02 March 2017

Ammo in LARA

When I played a gunslinging character, I usually was asked to check how many bullets I used. It seems to take the mood away as if I am counting my money. So I device some game mechanic for abstract ammo. I haven't test this that much so it is kind of experimental.

EDIT: Well Matt Steflik enhanced the game mechanic more to more of my liking. So now there's 2 option of using abstract ammo in LARA. First one is this one by me but enhanced by Matt, my preferred option.


For each ranged weapon a PC has, they also have a certain LOAD (amount of ammunition for that weapon), defined as “Lots”, “Some”, “Little” and “None”. Each weapon’s LOAD also has a base Target Number (TN). Base LOAD TN is 5. 

This information would be recorded on the character’s sheet.

For example:
SMG (single: 1d6+1 /burst: 2d6) Ammo: Lots, TN: 5

At the end of a combat where that weapon was used, the player must make a 2d6 check against the ammo’s current TN.

  • If the check is successful, the LOAD’s definition doesn’t change but the TN for the next ammo check goes up by +1 (this would be changed and recorded on the character’s sheet next to the LOAD for their weapon. If a gun was used on burst mode during the previous combat, add +2 to the TN for the next ammo check instead of +1.
  • If the check fails, the LOAD’s definition changes from “Lots” to “Some”, from “Some” to “Little” or from “Little” to “None”. When the definition changes, the TN for the ammo resets to its base value, with the exception of “None” at which point there is no remaining ammo for the weapon.

Ammunition can run down (or worse) in the middle of combat. If a fumble is rolled, flip a coin with the PC calling “heads” or “tails”. If the PC wins the toss, the LOAD’s definition changes (“Lots” to “Some”, etc.) and the ammo’s TN resets to base value. The PC will have to spend an action before using the weapon again to “reload”. If the PC fails the toss, the weapon jams. The LOAD’s definition and ammo TN do not change, but the PC has to make a TN 5 check to clear the jam from the weapon before it can be fired again.

Donnie Ducko has the SMG listed above. He uses it in combat in single shot mode against a mutant rabbit without rolling a fumble. After the combat he makes the 2d6 ammo check against the base TN of 7 and is successful. He still has “lots” of ammo, but changes his TN from 5 to 6 (TN raised by +1).

SMG (single: 1d6+1 /burst: 2d6) Ammo: Lots, TN: 6

In the next combat he fights a giant savage flower with the SMG on burst with rolling a fumble. After the combat he makes the 2d6 ammo check and is successful again. He still has “lots” but now changes his TN from 6 to 8 (TN raised by +2 because of burst).

SMG (single: 1d6+1 /burst: 2d6) Ammo: Lots, TN: 8

Then he fights a horde of turtle samurai . During the fight he makes a fumble on an attack roll and flips a coin, calling “heads”. He succeeds (yay) and his weapon’s clip clicks on empty. He changes “lots” to “some” and resets the TN of the ammo to 5 and spends his next action reloading (and trying not to get hit by a turtle).

SMG (single: 1d6+1 /burst: 2d6) Ammo: Some, TN: 5

After the fight he makes the 2d6 ammo check and succeeds. He changes the TN from 5 to 7 (+2 for burst).

SMG (single: 1d6+1 /burst: 2d6) Ammo: Some, TN: 7

Later, Donnie has another fight using the SMG and makes another check. This time he fails. He changes “some” to “little” and resets the TN of the ammo to 5.

SMG (single: 1d6+1 /burst: 2d6) Ammo: Little, TN: 5 (And so on…)

Ammunition can purchased from appropriate locations. The cost and rarity depends on the given settings. Generally speaking, the more potential damage the weapon can do, the more expensive the ammunition will be. Also, a “Little” ammo will obviously be cheaper than “Lots”. With the exception of “None”, buying/finding an equal amount of ammo that you have will raise you to the next ammo definition:

Have “Little” + Get a “Little” more = “Some”
Have “Some” + Get “Some” more = “Lots”
A PC can never carry more than “Lots” of a given type of ammo.


Really neat one by Tun, is a non-book keeping and less crunchy. So Tun point out that whenever someone FUMBLE when shooting, he is out of ammo, but still give a chance to make the roll to see if it hits or not - just for the tension and fun. With burst mode if the player roll a natural 2-4 then he is out of ammo. Player still needs to spend an action to reload though.

Player may carry ammo packs as many as GM permits.

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