The Automata Initiative

Content warning: This story contains gun violence and implied stalking

So. Jinteki could adapt.

Mercury examined the puncture in their forearm: a goreless tunnel bordered by a molten bloom of synth-skin. The damage left by the gunship’s armour-piercing rounds was not trivial. They would need to speak to the good doctor about repairs, and perhaps upgrades – plascrete wouldn’t cut it anymore.

Through the bullet hole, the coast of Brazil had come into view, and with it their quiet marina, its lights blinking all clear. And beyond, a column of dark smoke rising out of the city center.

“What is that?” 

Mercury glanced at the clone refugee in their peripheral vision. A shock of spiked white hair over a young face, looking ahead.

“Home,” said Mercury. They kept the uncertainty out of their voice. 

The riot’s sounds crashed against them across the water. Shouts, sirens. Engines and songs.

“Home,” repeated the clone.

Mercury faced him straight-on. “Messenger?” they asked.

“Deliveries, mostly,” he replied, shrugging.

Mercury paused for effect – a bit of social programming that came in useful more often than not. “You can be whatever you want to be, once we get there. But… if you agree, we could use your skills. When we land, I’ll give you instructions.”

“Yes!” answered the clone, grinning wide, barely letting Mercury finish. 

* * *

The clone was left alone above decks and mentally catalogued his behaviour. The smile had been too broad, but the Nico didn’t seem to have noticed. Not that the clone could read the bioroid, anyway. 

He could read the other clones on the ship well enough. Their surface thoughts drifted over him; he catalogued them, too. Pain. Loss. Hope. He tamped down the instincts of his cloneline, the gene-deep programming that said hunt. That was not his purpose here. He was not some mindless predator, no; he was a Seis Mk. II, and he had spun himself a web.

The Automata Initiative cover

The Automata Initiative is the first set of the Liberation Cycle, which is set in Brazil. As the population is in uproar over proposed legislation to remove rights of personhood from bioroids comes before the National Congress, a broad coalition of Runners struggle to expose the involvement of the Corps.

The Automata Initiative contains 65 brand-new cards, including four identities, and introduces the brand new Threat mechanic to Netrunner.

Fast Facts

Liberation set icon
  • Release date: July 31, 2023
  • Cycle: Part 1 of 2 in the Liberation Cycle
  • Size: Full playsets of 65 new cards
  • Total cards: 187 playable cards, plus rules and fiction inserts
  • Set symbol: Silhouette of the sabiá bird
  • Design codename: Bell-Tower
  • NetrunnerDB abbreviation: tai

Get The Automata Initiative

Does the need for liberation burn within you? If you are in one of the regions served by our online store (USA, Canada, Australia, and the EU at the time of release, with more regions added constantly), you can buy The Automata Initiative directly from us. Otherwise, you can purchase it from either of our print-on-demand partners, or from an authorized reseller. You can also download the set as a PDF so you can print and play at home.


Not sure which storefront to pick? Check out Null Signal Games’ handy Purchase Guide for a rundown of the options.


Note: Due to card back differences between our products, as well as due to different color matching between our different printing partners, these cards should be used in opaque sleeves.

Our shop can currently serve customers in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and all 27 countries in the European Union. We are gradually expanding to new regions (we hope to add the United Kingdom to this list soon), so please check back again if your country is not served, or buy from our print-on-demand partners at MakePlayingCards and DriveThruCards.

Cards sold through our online shop are MPC 330gsm stock or equivalent weight and quality from one of the other printers we work with, and come in a cardboard tuckbox. Prices include free shipping. All cards are shipped from within the region they serve, so they will not incur import charges or VAT.

Our shop also has a retailer portal, where games stores can place wholesale orders of our cards. Feel free to point your Friendly Local Games Store towards it!

Pay what you’d like and print on your own printer! This file contains full-color art of card faces, with no bleed or card backs. Cut them out with scissors and put them in sleeves!

After downloading the files, if you’d like to say thanks, you can donate to Null Signal Games either via PayPal or our Patreon.

DriveThruCards provides us more revenue than other print-on-demand options, allowing us to continue our work. Card stock weight and thickness is somewhere in between the MakePlayingCards standard and premium options. Shipping can be expensive for customers outside the United States, and may incur import duties.

The MakePlayingCards Standard quality is slightly thinner than classic FFG cards. Shipping is generally more affordable than DriveThruCards for customers outside the United States. For more details, see our Purchase Guide.

The MakePlayingCards Premium quality is slightly thicker than classic FFG cards. Shipping is generally more affordable than DriveThruCards for customers outside the United States. For more details, see our Purchase Guide.

Our authorized resellers include online retailers and brick-and-mortar games stores who stock our cards. Please see our Purchase Guide for the full list. New resellers are added all the time, so please check back! To stock our cards, please visit the Retailer Portal of our online store, or encourage your FLGS to do so.

Additionally, longstanding community members and local groups often organize bulk buys from MakePlayingCards to bring the cost of the product down for their local players. We encourage you to ask players in your area if a bulk buy is being organized. If your local group is too small to benefit from bulk discounts, there are national-level bulk buys being organized (most often following the release of a new set), such as a North American one by community member Myldside.

Rotation and Legality

The Automata Initiative will immediately become legal for Casual-tier events on its release on July 31, 2023. It becomes legal for Competitive-tier events on August 11, 2023. (Please note, however, that it will be legal for all 2023 Continental Championships, including the Asia-Pacific Continental Championship on August 5-6, in an exception to our normal set legality policies.) An accompanying Standard Ban List update comes into effect on the same day as the set’s legality. See here for details on this ban list update.

The release of The Automata Initiative also triggers a rotation for the Standard format. As of August 11, 2023 (or earlier in the case of APAC, as detailed above), the Flashpoint Cycle and Data and Destiny will no longer be part of the Standard format card pool. This set does not trigger a rotation for the Startup format. See our Supported Formats page to learn about set legality and different ways to play.

Related Information