2d6 Random Thoughts

I had no idea what to write about, so I rolled 2d6 and scored…

So here are eight random thoughts about gaming:

  1. It’s amazing to me how quickly people can form a bond around the topic of tabletop roleplaying.
  2. I feel a strong emotional reaction when rolling either 2d6 or 3d6 when I am playing – it’s a positive vibe! Maybe it comes from Traveller?
  3. There is a nostalgia I feel for the period of gaming I grew up in (1980s) which transcends the particular games from that period. This is curious to me.
  4. There is something eminently preferable to a booklet or small box of booklets over a hardbacked book, although I can’t really rationalise it.
  5. Is it weird that I would rather have a black-and-white book with line art than all the glitzy pictures in other games?
  6. I have a warm spot for product codes and can identify many games from just seeing the code – e.g., TLG 80107-2
  7. As I get older, I tend to see the new edition as an inevitable let-down.
  8. I really miss having a face-to-face group.

I told you I didn’t know what to write. Make of it what you will.

Game on!


  1. The only one I don’t identify with is #6, product codes. Maybe because I never worked in the game/hobby store business.
    All the others strongly resonate with me also.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that 7 is mostly because so many new editions have been less useful, good, whatever than their predecessors. I can think of a few: I think each iteration of GURPS has been an improvement over the last, Shadowrun 2nd edition took the best pieces published for 1st and consolidated them (but after that, well…) and the same can be said for Cyberpunk (though I hear that Cyberpunk Red is a step up even from Cyberpunk 2020), 2nd edition The Arcanum expands the 1st without taking anything away. But for every one of those, there are many AD&D or D&D editions (5E is a remarkably unusual case, though still mostly lesser than AD&D 1E and B/X in my opinion; that said, you gotta love the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic), Hero System reached its peak during its 3rd edition era and has gone downhill since, no edition of a Star Wars game has improved on the WEG one, and so on.

    Um, not meaning to be opinionated on your page.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Most resonate with me also.

    Regarding #4, I am always disappointed when I erroneously take my The One Ring 2e-box off the shelf and then realize it’s only the Starter Box and the “real” rules are in the thick hardcover book.
    And no, the big book does not fit in the box, I already tried that 😀

    The best thing I can say about CP RED is that it made me think about fixing the issues with CP2020 in my preferred way – I have since done exactly that and gone back to CP2020 for a quite enjoyable solo (but non-Solo 😉 ) campaign.
    So…thank you, CP RED, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Generally speaking, my changes mainly go in the same direction as those made in CP RED: simplifying the rules and reducing lethality a bit. So I agree with the goal, but not with the methods and the extent (especially regarding lethality, CP RED has gone too far in the other direction in my opinion).

        Since I used my German hardback CP2020 book as main rules reference, my house rules are also in German – so I can’t just send you the note file and instead will paraphrase the rules here in no particular order.

        If any of you, dear readers, are not interested in house rules for a 30 year old game, you can stop reading now 😉

        I removed three round bursts, autofire bonus or penalty, REF-based penalties (the latter are replaced by a flat -3 penalty for a moving target) as well as maximum damage for firearms at point blank ranges. Shotguns no longer count as area weapons. You cannot aim with Autofire (but you can still go for headshots).
        Also gone is the automatic maiming effect of wounds with 8 or more damage points (which would lead to instant death at 4 (!) final points of damage to the head). Damage is still doubled for headshots.
        I feel the regular wound penalties account for limb damage just fine. These wound penalties now also apply to the MA attribute.

        Default hit location is the torso (as in GURPS), so there is almost never a need to roll hit location – if you want to hit another location (either the head for more damage or the limbs because they are less armored), you roll at -4 and either miss completely or hit the intended location.

        Multiple action penalties are applied to all actions equally instead of increasing from one action to the next. Per RAW, the penalties for three actions in a turn would be 0 for the first, -3 for the second and -6 for the third. Under my ruleset, it is -6 for each action.
        This also means you must decide on the number of actions before rolling and cannot add more actions if you did not succeed with the first few tries.

        Instead of rolling all damage rolls for multiple hits from a RoF>1 weapon (this also counts for multiple melee hits from a multi-action) individually, you roll the first damage roll and then have the opportunity to trade an additional hit for a reroll of any number of damage dice (i.e. keeping the high rolls and rerolling the lower ones).
        Once you are done rerolling, apply the damage result accounting for armor, body type modifier etc. and multiply the final damage with the number of remaining additional hits.
        In my opinion and experience, this turns heaps of damage rolls from a chore into a decently fun minigame and interesting decision how often to reroll or go with the higher multiplication factor.

        Stun checks are made per “attack complex” (i.e. after one attacker is done with all his attacks), not per hit.

        Shotgun slug damage is not halved for soft armor.

        “Regular” hand to hand and melee skills get the same damage bonus as a Martial Arts skill.

        Luck can be used after a roll and can cancel a critical fumble as well as lead to a critical success.
        For medical rolls (i.e. those made by another character), the wounded character can also spend his Luck points on the roll.

        Guns with Concealability L or N are at -1 and -2 to REF, except when used in a static fashion.

        Initiative works like a hybrid of Millennium’s End and WEG Star Wars:

        it is only rolled when absolutely necessary and only between the immediately affected (so in a typical room entry situation, only the ambusher in the room and the FIRST man in the stack would roll for initiative, but not the other people in the stack).
        In these situations, no active or passive defense is possible since it is only about being first. Also, multi-actions are not allowed (this makes full-auto guns shine as semi-autos are limited to very few rounds). In essence, the involved characters get a reduced mini-combat turn between them.
        Ambushers get +5 to initiative in these situations.

        In all other cases, turn order is determined by the effective skill roll of the participants. Then, multi-actions are possible as well as defensive actions.
        Ambushers get +5 to their attack roll in these situations.

        Close combat works similar to Stellar Adventures or Advanced Fighting Fantasy:
        All participants choose a target and hit the target (or achieve their maneuver effect) if their fighting roll is higher than that of the target.
        There is a -3 penalty for each additional opponent.

        Defensive behavior in melee is a Dodge or fighting roll without a multi-opponent penalty, but also without the opportunity to hurt anyone – if your roll is the highest, you just do not get hit.

        In ranged combat, roll REF+Dodge+1D10 and replace the range difficulty with the result if it is higher.
        This means that at long ranges (depending on the gun), dodging is not useful while it can certainly save your life in CQB.

        A Solo’s Combat Sense is divided into an initiative and Awareness bonus with the first point going into initiative, the next into Awareness and so on.

        The higher of EMP or COOL is used for cyberware limit and only counts as an absolute limit, i.e. there is no attribute reduction from cyberware.

        Attributes increase when the SECOND skill assigned to that attribute increases above the attribute. This skill is then marked and can never lead to another attribute increase.
        (I am still trying out this rule to see if it works to my satisfaction – some attributes have very few associated skills, but others can be increased with implants…we will see).

        My current CP2020 solo project is a NCPD campaign with a rather absurd amount of firefights or at least firefight potential.
        As a result, I have run more CP2020 firefights and combat in general in the last year as in the decades before combined.
        So far, I am happy with how the above house rules have turned out and am now looking for a way to send them back in time to the mid-90s 😀


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