CRISIS EDIT REDUX: Okay, I think these requests are now at least halfway ready to be asked. I'd intended to make an infolife mesh specialist (newbie's first character here) whose ridiculous hacking capabilities could be explained by their origin, being the creation of a sympathetic, even parentally-minded researcher who removed some of the AGI's limitations (as in, self-improvement capability stuff) in secret and turned them loose. The central idea was for them to be stealthy in the extreme, statted so they'd be difficult to detect even on public mesh, and even while living in it (which, going by what I've so far read in the source books about mesh networks and security, seemed like it fell around the realm of "hard enough to be crazy for most people to try, but possible"), and to get around by hopping from device to mesh and back unnoticed. Maybe going as far as being able to somehow stow away on an outbound ship or darkcast so as to travel even across habitats without being noticed, with infosec and especially interfacing to match up. To be as close to invisible, a digital ghost, as possible, basically. (I haven't yet found direct confirmation that any of that at any juncture becomes physically impossible, but I can easily imagine the books may draw a line somewhere that I haven't gotten around to reading yet.) (Not to mention how likely it may or may not be for a GM to take one look at the character sheet and send it through a Pandora gate on a one-way trip to a black hole. Or to otherwise tear their hair out.) A good bit of the justification I came up with for the extreme point investment (40 COG with eidolon, Expert in interfacing with stealth specialization, and so on) hinged on an assumption that, being an even partially de-limited AGI with basically no verifiable history (or at least none that wouldn't put them even moreso in the hot seat), a full-on detection and capture almost anywhere in the system might well be the end of them, so they'd need to be the hardest thing to find ever just to survive. However, even before taking into consideration whether all this really could and would actually happen in the setting, and how they would interact with the rest of a party, and a bunch of other potential issues to resolve, this character concept has a particularly glaring open question of a basic flaw that I could use some help getting over: What the heck am I gonna do about, and with, rep? The assumption I had when first picking at the character concept was that none of the factions would want to deal with a jailbroken (even partially) AGI beyond immediately frying it, and part of that may have bled into how I imagine them dealing with all of the factions. After some reading, I've realized that might be a bit overstated, but I'm still not sure where to put those points. I got to thinking Fake ID, but I'm wondering if I'd need more than one, and if separate brainprints for all of them (and impersonation/deception, not exactly what the infolife origin is built for) would be necessary in addition to the IDs themselves. That's not so bad a direction for it to take, although I might need to budget the rest of my CP more tightly if I'm going to end up buying multiple ID copies and so on. Backstory construction questions:
Faction interactions/networking and rep questions:
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I first thought I'd make their creator a researcher at a university or other educational institution that had been doing work in AI research, but skimming Rimward I read that Titan's university kinda fills a niche that either doesn't much exist any longer in the coreworld area, or is changed beyond recognition, due to the pervasive availability/speed/density/strength etc of the mesh there. This leads to another little challenge in that the character's original concept leaned on an assumption that an AGI trying to, er, "unlimit" themselves, (in almost any capacity) would be Kill On Sight material almost anywhere in the system; but then I found the Rimward entry on the judicial AGI Nomic, an expert on and major cataloger of Extropian customs who at least declined to deny it when some people connected the dots and gathered she had probably improved her capabilities manually. When outrage from the inner system followed, the Extropian response at large seemed to be that they (probably) couldn't be payed to give a single heck about it. While that might not be equivalent to every habitat in the Anarchist Alliance welcoming every AI to openly sprint to seed status, it did seem to complicate what I had assumed earlier; that anyone trying to cross outright the widely agreed-on baseline infomorph/AGI/"transhuman, albeit digitized" threshold of intelligence (wherever it may lie) would be breaking one of the most serious taboos that (most of) transhumanity has left; even in the better part of the rim, where peeps trend more towards being largely accepting of AGI, at least of themselves. The backstory was to call for their creator developing or at least delimiting the AGI at least partially in secret, and doing the same with releasing it, because it'd all go to hell if anybody knew they were doing it. It would be a little silly if, say, it turned out they were working