Theora/Max Headroom, Human Decker 95 karma, 91 spent
Cyberware and Bioware
0.5BI Wetware eyes (Low-Light Vision, Thermographic Vision)
0.1E Display Link
0.7ECyberears (High/Low Frequency, 10x range, Damper, and Spatial Recognizer)
0.3EDatajack/synthlink (75 DFR)
0.3ESoftlink 4
0.5ESmartgun Link level II
0.25EMath SPU-4
0.1E30 Mp Headware memory
0.2EOlfactory Booster 6
0.8BICerebral Booster 2
0.3BISynaptic Accelerator 1
0.6BIEnhanced Articulation
1.2BIMnemonic Enhancer 6
Edges and Flaws
+2Computer Aptitude (-1 to TN’s)
+1Technical School Education
-1Mild Allergy to MSG
-1Hidden Past (the Family)
-1Compulsion: neat
Intelligence7* (11)
Body Index3.4
* Upped with karma.
Condition Monitor
Deadly    Deadly
Unconscious    Unconscious
+3TN/-3I    +3TN/-3I
Serious    Serious
+2TN/-2I    +2TN/-2I
Moderate    Moderate
+1TN/-1I    +1TN/-1I
Light    Light
Ranged Weapons
Browning Max-Power652040602.0 kg9M
Narcoject Pistol751530501.5 kg6D stun
Combat10 Hacking11 Task4 Karma8
Skills:       Italics denotes a skillsoft. * = tutorsoft. § = Task Pool applies.
Computer:Software §6:9 (8:11) +1 Etiquette (Matrix): Hangouts4:5 Electronic Music4
Computer B/R §6 (8) Etiquette (Corporate): socializing3 +2 Singing (Melodic)4
Computer Theory §3 (8) Etiquette (Street)3 Leadership: Musical Production1:3
Electronics §4 (6) Etiquette (British)3 Literature (English): F&SF1:4 +3
Electronics B/R §3 (5) Negotiation3 Physical Sciences §1 (6)
Biotech §3 (5) Car2 Acting1 +1
Firearms4 (5) Dance (Rock’n’roll)1 (2) +1 Music: Electronic: Techno1:1:2 (4:4:5)
Stealth2 (3) Magic Theory1 (4) Survival1
Languages, Literatures, and Locations
English8 (11) Northern CFS3 (6) Sperethiel3 (6)
London1 (4) Oxford3 (6) UK1 (4)
Denver4 Seattle: Spots: Nightclubs2+3 (5) German1 (4)
Sperethiel*6 Perkins-Athapascan*6 Germany1 (4)
Hardening 4
Active 1000Mp
Storage 1500Mp
I/O 480
Response 2
Analyze (opt)896Mp Spoof575Mp
Browse636Mp Decrypt525Mp
Read/Write550Mp Deception8128Mp
Commlink525Mp Validate6180Mp
Sleaze (opt)9147Mp Armor448Mp
Attack6M108Mp Camo448Mp
Cloak6108Mp Relocate550Mp
Scanner327Mp Lock-on575Mp
Track6288Mp Disinfect550Mp
Detection factor = 8 (10 in masking mode); Hot ASIST (+2+1d6), ICCM filter, vidscreen, standard sat dish, 3 hitcher jacks, 3B/I1 case.


The Task Pool may be used to augment any Technical, Knowledge, or B/R skill tests. The reaction enhancer adds a die to all applicable Active skills. A Technical School Education makes defaulting for technical and B/R skills take a penalty of only +1 per spot on the Skill Web.

The Smartlink II makes the penalty for called shots only a +2, and with a rangefinder reduces the TN for long range by –1 and extreme range by –2.

The Olfactory Booster gives six extra dice for smell perception rolls and two extra for taste perception rolls. The Spatial Recognizer drops target numbers for locating things through hearing by –2. The Mnemonic enhancer adds 6 dice for rolls involving memory, and adds half its level to language and knowledge skills.

The Math SPU adds its level to Mathematics skill, and adds half its level to all Technical, Technical B/R, and Science skills. The base time to solve a math problem is its target number in seconds; this happens as a background job. The SPU also acts as a timepiece, alarm clock, and stopwatch.


15000¥ in rating 6 fake ID as Theora Jones, systems rationalizer. 64309¥ in certified credit.

