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Deadman

Guns and Ammo

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Here are my thoughts on Handgun Rounds.  The only one that differs significantly from Dark Champions is .45 ACP (which in my estimation is far overstated in the book).  This gives a really good starting range for Ammunition and can be adjusted from there.  As you can see I have not applied any Limitations so this is just the Base for each caliber mentioned.

 

13CP - .22 Long Rifle - 40gr Solid:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1d4 (Ammo Adjustment)

14CP - .25 ACP - 50gr FMJ:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1d6-1 (Ammo Adjustment)

15CP - .380 ACP - 90gr FMJ:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1d6

20CP - 9x19mm Parabellum - 124gr FMJ:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1d6+1

20CP - .38 Special - 147gr FMJ:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1d6+1

23CP - .40 S&W - 165gr FMJ:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1d6+d2 (Ammo Adjustment)

25CP - .45 ACP - 230gr FMJ:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1d6+1, +1 Increased STUN Multiplier (+1/4) (25 Active Points)

25CP - 10mm Auto - 180gr FMJ:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1 1/2d6

28CP - .357 Magnum - 125gr FMJ:  Killing Attack - Ranged 1d6+d4 (Ammo Adjustment)

36CP - .44 Magnum - 245gr FMJ:  Killing Attack - Ranged 2d6-1 (Ammo Adjustment), +1 Increased STUN Multiplier (+1/4) (36 Active Points)

37CP - .50 Action Express - 300gr FMJ:   2d6, +1 Increased STUN Multiplier (+1/4) (37 Active Points)

 

See my first post if you are having problems with the Damages.

 

T

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Okay I actually said that I would delve into Hard Body Armor.

 

In the Hero System there are essentially two ways for a character to buy personal Resistant Defenses.  The first is Resistant Protection and the second is the Resistant Advantage on native defenses.  Both of these options would essentially work the same way.  The Resistant Defense would protect vs. the BODY and STUN of the attack.  This means that if a character with 5 PD purchased an 8 PD/ED bullet resistant vest with Resistant Protection and was hit by an RKA that did 10 BODY and 30 STUN he would take 2 BODY and 17 STUN.  This takes into account that he gets his natural PD against the STUN because he has some Resistant Defenses.

 

In my opinion this represents Soft Body Armor rather well since the armor does not completely remove the energy of the bullet.  This means that some of the force still gets through in the form of STUN.  However, Hard Body Armor is a different animal altogether.  It does a far better job of absorbing the energy of the round because it spreads it over the entire area of the plate.  For this reason I would like to suggest using a different power to represent Hard Body Armor, Barrier.

 

The way that Barrier works is if attack does not fully penetrate the BODY of the Barrier no STUN is transferred to the other side.  Because of the rules regarding Barrier it will take some massaging to make it work but I think that it is worthwhile.

 

Here is how I would construct Level IV Ceramic Hard Trauma Plates.  Level III plates would not have Hardened. Steel plates would not be Ablative and may have Normal Mass making them more encumbering.

 

14CP - Trauma Plates - Level IV Ceramic:  Barrier 8 PD/8 ED, 2 BODY (up to 1m long, 1m tall, and 1/2m thick), BODY House Rule, Personal Defense (+0), Hardened (+1/4), Persistent (+1/4), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2) (62 Active Points); Sectional Defenses (Covers Locations 10-12; 36.57%) (-1), OIF (-1/2), Ablative BODY Only (-1/2), Requires A Roll (11- roll; -1/2), Half Mass (-1/2), Real Armor (-1/4) 

 

A couple of notes regarding my build.  In my campaigns I have found that Barrier is not very balanced so I have instituted a couple of House Rules regarding it.  The first is that I double the cost of BODY.  This can be seen in the Custom Adder that I placed on the build "BODY House Rule".  The second is that the BODY cannot be bought to more than twice the Highest Defense.  This has no bearing on this build but I thought I would bring it up.  These House Rules help to balance Barrier at least from my perspective.  As you can see the cost is relatively high.  This is due primarily to the Advantages necessary to make it work (i.e. Persistant and Reduced Endurance).  I also include a +0 Advantage/Limitation on the build, "Personal Defense".  This Advantage/Limitation represents the fact that it doesn't cover the whole area, doesn't have to be bypassed by Indirect and the character can attack without penalty as well.  Since it has as many drawbacks as benefits I felt it is +0.

 

With this build any attack lower than 10 BODY would be bounced entirely (though they may take knockdown if you use it).  If an attack managed to penetrate you would subtract 10 points from the STUN total (BODY + DEF of the Barrier).

 

So let's put this all together...

 

Jim, a SWAT officer for HCPD, gets hit in the Chest by a Sniper using a .50 Barrett sniper rifle!  OUCH!!  Luckily Jim is wearing a Level IIIA vest with an additional Level IV Trauma Plate.  Jim's player rolls the Activation for his vest and makes the 13- roll.  Next he rolls the Activation for his Trauma Plate and gets a 9!  The bullet hit the Trauma Plate.  The attack does 13 BODY and 39 STUN (it has a +1 STUN Multiplier bonus).  Jim applies his Trauma Plate Defense first.  The attack pierces the Plate letting 3 BODY through.  Wow, that could have been so much worse.  Next he applies his Level IIIA Soft Body Armor.  The Soft Body Armor only gets half of its 9 DEF vs. the massive rifle round which comes to 5 DEF.  This is enough to stop the round from penetrating but 24 STUN still gets through.  Finally Jim subtracts his natural PD of 5 from the attack (since he has Resistant Defenses) for a total of 19 STUN taken.  3d6 are rolled resulting in 11 and when compared with the BODY Jim is knocked down.  The attack Stuns Jim and knocks him on his butt.  However, he takes no BODY from the attack.  His vest was compromised and against any further attacks he would have an Activation roll of 10- on the Trauma Plate.  Then there is the problem of him being Stunned and Prone while the attacker is still there....

