SECURITY CLEARANCE LEVEL:
For Administrators and Agents
TO: Administrators desiring clarification of inconsistencies between the statistics found on the Weapons Chart and statistics as generated using the optional Gun Design rules.
BY AUTHORITY OF: Merle M. Rasmussen, designer, and Allen Hammack, editor.
PURPOSE: Because of the bulk of correspondence we receive concerning weapon-statistic incongruities and gun-design problems, we have conspired to issue a statement in hopes of alleviating rule misunderstandings. We also hope to explain our reasonings behind particular rules and statistics within the current TOP SECRET® Espionage Game rules system.
MESSAGE: Why aren’t the PWVs of certain guns from the Weapons Chart the same as PWVs calculated from their A, F, P, R ratings using the optional Gun Design rules?
1) Five of the weapons (a, c, j, k, p) have PWVs left over from the original TOP SECRET manuscript and were never modified during editing.
2) One of the weapons (j) is the victim of a typographical error found under Gun Design in the section on Accuracy. A Rating of 4 should have a PWV of -4, not -2.
3) Variations between similar weapons are based on specific performance data and subjective reports from users of various gun types.
4) Different weapons with statistically identical A, C, F, P, and R ratings had their values slightly modified to make the weapons different from one another for game purposes.
5) For game balance, PWVs were varied independently of the weapon’s A, F, P, and R ratings with a tolerance of plus or minus 0 to 19.
6) All PWVs on the Weapons Chart were assigned and are “official.” Weapons denoted a, b, c, g, h, i, j, k, p, and u-ee are inconsistent, but will not be officially modified at this time.
Why are designed guns using the Gun Design 20 or less trait rating total such poor renditions?
1) Unlike weapons produced by professional manufacturers who spend a great deal of time and money on research and development, “homemade” weapons are pitiful reproductions. Few espionage agencies can afford a private armorer or an in-house gunsmith, and are more likely to contract the work out or buy standard weaponry commercially produced.
2) We strongly suggest modifying the given weaponry to suit your needs, as opposed to designing new weapons from scratch. Homemade weaponry would be easier to trace than mass-produced guns because of the distinctive rifling marks, unique calibers, and ballistics behavior of these relatively primitive firearms.
3) Many Administrators disregard the 20 or less trait rating total and convert real-life guns to TOP SECRET statistics directly. Overall average PWVs for weapon types are offered here to indicate design standard guidelines. The proposed values are: Pistols 35, Carbines 65. Rifles 75, Submachine Guns 80, Assault Rifles 70, and Machine Pistols 30.
4) These average PWVs can be modified plus or minus 0 to 19. For random modification, roll a 20-sided die and subtract one from the roll. To alter the average PWVs subjectively, simply adjust the figure (within the 0-19 range) by an amount you deem appropriate. The widest possible variances are found in pistols. One-handed machine pistols are deemed inaccurate in combat and are given low PWVs. Their lack of accuracy is compensated for by their increased rate of fire.
5) The data in this document is suggestive only and does not comprise official rule changes.
6) Shotguns are a class of weapons unto themselves. Their design, suggested PWVs, and Range Modifier statistics will not be addressed at this time.
How are Range modifiers defined for weapons being designed?
1) See reason 3 under the first question above.
2) Different weapons with statistically identical A, C, F, P, R ratings had their Range Modifiers slightly changed to differentiate them.
3) Based on statistical comparison of compiled weapon data for TOP SECRET guns, we would like to propose the following overall averages for Range Modifiers:
4) These average Range Modifiers can be subjectively altered within the following parameters:
- PB: + (0-5), but PB can never be less than 0
- S: + or – (0-9); randomly, equivalent to d10-1
- M: + or – (0-19); randomly, equivalent to d20-1
- L: + or – (0-49); randomly, equivalent to ½d%-1
5) In all cases, if the actual gun cannot shoot further than medium range (600ft.), its long-range modifier should be X (not possible).
How were the weapons chosen for inclusion in the TOP SECRET rules, and why were those weapons chosen?
1) During the research phase, some weapon descriptions were determined to be so sketchy and vague they weren’t even passed on from the designer to the editor.
2) Certain obscure notes made during research were not deciphered, and hence there was a question as to whether such weapons actually existed. These questionable weapons were never submitted to the editor: the .38 S&W (5 shot) small-frame side swing revolver, the .38 Llama and the 9mm Double col. mag. self load.
3) Three weapons had identical weapon statistics, but the descriptions were so sketchy none were included. These weapons are the .41 mag., .44 special, and .44 mag.
4) All of these weapons were pistols, and we had a dozen others with fuller descriptions. We also wanted to include carbines, rifles, submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns and other weapon types.
5) We wanted to include common weapons used in popular espionage stories or used in real espionage and/or police work, not necessarily military weaponry.
The chart below lists statistics for some of the weapons which were eliminated from the original TOP SECRET manuscript for the reasons given earlier. Please keep in mind that the statistics are not necessarily accurate or complete. Note that each of the five gun traits range from 1 to 6. When comparing these trait values using the Gun Design tables, note that the phrase “equivalent to” means that the weapon acts like or fires the same as what is listed corresponding to the rating. The weapon may not actually be or appear as it is rated. For example: The Accuracy rating of “3” for the .44 mag does not mean that the gun has a 2½-inch barrel, but rather that in comparison to other weapons and in combination with the other four ratings the .44 mag fires as if it had a 2½-inch barrel. These weapon statistics are offered in the hope of further expanding the selections of pistols available to agents — and to their opposition.
|xx||9mm Double col. mag. self-load||47||0||-46||-148||X||VF||1||8?||365||-4||3||4||5||4||6||4|
|yy||.357 Mag. 6-shot small-frame rev.||33||0||-40||-140||X||F||1||6||325||-4||3||4||4||4||6||4|
|aaa||.38 S&W 5-shot small-frame rev.||34||0||-41||-141||X||VF||1||5?||375||-2||4||5||3||4||6||4|
|bbb||.38 Standard wt. 6-shot revolver||35||0||-41||-141||X||VF||1||6||370||-4||4||4||4||4||6||4|
In reference to the article in DRAGON™ issue #49, concerning ammunition, the following clarification is necessary:
Gyrojet and microjet ammunition may not be fired from conventional firearms (ones containing firing pins). Such specialized ammunition is fired from cast aluminum launchers possessing electrical igniters. These miniature, solid-propellant rockets produce a visible burning tail and are not particularly accurate. The bonus to hit with such a weapon should be applied for targets at long range due to the acceleration of the projectile after launching.
Launchers may be used in a vacuum or underwater, since the projectiles carry their own oxygen supply to support combustion. If a launcher is used underwater, reduce all ranges by 75%; however, the damage from striking the target remains unchanged. Firing-pin ammunition may not be used in a gyrojet or microjet launcher. If they are the correct caliber, both microjets and gyrojets may be launched from the same device.
Residue buildup within the weapon barrel may cause the launcher to misfire after the tenth shot unless the weapon is cleaned properly. The chance of a misfire after the tenth shot is 5%, added cumulatively for each succeeding shot. Hence, if the gyrojet hasn’t misfired by the fifteenth shot there is a 25% chance it will misfire on that shot.
Gyrojet/microjet launchers operate off a simple nine-volt battery which is good for 30-90 [10x(1-6)+20] launchings. Cost of the battery is $1. Launchers cost $150, are pistol-sized, and may be smuggled past most metal detectors and some searches if they are disassembled. Launchers generally act as other pistols, duplicating their PWVs, Range Modifiers, WSs, Rates, ammo supplies, and other characteristics.