Adventures in Slumberland

The Freedom League virtual reality simulation developed by Dr. Rudolph Bushmiller for the genetic boosting program is both the greatest success and the greatest failure of modern technology. While “slumberland” (as it has been nicknamed by technicians) serves to prevent the most severe psychoses associated with genetic enhancement, it has also led to a sub-culture of super-powered veterans with some bizarre beliefs about the nature of the world. The “comic book” reality of Slumberland seems permanently imprinted on their consciousness and that may be one of the deciding factors in the existence of groups like the Underground.

Slumberland works by immersing the modification subject in a virtual reality modeled on the “four color” world of comic book superheroes. While in this virtual experience, the subject is better able to deal with the reality of possessing paranormal powers in a setting where they are not very unusual. This provides a “cushion” for the subject’s psyche, allowing them to accept the existence of their new abilities and learn to use them in a non-threatening environment. When they are removed from the VR, the subjects retain some of this “cushioning” from their experience in Slumberland, allowing them to better adjust to their new enhancements.

Getting Ready

The preparation for the VR experience is one that is carefully undertaken to maximize the effects of the program. The advance planning can take several weeks or even months in and of itself to ensure that the results are under optimal conditions. Of course, there have been occasions where time or budget constraints forced the pre-planning stage to be accelerated and conditions have been less than ideal.

First, a complex and detailed psychological profile of the subject is compiled, to determine the optimum settings for the scenario. There is a battery of questions and psych tests, where technicians gather as much relevant data on the subject as possible. Subject’s are encouraged to be as truthful as possible on these tests, to ensure that the VR simulation will be correctly programmed. The corporation is generally not held liable for any omissions or incorrect information provided by the subject (such as the case of Up the Wall, an unfortunate vet who lied about his terror of spiders before undergoing genetic modifications that gave him clinging ability and other spider-like powers). The subject also has a comprehensive physical exam and is prepared for the mutagenic changes that will take place while they are in the vat.

One of the most important parts of the preparatory stage is to ensure that the subject will accept and believe the virtual experience as much as possible and that their suspension of disbelief with be enough for the VR to do its work. What exactly subjects are told in advance is carefully planned out. Originally, the subjects were told as little as possible about Slumberland, to increase their credulity and increase the impact of the “reality” of the experience. Currently it is impossible, of course, for the subject to know nothing of what will happen of the procedure, rumor being what it is, so instead they are told as much as possible about the nature of the Slumberland experience. Memory drugs and other techniques allow the subject’s memories of the real world to be suppressed or “fogged out” during the experience.

Using information gathered from the preliminary tests, the subject’s Slumberland experience is programmed into the virtual reality. Because the VR programming is so complex, an extensive computer library of templates and standard scenarios has evolved that can be mixed and matched to create different custom programs to suit virtually any subject with a very small margin for error (generally less than 5-10%). Technicians makes small modifications to the scenario based on the subject’s psychological screening, along with any special modifications requested by the company based on the subject’s need for psychological modification in certain areas and their planned duty assignments.

One novel approach taken by Disposable Heroes, Inc. is a Slumberland program where the subject believes they have been “accidentally” transferred into a parallel universe where comic book super-heroes are real. There they gain superhuman powers and become costumed heroes in their own right. This scenario has worked very well in increasing the believability of the VR experience, while allowing the subject’s normal memories and experiences to remain intact. However, it has led to subjects who so fervently believe that this “alternate” world exists that they have seriously or fatally injured themselves in vain attempts to return there and escape the normal world.

Doctor 451, a case study:

Brad Raymond, a veteran of conflicts in South America, was modified by Allied Mayhem. Comprehensive psycho-physical profiles were compiled on Raymond and analyzed by AM technicians in preparation for modification. The study indicated an above-norm interest in pyrotechnics and latent pyromania. The physical evidence suggested the potential for alpha-wave alterations, so Raymond was considered suitable for pyrotic enhancements that would allow him to channel his pyromania in a useful direction.

Supporting Cast

The profile information gathered on the subject allows technicians to program the specifics of the Slumberland scenario, including all of the various “supporting characters” that will exist in it. Generally, the subject is given a small group of opponents, known as the “Rogues Gallery” by Slumberland programmers. These characters are comic-book style villains that embody the kind of qualities that the subject is intended to fight against. They typically are anti-social elements and dangerous would-be dictators with plots to do harm to society and the things the subject cares about. Rogues galleries are sometimes programmed with the likenesses of real individuals, such as for the veterans who were modified for action in Paraguay experiencing conflicts with a likeness of the country’s then-dictator in Slumberland where he was a dangerous super-criminal and terrorist. Generally, the opposition in Slumberland is made up of amalgamations and archetypes of real individuals rather than accurate simulations.

Along with the opponents the subject is intended to fight, there are also other characters. Every scenario presents a “companion” character for the subject, usually known as “the squeeze.” Female companions are nicked named “Lois” and male companions are often referred to as “Trevor.” The companion character is tailored to the subject’s interests and preferences and provides them with a tangible person to protect and help when they are threatened by the forces of evil. Companion characters serve as objects and goals for the subject during many adventure scenarios and can help to reinforce the effects of the experience on the subject once the scenario is over through repetition and the companion’s obvious gratitude for the subject’s actions.

Generally the primary companion character will be a romantic object for the subject. There may also be additional companion characters that represent father/mother figures, siblings and other friends and loved ones to the subject. This can be useful for additional reinforcement, but generally the cast of companion characters is kept to a reasonable minimum so that they do not become distracting to the subject. The importance of the subject’s duty over even the value of any companions is regularly stressed with conversations and scenes of how the subject cannot give up their life of crusading and heroism, even for the love and affection of their companion.

Cast Study, Doctor 451 (cont.):

For supporting characters in Raymond’s scenario, a companion named “April Newman” was designed based on several different people from the subject’s background. April’s design included information from Raymond psychological background. She was made a secretary to a highly-influential corporate vice-president who was designed to be a friendly father/uncle figure for Raymond, April’s own father having “died” in the fiery explosion that gave Raymond his powers. This created a strong respect for authority and the corporate structure as well as a sense of obligation and mutual experience on the part of Raymond towards April.

