|One Ronin <ronin@*******.COM>
|Silencers...Ronin's Combat Corner Part 2
|Wed, 11 Nov 1998 08:44:35 PST
post, so this one should be a little better. For obvious reasons (read:
fear of an airborne wet carp), I'm going to try to avoid any serious
physics based discussions. On to the topic at hand.
Silencers. The ultimate tool for firearm carrying runners. One of the
biggest drawbacks of firearms in this business is the sound. Nothing
ruins a runner's stealth better than the report of an Ares Predator
firing those Heavy Pistol rounds. Silencers seem to cure that
problem.......but what kind of drawbacks to they have?
According to the rules, the only drawbacks to having a silencer mounted
on a weapon are less concealability and inability to use a barrel
mounted gas vent system. In real life, silencers have a few more
First, mounting a silencer on a weapon like a 9mm pistol dramatically
reduces the sound produced from the initial report of the shot.
However, the bullet is still travelling at supersonic speeds, and the
high pitch crack is still quite loud. There are currently two solutions
to that. One being to use subsonic rounds, designed to fly at subsonic
velocities so as to do away with that supersonic "crack" sound. The
other is to use a complex gas venting/rerouting silencer sytem that uses
normal rounds and renders them subsonic (just like the modern day HK
MP-5SD....to see it in action, watch the movies Navy SEALs and Air Force
One). Either way you have to substantially reduce the velocity of the
round to render it truly silent. This brings up a few issues. If the
round is travelling slower, won't it's penetration be reduced?
Probably. Today, when body armor is a rarity, hollow-point rounds fired
from an HK MP-5SD will probably take down a target. But what happens if
that target is wearing armor? Surely the slower rounds will have less
chance of penetrating the armor than faster rounds.
Now, let's look at it from a game mechanics point of view. In my games,
I assume that all silencers render the projectiles fired from them
subsonic. This dispenses with the need for yet another type of
ammunition. As a rule in my games, the attachment of a silencer to a
weapon reduces the power of the rounds fired from that weapon by 2. For
example, a heavy pistol with a silencer would have a damage code of 7M.
This makes PCs think twice about the usefulness of a silencer. Sure
it's useful, but there should be times when not using one is better than
using one. Facing sec goons in heavy armor is a good time to use a
weapon without a silencer.....you need every point of power you can get.
And, for that matter, the goons' weapons will NOT be silenced, so your
cover is blown regardless.
Just some ideas to kick around for GMs....especially if you have a PC
that insists on having each and every weapon he uses equipped with a
silencer. Also, (in my games), weapons using silencers treat ALL armor
as hardened.....i.e., your silenced SMG (power becomes 4-5) will be
unable to penetrate light security armor. Sounds appropriate, doesn't
Anyway, send your comments, corrections, and wet carps this way. Let me
know how much you guys/girls like/dislike these rules.
Mai mentsu konna mai kikyo.
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