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Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes


RDU Neil
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SuperPheemy asked for this thread, so I thought I'd start it, based on my comments in the We're Gonna Need Guns thread...

 

I stated... my main concern is a base concern with Hero System ranged combat. Basically, that it is way too easy to hit someone. Hero is so based on supers combat of high probability to hit, high defenses, nickel and dime the enemy in a fight... that this doesn't translate well to more "realistic" gun combat. One, the range mods are ridiculous for guns. A handgun shouldn't be so accurate beyond fifty feet, unless you are braced and set. Plusses on guns (to hit) should only count if character is braced and set. Maybe some "point blank range" combat options/maneuvers/rules... that reinforce the fact that most pistol combats take place within 10 feet of eachother... not across football fields.

 

and then...

I'd love to see the old DI range mods brought back as an optional rule.

 

and finally...

 

I'd also love some kind of rule mods that encourage "throwing a lot of lead" as in real life... rather than the standard Hero combat of counting every shot, rarely having to reload, etc. Automatic weapons are better than single shot because they not only increase the number of possible hits... but increase the chance of hitting period. This isn't reflected in Hero... for game balance reasons at the supers level, I understand... but it makes automatic weapons much less scary than they should be. Close quarters automatic gunfire should be horrendously scary, IMO. Characters should be encouraged to throw multiple shots down range (realistic fashion, or a'la John Wu, either way) for better chances to hit/more damage... etc. In the end, I guess anything that can move the Hero system rules away from the "one big energy blast" concept, and more toward hails of lead, floors covered in spent shells, empty clips dropping, unloading down hallways, etc.

 

To this end... let me indicate some of my preferences/interpretations/rulings. You may or may not agree with me on this... but it is where I'm coming from.

 

1) Dramatic, fast, guns blazing action is NOT what the Hero System was originally built to do. It goes against the base assumption of One panel/one action. By this I mean, Hero, at it's base, was supposed to represent one panel of Capt. Atom blasting a single EB at a target... NOT to accurately reflect a squad of SEALs going through a hostile door or a John Wu diving, two gun blazing, multiple shots and actions, etc. What has happened over the years is a tweaking of the system... additional rules... to help this, but it's not quite there, yet.

 

2) In the same vein as too easy to hit, the auto-fire rules have been created to undermine it's effectiveness, so that your Spidey/Batman clone can often work against a bunch of thugs with auto-fire weapons without too much concern... like the comics. You then run into the paradox of players wanting to play characters who are really good with guns... so for them, guns need to be effective... vs. other players who have characters who are designed to be above being hurt such mundane things as guns. This is a clash of genres that is hard to resolve. The system allows for guns to just be an SFX, like eye beams or electro-blasts... and that is balanced, but it totally nerfs the "feel" of cool, dramatic, gun combat.

 

3) I'm NOT an advocate of building new rules and skills to overcome these issues. While I think the Autofire Skills can be useful, I don't think you should HAVE to buy them in order to try those maneuvers. Example: Just because a character hasn't bought Martial Disarm, doesn't mean they don't have a chance to disarm someone... there is the generic maneuver "disarm" that exists for everyone. To my mind, the greatest strength of Hero System combat is the maneuvers that everyone can try... adding on the ones that you buy to show you are trained in them... which makes for dynamic action sequences, rather than "I hit... I miss... I hit" like in D&D. What I want is a complete overhaul and tweaking of "Ranged Combat Maneuvers" which would have a whole plethora of "Autofire Maneuvers" which can be used by anyone with an autofire attack. Problem here is, while accurate for low level, DC style gun combat... such maneuvers might be completely unbalancing to a superheroic style campaign.

 

4) More about maneuvers... there may be a need to create maneuvers that only exist for Heroic (don't spend points for equipment) style campaigns... genre specific maneuvers... so that use of those maneuvers is applicable only to a certain level/style of play, and specifically stated as such. The main problem with Hero System is, because you can do anything, everybody tries to do everything, all at once... which is often incompatible. (This could branch out to further discussion of "actions the game allows, but which are suitable for what genres" which could define the differences between American comic styles vs. hong kong action movie styles vs. anime styles... because often these do not support each other if all were on the same team of heroes.)

