Sunday, July 26, 2020

Spotlight on Neurocity

Neurocity is a cyberpunk RPG created and published by Gavriel Quiroga and in my opinion, it carves its own niche into that genre quite nicely.

I received a PDF of this product in exchange for this spotlight.

The PDF is 126 pages and covers the setting and the game's rules system.

The book opens with this:

"NEUROCITY is a technological city complex crowned by a glitched digital sun ruled by an ever-watchful supercomputer called I.S.A.C (Intelligent Singular Artificial Consciousness).

The history behind the founding of the city is shrouded in mystery. However, an unquestionable official version has been created in which Man existed in a state of perpetual ignorance and confusion until he stumbled by chance on I.S.A.C. Then everything changed. I.S.A.C gave Man a purpose and granted him immortality with the creation of Samsara and the process of Renewal.

This happened a long time ago, in a past as remote as it is uncertain. Now only the present matters. The effort and sacrifice of Man has borne fruit and Neurocity now enjoys an immortal society that is increasingly perfect or at least boasts so"

Neurocity has 5 social castes and your place is determined by I.S.A.C. Deltas are the lowest and they dressin black and use Soma to "relax the mind"; Gammas are laborers and while Soma is not required it is encouraged and they dress in dark gray; Betas are committed and loyal and have access to the Intranet and wear light gray; Alphas are supervisors and have their own language in addition to the Neurocity's common one, they are wealthy, and dress in white; Finally, there are the Epsilons, anomalies that are considered broken and a threat to I.S.A.C. and his creation.

The City is run by the Ministries of Health, Technology, Truth, and Peace and Order.

The Intranet is open to Betas and Alphas and is an extension of I.S.A.C.'s nervous system, those of lower castes can access via public terminals and cyberdecks.

I.S.A.C. created Samsara that allows those who are no longer functioning properly (Epsilons) to be reborn and refreshed, allowing functional immortality. Vitalogy is I.S.A.C.'s idealogy that teaches Obedience, Discipline, and Order and reinforces that a citizen's sole concern is their place within Neurocity.

Cyberware is not utilized or considered appropriate with Samasara's ability to replace and refresh a flawed citizen. The rest of the City's technology is inefficient due to the controlled nature of the resources available to the castes. In fact, it is going through a technological involution from the digital to the analog for all but the Alphas.

The game system has five Attributes Logic, Personality, Technocracy, Instinct, and Violence and they are generally 5 to 10. Players roll 2d6 trying roll equal to or less than the appropriate Attribute. If you succeed by rolling an 8 or higher it is a critical success while if you roll two 1s the roll is generally unsuccessful or at least requires another roll. Rolling two 6s can be interpreted as a critical failure but the Director should only enforce that once per story.

I haven't played many cyberpunk games in the last two decades but Neurocity is a really well-done setting with a lot going on in a mere  126 pages.

I cannot recommend it enough.

You can buy it here.

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