Friday, April 6, 2018

Shaved Bullet Mishap Table


I'd been reading FUTUREPUNK lately and had a hankering to play some OSR cyberpunk stuff.

Here is Scrap Princess' original post about shadowrun. It is the greatest post on shadowrun I've ever read, and really applies well to making cyberpunk more dystopian and crazy.

Here's a Reddit post summing up Scrap Princess' awesome post on Shadowrun.

She mentioned how guns and ammo in the cyberpunk future are like electronic devices and shitty chargers / cables but a million times worse. So you can find a gun and no bullets, or a gun and like there are 10 bullets for it in the city. BUT you can probably find a street vendor who can shave some bullets and can use some of those in your gun, and there totally won't be a table of terrible things that can happen when you use them.

If stuff is in parenthesis, that's GM knowledge, don't share it with the players without a roll, or without the player asking good questions. Sometimes bullets fail in ways that are weird or not obvious.

Totally not a table of terrible things that happen when you use scrap bullets.

  1. Keyholes - the bullet doesn't engage the rifling in the barrel, doesn't spin like a football, but tumbles like a dodo thrown from a cliff. Damage disadvantage, aim disadvantage.
  2. Cartridge case cracks, warps, jammed in place. Shot goes off as normal, but you need metal fingers or tools and a quiet minute to pry it out. Metal fingers means you can do it in one round.
  3. The casing stovepipes coming out, is in pieces. Gun fires as normal, but you have to work the gun to clear the case, turn it upside-down, shake it, etc. Low/normal dexterity characters need a whole round; high dex means you can do it as a free action. If using a revolver, ignore this!
  4. Squib round. Gun barely makes a noise, has little recoil. (The bullet is lodged in the barrel.) Describe that, roll to notice / know what this is, if that's your system. If you fire the gun again without spending minutes hammering the bullet out of the barrel, the gun will explode. Hopefully the PC wasn't using auto fire or it's boom time.
  5. Barrel cracks from too-hard / too-powerful round. Damage and aim disadvantage going forward. Each shot afterwards has a 1/6 chance of the gun exploding.
  6. Bullet shatters as it exits the barrel. Aim advantage, damage disadvantage.
  7. Misfire, gun goes 'click,' low/normal dex means 1 round to clear. Revolvers can just keep firing - you clear the misfire by pulling the trigger more.
  8. Misfire, see above (actually a hang fire shhhh. Gun will shoot in some number of seconds). Low/normal dex = 1 round to clear. If cleared, 50/50 chance the gun explodes when the bullet detonates out of battery, otherwise it pops off on the ground and the brass casing flies off, pretty harmless if you're not standing directly atop it. If using a revolver, can keep firing, but gun explodes in 1d4 rounds. (The textbook / at the range thing to do is keep the gun pointing in a safe direction and wait 30 seconds, but hah, like shadow runners are gonna do that. If they did then it's like taking an aimed shot.) (PCs probably know that misfires and hangfires happen, and that they closely resemble each other for the first couple of seconds.)
  9. Badly shaped. Aim disadvantage.
  10. Accidentally armor-piercing. Ignores armor. (An IRL myth of bullet shaving.)
  11. Accidentally hollow-point. Damage advantage, armor is stronger against this.
  12. Gun goes click. Bullet jams in the magazine. Can reload to keep using the gun. Need a few minutes to fix the magazine or to get any other bullets out of it.
  13. Tracer round! Can ignite gasoline, makes a bright zippy light pointing right back at you.
  14. Depleted Uranium Round! Ignores armor, dust from the bullet can give birth defects or cancer.
  15. Hyper Round. Super loud, huge blast, 1/6 detonates non-hyper-tech guns. Check if deafened for 1d6 hours, or explodes a silencer if attached. No damage bonus, this was a marketing gimmick.
  16. Ripper Round. Delayed-fuse exploding monofilament. 50% it explodes in battery (ie in the gun) and wrecks gun and guaranteed does damage to PC, no roll to avoid like below. Otherwise damage advantage, ignores armor. They never worked the bugs out, so these never caught on.
  17. Gun fires but it was shaved so much, practically a blank. At point-blank range the gun has damage disadvantage, otherwise no effect on target.
  18. 911 e-phone round. Summons a very confused DocWagon in 1d20 rounds. Emits a loud screeching alarm from the wound / thing shot.
  19. Curved shot. Cannot hit target, roll attack against someone else randomly to your front. 
  20. Curved upward shot. Goes almost straight up. Normal attack at point blank range, otherwise you just made loud noise woo hoo.

When should you roll on this table

It depends on how shitty you want shaved bullets to be. If I was running Futurepunk I'd make every scrap bullet use roll 1d6, on a 5-6 you don't have to roll on this table. (The tradeoff is slowing down combat potentially, but, EH. Just roll an extra d6 that's a different color, or have the GM roll for mishaps and the player roll for firing.) My goal is to make an excuse for people to use swords in a cyberpunk dystopia. Or for, as someone stated in the Scrap thread, for characters to beat each other to death with their phones.

Shaved bullets should be awful; high-tech guns should roll on some kind of 'high tech malfunction' table per use or so as well. Anything good that works consistently should be some rarified high-tech that people will kill over. Or some rare modern gun which wasn't destroyed by a weapon-eater nanite cloud during the Digital Wars.

Gun Explodes Rules for Futurepunk

Roll 2d6. Roll 3d6 if you have really serious gloves, a riot helmet with a face-shield, fully enclosed armor is maybe 4d6, etc. If any die is a 5 or a 6, you're fine! Otherwise you can take damage, get disoriented, get knocked down, whatever, the GM makes a hard move kind of thing.