The BlackHammer CyberPunk Project

the Wire
Burning Your Pleasure Centers!


The material here is drawn from several CyberPunk literary sources, where wireheading was a common affliction of the lower class. Most of the specifics in this article are drawn from Little Heroes by Norman Spinrad, and have been ported over to work with our drug production rules.


The wire, as it has become known, stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain. In the original experiments, rats wired into a pleasure center device would tap their trigger unit relentlessly until they died of starvation. In humans results are only slightly less debilitating.

A standard wire, as found on the streets, is not a precision piece of electronics. Instead it's a few electrodes set into a wire mesh that fits over the user's head that is wired into a power pack which is then in turn attached to standard household current. Some few wires run on batteries instead of household current, but because of the lack of precision in the engineering of recreational wire, the effects are less than impressive. No good wirehead would settle for a battery-operated model, instead having to rely on the massive current of the plug-in models to trigger his pleasure centers using the Brute Force method.

Many wireheads who use lower-key wires also jack into simstim recordings to enhance the experience, but hard-core wireheads find more than enough to entertain them on the stronger wires.

The Prong
The Prong is a standard mid-line wire. It manages to reach the pleasure centers of the brain with a significant amount of power without burning out any nearby regions. It runs on standard household current and occasionally produces mild hallucinations from overloading the pleasure centers.
Str:6		Cost:10eb/use		Dif:Average
main	Euphoric +3, Psychedelic +1, Aphrodesiac +2
side	Blank +2
cum	Obsession +6

	onset:1 minute		duration:30 minutes
	detection:normal	residue:no trace

Uncle Charlie
Uncle Charlie is a brain-burner. The power packs let out irregular pulses of electromagnetic interference, and it is known to mess with more than just your pleasure centers. It isn't considered "bad shit" because it is always overshadowed by Blue Max, which everyone knows is a killer.
Str:10		Cost:10eb/use		Dif:Difficult
main	Euphoric +4, Psychedelic +1, Aphrodesiac +2
	Analgesic +1
side	Blank +4
cum	Obsession +6, Brain Degeneration +1

	onset:1 minute		duration:30 minutes
	detection:normal	residue:no trace

Blue Max
Blue Max is the upper limit or the lower limit, depending on who you ask. No other wire will take you higher, and no other wire will burn your brain quite as toasty. At Strength 14, this is about as much juice as someone can run through a wire.
Str:14		Cost:25eb/use		Dif:V.Difficult
main	Euphoric +6, Psychedelic +4, Analgesic +2
	Aphrodesiac +2
side	Blank +6, Death +1
cum	Obsession +4, Nerve Degen +2

	onset:15 Secs		duration:30 minutes
	detection:normal	residue:no trace

A wire that no wirehead will touch. This baby runs happily on eight D-cells, and barely massages your pleasure centers. This is the wire that college students wear when chilling or trying to "live dangerously".
Str:4		Cost:10eb/use		Dif:Average
main	Euphoric +2, Aphrodesiac +2
side	Blank +1
cum	Obsession +5

	onset:1 Minute		duration:15 minutes
	detection:normal	residue:no trace

HomeWork is another battery-pack wire. This one is far cheaper than MainLine and is often used by wanna-be's on a budget. If it ran through standard electrical curent instead of batteries, it would probably be found everywhere in the Zone.
Str:2		Cost:5eb/use		Dif:Easy
main	Euphoric +2
side	Blank +2
cum	Obsession +2, Nerve Degen +2

	onset:1 Minute		duration:30 minutes
	detection:normal	residue:no trace

So, how do we design wire? First off, Wireheading leaves no obvious trace chemicals in the body, so you have to buy the No Residue benefit. Anything else goes, and the per-dose price uses the Small Batch rules. Any wire with a Strength greater than 5 has to run on house-hold current instead of battery packs. The Difficulty rating is the Electronics roll required to build the wire. Making a wire will cost you somwhere around 20 euro times the unit's Strength.

So, you want to buy a wire instead of tripping on someone else's? Purchase price of wire varies, but at the low-end street markets it'll sell for the unit's Strength times 50 euro, and the price goes up as you move to more expensive environments.

For those of you not using the Dream Pod 9 cyberpunk products, you will notice that all the wires here have a cummulative obsession gain. this provides a certain amount of Humanity Loss per use, but this loss is specifically oriented owards Obsession. High levels of obsession result in... an obsession. In this case it will orient towards drug and wire use (while other Obsession gain from cyberware for example will result in an obsession with playing with and acquiring cyberware). You can treat this as a combination of Humanity Loss and Psychological Addiction.