Want to take a peek at the upcoming rules in Cyberpunk Red, due to release in November? Well you’re in luck. Today we’re taking a look at lifepaths.
One of the best things about Cyberpunk 2020 was its lifepath system, which had you roll some dice to figure out who your character was, and how they fit (or didn’t) into the dystopian world of Night City, and what friends, enemies, and tragedies have befallen them. It’s hands-down one of my favorite character creation systems, and so when I heard that there was a preview of Cyberpunk Red’s new lifepath system, I felt a rush of both excitement and expansiveness. The possibilities are almost endless, especially since the new system has some improvements. Take a look.
via R. Talsorian Games
In the preview of Lifepath systems, R. Talsorian outlines some familiar groundwork at first. You’re still rolling d10s to figure out details–and in doing so, we get a glimpse of what the world is like in 2077:
That means the Character, or the Character’s family, was originally from Sub-Saharan Africa. Charlie tells Victoria that Africa’s in the midst of a technological boom thanks to its close association with the residents of orbital platforms and stations known as the Highriders.
Which is a pretty cool detail–the world feels a lot broader. Your Cultural Origins also help identify your native language. All characters know Streetslang, which means you can talk to a Chromer while Chippin’ In with your Chombattas, even if you know that one of them is a Doughgirl. But on top of that, you also get a language based on your cultural origin, so in the Africa example, the character is fluent in Amharic.
Then all the familiar details like Personality and Style are still present. Style is, of course, the most important option, so it comes before things like your Motivations, Relationships, and Values. Which is how it should be. You can roll to determine what your family and environment are like–but then we get to the new stuff. After your general lifepath, you get to pick a Role-based lifepath. So your events change depending on whether you’re a Rockerboy or a Netrunner.
Each Role, which is somewhat akin to “Classes” from other TRPGs, has its own Lifepath to help Players know not only how their Character “grew up” but how they function in their “job”.
We get a look at both Netrunner and Exec in this example, and you can click that link if you want to see all the details. But each of these presents a different picture of your life events. The Netrunner example defines how the character works, and what their environment is like. The questions dig in deeper to personality and flavor, and outline details about the characters’ life, so you know where you get your programs, as well as who they’ll never hit or who is trying to hit them.
The Exec, on the other hand, delves into the corporation you work for, outlining what they do, and how they fit into the world–and of course, who their boss is. After seeing this, I’m definitely excited to roll up some characters. So be sure and check back when Cyberpunk Red drops to see what our misadventures bring us.