OF MODERN ARMAMENTS
Appendix II: Weapon Modifications
OPTICAL SIGHTING SYSTEMS
The grand majority of sighting systems tends to prevent or otherwise inhibit the firer's peripheral vision; thus a -1 Notice penalty is incurred while the scope is in use. More expensive scopes (increase cost by 50%) can prevent this.
|The telescopic scope is one of the most
basic modifications to enhance the effectiveness of a
firearm at extended ranges. Scopes are produced by
numerous manufacturers, in various degrees of quality,
features, price, and effectiveness. In game terms, a
Telescopic scope acts as a Sniper System for a given
weapon, granting a +1 accuracy bonus at Long and Extreme
ranges. Additionally, Sniper Systems may also aid in
firing at targets beyond the standard "combat"
extreme range, granting the same +1 ACC bonus at a range
up to double the listed Extreme range (GM's call). The
cost of a typical Telescopic Scope is equal to its
Extreme Range distance (in meters). This yields the total
cost in dollars/marks/dinars/credits. Thus, a scope for a
typical hunting rifle with a Base Range (BR) of 50m and
an Extreme Range of 400m would cost $400. If the buyer
wanted a scope that would grant the +1 bonus beyond
extreme range (let's call it 2X range, for "double
extreme"), double this cost again. Less expensive
scopes are available at GM's discretion, most likely
reducing the durability and/or reliability of the scope. Note:
It is quite possible to have either an over-qualified
(Scope good to 500m on a rifle w/ 400m Extreme Range), as
well as under-qualified (300m scope on the same rifle).
COST: $1/m at Extreme Range (= max range of applied bonus), $200 minimum (for standard quality).
AVAILABILITY: 2+ (3 for scopes capable of 2X range)
The Thermal Sight is a fairly common addition to most Telescopic scopes, but basic Thermal Sights are also independently available. Through some impressive solid-state technology, the thermal infrared emissions of organisms and vehicles can be converted to images visible to the user. Thermal sights allow the user to "see" through the scope in darkness using the heat emitted by objects in the field of view. Unfortunately, it is also very difficult to determine details or identity using thermal emissions, as well as being susceptible to temporary blinding ("red-out") from flares and other "bright" heat sources. Thermal Sights remove any penalties due to darkness, but heat sources and "Hot Smoke" grenades may incur penalties (GM's call). Thermal sights also fare poorly during the day.
LIGHT AMPLIFICATION SIGHTS: (AKA LowLite,
Lowlite optics are another commonly seen modification on many firearms. Using any of a number of mechanisms for light multiplication, lowlite optics allow the user to see in extremely low ambient light conditions (e.g. starlight). However, lowlite systems do not function in total darkness, as they require at least some light to amplify. Additionally, most lowlite systems are also susceptible to flaring from especially bright light sources (flash grenades, flares, flashbulbs, etc), but luckily most modern systems do not suffer from the total burnout and overloading that earlier systems suffered from. (Cheap and/or low-quality LowLite systems may overload permanently on a fumbled roll). Light Amplification sights remove any firing penalties for darkness, so long as some ambient light is present.
PASSIVE IR or UV SIGHTS:
Similar to the Light Amplification Sights, Passive InfraRed/UltraViolet scopes are specially attuned to infrared and/or ultraviolet light, allowing for the use of essentially invisible (to the non-augmented eye) IR or UV flashlights for a light source. As with lowlite, Passive IR/UV scopes remove any penalties associated with firing under darkness, so long as a IR or UV source is in use. These Passive IR/UV optics effectively make the normally invisible IR or UV light visible. Note: Passive IR is not the same as Thermal vision! Thermal IR is in a different region of wavelengths than are used by the Passive IR systems. Where Thermal sights map a wide range of temperatures, Passive IR systems only discriminate "ambient" and "hot", in addition to any IR illumination.
COST: $200 (IR or UV only), $350 (IR and UV)
||Laser sighting elements have been
available since the late 1970s, but have only really
become usable and/or common during the late 80s and 90s,
due to the development of laser diodes, which were
substantially smaller, lighter, and by far cheaper than
the standard gas- or ruby-rod laser. Laser sighting
elements are commonly available in the form of small
cylinders that can attach underneath the barrel, or
within the grip of a handgun. Larger versions often are
mounted on rifles in tandem with a conventional scope. In
game mechanics, a laser sight marginally enhances the
weapon's accuracy (+0.5ACC), meaning that the firer wins
ties (MOS0), but inflicts damage as if the result was
MOS1. Additionally, laser sights reduce the penalties on
quick-draw actions (e.g. no additional action penalty for
performing two actions: drawing and firing), and reduce
the penalty for firing from the hip (if such penalties
are in use). Additionally, there can be some significant
psychological effects for the victim (Bonus to
Intimidation rolls?). However, the largest disadvantage
to laser sights is that they can often be backtraced to
the point of origin (e.g. the firer), and can thus give
away a position. This problem is aggravated if any kind
of particulate matter is in the air (fog, smoke,
etc...you've all seen how a laser lightshow looks when
they turn on the smoke). Laser sights are available in a
number of colors and wavelengths, ranging from blues,
greens, reds, as well as infrared and ultraviolet. The
latter two also have the advantage of being invisible to
the naked eye.
