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Old 10-05-2016, 10:13 AM   #1
Drath3n
 
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Default ammo in a cinematic western.

OK, so I am running a very cinematic western. I have told them that they are essentially in a movie. I don't like the idea of players being ammo accountants and having to basically sit out for the rest of a fight because they have to reload. But I also don't completely like the endless ammo concept either. So my thought is to turn crit fails in to a "out of ammo" or for carbines "riffle jams" that take 1d turns to rectify or 1-2 turns with a quick draw ammo skill. What are your thoughts?
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: ammo in a cinematic western.

Depending on what their skill with a gun is, that seems as workable a solution as any.

I think, if memory serves, there is a 'rules rigorous' way to do this with Imbuements which might tie ammo to FP. I know thats a strange metric to tie it to, but it might also be interpreted as Cinematic Combat Fatigue.


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Old 10-05-2016, 10:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: ammo in a cinematic western.

I would actually make sure they keep track of ammo, and when it comes time to reload I would roll a quick contest of DX or Fast-draw or Gun skill, the players vs the best enemy, the winner managed to reload first with margin of seconds to fire against the opposition or move around. This rewards the players for working as a team and having good skills for reloading and makes it more interesting. If they failed to reload first they have to spend a few seconds getting shot at before they "managed to reload".

The keeping track of ammo part comes down to them knowing how many times they can reload before being completely out of ammo.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: ammo in a cinematic western.

Reloading times are very important in Old West battles...

The huge jump between single-shot muzzleloaders and cartridge repeaters scales through TL4-6 and weapons encountered. Gear selection and innovations are a big part of the genre to me, but Cinematic considerations are largely matter of taste.

In the latest Magnificent Seven, you see most of the Heroes swapping guns after firing for a while... Often picking one up from a pre-placed location staged before the fight, or picking up from downed combatants (friend or foe).
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: ammo in a cinematic western.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drath3n View Post
OK, so I am running a very cinematic western. I have told them that they are essentially in a movie. I don't like the idea of players being ammo accountants and having to basically sit out for the rest of a fight because they have to reload. But I also don't completely like the endless ammo concept either. So my thought is to turn crit fails in to a "out of ammo" or for carbines "riffle jams" that take 1d turns to rectify or 1-2 turns with a quick draw ammo skill. What are your thoughts?
Not sure if taking away crit fails is a good idea. May need to test it.

In GURPS Gun Fu, there is the "Quasi-Realistic Ammo" variant (p.20) to the Infinite Ammunition Perk (p.19).

One alternative idea to consider, which I have seen work nicely for a con game, is to use physical counters:
- little glass or plastic beads. One bead for each ammo round the character carries, shoot one, through one of your beads into a center bowl; shoot three shots, through three beads ...
- poker chips. white chips are one round, red chips are 3, blue chips are 6, ...
- counter dice
- slide counter
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: ammo in a cinematic western.

I like the idea of running out of ammo based on the role of a die rather than bothering to count. Critical failures may be both too rare for what you want and you still want to have them. And yet you don't want to roll another die.

if you reload on a 10 or 11, (but not anything else) you reload about every 8 shots. A 14 only means every 14 shots, and 14 or higher means about every 10 shots, with really bad rolls reserved for actual critical failures.

I'd probably go for 14 or higher is a reload. Note that you still get that last shot off.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: ammo in a cinematic western.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drath3n View Post
OK, so I am running a very cinematic western. I have told them that they are essentially in a movie. I don't like the idea of players being ammo accountants and having to basically sit out for the rest of a fight because they have to reload. But I also don't completely like the endless ammo concept either. So my thought is to turn crit fails in to a "out of ammo" or for carbines "riffle jams" that take 1d turns to rectify or 1-2 turns with a quick draw ammo skill. What are your thoughts?
Is "reload" vs. "immediate action" going to be distinctive enough to matter either way?

I will say that much of the problem with tracking ammo in play is the recordkeeping. Get rid of that, and it's not really difficult. I've found a method that works quite well is to use chits of some sort (different color chips or beads for different kinds of ammo works well). Give the player a number equal to the number in the quiver or magazine, and have him toss them into a hat when he fires them. When he's out, he needs to reload (and fishes the right number of beads back out of the pot). If you don't want to reload often, you can give him several times as many chips as the gun actually holds, and you don't necessarily need to track how much ammo he's carrying just because you track how much is in the gun.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:57 PM   #8
Drath3n
 
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Default Re: ammo in a cinematic western.

I really like all the suggestions.
I think a big party of my not wanting to keep track of ammo is aimed at me, I am a newbie GM and when you got 5-10 baddies to keep track of it can get stressful. But I want it fair too. I couldn't ask the players to keep track and then have a villain shoot 8 times in a row from his revolver.
ericthered's suggestion is really intriguing. I may have to think on that one. Having revolvers reload on 10&11 and carbines with high capacities having a reload roll of 14+ might be good. will have to talk it over with the players.
Thanks everyone,as always this is a great forum to get informed and creative answers to questions!
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: ammo in a cinematic western.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drath3n View Post
I really like all the suggestions.
I think a big party of my not wanting to keep track of ammo is aimed at me, I am a newbie GM and when you got 5-10 baddies to keep track of it can get stressful.
Chips work pretty well for that too, at least for the archers I normally use them for. Go down to the local superstore craft section and get one of those shallow divided plastic boxes (so you have a well for each character, chop up an index card, write the character name on it and drop it in the bottom first) and a bag of mixed colored glass beads (I think they're intended for flower vases) you can see that card through and give it a try.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: ammo in a cinematic western.

Gun-Fu has a few Perks (which may be setting switches) that may be useful for this:

Infinite Ammunition: You never need to reload.

Infinite Ammunition (Semi-Realistic): So long as you reload your weapons every so often during lulls in the action, you can fire much more than just the number of bullets indicated in the Shots column of the weapon table.


The second one seems more in line to what the OP is asking for.

Hope this helps.
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