Jackpointers are (as it says on the tin) members of the fictional forum Jackpoint, sharing their insight in the in-character sections of splatbooks for the 4th Edition. Jackpoint itself is a successor of earlier such forum, called Shadowland, of which Fastjack, Jackpoint's founder, was an long-standing member. In-universe, Jackpoint is considered to be the stomping grounds of proven, "elite" runners (as determined by Fastjack).
Born in 1999, Fastjack is a veteran hacker who survived both global network crashes. Founder and moderator of Jackpoint, he is the de facto elder statesman of the shadowrunning community.
Cool Old Guy: He's been around since first edition, and wasn't very young then (hell, he still remembers the United States of America).
Papa Wolf: towards Jackpoint and its members. But betray him and...
I will hammer you back to the Stone Age myself if I find out my trust has been misplaced.
Also to his daughter. Despite the fact they are somewhat estranged he damn nearly died helping her out with a nasty virus.
Old Master: Why he's one of the best hackers out there. He got his start on old command line interfaces. He has gone through every single Operating System and generation of the Matrix. He knows all the old tricks that have been carried through each generation.
The youngest member of Jackpoint, /dev/grrl is still in high school and living with her parents. Despite this she is a programming genius and helps out on runs. Fastjack treats her like a kid.
Brilliant, but Lazy: She doesn't really do her homework she just writes a program to do it for her. This bites her in the ass when Fastjack makes her compile a document on safehouses and she doesn't have any real research skills.
Child Prodigy: She's still in high school but is a better hacker then most shadowrunners.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: /dev/'s first act to establish herself as a shadowrunner? Tracking down and capturing Kane, something adult bounty hunters have been failing at since before she was born. Kane was so amused he actually took her in as an apprentice/partner.
Just a Kid: tends to get this from some of the other Jackpointers like Slamm-O. She usually hacks their accounts in response.
Muggle Foster Parents: Well, they are her biological parents, but they're wage slaves while she is a shadowrunner. She had to bite her tongue when they were stuck in the bad side of Las Vegas and they thought that every person was a blood-stained Shadowrunner.
Real Name: Tetsuro Yamada. A male Japanese Changeling with amphibious features. He is the most public of the Jackpointers in that he makes no attempts to hide his identity. Due to the nature of the Shadows in Japan he can operate openly if very carefully.
Cool Old Guy: While not as old as Flashjack he's in late 40's.
Omniglot: Native Japanese speak her also speaks English,Korean, and Chinese fluently. Also know a little bit of Russian.
As a side note the writer of the supplement didn't do the research as China has many different dialects.
Hobgoblin rigger and mechanic from Sarajevo, Clockwork is also a jerkass of monstrous proportions whose actions gave him quite a few enemies on Jackpoint.
Character Shilling: Indirectly praises newly introduced character Quietus by ranting how Quietus refused to allow Clockwork to commit mass murder during a job. At the end of the rant Clockwork looks like a tool, Quietus looks like the consummate professional.
Gadgeteer Genius: he specializes in modding various easily available items for more... specialized uses. Then he sells prototypes and blueprints for a living.
International Man Of Mystery, suave superspy and another Cool Old Guy, Fianchetto's history is pretty much unknown - few more or less certain things about him is that he worked for various governments under numerous covers over the previous forty years.
Rogue Agent: once, he compromised an operation he was hired for to retrieve a collection of stolen art from a Russian Mafia boss.
Rigger, pirate and mercenary with a grudge against Aztlan, Kane is known as a loose cannon and a team killer and wanted in at least twenty countries.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though he's definitely a rough customer, apparently the thing that drove him to running in the first place was losing his girlfriend to Aztlan during the Yucatan Wars. When he discovered she was alive and in an internment camp, he dropped close to one hundred million nuyen to rescue her by hiring nearly an entire private army.
Ship Tease: A lot between her and Slamm-0!. One of the 20th Anniversity Rulebook stories had her going on a date with Slamm-0! as the result of losing a hacking competition.
As confirmed above, they're an official couple now; they've got a baby boy. Slamm-0! even based an attack program on some of his 'fatherhood experiences'. He called it 'Diaper Bomb'.
Deals with debunking urban legends. Has at least one kid.
Action Dad: Somewhat. While he wasn't had to come to the rescue of his kid, he is a shadowrunner.
