Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

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BigDamnHero
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Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by BigDamnHero » Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:10 am

I know that 2077 is the bigger release, but has anybody else picked up the tabletop rpg for Cyberpunk that came out just a few weeks ago at this point? I'm a relatively new fan, I just got into Cyberpunk last year when Polygon started doing videos about it, but I'm more excited about the RPG than the video game.

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Martin Blank
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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by Martin Blank » Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:05 am

I picked up the digital release first day, but I haven't had time to crack it open yet. Maybe next week, when I'm on vacation.

I've been looking forward to 2077 for...good grief--SEVEN YEARS. Ever since the release of the promo video they did. I played 2020 for a long time, since just after it came out up until about eight years ago. I wish I could get a stable schedule together to play.
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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by BigDamnHero » Sat Nov 28, 2020 2:27 pm

A friend lent me his 2020 book when I started getting into it. It looks neat, if dated. Especially compared to how polished and streamlined RED seems to be.

Btw, I love that medical, therapeutic, minor, and identity-affirming cyberware and bodysculpting don't ding Humanity in Red. It's a good feeling.

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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by τ > π » Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:46 am

I want a cheery cyberpunk role-playing game. All of the dystopia. None of the esthetic. Characters are ordinary people. Not cyberpunks.

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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by BigDamnHero » Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:18 am

That sounds like the opposite of cheery. At that point you're a scrub waiting to get screwed over by megacorps, gangers, or cyberpunks without a way to defend yourself or get back at your oppressors.

If that was sarcasm then I apologise for the sincere response.

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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by Martin Blank » Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:29 am

That could be an interesting approach, actually. A small business owner struggling with the balance between the megacorps and the local gangs. But a restaurant could be an intelligence source, selling the information through a couple of cutouts (Fixers) to supplement the income from both sides that come in for the good food.
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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by BigDamnHero » Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:15 pm

You know, that's fair. I'd probably still insist on the party going out and doing Jobs, but they'd be Jobs picked by the group rather than offered by a client.

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`Cheery' Cyberpunk

Post by Seannery » Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:51 pm

I thought ``cheery'' meant like the propaganda---propaganda is a necessary element of cyberpunk dystopia, methinks---that some player-characters would believe---trom the perspective of playing it, that'd make it an abstract sort of horror game: player, knowing the dystopia, but playing through a character who doesn't, and is reinforcing the dystopia, with the deluded idea that they're doing good while doing well. Something like a desk-jockey, pushing bits around the telescreen, making phone-calls to other probably-not-cyberpunks, that sort of thing. Then, in the evening, going out for drinks with friends---I can see a maybe interesting way to have each character having two role-playing groups: one of their `office friends' and one of their `social friends,' maybe with some overlap, as is apt to happen sometimes.
I'd love to play as a desk-jockey, who fancies themself cyberpunk outside of work, slowly edging towards the scene, getting to know who's who and what's what, but never committing to it, always staying an outsider never letting go of their comfortable life, but maybe doing a few things at home, like running a sympathetic website, or donating to the causes. There are many ways to be cyberpunk, it is said. Like many things in life, it's a spectrum, and my character would be neither here nor there, and might even receive a lot of flak from both sides were that known.
I think that sort of in-between cyberpunkishness---also like Martin Blank's restaurateur who might not be cyberpunk in intent, but is in practice, to some extent, by the exigencies of the market---would be more interesting, than the tried and true tropes of the genre. It would also let us focus on more mundane details, like what food I'm ordering, how it comes out. I know that gratuity is a thing in some places in the world---if it's a thing in this world, details like how much I leave as a tip, could peg me as stingy or generous, or if I'm consistent about how much I tip, if I'm tipping based on the quality of service or just bad at arithmetic---these sorts of small details. I'm also not too keen on physical violence, which features much in cyberpunk.
I'm not too keen on using role-playing systems, because they tend to be too rigid---I always found myself wanting to do something, that the rules never considered. I prefer freeform role-play, but with some sort of guidelines. Not rules per se, in that they aren't meant to be strictly followed, but are there to set the themes, ideas about what would be realistic in that world, with the game master being like a final arbiter on the matter. Maybe if there's enough interest, we could start a game.. my desk-jockey might be a regular at that restaurant, for example.

