Please be careful when crafting gear, and always have your fellow players’ safety in mind. In particular, be careful about sharp edges of metal components of armor pieces and equipment. Any piece of gear deemed unsafe by the organizers will be prohibited, and continued use can result in a ban from current and future events.
Melee weapons: No metal components. Only foam and rubber “boffer” weapons. Ranged weapons: Nerf guns only. You are allowed to mod the guns (please mod responsibly!). You are not allowed to use any modded ammo.
Ranged weapons can be used to shoot or block in close combat, but never to strike – not even if the weapon has a melee attachment. Don’t parry with a firearm that may hurt other players. Aim only at torso, arms, legs, feet and hands. Genitals and head are a no-go with all weapons.
What gear can my character use?
All characters can use light armor, normal guns and melee weapons except swords.
Skills are required for heavy guns, swords (blades longer than 40cm), medium/heavy armor and using 2 weapons (e.g. sword and gun or akimbo guns).
It is never against the rules to just hold an item or to use it comically bad. A character without the skill is just so incompetent with it that they should never do anything useful with the item.
Feel free to hurt yourself with a sword, press the big button on the bazooka, use it as a ram or to have the important diplomat dressed up in power armor (by people with the appropriate skills) and carried like an immobile lump of metal on a stretcher by strength-augmented mercs.
Note that both the police and the Yakuza maintain “order” in Horizon. If you handle your weapons in a way that makes them see you as a problem, things will turn bad for you quickly.
Shields are usually not cyberpunk. Police will be allowed to bring riot shields if they want. Other shields require a strong thematic fit and writing the GMs for permission. (Skills not required.)
Stages of Health
There are four stages of health: Healthy: You are fine and nothing has happened.
Wounded: You have been hit by a melee weapon in a limb a single time. That limb is now wounded and cannot be used - for instance, if you are hit in the leg, you will walk with a limp until your limb has healed properly. When you are wounded, you can still fight - but your limb needs medical attention before you can use it again. If you get hit in the torso, you move on to incapacitated.
Incapacitated / seriously wounded: You have been hit in the torso with a melee weapon, or shot by a gun in any limb. When incapacitated you can no longer fight and must seek medical attention. This stage is more serious than just being wounded, and simple first aid might not be enough.
Unconscious: When you have been in the incapacitated state for roughly 15-30 min without receiving help, you blackout until you get medical attention
Armor protects the body only where it covers it. Even if an opponent is wearing an actual tank as armor, you can still take her down if her feet are unarmored.
Because materials are so advanced, armors don’t have to be exceedingly thick. Heavy armor in particular still needs to look awesome and look like it can not only block a hit but also absorb the impact.
Melee hits wound/incapacitate you.
Normal and heavy ammo seriously wounds you.
Moderate melee protection. No bullet protection.
Melee hits stagger you for a few seconds - but will not wound/incapacitate you.
Normal and heavy ammo seriously wounds you.
Strong melee protection. Moderate bullet protection.
Melee hits will not harm you. (no staggering or bruises afterwards)
Normal ammo staggers you for a few seconds - but will not wound/incapacitate you.
Heavy ammo seriously wounds you.
If you face many repeated attacks, your protection will be one level lower:
Many melee hits will eventually stagger you.
Many normal ammo hits will eventually make you take wounds (in individual places at first, not going straight to “seriously wounded”).
We trust you to judge how many hits make sense, based on how intense your armor is and what kind of weapons you’re facing. If you’re essentially using a high tech chain shirt, it might only block the first few shots before the hits start taking their toll. If you’re using something that looks like augmented full plate, it might take a long while for bullets and swords to wear you down, but sledgehammers and point blank shotguns might still get unpleasant fast.
Strong melee and bullet protection.
Melee hits and normal ammo will not harm you. (no staggering or bruises afterwards)
Heavy ammo seriously wounds you.
When faced with a firestorm, from several people with guns, or very imposing firearms - the player will still be staggered.
If you want to bring heavy armor, you need clearance from the organizers before the event. It is very important to us that these sets of armor look awesome and fit the background of the character, as they provide a serious advantage in the game. The armor itself will have to be checked and approved on location before the event, in order to gain the advantages of heavy armor.
Shields: (Only police riot shields can be used without getting GM approval for your concept)
Hits on a shield follow the same rules as medium armor, including overwhelm by repeated hits.
Characters die when dramatically appropriate and only with the decision/consent of the player.
Normal ammo is standard sized nerf bullets (or rival balls).
Heavy ammo is larger ammo for RPGs or missile launchers. This seriously wounds even the most armored combattants. Weapons that use heavy ammo require permission from the organizers.
You are allowed to bring your own normal and heavy ammo. Please use some common sense in how much ammo you bring for your group.
Used ammo (empty shells) can be collected from the ground and sold back to ammo vendors for refills. Picking up used ammo is an in-game action and you cannot go off-game for it. Re-using ammo without having it refilled by an ammo shop is not allowed.
