1 - Firearms and the Matrix

How modern firearms interact with the Matrix

Unless otherwise stipulated, all normal firearms in the game are assumed to be “modern”, for a 207x version of the word “modern.” This means they have:

  • caseless ammo
  • electronic firing mechanism
  • electronic trigger
  • wireless mental controls for fire mode selection
  • a backup (fully mechanical) trigger & firing mechanism
  • internal sensor package that enables the gun to track its state and display it to the user via an AR holo display (eg. ammo count, current fire mode, barrel temperature, warnings about maintenance schedule)
  • optional extra (for more ¥) - friend-or-foe ID system [^1]
  • optional extra (for more ¥) - biometric-based safeties
  • optional extra (for more ¥) - active gas-vent recoil reduction systems, that use the gun’s onboard processing to compute the best way to use weapon exhaust gases to compensate for barrel climb in realtime
  • “squealer” tags that broadcast the presence of the gun on the Matrix, and track the gun’s legal owner (more on these below); also, the same applies to ammo

[^1] Notoriously finicky, and infamous amongst security personnel for occasional false-positives that stop them shooting people they really, really need to shoot. Widely hated. Corp execs keep insisting on them, though, because they’re micromanaging arseholes.

Illegal guns

Any gun the PCs purchase with Logistic Points has been supplied to them through criminal contacts that have already wiped the gun. Squealer tags are disabled (but can be re-enabled if it is helpful for disguise reasons), all other RFID tracking features are disabled, any present biometric safeties or friend-or-foe ID system are removed.

Squealer tags

If you have a normal open-carry firearms licence, then you are required to have a broadcasting tag on your gun at all times. This tells everyone who cares to know that you are armed.

If you have a concealed carry licence, you are legally permitted to disable this broadcast. Criminals routinely do this on their guns, too, for obvious reasons.

If a cop or a guard spots a gun poking out of your clothes and you don’t have a squealer tag running, they are going to be intensely curious about you. For this reason, even criminals sometimes turn gun broadcasts on - it can, paradoxically, help you blend in better.

Hacking modern firearms

Although modern firearms use various Matrix features, they are all secondary to the functionality of the gun, or have purely non-Matrix backup failsafes. Hence, a gun cannot be completely disabled by hacking it.

A decker who wishes to disrupt guns wielded by their enemies can, however, carry out a Denial of Service attack. This follows the normal SWADE rules for a Test action.

Smartguns

Smartguns represent the pinnacle of firearms electronic control. The gun’s sensor package is extended to include LIDAR mapping and time-of-flight sensing; on-board secondary processing includes a ballistics model calibrated to the specific gun1. This links to a primary processor implanted into the user’s nervous system which can compute likely ballistic trajectories and overlay them onto the user’s cybereyes display, providing for firing accuracy unrivalled by any other mechanism – even from the hip.

Houseruled game mechanics: A smartgun can cancel up to 2 points of Shooting penalties from the same sources as an Aim action: range, cover, speed, scale and called shots. If there aren’t 2 points of penalties to cancel, it grants +1 to the roll instead.

A smartgun is required to use cyberarms with recoil compensation systems.

Throwbacks

Weapons that are not modern (per the above definition) are called throwbacks. They have entirely mechanical firing mechanisms, use cased ammo, and have iron or optical sights only.

Game mechanics: Throwback guns are entirely invisible on the Matrix and cannot be hacked via Denial of Service attacks.

Throwback guns in good condition that aren’t linked to existing crimes via ballistics traces are difficult to find on the street, as is cased ammo for them. All throwback guns incur a +1 LP penalty, as does each purchase of ammo for them. Throwback ammo is only available in normal variety - no APDS or Ex-Ex.

Throwback guns cannot take certain accessories and modifications:

  • Smartgun adapters
  • Gas-vent recoil reduction system - relies on on-weapon processing to make realtime adjustments to accurately compensate for recoil

  1. This requires “sighting in” after fitting to a new weapon, similar to dialling in optical sights. ↩︎

2 - Electronics

Gadgets and gizmos

Wideband wireless Matrix jammer

Weight: 3
Cost: 3 LP
This replaces the “jammer” from Sprawlrunners pg 63.

