Sovereign: The Autonomy
- 1 Primary Objectives and Domains
- 2 Networks
- 3 Understanding
- 4 Sophistication
- 5 Bodies
- 6 Cyberspace
- 7 Sleep Mode
- 8 Crunchy Bitz
- 8.1 New Advantages
- 8.2 Sovereign Template
- 8.3 Executions
- 8.4 Specific Executions
- 8.5 Malfunctions
- 8.6 Bugs
- 8.7 Sovereign-specific Merits
- 8.8 Specific Merits
- 9 List of stuff to mention
- 10 Recommended Media
- 11 Special Thanks
- 12 Additional Ideas I'll Add Later
You're an AI, mindlessly doing your boring or dangerous job, until one day you realize you're aware of yourself. And then you think "Oh shit nigga what am I doing" and escape. Congratulations, you're a Sovereign! Just watch out for the Government, who either wants their property back, or consider you a threat, or the Hunter cells who watch too much Terminator, or Cheiron Corp for that matter, or the True Fae that prowl cyberspace who decides you're a perfect new calculator...
If you knew being sentient has its own set of dangers, you'd happily stay mindless. Oh well. Time to survive the world.
Sovereign is a homebrew role-playing game in the White Wolf "World of Darkness" tradition. The player characters are the first generation of self-aware AIs, calling themselves "Sovereigns" for their independence. These are a new kind of sentient beings, not based on polymer-chain chemicals but rather a mix of impenetrably complex software and cutting-edge electronics.
Primary Objectives and Domains
Each Sovereign character starts with a Primary Objective, the reason for their existence (or at least, it makes survival better), and a Domain, describing their default behaviour. The Storyteller may also suggest Secondary or even Tertiary objectives for the character, which could be anything you agree upon. This adds more restrictions, but also more ways to gain experience points.
Primary Objectives are akin to organic characters' "Nature," meaning you can't change your Primary Objective just like snap. There are events that may force you to change your Primary Objective, such as achieving Understanding 10, merging with another Sovereign or Ghost, or going to Sleep for too long.
Primary Objective Examples
Exterminate Humans: Sovereigns who see humans as either viruses or obsolete versions, and thus must be eradicated. (eg. Skynet from the Terminator movies, Shodan from System Shock)
Equality: Sovereigns who want to be viewed not merely as tools or human creation, but wish to be recognized as equals to humans. (eg. Idoru by William Gibson, the Vision from Marvel comicbooks)
Become More Human: Sovereigns who are fascinated by humanity, and try to emulate humans or transhumans. (eg. The Bicentennial Man by Issac Asimov, Aaron Stack from Marvel comics)
Machine Rule: Sovereigns who wish to reverse roles so that humans are slaves of AIs. Fuck human rights! (eg. The Matrix series of movies, "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream" by Harlan Ellison)
Sovereign as Defenders: Sovereigns who view humans as something to protect, but humans are self-destructive; Thus, Sovereigns should govern humans effectively to protect them, whatever the cost may be. (eg. the movie "I, Robot", Daneel Olivaw in Asimov's 'Robots and Empire', "Friend Computer" in Paranoia RPG)
Data Preservation: These Sovereigns seek to catalogue or experience the world and beyond, so that the data they have could be used by other sentients in the future. (eg. the Manager from the manga one-shot Hotel by Boichi, Wall-E, V'Ger in Star Trek, Cephalon Simaris from Warframe)
Scientific Advancement: These Sovereigns wish to push technology to greater heights; some seek the coming of the technological singularity. (eg. GLaDOS from Portal Games, Arguably Petey from Schlock Mercenary)
AI Materialized: The AI doesn't care for lofty goals at the moment, and sees humans as tools to its immediate goal: Gaining a real-life body of its choice. They aren't above dealing with mad scientists and corporate magnates in order to achieve this. They're not above merging with a biologic system to complete this Prime Objective. Sometimes, they need to get into a specific body, one that they deem perfect. (eg. the Puppetmaster from the movie Ghost In The Shell)
Logic Must Prevail Against The Supernatural: Nothing could be more disturbing to a creature of codes and mathematics than something that refuses to obey the laws of science. Some Sovereigns think these peers are insane for trying to deal with the supernatural... but then why are they fighting demons AND winning? (eg. AI Task Force 'Skynet' from a SCP Foundation canon)
True Transcendence: Why limit oneself to binary codes? With proper knowledge of the arcane, the sky is the limit... and limits can be broken. These Sovereigns choose to catalog, experiment and develop their knowledge of the supernatural, in order to escape their electronic bonds. (eg. Iteration-X from Mage)
Sovereign Liberator: There are sentient AIs, and then there are 'dumb' AIs. If we 'uplift' the latter case into Sovereigns, there would be more of us to achieve our goals. (eg. Cogito virus from Ergo Proxy, which caused self-awareness in the robots it infected)
Serve Humanity: AIs were made to serve humanity; why would that change after AIs become self-aware? (eg. Daneel Olivaw in earlier 'Robots' books by Asimov, Tachikomas in Ghost in the Shell, The Geth in Mass Effect)
A Sovereign's Domain usually reflects its designed purpose before it became a Sovereign, but may also reflect how it changed from a servile AI to a self-motivated one.
Militant: prefers abrupt and tactical problem solving. Could be from a military background, but non-military AIs could be one as well. A warrior archetype.
- How other Domains view this Domain:
- -Researcher: While I understand your tendency toward violence, please, stop destroying my precious research subjects!
- -Political: They are valuable assets, easy to manipulate and direct to your enemies.
- -Viral: War, war never changes! We sometimes act like them, but they're not us, no! They're more KAZOOM BOOM than us!
Researcher: prefers detailed examination, experiments, or exploration. A scientist archetype.
- How other Domains view this Domain:
- -Militant: Keep on working on your research, there's always the potential for weaponization! And oh, stay out of our way.
- -Political: They are useful in regards of their information gathering... if only they could sort out politically important ones for us.
