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Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Loxbourne posted:

You're right, taking down Stone with a posse of all the people he's hurt over the years (and a few ghosts) would be a superb way to run that fight and a pretty drat good finale to a campaign, too.

I presume the adventure doesn't provide a way to cover what happens if the PCs and their allies notice the way every time one of them dies their soul manifests and is pulled screaming into the Earth, and thinks to, oh I dunno, look underground for soul-trapping shenanigans?

This is a shame, because holding the souls of their fallen friends would be an excellent reason to have the PCs chase after Stone. Deadlands is lousy with soul-trapping and soul-powered gizmos but somehow the only person to think of using this to help dead friends and loved ones is Helstromme.

Errrr...no. I don't know if the PCs are supposed to be Heroic rank at this point when a Harrowed hero can get Ghost and investigate themselves.

Related: I discovered that someone back in 2017 tried to do an F&F of Stone and a Hard Place. They got in 2 posts, but I found it heartening to know that I'm not alone in my contempt for this adventure.

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SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fWH5jw8JJ0

Part 1: The Dark Future (hold the grim)

My cousin introduced me to Cyberpunk 2020 when I was 12. I only played it a few times, but between then and leaving for college I collected a lot of Cyberpunk books. The big attraction was the gear porn - seeing all the guns, cyberwear, and cyberdecks. (what’s a cyberdeck? We’ll get to that). I loved reading about how great each thing was, and I loved making characters that would use them and picturing that character with that equipment. I didn’t follow the character creation rules admittedly - I wanted that Dragoon now, and drat the cost, whether Euros or Humanity! Basically, it was a weird form of fanfiction for me.

It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at the core books or its supplements. Time to see what I remember, what I’ve forgotten, what I never realized, and decide how it all holds together



One of CP2020’s selling points was the art and in setting quotes did a lot to convey the setting. The quotes were colorful, but they never went so overboard with in-setting slang that you couldn't follow what was happening. The art and quote on the cover let you know right away what this game is about. This was the RPG for playing William Gibson’s Neuromancer. But it was also the game to play Escape From New York. And Blade Runner, Robocop, The Warriors, The Running Man, etc. Or just anything from Canon Films. Also all their Italian knockoffs. Basically if you can name a 80’s movie set in the Dystopian Future, CP2020 tried to make room for it.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part is the rules, how to create characters and run the game. One thing I like is that it gives just enough details about the world that you won’t feel lost, but doesn’t bog down on exact details. Those details are in the back of the book, along with advice for running the game, a sample adventure, and a layout of Night City, the presumed home base for the PCs.

So cracking open part on-


“Come play Cyberpunk, m’Cyberlod”

Oh that’s probably another reason why liked this game...

*ahem* our first chapter is titled “Soul and the New Machine”. The book gets right to the point of who Cyberpunk characters are and what they should be attempting to accomplish. Basically in the future of 2020, everything is hosed, and your character’s goal, whether it’s out of romantic idealism or as an side-product of just trying to survive, is to unfuck it. One thing I think that separates CP2020 from other nineties RPGs is that there’s an emphasis that success is possible. Sure the odds are stacked against you, but it can be done. Because as said earlier, this RPG is inspired by eighties action movies, and while a few of those had downer endings, more often they ended like this: https://youtu.be/AdxqkZc1tcY?t=250

CP2020 gives three tips to how you should roleplay your character. 1: Style of Substance, i.e. you need to look cool. How does this matter with a TTRPG that’s narratively driven, I’m not sure. I assume if someone’s agreed to play this game, they’re on board with their character looking the part. I don’t remember there being any rules or benefits for following fashion trends. 2: Attitude is Everything. This is gonzo 80s action, act like every Emilo Estevez character ever. Okay that’s more concrete. 3: Live on the Edge. This isn’t a game for being cautious, but for raising hell. I think most players will lean towards that, but good to have it out there. The last point is interesting because up until this paragraph your character was just a character, but here you are literally called a Cyberpunk. Which, while a little disjointed for some of the roles available, I honestly think is a nice touch.

