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Ronin Round Table: Powers AGE -- modern firearms

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  • Ronin Round Table: Powers AGE -- modern firearms

    Hey folks,

    My guest spot on the Ronin Round Table just went up the other day (I'm Brian Poel), giving an overview of the hack I did to convert the Fantasy AGE system into a modern-day superpowers game.

    We've already chatted about this a little bit in the "Super AGE" thread.

    In that discussion, looks like a lot of folks have been trying to home-brew firearms into their own games, so I thought I'd post here my more detailed rundown of firearms in my "Powers AGE" hack.

    I'm new to the community here, so if there are other more thorough threads discussing firearms that I should check out, I'd certainly love to go read them.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    SEMI-AUTO & FULL-AUTO RULES
    In a modern setting, it's common that many Ranged weapons can fire multiple shots in one round.
    To represent this, weapons capable of Semi-Auto and Full-Auto have special access to the following Stunt:
    Lightning Attack (3 SPs): You can make a second attack against the same enemy or a different one within range and sight. You must have a loaded missile weapon to make a Ranged Attack. If you roll doubles on this second attack roll, you do not get any additional stunt points.

    Semi-Auto Weapons
    An attack with a weapon set to Semi-Auto may perform the Lightning Attack stunt for -1 SP (2 SP instead of 3 SP)
    If the attacker chooses a different target for the bonus attack, it must be in close range of the first target. (Allocation of the second target may be made after the first attack roll.)

    Full-Auto Weapons
    An attack with a weapon set to Full-Auto must consume both a Major Action and a Minor Action to attack.
    The character rolls 3 separate attack rolls against the same target or other targets in close range to the first target. (Allocation of targets may be made after each attack roll.)
    These attacks suffer a -2 to the Accuracy roll and do not receive the attacker's Perception Bonus on the Damage results.
    ALL attacks may perform the Lightning Attack stunt for -1 SP (2 SP instead of 3 SP)
    The attacker must declare when attacking that the weapon is being fired at Full-Auto. If your GM has asked you to track Ammunition, regardless of whether Stunt Points are generated, 6 units of ammunition are expended.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    FIREARMS LIST

    PISTOL
    Weapon Group: Pistols
    - available in: Single Shot Revolvers or Semi-Auto
    range: Melee to Medium

    Single Shot Revolver (small caliber)
    - dmg: 1d6 +2 +Per
    - min Str: -
    - ammo: 6
    - reload: 2 major actions (revolver)

    Single Shot Revolver (large caliber)
    - dmg: 2d6 +Per
    - min Str: 1
    - ammo: 6
    - reload: 2 major actions (revolver)

    Semi-Auto:
    - dmg: 1d6 +Per
    - min Str: 0
    - ammo: 12
    - reload: major action (clip)

    Semi-Auto: consumes 3 ammunition
    Stunts: all attacks may perform the Lightning Attack stunt for 2 SP instead of the usual 3 SP
    MinStr: if you are proficient with Pistols but don't have Min Str, the Weapon only does: 1d6 -1 +Per
    Playtest comments: distance... effective range: 250 yards


    SHOTGUN
    Weapon Group: Shotguns
    range: Short to Medium
    min Str: 0
    dmg depends on range to target:
    - range: Short -- 2d6 +2
    - range: Med -- 1d6 +Per
    ammo: 2 or 5
    reload: major action

    Stunts: when attacking at Short Range, may perform the Dual Strike stunt for 2 SP instead of the usual 4 SP
    MinStr: if you are proficient with Shotguns but don't Min Str, the Weapon only does: 1d6 -1
    Playtest comments: distance... effective range... really 50 yards


    SMG
    Weapon Group: Automatic Weapons
    range: Melee to Medium
    min Str: 0
    dmg depends on firing mode:
    - Semi-Auto: 2d6 +Per
    - Full-Auto: 2d6
    ammo: 24
    reload: major action (clip)

