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> Black-powder era weapons?
kelvingreen
post Jul 31 2005, 05:34 AM
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Hello all. Does anyone know of any fairly well tested rules for black powder era weaponry in Shadowrun, specifically 2nd or 3rd ed?
I've got a NERPS book lying around with twentieth century firearms in it, but want to go earlier than that, and I'm after some stats and rules for flintlocks, blunderbusses (blunderbi?;)) and muskets and the like. Any ideas?
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Tziluthi
post Jul 31 2005, 06:12 AM
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Prolly wouldn't be too hard to make up. Actually, I take that back.

For one, the power would be variable, depending on the amount of powder used to pack the barrel. I couldn't say where to put the damage level. L or M, depending on the size of the shot. Obviously, you would have to spend considerable time loading and reloading the weapon, maybe a complex action to put the ball in, and another to pack the powder charge. That and you might consider making it considerably harder to score a hit (that is, if the barrel isn't rifled, even then you might consider a modifier because of the low quality of the weapon.)

Is that any help?
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Crusher Bob
post Jul 31 2005, 08:02 AM
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It depends on what era of black powder weapons you wanted to model:

If you are going to make heavy use of black powder weapons, an extra skill, that speeds reloading times (like athletics and running?) is probably in order.

Note that black powder won’t fire once it gets wet.

percussion cap with paper cartridge (American Civil war, Franco Prussian War):
Pistols: 6 shot revolvers are available, are generally reliable and would do 6 or 7 M.
They are a bitch to reload though, taking maybe 40? complex actions to reload each chamber of the cylinder. It is possible to carry ‘extra’ pre-loaded cylinders, though this typically reduced the (already questionable) accuracy and reduce reliability to 'poor'. (Parts are still not fully interchangeable and black powder makes a mess of the comparatively complex action of a revolver.)

Effective range is 50 feet or less.

Rifles: Damage: ‘Standard combat rifles’ maybe 7S, taking around 5? Complex actions to reload.

Note that these are actual rifles, in that they spin the bullet for stability. Their effective range is usually in the 600 to 800 meter range.

‘Big game’ rifles are also available, firing bigger bullets with more powder behind them. These would do 8D? or there abouts.

Flintlock (Age of piracy, America Revolutionary war, French Revolution)

Pistols: Single shot pistols are generally available. Effective range ~20 feet, damage maybe 6M.

Rifles: Actual rifles may be available, but they are difficult to manufacture, and not standard issue:

Flintlock Rifle:
Damage: 6-7S
Range: 300 Meters
Prior to the invention of the Minnie Ball (18??), rifles were quite tedious to reload. 15? complex actions

Smoothbore musket
Damage: 7M
Effective Range: ~100 feet
Much easier to produce, maintain, and reload, smooth bore muskets stayed around for some time after the invention of the rifle.
Reload time 10? Complex actions.

Matchlock (3 Musketeers, Japanese Civil War)
Matchlocks take a complex action to fire

Pistols are pretty rare, mostly because its not worth keeping a match burning for the thing. Wheel-lock pistols may be available to the rich, treat them like flintlock pistols, but less reliable.

Matchlock musket:
Damage 6-7M
Effective Range 50-100 feet.
Reload Time: 10? Complex Actions
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Snow_Fox
post Jul 31 2005, 04:10 PM
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I like your take on 18th century smooth bores. I have considerable experience with flint locks and dog locks(a step between flint locks and match locks) Withsome one really good, 6 shots per minute is an awesome rate of fire. experience people in general 4 shots. at best light pistol range. smooth bore weapons fire soft lead bullets. A brown bess fires a .75 soft lead bullet. Once it hits something it is down. allow double knockdown strength. half ballistic armor rating.

A roll of "1" would mean the flint has worn too much to get a spark, 50% chance you can tamp it to a new edge- about 30 seconds, if not, change the flint, 2 minutes minimum. game over.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Jul 31 2005, 04:42 PM
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QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
A brown bess fires a .75 soft lead bullet. [...] half ballistic armor rating.

Surely you don't mean making this particular weapon "Armor Piercing"? Because large caliber, slow velocity, and a soft, blunt projectile are the exact opposite of what makes a firearm pierce armor well. Did you mean double ballistic armor?

