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tl;dr  Looking for alt rules/house rules that make guns and gun combat in Hero more realistically dangerous in comparison to HtH, muscle powered weapons and movement in the normal Hero rules.

 

Well, no one appears to spend much time in the Dark Champs Genre board, but I'll try here to see if I can get any opinions.

 

1) Running a cinematic "real world" game... think Jason Bourne meets X-Files type of thing.

2) While characters might be a touch " over the top" in some ways, stats are within the Heroic level, combat should feel dangerous and not something to be taken lightly.

3) Martial arts and muscle powered weapons exist, but guns should be more likely, because of all the real world reasons... easier to use, faster, more efficient, more reliable, keeps you out of HtH range, etc.

 

The problem is, Hero is based on more generic superhero combat, where every attack is equal. Punching someone, lightning blast, mental drain or shooting a gun are equivalent in the amount of time they take per action (phase). This is TOTALLY FINE FOR SUPERS. But more realistic level, classic Danger International or current Dark Champs heroic combat... it just doesn't feel right.

 

An average person can walk across the room and haul back with a baseball bat and swing in the time another average person draws a pistol and shoots one time. That kind of thing just doesn't feel right, as two equal opponents in that scenario, most likely the pistol guy will get three to five rounds off before the other guy gets halfway across the room, let alone pull back and swing.


A competent law enforcement type can empty a ten round clip from her Glock into a human target at twenty feet while closing at a steady walk. Assuming no fumbling, reload and fire again.

 

I'm not talking John Wick or anything close to that level of crazy gun-fu... but just that there is a reason semi-automatic pistols are a way more popular sidearm than a revolver. They throw more rounds down field, faster, more accurately (for rapid fire), let alone being easier to reload, etc. Even the most basic trained shooting defense course tends to be "three shots, center mass... breath... repeat."

 

Also, in gun fights, people fire multiple rounds (multiple pulls of the trigger) in seconds, clips expended, as part of standard procedure. I'm not talking panicked blazing away, but several controlled pulls of the trigger at a time... not because they are highly skilled, but because the gun is designed to allow (target fire fire fir, reaquire fire fire fire, etc.)

 

How can we reflect this in Hero? Unfortunately, the base game allows identical character 1 to go from flat footed to 6 meters in the way in the time it takes identical character 2 to pull the trigger once. (Both are 1/2 moves.) That is ludicrous and eliminates one of the fundamental advantages of a firearm. Also, firing multiple rounds is either not allowed, or at HUGE minuses that single shots tend to be the case without significant skills/skill levels.

 

And the ability to do this should not be a series of expensive Rapid Attack skill sets, or whatever, either. This isn't special training, but basic maneuvers. It probably takes way more skill to learn to throw an adequate (not great, adequate) punch, compared to firing three times center mass with a SigSauerP226, yet punching is a free combat maneuver and firing the gun requires 2 Pt Weapon Fam and I'll be at -4 per shot (if the old multiple attack rules still in effect).  Guns are easier than punching, but we make it harder for characters.

 

Again, I get why this is from a "supers... all attacks are equivalent" level... but what is the best way to create some basic "Heroic level" rules that better simulate gun combat (easer, faster to fire, and you tend to want to fire multiple rounds at a time). 

 

Are there any optional rules out there? Does anyone have any house rules they like?

 

Thanks for any insights, especially from those of you out there who actually know guns and firing techniques.

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Just keep the total point level of the 6e game down in the 225-275ish level to start ... and cap the amount of resistant defenses permitted to 3 rPD/3rED (no matter the form it takes), except on bricks, for whom you might allow double or triple that rPD/rED.  At that level, a single hit from a 2d6 RKA tends to be painful to all but bricks -- and even to them, it can go from a nuisance to life-threatening fairly quickly as they soak multiple shots - depending on how much rPD/rED you allow for them, of course.

 

If you want more hits to be soakable, increase your rPD/rED cap.

 

For context, by the way, a 2d6+1 RKA tends to be a .308 round fired from a FAL or a bolt action rifle.  Soft body armor in a carrier with a ceramic plate installed can typically soak 1-2 shots of this, tops, before it loses protectiveness against follow-up shots.  If you're going to permit this kind of real armor in your game (which suggests a point total closer to 300 CP and higher rPD/rED caps than mentioned, above) as a potential option for bricks, then you might require the Ablative limitation for both BODY and STUN damage on the armor.  It will allow the first few shots to be soaked, but that defense will fall away rapidly with more follow-up hits as each of the STUN totals exceeds the protectiveness of the armor.

