Is Death Stranding Cyberpunk?

Today Playstation released a nine minute long release date reveal trailer. As the trailer started up I thought it had a very strong cyberpunk aesthetic. I was even gearing up to write an article about my thoughts on it. However as the trailer went on, I began to think it looked less and less cyberpunk. So I decided to scrap the article. But tonight I was on r/Cyberpunk and I noticed someone with this question, "Is Death Stranding Cyberpunk?".

The old high tech, low life feel is definitely there. It also looks like we will be dealing a lot with the breakdown of social order. Now I don't think a lot of the tropes have to be there for it to be considered cyberpunk. For example, from this trailer I don't see any kind of "megacorporations". As a matter of fact it looks like the government has a stranglehold on society. The other noticeable factor is the story takes place in a post apocalyptic world.

So is the game cyberpunk? Technically it's probably too early to say without too many details of the story. Not to mention that this trailer raised more questions than answered. So there is that. Now I'll tell you a little bit of what I actually think of the game from the reveal trailer.

It should be noted that this is clearly a Hideo Kojima game. Everything from the graphics to the combat look exactly like what you would expect. I haven't played a Kojima game since Metal Gear Solid II. So that probably has some influence on the way I feel about the game.

I'll say right off the bat that I'm not floored by the trailer. At least not as much as most of the gaming community. All of the early cinematic trailers just confused me and the only thing that really had me excited was the involvement of my favorite modern day director, Guillermo del Toro. Recently news has come out that del Toro will not have his hand in the game as much as we thought. That was a little disappointing to me.

Now the actual gameplay doesn't really impress me either. The combat looks a little clunky to me and as I said earlier, the animations are distinctly Kojima. But I hope I am wrong. Despite my first impressions I'm completely open to the game, although I will probably wait for early reviews when it is released on November 8th, 2019.

You can check out the trailer below and I'm curious if you guys think Death Stranding is cyberpunk?

After the collapse of civilization, Sam Bridges must journey across a ravaged landscape crawling with otherworldly threats to save mankind from the brink of extinction.

Official Statement on Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit

A couple days ago J Gray went on the Cyberpunk Community Podcast and revealed a ton of new info. I broke all that news down into an article I posted shortly after. Today, I received an e-mail with the official press release and it pretty much includes everything that was said on the podcast. But in the interest of keeping everybody updated, I'll share with you what the official statement says:

Set in the years between the classic tabletop roleplaying game Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk 2077, the upcoming AAA video game from CD Projekt Red, the Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit is the perfect entry point for gamers new to tabletop gaming as well as veterans who want to learn how the game’s rules and world have evolved.

Inside the Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit box, players will find:
  • A lore and adventure book detailing the world of Cyberpunk Red. Also included is a full, ready to play scenario and “Screamsheets”, a combination of in-universe news story and game information which players can use to create new adventures.
  • A rulebook containing the essential rules needed to play the game, engage in frenetic combat, and hack their way through digital networks. The Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit uses a new version of R. Talsorian Games’ original Interlock game engine.
  • Six pregenerated characters: the Fixer, the Netrunner, the Nomad, the Rocker, the Solo, and the Tech. Each character comes ready to play but can be further customized using an abbreviated version of the famous Cyberpunk Lifepath system.
  • Four maps to help players visualize their environments, from hard streets to glittering nightclubs.
  • Six dice: two ten-sided dice and four six-sided dice.
  • And more!
The Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit will make its debut at Gen Con 2019 in Indianapolis on August 1st and will be for sale there at booth 1852. It will also be available as a digital download, minus the dice, via on the same day. Physical copies of the Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit will be available via the R. Talsorian Games webstore and through retailers shortly afterwards.

As I said they didn't reveal a whole lot more than we already knew from the podcast. The only really new information we got was about the maps they will include which is really cool. In the new Shadowrun Beginner Box they had a magnificent map of Seattle. I'm actually hoping that a map of Night City is included. It only specifies "environments, from hard streets to glittering nightclubs.". I'd love to have a framed map of Night City.

New Series is Coming: Inspiring Cinema

As I have said in many of my other posts, I am a huge fan of film. I don't actually read a whole lot, other than RPG rule books of course, so movies have always been my main source of inspiration in everything I do. Today I was watching a couple videos from Neil Blomkamp's Oats Studios and it really got me thinking of some cool stuff to throw into a game. By the way, if you haven't watched some of the Oats Studios stuff on YouTube I highly suggest watching.

On this blog I really only have one series that I have been doing, Kickstarter Spotlight. Honestly that series has been some of my most popular posts. Now I am thinking about doing a series about inspiration from films that aren't necessarily cyberpunk, or less known films anyway. For example you won't be seeing Akira or Ghost in the Shell here. But you may see The Sixth Sense mainly because that film is often overlooked as being cyberpunk.

A lot of really good movies seem to go by without much fanfare. As I said above I had no idea that Neil Blomkamps studio had a YouTube channel with some amazing content. It's things like that I want to shine a light on.

As I said this is a new series I am going to start up. How often will they be appearing? That much is unknown. It will probably be as often as I find new films to post. Besides hidden gems I'll also probably be posting about newer movies as well.

So I hope you guys will dig this new series. I love film and to be able to combine RPGs and film is something that is right up my alley. As soon as Cyberpunk Red is released, I will put a twist on this series. But that is a post for another time.

Kickstarter Spotlight: Venus: A Short Cyberpunk Film

While I absolutely love tabletop and video games, my favorite medium is probably film. Before starting this blog I wrote for a horror film website, So obviously film is very close to my heart. So whenever I see an independent production, I always feel the need to help them however I can.

Today in the Kickstarter Spotlight I present to you, Venus: A Short Cyberpunk Film. Looking over their page I can see they have a lot of ambition. They site Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, Ex Machina, Under the Skin and Cam as inspiration for Venus.

