RTG’s Big Not-At-Gen Con Update
Happy Friday, friends!
Last week we announced we would not be attending Gen Con 2021 as we originally planned. We know many of you were disappointed by the news. We were, too. We love going to conventions, playing games, and interacting with other gamers. Another thing we love about Gen Con is our seminars. We usually run at least three: one for Cyberpunk, one for Witcher, and one for the company in general. During those seminars we talk about what we’re working on and answer questions from the audience.
In the spirit of the seminars we’ll be missing this year, this blog post is all about catching you up to speed on our current projects! We’re going to share information about Cyberpunk RED and The Witcher TTRPG, show off some art, and give everyone an idea of where RTG’s production queue currently stands.
First, three caveats.
Number one. This update won’t be a hundred percent complete. It only includes projects we’re comfortable with talking about because they’re in a strong, solid place. Some projects, like Rusted Chrome for Cyberpunk RED or Rodolf’s Guide to the South for The Witcher will likely change considerably before we’re finished with them. That doesn’t mean we aren’t working on them but that they’re just too nebulous to talk about right now.
That being said, caveat number two is chaos. Things change. Game design is an iterative process. Like we always say, nothing’s final until it comes off the printer (and even then, it is subject to errata). If we say X is true for a project now, it might not be when the project releases.
Final caveat: We keep saying it but it bears repeating. The world’s in a weird, weird place right now. Getting space on a printer is getting harder. Finding the paper we need for printing is getting tougher. Shipping is getting more expensive. And right now there’s practically a war for the sort of cardboard used to make GM Screens, game boards, and hardback book covers. We’re going to be vague about release windows here because the supply chain is such a mess. Take anything we say here with a grain of salt.
Update: Cyberpunk RED
Let’s get to this! We’ve got five projects to update you on for our roleplaying game of the Dark Future.
Cyberpunk RED Data Pack
The Data Pack is a collection of tools useful for both GMs and players of Cyberpunk RED. Included inside an attractive cardstock sleeve will be: a pad of 50 double-sided, single page characters sheets; 6 pages of double sided 11×17 maps (12 maps in total); and a booklet containing 6 new Screamsheet Adventures and 6 “Twenty Things” lists to help you populate Night City with people, places, and things.
If you want a preview of the Data Pack, check out this video where James Hutt and J Gray show it off to JonJontheWise.
And to celebrate Gen Con 2021 (even if we aren’t there), we’re releasing a digital version of the character sheet from the Data Pack early! You can download the regular version here and the form-fillable version here.
The Data Pack is currently at the printer and we’re hoping to have it available sometime this Autumn. The MSRP will be $20.00 for the physical version.
The Netrunning Deck is a collection of 52 cards players can use to load up their cyberdeck and GMs can use to build NET Architectures with. Included are: 15 Program cards, 27 Black ICE cards, 3 Demon Cards, and 7 Floor cards (Files, Control Nodes, and Passwords). All kept in a nice tuck box.
Like the Data Pack, the Netrunning Deck is with the printer and we hope to have it available sometime this Autumn. The MSRP will be $17.00.
By now, you hopefully know about our free DLC: short PDFs we make available here on the site. They cover a variety of topics, from converting 2020 guns to RED guns to MMOs and weather in Night City. If not, you can download them here.
Interface RED is all about collecting that DLC and putting it together in a single volume you can put on your (physical or digital) bookshelf and you might be wondering why you should pay for a book that collects a bunch of PDFs you can already download for free.
There’s two reasons.
First, even though we don’t charge for our free DLC, they actually cost money to make. Our writers don’t work for free. Neither do our editors. And while we do recycle art in many of them, there’s also new art as well. Art we pay a solid rate for. When you buy Interface RED, you’re letting us know you appreciate the free content enough to help us keep making it. And we thank you for that.
Secondly, there’s bonus content that will only appear in Interface RED. In addition to Old Guns Never Die, Red Chrome Cargo, The Single Shot Pack, Cyberchairs, Elflines Online, and Elflines Online Expansion Pass 1, the first volume of Interface RED will include a new article: All About Drones.
All About Drones introduces three new Active Defense drones:
- The Zhirafa GRAF3 construction platform (that giraffe-looking thing you see all over the core rulebook.
- The Zhirafa Savannah Eagle (a guardian drone with cloaking abilities).
- And the Zhirafa Savannah Panther (an armored drone complete with grenade launcher for handling groups).
Not enough for you? What about three Personal Drones! These drones run directly via an Agent and don’t require a NET Architecture to function.
