Search & Destroy introduces a few options for adding tactical detail while maintaining the narrative flexibility of SUPERS Revised. This is done with three components: threat bonuses, ranges, and ammo rates.
One of the things I like about SUPERS Revised is the emphasis on skills (Aptitudes) over weapons. Nonetheless, when I started considering the role that weapons play in action books and movies, it was clear that size matters. The big .44 magnum is portrayed as much more dangerous than a snub nose .38. A big bore hunting rifle is a greater threat than a little varmint rifle. These differences make a visceral connection with the audience. So for a modern action game, the factor of bigger weapons equaling bigger threats had to be a viable option.
To capture this aspect of the genre, I had to distinguish the danger-level of small, medium, and large weapons. Enter the Threat Bonus. The Threat Bonus is a modifier added to an attack result AFTER a hit has been determined. If an attack was successfully defended, the threat bonus is ignored. When an attack is successful, the threat bonus is added to the attack total.
Threat bonuses apply on a per-die basis. So a +1 Threat Bonus with Shooting 2d adds +2 total to the attack. A +1 Threat Bonus with Shooting 3d adds +3 to the attack. Since Aptitudes rolls are capped at 3d, Threat Bonuses are limited to 3 dice as well, no matter how many dice were rolled. This allows these weapon bonuses to be a factor, but not TOO BIG of a factor.
It was termed "threat" bonus because of the way damage works in SUPERS. Since the target of the attack normally assigns damage to one or more Resistances, then a successful attack may not actually draw blood. So the bonus represents the danger level or the "threat" of the weapon instead. In cases where an attack was successful, but the damage was assigned to Composure or Will, the threat bonus represents the psychological trauma of a near miss. Imagine a character staring at a huge hole in the wall just inches from his head as the player reduces Composure and Will by 1d each! That is the type of effect threat bonuses bring to the game.
The next major component is range. Ranged weapons have short, medium, and long ranges expressed in feet. Like everything else, it is just an option. The use of range adds some tactical perspective to shoot-outs and helps the Judge be consistent in applying modifiers due to distance, but it does not require a battle map and miniatures. However, since the ranges are in feet, you can easily convert to any map scale as needed.
Finally, Ammo Rates are assigned to firearms with the intent to create a sense of concern about ammunition without having to track every bullet. The ammo rating represents the rate at which a weapon is expected to consume ammunition, and to a lesser extent, reflects the weapon’s reliability. When using a weapon that has an ammo rating, one die in the character’s Shooting dice pool should be designated the “ammo-die”. So when the ammo die result is equal to or less than the weapon's current ammo rate, the character must take some time to reload, clear a jam, fix and ammo belt, or whatever make sense at the moment.
Any or all of the options above may be ignored. The only one you would need to adjust for is the Threat Bonus. In that case, simply reduce Resistances by 1d across the board.
So those are some ways in which weapons aren't so mundane anymore. Next time, we will talk about Chase Scenes.