 

Another option you have is to use the optional placed shot rules ... and engineer for them with PSL's that reduce placed shot penalties.  Placed shots to the head or vitals make firearms VERY lethal...

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Look at the rules for Boostable Charges.  Burn through your charges faster to increase your damage.  You can also Rapid Fire an attack.

 

So let's take Joe Average Cop.

 

Dex 12, Spd 3.  Weapon Familiarity pistols, +1 OCV w/ pistol.

 

He's got a 9mm pistol with 17 rounds in it (technically a +1/4 advantage, because 16 rounds is the max for a +0, but we'll give him a freebie).  Let's also slap on the Boostable Charges advantage (+1/4).  Now he can burn through 4 extra charges to give himself 4 extra damage classes.  So his D6+1 RKA 9mm pistol will go up to a 3D6-1 RKA if he uses 5 charges.  He'll get a 15- Activation Roll on the gun after that (so it might jam up), but he can really put the hurt on somebody.  Now let's say that he decides to Rapid Fire as well.  It's a full round action, but he can shoot as many times as he wants at -2 OCV per attack.  The 5th edition book suggests limiting it to maybe 3 shots to prevent abuse.  So he's a 5 OCV normally, so now he's down to a 1 OCV.  With a full round action, he's shooting 3 times at Bob the Criminal, DCV 3.  Each shot uses 5 charges, he needs a 9- to hit, but if he hits it'll be 3D6-1 RKA each time.

 

There you go.  A completely average cop can virtually empty his magazine in one phase.  That's probably a little faster than he should realistically be able to do it.  If he begins the combat with a held action (which he probably should have), then he's already got his gun out and ready.  Cops also use the "cover" maneuver (i.e., point your gun at the guy and keep your finger on the trigger).  So if Baseball Bat Guy starts to move towards cop, that activates cop's held action and he gets to fire before Baseball Bat Guy takes two steps.

 

The only thing this required was putting Boostable Charges on semi-auto firearms, which I already do for my characters.

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And yes, I have some experience with firearms.  I'm not going to pretend to be a great shot, or super-knowledgeable.  I do own a few guns, and I went shooting a few weeks ago.  But mainly I just grew up around them.  Fired grandpa's shotgun a lot.  Never really got to play with pistols much until the last few months.

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I guess I don't recognize the way you're describing gun training or use. I can teach someone to throw a decent punch in a few minutes. Is it your experience that someone can in a few minutes be taught to target a gun at range, handle the kick and the report from the shot, keep it level for the next shot, let alone do that for multiple successive rounds? I've also never heard of a "competent officer" firing multiple shots while walking toward a target. They take a position, brace, aim and fire, then move.

 

What you're describing sounds to me like cinematic "super cops"  whose feats push the limits of realistic credibility. Personally I have no problem with an RPG PC having that ability where it's genre-appropriate, but paying more to have it than basic gun use. YMMV, but if it does V I guess I won't be of much help to you.

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34 minutes ago, massey said:

Look at the rules for Boostable Charges.  Burn through your charges faster to increase your damage.  You can also Rapid Fire an attack.

 

So let's take Joe Average Cop.

 

Dex 12, Spd 3.  Weapon Familiarity pistols, +1 OCV w/ pistol.

 

He's got a 9mm pistol with 17 rounds in it (technically a +1/4 advantage, because 16 rounds is the max for a +0, but we'll give him a freebie).  Let's also slap on the Boostable Charges advantage (+1/4).  Now he can burn through 4 extra charges to give himself 4 extra damage classes.  So his D6+1 RKA 9mm pistol will go up to a 3D6-1 RKA if he uses 5 charges.  He'll get a 15- Activation Roll on the gun after that (so it might jam up), but he can really put the hurt on somebody.  Now let's say that he decides to Rapid Fire as well.  It's a full round action, but he can shoot as many times as he wants at -2 OCV per attack.  The 5th edition book suggests limiting it to maybe 3 shots to prevent abuse.  So he's a 5 OCV normally, so now he's down to a 1 OCV.  With a full round action, he's shooting 3 times at Bob the Criminal, DCV 3.  Each shot uses 5 charges, he needs a 9- to hit, but if he hits it'll be 3D6-1 RKA each time.

 

There you go.  A completely average cop can virtually empty his magazine in one phase.  That's probably a little faster than he should realistically be able to do it.  If he begins the combat with a held action (which he probably should have), then he's already got his gun out and ready.  Cops also use the "cover" maneuver (i.e., point your gun at the guy and keep your finger on the trigger).  So if Baseball Bat Guy starts to move towards cop, that activates cop's held action and he gets to fire before Baseball Bat Guy takes two steps.

