Continuing the discussion of 4e firearm mechanics.

Here’s a brief overview:

Firearm “Ranged Basic Attack” [Weapon]
Standard action * at-will * Ranged 10
Target: One creature
Attack: Weapon accuracy (no ability) vs. AC
Damage: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.

Once a character “wields” a weapon, you can determine a bunch of stuff — in my original document I split firearm proficiency into four “ascending” grades (collect them all for better basic damage) — handgun, shotgun, carbine, and rifle.

You start with a d4 for non-proficiency damage, which improves to d6, d8, d10, and d12 with each added proficiency. This becomes more important later.

Single-action is standard (described in the RBA formula above) while burst-fire grants a +2/3/4 bonus to damage rolls per-tier. Automatic fire is tricky.

Ammunition types will probably vary most within the “bullet” type:
Bullets (thunder)
– Pistol rounds (roll damage twice within 5 squares)
– Rifle rounds (roll damage twice 5+ squares away)
– “Armor-Piercing” targets Reflex instead of AC
– “Incendiary” deals fire instead of thunder damage
Laser beams (radiant)
– Inherently target Reflex instead of AC
Plasma bolts (fire)
– Inherently target Reflex instead of AC

But confronted with the idea, I think I might actually have “lasers” incorporate multiple types of horrific radiation and such — “gamma laser guns” for example, might deal necrotic damage as you necrotize the target’s living tissues.

Hm. If I remember SF “plasma weapons physics,” the idea is that magnets launch explosive bolts of plasma — maybe I’m thinking of Star Wars blaster weapons.

Anyway, that would seem to be in keeping with the basic concept behind rail guns. Why not “simply” lump them together? That way we get all of our weird “high-level physics” guns in the same group — “recoil-less” rail gun weapons alternatively dealing fire, force, or cold damage.

Weapons focusing on radiation can have all of the more terrifying energy types like radiant, lightning, necrotic, poison — and even psychic damage when you’re trying to overload the target’s nervous system with something horrible.

Meanwhile convention weapons stick primarily to thunder and maybe sometimes fire. Maybe. You know, boring stuff like explosions and fireballs.

Right, I got off-track anyway.

It occurred to me that putting a scope on a weapon ought to increase its critical hit damage. Why? Well, taking into account the basic idea that critical hits are a combination of precision and luck, it makes sense that improving one’s capacity for aiming ought to improve critical hit damage.

“The scope doesn’t do you any good unless you use it” comes into play here. Scoring a critical hit retroactively “confirms” that you were using your scope properly — and the reward is better critical hit damage. Huzzah!