Bullet Time

At the GM's option, a player may spend 3 bonus character points to stop time for his PC in combat. He can do this at any time - even between an enemy's attack roll with a gun

Sais and the targets' dodge rolls or bullets' damage rolls, hence the name of the rule. The one thing this can't interrupt is death. If a failed HT roll means the PC is dead, he's dead; the player can't stop time to get a dying action.

Entering Bullet Time gives the hero one turn to do anything that he could do with a normal turn. After that, ordinary time resumes and the GM assesses the outcome of the fighter's actions. The player cannot spend more points to buy multiple, consecutive turns of stopped time.

Possible effects include:

• All-Out Attack, Attack, Committed Attack, Defensive Attack, and Move and Attack let him attack one or more foes, as his abilities allow. He rolls to hit normally. His targets are defenseless. The GM determines damage effects (knockback, knockdown, etc.) and applies them immediately when time returns to normal, before anything else occurs.

• Attack maneuvers also let him pluck arrows, bullets, etc., out of the air. The player may specify how close he lets them come before he stops time. It takes a DX roll and an attack to grab each projectile.

Snatched weapons have no momentum upon returning to normal time, and cannot injure anyone.

• Concentrate lets him activate or deactivate a special ability, operate controls, etc., so that the ability or machine will be "on" (or "off') when normal time resumes.

• Move or Change Posture means that when time speeds back up, he'll be in his new location or posture.

• Ready allows him to draw an item, open a door, etc. When normal time resumes, the item is ready in his hand, the door is open, and so on.

In all cases, if he moves so much as a step during Bullet Time, all "paused" melee or missile attacks on him automatically miss when time starts again. If he moves between a weapon and its intended victim, the attack hits him when normal time resumes, although he may defend normally. If his actions move another person into the path of a suspended attack, it hits that person instead - but the victim may defend himself.

During Bullet Time, everything but the PC who initiated the change freezes . . . from his perspective. He sees everyone else paused in mid-step, bullets and arrows hanging in air, hand grenades trapped between ticks of the clock, and so on. He and any items he's carrying are the only things that move. Everyone else sees him move in a blur.

Bullet Time is similar to Player Guidance (p. B347) in that it lets players use unspent points to purchase game-world effects, but the effects are more dramatic. It's designed to simulate video games and "sci-fi wuxia" movies. It's inappropriate for campaigns based on traditional chambara or wuxia films, or quasi-realistic action movies. Even in games where it is suitable, the GM should limit it to combatants with Enhanced Time Sense, Trained by a Master, or Weapon Master.

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