Something funny happens when you spend a lot of time reading and reviewing games. At a certain point you reflect on all the games you’ve read and all the mechanics you’ve studied, and say to yourself “I bet I could design a game”. You see it a lot over here. Site founder Seamus is the co-author of the recently released Transit: The Spaceship RPG, and newest contributor Jason wrote Blessed Engines for the Emotional Mecha Jam. There’s design chops floating around in this blogger soup, and I suppose it should be no surprise that on the tails of the first System Hack, Genesys Mecha, I’d be throwing my hat into the ring.
Cyberpunk drew deeply from the well of hard-boiled fiction, often called noir after the genre’s commanding presence in film noir of the 40s and 50s. William Gibson was directly inspired by Raymond Chandler, wearing this influence on his sleeve in the original “Sprawl” trilogy of Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive. These influences didn’t quite trickle down into the original Cyberpunk roleplaying games, though, with Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun more inspired by the techie bombast of authors like Walter Jon Williams and John Shirley, and their big guns, big hovercraft, and “fight the power” plotlines. There is a game out there designed for playing hard-boiled Cyberpunk stories, though. Technoir was originally released in 2011 after being funded on Kickstarter in June of that year. Though the game was released, the Kickstarter went fallow, leaving stretch goals undelivered and the game mostly unsupported. As of the beginning of 2019, though, this has changed. Justin Alexander, best known for his site The Alexandrian has, through Dream Machine Productions, brought Technoir back from the dead. The game is once again in print, and the undelivered stretch goal “Morenoir” has been completed and is now available. With all this activity, now is a perfect time to take a deep dive into this interesting narrative ruleset.
Last weekend, I went to my first science fiction convention ever. I know, I know, hard to believe coming from someone writing on a gaming blog. Nevertheless, Arisia 2019 was my first sci-fi con, and it certainly won’t be my last.
Style Over Substance. Attitude is Everything. Take it to the Edge. Break the Rules. I’m the Level One Wonk, and today we’re going to the hairy edge, the space between real and digital where high tech and low life mix into a dark future where it’s always raining and everyone wears their mirrorshades at night. That’s right, choombas, we’re going Cyberpunk.
A guerrilla fighter who avoids an open fight, striking from the shadows and going where he wills. A predator in the corporate boardroom who is no less dangerous when she’s faced with open combat. A scavenger and traveler with an honest face, a sly tongue, and a generous drink. A digital thief who prefers to talk with ghosts outside of the machine, with assistants of paper instead of drones. Each Meet the Party article gives you an entire group of ready-to-play adventurers (maybe even some heroes) for your gaming needs for a variety of systems and settings. It’s time to join the Shadow Folk in the dark places of Riku, below the corporate towers and among the spirits, as we Meet the Party for Blood: Path of the Shinobi from Lettuce Inn Games!
A down-on-his-luck troll who’s using his powers as an adept to turn things around. A shaman from the NAN who protects the world with spirits at his side. A victim of the Crash 2.0 who doesn’t need a ‘deck to see the Matrix anymore. A driver and a drone pilot who feels more alive when she’s one with her machines. Each Meet the Party article gives you an entire group of ready-to-play adventurers (maybe even some heroes) for your gaming needs for a variety of systems and settings. Get ready for magic made physical, spirits bound in service, technosorcery across the grid, and swarming drones (and never forget what I told you about the dragons) because we’re heading back to the Sixth World of Shadowrun 5th Edition from Catalyst Lab Games!
A middleman who knows a guy who knows a guy, but shies away from the messier parts of the business. A soldier for the mob with a body built for the job. A ‘genetically superior’ hacker with an ego you can see from space, and skills to match. A cat hybrid bartender with a shady skill set and a literally deadly mind. Each Meet the Party article gives you an entire group of ready-to-play adventurers (maybe even some heroes) for your gaming needs for a variety of systems and settings. The year is 2090, and you’re going to need more than luck, omae. You’re going to need a team. Come on, let’s Meet the Party for Interface Zero 2.0 from Gun Metal Games!
We last saw Interface Zero 2.0 with The Independents and, as promised in that article, Meet the Party now brings forth a ready-to-go team of freelancers for a game in the world of TAPs and hybrids and enhanced humanity. As The Independents mentioned IZ2.0 is a licensed Savage Worlds game, so you’ll need a copy of Savage Worlds Deluxe in order to get the most out of the characters, particularly when it comes to Edges, Hindrances, and certain powers.
Welcome back to The Independents, your source for reviews of out-of-the-box tabletop roleplaying games. The small outfits, the crazy geniuses, the little projects, the ‘Indie’ creators who are simply out to make a name for themselves and a game people can enjoy. Here at The Independents we aim to highlight some of these games, for a change of pace and a new (and great) experience!
The Tendril Access Processor, generally shortened to TAP and called Interface Zero by its creators, has allowed the people of the world to plug their brains right into the net, creating a new era of inter-connectivity complete with all-new dangers. The human genome has been molded and tweaked, leading to the creation of enhanced humans, vat-grown simulacra, and animal hybrids. Technology has allowed others to enhance themselves with augmentations, while at the same time creating full androids that can, with the right spark, think for themselves. National borders have collapsed or shifted, and the corporations have risen to power. The year is 2090. Good luck. You’ll need it.