R. Talasorian's Cyberpunk 2020: Any House rules you enjoy or are really tempted to employ?

Chris Brady

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Bear in mind the old anime Bugglegum Crisis (with it's insane robot/android, AKA Boomers) are a big influence to 2020.
 

Voros

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Bear in mind the old anime Bugglegum Crisis (with it's insane robot/android, AKA Boomers) are a big influence to 2020.
Good call, CP2020 is a very 'anime' take on Cyberpunk, which considering Pondsmith's interests makes sense.

I also wouldn't be surprised if the gonzo manga and anime Goku: Midnight Eye wasn't an influence.

 

Nexus

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Humanity loss always seemed like some of a chicken and egg problem. What causes what? Getting a cybernetic arm (which is described as being fully functional, sensitive and agile, even more so, than a flesh arm and can for a little extra look and feel almost indistinguishable from one) doesn't seem like it would be sanity taxing for -most- people, though for some maybe with the situation behind it having some impact.

OTOH, someone that chooses to have their perfectly functional right arm arm removed and replaced with a prosthetic with a built in flamethrower and chain saw possibly in a dingy back alley clinic... well their stability to begin with could be questionable on top of what effects the change may have. Its a complicated issues, maybe even more so with the seeming readily available organic replacements (Bodybanks, cloned parts). And bionics and cybernetics are power and powers has its effects. But again, that is a question of is it 'corruption' or revelation of what was already there?

One somewhat related story was of a little girl that received high end prosthetics to replace her missing arms, but rather than have them made to try and pass for regular limbs, she wanted them to look mechanical and high tech ('chromed in CP 2020 parlance) and its made her quite happy and popular with her peers as the "girl with the cool robot arms' rather than that having plastic parts trying to look like flesh. Did lose Humanity in game terms?

And there there is that (IMO) Cyberpsychos/boosters/etc do fit the dark, gritty "Nothin' is free, 'specially power" style of 2020. I also read the originally there was no humanity cost, which lead to most of the play testers making themselves Robocop and it was kind of a hasty last second edition.

Its a hasty simplified abstraction of a very complicated topic (like HP/Injury in general), IMO and there's some things I'd alter but generally it seems 'good enough for government work' and if I did get rid of it, cybernetics would be, at least, much more expensive.
 

tenbones

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Another way of handling it is reducing Humanity costs for cyberware as your Empathy stat erodes. Because *you don't care*.

So for every point of Empathy below 10, that's a discount on final costs. This mitigates the "random" factor while also allowing for the difference between someone that lost a limb in an accident getting a cyberlimb, and someone that is just "low Emp" (define those behaviors anyway you wish) - getting their perfectly good meat-limb replaced because it's "cool".

Of course this is kinda relegating cyberware acquisition to tattoo collecting... where once you go beyond a certain point, you really say "eh! I like tatts". But in this system variant you'd actually be paying less humanity as your Empathy drops because you *really* do not give a fig and getting high-humanity cost cyberware might not seem as bad because of your "discount". This of course already has a built in price with the established mechanics and changes nothing in gameplay. It might be worth trying with the other system I mentioned above in tandem.
 

Nexus

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There's also the notion that, as I recall, was at least touched on in CP 2020 that part of 'Cyberpsychosis' and humanity lose was a physical issue of how the tech interacted with the body, the nervous system in particular as well as psychological and aesthetics, finely built, fitted for the customer, etc

I think it was mostly addressed in a side long manner. A character could pay more for better (European, bleeding edge designs that 'fell of a truck' onto the character's body or they 'sold out' to get, etc.. good backstory potential, could be a Life Path event variant) cyber-ware that cost less Humanity or get cheaper (Soviet, older, etc) mechanical bits that cost more in Humanity.

I don't have an issue with this (a made up problem with a fanciful technology) just seems like another thing to consider while tinkering with the rules.
 

tenbones

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Yet another good idea you bring up - allowing discounts based on the skill of the Cybersurgeon and their facilities/gear. This would add a level of "realism" between going to a Ripperdoc who might be a really good cyber-surgeon, but his facilities are shit, vs. going to a high-end facility with Euro-trained surgeons.

Might be a case for allowing skills to get a "specialization" at a certain rank that gives you specific benefits - like at Med Tech 7+ you can choose Euro-Cybersurgery specialization which lowers the humanity cost for all cybersurgery implants, or whatever.
 

Nexus

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Regarding firearms, maybe some sort of middle ground might be at least faster to implement. A character's Dodge/Athletics score gives a Defensive bonus to the difficulty to hit them if they can move, duck behind cover, etc. (Skill/2?). If not (Caught flatfooted, for instance) they're a target at base difficulty. Combat Sense either takes the place of Athletics for that bonus if higher OR offers its own bonus based on its level.

Initiative might play a part, but that could be making things too complicated.
 

