0.998 Changelog

Major update. There have been numerous changes to the game to streamline play and it's been a blast for my playtesters - so I am super excited to roll it out! These changes include:

Added Credits:

  • Proofing was performed by Matthew Peterson, Paul Peterson, & Jacob Garcia. Many thanks to each of them for their courageous reading!

"Quality of life" improvements

  • new! Index. Finally!
  • new! Character keeper (designed for online play, available in the extra links)
  • new! Simple Rules Overview handout. With added guidance for smoother discussion when switching between narration and determining the position/effect.
  • new! Player's Best Practices handout. Explains the six reminders at the bottom of each of the character playbooks, which are quite useful to know prior to creating a character.
  • new! Special Items & Special Abilities handout. 
  • new! Friends & Rivals handout. 
  • updated Character Creation & Crew Creation handouts.
  • added reminders for limits and benefits on the Supernatural Traditions handout.
  • added detail to Kingston 208x Map. More landmarks, new iconography, better colorization and labelling.
  • new! Kingston 208x Landmarks & Districts handout. Good for printing on the back of the map.
  • added reminder of limits to Crew Upgrades handout. Like.. how many sites and cohorts a crew can have, based on their Tier.
  • new! Kingston Factions handout. Filled in with new factions for speedier setup.
  • new! Advanced Options handout (details for elves, orks, trolls, and dwarves - all on one sheet). No one asked. I provided.
  • Playbooks design & special items: you are now explicitly told which ones refresh and under what circumstances during creation. You also are now instructed how to mark the ones you have chosen on your sheet to indicate you have access to them. There are now sideways arrows on your playbook to track which ones you've already chosen vs have not chosen. You can still write any other special items from another reasonable playbook in a blank area (like your notes).
  • new! Blades Players Primer & SR Players Primer. The need-to-know if you are coming from the games that inspired this take on fantasy cyberpunk.
  • Actions in Play examples revised and expanded.
  • Running the Game advice sections expanded to include topics like Stolen Gear


The actions list got an overhaul. Many experiments were had, and that was cool and all - but I reverted to what's tried and true in some ways, updated things in others to better match the flexibility found in Blades.  Actions are less specific now, not more. There are several new and added examples to guide their use in play though. And with that I have arrived on the final actions list. Here they are, organized by attribute:

Engineer - Interface - Stalk - Survey
Fight - Finesse - Prowl* - Wreck*
Command* - Consort - Influence* - Study

What was changed:

  • Prowl replaces Creep; and Mobility (a revised ability on the Punk playbook) now expands Prowl to become more clearly be a "scramble"-ish action. Scramble became Wreck, which was brought back to cover "savage force and calculated sabotage" - something that all runners can do, not just those with the Jury Rig ability (Scrambling with Jury Rig was previously your best "build" for this kind of action). 
  • Influence replaces Hustle: the latter is too clearly deceptive, and doesn't make a strong replacement for Sway. Influence on the other hand, is much more flexible. And "not necessarily dishonest."
  • Command replaces Demand: which is too passive and could really fall under either Sway or Command. 

Updating PCs from 0.997 to 0.998: If you had dots in Scramble, probably put them in Fight, Prowl, or Wreck as appropriate to what you want to be good at doing (read the actions carefully for how they differ in terms of intent and fictional approach). If you had dots in Creep, put them in Finesse or Prowl as appropriate. If you had dots in Demand, put them in Command or Influence. If you had dots in Hustle, put them in Influence or Finesse. Consider rebuilding your PC if you have multiple of these, or chose abilities that were changed.


Minor adjustment (streamlining if you will). The complication now handles more than it did before. And the worse position is quietly removed from the section. Find out Why? in this short article expanding on the subject.


  • PC Advancement occurred nearly every single session. Now, the playbook XP tracker is 10 ticks long, up from 8. With the wider third karma trigger (and many potential sources of additional karma), advancement should occur about as often in Runners as it does in Blades, despite having a tracker that is 2 segments longer.
  • Advancement Limits: PCs are limited to 13 action dots and 11 special abilities, and 9 crew special abilities. More than that, and you are going to need to swap things out.

Crew Creation

The process for choosing a meeting grounds and fixer have been streamlined, allowing for a faster setup with fewer weirdness along the way. The fiction between fixers and status changes is clarified as well (and how this mostly reflects faction statuses with regards to the fixer, rather than defaulting to relationships built directly with the crew).

Healers & Surgeons

  • The physician ability got renamed to Medic, and edited to reflect it should be taken twice to get +1d to healing and be counted as a surgeon. 
  • Accompanying this change is a softening of the healer requirement (you don't need it for level-1 harm), and a buff to the recovery downtime activity (doing so now heals 1 additional tick on the healing clock compared to before, so a total of 2 to 6 ticks). 
  • Clarifications made to how and what to roll on the recovery downtime activity, and the costs for not being a healer but also trying to roll dice. IE: No +1d from Medic (that benefit requires you take the ability twice). cost if you are not a Medic. Etc.

