Cassettepunk Shadowrun: second session highlight

…and it was so good!

Last week, we started a new Shadowrun campaign. And with campaign, I mean campaign, a long-term series of adventures. Modern Shadowrun is an abomination to me; what makes me grin with enthusiasm is the setting of the first edition. I’m taking one step further and cassettepunk it. Shadowrun used to be a game about underdogs, not about high-tech super runners doing their jobs. That’s excruciatingly boring. Our Cassettepunk Shadowrun is old school in every aspect: underdogs running in the shadows.

The game is set in Hamburg, Allianz Deutscher Länder (Allied German States), in the year 2050.

We’re using my FKR Shadowrun rules – basically diceless, with a few meaningful rolls mixed in for good measure.

The runners:

Andreas Thomas, middle-aged orc decker. Just started decking with his brand new, off-the-shelf Radio Shack Boston X5.

Richard Moosbichler, an expat from Munich. Middle-aged. Moved to Hamburg for a job and got stuck there. Orc wolf shaman, Runenthing member.

Tiberius, former Troll bounty hunter who lost everything that was dear to him. Homeless.

Blaubub, a rigger and friend with Tiberius.

A highlight:

The runners are meeting a connection at a night club. Richard is scanning the area astrally and notices five persons hiding, two at the main entrance, three at the emergency exit in the back. Using high-proof whiskey, paper towels and empty beer bottles, they assemble a handful of Molotov cocktails. Richard then “calls his pack” (evocates two wolf spirits), while Andreas and the connection hide behind the counter. Blaubub is also seeking cover.

Then, Blaubub throws a few Molotov cocktails, Richard sends the wolf spirits out the emergency exit. Suddenly, an infernal burst of autofire: One of the opponents has a frigging gatling gun. And he is razing the entire back alley with it. The runners: fuckfuckfuck we’re dead, frantically diving behind tables, while the gatling is buzzsawing the interior of the nightclub to pieces. Fiery hornets of death. My players: enthusiastic, yelling over each other like kids in the playground. This is fun!

Now gatling guy is reloading his gun.

Driven by the courage of fear… Blaubub leaps towards him, unarmed, with the intention to prevent gatling guy from shooting again. Almost at the same moment, Richard also leaps. Both guys manage to knock the gatling gun to the side, against the wall. Gatling guy tries to recalibrate, and Richard… everything in slow motion now… shoves his gun in gatling guy’s face and pulls the trigger. Blood spraying, the sound of a heavy body hitting the asphalt. Then, silence. My players erupt in laughter. That’s our Shadowrun. And that’s why I love it so much.

No dice were rolled. With dice, it would have been impossible to keep up the pace and the sheer craziness of that fight.

It was all a natural conversation. I gauged how competent or incompetent the player characters were and deducted the consequences of their actions. This is how we played almost all our games since 1991. Then, a couple of years ago, we started rolling dice again. Very simple stuff. But this session tonight… has reminded us, vividly so, why we are diceless freeform roleplayers.

We’re back, and it’s the best thing that could happen to us.

Shadowrun 1e: sample price list for FKR SR games

I hate shopping sprees in cyberpunk games. It’s not genre-appropriate, so it’s gotta go!

I use this handy reference sheet instead. All my prices all ballpark. I also roll a d6 and adjust the prices accordingly: 1=way cheaper, 6=way more expensive.

If a new item comes up, I guesstimate its price. Done!

Click to make bigger.

FKR in Space: FKR-Trav

Character Creation

Name your character. You can get hit about 4 times. The referee determines the gravity of a hit.  Guns reduce your hits by at least 2 points. Your referee may decide to keep your exact number of hits to themselves, so you don’t get distracted by numbers on your sheet.

Attributes

Roll 1d6 twice. Effects are cumulative.