WitcherPunk

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Currently engaged in trying to predict what Red has in store.
So I hashed together rules from the Witcher and 2020.
With the available info from the jump-start kit, you can have a bit of fun with the system.
Even add some magic if you wanna.
I will be posting my results in a separate thread, hope you all will wander over and critique it then.
 

Nobby-W

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[ . . . ]
The line between some prosthetics and ‘improvements’ and full sanity-endangering cyborg may be hard to gameify but is what Pondsmith was really shooting for, admittedly a bit clumsily, in CP2020 I would guess.
I think it was also something of a game balance design decision, because the sanity loss also penalised your crap artistry skills. You could be a full-fat cyber-death machine with no social skills and marginal sanity or a savvy fixer-player with just a couple of implants.
 

Stevethulhu

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I always liked the alternate cyberpsychosis table from Hardwired. When your Humanity reaches 1 or less, roll on the table to see what psychosis you develop. If you want to control your compulsion for a little while, beat 15 on an INT roll.

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Nexus

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Does anyone know of a good summary/description of the 2020 world and setting good for newbies that don't have access to the core book?
 

Stevethulhu

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Does anyone know of a good summary/description of the 2020 world and setting good for newbies that don't have access to the core book?
The world is so inconsistent and all over the mapthat a decent summary is hard to do. What Wildside says, what Home of the Brave says, what Rockerboy says and what Deep Space says are all different and all hard to reconcile. And that's just scratching the surface.

I'd say, print out the "So What's America Like in 2020" section of the Night City sourcebook. It's four pages, but it lays out the basics of the setting about as well as anything else. And it's quite readable. Which a lot of RPG fiction struggles with.
 

Nexus

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The world is so inconsistent and all over the mapthat a decent summary is hard to do. What Wildside says, what Home of the Brave says, what Rockerboy says and what Deep Space says are all different and all hard to reconcile. And that's just scratching the surface.
Really, its been awhile since I read them. That sounds practically White Wolf-esque. :grin:
 

Chris Brady

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Really, its been awhile since I read them. That sounds practically White Wolf-esque. :grin:
The Night City book describes a VERY different world than the core book. In the core book violence is everywhere, the sourcebook then turns around and says that the City is very safe.
 

Nexus

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I think I mostly assumed that was regional variations back in the day, but I was more a player than a GM at the time. Did it feel more like inconsistency from your reads?
 

Chris Brady

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I think I mostly assumed that was regional variations back in the day, but I was more a player than a GM at the time. Did it feel more like inconsistency from your reads?
My bad, when I say 'world', the Core Book is mostly Night City, which apparently is very violent. Then the source book turns around and changes it.
 

Stevethulhu

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My bad, when I say 'world', the Core Book is mostly Night City, which apparently is very violent. Then the source book turns around and changes it.
Some parts of Night City are safe. Others are not safe by day, let alone by night. If you read the articles and look at the random encounters, a picture of a city massively split between haves and have nots emerges.
 

Panzerkraken

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I felt like the split was too dramatic, so I developed a huge chunk of the area SW of the downtown into brownstone-style urban residential areas that were originally populated by the workers who built NC, and have become sort of a non-Burb suburb for people who can't afford to live downtown, but aren't so bad off they have to live in the CZ. Keeping the CZ at bay is a full time job for about six different major Protector gangs, but the people who own the buildings in Old Town don't mind paying so they can actually collect rent...
 

CRKrueger

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My bad, when I say 'world', the Core Book is mostly Night City, which apparently is very violent. Then the source book turns around and changes it.
Night City is no different from Shadowrun’s Seattle or Cyberspace’s Chicago. You’ve got the richest of the rich living a few neighborhoods away from Mad Max. A city with Combat Zones isn’t “very safe”, although parts of it might be.
 

tenbones

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I always liked the alternate cyberpsychosis table from Hardwired. When your Humanity reaches 1 or less, roll on the table to see what psychosis you develop. If you want to control your compulsion for a little while, beat 15 on an INT roll.

View attachment 16330
good call!!! I forgot about this!

I would probably have broken this out more. But it's a good place to start!
 

tenbones

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Yeah the core book is just Night City. I go by the high-level view of Home of the Brave, and I customize locations accordingly using the assumptions in HoB and the other sourcebooks for flavor. Night City is a nifty model in terms of understanding that cities are violent, but security zones where Corporations operate are generally safe. Think of them as "Green Zones" in Iraq, except it's corporate security not U.S./Iraqi Military.
 

AsenRG

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I always liked the alternate cyberpsychosis table from Hardwired. When your Humanity reaches 1 or less, roll on the table to see what psychosis you develop. If you want to control your compulsion for a little while, beat 15 on an INT roll.

