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Everything posted by MonSTeR

  1. Glad sandboxing still works for you. I've come to outgrow that style of game though, and have gone back to more scripted adventures as I've found having something completely tailored to the characters makes for more involving play. Whilst I agree that you can't have A leads to B leads to C, and force the players to have their characters do the steps in turn, I've found that predefining A and B and C and having those events happen irrespective of the characters works best. A is the catalyst to get them involved. If they never make it to B, B still happens and they have to live with the consequences which may or may not be there when they get to C, depending on how long it takes them. The trick is to make A so appealing to the players (not the characters) that that is what they want to do, because they know what you have planned is worth it.
  2. I've done lots of car chase scenes similar to the one you describe, one guy driving, another guy on a mobile netrun trying to alter traffic signals and scramble satnav and cyberdrive systems of the opposition. Opposed rolls, stacked multiple action penalties for the driver as he weaves in and out of traffic. Snapshots being fired out of the windows. Cliche? Yes. Fun? definately. Lots of fun to be had by all players involved. What I do stay away from is character/player confusion, just because the player is a Postdoctoral researcher in artificial intelligence, doesn't mean his character is. Likewise because I forgot my glasses, doesn't mean that my character isn't in a pseudo paranoid state of hyperwareness... So I'd have steared well/b] clear of other situations descibed above, they tend to cause more trouble than they're worth in my experience.
  3. I disagree with you so completely I don't know where to start. ... This is not a slam on you, this is personal experience and my own observations from my years of playing and running. And maybe I have misunderstood completely what you are trying to say, I have done such things before. I am not saying my brand of fun is right and yours isn't, just saying that in my experience, the players most interested in actually exploring their characters ROLES and personality, prefer the freedom only a sandbox inclined game can provide. No slam taken at all amigo, different strokes and all that, but I think the issue that I’m having with the “freeform sandbox” style you’re saying works best for you is this... It's great if the players have careers or well stated goals that you can use to guide adventures, like say, if they are cops, but even then they are going to want to do things every now and then that come completely out of left field. In roleplaying, you’re not dealing with the goals of the players goals you’re dealing with the goals of the characters!! The characters will have motivations, desires, past histories, scores to settle and a well scripted adventure makes sure that those are borne in mind so that all aspects of the story relate to the characters at hand. I’d also say that decent gamers recognise this and instead of having to be railroaded in a scripted adventure, they see it as an open road and can really begin to get into their characters and then don’t feel the need to do something out of left field as you say. They stay in role. It’s great to be able to ad lib a few scenes here and there, absolutely. But I’ve never seen games go so well as when he campaign is written around the characters and their motivations. If you want to be telling a story about a heartbroken rocker who’s trying to overthrow the corporation that killed his lover (because that’s the character’s driving force) then having him go mountain biking when he’s got these fires of revenge burning, probably isn’t in character, and in truth, probably isn’t cyberpunk.
  4. I think you just demonstrated that you're not able to come up with a good enough script!!! The right script, takes just the right amount of time, delivers just the right lines, lets folks get to know each other just well enough and leaves everyone feeling like they've had the time of their life. But now we're just battling each other so I'm going to leave it there on the real world analogies and get back to answering Wisdom's earlier post
  5. These things like hollywood blockbusters can be boiled down to a formula. Sure you need to put flesh on the bones, but a skeleton is a good arrangement for those bones to start with! Most things that I've ever seen that rely on "winging it" fall flat on their faces through a lack of continuity. Its great to be spontaneous, but you've got to know where it's taking you. If it's a "random surprise" what relevance does it have to the plot? I find a fairly well scripted game based on a formula works best with the best roleplayers. there's always room for improvisation, but if you're trying to tell a story with challenge and resolution (as most cyberpunk tends to have) then you need something concrete. To use your analogy, if you try and be spontaneous when "picking up chicks" unless you're Johnny Depp, most of the time she's just going to think you're a wanker.
