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Wired Neon Cities - Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying Pay What You Want
Average Rating:4.2 / 5
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Wired Neon Cities - Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
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Wired Neon Cities - Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
Publisher: Trollish Delver Games
by Olaf A. R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2022 13:29:16

After trying lots of differents systems for my cyberpunk games, I'm stuck and in love with WNC. Sure, I made some tweaks of my own to appeal to my own tastes, but nothing grandiouse. The rules as they are absolutely spot on the themes of cyberpunk, and allow for plenty of room to modify them on the fly while playing. The background setting is an exquisite add-on, although you can of course use WNC as is to play in Night City, Neuromancer or any other classic cybepunk setting. Great job!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wired Neon Cities - Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
Publisher: Trollish Delver Games
by Marco R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/11/2021 08:05:52

There would be a lot to say about minimalism design. Sometimes it's a little bit more than dewign excercise. In TDG gamee I feel tuere's passion and a significant will to provide a playable and customisable experience. The great thing about this game is how easy is to get it is and how easy to hack it feels. I can imagine this going on thru various runs and personal development. I would probably add some twists to make this reliable in the long run (noting fancy, just a few stunts and some modern twists), but the game has presented just works as is. So, easy 5 stars here.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wired Neon Cities - Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
Publisher: Trollish Delver Games
by James K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2020 15:43:30

There's just not enough here. You can be rules light, sure, but there's no real setting here either. If you're going to be rules light, they should be innovative. If you're going to be setting light, it should be evocative. This is neither.

I'm a pretty big 80s junkie and I was looking forward to a bit of post-cyberpunk retro-futurism in a rules light package with enough actionable content to make my own lore around the framework. It failed to inspire on every level. It didn't make it to the table.

Maybe someone else will appreciate it more than I would? The only good quality I can find is that it's short, so you can see the whole thing top-down and decide if it's for you without a lot of investment.

[1 of 5 Stars!]
Wired Neon Cities - Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
Publisher: Trollish Delver Games
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/17/2017 05:06:18

Review at

WNC impresses with a fast character creation. It has iconic classes like Hacker, Mechanic, Gunner, and more. The classes feel unique and have their own gimmicks. For example, the Doc is the only one who can do a Surgical Action and heal 2 wounds. The Face can reroll tests related to personal interactions.

As a player, you might enjoy adding Augmentations to your character. These serve to distinguish your character further. And they add some advantages to your repertoire. E.g. a Derma Shield increases your wounds by 2 for 1d3 rounds once per combat.

WNC uses a simple d6 system. Each character has four attributes: Brawn, Nimble, Mind, and Person. You have an array of numbers you can distribute. It says what number you have to roll for a success. So, if you have Brawn 3+, you need to roll a 3 or more.

Combat runs smooth, too. WNC uses a round-based combat system with Initiative. Each successful attack deals one damage. There is no armor in the game.

You don't make an opposed test or roll against Armor Class. No, you either test your own Brawn (melee attacks) or Nimble (ranged attacks) score. So it is one roll with your attribute.

Characters have a number of Wounds. If characters are down to zero, they are out of combat. Non-Player Characters (NPCs) die. Some Augmentations can make you harder to hit, and some increase your Wound score.

Status Effects (prone, stunned, poisoned etc.) and combat options (Bull Rush, Parry etc.) make the combat system surprisingly versatile for a minimalist game.

The rules fit on 2 pages. The game can be a bit unclear at times because of the small word count.
Can I use a Surgical Kit (heals 2 wounds) without the Doc class? If I have the Doc class, do I need it to take a Surgical Action?
The Eagle Eye Augmentation gives you a +2 bonus. On what? Attack or damage? Probably attack. Luckily, the bonus only works once per combat. Otherwise, it would be too powerful.

Also, I would like to see more stuff. More items, weapons, hacker gear, Augmentations, drones, yadda yadda yadda. I hope that Scott puts out some supplements in the future.

Speaking of drones and hackers, the rules here work well. Mechanics can make drones (e.g. a Spy Drone or Gun Drone) by making a Mind test. I find it a bit redundant to have to roll for it. Players will likely want to try as long as they have the money and time for it. So the test only serves as resource management.

I like the mechanisms for Hacking. The Hacker needs to collect a number of successes to break into a system. For example, a complex network needs 3 successes. So, after 3 fast rolls, everyone knows the result. That means you don't have to spend hours for a mini-game with one player when he tries to hack something. And everyone else is bored. I'm looking at you, Shadowrun.

