Guns, Bullets and, well Shots

I'm filling up this forum with inane questions I know...

I'm wondering if this is a matter of style or not.

In one sequence of say 11
If Player A is shooting at a Mook with, lets say a 9mm on Shot 11 and rolls enough to take him out (Guns 14 Positive 5 Negative 1 vs Mook DV 7) - for the purposes of book keeping has Player A used one bullet from his clip even if he wishes to describe the event in elaborate detail using multiple bullets or if he's described shooting the Mook 4 times, on his next shot of 8 is he now 4 bullets down?

Reasoning: A single bullet will easily put down a Mook 9 out of 10 times. However, action films show our Heroes firing 4 or 5 times into one unnamed Mook. However, Player A wouldn't want to actually waste that many bullets when there'll be more Mooks to kill.

Hope this makes sense...
Am I missing an obvious rule somewhere?

It's all down to how the GM wants to play it. Reloading is no great chore much of the time, so enforcing the literal number of bullets to match the description doesn't handicap the players too much. On the other hand, if the players are likely to be stuck in a mindset where they really don't want even a slight disadvantage, being more generous will get the blood pumping the way you want it to.

TBH, the ammunition rules are probably some of the weakest core rules for Feng Shui, so feel free to house rule them all away if you need to.

I think then I might ask the players to go for style over disadvantage. It would make more sense for the character to shoot a mook with 3 or 4 bullets, even when 1 would do the job and they would have to spent a shot reloading. Not for realism sake, but for "hong kong action realism sake".

After all, I would prefer that my kung-fu fighters used fists as well as kicks, even though kicking can do an extra +1 damage against an named npc..

How do you rule it?

I generally leave the players to track their own bullets and don't much care how they do so.

I think I'd do that for large scale fights to keep the book keeping light.

To continue along similar lines...

I take it that a character firing at a named character can fire multiple times at that character in a single shot to attempt to damage him more - for eg.

a players gun holds 5 rounds before reloading, thus the character can make, as a combat stunt, 5 attacks against that named character each attack increasing in an increment of 1 up to -6 AV as then they would need to reload. (as a stunt the first attack would be at -2, that's why the 5th would be -6?)

if this is the case, is there any reason that a martial artist couldn't make such an attack per shot, say if they were wanting to kick the same opponent with a three kick round houses. Obviously there's no reloading with MA rolls, but I guess there would get to a -AV that it would get a bit pointless to keep trying in the same shot. - or would you limit the amount of times they could do this with a house rule?

I feel I'm bringing the Feng Shui forum alive again with my refusal to "just go with the flow [of chi]" and question everything :smiley: :laughing:

The multiple target rules are generally for multiple targets rather than beating on just one; I'm pretty sure the rules as written aren't intended to allow that. After all, there would be no benefit to Both Guns Blazing if anyone could pop out 2 shots at once with only a -2 penalty, and it would conflict with the autofire rules.

In general, the only way to increase the damage from a gun is to use a schtick, KACHINK a shotgun, or use the autofire rules. To make more attacks one after the other, you need to take snapshots (-2 to reduce an attack to a 2 shot action, -5 to reduce it to a 1 shot action).

The flavour of the attack, for guns or martial arts, can be whatever the player wants it to be- a succession of roundhouse kicks or what have you.

Letting players get off extra attacks or increase the damage in other ways can often hose the Gun Schtick and Fu Power rules.

Then I think the best way to run it would be as you said previously, let the players keep their own tabs on ammo

  • which for my game would really equate to letting the player shoot an opponent x amount of times in 1 shot, counting only as one bullet spent in that clip for book keeping purposes - after all it does no extra damage to named opponents and is unnecessary for a single Mook. This way it "might" be likely that they will have to spend a shot/s reloading but probably only once during a fight.

I'd go a step further and just agree that each attack is however many trigger pulls it needs to be, but for the sake of ammo tracking, it is just 1 "bullet" (unless using the rules requiring multiple shots for autos), which I'd think of more as 1 "barrage", which might be 1, 2 or 3 bullets. It doesn't matter because they all have the same mechanical effect, and the actual number is just for color and irrelevant, which I justify by saying that you can also grab that old standby that action heroes use, the "Tardis Pistol", where they fire more bullets than the gun actually holds, so a hero can go into a fight with 15 bullets and come out of it somehow having used 19.

