Let Keanu Reeves start a riot: What Cyberpunk 2077 should keep from the original RPG

Let Keanu Reeves start a riot: What Cyberpunk 2077 should keep from the original RPG


Keanu Reeves is in Cyberpunk 2077, but did you know that he’s playing Johnny Silverhand? And did you know that Johnny Silverhand is
from the original tabletop RPG? And did you know there is an original tabletop
RPG? BECAUSE IF YOU DIDN’T, I’M ABOUT TO TELL
YOU ‘CAUSE I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. I’ve gotta talk to you about something. I have read the whole manual, and I’m here
to tell you everything we can learn about Cyberpunk… from Cyberpunk. Cyberpunk 2020 is the main inspiration for
Cyberpunk 2077, and the main writer, Mike Pondsmith, was brought on as a consultant
for the game. “There is a really strong element of cross
pollination.” That cross pollination tells me that we can
use this as a pretty solid foundation for parsing the Cyberpunk world. We’re gonna split this foundation into three
sections: The place, the people, and the things. And I’m also gonna tell you all the things
in this book that I would like to show up in Cyberpunk 2077. ‘Cause this game is WILD and I LOVE IT. The year: 2077. The location: Night City. It’s a very on the nose name for a dark
and gritty cyberpunk future, but its etymology is pretty mundane: a guy named Richard Night
bought up the suburban sprawl between LA and San Francisco and then he gave tax breaks
to corporations to move in there. He wanted it to be a lovely place to live,
but then, four years later, he got killed by gang bosses. You can have a cool name, Richard Night, but
you can’t have it all. The most important part of Night City is this
circle right here. It’s the corporate center. Corporations are the most powerful entities
in cyberpunk. As of Cyberpunk 2020, there have been three
Corporate Wars. But according to Mike Pondsmith, 2077 is going
to happen after the fourth Corporate War. The original manual has a full alternate history
from 1990 to 2020, and, can I be real with you, there are some uncanny connections with
our actual world. “The technical revolution had further torn
the economy apart, creating two radically divergent classes… The middle class was nearly eradicated. It was this dismal beginning that led to the
current American landscape of the 2000s.” Haha! I love escapist fiction! But beyond this, I can’t be sure of what
they’ll keep in Cyberpunk 2077. I hope they keep The Afterlife, which is a
bar in an old mortuary, and Rainbow Nights, a dance club that, “occasionally will draw
big acts like Johnny Silverhand…” CYBERPUNK! Quick question: what exactly is a cyberpunk? “Cyber—from the term cybernetic, or a
fusion of flesh and machine technology. Punk—from an early 1980s rock music style
that epitomized violence, rebellion and social action in a nihilistic way.” Some of the most influential people in cyberpunk
are musicians, rockerboys, like Johnny Silverhand which I promise I am getting to, I just gotta
build up to it organically, trust me on this! You’re a loner just trying to get by. But that doesn’t mean cyberpunks are lonely. They do find social connection in some pretty
seedy places. Gangs are a huge part of this universe, as
we’ve already seen with the Maelstrom Gang. “Now we can talk.” A few other gangs we might see are the Inquisitors,
a neo-luddite group that believes all cyberwear is blasphemous and they will literally tear
it out of people. Or the Blood Razors, a group of people who
all have rippers and claws and are murderous and terrible. They’re called the blood razors, what did
you expect? But more than anything, I want them to include
a poser gang, which is a group of people who have all used plastic surgery to look like
the same celebrity. Like the Kennedys, a group of posers that
all look exactly like John F. Kennedy. How fun is that. How terrifying is that. Imagine getting beaten up by 10 John F. Kennedys. Ask not what Night City can do for you. But gangs are full of nobodies. And we already know that there are three very
important people showing up in Cyberpunk 2077: Morgan Blackhand, Saburo Arasaka, and of course,
Johnny Silverhand. OKAY, let’s talk about Johnny Silverhand
because it’s Keanu, and we’ve seen him on screen, and that’s why you’re here,
I know. Johnny is a rockerboy, which is both a character
class and the term for a super popular rockstar. He’s also a veteran of the Central American
war and he’s charismatic as hell, but you don’t need me to tell you that, because
it’s Keanu Reeves. Morgan Blackhand is a solo, which is another
character class, and he’s the writer of “The Enforcer’s Handbook.” He’s got a lot of tips on how to survive
in the streets, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up as a mentor. And finally, Saburo Arasaka, the head of the
Arasaka corporation, which specializes in security. Like, heavy security. Arasaka, both the man and the corporation,
are incredibly dangerous. And the fact that Arasaka and Silverhand show
up in this game makes me believe that there’s a high probability that “Never Fade Away”
will show up as a quest in this game. “Never Fade Away” is a one-off adventure
all about Johnny Silverhand trying to get his girlfriend, Alt, back from Arasaka corp
after they kidnapped her. It involves Johnny Silverhand throwing a concert
and then convincing the crowd to riot and attack Arasaka guards. It’s dope as hell! Hi! Hello! Pause for a second. It’s me again, just a few days later, you
can tell because I haven’t shaved since we first recorded this video. We got new information from the Cyberpunk
demo! My coworker Pat went to go see it and he told