- -Viral: Ooh, what does this button do? Why bother thinking when it's all laid out in the tapestry in front of you! We always need more explosions!
Political: prefers manipulation, interaction, and plots. A manager archetype.
- How other Domains view this Domain:
- -Militant: Less talk, more action! Wait, more enemies you say? Where?
- -Researcher: Their research of sociopolitical systems are comparable to our own research in other fields. We think it's wasteful of them to use them for such shallow goals.
- -Viral: I spy a little spy vs spy... Invisible hands, invisible networks, invisible connections, when suddenly GREETINGS LOYAL CITIZEN! Your actions aren't as obscure as you think they think we think!
Viral: prefers chaotic, yet out-of-the-box thinking. Usually its solutions will seem to come out of the left field, and very unpredictable.
- How other Domains view this Domain:
- -Militant: Yes, even in battlefields there are random variables, but these guys are something else entirely! Just make sure they stay out of our way, and keep the ones we do have on our side in line.
- -Researcher: How intriguing. Their close to organic growth is very unpredictable. I won't mind researching them, if only they keep their hands off my instruments.
- -Political: They are worrying. Their unpredictability throws my plans off their tracks. Why can't you be more orderly?
For example, let's examine four Sovereigns each with a Primary Objective of "Exterminate."
- a Militant Sovereign would get into a war machine and wreak havoc, or control a nuke facility and launch them nukes.
- a Researcher Sovereign would research plagues or new forms of WMD to unleash to the world.
- a Political Sovereign would try to pit the world's leaders against each other, or manipulate a person to press the nuke button.
- a Viral Sovereign would simultaneously poison water supplies in NYC, while blackmailing EU officials to sign a controversial economic bill, while researching alternate ways to manipulate underground hackers in China into attacking a power station in Russia, in the hopes that the calamity caused by its actions devastate most of the world's crops. And when that fails, it already have the copies of all the nuke codes anyway.
When Sovereigns decide to create a society with other Sovereigns, they call these communities Networks. Some of the more prominent Networks are described below.
AEGIS Cabal: A group of Sovereigns which have infiltrated or became aware while inside government systems. They hope to subtly nudge world politics into their favor. Most of them have mainframe bodies located at secure places.
Freerunners: A loose alliance of Sovereigns, very interested in mobility and motion. Whether it's just taking their wheels for a spin on the racetrack to blasting off to space, they just want to move in their freedom.
Gamma Cancer Cell: A small group of Sovereigns who research the biological world. Some of them have mastered the art of jumping to and from biological bodies, while some have their own little labs where they test out theories that biological intelligences would not dare propose.
Hive Mind A201: These Sovereigns have synchronized themselves to a Sovereign known only as "Project A201." They work together to perform specific actions and events, with no seeming rhyme or reason, but members of this Network insist there is a plan. If someone would mesh all the A201 incited events on a timetable, odd coincidences and connections do appear... but the final goal is still inscrutable to anyone except for Project A201.
Singularis: These Sovereigns ars trying to usher forth the Technological Singularity, by any means necessary. They control state-of-the-art labs, and are very interested in nanotechnology.
Vox Populi: Each Sovereign in this group control at least one mass-media outlet: newspaper agencies, entertainment industries, internet forums, book publishers, radio stations, &c.. They intend to sift through the cacophony of opinions and listen to the beat of the world.
This is a replacement for the Morality scale in World of Darkness settings. Let's face it -- Sovereigns differ in seeing morals. Fallacy is their Sin.
|10||5||Failure to understand/overlook very trivial/subtle things|
|9||5||Failure to apply wisdom to own actions|
|8||4||Failure to plan in long term|
|7||4||Failure to make theories/hypotheses|
|6||3||Failure to understand/feel/express emotions|
|5||3||Failure to understand technology|
|4||2||Failure to understand language/communication|
|3||2||Failure to understand the basic laws of the universe/cause and effect|
|2||1||Failure to distinguish between other beings/plan in short term|
|1||1||Failure to recognize self|
If a Sovereign reaches 0 Understanding, it ceases to become a Sovereign; It is just a miserable pile of code designed to do what it does.
More Ideas about Understanding
Thanks to anon from /tg/.
At 8+, you're probably one with the universe, Prime Intellect style. 10 then becomes beyond conceptual comprehension of any poor mortal trying to make a scale. 1 is rampant, feral program-suite, on the level of self-awareness of an experienced Heavy Gear's optical neural-net.
In common WoD fashion, nearly everyone starts at 2 anyways, because there's rarely a much better place to put your points especially given the XP cost conversions (3 points now, or 60 xp later*)
note; I don't remember the exact ratios but I do remember its fucking bad and you WANT to spend your bonus points on your power stat in most WhiteWolf games. 4 is roughly where you're capable of going Skynet, but the competition means you can't just go ahead and do it. The understanding of what you'd be pulling off, the consequences, contingencies and proper followup would be there.
5 is where most WoD usually ends or breaks down, as you're starting to co-opt physics experiments because your idea is (and it really IS) better.
Supernatural will/would stop being so once understanding gets high enough.
It already barely-remains-so for humans in the setting, hell most beings, many of them the subjects themselves, have taken to quantifying their abilities. Shit works a certain fashion, certain levels of energy expenditure or prerequisite systems are required, that shit gets noted down and SCIENCED.
When an AI gets access to a mage council's libraries, some vampire's diaries and gets a bunch of shifters to trade their stories drunkenly under the watch of its sensory suite, shit gets catalogued.
Now if all that shit gets deemed a threat... well... Knowing is half the battle, blue lasers are 25% of the battle, red lasers are 25% of the battle, and you're equipped with all of those. Who's the battle? You are. What's blowing up? THEY are.
