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> Cover... Help me understand
DgrenJ
post Jan 4 2007, 02:11 AM
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Ok, in our weekly game, we have some guys who can throw some major dice when it comes to fire fights.

I am wondering how I can use cover as an effective means of eliminating some of the PC's rather large dice pools, and making them have to use a little more than brute force to complete a mission.

Am I understanding it that the best a person can get is a -4 from cover, and maybe a -8 if he is also prone?

What are the rules for a person just holding his gun around the corner and firing with aid of his smartlink.

Help me abuse cover!

- DgrenJ
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RunnerPaul
post Jan 4 2007, 02:37 AM
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QUOTE (DgrenJ)
What are the rules for a person just holding his gun around the corner and firing with aid of his smartlink.

For this at least, you'll want to review this twelve page monstrosity of a thread that simple question spawned.
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DgrenJ
post Jan 4 2007, 03:03 AM
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I'm more looking at cover/barrier mods, and what is the most you can do.
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Thane36425
post Jan 4 2007, 03:39 AM
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Looking at the actual chart in SR4, there are 3 levels of cover. Those are:

Partial Cover -2
Good cover -4
Hidden (blind fire) -6

Partial cover would probably be up to 1/4 of the body hidden, like standing behind a streetlight pole. Good cover would be at least 50% of the body hidden. Hidden means, well hidden.

I would actually add another level in there: excellent cover for the -6. This would be just head and shoulders, more or less, showing, as if firing around a corner while minimizing exposure.

Firing on a target comlpetely hidden should -8 and shooting through the barrier as well. This would also assume you know someone is standing there, like if you saw them duck or they are ghosting their weapon (that is they have the barrel showing around the corner, over the box, etc.).

Now there is also something called concealment, not to be confused with the spirit power. Concealment is something that only hides you but offers no real protection. Ducking behind a bush might conceal you from view, but it won't stop a bullet. Applying half the above modifiers for concealment would probably work, and you might add a point or two of a barrier rating for the material as well.

The above numbers assume that you are trying to hit the target directly. You could shoot through a barrier to get at them. I don't like the example on p. 157 of SR4 though. Shooting into a room to hit someone without any real idea of where they are should be more than a -6 penalty. On the other hand, if you saw you target duck behind a desk, then you could spray the desk and and take a -6 penalty, maybe -4 if you could see a sign of exactly where they are if they are ghosting a weapon of you can see feet under the desk. Don't forget to reduce weapon damage by the barrier rating and all the other modifiers.

Now, if you are having trouble with the PC dice rolls, there are ways around that. Have the enemy lob grenades from behind cover at them. When the PCs are moving up a hall, have security men lean out of doorways, two to a door, one high one low. They lean out just enough to expose just partial head and shooting arm, so the excellent cover modifier I mentioned above. Have them delay actions so they all pop around and fire at once, all targeting one PC. They will probably take damage from that.

If that doesn't work, use autmomated gun systems built into the ceilings that pop down to catch the PCs in a crossfire or pin them down in a room. More simply you could use gunports like those on armored cars. Have the Sec men firing from the other side of a ballistic barrier through one of those.

If you really want to get to the PCs, use a sniper. When they are making their escape, have a corp sniper engage them. Hit one of the less armored or weaker PCs first in a effort to drop them and make the other come back for them. For that matter, hit them the same way when they are meeting their Johnson and will be a bit more at ease.

Lastly, if the PCs have left a long trail of bodies and angry corps behind them, ambush them at home. Don't use sec men, but other runners instead. Sure the PCs can still shoot, but if the attack comes as a surprise, they won't have their armor on and will be easier to hurt.
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sunnyside
post Jan 4 2007, 05:04 AM
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A couple things.

On cover. You can make things even worse on the PC by having the corp guys hid behind cover....but leave those flash packs out in the open. That'll give the players an extra -2 to -4 on their die rolls.

Also in addition to plain cover effects you also should probably apply somewhat similar modifiers for hiding. If I was a desperate corp guy who'd decided to make a stand you can bet I'd be hiding and hoping to drop a guy with a long burst from the shadows. Or if I just had a pistol I'd spend a couple actions aiming and go for a headshot.

Also apply modifiers for being distracted when trying to spot people. For example if a couple guys are fireing from behind some crates as the runners enter how likely are they to notice the guy poking his barrel out from under a forklift to their side fifty meters away? Remeber if they don't see it coming they don't get to roll for dodging and such.

