Sunday, 8 May 2022

Sprawl Goons - The Updatification

Another (very brief) update.

Layout on the POD edition is almost complete. Just working up a sandbox (teaser below) and some associated assets to round off the project. Once I'm happy with all the content, I'll get the book upped to Lulu and pull the trigger on the proof copy.

Extremely excited to get this finished and in to your augmented hands.

More soon. :)


  1. Hype! I think this plus advice for running a cyberpunk would be great! Also, all random tables found in the different sprawl goons books be together. I had trouble having to remember/look up where a certain random table was.

    1. All the tables from the three PDFs (and some extras) are included in the layout and everything has been reordered to make sense. I'll also be including the sandbox setting teased above, to provide an urban playground.

      As for advice, remember that cyberpunk adventures are usually heists, kidnappings, extractions, recovery jobs and thefts, with hi-tech dressing. The secret ingredient is crime! Sometimes, however, it's simply about fucking over a corporation.

      Also, there's some good starter advice for cyberpunk GMs here:

    2. Thanks a lot for your advice! I'm mainly a solo rpg player (that is why I love random tables a lot) and very interested in cyberpunk. I like the hacker trope a lot, but when I try to play a game with a hacker, I always end up doing most of the game with the hacker researching online. I think I need to focus more on the johnson and special ops.

      BTW how do you handle knowledge based skills in sprawl goons? I mean, sure you have the mental skill (don't remember the specific name right now), but I think that a strategic character could not know how to hack or a hacker not knowing about military strategy. In sprawl goons, if any of those characters have a hacking deck, they would be able to hack the same, wouldn't they?

    3. There's a bit more detail on hacking in the upcoming POD edition.

      Knowledge-based checks use Cognition, generally. The Backgrounds were created to add a vague definition of what characters may or may not be able to do, such as being able to hack (the Nodejacker, etc.) or strategy (the Zone War Veteran or Panzer Mind, etc.), but they aren't an essential element to play, being more for flavour. And remember, you can create your own.

      Ultimately, you could decide any character-type can hack, as long as they have a cyberspace console, but they will need a decent Cognition. Or you could say that a character would need at least a Cognition 2 or 3 to be able to intelligently manipulate the net, if you want fewer hacker characters. It's really up to you.

      Difficulty Scores are designed to handle most things, whether it be a fist fight, or figuring out some prototype technology.

    4. Thanks again for your reply! Can't wait ti get the new version!
      Will there be any discounts if we have the previous version?

    5. No problem. :)

      I'm trying to figure how to do it, but yes, hopefully.

  2. Hi Geist,

    As discussed "elsewhere" I would like to ask a couple question about the game: I am planning to run a one-shot adventure sometime in the next month, so I am collecting stuff and also trying to decide which "enhancements" to introduce to the basic game.

    So my first question is: *Goons In Space* introduces "skills". Which are just semi-formalized ways to give a +1 to specific situations (just like gear in the basic Goons engine).

    In case you are not familiar with it, when you create the character you have 4 skill points to distribute: one skill will get 2 points, and two more skills will be rated at 1 point each.

    (The list of skills, as you can imagine, is quite simple, Goons in Space has:
    Acrobatics • Alien Species • Charismatic • Climbing • Deception • Diplomacy • Engineering • Explosives • Gambling • Hacking • Hand-to-Hand • Intimidation • Medicine • Negotiating • Pilot • Planetary Systems • Reading People • Repair • Shooting • Sleight of Hand • Space Navigation • Spaceship Systems • Spaceship Weapons • Stamina • Stealth • Streetwise • Survival • Tech • Telekinesis • Telepathy • Tracking ... altering it to fit a different genre should not be difficult.)

    So my question is: have you considered this and decided against it for some reason? or can you imagine any potential problem in introducing this in my game?

    1. There are two reasons I didn't add skills:
      1. I wanted to stay as close to original Tunnel Goons as possible, at least in the first instance.
      2. I wanted bonuses to come primarily from the tech and augmentations, befitting a cyberpunk genre game.

      Also, I considered that a combination of skill bonuses, gear bonuses, Upgrade dice and any (possibly multiple) aug bonuses might push things too far. The work around for that would be to have higher DS numbers, maybe starting at 10 or 12, to account for the extra bonuses skills bring.

      There are buyable 'skill chips' in Sprawl Goons, known as Shardware, which can give very specific, but skill-like, bonuses, but a character has to have a Savvy Jack implant to make use of them. I guess that's as close as I got to including skills, as such.

      I do like the way skills are handled in Goons In Space, but I would change the character improvement method to just buying skill increases and ditch the 'stat' increases, leaving the originally chosen stat numbers unchanged (unless augs alter them).

