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Is Shadowrun the last bastion of cyberpunk roleplaying or is Cyberpunk still going?

Also, have any SR gamers played Cyberpunk? How'd it compare on any or all levels? Anyone come to SR via Cyberpunk or vice versa? Do Cyberpunkers convert SR materials the way we do theirs?

(I got into SR after seeing an ad in Dragon magazine with the art from the front cover of SR1 BTW, I had no idea what cyberpunk was.)
Birdy
If by "Cyberpunk" you refer to R.Tal Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0 then yes, the system is still alive (albeit in Hibernation with no new stuff coming out in years).

If by "Cyberpunk" you mean the genre, then again yes. It's still alive. It has shed the Mohawks and bad musik but "dark future" still exists with stuff like the above or GURPS:Cyberworld.

As to your other questions:

SR is a "convention system" for me (Germany is in the hands of the evil minions of FanPro wink.gif ) but something I won't play with a regular group. Occasionally useful as "Hashisch" for D&D players - hook them with the fays, show them the cyber&the punk, get them to the real game.

Conversion is limited to run ideas and concepts since magic interferes (as it does the other way round). I actually imported more of the CP world and feeling into SR-3 than the other way round.

As for systems, CP is a more "controlable" system with rather fixed damage codes NxD6 / NxD10 rather than the complicated success vs. success system. It's main problem (easily solved by switching to Fuzion, the follow-up to CP 2020s Interlock) is that there are character classes.

The rules set is quite short (about 4 pages, A4) and boils down to 1W10+Skill+Attrib+Modifiers vs Difficulty. As the SR system it breaks down when heavy weapons and tanks come into play (Do-Able but dice-heavy). Again FUZION solves this through scaled damage (and a few years before SR came out with naval damage)

The system is more cyber-heavy (you can stuff in more) and needs a GM that defines what he wants to play but unlike some disclaimers not everybody is a Cyberzombie (A Borg in CP parlance) Actually I only ever had one player (either Cons nor Groups) in about 100 total that played a Borg. And that was a "Human Lookalike" (Geminie) with some huge flaws and no "superpowers"(1)

The world is nicely defined with Sourcebooks like Eurosource and PacRim and allows all styles of play from "Gutterpunks" to "Supertrooper" or "Solo, Napoleon Solo"/ IMF style.


Birdy, die hard CP fan



(1) Alpha and Gemini Borgs are not much better than a human Sammie (Solo) in CP
Adam
RTal has actually announced a Fall 2004 release date for Cyberpunk 203x . . .
nezumi
Yes, Cyberpunk is still alive and kicking, but I have to agree, it's changing. The original cyberpunk isn't as scary as it once was, the threats it portrayed have largely passed, and the genre is changing with it.

I've dabbled in CP2020. The ruleset is a LOT easier, however it's not as well explained as SR and bogged down with tons of easily exploited flaws. It also seems a bit more limited, since they don't allow magic or any equivalent, riggers don't exist yet and the techie roles aren't as fleshed out as I'd like.

Decking is made a fair bit easier, IMO, and more importantly, better integrated into the run on the whole (the decker can run the matrix while still doing stuff with the group, and matrix runs largely in real time). CP also has a stupendous cyberware list. I borrow both of these in my SR games.

If you read CP, it seems to me like it has a bit of an identity crisis. It's unsure if it wants to be about roleplaying (with rockers, medics etc.) or blowing things up (with the ever popular solo). I'm still not sure how they plan on integrating these fairly divergent player types, since that really is what they try to do (very realistic, deadly rules + "style over substance" mantra? Hmmm...)
Birdy
QUOTE (nezumi)
Yes, Cyberpunk is still alive and kicking, but I have to agree, it's changing. The original cyberpunk isn't as scary as it once was, the threats it portrayed have largely passed, and the genre is changing with it.