Meaningful Name: Snopes is a famous urban legend site in our world. Due to the alternate history of Shadowrun it can be assumed that the site never existed in it's original form in the Shadowrun verse or was lost in the crashes of the pre-Matrix web or the old Matrix.
Our Dragons Are Different - Occasionally, Our Dragons Are PRESIDENTS: Lofwyr's the big shot at Saeder-Krupp (BMW after a few good buyouts), Dunkelzahn was President of the UCAS for a little over 10 hours before the bomb in his limo tore open a Negative Space Wedgie and Hestaby is one of the members of Tir Taingire's ruling Council.
Dunkelzahn was also pretty net-savvy, too. Look in any of the first edition's sourcebooks- he usually goes by 'The Big "D"', though one occasion (in the Street Samurai Catalog) saw him use his real name.
The Big D wasn't the only Great Dragon on the Matrix. Hestaby was a Shadowland regular under the handle "Orange Queen", and Celedyr (who is also one of the two majority stockholders of a technology megacorp) was a lurker in many forums under the handle "Stone-Diver" or "Script-Diver".
Dunkelzahn's will brought a number of other Shadow-talking Great Dragons out of the closet, if only to bitch about how the Big D hadn't left them anything.
Shadowrun's dragons may be the only dragons you actually run away from. They aren't fightable: they're stronger, tougher, bigger, and smarter than you (human average stat: 3 (max 6), dragon average: 8, great dragon average: 13—except body/toughness and strength, those are 35+). Oh, and unlike every other NPC, they have Edge (the Luck Stat, only PCs have it) and great dragons can do some nasty things with it that you can't. There's a damn good reason why you never deal with a dragon.
Alamais, a Great Dragon who operates in Europe, was hit with an orbital weapon system intended for use against military targets and survived.
They burn some Edge (permanently decrease the stat by a bit in exchange for something like a guaranteed critical success or surviving certain death) and let you THINK that you killed them, and then when you get home you discover that your entire family has been eaten, your SIN has been revoked, and there is now a bounty on your head that is so large that every shadowrunner in the time zone is now after you.
For a period of ten days beginning on 14 February 2057, Lars J. Matthews will cease to possess any legal status. He will be stripped of all evidence of legal existence, including SIN, credsticks, DocWagon contract, bank accounts and so on. To the individual or group who ends Lars J. Matthews' physical existence during those ten days, I leave all of Matthews' assets and 1 million nuyen for a job well done. If Mr. Matthews survives and can prove his identity, his legal status and all possessions will be restored to him. Haven't you heard? Never deal with a dragon, Lars.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech - one she gave Aztlan (publicly, at the UN Assembly) in the intro story to SOTA 2073. A great dragon thoroughly wrecked your shit? That's because you asked for it for at least a decade.
Take Up My Sword - she is considered Dunkelzahn's successor as the "Keeper of Mankind".
The major players of the Sixth World, though there are plenty who dispute that. Megacorporations are graded as A, AA or AAA-level: To reach AA level, a corporation needs to have the power to possess and enforce extraterritoriality, and to qualify for AAA level a corporation must have have representatives on the Corporate Court, a regulatory organ over the world's Megacorps. The Corporate Court arbitrates all conflicts between corporations, functioning somewhat like a free-market U.N. with access to orbital weaponry, and has the ability to impose sanctions and Thor Shots on other corps and citizens who step over the line. Members of the Corporate Court also own shares in Zurich-Orbital, the successor to the World Bank.Currently, ten AAA-megacorps are known to exist: They are known as the Big Ten and consist of the seven original founders of the Corporate Court (and their successors) who have permanent seats (and therefore permanent AAA status), as well as three non-founding members whose AAA-status is tied to their representation. The Big Ten are detailed below, ranked by size (as of the fifth edition of the game), followed by a few other well-known megacorps in the Shadowrun world.Tropes common to the Megacorps:
The largest Mega Corp. and (through BMW) one of the founders of the Corporate Court with a permanent seat. It's located in a massive arcology in Essen, Germany that also serves as the lair of their CEO. Formed by an amalgam of European industrial giants around the core of BMW, Saeder-Krupp is involved in practically everything but especially in energy, heavy industry, finance and aerospace. Owned by the Great Dragon Lofwyr, who considers the company his Dragon Hoard and works tirelessly to keep it #1, dominating its entire corporate culture from the bottom up.
