Published in 1993, Eurotour is a more problematic contribution to the Cyberpunk line. While the cross country, mega-adventure I ran previously, Land of the Free, was mostly just indicative of the 90’s marketing strategy targeting boys and men with disposable cash; basically a lot of sexualized women and some casual sexism. Eurotour has this as well, of course. But It also is, I imagine, why Mike Pondsmith recently has stated that the company and Cyberpunk line wouldn’t see supplemental materials from any writers who didn’t actually live in the specific region the content would target. Sounds like they learned their lesson, as Eurotour and Eurosource Plus appear to have drawn the ire of fans abroad at publication.
This adventure has a cyberpunk group make their way to a futuristic version of Europe in 2021. Jack Entropy, a reasonably well known rockerboy, is having a European tour and the punks are along for the ride. There are six modules that take place in a different country and city; each with a fairly different… I wouldn’t say tone exactly, though sometimes that is the case… objective and set piece, let’s say.
From having to retrieve the star from a drug-fueled bender on the town; to a party in Paris with an assassin that is a honey pot for Jack; to stopping a bomb going off on a floating stage in Venice, there’s a bunch of stuff to do. My favorite has the PCs on a mission to find a French artist that will be used as a publicity stunt, having the artist create a piece on a side of the building (illegally, of course).
Each is pretty different and filled with fairly diverse characters. Some serve as a through-line for the meta plot; my favorite part of the book. At the back there are 6 options to choose from that select who is targeting Jack throughout the tour. While it’s ultimately up to the Referee and the dice to decide how much danger Jack is actually in, the neat thing about it is that your selection alter each module and have clues for the PCs to figure out who means Jack harm along the tour.
Each seems fairly fun and features some great art. Just like Land of the Free, these adventures also feature a weird dissonance. There is text that reminds you to portray a specific female character as strong and smart…and then there’s also text telling you to figure out which PC is hard up for a woman in no uncertain terms and embroil them in a plot that features some of that good ol’ casual sexism. I guess Cyberpunk writers reaaaaally love honey pots; if Land of the Free and Eurotour are Representative of the adventures overall, anyways.
Basically, because it’s written in the 90’s you can expect some sexist tropes that is at odds with some of the goals of the text. However, just like Land of the Free, the art is in contrast with this, featuring more diversity than you’d expect. The art director clearly was a bit more aware than the three writers. I’m guessing that adventures that remind you to portray a particular woman well vs the very tropey ones may be different writers. But it leads to, as stated, a weird dissonance and hinders the overall product.
The other thing I had a problem with is the final adventure, which has the characters caught up in a very weird tonal shift as they’re coerced into stealing the crown jewels. Uh, what? Up until then they’re like weird side hands for the project that deal with all these requests and threats to Jack and the tour. Suddenly they’re off on this module that is roughly double the length of the others and seems completely at odds with the other content. Another break from what the goals seem to be leading up to it.
Overall, I’m still running it. I’m just cutting out a lot and changing some things up. More on that below.
Converting To Veil 2020
I’m running this game for The Gauntlet this month. 4 sessions and six adventures. While Veil 2020 cuts out a lot of the time spent on skill checks and long combat engagements, I doubt I could squeeze it all in. Luckily, two or so don’t speak to me much anyways, so I cut them out.
The four sessions breakdown will go something like this:
Make characters and then get them working the initial concert. Then transition them into going after Jack Entropy as he goes on a bender. It’ll take them to shady parts of town, a casino run by the triad, and a weird club with a jungle theme. (This will probably take 2 sessions as they also need to make characters.)
They’ll travel to Brussels and are sent to find an artist the tour wants to hire for a publicity stunt. Introduces a mysterious Interpol agent.
Finally, the tour is in Venice and a bomb thread is called in and the killer is
Depending on how much we get done I may be able to add some other things from other sections in there. But I imagine this will most likely consume all 4 sessions, which are 3 hours long each.
I’m also finding my own art for the main cast of the tour because they’re all white or Asian; getting rid of Jack’s “input”(term for girlfriend, nice.), also referred to as the ornament, who also happens to be an Asian woman. Yeah, pass. I’m also changing Jack Entropy to essentially Ruby Rhod from The Fifth Element, played by Chris Tucker and, while not an alien, will be non-binary, I think.
I’ll shop for images on my Veil 2020 Pinterest and add them to the roll20 room so the cast of characters are always accessible there.
I’m also expanding Veil 2020 to allow for a little bit of an easier conversion of these Cyberpunk modules. I’m adding the option of using Hit Dice instead of Hit Boxes (basically Harm boxes found in most Powered by the Apocalypse games). Depending on the NPC’s level I can simply roll the number of d6’s equal to it and get their hit points, using the rest of the information provided by the adventure for flavor. Simple. To make them harder or easier to deal with I can increase or decrease the Hit Die; d4 or d8, etc. This will be a good opportunity to test this out and see how it works and scales with weapon damage already established.
I’m also going to draft a table for critical hits and add on chips from Cyberpunk 2020’s core book. I also hope to add more cyberware and fashion to this expanded version.
I’m excited to be returning to Veil 2020 this month. It’s always a fun time and easy to run!