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A cyberpunk roleplaying game about having the best stuff
This is very unapologetically 80’s cyberpunk — cybernetics rather than gene-tailoring and shit like that. All money is in Euro, and all numbers are written in European notation; one hundred thousand Euro is €100.000,00 but nobody cares about cents. Cash is good. Stuff is better.
Both participants in a conflict declare what they want. If they’re in opposition — one person wants something that would hurt, kill, or deprive another of stuff, you have a conflict.
If neither of you have tech, neither of you gets what you want. Stop being boring.
If one party has equipment with a Trait that applies to the conflict and the other doesn’t, the person who brought the gun to the knife fight wins. You bring meat, you lose. Fuck you. If you live, buy yourself better.
If both parties have equipment with appropriate Traits, each one rolls 1d6 and adds +1 per ten thousand (€10.000) Euro. You get what you pay for. Yes, if someone has an €80.000 DaCri neuro-overclocker and the other has a €10.000 Atari cortical stimulator, the Atari user loses automatically. Again, tough shit. Buy more, buy better.
If you have a piece of custom gear that would help with the situation (see “Equipment”), your kit counts as being worth €10.000 more than normal. Increase this by an additional €10.000 for each time you upgrade the customization. Yes, this could be better stated as “+1 to rolls” but fuck you this is capitalism.
When you win a conflict, you get what you want.
When you lose a conflict, you take the consequences of the other person getting what they want. You can make those consequences on you easier (but not remove them entirely) by deactivating a bit of tech. The GM decides how this works in the story, but it’s always an option if the only other choice is serious injury or death. You can’t use de-activated tech at all.
In order to re-activate tech, describe how you fix it, and spend half its value in Euro to reactivate it; full-value if it’s upgraded.
Make up a name, decide on a general personality, and a sense of what you can do — what some other games call a concept.
You have €200.000 to spend on equipment. You can’t spend more than €100.000 on any one thing. See the equipment section for how that works.
Nobody cares what your meat can do. Go sell your sorry carcass to a restaurant.
Rather than providing a specific list of shit, this is how you make stuff. Remember, you can’t spend more than €100.000 on any one piece of equipment when starting out. You can’t start out with an upgraded bit of gear. Make a name for yourself first, nobody.
When building a new piece of gear, run through the following steps:
- Determine the key information about your tech
- What is it? Cyberwear, armor, weapons, a tricked-out van?
- What brand is it?
- What model is it?
- How much did it cost?
- What Trait does it allow you to use? (see below)
- Optionally, spend €4.000 to customize your gear.
- What have you customized? Give us detail.
- How does your customization help? [Custom] makes my gear €10.000 more effective when I [Trait] in [Circumstance]
- Each piece of gear can only have up to 2 customizations per Trait.
When you get more money after a job, you can buy extra stuff because you suck at something, customize existing stuff to fit how you work, trade in existing stuff, or upgrade a piece of gear.
See the section that says “Building Equipment”? Off you go.
Again, look at how customizations work in “Building Equipment”. Same. Easy.
- Work out what you want: Build a new piece of tech. It can do the same job as the old one (have the same Trait) or something else entirely.
- Sell your old stuff: You get 90% of what your existing gear is worth when you give it up, less 10% for each time you’ve deactivated it. Halve the remainder if the gear hasn’t been repaired since last deactivation.
- Buy your new shiny-shiny.
- Determine what you’re upgrading.
- Specify how you’re upgrading it in-game. What are you doing to make it better?
- Spend spend spend.
- €10.000: Add an extra Trait.
- €5.000: Improve a customization (up to three times each).
Upgrading doesn’t increase the item’s intrinsic value by the amount you spend. If you blow €20.000 on adding an extra two Traits to a €10.000 cyberarm, that arm still only adds +1 to rolls — and is only worth €10.000 on trade-in. Also, you lose all three Traits if you have to deactivate it. Stop being sentimental and buy more stuff.
Yeah, upgraded gear can make your life a shitshow. That’s the downside to being precious. On the other hand, if you solve every problem with your 6' long
penis replacement plasma cannon you get a cost-break for customizations to do so.
Each Trait is a broad descriptor of actions that characters take in a cyberpunk story. Each has suggestions for cyberwear. You don’t have to have it as cyberwear — Detect could be a swarm of camera drones, while Fight could be a mono-edge knife. You have imagination. Use it.
- Coax: Influencing and manipulating people. Scanning micro-expressions and dumping pheromones into the air.
- Detect: Notice details and track people. Milliwave radar and cybereyes.
- Fight: Making people hurt up close. Martial arts skillwires, implanted arm-razors.
- Hack: Defeating computer-based security and interact with technology. Cyberdecks, headjacks, and magnetic palm implants
- Move: Being faster than other people. Cyberlegs, reflex stimulators.
- Prowl: Get around without people seeing you. Thermoptic camoflage, electromagnetic scramblers
- Shoot: Making people hurt from afar. Implanted submachine guns, smartgun palm-link.
- Think: Be smarter than other people. Neuro-cognitive overclockers, internet smartlink.
Playing the Game
If you don’t know how to play a roleplaying game, god help you because I sure won’t.
Stew Wilson is a writer, game designer, computational demonologist, and mathematician.
This blog covers his professional writing and game design work.
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