I've dabbled in CP2020. The ruleset is a LOT easier, however it's not as well explained as SR and bogged down with tons of easily exploited flaws. It also seems a bit more limited, since they don't allow magic or any equivalent, riggers don't exist yet and the techie roles aren't as fleshed out as I'd like.

Decking is made a fair bit easier, IMO, and more importantly, better integrated into the run on the whole (the decker can run the matrix while still doing stuff with the group, and matrix runs largely in real time). CP also has a stupendous cyberware list. I borrow both of these in my SR games.

If you read CP, it seems to me like it has a bit of an identity crisis. It's unsure if it wants to be about roleplaying (with rockers, medics etc.) or blowing things up (with the ever popular solo). I'm still not sure how they plan on integrating these fairly divergent player types, since that really is what they try to do (very realistic, deadly rules + "style over substance" mantra? Hmmm...)

They never did try it. Actually if you read "Screwhead" (a SR Compendium / MrJLBB rolled up as one) they suggest alternate campaigns for various character groups. What we have run so far:

+ Nomad/Solo game (Using Neotribes(1) as an AddOn) with things like cargo runs, smuggling and a "wild card" refugee

+ Solo/Techie/Netrunner scenario along the lines of "Mission:Impossible"

+ Cop-Show

+ Reporter/Tech/Solo Team


CP Solos can be played a good many ways. This includes "Sneaky&Scary" as well as "Kill-Kill"

Birdy



(1) Nomads are the displaced/homeless (Think "Grapes of Wrath") that roam the crumbling US. NeoTribes goes into their culture and adds some characters
The Question Man
The Plastic Warriors web site link through Dumpshock has unoffical conversions of Cyberpunk 2020 Chrome Books 1-4 and Blackhand's Weapons Compendium. Check it out.

Cheers

QM
Clyde
I've only dabbled in Cyberpunk. The system was faster for most people to learn, but it seemed that player characters would wipe the floor with most NPCs, even when outnumbered, just based on awesome stats. The system was only marginally faster, for me, because of the issue of rolling multiple times for autofire and hit locations. However, this was offset by only needing to roll one die at a time! Cyberpunk's setting is very 80's, more so than Shadowrun. Cyberware is also much cheaper in Cyberpunk than in Shadowrun, but it's less of a dominant force in the game as well. It's interesting, but until they come out with a fourth edition, or better support for fusion, I'm not giving up SR!
MYST1C
QUOTE (Adam)
RTal has actually announced a Fall 2004 release date for Cyberpunk 203x . . .

They have? Where?

Last thing I read on the Talsorian homepage was that they've licensed Social Games (who make the new Cyberpunk CCG) to produce new books for CP2020 while CPV.3 still isn't finished...
Adam
QUOTE (M$T1C)
QUOTE (Adam @ Aug 16 2004, 05:16 PM)
RTal has actually announced a Fall 2004 release date for Cyberpunk 203x . . .

They have? Where?

Tundra - their sales/distribution rep - has announced it to retailers/distributors. I don't think they've made a public press release yet - I'd expect that at Gencon.
Siege
I'll believe it when I see it on the shelf and not before.

To toss in my two bits - it's a pretty easy system, not overly developed in some areas, but with a competent group, easy enough to work around.

The old CP: 2020 has been merged with Hero games to create the "Fuzion" system - I'm not overly fond of the change.

Cyberpunk also has "roles" which can either be really irritating or easily worked around, depending on your point of view. In that respect, it's less flexible than Shadowrun, but not by much.

It's easy enough to create or adapt a magical system with a minimum of fuss - Ars Magica uses a d10 system if you want to drop magic in. Also, a company released a Vampires/Werewolves supplement which was actually pretty fun - it included psychic powers. Additionally, another game supplement was built around a faith/ritual based magic system that was more flavor than flying manabolts.

