Friday, April 19, 2013



Rate of Fire

            RoF is an abstract representation for number of fired shots, launched arrows,  or thrown projectiles per round.   If more than one attack is allowed per round, they may be directed at separate targets without penalty. At the beginning of each round, a character must decide whether to engage in either melee or ranged combat. A dash signifies only melee usage is allowed for the weapon; however unlike Earth, many Barsoomian blades are balanced for throwing.

            “I had little hope that he could best his giant adversary who mowed down all before him during the day.  The fellow towered nearly sixteen feet in height, while Kantos Kan was some inches under six feet.  As they advanced to meet one other I saw for the first time a trick of Martian swordsmanship which centered Kantos Kan’s every hope of victory and life on one cast of the dice, for, as he came to within about twenty feet of the huge fellow, he threw his sword arm far behind him over his shoulder and with a mighty sweep hurled his weapon point foremost at the green warrior.  It flew true as an arrow and piercing the poor devil’s heart laid him dead.”     
                                                                                    (PM, XIX)


            It is a risky proposition to fire at enemy units when they are engaged in melee with your allies.  The attack roll is minus four (-4) and if you roll a natural four or less on the to-hit roll you hit a random ally instead – no save.  Probability of striking an ally may be adjusted by GM if there is a significant difference in the ratio of allies to enemies and/or if there is a difference in size categories between allies and enemies.

            If you a natural ‘1’ on the attack dice when using a ranged weapon, you used up all your ammo - time to select another weapon. Ammunition for common radium weapons is easily pilfered from defeated adversaries. Attacks with ranged weapons are abstract; one attack does not equate to one bullet.

       When a target is concealed, such as behind brush, smoke or thern rifle shield, then the defender adds two to his defensive class.   Likewise, if a target has almost complete cover such as battlements, jungle, gun ports or forest, then five is added to the defender’s armor or defensive class.   Opponents firing from cover or concealment usually do not have to expose themselves or forfeit this defense bonus when returning ranged combat.


            The distance listed is for the short range of the respective weapon. Short range is that distance at which hitting target is a routine challenge; roll d20 to-hit. Weapon ranges are expressed in 1” squares; this refers to the miniature or table-top scale where 1” represents five sofads ( ½ ad, 5 feet or 1.5 meters)  of simulated or game distance. 

      Beyond this distance and up to twice listed distance, targets are at medium range (-3 to hit).        If between two and four times the listed range, targets are at long range, roll d12 to hit  (not d20).     Ranged combat is assumed to be indoors with marginal lighting (dungeons, buildings).  If the targets are outdoors, stationary and/or daylight available, then ranges might be doubled.  The radium firearms of the Red Planet have a tremendous range.

“These rifles are of a white metal stocked with wood, which I learned later was a very light and intensely hard growth much prized on Mars and entirely unknown to us denizens of Earth.  The metal of the barrel is an alloy composed of principally of aluminum and steel which they have learned to temper to a hardness far exceeding that of the steel with which we are familiar.  The weight of these rifles is comparatively little and with the small caliber, explosive, radium projectiles which they use, and the great length of the barrel, they are deadly in the extreme and at ranges which would be unthinkable upon Earth.  The theoretical effective radius of this rifle is three hundred miles, but the best they can do in actual service, when equipped with their wireless finders and sighters is but a trifle over two hundred miles. ”                (PM, III)

image is from Disneyz movie ,
John Carter of Mars

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