View Full Version : When You're Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun, Time Slows Down (40K RP/Generic, PEACH)

Vespe Ratavo
2011-11-13, 03:26 PM

"Einstein was right, time is relative to the observer. When you're looking down the barrel of a gun, time slows down. Your whole life flashes by, heartbreak and scars. Stay with it, and you can live a lifetime in that split second." - Max Payne, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

"You know what I'm talking about. In all the cool action movies, and I'm talking about the coolest of the cool, it always seems like time slows down in the middle of the action. You know, you can see the bullets flying through the air, the hero dodging in slow-motion. Oh man, it would be so cool to be able to do that. Bullet-time, that's what they call it. Bullet-time, yeah, heh, would be so cool." - Random Thug, moments before he's shot in bullet time, Max Payne

In action movies and video games, time is a fluid thing, easily bent to the will of those who are Truly Badass. It slows to a crawl, the camera panning and twisting to show off every move of the heroes and villains as exquisitely rendered bullets fly past (or through) them. This is an optional rule that attempts to represent the PCs' (or significant NPCs') abilities to tap into "the Zone," concentrating so intensely that time seems to slow down - or their ability to tell the director to put in a slow-mo shot right there. Whatever works.

This is a very cinematic ability, with great potential for game breaking, appropriate only when the GM and players are on the same page, that being "having just watched The Matrix five times in one day." This rule is designed with the intention of being used in the Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay system (Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch, Black Crusade), but will probably break just about any system just as bad, so it's all good.

Bullet Time Points are a new statistic, scrawled in on the character sheet where appropriate. They are separate from Fate Points, Hero Points, or any other spendable point mechanic. Each PC begins the game with 1. Additional points are earned by accomplishing, in the judgment of the GM and other players, Badass deeds. For example, hiding behind cover and dispatching enemies with gunfire isn't Badass, but charging the man with a minigun and socking him in the jaw is. Ideally, BTP are both given and spent generously, with the players having somewhere from 1 to 10 at any time. Any player hoarding them, or finding him/herself lacking them, is probably not in the right frame of mind for the game.

BTP are spent to gain additional actions in a combat turn, one BTP for one extra action. There is no upper limit to how many BTP may be spent in one turn - shooting five mooks in a single dramatic dive through the air is entirely in keeping with the genre. Additionally, ammunition for ranged weapons is not expended while using BTP actions. BTP actions may, however, be used to execute a dramatic, twirling reload, preferably with at least two magazines flipping in the air. BTP also apply to non-combat actions, with the result of getting X rounds of work done in one round, where X is BTP spent, but only if the situation is suitably tense. BTP may be used to disarm a ticking bomb, but not to write a thesis. BTP may be shared or transferred, if the GM allows it, but this should only be for when one character acts on behalf of the entire group - for example, one character using the whole team's BTP to snipe all the enemies surrounding the rest of the group.

At the GM's discretion, BTP may also be spent to immediately invoke any appropriate trope, such as diving away from an explosion unscathed, conveniently finding additional guns fully loaded on the ground, or forcing heavily armed enemies to combat you hand-to-hand simply by raising your fists. At the GM's very discretionary discretion, BTP may also also be used to give bonuses to especially insane actions, such as landing a plane on the Las Vegas strip. This bonus should be small, since BTP can be spent repeatedly in a single turn. +5 for 40KRP or +2 for d20 is appropriate.

BTP are a very powerful bonus, and the GM is encouraged to even the odds by adding lots of additional enemies, loading every building with explosives, and giving BTP to significant antagonists.


As you can tell by the picture and quotes, this is pretty much exclusively the result of playing too much Max Payne. I know it's already a very cinematic, if not outright stupid rule, that requires lots of cooperation from the GM and players, but is it completely broken?

2011-11-14, 12:56 AM
Probably not appropriate for anything other than a comedic or otherwise schlocky game.