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Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
 
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Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
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Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/12/2018 08:28:10

No preamble, this just jumps straight in to Life on the Edge with Section 1: Soul & the New Machine - encapsulating the in-your-face attitude that's at the core of the cyberpunk genre. Sidebars fill in details and quotes from celebrities of the cyberpunk world like musician Johnny Silverhand provide flavour as the text explains the core pragmatic survivalist with a touch of idealism approach that the true 'Punk takes to life. An overview of future history, written as if in the year 2020 looking back to the late 1980s shows how the world came to be in the state that it is - and is quite entertaining when read in the real 2018... yes we do have the 'Net, but other aspects - such as incorporating cybertechnologies into our own bodies - haven't happened yet.

It's all style over substance, projecting attitude, living on the edge. Before we know it, we're reading about the 'roles' (Cyberpunk's version of character class) and their special abilities. There are nine roles - Rockerboys, Solos, Netrunners, Corporates, Techies, Cops, Fixers, Medias and Nomads - and each have something to bring to the party, something unique to that role. Each one gets a couple of pages explaining where they fit and what they can do... and these are vivid enough that you can easily envisage a campaign built around any of them.

Next comes Section 2: Getting Cyberpunk. This covers character creation. It's basically a point-buy system, with the numbers of points you have either assigned by the GM based on the style of game they have in mind or randomly by rolling 9d10 and adding them together. There are nine Statistics to spend them on (Intelligence, Reflexes, Cool, Technical Ability, Luck, Attractiveness, Movement Allowance, Empathy and Body). Many things like strength, endurance and so on that normally form core game statistics are calculated from these nine in this system. Then you choose skills, with a vast range of different ones mainly associated with your chosen role (but you can cross-train), and at this point a mechanic for 'Fast and Dirty Expendables' is introduced for those not wishing to spend ages pouring over the options. It's quick enough to be recommended for making NPCs as well.

This is followed by possibly the most interesting part of character creation, Section 3: Tales from the Street. This is where you put some substance into the character with a mechanic called Lifepath that builds some background... it's a flowpath that covers national/ethnic origins, family, friends, enemies, personal habits and key events from your past... all of which may have an influence on your present. You can roll dice, or pick what you fancy from the options, as you please. If I don't have a vivid idea of who the character is, I start out with the dice, then change things as the character begins to come to life. Starting with some notes on personal style (clothes, hairdo and accessories), you find out nationality and language, a fair bit of detail about your family, and about what motivates you before you reach the Lifepath proper. Basically for each year over the age of 16, there's a chance that something happened that year. This is where it is fun to let the dice loose... and the GM will likely have a field day with the trail you have left through time. It's something that can be fun to play with in an idle moment, even if you don't have a game coming up!

Section 4: Working looks at tasks and skills in great detail, starting with a look at how to check if you have succeeded in whatever you are trying to do, applicable die modifiers and so on. The basic mechanic involves adding the appropriate statistic to a single applicable skill and rolling 1d10 against a GM-set target, or against someone else's roll if it is an opposed task. Now you know how to use skills, we move on to look at what skills are available and how to acquire them. You get ten career skills associated with the role you have chosen, and forty points to spend on them. You also get 'pickup skills' to further customise the character. There's a detailed listing of skills and what you can do with them to help you choose (although I still worry about a game that has 'Resist Torture/Drugs' as a skill... it's not one I want to have to use!). For those who like to invent, there are notes on creating new roles and new skills, although there's plenty here. The approach to martial arts is quite interesting, allowing for a lot of variety without getting bogged down in excessive detail.

Now it's time to equip our new character, with Section 5: Getting Fitted for the Future which covers weapons, armour and 'gear' - most everything else. Apart from cyberware which comes later in its own section. Here we find talk of the typical lifestyle (rootless and disposable), find out how much the character earns, and check on encumberance (important when you carry most of what you own), before looking at weapons in great detail. Armour and everything else have much smaller sections.

