R. Talsorian updates on Cyberpunk RED, The Witcher, and a new secret project

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R. Talsorian Games made several announcements in a pair of posts this week. On Monday, the company posted the Gen Con 2023 Update with several product updates for the previously announced Cyberpunk products including the Danger Gal Dossier faction and NPC sourcebook and the stand-alone boxed set Cyberpunk Edgerunners Mission Kit to advance the game’s timeline to the 2077 setting of the video game. There were two big announcements included, however.

First, a new six-mission campaign for Cyberpunk RED was announced, Tales of the RED: Forlorn Hope. Set in and around the classic Edgerunner bar from Cyberpunk 2020, the adventure includes six interlinked missions from Eddy Webb, Chris Spivey, Linda Evans, Tracie Hearne, Paris Arrowsmith, Francis Stewart, and Mellissa Wong. No release date has been set at this time, but it’s listed as “the next book in the Cyberpunk RED line”.

The Witcher TTRPG will go on hiatus as CD Projekt Red begins development on the fourth Witcher video game. In order to make sure that the tabletop RPG products stay in line with the lore from the games, several products including the Rodolf’s Guides series have been placed on hold. From the blog post:

The Witcher TTRPG line is not dead, and we have many plans for it when things are more solidified, but we don’t feel that we can move forward at the moment in a way that will produce books of quality as part of the broader Witcher canon.

“We will be looking at compiling some DLC material based on pre-existing concepts that will not be changing, but I don’t want to promise anything until I’m certain of it.

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However, it’s not all gloomy news from R. Talsorian as Witcher TTRPG designer Cody Pondsmith has a new project on the way. So far, all we have is the codename “Blue Moon” and a brief tease:

You’ve seen beyond the mask and now you must make a choice: forget what you’ve seen or leave what you know behind. If you join us, you’ll be able to protect everything you’ve ever known and everything beyond your wildest dreams. Our enemy lurks in the darkest corners of reality. They hide behind masks of deception, waiting to strike.

But remember, once you step through the gate you cannot go back.

The site promises a larger reveal on August 31.
 

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

MGibster

Legend
Someone should have explained to him that Interlock needed to stay deeply specific to each game it was used for. That genericizing it wasn't a good idea. Also I kind of wonder if he just needed to hand off Cyberpunk 2020, because the last few books for it there was a kind of deep weariness with the game, and the players, and what the players wanted (which was y'know a more fun and dumb and shooty game than Mike really wanted).
I will have to give credit to R. Talsorian Games because I think Cyberpunk 2020 aged very well in many ways. No, it didn't predict where technology would go, but going through the material and reading through it isn't as embarrassing as it is with some other games. There are gay and trans NPCs who, as a whole, aren't treated as jokes or villainous, most of the sourcebooks were good, and many Cyberpunk stories are just as relevant today as they were in 1991. Land of the Free is one of the worst campaigns ever published and Firestorm: Stormfront is only marginally better.

When you have an entire role that mostly goes unplayed because the rules are unworkable, I'm looking at you Netrunner, that's a big, big problem. There were too many skills (How many cyberpunks took accounting?), and some of them didn't give the GM a good idea of how they should be used. Fashion Sense? That's a great idea, but what good does it do if a PC has a high skill?
 

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Jaeger

That someone better
I will have to give credit to R. Talsorian Games because I think Cyberpunk 2020 aged very well in many ways. No, it didn't predict where technology would go, but going through the material and reading through it isn't as embarrassing as it is with some other games.

This is true.

The problem is that it was also a bit of lightning in a bottle, and in my opinion it is apparent that Pondsmith doesn't really get what it is about CP2020 that tickles the fanbases funny bone.

Much like what has happened with Vampire the Masquerade... The fanbase likes it to do x, the IP owner to do y, and the more that y gets pushed, the more the fanbase dwindles.

VtM used to be The #2 RPG behind D&D. Now days? VtM5e is lucky if people even know a new edition is out...