COST: $200 for weapons with BR10m or less. $400 otherwise. Infrared or Ultraviolet lasers increase this cost by 50%.
AVAILABILITY: 2 (Visible), 4 (IR or UV)
|The underbarrel flashlight is often seen
as the poor man's laser sight. However, the utility of a
hands-free boresighted lightsource is well known. A wide
variety of weapon lights are available, ranging from the
very small M3 model (shown at left, total length ~5cm),
designed for pistols and SMGs, to larger full-sized
(15cm+) models. In general, these tactical flashlights
use a tungsten-halogen filament to produce a bright and
focusable cone of illumination. Typical useful range
(without optical augmentation, such as lowlight gear) is
approximately 20m for the smallest models, and as high as
100m for the full-sized models. The pistol lights are
compatible with the universal option mounts seen on a
wide variety of modern pistols. Additionally, flashlights
with tuned emission spectra are also available, with the
most common in IR and UV. Standard filters can also be
used for less-efficient frequency selection (half range).
Typical battery life is upwards of 20 continuous hours.
COST: $50 for weapons with BR10m or less. $100 otherwise. IR or UV specific lamps increase the cost by 50%. Wavelength filters are $5/ea. Replaceable rechargable batteries are $5/ea (1st set included).
AVAILABILITY: 2 (Visible), 4 (IR or UV), 1 (Filters)
FN P90 w/ Suppressor
Adapted from a post made by Alex Rhodes on the Heavy Gear Mailing List on 11/20/96
The basic sound suppressor, commonly called a
"silencer," typically use some form of baffles or
bullet wipe in order to trap the expanding gases of the
propellant. Other versions bleed off excess gases, which result
in some slowing of the projectile. The end effect however, is
similar. Both methods provide some dampening of the explosive
"crack" of the gases escaping the barrel. The latter
form additionally attempt to reduce the noise of firing by
slowing the bullet, in some cases down to subsonic speeds. In
general, the mechanics are trivial, and the game results are the
same. When firing in semi-automatic mode, Suppressed weapons have
a Notice threshold of 4 (+2 per range band beyond Short) to be
detected. When firing fully-automatically, reduce the Threshold
by the number of points of ROF used. Additional modifiers should
be added due to ambient noise level, acoustics, etc. Detecting a
suppressed firearm in a firefight will be extremely difficult
(+4), whereas in the middle of a library will be very easy (-2).
Example: Joe Delinquent decides to go rock & roll with his shiny new silenced 9mm SMG in the backyard. He decides to go full tilt and fire with the full ROF of 2. His mother is 20m away in the kitchen. The threshold she has to pass is 4 +4 (she's within the weapon's Long Range) -2 (for ROF 2), for a grand total of 6. Not impossible, but not easy, either.
PISTOL & SMG SUPPRESSORS:
Pistol suppressors tend to only need to reduce the noise of the expanding gases, and thus tend to have a very limited effect on the muzzle energy (and thus damage) of a round. Typically, a Suppressor will reduce the DM of a weapon by approximately 5-10%. Extremely low caliber or low velocity (.22s and .45s) will not be slowed noticeably. SMGs reduce BR by 20%. Revolvers and some especially large-caliber pistols and SMGs do not silence very effectively (GM's call, reduce base threshold from 4 to 3, or not at all in some cases). See the Ammunition tables for the results of Low Velocity Ammunition for a ballpark estimate of suppressed DM.
COST: $200 for Handguns, $400 for SMGs
Rifle suppressors, on the other hand, have much more muzzle velocity to bleed off in order to adequately dampen the report of firing. This results in substantial reduction in damage and range. The DM of a suppressed rifle is decreased by ~15%, and the Base Range is reduced to 25% of original. A typical BR50m rifle will have its range reduced to a mere 15m. Again, large caliber/high velocity rifle rounds tend not to be suppressed very efficiently (GM's call, reduce base threshold from 4 to 3, or not at all in some cases).
