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WOIN Heavy Automatic weapons, and some other weapon oddities in WOIN

Steven Barker

First Post
In N.E.W. a bunch of the standard ranged weapons have both the Heavy and Auto traits. However, the Heavy trait says that means you can only fire it once per turn. Is that really intended? A limited rate of fire makes sense for a few of the exotic heavy weapons that are more like cannons or rocket launchers, but not at all for the futuristic versions of machine guns. A high volume of fire is the whole point of those weapons! My GM has house ruled to ignore the one shot limit for weapons with both the Heavy and Auto traits together. I would suggest that the rules for the Heavy trait should be changed to not mention the number of shots that can be made, and that heavy weapons like the Psionic Portable Missile System and the Gauss Mortar, where a one shot per round limit makes some sense, should have the Single trait added.

While I'm quibbling about weapon rules, my gaming group has also discussed how frag grenades are comically anemic. Having a grenade go off at your feet should be much worse than being shot by a pistol, but currently they both do 2d6 damage. A grenade may be more likely to hit, since it targets vital defense, but decent light or medium armor is going to stop most of the damage most of the time. We considered a house rule where you'd get one extra d6 of damage for each square you were closer to the center (so 2d6 at 10', 3d6 at 5', 4d6 in the square that got hit), but I don't think we've actually used those rules yet. The only grenades we have currently are the insanely OP Gravitic grenades our GM gave us (with a warning that they might collapse the cave system we're currently exploring if we use them too much underground). Those don't need any buff!

Another issue: The Recoil trait is weird. It's applied primarily to missile launchers, but those are actually the weapons I'd expect to have the least recoil. They're open at the back, and the rocket projectile is accelerated by pushing against its own exhaust as it vents out of the back of the tube. It does not push against the launcher, like a bullet does in a conventional gun. If anything, I'd suggest replacing the Recoil tag with "Recoilless", on almost the exact same set of weapons (probably not the Plasma weapons, but I'd add recoilless to all the Bazookoids, and maybe the rocket launchers in the other sections). It might not be unreasonable for all other projectile weapons to have the downsides listed under the Recoil trait when firing in zero- or low-G (including the relatively light ones like the slugger rifle and pistol). But that might be impractical due to the hand-wavy nature of some weapon types (e.g. does a Disruptor pistol shoot something physical and suffer recoil, or is it pure energy like a laser? What about a blaster or ion gun? And good luck coming up with sane rules for a disintegration system or zero-point projector.).

Final nitpick for today: I just bought N.O.W. a few days ago. In its section on weapon upgrades (which is very short), no mention is made of needing to match the quality your weapon upgrades to the quality of the weapon you're putting them on. That is also how the prices are set for the examples of modified weapons in the N.E.W. book (which I commented on in a thread a while ago), but not how the rules for upgrades are described in the earlier N.E.W. chapter on Weapon Upgrades. It's not clear to me which version of the rules are most current. My copy of both N.E.W. and N.O.W. are version 1.2.

I lied, I have one more issue, but it's a quick one. N.O.W. lacks rules or stats for grenades. The weapon table includes the M79 grenade launcher, but it has no damage stats, presumably because the damage comes from the grenade being fired. Alas, there are no grenades for it to shoot, nor any hand grenades.

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Well, that was fun
Staff member
The key to auto weapons is exploits like Spray and Strafe, which can attack multiple targets in an area of effect.

Grenades are dangerous because they attack a typically lower defence and because they are area attacks, which affect multiple targets.

I would advise against increasing the damage of grenades, as high damage and AoE makes them disproportionally powerful, but of course, you are free to houserule the game in any way you wish. :)

As for whether RoF and recoil makes sense for sci-fi weapons, I guess that's up to you.

And hah! You're right, grenades aren't in NOW. That's the first time anybody has ever noticed that (or at least mentioned it).


I too am in favor of leaving the damage of grenades stay the same. What I incorporate into my games with generic grenades is that they have the Push trait. Move the target/object 5' from the the center of the blast. So ingame, this is used to push people out of cover or move cover e.g. a crate, out of the way.

For the OP gravitic grenades. I firmly believe that the GM should make it very apparent to the players that using these weapons can be very dangerous by just taking the second in describing what happens to the structure around them.
E.g. For the gravitic grenade, I explained how the floor was pulled up, the ceiling torn down and the creatures there also sucked in to this sphere being crushed by the immense gravitational pull. Finally all falling to the ground in this wet blood dirt like wet cement.
So the terrain was then classed as "difficult" because of the use of something so OP. It never hindered the players in any way. But it worked as sort of a warning to not "mess" with such weaponry.

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