The first part also has a running sidebar giving an in-universe quick and dirty history of the setting from 1987 to 2020, what the world is like, and how Cyberpunks fit in. While nice, it doesn’t do quite as good a job explaining the setting as the roles. The roles are the equivalent to your class. Each role has a suite of skills that most of their starting skill points will be spent in, plus a skill unique to that character. We get a quick introduction to each class, and then we get a full page description of each followed by an illustration. It’s these descriptions that fill out the world of Cyberpunk: what it’s like, what each role is trying to do, and what he or she can expect to go up against.

Before we get to the roles, I want to point out a note from “Maximum” Mike Pondsmith explaining that this is the second printing of CP2020, which means a few rules clarifications and lots of new art. A lot of that new art is front and center in the role section. Also, these roles are not presented in alphabetical order. My guess is the order is what concepts did R.Talsorian come up with first.

I’ll give CP2020 book this: it comes out of the gate with a bang, because the first role you’re presented with is the Rockerboy. Not only can you play a rock musician in this game, but your going to use Rock music to change the world! This is the power fantasy of every teen growing up on MTV. Just having Rockerboys existing tells a lot about the Cyberpunk setting. Rockerboys sound awesome in theory. The issue comes with how it fits in game. We get a brief description of the Rockerboy’s special ability: Charismatic Leadership: “This skill allows the Rocker to sway crowds equal to his ability level squared, times 200.” We’ll get to the issues when we get to the skill section.

By the way, reading this in pdf form proved to be interesting as it’s our introduction to the new art, and so I’m seeing this one page at a time rather than split page in the book. So I start by seeing this nice headshot of a Rockergirl.


And then I’m reminded of this piece of art

:nws:https://imgur.com/VLSq6oT:nws:
:catstare:

80s Actor/Actress to play Rockerboy: Ally Sheedy

If the Rockerboy is Cyberpunk’s soul, then the Solo is it’s big, swinging dick. This is who you play as to be peak murderhobo action hero. Violence is the answer to all your problems, and the game backs you up pretty well. Solo easily has the best Special Ability: Combat Senses. This skill is added to all of your Initiative and Awareness rolls. The Solo gets more supplement support than every other class, thanks to the power creep in guns and cybernetics.



80s Actor/Actress to play Solo: Billy Duke

Along with the Rockerboy and Solo, the Netrunner role is important to how CP2020 is envisioned, as well as what it’s core problems are. The Netrunner is a hacker who plugs her head directly into the internet and commits cybercrimes. In practice, this meant you had your own mini-dungeon that you played in - complete with entirely separate rules from the rest of the game - while everyone else waited for you to finish. Their Special Ability, Interface acts as your main stat for doing anything important on the internet. No other role gets it, so no one else can really do anything in this section of the game.



80s Actor/Actress to play Netrunner: Merritt Butrick

For better or worse Rockerboys, Solos, and Netrunners are the core of what Cyberpunk is trying to be. The other six roles fill out the cast with varying degrees of appropriateness. Some probably deserve a spot right next to our main trio. Others, not so much.

Next time: Cyber-Docs! Cyber-News! Cyber-Cops! Cyber-Busey!

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 03:21 on Feb 16, 2019

DNA Cowboys
Feb 22, 2012

BOYS I KNOW


Libertad! posted:

Death Valley itself is at Fear level 5 and already one step away from being a Deadland. In addition to deadly heat and creepy salt formations at its lowest basin, it has manifestations of the party’s collective worst nightmares...and Pogo Joe!

If I ran this adventure for my players, there's no way they wouldn't make the next several sessions all about Pogo Joe.

Libertad! posted:

One thing I’m confused over is how this squares up with the Deadlands timeline and metaplot. On the one hand, this adventure hints and spells out in the final Plot Point that a PC loss will cause Stone to virtually ensure Hell on Earth. Given that going back in time via a Reckoner-created portal is a one-time thing, I’d presume that winning this adventure averts Deadlands’ post-apocalyptic future.

However…

I cannot recall where, but the writers stated that this was the default metaplot timeline, and the survival of a resurrected Young Stone points to this. But in that case, that would mean that this adventure was all for naught. Not only is the very person they sought to avenge Earps’ and Holliday’s deaths on is revived and walking, the Hell on Earth that Old Stone wanted to jumpstart will still come eventually in 2081. This plot point’s resolution and time travel shenanigans leave me confused more than anything.

