10 Things I Hate About CY
Concept: “10 urban legends whispered on the streets of CY and in the dark corners of the NET. The fact is usually worse than the fiction.”
Content: A collection of urban legends about mysterious individuals, locations, and events that might intrigue or terrify a group of punks.
Writing: Ominous tales framed as though potentially spoken by CY residents, allowing for easy slot-in ambience and plot hook/seed for GMs.
Art/Design: White, pink, and yellow text on dark blue with occasional purple circuit-board background designs and a large pair of eyeballs near the bottom of one page. Presented as three pages of single-column text.
Usability: Font choices and colors make for easy visual readability and identification of distinct content purposes (e.g., pink text for headings/labels, yellow for important details, names, and locations).
Concept: “Avtozak is a Cy_Borg expansion about riots.”
Content: A set of riot-related NPCs, weapons, and a table of riot causes.
Writing: Terse, frank descriptions and stats/mechanics for included content.
Art/Design: Illustrations of riot vehicles and participants (cops and protesters) with highlight colors are positioned alongside relevant high-contrast text.
Usability: Font choices are readable, with headings/labels and background colors for distinct sections that assist navigation and perusal.
Back to the Roots
Concept: “A custom collection for Cy_Borg ttrpg, that includes:
- 13 new weapons, 6 new drugs, 4 new items - made in the slums of CY.
- 11 new street-made cyber-tech and 9 new APP's
- Short descriptions of 5 new slum Gangs
- A simple and short Adventure/Mission.”
Content: Tons of material to flesh out a game, from equipment to drugs to gang NPCs/enemies, with a scenario in the slums to take down a sadistic AI (and a map for the location).
Writing: Concise, direct descriptions and explanations of mechanics for a huge number of entries for various categories.
Art/Design: Mostly two-column page layouts (each with its own color scheme/aesthetic) with content on a translucent background pane over detailed, high-tech images. Map of floorplan includes effective icons indicating room features.
Usability: Text is easily readable with distinct heading/label decoration present in each page’s layout aesthetic.
Concept: “The fields. Monoculture deserts of genetically enhanced crops like wheat 4.6, ultra-maize, and soykin. Spliced to perfection. All earth is sterile. Killed by an unhallowed mix of unfiltered UV-radiation and the most potent poisons. Only hard fertilization keeps the masses alive and fed. Traveling through the cultivations is not without peril. Chemships puke their concoctions onto the plants; mechanic harvesters that have never seen an animal or human cut down all in their path.”
Content: A treasure trove of rules (miseries, glitches, mutations), gear, location/site summaries and generators, map hexes, random encounters, enemies, classes (“Mutant” and “Elektron Rohre”), job seeds/contracts, and even a dungeon to explore.
Writing: Intense, vivid, and wry descriptions that bring to life the sprawling wastes that surround Cy.
Art/Design: A mix of collage, pixel art, graffiti, graphical user interfaces, print reports, and more to frame each page/spread uniquely but feeling comfortably in line with the official/core Cy_Borg aesthetic. Map hexes provided as additional file.
Usability: Wide variety of layouts, font choices/sizes/colors, and organization can slow down reading and navigation (e.g., class info interspersed among NPCs), but hyperlinked table of contents aids with identifying desired details.
Concept: “Crime families in the squalid megatropolis of CY. The deepest wounds of society- human traffickers, whoremongers, extortionists -have a tendency to crust over in stubborn scabs. Those who dare to commit evils nobody else has had the gall to perform before will find little competition in the field, and therefore great success. That’s how these families made their mark- bullets forever embedded in the cancerous and corrupt flesh of the great beast CY, they pushed the limits. And now, they’re here to stay, until someone’s willing to dig the slug out…”
Content: Information on six crime families/organizations that can be integrated into games of Cy_Borg: what their primary interests are, notable NPCs, and how GMs might make use of them.
Writing: Details provided in meaty paragraphs full of ideas and hooks, in a conversational voice that could be read straight to players as in-universe knowledge.
Art/Design: Black-on-gray single-column text layout, with an illustration at the bottom of each page that reflects the character of each crime family.
