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The first step to creating your character is to choose a background. Was your character born on Earth before the Fall? Were they raised on a habitat commune? Or did they start existence as a disembodied AI? You must choose one of the backgrounds for your character from the list below. Choose wisely, as each background may provide your character with certain skills, traits, limitations, or other characteristics to start with. Keep in mind that your background is where you came from, not who you are now. It is the past, whereas your faction represents whom your character is currently aligned with. Your future, of course, is yours to make.

The background options presented below cover a wide selection of transhumanity, but they cannot cover every possibility. If your gamemaster allows it, you may work with them to develop a background that is not included on this list, using these as guidelines to keep it balanced.

Ape Uplift

Neo-gorillas and neo-orangutans have integrated well with transhumanity, but they still haven’t shaken their reputation for aggressiveness. Your drive to be in control of your social group and environment—a remnant of your species’ social competitiveness and group hierarchies—chafes at the prejudice and restrictions you find in most habitats. Due to your perceived “anti-social tendencies,” it can be difficult to find a place in society outside of military, police, or criminal organizations.

Advantages: +10 Fray skill, +20 Intimidation skill, +10 Unarmed Combat skill, Brave trait
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Uplift) trait
Common Morphs: Neo-Hominid, Neo-Hominid (Gorillas)

Bonobo Uplift

Your species is among the most enthusiastic when it comes to assimilating into transhuman cultures, and you are no exception. The large, vibrant social groups, the constant interaction, and the pervasive—if unspoken—focus on sex and sexuality makes your own impulses and tendencies an almost perfect fit. Although other uplifts might belittle you for pandering to transhumans, and some transhumans claim you’re too naïve to realize the way your uplifters moved your species towards work in entertainment, XP, and porn, you actually have many more opportunities and wider acceptance than almost any other uplifts except your cousins the chimps. So long as you have friends—and if you’re lucky, family—to share this life with, you’re happy.

Advantages: +10 Freerunning skill, +10 Kinesics skill, +10 Persuasion skill, +10 to two Networking: [Field] skills of your choice, Social Animal trait
Disadvantages: Addiction: Sex (Minor) trait, Social Stigma (Uplift) trait
Common Morphs: Neo-Hominid, Pleasure Pod, Sylph

Cetacean Uplift

You are used to living with a tight-knit pack that had no secrets. Like others of your kind, you are always in motion, always expressive, and quite often playing tricks and games. As an aquatic creature, there are only a few locations that you can call home, if you want to thrive in your natural form.

Advantages: +20 Art: Singing skill, +10 Networking: [Field] skill of your choice, +20 Swimming skill, Social Animal trait
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Uplift) trait
Common Morphs: Neo-Beluga, Neo-Dolphin, Neo-Orca, Neo-Porpoise, Neo-Whale

Chimp Uplift

You come from the first and most populous uplifted species, and the one generally perceived as closest to humans. As a chimp, you don’t suffer from the same level of scorn as other species and have more possibilities for success, but your life is still limited by laws and prejudice throughout the system. Will you work to push for more rights and recognition for all species or take advantage of the slim acceptance you enjoy to live an easier life than other uplifts?

Advantages: +10 Climbing skill, +10 Fray skill, +10 Freerunning skill, +10 Networking: Hypercorps skill, +10 to a skill of your choice
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Uplift) trait
Common Morphs: Neo-Hominid

Corvid Uplift

You have all the best and worst tendencies of your species: excellent three- and four-dimensional thinking, a knack for finding objects you can put to use, and an unfortunate and overwhelming habit of adding new things to your nest.

Advantages: +20 Flight skill, +10 Navigation skill, +10 Perception skill, +20 Scrounging skill
Disadvantages: Hoarder trait, Social Stigma (Uplift) trait
Common Morphs: Chickcharnie, Neo-Avian, Ripwing

Drifter

You were raised with a social grouping that remained on the move throughout the Sol system. This could have been free traders, pirates, asteroid farmers, scavengers, or just migrant workers. You are used to roaming space travel between habitats and stations.

