I feel like what you just discovered on our website deserves a little explanation. Way back in 2016 I started writing the comic series that would eventually become Cybersymbiosis. It began as a straight cyberpunk story but eventually evolved to incorporate fantasy elements and more traditional SciFi. The inspirations for the book are many but I will save that for the commentary tracks we’re going to record for the graphic novel. What is relevant here is that I was adamant that we weren’t ever going to do an RPG. There were some very good reasons for this but at the core of it was that I felt I didn’t want to step on the toes of games that were more successful than I could ever hope to be (and were probably doing it better). But along came the Countermay comic series and inevitably we were going to have to do RPG materials for that. As a part of the Gamers film series the fans would demand it and there wasn’t any way to say no. Because of this it suddenly became inevitable that Cybersymbisis would have to follow suite so I figured, “What the hell,” and dove into the project.
At the time the plan was to create both games under the Pathfinder version of the 3.5 game engine. With the Open Gaming License solidly in place this was the best option at the time since 3.5 still had a solid fan base and it was our best chance of finding people who would want to play the game (plus lets be honest, Pathfinder is the superior version of 3.5). It doesn’t make any sense to invest time in creating something if nobody is going to use it. I actually made a ton of progress on the project when a crisis struck and a my tablet flipped out and erased the section I’d been working on for Cyberspace. It was 75% complete and not backed up anywhere as I would soon discover. This was disheartening and I needed to take a break. Between that and some other stuff that was very pressing I had to put the Countermay RPG materials aside and in a couple weeks I’d lost my momentum.
Several months went by and something amazing happened. Wizards of the Coast released an OGL for Fifth Edition. This was exciting and totally reinvigorated my interest in the project. Using 3.5 was more of a necessity than something I was creatively inspired to do. It is a pretty solid game but it suffers from some pretty glaring flaws (none of which were fixed by Pathfinder) and is overly complicated. On the contrary, 5e is elegantly simple and does a wonderful job of addressing what was wrong with the 3.5 engine. Having played and enjoyed both I find that I solidly prefer 5e and actually wanted to do the work under that engine originally. Now I can. It also comes with another benefit in that the work can be completed in half the time since the game has fewer moving parts or complex rules. Since the foundation of both versions game is identical that means that the previous work I’d done (including an extensive section on cybernetics) would port over to 5e easily with some editing to bring it in line with the new rules.
All in all this is turning into a fun creative experience but it’s also expanding my world far beyond what I had originally conceived. When I first sat down to write the story I only had the adventures of my main characters in mind and the world beyond didn’t extend much farther than what was required to bring it to life. I had a general idea of the state of the world and the history that got them there but it wasn’t nearly as detailed as I made it look. This project has allowed me the opportunity to dramatically expand the scope of my world and give it a depth that will pay off big time as the story goes forward. Anyone who’s a fan of the comic, even if they’re not into RPG’s, will find many new details within these pages and can delve deeper into this future dystopia. I’ll do my best not to spoil the ending but it does give me a chance to explore aspects of the world that the comic series could never reveal and that’s awesome.
One last thing and then I’ll shut up. The ultimate plan is to release a full book and hopefully that can happen by early 2020. We’re going to do a full stand alone core book that will have everything you need to play the game. The 5e OGL allows us to do that however a lot of the information from the fantasy game is not open source so we’re going to have to create a lot of new setting specific content. I planned this anyway but it’s necessary now since the OGL itself has only the bare minimum needed to play and many character options are just not there. For anyone who wants to play the game now, the materials on the website are fully playable but you will need the 5e core books to play. During the development period this website will only feature the content that is being developed for the game but ultimately we won’t be posting everything that is written for the game. I want to save something for the book so it’s worth buying. The book will have more world information, more equipment, information on the outer solar system, exclusive comic pages that won’t be available online, NPC Stats for all of the main characters from the comic and art (among other details). The website will be pretty Spartan and only feature text. We plan to make the book available in both B&W and Full Color. Hopefully it’s something worth looking forward to.
So that’s it. Game on and have fun. If anyone has any feedback or strong opinions you are welcome to look me up on Facebook or Twitter under Cybersymbiosis.
If you are unfamiliar with the setting of this RPG click the link below to read the first issue of the comic series. It will be a good introduction and will feature a short explanation of the setting as of 2216.
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