So, what do you think has to be in a cyberpunk supplement?

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Raleel

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I've been tinkering with doing cyberpunk using Mythras. Part of this is because I like the system better than shadowrun. Part of it is because my players actually know Mythras at this point. But the question in me remains what is needed to make it work.

So, I ask you, shrine to gaming, what do you think is needed in a cyberpunk supplement? Pick your granularity, but I would appreciate high granularity at least as much as low granularity.
 

opaopajr

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First, define what cyberpunk means to you and your players. Then choose what you want to offer and have them explore in cyberpunk. System comes really far down on that list because for the most part it's just tables gew-gaws & baskets of subsystem widgets.

Amusingly enough, this procedure is the answer to just about every genre question. ;)
 

Raleel

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First, define what cyberpunk means to you and your players. Then choose what you want to offer and have them explore in cyberpunk. System comes really far down on that list because for the most part it's just tables gew-gaws & baskets of subsystem widgets.

Amusingly enough, this procedure is the answer to just about every genre question. ;)

Yes, I am pretty aware of this. This isn't a question I'm asking them, though, largely because they aren't here on a forum :smile: I'll ask them when I see them.

What do YOU want in a cyberpunk supplement? What do you expect to be there?
 

The Butcher

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My tastes are simple.
  • Tons of guns and cyberware.
  • A hacking system that's involved enough to be interesting, without dragging on, and that avoids or alleviates the "hacker/decker/netrunner problem" (one player only does all the hacking while the others sit around and watch).
  • Good worldbuilding that includes a well-defined view on just what is it that PCs do (Shadowrun does this better than CP2020 IMHO).
 

Raleel

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  • A hacking system that's involved enough to be interesting, without dragging on, and that avoids or alleviates the "hacker/decker/netrunner problem" (one player only does all the hacking while the others sit around and watch).

This always seem like a problem with time and context synchronization. If you give it high degree of synchronization with the real world, it ends up being pretty abstract - largely a skill roll, just like combat - and perhaps doesn't even make sense in the current context, or you get low degree of synchronization and you want to detail out the entire thing, which makes everyone else bored.

Perhaps encounter design that focused on hackers doing environmental manipulation, or mission design where hacking a system and eliminating a guard took about the same time (Black Seven does this - hacking is a positioning action, similar to stealth)
 

Necrozius

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Just some brainstorming:

On the hacking issue: perhaps making it so that the hacker character can do their thing while they're running around with the rest of the party.

Perhaps they can do their hacking with a mobile device of some kind, or they can interface with controls that hover in the air.

Extend their abilities to affect things in real-time: locking/unlocking doors, jamming security systems, overriding cybernetics, enhancing the other PCs cyber-gear. Depending on the technology level of the setting, perhaps they can manipulate nanotechnology that's in people's clothes, cybernetics, building structures or in the very air. Rapid 3-D printing or digital light-crafting!

Basically make them into a support role and replace "magic" with technology.
 

Raleel

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Just some brainstorming:

On the hacking issue: perhaps making it so that the hacker character can do their thing while they're running around with the rest of the party.

Perhaps they can do their hacking with a mobile device of some kind, or they can interface with controls that hover in the air.

Extend their abilities to affect things in real-time: locking/unlocking doors, jamming security systems, overriding cybernetics, enhancing the other PCs cyber-gear. Depending on the technology level of the setting, perhaps they can manipulate nanotechnology that's in people's clothes, cybernetics, building structures or in the very air. Rapid 3-D printing or digital light-crafting!

Basically make them into a support role and replace "magic" with technology.

