Sunday, 20 January 2013

Generic Cyberpunk 2020 Bastard System: Fantasy Edition

For some reason today I got onto thinking about using the Cyberpunk 2020 system as a generic GURPS-esque system - I think I started off by wondering what system I would use for a fantasy cowboys sandbox thanks to watching Django Unchained yesterday, and it sort of snowballed from there.

Here is what I have so far. This is a fantasy/medieval history iteration, not a western one. I am posting it up here for comments and, if anybody really wants to, play testing. You'll need to have some knowledge of Cyberpunk 2020 to know what the fuck I'm talking about, but still.

The basic aim is to try to emulate the grittiness and danger of the Cyberpunk 2020 "Saturday Night Fire Fight" system, as well as the importance of armour and shields. The rationale is: if you are prepared for a fight, fully kitted out, you will be very tough to kill. If you are unprepared/unarmoured, you will die extremely quickly.

Character Generation

Default is to assign 60 points between the stats, but you could roll 9d10 and use the total instead. The 'Iron Man' system of character gen would be to roll a d10 for each stat in order, re-rolling 1s.

'Cool' is renamed 'Fortitude'.


As standard. Combat skills would include Brawling, Archery, Polearms, Slashing weapons, Bludgeoning weapons, Exotic weapons (for things like whips, nets, bolas, etc.).


Combat rules are as standard - d10+skill+REF. BTM modifiers apply for both attacker and defender. Hits are randomly assigned, also as standard. Following exceptions to main rules applies:

Damage reduction - all penetrating hits damage armour by SP1, but axes, pole-axes and maces always damage hard armour (i.e. plates) by SP1 irrespective of whether they penetrate.

Edged weapons are armour-piercing against soft armour (e.g. leather, hide, padded) - SP is halved.

Pole-axes, warhammers and military picks are armour piercing against hard armour - SP is halved.

Damage to head is doubled without a helm.

Shields work against all hits to arms, torso or head (though not to rear attacks), and are SP 14 (wooden) or SP 16 (metal). All hits to wooden shields reduce the shield's SP by 1. Shield users suffer a -3 modifier to hit when attacking. [Designer Note: The idea is that if you are fighting a shield-user, you're probably going to have to either wear down his resolve with repeated blows, outflank him, or go for the legs with a called shot at -4 to hit]

Sample armour SPs:

Hide/padded 4
Soft leather 5
Ring mail 10
Chain mail 12
Banded mail 12
Scale mail 14
Field plate 18
Full plate 20

Sample damage ratings:

Longsword 2d6
Two-handed sword 3d6
Battle axe 2d6
Mace 1d6+2
Pole-axe 1d6+3
Spear 1d6
Short sword 1d6
Dagger 1d3+1


Not thought about that yet.


  1. Sold!

    So when are we playing?

    Could magic be like INT skills based in different areas, with difficulty of success determining what happens?

    Eg 1: I have INT 9 and Fire Magic 3. I want to launch a fireball at someone 100m away. DM says I need 20. Roll a 9 for total 21: the 1 over acts as some kind of bonus (burns longer, does more damage, fire sprays to adjacent target etc).

    Eg 2: INT 5, Illusion 2. Someone is coming and I want to blend in. DM says 15 needed. I roll a 3, total 10. So because the roll was -5 to what was needed maybe there is a scale for how bad a screw up it was. -1 and maybe the oncoming person gets a save of some kind. -5 means I've turned bright yellow.

  2. Did similar a loooong time ago (mid-1990s - Gawd I feel old!) with CP2020 + Pendragon arms and armour rules.

    It held together more than adequately during the couple of sessions we played, which I credit entirely to the fine design work of Messrs Pondsmith and Stafford.

    I presume you'd keep roles, adapting them and their signature skills to something more quasi-Chaucerian (Solo = Knight, Rocker = Minstrel, Nomad = Friar(?), etc).

    1. Yes, something along those lines. I didn't think of Nomad as Friar, but that's a nice idea... Although maybe you could have Nomads as Gypsies, and perhaps Corporate as Friar (seeing as he can call on the Church's Resources).

  3. You might want to check out the Mekton rules, which R. Talsorian also put out. Similar, but tied to a slightly different genre.

    1. I've heard horrendous things about Mekton - is it playable?

  4. First-off, love the idea! Here are some comments. I would potentially be up for a g+ game, though the timezones might not work out.

    1) "if you are prepared for a fight, fully kitted out, you will be very tough to kill. If you are unprepared/unarmoured, you will die extremely quickly."

    This might be a problem for a cowboy game--setting has neither armour nor cybermods. That could be a problem in general for making it a "generic" system, since survivability will be greatly reduced.

    2) 'Cool' is renamed 'Fortitude'.

    Why? Are you trying to make BODY a little less important and COOL a little more? If so, do you have a similar idea for REF?

    3) Are there Classes? Admittedly, CP2020 doesn't really need them, due to the unified skill-based mechanic...

    4) Is this something your are considering publishing? If so, are there legal problems basing it on CP2020? If so, using something DnD based might be preferable...(

    1. 1) Yes - a Western game would be totally different. It would me more like the WWII game I ran with the CP2020 rules: if you get shot, basically, you die.

      2) No, just I don't think 'cool' really fits in the medieval/fantasy context. It's just a cosmetic change.

      3) Probably yes - I was thinking Knight, Minstrel, Friar, Brigand...some others. Maybe even Jester.

      4) No, I wouldn't publish it. Maybe put it out as a free PDF which you would only be able to use if you had the CP2020 rules already.

  5. When I was a teenager I used CP2020 for both fantasy and an alternative history western game (because I couldn't afford other games!) and used a similar system to the one above. It basically played a lot like an OSR game in many ways.

    The western game was also incredibly, unexpectedly lethal. CP2020 always is, but playing a game without body armour beyond Ned Kelly style really brought that home.

    For the fantasy side, I think the Interlock Unlimited Project on the VFTE forums/Datafortress 2020 site had an expansive magic system for the game, available on DF2020.

    1. Yes, a few years back I ran a WWII game using the CP2020 games. The lethality was severe (you simply won't survive a hit from anything bigger than a handgun, and even that will seriously fuck you up), but that was part of the fun of it.

  6. They semi-generalized the CP2020 rules when they merged them with Hero to create Fuzion. Not sure how much of the 2020 rules made the cut but I did run fantasy Fuzion games a few times and had a blast. The rather large Fuzion community disappeared when the companies involved stopped supporting it but I have still been able to poach old pdf based supplements from the wayback machine and reocities.

  7. I'm unfamiliar with the CP2020 rules but this sounds interesting. What would the penalties for heavy armor be? Maybe heavily armored fighters get penalties to initiative, and certain maneuvers are more difficult. I think there should be advantages for lightly-armored combatants so the system doesn't become a scramble for the heaviest armor.

  8. I always felt magic should be tech based as in tech as measurement of the charters technique this system converts well for the creation of magic items and inclusion of techno magic creation of magic technology which includes any magic item.

  9. Hey, sorry to comment on so old a post, but can you tell me more about the WWII CP2020 game? I've been looking for tank stats for a little while, if you played a game with tanks. Here or email me at Thanks!