NERPS, or New Exciting Retail ProductS, have been a background part of Shadowrun since early in the first edition sourcebooks. Adverts for NERPS are generally vague, ambiguous, and contradictory as to their exact nature or purpose. They are stand-ins for the latest trendy consumer product to hit the market, only to fade and be rapidly replaced. Real life examples include: tamagotchi, pogs, pet rock, cell phone face plates, kale chips, and fidget spinners.
Outside of the Sixth World, NERPS also stands for Net Enhancements for Role-Playing Shadowrun, a series of net.books written for Shadowrun in the mid-90s. This source is non-canon, but represents another meaning of the word related to the Shadowrun RPG.
[anecdotal] Ever since playtesting with the FASA crew, way-back when they did such on the AOL service, we've referenced it as the Non-Essential Role-Playing Supplies(or Stuff, if you like).
NERPS Sightings (References) Edit
NERPS is referenced throughout the early 1st and 2nd edition as well as 3rd and 4th Shadowrun sourcebooks as a popular consumer product.
- Corporate Enclaves, p 37 (Apparently, Gary Cline is as popular as NERPS)
- Reiseführer in die deutschen Schatten p 80 ("Nerps! Jeder Zeit!") - German only
- Runner Havens, p 76 (NERPS is shown next to some kids looking at a portable video gaming system)
- Shadowbeat, P 36 ("1 out of every 16,000,000,000 doctors surveyed recommend it!")
- Sprawl Survival Guide, p 25 ("Trid Listings: [HMC]NERPS - An inside look at what this miracolous product can do for you, your family and household appliances!")
- State of the Art: 2063, p 122 ("NERPS! It's that simple.")
- Unwired, p 115 (Psychotropic programs may have the effect of causing an insatiable urge to eat Nerps)
- Seattle, p 58 (Troubled? Nerps! It's that simple.)
- London, p 44 (Nerps, for endomorphins.)
Shadowrun Hong Kong* The Extraction, "NERPS!" Displayed on entertainment system in Xiaozhi's den.