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Cyberpunk RED $30.00
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Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Jordi F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/16/2021 06:52:18

After I've been playing for a few months I can say the game is a mess.

Layout is horrible and trying to find rules it's always a pain in the ass ... like, you want to know how much does a car cost? Maybe in "Fitted for the future" chapter? Nop. Maybe in "Street Economy : Night market" chapter? Nop. They are in vehicle combat. And there are like dozens of things like this, rules dropped everywhere without care ... and when you're playing and need to reference something, you know you've seen it somewhere, but you have to stop the game to try to find it or just pull it from your arse and keep going.

Lore? Yep, a mess to ... the game doesn't know what it wants to be. Look at the cover art itself, then I tell you that commerce is broken and people can't get what they want, corporations are no longer international but broken into local places because no internet, and containers don't reach places and nomads control the trade routes and the game suggest you have to find old abandoned containers to find cool stuff or buy it in black markets ... and it begins to feel a lot more like some kind of post-war post-apoc game than cyberpunk, and you wonder ... how the fuck those corporations are still a thing if they can't sell stuff? Who pays for the neon signs? Who pays for the fuel of those flying cars?

Nomads of course! Because it seems that R.Talsorian has some kind of hardon with nomads. They have the best education. Best cars. Control trade and badlands ... and are the saviours of the world. After the 4th corporate war Night City was almost destroyed. Who saved it? You'd guessed it! Nomads!! You are a techie? Sorry, you won't be able to make better cars than nomads ... no, they don't need skill, they "just" have them.

And those poor hobos on the streets with old lame cyberware? No longer here! Because somehow cloning stuff is so easy and cheap now that replacing your missing limbs with new gadgets it's almost easier than scavenging an arm and paying a doc to install it. Yeah, you hear it, you no longer have organ scavengers or traffickers, because it's just cheaper to clone stuff! It's almost instantaneously too ... but remember that we still don't have global internet nor common trade routes so all this technology and training has any sense to reach anywhere :D

And it keeps going on ...

Rules are, of course, another mess ... from shotgun shells that can only hit someone at 3 meters, to skills like "Autofire" that are harder to learn and use than Cryptography, Mathematics, or whatever other knowledge skill. Why? Because they didn't know how to balance autofire, so they made it hard to purchase and use. Job done. Fuck it.

A weak desperate street hooker is going to hit you with a machete? That's gonna be 2d6 of damage. You say a 2 meter tall full cyborg Adam Smasher-like beast is going to hit you with the same machete? Yep, still 2d6 damage. Strength isn't taken into account at all. Now, if our borg drops the machete and hits you with a fist and 1 rank of karate? 3d6 of damage, here I go, maybe even 4d6 if it's borged enough.

Combat feels bullet spongy, cover makes it feel like some sort of video game with people jumping around trying to dodge bullets. I mean, cover doesn't upgrade difficulty checks, they just add a layer of hit points you have to destroy ... but if not fast enough, your target can just change cover and you'll have to start anew. Unless you ignore cover and run around the battlefield to ignore theirs and use your REF 8 to dodge bullets. Because that's what movies and Call of Duty taught us.

There are so many things that feel wrong that I don't have the patience to write here and ... at a certain point, you just keep doing more and more house rules until you ponder why the hell you are even trying. I didn't pay to do the job myself. I buy a rulebook so I have the job made for me.

Art is cool tho ... except that it just misses any context at all or it's just generic as fuck. Most of the art is just there to look pretty not to reinforce text or help you visualize anything. Like you may be reading about the Fixer class special ability and they show you a giant buddha statue in the middle of containers of a cargo area. Maybe you're reading about skills and they put a drawing of some cyborg dude applying makeup.

Verdict : A failure. It seems like a game that doesn't know what it wants to be. Like two different persons altogether are steering the book in two different directions ... one is an old "I'm tired of this genre" guy, and the other is some CoD kid with that kind of "cool" ideas that make you roll your eyes.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2021 09:40:08

This was a difficult choice for me, because this game fixed all the things I disliked about Shadowrun, but is far from perfect. I would still wholeheartedly recommend this game to anyone who is an experienced roleplayer, or who likes the Cyberpunk setting, but there are serious issues with the design of the book and some of the decisions made regarding the publishing that tarnish its score. I really like the review another person posted with GBU, so I will be applying that.