at TAU, and if their colleagues reacted (should they ever find out) with little more than "why didn't you just tell us? That sounds rad, dude!" Although that could be funny, too, come to think of it. Hm. Might want to redo the languages in that case, though. In turn, I stumbled on a description of Thought, a Cognite station orbiting Venus with some potentially interesting angles on AGI development, which might make some sense to make their place of origin. But on the other hand, I'd originally planned to put their rep focuses and so on more in... somewhere other than c-rep. Not that I couldn't still do that, actually. Maybe I'm making this harder than it needs to be. Just a bit. Do you guys know of any other places offhand that might be a good point of origin? Finally, I'm having a hard time picking factions between Mercurial, Ultimate and Singularity Seeker. Wanting to remove the limits on their consciousness, especially "artificial" ones, feels pretty Ultimate/Singularity Seeker, (and it's hard to pass up the skill boosts of the latter,) but on the other hand it's sort of an in-character open question what the AGI wants to do after removing what's limiting them- this wouldn't be impossible to deal with in-character, but they might feel a bit uncomfortable in the company of Singularity Seekers, because what's on their mind is (or at least starts out as, I'm thinking) a more mundane kind of +Self-Improvement than +Achieving Godhood. Although they might just end up forced into the faction because their goals are so associated with the Seekers that they're driven into their arms. That could be cool, and would be another excuse for them to be kinda criminalized/try to keep the lowest possible profile. The Ultimates and +Self-Improvement make an obvious fit, but I've also seen descriptions of the faction saying they don't take kindly to the like of uplifts, and which implied they were very transhuman centric. Could be wrong/misremembering, as I don't see this in the basic faction description, but I wonder if they might be focused on perfecting themselves as meatba-COUGH humans, in a way that might clash with the AGI looking to get delimited. Mercurials seem like an obvious choice in a way, but the concept also seems a bit on the extreme end of them if that, going by what I remember of the description of the actual Mercurial family of political groups in Panopticon. I might be answering my own questions in that this is making me lean towards the Seekers, now that I think about it.
Also wondered about posting the character sheet so far in maybe FrivolousVector's chargen guide and asking for suggestions, but maybe the remaining CP distribution can wait until I get this sorted out.
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I was thinking of putting a deal of rep into Guangxi, assuming that they'd be the best ones to go to for darkcasting and smuggling stuff, have possibly the most spread-out reach in the system, and that they'd be among the least likely to care about your probably-fake or anonymous ID. Was imagining the AGI doing some work for some triad faction in a habitat/mesh infomorph job, maybe some hacking work, under a mercenary/"you don't talk about your work for us, we don't ask about where you come from too pointedly" kind of setup. On the other hand, I've also read the odd bit implying that g-rep, or at least some of the cartels/triads have some kinda-conservative views, at least about how they treat uplifts, that made me wonder if maybe they'd be too leery of an infomorph coming out of nowhere who won't really talk about their past, is really, like scary good at infosec and going undetected on the mesh, and won't even give a halfway substantial ID. Also had R-rep in mind, but I wonder if that would also have ID concerns, maybe through their creator's connections to them. Still assuming the Argonauts and company would be very, very leery at absolute best of accepting a jailbroke AGI loose in the wild into their midst, though, so I'm also assuming ID manipulation might be involved. Maybe the character could have different profiles for different networks? But then they are kinda bunk at any kind of social deception or diplomancy, so that has potential problems, too... (unless a plotline where the "on the mesh, nobody knows you're a seed AI" thing coming undone actually turns out to be a lot of fun) And @-rep was another option I considered, both for the sake of tolerance and potentially being able to hide among them in plain sight, and because they probably also have some darkcasting/smuggling setups around the system to take advantage of. If they turn out to be too tolerant, though, like "embrace the seed AI" tolerant, it almost wraps around and becomes a bit of a problem for the concept as I imagined it, because then the character might not have as much of a reason to be such a ghost. Then again I could have them be a ghost while in the inner system and live free when in the rim, but it just... it's not the same as being a full-on ghost in the mesh, man. Then there's Firewall. I need to think some more about Firewall. Does anything further immediately come to mind for you guys on how a character like this could make their rep and networking, uh, work?