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Hartbaine
As a premtive strike against the players I've begun thinking about cutomizing gear and weaponry, ideas and opinions are welcome.

This is what I have so far, please keep in mind this is not in effect in my games, it's just a list of possible ideas... a brainstorm if you will.

+1DV (Custom)

+1 Recoil Comp (Custom or Personal)

-1 AP (Custom)

Perfect Balance (Offsets Two-weapon dice penalty by -1. If character is Ambidextrous and splitting their dice pool they gain +1 dice for each hand.) (Personal or Custom)

Extended Range (1st upgrade +10%, 2nd upgrade +15%, non cumulative. Final range can never be higher than +15%) (Custom)

Custom Grip (+1 Accuracy, but keyed to handedness. Firing a gun made for the left hand in your right will result in a -1 penalty. Ambidexterity does not offset this penalty. It's simply not comfortable to hold.) (Personal or Custom)

Biometric Grip (Only you may fire the weapon, anyone else causes it to automatically remain 'safe') (Personal)

Built in Accessory (Silencer, Gasvent, etc... Makes weapon easier to conceal, GM needs to determine what accessories are fit for what type of weapons.) (Custom or Personal)

Additional Setting (SA/BF/FA. Want a Predator set for Burst Fire? This'll allow it. You may make this mod once and it permits you move one setting up the 'chain' of fire modes. SS/SA/BF/FA. So a SS weapon could be modded to SA but not to BF. This does not grant the weapon any more modes than it already had. So SA would become BF and that is the only way the gun could be fired from that day forward. A weapon that is SA/BF would upgrade to BF/FA. This doesn’t do much weapons that already have a FA function. (Custom or Personal)

Specific Ammunition (The weapon may only fire one specific type of ammo, period. As a result the magazines can hold more ammo. Ammo cap +1/3rd.) (Custom)

The difference between Customizing and Personalizing:

Custom: A customized weapon has been modified to increase its overall performance. Any user may benefit from its bonuses. “Damn, she kicks like a mule, wooohooo!?

Personal: A personal weapon has been tailored to its owner, only the owner may benefit from personal modifications. “No one fires my gun but me. There’s a trick to it.?
A weapon can only handle so much, so there are limits to how many upgrades you can ‘fit’ into a weapon.

Limiting Modification of Weapons
Pistols – Custom 2, Personal 3
Automatics – Custom 1, Personal 2
Longarms – Custom 1, Personal 2
Heavy- Custom 1, Personal 1
Melee- Custom 1, Personal 1
Thrown- Custom 1, Personal 0

Maybe use a capacity for the weapons based on type (not model) and assign a size to each upgrade??

Anyway, that’s what I have so far. Whatcha think?
Cthulhudreams
There probably should be some sort of disadvantage to this - one usually makes a trade off when performing these tweaks. The ultra tricked out pistols you see are normally for target shoots and are very carefully babied so it keeps working.

Edit: Or maybe you could just exchange the ability to mount various weapon assesscories for 'sweet custom mods' so recoil comp is.. one of the forms of recoil comp with different flavour.
Hartbaine
So, by the time your done with the Colt L36 most will look at it and say... "What the hell is that?" With so much custom gear on it you have to add here, tweak there, remove that all together... and viola!

Gotcha.

Maybe for ever '+1' you have to drop a '1' from the weapon's stats.

Example: Colt L36
Add +1 Recoil and -1AP
Lose -10% Range and -1DV

Something like that?
Wounded Ronin
Just give a small statistical bonus in exchange for massive fragility and maintenance cost, thus insuring that the custom gear doesn't actually inflate the game power level.
Glyph
Custom gear should give an advantage to the user, but the downside is that it is more distinctive, making it easier for authorities to link it to the runner's crimes.
Riley37
There is a precedent in RAW for superior recoil compensation; the Ares Alpha has a custom chamber design giving +2 RC, which I read as stacking with gas-vent and shockpad. If it's possible for the Alpha, it's gotta be possible for other designs, although probably not with revolvers. It's a strong reason to buy the Alpha as long as no other listed AR has that bonus. (Dunno about patent law in your setting - either Ares is able to discourage others from copying the design, or every other gunmaker in the world is reverse-engineering it already.)

Increased range can be crunched by upgrading to the range mods for a different weapon category; it's easier to look one column over, than to multiply 10%. SR4 basic book includes a light pistol which uses the ranges for heavy pistols. Extending the barrel length is one way to increase accuracy at range; note that ARs and LMGs do the same damage, so range is the main advantage of the LMG (which matters more in full-scale military battles, than in most shadowrun fights.) Longer barrelled weapons are less concealable, and less convenient to carry around.