  1. You are strong.
  2. You are dextrous. 
  3. You are tough. 
  4. You are smart. 
  5. You are educated. 
  6. You are member of a noble family.
    Roll 1d6 for your title:
    1-2 = Knight, Knightess, Dame
    3 = Baron, Baronet, Baroness
    4 = Marquis, Marquesa, Marchioness
    5 = Count, Countess
    6 = Duke, Duchess

Service

Roll 1d6:

  1. Navy
  2. Marines
  3. Army
  4. Scouts
  5. Merchants
  6. Others

Rank

Roll 1d6:

  1. Navy:
    Roll a d6
    1: Ensign.
    2: Lieutenant.
    3: Lt Cmdr.
    4: Commander.
    5: Captain.
    6: Admiral
  2. Marines:
    Roll a d6
    1: Lieutenant.
    2: Captain.
    3: Force Cmdr.
    4: Lt Colonel.
    5: Colonel.
    6: Brigadier
  3. Army:
    Roll a d6:
    1: Lieutenant.
    2: Captain.
    3: Major .
    4: Lt Colonel.
    5: Colonel.
    6: General
  4. Scouts
  5. Merchants 
    Roll a d6:
    1-2: 4th Officer.
    3: 3rd Officer.
    4: 2nd Officer.
    5: 1st Officer.
    6: Captain 
  6. Others

Retirement Pay

(Your Rank times 10) + 20 is the chance you get a yearly retirement pay. Scouts and Others roll 1d6 to determine rank. Pay is 1d10*1000 credits. 

Skills

Roll as many skills as you have Rank. You can pick the same skill multiple times – each time you choose it, you get a little bit better at at.

Navy

  1. Ship‘s boat
  2. Vacc Suit
  3. Fwd Obsvr
  4. Gunnery
  5. Blade Cbt,
  6. Gun Cbt
  7. Mechanical
  8. Electronic
  9. Engineering
  10. Medical 
  11. Navigation
  12. Computer
  13. Pilot
  14. Admin
  15. Strong
  16. Dextrous
  17. Tough
  18. Smart
  19. Educated
  20. roll again

Marines

  1. Vacc Suit
  2. Blade Cbt
  3. Gun Cbt
  4. Vehicle
  5. Mechnical
  6. Electronic
  7. Tactics
  8. Medical
  9. Computer
  10. Leader
  11. Admin
  12. Strong
  13. Dextrous
  14. Tough
  15. Gambling
  16. Brawling
  17. to 20. roll again

Army

  1. Vehicle
  2. Mechanical
  3. Electronics
  4. Tactics
  5. Blade Cbt
  6. Gun Cbt
  7. Medical
  8. Computer
  9. Leader
  10. Admin
  11. Strong
  12. Dextrous
  13. Tough
  14. Gambling
  15. Educated
  16. to 20. roll again

Scouts

  1. Vehicle
  2. Vacc Suit
  3. Mechanical
  4. Navigation
  5. Gun Cbt
  6. Electronics
  7. Gunnery
  8. Medical
  9. Navigation
  10. Engineering
  11. Computer
  12. Pilot
  13. Strong
  14. Dextrous
  15. Tough
  16. Smart
  17. Educated
  18. to 20. roll again

Merchants

  1. Vehicle
  2. Vacc Suit
  3. Steward
  4. Electronics
  5. Gun Cbt
  6. Streetwise
  7. Mechanical
  8. Navigation
  9. Gunnery
  10. Medical
  11. Engineering
  12. Computer
  13. Pilot
  14. Admin
  15. Strong
  16. Dextrous
  17. Tough
  18. Blade Cbt
  19. Bribery
  20. roll again

Others

  1. Vehicle
  2. Gambling
  3. Brawling
  4. Bribery
  5. Blade Cbt
  6. Gun Cbt
  7. Streetwise
  8. Mechanical
  9. Electronics
  10. Gambling
  11. Brawling
  12. Forgery
  13. Medical
  14. Computer
  15. Strong
  16. Dextrous
  17. Tough
  18. to 20. roll again

Possessions

Roll one melee and one firearm. 

