Full Disclosure: I have helped fund this product on Kickstarter and have been given a "Creative Consultant" credit for helping during the playtesting period. I do not financially benefit from the sale this product.
GeneFunk 2090 is a "biopunk" (think cyberpunk with an emphasis on genetic engineering and its consequences) TTRPG using a modified form of the D&D 5th Edition rules set (all rules are included in this book, no need to own any D&D rulebooks).
What's the Setting?
You play as a group of deniable asset mercenaries known as a "cadre" doing dubiously legal tasks for the various corporate and criminal syndicates that form the power structures of this cyberpunk future. Your reputation and pay scale is mediated by "Mosaic", a social media app / job board connecting cadre mercs to clients who need dirty deeds done discreetly. Nine megacorporations own nearly everything in this world, and the "Second Corporate War" is well under way as covert and not-so-covert warfare is the only way for these syndicates to gain superiority over each other.
What's the Technology?
- For over 50 years genetically engineered humans have been created, designed for a myriad of purposes. As of the year 2090, a quarter of the worlds population were born with transgenic traits.
- The overwhelming majority of the population have a nanotechnological colony in their bodies called a "daemon", an internal computer and medical nanobot system revolutionizing nearly every aspect of life.
- Cybernetic, biological and daemon software upgrades are available to those who can afford them to push far past the limits of what is humanly possible.
- One of the major corporations has developed "Phoenix Unlimited", a system that creates backup copies of a client's consciousness so that in the event of their death, that copy can be given a new body and a kind of functional immortality can be achieved.
- Despite all the incredible things daemon technology can do, there is a hidden price. It is possible for criminals and government agents to hack into someone's daemon and affect their target's brain and body. Memories can be altered or erased and bodies can be puppeteered. Codehackers are essentially techno-psychics in this world, and the havoc they can wreak is terrifying.
- Ranged weapon technology is primarily projectile based with specialized ammunition available. Melee weapons can be enhanced with electrical charges or especially sharp nanoblades. Armor can grant physical damage reduction on top of the normal AC boost. No laser pistols or energy shields, flying cars exist with turbofan VTOL, and there's a permanent base on the moon.
How's Character Creation?
You have a choice of over 18 different "Genomes" (think D&D races), each very powerful in their own right (a level 1 GF2090 character will be equivalent to a level 3 D&D character). You also have the option to create your own custom genome (GM willing), or play a "Mutt" who rolls completely randomly what traits they inherited from their transgenically engineered parents. There are 11 prewritten Backgrounds to choose from, with the option to write you own. There are 8 classes, ranging from your standard D&D analogues (Fighter, Rogue and Monk players will recognize archetypes) to the Suit (an agent of a corporation/government/mafia who wields money and influence as their weapon) and hackers.
What's this about Hackers?
There is no magic or psionics in this world; but bioengineering, nanotechnology and daemons can be used to create effects normally reserved for spell casters in other games. Simply: Hackers are spellcasters, using D&D-like spells as "Hacks". BioHackers can use hacks to affect biological bodies, either to harm or heal. Codehackers can use hacks to affect computers and brains (remember daemons can be hacked), making them truly terrifying techno-psychics. Engineers are masters of machines, their hacks either being crafting blueprints or representing the exact gadget you needed amd just happened to be carrying with you. If you like playing a spell caster in other 5E games and are worried there's nothing for you in this SciFi game, trust me, this game has got you covered.
Is it Good?
As stated in the beginning, I am clearly biased. I love this game. The book is gorgeous, the character build options endless, and the setting is perfect for cyberpunk skullduggery. And at this price ($19 US from where I sit) for a 314 page rules complete TTRPG this well made, I think its a steal.