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USR Cyberpunk $1.40 $0.70
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USR Cyberpunk
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USR Cyberpunk
Publisher: Trollish Delver Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/03/2014 09:56:47

To be used in conjunction with the Unbelievably Simple Role-playing system, this provides the resources and game mechanics necessary for running a cyberpunk game.

Beginning with a very brief introduction to the cyberpunk genre, it then launches in to creating a cyberpunk character under the USR rules. This is, as you might imagine, really straightforward. Core attributes are Action, Wits and Ego, with subsiduary ones being Hits and Humanity. The primary attribues each have a die assigned to them, one each of a d10, a d8 and a d6 - choose depending on what you intend your strength to be. You complete character generation by picking three Specialisms, skills you are particularly good at, these give you an initial +2 to a roll of the appropriate die for the controlling Attribute for that Specialism. The one oddball Specialism is Weapon Proficiency, which only gives a +1 to your roll.Then you need equipment and cyberwear, and to write some background for your character. That's it. Pretty simple.

The next chapter deals with Character Archetypes - the standard cyberpunk ones of a Face, a Hacker, a Mechanic and assorted combat types. Each comes with a brief overview of their role and suggestions as to Specialisms. The following chapter gives more detail on each Specialism. Throughout, players are encouraged to invent their own Archetypes and Specialisms so as to create precisely the sort of character they'd like to play.

Then there is a chapter on Weapons and Armour. Each weapon gets a modifier to an attack roll, and has a range, possible special features and a cost. Armour negates a certain amount of damage if you're unlucky enough to get hit.

The next section is on Cyberwear, which includes 'OverNet Decks' - the interface Hackers use to connect with the OverNet, this game's term for what the internet has become. Other Cyberwear includes sensory enhancements and body enhancements/replacements... but no implanted weapons.

Next up, Hacking, which gives a quite comprehensive overview of how to go about it in terms of game mechanics, and is followed by chapters on Writing Software and Viruses. It's good to see a cyberpunk system go into plenty of detail, often the poor Hacker is neglected in favour of more action-based characters. Here, the software creation system gives the Hacker something to do apart from actually messing about online - although if you know many serious coders, you'll know that they can be as uncommunicative when writing code as the popular image of a cyberpunk Hacker netrunning!

Another classic aspect of cyberpunk culture comes next: Drugs. A lot of those presented provide enhancement to mind or body (at least until the effects wear off), and quite a few of these are actually street-legal. There's also a brief note on creating your own.

Next there is an overview of life in a cyberpunk world, and the work finishes with a couple of example characters.

For a cut-down basic ruleset, this has most of what you need although it is best if you already have a clear idea of what 'cyberpunk' means, the overview of life in a cyberpunk world is quite thin.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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