GUNS, KNIVES AND TECHNICAL TOYS

Because of the urban violence and corporate skirmishes, home and personal defence became a new market for both the military corporations (Farren - Cates or Blacklight) and the local cybergang fences. Most guns are the same basic design but with slight cosmetic differences such as a longer barrel, better grip, folding stock or larger ammo clip. All projectile weapons use casuals ammunition although there are still a few exceptions (namely shotguns).

Despite the vast array of firearms and the ease of buying one, gun laws still apply. In all countries, any weapon capable of full auto (such as SMGs) or heavy weapons are illegal. Supposedly the only legal weapons which you may carry with you are handguns which are not capable of full autofire. Although you must still carry your weapons permit with you at all times which has a code which is laser etched onto your gun. In less lawful areas you can carry bigger guns and heavier armour as there are no security teams to prevent this. In the moderate zones (most of the sprawls) and corporate zone the security forces prevent you from carrying arms and in some cases, even armour. In these cases the security teams will always be heavily armed and armoured so there is little chance of an intruding team surviving a firefight against a security team. Below are listed the main type of weapons available over, or more often, under the counter.

SIZE AND CONCEALMENT

Guns and energy weapons come in all different shapes and sizes, some fit in your pocket while others are huge looking like a small hover cycle. Being able to keep a keep a small hold out in case your main firearm has been taken or is broken is always a good idea. Most smart killers, the ones that are still breathing, know that keeping firearms out of sight makes you blend in further as walking around with a Blacklight reaper poking from under your coat causes trouble and the corp cops are not the most lenient when it comes to firearm law enforcement.

To represent this, each weapon has a size category included in its profile. As size is a relative measurement, smaller weapons can be hidden more easily the bigger you are. Weapon sizes start at tiny and continue through (S)mall, (M)edium, (L)arge, (V)ery large and finally (N)ot concealable (such as missile launchers and other heavy weapons). The table below is used to find if a weapon can be concealed on the characters person. Each category includes the one above it so a coat could hide anything from a tiny weapon to a medium weapon.

WEAPON CONCEALMENT TABLE

Race Pocket Jacket Longcoat Trenchcoat
Human T S M L
META T S M M
Meatboy T M M V
SHARC T M M V

Pocket: this covers things hidden in the characters pockets, up their sleeve, trouser leg or leg holster). Jacket: also includes shoulder rigs or holsters.

Longcoat: slightly longer than a jacket coming to just above the wearers knees.

Trenchcoat: these come to well below the knees. Cloaks and long robes also fall under this category.

Spotting Weapons

As a rule of thumb, a successful difficult [20] perception roll allows a person to notice a hidden weapon. However, a weapon which is hidden in an object one category above it, has a very difficult [25] perception test.

So, a human hiding a pistol in a pocket would mean a perception roll of [20]. However, hiding that same pistol under a jacket (which is one category up) would require a very difficult [25] perception roll to spot. This is unlikely to occur, but is not impossible. Being searched lowers the difficult rating by ten points.

FIREARM LAW

As mentioned earlier in the section, not all firearms are deemed acceptable by the law. In Europe, at least, any weapon other than a pistol class weapon is illegal. If the weapon is capable of autofire then you will be in serious trouble with the security forces (if they see it). Military specification weapons will bring out SWAT teams.

* These weapons are legal although they may not be carried without a special permit outside the home. Legal and sports weapon ammunition can be bought over the counter if accompanied with a passport or citizens ID. Controlled weapon (i.e.: illegal) ammunition is available from a limited number of shops but only if the buyer has the relevant weapons permit.

GETTING A WEAPON

Due to weapons restrictions, it is not all that easy to lay your hands on a firearm (i.e.: one that'll blow your target all over the pavement from fifty metres). Most guns are bought off the streets and in some instances on "under the counter" deals.

All of this can take time as well as money. Buying a firearm illegally will cost double the listed price and will take at least two to three days (D4 days) if you make the following streetwise roll. 

18: Hunting rifle, shotgun or needler.

20: Autopistol, SMG or bolter.

22: Laser or sniper rifle.

24: Assault rifle, autoshotgun or gauss rifle.

26: Flame gun or grenade rifle.

