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(Spinoff) What is cyberpunk and what is a cyberpunk RPG?

LatinaBunny

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Um... most of this whole thread has been about debating what is cyberpunk, then went into whether some characters (including cops and certain other varied characters) were even considered “punk” enough.

For me? Wikipedia has shown me an obscure derivative that may be more for me: Cyberprep! Lol.:p
 

Cannibal Smiliest

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I’ve always found it odd how pointlessly argumentative most gamers seem to be. Any declarative statement or airing of preferences is almost universally taken as a personal affront and a challenge to “prove” this or that. It’s honestly baffling.
You’ve spent how much time in this thread arguing with people that cyberpunk is punk?

Like it or not, it’s a discussion board. If you say something, people may disagree with you.
 
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Gentleman Highwayman

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Let's go back to the beginning. Cyberpunk 2013 was primarily inspired by Blade Runner and film noir. Mike has commented he didn't read Neuromancer until after her wrote the game. It makes sense, neither Deckard or the Continental Op are true outsiders, but they also aren't the man. The man needs something from them, they have other ideas. Shadowrun is a bit trickier. I've always heard that is was a mix of Gibson and Terri Windling, but it was originally meant as a pure cyberpunk game--until Mike beat them to the punch. FASA rejigged it to not compete head to head. Shadowrun plays like most people I knew played AD&D at the time, but now all those hackneyed and cliched things were part of the world.

Both games embrace an '80s action movie sensibilities, except change the world so the idea that '80s action movie collateral damage happens all the time. Cyberpunk RPGs have setting that look like The Avenger go at it every week, the PCs live in the aftermath. I think it's the chrome and pink mohawks that set the way that cyberpunk RPGs play. Gaming is fundamentally different for reading fiction, so the games ignore the literally genre in favour of a more high octane cinematic vision. This doesn't mean either game couldn't be used to play less FX driven gaming, but both rules really push you to be an ultimate badass--all the time.

By picking cinematic reference points the cyberpunk RPGs never meant to emulate the literally genre, but rather took the trappings and ran in the direction of Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Willis. I was aware of the disconnect at the time, but didn't care since I had bought into a precursor of The Matrix.
 

Cosmic Hobo

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You’ve spent how much time in this thread arguing with people that cyberpunk is punk?

Like it or not, it’s a discussion board. If you say something, people may disagree with you.
Friendly discussion is one thing, but feeling the need to prove someone else’s preferences wrong is neither friendly nor a discussion. With that said, let’s move back to the actual topic: a shared love of cyberpunk.

Some games that haven’t been mentioned enough: The Veil and The Sprawl. Anyone actually play either of these?
 

Cannibal Smiliest

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Friendly discussion is one thing, but feeling the need to prove someone else’s preferences wrong is neither friendly nor a discussion.
I think that arguing textual interpretation is not “proving preferences wrong”. But you want to drop it, so let’s drop it.
 

kvltjam

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Some games that haven’t been mentioned enough: The Veil and The Sprawl. Anyone actually play either of these?
I’ve not played either, but I have looked through the playbooks of The Sprawl and dug some of the concepts I got from them. Chief among them that it seems as though cyberware, while potent, comes at some type of cost - either it’s glitchy stuff a street-tier punk might be able to scrounge for, a corp put it in you (and now they own you), or you screwed someone over in the acquisition. That’s really cool.

(I must admit to being not as well-versed in cyberpunk gaming as I want to be - I’ve only played Shadowrun. But the previous sorts of hard choices are absent in SR, to its detriment. I’ve been reading this thread pretty thoroughly to see how systems support or fail their media forebears, and it’s been a great read so far.)
 

Clockwork Cat

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I'd say that Cyberpunk as a genre is near future, anti-capitalist, relatiely street level, and concerned with opposing authority. I also think its basically noir with an SF gloss, for the most part.

Cyberpunk RPGs are, as others have said, completely different. Basically, they usually seem fcused on the tooling up and gear porn elements to the detrimentof everything else.

I'd love to run a low level game set entirley in one neighbourhood and dealing with the problems that arise there, because that seems cool, to me.
 

Cannibal Smiliest

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Cyberpunk RPGs are, as others have said, completely different. Basically, they usually seem fcused on the tooling up and gear porn elements to the detrimentof everything else.
That’s a good insight. Most cyberpunk games start with a big shopping spree for the stuff you want, and the best stuff is always name-brand.

I'd love to run a low level game set entirley in one neighbourhood and dealing with the problems that arise there, because that seems cool, to me.
It would definitely be a switch from traditional cyberpunk, to be sure. Actually, Underground is the perfect model for that, complete with subsystem for actually making things better in your neighborhood - and it’s arguably cyberpunk. That game could use a rewrite with a better system...
 

lucrien

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Cyberpunk RPGs are, as others have said, completely different. Basically, they usually seem fcused on the tooling up and gear porn elements to the detrimentof everything else.
I've seen this brought up a number of times, but I'm not sure it's quite right. Or rather, I think there are legitimate reasons cyberpunk RPGs tend to have a certain amount of gear focus.

Part of that is that cyberpunk does have a certain sense of awe about the future. Contrast them with straight dystopian takes on the near future, like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, etc., and cyberpunk stories offer a vision of the future that is at least somewhat appealing, or at least has some elements of comfortable familiarity. To the extent that cyberpunk sends the message that advancing technology won't change human nature, it needs to show a panoply of wondrous technologies--it needs to have flying cars in order to say "look, you have flying cars now, but nothing's any better."

Of course, huge lists of shiny gear isn't the only way to play into those ideas, and it might not always work, but the connection is there.

Most cyberpunk games start with a big shopping spree for the stuff you want, and the best stuff is always name-brand.
Of course--what better way to show how pervasive and controlling the corporations are than to make all their stuff appealing. If these corporations are dominating everyday life, shouldn't it show? Shouldn't a game where capitalism has run amok feature a healthy dose of shopping for the latest and greatest name-brand toys?
 
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