The ancient art of the gun fight is all about giving you more options than just "I shoot him" and "I dive for cover." It's about dodging bullets with balletic displays of acrobatic prowess. It's about mixing martial arts with your gunplay, grappling for point blank shots and smashing faces with shotgun barrels. It's about the sniper as your high-caliber guardian angel. It's about running through a hail of lead without fear, auto-firing into a wall of mooks, reloading in the blink of an eye, and lookin’ good while you do it!
This is your introduction to the fascinating world of cinematic gunfights, including a summary of gun types and the standard stable of Hong Kong stunts. Next, you’'ll explore ways to incorporate guns into melee combat, the true meaning of Gun-Fu. Then, snipers are given the Wushu treatment. Finally, you'll see Gun-Fu in action via voluminous examples of play.
By the time we're done, you'll be a fully loaded arsenal of ballistic mayhem!
The following is by no means an exhaustive, or even factually correct, catalogue of firearms. Rather, it's a summary of the types of guns seen in action movies, organized according to the stunts and Details you’d use in a Wushu game.
These puppies are seen most often in westerns, but police officers used them well into the 20th century. They hold six or eight rounds in a rotating chamber. A pull of the trigger fires one round and rotates another into position. They are notoriously slow to reload.
Modern handguns load ammunition from a clip (which is usually inserted into the grip) and eject a spent casing after each shot. They can carry up to two dozen rounds, give or take, depending on the size of the gun. This is by far the most common type of firearm in modern settings.
A perennial favorite among role-players! Despite their name, shotguns can fire both shot (bundles of tiny pellets) or slugs (traditional, solid bullets). The most famous type is the pump-action shotgun: ammunition cartridges are carried in a tube below the barrel and loaded into the chamber by pulling back a slider that wraps around said tube. Older models are breach-loaded: the chamber opens on a hinge and you have to slide each new cartridge in by hand. Double-barreled shotguns cut that reload rate in half. There are even fully automatic shotguns. Don't forget to saw off a few inches of the barrel for improved concealablity.
Short for "submachine gun," these models are exemplified by the Israeli-made Uzi. They're larger than a handgun, smaller than an assault rifle, and can fire a stream of bullets with a single pull of the trigger. They are a deadly combination of concealability and destructive power.
The venerable AK-47 is the archetypal assault rifle; its most famous predecessor was probably the Tommy Gun. They're big, nearly impossible to conceal, and carry gigantic clips of high-caliber rounds. They can fire bursts or streams of bullets. Plus, you can administer some painful bludgeoning with those rifle butts!
These guns are designed for high accuracy over extreme distances. That means long barrels and tons of gunpowder. High-powered scopes and recoil compensation are popular options. They are often disassembled for transportation. Large and/or armor-piercing slugs help ensure fulfillment of the sniper's motto: One Shot, One Kill.
Now that you’ve got your gun, you gotta load it with something. Most people just go with good, old fashioned lead, but there are plenty of other options...
To hit a target without killing them, bullets need to distribute their force over a larger area. Soft materials, like rubber, do this by flattening on impact. You can also use a wider projectile, like the bean bag ammo used with shotguns.
This is a nasty one. (You might want to save it for your big bads.) Take a shotgun cartridge and pack it with glass shards instead of, or in addition to, buckshot. The result is a cloud of razor blades that slash their way through anything that gets on your bad side. In a pinch, you could just dump some shrapnel down the barrel for pretty much the same effect.
The simplest way to punch through armor is to make bigger, heavier bullets that channel their momentum through smaller, sharper points. You can also use special alloys that vaporize on impact, forming a shell of plasma that burns through even the heaviest armor plating.
Usually, the big BOOM is accomplished with a grenade launcher or bazooka. There are also incendiary rounds that can turn any standard shotgun into a flame thrower. If you want to stretch plausibility a little (and who doesn’t?), you could build tiny warheads into normal handgun bullets.
In sci-fi settings, miniaturization makes self-guided bullets possible. Tiny scramjets provide additional propulsion, greatly extending the range of handguns and SMGs. Computerized radar systems track targets and miniature rudders allow the bullet to make modest course corrections in flight. You barely have to aim!