Always a Bigger Fish: Is the bigger fish in this case. Not even Aztechnology, owners of the entirety of Latin America, can stand up to Saeder-Krupp. They own their own carrier fleet.
NeoNET began its existence as the UCAS branch of the Mega Corp. Fuchi Industrial, creators of the original Matrix. After being torn from the failing giant, it took the name Novatech and became the largest UCAS corporation. Novatech itself was almost destroyed piecemeal by ex-employee Art Dankwalther and forced into an IPO that led to the matrix crash at the end of the third edition. Back for the fourth edition after merging with two foreign AA-corporations and renaming itself NeoNET, the corporation is now the second largest Mega Corp. and owns the Court founding member JRJ International. No matter its name, its focus has always been on the Matrix, responsible for practically every innovation over the game's editions.
Back from the Dead: Twice. It survived the fall of Fuchi and then survived its almost-destruction at the hands of Dankwalther.
The Dreaded: For hackers, Grid Overwatch Division is a force to be feared.
Wild Card: Considered this by Shadowrunners. Jobs by Neo can be a grab-bag.
Mitsuhama Computer Technologies
“The Future is Mitsuhama”
Third largest Mega Corp. (formerly the fourth) and a founding member of the Corporate Court, formed in Japan as a Yakuza front that went horribly right. As their name implies, heavily into computer hardware and robotics, but also involved in the entertainment industry, magic and heavy industry. Known for their "zero-zone" policy: Mitsuhama shoots first and asks later.
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Mitsuhama was founded by the Yakuza as a laundering front. It ended up being worth magnitudes more than all of Japan's criminal enterprises combined, leading to most of its founders to go legit since they make way more money that way.
Yakuza: It's hard to say where the criminal syndicate ends and the mega corp starts. What is well-known is that Mitsuhama has no trouble getting criminal aid when they need deniable subcontractors or less-legal avenues of aid.
You Have Failed Me: Towards Shadowrunners. Failing or abandoning Mitsuhama runs is not a good idea.
Aztechnology (formerly ORO)
“The Way to a Better Tomorrow”
Formerly the second largest Mega Corp., now the fourth, Aztechnology is based in the nation of Aztlan (a united Latin America, owned by the corporation). It was one of the founders of the Corporate Court with permanent representation. Specializes in magic and consumer goods, but are one of the most inclusive Triple-A corps with involvement almost everywhere.
Blood Magic: One of their specialities, although a highly classified one. Any Shadowrunner who publishes, reveals or (gods forbid) practises any part of it will be terminated with extreme prejudice.
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Possibly topping MCT. Aztechnology formed out of a front for a conglomerate of drug cartels.
The Dreaded: Aztechnology's shoot first, shoot second, shoot some more response to runner intrusion, nasty blood magic, and general disregard for anyone who isn't Aztechnology makes them a boogeyman for many runners and others in the know.
The Friend Nobody Likes: Their attempt at nationalising all non-Aztechnology industry in Aztlan, their forays into the First Nations, the Yucatan rebellion and snubbing the Catholic Church hasn't left Aztechnology with a lot of friends on the Corporate Court or on the higher echelons of power. Of course, Aztechnology is powerful enough that they don't really have to care, and all the above ones are too busy fighting each other to gang up on them anyway.
One Nation Under Copyright: Aztlan is, officially, an independent country, but Aztechnology's rights and privileges are written into the constitution.
The Theocracy: Has outlawed Christianity. This has not gone down to well.
Villain with Good Publicity: Worth mentioning a second time. Aztechnology has done a superb job of avoiding public scrutiny of its more sinister operations, and most people know them as the ones who own or make most of the world's processed food, chemicals and furniture.
Renraku Computer Systems
“Today’s Solutions to Today’s Problems”
Fifth largest Mega Corp., created through a takeover and transformation of Corporate Court founder Keruba International by Renraku Holdings. Renraku are heavily into computer systems, especially software, telecommunications, servers and databases. Founded the infamous Renraku Arcology in Seattle. Renown for their heavily militaristic corporate structure.
Elite Mooks: The Renraku Red Samurai internal security corps. Woe be to any Shadowrunner who attracts their attention.
Gone Horribly Wrong: The Renraku Arcology was taken over by a rogue A.I. that turned it into its private 'testing ground'. The results were not pretty.