Melee

  1. Dagger
  2. Foil 
  3. Sword
  4. Cutlass
  5. Broadsword
  6. Bayonet
  7. Spear
  8. Halberd
  9. Pike
  10. Cudgel

Firearm

  1. Carbine
  2. Rifle
  3. Auto Rifle
  4. Shotgun
  5. SMG
  6. Laser Carbine
  7. Laser Rifle
  8. Revolver
  9. Pistol
  10. roll again


Armor

Roll 1d6+Rank. If you roll 7 or more, you also start with armor. This can be a kevlar vest, hardshell armor or similar sci-fi stuff.

RULES
Love the characters. Respect the genre. Trust your gut feeling. Try to resolve every action by using common sense. Clarify your players’ intentions, then make a judgment.  Feel free to knock out or injure a character if the narration and common sense warrant it. If in doubt, go with the first idea that comes to your mind. If you want to roll dice, do so.
The Automated FKR-Trav character generator:

An FKR classic: Chris Siebenmann’s 27-year old "A Sketchy New Netrunning System for Shadowrun"

 This beauty is 27 years old… and still relevant.

For FKR players even more so.
Emphasis mine.

Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1993 14:55:27 -0400 

From: Chris Siebenmann 
Subject: A sketchy new netrunning system 

I’ve decided to write up my sketchy thoughts on a makeover of Shadowrun netrunning, since it’s unlikely I’ll be able to finish and test them any time soon. Standard cautions apply, and yes, this is deliberately a very abstracted system. I like abstracted systems. Okay, first step: throw out the existing rules (clunk). They stink. They don’t match what it looks like in the literature. They make you  act like a made-over AD&D dungeon crawl. 

So, you gots yer deck. It’s gonna be one of two types: 
  1.  a dreck deck that clips your wings, ancient tech only suitably for kiddies. 
  2. a good deck, lets you be all that you can be. 
  3. Sometimes you find a really shit hot deck, one that really helps you, gives you an extra boost. Watch out; those decks have strings attached. Usually they’re experimental, often they’re one-shots, built for specific things. The military is fond of domain-specific decks. Mechanically, decks simply have a hacking pool maximum; any given deck only lets you use so many dice from your hacking pool. Clearly you want a deck that’s good enough to let you use it all. Exceptional decks give you some extra dice. If you want to quantify how much a deck costs, instead of just saying that deckers have a good enough deck, then I’d use a sliding scale. Next, you need your programs. 

There’s three sorts of programs: 

  1. storebought junk. They’re for simps who can’t code, and you’re not a simp, are you?
  2. your programs. You’ve written them, you’ve traded for them, you’ve stolen them. You know them inside and out. They’re part of you, now. 
  3. that shit-hot piece of software you got from the Swede. You don’t even have to do anything; it does it all for you. This can, of course, be a problem if what it does isn’t exactly what you want. See ‘Burning Chrome’ for details. 

Deckers don’t have any of the first sort (unless they really want to), automatically (no cost) have everything they need of the second sort, and the third sort is damn rare — model them as having their own hacking pool that they use instead of yours. It’s a hacking pool vs hacking pool contest of some sort to rein one in. You may have noticed that we’re ignoring decks and programs in this system; the only thing that’s important is you, the decker. 


This is deliberate. You have a hacking pool; call it something like computer skill plus reaction. I haven’t worked this out in detail; I said this is fuzzy. We’ve got a decker. Now we need something to deck. Throw out the system maps with all those funny symbols FASA likes sticking in their modules; they’re dreck, overly complicated and not worth the effort. �

Get a pencil and a piece of paper. Start drawing circles; each ‘system’ is a circle. Once you’re inside a circle, you have free run of the system it represents. Where one circle touches or overlaps another, that’s a connection (draw lines if you want to avoid trying to make everything touch at the right spots). Where one circle is entirely inside another one, you gotta get into the second system before you can get at the first one. 


We’ll generously assume you’re a competent decker, and you’ve done all the competent decker stuff, like human engineering and dumpster diving and so on. Play it out if you and the GM feel like it; it could make an interesting mini-adventure. The GM can give you bonuses for especially clever stuff or good ideas. 

