What Are “Guns”?

Guns are the player characters of a GiTO campaign, the rough equivalent of D&D’s “adventurer”. They are mercenaries, bounty hunters, and freelance lawmen. They are hired to face and fight the various threats of the post-Emergence world.

Guns are not just gunfighters (though nearly all do, in fact, carry firearms). Guns can be mages, technicians, con men, or hackers. What matters is that, no matter their skill set, they are willing and able to fight, and capable enough to survive. (Gun life has a high mortality rate.)

The following are the major archetypes that Guns tend to fall into. They are not absolute categories; any given Gun could mix and match skills and abilities from each. But when people hire Guns, they will tend to request one of these… “We need a magus, an iceman, and a cracker.”

Magus — A spellcaster, one who follows either a Beyonder tradition or one native to Earth. Twiddle your fingers, say a few words, and you make things happen with magic.

Technomage — Magic responds to electrical current, and you can build gadgets that cast spells. Technomages carry several devices that allow them to duplicate the abilities of maguses.

Technoshaman / Sorcerer — Magic emanates from the shadow world, which is the domain of spirits. When magic flooded the world, these spirits came with it, and many took up residence in everyday objects. Technoshamans cannot cast spells, but they have the innate ability to commune with spirits and even summon them into the material world (or banish them from it). More, they can summon/banish while projecting inside a computer construct (see “cracker”, below). “Sorcerer” is the Beyonder name for a technoshaman.

Gun Knight / Avowed — Magical abilities manifest in many ways: spellcasting, shadow-walking, spirit summoning, and augmentation. Augmentations are innate magical talents that enhance the abilities of a person. They can make one stronger, faster, more stealthy, and so forth. Developing these abilities requires intense studies and vows. There are dozens of Avowed schools, and each has their own moral code and required vows. On Earth, the Avowed were called knights (their vows and moral codes being mistaken for chivalry, and their schools being conflated with knightly orders) and those who hired themselves out as Guns became Gun Knights.

Augment — Properly constructed technomagical devices allow people to gain the abilities of a gun knight, without the need for years of study or vows. These require painful treatments however, and expensive metals, as runes must be etched onto a person’s skeleton, then filled with metals. Augments are usually far less powerful than true Avowed, and usually less skilled.

Cracker — Shadow Walkers are mages who can project their mind into the shadow world. Electricity affects magic, including electronics. Computers, in particular, have a strange effect on the shadow world. They create small nodes in the energies of magic. Any magician with the ability to project their mind into the shadow world (via spell, technomagical device, or a shadow walker’s projection ability) can enter these nodes and steal data from the computer. To combat this, people create constructs, false realities with their own internal laws of physics. To break into the computer, a person must penetrate the construct. Crackers are maguses, technomages, shadow walkers, or technoshamans who specialize in this sort of activity. (Though, as a rule, all shadow walkers are called crackers.)

Iceman — A person who specializes in combat abilities, typically a gunfighter, sharpshooter, or sniper.

Face — A negotiator, interrogator, interviewer, and seducer. Crackers hack constructs, faces hack people.

Tracker — A bounty hunter, someone skilled in finding other people. Usually assumes some facility with following tracks in the wilderness.

Stakers — Guns who specialize in fighting anthrophagians or “eaters” (vampires, ghouls, & wraiths).

Specialist — A catch-all category for roles not covered above, like wheelman, hacker (still necessary, oddly enough, because of limitations on cracking), gunsmith, lawman (someone familiar with legal codes, who can enforce the law), and so forth.

∞ Infinity assumes that any character can learn any skill, and so it is in GiTO. (Some abilities have a significant cost, though.) A character can start off as a magus, and learn to summon spirits. They can begin as an iceman, and later learn spellcasting. The above categories are thus descriptive, not proscriptive.

5 thoughts on “What Are “Guns”?”

  1. Some possible alternate names for the roles:
    Magus: Wand, Pocus, Copperfield
    Technomage: Gear, Goggle, Steamer, Tesla, Wiz
    Technoshaman: Piper, Schizo, Jinx
    Gun Knight: Gunbunny, Slinger, Paladin
    Augment: Wannabe, Cyber, Patch
    Cracker: Case (as in Neuromancer), Pirate, Hood
    Shadow Walker: Houdini, Ghost, Flynn
    Iceman: Icepick, Soldier, Merc
    Face: Mouth, Weasel, Hollywood
    Tracker: Hound, Dog, Tonto
    Staker: Stake, Van (as in Van Helsing), Buffy
    Specialist: Spec, Jacko, Fixit

    Some possible additional roles:
    Cross: Also known as a Striper or Medic, these are trained combat medics, usually well-versed in pharmaceuticals, including medical, offensive, and recreational.
    Pyro: Also known as a Fuse or Psycho, these are demolitions experts who know how to use explosives, grenades and pyrotechnics.

  2. I forgot to add the Crosshair (also known as the Plink or Longarm), which is a dedicated sniper, and the Godmode (also known as the Roid or Taz), which is a berserker warrior.

  3. Well, if you should want to use any of them, I hereby officially abandon all copyright claim on all written material I’ve posted in the comments on this blog entry (“What Are Guns?”).

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