In the near future, Britain is facing economic ruin. Following the success of the “Megacorp” experiment in the United States they attempt to do the same – they offer several multi-billion corporations the chance to buy a large part of the British landscape and create their own city state, where they can make their own laws if they wish.
This section gives a brief description of the general setting for Running Hot. For more information, please see the general lore description. This section is kept brief so that players who don’t have time to read the full lore have a vague idea at least as to what’s going on!A very important paragraph! Running Hot has a whole bunch of lore, which all players have access to (mainly related to the different factions), but I know that I don't read all the lore for the games I play so this paragraph is for the players like me.
Running Hot is a “pre-cyberpunk” megagame. Players will play either the corporations who are trying to make money and further their political agendas or the runners who are the deniable resources that the corporations may use to achieve said resources. This game takes a slightly different tack to most cyberpunk settings, in that the game will explore the beginning of the dystopia that is to be expected of the setting.I include this because Cyberpunk has a certain brand and set of tropes, some of which I was including and a lot of which I intentionally wasn't.
Running Hot is asking whether that cyberpunk dystopia is an inevitable endpoint of a nation selling out to corporations. At the time of writing, I think dystopia ended up happening 3 times out of 5?
In the far future, the economy of Britain is struggling. Government debt is at an all time high with no end in sight, GDP has tanked and unemployment has skyrocketed. Five years earlier, the United States of America suddenly had resurgence of their economic prowess from a similar situation which they attribute to the “Megacorp” experiment.
Several corporations paid a significant sum of money to the United State government to buy a parcel of land to create their own microstate inside Kansas called Pacital. Under international law, the state was treated as an extension of the USA but domestically they are treated separately - they have their own laws and their own government. Amenities and municipal works are controlled by the corporations.As has been pointed out to me many times, this makes no sense.
The game intentionally handwaves a lot of that information - a player doesn't need it, and attempting to explain it would just be even more confusing and filled with holes that people would pick up.
What I'm saying is: handwaving information is very valuable.
Within 12 months the American economy recovered to a staggering degree - the ability for the corporations to write their own laws gave them considerable leeway to create new technologies and further their own global agendas. A significant proportion of the latest consumer goods have come from the Pacital.
But such unbridled capitalism comes at a cost. Rumours of illegal research, a cold uncaring state that chokes out all but the very rich from a fulfilling life and a constant threat of violence are whispered on the international stage. The Council of Pacital denies such rumours, though any attempts from global agencies to investigate (or infiltrate) have lead nowhere.
Britain is desperate. Against much internal pressure, it passed the “Megacorp Act” 6 months ago and 4 corporations paid a significant sum of money to buy several thousand square miles near SheffieldThis also makes no sense, but it is very funny to me.. Running Hot begins 6 months after the act is passed in Parliament. It is the opening day of the new state called “Procatorion”Need a name for something? Just throw it into an anagram generator. As far as I know, nobody spotted this was an anagram of Corporation. and the dawn of a new era in British history. Whether this will be a success or not is up to you.
As with many megagames, in this game there are some relatively simple rules that provide some framework and give players some universal expectations about the nature of how to play – but these are not the totality of the game.
As part of the simulation, players have the freedom to suggest actions to Control that are not obviously covered by the game rules. If reasonable, Control will typically give you the opportunity to do/try it at some cost and/or risk of failure. Player ingenuity that grows outside of this rulebook is not only anticipated, but very much encouraged!Running Hot was originally designed for a convention where the number of people who'd played a megagame was going to be close to zero. I wrote this to try and nudge people into doing the things that make fun megagame stories. I'm unsure whether it worked, but I would encourage including some text telling people that they can do nonsense - there's nothing worse than hearing a new player go "Oh, I didn't realise I could do that" near the end of a game
Keep in mind however that while there is this flexibility in how you play the game this is not a game where “anything goes”. Random acts, doing things “just for laughs” or “just because you can” are really not in the spirit of the game. This kind of behaviour will have the same impact that it would have in the real world. Be careful – every action has reactions and (unintended) consequences.This is a very important warning - there's a difference between a player going off being a little chaos gremlin (as I have the completely unfair reputation of having), and someone taking a baseball bat to the whole game and ruining everyone's day.
Encourage players to act in the spirit of the game you want. Unbridled freedom is less fun than people think.
