Stat It: Headspace

Okay, so there’s one RPG I hype about but never actually play on Solo Roleplay Voyages. This game is called Headspace and while I never played it solo, I have played it once with a group of people and it was amazing.

So, I shall rectify that “haven’t played it solo” bit by doing a stat it for Headspace, using the NPC I made with the Clow Cards as my template. I intended to use it for a game using the Snakes on a Plane system, but why not use it for Headspace?

So, let’s begin. The first step is to set it somewhere. I decided to set it in the pulpy setting I had in mind when I created the NPC. Perhaps the transitioning years between a pulp Indiana Jones style world and a cyberpunk Blade Runner style world in which mega corps and the Headspace, a device that allows one to meld their minds with other people to be an effective team, are born.

There’s six operators for this, Handler, Infiltrator, Ronin, Runner, Tech, and Whitecoat. I say Infiltrator fits our character very well. I’ll give him the nickname of Dash. The characters have different skills, but each of those skills comes with emotional baggage built up by backstories. You know what that means!

Now, the thing about Headspace is that it’s probably one of those games where I doubt you can actually make a solo character, since the lore and game mechanics tell you that you’re working in a team. As such, I might have hit a snag with this. However, I’ll push on, using the cyberpunk expansion of the Backstory Cards, Wicked Shadows.

  • Martial Arts (Who was the only one who stood up against you?): When Dash went to get his book published, he first tried to get away, but was stopped by a big, burly mobster by the name of Lenny. His defeat by his hands caused great Fear within him. Especially when, for an added challenge, Lenny set the building they were in on fire.
  • Security (Whose family did you forge documents for that allowed their escape?): A small, poor family that said Dash owed them after a great tsunami washed away their town. The reason being that, after a botched assassination attempt because of said tsunami, they hid him while his hit’s bodyguards looked for him. Seeing this family and realizing how down he’s gone filled him with a Need to get out of his job.
  • Stealth (Who did you witness doing something that still puts you off?): He saw Lenny fight with the mafia. It puts him off because, for as long as he has known, Lenny had been their loyal attack dog. However, he sparked this conflict by asking Lenny what he’s doing working for the mafia. Seeing how he manipulated him gave him an Ego

The bolded words symbolize what stat is bagging that particular skill. The game runs on Apocalypse World rules, but instead of stats like strength or talents like acrobatics, you instead have emotions. It’s nice and unique.

I picked out these emotional stats called Disciplines.

  • -2 to Rage
  • -1 to Grief
  • 0 to Fear
  • +1 to Need
  • +2 to Ego

Thankfully, Headspace did account for the idea that someone would end up playing a game with less than five people and opted to have a feature called Ghost Operators. Basically, the Headspace is a cloud storage for people. They store their consciences inside and so when they die, they end up being this ghost in a shell…

I’m sorry, the joke was right there!

But yeah, the mechanics of this is that one skill from that Operator will be the only skill they could use. Headspace has this feature where you can use other people’s skills, but you have to roll their emotional baggage.

Fluffwise, I’ll have it so that the mafia, in order to increase their effectiveness, invested in a Headspace and had Dash and Lenny merge their consciences inside. They’re the only two living operatives, as the Headspace was a used, discarded product confiscated by a MegaCorp and sold in the black market.

They replaced two of the Ghost Operatives and they need to complete the Headspace and replace the Ghost Operators to “defrag” it. Lenny’s baggages are Grief for Explosives, Rage for Firearms, and Ego for Tactics.

The Ghosts I’ll randomly generate.

  • Runner: Pilot/Ego
  • Tech: Engineering/Ego
  • Whitecoat: Medicine/Ego

Okay, so I can guess that the Headspace belonged to a very proud Cell. Or it could be the Mafia’s previous team. Probably the latter, as Dash heard tales of this group. How they robbed from a MegaCorp, but ended up not only bankrupting the corporation, but also ruined the economy for everyone in a close vicinity to the group.

Next, I gotta come up with Dash’s regrets. Thankfully, I already have one, but it has to be tied to a corporate secret. Easy. The Mafia is actually a corporation. Not only that, but it’s a leading corporation. Dash’s regret is that he managed to cause them to rise up by killing several higher ups who, while they lead corporations themselves, were actually nice people.

His Drive matches this. He wants to escape from the Mafia. As such, his Drive is Redemption. Next is Edges. These are nice little perks. These two edges are:

  • The Angel: Remember that mark he had to kill but didn’t? He actually grew attached to him and after the hit got botched, he let him go. He forged the documents so that they could get out under the radar.
  • Eye in the Sky: The Mafia also paid for a surveillance drone.

And then there’s upgrades. My character already has an upgrade in the form of a disguise kit and throwing knives, but he also needs something else. So he gets a thermo-optic camouflage kit.

And that’s pretty much it. I fleshed out a huge chunk of my character with this step by step process, to the point where I am pretty intrigued as to what might happen. With that, we knocked down two birds, now let’s see if we can knock two more. Bon voyage, gamers!

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