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> Making sniping more interesting, 80s run/realism
Wounded Ronin
post Oct 21 2007, 12:49 AM
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Besides for suppression fire, I thought yesterday a lot about sniping and scopes. People on DSF have made several complaints which I feel I could address in a revision designed to portray the 80s. Essentially, what I would do is raise the TNs to hit at Extreme range by an enormous amount so that it's unlikely that unaimed snap shots would hit anything at Extreme range but at the same time allow for really big TN reductions through proper use of a scope, taking the time to aim, and allowing for an "adjust scope" option where the character reduces his TNs by correctly estimating the range of the target and adjusting his scope for the appropriate range. I would also have a Sniping active skill which would straight-up provide extra dice when a character is firing supported and prone at a target in Extreme range. A final but important detail is that I'd only allow a scope to confer benefits or penalties if the shooter uses a Take Aim action. Without a Take Aim action the marksman is just making an instinctive snap shot.

In order to prevent sniping from becoming overpowered in the manner that it is currently in Jagged Alliance 2 version 1.13, I'd also multiply the penalties to hit moving targets when the shooter is using a scope by a factor of 2.

This would address complaints people have made about Shadowrun not being supportive of prone and supported firing and also of scopes being uber with no downsides.

Firstly, I'd differentiate between a "sniper scope" and a "DMR scope". I'm not sure if those terms are technically accurate so please help me if you're familiar with the terminology. Jagged Alliance 2 1.13 refers to a "10x scope" and a "7x scope" but I'm not personally familiar with the difference in real-world applications of the two scopes, or if those are any more realistic than "sniper scope" and "DMR scope".

The DMR scope would work pretty much like the regular scopes in Shadowrun. It could be adjusted for Medium or Long range with a Complex Action and would reduce the TN to hit at those ranges to a low number, such as 4. However, the benefit would be reduced if the target was not at the correct range. For example, let's say my normal TN structure is (hypothetically, still working this out):

Short Range = TN 4
Medium Range = TN 5
Long Range = TN 6
Extreme Range = TN 30

I could adjust my DMR scope for Long Range and Long Range would be at TN 4, but as we got further away from Long Range the bonus would be erroded by +1 TN per category. We'd end up with:

Short Range = 6
Medium Range = 6
Long Range = 4
Extreme Range = 31


The Sniper Scope, on the other hand, would only be useful for shooting at Extreme Range. A character with a Sniper Scope mounted on his rifle would be unable to use Take Aim for targets at Short, Medium, or Long range since doing so would just provide an enormous TN penalty. He'd be better off removing the scope or making a snap shot. The Sniper Scope, in combination with a prone and supported posture, would enable the use of the Sniping Skill, however, at Extreme range. The Sniping Skill would translate to extra dice that could be applied to a shot at Extreme Range in addition to the Rifles skill. Every 2 levels in Sniping would also allow for an additional Take Aim action when firing prone and supported against a target at Extreme range.

If we take a Complex Action to adjust the scope to the range of the target, the GM rolls our Sniping Skill against a TN equal to the distance of the target in meters divided by 100. If we succeed on this roll we get a -2 TN bonus to hit but if we fail (we miscalculated the range) we get a +1 TN penalty to hit. So if the target is 1 kilometer away, our TN would be 10, and we'd only need 1 success for a -2 TN bonus, but 0 successes would penalize us with the +1 TN. The GM might want to keep the success of failure of this test secret until the player rolls to improve suspense.

So, let's say that our basic TN to hit at Extreme Range is 30 and we're shooting at a stationary target in ideal conditions. We've got Rifles 6 and Sniping 6. We've succeded in correctly dailing the range of the target in.

TN bonuses might be something like:
Target stationary -1
Prone and supported with sniper scope -4
3 Take Aim actions from Rifles 6 -3 (I haven't been able to read the BBB for 2 years, so please correct me if a skill of 6 allows for more than 3 Take Aim actions)
3 Take Aim actions from Sniping 6 -3
We've used a Complex Action to adjust our scope successfully -2 TN

So the net bonus is -13 TN. When we take the shot after all that, we roll versus a TN of (30-13=17). We roll 6 dice for Rifles, 6 for Sniping, and up to 12 combat pool on the attack, since 12 is the sum of both our Rifles and Sniping skill.

If our character has 9 combat pool dice for our example, he's rolling 6+6+9=21 dice versus a TN of 17.

According to http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~bcd/SR/dicerollcalc.html that leaves our character with a 17.75% chance of getting a basic success.

Looking over these figures I might have to lower the TN for extreme range shooting. Perhaps to 20 or so. But, this example illustrates the principle of what I'm trying to create in terms of rules.

