Sure, there’s some sweet benefits in being a W2. Steady paycheck, funeral insurance, and a steady helping of plausible deniability. That said, when you only go into the office once a week to have a meeting with your boss in a room with a Faraday cage and get your actual marching orders from a man biosculpted like the main character of a 40 year old TV show…well, maybe corporate life wasn’t as boring as they told you.
When we last left our motley crew of inbetweeners, they had started working for Lynx, a Biotechnica-connected fixer with a taste for prestige TV and cheap beer. They had also had their first run-in of many with a party member’s past when Jacob’s ex Olga became the main subject of an intrusion op gone wrong. After delivering Lynx the good news about their smuggling tunnel, though, it was right back to work again. Biotechnica was part owner of Jayhawk Agritech through the financing deal that helped create Astropolis, and Jayhawk was trying to wriggle out from under the terms of that deal. Who was available to tighten the leash? CabbageCorp, of course.
Continue reading Adventure Log: Cyberpunk Red: CabbageCorp Part 2
“In the distant future of 2020, humanity has spread to space. A meteorite struck Earth’s northern hemisphere in 1996. The Impact caused widespread environmental damage that humanity has yet to fully recover from, but it supercharged public interest in space exploration. Around the world, new political unions began pouring money into space programs. The result is Grand Cross, an O’Neill cylinder in the Earth–Moon L5 point. It’s Earth’s gateway to the stars, a launching point for missions to Mars and beyond, and a beacon of hope for its people — but it’s in crisis.
An alliance of space-based corporations known as the Offworld Cartel has moved in. While they sell space exploration as a shared dream they strive for along with everyone else, their true aim is control of Grand Cross and, through it, the future of space settlement. As their influence spreads, so does inequality and crime. The Cartel has convinced the current government to privatize many of the systems that keep Grand Cross running, and the station is slowly falling apart. Behind the scenes, they have even more underhanded schemes running in secret. If the next election favors the Cartel, they’ll be on their way to becoming the landlords of human space.”
This is the retrofuture cyberpunk game of people fighting the unchecked greed of corporations, technocrats, and worse to save their orbital communities, Hard Wired Island by Paul “Ettin” Matijevic and Freyja Katra Erlingsdóttir!
Continue reading Hard Wired Island Review – Hard Luck Cyberpunks at Lagrange 5
Everyone knows Night City, choom. Underneath the glitz and the danger, whatta ya really got? Rent is out of control, every block is already claimed by one booster or another, and if the cops don’t knock you down on your way home Arasaka will. Why live in a city dominated by a security corp anyway? Nah, the midwest is where it’s at. Can’t afford rent? Grab a shipping container and plop it in a nearby contaminated cornfield. Don’t want the cops breathing down your neck? Get a job at the local agricorp, you’ll unlock every door in town. The beer tastes better, the vegetables are real, and there’s plenty of room for everyone. Just fly suborbital into DFW and take the 35 north until you hit Hydropolis.
Continue reading Adventure Log: Cyberpunk Red: CabbageCorp Prologue
Welcome back to System Hack in Practice! We’ve looked at rolling Cyberpunk Red back to 2020, we’ve looked at pulling Cyberpunk 2020 forward into Red. Now we’re going somewhere else entirely! Let’s put down the book with the red lettering and pick up one with a blue cover; we’re shifting wavelengths into Fate Core. The working title for this monstrosity? Cyberpunk Blue.
Continue reading System Hack in Practice: Cyberpunk Blue
Welcome back to another System Hack in Practice! Last time, we made some considerations around Cyberpunk Red, and looked at potential ways to address early complaints from Cyberpunk 2020 fans (or not). This time, we’re looking at everything the other way around: How can we take the best parts of Cyberpunk Red and bring them into our Cyberpunk 2020 game?
Continue reading System Hack In Practice: Painting Cyberpunk 2020 Red
A Solo who seems like an utter goofball until the bullets start flying, with a code of morals but a power-hungry streak behind it. A Netrunner with a massive chip on his shoulder who wants to take it out of someone else and leave this life behind. A Fixer turning friendships into profit, managing a delicate balancing act between their many (and often mutually hostile) customers. An Exec who clawed her way out of the Combat Zone, determined to get to the top. Update your Agent, check your ammo, and chip in. We’re taking a look at character creation and meeting a team of ready-to-play Edgerunners for Cyberpunk Red from R. Talsorian Games!
Continue reading Meet the Party: Cyberpunk Red
In March of 2019, I began a project with a simple premise. After having played Cyberpunk 2020 for 15 years, I wanted to create a game that took everything I loved about the system and recast it into a game designed for me and how I run games. Now, 14 months later, I’m happy to say that the first stage of this project is complete, and another set of System Hack articles is coming to a close.
Continue reading System Hack: Cyberpunk Chimera Conclusion
Cyberpunk lives and dies in the city. The vision and aesthetic that we take for granted as Cyberpunk, especially when considering Cyberpunk in the context of games, is urban, replete with neon, skyscrapers, and bustling crowds of people. Cyberpunk RPGs have leaned into the assumption of an urban setting for some time now, with Night City from Cyberpunk 2020 arguably being one of the best examples in terms of character and development. When approaching the need for a city for the Cyberpunk Chimera, I opted to take a somewhat different path forward. By writing rules for the creation of a city sandbox, my hope is that any group can find a city that sets the tone for their campaign while also making prep easier for the GM.
Continue reading System Hack: Cyberpunk Chimera Cities
We are here yet again with System Hack! Cyberpunk Chimera is a construction project that’s really gotten off the ground; all the important parts that turn a series of articles into a game have at least been sketched out or brainstormed. There are some key elements, though, that shift the focus of the game in the direction that I’m most interested in. There are two parts of the Cyberpunk genre which are often overlooked in RPG mechanics, either because they’re considered “setting elements” or because they aren’t part of what makes the genre science fiction. These are the cities and the corporations, and their centrality is just as true in games as it is in literature and film.
Continue reading System Hack: Cyberpunk Chimera Organizations
Welcome back to System Hack! Now that the real timeline has caught up with Cyberpunk 2020, it’s time to start pinning the Cyberpunk Chimera down. We have attributes and skills, we have ideas about a combat system, and there’s some hacking, some cyberware, and even some meta-mechanics. What don’t we have yet? Oh. Right. Characters.
Continue reading System Hack: Cyberpunk Chimera Character Creation