The Hermetic Wild West
Ch 11 Obstacles
Defense Total: Instead of rolling a Stress Die against each attack, simply add six. This “straight-six” is treated as a roll result, so any bonuses or penalties to rolls will modify it.
Melee Attack Total Modifiers:
- Attacker is prone ( –1)
- Attacker has high ground ( +1)
- Defender is prone ( +1)
Missile Attack Total Modifiers:
- Shooter is in melee ( –1 per assailant, up to –3)
- Shooter moved this (or the prior) round ( –2)
- Target is running ( –1)
- Target is in melee ( –1 per assailant, up to –3)
- Target is prone ( –1)
- Target is at least half covered or concealed ( –2)
If two or more characters choose to delay, and both wish to interrupt the same action (or one another), both add a stress die to their initiative totals determine who acts first.
This campaign only uses the group combat rules in rare circumstances, typically when only one player character is involved. Otherwise, combat in this campaign is very individualized.
Freeform Combat (Stances): At the start of each round, each player must declare if her character is attempting to take a rearward stance. (All other characters take a forward stance.)
Rearward characters are farther from the action. They are protected from the rush of foes and can more easily perform ranged attacks. But characters can only take a rearward stance if they have enough allies to block for them.
On open ground, rearward stance is only possible if the number of forward allies is at least half the number of forward enemies. In tighter quarters, this number changes at the discretion of the Storyguide. For example, in a narrow hallway, one forward ally can block any number of forward enemies.
Characters in the rearward stance can be targeted at range without any penalty, by missile weapons, spells, and the like. A melee attacker can only reach a rearward person by rushing: she must beat one of the forward defending characters in opposed stress rolls of Size + Strength as part of her attack. The defending character adds 6 to her roll, plus her shield’s Defense bonus, if any. Rushing must be rolled for each attack against rearward foes.
Characters in the forward stance cannot use ranged two-handed weapons. (One-handed ranged weapons can be used.)
Forward spellcasters must pass a Hard (ease factor 12) Concentration check or their spells fail in the surge of pressing foes. The ease factor goes up to 15 if the spellcaster has already been damaged this round. (No check is required for fast cast effects.)
A grappled character cannot change stances; her position on the field is determined by the circumstances.
(This table replaces the one on p. 176)
- Tough Clothes Prot. 1, Load 0.5
- Leather Wear Prot. 2, Load 1
- Reinforced Leather Wear Prot. 3, Load 1.5
- Rapier: Single Weapon Ability, +3 Init, +4 Atk, +2 Dfn, +5 Dam, -1 Str, 1 Load, Exp Cost
- Crossbow: Bows Ability, +3 Init, +2 Atk, 0 Dfn, +10 Dam, 0 Str, 2 Load, Exp Cost, 10 Rng
- Derringer: Firearms Ability, +3 Init, +1 Atk, 0 Dfn, +6 Dam, -5 Str, 0 Load, Std. Cost, 10 Rng
- Pistol: Firearms Ability, +2 Init, +2 Atk, 0 Dfn, +8 Dam, -4 Str, 0.5 Load, Std. Cost, 15 Rng
- Carbine: Firearms Ability, +1 Init, +3 Atk, 0 Dfn, +8 Dam, -2 Str, 1.5 Load, Std. Cost, 20 Rng
- Shotgun: Firearms Ability, +1 Init, +5 Atk, 0 Dfn, +10 Dam, -2 Str, 1.5 Load, Std. Cost, 10 Rng
- Rifle: Firearms Ability, +0 Init, +3 Atk, 0 Dfn, +10 Dam, -2 Str, 1.5 Load, Std. Cost, 25 Rng
- Long Rifle: Firearms Ability, +0 Init, +3 Atk, 0 Dfn, +12 Dam, -1 Str, 2 Load, Std. Cost, 30 Rng
Firearms do not add Strength bonus to damage, but can penetrate armor. Pistols, carbines, and rifles ignore the first three points of protection a target receives from armor. Long rifles ignore the first five points of such protection.
As an action, a character may load a firearm with a number of cartridges equal to three plus her Dexterity rating, to a minimum of two per action. If the weapon loads cap & ball, a character can load only one shot per action spent reloading, regardless of Dexterity.
