Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Data Scan: Cyberpunk RPG Anime Fuzion

R. Talsorian came out with an RPG that expanded the ruleset toolkit for a cyberpunk setting: Bubblegum Crisis. And during the short-lived era of Fuzion -- a system touted to have the benefits of the Interlock and Hero Game Systems -- there were a slew of fan-made rule expansions and sourcebooks which included an Appleseed sourcebook!

If only Cyberpunk 2020 v.3 had been, uh, better. It could've reaped the benefits of all this source material!

Bubblegum Crisis

I was a fan of the Bubblegum Crisis anime, so when I saw this out, I snapped it up immediately.

In addition to the setting, heavily influenced by one of the cornerstones of motion picture cyberpunk -- Blade Runner -- you have a lot of gadgets and gear, and vehicles and other mecha, to draw on for your cyberpunk game. Cyberpsychosis is particularly problematic here, with the mega-corporation of mega-corporations (GENOM) purposely pushing the boundaries of their artificial life forms (Boomers) beyond the manufacturer's warranty.

There are also many suggestions for expanded campaigns outside of Neo-Tokyo, and subsequent supplements added more machine and mecha to the mix. Perfect for a cyberpunk campaign a bit further into the future than the default 2020 campaign.


This sourcebook details many of the guns and some of the vehicles and bots in the Appleseed setting of Masamune Shirow's manga & anime series. Cyberpsychosis isn't so much of a factor, but there is the very prevalent theme (similar to Bubblegum Crisis and Blade Runner) dealing with replicants / androids / artificial life forms and what makes them human or not.

There is also much more of a political angle to this paramilitary-heavy storyline, hence the importance of constant training for the ESWAT team, and the occasional realization of protagonists that they are pawns being manipulated by multiple factions to get some nebulous (or all-too-concrete) end.

One of the things I'd like to have seen: more rules on creating full conversion borgs. Unlike the default 2020 setting, these guys don't really go crazy so much -- they seem to fully embrace their change, without losing touch with their identity or humanity.

Also: landmates and other iterations of powered armor aplenty!

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