I think all of that is cool, but ultimately, it removes cyberspace entirely from the equation. Not that is necessarily a bad thing (after all, having a character in a different perceptual context is part of what makes hacking hard), but a lot of folks like the cyberspace.

it does make me consider that cyberspace, as an entire "virtual world" construct is not very "hacker-y" at all. Maybe that's just the UI for regular folks :smile:
 

Baulderstone

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it does make me consider that cyberspace, as an entire "virtual world" construct is not very "hacker-y" at all. Maybe that's just the UI for regular folks :smile:

I've often thought that myself. I remember the extreme hostility computer geeks I knew in the '80s had towards Macs and Windows. I couldn't see them being all that into cyberspace either. I've always pictured a decker on finding himself in cyberspace immediately summoning a virtual CRT monitor and keyboard and using the CLI.

I ran a sci-fi space opera game using Savage Worlds about 10 years ago where one player wanted to have a hacker-type. I don't recall there even being cyberpunk rules out at that time. I took the approach Necrozius described, and let her use her implant to to try and hack things in the local environment. If she wanted to do a remote hack, we resolved it quickly. I can see that not working for people that want some in-depth cyberspace adventure, but it worked for us.

I suppose there is also the option of some kind of team based cyberspace action. Give everyone some kind of specialty during a cyberspace heist, just like they have one in normal combat.
 

Raleel

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yep I can completely see that. I tend to think of the hacker in term of Cortex Plus - the guy who provides assets. He controls the electronics, so he hacks the cameras to provide a Surveillance asset d8 or something.

You also mention heist, which makes me think of Leverage, which uses this model as well... the hacker is the guy who does stuff with the electronics and gear.
 

Baulderstone

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yep I can completely see that. I tend to think of the hacker in term of Cortex Plus - the guy who provides assets. He controls the electronics, so he hacks the cameras to provide a Surveillance asset d8 or something.

You also mention heist, which makes me think of Leverage, which uses this model as well... the hacker is the guy who does stuff with the electronics and gear.

The Leverage model would work well for people that don't freak out about narrative tricks in RPGs. You can work on the convention that the decker broke into the system the night before, and can accompany the party on the job, revealing the tricks he left in the system to trigger as needed.
 

opaopajr

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Yes, I am pretty aware of this. This isn't a question I'm asking them, though, largely because they aren't here on a forum :smile: I'll ask them when I see them.

What do YOU want in a cyberpunk supplement? What do you expect to be there?

If you can help me emulate Nemesis, or even just Terminator 2, at speed I am you GM bitch until our neurons fry from cybergasm. Speed, speed, speed. Tech readout fappening is nice out of the game, not during. I only want name drops, like ninja weapons in a bad 1980s ninja movie, coherency almost optional.

"That's a chukizashi, those slice through assault rifles like butter!" "Well, that mini-boss' got a Pintle-Mounted FUX RPG Launcher -- slice through that!" "Laser-guided caltrops, go!"
 

Raleel

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If you can help me emulate Nemesis, or even just Terminator 2, at speed I am you GM bitch until our neurons fry from cybergasm. Speed, speed, speed. Tech readout fappening is nice out of the game, not during. I only want name drops, like ninja weapons in a bad 1980s ninja movie, coherency almost optional.

"That's a chukizashi, those slice through assault rifles like butter!" "Well, that mini-boss' got a Pintle-Mounted FUX RPG Launcher -- slice through that!" "Laser-guided caltrops, go!"

This seems very much like flavor text, which I think I am in agreement with you on on this. I love reading tech readout things for shadowrun, but ultimately most of them are just not that different - many feel like they have a different entry just to justify having a different flavor text entry.

Myself I like the granularity presented in the firearms supplement. Pistols only really differ in their ammunition, there are a few more differences in the larger ones, but largely pretty generic. The chukizashi would have little issue slicing through any of them, as they go down with a solid hit to the weapon. Special effect of damage weapon on your hit.

Laser guided caltrops (indeed, any caltrops) are not in Mythras, but I would treat them as an abnormally effective trap - the Difficulty (aka to hit roll) of the caltrops would be based on the trap laying skill of the user, and they would get an one step easier modification. Effect would be 1d3 to a random leg location, but gaining the ability to halve movement until a first aid check was performed on the wound.