This leaves two ways into a system: you can sweet talk the security, or you can kick it in the nuts. Sweet talking is a lot slower, but you have to really blow it to make noise, and if you succeed, you’re in clean. Kicking the security in the nuts is fast, but it makes lots of noise; better hope you can finish what you’re here for before someone comes to take a look. 

Mechanics of this I haven’t figured out exactly; call it something like an unresisted test vs actual ‘combat’ (really an opposed skill test with trimmings, your hacking pool against the security’s dice rating; the classification of the system determines the relevant target numbers). When you sweet talk, your successes add up slowly until you get enough. 

If you flub, alerts go off — how badly you have to flub depends on the system security rating; call it an index of how many turns in a row you can keep trying without a single success that turn. Once you’re in, you’re in; you have full regular access to that system. If you want privileged access, find the privileged access subsystem (GMs: feel free to not draw all the privileged access subsystems; just bump the security ratings a bit and wing it), and bang away. 

A lot of systems are pretty trivial to get in; the GM should adopt some sort of autosuccess rule to keep the rolling down. Raiding the local Stuffer Shack’s systems for information shouldn’t take dice rolling for your average competent PC decker. 

_______________________________________________

Bottom line:
Decking/netrunning/hacking the FKR way

Decks: Drek decks lower your success chances. Good decks let you use your full potential. And shit-hot decks increase your success chances.
Software: off-the-shelf crap lowers your success chances. The progs you write yourself let you use your skills in full, and shit-hot pieces of code are mil grade efficiency entities you don’t know a flying fuck about, with almost guaranteed success chances.
Systems: each circle represents a computer system. Crack the circle, and you have full control. There are nested systems (represented by circles within circles).
Decking: The ‘Sweet Talk’ method increases success chances and is very quiet, but it’s slooooooow. The ‘Kick it in the balls’ approach is brute force hacking and is really fast, but makes a lot of noise and sends ICE of the nasty sort your way.

Roll-all-the-dice Shadowrun: the rules

Tanael posted his perfect LA 89 a couple of days ago, and I simply love it. And Paul ‘Geist’ Gallagher’s published Sprawl Goons, a game I appreciate for its tight cyberpunk feel.

As yall know, my rpg forever love is Shadowrun, and so I wrote my own little game today. All you really need is maybe read one or three Shadowrun novels, preferably the first trilogy.

Let’s create a Shadowrun character!

You can also download the updated version of this game here: https://matausch.itch.io/dospunk