Past this, I myself tend to handwave ammo completely unless something hinges on it. While I agree it can introduce some variety if a PC runs out of ammo or needs to reload or something, overall, I might add that in as a fiat if I felt it necessary, but don't like tracking ammo or for players to scramble for rules and equipment lists and mentally recount or read their erased smudges to try to reconcile how many shots they've fired - it simply isn't worth all that to me and to me sets the wrong tone of miserly preserving and constantly buying and stocking up on ammo, which I still think of more as role playing shopping, not particularly enthralling.

I usually treat reloading the same way in a pinch, though I try to keep it somewhat realistic by requiring a PC to be hiding behind something, spend a shot or something or even forgo an attack in order to reload, if ammo is vital - but most of the time, I just assume PC's are carrying spare and are reloading in the various lulls in action and there's no real need to introduce something as mundane as counting beans in a cinematic firefight.

Now, one thing I have toyed with is the idea of an Ammo Roll, which might be called for either when I feel like it (which I'd try to be halfway reasonable as to when it might be necessary) or when a PC's roll is particularly bad (or maybe even good), signaling essentially "emptying the clip" into an enemy, either in a sudden mass or hail of bullets, or as that last single bullet that leads to "click! click! click!" in the middle of combat, causing the PC to (retroactively) realize he hadn't reloaded lately.

My general idea for ammo is that each "typical" amount of ammo in a gun gets a certain die or dice or even die type, so a gun that holds 12 rounds (just for example), has maybe "rounds/5 or rounds/6 = Ammo Dice" or 2 in this case. So a PC with a gun that holds 12 bullets has an Ammo of 2D6. When an Ammo Roll is called for, every roll of 3 or 4 causes no change and is ignored, a roll of 1 (or 1-2 if you want) temporarily reduces the Ammo by 1D6, but every 6 (or 5-6) raises it (only for the sake of counteracting the low rolls). So if you get a 1 and a 2, Ammo in our example gun drops from 2D6 to 0 - when this happens, it means the gun has run out of bullets (or jammed or broken depending on the situation) and needs to be reloaded before it can be used again. I suppose you could use this to keep track of ammo in a less finicky way; your gun might be reduced from 2D6 to 1D6, making it more likely to run out at a later time, until it is reloaded, with "ammo" being changed from a static or set number, such as 19 in an auto pistol, to say 4D6.

A variation on this is that the dice rolled are summed instead of read individually, with the target number for any gun being Ammo Dice x 3, so a 2D6 Ammo gun needs a roll of 6+ or it runs out, a 3D6 needs 9+, etc; in this way, there is no +1/-1 step ups/downs or subtracting dice - either you roll a 6+ and have ammo, or you don't, and don't. Same works with arrows and I guess with a little extra suspension of disbelief, even shurikens and knives.

Either way, I still much prefer this method to actually tracking ammo, as I'd rather deal with ammo when and if it becomes an issue by virtue of popping up significantly, not MAKE it an issue by counting every shell. One last modification to these Ammo rules is that instead of being completely out, a PC knows he has ONE shot left, allowing for the gritty or dramatic scene where he has to figure out what to do with it, how to maximize its usefulness, before he is left without a firearm, so this doesn't just sneak up on a PC and catch him completely unaware every time. You could even gradiate this, like say in the 1-2/5-6 step rule, your Ammo actually drops to -1, you would be OUT of ammo right then, but if it only fell to 0 you still have one shot left, or with the summing Ammo x 3 roll, your "1 left" range is the target number -1 (6 - 1 = 5 in our example) down to that same number (5) minus the number of dice, with a minimum "totally out" result being essentially rolling all 1's - so on 2D6, with a "plenty" target number of 6+, a roll of 5 to 3 (5 - 2 for 2D6 = 3) is "one left", and a roll of 2 on your 2D6 Ammo roll is "oh crap, I'm out!". So the "safe but only one shot left" range for 1D6 is 2 (1 is an "out" result), 2D6 is 3-5 (2 is "out"), 3D6 is 5-8 (3-4 is "out") and 4D6 is 7-11 (4-6 is "out").

I realize this essentially invalidates all the Schticks and rules dealing with ammo, which is really just fine with me, as I already discounted them when I first saw them, knowing I wouldn't be using them, and have adjusted characters and abilities appropriately since then, so there is no need to get used to a different way of doing things, for me.

Cool - yeah I have found that for sake of style my player is shooting 5 times at x person in a shot - but that it only counts as one bullet, if we're tracking bullets for the sake of book keeing.

I laughed out loud at "Tardis Pistol", but you're right, that's exactly what they are - esp. films like Hardboiled.