Then, Section 6: Putting the Cyber into the Punk does just that. It starts off talking about style and image, but soon veers off into cyberpsychosis, a mental illness that can affect someone who replaces or augments so much of his body that he runs the risk of losing touch with his human side. Suitably advised of the risks, we then move on to the cyberwear itself. Some of it is fluff, some has practical application, sometimes even combat use... but there's page upon page of it, plenty of choice for everyone. Some characters start off with some, others choose to get 'cybered-up' later on when funds permit... or when injury requires replacement body parts. In true Cyberpunk style, there are 'fashionware' modifications like hair that changes colour or a watch implanted in your wrist rather than being worn on it, as well as replacement limbs, implanted weapons and neuralware that enhances thought processes, memory, and has other effects depending on just quite what you have installed. A common enhancement is the interface plug, vital for netrunners, but useful if you operate any kind of machinery - or a smart gun - that you want to control by mind rather than physically. The one drawback is that these are all expensive. Various ways for getting the cash are discussed, but all involve selling out in some manner, and may have other consequences.

Now things start hotting up with Section 7: Friday Night Firefight. This is the combat system for the game, and is covered in extensive detail. It opens with the statement that the game mechanics have been designed with an eye to realism rather than to Hollywood-style 'heroes never miss and never run out of bullets' concepts, and then gets down to details. Combat is conducted in rounds representing about three seconds, and each conscious combatant gets to do something each round. Just what you can do and how it is done is covered in almost-scary detail... but once you have the hang of it, it actually flows pretty well. If combat is your thing, it is an excellent and comprehensive system, capable of handling as much detail and realism that you want. If you are less interested, it can be abstracted... or you may find it too dangerous and avoid a brawl whenever possible! There are loads of hints and tips about how to fight to best effect which are well worth reading, even if you don't intend to engage in combat: you often do not get the option!

Possibly just as well, the next section is Section 8: Trauma Team. This covers everything you need to know about medicine and the healing arts... and death. Fortunately in this vision of the near-future, there's a fast-response paramedic corporation (called TraumaTeam) who guarantee to get to you within seven minutes wherever you are... provided you pay the subscription! Assuming medical help is available, the process of getting better from whatever trauma or disease has laid you low is covered. One point is that this is no fantasy game: even with modern/futuristic technology, it takes time to recover from illness or injury. It's not just emergency medicine either, this section covers the medical aspects of getting cyberwear too, as well as notes on 'bodysculpting' - which sounds a bit better than cosmetic surgery. There's also considerable detail on TraumaTeam's operations. They come combat-ready, with security personnel as well as paramedics, so a wounded subscriber can literally be picked up while the fight's still going on (you could even run a campaign based on a TraumaTeam's exploits, or one I did that involved several rival paramedic services engaged in a turf war...).

Next, Section 9: Drugs looks at everything from medical-grade pharmacuticals to combat enhancers and recreational compounds. Many are literally designed to be addictive, so perhaps they are best left alone. On the other hand, if you prefer to design your own, there are rules for that as well.

Then comes perhaps the defining bit, Section 10: Netrunner. A lot of people are scared of this... and it can be quite hard in the middle of a session to cater for the party net-head without leaving the rest of the group sitting around getting bored. Some GMs even refuse to have netrunner characters, but it does add something special to the game if you manage to handle it. There's a lot about the 'geography' and functioning of the Net - and it's interesting reading looking back from present-day familiarity with the World Wide Web and the ease of net-browsing without plugging in bare-brained! Equipment and programs are covered here, along with the nasty things that can happen to the incautious or unlucky who pokes into some corner of the Net where they ought not to be. If you do want to do some serious netrunning, all the game mechanics you'll need are here - including how to build systems to be attacked, and how to create your own programs; but remember, there's a lot that the party netrunner can do whilst remaining (mostly) in the real world, even during a brawl or an intrusion.

Now it's time to look in more detail at the world you'll inhabit, with Section 11: All Things Dark and Cyberpunk. There's a future history timeline from 1990 to 2020. The European Union has become a monolithic trading bloc, space exploration - at least orbital - is flourishing, and corporations are taking the place of nation-states, even to the extent of having wars with each other. Plenty of commentary to put meat on the timeline's bones, to show you how everything developed to the current state. Law and order is discussed, and it's a harsh system of retribution... so best not to be caught! Any semblance of arms control, even in the USA, has gone completely out of the window, and self defence is an acceptable excuse. However, self-driving cars have not been developed although here it's possible to control your vehicle by thought by jacking in to it, although that's quite rare and expensive. People still write letters, or they can send faxes instead - e-mail appears not to have been developed. Newspapers flourish and there are some 186 TV channels. It's all a fascinating look at what the future might have been... but it created a fun world when written, and works well as an alternate path when played today.