Always remember: if you keep moving, no one can hit you. It's best to run sideways relative to your attacker's line of sight. Throw in a few flying leaps, somersaults, cartwheels, and coat-flaring spins to keep things interesting. This isn't necessarily the gravity-defying, slo-mo stuff you know from The Matrix; Hong Kong gunfighters have been doing it without wires forever.
Using a gun in each hand not only doubles your rate of fire, it also looks cool! There's the "running down the hall and shooting mooks on both sides" trick. There's the "crossing your arms and shooting guys on either side of you" trick. There's the "spraying two full arcs of bullets with your twin SMGs" trick. Go ahead and use them all.
In a Wushu game, running out of bullets is an opportunity, not an inconvenience. Dropping your clips after a particularly furious exchange is a great dramatic flourish. Check Equilibrium for a couple of clever reloads: spring-loaded clips concealed in sleeves and clips weighted to stand on end after being thrown onto a battlefield. For some wire-fu style, try flicking new shotgun cartridges into your breach-loaded sawed-off or tossing new clips into the air and slamming your guns down onto them. Or, don’t reload at all. Why spend time fumbling for clips when you could just carry more guns?
It can be hard to stunt a single action that takes place in a fraction of second. The secret of the quick draw is in the buildup: staring down your opponent, muscles stretched taught in anticipation, senses attuned to your enemy's every twitch. This is also a good way to ensure one-shot kills in duels: run down the gunfighters’ Chi with a round or two of intimidation and buildup before they draw their weapons. You can also take a note from classic samurai duels by following a dramatic pause with details of the shot’s aftermath: gun smoke, blood sprays, bodies toppling over, etc.
a.k.a The John Woo Principle. All gunfights can be improved by adding copious amounts of flying debris, from wood to plaster to glass. Every bullet that leaves a gun has to hit something, and it's very rarely one of the heroes. Just make sure your gunfight locations feature plenty of windows, mirrors, vases, wine bottles, and miscellaneous containers marked “flammable.”
Between sprints and jumps, it may still be a good idea to grab some cover. Don't worry about the penetration power of various firearms; even a bed mattress is solid cover in most action movies. You can hide around corners, crouch behind furniture, use a car door as a shield, and so forth. If there isn't any cover handy, make your own by flipping a table over or using your guitar case as a shield.
They're not just for the bad guys anymore! The classic move is to grapple a mook and hold him in front of you to soak up bullets. If the mook has a gun, grab it and return fire. You can also spin a guy around like a top to attract enemy fire while you dive to the side. Oh, and if you have moral qualms about all this, just make sure your shields are either already dead or wearing some of that delicious kevlar.
So many things are more dramatic in slow motion! Describing actions in slo-mo lets you narrate bullets in flight, turn desperate dives for cover into graceful leaps, and dodge bullets in a very literal sense. (If you've ever seen an episode of "Fastlane," you've seen these principles put to excellent use!)
It can be surprisingly difficult to draw, aim, and fire a gun at an adversary who is already within a few yards. They’ll close in and grapple (or stab, or kick) you before you can get off a reliable shot. Unfortunately, modern combat (and Wushu combat) increasingly takes place indoors, where all combat is close range combat.
One solution to this problem is to integrate guns into traditional martial arts. Grappling for an opponent’s gun would go from an artless tussle to a choreographed series of blocks, locks, throws, and disarms. Instead of diving for cover, you’d close in with a flip, kick your attacker’s gun away, and take them out at point blank range. Whether or not Gun-Fu constitutes a “good” idea for the real world, one thing is undeniable: it’s damn cool.
Gun-Fu stunts are all about the point blank shot. Bury that barrel in your target's stomach and blast away! The real fun comes in using martial arts techniques to get your gun into position and/or prevent your adversary from doing likewise. He jabs his gun in your face, you sweep it to the side with one hand and bring your own gun to his temple with the other. He blocks with his off-hand, holding your gun just clear of his head, and so forth. This works best when you get into a rhythm.
Pistol whipping is just hitting someone (usually in the head) with the side or grip of a handgun. In the Gun-Fu version, you flip the gun around and hold it by the barrel, using the grip like it's the business end of a hammer. Just make sure your safety stays on!
