Ex Libris CY_BORG A directory of content, tools, and resources



Concept: “There's been a hushed-up incident at the Naiman Cybernetics factory in Bigmosse. The corpos are sweating and they need it cleaned up- fast and off-the-books. Head in and clean house, but stay on your guard: this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Content: A clearance mission at a cybernetics facility where the situation has gotten dangerously out of hand. Content provided in three versions: a “classic look” black-on-yellow scheme, a “nite mode” black-on-gray scheme, and a “squeaky clean” black-on-white scheme that uses standard fonts.
Writing: Detailed breakdowns of locations, NPCs/enemies, potential events that might unfold (including an alternate plot hook), and an optional set of bonus goals for the PCs to achieve.
Art/Design: Each version makes use of a single-column text layout, simplified location maps, and illustrations of enemy cyborgs.
Usability: Very easily readable and navigable, with consistent use of distinct headings/labels to indicate different sections and kinds of content and important elements.


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.

City of CY Issue #1312

Concept: “In a city where money is God, people are interchangeable pieces of hardware and morality is a way to put yourself in the red, what's a hero? Is it the most effective SecOps officer in history? A vigilante dedicated exclusively to beating up poor people? A time-hopping assassin who can extinguish a problem you didn't even have yet? They're faster than a rubber bullet, more powerful than a profit motive, able to leap entire slums in a single bound…”
Content: A set of super “heroes” who appropriately reflect the sociopolitical dynamics of CY, with backstories and stat blocks that allow easy integration into any group’s game.
Writing: Dark humor and commentary make each entry feel painfully real (or at least plausible, motive-wise), even while jam-packed with the gritty/edgy flavor of ‘90s comics. 
Art/Design: Single-column text organization provided in two schemes: black-on-white and white-on-dark-gray. 
Usability: Consistent presentation of entries and particular kinds of content makes it easy to navigate the document and locate desired information.

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.


Concept: “What are you looking for? There isn’t anything here. Nothing. At all. Stop searching. Certainly not a digital ghost. A flicker on each camera, closer and closer to the penthouse suite. A single vital minute’s disruption in security. The scanner bleep you simply overlooked. A shadow in your programs. A knife in the neck in the time it takes to hit refresh. No, nothing like that at all. Probably just a glitch. You can probably ignore it.”
Content: A class for the player who lives and breathes stealth and evasion. 
Writing: Colorful descriptions of class features provided mostly in engaging, full-sentence format addressing the player rather than as stat blocks or succinct phrases.
Art/Design: Two versions provided: a white-on-dark background version, which is overlaid on glitch art of a hooded figure and uses some yellow highlighting for emphasis and key terms, and a simple printer-friendly black-on-white version whose only embellishment is bolded text for emphasis and key terms.
Usability: Consistently readable visually (and as embedded text) and accessible in language. The calculation of SHADOW (as part of the “Haunting” feature/mechanic) might temporarily trip up some at first.


Concept: “The SecOps aren't just faceless walls of flesh and Kevlar hiding behind riot shields. Some of them mean business. Some of them mean serious business. Some of them are zealous, some sadistic, some are just really chasing that dollar, but between one thing and another, this is the quiverful of crazies that the milcorps have to sling at anyone who's causing more trouble than the beat cop can handle.”
Content: A gaggle of highly skilled expert operatives capable of giving any punk in CY an absolutely terrible day.
Writing: A brief in-game description of each SecOps team precedes its stat block and abilities, providing a clear sense of the group’s approach as well as how others tend to think of them.
Art/Design: Each page includes a relevant graphic (e.g., a double helix structure for a biocommando team) above single-column text. Three versions are provided: “classic” (black on white color scheme), “nite mode” (white on gray), and text-only.
Usability: Font choices are easily readable, and headings/labels/decorated text cues are visually consistent throughout the document. 

Deface the Flesh

Concept: “Gruesome implants and upgrades for a future where the body is irrelevant and flesh has no sanctity. Defile your physicality to keep up in the rat race of society. Set-dressing or inspiration from grim-dark cybernetics.”
Content: A d10 table of bizarre and grotesquely functional options for upgrading one’s imperfect and disappointing meat-suit. 
Writing: Powerfully inventive descriptions of implants that suggest a wide range of uses and reasons for their potential ubiquity in CY–but no stats or game mechanics are attached. It’s all flavor, and it is zesty.
Art/Design: Black text on yellow, with a chaotic-looking font or set of font choices for each entry’s label. An image of disturbing surgeons working on an unseen patient frames the supplement’s title.
Usability: While each label can be difficult to read due to the intentionally inconsistent appearance of each character, the text overall is very easy to read and navigate to consider options or to locate desired info.


