While preparing a set of pre-gen characters for an upcoming adventure I’m going to run, I discovered that there seems to be no rules in the TME Hub Core rules for automatic or burst fire firearms. So I wrote some. Bear with me, it might seem too wordy, but that’s just how I am. I think the rules, once used, are simple and quick… ish. I’ve included examples of each of the three modes of fire to help things along. These are house rules that I’m going to use… you obviously can just ignore this whole post. But I’d REALLY appreciate some input!
You can safely ignore the Rate of Fire listing for firearms in the HUB rules, and instead just denote whether they have Semi, Burst or Auto available.
SEMI-AUTOMATIC weapons can only fire a single bullet per trigger pull. Semi-Automatic weapons can be fired by a trained shooter (anyone with Gunslinger, Gunsmith, Sniper, or Weapons Expert in any firearm) once per second, or three bullets in a combat round. Untrained shooters can only fire once per combat round. This number does go up with rank, per the Hub rules. Called, aimed shots are treated as per the HUB rules, page 108.
Each shot is rolled separately, with it’s own SV modifiers. A GM can, if she likes, subtract 10 from the shooters SV to represent recoil for every consecutive shot fired after the first without stopping to re-aim. This modifier can continue from round to round if you like, but that can get confusing, and you might just want to reset the recoil modifier at the beginning of each round.
Example: Gortus the Mutant is trained in how to use a firearm and is shooting his semi-auto .45 pistol at a target. He can fire three bullets in one combat round, with an option by the GM to make the second shot at a -10 SV, and the third shot at a -20 SV. Gortus’s companion Harriett the Transhuman is also shooting a 9mm pistol, but she has no skill in firearms at all. She can shoot a single bullet in a combat round at her base SV score with modifiers.
BURST FIRE weapons, which includes most sub-machine guns and some automatic rifles that have a burst fire setting, fire three bullets automatically every time the trigger is pulled. There are some that have a two-round burst, but I’m going to ignore that for simplicity. A three round burst gives the shooter +30 SV for the burst, but if successful only a single bullet hits. The rest are wasted. A trained shooter can fire up to three bursts in a combat round, but each consecutive burst after the first earns a -10 recoil modifier. That is to say, the first burst is +30, the second burst is at +20, and the third is at +10 SV. Again, the GM can decide to continue tracking recoil from round to round, but I don’t suggest it. An untrained shooter can shoot only a single burst each combat round, but it will have the +30 SV.
Any roll of 02-05 would mean two bullets hit, and a Critical success would put all three bullets into your target.
Called, aimed shots are treated just like the HUB rules, pg. 108, but the burst still gives that +30. Remember that called shots take two rounds to complete, regardless of firing mode.
Example: Gortus has scored himself a ancient but working Uzi, and is now shooting it in Burst mode at some Skullocks. He fires all three bursts at the lead Skullock, so he gets +30 to his SV for the first burst. Recoil offsets the bonus on his second shot, so it’s at his base SV +20, modified only by other mods the GM throws at him, like range and such. His weapon is really kicking by the time the third burst fires out, so Gortus is now at a +10 SV. If Gortus hits with all three bursts, but does not roll below a 05 for any of them, that means the target will get hit by three bullets at a cost of nine. Inefficient as hell, but it give you a much better chance of hitting your target.
AUTOMATIC WEAPONS, also called Fully Automatic, keep spitting out bullets as long as the trigger is held down. An ancient AK-47 automatic rifle had a rate of fire of just about 600 rounds per minute (RPM). For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to use 600 RPM for all automatic weapons. There are many that have a much higher rate of fire, but most post-apocalyptic firearms are old, and often have been kept up with scrap repairs, so 600 RPM sounds fair to me. With TME’s combat rounds lasting three seconds, that means a shooter can put about 30 rounds down range in one combat round. This rate of fire does not change for trained or untrained shooters. These weapons can fire only one full-auto spray per round.
Firing an automatic weapon towards a target is actually firing towards the area occupied by that target. The shooter fills an area equal to one square meter at up to effective range (the range listing of the weapon). The shooter rolls against her base SV rating with the weapon, with no other modifiers. If the shooter is successful, the area becomes a Type C Agility-based Hazard (TME HUB pg. 118). However, the Hazard rating is made more difficult 1 for 1 by every point by which the shooter made her roll.
The damage inflicted on any one in the target area that does not make their Hazard roll is equal to one bullet’s worth of damage for every full three bullets in the area.
The shooter can choose to widen the area filled with bullets, up to one additional meter per five (5) bullets fired. Since an automatic weapon can fire up to 30 bullets in one combat round, that means that the maximum area filled is equal to 6 meters wide. However, for every area filled with lead beyond the first, the Hazard rating becomes easier by 10. If someone filled the maximum of 6 meters with a spray, and made their shooting roll by 40% (for example), the Hazard rating would go first down by 40, and then up by 50 (not 60 because you don’t count the first meter). This new rating would be effective in each of the six meters filled. Obviously, the farther you spread the spray the less effective and wasteful it becomes.
Example: Harriet the Horrific is spraying a crowd of wild mutant dogs that are chasing her and her group of excavators with her assault rifle. She has Gunfighter skill, and the dogs are 80 meters away and closing fast. The pack of dogs are spread out in an area about 3 meters wide, so Harriet decides to fill that 3 meter area with bullets (10 bullets per meter). She rolls against her basic SV with the weapon (in her case a 65), and rolls a 25, a difference of 40. The dogs have an Agility rating of 38, so a Type C Hazard rating for them starts off at a 66% chance to avoid all damage. This goes down by 40 points for Harriet’s roll to a 26, but then up by 20% for a final Hazard rating of 46%. Each of the dogs in that area would have to make that roll. Any dog that does not make the roll takes damage equal to the assault rifle damage (d20) times 3, since there were 10 bullets in each area.
This house rule might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but after the first or second time using it, you should find it to make sense and to be easy to use. I’ve always been too wordy, so I might have over-explained things. Sorry about that. I hope this system works for you!
PLEASE give me any comments/suggestions/critiques!