Since you don't have to worry about breaking your imaginary shotgun, there's no reason you can't wade into combat swinging it like a baseball bat! You can parry attacks, smash knee caps, club people in the face, and punctuate each victory with a thunderous blast of buckshot! Put a sawed-off in each hand for twice the skull-crackin' action.
You can Point Blank with a rifle, but those long barrels put a little too much distance between you and your target for kung-fu style blocking and grappling. Instead, you'll want to use it like a sword; parry your opponent's attempts to line up a shot while simultaneously moving your own gun into position. You can also forego the shooting and jab them with the barrel or bash them with the rifle butt. Attach a bayonet for even more stabbity fun.
If you ever lose your gun, there are plenty of ways to turn the tables. First, you can knock your enemy's gun out of their hands, too. Even better, you can take your enemy's gun out of their hands and put it in yours. Even more stylish is turning an adversary's gun around and then making them shoot themselves! You could grapple for the weapon and then break free with a baseball bat swing to their face. Last, but certainly not least, you can render your opponent's gun useless by disassembling the chamber, immobilizing the hammer, stealing their ammo clip, or just switching the safety on before you beat them senseless.
If you're shooting for some serious wire-fu wackiness, you can allow characters to actively block bullets, not just dodge out of the way. You can go the Wonder Woman route and use some kind of shield (or armored accessories). If you're using a handgun (preferably two handguns), you can turn your gun to the side and bounce incoming bullets off the barrel. Finally, there's the anti-bullet bullet move, where you shoot incoming bullets out of the air! Remember, we're not going for realism, here. We're going for, "Holy shit awesome!"
There’s nuthin’, and I mean nuthin’, like good sniper support! Having a sniper on your side is like having a guardian angel... who strikes down, with furious anger, anyone who gets in your way. When they’re not on your side, life can be a very painful place.
Unlike most Wushu characters, snipers don’t engage in fast combinations of actions. They are masters of stealth and surveillance. They take their time and pride themselves on killing each target with a single bullet. You just have to make it sound exciting.
First, focus on the gritty details of marksmanship: how you set up your rifle, what kind of ammo you use, all the bells and whistles you’ve added to your sight. Describe the things you have to take into consideration for long-range shooting: the pull of gravity, wind resistance, leading off by a wider margin because the bullet will take longer to reach its target. You can also earn dice for hit details: kill shots aimed at the head or heart, disabling shots in the leg or knee, and (of course) crimson sprays of blood.
Next, don’t try to fit your entire narration into the seconds before and after you take your shot. Snipers must be patient. You can earn dice for a shot by describing hours worth of sneaking around, stalking your target, and maintaining invisibility. This works even better in a sniper duel scenario, where both sides are taking their sweet time.
During a fight scene involving other players, taking your time will only work for the first shot or two. After that, the sniper has to keep pace with the rest of the scene. “One shot, one kill” works great in a mook fight, since you can take out a new target (or many new targets) with each successful Yang die. If the target is a Nemesis, you’ll have to wear down their Chi with those marksman details we talked about.
Snipers don’t dodge; their defense is invisibility. Yin dice will come from cover: either their camouflage or solid objects around their position. Once that gets old, you can wax poetic with Details like “I strike like the vengeful hand of God!” or “He’s dead before he hears the gunshot, rolling like thunder from out of the blue.”
In sci-fi games, snipers can take advantage of endless technological advancements: Smart Bullets extend their range almost indefinitely. Remote surveillance drones let a sniper “see” their targets from every angle. Virtual reality displays make objects and buildings appear transparent. Cloaking devices make them truly invisible.
By their very nature, snipers aren’t usually in the thick of the action. They’re more the “crouch on a rooftop a quarter mile away and pop people’s heads off without fear of retaliation” type. The down side is that it’s easy to get left out of a scene that way. To keep your snipers involved in the action, you’ll have to give them other things to do.
When I say that every character in a Wushu game should be able to handle themselves in a fist fight, I mean it! At an inconvenient moment, spring a minor nemesis or a few mooks on your sniper. Every second they spend tangling with their new assailant(s) is a second their friends go without cover!