- The Concept Mechanics My First GRAF3 is a cute toy any future engineer will love (and any Tech can design a creative use for!).
- The Concept Mechanics Observer can be your eye in the sky (or around the next corner).
- And the Concept Mechanics Transporter is utilized as a delivery drone all over Night City!
This is volume one of Interface RED and something on an experiment. If it sells well, we’ll continue with the series, keeping up the tradition: a bunch of DLC collected in one place plus some new, exceptional additional content.
We’re about to send Interface RED to the printer and hope to have it in your hands by the end of this year.
We know we’ve been promising this one for a while and we thank you for your patience. If you aren’t aware, Black Chrome will carry the Cyberpunk 2020 Chromebook tradition forward into Cyberpunk RED. This will be a stuff book. New weapons, new vehicles, new tech, and new gear. In addition, expect articles about “how you get stuff” in the Time of the Red.
One of the reasons why the book is taking so long involves its production history. We began it a while back, using prototype Cyberpunk RED rules. They’ve changed considerably in that time and we’ve been working hard on making sure each of the 100+ new items in the book work the way they should.
The other reason? Anyone who remembers the Chromebooks knows projects like these require a lot of art. And these days, a simple black and white sketch won’t do. We’ve commissioned a ton of full color art for this book and that takes a while to get – especially since we can’t ask for the art until we’re sure what the item looks like and that depends on the stats.
Say, for example, a specific firearm created for Black Chrome had a unique feature that worked a specific way under the older version of the rules. Now, imagine that, in going over it, the team discovered the unique feature could be swapped out for a similar, more elegant feature that works more effectively and more simply under the final version of the rules. If we had commissioned the art based on the first version, it would no longer be correct. We’d either have to put in art that didn’t resemble the gun we were describing or get new art entirely. To keep the project cost effective, we only commission art after we’re sure the piece of gear has reached its “final form”.
Hopefully, that helps clear things up a bit.
Right now, we’re not giving a release window for Black Chrome. We’ll update you as the project progresses.
Cyberpunk RED mission book
Last but not least on our Cyberpunk RED tour! We’ve gotten a lot of requests for full Cyberpunk RED missions. Screamsheets are nice, many of you have told us, but could we see some examples of a full adventure?
We heard you. And we’re working on it. Mike is assembling an elite team of creators to design and write a new, as of yet untitled, compilation of missions for Cyberpunk RED. The adventures will center around different Fixers in Night City and we promise it won’t just be all work and no play. We’ll also be including a few goodies to add some new spice and fun to player’s lives in Cyberpunk RED as well.
Since it is early days for this book, no specifics on release yet.
Update: The Witcher TTRPG
Moving from the Dark Future to Dark Fantasy, we’ve got two projects to talk about for The Witcher. Keep in mind, all content is subject to final approvals from CD Projekt Red and, so subject to change!
Tome of Chaos
Tome of Chaos, our book all about magic in The Witcher, is in the final stages of layout and we’re hoping to ship it off to the printers soon. There’s so much in this book! New spells, new hexes, new magic types, new Priest and Druid Professions, and SO. MUCH. NEW. LORE! Writing/design was done by Cody Pondsmith, James Hutt, Linda Evans, Simon Goudreault, Lisa Pondsmith, and Sara Thompson.
For those of you who are curious, here’s a chapter by chapter tour of the book. Keep in mind, anything can change between now and printing.
- Compiling a Tome: An overview of the book by Brandon of Oxenfurt. It also introduces Glynnis van Treharne, a magician and scholar (and the sorceress in the image above!).
- Ley Lines: A few pages on ley lines, the invisible pathways of power, and how to use them.
- Mages: What is a mage? What is mage society like? What are the schools (Aretuza, Ban Ard, Gweison Haul, Meiboion Haul, and minor schools) like? There’s also a complete Mage Lifepath to use in place of the one from the core rulebook.
- Priests: What is the difference between a priest and a mage? Descriptions of fourteen different deities/faiths. We split Priest and Druid into two different Professions, each with their own Skill Tree. Priests appear here and their tree branches are Cultist, Preacher, and Fanatic.
- Druids: More information about Druids. Who they are. What they do. Information on several important circles and clans. The Druid Profession with the base ability of Rite of Oak and Mistletoe and tree branches of Initiate, Mystic Sage, and Militant. Curious what abilities they get? We don’t want to spoil but we will say two things: Shapeshifting. Sacred Grove.
- The Magical Mundane: Exploring those people born without the ability to cast spells but with some basic magical ability. There are fourteen magical gifts, each with their own unique effect and side-effect. And, yes, with GM approval, PCs can have them.
