Saturday, December 26, 2009

Where It All Began

NOTE: This post is copied over from my other blog which I had originally created as a place to build and share Trevail, my D&D gameworld.  Once I hatched the idea to create a cyberpunk-inspired ruleset, I felt it deserved it's own home, and thus is born Retro-Cyberpunk.


So, welcome!  I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labors...


I hate it when I get an idea in my head and it WON'T GO AWAY. I always loved the idea of Shadowrun - and yes, I know a lot of people hate it just as much, if not more. But for me, the meshing of fantasy - magic & monsters, elves & dwarves - with cyberpunk - guns, cyborgs and virtual reality - just ROCKS. I played a bit on and off while in college. We were playing mostly 2nd Ed. AD&D and needed a break, so switched to Shadowrun for variety. We loved it, but the rules? Meh. Too much a change from what we were used to, I guess.


So now we fast-forward to 2009 and The Rise of the Retro-clones. The OSR is in full swing. I've fallen back to Classic D&D rather than the newer, more complex versions, and play around with Swords & Wizardry, too. Did I mention in an earlier post how much I love the simple elegance of S&W? I did, didn't I.


This is when the bug bites me. The OSR doesn't have a cyberpunk clone yet. Maybe it doesn't need one, but there it is. Obviously, somebody needs to write that puppy - so I'm stepping up. It will be a looooong process, I know, but I think it will be fun (mostly) and worth while in the long run.

Using Swords & Wizardry White Box Edition as my base, I need to first write a cyberpunk variation on the ruleset. Some of the things that need to be worked up include guns, cybernetics, computer hacking stuff, and some basic vehicle rules. For inspiration and research, I'm slowly working through the original - Cyberpunk 2020 - as well as Shadowrun (2nd Ed), GURPS Cyberpunk and even a bit of d20 Modern. I'm re-reading some William Gibson, too. Oh yeah, and watching Blade Runner at some point.




THEN, after the basic Cyberpunk/Modern rules are done, I'll need to put all that back together with the fantasy of base S&W. For the proper Shadowrun feel, I'll need to add in some additional new magic rules - most importantly Astral Space and a drain-based spell casting system.

So there it is. It will be a long, tedious process but I think it can be done. S&W has proven itself to be adaptable to other genres - look at Mike "MikeD" Davison's Ruins & Ronin, David "grubman" Bezio's X-plorers or Michael "chgowiz" Shorten's The Seige Perilous - Ultima RPG. There are also "in the works" things (poke around S&W's forums page) for a superheros conversion (Hideouts & Hoodlums), Westerns (Fantasy Wild West) and pulp science fiction (Anacreon Zeta). Some projects are further along than others, sure, but they still show the flexibility of the system.


Wish me luck! I'll be posting bits here and at the S&W forums for comments and vetting.


If anyone cares to comment, I'll initially ask one question. How should these rules be released? I see three options to choose from.
1) Offer the generic cyberpunk supplement (no magic or fantasy elements) first. It will be compatible with S&W, obviously, so people can add the bits they like from it into whatever modern or cyberpunk-esque game they want to run. Then follow that with the "full" Shadowrun clone version.
2) Offer it as a cyberpunk supplement and put in the magic rules in as optional, in an appendix or something.
3) Just go all out and do the thing as SR right from the start, with the fantasy fully integrated. People who don't want the magic bits can still use what they do like.


S&W: Cyberpunk first, or go right to Mages & Megacorps? Thoughts?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Designation of Open Gaming Content

Throughout the upcoming months, I will be using this blog as an avenue for the introduction of rules and information pertaining to the development of my Cyberpunk retro-clone.

That content will be clearly designated as Open Game Content, and therefore released under the terms of the Open Game License, Version 1.0a as detailed below.
OPEN GAME CONTENT
Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of the Open Game License Version 1.0a (OGL).
This entire work is designated as Open Game Content under the OGL, with the exception of the trademarks “cyber74,” “Sixth World,” and “Feral Heifer Games,” and with the exception of all artwork. These trademarks, and the Trade Dress of this work (font, layout, style of artwork, etc.) are reserved as Product Identity.
OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a
The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc ("Wizards"). All Rights Reserved.
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2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may be added to or subtracted from this License except as described by the License itself. No other terms or conditions may be applied to any Open Game Content distributed using this License.
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15. COPYRIGHT NOTICE
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, John D. Rateliff, Thomas Reid, James Wyatt, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Modern System Reference Document Copyright 2002, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy Collins, and JD Wiker.
Labyrinth Lord Copyright Daniel Proctor, 2007-2009.
Mutant Future Copyright 2008, Daniel Proctor and Ryan Denison.
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