City of Androids

Go read World of Dungeons by John Harper, then go read The Sprawl by Hamish Cameron, and then maybe you'll see where I'm going with all of this.




Get In The Mood

Cyberpunk is the synthesis of high tech and low lives, after the promise of a shiny luxury future became cheap plastic commodity. One could argue we're already there.

Go watch:

Go read:

Go play:



Rules of Play

Characters

Attributes

Roll 2d6 for each attribute and assign a value to each based on the result of the dice. On a 2, assign -1; for 3-6, assign 0; for 7-9, assign +1; for 10+, assign +2.
  • WILLPOWER - Stay calm and focused under stress. Use this to:
    • Accomplish a task under impending threat.
    • Outlast your quarry on a stakeout.
    • Jack out safely through your spoofed connections.
  • EDGE - Draw on your street-smarts, or do something bad-ass. Use this to:
    • Case a joint for potential entry points.
    • Pull off a slick getaway as you drive like a maniac.
    • Negotiate the terms of a contract.
  • BODY - The capabilities of your unaugmented body. Use this to:
    • Knock some heads in during a scrap.
    • Recover from a grievous wound.
    • Endure through a physical hardship.
  • INTELLECT - Use your brainpower to think your way out of a jam. Use this to:
    • Comb the net for information as you research the next job.
    • Hijack a security system and turn it against its owners.
    • Bypass the ICE on an encrypted server.
  • CHARISMA - Handle a situation with charm or by showing off. Use this to:
    • Charm someone into doing what they shouldn't.
    • Blend in where you don't belong.
    • Impress a mark with your hot ride.
  • SAVVY - Interface seamlessly with your technology. Use this to:
    • Charm or intimidate someone's avatar in cyberspace.
    • Jack in to a foreign system undetected.
    • Gain an advantage using your cybernetic implants.
Get 1 Hit Die (d6) + extra hit dice equal to BODY. Roll twice and assign one to BODY HP and one to NET HP. When something hurts you in real life, deduct from BODY HP. If something hurts you in cyberspace, deduct from NET HP. Losing all your BODY HP will put you at death's door

Choose a class. Each class gets a class skill, gear and 2 special abilities. You also get 1 skill in addition to the one granted by your class. Feel free to add descriptions of the awesome tools you get. If you get kitted out with any cybernetics, maybe have a think about why you would cut a part of your body out and replace it with a mechanical one.

Classes

DRIVER - Doesn't matter if it has wheels or if it flies, you can race it.

  • CLASS SKILL >> Piloting
  • GEAR >> Sports Hopper
  • CHOOSE 2 >>
    • Overdrive - Jack into your car and pilot it remotely.
    • Daredevil - You get +1 when taking a crazy risk.
    • Evasion - You can shake another car on your tail.
    • Carjack - You get +1 when "borrowing" a vehicle.

FIXER - If you can't build it, you know where (or from whom) to buy one.

  • CLASS SKILL >> Persuade
  • GEAR >> Neural Smartphone
  • CHOOSE 2 >>
    • Crew - You know who to call to get a favor, if they feel inclined.
    • Tinker - You can build or mod things when provided with materials.
    • Contraband - You know where to buy illegal or hard-to-find things.
    • Reputation - Everybody knows you, get +1 when negotiating.

RUNNER - You are a console cowboy of cyberspace.

  • CLASS SKILL >> Hacking
  • GEAR >> Console w/ neural interface
  • CHOOSE 2 >>
    • Daemon - You have a loyal, effective virtual AI sidekick.
    • Cybernerves - You get +1 net-armor.
    • Bypass - When you jack in, you are less likely to be noticed.
    • Logician - You get +1 when negotiating with an AI.

HUNTER - In a city of millions, you can find just who they need.

  • CLASS SKILL >> Awareness or Research
  • GEAR >> Recon Drone
  • CHOOSE 2 >>
    • Contacts - You can get dirt on anyone, for a price.
    • Pet - Your drone is controlled by a loyal, effective AI.
    • Eavesdrop - You can plant bugs and listen in on others without being noticed.
    • Gargoyle - You can choose the perfect vantage to track at a distance.

