Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SPACE DUNGEON Missile Weapons

So the Space Dungeon campaign started and was well received - now languishing.  Not because I'm not into it, but partly because the spawn is doing a real interesting growth spurt, I'm dealing with some seasonal stuff that makes interpersonal interactions taxing maybe, and I dunno, maybe just I'm blocked or something. But I was thinking about how to sort out the missile weapons issue in SD - like, I was set on having it based on Rogue Trader and some Star Frontiers since those are pretty easily found and adjudicated, but since the SD game is run on a chassis of Dungeon Crawl Classics, well - there ought to be a way to do it with the existing rules and not have a clusterfluck of new stuff to cope with on the players'/DM's part.

The best thing that DCC has is (IMHO) relatively simple mechanics based on a d20 resolution in which better/worse odds are bumped-up dice chain rolls.  Easey peasey.  No problems.  Not to get into the more exotic weapons offered by Rogue Trader (for example the vortex grenade and the conversion beamer and grav guns, which HOORAY are making a comeback in 7th edition 40K) but what it comes down to is (roughly) pellet/auto guns, beam guns, and bolters/gyrojets - just like in Star Frontiers.  There's some other types, sure, but for simplicity and SAN sake, I'm going to keep it pretty simple.  It seems to me that maybe a couple of easy rules ought to suffice, and I will explain where I'm coming from to keep it realz and eazy, y'all

1) Ammo ought not to be a hassle.  You buy 3 gyro jet rounds for your pistol/rifle, well - we all know how many rounds you have, and I expect it to fall on players to keep track of that shit, 'cause I'm all concerned with the WAWAWAWAWA sound of the shoggoth-daemon engines in the hover-skiff, and maybe a little drunk by 1030PM and maybe the drama DOES rely in a sense upon how many rounds you have in your gun - let's be frank, here, shall we Frank?- but if I forget and you forget, then how important was that dramatic moment, really?
2) Misfires and jams are dramatic.  You know how I know?  Because I played Space Hulk on the table and in the guts of my 1993 shitball 450mhz/25 megs of ram PC - and let me tell you, Brother Marine, when those blips turn the corner and are revealed as 3 or 4 genestealers charging down the hallway to chew your ass up, you can bet that a misfire at the last second will make your heart beat a little bit fast and when Brother Bethor goes all AAAAAAAAUUGHHHH! even though you heard it maybe a thousand times in the past, well, MISFIRE.  FUCK.  I almost had it.  The Emperor Sayeth Bless Your Weapon and Anoint it Against Misfires and Jams, and these things are A Direct Reflection Upon Your Worth, Brother.  Now strike the rune of completion and go forth to smite the heretic... You get my drift?  Upon the razor edge of misfires doth a story hinge and these are good
3) Cost Ought Not to Be a Deterrent in The Future.  Whereas in the medieval past, cost OUGHT to be a deterrent, so as to motivate, it is my learned opinion that maybe you could (like see Gibson, W.) buy/rent a cheap plastic Thai gun at an exorbitant rate and Hope For The Best, and also a wealthy operative could go for the Newest Baddest Smartgun, etc. al.  So, you could buy some Low Quality stuff and it would be hilariously disastrous since You Are a Cheapo

What rules come from this?  I haven't sussed it all out, yet - in fact I'm going to throw caution to the wind for this one since I've 4 or 5 glasses of box wine in me:

1)  see table, below, for results.  No 0-level schlub should just wang-dangle a firearm or small arm around like it's no thing, barring, of course some strange military training (this is NOT Traveller, BTW).  Maybe a max for 0-levels on the firearm attack roll of a d16 since it's more fun this way
2)  Each 1/2 of price equals and maybe equal to and greater than a con-commitant DOUBLING of the fumble threat.  I admit I stole the critical hit/fumble thing from Zach S. or whomever since he's (I admit freely) a genius.  In this case, you purchase that CHEAP RUSTY SHITTY BROKEN PLASTIC Slug Thrower, you should expect, in no uncertain terms, that it may misfire or jam/run out of ammo about a third to a half of the time you use it.

I confess, slug that I am, that I have not perused what the CRAWL! has to say about this.  There was a whole firearms issue, and I am a bastard that I did not purchase or cannot find it.  I don't know.

