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Cyberpunk Red RPG serves up a free crossover expansion with sci-fi bartending video game VA-11 Hall-A

No, it’s not an April Fool's.

Image credit: Sukeban Games

Seminal sci-fi tabletop RPG Cyberpunk Red - inspiration for video game Cyberpunk 2077 - has crossed back over into the world of video games. This time, it’s a potentially more surprising but no less welcome collaboration - a supplement for the TRPG based on VA-11 Hall-A, the indie darling visual novel about serving up drinks in a futuristic bar. No, I promise this isn’t an April Fool's - it’s real, free and out now.

Mixing Drinks-Changing Lives, as the Cyberpunk Red VA-11 Hall-A expansion is called, adapts bartender Jill Stingray and other residents of Glitch City for use in sessions set in Cyberpunk’s own sci-fi metropolis of Night City. That includes bar owner Dana Zane, who here has struck a deal with megacorp Hammered Industries to open a franchise of VA-11 Hall-A in the Cyberpunk locale - as outlined in some expanded lore for the corp.

Team Dicebreaker play Cyberpunk Red with co-designer Cody PondsmithWatch on YouTube

Other patrons appear as both detailed character blocks - such as bougie catgirl Stella Hoshii and her kindly best friend Sei Asagiri - with other familiar customers (if you’ve played VA-11 Hall-A, at least) such as Donovan D. Dawson and Streaming-Chan getting smaller descriptions that simply provide a lick of narrative inspiration and the details of their favourite tipple.

The 20-page supplement introduces some new tech for characters to play with, including an animal behaviour chip for those tending toward a more, uh, furry future; a drink-mixing cabinet and a cyberliver to help you survive its creations.

Those creations get their own dedicated ‘Drinktionary’, outlining dozens of menu items, their flavour profiles and the ingredients required to mix them up. Personally, I’m tempted by the Grizzly Temple, Fluffy Dream and Crevice Spike.

Image credit: R. Talsorian Games/Sukeban Games

Although the supplement introduces new elements to help tie the two games together in a way that feels faithful and thoughtful, Cyberpunk publisher R. Talsorian and VA-11 Hall-A developer Sukeban Games are direct in saying that the supplement shouldn’t be considered canon in any way for either game - not least due to the change in setting and time period. (VA-11 Hall-A’s 207X era would put it closer to the later events of Cyberpunk 2077 than Red’s earlier history, for those curious.)

While Mixing Drinks-Changing Lives’s free download hit today, April 1st, it’s not an April Fool's Day gag of any kind. Instead, it’s the latest in R. Talsorian’s ongoing run of free ‘DLC’ supplements for Cyberpunk Red - you can go and download the real thing here for the foreseeable.

And if you’re wondering how this all came about, Sukeban offers a simple answer on its blog: “You might also be asking yourself ‘How did this happen? What steps had to happen for this to occur?’ They asked. That’s it, they asked and we said ‘Hell yeah!’.”

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Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis

Editor-in-chief

After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.
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