Fanning the Hammer

A staple of spaghetti westerns, “fanning the hammer” is a technique used to rapidly shoot a revolver. It is sometimes used in modern trick shooting competitions. It’s hard on the gun and the shooter’s hand, but looks cool. Basically you hold down the trigger of a single action revolver, then pull back the hammer with the palm of your hand. The hammer will naturally slam forward when let go and the firing pin will hit the primer of the current bullet in the chamber. Fanning the hammer back with the palm again will rotate the cylinder and prepare a new bullet. In this method shooting can be achieved as fast as the firer can crank that hammer, without having to worry about pulling the trigger.
For Dinosaur Cowboys I figured even laser six-shooters would have support for this. To that end I added a new “Fan the Hammer” special ability to the 100kW to 400kW Six-Shooters. I figured the 80kW Six-Shooter was too cheaply made to handle the rigors of constant fanning. Straight from the rulebook this ability does:

Fan the Hammer: Can only be used at Short Range or closer. Roll 6 Attacks and use 2" Knockback for the next attack, but mark with a Reload token.

This is similar to the “Both Barrels” feature of the Double Barrel Shotgun (it gives +2 Attacks and marks with Reload), except that I figured the Knockback would be from the force of that many shots. Sure you could argue that lasers wouldn’t knock a target back, but why spoil my fun? Anyways I like the Short Range requirement as well (Both Barrels can be used at max range, which is only 9″ on the Double Barrel Shotgun, but still) since it gives a feel of a duel. I also like that it gives 6 full Attacks since, you know, Six-Shooter and all. Plus since they all have 4 Attacks as a base it’s still only +2 Attacks.
Thanks goes to Red_Starrise on the DakkaDakka forums for the original spark of the idea with a “Gunslinger” Trait he had suggested to me.

Also the 400kW Six-Shooter (the most powerful Six-Shooter there is) got a slight boost. It was previously 3A-4D, but I changed it to cost more and have 4A-4D, which continues the nice and smooth progression of the Six-Shooters. Plus it makes the Six-Shooter a viable “high level” weapon. I know I wouldn’t want to walk into a 6A-4D 2″ Knockback Fan the Hammer attack at close range, ouch.

5 Responses to “Fanning the Hammer”

  1. Elliot Hampton Says:

    Wouldn’t fanning the hammer have a negative effect on accuracy?
    or is that the purpose of short range only?


    • Dinosaur Cowboy Says:

      Hmm I think in the real world it would, but in the spaghetti western world it’d be even more accurate
      I was trying to limit it to close range a bit to account for accuracy, since I’m not a huge fan of adding modifiers to Traits. But you think a +1 Miss Chance would be sufficient? It’s kind of underpowered compared to “Both Barrels” then. If I remove the “Mark with Reload” it becomes even more unbelievable. I guess I could bump up the Knockback by 1″ to account for the accuracy.

    • Dinosaur Cowboy Says:

      Also keep in mind Short Range for a Six-Shooter is 1-6″, and they are just shooting at one target so maybe it’d be accurate enough? Let me know what you think.

      • Elliot Hampton Says:

        the way you explained it, it makes sense as it is. And as you said, it is pretty cool.


  2. Dinosaur Cowboy Says:

    I’m definitely glad it’s been added to the game now, since I kind of feel like a dolt for forgetting such a common western cliche in the first place!

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