The superhero genre is not overly preoccupied with firearms. They’re not colourful or flashy enough in a world of heat vision and web shooters. Therefore, instead of the published material on firearms in d20, which attempts to somewhat accurately represent the products created by the modern firearms industry, Phoenix uses generic firearms that are more akin to fantasy games in which you buy a “long sword” or a “great axe” instead of a particular long sword created by a specific manufacturer, or a specific great axe made by a particular designer. The table below lists all the Generic Firearms. The side effect of this system is that the Weapon Specialization feat tree applies to a single Generic Weapon (e.g., a Light Machine Pistol or a Medium Rifle) rather than a specific make and model of weapon from a particular manufacturer, which we think is just awesome.
|Handguns||Damage /Ammo||Range Increment||Rate of Fire||Ammo Capacity||Size||Weight||PDC||Restriction|
|Derringer||2d4 / A||10 ft.||Single||2 int||tiny||1 lb.||14||Lic +1|
|Revolver, Light||2d4 / A||20 ft.||S||6 cyl||small||1 lb.||13||Lic +1|
|Revolver, Medium||2d6 / B||30 ft.||S||6 cyl||small||2 lb.||14||Lic +1|
|Revolver, Heavy||2d8 / C||40 ft.||S||6 cyl||med||3 lb.||15||Lic +1|
|Pistol, Light||2d4 / A||20 ft.||S||10 mag||small||1 lb.||15||Lic +1|
|Pistol, Medium||2d6 / B||30 ft.||S||10 mag||small||3 lb.||16||Lic +1|
|Pistol, Heavy||2d8 / C||40 ft.||S||10 mag||med||4 lb.||17||Lic +1|
|Machine Pistol, Light||2d4 / A||30 ft.||S/A||20 mag||small||3 lb.||17||Res +2|
|Machine Pistol, Medium||2d6 / B||40 ft.||S/A||20 mag||med||4 lb.||18||Res +2|
|Machine Pistol, Heavy||2d8 / C||40 ft.||S/A||20 mag||med||4 lb.||19||Res +2|
|Rifle, Light||2d8 / C||90 ft.||S||6 int||large||8 lb.||14||Lic +1|
|Rifle, Medium||2d10 / D||90 ft.||S||6 mag||large||16 lb.||22||Lic +1|
|Rifle, Heavy||2d12 / E||120 ft.||S||12 mag||huge||35 lb.||24||Lic +1|
|Shotgun||*||30 ft.||S||6 mag||large||8 lb.||16||Lic +1|
|Shotgun, Double-Barrelled||*||30 ft.||S*||2 int||large||10 lb.||14||Lic +1|
|Shotgun, Sawed-Off||*||10 ft.||S||2 int||med||4 lb.||15||Ill +4|
|Shotgun, Semiautomatic||*||30 ft.||S||6 mag||large||8 lb.||18||Res +2|
|Shotgun, Automatic||*||30 ft.||S/A||6 mag||large||8 lb.||20||Mil +3|
|Shotgun, Bean-Bag||2d8 / bean||20 ft.||S/A||4 int||large||10 lb.||16||Lic +1|
|Submachine Gun||2d6 / B||50 ft.||S/A||30 mag||large||7 lb.||18||Res +2|
|Assault Rifle||2d8 / C||80 ft.||S/A||30 mag||large||9 lb.||18||Res +2|
|Machine Gun, Light||2d8 / C||80 ft.||S/A||30 mag||large||12 lb.||19||Res +2|
|Machine Gun, Medium||2d10 / D||100 ft.||A||linked||huge||22 lb.||21||Res +2|
|Machine Gun, Heavy||2d12 / E||120 ft.||A||linked||huge||75 lb.||22||Mil +3|
|Rocket Launcher||10d6 / rocket||150 ft.||1||1 int||large||5 lb.||15||Mil +3|
|Grenade Launcher||* / grenade||70 ft.||Single||–||large||+4 lb.||+2||Mil +3|
|Grenade Launcher, Semiauto||* / grenade||70 ft.||S||6 cyl||large||+10 lb.||+4||Mil +3|
The following text describe the Generic Firearms in general terms. After each entry is a list of examples of real-world guns that fall into the parameters of the gun type. For example, you can purchase a submachine gun and call it an Uzi, an MP5, or whatever you like. You can buy a heavy revolver and call it a Smith and Wesson .44 or a Colt Python, etc. You can also describe them as custom-made firearms of no recognisable design. Ultimately, the numbers are there to support your own creativity, not over-ride it with “facts.” If you were into facts, you wouldn’t be playing a superhero game.
These are firearms that you can shoot comfortably with one hand if necessary, although two is preferable, but they are generally less accurate. (We know that you need two hands for a handgun in the real world, but this is most definitely not the real world.)