Game Mastering WNC is a breeze because the game is so easy. The rules for creating opponents are ingenious. NPCs just have one number they roll against for tests and combat, and may have special actions. But that's it! Example:

Juicer: Drugged-up psycho. 5+, 5 wounds, special action: Make a Test. If successful, Juicer regains 1 wound.

How does it get any better than that? I can create opponents on the fly. Stick some special gimmick on them to make them unique. Done.

Kudos for including an example setting. Glow City is a sprawling metropolis without government - ruled by three mega-corporations. This is more a teaser than a fully fleshed out setting. But it should be enough to get you started.

WNC uses a simple layout and good stock art that fits the theme. There are some minor typos. All in all, the game is easy to read and easy to understand.

Trollish Delver Games has already published several good lightweight games. This one doesn't disappoint either. And it is PWYW. If you like the rules, you can also get a Fantasy version and a sci-fi version (In Darkest Warrens and Astounding Interplanetary Adventures).

Final Thoughts:

  • WNC fits the bill of an ultra rules lite game with enough flesh to make it feel like cyberpunk.
  • The system is dead simple. The use of a single d6 makes it lightning fast. But it comes at the cost of having not a lot of room for subtle tones - modifiers have a strong impact. This is offset by the fact that many Augmentations only work once per combat. There is not much room for mechanical character development.
  • Please give me more gear, items, whathaveyou.
  • You can easily expand and mold the game to your needs. Steal some ideas from In Darkest Warren, for example.
  • WNC is a game that makes me want to play it. The rules fit together nicely and are wonderful in their simplicity. It would also be a good introductory system for beginners. No weird AC, grid based combat, and complex sub-systems.
  • I would like to see an open license for this game. That way, others could add to WNC, translate it etc.

Give it a shot.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wired Neon Cities - Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
Publisher: Trollish Delver Games
by Jesse C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/06/2017 10:16:47

This is a review of Wired Neon Cities, by Scott Malhouse.

Wired Neon Cities is a rules ultra-lite 80’s cyber-punk game consisting of 6 pages, of which there are 3 pages of rules, 1 page character sheet, and a cover page and blank rear page.

Long Story Short: The game works and I would play this over Shadow Run or similar extremely complex traditional games. I also would play this rather than cyberpunk story games because I don’t like story games.

Here is a basic description of the mechanics. Roll over your stat number (3+ is best, 5+ is not so good) on d6 to hit/achieve success. Die modified by difficulty. 4-6 HP. +1 HP per level up. Several classes, each with different HP and one or two special abilities each.

The second page of rules is mostly equipment, augmentation, and NPC stats. The third page (not including character sheet) has the settings, which are pretty good considering it’s made on one page.

This game works because the classes and descriptions match well for the 80’s cyberpunk genre. It also works better than “full” games because cyberpunk games often get bogged down with too many equipment and special powers rules… Wired Neon Cities avoids that trap. There are just enough powers, equipment, augments, etc.

SIDENOTE: What is the difference between 80’s cyberpunk and modern cyberpunk? I think in the 80’s people had this concept that everyone would be either in an evil corporation or they would be punk-rockers. Now, we think everyone will be in evil corporations or we are slaves to Facebook. Or a completely uploaded personality. Or something.

There are a few things I would have done differently as a designer and there is one problem I see which I do not have a ready made fix for. I think there should be variance in weapon damage (ie. different damage for rifles, SMG, etc). I think people who like cyberpunk like the toys, so there should be a little more differentiation here. I think there should be a damage roll for combat, especially for guns. Maybe a roll over armor value, or a roll 1 = no damage , 2-5 = 1 , 6 = 2 damage. Right now the damage is a static 1 point per successful attack. This is made more bland because it ensures that on a one-on-one fight, it will take 4 successful attacks to take out an opponent… that’s often too much. There is plenty of design space to make that more interesting.

A more serious flaw I see is how hacking is done. Not that it is bad, but it will probably be done by the “hacker”. This is a problem that cyberpunk games often have. Unless hacking is something that should be done in every scene (something that could work in an Eclipse Phase setting), I’m afraid the hacker will have nothing to do.

Well… that’s it. I recommend Wired Neon Cities. It’s fun and simple and captures the essence of 80s cyberpunk genre. The game has room for improvement and is very hackable.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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