      One of the limitations of the Goons system (or any 2d6 system for that matter) is that too many stacking bonuses to rolls can potentially make things too easy for PCs.

    2. First of all, thank you for the detailed answer.

      I do share the same concerns about things becoming "too easy" - so yes, maybe I should revise the difficulty levels a bit.
      I had not thought about allowing skill increases only; this is definitely something that could be worth investigating.

      I have always been a big fan of Classic Traveller, so the idea of having limited or no character "progress" sits well with me: in Traveller the idea was that the PC "progression" comes more in terms of:

      Stuff (equipment, actual money, weapons, vehicles...)
      Status (Contacts, contracts, titles, influence, friends and allies)

      Which was in part a reaction against the "superheroic power curve of D&D", but in general makes more sense in terms of non-fantasy universes.
      So yeah, you could buy or acquire better implants, be hired for more high-stakes contracts, get powerful allies and friends, but increasing stats (or even skills) would require years, so it should be made much slower or even completely removed.

    3. No problem.

      And leaning into the Traveller way of doing things seems a good solution.

    4. Ok, I put together what to me looks a reasonable list of skills. Wish me luck:

      Broker - Locating suppliers and buyers, either legitimate or illegitimate. Facilitating the purchase and resale of goods/info. Covers Bribery, too. Street dealer.
      Bujutsu - Skilled in knife-fighting and can also wield most other melee weapons effectively in hand-to-hand combat.
      Chameleon - Blending in, disguise. Spycraft.
      Charismatic - Leadership, Seduction; used to impress someone else and look cool.
      Comms - Use and repair communications and sensor devices: eavesdropping and wire-tapping, boosting signals, create or break a secure channel, detect signals and anomalies, hide or piggyback on another signal, jam local communications, analyze complex sensor data.
      Demolitions - Setting and disarming explosives. Useful also to set or dismantle IED
      DroneJock - Remote piloting of semi-autonomous devices.
      Elint - Analyzing huge data to look for patterns, cypher breaking, data research
      Expert(...) - You can be an expert on anything: science, obscure hobbies like Japanese calligraphy, chess, trivia…
      Forgery - Most documents are of electronic nature, nowadays, so apart from the specific ability to clone/alter these, this skill allows the user to create consistent backstories and appropriate mass of online history
      Gambling - The skill of knowing how to make bets, figure odds, and play games of chance successfully.
      Gun Combat - Use handguns and individual projectile weapons of any type, including cyberwear types. Does not really cover esoteric stuff like archery, slings, atl-atl (use Expert(weapon) if you really want this).
      Hacking - Deck interface, using appropriate intrusion and defensive programs: this is the classic "Netrunner" skill
      Hand-to-Hand - Unarmed combat. When used against armed opponents that have experience in the specific melee weapon it would be advisable to roll at a disadvantage.
      Juryrig - Ability to repair/build/maintain improvised technical solutions by juryrigging or repurposing components
      Medtech - First aid and use of medical tech to assist healing or stabilize wounds.
      Parkour - Encompasses any kind of acrobatics/climbing activity
      Security Systems - Installation/bypassing/dismantling of security measures, from mechanical locks to swipe-card locks, keypad locks, surveillance cameras and various types of alarms and their triggers. Also includes breaking into, and hot-wiring, vehicles.
      Streetwise - The knowledge of the ``seamy`` side of life-where to get illegal and contraband things, how to talk to the criminal element, and avoiding bad situations in bad neighborhoods.
      Tactic - Once per combat you can use this as a + for yourself or any ally, or as a minus to enemies.
      VTOL - Piloting air vehicles like helicopters or any kind of flying vehicle that makes sense in your world (conventional airplanes would use a dedicated Pilot(…) skill)
      Vehicle Zen - Driving/Maintaning any kind of land vehicle.
      WaterNomad - Encompasses swimming, scuba, and water vehicles.

    5. That is a great list! Nicely done. Kinda wish I'd added skills now! LOL

    6. :) ... we have played maybe 1/3 of Gregorius 21778:"Kickin´dogs" and to me looks like the skills are not creating a big unbalance.

      As I mentioned this was only an experiment, but the players have expressed the desire to finish the adventure so we will try to do so as soon as we have another free night from the main campaign.

  3. I would like to know if it will be available in pdf. I have the pdf version of sprawl goons upgraded

  4. nice map

    I would like to know if it will be available in pdf. I have the pdf version of sprawl goons upgraded

    1. The POD version will more than likely be released in PDF form, once the book is available to purchase.

  5. Do we have any approximate dates for the POD/PDF? I'm really hyped for it :)

    1. No date yet, but feverishly adding extra content, so hopefully it'll be worth the wait! :)

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