I like the idea of ammo roll, though I think I'd have to re-read what you've posted a couple of times (it's probably simple but went over my head - I call this a distinct lack of sleep on my part and a keen supply of coffee, no fault of yours)

I do like to keep half an eye on bullets - although I tend to ask my players to do this. I have found though that my players tend to use handguns a lot more than anything else due to style over sub[machinegun]stance, most of them take schticks that reduce reloading so ammo is only ever an issue if they're trying to get more bullets out in a shot then is in their gun (which at around 10-15 isn't really a problem).

I wouldn't want to get rid of reloading schticks though because if we're going with what's in the core only (for sake of argument and getting a new group playing quickly) there aren't a lot of gun schticks as it is - and "both guns blazing" is, well it's just rubbish - so keeping the schticks at least gives the gun bunnies of my group a bit of variety rather than 3 exact copies of one another.

I actually kind of wanted some feedback on the Ammo Roll idea so I'd like to elaborate here if it is alright.

Normal Revolver: holds about 6 bullets. Dividing this by 5 or 6 and rounding a bit, we get 1, so Ammo of 1D6.
Bow and arrow: quiver holds 10 arrows. Works out to 2D6 Ammo.
Big Auto Pistol: holds about... let's say about 20? 4D6 Ammo.
I guess there is bigger but this still works the same way, though I didn't really figure up 30 or so bullets in one gun, so it's a lot of dice to roll.

When either the GM feels appropriate or an attack roll gets flubbed (no particular range setup for this, but a spectacularly bad "miss" [or also "hit"?] with the weapon), an Ammo Roll must be made. The number of Ammo Dice for the weapon is rolled, so a Revolver is 1D6, an Auto Pistol is 4D6.

If you use the Step Method, for every 1 (or 1 and 2 if feeling like making it hard for PC's to keep ammo), temporarily subtract 1 from however many Ammo Dice the gun has to get the Running Ammo Total, and for every 6 (or 5 to 6 if feeling generous), add 1 to the current Running Ammo Total - if the end result is 0 or maybe 0 to -1 (again, if feeling generous) then the gun is almost out and has "one shot left". If it is lower than the "one shot left" range, then it is immediately completely out of ammo, so it IS possible to be caught totally unaware of being out, but it isn't as likely as noticing there's only one shot left. Mid-range rolls between the positive and negative adjustments, usually 3 to 4, cause no change in Running Ammo Total, and an ending Running Ammo Total above the gun's original dice is ignored.

If you use the Target Number method, multiply the number of Ammo Dice for the weapon by 3 to get the Target Number, so the Auto Pistol's Target Number is 4D6 (4) x 3 = 12. The player rolls 4 dice and if he doesn't get 12 or higher, he is potentially out of Ammo - if he does make the roll, he's fine. If he misses the roll, it needs to be determined if the result is "one shot left" or "outta ammo". Subtract 1 from the Target Number for the upper band (12 in this example, minus 1 is 11). The lower band is the upper band minus the number of Ammo Dice the weapon has. So if you have an 11 upper band, as in this case, you subtract 4 (for 4D6) from that to get 7 for the lower band, meaning the "one shot left" range is 7 to 11. A roll below 7 is "outta ammo", and I think you could reasonably say this makes some sense, that it would be more likely to run out of ammo without paying attention with larger capacity weapons, as you are more used to pulling the trigger many more times than smaller weapons, before reloading.

You always have a minimum range of 1 for every category, of "Safe" (or "Plenty"), "One Shot Left" and "Outta Ammo".

Normal Revolver: Ammo of 1D6.
Step Method: Running Ammo Total of 0 = One Shot Left. Running Ammo Total of -1 or less = Outta Ammo.
Target Number Method: Safe range is 3+. One Shot Left range of a roll of 2, Outta Ammo range of a roll of 1.

Bow and arrow: 2D6 Ammo.
Step Method: Running Ammo Total of 0 = One Shot Left. Running Ammo Total of -1 or less = Outta Ammo.
Target Number Method: Safe range is 6+. One Shot Left range of 3-5, Outta Ammo range of a roll of 2.

Big Auto Pistol: 4D6 Ammo.
Step Method: Running Ammo Total of 0 = One Shot Left. Running Ammo Total of -1 or less = Outta Ammo.
Target Number Method: Safe range is 12+. One Shot Left range of 7-11, Outta Ammo range of a roll of 4-6.

I suppose if you wanted to fiddle with stuff even with the Target Number method, you could even adjust each gun's Plenty/Safe range, so instead of needing a 6+ for a 2D6 weapon, you might need a 7+ (Ammo Dice +1) for some reason that the GM would come up with, etc.