me that Johnny Silverhand is a cyberghost. He’s not alive in 2077. It makes sense because he would have been
like, I guess 80 at that point in time? Jenna: People live to 80 now, Brian! They do, but he’d look less attractive. Jenna: He’s not, ‘cause it’s Keanu Reeves. Yeah, okay, Keanu Reeves can live forever. But we also know that Alt will be a part of
this game, she’s just trapped in the Netspace. Which is something that happens at the end
of Never Fade Away. So! We have confirmation! Never Fade Away is important to this game. We just won’t be able to live through those
experiences in the game itself. Hopefully they’ll give you a chance to make
a bunch of concertgoers riot in a different part of the game. Anyway, that’s it. Let’s talk about the Things. Cyberpunk 2020 is full of neat mechanics that
I hope get translated into the final game. But judging from the gameplay we’ve seen,
I’ve split these into likely and unlikely categories. First, the stats. You, as a character, can finally be cool. I’ve never felt that way. But it doesn’t mean how charismatic you
are or how good you are at riding a skateboard. It’s a mechanical skill that tells you how
well you can handle pressure. “And you positively reek of Militech.” In facedowns, you roll plus cool and your
reputation to see if you can intimidate your opponent into backing down, while you maintain
composure. This might be something that affects dialogue
options in the game, like the ones you see in the Maelstrom den. “Dexter DeShawn sent me.” Sadly, it looks like we won’t have an Empathy
stat, which was an integral part of the original Cyberpunk (and might I add, an integral part
to normal human existence). It deals with how well you connect with your
fellow humans as you become more and more cybernetically enhanced. Also on the cutting room floor is Attractiveness,
a quantifiable stat in the original TTRPG. Unfortunately, the cowards at CD Projekt Red
have only given us the power to play as hunks. Cybernetics are an obvious part of the game,
where you can enhance your abilities by going to a ripperdoc and having them slice a bunch
of metal into you. In the original TTRPG, these enhancements cost humanity points and would lower your empathy level. If you go below 0 on your empathy stat, your
character undergoes something called cyberpsychosis, which means your character has a “maddening
hatred of other humans.” This idea that body modification somehow makes
you less human is… NOT GREAT but mechanically speaking, it keeps
players in check. If a player gets cyberpsychosis, that character
is handed over to whoever is running the game, and then they get to play them as an NPC,
but this time with all of the worst, most murderous tendencies. But in a video game, people want to feel powerful,
so I don’t believe CDPR is gonna commit to that idea of cybernetics. It looks like the game is using them in the
same way other games use armor and upgrades. I still have a little hope that they’ll
keep some semblance of this in the game, forcing you to actually think about what you ABSOLUTELY
need as a cybernetic enhancement. But, much like Deus Ex, where Adam “never
asked for this” and then he proceeds to ask for every enhancement he can possibly
get, I imagine they’re just gonna let you buy as much as you want. We’ll see! Drugs! There are so many substances in the TTRPG. Things like Boost, which boosts your intelligence
until you form a dependency on it. Or ‘Dorph, which is a painkiller similar
to modern day opiates that can cause severe nervous system damage. There’s Synthcoke, and Speedheal, and Syncomp
15, all of which have VERY BAD, permanent consequences to stats in 2020, but I doubt
they’re gonna go quite as hard for 2077. I bet it’s gonna be something more similar
to Moonsugar or Skooma. The net. It’s the internet, but a bit off. It’s retrofuturistic, and, like a lot of
concepts in this game, was very progressive for its time, but now it’s retroprogressive. Which is to say, regressive. The Net will probably be for hacking. Will CDPR include a minigame where you get
to fight hellhounds and demons in the Netspace? Probably not. But do I want that Mega Man Battle Network
bullshit to be in there? Absolutely. And finally, let’s talk about classes. In 2020, there are 10 distinct classes you
can play as, or you could make your own pretty easily. CDPR has been clear that there will not be
a class system in 2077, but judging by the gameplay, it looks like you’ll be a Solo. A Solo is a mercenary, and a very skilled
one at that, because all the unskilled ones are dead. It’s the standard lone wolf hero type. Which is exciting. But I really hope that they pull some things
from the other classes. Like Nomad, which has a special ability called
“Family” where they can call in a bunch of their family members for any situation. Just imagine playing as V and calling in your
Aunts to fuck some shit up. Honestly, there’s so much great flavor text
in this book that I wish I could just read it verbatim. I couldn’t even tell you about how there
are CD players, still, in 2020. And how there’s a company called R.E.O. Meatwagon that harvests corpses and then sells
their parts for money. Hate to break it to you all… I don’t think R.E.O. Meatwagon is gonna make the final cut for Cyberpunk 2077, but if you’ve got a hankering for that Cyberpunk fix before April of next year, you should be playing this game right now. Or we could play it for you. If you’d like us to run a one-off of this
game to have some more information and to fill time before April of next year, I’d
love to do that. Honestly, just write a comment, I’m looking
for any reason to play this game. Literally any reason.

