Edges

Cyberpunk stories are set in a world where ordinary folks are being outclassed. If you want to keep up, you need an Edge.

An Edge skill is almost never rolled on its own; it is added to one of your other skills, when the situation is appropriate, based on your aspects, qualities, and story context. In some contexts, they are added to the rolls of other people, when your Edge comes with a drawback— if you used Brains+Corp to design something, then people can add your Corp to recognize your work to identify the design library you used. You can only use as much Edge as you have base skill; even Good Chrome won’t give you much of an edge if you only have Average Hit.

An Edge always sets you apart from ordinary folks. The amount by which an Edge exceeds your Heart (or Con, if you’re only pretending to be normal) is a measure of how far; it can be added to the difficulty of some social rolls, or may become an involuntary social attack on people with no Edge. This has reduced effect on people with other Edges, and may even impress people with the same Edge.

Edges can only be raised when you have acquired sufficient upgrade milestones, and are a separate set of skill columns from your regular skills, though if it is not appropriate to take a particular Edge for your character, you can pretend that Edge does not exist for purposes of advancement.

It is possible to have an Edge at +1 from a serious hobby. At +2, an Edge is a big part of your life. At +3, your life revolves around your Edge, and you have to make an effort if you want to avoid being a public figure, and you start to become very attractive as an extraction target. At +4, you have to take strong measures to avoid being a public figure.

Chrome

The advantage you get from upgrading your body. When your Edge sets you apart from people, you can seem dangerous or inhuman. Chrome adds to the difficulty of anyone casting Health spells on you.

Skill + Edge
Bod Dermal Armor can help with direct hits and Bone Lacing can help with falls. Air Filtration or Tracheal Filter helps with the atmosphere, and Blood Filtration with poisons, a Spleen Upgrade with diseases.
Brains A Skillmod can make you more knowledgeable without chrome, as long as the skillsoft is good enough.
Con Tailored Pheromones may help you fast talk someone in person. Using a Synthmod to create deceptive foley can mess with someone if you have speakers in the right place.
Crime A Utility Kit in your cyberhand can come in handy when defeating security measures.
Face Tailored Pheromones may help you persuade someone in person.
Focus A Stoneface implant can make you harder to read with Heart.
Heart Cybereyes can run analytics packages to monitor microexpressions, pupil dilation, flushing, and so on.
Hit A Smartgun helps you shoot a suitably equipped wepon, a Cyberspur or Handrazors helps in hand-to-hand, and Wired Reflexes help overall. A Control Rig lets you act through vehicles and drones.
Make Using a Control Rig to take over CNC lathes, 3-D printers, and construction robots.
Move A Synthacardium can help with feats of athleticism.
Prod If you need to scare ordinary people, you can play up how your Chrome sets you apart.
Recon
Ride A Control Rig helps you control a suitably equipped vehicle or drone.
Rock
Schmooze
Scrounge If your chrome is online, defend against Matrix attacks with Scrounge.
Sneak
Spot All manner of senseware can give you an advantage here.

Who has the Edge?

+1People with a modest amount of cyberware who have taken the time to learn to use it well
+2Typical street samurai.
+3Elite operative.
+4(2055+) Meganuyen delta clinic customer.

Corp

The advantage from having backup from The Man; even when you are The Man, it also comes with responsibilities, and you can lose this Edge if you fail to meet them. (For non-corporate authority, this could be Law, Fed, State, Army, Navy, Mob, Syndicate, Aristo, Rich.) Your boss gets this advantage when telling you what to do. Using Corp requires that you’re on appropriate turf, or your organization is engaging in power projection; a lone operative going into enemy territory doesn’t roll Hit + Corp in combat, but a trained team rolling out from an armored personnel carrier does. When your Edge sets you apart, people may feel nervous, threatened, or out of place.

You can use your Corp Edge or the teamwork rules, but not both; this Edge abstracts the boost you can get from having a bunch of specialists backing you up. It is often slower than the same action performed without backup.