As long as they’re already getting a bird’s eye view through those big, high-tech scopes, they might as well feed the rest of the team valuable intelligence. This trick works particularly well in sci-fi games, since the sniper will probably want to have some of those handy surveillance drones around.
Similarly, snipers make good dual job characters. They can provide that ever-so-valuable support fire up front, then switch to hacking security or driving the getaway car. One interesting approach would be to give your sniper some kind of non-combat magical power. They could perform dark rituals, coordinate demonic activity, or muck around in the astral plane before and after picking off the wall guards with a their high-caliber rifle. Put some tarot cards or rune stones in the sniper’s nest to turn this magic wackiness into a surveillance tool, too.
Confound always turns up where she’s least expected. In this case, at the end of the alley behind her nemesis’ strip club, right as his limo is leaving for the airport. At first, the driver just stops, as if waiting for this pedestrian to take her leather coat and move along, but the bodyguards know better. They appear from behind dumpsters, in alley doorways, on the fire escapes, right out of the woodwork! The alley echoes with the telltale sound of guns being cocked and loaded. Fortunately, she’s protected from above...
Perched on a catwalk, Recoil (Old Soldier 5) clicks his assault rifle to full-auto and sprays both sides of the alley with the dispassion of a man watering his lawn. Mooks fall like bloody dominoes. (5 dice) At the same moment, Confound (Hail of Lead 5) leaps onto the limo’s hood and transforms the windshield into a cloud of shrapnel with her twin Uzis. She then launches into a cartwheel and sails over the rest of the limo, shooting straight down through the roof while upside-down. (6 dice)
The bodyguards are only meant as a momentary diversion, so you give them the most pitiful Threat Rating imaginable: 6. Recoil rolls 4 dice to attack and 1 for defense. Confound doubts there’ll be much left when her partner’s through. She gets 6 dice and rolls 3 of each. Both players roll at least 1 Yin hit, so they don’t lose any Chi. Recoil nabs 4 Yang hits on his own, and all 3 of Confound’s come up roses, so the mooks are history.
The blood-soaked form of Eddie the Viper (Vicious Bastard 4) rolls out of the wasted limo and comes up with his gun to Confound’s temple. (3 dice) She drops her spent Uzis and grabs Eddie’s gun arm, pulling it to one side just as a bullet rocket’s from its barrel. She twists his arm around, pulls a Glock from the small of her back and buries the muzzle in his spine. (6 dice) Eddie kicks into a backflip and slips out of the arm lock. Confound’s bullet grazes his heel. (2 dice)
You pick up 5 dice for Eddie the Viper and choose to make them 3 Yang and 2 Yin. Confound earned the max pool of 6 dice and decides to come out swinging: 4 Yang and 2 Yin. Eddie’s lower Target Number (4) gets him 2 Yang hits and 1 Yin, while Confound rakes in 3 Yang and 2 Yin. She easily avoids her nemesis’ attacks and scores 2 hits on him. The Director cashes in 2 of Eddie’s 3 Chi tokens.
Up on the catwalk, Recoil is snapping a new clip into place when he catches a whiff of gun oil. He spins around to see one of Eddie’s legbreakers (Thug 3) sneaking up behind him with a shotgun! He uses the barrel of his assault rifle to parry the shotgun; a blast of buckshot erupts harmlessly to his left. (2 dice) The thug returns the favor by pushing Recoil’s rifle upwards with his shotgun barrel and smashes the butt into the old soldier’s face. (2 dice) Recoil takes it like man, then stabs his rifle barrel into the thug’s kneecap. (2 dice) The goon falls backwards, gasping in pain, then uses the distance to level his shotgun and fire another round. (3 dice) Recoil tilts his weapon up a few degrees and holds down the trigger! (2 dice)
You get 5 dice for this 1-Chi Nemesis, but since he was never meant for a long and fruitful life, you decide to roll them all in offense. Recoil knows it won’t take much to defeat the legbreaker, so he splits his 6 dice evenly between Yin and Yang. Only 2 of your dice are hits, and Recoil gets all three of his Yin, so no harm done. On the other hand, Recoil’s 2 Yang hits are enough to soak up the thug’s only point of Chi and then blast him into oblivion!