For 451’s Rogues Gallery, administrators wanted to stress both anti-social/rebel elements as well as the need to deal with large numbers of opposing troops on occasion. The main antagonist, Mister Meurte, is outlined as a scientist formerly employed by the company April works for. He rebelled against his rightful employers and stole some of their technology to become a criminal terrorist. He also desires revenge against April for spurning his advances when they worked together, making him an immediate threat to Raymond’s happiness. Mr. Meurte employs a large number of faceless “goons” to carry out his bidding, opponents that Raymond can destroy in droves with fairly little concern about their welfare. Because 451 is being modified for action in the South American Zone that Allied has contracts with, Meurte is made Hispanic so that Raymond will begin to associate with the idea of having an Hispanic enemy/nemesis, improving his performance in the field.

Secret Origins

Once all of the preliminary testing is done and the virtual environment has been programmed, the subject is immersed into the bio-support tank for what will be months of genetic modification and virtual reality. Generally the subject is sedated before being placed in the bio-tank. They go to sleep in bed and when they wake up, the world is a very different place.

The Slumberland experience begins when the subject’s mind is “locked out” of most of their conscious memories of the real world, through datalock techniques similar to those used to secure bio-drives, supplemented with drugs fed intravenously through the bio-tank. They are then fed the basics of the Slumberland VR in a compressed-feed upload that allows a lifetime of new memories to be fed to the subject in only a month or so, bringing them up to what the technicians call “the Origin Point.” These basic memories provide the foundation for the subject’s experience in Slumberland and help to “orient” them with the basic rules of the world around them.

The “origin point” is where the virtual reality programming truly begins. This is where the subject experiences a comic-book style adventure where they first acquire their strange and unusual powers, beyond those of mortal men, based on the template of the subject’s genetic enhancements. A variety of origins have been experimented with by various corporations over the years: genetic mutation, alien intervention, and magical alteration.

Generally, it has been determined that the “radiation accident” origin model is the most effective. In this situation, the subject suffers some kind of unusual or unique “accident” such as exposure to exotic radiation or chemicals, that causes them to change and gain their superhuman abilities. This model is most ideal because it allows the subject to start out “normal” and go to being superhuman with a definite identifiable cause. Other origins like the subject “discovering” he or she is actually a genetic mutant seem to be less satisfying to the subject’s need for a “cause” for their new abilities.

Case Study, Doctor 451 (cont.):

The origin scenario that evolved placed Raymond in the heart of a fiery explosion that poured flaming chemicals over him. The burning sensation from the flames was quickly replaced in the VR with a stimulation of Raymond’s endorphin-producing glands to provide a pleasurable feeling from the fire. The chemicals absorbed into Raymond’s skin and he became able to cause objects to burst into flames at will, shaping and controlling the resulting fires with mental commands. He is also highly resistant to fire and the simulation will allow him to overcome any latent fears about contact with open flames.

The subject’s origin is followed by months of simulated “adventures” designed to allow the subject to adapt to different aspects of using their genetic abilities and to allow them to be tested safely during development. The scripted adventures also serve as a form of mental conditioning that primes the subject for service in combat or whatever other area they are destined for. Some of the classic adventures include: “patrolling” the City on the lookout for crimes and stopping them in progress, being called upon by the police or government to solve a baffling series of crimes (improving respect for authority), natural disasters, rampaging monsters (often vaguely similar to out of control boosters) and super-villains attempting to capture and/or destroy the subjects (improving resistance to interrogation and reinforcing the desire to avoid capture by the enemy).


The most recent innovation to the Slumberland system is the interconnection of the different VR systems used to train subjects to allow them to interact with each other. While this has placed certain demands on “continuity” to ensure that the experiences of all of the subjects involved match up correctly, it has had tremendous benefits. The inclusion of multiple subjects strongly reinforces the “reality” of the Slumberland experience because the additional subjects are able to provide some “real” human contact and a certain random factor in social interaction that is difficult to simulate.

Subjects in Slumberland are encouraged to join or form “super-teams” where the subjects all work together against common enemies and for common goals. This provides an ideal social-bonding experience that will allow the subjects to work better as a unit in the field. It encourages feelings of team-work, cooperation and camaraderie.

Such super-teams will usually develop common adversaries and problems they need to overcome. This can be scripted in advance for groups of subjects that are intended to work together as a team or develop from the progress of the Slumberland simulation over the course of enhancement process.

Case Study, Doctor 451 (cont.):

After a few adventures with his newfound powers fighting the forces of Evil, 451 ends up meets several other people with super-abilities when they band together to fight Mister Meurte’s plot to poison a city’s water supply with his insidious mind-control drug. Following the events of their adventure together, the group decides to stick together for the greater protection of the City. They choose to call themselves the Lucky Seven at the suggestion of their wealthy patron (and Supporting Character) Mr. Brant of SilverCorp. In no time at all, the Lucky Seven have set up their secret headquarters in the City and are well on their way to becoming the premier force of good against the dark and dangerous underworld.

Alternative PERPS

As described in the Underground Player’s Handbook, different organizations are experimenting with variations on the Slumberland VR theme to produce different “post-enhancement reconditioning paradigms” (PERPS) in an effort to minimalize some of the side-effects of the Freedom League VR (notably a tendency towards “superheroic” behavior after enhancement). The existence of these other VR programs to deal with metagenic feedback is nothing more than a rumor for the most part and they may not exist at all or in very different forms from the ones described here.

Abduction!: In this PERP the subject is abducted or experimented upon by extraterrestrials. The program takes advantage of information retrieved from the alien pod in combination with decades of compiled abduction stories to create a classic abduction/alteration scenario. The subject believes that their modifications have been carried out by advanced alien science (which is at least partly true). Unfortunately, this PERP does not seem overly effective, as subjects often become extremely paranoid, developing a “the truth is out there” complex about alien conspiracies to take over Earth and infect humans with their bio-technology through corporate agents. Generally, it is not the preferred origin option.

Gift of the Gods: This PERP can often be very effective for subjects that come from a highly religious/spiritual background. In this scenario, the subject is chosen by a god or gods to receive special powers that will be used to carry out divine purposes on Earth. This has ranged from the Judeo-Christian God granting miraculous gifts like “the Strength of Samson” to His followers to the Loa of Voodoo or even the Greek gods gifting special abilities to the subject. The subject’s faith in the divine image provides the rationale needed for their unusual abilities.

While this technique has proven very effective in controlling metagenic feedback syndrome, it often leads to a fanatical devotion to certain religious principles that can make the subject irrational regarding certain things. It also creates a loyalty to a “higher power” beyond that of the corporation or government the subject serves which can lead to a conflict of interests.

