Weapon Range increments don't make sense

I’ve just finished reading through the rules for Open Legend, and I like most of what I’ve seen so far. I’ve mostly played D&D 5e and GURPS before this, and it feels kinda like a mix of the two – like if you took GURPS and gave it a D&D combat system. I could see myself using this.

One thing really bothered me, though: the rules for ranged weapons. As written, close and short ranged make some sense (close being something like a hold-out pistol, and short being a full-size pistol), but medium-extreme give ranges that are far too short for firearms.

As an example, take the basic carbine used by most modern military. They are used in room clearing (shooting at ranges well below 50ft), so as the rules are written, they cannot be extreme-range. But they are designed for engagements out to 500m (~1500 ft), so they exceed the range for long range. This doesn’t even touch things like sniper rifles which would better suit the extreme-range rules, but can shoot far farther than they allow.

Basically, I’m saying that the ranged weapon rules don’t square with reality, and I’m wondering how any of you would handle modern (or ultratech, or si-fi, etc) firearms in game.

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The weapons in the table are only examples to give players and GMs an idea how they are supposed to work, so if you don’t like them just create your own weapons (See Building Your Own Weapons in chapter 6). You have clearly more knowledge about modern weapons, than most people, but I’ll still give you a piece of advice: Realism ain’t the most important in a game of make-believe, especially for people who don’t share your knowledge on the topic.


The weapon ranges are balanced around the 5’x5’ grid combat system, such that OL can run a variety of settings - including ones with mixed fantasy/tech where melee and ranged weapons are used side-by-side - without ranged becoming the “obvious choice” and thereby limiting the variety of characters you could play. The ranges weren’t chosen with realism in mind, but rather game balance and fun; if you boost the ranges to a more accurate level then suddenly the poor sod who wanted to play as a martial artist is dead before he gets the chance to hit anyone. You’ll notice that a lot of videogames that use “realistic” guns also end up with much shorter ranges, because while realistic gunplay isn’t inherently unfun (I’ve had a lot of fun in ARMA, for example) it certainly makes fun harder to come across.

I’ve run a couple different sci-fi games and one post apocalypse game with modern firearms, and I handle them pretty much exactly as they’re written in the Core Rules.

Fun > Story > Rules is a fundamental concept of Open Legend. Fun > Story > Rules > Realism is the extension of that to apply to this situation. You’re encouraged to put realism in your games, provided that it doesn’t mess with the game balance (rules), that the balance and realism don’t mess with the story you’re trying to tell, and that absolutely nothing gets in the way of everyone at the table having fun (because if that’s not the most important thing to you, why are you even playing?).


The only thing I have to say is look at Longshot
It’s only 1 feat point and it doubles the range of ranged weapons. That’s still not exactly what I think you’re looking for, but it’s something.

Also, whereas a weapon might have a range of a mile, there are very few people that can effectively shoot at a mile.

The ranges listed are actually tripled for max range they can shoot. For some weapons that is still under the “realistic” range, but that has been covered by what the others have said.

In a Sci fi setting for the vessels, I modified the ranges, doing it by hexes instead of any other measurement. This is the effective range of the weapons, and made for balance and interesting combat.

For person combat, exact same as the rules though.

If you are doing sniper work, honestly that is going to be more narrative than actual combat. Long shot plus triple range, going to have to wait a long time for the targets to get to you, or in range to shoot, if they know where you are. As a GM I would just have that play out but not with actual combat. Because that could be boring for the other players, unless you are doing a sniper campaign.

In fact I think if I had a player sniping, as long as they hit past guard, I’d just have it be instant kill or at the least ko


These are all really good answers to this.

I think it would be nice to apply slowed bane for everyone in order to “scale” map.

If you want to scale the map in that way, you can just redefine the size of a square. Say you want to double distances, you say that a 5’x5’ square is now 10’x10’. Now you can double weapon ranges, as long as you also double character speed. I explained the reason you can’t just do Slowed above, if you improve ranged weapons too much (in this case by slowing characters down to make it harder to melee) then you cut off a lot of interesting character ideas.

