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Cyberpunk The Second Edition, Version 2.01
$15.00 $10.05
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Pierre S [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2018 17:35:12

Way back in 1982 or so I was moved by the film BLADE RUNNER (which you could call film noir as much as cyberpunk) and the book Neuromancer by William Gibson. The cyberpunk genre is edgy and gripping and can be summed up as, "high-tech, low morals," where heroism is relative and good people may be forced into bad situations.

R. Talsorian Games' first edition CYBERPUNK game (released in 1988) was set in 2013 (!), but the pumped-up second edition set in 2020 (and also alluding to version 2.0) is spelled CYBERPUNK In this .pdf (version 2.01), a lot of errata are corrected, but some of the artwork is from European artists which differs from the first print release.

The basic game mechanic is to roll as high as you can with what we now call an "exploding" or "cascading" d10 roll. For a given task a Difficulty Level is decided upon. Then you take a basic character Stat, add the Skill level in a skill related to that stat, and add a single d10 to see if the total equals or beats that Difficulty. If you roll a 10 on the d10, add 10 to the Stat and Skill but roll again and add that. If you roll another 10, add it to the total and roll yet again until you have anything but a 10. So there's always one chance in 10 of improved rolls, one chance in 100 of much-improved rolls, etc. This adds an appropriate amount of "critical hit" thrills. But getting a roll of 1 (on the first throw) is a failure, with a check to be made on the Fumble Table to see if there are further ill-effects.

Generate characters according to 9 futuristic character types called Roles. You not only roll stats but spend a number of points on skills appropriate to the Role, and also follow the Lifepath tables which bring out events which happened to a character -- their back-story, in other words.

The rules-mechanics are supported by a richly-detailed social setting. Society is in decay: gleaming corporate enclaves are next to squalid poverty, although the homeless may be quite well-off, their needs taken care of with technical gear, street-food and rent-a-coffins for sleep. There are extensive listings for technical gear of the near-future, but sometimes they guessed at the future wrong (cellphones are still flip-phones, newspapers are constantly updated and printed in a fax style from the newsbox, and the Soviet Union is still a thing!) The Netrunner character can hack in the Virtual Reality Internet of the future, which is represented on a two-dimensional map-grid as opposed to the "lines and nodes" system of the original edition. The hacker's attempts to break-in to steal data are shown as physical movements, but are opposed by security programs called ICE which resemble horrible fiends online. See if you can get in and out with your brain-cells intact.

A sample adventure and "screamsheets" (10 newsfax articles from the future with short adventure outlines) are also included. This is a massive 250+ page rulebook that solidly covers what you will need for the genre.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Cyberpunk The Second Edition, Version 2.01
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