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Micro Chrome
by Ehn J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2023 02:31:23

Hard to really review this, since it's just a couple of items. The items contained are good, with the smart lens being the real stand out, and for .50 cents, it's a solid purchase. Just nothing that makes it a must buy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Micro Chrome
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Black Chrome
by Ehn J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2023 02:29:18

Black Chrome is Cyberpunk RED's first big gear book, and it does a lot to not only expand play, but also the world at large.

The start of the book does a good job of both explaining the concepts of night markets (A concept touched upon in the core rules) along with explaining the ease of use that this book provides in making your own. There's a helpful display showing what information is being displayed, the explanation of new key words, and even a new mechanic that we'll get into later. Before I go into anything else, of particular note with this book is the layout. Most Cyberpunk books have a similar layout, but the way that the information is provided in Black Chrome is a stand out, and really helps sell the vibe. I really can't say enough nice things about it.

The start of the book isn't the strongest, as it's the apps section. A new mechanic and something to give one's agent more use, the majority of these apps lack useful mechanics aside from a few (the trauma team one is a personal favorite). It's easy to take these as a proof of concept, but I don't see most players getting a lot of use out of these on both a flavor or mechanical level.

Cyberware is next, and we now have a whole slew of budget options for players who don't want to shell out the money or GMs who don't want to turn NPCs into loot crates. In both situations, these budget items are great additions with some fun flavor implications to the world at large. There's also some neat new additions which allow you to determine your hit points in universe through some clever workaround. There's also a little something to make bullet dodging easier for players or a nice sidestep to GMs who want to make such actions harder.

One of the larger features of the cyberware section is cyberfingers, with most of them being generally useful tools. None of them pass the mildly interesting tier for me, but for some people, that's enough. But there's no new functionality that you're missing out on if you give them a pass, and a hand full of them is a dangerous way to drain your humanity quick (something that's hard enough to hang onto with all the cool stuff above).

Fashion and Armor is one of the highlights of the book to me, both for the creativity of the gear and the art showing it off. The descriptions are all lovely, and there's quite a few new pieces of gear in here which are both mechanically interesting as well as fitting to the greater lore of the world. This book would be worth the price alone for the mimic kit and mechaman smartglove, but unique effects like shocking grapplers, being fireproof, and even holographic clothing keep everything here incredibly interesting and great for player expression.

While I don't think the general gear section lives up to fashion, that's a high bar, and the items here include some very fun new things like a 3d printer, a portable gear repair station, and even a new net arch-less drone. There's a strong mix of utility and fun items here, and while some might never see play at your tables in the hands of players, they make great items for NPCs to really help with world building.

New linear frames are next, and for most of these, I just can't validate the cost. Most are based off of the Sigma Frame's increase to 12 body, with almost all of them able to be made into internal frames. But at the cost of a beta frame, the added utility they give doesn't feel worth it to me, as each one is running 5,000 EB and doesn't feel like their additions are adding 4,000 EB worth of value. This might be the area of the book that was the most of a letdown to me, but I think it's also because there's no middle ground between 1,000 EB and 5,000 EB in value, so any improvements to a sigma frame were going to push the cost up a lot.

Vehicles are our next stop, and this is another area in which the book shines. We don't even just get cars, there's a great selection of flying vehicles here too, and this is where the new mechanic I mentioned before comes into play, nomad access. While some vehicles may not be worth the listed nomad access levels, others are more than worth it, and the art for each vehicle presents them in a fashion that makes them all seem so cool. I don't want to pick out favorites here, but let's just say a lot of starting nomads are going to be looking at the Grundy. Also a hoverboard?!

And you knew we'd eventually land here, the weapons. These are more of a mixed bag than I would have liked, but at the same time, I can also say there's more hits than misses, including items to actually use the demolitions skill (which was tragically underlooked in value in the core rulebook). For being a weapon's section, there's a ton of tricky items in here that would be more at home in a spy kit than in a holster. Melee weapons start with a few new flavors of ignoring armor (but none topping the kendachi mono three), and quite a few new fist weapons with some neat tricks to them. Thrown weapons actually get some love here too, with boomerangs and tomahawks designed specifcally for throwing.

I think the sheer variety of guns is impressive here, all of them carving out unique niches for themselves. If I'm going to be honest though, my favorite are the purposefully bad ones, the guns that are given to street level doombas who won't stand a chance again a properly armed crew. Sure, things like the pepper shaker are great for autofire, but give me an overlord handcanon any day of the week. Combination weapons are a large theme of the book, with various combinations being displayed within. None of them would outdo a focused version of one of their components though.

But we're out of gear now, and into mechanics and flavor with an explanation of the economy of the system. This right here is great for people who aren't completely up on the lore, giving a snapshot of how to play out matters of finding or creating gear. It's all just amazing as a learning tool, and a great use of pages in a book like this.