Section 12: Running Cyberpunk tries to answer the question of "How do I run this game?" Plenty of ideas about how to set the scene of the gritty urban underbelly in which it always seems to be raining... There are staggering contrasts between the haves and the have-nots, and it's never clear who can be trusted and who is double-crossing you. Play it hard and fast. A bibliography is provided to help GMs immerse themselves in the atmosphere and style of the cyberpunk genre. There are suggestions for how to coax the normally antisocial and individualistic 'punks into teams, so that your group can work together.

Next, Section 13: Never Fade Away is ostensibly fiction to get you in the moon... but it is resourced enough with maps, stats for the main characters and other details that you could convert it into a scenario. This is followed by Section 14: Megacorps 2020, which provides background material on the nature of these vast organisations and how they impact with the day-to-day life of the average 'punk on the street. There are plenty of adventure ideas here, there's money to be made on the fringes as corporations often hire deniable assets to do their dirty work. There are outline sketches of several of the largest and best-known corporations, covering a brief history and listing their assets. I always giggle at one - Microtech - because I worked for a company of the same name when this book first came out. It was a tiny software house rather than a monster builder of hardware, though!

Finally an introduction to the default setting in Section 15: Night City provides you with a ready-made urban environment to run your game. There's a lot of detail here (and a whole supplement dedicated to it if you want...), with locations, personalities, suggested encounters and a collection of 'screamsheets' (print-on-demand newspapers) that provide a wealth of adventure ideas, some of which have been expanded for you. Of course, you might prefer to use your own home town - just use the material here to give it a cyberpunk spin.

This game has given me hours of innocent amusement over the years, from both sides of the GM's screen, as well as having written several convention scenarios. It has worn well, and is still playable today, especially for lovers of gritty underbellies of the future, with an excellent if extremely detailed combat system that pulls no punches. Still well worth the getting if you like this genre!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Antreas C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2018 05:09:43

Really liked the book would have preferred though if it was bookmarked. Otherwise excellent product definitely would recommend to other TTRPG players and GMs



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Pierre S [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/10/2018 17:35:12

Way back in 1982 or so I was moved by the film BLADE RUNNER (which you could call film noir as much as cyberpunk) and the book Neuromancer by William Gibson. The cyberpunk genre is edgy and gripping and can be summed up as, "high-tech, low morals," where heroism is relative and good people may be forced into bad situations.

R. Talsorian Games' first edition CYBERPUNK game (released in 1988) was set in 2013 (!), but the pumped-up second edition set in 2020 (and also alluding to version 2.0) is spelled CYBERPUNK 2.0.2.0. In this .pdf (version 2.01), a lot of errata are corrected, but some of the artwork is from European artists which differs from the first print release.

The basic game mechanic is to roll as high as you can with what we now call an "exploding" or "cascading" d10 roll. For a given task a Difficulty Level is decided upon. Then you take a basic character Stat, add the Skill level in a skill related to that stat, and add a single d10 to see if the total equals or beats that Difficulty. If you roll a 10 on the d10, add 10 to the Stat and Skill but roll again and add that. If you roll another 10, add it to the total and roll yet again until you have anything but a 10. So there's always one chance in 10 of improved rolls, one chance in 100 of much-improved rolls, etc. This adds an appropriate amount of "critical hit" thrills. But getting a roll of 1 (on the first throw) is a failure, with a check to be made on the Fumble Table to see if there are further ill-effects.

Generate characters according to 9 futuristic character types called Roles. You not only roll stats but spend a number of points on skills appropriate to the Role, and also follow the Lifepath tables which bring out events which happened to a character -- their back-story, in other words.

The rules-mechanics are supported by a richly-detailed social setting. Society is in decay: gleaming corporate enclaves are next to squalid poverty, although the homeless may be quite well-off, their needs taken care of with technical gear, street-food and rent-a-coffins for sleep. There are extensive listings for technical gear of the near-future, but sometimes they guessed at the future wrong (cellphones are still flip-phones, newspapers are constantly updated and printed in a fax style from the newsbox, and the Soviet Union is still a thing!) The Netrunner character can hack in the Virtual Reality Internet of the future, which is represented on a two-dimensional map-grid as opposed to the "lines and nodes" system of the original edition. The hacker's attempts to break-in to steal data are shown as physical movements, but are opposed by security programs called ICE which resemble horrible fiends online. See if you can get in and out with your brain-cells intact.