 

5)Specific to gun combat.... I want to see rule mods that are simple (not requiring extra dice rolls or multiplication/division or anything like that) that encourage/support the following

a) There is a reason semi-automatic pistols are used over revolvers. They fire faster, carry more rounds, etc. and that should mean something in the game.

B) Firing more rounds in a shorter amount of time is important... period. Two or three shot bursts are standard... not special... and handguns should run through a clip in seconds... not go through a full combat counting every shot.

c) There should be advantages and disadvantages to every type of gun, round, etc. There is a reason the 9mm is the most popular and widely used pistol round, despite the .45 ACP being superior in many ways. Game state wise, there is no reason to carry smaller, lighter rounds. Same with 5.56 vs. 7.62. The game always encourages you to take the biggest, badest gun possible... but that isn't happening in the real world. What does the game need to better reflect reality?

 

I welcome any suggestions out there. This "gun flavah" is really important to me... as a defining difference between a supers campaign and more DC campaigns. (Especially if DC is taking the place of DI as well.)

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

a) There is a reason semi-automatic pistols are used over revolvers. They fire faster' date=' carry more rounds, etc. and that should mean something in the game.[/quote']

 

Not to nitpick but revolvers fire faster than semi auto pistols, notice their resemblance to gatling guns (revolving cylinder), a revolver mearly rotates a fraction of an inch before the next round is ready, an automatic has to cycle the action typically 1 inch or more, eject the last cartridge and load the new one. Now at the rate the average person can pull the trigger it doesn't make much differance but it drives me crazy when people assume revolvers are just big slow firing antiques. Now I will give you that semi-autos using box magazines are faster to reload. Can you tell I'm a fan of the six gun :)

 

I agree with you on all the rest though. One of the things we did when 4th came out was rework the double fire rule from DI (-2 OCV fires 2 shots, hits like AF, so if you hit by -4 both hit). However we allowed revolvers and semi autos to double or triple fire (-1 per round fired since its not too hard), pump action and lever action to double fire and double barrel to double fire without penalty (basically a 2 round burst) since it happens at one time. We also allowed 3 round bursts +1OCV, 5 round bursts +2 OCV and 10 round bursts +4 OCV, and for weapons with high rates of fire every additional (5 or 10 can't recall) got a +2 OCV. The result was ammo went like water, reloads were common and high cap 9mm became rather popular. We also allowed 3 pt skill levels to counter the double fire penalty.

 

Also encouraged the use of suppression fire (allowed all weapons to do it, just non autos were less effective), and the snap shot rule (hide behind cover, pop out for a segment, shoot and pop back behind cover). Few were foolish enough to actually brace and set in the open unless they were well out of range (basiclly only snipers).

 

I would be really happy if the new DC has enough new ways to handle the gun rules to put to bed the common comment "Hero doesn't do low levels well".

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

5)Specific to gun combat.... I want to see rule mods that are simple (not requiring extra dice rolls or multiplication/division or anything like that) that encourage/support the following

a) There is a reason semi-automatic pistols are used over revolvers. They fire faster, carry more rounds, etc. and that should mean something in the game.

B) Firing more rounds in a shorter amount of time is important... period. Two or three shot bursts are standard... not special... and handguns should run through a clip in seconds... not go through a full combat counting every shot.

c) There should be advantages and disadvantages to every type of gun, round, etc. There is a reason the 9mm is the most popular and widely used pistol round, despite the .45 ACP being superior in many ways. Game state wise, there is no reason to carry smaller, lighter rounds. Same with 5.56 vs. 7.62. The game always encourages you to take the biggest, badest gun possible... but that isn't happening in the real world. What does the game need to better reflect reality?

 

I welcome any suggestions out there. This "gun flavah" is really important to me... as a defining difference between a supers campaign and more DC campaigns. (Especially if DC is taking the place of DI as well.)

 

 

First I'm going to appologize for the way some of this wanders around, I've had 3 hours sleep. Hopefully some of the following will be useful.

 

To expand on what Toadmaster said the fastest IDPA shooter in the world uses a custom made 8 shot revolver because he can place a shot faster than the slide on any semi-automatic can cycle. Plus in competitions reliability is key and revolvers are much simpler mechanically than a semi-auto. This is the reason that most people that carry a backup gun carry a revolver. Combat however is a different story...

