MAX-TAC, or Psycho Squads, are a specialized sub-group found in most major police forces, established to deal with rampaging Cyberpsychos suffering from advanced cyberpsychosis.
Some MAX-TAC members are recruited being cyberpsychos themselves in their past lives such as Melissa Rory.
Cyberpsychosis had become a big problem in the 2000's. While state-sponsored therapy was an option, the hardest part had been getting the patient into the psychologist's office. What do you do when a metal armored, cyberboosted maniac starts randomly killing people? If you're the Government, you organize a special squad of professional police with one job: To hunt down and capture or kill murderous cyberpsychos.
Cybersquads are common to most urban police departments, going under names like C-SWAT (Cybernetic Special Weapons & Tactical Squad), PSYCHE-DIV, CYBEnforcement and MAX-TAC (Maximum Force Tactical Division). They are armed with the best in armor, commo-equipment and vehicles. Most carry weapons that start at the light cannon range and up. They are, by nature, not very nice people.
Max-Tac is still called C-SWAT by some departments: the official title in Night City currently is Cyborg Suppression Unit. Individual units are known as SPAR teams (Special,Purpose Assault Rescue). It is the bottom line in combat police officers. Specifically created to deal directly with the ever present cyberpsycho threat, these officers are trained and equipped with the best resources money can buy. All officers are supremely fit and agile, and able to withstand a great deal of damage. Cyber-augmentation is common, if not mandatory. Max-Tac officers' enhanced abilities allow them to be the equal of any cyberpsycho. Weapons and armor of the most effective kind are placed at their disposal, as are combat vehicles, including fully equipped AV-9s.
Originally a division of SWAT, Max-Tac's actual role has expanded since its creation. While they are the only real force capable of dealing with the cyberpsycho threat effectively, they are occasionally also utilized as a higher form of SWAT. In any situation where SWAT fails, Max-Tac will arrive. Their job is almost always Hit Hard and Shoot to Kill. In many ways, they are as dangerous as those they are brought in to fight: many officers are teetering on the brink of cyberpsychosis themselves. NCPD sees this "fight fire with fire" strategy as effective.
In the aftermath of the Fourth Corporate War, the only remnants of the Night City Police Department were MAX-TAC members, led by Max Hammerman, maintaining control over any and all cyberpsychotic elements in Night City. The role of a MAX-TAC squad in 2045 is very similar to that of those in the 2020s. However, due to the loss of government after the Fourth Corporate War, MAX-TAC has become an independent organization, continuing to follow the philosophy of its leader, Max Hammerman: Maintain law and order and protect the innocent. Those MAX-TAC arrests are arrested and confined to local Halls of Justice or Security Facilities. Despite this, local groups of "Psycho Squad Militia" have formed, going after borged individuals, regardless of having authority or not.
In 2077, MAX-TAC continues to live up to their reputation, hunting down any cyberpsychos and lawbreakers. If V commits several high-profile crimes, they will assume he/she is a cyberpsycho and attempt to kill him/her. These Psycho Squads are far more powerful than a typical NCPD officer and will chase V down to the bitter end.
Typical Max-Tac Operative 2020
A typical Max-Tac officer is set up as a normal Max-Tac operative except: Authority 7, Intimidate 9, Interrogation 7, Awareness 7.
INT: 6, REF: 9, TECH: 5, COOL: 7, EMP: 8/2, ATTR: 4, LUCK: 3, BODY: 8(10), MA: 8.
Authority 4, Brawling 8, Rifle 8, Athletics 6, SMG 6, Endurance 6, Handgun 8, Strength Feat 7, Heavy Weapons 7, Streetwise 5, Melee 8, Awareness 5, Stealth 3, Dodge/Escape 5, Interrogation 5, Intimidate 8, Shadow/Track 4, Karate 8, Aikido 7, Expert (Law) 5.
Replacement Limb with Thickened Myomar, Reinforced Joints and Pop-up Micromissile Launcher, Torso Plate, Cybereye w/infrared, Targeting Scope, Times Square, Smartgun Link, Muscle and Bone Lace, Wolvers, Limblink, Decentralized Heart.
Cyclone Squad Support Weapon or Remington Gyro-Sniper Rifle, Rostovic Wrist Racate, Militech Crusher SSG, Full Meta Gear Armor (not always worn), Hurricane Shotgun, Federated Arms 454 DA 'Super Chief'. Max-Tac units use AV-9 transports for most situations, although several AV-9 gunships are also operating (such as 'Muther-1' commanded by the now famous U. Garrison).
Response Time: Fast. Max-Tac work in squads of six men plus one officer.
- PASS, G. Protect and Serve. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1992 (pg.26)
- Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.301: "The only real survivors of the old Night City PD are the members of the C-SWAT aka MAX-TAC aka " The Cyberpsycho" Squad. Incorruptible to the last and still led by their commander, Max Hammerman, this lone bastion of the NCPD maintains an iron-fisted control over any and all suspected cyberpsychotic elements in the City."
- Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.302: "Once a part of the Night City Police Department, MAX-TAC is now a fully independent organization in its own right. It contracts with neighborhoods, governments, and even private citizens to take care of the most egregious assaults on the public: hostage situations, cyberpsychos, military class weapons, terrorists, etc. MAX-TAC is run by the incorruptible Commander Max Hammerman, late of the original Night City Police Forces. Hammerman is a man on a mission: to maintain law and order and protect the innocent. MAX-TAC has an impartial code that it follows to the letter—it ends fights, no matter who starts them. If you're a security service guy fighting a bunch of boosters, you'd better put your weapons down when MAX-TAC shows up or they'll open fire on you too. MAX-TAC doesn't hold prisoners; arrestees are remanded to the local Hall of Justice/ Security Facility."
- Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.109: "Cyberpsychosis has always been a big problem in the Dark Future. While state-sponsored therapy is an option, the hardest part is getting the patient into the psychologist's office. What do you do when a metal-armored, cyberboosted maniac starts randomly killing people? If you're the government, you organize a special squad of professional police with one job: to hunt down and capture or kill murderous cyberpsychos. If there isn't much government left, the locals will probably start their own Psycho Squad Militia and go after your 'borged-up butt anyway, even without a warrant."
- V: "[Those guys are fucked...] Doesn't look like your average bust..."
Jackie Welles: "Cause they ain't your average badges. That's MaxTac[sic] - NCPD's own apex predators. MTac[sic] rolls in when things fly outta hand. Gonks out there, though, just a midday snack for 'em. Welp, show's over. Poor bastards, but they had it comin'."
- XXL Preview Cyberpunk 2077 Played
Cyberpunk Red Corebook. R. Talsorian Games, 2020