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A Witcher's Journal
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/10/2021 04:46:36

https://www.teilzeithelden.de/2021/04/06/ersteindruck-a-witchers-journal-r-talsorian-games-monster-en-masse/

Lange bevor Geralt von Riva über den Kontinent zog, ja sogar vor den unbekannten Abenteuern seines Mentors Vesemir, gab es Erland von Larvik, einen Hexer der ersten Stunde. Seine Notizen bilden die Basis für die zweite Erweiterung zum Witcher-Rollenspiel. Wenig überraschend enthalten diese viele Beschreibungen von Monstern.

Bereits 2018 erschien das Grundregelwerk zum Hexer-Rollenspiel oder auch The Witcher – TRPG im Hause R. Talsorian Games und bot einen soliden Einstieg zum Rollenspiel auf dem namenlosen Kontinent. Die gesellschaftlichen Probleme, die politischen Intrigen und die generelle Düsternis des Settings wurden treffend eingefangen. Dazu spielten sich die Kämpfe dank des W10er-Interlock-Systems (Cyberpunk Red) außerordentlich tödlich. Die erste Erweiterung Lords&Lands bot verhältnismäßig wenig und überzeugte weder bei den NSC, den Ländereien noch der neuen Klasse Adelige:r völlig.

Mit dem Witcher‘s Journal bringt das Team um Cody Pondsmith nun die nächste Erweiterung auf den Markt. Dieses Mal darf sie sich tatsächlich so nennen: Auf den insgesamt 160 Seiten finden sich zahlreiche Monster und verschiedene Tagebucheinträge des legendären Hexers Erland von Larvik. Dazu Hexer-Aufträge, besondere Monster und neue Spielmechaniken. Ein proppenvolles Paket also?

Das Goldene Zeitalter der Hexer – A Witcher‘s Diary Mit den Aufzeichnungen des ersten Hexers erweitern R. Talsorian Games den spielbaren Zeitraum. Bisher standen in ihrem Rollenspiel die Ereignisse um die drei Nilfgaardischen Kriege im Vordergrund, die während der Bücher und Videospiele stattfinden. Nun wagten die Entwickler:innen den Sprung ins kalte Wasser und liefern hier erstmals Einblicke in die Anfänge der Hexer-Gilde, kurz nach der Konjunktion der Sphären.

Es werden Jahreszahlen und Hintergründe zu den ersten Hexern geliefert sowie zu einigen bekannten Vertretern jener Zeit. Schlussendlich geht es dann um die Spaltung der Hexer in verschiedene Schulen, die sich den Kontinent aufteilen, die daraus resultierende Renaissance der ausschließlich männlichen Kaste und den unausweichlichen Niedergang der Schulen.

Im Auftrag einer reichen Witwe kümmert sich Erland von Larvik um ein paar Neblinge, die es sich im Sumpf etwas zu gemütlich gemacht haben. © R. Talsorian Games Das betitelte Goldene Zeitalter ist hierbei nur in puncto Monsteranzahl wirklich golden. Ansonsten dominieren weiterhin bekannte Themen wie Rassismus, Mord und Totschlag, Krieg oder Neid – es ist und bleibt eine raue Welt.

Insgesamt sind die Informationen detailliert, aber nicht zu detailverliebt, sodass eine Kampagne zur Zeit der ersten Hexer gut zu erstellen ist. Jedoch bleibt genügend Freiraum, eine eigene Geschichte zu erschaffen und neues Lore zu erleben.

Neben dem Rundumschlag in fiktiver Historie werden als kleine Einspieler zwischen den Monsterbeschreibungen einzelne Transkripte aus den Larvik’schen Tagebüchern geliefert. Diese gehen nie über eine äußerst volle DIN-A4-Seite und lesen sich in etwa wie die Kurzgeschichten der Geralt-Saga, wenn man diese auf die Kampfszenen reduziert hätte. Die Geschichten selbst sind meist zu kurz, um eigene Abenteuer daraus zu entwickeln, jedoch lassen sie die sonst etwas zahlenlastigen Monsterbeschreibungen lebhafter wirken und liefern Anhaltspunkte zur Beschreibung der Wesen.

