June 23

Night City Blues

While writing my top ten list I came across some notes I made for a campaign using Cyberpunk 2020 where the player characters were policemen in Night City.  The campaign was called Night City Blues and was based upon a pastiche of the various american cop shows which were popular in the UK during the early 90s; I drew a lot of inspiration and even the title from the popular Hill Street Blues. I can’ t remember if I ever did the famous briefing  scene in the show but I probably did.

I wasn’t surprised as I read my notes that the same concept would stand the test of time and could easily be run today as a police procedural; I think the setting would also work with the current line up of two players as they can be partners standing shoulder to shoulder and back to back upholding the law.

One of the great things about a cop style game is that it suits a smaller player group, if you have two players then you have the classic buddy cop set-up which is a staple of the genre; whether it be a straight by the book cop paired with a slightly insane guy who plays it fast and loose; or you could have a human partnered with an alien, cyborg, robot, zombie, mutant, anthropomorphic animal sort of thing.  The possibilities and combinations are endless.

For this campaign the players were attached to the Special Investigative Division which meant I could give them all sorts of cases to play with and they had the latitude to follow whatever leads they could find.  It also meant that they weren’t restricted to just investigating homicide or vice cases, variety is after all the spice of life and I wanted it to be as varied as possible.

The game started to write itself as the teams faced both internal and external conflicts; two of the group who had different ideas to the rest of the team would find them paired up together by the player character with the highest rank as none of the other officers would want anything to do with them.  Things came to a head when one of the police officers used his hard earned salary to buy an enhancement to bolster his reputation as a ladies man but forgot to have enough money for recuperative therapy or ask for time off to recover from the surgery.  The end result being he got shot and since he was already wounded from all the surgery he went straight back to hospital for a long period of rest.

I gave them an idea of the budget that they would be working with and they spent quite a lot of it on tooling up and it wasn’t until one of the pair of specially adapted patrol cars was destroyed did they suddenly realise they no longer had any money to replace lost transportation; this also meant they started treating what gear they had with more care as they knew it would be difficult to obtain a replacement.

Perhaps I shall dig out the books I used to run the game and have the players once more tread the beat of the famed Night City, the thin blue line protecting the citizens of the area against the horrors of crime and cyberpsychosis; or I could take the ideas and concepts and retool them for a series set in an exotic location.  Mars comes to mind, in the Cyberpunk universe the world is slowly being colonised and it has the air of an old west style frontier town or even the moon for a deadlier set-up.
Hmmmm, now there’s an idea, something that We Can Remember It Wholesale 🙂 , and remember lets be careful out there people.

Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

Posted June 23, 2014 by GeneralTangent in category "Cyberpunk", "RPG

About the Author

I've been gaming on and off since about 1989 and during that period have played with numerous game systems. I'm fluent in a few, have a basic understanding of quite a few more and can get by in others. Somewhere along the way I found time to be a playtester, contribute to an unpublished game supplement and be associated with another gaming magazine written by far more talented people than I. This lead to one infamous article being written in which I followed the letter of the adventure and torched the parties river barge. I'm also listed on http://rpggeek.com as a game designer.

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