Browning Max-Power with Smartlink II built-in and Improved Gas Vent 2; 4 clips of 10 gel rounds, +100 rounds in a box; silencer. Narcoject pistol with 4 clips of 5 rounds, +98 rounds in a box. 4 concealable holsters (underarm, hip, ankle, small of back) for different outfits.

32-voice synthesizer, fine synthlink controller, Sony TFX-10000 imaging generator.

Cable signal formatter with ECM 6. Hitachi RM-AX chip encoder, 3000Mp personal computer with programming shop, microtronics shop. Hacking pool skillsoft at level 9.

Tutorsofts: Sperethiel 6, Perkins-Athapascan 6, Japanese 6, Magic Theory 3.

Secure long coat (B4 I2 C10 2.0kg), form-fitting body armor (B4 I1 C12 1.75kg), Greatcoat (B4 I2 1.75kg), “Hunt Ball” equivalent outfit (B1 I2). Chemsuit-10.

Middle lifestyle paid through 7/55 (saving 750¥ by living at HQ). DocWagon Platinum paid through 6/55.

Antique brass and pewter chess set with historical documentation, worth 40k¥.

Appearance and Personality

Theora is a tall, willowy Human woman, slim enough to pass for an Elf when she keeps her ears under her hair, though broad-shouldered enough that she ends up cutting the shoulder pads out of things she buys off the rack. She stands 5’11” in bare feet, and regards high heels with disdain. Her natural hair color is a dark brown, which she currently wears down to her shoulderblades; it’s usually in a simple braid for convenience. Her bioware eyes are the same brown that her natural ones were; her fair complexion suggests she spends as little time as possible in direct sunlight. Her datajack and softlinks are all attached to the base of her skull under the hairline; jacking in takes a bit more care for her than most deckers, but she has an easier time passing for a non-decker than they do. She usually speaks in a calm alto with a distinct Oxonian accent.

Theora is a sensualist: she prefers quality— though not necessarily complexity— in everything in life. She usually dresses in silks and cottons or extremely good facsimiles thereof, and prefers to avoid situations calling for body armor. (However, being very practical, she seldom goes out without an armor jacket on.) She likes blues, greens and greys. Unlike many deckers, she prefers physical reality to the Matrix; she regards the whole business of cutesy Matrix iconography and virtual life to be something you do when you can’t get at the real world, not something better than the real world. The fascinating parts of the Matrix (to her) are what lies behind and beneath the layer of appearances in cyberspace.

Her philosophy is a bizarre mix of Extropian thinking and neo-paganism, reflecting two of the currents drifting through the extended Family she comes from. She has a passion for expanding the parameters of human existence, and can talk for hours about the different ways that technology can enhance human experience— and how other forms of it can detract. Politically, Theora favors government by the enlightened— who, being enlightened, would naturally attempt to enlighten as many other people as possible. (The unenlightened she views as much like children that need protection until they’re ready to assume adult responsibilities. She is not contemptuous of ordinary folk; rather, she pities them, and looks for ways that they might be awakened. In shadowrunning, she avoids harming such innocents just as most runners would avoid harming children, but has very little difficulty with stealing from the corrupt. Harmful individuals who are that way because they simply don’t know better she prefers to leave a chance to awaken; those who know the evil that they do she would prefer to see locked away and re-educated, but reluctantly allows that sometimes there are no solutions other than a merciful death.) Since no one seems to consider this a rational enough solution to implement it and she has no ambitions to restructure society on her own, she usually votes for measures that she thinks will improve human society.

Regarding cyberware, she strongly believes in choosing technology that augment’s one’s humanity, like the encephalon, cerebral booster, and sensory enhancements, rather than those that detract, such as skillwires. (She has a skillsoft system herself, but uses it mostly for tutorsofts— skillsofts are only to be relied upon when you haven’t had a chance to develop your own organic skills yet, and anyone having recourse to a skillsoft should put in real practice as soon as possible to make up for it.)

