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Mundane weapons and GarouMUSH

Introduction and Disclaimer

The following document is an attempt to summarize mundane weapons (mostly guns) as pertains to GarouMUSH, a fictional role playing game set in Washington. Its intent is to be used as a generalized gaming resource for GarouMUSH players and GMs.

As such, it is not meant to be some sort of guide for gun nuts or accuracy freaks. I do not care if you know a Marine sniper that can hollow out a half-dollar coin with his BFG9000 sniper rifle from 4,103 meters.

Yeah, that's right! This is me, not caring! La la la la la!

Nor is it intended to be used as a factual guide to weapons possession and use in the state of Washington or any other state. I have no law degree or legal experience. If you use this guide's summary of Washington State's legal system as the basis for determining how to go about obtaining and using a concealed weapon or use this document as a guide to commit a crime, you are a moron.

Let me re-iterate this one more time:

This is for a fictional game, not reality. If you think anything in this document is real, you are an idiot.

Weapon laws in Washington State

Background checks

All firearm purchases require a background check. This involves querying a legal database and a social/mental health database. You can not purchase, possess, or be in control of any firearm if one or more of the following applies to your PC:

  • You have committed a violent crime, certain felony drug crimes, or vehicular assault/homicide crimes.
  • You have been convicted of a felony or committed certain crimes against members of your own household.
  • You have been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment.
  • You are under 18. (Exceptions: Those under 18 but over 14 may possess and use a rifle or shotgun if they have passed a hunter's safety course and a hunting permit or a firearm safety course, which limits shooting activities to a range or private property where permission to shoot has been granted. The minor must be under adult supervision.)
  • Handguns may not be possessed by people under 21. (Exceptions: People between 18 and 21 may possess handguns if the handgun is kept in their place of abode, business, or on real property that is under the owner's control.)

Ballistic fingerprinting

This is not currently in effect in Washington. However, individual guns leave a specific 'fingerprint' that allow forensic science to determine if a gun was used in one or more crimes based upon microscopic barrel markings on the bullet.


Concealed Weapons Permit

You can carry a concealed pistol (defined as a gun with a barrel 16" or less in length) in Washington State if you meet the following conditions:

  • You must be eligible to possess a firearm in Washington State. (See Background Checks above.)
  • You must be at least 21 years of age.
  • You have a concealed carry permit issued by either Washington State or a reciprocating state.
  • You do not have an outstanding warrant for your arrest.
  • You have not been ordered to forfeit a firearm within the last year by the State of Washington.

Concealed weapons may not be legally carried in the following locations:

  • Any building used for, or in connection with, judicial proceedings.
  • Mental institutions and hospitals.
  • Any establishment that serves alcohol.
  • Airports.
  • Jails or law enforcement areas.
  • State parks.
  • Banks.
  • Public and private schools and universities.

Concealed weapon violations carry a maximum 90 days in jail and/or a maximum $1,000 fine. The concealed weapon permit will also be revoked for a period of three years.


Knives, clubs, and other things that make you go "ow!"

It is unlawful to carry, conceal, exhibit, draw, or display any sword, knife, club, or other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm. These carry only a misdemeaner charge, however. So long as they aren't actually used to poke, bash, smack, or threaten people--which are all new charges!


Private firearm sales (between people, not an actual gun dealer)

You can sell a gun to someone if:

  • You have no reason to believe they are ineligible to possess a firearm.
  • You obtain their signature, name, date of birth, sex, height, weight, race, address, phone number, and date of the transaction.
  • You record all information about the firearm (serial number, model, make, barrel length, etc.) and the price paid for it.
  • You record information from two types of government-issued identification cards (driver's license and social security card typically).
  • You record the nature of the transaction

Registration of guns

Records of the gun and owner must be sent to the chief of police within six hours of purchase. A gun owner must keep a record of all guns they own and how they were acquired or disposed of. Lost guns must be reported.

Serial numbers

Every modern gun has a serial number. Many guns that were used in a crime get their serial numbers filed off and pawned/sold on the underworld market so as to distance the criminal/shooter from the crime and prosecution at a later date. Likewise, purchasing a gun that has had the serial numbers filed off and then hanging on to them indefinitely tends to be a bad idea, particularly if you're ever caught with one or a search warrant gets issued. Ballistic fingerprinting of bullets shot from the same gun, a gun which is in a different owner's possession, even if the serial number has been filed off, may link the current owner to a crime that they never committed.