Concept: “1EDX is the biggest viscpop band in all of CY. Now, their songwriter has contacted a bunch of punks to try and 'kidnap'--that is, free--them from the clutches of the band. Currently, they're in 1EDX's luxury mansion compound. But it's just the time for a rescue op, as 1EDX is opening their doors to a few lucky winners of a raffle for a tour of their mansion. Act fast.“
Content: A scenario to infiltrate, locate, and liberate the abused talent from the city’s biggest pop stars. Two versions of content included: "Classic Look" and "Squeaky Clean."
Writing: Plenty of engaging detail to flesh out the locale, the situation, and the NPCs that the PCs might encounter, including some juicy secrets for the GM to incorporate or have the players discover as appropriate. 
Art/Design: Primarily black, single-column text on yellow, with some color-coded labels to indicate particularly important details and (near the end of the supplement) approaches to the mission. Clean, lo-fi overhead map layouts of the mansion with color-coded layouts and labels. An image of a massively populated concert frames the adventure title on page 1.
Usability: Color-coding helps tremendously to relate particular elements to one another, and layout allows for quick navigation and identification of desired info. “Squeaky Clean” version is included for even easier reading, and more printer-friendly, experience (black on white with less color use throughout).

Double-Crossed Corpo

Concept: “It started innocent, didn't it? Just street brawling and hanging around in dingy pvnk haven bars, then slipping back into your other life in the high-placed corpo job. But it couldn't last.  Now it's not just a hobby, a 'second life' for you to run as a pvnk. It's your actual life, and if you don't watch your back, it could be your death too. But you made it through the concrete jungle, the corporate arena. The streets of CY are just one cubicle block to claw your way through.”
Content: A class for the white-collar worker who’s found purpose in raging against the machine.
Writing: A mix of features to balance the punk’s former corporate identity and their current violent criminal undertaking, with a particularly interesting mechanic based on a poker-like 5d6 roll result.
Art/Design: Two versions are provided, both of which use a mostly single-column layout with a single table: a full-color version with white/yellow text on black background lines over colorful, pixelated background images of stock tickers/readouts; and a printer-friendly black-and-white version.
Usability: Both versions provide clear, consistent visual distinction of headings/labels and key terms that are emphasized in various lines of text. Full-color version may be slightly more difficult for some to read easily due to busy nature of the background image.


Concept: “CY is a great beast and these are its bowels, the living guts of the city. Awash in filth and the prowling grounds of criminals, scvm beneath notice, maintenance workers, bounty hunters and strange monstrosities bred in the noisome darkness beneath this city. Features a d66 table of encounters in the sewers of CY and a d20 table of tunnel graffiti.” 
Content: A set of tables to flesh out the grimy, dangerous CY undercity.
Writing: Vivid descriptions of encounter seeds (not only who/what players might find but what’s going on when they find something) and graffiti messages and styles to be found on sewer walls.
Art/Design: Black text on yellow in a single column of text. A glitch-art illustration of a sewer tunnel frames the supplement title on the first page.
Usability: Tables are numbered, with bolded labels for NPCs and their special attacks to emphasize details a GM might be scanning the page to locate.


Concept: ”You never got the chance to go out in a blaze of glory. Somehow, it just never happened to you. Every ‘last job’ consistently failed to let you finally bite the concrete after taking on a platoon of SecOps solo to let the others get away. Survival is an irritating and embarrassing habit you seem to have picked up. So here you are, years and years later. The gray hairs creeping in, the same megacorps in control, the same synthetic food, the same brutal enforcers, the same putrescent city of the damned surrounding you. And yet, here you intend to stay.” 
Content: A class for the grizzled elder who’s gotten too old for this shit.
Writing: Inspired class features to make a player feel like they’ve seen it all and can share their violent wisdom with others.
Art/Design: Two versions provided: a ‘classic’ look with white-on-black lines of text over a crumpled-paper background illustration, and a ‘squeaky clean’ printer-friendly black-on-white text. Both versions include two color portraits of old guards.
Usability: Text provided in single column layout with capitals, bold, and (in the classic look) distinct colors, all to distinguish different types and sections of content. Easy to navigate and to identify important details.

