Monday, September 25, 2023

OSR Review & Commentary On Hacker By Paul Elliot for your 2d6 Science Fiction or Cyberpunk style rpg

 "You need a set of hacking rules for your futuristic RPG setting.

HACKER is system-neutral – a fast and unobtrusive set of cyberspace rules that recreates the colour and danger of a classic cyberpunk ‘consensual hallucination’. In the words of William Gibson, it is a ‘graphic representation of data … lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data.’

In these rules, we call it Cyberspace. But it might be the Matrix, the Netrix, or just the Network. Take your pick. Just don’t call it the Internet. Or the Web"

So I got a copy of Hacker by Paul Elliot from an update from the Zaibatsu rpg. What followed were thirteen pages of common sense and well thoughtout hacking in Cyberspace rules and clear decking rules for any 2d6 Traveller or Cepheus Engine rpg driven games. Hacker does that by give us clear and precise rules for hacking into the computers and systems of Zaibatsu and Hostile. But really these rules could easily be appiied to any 2d6 Cyberpunk style rpg. Hacker's font and layout are clear and well done. 
Now the weird part of this is that I've been meaning to get back to Zaibatsu for sometime. The game mechanics of Hacker rely on the Hostile and Zaibatsu 2d6 systems. This means that Hacker has it's own internal system with the following;"Your roleplaying game will have its own dice, attributes, skill levels and so on. We can’t guarantee compatibility. So, at key moments we just ask you to ‘make a computer skill roll’, whether that’s 3D6 roll under 12, or roll 2D6 to get 8+, or to make a percentage roll against Computer Programming 56%, or whatever. You get the idea." 

Hacker is a step sideways for Zaibatsu and Hostile. There are already solid systems for cyberspace within Zaibatsu? Hacker presents a faster alternative & solid alternative. The rules in Hacker are built for convience & not to slow down your games. There are even two example runs through Cyberspace  with the Hacker rules. 

What Hacker gets right is the William Gibson Neuromancer style experience of Cyberspace. Hacker is a lean & mean set of 2d6 rules for the Cyberpunk 2d6 player out there. 

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