If the PCs kill Old Stone it means a lot of heroes will be dead (because of the sidebar killings), but Young Stone is down a gun and a hand -- and there's at least one posse of Legendary-level heroes who've killed their Diablos, know Young Stone's weaknesses, and have powerful friends. I have no idea what was meant to happen, but it looks like the future could go either way.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



SirPhoebos posted:

So cracking open part on-


“Come play Cyberpunk, m’Cyberlod”

Oh man, this review is already going places.

I'm also glad it's the Studio Straelibre version, with all it's knock-off anime work from early Paolo Parente. Expect lots of cyberbooty, chummer/chombata/gato.

Also, while Bill Duke is a good suggestion, I'm think more Sy Richardson, especially as Lite in Repo Man and his "song" off the soundtrack.

danwon
Aug 19, 2015



Libertad! posted:

Wages o’ Death: This is the over Savage Tale I like besides Aces Low. A mine near Potential is burning out of control from a gas explosion, and the only way to cap the mine on such short notice is a shipment of wagons full of nitroglycerin! Due to the dangers involved a mining company’s offering drivers $1,000 each per wagon delivered. This is a two-day race across the Wild Southwest at a brisk pace, and the dangers include extreme winds, flash floods, and vengeful people denied the job who seek to kill and replace the drivers! And yes, failing a Driving roll will result in a huge explosion in a 25 hex (50 yard) radius!

Wow, that's basically a summary of the plot of the French movie The Wages of Fear. One of the tensest movies I've ever seen in my life. It's fantastic and I can see why they were inspired by it, but they barely even bothered to change the name.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



danwon posted:

Wow, that's basically a summary of the plot of the French movie The Wages of Fear. One of the tensest movies I've ever seen in my life. It's fantastic and I can see why they were inspired by it, but they barely even bothered to change the name.

I noticed as well. I'm more particular to William Friedkin's Sorceror myself.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

So after finishing the entire Reckoner Series, I figured that I'd rank them best to worst.



Why It's #1: The only Plot Point Campaign where the PCs kill off a Servitor as the default. Strikes a good balance between open-world sandbox and a linear plot. Cool setting with a variety of locations and adventures to keep things fresh. Has an engaging way of providing sidequests to players via a Help Wanted section of a newspaper. Glyph hunting quest is a great excuse to explore California. Grimme's cult is a great evil organization which is active in the area and a wide variety of other villainous individuals and organizations.



Why It's #2: Steampunk Mormon nation makes for a novel setting. Does a good job at emulating a "spy games" feel in mechanics and overall plot structure. Besides Hellstromme there are no "unkillable NPCs" in most of the main quests, allowing for varying means of resolution. Allowance for more mercenary-minded characters to gain material rewards, and lots of 'em too. Villain's major plot is gradually revealed and not infodumped on the players. Suicide forest in hell's cringey, but there's implications it is from the Reckoners' machinations rather than God's punishment.



Why It's #3: Conflicting design goals between encouraging Native American autonomy vs more general "war is Hell" where nobody wins. Lots of material and adventures, but wasted opportunities abound. BBEG never makes a personal appearance in the default campaign and his organization's too generic and light on detail as to their ultimate goals in comparison to the others. Bravely attempts to handle racial tensions in a supposedly "colorblind" setting, but presumes the PCs are white by having Robert E. Lee show up as an honorable ancestor to fight alongside them. Ghost Dance Movement is a major factor in the story, but hardly interacts with the PCs. Adventure is not very warlike and building a "leadership" focused PC is suboptimal.



Why It's #4: Too many high-powered DMPCs, inevitable failure in adventure goals is a prerequisite in several places to move the plot forward. The main antagonist has a more personal vendetta with the PCs, but showing up 5 times in combat results in Villain Decay. Overall setting is classic Spaghetti Western but has the fewest variety in factions and location variety. Roughly half the sidequests are boring singular encounters. Time travel and temporal clone shenanigans feel out of place. Antagonist is one-dimensional in comparison to the other Plot Points. Rationalizing of child abuse via "being born bad" is IMO the cringiest of the unfortunate implications in the Reckoner Series.



Also, it's probably going to be a while from now, but what Deadlands books would you like to see me review next?