This rulebook is separated out into several sections, some of which will be more relevant to some roles than others. Depending on the role you have, you should make sure you’re familiar with the relevant sections:
You should read:
You should read:
You should read:
You should read:
You should read:
You should read:
Turns for Running Hot have three phases.
The Setup Phase is designed to allow players to prepare for the upcoming action phase. During this time players will buy equipment or prepare for any runs that are upcoming.
This is also an opportunity for runners to pick up work. Any Corporate player can publish a job on the jobs board to request a runner and any runner may make contact with a Corporate player to receive further information about the run that they’ve posted. Players may skip the job posting step if they have a specific contact they wish to pursue.
To place a job posting on the board, a Corporate player should inform Control (either by a direct message or in your specific team channel). A job posting will contain the following information:
Control will place the information in the Job Posting channel. Runners may then make contact with the Corporate player in question to request further details and accept the job.
The Job Posting channel is intentionally hidden from Corporations. Information on jobs that have been posted are visible only to runners, though runners may pass the information to Corporate players (but this cannot be in the form of a screenshot).
Control will remove jobs during Team Time of the turn after the job was posted - if the job in question should be treated as still active, inform Control and they will update the “Turn placed” information. If possible, Corporate players should ask Control to remove jobs from the jobs board once they are no longer relevant.Did you spot the line? It's this one:
Players may skip the job posting step if they have a specific contact they wish to pursueThe intention was that players use the job posting mechanic to initiate a relationship with a runner and then use that for the rest of the game - but its just faster to go speak to a runner randomly and get going that way.
Players with the “Reconnaissance” ability may also do recon work during the setup phase to investigate a facility or CorporationThe number of times a player may do that will be limited by the ability text. Their ability will specify any additional costs that need to be paid and how to perform the action. The basic types of reconnaissance are:
Performing a reconnaissance action is also risky - if you don’t take care while investigating a facility then you might find that the relevant Security player has been informed about the breach and thus taken actions to make your information outdated. On the other hand, you might find that it’s much easier for you to hit your real target if Security think you’re going for something else.This is a really subtle hint to the "correct" way to play this game for the Security / Runner roles. So much of the design of this game is the "shell game" aspect, and outwitting your opponents with misdirection is probably one of the best ways to do it.
Obviously, you shouldn't tell players how to play the game and let them work it out themselves, but dropping subtle hints to get them on the right track so people aren't at too much of a disadvantage is a good idea in my opinion.
The sub games are explained in more detail in chapter 3.
Team time is the chance for Control to catch up and update the various resource trackers. During this time, allplayers must return to their team channels and remain there until the end of the phase. Control will do different things for different players.
Control will update the following variablesThere is absolutely no defence for using the word variable here. I should have used trackers instead. for each Corporation in turn. They will also inform you of any commands or feedback from your board of directors.
Your Income is based in part on your stock price, which will hopefully rise as the game continues. Your stock price can rise for all sorts of reasons, for example:Examples are invaluable, both to players and Control. They give the sense of what they need to do to affect things, and it should hopefully make it clear how they'll be rewarded.
Not included here is the sense of how much movement should be expected - make it clear to your Control team the magnitude of these tracks (is 3 a large amount? Is 10?)
Of course, your Income could fall if bad things start happening to your company - perhaps you built the androids cheaply to maximise your profits leading to the government utilising a penalty clause in the contract to cancel the rest of the order and buy from a competitor, or your stock certificates have been stolen from your Corporate facilities.
As would be expected, the more Income you have, the more money you will receive each turn. After Income is updated, your team’s spreadsheet will be updated with the money for the turn.
A Corporation’s Income is considered to be Public knowledge as it is directly linked to your stock price, but your current assets - including the amount of money your Corporation has - are considered Secret.I think the reason I did this was so you could sort of work out how much money someone had while planning your assault on them but it'd always be fluffy. It probably works but I don't think it really needs including to this level.
As your Income is linked to your stock price, keep in mind that your stock price is heavily influenced by your general reputation - the stories run by the press may have a small impact on your Income.For me, a megagame runs on two layers, the narrative layer and the mechanical layer. The narrative layer is the "fluff" around players actions - for example the above examples are basically all fluff - and the mechanical layer is where the rules lie.
The narrative layer is more interesting - that's where the stories are after all - but the game doesn't work without both of them. It's usually pretty easy to make the mechanical layer interact with the narrative layer, but vice versa can sometimes be challenging, especially if players don't realise it's an option.