That is, unless it was the Verithon Industries Microthruster Embedded Laser Guided Drone Spikes. These I would treat as a missile weapon
 

Raleel

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Picked up the big Interface Zero 2.0 bundle to support this effort, and that we are looking at a savage worlds game. CRKrueger CRKrueger what do you think of IZ? You appear to have used or read it a bunch. I’m welcome for others opinions of course.
 

TheophilusCarter

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I love the idea of it, but I'm almost always overwhelmed by cyberpunk settings and supplements, both in terms of mechanics and setting info. So for my money, I'd want something pretty simple and stripped down, preferably that uses the existing core rules as much as possible, and only adding to it when absolutely necessary, and keeping the setting info down to a sketch, to be filled in during the course of the campaign.
 

Mankcam

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I picked up the Fate Core version of Interface Zero 2.0 at the start of this year. Looks very impressive content-wise and ticks all the boxes as far as cyberpunk settings go.
Great production quality as well - a very thick page count digest sized hardcover volume.
Looking forward to reading it when I get time!
 

Raleel

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I love the idea of it, but I'm almost always overwhelmed by cyberpunk settings and supplements, both in terms of mechanics and setting info. So for my money, I'd want something pretty simple and stripped down, preferably that uses the existing core rules as much as possible, and only adding to it when absolutely necessary, and keeping the setting info down to a sketch, to be filled in during the course of the campaign.

i'm looking at stripping the skill list down, and limiting the options a bit. I also think they tend to go a bit overboard on things. I love mythras for this, but I think that there are a good many skills that just won't come up. I'm pretty sure I can maybe drop the skill list down to mostly the standard list, with a few specialized skills, then use specializations for the professional ones - deceit (acting) for instance. Maybe just hadn out a number of 1 step increases for particular things. we'll see - there are a lot of INT based skills in professional skills.
 

Voros

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Cryptomancer is a very interesting take on hacking by an actual cybersecurity expert, very intergrated, it pretty much is the main mechanic of the game even though the setting is a fantasy/cyberpunk mashup.

I really like it but want to pick it up in hardcopy to really absorb it.
 

Edgewise

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So, I ask you, shrine to gaming, what do you think is needed in a cyberpunk supplement? Pick your granularity, but I would appreciate high granularity at least as much as low granularity.
Do you want to design a specific cyberpunk setting, or a more general toolkit with a buffet of ideas? The latter is obviously a lot more work, but it is potentially a lot more valuable.

If you go with a specific setting, I'd like to see something that diverges for generic cyberpunk. You can play it all as very high-genre and pulp, or as something a bit more realistic. The latter requires rethinking a lot of things (at this point cyberpunk is now retro-future...reminds me of The Gernsback Continuum). If you want to run it as a very 90's trenchcoat-and-katanas affair, that's not really my thing, but it may be the whole point of what you want to do.

As for granularity, what's more important than nailing everything down is to have a few details that define the essence of the world, and rules or guidelines for ginning up your own cybernetics. Just like the real cyberpunk, you can use the technological and commercial artifacts of the setting to reflect on the culture. Techno-fetishism is a must, but don't even try to be comprehensive.

The nice thing about a cybernetic setting is that things are genuinely chaotic. You can have a mad scientist vibe to technology, with basement nanite labs coming up with anything as wild and brilliant as in a government facility. I've always favored pivoting from cybernetics to the possibilities of genetic engineering because it can justify a wider and weirder array of developments.

For the same reason, there's no need to provide every detail of the fictional timeline, the countries, culture, etc. Just provide enough to give players and GMs a feeling for the setting and adventure hooks. The GMs can come up with the rest, especially if there are rules for doing so. I fall asleep reading almanacs to imaginary worlds.
it does make me consider that cyberspace, as an entire "virtual world" construct is not very "hacker-y" at all. Maybe that's just the UI for regular folks :smile:
I'd ditch "cyberspace," at least as a place that hacking or any serious computer stuff happens. Cyberspace, back when it was envisioned by William Gibson, was something poetic and abstract. It worked as an artistic conceit, but it's not realistic and it's not very gameable. People like the idea of it, but I agree with The Butcher The Butcher that it doesn't play well at the table.

