Dark Chrome: Review

I always like to browse the web for indie RPGs and came across Dark Chrome a little bit ago. I downloaded it, and had it sitting in my “to read” pile for a little bit and just got a chance to get into it recently. Its a Cyberpunk game using the open-sourced 864 rules system put out by Dice Pencil Paper.

The header of the PDF

At a high level, the 864 system uses a D8, D6, and D4 to achieve a task. An easy task rolls all 3, a medium one rolls D8+D6, and a hard roll just a D8. Add your results, and any modifiers and compare to to TN 8. Its easy to learn, and very easy to use in play. I like a dice pool system for modern or future play. For a smaller game like Dark Chrome, this one is a solid choice. (Dark Chrome is 4 pages with art)

Dark Chrome is four, full color, two column, pages, and laid out with easy to use headers and charts. I count 6 pictures, and think the style is pretty effective. Its a mix of folks in professional level cosplay, and computer generated assets. For a cyberpunk game, that’s really what you want, a fantasy RPG’s paintings would be pretty out of place. The photos set the tone that this game is sci-fi, in the future, but not so far in the future that things aren’t recognizable.

For the meat of the game, Dark Chrome has a combat system, skills system, weapons and armor, and vehicles. Its a lot to pack into 4 pages, but it goes back to the simplicity of the game engine. My Coordinator (not DM) screen might literally be a sticky note to be honest. Player’s start the game with about 5 or 6 CP to spend on skills, cybernetic mods (which function to improve a skill, or something else you work out with your Coordinator. Like robot wings). Training in a skill determines the difficulty of the task, and in turn, which dice you get to roll. If you are making an opposed check, there is a handy chart to determine difficulty (which I would use as my Coordinator screen). Combat is an opposed check, hacking a system is not. Presumably counter hacking would turn it into an opposed check, and point you to the chart.

Handy Chart for comparing skilled vs unskilled

Overall Dark Chrome is a quick to play, Cyberpunk RPG. What helps it stand out, in my mind, from the bundle of other rules light cyberpunk games, is that I think a long standing Dark Chrome game is something I’d enjoy. I could see hanging at someone’s house, deciding to break out Dark Chrome on a whim, improving some fun adventure, but then coming back to it again the next week. It hits a really sweet spot of rules light, and just enough crunch that you could do something a little more interesting with it.

Edit: The Dice Pencil Paper team pointed out that this can also be purchased on their Itch page, if you prefer.

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