 

The only thing this required was putting Boostable Charges on semi-auto firearms, which I already do for my characters.

 

I've never considered using Boostable Charge this way, but it sounds like an interesting way to increase the damage of a firearm. I suppose it could also be a way of doing "fanning" like is seen in Old West movies. Maybe Gun Fanning could be a DEX-based skill in such settings.

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28 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

I guess I don't recognize the way you're describing gun training or use. I can teach someone to throw a decent punch in a few minutes. Is it your experience that someone can in a few minutes be taught to target a gun at range, handle the kick and the report from the shot, keep it level for the next shot, let alone do that for multiple successive rounds? I've also never heard of a "competent officer" firing multiple shots while walking toward a target. They take a position, brace, aim and fire, then move.

 

What you're describing sounds to me like cinematic "super cops"  whose feats push the limits of realistic credibility. Personally I have no problem with an RPG PC having that ability where it's genre-appropriate, but paying more to have it than basic gun use. YMMV, but if it does V I guess I won't be of much help to you.

 

Actually, a great example of non-cinematic super cops is the new movie Wind River. Nothing super about it. Neophyte FBI agent investigating a murder. There are two amazing shootouts in it that are short, brutal and expend a ton of ammo in a few seconds. 

 

Also, watch any cop shooting video. Many times they are firing multiple rounds in just a few seconds (single combat round)... whether emptying their magazine or not. I'm not super knowledgeable, but I own guns and have taken them shooting (though not in a long while). Even I can raise, fire three shots, breath, fire three shots, breath, fire three shots, and at fifteen feet or so, hit at least half or more on human size target. 

 

I've also studied martial arts, and throwing a clean punch that doesn't break your wrist and really gets your body/strength behind it is not nearly as simple or easy... my experience, mind you. 

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1 hour ago, Surrealone said:

Just keep the total point level of the 6e game down in the 225-275ish level to start ... and cap the amount of resistant defenses permitted to 3 rPD/3rED (no matter the form it takes), except on bricks, for whom you might allow double or triple that rPD/rED.  At that level, a single hit from a 2d6 RKA tends to be painful to all but bricks -- and even to them, it can go from a nuisance to life-threatening fairly quickly as they soak multiple shots - depending on how much rPD/rED you allow for them, of course.

 

If you want more hits to be soakable, increase your rPD/rED cap.

 

For context, by the way, a 3d6+1 RKA tends to be a .308 round fired from a FAL or a bolt action rifle.  Soft body armor in a carrier with a ceramic plate installed can typically soak 1-2 shots of this, tops, before it loses protectiveness against follow-up shots.  If you're going to permit this kind of real armor in your game (which suggests a point total closer to 300 CP and higher rPD/rED caps than mentioned, above) as a potential option for bricks, then you might require the Ablative limitation for both BODY and STUN damage on the armor.  It will allow the first few shots to be soaked, but that defense will fall away rapidly with more follow-up hits as each of the STUN totals exceeds the protectiveness of the armor.

 

Another option you have is to use the optional placed shot rules ... and engineer for them with PSL's that reduce placed shot penalties.  Placed shots to the head or vitals make firearms VERY lethal...

 

I'm actually pretty good with damage levels for guns in Hero... though (as I posted in another thread) I found the listed body armor to be way too good at soaking rifle rounds and such.

 

Again, this is about reflecting relatively "normal" people who have no resistant defenses unless equipped with body armor (police, SWAT, military).

 

I'm more concerned with figuring out gun firing, multiple shots, weapon speed, etc.  Thank you though.

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49 minutes ago, massey said:

He's got a 9mm pistol with 17 rounds in it (technically a +1/4 advantage, because 16 rounds is the max for a +0, but we'll give him a freebie).  Let's also slap on the Boostable Charges advantage (+1/4).  Now he can burn through 4 extra charges to give himself 4 extra damage classes.  So his D6+1 RKA 9mm pistol will go up to a 3D6-1 RKA if he uses 5 charges.  He'll get a 15- Activation Roll on the gun after that (so it might jam up), but he can really put the hurt on somebody.  Now let's say that he decides to Rapid Fire as well.  It's a full round action, but he can shoot as many times as he wants at -2 OCV per attack.  The 5th edition book suggests limiting it to maybe 3 shots to prevent abuse.  So he's a 5 OCV normally, so now he's down to a 1 OCV.  With a full round action, he's shooting 3 times at Bob the Criminal, DCV 3.  Each shot uses 5 charges, he needs a 9- to hit, but if he hits it'll be 3D6-1 RKA each time.