Here, I'm calling out that the press (who are almost always entirely on the narrative layer) can do useful things for you. Again, this comes out from the fact this was originally written for a non-megagaming audience who might not appreciate the power of the press.
Political Will represents how much your Corporation is trusted and respected by the council members that are not represented by players. The more Political Will you have, the more sway you have in council decisionsI think this is a really good mechanic and more Council games should include something like it. More on my feelings about designing Council games later. Similar to Income, Political Will rises and falls based on your actions. For example:
Keeping your word is its own currency. Reneging on deals that have been made just because they weren't officially binding will lead to you having a reputation for being untrustworthy, whereas keeping your word will foster cooperation.I was attempting to discourage people from being complete and utter arseholes here.
There is a difference between trustworthiness and being a pushover - having a strict stance in negotiations to protect your bottom line is to be expected and will not be penalised (indeed, not doing so would be looked down on by your board).I wanted to be clear about how Control would enforce this mechanic. It wasn't about you always getting your way or surrendering to bad deals so you could say "Look at how good I am at working together".
Press may also have an effect on your Political Will - if they continually run stories about you being untrustworthy, don’t be surprised to see this drop!
Control will update the following variables for you. They will also inform you of any of the goings on in Procatorion that you need to be aware of.
Each runner is affiliated with a gang. The more Notoriety your gang has, the more people know who you are and respect you. As members of your gang successfully complete runs or perform other actions, the Notoriety of your gang will go up.
Although being known for completing runs is the main way for your Notoriety to increase, other actions could have a positive impact on your Notoriety:
Being in a well-known gang may confer certain benefits, as dictated by Control when the time calls for it. If you believe that your Notoriety should have an effect on a certain interaction, make the case with Control.Notoriety is the old trick of having a tracker that is entirely meaningless to the game, but it does give people a way of comparing themselves to someone which is primarily useful for the friend / rival mechanic. I did want to allow people to use it if they wanted to, so included this text here. In practice, I don't think anyone ever did?
Be careful with trackers like this. Add too many and players will be overwhelmed. However, this is a nice layer of spice that can be used to fuel a lot of role-playing.
Press players also have a significant impact on Notoriety - if the press are giving lots of good stories about you or your gang, then you can expect your Notoriety to rise. Likewise, if they consistently run bad stories then your Notoriety will fall. For example:
During Team Time, you recover one Wound for free (you may do this manually by updating your spreadsheet).If a played can do something themselves, then just let them. Doing this for 16 players would be a nightmare.
Tags are harder to remove without taking drastic actions. You may choose to pay 3 credits to Control to remove a single Tag during Team Time.
There are various other variables that exist in this world. Some of these will be updated during Team Time, while others will be updated as and when Control deems it appropriate.
Procatorion is very much an experiment by the UK Government. The wording of the Megacorp Act includes provisions for the UK Government to retake Procatorion if it the Corporations are causing problems.
As the day goes on, various actions will cause this to rise and fall. If this drops to 0, then the UK Government will begin taking steps to close down ProcatorionThis is another old megagame design trick - add a tracker where it is implied bad things will happen if it hits 0, and watch players scramble about to try and raise it when it gets low so you never need to worry about what you should do if it does.
I'm being slightly facetious here (I did have a rough plan to enact if Stability dropped like a stone), but unless your game is about the tracker hitting 0 then you can likely get away with not writing that situation.. For example:
It is an open secret that the UK Government are trying to avoid taking an active interest in Procatorion unless they have to. The UK Government are willing to take a risk that the illegality and subsequent bad press that they have to endure will be worth it to bring the economy back.This is me saying that the game is not about the tracker hitting 0, and that players can get away with a bit of shady behaviour.
Although Procatorion is not a direct democracy like the rest of the UK, the needs and wants of the general populace are not to be ignored. The Council of Procatorion have been given leeway to be the centre of all power and make decisions, but only CEOs of large companies have seats at the council.
If decisions are made by the CEOs which make the general populace unhappy, then Civil Unrest will increase, which may have negative effects on the Stability of Procatorion (and in extreme cases, riots may occur). On the other hand, getting the populace on side may help convince the UK Government to repeat the experiment and to keep their hands off Procatorion.Looking back on this, Stability and Civil Unrest are so linked that having two separate trackers was a bit messy. What I really wanted was a way of showing unhappiness which would then affect the Stability tracker later.
The various sub games are described in depth here.
