Eclipse and Gun Fu

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Don’t be like this guy.

Gun-Fu is awesomely popular and amazingly impractical. There is a REASON why real-world militaries do not teach people to sumersault through windows while firing guns with each hand. There is a REASON why the police go for that two-handed stance instead of holding their guns sideways and going all “gangsta on their asses!”. It’s because reality just does not work that way, and trying that stuff will get you killed.

Still, this is Eclipse. If reality does not work the way you want it to, then you take Mana and Reality Editing and you make reality keep it’s head down where it’s safe while you make with the Gun Fu. Just don’t try to keep it up once your Mana runs out; once you’ve run dry reality will pop up again, just as persistently as ever.

Basic Gun Fu Package (18+ CP):

  • 2d6 Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted: Only for gun-related tricks. (Yes, considering how many things Mana and Reality Editing can be used for, that’s definitely both Specialized and Corrupted), the user may spend a maximum of one point of mana per level per turn on Gun Fu – but spending Mana does not count as an action and may be done at any time. The usual set of Gun Tricks is described below – but the costs listed already include the “Triple Effect” modifier for the Specialization and Corruption (12 CP).
  • Rite of Chi with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost; only usable to recover mana, recovered mana may only be used to refill the user’s “Gun Fu” mana pool (6 CP). Normally this will refill the user’s Mana Pool whenever there’s a few minutes to rest – up until it runs out of course. Eventually you hit adrenal exhaustion.

That will let you pull a wide variety of “Gun Tricks” and unlikely maneuvers. Just how unlikely? Well, just for that, I have watched many action movies, and compiled a quick list…

Minor Gun Fu Maneuvers (1 Mana Each):

  • All The Magic I Need: You can make your weapon +2 (special properties may be +1 of this total) for the duration of a fight. (Yes, this does mean that your local Gun Fu Master will probably give himself or herself a Bane (whatever the major opposition appears to be) weapon in a lot of fights, at least until their purchased permanent bonuses supersede that. If you really feel that +1/+7 for a fighter-type is going to break the game, don’t let Gun-Fu Masters use the “Bane” property).
  • Bottomless Magazine: You can forget about ammunition for the duration of a fight, either reloading dramatically – dropping magazines from your sleeve, tossing them into the air and catching them in the gun, or whatever, without taking an action – or just never running out of ammunition at your option.
  • I’m Just That Good: Don’t bother rolling; you just Take 20 on an attack. Yes, this threatens a critical. No, it doesn’t confirm it.
  • It Was Totally Necessary: Negate all penalties to shooting while performing an improbable maneuver. Go ahead, do backflips down the hall, or ride a shield sliding down a spiral staircase, while shooting with deadly accuracy. It doesn’t matter if the actual maneuver succeeds or fails as long as the Gun Fu Master was the one making the success check; it will look cool anyway.
  • Quickdraw Artist: Draw, clear, and/or repair your weapon as an immediate action – and gain a +4 bonus to your Initiative.
  • Snap Shot: Make an extra attack at your best attack bonus. Sadly, this can only be done once per round.
  • Take Careful Aim: You may ignore all range modifiers or penalties this round.
  • Your Basic Trick Shot: Execute a melee-only combat maneuver at range using (Dex Mod) instead of (Str Mod). You may also use this to move a small object around up to thirty feed or to inflict nonlethal damage with your bullets this round.

Notable Maneuvers (2 Mana Each):

  • Ballistic Escape: Blow a hole in a wall or floor. Falling or jumping through it is optional, but a free action if you want to do it. This may also be used to shoot off a lock, break a chain, bring down a pile of junk, blow a hole in the ceiling, or destroy a similar inanimate object within thirty feet. Sadly, there are upper limits; the weapons damage is multiplied by five for the purposes of breaking things, but it isn’t infinite.
  • Bulletproof Corpse: Use a handy corpse (or helpless or unconscious foe) to absorb up to 30 points of gun-or explosive-style damage that would otherwise affect you this round. You can use tables or other reasonably solid objects instead, but those are only good for twenty points of damage.
  • Called Shot: Add a Bestow Curse effect (simulating an appropriate injury) to an attack. Save DC (14+Cha Mod). Such injuries will persist until the victim receives a healing spell of third level or higher or for at least one day in creatures with fast healing or similar powers.
  • Hit The Fuel Tank: If there’s something that conceivably COULD blow up in or on the target, this attack results in a Fireball (1d6 per level damage, 10d6 maximum, save DC of (14 + Cha Mod)).
  • Like Disarming Germany: You may produce a holdout gun when you seemed to be unarmed. Normally such a weapon is one size smaller than you are, for +2 Mana you may make it of your size.
  • My Magic Boomstick: Make your weapon +3 (special properties may be part of this total) for the duration of a fight.
  • Pistol Fist: Use your gun to full effect as a melee weapon for the round. The statistics remain identical, save that it is now Ranged OR Melee. Since you are in possession of a melee weapon, you threaten attacks of opportunity normally – but using it as a ranged weapon will still provoke attacks of opportunity normally.
  • Sniper’s Shot: Double your weapon’s range increment for this round. If you make multiple attacks against a single target you may roll them all but combine the damage of those that hit as a “single shot”.