 

That is an interesting way to buy this for sure... but again I'm not talking about a special ability, but a basic level of fire arm maneuver that would not reflect specialized training. (This also seems to be too much as a single attack, as the damage would be way more than multiple hits from 9mm rounds. Again, ok for crazy supers type of thing, but not particularly reflecting realistic weapon firing or damage.)

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50 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

I can teach someone to throw a decent punch in a few minutes. Is it your experience that someone can in a few minutes be taught to target a gun at range, handle the kick and the report from the shot, keep it level for the next shot, let alone do that for multiple successive rounds? I've also never heard of a "competent officer" firing multiple shots while walking toward a target. They take a position, brace, aim and fire, then move.

I happen to be a certified firearms instructor (who has assisted but not led LEO training, even); it's something I do in my spare time, i.e. not a full-time job.

 

With that in mind:

  • The basics of firearms can be taught in minutes (just as a basic punch can be taught in minutes), but proficiency (similar to boxer or martial arts proficiency, when comparing) with firearms is usually a matter of time and rounds put downrange in practice (just as a boxer-in-training will need to spend time with the bag ... or someone learning martial arts will need to put in time on the mat).
  • Competent officers can fire multiple shots while shooting on the move ... but this is SWAT level competency, not Average Joe Cop competency we're talking about.
  • Contrary to people's assumptions, Average Joe Cop competency with firearms is usually lower than that of Armed Enthusiast Gun Guy competency ... since Average Joe Cop tends to practice only before he has to qualify ... and only with department-supplied ammunition ... whereas Armed Enthusiast Gun Guy tends to practice more frequently despite it being on his own dime.
  • Average Joe Cop tends to have more than just basic firearm training, but less training than a SWAT guy.  His marksmanship skills are usually fair, at best ... often with a hit rate of between 25% and 30% when it matters (i.e. when under actual fire).  A good chunk of his weapon training is safety oriented ... while another good chunk of it deals with weapon retention since criminals are prone to trying to take his gun from him.

 

Hope that sheds some light.

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3 minutes ago, Surrealone said:

I happen to be a certified firearms instructor (who has assisted but not led LEO training, even); it's something I do in my spare time, i.e. not a full-time job.

 

With that in mind:

  • The basics of firearms can be taught in minutes, but proficiency is a matter of time and rounds put downrange in practice.
  • Competent officers can fire multiple shots while shooting on the move ... but this is SWAT level competency, not Average Joe Cop competency we're talking about.

 

 

 

I totally understand that some would be better at it than others. Training and practice will make someone more accurate, likely to hit with more rounds/miss less, fire more, reload faster, etc. It is just that I feel that guns, semi-automatics and select-fire automatics on burst, should be able to "pull the trigger" more than once every combat action... by default.

 

Again, limited knowledge and experience, but say a shotgun, with the recoil and pump action, is probably once per round and it would take an actual skill/training to fire twice or more. A revolver, I could see two, maybe three shots max due to kick and slower cycling to the next round. Semi-automatic pistol, five shots easy, though accuracy drops rapidly the more rounds you fire.  3 round burst fire, two pulls (two bursts) easily, maybe three.

 

Yes, this makes guns much more dangerous than other weapons... but that is reality, which i want to simulate more often.

 

Serious question, Surrealone... based on our experience... do you train single shots for combat firing, or multiple shots (again with a semi-automatic)? More shots are better than one, up to a point, where you are just firing wild... that middle ground of rapid, but controlled fire. What do you think?

 

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The type of ammunition is also going to make a difference. More powerful rounds have more recoil kick and muzzle climb, much harder to control and to make rapid-fire shots with. Depending on the power of the round and weight of the gun, it may be practically impossible to accurately shoot multiple rounds in rapid succession.

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2 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

It is just that I feel that guns, semi-automatics and select-fire automatics on burst, should be able to "pull the trigger" more than once every combat action... by default.

 

Again, limited knowledge and experience, but say a shotgun, with the recoil and pump action, is probably once per round and it would take an actual skill/training to fire twice or more. A revolver, I could see two, maybe three shots max due to kick and slower cycling to the next round. Semi-automatic pistol, five shots easy, though accuracy drops rapidly the more rounds you fire.  3 round burst fire, two pulls (two bursts) easily, maybe three.

