Friday Night Firefight

posted by hectorgrey Original SA post

You know what, screw it. I'm going to go ahead and write up another book. Not Riddle of Steel this time; oh no. While Kayn has apparently abandoned his attempt at Cyberpunk v3 (something for which I'm not sure I can blame him), I'm going to go old school. This is going to be something of a history lesson. This book was published in 1988, and is a self contained combat system that can be played by itself if you wish, or else can be inserted into any Interlock game. The goal here is realistic gunfights in a modern/near future setting. That's right, ladies and gents: welcome to Friday Night Firefight, 1st edition.

Friday Night Firefight - Part 1

Well, I guess I might as well open this up with an introduction to what we're reading here. These words may be familiar to some of you, but whatever. I always get that little feeling whenever I read these words.

Friday Night Firefight posted:

There are a lot of spurious ideas and rumours about modern weapons enounters running around - most of them from the Hollywood Never-Empty-Sixgun School of Armed Combat. To a large extent, these misconceptions have crept into the design of many adventure games, leading to characters who can be repeatedly shot with large calibre handguns until they run out of "hit points" and who can fire ingram MAC-10's one handed and hit with every bullet. In other words, good, clean fun.

Friday Night Firefight TM is not good, clean fun. Most of the data herein has been compiled from ballistics reports, police data, FBI statistics and other not-clean-fun sources. These sources all tend to point at a couple of basic truthes about firefight combat.

Most (80%, in fact) gunfights occur withing 21 feet of the respective targets. Some 40% of these happen within 8 feet or less. Most (60%) occur in dimly lit and difficult conditions - dark, rainy alleys, with both participants panting and out of breath, pausing momentarily to snap off a badly aimed shot at a fleeting shadow, then ducking back into cover. Hits are actually quite rare. When they do occur (assuming a large calibre weapon is used), the victim is usually hors de combat on the first shot, from a combination of wound shock and fear. A solid hit with a .44 magnum will probably splatter your character all over New Jersey.

Why do we bring this up? We've tride to distill lots of real combat firearms data into a simple, user-friendly form; a form that means you don't have to deal with reams of tables and charts to accurately commit mayhem on your fellow players. The result is that while Friday Night Firefight TM is deceptively easy to use, it is also deceptively dangerous. In this game, a large calibre handgun is something to be truly respected. If you're the sort who likes to charge into a gunfight with both barrels blazing, be prepared to lose your first character. And the next. And the next, until you get the point. This stuff is dangerous . Good luck.

So yeah, this is a combat system that can be plugged into any game using the interlock system (including the first edition of Cyberpunk: Cyberpunk 2013), or else used as a stand alone game. After this introduction, the book moves straight onto preparation: what you will need (several 6 and 10 sided dice, pencils, Combat Sheets and preferably, but not necessarily, a Referee; followed by creating a character specifically for this combat system should you be using it as a stand alone game. There are five relevant stats which range from 2-10, and you roll 5d10 to determine how many points you get to distribute between them. They are as follows:

Intelligence (INT): This is a measure of mental acuity and problem solving ability.
Reflexes (REF): This is an index combining basic dexterity and physical co-ordination.
Cool (CL): This is an index of how well the character stands up to stress, fear and pain.
Movement Allowance (MA): This is how fast the character moves. Multiply by 5 to determine how many meters you can run per turn. Divide your running speed by 10 to determine how many meters you can leap.
Body Type (Body):There are five levels of Body Type. Each determines how much damage you can take in wounds, etc. Your Body Type is determined by how many points you place into it: 2 - Very Weak; 3-4 - Weak; 5-7 - Average; 8-9 - Strong; 10 - Very Strong. Write your Body Type in the box adjacent to the BODY section of your FNFF Combat Sheet.

Next, we have combat skills. There are several; one for each weapon type, one each for Athletics, Stealth and Awareness, and two for unarmed combat: Brawling, for the untrained, "learned how to fight by getting the shit kicked out of you" style of fighting, and Martial Arts, for trained unarmed combat, such as boxing, karate or MCMAP (the style taught to US Marines; chosen by me as a random example since the Marines were still being taught LINE back when this was written). Again, you get 5d10 points to put into these. Martial Arts grants bonus damage in unarmed combat, but costs 2 points for every one point you increase it by. Finally, grab some guns and basic body armour, and you're good to go.

