Gritty Silhouette


Pretty-Boy Gamer
Validated User
Make Bullets Dangerous

Silhouette set in 'Gritty' mode results in GURPS-like character mortality and the players had better come with several character concepts in mind.

If you prefer characters more capable and want to go for the cinematic or over-the-top character building mechanics, there are other ways of making battle dangerous.

The imposition of -2 to dodge bullets in anything other than the gritty mode helps to keep guns extremely dangerous and respected the way you might respect one actually pointed at you. It keeps the more ridiculous Woo-esque stuff to a minimum and teaches even the most experienced characters some humility.

Another thing to try is to base small arms off perception rather than AGI. It's a small thing, but sometimes it makes all the difference. As long as you run varied fights where a character can't solely rely on firearms, it's not as unbalancing as it seems at first.

Other than that, I'd say you have a daunting task ahead of you to run this in gritty mode. It's just not given to it.

The firearms as presented are downright insulting if you know anything about them and have to be completely rewritten using other Silhouette sources as guidelines.

My campaign is cinematic in the extreme and leans to the supernatural rather than the superscientific and I *still* had to rewrite the entire weapon section and draft stats for my own vehicles.


Repairer of Reputations

What's wrong with the weapons? I am ignorant of such things so your feedback would be useful.



Pretty-Boy Gamer
Validated User
Weapons Issues

Well, my caveat is that it isn't here with me. That said:

The weapons are all generalized in the stat tables as light, medium, and heavy. If you look at the illustrated weapons catalogue, you'll note that for the most part everything is either a heavy type of weapon or has no specification as to it's possible statistics.

Rates of fire, ammunition capacities, and general disposition in the field are all generalized. They admit they did this on purpose to relflect that the game is supposed to be cinematic.

The catalogue portion of the weapons is fairly well done and mostly accurate, but trying to reconcile it with the stat table is almost impossible without a working knowledge of period firearms. If you're not familiar with them and how they'd translate statistically, what you think is a pretty good guess results in a weapon so far removed from reality you may as well just be making them up.

None of the rifles or submachineguns tell you whether they are light, medium or heavy, and the pistols are mostly misrepresented in that light (they're supposedly all heavy but one).

What I did, was take several books on small arms for fact-checking (you could get by with one from the library - I'm just a little anal about it) and assign damage ratings to various calibres (thats where the largest amount of leeway lies). I also decided that autofire weapons up to 600 rpm were ROF 1 while those up to 900 were ROF 2. Anything higher was ROF3.

It was tedious, even for someone who appreciates a nice firearm, like me. If you want, give me your email address and I'll send you my spreadsheet (Excel). It's also open to critique and likely has its own issues, but it's a darned site closer to what you'd need.

John Buckmaster

Validated User
Weapon conversions

If you want 'accurate' Silhouette Weapons, try Guns Guns Guns #3rd Edition (3G^3) It's got HG conversion notes. And with More Guns! you should have almost all of the 'real world' weapons in an easily convertable package. Hmm, maybe I should pick up More Guns! and post a conversion to the mailing list.



Validated User
Tiama'at said:

Which many, like myself, still grieve. JC is suffering from "neglected middle child" syndrome (since just about everything is a syndrome of some kind). Before JC starts sending DP9 the bill for years of therapy give it a chance and give it a wonderful, HG-esque metaplot!
My problem isn't so much a lack of metaplot, but a lack of dynamism in the setting. Sometimes it seems like the setting just sits there, without anything to really jump out at you. Usually I can just look over various sourcebooks and get ideas, but with JC it just doesn't happen. Apparently, however, I'm pretty good at giving other people's ideas - when one my Tribe 8 players said he would be willing to run a JC game every so often (a "back-up" game in case I don't get a chance to prepare, somebody's not there, or we want a change of pace) I off-handedly suggested we play exo-ball players. He turned it into an entire campaign! It actually looks so good (we played through the intro this past Monday) that I want to play in it rather than run Tribe 8 :eek:

Jocelyn Robitaille

Gamer Extraordinaire
One quick word of advice.

Like someone already said, Silhouette is pretty gritty as it is, even though it may not look like it.

This said: never *ever* allow *anyone* except your *most dangerous* NPCs attributes that go above +2 (read: +3, which is the limit set by the book, in T8 anyway). I have no idea why, but at +3, everything breaks down, and things start feeling like a Supers game.

In my experience, at least.


Active member
Validated User
I have to agree that the standard character creation rules - listed as adventure level in JC - are gritty enough as it is. As was stated before, once you go over this level everything begins to break down and becomes more than cinematic - it becomes a near supers level.

The problem with gritty is that none of the characters are able to be capable in more than one area, and will die very, very, very quickly. We played a game of JC at gritty level, the PCs being a supposed group of skilled military personnel. (The GM felt that Gritty meant more realistic. However we found that we couldn't even give the PCs the necessary skills to realistically represent them.) The game was somewhat of a mixed bag. While the system didn't fail too much, the GM found himself faking a lot of roles just to allow the PCs to be able to hit the NPCs in most of the combats.

Gritty does not allow for any jake-of-all trades characters. (Not that Silhouette ever really handled such character concepts very well...) Personally, if I want to play a gritty campiagn I let the roleplaying dictate it and not the rules... it tends to be more accurate and works better. From my experiences playing T8, the standard character creation rules are more than gritty enough for play.


Max S.

I hate it here.
Which many, like myself, still grieve. JC is suffering from "neglected middle child" syndrome (since just about everything is a syndrome of some kind). Before JC starts sending DP9 the bill for years of therapy give it a chance and give it a wonderful, HG-esque metaplot!

Metaplot licks; all you need is included. Just an opinion ;p

The thing about playing the game on gritty is that your players will, no matter what, still kick more ass than anyone you can throw at them. They will specialize, work together, and take advantage of all the loopholes and exploits of the Silhouette system, and overall just adapt. What you should consider doing, then, is ask them at what level they wish to play at. It's doubtful they'll even ask for cinematic, which you obviously want to avoid, but either they'll end up playing that way (and ruining your carefully laid mood) or they'll just not have fun. Don't ask us, ask them.
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