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Cyberpunk RED $30.00
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Cyberpunk RED
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Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Tommi T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/19/2022 02:19:56

I gave Cyberpunk RED two stars because it has a LOT of fluff and interesting world-building. HOWEVER the system is practically the same as the original game, the characters are all one-trick ponies and the system does not support character growth. The hacking portion of the game is still action halting and a painful chore. Why on earth did they not use the excellent character development system in Cyberpunk 2077?!



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2021 16:22:01

THIS IS AN UPDATE TO MY ORIGINAL REVIEW!!

After a year of play and running a couple of Red sessions myself. here is the rundown: this game is streamlined but vague and inconsistant about information and the book during play is a pain. it looks like cyberpunk, but it feels like a generic sci-fi game set in a dark future.

first positives: Netrunning is really fun! played a Netrunner and he was a blast to play, and it was simple and easy for my GM to run my character through the Net. it kept things interesting and my players kept an eye out for electronics for my Netrunner to jack into.

Combat is streamlined and it's cover mechanic is either you're in cover or not. i have mixed feelings about cover, because even when we tried partial cover it was difficult to call what worked. it is still just as deadlly but i would argue its not as deadly say, CP2020 where there's a hit location die to roll. Red has no fumble charts however for damage die rolls if you roll 2 nat 6s you do additional damage and give a critical injury. in a second game, my Nomad nearly died because of it.

alright so that's where the positives end, and i wish i could say this is the best Cyberpunk game, but it's both confusing and inconsistent with it's presentation. the book is poorly laid out, a lot of information is all over the place, and an appendice i feel will fix that issue, but there isn't one. next, combat is streamlined but it isn't as dynamic as say CP2020, and i don't want to compare to 2020 but there is a difference and you feel the difference. you have a move, minor, and standard action. the list of actions are limited which is kind of bizarre. maybe we read the rules wrong? maybe it's more dynamic? the rules aren't clear.

this is more of a personal nicpic, but a lot of the items are soo generic, there are in game world ads in the book, yet the weapons and armors aren't by a specific corporation? there is a way to convert weapons and armor from CP2020 to Red, but it kind of defeats the purpose if your current line up don't have much standing out. even the exotic weapons while brand names they're not over the top or even that exotic.

it is my theory, that they written the PDF format first before the book, because it feels like that. this game maybe with more supplements will make it better, but as it stands, it's just a cyberpunk for the 5e crowd. yes it's easier to understand, but how is it you don't have examples of specific skills and such that a GM or player can understand? too many times my gm had to stop the game to look up if a specific skill can work for a specific task, or was unsure if the chosen skill was correct. it's really weird. its not a bad game, if you enjoy it, great, but the criticism of it being a generic sci-fi game that's called Cyberpunk are valid as well.

would of run Cyberpunk Red again? maybe, if i were to run a Cyberpunk game, i probably would run a frankenstein game of Cyberpunk 2020/red game to fix some major issues. it is a good game, but if i were to recommend this or 2020, for beginners Red, then add 2020 for more unique styles and such.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/14/2021 00:08:09

Incredible game system. I'm having so much fun running this game for my friends. We used to play 5E before this. Safe to say that we're now firmly a Cyberpunk RED table. It's presentation is easy to digest. While certain parts of the book may feel redundant, specifically some tables are repeated, to me, it helps to have the tables easily accessible as relevent to the topic where they are discussed.

While some may criticize that weapon categories are too "streamlined", compared to 2020, I see it as a benefit for my players who are learning the system. It is incredibly friendly for GM's and players to manage. For those looking for the nuance of 2020, you can always use the "old guns" conversion DLC to bring those elements to your CPR game from the Blackhands weapon guide. Also through the Tech role, literally almost anything is possible as far as weapons creation, making endless possibilites for your players, item wise. You're only capped by your imagination and the availability of resources that your GM allows you, if you really need something that isn't already covered without being redundant. Not to mention, R. Talsorian is consistently supporting the game with new item DLC since its release.

