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Old 11-20-2023, 05:02 PM   #21
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Iconic Contemporary Guns

The OP doesn't mention movies.

Mac 10's are good guy guns if we assume cocaine cartels are good guys.

M16s are good guy guns if we assume the Contras were good guys.

M-4s are bad guy guns if we assume the invasion of Iraq was a violation of international law.

The classic snub nose .38 is a bad guy gun if it's being planted a crooked cop.

Last edited by Donny Brook; 11-20-2023 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 11-20-2023, 05:13 PM   #22
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Default Re: Iconic Contemporary Guns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juca View Post
Yeah, actually, if we're looking at 80's to 20's action movies, like the original poster asked for, yes, they do practically identify the wielder as good or bad, because they are most associated with these roles in those kind of movies.
You realize movies like the Bourne Identity series are action, and the 'bad guys' are using the weapons you describe as 'good guy' weapons?
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Old 11-20-2023, 06:45 PM   #23
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Default Re: Iconic Contemporary Guns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
The OP doesn't mention movies.
The OP says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-red-scare View Post
Assume we’re in an Action game in the 2020s.
The introduction to the Action series:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Action 1 p3
The modern cinematic thriller seems like simple-minded entertainment but is hardly simple...

GURPS Action 1: Heroes provides character-design guidelines for the sorts of lead roles common in action films and television series made and set in the 1990s and 2000s...

Be warned that Action 1: Heroes isn’t about real-world intelligence, police, and military personnel. Realistically, even heroic cops don’t carry on like John McClane in Die Hard, spies can’t afford to behave like James Bond, and soldiers aren’t trained to act like John Rambo...
From the opening sentence, Action is focused on movies and TV, it says action films and TV are the baseline, and these examples are all movies. Referencing a movie does not seem out of place or misleading to the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Action 1 p3
And the fact that the same rules also let you create super-crooks isn’t a suggestion that real-world government agencies are corrupt – it’s just an admission that in the movies, “super-crook” vs. “super-spy” is mostly an issue of whose guards you’re eluding and what safe you’re cracking.
And the point about moral relativism isn't novel, even in the context of Action. We get it. One of the OP's best sources is going to be the group at his table, because those are the particular associations he's going to want to trigger in the game. Those associations certainly aren't universal. But the forum might be a group that's at least somewhat correlated with the OP and his group, so it's not an entirely ridiculous question.

So, to help the OP, are there any models of firearms that you think of as particularly visually iconic of particular groups, regions, styles, subgenres of action? By all means, feel free to label your particular associations with your own background so anyone that wants to adjust for some other POV can do so.

For my own personal biased non-gun-enthusiast reactions to stereotypes from casually watching action-oriented US visual media through the last half of the 20th century through today:
  • Revolvers are cops up to about the 90s. The .44 Magnum is iconic of Dirty Harry, but not of cops in general. A short-barreled revolver in .38 Special is the cop gun, detectives always with the snub nose while a beat cop might carry the longer barrel.
  • Movie protagonists often get a unique gun just to stand out, as Dirty Harry does. But it also might be something exotic, like the Mauser C96 used as the base for Han Solo's blaster pistol. John Wick's got his distinctive guns (which I looked up because I had no clue, but the type doesn't matter to this point, just that it's something you don't see often). So, PCs might well tote weapons that are different from whatever normal cops / detectives / spies / special forces of their origin carry. If someone has a favorite, you might let them get away with it regardless of employer unless it's totally SoD bending.
  • Autopistols are either modern cops or military. Most autopistols look so much alike only the hardcore enthusiast will tell the difference from the styling details in the midst of all the action. Size is more of a differentiator.
  • Spies tend to have smaller guns, light and onusually automatics. Police have bigger ones. Walther PPK, Beretta 1919, S&W 3913/14.
  • Police and soldiers carry bigger autopistols. Beretta 92, S&W M&P, SIG-Sauer P220, P320, P365.
  • Only unique individuals carry the monster automatics like the AMC Automag or Desert Eagle.
  • MP5 SMGs are for the well-to-do, whether that's crooks or high-end troops or cops like Secret Service. Special Forces could certainly have them, but they probably wouldn't be costumed with them.
  • Uzis are not Americans, which doesn't make them bad guys. MAC-10/11 are pretty 80s/90s, usually criminals.
  • Thompson SMGs are mobsters, especially with the drum magazine. You could also legitimately use them in a WW II flick, but neither of those fit the OP's 2020 timescale. Modern organized crooks have mostly autopistols, and certainly not the fedoras and pinstripe suits. The Tommy guns probably don't show up in the 2020s unless the boss is a collector or has a Mafia fetish.
  • AK-47s are the opponents, not the protagonists. (When Iran or the Soviets start exporting a lot of movies, maybe that'll change. But it certainly wasn't the typical case in US action movies from the 90s and 2000s.) Other forms of AK exist, but unless someone at the table is a real gun bunny, no one will know the difference. Visually, almost anything made with wood stock and foregrip, metal middle and barrel, with a curved magazine, is going to be an "AK-47" at this level of detail
  • M-16s, M-4s, AR-15s are military. (Again, only the enthusiasts are going to tell the difference. If it's made of black plastic with a carry handle, it's military.) Criminals that have these are extra violent and prepared for trouble. The 2020 setting will probably swap the black plastic for the more modern camo colors (green, tan).
  • Bullpup style rifles (magazine behind the rear grip / trigger) signal "exotic". These belong to the bodyguards or security of those European aristocrats. Steyr ACR, AUG, Enfield L85, etc.
  • The really exotic-looking rifles say "I'm a space gun", and so show up as prototypes, near SF, maybe secret groups like Q Division or SHIELD. P90, FN F2000, SAR 21, H&K G11.
  • The BFG "sniper rifle" is likely some sort of "anti-material" rifle like the Barrett M82, M95, or Armalite AR-50.
  • Shotguns are Mossberg or Remington, and always pump action for the intimidation value. Sawed-off shotguns are criminals or the definitely rebellious anti-heroic protagonist getting serious. If you have a break-open rear-loading double barrel, it's because you're in an early scene where the English lordling (or wannabe) is discussing something during a friendly round of skeet shooting, just to remind the viewers that for this guy, shooting is always a possibility.
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Old 11-20-2023, 06:58 PM   #24
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Default Re: Iconic Contemporary Guns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
MP5 is a good guy's gun.
Not if you are watching the best Christmas movie ever: DIE HARD
In Die Hard it's the ubiquitous weapon of the terrorists (except Carl & Hans).
That's how McClane gets his.