If you really want cyberspace, how about allowing the entire party to participate? The hacker is just a lot better. After all, hackers pick up guns and provide support in a firefight. If other PCs could play a supplemental role in computer infiltration, that would help address the traditional cyberpunk RPG hacker problem.
 

Raleel

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Do you want to design a specific cyberpunk setting, or a more general toolkit with a buffet of ideas? The latter is obviously a lot more work, but it is potentially a lot more valuable.

This is a good question and one I had not asked t the beginning of thinking about this. Originally, it was “Shadowrun, but less mechanically ridiculous”. Since hen I’ve read about transhumanism, seen altered carbon, read several cyberpunk RPGs including every version of mainstream Shadowrun and the titular cyberpunk.

It’s interesting that I think IZ appears to actually shift more towards a complexification over savage worlds. It adds skills, adds some subsystems, etc. it falls into the gun porn thing, which I like, but also don’t like. I’ve looked at the Mythras skill list and think it should probably be cut a bit, but I still want to maintain a lot of the system.

I’ve asked myself if I really want to have non humans or androids or “sleeves” or what. I’ve asked myself what makes what I am looking for, and sometimes it comes to complex subsystems, and sometimes it comes to adventure types like heists, and how some systems do that very well. I feel like if I had heists and asset creation like Leverage, stealth missions like black seven, skill list length like savage worlds, Mythras combat on a d100 chassis, I’d be getting pretty close mechanically.
 

Baulderstone

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Since hen I’ve read about transhumanism...
That's good. I think one mistake that gets made a lot by gamers is trying to create some solid dividing line between transhumanism and cyberpunk that simply doesn't exist. I've working on a project now that involves reading early '80s science-fiction which includes some early works of cyberpunk, and cyberpunk writers really don't care about the difference.

To cite some of the pivotal works of cyberpunk, Bruce Sterling's Shaper/Mechanist stories, in which humanity has branched into cyborg and genetically engineered variants, are clearly interested in transhumanism. Neuromancer and its sequels involve the potential for transcendence through technology. Not all tranhumanist stories are cyberpunk, but a great deal of cyberpunk involves transhumanism.

Cyberpunk RPGs lost a lot of this when R. Talsorian put the Cyberpsychosis rules in Cyberpunk. It's a handy character balance mechanic, but it isn't something that is reflected in the original literature. When adding machine parts to yourself eventually leads to madness, you cut a lot of the transhumanism out of the game. Humans can merge with machines a little, but it is ultimately a brick wall dead end. It's such a handy game mechanic though that most subsequent games used some variant of it to the point that gamers who were introduced to the genre through RPGs mistakenly see it as essential to the genre.
 

Stevethulhu

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  • Good worldbuilding that includes a well-defined view on just what is it that PCs do (Shadowrun does this better than CP2020 IMHO).
Gotta say, after reading the article Hitler was a Rockerboy, I can't disagree more about this. Rockerboy, the book with that article in, plus Wild Side, Neo Tribes, Solo of Fortune 2 and Home of the Brave give what feels to me a much more organically diverse world than Shadowrun felt like. 2020 could handle Mad Max, Terminator, Strange Days and just about any other style of Cyberpunk. Though it did tend to favour the movie based cinematic style, it could handle more cerebral and literary approaches with aplomb.

Hardwired and When Gravity Fails had supplements. One written by the author of the book in question. Sprawl Trilogy visuals and style were baked in. As were items of equipment drawn from RoboCop, Aliens, Mad Max and so many more sources. Anime and movies were plundered for all sorts of concepts.