The Master Race: Used by the Neo-Deutch in their modification program, the Master Race scenario makes use of a great deal of Aryan propaganda and mythology about the Germans as the Master Race that is destined to overcome all others. It frames the subject’s modifications as advancements of the Race for the glory of the Fatherland. It tends to create boosted subjects that are racist and is not as effective in protecting them from metagenic feedback syndrome, so they are often sociopathic or dangerously deranged.

The Secret Masters: The secret masters are a hidden group of Illuminati of some kind or another. They may be a secret cabal of magicians, Tibetan monks, ninjas or other power group that has concealed themselves from humankind throughout history. In this scenario the Secret Masters take the subject into their care to some hidden fortress or stronghold where the subject is trained in their “esoteric arts.” The subject emerges with powers and abilities beyond those of other people along with a carefully constructed code in the use of their new abilities.

The Secret Masters PERP has been effective in developing belief and obedience in subjects. They are more willing to take orders without question if they believe these commands come from their hidden teachers. The side-effects of the program can lead to paranoia and conspiracy complexes, however. It can also lead subjects to believe that they are “above” the authority of anyone other than their secret masters.

Strange Visitor: This experimental scenario “reveals” to the subject that she is not human at all, but is in fact a “strange visitor from another planet,” an alien with powers and abilities outside of the human norm, but normal for her. This usually involves some kind of disaster scenario where the subject is one of the last of a dying or dead race. Unfortunately, the Strange Visitor scenario tends to stretch the subject’s credulity somewhat thin unless they have a strong desire to be considered part of a “special” group outside of normal humanity. It can also lead to disassociation from “humans” and a lack of respect for human authority and social conventions.

Totem: In this scenario, the subject undergoes a VR simulation of a mythical shamanic initiation. Traditionally, the subject travels to an “Otherworld” inhabited my mythical archetypes and spirits who teach the subject certain mystical secrets and grant him special powers. The subject then goes on a journey through this world that culminates in his body being broken down or torn apart and then reconstructed by spirits or other creatures that place additional “pieces” or organs within the shaman’s reconstructed form that grant him special powers. This is an effective boosting program for primitivists.

Hanging up the Mask

The process of bringing the subject out of the Slumberland experience usually takes a couple of weeks. It involves slowly re-introducing the subject’s awareness of normal reality, and will often involve a guide or helper trained in counseling to interact with the subject in VR and guide them back to reality. Many subjects react violently when the truth of their virtual experience is exposed, so councilors must be very well trained and usually get combat pay for the work (such as the councilor who was seriously injured while treating Doctor 451, who tried to use his pyrotic powers to prove that she wasn’t actually real).

It is important that the subject understands the nature of the virtual experience and what has happened as much as possible, but the valuable conditioning “cushion” provided by the Slumberland experience should be kept intact to allow the subject to deal with their genetic modifications as well as possible. This is a delicate balance, and can often be difficult to maintain. Some subjects still slip entirely into their own fantasy worlds and cannot be recovered while others become violently deranged when the truth is exposed to them.

The ideal subject accepts the truth after a fairly short re-orientation period and is able to begin training for their assigned duties. The fantasies of Slumberland are all but forgotten, but the deep unconscious conditioning that allows them to make use of their genetic enhancements is still in place and protecting them from the worst effects of metagenic feedback syndrome. Many of these subjects find themselves disillusioned after their experience in Slumberland and prefer to avoid any references or reminders of it thereafter. This can make them cynical and less social, but generally serves them well in the field.

Some subjects cannot be entirely extracted from virtual reality. Their experience in Slumberland has had such a strong affect on them that they have lost the ability to tell fantasy from reality. A great many of these subjects become convinced that their experience in the Freedom League VR was real and that they are in fact the costumed heroes they were made out to be. This proves to be a comfortable fantasy for many modification subjects when compared to the harsh realities of everyday life. These people continue to act out their comic book fantasies in the real world, using their enhancements (both real and perceived) as if they were still in VR. This has led to some disastrous consequences when veterans have attempted to apply “comic book physics” to real world situations, even more so when they attempt to apply comic book social or psychological ideas to real-world people.

Finally, in some rare cases, extraction from the cushion of the Slumberland VR actually triggers metagenic feedback syndrome in some subjects. These individuals become dangerous deranged and require considerable treatment and counseling before they can be deployed in the field (assuming they are ever fit to be deployed at all). These are the failures of the Slumberland program, but they are few and far between because of the rigorous screening and testing programs.

Case Study, Doctor 451 (cont.):

The removal of Raymond from Slumberland took place some fourteen months after his immersion in the support tank for his enhancement. The process began with a councilor being introduced into the VR storyline as a Supporting Character, then introducing herself to Raymond during an adventure. She slowly worked with Raymond to bring him to an awareness of certain facets of the Freedom League world while also working to re-awaken memories of the real world as neuro-stimulants and chemical neutralizers were fed into his system to prepare Raymond for his awakening.

Like most subjects, Raymond initially denied the reality of the councilor’s statements and believed that it was part of some plot to take over or alter his mind. Continual patience and additional evidence began to convince Raymond of the truth of what he was hearing. Although the councilor recommended an additional four weeks of preparatory therapy, Raymond was disconnected from the VR because of unexpected scheduling delays in his genetic enhancements that put him behind schedule.


While subjects of Slumberland are re-integrated back into normal society as much as possible, there are still numerous aftereffects of the VR that linger for years after the experience. Some of these side-effects come from the way in which the experience allows the subject to deal with their new enhancements. The subject retains certain aspects of the “comic book” reality of Slumberland in their personality, often making them seem quite deranged according to “normal” standards. There have been some attempts to vary the ‘genre’ of the Slumberland experience according to different comic-book sources to provide some kind of common-ground that will leave fewer side-effects. So far, the different VR’s seem only to produce different, but no less disconcerting, side-effects (such as the VR programs used in other nations where comic books are not a well-known medium).

The Slumberland Campaign

A very interesting variation for an Underground campaign is the “Slumberland Kick-Off.” The gamemaster informs the players about a super-hero campaign, and outlines the basics of a super-hero game world. The players create characters using the gamemaster’s guidelines for powers and abilities. The gamemaster leads the characters through their origin stories and meeting the other characters to form a super-team. The team has several adventures fighting villains and protecting the innocent from harm. They become well known and beloved super-heroes of their community.

