Programming 105: It Ain't Over 'til the Fat Lady Sings!

Programming 105: It Ain’t Over ’til the Fat Lady Sings!

Faceless Hunter
CLASS: Anti-Personnel COST: 15,250eb
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Personnel, Disguise
OPTION(S): Movement Ability, Trace, Auto Re-Rezz, Recognition, Invisibility, Memory, Speed, Endurance, Pseudo-Intellect, Superrealistic icon
COST MULTIPLIER: x25 (Anti-Personnel x25)
ICON: A silver humanoid figure with no facial or sexual features to distinguish it. However, with its Disguise function it can assume the structure of any program or form of any netrunner it has come across in its past.
DATA: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Unfortunately, with a Faceless Hunter after you, you’ll never know which is which. Continue reading “Programming 105: It Ain't Over 'til the Fat Lady Sings!”

Defending CP2020

Many people think that Cyberpunk 2020 is outdated, because the game makes assumptions on the future that – meanwhile – have proven to be wrong.

That’s okay. Let them. They are right.

But: What can be done about that? There are three basic “roads” open to “revamp” or adjust Cyberpunk 2020 to keep it up with the pace of technology and society:

  1. Ignore the problem. Hey, to err is human. To ignore is divine. You can just say that Cyberpunk 2020 follows a timeline that may have been our own up until nineteen80something. But which went another way since then. This way you can just stick with the oversized mobile phones and the huge “computer in a suitcase” stuff from CP2020. Our world went iPod. CP2020 went Cyber. Deal with it – by not dealing with it.
  2. Revamp the system. This is the Cyb3rpunk way to go: Either redo the whole system (or use the HARDWIRED setting instead, which is less of a contradiction to our “real here and now”) or – if you don’t want to trash your ongoing CP2020 campaign – move the timeline ahead 5-10 years and use this “gap” to place historical events that explain the change in the setup (you can use the articles tagged “cyb3rpunk” on this website for inspiration).
  3. Use your imagination, dammit! “So a mobile phone costs over a hundred eb and still looks rather huge in CP2020? Well, players, of course you can have a sleek mobile phone for free from one of the corporations – but I thought we were playing CYBERPUNK here. And Edgerunners sure are paranoid, so they use “overexpensive” (and dead-ugly) mobile phones from a small manufacturer in some far-away land that doesn’t sell out its customers to the IRS and the LEDiv.” This third road is somewhat a mix of the 1st and 2nd way to handle “contradictions”. It’s not the most elegant (that would be totally revamping the setting) nor the most time-efficient (that would be to ignore everything), but it takes “the best of both worlds”. The only thing you have to do is take a fresh look at CP2020 tech and gear and make up explanations for seemingly (key word!) incorrect prices and stats. Memory Unit seem too small? “That’s 1 MU for Data PLUS the necessary encryption or license attachment”. Laptop computer seem too huge? “That’s because in 2020 you need extra powerful radio transmitters to cut through all the electronic smog”/”That’s including acid rain protection”/”That’s the model of the only independent manufacturer left in the ISA”/”That’s pimp style, because size DOES matter”.

Have fun!

Programming 104

Programming 104

Hit Man
CLASS: Anti-Personnel COST: 10,500eb
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Personnel
OPTION(S): Movement Ability, Recognition, Invisibility, Endurance, Superrealistic icon
COST MULTIPLIER: x25 (Anti-Personnel x25)
ICON: A well dressed gentleman in a black or navy blue suit, a white, gray, or baby blue dress shirt, a black tie and shoes, and a pair of mirrorshades.
DATA: This program was an inspiration after a rogue hunter/bounty hunter tried to flatline me and my crew during a netrun to Afrikani. He was good, real good! But like Icebreaker says, “There is safety in numbers especially when the enemy doesn’t know when they’re there.” Hit Man can be programmed with the necessary data it needs to kill it’s intended target as well as containing a short message. It will attack from teh shadows of the ‘net and do 1d10 points of neural damage to the drekhead until it’s dispatched or the ‘runner is dispatched. Either way, someone or somethin’ is gonna die!
CLASS: Anti-Personnel COST: 9,750eb
PROGRAMMING: 234 DIFFICULTY: 39 Continue reading “Programming 104”

PROGRAMMING 103: Might makes right

Might makes right

CLASS: Anti-Personnel COST: 6,750eb
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Personnel
OPTION(S): Superrealistic Icon
COST MULTIPLIER: x25 (Anti-Personnel x25)
ICON: The Icon can vary depending upon the netrunner’s taste, but will always represent a pistol from the induction of such a weapon until the present (CP2020) time.
DATA: Does 1d6 points of neural damage. This program will hold from eight to eighteen charges (dependent upon the icon you choose) before it has to be reloaded. One shot will be fired with each pull of the trigger; therefore, doing damage for each bullet.
Submachine Gun
CLASS: Anti-Personnel COST: 7,000eb
STRENGTH: 3 Continue reading “PROGRAMMING 103: Might makes right”