The system is incredibly adaptable to whatever playstyle or home brew you may want to bring to your game. If you're a 5E player looking to cross from nice cute fantasy into realistic sci fi, with Rainbow 6 level tactical gunfights, and brutal melee combat where every hit point matters and theres no magical healing spells to bail your PC's out of bad decisions; if have no experience with cyberpunk and you may have been intimidated by 2020 rules, but always wanted to try it; if 2077 intrigued you before its release, and want you want to bring that energy to tabletop; if Cyberpunk 2020 was fun to you but nowadays feels antiquated compared to newer game systems; this is the game for you! I really see this game growing in popularity as more and more people discover it, especially, as R.Talsorian is continuously releasing new DLC and expanding what's possible for your players to do. Try it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Bryant W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/11/2021 12:23:21

I've bought every iteration since the original boxed set and I like Red a lot, but I do have some major issues. First the good. The combat and netrunning mechanics are, in my opinion, much improved. Combat is more streamlined, although at the cost of some color, and netrunning is more easily integrated into meat world action. For me, the worst aspect is the actual rulebook. The pages are slick and glossy but feel very fragile and do tear easily. This characteristic is compounded by the fact that the rulebook's organization will have you constantly flipping back and forth. If you have the digital version, the fragility of physical pages won't be an issue, but have fun constantly scrolling through pages. If you love cyberpunk, buy this game, just be prepared to hate your rulebook.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Jordi F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/08/2021 16:15:29

After I've been playing for a few months I can say the game is a mess.

Layout is horrible and trying to find rules it's always a pain in the ass ... like, you want to know how much does a car cost? Maybe in "Fitted for the future" chapter? Nop. Maybe in "Street Economy : Night market" chapter? Nop. They are in vehicle combat. And there are like dozens of things like this, rules dropped everywhere without care ... and when you're playing and need to reference something, you know you've seen it somewhere, but you have to stop the game to try to find it or just pull it from your arse and keep going.

Lore? Yep, a mess to ... the game doesn't know what it wants to be. Look at the cover art itself, then I tell you that commerce is broken and people can't get what they want, corporations are no longer international but broken into local places because no internet, and containers don't reach places and nomads control the trade routes and the game suggest you have to find old abandoned containers to find cool stuff or buy it in black markets ... and it begins to feel a lot more like some kind of post-war post-apoc game than cyberpunk, and you wonder ... how the fuck those corporations are still a thing if they can't sell stuff? Who pays for the neon signs? Who pays for the fuel of those flying cars?

Nomads of course! Because it seems that R.Talsorian has some kind of hardon with nomads. They have the best education. Best cars. Control trade and badlands ... and are the saviours of the world. After the 4th corporate war Night City was almost destroyed. Who saved it? You'd guessed it! Nomads!! You are a techie? Sorry, you won't be able to make better cars than nomads ... no, they don't need skill, they "just" have them.

And those poor hobos on the streets with old lame cyberware? No longer here! Because somehow cloning stuff is so easy and cheap now that replacing your missing limbs with new gadgets it's almost easier than scavenging an arm and paying a doc to install it. Yeah, you hear it, you no longer have organ scavengers or traffickers, because it's just cheaper to clone stuff! It's almost instantaneously too ... but remember that we still don't have global internet nor common trade routes so all this technology and training has any sense to reach anywhere :D

And it keeps going on ...

Rules are, of course, another mess ... from shotgun shells that can only hit someone at 3 meters, to skills like "Autofire" that are harder to learn and use than Cryptography, Mathematics, or whatever other knowledge skill. Why? Because they didn't know how to balance autofire, so they made it hard to purchase and use. Job done. Fuck it.

A weak desperate street hooker is going to hit you with a machete? That's gonna be 2d6 of damage. You say a 2 meter tall full cyborg Adam Smasher-like beast is going to hit you with the same machete? Yep, still 2d6 damage. Strength isn't taken into account at all. Now, if our borg drops the machete and hits you with a fist and 1 rank of karate? 3d6 of damage, here I go, maybe even 4d6 if it's borged enough.

Combat feels bullet spongy, cover makes it feel like some sort of video game with people jumping around trying to dodge bullets. I mean, cover doesn't upgrade difficulty checks, they just add a layer of hit points you have to destroy ... but if not fast enough, your target can just change cover and you'll have to start anew. Unless you ignore cover and run around the battlefield to ignore theirs and use your REF 8 to dodge bullets. Because that's what movies and Call of Duty taught us.

There are so many things that feel wrong that I don't have the patience to write here and ... at a certain point, you just keep doing more and more house rules until you ponder why the hell you are even trying. I didn't pay to do the job myself. I buy a rulebook so I have the job made for me.

Art is cool tho ... except that it just misses any context at all or it's just generic as fuck. Most of the art is just there to look pretty not to reinforce text or help you visualize anything. Like you may be reading about the Fixer class special ability and they show you a giant buddha statue in the middle of containers of a cargo area. Maybe you're reading about skills and they put a drawing of some cyborg dude applying makeup.

