So you wanna know about Beta Red? Well, Chingu, you’ve come to the right place. Sit down and let ‘ole Charlie tell you how it is. Basically, Beta Red is a rules-lite cyberpunk-themed roleplaying game set in this nasty, high-tech low-life, corporate controlled, dystopian near future. It uses a unique d6 dice pool system so you can create tales of action, glory, and resistance to the system.
Where to start? Okay, so basically, there was this Tinbox - excuse me, a Robot - that wanted to play at being human, so it took the Turing Test, and that Spark Plug - excuse me again, Robot - managed to beat the slaggin’ thing. This meant that Megacorps could declare T…Robots “citizens” and give them lower-waged, longer-houred, no health insurance jobs. Humans quickly became jobless meat sacks unable to beg for even the lowest wages, as Robots were superior “citizens.” This pushed humanity into a downward spiral of economic catastrophe.
Once the economic divide between these jobless vagabonds and the Ultra Rich Megacorp owners reached a tipping point, an unprecedented civil unrest reached all the way up the towers, cracking the top echelons. Unfortunately, it was only when the Ultra Rich realized that only Robots would be left to inherit their riches that change began to occur, leaning the scales back toward organic life.
So Numedtech developed the drug that stopped organ rejection, giving humans that competitive edge that let them just start augmenting themselves to do things they would never have been able to do. Side effect of the drug is that it creates Spikes - excuse me, Psychics - that can do scary stuff with their minds. However, whenever they do that, they might just explode and destroy the entire damn city. They are super powerful if they are on your side, but don't lean on them too much or you might find yourself goo in a crater.
Players create a character to pick up "jobs" to get "creds" that allow them to buy more gear and augmentations, thus "developing" their characters. The options are:
- Species: Human, Robot, Clone, Psychic
- Background: Backroom Project, Corporate Zombie, Criminal, Mean Streets, Picture Perfect, or Soldier
- Role: Cracker (Hacker), Driver, Face, Mechanic, Muscle, Reader (Psychic), Sneak
- Augmentation: Major (Stat Bonus) or 2 Minor (Skill Bonus)
- Gear: Load 'em up
Success and failure is based upon meeting or exceeding a difficulty (called a Target Number or TN) based on a number of "Hits" on the d6 dice pool roll. Dice pools are determined by the Stats (Strength, Compassion, Reaction, Intelligence, Toughness, Expression, and Psy), but the number on the die that determines Hits is the Skill (ie a 3 in the skill means that 1-3 on the dice are Hits).
Book includes the following:
- Character Creation
- Rules and difficulties for various actions involving Fighting, Flying/Driving, Talking, Hacking, Psychic abilities, etc.
- Megacity, Megacorp, Street Gang, and other setting detail creations
- Optional rules for speeding up the dreaded "legwork" section of an RPG
- 2 Premade adventures