Not that it matters when the heaviest personal armor of those days (ie. plate) provides one or two points of Ballistic Armor on the SR3 scale.
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Cain
post Jul 31 2005, 05:45 PM
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I'd just adapt the street sweeper rules from CC. Those are essentially black-powder weapons; you can simply adjust the effect based on the type of ammo you use.
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kelvingreen
post Jul 31 2005, 05:55 PM
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QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
A brown bess fires a .75 soft lead bullet. [...] half ballistic armor rating.

Surely you don't mean making this particular weapon "Armor Piercing"? Because large caliber, slow velocity, and a soft, blunt projectile are the exact opposite of what makes a firearm pierce armor well. Did you mean double ballistic armor?

Yeah, this would be my next question; would you need to adjust armour ratings against these older weapons? I doubt a pellet from a flintlock rifle would be as effective against SR-era armour as a bullet from an assault rifle would be.

As for the specific era I'm after information on, the flintlock/piracy era is close enough. Somewhere in the 1500s to 1600s range. I'm not striving for major historical accuracy.

This is all good information, thanks!
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kelvingreen
post Jul 31 2005, 06:05 PM
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QUOTE (Cain)
I'd just adapt the street sweeper rules from CC.  Those are essentially black-powder weapons; you can simply adjust the effect based on the type of ammo you use.

So it is. I hadn't noticed that, assuming that the Street Sweeper was simply the name of the crap shotgun that no one wanted from SR1/2, when in fact in SR3, it's become a DIY blunderbuss. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Jul 31 2005, 07:31 PM
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QUOTE (kelvingreen)
I doubt a pellet from a flintlock rifle would be as effective against SR-era armour as a bullet from an assault rifle would be.

Firing the ammunition they were designed to fire, you're absolutely right. They'd penetrate about as well as modern handguns firing deforming rounds, ie very poorly. Using double the Ballistic value would not be out of the question.

A 16th-17th century musket might barely manage the same kind of ballistics as a rather low-power .44 Magnum load, and even the most powerful .44 Magnum loads firing blunt lead bullets (lead wadcutters to be specific) are easily defeated by the most common forms of body armor vests used in 2005. By the 2060s, all body armor meant to provide any protection whatsoever against firearms would completely defeat any blackpowder small arm firing lead projectiles.
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Crusher Bob
post Aug 1 2005, 03:24 AM
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The problem you run into with SR armor is its abstraction. A musket ball to the face is still deadly. Adding one or two to modern armor values would probably work ok, but doubling them might be a bit excesive.

A black powder buffalo rifle is still a small arm. While plenty of modern armor would stop the bullet itself, I'd worry about backface deformation limits.

The percussion cap era rifles are actually pretty deadly, the relatively heavy, large diameter bullet (usually .5 to .6 inches in diameter) and the good velocity obtained from a good gas seal in the barrel (courtesy the expanding minnie ball) makes them pretty effective at killing stuff.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Aug 1 2005, 04:17 AM
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You already have doubled Ballistic (or whichever is the highest rating) against for example guns firing "Glazer" ammunition, and there's "Hollow Point" ammunition which goes against Ballistic + Impact. Blunt lead bullets will penetrate about as poorly as hollowpoint rounds.

If you want to make sure these weapons are still effective at killing stuff in game, give them high enough Damage Codes. A 19th century blackpowder rifle firing lead bullets could easily be given a base DC of 9S (on par with .308 and shotgun slugs) and then handled as if it fired Hollow Point rounds, which means it'd do 12S against unarmored targets, 10S against armored, adding together Ballistic + Impact.

QUOTE (Crusher Bob)
A black powder buffalo rifle is still a small arm. While plenty of modern armor would stop the bullet itself, I'd worry about backface deformation limits.

Since 19th century rifles could (nearly?) match shotgun slug ballistics, I would too. Actually, not much point in worrying, it's pretty obvious that level III-A would not be rated against any of the more powerful rifles of that era. However, 16th-17th century muskets were not quite as powerful, and I would not be surprised if body armor technology advanced as much in 60 years as firearm technology advanced in 150 back then.
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Crusher Bob
post Aug 1 2005, 04:57 AM
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From what I can tell with some googling, typicall buffalo rifle loads were from 375 grain bullets at ~1475 fps to 525 grain bullets at ~1200 fps.
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Raygun
post Aug 1 2005, 05:34 AM
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What Aus said.
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Snow_Fox
post Aug 1 2005, 11:32 AM
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I'll stand by my statement. flintlocks were not so much penetrating power but kenetic energy. Even if it does not penetrate the ballistic weave that is a heck of a lock of power that will go through the weave into the body. Broken ribs will create their own shrapnel within the body.