Derringers are very small pistols with only two bullets loaded internally. They’re extremely easy to hide.
- American Derringer, Baby Browning .22, Bond Arms Derringer, Cobra Arms Derringer
Revolvers have a central barrel that rotates each fresh bullet into place. They either break at the top via a hinge just in front of the trigger, or the barrel swings out to the side. Revolvers usually have 6 chambers for bullets, but you can upgrade them to 9 or 12.
- Light Revolvers: AEK 906 9mm, Knight Suppressed 5.56, Taurus Raging Hornet .22
- Medium Revolvers: Armenius Vindicator .357, MR73 Gendarmerie .357, S&W Model 586 .357, SCK M60 New Nambu .38, Taurus Raging Bull .454
- Heavy Revolvers: Colt Anaconda .44, DOG-1 12.5mm, S&W Model 29 .44, Smith & Wesson .44, Udar 1 12.3mm, Yesaul 5.45mm
Pistols take mag ammo that loads into the handle. You reload them by simply replacing the magazine.
- Light Pistols: Astra A-60, Baretta 950, RPA PSM, SIG Sauer P230, SITES M380 Resolver, Walther PPK
- Medium Pistols: Astra A-90, Beretta 92FS, Calico M950, Colt Double Eagle 9mm, FN BDA 9, Glock 17, HK P9 9mm, Ruger P85 Mark II, SIG-Sauer P220, S&W 6904, SITES M9 Resolver, Tanfoglio Baby, Steyr GB, Walther P5
- Heavy Pistols: FN Five-SeveN, IMI Baby Eagle .41, Tanfoglio GT41
Machine Pistols are essentially the same as pistols, but they can switch between semi-auto and fully-automatic fire.
- Light Machine Pistols: CZ Model 61 Skorpion, MAC Ingram M11
- Medium Machine Pistols: Barretta 93-R, Bushman IDW, CZ Model 68 Skorpion, Glock 18, HK VP70, IMI Micro-Uzi, MAC Ingram M10, Steyr TMP
- Heavy Machine Pistols: Bushman IDW .41inAE, Steyr TMP .41
These are firearms that require that you fire them with both hands, but they tend to be higher calibre and more accurate. You can fire them with one hand and take a -4 penalty. This isn’t very realistic, but neither are superheroes.
Rifles have long barrels and fire single shots at a time. They are either internally loaded or take mag ammo.
- Light Rifles: HK PSG1, Winchester 70
- Medium Rifles: Remington 700
- Heavy Rifles (Sniper Rifles): Barrett Light 50
Shot Guns are basically the same a rifles, but they can fire rounds of shot (tiny steel balls) instead of bullets. The Double-Barrel Shotgun is an old favourite, and is “semi-automatic” because you can fire each barrel in rapid succession. The Sawed-Off Shotgun is usually illegal, but makes for a weapon that is easier to conceal, although it also drastically reduces the gun’s range.
- Shot Guns : Armscor M30 Series, Birmingham Pump Gun, Browning BPS- SP, Izhmash IZH 81M, Mossberg Model 500 Series, Neostead, Poseidon Micro, Viking Arms SOS
- Semiautomatic Shotguns : Fabarm Tactical, HK512, Mossberg M9200 Norinco M2000, Omega SPS 12, Remington Model 11-48 Saiga 12
- Automatic Shotguns : Daewoo USAS 12 Gauge, Mark Three Jackhammer 12 Gauge
Submachine Guns are mid-way between machine pistols and machine guns. They have fully-auto fire, and they require two hands to shoot.
- A9 9mm, Arsenal Shipka 9mm, Bizon Series 9mm, MP51 9mm, LaFranceM16K .45, F1A1 9mm, FEGKGP9 9mm, FMK3 Mod2 9mm, Franchi LF57 9mm, GG95 9mm, H&K MP5A1 9mm, IMI Uzi 9mm, Intratec TEC9 9mm, MadsenM52 9mm, Mekanika URU 9mm, MGP87 9mm, Norinco 7.62mm, Parker Hale IDW 9mm, PM84 Glaubeyrt 9mm, Port Said 9mm, Romarm BORD 9mm, SA58/98 Bulldog 9mm, SCH21 Gorda 9mm, Spectre M4 9mm, Star Z70B 9mm, Steyr AUG9 9mm, Walther MPK 9mm
Assault Rifles are fully-automatic and require two-hands to fire properly.
- Baretta SC 70, Colt M16A1, Colt M4 Carbine, GIAT FA-MAS Commando, HK G33K, IMI CTAR-21, IMI Galil ARM, Norinco QBZ Type 95, RSA AK-74, SIG SG 551, Steyr AUG
These weapons require special training or finicky operation. Machine guns fall into this category because they are belt-fed and generally only used in military situations. Rocket and grenade launchers are exotic because they simply do not operate or fire like other firearms.