So, now that we have some characters, it's time to go ahead and stick them in the arena. Each turn is approximately ten seconds long, and is split into three phases. Each player may only act in phases that their Reflex score allows them to act in. Players with Reflex 8 or higher get to act in all three phases; while players with Reflex 4 or lower may only act in the third phase. In each phase, the players act in Reflex order, choosing one action each. If two players have equal Reflex, their actions occur simultaneously. A player may also choose to delay his action within a phase, acting at whatever point he deems fit later on in that phase. It's at this point that we get a combat example, that the book helpfully tells us will be referred to later. The participants are Mad Matt (REF 10); Crusher Jones (REF 8); Scar Heckler (REF 9); Killer Koch (REF 5) and Legs Luger (REF 5). Hmm. I see what they did there...

A Play Example posted:

Turn order will be: Mad Matt, Crusher and Scar all act on Phase 1, 2 and 3. Killer and Legs act on Phase 2 and 3 only. Phase One: Matt moves first. He takes aim on Scar Heckler, fires and misses. Next, Scar fires back at Matt, wounding him slightly. Crusher Jones comes up from behind cover and backshoots Scar. In Phase Two , Matt decides to delay his action, waiting to see which of the two assailants his the bigger problem. Scar stays low, reloading his gun. Crusher springs across the street, leaving him open to Matt's attack - he fires and kills him. Matt's move exposes him to Killer and Legs. Killer shoots at Matt, while Legs shoots at Killer. Phase Three: Matt turns and fires at Killer and misses. Scar decides to delay his turn, waiting for a clear shot Killer shoots back at Matt and critically wounds him. At the same time, Legs shoots at Killer, killing him. Because they have the same Reflex stat, Killer is able to make his attack on Matt, even as Legs' shot hits him. Finally, Scar comes out of hiding and zaps Legs.

With this over with, the game goes on to talk about ambushes. In order to ambush someone, the attack naturally needs to be hinding. The attacker rolls d10+INT+Stealth, while the defender rolls d10+INT+Awarness. If the attacker wins the roll, he gets a phase in which to act before the first turn begins. After that, we have Scale, where we learn that the game uses meters for its measurements and so long as all maps are to scale, it doesn't really matter what that scale is when it comes to miniature play - naturally, if this is being played old school, with no miniatures, then no maps are required (though they may help...). If you're using minis, the way to determine scale is as follows: measure one of the minis being used. They are considered to be 2 meters tall, and half their height is considered to be one meter.

Movement is worked out on a phase by phase level; divide your running speed by 3 to work out how far you can run in a single phase. Depending on terrain, you may be forced into moving at half or even a third of your usual speed. Finally, we have skills rolls, or task attempts as FNFF likes to call them. The Ambush rolls are a good example of these; d10+stat+skill vs a difficulty level.

Now we get to find out what we can actually do during a turn. You get one action per phase, and adjascent phases need not be in the same turn:

Shoot: You may fire any non-autofire weapon twice as a single action, if the weapon has a firing rate greater than 1 (most are rated as 2). You may also fire one burst from any autofire or fully automatic weapon as one action.
Hand to Hand Attack: You may make two hand to hand attacks as one action. Each attack will take up one-half an action. Hand to hand attacks include blows, strikes and attacks with swords, clubs or knives.
Leap: This includes any action in which you are diving into, or jumping over, under, into, onto or out of something. Referees shoud rate the leaping manoeuvre by difficulty and require a Task Attempt for each one. A failure results in a fall.
Acrobatics: This includes any single action that could fit into these categories: flipping over something, spinning around, climbing, rolling, balancing, rebounding off somethign, doing handstands or pivoting around something. Requires a Task Attempt and failure means a fall.
Juggle: This includes any action that could fit into these categories: catching something, tossing things from hand to hand, grabbing things, snatching things or juggling things. Requires a Task Attempt and failure means that whatever you tried to juggle or catch is dropped.
Active Dodge: +2 to defence.
Parry: +3 to defence.
Feint: +2 to any attack made in the next phase; must be made with a melee weapon.
Escape: Free yourself from entanglements, entrapments or grappling. May be attempted once per action.
Aim: One or more consecutive phases before firing; +2 to shoot per phase.
Reload/change weapon: fairly self explanatory:
Mount/Dismount: enter or leave a vehicle.
Repair/Aid: fix something or someone. May take a while.