Higher-quality metals and more precisely machined parts could allow use of ammunition with a higher-pressure propellant charge, resulting in a faster-moving bullet and +1 DV. (See any gunsmithing source for details on +P, Magnum and "wildcat cartridge".) Overpressure ammo can be more expensive, and if you use it in a regular gun, sooner or later the gun will break. If you use regular ammo in a gun that can fire high-pressure ammo, you don't get the bonus. Also, it may have higher recoil. RAW doesn't make distinctions about STR, but a person with BODY 1 and STR 1 who fires a magnum pistol is gonna have a hard time keeping the barrel from jumping as the gun fires, even on single shots, even with a two-handed grip.

But I don't think that any of those are a customization you can do on, say, an off-the-shelf Colt America L36. I think that would have to be from a separate production run. It might be the same design and look essentially the same, maybe a bit heavier. I imagine that a nanofab could make one, with an appropriate template; also, you gotta load the nanofab with the necessary high-grade alloy steel, which may involve small proportions of tungsten and/or manganese, or even titanium and vanadium.

For a person who just wants a pistol on the off chance that they'll need one someday, these are features which dramatically increase the cost for minor changes in performance. For a shadowrunner or elite military or corporate security agent, well, considering you're probably spending tens of thousands of dollars on cyberware and/or bioware, you might as well pay an extra thousand or so for a slightly better weapon, and you're less likely to mind any extra hassle (extra maintenance required, can't buy your ammo at Weapons World, long barrel pistol on a belt holster catches on the chair when you sit down, etc.).

SR4 core book doesn't say if default ammo is full jacket (bullet tends to stay pointy as it penetrates, good for getting through armor) or hollow-point (bullet tends to expand as it penetrates, not good vs. armor but creates a larger wound). I'd guess that FMJ is default, and hollow-point, fragmenting, glaser rounds etc. are equivalent to flechettes, or maybe just +1 DV and +1 AV, and available for pretty much any pistol or automatic weapon.
Ed_209a
QUOTE (Riley37)
the Ares Alpha has a custom chamber design giving +2 RC, which I read as stacking with gas-vent and shockpad. If it's possible for the Alpha, it's gotta be possible for other designs, although probably not with revolvers.

The easiest way for the Alpha to have recoil comp not involving a gas vent is to have either a recoiling action, where the insides of the rifle slide back and forth with each shot or have a counterweight that is blown forward while the rifle tries to go back. Some of the new series AKs(AK100+) use the counterweight. Each would make it easier to keep weapon on target while firing, which is all SR4 recoil is.

It would be _very_ difficult to retrofit either of those to an existing rifle.

Lots of the custom gun mods I hear about in real life involve accuracy. Accuracy and range are really linked in the SR4 context, because the tables give you _effective_ ranges, not absolute ranges. In the abstract system of SR4, I would just lump trigger jobs, barrel bedding, chamber finishing, etc. into the name "accuracy customization". Bump the range up to the next better category and call it a day.

The main down side would be cost of the parts and gunsmith time, which can easily double the original cost of the weapon. The rifle will also be more finicky about what brands of ammo it will shoot well, but that is probably below the rules resolution of the game.

Another common mod to firearms is for reliability. Handguns in particular sometimes have places where two pieces of metal don't line up perfectly. That tiny lip can sometimes catch and hold your round as it is loading, causing a jam. Clean weapons that are not junk don't jam much anyway, but "reliability customization" can smooth out those places so there is nothing to keep the round from loading. Maybe this would let you ignore one "1" for purposes of glitching? Again, parts and labor are the big downside here.

Just about any firearm can fire hot loads without modification. You will just break the weapon a lot quicker. In the case of semiautos, the little parts that load the next round will break long before the barrel bursts. If it were my game, I would rule that if you are firing hotter loads than your weapon is designed for, all glitches result in a broken weapon. You can however, fairly easily replace the little parts in question with stronger ones. With the stronger parts and stronger springs, standard ammo might not have the oomph to make the weapon load the next round anymore. You would have more jams (failure to feed, to be specific) with standard ammo. Perhaps requiring 1 less 1 to make a glitch.

Oh! I can't help but roll my eyes thinking about that scene Resident Evil 2 that the sub header comes from.

