Multiple Shot Firearm Rules - Revised
New and more realistic (read: deadly) multiple shot rules for firearms
The multiple shot firearm rules for UA has consistently bothered me. I realize that firearms are deadly enough, but the distinction breaks down when multiple bullets are involved in UA. First of all, lets reiterate the UA multiple shot firearm rules:
Semi-Auto Multi Shot:
For 2-3 shots: Divide up your skill any way you like (after shifts) and take three shots at those numbers. Ex. If my skill is 60 I can take 2 shots at 30, a shot at 40 and 20, or a shot at 40, 10 and 10.
For 4+ shots: Go to suppressive fire rules
Full Auto Multi Shot:
3 Shot Burst: +10% shift, and ignore damage cap.
"Blazing Away": +40% shift, ignore damage cap, automaticaly qualifies as suppressive fire.
I realize that UA's firearm rules were developed with simplicity in mind, and I want to stay true to that intention. There are many world class competitive shooters (+90% in game terms) today that are fully capable of shooting a revolver
through a cylinder, reloading the revolver, and then shooting through another cylinder in under 6 seconds. (roughly 2 game rounds) All of those shots would be on the target, if not in the bull. Granted, this is with a competition race-gun (which is highly impractical in a combat situation) and ideal conditions. But this should get the point home that it is trivial for a trained
firearm user with a semi-automatic to shoot three shots in three seconds (~1 round) and get them squarely on target.
Lets talk about Semi-Automatic Multi-Shot.
Game mechanics dictate that you divide your skill. What this means is that multiple shots on average
will do the same damage as a single shot. Allow me to illustrate.
Dan has a Colt 1911 .45ACP, and a skill of 60% in firearms. If Dan takes one shot, he can get up to 60 points of damage. If Dan takes three shots, and divides his skill as 20, 20, and 20 he can get a max of 60 points of damage. (barring critical successes) If we start moving down the scale, this bears out. If he gets 30 damage on 1 shot, he can get 30 on the total of three.
I think we can all agree that being hit by three .45ACP rounds will do significantly more damage than one. But under UA's rules no matter how many times you're shot by the same person in the same round (barring crits) you can never exceed the damage that would have been done by one bullet.
Now we certainly don't want people going through ammunition like water. If it becomes less advantageous to fire one shot, all we're going to have is three round bursts from everyone each round. The trick is to improve the realism but keep the balance and simplicity of UA.
When shooting: (In game terms)
You need to declare the number of shots and targets before
Your first shot is always made at full skill. Regardless, you're most likely going to be aimed and ready to fire when you make the decision to pull that trigger.
Your second shot is made at half skill. If you've changed targets, subtract 10% before dividing. You've got recoil, a loud noise, and a bright flash to deal with, and all of this is on a time crunch in a combat situation.
Your third shot is made at 1/4 of your skill. If you've changed targets, subtract 20% before dividing. More recoil, more noise, confusion abound.
If you're shooting 4+ shots, you're just pulling the trigger as fast as you can. You have no chance to aim successfully and you're performing suppressive fire. See suppressive fire rules.
If your skill is ever zero (due to shifts) you're going to need to crit in order to succeed. You're just not skilled enough to take multiple shots in a combat situation and you're going to need a miracle.
This way, everyone can shoot as much as they want, and the results are significant and slightly more realistic.
I realize that a second is a long time in shooting terms. I am a competitive shooter and I know at least three more well-aimed shots could be squeezed into those three seconds. But this is a combat situation. I'm going to account for the penalties and extra time by blaming stress, fear, and the fact that combat is not a firing range.
On To Fully Automatic Weapons.
Never having fired a fully automatic weapon, this is where my experience breaks down. But I tried to apply my semi-auto experiences here as well.
3 shot bursts are the same as three shots for semi-auto, except that an extra 10% shift is added beforehand, you always fire three shots, and you cannot shoot at multiple targets. Have fun. The damage caps by caliber still apply, however.
Blazing away. I may have read the rules wrong, so I may be merely restating the UA blazing away, but anyway.
Blazing away costs at least 10 shots. Period. If you want to fire more, it will help with suppression but no further damage considerations apply. You get a 40% shift to firearms. You need to roll at least a 20. And it qualifies as suppressive fire for your opponents. But you also hit some poor sap. Maybe.
Lets first examine what happens if you fail your roll.
If you fail your roll (if you roll over your skill): You miss. No hits, no suppressive fire, nothing. Your lead hose goes wild. Please keep in mind that throwing this much lead in the air is going to do *something*. Ricochets are dangerous to people as well as property. See revised Suppressive Fire rules.
If you fail your roll (If you roll under 20): You miss your target (maybe - matches follow suppressive fire rules) but you still get to use your Suppressive Fire.
If you succeed, it gets a bit worse.
If you succeed: Some poor sucker probably just died. Damage as rolled, ignoring damage caps by caliber. If you get a crit, double the damage cap. If you get a matched success, damage is equal to the damage cap unless the match is higher. Also the aforementioned poor sucker and people in the immediate area suffer from Suppressive Fire.
Lastly, suppressive fire.
I have no real extra rules for suppressive fire. I think they're fine as written. I just want to call attention to the fact that putting 4+ unaimed
bullets into the air at a single time in a single direction is going to have some severe consequences. A .223 round can go a mile while still remaining deadly. Larger rounds understandably suffer a bit due to their weight, but they also tend to be pushed by more powder. Suffice to say that unless slowed or stopped by solid objects (buildings, cars, trees, children) airborne bullets are going to remain a danger for anything in its direction of travel for quite a long way. For example:
The Fearsome Five came back to their Fearsome Van to find that the SkullCrushers are waiting for them. Fearsome Fred whips out an MP5 (9mm) and begins laying down suppressive fire on the SkullCrushers.
After the SkullCrushers run off, you don't honestly think that van is going to be driveable, do you? Popped tires, destroyed windows, and who knows how much engine damage. (even bullets that can't crack the block can sever tubes, destroy components, and puncture the radiator) The bullet holes are also going to make Johnny Law quite curious. Not to mention the dead kids at the playground across the street.
Guns are dangerous.
Commentary: I realize that the nifty multiple shot rules might seem initially like an incentive to fire two shots every round. The damage payoffs for the second shot penalty are definitely worth it. Particularly to a skilled shooter. This is true. This is the philosophy behind the "double tap." Of course, a double tap will most likely end up killing someone. The characters need to be prepared to deal with the problems that arise from doing that on a regular basis. First, enemies are less likely to attempt to capture or subdue people who are prone to killing everyone they come into contact with. Second, stacking up a trail of bodies is a great way to be classified as a serial killer. And finally, the personal psychological issues that arise from blatantly causing so much death are not to be ignored. Someone who consistently does double taps on opponents should be making some extra self and violence checks at some point.
Let me know what you think. I'm looking for input. Particularly a way to encourage single shots more.
liar | profile | May 17, 04 | 12:45 pm