The CP3e trainwreck was a good wake up call for Pondsmith, but it obviously wasn't the eye opener to the games fanbase that it should have been for him.

When you have an entire role that mostly goes unplayed because the rules are unworkable, I'm looking at you Netrunner, that's a big, big problem. There were too many skills

A symptom of the issue above. The Witcher and CPRed - Still too many damn skills!
 

Chromie

Explorer
This is true.

The problem is that it was also a bit of lightning in a bottle, and in my opinion it is apparent that Pondsmith doesn't really get what it is about CP2020 that tickles the fanbases funny bone.

Much like what has happened with Vampire the Masquerade... The fanbase likes it to do x, the IP owner to do y, and the more that y gets pushed, the more the fanbase dwindles.

VtM used to be The #2 RPG behind D&D. Now days? VtM5e is lucky if people even know a new edition is out...

The CP3e trainwreck was a good wake up call for Pondsmith, but it obviously wasn't the eye opener to the games fanbase that it should have been for him.



A symptom of the issue above. The Witcher and CPRed - Still too many damn skills!
This really just sounds like grognards complaining about edition frankly.

VtM would constantly devolve into Vampire Mercs in so many games. Hunger and humanity being a much bigger deal and harder to manage is so much fun to me as a GM. Frankly, it’s a better game to me.

Same with RED, I enjoyed 2020 but jesus did it take work. I prefer the more gamey approach to the simulation though but I just do not understand how it is harder to run. ESPECIALLY Netrunning and the setting of 2045 really makes the desperation and trying to exist become such strong themes in any campaign. RED is constantly showing up in best selling on Drivethrurpg, is now officially supported in Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 with an excellent Foundry adaptation. So I ask, is it really people crying about an older system that is still printed they can go play?

Hell, RED has the benefits of Cyberpunk 2077 and the Edgerunners anime, which R. Tal has said has driven sales.
 

VtM would constantly devolve into Vampire Mercs in so many games. Hunger and humanity being a much bigger deal and harder to manage is so much fun to me as a GM. Frankly, it’s a better game to me.
When I was running VtM back in the day, I never knew if I was going to be GMing Commando, Near Dark, or Interview with the Vampire in any given session.

Same with RED, I enjoyed 2020 but jesus did it take work. I prefer the more gamey approach to the simulation though but I just do not understand how it is harder to run. ESPECIALLY Netrunning and the setting of 2045 really makes the desperation and trying to exist become such strong themes in any campaign. RED is constantly showing up in best selling on Drivethrurpg, is now officially supported in Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 with an excellent Foundry adaptation. So I ask, is it really people crying about an older system that is still printed they can go play?

Hell, RED has the benefits of Cyberpunk 2077 and the Edgerunners anime, which R. Tal has said has driven sales.

Though it's been a very long time since I've played 2020 (the last time, well, that was still a date far in the future), I've really been enjoying reading Red and am looking forward to running it. While I am in agreement that it could do with a winnowing of the skills list (but I pretty much always think that), I don't think it's horrifically egregious. It's only 20 or so more than Call of Cthulhu and D&D 3e (including the subcategories for Craft, Knowledge, Perform, and Profession, which are admittedly somewhat nebulous).
 

Jaeger

That someone better
Same with RED, I enjoyed 2020 but jesus did it take work. I prefer the more gamey approach to the simulation though but I just do not understand how it is harder to run. ESPECIALLY Netrunning

Nobody is saying it's "harder" to run vs CP2020.

As was said in a previous post; in many ways CPRed was a step in the right direction. (Netrunning is a good example)

The "Grognard's Lament" here is that considering all the development time CP Red has had, it still had systematic issues on release.

Again, don't believe me; Seth Skorkowsky breaks it down in his Youtube review of the game.

My point is this:

When you say that you have worked on a game for x number of years; Why must I still Un-Bork your system when it hits my table?

I'm just over making excuses for sloppy game design.

Are CPRed and the Witcher playable? Yes.

Could they have been better? Also Yes. (Much, much better in The Witchers case...)