Buyer beware!

Silencers

Really, really illegal. Big no-no.

Waiting periods

Washington State has a 5-day waiting period for handguns, but not sporting rifles or shotguns.

Using firearms on GarouMUSH

Introduction and worldview

Popular TV, movies, and books will present readers with a really broad range of how guns get used. Everything from John Woo films where people gracefully deliver death from dual-wielded pistols firing as fast as the guns will repeat all while the characters are doing backflips across a room to GI Joe cartoons where soldiers blaze away with machineguns and never manage to shoot anyone.

Reality, as tends to often be the case, lies more in-between these two extremes. On GarouMUSH, weapon "realism" tends to be more on the lines of X-Files or your average cop show, where people shoot frequently, but rarely hit things at range in the heat of the moment. If you've ever shot a pistol, rifle, shotgun, or machinegun in real life, you'll know that this is pretty much what happens in the really real world.

Firearm Table

The following table will help to break down some basic information about what kind of range you can expect your gun to be accurate at. This doesn't mean you'll hit a target at that range, but that you actually have maybe a 50/50 chance at hitting something at that range if you have some experience using the firearm in question.


<tbody> </tbody>

Firearm type

Extreme range

Plenty of time to aim

No distractions

No movement

No dual-wielded weapons

Normal range

Some time to aim

No movement

No injury taken that round

Minor distractions

Heat-of-the-moment range

Reflex aiming

PC moving/dodging

Target moving/dodging

PC may or may not have been injured that round.

Distractions galore

Subsequent shots after the first shot


You'ce already shot once, but want to shoot again in the same round.

small pistol
(snub noses and concealables)

50 feet

40 feet

20-25 feet

10-15 feet

Regular pistols
(9mm, .38s, etc.)

70

50

30

10-20

Heavy pistols
(.45 or .50 caliber hand-cannons) or pistols designed for longer range shooting

80

60

30

10-15

Submachine guns and machine pistols

(generally illegal to own without tons of paperwork and money and legal hoop jumping)

70 feet

50

30

10-20 (3-shot burst)

Assault weapons

(generally illegal to own without tons of paperwork and money and legal hoop jumping)

300

100

40-50

15-35 (3-round burst)

<o:p> </o:p>

Shotgun (firing slugs)

<o:p> </o:p>

(Slugs are essentially similar to solid bullets, but heavier and less aerodynamic—thus less range.)

200

100

30

10-20

(Double-barrels counts as just one shot with twice the damage. Pump-action guns cannot be rapid fired.)

Shotgun (firing shot)

<o:p> </o:p>

(Shot is a number of smaller “bullets” packed into one cartridge. They are designed to  spread out once fired, making it easier to hit things at range but doing less damage the further away the target is.)

100

80

60

30-40

(Double-barrels counts as just one shot with twice the damage. Pump-action guns cannot be rapid fired.)

Hunting rifle, without a stable platform.

300

200

30

15-30

(Bolt action cannot rapid fire)

Hunting rifle, with stable platform.
Assumes you're using a tripod, bipod, or other stable platform.

500

400

200

(Obviously, you can’t be moving if you have a braced weapon.)

100-150

(Bolt action cannot rapid fire)

Military grade sniper rifle, without a stable platform.

<o:p> </o:p>

Really illegal.

<o:p> </o:p>

400

300

30

15-30

(Bolt action cannot rapid fire)

Military grade sniper rifle, with a stable platform.

Assumes you're using a tripod, bipod, or other stable platform.

<o:p> </o:p>

Really illegal.

800

500

300

(Obviously, you can’t be moving if you have a braced weapon.)

150-200

(Bolt action cannot rapid fire)

Rocket launchers

(Don’t make us beat you.)

HA!

HA!

HA!

HA!