A sample adventure and "screamsheets" (10 newsfax articles from the future with short adventure outlines) are also included. This is a massive 250+ page rulebook that solidly covers what you will need for the genre.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Jamie L. R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2018 20:39:48

Others have written about the Cyberpunk genre and how well this system grabs it with murderous intent. Over the years I've played and run a mix of senarios from High Tech/Low Life to the Euro Golden Childern destorying the world for the corporations. However, I'd rather focus of the system itself:

On the plus side;

  • Character creation can be quick, fast & dirty for your punks, Or fill out the details with Lifepaths, skills, equipment, cyberware etc.
  • Combat is quick, brutal and deadly, which suits the genre.
  • The list of Cyberware gives PCs everything that need and opens the door to some cool ideas.
  • There is a community that have produced a lot of cool things. Like the Cyberpunk Refernce Book V5, a massive collection of notees about Cyberpunk and which source books have the information. And Datafort2020.com is a large archieve of useful material.

On the downside;

  • The technology... it's dated. Some of the tech talked about is VERY '80s, while others are right on the mark. Either way it's an interesting take on the future that is only just over a year away.
  • Netrunning. It does exprerss the idea of a digital space well, but it does create a game within the game that only Netrunners can play. This has the effect of slowing the game to a halt. So unless you have a team of netrunners PCs or it's all handled by an NPC Hacker. Moving neturunnering to the background allows the team to focus on the mean streets slick with rain.

Overall, I have many memories of the game. The system is generally simple and consisitent handling a number of genres beyond cyberpunk's distopian future. And rocks the Cyberpunk aesthetic.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Mariano C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/12/2017 07:21:32

The printed version is way beyond my expectations, it feels almost like having one of the original copies printed in the 90s. The PDF is excelent as well. The page numbers match the index, it's OCRd so you can search and the overall quality of the scans is really good.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/16/2016 17:57:27

Great system, my group is really loving it. The lethality of the combat really makes each encounter intense and the lifepath system for generating characters isreally fun to use. I would recommend this book to any fan of cyberpunk.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Hunter C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/17/2016 12:01:30

The book comes in the flavor of the 1993 edition with corrections and clarifications as version 2.0. While the book does have some minor errors such as spelling, misplaced numbers or words, the book is a solid rulebook to obtain in softcover. the softcover is pretty strong, durable, and will keep you occupied in the late nights rolling 9 1d10s to figure out your "random" character, pick out your stats by picking specific character points, and/or do the "Fast N' Dirty Expendables" for NPCs, whether they're important or not; perfect for creating your own posergang, boostergang, or chromegang, etc.

I thought the book would be great for roleplaying the Cyberpunk universe and it does. While I am not knowledgeable about the Fright Night Fire Fight system, I am aware that the game does have its own flaws, which comes up with quick remedies you could find by googling. This does not scare me 100%.

What I do like about the rulebook is the fast and hard rules that it comes up with for character creation. The customization of your character, due to the randomness of the core stats, the lifepath, and finding a number of pickup skills (using INT & REF), is not found in any other roleplaying rulebook as far as I know. This would be the most unique rulebook I could find on the 'Net. I'd be glad if a chombatta would prove me wrong but ... not yet. :D

When creating NPCs on the fly, the pages of Night City Encounters could inspire you. There's loads of encounters with people that each player could face when randomizing the encounter by die. This could give you loads of work as most encounters have varying degrees of difficulty, the numbers of people, and affiliatons. Be prepared as a GM to do a lot of NPC creation if you wish to use the Encounter system to keep your PC going. Make sure they're afraid to die, but willing to shed blood in order to survive. After all, Night City isn't too forgiving.

Then there comes a story called "Never Fade Away" in the theme of the Cyberpunk 'verse, which you could theoretically roleplay as Johnny Silverhand and battle the NPCs using the FNFF system to get familiar with the game. It also comes with "advertisements" or "classifieds" asking about jobs, which leads the player(s) on a job, willing to do the dirty work. These are quick-to-play scenarios and may not last you an entire night.

I am very ecstatic about this book and am glad of my purchase. I do not regret buying this rulebook 100% and will continue to support R. Talsorian Games, Inc. by buying up every single PDF and print-on-demand Softcover copy to have on my shelves (as I do collect and keep roleplaying rulebooks, supplements, or sourcebooks for posterity or to play).

