Product– Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart
System- Cyberpunk Red
Producer– R. Talsorian Games Inc.
TL; DR– Good appetizer to the whole system! 90%
Basics-Choombatta, it’s time to make some EB! Cyberpunk Red is the latest version of the popular Cyberpunk series, taking place decades after the last edition. Players try to survive in Night City as gangs, governments, and corporations all fight for dominance. What will you do in the dark to make money? Let’s do a breakdown
basics-This is a 1d10 based system. You roll a d10, add an attribute, and a skill and you are done. If that number is better than the difficulty value (DV) or higher then your opponent, you win. That’s it. Hacking, fighting, seducing, it’s all 1d10+stat+skill. Slick and simple.
combat-Combat is the same as above with 1d10 + stat for initiative and each round you get a move and an action. Attacking vs defending is again 1d10+stat+skill vs 1d10+stat+skill. You will roll each time for damage and attack. You crit on a 10 and roll another 1d10 to get bonuses to hit. Beat the defender and do damage based on melee, ranged, or how much chrome cyberware you are sporting. Armor protects you but each time you take damage over its protection value, it degrades. When you take enough punishment, you gain penalties to all your rolls. Eventually you get knocked out and you need help ASAP or you die quick! Healing is slow as this is a realistic game where bullets hurt!
hacking– Hacking uses the same basics as above except your net actions are accelerated as you get multiple actions in a round if you have better gear. You also hack in/jack in physically and have to stay close unless you get dumped out and bad things happen. Once you are in, basically all computers operate like buildings with elevators. You investigate a floor and see what’s there. Black ICE and other hackers defend places, so keep your wits about you as you dig for pay data and machine controls to keep yourself alive and paid!
Ok, that’s the basics of the box. Now for my thoughts.
Mechanics or Crunch– Cyberpunk is a solid game that is realistic, but maybe a bit slow. The base mechanic of roll dice, add, and done is good, but this is a combat heavy game. I like the speed that regular rolls have, but I feel that rolling to dodge slows down games like this. D & D is as heavy a combat game, but I feel that the static defence value helps with that speed. Otherwise, it’s a pretty slick system where you do move quickly getting past obstacles and negotiating the dark underbelly of Night City. 4.5/5
Theme or Fluff– This book does a solid job explaining the world, but I would like a bit more for the included adventure. Night City and the world it is in feels real. You can tell this was written long ago in the long ago past of 1988 (god I am getting old!) as it has the feel of what they thought the future would be back then. The world is well built and I’m glad to see a future where Africa doesn’t take the brunt of the world going to hell. My one minor concern is the adventure that is included. I want a run where I can score money and fame. This one is more an Assault on Precinct 13. Not bad, but I wanted something else. Overall, this box portrays a solid world with only a few issues. 4.5/5
Execution– PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? Yes! Starting strong! Overall, the layout is good, but I have some issues as some small things are left out or included in areas away from the revelivent text, like how armor degrades. It’s here but it’s mentioned in one place and fully explored later. It is a quick, fun read,, but the jumpstart format always leaves a few things on the cutting room floor that are needed. I do enjoy the maps and other pieces, and the book flows well. This is a decently executed book that only has a few minor issues. 4.5/5
Summary-Overall, this is a solid introduction to the world of Cyberpunk. I am left wanting more, but I don’t hate what’s here. I want more adventures and such. The intro one is good, but not the adventure I wanted. The world is well built, and the crunch is solidly designed. I have small issues with game speed and book odds and ends, but those are minor compared to everything else. This was like a solid taster to a good meal. I want more, and I look forward to the whole meal. I like Cyberpunk, and I can’t wait to play and see some more Cyberpunk Red! 90%