Range definitions

  • Extreme range: This is the maximum practical range of the gun and assumes that the shooter is in an ideal shooting stance/position and has ample time (at least 1-2 combat rounds (roughly 10-15 seconds) to aim without distraction, interruption, or any other activities. Silver bullets, because of their inherent innacuracy due to the manufacturing process, can never be used at extreme ranges.
  • Normal range: This is the maximum range at which you can expect to hit a target when in not-entirely-optimal conditions and not having the time to aim as much as you'd like to. Your PC is not moving, being jostled, physically attacked, or shot at and hit. Repeat shots in the same round are at the "subsequent shot" range until aiming takes place again. To continue shooting in the "normal range" catagory, you need to aim one round, shoot the next, and then start aiming again in the third round. Shoot again in the fourth. And so on and so forth.
  • Heat of the moment single shot range: Probably the most common combat situation on the MUSH. You're moving, dodging, getting shot or attacked by something, and attempting to shoot back, or just plain need to shoot fast if you're going to hit a target (in the case of people with long-range weapons that haven't been shot/distracted). Aiming pretty much involves a reflexive point-and-shoot, often at the thing that just shot you, hit you or is about to chew on you in half a second. (In the case of long range weapons, at the thing that just briefly popped into view and you need to take a shot fast.) The major benefit of long range weapons (i.e., "long range") is pretty much negated if you're in close-quarters combat without a braced and steadied weapon, though the big rifles/shotguns that pack a whallop still pack a whallop at close range if they connect.
  • Multiple shots: You shot once already this combat round but still feel the pressing urge to shoot again, or you have a weapon that is capable of either 3-round burst or full auto fire. Welcome to the wonderful world of recoil-induced inaccuracy! Only semi-automatic weapons can fire multiple times in a round. Bolt action (many rifles) and pump action weapons (many shotguns) can only fire once per round unless rage is used to get an extra action. And then only one extra shot can be taken without potentially jamming the weapon. If your target is at very close range, you can probably land a second or maybe even a third shot. People who are experienced with fully automatic weapons use a three-round burst rather than full auto as the recoil after a third shot typically ruins the chances of hitting anything that doesn't have the gun barrel firmly planted in its chest. (The US Army changed the standard-issue M-16 assault rifle from full auto to burst fire because of the wild inaccuracy of full-auto that ate through ammunition, didn't kill hostiles, and left soldiers without ammunition to defend themselves.)


<h3Dual Weapons</h3< Some folks like putting out lots of lead, generally with little in the way of accuracy. If that's your thing, get a pistol in each hand and enjoy! The first shot fired from a PC's dominant hand uses whatever range is appropriate. (You cannot use the Extreme Range for that weapon, ideal conditions involve both hands steadying a weapon.) All subsequent shots from either pistol use the subsequent shot classification and your shots are less likely to hit because you are basically dividing your dice pool for these extra bullets. It does make for an impressive, albeit wildly inaccurate, display, though.

Dual pistols is slightly more useful than just one pistol for point blank range combat--provided it's a very experienced and accomplished shooter behind those two pistols. But anyone who is less than "really good and practiced" in this technique is by far better off with just one gun--and less likely to shoot friends, passerbies, the neighbor's cat, and pretty much anything that's "thataway" (he says with a vague waving of a hand in a roughly 60 degree cone).

Specialty munitions

Introduction to specialty munitions

There are a number of specialty ammunitions out there that make all sorts of wild claims. (Black Talons immediately pop into mind.) Basically, these are pretty much a sham to sucker in the easily impressionable and take their money. (A kind GM might lump them under "hollow points" or "armor piercing" but not both.) There are, however, a few notable types of non-standard munitions.

Armor piercing

Basically designed to get a bit more penetration, like through a standard issue Kevlar vest. These will negate the effects of light body armor used by police, but will not punch holes in engine blocks or whatnot. (Kevlar vests won't necessarily stop regular bullets, and certainly not high powered rounds from a hand-cannon type pistol, assault weapon rounds at close range, or high-powered rifle rounds. Though the vest will lessen the blow a bit, about 2-3 dice worth of damage.)

Hollow points

Designed to expand on impact, these bullets will do ever so slightly more damage (1 extra die) to unarmored targets. Kevlar vests are more effective at stopping them, as is any kind of cover that the target may be using.

Rubber bullets

A (generally) non-lethal alternative to bullets. They'll knock a person down or out instead of killing them. Just don't keep shooting once they're down.

Tracer rounds

Basically treat these as normal bullets, except that you can see exactly where the bullet flight path was. This helps the shooter in adjusting for follow-up aimed (not fired in the same round) shots to or near the same target. (+1 die for the next aimed shot in the following round; not cumulative.) It also nicely advertises the position of the shooter for those who would like to return fire and nicely advertises the fact that there's someone in the area that's shooting.