 

The trend towards semi-auto handguns was pushed by capacity and reload speed. Compare a traditional .45 caliber semi-auto built on the 1911A1 frame which only has 7 rounds in the clip and 1 round chambered for a total of 8 to most 9mm handguns with a 13-17 round clip capacity. (current laws limit new civilian guns to 10 rounds) A further example of this trend is the FN Herstal Five-seveN semi-auto handgun. It's chambered for 5.7mm rounds and can carry 20 rounds in a clip. In real combat you don't want to be caught reloading during a firefight but if you are then you want to reload as quickly as possible. To reflect this in game some weapons (ex: revolvers) should have a penalty to the fastdraw skill for quick reloading. Another option would be to expand the rules on fastdraw to cover weapons that take longer than a half-phase to reload and then have some weapons take a full phase or longer to reload. This would encourage the use of high capacity, smaller caliber weapons.

 

I'd also like to see a change to the "Real Weapon" limitation. I'd like to see it include a chance of malfunction, so that it would model things like jams and misfires. I know that I can just add an activation roll limitation but "Real Weapon" seems to imply one and I don't want it to be as drastic as the normal activation roll. Revolvers for instance should have a very small chance to fail, modern semi-autos would be more likely to fail, and full-auto weapons even more likely fail but in most cases the roll needs to be less likely than the current rules for "Activation Roll". Maybe the "Real Weapon" limitation could include the following:

 

New Real Weapon

-1/4 (Activation Roll of 18- with situational modifiers)

-1/2 (Activation Roll of 17- with situational modifiers)

-3/4 (Activation Roll of 16- with situational modifiers)

-1 (Activation Roll of 15- with situational modifiers)

-1 1/4 (Activation Roll of 14- with situational modifiers)

 

Situational modifiers include things like rain, dropping the weapon in the mud or sewers, exposure to harsh chemicals, firing 300 rounds without a cleaning, etc. Basically a large number of things in the campaign can allow the GM to lower the initial activation roll which wouldn't be reset until the character takes the time to clean the weapon. Here are some suggestions on activation rolls for common action types:

 

18- single shot "Break" open style firearm (some shotguns, Thompson Contender Pistol)

17- revolvers, bolt action rifles, pump action shotguns

16- semi-automatic (pistols, rifles, shotguns)

15 - full-automatic (pisotls, rifles, shotguns)

+1 for better than average quality weapon (increased price)

-1 for poor quality weapon (reduced price)

 

Maybe just better guidelines on when to start hassling players with malfunctions would work if you feel like an activation roll is too much.

 

Arguably there is little difference in the real world effectiveness of most handgun rounds assuming that you're not talking about ball ammo. Hero, intentionally or not, seems to reflect this by having a very small spread of damage between 9mm and .44Mag rounds. This is actually a good thing, with a few optional rules like the ones that Toadmaster suggested makes a high capacity handgun look like a much more useful weapon to a GunFu master than the traditional .45 semi-auto. I'd like to add a few tweaks to Toadmaster's suggested rules:

 

Add in rules for recoil, a .45 is harder to accurately double tap with than a 9mm because of the recoil. Recoil can be compensated for but usually at the expense of night vision (ported barrel) or weight. This plays into the OCV penalties for taking additional shots in the same phase. It will also play into the accuracy of auto-fire, a .45 based sub-machine gun will be harder to control than a 9mm SMG of the same weight. To borrow Toadmaster's example of double fire (-2 OCV for 2 shots):

 

Caliber/Recoil/Total OCV Penalty for a doubleshot

5.7mm/-0.5/-1 OCV

9mm/-1/-2 OCV

.45/-1.5/-3 OCV

.44Mag/-2/-4 OCV

 

The same sort of chart could be developed for Auto-Fire, again borrowing from Toadmaster's example of OCV bonuses to AF:

 

Caliber/3 rounds/5 rounds/10 rounds/20 rounds

5.7mm/+2/+3/+5/+9

9mm/+1/+2/+4/+8

.45/+0/+1/+3/+7

.44Mag/+0/+0/+2/+6

 

These were just quick examples but they definitely encourage a smaller round with lower recoil when using rapid fire attacks. This models the current trend towards PDW type rounds and handguns with high capacity. And gives players a clear reason to choose a 9mm over a .45, not that Toadmaster's "ammo like water" (trademarked?) rule additions don't already do that. The recoil idea just adds a little more incentive and is in keeping with the trend of better burst control.