INFILTRATOR - You can get in, do your dirt, and get out.

  • CLASS SKILL >> Deception or Stealth
  • GEAR >> Skillchip Slot
  • CHOOSE 2 >>
    • Charmer - You get +1 when trying to talk your way into a place.
    • Plan B - You always have a contingency to save your skin (but only your skin).
    • Cypher - You are good at not being recognized, either with disguises or mannerisms..
    • Case - You are able to spot exploitable weaknesses in a facility.

BOUNCER - You know how to hurt people, if the price is right.

  • CLASS SKILL >> Athletics
  • GEAR >> Custom weapon
  • CHOOSE 2 >>
    • Dermal Plating - You get +1 meat-armor.
    • Wired Reflexes - You always act first and can react immediately when surprised.
    • MilSpec - You get +1 when using a firearm.
    • Intimidate - You get +1 when facing someone down.

If one of these classes isn't quite right for what you have in mind, make your own! Choose two skills, two special abilities and starting gear. If the skills or abilities here don't quite work, invent those too.

Gear

In addition to your starting gear, choose 1 or 2 other equipment to complete your look.
  • Simple Weapon - such as a knife, shuriken or chain. May be readied in off-hand [d4 DMG].
  • Regular Weapon - such as a pistol, sword or taser [d6 DMG]
  • Heavy Weapon - such as an automatic shotgun or sniper rifle [d10 DMG].
  • Light Armor - such as a nanoweave trenchcoat or synth-leather jacket. [+1 meat-armor].
  • Heavy Armor - such as plascrete riot gear or [+2 meat-armor].
  • Neural Armor - such as a feedback filter [+1 net-armor].
  • Silencer - to make your gun not so loud.
  • Painkiller Derms - to make the hurting stop.
  • Explosives - to destroy large things.
  • Stealth Suit - gives +1 when trying to avoid being detected.
  • Disguise Kit - gives +1 when trying to avoid being recognized.
  • Surveillance Kit - such as microphones or cameras.
  • Fracters - are effective programs to use against barrier ICE.
  • Decoders - are effective programs to use against code gate ICE.
  • Killers - are effective programs to use against sentry ICE.
  • Skillchips - instantly learn a new skill, as long as the chip is slotted.
  • Cybergoggles - to see in the dark or get augmented vision.
  • Specialty Tools - such as climbing rigs, wingsuits or scuba gear.
  • Medical Equipment - such as for first aid, surgery or biomod maintenance.

Rolling The Dice

When you attempt something risky, sum 2d6 and add one of your attribute scores, based on the action you’re taking. (The GM will tell you some of the possible consequences before you roll, so you can decide if it’s worth the risk or if you want to revise your action.) 

A total of 6 or less is a miss; things don’t go well and the risk turns out badly. A total of 7-9 is a partial success; you do it, but there’s some cost, compromise, retribution, harm, etc. A total of 10 or more is a full success; you do it without complications. And a total of 12 or more is a critical success; you do it perfectly to some extra benefit or advantage.

Skills

If you have an applicable skill, you can’t miss. A roll of 6 or less counts as a partial success, but with a bigger compromise or complication than a 7-9 result.
  • Athletics
  • Awareness
  • Deception
  • Hacking
  • Heal
  • Leadership
  • Persuade
  • Piloting
  • Research
  • Stealth

The Die Of Fate 

Sometimes the GM will have you roll the die of fate to see how the situation is established. Low numbers are ill-fortune, high numbers are good fortune (or at least not misery). The die of fate might be rolled to establish the weather, indicate a random NPC’s general attitude, or to determine if a wandering patrol appears. The GM may also have you roll the die of fate if you take some action for which sheer chance is the only factor in the outcome. 