28: Minisile launcher

A very good streetwise roll (success by six or more) could reduce the price to one and a half OR halve the time it takes to get the weapon (ref's discretion). A failed roll will waste time and a fumble could lead to being ripped off with a substandard weapon, a stolen murder weapon (and the cops think you did it now) or a police sting (rarely).

WEAPON PERMITS

Just because the corps and the law say you cannot own an illegal weapon it does not mean you cannot- legally. Bounty hunters, bodyguards, cops and other security executives (nice phrase but you still get shot at) often carry heavier firearms (such as SMGs and up). Having a permit allows you to carry you firearm publicly, i.e.: in the street, but it is a good idea to keep it hidden as walking around with a shotgun slung over your shoulder can get you unwanted attention from the cops (and from people who would love to own your shotgun).

To apply for a permit is easy, just pop down to your local police station, visit Weapons Control Division and fill in the necessary forms (taking about two hours). The police will then perform various weapons tests, recording the results and then checking their unsolved crimes files to see if you gun was involved in any criminal activity. Once a gun has been registered, its ballistic profile (effectively a fingerprint) will be on computer and if you shot anyone, the police will be able to match your weapon's profile and off to jail you go (do not pass go and don't collect $200). This process will take two days before your permit is issued and it will cost you $200 per weapon class (so class two costs $400). This is subject to the rules below.

A weapon permit will have a picture of the owner, their address, nationality, Single Identity Code (like a national insurance number), the weapon/s registered and the weapon/s serial code.

With this in mind, the majority of weapon permits carried are not for the weapon the carrier has on them. Permits are edited electronically while guns have their serial numbers altered to match the new permit. This is highly illegal and not surprisingly their is a roaring trade in doctored weapon permits.

Classes one and two are fairly easy to obtain, so long as you have a clean criminal record (know any good deckers?) and a medical record which shows a no mental health problems or chemical dependency to illicit substances. Alternatively you can attempt a difficult [20] streetwise roll and can pay a midman, or decker, $1000 for a C2 permit matching your ID (or not, if you need a false WP).

Class three is more difficult to obtain than the lower classes as in addition you must prove to the authorities that your job requires you to carry such as weapon. This is done by you providing justification from your employer or, and this is more often, the security firm will research and appraise you (ref's decision). If you know you do not have a chance of the paycops giving you a permit you can visit your local midman, or decker, who will (eventually) provide you with one for $1500 (this requires a hard [25] streetwise roll).

Class four weapon permits are rare. Only the security forces, including the police and private corporate soldiers, will have these. Exceptions do occur but these are very rare. In addition the permit will be limited in that the it will only apply to specific times (while on duty) or places (i.e.: the corporations property). Outside these times and areas the permit is not valid and the person must have their own personal weapon permit. To obtain a C4 permit requires an insane [30] streetwise roll and it will cost you $2000.

Class five permits are unheard of for civilians (forget about even asking). Only permits with area restrictions are available, even corporations have trouble getting them.

WEAPON SKILLS

The amount of weapons may baffle you as to which skills your character needs to master a particular weapon. Some are obvious, such as the SMG skill to fire submachine guns. But what about arc guns?

As a rule of thumb all one handed weapons use the pistol skill and two handed weapons use either SMG or rifle. Autoweapons use the SMG skill as do most other full auto capable firearms.

RELIABILITY

Not all guns have brilliant cooling systems or are computer tested before being released, some are down right dodgy. Whenever you roll a one or fire full auto you have to check for the chance of a jam or heating malfunction. Roll a D10 and if you get above the number then the gun jams, shorts or overheats. There are three levels of reliability:

V: Very reliable, jams above 9 on a D10.

A: Average, fails above 6 on a D10.

P: Poor, malfunctions above 3 on a D10.

RATES OF FIRE

SMART TRIGGERS

This device is mounted around the grip and trigger of the weapon. It is basically a glorified palm scanner and prevents anyone except the registered user from firing the weapon. This trigger lock is similar to the cybernetic lock mentioned later, but caters for meat users. This lock costs $250 normally, but if purchased with a weapon permit, it costs only $100. Up to four people can be registered to use the gun.

The police can re-code the processor with a unique and encrypted passcode to change or add more users. Needless to say, the black market caters for underground re-coding, which costs upwards of $400 and requires a difficult [20] streetwise roll. A decent blacktech could do it if they pass a hard [25] security or electronics task (taking four hours base time).

Gun Computers and smartguns give even more options to a trained firearms user.