By - AlienGhost2521
As was pointed out earlier, your players' characters are not heroes. They're probably not even anti-heroes. They're grist for the mill, fodder for the great machine that is life in Night City. If they're very lucky, they might make one small cog in the machine snap a tooth, but more likely they'll be chewed up and spat out.
Life is nasty, brutish, short, and cheap. If the characters aren't nihilists, they're cynics. Idealism and cock-eyed optimism are poor survival traits for the Street. Principles and codes of honor are not ironclad, they're high tensile steel: hard, durable, but very flexible. The guy who backed your play last week will cheerfully sell you out to your enemies the next. A genuinely decent human being will probably be shot, stuffed, and put on display in a museum with a tag that reads "Extinct in the wild."
As a suggestion, read up on or binge watch all the film noir and cyberpunk cinema or TV series you can lay your hands on. Learn to smile when setting up your players for the long con. Practice looking shocked when they try to punch above their weight when picking a fight and the dice flatline them. A short list of "must watch/read" which will help you out:
* *Strange Days*
* *Hotel Artemis*
* *The Way of The Gun*
* *When Gravity Fails*
* *L.A. Confidential* (film and book; the book is far more twisted)
* *Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia!*
* *The Ostermann Weekend*
I was looking for some summer reading anyways, thanks.
I would like to add the following films to the list.
* *Dredd* (2012 - the Karl Urban one, not the Stallone one)
* *RoboCop* (the original and/or the 2014 reboot)
* and of course *Blade Runner*
Read "don't prep plots" essay from the Alexandrian
This looks great, thanks
Let your players do crazy stuff. Sure there are sometimes heavy repercussions, but being an edgerunner is about taking it to 11. They may die, but that's how you become a legend. Be sure to reward with FP and gear as appropriate for successes!
Ok, character creation is this tuesday, i'll make sure to have them at least start ideaing on a backup character.
Hahaha the point was more take character aspects to 11 and be ballsy but that is a good idea. Funny enough my group is 20-30 sessions in and the Nomad has almost died 4 times, but also pills off some of the craziest stunts whereas our solo is an edgelord sword only user and rarely gets hit. He also gets the least extra fp for how bland he plays his character.
nr.1, have fun...or else...
nr.2 make sure the players understand its not DnD, and they are not heroes, and might die a meaningless death, and that's part of the experience.
nr.3, as a gm, try and make your plots and characters have some moral dilemma of some sort or do similar things, it helps build to the vibe of "cyberpunk" especially when the players are forced to choose between two bad options.
nr.4 read the book 10 times and learn everything in depth(you don't really have to do this, but i recommend it)
Some basic advice:
It's really easy to die. You can also read it as "it's really easy to kill players".Play it extra safe if it's your first time.
IP and skills are secondary. What really gives power to the players are the eddies. Be careful with the rewards, even more than in DnD.
Time=money. Therapy "costs" a week in game. Healing "costs" days. Having surgery for new implants too. But the rent is always due. Don't force your players to go on a mission if they are not on full HP but keep tracks of the days.
Last but not least, cyberpunk is about style over substance. If one of your players wants to try something crazy (stupid), let them at least try!
For new GMs, the NPC stats in the book can be really slow. Use Combat Numbers for your filler mooks instead of full stat blocks. Jon Jon the Wise, a Cyberpunk youtuber, has some great example of some boiler plate enemies. Rather than having a full stat block, just give them one bonus for the things they are intended to be good at and be doing. Got an NPC with a shotgun? Hes got a +10 to shotguns. Got an NPC with a SMG? Hes got +10 to SMG. Got an NPC with a handgun and is supposed to be a brawler? Give him +10. You can use an appropriate bonus for their difficulty.
Here is the video that Jon Jon goes over it: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH9S5GWKr1g](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH9S5GWKr1g)
The mook stats he has I think are a little low. So feel free to give them a little more armor, health, or skill bonus if they are too squishy.
Have fun! Its a great system!
Just skimmed it real quick, looks helpful. Thanks
Don't overplan. I just ran my second session last night, just a small one building surveillance job to get a scoop for a media contact. Well one botched mission later they're wanted by police and a corp for trespassing, espionage, and murder, so...yeah.
Even the smallest plan can get derailed and get a character killed, this definitely isn't the long trekking party adventure from my D&D games haha.
Overall I love the combat flow though, it's just...faster
Not having to spells alone should work wonders for speed in my group of newbies.
Just mentally swap "fireball" with "rocket launcher" and you'll be fine. :)
Don't try to learn/teach all the rules at once. Start with character creation, basic combat, and skills, then maybe next session add in critical injuries, then a later session for vehicle combat, etc. CPR is more crunchy than 5e because there's more to do, but it can be overwhelming for new players/DMs.
Alright, aftef that i'll try to teach as needed
I find that I have a lot more social encounters more than combat campared to DnD.
That'll be fun considering i can't do voices very well
Don't stress too much with voices. Just focus on what they are saying rather than how they say it. Once you are comfortable, just try shifting the tone of your voice a little. Talking with a corpo? Use lots of professional words and be straight laced. Talking to a drug dealer, use lots of slang and be laid back. Talking to malestrom, say some fucked up psychopathic erratic shit and be angry.
Exactly. Body language, tone of voice, vocabulary, etc. can convey a lot of personality. If the NPC has a funny-sounding voice and you can emulate it, great, that's a bonus. If not, just describe how it sounds and fall back on the above.
Be patient with yourself and your players, and ask the same patience of them as you all learn this game together. Expect that things will take a bit longer in the beginning as you all grapple with some of the quirks of a different system. Take note of the pain points and adjust as you prepare for sessions 2, 3, etc.
Jonjon made a good video to simplify baddies. May be useful to reduce concern about making fights.
Also the cyberpunk red app seems good to
For me, running Cyberpunk lends itself way better to seat-of-the-pants improvisation than D&D. Have a loose outline of the session ready, but don't overplan. You don't need to prep full stat blocks for everyone the PCs might meet.
Populate encounters with what makes sense, not what's "fair" or "balanced." Let the players figure out how to deal with it. Run the fights with no kid gloves - the NPCs want to live, too, and will do everything within their capabilities to win, or at least survive 'till next time.