Suppressors for sniper (and other long-range) weapons are
often designed to only reduce noise from the expanding gases, and
do not affect the bullet's speed (therefore no
"silencing" of the supersonic CRACK),
under the assumption that at the ranges at which a sniper will
most commonly be working, the supersonic crack is nondirectional
-- and thus cannot be used to track the firer, unlike the muzzle
noise. However, specialized sound detectors can be used to
triangulate via measuring the time between sound signals between
two (or more) separated detectors. Such suppressors do not reduce
muzzle velocity, and thus have no effect on range or damage.
COST: $400 ($500 for sniper-type)
Making a Suppressor: Homebuilding your own
suppressor requires Mechanics or Tinker at Level 2. A
specialization in Gunsmithing grants a +1 as normal. Target
threshold is equal to 6 minus the maker's Small Arms skill. Cost
for production is approximately 1/2 list price (materials +
tools/machine time). Disposable suppressors reduce the threshold
by 2. MOS * 5 yields the number of rounds that can be fired until
the suppressor is broken. Disposable suppressors cost 1/5th of
standard. Suppressors tend to be illegal for civilians to possess
in nearly all countries, regardless of who made it, hence the
high availability value.
COST: 1/2 (reusable) to 1/5 (disposable) of standard Suppressor price
AVAILABILITY: 4 (illegal to possess)
Most gunsmiths are able to coax just a little more "oomph" out of many firearms. Through the use of specialized barrel extensions (such as those that are often seen on competition-grade pistols), or just simply more tightly machined parts, the overall accuracy of the weapon can be substantially enhanced. [NOTE: There's two ways of modeling Accuracy, the really powerful way, and the not-so-powerful way. The first method is to actually increase the ACC of the weapon. Way powerful. The more balanced way is to increase the Base Range of a weapon. How is this better accuracy? You can fire at a lower penalty at a longer range. This modification uses the latter.] Increasing the accuracy on a weapon will typically cost approximately 50% of the weapon's cost, which may include parts & labor (GM's call), and increases the Base Range of a weapon by 10% (minimum of +1 meter to BR). Accurizing may be purchased multiple times.
COST: 50% of weapon's base cost (+ Parts/Labor)
AVAILABILITY: 4-5 (Requires an expert gunsmith, avail also depends on rarity of weapon to be modified)
A qualified gunsmith is also able to rechamber/retool a weapon to use caseless instead of brass-cased ammunition. As caseless ammunition on average weighs about 1/2 to 2/3 that of normal ammo, a caseless weapon can either a) Increase magazine payload by 50% and maintain the base mass of the weapon, or b) Reduce the mass of the weapon by 1/3, and maintain the same ammunition capacity. On the downside, caseless ammunition typically costs around twice as much as conventional brass-cased, as well as being a little more hard to find.
COST: 50% of weapon's base cost (Parts/Labor optional)
AVAILABILITY: 3 (Requires a qualified gunsmith)
HIGH VELOCITY CONVERSION:
Additionally, a weapon can be converted to use High-Velocity (HiVel or HV) ammunition as standard. Modifying a weapon in this manner will allow for the firing of HV ammunition with no degradation of weapon reliability and no increase in weapon wear. However, as the conversion to HiVel tends to include the use of a heavier bolt, the weapon will tend not to fire conventional (non-HV) ammunition as efficiently or reliably (reduces ROF by 1, increases probability of jamming, or the action may not even cycle!). Obviously, Revolvers and other manual-action weapons are exempt from this problem.
COST: 50% of a weapon's base cost (Parts/Labor optional)
AVAILABILITY: 3 (Requires a qualified gunsmith)
The weapon is redesigned and/or modified such that it may be easily disassembled and reassembled in a relatively short period of time. The reassembly time is given a Rating (from 1-10), based on the number of 6-second turns required to reassemble or break down said weapon. The cost of the modification is dependent upon this Rating ([11-Rating] * 10%). For those of you who want/need to cut a few corners, you may reduce the Rating cost of the weapon by 10% for reducing the Base Range of the weapon by 10%. Thus, if you're a cheapskate and need to have a weapon that'll break down in under 6 seconds, and range isn't really an issue, you can drop the BR by 30% (ouch!), and only pay (11-1)* 10% - 30% = only 70% of the weapon cost to add the modification (Better than 100% more!).
COST: (11-R) * 10% of the weapon's cost.
AVAILABILITY: 4+ (Requires a qualified gunsmith, may or may not be legal in all areas)
Add a collapsible stock or remove the stock altogether, shorten the barrel, etc. For adding a collapsible stock, reduce the Accuracy by 1 (e.g. -1 Penalty) unless the stock is extended. For barrel-shortening, reduce the BR of a weapon by anywhere from 10-60%, depending on how much the barrel is shortened (e.g. an M-16 with a shortened barrel will have a BR of 20, instead of 50), so this one's mostly a GM's call.