For my money, 2020 Cyberpunk had a more complete world. And a half decent Cyberpunk game needs to be able to handle a wide array of characters and genre influences.

So draw up a list of your 10 Most Important Influences. Then write down the three things in each influence that, for you, define what is Cyberpunk. That will give you 30 points to use to draw on to create your setting and/or game.
 

The Butcher

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Gotta say, after reading the article Hitler was a Rockerboy, I can't disagree more about this. Rockerboy, the book with that article in, plus Wild Side, Neo Tribes, Solo of Fortune 2 and Home of the Brave give what feels to me a much more organically diverse world than Shadowrun felt like. 2020 could handle Mad Max, Terminator, Strange Days and just about any other style of Cyberpunk. Though it did tend to favour the movie based cinematic style, it could handle more cerebral and literary approaches with aplomb.

Hardwired and When Gravity Fails had supplements. One written by the author of the book in question. Sprawl Trilogy visuals and style were baked in. As were items of equipment drawn from RoboCop, Aliens, Mad Max and so many more sources. Anime and movies were plundered for all sorts of concepts.

For my money, 2020 Cyberpunk had a more complete world. And a half decent Cyberpunk game needs to be able to handle a wide array of characters and genre influences.

So draw up a list of your 10 Most Important Influences. Then write down the three things in each influence that, for you, define what is Cyberpunk. That will give you 30 points to use to draw on to create your setting and/or game.

Never having been very much into either game I'll happily concede the point.
 

Raleel

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Re: hacking - it’s funny, because I agree that the whole virtual reality cyberspace conceit is sort of silly. On the other hand, I feel pretty smart for thinking to myself that it looks like mythras’ animism. So there is a certain amount of self aggrandized interest there. But I feel like as much as I like that, it’s too complex and should be dropped.

Re: cyberpsychosis - yea. I am pretty sure it’s a side bar in the whole thing. Like I might work up rules for it, but ultimately I think they don’t make sense and don’t reflect any reality. I don’t feel a need to balance things like that.
 

Voros

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Interestingly one of the first ‘cyberspace’ stories is Vernor Vinge’s True Names novella where he portrays cyberspace (a term he doesn’t actually use) as a fantasy MUD or MMORPG.
 

Baulderstone

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Never having been very much into either game I'll happily concede the point.
This kind of behavior is the reason that being a mod here is generally so dull.

I agree with elements of both your statement. Shadowrun did "provide a well-defined view on just what the PCs do." At least in the first edition, the only one I owned, you played mercenaries doing jobs for corporations that would screw you over at the end. Repeat in each adventure. That's a very focused view.

I also agree with everything Stevethulhu Stevethulhu says about why Cyberpunk 2020 was a more interesting setting to me.

Re: hacking - it’s funny, because I agree that the whole virtual reality cyberspace conceit is sort of silly. On the other hand, I feel pretty smart for thinking to myself that it looks like mythras’ animism. So there is a certain amount of self aggrandized interest there. But I feel like as much as I like that, it’s too complex and should be dropped.

You are definitely onto something that is deliberate in cyberspace. Count Zero, the sequel to Neuromancer, has voodoo practitioners interacting with AIs that were released at the end of the first book. Gibson was deliberately using cyberspace as a kind of manufactured spirit realm.

That brings up one of my pet peeves with Shadowrun. It had cyberspace, and it also added an actual Astral Plane. It's adding something that is already symbolically represented in the setting. It's like an RPG modelling itself on Star Wars, keeping the Empire, but also adding literal members of the Nazi Party as another power in the setting co-existing with The Empire.

Anyway, your idea is cool, but if you can't find away to execute it quickly and cleanly at the table, I guess you are right to kill it.
 

Raleel

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This kind of behavior is the reason that being a mod here is generally so dull.

I imagine being a mod here is quite dull.