For fun, she does a great deal of reading; she favors hard science fiction written by authors exploring the future of human development, like Greg Bear, Dan Simmons, and Vernor Vinge. (One of her delights in cyberware is that it is possible to read a book while almost completely immersed in a hot bubble bath with a book on chip plugged into your datajack, viewing it over the display link.) She also spends a fair amount of time keeping up with the latest developments in technology, speculating on possible enhancements to human existence. She also favors electronic music, and does some composing of her own; her decking utilities manifest as soundtrack themes, and she controls her cyberdeck through both datajack and synthlink. If she gets the time to learn how to do it properly, she will probably add full simsense to her compositions.

In person, she is usually quiet and relatively formal until something comes up to get her attention: a topic she has a strong opinion on, new technology, or intellectual speculation will do the trick; she’s very patient with people who don’t follow her train of thought quickly, and is fairly good at explaining without lecturing. As Max Headroom— whom she tries to keep very far from her identity as Theora Jones— she is much more outspoken, and shows a good deal more sharp edges of personality.

Her cyberdeck is a continuously-upgraded hunk of technology she’s been working on since she was eleven years old. It now incorporates a high-quality music synthesizer as well as excellent decking support. She keeps backups of its systems carefully secreted in a number of different systems; the designs, rather than the deck itself, are some of her most treasured possessions. She also has an ancient analog modular Moog synthesizer, a gift from an uncle, which she keeps in excellent shape and enjoyes experimenting with.

One of the more interesting side effects of her sensory cyberware is that she is able to see and smell dirt and mildew that were previously below her threshold of perception. As a result, Theora has become impeccably neat— others would see it as obsessive, but she has 14 dice to a standard human’s 3 to smell things growing in the shower!


“If the Goddess had meant for us to eschew technology, She wouldn’t have made quantum physics so useful.”


Theora was named Sarah Janet Powell when she was born in Northern California (near Mount Shasta) on March 11, 2030. She comes from an extended family that moved out of the Silicon Valley area (everywhere from Marin County to Santa Cruz) from 1999 to 2003 when things began looking bad in urban areas. The Family settled down to a high-tech existence, doing a great deal of telecommuting and doing their best to take part in hi-tech “cottage industry”.

Life in the Family is a curious mixture of the medieval and the modern. The older members of the Family usually take on the duty of educating the younger ones, and children end up helping out with all manner of tasks as soon as they can be responsible for them. While some tasks end up being mostly physical in nature— local security, building maintenance, and so on— there is also a great deal of high-tech work, and just a little magic. Most of the folks in the Family stick around there most of their lives, with occasional sojourns for education. However, the best and brightest can get a certain amount of sponsorship when they can convince most of their Elders that they’re worth the investment. For those promising individuals, the Family will go through a good deal of effort to provide good cover identities, educations, cyberware, spell libraries, and so on. In return, these folks are expected to go out and make their own way in the world without any further help from the Family— and then to return to the Family with a host of new connections to add to the set there.

Sarah, who was already a promising decker, got the family to send her to England to build up a cover identity as an Oxford student. She picked her identity as Theora Jones (and her Matrix icon as Max Headroom) from an old flatvid series that was in the family archives, and accordingly selected a difficult-to-trace background in Wales before going on to Oxford to study for a couple of years. After a couple of years, she “emigrated” to the United States to take up “work” at Tachyon Transition Systems, a shadowrunner-created corporation (which existed mostly to acquire decking supplies at corporate discounts, rent mainframe space in a legitimate manner, and launder money); at this time, she received her encephalon. Here, she arranged for her icon, Max Headroom, to become known in the Seattle decker community, after recovering from getting a great deal of cyberware implanted. Theora is currently looking to establish herself as something of a deckmeister with a mainframe and a microtronics facility; gathering a cadre of elite deckers together to battle the SOTA will be the next step from there.

As an intellectual, she’s usually had difficulty finding people to have relationships with; her friends have been few, and lovers quite rare. Since she acquired an encephalon, Theora has found very few people who can keep up with her, and this provides a further barrier in getting close to people. She’s already given up on the whole notion of sticking to a given sexual orientation, and has given serious consideration to the notion of finding some Great Dragons to talk to.


Theora met Catherine Levy, a Corporate Official, when doing contract work as a systems rationalizer at Catherine’s company, which specializes in advanced headware design. Catherine made a point of taking contractors out to lunch to find out more about them, and they turned out to have a number of interests in common, especially that of figuring out where humanity is going in the future. Catherine’s fairly sure that Theora at the very least hangs out with real deckers if she isn’t one herself, but they’re very careful about not intruding into certain areas of discussion.