I think I get it, and here is a great place to post it - after all I'd like to see the forum alive again (rather than me just asking Queex for answers to rules questions :mrgreen: )

I wonder though how often in your games, with the rules you've set out, you would be making an ammo roll, or enough ammo rolls to justify the use of the house rules - which whilst they seem fine, do seem to add a more D6 style mechanic (like West End Games D6 sorta I guess) to Feng Shui's very simple positive negative mechanic making the lite system a little heavier - or perhaps asking the players to have to remember more rules unless the GM wants to make the ammo rolls.

But all in all, I do like the idea of an ammo roll. You can roll it if you get box cars - if your GM decides your gun hasn't jammed he might allow you to make an ammo roll, that kind of thing?

Yes, more or less, I do see your point in making it more consistent with the underlying +/- dice mechanic of FS. A very, very good idea and approach and I agree with you about introducing a 'foreign" dice roll mechanic being just one more extra thing to deal with.

So perhaps a roll like a normal skill roll I suppose?

So everyone would have an Ammo Check using the gun's Ammo Rating (I suppose you could just use the gun's book-listed "Clip" ammo as AV - a revolver would have a 6?) against an appropriate Target Number, which might be between 6 or 7 (Tricky: pick basic lock, trail unwary person, etc) to 10 (Tough: outrun dog, pick adv. lock, surprise guard, etc.), Difficulty Rating wise? So you'd roll the normal FS action roll and add in the gun's Ammo AV and try to meet or exceed the target number.

Not sure if higher capacity weapons would have higher ratings or target numbers, I haven't looked at the Ammo Roll from the FS die mechanic angle, though I'm not sure why, exactly. I suppose it could, overall, be easier to run out of bullets with smaller weapons, and less likely with larger ones, since you just plain have more ammo, so those weapons' Ammo AV will be higher (I think 12-15 ought to be the absolute max though), and may not run out very easily unless the Target Number changes either by GM fiat or depending on weapon, so for a full auto pistol of say 15 AV, the TN might be 16-18 maybe? Nahh I think I'd do Ammo AV for each weapon more sequentially, maybe a 5 or 6 for a revolver, but no matter how big it goes to for bigger weapons, it still won't get to maybe 12 or so, to keep the "universal TN" static and easily memorizable.

In fact I guess you could even have an Ammo-Conscious schtick or something, where you get a bonus on your Ammo Check AV, because your character tends to pay more attention to how many shells he's got, and maybe NEVER has the gun totally run out on him without knowing - so even a horribly failed check still gives him One Shot Left?

I am liking this Ammo Roll idea incorporated organically into the system, using the native dice roll and check mechanic. First rate observation, thanks!

My D6 use is from my own personal preference for full D6 rolls, either pool/step method or summing - I just like kinda "normal" D6 rolls - I'm not really fond of FS's +/- mechanic but I understand the intent, and the appropriateness of the binary system for the genre, but it's not my "go-to" mechanic.

I give the players level 3 of Lightning reload. I don't think keeping track of the bullets bring anything to the game. Instead, I tend to describe a missed roll as "It says »click«" and a botched roll as "You've used up all your ammo".

Anyway, in my GMing style, I tend to seperate "description" from "mechanics". If someone is describing how that person is laying down on the ground while shooting, I don't care. The person could stand up instead. "If you can do it the easy way, then you can do it the hard way". The end result in the mechanics is the same; you shoot at someone!

In this example, as a rule, it's one bullet per target. You can describe it as you knock the person with the gun, that you execute the person with a point blank shot ("Dodge this!") or that you fire several times into the body. The description of the action doesn't have to simulate what the mechanics says. It's good if it does, but it's more stimulating to the imagination if the players bend the description around what actually happens. "Someone dies, describe how."

I really like this old thread of mine, and thought this following question was reasonably near to what I am going to ask anyway (as well as a pretty good reference tool to have in the first page of the forum :stuck_out_tongue:).

Both Guns Blazing as a Gun Schtick is a bit rubbish really isn't it?
If you agree, how would you/do you house rule it?

EDIT: I did find the following on Both Guns Blazing from an online FAQ. What do people think of the answers?


Do you need Both Guns Blazing to shoot with pistols in each hand? Do you need it to shoot more than one target with both pistols? And what good is it, since the AV penalty can make it do less damage than a single pistol? What if I use different pistols?

Shooting with pistols in each hand is just a matter of style. Anyone with Guns can do it, as long as the weapons are small enough to be carried that way. There are no special penalties associated with this. However, you only do damage from one gun, not both. If the guns do different damage, use the higher of the two.
You can also shoot more than one target at a time with guns in each hand, using the standard stunt penalty (-X AV, where X is the number of targets you want to shoot).

