a character by Gary Astleford
I think it's a safe bet to say that just about everyone has a favorite character that they've played, one that comes up in conversation with other roleplaying friends often enough to become a household name. My favorite has always been this guy called "Deadeye".
The idea for Deadeye came to me in a flash of inspiration, watching "Duck Tales" when I was 14 or 15. I was at the age where only nerds or geeks still watched cartoons, but I pretty much counted on being a nerd ANYWAY, so I didn't really care. It was the episode where Scrooge and the boys go to a real life dude ranch. Huey, Dewey, and Louie mount up on a sorry-looking animal named "Gluefoot" or somesuch and wander out into the desert. All of a sudden, one of the boys pops the idea of giving themselves imaginary names : Lone-Star Louie, Deadeye Dewey, and...well, I don't remember what Huey was called.
So, yes, my favorite character is named after a DUCK, of all things.
It quickly went from the "That's a cool name for a character" phase into the "I know exactly what I want" phase. Deadeye emerged as a neo-cowboy. In other words, a cyber-redneck. Like Clint Eastwood's "Josie Wales", Emilio Estevez's "Billy the Kid", DC Comics' "Jonah Hex", and the whole James/Younger gang from "The Long Riders" rolled into one. I had him dress like a cowboy, carry cowboy guns, talk like a cowboy, and wear spurs that jingle-jangle-jingled. On top of all that, I decided on a completely black cyberoptic unit (hence, Deadeye has a dead eye).
Hey, I thought it was cool.
The character was originally created with the Cyberpunk 2013 "black box" edition. As anyone with any experience in the original version knows, characters were either 20, 24, or 28 years old to start out, depending on the skills they took, and how they took them. Of course, I wanted an experienced character, so I pulled the taffy until he was 28. He was, you realize, a solo (the only character role we really liked to play in our younger days).
I remember the GM specifically saying, "Gary, he's not going to survive. He doesn't have a single automatic weapon." I nodded, thinking, "Bring it on." And boy, did he ever. All in all, Deadeye lasted until I was about 17 years old before he was retired to my NPC box. Since then, he's made cameos in a few of my normal games. He's a character I know well, and can easily play. This file details Deadeye, and his evolution as a character, from PC to NPC. You'll probably think it's pretty boring, but I know that there are people out there who eat this stuff up, and I love to share.
EVOLUTION OF CHARACTER
Deadeye, or William Bonnie (AKA Henry McCarty), started out as just another kick-ass in a Chicago bar. In the beginning, his personality wasn't exactly more than a few words jotted on a piece of paper that read something like "violent, anti-social, unpredictable," but later he became much more. In a sense, he went from a twenty-eight year-old kid who never grew up to a grizzled 37 year-old professional.
He was something I'd never really had - a long term character with feelings, emotions, and concerns, just like everyone else. He was someone I could relate to, but he'd been through things I had a tough time imagining. I always played him as a borderline alcoholic, but he did eventually end up crossing that line (which cost him a point of empathy until he got treatment, which dried him out...for a while). A heavy smoker, too (Marlboros, of course). I'd learned from Gibson that characters are seldom, if ever, perfect, and that everyone has problems, hang-ups, and weakenesses. I really wanted that to show through, and I guess it did.
Towards the middle of his life as a character, he'd lost everything he'd ever had. He was down to just about nothing. At that point, Cyberpunk 2020 was released. It was time for Deadeye to be revised into the new rules. It was an almost flawless transistion, from living to dead, and then back to living, with a gap of three years spent in cryogenic storage between games. It was about that time that Billy woke up and thought to himself, "Look at where you are, what you've done; is it all worth it?" This is a dilemma that lived with him for the rest of his career. He was never a very lucky person.
(Note : Values in parenthesis are circa 2022, others are circa 2020. Original characteristics from the 2013 rules are not availiable, having been either thrown away, stolen, or lost. He was originally a 67 point character.)
Name : William H. Bonnie, "Billy"
Handle : Deadeye
Aliases : Henry McCarty, "Belial", "Heetseeker"
Age : 35, appears 31 (37, appears 33)
Ht : 6'1"
Wt : 185lbs
Hair : Brown
Eyes : Rt - Green, Lt - Black
Race : Caucasian
INT 7 REF 9/11 (8/10) TECH 4 COOL 8 ATTR 8 LUCK 5 MA 7 BOD 10 (9) EMP 10/7
Streetwise +4 (+6)
Fast Talk +6
Education/Gen Know +3
Thai Kick Boxing +8
Melee +6 (+7)
Stealth +5 (+6)
Submachine Gun +4
Guitar +3 (+4)
Cyberware : Neuralware Processor w/Kerenzekov Speedware +2, Vehicle Link, Interfce Plugs, Smartgun Link, Chip Socket; Rt & Lt Cyberoptics w/Rt & Lt Image Enhancement, Rt & Lt Targeting Scope, Lt Times Square Marquee, Rt & Lt. Thermograph; Lt. Cyberarm w/Thumb Cigarette Lighter; Rt. & Lt. Cyberlegs; Total HC = 38)
Advantages : Combat Reflexes +3 (6)
Disadvantages : Smoker (-2), Alcoholic (-5)
William "Billy" Bonnie is a white male, an inch over six feet tall, weighing in at 185 pounds. His right eye is green, his left eye is a completely unreflective black, sclera and all. His hair is a medium shade of brown. It has been all lengths during his long and checkered career, from shoulder length to a nearly professional crew cut. He has recently started growing it out again. His face is unremarkable, yet attractive in a rugged sort of way. All old scars have been washed away by repetitive facial alteration. He was originally a very plain man, but he opted for vanity when choosing his newest set of features. His teeth are straight, but have the distinctive yellowing of a lifetime smoker. He is very strong, but his muscles aren't overdeveloped. His physique is ropy and sinewy. He walks with a very determined, slow step, like a man who knows exactly what he wants and what he's doing.
