A downloadable game

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Free an AI from their corporate prison. Hack a CEO's credit account. Rescue your friend's digital consciousness from a vending machine.

Neon Black is a role-playing game about a community of poor people fighting back against tyrannical corporations and the indifference of the rich, as well as surviving in a dystopian city state. It’s like real life, but in this world you can kill the CEO’s, rob banks to pay rent, and help your friends do the same. You'll help your community, go on dangerous heists, explore artificial realities, and encounter friendly and nefarious machines. We play to find out if the community can survive amidst warring corporations, an unforgiving climate, and the negligence of the extravagantly wealthy.

Capitalism sucks. The rich are villains. Community rules.

  • Build one of 4 cyberpunk communities (the street of Tannhauser Way, the spaceship Chariot, the ruins of the City of Nod, that massive apartment complex known as The 55) complete with unique contacts, opportunities, and complications that enrich your story
  • Play as 8 unique characters (Decker, Merc, Operator, Synth, and more) each with narrative milestones that help define your character and the community, and drive the story forward
  • Spend luck to push yourself for better results and inject chaotic calamities into the narrative
  • Form bonds with PCs and NPCs to better your odds and define your beliefs and relationships through play
  • Explore the rich setting of Prime City, including dozens of corporate and underground factions


All the sheets you need to play are available free to download by clicking on this link (you'll be asked to create a copy of the spreadsheets). These will allow you to play the game digitally or to print and play at home.


Written & designed by Michael Elliott

Downtime scenes by Sam Dunnewold

Cover art by Megan Ellis

Based on Blades in the Dark, a product of One Seven Design, developed and authored by John Harper, and licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

The Sounds of Prime City

Tunes for getaways down neon streets, smoking e-drugs, and robbing banks.


Buy Now$15.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $15 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Neon Black Rules v 7.3.pdf 29 MB

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Community Copy

Everyone who buys a copy of Neon Black on itch.io provides a copy for someone to download free of charge. These community copies of the game are intended for marginalized people and those who are experiencing financial hardships and cannot pay for a copy. If that applies to you help yourself to a community copy.

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Any news regarding print?


My first (and probably only) choice of publisher turned me down, so I'm likely going to need to Kickstart my own print run. No plans to do that in the immediate future, but definitely one day!


Been running this game for my roommates for the past several months. We had been looking for a Forged in the Dark game that was explicitly anticapitalist, and this was exactly what we wanted. Love the tweaks to the original Blades format. Excited to run it for different groups in the future.


Thank you so much! I'm so happy to hear that other people are playing this.