The BlackHammer CyberPunk Project
CyberPunk 2021

Skills Improve With Use,
Weapons Don't


Every time a weapon is improperly looked after (used and then stored without cleaning, dragged through mud, dropped, caught in an explosion, etc), there is a chance that something untowards will occur affecting the weapon's reliability (damage to the feed mechanism, slide, chamber, extractor, etc) or accuracy (sights out of alignment, damage to the interface system, increased or decreased trigger pull, barrel damage, etc).

Most cases of reduced accuracy can be fixed with a little effort and few dozen rounds in a testing range to reset the sights. But most other problems will require some serious reworking to bring the gun back to its original specs.

This article provides a detailed method of determining the effects of mistreatment on a firearm (and can probably be easily adapted to non-firearm weapons with a little thought). The system is a little clunky and involves extra paperwork and sometimes extra headaches, but it's perfect for those games with one or two players when you feel like being a little mean and making them pay for their mistakes.

Originally this system was devised for a different role, in an attempt to provide realistic weapon reliabilities for the CyberPunk game, since real modern firearms jam or misfire on average once ever 100 to 1000 rounds, not once every 20-50 as it is written in the game system. If you want this kind of realism, use the system presented below whenever a misfire, jam or critical malfunction is called for by the fumble chart. If the weapon fails the test, then the malfunction occurs.

Super Reliable1
Very Reliable2

The base chance of something nasty happening to your weapon when it's abused is based on it's reliability rating. This is known as the Base Reliabity Index. This will be modified based on what accessories are mounted on the firearm. Some will increase the Base Reliability Index, others will add to the Final Reliability Index. In this way we are attempting to simulate the extra potential of misaligning all those nifty doo-dads you've got on your fave firearm. A top-of-the-line passive IR teleoptic scope won't do a whole heck of a lot to improve your accuracy when it's been knocked out of whack by 2 degrees.

GizmoBase Rel.Final Rel.
Sighting System+0+2
Recoil Comps+0+1
Gas Vents+0+1
Custom Furniture+0+2
Rapid Take-Down+1+1

The Final Reliability and Base Reliability numbers should be recorded with the weapon. The final reliability index is the chance, out of 20, that something nasty occurs to your weapon when it's abused (or the chance out of 50 when it's just not cleaned after use). (For CP2020 purists who feel that the game must be played with only D6 and D10, multiply the final number by 5 to figure out the percent chance of it screwing up.)

If the D20 roll is under the Base Reliability Index, then the weapon has been compromised by your carelessness and the weapons' reliability is reduced one step (and you'll have to recalculate it's Reliability Indexes again). If the roll is equal to the Base Reliability Index and less than or equal to the Final Reliability Index, then one of your accessories has been knocked around and weapon accuracy has been compromised by 1 point, or two points if the weapon was mounting a laser sight and/or smartlinking.

For reliability decreases, roll a d10 and compare it to your luck. If you rolled less than your luck then the weapon just needs a good cleaning and maybe a spring replaced (cost = 1% of weapon cost, or WeaponSmith Dif 10). If the roll was equal to or greater than your luck then you really messed it up, and repairs will be costly and time-consuming (2d6+2 x 5 % of weapon cost, or WeaponSmith Dif 25 and 10% of weapon cost).

For accuracy decreases, roll d10 and compare it to your luck again. If you rolled less than you luck then the weapon systems just have to be realigned (cost of 20 rounds of ammo, Weaponsmith Dif 10). If you rolled equal to or greater than your luck, then one of your accessories has to be replaced (determined at random) as well as everyhthing needing to be re-sighted as above.