Then the gamemaster reveals the truth. The world that the characters thought was real is actually Slumberland. The characters are subjects undergoing genetic modification for one of the major corporations and they are about to be taken out of Slumberland and de-briefed and re-oriented for their first mission for the company. A councilor is assigned to the characters after they are taken out of VR and the GM can play out debriefing the boggled characters and readjusting them to “normal” life before sending them out into the killing fields of the Middle East, Asia or South America to bust heads for their parent corporation. This kind of campaign can form an interesting prelude to an Underground campaign that takes place after the characters have all mustered out (or gone AWOL) from their units and been reunited by circumstance later in their lives.

Super-Powers (Slumberland Only)

If the gamemaster desires, the following new Enhancements can be used in the context of the Slumberland VR. These enhancements are impossible according to modern science, but they do simulate some of the abilities that characters will encounter (and perhaps even possess) in the virtual world of the Freedom League. Characters that possess one or more of these abilities in Slumberland might suffer from the delusion that they still possess them in the real world and act accordingly, trying to walk through walls or see through solid objects, for example.

These abilities have a listed Base Cost and Potency, but no Max or Stress because they don’t really exist and can’t be used outside of the Slumberland VR. The gamemaster may wish to allocate characters additional “dream points” to allow them to purchase some of these more fantastic powers or simply give them out for free and let the players have fun with them in VR until they get hit with the problems of the real world.

Energy Bolt (Base Cost: 5, Potency: 2): This power allows the character to fire bolts of energy from her hands, eyes, etc. The bolt has a damage value equal to its Unit Rating and uses the character’s DEX for the to-hit Challenge.

Energy Field (Base Cost: 10, Potency: 3): Energy Field surrounds the character’s body with a protective field of energy that allows the character to add their Unit Rating to their RES rating for Penetration in combat.

Magic (Base Cost: 30, Potency: 4): This very potent ability allows the character to mimic the following enhancements: Energy Bolt, Energy Field, Flight and Illusion.

Morphing (Base Cost: 20, Potency: 3): The subject can alter her shape at will into any other life form. The Units of the power can be added to any attribute to simulate the effects of the shape-change (such as adding to STR and RES for changing into a bear).

Phantom (Base Cost: 15, Potency: 3): The subject can pass through solid matter by making a Phantom Challenge against the RES of the material. The units of Phantom also add to RES for resisting Penetration in combat.

Stretch (Base Cost: 5, Potency: 1): The character can stretch his body a number of units of distance equal to the Units of the power.

Teleport (Base Cost: 20, Potency: 3): The character can move instantly a number of Units distance equal to the Units of the power without crossing the intervening space.

X-Ray Vision (Base Cost: 10, Potency: 1): The character can see through solid objects by making a Challenge against the RES of the object. There is one material that the character cannot see through.

Note that some or all of these powers might also be used as alternative models of existing enhancements a character has been given. For example, a character with the Chitin enhancement might believe in Slumberland that their power is a protective force field. A character with certain alpha wave enhancements might play the role of a “master magician” character in Slumberland and so forth. The GM and players should feel free to play around with the “special effects” assigned to a characters enhancements in Slumberland to give them a little variety and a “hero” identity that might be quite different from their actual enhancement program.

Urban Primitives in Underground

“Pex was a great warrior and hunter of his people, a great provider for his tribe. He knew the secrets of traveling the dark canyons and secret ways to go farther than any of the other people dared and to explore places and see things that few could imagine. He moved with the silence of a shadow and stuck like a flicker of light, vanishing before any could read that he was even there.

Once while stalking the high above the ground through the territory of his people, Pex found a truck, laid upon its side, with what could be a prime catch of food that would supply the tribe for many days. The truck was attacked by a giant of great power and strength, but Pex was a warrior and he did not fear anything that stood between him and the needs of his tribe.

Moving from stealth he nocked an arrow to his bow and let fly at the giant. The shot struck him soundly, but did no great harm. The giant’s skin was like ‘crete and he turned towards the hunter, shouting curses and roaring his anger. Pex leaped to the side as the giant’s weapon roared also and pieces of brick were scattered in the blast.

Pex could see that his enemy had power great than his. He could not be hurt by the weapons that Pex carried with him. Another man might have given up against such a hopeless cause, but Pex was a true warrior. He knew all of the weaknesses and habits of his enemies well. He nocked another arrow and waited in hiding as he listened to the sound of the giant come closer and closer. He moved not a muscle, made not a sound as the giant called out, giving away his location.

Then Pex sprang from hiding and fired, his arrow this time, striking the giant where he was most vulnerable: his loud mouth. The wound of the arrow was slight, but the pain and the poison that tipped Pex’s arrows sent the giant into a frenzy. His weapon roared his pain and fire scored the walls all around before the giant fell dead at Pex’s feet.

So learn about the world around you and how to survive. And remember to keep your big mouths shut.”

— Canyoners shaman Form-Feed, educating the tribe’s youth.

Primitive Development

Even in the mixed-up collection of inmates running the asylum that the 21st century has become, the primitives are unique. In a time where technological development is more advanced than it ever has been, they have chosen to return to a simpler, almost barbaric way of existence.

Primitives are most often people who suffer from a syndrome that used to be called “future shock.” In the past century, technological advancement increased tremendously, and changes to the world happened more rapidly than some people were prepared for. Old structures and traditions quickly became obsolete and new ones took their place until society and technology were changing on an almost daily basis. The advent of the 21st century and the technological boom created by the science recovered from the alien pod only made things worse. Human society was stuck on fast-forward, rushing madly to some destination that no one was really sure about.

Faced with this kind of constant, rapid change, a lot of people simply couldn’t handle it. They dropped out, shut off, just couldn’t deal with the constant influx of new ideas, new technology and new everything all of the time. A lot of people became shut-ins, but over time, these people left their TV sets, and radios and cars and other trappings that were confusing them behind. They gathered together in small groups of friends and family and tried to create a safe place for themselves where life could go on at a different pace that the rest of the world. Where the constant change and turmoil of the Outside could be shut out and they could have tradition and stability and sanity again.

At first, primitivism was considered nothing more than another 15-minute fad that would fade along with all of the other crazes that had come before it. The media did their stories and anthropologists wrote their papers and then everyone turned to check out the next interesting thing that came along.