Silver ammo

Availability and cost

Silver bullets are available at most high-end gun stores, but almost never in bulk quantities. They're generally sold as single bullets and are used for cleaning gun bores (since silver is harder than lead and helps to blow seriously stuck-on gunk out of the barrel). They're very expensive (about $50-100 per bullet depending on the size of the bullet and the rarity of the caliber) and large orders; generally three or more bullets will require backordering and shipping delays.

If you have large quantities of silver bullets (over 10 bullets), you need to account for where your PC got them in your GMINFO.


Reduced accuracy with silver bullets

When they are being made from metal molds, silver bullets shrink as they cool. This makes them more inaccurate that regular bullets because they have more room to "rattle around" while going down the gun barrel. If you're firing silver bullets, you don't get to use the Extreme range unless you're using a shotgun with shot (not slugs). Because of this shrinking problem, it is also not easy to make silver bullets at home unless your PC is very experienced in making custom ammunition and has the required custom equipment for making it.

PCs that know anything about guns and silver bullets should be very, very wary of anyone who gives them a homemade silver bullet. If the bullet isn't made just right, it could damage the gun barrel or even cause it to explode. This is no profession for amateurs and dabblers.

Silver and Garou

Nothing kills Garou faster or more effectively than silver. Garou know this. Kin know this. And lots of other supernaturals know this. And so the Garou (rightly so) have an instinctual fear of silver and react very, very, very poorly to anyone who has a silver weapon of any kind, be it another supernatural, kinfolk, or another garou. So lets review a bit, shall we?

Some game-related notes about silver and silver weaponry:

  • If a garou sees silver weapon or comes in contact with it, a frenzy roll is called for immediately--regardless of whether or not the person with the silver is kin, an ally, or friendly. If a frenzy occurs and the garou does not Fox frenzy and run away (renown loss), the Garou will attack the offender until he or she is dead--or maybe until the silver weapon is removed, broken, or otherwise no longer even a remotely perceived threat.
  • Using a silver weapon against a garou is, from a garou and garou-kin perspective, generally seen as an attempt at murdering the garou in question.
  • Kin with silver weapons/ammo tend to have shorter lives than those without. Notifying a garou that you have silver does not calm them down: it puts them even more on edge. If kin do have silver weapons, they generally tend to hide them and not alert the garou that they have them. (There's 1 garou per 10 kinfolk). If a garou kills a kin, that's generally unfortunate but it happens when Garou frenzy and if provoked. If a kin kills a garou (or even uses any kind of silver weapon against a garou), the kin better hope the target garou's tribe is REALLY forgiving and they'd better have a damn good, life-threatening reason for using silver.
  • A sure-fire way to attract attention in the World of Darkness is to place a bulk order for silver bullets, and there are rumors to that effect within the garou and kin circles. If you buy silver ammo, buy only what is in the store, buy it once, don't come back to that same store, only buy what is in stock, and pay with cash. Another sure-fire way to get off on the wrong foot with a garou in a social situation of any kind is to have silver on you where they can see it especially in weapon form.

Remember kids, Garou cannot soak any silver damage unless they are in breed form--and metis garou always take unsoakable damage in all forms. So a silver bullet is even more lethal to a garou than a regular bullet is to a human. (A human can soak damage from a bullet. Garou can't. And a human has just as many health levels as a garou.)


The act of simply touching silver will immediately burn a garou for 1 point of unsoakable aggravated damage. If a bullet (or worse, shot from a shotgun) sticks in a garou, they take 1 level of unsoakable damage per round they are not in breed form. Per bullet. (Metis are screwed unless they can claw it out of themselves before they die from it.)

One bullet can potentially kill a garou instantly, even if they are in crinos, regardless of whether they have a base Stamina of 5 (and a crinos Stamina of 8). There's roughly a 25% chance of killing a garou with a single shot from a medium or heavy handgun. And about a 50-50 chance with a single shot from a rifle or shotgun. Bam. End of story. Thanks for playing.


Two silver bullets will probably kill a garou deader than dead. Don't bother trying to Rage heal or MT.

Three silver bullets is so much overkill you're probably wiping out any Past Lives the garou victim had.