Coffin Rock: A short open-ended 32 page adventure for Reloaded. I ran it for 3 different gaming groups, and is a great introductory adventure to the setting.



Back East: the South: One of the two books dedicated America east of the Mississippi, this book's notable for being written by a Neo-Confederate. Let's see how deep this Lost Cause rabbit hole goes!



Back East: the North: The Union counterpart to the above. Has a different author.



Deadlands Trail Guides: Setting expansions and adventure arcs in Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska/British Columbia for Reloaded.



Deadlands D20: Made during the D20 glut of the early Aughties, Pinnacle later disowned this series. Wondering how bad it is? Let's find out!

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 06:09 on Feb 16, 2019

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Oh boy oh boy let's do the D20. I wanna see how bad it is.

Berkshire Hunts
Nov 5, 2009


OvermanXAN posted:

Oh boy oh boy let's do the D20. I wanna see how bad it is.

Agreeing with this because deadlands d20 is spectacularly bad, even for cash-in d20 shovelware

Geizt
Dec 10, 2014





I'm morbidly curious about Back East: The South. I'm pretty sure it'll piss me off, but I want to see just how deeply this idiot dug his hole.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





In terms of making good content, Coffin Rock would probably be best since you can give various trip reports and helpful tips...

But I gotta vote for Back East : The South. You know it's going to be maximally cringe-inducing and terrible.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



I'm so ready for some Cyberpunk because 80s anime knockoffs and poorly though out class divisions are way more appetizing to me than my brain refusing to even being to deal with accepting a setting where the confederacy is capable of maintaining a DMZ longer than a mile.

WhitemageofDOOM
Sep 13, 2010

... It's magic. I ain't gotta explain shit.

d20 it's bad.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

d20 for the laughs, Trail Guide because it might contain some interesting stuff. Deadlands' Canadian sourcebook was a giant history lesson but it was actually kinda good in terms of ideas. Canada has its poo poo rather more together than the rest of the continent and the tone was "men in a cold wilderness driving back the night" instead of the setting default.

I think I might bail on the thread for a bit if we do the Back East sourcebooks, for the sake of my blood pressure.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


I want to see the Back East books because I cannot imagine how badly mangled they'll be.

Also, what I don't get is, are the players assumed to be starting a new party for each of these adventure threads? Or are there provisions made for a party dealing with one, then moving on to the next, and starting out already having an idea of what the Reckoners and their deal is? Because in the latter case it feels like they could potentially shortcircuit some of the adventure by way of higher power levels and needing to gather less intelligence.

Or what about the players failing? What if Yei Tso is unleashed? Like, did they account for that? Not that I'd want that to happen, Yei Tso seems a lot more sci-fi, and Deadlands' strongest aspect seems to be when it's Cowboy Fantasy, not when aliens and Lovecraftian things get involved.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 22, Part 8: "They can be seen gliding on updrafts or cruising the skies, weaving through the skyscrapers of the cities, streaking toward combat to answer a threat and locked in a brutal ballet of light, thunder and death against Coalition SAMAS and aircraft."


Looks like it was designed by algorithm.

The Glitter Boy section segues into other forms of power armor without missing a beat.
  • QPA-201 Power Trooper (295 M.D.C.): A fairly generic 14' suit of power armor that can bunny-hop like the Side Kick. It has lasers, missiles, and a vibro-blade, but isn't particularly good at any role - the best it can do is dump missiles repeatedly and just utilize the broken damage values of missile volleys to the fullest.
  • "Pale Death" SAMAS Power Armor (250 M.D.C.): The same one from the corebook with slightly more M.D.C. and a sky blue paint job. Yes, this is the third vehicle reprinted from the corebook with the slightest of the adjustments... for the gamer's convenience, I'm sure.
  • "Violator" SAMAS (312 M.D.C.): Also known as the "V-SAM", this is Quebec's improved SAMAS model meant to compete with the new Coalition models. It has lasers and mini-missiles, as well as "vibro-wings" it can used to slash people; it actually does alright damage if it lands a wingslap at full speed. However, its main gun is a laser with such a heavy power drain that it penalizes the V-SAM when fired... not that it does any more damage than the standard SAMAS rail gun.