Ahh. This has gotten much longer than I'd anticipated. I guess I'm really interested in the idea. I'd even offer to be the game-master, but I dunno if I have what it takes.. I've never done it before.
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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by BigDamnHero » Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:59 pm

Ah, I'm big into systems. For me, Cyberpunk is all about doing The Jobs, which are your typical probably-violent-but-definitely-extraordinary adventures into the cyber dystopia. I could see myself reading a story about an almost-cyberpunk Exec or restauranteur, rubbing up against this world of punks and rabble-rousers but never fully committing to it, but it's not a game that I want to play, especially in a cooperative game setting.

I'm also currently working on a sandbox environment for Cyberpunk Red. One of the things that I made sure to prioritize is making sure that any plot thread I created could be resolved without resorting to violence, just in case I got a group of all Rockerboys, Medias, Execs, Medtechs, and Fixers.

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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by Martin Blank » Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:18 am

I'm not a fan of Edgerunners just going from one job to the next. I like to have some links between things. I once had a group where the Nomad and I fleshed out the tribe in one session through idle chit-chat. I had plans for the min-maxed Solo to get cancer from his implants, with removal a necessary part of the cure, and the misogynist Solo to become the idle of a young female teen eager to follow in his footsteps. The game fell prey to meatspace realities, though. Firestorm was fun, though. Got almost all the way through that, until about two sessions before the final scene. Would love to refit that to Red rules and run some people through it.
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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by BigDamnHero » Fri Dec 04, 2020 4:24 am

Oh don't get me wrong, I love role-playing the "downtime" and hustle between Jobs. But it's like how "adventuring" is the meat of a D&D campaign, you know? It's what the rules are about and what I bought the ticket to ride for.

Also your game sounds like it was a lot of fun.

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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by Martin Blank » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:55 pm

I like decisions to have consequences, good, bad, and otherwise. I have a campaign I was writing a few years ago where the characters get involved with a very, very dangerous individual with an almost cult following, but things are, of course, not what they seem. Ten chapters with multiple interweaving and a few independent plotlines (got to have paths for characters to go down that don't affect everything). Frankly, there's no reason it can't happen in Red, since it mostly takes place outside of Night City.
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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by Deacon » Sat Dec 05, 2020 5:44 am

Martin Blank wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:55 pmI have a campaign I was writing a few years ago where the characters get involved with a very, very dangerous individual with an almost cult following, but things are, of course, not what they seem.
But then 2016 happened, and it seemed in poor taste?

Just kidding ;)
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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by τ > π » Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:15 am

Much cyberpunk focuses on cyberpunks. That skews the world. Cyberpunks are eccentric. On fringes. At extremes. Averagemen are not. A restaurateur. Or dishwasher. A desk-jockey. Or technician. You. Or me. Martin understands. Marie understands.
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Re: Cyberpunk Red (tabletop rpg)

Post by Martin Blank » Tue Dec 08, 2020 7:11 pm

My game style is cinematic because I like to keep things moving. Dice are there as arbiters (and very occasionally for the Ref/DM/GM/whatever to save the characters through nerfed rolls). I rarely use maps other than for general reference, and you're not getting a -2 penalty because your target is 53 metes away instead of 50. Tell me what you're trying to do, and I'll let you know if it's possible, and let you roll if it is. Simple things just work--you don't have to roll a Driving check to see if you get down the street OK, but if you're trying to make a sudden right turn down a narrow alley...well, get the dice. Even basic lockpicking goes through without a roll for a good Tech on, say, a home door lock. Some things just fail--your pistol round isn't taking out the guy on the building 800 meters away, no matter how good a shot you are. I will slow the game or require rolls for otherwise normal actions for purposes of dramatic tension. Think about when one side in a movie seems so close to victory and they just have to pull the trigger once, and the gun jams. I've killed PCs through a successful roll--these are always public--and PCs have pulled out a last-second save through a critical fail on the NPC's part. NPCs similarly have gotten away when the PC's sure-shot roll failed.

If that sounds good to you, I do occasionally tinker with the campaign and could maybe be convinced to flesh it out a bit more to play online.
Deacon wrote: Sat Dec 05, 2020 5:44 am
Martin Blank wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:55 pmI have a campaign I was writing a few years ago where the characters get involved with a very, very dangerous individual with an almost cult following, but things are, of course, not what they seem.
But then 2016 happened, and it seemed in poor taste?

Just kidding ;)
The difference being the dangerous individual is actually smart, having survived the New York nuclear blast and the gangs that developed around the wreckage, eventually prospering after building up from absolutely nothing, no inheritance involved. :P
If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.

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