Skill + Edge
Bod When cared for in corporate facilities, you can add your Edge to rolls to recover from illness, poison, and trauma. In combat, Corp + Bod can give you extra consequences, but they look like Fallen Comrade.
Brains In research and development, your organization’s libraries and teams make you more effective.
Con As long as you can justify the use of the advertising budget, there’s a whole department to help you with this. Con+Corp is the skill for pretending to work when you are actually slacking.
Crime Your employer’s security experts can help you with creating better defenses. You don’t need to keep secrets from your employer, do you?
Face Your employer’s reputation backs you up when you negotiate on their behalf.
Focus It’s a whole lot easier to stand up to that street samurai’s glare when you know your backup is right there. Corporate training helps you resist that Con+Hack phishing attack.
Heart Most people are hiding their true selves in order to fit into the hierarchy. Corp almost never helps with Heart.
Hit When on your employer’s turf, or engaged in power projection, you can rely on teamwork to make you more effective... until the fog of war gets too thick.
Make The company’s shops have the best equipment!
Move Teamwork comes in handy when surmounting obstacles.
Prod Very much a matter of setting and authority. Bosses can Prod underlings; putting the fear in them is easy, encouraging them can require a bit more savvy. Insiders can Prod outsiders as long as their backup is in evidence.
Recon Your organization’s intelligence division have extensive archives, as long as you can persuade someone to give you access.
Ride When traveling in formation or convoy, you can rely on your peers.
Rock A talented speechwriting team can make an orator much more effective.
Schmooze Work your connections at the office to work their connections in the field.
Scrounge You get paid in corporate scrip and live in company-owned housing, but the amenities are better than you’d have if you were paid in nuyen and lived in a place of your own. If you work for covert ops, this is the quality of any fake SIN you have been issued. If your online gear is corp-issued, it defends against Matrix attacks with Scrounge.
Sneak You know how to hide in plain sight so that no one will give you a second glance. The quartermaster has camouflage tarps to help with concealment.
Spot People who ignore the dress code stand out like a sore thumb, and standing watch is easier with surveillance equipment or a team.

Who has the Edge?

0New corporate employees.
+1Corporate employees who have had a few years to learn the ropes. Street cops. Syndicate made men / soldiers
+2Senior, well-established employees. High threat response team members. Small corporation CEOs. Mafia capos, Yakuza wakagashira, Triad commanders.
+3Highly trained special operations forces. Megacorporate lead architects. Mafia dons, Yakuza oyabuns, Triad elder brothers.
+4Megacorporate executives. Mafia capos, Yakuza gumi, Triad lodgemasters.
+5Damien Knight. Richard Villiers. Johnny Spinrad. Lofwyr.

Drugs

Your use of chemicals and/or moodchips to performance tune body and mind; you might be an unaugmented gang member with a ton of experience, or (if you have Chrome) have a Metabolic Dashboard implanted and a good recipe book. This could represent your preferred mix of caffeine, nootropics, and LSD microdosing to boost your Brains; your metabolically tailored speedball for Move and Hit and Ride; your expert use of low-dose psychedelics to boost your Heart and Face; your choices of Mellow Yellow, Blue Meanies, and Red Rager moodchips to treat your limbic system like a car’s transmission.

You should have a character aspect that can be compelled as a result of your reliance on altered states. If you have a higher Focus than Drugs, then you have the self-discipline to tinker with your brain and back off as needed. (Walter Bishop, on Fringe, didn’t buy up his Focus. Walternate did.)

When your Edge sets you apart, people feel uncomfortable and nervous about your unpredictability. Gang members play this up, wearing torcs containing obvious autoinjectors ready to pump drugs into their carotid arteries.

Once you establish in a scene that you are in a particular altered state, that remains true for the rest of the scene. If you’re on MDMA to boost your Heart when at a meet, you aren’t on your combat speedball if a fight breaks out, and you wouldn’t be able to even metabolize one before the fight is over.

Drugs can give extra actions, but at a price. After the fight, take physical stress equal to the number of initiative steals you used, with overflow going to your Winded or Exhausted condition.

The Drugs Edge can only be raised to +2.

Shadowrun has addiction rules— skillwires, legal-strength simsense, hot-sim Matrix access, and magical foci are all addictive! (SR5 p414)— and we can come up with a stress track and zone map to model the process if anyone really wants to roleplay the process. If that’s not the flavor of pathos you want in the game, keep your Focus higher than your Drugs, roleplay someone who exercises good judgment about chemical self-enhancement, and let’s save the slippery slope for the NPCs.