Machine Guns are fully-automatic rifles that are so heavy that they must be mounted to fire properly. If you are strong enough to lift one, you can attempt to fire a machine gun two-handed, but you take a -4 penalty to hit. If you are strong enough to life a machine gun with one hand, you can attempt to fire it one-handed, but you take a -8 penalty to hit.
- Light Machine Guns : CETME Ameli, CIS Ultimax 100, FN Minimi, HK 23E, IMI Negev, RSA PKM, Stayr AUG HBAR
- Medium Machine Guns : FN MAG, HK 21E, Rheinmetall MG42, Saco M60E1
- Heavy Machine Guns : CIS .50 CIS, FN M2HB, RSA Degtyarev DshKM, RSA NSV
Rocket Launchers literally launch self-propelled rockets. The launchers themselves are light plastic or fibre-glass tubes you can aim with. They are single-use items. The rocket destroys them after if fires. Rocket launchers use specialised, self-propelled rocket ammo.
- M72A3 LAW
Grenade Launchers shoot special grenades that are shaped like large bullets (see d20 rules for the kinds of grenades you can load into a Grenade Launcher). In reality, longarms are manufactured with grenade launchers incorporated into the design, but for game purposes, a Grenade Launcher is an add-on feature. Add the listed price and weight to the price and weight of any rifle, submachine gun, or assault rifle.
- Single Shot: CIS 40GL, Colt M203, GM-94, HK AG36, ISTEC ISL 200 Compact Series, Lacroix Samurai Urban Warfare (SUW), Romarm AG-40 M80
- Semiautomatic: 6G-30, Milkor MGL Mark I
Rates of Fire
- “1” means you must reload the weapon every time you fire it. It takes one round of ammunition at a time.
- “Single” means it requires manual action (i.e., cock the hammer, pull the bolt, etc.).
- “S” designates a semi-automatic weapon (it automatically loads the next bullet, usually through a slide, a spring-loaded mag, or what have you).
- “A” indicates a fully-automatic firearm (it auto-loads and fires bursts of bullets).
- “S/A” means that the weapon can switch from semi-automatic to fully-automatic as a free action.
Reloading a cylinder firearms bullet by bullet takes a full-round action, but reloading with a speed-loader―a small frame that holds the bullets in place so that you can slip them all in at once―takes only a move action. Reloading an internal (“int”) firearm requires a full-round action for 6 to 12 bullets, but a move action for fewer than 6. Reloading a mag firearm takes a move action. Feeding a new belt of linked ammo into a machine gun takes a move action, but you can pre-link several belts to maintain uninterrupted fire. Two people normally operate a single machine gun: one shooting and one feeding.
Each gun has a maximum number of bullets it can carry, and a mechanical means to carry them. “Internal” firearms keep their bullets in the body of the weapon. “Cylinder” firearms keep their bullets in a rotating barrel. “Mag” firearms keep their bullets in a pre-loaded magazine. Finally, “Linked” firearms take bullets that are linked to each other by small metal clips of 50 at a time.
The size of a firearm dictates how you grip it and who can comfortably do so. If you are the same size as your weapon, you can use that weapon in one hand. If the weapon is one size larger than you, then you need two hands. If the weapon is two sizes larger than you, then you need to either set the weapon on the ground or use a mount (like a bipod).
You can try to use a weapon that’s one size too large in one hand (i.e., a medium-sized person with a large-sized firearm), but you take a -4 penalty to attack. You can also try to use a weapon that’s two sizes too large in two hands (i.e., a medium-sized person holding a huge-sized weapon), but again, you take a -4 to attack. Finally, you can try to use a weapon two sizes too large in one hand (i.e., a medium-sized person with a huge weapon), but you take a -8 penalty to attack. These penalties are not just a matter of strength, but of the design of the firearm, the size of the grip, the balance of the weapon, etc.
With weapons that require a mount, you must take a full-round action to set the weapon in place, either flipping up a mount and positing the barrel, or lying down and firing the gun from a prone position.
The restriction of a firearm refers to just how easy/legal it is to get your hands on. The modifiers on Table 7-6 Generic Firearms adjust the PDC of a weapon when you attempt to purchase it off of the Black Market. Bare in mind, however, that these restrictions refer to the United States, which has relatively lax gun laws compared to many other countries (although far more restrictive than some other countries). If your game is set in a nation with more strict gun laws, add +1 at least to all of the Restrictions, and you might as well do a little research into that country’s gun laws for that extra bit of realism.