I recently have had some chances to play Cryptomancer from the player perspective and I've grown to like it. Cryptomancer is essentially a cross of cryptosecurity and dark fantasy. It has a simplistic character creation system and with a good GM, can generate some awsome epics. If you are looking for something that feels llike White Wolf with fate dice, you will like Cryptomancer.
Character creation is simple. You come up with the character's concept, appearance and personality qualities to flesh out what makes your character tick. Then you set your Wits/Resolve/Speed/Power stat array through either answering a series of questions, or just setting them to how you want (each stat starts out at 6, but a +2/-2 exchange can be done to beef one stat to 8 while bringing another one to 4). The 4/6/8 represent your typical Difficulty Class, and in the case of your base stats, they represent your defense against different types of attacks (Speed makes you good at dodging, Power makes you good at parrying, etc)This base value is then broken down into two numbers to represent how well your skills for that stat are. These two numbers have to add up to your base stat.
Example: Jack has a speed 8, and to represent his general 'nimblyness' he has 4 Agility and 4 Dexterity.
Once you've gotten your stats down, you get your trademark weapon/armor and misc. equipment/loot/consumables. With trademarked weapons/armor, its your chance to add in flavor to your gear.
Example: Jack has a knife with a symbol of a Griffin on one side of the blade and the acronym "KPBTS' on the pommel.
The final point of character creation is the Talents and Spells. You get starting points which are used to buy talents (passives that allow you to ignore botches depending on th skill check and event going on) and spells (from resurrections, to kill balls, to even summoning ghosts to torment people like a jerk)
Cryptomancer is largely narrative based. Dice rolling is done with 5 dice, with D10s being rolled to represent your skill point allocation and D6s being rolled to make up for times you have less than 5 for the skill. The difficulty is the same 4/6/8 set by either the GM or the defense of the target you are rolling against. For the D6s you need to get a 6 to count that as a success. On the other side, a 1 on the D10 or 1-2 on the D6 counts as a botch and negate any successes from the other dice. Your goal is to get atleast 1 success, with each additional success generating more flavor and opening up additional options (depending on how the GM takes it).
Example: Jack is attempting to to jump across a large chasm. He has 4 agility, so he would roll 4D10s and a D6. DM rules that its a challenging skill check, 6. He gets 1, 1, 1, 5 from his D10s and a 4 on his D6. He does not suceed.
Setting is one of the strongpoints of Cryptomancer. Basically they use psionic crystals are their 'internet'. Each member of society has their own crystal shard and can use it to send telepathic messages to other members in the party, they can use it to research on a 'shardnet' to find more information, and they can even encrypt/decrypt information. The party itself is usually composed of individuals on the run from what are called Risk Eaters. Essentially powerful assasins that are 'paid' to help eliminate potential societal risks. DMs can run the setting in a different way if they don't want to deal with the risk system.
I'm not completely well versed in cryptosecurity, but I can recognize some of the SQL and Terminal commands that dot the book. Very nice touch. The visuals are reminiscent of White wolf, more specifically Exalted (atleast to me), and the PDF chocks in at 430 pages. I haven't gotten my hands on the Hardback, but I plan to get my copy next month.
I like it. It took a little bit of getting used to (I come from DnD and Pathfinder mostly), but so far what I have played I have enjoyed. As a narrative game, I definitely recommend Cryptomancer. The system is set up perfectly for players who like roleplay. 10/10 would encrypt again.
[5 of 5 Stars!]