Chromebook, Volume 4 for R. Talsorian Games Cyberpunk 2020 setting.
Author: R. Talsorian Games
Company/Publisher: R. Talsorian Games
Page count: 80
Playtest Review by Tad Kelson on 06/12/98. Genre tags: none
This is the last in the Chromebook series from R. Talsorian Games.
Inside it are paragraphs,tables, and pages detailing out new and old gear, weapons, vehicles and culture for use in the game and setting of Cyberpunk 2020 made by R Talsorian Games. .
A short overview:
Beginning with an absolutely awesome cover of a Cyber-Biker chick with butch claws and dangling cyberskulls on her cycle, it seems to promise the grit and flash of this rich and detailed setting. Unfortunately Chromebook 4 does more recycling that provide much in the way of original content. There are six different sections to the book’s format. Ranging from cyberware and chipware to Fashion and Equipment, something is in here that should suit most any player that would pick it up. There is a price list and an index that rounds out the physical layout. So from limbs and joints to programs and cycles, this Chromebook does offer a good variety within 78 pages.
But as I said there is a lot of recycling that happens here. A total of 11 items in the book all first appeared in various issues of the old Interface Magazine, which had given great support with gear, articles and adventures. So for me it was old home week as I could pull out my copies and check out the same stats along with the same artwork. There are several items that reference the three other Chromebooks or supplements. Those are needed rules or statistics, which reduces the general utility of this as a stand-alone product, making it essentially a fluff release.
There is one section that I really liked and that was the one on Fashion. With six different styles of dress each one with a full page illustration as well as two full pages of game related mechanics related to the different outer wears I found it very useful in fleshing out and detailing what my NPCs are wearing. As style is integral to a Cyberpunk campaign this is the strongest part. This part would also help out authors or writers looking for a sense of what clothing could look like in the genre. Something in an overall sense that is lacking in the hobby of gaming, or for some of us fiction authors.
The quality varies with some recycled ideas, references to other supplements and books in this series which detracted overall from the aesthetic value. While the vehicles and Fashion section along with a decent quantity of high quality illustrations well offset the entries origins, I still feel that Chromebook 4 is of dubious value as a stand alone product. But used in conjunction with the other Chromebooks and the Bartmoss Guide to the Net, which is essential for the programs depicted in Chrombook 4. It will more than allow for an obscene plethora of ways to burn EB and humanity.
Style: 4 (Classy and well done)
Substance: 3 (Average)
R Talsorian Main Website http://www.talsorian.com//talsorian/NEWWEBSITE/default.htm
Mike Ebert Original Cover Artist