You are in a warzone, and you think a pair of pimpdaddy gold DEs are better than what is probably the best assault rifle on the planet? What a fool!
ruknabard
Thats nuts, its a bit like you've been hacking my computer.
I've actually got a very similar method of gear customization in my homebrew campaign. Except mine applies to melee weapons, archery equipment, and armor.

My homebrew is a fantasy campaign, so obviously no firearms are available, besides crossbows and bows. I found that SR4 base had a good method for upgrading firearms, but none for melee...so I did the natural thing.

I've got the system on hand in case you'd like some ideas.
Fortune
QUOTE (ruknabard)
I've got the system on hand in case you'd like some ideas.

Post it. I'm sure there are quite a few people that could get some use out of it. smile.gif
MaxHunter
a little OT but hey whatever:

A couple runs ago one group I Gm for went to Yucatan and spent an awful month or so in the jungle. Nobody had the armorer skill and after a while all firearms they were carrying got the "Gremlins 2" negative quality due to moisture and being banged around all the time. All of them except for a couple trusty AK-97s... sometimes you have to go with the fluff...

Cheers,

Max

P.S. There has been some learning.

There is a dwarf former company man in that party who has learned the armorer skill already.
In the same Yucatán run the ork sammy's twin Warhawks blew up when he was napalmed and the fire got to his XX ammo.
Last run he faced a fire elemental and after shooting and failing to kill the angry spirit, he waited for the spirits attack and used his remaining free action to drop the guns.



gknoy
QUOTE (MaxHunter @ Sep 27 2007, 02:34 PM)
...an awful month or so in the jungle. All of them [performed poorly] except for a couple trusty AK-97s... sometimes you have to go with the fluff...

Awesome. I figure there has to be some good reason to take the AK. I mean, looking at pure capabilities, it's hard to imagine any runner buying something other than an Ingram. [assuming they want to be able to have a permit wink.gif] Perhaps this represents the corporate reality of the Sprawl and Ingram's marketing points, but ... yeah. When the Ingram has more accessories than the AK (and ones that are normally mutually exclusive, like gas vent + suppressor), it's hard to justify taking anything else.

Now, I guess if I were going for a specific jungle mission, I'd have to make sure to pick up some reliable arms. (edit: And, I haven't been able to find how much the L36's concealability is increased... dang.)
DTFarstar
The AK is a wonderful weapon in real life. Not the best, not anymore, but easy to make, hard to break, and you can drop it in a puddle then kick it around in a sandstorm and the damn thing will still shoot someones balls off.

Chris
Sammiel
the AK was *NEVER* the best weapon in production, but it has always been and is still the most simple and reliable weapon in it's class. The m-16 has so damn many moving parts, the damn thing is a nightmare to keep clean in sandy conditions.
WearzManySkins
@Sammiel
Very true, it seems our military has forgotten the lessons learned in WWII ie the Sherman versus the Tiger technology issues.

The Stoner original design prior to military adjustments would have been a better base design to start with then modify as needed.

Reminds me a the old tale, An elephant is a mouse built to Government/US military standards.biggrin.gif

WMS
Ed_209a
The reason the AK47 series is so successful with barely literate, mostly non-technical terrorists, militiamen and revolutionaries is that it was designed for barely literate, mostly non-technical conscripts in the Red Army.

Some soldiers couldn't even speak Russian. I guess there had to be a bilingual NCO somewhere down the line
KarmaInferno
QUOTE (Ed_209a)
Oh! I can't help but roll my eyes thinking about that scene Resident Evil 2 that the sub header comes from.

You are in a warzone, and you think a pair of pimpdaddy gold DEs are better than what is probably the best assault rifle on the planet? What a fool!

The Nemesis a minute later pretty much agreed with your assessment.

"Threat Level: Minimal"

biggrin.gif


-karma
WearzManySkins
QUOTE (Ed_209a)
The reason the AK47 series is so successful with barely literate, mostly non-technical terrorists, militiamen and revolutionaries is that it was designed for barely literate, mostly non-technical conscripts in the Red Army.

Some soldiers couldn't even speak Russian. I guess there had to be a bilingual NCO somewhere down the line

Yes the KISS principle in firearm form. smile.gif
gknoy
QUOTE (DTFarstar)
The AK is a wonderful weapon in real life. Not the best, not anymore, but easy to make, hard to break, and you can drop it in a puddle then kick it around in a sandstorm and the damn thing will still shoot someones balls off.

Chris

It'd be an interesting (house) rule if the AK variants had a reduced chance of glitches, to reflect their rugged and reliable construction (even in non-hostile environments). When you figure the smog, rain, and other things that runners tend to face ... that could be handy. ;)
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