A week or so ago I wrote about gun in Action X. Here’s my first crack at taking the data and making it usable – a collection of “Victorian” revolvers and pistols. What I’m still playing with is the column headed “APR” – or attacks per round. When the machine guns show up, that’s going to get tricky. I’ll probably look to d20 Modern SRD for inspiration there.
For now, though, check out what I’ve got …
Of course, the main goal here, as with Blood & Treasure, is to keep it simple and playable and not get hung up on the intricacies. At the same time, though, you want gun fights to have a special flare, since they’ll be a big part of any modern game.
You’ll note that at the top, I have “generic revolver”. That’s for people who don’t want to bother with the individual firearms, or maybe for a Referee who wants to keep it simple with the NPCs. The generic version basically averages the data I have for all the weapons from the same time period and type, including weapons that do not appear in the table above.
The feed column: C stands for “Cylinder”, as in revolvers. M stands for “magazine” – a very generic term including clips, boxes, drums, etc. I’ll also use B for “belt” when the belt-fed machine guns show up. Reloading a magazine or belt should be fairly quick – maybe you can do it in place of an attack or move during a round. Cylinders would take maybe a full round, or one could take a 1/2 round to load 1d4 shots – something like that.
Anyhow – it’s a start, and I’m sure there will be many changes before I’m finished writing the game.
13 thoughts on “More Guns – Victorian Pistols [Action X]”
I see a few issues.
1. APRs for the mag fed pistols are odd AFAIC, all semi auto pistols should be 1/2 of there magazine capacity per round at least.
2. The LeMat had a shotgun barrel under the standard barrel, shorter range, higher damage.
3. The Luger is a pistol, not a revolver.
4. You missed the Colt-Walker. USA, 1847, 1d10 at least, APR 1/2, Range 100yrds, Feed C:6, WT 4.5 lb
5. Also missed the Remington 1875.
6. Did you take into account that some of the revolvers are muzzle loaded like the Colt Navy's and some breach load metallic cartridge guns like the Peacemaker?
While I know you probably want to do your own thing, recently some other guy recent came up with some really nice VIctorian firearm rules
Not as detailed (generic pistols) but more playable, IMHO, especially how he handles range. I'm by no means a pistol expert, but I probably have shot 20,000 rounds in my life and own about a dozen guns. Pistols are relatively accurate up close, but the farther away you are, the harder it is to hit. The bullet will still travel quite far, but it's just off. At 20 feet, I can put 4 bullets out of 6 into a soda can/squirrel, at 40 feet it's more like 1, and 60 feet, well, sometimes it happens. While it's easier with a bigger target, at the same time, it's just the nature of a revolver compared to a rifle. If you are off target, you're going to be off further because of the shorter barrel (not to mention less rifling action)
I also think you are drastically underestimating how quick single action revolvers are to fire. While you can't spray them like semi-automatics (unless you fan), you can still shoot all the bullets in less than a round's time. You just probably wouldn't want to.
I think probably the most realistic way, if unfair, would be to take the average of the strength and dexterity bonuses. A strong, dexterous person will have no problem shooting a .45 Single Action Army quickly, but someone weak will have trouble.
And I think the preferred 3 letter designation for Japan is JPN
Just to add to it, the gunfight at the OK Corral was believed to have lasted 30 seconds, or roughly 3 rounds (if it's using 10 second ones by B&T).
Billy Clanton emptied his revolver, Frank McLaury had 2 shots left. Both were using Colt SAAs.
And interestingly enough, Wyatt was too, but able to draw his and shoot Frank before either could shoot him, despite having their guns out and cocked.
So it's a case of the person, not the gun, being the most important factor.
I'll try to address things as best I can.
In terms of “doing my own thing” – when you're planning on publishing, you have to do your own thing unless the other rules are open content. I take copyright seriously, and wouldn't want to infringe on that other fellow's.
Luger – yeah, screwed up my transcription from excel to word.
For rate of fire, I'm using what data I can find. Rounds were 6 seconds long (mostly because I'm trying to find a way to deal with a very wide range of firing rates – I thought shorter rounds might make this easier – I might change to 10 second rounds, though, to keep Action X more compatible with B&T). You know the old saying – garbage in, garbage out. If the data I find is faulty, the game rules will be faulty, so I appreciate it folks who are in the know chiming in – helps me out greatly.
For the Colt SAA, I found a rate of fire of about 6 shots per minute, but that sounds like it's probably wrong. There would, of course, be some additional rules for quick draws and fanning. Keep in mind, also, that the basics of the gun apply to the gun in the hand of a person trained to use the weapon, but not necessarily an expert with the weapon – that's where a character's class abilities come into play.
The list above doesn't include everything – for now it just includes weapons for which I've been able to find some data. For the list above, I was dealing with weapons that came into service between 1860 and 1901 – the late Victorian, I guess you could say, with the assumption that most Victorian era games would be set in 1880-1900. The Remington – I couldn't find enough data on this one to include any stats.
For damage, I'm using the formula for TKOF since it's simple to calculate and gives me a decent frame of reference on which to base things. Right now, I'm dividing the TKOF by 15 and doing damage as follows:
0 = 1d6
1 = 1d8
2 = 1d10 (or 2d6 – haven't decided yet)
… and so on. I'm sure I'll have to modify things a bit as I go.