You are definitely onto something that is deliberate in cyberspace. Count Zero, the sequel to Neuromancer, has voodoo practitioners interacting with AIs that were released at the end of the first book. Gibson was deliberately using cyberspace as a kind of manufactured spirit realm.

That brings up one of my pet peeves with Shadowrun. It had cyberspace, and it also added an actual Astral Plane. It's adding something that is already symbolically represented in the setting. It's like an RPG modelling itself on Star Wars, keeping the Empire, but also adding literal members of the Nazi Party as another power in the setting co-existing with The Empire.

Anyway, your idea is cool, but if you can't find away to execute it quickly and cleanly at the table, I guess you are right to kill it.

see, now this makes me want to do it MORE. I will need to go back and re-read Neuromancer and Count Zero I think. A manufactured spirit realm would be very cool, actually. Then you could easily say "look, this is going to cause you an issue if you separate the party" and start working towards ways to make it work in the real world context. The whole ancestor spirit Sagacity thing is a good thing here - it's very close to a skill chip, but with a spirit instead.
 

Edgewise

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see, now this makes me want to do it MORE. I will need to go back and re-read Neuromancer and Count Zero I think. A manufactured spirit realm would be very cool, actually.
I like some of the headier type of cyberpunk where the nature of the virtual reality is not so cut and dry. Actually, like you guys are saying, Gibson's cyberspace wasn't an experience at all like being in the real world; I remember descriptions of exploding geometries, impossible fractals, stuff like that. Not chromed-out laser samurai.

A fair amount of cyberpunk has dealt with shared virtual realities as quasi-spiritual media. Gibson definitely baked that in from the start. It's very explicit in works like Jeff Noon's Vurt. I remember a novel by Bruce Sterling called Holy Fire where an art collective designs a virtual reality to...well, I have to read that one again. It was kind of hazy, had something to do with ascending to a kind of godhood.

Anyway, what if cyberspace is, for whatever reason, a place that one can interact with AIs? You can set this in something like a post-Neuromancer world, where an AI has merged with the fabric of the internet and fragmented in a pantheon of personas. These personas are not entirely sane by human standards, but they can accomplish strange insights that are not unlike psychic powers. There might even be cybernetic brain mods that allow you to merge your consciousness with one of these AIs, borrowing some of its abilities (and personality).

Those whose talents lie in this area would be more like shamans than hackers. In fact, there would probably also be traditional hackers with more typical skills and equipment for computer infiltration.

The strange insights of AIs might be driving a kind of technological singularity. Although they can't be relied upon for traditional research, sometimes they can spit out designs for technology that nobody can explain, least of all themselves. This could be very disruptive - ever read BLIT? There would probably be a lot of attempts to restrict interaction with AI personas but it's a Pandora's Box situation. Illegal street clinics could be inventing new enhancements and designer drugs on a daily basis. The technology could be gonzo or even surreal.

I'm not trying to tell you what to write. It's just that you and Baulderstone Baulderstone have the wheels turning in my head and I'm spitballing. Feel free to ignore some or all of it.
 

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I had occasion while working on Cyberblues City to try to figure out what it is I wanted from "Cyberpunk". I am not sure how much this will be but in a nutshell these were my personal conclusions.

I didn't want nostalgia, the same old 80s tropes just with updated tech. That vision of cyberpunk has had its time for me.

I wasn't going to try to emulate faithfully the classic literature either. I enjoy a good cyberpunk story as much as the next guy, but what I may enjoy reading doesn't always map to what I want to play.

I didn't want to include pages and pages of gear because I just don't gear. The game should be about the characters, not the character's possessions.

In all honesty, rather than true Cyberpunk, what I was reaching for would probably more aptly be called "near future action/adventure". It may be set against a dystoptian background, but I wanted the emphasis to be clearly on the action/adventure. That realisation was quite liberating. It also prompted me, in jest, to call the game Cyberblues rather that Cyperpunk.