Really like this flying tin can, tho.

One thing worth pointing out is the numbers groups like the Coalition and Quebec have in terms of these flying and armored vehicles, dwarfing that of the modern day American military despite being smaller countries with far more limited access to resources.

Rifts World Book 22: Free Quebec posted:

In short, the Power Trooper is an interesting experiment, and would have tremendous appeal to mercenaries, adventurers and manufacturers such as Northern Gun or the Black Market, but it falls short of its expectations. As a result, it has been made in short supply (about 1440) and is typically deployed on Recce and other long-range, long-term wilderness operations and outposts.

Rifts World Book 22: Free Quebec posted:

Note: Approximately 1200 unmodified "Death's Head" SAMAS are in storage.

I like how this tiny, post-collapse nation can have more of one rejected or outmoded vehicle than some of our armed forces have of combat aircraft total. :allears:

Cyborgs of Free Quebec
By Kevin Siembieda & Francois DesRochers


As mentioned way, way back in Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Quebec had a secret project known as "The Liberty Reserve". Though they were banned from fielding Juicers and cyborgs by the rest of the Coalition States, they secretly kept Juicer and cyborg conversion facilities at the ready with soldier volunteers at the ready. In the past few years, they've been activated, giving them active cyborg and Juicer forces. We're mainly just talking about cyborgs right now, though. They're used to support Glitter Boys, of course, and are designed with buffers to ignore the sonic booms of the Boom Guns.


"No cheap shots in my exposed guts, please."

And so, we get the Free Quebec Cyborg Soldier O.C.C. (9%). Despite it saying "Any human with the spirit to fight and that is in good mental health may choose to become a cyborg soldier.", a hefty Mental Endurance requirement of 15 reduces your chance to ever play one significantly. This is pretty much the same as the Cyborg Shock Trooper for the Coalition, but with Quebecois cyborg models available, and specific skill packages depending on the model taken. The M.D.C. values vary based on their armor worn. I'm not going to go into the weapons used too much - they usually have concealed lasers, leg rods, carry rail guns, etc. - but most of them aren't really distinct from the dozens of cyborgs we've already seen. These are:
  • FX-200C Imprimer (130-490 M.D.C.): The medium-class cyborg soldier. Generic as they come; what the hell is an "Imprimer"? I see it could mean "to print" in French...

Cybernetic thigh-highs.
  • FX-320C Dervish (200-560 M.D.C.): A four-armed infiltration cyborg with vibro-blades that's supposed to be badass in close combat, so it gets extra attacks. Unfortunately, its vibro-blades do only 7 Mega-Damage on average, so it's better off carrying a weapon and getting extra attacks on that instead. How does it get extra attacks on a single gun from an extra arm? Well, we just don't know. Maybe it puts two fingers on the trigger and alternates.
  • FX-340C Slasher (180-450 M.D.C): Reprinted from Rifts World Book 5: Triax & the NGR as the iconic Rifts cyborg model, more or less. This version is a bright, shiny gold; the sort of paint job that lets it blend into jewelry shops and gambling strips. Ironically, these are trained for wilderness operations and tracking; I can only presume a massive bureaucratic SNAFU has occurred.
  • FX-370C Leviathan Cyborg (220-600 M.D.C.): Perhaps the only truly distinctive cyborg model, as it has a special Triax-made bionic gill used for it to travel underwater without leaving any bubbles behind, and aquajets to dart around at 20 MPH. Supposed to be sneaky and silent underwater despite its use of medium and heavy cyborg armor, which heavily penalize stealth attempts.

Exposed guts and thigh-highs, now together at last.

At this point, these cyborg sections are always dull because most of them just use "off-the-shelf" parts with rare exceptions. As such, you just see the same general M.D.C. values, weapon systems, features, etc. They're even more generic than most forms of power armor or giant robots tend to be at this point, and that's saying something.

Next: Fascist boats, revisited.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 11:37 on Feb 16, 2019

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





I am not, you know, shocked if it doesn't but does the FQ book talk at all about how the CS has cyborgs and Juicers of their own now?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Dawgstar posted:

I am not, you know, shocked if it doesn't but does the FQ book talk at all about how the CS has cyborgs and Juicers of their own now?

