The Arcanotechnician is a skilled profession, requiring a good deal of education, personal study, and the loss of some sanity. Arcanotechnicians can repair, alter, and otherwise cludge high tech devices to work the way they want. There are areas of specialization, such as power generators, android tech, military gear, etc. Arcanotechs start with a minimum of one mental flaw, insanity, or derangement.
Why play a A-Tech? A-Techs can hack hardware, repair things, use exotic weapons, repair and reprogram robots, and are generally well paid and well respected. On the seedy side, arcanotechnicians crack encryption codes on stolen armor suits, mecha, and get other stolen gear to work safely and without being traced.
A Technomancer is a disciple of technological parapsychic powers and is able to manipulate advanced tech with the power of their will. A technomancer typically has a second occupation, such as specialist, troubleshooter, paramilitary specialist, etc through which they make a living through their ability to control tech.
Why play a technomancer? Technomancers can mind control machines for fun and profit.
(Striker or Defender)
The Pilot controls a vehicle that requires a degree of skill, typically a mecha, advanced aerospace fighter, spacecraft, or high performance submersible. He has access to the abilities of his vehicle, and the protections offered by it. Military pilots have good public recognition, while civilian pilots are not so lucky, in many places, droid brains do their jobs.
Why play a pilot? Pilots get access to the some of the biggest tools, toys, and guns in the setting. In a military based mecha game, almost all PCs are going to be pilots.
4. Intelligence Agent
There are plenty of agencies with names that are just letters (NSA, FSB, CIA, etc) that exist in the cloak and dagger world of spies, sabotage, espionage, in the Comsic Era. Intel agents work for said agencies, and liaise with law enforcement, military ops, corporate ops, and the other aspects of life. Likewise, the megacorps will have their own internal intel agencies.
Why play an agent? License to do what you want, get the gadgets, trot the globe, shag the babes, and blow stuff up. What's not to like?
Mr. Johnson looks good in a suit, and it is the job of the Fixer to get things done, connect people with jobs, make sure everyone get's paid, sweet talk the people who need it, intimidate those who need it, and generally function as the greaser who keeps the wheels turning.
Why play a fixer? Every group needs a face, and charisma shouldn't always be the dump stat.
6. Occult Scholar
There are strange things in the Cosmic Era, and as much as people don't want to admit it, these things have been spoken of. Dimensional fatigue events are details in the Necronomicon, the Emigre Manuscript has detailed entries describing the monsters encountered in storm rifts, and the Secret Keyes of Solomon detail in archaic tongue details of Arcanotech thousands of years before man was working iron. What was once ancient is made new again.
Why play an Occult Scholar? In exchange for sanity, the OS has the greatest idea of what is going on, and has the ability to learn and start performing ritual sorcery, ala Call of Cthulhu game systems. No fireballs, but summoning and banishing monsters, creating wards, seeing into the future, and contacting outer gods for information, voyaging into the dreamlands, etc.
Soldiers are common in the Cosmic Era, but most nations are pro-military, and patriotic. Soldiers are a respected profession, and while they don't get the glory of the mecha pilots, they are vital in any war because regardless of space jet fights and giant robots, even in the future, wars are going to be won by boots on the ground.
Why play a soldier? Soldiers are common, skilled with weaponry and secondary skills. They also tend to live interesting lives, deployed to all parts of the Federation. Don't complain about being deployed to New Jersey, it's a cakewalk compared to six months on the New Moscow frontier on Mars.
The problem with being a soldier is that the mech jocks get the money and the glory, and the poor bloody infantry gets caught out in the open, and get slaughtered for it. Mercenaries work for profit and victory, making lots of money and promoting the image of how awesome they are.
Why play a mercenary? Who needs morals, honor, and integrity when you get the big bucks, the big guns, and the ladies with the big sexy bits?
The Supersoldier is an important part of the Cosmic Era battlefield. Rather than massive battles fought between huge armies grinding against each other, most war is conducted in small groups, with a handful of machines and few hundreds of men determining outcomes. The supersoldier maximizes the value of the single infantryman, while remaining cheaper to create and field than the current generation of stompy war machines.
Why play a supersoldier? In exchange for genetic and cybernetic augmentation, the soldier gets superhuman abilities, and the weapons to use those abilities with. Blow things up with style.
10. Covert Ops Specialist
The covert ops is the opposite side of the supersoldier coin. Where the supersoldier is large, a figure of public renown and functionality on the battlefield, the covert ops specialist does many of the same things, but under the shadow of secrecy, and these are the preferred shadowrunners of nations and megacorps. Freelancer shadowrunners might get more attention, but the secret teams, hidden squads, and other collections of midnight strikers can and do just as much, just as well.
Why play a Covert Ops Specialist? In a covert game, the COS is the organization backed shadowrunner, and has the ability to requisition support, and cutting edge gear, where the freelance and mercenary runners have to work with black market and off the shelf gear.