Eddie the Viper now stands alone against our two heroes. He dives across the alley and grabs a second gun off a dead mook. He comes up with his arms crossed and a sneer on his lips, then opens up on each of his would-be killers. (5 dice) Recoil falls backwards over the side of the catwalk, hangs upside down by his legs, and cuts a long line of bullet holes into Eddie’s side of the alley. (3 dice) Confound spins out of the way, lands in a classic Chow Yun-Fat kneeling pose, and empties her clip into the Viper’s cold, black heart. (3 dice)
Eddie’s horrible life is flashes before his eyes. You declare all 5 of his dice Yang, directing 3 at Confound and 2 at Recoil. Recoil gets 4 dice and chooses to divide them evenly between offense and defense. Confound wants this bastard good and dead, so she rolls all 4 of her dice for attack and counts on her 3 points of Chi to save her. You roll 2 hits on Confound and 1 hit on Recoil. Both of Recoil’s Yin dice are good, which more than protects him, and his 1 Yang hit takes out Eddie’s last point of Chi. Confound cashes in 2 Chi to eat Eddie’s bullets, then shoves 4 big Yang hits down his throat! The Viper is dead and then some.
An outlaw called Dead Bang (Let God Sort ‘Em Out 4) has been raisin’ quite a ruckus in the Peacemaker’s town (Quick-Draw Justice 5). The latter has tried to arrest the former on numerous occasions, all without success. Now, the lawman has called the fugitive out. It’s kill or be killed, with the town’s future hanging in the balance...
Dead Bang swaggers out onto main street, his duster flaring around him in the desert wind. He plucks the cigar from between his teeth and asks, “Had your last rites, lawman? You’ve got just over a minute to make peace with your Maker, before I send you to meet him.” (4 dice)
The Peacemaker finishes loading his trusty Smith & Wesson revolver, twirls it forward, backward, and sideways, then drops it into his holster. “If you spent half as much time shootin’ those guns as you do shootin’ off yer mouth, I just might have felt compelled to go to church this mornin’.” (4 dice)
Both characters earned 4 dice for this opening round of intimidation. You decide to go in swinging with 3 Yang dice and 1 Yin die. The Peacemaker takes a more guarded approach, rolling 2 of each. You get 3 Yang hits for Dead Bang, but his Yin die is a bust. The Peacemaker rolls 2 Yin hits and 1 Yang hit. Both characters have to cash in 1 point of Chi, which leaves them each with 2 to spare.
The Peacemaker breathes deep, relaxes his muscles and extends his senses. A bramble of sage brush blows across main street as the big town clock ticks its way towards high noon. When the moment comes, he will act without thought and righteous purpose will guide his hand. (5 dice)
Dead Bang feigns apathy as he slowly grinds his cigar butt into the dirt. Under the rim of his black Spanish hat, he examines his enemy’s every twitch with eyes as cold as a tomb. His hands drift ever closer to the twin revolvers at his sides. (5 dice)
This is the quick-draw round. You pick up 5 dice for Dead Bang, rolling 2 Yin and 3 Yang. The Peacemaker also gets 5 dice, going with 2 Yang and 3 Yin. The outlaw gets 2 Yang hits and 1 Yin, while the Peacemaker nabs 3 Yang and 1 Yin. The Peacemaker’s player cashes in 1 point of Chi, but you have to lose 2, leaving Dead Bang at zero. It looks like the lawman’s tai chi ain’t so sissy, after all.
The clock strikes noon and both gunslingers draw their weapons! The Peacemaker’s gun snaps up faster than the eye can follow. He squeezes the trigger and fans the hammer back six times. The first bullet flies towards the outlaw’s heart like one of Zeus’ thunderbolts. The next four bullets knock Dead Bang’s shots clean out of the air. The sixth is aimed right between his cold, dead eyes. (6 dice)
Dead Bang’s twin revolvers fly into his hands, eager to taste the lawman‘s blood! His right hand fires off a round, while the left blocks the Peacemaker’s first bullet by deflecting it off gun metal. Then, he unloads the rest of his ammo so fast that the gunshots sound like a single cannon blast! (6 dice)
The street falls silent as the dice are rolled... The Peacemaker still has 1 point of Chi left, where his adversary has none, so he decides to go on the offensive. The player picks up 4 Yang dice and 2 Yin. You split Dead Bang’s dice evenly, 3 of each. He rolls a pair of Yang hits and a pair of Yin hits. The Peacemaker only gets 1 hit in defense, but he has the point of Chi to cover it. His 4 Yang hits, however, are more than enough to overcome the outlaw’s defenses and send him straight to hell!