But the primitives didn’t go away. They proved the adaptability of human nature by finding ways to continue and to survive. They took ancient folkways and techniques and adapted them to life in the urban jungle. They found niches in the city ecology where they could live and hunt and raise their families. They effectively cut themselves off from the rest of the world in a place surrounded by other people. They established their own sort of “reservations” in the midst of the chaos of the sprawls, staked out their territory and defended it against all comers.

Now there is even a second-generation of primitives, those who have known no life other than that of their tribe. Some of them are forming the basis for the future continuation of their tribes, while others, like youth everywhere, rebel against the ideals of their parents and want to learn more about the society that they have never been allowed to be part of. They are drawn back into the places and ideas that their parents rejected. Some return to their tribes shaken by what they have seen while others find new lives in the Outside and are never heard from again.

The Primitive Mindset

The common man’s idea of Primitives is that they are people who dress like American Indians, live in the slums, have no understanding of anything more sophisticated than a bow and arrow and steal and murder to survive. This is partly based in truth, but the common man of the 21st century doesn’t get a very complete picture about much of anything.

Most primitives have chosen their life, although some maintain that society didn’t really give them much of a choice. An increasing number of people are born into a tribe, but most decided at some point to leave society behind and “go native.”

In doing so, primitives don’t forget everything they know and learned about being a person in the 21st century. They simply choose not to use that knowledge and to lead a life that is apart from what most people would consider “normal.” They don’t deal with modern conveniences like communications, entertainment or transportation. Primitives do often take advantage of modern medicine and weapons, but these things are considered untrustworthy and dangerous objects to be treated with respect and not a little caution. If there is a more “natural” option for dealing with a problem, a primitive will prefer it over a more technological one.

Primitives become less and less acquainted with how things in the outside world work as time goes on and things change Outside the tribe. Tribal lore and memories keep alive a great deal of knowledge, but it becomes distorted and dated over time, until the point where many of the young people of today’s primitive tribes really are quite primitive, having lost a lot of the knowledge that their parents did not pass on to them, knowledge which was outdated even then. A young primitive might know what the idea of recorded music is, but wouldn’t know anything about the technology and probably has never seen a CD work in their whole life. Many don’t even know how to read and write. For these young primitives, many of the trappings of the modern world become a kind of strange and frightening “magic” that is at the same time often quite attractive.

The Tribe

The central social structure of the Primitives is the tribe, which is much like a modern street gang in organization (although most primitives wouldn’t care for the comparison). The tribe is a kind of extended family of choice rather than blood relation (although it can be that, too). It ranges in size from a small extended group of less than a dozen to fifty or even a hundred members for some of the larger tribes in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

Primitive identity is strongly tied up with the idea of the tribe, making it family, friends, nation and religion all in one. A primitive’s tribe is the most important thing in the world, it is their world for all intents and purposes. The members of the tribe support each other and work together for the survival of the group. Each member of the tribe places a great deal of trust in the others and their day-to-day survival depends on working together. Threats to the survival of the tribe are the worst things that a primitive can imagine and they will do anything to protect their tribes from harm. Crimes against the tribes are the worst crimes that can be committed in primitive society and usually result in the banishment or death of the offender.

Primitive tribes tend to form around two things: people in need of each other and people with some common background or belief that binds them together, or some combination of the two.

Some primitive tribes start out as gangs or just groups of people who have been displaced from mainstream society because of the loss of a job, crime or just an inability to deal with everyday life in the 21st century. These people tend to gravitate towards each other, forming small bands or groups for mutual protection and survival. Sometimes these groups grow into tribes or are absorbed by other, larger, tribes.

Joining a primitive tribe is usually quite difficult. Because the tribe is so important, primitives are very selective about who they let join them. They have to be convinced that the applicant is going to be an asset to the tribe and not a liability. They also need to know that the applicant can pull their own weight and won’t cause conflict in the tribe. Becoming a member of a tribe usually requires some kind of sponsorship by a respected member or members of the tribe and some kind ordeal or other test of the applicant’s worthiness.

Some primitive tribes form around the basis of a certain ideal or belief that all members of the tribe share. A lot of early tribes started out as just disaffected people working together for survival, but many modern tribes are “social experiments” of a sort by some people to borrow from the traditions and beliefs of primitive peoples around the world and apply those traditions to live in the concrete wilderness. Tribes like the Yanamamos, the Dreamwalkers and the Rainbow Serpents borrow from the myths and beliefs of other native peoples to create their tribes. Some tribes even take on the names of other people that they emulate.

Some of the more common beliefs adopted by primitives include those of the Australian Aborigines, Native Americans, South American Indians, African tribal traditions (even fairly modern ones like Voodoo), ancient Celtic traditions and dozens more.

The Urban Jungle

The home environment of most primitives in the 21st century is not the depths of the rain forest but the heart of the concrete jungle, the modern city-sprawl.

The primitives have a unique view of their home. Rather than look at the city as “civilization” as most people do, they consider cities to be as wild and savage a place as any wilderness, where each day is a struggle for survival. They think that the modern belief in things like unseen laws and protectors and trust in others to provide for one’s needs are foolish. Primitives obey only the laws of their tribe and the “law of the jungle” which is survival of the fittest and they rely only on each other for survival, not outsiders.

Primitive tribes usually live in the most forsaken parts of the inner cities, places that have been abandoned by “civilized” peoples and given over to anarchy and the rule of the tribes. These areas are not maintained by the city governments and are only barely kept in check by law-enforcement. For the most part they are contained and left alone, which is just how the primitives (and other inhabitants) prefer it.

The primitives know the secrets of surviving in the city without resorting to modern technology. They scavenge and hunt for food, water and common necessities in all of the abandoned and out of the way areas. They know better than any how to live off of the cast-offs of the society in whose shadow they dwell, scavenging off of dumpsters, trash-heaps and junkyards as well as raiding and pillaging when necessary. Some tribes have made amazing progress in gathering and even raising food in the depths of the city, but hunger and starvation is always a prime consideration. Finding enough food to sustain the tribe can be difficult. Some tribes have even gone over to cannibalism to sustain themselves, preying on other street castoffs and unfortunates who happen to wander through their turf.

A tribe will usually mark out an area of turf as their own, much as a gang does. They will post signs to make clear what they claim and to tell others to keep away from it. If these signs are often unreadable to outsiders who don’t know they’re trespassing, too bad. They shouldn’t wander away from home if they were looking to play it safe.