The Council is split into two sections - the establishing of the agenda to be discussed (at the beginning of the Setup Phase) and subsequent voting (during the Action Phase).I have a couple of strong opinions on councils. They're a standard megagame trope to fill out the time for a group of players, but they regularly don't provide a fun time and get isolated from the rest of the game.
Isolation is a key thing to worry about when it comes to councils - if you need one for any reason (and they are good!), try to make sure your council has answers to the following questions:
1) Does your council have a mechanical backing? If not, then it's easy for the loud and obnoxious players to stomp over everyone else. Running Hot has political will, which means that your power ebbs and flows during the game.
2) Is it easy to stonewall the session? If so, then people will have a bad time because they're unable to do anything - and in this game all they can do is be on the council! Running Hot solves this by forcing a decision at the end of each turn.
3) Are their decisions meaningful? If the effects of the Council aren't felt in the rest of the game, then essentially you've locked someone in a room for 20 minutes and waved some sparklers at them. The rules don't enforce this, but the agendas in game do. It's also an explicit part of Council Control's brief to inform us of those game state changes
4) Does the Council happen at the same speed at the rest of the game? If not, then immediately number 3 is out. There's an built-in lag between an event happening in game and the Council making a decision, so make sure your Council is as fast, if not faster, than the rest of the game. Running Hot's solution is to brief Council Control to force agendas onto the mat.
At the beginning of the Setup Phase, each CEO player will take their place on the Corporate Council to discuss any current affairs and vote on the future of Procatorion. Control will begin by drawing 3 cards from the agenda deck and handing them to the ChairThe Chair of the Council rotates from turn to turn - this order will be announced by Council Control on the day.. The Chair chooses two of the agenda cards to be voted upon (the other is discarded).
These are read out to the rest of the Council and left in the Council Chamber to be discussed. Players may then leave the Council Chamber at will, or they may wish to stay and begin a round table discussion about another aspect. However, 5 minutes after the phase has started the Council will go into recess and players mustleave the Council Chamber.A subtly important rule. Councils can get very isolated from the rest of the game for multiple reasons. Especially online, players being stuck in a council chamber means that their team can't find them to discuss plans, and they're not available for any other diplomatic choices that need making.
If you're writing a council game, consider including an enforced recess.
During the Action Phase, the Council will then vote on the two agenda cards. To vote, write down the amount of Political Will you have and which way you are voting and submit it to the ChairIf an agenda has multiple resolutions, then players may split their Political Will as they see fitAn absolutely stupid rule, that I should never have written. It is just too complicated.- do this by typing it into the agenda channel. Votes are resolved by a simple majority, with ties being resolved by the Chair.
The Chair will, by default, reveal how each Corporation voted. Certain agendas may be treated as requiring a confidential approach, in which case the chair can state that they will withhold the vote’s breakdownThe chair will still receive the individual breakdowns, and may pass information to other players as they see fit. This must be done before any votes are submitted - if any player has submitted votes publicly the vote mustremain Public. Council members may of course petition the chair to make the vote secret.
Although attendance at the Council is not technically mandatory, it is considered to be a greatly disrespectful action to not take your seat at the Council. Failing to appear promptly for either phase will have a negative impact on your Political Will.It never happened, but basically not showing up on time would signify that you didn't care, so people in turn didn't care about you
Players may craft custom agenda items during the Setup Phase. To do so, send a message to Council Control with your agenda items and the resolutions. They may add any additional remarks as they see fit. If both the player and Control are in agreement with the content, then the player can submit this to the Chair.
The Chair has the following options:
The item is to be considered of utmost importance, and must be voted upon this turn. Add the card to the list of cards that must be voted upon this turn. There may only be a maximum of 5 agenda items to be voted upon - if 5 are already up for vote this turn, this option cannot be taken.
The Chair does not believe the item should be voted upon urgently, but should be considered for future debate. At the beginning of the Setup Phase, the Chair may choose one item that was submitted previously to be added to the list of cards that must be voted upon.
The Chair does not believe the item should be voted upon at all. The player who submitted the card receives it back - they may submit it to a future Chair.
During the Setup Phase, the Chair may modify any resolutions mentioned on a cardOther players may of course petition the chair to make a change. The modifications to the resolutions can take whichever form you wish:
Any changes that the Chair wishes to make must be signed off by Council Control.It's important to say that players can't just do what they want, especially in a council.
