Advanced firearms have the same basic statistics presented for firearms on the Obstacles page. But they have superior ammunition characteristics and a number of special capabilities. Advanced weapon capabilities provide additional features or modify the weapon’s statistics.
All advanced firearms have a cost of Lavish, the highest cost-rating in the game.
Advanced weapons use one-piece loads (typically cartridges) and have internal magazines or external, interchangeable magazines, allowing them to be fired many times between reloads. A magazine rating is noted “I” or “E” with the number of rounds the magazine holds. For example, a weapon noted “E-8” has an external clip that holds eight rounds.
An advanced firearm’s magazine can be reloaded with rounds as a significant action at a rate of 3 + Dexterity, to a minimum of 2 rounds. (If a character foregoes movement, she can double the number of rounds applied by this action.) If a weapon uses external magazines, a magazine can be applied with one significant action, allowing the character to move in the same round.
Following is a list of advanced weapon capabilities:
- BURST: This weapon can (or must) fire multiple rounds with each shot. Burst is noted with a B, followed by the number of shots. For example, “B-1-3” indicates that the weapon can fire one bullet or three bullets with each attack. A burst weapon adds + 2 to its Attack Total for each additional shot fired beyond the first.
- EXPLOSIVE: This weapon’s shots explode. This feature works like Spread except that it affects everyone within 10 paces of the initial target.
- HEAVY WEAPON: This weapon is a large-scale firearm like a shoulder cannon; Heavy Weapons is the applicable Ability. A heavy weapon penalizes Initiative and Attack by – 2. It boosts the Load and the Strength requirement by + 3 each. A heavy weapon also boosts base Damage by + 4. A character cannot fire a heavy weapon and move in the same turn—the character’s normal movement time is used to brace and sight the weapon as a prerequisite for firing.
- MAGNUM: This weapon fires a powerful, large-caliber round. Add + 2 to the weapon’s minimum Strength rating and to the weapon’s Damage rating. Magnum weapons also ignore 2 additional points of armor.
- PIERCE: Firearms can penetrate armor. A hand gun that does not have the Spread capability ignores the first two points of an opponent’s Protection granted by armor. A long arm that does not have the Spread capability ignores the first three points. (Spread weapons rely on multiple pellets that have no piercing capability.) Basic firearms can overcome a target’s armor this way for targets within their first range increments; advanced firearms can do so in their first and second range increments.
- RAIL: Some advanced weapons can completely bypass armor. This includes weapons that fire electric discharges or use magnetic acceleration.
- RELIABLE: This weapon is very rugged, unlikely to misfire or to have missed shots go far astray. When checking for a botch in the use of this weapon, roll 1 fewer botch die.
- RIFLED: This weapon is tooled to function at great ranges; usually with a precision-rifled barrel and a scope. Double the weapon’s increment.
- SILENT: This weapon has a very quiet firing sound. Silent firearms use gas-containment systems to muffle the sound of discharge. Some silent weapons don’t use explosive ammunition at all. A silent weapon is automatically audible within 15 paces. At 16 to 50 paces, it can be heard with a Perception + Awareness stress roll, Ease Factor 9. The Storyguide can modify these ranges or the Ease Factor based on ambient noise conditions.
- SLUGS: This option applies only to weapons with the Spread capability. The firearm has the option to load heavy smooth-bore cartridges, adding + 2 to the weapon’s Damage rating. Or it can load normal, pellet-filled cartridges to use Spread; the weapon cannot utilize both capabilities at once.
- SPREAD: When fired beyond the first range increment, certain firearms can hit two or three close targets. Apply the same attack roll to all targets, all of which must be close enough to one another to reach out and touch hands. But be careful; the Storyguide can invoke the spread rule against friendly targets too. When fired at closely-engaged enemies (those in forward stance) the attack will typically affect fighters on both sides. (A shooter is never hit by her own Spread attack.)
- THERMITE: The weapon’s bullets, pellets, or shrapnel components contain metals that generate a pyrotechnic reaction. Targets damaged by the attack suffer an automatic burning hit on the next round at the same initiative count. The burning hit inflicts + 0 damage and must be soaked without the benefit of armor. Thermite burns very hot; shots from this weapon can ignite flammable materials in the environment.