I see a lot of potential in this project and I hope they make their funding. Below is the short synopsis they provide as well as their pitch video. If you like what you see, toss them a couple dollars over on their Kickstarter page.

A grieving mother uploads the consciousness of her dead daughter, Iris, into a stolen synthetic body. Torn out of her idyllic digital world and left on the run in an​ oppressive city, Iris must confront her body's objectification and its violent capabilities, as well as the dark truth of her mother's actions.

Important Info About Cyberpunk Red

As I said in my last post, I have been digging through the Cyberpunk Community Podcast for all the info I could get. So I watched the nearly two hour long podcast and I took notes of all the important tidbits. They discussed a lot of different topics and touched a little bit on the upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077 but R Talsorian's media manager, J Gray, remained very tight lipped about the video game. However, he revealed a LOT of very relevant information on Cyberpunk Red.

First, and most importantly, the game will not be coming out at Gen Con this year. Well, not the core rulebook anyway. They will be releasing a "Jump Start Kit" which is essentially a Beginner Box. This set will include two books, Lore and Adventure and Core Rules. The lore book will also include the Scream Sheets that I really enjoyed from 2020. It will also include two 10 sided dice and four 6 sided dice. The price isn't locked down yet, but he hinted that the price would probably range from $20 to $30.

The box will be available at Gen Con and immediately on DriveThruRPG the same day. As soon as they can they will be putting physical copies up on several retailers. The box will also include six pregens including Nomad, Solo, Netrunner, Fixer and Tech.

My earlier post showed off the art that he unveiled during the stream. According to J, the Arasaka logo is not finalized so we can't count on them actually being in the game. He also noted that the police featured are not necessarily from Night City. All of the art will be from all over and not just Night City.

On top of all those important details we learned a couple other tidbits from the interview. The game will still be feeling the effects of the Fourth Corporate War. This in turn will change the way netrunners work. The net was devestated and that will have far reaching affects.

New netrunner rules are a big thing that will be updated. I think everyone who has ever played Cyberpunk 2020 will know the pain of running those rules. Perks will also be implemented like in Fallout, which makes me curious if we can also take flaws to take more perks. Multiclassing will also be a much easier thing to do.

One interesting bit of info is why Red was delayed. On one hand I don't think the game was entirely ready to go from listening to the podcast. But also apparently the production of 2077 also was apart of the delay. Gray said that they didn't want to finalize anything just in case CD Projekt Red added anything to the game that they want to address in Cyberpunk Red. He also said that all the artwork is going to take time to get commissioned.

Lastly he mentioned that expansions are in the works. Of course these expansions won't roll out unless Red does well. Gray also commented that since the announcement of 2077 sales for the table top game have gone up by 400% which is great news. I'm hoping Red does just as well. Now with the built in Cyberpunk audience and the resurgence of table top RPGs, I think they will do well.

So that was the TLDW of the Cyberpunk Community Podcast. But if you do have the time I urge you to give it a listen. I couldn't possibly cover everything that they did in this post. Not to mention they are good people expanding the community on Youtube. You can watch and listen to the podcast over on Youtube. Below you can check out my own mock up of the Jump Start Kit below. This isn't official people.. But you know R Talsorian if you are reading this, I'm for hire!

First Artwork from Cyberpunk Red

Today the media ambassador, J Gray, went on the Youtube Cyberpunk Community Podcast and out of that they released a new piece of artwork for Cyberpunk Red. I have to say the artwork is actually about what I expected. They had revealed that the art would be comparable to anything we see in modern RPGs.

I'm hoping we get a couple more old school art sprinkled throughout. But I'm an old school gamer and I still love all the art from the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons so I realize I'm in the minority. I also love most of the art in Cyberpunk 2020. In certain instances I can see why they wanted to go in a different direction.

I'm going to be sifting through the podcast to see what other bits I can squeeze out. Until then check out the for Cyberpunk Red below. The artist is Richard Bagnall and if you like what you see go support him at his Artstation account.

My Cyberpunk 2077 E3 Wish List

This E3 is my most anticipated in a very long time. I don't think I have ever really looked forward to one. Cyberpunk 2077 has been my most anticipated game probably since Mass Effect 3.. and well we all know how that went.

In a couple weeks on June 9th Microsoft will be holding their E3 press conference. This is where most people believe that CD Prokjekt Red will be presenting the game. With that in mind I have been thinking a lot about what I really want to see. I'm sure not all of these things will happen. But if E3 was going to turn out the way I want it to, these would be the things I want to see.

Release date. I'm just going to get this one out of the way. I want to see a solid release date and not a release window. Rumors have been circulating online that we are only going to get a target date and not a firm one. I'm also hoping that the game will be out by the end of this year. Waiting until 2020 seems way to far off. Granted, if it means they need to add that final polish, I'd be fine with that. Again, this is the perfect scenario.

Male V. We have been getting teases of what the male V looks like but I want to see this guy in action. New gameplay with the male V would be great. Behind closed doors apparently there was some gameplay with the male counterpart so it would be nice if they finally let that updated footage out into the wild.

Melee. Again this was shown behind closed doors in an alternate playthrough. From what was said they were using a katana to deflect bullets. I'd also love to see some kind of cyberfist or something along those lines. Something up close and brutal. I'm curious how viable a melee build will be in the game considering most protagonists will be carrying guns. How easy will it be to close the distance?

Hacking. We saw a short glimpse of it during the last E3 demo. I'm sure aspects of it have changed and I am hoping we will get to see some other aspects of hacking. Not just the human jack-in but also hacking computers and other things like turrets.

Brain Dance. This is something that is teased all throughout the demo. In Vs apartment we see the brain dance option on the screen and we see multiple billboards advertising the service. I'm curious how they will work and what we can expect. I always liked in the GTA games how they would make little TV shows that you could watch. I think they will probably work like that.