 

I know, I know....guy gets hit by a .50 BMG round and not only survives but takes no BODY...B.S.!  Remember, this is a game and as realistic as I want it to be it isn't going to be perfect.  Let's just say that it was Cinematic, okay?

 

T

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Hey there... wondering about your take on PDW ammunition, how to effectively represent it in game... as well as the actual availability of it in the real world.

 

Specifically...

 

FN 5.7x28mm

HK 4.6x30mm

6.5x25mm CBJ (seems impressive but really expensive and rare, especially the sabot round)

5.56x30mm MINSAS

etc.

 

Also... the effectiveness of "armor piercing" versions of standard pistol rounds... 9mm, .45ACP, etc. Do you think these should be full armor piercing (subtract the full body of damage rolled from non-hardened defenses) or light AP (subtract half the damage rolled from non-hardened armor).

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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19 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

Hey there... wondering about your take on PDW ammunition, how to effectively represent it in game... as well as the actual availability of it in the real world.

 

Specifically...

 

FN 5.7x28mm

HK 4.6x30mm

6.5x25mm CBJ (seems impressive but really expensive and rare, especially the sabot round)

5.56x30mm MINSAS

etc.

 

Also... the effectiveness of "armor piercing" versions of standard pistol rounds... 9mm, .45ACP, etc. Do you think these should be full armor piercing (subtract the full body of damage rolled from non-hardened defenses) or light AP (subtract half the damage rolled from non-hardened armor).

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

 

Personal Defense Weapons are in many cases shortened versions of Rifles or Carbines.  Some PDWs use the full sized rifle cartridge while others, like the ones that you mention have shorter rounds designed specifically for the weapon.  In the cases that you present the Muzzle Velocity is somewhat slower than the full rifle cartridge.  I would suggest putting the actual numbers into the formula and getting a Damage from there.  Due to the shape of most of the bullets and the relative high muzzle velocities I would say that they would act as rifle rounds.  After a lot of thought I am starting to lean toward using Semi Armor Piercing to represent rifles (rather than my stated adjustment of Body Armor).  It just seems to be cleaner and could easily be bought in the weapon itself.

 

For example here are some of the damages for the cartridges that you have up there.  I again use the FMJ numbers if possible.

FN 5.7x28mm - 1d6+1 Semi AP

HK 4.6x30mm - 1d6+d2 Semi AP

6.5x25mm CBJ - 1d6+d2 Full AP (depending on the actual round)

5.56x30mm MINSAS - 1 1/2d6 Semi AP

 

Actual availability varies widely but as you can probably imagine the full rifle cartridges are more readily available.  I wouldn't think that most of the others are available at your generic gun store.  You might want to assign an availability roll to each of them (the 6.5x25mm might have a 5-).  With some preparation they would be fine but are unlikely to find their ammo on others (another reason to stick with standard ammo).

 

As for Armor Piercing on pistol rounds, it would be full Armor Piercing but the DC may be a step lower.

 

Just my $.02,

 

T

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You are totally in line with what I was thinking, as I want PDWs to be effectively better than traditional SMGs (since all literature points to PDWs replacing SMGs for military applications, while close quarters and police stick with traditional SMG pistol rounds, because they don't want over penetration for the types of uses.)

 

Cool.

 

Now I have to look at PDWs and SMGs (and other autofire weapons) to balance realism and game play with autofire. Hero RAW doesn't allow autofire to be as effective/beneficial as it can be, because it is very unbalanced to have multiple attacks. At a more "realistic" level, I want some of that realism... the danger of facing automatic weapons, the desire to use them... which reflects real world firearms use. (Yes, autofire can be misused and waste a ton of ammo, but again, there is a reason that "more lead down range" is generally a good tactic.)

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On 7/3/2018 at 8:57 AM, RDU Neil said:

You are totally in line with what I was thinking, as I want PDWs to be effectively better than traditional SMGs (since all literature points to PDWs replacing SMGs for military applications, while close quarters and police stick with traditional SMG pistol rounds, because they don't want over penetration for the types of uses.)

 

Cool.

 

Now I have to look at PDWs and SMGs (and other autofire weapons) to balance realism and game play with autofire. Hero RAW doesn't allow autofire to be as effective/beneficial as it can be, because it is very unbalanced to have multiple attacks. At a more "realistic" level, I want some of that realism... the danger of facing automatic weapons, the desire to use them... which reflects real world firearms use. (Yes, autofire can be misused and waste a ton of ammo, but again, there is a reason that "more lead down range" is generally a good tactic.)