Verdict : A failure. It seems like a game that doesn't know what it wants to be. Like two different persons altogether are steering the book in two different directions ... one is an old "I'm tired of this genre" guy, and the other is some CoD kid with that kind of "cool" ideas that make you roll your eyes.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2021 04:41:22

I had originally wrote a 5-star review after initially playing the Jumpstart Kit. I apologize for that. I did purchase both the pdf of the core rules and a hardback copy. After running a 7-month campaign my opionon has changed. The game is easy to learn, create a character, and adjudicating the rules. You can pick up this book, quickly create a crew of edgerunners, and start playing. It is simple while offering a fair amount of crunch.

However, this game stinks. The book is a layout artist's nightmare, and even with bookmarks it's hard to navigate. This is because of redundant sections of rules. If page count is money, this book wasted a lot of money. Many of the rules don't make sense, like armor-piercing, cover, supressive fire, and melee combat, etc.. Skill costs are out of whack. Some Role Abilities are very OP while others are lackluster. While NETrunning was streamlined, it's still a mini-game and doesn't work as they probably intended it to. Don't ask me about vehicles. The setting doesn't know what it wants to be. It claims to be cyberpunk, but the author obviously wanted to make a post-apocalypse game instead. Cyberpunk used to be about "style over substance", but that's completely abscent from this edition. If you came to this game to play a ttrpg version of Cyberpunk 2077, forget about it. You're going to be very disappointed.

My advice: Cyberpunk 2020 is still a good game. It needs some houseruling, but it's a much better game than this slipshod.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Marcus L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/12/2021 15:41:17

As rules goes, it's a streamlined experience over 2020. However I feel that with this streamlining, there's a lot of charm that's been lost to the setting and the general feel of the game. 2020 had a lot of personality as games go, and RED plays it a bit too safe and shallow with things. It has a lot of major advantages over 2020, of course, one of the main ones being the new Netrunning system. Now it actually feels viable for a Netrunner to join a group and not just hang back or even be an NPC for the group. After testing out the system with some friends, the Netrunner had as much active ability during a fight as the Solo protecting them while they broke into a computer network.

The setting is somewhat all over the place. Partly, it feels like it wants to really dig into the Post-Apocalyptic feel of the Time of the Red, with night markets and bazaars but at the same time, there are still clinics that can gladly install new cyberware for you. Some interesting things has happened in the lore since the year 2020, of course, but for bridging the gap between 2020 and the 2077 game, it feels lacking. In my mentioned group, we pushed things ahead and played a few years prior to 2077 and still had a great time.

Overall, I like RED, and would recommend it, but it's so close to being great rather than just good. Still a great purchase, and at $30 it's a steal.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by emanuele t. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/26/2021 05:58:28

It is bad, very very bad. I played 2020 for 20 years and after a few months with RED I have decided to go back to 2020. I actually regret buying RED.

Rules don't make any sense, all weapons feel the same, there is not real meaning in customization. New Hit points rules make the game like 5ed but worse. Cover system is just leazy and dumb, same for autofire, the combat is not balanced, the players never feel in any danger (in 2020 anyone can die with just a single well placed shot, in RED is very very very unlikely) etc etc. RED is just a leazy product. Positive note? netrunners are better in RED.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2021 09:40:08

This was a difficult choice for me, because this game fixed all the things I disliked about Shadowrun, but is far from perfect. I would still wholeheartedly recommend this game to anyone who is an experienced roleplayer, or who likes the Cyberpunk setting, but there are serious issues with the design of the book and some of the decisions made regarding the publishing that tarnish its score. I really like the review another person posted with GBU, so I will be applying that.

The Good: Excellent setting, flexible rules, fast paced interesting combat. I am not experienced with 2020, but I will say that it is a smoother game than DnD, and I rarely have trouble keeping the attention of my players (always a nightmare whenever I try to play DnD). The system is good, and with adequite support over the next few years, will definitely be worth getting into.

The Bad: There is no sugar coating it, the layout of this book is atrocious. The index section is even worse. Finding any important rules is a nightmare of page flipping for entire table. The hyperlinks tend to be farely good on the pdf, bringing you to relevant sections, but if you don't know where to even start looking for the answer (and incredibly common problem with this layout, believe it or not), then you need to use the search feature of your PDF reader. Shocker, the search feature is just as useless because the book is filled with ridiculous amounts of lore.

