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If [Cyberpunk] 2020 were Star Wars, then Cyberpunk RED is basically Empire Strikes Back. And then 2077 is Return of the Jedi.

Cyberpunk RED is the newest pen and paper RPG by R. Talsorian Games released on August 1, 2019. It is meant to be the latest edition of the Cyberpunk RPG to coincide with the release of the video game Cyberpunk 2077, and bridge the time gap between the two games.

Very little information was released for the game in 2018 other than it would use the Interlock System. Later in 2020, they released a weekly update about the game that talked about some of the systems before it was released.

In June 2018, RTG reached out to the Cyberpunk community to get their opinions on potential artists to illustrate the upcoming edition.[1] On November 14th, 2020, the digital version of the core rule book was released.

Overview

Cyberpunk RED presents a streamlined version of the Cyberpunk 2020 ruleset, and introduces some mechanics. The game replaces the health track with traditional hit points. However, this change can lead to characters being slightly spongy. To fix this problem, the game's armor SPs have been lowered, and a mechanic was added called the critical wound system. When rolling damage, if two 6's are rolled, your enemy takes 5 damage directly to their HP, and they receive a brutal injury that hurts their stats until they are healed by a skill check (check difficulty depends on injury.).

Weapons have also been streamlined. Instead of individually named weapons, the core book has medium pistol, heavy pistol, very heavy pistol, SMG, heavy SMG, assault rifle, sniper rifle, rocket launcher, etc. Melee weapons are the same way with light, medium, and heavy melee weapons. Basically, weapons are generic, and don't have specific names. The next type is exotic weapons. These weapons are too different to be in a category, such as The Mono-katana, the flamethrower, or the air-pistol. Each of them have their own effects and damage.

The economy has also been streamlined. Lifestyle and housing are simplified, and the game offers an easy fix for items that you are unsure of the price on it. For example, your players wanted to buy a program of your design, but you didn't figure out the price. You then consult a table, and decide that the program is in the "Super Luxury" category. So, you assign the price accordingly.

The lifepath system has been changed, so that it is purely for roleplay reasons, and it doesn't affect your starting stats or skills. There is an additional lifepath option that supplements the core lifepath. These supplementary lifepaths are for the pc's career, like where they work, who they work for, things they sell or create, etc.

Netrunning has been vastly improved from 2020. Netrunners, instead of sitting stationary and being detached from the game, have to wear VR goggles that project the Net over real life. This means that players can be with the rest of the party and run the Net at the same time. On their turn, a Netrunner can take a "meat" action, or a Net action. The Net is treated like an elevator. On each turn, the players can "Go down" a level of the Net architecture (which is the elevator.). Each level has a thing in it, such as a password, a piece of data, hellhound or other defense. Once they complete the "floor", they can descend to the next floor on their next turn. Once a Netrunner reaches the bottom of the Net, they completely descend the architecture and are done with it.

The book also includes a tremendous amount of lore, including the stories Never Fade Away, The Fall of the Towers, and Black Dog. Each story is set in a different time period. Never Fade Away is set in 2013 and establishes the tone and feel of the world of Cyberpunk. The Fall Of The Towers, in 2023, explains the operation inside the Arasaka HQ in Night City that ended with the nuke that blew up the Corporate Zone. Black Dog helps you get a feel of 2045, or the Time of the Red.

The book is more than 400 pages long, and includes over 100 pieces of art.[2][3]

Purchase

Additional content

Cyberpunk RED has a variety of content, including planned expansions and already released downloadable content. Below you have noted the most importants.

To buy the digital content go to DriveThruRPG's website, or for the physical books go to R. Talsorian Games' website.

  • Cyberpunk RED Data Pack - A pad of Character sheets, 12 additional maps, a set of lists of people, things, places and encounters, and a booklet containing new Screamsheet adventures.[4]
  • Cyberpunk RED Data Screen - Information to run a game smarter and faster, including four art panels to hide your game notes.
  • Interface RED, Volume 1 - A compilation of released DLCs for Cyberpunk RED (Old Guns Never Die, Single Shot Pack, Cyberchairs, Elflines Online, ELO Expansion Pack 1, Red Chrome Cargo), and a new "All About Drones" article that includes 6 new drones.[5]
  • Netrunning Deck - Cards needed to built a Net Architecture and run through it. Includes 16 Program cards, 30 Black Ice cards, 3 Demon cards, and 11 Floor cards.
  • Tales of the RED: Street Stories - A collection of nine never-before-seen full-length missions.

