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A Throwback of Discovery

“There’s an axiom that every generation rebels against it’s parent’s values. Why should it be any different with CyberGeneration?” Mike Pondsmith, as written in CyberGeneration

This weekend, I had occasion to pull my battered, beaten copy of CyberGeneration off the shelf. For those of you who don’t know, CyberGeneration was a spin-off of Cyberpunk 2020. Where Cyberpunk dealt with edgerunners living a life of violence, trying to survive on the streets, and looking out for number one in the Dark Future, CyberGeneration dealt with their children, who are rebelling against the shallow self-interest of their parents by actually giving a damn about the world.

CyberGeneration takes place in an alternative timeline of the Cyberpunk universe where the release of a nano-tech plague known as the “Carbon Plague” has swept through America. If you’re over twenty and contract the Carbon Plague, you die. If you’re under twenty? You’re changed. You develop strange new abilities which can be hard to control and frightens the piss out of adults everywhere. A newly reformed Incorporated States of America reacts poorly to the concept of thousands of kids and teenagers having superpowers, so they begin rounding them up into camps. Of course, the kids aren’t going to take that lying down…

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If you’re thinking to yourself, “This sounds like someone mixed Cyberpunk and The X-Men” you’re not too far off. The game was written by Mike Pondsmith, Ed Bolme, and David Ackerman and presented a world of teen rebellion in a dystopian future a good fifteen years before The Hunger Games. Among its innovations is the Saturday Night Skuffle rules for combat, presented as a lighter and more cinematic version of incredibly deadly Friday Night Firefight rules from Cyberpunk 2020.

The game’s on sale over at DriveThruRPG as a PDF and I highly recommend it. Its fantastic as a stand-alone or as a book to pick apart for new ways to liven up combat in your Cyberpunk 2020 campaign. Either way, at $11.00, its a darn good deal.

A Message from the Past

I should note, I didn’t buy my copy of Cybergeneration first hand. I picked it up from a used bookstore in the late ’90s. In addition to getting the book itself, I found the following scrap of paper folded and shoved inside.

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That, my friends, is a piece of paper specifically designed for a dot matrix printer. Given the width and lack of perforation on the edges, I’m guessing it was printed at a university print center, as was common before everyone had their own computers and printers. It looks like this was an email of sorts, sent via an internal network (again, probably the university’s) from the GM of a Cybergeneration game to his players.

Mike, Dan, Marco, Joe, Roger, Todd, Greg, and Jon, I have no idea if you’re out there or not… but I salute you! I hope you’re still gaming.

That’s all for today, choombas.

Stay safe on the streets.

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