Whartson Hall plays Cyberpunk 2020


There are some games that we take relatively seriously. And, er, yes. Technology of the FUTURE, folks!

Session 0 - Long-Distance Countryside Bums: Character generation in the dark future of 2020. Which these days looks worryingly optimistic.

Session 1 - A Trip Up Your Own Well: Final bits of character generation, and we even start the adventure!

Session 2 - Come Down in the Gutter and Lick My Way of Life: Betrayal, murder, pool. Just another night in the City. Caution, may contain mallard genitalia.

Session 3 - Lightly Armoured Ball Gown: We try the combat system. HOW much damage?

Session 4 - A Learning Experience: How hard can it be to hit a guy with a car door? Or indeed to get out of a car? Or defuse a bomb? OK, that one may be quite hard.

Session 5 - Bringing a Missile to a Knife Fight: Leaving a trail of dead beautiful women like so many blown roses behind him…

Session 6 - My Clem Fandango is Clepwhackered: The real world is more advanced than the game world, but nonetheless some progress is made. As with so many adventures, it comes down to someone hanging around the docks…

Session 7 - Crowding Around the Ice Cream Cake: Bleed out on the docks, or set up a party in a luxury hotel? The somewhat murdery conclusion.

Session 8 - Subterfuge, But In A Murdery Way: A new job sees the team travel to a tropical paradise to pick up a sample of a new medical product. What could go wrong?


Fun fact: LDCB can also stand for Long Distance Consolidated Billing, which is apparently the name of a somewhat notorious scam company.

Is that going to be a theme for this campaign? What scam-name will you pick for the next episode?

El Gordo Spanish Sweepstake Loitering”?

419 Blaze It”?


“When I was posted in the Canal Zone, I discovered a cache of eb5,000,000 (five million eurodollars) in gold, plus two nuclear warheads…”


“People in former Soviet republics know about your sexual inadequacy”.


Very much hoping that Elvis-impersonator-gang warfare will become a recurring event or random encounter in the game. Heck, you could have an entire episode called No Man’s Graceland.


TANJ stands for ‘There Ain’t No Justice’, right? Perhaps Lordo could use TANKR as an expletive - it sounds like ‘tonker’, which is quite rude, and the acronym itself could mean ‘There Ain’t No Knob Rot’. (VX optional.)

Alternatively, every time you say ‘tonker’, you could claim you meant TONKR = There’s Only Neon Knob Rot.


Mentioned last night: I used to be a 200lb weakling – now I’m a 500lb killing machine. Full Body Prosthesis.


Session 1 - A Trip Up Your Own Well: Final bits of character generation, and we even start the adventure!

(art by David Brown and/or David Douglas)


Remember Roger’s excellent quote about how one ought to min-max the Empathy stat in Cyberpunk 2020?

It can even be condensed into a haiku, 5-7-5 style and all:

Be touchy-feely
Granola-eating poet
Arms are razor blades.


Not original to me, sorry.

It was like a whole generation of fluffy, touchy-feely, granola-eating poets all spontaneously decided to have all their limbs cut off an their eyes poked out so they could hit the mean streets and rob people with their gigantic guns and monoblade katanas. - David Brewer on CP2020

I don’t now remember where I read it.


With a player having such a wonderful piratical accent, the GM is guaranteed to be a very jolly Roger…

Wasn’t the cyber-future supposed to be Japanese, though? Surely, Cap’n Bang-Bang would be known as “Senchō Dondon” to his friends, or possibly “Kyaputen Pan-Pan”?

Heck, you could call him “Senchō Pan-Pan”, and get people to think you’re making a Don Quixote reference.


Reading the stuff now there’s a whole load more racism, sexism and especially toxic masculinity than I remember.


Following your recommendation, the wiki page on anthropodermic bibliopegy (what a phrase!) did, indeed, turn out to be quite interesting.

Then again, it also describes an Abraham Lincoln biography where part of its binding was “taken from the skin of a Negro”… 8-o


The toxic masculinity is I think what the RPG added to the cyberpunk equation. Certainly Gibson avoided it in the Sprawl Trilogy, although there may have been more in Walter Jon Williams’ Hard Wired (I don’t remember it as well as Gibson). The third pillar of early cyberpunk, Sterling’s Islands in the Net, did strike me as shockingly misogynistic given that it had a female protagonist, but I only read it once about 30 years ago when I was in high school, so I may not have interpreted it properly.


I reread Neuromancer recently and it didn’t stand up well. The only significant female character is tough on the outside, broken on the inside, and exists mostly for the protagonist to sleep with, but not in a y’know soft way, and to be victimised. Uh-huh.


Session 2 - Come Down in the Gutter and Lick My Way of Life: Betrayal, murder, pool. Just another night in the City. Caution, may contain mallard genitalia.


That’s quite the episode title; and I think your caution is the same one McDonald’s use on their McNuggets.


None more punk.


As you can see, the new skin treatment is working well.


A cyberpunk snack spread might not contain Twiglets, but Pocky exists in such an infinite array of flavours, you could probably find one that tastes similar.

Or what about Bōkun Habanero? They’re spicy potato rings that contain yeast extract, so they’re practically the same thing, right? :wink: