A Shot in the Crowd

Additional Rules for Frag

by Marius Blomkvist

The regular rules for Frag work well enough, but there is an omission (however small) that could add new depth to the game: the concept of stray shots.

For teamplay purposes, the rules do cover Friendly Fire (a contradiction in terms), but not the issue of wayward bullets in a crowd. Let's say, for example, that at one location, Death Adder stands with his trusty Needler, and just seven squares away, The Butcher, Krazy Karen and Homicide have somehow wound up in a sort of huddle.

For the sake of the example, let's place Krazy Karen at the center, closer to Death Adder, with The Butcher a square to the left and two squares behind her, and Homicide two squares to the right. Now, Death Adder can fire a shot at Krazy Karen, but what happens if he misses? Absolutely nothing.

So here are some suggested new rules.

Stray Shots

Whenever a player misses a shot, check to see how much he missed by. For every point the die roll fell short by, count one square to each side and two back from the target, as perceived by the shooter. This field is where the shot *might* have hit instead; first, the shooter may roll a die -- on a low roll, the shot goes to the left, on a high roll, to the right. After determining the now significantly narrower trajectory, anyone standing within the bullet's potential path can be attacked, one by one, with a penalty of 1 for each consecutive attack roll, until the shooter hits or runs out of targets. (Only one attack per figure in the path, of course.) With this rule, a miss by one in the aforementioned example still renders The Butcher exposed to the shot instead of Krazy Karen, while Homicide is safe. But if the shot is missed by a very large amount, in this case, three or more, Homicide suddenly finds himself in the line of fire as well. Playing with this rule can add extra spice to any crowded game; teamplay games in particular, as it will now be fully possible to accidentally kill members of your own team.

Friendly Fire Off!

This rule is far simpler: it simply states that in teamplay battles, it is no longer possible to harm your teammates, be it intentionally or not. (However, the Knockback rule still applies, with the potential for injuring your own team. or making a domino effect in the other team.)

The simple addition of these rules is, of course, completely optional and pretty much something for the owner of the game to take into consideration.

With that said, this suggestion wouldn't be the same without a couple of extra Special cards.

Game Hack

Friendly Fire!

This card sets friendly fire on, if it was disabled, or off, if it was enabled. Playing this card is, of course, an interesting gamble.

Customized Controls Configuration

The player has practiced for some time on his own, and has reached a peculiarly tweaked control layout, granting him a +1 to both Accuracy and Speed for the rest of the game. Alternatively, this card can be played on another player, who is not familiar with these strange controls, and thus suffers -1 to both Accuracy and Speed until he rolls a 1 or a 6 on a single die at the start of his turn, to restore default settings. Of course, should this happen, the player still has the custom configuration in a separate file, and can choose between discarding the card or keeping it to terrorize another player with.

Article publication date: July 16, 2004

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