Revised Firearm Rules for Villains and Vigilantes and the Rules Upgrade
About 15 years ago when Villains and Vigilantes first came out, I noticed that the rules did not include any simple way to differentiate between different types of firearms. The basic stats for pistol and rifle included with the rules were adequate for many GM's campaigns - but I wanted more detail. So I created tables with damage ratings for various types of shot, and established more accurate ranges for each basic type of weapon. I stopped playing Villains and Vigilantes a few years later and those rules were stuck in a file folder.

In the past year I've gone back to Villains and Vigilantes again, and through the Internet found a number of others doing the same. In searching through old characters and campaign notes I rediscovered these rules as well. Since the rules for Villains and Vigilantes have been updated in the form of the Rules Upgrade, I've updated these rules as well to include CP cost for all the weapons, generating stats and CP costs for new weapons, and a new skill as well. To use these rules for Villains and Vigilantes simply ignore the references to CP cost.

Basic Firearms Statistics:
Type:To Hit:Typical Range:Typical Damage:Ammo:CP Cost:
Auto Pistol+333"1d882
Sawed-off Shotgun+810"2d8(to 3")
2d6(to 6")
1d6(to 10")
Rifle/Auto Rifle+4330"1d81223
Sniper Rifle+6462"1d10627
Sub Machine Gun+4132"1d103031
Machine Gun+5528"1d124065
Above is a table of generic firearm stats, similar to those found in the Villains and Vigilantes rules, but expanded to include more weapons. I also believe the ranges to be more accurate. If the CP cost on some weapons seems high or low it is because of the Typical Range of the weapon. The ranges above are more accurate than the standard ranges listed in the Villains and Vigilantes rules, especially when coupled with the range modifiers listed in the Special Rules section below. To make the weapons more cost effective, or more in line with existing Villains and Vigilantes weapons see my formula below for generating weapon costs, and modify the range for that weapon to raise or lower the cost.

Sample Firearms Statistics:
Type:To Hit:Typical Range:Typical Damage:Ammo:CP Cost:
.38 Special Revolver+430"1d86 2
Auto Pistol
Mauser 1934 7.65mm+327"1d88 2
Walther PPK 7.65mm+324"1d87 2
.44 Magnum Auto+330"1d108 2
Colt .45 +330"1d106 2
AK-47 7.62mm+4180"1d830 32
Dragunov Sniper 7.62mm +6300"1d82031
M16 5.56mm+4240"1d1020 29
12 Gauge Franchi SPAS 15 Auto+445"d6+d87 4
Stakeout Ithaca non-auto+440"2d65 2
Uzi 9mm +4120"1d830 29
Thompson M1 .45+4120"1d1030 30
The above table gives more specific stats based on specific weapons. I've done my best to choose some of the more common firearms I've used in various Role Playing Games, movies, and television. More detailed descriptions are given below.
Damage by Caliber:
A. Pistols
Caliber:Base Damage:
5.45mm, .22 (all), .25 (A.C.P.)1d6
.32 (all), .38 (all), 9mm, 7.62-7.65mm1d8
.357 magnum, .41 mag, .44 mag, .45 (all)1d10
B. Rifle (includes SMG and MG)
Caliber:Base Damage:
7mm, 8mm, 7.62 (all but NATO), .303, .30, .30-061d8
.223 armalite, 5.45 sov., 7.62 NATO, 7.5 (all), 7.921d10
14.5 sov., 12.7 sov., .50 spotting rifle, .50 browning1d12
C. Shotguns
Shot Size:
The above table gives damage based on the caliber of ammunition being fired. Use this table when converting a new weapon into Villains and Vigilantes or the Rules Upgrade. To figure out range on these weapons convert the known range to game inches (one inch = five feet). If the range you have is in feet simply divide by 5, if the range you have is in meters, for simplicity, multiply that by 3 and divide by 5 to get the range in game inches.

Special to-hit modifiers:
Weapon at rest on solid object+1
Weapon resting on tribod/bipod+2
Accessories:To Hit Bonus:CP Cost:
Using x4 sight+22
Using x6 sight+33
Using laser sight+55
The above modifiers can be used to simulate special circumstances when firing a weapon, and some types of firearm accessories. A bayonet may also be added to a rifle using the stats and CP cost of a dagger. Included below are some special rules that may be used to better simulate the use of firearms in the game.

Special Rules for Firearms:
  1. On a roll of 20 a gun jams and requires one round to clear the chamber.
  2. Reloading takes one action for Shotguns and Revolvers, magazine fed guns require only a half move.
  3. Characters get a cumulative range modifier of -1 for every A" that they are trying to shoot beyond the first. A character with a 15 Agility trying to shoot 46" away gets a -3 modifier, shooting something 45" away would only give him a -2. Characters with long range weapons like sniper rifles will want to be using some of the modifiers listed above to improve their chances to hit.

Computing the CP Cost of Firearms with the Rules Upgrade:

  1. Start with the bonus to hit. A +1 to hit costs 1 CP, +2 costs 2 CP, etc..
  2. Add the average damage roll. To compute the average damage divide the maximum damage by 2 and add 1. For a d2 it would be 2, for a d4 it would be 3, for a d6 it would be 4, for a d8 it would be 5, etc. Consult the Damage by Caliber table above for help figuring out what damage roll to use for your specific weapon.
  3. Add in the number of number of Characteristics Score worth of range. Where the weapon has a set range, just divide it by 18 and round up. A range of 1-18" would be 1, 19-36" would be 2, etc..
  4. Subtract the amount of ammo from 17 and subtract that number from the cost so far. A pistol with six shots gets a -11 modifier, a rifle with 12 gets a -5. If the gun has more than 17 ammo, just add 1 to the cost for each additional round.
  5. Non-automatic weapons get a further -1 for pistols, -2 for rifles and other firearms. Revolvers are always non-automatic.
  6. The minimum cost for any weapon is 2 CP. That's it - read it and weep!

New Skill for the Rules Upgrade: Gunsmith Unique/Intelligence:

You can manufacture and maintain firearms. This includes more than just basic maintenance. If part of a gun needs to be replaced or repaired, use this skill. This also allows the character to invent new guns, either by using pre-existing parts or machining brand new ones. There is no need to choose a specialization. However, this skill does not include heavy weapons such as those listed under Gunnery.

Villains and Vigilantes Campaign Headquarters

by Craig "Pandemonium" Griswold, pandemonium(at)
copyright 1997 by Craig Griswold
Villains and Vigilantes copyright 1982 Jeff Dee and Jack Herman