Tödliche Tierwesen und wo sie zu finden sind – Von Barbegazi bis Waldschrat Das Gros der Erweiterung machen jedoch nicht die Tagebücher, sondern die Monsterbeschreibungen aus. Direkt zu Beginn wird erklärt, wie die Monstertabellen zu lesen sind. Wäre das nicht etwas für das Grundregelwerk gewesen, welches geradezu unter einer Flut von wenig erklärten Tabellen litt?

Nichtsdestotrotz lohnt sich die Klarstellung. Die Monster im Buch sind in Kategorien wie Nekrophagen, Geister oder Bestien unterteilt. Besondere Monster wie höhere Vampire oder echte Drachen bilden nochmal eine eigene Klasse. Über 33 Monster haben so im Journal eine neue Heimat gefunden. Bis auf die Trolle gibt es keine Dopplungen mit dem Grundregelwerk. Mit dabei sind viele faszinierend-abstoßende Wesen aus The Witcher 3, wie etwa Fehlgeborene oder Schleimlinge. Doch auch unbekanntere Bestien aus den Vorgängern haben Einzug gefunden, beispielsweise die Gralle.

Die Jagdobjekte haben neben einer generellen Schwierigkeit viele weitere Stellschrauben. Wie intelligent sind sie? Sind sie rein instinktgesteuert oder in der Lage, taktische Entscheidungen zu treffen? Über was für Fähigkeiten und Finessen verfügen sie? Und, am allerwichtigsten für den dauerhaft geldknappen Hexer: Was für Beute wirf das Monstrum ab? Das schafft auf einer Buchdoppelseite Übersichtlichkeit und System für die SL.

Abgerundet wird das Monsterkomplettpaket mit einigen Hilfestellungen zu Encountern und längeren wie kürzeren Lore-Texten, welche aus der Sicht von Gelehrten oder Hexern verfasst wurden. Diese Erfahrungsberichte zeigen sehr schön die Wissensunterschiede. Denn während Nicht-Hexer sich mit ihrer Bildung nur auf Hörensagen und Aberglauben verlassen können, ist es den Profis dank ihrer Ausbildung vergönnt, sehr schnell viele wichtige Informationen zu Tage zu fördern.

Das kann dann, ganz Witcher-typisch, den ein oder anderen Kampf ersparen. Wenn der Hexer der Gruppe sich beispielsweise daran erinnert, dass Trolle oft mit Alkohol bestechlich sind und die SC daraufhin ihre Taschen danach durchsuchen, um die Monster-Begegnung unbeschadet zu überstehen.

Außergewöhnliche Monster – Lebensläufe für Drachen und Vampire Die sogenannten Außergewöhnlichen Monster stechen aus der restlichen Metzel-Masse heraus und sind mit deutlich mehr Informationen versehen. So geht es bei den echten Drachen viel um die Unterschiede bei der Farbgebung, ihre Gesellschaftsform und wie ein so hochintelligentes Wesen trotz fehlender Lippen mit den Spieler:innen kommunizieren kann.

Höhere Vampire, die vielen noch aus dem Witcher 3-DLC Blood and Wine bekannt sein dürften, fallen ebenfalls in die Kategorie des Besonderen. Neben viel Hintergrundmaterial zu den verschiedenen Stämmen und ihren Ursprüngen rund um das Herzogtum Toussaint, dürfte die größte Neuerung der Lebenslauf für die besonderen Monster sein. Denn da es sich bei Drachen wie Vampiren um nahezu unbesiegbare Boss-Gegner handelt, empfiehlt das Buch, sie von vornerein mit mehr Persönlichkeit, als das typische „Monster der Woche“ zu versehen. R. Talsorian liefert hier auswürfelbare Lebensläufe mit aberdutzenden Möglichkeiten. Das war bereits eine der Stärken des Grundregelwerks. Ähnlich wie bei den SC geht es hier zuerst um die Familie und das Alter, bevor es um spezielle Dinge wie den Jagdstil oder einzelne Lebensereignisse geht. So können Drachen beispielsweise in Frieden mit der Landbevölkerung zusammengelebt oder ein Vampir schonmal gegen einen Hexer gekämpft haben, woraufhin er gegen seine Tricks immun wurde. Vielleicht ist der vampirische Gegenspielende einer Gruppe aber auch nur ein ausgestoßener Blutalkoholiker.

