Neon Black (working title) is my cyberpunk FitD hack where you play poor punks in the near future trying to save carve out a space for themselves in a city state controlled by 3 major corporations.
The year is 21XX. Climate change has ravaged Earth. The remains of humanity live in a handful of isolated city-states controlled by the Megacorps, huge all-encompassing corporations that operate with no oversight and wield unprecedented wealth and power. Neon Black takes place in Prime City, the first and most powerful city state in the world and home to millions.
The ultra rich have are digitizing their consciousness, colonizing the solar system, and radically augmenting their bodies. Every piece of technology is connected to the 'Net, a digital world full of near-sentient programs and a retreat for those trying to survive in Prime City.
Factions are divided into 4 types: the three megacorps (Ziggurat, Ishram Entertainment, and Storm-Ex) and the Underground of criminal syndicates, gangs, and co-ops that resist and compete with corporate control.
There are currently 6 character playbooks: Hacker, Hustler, Muscle, Splicer, Suit, and Synth. There is currently just one crew playbook: Punks.
There’s downtime actions for getting new cyberware, a heat system tied to each faction rather than the crew, and an emphasis on gaining wealth to increase in tier and get new items.
I’m struggling to think of other crew playbooks that make sense given my game’s politics but I think I might just stick with the one. In the past I’ve had Mercs (bounty hunters), Sliders (Inception style crew who mess with people’s minds), and the Start-Up (making a product to compete with the corporations, basically Halt and Catch Fire). Through playtesting I’ve noticed that these stray a bit too close to emulating corporate & capitalist structure or just ammoral murder so I’m putting them on the back burner for now.
Currently the game is in alpha, though I think the latest I’m working on should take me to beta where the big changes are more or less done and I just need to fiddle with the fiction and fine tune the rules. Recently I’ve been trying to focus on the fact that the character start poor and trying to balance that with playbooks that feel fun and depict capable characters.
You can get the latest version of Neon Black here.
I’ll be hosting a few play test sessions of the latest version (4.1) at Terminal City Tabletop Convention in Vancouver. Hoping to have 4.1 available soon.
I know I’m not the only person working on a cyberpunk hack in this system. I’m curious what things in your hack make the game cyberpunk and what you’d want to see in a cyberpunk FitD game? It feels like cyberpunk is becoming part of the zeitgeist again, and I’m hoping to show how good it is at empowering the poor and vilifying the rich.