Crafting. We know that some kind of crafting will exist in the game from the inventory screen. Now of course this could be something that they removed entirely, but if they haven't I want to see the types of things that you can craft. It seems a little odd in a game like this, so I'd like to know the use of it. Maybe we can craft different designer drugs to give us an advantage in the field.

More cyberware. We have seen a couple enhancements you can get from Victor the ripper doc. I want to see more! Exotics, sub-dermal armor plating, fucking TVs in our arms.. That's a legit thing in Cyberpunk 2020. I just want to see a whole host of new cyberware that we will be able to procure from some of the shadiest of ripper docs in Night City.

Which leads into something similar, I want to see some of the shady, underground ripper docs. Blood splattered on the wall, waivers needed signed. All the juicy bits.

Companions. I'm hoping we get to see more than just Jackie. I don't want to see all of them, but I'm hoping we get to see at least one more that may show up in our time in Night City. I would actually rather not see any more Jackie. Since we have seen so much of him I'd rather discover more about him when I sit down with the game myself.

Relationships. I've always been a sucker for romances in games. Mass Effect is one of my favorite franchises (or was) and I thought the relationships in those games added to the story. I'm hoping we can see our significant other (if we so choose) to have an impact on the story. Maybe some scavs will kidnap them for ransom. I'm just hoping the person we have a relationship will have some impact on the story and not be just tacked on.

Characters. I want to see more of the major characters in the game. Lizzy Wizzy, Johnny Silverhand and whoever else they can pull up from Cyberpunk 2020 lore. I've had this idea in my head that I have wanted to see in a game for some time. I'm hoping we can go to a concert and see Lizzy Wizzy live. We know Johnny Silverhand is no longer performing so that is probably off the table. Or maybe Blood & Ice from Cyberpunk 2020.

Gear. We have seen the Samurai jacket that everyone has fallen in love with. But I want to see more of what we can wear. I'm also hoping that there is some kind of transmog available as well. Visually I might find something I love, but stats wise it won't live up to something else I find a long the way.

Pre-Order. This is the last on this list. I'm hoping at the end of the presentation, they say the game is available for pre-order everywhere starting right now. I know pre-ordering games has become somewhat of a bad thing these days. But we all know we are going to buy this game at launch. Why wait? I want to see the collectors editions and all the things that will come with it. With the upcoming GOG Galaxy 2.0 I believe I will be putting my order in at the CD Projekt Red owned store.

Well that about wraps up this huge wish list of mine. Besides what I mentioned I think the obvious is the updates. I want to see the new interface, character customization and all the things that we have seen before, with a bit of polish. I hope you guys enjoyed my little list and I'm curious what some of you would like to see at E3 this year.

The Alien RPG up for Pre-Order Soon

About a month ago it was revealed that Free League Publishing were going to be producing a new Alien tabletop RPG. Today they revealed that the game will be up for pre-order on their official website on May 25th. As of this writing that will be this Saturday at 9 am EST.

I'm actually a little excited for this game. I imagine it will be pretty short given the nature of the game and the modes that they have planned. The picture they showed of the contents looks fantastic. The book looks really hefty and it includes dice, cards, a map of some sort and a GM screen.

Space is vast, dark, and not your friend. Gamma rays and neutrino bursts erupt from dying stars to cook you alive, black holes tear you apart, and the void itself boils your blood and seizes your brain. Try to scream and no one can hear youhold your breath and you rupture your lungs. Space isn’t as empty as youd think, eitherits frontiers are ever expanding. Rival governments wage a cold war of aggression while greedy corporations vie for valuable resources. Colonists reach for the stars and gamble with their liveseach new world tamed is either feast or famine. And there are things lurking in the shadows of every asteroidthings strange and different and deadly.

Things alien.

This is the official ALIEN tabletop roleplaying gamea universe of body horror and corporate brinkmanship, where synthetic people play god while space truckers and marines serve host to newborn ghoulish creatures. Its a harsh and unforgiving universe and you are nothing if not expendable.

Stay alive if you can.

Kickstarter Spotlight: Halls of Horror

The only thing I love more than cyberpunk is horror. I have been a horror fan probably since I was 6 years old. So what is better than horror and cyberpunk? Combine them! That seems to be what iFun4all are trying to do with their new board game, Halls of Horror.

Now I can't totally confirm that this is explicitly cyberpunk, but it definitely has the aesthetic. The game is set up for up to four players and even includes a solo mode for all of us whose friends are too good to play board games.

I'm loving the look of this game so far. The official breakdown is below and I can say it sounds a lot like Saw 2. Check them out on Kickstarter right now.. And don't worry the campaign will be running for a couple more weeks.

You wake up in an unfamiliar room. Your entire body hurts, and you can hardly remember last night. Maybe there was a party at a club, or you were supposed to meet with a promising client, or you remember being mugged in an alley but nothing else… it doesn’t matter. Now you are here, and an industrial camera follows your every move. A voice plays over a crackling speaker. “Welcome, participant… to the Halls of Horror!” 

Trapped inside a house built by the insane Master of the Ceremony, you are challenged to a deadly game in which the prize is your survival. Who will perish, and who will escape? Let’s find out!

New Devlog From Vigilance Creator

Vigilance is a cyberpunk game that have been keeping my eye on for some time. This is a one man show and he has been working on the game in his free time. You may have seen some of the early test videos that have been floating around the internet recently.

Today he wrote a devlog on Medium. From here on out they plan on writing all the updates there. Here is just a sampling of what was said about the gameplay.

There is a lot of work to be done with the animations seen in the video. Im trying to get the third person gameplay to feel similar to uncharted where the character reacts to environment which is what makes uncharted feel so satisfying to play. Vigilance can also be played in first person mode for those that prefer first person games for a more immersive experience. I haven’t shown much of the first person version of the game but by the end of the games development, i would like it to play out similar to Prey 2 which was sadly cancelled a some years ago.

