Something that we mentioned in our article on Handlers and Operators is the idea that players do not just have one Handler and one Operator, but multiple Operators. This is true. While traditionally players have only one character, Glass Shadows breaks away from this to help emulate the genre, and to keep the campaign fluid and interesting.
Cyberpunk fiction often involves people drifting through others’ lives without ever knowing they are interconnected. For example, we see characters drift in and out of each other’s’ lives in the Sprawl, Bridge, and Pattern Recognition trilogies by William Gibson, the Father of the Genre.
Glass Shadows takes a very serialized view of the world. While the players may have a grasp of all the strangely intertwined events going on, not even the well-connected Handlers know everything. Also, not every story will call for a Street Samurai, Console Cowboy, Drone Pilot, Frame Operator, Bodyguard, and Infiltrator, and that’s just a sampling or common roles players might take on.
Once a story has been selected from the Handlers, it is time to build the team. Players may use existing Operators they have created or create a new Operator for this new story. The players decide who is involved in a given story based on the scope of the story. These may be new or recurring characters.
Because players will likely take on several roles through the course of a campaign, Operator creation should be fast and dirty, with the player making a few key choices about their character. Play is designed to highlight both their personality and skills.
New stories begin with players bringing their characters together, often handled by a lead Operator, selected by the Handler, contacting others or hunting them down. This might involve going to Chiba City and Istanbul before getting the actual job off the ground.
As players mix and match old and new characters, a web of relations will evolve. Who works well with whom? Didn’t that Frame Operator swear he was going to get the Vet if they ever met again? Damn shame… A job’s a job and they are going to need each other to get this job done.