 

Yes, this makes guns much more dangerous than other weapons... but that is reality, which i want to simulate more often.

 

Serious question, Surrealone... based on our experience... do you train single shots for combat firing, or multiple shots (again with a semi-automatic)? More shots are better than one, up to a point, where you are just firing wild... that middle ground of rapid, but controlled fire. What do you think?

 

My commentary about training was aimed at answering HM's inquiry.

 

As to being able to attack aka pull the trigger more than once per combat action in the game, that is the purpose of the Multiple Attack maneuver in 6e.  i.e. Using Multiple Attack, someone can pull the trigger as much as one wants without using Autofire.  Doing so suffers a cumulative -2 penalty for each pull after the first one.   Thus, if someone wants to pull the trigger 5 times, that's a cumulative -2 ... 4 times after the first pull ... for a -8 to each of the 5 shots taken. PSLs cannot be used to offset the -2 penalty, but per RAW someone can buy +2 OCV, Only When Multiple Attacking (-1) if the GM will allow it, since that's limited OCV rather than a PSL.  Multiple Attack is a full phase action to perform the maneuver, and the character performing it is at half DCV while doing it.  The Rapid Attack skill will turn the maneuver into a Half Phase action (so that one can half-move then Multiple Attack, or stand up then Multiple Attack, etc.) ... and the Defensive Attack skill will drop the 1/2 DCV penalty into a flat -2 DCV penalty while Multiple Attacking.

 

Regarding how I train -- I personally train for both single shots and multiple shots. The reason for this is that which tactic I use will depend on target proximity to me and how much breathing room (to escape, or aim to offset range) I have.  At 3 meters an attacker can likely get to me no matter what I do, so at that distance I train to do a full magazine dump into the target's center mass in a controlled, rapid-fire fashion.  With my EDC gun (i.e. Every Day Carry gun) this equates to 6+1 rounds of 9mm dumped into the target (in a pattern of 6" diameter or less) in just under 2.5 seconds. The point of emptying that much lead into a target's center mass at 3 meters is to create massive wounds and blood loss as quickly as possible so that the target has difficulty crossing that 3 meters before bleeding out ... because unlike in Hollywood, shooting someone doesn't make them go flying backward or drop immediately; the blood still flows and the body still does what the brain tells it to do until it gets no more oxygen.  At 5 meters I have more breathing room and range mods to overcome to keep grouping tight, so I train to double-tap (which is slower shooting with more aim time than my 3 meter magazine dump) ... and if the attacker continues its advance I will switch to a magazine dump (a la 3 meters).  At 7 meters I have even more breathing room and even more range mods to overcome, so I train for yet slower single shots ... knowing that my groupings at this distance suffer when shooting defensively and that I must compensate with even more aim time.  Again, if the target advances after one shot, it becomes double-taps at 5m  ... and if it crosses the 3m threshold it goes to a rapid fire magazine dump.  As you can see, the closer the target gets to me (and easier it becomes to hit), the more rounds I unload ... until the threat abates.

 

Note:

Defensive shooting is very different from target shooting. I'm not trying for one ragged hole. Instead, I want acceptable accuracy as quickly as I can muster it, because taking extra seconds to try to get pinpoint accuracy can mean your life.  Thus, a balance of speed and accuracy is, IMHO, of paramount importance for defensive shooting.  I consider anything under 6" diameter groupings on center mass just fine for defensive purposes ... knowing that with adrenaline flowing and the resulting loss of fine motor skills ... that 6" diameter group will be closer to a 15" diameter group in a life-threatening situation.

Also note:
Modern 9mm hollow point ammunition has very similar stopping power to that of .40 S&W ... but with lower recoil and noise.  Thus, I prefer 9mm to .40 S&W because of faster, more accurate follow-up shots with 9mm.  I have trouble concealing .45 cal pistols on me due to my build, so they are not really an option for me.

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Yes... the Multiple Attack is the maneuver of choice for what I'm looking for. My main concern is that, RAW version, it is the same with any attack; you can punch multiple times, shoot multiple times, etc. In simulating a more "realistic" combat, firing a pistol multiple times is way easier and faster than throwing multiple punches, even doing a fast shiv/shiv/shiv attack, etc. Hero as a system doesn't differentiate "weapon speed" as far as I know... unless it is in some 6th Ed version of Dark Champions I don't have. That it should be easier to do with guns, and not at all possible with say, a bow and arrow (in realistic game... if you want Hawkeye craziness in your supers game, I'm all for that.) For HtH attacks, I feel it should be at significantly reduced strengths, and limited number of ... as I do have enough HtH experience to know that a flurry of attacks is significantly harder to do and each attack is reduced impact, etc. (Again... in supers... Spider-man flurry to your hearst content!)