Cyberspace & Futurism

I think you borrowed too heavily from another game's matrix layout

This was said in a playtest feedback report - and while I am inclined to disagree, there is some truth to the idea that too much influence from other sources leaked in to the language of the Futurism section. Anyways, the idea is to not have to create detailed technology maps for runs! No hacker minigames that goes on and on should ever be happening in this game. Just narrate what happens when they do things, as usual - and make action rolls when needed. To that end, I have streamlined the language around this stuff quite a bit in the interest of playability and easier use: 

  • The term "gridlink" has been discarded in favor of more natural language and is now referred to as a "cyberspace provider," or just "provider."
  • Providers are either protected or public.  And some of those protected ones also happen to be the quality 5+ cyberspace providers: the ones that are super fast and ultra-reliable, maintained by the top megas.
  • Targets are either vulnerable to hacking or they're not, as befitting of the circumstances, as usual. However, signals are referred to as being either hot (broadcast over long range, usually directed through cyberspace) or cold (these are super secure, and only ever passed as short-range signals).
  • Constructs are a thing; replacing the term "virtual host." These are virtual spaces where people gather for interactive experiences using cyberspace. These can be public or private as well, but what differentiates them is that they are simulated environments that you must interact with virtually. Most constructs are storefronts, office spaces, and social networks. Some are secret, requiring special permissions or an invite to find and access (requiring a run, or possibly a long-term project to locate and hack). They're like pocket dimensions, "managed by AI." These can probably only be manipulated by a cunning hacker interfacing with the right software (IE warez) or a technomancer.

Adept playbook

  • When an Adept chooses their Way, they are now also choosing where their starting action dots go - and where they can exceed the normal limits (this is now stated explicitly). 
  • Adepts also get a new karma trigger to accompany this change. It was  to "address a tough challenge with athleticism or mystical power" but now it is "address a tough challenge with inner perfection or mystical power," pointing back to the pursuit of things related to their chosen Way, and opening up new avenues for expression of what that actually means in play.
  • Mystic Adepts can now access secret arts using their choice of Attune or Assense (instead of just Assense). This means you can be a techno-monk or cyber-mage or pretty much whatever else you can come up with.

Face playbook

  • New ability, Captivating, replaces Spectacle (which keyed off of Hustle in a weird way that kind of didn't do much). The build that has Captivating is now called "the Spectacle," and this ability says you can capture the attention of larger groups of people than usual, as well as allowing you to Consort with completely hostile targets (normally you can't expect this to do much). This should provide more interesting possibilities than the previous Spectacle ability.

Muscle Playbook

  • Ferocious renamed to Formidable.
  • Conditioned benefit simplified: It used to be "+1d to rolls vs interrogation or torture." Now it's "You never suffer trauma due to reconditioning."
  • Street Code buffed: "to the death" was removed from the karma trigger. This permits other types of duels to also earn karma.

Rigger playbook

  • You can now explicitly spend a second special item choice on the personal vehicle to have a flying or underwater vehicle, instead of  a land- or sea-based one. 

Hacker playbook

  • Digital Intruder was cut. Your deck is already a measure of protection against detection. And potency is only granted by very specific abilities now. This ability was replaced with Digital Warden,. which is great for hiding a comm - or turning one into a super obvious distraction.
  • The Signal Tuner ability is no longer so "binary"; instead, it provides an always-on fictional benefit that your networks operate at a longer range than normal and are more difficult to notice. My hope is this will provide added utility and more clearly define its benefit.
  • The special item suite of warez now grants access to apps which provide expanded functionality in VR. These apps are the ones you need if you aren't just going to execute software exploits that are available to you through hacking. Wrecking a virtual environment while actually in VR should benefit from the use of specialized VR hacking apps like these to change things up in specific ways. The new design should help avoid hacking becoming an exercise in techno-babble and matrix layouts; it's meant to be more of a fantastic journey full of simulated surprises. It's an opportunity to challenge players to get creative with their available tools and the virtual environmental features.
  • The special item portable VR kit is improved to include a stealth fabric enclosure capable of concealing you (in addition to trodes and secure seating).

Punk playbook

  • The Saboteur ability was cut. The restored Wreck action, plus the "modify" function of the Jury Rig ability (Rigger) covers this fiction, and then some. New ability, Dropout: permits some special bonuses while resisting and performing teamwork. 
  • Mobility (mentioned above) was revised to now means you simply move faster and more unpredictably while Prowling.
  • Driven was renamed to Beyond Driven. Pantera +1.
  • The special item street drugs gained nu-ganja as an option. Yes, nu-ganja is a Thing now.

Rigger playbook

  • Infiltrator was moved to the Hacker book (no it wasn't. Whoops).

Trigger playbook

  • The special item military weapon now has additional options including: cornershot, silenced, shocking, stabby, stopping power, & splitting. Each of these can mean different things, depending on the weapon's described form and optimal range. Be creative with this one!


  • Assassins, Cult, Mercs, and Radicals playbook: each have access to Calloused or Hardened (a +1 trauma box upgrade that costs 3 upgrade boxes), while the others do not. They have their own selection of unique upgrades.
  • Shadows playbook: got a new unique upgrade, Extra Added Site (exceeding the usual limit on sites by 1). 
  • Mercs: The ability Forged in the Fire was nerfed, and renamed to Seen Some Drek to reflect its different benefit: rather than "+1d to all resistances," it now gives "+1d to a single attribute of choice" (and each PC need not choose the same one).

Surely there were other changes that I didn't mention here. I been awful busy the past few months..

Status: What's left to do? 

Not much! Getting very close now! But here's what is left on my list and the latest info about that:

  1. Fixing any reported issues with the text. Do this here
  2. Art. I have art submissions, but have not found the correct combination of style and simplicity that I am seeking for this project. I will provide some previews of the art direction (a lot like the cover, with strong silhouettes in photo-realistic environments).

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Hotfixes (current version is technically 0.998b): 

  • due to corrupted files.. Punk Hacker and Rigger playbooks were replaced; notes above updated to reflect restorations. 
  • clarification.. dots in the special actions do not contribute directly to any attribute rating. New visual indicator on Mage and Techno playbooks should help to imply these are separate.