That said the dystopian element is still important to set the tone. But I find that the gritty look of the movies Elysium or Ready Player One are a much more modern vision of dystopian and inequality that then stylish Blade Runner look. I mean if the dystopia still manages to look really cool, how dystopic can it really be?
 

CRKrueger

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Never having been very much into either game I'll happily concede the point.
Why would you concede a point when it's simple fact? :wink:

In one book, Cyberpunk 2020 gave you a ton of archetypes that had nothing really to do with 'shadowrunning", although many did.
In the Shadowrun main book, you were a Shadowrunner. A GM worth anything could come up with other options using the rules but that wasn't the RAW mode of play.

Saying that Shadowrun gave you a more focused campaign setup than Cyberpunk 2020 is like saying Shadowrun had elves and CP2020 didn't.

In the end, though, both lines eventually gave you dozens of splatbooks fleshing out every possible alternate campaign setup you could think of.
 

CRKrueger

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Shadowrun did "provide a well-defined view on just what the PCs do." At least in the first edition, the only one I owned, you played mercenaries doing jobs for corporations that would screw you over at the end. Repeat in each adventure. That's a very focused view.
As far as "screw you over at the end. Repeat in each adventure" it's also simply not correct. It's one of those "common wisdom" things that's just ridiculously overblown. But Shadowrunning, yeah, that was the default mode of play, no doubt.

That brings up one of my pet peeves with Shadowrun. It had cyberspace, and it also added an actual Astral Plane. It's adding something that is already symbolically represented in the setting. It's like an RPG modelling itself on Star Wars, keeping the Empire, but also adding literal members of the Nazi Party as another power in the setting co-existing with The Empire.
Unfortunately, Shadowrun couldn't make Cyberspace the Astral Plane because the Astral Plane existed for at least tens of thousands of years through the previous 5 worlds, the predominant one being Earthdawn. FASA was moving towards a merging of technology and magic, with the Deep Resonance perhaps being an emergent new Passion and sprites in the Matrix actually being spirits with Cyberspace being a new Metaplane.

But with the original authors gone, anything interesting about the setting has been dropped for newer, inferior metaplots.
 

Raleel

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This all is making me think what I want is a book to highlight a few things, and mostly screw setting. Chapter on running a “Shadowrun” or other stealth focused op. Chapter on cybernetics. Chapter on Netrunning. Maybe a couple more. Maybe a discussion about gun porn.

Getting a copy of neuromancer and count zero from a friend for the reading again. It’s been a long long time.
 

CRKrueger

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This all is making me think what I want is a book to highlight a few things, and mostly screw setting. Chapter on running a “Shadowrun” or other stealth focused op. Chapter on cybernetics. Chapter on Netrunning. Maybe a couple more. Maybe a discussion about gun porn.

Getting a copy of neuromancer and count zero from a friend for the reading again. It’s been a long long time.
That depends on whether you want to do some kind of narrative game where "we are playing under CyberPunk tropes and themes" and the actual setting doesn't matter much because the players will help create it and it's just a gestalt for the purposes of storytelling a mirrorshades-like.

If you're looking for a more IC RP experience, then setting matters because while CP2020 and Shadowrun and even IZ have similarities, they also have differences in the societies and the technologies that are informed by the setting and transform the setting. This is going to affect PCs in how they interact with the setting in nearly every way worth exploring in a long-term campaign.
 

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That depends on whether you want to do some kind of narrative game where "we are playing under CyberPunk tropes and themes" and the actual setting doesn't matter much because the players will help create it and it's just a gestalt for the purposes of storytelling a mirrorshades-like.
It could also be a toolkit or supplement. It sounds like he's going one of those ways to me.
 

Baulderstone

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As far as "screw you over at the end. Repeat in each adventure" it's also simply not correct. It's one of those "common wisdom" things that's just ridiculously overblown. But Shadowrunning, yeah, that was the default mode of play, no doubt.