 

Cost is a very prevalent reason to chose 9mm rounds over .45 or .44Mag, etc. 9mm rounds are cheaper than .45 rounds of the same flavor. When your player's characters are buying armor piercing ammo (x10 cost) for their 9mm SMG that fires 15 rounds a second, the cost starts to stack up quick.

 

In any case, let me know what you think. I for one would love to see a formalized version of Toadmaster's rule mods for guns. He's posted other really good stuff elsewhere on this board it'd be great to see it all in one place. (hint hint)

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

We also allowed 3 round bursts +1OCV, 5 round bursts +2 OCV and 10 round bursts +4 OCV, and for weapons with high rates of fire every additional (5 or 10 can't recall) got a +2 OCV.

 

Do these plusses to hit only allow a single hit, or do they modify the the minuses for extra hits on Autofire (essentially giving you a much better chance to hit more than once?) If the latter, that could get very unbalancing... (Need an 11 to hit normally... now get +4 for full auto... need a 15 to hit... likely to hit with multiple rounds.)

 

Now... at point blank range 0 - 2 meters... I'd give automatic weapons both plusses to hit and multiple hits... outside of that, I think it should be one or the other... multiple chances to hit (roll for each round, but -2 cumulative for each round after the first) or +2 for every five rounds, but can only hit once. I really like the plusses to hit for using more shots as the way to make bullets fly. The question of balance becomes important, then.

 

As for revolvers... my limited use of them... you have to thumb back the hammer each time, or go through a full trigger pull, which is significantly slower than my Berreta or Kimber. Now, a specialized target pistol with a very reduced trigger pull and you have that guy who can fire six, speed load and fire six more in 1.86 seconds... but that is a practiced repetitive action... not combat.

 

I'd still give "double - shot" to all guns more advanced than single action revolvers... triple tap to semi-automatics. Double shot is a -2 for both shots, roll seperately. Triple tap is -4 to all three shots, roll seperately.

 

Rambling here... but if you went back to Autofire... and said, +1 for every five shots spent on a single target, which does work to counteract some of the autofire minuses... that might be balanced and still encourage spending more rounds. I'll have to try that. 3-5 rounds +1 10 rounds +2, 15 rounds +3... etc. High cycle rate weapons with big clips have a built in advantage worth using, then. (These plusses are just for autofire weapons... not applying to semi-autos being unloaded... that is just suppression fire.)

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

There was discussion on autofire rules for burst in the Hero Rules Discussion section a month or so ago. My suggestion was as follows, for every shot sacrificed you can get a bonus to hit. So for a 3-round burst, you can sacrifice a single shot and get say +1 OCV, so your chances to hit change from 0, -2, -4, to +1, -1. You would still expend 3 rounds for the burst.

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

There was discussion on autofire rules for burst in the Hero Rules Discussion section a month or so ago. My suggestion was as follows' date=' for every shot sacrificed you can get a bonus to hit. So for a 3-round burst, you can sacrifice a single shot and get say +1 OCV, so your chances to hit change from 0, -2, -4, to +1, -1. You would still expend 3 rounds for the burst.[/quote']

 

Off the top of my head, that seems over-powerful. 10 round burst, sacrifice five shots... you now have a five round autofire at +5... YOW!

 

Have you played this out in games? Was it overpowering? Just interested.

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

No, it was just something I was brainstorming, haven't tried it out. Was thinking about it for smaller bursts or powers where you would have to burn a lot of end for the extra OCV. Of course, on the other hand if someone pulls out an SMG it would definitaly convince you to dive for cover. Maybe change the rate of sacrifice to +1 OCV per 2 shots. Or maybe its crap. :D Still, doing a 10 shot burst at someone is going to be throwing a lot of lead their way, I would expect it would be dangerous to stand downrange.

