Don’t get me wrong, the Network system is a great engine for gritty and lethal games, but it falls short of the kind of lethality I wanted in my mafia campaigns. Generally speaking there is usually a chance of killing someone provided you roll tens, but it isn’t the more likely outcome. This is why we added in the optional rule for Open Damage when we wrote Horror Show. Because the longer I played Crime Network, the more I kept thinking back to how the old system made every gunfight a potential bloodbath.
For this reason I recommend everyone adopt the Open Damage rule for all damage rolls in Crime Network. Using this method you count all successes on damage. This is a good way to elevate the stakes and make mob hits a bigger feature of the game. Not only does it raise the chances of killing foes outright but it increases the likelihood of doing multiple wounds in a single shot.
Another approach, which I personally like, is to treat any 10 result on damage as a kill. This is clean, doesn’t require counting up successes and means any shot has kill potential. In practice this means a small pistol (which does 2d10 damage) has about a 19 percent chance of killing someone at range. At point blank the chance rises to about 27 percent. A heavier gun, like a magnum or shot gun, has a 27 percent chance at range and roughly 34 percent chance of killing at point blank.
I strongly suggest using these options (or even combining them) if you play Crime Network.