It's not a "common wisdom" thing. It's the actual adventure design advice from the 1st edition core book. It was pretty explicit about the adventure structure to use.

Unfortunately, Shadowrun couldn't make Cyberspace the Astral Plane because the Astral Plane existed for at least tens of thousands of years through the previous 5 worlds, the predominant one being Earthdawn.

Earthdawn came out four years after Shadowrun. The designers of Shadowrun weren't beholden to the canon of a game that didn't exist yet.
 

Black Leaf

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My tastes are simple.
  • Tons of guns and cyberware.
While I agree you need lots of guns, what really makes a cyberpunk list of equipment for me is the "flavour" equipment and cyberware.

I couldn't tell you the name of any guns in Cyberpunk2020. I do remember the existence of the Mr Stud implant and the fact you can bodysculpt yourself to look like a shark.
 

CRKrueger

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It's not a "common wisdom" thing. It's the actual adventure design advice from the 1st edition core book. It was pretty explicit about the adventure structure to use.
I believe that's what you remember. However, you didn't read it Shadowrun First Edition, I can guarantee you. I have it sitting on my shelf and there's nothing even remotely close to suggesting that the adventure structure should have the Fixer/Johnson betray the runners as a typical adventure design goal.

I can send you a pdf of it if you would like to refresh your memory.

Earthdawn came out four years after Shadowrun. The designers of Shadowrun weren't beholden to the canon of a game that didn't exist yet.
Weisman wanted to make a CyberPunk game, but since Cyberpunk 2020 came out first, he thought he needed something different. The idea of the Mayan long count calendar is what led to Shadowrun and the idea of the cosmology and the 6 worlds was in place before Shadowrun was published let alone Earthdawn. The idea of the Astral Plane and Metaplanes was in place before Earthdawn as well.
 

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CRK, what's your in-game reasoning (and player reassurance) that Johnson betrays are uncommon?
 

CRKrueger

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While I agree you need lots of guns, what really makes a cyberpunk list of equipment for me is the "flavour" equipment and cyberware.

I couldn't tell you the name of any guns in Cyberpunk2020. I do remember the existence of the Mr Stud implant and the fact you can bodysculpt yourself to look like a shark.
Hmm.
Colt 2020/Colt 2000?
Malourian Arms 5000
Arisaka AWA
Militech Hornet
Militech Bulldog
Of course the Militech Crusher (the gun the Max-Tac guy has pointed at the cyber-chick in the 2077 video)
That's all I can remember of CP2020 guns at 1am. I have forgotten my father's face. :tongue:
 

CRKrueger

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CRK, what's your in-game reasoning (and player reassurance) that Johnson betrays are uncommon?
Reputation. Sure, you might have a corporate guy who is funding his own black ops completely off the books to try and cover up a major fuckup, or screw his boss or a major rival, so getting rid of all the evidence is certainly possible, but a team working with someone they've never worked with before should be checking that person out six ways from Sunday.

Besides, in Shadowrun the biggest corporations have extra-territoriality. Even if a runner's caught and spills the beans, there is little law enforcement can do against a AAA corporate citizen, they'll just get funneled to an arcology in a different country and that's it. There's not the same impetus to cover things up.

Basically as the stakes get higher, into the range where killing everyone becomes more attractive, the team you're hiring is more professional and skilled, and the cost-benefit analysis of risking them not spilling the beans is very different.

Plus, if you get a reputation for offing Shadowrunners, well, you're not going to be in the position to hire good Shadowrunners for very long. You're going to get stuck with gutter-punks, and good luck getting anything decent done with expendable assets then.

Is it going to be something you are on guard against? Sure, both sides will. But if you assume an actual Shadow Society that works as deniable assets that corporations use against each other. That society has to have some rules and standards of behavior higher than that of the worst of Organized Crime.

Sometimes, you get a hold of something so hot that there's really no one who won't kill you for it - perhaps even your teammates, but that's not common.
 
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