Secret Keeper: Practically every local area network in Asia is owned by Renraku. They hold so many intercepted or stored corporate secrets that messing with them is generally seen as a bad idea.
EVO (formerly Yamatetsu Corporation)
Sixth largest Mega Corp., granted AAA-prime status by vote. Began as a Japanese corporation known as Yamatetsu in the early editions of the game until they switched their corporate HQ to Russia and took on the name EVO. Focuses on biotech, nanotechnology, and consumer goods for metahumans: Most specialist devices built for trolls or dwarves are of EVO make and they also own offworld colonies, including one on Mars.
The Alliance: Part of the Pacific Prosperity Group, a confederation of non-Japanese corps trying to break the Japanese economic stranglehold on Asia.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: EVO's board of directors is... Strange, even by Shadowrun standards. Their majority stockholder is called Buttercup and is a spirit. Their CEO is an ork.
Seventh largest Mega Corp. and the currently largest UCAS corporation, also a founder of the Corporate Court. Focused on arms, aerospace (they bought NASA), vehicles and entertainment. Amongst other things, owns Knight Errant, Seattle's privatized police force.
The Chessmaster: CEO Damien Knight took a controlling interest in the company over 63 seconds of intensified stock-trading, ruining two other corporations in the process. He is also a chess grandmaster and is rumoured to have beaten Dunkelzahn in the game on several occasions.
Death from Above: Is rumoured to have the highest number of Thor Shots in orbit, possibly matched by Saeder-Krupp.
Eagleland: Actively promotes this image. An image is, of course, all it is: Ares is as international as any of the other triple-A corps.
The eight-largest Mega Corp. (formerly the third) and also the oldest, being the first Mega Corp. to gain extraterritoriality back in 2001 and also a Corporate Court founder. Based in Japan, Shiawase is owned entirely by the Shiawase family and is extremely diversified: Its main focuses used to be nuclear, biotech and environmental tech but they've got fingers into practically everything much like Aztechnology.
Big Screwed-Up Family: Shiawase is a family-owned zaibatsu and all their employees are considered part of the extended 'family'. Naturally, Shiawase is one of the most infighting-prone megacorps.
Cloak & Dagger: Shiawase's Marketing Information and Forecasting Department is renown as one of the most thorough intelligence analysis teams in the Sixth World, working like a corporate version of the NSA and one of Shiawase's most potent assets.
The Heavy: The Shiawase Decision played a major role in creating the world of Shadowrun.
Rags to Royalty: Well, hardly rags, but one of the Shiawases married into the Japanese royal family and became Empress.
Naturally, the first thing she did with said power was to start working against the corporation, in revenge for her father using her as an unwilling guinea pig for some experimental vaccines.
“We’re Behind Everything You Do”
The largest Chinese Mega Corp. and the only Chinese AAA-ranking, ninth in rank on the Corporate Court after being inducted by popular vote, Wuxing is the most silent-running of the Big Ten. They're into banking, shipping and magic... And that's about all anybody knows about them.
The Alliance: Wuxing founded and leads the Pacific Prosperity Group, a confederation of non-Japanese corps trying to break the Japanese economic stranglehold on Asia.
The final of the big AAA-corporations and the smallest and newest member of the Corporate Court, having gained their seat at the cost of Cross Applied (see below). Horizon is headquartered in Free State California and is all into social media and entertainment, as well as some pharmaceuticals, property and consumer goods on the side. Renown for their flat corporate structure, transparency and the extreme cheeriness they show to the world: Never having been caught doing anything actually immoral has left Horizon with probably the most positive PR of all the megacorps. By the fifth edition, however, some cats are beginning to slip out of the bag...
A Lighter Shade of Black: Certainly gives off this impression, given their focus on "people first". Their employees are remarkably well-treated, as are their shadowrunners.
Affably Evil: CEO Gary Kilne is this. If he is even evil. Which nobody seems to be able to confirm. Which leads to...
Ambiguously Evil: What, if anything, Horizon is doing that is sinister is completely unknown. Casual digging by Shadowland has completely failed to turn up anything nefarious. Which in turn has led to...
Arc Villain: A series of fourth edition adventures showcase the bad side of Horizon, including a number of social media devices Gone Horribly Wrong and culiminating in a mass slaughter of Technomancers.
Villain with Good Publicity: Used to be kings of this until the above-mentioned cat-releases, as expected by a public relations firm turned Megacorp. They waged a PR war with Aztechnology during the Yucatan uprising and won.