It does, but it emphasizes that Free Quebec juicers and cyborgs are more numerous and generally more experienced.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


As, uh... "interesting" the Back East: The South book would be, I'd really love to see d20. I've heard it used as an example of why the d20 Shovelware movement was bad by multiple people.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Alien Rope Burn posted:

It does, but it emphasizes that Free Quebec juicers and cyborgs are more numerous and generally more experienced.

Fair point, although 'more experienced Juicers' is now something I find hilarious in hindsight that I didn't pick up back then. Why, I bet they've got whole months on the CS' forces!

Precambrian
Apr 30, 2008



I want to get Back East: The South out of the way because it sounds like the most viscerally unpleasant of the books, and I'd rather not have that hanging over the thread for longer than it has to be. After that, d20 as a palette cleanser of regular, funny bad design.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Go South, I must taste the bile rising in my throat.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!



Part 1-b: Support, Antagonists, and Shittier Versions of Existing Classes

Our next class is a two-for-one deal, the Tech and the Medtech. The Tech is supposed to be building, repairing and rigging together custom gear for the rest of the party. Their Special ability is Jury Rigging, which allows them to repair or alter anything for 1d6 turns per level. The problem is that’s about as far rules for item creation went, but maybe there’s something I missed. The Medtech is somewhat better off-they can get the party back to full health after a fight. Assuming they survive, because fights are very lethal. The MedTech’s Special Ability is Medical Tech, which allows them to perform major surgery.


80s Actor/Actress to play Tech: Marina Sirtis
80s Actor/Actress to play MedTech: Bill Murray

Even to my uncritical 12-year-old-mind, I thought that the Media was an odd duck in this game. They’re attempting to find the big story and expose it to the world on the evening news. A great premise for a game, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it Cyberpunk. Especially because of this line in the class description:

quote:

You've got fans, contracts and your own Corporation backing you.
I thought corporations were the baddies? Even in 1990, we had The Running Man and manipulating official stories was a troupe in this genre. This role description is still going after Nixon when the real villain is an entirely different creature. But if you are really determined to be Cyber-Bob Woodward, you get the Special Ability Credibility which is the ability to have people believe what you are saying while on-air.


80s Actor/Actress to play Media: John Carradine (he’s just here to keep his SAG membership current)

What if you wanted to be a Solo, but shittier? CP2020 has not just one, but two options! The first is Cop. You are trying to enforce law and order when the game has already stated that both of those things are at best a farce and most often both have already been dumped in a food processor. Even the description is really unsupportive. While there might be some romanticism in fighting a hopeless fight, it won’t be any fun because instead of Combat Senses, the Cop’s Special Ability is Authority, the ability to “intimidate or control others through your position as a lawmen”. When one half of your enemies are street gangs on combat drugs and the others are corporate operatives above the law, that ability feels pretty limp dick


80s Actor/Actress to play Cop: Danny Glover

I think it’s inevitable in any RPG that someone’s going to want to play the bad guys. So our next role is the Corporate. You are a corporate executive, and it turns out the offices of the Cyber-future are no safer than the streets. Like the Rockerboy, the Corporate has the problem of if someone is playing one, then the game is likely going to center around that character. On the other hand, the Corporate’s Special Ability, Resources, allows her to command corporate resources, which is a reasonable way to keep the gear porn flowing. CP2020 does a lot to turn the executive from “exposition guy whos shot out of a high rise window at the end” into a mix of Gordon Gekko and Tony Montana


80s Actor/Actress to play Corporate: Gary Busey Tom Cruise

But let’s assume the PCs aren’t in the mood for siding with The Man. Then the Fixer takes over the role of getting the goods for the party. The Fixer knows what’s up on the streets, where to find the things people needs and what it’ll cost to get it. Occasionally helping others for free is optional, but shouldn’t be advertised-people might think your being naive. The Fixer’s Special Ability, Streetdeal pretty much governs everything a Fixer needs to do. If I had to pick a best SA after Combat Senses, it’d either be this or Charismatic Leadership. Honestly, Fixer really needs to be one of the first roles advertised, and not behind Media.