Your SOUL has a menu for starting brawls. This should only take a few seconds and will give both players a rapid overview like:
Speed -2 (vs. their speed)
Strength +1 (vs. their toughness) | +1 (vs. their strength)
Toughness +2 (vs. their strength)
This gives you a quick overview so you can react appropriately to the dramatic differences implants can give in speed, toughness and strength. You will then play out the fight.
It’s designed to give the information a lot faster than going offgame for 30+ seconds to discuss the nuances of the fight. It also enables some cool abilities and allows for some variation so a character with 1 point more in brawl won’t win 10 times out of 10. You’re of course free to still talk and plan before the fight, but hopefully this system should give you some initial info that makes this a lot faster.
The oldschool way:
If all players are ok with it, you can also just say “my brawl bonus is 8”, “mine is 6”, play out the fight and let the higher number win - or if you trust each other just go with the flow and let the victory be whatever seems coolest in the moment.
The assisted system is meant as an aide to provide more depth and properly let you act out each character’s strengths, faster than having to do a lot of off-game talking. Don’t let it hold you back from doing something cool, as long as all the brawlers consent to deviating from the rules.
The Horizon Headbutt Hierarchy (leaderboard):
Horizon has a leaderboard of the most badass brawlers.
When you challenge each other on the SOUL, you can both agree this is an official HHH challenge. The assisted brawling will then automatically update your leaderboard rankings.
(Brawlers can choose their alias for the leaderboards. Many choose a performer name.)
In-game service vendors (doctors, ammo, repair)
Want to be a doctor? An ammo shop that can refill used shells? Physically repair damaged cyberware and armor?
Just register the type of shop with the GMs and bring tools and machinery to credibly offer that service. No abilities or rules needed: We trust you to play these services out in a way that feels cool and takes appropriate time to do the job (with some limits on the speed of ammo refills).
Every dose of a drug/medicine/poison will have a number written on it. When you take the drug, write this number into your SOUL and you will see the effect.
There are drug manufacturing skills that let characters produce custom drugs and medicine. Drug effects are not always predictable and some suppliers can be much more consistent than others.
Many implants require anti-rejection drugs. When you register your character, you can choose for each of your implants how much it needs anti-rejection drugs to work properly.
You are allowed to select “none” for all your implants. We believe this system creates fun play opportunities, but will not force this addiction on anyone.
If you don’t get the drugs needed to keep your body/implants functioning, your implants may begin to break down and your body and mind experience side effects, until you get the drugs you need (and quite possibly see a doctor/cybersmith about recovery).
All characters are augmented with one of our custom built SOUL-devices. The touchscreen on your arm will provide many options and handle most of the rules functionality for you in play. This is the reason it's optional to read most skills: If someone is hacking you, you can react entirely in-game (without needing to know how the hacking skill works).
Basic operations (available to everyone)
Display your ID
Store data items in your memory
(Display drugs / sabotage / viruses affecting you and your implants)
Other operations will only show up on your SOUL if you have the skills that enable them.
SAI (Soul Active ID)
Your SAI is the 5-digit address that your SOUL uses to identify itself in digital communication.
This number is relatively anonymous and is only the address your SOUL happens to use on the current network. Skilled hackers may be able to backtrace this address to uncover your ID and government records (e.g. criminal, medical, employment). Most tech-skilled people will be able to detect nearby SAIs, but not necessarily use these public addresses for anything useful. Hackers will typically need to identify the SAI of their target to perform an attack. They’re also free to target arbitrary SAIs in their vicinity and gamble that their blind attacks don’t hit the police or a Yakuza boss.
Hacks have varying difficulties and are tougher if the target has any firewalls in place. Firewalls can range from rank 1 to 4 and are offered by the skills Digital Immune Defense (personal implant firewall) and Cyberdefense (a hacking skill to protect people). Only the strongest firewall counts. Your defense is 2 ranks lower while you’re hacking others.
Digital activities (messaging, credit transfer, hacks) will typically leave log entries on all involved devices. Spoofing abilities can make the hacker show up with a fake SAI in the logs. Characters with Stealthy Hacking can clean or edit log entries. The skill Digital Forensics can restore them.
Characters with a SOUL can store/smuggle encrypted data pieces in their mind. Default capacity is 32 PB. Characters with the Memory Upgrade skill have greater data capacity.
Going above capacity is possible but risks spontaneous implant failures, bodily harm, or the emergence of new viruses with you as patient zero.
There are 3 skills you need to understand in case they get used on you:
“Taze implants”: If someone touches you with a cybernetic arm and says “taze implants”, you violently convulse while they touch you. After this, all your implants and cybernetics are disabled until you can get them serviced by a professional. This is a sneak attack that requires you to be unaware or restrained. It has a cooldown and there is a skill to gain immunity from it.
“Taze knockout”: Like above but instead of harming your implants and cybernetics, you fall unconscious for 10 minutes.
“Steal 1-3”: Players can steal from you by placing a clothes pin unnoticed within 10/20/40 cm of the purse/pocket/object and saying “Steal 1-3”. Small items such as necklaces and rings can also be stolen, but costume parts or other items without an in-game function can only be stolen with the consent of the player. The skill can also be used to place objects on others.