    Semi-Auto: consumes 2 ammunition
    Full-Auto: Minor + Major action, roll 3 attacks, consumes 6 ammunition
    Stunts: may perform the Lightning Attack stunt for 2 SP instead of the usual 3 SP
    MinStr: if you are proficient with Automatic Wpns but don't have Min Str, the Weapon only does: 1d6 -1 +Per
    Playtest comments: distance... effective range: 250 yards


    ASSAULT RIFLE
    Weapon Group: Automatic Weapons
    range: Short to Long
    min str: 1
    dmg depends on firing mode:
    - Single: 3d6 +Per
    - Semi: 3d6 +Per
    - Full-Auto: 3d6
    ammo: 36
    reload: major action (clip)

    Semi-Auto: consumes 2 ammunition
    Full-Auto: Minor + Major action, roll 3 attacks, consumes 6 ammunition
    Stunts: all attacks may perform the Lightning Attack stunt for 2 SP instead of the usual 3 SP
    MinStr: if you are proficient with Automatic Wpns but don't have Min Str, the Weapon only does: 1d6 -1 +Per
    Playtest comments: distance... effective range: 500yds


    LONG-RANGE RIFLE
    Weapon Group: Rifles
    range: Medium to Extreme
    min Str: 0
    dmg: 2d6 +Per*2
    ammo: 6 (clip) or 1 (single cartridge)
    reload: major action (clip or single cartridge)

    A Long Rifle requires an Aim action to use.
    And may not target an enemy at Short Range.
    Stunts: may perform the Pierce Armor stunt for 1 SP instead of the usual 2 SP
    MinStr: if you are proficient with Automatic Wpns but don't have Min Str, the Weapon only does: 1d6 -1 +Per*2
    Playtest comments: distance... effective range: 1000 yds

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    TALENTS

    Long Rifle Training
    You've learned to wield a Long Rifle very effectively.
    Requirements and Restrictions: Trained in the Long Rifle Weapons Group, Perception 2 or higher
    NOVICE: Your Long Rifle attacks are extremely accurate, given time to prepare: if you spend the entire previous round Aiming, this action provides a +3 bonus instead of the usual +1 bonus.
    JOURNEYMAN: With the right ammunition and good aim, Long Rifles are especially deadly against armored targets. If you pay 3 SP for the Pierce Armor stunt, the damage is penetrating. (Long Rifles may normally perform the Pierce Armor stunt for only 1 SP. The Pierce Armor stunt normally halves your opponent’s armor rating, but penetrating damage allows you to ignore it altogether.)
    MASTER: Nothing beats the critical hit potential of a high caliber sniper round. If your attack hits, you may perform the Lethal Blow stunt for 4 SP instead of the usual 5 SP.

    Automatic Wpns Training
    You've learned to wield Automatic Weapons very effectively.
    Requirements and Restrictions: Trained in the Automatic Weapons Group, Perception 2 or higher
    NOVICE: When you absolutely need to put lead into the air, you may fire your Automatic Wpn on Full Auto with only a Major Action, instead of the usual Minor+Major Action. If you do so, you must pay full price for the Lightning Attack stunt (3 SP) on these attack rolls.
    JOURNEYMAN: Due to long hours of practice, you can reload faster than usual. You can Reload an SMG or Assault Rifle as a Minor action.
    MASTER: Your Automatic Wpn attacks are so accurate that when you perform the Lightning Attack stunt, you gain a +1 bonus to your follow-up attack rolls. For attacks on Full-Auto, this reduces the penalty to -1 instead of the usual -2.

