Reboot the Future, The Rules

This article is the first of five preview posts looking briefly behind the main selling points of Reboot the Future, Cyberpunk Roleplaying in the 23rd Century.

The Kickstarter page is now set up and if you are reading before 1st November its currently a prelaunch page where you can sign up to be notified the moment the Kickstarter launches.

Today I will expand on At its heart, it’s a straightforward rules-light Cyberpunk game.

Reboot the Future is built on Paul Mitchener’s Liminal RPG. About nine months ago, Paul kindly sent me a Liminal SRD with all the setting info and examples stripped out since I had expressed an interest in using the ruleset for my projects. Paul and I have collaborated on many projects over the years, and Liminal to my mind is a logical endpoint of the no-nonsense approach that Paul and myself share. It’s on its surface a very simple 2d6 vs Target number system. but there’s other things going on under the hood that make it a very powerful ruleset.

At the heart of Liminal, there the things that define the characters:

Concept. This is a quick summing up of what the character is all about, a pen picture. It also comes attached with suggested and required definitions which are detailed below. I completely rewrote this section to include all the standard cyberpunk roles, such as cyber hacker, Ronin, Black Marketeer etc.

Drive is what makes the character tick. It’s the goal that they are working towards in-game and nicely sums up their beliefs. You score extra experience for pursuing your drive and being able to reroll skill tests that involve the Drive.

Focus: Each character has a focus. This gives them bonuses for certain attributes, and access to Talents, which are traits that only characters with that focus can have. Reboot the Future has focuses of, Commerce, Determined, Hacker, and Tough.

Skills. Liminal has a short but comprehensive skills that tend to be broad rather than narrow in scope. Hence we have Athletics that covers movement abilities rather than separate skills for Jumping, Climbing etc

Traits. Are the additional abilities and talents that the character possesses outside of their skills. Some traits add bonuses to skill tests of a certain type. Others open up whole new areas of endeavour.

Attributes: Will, measures mential fortitude and can be spent for rerolls. Endurance measures physical health. Damage and Protection is the harm that an attack inflicts and your armour aborbs, both measured in d6 plus a modfier that goes up with effectiveness.

Liminal Characters are also part of an adventuring party called a Crew. I’ve renamed this the Gang in Reboot the Future, and added some cyberpunk style assets that the gang can collectively call upon.

The game system is short and concise and mainly revolves around skill tests and challenges.

Skill Tests and Challenges. Skill tests are very straightforward roll 2d6 add an appropriate skill rating, and see if you’ve rolled higher than a Target Number, which defaults to 8 but can be adjusted by the Game Moderator. Challenges are slightly more involved procedures for Combat and Social interactions.

Areas I’ve added to character definitions.

Style, in keeping with the fashion-conscious genre aspects of cyberpunk, every character has a style that defines their visual appearance and attitude and gives a bonus up to three times a game session to any skill test where it is appropriate.

Origins and Flashbacks. Each character has an Origin, such as Archology Terminte, Spacer, Rough Neck etc. As well as a quick background of the characters upbringing for the purposes of roleplaying, they can also be invoked, up to three times per session in the form of Flashbacks that give the character insights from their past which allow them to reroll failed skill tests where appropriate

Cyberware. I’ve used the traits system to add the many types of cyberware that the game features.

Circles and Contacts. Cyberpunk literature has many examples of where a contact is quickly contacted to get the characters out of trouble, or the character’s association with various social circle. So I’ve added rules for this.

To the overall game system, I’ve added some additional rules in keeping with the Cyberpunk genre, that add to straightforward Liminal’s rules for skill tests,social and combat challenges.

Rules for interacting with Virtual Reality. This all revolves around Avatars that act as a digital version of the character in the virtual world. Opposing them are Artificial Intelligences, which guard and control the computer systems that the characters want to loot, manipulate and hack. Unlike other Cyberpunk games, where a dedicated hackiing role gets to have all the fun, while all the other characters sit there twiddling their thumbs, every cyberpunk character has an Avatar which can interact with the virtual world, and take part on data raids, seizing control of computer remotes, and engaging in combats with system AIs.

Vehicluar Mayhem. This type of challenge covers both vehicle combat and chases in one swift go.

Load Out. This chapter adds descriptions and game rules for the many bits of technology that the characters can pick up.

If this interests you, check out the Kickstarter page.

  • Reboot the Future Kickstarter page.
  • Blasters and Lasers Careers

    The ram has touched the wall! I’ve started work on Blasters and Lasers, the zero edition of which is due in July.

    The first stage is working out what is different from Skyraiders of the Floating Realms, the fantasy game that uses the same D100 system.

    The first and most obvious place to start is the Careers section. Like Skyrealms, I’m using careers as a short punchy way of detailing what skills, equipment and augmentations ( science fiction based special abilities such cyberware and psychic abilities), the characters have picked up before they became professional adventurers.

    I’m posting this, it gives an idea of the scope of the game, and what sort of characters you can play.



    This career covers both the Space-Fighter Ace and the Captain of a Tramp Merchant vessel.

    Skills: Pilot, Engineer, Navigation, Ranged Combat, Trade
    Equipment: Laser sidearm, choice of Grav vehicle, Space fighter or Star Ship.
    Augmentations: Ship Link (Starship) Link, Blaster Link, Navcom


    Gangsters who operate out of the crowded metropolis, shady black-marketeers who lurk in the dark alleys of spaceports, or bands of bandits who prey upon travellers making their way across vast wilderness between settlements on sparsely inhabited worlds.

    Skills: Awareness, Deception, Close Combat or Ranged Combat, Influence, Streetwise
    Equipment: Blaster rifle, Vibro-knucks, Knife.
    Augmentations: Choice of Cyberarm or Cyberleg, News chip, Law Feed.


    This career describes both ex-armed planetary forces, trained to operate out of spaceships, or corporate guards who protect corporate operations.

    Skills: Close Combat, Ranged Combat, Unarmed Combat, Awareness, Movement
    Equipment: Blaster rifle, Combat Armour, Grenades, Combat Knife
    Augmentations: Enhanced Body Type, Combat Endorphins, Mercenary Database.

    Navy Officer

    Part diplomat, part combat-ready soldier, this career covers both the upper ranks of the Imperial Fleet or the member of a command group on a respectable merchant vessel.

    Skills: Influence, Ranged Combat, Linguist, Navigation, Pilot.
    Equipment: Laser pistol, Vibro Sword, Translator
    Augmentations: Customs Database, Body sculpt, Vocal Harmoniser.


    Characters from this career may be formal members of the planetary armed forces or a freelancer who made their living from guiding commercial and tourist parties across wild worlds. They may be attached to professional expeditions to map and explore new worlds.

    Skills: Awareness, Movement, Influence, Ranged Combat or Close Combat, Wilderness Survival
    Equipment: Long Range Sniper Laser Rifle, Hunters Knife.
    Augmentations: Farsight Optics, Internal Water-Retainer, Environmental Adapter.


    An ancient order who blends hand to hand combat skills with psionics.

    Skills: Close Combat, Unarmed Combat, Movement, Psychic
    Equipment: Laser Sword, Chi-Crystal, Laser Blaster.
    Augmentations: Sensefield, Block Damage, Weapon Enhance.


    Individuals with enhanced psychic awareness, who either work solo as detectives and investigator, or who are part of a larger Psychic Organisation.

    Skills: Influence, Awareness, Psychic
    Equipment: Chi-Crystal, Laser Pistol, Dampening Field.
    Augmentations: Mindlink, Empathy, Sensefield.