 

You notes on distances and expected grouping, active defensive shooting vs. target shooting... all in agreement here.

 

if you have Netflix, Wind River is on it now. You don't have to watch the entire movie (it is really good if you do) but the scene you should watch starts around 41:01 on the time line. Over by 41:25. I'd love to get your opinion on it.

 

Based on your responses and others... I think I'll need to set some house rules on use of Multiple Attack, based on the type of attack (again, for Heroic level only), in order to get the effect I'm looking for.


Thanks all!

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54 minutes ago, RDU Neil said:

Yes... the Multiple Attack is the maneuver of choice for what I'm looking for. My main concern is that, RAW version, it is the same with any attack; you can punch multiple times, shoot multiple times, etc. In simulating a more "realistic" combat, firing a pistol multiple times is way easier and faster than throwing multiple punches, even doing a fast shiv/shiv/shiv attack, etc. 

To simulate this,  you could also make semi-auto firearms in your world have 2-shot Autofire ... and then allow Multiple Attack with that.  i.e. A single 'attack' would be a 2-round Autofire attack, and someone could use Multiple Attack to do multiples of those.  This would speed up semi-automatic gunfire compared to punches.  Then for burst fire, you do 3-shot Autofire on the guns that have it ... and for full-auto you do 5-shot Autofire on it.  I think you see where this is headed.

 

No Netflix here.  I'm one of those who activates Netflix when House of Cards is released, binges it across a weekend, and then binges the other things I've missed throughout the year on the remaining weekends of the month ... and then lets Netflix go cold for 11 months. I'll try to remember to check out Wind River when that happens, this year. :)

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The base level of guns in Hero seems fine to me for just someone who can use a gun, not someone with a lot of training.  With more training, they can get a lot more done but I would caution you that in a combat situation, cops (and even soldiers) end up firing a lot of rounds and not hitting much.  Adrenaline, moving targets, stress, etc all can really mess up even a trained shooter.  Its a misleading stat because of issues like suppressing fire etc but even with very well trained modern disciplined US soldiers, the stats are about 20-50 thousand rounds expended per casualty.  

 

So while someone can blaze away much faster than Hero gives with bone stock rules, they aren't hitting much. And that sounds a lot like multiple attack rules, where you're giving it all you've got but the OCV modifiers are killing your to hit chance.

 

And of course, characters can train to be better with quick fire, learning autofire skills, combat skill levels, raising OCV, higher speed, and so on.  But the base Hero rules are for someone taking aim, firing a single round at the target with high confidence of hitting, then moving on.

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Instead of retooling the system to get the result you want, I would start with either how you build your guns, or how you build characters that use them. Those will be much faster ways of accomplishing what you seem to want without having to teach your players new rules.

Those before me have already suggested several ways to change how guns are built: adding Autofire or Boostable Charges to firearms are great methods of increasing the number of shots a character can make effectively. To simulate the kind of situation you describe regarding the shooter versus an assailant with a melee weapon, the easiest in-weapon solution is to give firearms appropriate levels of Lightning Reflexes (I.E. DEX limited to only affecting Initiative) Only With Firearms. That way, if both characters have comparable Initiatives, the character with the gun will get to draw and shoot before the character with the bat even gets to draw (let alone charge).

 

On the character building side, in 6e, you can have Gun-Specialists buy Lightning Reflexes with Firearms, and Independent Autofire or Boostable Charges for Firearms. It is also entirely reasonable for you to give the players reasonable levels of any of the above as Everyman elements if you as the GM assume they need to have them for the story you wish to tell. This method has the advantage of not requiring that you retool all of the existing firearm constructs (of which there are hundreds depending upon which source(s) you use for firearms), but the disadvantage of being less realistic, as the characters will try to apply their abilities to firearms you may not have expected/intended them too.

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Yeah... I'm not interested in retooling gun builds... but I also don't think every character should have to have complex skill builds to reflect a very basic standard of firearms use. I love Hero's combat maneuvers, as you can use them to make dynamic, interesting, flavorful combats without having to require "skill builds" or equipment lists.

 

I think, based on comments here, that it is really a matter of tweaking the Multiple Attack combat maneuver based on weapon type... which is simple and specific to the Genre feel.

