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A high action, modern cyberpunk tabletop roleplaying game set in a dystopian San Francisco
A high action, modern cyberpunk tabletop roleplaying game set in a dystopian San Francisco
3,194 backers pledged £143,738 to help bring this project to life.

The Hacker's Exploits | A Change of Pledge Manager

Posted by Dragon Turtle Games (Creator)

You're awesome!

First of all, we hit our £75000 Manhattan 2185 sourcebook stretch goal just yesterday, and we're at £79000 already! How awesome is that?! You guys are the best cyberpunks a crew could ask for! We're well on our way to London 2185, so get your Longs ready to pay your entry fees!

If you didn't already know that we unlocked Manhattan 2185, then check out our update from yesterday, it's got some really awesome stuff in there! (psst, everyone gets Manhattan as a FREE PDF, but if you want a softcover, you'll have to add £20 to your pledge).

I know we said BackerKit, but it'll be PledgeManager

This will not affect you guys at all, if anything it'll make your post campaign experience EASIER, but we want to be completely transparent with you all. 

Throughout the campaign, we've told people that we'll be using BackerKit after the campaign for people to manage their pledges, add-ons, shipping etc. This was true, but today we made the decision to follow in the footsteps of some of the greats in the industry and switch over to PledgeManager. PledgeManager was just a better fit for the project now that we've reached a certain amount of backers and units sold.

Again, this will not affect you guys at all, we just wanted to be clear!

Why you're all reading this: Hacker's Exploits

We've taken a more streamlined approach to Hacking than most cyberpunk tabletop rpgs. This again follows our design philosophy for Carbon 2185 and the Carbon RPG System we've developed from the D&D 5e OGL. This philosophy is this: Ease of Use, Simple & Streamlined, Familiarity, and Cinematic Feel.

Hacking for most is treated as a Skill with which you can be proficient. For general hacking the system works just like it does for lockpicking, or feats of acrobatics, you simply make a Skill Check against a relevant Difficulty Class (DC) as  set by your GM or the campaign or adventure you are playing.

The more in depth system is that of the Hacker Class, who has a Class Feature called Exploits.

Let's take a look at some of the Exploits from the playtest document!

Think of all the fun you can have with these! 

To answer some questions I know we'll get: 

1. Hackers only have a certain amount of Exploit uses between Long Rests.

2. At certain class levels, these Exploits 'Upgrade' to better versions of themselves.

3. This is the playtest document so spelling, grammar, and strange wording is to be expected. The final product will be a lot more polished.

4. The final book will be a lot more interesting than the simple black and white layout above.

If you haven't already you should check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Discord, and check out the official Carbon 2185 Subreddit!


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    1. Lukas Buergi

      We should not forget here, however, that that particular exploit only works against targets carrying grenades (which is hardly everyone). That it only works on a relatively short distance (I can throw a grenade farther than that with decent aim). And that you need to know they are carrying grenades as a player before you can activate the exploit. Grenades can be easily hidden in pockets and pouches. The GM does not have to inform the players of their presence as long as they remain hidden. On the other hand, openly carrying grenades when confronting a known hacker is obviously a stupid idea,

    2. Joshua Ohmer on

      I really like exploits being basically spells. It makes them easy to use. I'm a little concerned about that grenade effect, since it doesn't mention a save or check. Other than that, it looks like a good system.

    3. Missing avatar

      daquack on

      Yeah. I’m curious how they explain it.

      So far I see great promise here.

    4. Miguel Warlock Patreon

      Dquack Nothing is real we are in a

    5. Missing avatar

      S A Martin on

      @daquack I was thinking something along those lines, too, but that isn't really a hard limitation. Hackers could still choose to use an exploit again knowing that it will bring down the wrath of [insert-entity-here]. I would actually like a mechanic like this that allows the system to be abused with the expectation that the GM can (and probably should) reign holy hell down on them.

      That said, I'm looking forward to see how it is handled thematically in the core rules.

    6. Miguel Warlock Patreon

      Let's not break the 888

    7. Lukas Buergi

      Hmm, you're right about the saving throws, daquack. I didn't catch that on my first read, being still half asleep.
      Nice idea about the long rest explanation. I like it. And yes, it would apply to corporate hackers as well, at least partially. After all there is more than just one megacorp out there. And they certainly won't like their rivals to abuse power to often or obvious.

    8. Missing avatar

      daquack on

      Are there full and independent AI? Are they playable? Are they dark gods manipulating mankind? Can we worship them?

