and diplomat. Scholars tend to be charismatic and long to share what they know as much as they desire to learn more.
Scholars are notorious collectors. They adore books and video discs, appreciate art, and value learning in all its varied expressions. This means that they will gather quite an array of items over the course of their travels. Items often incredibly valuable on the black market, and a death sentence if apprehended by Coalition forces. The problem is that the scholar can seldom bear to sell the precious items. Ah, the price of knowledge and art.
The known world is one vast wilderness with tiny pockets of civilization, both human and alien, low technology and high. Most civilized people stay away from the wilderness or challenge the forces that roam the wilds with mechanical juggernauts that can bath through the toughest terrain and monsters. Peasant villagers, farmers, and nomads traverse the wilderness. They have learned to adapt to their environment. But none have learned the secrets of the wild like the wilderness scout.
Wilderness scouts are individuals who have learned to live in the wilderness without forcing nature to conform to their needs. They know the land, the plants, the animals, and many of nature's secrets. The scout can live off the land with ease, and walk through her leay abode without leaving a trace that he was there.
A scout can be a native raised in the wilderness or a city slicker who has come to learn the ways of the wild. They are also, often, experts in demon and faerie lore. Tregardless of their origin, the character is a walking encyclopedia about hunting, trapping, wildlife, and the land. Sadly, most are complete illiterates, unable to read or write a word. On the other hand, most are captivating storytellers who love to wave tales about the things they have seen and done. They are knowledgeable, self-reliant, resourceful, and stealthy.
Generally, a wilderjness scout is a rough and tumble fellow, who enjoys tests of skill, strength, and cunning, and who enjoys life to its fullest (and purest). The years of life in the out-doors means the individual is powerfully built, conditioned to harsh climate and environments, and whose weathered skin makes him look ten years older than he/she really is.
Despite what many might consider to be a primitive life style, the wilderness scout is not a primitive barbarian (although they may be sorely lacking in social graces). The scout is no stranger to technology and is likely to be garbed in high-tech body armor, armed with energy weapons, along with the ancient bow and arrow, and pilot a hovercraft with the same skill as his horse. Still, the typical wilderness scout, no matter how acquainted he is with technology, will be uncomfortable in the confines of a city. His place is the wide open spaces of the wilderness. That is his home and his choice.
Not everybody who gets involved in adventure is a specialist in combat or other area of training. Some are just ordinary people who get swept up in the flow of events or decide that it is time they make a change in their life. Others are characters who possess some natural power, but do not have great training or education other than in the use of their powers.
The unskilled character is usually a spirited individual full of life and curiosity. However, they are rarely very educated in any formal sense, nor literate, and seldom seek higher education. They tend to live by the seat of their pants and rely on their wits and natural abilities/attributes.
Sadly, at least 50% of the population of the Coalition States are illiterate, uneducated laborers. Worse, the Coalition prefers to keep its people ignorant and fearful of the outside world, because it keeps them dependant and subservient to their protector, the government. Most of wilderness wanderers, peasants, and farmers, as well as many psychics and mutants, fall into this category as well.