I don't dislike lore, in fact I would probably read it if it wasn't randomely sprinkled over the entire book when I am trying to find important, time sensitive rules. If I crack open the book, I am either trying to read lore or learn the game, I should not have to dig to find either.

The layout issues are well documented in nearly every review I see, and while they don't cause as many issues in the PDF due to the hyperlinking and the search issues, but I would have to give my hard copy of the book 3 stars because of how frustratingly useless and expensive it was.

The Ugly: To be frank, this is mostly a personal problem, but I can see other people having this issue too. RTG is advertising Astral Tabletop here as a place to play Cyberpunk, even going as far as letting a screamsheet be released for free. This might make you think that RTG supports ATT as a way to play CPR. Guess what? It doesn't. There are 2 dozen posts on the forum requesting that the 10 or so NPCs in the book be imported into ATT, no response from the Publisher or ATT. I asked several times nicely on the RTG discord if they were looking into this. No response. I spent $100 on a yearly ATT membership because I thought that CPR was going to be supported, only to have to spend 8 or so hours of my life building those basic characters because the publisher can't be bothered, and because of the way ATT works, I have no way of giving anyone else access to those characters I made, either.

The character sheets are already set up which is nice, but that is all you will ever get. They better be worth the price of the ATT subscription.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Paxton K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/09/2021 09:41:25

So, to explain. Cybwepunk, especially 2020 and When Gravity Fails have been a massive influence on me. So I am gonna try and run that edge of Sunnies and Tri-pheds. Pop in my Hunter S. Tompson Moddy and give this a go...

Neon revolution. Electronic wonderland. Hydrogen happiness Not Chooh. Virtual destiny and mixed reality. Chem-Stem holiday. 'Chosis Choombas. In the NET? Naw, in the Corvette! Or Mega Tron Or a toaster. No run the Net. Run the machines.

The "new" version of games has become worn. Except for the ones where things have changed.

Elves are still elves; but Medias are Fake News. Vibe the Influencer and Content Creator. It may not be true; but its the closest you will ever be.

Rockerboy? So cis-gender. Rappers can talk the words of the Prophets! They put the Soul in your shoe or the blood. Livin on the edge, like a lap dance for Satan!

Nomad was a fad. Road Warrior Wore Out. Boosters are Fam and with them, Street Cred is everything. For they are The Warriors, Send the Word!

Scream Sheets? F'ed to the A! Its about that Feel-a-Vision and Blip Verts. No Controller for Edison Carter when she can jump from drone to bot and what-not.

Virtual Reality? If my meat sack is so happy there, Johnny Silverhand just Ctrl Alt Deleted. No love for the Output. Me 2!

Why change the rules, if you can't change the word!

Peace out on my Zip Speech, Night City!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Darin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2021 10:30:18

I was 15 when I got my hands on the old black box cyberpunk 2013. I took that thing with me everywhere. Dice, mechanical pencils, character sheets and of course the books were stored inside. The box is long gone today though I still have the books clinging on to their staples just barely. They got a lot of use as did my 2020 books. - Mid 40's now and my excitement for Cyberpunk RED has not diminished. It goes to work with me, back in the car to and to home again... Cyberpunk RED is a wonderful addition to the Cyberverse. I highly recommend picking up a copy if you are a fan. My son and his friends are still playing Cyberpunk 2020 and Cybergeneration. Our First cyberpunk RED game will be this weekend. My family would like to thank everyone at R. Talsorian Games for two generations of entertainment and imagination. May there be many more at all of your tables as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Michael d. V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/06/2021 16:08:23

Cyberpunk RED is great. This is by far the best edition to get into the game. I'm running 3 games on Roll20 as a DM and can't complain.

THE GOOD

  • Lifepaths are brilliant!
  • RED feels and plays like a fixed CP 2020 game.
  • New FNFF (Friday Night Fire Fight) rules ar much simpler and play better and faster: Hitzones and armor are simplified which is a big plus, Critical hit tables are cheesy! Autofire skill is a cool fix for what used to be an OP "delete oponent" option.
  • 2X skills bring balance to combat oriented play and put a real constraints on munchkin builds.
  • Role abilities are meaningfull and relevant. The solo is no longer the best role.
  • Martial and Melee combat are actually balanced vs gunfighting - which wasn't the case before.
  • Multiple ways to build a character. PROTIP: use the streetrat tables for your NPCs.

