Futuristic Firearms and combat

Hyperstorm is a science fiction roleplaying game set in far future of the humankind and what would science fiction be without futuristic weapons. Because the 5th edition SRD does not provide specific rules for modern firearms we had to come up with rules for those. The rules presented here are based on the available rules in the SRD v5.1 and we aimed to retain the same level of simplicity and spirit of the  original rules. 

 

 

Design Notes

As the 5e SRD is more geared towards melee combat, adding the rules for modern firearms and space opera setting required a few well justified adjustments. 

Weapon Proficiencies

Ranged and melee weapons are grouped into following proficiency groups.

  • Simple melee weapons: As now, including stun batons, vibro-daggers, etc. 
  • Martial melee weapons: As now, including advanced and exotic energy melee weapons. 
  • Archaic ranged weapons: Bows, crossbows, nets and other archaic ranged weapons that require practice to use effectively. 
  • Simple ranged weapons: Includes simple firearms, darts, grenades, blowguns, slingshots and other simple thrown and ranged weapons.
  • Martial ranged weapons: Includes military grade automatic and heavy weapons, and other more complex firearms that require more training to use. 

Cost, Weight and Ranges

Cost is given in Consortium credits (Cr) and for compatibility purposes 1 Cr is equal to 1 sp.

Hyperstorm uses metric system and all the measurements are converted to meters and kilograms. 

For simplicity ranges and movement are mostly rounded to the closest 0.5 meters and one pound is rounded to 0.5 kgs.

  • 1 ft = 0.25 meters
  • 2 ft = 0.5 meters
  • 3-4 ft = 1 meter
  • 5 ft = 1.5 meters
  • 1/4 lb = 0.1 kg
  • 1/2 lb = 0.3 kg
  • 1 lb = 0.5 kg

Grids

For easier measurement with miniatures and grids Hyperstorm uses 2 meter grid squares instead of the exact 5ft = 1.5 meter conversion, but if measurements need to be converted for grid, assume each 5ft is one grid square (or 2 meters).

Range and Shots

Instead of listing Ammunition and Reload properties with ranges and shots for every weapon separately these values are listed in their own columns to save space. The values are listed for all the ranged weapons, except for thrown melee weapons. 

If the weapon has only one range value, all attack rolls are made like they would be inside optimal range and the weapon cannot attack beyond this range. 

Damage Values

The Damage values are designed to be inline with the existing weapons. They are somewhat more powerful than the conventional melee weapons, bows and such, but not excessively so. While the damage values for the firearms are not as high as in some d20 System or 5th edition based games, the damage output of these weapons can be quite significant when taking the increased rate of fire into account. Also, some of the weapons have new Weapon Properties that can make them more effective against armored targets or cause more devastating damage on critical hits, for example. 

The first reason for this approach is to support the cinematic and heroic style of play (i.e. we didn’t want to make firearms point-and-kill weapons). Another factor in the design is the fact that hit points do not alone represent a creature’s physical health or toughness and therefore damage does not represent only the capacity to cause physical trauma. 

Damage Types

Hyperstorm uses the familiar Damage Types, but their application is made more suitable for a science fiction setting. Possible alternative names for more flavor are in parenthesis, but for now the original names are used. 

  • Acid. Corrosive chemicals and dissolving enzymes certain creatures secrete deal acid damage.
  • Bludgeoning. Blunt force attacks — hammers, falling, constriction, high-G acceleration and the like — deal bludgeoning damage.
  • Cold. The chilling depths of hard vacuum and liquid nitrogen deal cold damage.
  • Fire (Heat). Extreme heat, flamers and plasma weapons deal fire damage.
  • Force . Force damage is sub-atomic energy that can disintegrate molecular bonds or create force fields. Most effects that deal force damage are disruptor weapons and powerful energy fields.
  • Lightning (Electricity). High voltage electric shocks, ion weapons and tasers deal lightning damage.
  • Necrotic. Ionizing radiation from breached reactor cores or neutron weapons, for example, is the most common source of necrotic damage. 
  • Piercing. Puncturing and impaling attacks, including daggers, bullets and creatures’ bites, deal piercing damage.
  • Poison. Venomous stings and the toxic chemicals deal poison damage.
  • Psychic. Mental abilities such as a voyant’s psionic blast deal psychic damage.
  • Radiant. Radiant damage is dealt by lasers and other weapons or equipment that shoot highly focused beams of energy.
  • Slashing. Vibro-swords, axes, and creatures’ claws deal slashing damage.
  • Thunder (Concussion). Concussive bursts of sound and pressure, such as the explosions and sonic weapons, deal thunder damage.