Major Maneuvers (3 Mana Each):

  • Driven By The Recoil: Your movement, voluntary or otherwise, no longer affects your shooting for the duration of the fight. You may make a full move and shoot (or shoot along the way, or before moving) without penalty, get hit by a bus and sent flying and shoot, or shoot while being thrown from a horse or in an uncontrolled fall without penalty.
  • Fast as Lightning: Your “Burst Fire” causes your weapon to inflict double it’s normal base damage on this rounds attacks – without expending any additional ammunition.
  • I’m An Expert Kid: Triple your weapons range increment for this round. Any penalty for switching targets during an attack sequence no longer apply.
  • No Time for This Nonsense: You may shoot down an incoming missile (say an anti-aircraft missile, or the rocket from a bazooka) as an immediate action. If it’s an explosive munition, you may detonate it at any desired point along it’s path.
  • Ricochet Shot: Shoot around a corner or other obstacle or series of obstacles without penalty, ignoring modifiers for cover, for lack of a line of sight, for blur or illusion-based miss percentages, and similar effects provided that you have a fair idea of where the target is. And yes, you CAN fire into the ventilation ducts and bounce the bullet through to someone in another room – although range modifies your shot as if it was a straight-line shot.
  • Seven with One Blow: Make the same, individually-targeted, shot against three separate targets. While this option may only be used once per round, it can be combined with Snap Shot if you can afford the Mana cost.
  • The Most Powerful Handgun In The World: Your gun does damage as if one size larger for the duration of the fight. Alternatively, you may treat guns as one size smaller than they actually are for the duration of the fight.
  • You Don’t Want To Know: You may produce a gun after a strip search, going through a metal detector, or otherwise being disarmed and checked over. Normally such a weapon is one size smaller than you are, for +1 Mana you may make it of your size.

Grandiose Maneuvers (4 Mana Each):

Note that these are the equivalent of grandiose reality edits; they would normally cost about 12 Mana without that triple effect modifier – and allowing them is strictly optional. If your game master does allow them… then lucky you. You’ll want to buy more Mana. Of course, if you’re serious about making a Gun Fu character, you’ll want to do that anyway.

  • Animistic Slayer: You may shoot and “Kill” an incoming spell, psychic power, or energy effect as an immediate action, producing a gun from nowhere if necessary – although if you must do so, it will vanish a moment later. Alternatively, you may “kill” an existing magical effect – removing magical barriers, buffing spells, and status, or similar annoyances. Sadly, you may only kill a single specific effect – unless, of course, you can afford to combine this with Seven At One Blow.
  • Coup de Grace: You may use a Coup de Grace maneuver with a ranged weapon as a standard attack.
  • Death Blossom: You may make one full-BAB attack against every eligible target that you wish to attack within thirty feet.
  • Dervish Dance: Your gun threatens every square within it’s first range increment for (Dex Mod) rounds, allowing you to make ranged attacks of opportunity against anyone who would provoke one within that area.
  • High Noon Showdown: You and your opponent duel it out in up to (Will Save Bonus) rounds of private time; no one else may interfere. Others may comment, or fight their own battles – but you and your chosen opponent might as well be occupying a private pocket dimension as far as everyone else is concerned.
  • Hit The Main Reactor: You may destroy minor vehicles or cripple major vehicles with a single shot. If you’re targeting an industrial facility or some such you may cause a fire or considerable general destruction.
  • Shooting Through The Cracks: You may ignore armor bonuses and cover modifiers for the duration of a fight. If you need to “shoot through a friend”, the friend takes only one point of damage, the rest goes to the target.
  • Two Fisted Death: Your gun counts as a melee weapon for the duration of a fight. It’s statistics remain unchanged whether used in melee or at range and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity for using it as a missile weapon while in melee.

If you want to master the “Gun Kata”, you’ll want Berserker (+4 to AC and +4 to BAB, Specialized for double duration/only while using a gun) for another 6 CP.

Gun Fu is pretty nifty – but it’s expensive, and you’ll run out of Mana all too soon if you try to rely on it unless you’re willing to make it a major character focus (and spend a lot more points on it). If you want some more reliable firearms talents, well, d20 firearms expertise comes in a few basic levels:

At it’s most basic… you’re proficient with Firearms and you have a decent base attack bonus. You’re way ahead of most of the people in the real world. You might even specialize a few points of base attack bonus in guns.

A gun-based Martial Art is pretty sensible if you’re going to be rely heavily on Firearms. A high level in one of those can make you fairly formidable at the cost of some skill points. After all, when it comes to a firefight… if you can’t get under cover you want to move fast and erratically to allow your opponents as few clear shots as you can possibly manage. You want to strike out viciously at anyone who gets too close and to pick out your targets and take them down as quickly as you possibly can while you continue to evade. As an example we have…

The Firestorm Ballet (Dex):

Wreathed in the smoke and energy-corona of weapons-fire, lit by the flash of exploding powder or flaring energy like a strobe light, the erratic twists and spins of the Firestorm Ballet make the user a difficult target indeed – while sweeping his or her weapons across almost every possible angle and firing from unpredictable positions. A flaring coat, a spinning gun, empty magazines tossed away… anything to draw an opponents eye – and with it his or her aim – away from the user’s form. When the bullets are flying… distraction and illusion can buy inches – and inches can buy life.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Pistol or equivalent point buy and a Tumble (or replacement skill) total of +5 or more.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 3, Power 2, Defense 3, Strike, and Synergy/Tumble (or replacement skill).
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Instant Stand, Rapid Shot, Weapon Kata (Unarmed / Pistol as hand-weights).
  • Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Inner Strength, Iron Skin, and Light Foot.

Admittedly, you’ll need an incredibly high skill score to master the entire art – but even a few skill points in it can help out a good deal.

Beyond that, of course, there’s taking augmenting abilities – such as blind fighting, tumble and jump, weapon specialist, precise shot, augmented attack, block (melee and missile), innate enchantment, and so on. Honestly, the possibilities there are pretty much endless – but they really aren’t all that different from the kind of abilities you’d buy for an archery specialist.

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3 Responses

  1. …Someone’s been watching Equilibrium.

    • Not since I watched it with you – but it was a request, and a somewhat amusing one (although Equilibrium does pop up as an example when you go looking up “Gun Fu”)

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