The range listed above is meant to be a range increment based on the effective range of the weapon. For each increment beyond the first, there would be a penalty to hit (probably cumulative -2) with a max range of 5 range increments. Not perfect, but close enough for government work, and an easy rule to internalize.
Muzzle vs. breech loading – no account taken of this for now. Reloading is another issue I haven't tackled yet (though I touched on it briefly above).
Keep the suggestions coming – I do appreciate it. I know the game will never please people who are really into guns – I'm going to go too rules lite for that – but I hope to put something together that's playable and at least gives a nod (or perhaps a deep curtsy) to realism.
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“The range listed above is meant to be a range increment based on the effective range of the weapon. For each increment beyond the first, there would be a penalty to hit (probably cumulative -2) with a max range of 5 range increments. Not perfect, but close enough for government work, and an easy rule to internalize.”
Heh, that is literally the guys rules that I linked to. But he has more shorter ranges, 10' for lower caliber guns and 30' for high power, because like I said, while the bullet travels as far as a rifle, the effective range is much less
And look up Cowboy Action Shooting (sort of LARPing with guns) on youtube for seeing these weapons in use.
They shoot about 20 targets in about 30 seconds (multiple guns, obviously), but all single action. 2 revolvers and a rifle
“For the Colt SAA, I found a rate of fire of about 6 shots per minute, but that sounds like it's probably wrong. There would, of course, be some additional rules for quick draws and fanning. Keep in mind, also, that the basics of the gun apply to the gun in the hand of a person trained to use the weapon, but not necessarily an expert with the weapon – that's where a character's class abilities come into play.”
That may not be far off really. I have several SAA clones, I just dry-fired one and timed myself, I could easily fire 6 aimed shots in only 10-15 seconds, but the reload time would take up 15-30 (or more) seconds on the SAA (the Remington 1875 loaded the same way), So I should be able to fire 6-12 rnds a minute with one SAA, that's why two guns weren't unheard of.
The S&W Model 3 was much faster to reload due to the break top design (later used on the Webley), forgot this pistol before, it was used by the Russians so it a very important piece.
Also, while most people will go with a 1880-1900 time frame for their “Victorian Era” games, that's really only the last third of the Victorian reign (1837-1901), in those short 60+ years, guntech went from muzzle loaded blackpowder flintlocks to breach loading smokeless powder machineguns.
Also should mention – the range increments are in yards, not feet. Would have been smart to include that.
Yeah – Victorian reign is huge, but I was thinking more about what most people think of the Victorian age – i.e. Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, etc. – and it does cover a huge span of time.
Right now, I'm thinking of including information on three very broad eras – “Victorian” (1860-1901), Pulp (1920's-1950's) and Modern (1960's-now). I might break “Modern” up, but I'm trying to think of a good term for the 1960's-1980's – maybe Cold War.
Single action revolvers can also be fired more quickly by “slipping the hammer” — kind of a halfway point between fanning and conventional fire, where one holds down the trigger while pulling back and releasing the hammer with the thumb. It probably doesn't merit specific treatment in this context, but in a game focused on Old West gunslinging, such details might be desirable.
I do think that the “Broomhandle” C96 Mauser pistol would be a worthwhile addition to your table. While anything but compact, the 10 round magazine would probably earn it some player attention, and the wooden detachable stock/holster could justify a range of 200+ yards while attached. I believe Churchill carried one in the Boer War, and I think it has a certain “explorers ready for trouble” air about it.
Are you going to differentiate in reload times between ball and powder reloading vs. paper cartridge, and later metallic cartridges?
i'm the osrlibrary guy. 😛
no infringement at all, i guess i should make that more clear in my posts. just give me a cred and use what you like.
other good sources are call of cthulhu and savage worlds.
good stuff John, interested to see more.
I'm going to try, though I'll endeavor to keep it simple. I want to find a happy medium between reality and imagination.
The Mauser C96 would certainly be a great but late-era offering for Victorian play, being produced in 1896-1937. It has flexibility of being either a longer than average pistol or attaching the stock to make it a medium-short length carbine, depending on the need for ease of carry and maneuverability or accuracy. For range and damage purposes, it should be noted that the C96 was commonly chambered in 7.63×25mm Mauser, which was the highest velocity cartridge available until the advent of the .357 Magnum cartridge in 1935. Besides all that, the C96 “Broomhandle” is a lovely and very distinct gun. Han Solo knows; his DL-44 Heavy Blaster is a modified C96.
As for Attacks Per Round and Reloading, you may want to take the position of letting players have a high number of attacks per round for cartridge weapons but a longer reload period. The point would be they could deal a large amount of burst damage but would have a significant period of vulnerability if they didn't plan ahead. You could also do a similar function to the range increment and assign a penalty for more shots fired in a single round. As an example, the Generic Revolver can accurately fire 1 shot per round. Each shot fired after the first would incur a cumulative penalty, such as -1 to hit. This mimics the effects of recoil on subsequent shots; the first shot will be accurate, but accuracy will quickly degrade.
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