For an added bonus on getting the latest weapons, get the Blackhand Street Weapons 2020 1st Ed. book. While it is 48 pages, it has chronicled a lot of the weapons in different categories from the rulebook, the supplements, and the sourcebooks. ;) Great if you don't have them all but could find them in one book!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by greg m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/13/2015 12:48:37

This is the first rpg I am aware of to try to capture the "High-tech, Low-life" feel of the literary and film cyberpunk genre, and it wildly succeeded. Of course, the game shows it's age now-a-days, what with some of the setting stuff. Who still uses fax machines? And a lot of the super fancy high tech in the game just looks dated. Wires and cables are everywhere in the game. Computer memory is made out to be a precious commodity. I feel I would be remiss if I didn't mention that kind of thing is all setting flavor and if you want to give the setting a more 2015 flavor of what the future would look like, it's not that difficult to reskin. The other approach would be to run it as a gonzo alternate future that went sideways during the 1990's. Mechanically, this is a great game. All you need to play is a single d10 and 2d6. Maybe a couple more for some of the really big guns, but I don't think that any of those were in the corebook. There are 9 stats you rolled a d10 each for, and a couple derived stats that used simple math to determine. Figure out your role... You can be a Solo, which is a classic cyber soldier, or a cop, corporate suit, a fixer (think fence,) nomad (Mad Max extras,) reporter, techie, doctor, netrunner (computer hacker) or a rock star! Slap on some shiny chrome parts to your character, get a couple bfg's, and your good to go. A couple things to be warned about, the netrunning rules take up a good third of the book, so a lot of referee's tended to ban that role or run one as a side npc so as not to use up huge segments of time the other players could be using. The combat system is this game has a bit of a learning curve, as does any mechanic for any game, but once you get used to it, combat can be resolved quickly, easily, and LETHALLY. Guns kill characters in this game. If they don't kill you outright, chances are the ambulance won't show up in time. The rule system for this game is really well balanced, and once you get the hang of it, is really intuitive. Some parts of this review may sound blase, but I am trying to give an honest review of all parts of the game; so you get the good with the not-so-good. It really is an excellent game and worthy of a 5 star rating.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Marisa C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/28/2013 04:21:45

I had bought the book for the game a while ago, and decided I wanted a PDF version to print out sheets with ease. It looks like this book is a mishmash of two different versions--page 99 of my book has modifiers, and other tables in relation to Friday Night Fire Fight, while this PDF has a redundant shotgun/grenade section (that, mind you, are in page order still). Pages are poorly scanned: in quality and lack of care (can the pages be straight... please? Am I too OCD to request this?).

Please fix this PDF, and it will be a better purchase.

As for the system, it's simple and easy to get into. Everything from character generation to the thrilling combat... it's great to pick up and go. I recommend picking up the other books just to add to the flavor of your Cyberpunk game. The layout of the book (and other books) are VERY cool, and REALLY convey the feeling of what being Cyberpunk is all about.

System-wise, HIGHLY recommended. For this PDF, hold out if you can till they fix the issue with the pages. You will be missing relevant information that the physical copy has. If you can, find the book on Amazon.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Finnen C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2013 18:06:53

This a beautiful game system, the more I look into it the more it appeals to me. Character creation and the example archetypes are packed with flavor that bring the game alive. Can't wait to read more and eventually play it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Benjamin L.
Date Added: 09/11/2011 17:33:38

I ordered "Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0 The Second Edition, Version 2.01" and I have to say that not only is the PDF quality rather poor (uneven scanning and poor clarity at points), it seems to actually be missing pages! For example, on page 51, in the second paragraph for "Martial Arts" it reads, "A full table of key attacks is listed in Friday Night Firefight, pg 100". However, when you go to page 100 (the actual, printed page) there is no table on the page; there is no such table in the PDF at all! I clearly remember it having one.

Another example is on page 105, under "Modifiers". It states that there is a list of modifiers on page 99, yet there isn't. Now, please go to page 98 and read the last sentence: "He won't get the bonus on Hargan, because the blonde giant"...and it ends. Turning to page 99, not only do we not get our table, the prior text is cut-off.

Until they fix this PDF, I'd find another way to get a copy of this game.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Shodan A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/30/2011 11:15:28

Nice. Although some time ago it presented some problems that were addressed promptly by the RpgNow team :)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/10/2009 16:43:41

Still my favorite game for the cyberpunk genre. Although there are a few gaffes (faxing is the communication mode of the future!), there's a lot of predictions that have come true or are well on their way to becoming true. Mike Pndsmith really hit paydirt with this fantastic system.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/29/2008 02:32:48

Its simple, and fun much easyer to play than your normal D&D settings.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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