Dead Bang remains standing as the clock tower finishes tolling, despite the hole bored through his skull by the Peacemaker’s last bullet. His cadaver takes three steps forward, as if used to operating in the absence of a soul, before finally falling to earth. Dust to dust.
Terminal is hacking into an enemy’s bank account when one of his online buddies sends him a message: “Expect a collect call this evening. Long distance.” That’s code for “Someone hired a sniper to take you out.” Great, just great. This is one headache he doesn’t need!
First, Terminal (Ballistics 5) sets up a decoy sniper’s nest on a rooftop near his home. He takes an old mimetic cloaking device he has lying around and screws with its thermal filter until there’s a .05% inefficiency. That should be just enough to draw attention without looking like a decoy. Then, he sets up a low-tech sniper’s nest on the second floor of his condo by tearing apart some furniture and concealing himself beneath the wreckage. Finally, he deploys surveillance drones outside and plugs in his cyber-specs for a virtual view of the cityscape. Now, he waits. (6 dice)
You narrate the Nemesis’ actions, even ones that Terminal might not be aware of, in order to generate a dice pool for this deadly game of cat and mouse...
The hitman (Sniper 5) parks his hover car beside a high-rise about a half mile away from Terminal’s building. He deploys surveillance drones of his own, which quickly identify Terminal’s drones & the malfunctioning mimetic cloak. (Here, you decide to fall for the trap on purpose, because it’s a good ploy and the player deserves to be rewarded for his efforts.) He pokes the barrel of his smart rifle out the car’s back window and fires off three laser-guided rounds before the first hits its mark! (6 dice)
Since the combatants are not actually attacking each other this round, any loss of Chi will represent a loss of advantage, not an injury. Terminal’s meticulous preparations earned him a total of 6 dice, which he chooses to split evenly between Yin and Yang. You also earned 6 dice, but choose to roll 4 Yang and 2 Yin. Terminal matches your 3 Yang hits with 3 Yin, but your 1 Yin hit is no match for Terminal’s pair of Yang, so you cash in 1 of the hitman’s 3 Chi. Terminal has managed to catch his assailant flat-footed!
When the first shot is fired, Terminal’s surveillance drones lock onto the hitman’s position. His cyber-specs light up with 3-D images, augmenting his view of the skyline with tactical data. Terminal activates the warhead on his smart bullet and fires a single shot at the hitman’s vehicle. The resulting fireball reduces the hover car to slag and sends it plummeting earthward. (5 dice) Hungry flames lick the hitman’s reactive body armor as he leaps out of the falling wreck and crashes onto a roof. He touches a button on his arm and activates the railgun concealed in one of his spy drones. It immediately begins remodeling Terminal’s condo into a tastefully decorated pile of rubble! (6 dice)
This time, Terminal takes only 5 dice and decides to roll 3 Yang and 2 Yin. You split your 6 dice evenly between offense and defense. Terminal rolls 2 Yang hits and 2 Yin hits, but you beat that with 3 of each. The hitman escapes the wreck that was his car without a scratch. Terminal manages to survive the barrage of bullets that tears through his condo, but only at the cost of 1 point of Chi. That evens the score to 2 Chi apiece.
The sounds of shattering glass and splintering plasteel assail Terminal’s ears as he clutches his rifle and waits for death. Then, the floor creaks beneath him and he falls through, dropping into the kitchen below. He lands on his feet and sees the hitman through his cyber-specs, flips his smart rifle to armor-piercing ammo, and fires a shot through the bastard’s eye! (6 dice) The hitman’s drones see Terminal fall through the floor and transmit the data to his tactical display. He snaps his rifle up to his shoulder and fires 3 bullets: one to the heart , one to the neck, and one through Terminal’s brain stem. (6 dice)
Both duelists rake in 6 dice this round, and both of them go on the offensive by rolling 4 Yang dice and 2 Yin dice. You roll 3 attack successes, but only 1 Yin. Terminal pulls in all 4 Yang hits, which is just enough to get through the hitman’s Yin and 2 remaining points of Chi. Terminal also rolls 1 Yin hit, so he has to cash in his last two points of Chi, but he wins fair and square.
