Introducing Beanstalk: A Netrunner Discord Bot

Posted March 18, 2018


A quick update: back in December I wrapped up a wonderful 4.5 years with Twilio and joined the awesome team at Discord as an engineer on the Data Infrastructure team where we're currently focused on scaling our data pipeline to keep up with Discord's rapid growth.


I recently started Android: Netrunner, an asymmetric two-player tabletop card game. It's a beautiful, complex, high strategy card game that I highly recommend! I convinced a few friends to join me and we were soon talking about Netrunner quite frequently in our own private Discord server.

However, our conversations would frequently involve a particular card and because both of us are new enough as to not have each of the 1400+ cards in the entire card pool memorized, we'd both need to go look up the text of the card on NetrunnerDB, which is an incredible community resource maintained by the prolific @alsciende.

Having to constantly context switch between our conversation and a card reference was mildly annoying, so I merged two mutual interests and created a Discord bot that reads from the NetrunnerDB API and responds with card text inline to automate that process for us, much like Scryfall does for Magic on Discord and Slack and like MTGCardFetcher does for the Magic subreddit.

Discord + Netrunner = Beanstalk

I named it Beanstalk. In the cyperpunk Netrunner universe, the Beanstalk is a 70,000km tall space elevator that connects the Ecuadorian megacity of New Angeles to Earth's orbit, revolutionizing the world's economy.

Beanstalk's usage is simple. Simply put all or part of a card's name in double square brackets and it will reply with the card's text in a nicely formatted embed. For instance,

I think [[Paperclip]] is broken

Alternatively, you can prefix the card text with an exclamation point and Beanstalk will reply only with a full sized image of the card.

I like the flavor on [[!maxx]], quite rebellious.

Wrapping Up

Beanstalk's source is up on Github, feel free to do with it as you wish. To add it to your server click this link. Questions or comments? Hit me up on Twitter at @dougblackio, on Discord at doug#0001 or join the Beanstalk Discord Server.

Thanks again to @alsciende, who's great work on NetrunnerDB made this simple little Discord bot possible.

Also, check out Netrunner! It's a fun, competitive game with a welcoming community and a universe that's easy to fall in love with.