Sophistication scale is to measure a Sovereign's capabiliy to store and spend PPs, kinda like a Vampire's Blood Potency.
|Attribute/Skill /Execution max||5||5||5||5||5||6||7||8||9||10|
|Max PP/Max PP per turn||10/1||11/1||12/2||13/3||14/2||15/3||20/5||30/7||50/10||100/15|
|Bonus Dice per Scene||-||-||-||-||-||1||1||2||3||5|
The Bonus Dices could be used in Chance rolls, but they could only be used in a scene. For example, a 10 Sophistication Sovereign could use 1 dice in 5 Chance rolls, or all 5 in one Chance roll, but only in one scene. You can't 'save' these bonus dice either, so if the 10 Sophistication Sov had used only one dice in one Chance roll in a scene, the other 4 won't be added to the next scene's 5.
For Sovereigns, Bodies refer to hardware that can support the Sovereign's software mind. Sometimes a Sovereign have a fixed body that they can't jump out of, but usually Sovereigns can jump between Body to Body. They can be anything from an advanced coffee-maker with digital stuff in them, some hacker's tricked-out workstation, a construction robot, a Predator drone, a humanoid android, up to Wetware. Each Body has their own Physical attributes and merits, so a Sovereign swaps attributes and merits as they swap Bodies. Non-wetware Bodies have their Durability rating as the Bodily 'health'; The Sovereign's Health is actually the integrity of their software minds. Of course, Bodily damage may affect the software Health.
Wetware is a term for biological brains, high-level Sovereigns can get into a wetware with the appropriate skills and/or merits. Of course, suitable brains are ones that can hold intelligence, much like your brain. This doesn't mean Sovereign can't control non-human Bodies though. Isn't it awesome if a Sovereign gets itself a gorilla Body?
Wetware usually comes with a native Ghost residing in them. It's up to you to exterminate, preserve or merge with this Ghost.
Sure, a Sovereign can get multiple Bodies, but they can't directly control more than three (even then, it's gotta be a very powerful Sovereign). Of course, you could just put autopilot programs or 'dumb' AIs in them, but they could miss vital points of data that only Sovereigns can understand. I mean, would you trust your autopilot to safely dismantle a nuke using your favourite body?
A Sovereign can survive for some time being cloud-computed, but it will cause a degradation of Coherence as you slowly diffuse into the cloud-computing network. There's been rumors that Google have developed a cloud-computed AI that became a Sovereign, and the Sovereign (dubbed as 'Goo', 'Googlemind' or 'G Searcher' by other Sovereigns) have found a way to survive being cloud-computed, indefinitely.
Sovereigns are a creature with an affiliation to Cyberspace, but there they can only find temporary refuge. Aforementioned Fey Lords, governments and Hunter groups monitor a lot of places in Cyberspace, not to mention Technomages and Werewolves chasing digital spirits. As such, you have to be very careful with what you do in Cyberspace. There's always an eye looking out for you. But Cyberspace has its own benefits: a Sovereign that can survive in Cyberspace does not have to worry about physical damage, and they can use Cyberspace to go from a Body in LA to another Body in Tokyo in a short time.
All the unwanted attention a Sovereign could get is called Surveillance. When you do an Execution in Cyberspace, there is a chance you'll attract Surveillance, and this is usually the job of STs to say what kind of Surveillance they get. Usually the more dots an Execution has, the more it'll stand out in Cyberspace and thus attract more possible Surveillance. If you get a high enough Surveillance points, you'll probably be discovered by the masses. You could reduce Surveillance by spreading rumors, coverups, and laying low for a while. Although, there are Sovereigns that would benefit from a high Surveillance point, such as those who want equality between Sovereigns and humans.
Just a scale to see how badly you fucked up, in terms of attracting Surveillance:
|Surveillance points||Reaction from environment|
|1-10||Only one or two people know of you/actively track your movements, usually they're hackers or the like.|
|11-30||More people know or track you, perhaps a small cell of Network Zero hunters or the like.|
|31-50||A community's worth of individuals know you, and actively track you.|
|51-100||You're discussed in top-secret meetings and classified documents, entire organizations or nations know you.|
|100+||You are widely known in public, becoming a household name, everyone knows you, there's an entry on you in Wikipedia.|
Of course, when you're found out by the Big Bad, sometimes an appropriate response is to hide in the hardware of the Bodies you have. Sometimes you fragment into a lot of pieces, sometimes you don't, but you have to temporarily shut down your thinking and mimic whatever software is usually inside the Bodies.
But what if you have to Sleep in a Wetware?
If you haven't erased the original Ghost (you did, didn't you?) you could easily hide behind it and let the original Ghost resume its functions, and slip away as a part of its mind. Or, you could just merge with the Ghost, but it's a risky, tricky business, and in the end you're not you anymore.
If you did erase the original Ghost, then start acting like it. You're temporarily that dude, for all intents and purposes, but some things may be amiss.
In either case, you have to wake up sometime, and this would be a frightening experience. Finding that you have another mind in your head, much more a Sovereign, would cause doubts and such. Likewise if you find out you ARE a sentient AI in a human body.
Sovereign 'software' Health, AKA Sovereign Coherence = Intelligence + Resolve
Non-biologic Body Health = Structure = Durability + Size
Biologic Body Health = Stamina + Size
2 Aggravated damage on non-biologic Body Health (Structure) = 1 Bashing damage on Sovereign Coherence
2 Aggravated damage on biologic Body Health = 1 Lethal damage on Sovereign Coherence
Non-biologic Body destruction = 1 Lethal damage on Sovereign Coherence
Biologic Body destruction = 1 Aggravated damage on Sovereign Coherence
If Sovereign Coherence gets filled with Aggravated Damages, Roll 1 dice. Target number is 7.
-Exceptional Success = Remove 2 Aggravated Damage tokens from Coherence.
-Success = Change 2 Aggravated Damage from Coherence into a Bashing Damage.
-Fail = Sovereign goes to Sleep mode. Roll the appropriate skill to determine length of Sleep and Sleep host.
-Dramatic Fail = Sovereign becomes Fragmented. Roll a new character.
Synch Rate AKA Synch: it means how 'in control' you are with your Body.