Remember hearing about all those amputation doctors did in the civli war? It wasn't because the doctors didn't know how to set broken bones, the kenetic energy shattered the bones. Modern bullets which pentrat a limb and hit a bone make a neat break and keep going. Kenetic energy from the soft black powder weapons shatter bones, There is nothing to set. Healthy limb one minute becomes a maraca the next.
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Lindt
post Aug 1 2005, 02:17 PM
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Either way, I wouldent want to get shot at by one, unless I was safely hiding behind a rather thick building. I have a .75 cal Brown Bell musket ball on a chain, and its well heavier then most anything short of BFG automatic stuff. Snow has it dead on, it was never ment to go though armor, it was ment to blast fist sized holes in people by shear concussive force of impact.

But Id be interested to see a balistics jello test with a musket like that....
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Austere Emancipa...
post Aug 1 2005, 04:43 PM
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The "Brown Bess" (Short Land Service Musket (new pattern) 1768) fired a .71" diameter lead ball, weighing 1oz, at about 1200fps, creating 1399ft-lbs of kinetic energy at the muzzle.

A 12G 2-3/4" shotgun can fire a 1oz, 0.775" slug at about 1600fps, creating 2488ft-lbs of KE at the muzzle.

A common loading for (AFAIK) the most common shotgun around will fire a projectile larger in diameter, just as heavy, that deforms just as readily, and fires it a good bit faster. Depending on the exact construction of the slug, it will create a larger or deeper wound cavity, or both. If stopped by flexible body armor, it will cause blunt trauma much more violent than that caused by the Brown Bess.

Yet shotgun slugs provide no "armor piercing" bonus in Shadowrun. Why might that be? Maybe because they are actually much worse at killing people through armor than other ~8S-10S weapons in the game, like 7.62x51mm rifles.

QUOTE (Lindt)
But Id be interested to see a balistics jello test with a musket like that....

It'd look like this, only with a slightly smaller permanent cavity and a much smaller temporary cavity.

QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
It wasn't because the doctors didn't know how to set broken bones, the kenetic energy shattered the bones. Modern bullets which pentrat a limb and hit a bone make a neat break and keep going. Kenetic energy from the soft black powder weapons shatter bones, There is nothing to set.

Modern military rifle bullets are far more energetic than what muskets managed. It's not the kinetic energy that's shattering those bones, it's the one-ounce, 1" flat lead projectile hitting it at 700-1000fps -- compared to a 0.34oz, 0.3" pointy, solid projectile hitting it at 1500-2500fps. You'd get shattered bones a-plenty with deforming ammunition in those military rifles, only that'd require nullifying/ignoring a few conventions and declarations...
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Lindt
post Aug 1 2005, 07:12 PM
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Allow me to say "Ewwwwww...." Ill keep that .308 in mind next time I dont want to bother to de-bone my fish...
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Birdy
post Aug 2 2005, 10:26 AM
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A short add to CrusherBob:

+ The Franco-Prussian war rifles where breechloaders! Both the Chassepot and the (older and inferior) Prussian Dreyse Rifle had what would soon evolve into the "Mauser Bolt-Action System" Still used a paper cartridge and a long, thin firing pin (hence: Needle rifle) with the cap either at the front[Near bullet] (Dreyse) or back (Chassepot) of the cartridge

+ Paper cartridges for the Revolver where quite different from the "paper cartridge" of a soldier one generation earlier.

- The revolver ones where combustile ammo loaded as a whole, than a cap was added. Relatively fragile but faster to load than poweder & ball using the (sometimes build-in) press.

- The old fashioned ones where just measured amounts of charge powder, sometimes firing powder (finer) and a bullet rolled into paper wadding (bible paper was the best). Bit of one side, pour powder in barrel, drop bullet with paper as wadding

+ There are rifles before the Miniee ball like the Baker rifle of "Sharp" fame. The rifleman needed a small mallet to load, forcing the bullte down the grooves

+ As far back as the Seperatist Uprisings in the British Colonies err US War of Indipendence the British had a breech-loading rifle. Washington escaped being shot by one because the designer/user considered it unfair

+ In the 1830s there was the Hall-Carabine, basically you loaded a chamber that was inserted into the rifle itself

+ Some flintlock pistols had screw-off barells to ease loading

+ The last blackpowder-rifles such as the Martini-Henry or the Mauser 1871 as well as the Henry/Winchester 66 and Winchester 73 used metal cartridges filled with blackpowder. The same is true for the Muzzleloader->Breechloader conversions post War of Northern Aggression/US Civil War like the Enfield-Snider (And a Snider quipped in the jungle) or the Trapdoor Springfield. Quite ugly and powerful weapons.