Fuchi Industrial Electronics (defunct AAA)
One of the original Mega Corps and one of the big names of the first three editions. Fuchi Industrial was a Japanese-American collaboration, the second biggest Mega Corp., owner of Corporate Court founder JRJ International, and responsible for much of the early Matrix. Formed from an alliance of several powerful families and their respective corporations, Dunkelzahn's will (via some very finely planned 'gifts' from the dragon's hoard) proved the catalyst for the families to tear themselves apart and the corporation with them. The UCAS branch turned into Novatech and finally NeoNET (above), while its Japanese holdings were consumed by Shiawase and Renraku.
Cross Applied Technologies (defunct AAA)
Formerly the ninth largest Mega Corp. in the world, headquartered in Quebec and owned by Dr. Lucien Cross, Arch-Enemy of Ares CEO Damien Knight. The corp enjoyed a brief surge to the headlights after becoming the tenth member of the Corporate Court in 2064. After Cross' death in a plane crash during the second Matrix crash four years later (between third and fourth edition) the corporation was rapidly torn to shreds by Ares and EVO and lost its Corporate Court seat to Horizon. It focused on information- and biotechnology and was renown for the Seraphim, a security and intelligence gathering spy corps that matched that of Shiawase and made the company independent of using Shadowrunners.
Zurich-Orbital Gemeinschaft Bank
The bank of the megacorporations and private successor to the World Bank, based in the space station that also serves as the headquarters of the Corporate Court. All of the Big Ten own an equal share in the bank to ensure its neutrality. As the owner for practically every loan made to every Mega Corp. in the setting, Zurich-Orbital is a sacred cow that conserves the balance of power between them.
An AA-ranked privatised police, security and prison firm, Lone Star serves as the police force for many cities in the CAS, UCAS and First Nations, as well as being Seattle's police force during the first three editions of Shadowrun. This made them disproportionately well-known to most players of the game as the Arch-Enemy of most of the city's native Shadowrunners, and "Lone Star" is still synonymous with "police" in general to many players. They lost their Seattle contract during the switch to the Fourth Edition, which afterwards went to Ares-owned Knight Errant.
An AA-ranked private health company, renown for revolutionising the private health sector by introducing armed response teams to recover policy holders in high-risk zones, a subscription-based service that guarantees prompt service for a reasonable cost, and their devotion to policy holders' privacy. Most shadowrunners without a death wish tend to have a DocWagon contract, as their response teams can be found patrolling anywhere and any time, ready to pick up policy holders whose life signs go critical.
He has a tendency to support the Player-Characters from video games. First, he helps out Joshua near the end of the Sega Genesis game. Then, he helps the Player in Shadowrun Returns against the Universal Brotherhood.
Bad Ass - He doesn't get out much anymore, but he is most certainly this. He's the sole survivor of the Knights of the Crying Spire from the Fourth Age. Dunklezhan considered Harlequin his personal knight.
Badass Grandpa - Is (or was) an immortal elf, who was born in the Fourth Age. He may not look it, but he's thousands of years old.
Monster Clown - Played with, his appearance in the cover art of the original Harlequin campaign book certainly suggests the trope. He turns out to be more of a Jerkass Clown, however (at least in his early appearances).
Walking Spoiler - To one, if not several, of the metaplots from FASA's run on the game. How much he remains under the new publishers remains up for debate.
Wild Card: He tends to drift from allegiance to allegiance, as his goals really aren't dependent on any other factions.
A decker who starred as the hero of the SNES game. He returns as a major NPC in the Shadowrun Returns video game.
Cool Shades: Distinctive round ones that he took from a dead Lone Star. In Shadowrun Returns he continues to wear them, despite no longer needing to avoid frightening the morgue workers.
Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: In the SNES game, he is a decker with a lot of implants (at least including a datajack, cortex bomb, and info safe) who also becomes a dog shaman. In Shadowrun Returns he is more of a pure mage.
Overrated And Underleveled: In Shadowrun Returns he's only at or slightly above your party's level, despite being a veteran runner who once soloed a dragon.
Running Gag: In the SNES game, he wakes up in the morgue. In Shadowrun Returns he wakes up in the morgue again, except this time, on purpose. Apparently he's taken a liking to it, and it's cheaper than a pod motel.