Ammo rules

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I've picked up the Gamma World boxed set and the Far-go expansions and I'm getting ready to run a campaign for my 13 year old daughter and some of her school friends. But I'm having some 'issues' with the ammo rule specifically and wanted to get some feedback from the lot of you.

I haven't played since 2nd edition and find the ammo rule for GW to be dumbed down a little. Is this a typical rule for all 4th edition D&D games or is it specific to Gamma World? Do rangers keep track of how many arrows they have or is it simply a matter of 'fire once: you're good; fire more than once and you're out'?

Does it seem a little strange that the beginner's explorer's kit comes with 10 days worth of field rations? So keeping track of food and/or water is alright but keeping track of ammo would be, what, too much to deal with?

How many of you use the ammo/no ammo rule as listed and how many of you have declared a house rule that tracks ammo?

I'm thinking about running with the 4th ed rule and seeing if it feels ok. I can always track ammo later if this feels too dumb.

I guess I can see why they made this rule, especially if it's just for GW. After all, the characters are all bad-ass mutants. The game makers want them using their powers, not hanging back and trying to kill everything with guns.

Thanks in advance for your input.
I haven't played since 2nd edition and find the ammo rule for GW to be dumbed down a little. Is this a typical rule for all 4th edition D&D games or is it specific to Gamma World?

The micromanagement issues of Gamma World (and indeed all of 4e D&D) have indeed been minimized, removed, or dumbed down (depending on your perspective). 4e decided to focus on the heroism rather than the accounting skills of the heroes.

Your heroes run out of ammunition only when the GM/DM decides the story needs it to. Similarly, although the adventurer's kit says you start with 10 days rations, there are no rules for managing rations beyond the kit. Unless the GM/DM decides the heroes *need* to get hungry, it is safe to assume that the heroes are finding access to food.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Abstracted.  Abstracted is the word.  D&D has always been inconsistent with its level of abstraction (see also: abstract spell slots v. simulationist spell component tracking).  4e was designed with a specific level of baseline abstraction in mind, and Gamma World took that to a whole new level.

Really it's less about complication, though, and more about creating options with a framework of pros and cons.  Guns are more accurate and powerful than standard ranged weapons, with a delimiter: fire 1/encounter, or be temporarily unable to use it.  (To be fair, this is not a 4e rule.  You can do all the ammo counting you want in traditional D&D 4e, but after a certain point it becomes either irrelevant - via magic items or effects - or just annoying.)

As Seeker says, it's designed for a heroic or cinematic feel: characters in fiction run out of ammo when the needs of the story call for it, and never for any other reason.

EDIT: Oh, to actually answer your question: yes, lots of people on the forums have proposed house-ruled ammo.  Either letting the "has ammo" condition stack (basically, you expend an "ammo counter" anytime you use your gun more than once during an encounter, and gain one anytime you "find ammo") or by doing actual ammo counting.  I don't recommend the later, though, as it really defeats the creative purpose of Gamma World's non-specific weapons and the abstraction inherent in powers.  FWIW, I've always seen it played by the book, and it works out great.
Is this a typical rule for all 4th edition D&D games or is it specific to Gamma World?

The gun ammo rule is specific Gamma World

Do rangers keep track of how many arrows they have

Theoretically: yes. In practice: no, you almost never have to worry about running out. Note: in Gamma World you never really run out of arrows either; just gun ammo.

Does it seem a little strange that the beginner's explorer's kit comes with 10 days worth of field rations?

That detail doesn't neccesarily mean that all rations should be tracked... it's just useful information for role-playing purposes (i.e. it means that if you are unable to resupply for some reason, you'll likely be out of food after 10 ten days)

How many of you use the ammo/no ammo rule

It's been in effect in every game I've attended.
I actually like the once per encounter gun rule.  It makes my gun feel special and, let's be honest, this game isn't really about the guns.  Also consider there are no reload rules for guns in 4e(well, at least none that I'm aware of).  One shot per encounter prevents the need for them, and I like it that way.
I have been thinking about this for a while now.

I see that we have Overcharge checks and Omega Charge checks to see if things work, but not an Ammo Check.

I think I'm going to houserule that at the end of an encounter, you roll a d20 to see if you have ammo remaining. If you've found ammo during the encounter, you receive a +5 to your roll. DC is 10.

