So I’ve been working on the Agents of Intrigue combat system for a few days, and I’ve hit a snag. This is the same issue that many such efforts have encountered. Guns hurt. The main issue is that IRL a gunshot will kill and super bad marine, 10th degree black belt, or maybe even Chuck Norris (!). One stray shot and your are toast. No such thing exists in fantasy games, outside of Power Word: Kill or something similar. So I did some research.
I discovered some projects that have ran parallel to my own. One to convert d20 Modern to 5e. Here it is: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0Byx44op3KqQ2flhIV1pKSzRIbFBtbjk4T0xOTlNzVi0yTEpRREV4ZnZCNjJWd25GOFR5VW8 I found extensive information about how to update the d20 system for 5e. Well done! But that system has the same issue as the rest.
I also found this: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D_HK8iKaIrfpaKcCXd3gOoR239zDAzhwE5ViIpXNvyw/edit?usp=sharing It’s basically putting together Top Secret S.I., Get Smart RPG and some Fate elements into a 5e system. Despite all the good work that went into this concise, 20 page, document, the same problem exists. Point blank hit from a 9mm doesn’t necessarily kill you. In fact, a high level agent can get pumped full of all kinds of lead before he goes down.
So I hit the web and read how others were dealing with the issue. Sadly, most people said “switch to Cyberpunk” or some other game with better rules for ranged weapons. The main problem with that is, I don’t want to learn another system :/ I didn’t like Cyberpunk when it came out.
What are my options? Well, I’ve got my thinking cap on. One, sort of complicated, way that I thought about was expanding crits for guns. Some guns may have a higher crit rating (such as a sniper rifle), and when you crit with a gun, you roll again on a special crit chart. Rolls 17-20? Headshot. x10 damage. Roll a 1 or 2? You clip them in the love handle, x2 damage. One flaw that I thought of is that it still might not kill you. Roll a 2 on 2d6 damage and your headshot does 20 damage. That’s survivable by many people. This is one of the ideas I will be kicking around this week.