Free DLCs

To download the free content simply go to R. Talsorian Games' website.

Conversion Guides

  • Old Guns Never Die - Conversion guide for Cyberpunk 2020 to Cyberpunk RED weapons.
  • Jumpstart Kit Conversion Guide - Conversion guide for Jumpstart Kit missions to Cyberpunk RED, and new 11 NPC statblocks.

Pregenerated Characters and NPCs

  • Single Shot Pack - Pregenerated Edgerunners and Net Architectures.
  • Hardened Mooks - More challenging Mooks.
  • Hardened Lieutenants - More challenging Lieutenants.
  • Hardened Mini Bosses - More challenging Mini Bosses.

Weapons and Gear

  • Cyberchairs - Introduces new options for mobility.
  • The 12 Days of Gunmas - A holiday special DLC including new weapons.
  • Woodchipper's Garage - Twelve new weapons focused on explosions and fire.
  • Midnight With the Upload - New cyberdecks and hardware.
  • Must Have Cyberware Deals - 12 new cyberware pieces for Cyberpunk RED.

Systems, Rules and Locations

  • Night City Weather
  • Cargo Containers and Cube Hotels - More housing locations, furniture and home accessories.
  • Night City Tarot - More intense critical injuries and outcomes.
  • Digital Dating in the Dark Future
  • Salvaging Night City - Options to salvage valuable items in wreckages and junkyards.

Screamsheets and Missions

  • Red Chrome Cargo - A classic train job Screamsheet adventure.
  • Apartment building floor - Map to use with the Apartment scenario of the Jumpstart Kit.
  • The Screamsheet Kit - A toolset to make Screamsheets for the Jumpstart Kit.

Elflines Online

  • Elflines Online - Rules and lore for an in-universe popular MMO in Night City.
  • Elflines Online Expansion Pack 1 - Expansion pack for Elflines Online.
  • Daeric Sylar's Guide to Elflines Online - Includes a map of the Elflands, a list of locations, equipment, monster statblocks, and a leveling guide.

Miscellaneous

  • Collecting the Random - A collection of random ideas, thoughts, and lists from the Cyberpunk RED team.
  • Core Character Sheet
  • Data Pack Character Sheet
  • Mook Sheet
  • Cyberpunk RED Rules FAQ

Planned Expansions

These are expansions in the works and have yet to be released.

  • Chrome series - Books about specific economy aspects during the Time of the Red.
    • Black Chrome (2022) - New options for gear and weaponry; commentaries on how products are manufactured or found, and sold in the market. It was originally slated to be released in Summer 2022.[4][6]
    • Rusted Chrome (TBA) - Supply chain and transportation, including much about nomads.[4]
  • Danger Gal Dossier (Q4 2022) - Profiles of different characters, allies and enemies, in Night City during the Time of the Red.[6]
  • Rogue's Street Weapons (Q4 2022) - A gear of "gear cards" containing 108 weapons, weapon attachments, and ammunition. It will cover elements from the core rulebook and its DLCs.[6]
  • Interface RED, Volume 2 (2022)[6]
  • 2077 sourcebook (TBA) - Conversion from 2045 to 2077.[4]

Potential Expansions

These are expansions that have been considered to develop, but have yet to be confirmed.

  • Interface RED, Volume 3 (2022)[6]
  • Second Street Weapons card deck (TBA)[6]
  • DLCs about hangout and living places, "things that go boom," and more hardened enemies.[6]
  • Highrider and Net Chrome books.[4]

Gallery

References

  1. Michaels, Kirin (2018, June 7). Art Suggestions for upcoming Cyberpunk Red?.
  2. PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk RED Corebook. 1st ed., Kenmore, WA, R. Talsorian Games, 2020.
  3. PONDSMITH, M. et al. Cyberpunk RED Jumpstart Kit. 1st ed., Kenmore, WA, R. Talsorian Games, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 RTG Update: TotalCon
  5. RTG October Update
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 RTF Plans for 2022 – rtalsoriangames.com
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