Attack DCs

Some weapons require the target to make a saving throw. Unless otherwise noted, the DC is equal to 8 + Proficiency bonus + Dexterity modifier. 

 

New Combat Actions

The Following combat actions are new or replace the existing ones. 

Autofire

Weapons with Autofire property can fire salvoes of bullets or energy pulses to gain fire superiority on a tight spot or lay down suppressive fire to pin down the enemy and provide covering fire for their comrades.

Autofire can be used in two ways: more controlled burst fire or suppressive fire that affects a large area. The player can decide how many salvoes the character fires and the maximum amount of salvoes is determined by the weapon’s Autofire property. Each salvo consumes 5 shots of ammunition. If the weapon has less than 5 shots left, the attack is resolved as a normal attack and the weapon must be reloaded before it can be fired again.

Burst Fire – Single Target

A character can make a Burst Fire attack as an attack action against a single target that is within the weapon’s optimal range. The attack is made with an advantage and each extra salvo spent against the same target will increase the damage by one die. 

Burst Fire – Multiple Targets

A character can make a Burst Fire attack against multiple target as an attack action. Salvoes are distributed between targets that are no more than 2 meters apart from each other and within the weapon’s optimal range. If the targets are further than 2 meters apart one salvo is wasted per each  additional 2 meters between the targets.

A separate attack and damage roll is made against each target. Extra salvoes can be spent to increase the damage by one die per salvo. 

Suppressive Fire

Weapons with Burst Mode can lay down Supressive Fire to keep the enemy in cover. Each salvo of suppressive fire targets a 4 × 4 meter cube and all the targets within that area must immediately succeed on DC (8 + Proficiency Bonus + your Dexterity modifier) Dexterity saving throw or they must go prone as a free action and can take only Reactions on their next turn. If the saving throw result is a natural 1, the target also takes normal damage from the weapon, but without any Dexterity modifiers. Each additional salvo in the same area increases the DC by +3. 

Coup de Grace

The attacker can perform a lethal hit on an stationary and unaware or helpless enemy. A character cannot move or take reactions during the round they are taking this action or the action is cancelled. Coup de grace also provokes an attack of opportunity. 

The target must be within the weapon’s reach for melee attacks and within the optimal range for ranged weapons. Melee attacks hit automatically, but for ranged attacks the attacker has to make an attack roll with an advantage. If the target survives the attack they must make a DC (10 + weapon damage) Constitution saving throw or die immediately on a failed roll. 

Fighting with Two Weapons

Pistols are considered light weapons the purposes of two weapon fighting. 

Reloading

The following guidelines apply to reloading firearms and other ranged weapons.

  • Reloading a clip, battery, canister or a drum magazine requires an action.
  • A character can load 3 + Dexterity modifier (minimum of 1) shots for a weapon with a cylinder or internal magazine.
  • Chambering a single round requires a move action. 
  • A belt-fed weapon requires 2 rounds to reload. Two characters can work together to reduce the required time to one action. 

Switching Firing Modes

If the weapon has different firing modes or setting, switching between them requires a bonus action. 

 

Vibro Daggers and Plasma Blasters

Firearms and energy melee weapons are widely used in the universe of the Hyperstorm RPG. The rules represented below are used to handle these more advanced weapons  