The Good: Excellent setting, flexible rules, fast paced interesting combat. I am not experienced with 2020, but I will say that it is a smoother game than DnD, and I rarely have trouble keeping the attention of my players (always a nightmare whenever I try to play DnD). The system is good, and with adequite support over the next few years, will definitely be worth getting into.

The Bad: There is no sugar coating it, the layout of this book is atrocious. The index section is even worse. Finding any important rules is a nightmare of page flipping for entire table. The hyperlinks tend to be farely good on the pdf, bringing you to relevant sections, but if you don't know where to even start looking for the answer (and incredibly common problem with this layout, believe it or not), then you need to use the search feature of your PDF reader. Shocker, the search feature is just as useless because the book is filled with ridiculous amounts of lore.

I don't dislike lore, in fact I would probably read it if it wasn't randomely sprinkled over the entire book when I am trying to find important, time sensitive rules. If I crack open the book, I am either trying to read lore or learn the game, I should not have to dig to find either.

The layout issues are well documented in nearly every review I see, and while they don't cause as many issues in the PDF due to the hyperlinking and the search issues, but I would have to give my hard copy of the book 3 stars because of how frustratingly useless and expensive it was.

The Ugly: To be frank, this is mostly a personal problem, but I can see other people having this issue too. RTG is advertising Astral Tabletop here as a place to play Cyberpunk, even going as far as letting a screamsheet be released for free. This might make you think that RTG supports ATT as a way to play CPR. Guess what? It doesn't. There are 2 dozen posts on the forum requesting that the 10 or so NPCs in the book be imported into ATT, no response from the Publisher or ATT. I asked several times nicely on the RTG discord if they were looking into this. No response. I spent $100 on a yearly ATT membership because I thought that CPR was going to be supported, only to have to spend 8 or so hours of my life building those basic characters because the publisher can't be bothered, and because of the way ATT works, I have no way of giving anyone else access to those characters I made, either.

The character sheets are already set up which is nice, but that is all you will ever get. They better be worth the price of the ATT subscription.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
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!

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
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.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
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.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
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.


  • 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 "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 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.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Julian S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/28/2020 09:49:30

There are some great ideas in here and some improvements on older system, there are also some really dumb things in here.

Been playing cyberpunk since I picked up a copy of the original in 1989.

I love the new cyberspace rules.

The combat system is a joke compared to the previous systems.

2 examples:

It seems the crit system is the fudge that makes the combat system more dangerous.


Cyberspace rules

Item Creation


Combat system

Information repeated too many times, including a couple of pages just after it has been written.


Generic economy and items.

Rest of system has some small tweaks if any to previous versions.


it moves the timeline on, handy for the 2077 tie in.

Seems like 5th Edition A&D but for cyberpunk.


Get it for ideas and home-brew and Frankenstein onto your 2013/2020 games.

Bit disappointed to be honest, as cyberpunk has been one of my favorite game systems for a longtime now.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/08/2020 06:05:48

This does a great job of stripping away a lot of the crunch of a fairly advanced system to make is still very deep and meaningful but easy to follow for new player's and referee's alike.

For people new to both TTRPG's and Cyberpunk this is an axcellent game to have. There is plenty of foundation for veterans to add their own stuff in too.

I think this is a great balance, especially for all the new players who are getting this book as it is streamlined from previous editions and easier to run. Which is great for the hobby as it helps ensure new players enjoy the game and stick around to play!