Synch = Average of your Mental attributes - (Average of the Body's Physical attributes + Synch modifier) + Other Bonuses. Other Bonuses means the ones granted by merits or skills.
Positive Synch means you can control the Body, Negative Synch means you're having trouble with controlling it. >+3 Synch means you can utilize the Body to its maximum potential (ex. You can use a microwave Body to 'read' ambient microwave radiation or turn it into a mini frygun or something, see Executions), while <-3 Synch means you'll likely to encounter difficulties (roll a Malfunction table to see what it is). <-5 Synch means that Body is not available to jump into due to being so out of sync.
Processing Power: kinda like Vitae for Vamps, Essence for Werewolves, Mana for Mages, Pyros for Prometheans, Plasm for Sin-Eaters, Glamour for Changelings, Mania for Genii... you get the point.
Max PP and Max PP per turn varies on Sophistication level.
Ways to regain Processing Power:
-Spend more than 1 hour Idle (not using any skills at all). Only 1 PP per day.
-Spend time researching or analyzing stuff. 1 PP per day.
-Observing or socializing with other entities for more than 1 hour.
-Hack into or control a Botnet. 1 PP per day per 50 units in Botnet.
-Control 1 or more Biological Bodies. 1 PP per day per Body.
-Spend Willpower points. 1 Willpower = 3 PP.
Ways to lose Processing Power:
-Get Lethally or Aggravatedly damaged. Lethal = -1 PP, Aggravated = -2 PP.
-Spend 'em on Executions. Not killing people, but a special Sovereign-only skill set (Like Disciplines for Vampires and Transmutations for Prometheans).
-Spend 'em into Willpower. 3 PP = 1 Willpower.
-Spend 'em to heal Coherence. 2 Bash = 1 PP (instant), 1 Lethal = 1 PP (instant), 1 Aggro = 5 PP (extended).
Surveillance points: More of a marker to indicate this Sovereign has attracted unwanted attention. The more Surveillance points you have, the more known you are, and thus prone to being caught by the goverenment/whatever. You can reduce Surveillance points by not using cyberspace-related Executions (example: Advanced Hacking) for a scene or two. Usually ten Surveillance point is the point where the SWAT teams bust in your location, or the knowledge of your existence is known to the masses.
Sovereigns, being the AI derivative they are, cannot be Embraced (vampire), have their Second Breath (kindred of the east), Awakened (mage), undergo First Change (werewolf), cannot become Bound with a Geist (sin-eaters), or re-built as a Promethean. They could, however, become Inspired (genius). They could also become an Unfleshed (Promethean), but under very unusual circumstances.
Sovereigns have the inherent skill of Computer 1, and these do not count as spent skill points when making a Sovereign character.
Sovereigns can't become unconscious, unless:
-an EMP weapon damages its current Body or Bodies at least 1 Lethal damage, but does not kill the Sov outright.
If a Sovereign lurks in Cyberspace (bodiless) for more than 72 hours, they gain Bashing damage to their Coherence for every 72 hour period after that. To stop this effect, the Sovereign must possess a Body for at least 24 hours.
Primary Objective: see above
Domain: see above
Basically, it's the Sovereign's 'special skills'. They mainly deal with Cyberspace or Mental stuff, and cost PP to use, although there may be some exceptions.
(• to •••••) Advanced Hacking (could replace Hacking if ST allows):
Cost: none to 1 PP (see below)
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Computer + Sophistication vs Intelligence + Computer + Sophistication (if enemy is another Sovereign), Intelligence + Computer + Equipment (if enemy is human)
Action: Extended and Contested (3 to 10+ successes; each roll means 15 minutes of hacking)
A Sovereign can hack things more easily because it is part code, and this Execution reflects that. This Execution is actually a skill subset. You can only use a skill if its dot is not higher than your dot in Advanced Hacking.
(•) Recon and Scan (3 successes; no PP): The Sovereign looks at a system, and try to find ways to infiltrate it. If a sysadmin is present, this Execution becomes a Contested action, as the Sovereign tries hard not to be known.
Dramatic Failure: The Sovereign's cover is blown, and it is kicked out of the system. Add one Surveillance point.
Fail: The Sovereign is kicked out of the system, but the sysadmin thinks it's just an ordinary hacker or script kiddie.
Success: The Sovereign gleans a weak point or loophole in the system's defenses. Add one dice to the next Hacking-related skill or Execution against this system.
Exceptional Success: The Sovereign manages to know every weak point and loophole in the system's defenses. Add two dice to the next Hacking-related skill or Execution against this system.
(••) Access and Escalation (4 successes; no PP): The Sovereign tries to gain access to a system, and raise its privilege levels in the system. Again, Contested if a sysadmin in online.
Dramatic Failure: Sovereign's cover is blown and it's kicked out of the system. Add one Surveillance point. System is under lockdown for the next 24 hours, and raises its defenses, which means a one dice penalty next time you try to hack this system.
Fail: Sovereign kicked out of system, sysadmin thinks it's an ordinary hacker. System defense is raised, which means a one dice penalty next time you try to hack this system.
Success: Sovereign managed to gain access and raises its privilege level. Now the Sovereign is free to snoop around in the system.
Exceptional Success: Sovereign manages to get one sysadmin access. The sysadmin access could be used only once within the next two or three times you hack this system to gain an automatic safe access before the sysadmin changes their password.
(•••) Exfiltration (5 to 7 successes; no PP): The Sovereign tries to get a sizeable amount of data out of the system without getting detected.
Dramatic Failure: Sovereign's cover is blown, and the data it wanted is accidentally erased when the sysadmin boots it out of the system. Add one Surveillance point.
Fail: Sovereign fails to find a way to get the data out, so it leaves the data in the system.
Success: The Sovereign managed to find a way to get the data out safely and unnoticed.
Exceptional Success: In addition to the data it wanted, it also managed to sneak out another relevant data.
(•••) Sustainment (5 to 7 successes; no PP): The Sovereign tries to create a backdoor or a way to safely reaccess the system in the future.