It's hard to say what my favorite part of this book is, but the night markets are absolutely top three. Fun descriptions and ideas for unique night markets along with fixers (and stats to run them) make for what shines as a culmination of everything that we've seen in this book. The fixers are fun and unique, with their personalities being given for players along with the gear they'd normally carry and even advice on how to be invited to or join their night market for asipring fixers. Another one of those 'the book is worth it for this alone' moments in a book that's full of them.

So there's plenty of gear in this book that I wouldn ever touch, and yet I'm still 100% satisfied with what was contained within. Black Chrome fits the style of Cyberpunk along with providing way more worldbuilding than I'd have expected from a gear book. This is a book for players and GMs alike, and I can't suggest it enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Chrome
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Danger Gal Dossier
by Ehn J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2023 10:59:12

The Danger Gal Dossier was a very anticipated book for a lot of us in the community, as many gangs from previous editions have lacked much lore to them. Not like I can blame R. Tal for that, you only have so many pages, but this book sought to rectify that issue, and it did in spades. Maybe I wish it was another 50 pages long, but that's complaining about not getting enough of a good thing.

The book starts with a useful guide on how to use the NPCs and factions contained with in before getting into the meat of the book. Each group is given a very enlightneing opening page done in character as Danger Gal operatives to speak about the group's origins, goals, resources, and any other useful trivia to help run them better. It also provides a handy template for making your own factions in Night City, something that people interested in a book like this will certainly consider.

The majority of gangs and organizations (hard to call loose confederations of characters like 'edgerunners' a gang) along with smatterings of corporations are on display here, with each one being given care and consideration not only to their lore, but also their gear. The unique spread of weapons and other gear given to each NPC is very nice, although it is a shame that more from Black Chrome couldn't be used (understandable since anything listed here had to be reprinted), but even with that limitation and the sizeable amount of reprints from different supplementary material, most NPCs still stand out from both a gear and lore perspective.

2020 players and 2077 gamers will notice some familiar faces coming out to play, helping to better integrate people from either of those groups into the diverse world of Cyberpunk RED. I can say that from the lore and concepts given for each character that even a new GM should have a solid idea of how to run each character in a unique fashion. The care given to groups like The Bozos, Danger Gal's Puma Squad, and The Pirhanas especially are the kind that are rife with plot hooks out of the box, from scisms among clowns to interpersonal drama on the Puma Squad, and the Pihranas just all be pretty nutty.

Factions that most players will have in their game such as Trauma Team and NCPD were also given far more capable members than those suggested in the core rulebook, making what could have easily been a squash into a proper rumble. To segue here a bit, DGD also gives a higher tier of opposition in both the Boss (in which the core rules only had what I would call a lacking cyberpsycho) to 10 hardened mini bosses, 6 bosses, and even 3 hardened bosses (Crusher from the Maelstrom is a great example of a real combat monster). This is enough to challenge groups who may have not been intimidated by the CRB's offerings or even the DLC hardened opponents.

Astute readers will also notice what is a treasure trove of unique Tech Upgrades, or TUp, in this book. Plenty are on the more simple end like +4 skill chips, but others are more interesting, such as minor skill bonuses to different skills along with exotics getting +2 option slots. There's so much to pull from for this book, and tech players have a great place to see just how much more diverse they can make their new inventions.

All non CRB gear has been reprinted, including some ellusive items from MicroChrome, a little known piece of the game (with one of the items being reposted in the companion DLC). There's honestly a lot that I'm really glad to see, such as bicycles, junk ammo (great for mooks), and The Observer drone. Smart Lens was reprinted with a slight errata as well to make it not compatible with paired cyberware upgrades, so be aware of that if you're still sticking to the MicroChrome version.

One of the best parts of this are the NPC guidelines (which are guidelines and not hard rules [intended to be only taken as guidelines]), which give the parameters not only for what the concept of a hardened PC is (which can also be found in one of the DLC volumes, so it's not exclusive to this book), as well as the parameters for what makes someone a mook, lieutenant, mini-boss, or boss and the hardened variants of each. Just for clarity, these are just guidelines, not immutable rules, simply suggestions.

The book finishes off with what I consider to be a very charming one shot adventure known as The Incident, even if I knew it by another name first. It's a relatively straightforward adventure which helps introduce the PCs to at least one of the new characters introduced in this book along with a fun bit of investigation, getting to meet with one of the more unique subcultures inside of Night City, and threads that could easily lead themselves into another bit of the adventure.