+ Nitro-Powder (modern gunpowder) comes along in the 1880s (pre 1889) and is a French development.

Birdy
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nezumi
post Aug 2 2005, 02:52 PM
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One thing I did when I ran this way was I dropped Combat Pool. I ran a game in 16th century Italy, so firearms were just beginning to get attention. But no one had cyberware, so you'd only get one initiative pass, and everyone would use ALL their CP on either attacking or dodging, depending on if they got initiative or not. The vast majority of shots simply missed, and it got boring very quickly.

Drop combat pool or rethink the initiative system when running 'past ages' games. The former is easier.
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mmu1
post Aug 2 2005, 03:13 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi)
One thing I did when I ran this way was I dropped Combat Pool. I ran a game in 16th century Italy, so firearms were just beginning to get attention. But no one had cyberware, so you'd only get one initiative pass, and everyone would use ALL their CP on either attacking or dodging, depending on if they got initiative or not. The vast majority of shots simply missed, and it got boring very quickly.

Drop combat pool or rethink the initiative system when running 'past ages' games. The former is easier.

I would think simply increasing the default TN for dodging bullets would have worked better than just getting rid of the combat pool outright. This would adjust for the fact that without smartlinks it's vastly easier to dodge than to hit, as well as for that with muzzle-loaders, there's ussually no second shot per action to worry about.

Also, your description of the action sounds a bit weird... Was every combat a series of one-on-one duels? Because if not, I'd imagine the side that used at least a little bit of tactics would have won by concentrating their fire.
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Snow_Fox
post Aug 3 2005, 03:38 AM
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musket balls usually didn't lose all their shape. I've seen bullet's dug out of hillsdies behind targets and they still have a hemisphere recognizable. They would carry into bodies they hit layers of clothing, often keeping them all together so surgeons could take them out in layers- here's the frock coat, waist coat, shirt....

The damage form these weapons were frightful. the saving grace was that they were wildly inaccurate. At Saratoga (1777) a regiment of British troops fired a volley and not a isngle bullet scored a hit. They then fixed bayonets and chraged, out of frustration more than anything else. The classic tradition of the British army through the 1840's was "Three volleys and in with cold steel"

rifled muskets, a la Sharp, were much more accurate but the grooves made it so slow to reload-1 or 2 shots a minute-that other toops often found it easier to charge them rather than stand and shoot.

there were breech loading cannons as far back as the 1600's but they were considered inferior to muzzle loaders because the mechanics of the time did not lead to good seals. The british army were still using some muzzle loader cannons as late at the 2nd Boaer War c 1898-1901because they were considered more relaible.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Aug 3 2005, 04:18 AM
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QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
musket balls usually didn't lose all their shape.

In that case, the shotgun slug gelatin test linked above depicts a wound cavity wider by far than what a musket ball would do.
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nezumi
post Aug 3 2005, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (mmu1)
Also, your description of the action sounds a bit weird... Was every combat a series of one-on-one duels?

Very close to it. It was a very small party, none of whom were especially combat savvy. So that meant when they encountered the enemy and were firing back, it was usually small groups only. Thanks to poor communication, generally people would pick the easiest target and fire, so no concentrating fire unless they'd planned stuff out beforehand or were close together.

When you have duel-like scenarios and only one complex action before your pool refreshes, use of that pool becomes very, very straightforward and I felt it began to detract from the game. It was easier to say 'are you going defensively, offensively, or some mix?' and add a few die one way or another.
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hyzmarca
post Aug 3 2005, 06:07 PM
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Steel plate armor was used by some soldiers during the US Civil War. Metallurgy had improved considerably since the introduction of the firearm. As a result, a wearable steel plate vest could reliably stop a minnie ball. Unfortunatly, there were also many cheaply made "bulletproof" vests that simply weren't.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Aug 3 2005, 06:34 PM
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Any idea how thick those plates were, and how the steel in them would compare to modern armor steel?
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