CYB_R: A cyberpunk genre adaption of 5e DnD
Adapting D&D 5th edition to the cyberpunk genre, with an emphasis on retro-futuristic style and dystopian technology fears.
In the shadows of the corporate-owned cities, between the skyscraper headquarters and the luxury hotels, the desperate hone their skills and mod their tech. They seek that elusive edge. Mercenary or motivated, idealistic or just hungry; the street elite infiltrate, invade, and impersonate to make a buck off the giants of industry. This is the story of cybered-up outsiders slipping into the penthouse of dystopian accomplishment uninvited. It’s a retrofuturistic tale of defying the social order, the authorities, and the odds.
CYB_R is a cyberpunk genre conversion for D&D's 5th edition, employing bleeding edge rules modifications to allow for cinematic gameplay and leveraging 5th edition's template-style character building to allow for characters that just seem cool from the get go. Characters are post-future adventurers, pulling gigs for and against the most powerful entities on the globe and they're looking rad doing it. Chrome limbs, boss haircuts, and padded shoulders are the norm. CYB_R is the bridge between the monsters of fantasy gaming and the neon future we all feared we’d be living in by now.
Each character class is modified from a tried and tested D&D class, with innovative archetypes providing access to gambits: an alternative to spells. Gambits allow for heroic stunts, explosive maneuvers, and creative hacking talents. It’s all about style and gambits allow each character to really shine in their area of expertise.
Let’s not forget crossover. Since CYB_R is built on D&D it takes very little put magic into the mix, however you explain it. If you want dragons and sorcery to come back to the world due to some crazy old prophesy, that’s easy. If you want nanotech to be so advanced that nanite programmers are the equivalent of modern wizards that works too. Nothing is holding you back. You can file off the serial numbers on your favorite monster to create a cybered-up foe with ease.
CYB_R is a game toolbox which embraces the themes of the cyberpunk genre and runs with them. Games are set in a dystopian vision of the future from the perspective of 80’s and 90’s fears about technology, globalization, and corporate rule. It’s glamorous and sexy to the point of surreality. It’s dirty and grimy, and mad about it. It lends itself to heroes with attitude and style.
To put a point on it, cyberpunk is dated, and that’s cool in a nostalgic kind of way. CYB_R is peppered with outdated technical and cultural terms. It’s filled with 80’s style and somewhat obsolete ideas about the role of technology in our lives and bodies. It’s a retro vision of the future we embrace as its own kind of awesome.
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The following are CYB_R's classes and (tentative) archetypes for each.
Controller. I’ve mastered the interface to the vehicle of your destruction. Dexterity class based on Rogue. Archetypes: Demolisher (explosives expert), Driver (cybernetics replace the wheel and the yoke), and Operator (drone and robot master).
Enforcer. I have my own allegiance, which grants me power and resources when I need them. Constitution class based on Paladin. Oaths:
- Corporate Policy (proud sellout)
- Family Honor (criminally connected)
- Serve and Protect (officer of what’s left of the law)
Geek. I’m the brains of the operation. Carry my stuff, will you? Don’t drop it. Intelligence class based on Warlock. Archetypes:
- Doc (combat medic / street cutter)
- Gamer (gamify reality)
- Hacker (breaker of systems).
Martial. I know how these kinds of situations go. Follow my lead. Strength class based on Fighter. Archetypes:
- Artist (punching past technological limitations)
- Tank (armored up and powered on)
- Trenchcoat (laden with armaments).
Star. I’ve got style, talent, and a way with people. Hand me a gun already. Charisma class based on Bard. Archetypes:
- Athlete (peak physical condition)
- Rocker (inspirational musician)
- Journo (influential voice and investigator).
Streetwise. I came from the streets. I stayed on the streets. I’m cool with people who’d kill you on sight. Wisdom class based on Ranger. Archetypes:
- Ganglander (master of turf and cred)
- Nomad (traveler and member of the caravan)
- Urban Explorer (acrobat and scout all in one).
CYB_R utilizes the "gambit system"; a way of giving non-magical characters a dramatic replacement for spells. All classes are modified to integrate the “pulling” of gambits, with gambit slots replacing spell slots. Characters learn “tricks” instead of cantrips, and tend to use technology or weapons rather than casting implements and other material components. It's a simple fix which allows classes to be balanced based on existing D&D rules, while giving characters with gambits the ability to really shine. Spells are not just for nerdy wizards anymore.
CYB_R also employs an easy-to-use template system for building simple NPCs and enemies. No more struggling to come up with balanced creatures. Just choose a base CR and add a couple tiered templates and you’re good to go.
The CYB_R Corebook
A 150+ page color core rulebook with all you need to start your dystopian campaign of infiltration and destruction. It includes:
- 6 character Classes, each with 3 Archetype options
- 10 Backgrounds, describing the dramatic stratification of society in the corporate-ruled future
- New interpretations of the standard Alignments, better suited to the godless, seemingly amoral cyberpunk genre
- Several Origins (the equivalent of races), which include robots and meat-free AI as options
- A full technology and equipment section including cybernetics as a replacement for magical items
- 30 NPCs and enemy creatures, built with our modular template system [20 more will be unlocked at the $7500 funding level]
- A system for running exciting virtual reality hacking incursions as digital dungeons the whole party can plug in for [Unlocked at the $7500 funding level]
- Dramatic rules for cyber-vehicle and skyscraper-centered combat. Rooftop battles galore. [Unlocked at the $7500 funding level]
Corporate Entities [Unlocked at the $10,000 funding level] A roughly 30 page supplement detailing the motives, plotlines, and resources of 5 example magacorporations for use in nearly any CYB_R game. Provides ample story hooks for runs for and against each company, as well as the kinds of material resources they can provide those who join their ranks. It comes with additional archetypes, cybernetics, and backgrounds for use in your CYB_R games.
I’m In [Unlocked at the $15,000 funding level] A roughly 30 page supplement providing additional rules for virtual reality and augmented reality environments in your CYB_R game. Enhances the existing gambit system with a fully fleshed out programs suite, allowing for versatility and style in every hacking run. Gives the DM a boss set of data dungeons and intrusion countermeasures, ready for digital battle. Provides bleeding edge tech to give your hacker the 1337 edge they crave.
Gangland Fiefdoms [Unlocked at the $20,000 funding level] A roughly 30 page supplement providing example gangs for use in your CYB_R campaigns, as well as advanced rules for dangerous drugs, street hacking, and makeshift cybernetics. Provides a complicated political landscape of rivalries and struggles for control of the physical territories involved in both organized and disorganized crime.
Digital Native ($20) You get all the PDFs to not only the CYB_R Corebook, but any additional books unlocked through stretch goals.
Chromed Up Hardware ($40) You get the physical copy of the CYB_R Corebook in all its glory, the CYB_R Corebook PDF, as well as PDFs of any other books unlocked through stretch goals.
- Initial Funding Goal: Corebook $5000 funding level
- Expansion of core rules (from 150 pages to 180+) $7500 funding level
- Supplement: Corporate Entities $10,000 funding level
- Supplement: I’m In $15,000 funding level
- Supplement: Gangland Fiefdoms $20,000 funding level
[more to come as the campaign funds higher]
We’ll be fulfilling both the digital and print rewards using DriveThruRPG / OneBookShelf. They ship to basically everywhere on the planet and their print quality is pretty darn good.
Our plan is to send out an update on the progress of the books on the 1st of each month, as well as whenever a book becomes available or goes out to backers.
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Risks and challenges
It's possible that our production will get stuck at some stage. In that case, fulfillment might get pushed back one or more months as we catch up.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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