Nach diesem Prinzip lässt sich prima und schnell eine Nemesis für die Gruppe entwickeln, die nicht an einem Abend besiegt wird, sondern am Ende einer langen Kampagne steht.

Ermittlungen und Aufträge – Hardboiled Witcher Passend zu den supernatürlichen Antagonist:innen bespricht das Buch in seinem vorletzten Kapitel, wie sich diese mit komplexeren Abenteuern langsam aufbauen lassen. Kurz gesagt: Es geht um Rätsel und Ermittlungen im Witcher-Rollenspiel. Denn wie das Buch treffend festhält, sind Hexer nicht nur mutierte Monsterschlächter, sondern genauso effektive Detektive. Oftmals ist am Anfang eines Auftrages nicht klar, um welche Bestie es sich handelt (so vage sind unter anderem auch die elf beigelegten Hexer-Aufträge). Vor dem eigentlichen Kampf werden also Zeug:innen befragt oder Tatorte untersucht.

Aus dem Intelligenz- und dem Willenskraft-Wert ermittelt sich die Menge an Fokuspunkten, die für das Finden von Hinweisen und das daraus folgende „Herstellen“ von Beweisen gebraucht wird. Die Hinweissuche kann durch Hindernisse erschwert werden. Die Hinweise selbst können zusätzlich noch einen Verschleierungs-Wert haben, der wie eine Art Rüstung für das Rätsel fungiert. Das Mysterium selbst hat einen Komplexitätswert, welcher schlussendlich durch „Schaden“ auf null reduziert werden muss, um zu des Rätsels Lösung zu gelangen.

Trotz zahlreicher Beispiele und umfangreichen Informationen verfällt das Witcher’s Journal hier in alte Muster und verliert sich mitunter in Überkomplexität und Zahlen. Andere, durchaus relevante und spannende Aspekte fürs Ermittlungsrollenspiel, wie etwa der Umgang mit der Diskrepanz zwischen Spieler:innen und Charakterwissen, werden lediglich am Rande behandelt.

Erscheinungsbild Das Witcher’s Journal umfasst 160 DIN-A4-Seiten und ist im Oktober 2020 außerdem in deutscher Übersetzung beim Truant Verlag erschienen – für den Ersteindruck lag jedoch nur die englische PDF vor.

Der größtenteils fehlerfreie und gut lesbare Text wird untermalt von zahlreichen stimmigen Illustrationen der Witcher-Welt. Erstmals finden sich sogar komplett neue Bilder im Buch. Bisher lieh man hierbei immer von The Witcher 3 oder Gwent.

Die Texte sind verständlich, das Layout ist stimmig. Offenbar wurde aus den vielen Fehlerchen des ersten Grundregelwerks gelernt – schlecht oder gar nicht erklärte Tabellen gibt es jedenfalls keine. Vorhandene Informationen sind sinnvoll auf Text, Tabellen und Seitenränder verteilt.

Die PDF ist bereits mit einem Index versehen, welcher schnell zu den einzelnen Monsterklassen verweist. Für ein wenig Verwirrung sorgte, dass die Tagebucheinträge im Inhaltsverzeichnis den Monstern beigefügt sind, sie im PDF-Index aber als eigenständiges Kapitel aufgeführt sind.

Fazit

Das Witcher’s Jorunal ist ein solides Bestiarium zum Nachschlagen und Erweitern der eigenen Kampagnen geworden. Alle notwendigen Informationen zu einem Monster befinden sich auf wenigen Seiten komprimiert und lassen sich schnell umsetzen. Die Wesen sind abwechslungsreich und zusätzliche Features wie die Lebensläufe geben den besonderen Monstern bereits zum Start eigene Persönlichkeiten mit Freund:innen, Feind:innen und Verflossenen.

Der Hintergrund-Teil des Buches und die Aufträge sind eine nette Dreingabe, genauso wie die Tagebucheinträge. Insgesamt bleiben sie jedoch genau das, eine Dreingabe. Für einen richtigen Story- oder Kampagnenband wäre das zu wenig. Durch die Hexer-zentristische Sicht fehlen hier vor allem Informationen zu politischen und gesellschaftlichen Umständen.