Skill + Edge
Bod I can stay up all night with a little modafinil in my system. My metabolic dashboard enhances my body’s response to injury and disease, and can dial up an adrenaline boost when I need it. By juicing my erythropoietin with mRNA injections or a metabolic dashboard, I’ve increased my red blood cell count and the oxygen available to my muscles for endurance.
Brains I have a cocktail of nootropics and psychedelic microdosing that makes me more creative and productive. Sometimes a full acid trip in the flotation tank gives me that breakthrough I need, but that’s not safe to do every day. Judge my results, not my methods.
Con
Crime
Face The right dose of psychedelics makes me very persuasive about things I believe in, but, uh, not so good at withholding information.
Focus Lemme rip a line of novacoke and Imma give that spirit a thrashing! And I have just the right cannabinoids to mellow out when coming down from the op.
Heart A little bit of MDMA boosts cognitive and emotional empathy.
Hit My favorite combat speedball gets me moving fast! And Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD!
Make
Move OKAY MAYBE SOME COMBAT DRUGS FELL OFF A MILITARY SUPPLY TRUCK or I know a quartermaster who gives good deals on excess supply
Prod Once I slot the Blue Meanies moodchip I can make angry trolls back down!
Recon
Ride That combat speedball comes in handy for split-second reactions!
Rock My patron saint Keith Richards watches over me!!!
Schmooze
Scrounge I know where to score the latest goodies, and the dealers know I ain’t a snitch.
Sneak
Spot A well-calibrated dose of psilocybin enhances visual acuity— just ask Uncle Terence!

Who has the Edge?

+1Wageslaves surviving a 996 work schedule with a little chemical assistance. Soldiers, police, mercenaries, and gang members using combat drugs. Biohackers.
+2Highly experienced gang members and mercenaries. Psychonauts. Expert biohackers.

Hack

Your conscious mastery of the Matrix and related information technology, and a measure of the quality of your cyberdeck. When your Edge sets you apart, you seem incomprehensible and weird.

Extra shifts from hacking rolls can be applied to subtlety, making it harder to notice the hack has taken place.

Skill + Edge
Bod
Brains This is your Firewall rating, which is what you roll for defense in cybercombat. It represents how well you coded up your persona’s defensive response. It is also used for configuring agents and defusing data bombs.
Con Used for detailed phishing scams and for spoofing targets, such as using voice and image masking to impersonate an angry superior. This is the skill for creating a fake ID, restricted by Crime. If someone’s Scape is online, you can make them hallucinate video and audio; if it’s a cyberScape, full emotive-track simsense hallucinations are possible.
Crime This is your active Sleaze rating, and determines how well you bypass security and subvert programs. You can create advantages like Back Door that will persist until the next time your target cleans things up. If someone is attempting to trace you, this is how you resist it.
Face Used for etiquette between hackers.
Focus Resistance to dump shock.
Heart Used to size up targets for social engineering attacks and construct therapeutic virtual environments.
Hit This is your Attack rating: how well do you apply the suite of cybercombat tools to inflict Matrix stress on a target? This covers crashing programs running on the same node as yourself as well as sending nasty payloads down to an opponent’s cyberdeck that could inflict Mental or even Physical stress on them.
Make The crafting of software and cyberdecks. If you built your own cyberdeck, this is your Data Processing rating: how good is your cyberdeck’s infrastructure?
Move Used in navigating virtual environments when using a bodily Persona.
Prod Used for social engineering attacks on the order of click this link.
Recon Scrutinizing Matrix hosts before heists, examining a person’s digital trail to glean insights into them, and evaluating what you can do to a target when examining your options. With a Bloodhound program: tracing an opponent’s connection.
Ride Used in navigating virtual environments when using a vehicular Persona.
Rock Sculpting virtual environments that make an impression.
Schmooze Your ability to get in touch with other shady folks online.
Scrounge This is the skill for obtaining cyberdecks and programs. If you obtained your cyberdeck, this is your Data Processing rating: how good is your cyberdeck’s infrastructure?
Sneak This is your defensive Sleaze rating, and determines how well you evade notice.
Spot Matrix Perception. While your programs are doing a lot of the heavy lifting analyzing the Matrix for you, ultimately your brainmeats are the bottleneck for grasping the output of the analysis in a timely fashion.

