This is a repost from the early days of the blog, when we had a much smaller readership. I’m looking for comments from the James Bond RPG fans regarding them, especially if you try them out. — Scott

I was reading through an article on Jerry Miculek today — he’s a shooter for Smith & Wesson in the USPDA competition.  The guy is a freak of nature, capable of accurately putting 5 rounds downrange in .45 of a second!  That got me thinking about my own effective rate of fire with a handgun, rifle, etc…even with my 10mm, I can drop with some accuracy rounds at a rate of 1.5/second.  About a round a second with a 9mm or the 5.7mm.

The rate of fire in the James Bond: 007 RPG has always seemed a bit slow to me.  Granted, that’s because the firefights in the old movies usually consisted of the actor taking aim and firing a round, maybe two, in a cautious and considered manner.  But since the likes of Martin Riggs and John McClane came on the scene, the protagonists are a bit more quick n the trigger — in line with what real firefights are like.  (Most police in shootings are surprised by how fast things happen.)

The Action Round for the game is described as 3-5 seconds.  That two second wiggle room was designed to give the GM some leeway in what to allow the characters to do, but it is a bit long for a fist- or firefight.  So I propose a hard target for the time period: 5 second, or 12 action rounds a minute.  What can you do in five seconds?

Figure most people can achieve 2-3 short actions, like shoot something, change a magazine, and maybe do some kind of shuffling movement.  The characters in the game are supposed to be trained, if not exceptional, in moments of action.  So I propose they can do up to an action an action a second.  (Just timing myself now, I was able, without moving, to dry fire three times on three different targets around the room with a handgun…in three seconds.)

Suggestion 1:  the actions a person can take in the action round are equal to their SPEED, as in the rules.  What an action entails:  movement (from shuffling (to give the opponent attempting to hit a -1EF) to running, popping up from cover and getting back down [each an action!]), changing a magazine for a weapon (with the reload time now being the number of actions the move takes; so a  tube-fed shotgun’s RL: 5 would take a character with a Speed of 2 just over 10 seconds…about right under ideal conditions), dropping an object or picking one up, taking a bead (to get the +3EF), engaging a target (so with a Speed of 2, you could engage two targets …but could not move or change mags), or do that many HTH actions (either attack or defense.)

Suggestion 2:  The maximum number of targets a character can engage with a non-automatic firearm is equal to their Speed, and they may fire a number of rounds at each target equal to their Speed or the S/R of the weapon (whichever is lower.)  If they shoot at a single target, the rounds that can use are equal to the Speedx2.  If the character can fire 5 or more rounds at a target, resolve it like burst/autofire with one roll and add +2DC to the weapon (So a Beretta 92 in the hands of a character with a speed of 3 could go Martin Riggs for 6 rounds, with the gun DC rising from F to H.)

For burst or autofire weapons, the number of rounds is the maximum number of targets that could be hit by the burst or strafing attack, minus the QR of the test (so an MP5 with a S/R of 6 could hit up to six people, but with a QR of 4, at best the character hit two targets.)  Instead of gaining negative modifiers to their Ease Factor for the number of people they are engaging  (Spray Fire rules, p.50, main book), the character gains a -1EF for each 10′ wide area.  Each extra 10′ arc also halves the maximum number of people you can hit.   So if you have to spray an area 20′ across with an M4 carbine (S/R: 2 or 10), you would gain a -2EF and could only hit up to 5 people.  Now you could mitigate this a bit by taking a number of your actions — say you have a Speed of 2 — two bursts of fire (really one long extended one) across the 20′ would be two 10′ arc attacks.

Suggestion 3: Using spray fire to do suppressive fire (keep an enemy’s head down):  You’re not really trying to hit anything, and your Ease Factor to do this is EF5.  You automatically use the maximum number of rounds you could use on a single target (for a handgun with S/R:2 and a Speed of 3, that would be 4 rounds, or an autofire weapon’s second rating [S/R: 2/6 for example].)  For each action used, you gain a +1EF for the test.  Additionally, the bad guys will keep their heads down for an extra round/extra success.

Example:  If you have a Speed of 3 and a handgun with an S/R: 2, you fire 6 rounds for suppressive fire.  The gun has a magazine with 15 rounds, so you decided to use all of your actions on suppressive fire, hoping to allow your teammate to move unseen to an advantageous position.  The total rounds fired would be 15, with a +2EF to the test.  The character gets a QR3 — the bad guys stay down not just this round, but the next.

Suggestion 4:  Hand-to-hand combat is a bit more time consuming than pumping a trigger.  You are, by necessity, moving — shuffling feet, swinging arms or kicking, grappling or otherwise engaged in multiple complex actions.  The number of actions is equal to the character Speed.  The character can use the actions for attack or defense (not in the original rules.)  Attacks are handled as they are in the original rules, but if a character chooses to, they may rather than attack, instead defend from an attack, using their HTH Combat skill in an opposed test.

Example:  Bill is in a fight with a couple of goons.  He has initiative and chooses to punch Goon 1 in the face, trying for a knockout blow, but wants to use his second action as a defense, blocking an attack from Goon 2.  He tests against Goon 1 (with a -2EF for the knockout blow) and succeeds.  Goon1 is down and Goon 2 swings a lamp at Bill.  Goon one hits him with a QR3 (Good) — Bill tests his HTH against the QR3 (that’s his Ease Factor) and succeeds.  The attack fails.

Suggestion 5:  New Speed Ratings.  No one is so slow they’ll act once every 10 seconds (Speed 0 in the original game rules.)  So here’s a more realistic Speed rating.

Speed is figured by adding DEXterity and PERception: 2-8 = Speed 1, 9-23 = Speed 2, 24-30 = Speed 3 ( An alternate idea is to expand the speed ratings: 2-6=Speed 1, 7-14=Speed 2, 15-22=Speed 3, 23-28=Speed 4, 29-30=Speed 5.) With this alternate suggestion, there’s the possibility of a character, really going super-badass.  If a GM wanted to avoid this, they might be worth it to use Draw on a firearm or melee weapon to slow the number of attacks (so a submachinegun with a DR: -2 would mean no more than 3 targets with a Speed of 5.)

Comments and suggestions are welcome.