Roles are the main character classes within the Cyberpunk series. Beginning with the original nine roles found in the Cyberpunk 2013 booklet, View from the Edge, the roles were greatly expanded with each new Sourcebook. Some were simple variations on the classic roles, and many were all-together new, based on geographical locations, equipment, technology and abilities.
Rockerboys are the medieval bards of the dark future, the rebels, the punks and the musicians who use their voice to inspire the masses. Rockerboys are there to spread the anti-corporate message, to inform the downtrodden and weak and to lead groups into battle. The most famous Rockerboy is Johnny Silverhand; a soldier gone AWOL, he leads the band Samurai all the while plotting against the evil Arasaka corporation.
Typically ex-military, almost certainly cyber-enhanced with more weaponry than a small army and ready to blow you away if somebody was paying. The Solo is your typical gun for hire character class, that thinks first, asks questions later and collects a paycheck for it. Morgan Blackhand, described as the Solo's Solo, is the most famous of these mercenaries.
Although a common complaint is that a high combat sense solo is overpowered in Cyberpunk 2020 in reality; a nomad can have their whole family open fire on him, a corp can order a squad of solos after him, a fixer can put a hit on him that other solos will chase up, a Media can make him public enemy no #1 and a Netrunner could lay a lethal trap for him in the Net; all of these would likely outclass said solo but they require preparation.
Fanatics of the workings of the Net. Rather than living in realspace where their abilities are limited by reality, Netrunners prefer to experience life through the means offered within the Net's artificial universe. With unique access to the Menu, they find themselves naturally savvy in sapping company networks and breaking into high-priority security systems for both a living and entertainment. These network trespasses are necessary to steal funds and information from networks. The data that is stolen is generally sold to a third party buyer, however this data does not come free, as the Netrunner must undergo the ultimate challenge of man versus machine in bypassing counter-intrusion programs that guard the techno-fortresses of the Net.
Every computer system linked to the Net contains information and data. While much is useless notes and records, there is also much that is incredibly valuable. Whether it's money that's up for grabs, corporate plans, structure blueprints, classified data on new technology and inventions, or anything of the like, somebody somewhere wants it, and it is a Netrunner who can obtain it. This ability of infiltration and cybertheft is highly sought after, rendering the assistance of a Netrunner rather pricey. The hefty expense is further steepened by the risk that Netrunners face in doing their work.
While interacting with an online virtual interface seems moderately safe, Netrunning is far more dangerous than most would imagine. To access the Net, a Netrunner must jack in using neural hubs and interface plugs which link directly to the brain. Through these links, data is transferred, both to and from their destinations, and unless the Netrunner is skilled enough to find a server's access logs and remove their own I.P., their signal can be traced. If traced, the server owner may act upon many options under the draconic laws around computer crime. This could be hiring a hit squad to the location of access, having the government issue heavy prison terms and a mindwipe, or frying the Netrunner's brain through their interface plugs the next time they attempt to infiltrate the server.
Most Netrunner's enjoy the thrill of their work, and the good ones make a decent living off of it. There are the unfortunate few who are burned out of the Net, but remain alive and without any access. The goal is to not become one of these few, and hone the skills of hacking to the level that they are unnoticed and more importantly untraceable, for if the Net is ever removed from a Netrunner, it is a wish that their life is removed as well.
"You make your living building, fixing and modifying - a crucial occupation in a technological world where no one knows how half the stuff works." Techies typically have the highest tech stat of the group and play an important role making tech work for them. Having a techie in your team is highly advisable.
Corporates are the Armani-wearing, Machiavellian mega-yuppies you see in the RoboCop films. Being wealthy and persuasive, they can muster favors and resources beyond what most people can even hope.