Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Abstracting Ammo in Mutant Future

One of the tedious elements of any RPG, is the accounting for ammunition. It invariably will slow down the game, as the players start to focus on bean-counting their shots, and holding back, when they think they're running low on rounds.

BUT - having ammo as a resource, is a staple of the genre, particularly in Post Apocalyptic settings, where Bullets and Batteries are in scarce supply.

For instance (from the MF ruleset):
"A typical automatic pistol can fire ten times before reloading. Reloading takes one round."

As listed, a player would need to hash mark each and every round, next to the weapon, and depending on whether the weapon is fired on full auto, with 1 to 3 marks. Supposing that a magazine held 15 rounds, the player would be shooting roughly 5-10 times to empty a magazine.

In a stressful firefight, this might involve only 5 rolls of (multiple) dice to hit, but involve up to three times as much Game Focus on tracking the ammo. It's both a drag on the game, and a desired dramatic element.

How to simulate this, without resorting to Hash Marks?

Every weapon that uses ammunition, whether it be arrows, bullets, or energy cells will have TWO ratings, one static, and one variable.

.45 Revolver (Six Shooter)
Pistol, revolver 1d10 Normal 300 ft./600 ft. 3 lb. [3D]

That final [3D] stat, serves as an abstract status of the weapons capacity(3), and supply(D).
These two variables, range from 1 to 6, inclusive, with the 1 and A being the best.

If the weapon rolls the NUMBER or less, when the players makes a roll to hit, then decrease the LETTER value down by one step, simulating the need to reload. Since a 3 will be rolled roughly 1 out of 7 rolls, this should sufficiently simulate a Six Shooter.

An Automatic Rifle, could be listed as such:

Rifle, automatic 1d12 Automatic 450 ft./900 ft. 12 lb. [2E]

This particular weapon, would only need to reload on a roll of 2, or less. And the E letter, would serve to track a more limited supply of spare ammunition. If a weapon rolls its capacity, or less AND has a current supply letter of F, then it is completely dry. No rounds in the weapon, or on the player.

This would give a wide variety of weapon stats, simulating many different types, while adding minimal effort and record keeping, with which to track.

Here's some samples, and notes:

Carbine 1d10 Normal 500 ft./1,000 ft. 8 lb. [1A]
(As listed, carbines can fire 20 times before needing to reload, therefore its capacity is listed as a "1".  This number is static, and may vary with a weapon brand. Some may have a 2 (10 rounds), or less. The supply rating of "A", means that the character has enough ammunition available, to reload the weapon, roughly 6 times, simulating a bullet supply of a little over 100 rounds. This would be the best case scenario, and yet still only need to be accounted for, once or twice a battle, allowing the player to concentrate on their play, and not the accounting for it.)

Energy Baton 2d6+15 1 - 5 lbs. Beltpack or Backpack [1F/1E]
In this situation, the characters have recovered a battery powered melee weapon, If powered by a beltpack, it will be drained on a roll of a "1". If powered by a backpack, it will be depleted on the first roll of "1", and completely drained on the second such roll.

So much LESS record keeping, same overall effect, and the added drama of not really knowing when and where you're going to run out of ammo.

Because let's face it - 200 year old rounds, and hand-filled brass reloads, tend to sputter.

I'll let you know if my players Love or Hate it.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Mutant Future Critical Hit Tables

Mutant Future Critical Hit Table (Natural 20)
Critical Hits do Double Damage (Rollx2)
Then - Roll 2d6:
02) Eviscerated! (Save vs. Death +1)
03) Vitals Torn (Save vs. Death +3)
04) Torso Slam (Save vs. Stun (1d4 rounds))
05) Shoulder Sprung (-2 to hit until rested)
06) Arm Wound (-1 to hit remainder of battle)
07) Maximum Damage (No Roll)
08) Leg Wound (+1 AC until wrapped)
09) Kneecapped (+2 AC until rested)
10) Bell Rung (Save vs. Stun (2d4 rounds))
11) Go for the Throat ((Save vs. Death -1)
12) BOOM - Head Shot! (Save vs. Death -3)

Mutant Future Critical Miss Table (Natural 01)
Critical Misses do No Damage to Target (No Roll)
Then - Roll 2d6:
02) Heads Up! (Damage Random Ally (or self))
03) Wait … what? (Save vs. Stun 1d2 rounds)
04) Dropped Weapon (Spend 1 round to ready)
05) Damaged Weapon (-2 to hit until end of battle)
06) Slipped Weapon (-1 to hit next round)
07) Lost Target (-2 initiative next round)
08) Off Balance (+1 AC until end of next round)
09) Take a Knee (+2 AC until rested)
10) Wipeout (Prone +4 to Hit until Dex Check)
11) Wide Open (Target gets 1 free attack)
12) Stumbled into It (Target gets 1 free damage)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Scavenging in the Mutant Future

"The battle is over, and the Pigmen lay at your feet, in slowly congealing pools of blood. Well fought.  Everyone gets … 120 experience points."
"How much are their swords worth?  Can we take them?"
"Umm...  sure.  They're not very valuable, seeing as they've been fashioned for, and by Pigmen."
"Their boots look cool.  Can we take those?"

I do like the Treasure Tables included in the Mutant Future ruleset, as published, but anticipate my players asking what could be scavenged from the corpses of Mutant Humanoids. Along with the Furs and Hides of animals, which could be useful, I came up with this Quick Abstract system.

Anytime it's possible that something valuable could be gleaned from a location, roll 1d100.
This is the amount of "Crap Pieces" (CP), that one could scavenge from the locale.
The amount of time needed, to extract and pack the loot, is equal to the roll, in minutes.

If either of the die show a zero (0), then negate the roll, and re-roll the dice, changing the Loot Value to "Scrap Pieces" (SP).

Do the same, should either die show a zero, changing the Loot Value to "Goods" (GP).

Finally, should either of THESE dice, show a zero - Roll ONCE on the Random Artifact Table, found in the Mutant Future Rulebook.

In the cases of CP, SP, or GP - the weight of the scavenged materials, will be the value of final Roll/10 in pounds.

Note that this roll is allowed once per location, not for each enemy defeated.
It simply adds a bit of variety to the encounters, without (hopefully) creating an imbalance.

This may serve to increase the incentive of the PCs engaging appropriate parties, while maintaining the increased Lair Value of the creatures found in the rules.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Gonna reboot this blog, as a place to document my 3D printed miniatures which focus on Gonzo Post-Apocalyptic Gaming, for "Gamma World", "Mutant Future", and other over-the-top SciFi games.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Campaign Map
I originally started up this blog, to keep track of the Gamma World game we were playing.

I'll keep this map, because it rocks.

The miniatures and characters I create, will be inspired by the inhabitants of this grim, future landscape.