PROGRAMMING 102: Return of the Professional Soldier

PROGRAMMING 102: Return of the Professional Soldier

CLASS: Anti-Compiler COST: 1,400eb
STRENGTH: 4 against compilers; 2 against other programs MU: 5
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Compiler
OPTIONS: Invisibility; Endurance; Superrealistic ICON
COST MULTIPLIER: x4 (Anti-Compiler x4)
ICON: A medium-built male dressed in a black ninja uniform with a ninja-to slung over his shoulder.
DATA: Like a thief in the night, it enters your cyberdeck, and kills your compiler programs and leaves. If there are no compilers in your deck, it assaults all other programs. It moves invisibly and doesn’t give up until its recalled or deleted.
CLASS: Anti-Compiler COST: 1,360eb
STRENGTH: 6 against compilers; 3 against other programs MU: 5
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Compiler Continue reading “PROGRAMMING 102: Return of the Professional Soldier”



Fire Support
CLASS: Anti-Program COST: 1,120eb
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Program
OPTION(S): Superrealistic ICON
ICON: A battery of three 240mm howitzers
DATA: In a bind? That Anti-Personnel program about to flatline you? Not to worry, just call in some fire support. Go ahead. The other ‘runners are doin’ it. So should you! This program enters the main processing module of the target and enters error statements into the routine.
CLASS: Compiler COST: 1,400eb
FUNCTION(S): Compiler [Demon] Continue reading “PROGRAMMING 101: KA-BOOM!!”

Hardwired für Cyberpunk2020

Im Laufe der Jahre, die ich Cyberpunk2020 spiele, bin ich immer wieder über das Quellenbuch HARDWIRED gestolpert. Blätterte es durch. Fand die Illus mäßig. Und legte es weg, da es nicht zu meiner laufenden Cyberpunk 2020 Runde in Night City passte (was vor allem daran liegt, dass es Night City bei HARDWIRED nicht gibt).

Inzwischen hatte ich Gelegenheit, den Roman HARDWIRED von Walter Jon Williams zu lesen. Und in Folge meiner Begeisterung auch gleich das HARDWIRED Buch für Cyberpunk 2020 als PDF bei Drivethru zu ziehen ( ).

Mein Fazit: HARDWIRED (Roman und Quellenbuch) ist Pflichtlektüre für CP2020 Fans. Und das liegt vor allem an folgenden Facetten:

HARDWIRED: Roman und Setting

Im Gegensatz zum sehr Achtziger-beeinflussten Cyberpunk2020 Grundsetting ist das Setting von HARDWIRED sowohl zeitloser als auch aktueller als auch “fokussierter”: Wie es sich für ein Cyberpunk-Setting gehört, ist die Welt am Arsch. Im Falle von HARDWIRED haben mächtige internationale Interessengemeinschaften den Orbit übernommen und die Erdstaaten in einem Steinbrockenkrieg faktisch entmachtet. Continue reading “Hardwired für Cyberpunk2020”

Netrunning – can it be salvaged?

The Net in 2020

[Netrunning is probably the part of Cyberpunk 2020 which troubles the GM most. It’s neither very realistic, nor does it work fast. It also forces the GM to either focus on the netrunner OR on the rest of the party. James tries a more realistic approach, which might be more in tune with todays internet, but also requires a deeper technical understanding of the working of the internet.]

Author: James Lownie

This is a description of the basic features of the internet as it *may* function in 2020 (or any near future setting, see assumptions). It is intended as a framework upon which detailed rules can be built, and also as guide for players to understand how their characters will use the net, and what they can do on it. Comments and constructive criticism are eagerly awaited. Continue reading “Netrunning – can it be salvaged?”

Cyberpunk Tech 7

human brain / computer interfaceIn my little series of Cybepunk tech allready available today: The brain-computer interface. The very core of every cyberpunk book – the ability to plug yourself into the matrix.

Well, today you can use it to surf Second Life. Second life is NOT the virtual reality I imagined reading Neuromancer, but some like it there:

All a user has to do to control his/her avatar is imagine performing various movements. The activity monitored by the headpiece is read and plotted by an electroencephalogram, which relays it to a computer running a brain wave analysis algorithm that interprets the imagined movements. A keyboard emulator then translates the data into signals which can be used to control the movements of the user’s on-screen avatar in real-time.

As usual, boing-boing has the details (including a link to a video)

Botnet Storm punishes its enemies

The first evil computer program that defends itself. Its so cool!

The worm can figure out which users are trying to probe its command-and-control servers, and it retaliates by launching DDoS attacks against them, shutting down their Internet access for days, says Josh Korman, host-protection architect for IBM/ISS, who led a session on network threats.

As you try to investigate [Storm], it knows, and it punishes, he says. It fights back.

As a result, researchers who have managed to glean facts about the worm are reluctant to publish their findings. They’re afraid. I’ve never seen this before, Korman says. They find these things but never say anything about them.

And not without good reason, he says. Some who have managed to reverse engineer Storm in an effort to figure out how to thwart it have suffered DDoS attacks that have knocked them off the Internet for days, he says.

As researchers test their versions of Storm by connecting to Storm command-and-control servers, the servers seem to recognize these attempts as threatening. Then either the worm itself or the people behind it seem to knock them off the Internet by flooding them with traffic from Storm’s botnet, Korman says.

Source: Networkworld