Sunday, April 25, 2021

Running Cyberpunk RED (Dual GM)


This year, a friend and I have been more or less alternating the reins on a Cyberpunk Red campaign.

We've been marinating in the various videos online and the wealth of official and homebrew source material out there, and each sharing our own take on the genre and the setting.

Admittedly, I'm more enamored with the glitz and the chrome and the high-octane nature of the setting, while he's been more of the grit and corporate backstabbing aspects. But it's come out as a great sort of shared setting between us two, with the players enjoying a semi-episodic campaign with some short story arcs that we coordinate on.

Plus, each of us gets to play as well.

The Cyberpunk 2020 perspective

Now, the thing is -- we've actually done this before! Decades ago, I was the primary GM of our group's Cyberpunk 2020 campaign and I absolutely devoured all the books that R. Talsorian released on the setting and the game proper. I ran week after week, and then he also started running games with the same player characters when I wasn't there.

The roles are reversed now, with me handling much less of the absorption of the setting and rules. He's primary GM now, and when I run my games, I lean on him more some of the rules. And of course, since we're both learning about it still, we quickly check the rules while the other one is running to help keep things flowing.

But it's still a bit of a jump for me to run in the setting because:

  • the setting timeline has advanced to 2045 and the old big players have changed
  • mega-corporations are still powerful, but they're balanced out now by the backlash of nations after the 4th Corporate War
  • the semi post-holocaust feel allows for a nice mix of Mad Max-ish games in the badlands while still having the comforts of a civilization in the cities
  • the economy is a bit different -- mass production and mass consumption are not as much of the norm with the international supply chains devastated by that aforementioned war
In the end, we're both having our own type of fun as well -- playing and running -- as we figure out how the new setting allows us to tell a dark future storyline with a different spin from the Cyberpunk we knew before.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.