Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Sprawl Goons Upgraded

With our weekly Cyberpunk 2020 game on hiatus, my group and I decided to game online, so I needed something fast and simple to run. Intending to stay with our campaign, but focusing on the background machinations of a couple of major NPCs, I decided to give Sprawl Goons a bit of a polish, and here's the result.

I'll post up the group's PCs shortly, and hopefully give you some background to events, as the team bounce around the globe.


• Name your character
• Resilience Points are 12
• Inventory Score is 10
• Distribute 4 points between the stats below (a stat may have a score of 0)

Morphology: Good at melee, brawling, climbing, feats of strength
Reaction: Good at sneaking, aiming, shooting, balancing
Cognition: Good at hacking, perception, speaking, learning
Equilibrium: Good at keeping your nerve, resisting stress, maintaining your cool

Choose 3 Starting Items (examples):
• Melee Weapon (specify)
• Ranged Weapon (specify)
• Armour (specify)
• Implant (specify)
• Penlight
• Cheap Sanyo Cell Phone
• Ono-Sendai Cyberspace Console and ‘trodes
• Toolkit
• IR Goggles
• Stolen Credit Card (2d6 uses)
• Half-bottle of Moskovskaya Vodka
• 3 Doses of Brazilian Hyperdex (+1 Morphology)
• Capsule Hotel Key
• Yeheyuan Cigarettes
• Fake ID (specify)
• Handcuffs
• Mirrorshades
• Palm-sized A/V drone
• Blister of d6 Lazarus Patches

Roll 3d6x10 for starting cash

A referee controls and describes the world to the players, who then describe how their characters (PCs) act in the world. The referee will then call for an Action Roll should the situation warrant it.

When an action’s success is uncertain, a player rolls 2d6 and adds points from the relevant stat and a point for each relevant item used (referee’s decision). If the total is equal to or greater than the action’s Difficulty Score (DS), it is successful.

If an Action Roll has a risk of physical danger, such as in combat, the difference between the dice roll and Difficulty Score (DS) is the amount of damage the endangered participant takes.

As an action, Tanner (a PC) gets into close combat with a member of the Zone Bosses gang who has a DS of 10. The player rolls 2d6 and adds 2 from the character’s Morphology score, 1 for Tanner’s katana, and 1 for his kevlar jacket. Tanner’s Action Roll total is 12. The difference between 12 and 10 is 2, so the Zoner takes 2 damage. A non player character’s DS is also their Resilience Points, so now the enemy’s Difficulty Score is 8. If the player’s roll had been a total of 8 (2 less than the DS of 10), then Tanner would have lost 2 Resilience instead of the Zone Boss.

Elsewhere, another PC, Katya Kaiser, fires her Hideyoki shard gun at a Genexus agent shooting at her (DS10). Katya’s player rolls 2d6, adding 1 for her Reaction, 1 for the shard pistol, another 1 for the explosive flechettes it fires, and 1 for her spiderweave armour vest. She rolls 10 on the dice, adds the 4 points for a total of 14, so the Genexus goon takes 4 points of damage. Next round, the NPC agent’s DS will be down to 6. If Katya’s player had attained a total Action Roll score of 7 (3 less than the DS of 10), it would have been Katya that received damage (3 points) from the agent’s shots instead.

Easy: 8 | Moderate: 10 | Challenging: 12 | Hard: 14 | Formidable: 16 | Extreme: 18 | Impossible: 20

These are extra dice added to the Action Roll by the referee, depending on the circumstances during the game. Only the referee can determine if and when a player needs to roll the Glitch or Upgrade dice.

The GLITCH dice is a third d6 rolled during an Action Roll, requested by the referee when they feel the character is at a disadvantage. From the three dice rolled, keep the two worst scores for the Action Roll result. 

For example, a character may have faulty or damaged implants, or has sustained a wound that may affect the chances of their action’s success.

The UPGRADE dice is a third d6 which the referee will ask the player to roll when performing an action, when they think the character has gained a situational advantage. From the three dice rolled, keep the best two scores as the result of your Action Roll. 

For example, a character may have prepared well, set a solid ambush, done in-depth research, or brought the most suitable gear for the job, increasing their chances of success.

To determine who goes first in a combat situation, roll a d6 for initiative, adding the Reaction stat, and 1 for any relevant speedware augmentations, such as a a Reflex Booster, or performance enhancing drugs, such as ‘Dorph.


When a character’s Resilience reaches zero, they will begin to take critical damage. 

Critical damage represents serious wounds, shock and blood loss. The referee will roll 2d6 (one for wounds, one for location) to determine both the severity of the injuries and the body location affected.

