Don’t let the meteor strike, corporate-government oppression or virulent nano-plague get you down. It’s actually the tattered economy, fascist paramilitary police forces and psychotic teen gangs that should be getting you down. Hey, it was an easy world to live in, they wouldn’t have made an RPG out of it.
Cybergeneration is an indie RPG published by Firestorm Ink, and is a spiritual successor to the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG. The game takes place in a dystopian future (the year 2027, to be exact) where a strange nanotech plague has killed off a bunch of adults and made a lot of kids and teens into cybermutants with superpowers. The U.S. is essentially a puppet state controlled by a profit-hungry (and ethics-free) mega-corporation. There’s a really interesting “kids versus grown-ups” dynamic inherent in the game.
Mile High Dragon is your basic city sourcebook, detailing a variety of allies, threats, locations and history for Denver, Colorado. What you won’t find in this book is statistics. This is one of those sourcebooks that is 100 percent fluff, much in the style of some White Wolf supplements (technically, there is one small bit of crunch, a stat for characters who want to become buskers). The positive of this approach is that this book isn’t really tied to any particular set of rules. You could drop this version of Denver into pretty much any cyberpunk style RPG — I think it would work nicely in Alpha Omega.
I personally prefer a tighter balance between fluff and crunch in an RPG book. It seems a little strange to have pages introducing NPCs, but with no stat blocks for them. But, like I said, there are positive aspects to this kind of approach, and many players and GMs prefer it. So consider this not a complaint, merely an observation on what kind of book you’re getting.
And what you’re getting turns out to be a raw, manic burst of dystopian science-fiction. You start out with a description of Denver’s fictional Cybergeneration history, laid out like a teenager’s school report, but with paragraphs of whiplash sarcastic commentary inserted liberally. In fact, the entire book is accompanied by this snide stream-of-consciousness peanut gallery, which sometimes takes the form of an ongoing conversation (or series of text messages). It’s sort of like reading the book alongside a particularly cynical and brutally clever high-schooler, and it fits Cybergeneration’s theme and setting perfectly.
It also gives the book a breakneck pace. Even the best location sourcebooks can end up a little dry as they describe each city district, the power players, the gangs and factions, and so forth. Mile High Dragon feels more like a motorcycle ride through the city with a jaded local pointing out the sites with an emphasis on good places to jump your skateboard or pull off a wicked railslide.
In addition to the geopolitical rundown, you also get some letters between various government and corporate officials that highlight some of the unsavory aspects of the Denver scene (actually, all the aspects are unsavory). These would make great player handouts. There’s also a section describing the various youth gangs (aka yogangs) that stake out their turf throughout the city.
You can snag a copy of Mile High Dragon at DrivethruRPG for just $10.