This subgame is for research players. During the Setup Phase the researchers will spend any research points that they have to create new technologies, and in the Action Phase will earn research points.Some of the wording for this rulebook is clunky and very much written like a board game. It's fine, but I could probably have written something better
During the Action Phase, research players should make their way to the research channel and Roll20 interface to play the research game. The object of the game is to create “equations” using their research deck and a collection of public cards.
Each player draws 5 cards from their private research deck, and 6 cards are dealt out to a public pool. A turn order will be decided by Research Control randomlyIf you feel you have some effect that will affect turn order, inform Research ControlNote that this is a regular instruction to players - if you think that you should be able to break the rules because of something, let us know! We've probably forgotten.. Players then begin playing, trying to make a balanced equation using at least one card from their hand and as many cards as they like from the public pool.
When your turn begins, you attempt to make an equation. To make an equation you must make two sets of cards where:
For example, the following can be treated as equations:This mechanic is really simple, but difficult to write down in words. The examples here try to make that clear.
If you successfully create an equation, then:
You may take these bonus research points in any combination of suits that you used to create that equation.
You continue to play turns in the research game until either:
After earning research points in the Action Phase, you may then spend research points to climb the tech tree. Each Corporation will receive their own tech tree at the beginning of the game, which will contain various research possibilities for you to pursueAs each Corporation has slightly different focuses the tech trees will be different, though there are some technologies common to all Corporations. Each item is made up of several attributes:
During the Setup Phase, you may spend the research points specified by updating your spreadsheet. You must then place this in one of your Facilities.If you do not have any Facilities that this technology can be placed in, you may not research it
Each Facility can only store a certain number of technologies, equal to 2 multiplied by the number of Corporate Facilities you have. If your Facilities are full, you will need to build more before you can research more technologies.
Each technology will have a different benefit to you. For example, if you are the first to create “Self heating porridge”, then you can begin cornering the market in that which will surely Boost your profits. If you focus instead on security then the fruits of your labours can be used to protect your Facilities and potentially even your rivals if they’re willing to pay for the schematics.
Each Corporation’s research deck begins as a fairly basic deck. You may instead spend your research points on adding cards to your deck or upgrading your existing cards. This will allow you to have a slightly more control over your research focus - for example filling your deck with more cards will make it easier to gain research points, or upgrading your existing cards might mean they provide more research points when used in an equation.
The costs for this are denoted in your tech tree, and should be handled as if you are researching any other technology.
The tech tree is not considered the totality of the possible research available to the players. You may build custom research proposals by speaking to Research Control. They will set a cost and it is will be added to your tech tree.Another case of nudging players into researching their own things.
Players may freely trade their research points between different Corporations. Whilst the amount of research points a Corporation have is semi-secret, players may trade however they wish (whether that be for other research points or money), by inputting it as a transaction in your spreadsheets.
Players may also share technologies with other Corporations by speaking to Research Control.
Technologies may be destroyed or stolen from other Corporations. As technologies are stored in Facilities, a Run can be initiated against the Facility in question. A Runner may then make a copy of the technology card, destroy it or steal it.Why is this included here? Partly so they appreciate the risk to their tech and the benefits of stealing tech from your opponents. In hindsight, it can probably go in the bin.
Copying technology is easier than stealing or destroying it, and stealing/destroying technologies require slightly different niche skill sets and gear - expect Runners to charge more for those services. For more details, see Successful Runs
Some technologies are split over multiple cards. These technologies are treated differently:This is a special case for 4-5 cards in the game, and this should just be included on those cards. Absolutely no point putting it in the rulebook.
Security players are primarily concerned with making sure that the research and technologies that their colleagues have built are kept safe from prying eyes. During the Setup Phase, Security players will create the defences that Runners will be attempting to break through. During the Action Phase, they will be able to make some additional decisions against the Runners based on the Protection Cards that they have installed (see page XX).
Each Corporation will begin with a number of Facilities and some basic Protection Cards.
Each Facility has a typeMore Facility types may be researched during the game:
Facilities take a turn to build. To build a new Facility, the CEO must add a transaction for the cost of the Facility during the Setup Phase and inform your Control who will begin building the new Facility. It will become available during the next Setup Phase.
Protection Cards are an abstraction of various methods of defending your Facilities. Cards are either “physical” defences such as guards or doors, or are “cyber” defences. A Protection Card has the following characteristics:
The various effects are covered on page 77.
