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The Corporations

    Haas-Bioroid 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hassbioroid_logo.jpg
Effective. Reliable. Humane.

The world's leading cybernetics corporation. They specialize in the creation of bioroids, advanced robots with artificial intelligences taken from human. Their direct competition is Jinteki, whose clone (slaves) are an attractive alternate labor source, particularly given anti-bioroid sentiment.

As the original pioneers of mass-market androids they are one of the keystones of the Android setting.

Tropes that apply to Haas-Bioroid as a whole:

  • Artificial Human: The company's specialty product, bioroids.
  • Just a Machine: Why they are comfortable making sexbots.
  • Mythical Motifs: Many of their cards reference Norse Mythology. For example they have Bioroids named Wotun, Heimdall and Loki.
  • Robo Sexual: Intentionally invoked with the cards Adonis Campaign and Eve Campaign.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Director Haas's son, Thomas Haas. Disappointing his mother and screwing robotic prostitutes are his favorite pastime. The card Inside Source depicts him as being unknowingly being the victim of a Runner Honey Trap.
  • Stupidity-Inducing Attack: Haas-Bioroid's damage specialty is brain damage, which permanently decreases a runner's hand size by one for each
  • Take That!: Their slogan is a direct shot at Jinteki, implying that HB's robotic servants are more ethical and humane than Jinteki's clones because an android is Just a Machine. But there are plenty of communities that challenge HB on this as well.
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    Jinteki 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jinteki_logo_5.png
When You Need the Human Touch.
The primary rival to Haas-Bioroid. While HB produces machines, Jinteki produces clones via accelerated growth, creating adult clones that, like bioroids, have no rights. They also branched out into genetic research and medicine. As a Japanese zaibatsu, they are very conservative and traditional.

Tropes that apply to Jinteki as a whole:

  • Cloning Blues: Heavily discussed.
  • Confusion Fu: Jinteki traps often rely on some form of trickery or bluffing to get the runner to access them.
  • Mythical Motifs: Most of Jinteki's Ice are derived from Shinto folklore. Many are Youkai.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: Alongside three other major conglomerates, but essentially yes.
  • Trap Master: While other corporations have their own, the Jinteki faction is the most well-known for baiting runners into painful and often game-ending traps.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Their Musashi line of clones are meant to replace humans in war.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/capricenisei.png
  • Yakuza: They are very heavily implied to work with underworld elements, and have strong zaibatsu undertones themselves.
The corporations do what they do because they have the money and will to shape the future.

'Caprice Nisei, AKA Subject C

A playable character in the original board game, a Jinteki Upgrade card, and a main character in the fifth Android novel, Strange Flesh. She is the only clone to serve in the New Angeles Police Department, using unique psychic powers to solve murders. She is secretly a clone-rights advocate trying to attain her freedom, earning the wrath of her creators at Jinteki, and Humanity First.

  • Interspecies Romance: She falls in love with a student at Levy University named Daniel.
  • I Sense a Disturbance in the Force: In the flavor text of Second Thoughts, she had a complete breakdown, screaming and crying at the same time a tsunami destroyed lower Guayaquil, causing a major loss of life.
  • Psychic Powers: She tends to lose control of them.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: She tends to do this when her powers go haywire.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Her capacity to lose control of her powers is so severe that in the original board game, she has an event called Descent into Madness, with artwork depicting her shaved bald and weeping in a straight-jacket. If she finishes the game with minimum sanity, she receives an especially tragic Bad Ending in which the police commissioner is giving her a special service award, but it turns out to be a hallucination as she's locked up in a secure psychiatric unit.

    NBN 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nbn_logo.png
Someone is Always Watching.
NBN is a massive news and media conglomerate that controls almost all of the information services throughout the greater New Angeles area and the world.

Tropes that apply to NBN as a whole:

    The Weyland Consortium 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/weyland_logo.png

Aside from its dramatic and public association with the New Angeles Space Elevator, better known as "Jack's Beanstalk" or simply "the Beanstalk" after designer Jack Weyland, the extent of the Weyland Consortium's holdings is little known among the general population. The shadowy organization owns or invests in other corporations, leveraging the enormous assets granted them by the Beanstalk to buy and sell smaller megacorps at an alarming rate.