COST: Collapsible stocks are usually available for ~$100. Shortening the barrel usually costs less (What's the going price of a hacksaw?)
AVAILABILITY: 3 (For a collapsible stock), 2 for shortening the barrel.
The basic principle of the Smartlink is to make the firearm an extension of the firer. So much a part of themselves that the firer can innately determine the point of impact. Typically, a Smartlink will include laser sights, gyroscopes, or any of a number of varying mechanisms to improve the man-machine interface. Smartlinks also are able to transmit information regarding remaining ammunition to those with the means of reading such (Times Square/TS+). Similarly, the Targeting and/or Times Square+ place a crosshairs into the field of view on command. Smartlinks tend to be either produced by the weapon manufacturer, or produced by a second-party licensed to do so by the manufacturer. These first-rate Smartlinks have guaranteed compatability with the weapon, and usually are far quicker to install. Another significant portion of the installation fee is due to the extensive calibration that is done in order to ensure optimum performance.
COST: 100% of weapon's base cost. E.G. a Smartlinked weapon costs double.
AVAILABILITY: 5+ (Usually not available to civilians, or at least not without extensive licensing and a legitimate reason to possess such milspec gear.)
|So sometimes you just need more
ammo, and lugging around extra magazines just won't cut
it. What is a well-equipped solo to do? Extended
magazines are available for nearly every weapon in
existence, except revolvers and other breech-loading
weapons for the obvious reasons. Like the 50rd Beta
Magazine at left, many of these magazines are essentially
ammo "drums", but others, especially for
smaller-caliber weapons like handguns and SMGs are just a
longer standard magazine. Unfortunately, though Extended
Mags give you a longer combat firing time, they also
substantially increase the bulk and mass of the weapon,
and thus reduce the concealability. Conversely, shortened
magazines are also available that may enhance
COST: Multiply base magazine cost by the ratio of New Capacity/Standard Capacity. Larger capacity mags (50+ rds) will typically be of the Drum type. Round cost to the nearest $5.
AVAILABILITY: 3+ (pistols), 4+ (others). Varies by caliber & size.
Example: Joe Delinquent is looking for an extended magazine for his 11mm pistol (12rd, $20) and his shiny new 9mm SMG (30rd, $30). He finds a 20rd magazine for his pistol, and a 50rd drum mag for the SMG. The 20rd pistol mag costs 20x(20/12)=$33, rounding to $35. The 50rd drum mag costs 30x(50/30)=$50.
RIFLE GRENADE ADAPTER:
Available in a number of calibers, these adapters allow for the firing of any of a number of varieties of launched grenades that utilize some form of bullet-trap system. More expensive rifle grenades also include a secondary rocket-propulsion system for extended range.
AVAILABILITY: 5 (Not usually available to civilians)
The Bayonet Lug allows for the attachment of any of a number of varieties of bayonets to a rifle. The most popular bayonets are either a spike (counts all armor (hard & soft) as 1/2 value, but only AD+3), or the more common knife blade (Soft armor as 1/2). The actual bayonet itself costs and acts as a combat knife, adding an additional +2 to the DM when attacking with the bayonet (while attached to the rifle). Monoedged and vibroblade bayonets are also available.
|Towards the end of the 20th Century,
Heckler & Koch began producing a special accessory
for their venerable MP5K series of submachineguns. The
two original designs, a hard-sided briefcase and a
soft-sided attache case were designed in order to hold a
MP5K or KA, an additional 30rd magazine, a cleaning kit,
and most importantly, both allowed for the firing of the
SMG while concealed within the case. The briefcase
version has a trigger mechanism and safety in the handle.
Unfortunately, the rate of fire had to be selected while
the case was open. The weapon then fired through a
special shutter in the side of the briefcase. The attache
case is designed with a large slit in one side, large
enough for the firer to slip his arm inside to grip the
weapon and fire normally. Both the briefcase and attache
case were also designed with a quick-release clamp, for
rapid removal of the weapon proper.
These accessories, though unique, became highly popular, especially with VIP escort teams. Over the next several decades, many SMG manufacturers began developing similar systems. As technology advanced to memory polymers, smartchips, and more, these "briefcase gun" kits used the advancing technology to their models.
COST: 2x weapon cost, or ~$500 for the soft-sided case, and up to $2000 for the hard-sided case (not including weapon). Additional "goodies" like smartlinking and memory plastic shutters will increase this cost.
Other more integrated Briefcase Guns exist. See SMG section for details.