What is Cyberpunk 2020 the Tabletop Game?

Cyberpunk 2020 was a tabletop board game from the 1990’s. Considered to be a variation of dungeons and dragons. The game is a pen and paper game heavily based on your imagination.

Character and Roles


The character like in the game range from computer hackers to cybernetic criminals. The basic rules system of Cyberpunk 2020 (called the Interlock System) is skill-based instead of level-based, with players being awarded points to be spent on their skill sets. New skills outside their expertise can be learned but in-game time needs to be spent on this. A large part of the system is the player characters’ ability to augment themselves with cyber-technology and the ensuing loss of humanity as they become more machine than man.

Cyberpunk 2020 claims to lend itself to play in the street level, dark film noir genre, but certain aspects of the basic system can influence game sessions toward a high body-count, 1980s action movie-style.


Although each player must choose a character class or “role” from those given in the basic rules, there is enough variation in the skill system so that no two members of the same class are alike. Because Cyberpunk 2020 is skill-based, the choice of skills around the class-specific special ability allows a wide range of character development choices including non-combatants.

The combat system, called “Friday Night Firefight”, emphasizes lethality. Several pages in the rules are devoted to discussing real combat vs. the illusions are often seen on TV. Attempts are made to keep the combat as realistic as possible in a game setting. No matter who the character is, a single bullet can result in a lethal wound. This encourages a more tactically oriented and thought-out game play, which is in accordance with the rough-and-gritty ethos of the Cyberpunk genre. Also, the amount of damage a character can sustain does not increase as the character develops. The only way a character can become more damage resistant is to either become better at not being hit, physically augment their body with muscle (trained or implanted) or cybernetics, or wear armor.

The Lore

The story of the game spans roughly 1-5 short stories in the core handbook. Without trying to spoil anything, the lore is very rich and can be found all throughout the handbook.

According to the Wikipedia for Cyberpunk 2020, is a pen and paper game that takes place in the year 2020. The game’s default setting is the fictional Night City. The city has a population of five million people on the west coast of the United States located between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is described as being near San Jose but the map puts it closer to Monterey. Later supplements to the game have contained information about the rest of the US and the world.

The basic core story of the game is about a socio-economical collapse and a period of martial law. The United States government has had to rely on several megacorporations to survive. This has given them a veritable carte blanche to operate as they will. The game has been through a lot and is currently being made into a video game.

Cyberpunk 2077 is an upcoming role-playing video game developed by CD Projekt RED and published by CD Projekt. We hope to hear some new information or details at this year’s E3 convention in Los Angeles.

Cyberpunk World

The world of cyberpunk 2020 is filled with great night cities and neon lights of the near future. I personally have played Cyberpunk 2020 a long time ago. I would love to pick this game back up and try to find a group of people willing to enter the world with me.

Do you think tabletop games are just as fun as video games? Let me know in the comments below.

Written by: Christian Galvez

Christian is the founder of The EXP Grind. He is interested in Indie musicians, Video Games, Anime, and just about anything in Arts and Entertainment. He tries to find art with true meaning in the new and upcoming artists and hopes to reach more creative professionals.

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