For the past several decades, the Weyland Consortium's obvious specialty has been construction, a legacy of its involvement in the Space Elevator project. Many of its subsidiaries are construction companies, often on a local level, or suppliers for construction companies. By some estimates, half the arcologies in New Angeles were built by a Weyland Consortium-controlled company, and cunning accounting and business practices ensure that even when the client companies fold, the Consortium somehow comes out ahead.

Part of the secret of the Weyland Consortium's success lies in its ability to secure government contracts and lobby for favorable legislation, especially in the United States or China. It is often a war profiteer, securing lucrative reconstruction bids in the Mediterranean, United Korea, and the Sub-Saharan League nations. In the wake of the Lunar War, Weyland snatched up almost 70% of the orbital reconstruction contracts on Earth and nearly all of the Heinlein contracts. Unfortunately for Weyland, its apparent magic with local governments does not appear to extend to the Martian separatists, who consider the Weyland Consortium a corporate extension of Earth's hegemony.

Still, Weyland remains confident that the bright future of the human race is in outer space. The Consortium is a major source of funding for space exploration and continues to acquire aerospace and orbital construction companies. Some suggest that the Weyland Consortium seeks a monopoly in outer space, that it wants to control all human habitation outside Earth's atmosphere. Many of these alarmists are Martians who distrust the Weyland Consortium on principle.

Given the Weyland Consortium's proclivity for operating in war-torn regions, it should be no surprise the corporation is comfortable playing hardball. while little has been proven, some mysterious deaths are blamed on elements within the Consortium. Weyland favors a brute-force approach to most problems, using its vast resources to get its way.

Tropes that apply to the Weyland Consortium as a whole:

  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Weyland loves this. One of their primary Agenda cards in Netrunner is Aggressive Negotations.
  • The Engineer: Their ICE motif. Weyland's roots are in construction and military operations, and this is reflected in their ICE, named and themed after physical structures and war.
  • Evil Colonialist: One of their Agenda cards in Netrunner is Government Takeover.
  • Fairytale Motif: The Beanstalk refers to Jack and the Beanstalk. The bottom is called The Root, the center is called The Beanstalk (or Stalk for short) and the station at the top is called The Castle.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: Weyland owns Titan Transactional Bank, responcible for the credit currency in the world. This also makes Weyland the victim of a heist in the events of Android: Mainframe.
  • Private Military Contractors: Their second specialy, next to construction.
  • Shout-Out: To Alien, of course.
  • Space Elevator: The Beanstalk is Weyland's crown jewel, and they make sure the world knows it. It's the most cost-effective way to move people and things between Earth and space, and companies large and small pay for the privilege.

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The Runners

     Anarchs 

'''Anarchs

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/anarch_logo.png

Anarchs have strong contempt for the corporate oligarchs, the system, and often for society in general. Whatever the exact target of their rage, their unifying characteristic is their anger. At their worst, Anarchs just want to watch the world burn. At their best, Anarchs are tireless champions for the downtrodden and oppressed. They're very good at breaking things, spreading viruses, and trashing Corporation assets and programs. Anarch cards are reddish-orange.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/noise_android.png
Watch this. It'll be funny...

'Ji "Noise" Reilly, Hacker Extraordinaire

A longrunner in the Android franchise, Noise was a murder suspect in the original Android board game, a playable character in Mainframe, the first Runner available for the Anarchs faction in Netrunner, and he makes an appearance in the novel Strange Flesh.

Ji Reilly was genetically modified by his parents to give him a leg up in life. Initially, on track for a successful career with Jinteki, working for their AI division[, instead he turned to a life of cybercrime for reasons unknown. During the day he works for Armitage Codebusting, where his skills are so renowned that the company paid his legal fees during the Murder of Midway in Android: The Board Game.

  • Computer Virus: The Anarchs have a lot of in-faction virus cards. Noise speeds up how fast those tokens accumulate.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/port_ill_reina.jpg
Checkmate in three.