80s Actor/Actress to play Fixer: Eddie Murphey

I said that there were two “Solo, but sucks” roles. The other one is the Nomad. The Nomad is for the player that insists Mad Max is in the same genre as Blade Runner and that roaming caravans of makeshift armoured vehicles fits in a world that also has megacorps, arcologies, and cyborgs. And you know what? CP2020 does a pretty good job getting the two to gel together. The problem is that the Nomad doesn’t have Combat Senses. Instead, his Special Ability is Family, which lets the Nomad get the help of a number of members of his “Family” (ie the people he moves around with) equal to his ability score times two. Also a Nomad’s starting funds are pathetic, which is a real problem in a game where gear is so important.


:nws: for nipple poppagehttps://imgur.com/YyZQOQ5:nws:
80s Actor/Actress to play Nomad: Sigourney Weaver

Next: Base Stats and how to determine them

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 19:38 on Feb 16, 2019

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I want to say that the Media (and early Shadowrun's similar archetype) are a nod to Max Headroom, but I dunno. It -is- a weird fit, regardless.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



The problem with Media is that there's a lot of cyberpunk stuff and stories that have a Hard Hitting Journalist Out To Spread The Truth either as a side character in bigger stories or as the focal character for some stories. And fundamentally, cyberpunk is about a revolution and a revolt against being controlled by social institutions exploiting us through capitalistic means and technology, using the tools of the oppressor (hacking, laser arms, having cyber-genitals) to rebel. Also while this is going on you're questioning what it means to be human, what am soul, etc. etc. It makes sense to include them...but the problem is that they're just casting way too wide of a net for What You Should Be Doing In Game.

I have a lot of problems with Shadowrun but Shadowrun does have the core concept of "you are all Shadowrunners playing this game and getting that pay" with all of the ludicrous amounts of charop letting you build someone who is fundamentally a Shadowrunner. Cyberpunk 2020 has the issue of "you can play cyberpunk adventures. All cyberpunk adventures" and then welding it to the Friday Night Firefight engine regardless of whether or not your Rocker will ever get in a violent confrontation.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



having grown up in Mississippi, let's see how badly South mangles the culture and excuse the worst of it in the name of the lost cause justification

Robindaybird fucked around with this message at 18:32 on Feb 16, 2019

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer


That's really it. Early Shadowrun had support for those sorts of characters, as weird as they looked against archetypes brandishing LMGs; I have a sourcebook from 1st or 2nd edition that went into some detail on running characters or campaigns focused around playing subversive entertainers... and the shitshow of keeping both real and shadow identities. It's like playing a Docwagon trauma team or paranormal field researchers: the fiction supports it, and you could run it with minor tweaking, but it's a lovely fit for an out of the box campaign.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The fan-magazine for Cyberpunk 2020, Interface, was a real mixed bag. However, one of the variants I really liked from it was one that allowed you to combine a social role (like Nomad or Corp) with a occupational role (like Solo or Rocker). Of course, it relied on some of the supplemental roles to make sure there were actually enough social ones, but it makes factional roles (like Cop) a lot more robust.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

The reason I think the Rockerboy fits with what CP2020 wants to do (as opposed to actually achieve with the rules) while the Media really doesn't is that while his or her tools are more indirect, at the end of the day the Rockerboy is still aiming to give Mr. CEO an extreme defenestration. In contrast, the Media has the same mindset that says the Mueller Investigation is going to bring down Trump any day now.

I should do a 2020/2020 counter whenever I allude to how things actually turned out. I guess that's 1.

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 19:55 on Feb 16, 2019

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Bieeanshee posted:

I want to say that the Media (and early Shadowrun's similar archetype) are a nod to Max Headroom, but I dunno. It -is- a weird fit, regardless.
It's totally Edison Carter, intrepid reporter for Network XXIII, from Max Headroom.

e: Cop could be Rick Deckard from Blade Runner, or the Peter Weller/Nancy Allen/anyone else in the station house in RoboCop.