    Pistols Training
    You've learned to wield Pistols very effectively.
    Requirements and Restrictions: Trained in the Pistols Weapon Group, Perception 2 or higher
    NOVICE: It’s hard to get the drop on you. Once per round you can use a Ready action with a Pistol as a free action. If you also have the Quick Reflexes talent, you gain a +1 on Attack Rolls with that Pistol the same round.
    JOURNEYMAN: Due to long hours of practice, you can reload faster than usual. You can Reload a Semi-Auto Pistol as a Minor action and a Single-Shot Revolver as 1 Major Action.
    MASTER: You've learned to maximize mobility and cover while attacking with a Pistol. If you perform a Defensive Stance Stunt, you may also perform the Skirmish Stunt for -1 SP -- though the effects of the first SP spent only affects yourself. (Skirmish normally allows you to move yourself or the target of your attack 2 yards in any direction for each 1 SP you spend. So the first 2 yards of movement for yourself is free.)

    Shotguns Training
    You've learned to wield a Shotgun very effectively.
    Requirements and Restrictions: Trained in the Shotguns Weapon Group, Perception 2 or higher
    NOVICE: Shotguns are especially deadly up close. When shooting at enemies in Short range you gain a Damage bonus for your Perception.
    JOURNEYMAN: You're trained to lead a moving target instead of the careful point-and-aim shooting of other weapons. Your Shotgun attacks ignore any negative modifiers for fast moving targets, and the Aim action provides a +2 Attack Roll bonus at Medium Range instead of the usual +1.
    MASTER: Your Shotgun attacks are so powerful they can fling opponents back and knock them off their feet. When shooting at enemies in Short range, you can perform the Knock Prone stunt for 1 SP instead of the usual 2.
    Last edited by InspectorHound; 3rd March 2016, 04:48 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Ronin Round Table: Powers AGE -- modern firearms

    Again welcome and thank you for the nice writeup. a good idea to post this seperately before we entirely hijacked the other thread. As far as other posts go, as far as I know there has been some minor discussion about this (also on the G+ page for Fantasy Age, which is another good source for information/discussion). But nothing as thorough as this.

    You already answered a lot in the other thread and did a quick readthrough on this one, it seems like an elegant way of adding firearms without adding too many additional rules. I especially like your semi-/full-automatic rules as they are quite simple and especially the full-automatic gives that 'spray and pray' feel.

    One might wonder if the Full-automatic is overpoweerd, given the full potential is 3 attacks + 3 lightning attacks, but you would have to be quite lucky for that and I like that you used the perception and it requiring a full round as balance levers, that's quite clever.

    I like the talents as well, each type of weapon has their own 'niche' playstyle.

    One question I have about the semi-/full-automatic weapons is, if you have a weapon with different settings, I take it you can switch the setting (e.g. from single shot to full automatic). Does this take up time or is it a free action?
    Reason I ask is because the full automatic attack requires a full round, so if switching the weapon setting would require a minor action, you would "only" have a major action left to fire.

    Another thing I wonder about is the range, compared to the 'core' ranged weapons it is quite the upgrade. Of course this solves 'itself' in close quarters and when cover is around. I wonder what would happen if you are in an open area with little to no cover...

    There's some really good stuff here, well done!


    As I mentioned in the other thread, I would like to implement modern weapons in a way that will not make them the no-brainer choice. Considering bows and swords aren't used in modern warfare one could argue it's impossible to realistically do this, but then again I am not getting rid of magic or the likes, so full realism is already blown out the window . I don't mind if melee / 'old' ranged weapons are weaker compared to their modern counterparts as long as they have something that sets them a part and the damagegap isn't so great they feel obsolete.

    Ideas that come to mind are:
    - Legality of modern firearms as opposed to 'traditional' weapons
    - Giving bows something 'unique' that guns won't have: Different types of arrows, explosive arrows, magical arrows, specific bow stunts etc..
    - Giving melee users some type of gap closer (a dash, leap or maybe a scorpion 'get over here' type pull) or cover options (riot shield) to make up for the range difference
    - Making modern firearms increasingly weaker in short/melee range (with the exception of the shotgun of course)

    Any suggestions for this are very much appreciated.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ronin Round Table: Powers AGE -- modern firearms

      Originally posted by Gerben View Post
      One might wonder if the Full-automatic is overpoweerd, given the full potential is 3 attacks + 3 lightning attacks, but you would have to be quite lucky for that and I like that you used the perception and it requiring a full round as balance levers, that's quite clever.
      I don't yet have a big enough sample size to say yet. If the entire group was min-maxing (like if they were all soldiers as a back-story), I might feel differently.