 

Essentially, the result I want is "Guns allow faster/more attacks than other weapons (especially semi-automatic and select fire guns) per action, and firing more bullets is generally (not always, but generally) a tactically sound move, up to a point. (In fact, I'm pretty sure it requires MORE training, skill and discipline to effectively shoot "once" for effect, than firing multiple rounds.)

 

It will require some simple "rule" level specifics (Gun only get a -1 per extra shot up to a certain amount per type of gun... say 2 shots for a revolver, 3 shots for a semi-automatic, 2 bursts for a 3-shot automatic, etc.) Pretty simple... but specific. Yes, it biases things in terms of "guns are better than other weapons", but that reflects the feel I'm going for.

 

For HtH I may say Mutliple Attacks are only possible with short weapons or barehanded, at reduced STR.


Again, not general house rules, but specific ones for a specific level of genre play.

 

 

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Here are a couple of ideas based on my years of running Dark Champions games.

 

  1. Resolve actions in Half Phases rather than Full Phases.  This means that if one person is moving and another is just firing the person shooting gets his shots off before the guy moving gets his attack off.
  2. Make use of both Hipshot and Hurry (from 5e) for shooters to get off shots before HTH opponents act.
  3. Drop the DCV Penalty for Rapid Attack to a straight -3 instead of halving.  That will encourage more players to use it.  Don't drop it for HTH attacks if you want to dissuade its use.
  4. Use Hit Locations.  The danger posed by a hit in a crucial area will make players much more wary.  I personally alter the Damage Bonuses so that they aren't quite so harsh.  I've found that not doing so REALLY makes combat deadly.
  5. Coupled with the above, have shooters do called shots like "High Shot".  This makes their chances of scoring a Head Shot higher.

These suggestions do slow combat down even more than its usual snail's pace but balance the Ranged/HTH issue that you mentioned.  I use them primarily in my VTT campaign where I can let the Macros do all of the heavy lifting.

 

YMMV,

 

Deadman

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48 minutes ago, Deadman said:

Here are a couple of ideas based on my years of running Dark Champions games.

 

  1. Resolve actions in Half Phases rather than Full Phases.  This means that if one person is moving and another is just firing the person shooting gets his shots off before the guy moving gets his attack off.
  2. Make use of both Hipshot and Hurry (from 5e) for shooters to get off shots before HTH opponents act.
  3. Drop the DCV Penalty for Rapid Attack to a straight -3 instead of halving.  That will encourage more players to use it.  Don't drop it for HTH attacks if you want to dissuade its use.
  4. Use Hit Locations.  The danger posed by a hit in a crucial area will make players much more wary.  I personally alter the Damage Bonuses so that they aren't quite so harsh.  I've found that not doing so REALLY makes combat deadly.
  5. Coupled with the above, have shooters do called shots like "High Shot".  This makes their chances of scoring a Head Shot higher.

These suggestions do slow combat down even more than its usual snail's pace but balance the Ranged/HTH issue that you mentioned.  I use them primarily in my VTT campaign where I can let the Macros do all of the heavy lifting.

 

YMMV,

 

Deadman

 

These are all good, and I've used some of them before.

1. Resolve at half-action I like, though because of my unique initiative system (I hate the SPD chart with a passion) combat is already faster and it is more unlikely that actions overlap... but I think I'll focus on the next combat and see if this applicable.

2. Hipshot doesn't really apply with my initiative system, or at least would have minimum effect... I'll have to dig out 5th Ed and read Hurry.

3. At the levels of my game, -3 and 1/2 DCV are not too far off, better for some, worse for others, so I'll probably leave it as is.

4. Already definitely use Hit Locations to the max utility.

5. The "best of the best" characters in my campaign take PSLs vs. Hit Location in order to almost always be taking head shots (or whatever they want to hit). PSLs are probably too cheap for the effect, but eh...

 

Good suggestions all, thanks!

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On 3/13/2018 at 3:50 PM, Surrealone said:

To simulate this,  you could also make semi-auto firearms in your world have 2-shot Autofire ... and then allow Multiple Attack with that.  i.e. A single 'attack' would be a 2-round Autofire attack, and someone could use Multiple Attack to do multiples of those.  This would speed up semi-automatic gunfire compared to punches.  Then for burst fire, you do 3-shot Autofire on the guns that have it ... and for full-auto you do 5-shot Autofire on it.  I think you see where this is headed.

 

This is close to what I'd do.  If you really want to accurately simulate rate of fire per phase, give semiautomatic weapons Autofire, and give fully automatic weapons 5x Autofire.  I'm undecided as to whether I'd crank up the OCV penalty for semiauto, just to reflect having to jerk the trigger for each shot.