Das Investigationssystem ist detailliert, verliert sich aber mitunter in seinen zahlreichen Sonderregelungen und wirkt in Anbetracht einer zügigen Umsetzung am Spieltisch erst einmal abschreckend.

Als Monster-Erweiterung erfüllt das Buch für knapp 30 Euro (15 Euro für die PDF) seinen Zweck allemal. Es bietet viel Material für spannende Kämpfe, Abenteuer und Begegnungen in der Welt der Hexer.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Witcher's Journal
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Cyberpunk RED
by Paxton K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/09/2021 09:41:25

So, to explain. Cybwepunk, especially 2020 and When Gravity Fails have been a massive influence on me. So I am gonna try and run that edge of Sunnies and Tri-pheds. Pop in my Hunter S. Tompson Moddy and give this a go...

Neon revolution. Electronic wonderland. Hydrogen happiness Not Chooh. Virtual destiny and mixed reality. Chem-Stem holiday. 'Chosis Choombas. In the NET? Naw, in the Corvette! Or Mega Tron Or a toaster. No run the Net. Run the machines.

The "new" version of games has become worn. Except for the ones where things have changed.

Elves are still elves; but Medias are Fake News. Vibe the Influencer and Content Creator. It may not be true; but its the closest you will ever be.

Rockerboy? So cis-gender. Rappers can talk the words of the Prophets! They put the Soul in your shoe or the blood. Livin on the edge, like a lap dance for Satan!

Nomad was a fad. Road Warrior Wore Out. Boosters are Fam and with them, Street Cred is everything. For they are The Warriors, Send the Word!

Scream Sheets? F'ed to the A! Its about that Feel-a-Vision and Blip Verts. No Controller for Edison Carter when she can jump from drone to bot and what-not.

Virtual Reality? If my meat sack is so happy there, Johnny Silverhand just Ctrl Alt Deleted. No love for the Output. Me 2!

Why change the rules, if you can't change the word!

Peace out on my Zip Speech, Night City!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
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The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Matthew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/25/2021 15:51:07

Straightforward if brutal, uses an adaptation of RTGs Interlock system for easy, fast paced fun.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
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Babbage's Engine
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2021 12:40:25

Our group ran this adventure using the Victoriana 3rd edition rules. While we like the Victoriana/Heresy enging, we wanted the more adventurous and light-hearted tone found in Castle Falkenstein. As has been stated previously, this adventure is, literally, a railroad that starts on a railroad. It proceeds from scene to scene with the characters actions having little or no direct impact on the story. That being said, there is ample opportunity for roleplaying and interaction with NPCs. This adventure was a great introduction to the world of Falkenstein, a fine jumping off point for our games, and an enjoyable evening for all concerned!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Babbage's Engine
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Listen Up You Primitive Screwheads!!!!!
by Hans S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2021 15:17:33

If you would like poorly edited essays on why you should put more "gotcha" moments and TPK in your games, you can pay for it here. Or you could just search the internet and get likeminded GM to say that it is better to assert power over your PC.

I strongly disagree with this position, and frankly resent the idea that conflict should (or even can) be resolved with passive-agressive methods like those recommended here. Even having recently kicked a player for the first time, I prefer reconciliation (to be fair, some essayists make a passing reference to reconciliation, but overwhelmingly assume it will fail).

Some advice "nuggets" from the book include:

  1. the idea that you should come up with a story first and then try to find players that will fit your vision, or else compel them to take skills and backgrounds that will fit;
  2. the idea that "power players" merely want to annoy you or steal your authority and must be punished by unbeatable NPC or unwinnable situations;
  3. taking away from players the things that make their PC cool or interesting because you should punish "abusive power gaming";
  4. finally, this gem of a remark: "gaming has been for too long the hiding place of pseudo-intellectuals... watch out for them"

Take the author's advice and "watch out" for the pseudo intellectuals that authored this document. I genuinely cannot reconcile the overall ratings with the content of this book. Not recommended.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Listen Up You Primitive Screwheads!!!!!
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Cyberpunk RED
by Darin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2021 10:30:18