Last edited by Tinman; 11-20-2023 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 11-20-2023, 07:50 PM   #25
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Well this blew up, let me elaborate. You know how Action 1 lists generic firearms appropriate for Action games? Ultimately I just wanted specific models instead of generic guns. I said good guys and bad guys because, obviously, Action games (and action movies they’re generally based on) have good guys and bad guys. I definitely did not mean it as a value judgment. I figured it might result in a couple suggestions for each type of gun.

That said, depending on the specific game, I see in retrospect that criminals could be the “good guys” in one game and the “bad guys” in another, or the CIA similarly, or really any group other than the most depraved terrorists. And in fact it’s definitely possible or even probable military forces or police could be very bad guys indeed.

I want to avoid a High-Tech like list of every possible gun (this came up because I was looking at HT for guns to list and realized I had no idea how to narrow it down). So if it helps, drop good and bad and stick with “iconic.” If you wanted to make a curated list of guns of various types for players to choose from for a circa 2020s Action game, that would make people familiar with guns say “yeah, that tracks,” what would they be?
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Old 11-20-2023, 08:03 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juca View Post
Yeah, actually, if we're looking at 80's to 20's action movies, like the original poster asked for, yes, they do practically identify the wielder as good or bad, because they are most associated with these roles in those kind of movies.

This have nothing to do with real life or even realistic expectations, it is just the way those kind of movies are.
There are lots of American films and TV shows about corrupt or brutal police and paramilitary forces (eg. CIA) from the 1980s to today, and those characters get assigned weapons which communicate "government"

Even cop shows tend to have a subplot about the corrupt vice cop, or the beat cop who plants weapons and drugs on suspects NCIS has has plots about soldiers selling weapons to gangs, and Gibbs retiring after a three-letter agency orders one drone strike too many.
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Last edited by Polydamas; 11-20-2023 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 11-20-2023, 09:48 PM   #27
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Iconic Contemporary Guns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
Not if you are watching the best Christmas movie ever: DIE HARD
In Die Hard it's the ubiquitous weapon of the terrorists (except Carl & Hans).
That's how McClane gets his.
Now I have a machine gun. Ho Ho Ho.
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Old 11-20-2023, 11:25 PM   #28
Polydamas
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the-red-scare View Post
I want to avoid a High-Tech like list of every possible gun (this came up because I was looking at HT for guns to list and realized I had no idea how to narrow it down). So if it helps, drop good and bad and stick with “iconic.” If you wanted to make a curated list of guns of various types for players to choose from for a circa 2020s Action game, that would make people familiar with guns say “yeah, that tracks,” what would they be?
The TL 7-8 section GURPS High Tech is pretty much that list. It has the AK, M-16, and M-4 serieses as generic assault rifles and assault carbines, the Glock series as generic handguns, a few glamorous SMGs and giant pistols, and some basic hunting weapons.

Basically nobody has the ability to choose any firearms they can imagine. If its legal, they are limited by either laws or bureaucratic procurement rules. If its illegal, they are limited by what their suppliers offer and what they can keep fed. So what weapons your characters use depends on who they are.
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Old 11-20-2023, 11:35 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
The TL 7-8 section GURPS High Tech is pretty much that list.
Point taken, but there are, for example, 29 TL7-8 rifles. Not exactly “narrowed down.”
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Old 11-21-2023, 12:09 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by the-red-scare View Post
Point taken, but there are, for example, 29 TL7-8 rifles. Not exactly “narrowed down.”
If you read the descriptions, its pretty clear who uses each of these weapons. And eg. the AK or M-16 variant which is common in a 1960s spy game will not be the one for a 2010s NCIS knockoff.

Just for one weird example, SKS rifles were popular with civilians in some places in the oughties because they were cheap, military-looking, and fit within limits on magazine capacity.
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