Security players will receive a list of cards that will available purchase at the start of the game. These will broadly fall in the following categories:
Other Protection Cards may exist, but will only become available after certain game conditions have passed.
There are two methods for obtaining Protection Cards:
The Corporation shop will be open during the Setup Phase. Control will announce the cards available for sale in the relevant Discord channel. These can be bought on a first come first served basis.An important rule in any megagame design is to add "levers" in the game, so that Control can help or hinder players as needed.
Running Hot doesn't have a lot of these - it definitely needs more.
Control may also decide to auction Protection Cards - in those cases the Security player who pays the most will receive a copy of the card.
As part of the research that your research player is doing, they may uncover new Protection Cards. Researching a new Protection Card will grant you one copy of that Protection Card for free. You can install or trade these cards as you wish.This is one of the ways that the game feeds into itself, and encourages the sort of conversation you want between a team ("I'll keep your things safe, but I need some better gear!")
You may also research that technology again (at a discount), which will allow you to gain more copies of that Protection Card.
You may install a limited number of Protection Cards into each of your Facilities. By default a Facility may have 3 “physical” and 3 “cyber” Protection Cards. For each Security Facility you have, you may install 1 more of each type of Protection Card in any given Facility you own.
Installing a Protection Card into your Facility is free, but it must go on the outsideof your Facility (if you have 2 cards and wish to install a 3rd, then this card will be encountered by the Runners first).You should add this at the highest numbered layer on the spreadsheet.. However, you are only allowed onecopy of each Protection Card (by card title) in a Facility.
The order of installed Protection Cards is important and may not be changed without payment. If you wish to reorder your Protection Cards, you must pay 1 Credit for each Protection Card you wish to move. For example, if your Protection Cards are currently ordered A, B, C, and you wish to move A to the end, so that the order is B, C, A, the cost is one Credit, but if you wish to move both Protection Cards A and C, so that the order becomes C, B, A, the cost would be two Credits.This is a really fiddly rule that partly exists as a bit of a money sink, but mainly so that one of the currencies in the game (information) remains stable. If people were allowed to move things around then the information from your previous run is useless.
You may also remove Protection Cards from your Facilities. On each turn, the first card you remove from a Facility is free - every subsequent card from that Facility costs 1 Credit.Here, losing that information is fine. The game has become "easier" for a Runner (in theory), and it allowed you to put something new behind your first protection card for free.
For the purposes of installation, your “cyber” defences are considered separately from your “physical” defences - installing a new “cyber” card places it at the outermost “cyber” slot, installing a new “physical” card places it at the outermost “physical” slot. Runners will encounter your “physical” protections first before your “cyber” protections.
During the Setup Phase, Security players should decide where they will be Directing Security and set a security budget for each of your Facilities. To Direct Security, check the "Directing Security" box on the Main tab of your spreadsheet in the row containing the desired FacilityAnother incredibly fiddly rule, that I don't think was necessarily followed. I like the decision it offers though.
Directing Security at a Facility has two main benefits:
Any portion of your security budget that is not spent is returned to you at the end of the Action Phase. To set a security budget, fill out your Facility spreadsheet with the appropriate value.
This is the primary conflict for Runners and Corporate players. The aim is for the Runners to get through the Facility, first breaking through the layers of physical security, then through the cyber security.
Runs can be conducted by a single Runner or by a group of Runners. The more Runners there are, the easier it is for the defences to be broken though of course any rewards will need to be split. If a group of Runners are joining together to break into a Facility, then they must appoint a Run Leader (if the run is being conducted by a single Runner, they are considered the Run Leader).There are way too many keywords in this game, and almost all of them come from the run mechanic. This is the issue with stealing Android: Netrunner as a basis
At the beginning of the Action Phase, Runners will make a decision about which Facility they are running against. To do this, in the
#run-organisation channel use the
Multiple groups may run against the same Facility, though the slower of the two groups may find that the Facility defences are already warmed up or the items they are looking for have already been stolen. Groups may voluntarily cede their run to the other group (or be otherwise monetarily convinced), if not then the Runs are ordered using the following priorityPlayers may have in game effects that they feel would affect this priority - if so ask Facility ControlThe number of times this came up is almost zero. People usually just work together, even if they weren't going to.:
After the Facilities to Run against are chosen, the Runners will go to each Facility and try to break through the security. The Run is considered successful if the Runners break through all the Protection Cards (first the physical, then the cyber). If they do not, then they are unsuccessful.