Megacorps

There are four corporations that control everything on Earth (and also some of the Moon and Mars):
  • Haas Bioroid
    • Scans copies of human brains to create self-aware AI programs.
    • Some of these AIs haunt cyberspace, some live among us in robot shells.
  • Jinteki
    • Bio-engineers genetically modified clones to serve as a labour force.
    • Clones are not people in the eyes of the law.
  • NBN
    • Runs the Network, affecting nearly every aspect of life.
    • Produces nearly all media and entertainment.
  • The Weyland Consortium
    • Construction conglomerate that built the space elevator in New Angeles.
    • Has interests in nearly every sector of industry across three worlds.
It's a great idea for you to have personal connections to the corporations. Maybe the biomod that gives you an edge in street racing was stolen from a Jinteki warehouse and they know you have it. Perhaps the custom flechette gun you were given was a valuable Weyland prototype and they want it back.

Heists

The players are typically grifters just trying to get by among these corporate autocracies. Frequently, this means taking on a heist for a mysterious contact, such as:
  • Breaking into a research facility to steal a datafile. Once the file is obtained, it must be delivered to a new mysterious contact.
  • Fast-talking past security into a gala to plant a tracking device on a VIP target. When the VIP leaves, tail them to a hotel and plant compromising materials in their suite.
  • Going undercover in myco-trance rave subculture to contact a mole. Once they give you the location of the illegal brain-taping warehouse, break in and destroy the servers there.
Good heists have multiple obstacles, and require the talents of the whole team to overcome. Players can discover these obstacles in a variety of ways:
  • Show up after hours and snoop around using their EDGE.
  • Hit the streets and knock some heads using their BODY.
  • Jack into the Network and do research using their INTELLECT.
  • Start tailing known employees and ply them for information using their CHARISMA.
Along the way, new puppet masters make themselves known from the shadows. Someone is always watching, paying attention.

Runs

Runners jack into the Network, moving their entire consciousness into their computer. In cyberspace, there are no rules for how things work other than what the designers of the system want to program. Neon barriers radiate hostility, protecting glittering data repositories. A crystalline sphinx melts intruders using deathgaze protocols. A vore construct slowly dissolves its way through one defense after another. Try to capture the feelings that the corporation would embody to protect its property.

Encountering ICE

Runners face many risks navigating through security software: their programs can be corrupted, their nervous systems can overload with feedback, even their physical location can be traced and set upon.  

Names

Choose a professional name, a cool name, a mysterious name, a sleazy name:

Jackson, Taolu, Breakker, Kalyani, Hayato, Elena, E1evn, Farouk, Yelena, Anya, Shuzheng, Turner, Ad4m, Caprice, Gurminder, Hy4cinth, Analog, Armitage, Kit, Goto, Prophet, Kati, Rachana, Hsiao, Molly, Yijing, Zer0, Marcus, Meilong, Spider, Megumi, Akira, Patch, Ev3lyn, Archer, Xien, Misha, Mikhel, Rasmus, 5onia, Vihaan, Jynx, Neo, Heizel, Sleep, Jambo, Azmari, Soma, Frost, Dixie, Bobby, Dien, Case, Deckar, Gaius

Brands

Wherever possible, include the brand name for your gear. It's not a computer, it's an Ono-Sendai CyberDekTM; it's not a gun, it's a Hanfu Oni 9TM. All brands are imprints of the Megacorps, due to their omnipresence. Here are a few to get you started:

Cyberdyne, Ishi-Chin Technology Corp, Sony, Tsui-Chukova Gmbh, Exxon, WTN Databand, Tsien Shen Biotech, Huawao, IWN Media Unlimited, Baudrillard, Bidvest Group, Mura-Ushin Biotics, Jaenke Defense Ltd, Siskatank, Rajesh Worldwide, Godrej Interests, Hoa Devtech, MicroMax, Tanaka Inc, MMI Niger, Teranic Integrated Services, Pleshchukovich, OpPress, Guao Engineering, Omegacom, Muthoot Products, Ono-Sendai, United Process Control, Gestalt LLC, Brahna Transport, newSys Cybernetics, Kahi Aerospace, teraGen Nanotech, Taobai


Remember

These rules are yours to bend to your will! You may find it natural to expand, redact, and modify them as you your game goes on. We advise keeping an open mind and lively discussion of possibilities at the table.



Modules To Consider

Downtown Dataheist

Loving The Dead

Reddit thread about this sort of thing
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