11. Street Samurai
Street Samurai are urban warfare specialists, augmented with cybernetics, genetic mods, and a random grab bag of goodies ranging from the mundane, to the exotic. A street samurai is as likely to have a hyperedge katana, a forearm mounted plasma caster, or a matching set of lightning claws to face down a group of rogue runners, militant attackers or terrorists. Pound for pound there are few foes more dangerous than a canny skilled Street Samurai
Why play a street samurai? Because this is where you build a cybernetic Wolverine with an armor suit and an over the shoulder laser cannon.
12. Parapsychic Adept
The realm of parapsychic abilities are still being explored and everyday there are new forms and expressions of parapsychic ability being discovered. The crux of the matter lies at the fact that the manifestation of parapsychic abilities is a confluence of willpower and imagination/creativity so that while two PKs are functionally using the same power, their end product and end effect can be totally different.
Why play a parapsychic adept? The parapsychic adept is a catch all category, and most supernatural. comic book mutant powers, and other abilities can be variably broken down into various manifestations of parapsychic powers. Playing a straight up comic book X-men style mutant with special powers would be a PK adept.
13. Parapsychic Martial Artist
The Parapsychic martial artist focuses arcane power into superhuman physical abilities, incredible durability, and combat prowess as mundane as crumpling steel and shattering bone with bare punches and kicks to moves as exotic as teleporting kicks, throwing fireballs, or throwing out a barrier capable of stopping bullets or deflecting an energy weapon.
Why play a parapsychic martial artist? Parapsychic martial artist characters should draw their inspiration from fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, with over the top martial arts. The PK martial artist can defeat supersoldiers in hand to hand combat, destroy skeletrons and power armor with their power moves, and the most powerful can even punch out lesser gods and manifested cosmic horrors.
14. Bounty Hunter
In some ways the Bounty Hunter is very similar to a supersoldier, street samurai, and covert ops specialists, but the difference is the Bounty Hunter is a man for hire and specializes in recovering missing people, preferably alive. The bounty hunter knows how to work with, or around police, likely knows about human trafficking, and other unsavory things.
Why play a bounty hunter? We don't need their scum? Well, sometimes. Few people are willing to go into the slums and the wastelands without an army detachment. But most people aren't badasses.
Sometimes clones and robots forget their place. Clones go psychotic, robots go rogue, and it falls to the Cleaner to take care of the these problems. A cleaner is a professional, trained in the destruction of robots and rogue droids, and the decommissioning of clones. As such, they are versed in tracking, identifying, and bagging and tagging their prey without getting the wrong one. In a world of production model clones and droids, people can get testy when a man with a big handcannon blows away their personal assistant/sexbot by mistaking it for a unit gone rogue.
Why play a Cleaner? Because Jean Reno in the Professional and Deckhard in Blade Runner. Those clones, coordinators, replicants, bioroids, droids, andy's and the rest need to know that there is someone trained in how to bring them down.
Gangs and crime syndicates are big business in the Cosmic Era, and some are even run like businesses. The Enforcer is a mob/gang/mafia/triad/tong/etc fighting man who takes care of business, collects debts, and puts people in their place. Good Enforcers can pick up random special talents, cybernetic upgrades, and choice gear from their superiors. Bad ones end up as meat shields in favela urban wars.
Why play an enforcer? In a nitty gritty street level criminal game, Enforcers are the made man of the street, and they know people, and they know tricks on how to deal with specialists. The Enforcer has the home field advantage.
The smuggler/pirate is a traveler, a merchant and trader who moves goods with a ship, transfer vehicle or some other mode of moving cargo. When times are lean, and there is plenty of ammo, smugglers become pirates. A variably job, smugglers can have a variety of goodies and toys, but one thing they all have is a cargo ship or some sort, be it an A-pod equipped freighter, a cargo zeppelin, a ocean going ship, or something else, they all have some way to get from point a to point b, and they aren't afraid to shoot first.
Why play a smuggler or a pirate? Two words, Han Solo. Be charming, be armed, and have a good crew.
18. Gang Member
There are lots of gangs in the Cosmic Era, they breed in the darkness and poverty of the favelas. The gang member is tough and knows to hit hard, hit fast, and hit first. Other than that, they don't have much going for them.
Why play a gang member? In a nitty gritty in the shadows of the arcos game, gang members are a step above the typical favela dweller.
19. Terrorist Faction Member
Armas, Amerikka Command, Python Patrol, there are many multinational terrorist organizations around the Cosmic Ear, each with an ax to grind. Bring back the American Dream, a free and unified Europe, Death to the Chinese, Worship arcanotech. These factions have training bases, weapons sometimes on par with or better than what the states have, and they are emboldened by their ideals and creeds, staffed by zealots and madmen, and they aren't afraid to punch the biggest meanest man in the bar right in the face.
Why play a terrorist faction member? Disillusionment, disenfranchisement, finding something real worth fighting for, disgust with the way things are, the Terrorist faction member wants to change the world, or watch it burn. To that end, they have allies, weapons, and the bitter will to use them.
There are pilots, and then there are riggers. A rigger is directly wired into and intimately connected to the vehicle they are controlling. They don't use wheels,or sticks, or pedals to control it, they use their minds, through a hardwired physical connection to the machine. They see through the machines sensors, they feel its metal body though its guages and feeds, and none save for the best military grade piloting AIs can match their innate skill.
