Entering the Matrix of Cyberpunk RED Campaigns

As we move into summer, I’m gearing up for two Cyberpunk RED campaigns – one a Lair of Secrets actual play campaign and the other a supplemental campaign for the Blackrazor Guild.

The Lair Cyberpunk RED Campaign

The Lair of Secrets campaign is a long-0time coming – my co-host David and I started talking about it after GenCon 2022 as a direct result of him hanging out with the R. Talsorian crew at that event. We started talking about it with Season 3, Episode 4 in November 2022 as we approached critical mass. David and I geeked out about cyberpunk and the campaign in S3E5 Cyberpunk Inspiration and S3E6 Cyberpunk Brainstorming.

We planned to run a six-to-eight-episode campaign starting in February-March 2023, but the real-world being it what it is, we ended up focusing on a series of playtests (combat mechanics, using Talespire as a battle map, netrunning, and the Easy Mode one-shot). That was a worthwhile investment since it gave us a good handle on the mechanics and taught us just how crunchy – and deadly – the system could be. That in turn helped me start writing scenarios for the game.

And I needed as much help as I could get. I mainlined a massive amount of cyberpunk over the last six months, including William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy, Neal Stephenson’s SnowcrashThe Matrix movies, Robocop 1 and 2Dredd, and Cyberpunk Edgerunners, all of which provided ample inspiration and background.

Despite the inspiration, I found myself in a writing funk, unable to knock out the scenario as quickly as I’d hoped. Or really, to make much progress at all. There were a lot of reasons for that (obligatory vaguebook handwave).

Eventually, I powered through (helped, in part, by Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing podcast and Patreon) and came up with an arc that should be a lot of fun. We’re in the process of kicking off that campaign; look for updates at Lair of Secrets.

The Blackrazor Cyberpunk RED Campaign

For the Blackrazor Guild, my Sunday night gaming group, we looking to run a Cyberpunk RED side campaign. This is likely to be a series of one-offs that we run when we’re not running Elemental Apocalypse or our Star Wars: 5th Edition campaigns.

The Cyberpunk RED Easy Mode adventure inspired us to take the leap; we played half of the adventure and enjoyed it so much that we decided we wanted to play more. With our various schedules causing the main campaign to run less frequently, being able to run Cyberpunk RED one-shots made sense.

Since running two Cyberpunk RED campaigns could be a lot of work, I plan on leveraging Tales of the RED: Street Stories. It’s a collection of cyberpunk adventures by R. Talsorian Games and I’m hoping it’ll cut down on my prep time. We’ll see how it goes – the Blackrazors (myself included) aren’t great at sticking with canned adventures but even having the setup pre-written is still helpful.

Cyberpunk Resources

As we launch into the Cyberpunk RED at Lair of Secrets, we’ve been collecting our various resources for the game:

We also have several podcasts dedicated to the game:

I’ll update this post once the play-by-post episodes are available.

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