Who has the Edge?

+1Amateur deckers and script kiddies.
+2Professional deckers. Grid Overwatch personnel.
+3Elite deckers. Senior Grid Overwatch personnel.
+4Deckers who have had a thorough understanding of Matrix protocols from its inception, with a Persona coded to exploit their flaws. e.g.: FastJack

Magic

Your embrace of the mystic realm. When your Edge sets you apart, you seem eerie.

Note that Chrome cannot directly make you a better mage, though having bioware like the Cerebral Booster can be part of the story of why your Magic is so strong. You can also use it in a complementary way, e.g.: you can roll Brains+Chrome to create advantages that you tag when rolling Brains+Magic when inventing spells.

Skill + Edge
Bod
Brains Corresponds to the Shadowrun Arcana skill. For logic-based traditions: invent new spells and rituals, and check do I know a spell for that?, and affects number of known arts.
Con With Sorcery: cast Illusion spells that create false images. With Astral Perception: slip through a mana barrier; for every shift, bring two friends, spirits, active foci, sustained spells, or other astral forms with you
Crime With Sorcery: slow-and-subtle dismantling of spells. With Conjuring: unbinding bound spirits is a risky and illegal maneuver, but much more friendly to the spirits.
Face With Sorcery: subtle mental manipulations. With Conjuring: spirit bargaining.
Focus With Sorcery: ritual magic and brute-force dispelling of spells. With Astral Projection: astral combat. With Conjuring: banishing and binding. With Enchanting: disabling and disenchanting foci, disjoining alchemical preparations. Complemented by Crime, it is the difficulty of Recon+Magic checks to investigate your physical evidence trail.
Heart With Sorcery: cast Health spells.
Hit With Sorcery: cast attack spells. With Astral Perception: fighting spirits while embodied.
Make With Sorcery: cast Shaping spells and other physical manipulations. With Enchanting: alchemy and focus creation.
Move
Prod With Sorcery: overt mental manipulations. With Conjuring: fast summoning.
Recon With Sorcery: casting Detection spells. With Astral Perception: assensing and astral tracking.
Ride
Rock With Conjuring: you can pay for spirit services in advance with a performance they enjoy. In intuition-based traditions, this is the skill for inventing new spells and rituals.
Schmooze For intuition-based traditions, this is the skill to roll for do I know a spell for that?, and affects the number of arts you know. With Conjuring, this is the limit on your number of bound spirits. This is also the skill for pressing through a magical barrier, and you can bring two friends, spirits, active foci, spells, etc. through with you per shift.
Scrounge This is the quality of your magical lodge, and your ability to procure reagents for ritual magic; reagents are normally tracked as a form of Wealth stress.
Sneak With Sorcery: cast Illusion spells that hide things. With Astral Perception: slip through wards and mana barriers without triggering them.
Spot Anyone can roll Spot to notice if an astral form has passed through their own, or if someone is using magic (a spellcaster can allocate shifts to make this more difficult); Awakened people add their Magic to this roll. With Sorcery: spell defense, which you can apply to Spot+Magic people; they can use your Magic to defend against magical attacks. You can also spend an action in explicit counterspelling. With Wildeyes: using unusual senses.

Who has the Edge?

+1Awakened people who have learned to use their talent. Low-powered paracritters (e.g.: devil rats).
+2Professional mages and shamans. Challenging paracritters (e.g.: piasmas).
+3Multiply initiated mages, shamans, and adepts. Adult dragons. Highly dangerous paracritters (e.g.: juggernauts).
+4Highly initiated mages, shamans, and adepts. Older adult dragons and younger Great Dragons (e.g.: Masaru, Arleesh).
+5Mature Great Dragons (e.g.: Schwartzkopf and Hualpa).
+6Preeminent Great Dragons (e.g.: Dunkelzahn and Lofwyr).

Each upgrade is worth one metamagic or adept feat.

The Path of the Burnout

Without waiting for an upgrade milestone, you can move a point of Magic to Chrome or Drugs as you get upgrades or start stressing out your system.

