During the month of August, I am participating in #RPGaDay, an opportunity to talk daily about different topics related to games and gaming, organized by Dave Chapman, designer of Doctor Who: Adventures In Time and Space. I’ve been out of gaming for a while, so this is gonna be an interesting exercise.
Day 4: Most Surprising Game
This is an extremely vague topic; what exactly makes a game surprising? One game immediately jumped to mind, however, so I guess instinctively I do know what it means.
The game is Cyberpunk 2020 by R. Talsorian Games. In the early 90s, I fell in love with Shadowrun and played it quite a bit. I used to work at a roleplaying games store in Puerto Rico, and the owner, having been in the Navy, had been exposed to a larger number of games than most of us high school kids. He ordered Cyberpunk 2020 into the store, and I bought it the same day I took it out of the box. I knew I would like it, since I liked the cyber part of Shadowrun, but once I started running it for friends, I found out I absolutely loved it. For a couple of years this because MY game: if someone wanted to play it, they called me; if someone wanted to know about it, they called me; if there was a rule dispute, they called me. Cyberpunk 2020 captured my imagination, and led me to read quite a few William Gibson books in order to better my game. This is how this game surprised me: it went from a pretty cool buy to becoming my go-to and defining roleplaying game for about 3 years in the early 90s. Even after all these years, after all the book cullings I have made as I’ve moved around, I keep this book with me (“somewhere around here,” he wonders, as he looks at the various unpacked boxes in the living room, “but with me.”).