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Stories from Balance Town: Red Combat

Balance Town is a legendary city of dark corners and hard streets. There, residents are pitted against each other in merciless battles as the pitiless mayor tests the rules of RTG games. Like the residents, the rules either grow strong and survive or they break and are cast aside as weak and worthless.

Life ain’t easy in Balance Town.

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James Hutt, Balance Town’s mayor, knows there’s a lot of questions out there about combat in Cyberpunk Red. What’s it going to be like? Will you be able to slide on a pathway of airplane lubricant while dual wielding pistols through a hailfire of bullets? Will we be turning the blood and gore up to eleven? Will there be rules for Fatalities?

The answer to the last one is no. We’d get sued by Warner Brothers Interactive.

Still, we know you have questions and James has taken a break to write up a few answers. Enjoy.


Hello from Balance Town.

Let’s talk violence.

Cyberpunk is known as a TRPG where people love to rip off other people’s arms and eat them. In Night City, arms are considered a delicacy. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions about combat in the upcoming Cyberpunk RED Core Book.

Cyberpunk Red Core Combat FAQ

Q: Will the Cyberpunk RED Core Book combat system be deadly?
A: Yes.

Q: I like lots of lead. Is full auto back?
A: Yes. It’s back.

Q: Can I learn Karate? Judo?
A: Yes and Yes.

Q: Can I start a fight in a bar?
A: Yes, but make sure it isn’t your favorite bar.

Q: Could I lose an arm?
A: Yes.

Q: Could I get a new one, with a gun in it?
A: If you’ve got the eddies…

Q: Can I stab someone to death while they lay bleeding?
A: Yes… Yes… Yes… Yes… good lord they died after the second “Yes”. You can stop now!

Q: Will this crunch bog down combat?
A: No. We’ve made it go down smooth like a sugar cookie, but with all the chocolate chunks you love.


That’s all I’ve got time for. There’s a poser gang down on Ribcrack Hill waiting to carve up the faces of their enemies using nothing but interface cables. That’s something I’ve got to watch.

Mayor & Game Designer,

James Hutt

2 thoughts on “Stories from Balance Town: Red Combat Leave a comment

  1. Question for balance town mayor: I’ve been going back and forth with a guy on FB about Big Knucks in RED. From what he’s telling me they have received a major nerf from 2020 to RED. Can I ask why that is? IRL brass knuckles would enhance the punching power of the wielder. So translating to CPR: Big Knucks would enhance a brawling action no? I understand how hand 2 hand fighting dmg would be negated by say heavy armorjack but don’t see how a leather jacket is going to absorb ALL dmg from a punch or a roundhouse kick to the ribs. Also a PC with a BODY stat of 7 or more is going to be dealing more dmg than Big Knucks anyway. Thank you for all the hard work you guys are doing behind the scenes, can’t wait to get my hands on the full RED rulebook!

    -William

    • Dear William,

      Your letter arrived to balance town in a brief time of peace, the great festival of reloading.

      Allow me to answer your concerns. First, in core, Big Knucks are treated as a melee weapon, and do not augment brawling attacks. There are plenty of reasons why you might use them instead of a brawling attack, especially against a armored target, the main one being that they treat SP as half when attacking.

      Second, in core, have no fear, brawling attacks are not reduced to zero from any armor like in jumpstart. brawling still retains its identity as a grapple focused fighting style that is less good versus an armored target when they aren’t grappling.

      Third, I think you will enjoy our martial arts system and critical injuries systems in core, if you still desire to roundhouse kick an individual in the ribs.
      Brawling, melee weapons, and martial arts make up a robust melee system in core that expands the jumpstart kit and allows for much variation in melee fighting styles.

      Fourth, I recommend you challenge this Facebook person to a duel and settle your differences in game, violently.

      Be safe and have fun,

      James Hutt
      Game Designer & Mayor
      R.Talsorian Games

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