Netrunner might be dead, but its world lives on in the first Android RPG

03 October 2018
android-rpg-53131.png Android: Shadow of the Beanstalk
The Genesys of something special?

Everyone saw it coming, but it doesn’t make it any less sweet: Fantasy Flight has announced that it’s bringing the Android universe to roleplaying.

Shadow of the Beanstalk is the first RPG release set in the world shared by now-dead living card game Android: Netrunner, board game New Angeles and the self-titled game that originally spawned the series’ setting in 2008.

The 256-page tome isn’t a standalone RPG, however. It’s built on the foundations of Fantasy Flight’s flexible setting-less roleplaying system Genesys, meaning you’ll need the original core rules to run a campaign using the Android sourcebook.

Shadow of the Beanstalk evolves Genesys’ character creation process to better suit the sci-fi noir of Android, casting players as citizens of the world ruled by megacorporations and rebelled against by underground hackers.

Character archetypes reflect the varied level of technological augmentation and social standing in the setting, ranging from clones and soldiers to ‘bioroids’ and ‘naturals’, all of whom have unique skills and talents.

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Also new to Genesys is the ‘favour economy’ gameplay mechanic, a way for players to increase their starting wealth or character experience by aligning with – or finding yourself in debt to – one of the world’s warring factions, with the added complication of having to eventually pay them back for the help. Further interaction with the factions in New Angeles can take place during a campaign or scenario run using the sourcebook, too.

The book gathers together player information and details for GMs running games, including some of the weapons, equipment, NPCs and enemies found in the world, plus advice on running an Android campaign and an ‘Adventure Builder’ to craft adventures and encounters.

This lore is expanded in the second part of Shadow of the Beanstalk, surveying the neighbourhoods and districts of the urban setting in real life, as well as outlining rules for entering and exploring the virtual space as a runner.

Fantasy Flight has already announced the first supplement for the sourcebook, The Worlds of Android, a purely lore-focused volume that delves into every corner of the Android setting.

Shadow of the Beanstalk and The Worlds of Android are yet to have their release dates announced.

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