If you want Autofire to be more effective you can change it to Another Shot hitting for each 1 under the attack roll.  However this makes it very powerful so I would take care with it.  I would also suggest the following Advantage guidelines if you do so.  For a 2-shot AF it is a +1/2 Advantage, 3-shot AF is a +3/4 Advantage, 5-shot AF is a +1 Advantage and it is +1/2 for each doubling thereafter.

 

That would probably make it more effective (certainly more deadly) but as for real life it is something of a mixed bag.  I have shot many automatic weapons during my time in the military and in my experience handheld automatic weapons have something of a diminishing return.  Keeping an automatic weapon trained on a target is not an easy task due to recoil.  This makes sighting difficult as well.  If it were me I would institute a doubling of Range Mods on Automatic Weapons that are not mounted.  This is one of the reasons that the military instituted the 3-round burst on the M16A2 (another being ammunition conservation).  Personally speaking I am able to put all three rounds of a burst in a 3 inch pattern at 25 meters with an optic (I was using an EOTech 512 at the time).  the rounds rise a bit with each shot but it was about 3 inches from the center of the first to the center of the third.  Of course this is range conditions and not during actual battle.  Other than actual trained burst fire you have what is called "Spray and Pray".  That is when the shooter opens up on an area with fully automatic weapon fire.  This is very inaccurate generally speaking (but not nearly as bad as the RAW would suggest).  Trained machinegunners are taught to walk the fire into a target (tracer rounds are very helpful for this).

 

Now mounted automatic weapons can be extremely accurate and sustained fire could be devastating.  Even the bipod on the M249 SAW can allow a gunner to demolish a silhouette (or presumably a person) with many shots. 

 

If you decide to use it let us know how it goes.

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On 7/3/2018 at 9:46 AM, RDU Neil said:

Another question... knives, broadhead arrows, flechettes, etc.  Semi AP or Full AP vs. soft armor?

That would be dependent on the armor.  Many soft armors are now manufactured with metal fibers interwoven to protect vs. bladed attacks.  If it isn't then they would be more susceptible and get Semi AP or only half defense as I presented previously (this could be a -1/4 Limitation on the Armor).

 

Since you brought it up, Arrows are generally pretty effective vs. Soft Body Armor.  Arrows generally travel at about 300-400 feet per second.  The entire arrow usually has a mass of about 400 grains or .0259kg.  This, when plugged into our formula, gives an arrow about 150j of energy.  Checking our chart that equates to about a 1d6-1 killing attack.  Now to take into account the sharpened point and barbs you may want to either increase the DC of the attack or add Semi AP to it.  But even with Semi AP it is relatively unlikely that an arrow is going to pierce Level IIIA armor (in fact it will only do so on a roll of 6).  In order to increase this I would suggest incorporating both Semi AP and the Half Defense for the armor (unless it is interwoven with Metallic Fibers as I mentioned).

 

T

 

 

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15 hours ago, Deadman said:

That would be dependent on the armor.  Many soft armors are now manufactured with metal fibers interwoven to protect vs. bladed attacks.  If it isn't then they would be more susceptible and get Semi AP or only half defense as I presented previously (this could be a -1/4 Limitation on the Armor).

 

Since you brought it up, Arrows are generally pretty effective vs. Soft Body Armor.  Arrows generally travel at about 300-400 feet per second.  The entire arrow usually has a mass of about 400 grains or .0259kg.  This, when plugged into our formula, gives an arrow about 150j of energy.  Checking our chart that equates to about a 1d6-1 killing attack.  Now to take into account the sharpened point and barbs you may want to either increase the DC of the attack or add Semi AP to it.  But even with Semi AP it is relatively unlikely that an arrow is going to pierce Level IIIA armor (in fact it will only do so on a roll of 6).  In order to increase this I would suggest incorporating both Semi AP and the Half Defense for the armor (unless it is interwoven with Metallic Fibers as I mentioned).

 

T

 

 

 

Really interesting on arrows not even doing a full d6 killing, since that is less than half what they typically stat a long bow out in Fantasy Hero games, etc. I'll have to look again, just to be sure. You aren't saying 1d6-1 then adding STR damage as per compound bow, right? You are saying 1d6-1 total damage? I'd always ruled 2d6 (1d6 is AP) in the past... roll two different colored dice, choose one to be the amount that is also subtracted from armor.

 

That puts the damage in the same range as a 5.56NATO round, which seems about right in terms of expectations of damage done to target. (Which raises another question... the 5.56 is generally not allowed or considered good for hunting deer or large game, but a compound or crossbow is... so what is going on with a bow/arrow that it does more damage/kills a medium or large animal more effectively, than a rifle round?


I wonder if, in the case of arrows, damage is done by more than just the energy transfer. There is the penetrating/cutting/twist of the arrow, and the head and shaft actually imbedded in the body. Hmmm... worth thinking over. If a modern hunting bow ends up doing less damage on average than a 9mm pistol, that just doesn't reflect reality. We are missing some factor in this formula.

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4 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

 

Really interesting on arrows not even doing a full d6 killing, since that is less than half what they typically stat a long bow out in Fantasy Hero games, etc. I'll have to look again, just to be sure. You aren't saying 1d6-1 then adding STR damage as per compound bow, right? You are saying 1d6-1 total damage? I'd always ruled 2d6 (1d6 is AP) in the past... roll two different colored dice, choose one to be the amount that is also subtracted from armor.

