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Hack the Planet: Cyberpunk Forged in the Dark $19.99
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Hack the Planet: Cyberpunk Forged in the Dark
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Hack the Planet: Cyberpunk Forged in the Dark
Publisher: Samjoko Publishing
by Gabriel R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2020 21:04:25

If you're looking for a game that is not only exciting and hauntingly beautiful, but also gives life to the deep social and global trends, Hack the World is for you.

You could simply settle for 'a fun night' with friends, but why settle for fun? Why not powerfully bring to life ideas that seem dead? This is what entertainment in general does: it always depicts a reality. It will reflect how the author thinks the world works. Through the artpiece, the author nudges your intuitions so that they are aligned with a worldview. It so happens that some worldviews are more aligned with the reality uncovered by the sciences and the humanities. The reality of corporatism, inequality and its amplification of social problems, and climate change is effectively dramatized in this work of art (and that makes me incredibly grateful and hopeful).

Hack the World needs absurd class divides for the missions to make sense. It also attempted to make natural disasters part of the forces of the fiction, but these forces were mechanically added as levers that the GM pulls or choices that the players make, rather than a necessary part of the whole machinery. Still, it's not a feature like DnD5e's Background and Alignment or whatever, which a GM could fully ignore and the game wouldn't suffer. For example, in HtP, natural disasters are always an option when figuring out what the next mission is.

This mission part, of course, is due to the game being Forged in the Dark. I will start playing Hack the Planet this week with friends, and it will be strange to have to think so much about numbers and categories and a Crew character sheet. I say this because I'm coming from a couple of months of having played Apocalypse World, one of the simplest games in terms of mechanics that I know of. In that game, I simply had to answer the questions that the Moves prompted. In this game, I have to keep track of the effectiveness of a move and the size of the effect every single roll. My hope is that I will develop an intuiton about this, but so far it seems like BitD is generally less intuitive of a system than AW. I put most of the blame on Blades in the Dark, but I also recognize Hack the Planet's author decided to use this system. Yes, I'm aware I could simply play The Veil, but it has no climate change and right now I like the idea of creating missions on the fly. Those become the source of antagonism to create dramatic situations, rather than the threats that are slowly established after a couple of sessions in AW. So those are mechanics.

What about the book? I love the art. It makes me want to live in that wretched world. It's impressive, in the sense that it creates powerful impressions for us players to carry onward as we play the game. The text is straightforward (not as pithy as AW, but I'm probably just betwitched by Vincent Baker's style).

I'm still figuring out how to play it online, since the game is so recent and the character sheets are still not on Roll20. It's also a bummer that the game probably won't be presented in any conventions this year, due to COVID-19 and The Orange Man's Incompetence™©®. I wish the best to the creators and the future of the game, because it's a bit of fresh air for us all.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hack the Planet: Cyberpunk Forged in the Dark
Publisher: Samjoko Publishing
by Scott D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/14/2020 05:05:59

I picked up Hack the Planet the day of release because I was very excited someone had tackled cyberpunk in the forged in the dark system. I wasn't very impressed. There is almost no detail on the city in which the game takes place. Whereas both Blades in the Dark and Scum and Villainy (the other two major games that use this system) have detailed maps of the game world, with art of what each ward/planet looks like and sections on who to find there and adventure hooks for each location, Hack the Planet has none of that, just one unlabeled city map where you can't tell what anything this. This lack of detail and world building, along with the climate stuff I'm not interested in cooled my enthusiasm. The art also lacks a unified aesthetic and honestly looks kind of cheap, like amatheur photoshop work. Something like the art in Blades in the Dark (minimalist and greyscale) that is less amibitious would have suited Hack the Planet better. I think it's absolutely still workable if you just want forged in the dark cyberpunk, but it's not a gem like Blades or Scum and Villainy.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hack the Planet: Cyberpunk Forged in the Dark
Publisher: Samjoko Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/22/2019 18:01:19

Another fantastic cyberpunk game by Mr. Simons. The Forged in the Dark engine is perfect for this sort of thing, streamlined enough to keep the action quick, crunchy enough to make characters interesting and resolution punchy. The climate fiction angle is new, and makes for a very interesting and cool setting. I especially like the way Mr. Simons has integrated cyberware into the system to work seamlessly with the Forged rules. Highly recommend!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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