In 1988, inspired by the novels of William Gibson and Walter John Williams, in particular Do Androids Dream of Electro Flowers and Blade Runner, Mike Pondsmith published his tabletop RPG Cyberpunk 2013. It consisted of 44 -page Manual, 38-page Description of the Universe, 20-page Combat Book, 4 pages of game manual and two ten-sided dice. It was the rich history of the Cyberpunk board game that served as the basis for CD Project Red to begin work on their new original game. Today we'll talk about Cyberpunk 2013 and Cyberpunk 2020 lore
RPG about a dark future
After Cyberpunk 2013 was released, the author released several additions to it, namely "Rockerboy", "Solo Fortune" and "Wired." Even then, the creator laid in his brainchild a philosophy of rebellion and struggle against the dark future, shown in his game. Even the name "Cyberpunk" has a special meaning, and literally translates as cyber punk, that is, punk from the cybernetic future.
Two years later, the second extended edition of Cyberpunk 2020 was released, moving the timeline forward 7 years and making what is happening in 2020 canon. But more specifically, the first edition had three attachments:
Friday Night Firefight - talks about the FNFF combat system, which includes the use of firearms in a simple but realistic format. The goal of the system was to move away from the Hollywood tropes of invincible characters who killed with one shot, and with the precision of Hawkeye. FNFF is not meant to be an entertaining mechanic, but rather a lethal system that makes weapons dangerous again. And if your character has a large caliber weapon, then he must be reckoned with. It also describes hand-to-hand combat, throwing grenades and the use of melee weapons.
View from the Edge - A guide to all character classes [Rockerboy, Solo, Netrunner, Techie, Media, Cop, Corporate, Fixers and Nomads], their abilities, stories and traits. It described the three main principles of Cyberpunk: "Style", "Connections is everything" and "Life on the brink".
And the last booklet Welcome to Night City tells about the world of the game in which players find themselves. It contains all the historical summary and lore of the Cyberpunk universe.
There was also a third edition of the game, but it came out so terrible, and the author himself recognized it as not canon, saying that we should forget that such a game once existed.
The world is rolling into ...
The history of the world of Cyberpunk 2020 begins in 1990. In the world of this universe, the USSR did not disintegrate, but was reorganized into the Union of Independent Republics, where totalitarianism faded into the background. All Europe is switching to a single currency, and together with the Union, joint space exploration begins. But in the USA everything is very bad and the aphorism "decaying west" in the context of the USA really makes sense in the world of Cyberpunk.
A war against drug cartels begins in the country, and US scientists are developing biological weapons that destroy coca plantations in order to undermine the influence of drug cartels. This leads to a drug war and in 1993 the cartels were able to detonate a small nuclear weapon in New York, which killed hundreds of people.
In 1994, there was a massive collapse in the global stock market, which hit the United States hardest, leading to a flurry of unemployment and increasing homelessness among the population.
The accident in Pittsburgh is driving the population towards internal migration, as is the drought in the Midwest, which is leading to a food crisis. Private farming is virtually destroyed, so corporations are taking control of all US agriculture. Food exports to the rest of the world are halted.
In 1996, the government agencies NSA, CIA, FBI and DEA form an alliance to seize power in the country. They are organizing an assassination attempt on the incumbent president and vice president of the United States. They later become known as the Gang of Four. Against the background of the dereban of the authorities, the number of criminal gangs is growing throughout the country, for example, the Bloods gang completely controls Miami.
All executive power will fall into the hands of the Minister of Defense, who cuts the constitution and introduces martial law. By this year, one in four Americans is homeless. Groups of vagabonds unite into a separate gang of Nomads in the style of "Mad Max".
Over the next few years, toxic emissions off the coast of Seattle are destroying its economy. A magnitude 10.5 earthquake destroys Los Angeles. Tensions in the Middle East are spilling over into an exchange of nuclear strikes, turning much of the region into a radioactive wasteland. Because of this, oil supplies in the world are halved. Several states separate from the United States, namely: California [later it is divided into two more separate states], Nevada, Texas and Alaska.
War - a mother is honest to science and allows it to transcend morality, giving free rein to experiments. Thus, many soldiers sent to different front lines were subjected to experiments using the first implants and other augmentations that increase human strength.
Around the world, amid weakening government power and widespread chaos [especially in the United States], corporations are beginning to build up their power and influence. They provide their services in a wide variety of areas, from serving cities to creating their own military formations. It was to such armies that the US government was forced to turn to somehow resist gangs and cartels. However, corporations begin to compete with each other so strongly that this leads to the outbreak of a corporation war.
This is how everything comes to 2030, after which CD PR comes into force. We still have a lot of information, but the Poles will think out many facts, making them canon. And we will find out about this only after the release of the game.
History of Night City
Knight City played an important role in all this - the city that CD Project Red positions as the main character of the game.
As Michael Pondsmith himself said: “Night City was created on the“ bones ”of Morro Bay, a city through which I often passed on various trips. I liked this place. At one of the gatherings of fashionable young designers, I thought that I should use this city. Its basic structure is still present on the Knight City map. And this is similar to how the same San Francisco or Seattle are built. I have a detailed map of how I thought, drew everything and one day I will publish it. ”
Night City was the brainchild of businessman Richard Knight, who became unhappy with his experience in managing corporate construction projects with his company Halsey, Ferris and Night. This led him to break up and create his own company, Night International, with the ultimate goal of creating the perfect city.
Located in the bay of Del Coronado, this city was originally called Coronado. Richard Knight himself presented it as a utopia, which will be equal to the rest of the neighboring cities, as the standard of a modern metropolis.
Since the collapse, many of the mega-corporations have also considered creating a space free of crime and poverty, as well as laws that prevent their sometimes unethical work. By 1992, the mega-corporations Arasaka, EBM and Petrochem had invested heavily in the city of Coronado. Knight acquired the rights to large tracts of land surrounding Del Coronado Bay from Neftekhim to provide land for the new city.
In 1998, Richard Knight passed away, and the city was renamed in his honor. And it was in Night City that the war of gangs and corporations for power began. Their confrontation led to anarchy in several areas of the city, and the police became ineffective. By 2005, militias controlled the city's infrastructure, and corporations, tired of conflict, retreated to their strongholds.
The period between 2009 and 2011 was known as gang wars. In Knight City, the rate of murder and gang activity has increased. It's unclear if corporations have tried to combat this. The conflict ended when heavily armored paramilitaries of Arasaka's company took to the streets, crushing the gangs and leaving them virtually defeated.
The corporations then set up puppets in the local government and began the process of cleaning up the war-torn city. The problem of homelessness spiraled out of control when new laws said that anyone who didn’t have the funds to renovate a home would be deported. Almost all of the city's affordable housing was occupied by company troops, displacing hundreds of residents.
By 2020, mass wars were a distant memory, and Night City had become a city where corporations rule everything. However, the fourth corporate war was on the verge ...
The story of the Cyberpunk world does not end there. In the last part of the material, we will tell you about a man whose fate is directly related to both world problems and Knight City and its corporate wars through which the city went.
The Topic of Article: How did Cyberpunk begin? History of the original Cyberpunk 2020 board game. Part one.