Some tribes come into conflict with each other over ideology, but usually conflicts are more physical, revolving around things like food, territory and population. Sometimes a smaller tribe will be conquered and absorbed into another, usually through intermarriage and co-habitation but sometimes through slavery or even cannibalism.


Despite the fact that the rest of the world considers them to be savages, Primitives are a people of custom and tradition, even if those traditions were lifted wholesale from another culture thousands of miles away. Their traditions and laws are what allows the tribes to function as well as they do and tribe members take their customs and taboos very seriously, no matter how strange they may seem to outsiders.

Some primitive laws are simply beliefs or superstitions borrowed from other cultures or evolved from urban mythology (like the Alligator Babies tribe, that supposedly worships the albino mutant alligators living in the city sewers). Other customs and laws are strongly based in reality, even if that reality is not immediately apparent. For example, some of the primitive tribes have taboos against cannibalism, not because they find it morally wrong, but because the bodies of the people that the tribes are able to prey upon in the inner cities are often drug and disease-ridden and dangerous to consume.

In tribal law, the survival of the tribe comes before that of the individual, and the laws and customs are designed to preserve the good of the tribe. The greatest crime is to do something that threatens the survival of the whole tribe, such as destroying a source of water or food. Outsiders may or may not have any rights at all according to tribal law. Usually they are accorded some respect based on how they have acted towards the tribe. Most tribes prefer not to make enemies of strangers right away, although they may threaten or warn them off the tribe’s territory. Anyone who appears to be a threat to the tribe or its people will be marked as an enemy and accorded no mercy.

The primitives are characterized by a marked distrust of modern technology and “conveniences” and virtually all abstain from using them. They prefer “natural” (to their mind “normal”) means of doing tasks and handling problems. They tend to use primitive weapons like knives, swords, spears and bows, often to devastating effect. Many primitives are equally capable with modern and ancient weaponry and anyone who scoffs at a bunch of savages wielding spears and swords against a good gun or rocket-launcher has never had to fight primitives on their own turf, where they can wage devastatingly effective guerrilla wars. They generally shun modern technology and “conveniences,” but have been known to scavenge for junk parts and equipment that they patch together and either use of sell for a small profit. Only a tribe’s shaman has any real understanding of modern technology.

Primitives also follow many tribal rituals such as ceremonies of birth, death, the hunt and war, usually adapted from ancient cultures but numerous modern variations have developed. Many tribes also have various customs and rituals to distinguish themselves from other tribes and groups. This includes manners of speech, dress and appearance. A popular custom among many tribes is ritual tattooing, scarification and body piercing, often very involved and elaborate. Various body decorations are associated with different achievements and rituals within each tribe and may indicate the position and rank or the wearer in their tribe. Tribal body markings often get imitated by young people going for a primitive “look” and by gangs as well.


Another tradition that the primitives have resurrected is that of shamanism, updated for the 21st century. Ancient shamans were members of the tribe who had special communication with the spirit world, and used that status to heal, guide and protect the members of their tribe. Modern tribal shamans are usually men and women wise in the ways of the city and the ins and outs of the tribes traditions. They know how to use resources at hand to provide medicine, education and protection for the tribe.

Shamans also function as intermediaries of a sort as well. Not between the people and the spirit world (that is a minor part of the modern shaman’s role) but between the tribe and the modern world. Shamans have the duty of maintaining contact with the world outside of the tribe, because many tribes have learned the hard way that the outside world cannot be totally shut out, no matter how much they might wish to. Some shamans look on their duty to keep up to date on the world outside as distasteful while others relish their special position “between the worlds.”

This role means that the shaman is called upon to interpret information and events for the tribe when necessary. They read the signs and omens from the public broadcasts and give this information to the tribe’s leaders when necessary. They also often serve as the “technicians” of their tribe, maintaining and making use of what little technology the tribe might have. While other members of the tribe avoid using modern technology, most primitive shamans will have a cache of modern tech that has been kit-bashed together for their own use. This usually includes medical and communications technology (especially old televisions and radios) and possibly a computer along with a small generator or two to keep it all running. Weapons are rarer, but some shamans will have a small collection of small arms that can be used in times of need. They use this technology to help the tribe and consider the keeping of it a sacred trust. To the other members of the tribe, their use of technology makes shamans strange and mystical figures who deal with alien things that normal and proper people should stay away from.

Some shamans are little more than showy charlatans, but most are honest people with their tribe’s welfare in mind. A rare few shamans (like other primitives) are boosted vets of one sort or another who are looking to leave civilization behind, but can use their knowledge of it to the tribe’s advantage.

Primitive Skills

Governing Attribute: INT
Unskilled Use: Yes

This skill allows the character to survive in a hostile environment.

Scavenging: is used to find usable materials in the existing environment. It can be used to locate building materials (for the Shelter specialty), drinkable water, salvage parts, fuel and other necessities. The Difficulty of a Scavenging Challenge is based on how scarce the GM feels the desired material is in the area. It may be impossible to locate certain materials in certain situations (machine parts in the desert, for example).

Hunting: is the skill or tracking and killing or trapping animals for food. A character with the Hunting specialty can use it to secure game animals for food by spending at least three hours on the hunt. The Difficulty of the Hunting Challenge is based on the scarcity of game in the area. A successful Challenge nets the hunter something, even though it may not be as much as desired. The GM decides what game is available for hunting and may run a full combat to secure the game or simply assume a successful Hunting Challenge is enough to net the character a kill.

Shelter: This Specialty allows the character to find appropriate shelter from the elements in an environment. It may be shade in a desert or protection from the cold in winter. The Difficulty of the Challenge is based on the harshness of the environment and the availability of shelter according to the GM: Average from finding a warm place to sleep in the inner city, Impressive or even Phenomenal for finding shade in an open desert.

A Tribal Study: The Yanamamos

The Yanamamos are one of the better-known tribes of the Los Angeles area. They are modeled after a tribe of primitives from the Amazon rain forest of South America and take much of their culture and traditions from their information on this tribe. Ironically, with the exception of the tribe’s founder Alan Pinchot, none of the members of the Yanamamos have ever even been to South America, much less met a member of their namesake tribe.

The Yanamamos are a very low-tech primitive tribe. They will use modern metal weapons (since traditional weaponry is very difficult to produce with existing materials) but only rarely will they make use of modern firearms or other such weapons. The Yanamamos’ usual weapons are knives, spears and bows. They concoct very effective toxins for their arrowheads using the various common materials available to them, a trick that many members of the Underground have sought them out to learn. These poisons usually cause paralysis and even death when used in sufficient amounts.