In the old days, he used to dress in plenty of earthy colors, with denim, wool, and cotton clothes predominating his wardrobe, topped off with his ever-present floppy felt cowboy hat. Brown ostrich-skin cowboy boots adorned with sharpened riding spurs rode upon his feet. At his hip he carried a family heirloom, an antiquated Colt Peacemaker, in a soft leather gunbelt ringed 'round with bullets. Over this ensemble went a khaki duster, lined with kevlar and light ceramic inserts. These clothes have since been eiher lost or locked up.
He now likes to dress in jeans and modestly styled dress shirts, preferring dull colors and designs that don't catch the eye. The spurs remain a part of his outfit, but he wears them on a pair of black leather "biker" boots with steel toes. Instead of the old Peacemaker, he carries a .454 Super Chief in a quick-draw holster. Over this is the obligatory armored overcoat, in this case a dark grey wool double-breasted design with an armored lining. The felt fedora he wears, in conjunction with his outfit, makes him look like a cross between a mobster and hell's angel.
Besides his own body, Deadeye is virtually a walking armory. He's always preferred heavy caliber handguns. He feels more able to take his quarry down with one shot if he's using something that was originally designed to kill elephants. The Super Chief hasn't disapointed him once. He usually carries a small bulldog .44 revolver in an ankle holster, a tactic that has saved his life countless times, as well as a Colt AMT 2000 in a nylon shoulder holster.
As for long arms, he's had his share. Originally, he carried a lever-action 30-30 Winchester hunting rifle that his father had procured for him. This was, as with most of his old weapons, lost or misplaced. He now prefers Militech's Ronin light assault rifle, both for it's light weight and accuracy. Recently, he used a Winchester M70 with a heavy barrel and accurized dual-purpose ammunition to perform a long-distance assassination.
As far as hand-to-hand weapons, Deadeye prefers to use his body in close quarters. Since 3/4 of his limbs are cybernetic, he can dish out massive amounts of damage in a small amount of time. If bladed weapons are called for, he carries two. One is a small boot knife made from dense ceramics, similar to a "CIA letter opener." His other blade is a bowie-style knife with an etched blade and a deer's hoof as its handle, which rides in a leather sheath on his gunbelt.
DEADEYE'S CHARACTER HISTORY (in extreme brief)
EVENTS : 2013
- Hanging out in the "Dragon," a bar in downtown Chicago, Illinois, looking for work. - A few run-ins with several drug dealers. Seeing himself as a cybernetic Robin Hood, Deadeye kills a few dealers in true vigilante fashion. - Hired by the Griffin syndicate, an east coast racketeering organization, as an enforcer. Meets up with an AmerInd called "Redman." His superior is Lance Taglia. - Griffin syndicate falls apart during intra-family warfare. Deadeye flees to the west coast with Taglia's daughter, Rebecca, as Taglia has requested. Together they avoid several assassination attempts. Lance Taglia disappears. After things cool off, they return to Chicago together. They plan to marry. - Hired by Arasaka to drive "Tornado" law enforcement vehicle prototype from east coast to west coast, partially as a test run and partially as a pro-Arasaka media stunt. Along the way he meets up with a mysterious razor girl called "Allie Cat". The test run for the "Tornado" is a failure. The vehicle is destroyed moments from the scheduled finish. Arasaka refuses to pay Deadeye's retainer as compensation for loss of the vehicle. - Hears that Rebecca's father, Lance Taglia, is being held in a backwoods Arasaka facility, disguised as a mental hospital. Organizes an extraction team to rescue Lance. Loses left leg to heavy caliber weapons fire, but the team manages to save Lance, who is under extreme mental distress. While Deadeye is in surgery for his injuries, Taglia disappears (presumably back to Arasaka).