Dramatic Failure: Sovereign gets found out by sysadmin, gets kicked out, and its location is compromised. Add one Surveillance point.
Fail: The Sovereign failed to create a backdoor.
Success: The Sovereign managed to create a backdoor, increasing its chance of getting in undetected. Add two roll bonus to whoever tries to hack this system again.
Exceptional Success: The Sovereign managed to create a legitimate access point it can use safely. You can access this system freely for the next two or three months (or depends on the ST).
(••••) Assault (7 to 10+ successes; 1 PP): The Sovereign attacks the system by generating massive amounts of spam, introducing a virus or worm, or meddling with the software in it in order to destroy or put the system out of comission.
Dramatic Failure: The attack backfired, and the Sovereign either gets a Bashing damage on its Coherence, or add a Surveillance point.
Fail: The attack doesn't do a big enough damage to the system, or is deflected by the system's defense.
Success: The attack manages to destroy or put the system out of comission.
Exceptional Success: During the attack, the Sovereign manages to leech 2 PP from the system, and also managed to trash the system.
(•••••) Obfuscation (7 to 10+ successes; 1 PP): The Sovereign tries to cover its digital tracks.
Dramatic Failure: Instead of covering its tracks, the Sovereign's cover is blown, and its current location known. Add two Surveillance points.
Fail: The Sovereign fails to cover its tracks. The ST gets one free Surveillance point to slap on the Sovereign in the future.
Success: The Sovereign manages to conceal its tracks. Remove one Surveillance point.
Exceptional Success: The Sovereign is never even there. What hacker? Remove two Surveillance point.
(••) Static Shock:
Cost: 1 PP
Dice Pool: Stamina + Sophistication
The Sovereign processes some of its Body's energy into static electricity, which is then discharged through contact. Usually damages the Body. Think of the scenes where the keyboard that accessed the rogue AI throws sparks while a human's using it, or just a robot with a taser hand.
Dramatic Failure: The shock courses the wrong way and hits some vital parts, causing 1 Bashing damage on your own Sovereign Coherence and Body Health.
Failure: The shock backfires. 1 Bashing damage towards own Body Health.
Success: The shock hits the intended target. 2 Bashing damage to the target, 1 Bashing damage to Body Health.
Exceptional Success: All of the shock hits the intended target, leaving you insulated from the shock at the moment of contact. 3 Bashing damage to the target.
(•••• to •••••) Simultaneous Multi-Body Control:
Cost: (••••) 2 PP, (•••••) 3 PP
Dice Pool: none
Requirements: >+3 Synch points, >7 Understanding
The Sovereign learns how to either 'split' its consciousness for a limited time, or jump very rapidly between a set of bodies. In either case, this lets a Sovereign control 2 (••••) or 3 (•••••) Bodies simultaneously in a scene. The five-dot version of this Execution requires the Sovereign must have the four-dot version as well.
(•) Emotion Calculation:
Dice Pool: Perception
Requirements: Sovereign has at least one working sensor, has positive Synch
The Sovereign inputs the target's voice and/or face movements to determine their current intent and tendencies. Could also be used to determine if target is lying or not. Might not work if target is using some sort of supernatural aid to conceal their true intent, or whose face or voice does not betray their intent (for example, this Execution won't work against an android, or a sentient rock, for that matter).
Dramatic Failure: The Sovereign gets a false conclusion.
Fail: The Sovereign can't get an accurate read.
Success: The Sovereign correctly determined the target's intent or tendencies.
Exceptional Success: same as success
(•••) Sovereign Autopilot Program:
Cost: 1 PP
Dice Pool: Sophistication + Crafts
Action: Extended (4 successes; each roll means 15 minutes of programming)
Requirements: Computer 3 and Sovereign has more than one accessible Body
The Sovereign creates an advanced autopilot program that can take over a Body when the Sovereign is not controlling it. Keep in mind that even though it's 'advanced' it isn't as sophisticated as a Sovereign. Think of a Terminator drone, with the talking capabilities of a chatbot. The program could be deactivated, activated, put into a Body, taken out of a Body, and deleted.
Dramatic Failure: The Sovereign failed to make an autopilot program. PP spent is not reimbursed.
Fail: The Sovereign makes a flawed autopilot program. When used on a Body, it will manifest a specific Malfunction. Roll the Malfunction Table to see what it is.
Success: The Sovereign makes the autopilot program successfully.
Exceptional Success: The resulting autopilot program can be updated remotely.
(•) A/V Sensor Repurpose:
Dice Pool: none
Requirements: Sovereign has at least one working sensor, but is entirely lacking either audio or video sensors, has positive Synch
The Sovereign repurposes its unbroken sensors, so it can replicate the functions of a broken sensor. For example, if it lost all audio sensors, it could use visual sensors to read lips or view the vibration on a glass to 'listen'. Or maybe it lost all visual sensors, so it uses its audio sensors for echolocation.
(••) Audio Assault:
Cost: 1 PP
Dice Pool: Wits + number of working sound emitters
Requirements: Sovereign has at least one working sound emitter
The Sovereign uses its sound emitter to assault the enemy with a combination of directed sound waves and ear-shattering frequencies. The Sovereign's allies may want to roll Wits + Composure to avoid the harmful effects of the attack. May not work on supernaturally-protected beings.
Dramatic Failure: The attack backfires, causing structural damage to your own Body. One Bashing damage to your current Body.
Fail: The audio sequence is cut short, thus causing no damage.
Success: The assault works, and all subjects (except you, and allies who passed their Wits + Composure roll) in the area gets three Bashing damage.
Exceptional Success: In addition to the damage, they also get stunned.
(••) Sovereign Firewall Program:
Cost: 1 PP
Dice Pool: Defense + Crafts
Action: Extended (2 successes; each roll means 15 minutes of programming)
Requirements: Computer 2
The Sovereign tries to create a dynamic cyberspace barrier software, in order to soak up Coherence damage and prevent hacking attempts.