Roll d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 and d20
d4: Age
1 – Kid, in their twenties
2 – Typical, in their thirties
3 – Midlife Crisis, in their forties
4 – Old Dog, in their fifties
d6: Trait
1 – Cool (cool-headed, good under pressure)
2 – Hard (dangerous, bad motherfucker)
3 – Sharp (perceptive, good instincts)
4 – Hot (smokin’ hot, presence)
5 – Weird (sixth sense, a little crazy)
6 – Roll twice
d8: Metahuman Type
1-3 – Human
4 – Dwarf
5 – Elf
6 – Orc
7 – Troll
8 – Other
d10: Quirks
1 – Hunted/Wanted
2 – Sick and dying
3 – Forced/induced  amnesia
4 – There are cracks in your new personality overlay
5 – Gene-edited, but immuno-compromised
6 – Bullshit past
7 – Recovering addict; 1d6 months off the juice
8 – No more fucks to give, you’ve lost all you love
9 – Abused by corporation
10 – Always high
d12: Motivation
1 – Greed
2 – Love
3 – Sex
4 – Adrenaline
5 – Revenge
6 – Debt
7 – Honor
8 – Faith
9 – Fear
10 – Infamy
11 – Family
12 – Undercover
d20: Archetype (includes all skills that are associated with it)
1 – Cop, maximum lawman on mean 21st century streets, has Authority
2 – Max Tac Agent, working for the government. Primary goal is to kill any heavily modified people that have gone crazy from the mental stress of having been modified too much, has Authority
3 – Corporate, slick business raider and multi-millionaire, has Resources
4 – Fixer, deal maker, smuggler, organizer, and information broker, knows how to Streetdeal
5 – Media, Newsman and reporter who goes balls to the wall for the truth, has Credibility
6 – Decker, cybernetic computer hacker, can move in the “Interface” (net) and use apps (and icebreakers) that others can’t
7 – Nomad, road warrior and gypsy who roams the highways, has Tribe
8 – Rockerboy, rebel rocker who uses music and revolt to fight authority, has Charismatic Leadership
9 – Solo/(Ex-) Soldier, hired assassin, bodyguard, killer, soldier, has Combat Sense, rolls damage with Advantage
10 – Techie, renegade mechanic, knows how to Repair Stuff
11 – Med-Tech or Street doctor, knows how to handle Med-Tech
12 – Rigger, pilot driving, flying or riding all kinds of vehicles, also full-plated and stealth-coated cargo transports loaded with smuggled commodities, has Vehicle Zen
13 – Corporate Mage, a magician working for a corporation, knows how to Cast Spells
14 – Street/Sprawl Mage, a magician living in the shadows, knows how to Cast Spells
15 – Corporate Shaman, working with the Spirits, knows how to Deal with Spirits
16 – Street/Sprawl Shaman, living in the shadows, knows how to Deal with Spirits
17 – Physical Adept, has magical abilities that increase his combat effectiveness, has Enhanced Capabilities
18 – Bounty Hunter, you know how to find people and read tracks. Sometimes it takes longer, but there ain’t nobody you haven’t found yet.
19 to 20 — roll again
If you want MORE archetypes… read your d20 roll as follows: on a 1–10, roll on the d20 table above again. On 11+, roll a d6: 1–3, roll d100 on the following table; 4–6 roll a d8 on the table below that.
  1. Arms Dealer
  2. Biker Brawler
  3. Black Ops Borg
  4. Bounty Hunter
  5. Drone Rigger
  6. Ex-Cop
  7. Freelance Snoop
  8. Knife Fighter
  9. Metahuman Activist
  10. Rugged Spelunker
  11. Security Expert
  12. Sharp Shooter
  13. Street Samurai
  14. Tech Wiz
  15. Vehicle Rigger
  16. Combat Pilot
  17. Covert Ops Specialist
  18. Data Thief
  19. Eco-Terrorist
  20. Ex-Paladin
  21. Face
  22. Fence
  23. Former Courtier
  24. Go-Ganger
  25. Hitman
  26. Medic
  27. Occult Investigator
  28. Street Samurai
  29. Sword Borg
  30. Wealthy Play-Elf
  31. Corporate Ninja
  32. Cyber-Slinger
  33. Cyber-SWAT Commando
  34. Fixer
  35. Gang Leader
  36. Gumshoe
  37. Media
  38. Negotiator
  39. Newbie Deck-Head
  40. Organic Samurai
  41. Street Samurai
  42. Transporter
  43. Tribal Tracker
  44. Veteran Borg
  45. Weapons Specialist
  46. Anti-Borg Specialist
  47. Bodyguard
  48. Borg Merc
  49. Combat Decker
  50. Cyber-Troll
  51. Gang Dealer
  52. Investigator
  53. Jack-O-Chips
  54. Man Hunter
  55. Media Tech
  56. Mobile Weapons Operator
  57. Sea Dog Smuggler
  58. Street Samurai
  59. Tribal Warrior
