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* heat 0-3

Your crew of cyberpunks didn’t just spring into existence tonight. You have a complex history of favours, commitments, debts, and promises that got you where you are today. To reflect this, after each run, you roll dice to find out which entanglement comes calling. An entanglement might be a rival crew looking to throw their weight around (and demanding some credits), a corporate enforcer making a case against your crew (but ready for a bribe), or even the attention of a rabid cyberpsycho.

After payoff and heat are determined, the GM generates an entanglement for the crew using the lists below. Find the column that matches the crew’s current heat level. Then roll a number of dice equal to their wanted level , and use the result of the roll to select which sort of entanglement manifests. If wanted level is zero, roll two dice and keep the lowest result.

Bring the entanglement into play immediately, or hold off until an appropriate moment. Some groups like to roll entanglements “in the open” so everyone knows what’s about to hit them. Other groups prefer the roll to be secret, so the entanglement is a surprise when it happens. Either way is fine. For example, if you get the Interrogation entanglement, you might wait until a PC indulges their vice, then say Arasaka picked them up when they were distracted by its pleasures.

Entanglements manifest fully before the PCs have a chance to avoid them. When an entanglement comes into play, describe the situation after the entanglement has manifested. The PCs deal with it from that point—they can’t intercept it and defuse it before it happens. The purpose of the mechanic is to abstract a lot of the complex stuff happening in the backgrounds of the characters’ lives in order to generate trouble for them. Entanglements are the cost of doing business in the underworld—a good crew learns to roll with the punches and pick their battles.

Entanglements can also arise directly from events in play. If the Solo gets arrested, for example, then the GM might follow the directions in the Arrest entanglement.

The entanglements are detailed below and on the following pages. Each has a list of potential ways for the PCs to be rid of it. If you want the entanglements to be a momentary problem for the crew, stick to the suggested methods to resolve them, and move on to the next part of downtime. If you want to dive in and explore the entanglement in detail, set the scene and play out the event in full, following the actions and consequences where they lead.

GMs: “Authorities” means the Cops, corpsec, or even sanctioned militas and hired enforcers—depending on where the entanglement strikes and which faction is most likely to serve it.


Authorities have acquired a warrant for your arrest. They send a detail to bring you in (a team at least equal in scale to your wanted level ). Pay them off with money equal to your wanted level +3, hand someone over for arrest (this clears your heat ), or try to evade capture.

Something metal bangs on your window air conditioning unit. “Alright then! Come on out and let’s go quietly now!” It sounds like the bald sergeant. When you peek out, you see a detail of about twenty officers poised to exit a van, all geared up for a raid. The Sergeant tells them to hold, then mumbles under his breath, so only you inside can hear: “Or perhaps I have the wrong address?” He clears his throat and waits for credsticks to appear.

Called Favour

A higher status faction, one of your fixers, or someone to whom you owe a debt asks you for a favour. If it’s a fixer, agree to do it or forfeit 1 rep . If it’s a faction, agree to do it, forfeit 1 rep per status of the friendly faction, or lose reputation with them. If you don’t have a fixer, +3 faction status, or owe any debts, you avoid entanglements right now.

Crew trouble

One of your cohort groups (or other cohorts) causes trouble due to their flaw(s). You can lose face (forfeit rep), make an example of one of the crew members, or face reprisals from the wronged party.

Orbital notice

A high status orbital resident or off-worlder approaches the crew with a dark offer. Accept their bargain, hide until it loses interest (forfeit 3 rep), or deal with it another way.


One of the PCs’ rivals arranges for one of your contacts, patrons, clients, or a group of your customers to switch allegiances due to the heat on you. They’re loyal to another faction now.


Authorities round up one of the PCs to question them about the crew’s crimes. Where did they manage to corner you? Either pay them off with money, or they beat you up and you tell them what they want to know (+3 heat . You can resist each of those consequences separately.

Most players really hate it when their character gets captured! Explain that it’s completely normal for a cyberpunk in the shadows to get hemmed up like this. You spend time in and out of situations like this, getting questioned and harassed by those in power. It’s not the end of the world. But now that you’re here in the interrogation room, what kind of person are you? Do you talk? Do you stand up to them? Do you make a deal?


Authorities grab an NPC member of your crew or one of the crew’s contacts, to question them about your crimes. Who do they think is most vulnerable? Make a fortune roll to see how much they talk (1-3: +2 heat , 4/5: +1 heat ), or pay off the authorities with money.

Roll 2d for a normal person to see how well they keep quiet. If they’re an experienced underworld type or some kind of tough, give them 3d or 4d instead. If they’re soft or if they have some loyalty to these authorities, give them 1d or 0d.


An enemy faction makes a move against you (or a friend, contact, or vice purveyor). Pay them (1 rep and money) as an apology, allow them to mess with you or yours, or fight back and show them who’s boss.


A neutral faction throws their weight around. They threaten you, a friend, a contact, or one of your vice purveyors. Forfeit (1 rep or money), or stand up to them and lose status with them.

Show of force

A faction with whom you have a negative status makes a play against your holdings. Give them 1 claim or go to war/become hunted (drop to -3 status).

AI Badness

An AI is drawn to you. Acquire the services of a specialist to attempt to destroy or redirect it, or deal with it yourself.

They can hire an NPC by using the acquire asset downtime activity.

The Usual Suspects

Authorities grab someone in the periphery of your crew. One player volunteers a friend or vice purveyor as the person most likely to be taken. Make a fortune roll to find out if they resist questioning (1-3: +2 heat, 4/5: damage), or pay them off with money.

roleplaying/cyberpunk/entanglements.txt · Last modified: 2018/12/12 16:09 by