How's that for a compromise?
I have been thinking about this for a while now.

I see that we have Overcharge checks and Omega Charge checks to see if things work, but not an Ammo Check.

I think I'm going to houserule that at the end of an encounter, you roll a d20 to see if you have ammo remaining. If you've found ammo during the encounter, you receive a +5 to your roll. DC is 10.

How's that for a compromise?



I was thinking about doing something similar.  Mind you I'm new to 4e rules so maybe my ideas are a bit wacky but I was thinking about making the check more and more difficult depending upon how many times the gun is fired.  These numbers aren't set in stone but as an example if you fired your gun only once then normal rules would apply.  If you decided to fire it twice then you'd do an ammo check by rolling a D20.  A roll of 10 or above would mean you succeeded.  If you fired the weapon 3 times then the difficulty would ramp up.  Maybe it would require a 14 or more?  4 times would require a 18 or more? 

Something like that. It would still keep the rules slightly abstract while giving the player the choice of firing more than once at the risk of running out of ammo.


I have been thinking about this for a while now.

I see that we have Overcharge checks and Omega Charge checks to see if things work, but not an Ammo Check.

I think I'm going to houserule that at the end of an encounter, you roll a d20 to see if you have ammo remaining. If you've found ammo during the encounter, you receive a +5 to your roll. DC is 10.

How's that for a compromise?



I was thinking about doing something similar.  Mind you I'm new to 4e rules so maybe my ideas are a bit wacky but I was thinking about making the check more and more difficult depending upon how many times the gun is fired.  These numbers aren't set in stone but as an example if you fired your gun only once then normal rules would apply.  If you decided to fire it twice then you'd do an ammo check by rolling a D20.  A roll of 10 or above would mean you succeeded.  If you fired the weapon 3 times then the difficulty would ramp up.  Maybe it would require a 14 or more?  4 times would require a 18 or more? 

Something like that. It would still keep the rules slightly abstract while giving the player the choice of firing more than once at the risk of running out of ammo.




I thought about adding +1 to the DC for every shot after the second. So if you fire once, you don't have to roll. If you fire twice, you roll a d20 against a DC 10. If you fire three times, it's DC 11. 4 Times increases to DC 12, 6 = DC 14,..., 10 = DC 18. A lot of guns have a limit of 10-12 rounds in their clips so at 12 shots with a DC of 20 would be semi-believable.

Since we're talking about abstract ammo rules to begin with, you could consider weapons that have multiple dice for damage as being more powerful or firing multiple bullets (bursts). That's up to you to interpret.
At that point, you've pretty much gotten to fire gun every round without much of a penalty.  It should bump up by 4 or 5 with each shot past the first or you really haven't limited the weapon much.
[...]but not an Ammo Check.

[...]roll a d20 to see if you have ammo remaining.

I think it would counter the objective I perceive in the current rule.

Guns are better than non-guns. Better range, better accuracy, and sometimes better damage. They are the best weapon to use from range. Players (via their PCs) *want* to use a gun as often as possible. The only thing that keeps that in check is that using it more than once in an encounter requires that they find more ammunition. Using it only once guarantees that they can use the gun again next encounter.

The proposed house rule, however, removes any link between player decisions and ammo availability. The smart thing is to use the gun as often as you can in an encounter, because the chance of having ammo left over is based on a die roll, and is independent of how much you used in the fight.

I like the current ammo rules for this reason.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.

As I've said before, I don't believe that this game is about the guns.  However, if the appeal to use guns is more about the flavor of them, then I would suggest making your normal range weapon a gun.  They don't require ammo so you will always have some, and you wont hurt the balance(such as it is) of the system.  Or, if this solution is not appealing, just make most of the enemies drop ammo.  If you blow all your ammo in a fight, but the corpses you used it on are carrying ammo then your good. 

does anyone else feel that guns become underpowered at later levels? Around level 4 they'll be able to salvage most omega tech items to create ranged weapons that equal or exceed guns in damage. If I recall, none of these salvaged ranged weapons require ammo!

Guns are good for accuracy and range.  Their damage may not remain competative, but they will still be able to do things that normal range weapons or even salvaged tech cannot do.

Thanks to everyone for your input. I think I understand the reasoning behind this rule alot better now.