Since the game is mainly based on bounty hunting i want the game to have parkour elements as you’ll have to be chasing some bounties. I want the game to have a lot of detective aspects where the player will have to solve puzzles, riddles that are related to murders and bounties. This is still being brainstormed on the best way to approach this so that the solving parts and the bounty and story parts dont feel like complete different games.
I'm really looking forward to seeing this come to fruition. I'm hoping this will scratch that itch that the original Prey 2 never did.

Conglomerate 451 Hits Early Access Soon

Growing up I fell in love with the dungeon crawler, Dungeon Hack. It was a game published by the now famous SSI group. Since then I've picked the game up off GOG and love to go back to it for nostalgic reasons. Now, thanks to 1C Entertainment we are getting a dungeon crawler with the Cyberpunk aesthetic.
Conglomerate 451 is a grid-based, dungeon crawling first-person RPG with roguelike elements set in a cyberpunk world.

You are the CEO of a Special Agency, instructed by the Senate of Conglomerate city to restore the order in sector 451, where corrupted corporations have established their turfs. Thanks to the last constitutional decree, you are allowed to create human clones. Build your own team, manipulate DNA, train your agents, equip them with high-end weapons, choose what cyberlimbs to implant, and send the squad to the field with only one goal: eradicate crime and restore order at any cost.
They just launched the Steam page and early access will begin on May 23rd. I'm really looking forward to checking it out. The trailer showcases a lot of the systems in place for the game which includes permadeath. So head over to Steam and add it to your wishlist if you are as eager to check it out as I am.

Don't Worry Events Are Coming to Gen Con

Some of you may have noticed that Gen Con has posted a large list of events. If you search Cyberpunk the only thing that comes up is a crafting seminar on how to build a back pack. Well, no worries because R. Talsorian has made an official statement on the matter.

“Coordinating over fifty events takes a while and we were late in submitting our games and seminars for Gen Con 2019. They are submitted now and we have full faith the Gen Con team will get them posted and available as soon as is possible. They’re an amazing group and we’re fortunate to be part of such a great convention.”
 So don't worry guys, the events are coming. As soon as the official list is updated and posted I'll be sure to share it here.

Feel Like a NetRunner in HackNet

Yesterday I was going through the hundreds of unplayed games I have sitting in my Steam and Humble Bundle libraries. While doing so I came across HackNet which I thought would be a fun time waster. I have played a couple similar games like Uplink. That game is fun, but not nearly as much fun as I am having with HackNet.

It has a real simple DOS looking interface in which you download programs to hack into other machines. You have a special hacker network where you can pick up jobs that tell you what the target is and what exactly you need to do. Sometimes you are just looking for a password and other times you are deleting files that someone "no longer needs".

I love the meta aspect of games like this. It makes you feel so powerful and is the best way to immerse yourself into a game. Now HackNet isn't necessarily Cyberpunk.. But it definitely gives you a cool feeling of actually being a NetRunner.

I think the interface adds to that feeling. It's such a generic look that it could potentially be taking place at any time. If you love the cyberpunk genre as much as I do, I think you will really enjoy this game. I haven't completed it yet, but it is a perfect way to pass the time.

Entromancy: A Cyberpunk Fantasy RPG Available Now

Yesterday Entromancy was officially released in hardcover and pdf. The project was originally Kickstarted almost a year ago. I haven't had much of a chance to look over the game myself, but at a cursory glance it reminds me a lot of Shadowrun.

Entromancy is a tabletop roleplaying game set in San Francisco in the late 21st century. In our world, a quarter of the earth's power now runs on ceridium, a newly discovered element that has had the unintended consequence of spawning a new race of people, and several forms of magic that were once thought to have been forgotten.

In Entromancy, you’ll take the role of a character in a futuristic, technology-driven, magic-rich world complete with espionage, spellcasting, hacking, and engaging action sequences. 

Cyberpunk Fantasy Roleplaying. Enter a futuristic, magic-rich world where technology is ever-present and several forms of forgotten magics have resurfaced -- for better and worse. 

Unique Characters. Choose from five diverse races and five unique classes -- from the dual-pistol wielding Revolutionary to the magic-savvy Technomancer -- to create your character and begin your story. Progress your character by taking on challenging missions and eventually embracing one of five brutally powerful destinies. 

d20 Mechanics. Experience a streamlined gameplay system based on the Fifth Edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game, simultaneously allowing for exciting action and storytelling while providing for a great deal of depth. 

Action Gameplay. Get into the game quickly with easy onboarding for new players and engage in action-packed gameplay with spellcasting, hacking, cybernetics, and much more. 

Faction-Based Espionage. Increase your standing with Entromancy’s three competing factions of NIGHT, Aurichome, and the Unaligned, while attempting to make your mark on a world that has become fractured after years of population explosion, socio-economic tension, and magic-based warfare.
You can check out their official website or go ahead and pick up a copy at DriveThruRPG. If you do feel free to use my affiliate link. It would be greatly appreciated. 

Cyberpunk Minis are On the Way

Finding Cyberpunk minis has never been an easy task. Sure there are some out there, but now we will have some officially licensed ones by R. Talsorian Games. No, Grenadier is not back to make a second batch of metal minis. Today they announced a partnership with Monster Fight Club to make minis for Cyberpunk and The Witcher tabletop games.

I'd never heard of Monster Fight Club until today and it looks like they make some pretty cool terrain. The trees that they sell are really useful as you can pull the leaves off of them to make them look like dead ones. The really nice feature is that all of their stuff comes pre-painted. I'm hoping that they will also pre-paint these minis as well.

"I'm absolutely stoked to have the talented team at Monster Fight Club onboard to produce minis for R.Talsorian's flagship lines. " adds R.Talsorian Head Honcho Mike Pondsmith. "These minis are so good, I would steal them for myself if I didn't already have a deal with John. Cyberpunk and Witcher fans--you will NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
We will get a first look at them at Gen Con 2019. Yet another reason to get your ass to Gen Con. If you can't, don't worry because you can bet as soon as they release the images I'll be sharing them here.