Critical Injuries Table (d6)
1. Drop weapons, superficial cuts, wind knocked out of you, bruised, dazed, knockdown 
2. Dislocations, shattered or broken weapons, numbed limbs or body parts 
3. Incapacitated limbs, deep wounds, smashed teeth, broken bones 
4. Severed arteries, internal bleeding, spine injuries, gouged eyes 
5. Portion of a limb lost, organs ruptured, bleeding out, artery severed, stunned 
6. Entire limb lost, body parts hacked in half, shock and blood loss, edge of consciousness
7+ Eviscerated, flying body parts, arterial spray, death in 1 round

Body Locations (d6)
1. Leg (nearest or most logical)
2. Torso 
3. Torso 
4. Torso 
5. Arm (nearest or most logical) 
6. Head

If a character has already taken critical damage, the next roll on the injury table is rolled with a +3.

Once a PC has taken a critical injury, they will be rolling all further Action Rolls using the Glitch Dice, until they have received medical attention.

When an NPC’s DS reaches zero, they die. The referee may choose to use the critical injuries for major NPCs in their campaign.

Regain all lost Resilience Points by spending 8 hours resting in a safe area. For a quick fix mid mission, apply a Lazarus Patch to immediately recover 3 Resilience Points. An allied character with a first aid kit who performs a successful Cognition based Action Roll will gain the injured PC 2 Resilience Points. Critical Injuries cannot be healed this way and the PC must be attended by a medical professional with the right equipment.

Level up at the end of each mission. Each level, raise a stat score by 1, and raise either Resilience or Inventory Score by 1.

Your Inventory Score is how many bulky items you can carry comfortably. For each item that exceeds your Inventory Score, subtract 1 from any Morphology or Reaction rolls.

Cybernetic implants are interfaced with the PC’s meat body, and therefore don’t count towards the Inventory total. These can be anything from pop-out blades, to thermal optics, amped hearing, pneumatic fists, or jacked-up reflexes.

Hacking attempts on systems can only be performed with an interfaced cyberspace console, and Action Rolls utilise the Cognition stat. 

A system will have a DS, just like a non-player character, depending on its level of security; a basic system might be Easy (8), whereas a zaibatsu mainframe could be Extreme (18). Neural damage can be taken from certain secure systems, in the same way as physically fighting with an NPC, and is the difference between the DS and the failed hacking roll. Critical damage will most likely affect the nervous system and the cognitive function of the target, leading to spasms, nerve damage, loss of motor function, seizures, reduced IQ, involuntary physical actions, bugs in augmentations, ticks, bleeds and heart attacks, console burn-out, etcetera. Go wild.

Your character’s console will add 1 to your Action Roll (cutting edge models can add more). If you can obtain them, specialist software or ICE-breakers, as well as a hacker’s inventive coding, may also add further bonuses to your hacking Action Roll. Researching a system prior to the attack, obtaining current passwords, or infiltrating via a back door exploit or other vulnerability, may allow the use of the Upgrade Dice (referee’s discretion).

• Full auto attacks give a +4 bonus to the Action Roll, but empty the weapon’s magazine
• Burst fire gives a +2 bonus to the Action Roll, up to three times before the magazine is spent
• Aiming gains a +1 bonus per round spent scoping the target, for up to a maximum of 3 rounds
• Shotguns do +3 damage point blank, +2 close proximity, and can hit up to 3 bunched targets at range
• Speciality munitions, such as explosive flechettes, add a further bonus to Action Rolls (see example)
• Throwing a grenade is a Moderate Action Roll, and uses the Reaction stat
• Grenades do +3 damage in enclosed spaces
• Planted explosives (using detonators or triggers) do 2d6 to 3d6 damage, dependent on type
• Monofilament edged weapons negate armour (so it can’t be added to your Action Roll total) and do +1 damage if the target is unarmoured
• Fire inflicts repeat damage for up to 3 rounds
• Falling damage is worked out as 1 point of damage for every 3 metres fallen (rounded up)
• Armour Can Be Slagged to negate a Critical Injury once, but is damaged and useless next time and must be replaced; it cannot be repaired
• Cybernetic limbs take damage as normal, but simply break or shut down when taking Critical Injuries, and can be repaired by a competent tech


  1. Hello
    Very cool game and very cool stuff.
    Would you agree that I publish a French translation of the Sprawl Goons Upgraded rules, for free of course?

    1. Yes, please go for it. :)

    2. Thanks.
      Here, my post on my blog about the French version
      and here, the direct url to download the file