9–14 December 2020: Unreliably Cyber and Questionably Punk

Art from the recently released Cyberpunk 2077

This week: the release of the much-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 has more than a few hiccups; some news about the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie drops, and we get a look at Cyanide’s upcoming Werewolf game.

Content Warning: This week’s issue contains links to articles which contain nudity & adult language.

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Merry Happy

We’ll be taking a short break next week for Christmas, but we’ll be back on the 29th with a round-up issue. Happy Holidays, everyone.

What We’ve Been Playing

What have we been playing? At the tail end of this awful year, not much. We’re tired, and hibernating, and mostly playing video games (James has been hitting a wall in Squadrons; Jess has been getting nostalgic in Pikmin; Amy’s on a Just Dance kick that absolutely no one is going to witness). We’re looking forward to a good, long break, and coming back to RPGs in the new year.

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Cyberpunk 2077 Released

The release of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red’s adaptation of the R. Talsorian Cyberpunk RPG, has been, well… rocky. Though we’ve seen a great deal of praise for the ambitious game, the criticism has been hard to ignore.

Accusations of transphobia (which were raised earlier in the game’s development) were certainly not put to bed by the release. One scene in the game included flashing lights nearly identical to those used to trigger epileptic fits. This scene has subsequently been patched and an epilepsy warning added.

The game’s performance on last-gen consoles has been lambasted, and led to CDPR promising refunds. Meanwhile, a plethora of bugs (some [NSFW] hilarious) has marred the release.

Honestly, I’m finding it difficult to care. We knew it was going to be bad. The transphobia (and for that matter, the Orientalism — another criticism we’ve seen rumblings of) was obvious in production. And after the delays and crunch and descoping that led up to the release, it should be no surprise that the game was left [NSFW] with its d*** hanging out. — Amy

In response to the release, a collection of indie cyberpunk games, including computer and tabletop RPGs, is on offer on itch.io. Meanwhile, the Cyberpunk by Asian Creators Game Jam responds to the frequent fetishisation of Asian culture in the cyberpunk genre.

Chris Pine to star in D&D movie

Chris Pine will reportedly star in the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie.

Werewolf gameplay trailer drops

Cyanide Studios drops a gameplay trailer for Werewolf: The Apocalypse computer adaptation, Earthblood.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding is offering a bundle of Spire books, two bundles of Savage Worlds books, and a bundle of Modern AGE and Expanse books.

As folks may have figured from me occasionally spouting Lang Belta in these posts, I adore the Expanse, but I’ve yet to try out the RPG. Bucket list, foriya. — Amy

Humble Bundle is running a bundle of Pathfinder monster lore books, and a bundle of Cyberpunk books.

Crowdfunding News

Closing Soon

Knock! Issue one is an “adventure gaming bric-a-brac” with a particular focus on OSR. So far, this project has raised €38,000 ($46,000) from 1,100 backers. Ends December 22nd.

If you’ll pardon the tautology, the Old School Renaissance seems to have enjoyed a bit of a renaissance over the past year, with games such as Troika! and Mörk Borg inspiring not just game designers and writers, but graphic design as well. So, it seems fitting to top the year off with a zine (if you can call a 212-page book a zine) which seems very much focused on showcasing the current state of the art. It looks great — and eclectic. It will be interesting to see if we end up seeing a second issue or more, or if this remains an interesting curio of the period. — James


The Complete Illustrated Book of Transmutation: An illustrated spell book of Transmutation spells for 5e, by Phil Stone (The Complete Illustrated Book of Conjuration, The Complete Illustrated Book of Evocation, The Complete Illustrated Book of Illusion) — December 22nd


A Conspiracy of Ravens: A horror module for Dungeon Crawl Classics that doubles as a 0-level funnel or a 1st level adventure, by Matt Robertson (RPG Citybuilding Extravaganza) — December 21st

Calo’s Book of Monsters: A sourcebook of monsters, rumours and a setting for Mörk Borg, by Philip Reed (Monstrum Prodigium, Strange Citizens of the City, The Book of Collected Rumors) — January 1st

Urban Fantasy / Horror

Opera House: An RPG set in a surreal and supernatural opera house, by Andrew Peregrine (Cabal) — December 21st


10 Dungeon Escape Room Battle Mats: A collection of battlemaps for RPGs focused on escape room-style dungeon rooms, by Dark Realm Roleplay (The Bones of Kalkratha: An Adventure for DnD 5th Edition) — December 22nd

This update was made possible by Keenan Collett, and the rest of our Patreon supporters.

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