Welcome to the Razor’s Edge. Dystopia 23 the Razor’s Edge is a role-playing game based in the dark, dystopian, near future. The game utilises an entirely original and revolutionary role-playing system. Over ten years and tens of thousands of hours have been put into the creation of this unique role-playing experience. The game has gone through a significant evolution. A number of different systems were created and tested until the current system was developed in 2010. Since then the system has been extensively play tested and the rules updated as necessary. One of the key components of the system is the blissful harmony between realism and speed. This has always been a difficulty in game design: creating a system in which combat has both a realistic feel, and can be executed quickly. Experienced gamers will be familiar with what it is like to play a system which is clunky, or in which entire nights can be consumed by a single combat. In Dystopia 23 the combat system is designed to be punchy and dramatic.

Over the years the system has developed. It began as a hyper-realistic game, which also made it super dangerous, if you got shot you died! This lead to players becoming nervous wrecks who were too afraid to do anything risky or interesting. So around 2010 the game was completely rewritten from the ground up. A new system was developed, one which utilises a number of interesting features while maintaining its core integrity. A multiple, stepped dice system was employed with affinities that can enable re-rolls and dice explosions. Additionally, a special points system was employed which allows characters to boost certain rolls when they need them most. This creates a system which is player friendly, easy to learn and generates characters which are effective from the word go, and develop incrementally throughout the campaign. The system tries to find a good balance between realism and heroism so that characters can pull off some extraordinary feats, but must still operate within realistic limitations. The feel of the system was moved away from hyper-realism and towards cinematic intensity. The rewrite was a gargantuan task but the results were worth it.

Dystopia 23 is a truly original cyberpunk game with a deep sense of history and realism. It includes a complex background of all of the events between the financial catastrophe of 2019, which started the whole mess, and the futuristic dystopia of 2233 where the game takes place. Biographies were written for all of the mega-corporations, and all of the countries involved. There is a rich depth of information on organisations, from military and intelligence groups through to gangsters, anti-government movements and street gangs. The character creation process builds interesting and unique characters who exhibit enormous variety. Some of them will have a vast array of skills, some will have an enormous address book of contacts, while others have been boosted beyond normal human limitations and are capable of performing surreal acts of heroism or villainy. There is a ridiculous amount of equipment, a multitude of weapons, drones, cybernetic organisms and synthesised creatures. Covert devices and technology that will make your head spin, and more biological and cybernetic implants than you could possibly find a use for in one lifetime. In the environment of Dystopia 23 characters are engulfed in a rich and complex world with a multitude of highly realistic interactions, a mountain of gear and a wealthy texture of narrative, intrigue and mystery. So take the leap, if you’ve got the guts, begin your journey as a freelancer in the most dangerous environment in history, and walk the razor’s edge.

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