Weapon Properties

  • Armor Piercing. Ignores any damage resistances of the weapons damage type.
  • Area Effect (shape, dimensions). All targets within the area of effect must make a Dexterity saving throw or take damage from the weapon on a failed save. If the weapon has a range, the targets at the long range get an advantage on their saving throw. DC of the saving throw is equal to 10 + Proficiency bonus + Dexterity modifier.
  • Autofire (Salvoes). The weapon can fire Burst Fire or Suppressive Fire salvoes. Firing a single salvo is an attack action and by spending a bonus action multiple salvoes up to the value of the weapon’s Autofire property can be fired in a single attack. Switching a weapon between single and autofire mode takes a bonus action. All Autofire weapons are also considered Rapid-fire weapons, unless otherwise noted in the weapon’s properties. 
  • Burn. On a critical hit the target is set on fire and takes 1d4 fire damage at the start of each of its turns. The damage can be ended by using an action to make a DC 10 Dexterity check to extinquish the flames.
  • Double Barreled. The weapon can fire both of its barrels at the same time. A single attack roll is made to see if the attack hits. On a hit the target takes an extra die of damage from the weapon. A double barreled shot uses two rounds of ammunition.
  • Ensnare (DC). When the target is hit with this weapon, it must make a Strength check or be Restrained. The DC is equal to the value of the weapon’s Ensare property. The target can take an action to make a new Strength check to remove the Restrained condition. 
  • Explosive (Radius in meters). The weapon is explosive and all targets within the explosion’s radius must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a successful save the targets take half damage and on a failed save they take full damage and get knocked prone if they are Large or smaller creatures. If the target is hit directly with an explosive weapon it takes an extra die of damage. 
  • Knockdown. The target is knocked prone on a critical hit in addition to the critical damage or any other effects. 
  • Pistol. Pistols are considered Light weapons and when used by a character proficient with the weapon they can be used in melee without provoking an attack of opportunity or disadvantage. 
  • Rapid-fire. This weapon can fire multiple shots in rapid succession. The character can use its move or bonus action to make an additional attack. This additional attack is done otherwise as normal, but the attacker’s Dexterity modifier is not added to the damage roll, unless the modifier is negative. Rapid-fire spends 3 shots. If the weapon has less than 3 shots left, it cannot be rapid-fired. 
  • Recoilless. The weapon does not produce any recoil and does not have an disadvantage when shooting in low or zero gravity conditions. 
  • Scatter. Scatter weapons fire multiple smaller projectiles in a wide spread or a wide beam that makes it easier to hit the target. Scatter weapons get an advantage to attack rolls made up to its optimal range. 
  • Shotgun. Shotguns fire multiple small pellets or flechettes that can be very effective at short range, but the projectiles lose their effectiveness faster than other firearms. Shotguns have two damage values: the first value is for the optimal range and the second value is for the long range. 
  • Sniper. Sniper weapons double their range values if the character uses its move action before shooting the weapon.
  • Stun. The weapon causes only non-lethal damage. A target whose hit points are reduced to 0 by a hit from this weapon are knocked unconscious for 1d4 minutes and do not have to make any death saves. 
  • Stun setting (damage type). This weapon has an alternative stun setting that causes non-lethal damage of given type when it is set on. The Stun damage is same as the weapon’s normal damage. Switching the weapon to stun setting or back to its normal damage setting requires a bonus action. 
  • Supercharge (damage). The weapon can be set to a supercharge mode for higher damage capacity as a bonus action. Each supercharged shot use twice as many shots from the weapon than normally (e.g. single shot would use 2 shots and rapid-fire would use 6 shots) and inflicts the damage listed with this property.  
  • Unwieldy. The weapon is difficult to shoot without bracing it first. The character can spend a move action to brace the weapon before shooting. If the weapon is not braced, all attacks with it are made with a disadvantage. 
  • Vicious. This weapon causes devastating damage and it inflicts a critical hit on a roll of 19 – 20. If the attack would cause a critical hit otherwise on lower results than 20, then the critical range is reduced by one. For example, if the character would normally score a critical hit on a roll of 19 – 20, with a Vicious weapon a critical hit would happen on a roll of 18 – 20. 

Sample Weapons

The following weapons are more or less examples and place holders. 