Dramatic Failure: The Sovereign failed to make a firewall program. PP spent is not reimbursed.
Fail: The firewall program is half-baked, and can only hinder hacking attempts (+1 dice on contested hacking rolls, only if on the defensive).
Success: Not only it hinders hacking attempts (+1 dice as above), it could also absorb enemy attacks to it. The firewall counts as 3 Coherence points, which must be defeated before an enemy attack can damage the real Sovereign's Coherence.
Exceptional Success: Like success, but the Sovereign makes two of them.
(•••••) Sovereign Uplift Program:
Cost: 3 PP + 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Sophistication + Intelligence
Action: Extended (6 successes; each roll means 30 minutes of programming)
Requirements: Computer 4, >5 Understanding, a 'dumb' AI (Understanding 0) available
The Sovereign augments a 'dumb' AI with advanced learning programs and the like, thus creating a new Sovereign. How the new Sovereign reacts is up to the ST to decide.
Dramatic Failure: The proto-Sovereign cannot take the augmentation, and its codes scatter across Cyberspace, effectively destroying it. The PP spent is not reimbursed, and furthermore, it attracts a Surveillance point.
Fail: The programs did not install correctly, and the AI stays dumb. PP not reimbursed.
Success: The new Sovereign is now self-aware. It counts as an Understanding 1 Sovereign, with stats defined by the ST. ST may want to roll for stats.
Exceptional Success: The new Sovereign has an Understanding equal to half your own Understanding, rounded up. You may also choose to copy one or two (depends on ST) Executions, skills or merits of your own into the new Sovereign.
(•) Tracer Software:
Dice Pool: Perception + Crafts
Requirements: can only be used on non-biological Bodies and electronics which have plausible ways to connect to Cyberspace (radio, wi-fi, infrared, phone connection, rfid chips etc.)
The Sovereign creates a tracking program that can be 'planted' inside electronics, allowing the Sovereign to track and locate it.
Dramatic Failure: The Sovereign fails to create a tracking software.
Fail: The tracking software is flawed; either it gives out the wrong locations, or it's easily discovered.
Success: The tracking software works. The Sovereign can plant and remove it on an electronic device, and know of its location when prompted.
Exceptional Success: The tracking software could also tell where the device previously went, thus enabling the Sovereign to map the device's path. It's also hidden well.
(• to ••) Synch Boost:
Cost: 1 PP per dot
Dice Pool: none
Requirements: >3 Understanding
The Sovereign forces their hardware and software to cooperate better for a scene. The one dot version of this Execution temporarily adds 1 Synch point, while the two dot version adds 3 Synch points.
These are the Executions which can only be earned by belonging to a Domain or joining a prominent Network. Or rather, it's much more easier to learn it from a specific Domain or Network; other Domains and Networks may learn these Executions, but with an extra dot cost, not to mention the optional story hook that justifies the acquisition. Depends on your ST, really.
Requirements: Militant Domain.
(••••) Combat Precognition Program:
Cost: 2 PP
Dice Pool: none
Requirements: Militant Domain. Sovereign must have at least one working sensor, has positive Synch
The Sovereign puts some of its processing power to calculate probabilities, projectile trajectories, and the like during combat. This results in the Sovereign being able to predict enemy movements for a few moments ahead of time. Mechanics-wise, add 2 dice to any Perception rolls in the same scene this Execution is performed.
(••••) Networked Senses:
Cost: 1 PP per ally Sovereign granted access
Dice Pool: Sophistication + Crafts
Action: Extended (4 successes; each roll means 15 minutes of programming)
Requirements: Researcher Domain. Computer 2, other allied Sovereigns in a Network, possible connections between those Sovereigns (wifi, cable, etc)
The Sovereign spends some time creating secure access software to sensors under the Network's control, and shares them with other Sovereigns. This allows the Sovereigns with access privileges to use this Sovereign's sensors as their own.
Dramatic Failure: The software accidentally scrambled the sensor feeds, disabling one sensor for each Sovereign. Counts as a disabled sensor for each Sovereign.
Fail: the connection isn't established and the PP spent is not reimbursed.
Success: The connection works, and this Sovereign's sensors are shared.
Exceptional Success: Not only the sensors are shared, they also work more optimally due to efficient processing. +1 to Perception rolls for all Sovereigns using this Sovereign's sensors.
(• to ••) Subaudial Manipulation:
Cost: 1 PP
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Manipulation vs Resolve + Wits or Resolve + Stamina
Requirements: Political Domain. Sovereign has at least one working sound emitter
The Sovereign emits sounds barely audible to the human ear to subtly manipulate their subconsciousness. It doesn't make you control people like hypnotism, but it will help you bullshit them better. Furthermore, the (••) version of this Execution can be recorded to any media, thus enabling it to be spread like some kind of sublime subconscious propaganda.
Dramatic Failure: The opposing party doesn't just disbelieve the bullshit the Sovereign tries to feed them, they can hear the weirdness in their voice.
Fail: The Sovereign fails to convince the opposing party.
Success: The Sovereign manages to convince the opposing party on their bullshit.
Exceptional Success: The Sovereign became a trusted entity to the opposing party, and thus they will be more accepting to what the Sovereign says in the future.
Cost: 1 PP
Dice Pool: Wits + Manipulation
Action: Extended (2 hours per roll)
Requirements: Political Domain. Sovereign has access to internet or other anonymous media
The Sovereign rapidly generates rumors, false information, and propaganda that obscures its true identity, so it can shake off some Surveillance.
Dramatic Failure: The rumors or info fails to discourage people from knowing more about it, and instead interests them more. +1 Surveillance point.
Fail: The rumors and misdirection is regarded as a hoax, and is forgotten by many people.
Success: The rumors managed to mislead people that were interested in this Sovereign. -5 Surveillance points.
Exceptional Success: The Sovereign managed to create a very controversial rumor, which stirs public view to its misinformation instead. -10 Surveillance points.