View attachment 16330
Bwahahaha, I might be tempted to negotiate with the GM to let me just take "idealizing Han China" without rolling...:grin:
Preferablyt at chargen, no need to waste time:shade:!
 

Stevethulhu

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Bwahahaha, I might be tempted to negotiate with the GM to let me just take "idealizing Han China" without rolling...:grin:
Preferablyt at chargen, no need to waste time:shade:!
If you've got enough cyberwear at chargen to be able to hit Empthy 0, I doubt you'd survive more than three sessions in a game I was running :gunslinger:
 

Nexus

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Cyberpunk 2020 is definitely a product of its time, with the odd specificity and blind spots but that is part of it charm. I think my game is going to be pretty retro sci-fi "The 80s/90s never ended" in atmosphere. Just for the fun of it.
 

Nexus

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Getting more back to the mechanics and house-rules, does anyone think there should be skills that enhance Cool for the purpose of resisting things like Intimidation, Seduction, etc? Maybe Human Perception could serve for some of that as it might allow a character to at least realize if someone threatening them is not willing or able to back up their thread or that pretty girl in the bar didn't really find their Attractiveness 3 scarred mug panties-meltingly handsome out of the blue.
 

Stevethulhu

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Getting more back to the mechanics and house-rules, does anyone think there should be skills that enhance Cool for the purpose of resisting things like Intimidation, Seduction, etc? Maybe Human Perception could serve for some of that as it might allow a character to at least realize if someone threatening them is not willing or able to back up their thread or that pretty girl in the bar didn't really find their Attractiveness 3 scarred mug panties-meltingly handsome out of the blue.
That's what Stabilty is for. Cool × 2.5 as a target number for influencing NPC types.
 

Panzerkraken

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Getting more back to the mechanics and house-rules, does anyone think there should be skills that enhance Cool for the purpose of resisting things like Intimidation, Seduction, etc? Maybe Human Perception could serve for some of that as it might allow a character to at least realize if someone threatening them is not willing or able to back up their thread or that pretty girl in the bar didn't really find their Attractiveness 3 scarred mug panties-meltingly handsome out of the blue.
One of the things the Cody and Lisa did in The Witcher was add some skills directly relating to that. I could see a Cool/Will skill of Resist Coercion working pretty well in CP2020. Sort of a less-weird interpretation of using Resist Torture/Drugs for it.
 

Nexus

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That's what Stabilty is for. Cool × 2.5 as a target number for influencing NPC types.
Yes, I mean Skills that would boost Cool for the purpose of determining Stability. For me it would be for PCs and NPCs because if I use Social skills I like to have some 'teeth' for all characters as a personal preference.
 

Stevethulhu

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Yes, I mean Skills that would boost Cool for the purpose of determining Stability. For me it would be for PCs and NPCs because if I use Social skills I like to have some 'teeth' for all characters as a personal preference.
So a DC 25, meaning with a stat and skill at 8, you need a 9 to beat the number. That's not enough?
 

Nexus

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Yes it is.
Well, some people won't have 10 Cool but their concept might be they're resistanct or more difficult to affect with certain types of manipulation and social control. There's already Behavioral chips and drugs that have similar effects so I don't see why allowing skills for it is an issue but perhaps I'm missing something.

As for average I suspect your idea of average might be different from mine.
 

Stevethulhu

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Well, some people won't have 10 Cool but their concept might be they're resistanct or more difficult to affect with certain types of manipulation and social control. There's already Behavioral chips and drugs that have similar effects so I don't see why allowing skills for it is an issue but perhaps I'm missing something.

As for average I suspect your idea of average might be different from mine.
Mine is from the GM screen and a decade of playing the game.
 

Nexus

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Mine is from the GM screen and a decade of playing the game.
If that's worked well for you, great. :smile: But others mileages may vary and all that jazz. From reading the suggestions here and in various other discussion and playing the game, I've seen there are allot of play styles for it. You have to take things in light of your preferences. Every House ruling and GM isn't equal or objectively right for everyone and every game.
 
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Nexus

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I'd say, print out the "So What's America Like in 2020" section of the Night City sourcebook. It's four pages, but it lays out the basics of the setting about as well as anything else. And it's quite readable. Which a lot of RPG fiction struggles with.
That looks like what I'll have to do, maybe with some atmosphere notes about its kind of like a "80s/90s sci-fi movie and/or music video" lol
Bit of a PIA, but not a major one.
 
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Stevethulhu

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If that's worked well for you, great. :smile: But others mileages may vary and all that jazz. From reading the suggestions here and in various other discussion and playing the game, I've seen there are allot of play styles for it. You have to take things in light of your preferences. Every House ruling and GM isn't equal or objectively right for everyone and every game.
Me, I house ruled as little as I had to to make the game work. And I paid attention to the underlying maths.

You, you want a different game from the one in front of you. And that's fine. But don't ask for advice that you don't want.
 
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