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 Post subject: Cyborg Commando
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 6:00 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse
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Anybody remember the rpg Cyborg Commando? It was one of Gary Gygax's first post-TSR games (I think) - it featured a post-apocalyptic type game world, when alien bugs were busy invading and conquering the Earth, and players represented the resistance to invading forces. The rules were (& are) a little wacky - most combat rolls and skills checks were the by-product of multiplying a d10 roll by another d10 roll. At the time (at age 14), I thought it was pretty decent. By modern standards, though, it doesn't hold up quite as well - bought a copy of it on Ebay for $10 recently, and have been wincing as I read the rules. The concept holds up, but man, the rules sure don't. Still, it's something that I think could be updated nicely (and made playable) with d20 Modern.

(Incidentally, a Cyborg Commando adventure module would've potentially been my first professional gaming sale at the aforementioned tender age of 14, had the company (New Infinities) not gone under. A long tale for another time...)

So, I thought I'd toss it out there - anyone else ever heard of this game? Played it? Loved it, hated it, could've cared less, etc., etc.? :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 10:20 am 
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I actually have a copy of Cyborg Commandoes, too! And I've heard some inside stories on it. The guy who founded Heartbreaker, Bob Watts (who used to be my boss), was involved in the founding of New Infinities. He told me the story once. I don't remember the details, but the gist of it was that the partner who was supposed to supply the funding claimed to have a lot more cash than he did, hoping he could get the rest before anyone else found out. They had enough for the first release but soon discovered they couldn't afford any subsequent releases because their funding was a big lie. And that was the end of that. Plus the game apparently didn't sell very well. I got mine in the bargain bin at some con a few years back, I think from Crazy Egor.

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 Post subject: Cyborg Commando
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 12:40 am 
I had Cyborg Commando as well. I never played it, I was 12 maybe, and all the info on biology, society, etc; as well as the dice system threw me off (and no one wanted to play). Still, I liked the idea, especially the scenario where the microchip causes the cyborgs to go nuts.

There was a trilogy of Cyborg Commando books released around the same time, anybody else read them?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 6:17 pm 
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[quote]There was a trilogy of Cyborg Commando books released around the same time, anybody else read them? [/quote]

Books, as in novels? Or game modules? I don't remember any CC novels; if there were any, I might have to make a little excursion to eBay to find 'em. I remember the first Cyborg Commando module - "Film at Eleven" - which was my first hint that not all was right in the CC universe. The CC universe had been presented in the core rulebook as this gritty, post-apocalyptic, uber-cool near-future ... "Film at Eleven" was just "Die Hard" with some alien bugs and cyborgs. Didn't mesh well, as I recall. Might have to hunt down an old copy to refresh my memory of it -- but I remember pouring over that sucker very closely so that I'd have a template for writing my own ... all it gave me was an example of how [b]not[/b] to write an adventure.

I keep meaning to test out an updated d20 version of Cyborg Commando - if I ever get around to it, I'll post the results here.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:59 am 
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Sorry to resurrect such an old thread, but I just found it and had to say something.

Cyborg Commando is IMO one of the worst RPGs Gygax ever made, and that's saying something. I haven't looked at it in years, so this is all like 15-year-old memories and such, but when I saw the cutaway diagram of the cyborg body I had to laugh. My recollection of it is that it's mostly hollow. I don't even remember the rules, but I remember they were bad.

Every so often in various RPG forums someone will start a thread about the worst RPG ever made, and Cyborg Commando is the one I always bring up. But I could see it being decent with a d20 modern (or even future) update and a good GM.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:23 pm 
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Somebody get the shotgun, because there's a zombie lurking in here .... :)

Wow. Haven't given this one much thought in the intervening years since I first posted this (as you can see, other priorities took place over the d20 conversion of this game). But I did read through Cybrog Commando a few times during that time. I guess my final impression was that the basic concept is *awesome* - essentially, it's Starship Troopers, except the bugs come to Earth - but the execution, all the way around, leaves a lot to be desired. The details of the campaign background are far too sketchy and implausible, some of the stuff regarding the cyborgs are ridiculous, and the d10x system just doesn't work that well. (Dieter, your recollection is spot-on - there's a drawing in there where the cyborg soldier's chest resembles an empty refrigerator with the door open). Bottom line - with each read, I like it less and less, although I can't bring myself to truly hate it.

Cyborg Commando greatly appeals to the teenager gamer in me. (So did Rifts.) But I think the reason I never bothered with a conversion is because I figured I could liberate the handful of elements that I liked and stick them in something brand new instead, with better rules and a better campaign setting.

I still don't think it warrants Worst. Game. Evar. status. There's enough good in the concept and some of the details that slightly redeem it from total suckage. And there's a few other games in my mind that could more easily claim that dubious honor of being the worst game ever written.

But it's not too far away from them.

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