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

No' date=' it was just something I was brainstorming, haven't tried it out. Was thinking about it for smaller bursts or powers where you would have to burn a lot of end for the extra OCV. Of course, on the other hand if someone pulls out an SMG it would definitaly convince you to dive for cover. Maybe change the rate of sacrifice to +1 OCV per 2 shots. Or maybe its crap. :D Still, doing a 10 shot burst at someone is going to be throwing a lot of lead their way, I would expect it would be dangerous to stand downrange.[/quote']

 

It's not crap... Ilike the basic concept a lot. I've toyed with the idea myself... but having played this game for a long time, I instinctively look to walk that fine line between cool simulation and game balance. Something along the +1 for every 2 shots sacrificed might just work. If I was running a game currently, I'd try that, just to see. Basically, it mean a 3 shot burst gets a +1 (Five shot, sac 2)... which seems right to me. 10 shots, sac four... you get an full OCV chance to hit twice... seems quite balanced.

 

Yes, yes... I like this a lot. Again... only for Autofire weapons... as the double shot or triple tap rule... cumulative -2 for each shot over 1 you try with a non-autofire attack... works great... and this gives a reason why autofire is better than just double tapping with a pistol.

 

Oooh... yeah... this is good. :yes:

 

Thanks

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

Thanks for the feedback. I have mostly played Champs, so as I said the idea of burning 5 shots worth of END for an OCV bonus is a pretty high price to pay. I am thinking of doing a Special Ops one-shot and may try the rule (2 shots for +1 OCV) in that game.

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

I believe the autofire rules came pretty much from DI, although I think we dropped in the 5 rd +2 and the greater than 10. These are all rounds on target, so firing 10 rounds at one target gets you the +4, spraying 10 rounds over an area does not qualify. That is +4 to hit and yes you can still get multiple hits (one extra hit for every two you made your roll by) so if you would have hit on your base roll you get 3 hits. It might sound like alot but a 10 round burst is very long in real life, machineguns fire 10 round bursts, smg and assault rifles usually only fire 3-5 rds. You typical smg or assault rifle only gets 3 10 rd bursts.

 

I do believe strmin also went up but I don't recall how, +5 everything over 3 rds sounds familiar though.

 

Basically what you get is 3 rd burst gives you a little better chance of hitting and you might get an extra hit, 5 rd you get a "free" hit, and 10 round 2 "free" hits, all at the cost of more wasteful ammo expenditure.

 

DI also cut the range mod in half when firing full auto (back when range modes were -1/3", -1/4" etc) I don't recall what we did about range when 4th ed introduced the current range mod rules.

 

We played with these rules quite a bit and it worked well, you still found most using the 3 rd and semi auto fire since the others chewed through the ammo really fast. We did use weight and encumbrance rules. Body armor for PCs was very popular. The main trick was not going overboard on CV, we played 50-75 pt characters and had to have some non combat skills.

 

As far as the revolvers, yes we are talking mechanical ability (both can fire faster than the average shooter), but the differance in trigger pulls is mostly a matter of training (getting used to the pull). A modern quality double action revolver is no harder to shoot than a modern double action only semi-auto, now some of the older or cheap double action revolvers compared to a good single action auto accuracy will suffer. Also most revolvers use more powerful cartridges so again it might take a bit more to get back on target, then again the semi-auto is generally trying to whack the shooter between the eyes with the fired case, kinda distracting when empty brass keeps dropping on your melon. But from a game perspective there is no reason not to treat double action revolvers as semi-autos.

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

In my cinematic games I have a house rule based on "WOO Factor" (Weapons Out of Ordinance, John Woo style) rule in the Jovian Chronicles Game. Characters are required to make an "ablative" activation role for fresh ammo. I.e. every time they should be required to reload they make a roll at 15- then 14- then 12- then 11- and finally at 8- (it stays at 8-).

 

I allow hem to reset the WOO factor roll by reloading with ammo they actually brought with them (spare clips, speed loaders, new shotgun shells). There are two ways to adjudicate the effects. Each time they make the activation roll they get one extra round, or video game style, where each time they make the activation roll they get a full reload (to the weapons max capacity).

 

It allows John Woo style shoot 'em ups where characters send storms of lead at one another. Combine the Rapid Fire rules with Two Weapon Fighting and the second options (complete new clips with each successful roll) and amazing amounts of ordianance can be dispatched.

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

In my cinematic games I have a house rule based on "WOO Factor" (Weapons Out of Ordinance, John Woo style) rule in the Jovian Chronicles Game. Characters are required to make an "ablative" activation role for fresh ammo. I.e. every time they should be required to reload they make a roll at 15- then 14- then 12- then 11- and finally at 8- (it stays at 8-).

