Ok, second try, I replied and hour or so ago, but it seems it never got published (probably because my at times awful service). Let's see if I remember what i wrote...
I liked a lot your idea of linking the number of uses of a firearm to the value of the Aim skill, but not sure about how you frame it. I don't really care where do the guns come from as much as the level of accuraccy with which one can shot within a limited timeframe. So what about this....
two possible options here...
A- You can use a ready firearm as an action as many times in a turn as your Aim value. After that, each action to fire a firearm will cost an extra raise.
B- You can use a ready firearm as an action as many times in a turn as your Aim value. After that, you must spend a Raise to reset the number of times you can use a firearm to zero again, and start a new count.
Ex: Aim 3, 8 Raises:, you can fire 3 guns (3 raises), pay the cost (1 Raise), fire another 3 guns (3 more raises), 1 Raise left to do something else
Ex: Aim 3, 10 Raises:, you can fire 3 guns (3 raises), pay the cost (1 Raise), fire another 3 guns (3 more raises), pay the cost a second time (1 Raise), Fire 2 more guns...
Frankly, not sure how to phrase B properly. (I think I was able to do it properly in the lost text). There's a big difference of power there. I had been thinking about using the "change action" raise penalty somehow to control firearm abuse, what I wasn't sure how to do it properly, but your idea about using Aim gave a proper perspective...
Also, I was thinking about maybe add to some of the options a "Forced I Fail" effect, so that if they use the rule, at some point later they can't help to fail at some other action...(also, maybe the Forced I fail could skip the " get a HP"part...
After a lot of calculations, I think your house rule is in the right direction, but not going far enough.
I think carrying more than 1 readied firearm is breaking the action economy of the game. Even with restrictions, a starting team with heroes having invested on Aim could take down a Strength 10 villain in 2 rounds. raise to draw, raise to fire > 1 DW, repeat x3 per hero.
I'd be then stricter: a hero without Aim carrying a readied firearm risks the consequence of having it fire accidentally in any sudden movement.
A hero with Aim can safely carry one readied firearm. A hero with Aim above 3 can safely carry two.
For villains it's the same, knowing that their Aim is their Strength/2 (so ok, Captain Reis can carry two readied firearms ;)).
Tec Goblin, you raise a good point about multiple players teaming up with guns against a single villain. That hadn't occured to me (most of my players are sword/dueling crazy and tend to favor blades over guns. As I do.) :D
And you think that will stop them? Corruption is there to remind the players that there is a possibility to become a villain if they go too far... but if there is a mechanic in the first place it means they will cross the line more than once.
If they really hate the villain and the players argue that their characters would do it even at the cost of corrupting themselves, I would say that is valid enough.
@Tec Goblin - If you check out Blackbeard, he was famous for wearing 3 pistols... Heck, I even found a picture of him with 6 pistols! What do think about using danger points to make pistols backfire? or not fire at all? Or if they abuse it then a chance in 1d10 to do so as well?
I agree with you actually... 4 guys shooting someone for me would be a kill... probably even overkill, but I don't think that's enough. Perhaps what you said and 2 raises per shot?
Or indeed not fire at all if there's good reason (rain etc)
I wouldn't go as far as adding a chance in d10 though.
There's also some 'in game' balancing. If the villain takes a DW from a character who has 2 more pistols in his pelt, the villain could target the character. Why not even the *belt* of the character ;).
If you want to change the glorious virtue, you may want to change the subtle virtue as well. It is the same as glorious but when you are behind the scenes (AKA the opposite of glorious). Guess what two players, one with glorious and one with subtle, could do if they coordinate themselves.
Arcana are meant to be used ONCE a session. it's not that horrible.
Interesting firearms restriction. for carrying. I was thinking Aim +1 so even folks without it could carry A gun.
It's enough. You have at most ONE fight with the big villain per session ;).
I don't really like that you can carry a determined amount of weapons depending on your skill as it doesn't seem very realistic or heroic. The son of a noble may want to show off so he could buy a fancy holster for pistols that lets him carry up to 5.
A lot of old games didn't tell you how many weapons, objects, etcetera could a character carry. There was encumbrance, yes but not very specific. Regarding this case, I have seen pictures, games and read a few things and the general consensus seemed to be about 5 (some more, some less). We usually didn't allow more than 5 pistols and they had to come with a good idea like: I carry one on each side, two or three more on my chest (a quality pistol holster for instance) or a pistol tied to the boot. A musket counting as 2 pistols was accepted too.
If someone wants to carry that many firearms we allowed it but the risk of explosion or malfunction increased (way too much powder).
pd: Forgot about Arcane being used only once per session. It's not that bad then, though Subtle and Glorious seem too powerful compared to the other virtues.
PROBLEM: Fireweapons so powerfull.
Maybe the way to solve all that it's if the fireweapons make like a slash? (One point for each point in fireweapons)
I think they are fine the way they are. In 1st ed pistols were scary too.