In general though cover isn't half so good in SR4 as SR3. Though it is kept interesting by the fact that it makes it harder to pull off that +4 DV called shot or armor bypassing shot.
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Thane36425
post Jan 4 2007, 05:50 AM
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QUOTE (sunnyside)
A couple things.

On cover. You can make things even worse on the PC by having the corp guys hid behind cover....but leave those flash packs out in the open. That'll give the players an extra -2 to -4 on their die rolls.

Also in addition to plain cover effects you also should probably apply somewhat similar modifiers for hiding. If I was a desperate corp guy who'd decided to make a stand you can bet I'd be hiding and hoping to drop a guy with a long burst from the shadows. Or if I just had a pistol I'd spend a couple actions aiming and go for a headshot.

Also apply modifiers for being distracted when trying to spot people. For example if a couple guys are fireing from behind some crates as the runners enter how likely are they to notice the guy poking his barrel out from under a forklift to their side fifty meters away? Remeber if they don't see it coming they don't get to roll for dodging and such.

In general though cover isn't half so good in SR4 as SR3. Though it is kept interesting by the fact that it makes it harder to pull off that +4 DV called shot or armor bypassing shot.

Good points there.

Flashpacks could be rather annoying.

Having shooters creep around to ambush the party or have some hide until they get a good shot at the PCs is a good idea too. It shouldn't be too tough to catch the PCs in a vice between at least two teams. The first team could take cover when the one behind lays into the PCs from behind.

I would agree that PCs should have a tough time spotting new targets, especially if those targets are well hidden and the PCs are under fire.
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Kesslan
post Jan 4 2007, 06:49 AM
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And dont forget lighting and other conditions.

I mean you can even throw in penalties for 'rain' in a building. How the hell do you do that you may ask? Easy. Sprinkler system.

Maybe soem one sets off an incindiary grenade or something. Fire supression system then kicks in. Could be sprinklers could be foam. Hell it could even be Halon Gas. But that would be nasty if the PCs dont have oxygen tanks.
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Konsaki
post Jan 4 2007, 07:21 AM
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I could only see Halon in electronics rooms, so most runners wouldnt have to worry about it in hallways... the problem with rooms with Halon though is that sometimes the door autolocks after a minute or so, so people dont enter on accident when the gas is present. That would be bad for anyone inside the room that didnt make it out in time... :vegm:
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Kesslan
post Jan 4 2007, 07:27 AM
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In electronics rooms, server rooms especially. We've got Halon systems in all the server rooms here where I work. What worries me though is the fact that there isnt a single oxygen mask anywhere to be found. So I could only hope the door -doenst- auto lock. I'm sure that violates some sort of safety code. IT's why usualy at least there's one or two masks in rooms that use it.

Oveerall however, in the evil corp owned world of the 2040-2070's I can every easily see corps using Halon gas traps. Oh look! Runners!

Instead of using say.. tear gas or so stun gas, they some times use lethal gases, such as Seven-7 etc. I can totally see them also using halon as a cheap 'lethal' trap. It wouldn ttake much for example to outfit security guard posts (or the guards themselves) with at least one oxy tank per guard or at least a few tanks. Personally I'd mostly see that as likely to be found at the stations themselves. Though perhpas the guards have small tanks good for only say.. 30 minutes or something. Just a small tank they can hook up and easily carry around incase they temporarily get trapped. Afterall you wouldn thave to have the gas in the room terribly long at all to kill some one.
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Kesslan
post Jan 4 2007, 07:30 AM
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for some fun facts: Halon Gas Saftey Manual
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ShadowDragon
post Jan 4 2007, 08:26 AM
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It seems clear to me that characters can fire from total cover (-6 penalty to be hit) with a smartlink and receive only a -1 penalty on attack rolls. The debate rages on in that other thread, but you can rule however you want in your games. I can tell you right now that it has not caused a problem in my group. Likewise characters can move, shoot, and move in the same IP because turns do not work like DnD move actions. This way there is no -1 penalty, but they're vulnerable to anyone waiting to shoot visible targets.

Other penalties can come from light, smoke, magic, wounds, and gas.