About the size and weight of a hand grenade, this device emits a storm of wideband noise across a radius of 30 m. It has an integral battery pack that can keep this going for up to an hour, if necessary.

Within the affected area, all wireless Matrix traffic is restricted to line-of-sight and 1d6 metres only. Devices cut off from their WAN/PAN/s-PAN controller from this will drop back to standalone matrix connections automatically, although they will only be able to connect to other devices within a very short range. Drones will revert to autopilot and lose all benefits from any dronedeck they were connected to.

Wireless jammers are quite illegal and deploying one is about as subtle as a thunderclap in a library. Physical security will attempt to find and neutralise it as a matter of priority. GOD agents will deploy from the closest uplink node, and they will alert local police or security.

3 - Weapons

Some sample weapons drawn from Shadowrun, statted for Sprawlrunners

Modifications

These are intrinsic to the weapon when it is purchased. Below are some houseruled additions to the standard ones list in Sprawlrunners (pg 56):

  • Revolver: reduced shots (already reflected in statline). If it is a smartgun, character can load different ammo types in different cylinders, and choose which cylinders to fire for each attack via a mental command as a free action. Plus swinging the gate open to dump spent brass is extremely cool.
  • Heavy calibre: applies +1 AP, requires 1 more die type in Str. Costs +1LP.
  • Extended mag: +33% shots, +1LP, +2 to Notice due to the weapon’s awkward, bulky shape.

Accessories

  • Smartgun (houserule version): subtracts 2 points of penalties from a Shooting role or adds 1 to the roll. (+1LP to weapon cost)

Cosmetic trappings

  • Imposing - oversized; bulky; threatening.
  • Blinged - made of mirror-polished chrome; colour-changing smartpaint; public AR broadcast of a killcount holo.
  • Sleek - matte black; no protrusions; militaristic and efficient.
  • Tacticool - thinks it is sleek but is actually covered in superfluous grips, accessory ports, flashlights, and other junk only valued by poseurs.
  • Sci-fi - weird shapes; modern smart materials; sculpted to look bio-organic; covered in neon lights.
  • Double-barrelled - has two barrels (shock).

Sample weapons

Holdout pistols

StatsCostNotes
Ares Lightfire 70Sleek
Streetline Specialshots: 7, -4 Notice2 LPCompact Frame
Walther Palm Pistolshots: 2, -4 Notice2 LPDouble-barrelled, Compact Frame. Can fire both barrels for +1 damage.

Light pistols

StatsCostNotes
Colt America L36
Beretta 201TRoF:23 LPMachine pistol
Ares Lightfire 754 LPSilencer, internal smartlink, sleek
Fichetti Security 600shots:20, +2 Notice4 LPExtended mag, laser sight

Heavy Pistols

StatsCostNotes
Ares Predator4LPIntegrated smartlink, imposing
Browning Ultra-Power4LPLaser sight, sleek
Ruger Super Warhawkshots:6, AP2, minStr:d64LPRevolver, heavy calibre, extremely imposing
Colt Government 2066

Flechette Pistols

StatsCostNotes
Fichette Tiffani Needlershots:44LPCompact Frame
Remington Roomsweeper
Remington Roomsweeper (slug)damage:2d84LPReinforced Frame

4 - SINs and licences

A brief overview of fake IDs in the Sixth World

See SINs & licences setting info for defintions of the terms below.

Normal fake SINs cost 1 LP for the SIN and 0.25 LP per licence. Each licence can cover one category:

  • civilian and security firearms
  • magic
  • cyberdecks
  • security-spec vehicles or other semi-legal gear

Milspec gear like APDS or Ex-Ex ammo, heavy weapons, very heavy armour cannot be licensed this way.

High-grade fake SINs cost 4 LP plus 1 LP per associated licence.