Besides the house rule we, in my group, did about holsting 5 pistols, we loved the idea of firearms that 50% of the time backfired or didn't even work.
What we did was something among the lines of corruption points but for firearms. You roll 1d10 every time you use a pistol and if you roll equal or less than the number of times used, the pistol does not work.
After some time we added that if you roll half number of times used then the pistol backfires.
This slowed the game because we had to keep track of the number of times each pistol had been shot so we did two things: first, each session the count resets. Second: the count is general and not for each firearm.
Even without what we did, characters lose firearms constantly and you charge 1 wealth per firearm then the problem is not that big
Well, firearms should be powerful and scary. They changed the face of war, and history. They kill. In the game they don't kill, jut get people quickly down, so we can move on to the next part of the story. That's fine by me, wheter its the pcs or the nps that do the deed.
I don't think that the subject will arise a lot in my games, but if it does, I think that the only thing the rules can do it's limit somehow how many times someone can fire, not how many weapons he is allowed to have on himself.
if John wants his character to carry 15 guns with him, ok. Probably wont be able to move around with them, because law enforcment, or propiety owners not wanting people with an arsenal on their own. And after he effectively fire their 15 guns, he will need to recover them, if possible, and then ready them again, as well. So while everybody else is playing and telling a story, he is gonna be in the corner, loading guns for for 75 turns... and the players probably will be sent out of the room, or go to catch pizzas for the dinner...
If you are trying to abuse the system, the system, and the fiction, will be used against you...
Here's my own thoughts on this issue:
I thought firearms had a good balance in 1st edition because they were wildly inaccurate, but when they hit they hit hard.
I think firearms are a lot stronger in 2e because they not only hit very hard, but are no longer inaccurate and there's no way for a player to avoid taking a Dramatic Wound if hit.
I certainly support the concept of a player carrying a bandolier full o' pistols (see my previous comment about the picture of Long John Silver in my copy of "Treasure Island" as a kid.)
However, when looking at possible concerns about loophole abuse, I like to look at it from both sides. For example, "Could a player abuse this?" was the first question I asked, and my thought was "Yes, though a good GM could probably keep it under control through normal role-play."
But then I thought, "Could a GM abuse this?" and I thought "YES. Imagine an inexperienced or vindictive GM taking a Villain with 5 actions and spending each on inflicting a Dramatic Wound with each Raise the Villain spends on shooting guns that the Hero can't counter. Now you've got a helpless hero and a frustrated player who can't do anything."
So that's why I thought I'd like house rule was in order for my games.
Now, as mentioned, your mileage may vary. :) I'm sure a good GM can keep players from abusing firearms through searches by guards, the Thean equivalent of TSA security lines, or other 'role-play' methods. If that works for your game, of course, that's fine!
I just thought my house rule would be an easy guideline that's fair for both players and GMs. And for those who want to be the 17th century equivalent of Chow-Yun Fat, that's why I was thinking of a homebrew advantage that specifically lets a character carry additional weapons past the normal limit.
I've houseruled firearms so that the Dramatic Wound can be soaked after the normal ones have first. If I can't throw a pastry in an assailant's face and have him shoot into the ceiling, then I don't think it is cinematic swashbuckling.
Regarding the firearms rules, I'm only mildly concerned right now, but I haven't seen it in play. I know I won't be abusing it as a GM, and I think Guard Brute Squads and escape plans should help alleviate some of the player abuse in practice.
Pondering an easy solution, though, has anyone considered just limiting the automatic Dramatic Wound to just the one for the current "tier" of Wounds?
1. Player A shoots a pistol at the Villain and spends two Raises - Inflicting two normal Wounds and one Dramatic Wound. Lets say that this Villain can take the same number of wounds as a Hero for simplicity's sake:
2. Player B shoots a pistol at the same Villain and also spends one Raise - Inflicting one normal Wound and a Dramatic Wound (but only to the current tier taking Wounds, since this DW is already taken, the Villain doesn't take the second Dramatic Wound):
3. Player C shoots (yet another) pistol at the same Villain, spending three Raises - three normal Wounds and a Dramatic Wound (since these Wounds would take the Villain's damage into the "tier" for the second Dramatic Wound and it would be marked off):
Do you think that might mitigate abuse somewhat? The players would have to invest a lot of Raises in their firearm attacks to be sure of causing Dramatic Wounds, especially against more powerful Villains.
I made a bunch of houserules for 1st ed. only got to playtest them once though :-(
If talking to you players about 'self limiting for fun' isnt' working, I can offer you a tried and true deterent to having players carry around a lot of pistols and using them in a 'non-fun' way? Do the same to them.
If you're group is all about carrying braces of pistols for the free Dramatic Wounds and unloading them all the time, then their reputation gets out and guess what? Every villain, henchman, or brute squad they come across is going to be using firearms against them. They'll get the picture soon enough.