 

That puts the damage in the same range as a 5.56NATO round, which seems about right in terms of expectations of damage done to target. (Which raises another question... the 5.56 is generally not allowed or considered good for hunting deer or large game, but a compound or crossbow is... so what is going on with a bow/arrow that it does more damage/kills a medium or large animal more effectively, than a rifle round?


I wonder if, in the case of arrows, damage is done by more than just the energy transfer. There is the penetrating/cutting/twist of the arrow, and the head and shaft actually imbedded in the body. Hmmm... worth thinking over. If a modern hunting bow ends up doing less damage on average than a 9mm pistol, that just doesn't reflect reality. We are missing some factor in this formula.

I was strictly speaking of the kinetic energy of the arrow corresponding to 1d6-1.  I agree that this is low and should be increased by a DC or so to represent the sharpness/cutting aspect of broadhead arrows (plus it is just downright cinematic).  If you decided to place the limitation on the defense then adding a couple of DC is within reason (I don't know if going up to a full 2d6 is warranted however).  This is where you start to get into some serious stuff with regard to ballistic dynamics and such.  It is very difficult to account for everything in ammunition.  Just an increase of 10 grains (.65g) can change the ballistics of a bullet significantly and that is before you begin to speak of shape and composition.

 

With all of that said, the Muzzle Energy to Damage Classes is a starting point and not an exact science.  It does give us a good place to start from.  Accuracy is even more important since a .22lr shot to the head IS realistically a kill shot even though it may only do 1/2d6 killing damage.  I guess you have to strike a compromise between realism and playability.

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8 hours ago, Deadman said:

If you want Autofire to be more effective you can change it to Another Shot hitting for each 1 under the attack roll.  However this makes it very powerful so I would take care with it.  I would also suggest the following Advantage guidelines if you do so.  For a 2-shot AF it is a +1/2 Advantage, 3-shot AF is a +3/4 Advantage, 5-shot AF is a +1 Advantage and it is +1/2 for each doubling thereafter.

 

That would probably make it more effective (certainly more deadly) but as for real life it is something of a mixed bag.  I have shot many automatic weapons during my time in the military and in my experience handheld automatic weapons have something of a diminishing return.  Keeping an automatic weapon trained on a target is not an easy task due to recoil.  This makes sighting difficult as well.  If it were me I would institute a doubling of Range Mods on Automatic Weapons that are not mounted.  This is one of the reasons that the military instituted the 3-round burst on the M16A2 (another being ammunition conservation).  Personally speaking I am able to put all three rounds of a burst in a 3 inch pattern at 25 meters with an optic (I was using an EOTech 512 at the time).  the rounds rise a bit with each shot but it was about 3 inches from the center of the first to the center of the third.  Of course this is range conditions and not during actual battle.  Other than actual trained burst fire you have what is called "Spray and Pray".  That is when the shooter opens up on an area with fully automatic weapon fire.  This is very inaccurate generally speaking (but not nearly as bad as the RAW would suggest).  Trained machinegunners are taught to walk the fire into a target (tracer rounds are very helpful for this).

 

Now mounted automatic weapons can be extremely accurate and sustained fire could be devastating.  Even the bipod on the M249 SAW can allow a gunner to demolish a silhouette (or presumably a person) with many shots. 

 

If you decide to use it let us know how it goes.

 

Yes to essentially all of this. I already halve the range (or double the range mods) for multiple attacks and autofire attacks. I always assume 3 or 5 round bursts, depending on the weapon... but I'm less concerned with autofire at range, rather than close quarters. House-to-house... submachine guns, PDWs, etc. are critical and extremely deadly. I feel there should be a real bonus to hits and likely to hitting from a full pull of the trigger at six meters or less (essentially point blank to close range, -0). even if you count for doubling, let's say nearly point-blank... 1-3 meters distance (like within a room of a house). The idea of being close enough to just pull a trigger and likely get several hits, assuming your are focusing on a person size target, not just spraying around. 

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Well all things being equal and given that you have a normal person (3 OCV) that has at least some knowledge with the weapon they're using (Weapon Familiarity) they will hit another normal person (who is actively evading; DCV 3) 62.5% of the time.  That isn't bad odds in my book.  If you are talking about a Professional Soldier or Police Officer they will probably have at least one skill level and most probably a higher OCV (4 maybe?).  That increases their odds to nearly 84%.  Add an optic (A Red Dot sight is listed as +2 OCV and +10 vs. Range) and you are looking at 95% accuracy out to 250 meters (perhaps a bit of a stretch).  This also means that even by the RAW he will hit with all three shots of a 3 round burst 62.5% of the time.  As you get higher up the scale Heroes (and Villains) will inevitably have higher OCVs and DCVs which represents the cinematic part.  All said and done I think it is at least feasible.

 

Now my take on the range issue...  You really don't want to be too close with a gun.  Within a meter can be bad news as the target can step in nullifying the weapon.  The sweet spot is 2-4 meters as the shooter has enough time to pull the trigger before the target can close the distance.  Obviously this doesn't take into account the target being covered where any twitch means the attack succeeds.

 

I think we have made some pretty good headway in increasing the realism but I think that some of the cinematic flavor needs to be there for the game to be fun.

