Cyberpunk RED Net Architectures

The Cyberpunk RED ruleset for Fantasy Grounds has its own custom Net Architectures record that mimics the format from the text. 

Net Architectures also allow the GM to share the records with the players, with the floors initially all invisible, and track their Net Runner’s progress as they go through the Architecture floor by floor, either by dragging their token to the floor they are on, or clicking the “visibility” icon on a specific floor.

First, let’s go over the creation of a Net Architecture. There are two methods of creating a Net Architecture: 1. Manually, or 2. With the Net Architecture Generator.

Manual Creation of Net Architectures

To begin, click the “Architectures” button under the “Campaign” category on the right Sidebar.

This will open the window list of Architectures. Then click the green “add” button to create a new one.

This will open the window list of Architectures. Then click the green “add” button to create a new one.

A new window will appear with your Net Architecture. Give it a name (usually where it was found). This name will be shared with your players when they view the record.

To show a Demon in the Net Architecture, look for the desired Demon from your “NPCs” list from the right Sidebar and click and drag the Demon to the “Installed Demons” table. 

Before you can add branches to your Net Architecture, the record checks that at least two floors exist already. Right click to add a floor, or simply click the green “Plus” add button. To easily remove a particular floor from the list, you can click the edit button which will allow you to delete floors with the “delete” button.”

Each floor has several fields:

  1. Floor: This field is a string and sorts alphanumerically so that branched sections can be labeled “3a, 3b” etc. and it will sort as expected. When adding a floor, it automatically increments the value based on the previous. So if the previous value was “2” it would be “3” or if it was “2a” it would be “3a”.

  2. Details: The center details field functions very similarly to a Fantasy Ground “Table” record and allows you to link any record within Fantasy Grounds. (NPCs, Encounters, Items, etc.) This allows you to enter a name, such as the name of present Black ICE, or a File, and then click and drag a link to an Item (for Files) or an Encounter or NPC record for Black ICE. You could also choose to leave it blank, such as for Passwords or Files that are self explanatory.

  3. DV: The DV value is a number value representing the Difficult Value for the given floor. If ‘0’ it will be blank, as is the default, and is only needed for floors with DVs (Passwords, Fields, Control Nodes, etc.)

When you are happy with your first two floors, you can now add branching or continue adding floors. Links can be cleared from the right-click menu of a floor, just the same was as a Fantasy Grounds Table record.

Fantasy Grounds currently supports 3 variations of branching: 

  1. Two floor branches

    1. This is the default type of branching that is used most commonly in official missions and screamsheets

  2. Three floor branching

    1. An exotic branching found in complex Net Architectures where the current level branches off into three more sets of levels

  3. Four floor branching

    1. For extremely complex Net Architectures where a particular level branches into 4 separate sets of levels

Note: The “three” and “floor” floor branching settings for Net Architectures are best used for GMs and Players with large enough screens to make the window big enough to see all the details. If you wish to make an extremely complex web of floors and branches, it will likely be better to create a new Net Architecture and link it to a floor where it branches, to represent a new set of branches within the Architecture.

Adding Branches

The Usual, Branch of 2

Complex, Branch of 3

Very Complex, Branch of 4 (Requires Widening the Window for Full Picture)

You can continue adding branches within levels of a branch as well, by right-clicking that level and adding a branch the normal way. 

Note: Branching within branches will result in very complex Architectures that require more screen size to see all details. As before, it might be easier for Players with smaller screens to implement these as multiple linked Net Architectures.

To delete a branch, right click the branch, and click “Delete Branch” and then “Confirm Delete.”  

Note: Deleting a branch with more branches beneath it will delete all those floors!

When you are happy with your amount of branches, continue adding floors as desired. Don’t forget to make sure one branch is longer than the rest! Click the Lock icon on the top left when you are ready to share the Net Architecture, or export it to a module.

Example Completed Architecture

Net Architecture Generator

The easiest way to generate a Net Architecture is to utilize the Net Architecture generator! Simply click, “Generate” from the Net Architectures list and the following window should appear.

By default, the “Randomize” box is checked. Unchecking this box gives you options for slightly-less random results.

The “Difficulty” field will let you toggle between Basic, Standard, Uncommon, and Advanced. This toggle will change which tables from the Core Rulebook it uses to populate the floors of the Net Architecture.

If you specify the Number of Floors it will use exactly that many floors in the generated Net Architecture. Changing the “Max Branches” value will tell the generator what the upper limit of branches should be in your random architecture. It will try to reach that number of branches, however, it might not output exactly that amount. The generator follows the rules for Net Architecture generation from the Core Rulebook, and makes random decisions on when to branch. If it is unable to use all the allowed branches provided, it will not reach that limit. The generator also tries to ensure that there is at least one branch that is the longest.

When you are ready to generate your Net Architecture, click “Generate.”

After the generator completes, a window will appear. Depending on the options provided, this can result in very complex architectures. So you may need to drag the window size from the bottom right to view all the details.

Example Generated Architecture

It automatically populates each floor with random values from the tables, including links to relevant Black ICE or Encounters used by the tables. 

Running a Netrun

When you are ready for your Netrunner PC to begin exploring your Net Architecture, make sure all the Floors are Invisible by checking the visibility icon in the top right of a floor. 

You can also right-click the Net Architecture to click “Toggle Player Visibility” and then “Show All Floors” or “Hide All Floors.”

When you are ready to share the Net Architecture, simply right-click and click “Sharing” on the Left and then “Share Record” to share to the Party. Alternatively, if you wish to only share with the Netrunner, drag the link to the Net Architecture (in the top left) to the Netrunner’s portrait in the top-left of the Fantasy Grounds window.

This will share the record with your Netrunner so they can see what is currently visible. All installed Demons are noticeable, since they would be aware of these as soon as they connect. (Though, per the rules, the Demons are likely busy with their individual control nodes.) 

Player View - No Floors Visible

When the Netrunner connects, they should be placed at the top floor so they can interact with the Net Architecture. The GM can do this in one of two ways.

  1. The GM can toggle a floor’s visibility via the visibility icon in the top left, revealing or hiding this floor. 

  2. The GM can click and drag Netrunner’s token to the floor they are on, which will show their token on that floor to track the Netrunner’s progress, and reveal the floor.

Note 1: When revealing a floor, all previous floors in the Net Architecture are also revealed.

Note 2: When revealing any floor, all Players who have access to the record will be able to see the floor. 

This allows the GM to show the rest of the crew what the Netrunner sees, so that they are not just sitting idly by. The GM should communicate out-of-character that technically, their Character does not see this.

Method 1: Toggle Visibility

Method 2: Token Drag

Here is a screenshot of what the player sees when a floor is revealed.

If the GM used the “Token” method detailed above, they can click and drag the token within the Net Architecture to reveal more floors as the Player progresses deeper. As the Player progresses, they will be able to see on their record if there is a branch or another floor.

The GM can then narrate the Netrunner’s progression as they go, allowing the Netrunner to roll “Eye-Dee,” “Backdoor,” “Pathfinder,” or other Netrunner abilities as relevant.

When combat occurs with one or more Black ICE, or even Demons, the GM can drag the records from the Net Architecture to the Combat Tracker so that the Netrunner can perform attacks against them using the Programs on their Cyberdecks. See “Netrunner Combat” for more information.