The Roleplaying Game of the Dark Future

Cyberpunk, subtitled, The Roleplaying Game of the Dark Future, is the first edition of the popular pen and paper RPG series Cyberpunk. The game was designed by Mike Pondsmith, founder of R.Talsorian Games Inc and was published in 1988. The first edition box set consists of three booklets that gives players all the information they need to start playing, as well as a pair of dice and several character sheets.

The series is heavily inspired by the works of William Gibson and Phillip K Dick, in particular the movie adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner.

The first edition spawned 4 supplementary books that add detail and extra information for players to use, Near Orbit, Solo of Fortune and Rockerboy focused space and the Solo and Rockerboy character role respectively, whilst Hardwired was a spin-off book on the novel of the same name by Walter John Williams.

A Second edition released a few years later in 1990, called Cyberpunk 2020 expanded upon the ruleset and the world and is considered the primary way to play the game. After the release of 2020, the first edition became known as Cyberpunk 2013, in reference to the year of the setting, to differentiate the two editions. After a small hiatus in the late 1990s, a third edition was released, known as Cyberpunk v3.0, however the book has later been revised and is now considered non-canon.

Friday Night Firefight Edit

Anyone shot by a gun pressed up against the head will automatically have his brains blown out. People have been known to survive such injuries, but its very rare.

— Friday Night Firefight

Friday Night Firefight, subtitled, Interlock man to man & weapons combat system, is the first of the booklets featured in the Cyberpunk 2013 boxset. It covers the FNFF combat system, that includes all elements of firearm combat in an easy to use, but realistic format. Melee and hand to hand combat is also covered by this system.

The aim of the system is to move away from the Hollywood tropes of unstoppable characters that can take an demonstrably large amount of damage and still fire their weapons with precision aim. FNFF is not meant to be good clean fun, but rather a deadly system that makes guns dangerous again, if your character has a large caliber hand gun then he is a force to be reckoned with.

The book covers everything from the basics of combat, the three phase turns, movements, actions, FOV and line of sight; to the more advanced special attacks, cover, suppression fire and thrown grenades. Also included is a section on melee combat, called Friday Night Fistfight, and how the system works with hand to hand combat.

The final section of the book includes reference data for the various weapons and armor on offer, as well as the various modifier tables.

View from the Edge Edit

Throw yourself up against danger and take it head-on. Never play it too safe, stay committed to the edge.

— View from the Edge

View from the Edge, subtitled, The Cyberpunk Handbook, is the second booklet included in the Cyberpunk 2013 box set. It covers all aspects of characters from the various roles players may choose, to the character skill mechanics and life path. Player using the Netrunner character role are introducted to the Net, the Cybernetic interface system for Cyberpunk, as well as the various programs, hardware and software used by characters. The final section of the book focuses on character mortality, and the various states of death as well as how a character may be able to revived from a near fatal encounter.

The first section of the book covers what is Cyberpunk, and the three main concepts, Style of Substance, Attitude is Everything and Live on the edge. Players creating characters must abide by these three concepts to pull off the 21st century cyberpunk. Also covered are the main character roles, Rockerboy, Solo, Netrunner, Techie, Media, Cop, Corporate, Fixers and Nomads, with the Netrunner character class expanded on in the second half of the book.

Welcome to Night City Edit

Night City is a modern urban environment, complete with dark streets, filthy alleys and rowdy clubs.

— Welcome to Night City

Welcome to Night City, subtitled, A Soucebook for 2013, is the third and final booklet included in the Cyberpunk 2013 box set. This booklet covers all aspects of the world of cyberpunk world that players will find themselves in. Included is a timeline of the world from the late 80s all the way to 2013, covering the various events such as the Corporate Wars and the world collapse of 1994. From there, the book looks at the world of 2013, its current justice system and the widespread use of firearms as well as transportation and communication in the modern world.

The world of Night City is introduced, originally intending to be a placeholder for any major metropolitan area, it allowed players to imagine their own dark crime ridden city to further immerse themselves in the game. In the later 2020 edition, Night City is expanded into a fictitious location with its own history.

Never Fade Away, is a mini adventure for first time players, that introduces the iconic characters of Johnny Silverhand and Alt Cunningham. The major corporations are all given their own profiles and key information such as founders, personnel and headquarters. The final section of the book includes several articles written in-universe that give players a little more flavor of the world of Cyberpunk.

Availability Edit

Since the release of the 2nd edition, Cyberpunk 2013 has been out of print, and as of 2018 it is also unavailable to purchase digitally. Second hand copies are seldom seen for sale on online auction sites and typically command a hefty price tag even in less than optimal condition.

References Edit

PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk. 1st ed. Berkeley CA; R.Talsorian Games, 1988

Cyberpunk, Copyright 1988 R.Talsorian Games Inc

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