 

T

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18 hours ago, Deadman said:

Well all things being equal and given that you have a normal person (3 OCV) that has at least some knowledge with the weapon they're using (Weapon Familiarity) they will hit another normal person (who is actively evading; DCV 3) 62.5% of the time.  That isn't bad odds in my book.  If you are talking about a Professional Soldier or Police Officer they will probably have at least one skill level and most probably a higher OCV (4 maybe?).  That increases their odds to nearly 84%.  Add an optic (A Red Dot sight is listed as +2 OCV and +10 vs. Range) and you are looking at 95% accuracy out to 250 meters (perhaps a bit of a stretch).  This also means that even by the RAW he will hit with all three shots of a 3 round burst 62.5% of the time.  As you get higher up the scale Heroes (and Villains) will inevitably have higher OCVs and DCVs which represents the cinematic part.  All said and done I think it is at least feasible.

 

If you're truly into making firearm use realistic, then the section of your text that I just quoted needs to be tossed out the window and completely reworked.  As evidence I cite a firearm accuracy study conducted of 247 (195 male and 52 female) volunteers. The study grouped the volunteers into 3 categories: novice (i.e. minimal/no experience), intermediate (i.e. recreational experience), and expert (i.e. completed law enforcement firearms training).  The study found that experts shot only 10% more accurately than novices and intermediates at 3-15 feet.  Here's a link to the study: http://www.forcescience.org/articles/naiveshooter.pdf

 

This becomes especially important when you pair it with a firearm evaluation of the NYPD's gunfight performance, as the NYPD is arguably the largest and best-trained police force in the United States, today.  In gunfights where fire was returned, these 'experts' have demonstrated an empirical hit rate of a meager 18%.  In situations where the officer fired and gunfire was NOT returned, the hit rate was still only a paltry 30%.  Here's a link to that report (you'll find these statistics on page 14 as labeled by the report, itself, not by the PDF page counter): http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/public_information/RAND_FirearmEvaluation.pdf

Given the foregoing, the hit rates you stated (which I quoted above) are WAY too high … and since your efforts are all about adding realism, if you're serious about your efforts, you need to dial your hit rates WAY down for experts … and then dial it down (by about 10% more) for intermediates and novices.  If that seems like it's going too far (e.g. "but that wouldn't be fun"), all I can really say to that is that you must not be serious about adding realism, since most rounds discharged in gunfights are (realistically) misses, not hits.

 

Surreal

 

P.S. This is exactly what people and states that try to impose magazine capacity limits fail to consider.  i.e. The FBI statistics database shows that most threats are stopped by 2 and change shots (which we'll round up to 3) … with the actual decimal value tending to vary based on the caliber being used.  Assuming an 18% hit rate for the best-trained law enforcement officer with, say, a 9mm -- that individual will need to empty the 15 round magazine from his department-issued Glock 17 if under return fire … to score 2.7 hits.  This should also help set your 'realism' expectation for making firearms more realistic in your games, since you're both supposedly making an effort to do that.  The link to the FBI database should be easy enough to find … if you care to do so.

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15 hours ago, Surrealone said:

P.S. This is exactly what people and states that try to impose magazine capacity limits fail to consider.  i.e. The FBI statistics database shows that most threats are stopped by 2 and change shots (which we'll round up to 3) … with the actual decimal value tending to vary based on the caliber being used.  Assuming an 18% hit rate for the best-trained law enforcement officer with, say, a 9mm -- that individual will need to empty the 15 round magazine from his department-issued Glock 17 if under return fire … to score 2.7 hits.  This should also help set your 'realism' expectation for making firearms more realistic in your games, since you're both supposedly making an effort to do that.  The link to the FBI database should be easy enough to find … if you care to do so.

 

This is the excellent baseline I was looking for... not that I want "pure realism" but that I want to dial back the much higher hit potential that Hero tends toward (the game is, by default, leaning to more likely to hit than miss with equal 0CV vs. DCV)... moving away from the gamer mentality of counting every shot, and maximizing every round, that doesn't at all capture either the reality or cinematic flare of gun play. They game doesn't incentivize multiple attacks (mostly because it was devised for super-hero combat where actions were, big single dramatic actions), and so players fall into the mode of maximizing every attack, and seeing more disadvantages to "throwing lots of lead down range" than positives. I've generally been looking to incentivize the latter... one, because it "feels" more real (if not realistic), and two, it is way more cinematically cool to have scenes of bullets hitting all over, shattering windows, punching through walls, mags being emptied and "cover me! reloading!" moments, etc.   Hero, in its standard form, doesn't play out like that, with each round being the perfectly maxed out single shot, everyone counting bullets, rarely needing to reload, because a 17 round clip is seventeen attack actions... and rarely do combats go that long.

 

Bullets are spent at a maddeningly high rate, in both reality and cinema... and Hero wasn't reflecting either of these. That was my primary motivation for this. 

 

In talking to my players, they voiced the emotional dissatisfaction with 'missing' in combat. That it seemed to suck, so combat rounds spent firing but not hitting seemed wasted. To some extent this was understandable, even though I would emphasize that bad guys tended to do things like blow actions taking cover and reacting to being shot at, etc. What I needed was game mechanics to make the "players feel like they were doing something effective with their action" if they fired several shots, but missed with all or most of them. They don't want to a) feel their action is wasted, or b) feel that they get punished for missing, because Hero is a game that incetivizes "defense is bad, overpowering offense that takes them down faster is good" (which is true in general).