  60. Vigilante
  61. Celebrity Action Hero
  62. Club Owner
  63. Combat Medic
  64. Cyber-Tank
  65. Expensive Security
  66. Extraction Specialist
  67. Green Activist
  68. Hit-Troll
  69. Mercenary
  70. Sprawl Ganger
  71. Street Samurai
  72. Thug Enforcer
  73. Undercover Narc
  74. Wandering Nomad
  75. Zoology Expert
  76. Geomancer
  77. Huckster
  78. Sensei (adept)
  79. Tribal Shaman
  80. Venerable Sage
  81. Conjurer-for-Hire
  82. Gunslinger (adept)
  83. Hit Mage
  84. Mage Bodyguard
  85. Street Mage
  86. Adept (adept)
  87. Former Wage-Mage
  88. Mage Detective
  89. Pro Shaman
  90. Street Sorcerer
  91. Gifted Ninja (adept)
  92. Hermetic Scholar
  93. Monster Hunter (adept)
  94. Street Shaman
  95. Tribal Totemist
  96. Brickhouse (adept)
  97. Combat Mage
  98. Mystic Hermit
  99. Sewer Shaman
  100. roll again
  1. BURAKUMIN (Street Gangster): A burakumin is a streetpunk, a tough and nasty gang-boy with a loyal gang following. As a senior member of the street gang he can call on their violent and criminal services once per game. The gang may be intelligent and sophisticated, or nasty, tough and brutal. Obviously the gang will not recklessly endanger itself unless there is a great reward at the end of it. The gang has a bond, and the player character is a part of that strong bond.
  2. CLONE COP: The illegal sale of replicants (clones without memories or identities) is the business of the clone cop who tracks down replicants and terminates them. He tries to locate the buyer, the seller and the manufacturer. He uses a Voigt-Kampff Machine (like a lie detector) to test suspects, as well as his own judgement. He is a good investigator, and has been recruited by the zaibatsu because of his skills. If a genetics corporation, then he has been bought-out by the ‘bad-guys’.
  3. COLLEGE KID: You are a rebellious college drop-out. Maybe you were kicked out. Like most anime heroes, you are quite brilliant, if a little hung-up sexually, but you know all the gangs, the streets, and you are a talented whizz-kid in your particular field. You are not afraid of the bad guys, in fact you may treat everything as a big game! SKILL: Cyberspace, and a suitable technical subject.
  4. HUSTLER: You are a loser, a street-corner hustler, drugs dealer and fixer who never quite makes the big score. You know anyone who’s anyone in your neighbourhood, and you are on good terms with the local Yakuza: you have to be. You’re smart, cool and ready for action. Watch out Tokyo!
  5. KURUMA (Getaway Driver): You are a professional driver, for a zaibatsu, the cops, the Yakuza or whoever. You know the city, escape routes, and the fastest ways from A to B. You are an expert in evasive or pursuit driving and have been in real scrapes and firefights, but always kept cool, despite the vehicle being full of bullet holes! You could also be a courier for the Yakuza or other gangs, shipping illegal items around Tokyo.
  6. ORGAN-LEGGER: You were part of a criminal gang that made its money kidnapping people and surgically dismembering them. Their organs, eyes, arms, hands, genitalia and other body parts were then sold to the many underworld body banks around Japan that supply the organs to legitimate hospitals and clinics. The job is grim and dark, involving kidnapping, killing and surgery (or butchery).
  7. REPO MAN: You are an agent working for a genetics company that reposseses failed clones. Clone insurance gives the wealthy the chance to live again in young bodies, but the treatment is still experimental and there are many problems. All the clients require confidentiality, and the zaibatsu cannot afford its mistakes to be made public. Perhaps they got two minds mixed up, or the client died in an unusual place and his head needs to be returned to the zaibatsu so the mind can be scanned into the new clone. You know all about the clone business.
  8. YAKUZA (Gangster): You are an underworld enforcer for the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia), a thug, bodyguard and street soldier led by your “oyabun”, or godfather. You are tough, vicious and very, very nasty.
RULES