Slug/Bullets/Small Arms
These are quaint, but reliable ways to deal death to others.  They rely upon an explosive charge to propel a non-motivated metal slug through the air at the enemy.  They require regular maintenance and cleaning, but tolerate some abuse.  They may fire every round, for 1d8 damage, and each subsequent round fired adds a cumulative +1 to the fumble range, so look out!  The following applies to attack rolls:

less than 1 to 0: critical fumble!  Your gun explodes, doing as much damage to you automatically as it would on a succeful hit.  Reduce the die type for each Luck point you burn
1: Fumble (or modified fumble range result)  Your gun is broken!  No more attacks with this weapon until a complete repair is accomplished, normally not possible within the span of a delve.  Spend a Luck point to disregard.
2 (else the fumble range plus 1) to 5: Your gun is jammed, out of ammo, or whatever.  No more attacks until you can sit down and clean it or service it, but this is possible within the course of a game.  Ought to be easy with a cleaning kit/repair kit/whatever
5-8: Jam!  Spend 1 round fiddling with it, back into the fray thereafter

On any subsequent misses, the gun is out of ammo entirely, and more needs to be secured (of the appropriate caliber if your campaign uses that stuff) before you may use it again.

Beam/Flame/Arc/Zapper/Laser/Sonic
These are fairly sophisticated and advanced weapons requiring highly developed batteries and energy-channeling knowledge.  Pretty expensive but few working parts, if you get my drift.  They are more expensive, and sometimes prone to failure.  They do 1d12 damage per shot (in addition to modifiers for type, if you're into that, a la Carcosa)

less than 0 to 0: Kaboom!  You're partially vaporized, chum!  A catastrophic failure of the battery or energy focuser means the weapon is destroyed, and you get 2d12 points of damage, no save!  The good news is, you could get a robot hand, now.
1 to 5:  Power down!  Your battery holds insufficient charge.  Lose the attack, and no use of this weapon until you are able to find a charger or work out some charging scheme.  In 40K, and maybe in Akira, there are all kinds of ways to recharge the battery of your Lasgun - some of them are unsavory.
6-9: Overheat - lose this attack, and the weapon is available to recharge when you can wait until the end of the combat round to recharge, or until 1d4-Luck modifier combat rounds pass if you are unwilling to forgo the round voluntarily (good luck).  Burn a point of Luck to find it mysteriously recharged again, dammit.

Gyrojet/Bolt-Thrower
These are a step up from the slug/projectile thrower, in that the propellant doesn't go all at once INSIDE the weapon.  The propellant is like a rocket, in that it stays with the projectile and may be spent directionally to aid the aim of the projectile in some cases, and also the whole thing explodes nicely when it gets there with a satisfying THWUMP or KOOM or something.  They also do 1d12 damage, modified by the firer's Agility modifier.

Less than 0 to 1:  FRAKATAKKADAKKA - the whole magazine ignites in a frenzy of combustible death.  Save at DC 17 Fort or Die, reduced to a fine red paste that covers allies and enemies alike.  1d3 of your goods survive the explosion (Judge's call). If you make the save, your body is recoverable, but you're still killed/imperiled/out of action (maybe at 0 hit points and counting down).  Suffer some 1d6 penalty (permanent) to the stat of your choice; explain it away as you please.
2-6:  Jam!  Can't fire this weapon until you make a DC 12 Luck OR Agility check, starting on the next combat round.
7-9: Misfire!  The round goes wild and still explodes.  It hits the most logical farther combatant, or nearby combatant, or a group, or whatever the DM feels may be prudent and exciting (I mean, that's the breaks, right?).  Preferable a rusty I-beam that holds up that interior bulkhead and allows escape from the REDACTED


There's almost no bad reason except prudence to NOT use a projectile weapon, but in the broken down future, maybe you can amend these results by diligent credits spent on weapon maintenance.  Every 100 credits spent aforehand allows a re-roll on the attack roll, best result standing - to represent polishing, oiling, drying, striking the runes of appeasement, etc...  Take that and go carousing, you scruffy nerf-herder.

Okay.  I'm out.  Peace, Love, and Projectiles Upon Thine Enemies


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