 

Be careful what you wish for, though.  I once played a Danger Int campaign that achieved TPK in four segments under the existing rules.

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5 minutes ago, Old Man said:

 

This is close to what I'd do.  If you really want to accurately simulate rate of fire per phase, give semiautomatic weapons Autofire, and give fully automatic weapons 5x Autofire.  I'm undecided as to whether I'd crank up the OCV penalty for semiauto, just to reflect having to jerk the trigger for each shot.

 

Be careful what you wish for, though.  I once played a Danger Int campaign that achieved TPK in four segments under the existing rules.

 

Heh... I've actually considered something this extreme, but I do realize that game balance is an issue. 

 

One thing I should note is that I'm also reverting to old Danger International range mods. Those are way more punishing and appropriate for "realistic" gun combat. -1 per 3" (6 meters) after the first 6. Not doubling -1 7-12 meters, -2 12-18 meters, etc. Double the modifiers if autofire (or multiple attacks)... so at any kind of range, you start to miss with most of your rounds... which again, is pretty realistic. Heck... 6 meters, almost 20 feet, is pretty much handgun range , and beyond that you better be REALLY good.

 

Hmmm... maybe it is worth going back to those old Autofire rules... +4 OCV if full auto, +2 for 5 round burst, etc. That would make things "gross" at close range, but quickly move into mostly missed shots as the distance increases.

 

Man I loved DI back in the day. I'm looking at my, still in good condition, Dennis Loubet '84 cover as I type. Single best game book I've ever owned.

 

 

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11 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

One thing I should note is that I'm also reverting to old Danger International range mods. Those are way more punishing and appropriate for "realistic" gun combat. -1 per 3" (6 meters) after the first 6. Not doubling -1 7-12 meters, -2 12-18 meters, etc. Double the modifiers if autofire (or multiple attacks)... so at any kind of range, you start to miss with most of your rounds... which again, is pretty realistic. Heck... 6 meters, almost 20 feet, is pretty much handgun range , and beyond that you better be REALLY good.

 

Hmmm... maybe it is worth going back to those old Autofire rules... +4 OCV if full auto, +2 for 5 round burst, etc. That would make things "gross" at close range, but quickly move into mostly missed shots as the distance increases.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who feels that range penalties have always been generous in Hero.  It's not a huge problem, but for those who want more realism your proposed RM changes seem solid.

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re: Knife to a gun fight.

 

Well... they stacked that against the gun, of course. Knife is already out and ready. Adam had a large pistol, still holstered, without a round chambered... so... eh...

 

Even if Adam had the gun out, but not cocked, or holstered but chambered which is typical of law enforcement and personal carry, but someone who knows better can correct me... the gun will come out on top. Especially a standard carry Glock or Sig, instead of what looked like a clumsy Desert Eagle or some version of?

 

What I feel is really most likely about that scenario is the "Who is cool under fire?" of the two. A charging opponent may focus you, or cause you to falter, or fire erratically, etc. A person with a knife has to be balls out, no hesitation while seeing that their opponent has a gun.

 

I think the main issue is skill. Neither of these guys is super skilled with their weapon, but I'd argue that getting competent with a gun is way easier than with a knife. A good three to five inch blade, reverse grip, underhanded, controlled, is extremely lethal, but you have to work at it to be good at it. A blade hitting bone usually stops unless you are REALLY strong, and most attackers lose their grip, cut themselves, etc. You have to know how/when to slash vs. stab, target soft areas... and the psychology of being willing to stab someone up close and personal... that takes a very hard, desperate or crazy (or something of all three) to do it effectively, if at all. Guns are distant, removed, and it is easy to make yourself "move a little finger" while being mentally separated from the effects of the bullet downrange.

 

Hell, as much as I appreciate a good knife, even if two skilled combatants were already face-to-face, both with weapons out (one knife, one pistol) at their side... while it is the best chance for the knife to do some bloody work, while the off hand tries to keep their gun hand at bay... it is just ask likely that the gun opponent can step back while using their off-hand to absorb the knife attack and just hip-shot three or four times in the same time the knife guy is trying to grapple and stab. At best I'd put that at a 50/50, with the odds just getting better for gun girl as the starting distance increases.

 

 

RE: My favorite myth buster is the one where they debunk the Hollywood knockback of guns... barely even moving a man sized/weighted dummy three inches, and only with a Barrett .50 Cal into a steel plate that absorbed the entire impact.

 

 

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