I was 15 when I got my hands on the old black box cyberpunk 2013. I took that thing with me everywhere. Dice, mechanical pencils, character sheets and of course the books were stored inside. The box is long gone today though I still have the books clinging on to their staples just barely. They got a lot of use as did my 2020 books. - Mid 40's now and my excitement for Cyberpunk RED has not diminished. It goes to work with me, back in the car to and to home again... Cyberpunk RED is a wonderful addition to the Cyberverse. I highly recommend picking up a copy if you are a fan. My son and his friends are still playing Cyberpunk 2020 and Cybergeneration. Our First cyberpunk RED game will be this weekend. My family would like to thank everyone at R. Talsorian Games for two generations of entertainment and imagination. May there be many more at all of your tables as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
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Cyberpunk RED
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2021 12:44:17

TL;DR great entry point for Cyberpunk, character creation is confusing yet the life path is expanded upon. Netrunning has been reworked for the better and is a must for cyberpunk 2020 games to be homebrewed in. the book is both lacking information and isn't clear on the information presented.

i played this as a player and GMed the quickstart adventure The Apartment, so i'll give thoughts on both sides.

as a Player, coming from Cyberpunk 2020, it's still detailed in it's skill based system, however they streamlined some thing. this isn't meant to be a bad thing. combat is still deadly and the critical injury chart is really good.

first, the book it self, i have the PDF so you can click on links to specific pages for information so that's handy, however, one of the complaints from a player side, and even as a gm, the information isn't presented well and clear, so my GM had to stop combat and an RP encounter a couple of times to check the core book and either there isn't information on say, defending skill checks or clarity on said skill checks. this is easily fixed by just rule calling. however combat, is fast if not faster than 2020. one positive is there is charts for each weapon you use, so in the Friday Night Firefight chapter, you have every information you need to know your DV (difficulty Value) for range, which is great!

this is a personal complaint, and from what i've seen this is a common complaint: character creation is confusing. in 2020 there is a clear way of making your character, roll stats, run the life path, assign your career skills, pick ups skill, then buy your gear and cybernetics. in RED, you pick your role, choose either Ratpack or Edgerunner "template" creation or Total Package. this in my opinion is WAY too confusing. i get it to streamline it for new players to get a character up and running, however, as someone who came from 2020, it just adds unnecessary steps for the sake of simplicity. my GM just said for everyone to do Total Package which is much "closer" to 2020 character creation. the Life Path changed yet expanded upon. you can roll or choose your life path (rolling is way more fun) and they have a chart for your Role life path which i find very interesting and makes sense, because career specific thing do happen, so it's nice to know if you have a rogue AI chasing you when you jack in as a netrunner or made rivals/enemies in your career.

the biggest change that was needed, is the Netrunner chapter. by god, this chapter is the reason i made a Netrunner! in lore, the Net is a dangerous black abyss now filled with Black Ice programs, and is no longer a world wide network, so Netrunners can't be in their command centers anymore, every building has its own network, so the netrunner has to jack in in person, and it's just as deadly in the net and meat form. instead of the complex mine sweeper-esque graph paper from 2020, it's an elevator, you scan to see what "floors" are available, and the risk vs. reward of moving up in the elevator. it is faster and a simpler version of netrunning, so i HIGHLY recommend 2020 gms to homebre these rules for 2020.

i mentioned i ran quickstart RED, the pre-gen character sheets are great, however it's a "diet" version of the real red version, but that's a good starting point, the only thing that suck as of this review, is a lack of a gm screen for quick references, so you'll need to use your google-fu or photo shop skills to have one for yourself.

overall, if you're curious about how to get into Cyberpunk red, this is a great starting point, and if you want a more crunchy version of RED, 2020 is great! however, the character creation and information in the book is confusing so definitely use your google-fu to get some clarity or ask your gm for clarification on certain rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chromebook 3/4
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2021 12:20:54

an essential for more options for players and characters. this book has options to make youre look like a specific animal. it's out there, but creative!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chromebook 3/4
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Chromebook 1/2
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2021 12:19:35

another essential book for cyberpunk, this book is great for tech, fashion, and more cybernetic options.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chromebook 1/2
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Blackhand's Street Weapons 2020
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2021 12:07:46

i wish majority of rpg books do this, have a book with all of the weapons from all of the source books in one book. it is literally a book of guns. it's super handy for your players and rping shopping.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blackhand's Street Weapons 2020
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Night City
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2021 12:05:43

