Cyberpunk 2077 promises to be one of the most exciting video game releases of the year, but it’s certainly not a game or setting that completely formed in 2020. Video game is more digital evolution of a franchise that has existed for decades, which have grown around a speculative fiction movement that has become popular through the sci-fi fiction of the often psychedelic and provocative new-era conventions of the 1960s, including understood the short seminal history Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K. Dick.
Subsequently, several mediums saw an explosion of exploration in cyberpunk. the Judge Dredd comic strip (1977), the film Bladerunner (1982) (based on the Dick story previously mentioned), manga like Akira (1982), and the novel Neuromancer (1984) are just a few of the basic fictions of the genre.
Partly inspired by some of these projects, designer Mike Pondsmith gave life to the first edition of the table RPG Cyberpunk in 1988, opening a dark and dystopian future world to exploration, where the characters had deeply personal patterns but a large agency to act. a street-level setting imbued with technology. Since then, the game has gone through several revisions and dozens of books and supplements.
Most importantly, these books have helped build a continuous narrative, which advances fiction through different periods and times. R. Talsorian Games from Pondsmith has been working hard on a new edition, which, among other things, connects fiction from previous editions and connects to the new video game. Most importantly, Cyberpunk Red promises to be a ton of fun, and you can already dip your toes with an introductory set.
The complete Cyberpunk Red basic rulebook should be out later this year, but if you’re looking forward to immersing yourself in the life of a cyberpunk, it’s easy to recommend the game’s Jumpstart Kit. As the name suggests, this box is an introduction to players and GMs who want to get started, but also a solid collection of ideas, characters and configuration information to offer a head start to a whole role-playing campaign.
The Jumpstart kit offers you a wide range of materials to get started
Even though it evolves through different periods, Cyberpunk is all about the collision of high technology juxtaposed with radical social change and collapse. In the new edition of TRPG, players dive into the world of 2045, after a devastating corporate war broke existing social conventions and dismantled the culture of the interconnected network. A red tinge hangs in the sky from the remains of nuclear weapons and orbital lasers. People are divided, the streets are deadly and that’s all you can do to survive.
In this context, you play as an experienced technician, who fights against the system, using smooth equipment, the threat of overwhelming weapons and the intelligences of the street to live at the limit. The game supports a fun range of roles, from assassin and ex-soldier solos to netrunners who easily hack into systems – the final basic rulebook includes nine distinct character styles, six of which you can try in the Jumpstart kit. And to get you started quickly, these character roles are represented by six pre-generated characters, each with compelling stories and dynamics that players can use to get them in the right frame of mind.
Even with all cyborg implants and the ability to plug your consciousness into computers, Cyberpunk Red also emphasizes style. Different from a number of other role-playing systems, the game system places a high value on the way you present your character. A dedicated basic statistic is called “Cool,” measuring your ability to impress when you enter a room. A character’s reputation has real effects in the game, like a hidden side, where certain duels can be decided by each individual by sizing the other, until one of you backs off or fights with a huge disadvantage. Fashion is important; Of course, players should know how to roll to attack with their cyberarm knife, but they should also know what they are wearing and how they get everyone’s attention when they enter the club. In a Cyberpunk Red game, style is a very real substance.
Of course, the Jumpstart Kit also provides plenty of fodder for getting started. A cleverly written rulebook offers a concise summary of how to test skills, engage in quick and dirty fights, and even details on the net race for characters ready to leave the real world. A dedicated world book does a great job of presenting fiction and offers both an established adventure and additional hooks so that more experienced GMs can shape themselves. Standing travelers and grid maps serve as initial battlefields. And the themed dice included mean you don’t need a separate purchase before you can hit the streets for the first time.
The intro set doesn’t have everything. The combat rules are adequate for the first sessions, but may lack the depth that some players may want, and which are undoubtedly in progress in the final corebook. Likewise, even with the beautifully designed and fictional world book, gamers and GMs will still have a lot of questions about the nature of this universe, the people who inhabit it and your options to explore. But as a starter set, the Jumpstart Kit excels at giving playgroups something to explore together. In particular, it allows players to shape the narrative and exercise of the exercise both in fiction and in the gaming session at the table.
With the Jumpstart kit, returning veterans have a chance to see how R. Talsorian Games is adapting the longtime game to a new era, both in the game and in the real world. But the real gift is here for new players, who may be particularly keen to explore the world of Cyberpunk for themselves. Either way, the cleverly explained mechanics and richly crafted framework promise a delicious departure from more familiar role-playing games. If you’re ready for that sharper, survival-oriented and elegant tone, this could be the role-playing game for you. And if you’re impatient to discover the Cybeprunk world before the release of 2077 in November, this is the perfect opportunity to get your feet wet.
Whatever your table game goals are, we have a multitude of recommendations to explore in our Top of the Table hub, including more role-playing games like Cyberpunk Red, as well as detailed looks at a range of cards, cards and miniature games. If you’re looking for the next game to bring to your table, be sure to explore these options. Or if you want a personalized recommendation, I am always at my fingertips of an e-mail to suggest items to bring during your next game night.