I’ve done several of these cheat sheets now, but for those who haven’t seen them before: I frequently prep cheat sheets for the RPGs I run. These summarize all the rules for the game — from basic action resolution to advanced combat options. It’s a great way to get a grip on a new system and, of course, it also provides a valuable resource at the table for both the GMs and the players. (For more information on the procedure I follow when prepping these cheat sheets, click here.)
These cheat sheets for Technoir, a cyberpunk RPG with two incredibly clever mechanics:
First, instead of traditional ability scores, characters have Verbs. They use these Verbs to push Adjectives onto a target. So instead of making an attack roll and inflicting 15 points of damage, they’ll use Shoot to make their target Bloody. Or Winged. Or Lamed. Or Ruined. Or Shattered. Or…. well, anything that follows logically from the action they’re attempting. The beauty of the system is that it allows you to create very specific effects in the context of the game world, and it can do fluidly in any arena.
Second, an incredibly rich set of plot map mechanics which, when combined with the game’s Transmissions, allow an almost infinite amount of gameplay within a given setting with minimal or no prep.
I’ve written about Technoir a number of times here on the Alexandrian. Whether you’re familiar with the game or not, you may enjoy checking some of them out:
Technoir: Sequences vs. Skill Challenges
Technoir and the Three Clue Rule
Technoir and Smart Prep
Technoir and PvP
Technoir: The Untouched Core
Untested Technoir: Fleeting Relationships
Technoir + Vornheim Contacts
HOW I USE THEM
I keep a copy of the system cheat sheet for quick reference and I also provide copies for all of my players. Of course, I also keep at least one copy of the rulebook available, too. But my goal with the cheat sheets is to summarize all of the rules for the game. This consolidation of information eliminates book look-ups: Finding something in a half dozen or so pages is a much faster process than paging through hundreds of pages in the rulebook.
The sheets for Technoir are fairly straightforward:
PAGE 1: This page contains the entire action resolution mechanic of the game, including rules for sequences and examples of common attacks. You’ll be looking at this page about 95% of the time that you’re playing.
PAGE 2: This page plays clean-up. It includes the Recovery rules. It also includes a quick reference for the equipment tags relating to the Interface and Links. And a Favors reference.
PAGE 3: A GM-only page summarizing the plot map mechanics.
Although this cheat sheet replaces some of the functionality of the Technoir Player’s Guide, that booklet can still be useful (particularly during character creation) by listing the Training Programs, equipment, and relationship adjectives used during character creation. Alternatively, you can print, in booklet format, multiple copies of the core equipment guide (pages 40-49 of the core rulebook). I’ll also print off a single sheet with a list of all the relationship adjectives in a large font (which can be passed around during character creation so that entries can be crossed off as they’re used).
I’ll also print out a reference to all the connections (and the favors they offer) in the current transmission on a single sheet of paper. This, again, facilitates quick and easy character creation without having to swap books around.
MAKING A GM SCREEN
I don’t actually use a GM screen when I’m running Technoir, but these cheat sheets have been designed with the same format of all my cheat sheets so that they can be used in conjunction with a modular, landscape-oriented GM screen (like the ones you can buy here or here).