Just one follow up question:

If a character has 2 one-handed firearms, can he fire them both once each and still maintain ammo safety or is the one shot rule for all firearms of each class, or even for all firearms per character for that matter?
I have been thinking about this for a while now.

I see that we have Overcharge checks and Omega Charge checks to see if things work, but not an Ammo Check.
.., 



This new thread on ammo has also got me thinking.  The rules for gun ammo become irrelevant at later levels as Pcs start to salvage Omega tech.  Salvaged Omega tech do not follow the ammo rules.  What's cooler a 9mm pistol or a MK1 laser pistol (salvagable at second level 500xp)
If a character has 2 one-handed firearms, can he fire them both once each and still maintain ammo safety or is the one shot rule for all firearms of each class, or even for all firearms per character for that matter?

My understanding is that it is a per-weapon thing. My PCs have given all of their guns to one player, who stays back (he has a glass jaw, literally!) and shoots each round when the encounter permits it.

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
If a character has 2 one-handed firearms, can he fire them both once each and still maintain ammo safety or is the one shot rule for all firearms of each class, or even for all firearms per character for that matter?

My understanding is that it is a per-weapon thing. My PCs have given all of their guns to one player, who stays back (he has a glass jaw, literally!) and shoots each round when the encounter permits it.




I'd say it's your call.

This method works, and can be abused just a sabove.  But if the abuse doesn't hurt the enjoyment, or the challange, of the game, go for it.

One way to do it would be to hand out ammo "cards".  Playing cards maybe.  When a gun is fired once, flip the card (face up or down) if they cash in on the ammo, hand the card over.

My thought would be to make the ammo per pleyer, and regardless of the number of guns posessed, once you start shooting, you lose your ammo.  Let the PC's trade ammo to other PC's though, so that the whole group gives it's ammo to the PC who needs it.

My vote.
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If a character has 2 one-handed firearms, can he fire them both once each and still maintain ammo safety

By strict RAW: no, since ammo is by character rather than by weapon.
"Ammunition: You either have ammo, or you don’t. If you do, you can use ammunition to fire any weapon you have that requires ammunition. If you don’t, you can’t. If you use ammunition only once in an encounter: At the end of the encounter, you still have ammunition. If you use ammunition more than once in an encounter: At the end of the encounter, you are out of ammo. You must acquire more before you can use a weapon that requires ammunition again (if you borrow some from an ally, then that ally is out of ammo.) Your Game Master determines when you find more ammo."

My PCs have given all of their guns to one player

That should work fine even by strict RAW (since PC's can give ammo to each other).
I posted in the general questions already, but this thread might be more specific to my question.  I have a doppelganger in my game with an AK47.  How would people treat the clone's use of ammunition.  Does each clone have a "magical" gun that doesn't count towards the main character's use of 1 shot per round?

I know that trying to make sense of something as strange as being able to clone yourself with a weapon is strange enough, and the rules specifically state no alpha mutations or omega tech but leave out the use of "mundane" weapons.  If my clone can have the same sword as the original, then why can't the clone have a gun of his/her/it's own.

Personally I would like to find some sort of explanation why the PC shouldn't be allowed to fire once per turn because "the clone fired and I didn't" without just saying "I'm the DM and I say so."  This is my first game being DM and he is a veteran player and I appreciate him in the group because he can answer some of the questions pertaining to rules and running a game.

Anyone come across this or have a neat solution to this? 
I have been thinking about this for a while now.

I see that we have Overcharge checks and Omega Charge checks to see if things work, but not an Ammo Check.
.., 



This new thread on ammo has also got me thinking.  The rules for gun ammo become irrelevant at later levels as Pcs start to salvage Omega tech.  Salvaged Omega tech do not follow the ammo rules.  What's cooler a 9mm pistol or a MK1 laser pistol (salvagable at second level 500xp)



Well that's a very good point.  Although I know it's been argued that the game isn't about guns, it's very possible (more so even people are playing with custom player decks) that all players will have access to ranged weapons that are better than default ranged weapons without ammo restrictions of guns.

In many ways, I actually think this part needs to be changed (house rules) so that players are forced to find some kind of energy cell (ammo) for the Omega tech at some point.

