The world is bigger than what you see and there are eyes everywhere. This is the cyberpunk future after all, and it's a panopticon.
Just because you kill someone on a street with no players or NPCs around does not mean that there were no ambient people that witnessed the crime.
Just because no one was present at the bank when you deposited that huge amount of flash, doesn't mean deckers running data skimmers on the Grid didn't flag the transaction as meaningful.
Any number of actions in the game could be witnessed or monitored by any number of people. This is the premise of the Chatter System.
There are a variety of NPCs in the world that have access to paydata, and if asked, they will provide you with some of it. This information is often gated behind a specific set of criteria you must meet before they will give you access to any information.
There are also NPCs that you can provide information to in an automated fashion (gossip) that will then be shared (if you base a basic stat check and if approved by GMs).
Most information is gated behind the kind of checks that might be run in real life. Do you have a skill that might be useful in bartering information or one that helps you find or find items & information? They'll probably talk to you. There could be additional criteria you must meet, however.
Some examples of who might have information, and how it could be gated (above and beyond what was mentioned above):
- Bartenders know the general gossip, like who's gotten ghosted Topside or in the Mix. They'll probably talk to you if you've got a drink in your hand and are not as ugly as sin.
- A decker might have knowledge of large bank deposits, transfers, or withdrawals. They'll probably charge you for that kind of information.
- Taxi drivers have general gossip but are only going to give it when you're actually on your way to your destination. (in a taxi you need to use 'Driver, what's the chatter').
- Faction NPCs might have paydata on who's joined a rival faction. They'll probably talk to you if you've got a good standing with them or are a member of their faction.
- A scavenger NPC may know information about recent big market purchases or sales, but may not talk to you if you haven't done enough work for them yet.
- A hiring manager at a topside business may talk to you about who's been hired/fired at their company and others... if you're attractive enough.
All you need to do to see if an NPC has chatter is ask them something like 'What's the chatter?'. They'll give you a response that should help you figure out if they do/what you might need to do to get access to it. Sometimes this response is not specific, meaning you'll need to figure it out ICly, perhaps by asking others ICly.
WHERE DOES THE INFO COME FROM?
This system is smart enough to ignore information about things like murders, that happened in private or low traffic areas. However, no street, market, park, shop, or bar, is ever 'empty'. There are ALWAYS eyes on you in those areas, even if no players are around. So don't think just because no players or NPCs are visibly around, no one saw you ghost that chummer on a public street. That's small world thinking.
Certain NPCs will respond to a specific phrase: 'I heard gossip that' which can be followed by the gossip you heard/made up. If the NPC accepts gossip, and you pass the stat check needed (NPC dependent, but should be intuitive) the NPC will log this gossip into a queue that the GMs can review and approve/deny. GMs also have the ability to edit/twist the gossip as they see fit. Not all submitted gossip will be approved.
Example: "I heard gossip that the Snakes were losing turf to the Arts."
Things to consider when submitting gossip:
* Ask: Is this relevant to more than just me? * Ask: Am I avoiding small worlding? * Accent: The NPC is going to record EXACTLY what you said and how you said it and may parrot it back. If you character has a very distinctive accent, tone it way down, as it wouldn't make sense for the NPC to parrot it back. GMs may deny rumors that don't meet this criteria. * Gossip doesn't have to be factual or true. * This is not a way to just slander someone. Make it interesting or it's going to be denied. * Minor/major events are encouraged, especially when player driven. IE: I heard gossip that someone hacked the VS node, or I heard gossip that someone bombed Carnal or I heard gossip that NLM stock is tanking due to X event.
If you include gossip like 'Joe is dating Jane' it will be denied. The city had 65 million+ people in it. No one knows who Joe or Jane are. You need to be more specific, such as 'Joe, the mechanic at Kro's that people say rips people off, is dating the new Ori stripper Jane.'
GOSSIP SUBMISSION FREEBIES
We want newer players and lower charisma characters to have a chance to engage with the rumor/gossip system. As such, every character gets 5 free gossip submissions, even if they fail the skill check. If you encounter this case, you'll be warned by the NPC that they are accepting it this time, but won't forever, and they'll tell you to figure out how to be more likeable (IE: raise your charisma).
SEE ALSO: help skills help speaking help npcs *Last Updated: 05/27/23 by Fengshui*