-Siege
LaughingTiger
Some of my first gaming experiences were with RTal's 2020. The thing that made changing from CP to Shadowrun hard was the difference in cyberware. In CP, a cyber-arm made you a badass. In Shadowrun, not so much. I think, at least in my experience, CP was more lethal. I had a PC die in the first five minutes of combat in CP, that hasn't happened in Shadowrun.
Rory Blackhand
Friday Night Firefight, Hackman the cyborg sociopath ganger. Cyberpunk was a good game system. I was very resistant to playing Shadowrun because of the Magic and the friendly little elves aspect. I moved to a new state and only found a Shadowrun group so I had to adapt. I didn't like it at first, but it finally caught on with me. Thing about CyberPunk is you can min/max heavily. Your leveling is topped out at 10 I believe and it was no problem to be maxed out in your level in your character class from the start of the game. That took a little incentive away to slowly advance, but it also allowed you to live and do other things that are fun like just exploring the game setting. Each time you used a skill in a session you got a tick by it and after enough ticks you move up in skill level from what I remeber, so there was some paperwork involved, but overall alot less than Shadowrun. We are talking the 80s since I played it so don't flame me if I got some of that wrong. The group I was with all took instruments and formed a band that traveled around town to town and did the runs we sang about. Our hit song was "Napalm Sticks to Kids". It was fun at the time, the group you play with has everything to do with it though. I much prefer Shadowrun right now, but I would play Cyberpunk if I had a chance as well.
Siege
Yes - mortality could be a real pain.

CP: 2020 could have a serious mortality rate - even worse than Cthulhu, although not by much.

-Siege
Frank Foobar
I found the worst part about CP2020 to be the crit system.

No matter what your skill is, roll a 1, go to the crit table.
On a 1-4, (if memory serves) you shoot yourself.
Roll another 1, it's in the head. This pretty much means you die.

That's right, you're a badass with a pistol skill of 10, but you still
have about a 0.4% to *shoot yourself in the head* every time you fire.

Ouch.

CP2020 was playable, but only after you houseruled the hell out of it.
The first thing to do was to replace every skill roll with 2d6, that helped a lot.
Siege
Find me a game system someone doesn't end up house-ruling.

On the bright side, my last CP game almost never degenerated into combat just because it was so icky.

And I was the solo. grinbig.gif

-Siege
Frank Foobar
I agree, every game ends up getting houseruled at some point.

One of my marks of quality is how quickly that point gets reached and how severe the houserules need to be to make the game fun.

If you pull a gun in CP2020, someone's going to die really quickly. That's the way the game is.
The sad part is, it's disturbingly often that it's you or your friend, even if you're the only one shooting.

I prefer my cyberpunk cyberpunk, and while I like shadowrun, I'm just as happy to play it without magic and metas.

My beef with CP was that it was squarely in the genre I wanted, but the rules were *so* bad. It was just sort of frustrating.

(next up, adding combat sense to initiative and the "empathy paradox")

Crusher Bob
Smart solos used full auto fire, since you could only accidentally shoot yourself in the head using single shot rotfl.gif
Birdy
QUOTE (Frank Foobar)
I found the worst part about CP2020 to be the crit system.

No matter what your skill is, roll a 1, go to the crit table.
On a 1-4, (if memory serves) you shoot yourself.
Roll another 1, it's in the head. This pretty much means you die.

That's right, you're a badass with a pistol skill of 10, but you still
have about a 0.4% to *shoot yourself in the head* every time you fire.

Ouch.

CP2020 was playable, but only after you houseruled the hell out of it.
The first thing to do was to replace every skill roll with 2d6, that helped a lot.

I actually considered the chance to fumble one of the best things in the game. Granted, the GM should soften the result (that's what GM's are for) but otherwise that fumble kept players humble.

All in all I consider Interlock one of the most stable game systems out there if the GM is willing to kill some munchkins (or at least disallow their characters) A resonable mature group (less mature than you need for Munchies R Us aka Shadowrun IMHO) and there are no REF-10/Combat Reflexes 10 monsters.


