Ranged Combat


     Ranged combat is sort of a “hand to hand” combat, but they apply only to modern firearms.  They will receive bonuses per level, as well as different abilities one can do.  When getting a ranged combat it will cover all the firearm proficiencies that the character has and will get at later levels.  There is a special list of rules and terms that are used in ranged combat, they will be listed below for easy reference.

     Although there are more than four different hand to hand combat skills, there are only 4 different ranged combat skills that characters can learn.  The first section is a detailed list of abilities and rules and the second is a list of all four ranged combat and the bonuses and abilities received per level.


Ranged Combat Rules and Abilities


     The following will list all of the special abilities that one receives per level of experience.  This section will be listed in alphabetical order.


     Aimed Short Burst/Pulse Shot: This ability simply let’s the characters’ Aimed Shot extend to short bursts, allowing a more accurate short burst—full bonuses to aimed shot apply.

     Bursts: Rounds spent depends on how fast the gun fires.


(Dice) Firing Speed




(1D4) Slow:




(1D6) Moderate:




(2D4) Fast:





     Burst Damage Multiples (BDM): To make things simple, this is just how much you multiple your three different bursts by when rolling for damage.  The more experienced one is, the better the chance for each bullet to hit is.  Note: The standard BDM for untrained is: Short (×2), Medium (×3), Long (×4).

     Coldcock/Pistol Whip: This ability allows characters to use their gun as a blunt weapon.  They will be able to attack with it and not damage it.  Handguns, Revolvers and SMG’s will do 2D4 damage.  Rifles, Shotguns and Machineguns (and anything bigger or of similar size) will do 2D6 (or 3D4 take your pick) damage and by level twelve a character can Knock-out/Stun (automatic) with the weapon for 1D6 melees.

     Double Tap: This ability let’s the character pull off 2 shots in one melee attack, with accuracy.  However, the targets must be at least 20 feet close, when using handguns or SMG’s.  And at least 50 feet, when using anything bigger than rifles or shotguns.  Add 5 feet per level, starting the after the level this ability was received.  Roll for both shots with half bonuses.  Shooting two targets is possible, but the second shot is a wild shot in addition to half bonuses.  This skill only works with handguns, SMG’s, shotguns and bolt-action rifles (which allow the character to cycle a new round/pump the shotgun and fire in one melee attack, without it being a wild shot).

     Head Shot: Basically, this attack lessons the penalty that is conferred when firing at small targets.  Things like the head, heart, hand foot, even a leg or arm all have penalties to strike.  This ability lessons them.

     Imposed Defense Penalty (IDP): To understand this skill is to know how it works.  It’s well known that there’s literally no one that can dodge (let alone parry) a bullet/energy blast.  The attack is simply too fast.  So, the only thing people can do is to anticipate the moment when one does attack.  Which means that the more experienced a shooter is, the harder it is for one to anticipate when they will attack.  When one rolls to dodge (or parry) a bullet/energy blast, they really roll to see if they were good enough to recognize when the other person would fire.  And that is what Imposed Defense Penalty is all about—the defensive penalty that an attacker bestows upon a target, because of their experience.

     Leading: Instead of aiming directly at a moving target, this ability lets an attacker attack ahead a target as to attack exactly when the opponent is in the line of fire.  Gradually, characters will be able to fire at faster moving targets as they progress.

     Motion Aiming: Those with this ability are able to shoot/ fire guns with accuracy while on foot and moving.  The ability includes walking (1/4 speed), jogging (1/2 speed) and running (full speed).  In game terms, this ability negates the penalties to fire while moving on foot.  As characters progress in levels, their ability to fire while on the move will be greater.

     Moving Target/Character Penalties: Walking targets or attackers get a -2 to their strike/defense roll, -4 when jogging and -6 when running.  When travelling in anything that is measured in mph, every 10 mph incurs a -1 penalty to attack.  When both the character and the target are moving, then figure the difference in mph and then figure the penalty based upon the difference.

     Range Penalties: The penalty to shoot at long distances is different with each weapon.  But it generally has to do with a weapon’s effective range.  In general, the maximum distance a shooter can fire without penalty is equal to half the weapon’s effective range and –1 from half the effective range to the effective range.  Beyond this, penalties vary as follows:

  Handguns: This includes Sub-Machineguns, Machine-pistols, Automatic Pistols and Revolvers.  Penalty: -1 per every 30 ft. beyond effective range.

