Jump to content
Steve

Left the safety on

Recommended Posts

You see it in the movies or on TV shows now and then. Someone is about to take a shot and wastes their chance to shoot someone because they forgot in the heat of battle and left the gun’s safety on. In a split-second gun battle, this could be death.

 

How would you model something like this? Is it the shooter’s Unluck at play? The target’s Luck?

 

Perhaps rolling a fumble could mean the safety was left on?

 

in any case, one outcome of this would be that charges don’t get expended, so it does have some effect that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of that is brand familiarity plus whether the handgun is hammer or striker fired. Striker fired guns like those made by Glock can't even have a traditional thumb safety. The safety mechanism is built into the trigger.  Law enforcement and military personnel that trained on a hammer fired M1911 45ACP or Barreta9mm do have thumb safety training as part of their manual of arms. Not all hammer fired guns always have thumb safeties though - see the H&K P30 with a LEM trigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the case of law enforcement or concealed carry practitioners the safety on a 1911 is normally used to allow keeping an extra round in the chamber plus a full magazine with less danger of blowing their foot off. This is what's referred to as cocked and locked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea that the an "18" could be ruled this way (depending on the gun, as Hyper-Man indicated). I personally wouldn't over use it, or plan for it, as much as it is GM ruling in the heat of the moment that just fits the scene. I'd also argue that most of such movie scenes are with an unexperienced shooter (either doesn't really know how to shoot a gun, or has never done so in live combat, etc.). If the PC's concept is a well trained, combat experienced shooter, this seems an unlikely ruling.

 

Also, with the "Luck" or "Unluck" ruling... I certainly wouldn't bring "Luck" (as a power) into it.  Do you make a player roll a luck roll every time they attack? If a character has Luck, do they get a luck roll every time they are attacked? I certainly wouldn't recommend playing that way.  As for "Unluck" that is one I'd recommend never having a player take, but if they did, defined as manifesting in a certain way "Police tend to think I'm the bad guy all the time" or something. Also, would you really have a PC roll unluck every time they pulled their gun, just in case? I'd personally find this use of Luck/Unluck as time consuming and very un-fun.

 

Ultimately, that is my question... why is this scenario "Crap! I left the safety on!" important? Is it something you've seen in movies and just wish would come up in a game once in a while? Are you playing a hyper-realistic game of low level, generally unskilled/inexperienced PCs where this might happen? (Say early days Walking Dead type campaign?) Is this really a mechanics question, or more of a "When would it make sense to rule this way as a GM?"  Personally, I'd go with the latter. As a GM, it would just be in the back of my mind, and when the right moment comes up, depending on the scene and dice and the flow of the game... go for it.

 

ex: Current heroic game I'm running... well trained, almost "special" level PCs in basically the real world. (Think X-Files meets Jason Bourne) I could easily see a scene where a character gets in close to an enemy, pulls the opponent,s pistol from their holster and tries to shoot him with it. Dice roll goes badly.  Say he needed a 13- to hit... I'd go with the flow... rolled a 14, 15, or 16, I'd say "You bring the gun up, but the guard twists, knocking your hand just enough to the side that the bullet punches the wall next to him."   If the roll was a 17 or especially an 18... then maybe, "You bring the gun up and "CLICK."   Safety is on."   (Again, I'd do this because the scene felt right, the dice pushed it that way AND I would know that the players would find it as fun as I would.)

 

Here is a scenario where I definitely would NOT rule that way. Same PC, sneaks up on a guard, pulls his silenced pistol and puts it to the back of the guys head. As GM in such a scenario, I tend to say, "Ok, just don't roll an 18" and usually don't even have the player roll damage. But say, "Oh crap... 18!" is what happens.  Then I would not even consider making it a "you left the safety on" because that wouldn't be fun, that would be making the PC incompetent, and the player feel bad. In this case, a simple "Unbelievably, your gun jams. You have half a second to consider the incredibly low odds of that happening, as the guard turns around in surprise and a fight is on!"

 

It is my feeling that it is a GM's job to take every die roll and action and weave it into a descriptive moment as part of a descriptive scene, to bring the action alive. It is never just "you hit, you miss, you fumble" etc. Every fight should play out in such a way that looking back on it, there is a very visual (mentally visual) replay, like remembering a great action scene in a movie. Gun with safety left on is just one possible cool description of how the scene and die rolls and player actions might be described.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plain and simple, this is part of the appropriate Weapon Familiarity, IMHO.  i.e. If you have the necessary WF, this should not even be an issue.  If you lack it, then I think the GM could introduce it as an issue -- most likely an INT-based roll of some sort to represent thinking enough about the weapon with which you are NOT familiar ... to thumb the safety selector before trying to use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using a Persuasion roll, you could probably convince a thug that he left the safety on, giving a chance to get the drop on him.

 

As for the 18 roll, I’d call it more serious if the weapon jammed than if the safety was on. Clearing a jam can require another roll, like Weaponsmith, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to your original post and comment about Luck...

 

I use a house rule to manage Luck for characters. Instead of rolling Luck (which can still happen, but in specific situations) characters get a "Luck Chit" for every 5 pts. These chits are randomly drawn at the beginning of the game, and use 'em or lose 'em by end of game. The PLAYER gets to choose when to spend a Luck Chit to affect the game in their favor. The chits have differing levels of power... the lowest provide an extra defensive action or a reroll of the dice, and abort maneuver without spending an action, etc.  The higher level chits let them have something dramatic or use a power in a non-defined way or get an automatic hit, etc.


In this case I would easily allow a player who was about to get hit with a lucky shot by a guard to throw a chit (one of the high level ones) and say, "The guy was so panicked, "CLICK", he forgot to take off the safety!"  Spending a high level chit to have a dramatic, scene appropriate moment go her way is what I built the system for, and "Safety left on!" could be a perfect description of one of those, if the player thought of it, and the table agreed. (Essentially, the table gets a "vote" on the described action as to whether everyone feels it fits the scene and is dramatically appropriate. Usually it is very natural, everyone laughing and saying, "Ok, that's cool!" or a noticeable shrugging and "eehhh, that doesn't feel right" and we discuss what would be more appropriate.)

 

I feel "safety left on!" would be something that fell within this narrative mechanic for my games, or any game that uses a bennie/luck/hero point type system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2018 at 9:55 PM, Steve said:

 

As for the 18 roll, I’d call it more serious if the weapon jammed than if the safety was on. Clearing a jam can require another roll, like Weaponsmith, I think.

 

I’d say bad primer or soft strike.  Or out of battery (slide isn’t all the way forward). Having  expended thousands of rounds of ammo across dozens of firearms, those  generally have only a few types of failures. Failure to feed, double feed, failure to extract ( after it fires), out of battery, stove pipe, for semi-automatics. For revolvers it is usually off cylinder timing, or flat spring breakage. Ammo failures across all types of cartridge firearms tend to be primer related with hang foes, failures to detonate, but ruptured cases and detached case heads occur. 

 

The “left the safety on”  doesn’t take into account that some pistols like the Tokarev TT-33 , and all French rifles before the FAMAS, have no safeties. Plenty of other options for failures to pick from. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...