Terminal takes those bullets to the chest and neck, graciously, but manages to stay conscious long enough to call a black market meat mechanic. The cops find the hitman’s corpse an hour later, minus one eye and most of his brain.
The vigilante known as “The Cellist” is casing a speak-easy that may be a front for the Diamondbacks, a local street gang. Unfortunately, his reputation for pandemonium got there first. One of the bouncers eyeballs him and alerts his fellow mooks, who instantly pull guns from every nook and cranny...
The Cellist (Vengeful 5) throws open his cello case and dives right in! Two metal canisters pop over the lid and roll across the floor as the mooks raise their weapons. Dense smoke billows out of them, filling the bar as The Cellist clicks his tommy gun’s safety off. He runs sideways through the fog, perforating the advancing goons as enemy fire peppers the wall behind him. (7 dice)
The Cellist is fighting alone, but he can be expected to score about 4 hits per round. You want this to be a pretty significant fight, so you give the mooks a Threat Rating of 20. The Cellist earned 7 dice and decides to roll 5 Yang and 2 Yin. Both of the latter come up hits, so no Chi is lost this round. Two of his Yang dice comes up sixes, so the 3 hits reduce the mooks’ Threat to 17. We’re just getting started!
The tommy gun’s ammo runs out just as the ceiling fans start to disperse the fog. The Cellist looms out of the smoke like the shadow of death, slips a choke hold on the nearest mook, and uses him as a shield. He disconnects his ammo drum with one hand and kicks it into another mook’s face, breaking his nose. Then, he switches his grip on the tommy gun and swings like Babe Ruth, knocking a third goon on his ass. (filibuster)
The Cellist gets the max pool for his filibuster, which you have set at 8 dice. He decides to roll 5 Yang and 3 Yin. He gets all 3 Yin hits, which is more than plenty for these mooks! He also rolls 4 hits with those Yang dice, which reduces the Threat to 13.
Leaving his human shield to bleed on the floor, the vigilante dives back into his cello case and emerges with a pair of sawed-off shotguns. He rolls under a table, comes up between two mooks, and clubs them both in the back of the head. Both barrels are leveled at the bar a moment later, blasting two more goons back into a wall of liquor bottles. They’re baptized in a river of hooch and glass. (filibuster)
Another filibuster, another 8 dice. This time, the Cellist throws caution to the wind with 7 Yang and 1 Yin. The gamble pays off: the Yin die is a hit, so no Chi is lost, and 6 of the Yang dice get lucky, nearly cutting the Threat in half!
The Cellist spins on his heel and leaps backward against the bar, using it for cover. He digs two cartridges of incendiary ammo out of his pocket and tosses them into the air. He breaks open his shotguns, catches the cartridges on their way down, and snaps the guns closed with a flick. Next, he reaches over the bar, places one barrel against a bottle of 150 proof vodka, and fires an explosive face eraser at the remaining mooks! (filibuster)
The Cellist expects this to be the last round. He gets another 8 dice and rolls 6 to attack, 2 to defend. Unfortunately, he rolls boxcars on his Yin dice. The player cashes in a point of Chi. He “only” gets 6 Yang hits, so the mooks still have 1 point of Threat left...
The Cellist gets up from behind the bar and admires his handiwork. Suddenly, the bar manager kicks open his office door, points the business end of a Winchester rifle at him, and fires! He can almost see the bullet as he dives to the side. It cuts through the smoke in slow motion and grazes his right ear. As the manager loads a new round, the Cellist jumps through one of the bar’s blacked-out windows and fires his last shot at the alcohol-soaked bar. (6 dice)
With only one Threat point left, the Cellist can afford to play it safe. He splits his 6 dice evenly between Yin and Yang, getting 3 Yin hits and 2 Yang hits. Plenty.
A biblical pillar of flame engulfs the bar and its manager as the Cellist tumbles into the street. He’ll have to come back for his cello case.Next: Car-Fu