Initiation into the tribe involves a series of trials to prove that the supplicant is both worthy of the honor of the tribe and capable of surviving in the urban wilderness and contributing to the welfare of the rest of the Yanamamos. These trials include tests of survival skills and determination as well as a vision quest initiation where the applicant is dosed with a powerful hallucinogenic and left to fend for themselves from a night in the depths of the tribe’s territory. Many applicants end up dead or crazed because of this trial and many of the members of the tribe often seem a bit deranged because of it. The tribe believes that their initiation allows the supplicant to leave their “civilized” nature behind and find within themselves the primitive instincts that will allow them to survive.

The life of the tribe consists primarily of the struggle to survive: maintaining food supplies, hunting and protecting the tribe against enemies. The men of the tribe generally work as hunters and warriors while women care for food, home and children. The tribe has been known to abduct women during their “wars” with other tribes and gangs and take them as prizes to increase the population of the tribe and ensure healthy future generations of children. Some of these “captive wives” adapt to their life with the tribe, but other try to escape and will be killed if they refuse the Yanamamos’ “hospitality.” The famous tabloid best-seller written by Julie Ashmont describes her months of being a “primitive war bride,” pregnant with Yanamamo warrior’s child, before she was able to escape the tribe in a harrowing adventure.

Bio-Computers in Underground

ADAM-06: Rampart, we’ve got trouble here. Subject is showing no activity and has entered total failure. Doses of cordrazine and alpha-hyrdramine have had no effect.

RAMPART: Copy, Adam-6, you need to get here right now. We have a stasis unit and emergency team standing by.

ADAM-06: On our way, Rampart, we are in need of some kind of stopgap measure or we’re not going to make it. Subject is slipping away fast.

RAMPART: Understood. Keep everything as stable as possible and we will try to salvage what we can.

ADAM-06: Roger that. Have the backup systems standing by, we’re going to have to work fast to make sure we get all of the data out before total synaptic failure sets in and the chemical links decay. This is gonna be messy.

ANNOUNCER: There are only two kinds of people: those who have backed up their valuable data and those who wished they had. (image of brain matter being flushed by an orderly) Don’t let your valuable data go down the tubes. Don’t flush your brain, find out about backing up your system.

— from an ad by Cortex Systems, makers of bio-drive backups

The Big Brain Revolution

The greatest change to computer technology in the 21st Century has been the innovation of bio-drives, biological brains used as a computer storage and processing medium. The use of biological components in computers has vastly changed the nature of computers and the computing/information industry. With bio-drives it is possible to record literally gigabytes of complex holographic information and retrieve it quickly on home computer systems. The possibilities for forgery and information exchange boomed virtually overnight and the United States government was forced to react with typically draconian measures. Computer crimes are considered very serious by the feds, and “slashing” (computer hacking) can earn the death-penalty in some cases.

Bio-drive systems

A bio-drive system will usually consist of the wetware, support hardware, some kind of computer system and various software. The central component of a bio-drive is a brain. Normally this is a human brain, often one that has been exchanged with one of the major manufacturers for an artificial brain. Some artificial brains are also used in bio-drives, but many users consider “real” brains to make more effective bio-drives. Others counter that pre-used brains can often contain garbage data that isn’t properly erased in formatting the drive. Some smaller bio-drive systems, especially for more portable systems, make use of animal brains, especially dog, cat and rat brains, which respond well to programming and reformatting protocols used for bio-drive systems.

Bio-drive brains usually come from legitimate sources like accidental deaths, organ donors and trade-in for artificial brains, but there is enough demand for new bio-drives to keep prices fairly high and sustain a lucrative market in black-market wetware. Brain jackers use robots and other technology to “rip-off” victims for their brains that can be reformatted and sold as bio-drive matter. This has even led to a revival of “head-hunting” among some primitive tribes in the inner cities where primitives will capture the heads of enemies and turn around and sell them to brain-jackers while they are still fresh and viable for use in bio-drives.

The biological matter is contained in a plexiglass or armored plastic shield filled with a nutrient fluid suspension. This fluid serves the dual purpose of providing biochemical support for the bio-drive and cushioning the delicate tissue from bruises and concussions from rough handling. Even so, bio-drives are delicate enough to be damaged by a great deal of rough handling. Concussions can result in wetware damage and data loss if portions of the tissue are damaged. The bio-chemical support systems of the drive are designed to prevent this as much as possible.

The drive is wired into an interface system at the base of the container. This interface features a standard universal data port that plugs into most commercial computer systems. A computer with the correct bio-drive system software will be able to access the drive for data storage and use its memory capacity as dynamic RAM for running programs and performing other calculations. Such systems are very fast-operating but have been known to be quite “quirky” at times.

Dead men do talk

One of the innovations of bio-drives has been in dealing with people. In the 21st Century, the brain has lost its special status as the repository of all that is unique and human. Brains are routinely sold and exchanged for artificial replacements that let the owner be happier and better adjusted. Many citizens are abandoning the burden of their original brains for chemical pleasure and the opportunity to watch better TV shows with special effects designed just for their model of brain. Human-cerebrum bio-drives are fairly common and the ability to interface with the human brain makes it just another computer storage medium.

This has led to some uses for bio-drive technology that weren’t necessarily intended by the original designers. It is possible to attached a deceased brain to a bio-drive system in order to download and preserve the information contained in that brain. Organizations with access to bio-drive installation facilities have no concern about keeping prisoners alive for interrogation when they can just as easily kill them and take whatever information they want from their brains via computer. Keeping the head and brain intact for recovery is the only real concern. Mercenary “head-hunters” working for certain corporations and criminal organizations often take the heads of victims, cyrogenically preserved, back to their employers for interrogation and data filtering.


One new wrinkle (so to speak) in the bio-drive field is the production and use of bio-drives that have been genetically engineered or altered from their original design. The study of the brain and the field of noetics (the potential powers of the brain) has led to the development of many of the alpha-wave enhancements used by vets that allow them to perform such noetic feats as reading minds and causing objects to explode with a focused pulse of alpha waves.