What Both Guns Blazing allows you to do is shoot a target with both guns and do more damage. Against high Big Bruiser type characters, BGB sometimes won't do more damage ... if you're using low damage guns. It has been suggested that BGB, with BFGs like the Desert Eagles, and Signature Weapons can overcome this. If the guns do different damage, add it together, rather than multiplying by 2.


Danny Lee doesn't have Both Guns Blazing, and he's carrying a Berreta in each hand. He shoots Happy Cheung with both guns, getting an outcome of 1. He does (DAM 10 - 10 TGH + 1) 1 WP.

Chow Yun Fat has Both Guns Blazing and two Berretas. He shoots Happy, getting an outcome of 1 (harder to do, with the -2AV). He does (10+10 - 10x2 + 1) 1 WP.

Sly has a signature Desert Eagle .50, and a signature Colt M1911A1. He shoots Happy with an outcome of 1 and does (15 - 10 + 1) 6 WP.
Arnie has a signature Desert Eagle .50, and a signature Colt M1911A1 and BGB. He shoots Happy with an outcome of 1 and does (15+13 - 10x2 + 1) 9 WP.

The official rationalization is: if you buy BGB, you look cool doing it. Therefore, it is effective.

The FAQ answer is what Robin said on the mailing list years ago in a couple of emails when asked about BGB.

2 things that aren't mentioned in the FAQ is that you can take BGB at multiple levels. This can negate the -2 AV penalty and even turn it into a AV bonus depending on the level of BGB.

Using BGB lets you know the Toughness of your opponet. The GM is required to reveal that with just a simple gun shot.

Combinig BGB with Signature Weapon and other schticks can turn it into a very usefull sctick. Think of having a high level of BGB, using a signaure weapons, and add in Carnival of Carnage and you can pump a ton of bullets into one target quickly. Add 10,000 Bullets if you need to deal with multiple opponets.

Keeping track of the shoots remaining in a gun isn't a problem. Using diffrent sided dice or ammo record sheets, like in the old Morrow Project RPG, seems to be the way to go.

Most players who don't have Lightining Reload at level 3 in my games tend to carry 2 clips for pistols and 3 or 4 for other weapons and just reload those in between scenes. That is usually enough for most fights.

The movie logic reason that Robin gave for BGB and why speedloaders aren't effective shows up in a lot of the questions that got asked why something was designed that way in FS.

thanks for the reply.
My problem was (though I have ways around it) not actually keeping track of the number of bullets left in a gun, I think that's reasonably easy (no more difficult then keeping note of shot count really), rather getting around the amount of bullets being shot in a single shot.

For example, if a player shoots several bullets in one shot for dramatic purposes (i.e. "I slide on the dinner tray down the stairs shooting my gun a dozen times into the mook a the bottom of the stairs") that doesn't actually do any more damage/effect. For this I would only ask my players to remove 1 bullet from their guns as it would a) sound pretty cool (rather than "I fire my gun once at the mook at the bottom of the stairs in order to conserve my ammo total") b) not actually do anything more than take out one mook. - a bit like not putting in the -2 stunt cost if the overall effect isn't anything more than taking out one mook.

If I didn't do it this way players would not bother shooting more than one bullet per shot as it would lead to a lack of bullets for no extra effect.

Hope that makes sense. The house is very loud near Christmas what with the kids...makes it hard to concentrate. :stuck_out_tongue:

just to clarify, when I say "several shots in one shot" I am meaning, "fires his gun several times in his turn where his turn equals 3 shots of time".
Blah, no sleep at this time of year!

I agree. In another game system I play (yes, I know, a different one!), I've settled on ammo "levels" - Full/Plenty, Some, Low and One Shot Left (and of course, Out). When you make a very bad roll (initiative or hit, depending on the situation), you reduce your ammo level, so keeping a d4 on the table works fine, but otherwise I don't worry about ammo in the least, and even this is more for people that just HAVE to know ammo - most gunfire actually involves multiple shots anyway and not just the ONE shot you hit or missed with anyway, so I play loose with it - one thing I was always surprised FS was such a stickler about.

So all my ammo stuff is done in "reloads" and not in individual bullets - all "reloads" start at "Full/Plenty", whether it's a six shot revolver or an AK. If you wanted, you could have a modifier to the roll depending on the person's Guns score, showing people with a higher score tend to be better at conserving their ammo or something but meh.