EVENTS : 2014
- Arasaka hunts for Deadeye. Corporate netrunners clear out his bank accounts. Rebecca and Redman are killed in the crossfire. Deadeye begins drinking heavily, blaming Taglia for the death of his fiance and friend. - Runs to west coast. Hears of work repelling hostile nomads in New Mexico, his birthplace. Joins up. Meets a solo named "Wannabe" who becomes his new sidekick while in New Mexico. - Lands job doing bodyguard work in Switzerland. In the ensuing chaos, loses right leg to a mixture of tissue trauma, gangrene, and frostbite. Heals over the next few months and returns to the U.S.A. - James, Griffin's son (of the defunct east-coast Griffin Syndicate) contacts Deadeye, hoping to hire Deadeye to help him with his endeavors on the west coast. Deadeye agrees.
EVENTS : 2015
- Deadeye meets up with his little brother, "Highball". Both get jobs as bouncers in the Afterlife, a bar in Night City, CA. Continues to work for James Griffin on the side. - Deadeye is reaquired by Arasaka, who send a 'borg ("Rex") to catch him. Evades capture by leaping from a climbing AV-4 at an altitude of 40 feet. Breaks his back in two places and enters a deep coma.
EVENTS : Mid-2015 Til 2018
- DOWN TIME : UNACCOUNTED FOR
EVENTS : Late 2018
- Remains comatose in cryosuspension. Deadeye's remains are purchased by a pro-American branch of the Seattle Provisional Government. Thawed out and surgically altered. Cosmetic surgery is performed, as is cybernetic replacement (out with the old tech, in with the new). Nano-reconstruction of the spinal cord is attempted, but some damage remains (-1 to REF).
EVENTS : 2019
- Seattle Provisional Government forces Deadeye to work as a covert operative. Deadeye changes his name to "Belial". Infiltrates a puppet gang suspected by the SPG of being Arasaka-backed. Initiation consists of slaying a local police officer in cold blood. Deadeye vows to himself to refrain from killing what he deems to be "good" cops. - Once a member of the gang, he finds that Lance Taglia, older now, is directing the gang operations from the security division of the local Arasaka branch office. This eventually leads to a confrontation where Deadeye, not really caring, reveals himself to Lance. - With Arasaka's backing, Deadeye defects from the SPG's covert operations. In return, Deadeye signs on to work for Arasaka as an operative for a total of eighteen months. - Deadeye kills his younger brother, Highball, who has been hired by the SPG to assassinate him. Highball never knew that his target was actually his older brother. - Begins learning to play guitar.
EVENTS : 2020
- Performs cleaning operations for Arasaka. Refuses to use Arasaka equipment, preferring to spite them by using Militech and Colt firearms. Lance remains his direct superior until September, 2020, when his contract ends. - Lance Taglia leaves his position at Arasaka. He contacts Deadeye, hoping to use his talents in some grand business scheme. Deadeye doesn't take the time to listen, but instead kills Taglia, settling a vendetta he felt was long overdue. - Deadeye, now calling himself "Heatseeker", becomes involved with Rudolph Kane, a rich entrepreneur and high-end assassin, looking to form an illicit independant mercenary and problem-solving company. When it is revealed that several members of his team are undercover police officers, Deadeye warns them, shooing them away from certain death at the last moment. Kane puts a contract out on Deadeye, who vanishes into the back alleyways of Night City.
EVENTS : 2021
- Lives in the Night City combat zone, posing as a derelict.
EVENTS : 2022
- Deadeye comes out of hiding, still calling himself Heatseeker. Performs assassination in Miami, Florida.
TACTICS (memorable Deadeye-esque actions)
It was common for Deadeye to use his Trauma Team account as a last ditch method of un-assing a heavily populated A.O. Usually, when the odds were against him, he'd hole up, break his TTI card, and wait for the sounds of approaching turbines. They'd rescue him, and on the way to the hospital one of the medtechs would say, "Hey, man...you're not even hurt!" Obviously, this earned him contempt with several TTI teams, but since he was a valued client who paid his bills, no one really complained.
He escaped having his body torn limb from limb by a full 'borg conversion by rolling down six flights of hospital stairs. While this began purely by accident (GM - "You hit the stairs going pretty fast...roll an athletics." Me - "Aw, crap! Fumble." GM - "Well...uh...down you go."), he quickly realised it was faster than running, and went to work doing his sowbug impression. While nearly impossible to survive in the CP2020 system (he took 1D10 damage per flight of stairs covered this way), the old system allowed for small flaws like this by cross-indexing the damage rolled with the character's body score on a chart that supplied a wound level (ie, Light, Serious, Critical, etc). With a body score of 10, only damage rated at 9 or 10 points would result in a serious wound. All the rest were treated as light wounds. For some reason, light wounds compounded with other light wounds stayed rated as light wounds. In the end, he was lightly wounded over just about every portion of his body, and managed to escape for the time being.
Shooting people in the legs became such a common occurance for Deadeye, that he eventually started aiming for the legs instead of letting luck run its course. After all, someone with no leg cannot very well catch you if you're running away, or run away from you if you're trying to catch THEM.