Sunday, 9 March 2014

Breaking into the Datafortress (2020)

Datafortress 2020 is one of the oldest cyberpunk websites, a survivor from the days when the UK cyberpunk project could have a "top 100" list of CP2020 websites. Quite aside from the massive compilation of rules - the Miracle Mile vehicle lists are legendary - sysop Wisdom000 also took it upon himself to save the output of the CP2020 fan community as it declined. The File Project includes 90% of everything ever posted to the web by CP2020 fandom. It's a central resource for any Cyberpunk GM (so is the blog). 



The file project contains hundreds of documents, which is a tad intimidating. Moreover, it's had some hosting problems over the years and is often down, leaving people reliant on emailing Wisdom000 to get specific documents. To help the uninitiated, I thought i'd make a list of my own personal favorites from that giant archive, here below:


TRDL's Dystopia: Hostile Takeover

Dystopia: Hostile Takeover was a setting for CP2020 with an explicit "5 seconds into the future" vibe, drawing atmosphere from the kind of movies where Jason Statham puts on a suit and murders people (directed by Luc Besson), produced by the TRDL comics blog. 

The Third Rail Design Lab still exists, but its Cyberpunk 2020 stuff has disappeared into the ether following a change in the site layout. This is a real pity, because the Dystopia section was wonderfully laid out - certainly far more so than the PDFs! I really wish i'd saved the character artwork somewhere before the site disappeared - the orbital NPCs had a unique style unlike anything else out there. 

One place where the wonderful artwork has survived without being mangled is the gear listing, which contains a neat selection of tradecraft gear and some inventive bioware. The wider Dystopia setting document contains a long appendix N and lots of character creation detail. 

Morninman's Oceanpunk

Two Oceanpunk documents provide inventive - and neatly laid out - ideas for an ocean campaign. One is all about gear, with lots of bioware, communications gear and hardsuits to spare. The second provides a very playable dolphin character, with guidelines for applying "human" skills to dolphin N/PCs. Great if - like me - you have Blue Planet envy but don't want to learn another system...

Solspace by Australian Realms: Solspace

One of the classic player-generated settings for CP2020, Solspace presents a solar system setting for CP2020. If you want a Deep Space setting complete with detailed adventures, maps and more Solspace is a fine option.

CitizenX's Robot Rules

A simple set of robot design and construction rules, something CP2020 has always lacked. Lots of people have proposed them, lots of people have started them, and in the absence of anyone else actually finishing them... well, this does the job fine. 

Senior Officer Mikael Van Atta's Cyberwares of the World

A VFTE project spearhead by user "Senior Officer Mikael Van Atta" (Senior Officer of what, you say? Technical knowledge!), CofW is a sourcebook for cyberware - cheap cyberware, cutting edge cyberware, cyberware manufactured in third world countries... if you're at all interested in treating cyberware realistically and consistently, this is a great place to start. 

All that, without once mentioning Datafortress 2020 itself - Drug Lab 101, the Miracle Mile, the NCPD catalogue...