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Cyberpunk RED $30.00
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!]
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Cyberpunk RED
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