More years ago than I want to consider, I ran a fairly long-term Cyberpunk 2020 (CP2020) game for my roommates and a few friends. We were all single, working at “The Slut” and had more time than money. We’d play CP2020 for hours and hours, and it was a blast. Justin went through more characters than anyone else, but Vince and J.J. managed to hold on to their characters for the length of the game. J.J.’s solo finally went cyberpsycho (on purpose) when he decided to bow out of the game and became a recurring bad guy in the campaign. Vince’s character was a rockerboy named Genghis that managed to survive machine gun emplacements, falling from an AV-7 from a fairly decent height and managed to shoot down a helicopter with a single shot from his pistol. The rockerboy was such an incredibly lucky S.O.B. that it made me sick to run the game. There were even a few times I put him in situations I knew he’d never get out of, and he always managed to do so.
There was a scenario (I think from the back of the main CP2020 book) that they were running through to rescue a scientist captured by a megacorp. The daughter of the scientist was a groupie of the rockerboy and emplored him to get his bodyguards to free her father from imprisonment and she’d be his faithfully and forever. The rockerboy conceeded, but refused to send his bodyguards (the other characters) where he wouldn’t go himself. In the end they made their way through the compound, and got to the scientist. On the way out, however, they set off all sorts of alarms and triggered an armed response by the remaining guards. Something the PCs didn’t know was that when this happened the helicopter on the roof took to the air and began searching the grounds of the compound. I kept a mental track of where the helicopter was just in case they chose to exit the main building when the ‘copter was across the compound from them.
As it turns out, Genghis the rockerboy burst from the building right in front of the flying death machine. The ‘copter’s pilot won initiative and unleashed the Wrath of God on Genghis in the form of a .50 caliber nose-mounted mini gun. I just knew that I was about to paste Vince’s character, and in CP2020, I don’t pull punches. Ever. In the end, I rolled halfway decent to hit him, and then started rolling damage. I never rolled more 1’s and 2’s in my entire life as I did during that set of die rolls. The end result? 2 points of damage got through Genghis’s Metal Gear (which was his affectation as a rockerboy, so he wore it everywhere, even on stage.) I did tear his Metal Gear all to shreds and dented the crap out of it. It was still serviceable, and Vince declared the pock marks, scorches and dents added character to the armor, and he never did repair it.
Oh. and the single shot to take down the helicopter? Yeah. Vince rolled a 10 on his d10 roll for his to-hit. Which in the CP2020 system meant he got to roll another d10 and add the result and continue to do so until he was done rolling 10s. I forget the number of 10s that he rolled in a row, but the grand total of the to hit roll was a 57. I remember that number now and always will. 57. Fifty-f’ing-Seven. It was such an insanely high roll (“impossible” ranks at about 30 in the CP2020 system) that I declared he shot the pilot square in the face with his attack and killed him instantly. The ‘copter went down in a heap and exploded into flames that lit the night sky while the group (with scientist in tow) ran away back to Night City and the safety of their hotel rooms.
Now that I’ve typed this up, I find that I miss playing CP2020. I can’t see to find anyone these days that wants to play the game. Ah well… I still have my Tales from the Table.