At the beginning of the Run, Alerts are generated based on the number of Runners and the amount of Tags they have:
Runners may use items to assist them during runs. These fall into 3 categories:
!playcommand. Your equipment is also limited:
A Run is made up of the following steps, repeated until either there are no more Protection Cards for the Runners to break or the Runners choose to back outThe number of Protection Cards that a Facility contains is Secret.
Each Runner in the Runner group may use one card (either a “This run” or “Single use”) during these steps. For example:
Some Protection Cards may have ambiguous targets (for example, a Protection Card may target the Runner with the most Tags). In these cases, unless otherwise specified the Run Leader makes the final decision.Another interesting rule, that never gets activated. The Run Leader makes all the decisions, but in practice it's a democracy. This exists so that we can try and hurry people along though.
At the beginning of the Action Phase, all Protection Cards are Inactive. Protections card become Active when the Runner(s) reach that card during a run.
To activate a Protection Card, use the
!play command to display the card to the Runners. Activating a physical Protection Card has no base cost, but activating a cyber Protection Card costs the number of already active cyber Protection Cards (so the first cyber Protection Card is free, the second costs 1, the third costs 2 and so on).There is way too much maths in this game, because it was written by me, and I did a degree in Maths. Having said that, the maths that does exist is fairly simple to calculate, but the amount is too much for a megagame.
Any activated Protection Cards remain active until the end of the Action Phase. If there are multiple groups running against the same Facility, later groups will face the same cards which may have already been Activated and/or Boosted.This is probably why nobody ever took it in turns and grouped up.
If the security player is Directing Security from this Facility, they may choose whether they wish to activate the current Protection Card. If they are not Directing Security, then they will attempt to Activate this card - if they are unable to pay the cost from the budget provided at the beginning of the Action Phase then the card will remain Inactive.
The challenge strength can increase during the Run:
If the Protection Card is Active, then the Runners attempt to break the Protection. If it is not, then they move on to the Breather step.So not only have we potentially got a complicated maths problem to solve, we have a bit of jumping around to do in the rulebook! Yay!
This is such a good mechanic, but I think the game's success has come despite how messy this is to explain, and because I built a bot and a spreadsheet to handle it for online play.
To break the protection, the Run Leader rolls dice equal to their skill that is being used to break the card in question and counts the number of dice that score a 5 or higher. If the Run Leader has at least one Wound then they roll d6s, otherwise they roll d8s.
If there are other Runners taking part in the run, then they add more dice to the pool. If they are not Wounded, they add half their skill to the pool (rounding down)Even more maths, again saved by computers.. If they are Wounded, they add a quarter of their skill to the pool (rounding upA decision taken for balance reasons - if you had a skill of 3 and got wounded you then provided nothing. I want to playtest changes to this, though it would require a rebalance.).
At the same time, the Security player rolls a number of d8s equal to the Challenge strength and counts the number of dice that score a 5 or higher.
If the Run Leader rolls more successes than the Security playerIn the case of a tie, then the Security player winsA decision taken to buff the corporations - though having said that I have no idea which side has turned out to be stronger in play. See  for why. then they are successful and move to the Breather step. If they do not, then the Runner(s) take the consequence.This mechanic is incredibly swingy. It was intentional - I wanted to simulate the fact that sometimes luck plays a part in these sorts of scenarios. One side could roll 3 dice and beat the side rolling 10. They shouldn't, but they can! It mostly balances out equally, but it means that some people just hit a brick wall really hard when they weren't expecting it.
The Protection Card may have an optional “Charge” ability. If the Security player is Directing Security from this Facility then they pay the designated “Charge” cost to add the additional consequences.
Unless the Protection Card states otherwise, the consequence must be taken by a single player, decided by the Run Leader. The consequences are usually one (or more) of the following:
Note that unless a Protection Card has an “End the Run” consequence the Runners will move to the Breather step.
This allows the Runners to consider whether they wish to continue or not. Each Runner, starting with the Run Leader may take this opportunity to leave the run. If all Runners have left (be that voluntarily or due to incapacitation) then the run is treated as unsuccessful.
Leaving a Run when the rest of the group continue may have an effect on your gang’s Notoriety but does have the added benefit that you’re still alive. You should weigh these two options up.Another good joke from me.
If the Run Leader decides to leave the run, a new Run Leader is chosen. If one cannot be chosen democratically, then it should be chosen randomly.