The owner of the Murdered Mime nightclub is particularly interested in electronic music, and Theora has spent many an evening in the club listening to groups perform and chatting with him while they slowly go through a variety of drinks. She’s occasionally performed there on open mike nights, and has introduced him to a number of obscure bands whose recordings only exist in private archives (namely, the Family’s).

Gina Stewart was the woman who ran Tachyon Transition Systems, the company where Theora was getting a leg up into Seattle decker society. Gina is a fixer specializing in matrixware, and was the mastermind behind creating the company, making it look legit, and causing it to self-destruct at the maximally profitable moment. Gina knows Theora is a reliable customer.

Gridwarp is one of the sysops at the Denver Data Haven whom Theora knows as Max Headroom. Neither have ever seen the other’s faces; Gridwarp usually manifests as an abstract optical disturbance using vocoded speech. They’ve spent many an evening discussing digital aesthetics and unusual ways to subvert standard Matrix iconography.

“Brainiac” is a mental adept with some brain-enhancing ’ware who probably works for UCAS intelligence. They play an occasional game of bridge over the Matrix. Unfortunately for Theora, he’s married.

The Family

The Family is generally how members refer to the group; no particular sets of last names manage to predominate. The group is mostly human and mostly Caucasian, and mostly neopagan, but has a strong mix of other ethnicities and metatypes, some of it dating back to the people who were together in the Awakening and were devoted enough to stick together through UGE and goblinization, and some of it from bringing others in from the outside; there is a strong ethnic minority of Asians, a variety of Christians, Jews, and Buddhists, and more Elves other metatypes (mostly due to the contempt Elves are held in in that region due to the presence of Tir Tairngire). They have a few magical types— mostly adepts of one sort or another— but their strongest focus is on technology. Indirectly, they run more than a few data havens, and make a great deal of nuyen through decking utilities sold at Hacker House or custom-built. The flow of royalties from past inventions and dividends from shrewd investment strategies sustain them when the market isn’t calling on their services directly.

The Family’s main compound is located in Northern California just outside Hestaby’s territory on Mount Shasta, and is approaching 200 individuals in size. It is by no means self-sufficient, but keeps enough supplies on hand to last for several months in case of economic disaster, and they have enough of the tools and raw materials of manufacturing that they could convert to farming fairly easily— or attempt to restart civilization if all the major manufacturing centers within reach of available transport networks were destroyed. (This is a contingency plan that is regularly reviewed amongst the Elders, and Theora spent several months along with other children near her age learning about the current plan and why it’s the way it is as part of her education.)

You get to be an Elder in the Family by making a significant addition to the Family’s resources— bringing in assets that you acquired yourself to grow the current set by ten percent overnight is usually regarded as a good benchmark, though lucrative algorithm patents, impressive networks of contacts, and similar such achievements merit such recognition as well. Elders who spend at least six months out of the year residing in the main compound have a strong say in what goes on there; those who don’t are called in for major policy decisions, and hold much less power in the Family.

Growing up in the Family involves a lot of apprenticeship and good tutoring programs, with one of the more educationally inclined Elders mentoring a student throughout their development. (Sarah had a crush on “Uncle” Dafydd, who was eccentric even for the Family, who took over her mentorship when she was nine.)

Reading and Listening List


Now that she has all the cyberware she wants— well, she’ll probably want to get flare compensation and electronic magnification for her new wetware eyes— Theora intends to get a lot more work done on her decking utilities while upping her Computer skill. The most important things to up for the cyberdeck will be the Masking factor (as soon as the MPCP can be raised) and the Sleaze program.

Eventually, she’d like to acquire a nice mainframe with a mainframe programming facility upon which to develop her applications, and a microtronics facility to make cyberdeck creation easier. At this point, she would be ready to set up as a deckmeister.

If she can make the time spent decking efficient enough, she may devote more time to being a musician.

Decking plans: optimize Sleaze-8, write Sleaze-9 (base time 26 days), optimize Sleaze-9 (base time 26 days), write MPCP 10 and matching ASIST, ICCM, and response increase (base time 171 days), write masking 8 (15 days), masking 9 (17 days), and masking 10 (19 days). Burn in the new toys.