Resonance

Technomancers only. Your intuitive affinity for the Matrix; if you have both Hack and Resonance, you can create advantages using Hack that you then invoke when using Resonance, and vice versa. When your Edge sets you apart, you seem incomprehensible and weird. Resonance and Magic are mutually exclusive; if something forces you to become magical (such as HMHVV infection), you lose all Resonance.

Technomancers use a different set of skills than deckers because they live in the metaphor.

Skill + Edge
Bod
Brains The skill for weaving Warez Complex Forms. With an Overwritten encephalon, roll Brains+Resonance instead of Brains+Chrome.
Con This is your Sleaze rating when taking action, and includes registering sprites to give them false credentials. Unlike regular deckers, you can erase the signature left in the Matrix by a Resonance being such as a technomancer or sprite. This is the skill for weaving Spoof Complex Forms.
Crime This is the skill for weaving Pwn Complex Forms and breaking security through code injections and back doors.
Face The skill for assembling sprites.
Focus This is your Firewall rating: how you defend against stress inflicted on you in the Matrix. When someone attempts to deal Matrix stress against you directly, you experience it as Mental stress. It is also how you resist Fading from compiling sprites and weaving Complex Forms. If adding your Resonance to your Focus gives you additional stress boxes or mild Consequences, you may use those to resist Fading.
Heart This is the skill for weaving Interface and Chrome Complex Forms.
Hit This is your Attack rating and the way to weave Flame Complex Forms. With an Overwritten smartgun or wired reflexes, you can roll Hit+Resonance to attack.
Make Weaving Kludge Complex Forms and overwriting devices with Emergent firmware; creating designs for 3-D printers by using your brain as a CAD/CAM workstation.
Move Used in navigating virtual environments. With Overwritten wired reflexes, you can roll Move+Resonance in the flesh.
Prod This is the skill for disassembling sprites and unweaving Complex Forms.
Recon This is the skill for weaving Grok Complex Forms.
Ride Used in navigating virtual environments in vehicle metaphors.
Rock You can sculpt Matrix icons through direct visualization, and deliver amazing performances with an Overwritten music synthesizer.
Schmooze This is your Data Processing rating: how well are you co-opting digital resources to handle all that crunching for you? Also the maximum number of registered sprites.
Scrounge Your ability to locate useful Complex Forms in the Resonance Library.
Sneak This is your Sleaze rating when avoiding notice.
Spot This is your Matrix Perception. With overwritten cybersenses, you can use Spot+Resonance in the physical world.

Street

The advantage you get from knowing your community: the culture, the people, the terrain. Street culture is fluid, and organization is horizontal rather than vertical; your gang boss may be in charge, but is still relying on a certain level of consensus. Getting big things done is more like herding cats than giving orders. (Syndicates are more centralized and are a form of Corp edge.) When your Edge sets you apart, you seem dangerous and feral. A fight between Hit+Chrome against Hit+Street shows extremely different styles, with the razorboy doing close-in work while the ganger stays mobile and uses their knowledge of the locale.

Just as Corp also applies to other vertical organizations like government, Street applies to other disorganized situations like the wilderness, as scoped by your aspects. This Edge may be written as Wilds to indicate a character with no experience of civilization.

You have one immersion per upgrade milestone, so three at +1 and six at +2.

Skill + Edge
Bod In combat, Street + Bod can give you extra consequences, but they look like Dead Friends.
Brains When you need to crack a tough problem, and people in your community plausibly have insights, you can run it past them. It’s unlikely that you’re going to make any breakthroughs on fundamental physics this way.
Con When you need a ringer to help you pull off a job, you have no trouble finding one.
Crime Your chummers can create distractions for you at little risk to themselves.
Face People vouch for you.
Focus Support from your chummers can help you get through rough times.
Heart
Hit Using every bit of your local territory to your advantage.
Make
Move You can parkour through your own territory and leave outsiders dumbfounded.
Prod You are especially intimidating on your home turf, and know how to make an impression among gangs.
Recon You know how to leverage the locals when running an investigation.
Ride You know all the twists and turns in your territory, and how to lead pursuit into gang turf where they’ll find an unpleasant welcome.
Rock Any gang member can mark territory with tags; when you do it, people hesitate to ruin your artwork. Your street art can make an impression on the people of your street.
Schmooze You know who to talk to, and they know your rep. When word hits the street, it makes it to your ears.
Scrounge You and your chummers make a fine stone soup when needed, and you know all the fences to visit when you need gear. This is also the skill to roll when the quality of a fake SIN matters. If your online gear is assembled from street tech, Scrounge is how it defends against Matrix attacks.
Sneak You know all the boltholes into which you can simply disappear, and the art of vanishing into a crowd.
Spot You know what stands out on your home turf and your chummers can help you keep an eye on things.