If the run was successful, then the Runner(s) may access anything stored in the Facility.
The Runners access cards stored in the Facility, depending on the number of Runners in the group. For each Runner in the group, they receive one access.Some equipment cards may provide a Runner with more accessesStill not happy with this rule. It lets everyone do what they want to do, but they don't get punished for setting off every alarm as they go in. Something that I want to tweak for a future run I think.
To access a technology, choose a card from the selection installed in the Facility. The Security player/Control will reveal it, and the Run Leader will then have 3 options.These choices are kept Secret from the Security player, unless they are Directing Security from this Facility.
Each action will take a skill check (explained below). If the skill check fails, then the card goes back to the list of cards you may access. You may attempt to access it again.
Runners may have received information about the location of a certain technology. If a Runner has a “Technology Location” card from control then one of their accesses can be to use this card. If the technology in question is in the Facility, they access the card. If not (either because the information was wrong or the technology has moved), the access is wasted.
This is treated similar to a Protection Card challenge, where the dice pool is equal to your full skill level (the combination of your Brawn and Hack) - other Runners may add their ability scores as before (if they are not Wounded they add half, if they are then they add quarter). Unlike Protection Cards, there is no opposing roll or consequence for failure. The more successes you roll, the better the copy is.
No matter the outcome, the card is returned to the list of cards that you access. If you wish to create multiple copies of a technology then you must access the card multiple times.
Anyone can attempt to destroy a technology, though only those with specialist equipment or skills will be able to fully succeed.
The Run Leader and any other members of the group roll dice equal to their skill level and attempts to get successes.
Stealing technologies is hardest thing to do. To steal a technology, one of the Runners in the group must have a Steal ability or have brought gear that can be used to steal technologies.
The Run Leader and any other members of the group roll dice equal to their skill level and attempt to beat the “Steal” score of the technology. If they succeed, the Run Leader receives the technology card.
Each Facility will also have a “Credits” card. Accessing this card gives the run leader a number of Credits related to the number of Protection Cards that were installed (not activated) in the Facility:
You also receive a number of Credits related to the number of technologies (including the Credits card) stored in this Facility:
And so on.Too 👏 Much 👏 Maths
Runners may use one of their accesses to activate a special effect of the Facility:
Other Facility types may be researched during the game. The effect for new Facility types is not revealed to a Runner until they complete a successful run against them (though Runners can share the results of their “research”).
A run must be completed during the Action Phase - if the end of phase is called and you have not yet been successful then your run is treated as unsuccessful. With that in mind, you should take steps to speed up the Facility game where possible:It is a short timeframe to do these actions, and I didn't want people to stop the runners by just taking forever.
Runners may take on other work or perform other actions instead. This is a list of generic actions that all Runners are able to take part in - there may be other actions unveiled during the game that you may be able to join in with (and of course you can always create new actions by speaking to Control).To perform any actions, use the relevant channel in the Runner-actions category to notify Runner Control.
Although most of the work that Corporations will give you will be in the form of Runs against a Facility, there is always other work available. Since there is no dedicated police force, Runners may choose to take part in general “peace keeping”.
To do so, roll your Brawn ability. Similar to a Run challenge, you roll d8s if you are not Wounded (d6s if you are) and count any dice where you roll a 5 or more. For each success, you will receive some Credits depending on the Civil Unrest in Procatorion.This amount will be Public knowledge
You may choose to group up and do mercenary work together. If you do so then unlike a Run Challenge, you all roll your Brawn abilities separately and share the Credits between you equally (rounding up).
Sometimes a Corporation may require some contract work to help build their networks, design websites or similar. This works similar as Mercenary work, though the amount of money will have been negotiated up front.
To do so, you roll the ability in question and try to get as many successes as required. The contract will require a number of successes - if you roll that many successes then return the contract to the relevant person who will pay you the required amount. If you fail, then mark the number of successes that you created - you can retry on the next turn assuming that the contract is still available.
You may choose to group up and do contract work. Unlike a run challenge, you roll your abilities separately.
If you did not perform any other actions this turn, you may take a recovery action.
At the beginning of the game, you will have few options for recovering - as the game goes on then more recovery options may become available to you (or options may be removed):
A designed game is never the direct result of a single person. Although I can take credit for the idea, it would be remiss of me to not mention few people
This section is a quick explanation of various terms used in this rulebook.