 

I allow hem to reset the WOO factor roll by reloading with ammo they actually brought with them (spare clips, speed loaders, new shotgun shells). There are two ways to adjudicate the effects. Each time they make the activation roll they get one extra round, or video game style, where each time they make the activation roll they get a full reload (to the weapons max capacity).

 

It allows John Woo style shoot 'em ups where characters send storms of lead at one another. Combine the Rapid Fire rules with Two Weapon Fighting and the second options (complete new clips with each successful roll) and amazing amounts of ordianance can be dispatched.

 

I like that, I rarely play in games it would be appropriate but I'm going to steal idea that on the chance I do someday.

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

I've always considered that the "hail of fire" and such are often "merely' dramatic flair and that the system doesn't specifically need to model them (the actual serious hits are done with the actual to-hit attacks), but I can see where that is less fulfilling. Sometimes I've used a "random" low-CV attack to model those various bits of fire going on that can hit "by accident".

 

I guess I'm just adding this to say that there are at least situations that don't need to do anything to model this directly, without meaning disrespect to those needing to include it. Certainly for more of a real-world Dark Champions you do, but I'm thinking more of things like Rambo (at least the second one) and such where guns are blazing and it doesn't "really' matter.

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

I've always considered that the "hail of fire" and such are often "merely' dramatic flair and that the system doesn't specifically need to model them (the actual serious hits are done with the actual to-hit attacks), but I can see where that is less fulfilling. Sometimes I've used a "random" low-CV attack to model those various bits of fire going on that can hit "by accident".

 

I guess I'm just adding this to say that there are at least situations that don't need to do anything to model this directly, without meaning disrespect to those needing to include it. Certainly for more of a real-world Dark Champions you do, but I'm thinking more of things like Rambo (at least the second one) and such where guns are blazing and it doesn't "really' matter.

 

Personally, I hate bad action movies... a'la Rambo or Commando... so while I agree that you can just "wing" that drama... it is pretty lame, IMO. (Any time you never see the hero re-load or care about the number of bullets, I just tune out). I want a game that supports the simulation I like, and I think Hero can do it, with tweaks. I want a game that reinforces knowing exactly how many clips you have... forces you to reload, which can be deadly... but also supports throwing more lead, because doing so is an effective combat tactic.

 

Superheroes... sure... one shot, one kill... Gunman takes out six thugs and THEN reloads his pistol from dramatic effect... but lower level "realistic" games that DC (don't agree with the name, but hey*) is implying, yes, I want the crunchiness in the rules.

 

(*To this point, Dark Champions means street level... but still supers... and in that kind of game, I'd limit the crunchiness and just have a gritty "feel". Action/Espionage/War level games are a whole different animal, IMO... and there needs to be clear separation of the two to avoid conflicting expectations of the game.)

 

YMMV

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

Heh Guys, could you please write it up so all the work is laid out in HERO style format.

 

Thanks

 

QM.

 

P.S.: Heh RDU Niel you Luck Chit House Rules are a smash hit in my Battletech HERO campaign. Charging a Needler Machine Pistol used up a lot of luck. ;). It also translates into Re-roles only for Battletech Board GameRules.

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

Heh Guys, could you please write it up so all the work is laid out in HERO style format.

 

Thanks

 

QM.

 

P.S.: Heh RDU Niel you Luck Chit House Rules are a smash hit in my Battletech HERO campaign. Charging a Needler Machine Pistol used up a lot of luck. ;). It also translates into Re-roles only for Battletech Board GameRules.

 

NOt sure what write up you are referring to... but as to the Luck Chit rules, glad they are working. I think they are perfect for grittier games that still want some cinematic drama. The PCs can be "brave and foolhardy" occasionally, because they have luck chits... but it doesn't make the game light and breezy. Luck chits are great for simulating lethal games, where somehow the PCs have a better survival rate, but doesn't make it impossible to kill them. It's a real "balance" tool for cinematic grittiness... but this is off-topic for this thread.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

Well, I figured I would throw in my experience here. I am running a Shadowrun/Cyberpunk game in Hero and have come up with a few house rules to make guns "feel" more like guns.

