Cyberpunk RPGs Since 2017 Week 1

With my look at the TTRPGs published in ten years ago, I’ve moved on to another list: Cyberpunk. I’ve pulled together a list of 75 or so cyberpunk core systems, reskins, or major sourcebooks for games produced since 2017. I’ll be briefly going through those in alphabetical order. I thought about doing chronological order, but it’s a small span of time. This list will build on my earlier History of Cyberpunk RPG which went up to 2016.

2084 (2020)
A setting sourcebook for the Spanish generic rpg, Hitos. Hitos has sourcebooks for Crime, Supernatural Mysteries, Westerns, and more. Each of these seem to be half-sourcebook, half-module, like a Savage Worlds supplement.

This game is focused on an oppressive, dystopian future following a Third World War which left much of the Earth uninhabitable. Survivors were gathered into institutions which have total control over the citizenry. It’s a little off-tone for me as it seems to have the United Nations as the villainous overlords oppressing the populace which echoes right-wing conspiracy stuff too much to make me comfortable.

2400: Various
@JasonT has created a really sharp simple sci-fi rpg. It has a PWYW core rules set and a bunch of smart little setting releases. Several are cyberpunk or adjacent: Codebreakers, a Matrix-inspired setting of breaking out of the simulation; Inner System Blues, is a retro-future gritty world; Data Loss, has you dying again & again and coming back with a little less each time; Resistors, where you play activist hackers against the corps.

I dig that Jason tweaks these games regularly and offers several formats. Plus there’s a great bundle of all of these campaign frames available.

Aetherium (2019)
Not a crypto-currency. This is based on a “skirmish level miniatures board game set in a cyber-mindscape where the world changes with the will of the players.” That’s fairly well rated on BGG. Ironically, when I went to look at their website for info, I couldn’t as there’s WordPress error on their website.

The game itself seems to be focused on hacking and creating objects within this virtual world. There’s some interesting ideas here about artificially generated scarcity and the VR world being used as a means of control. They have a few adventures as well as a GM screen available. The interior layout and design looks exactly as you’d imagine a present day slick, clean cyberpunk-flavored game to appear.

Android: Shadow of the Beanstalk (2018)
A sourcebook for the Genesys System, there’s also The Worlds of Android, which is a system agnostic sourcebook recommended in A:SotB. I’m unsure how much information duplicates between them. This is FFG’s cyberpunk IP, originally from a series of boardgames and then notably adapted as the background for their now canceled LCG.

It wants to have a Blade Runner vibe– the original boardgame was a neo-noir detective story. But the setting’s more expansive and glam than that, though you can still see some influences (like the Bioroids). I know that on these lists I’ll be poking fun at some of the layouts, ones that follow an obvious look. Android kind of falls into that category, but it does it well– a combination of strong text design and amazing and consistent illustrations.

It’s a great resource for games like these to have a large body of existing illustrations (see also recent L5R editions). That’s perhaps where the gap between Blade Runner’s aesthetic and this one occurs. There’s images of what’s supposed to be the underworld– people and places– but they’re all smooth and clean.

If you’re looking for a fully-realized setting sourcebook to set a cyberpunk campaign. This one is pretty decent– lots of ideas and room to play, both on Earth and beyond. It’s a kitchen sink, low punk approach, but it is well developed.

Augmented Reality (2017), November Metric (2017), Dystopian Dreams (2019)
I want to use the entry for Augmented Reality to highlight a couple of other sourcebooks (for existing systems) which wouldn’t otherwise make this list. These latter two offer really interesting world building and are super useful to mine for ideas for anyone running cyberpunk.

Augmented Reality is a system-agnostic book of tables of random elements (jobs, people, smells, businesses). It’s an amazing inspirational resource. The first version had some problematic terms and ideas, but the author made changes.

November Metric is a citybook for The Sprawl (2016). It has amazing world-building and is filled with cities around the globe. The various authors come at them from different perspectives but all offer great hooks and background elements.

Dystopian Dreams is a sourcebook for Headspace (2016). Its material is a lot more baked into its particular setting, but it remains a great and useful sourcebook for distinct locations with their own plots, vibe, and voice.