Below is a picture of the original set that R. Talsorian made with Grenadier Models.

Cover Revealed for Judge Dredd: The Small House

I've always loved Judge Dredd. The film with Karl Urban was fantastic and I even really enjoyed the Sylvester Stallone film for all it's camp. That love of course began with all the comics. I'm really hoping some day they make a sequel to Dredd or ever get that Mega City TV show going. Until then, all we have are the comics.

That said, today the cover for the trade paperback Judge Dredd: The Small House was revealed. I'm not completely caught up with all the comics right now so this collection from 2000 AD will be a nice addition to my library. Rob Williams' tale will be available on September 3rd and will come in at 96 pages.

Below you can check out the new cover that was just revealed for the release.

Everything is at stake and no-one is safe – in the critically-acclaimed storyline from Rob Williams and Henry Flint, Judge Dredd and his team of hand-picked allies finally takes on the nefarious Judge Smiley, Mega-City One’s behind-the-scenes manipulator – but who will be left standing at the end? And with tensions with Chief Judge Hershey at breaking point, has Dredd finally met his match?

Who to See at Gen Con 2019

It's been a dry couple days lately without much news so today I thought it would be a good day to take a look at Gen Con.

Obviously the most exciting thing about Gen Con this year is the release of Cyberpunk Red. Well, as long as it is ready. So there is a small chance that the book won't be there this year. But I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it will probably meet the deadline. The other big game that will be released at Gen Con is Shadowrun the Sixth World.

You can check out the full Gen Con Exhibit Hall map here. On that map, R. Talsorian will have a booth at 1852 right across from the Exhibitors services desk. Catalyst Game Labs, makers of Shadowrun, will have a pretty big booth this year. They will be occupying 1605, 1611, and 1703. I'm sure they will have a bunch of there other games as well and probably only have one table for Shadowrun.

I am going to attempt to make it to Gen Con this year in Indianapolis. I'd love to be one of the first people to get my grubby hands on a copy of Cyberpunk Red. It also wouldn't hurt to have it signed by the man himself, Mike Pondsmith.

If you can't make it, don't fret. Cyberpunk Red will be available as soon as they can get back and put it up for sale. As soon as I can get my hands on a copy you can guarantee more content will be incoming right here.

Waveshapers New Album Out Now

On May 6th one of my personal favorite synthwave artists, Waveshaper, released their new album Artifact. Synthwave and Retrowave are what initially introduced me to the cyberpunk genre. I had no idea that this kind of music was still being made today.

This new album is really impressive. I'm usually the kind of person who will skip through certain tracks on an album. Not with this one. I can honestly listen to this album all the way through and love every track. Two of my favorite songs are probably Departure and Artifact but they are all so good it's hard to choose just a couple.

Artifact is like a movie for the blind with each track telling a different story. I highly suggest checking it out. Artifact is available on iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp.

New Cyberpunk VR Game LOW-FI

Quite a few people were a little disappointed when CD Projekt Red announced that Cyberpunk 2077 would not support VR. Well now I have found the game that you all were hoping for.

LOW-FI is a next generation virtual reality simulation in which you as the player patrol the streets (and the skies above them) solving mysteries, fighting crime, or giving in to corruption. The game oozes atmosphere and looks like you are living Blade Runner.

IRIS VR are the developers behind the game who also brought us Technolust VR. Another really solid VR game that came out early on. I'm sure they are taking lessons they learned from that game and implementing them here.

Apparently they are also going to be bringing this game to Kickstarter sometime in mid to late summer this year. That should mean a release date sometime in 2020. I'm really looking forward to backing this one because the game looks beautiful.

Check out the preview of the game below.. I must advise that if you get a little motion sickness just watch bits of it. Even I got a little light headed watching it.

As the player, you are “low-fi”, the street name given to those who cannot merge with the platform, a ubiquitous virtual reality simulation where most of the population now live their lives. You are a police officer and have been transferred to city-block 303, a particularly crime ridden section or Toronto. The only inhabitants of note in your jurisdiction are other low-fi, and the human intelligence (or lower) artificial life forms who have remained among the citizens after the AI singularity.

An Unboxing of Shadowrun the Sixth World Beginner Box

Just a couple hours ago I published the article about the upcoming Shadowrun the Sixth World. In that article I talked about everything we know so far about the game. In that article I mention the "Beginner Box" that was sent out to "influencers" and others.

Today Darryl Mott who runs the Youtube channel Gamer's Tavern has uploaded his unboxing video. It's interesting to see everything that is included. I actually really like the equipment cards. The Seattle poster also looks like a nice touch.

Anyway check out the video below and stay tuned for more Shadowrun updates.

Are you ready to risk everything?

The Sixth World. One of the most enduring RPG settings ever created, with shadows growing deeper and darker in its latest edition. Dominated by enormous, world-striding megacorporations strangling metahumanity in their clutches, by 2080 most of the planet has surrendered to these corporate overlords.

But from the darkest shadows, defiance flickers in people known as shadowrunners. They risk everything—wrestling magical energies, channeling them into power; putting their minds against the electronic void of the Matrix; trading flesh and blood for chrome and steel.

Stand up, join them, and dare to risk it all!

Get the Carbon 2185 Quickstart Rules Free

Carbon 2185 takes place in a dystopian San Francisco in the year 2185. Heavily influenced by movies such as Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell, you’ll find plenty of familiar options in this game. the lead artist on the project, Klaus Wittmann is known for his work, funny enough, on The Witcher 3.

With Carbon 2185, the publisher intends to pair a streamlined, simple ruleset with layers of customization options for both the players and the Game Master.

