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Kitbashing: Combat

We’re looking at what’s inside the Cyberpunk Jumpstart Kit every Friday until it debuts at GenCon on August 1st. This Friday, we’re pondering what’s up with throwing down.

That’s right. It is time to look at combat in the Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit. Mike, Cody, and James have been working hard on this section and we’ve just gotten it into our grubby paws so we’re going to type out our impressions as we make our way through the document.

Solo

How Do I Shoot Someone?

Shooting someone is a Marksmanship Skill check against a difficulty value determined by range. The exception? If a character’s Reflex is higher than 9, they can attempt to evade a gunshot with an opposed check instead.

Range is divided into seven increments which are the same for all weapons. The first is 0 to 12 meters. The second is 13 to 25 meters. It continues from there. Different firearm types do better or worse depending on the range increments. Rifles are actually easier to hit with past the first range increment, for example, while pistols, SMGs, and shotguns are completely ineffective past a certain point.

What About Autofire?

Certain firearms can fire in three round bursts which tend to be easier to hit with at closer ranges but make hitting at longer ranges difficult or impossible.

For simplicity’s sake, the Jumpstart Kit only has suppressive rules when it comes to autofire. Suppressive fire doesn’t do damage. Instead, it forces anyone who fails an opposed check to run and duck for cover.

How Do I Punch/Stab Someone?

Brawling and melee combat are opposed checks. When fighting in this way, the attacker can attack twice as a single Action, though each attack is a separate check.

This can be twice against one target or you can split your action, hitting once, moving, then hitting again so long as you haven’t already moved. You can mix and match melee and brawling attacks using this system. For example, you can attack twice with a knife, twice with your fists, or once with your knife and once with your fist. It is up to you in how you want to kung fu fight.

How Do I <something> Someone?

There are also rules in the Jumpstart Kit for grabbing someone and choking or throwing them once you do. The Grab rules are simple and just require an opposed check. Choking does damage which bypasses armor entirely and is based on Body. Throwing is a slam attack that also does damage that ignores armor.

How Do I Boom Someone?

In the Jumpstart Kit, explosives have a radius of 3 meters. There’s one roll for damage and it specifically targets the Body and not the Head.

What About Armor?

All armor has Stopping Power (SP), which is subtracted from an attack’s damage when applicable. Any damage remaining is applied to your Hit Points. If your Hit Points are reduced by an attack, your armor is ablated, meaning its SP drops by 1. When the SP hits 0, the armor’s broken and useless.

There are only two hit zones: head and body, so there’s only two types of armor: body armor and helmets/head armor.

The armor in the Jumpstart Kit is designed to deal with the primary danger on the streets: firearms. As a result, melee weapons ignore half a piece of armor’s SP value, rounded up. In general, melee weapons have lower damage ratings than firearms but if you can get up close and personal, they’re really useful against armored opponents.

Brawling damage is negated entirely by armor. If a hit location has any armor at all on it, there’s no damage from a punch or kick or elbow check. That being said, brawling is particularly effective when wielded by buff attackers against unarmored defenders.

How Does Damage Work?

How much damage you do depends on what sort of attack you’re making. Here are a few notes.

In the Jumpstart Kit, there’s no rolling for hit location. All attacks are directed towards the body unless the attacker specifically makes a called shot to the head. Head shots are rolled at a significant penalty.

Damage for firearms and explosives are based on weapon type. Heavy pistols do more damage than SMGs. Assault rifles and shotguns do more damage than heavy pistols. And so forth.

Melee weapons also have damage values based on type but, as noted above, ignore half an armor’s SP, rounded up.

Brawling damage scales. The higher your Body, the more damage your brawling attacks do. Someone with a Body of 7 is doing as much damage with their fists as a heavy pistol.

What Happens When I’m Hurt?

Every character has a number of Hit Points. If they are reduced to less than half their Hit Points, they’re considered Seriously Wounded and take a penalty to all checks. If they are reduced to 0 Hit Points or less, they aren’t knocked out but do take an even greater penalty to all checks, except their Death Save. And a Death Save exactly what it sounds like. When you’re at 0 of fewer Hits, you make a Death Save at the start of your turn each round. Roll under your Body on a 1d10. If you succeed, you can take your turn. If you fail, it is time for a new character. Each Death Save is made at a cumulative -1 penalty meaning if you don’t get help, you can only last so long before you shuffle off the mortal coil.

How Do I Get Better?

You don’t get better on your own. To start the healing process, you first have to be the beneficiary of a successful First Aid check. The difficulty value for the First Aid check depends on your wound state. Still have most of your Hit Points? Pretty easy. Have less than half? Harder. Have 0 or less? Better hope your choomba is good at this First Aid stuff or has some Luck to spare! The good news is, anyone with 0 or fewer Hit Points is automatically bumped up to 1 if the First Aid check succeeds. After that, the patient recovers their Body stat in Hit Points per day spent resting.


And that’s what we’ve learned about combat in the Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit. It’s a pretty simple system, designed to help new players jump right into the action but it is also a taste of what’s to come in the upcoming Cyberpunk Red core rulebook as well.

We’ll see you next Friday with another Kitbashing. Until then, stay safe on the streets!

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