RED is constantly showing up in best selling on Drivethrurpg, is now officially supported in Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 with an excellent Foundry adaptation. So I ask, is it really people crying about an older system that is still printed they can go play?

Hell, RED has the benefits of Cyberpunk 2077 and the Edgerunners anime, which R. Tal has said has driven sales.

This simply highlights what 1-2e VtM, and what Shadowrun has also demonstrated through 6 subsequent editions: If people like a games Concept/Lore enough; they are generally willing to put up with, or ignore mechanical system issues, to play the game.

That being said: I do not begrudge R.Tal one single penny of the money they are getting off of the IP's demonstrable success. It is hard enough to make money in RPG land as it is. R.Tal has every right to rake in all the cash that they can.
 

Elodan

Adventurer
This really just sounds like grognards complaining about edition frankly.

VtM would constantly devolve into Vampire Mercs in so many games. Hunger and humanity being a much bigger deal and harder to manage is so much fun to me as a GM. Frankly, it’s a better game to me.

Same with RED, I enjoyed 2020 but jesus did it take work. I prefer the more gamey approach to the simulation though but I just do not understand how it is harder to run. ESPECIALLY Netrunning and the setting of 2045 really makes the desperation and trying to exist become such strong themes in any campaign. RED is constantly showing up in best selling on Drivethrurpg, is now officially supported in Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 with an excellent Foundry adaptation. So I ask, is it really people crying about an older system that is still printed they can go play?

Hell, RED has the benefits of Cyberpunk 2077 and the Edgerunners anime, which R. Tal has said has driven sales.
Our group never played 2020. We played several sessions of Red before the organization of the books (or lack there of) and the clunkiness of the rules killed our enthusiasm for the system (not the genre).
 

A symptom of the issue above. The Witcher and CPRed - Still too many damn skills!
I'll be the lone voice of dissent here and state that there literally dozens of us out in the gaming community who do not think fewer skills = better game. Just saying! I much prefer my BRP/CoC/GURPS/old school Interlock systems to contemporary streamlined and flavorless/skill-less systems whenever possible.
 

Jaeger

That someone better
I'll be the lone voice of dissent here and state that there literally dozens of us out in the gaming community who do not think fewer skills = better game. Just saying! I much prefer my BRP/CoC/GURPS/old school Interlock systems to contemporary streamlined and flavorless/skill-less systems whenever possible.

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MGibster

Legend
I'll be the lone voice of dissent here and state that there literally dozens of us out in the gaming community who do not think fewer skills = better game. Just saying! I much prefer my BRP/CoC/GURPS/old school Interlock systems to contemporary streamlined and flavorless/skill-less systems whenever possible.
For me, it's not just about the numbers themselves but about how the skills fit into the game. Cyberpunk 2020 had separate skills for submachine gun and rifle which I thought was unnecessary. It also had a slew of skills like botany, accounting, anthropology, physics, and mathematics which you were unlikely to ever need in a typical game. To Cyberpunk Red's credit, they combined submachine gun and rifle into shoulder arms but now there's a separate skill called autofire you use to fire anything fully automatic (except heavy weapons maybe). And while they still have accounting, they did get rid of anthropology at least.

This really just sounds like grognards complaining about edition frankly.
I was a huge fan of Cyberpunk 2020 back in the day, but I full acknowlege that the game had a great deal of faults and I was really looking forward to Red when it was announced. Even with all its flaws, I'd rather play 2020 than Red. It's just not a very well put together game, and considering they started with 2020 I don't understand how they could have made things worse.
 

darjr

I crit!
A second sneak peak has been dropped.

The First World: Nakatsukuni
It’s hard to believe this is where it all started. Looking at the peaceful streets and the vibrant life it’s hard to imagine a time when this world was burning away to oblivion. To imagine great armies of humans and spirits waging a hopeless war against a corrupted deity employing once-peaceful creatures, twisted into a horde of mindless monsters, to collect souls for a traitorous Afterlife.

 

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