The overall quality is excellent and it was definitely worth the wait.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/05/2020 04:01:27

I ran Cyberpunk 2020, and this is what a new edition is supposed to look like. The new Netrunning rules are easy and fun. No more overly complicated mini game. You hack right alongside your fellow edgerunners, and it has chunk, but it's fun. Combat is simplified, BUT there is strategy involved. I prefer the old Lifepath system, but it's easily adaptable. Creating a character is quick and easy, and the new Role Abilities are more elaborate and useful across the board. I can't wait to run an Exec. Don't throw away your old CP material, because it's easy to translate to RED. Cyberpunk RED was worth the wait, and I highly recommend it.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Daniel E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2020 18:25:34

I discovered Cyberpunk 2020 in 1995 and played it until 2017. Unfortunately, Cyberpunk 2013/2020 is almost unknown in Germany. I have to say, I was incredibly disappointed with Cyberpunk 3.0 (but who isn't ...) So I'm all the more pleased that Cyberpunk Red is now such a great book. The artwork is insanely good. The rules streamlined and work very good as far as I can judge at the moment. I especially like the new net running rules. What I don't like are the character roles. I've never liked that, in my opinion it doesn't fit into such a setting and I find roles generally out of date in the case of modern rpgs. But that's certainly a matter of taste. Nonetheless, a great book !! I'll bring my old group back together :)

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by William B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/28/2020 15:25:26

Cyberpunk Red is now one of my favorite RPG's !!! I always liked 2020 but alas it did not age well :-(

Cberpunk Red is everything we have been waiting for and more !!

An easy an intuitive rulesystem ( opposed test or roll against Target number ...DONE !!), intelligent worldbuilding ( a good explaination why you have high tech and low life at the same time...and no it's not just plot armour) and finally so much flair !!

In most RPG's you just generate stats, in cyberpunk Red you generate a backround for your character, their dreams, their nightmares, friends, enemies, even (ex)lovers.

With shadowrun I would often struggle to GM, here I have more plot ideas than I can use simultaniously !!!

It is also much, much more rules lite and WAY EASIER to GM than Shadowrun.

5 stars and 2 thumbs up !!

Keep up the great work !!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Christopher S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/27/2020 10:13:06

Beautiful illustrations, great lore, mechanics were easy to pick up for our first-time-rpg-players but still deep enough that old timers are having a blast. Honestly can't reccomend this enough.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Joris F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2020 19:57:09

The first time I regret that drivethru is not offering refunds. I hope you like unhelpful lore, frequent repetitions and infos on a single topic scattered accross a hundred pages.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hello! We're sorry you didn't enjoy the book. DriveThruRPG does have a refund policy. Please contact them for further information and we hope you find a game more to your liking!
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Daniel S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/18/2020 16:16:15

First product I am reviewing on here, because I felt like this was probably the first book (PDF, tbc) I got here that deserves 5 stars. I have not played any of the previous editions and can't say I was a fan of the genre beforehand. But heck, I sure am now, at least of this specific universe and setting. I did not care much about the videogame that is coming soon, but now I actually want to know how the -official- story continues and am looking forward to telling my own in CPR.

  • The first PDF that actually is helpful when navigating through it, beyond just a linked index (which most rulebooks don't even support).
  • A reasonable structure (not perfect, but I guess that's impossible because it depends on personal taste) for the different categories and parts of the book.
  • Well written rules. I haven't found a lot that was confusing or unintuitive. The whole thing just seems very well thought out. Wish I could say that for more games I played (or at least read) in the past.
  • Great artwork.
  • A captivating world/setting with an interesting story as framework for the things to come.

As mentioned, I can't compare the rules to previous editions. From what I am reading, Red is supposed to make the system more beginner-friendly. If that was indeed the goal, I guess I am a good example that it worked. I would recommend this any time, even to people who have not dabbled in this genre before. Great job, R.Talsorian Games!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Jeffrey K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/18/2020 10:14:55

The wait is over and so well worth it! This text is streamlined, solid and perfect. You will be reading something, think to yourself "I would like to read more about this", and then you will read, "If you want to read more about this, turn to page XXX." You click on the page number, and boom, you are then reading more. Instant gratification! When you look at the old scanned materials, then at this, you will wonder how we went so long without a new edition. My hope is that this line will continue for a long time to come.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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