Melee Weapons
Name Cost Damage Weight Properties
Simple Melee Weapons    
 Vibro-dagger 150 Cr  1d4 slashing 0.25 kg  Light, Finesse, Armor piercing, Thrown (range 4 /8 m)
Chainaxe 255 Cr  1d6 slashing 2 kg  Versatile (1d8), Vicious
Stun baton 200 Cr   2d6 lightning 0.5 kg   Light, Finesse, Stun
Martial Melee Weapons    
Plasma lance   2000 Cr 2d8 piercing 4 kg Heavy, Two-handed, Armor Piercing, Burn, Reach
Power sword  1000 Cr 1d10 slashing 0.5 kg  Versatile (1d12), Armor piercing
Chainsword 500 Cr  1d8 slashing 2 kg  Versatile (1d10), Vicious
Vibroglaive  1500 Cr 1d12 slashing 3 kg  Two-handed, Armor Piercing, Reach
Disruptor blade  10 000 Cr  2d6 force 1 kg  Finesse, Versatile (2d8), Vicious 
Grav-hammer 5 000 Cr  2d8 bludgeoning 3 kg  Heavy, Two-handed, Knockdown
Electrowhip  800 Cr  1d6 Lightning 1 kg   Light, Stun Setting (lightning)
Ranged Weapons
Name Cost Damage Range Shots Weight Properties
Simple Ranged Weapons    
Pocket Pistol 300 cr   1d6 piercing 10/50  0.25 kg Pistol, Rapid-fire
Autopistol 600 Cr  1d8 piercing 20/100  20 0.5 kg  Pistol, Rapid-fire  
Heavy pistol 900 Cr  1d10 piercing 30/100  10  0.75 kg  Pistol, Rapid-fire, Heavy
Pulse Pistol 750 Cr 1d8 radiant 20/100  24 0.5 kg  Pistol, Rapid-fire, Recoilless, Stun setting (lightning)
Shotgun 800 Cr  2d4 /1d4 piercing 20/100 2 kg  Two-handed, Shotgun 
Plasmagun 2 500 Cr  1d10 fire 5/30 1.5 kg  Double Barreled, Scatter, Burn
Hunting rifle 1 000 Cr  1d10 piercing 100/300 10  3 kg  Two-handed, Sniper
Sonic stunner  550 Cr 1d10 thunder 10/20  10 0.5 kg  Pistol, Stun
Daze grenade 100 Cr 2d6 Lightning 15/30 0.1 kg Thrown, Stun, Explosive (2 m)
Frag grenade 300 Cr 3d6 Piercing 15/30 0.25 kg Thrown, Explosive (4 m)
Plasma grenade 500 Cr 4d6 Fire 15/30 0.25 kg Thrown, Explosive (4 m)
Martial Ranged Weapons    
Heavy Pulse pistol 1 200 Cr 1d10 radiant 30/100 30 0.75 kg Pistol, Rapid-fire, Recoilless, Stun setting (lightning), Supercharge (1d12)
Submachine gun 2 000 Cr 1d8 piercing 20/100   40 1.5 kg  Two-handed, Autofire (3)
Autoshotgun 2 500 Cr   2d4/1d4 piercing 20/100 20  3 kg  Two-handed, Autofire (2), Shotgun 
Needler 3 000 Cr 1d4 piercing 20/50 50 1 kg Autofire (4), Armor piercing
Pulse Carbine 4 000 Cr  1d10 radiant 50/200 30 2.5 kg  Two-handed, Autofire (3), Supercharge (1d12), Stun setting (lightning), Recoilless
Pulse rifle 5 500 Cr  1d12 radiant 75/400 50  3 kg  Two-handed, Autofire (3), Supercharge (2d8). Recoilless
Heavy pulse rifle 8 000 Cr  2d8 radiant 100/600  12  4 kg  Heavy, Two-handed, Rapid-fire, Supercharge (2d10), Recoilless
Ion rifle 12 000 Cr  3d6 Lightning 30/100  10 3.5 kg  Two-handed, Loading, Vicious, Recoilless
Grav-gun 7 500 Cr 1d10 bludgeoning 20/40 8 3 kg Two-handed, Scatter, Knockdown
Flechette gun 3 500 Cr  1d6 Slashing 10/50   12 1 kg  Scatter, Rapid-fire, Armor Piercing
Necroblaster 6000 Cr 1d10 necrotic 20/100 10 2 kg Area Effect (100 m long and 0.5 m wide line), Two-handed, Recoilless
Rail rifle 10 000 Cr 2d10 piercing  100/1000  6 5 kg  Heavy, Two-Handed, Sniper, Armor Piercing, Vicious, Loading, Unwieldy
Disruptor rifle 15 000 Cr 1d12 Force 50/300 16 2.5 kg Two-handed, Rapid-fire, Sniper, Vicious, Recoilless
Missile launcher 30 000 Cr  6d6 bludgeoning 100/2000   1 6 kg  Heavy, Two-Handed, Explosive (6 m), Unwieldy
 Flame rifle 7 000 Cr  2d6 fire 20  15 2 kg  Area Effect (20 m long and 6 m wide cone), Automatic Burn on hit.
Entagler 2 000 Cr  special  5/20  2.5 kg  Two-handed, Ensnare (DC 15)
Concussion rifle 12 000 Cr   1d12 thunder 50/200  12  4.5 kg  Heavy, Two-handed, Supercharge: Explosive (2 m)

 

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