Reading Teknochock – rollspel i en snabb och brutal framtid by Olav Nygård

One of the games I got on GothCon XXXV was Teknochock by Olav Nygård. I looked at an early draft of the game and gave some feedback, a few months later Olav came by the Indie Gaming Lounge and gave me a copy of the completed game.

Teknochock cover

Teknochock cover


The book
The game is 144 pages in A5 format. The text is single column, but pulls it off without becoming hard to read, thanks to enough space between the lines. It is a pleasant read, the rules are clear and the setting is even poetic in places, but it took around two hours to get through.

There are lots of black/white illustrations by a number of different artists. The styles are varying, but there are only a few pictures that feel a bit out of place.

The setting
The setting in Teknochock is cyberpunk. The PCs are members of a street gang in a city modeled on Bladerunner or Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy. Players who have played Cyberpunk 2020, Mutant 2089 or NeoTech will feel at home.

The life as a gang member is tough, drugs and violence is everywhere. All the PCs start with one mental problem, rolled from a long list in the book.

The rules
The rules are elegant and simple. Eight stats that each cover one aspect of the life on the street, paired in groups of two. Assign a fixed number of points within each pair to know how good the PC is at action within that area. The typical value is 8.

Basic resolution rolls are done by rolling any number of D6s. The sum of the dice rolled should not exceed the value of the ability, and if it does not every 1, 2 or 3 counts as a success. The player can play it safe with few dice, or roll several for a chance of multiple successes. Various tweaks and exceptions are laid upon that system to add some further depth to the characters.

The PCs get experience from playing adventures, and as they raise their status stat they climb within their own organization. When the status gets high enough the PC has managed to leave the street. Teknochock has a win condition, but one that shouldn’t affect the game if only one-shot adventures are played. Nevertheless campaign play is supported.

The form
The form is GM plus players. But the two page example of actual play shows how all the players have input on the story, not just the GM. A story game in a traditional costume. There is a section with advice to the GM and an intro adventure that the GM is expected to flesh out a bit when running.

Conclusion
The setting is good, there is enough information in the book to write and play a few adventures. And the dark future comes to life in the setting.

The rules are very good, a simple mechanic that manages to have depth, and the rules will produce broken gang members, desperate to fight their way up from the misery on the streets.

The form is good, the play example, GM advice and example adventure show how to run and play the game. It might not be a perfect match for an absolute beginner, but I can definitely think of worse games for such readers.

Will I play it?
I hope so, the rules are solid, and I like the setting material. I might hack it a little bit to support journalists or police officers as characters first though. The 20 year old game Mutant 2089 was my goto game for the genre, but Teknochock has taken it’s place.

www.boningen.org – The author directs the reader to Boningen, but there is not much information about the game there yet. Look under the files section for stuff regarding nTEK, an older incarnation of the game

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5 Comments

  1. May 9, 2011 at 18:18

    Glad you found the game to your liking!
    Please let me know how your hacks work out. We have a vague idea of a “sequel” – a middle and upper-tier oriented version of the game as opposed to Teknochock’s gutter-punk feel. Thus, I’d be happy to know what key elements you added and how they affected the game.

    Also, I’ve finally gotten around to updating the blog, so now there is actually some info at boningen (in swedish only as is the game). I know it took me a while, but hey – it’s the last month of the semester. And to make motivation and time harder to find it’s also damn good weather…

    • Wilhelm said,

      May 9, 2011 at 18:57

      I read the game with my homicide detectives in the NeoBerlin red light district series of adventures from Mutant 2089 in the back of my head. And considered what I would need to change to rerun them in Teknochock. Almost all of the changes would be color. Perhaps I’d skip the rules for equipment malfunctions and breakdown, but that would mostly be it.

      However, first I’ll play the game as written. A local minicon is coming up and I’ll be running the intro adventure then.

  2. May 13, 2011 at 16:27

    […] “Will I play it? I hope so, the rules are solid, and I like the setting material.” – Wilper’s blog […]

  3. May 26, 2011 at 10:52

    […] Dessutom! Fram till och med imorgon fredag (27/5) får du en extra bra deal på spelet också: 120 pix direkt hem i brevlådan (ordinarie 150). Nostalgichock för pizzapengar? Det måste ju vara bra. Eller? Ta en titt på vad Wilhelm tycker! […]

  4. July 30, 2011 at 14:18

    […] I just wanted to run a game of cyberpunk I would grab Teknochock. But I might borrow the transmission mechanic for adventure building for any traditional […]


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