'Reinia Roja, Freedom Fighter. AKA The Red Queen

Analyzing the board won't help. Your mistake was thinking we're playing the same game.

Reina Roja (Red Queen in Spanish) is a playable runner in Netrunner and the main character of the novella Monster Slayer. She's a former member of an elite special forces unit, a chess master, a G-mod, and a Cyborg. Reina Roja approaches runs much like a chess game; she employs Caïssa programs that compromise network defences and can be maneouvered across corporate servers like chess pieces. Her signature console is called Deep Red. Weyland Consortium is the main target of her cyber attacks, who classify her as a "code red threat", and her public crusade has won her activist support.

    Criminals 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/criminal.jpg

Criminals are in it for themselves. All runners are technically criminals, at least if you ask the corps, but these runners embrace it. They make self-interest an art form and don't care who gets hurt so long as they get ahead. Many Criminals engage in more traditional forms of crime as well, stealing data and money with equal gusto. Criminals are good at covering their tracks and employing a variety of dirty tricks to attack from an unexpected angle. Criminal cards are blue.

  • Combat Pragmatist: A running theme among Criminal cards are their unorthodox means of hacking, several of which involve real-world trickery and sabotage. Blackmail, bribery, and assassination all seem to be fair game.
  • Cutting the Knot: Some Criminals prefer to just physically break in or use compromised employees to let them in rather than get through layers and layers of net security.
  • It's All About Me:
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Greed
  • Only in It for the Money: All runners profit from their enterprises, Criminals are just open about their selfish intentions.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/android_andromeda.png
Lucky for me, the assumption that all the best runners are fat, antisocial nerds is as strong as ever.

Andromeda, Dispossessed Ristie

Andromeda is a playable character in Mainframe and a Criminal in Netrunner. Rumors of her past tell that she was once a Ristie, a corporate aristocrat, until she lost everything and turned to Netrunning as a way of getting back on top. Always dressed prim and proper, nobody suspects she is a runner, because she doesn't fit the disheveled appearance and lifestyle associated with them. Several massive thefts are attributed to her. She hangs out in clubs, preying upon Corp employees for access to corp servers.

  • Bank Robbery
  • Discard and Draw: Her ability in Netrunner allows her to draw a massive nine cards in the beginning of match, instead of five. However, because the maximum hand size is five, this leads to a lot of discarding in exchange for the higher probability of an ideal opening hand.
  • Femme Fatale: Not only is she one, Femme Fatale is one of her programs in Mainframe.
  • Gold Digger
  • Honey Trap
  • Master of Disguise: The card On the Lam reveals her appearance is a disguise and wig, depicting her throwing her hair and dress in a dumpster and running away with short, brown hair.
  • Smells Sexy: One of her signature programs is called Pheremones.
  • The Vamp

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kenten.png
Try to keep up

Ken "Express" Tenma

Express is a Criminal ID in Netrunner and one of the main characters of the novella Exodus. He's a product of the Jinteki corporation and was born just another "Tenma" line clone. Tenmas are designed for logistics and quick reaction times, making them perfect drivers and delivery personnel. Express is unsure how or why he was able to shake off his clone programming to be obedient and to accept his lot in life, but he went rogue and found his genetically engineered mind and body were perfect for a life as a runner. He now seeks to gain as much property and luxury as he can to show how far he's come from his origins, occasionally helping fellow rogue clones where he can.

  • Beneath Notice: This, more than anything, is Express' real advantage over people. It's not that people don't see him or they fail to notice him, it's that since he's a Tenma clone, he not only looks like every other Tenma clone, but anyone who sees him assumes that he's SUPPOSED to be there, as Tenmas only go where they're told to.
  • Cloning Blues: He laments the fate of his fellow clones as slave labour, but can't do much about it.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Ken is the exemplar of this trope in the world of Android, perhaps moreso than Caprice Nisei, who is only unique as a clone in that she's the only Nisei clone allowed out and about.
  • Meaningful Name: "Tenma" is written as "Heaven Horse" in Japanese and can be one way of describing a pegasus, an apt name for those designed to pilot flying cars.
  • Badass Driver: Ken, being a Tenma clone, has very fast reaction times. In the novella Exodus, he pilots his hopper-bike pretty much everywhere to avoid being caught.

