I am planning on making my first foray into GMing very soon and had a character creation session with my players last night to kind of get a gauge on what they were feeling up for. I feel like I can work with and develop a basic scenario around what I gleaned from this initial session, but I have a question. (I have another question as well that I will ask separately.)

I have a player that really wanted to have a set of metal gear. I was initially hesitant about it, but could not find anything in the books or online about any sort of movement restrictions, or restrictions as far as legality or availability to justify my saying no.

What I did for the time being was to warn him that it is large and cumbersome and he will likely have to remove it to drive and do other things, and that he will have to work hard to conceal it and/or himself within the city. Also, that to justify a nomadic merc having such a piece of kit, that it would have to come at the cost of selling himself out to a corporation (which would also give him a hook to be involved with two of the other characters).

Did I do the right thing? Are there any other stats or restrictions concerning metal gear that aren't in the book?

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    \$\begingroup\$ First, respect for picking Cyberpunk 2020 as your gateway to GMing! That's bold! Second, the site likes specific questions that lead to clear answers. Consider changing that final question to something like, "If I want to run Open Highway as my first adventure, how can I get the rockergirl involved with the other PCs?" That'll be less likely to get the question put on hold, and, perhaps, give you the answer you really need. Thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 18 '19 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ The whole only being allowed to ask one thing seems kind of odd, but okay. I'll roll with it and ask the other later. \$\endgroup\$ – Misty Feb 18 '19 at 17:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Misty It has do with how the stack works, to allow answers to focus on each question separately (you can see a detailed explanation in this meta post). Do note that posting several questions is perfectly fine. (if you want to note that they are related questions you can also include a link to the other question for context) \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Feb 18 '19 at 17:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's kind of ironic that we are playing this game in 2020 :D \$\endgroup\$ – edgerunner May 14 '20 at 18:34

First of all, let's put the technical side of things to rest. There are no rules in the CP2020 rulebook regarding armor availability. Even the availability rating attached to weapons don't have any rules associated, so that's probably just a guideline. If it is listed, they should be able to get it if they can afford it.

Encumbrance is another thing. Its effects are clearly defined in page 92 as:

When wearing body armor, add up the total of [Encumbrance Values (EV's)] (listed in the Armor Table [on page 52]), and subtract this from your character's REFLEX stat.

MetalGear™ is quite comfortable for the level of protection it offers, with an EV of just 2.

Now the second part. Advice for the new CP2020 referee, from another who started in 1993. First of all, never say "no" to your players. Especially during character creation. There are consequences to every choice they make. Let them find out about those in play.

For your example, MetalGear™ is clearly high-end military hardware, and it is hard to mistake it for anything else. Even in an armed-and-ready society like the one in Night City, someone wearing such hardware will stand out from the crowd, drawing all sorts of unwelcome attention.

Cops will definitely stop and question such individuals in the finer parts of town, and will call in the SWAT at the first hint of hostile behavior. Down in the combat zone, the wearer will definitely be a choice target of murder-and-loot attempts, and be seen as a worthy adversary for all sorts of gang acceptance rituals. They probably won't be accepted to most clubs and bars (there are explicit exceptions to this in the Night City Sourcebook), and if the Friday Night Firefight breaks out, they will immediately be marked as a primary threat to be eliminated first.

But none of that is in the rules. It's just in the atmosphere of the game and you are supposed to make your players feel it. Don't say no. Let them experience it first hand, so that they may figure out if it is worth the trouble themselves.

PS. Some of my players eventually sold their MetalGear™s for scrap.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Totally agree, is not bad that the player have a set of Metal Gear armor in his car's trunk for when the time is right, in any other non-combat situation will attract unwanted attention and bad initial reactions. \$\endgroup\$ – Corven Dallas Feb 19 '19 at 8:43

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