Reboot the Future is a cyberpunk game set in the off-world colonies of a space federation known as the Consortium. After abandoning the off-world colonies during the Galactic War, the big corporations have recently returned. While the corporations were away, a whole generation of people have been free of their influence and have seen the damage that corporate rule has caused. Some of them, known as the Cyberpunks, are now in open rebellion.
It uses the same straightforward rule system as Paul Mitchener’s Liminal adapted to the fast-moving sci-fi thriller worlds of Cyberpunk.
You can read the first 14 pages of the book which introduces the game, and view the various forms the game uses (the character sheet, Domain Record and Gang Record) in this preview.
Five Things this Game is About
When I designed Reboot the Future, I had five design goals in mind, listed below.
Each of these five points links to a blog post that explains it in further detail.
- At its heart, it’s a straightforward rules-light cyberpunk game. If you want to discard the setting and make your own, you still get value for money. The character generation, game rules, and example NPCs and organisations are rooted in traditional cyberpunk tropes.
- Cyberpunk in the 23rd century. I wanted a setting where even if the players want to play straightforward cyberpunk, which is a little bit more than the Cyberpunks vs Corporations. Dragging the setting’s time period forward into the 23rd-century space age of fringe colonies vs core corporate worlds and the mystery of what’s in space has done this for me.
- Everyone’s a Cyberhacker. Although there is a dedicated cyberhacker concept, everyone can interact with virtual reality and do stuff there. Sometimes they will have to work together as a group to overcome the Artificial Intelligences that run Virtual Reality and guard its secrets.
- Play the cyberpunk you want. Using a setting questionnaire and other player-centred tools, the group gets to run the version of cyberpunk you and your players want.
- Deep setting info you can ignore if you want. If you like the deep occult conspiracy type of cyberpunk that the Matrix brings, mixed with a dash of Ufology, the game supports that. But keeping with point 4, you can easily switch that off and ignore it if you or your players don’t want to engage with it.
Actual Play Reports
Backer Prime Jim enjoyed playing the adventure Brain Dead at the Shopping Mall with me at Grogmeet 2021 and wrote an actual play (with spoilers), which shares the fun.
And here’s my take on the same game in a spoiler-free Narrator’s report
What Formats is this Game available In?
The main rule book in its standard edition is a hardcover US Digest format (i.e. 6 by 9 inches), 270 pages long. With a colour cover by Dan Barker, and black and white internal art by Jeshields.
I have a limited number of stock of the digitally printed version with sewn pages, eight pages of colour plates, and a ribbon left over from the Kickstarter. This is what I’m currently selling here, until I run out of stock. Then I will be switching to Print on Demand version. The book comes with a free pdf.
You can also buy just the pdf.
Find out more
The game is supported and blogged about regularly over at my sci-fi Gaming blog To the Stars.
Support is coming in the form of pdf adventures and micro-supplements that will be available in collected print versions later in 2023.
- Black Friday Special. A short adventure. Another day, another abandoned mall and a desperate call for help from a missing presumed dead local anti-consumer revolutionary.
- Brain Dead at the Shopping Mall. A short adventure set in an abandoned housing estate, where the cyberpunk are looking to recover a motorbike from a dealership in an abandoned shopping centre. Simple right?
- Cyber Monday Tales. A collection of adventure seeds.