Advantages: +10 Navigation skill, +20 Pilot: Spacecraft skill, +10 Networking: [Field] skill of your choice
Disadvantages: None
Common Morphs: All, especially Bouncers and Hibernoids

Emergent AGI Uplift

As a pre-sapient complex software system, you may have emerged into full intelligence on your own, given enough time. Your potential was recognized, however, and you were “uplifted” with an upgraded, human-based neural network and a program of socialization to make you friendly and conducive to human values and modes of thought. You are not quite as assimilated as programmed AGIs, however. While you are at least capable of functionally interacting with transhumans, their thought processes and social behaviors are quite often a complete mystery to you. Many emergent uplifts also have the Anomalous Mind trait.

Advantages: +15 Infosec skill, +30 Interfacing skill, +30 Programming skill
Disadvantages: Emotive Blindness trait, Poorly Socialized trait, Real World Naiveté trait, Social Stigma (AGI) trait, must start with an infomorph/eidolon
Common Morphs: Infomorph/Eidolon

Fall Evacuee

You were born and raised on Earth and evacuated during the horrors of the Fall, leaving your old life (and possibly your friends, family, and loved ones) behind you. You were lucky enough to survive with your body intact and continue to make a life for yourself out in the system.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Groundcraft skill, +10 Networking: [Field] skill of your choice, +1 Moxie
Disadvantages: Only 2,500 Starting Credit (can still buy credit with CP)
Common Morphs: Flats, Splicers

Feral Uplift

By design or accident, your uplift moved you to full sapience but did nothing to change your instincts or social impulses. The morality and social behaviors of other transhumans are a mystery and only worth understanding to the extent needed for your own survival. You will do as you must to survive, but you long to live the way your natural impulses dictate. Many feral uplifts also have the Anomalous Mind trait.

Advantages: +10 Fray skill, +20 Intimidation skill, +10 Perception skill, +20 Unarmed Combat skill, Heightened Instinct trait
Disadvantages: Poorly Socialized trait, Real World Naiveté trait, Social Stigma (Uplift) trait, must start with an uplift biomorph
Common Morphs: Any uplift biomorph

Humanities Infolife

Your digital mind emulates human minds and values as closely as your neuroprogrammers could make it. You were specifically designed to blend in with transhumans and work closely with them.

Advantages: +10 Academics: (Psychology or Sociology) skill, +20 Interfacing skill, +10 Kinesics skill, +10 to one Networking: [Field] skill of your choice, +10 Research skill
Disadvantages: Real World Naiveté trait, Social Stigma (AGI) trait
Common Morphs: Infomorph/Eidolon, Basic Pod, Pleasure Pod, Specialist Pod

Hyperelite

You are privileged to have been raised as part of the immortal upper class that rules many inner system habitats and hypercorps. You were pampered with wealth and influence that most people can only dream of.

Advantages: +10 Protocol_1e|Protocol skill, +10,000 Credit, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill
Disadvantages: May not start with flat, splicer, or any pod, uplift, or synthetic morphs
Common Morphs: Exalts, Sylphs

Indenture

You may have handed yourself over to the hypercorps before the Fall, going off-world to escape a life of violence and misery on Earth, or you may have escaped the horrors of the Fall as an infugee. Either way, you left Earth with nothing, and you spent years selling your time and labor as an indenture. Now you’ve earned your freedom and are taking your first cautious steps back into transhuman society as your own person. You might only have a dim understanding of current events and culture—your activities and news sources were heavily restricted during your indenture—but your work has helped you sharpen some skills and come away with a decent understanding of new corporate culture.

Advantages: +10 Networking: Hypercorp skill, +20 to one Profession: [Field] skill of your choice, +10 to one other skill of your choice
Disadvantages: None
Common Morphs: Cases, Splicers, Rusters

Infolife

You entered existence as a digital consciousness—an artificial general intelligence (AGI). Your very existence is illegal in certain habitats (a legacy of those who place the Fall at the feet of rampant AIs). Unlike the seed AIs responsible for their Fall, your capacity for self-improvement is limited, though you do have full autonomy.