- A Compilation of Chaos: New magic! 24 new Novice Spells! 18 new Journeyman Spells! 10 new Master Spells! For Priests: 5 new Novice Invocations, 3 new Journeyman Invocations, 2 new Master Invocations, 9 new Archpriest Invocations! For Druids: 5 new Novice Invocations, 3 new Journeyman Invocations, 2 new Master Invocations, and 6 new Hierophant/Flaminika Invocations! Plus two new advanced Witcher Signs (Somne and Supirre), 10 new Rituals of varying levels, and 6 new Hexes of varying dangers!
- The Magical Marketplace: New glyphs, runewords, and glyphwords from Ofir! Elixirs! And a variety of new magic items and trophies!
- The Dark Arts: Included for the sake of completeness, we certainly don’t recommend your characters indulge in these forbidden magics. Certainly, they shouldn’t learn the spells and rituals of Necromancy, the dangerous science of advanced mutations, or the demonic summoning of Goetia. Just remember… everything has a price.
- Mages of Interest: Meet 16 new mages. Some are brand new in this book. Others, like Francesca Findabair, have appeared in The Witcher franchise before. Either way, these mages make for great mentors, patrons, friends, or even enemies…
- A Binding Cause: A new adventure! Journey to the village of Spetz, in Rivia, and deal with a demon…
- And new creatures!
- Bes: Most commonly summoned by desperate people seeking power, bes are demons of violence which delight in the torture of the living. They are difficult to deal with but if you can bind them they grant supernatural agility and power. Just be wary as they are terrifying enemies with claws like razors and the ability to possess people.
- Casglydd: Often summoned by academics searching for rare knowledge, casglydd are demons of knowledge who can share with you great secrets. However, they are easily intrigued and that intrigue quickly turns to obsession, causing them to kidnap people away into their own realm of shadows.
- Corpse Amalgam: Originally, created by the infamous Nilfgaardian necromancer, Cadfan of Ebbing, corpse amalgams utilize many partially animated corpses to create a golem of flesh which is capable of brief moments of sapient thought thanks to the many tormented souls trapped within it.
- Great Bear: Common across the Continent and well respected as apex predators, bears are one of the greatest threats in the natural world. For our purposes here, we are referring to bears as the alternate form of berserkers, the deadly bestial warriors of the blood god Svalblod.
- Living Armor: Developed by mages as a cheaper alternative to creating golems, animate armors use magic to animate an existing suit of armor to create a simple servant capable of defending its creator and performing simple tasks. Animate armors can also be found as guardians of ancient temples and high security vaults.
- Mari Lwyd: Summoned most often by greedy or desperate people, mari lwyd are demons of avarice which can grant their summoners amazing physical wealth and material benefit. But a mari lwyd always returns later for payment, taking something of equal value which more often than not far outweighs the initial gift.
- Penitent: Born from heinous crimes, penitent are specters which haunt those guilty of atrocities. They shroud the land in deep fog and summon wraiths to kill anyone who gets in their way as they seek some twisted form of justice. Penitent are a genuine threat for fledgling necromancers who attempt rituals beyond their means.
We’re aiming to have Tome of Chaos in stores by the end of the year.
Rodolf’s Guide to the North
Oh boy. This is a big one. Rodolf’s Guide to the North is exactly what it sounds like: information about the Northern Realms as presented by merchant extraordinaire Rodolf Kazmer and his reluctant partner in crime, scholar Brandon of Oxenfurt. Working on Guide to the North is our largest writing team yet, including Cody Pondsmith, James Hutt, Lisa Pondsmith, Linda Evans, Tarabella Pondsmith, Simon Goudreault, Mikołaj Skrzyński, and Sara Thompson. At the moment, they’re typing away furiously on articles about Mahakam, Redania, Skellige, Verden, the Hengfor League, Yennifer’s cosmetics boutique, and so so so much more!
No release window on this one. It is a work in progress.
And that’s it for now, friends! If you’re going to Gen Con, please stay safe. If you’re not, please stay safe. Just… stay safe. This is a strange time for us all.
Until next time!
The staff of R. Talsorian Games
Great news, can’t wait to delve deeper into Tome of Chaos! My younger sister is now torturing me with questions about druids(her favourite class) so I’m bound to ask: do they get to create treants(hierophat/flaminika level invocation perhaps)? I know how stupid and weirdly direct this question is, but she’ll kill me if I don’t ask..:)
Hey there. Afraid there won’t be much talk about treants in Tome of Chaos.