Cyberpunk RED: RPG Spotlight
It’s time to go back to Night City this week on RPG Spotlight as we take a look at a world of neon and ultra high tech with Cyperpunk RED.
Cyberpunk RED is the latest edition to the classic tabletop RPG of a terrible high-tech, high surveillance future. Releasing just in time for fans of the long-awaited Cyberpunk 2077 video game to finish playing, digest, and want another entry point into a weird and wired cyberpunk setting, Cyberpunk RED bridges the gap in the timeline between the previous RPGs and Cyberpunk 2077 and attempts to continue fleshing out this huge and highly complex world for fans. On their own, each game is a complete product and a stand-alone experience, but for fans who are ready to get really immersed, the entire Cyberpunk series works together like novels in a series.
The basic rules are relatively simple compared to the crunchiness level of other games with similar settings. Players roll d10s and add modifiers made up of their attributes and skills. High enough totals will pass whatever check the player is trying to make. This works from anything from corporate espionage to domestic terrorism to just looking really really cool.
Combat is a little more complex with to-hit value tables, sub-rules, and complex intricacies of different kinds of attacking, even if they look like they should be too similar to differentiate between. If you’ve ever played any crunchy to crunchyish RPGs before, knowing which chart to pull up when will probably quickly become second nature. But for newer players or players brought to the world of tabletop RPGs for the first time by the siren call of more Cyperpunk 2077 adjacent content, it could easily become an overwhelming experience.
Character creation also gets a little more crunchy with so, so many skill options alone. If you’ve ever perused a list of GURPs skills and thought, “This may be too many options,” Cyberpunk RED isn’t that bad, but there is no lack of options. If you have a specific character in mind, you’ll likely be able to make exactly that person. Again, a seasoned RPG player will have no trouble with this, but it could be a discouraging moment for newcomers to tabletop gaming.
But if you can get past that, into real gameplay, and get through enough combat scenarios to really get a hang of how the game is played, Cyberpunk RED is great. It’s big, smog-filled, neon-lit fun in a world that will let you explore some heavy and timely concepts like corporate corruption, government overreach, surveillance states, and the dangerous side of a high-tech world. Or, you can play a reality devoid of fun adventure in a retro-futuristic world, it’s your future.
If you’re interested in checking out Cyberpunk RED for yourself, you can find more information on the Talsorian Games official website.
Have you played Cyberpunk RED or any other games in the Cyberpunk tabletop RPG family? Did you play Cyberpunk 2077 and were looking for another way to visit Night City? What would your job in the dystopian future be? Let us know in the comments!