 

So I've basically been looking for house rules that can make the players feel like it is appropriate to fire more shots, use maneuvers like Suppression Fire, Multiple Attacks, etc. because they are effective, that autofire and lots of shots is an effective attack strategy, not a waste of charges, etc.

 

I think we are getting there, as the "one shot, one kill" expectation has dropped, unless it is by surprise, sniper, get the drop on 'em, etc. In that case it should be easier to hit. (I halve all hit location modifiers if the target is unaware, unless they are moving erratically).

 

And yes... I agree that point blank range isn't ideal because allowing anyone to close when you have a ranged weapon isn't good... but if you are within CQC range of a room or short hallway, autofire is likely to hit a lot more in a tighter location, than even slightly farther away... say beyond 6 meters. Looking to see what reflects CQC (within 6 meters) appropriately.

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16 hours ago, Surrealone said:

 

If you're truly into making firearm use realistic, then the section of your text that I just quoted needs to be tossed out the window and completely reworked.  As evidence I cite a firearm accuracy study conducted of 247 (195 male and 52 female) volunteers. The study grouped the volunteers into 3 categories: novice (i.e. minimal/no experience), intermediate (i.e. recreational experience), and expert (i.e. completed law enforcement firearms training).  The study found that experts shot only 10% more accurately than novices and intermediates at 3-15 feet.  Here's a link to the study: http://www.forcescience.org/articles/naiveshooter.pdf

 

This becomes especially important when you pair it with a firearm evaluation of the NYPD's gunfight performance, as the NYPD is arguably the largest and best-trained police force in the United States, today.  In gunfights where fire was returned, these 'experts' have demonstrated an empirical hit rate of a meager 18%.  In situations where the officer fired and gunfire was NOT returned, the hit rate was still only a paltry 30%.  Here's a link to that report (you'll find these statistics on page 14 as labeled by the report, itself, not by the PDF page counter): http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/public_information/RAND_FirearmEvaluation.pdf

Given the foregoing, the hit rates you stated (which I quoted above) are WAY too high … and since your efforts are all about adding realism, if you're serious about your efforts, you need to dial your hit rates WAY down for experts … and then dial it down (by about 10% more) for intermediates and novices.  If that seems like it's going too far (e.g. "but that wouldn't be fun"), all I can really say to that is that you must not be serious about adding realism, since most rounds discharged in gunfights are (realistically) misses, not hits.

 

Surreal

 

P.S. This is exactly what people and states that try to impose magazine capacity limits fail to consider.  i.e. The FBI statistics database shows that most threats are stopped by 2 and change shots (which we'll round up to 3) … with the actual decimal value tending to vary based on the caliber being used.  Assuming an 18% hit rate for the best-trained law enforcement officer with, say, a 9mm -- that individual will need to empty the 15 round magazine from his department-issued Glock 17 if under return fire … to score 2.7 hits.  This should also help set your 'realism' expectation for making firearms more realistic in your games, since you're both supposedly making an effort to do that.  The link to the FBI database should be easy enough to find … if you care to do so.

Wow, total Buzzkill Surrealone :).  Take realism tongue in cheek.  I still want the game to be fun.  I want the PCs to be scared of guns generally.  That keeps them from thinking that they can take on a proverbial army.  However if they are only hitting once every 4 shots that takes combat from a crawl to a near stop.  I do agree with Neil that having more shots fired is fun because you introduce the dynamic of changing magazines and such.  On the other hand if they miss too much combat gets very frustrating.  Perhaps introducing a damage increase for more shots without penalizing OCV would be a good way to encourage more shots downrange.  For example if a PC is firing at a mook that he wants to ensure is taken out he says I will use three shots at him and give him a bonus of +2DC to the attack making it a 2d6 attack rather than the 1d6+1 it would normally be.  Kind of like Boostable charges in the RAW.  The caveat being that you take a -1 DCV per shot fired after the first.  Thoughts on that?  You could also allow them to Rapid Fire it and really get them expending those rounds.

 

Maneuver             OCV      DCV                                 Damage/Effect                                    

Quickfire                 -0          -1/Additional Shot      +1DC/Additional Shot Fired (Max: 3) 

 

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I don't think increased rates of fire should do more damage.  Instead, I think increased rates of fire should ADD to an already low hit probability in order to improve it -- because that's how it basically works in the real world.  

 

i.e. A NYPD officer has an abysmal hit rate if fire is being returned, but s/he is statistically more likely to hit his/her target if s/he sends more rounds downrange at the target.  Thus, if we want to emulate that bit of reality, we need mechanics that improve hit probabability when multiple rounds are fired at a target.

 

Unfortunately, the autofire rules do the exact opposite by penalizing the hit rate when more shots are taken.  Multiple Attack does the same thing with its OCV penalties.  This is because the game's base mechanics try to make hits more likely than misses … which is completely backward for gunfighting.  So, if you want to add proper realism to gunfights, you need to adjust your house rules so that most shots are misses … and then rework autofire and multiple attack rules so that taking more shots will improve the odds of a hit rather than reduce them.

 

I am, of course, talking about aimed shots, here.  Spray&Pray (i.e. Suppression fire) entails no aim, so its hit rate should suffer despite the volume of lead going downrange.  That said, I've always felt its hit rate was set a bit too low.