  Rifles: This includes Machineguns, Automatic/Assault Rifles and Bolt-Action Rifles.  Penalty: -1 per every 100 feet beyond effective range.

  Shotguns:  Shotguns are a special case.  Shotguns are meant to be short range weapons (having no further than a 200 foot effective range) and as a result, they can shoot up to effective range with no penalties.  However, because of the way they’re designed, shotguns are bad long range weapons (especially the scattershot rounds).  Buckshot Penalty: -1 and -1D6 damage per every 20 feet beyond effective range.  Scattershot Penalty: -1 and -1D6 damage per every 10 feet beyond effective range.

     Rapid Reload: This skill allows characters to quickly change clips, load one bullet/shell into a revolver/shotgun or cycle a new round in a bolt action rifle and fire, in the same melee attack.  Players only get their bonuses to “shoot”, not their W.P. or any other bonuses to strike however.

     Rate of Fire: The rate of fire is different for each type of weapon (not W.P.).  Listed below is the standard rate of fire for almost all firearms/contemporary weapons.

  Revolvers: Aimed shots only and double-action revolvers can fire short bursts (or pulse shots).

  Automatic Pistols: Aimed shots, short and medium bursts only—no long bursts.

  Bolt-Action Rifles/Shotguns: Aimed shot only for bolt-action rifles.  Some semi-automatic shotguns exist; in this case, treat them as Automatic Pistols for rate of fire.

  Assault Rifles: Fully Automatic Rifles can fire any manner of shots.  However, all Semi-Automatic rifles can only fire up to Medium Bursts.

  Sub-Machineguns/Machine-Pistols: These weapons are not at all limited—they can fire any bursts and even aimed shots.

  Machineguns/Gatling-Guns: These weapons can only fire off burst shots (although some can fire single aimed shots).

  Rockets/Grenade Launchers: These weapons can only make single shots.  Reload time varies with each weapon.

  Energy Weapons: Energy Weapons are a special case.  Energy Weapons generally vary dramatically in rate of fire and it is up to the GM, on a case-by-case basis as to what burst fires are available.

     Shoot/Draw Bonuses: When a bonus is given for “Shoot” it means a bonus to strike on aimed, burst and wild shots.  When it’s a bonus to “Draw”, it means a bonus on initiative to draw a gun/ firearm.

     Snap Shot: A truly deadly ability that allows a character to switch position, fire a Pulse or Aimed Shot and then recover to the original position; all in one melee attack!  Examples of this are to pop out from behind cover and fire a shot and return to cover or have a gun drawn on someone turn and shoot some one else and return to draw the gun on the original target!  It takes only one attack, but the shot is considered a “wild shot”.

     Speed Load: Exactly like Rapid Reload only, they get full bonuses to strike with this ability.

     Spraying an Area: When spraying an area with bullets, it will count as a burst.  The maximum targets hit depends on the burst fired.  Short bursts hits 1D6 targets, Medium bursts will hit 4D4 targets and Long bursts can hit 1D4 targets for every 5 people targeted.  Damage is divided evenly (rounded off if it’s not even) among the targets hit.  The chance of shooting at an innocent bystander(s) will vary on a case-by-case basis.

     Wild Shots: To make things clear, a wild shot is when one doesn’t take time to aim in any way.  This confers a penalty of –6 to strike.


The Four Ranged Combats


     There are four levels of ranged combat that one can achieve —they are (in order of level): Rogue, Infantry, Sniper and Special Forces.  If the character doesn’t start with a ranged combat then the cost will be more for each level of combat.  Rogue will cost one skill, Infantry will cost two skills and Special Forces and Sniper will cost three skills.  The skill of Ranged Combat is considered a Modern Weapon Proficiency skill and can be chosen as a secondary skill (but will cost twice as much to get).  Because of the specialized training of the Ranged Combat: Special Forces, it cannot be taken as a secondary skill.

  Note: Certain Power Categories from Heroes Unlimited will start with a ranged combat.  Magic Characters cannot learn the Ranged Combats.  Even if they get the Modern W.P. Program.  Any character that learns a Martial Art Form also cannot get ranged combat.  And finally, Physical Training characters and the Ancient Master cannot learn any Ranged Combats either.

     Aliens that have the education level of Military Specialist will start with Ranged Combat: Infantry.  Combat Specialists can choose any Range Combat they wish.

     Hardware: Weapon Experts, will get to choose Sniper or Special Forces.

