THE VEIL: CYBERPUNK ROLEPLAYING
Second Printing PDF just released, print run coming soon!
The Veil is a collaborative storytelling game Powered by the Apocalypse designed to tell cyberpunk stories of your own making. Use world building tools to come up with unique settings that look and feel like the cyberpunk you and your friends have always wanted. Put questions that drive your characters at the heart of heists, mysteries, and conspiracies. Break a near future world and then try to put it back together.
Play to find out what happens.
The room flickers in front of you for an instant like a PMP losing reception. You hear the hammer snap back on a cheap poly and you can almost smell the ozone as the bullet glides out of the chamber. The window flies apart in shatterproof shards the size of disembodied limbs. Your neurochip feeds you the trajectory of the unequivocal sentence of death speeding your way as your eyes swivel in their machined sockets. Juice crashes through your veins. You've only got a split second to make a move. What do you do?
The Veil uses the Apocalypse World system, but there are many changes inspired by cyberpunk media, recent hacks, other games, and what we like to see at the table. At its heart, the Apocalypse World engine uses 2d6 to determine in which direction the story heads and with how much difficulty a character accomplishes what they set out to do, if at all. When a character does something that triggers a move in the fiction of the game world (when we need to go to the dice to see what happens), 2d6 (+ a modifier) is rolled and if the roll results in 10+ the character does what they set out to do; on a 7-9 they do it, but at cost; and on a 6 or less, the GM decides what happens.
- States as stats. Six emotional states urge players to stay in sync with their characters and add evocative details; when a player triggers a move they must think about what state their character is in so that they can add the appropriate modifier.
- Obligation as a debt system. Duty, obligation, and face play important roles in the setting and have mechanics that support them.
- Playbooks that contribute to the fiction, and that are tied to certain elements of it, push players to take the lead and have authority over elements central to their character.
- Tags as fictional positioning; an easy, flavorful way to modify cybernetics and technology, how the characters interact with the world, and speed up character creation.
- Beliefs as advancement. Protagonists are constantly changing, reevaluating how they see the world, and being rewarded for it.
- Support for MCs designing scenarios that aim to get at the heart of important questions about humanity and being at the heart of all classic cyberpunk media.
Of course, there is also a set of basic moves to facilitate cinematic, cyberpunk gaming, relationships and cred to flesh out the world, and everything else you'd expect from a game Powered by the Apocalypse.
Like most games that are Powered by the Apocalypse, The Veil has a soft setting that is meant to be developed in play and fleshed out by everyone at the table. That said, there are some assumptions that the game makes. All of these concepts can be tweaked and require the players to define how they work in their world.
- Everyone is always plugged in to a form of mixed reality, called The Veil, which sits atop the physical world. It takes a great deal of skill to be able to pierce this illusion and see the reality beneath.
- As well as the persistent illusion, The Veil encompasses the digital world. The players can dive into it and treat it as physical space ripe for creative exploration. How information is perceived and interacted with, as well as the incredible physical and mental feats possible in a world where your mind is the only limitation, is up to you and your friends.
- While there are varying types and degrees of quality, cybernetics is common place.
- Obligation, a form of social currency, is important to the people in the setting.
- There is still a form of currency, called Cred.
- Certain playbooks add further implications for the setting - the Honorbound has a lot of creative control over Obligation, the Architect sets scenes in digital environments, and so on.
There is a lot of it, Here is one of the newest campaigns that uses The Veil, as well as the upcoming expansion to it: Cascade.