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Zaibatsu is a cyberpunk roleplaying game based on the Cepheus Engine and other Classic 2D6 SF RPGs.

As the street soldiers of the world’s most powerful corporations (the Japanese zaibatsu) you become expendable and deniable employees fighting for profits, power and your lives. You’ve been recruited from the dark and murky Japanese underworld to carry out illegal terrorist activities on behalf of that employer and have one foot in the stylish corporate-minded boardrooms of the zaibatsu, and one foot in the filth and squalor of the criminal underworld.

Hired by duty-bound executives who must at all times remain respectable, the player characters are modern street samurai, urban warriors doing the disreputable things that no corporate executive could ever admit to. All set in a William Gibson-inspired futureworld: Tokyo gone global. Tokyo. The world’s capital, largest, most high-tech, most happening city on Earth.

Zaibatsu is a return to the early days of cyberpunk, when William Gibson’s Neuromancer was new and fresh, and when Japan looked to become the centre of a new, high-tech dystopian future. Altered Carbon, Bladerunner 2049 … cyberpunk is not going away...

In this game you will find:

  • Quick creation character generation, based on 16 Concepts.
  • Fast-play combat rules for intense, explosive firefights in an urban environment.
  • Advice on creating the perfect cyberpunk story.
  • Lots of technology – but as the early cyberpunks predicted it; no wi-fi and no cellphones.
  • Retrogenics – not cybernetics. The biotech corps have perfected retroactive DNA modification.
  • Innovative cyberspace hacking rules use a real deck - of playing cards - for super-fast computer system penetration. A breeze to use and available to any player character. 
  • Total immersion into 23rd century Tokyo. What to eat, where to shop, how to swear… it’s all here.
  • Maps and plans and plenty of them.
  • 6 fully-detailed missions, forming a story arc.
  • Fast character progression in rank, skills, money and status through the earning of promotion points.
  • Zaibatsu sits within Zozer Games’ HOSTILE setting and is compatible with that book (please note that part of the Technology chapter has been duplicated from HOSTILE).
  • Full colour throughout!

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Reviews (4)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Mark J April 12, 2018 4:09 pm UTC
Hello! Regarding the other skills table on page 24, is it supposed to read: 10-15, 4 skills, 7-9, 3 skills, 4-6 2 skills, 2-3 1 skill?
Customer avatar
Paul E April 14, 2018 5:15 pm UTC
It is! It is! Well spotted, thank you! And I'm really glad you like the setting and the book.
Customer avatar
Jeff M March 02, 2018 8:42 pm UTC
hello, have a question : Do you plan to do a lot of supplement books (new ''class'' new gears), source books (lore and background) or the core rule could be enough to play occasionnaly ?
Customer avatar
Paul E March 03, 2018 7:52 am UTC
Rather than add-on more books to Zaibatsu, I designed for it to be stand alone, and really, a referee can use many, many, different cyberpunk resources and supplements with it, for example the wonderful Augmented Reality add-on, on DriveThruRPG. Instead I will continue to add to the gritty, retro-SF setting behind Zaibatsu and HOSTILE. New setting books (not specifically for Zaibatsu) will be released throughout Spring and Summer.
Customer avatar
Jeff M March 03, 2018 8:57 am UTC
Thanks a lot for your answer, i might check it soon, and adding hostile for layer.
Customer avatar
Jeff M March 30, 2018 12:05 am UTC
Hello again

I got an other question, do you plan to make an addon on more retrogenics, like claw fingers ?

from what i saw with the game, some part really reminds me Syndicate (not the FPS "reboot") and Salelite Reign with less cyber augmentations as the retrogenics remplace them.
Customer avatar
Kevin G February 26, 2018 8:13 pm UTC
Page 6: "Tokyo 2225 AD"

It's a picture of Hong Kong, lol.
Customer avatar
Paul E February 27, 2018 5:53 pm UTC
Yeah, quite right! I was in Hong Kong last April, too. Its the composition of that image - I love though, with the mid-level mist rolling around those night-time skyscrapers ... it's a real life image to rival the opening shots of Bladerunner 1982.
Customer avatar
Kevin G March 01, 2018 4:06 pm UTC
Yeah, I actually literally just got back from HK on Sunday and just thought it was funny (probably the jet lag)

It's definitely the epitome of cyberpunk and the shot you picked is nice and dramatic.
Customer avatar
Paul E March 03, 2018 7:54 am UTC
Although, the night-time lightshow as seen from the water was not as spectacular as I'd hoped, I was expecting Los Angeles 2019, but it was more of a few running lights and searchlights! Still - I absolutely loved Hong Kong ...
Customer avatar
Michael T March 25, 2018 5:08 am UTC
Drop me a line if you're ever in town again, Paul! Would love to meet up in The Real.
Customer avatar
Alan B February 26, 2018 12:01 am UTC
PoD still coming?
Customer avatar
Paul E February 27, 2018 5:51 pm UTC
POD is on Lulu for the foreseeable future, and is available now.
Customer avatar
Dmitrii P February 25, 2018 10:23 am UTC
Big fan of the original game (yes, the one that's still available on angelfire).
Some implicitly referenced rules are missing - e.g., taking damage and recovery. Those can be looked up in Cepheus SRD.
There's some inconsistencty in terms used (such as flechette/beehive, bullpup rifle/assault weapon).
Anyway, I'm glad to see this gem of oldschool cyberpunk role-playing in the new casing.
Customer avatar
Paul E February 25, 2018 3:54 pm UTC
Thanks Dmitri, yes the old 1994 version is still up there on those ancient sites... would you mind posting the page number for that 'taking damage' reference...? Or do you mean I've missed a section from Cepheus Emgine that explains about taking damage?
Customer avatar
Dmitrii P February 25, 2018 5:37 pm UTC
> Or do you mean I've missed a section from Cepheus Emgine that explains about taking damage?

Oops, I'm wrong. Everything is where it should be. Somehow missed that section.
Thanks again.

Customer avatar
Paul E February 27, 2018 5:50 pm UTC
cool...that's great, it wouldn't be the first time I've forgotten to add something in, though.
Customer avatar
Warren E February 24, 2018 1:09 pm UTC
If you're purchasing this from another country, like say the US, do foreign credit cards work? Because it's listed as £9.30, which would be $12.99 in US dollars.

I'm wondering how the transaction works since I live in the US and the price is in British pounds.
Customer avatar
Paul E February 24, 2018 3:06 pm UTC
I believe they do, add to cart and have a go, it should list all the cards it accepts, and will carry out the transaction. I pay in UK pounds, for example, when I'm buying books in dollars and Drivethru does the currency conversion. It should not be a problem.
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File Last Updated:
May 23, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on February 23, 2018.
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