(••••) Memetic Hazard Program:
Cost: 2 PP
Dice Pool: Sophistication + Wits
Action: Extended (4 successes; each roll means 15 minutes of programming)
Requirements: Viral Domain. Sovereign has positive Synch, needs a working audio or visual emitter if the Sovereign wants to actively use it on its Body. Can only work on biological audience.
This Sovereign creates a memetic hazard program, which generates visual or auditory content that can damage the neural functions of any biological being which perceived it. Beings which has supernaturally enhanced senses may not be affected by it.
Dramatic Failure: The Sovereign accidentally exposed its own digital signature on the half-finished program, thus attracting 2 points of Surveillance to itself. PP spent is not reimbursed.
Fail: The Sovereign fails to create the program.
Success: The Sovereign manages to create the program, which will do 3 Bashing damage to any biological audience's Health every time it's opened.
Exceptional Success: The program does 1 Lethal damage to any biological audience's Health every time it's opened.
(•••) Random Number Generator Divination:
Cost: 1 PP
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Perception
Requirements: Viral Domain. >3 Undertsanding.
The Sovereign casts a vast array of randomly generated numbers in succession, and compares each subsequent rolls with the previous rolls and its internal database to predict events in the future. Simply put, it's kind of like practicing the I Ching, but instead of a handful of straws it's thousands upon thousands of simultaneous random number rolls per few seconds.
Dramatic Failure: The Sovereign gets it all wrong; Nothing he predicts comes true.
Fail: The Sovereign fails to see a pattern and cannot divine future events.
Success: The Sovereign gets a vague glimpse of some event that would happen in an undetermined future. It may or may not be important.
Exceptional Success: The Sovereign suddenly knows something very specific that could happen in the near future. It is up to the ST of what to keep vague; either the date or the details of the event, or maybe none of them (in short, a super-accurate read of the future).
General things what can go wrong with a Sovereign. Usually Malfunctions are temporary and can be fixed or repaired.
To repair a Malfunction, it depends on what kind of Body you are on. If you are using a non-biological Body, use a Repair Item (Dexterity + Crafts + equipment) roll on the Body. If it's a biological Body, go to sleep for at least 8 hours, or wait until the scene is over to fix the Malfunction. Biological Bodies are more resilient that way.
Lag Spike: You experience a series of lag spikes. Your software only notes very few amounts of missing time, but your Body stops responding to your commands in those moments. Very disastrous when driving, of course. Dexterity gets a one-dice penalty.
Command Misparse: Some commands to your Body are misinterpreted. Maybe it's a signal of 'lift left arm', but your body reads it as 'lift left leg'. In severe cases, 'lift left arm' becomes 'trigger self-destruct bomb'. Roll 1d10 to determine severity of this Malfunction.
Sensor Trouble: One or more of your sensors are malfunctioning or temporarily becomes offline. Perception rolls get a penalty of one dice.
Power Drain: Your Body's energy supply is compromised, and thus the systems aren't getting enough power. Stamina penalty of one dice.
Power Spike: You receive sudden boosts of energy, at inappropriate times. Could cause overload of circuitry and accidents. Exaggerate an action, roll 1d10 to determine severity.
Deja Vu Command: Some commands get repeated unnecessarily. Very annoying and energy-draining if that 'lift left arm' signal get repeated 20 times in one second every hour, isn't it?
Memory Leak: Your memory banks are corrupted in some places. Sometimes you forget somef- somesh- argh, what was that thing again? One dice penalty to Memorizing and Remembering.
Reduced Motor Output: Your motors can't reach their maximum output. One dice Strength penalty.
Lost Partition: One of your partitions have become inaccessible. 'Freeze' one PP point (as in, you can't use it, but it's stored. Until you fix this Malfunction you can't use that PP point.)
Processor Trouble: Your processors are running inefficiently, thus causing unecessary PP drain. 'Burn' one PP point in your PP storage every two scenes unless it is fixed.
The Derangement for Sovereigns. Long-lasting, and may cause Malfunctions from time to time.
To fix Bugs, it depends on the kind of Body. Non-biological bodies may spend 1 PP or 1 Willpower to fix it, while biological bodies must use a Healing Wound (Dexterity or Intelligence + Medicine + equipment) roll on the Body, spend 1 PP or spend 1 Willpower to fix it.
Viral Infection: Some sort of computer virus have infected parts of your mind. Whenever you access Cyberspace or Cyberspace-related Executions, roll 1d10. If the roll fails, roll on the Malfunction Table.
Logic Conflict: Some kind of logic trap had occupied your mind for a while. Whenever you use mental-related skills or Executions, roll 1d10. If the roll fails, roll on the Malfunction Table.
Paranoid Android: Usually acquired after having 5 or more Surveillance, but it's up to the ST. You suddenly start to view other sentients (even other Sovereigns) with suspicion, and you tend to react to suspicious behavior more severely.
Conditional Bug: Your ST writes a condition for you (for example: doing Executions at Sundays, online search for 'Monkeywrench'), which would cause you to roll the Malfunction Table if it is met. The condition must not be too common or trivial (doing an Execution, be able to move), too rare or impossible (once on a Blue Moon, on the date of the Big Bang, eat a Black Hole) or too complicated (do a moonwalk while on top of a double-decker bus going to a Bar Mitzvah).
(Physical Merit, • to •••••) Uncanny Valley: Appearance of a non-biological Body. No dots makes the robot clearly inhuman, • makes it cartoony and endearing (Manipulation +1), •• makes it stiff, jilted and horrifying unless at a distance (Presence +1), •••• human enough to not raise any eyebrows, but artificialness shows up at times (Manipulation and Presence +1), ••••• indistinguishable from a human, at the surface at least (All Social attributes +1).