Weapons that aren't guns

Tasers, hand-held

Handheld tasers are devices that use electricity to temporarily and non-lethally immobilize a target. In order to use one, you must engage in hand-to-hand combat with the target. This is NEVER a good idea with a garou as they have rage and multiple actions. However, if a taser is all you have, it's better than fists and harsh language.


Handheld tasers can deliver between 50,000 and one million volts of electricity. The difference between a 50K volt taser and a million volt taser is not the damage dealt, but the penetration that can be achieved and the area affected. 50K volts will knock out most humans. 150-200K volts can flatten a crinos. The extra voltage is really only good for two things: 1) extra penetration if the target is wearing thick clothes and 2) making lots of money through marketing to people who think a million volts will stop a person faster than 50K volts.

Tasers do not work instantly. A person hit by a taser still has whatever momentum they had before they were hit, so a 600-800lb crinos falling on a human/kin is still going to break a lot of bones and potentially kill them. And the taser needs to stay in contact with a person for anywhere from 1-3 seconds in order to disrupt their nervous system and immobilize them. So a tasered crinos is likely going to get a clumsy lick in before going down--maybe a couple if they blow rage. They'll definitely be off balance and not up to par for a good 5-10 minutes after even just a light tazing, though.


Tasers also do not work all the time. Once in a blue moon, some people are immune or mostly immune to them. What drops a pro-wrestler might not even phase an elderly housewife.

Tasers that are not fully charged can give electrical burns instead of stunning a person. These burns are not a particularly effective means of combat, but are sometimes used as a means of making people talk.

Tasers, pistol-types

These are single-shot tasers that use two darts hooked up to wires that lead back to the gun. Once fired, the darts shoot out, strike the target, and send out between 50-100K of voltage. Pistol tasers do not pack as much wattage as hand tasers because the darts are designed to penetrate clothes and get directly into or near the skin of the target. The big plus with these guns is that they provide a maximum range of about 20-25 feet, putting some distance between the shooter and the intended target so that the target will not be able to get close and melee before it's too late--generally. Again, there are exceptional individuals that are immune. The big minus is that you get one shot--better make it count.

Chemical mace and pepper spray

Nothing says "agony" like a chemical mace or pepper spray, designed to affect the sinuses and olfactory system, applied lovingly to a crinos or lupus garou. This stuff is bad enough to immobilize a person with their comparatively less sensitive noses, so you can imagine that chemical mace or pepper spray is even more devastating to a lupus or crinos with their sensitive noses. Unlike tasers, where the effects can be shaken off in 5-30 minutes, chemical mace and pepper spray lingers for several hours, effectively blinding and immobilizing the target. Downsides to these weapons include their short range (10-20'). Also, they are susceptable to breezes, which could inadvertently affect (to a lesser extent) the person spraying the mace or pepper spray if the wind is blowing back onto them.

Bows and arrows

Use the ranges for firing a shotgun with slugs on the above firearms table. Unlike other firearms, a bow factors in the strength of the user when calculating damage. There's no set of bow and arrows out there (at least commercially available) that allows crinos garou to use them, and doing so will simply break the bow from being overtaxed. And finding strings that don't break when pulled back by crinos claws is pretty much impossible. Obviously, bows can't be concealed. One shot per turn unless rage is spent.

Throwing knives and similar thrown pointy objects

Use the ranges for firing a small pistol for these objects. One throw per turn unless rage is spent.


GMINFO and weapons

If you have firearms, specialty munitions, or other weapons of note, be sure to include a few lines in your character's +GMINFO attribute.

Some things to think about:

  • Where do you keep your weapons while not in use? If it's hidden outdoors someplace, how are you keeping them maintained?
  • Ask yourself what weapons your character carries concealed on him or herself on a day-to-day basis, and is it practical that that large handgun can be concealed effectively on a small frame with tight-fitting clothes? Alter your @desc appropriately if you are concealing anything bigger than a small pistol, a knife, or brass knuckles.
  • Is the weapon legally acquired and possessed?
  • Where did you get it?
  • How much ammo do you carry?
  • Be sure to account for any illegal or potentially illegal weapon (submachine gun, assault weapon, or sniper rifle) in some detail.

If you want to use a specific weapon name (i.e., Colt M1911A), you should include information for the non-gun-literate GM. (i.e., "X carries a Colt M1911A, which is a large-sized pistol that holds 11 bullets.) Definitely do this for any unusual weapons that people may have no clue what it is.


OOC ResourcesEdit

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