One of the cool things about Carbon 2185 is that you can build any character from cyberpunk literature,” said Robert Marriner Dodds. “From the disgruntled police officer hunting down replicants like Deckard in Blade Runner, to a mostly cybernetic security expert like Adam Jensen from Deus Ex, or even a reawakened former special forces soldier who has been in cryostasis like Takeshi Kovacs from Altered Carbon.”

The publisher is eager to point out that creating original characters is just as easy, and just as fun.

The way you create characters in Carbon 2185 is unique to our system. We have an organic, fluid, character background generation that determines who your character is, and who they were before you picked up the character sheet” said Robert. “You’re not going to be able to create the same character twice if you use the background generation system, every character is unique. 

I haven't dug into all the crunch but the game has several things that I'm sure anyone reading this blog will be familiar with. It opens up with a bit of slang like street rat and mech. Terms that most Cyberpunk players will be more than familiar with.

Below is the overview of the game and if it grabs your interest head on over to their official site to pick up the quickstart rules for yourself.

Carbon 2185 is an upcoming cyberpunk rpg created by Dragon Turtle Games due to be released in 2019. Carbon 2185 is all about telling stories in a dark dystopian future influenced by franchises such as Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, and Deus Ex.

The core mechanics and rules of Carbon 2185 are built using, and developed from the OGL, so anybody who has experience with this game system has a unique advantage in learning these new rules. That being said, experience is not necessary, and in our playtests, new players picked up the streamlined rules by the end of the first session.

Cd Projekt Red Store is Live

We have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the official store for a couple weeks now. Today they finally opened the floodgates and announced the store is officially ready for business. The only problem right now is that they are only shipping to the European Union. So all of us in North America and elsewhere will have to wait until they figure out their shipping issues.

I'm a little surprised they didn't nail that down before opening the store up at all. But my guess is that they were sitting on it for longer than they wanted to. Well that and Cyberpunk 2077 news has dried up waiting until the E3 news dump.

Anyway it's definitely worth checking out right now to create a wish list of stuff from The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077 and Gwent. If you are in the EU they go ham and pick up everything you have been waiting for. They have everything from t-shirts to phone cases. There is also a nifty Trauma Team t-shirt I have my eye on. We'll keep you informed of when they begin shipping overseas.

Shadowrun Sixth Edition: What We Know So Far

About a week ago it was announced that Catalyst Game Lab were going to release the sixth edition of Shadowrun. With that announcement they sent out several Beginner Boxes to people within the community. The Shadow Casters Network has been answering a lot of questions fans have about the game and have been streaming some actual plays as well.

The information that people have gathered about the game has come from the discussions that SCN has had on their streams. They have done a couple Q&A's as well. Luckily you won't have to go back and watch all those archived streams. The community has come together and prepared a document that contains all the information that we know so far.

We know the Beginner Box will be out in June and we can expect the core rulebook to be come out just in time for Gen Con in August. That's gonna be a tough month for some with Cyberpunk Red occupying the same release window.

As I mentioned above check out the Google doc for every thing we know so far including all mechanics.

Are you ready to risk everything?

The Sixth World. One of the most enduring RPG settings ever created, with shadows growing deeper and darker in its latest edition. Dominated by enormous, world-striding megacorporations strangling metahumanity in their clutches, by 2080 most of the planet has surrendered to these corporate overlords.

But from the darkest shadows, defiance flickers in people known as shadowrunners. They risk everything—wrestling magical energies, channeling them into power; putting their minds against the electronic void of the Matrix; trading flesh and blood for chrome and steel.
Stand up, join them, and dare to risk it all!

Kickstarter Spotlight: Dice Charger by Q Workshop

I didn't expect to have so many Kickstarters to cover in such a short time, but here we are. I've been looking around for a really nice set of dice for my Cyberpunk games. The closest I found to what I want was a set of "Tech" dice from Q-Workshop. They look pretty cool and they definitely fit with the genre. But today another option came up, oddly from the same company, on Kickstarter.

They are producing a glow in the dark set of dice for Sci-Fi/Cyberpunk games. They look really nice and they even come with a dice cup that will charge them so they glow even brighter. I'm definitely considering backing this project. The only thing that is a little bit of a downer is that these dice won't be shipped out until around January 2020 if no hiccups happen during production.

Nevertheless they look incredibly cool and are definitely suitable for all your Cyberpunk 2020 games and the upcoming Cyberpunk Red. Go ahead an check out the Kickstarter for yourself and see if they would be something you would want to roll at your table.

Alien Role Playing Game is on the Way

On April 26th, Alien Day, Free League Games announced they are producing a brand new table top RPG for Alien. Free League Games are known for Tales From the Loop and Mutant: Year Zero which means the game will be running on their Year Zero Engine. I'm not particularly familiar with those mechanics but considering they have won Ennie's for their games, I'm not concerned about the quality this game will have.

The Alien RPG will take place in the year 2183 and will have two different game modes. Cinematic play is based on pre-made scenarios that emulate the dramatic arc of an ALIEN film. Designed to be played in a single session, this game mode emphasizes high stakes and fast and brutal play. You are not all expected to survive. Campaign play is designed for longer continuous play with the same cast of player characters over many game sessions, letting you explore the ALIEN universe freely, sandbox style.

Below is the overview provided by the games official website and the announcement trailer.

Space is vast, dark, and not your friend. Gamma rays and neutrino bursts erupt from dying stars to cook you alive, black holes tear you apart, and the void itself boils your blood and seizes your brain. Try to scream and no one can hear youhold your breath and you rupture your lungs. Space isn’t as empty as youd think, eitherits frontiers are ever expanding. Rival governments wage a cold war of aggression while greedy corporations vie for valuable resources. Colonists reach for the stars and gamble with their liveseach new world tamed is either feast or famine. And there are things lurking in the shadows of every asteroidthings strange and different and deadly.

Things alien.

