|Question: What's a Cyberpunk game without drugs?
Answer: A lot healthier.
The drugs of the future are far more lethal than their 20th century counterparts. Many are experimental chemicals dumped on the Street by unscrupulous Corporations looking for guinea pigs. Some are home-brewed horrors designed in basement labs. Still others are military-designed combat drugs designed to create armies of zombie killing machines. All of them are bad news.
Most of the drugs in Cyberpunk are addictive - the people who designed them were looking for a way to create a captive market of addicts. Only the very wealthy can afford to have non-toxic "designer drugs" created for their own physiologies; most of the scum on the Street (the rest of you) are left sucking up the dregs of the chemical sewer.
Common street drugs include:
SynthCoke: The second generation, synthetic replacement for cocaine. Like the original, its side effects are nasty: paranoia, psychological addiction. The effects lasts between 2-7 minutes. It costs 1,000eb, and is difficult to find.
Stim: Stim increases endurance, allowing the user to stay alert for longer periods. Side effects include mental delusions. The effects lasts between 2-7 minutes. It costs 500eb, and is easy to find.
Syncomp 15: Syncomp is a broad spectrum poison antidote, used to treat nerve and biotoxins. REF is reduced at the rate of 1 point per dose. The effects lasts between 2-7 minutes. It costs 650eb, and is fairly easy to find.
Speedheal: Speedheal is designed to enhance the natural healing processes. Side effects are reduced refelxes for a period of one week after use. The effects lasts between 2-7 hours. It costs 1,650eb, and is nearly impossible to find.
Boost: Boost increases intelligence for a 2-7 hour period. A Boost addict has gained full tolerance — his intelligence is no longer increased, and he must have more Boost within twelve hours or be reduced to screaming fits and hallucinations. It costs 600eb, and is fairly easy to find.
Blue Glass: Blue Glass is a hallucinogenic. It was originally developed as a biological weapon. Under stress, you will have a 30% chance of "flashing out" — reduced to staring blankly at the pretty colors in your mind (reduce intelligence per dose). The effects lasts between 2-7 minutes. It costs 900eb, and is fairly difficult to find.
Smash: Smash is 2020's answer to alcohol — it's yellow, foamy, and comes in cans. It makes you loose, happy and ready to party. The downside is that when it wears off, its psychological addiction component makes you suicidal. If you fail your addiction Save, you sink into total catatonia; a feebly mumbling ball of pain — a ripe target for some Booster looking for spare change. The effects lasts between 2-7 minutes. It costs 100eb per 6-pack, and is not at all difficult to find.
'Dorph: Designed as a combat drug and painkiller, endorphins reduce pain and stress effects. 'Dorph allows you to reduce the effects of stun or shock. Dorph also has a nasty cost in nervous system damage. Each time you use 'dorph, you have a 10% chance receiving permanent nerve damage that lowers reflexes. The effects lasts between 5-20 seconds. It costs 250eb, and is not at all difficult to find.
Black Lace: A high powered version of 'Dorph which imparts euphoria, adrenal rush, and invulnerability to pain. Your coolness (composure, willpower) is raised, and you are resistant to stun or shock effects. Lace is deadly. Lace users become fearless, cold-blooded killing machines — exactly what its military designers were looking for. If you fail to resist its addiction, in eats away at your humanity, and you suffer from the effects of cyberpsychosis. The effects lasts between 2-7 hours. It costs 650eb, and is fairly easy to find.
Remember: Drugs are dangerous. Mess with them and you'll probably kill your character. Or at least mess him up beyond repair. The choice is yours.
Just like real life.