     Hardware: Analytical Genius starts with Ranged Combat: Rogue, but can upgrade to Infantry at the cost of 1 secondary skill and Sniper or Special Forces at the cost of 2 secondary skills.

     Robot Pilots will start with Ranged Combat: Infantry and can upgrade to Sniper or Special Forces at the cost of 1 secondary skill. 

     Special Training: Hunter will get to select either Sniper or Special Forces.

     Special Training: Secret Operative will start with Ranged Combat: Infantry to start and cannot upgrade (unless they get it in secondary skills).

     Special Training: The Super Sleuth will start with Ranged Combat: Rogue, but can upgrade to Infantry at the cost of 1 secondary skill and Special Forces or Sniper at the cost of 2 secondary skills.

  Further Note: Certain skill programs will also incorporate Ranged Combat as part of that program.

     Espionage Program has Ranged Combat: Rogue. 

     Military Program has Ranged Combat: Infantry. 

     Police/Law Enforcement Program has Ranged Combat: Rogue.

     Military Officer Program will get Ranged Combat: Special Forces.

     Modern W.P. Program has Ranged Combat: Rogue (even further note: if a player chooses the Modern W.P. Program, they may upgrade Ranged Combat: Rogue at the cost of one secondary skill for Infantry and two for Sniper or Special Forces).


Ranged Combat: Rogue


     This training is the result of characters that trained them-selves to use firearms or didn’t really pay attention in “Guns/ Firearms 101.”  They learned the basic techniques and safety methods, but didn’t really bother to or didn’t have the proper resources to learn the more advanced techniques.  In a way, these characters can be looked at as one who wasn’t trained professionally.  In any case, these guys are better off than one not trained in such ways.

     Examples of peoples trained in this way, are those that took extra time to train in firearms, policemen, certain security guards and people who have been in one too many gun fights.




1.       BDM: Short (×2), Medium (×4), Long (×6).

2.       +1 to Draw.

3.       IDP: (-1 to dodge/-2 to parry).

4.       +1 to Shoot.  Motion Aiming (negate –1).

5.       Coldcock/Pistol Whip.

6.       BDM: Short (×3), Medium (×5), Long (×7).

7.       IDP: (-2 to dodge/-4 to parry).

8.       +1 to Shoot.  Motion Aiming (negate –2).

9.       Rapid Reload.  Leading (negate –1).

10.    BDM: Short (×3), Medium (×6), Long (×9).

11.    IDP: (-3 to dodge/-6 to parry).

12.    +1 to Shoot.  Motion Aiming (negate –3).

13.    Leading (negate –2).

14.    BDM: Short (×4), Medium (×7), Long (×10).

15.    IDP: (-4 to dodge/-8 to parry).


Ranged Combat: Infantry


     Training like this includes the more advanced methods of gun combat.  Characters have had more extensive training in the basic safety methods of firearms, they are well trained and have learned and acquired techniques, skills and abilities that are out of reach to those who aren’t professionally trained.

     Examples of characters with this kind of training are police, those in boot camp, various government organizations, certain militia and generally “soldier” types.  Even the better-trained security guards will have this training.




1.       BDM: Short (×2), Medium (×4), Long (×6).

2.       +1 to Draw.  Coldcock/Pistol Whip.

3.       IDP: (-1 to dodge/-2 to parry).

4.       +1 to Shoot.  Motion Aiming (negate –1).

5.       BDM: Short (×3), Medium (×5), Long (×7).

6.       IDP: (-2 to dodge/-4 to parry).  Rapid Reload.

7.       +1 to Shoot.  Snap Shot.

8.       Leading (negate –3).  Motion Aiming (negate –2).

9.       IDP: (-3 to dodge/-6 to parry). BDM: Short (×3), Medium (×6), Long (×9).

10.    +1 to Shoot.  +1 to Draw.

11.    Aimed Short Burst/Pulse Shot.

12.    IDP: (-4 to dodge/-8 to parry).

13.    +1 to Shoot.  Motion Aiming (negate –3).

14.    Called Shot: 10 or up.  BDM: Short (×4), Medium (×7), Long (×10).

15.    IDP: (-5 to dodge/-10 to parry).


Ranged Combat: Special Forces


     Those who have trained this much have achieved a level that exceeds the basic training and goes well beyond the normal levels of gun fighting.  Characters with this training concentrate heavily on fast combat, decisive decisions, while remaining “cool under fire”.  Characters get very specialized training that gives individual attention to that person as to fine tune their skills to a level that rivals most gun fighters of the old west.  They don’t completely bypass the basics, instead the basics are learned, but to these individuals they are “second nature” and the “real” (advanced) training is what is practiced.  Close-quarter combat, quick incapacitation, multiple enemies; these are all the specialties of the character with this training.

