R. Talsorian Games is all about putting info into the hands of the players and GMs and uses their monthly DLC programme to do it. With Cyberpunk RED, the also periodically collect some of the best DLC, bundle it with some exclusive content, and release it as a book in the Interface RED series of supplements. The latest issue is out now, so let’s do a review!
Interface RED Vol. II contains some good content in its 78 pages. In order, there’s:
· Hardened Mooks: making your player’s opponents a bit tougher in the Friday Night Firefight.
· Hardened Lieutenants: same idea as above, but like mini-bosses!
· Night City Weather: increase immersion and add challenges with inclement weather!
· Jumpstart Conversion Kit: The name’s on the box, bring the Jumpstart Kit to full speed.
· Cargo Containers & Cube Hotels: alternative living accommodations for the choom down on their luck.
· Daeric Sylar’s Guide to ELO: Getting meta by playing characters who are playing characters in an MMORPG inside your TTRPG. I’m not even kidding.
· The 12 Days of Gunmas: Classic Cyberpunk 2020 firearms back for round two in Cyberpunk RED.
· Exotics of 2045: Get your fur, scale or fantasy on with these full body changes!
The art, mechanics, and writing remain at R. Talsorian’s high standards. Even though this book is a collection of DLC, it’s very approachable and avoids being disjointed. Additionally, everything adds to the immersion of the game. Weather, tougher opponents, recreational activities, old guns that never die, and the reality that people have more expression in their appearance than what we can imagine? All there.
In this section, I really want to call out the inclusion of Exotics in this book. It’s exclusive to the book, but it’s worth the price of picking it up. Originally appearing in Chromebook Vol. 2, Exotics were minor to extreme body sculpts and gene treatments that turned a regular human into a very real anthropomorphic or fantasy creature. We’re talking legit furries, scalies, orcs, elves… the works. And this book brings it all back with full updates to mesh with RED’s updated rule system. And what I love about it is that it helps really set the stage. Personal expression in appearance is one of the last real freedoms many people have in the Cyberpunk Universe, and some people want to be tigers. Or demons. Or bugs.
Then there’s the Elflines Online, ELO, bit. It’s the world map for the game plus some monsters. Because why not have a fantasy dungeon crawl in an MMORPG inside the TTRPG you’re playing IRL? This part needs to be combined with the free Elflines content on the R. Talsorian Games website, but it’s honestly a breath of fresh air in a way. The Interlock System is tight and performs well with fantasy, so it’s a fun diversion or break from the regular game or could be a whole campaign in of itself. Either way, you’ve got a world map, location descriptions, and monsters, so good luck!
The 12 Days of Gunmas was disappointing because, well, I wanted more. I get the theme was twelve days, and that they presented twelve weapons, and I appreciate the updated writeups. After all, who doesn’t want to kick it old school with an Arasaka WAA Bullpup Assault Weapon before shanking a boosterganger with an IMI Chainknife? The problem I that it left me craving more classic arms and equipment that are still good to go in RED (or 2077 for that matter), and the art, while good, was inconsistent. The details/shading on the Arasaka WAA versus say, the Militech Crusher (which is still kicking ass in 2077!) really hit home with the art style selected. But honestly, most of this as “bad” is just me griping about minutiae. The mechanics and everything else are rock solid.
I love being able to say there’s no ugly, and this is one of those times!
When I saw this book had the exotics in it, I shelled out the cash for the POD copy and the pdf. And it was worth it. Much like Black Chrome and its electronic expansion, Black Chrome Plus, this book is helping to fill gaps in world building and game running that they just didn’t have space for in the core book. For the cost to content, even given that most of it is free in R. Talsorian’s DLC section, I have to place this compilation at Rank S. It’s not just the Exotics, or the ELO world building, it’s the whole thing. It’s well put together and USEFUL. There’s stuff in here for GMs and players alike and it’s the kind of solid supplement that we need to keep expanding the game and the options in it.