This is the official ALIEN tabletop roleplaying gamea universe of body horror and corporate brinkmanship, where synthetic people play god while space truckers and marines serve host to newborn ghoulish creatures. Its a harsh and unforgiving universe and you are nothing if not expendable.

Stay alive if you can.

Kickstarter Spotlight: Butcher Queen

Yes, we just did a Kickstarter spotlight but I just happened upon this one and they are nearing the end. Currently they are sitting at 98% funded with only three days left. It looks like they are going to reach their funding goal but I want to be able to shine a little light on their project.

Butcher Queen is ex-cop-turned-soldier-for-hire Syd Kiowa. A series of biochemical attacks targeting aliens has plunged Black Star City into a storm of chaos and fear. A mysterious creature named Avina claims to have information on the organization behind the attack and its devastating future plans. When Avina hires Syd Kiowa to help her take the whole thing down, what follows will change Earth’s relationship with aliens forever.

Jim Ousley will be writing the story with Ben Sawyer providing the pretty scribbles. In case you are a little wary of backing Kickstarter projects, no worry here as these guys have already fulfilled a previous comic book project. So check'em out and if it's something you're interested in, throw them a couple bucks.

New Preview for Blade Runner 2019 Comic

Unfortunately Blade Runner 2049 was not a box office success even though the film itself is an amazing watch. Thankfully despite the low box office return they are continuing to expand on the Blade Runner universe. We know an anime is on the way from CruncyRoll and just announced a little while ago is a new comic book.

Blade Runner 2019 is going to be written by Michael Green and Batman/Superman writer Mike Johnson. Titan Comic's have released a bunch of chase covers and a two page preview to the upcoming series to CBR. Below is the solicitation text along with one of the covers and the two page preview.

BLADE RUNNER 2019 #1MICHAEL GREEN & MIKE JOHNSON (W) • ANDRES GUINALDO (A)Cover A: ArtgermCover B: Syd MeadCover C: Andres GuinaldoCover D: John RoyleFC. 32pp. $3.99. On Sale: July 17, 2019

A new Blade Runner arrives in the first comic to tell original stories set in the Blade Runner universe!

From Oscar-nominated screenwriter Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049, Logan, American Gods, Supergirl), with longtime co-writer Mike Johnson (Batman/Superman, Star Trek). Illustrated by Andres Guinaldo (Justice League Dark, Captain America)!

In the neo-noir city of Los Angeles, 2019, veteran Blade Runner Ash has a new case: a billionaire's child, kidnapped by bioengineered Replicants...

Kicktstarter Spotlight: GeneFunk 2090

We normally don't see that many cyberpunk Kicktstarters but today I found just that. CRISPR Monkey Studios launched there tabletop RPG game GeneFunk 2090 just a couple days ago. The game looks a lot like Shadowrun with no magic. It would probably be fair to call it a combination of Cyberpunk and Shadowrun.

GeneFunk 2090 appears to be using the mechanics of D&D 5E which isn't a terrible one. The game heavily focuses on the bio-engineering aspects of cyberpunk. You have things like nanobots in your bloodstream that hackers can access. It sounds pretty wild and it's an interesting concept.

They do have a free setting book that you can check out before you decide if you want to back or not. I managed to glance over it and there seems to be a lot of options for creating any type of character you wish to make. It's worth looking into if you are curious.

The Twitter of the Dark Future

Hey choombas! I was finally able to get the Twitter account up and going. It took a little while because apparently it was caught up in some kind of "spam countermeasure". It makes me think there must be some pretty sophisticated bots out there.

Anyway I plan on using the Twitter account to post mostly images and share a few articles here and there. I'll also link back here to this blog for more updates. So keep an eye on the twitter account because I'll most likely be giving a real heads up on there when I post something new.

Watch this Laughably Bad Shadowrun Promo from 1990

This has been online for quite some time but I just came across it today. This a live-action promo that was done for the SNES Shadowrun game. It's awful from start to finish. It has porn level acting and one hilarious hacking sequence. Also check out the sphere from Phantasm makes a special appearance at the end.

Get your blinders and hazmat suit out because the cringe level is strong with this one.

Huge Cyberpunk Red Info Dump

R. Talsorian Games have just taken to Twitter to answer a bunch of questions that people have had about the game. Now they didn't reveal anything that we didn't already know. But it is really nice to have all this information in one spot. Here is all the info they shared:

Q: What is Cyberpunk Red?
A: Cyberpunk Red is a new edition of Cyberpunk, the original tabletop roleplaying game of the Dark Future created by Mike Pondsmith and published by R. Talsorian Games.

Q: What system is Cyberpunk Red? Fuzion or Interlock?
A: Cyberpunk Red will use the classic Interlock system, though, as with any new edition of a TRPG, there will be revisions and updates.

Q: Is Cyberpunk Red going to be compatible with Cyberpunk 2020?
A: While there will be changes to the rules, it should not be too difficult to convert Cyberpunk 2020 material to Cyberpunk Red.

Q: Does Cyberpunk Red take place in the same universe as Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk 2077?
A: Yes. R. Talsorian Games and CD Projekt Red have worked together on a common timeline for the original Cyberpunk (Cyberpunk 2013) to Cyberpunk 2020 to Cyberpunk Red to Cyberpunk 2077.

Q: What about Cyberpunk v3? And Cybergeneration?
A: Cyberpunk v3 and Cybergeneration both officially take place in alternate timelines. They are "what if?" scenarios. The Carbon Plague of Cybergeneration did occur in the 2020/Red/2077 timeline but was quickly contained.

Q: Will there be Roles (aka classes) in Cyberpunk Red?
A: Yes, there will be roles. They will be familiar but many will have evolved or changed. Some will have alternative special abilities. There will also be rules for changing roles during play.