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On 7/13/2018 at 3:20 PM, Surrealone said:

I don't think increased rates of fire should do more damage.  Instead, I think increased rates of fire should ADD to an already low hit probability in order to improve it -- because that's how it basically works in the real world.  

 

i.e. A NYPD officer has an abysmal hit rate if fire is being returned, but s/he is statistically more likely to hit his/her target if s/he sends more rounds downrange at the target.  Thus, if we want to emulate that bit of reality, we need mechanics that improve hit probabability when multiple rounds are fired at a target.

 

Unfortunately, the autofire rules do the exact opposite by penalizing the hit rate when more shots are taken.  Multiple Attack does the same thing with its OCV penalties.  This is because the game's base mechanics try to make hits more likely than misses … which is completely backward for gunfighting.  So, if you want to add proper realism to gunfights, you need to adjust your house rules so that most shots are misses … and then rework autofire and multiple attack rules so that taking more shots will improve the odds of a hit rather than reduce them.

 

I am, of course, talking about aimed shots, here.  Spray&Pray (i.e. Suppression fire) entails no aim, so its hit rate should suffer despite the volume of lead going downrange.  That said, I've always felt its hit rate was set a bit too low.

I guess this is an example of Reality not making for very good gameplay.  If the rate that you cite is to be taken into a game you would start with a ~7- chance to hit in a gunfight if the target is returning fire and ~9- if they are not  Honestly the hit probability only goes up because you are firing more rounds.  For example if you have a 50% chance of one shot hitting and this is constant across multiple shots and you fire three shots you have a 92% chance of at least one of those shots hitting given the cumulative probability. 

 

Now this doesn't play out well in the Hero System because the chances to hit are severely lessened by the -2 OCV per attack modifier on Multiple Attack.  Let us take a combatant that has a base 11- chance of hitting if he fires one shot.  That is 62.5%, not bad.  If he instead decides to fire three shots (taking a -4 OCV) he ends up with a about a 41% chance of one of those shots hitting (not great).

 

So what if we change up Multiple Attack a bit?  What if we changed the OCV Modifier to only a -1 per additional shot?  Well then our combatant has the same 62.5% chance to hit the target with one shot but a better (75.6%) chance to hit with at least one of those three shots.  If this is done I would suggest the individual skills that offset the penalties become more expensive (say 20 points for Rapid Attack or Defensive Attack).  I do think that the native penalties for the Maneuver are still sufficient to balance it in most cases.

 

Incorporating the -1 per additional shot for Multiple Attack along with altering Autofire to hit once per point over the target's DCV would definitely encourage more shots down range. 

 

I encourage everyone to take a look at the Gunfighting section of Dark Champions 5e pg. 192.  It gives a lot of good suggestions to make Gunfights more realistic (incidentally both of the options that I mentioned, Autofire and Multiple Attack, are mentioned in there under the Storm of Lead heading).  I especially like the section on "Grace Under Fire" pg. 193.  This would go a long way to formalizing the "Adrenaline Rush" aspect of combat.  Of course it is yet another roll that must be made.

 

T

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1 hour ago, Deadman said:

I guess this is an example of Reality not making for very good gameplay. 

You're the one trying to make things more realistic, not me.  I'm the guy who was (earlier) trying to keep things simple for ease of gameplay … and -now- you pull this out?  I'm having difficulty swallowing that double-standard because either it's ok to keep things unrealistic/simple for gameplay's sake … or it isn't, right?  And if it is, then gameplay (not realism) should probably trump/rule since it was the deciding factor, right?

 

I'm not trying to be difficult or contrary, by the way -- I just don't see a point to all of the complexity you're adding if you're not going to go for broke and do it to its logical conclusion/extreme for the sake of realism … since anything less is still only a partially-baked result.

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6 minutes ago, Surrealone said:

You're the one trying to make things more realistic, not me.  I'm the guy who was (earlier) trying to keep things simple for ease of gameplay … and -now- you pull this out?  I'm having difficulty swallowing that double-standard because either it's ok to keep things unrealistic/simple for gameplay's sake … or it isn't, right?  And if it is, then gameplay (not realism) should probably trump/rule since it was the deciding factor, right?

 

I'm not trying to be difficult or contrary, by the way -- I just don't see a point to all of the complexity you're adding if you're not going to go for broke and do it to its logical conclusion/extreme for the sake of realism … since anything less is still only a partially-baked result.

Dude, chill...it was a statement not an accusation.  As we all mentioned before, missing a lot ain't fun.  Frankly I am just trying to work within the system to address some of the perceived inadequacies.  Ultimately it probably isn't worth fixing since it works okay as it stands but if I can help someone improve their game why not try?  I am not proposing that any or all of what I put out there is used in any way shape or form.  I am just throwing it against the wall to see if it sticks. 

 

My solution actually addresses the issue you presented and helps with what RDU Neil is trying to do (get the characters to put shots down range).  I would probably suggest using a 10- Basic targeting breakpoint to begin with as well.  This would skew things a bit from the "you are supposed to hit" mentality to a more even outlook. 

 

Even I know that there is no perfect way to simulate reality in a roleplaying game.  As a GM I am generally looking for a certain "feel" in a game and I am not afraid to adjust the rules to get as close to that "feel" as I can.  Oftentimes, as you can undoubtedly attest, it is an ongoing series of adjustments.