Why play a rigger? Why play a mech pilot when you can become a mech yourself?
21. Gunslinger Adept
Bend the trajectory of bullets, dodge bullets, be a gunslinging badass. Being a gun adept provides parapsychic mastery over projectiles, making for incredible trick shooting, assassination attempts, and breaking out with firearm based martial arts combat maneuvers.
Why play a Gunslinger? The gunslinger does the Chow Yun Fat/Wanted style of gunplay where a single man with a pair of pistols can take out an entire compliment of mook security guards or basic infantry, and stand toe to toe with some of the best that the Cosmic Era has to offer.
Hacking in the petroleum era involved phishing and exploiting dumb people and predictable passwords. In the Cosmic Era, the hacker dives into the CogNet, and uses attack programs and utility routines to penetrate the virtual domains of megacorps, mainframes, nodes, and virtual locations. In the virtual realm, they have incredible power to bend, break, shatter, and otherwise control the very rules that compose the system.
Why play a hacker? Hackers deal with the CogNet and are going to be the main class for a CogNet based game, while a Hacker on a team is going to be an opener of doors, spy, and saboteur who keeps automated security from taking out his/her team.
There are places where the genepool has been damaged, there is arcane radiation and conventional radiation, and other contaminants that have caused hereditary mutations. These are the lumpy mishappen sort of mutants, and while some will evince parapsychic powers and useful mutations. Extra arms, drooping features, drooling, and the Hills have Eyes!
Why play a mutant? Some mutants, especially the strong ones with useful talents are leaders. These mutants can immigrate into the Geofronts and favelas, where they can become leaders, enforcers, or other jobs. They are shunned for being disgusting, unclean, and mutated. Revel in being a freak.
24. Police Officer
The police are always busy in the Cosmic Era, there is a lot of areas to keep clean and happy, and there are areas where the cops go in armored vehicles with heavy weapons. One thing is certain, quiet days are rare. There are drug lords, gang bosses, turf wars, terrorists, and the rest aren't going to crack their own heads.
Why play a cop? Because you are the law. Because Judge Dredd and RoboCop.
Living in the gilded ivory towers makes for a certain soft sort of people, a sort of owned peasantry deeply involved in CogNet integration, consumerism, and more likely to be engaged in a virtual life in a CogRealm.
Why play a Arcodweller? Arcodwellers are often the first who get to face dimensional fatigue events, cosmic horrors, and in a paranoia/fear/Lovecraftian horror based game, the PCs should be borderline helpless in the face of tentacled horrors.
The surrogate lives in the CogNet, and seldom if ever leaves their tiny hidden apartments. The surrogate routinely interacts with the real world not through their own body, but through surrogate android bodies (ne Surrogates with Bruce Willis) and some more adventuresome types will inhabit other vehicles, like other types of droids, mecha, and other smart vehicles.
Why play a Surrie? Surrogates have some of the lowest threat exposures, plus with how much attention is shown to droids, a surrogate droid vanishes into the masses of mechanoids. Surrogate shadowrunners double as hackers, and can inhabit combat robots.
The Exonaut is the cutting edge of exploration. Not space, not the depths of the oceans, not the stygian depths of the Earth, the Exonaut is a pioneer who explores the angles between planes, traveling through dimensional bores into alternate realms, alien environments, and stranger things. Life as an exonaut is rarely boring, and rarely long. Alien realms have a bad habit of being dangerous in ways beyond preparation.
Why play an exonaut? Because if you're lucky, you might meet dinosaurs. If not, you might find a realm made of acid oceans.
There are a large number of occupations in space, and in many ways these roles are little different from terrestrial counterparts. A space habitat dweller is much like an arcodweller. The Spacer is a person who lives on space ships, or in one of the many hollowed out asteroid bases, or existing as pioneers on the martian frontier.
Why play a Spacer? Spacers are the professionals of space, and know how to fly spaceships.
29. Street Shaman
The Street Shaman is a unique sort of parapsychic found in the Favelas and slums. Their innate connection to cosmic power has made them capable of seeing auras, and understanding spirit energy, and working that into a mythology of urban spirits, ghosts, and other energy beings. Shamen share blessings, curses, as well as conversing with spirit beings and healing the sick.
Why play a Street Shaman? Street Shamen are figures of the favela community, and are leaders among Neo-Primitive gangs and related factions. Like the Occult scholar, the Street Shaman has a good grasp on what is going on, even if he doesn't have a grip on his sanity.
30. War Mage
The War Mage is a military trained parapsychic weapon. Like the parapsychic martial artist, the war mage has turned his power into a weapon, but rather than kicks and punches, the War Mage uses his power to animate arcanotech devices, or focuses the power into psi-blasts and other weaponized forms of attacking and defending.
Why play a War Mage? Because being a martial artist takes too long to learn, but the military and the corps pay very well for people who can kill and destroy things with the power of their minds. Everything's eventual, man.