Making Automatic Guns Not Suck


I LOVE automatic weapons. They are cool, powerful, yet suck because you use ammo faster than anyone in the party. So I've come up with a solution. Instead of using all the remaining ammunition in the gun and taking two shots worth of ammo for every target, you only use the ammo you attack a target with, but shooting at each target takes 3X the ammo. Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

So for the low level 10 shot clip auto weapons, you can attack three targets for nine ammo instead of ten targets for ten ammo?

Honestly, I thought automatic weapons should just give bonuses to a full attack instead of a spray and pray cone.

You know, use twice the ammo/usage per shot, get a +1 bonus to attack rolls during a normal full attack, or spray and pray as normal.

I have similar issues with blast weapons, I get it for some of them, but that's not how shotguns work.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Instead of 5 targets for 10 ammo with automatic fire rules as written.

Does mean that if you had a slightly larger capacity, say, 20 rounds, you could auto fire 3 targets twice instead of just once.

Regardless I have to agree that automatic fire is very situational at best right now.

I was playing around with a burst fire feat:

Burst Fire (Combat)
Prerequisite: Weapon Proficiency (Longarms or Heavy Weapons)
Benefit: When using a ranged weapon with the Automatic special property, and that you are Proficient with, you may fire a short burst as a part of a standard action or full action against a single target. You take a cumulative -5 penalty on your attack roll, but deal extra damage equal to the item’s level.
Special: Firing a Burst expends two times as many charges, and can only be done if the weapon has at least that many charges remaining.

D20 Modern had a take on Auto Fire and Burst fire

Here is the rule from autofire from the D20 Modern SRD



If a ranged weapon has an automatic rate of fire, a character may set it on autofire. Autofire affects an area and everyone in it, not a specific creature. The character targets a 10-foot-by-10-foot area and makes an attack roll; the targeted area has an effective Defense of 10. (If the character does not have the Advanced Firearms Proficiency feat, he or she takes a -4 penalty on the attack roll.) If the attack succeeds, every creature within the affected area must make a Reflex save (DC 15) or take the weapon's damage. Autofire shoots 10 bullets, and can only be used if the weapon has 10 bullets in it.

Autofire is not the same thing as Burst Fire, which involves firing a short burst at a specific target. Firing a burst requires the Burst Fire feat. If a character fires a blast of automatic fire at a specific target without the Burst Fire feat, it's treated as a standard attack. The attack, if successful, only deals normal damage-all the extra ammunition the character fired is wasted.

Some firearms-particularly machine guns-only have autofire settings and can't normally fire single shots.

And Burst Fire


Burst Fire

Prerequisite: Wisdom 13, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Advanced Firearms Proficiency.

Benefit: When using an automatic firearm with at least five bullets loaded, the character may fire a short burst as a single attack against a single target. The character receives a -4 penalty on the attack roll, but deals +2 dice of damage. Firing a burst expends five bullets and can only be done if the weapon has five bullets in it.

Normal: Autofire uses ten bullets, targets a 10-foot-by-10-foot area, and can't be aimed at a specific target. Without this feat, if a character attempts an autofire attack at a specific target, it simply counts as a normal attack and all the extra bullets are wasted.

Special: If the firearm has a three-round burst setting, firing a burst expends three bullets instead of five and can be used if the weapon has only three bullets in it.

The autofire rules are interesting, I haven't played D20 Modern in a very long time, so my recollection of how well it works is not there, but maybe something to glean some stuff out of. Obviously it make Automatice Firearms a bit more powerful.

TronTheAllmighty wrote:
I LOVE automatic weapons. They are cool, powerful, yet suck because you use ammo faster than anyone in the party.

I don't see any issue with automatic weapons.

They are hybrid single target-area of effect weapons. They work quite well in single target, and give you the ability to shoot in a cone if needed, even if they are not very good at it.
In my opinion, they are quite well balanced, some of them being bad, others being very good.

It looks to me what you look for is a blast weapon. Blast weapons main attack mode is area of effect. You can use them, obviously, on a single target but they are less efficient at it.

Increasing the area of effect efficiency of automatic weapons would give them the best of two worlds: Good area of effect and damage of a single target weapon. It would be unbalanced.

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