 

I personally don't see the complexity you're speaking of.  I feel that the solutions that I have presented are no more complex than the original rules, just different.

 

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2 minutes ago, Deadman said:

Dude, chill...it was a statement not an accusation.  

… 

I personally don't see the complexity you're speaking of.  I feel that the solutions that I have presented are no more complex than the original rules, just different.

 

I am chill and didn't take it as an accusation.

 

Accounting for the differences IS the added complexity, as a GM must account for RAW plus the delta.

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1 hour ago, Surrealone said:

You're the one trying to make things more realistic, not me. 

Ya, my mistake you're chill.

 

4 minutes ago, Surrealone said:

Accounting for the differences IS the added complexity, as a GM must account for RAW plus the delta.

And?  If I am the GM and I choose to adopt the changes then I guess I know what I am in for.

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34 minutes ago, Deadman said:

And?  If I am the GM and I choose to adopt the changes then I guess I know what I am in for.

If you're the GM and you choose to adopt them, what about what your players are in for when they try to make sense of them?  I ask because players, too, must be familiar with the changes.  Thus, a GM's choice to add complexity adds it not only for the GM, but for that GM's players, too … and they might NOT know what they're in for … or might not want it once they find out.  (Heck, many players have trouble understanding/following RAW, let alone deltas from it.)

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12 minutes ago, Surrealone said:

If you're the GM and you choose to adopt them, what about what your players are in for when they try to make sense of them?  I ask because players, too, must be familiar with the changes.  Thus, a GM's choice to add complexity adds it not only for the GM, but for that GM's players, too … and they might NOT know what they're in for … or might not want it once they find out.  (Heck, many players have trouble understanding/following RAW, let alone deltas from it.)

LOL the facetious side of me would say..."bah, players!  The bane to all of my wonderful plans."

 

On the other side, wait....I don't really have another side :) 

 

Seriously, most of the things that I have presented are not technically of my own creation (in spite of me thinking they were when I typed them here).  They are scattered about the books in optional rules sections.  Interestingly most of them are presented as ways of increasing realism :) 

 

I am all about making a game fun but if I am the one running it I have this ridiculous need for it to make some sense to me.  I am also an unapologetic tweaker when it comes to the RAW.  You know this, you have played in one of my games.  I don't think too many of my tweaks get in the way of having a good time but I could be wrong.

 

At any rate I suppose I should have posted a disclaimer on my first post.

 

I am not mandating nor even suggesting that any of my ideas be used in your game.  I am merely presenting my opinion and ideas for your consideration and as possible seeds for changes you may want to incorporate.  Use them at entirely at your discretion.  I will not be held liable for any fallout that arises from the use or abuse of any of these ideas.  If you plan to play in one of my games in the future (provided I overcome my current blah attitude toward GMing) understand that I reserve the right to incorporate some or all of these rules into that game.  Your agreement to participate in said game is your binding word not to whine, complain or otherwise try to dissuade me from my set course of action.

 

T

 

 

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So, since I am using many of these suggestions, (many implemented independently) I can say that I feel I've been successful in actual play at creating more of a "feel" that captures both the cinematic "hail of lead" and realistic "more shots increases likelihood to hit" sense we've been talking about.


I did NOT change to the 10- base, as I don't think we'd remember that basic change in the heat of combat after 38 years of playing Hero based on 11-.


But I did lowere Multiple Attack minuses to -1 (simple change), but limited the number of MA that can be attempted based on type of attack (complexity here, but that is fully on me as GM to officiate. If you are fighting with a short knife, yes, you can do up to 3 MAs... you are fighting with a Halberd, nope... ain't happening. For guns, automatics get up to 5 shots, revolvers only 3, larger load .44 and up, only 2.  Any increase beyond that means -X to every shot, where X is the number of shots fired. So you can theoretically try to fire 6 shots with your Berretta 9mm, but it will be at -6 per shot. Whereas 5 shots would be -4 per shot, etc.)

 

I also factor in different skill levels and the OCV bonuses on guns, so that you get a cool swath of different CSLs applying in different situations. (I rule that inherent OCV modifiers on a gun only apply when braced and set and/or to offset MA/Autofire penalties).

 

I also double range mods (and already use more strict Danger International range mods) when doing a MA or Autofire. Unless braced or set, which encourages bi-pod or other emplaced weapons when firing AF at range.

 

I also encourage the use of +1 OCV for every 3 rounds of Autofire, only able to hit once, if firing on a "position." So at medium range, braced, going full auto (10 shots) is a +3 to hit, offsetting the range mods, increasing hit probability, etc.

 

None of these are perfect, but they work.

 

Yes, they require "training" the play group as well. We've needed to run a few firefights, and one PC died (not because of these rules, but dead nonetheless) but the group has started to embrace them. They see the added benefit to multiple shots, and also appreciate the danger of trained opponents firing back.

 

These things, in general, have the players much more likely to be firing multiple shots in close quarters, absolutely finding cover when fire is returned. Using multiple shots and spending clips (if not as fast as I'd like, then faster than before), etc.

 

By the way, the +3 for 10 shot burst is a great equalizer for lower skilled bad guys taking on the higher skilled PCs. It gives them a chance to hit, and creates very cinematic scenes where often the players are dodging, diving for cover, while bullets tear into the surroundings, etc.

 

Fun stuff!

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