Q: When in the timeline does Cyberpunk Red take place?
A: Cyberpunk Red takes place between the end of the 4th Corporate War (2022 or so) and 2077. We realize that's a long stretch of time but aren't yet ready to say where, specifically, in that time period Red will begin.

Q: What is Cyberpunk Red's relationship to Cyberpunk 2077?
A: Red will show the Cyberpunk world in a period of rebuilding following the 4th Corporate War. It will help show how society moved from that world shattering event to what's presented in the video game.

Q: When will Cyberpunk Red be released?
A: We're aiming for an August 1 release but that will change if we feel the book isn't ready. Ideally, it will go on sale at our booth at GenCon and online via DriveThruRPG at the same time. It might also be available via our webstore then.

Q: What formats will Cyberpunk Red be available in? How much will it cost?
A: Cyberpunk Red will be a full color, hardcover book in physical form and a full color PDF in digital form. The suggested retail price is yet to be determined.

Q: How soon will Cyberpunk Red be in stores?
A: That depends on how quickly distributors and retailers order it once its made available, though we won't open orders until we're sure we can fulfill them.

Q: What sort of art will Cyberpunk Red have?
A: Cyberpunk Red will have new art, commissioned from a number of talented artists. The art will be full color and on par with any modern RPG.

Q: Will Cyberpunk Red be available in other languages?
A: We do not translate TRPGs ourselves. That being said, we have several partners in other countries who have localized our games. We anticipate licensing the rights to companies in several countries in the future.

Q: Is Mike Pondsmith involved in Cyberpunk Red?
A: Absolutely. He is both the lead developer and primary writer on the project.

Q: Will Cyberpunk Red be compatible with the Witcher TRPG?
A: Not without work. Though they're both Interlock, each is specifically designed to work within their genre. Of course, we've already had some arguments about Geralt vs. Morgan Blackhand...

Mike Pondsmith Clears Up Timeline Confusion

There seems to have been some confusion over the timeline in the Cyberpunk universe. A misinterpretation of an interview seemed to reveal that Cyberpunk 2077 was an alternate timeline from the tabletop RPG Cyberpunk games. I'm not sure how Mike's original quote was taken out of context since it seemed pretty clear to me. This is what he originally said at PAX East:

Let’s say that at this point, we plan to continue the timeline and you will see the things that you saw in 2020, but they will somewhat be changed. And that will affect both the timeline and also the fact that cellphones went from the size of the brick to the size your thump, and than again to the size of a brick. So you are going to see some shifts in technology.
I guess I might be able to see where some confusion came into play when he was referring to changes in the timeline. However Mike Pondsmith has come forward on Reddit to clear up the confusion:

Ahem. There's still an incorrect interview floating around the interwebs that states that Cyberpunk 2077 and Cyberpunk 2020 are separate timelines. To clear this up, I am posting RIGHT HERE AND NOW that the timeline is unified, with the path moving from Cyberpunk 2013 thru Cyberpunk 2020, then through Cyberpunk RED and up to Cyberpunk 2077
Lord knows, we spent enough time hashing the details out over the past six months. Expect more on this later. Back to your cyberlives, everyone.
So there ya go folks. The man has spoken.

Welcome to The Blog of the Dark Future

I have been a long time tabletop fan. My first game was first edition D&D. I was digging through some old boxes and found my fathers old books from when he was in high school. I was immediately drawn into the game. I could do anything I wanted, whenever I wanted. In my mind it was like the best video game I had ever played.

Over the years my taste in games hasn't wavered much. I always preferred the old school mentality that first edition brought. Since then I have bought books for Dungeon Crawl Classics, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Swords & Wizardry, Astonishing Swords & Swordsmen of Hyperborea and the list goes on and on. It wasn't until a few years ago that my interest in other genres in tabletop began.

I was never a fan of sci fi. Never. It wasn't until Mass Effect came along that I began to fall in love with the genre. The game was amazing and I wanted to do even more in the universe than the game would allow. So I set out on a mission to convert Mass Effect to the tabletop. While doing research for it I picked up several sci fi games and space operas. In the end that project died because I found someone had beat me to the punch.

However that interest also turned me onto Shadowrun. I read through the books and even backed the game on Kickstarter. This in turn brought me to the world of Cyberpunk. Not the game, not yet anyway, but the genre. I was rewatching Blade Runner, Akira, Ghost in Shell, Cowboy Bebop and whatever else I could get my hands on. I read William Gibson's Neuromancer and began to consume all I could that included cyberpunk aesthetics.

This brings me to CD Projekt Red's announcement of Cyberpunk 2077. This game seriously peaked my interest and when I laid my eyes on the gameplay demo, I was in love. I was so interested in the world that I searched out all the source material for the game I could. Mike Pondsmith's Cyberpunk 2020 was the high tech, low life game I had always been searching for. Yet somehow it alluded me all this time.

This brings me to the present and why this blog was created. I also want to address what you can expect to find here hopefully on a daily basis. As I said before I have been a long time tabletop fan and I have always frequented many OSR blogs. Everything from Tenkars Tavern to Vengers Old School Gaming Blog. But just a few days ago I was curious if there were any Cyberpunk blogs. Apparently no one knew of any. I knew at that moment I had to do it myself. There has to be an audience looking for this kind of content, so I might as well be the one to do it.

Now the types of things I will be posting here will all be cyberpunk related. Cyberpunk 2020, Cyberpunk Red, some occasional Shadowrun maybe and much more. Some of what I post will be simply inspiration for Cyberpunk games such as image dumps, NPC's, cyberware and news stories that you may be able to fit into your games. Whatever I think might spark some inspiration will be posted here. I also plan on doing movie reviews for applicable films as well. So even if you have no interest in tabletop games, you can still get a healthy dose of cyberpunk.

So I hope you continue to frequent this blog because I plan on keeping this as up to date as possible. Feel free to comment what you to see in the future or if you think I left anything critical off my list. Thank you everyone and I'll see you in the matrix.