Advantages: +30 Interfacing skill, Computer skills (Infosec, Interfacing, Programming, Research) bought with Customization Points are half price
Disadvantages: Real World Naiveté trait, Social Stigma (AGI) trait, Social skills bought with Customization Points are double price
Common Morphs: Infomorphs, synthetic morphs

Isolate

You were raised as part of a self-exiled grouping on the fringes of the system. Whether raised as part of a religious group, cult, social experiment, anti-tech cell, or a group that just wanted to be isolated, you spent most if not all of your upbringing isolated from other factions.

Advantages: +20 to two skills of your choice
Disadvantages: –10 starting Rep
Common Morphs: All

Lost

You are a legacy of one of the most infamous debacles since the Fall. As a member of the “Lost generation,” you went through an accelerated-growth childhood, somehow surviving where others of your kind died, went insane, or were persecuted (see The Lost). Your background is a social stigma, but it does provide you with certain advantages ... and burdens.

Advantages: +20 to two Knowledge skills of your choice, Psi trait (Level 1)
Disadvantages: Mental Disorder (choose two - this includes the one from Psi (lvl 1) ) trait, Social Stigma (Lost) trait, must start with Futura morph
Common Morphs: Futuras

Lunar Colonist

You experienced your childhood in one of the cramped dome cities or underground stations on Luna, Earth’s moon. You had a ringside seat to the Fall of Earth.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Groundcraft skill, +10 to one Technical, Academics: [Field], or Profession: [Field] skill of your choice, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill
Disadvantages: None
Common Morphs: Flats, Splicers

Machine Infolife

You were programmed to facilitate transhumanity’s interactions with complex systems. You understand computers, robots, and machines more than you do transhumans.

Advantages: +10 Infosec skill, +30 Interfacing skill, +20 Programming skill, Machine Intuition trait
Disadvantages: Poorly Socialized trait, Real World Naiveté trait, Social Stigma (AGI) trait
Common Morphs: Infomorph/Eidolon, Specialist Pod, Synth, Worker Pod

Maker Nomad

The sparsely settled high desert of northern Mars is your homeland—one your people are slowly converting into a new home for transhumanity. You’ve been raised from childhood to be a consummate engineer while respecting the delicate balance of the evolving Martian climate. The sufi nomads are allies, and perhaps blood relations, to your maker clan. Your upbringing gives you an edge at surviving on improvisation in the harshest of climes.

Advantages: +10 to one Academics: [Field] skill of your choice, +10 to one Hardware: [Field] skill of your choice, +10 Profession: Terraforming skill, +10 Scrounging skill
Disadvantages: None
Common Morphs: Dragonfly, Martian Alpiner, Ruster

Martian

You were raised in one of the stations on or above Mars, now the most populated planet in the system. Your home town may or may not have survived the Fall.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Groundcraft skill, +10 to one Technical, Academics: [Field], or Profession: [Field] skill of your choice, +20 Networking: Hypercorps skill
Disadvantages: None
Common Morphs: Flats, Splicers, and Rusters

Neanderthal Uplift

Until a few decades ago, your species was extinct. The first resurrected neo-neanderthals had no pre-existing culture to build upon, but that hasn’t stopped your kind from inventing something new, even if you really are just making it up as you go along.

Advantages: +20 Art: Music skill, +10 to one Networking: [Field] skill of your choice, +10 Freerunning skill, +10 to one Profession: [Field] skill of your choice
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Uplift) trait
Common Morphs: Neanderthal, Splicer

Octopus Uplift

Yours is the least-human uplifted species. More so than other uplifts, you think and live a step apart from transhuman norms. By nature inclined to solitude and a restful, reactive life, the frenetic pace and hyperactive socializing of most transhumans is strange and off-putting. You must work to engage with others as a new type of protective camouflage, lest you be left isolated, exposed, and out-competed.

Advantages: +10 Deception skill, +10 Disguise skill, +10 Free Fall skill, +10 Infiltration skill, +10 Swimming skill, Hardening (Isolation) trait
Disadvantages: Solitary trait, Social Stigma (Uplift) trait
Common Morphs: Flying Squid, Octomorph, Takko

Original Space Colonist

You, or your parents, were part of the first “generations” of colonists/workers sent out from Earth to stake a claim in space, so you are familiar with the cramped confines of spaceflight and life aboard older stations and habitats. As a “zero-one G” (zero-gravity, first-gen), you were never part of the elite. People from your background typically have some sort of specialized tech training as vacworkers or habtechs.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Spacecraft or Free Fall skill, +10 to a Technical, Academics: [Field], or Profession: [Field] skill of your choice, +20 to a Networking: [Field] skill of your choice
Disadvantages: None
Common Morphs: All. Use of exotic morphs is common.