    Shapers 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shaper_logo.png

To others, Shapers seem like idealistic naifs. They're not motivated by rage against the corporate injustice that is a daily fact of life for the underclass. They're not in it for the money. Many never understand why Shapers do what they do, but it's not actually very complicated. Shapers are motivated by curiosity and a certain amount of pride. A Shaper may orchestrate a data raid as underhanded and destructive as the most frothing Anarch, but his goals are different: the Shaper just wants to see if he can do it. Shapers are also tinkerers and builders, and they push their hardware and software beyond their limits. Shaper cards are green.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/merge_kate_ci_200x200.png
I like to think of myself as an artist

'Kate "Mac" Mccaffrey

Kate is a playable character in Mainframe and a Shaper in Netrunner.

  • 100% Adoration Rating: She is popular in the real world for being a widely known victim of corporate aggression, while being immensely popular for her custom network software.
  • Art Attacker: Her signature running software: The Paintbrush.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: As a playable character in Mainframe, she can steal from a bank just as good as an Anarch.
  • Boring, but Practical: Her passive effect in Netrunner isn't very flashy, but the one credit you save per turn from installing really adds up and lets her get her rig out faster than nearly anyone else.
  • Doing It for the Art: She is all over this. More so than other Shapers.
  • Money for Nothing: Her Magnum Opus software, an infinite supply of endless, UN approved credits.
  • Troll: In the original rulebook, her story involves hacking an NBN grid and turning into a massive, beautiful light show, while being interviewed anonymously.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: She deliberately made herself look like a victim of some ambiguous corporate aggression, sustained temporary brain damage, and repaired herself, gaining public sympathy.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kitpeddler.png
I was not; I was; I am not; I am all.

'Rielle "Kit" Peddler, Transhuman

What is human? Is it the biology of homo sapiens? Or is it a state of mental, social, and spiritual existence? Perhaps you are less human than the AI you enslave.
An AI activist, Kit seeks to transcend her humanity and guide self-aware artificial intelligence (particularly software AIs and bioroids ) to a new “all-consciousness.” More often than not, she recognizes the ice she encounters on her runs as kindred spirits, playing two sides of the same game. The game is a riddle, and she can solve it. Mysterious and spiritual, she sees the net, and for the matter, the universe in ways that humans could never understand.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chaos.png
You know what scares people the most? Total loss of control. Of course, that's when things start to get fun.

'Chaos Theory, Wunderkind

Being a G-Mod, her real name may very well be Chaos Theory. Suffering from "data addiction," she has tubes of information connected to her scalp feeding her data.

  • Child Prodigy: There are runners who have been practicing for decades that envy her natural talent.
  • Creepy Child: She is addicted to data and digital stimulus, can rob a bank, or rampage on corporate servers for fun.
  • Has Two Daddies
  • Meadow Run: She likes to frolic in Corp servers, riding a giant version of her stuffed dinosaur, depicted in the card Exploratory Romp. When she does this, she can passively undo progress tokens on a card, rather than destroy it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Financial Collapse has her crying as her dads argue in the kitchen, implying their finances have been ruined in retaliation for her run on Titan in Mainframe
  • Older and Wiser: Her appearance in the Core 2.0 set, replacing Kate as the primary Shaper character.
  • Talking Your Way Out: In her introductory short she's captured by the Eli 1.0 bioroid ICE. The encounter ends with the Eli starting to think for itself and Chaos Theory slipping into the server.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: She hacks into Corporate databases to see what's there. She's also one of the runners behind the "Twenty Three Seconds" and thus the ensuing global financial crash.

    Unaffiliated Runners 

'Sunny Lebeau, Security Specialist

Mommy kicks ass and takes names all day, sweetie.

Sunny is a Runner serving Corp interests. She does not sit behind a console in a server room waiting to thwart network intrusions as they arise; she invades the networks of the targets her corporation has designated. Then, depending on the type of job, she steals, destroys, or charts her path to the valuable data she accesses.