I did like this book as a whole, but there were some things that I thought could have helped. A small tactics section for each group could have helped to give fights against them more of a unique feel to them, something that with only mostly CRB gear can be difficult. Gear diversity was also an issue, but considering all the gear is self contained, I can give that a pass. I do also feel as though as much as I enjoyed seeing the pregen characters in the edgerunner's section of the book, that group was given too much real estate, and I wish there could have been another faction or two in place of those characters, since the edgerunner group was probably my least favorite of the book while also being the largest at 17.

These are nitpicks though, and as a whole Danger Gal Dossier opens up so much lore to the world that if you enjoy Night City even a little bit, it's very much worth it to pick this up. Full five stars, seal of approval, and whatever else I can give it because the team knocked it out of the park, and they've left me incredibly excited for their next offering.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Danger Gal Dossier
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Cyberpunk RED Easy Mode
by Ehn J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2023 10:52:37

Cyberpunk RED easy mode is R. Tal's way to help people jump into the game. The book itself is decently lengthy for a free volume, and with it, you could run a very bare bones version of the system, meaning that it accomplishes its goal for helping people dip their toes into the mechanics and see if it's for them.

I will say that I don't love the structure of the book, as the beginning of it is quite a (trunkated) lore dump. We start with a primer for the theme and vibe of the game, only to lead into 8 pages of lore. Speaking as someone who can have problems getting into a new game, having this much lore tossed at me from what I'd consider the pick up and play book is daunting. It's all lore I like, I think it's well written, but I think it stifles the pacing of an initial read through, especially for prospective players. Even from a GM's point of view, there's a lot here that won't immediately add to how they run the game. A list of example media beforehand while putting the lore later in the book would have been a better way of helping people engage with the themes without bombarding them with the world at large.

Past that is a simplified rules set, but one that could be used well enough for the experience. It keeps it simple, snappy, and overall does a great job at replicating the feel of the game under a more limited scope. I feel like I could hand this off to a TTRPG newbie and come back with them asking few questions about the basic mechanics. There's a lot of mechanics that the players won't need to know, lessening the burden on them. A new GM might have issues with how much is being thrown at them though.

Lifepaths also make an appearance, and to me, these are for most pick up and play groups something I'd love to toss to them after their first game to get them invested. No complaints about it here, it's one of the more unique systems in the game, and I'm glad it made an appearance in the Easy Mode offering. Anything that helps show the unique values of the system is aces to me.

Along with a few maps, we get an adventure, Getting Paid. The adventure itself is very classic in its set up, has enough options to avoid being a straight point A to point B adventure, but I do worry that the amount of freedom in what can happen will be daunting to new GMs. To someone who knows how to run a game, they probably won't be tripped up, but I can see the large amount of variance in what the GM could do being too much for someone not used to TTRPGs. I believe a few more guiderails could have been helpful here.

As a whole, I consider this a solid introduction to the system as a whole, with only a few hiccups such as lore placement and an adventure that risks overwhelming new GMs being the only slight stumbling blocks here. But it's also free, so why not grab it anyways and decide for yourself?



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED Easy Mode
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Interface RED Volume 2
by Ehn J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2023 10:36:04

Interface RED Volume 2 is a nice collection of the previously released suppliments on the R. Talsorian website. To me, reviewing the stuff that's already publicly available isn't terribly interesting, so I'm going to be talking about the unique content. As a caveat, I really enjoyed all the reprinted stuff that isn't unique to this, but at the same time recognize that the unique content is the biggest selling point here aside from having it physical.

The main event here is the bioexotics packages, those that turn your on the street Edgerunner into those people from that one Batman Beyond episode. It's more than just surface level modding here, as each package also comes with the cyberware needed to not only be an animal (or devil/orc/better you), but to truly embody it. This does include some new cyberware exclusive to this volume, so if you're a completionist on having all the possible gear, it's worthwhille to pick it up on that alone.

Now speaking as a mechanical player, most packages are probably going to have something that you just won't care about. Rarely will a package be all vital, as most tend to include some cyberware that's more for flavor than anything else. That's to be expected, but it's worth knowing about before going in. Also regardless of the severity of the package, each one will take a month to install, and the costs of them are typically enough to the point where unless you sell your soul, you won't be able to start the game with these. Despite the cost, there is a sidebar mentioning that their cost should be considered lower for the purpose of a fixer sourcing them, meaning that even the higher end ones won't be impossible to get until the late game.

As for how much of the fantasy of these creatures they embody, I'd say that depends on your view, but I can say that from a mechanical perspective, they do very well to give what these animals/creatures should be. One thing to worry about is some steep humanity loss, but in a step for convenience, the humanity loss for each of these forms is preset. That way, you don't have to worry about going cyberpsycho while becoming a cat girl. Cost wise, these packages are very efficient, with one package normally retailing for 2,100 EB and 14 HL having a value of 5,700 and 57 HL if bought separately. The only true cost is the month you spend having it all done and in therapy afterwards.