  6. I know this isn't exactly what you were after, but what the hell and I apologise now for this sounding arrogant, I know it will, but these are "my golden rules" so to speak The best games I've played in and run all revolved around cinematic set pieces stung together with coerced interactions - in that players often need some help to set their characters off "adventuring" remember cyberpunk should have a purpose to it, whether it's revenge, duty, love, or nihilistic anarchy. If players aren't into a “higher” purpose, have the purpose be their reputation, it can’t just be another job. It can “start out” that way, but there needs to be something more actually “driving” the characters for it to be cyberpunk. The campaign should follow the up-down-up pattern, like Starwars did up -you blow up the death star, down - the bad guy deep-freezes your only friend, cuts off your hand then tells you he's your father, up - then you rescue your best friend, redeem your father and save the universe (I purposefully missed out the bit about snogging your sister) Each of the ups and downs is an adventure and each of the adventures themselves should have several set pieces, I also think it works best when the adventure is written for the characters and that the characters are created as a team, or loose series of partners so there's a real bond between them, to encourage interaction and role playing. When I first started Reffing, I often made the mistake of trying to let players make their own characters. This is the biggest mistake in my book. IMHO Character creation needs to be a collaborative process between the GM, and the player and the OTHER players. What's more the characters need to be written around the adventure OR the adventure around the characters, one or the other and usually the characters should come first, because the players are more involved with them that way. I also think it helps to have a focus for the team. They could be a crew of professional edgerunners, they could all be a part of the same street racing team or whatever but having a central theme tying them all together I’ve found really helps the players have their characters act like a team. Settings can also be very important, whether it's cityscape, out in the woods or whatever, then match a few scenes into the settings. But also to the skills of the characters. If your PCs are all nomads, don't have all the scenes in the high levels of city buildings - it's more likely that the players want to race mad max style muscle cars than compare tailors. If you're in a city center, you might want to go for something like "negotiations in a bar" followed by "losing a tail through traffic" followed by "running gunfight in city streets" followed by "looking for clues on who is reallyafter them" Things I've enjoyed have been car chases lots of compared driving rolls and narrative to describe the results of the PC vs NPC manouvres. AV chases will make for an even more cyberpunk feel. Bar scenes, are good, because most players have never been in a car chase or a gunfight, but most have been in a bar and all RPGers like to "talk the talk" bar scenes can all be as different as the bars in a major city, they can be roof top lounges overlooking the heart of the city where the aged single malt costs $500 a glass, or they can be combat zone dives, depending on what the scene needs. Gunfights are good and essentially cyberpunk (go watch the scene in "the matrix" where they storm the FBI building if you've forgotten), but you have to make sure that it's balanced, so either the whole team wants to see their supersoldier in action and is prepared to act as the supporting cast, or the team as a whole has to be able to handle the fight in one way or another. Remember goons don’t have to have combat sense. A good map, I find tends to help play out a firefight, so you can know ranges and just where the cover is. I also think an investigative phase often works well, and can be tailored to the characters. Either roughing up low level bad guys for info, or snooping on the net or physically infiltrating the “bad guys’ lair”, or a mixture of all 3. Have various clues written down that can be discovered depending on the success levels involved and let the players piece it all together. But... remember if a character would be able to piece things together that their player couldn’t, give them a hint or two, a roleplayer should play his character as smart as his character, not as smart as he is, and the GM should help out there. (I can play a netrunner, but I can’t actually hack a computer etc...) I’ve found that it’s hardest with intellect and problem solving for players to differentiate between themselves and their characters, so the GM needs to step in sometimes. But remember that for it actually to be cyberpunk, it all has to have an actual purpose (regardless of what that purpose is) otherwise it's just ultramodern or near future scifi and not really 'punk. Here endeth the lesson
  7. I doubt I did anything worth archiving, but in case I did, go for it
  8. Jeez that's a long list of familiar names I really miss CP2020 and you guys. It's great to see that the flame is still alive here. Good work Wisdom:)
  9. These are the critical points in my opinion, it's not "not having" an identity on the grid, it's whether anyone or anything is looking for that identity.
  10. I'd say my biggest and most beneficial house rule is a more detailled version of the combat/initiative section. Subsequent actions within one turn are subject to the -3 penalty to hit / succeed. I follow this through in initiative phases. each subsequent action happens 3 "phases" of a turn later. It makes for a great cinematic feel and as a game mechanic keeps things nice and orderly.
  11. Excellent work, I'm looking forward to getting hold of a copy in the near future when I actualy get time to sit down and read it
  12. Congrats on the personal request from Uncle Mike. I'm looking forward to getting hold of a copy of this when I get the link working properly
  13. In a way I completely agree with Phipps, most of the time, no one ever asks "which university Professor published the seminal paper on retinal rebuilds and where are their top post-docs following publication?" UNLESS the "mission" is directly to do with that sort of thing. BUT that doesn't mean you shouldn't have an idea of it. I always like to have an idea, who's the president, what party does he represent, what's the state of the policing, draconian or non-existant etc etc but even if theref has a good idea, the players don't necessarily need to. BUT the most important thing is that you just get things as you want them, I haven't played for several of years, but if I was to run a game now (Monsterpunk Pt II anyone? ) I'd increase the level of internet accesibility for all roles and move towards subtle "info punk" rather than cyberpunk or biopunk. BUT I also like a"superhero" setting so would still allow the cyberware if folks want to use it. If you want to leave the tech exactly as written, just go for "altered/divergent history" as the best way of coping
  14. If you can't actually get feedback from your players, I think it's important to be prepared to switch setting at a suitable juncture in case they decide they don't like "The Abyss" etc etc. The Star Wars movies were very good at shifting locale completely and when my group used to play Star Wars RPG that was somthing they used to like a great deal, going from water planet to jungle planet to city planet. All the Star Wars films do that, making a distinct environment for differnt scenes and it works really well. So maybe start off in an underwater setting, when the initial problem is resolved (the end of scenario 1) have the players flown into the Andes to troubleshoot the problem in the high altitude test facility there. That way they'll still be isolated, but you have the choice to move them around if they decide it's too cold to go swimming
  15. I thought the second and third movies pretty much did suck and prefer to deny their existence Which would have been a far more cyberpunk way to end the story
  16. I think that the first Matrix movie was cyberpunk; it was cyberpunk, a genre out of its time, brought up to date and for the masses, so perhaps not “pure” cyberpunk but as close to it as the time and mainstream audience could ever handle. If you avoided the spoilers and tip offs and reviews as I managed to do, the first time you saw that movie, the edges between the blue filtered “real world” and green filtered “matrix” were blurred, to the point where some internet boards were wondering if Neo had escaped the Matrix or simply been lured into the next level and he was still in there thinking he had escaped etc etc. We’re not in Kansas anymore But I wholly agree that the second and third films were a heavily milked cash cow. It should have ended with the first, just as Neo tells the machines (and the audience) that this is where it begins. So in truth I guess I do agree, the film was a caricature of the genre but perhaps the only thing at the time that would have been accepted.