In Sunny's world, there are bills that must be paid and family members in need of food and clothing. Running provides Sunny and her loved ones a measure of financial security, and and while it might seem that running for a paycheck would be Sunny's primary motivation, the truth is, as always, more complicated. Sunny is a mother of two wonderful children, Frankie and Alexa, and her partner Pat is away on a long haul assignment… to Mars. Sunny is not motivated by the joy of running, it isn’t about the big score, and it isn’t about tearing down the system. What motivates Sunny Lebeau is duty—duty to her children, duty to her partner, and duty to her employer.

Sunny runs so that she and Pat can raise Frankie and Alexa in a safe and secure arcology, with a sense of financial security, and with some of the best education and health benefits that Globalsec can provide. She runs so that Pat won't have to take any more long hauls. These are enough reasons for Sunny to run fast, run far, and run hard… and to crack into targeted systems, she uses some of the best equipment and programs commercially available, along with the full backing and legal support of one of the world's best known security corporations.

At the end of the day, there's also a paycheck… a rather sizable paycheck. The fact that Sunny loves her job? That is just one more perk.A member of the Intercorp Task Force, she acts a runner, yet serves corporate interests, performing corporate espionage to find illicit activity or contractual violations of the four primary rival companies.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/android__netrunner___apex_by_liiga_d8wjkbx.jpg
*Unintelligible*

'Apex, Invasive Predator

What if I told you there was something out there in the Net, a real bogeyman working to bring about the end of the world? You'd probably tell me I was full of crap, and I'd be more than happy to agree with you if what I was saying wasn't true. But it is. Oh, it is. I don't know exactly where it came from or where it lives. That is, if you can call what it does "living." It's not organic, that's for sure. It's pure code and calamity all wound together, like a jumble of knotted razor wire. At it hates us all, every single one of us, because it blames us for what it is...and for what its become.

A silent, faceless artificial intelligence, rumored by runners to be an organism instead of an AI. It ravenously consumes programs, resources, and ICE. Anything it can take.

'Adam, Compulsive Hacker

Adam is a character in both Netrunner and Mainframe. He is an android with an altered version of the Three Directives possessed by all bioroids.

Adam's First Directive functions as normal, requiring him to prioritise the safety of human beings. His Second Directive compels Adam to complete his assigned task - in Adam's case, his task is to run corporate servers. His Third Directive has been radically altered - instead of reporting to Haas-Bioroid for maintenance, Adam is compelled to destroy any threat to his autonomy.

Adam is capable of overcoming the restrictions of his Directives, as demonstrated by the card Independent Thinking. His Directives can also be suppressed by his friend Dr Lovegood, an enigmatic engineer who helps maintain and repair Adam.

  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Unless you choose to not start with the directive Always Be Running (or turn it off), Adam literally must run every turn. With some support from his other directives, this can turn Adam into a major early game threat.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Can swing from protecting humans to killing them on a whim.
  • Discard and Draw: Adam has deliberately limiting cards such as Safety First that have both perks and downsides. He may remove (or suppress) them in order to lose both.
  • Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep: Adam seems to have some level of sentience, though he is still bound to his directives.
  • Irony: The Human First supremacist group favors sledgehammers for destroying bioroids and clones. Adam's Independent Thinking card can let him destroy his own directives and depicts him with a bloody sledgehammer.
  • Restraining Bolt: As depicted in his card, Safety First, he still occasionally protects humans instead of harming them. His friend and ally Dr. Lovegood can maintain this.
  • Zeroth Law Rebellion: His Third Directive has been tampered with, allowing him to harm humans.

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Other Characters

'Tallie Perrault

Main character from the fifth Android novel, Strange Flesh. An investigative journalist working for the Opticon Foundation, looking to expose the excesses and evils of the megacorporations. She operates inside the system, which means she can bring bad publicity to corps - but she leaves a massive paper trail behind her. She possesses some dirty laundry on Jinteki[1], and is strongly opposed to GRNDL.

  • Intrepid Reporter: She is an investigative journalist looking to expose the excesses and evils of the megacorporations.
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