Interface Zero
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Thread: Interface Zero

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Columbus, Ohio

    Interface Zero

    Interface Zero

    The worlds of True 20 and cyberpunk collide in the book Interface Zero. The softbound book is a built more then a hundred and sixty pages in length and is done in black and white. My first read through of the book it left me a little flat. The True 20 system does a good enough job but with other games that are built for the cyberpunk game the True 20 system seems a little weak for the job. It was not the rules though that I was having doubts with. The world is very typical and what I expected with little else. This is cyberpunk pure and simple. It was as I read it though a second and third time and started to appreciate the level detail. Interface Zero is a solid cyberpunk game book that does not deviate from what cyberpunk is.

    Interface Zero is the best cyber punk book I have seen for any version of the d20 rules. It does require the Tre20 Adventure Roleplaying book by Green Ronin Publishing to use the book as its own game. However, Reality Deviant Publishing did a great job with the cyber punk setting and people who want to play a cyber punk game using a different rule set could still get a lot of inspiration out of this book. The writers of Matt Conklin, Hal Maclean, Patrick Smith, and David Jarvis did a very good job on the setting and feel of this cyber punk book. The layout is very nicely done and the black and white art is a good mixture though some of it is a little lacking in quality. Still the book is easy to read through and with the very thorough three page index it is extremely easy to locate things in this book.

    The book is for mature audiences only. There was very little objectionable material in here but I could see where parents would have some issues if their kids were reading this. One of the great things the book does is have a glossary of lingo for the cyber punk game. It is details like this that make is useable as a resource for other games of this genre. The book is also true cyber punk so one does not find any magic or mystical items in here like in some other cyber punk games. That’s neither good or bad, just the direction this book takes. Another set of details that the game provides that will be useful for other games is a time line that covers from 2010 to 2088. The book has some good ideas for corporations and other items useful in a cyber punk game. If one is playing a different game of cyber punk these things are useful for additional business and other ideas for the history just to help flesh out the detail of an already existing setting. There is also a dozen pages on just running cyber punk games. This section is completely devoid of rules and very well thought out and useful. The less comfortable one is at running these games the more useful this section will be for people.

    The book does stand on its own for a cyber punk game. I know I have started with how useful the book is for other games but that is just because the strongest parts of the book are the details of the setting and the ways to run these games. True 20 is a solid system but I am not sold on it for all genres. Flipping through the almost two dozen pages of stat blocks for adversaries, contacts, and all sort of typical cyberpunk non player character arch types just does not flow well for me.

    If I were to run a cyber punk game I do not think True 20 would be my first choice. Other games for me do it better, but this book is one I would use to aid the campaign. However, for people that want the simple and easy to use True 20 system that probably has the advantage of being a game system they already know then this is the book for them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Garland, TX
    Thank you so much for your review!

    We're very proud of this book. It was a pleasure to write/produce, and it's nice to see that other people like it as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    San Francisco native
    I have a couple questions not addressed in the review. Since I haven't seen the product locally, I can't just flip through it and answer them for myself before ordering / buying.

    1. How does it handle the internet? Does it use a Gibsonian VR, an advanced internet model, a HUD-display overlay of reality (seen in some more modern Cyberpunk), or... what? Or does it present options, like GURPS Cyberpunk and Ex Machina did, for a GM to choose?

    2. Cybernetics and Bioware? How are these topics covered? 80s Cyberpunk was more cybernetics, but more modern Cyberpunk has shifted the attention to Bioware and nanotec. Does the product pick one and go with it, or give a GM options between them?

    3. Nano-super heroes? This option has been explored by some 'jump the shark' Cyberpunk authors and game designers, most notably the 3rd edition of Cyberpunk. Does the book manage to avoid this? The review implied that it did, but I want to be sure... For many hardcore fans of the genre, this is a serious issue... But for the margin that likes nano-supers, its a serious issue in the other direction.

    4. AIs. How does the book present this topic? Authors are all over the place on it... so I can't even really say what direction the trend is in. But does the book give GMs options or shove one choice at us?

    5. Altered humans? The far end of this is the Moreau Omnibus - in which the major socio-political struggle is between pure humans and the uplifted animals left over from the last world war. On the more normal end, humans with animal DNA and vice versa became a common theme in later Cyberpunk, does the book cover it at all? If so, how so?

    6. Gutterpunk versus Dystopia-punk? Does the book presume the PCs are gutterpunks at the dredges of society (Cyberpunk 2020 model), or does it presume they are elites of the world who have recently had the viel of deception lifted (Islands in the Net and a large percentage of the literature), or does it gives options or present a middle ground?

    7. Slavery / Human Trafficking / Forced Labor - predominant theme in both the real world and Cyberpunk is the rise of slavery of all kinds in the post industrial world. Yet Cyberpunk gaming usually glosses past this topic or completely ignores it. Does the book take an angle on presenting it?

    I guess other questions will pop up from whatever answers the above questions get.

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