Horrible Jobs

Concept: “A CY_BORG zine featuring soul-throttling cyberpunk occupations. Your past, or perhaps your alter ego, in the crush of CY. Demeaning and pointless jobs that drove you into a new path.”
Content: A two-page d10 table of mundanity meant to provide PCs with painfully dreadful backgrounds that reflect the oppressive daily existence of the masses.
Writing: Morbidly hilarious and creative options speak to the breadth of crushing banality that makes for most characters’ familiar reality.
Art/Design: Mostly single-column text (black on yellow) with key terms/phrases emphasized in either a different font or a chaotic collection of fonts. An image of faceless workers in an office setting frames the zine’s title on page 1.
Usability: High-contrast color scheme helps with readability, as does simple layout of table content. Font(s) used for key terms can be difficult to read thanks to the purposeful disruption of character size/decoration/etc.

Incitement to Riot

Concept: “Some people are all but on fire. You’re a walking ‘assault on security personnel’ charge, a time bomb with seconds left, a shattering Molotov and the spreading flames, a brick going through a bulletproof glass visor. You’re a burning SecOps cruiser, a raised fist, a baseball bat with nails hammered into it, a consummate troublemaker, an all-around firebrand.”
Content: A class for the provocateur ready to rally the discontent toward change–or, at least, toward action.
Writing: Plenty of class features/options for the instigator yearning to burn it all down, with intriguing mechanics that can make a punk a serious threat/target via mob/mass activity. Class detail labels offer thematically inspirational flavor to get into the mindset of an Incitement to Riot character.
Art/Design: A fire-themed colorful version and a printer-friendly black-and-white version are provided. Colorful version has red/organe-tinted bonfire background images, with white text and yellow labels on black line backgrounds. Printer-friendly version uses bold labels to distinguish from body text. 
Usability: Different kinds and sections of content are easy to recognize and consistently structured throughout the supplement, making navigation/identification of desired info similarly easy and enjoyable.


Concept: “Nothing ever goes smoothly, does it? Life of a pvnk in CY. There you are, about to score big on your job after the gunfights and hacking and double-crossing and more, and there's just one problem in the way: the door.  This zine presents ten unusual conditions for getting at your loot, likely the brainchild of paranoid corpos with too much money on their hands. You'll have to put your mind to work on how to get past them. Available in Classic yellow, Nite grey or Clean white.”
Content: A set of potential complications or other unexpected qualities oriented around physical or digital keys, any of which can be used as twists or obstacles to just about any job a group of punks is looking to complete.
Writing: Each key is described in terms of its essential features, the specifics of its use, and potential reactions or consequences that might occur from its (mis)use.
Art/Design: Three versions are provide: a “classic look” version of black-on-yellow, a “night mode” version of black-on-gray, and a “squeaky clean” version of black-on-white. Each version includes a cover page with the supplement title centered on an illustration of a high-tech vault door. Layout is single-column text with a unique quality of each key provided in bold.
Usability: Easy to read and navigate, with clearly identifiable list elements.


Concept: “A vital drive, loaded with data worth millions to the Virid Vipers gangster coalition, has been lost in the sewers of CY. Something down there apparently ate the agent they had carrying it. Fortunately, the geo-tag still works, and the slumlord whose territory it was lost in is desperate for someone to find it before the Vipers toss him into the dank and filthy tunnels to find the thing himself. There's just one lethal detail that's been overlooked, lurking in the sewage…”
Content: A dungeon crawl to recover valuable cybertech from a monster stalking the sewers.
Writing: Imaginative descriptions make each area of the mission seem unique and dangerous, with relevant NPCs pursuing their own agendas.
Art/Design: Single column of text with black-on-white scheme, occasionally complemented by NPC portrait illustrations. A colorful, stripped-down map of the sewers is also provided.
Usability: Font choices are easily readable, and headings, labels, and key information are consistently bolded for visual emphasis. Movement table notes procedural logic for optimal use.
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