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Here's a real quick rundown on a system I've devised to track the reliability and possibility of failure for firearms. This could eventually be expanded to include all equipment, but here it is for firearms:

All firearms are rated on a scale of 1-6 (of course) for reliability. Each has a chance of failure built in to the success test when you roll to fire the weapon:

1: Extremely Unreliable (XU): When the success test has a MAJORITY of dice that come up 3 or less, REGARDLESS of the target number.
2: Very Unreliable (VU): ALL the dice are a three or less
3: Unreliable (UR): A MAJORITY of 2's or less
4: Reliable (RL): All the dice are 2 or less
5: Very Reliable (VR): A MAJORITY of 1's
6: Extremely Reliable (XR): All the dice are 1's, just like a standard SR3 botch

In case of an even number of dice rolled, a majority would be more than half.

I would recommend that all new guns (bought in chargen) and currently owned weapons before institution of this rule be XR. I have worked out a list of the modifications to existing weapons and to weapon design in Cannon Companion as to what mods affect reliability. I also want to make a list of manufacturer types that would affect reliability (as in the more third world knockoff a weapon, the less the reliability, even for new ones). If anyone would like any more information on this rule, or suggestions to improve this, please email me at:

Fygg Nuuton
pretty nice rules.

guess what? I just stole them for my campaign wink.gif

i'd like to see the rest of your rules
Fygg, please keep me updated on how they work out for you... I've been game-group-less for about three years now, and no way to test any thing. Thanks!
Ummm. just what we need... even more things to keep track of... I've had a character who had more than 100 pieces of gear, of which a quarter was firearms (lots of emergency backups in case he had to quickly dump gear).

And what kind Cost factors do these add to/subtract from guns?

And if you roll all ones with EX ammo, what happens then?

Fygg Nuuton
well i already have failures for weapons that arent taken care of, this just simplifies it all for me

also i use rayguns rules, so ex ammo is a non issue for me

As I told Fygg, I haven't been able to test these rules, and I admit it's not complete yet. What I eventually hope to add to this is:

Modifiers for design features, to include cost variations
Modifiers for aftermarket design additions, also by cost
Modifiers for damage to weapons (if they are dropped, or used as a club, etc.)
List of modifiers based on all of the manufacturers mentioned in any of the sourcebooks
Complete list of all current weapons (as per Cannon Companion) with reliabilities figured based on item #1 above
Modifiers for ammunition type (these rules only reflect basic ammo)

Once all of that is complete (and I have the first two done), this should be a coherent system. As for tracking this, each weapon will only have a reliability rating added to their other statistics. When a player rolls a success test, the GM or the player (honor system, here) should be able to tell instantly if the weapon misfires or otherwise fails to work as advertised. I hope this helps!
Too long to implement. You have to first check the quality of your gun, then check on the table what your threshold number is, and then figure out if you have a majority. WAAAY too long in the context of SR combat, which is already too slow. YMMV.

Also, I'm not an expert on the matter, but I don't think a gun is so unreliable as to jam that often. No one in their right mind would buy such a gun.

I would only propose to change this to a Design Option "Flaw", "Unreliable". Makes the gun cheaper, but it jams on all 1s OR 2s.
I'm an avowed fan of realistic rules, and an outspoken advocate of realistic, complex rules still bein playable, and I've long wanted to see a set of playable rules for weapon reliability, but I honestly don't see these as very elegant or practical. They're not cripplingly complex, but they aren't clean enough to be usable.
Fygg Nuuton
of course i'll bastardize them to take minimal time to impliment. when i test ill post the results
Personally, I wouldn't feel the need to go much beyond what is in the first post, but as far as reliability rules go, these look to me like they would make for a pretty good balance between ease-of-use and effectiveness.

Aardvark's email got me to thinking about other reliability rules. Here are some other rules that you might want to look at, on otomik's site.
Good advice and opinions all around. I'll keep working it, and if I can clean this up and works out the kinks, I'll post the results. Thanks!

Oh, and Backgammon, I believe you might have misunderstood how this works a bit. It really shouldn't need any referencing in-game; the reliability of a weapon would be figured only during chargen or weapon design. This number would be static from that point on, and you'd only have to know what the reliability rating is when a roll is made to use it. And only really cheaply made or abused weapons would have ratings lower than a 5 or 6. This is designed mostly to represent knock-offs you can buy on the street, or when your Sammie drops his pistol down a stairwell. You're right in that there's already a LOT of things you have to track during combat, and I had hoped that this system, especially since it doesn't require any more dice rolls than are already being used, would reflect these types of situations other than the all-1's botch in SR. I personally don't like that botches only occur on all 1's. Hope this info helps.
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