Building A Weapon in Hero System 5th Edition

In the HERO System, most firearms are built with the following Limitations:

  • Focus: Firearms are Obvious Accessible Focus (OAF)s. They’re Universal Foci (anyone can use them) unless they have personalization features (See Below)
  • STR Minimum: Guns have STR Minima. The Limitation must include the STR Minimum Cannot Add/Subtract Damage modifier – - the STR Minimum indicates the STR needed to hold, properly aim, and fire the weapon.
  • Beam: Bullets can’t be Spread, and only make relatively small “punctures” in barriers such as walls and doors.
  • Real Weapon: See below for more information.
  • Charges: Guns fire bullets, which you represent with Charges. Characters don’t necessarily have to wait a day to get back the Charges for (i.e., reload) a firearm — they can reload if they have access to more ammunition (such as by going to their headquarters or the local gun store and picking up another box of bullets).
  • (Optional) Independent: As Universal Foci, to reduce costs, characters can imbue the points directly into the weapon. This can cause issues should the weapon ever be lost or destroyed.

Long arms such as rifles and shotguns have the Two-Handed Weapon Limitation. If the campaign uses the Knockback (Which this one does) rules, guns should also have the No Knockback Limitation.

Weapons capable of automatic fire, such as submachine guns and assault rifles, have the Autofire Advantage. Usually they take it at the second level, meaning they can fire up to five shots with a single squeeze of the trigger.

Personalization: Some “smart” weapons only work for their owners, thus making it impossible for an attacker to take the gun away and use it against its owner. A smart gun has devices in its grip which read the signal from a ring worn by the owner and only fire if the hand holding the gun is wearing the ring. (More technologically-advanced versions might have fingerprint or DNA readers built into the grip, or the like.) In HERO System terms, smart guns are Personal Foci instead of Universal Foci.It is also possible to build a ‘Triggered’ Effect/Attack into the device, which is activated by an unauthorised user attempting to use the weapon.

Different sizes, or calibres, of ammunition would imply different ‘base’ Damages.
Common Calibres include:

Calibre Damage Notes
22 1d6-1RKA
Nato 5.56mm 2d6RKA + 1 Stun Multiplier
30-06 2d6+1RKA + 1 Stun Multiplier
Nato 7.62mm 2d6+1RKA + 1 Stun Multiplier
303 British 2 1/2d6RKA + 1 Stun Multiplier
357 Magnum 1 1/2d6RKA
38 1d6RKA
44 Magnum 2d6RKA + 1 Stun Multiplier
45 (Colt) 2d6-1 RKA + 1 Stun Multiplier
50 Browning 3d6RKA + 1 Stun Multiplier

Melee Weapons
Sometimes characters can’t fight their enemies at range with guns — they have to get in close and use their fists and any weapons designed for such fighting.

In the HERO System close combat weapons are usually built with the following Limitations:

A “club” is any object a character can use to do Normal Damage to another character in combat. Clubs that characters pay Character Points for are built with the Power Hand-To-Hand Attack and usually have the Advantage Reduced Endurance (0 END) and the Limitations OAF, Real Weapon, and Hand-To-Hand Attack.

Knives and similar bladed weapons — prison “shanks,” bayonets, perhaps even the occasional sword — are common in Dark Champions games. They’re built as *HKA*s with the Advantage Reduced Endurance (0 END) and the Limitations OAF and Real Weapon. Some knives are made to be thrown. These have the Advantage Range Based On STR (or, more elaborately, are built as a Multipower, with one HKA slot, and one slot with HKA, Range Based On STR, 1 Recoverable Charge, and Lockout).

Other Factors

In addition to Damage, weapons can also include OCV Modifiers, Ranged Skill Levels, Stun Multipliers. Most weapons can be reasonably built as a Multipower. For example an Accurate Pistol, might include a Ranged Killing Attack, Normal Damage Ranged Attack (Energy Blast) simulating normal and rubber bullets, and a “pistol whip” Melee Attack, with OCV bonuses on the Ranged attacks.


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