Some of these modifications can be incorporated into bio-computer systems to provide those systems with some extraordinary abilities. ABM corporation has developed a complex bio-computer system with the Mind Probe Enhancement that has a fairly decent rate of success in picking up the alpha wave emissions of other brains around it. Rumors about of work in progress on a bio-comp system with the Control Enhancement that will allow it to mentally dominate other people. Several other enhancements are being studied as possible developments for bio-drive systems. Corporations are also studying the effects of using the brains of boosted vets with alpha-wave enhancements in bio-computer systems, but preliminary evidence shows that the previous enhancements seem to make the later bio-drive unstable and less reliable, perhaps because of a stress-factor similar to metagenic feedback syndrome.


Slashers are computer experts who specialize in breaking into bio-drive systems and getting access to their data illegally. They are named for “slasher-flicks,” gory films of the 20th Century, and combine some of the techniques and attitude of 20th Century hackers with a knowledge of biology, psychology and linguistics that allows them to get the job done.

The holographic bio-chemical storage capability of bio-drives has allowed computer security to become more sophisticated and complex and the work of a slasher is often to literally “psyche-out” a bio-drive system to gain access to it. Security protocols and passwords might consist of complex strings of random images, sensations and other forms of input in addition to traditional alphanumeric information. It takes another computer system equipped with a bio-drive to be able to even begin to work on slashing a bio-system.

Breaking into a system is a multi-stage process. First, the slasher needs access to the bio-drive and computer system. This is easy if the drive is physically present or the slasher can get physical access to it. Most systems a slasher would be interested in are not available but are connected to government, corporate or private computer systems that are out of reach. These systems can often be reached via modem if they are connected to the telecommunications network. Most government and corporate systems in 2021 are online, along with many private systems, but bio-drives with very sensitive information may be isolated from the system to prevent unlawful access from slashers. Getting access to a system can involve getting an unlisted comm number needed to connect to the system or getting physical access to it which can be a mission in and of itself.

Once the slasher has access to the computer system, they can begin working on getting access to the information they are looking for. The good information on most systems is usually passcode protected and may be linked to systems that will alert the owner of the data if the security measures are tampered with. Bio-drives are also considerably “smarter” than old digital computer systems and will generally pick up on attempts to break into them fairly quickly, triggering an appropriate alert or shutting down all access to the system until it can be restarted by someone with the correct command passcodes. Smaller bio-drives are correspondingly less “smart” but usually also contain less valuable data.

Computer security is rated as weak (Security Rating of 0-2), moderate (SR of 3-7), strong (SR of 8-11), or Very Strong (SR of 12+). Characters with the Computer Science skill can determine a computer’s security rating by examining and testing it for a few minutes. Most bio-drive systems have Security Ratings in the 8-15 range, depending on the sophistication of the computer system and the sensitivity of the information stored there. Bio-drives are the ideal systems for storing very complex or holographic information such as sensory data (video and audio clips, for example) or highly complex abstract information as well as data retrieved from other biological mediums (downloaded from another brain, for example).

The Digital Security specialization of the Computer Science skill is used to break into computer systems and to protect systems from such break-ins (see Underground, p.130 for more information). Once a character is in the system, the Programming specialization can also be used to analyze or alter information stored on the system.

Care and feeding

The biological components of modern computers, the “wetware” as it is known, needs to be specially maintained and cared for to keep those components “alive” and functioning. This prohibits bio-drives from being used for most very small computer systems like laptops and palmtops, but bio-chips are in use even in those system that incorporate some of the concepts of the bio-drive. Breakdowns in bio-drives usually occur through biological degradation of the actual wetware (the brain is not properly preserved or cared for and “dies”) or through flaws in the formatting and installation of the bio-drive that result in remnants of the memories or personality of the former owner being left behind on the bio-matter, which can result in access and program errors (like when you call up your home movie file and get a holographic representation of the first time the brain’s donor had sex as a teenager). Black-market bio-drives “acquired” by brain-jackers are especially prone to poor formatting and memory remnants that can damage or otherwise corrupt programs and stored memory.

The other strange side-effect of bio-drives is that their biological components makes them vulnerable to whole new kinds of computer “viruses.” Some biological viruses can damage bio-drives, although the drives are normally kept sealed to prevent this kind of tampering. Drives can also be compromised through neuro-linguistic viruses, strings of sounds or images that affect the very base-level of the brain’s structure and can cause the drive to “crash” or even reprogram it (very crudely, however).

These dangers to bio-drive security have led to the unusual field of “wetware technician” or even “computer psychologist,” a specialist who studies the effects of different conditions on bio-drives and their performance. Sometimes they are able to fix minor problems with bio-drive systems through a combination of computer programming and modern psychological techniques (understanding of the brain and how it works).

Bio-drive Showroom

Squeak-Drive (Avail: A, Cost: $50,000): A squeak-drive is a formatted rat-brain that is used for storage with smaller systems like Packs (Underground, p.220). It gives the pack connected to it a Storage of 16.

Rover III (Avail: A, Cost: $100,000): The Rover III is a formatted dog-brain system that is used as a bio-drive supplement for many home computer systems and vehicle computers. It provides a Storage of 20 to any system connected with it.

ABM Cortex (Avail: B, Cost: $10,000,000): One of the standard bio-drives available on the market today, the Cortex provides a Storage of 150. It is about the size of a current (20th century) computer monitor and is connected to the computer with a set of shielded cables. The nutrient fluid suspension needs to be maintained by an authorized dealer every couple of months to keep the drive in optimum condition. (Trying to do it yourself may invalidate your warranty).

Brainjack Drive (Avail: B, Cost: $1,000,000): This is a cheap knockoff bio-drive like many you will find on the market. The manufacturer doesn’t provide technical support (and doesn’t even know you once money has changed hands). Knockoff bio-drives are often improperly or sloppily formatted and usually have a maximum Storage of 120 or less. They have also been known to cause various systems quirks and data loss from time to time as described above.

Double-Header Drive (Avail: D, Cost: $25,000,000): This type of cutting edge bio-drive uses multiple wetware systems that are linked together. It provides virtually unlimited Storage (ratings of 300 and up) for containing literally massive amounts of data. Such drives are only in use by major corporations and some government organizations like the FBI.

Security Slasher (Avail: E, Cost: $10,000*, Memory: *): This is a specialized skill software program that has the Digital Security specialization. This allows a computer running this software that is linked to another system (via modem for example) to attempt to overcome the other system’s Security Rating and provide access. A single Challenge is rolled for the software and a security slasher that fails to gain access to a system cannot attempt to do so again until it’s Rating is upgraded.

* Security Slashers have a Memory Value equal to their Units of skill and a cost of $10,000 per Unit of skill.