      Note: There's also a -2 penalty to accuracy. That's a meaningful penalty in the FAGE system.

      This is definitely pushing the envelope of having a lot of rules for one weapon (3 things to remember: -2 accuracy, minor+major actions, no PER damage). I prefer to avoid this many special things, but full-auto is such an extreme (and iconic) attack type, glorified in movies, etc. -- that I wanted to model it a bit more.

      Originally posted by Gerben View Post
      One question I have about the semi-/full-automatic weapons is, if you have a weapon with different settings, I take it you can switch the setting (e.g. from single shot to full automatic). Does this take up time or is it a free action?
      Reason I ask is because the full automatic attack requires a full round, so if switching the weapon setting would require a minor action, you would "only" have a major action left to fire.
      It's a 'free' action, because yeah, otherwise it wouldn't work very well.

      Originally posted by Gerben View Post
      Another thing I wonder about is the range, compared to the 'core' ranged weapons it is quite the upgrade. Of course this solves 'itself' in close quarters and when cover is around. I wonder what would happen if you are in an open area with little to no cover...
      Yes, range of attacks for modern firearms is something that we've struggled with modeling well. Personally, I tend to run my games with more abstract movement than counting yards. (I prefer 'short range', 'medium range', etc.) But yes, charging across wide open ground against someone with a gun, where it will take several full rounds to cross the distance -- not wise.

      One thing I'm still toying with is whether the range of the spells needs to be goosed up to be more comparable to the firearms. Definitely being discussed.

      Originally posted by Gerben View Post
      As I mentioned in the other thread, I would like to implement modern weapons in a way that will not make them the no-brainer choice. Considering bows and swords aren't used in modern warfare one could argue it's impossible to realistically do this, but then again I am not getting rid of magic or the likes, so full realism is already blown out the window . I don't mind if melee / 'old' ranged weapons are weaker compared to their modern counterparts as long as they have something that sets them a part and the damagegap isn't so great they feel obsolete.

      Ideas that come to mind are:
      - Legality of modern firearms as opposed to 'traditional' weapons
      - Giving bows something 'unique' that guns won't have: Different types of arrows, explosive arrows, magical arrows, specific bow stunts etc..
      - Giving melee users some type of gap closer (a dash, leap or maybe a scorpion 'get over here' type pull) or cover options (riot shield) to make up for the range difference
      - Making modern firearms increasingly weaker in short/melee range (with the exception of the shotgun of course)
      You're in a tough spot, to be honest. As someone else commented in the other thread, if bows and swords were truly as effective as guns, then we'd still be using them in our armed forces or to defend our homes -- and we clearly don't.

      If you are creating a true side-by-side Magic / Swords / Guns all in the same crazy world -- one angle that leaps to mind is that magic can't enchant modern technology. So you can have magic swords and magic bows, but you can never have a magic assault rifle.

      And then on top of that you'll want to consider making the campaign setting very "high magic", so that these magically enhanced items are much more commonly available -- i.e. you don't have to wait until level 12 to find a sword that is as scary as a gun.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ronin Round Table: Powers AGE -- modern firearms

        Nice work. I have something similar, but it's mostly derived from d20 Modern and d20 Future. Shameless thief that I am. ^_^

        Below are some notes. Some of these have been considered by my group while we were playing around with converting some d20 Modern stuff to AGE:

        RANGE
        The specified ranges are confusing. Pistols have a range of Melee to Medium, with a commented effective range of 250 yards. Then, Shotguns have a range of Short to Medium, with a commented effective range of just 50 yards. How is the Medium range defined?