Usability: Easily readable/navigable, with solid contrast for text fore/ground. Headings and key terms/phrases are bolded for distinction and emphasis.
Concept: “A new, terrifying enemy straight from Polish urban legend - Black Volga. Now roaming the streets of CY, looking for petrol. But it's now what you think it is. ‘I’ve heard it. The sound of the engine weirdly resembles a beating heart. Guess it’s my weird imagination’ ‘Windows are pure black. I wonder… who is inside?’ ‘I swear to Balfogriff, I’ve seen tentacles slipping out of the windows!’”
Content: A demonic automobile that terrorizes the roadways.
Writing: Ominous and creepy flavor made all the creepier by the car’s devastating attack mechanics.
Art/Design: White and blue text on black surrounds a hand-drawn illustration of the Black Volga.
Usability: Visually, color, italics, and positioning of content help indicate the different purposes and kinds of text on the page. However, the text is not embedded, so no searching/selecting is possible.
Concept: “Some trashy random tables for generating odd sports and shows names punks play in CY_. You can roll some cocky champion names too and get some inspiration from the portraits provided.”
Content: Tables for quick generation of game types/specifics and famous sports NPCs, all of which are soaked in CY style.
Writing: Table results are vivid, grungy, and dystopian–exactly what you’d hope for.
Art/Design: Contrasting-color rows help with table navigation, with tables positioned around the edges of large image spreads (an arena and a gallery of NPC portraits), with an eye-bleeding aesthetic and palette.
Usability: While not all tables are labeled, it’s clear what each does functionally and how to use it alongside the others.
Chain Mail Demon
Concept: “After finding a cursed message on the 'Net, the Punks are hunted by a strange creature that attacks them when they sleep. Can they find a way to avoid its deadly touch? Or will they sacrifice their friends in order to be spared?”
Content: A creature to terrorize punks who check their inbox.
Writing: Half stats/mechanics and half flavorful messages relating to the monster, all of which evoke an appropriately frightening net-nightmare.
Art/Design: Neon and white on a dark background displaying the chain mail demon illuminated in red, surrounded by boxes with text content.
Usability: Supplement is provided as .png and .txt file. Visually, the .png version makes it easy to identify different kinds of content and how to locate desired info. The .txt version is helpfully organized and labeled, with excellent text descriptions of the visual elements of the .png to aid with accessibility.
Concept: “Club 27 is a Cy_Borg expansion about the Club 27 urban legend.”
Content: A nightclub with a discerning membership, some of whom can be hired as mercs.
Writing: Brief details about the club and its members that suggest a variety of ways that a GM might incorporate the place into their game.
Art/Design: Single-fold pamphlet layout with an immersive background club-aesthetic illustration for each panel overlaid with text content.
Usability: High-contrast text is easy to read, with headings and emphasized text visually distinct through font size and color. Most text is embedded, allowing for searching/selecting.
Concept: “More in-depth intel on the rulers of Cy. The Corp info appendix ripped straight out of the CY_BORG book. Includes the main Corps and their leaders, businesses, HQs and possible adventure sparks.”
Content: Four pages of corporation names, logos, slogans, business ventures and holdings; important NPC info; inter-company rivalries and tensions; and other juicy tidbits to flesh out the world.
Writing: Crisp, concise details speak a wide range of possibilities into the imagination, from political machinations to secrets to violent conflicts, without limiting how to realize or incorporate them into a game.
Art/Design: Black-and-white flat design scheme of software application windows melds contemporary aesthetics with text-centric retro UIs.
Usability: Alphabetized organization of each corporation’s set of windows is consistent and easy to navigate, with key terms/names/etc. bolded for quick identification of desired info.
Cvlts of CY
Concept: “A sampling of cults from across the stricken districts of CY, peddlers of false hope to the rasping masses that congregate in the shadows of avarice and oppression. Each of these cults has a leader, an ideology and a specific trouble they cause to the already troubled city. However, where there is trouble to be caused there is opportunity to be seized, and pvnks with few scruples could make significant creds in the employ of these deranged zealots by doing their dirty work for them.”
