Pacesetter System Weapon Damage Options

Wherein your humble scribe presents some alternate combat rules for Pacesetter System™ games such as Cryptworld, Majus, and Rotworld. These options originally appeared in the CHILL supplement Creature Feature, so the credit for their creation goes to Mark Acres (though I have expanded things a bit to cover some of the weapons not covered in the old rules). I’m just sharing them since that supplement is long out of print. FYI, I’m not handling making these OGC or anything, so use ’em in your own games as you like, but publish them at your own peril.

One of the complaints about combat in Pacesetter System games is that all of the weapons resolve their damage the exact same way. For players who grew up before variable weapon damage became the norm, this isn’t really an issue. But for folks who really like to see a longsword do more damage than a dagger or a .45 bullet do more damage than a thrown axe this can be off-putting. So here are a couple of options to address those concerns.

Missile Combat

With this option, the defense column used to resolve the outcome of an missile attack is determined by the weapon used, not by the roll of a single d10. The defender can still spend up to 2 Luck points to modify the final column used, though. The list below shows the weapon type (or bullet caliber) followed by the defense column to use in parentheses.

  • Axe/Tomahawk (8)
  • Dagger/Knife (7)
  • Javelin (8)
  • Shuriken (6)
  • Spear (6)
  • Grenade (4)
  • Boomerang (7)
  • Blowgun (9)
  • Bola (9)
  • Sling (6)
  • Antique pistol (6)
  • Shotgun, less than 25 ft (2)
  • Shotgun, greater than 25 ft (5)
  • .22 bullet (5)
  • .357/.38/9mm bullet (4)
  • .45 bullet (3)
  • Arquebus (4)
  • Musket (5)
  • Dragoon musket (4)
  • Photon Rifle (2)
  • Crossbow (6)
  • Longbow (6)
  • Shortbow (7)
  • Laser Pistol (3)
  • Laser Rifle (3)

Putting this option into play will likely change the way in which characters spend Luck a bit, since the defense column is known in advance. Expect to see a lot of players spending Luck when facing a shotgun up close.

Automatic Fire

When using the above option, an adjustment must be made to the rules when a fully-automatic weapon is fired on full auto. When this happens, ignore the existing modifiers and rules for automatic fire as well as all modifiers for “target’s declared action” or situation. Instead, calculate the number of targets within the burst area and assign the number of hits as follows:

  • If 1there are 10 or fewer targets, divide the number of shots in the burst (default is 10) but the number of targets (dropping fractions) and the resulting number is the number of bullets that hit each target.
  • If there are more targets than the number of bullets in a burst (by default, that means 11 targets), have each target roll percentile dice. The targets who roll highest, up to the number in the burst, are each struck with a single bullet. The remaning low-rolling targets are missed by the bullets in the burst.

Each hit then resolves as normal for this option (i.e., against the column specified by caliber of bullet fired).

Melee Combat

With this option, the defense column is determined normally (i.e., based on defender’s skill unless surprised) but is then modified up or down based on the weapon being used by the attacker. Check the list below, which shows the weapon being used followed by the modification to the defense column in parentheses. If you don’t find the weapon in question in the list, go with something close to it.

  • Blackjack (+2)
  • Dagger/Knife (+0)
  • Longsword (-2)
  • Short sword (-1)
  • Rapier (-1)
  • Two-handed sword (-3)
  • Club (+0)
  • Mace (-1)
  • Hand axe (-1)
  • Battle axe (-3)
  • Spear (-2)
  • Nunchaku (-2)

A Note On Called Shots

If using either or both of the above options, a change must be made to the process of determining the results of a called shot. Check both the “new” column as determined by these options and the “original” column based on the core rules (either by rolling a d10 for missile combat or by looking at the unmodified defense column for melee combat). If a “C” appears in either of these columns, the called shot succeeds. Otherwise, resolve the effect of the attack using the “new” column.

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