Steve Jackson Games GURPS – Generic Universal RolePlaying System

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5. Cyberpunk

5.1 How should netrunning be handled?

Various people say:

  1. Netrunning should be left to NPCs only.
  2. Wing it and use an abstract system.
  3. Have a 2nd GM run all net running.
  4. Run the net runner in a separate session before the main group meets.
  5. Remove the need of a neural interface; use only off-the-shelf virtual reality devices to allow everyone to jack in and participate in the hacking.

Although all the suggestions above are valid, they are just ways to circumvent the problems of netrunning. A really good way to make netrunning an integral part of the adventure is to use the virtual environments as real worlds and let characters create alter-ego of themselves adapted for this world using normal GURPS character creation rules. The point value of each virtual character would be based on the deck used, the skill of the hacker, and the types of program to use. So while jacked in, each hacker would play his virtual character using normal GURPS rules instead of the netrunning rules.

Some suggestions in how to translate the real character to his virtual representation are in order:

This is only a small portion of what is possible. This method also simplifies the construction of good networks as it is easier to think in terms of castles and guards and guns and treasure than in terms of abstract programs interacting with one another.

5.3 Is there a GURPS Cyberpunk world sourcebook?

Yes. GURPS Cyberworld, by Paul Hume of Shadowrun fame, describes a detailed cyberpunk setting. The emphasis is on "punk" rather than "cyber". The tech level is early TL8, and the cyberwear is often "bleeding edge" rather than easy-to-obtain, off-the-shelf stuff. GURPS Cthulhupunk is a sourcebook describing the existence of the Great Old Ones inside the Cyberworld universe.

GURPS Terradyne is a source book for low-tech space science-fiction gaming. This book can easily be "cyberized" [Note from Kromm: I've done it!] but only includes a limited number of "hooks" for the cyberpunk genre.

GURPS Autoduel has many more features of the cyberpunk genre.

Transhuman Space, although more optimistic than usual dark future settings, has many features that could easily be integrated into a Cyberpunk world, like memetic engineering, sentient AI, bioroids, ghostcomps, cybershells, etc. Of particular interest is the Broken Dreams sourcebook, showing the dark side of the fifth wave revolution.

GURPS Cyberpunk Adventures contains four independent adventures you can use in any Cyberpunk setting.

You can also use the cyberpunk settings of other games as background material for GURPS. See the Conversions section.

5.3 Where can I get stats for additional cyberware?

GURPS Ultra-Tech has basic cyberwear, much of which is already in Cyberpunk. GURPS Ultra-Tech 2 has brain modifications and additional cyberwear, and GURPS Bio-Tech contains a lot of new (organic) body modifications.

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