The friend who gave me a bunch of games in 2021 (he was clearing out his shelves) had included R. Talsorian Games Inc. Cyber Generation 2nd Edition along with quite a few others. Because I was using Cyberpunk v3 in 2022, I held off on using Cyber Generation until the 2023 Character Creation Challenge.
There is a single page character sheet. The character creation process starts on page 13 (spoiler hint, there is a full summary on page 85) and is handled in a narrative fashion instead of providing bullet points. You are guided by a character called Morgan Blackhand who is talking to you through a series of electronic communiques trying to keep your young character safe from the Dead Boys and Zombie Girls. The first thing Morgan needs to know is which yogang you belong to. A list of 18 different groups, all with different abilities and specialties. Basically these are the character classes. Looking through all of them, some sounded very interesting, but the one I selected for my character (who I decided is going to be age 16) is an ArcoRunner. If you’ve ever watched the youtube videos of urban explorers sneaking into abandoned buildings and locations, that is what the ArcoRunner is. The rules had me select my name (Side Wire), age and sex. I also filled in my description, the YoGang skill (Tunneling) and I selected the equipment that a member of this YoGang would have.
The next step that Morgan instructs you to do is to run to a safe-house. He provides a hardcopy map and tells you to get going. The Referee is instructed with some basics on how to run the scenario. It appears to be like a funnel that we’ve seen in Dungeon Crawl Classics. If the first character doesn’t make it, the Referee is instructed to have the player start another character that will already be at the safe-house when the other players get there. I read through the instructions for the Referee and I can see how this would set up the tone of the game, but the rules for combat and spotting were pretty simplistic. Probably to get the players in the mood of the dark dystopian world that this is set in.
At the safe-house, Morgan then gives them an assessment to determine their stats. These are INT (Intelligence), REF (Reflexes), COOL (Cool, resistance to stress and presence), TECH (Technical Ability), LUCK (Luck), ATT (Attractiveness), MOVE (Movement), EMP (Empathy, aka Charisma) and BODY (Body Type, aka Strength, Endurance and Constitution). The player is provided with 50 points to allocate between the different stats. Each stat must have a minimum of 2 with 5 being considered an average stat and 8 being really good. I dumped a bunch of points in INT since that was the favored of my YoGang, used very little for ATT and EMP and then averaged out the rest. That was easy.
You have 40 points to spend on various skills. 1 minimum and 8 max. This includes the YoGang skill. I allocated what I thought would be useful for my character.
The next ref opportunity is to run a scenario in the safe-house where all of the players get to know each other. There are a couple of NPCs that can also be used by the ref if needed.
By now I had found the actual character creation summary on page 85. Considering how late it was, I dropped the narrative creation process and just finished out the character. Each character gets $1,000 to shop for equipment at the mall. The rules do state that you get the clothing mentioned in your YoGang description plus the special equipment you already selected. Anything else needs to be purchased.
The last step is to randomly roll for the character’s cyberevolved type. All characters were hit with the carbon plague. This is a type of nanotechnology that is set loose on the population and changes them (those that survived the changes) when they hit the age of 20. Since the PCs are under this age, they may not know what they are going to get. The Referee should be role-playing the emergence of the evolution the characters will go through. Since this is not known to my character, I’m going to leave this section blank on the sheet. Which is posted below.
I loved when slang was used in the text, there was a sidebar (called hypertext) explaining what the slang meant.
I’ve made characters with the narrative style before. I can understand that this can be used to get the player into the feel of the game or even teach them the rules of the game. But I also wish a regular character creation checklist was provided. Later, I realized that this checklist is on the character sheet itself. That made things handy. And even later on page 85 there was a character creation summary. By the time I had found this, I had already read through several chapters.
Yes I’m still finding new blogs that are participating in the Character Creation Challenge. The list of links on the challenge page has been updated.
I’ve also been introduced to a game that I may have to put on the list for the 2024 challenge. A game called Straight to VHS. Someone used this as one of their entries on one of the message boards.
Coming Up Next:
Strike! Tactical Combat and Heedless Adventure
This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.