THE sourcebook to have for your Cyberpunk game! it's a reason why it is considered an ESSENTIAL book. while the cyberpunk 2020 book had information on Night City, this book expands on every building, street, where is where, what street gangs runs what, and so on.

get it! you won't regret it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Night City
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Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/08/2021 14:43:08

TL;DR - a fun and awesome cyberpunk game while crunchy, is really good for roleplay and combat is deadly and fantastic setting that you can homebrew up. Net running is very weird and hard to run. homebrew Red Netrunning rules.

i bought this in the Humble Bundle that went on a couple of months back. read through this game and it is dated, as of this review, it is 2021 and the setting is in 2020. you can easily make it as an alternative timeline or add 10-20 years, some players even homebrew this into red and it's in 2045 or even 2077 (look at that!) i love sci-fi and cyberpunk is really cool and very punk rock.

the roles aren't like your traditional dnd classes, they're more or less your jobs in the world of cyberpunk. from rockerboys, to hired assassins and mercenaries Solos, to even roaming Nomads and media journalists. you'll find a role that'll fit any play style and game that you want to run. just one clarification that the book doesn't really do, is have a seperate section for Med Techs, as they're bunched in with the Tech sections. Cops/Lawmen and Solos are seperate so its something to be mindful of.

one of my favorite things about this system, is the Life Path system. you can easily make an in depth character and grow attached to your character really well! the answers are general statements so you can write however you want to make it your own. from how you grew up, wwhat happened to your family, are your parents still alive? what happened after the age 16 and what you're currently doing? did you make friends? did you made enemies? it covers all the bases and i enjoyed running character creation with my players.

Combat encourages that high octane action like the Matrix, John Wu, and other action packed movies. in dnd once you hit a certain level low level creatures are a joke. in cyberpunk, a switchblade can easily mess up your character and guns will ruin your life if you're not careful. there is a risk vs reward type style of combat, do you stand still to make the perfect shot? or do you run in dual wield uzis and hope you hit your target while dodging incoming fire? it's pretty detailed in covering explosives, and even drugs. roll for skill checks is interesting as it take your stat + skill and roll a d10 to determine your result, for guns depending on Rate of Fire you can roll up to 3 times depending on the gun, and damage, plus if you have cyberware to make your accuracy higher, it can get crunchy at time.

Cybernetics is interesting, it can be complex where you intentionally replace live meat for a cybernetic limb or vain as skin change changes or hair color changes, or iris color changes. the humanity system is really clever in that it is tide to your empathy stat, cyberpychosis is a real thing, which i tell my characters that if they do not have any humanity left, they can no longer play that character because they have lost their mental state and can no longer "function" properly.

one of my biggest (and many others) complaint is the Netrunning system, it's complex and clunky, and i could never get it to make it fun. netrunners in this game, don't really need to be with the party, which that can be an issue in of itself. most gms just make an npc netrunner to bypass this problem, or homebrew it. i recommend if you must have a netrunner, is to get the quickstart Cyberpunk Red rules or the core rule book on Netrunning, way more streamlined and fun for everyone. before you homebrew it, try to run it yourself, and see if you can make it work. essentially, for netrunning if i can make sense of it, it boils down to a game of Mine Sweeper and currency to spend in cyberspace, and you'll need a seperate graph paper to run this, which turns into a pizza break for everyone, except the gm and netrunner, and it can really slow the game down.

finally, Night City, the functional city that is in California and it's location is very lively and if you want to explore Night City further, get the sourcebook Night City and you're in for a treat! my campaign is primarily in Night City, and having information of where everything is handy. just the core book for night city has plenty of information to get you going.

overall, this game is a classic and fan favorite for a reason, while dated in technology, a lot of that can be homebrewed and it's just a great system. i HIGHLY recommend you pick this up if you're looking for a High Tech Low Life game while having style and being a punk. see you around choombas!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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
by Michael d. V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/06/2021 16:11:47

This game is broken in many many ways. You're much better with the new RED Rules they are a clear upgrade in every imaginable way. There is no reason to continue playing 2020 in 2021.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
by Michael d. V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/06/2021 16:08:23

Cyberpunk RED is great. This is by far the best edition to get into the game. I'm running 3 games on Roll20 as a DM and can't complain.