Who has the Edge?

0Newly initiated gang members. Squatters who keep to themselves. New Haven immigrants.
+1Experienced gang members. Squatters who have connected with their neighbors. Pirate radio broadcasters. Typical Haven residents.
+2Third-tier gang leaders. Second-tier gang lieutenants. Seasoned gang members. Haven project coordinators.
+3Second-tier gang leaders like Slash and Burn (of the Halloweeners), Lord Torgo (of the Spikes), or Grinder (of the Red Hot Nukes). First-tier gang lieutanants like Green Lucifer (of the Ancients). Haven councilmembers, tycoons, and megaproject coordinators.
+4First-tier gang leaders like Sting (of the Ancients) or Blake (of the Cutters).

Tech

Your ability to utilize technology, and a measure of the quality of your gear; for a rigger, use this when operating your drones. Almost anything that can be done with Chrome can be done— usually more slowly— with Tech. Your Tech in excess of your Con or Sneak is a measure of how much more of a target you are to thieves. When your Edge sets you apart, you seem distant and weird.

Skill + Edge
Bod Quality respirators filter out airborne toxins. Linear frames stand out in a crowd, but give you superior lifting and carrying abilities.
Brains Libraries, search engines, and design workstations.
Con All manner of nifty disguise gear and forged evidence. Also the skill for hiding the fact that you’re watching the game on your Scape instead of paying attention to guard duty.
Crime Ohhhh so many goodies for defeating security systems.
Face
Focus This represents personal discipline in using one-time pads for security (roll Recon+Hack to discover sloppiness). (As organizations scale up, secure pad distribution becomes a nightmare.) Complemented by Crime, it is the difficulty of Recon+Tech checks to investigate your physical evidence trail.
Heart People running analytics on their ScapeGogs to highlight microexpressions, pupil dilation, flushing, and so on are why so many negotiators have Stoneface implants these days.
Hit That smartgun link can talk to your ScapeGogs.
Make Fabbers and vats and shops, oh my!
Move Grapple guns, skate boots, diving fins, and leg exoskeletons that let you run 50% faster.
Prod
Recon Surveillance cameras can be hidden in amazingly small objects these days. A top notch shotgun migrophone can eavesdrop at 300m, and a pen-sized one at 10m.
Ride For riggers, when your driving skill matters, it’s Ride + Chrome, but when your vehicle capabilities matter (such as pure acceleration), it’s Ride + Tech.
Rock
Schmooze You know other techies and all the necessary suppliers.
Scrounge This is your do I have that gear? roll. If you assembled your ensemble of gear yourself, Scrounge + Tech is its defense against Matrix attacks. For riggers, this is your do I have a drone for that? skill.
Sneak Adaptive camouflage gear.
Spot A set of well-equipped ScapeGogs can see things that organic eyes can’t and run contrast enhancement algorithms.

Who has the Edge?

0People with technological literacy.
+1Hobbyists who know their gear.
+2Professionals who create and maintain gear.
+3Experts.
+4World-class experts.

Advancement

Edges advance through upgrade milestones, which represent magical initiation, technomancer submersion, replacing cyberware with alpha, beta, and delta grade ’ware, and so on. Upgrade milestones happen with significant victories where the party get windfalls.

Skill columns apply to Edges and skills separately, though you are not required to take any Edge that does not make sense for your character. Still, you should have a second Edge at +2 before you take your +2 all the way to +3.

When incremental benefits are appropriate, round in favor of the player. When taking Chrome from +1 to +2, give an extra slot at upgrades 1 and 3; when taking an adept’s Magic from +1 to +2, unlock new skills at upgrades 1 and 3.