 

The first is granting a +1 OCV for every 10 shots fired through autofire. I had considered going to +1 OCV per 5 shots, but since OCVs are already so high in the game (because of cyberware like Smartgun Links, Targeting Computers, and Tactical Computers, as well as characters having superhuman DEX scores) that +1 per 10 seemed safe. I will admit, +1 per 5 shot autofire (or even +1 for 3-round burst, +2 for 5-round burst, +3 for Autofire-10, and +4 for Autofire-20) isn't really a bad way to go either. In practice, it does give the feeling of going through ammo in almost no time. Most guns give only 2 or 3 attacks at AF-10 before the clip runs dry.

 

We've also changed the way Two-Weapon Fighting works, because as we saw it, paying the 10 points for that was never worth it when compared to just using a submachine gun or machine pistol, let alone an assault rifle. Comparing the two you have these issues: First, Two-Weapon Fighting costs points to essentially do what Autofire weapons do, and do it very poorly at that. Second, using Two-Weapon Fighting halves the character's DCV vs. Full DCV when using Autofire (though not with Autofire Skills). Third, Two-Weapon Fighting takes a full phase action vs. the half-phase action of using an autofire weapon.

 

So instead of basing Two-Weapon Fighting on the Sweep Maneuver, we based it on the concept of Autofire. A character without the Two-Weapon Fighting Skill can effectively fire both weapons at a -2 OCV penalty (for each weapon, not including penalties for off-hand weapon use). The primary attack has a penalty to discourage a character from always doing it. The secondary attack is the equivalent of Autofire's "for every 2 points the attack exceeded the roll, another round hits." We've also made it a half-phase maneuver that doesn't reduce DCV (after all, it's not that hard, at least cinematically, to aim two guns at a guy and pull the trigger). Also, the second attack costs an extra +1 END (END is figured off the highest STR Min of the two weapons, +1 per extra attack).

 

A character can take the Two-Weapon Fighting skill (Ranged or HtH; 5 points) to offset the penalty for the primary weapon (built as +2 OCV with Ranged or HtH; 10 Active Points; Only to offset first penalty to Two-Weapon Fighting (-1)).

 

A character can also perform a Rapid Attack Maneuver with allows Semi-Auto weapons to fire twice as a half-phase maneuver at -2 OCV for both weapons. The extra attack is +1 END (as two-weapon fighting above).

 

And a character can also perform a Two-Weapon Rapid Attack Maneuver, which combines both the above maneuvers with each successive attack imposing a cumulative -2 OCV penalty (-2 for the first attack with primary weapon (offset by skills), -2 for first attack with secondary weapon, -4 for second attack with primary weapon (can't be offset), -6 for second attack with secondary weapon). This is a full phase action, and each extra attack is +1 END.

 

Also, we got rid of the Rapid Attack Skill and replaced with Fast Attack, which basically allows the character to perform any full phase maneuvers as half phase actions. It costs 5 points. It's meant mostly for use with Autofire Skills.

 

For weapon jamming, we use a modified version of the table in the 5E book. Some weapons are Very Reliable, bought as a +1/4 Advantage and jam less often. Some weapons are Unreliable, bought as a -1/4 Limitation and jam more often.

 

Lastly, to account for the possibility of characters not being able to control Autofire weapons, we went with a modified STR Min rule. Basically, for every shot fired, increase the STR Min by +1. Some weapons are inherently more stable and suffer 1/2 "recoil penalties" (miniguns, etc.) and the STR Min increases by +1 per 2 shots fired on autofire.

 

As a note, characters cannot do a Two-Weapon Rapid Attack maneuver with Autofire Weapons. Only with HtH and Semi-Auto weapons. It's an exception to the rule, and I'm not big on exceptions, but one that is necessary to preserve balance.

 

edit: wasn't finished. :)

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Re: Range Combat: Gun Fu & rule changes

 

For the "sacrificing hits for OCV with Autofire" part of this thread - there's a problem with any straight conversion from shots to OCV, because of the ability to double the number of shots in autofire - you have to mix an exponential growth with a linear growth. I admit to not knowing enough about guns to figure where it would cap out - but I'd recommend basing it on halving the number of potential hits for +2 OCV per.

 

Ie:

20 Shot Autofire at +0

10 at +2

5 at +4

2 at +6

1 at +8

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