So while the RAW will prevent people from going rambo with their gun, they could go rambo with their Gauss Rifle.  This would basically mean people would either use their default ranged or salvaged tech and guns wouldn't really be touched much.

The only other solution for balancing salvaged Omega tech weapons vs guns would be to require some sort of regular salvage check for the weapon ever so often.

I really don't know the perfect solution to be honest.
How many of you use the ammo/no ammo rule as listed and how many of you have declared a house rule that tracks ammo?

I don't much worry about tracking anything.  As I'm running in a casual setting, I stick to the standard rules for the most part. 

If find the easiest way to explain ammo is:  "Having ammo is a binary state, you either have it, or you don't.  If you 'have ammo,' and get more, you still just 'have ammo."   The idea is that ammo is pretty unpredictable after 150 years, and you might have boxes of it, but find out most of it was duds, that kind of thing.

Two alternatives I'd consider for a campaign, are the survival-day economy or the 'bullet' economy.

Either track survival-days and use them as currency.  Or track ammo - individual rounds - and use them as currency...



 

 

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I have been thinking about this for a while now.

I see that we have Overcharge checks and Omega Charge checks to see if things work, but not an Ammo Check.
.., 



This new thread on ammo has also got me thinking.  The rules for gun ammo become irrelevant at later levels as Pcs start to salvage Omega tech.  Salvaged Omega tech do not follow the ammo rules.  What's cooler a 9mm pistol or a MK1 laser pistol (salvagable at second level 500xp)



Well that's a very good point.  Although I know it's been argued that the game isn't about guns, it's very possible (more so even people are playing with custom player decks) that all players will have access to ranged weapons that are better than default ranged weapons without ammo restrictions of guns.

In many ways, I actually think this part needs to be changed (house rules) so that players are forced to find some kind of energy cell (ammo) for the Omega tech at some point.

So while the RAW will prevent people from going rambo with their gun, they could go rambo with their Gauss Rifle.  This would basically mean people would either use their default ranged or salvaged tech and guns wouldn't really be touched much.

The only other solution for balancing salvaged Omega tech weapons vs guns would be to require some sort of regular salvage check for the weapon ever so often.

I really don't know the perfect solution to be honest.



I can think of two, related solutions to this problem. They both revolve around the idea that when you salvage Omega Tech, they have some sort of charging system that acts as ammunition of sorts, but you don't have to find it. It regenerates on its own,  but slowly, due to the age of the technology. This could be solar power, a tiny internal nuclear reactor, or whatever.

The two ways to represent this that have occurred to me are as follows:

1) Treat all Omega Tech as encounter powers. You can fire the weapon once per encounter, which expends the charge until the following encounter.

2) Treat all Omega Tech as modified daily powers. Sort of a cross between dailies and Gamma World guns. You can fire any piece of Omega Tech once per encounter and the charge will hold up. The moment you fire it more than once in an encounter, you might as well go whole hog, because the charge is depleted. The Omega Tech is empty until you either find ammo, such as an energy cell, or alternatively--and I think I prefer this one--you take an extended rest.
I never cared for the current ammo rules in GW & don't intend to use them in my own GW campaign.  It just doesn't make sense that PCs have to conserve ammo but NPCs/monsters do not.  Also part of the fun of a post-apoc. campaign is the hunt for ammo.
It just doesn't make sense that PCs have to conserve ammo but NPCs/monsters do not.


An ammo-limited gun attack is easily represented with a monster's encounter/recharge powers.  Conveniently, these are typically high damage attacks.  Replace "guns" (like the dabber's carbine) with "ranged weapons" (like a sling with rocks or a potato gun firing billiard balls).

The monsters are bound to the same ammo rules that the PCs are. They just don't get any exposition beyond that one encounter in which they get slaughtered, therefore they can go all out. (which might also explain why the PCs only find 2x 'ammo' on 5 badders wearing guns)
I like the ammo rules enough that I'm considering using them in other games. 
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I posted in the general questions already, but this thread might be more specific to my question.  I have a doppelganger in my game with an AK47.  How would people treat the clone's use of ammunition.  Does each clone have a "magical" gun that doesn't count towards the main character's use of 1 shot per round?