Next up, we have facing: anything in front of you is visible without rolling (unless it's hiding), and may be attacked or acted upon. Anything behind requires an awareness roll to determine that there's a threat, after which the player must turn around to face it (taking a -2 penalty to both attack and defence for one phase). Remember how I said that example would be referenced later?

Example part 2 posted:

As we recal in our combat example, Mad Matt was attacked from beind by Scar Heckler at the beginning of Phase 3. Normally, Matt's superior combat abilities would have enabled him to easily avoid Scar's shot and make a lethal counter attack. However, Matt was hampered in both his defence and attack rolls by the automatic -2 penalty for turning around. This was enough to negate his normal combat advantages.

Also, line of sight and obstacles are both important in this game; if there's a wall between you and an opponent, you can't see him (duh).

So anyway, the basic combat system is quite simple; you roll your reflex+weapon skill+accuracy, while your target rolls his reflex+acrobatics+range modifier. If you roll higher than the defender, you hit; otherwise you miss. An unaware target doesn't get to roll for defence, instead being treated as an inanimate object. So, with that out of the way, we have some optional rules to make combat more realistic.

First, we have combat experience. This is based around the idea that a person who's never been in a fight before is going to have a harder time coping with the stress of combat than someone who's been in a few firefights and has nerves of steel. It manifests as a penalty to all attack rolls in combat that is reduced by 1 every two firefights a character gets into.

Next, we have position and cover; these provide defence bonuses to the target. After this we have snap shooting, which is how the shooting in this game works; any shot that isn't aimed (that is, that doesn't have at least a phase spent aiming immediately prior to the shot) is a snap shot, and hits a random place on the body. If you try to hit somewhere specific, your attack roll is halved.

Aimed shots receive bonuses as above, but also hit a random place on the body by default. If you aim somewhere specific, you again half your attack total.

After this, we have special attacks. Attacks versus inanimate objects have a set difficulty based on size, range and movement. Also, we have automatic fire. Automatic fire comes in two flavours; direct and suppressive. Direct autofire is either a three round burst, which is easier to control over range, or unloading a magazine into just the one target, which is better used up close. For every point by which the attacker's roll beats the defender's, the defender is hit by one round.

Supressive fire, on the other hand, is filling an a five meter wide area with lead to make it dangerous to enter. Anyone in that area is considered a defender, and rolls defence against the attacker's one attack roll. Anyone who fails takes one round. If more people fail than you have bullet, the closest people are hit first.

Automatic fire cannot be aimed at a specific part of a person's body, but can receive the bonuses for aiming at a target before firing.

Shotguns, meanwhile, can have their shots made more accurate or more damaging by using the choke, and all shots cover an area of one to three meters wide, working exactly the same as supressive fire. Shotgun hits hit two parts of a person's body rather than one. Grenades, meanwhile, use athletics in order to throw them accurately, and they have a six meter radius.

Finally, we have melee combat. Melee combat works exactly the same as ranged combat with only one exception: damage is modified based on body type.

So, we're half way through the book; the second half is Friday Night Fistifight: basically the same as the above only for beating the shit out of people. I hope this little look at how FNFF used to work interests you, and I'll get the remainder done at some point later in the week.

Friday Night Fistfight

posted by hectorgrey Original SA post

Well guys, it's been a while since my last piece of content; I'm not sure how interested anyone is in this, but I guess I'd best get it finished.

Friday Night FireFight Part 2

Welcome to the second part of Friday Night FireFight; Friday Night FistFight. Quite simply, this is the hand to hand segment of the game, and while it says fistfight, that does in fact include knives, swords, broken bottles etc. Let's open as this portion of the book opens - with the reason why.