     These people usually don’t “spook” when under heavy fire while in gun fights—they can usually hold their own against two or even three opponents in a gun fight, while the more experienced are known to take on as much as twice that amount!  Typically, SeAL’s, SWAT, RECON and Delta Force (and similar) receive this type of firearm training.




1.       BDM: Short (×2), Medium (×4), Long (×6).  Pistol Whip/ Coldcock.

2.       +2 to Draw.  Motion Aiming (negate –2).

3.       IDP: (-1 to dodge/-2 to parry).  Rapid Reload.

4.       +1 to Shoot.  Motion Aiming (negate –3).

5.       BDM: Short (×3), Medium (×5), Long (×7).  +1 to Draw.

6.       IDP: (-2 to dodge/-4 to parry).  Motion Aiming (negate –4).

7.       +1 to Shoot.  Snap Shot.  W.P. Any Handguns Paired.

8.       BDM: Short (×3), Medium (×6), Long (×9).  +1 to Draw.  Leading (negate –2).

9.       IDP: (-3 to dodge/-6 to parry).  Motion Aiming (negate –5).

10.    +1 to Shoot.  Speed Load.  Aimed Short Burst/Pulse Shot.

11.    BDM: Short (×4), Medium (×7), Long (×10). +1 to Draw.

12.    IDP: (-4 to dodge/-8 to parry).  Called Shot: 9 or up.

13.    +1 to Shoot.  +1 to Draw.  Motion Aiming (negate –6).

14.    Leading (negate –3).  Quad Critical.

15.    BDM: Short (×4), Medium (×8), Long (×12).  IDP: (-5 to dodge/-10 to parry).


Ranged Combat: Sniper


     Yep, you guessed it Einstein.  This training is for the guys who don’t even want to get close enough to shoot someone with handguns.  With this level of training, any close quarter combat is usually discouraged, simply because in such events they just wouldn’t stack up.  However, they would not be completely helpless, just at a disadvantage.  And do not under estimate the skill and precision of such characters; those with this ability are truly deadly.  They are have trained very little in fast and close quarter techniques, but where they excel is in careful, deadly and accurate gunfire.  These characters are probably the deadliest enemy one can come across, in war or field battle.  Though lacking in the areas of versatility, speed and generally being cool under fire, they more than make up for it in the areas of accuracy, precision and lethal attacks.

     Training to be a sniper is very hard.  They have to be able to hit moving targets at long distances.  And many will need to do it with only one shot.  As a result, most with this level of skill will attain a point where they get used to focusing out the single small part a body they need to shoot.  Make no mistake, those with this training aren’t just your average sniper, like the SWAT snipers or the good old hicks in the countryside.  Guys with this training are usually specially (and carefully) trained individuals.  They usually include CIA, DIA, Presidents Secret Service, SeAL’s, Delta Force and similar.




1.       +2 to Shoot.  Leading (negate –2).

2.       BDM: Short (×2), Medium (×4), Long (×6).  Pistol Whip/ Coldcock.

3.       IDP: (-1 to dodge/-2 to parry).  Head Shot (negate –2).

4.       Leading (negate –3).  Double Tap.  +1 to Shoot.

5.       IDP: (-2 to dodge/-4 to parry).  Head Shot (negate –3).

6.       +1 to Shoot.  Called Shot: 10 or up.  Leading (negate –4).

7.       BDM: Short (×3), Medium (×5), Long (×7).  Head Shot (negate –4).

8.       IDP: (-3 to dodge/-6 to parry).  Quad Critical.

9.       +1 to Shoot.  Rapid Reload.  Leading (negate –5).

10.    IDP: (-4 to dodge/-8 to parry).  Head Shot (negate –5).

11.    Aimed Short Burst/Pulse Shot.  +1 to Shoot.  Called Shot: 8 or up.

12.    BDM: Short (×4), Medium (×7), Long (×10).  Leading (-6 negated).

13.    IDP: (-5 to dodge/-10 to parry).  +1 to Draw.

14.    +2 to Shoot.  Head Shot (negate –6).

15.    IDP: (-6 to dodge/-12 to parry).  Head Shot (negate –7).