Now if you want ranged weapons to be the only feasible attack method, you can adjust the ranges in your game to be closer to “realistic” levels. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into: without melee fighters, combat will likely become quite stationary, cover will be more important than positioning meaning most rounds will consist of nothing but Focus Actions to shoot, movement focused banes and boons like Immobile, Slowed, or Haste won’t be worth as much, and multi-target attacks will become much rarer as PCs and NPCs alike will have very little reason to stay near each other.

If all of the above sounds like a good time to you, and you’ve talked it over with your players to make sure they’re into the same things (that is NOT optional, please don’t surprise people with this), then you can run your games however you want. We usually encourage people to play the system first without modifying it, because it works really well with just the Core Rules, but if you have a different sort of game in mind and you understand the knock-on effects of the changes you’re making then we’re happy to help you make alterations.


Then there should be melee combat in the same square? Sure there is a point for 10x10 square, but the problem would be with fleet of foot feat and 4th level of haste. Also there is 4x more space, so it implies that in one square can fit up to 4 units to one square. I see also problem in terrain building, which are more bigger, but that’s my personal opinion. So how about just manipulating basic movement speed?

The combat grid is an abstraction, real combat doesn’t line up nicely to a precise 5x5 grid and real combatants don’t take up exactly 5’ squares. Two fighters can be grappling, literally as close as they possibly could be, and still be 5’ apart according to the current grid. It’s no great stretch to apply the same logic to a 10’x10’ grid. There would indeed be a problem with Fleet of Foot and Haste, but if you’re already doubling ranges and movement speeds then I’m pretty confident you can guess what the solution is to that problem (and any like it that come up during game).

I’m sorry, I seem to have misunderstood what you were asking. In the post I was responding to you said you wanted to “scale” the map, which means that you want to change the size and distances. I assumed if you wanted to do this then you already had a solution for larger distances. I can help you with changing the rules to fit the desire for larger maps, but I can’t help you physically build them I’m afraid.

I’d advise against this. Even if you’re scaling the map so that the “slower” move speed is actually the same distance, only getting 3 squares of movement feels bad and really cuts down on your options. With 3 squares of movement there are 48 possible positions you can move to (not counting the starting square or accounting for terrain), which sounds like a lot until you compare it to 168 possible locations available if you can move 6 squares. When taking your major action to move as well the difference becomes 168 with 3 squares to 624 with 6 squares. Take it from me that the players will really notice the lack of options.

If you want to run a game where ranged weapons are stronger, by far the simplest and best way is just to increase the ranges. Only turn to manipulating base movement speed if you’re literally running out of table space (in which case I question why you’re even running it on a map at all rather than just using theatre-of-the-mind).


It’s worth noting that a battlefield isn’t the easiest place to move: bulletstorm, rubble all the way, ruins, baricades ect. That’s where FoF feat and haste comes into play. You can use GPS, be trained in combat manoeuvre or sth like this. I think it will add some realism that author of this post want.

Thanks everyone for the well thought out responses. I appreciate the way that the rules were written with balance in mind so that you don’t have to do much tweaking to play different genres.

You’re right – I do know a fair amount about modern weaponry (a requirement of my job), reading the rules broke my suspension of disbelief. I think that how I’ll end up handling it when I GM modern games will depend on the genre I’m playing. If I’m playing with my friends who likewise know a lot about weapons, and am playing a modern game, I’ll probably up the ranges to realistic levels, accepting what that will do to the poor sap who wants to bring his fists to a gunfight. In fantasy games or ones with people who aren’t as into weapons, I’ll probably do rules as written.

As a side note, this system seems fairly ideally suited to playing a Fallout game – the short ranges of weapons are even (effectively) canon there.



I know this thread hasn’t been touched in a while but I felt I should throw my two cents in. My group generally just uses “common sense” in regards to weapon distances. Generally we just ignore weapon ranges unless it becomes outrageous (using a sawn off shotgun to single target someone 100 yds away).