Friday Night FistFight posted:

Okay, so you're out in the street with your stuff. You've got a .45 in your back holster, a nice little H&K snugged up under your armpit and a four shot .357 holdout under your pants cuff. Then you go to the bar for a quick brew, and some guy gets into your face. Sure, you've got lots of hardware, but the last thing you want to do is haul something out and fill the air with lead. No, you draw back one massive, leather and spike gloved hand, and deck the sucker. Welcome to hand to hand combat.

80s as fuck. As you may or may not remember from my last post, there are two different skills used for unarmed combat: Brawling and Martial Arts. Brawling is what you learn by getting into lots of fights; you learn a few things that work and a few that don't, but it's nothing technical. Martial Arts is any form of trained unarmed combat, from Krav Maga to Boxing. The distinction is there because a trained martial artist doesn't know just how to attack, he also knows where to attack in order to cause the most damage.

All hand to hand attacks are considered to take place at point blank range and have average accuracy, so no penalties or bonuses, with the exception of kicks - they have poor accuracy, for a -1 penalty to hit. The only difference between different techniques is in the description, and you may make two attacks as part of the same action. There are five different types of unarmed attack:

Strikes - Karate chops, punches, elbows, finger jabs and so on; these do 1d6 damage added to the attacker's strength modifier.

Kicks - Fairly self explanatory; these do 2d6 damage added to the strength modifier.

Pins and grapples - Grappling. This does no damage, but allows a Break.

Breaks - Breaking the poor bastard's limb. This does 1d6 added to the strength modifier in damage.

Throws - Throwing someone to the ground deals 1d6 damage added to the strength modifier, but it also stuns the opponent for 1d6 phases.

As you can see, there's not much difference between the various attacks. As before, defending against attacks is identical to ranged combat. The only difference is, damage is dealt as Bludgeoning Damage rather than Killing Damage. After rolling damage, you divide the result by five in order to get the actual damage. Often, this results in no damage.

Next up, we have a discussion on damage types. First thing we do in determining damage is work out where the damage is applied. If the attack wasn't aimed for a specific place, a d10 is rolled to work it out randomly. If somewhere that couldn't logically be hit is rolled (the legs, if behind a waist high wall, for instance), reroll until you get something you could hit. Shotguns are done a little differently, and have their own table that I can't be arsed reproducing. Suffice it to say that they hit multiple targets, and split the damage equally between them.

This is where the third type of damage is finally introduced - Structural Damage. This is, quite simply, blowing shit up, and works exactly as you'd expect it to. The other types of damage are also reiterated here, but with one addition - it explains the difference between Martial Arts and Brawling in terms of damage. When using Martial Arts for an attack, you get to add your Martial Arts skill to the damage (prior to dividing by 5). This means that a Martial Artist is more likely to deal noticeable damage with an unarmed attack, but he'll still have a hard time dealing killing blows.

Armour is discussed next - it reduces damage by a set amount. Bludgeoning damage is divided by 5 before being compared with armour, meaning that punching someone in the face who's wearing a face covering helmet is probably not going to work. Melee attacks from sharp objects reduce modern armour effectiveness by half - modern armour is generally designed to withstand bullets, not knives.

Now, we hit wounds. Flesh Wounds are just that, and are safely ignored. Serious Wounds are nasty, resulting in broken bones or tissue trauma and bleeding. A serious wound to the head can result in the loss of an eye. Critical Wounds result in very nasty shit happening, and can lead to amputations, punctured lungs and permanent blindness, among other things. A Mortal Wound means you're dying, and a result on the damage table of Dead, means just that. Wounds are cumulative, and they can potentially cause unconsciousness and other nasty things. Healing takes fucking ages, so don't get shot.

Finally, we come to the reference tables. There are two pages of them, and they're pretty much mandatory for playing this game. They're pretty readable though, and there's also ballistics tables for anyone who gives a shit.

So, there we have it. That's this writeup done with. Next time, I'll go ahead and do a writeup of a system that I actually want to run at some point, but that I can guarantee there's only about two or three people here who've ever heard of.