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Cyberpunk’s new equipment book is smart satire on the future of American gun culture

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cyberpunk redtabletop prequel cyberpunk 2077, knows a thing or two about ranged combat. Set along the ruined, smoking shores of the West Coast in the year of our masters 2045, it’s a nostalgic American hellscape polluted with nuclear fallout, a city-state crippled by late-stage capitalism, and a literal home to the most high-tech It is a battle field. class war the worst ever conceived by mankind. So yes, there are guns – lots of guns – and a rule-set that deals expertly with them.

But, like the makers of any truly great tabletop role-playing game, the developers at R. Talsorian Games know that their primary task is to water its world with potential narrative hooks and cryptic backstories. Its latest offering, black chrome, fulfills it in spades. It’s more than just a “tech and style guide” For cyberpunk red, At its core, this tool book is actually a stunning rebuttal of, among other things, our nation’s ascendant gun culture. It’s also an excellent starting point for new players looking for a fun, thematic romp through a neon-soaked near future that doesn’t have their best interests in mind.

So what does a sarcastic firearm look like on the page? The weapons in this book are more than just piles of data. Like the Eye and the Hand of Vecna ​​in Dungeons & Dragons, each gun in this book has a backstory, or ability. For A backstory that should easily provide fuel for astute game masters and eager players alike. Here are just a few examples:

  • The Arasaka Prototype Variable Assault Rifle is your average excellent-quality rifle, but attach the right set of aftermarket conversion parts and you’ve got the combat railgun of your future. The gun takes into account the issues surrounding the modern-day auto sear switch, which turns ordinary handguns into submachine guns.
  • The Georgia Arms Matchmaker, which is actually a hodgepodge of plumbing supplies, turned into a single-use firearm. “Designed by dissidents,” as the description reads, it is easy to see how such a weapon evokes modern-day concerns over so-called “ghost guns,” themselves weapons of war that are currently just A 3D printer is one click away from hitting the streets.

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An AR-style assault rifle with an underslung loudspeaker.  From Black Chrome, a Tool Book for Cyberpunk Raid.

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Image: R Talsorian Games

  • Pursuit Security Incorporated Crowd Buster, which combines a public address system with an assault weapon with the stated goal of “dispersing large, unruly crowds”.
  • The Gunsmart Engage Rocket Launcher, which follows the same logic as putting AR-15-style rifles in the hands of deer hunters to evoke a future where armor-piercing anti-tank weapons are available at the local Walmart Are.

A pink plastic machine pistol that says Hello Cutie on the side.  From Black Chrome to Cyberpunk Red.

Image: R Talsorian Games

  • The Sanroo Hello Cutie Ultra-K8 Assault Pistol has a self-cooling barrel and an audio playback feature that can mask the user’s voice with “selectable anime filters”. The “frightening small machine pistol” was banned by the Japanese government “after a mass shooting incident”. Now, the bright pink weapon — which makes you laugh when you reload it — can be found in Night City for a good price if you have the right connections.
  • Tommyknocker, an overpowered combination of pistol and shotgun that presents as modern-day tactics—cool, but is actually so cumbersome that it will regularly fly out of your hand if you fire it with one hand .
  • And finally, the E-Tech Public Defender. This Little Cop Overstock Includes a Taser And A ballistic pistol is mounted on a single grip. Would you believe it was “discontinued due to the difficulty of mentally switching between the two modes in combat conditions”?

Imagine killing a bunch of 1st level players with this type of subtly cursed weapon. Instead of expecting them to go in firearms, Game Masters is likely to have a more cautious group of players, thanks to black chrome, But they’ll have many more stories to tell – and potential hooks for the morally ambiguous adventures needed to upgrade or enhance their kit.

Maybe the firepower of the first early game will inspire players to go looking for parts. But what part of themselves will they have to sacrifice in order to upgrade? Many of the items in this book answer that question directly, because they require That players give up their precious human points to integrate with the most demanding technology.

black chrome full of internal contradictions and sophie’s choice-As he deals with many devils. It’s a complex book for complex characters, and it’s R.J. Might be one of the best new products Talsorian has yet released for its marquee TTRPG franchise.

black chrome Available now, both online and from local retailers. Book Review was done with a pre-release digital copy provided by R. Talsorian Games. Vox Media is an affiliated partnership. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. You can find Additional information about Play Gamez’s ethics policy here,

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