  17. If memory serves, Silverhand & Blackhand were Mike's characters. Santiago was Matt's I think, Alt was Lisa. I have no idea on the other's. That's pretty cool actually. I'd always hoped that these guys were "real" characters
  18. As a former member of said community I would also say that this is "today's" version of events like yesterday's version was that it was looking quite possible. It could be that a break through in 10 years time will switch things around again. As Phipps said, it's a question of timing. If the characters were to be born in the next 20 years or so, it looks unlikely. If they're to be born in 50 years or so, I certainly wouldn't rule it out. If you just want to enjoy the science fiction side of the genre, I say go for it
  19. The other thing would be to take the opposite choice to what spyke is saying, just to see if it works at all. If a player wants to create a character that's all well and good to do from a points system. The old shadowrun system had a similar idea where if you wanted racial or magical powers you had to prioritise them early in character development, so in you game if you want gengineering make he players prioritise this over experience. Perhaps they lack "real life" skills as they spent too long in the burbs etc etc. Or. Design several tables specific to social class and roll randomly to reflect the choices that the characters parents would have wanted. Maybe a rich kid's parents were desparate for their daughter to be a doctor so enhanced her memory and her dexterity to help with that tricky surgery residency. But a poor kids parents well they were so desparate to get into the USA that they had to sell everything to get that job as labourers on that corporate farm growing grain to make biofuel, including their first born child. Consequently that child was engineered to be a far more effective worker, his myogenic processes were accelerated making him stronger and faster, he also was born with night vision so the corp didn't need to waste money on lighting the fields at night. Thus the characters have the traits useful to thier pre-set role in society whether they like it, or not. It also stops power gaming from players who create super strong, super fast super intelligent characters who spend all their time looking for a bigger gun You could also maybe read the book "Black Man" by the guy who wrote altered carbon (can't remember his name) for some of the pseudo social implications of genetic engineering
  20. Couldn't agree more Mr. P Being fast doesn't make you accurate and being accurate doesn't make you fast. Which is what creating a balanced character is about.
  21. I don't think the setting needs to be renewed, just perhaps refreshed. With more focus on simply extrapolating from the present, so it's China and not Japan that takes over the manufacturing world, it's bioware not cyberware that is predominant (or whatever I don't follow this field) it's more paranoid security, etc etc etc. Just an update really rather than throwing it out and starting again.
  22. I always loved the pictures that came with the shadowrun equipment books as they made it very easy to visualise things. The CP2020 books with all the Powered Armour and Appleseed tech just got out of hand imho. I think CP would win not because of the equipment but because of the ethos. SR always had an air of hope and wonder to it that frankly just wasn't there in CP (or at least the games I played of each) You went into a game of shadowrun to see what you could accumulate what spells you could learn or what riches you could plunder. CP had an air of dystopia, and the need for change. You went into a game of CP, yes, to see what riches you could accumulate but equallly wondering whether you'd be making a difference, whether your sacrifice would mean anything, or would you make it out alive to fight another day or even to be able to escape it all. As such SR may have all the tech in the world to try to win with, but it could never actually win, because CP would doesn't actually care if it loses just as long as the other side doesn't win.
  23. Yep. Not an RPG by any stretch, but a very strong mix of Mad Max & Cyberpunk as a Car Wars variant setting. I seem to recall one of the supplements (or it could have been rules published in White Dwarf) turned it into one where you had characters and could build a gang and they got sponsorship deals and stuff, but no still not really an RPG. Maybe "Narrative Wargame"
  24. Games Workshop did a board game/war game called "Dark Future" which was a derivative of Car Wars, but had an EXTREMELY Cyberpunk setting, (with a healthy dose of GW's Chaos theme). They did a couple of supplements as well. The game is fun, but the background is superb imho.
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