Biased

Birdy
Johnson
Yep, Cyberpunk 2020 you could get killed in the first 20 Sec of game time that equates to 30 min of actual playing before roleing up a new character.


Cyberpunk is deadly, but SR3 can be worst if you are going to play it with deadly factors
Jonah
Yup, 2 hours knocking out a wicked character and BAM!, you die in the first meet. I think the world of SR is far more interesting too. Cyberpunk was just a dark version of tomorrow, with out much 'meet'.
Over all cyberpunk was fun, but it was like the little kids version of SR.
Siege
The little kid's version?

I'll grant you parts of the CP world weren't particularly well fleshed out, but the CP world was a lot more immediate and in your face than SR has managed to be, again in my humble opinion.

As for the Combat Sense/Ref/Handgun 10 monster - well, yes. Find me a system that can't be cheesed and I'll show you a group I don't want to play with because they need that kind of system.

It's the same mindset as people who say, "I'm gonna be an elf for all the pretty bonuses!"

-Siege

Edit: There was a lot more role-playing because combat was so deadly, much like real life, you didn't pick a fight unless the deck was so heavily stacked in your favor.
hobgoblin
there have allso been 2 (at least) d20 cyberpunk style games produced.

i personaly own d20 cybernet (by mongoose) and while on the surface it looks like a d20 modern with cyberware it have interesting system for drugs and contacts and in my view can work (if your d20 phobic that is. personaly im neither for not against, i just hope it dont water down the level of creativity). allmost forgot to say that they have a interesting twist on the net to, in fact it seems very easy to set up and play (have yet to get a group together so it can be tested) and very quick. defensive programs are NPC rather then predefined descriptions. and there are 3 kinds of "host" systems going around, stand-alone, public and private. standalone is for doorlocks and similar. public are chatrooms and bbs systems. private well try a guess wink.gif and its all played useing the normal d20 combat rules. the hosts can be anything when it comes to metaphor smile.gif

the other is digital burn by living room games (yep, the same people that took over earthdawn). i have not seen it but from what i understand they dont have anything similar to humanity cost or essence loss. if you have the cash you can get the ware...
TinkerGnome
I actually enjoyed Cybergeneration more than Cyberpunk 2020. They use a similar but different rules set, and if I remember correctly, the combat was a lot cleaner. It makes me wonder if a new edition of CP would include the events described therein (there were some threads in the module and sourcebooks which never got answered).
MYST1C
QUOTE (TinkerGnome)
It makes me wonder if a new edition of CP would include the events described therein (there were some threads in the module and sourcebooks which never got answered).

AFAIK no.
Cybergeneration is a spin-off and not part of the general Cyberpunk timeline.

It isn't even known yet in which year Cyberpunk V.3 will be set. But it will be very different from the old game:
A splintered world, severely affected by Rache Bartmoss' data-mosaic virus that was released near the end of the Militech-Arasaka corp war (2022), corrupting and garbling (but not destroying like the SR crash) data all over the world.
The Cyberpunk name is actually misleading as the new game will be more SciFi/Post-Cyberpunk.
Siege
With a heavier influx of space travel, if I remember correctly.

Presumeably they're aiming at a world similar to GURPS "Transhuman space".

-Siege
Birdy
QUOTE (Siege)
With a heavier influx of space travel, if I remember correctly.

Presumeably they're aiming at a world similar to GURPS "Transhuman space".

-Siege

CP 2020 has always been heavier on space travell (Large O'Neill bases in L5, L4 and iir L2, Geo-Stationarie ESA Sky-City Crystal Palace, multiple moon and mars colonies and regular travel, space forces etc) than the rather weak SR version from T:W

And read "Voice of the Whirlwind" and (to a lesser degree) "Hardwired" from Walter Jon Williams and you see that Space Travel and Cyberpunk work together nicely without going "Transhuman Space" (an TS has nothing!! to do with Cyberpunk. It's basically a nanotopia)

Birdy
Siege
The latest incarnation of CP:2020 - the third edition will feature space travel more prominently than any of the previous source books.