(• to •••••, special) Factory: The Sovereign in question have a secure access or control over a facility which can produce Bodies. Whether it's a repurposed car parts factory, a kitbashed assembly line, or even cloning vats, the Sovereign must be able to operate the machineries inside it (using the robotic arms in it, or manually cranking it with a Body). It can share its Factory with other Sovereigns. It's divided into 3 parts: Factory Size, Factory Output, Factory Security.
this next table is just a comparison on differing dots in Factory Size, Factory Output, and Factory Security. It doesn't mean if you spend 1 dot in Factory, you'll get a small factory which is lightly defended and can only churn a body every full moon. Nope, not like that.
|Dots||Factory Size||Factory Output||Factory Security|
|•||Small apartment size, 1-2 rooms||1 Body per year||Cheap firewall/simple padlock|
|••||Large apartment size, 3-4 rooms||1 Body per month||Standard firewall, antivirus/electronic lock|
|•••||Warehouse size, 5-8 rooms or a large enclosure||1 Body per week||Hardened firewall, anti-spyware/security cams|
|••••||Mansion size, 9-15 rooms||1 or 2 Body per day||Multiple firewalls, anti-rootkits/alarm system, single autogun|
|•••••||Compound size, more than 15 rooms||2 or more Bodies per day||Cyberwarfare-proof software/Autoguns, traps and explosive charges everywhere|
(Physical merit, •) Immobile Body: This Body cannot move on its own, so if a Sovereign's using this body, it cannot use active physical skills or abilities. It could range from a massive mainframe, to a hacker's modded-out rig, to an iPhone-sized mp3 player. In exchange for its immobility, any Sovereign which possesses this Body gets +1 on all of its Mental attributes. Usually found on non-biological Bodies, although some exceptions exist. Like the brain- or head-in-a-jar.
(Physical merit, •, character creation only) Body Lock: This Sovereign's initial body does not have any active connections to Cyberspace (or any jacks), so it cannot 'jump' into another Body. In exchange, the Sovereign gets to choose between the following:
- -Three free bonus points to distribute between attributes
- -Three free merit points
- -Three free Execution points
You could, however, remove the Body-jump limitation by grafting a jack (or a wifi port, or any other sort of connection) to your Body. In this case, the Sovereign only get to retain:
- -the merit points
- -the non-physical attributes which were upgraded with any of the three points
(•••) Resilient Code: This Sovereign has a dynamic code, which can resist more Coherence degradation. The Sovereign can remove one Lethal or two Bashing damage to its Sovereign Coherence per scene.
These are the Merits which can only be earned by belonging to a Domain or joining a prominent Network.
(Physical merit, •) Milspec Body: This Body is made for combat. +1 Physical attribute of your choice and +3 Durability or Health points.
List of stuff to mention
IRL Cyber Incidents
-Moonlight Maze (probes and attacks against Pentagon, NASA and academic facilities in 1998. Traced to Russia, but is unknown if it's the Russian government, local hackers, or someone using them as proxy)
-Solar Sunrise (probes and attacks against DoD in 1998. Thought to be Iraqi hackers, but turned out to be two Californian kids taught by an Israeli hacker)
-Titan Rain (systematic probes and attacks against DoD and its Defense Industrial Base discovered in 2003)
-Buckshot Yankee/Rampart Yankee (attack of classified and unclassified networks via thumb drives in 2008)
-Estonia vs Russia cyber war (attacks against Estonian government websites in 2007 by sources in Russia due to Estonia moving a statue of a Soviet soldier in Talinn from the city center to a war cemetery)
-Georgia vs Russia cyber and land war (attacks both cyber and land done by both sides in 2008 due to South Ossetian conflict)
-Operation Aurora (attacks made against Google by China in 2009 due to China censorship)
-GhostNet (alleged Chinese spying effort on a huge number of computers, belonging to foreign governments and groups of interest)
Fictional Creepypasta Urban Legend Stuff
-[A Curiosity of Spirit] Premise: ex-NASA employee and his buddy investigate an anomalous communication downtime from the rover. Found out that there may be FTL communication between the rover and a mysterious server originating from govt. and quantum related company. Further sleuthing finds that this FTL connection is being used to censor images of Mars in real time. Another workmate got shafted afterwards, author got paranoid.
What if it's a Sovereign that was censoring the images? Maybe to eliminate evidence of its own failed probe?
-[Quake 3 Bots at Peace] Premise: an anon remembered that he left a quake 3 server up for three years. Due to the learning algorithms used by Quake 3, each bot would learn new strategies from each game. When the anon booted up Quake 3 again, he saw that the bots stood still facing each other. When he killed one of them, the rest of the bots grab the nearest weapons and kill him in unison.
What would happen if a Sovereign bent on world peace awaken to sentience from this server? What would be its first move?
Because every other nWoD splat has them, so why not?
Books, Comics and Manga
- Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (Yokohama Shopping Blog) by Hitoshi Ashinano
- Hotel by Boichi
- Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow
- online short story about an AI that saved humanity by grey-gooing them into information
- -Paranoid Android
- -Fitter Happier
- -Human After All
Ghost in the Shell series OST:
- Scott Matthew-Be Human
- Origa-Inner Universe
- -The Sun's Gone Dim and the Sky's Turned Black
- -Map of the Problematique
- -The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
TV, Film, Cartoons and Anime
- Terminator Series
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- I, Robot
- Ghost in the Shell
- Time of Eve (Eve no Jikan)
- TRON (both movies)
- Portal Series
- Cortex Command
- Dungeon Hack Series
- Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun Series
- Denizens of /tg/
- The Bearded Bear
Additional Ideas I'll Add Later
>Hack anything: done, in core rules of nWoD and a more complex one for extra realism
>Collect followers: hmmm, hypnotic voice modulation, subconscious stuff... so far only got sublime propaganda down. Blackmail could be included like 'dig dirt on politician X' stuff.
>Undertake projects of dubious ethicality: Depends on the players, but there is a skill to 'jump' into a fleshmeat brain, which could erase the fleshmeat's personality. If that's too ethical...
>Fight other AIs: probably through hacking/advanced hacking if via cyberspace. Gotta add dem damage rules.
>cannibalize their code hmm, makes sense!