Firearms must be loaded with at least one shot before use. A firearm can be loaded with a single cartridge and fired as the same action but suffers an additional -8 modifier to Initiative. (If a weapon loads cap & ball, it cannot be loaded and fired as a single action.)
Derringer: Colt 1849 Pocket Model (.31 cap & ball, 5 shots, 1849), Smith & Wesson Model 1 (.22 Short, 7 shots, 1857), Smith & Wesson Model 1 ½ (.32 Short, 5 shots, 1860), Colt Derringer (.41 Derringer, 1 shot, 1870), Remington Double Derringer (.41 Derringer, 2 shots, 1866)
Pistol: Colt Paterson (.36 cap & ball, 5 shot, 1836), Colt Walker Dragoon (.44 cap & ball, 6 shot, 1847), Colt Dragoon (.44 cap & ball, 6 shot, 1848), Adams Revolver (.44 cap & ball, 5 shot, 1851), Colt 1851 Navy (.36 cap & ball, 6 shot, 1850), Remington New Army (.44 cap & ball, 6 shot, 1858), Colt 1860 Army (.44 cap & ball, 6 shot, 1860), LeMat Revolver (.40 cap & ball, 9 shot, 1862), Webley R.I.C. Revolver (.450 Revolver, 6 shot, 1868), Richards Conversion Navy (.38 Short, 6 shot, 1872), Richards Conversion Army (.44 Colt, 6 shot, 1872), Colt Open Top Model 1872 (.44 Henry, 6 shot, 1872), Colt SAA Model 1873 (.45 Long Colt, 6 shot, 1875), Remington Single Action (.44-40, 6 shot, 1875), Colt Lightning (.38 Long Colt, 6 shot, 1877), Colt Thunderer (.41 Long Colt, 6 shot, 1877), Smith & Wesson #3 (.45 S&W, 6 shot, 1878)
Shotgun: Single Barrel Percussion Shotgun (various, 1 shot, 1841), Double Barrel Percussion Shotgun (various, 2 shots, 1841), Single Barrel Shotgun (various, 1 shot, 1870), Double Barrel Shotgun (various, 2 shots, 1870), Double Barrel Scattergun (various, 2 shots, 1870), Hammerless Double Shotgun (various, 2 shots, 1878), Hammerless Double Scattergun (various, 2 shots, 1878), Winchester Lever-Action Model 1887 (various, 4 shots, 1887)
Carbine: Sharps 1859 Carbine (.54 cap & ball, 1 shot, 1859), Spencer Carbine (.56-56, 7 shot, 1862), Sharps 1863 Carbine (.54 cap & ball, 1 shot, 1859), Winchester Yellowboy Carbine (.44 Henry, 11 shots, 1866), Sharps 1866 Carbine (.50-70, 1 shot, 1866), Winchester 73 Saddle Ring Carbine (.44-40, 1873), Springfield Model 1873 Carbine (.45-70, 1 shot, 1873)
Rifle: Henry Rifle (.44 Henry, 15 shots, 1860), Winchester Yellowboy (.44 Henry, 15 shots, 1866), Winchester 73 Sporting Model (.44-40, 12 shot, 1873), Winchester 73 Long Range Model (.44-40, 15 shot, 1873), Remington Rolling Block (.44-90, 1 shot, 1873), Sharps 1874 (.40-90, 1 shot, 1874), Winchester 1876 Rifle (.45-75, 9 shot, 1876), Sharps 1874 (.45-110, 1 shot, 1876)
Long Rifle: Springfield Model 1861 (.58 cap & ball, 1 shot, 1861), Springfield Model 1866 Rifle (.50-70, 1 shot, 1866), Springfield Model 1873 Rifle (.45-70, 1 shot, 1873), Sharps 1874 ‘Big Fifty’ (.50-90, 1 shot, 1874)
Lack of cross-compatibility is a major problem with the production and sale of ammunition in this era, something the Confederacy struggled with throughout the war. In contrast, shotgun ammunition (shotshells) enjoys excellent interchangeability. Shotguns are bored at about one of three calibers: 10-, 12-, or 20-gauge. Shotshells manufactured by such companies Remington-Peters-UMC, Winchester-Western, and Federal Cartridge Co. are all interchangeable at their stated gauges, despite small size differences.