        Why not just introduce a quantitative measure for short range and for long range for each weapon (where firing into long range is penalized, and beyond that is impossible)? This removes the guesswork in defining qualitative measures such as Close, Short, Medium, Long, and Extreme. For example, Pistol (Short 150, Long 250) and Shotgun (Short 30, Long 50).

        RELOAD
        A major action to reload seems like a really long time, especially for clip- and magazine-based firearms. I can understand the difficulty of reloading revolvers, single-shots, and belt-fed machineguns, but I feel that clips and mags shouldn't take longer than a minor action (unless the reload includes recovering and stowing away the ejected clip/mag). I'd even probably allow reloading a revolver as a minor action with a speedloader. I'm looking at this from a time comparison in that I can walk 10 or so yards with a Minor Action - in that same amount of time, I think I should be able to eject a spent clip and slap a fresh clip in (assuming the new clip is in easy reach).

        I might be wrong, though, as I've never been in an actual firefight. Just been in a shooting range, and I'm not even an expert - more like an enthusiast/fan. ^_^

        FULL-AUTO
        I'm not sure why firing in Full-Auto requires two actions. There already are penalties tied to attack and damage, which I think represent the difficulty in aiming. I'm not sure what the Minor Action represents. Does it take a lot longer to fire in full-auto than it is to fire in semi-auto? Is the Minor Action representative of recovering from recoil?

        LONG-RANGE RIFLE
        Your players haven't argued why they may not fire in short range (I assume to be about 10 or so yards)? Mine would argue for hip-firing, which clearly goes against requiring to Aim. Instead of flat-out restrictions, maybe try imposing penalties instead? Like, "you have a -4 penalty to attack rolls when using this weapon without the benefit of an Aim action, or when attacking a target within 20 yards of you".

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ronin Round Table: Powers AGE -- modern firearms

          Originally posted by TheGreyWulf View Post
          RANGE
          The specified ranges are confusing. Pistols have a range of Melee to Medium, with a commented effective range of 250 yards. Then, Shotguns have a range of Short to Medium, with a commented effective range of just 50 yards. How is the Medium range defined?

          Why not just introduce a quantitative measure for short range and for long range for each weapon (where firing into long range is penalized, and beyond that is impossible)? This removes the guesswork in defining qualitative measures such as Close, Short, Medium, Long, and Extreme. For example, Pistol (Short 150, Long 250) and Shotgun (Short 30, Long 50).
          I probably should have removed my little 'playtesting notes' about effective ranges, more confusing than helpful. I run my game with an abstracted measurement of movement and range -- more 'zone' based when I scribble out my maps (we don't use minis or grids, etc.)
          The current ranges of the weapons are more closely parallel to the fantasy weapons. But I got a lot of flack from my players that guns should shoot farther -- which is what those playtesting notes are for -- still in iteration to revisit that. Yes, your comment about combining my own definition with the more official measurements is a good one.

          Originally posted by TheGreyWulf View Post
          RELOAD
          A major action to reload seems like a really long time, especially for clip- and magazine-based firearms. I can understand the difficulty of reloading revolvers, single-shots, and belt-fed machineguns, but I feel that clips and mags shouldn't take longer than a minor action (unless the reload includes recovering and stowing away the ejected clip/mag). I'd even probably allow reloading a revolver as a minor action with a speedloader. I'm looking at this from a time comparison in that I can walk 10 or so yards with a Minor Action - in that same amount of time, I think I should be able to eject a spent clip and slap a fresh clip in (assuming the new clip is in easy reach).
          Mainly, I wanted room for Reload perks in the Talents (you'll see it there for both Pistols and Automatic Wpns). This rewards players who dedicate character progression to mastering a particular weapon group, and creates a better distinction from other players who only barely know their way around the weapon.