Love the characters. Respect the genre. Try to resolve every action by using common sense. Clarify your players’ intentions, then make a judgment. Grown-up healthy human beings can take 3 or 4 hits. Unarmed hits do 1 or 2 (if they’re really extremely heavy), clubs and other blunt weapons do 2, guns and other weapons using ammo or projectiles do 3 or more. Feel free to knock out or injure a character if the narration and common sense warrant it. If in doubt, go with the first idea that comes to your mind. If you want to roll dice, do so.
Cyberware Ideas
1 Military Grade reflex booster
2. Muscle Matrix
3. Combat Neurolink
4. Neural Lattice cognition enhancer
5. Amped Hearing
6. Amped Vision
7. NeoDerm (toughened skin)
8. Slicers (retractable monoblades)
9. Full-spectrum Optics (infrared, thermal, low-light vision)
10. Filter Lungs (unaffected by gas and airborne toxins)
11. Chip socket for skill chips)
12. Cybernetic Limb (generic prosthetics; chromed, plastic, etc.)
Cosmetic Cyberware Ideas
1. Thumb drive
2. Flamegout mohican
3. Innerearphones
4. Neon tattoo
5. Polyfiber proboscis
6. Wirehead: pleasure multiplier
7. Stainless steel skingraft
8. Exposed wetwork
9. Gain implant
10. Forearm app store
11. Bargain bin exoskeleton
12. Colour-phasing irises
13. Skinwatch
14. ChemSkin/SynthSkin: color-changing skin
15. TechHair: color-changing hair
16. Kill Display: 3-digit subdermal
17. Tube Nails: color-changing nails
18. TV-Skin
19. Furry-Looks
20. See-thru Skin
Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics (ICE, you decide what they’re able to)
1. Crippler
2. Acid
3. Binder
4. Jammer
5. Flip Flop
6. Marker
7. Databomb
8. Killer
9. Probe
10. Solar Flare
11. Sentry
12. Scrambler
13. Tar Baby
14. Trace
15. Barrier
16. Blaster
17. Ripper
18. Breaker
19. Sparker
20. Seizure
Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics (ICE), part 2
Oh, it’s
1-2 White ICE (non-combat ICE, its job is to check your legality and alert sysops/admins if you’re not)
3-5 Grey ICE (attacks your cyberdeck and utilities, tries to crash or destroy stuff)
6 Black ICE (attacks your mind and body, trying to kill you)
Physical Adept Power Table
1- Extremely Tough
2-Astral Perception
3- Lucky
4- Killing Hands
5- Shattering Blow
6- Pain Resistance
7- Extremely agile
8- Improved Physical Senses
9- Improved Reflexes
10- Rapid Healing
11-Arrow-cutting (or other slow-moving projectiles)
12-Yogic Hibernation
13- Masterful Aim
14- Alertness
15- Animal Control
16- Astral Cloak
17- Astral Perception
18- Charismatic Aura
19- Combat Sense
20- Hold Breath
21- Enhanced Movement
22- Extended Jump
23- Extended Leap
24- Face Anonymous
25- Reduce Damage
26- Magic Resistance
27- Disappear
28- Nerve Strike or Stretch Attack
29- Immovable
30- Banshee Scream
Spell Table
1. Analyze device
2. Detect enemies
3. Detect individual
4. Detect life
5. Detect object
6. Makeover/Fashion
7. Barrier
8. Shapechange
9. Useless piece of shit spell
10. Combat spell against living creatures
11. Combat spell against living creatures and matter
12. Combat spell against specific species
13. Heal
14. Antidote
15. Decrease attribute
16. Resist pain
17. Illusion
18. Invisibility
19. Levitation
20. Use one of your skills from a distance
Spirit Table
1. Earth Elemental
2. Fire Elemental
3. Water Elemental
4. Air Elemental
5. Spirit of Man: City Spirit
6. Spirit of Man: Hearth Spirit
7. Spirit of Man: Field Spirit
8. Spirit of the Land: Desert Spirit
9. Spirit of the Land: Forest Spirit
10. Spirit of the Land: Mountain Spirit
11. Spirit of the Land: Prairie Spirit
12. Spirit of the Sky: Mist Spirit
13. Spirit of the Sky: Storm Spirit
14. Spirit of the Waters: Lake Spirit
15. Spirit of the Waters: River Spirit
16. Spirit of the Waters: Sea Spirit
17. Spirit of the Waters: Swamp Spirit
18. Ally/Homunculus
19. Watcher (very weak spirits with just one job)
20. Free Spirit
Shaman Inspirations
Pick a totem animal. Think of its environment and typical behavior. Turn up to three of these things into advantages for calling certain spirits and/or casting certain types of spells.
Also, think about things the animal can‘t do well, or can‘t do at all. Turn these into disadvantages in terms of calling spirits or casting spells.

