The future has imploded into the present. With no nuclear war the new battlefields are people's minds and souls. Megacorporations are the new governments and computer generated info domains are the new frontiers.
Though there is better living through science and chemistry, we are all becoming cyborgs. The computer is the new cool tool and though we say "all information should be free", it is not.
Information is power and currency of the virtual world we inhabit, so mistrust authority. Cyberpunks are the true rebels. Cyberculture is coming in under the radar of ordinary society; an unholy alliance of the low-tech world and the world of organized dissent.
Welcome to the Cybercorporations
OK, Choomba, you've slid your credchip into the right Dataterm. Now pay attention cuz I'm not in the habit of repeating myself. I'm the Storyteller. Yeah, I know - the Storyteller's an urban legend. Well this urban legend's gonna learn your butt something cuz I'm gonna impart some of my knowledge unto you. Not all at once mind you, just a little at a time. I've been around for awhile now, I make it my job to see but not be seen and hear but not be heard. I'm kinda the unofficial chronicler of the stories in this fair city.
Where to start? How about back in 2013, a year after Johnny Silverhand's big blowup at the Arasaka complex in Night City? Maybe I'll tell you the story of the fall of Arasaka's chief rivals in the security biz, another zaibatsu by the name of Osaka Industries. If you're old enough you may even remember the Glass Dreams news special (before that got yanked from the feeds) and rocker Jet Black's involvement, too. Legend has it that the final blow was the work of a single renegade solo; someone who single-handedly demolished Osaka's entire US West Coast operation. That weakened them enough for a hostile takeover by Arasaka, giving Saburo a lock on the security industry in Japan.
How about these days you ask? What, you wanna hear how life sucks? Or you wanna hear about the new legends?
Oh yeah, back in 2013 they knew how guns really worked, too. The original Friday Night Firefight called it right, not like these new watered-down versions they've published.
Stories from Night City
My relationship with R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk RPG was at its peak while I was in university. My introduction to the game was early in my first year, when I played in a game at a local gaming convention, with the first edition (Cyberpunk 1.0 aka Cyberpunk 2013) of the game, and I was hooked. The gamemaster of that convention game started up a campaign, with one of the other players and I carrying over our characters from the con game. I soon started co-GMing the campaign, and when the original GM left I took over the game.
For the rest of university I ran a Cyberpunk game regularly, to the point where I was pretty closely associated with CPunk in the campus gaming community. The game transitioned to the Cyberpunk 2020 rules when they were released. I missed some of the deadliness of the original Friday Night Firefight rules so I adapted them to 2020, plus added more house rules as time went by. People liked playing in my Cyberpunk games despite, or maybe because of, the level of lethality I maintained. One player had so many characters killed during my games that they had the Lifepath tables memorized from making new ones so often, and I presided over a few potential total-party-kills (one of which I had little to nothing to do with).
The games came and went, but were all linked and I considered them part of an extended campaign universe. PCs and NPCs would reappear across different games, and significant events from games became part of the lore that would be referenced in later games. The campaign faded away after I finished university. I ignored Cyberpunk 3rd Edition with its Fuzion rules, sickly green coloring, and "action figure theater" artwork, not that I was running many games by that point. Since then it has been the occasional one-shot with friends or at a convention, with nothing for quite a while. I have a copy of Cyberpunk Red, so maybe a return to the old campaign universe is in the cards, or maybe not.
Most of the games were a long, long time ago, and despite me being a packrat a lot of the original material is gone. What is assembled here is what I have recovered plus what I have managed to remember. The material encompasses story details of the campaigns as well as some of the house rules I made use of when running the games.