But combat doesn't sound like your problem. Your PCs get by on brute force because they're not being challenged with tough enough security measures, not because Barney isn't putting enough time in at the shooting range.
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Konsaki
post Jan 4 2007, 08:33 AM
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Hey! Barney did good at Black Mesa... Cut the guy some slack. :silly:
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Kesslan
post Jan 4 2007, 09:47 AM
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Aye. Keep in mind there's alot more going on than just shooting. Play the NPCs like they were PCs. You'd be supprised how much of a difference that makes. ALso keep in mind NPC guards, unless their very new to the place, know the building layout a HELL of alot better than any runner is going to in almost every case where runners are raiding a location.

Sure the runners might have a layout, blueprints and such. But blueprints dont show you necessarily where everything is. They could also be slightly out of date or what ever. And blueprints dont update if you say.. move the couch to the other side of the room.

Have the NPCs use grenades, flashbangs, flashpacks, gas grenades, freezefoam etc.

Cover helps too of course. And then there's allways the option of giving them things like riot and ballistic shields.

In other situations you can allways improvise your cover to an extent. I mean there's all sorts of action movies that realistically or not roll around big heavy gongs, pianoes, couches and all sorts of other similar objects along as cover. Set stuff up like that now and then (And whoe ever is next to at the time can use it if they think of it be it PC or NPC).

If you cant think of things to act as cover, just think of whats normally around in an office, desks, chairs, tables that can be overturned etc. Sure yo uacn shoot through most of it but if its big enough it still gives em that 'blind fire' penalty if nothing else. And you can allways refer to the barreir raiting table as well. Infact I'd sort of recommed it since alot of offices in SR make use of ballistic weave materials or hard plastics etc, even wood has a decent barrier raiting.

Its abit hard to keep track of all that kinda stuff on the fly but if you've got a basic blueprint layout (whcih really helps) it isnt much of a streatch to have a quick reference table. Which is usually what i like to do. Outerwalls have barrier X, ALl doors (maybe with certain exceptions or what ever such as indoor/outdoor) have barrier raiting Y, all inner walls have barrier raiting Z. The cubicle walls ahve Barrier raiting A, tables and chairs will provide barrier raiting B.

And if you cant think of a reasonable barrier raiting, ignore it. The penalty from blind fire can easily be more than enough even if the object is so flimsy it wont really stop anything. Just make the avilable cover fit the setting is all

A parkinglot is going to generally have cars, maybe a dumpster or two and a toll booth but that would be it. A warehouse could have crates, forklifts, some tables and chairs here and there.

Your average office will have all sorts of tables, filing cabinets, occasionally those plastic shipping crates, chairs of all sorts.

Your average home can have all of the above alogn with the aformentioned piano and god knows what else.

That big gong could be in a theater or themed restaurant.

I mean the map doenst even have to be fancy. Just quickly rough hand sketch one in pencil even. Work em out ahead of time draw in what goes where. On a seperate sheet put in a basic barrier table for quick reference and presto.

Plenty of cover, and plenty of numbers right there and can be pulled up in less than a minute. Make up a few generic ones and keep em handy for those times runners just do a hit on the fly or something even. Do a setup for a generic mall, parkinglot, office, house, restauraunt and there you go. Your set.

And then if it's -still- an issue in some way. Well then you can start fiddling round with all these firing round corner optional rules some of us have come up with.
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sunnyside
post Jan 4 2007, 01:53 PM
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To the OP if I understand correctly what you're trying to do is challenge your runners without having to have every corp full of prime runner class characters? I.E. you want to be able to give your runners a hard time by cleverly using people who generally only throw ten die when shooting.(at least let the poor bums specialize in the weapon they carry) And you'd rather do it without having to equip your guards with fuel air explosives, gattling guns, and the like.

One thing you might want to consider are tasers. The game gives them a surprisingly high level of potency and they get around, to a degree, some of the super high body and armor values your runners may be using. Very in character too.
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ornot
post Jan 4 2007, 03:28 PM
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Shotguns can be very nasty too. Unless the runners are all trolls or orcs make sure you roll for knockdown when they're hit with gel round slugs. Buckshot will make it tougher for the runners to dodge, although they may just shrug off the damage.

Drones can also be good, as they can carry some heavy weaponry. Although I found the runners tended to just blow them apart with XX rounds, so maybe having them rigged by someone semi-competent would be a good plan. It scared my players when 2 steel lynxs opened fire with LMGs! The range modifiers are different too, so the runners had a range penalty which the drones didn't.
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