It’s an exciting time for fans of Cyberpunk and Neo-noir content! The Kickstarter for Altered Carbon: The Roleplaying Game is now live, just in time for season 2 of the hit Netflix series. This official collaboration between Skydance Television (Altered Carbon) and Hunters Entertainment (Kids on Bikes, Outbreak: Undead) debuts a brand new rules system, lots of options for character customization, and rich, dystopian world to explore.
In Bay City, a neon metropolis reminiscent of a futuristic San Francisco, human consciousness has been digitized and downloaded onto “Cortical Stacks”. This data can then be “re-sleeved” into a new body at will, if you can afford it. This process makes death effectively obsolete for the rich and powerful, allowing them to accumulate wealth and influence over multiple lifetimes and giving them god-like status over the rest of society. Those less fortunate make do with whatever they can, adapting new “sleeves” out of synthetic bodies, or using advanced technology to upgrade the ones that they were born with.
These unique circumstances give players a plethora of options to personalize their characters, but, the designers warn, “immortality is not invincibility.” Stacks are still vulnerable to fatal damage, and augmentation or rebirth can come with costly consequences. Savvy players and Game Masters can use these consequences to their benefit, grounding the ever-evolving characters into a gritty, immersive adventure.
Anyone eager to jump in can check out the Kickstarter for the Quick Start Guide. It includes resources for lore, character building, rules, and even a free module so you can start right away. The guide will help Game Masters and players design characters using archetypes from the show and novels (Civilian, Socialite, Official, Criminal, Technician, or Soldier) and then customize them with specific Traits, Sleeves, Equipment, and, most intriguing, Baggage. In the world of Altered Carbon, multiple lives stay with you, the “baggage” from those past lives (and how they ended) affect your state of mind and add a unique element for players to explore. It also introduces the brand new Hazard System, designed specifically for this RPG.
The new system is a mix of familiar RPG concepts and innovative touches that keep the story moving. Like many other RPGs, players roll sets of polyhedral dice to determine the result of their actions. In the Hazard System, the aim is to roll against a Target Result determined by the GM. If the number is equal to or lower than the Target Result, the action is a success, if it’s higher then it’s a failure. The difference between the dice roll and the Target is the “degree of success/failure” for the action, giving the Game Master a chance to add depth and detail to the RP for a richer storytelling experience. The Quick Start Guide also introduces an exciting take on combat that encourages quick, cooperative tactics without sacrificing pacing, evoking the fast-paced, high energy atmosphere of the fight scenes and encounters from the show.
In addition to the free Quick Start Guide, the Kickstarter also offers a rich array of game materials to backers of every tier, ranging from PDF’s and original art to authentic prop reproductions, dazzling dice, and drool-worthy GM screens. The stretch goals include access to a new Osaka sourcebook with links to the upcoming second season of the show and a One-Shot Liveplay featuring a mystery cast. There really is something for every sci-fi/cyberpunk nerd.
So if you’re a scrappy Envoy, an enigmatic Meth, or something in between, make sure to check out the Altered Carbon: The Roleplaying Game Kickstarter for all the details. It’s sure to appeal to gamers and binge-watchers alike.
Check out the campaign here!