Was this ever answered? If the clone's shot doesn't count towards ammo, then doppelgangers never run out of ammo right? If they want to take a shot they just clone and take the shot with the clone.
RAW doesn't address the issue, so you'll have to discuss it with the GM and get their specific ruling.  I'm guessing the intent of the power is NOT to get around the ammo rules, but that's just it: I'm guessing.  Any way you look at it, it raises more questions.  

Does the power also clone every piece of carried equipment (presumably, since your copies have clothes and use your weapons)?  But then could the double then fire a "copy" of an omega tech item?  Use a consumable without expending it?  Could they use an alpha encounter power, alpha flux, and then replace their alpha mutation, without affecting yours?  Maybe omega tech is overdoing it, but what about mundane gear and ancient junk?  Can the doppelganger use their copy of a chemstick without removing it from your inventory?

I'm guessing the intent on most of those is "no."  There are plenty of ways to justify it in-game, given the nature of the origin.  If you need one, just let me know.  
Does the power also clone every piece of carried equipment (presumably, since your copies have clothes and use your weapons)?  But then could the double then fire a "copy" of an omega tech item?  Use a consumable without expending it?  Could they use an alpha encounter power, alpha flux, and then replace their alpha mutation, without affecting yours?  Maybe omega tech is overdoing it, but what about mundane gear and ancient junk?  Can the doppelganger use their copy of a chemstick without removing it from your inventory?

"it can't use doppelganger powers, Alpha Mutations, or Omega Tech"

"it can't use doppelganger powers, Alpha Mutations, or Omega Tech"


HA!  I knew I should have double-checked before posting.  Still, non-omega tech?  There's so very few in the basic game, much less ones that would make a difference, but can it use any possessed item?
Still, non-omega tech?  There's so very few in the basic game, much less ones that would make a difference, but can it use any possessed item?

Like ancient junk, first-aid kits, road flares, twinkies...? I don't see why not.
Like ancient junk, first-aid kits, road flares, twinkies...? I don't see why not.


Woot!  Infinite individually-wrapped creme-filled sponge cakes!

Gross misremembrance of origin powers aside: I still don't think the intent of the power is to completely bypass the ammo rules, but I suppose it's only double range and +1 average damage over a ranged weapon that has no such limitation.

*shrug* 
Still, non-omega tech?  There's so very few in the basic game, much less ones that would make a difference, but can it use any possessed item?

Like ancient junk, first-aid kits, road flares, twinkies...? I don't see why not.

wait, so do clones using a first-aid kit deplete the doppleganger's inventory? I guess this is the same as the ammo rule.
I still don't think the intent of the power is to completely bypass the ammo rules

Right... pretty sure they never even considered it. But I'm ok with it; there are plenty of powers out there that are better than gun attacks, and it's not like my players have had trouble finding ammo anyways. Plus, a gun user can often just get ammo from other players.

fun= Player thinking they found a loop-hole (but not actually affecting play balance)
unfun= DM trying to rationalize duplicate using primary's ammo
fun= Guns in general
unfun= cold, empty guns

Woot!  Infinite individually-wrapped creme-filled sponge cakes!

"Add oregano to taste"
I do not believe "double trouble" (doppleganger's novice power) creates a clone as in another being that is independant of it's creator.  It's supposed to be an extension of ones self as they are at the time.  So yes, they would have all the gear and whatnot that your character has.  But, since they are an extension of you, if they were to use up anything of yours then you by extension also use it up.  Think of guns as encounter powers with a stipulation allowing a second use with a consequence.  If this bypass is deemed exceptable then one could begin to extend the argument to the characters other origins expert and utility powers (most of which are encounters) which, I believe we could agree, is both over powered and most likely not what is intended. 
If this bypass is deemed exceptable then one could begin to extend the argument to the characters other origins expert and utility powers (most of which are encounters)

It's an excellent point. Still (again, just for my own personal taste), I'm ok with with justifying that a clone uses up the primary's encounter powers, since the limitations of an encounter power's use is generally just an arbitrary limitation done solely for balance/dramatic purposes.

However, if say a clone eats a twinkie (or damages an item), I didn't plan to describe the primary's own twinkie as suddenly gone/damaged. fwiw: if damaging a clone also damaged the primary, I would handle this entirely differently

I personally count ammo in the twinkie/ration category, but I wouldn't begrudge a DM that desired to handle it more as an encounter power.