FMguru fucked around with this message at 19:43 on Feb 16, 2019

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

God, I miss that fuckin' show.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



SirPhoebos posted:

I said that there were two “Solo, but sucks” roles. The other one is the Nomad. The Nomad is for the player that insists Mad Max is in the same genre as Blade Runner and that roaming caravans of makeshift armoured vehicles fits in a world that also has megacorps, arcologies, and cyborgs. And you know what? CP2020 does a pretty good job getting the two to gel together. The problem is that the Nomad doesn’t have Combat Senses. Instead, his Special Ability is Family, which lets the Nomad get the help of a number of members of his “Family” (ie the people he moves around with) equal to his ability score times two. Also a Nomad’s starting funds are pathetic, which is a real problem in a game where gear is so important.


:nws: for nipple poppagehttps://imgur.com/YyZQOQ5:nws:
80s Actor/Actress to play Nomad: Sigourney Weaver

Not faulting this, but man, Danny Trejo was in stuff in the '80s.

Also, Nomad's special ability got reskinned so much throughout the line. That "Family" ability was reused when talking to the tribal Workgangers as well as pilots that worked the orbital colonies and Pirates almost verbatim, it had a name change with Streetpunk/Gangmember as "Rank", etc.

I wouldn't knock Cop's Authority, either. It was largely a skill buff for Intimidation, someone with a maxed COOL stat, high intimidation, and high Authority could break S.O.B.s in two with a flash of a badge.

Hostile V posted:

The problem with Media is that there's a lot of cyberpunk stuff and stories that have a Hard Hitting Journalist Out To Spread The Truth either as a side character in bigger stories or as the focal character for some stories. And fundamentally, cyberpunk is about a revolution and a revolt against being controlled by social institutions exploiting us through capitalistic means and technology, using the tools of the oppressor (hacking, laser arms, having cyber-genitals) to rebel. Also while this is going on you're questioning what it means to be human, what am soul, etc. etc. It makes sense to include them...but the problem is that they're just casting way too wide of a net for What You Should Be Doing In Game.

I have a lot of problems with Shadowrun but Shadowrun does have the core concept of "you are all Shadowrunners playing this game and getting that pay" with all of the ludicrous amounts of charop letting you build someone who is fundamentally a Shadowrunner. Cyberpunk 2020 has the issue of "you can play cyberpunk adventures. All cyberpunk adventures" and then welding it to the Friday Night Firefight engine regardless of whether or not your Rocker will ever get in a violent confrontation.

I think you're underestimating the influence of the Media and the Rocker in relation to cyberpunk as a whole. It's not a big thing in cyberpunk film, but there's a reason why "cyberpunk" has that "punk" suffix: a lot of cyberpunk authors were fascinated with mass media and music and wrote heavily about characters, such as K.W. Jeter's "Dr. Adder", Bruce Sterling's "Islands Of The Net", Gibson's "Idoru", Norman Spinrad's "Little Heroes", John Shirley's Eclipse series.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



God drat it, I'm so annoyed by Deadlands that I'm going to try to hack my own Weird West setting, with Blackjack and Hookers and no loving CSA Apologia

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


Robindaybird posted:

God drat it, I'm so annoyed by Deadlands that I'm going to try to hack my own Weird West setting, with Blackjack and Hookers and no loving CSA Apologia

The legions from hell walk the earth, take a look at the american south and decide that's loving evil poo poo even by their standards and whole-heartedly join the war for abolition.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Tendales posted:

The legions from hell walk the earth, take a look at the american south and decide that's loving evil poo poo even by their standards and whole-heartedly join the war for abolition.

Just do what I did in one of my games and have the monsters summoned by a desperate South as it's losing the war in 1865.

Doesn't win them the war, just makes everything worse for everyone.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Honestly I got some ideas, and enough stuff that can be spun off into a different thing altogether while staying in the same genre.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








By popular demand posted:

Go South, I must taste the bile rising in my throat.
It's depressing and disgusting just how prevalent Confederate apologia still is, but yes let's dive into this madness.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Doing the South first is like eating the Brussels sprouts at your family's thanksgiving dinner first so they're not the last thing you taste. The better option is not to eat them at all, but you might as well roll with the punch right?

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





wiegieman posted:

Doing the South first is like eating the Brussels sprouts at your family's thanksgiving dinner first so they're not the last thing you taste. The better option is not to eat them at all, but you might as well roll with the punch right?

Grill that poo poo and it's palatable. We'll have to settle for roasting this book though.

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Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Give us The South! We need the pain. We crave it.

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