"Finite games are played for the purpose of winning. Infinite games are played for the purpose of continuing play." — Finite & Infinite Games

General Concepts
Neon Twilight employs a system based on the d6. Skills and Specials are usually rated 1-10, with 1 being pathetic and 10 being amazingly good. Attributes are rated (for normal humans) from -5 (pathetic) to +5 (amazing), representing a range of 11 points, with 0 being considered average. Tasks are accomplished by adding Attribute + Skill + d6 and beating a Difficulty ranging from 6 (simple) to 18 (nearly impossible). When faced with an opponent the player rolls as normal against a Difficulty based on the opponent's Skill + Attribute + d6. This system is fairly easy and similar to many other ones on the market, so most roleplayers will be familiar with it already.

The final roll result when everything is added together is called the Action Total. The difference between the player's roll and the opponent's roll is called the Degree of Success. Example:

   Shenkiller wants to sneak past a security guard. His 
   Stealth is 6 and his Dexterity is +2. The guard's 
   Alertness is 5, and his Perception is 0. Shenkiller 
   rolls a 6. The guard rolls a 3. Shenkiller's Action 
   Total is 6+2+6 = 14. The guard's Action Total is 5+0+3 
   = 8.  Shenkiller's Degree of Success is 14 - 8 = 6. 
   Very good. Shenkiller sneaks by without a squeak. 
The Difficulty chart:
6 - Easy
8 - Normal
10 - Tricky
12 - Challenging
14 - Hard
16 - Very Hard
18 - Extreme

The Degree of Success:
-6 or less = disastrous mishap.
-4 to 0 = failure.
1 to 2 = barely made it. some complications should be added
3 to 5 = good result. no complications
6 or more = critical success. bonus effects should be added.

Neon Twilight is a unique world and should not be played like a typical cyberpunk world. When describing the world, keep in mind the following:

Intercons (megacorporations) are generally benign profit-seekers; it is the Clans and Governments who are truly ruthless. Intercons wield great power in many areas, and even have their enclaves, but their influence pales in comparison to the major Powers on the world stage, such as the Medical Collegium or the Apparatus.

Government is not your friend. Even a government agent will find that the bureaucratic nature of his employer will sometimes thwart the player's plans or lead to his ruin. Governments range from totalitarian dictatorships (Imperial China) to intrusive demi-democracies (Germany) to Machiavellian bureaucracies (America); none are benign. All governments are paranoid following the New Mutation. Most will go to extreme measures to protect their territories (though not necessarily their citizens). All governments are highly intrusive, secretive, and put many restrictions on all facets of life.

America's litiginous nature has made most citizens afraid of breaking any infraction - no matter how trivial - or of offending any other person or institution. As a consequence most people tend to repeat bland cliches, only entertain government-approved ideas, and use only supersafe corporate doublespeak. Fringers and Clan-members are the only exception to this. "Work. Earn. Buy."

Society has become very conservative. With the emergence of powerful traditional Clans such as the Heartlanders, the Neo-Victorians, the Afrikaaners, and the Confucians, liberal ideas have been gradually marginalized in favour of 'time-tested' formulaic platitudes. The veneer of conservatism and self-repression often conceals a secret drive towards domination and innovation. New ideas are not welcomed, unless they can be secretly used to defeat your enemies. Mavericks and deviants are vilified as 'terrorists'. The nail that sticks out gets hammered back in. The Research Control Regime perfectly exemplies this attitude.

Nevertheless, society is much stranger than Twencen people would believe. There are many alien customs, especially among the disenfranchised Fringer communities. Scar-tattooes, acceptance of parent-child marriages (incest), revulsion at unpurified products (foods grown naturally without protection from bio-organisms), and bizarre religious cults are the norm in the lower strata of society. Amongst the upper echelons the use of strong narcotics has become acceptable, even respectable, considering the necessity of protecting oneself from parasites. Most middle- and upper-class persons are incredibly polite and civil by today's standards, and would never dream of swearing or approaching (let alone touching) you without permission. This serenity is punctuated by stress-driven episodes of extreme violence, a phenomena referred to as Muckers (from amok). Such is the level of hive-stress in the cities that a whole franchise specializes in redirecting violence in acceptable ways. Rampage World provides its clients with an arena where they may kill, destroy, gouge, burn, and mutilate any number of pacific or aggressive animals, from cats to lions to strange chimerics. Needless to say, Rampage World is banned in many places and firebombed on a regular basis in many more, but its appeal seems to be increasing.

Playing Style

Flexibility is important here. Allow your players a lot of leeway in making characters. Since players are often pitted against massive organizations, their power level will never approach that of the Clans or Intercontinentals. Remember to instill a sense of foreboding and paranoia during the game. Neon Twilight positively festers with secretive cabals and oppressive techno- bureaucracies which will take every opportunity to humiliate, denigrate, ignore, trivialize and exterminate the characters.

Every player should have an Agenda and a Dark Secret. This makes the game more exciting that simple profit-driven adventuring. The Agenda has to be specific and do-able within the character's immediate future. Examples: 'infiltrate the higher echelons of the Security Franchise and start a war in Lithuania to regain my ancestral castle', 'assassinate Ken Wilder, the head of Experimental Research at Eagle Corp', 'expose the fact that the Apparatus is pulling Synthesia's strings in Asia and playing with war parasites', 'crack Undernet's encryption schemes and reach Level 36'.

Neon Twilight can be played in two ways: Gritty and Cinematic. In the gritty world each player is a mere human, subject to life's misfortune and the laws of reality. A player can be killed by a stupid street punk with a streetline .22, an Apparatus sniper can take you out from a skyscraper without flinching, and you have to struggle to pay the rent. The Cinematic style is more like a Hollywood action movie. Players are heroes and major players in the grand scheme of things, ready to take on the Clans and governments. Players can fly through a hail of bullets and survive, enemy goons go down like nine-pins, and things blow up real good. In the cinematic version, double the players' (and major NPCs) Health points, add bonuses for cool stylistic effects (such as going "KA-CHING" with your pump-action shotgun), and lower difficulties by 2. It's your choice.


Here are some rules that we found to be especially useful or amusing in our games:
1. You say it twice, even in jest, and your character does it.
2. You can only raise a character's attributes by 1 point ever. Cybernetics does not count against this.
3. If you don't have a required skill, you can default to a related skill and roll at a +2 Difficulty penalty.
4. If you live in a shitty place (Wealth 1 or 2), then there is a 1in6/1in10 chance that your home will be burglarized/vandalized.
5. Lockpicking or overriding maglocks takes approximately 2 minutes divided by the # of successes.
6. Nervers also speed up technical/physical skills such as lock-picking, but never knowledge skills.
7. People with low Psyche incur a -1 penalty to social interactions. Same thing for people with Nervers (because of short attention span, fast speech, etc.)
8. Repeating an action incurs a +1 cumulative Difficulty because of frustration.
9. Murder and sadism result in a loss of Psyche.
10. An ammo clip runs out after approximately 4 uses - to keep things simple, unless the character says that they're firing only single shots.