100 thoughts on “Let Keanu Reeves start a riot: What Cyberpunk 2077 should keep from the original RPG”

  1. This seems so cool im not into this type of gaming but i think it would be fun this appeals to me more than most other games

  2. Christopher Steeves

    Yes do it, play it! I know I'm late but please just start playing a whole campaign of cyberpunk and stream or record it all!

  3. Hmm. Polygon had Brennan Lee Mulligan, a known TTRPG PC/DM, out to play games. BDG, safety fan and bureaucratic wunderkind, wants to play a TTRPG.

    HMMMMMMMMMMM

  4. Hey, I thought I would pipe in about empathy/humanity loss a bit. In this video, it's briefly mentioned that the whole idea of cyberware leading to a loss of empathy/humanity points is a bit problematic. I've seen this argument come up now and again (because there is definitely a point to be made there), and I thought I could clarify this a bit.

    A lot of people don't realize that this doesn't really apply to restorative prosthetics. The whole loss of empathy things is related specifically to two things:
    1.) That part of your body is literally becoming at best a tool, at worst a lethal weapon.
    2.) The kind of socio-psycological state that you have to be in to chop off a perfectly functioning limb or other body part in order to add that.

    What kind of affect would chopping off your hand to get tools for your job grafted onto your body have on your body image? What would having a shotgun embedded in your limb do to your sense of safety? What would being able to project your mind into a virtual space do to your concept of self? These things are all headfucks individually, too many of them, well at best it would aggravate a pre-existing condition (that may have driven your technolust to begin with).

    In this world, chopping a limb or two off is, for better or worse, de-stigmatized, or at least people are desensitized to this action. However, when you cross that line too much, that is where you are flirting with disaster, as there may be some psychological root of this desire that is being fed into unhealthily.

    Mike Pondsmith recently talked about this very subject at this year's Gen Con during an R.Talsorian Games/CDPR round-table talk. They just posted an audio recording of this round table on the R.Talsorian YouTube channel by the way and it's really interesting. It was talked about around the second half of the talk as I remember. I was surprised to find that Pondsmith actually has degrees in, and used to work in, the field of psychology. It would seem he put a bit more thought into this aspect of the game than we all knew.

  5. Did you know that 3rd edtion Cyberpunk rpg ran out of money for their book, so all of their art is Barbie dolls and action figures coverd in cyberpunk stuff?

  6. Its weird living now, when parody is reality. My first introduction to cyberpunk was arguably written as a parody of it: Snowcrash

    Also apparently the whole "grimdarkness hurr hurr" Warhammer franchise was also written as a parody. For many of us, we are introduced to these worlds via parodies, and many of us dont even realise its supposed to be a joke or message. 😷
    We just think… oh this is how it is? Ok. Each generation is remarkably adaptive to the madness they're born into, not even questioning it, its all they know afterall.

    I wish more older people understood the importance of Poe's Law

  7. BDG in the main part of the video looks dad-classy and very chill. You could have a drink with him, but you're not sure if he drinks, but you could definitely go for coffee. Very calm, very cool, very collected, and also very enthusiastic about Keanu Reeves.
    BDG in the timebreak with his oversized hoodie looks like a terrified rabid rodent. You could and probably might throw whatever is in your hand at him if you saw him late at night.

  8. I wanna play
    I just have no real social skills so the only friends i have still are those I was forced to interact with in high school and still speak to.
    And no interested friends.

  9. TheSpecialistGamerX2

    You clearly didn't research cyberpunk 2077. They have a fluid class system, allowing you to pull from multiple classes. Consequences matter. Although probably rare, the cyberspace will feature. Cyberpsychosis is what is probably happening in the first teaser. Attractiveness will probably be a thing, as some armored that gives you more artificial eyes are supposed to give you -1 attractiveness (maybe not, but your background still matters). Have you even played the witcher 3, cause CD project red has made a mature, narrative, piece of art where the story can change massively, the game even allows for one night stands and has the scavengers so of course will have mature content. Ok, maybe it won't be quite the same as the tabletop, but it will still probably be a damn good game. It is important to note that a major dev/lore creator of the tabletop is working closely with CDPR.

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