Parrot Uplift

You have an easier time than most other uplift species when dealing with transhumans, as parrots were often viewed as smart and beautiful companion animals. As most people have positive stereotypes that you’ll be gregarious and entertaining, it’s easier to get on in life, but that also requires playing in to those stereotypes with funny impressions, non-sequiturs, and keeping your plumage bright.

Advantages: +10 Flight skill, +20 Impersonation skill, +10 to a Networking: [Field] skill of your choice, First Impression trait
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Uplift) trait
Common Morphs: Neo-Avian

Pig Uplift

You have more of a place in society than many uplifts. Although your species was only recently uplifted, it has quickly become widespread because you make excellent workers. Pigs are smart, dedicated, have excellent memories, and can pick up trades quickly. You left the lab with some in-demand skills, an honest shot at a job, and a way to take care of yourself. There’s still discrimination, and you have to watch for some legal restrictions here and there, but by sticking to the right habs and keeping your snout down there’s a good life if you work for it.

Advantages: +10 Investigation skill, +10 Perception skill, +20 Scrounging, +10 Networking: Hypercorp skill, +10 to a Profession: [Field] skill of your choice
Disadvantages: Impaired Balance (Level 1) trait, Oblivious trait, Social Stigma (Uplift) trait
Common Morphs: Neo-Pig

Re-Instantiated

You were born and raised on Earth, but you did not survive the Fall. All that you know is that your body died there, but your backup was transmitted off-world, and you were one of the lucky few to be re-instantiated with a new morph. You may have spent years in dead storage, simulspace, or as an infomorph slave.

Advantages: +10 Pilot: Groundcraft skill, +10 to a Networking: [Field] skill of your choice, +2 Moxie
Disadvantages: Edited Memories trait, 0 Starting Credit (can still buy credit with CP)
Common Morphs: Cases, Infomorphs, Synths

Research Infolife

You were programmed to analyze and study, with the express intent of aiding transhuman scientific endeavors. Advantages: +20 to one Academics: [Field] skill of your choice, +10 Interfacing skill, +30 Research skill
Disadvantages: Real World Naiveté trait, Social Stigma (AGI) trait
Common Morphs: Infomorph/Eidolon, Specialist Pod, Synth

Scumborn

You were raised in the nomadic and chaotic lifestyle common to Scum barges. Advantages: +10 Persuasion or Deception skill, +10 Scrounging skill, +20 Networking: Autonomists skill
Disadvantages: None
Common Morphs: All, especially Bouncers

Sufi Nomad

The people of your clan raised you to be a salik—a wayfarer, striving for purity of heart, intoxicated by the love of God. Your clan shared the northern deserts of Mars with the maker clans—your allies and sometimes blood relations. Your upbringing taught you both to survive and to evade the notice of greedy hypercorps. Whether or not you still hold to the spiritual aspects of your upbringing, you are a child of the Martian desert—a land as beautiful as it is forbidding.

Advantages: +10 Art: [Field] skill of your choice, +10 Infiltration skill, +10 Navigation skill, +10 Scrounging skill
Common Morphs: Martian Alpiner, Olympian, Ruster

Titanian Hulder

You were an original colonist on Titan, but unlike the others that stayed in the habs, you went native. You and the other hulder adapted your forms to survive in the cryogenic Titanian environment, forging a new nomadic lifestyle.

Advantages: +10 Academics: [Field] skill of your choice, +10 Animal Handling skill, +10 Profession: Prospecting skill, +10 Scrounging skill
Disadvantages: None
Common Morphs: Hulder

Uplift

You are not even human. You were born as an uplifted animal: chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, parrot, raven, crow, or octopus.

Advantages: +10 Fray skill, +10 Perception skill, +20 to two Knowledge skills of your choice
Disadvantages: Must choose an uplift morph to start
Common Morphs: Neo-Avian, Neo-Hominid, Octomorph

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