      Is the spoon real?

    9. Missing avatar

      daquack on

      Only over crowded hud specifically mentions a save. That’s why I brought up my concern. I’m sure they have a balance for it. Just curious of what it is.

      As to how many times a day you can do certain things. I’m sure as part of balancing some actions will be like cantrips and you can do them every turn.

      One explanation of per long rest might be that every time you do a hardcore hack you leave traces behind and raise alerts. Run certain hacks too often in a day and you raise the threat level too high and corporate guardians of the net come down on you. Either trace you or lock you out

    10. Dragon Turtle Games 6-time creator on

      Awesome responses guys! I only just got a chance to look through! Glad to see you're all as excited as we are!
      Q: Long Rests?
      Mechanically, Long Rests serve to cleanly limit certain abilities, in the same way that any class in D&D or Pathfinder has limited resources.
      Thematically: We have in-universe explanations, but you'll have to wait for the Core Rulebook for that, because it's too big a spoiler!

    11. Missing avatar

      The Rangdo of Arg

      I like the spell-like structure, simply because brain implants + wifi = technomages, essentially.

      But there ought to be a good in-universe, pseudo-scientific explanation for the long rests. Magic has the advantage that any explanation can also be effectively random. But without that background, there needs to be some plausible, non-magical reason given. Either that or change it to short rests and nerf the exploits (e.g. 'jam' grenades from exploding, rather than blow them up).

    12. Lukas Buergi

      You get a saving throw against exploits, so there is a defense. And usually there are ways to improve your saving throws with use of the right gear, I would think the same is true for Carbon. So these abilities are not omnipotent.

      As for the long rest justification: You could call it mental exhaustion. That everytime a hacker is using those, he basically sends his brain and nerves into overdrive for a short moment, trying to force himself past the target's defenses.
      Other than that I need to point out here that technically, there is no real explanation past that for spell slots either. Or Raging. Or Bardic Inspiration. Or Superiority Dice, Ki Points... you get the idea. The 'long rest' is a mechanic that has been present, one way or another, all through the whole D&D system since pretty much its beginning. And it's by far not limited to the wizard or any kind of spellcasting class.

    13. Missing avatar

      S A Martin on

      I get that limiting actions to once per long rest is a 5e mechanism, but I'm just not sure how this limitation is explained within the context of "hacking". If I can run an exploit that remotely triggers a grenade, why wouldn't I be able to do it again 2 minutes later?

      It just makes it seem like "hacker" is just a sci-fi alias for "wizard" unless there is some kind of logical, setting-based rationale for the limitation.

    14. Missing avatar

      daquack on

      The long rests is just a mechanic of the frame work of 5th ed and makes sense if your wanting to keep things streamlined

      My concern is how powerful these are. I hope there is a skill/ability to counter act these exploits. Otherwise a hacker npc could just as easily lock down the players.

      Explode all the grenades on a players belt. Quickly and easily shut down their equipment or give them disadvantage.

      What is the equivalent of hardening to give reasonable saving throws or opposed tests? Both for the player and the npcs.

      Otherwise Corp hackers could easily lock down the players

    15. Lukas Buergi

      Looking good indeed. I like what I see about the hacker so far. And that is the problem with fitting programmable detonators on your grenades. ;)

      And I certainly don't have a problem with the switch to pledgemanager. My experiences with both have been only positive so far.

    16. Missing avatar

      S A Martin on

      What's the rationalization for why these exploits are replenished by a long rest?
      I'm all for streamlining the process of hacking, but this particular mechanic kind of 'smells' like it's just magic-with-a-different-name to me.

    17. Matt Drake

      Love that hacking role! The worst part of any cyberpunk game I've played has been the hacking. They try to give the combat-worthless hacker something to do, and instead it just turns into this:
      Hacker: "I jack into the computer."
      Everyone else: "We're going to get a sandwich. Back in an hour."

      You can still have the hacker rolling to oppose ICE while the rest of the team is dodging bullets to buy him time, but it doesn't have to be a completely different game every time the hacker wants to swipe some data. And really, I don't care what the inside of the Matrix looks like. It's fine for it to just be hacking.

      I also love that the hacker also has some serious firefight-relevant capabilities. Hacking enemy grenades and jamming comms makes the hacker a much more interesting choice.

      Really looking forward to this.

    18. Luke Walker on

      I agree with Todd. The Exploits look good.

    19. Todd Stephens

      Good news to my ears. I've never enjoyed the hacking "mini game" that so many cyberpunk games use.