          Originally posted by TheGreyWulf View Post
          FULL-AUTO
          I'm not sure why firing in Full-Auto requires two actions. There already are penalties tied to attack and damage, which I think represent the difficulty in aiming. I'm not sure what the Minor Action represents. Does it take a lot longer to fire in full-auto than it is to fire in semi-auto? Is the Minor Action representative of recovering from recoil?
          It's doing two things for me -- 1) it captures spending that whole turn just unloading lead down range, creating that mental picture from the movies of setting your feet and spraying and spraying. -- and 2) it's definitely a balancing issue -- I want going full-auto to have a more impressive amount of damage potential, and that should have some sacrifice built in as well.

          Originally posted by TheGreyWulf View Post
          LONG-RANGE RIFLE
          Your players haven't argued why they may not fire in short range (I assume to be about 10 or so yards)? Mine would argue for hip-firing, which clearly goes against requiring to Aim. Instead of flat-out restrictions, maybe try imposing penalties instead? Like, "you have a -4 penalty to attack rolls when using this weapon without the benefit of an Aim action, or when attacking a target within 20 yards of you".
          It hasn't come up yet, but knowing my players, I just know it will. That's the kind of thing that I would improvise with some heavy penalties.
          (this is the same group, where one player wanted to throw his bastard sword at the enemy mage (like the final scene of Ladyhawke) -- even after crazy penalties, he actually succeeded. jerk.)
          Yes, if we think that it's going to come up a lot, I'd effectively come up with a standard modifier that I'm happy with.
          Neither do I have special rules for pistol-whipping or using the butt of the shotgun to melee someone -- but I bet it would come up eventually.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ronin Round Table: Powers AGE -- modern firearms

            Originally posted by InspectorHound View Post
            Mainly, I wanted room for Reload perks in the Talents (you'll see it there for both Pistols and Automatic Wpns). This rewards players who dedicate character progression to mastering a particular weapon group, and creates a better distinction from other players who only barely know their way around the weapon.
            I understand now, but still, clips & mags were designed to be quick and efficient means of reloading.

            If the intent is so that you could bump down Major to Minor with perks, I don't see much of an issue with doing a Minor to Free transition for clips & mags instead. I mean, have you seen Keanu Reeves switch clips? Crazy! That's what I'd call a Free-Action Reload.


            Originally posted by InspectorHound View Post
            It's doing two things for me -- 1) it captures spending that whole turn just unloading lead down range, creating that mental picture from the movies of setting your feet and spraying and spraying. -- and 2) it's definitely a balancing issue -- I want going full-auto to have a more impressive amount of damage potential, and that should have some sacrifice built in as well.
            Okay, now it makes some sense.

            With this in mind, you can try to be more descriptive to make an even more convincing visual. Something like: "To use a weapon in Full-Auto Mode, you must first use a Minor Action to prepare and set your stance in the same round."

            In this way, it paints a vivid picture of what's happening when you fire with Full-Auto Mode - certainly more convincing than simply "Minor + Major Action". It also makes a more convincing case for when this gets dropped with the talent: "You no longer need to spend a Minor Action in setting your stance before firing a weapon in Full-Auto Mode."


            Originally posted by InspectorHound View Post
            It hasn't come up yet, but knowing my players, I just know it will. That's the kind of thing that I would improvise with some heavy penalties.
            (this is the same group, where one player wanted to throw his bastard sword at the enemy mage (like the final scene of Ladyhawke) -- even after crazy penalties, he actually succeeded. jerk.)
            Yes, if we think that it's going to come up a lot, I'd effectively come up with a standard modifier that I'm happy with.
            Neither do I have special rules for pistol-whipping or using the butt of the shotgun to melee someone -- but I bet it would come up eventually.
            I understand. Thinking more on this now, I actually think I can defend this: "The weapon is sufficiently unwieldy in that you can't fire up-close effectively without the proper training." Proper training being another talent.

            Pistol-whips and rifle-butts are simple - I treat them as Improvised Weapons or Clubs.

            Comment

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