THE BAD

  • The "hold" action is the single most important battle-action in this game. If you play RAW and are entirely new or you join from 2020 this is far from clear. It took my group multiple sessions to figure this out. Basically following RAW you can't hit anybody who is in cover. You need to use the hold action to hit your target when he pops out of cover to do his thing. This makes combat VERY tactical but this is ABSOLUTELY unclear when reading the rules during a first pass. At the start this is a bit weird to manage but once you get the hang of it everything gells together for the better.
  • Recommended starting stats are WAAAAAY too low. At 62 points you won't hit anything. As a result combat is a bit of a drag. Start as a minor hero at 72 stat points and go full cheese from there. It seems like the game wasn't playtested at these lower stat builds.
  • They should have diversified the stats even more. Splitting REF into REF and DEX is smart but they should have doubled down on this concept. Why not tie the Autofire skill to the BODY stat (like you need a big frame to handle the recoil). Social encounters suffer a smililar problem and are very bland as all skills are tied to the same stat. I'm missing a seduction skill (based off COOL) and the persuasion and interogation skill should have had different underlying stats.
  • Not enough emphasis on non-combat play. D&D has the same problem yet cyberpunk is in a unique position to fix this but doesn't.
  • This game could have been more self-critical/self-reflective. RED is a 2020 Fix and Pondsmith could have added a chapter to explain how he fixed things and why. This could have helped many new GM/DMs run better games.

THE UGLY

  • The Netrunning role still breaks the action economy. This is still an example of bad game design. However I suspect Pondsmith to have settled on this version as Netrunning is such an integral part of the lore/setting. Word of advice though - do not allow an unexperienced player to run a Netrunner and limit the amount of Netrunners at your table to one.
  • The rules are all over the place. This sourcebook is hard to navigate even with the linked index.
  • The game lacks advice for new GM/DMs on how to handle classic cyberpunk problems such as how to handle the parts/hardware hoarder and the player that wants to cut everybody open for parts. Weirdly the solution is in the book but this is not addressed explicitly. Just give all enemies inferior quality gear. As a seasoned GM/DM I would have liked that Pondsmith would have made this more clear.
  • Pondsmith needs to look real hard at the Dark Horse Cyberpunk 2077 Worldbook. That's how you do a sourcebook/splatbook in 2020. Missed opportunity! The lore is way to dense. In 2020 people don't/can't read anymore.
  • Where are the adventure modules?
  • Limited Roll20/VTT support.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Julian S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/28/2020 09:49:30

There are some great ideas in here and some improvements on older system, there are also some really dumb things in here.

Been playing cyberpunk since I picked up a copy of the original in 1989.

I love the new cyberspace rules.

The combat system is a joke compared to the previous systems.

2 examples:

It seems the crit system is the fudge that makes the combat system more dangerous.

Pros:

Cyberspace rules

Item Creation

Cons:

Combat system

Information repeated too many times, including a couple of pages just after it has been written.

50/50:

Generic economy and items.

Rest of system has some small tweaks if any to previous versions.

Overall:

it moves the timeline on, handy for the 2077 tie in.

Seems like 5th Edition A&D but for cyberpunk.

Bland.

Get it for ideas and home-brew and Frankenstein onto your 2013/2020 games.

Bit disappointed to be honest, as cyberpunk has been one of my favorite game systems for a longtime now.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/08/2020 06:05:48

This does a great job of stripping away a lot of the crunch of a fairly advanced system to make is still very deep and meaningful but easy to follow for new player's and referee's alike.

For people new to both TTRPG's and Cyberpunk this is an axcellent game to have. There is plenty of foundation for veterans to add their own stuff in too.

I think this is a great balance, especially for all the new players who are getting this book as it is streamlined from previous editions and easier to run. Which is great for the hobby as it helps ensure new players enjoy the game and stick around to play!

The overall quality is excellent and it was definitely worth the wait.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Daniel E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2020 18:25:34

I discovered Cyberpunk 2020 in 1995 and played it until 2017. Unfortunately, Cyberpunk 2013/2020 is almost unknown in Germany. I have to say, I was incredibly disappointed with Cyberpunk 3.0 (but who isn't ...) So I'm all the more pleased that Cyberpunk Red is now such a great book. The artwork is insanely good. The rules streamlined and work very good as far as I can judge at the moment. I especially like the new net running rules. What I don't like are the character roles. I've never liked that, in my opinion it doesn't fit into such a setting and I find roles generally out of date in the case of modern rpgs. But that's certainly a matter of taste. Nonetheless, a great book !! I'll bring my old group back together :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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