Content: A collection of six cults and details about their goals, backgrounds, vices, and leaders.
Writing: Detailed descriptions and explanations of cults to be found in CY, with plenty of scenario/plot potential for a GM to develop further.
Art/Design: Layout is primarily a single column of text, with an evocative image reflecting each cult placed amid that cult’s descriptive paragraphs. Color scheme is black on yellow.
Usability: Layout is extremely easy for identifying particular elements and navigating to desired info. Cult entries are provided in a numbered list, and key information is bolded or highlighted.
Cybernetic Demon Bastard from Hell
Concept: “There are creatures from worlds beyond our own, and all of them fucking hate you.”
Content: A nightmarish behemoth you’ll want a BFG just for the chance to frag it.
Writing: Deadly stats combined with a mesmerizing world-building overview of the creature’s origins.
Art/Design: A brightly colored two-page spread with an image of the monster and its stats next to its origin description.
Usability: Assorted content blocks are easily distinguishable, although the longer descriptive text block may become difficult for some to read over the background pattern near the bottom of the page.
CY_OPS issue one
Concept: “CY_OPS is a 66 page A6 player-facing CY_BORG zine presented as an in-universe punk zine. No mechanics, no stats, just a chaotic little zine full of worldbuilding, quest hooks, items and a bunch of other cyberpunk stuff for your players to use in your CY_BORG games.”
Content: NPCs full of personality quirks, unique equipment ideas, and scenario/adventure ideas casually scattered across hectically organized spreads mixing hi- and lo-fi design and tech aesthetics. "Activity" pages offer even more direct involvement with the document.
Writing: Infectiously fun, engaging ideas presented as in-universe media, from QR codes to other CY_BORG material to instruction manual pages to chat transcripts and more. “Worldbuilding” feels like an understatement.
Art/Design: Two-page spreads stand mostly independent of one another, with some common fonts and illustration styles that draw attention to a wide range of character, occupation, and gear-related concepts that open up even more possibilities for immersing a party in CY.
Usability: Different spread layouts may not assist with consistency, but text is mostly high-contrast and readable (some pages’ white on pink might be difficult for some readers, as is text perpendicular to main orientation). Sheer amount of content is likely to keep readers interested and closely perusing each page.
Concept: “Generate an infinite number of baddies that wander the streets of Cy. Capable of generating GOONS, DRONES, BEASTS, CYDROIDS, PHREAKS and VEHICLES. 27 stylized pages detailing enemy creation rules. Over 100 new special abilities, more than 60 new NPC wants and 3d12 description tables per enemy type.”
Content: Tons of tables to determine encounter specifics–not only which enemies and how many appear but also what’s motivating them and what might be exceptional to this particular group (quirks, appearance, special attacks, etc.).
Writing: Imaginative and enticing table entries ensure each generated set of NPCs will feel like unique, fully formed characters.
Art/Design: Distinct two-page spread layouts include a background or centerpiece illustration surrounded by tables, mostly framed in translucent boxes to increase fore/ground contrast.
Usability: Font choices are easily readable, and headings/labels are consistently presented to help with ease of navigation and identification of desired info. However, text is not embedded, so searching/selecting text or using a screen reader are not possible.
Concept: “404//SAN is the demented frontpage of the NET, where manifold rumors, advertisements, hoaxes, and conspiracies produce a worthless information sludge. Still, more than enough masochistic users flock to the site to be entertained by trolls or cheated out of their life's savings.”
Content: A one-stop shop for adventures/scenarios, NPCs, monsters, apps, cyberware and equipment, additional rules ideas, and more.
Writing: Every page provides dozens of imaginative and enticing ideas for inspiration, with many pages offering highly engaging in-universe descriptions or framing for their game content.
Art/Design: A variety of artistic and aesthetic styles that embody the artpunk philosophy. The browsing experience feels in line with the CY_BORG rulebook itself.
Usability: Requires close, and often slow, examination to identify and make effective use of content (text and image alike), especially when moving across very differently styled spreads–but very worth the effort.
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