I believe that this volume sets out what it intends to do in creating unique forms for players as well as a diverse suite of forms that NPCs can take, making the game world a more interesting place. It's not the kind of thing that will fit every game, but for those of you who liked that one episode of Batman Beyond with the splicers, defintely grab this!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Interface RED Volume 2
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Danger Gal Dossier
by Chester Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2023 10:32:29

Danger Gal Dossier is an excellent addition to Cyberpunk Red that deepens the lore and setting. The factions are interesting to read about, and GMs looking to run a game of Cyberpunk Red will find well-made NPCs that they can include in their games for additional challenges, and/or for the party to interact with. If that's not enough, there's also guidelines how to create your own NPCs and encounters. The book also comes with a pre-written mission too, which is pretty neat!

Look forward to seeing what comes next from RTal, and great job on this book!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Danger Gal Dossier
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Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit
by Benjamin J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2023 23:26:37

A couple of basic rookie mistakes that I would expect Mr. Pondsmith to know better with his experience. The example adventures provide guidelines on how to make the mission harder, without ever telling how many players it expects in the first place. Why would you tell me how to make it harder without giving me any idea of how hard it already is?



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit
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Interface RED
by Alex B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2023 11:02:07

It is pretty good, the inclusion of the cyberchairs and the cyber-animals are the most important aspects to the book in my opinion but the fact that it has a system set up for utilizing the cyberpunk game in a fantasy ttrpg in it's in universe fantasy mmorpg manner allows for it to expand on the capabilities of what types of stories you can play without having to make an entirely new system to work with it yourself. Could you just get a new tabletop game for fantasy stuff if you're a new GM? Sure, but you already have the core rulebook to cyberpunk red and this is only 8.50.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Interface RED
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Black Chrome
by Alex B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2023 10:51:59

Genuinely the most well made digital gaming book I've ever purchased. Due to how it is set up it allows you to click the fake internet tabs to swiftly change from one section of the book to an entirely different section without ever having to go back to the index it's ease of access is phenominal. Excellent art on everything, my favorite gun in it is the Hellocutie which looks adorable!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Chrome
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Interface RED Volume 2
by Alex B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2023 10:47:38

A genuinely fantastic addition to the collection, I absolutely adore the Exotics pages and the cybernetics added to that portion are perfect.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Interface RED Volume 2
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Cyberpunk RED Data Screen
by Alex B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2023 10:42:06

All the info you'd want and more and perfect for both the GM and players. I only wish the physical version was back in stock.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED Data Screen
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Cyberpunk RED
by Alex B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2023 10:39:41

It's a little messy, but it's still well made, and the fake ads in it build up on the world itself. The art (both on the cover and in the book) were made with love and I can't help but to respect it and suggest it (which I clearly do seeing as I own both a hardback and a digital copy to be able to lend the book out to the players and still have all the info needed to look it up myself.)

On a sidenote my favorite piece of artwork on it is on page 52 (technically 53 on the digital copy, because the cover is page 1)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk RED
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Cyberpunk RED
by Dodge W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/01/2023 09:35:38

Cyberpunk Red is everything you could want out of a base sourcebook. Everything you need to start a cyberpunk game is right here as well as an incredibly developed world and hub city. I, as a GM, greatly appreciated their tools and resources included.

I will say, the Cyberpunk Red Companion App is a must for running games. It really revolutionized the GM process for me and I am happy I was made aware of it before starting my first campaign.

Back to the book though, one problem I ran into is the lack of a glossary for quick references. I found myself jumping back to main headers and then having to scan through sections to try and find what I was looking for. But, overall, Cyberpunk Red is an excellent starting point and I, also, highly recommend the expansion books, especially for GMs. Tales of the Red really helped me run the campaign as I was getting a feel for where I wanted the actual story to go, Black Chrome gave my players some preem spending goals and gave me some great bonus loot to hide for the players to find. The Interface Volumes are also a great compendium of the free DLCs with a splash of extras to really earn their price. Highly recommend all RED products.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Interface RED Volume 2
by Nicholas V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2023 05:02:01

Everything but the Exotics is free on the R Talsorian site. So if you're buying this you either want to support RTG or want to be an anthroporphic animal.

Pros:

  • The cyberware added from the exotics is very cool.
  • Having everything in 1 hyperlinked pdf is great.
  • The bonus ads are also hilarious.

Cons:

  • You're paying for the exotics, ads and convinence. May not be worth for some people.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Interface RED Volume 2
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Black Chrome
by Nicholas V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2023 04:39:50

Clearly well thought out. Fun to read, the art is great and the writing is funny. If this is the quality of all future CPR books, that's good.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Chrome
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