Thursday, July 9, 2020

My First Impressions of Cyberpunk 2020

I finished playing through my first ever module of Cyberpunk2020 tonight.

My edgerunner was a Techie cyborg named Cal Vera who was a member of a nomad clan. I say was because one day they put him down like robocop. But, like robocop, Cal survived and his soul became ever chained to a corporation. Cal was fine with that as long as they kept modding him the fuck out with the cybernetics that he needed to get revenge on his former family.

My companions were a Solo named Wynston and a Nomad named James.

The session started with this koolkat approaching us in the club, telling us someone called his cell asking for us. Whoever was on the other line had perfect English—too perfect. But he had a job for us and we accepted with hesitation.

We asked around the club just in case we were walking into a trap but we learned nothing. Without any leads we headed to the rendezvous, some warehouse down by the docks. 

There we met Wilbur, an old edgerunner apparently hired for the same job we were, and there we watched as our mysterious employer revealed himself and a hand cannon that quickly took Wilbur's head off. We shrugged our shoulders and followed our employer. That's life in Night City: you make mistakes; you suffer the consequences.

Our employer took us to the real rendezvous point, a different warehouse, where his boss gave us the details. We were to track down a courier named Wells Fargo and bring him in. That's it. It was a simple tag and bag with a 12,000 eddies payout. We had to say yes.

Our employer gave us what little information they had, a list of this Fargo fella's associates: a corporate agent named Caitlin, some ice junkie named Mistushiko, and an assassin named Lorenzo. We had nothing on the latter two but we had Caitlin's address and we decided to try talking to her.

What followed was a noir-style city crawl as we drove from place to place in Jame's beat up Toyo-Chrysler Omega collecting clues that led to more clues that led to more clues. Eventually we put the picture together.

This Wells Fargo guy—who lost his head in a trash heap of a club in the combat zone—was trying to smuggle some kind of genetic data mule into Night City. The mule was actually a horse—a white stallion to be exact. It also turned out that Mistushiko and Lorenzo were in on it. The former was never a problem, considering she lost her head in a Rock Museum near the Elvis display. Lorenzo though would prove to be one hell of a headache.

All of our sleuthing lead us to the Night City Customs Dock where we saw Lorenzo and company unload the stallion onto a box truck. The truck took off and Lorenzo followed in a sportscar. James realized we were in for a showdown and called in a few favors from his nomad family. What followed was a grueling, exhausting fight on the highway.

No matter what we did our weapons just bounced off of Lorenzo's skinweave as he gunned us down. James and Wynston crashed and burned and Cal never saw them alive again. Afterwards Cal managed to get control of the truck with Lorenzo in hot pursuit. His hold out submachine gun just bounced right off the cyborg assassin and his ripper did jack shit. Lady luck was on Cal's side, however, as he found a hand cannon loaded with armor piercing rounds in the glove-box of the truck. With Lorenzo hanging off the side of the truck, Cal put the barrel to the assassin's head and pulled the trigger. That's when Lorenzo lost his head on the highway.

After clearing the scene and pulling to the side of the road, Cal and the two nomads that survived checked on the goods, but not before gunning down one last goon. The stallion was beat up and injured but he'd live. It was the data that he carried that was valuable anyway.

Heading back to the warehouse, Cal dropped off the horse and took his 12,000 eddies.

6 months later, Cal stood outside some seedy bar in El Paso. He kicked down the door and saw his old family sitting there. "Hey familia! Remember me!" he said as he unfolded his cybernetic arms, revealing two mini-guns, James and Wynston each engraved on their sides. "Mi muchachos would like to have a word with you!" And that's where Cal's story ended—in a blaze of bullets and glory.


I want to make one thing clear. This entire scenario was awesome. I had a blast playing a discount terminator with a revenge plot and a death wish and the other players' characters added so much style to the experience. Digging through Night City was amazing as the place is part warzone, part metropolis, and part gated corporate community.

My only gripe about Cyberpunk2020 is that the system for doing all this cool shit is intricate. It really takes awhile to get a grip on all the different intricacies that make the system shine. I would say that Cyberpunk2020 is like D&D 3.5 in that regard. For example, Lorenzo was such a problem for our group because we were noobs that failed to realize the value of armor piercing ammunition. That's why our bullets bounced right off of him. For a less patient new player this could be a big deal breaker. But if you're the kind of player that enjoys a trial by fire and don't mind a sudden and violent end for your choomba, then I can safely say I highly recommend playing Cyberpunk2020.