2022: The Year’s Cyberpunk Tabletop RPG Downloads Part Three – Corpo News

In the first part of this series, I looked at RPG crowdfunding news, touching on all levels from the largest to the smallest campaigns. For the second part, it was time to discuss traditional releases from R. Talsorian Games, Catalyst Game Labs, Green Ronin Publishing, and more including my own contribution to tabletop cyberpunk. In the conclusion to this look back, I’ll talk about all of the corpo’s news.

Shadowrun, Sixth World Core Rulebook- City Edition- Seattle.gif

VID NEWS

In among the sales and numerous gaming options, there was news throughout the year about some of the biggest cyberpunk properties and largest players in tabletop cyberpunk.

Paradox Interactive announced the Shadowrun Trilogy, a video game remastering of Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut, and Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Extended Edition for next generation consoles. These classics offer gamers another way to enjoy their shadowruns, and show the continued interest in the intellectual property.

Related to Shadowrun, my final article of 2022 at d20 Radio was about Noble Knight Games' coolest cyberpunk offering: the original artwork for the Shadowrun logo. For $35,000, you can own the logo used for Shadowrun 1e and 2e. If you're a fan, it would be a cool piece to hang on your wall.

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R. Talsorian Games Inc. continues to reap the benefits of CD Project RED’s adaptation of their world with the Cyberpunk 2077 video game. Among its successes is the well-received Netflix anime, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. With the hype around Edgerunners, R. Talsorian Games announced the Cyberpunk Edgerunners Mission Kit. Coming in 2023, this starter kit and a Cyberpunk 2077 sourcebook will open up the world of the video game and anime to the tabletop experience, letting those fans experience those settings in a new way.

For their 10th anniversary, Monte Cook Games announced the Cypher System Open License (CSOL) and the Cypher System Reference Document (CSRD), licenses to use their Cypher System in your game much like 5e’s OGL and SRD are used to allow third parties to make 5e products [Morrus talks about One D&D’s OGL and SRD here]. Among the three products that were announced to celebrate this move was Blood & Chrome by Andrew Marlowe and Monica Marlowe of Marlowe House. This sourcebook will add more cyberpunk to the Cypher System. They have a preview of the work, Blood and Chrome Preview Edition. This shows cyberpunk’s main stream recognition when MCG decided to promote a cyberpunk supplement among their initial titles.

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Fragging Unicorn Games, the company behind the resurrection of Robert Bohl’s Misspent Youth with Misspent Youth: Fall in Love, Not in Line, announced another cyberpunk RPG. They’re planning a more “traditional” cyberpunk RPG in 2023 than Misspent Youth, Subversion. Between those two releases, Fragging Unicorn Games sees the future and it is cyberpunk.

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While many pieces of news about cyberpunk RPGs are positive, some companies continue to struggle due to the pandemic and the new, post-pandemic environment. Carbon 2185 RPG (which kickstarted in February, 2019 with 3,194 backers pledged £143,738 and is a Platinum best-seller on DriveThruRPG) is a 5e adaptation of cyberpunk that’s been positively received. However, the production behind the game has seen some delays during the pandemic that contributed to an unfortunate public incident involving their supplemental book. Dragon Turtle Games, the company behind Carbon 2185, experienced pandemic and inflation related challenges around fulfilling their last supplement, Terminal Overdrive (3,116 backers pledged £182,198 in October, 2020). To remedy the situation, they’ve decided to partner with Bancroft Publishing to create additional Carbon 2185 content in order to insure the funds to finish Terminal Overdrive. Bancroft Publishing is planning their first Carbon 2185 Kickstarter for January 2023. Hopefully the results of this partnership will see Carbon 2185 having a good 2023.

UPDATED 2023-01-27. Per Dragon Turtle Games on January 3rd:
"Unfortunately due to personal reasons, Sandy Bancroft has had to exit the upcoming Legacy Rising project. We hope to work with her in the future and wish her the best of luck.
We have pencilled a new, similar deal with a very exciting partner, but can't give away any concrete details just yet. We should be able to make an announcement by the end of this week."
Today (January 27th) Dragon Turtle Games shared this update:
"Dead Channel Studios are launching their campaign later today! Dead Channel Studios was founded in 2020 by Lewis Scott Fraser, an alum of Dragon Turtle Games following his departure from the company. This will be their 9th Kickstarter campaign and is set to run for 30 days. Lewis has previously worked on Carbon 2185 while he was at Dragon Turtle Games, and he brings several other DTG and Carbon 2185 alum to the project such as writer and editor Ty Moore"

The Veil- Inheritance, a biopunk tabletop roleplaying game.jpg

As with Dragon Turtle Games, Samjoko Publishing has felt these unprecedented times impact the completion and delivery on one of their books, Samjoko Publishing’s The Veil: Inheritance (706 backers pledged CA$36,928 from March, 2019). This supplement for The Veil (665 backers pledged CA$21,073 from May, 2016 and a Platinum best-seller on DriveThruRPG), demonstrated the increasing audience for this cyberpunk project. While The Veil and several related books have come out over the years, the pandemic impacted the latest one, Inheritance, during its production timeline. Expected for delivery in March, 2020, this book was a victim of this international catastrophe. Towards the end of the year, Samjoko Publishing shared an update about their intention to fulfill the project, however it is delayed and, worse still, the cost of production costs have risen dramatically since the initial, pre-inflation estimates. Still, the creator believes in this work and expects to get it in the hands of its backers and fans. As one of those backers, I understand that the world changed without warning and some were more impacted than others; my heart goes out to Fraser Simons and Samjoko Publishing as they continue to work back to a new normal. As a fan of The Veil, I’m ok with waiting for a quality game. The timeline does not matter, the final product does. In the meantime, there’s always the The Veil: Inheritance QuickStart, a PWYW introduction to what the full book will offer.

Just to the side of cyberpunk RPGs, 2022 saw Wizards of the Coast file to abandon its trademark of “Netrunner”. Netrunner was the title of an early CCG by Richard Garfield based on R. Talsorian’s Cyberpunk. Whether they planned to use the trademark for a return of the CCG or another use is hard to say, but WotC is not moving forward with that cyberpunk name at this time.

2022 IS DEAD, BRING ON 2023

With the close of 2022, cyberpunk RPGs continue to connect with gaming fans and prove their value as part of tabletop. Whether adapting movies or being adapted into series, becoming video games or presenting original worlds and systems, cyberpunk offers the promise of good games for many RPG fans. 2023 continues that promise with even more cyberpunk at the gaming table and beyond.

While I covered a great deal of cyberpunk tabletop content with notable moves in 2022, there’s always the chance that I overlooked a key moment. If I missed a product or piece of news about a cyberpunk RPG that happened in 2022, let me know in the comments.

2022: The Year’s Cyberpunk Tabletop RPG Downloads Article Series:

Egg Embry participates in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program, Noble Knight Games’ Affiliate Program, and is an Amazon Associate. These programs provide advertising fees by linking to DriveThruRPG, Noble Knight Games, and Amazon.
 
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