Cassettepunk Shadowrun: Intensifying the 80s in 1e

Shadowrun 1e was published in 1989.

And it shows.

…but I mean this in the most positive sense possible.

Modern, slick cyberpunk does nothing for me. I like the 80s look. To me, someone born in 1970, it not only means nostalgia, though this is a part of it. The 80s were revolutionary in their design, their boldness. And 1989 was a special year for Europe. The Eastern Bloc crumbled. The Berlin Wall fell. I remember that moment vividly because I served in the German Armed Forces at that time, and we were ordered to stay in the barracks and combat-ready, just in case something ‘unforeseen’ happened. It didn’t. 

In the same year, Shadowrun first edition came in the mail. And changed everything in my roleplaying world.

This is also why I’m not interested in later editions, at all. The moment the new developers tried to catch up with reality, the setting turned into something else. Its rough charm got lost, and a new, slick and polished product took its place.

So, my Shadowrun is, and always was, cassettepunk. Some call it  cassette futurism, and that’s also fine with me.

What is cassettepunk?

  • Clearly 80’s aesthetics
  • The eponymous cassettes are storage mediums per excellence: music… computer data… even trideo is stored on cassettes.
  • There are no super powerful computers fitting on a dime. Everything is 80s big. Tech does look like tech. My biggest role model here is the legendary Braun designer Dieter Rams.
  • There are cell phones, but they are rare and as big as bricks (just like the first cell phones really were)
  • Walkie Talkies? Phone booths? Sure!
  • CRT monitors instead of flat screens
  • monochrome LCD screens in heaps
  • VHS players
  • No miniaturized technology; “mini” still means at least as big as your palm 
  • C64-looking computers, also for deckers
Let’s take a look at how tech looked in the first edition:
CRT monitor

Look at that deck

Troll reporter with an honest-to-goodness old school cam

A simsense player

CRT again

That deck… 

And that one, as well

Corp security guard at work. Look at the size of the screen and the keyboard

He probably is wondering why his back is hurting after
lugging around that big-ass deck for hours on end

So many good things in that picture. The 80s shades. That boxy car.
And yes, donuts.

Playing Futurepunk with the Landshut Rules

About three years ago, I published a free rpg called minimald6. It was a nice little success and spawned 31 hacks. Unknowingly, what I had done was I had written an FKR game before we started the FKR movement.

Today, I’d like to FKR-ify one of my minimald6 games, Futurepunk.

So, let’s do this:

1) Creating a character:

“Roll your attributes with 1d6 (strength, dexterity, health, courage, intelligence, tech). You are level 2. A name?”

For health, I roll a 1. That’s bad. So, my character is a sickly person. But for intelligence, I roll a 6. So we have the archetypical, clichéd brainiac in a weak body.

His name is Vince Golonian, aka “Silence”.

2) I’d like to play Shadowrun, so I’m rolling a d44 and get a 14. A fixer:

Fixers (2): Pistol, knows people, ziplock filled with drugs, secret warehouse, knows how to streetdeal

Every minimald6 character starts on Level 2, so I get to pick two things from the description above:

I pick “knows people, knows how to streetdeal”.

3) Vincent is a human.

4) He starts with a “Working Stiff” wealth level: His apartment lease ends in 11 months, and he has saved 6000 Nuyen.

5) I think Vince has installed some cyberware. Let’s say 2: I roll a d66 twice and get 26 and 23:
a palm refibrilator (he had to use it on himself twice so far), and a gridcompass (internal gps system).
I like that! Of course, if Vince was a samurai or bodyguard, I would have picked cyberware that fits. It has to be dramatically appropriate.

6) And that’s it! This is Vince:

______________________________________________

Vince Golonian, aka Silence
Fixer
sickly, extremely intelligent

knows people
knows how to streetdeal

Gear: 6000 nuyen, rented apartment (11 months lease)
Cyberware: palm refibrilator, gridcompass

______________________________________________

6) Use the Landshut rules to resolve conflicts.