THE GOOD

  • Lifepaths are brilliant!
  • RED feels and plays like a fixed CP 2020 game.
  • New FNFF (Friday Night Fire Fight) rules ar much simpler and play better and faster: Hitzones and armor are simplified which is a big plus, Critical hit tables are cheesy! Autofire skill is a cool fix for what used to be an OP "delete oponent" option.
  • 2X skills bring balance to combat oriented play and put a real constraints on munchkin builds.
  • Role abilities are meaningfull and relevant. The solo is no longer the best role.
  • Martial and Melee combat are actually balanced vs gunfighting - which wasn't the case before.
  • Multiple ways to build a character. PROTIP: use the streetrat tables for your NPCs.

THE BAD

  • The "hold" action is the single most important battle-action in this game. If you play RAW and are entirely new or you join from 2020 this is far from clear. It took my group multiple sessions to figure this out. Basically following RAW you can't hit anybody who is in cover. You need to use the hold action to hit your target when he pops out of cover to do his thing. This makes combat VERY tactical but this is ABSOLUTELY unclear when reading the rules during a first pass. At the start this is a bit weird to manage but once you get the hang of it everything gells together for the better.
  • Recommended starting stats are WAAAAAY too low. At 62 points you won't hit anything. As a result combat is a bit of a drag. Start as a minor hero at 72 stat points and go full cheese from there. It seems like the game wasn't playtested at these lower stat builds.
  • They should have diversified the stats even more. Splitting REF into REF and DEX is smart but they should have doubled down on this concept. Why not tie the Autofire skill to the BODY stat (like you need a big frame to handle the recoil). Social encounters suffer a smililar problem and are very bland as all skills are tied to the same stat. I'm missing a seduction skill (based off COOL) and the persuasion and interogation skill should have had different underlying stats.
  • Not enough emphasis on non-combat play. D&D has the same problem yet cyberpunk is in a unique position to fix this but doesn't.
  • This game could have been more self-critical/self-reflective. RED is a 2020 Fix and Pondsmith could have added a chapter to explain how he fixed things and why. This could have helped many new GM/DMs run better games.

THE UGLY

  • The Netrunning role still breaks the action economy. This is still an example of bad game design. However I suspect Pondsmith to have settled on this version as Netrunning is such an integral part of the lore/setting. Word of advice though - do not allow an unexperienced player to run a Netrunner and limit the amount of Netrunners at your table to one.
  • The rules are all over the place. This sourcebook is hard to navigate even with the linked index.
  • The game lacks advice for new GM/DMs on how to handle classic cyberpunk problems such as how to handle the parts/hardware hoarder and the player that wants to cut everybody open for parts. Weirdly the solution is in the book but this is not addressed explicitly. Just give all enemies inferior quality gear. As a seasoned GM/DM I would have liked that Pondsmith would have made this more clear.
  • Pondsmith needs to look real hard at the Dark Horse Cyberpunk 2077 Worldbook. That's how you do a sourcebook/splatbook in 2020. Missed opportunity! The lore is way to dense. In 2020 people don't/can't read anymore.
  • Where are the adventure modules?
  • Limited Roll20/VTT support.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
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Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
by Frank T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/06/2021 01:17:04

I wish I found this earlier in my life. I can't stop playing. this is amazing. If you like CyberPunk, UltraViolence, Gritty Cities and Urban settings, High octane adventures. Wild role play and tenses conversations, where success, failure and utter chaos can happen depending on decisions made during conversations, negotiations, investigations ... the stories I leave these table top sessions with are all amazing and worth retelling. This was my first TTRPG... I can’t get enough >.<

Highly recommend if you want to play the role of one of the interesting class types available in this core book and more. Welcome to Night City. Maybe I’ll see you around >.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
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