RTal only released one space book for the CP:2020 world - I have it sitting in my soon-to-be-discarded collection.

I certainly don't dispute Cyberpunk writers have featured space prominently - I've read Whirlwind. But as for the game itself, the inclusion of space travel as a daily affair is a relatively new phenonmenon.

As for the GURPS game, it's very dark and gritty and actually conforms to how I envision the cyberpunk genre would manifest in space.

-Siege
Birdy
QUOTE (Siege)
The latest incarnation of CP:2020 - the third edition will feature space travel more prominently than any of the previous source books.

RTal only released one space book for the CP:2020 world - I have it sitting in my soon-to-be-discarded collection.

I certainly don't dispute Cyberpunk writers have featured space prominently - I've read Whirlwind. But as for the game itself, the inclusion of space travel as a daily affair is a relatively new phenonmenon.

As for the GURPS game, it's very dark and gritty and actually conforms to how I envision the cyberpunk genre would manifest in space.

-Siege

There are actually two:

Near Orbit for CP:2013 (That also has Hardwired as a theme book)

DeepSpace for CP:2020

And space stations (and their revolt) is even in the 2020 rulesbook as are orbital gunships and regular space travel. It's just that runners don't do it.


As for TS: I disagree. It has "dark spots" and conflict but there is no "the world is comming to an end" or "the corps are taking over" and all the other elements of CP. But to everyone his own.

It's the same with "to discard": My pile includes Shadowrun wink.gif


Birdy
Siege
"Deep Space" replaces "Near Orbit" as the second printing of essentially the same book.

And while the CP books may make mention of space travel, they don't provide rules for doing so - at which point, it doesn't count. grinbig.gif

"Voice of the Whirlwind" lacked any corporate domination theme, although it was an interesting look into the prospect of a Corporate Military - the primary focus revolved around a conspiracy involving aliens.

Do you count "Angel Station" as a cyberpunk book, or a book that happens to be by a cyberpunk author?

-Siege

Edit: For typo
Birdy
QUOTE (Siege)
Deep Space" replaces "Near Orbit" as the second printing of essentially the same book.

And while the CP books may make mention of space travel, they don't provide rules for doing so - at which point, it doesn't count. grinbig.gif

"Voice of the Whirlwind" lacked any corporate domination theme, although it was an interesting look into the prospect of a Corporate Military - the primary focus revolved around a conspiracy involving aliens.

Do you count "Angel Station" as a cyberpunk book, or a book that happens to be by a cyberpunk author?

-Siege

Actually the latter (Same for his new books). Otoh I count quite a few parts of Pournelles "Future History/CoDo Universe" as Cyberpunk (All stories around BuReloc) Okay, no big corps there either. Change that to "oppressive authorities/powers"

I like parts of TS (Their Outer Space book ie) but the whole universe is "something but not Cyberpunk" in mine eyes.

Birdy
Siege
Fair enough - ymmv, after all.

I think the "Blade Runner" elements caught me, including the synthetic life forms and the relatively logical progression from cyber to nano improvements.

If I was still actively gaming, I'd try to pick up those books just as reference material.

-Siege
Birdy
QUOTE (Siege)
Fair enough - ymmv, after all.

I think the "Blade Runner" elements caught me, including the synthetic life forms and the relatively logical progression from cyber to nano improvements.

If I was still actively gaming, I'd try to pick up those books just as reference material.

-Siege

I actually picked up "Outer Space" for my 2300AD games. And yes, the bioroids are a beautiful homage to "BladeRunner".


Having another "Sentient Snack"


Birdy
TinkerGnome
Mass drivers = fun. That was one of the coolest bits of CP 2020 fluff that I remember.
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