Thoughts? Input?
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kzt
post Oct 21 2007, 02:25 AM
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Long range shooting is incredibly hard. That's why there are not many people who are good at it. Shooting within an 8 inch circle with no practice shots from 800 meters is really, really hard.

First thing is that putting a scope on a gun doesn't make shooting someone at long range trivial, as it does in SR. I'd abolish the entire "Image Modification Systems" paragraph. It's one of the most comic book parts of the game. Scopes are useful in that it allows you to see the target better and determine who to shoot and to get the maximum accuracy of the gun, but SRs approach has always been insane.

It's hard skill. the average character shouldn't be able to do it, even if he goes out and buys all the toys that an expert uses.

Being really skilled is the most important part. Almost all guns can shoot better then the guy who uses them. You have to be really accurate. A shot that produces a hit on the right eye instead of dead center at 100 meters means you totally miss at 800 meters. Plus any defects in you gun and/or ammo will show up. The gun has to be able to put the bullet on target reliably. Just about every deer rifle with decent ammo can reliably hit someone just about where you aim at 100 yards. That totally not the case for long range shooting. Guys who do long range shooting are using very carefully selected rifles and ammunition combinations that behave well.

And at long range all sorts of other things that have trivial effects at typical range show up. You have to compensate for the wind, the change in elevation, the air pressure, temperature, etc. None of these really matter at typical rifle distances (100-300m), but any one of them can screw up your shot at 600-1200m. It's HARD.

Modern adjustable zoom tactical scopes are useful from 100 meters to insane ranges. I have no idea what existed in the 80s.

Something like this would be for a typical long range shooter. http://www.leupold.com/tactical/products/s...-illum-reticle/

When you get out to extreme range this would be more reasonable
http://www.leupold.com/tactical/products/s...m1-front-focal/

But if you are focusing on police, the typical police marksman/sniper is shooting at 50-100 meters, with very few 200 meter shots and vanishingly rare longer range shots. Police don't do long range sniping. They do short to mid range precision shooting. Missing is unacceptable for a police marksman.

The comment I got from a SWAT sniper I roomed with for a class was that a well zeroed typical high quality .308 bolt action rifle with a decent quality scope mounted on it by a competent gunsmith and shooting match ammo was adequate for the vast majority of situations. There wasn't any real need for $5000+ specialty rifles in the situations he found himself in.
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Kagetenshi
post Oct 21 2007, 02:53 AM
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The police do not employ snipers in any country that I'm aware of. They do employ sharpshooters.

To make sniping more interesting, there need to be rules for skills for doing things like excreting into small containers while moving as little as possible, or not falling asleep after staring at an empty road for ten hours, or putting up with the smell of a garment that's deliberately been dredged through dirt, mud, and sometimes manure and has never been cleaned.

~J
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hyzmarca
post Oct 21 2007, 03:12 AM
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The difference between 10x and 7x is magnification. Most scopes have adjustable magnification. High magnification makes distant targets much easier to see and closer targets much more difficult to see, but it doesn't change physics or geometry. The longer the range the greater the effect of even a slight change in angle. Actually keeping up with a moving target at extremely long range requires very tiny movements when the magnification would make it seem like larger movements are appropriate, so it is difficult for an untrained person using a high-magnification scope to keep a target in the crosshair.

Windage also becomes extremely important. At extremely long range, the wind will push the bullet. You must be able to measure and take account of the wind or else you will probably miss. Drop is important as well, but gravity is a constant so it is easy to calculate. In essence, you must measure all of the forces that will be at work on the bullet and take account of them when adjusting the scope.
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Wounded Ronin
post Oct 21 2007, 03:17 AM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Oct 20 2007, 09:53 PM)
or putting up with the smell of a garment that's deliberately been dredged through dirt, mud, and sometimes manure and has never been cleaned.

~J

Agreed. It's high time that we made more cat shamans dishevelled. I'm so tired of that being a write-off drawback.


Anyway, it does seem that I could be justified in creating a "sniper" active skill, which would be dealing with the various issues that come up at longer ranges. I suppose that the main question is how much detail do I want to go into. Would it be better to just abstract everything with a really high TN but have certain sniper procedures a character could undertake to lower the TN to something hittable? Or would it be worth it to, say, have seperate steps for estimating wind and compensating, estimating range and compensating, and so forth?
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nezumi
post Oct 21 2007, 12:36 PM
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Unless you anticipate sniping being a major component of 80sRun, I'd skip things like windage and just keep the high TN for sniping. Or add a general 'poor weather' modifier to all shots and increase it dramatically for sniping.

QUOTE
Scopes are useful in that it allows you to see the target better and determine who to shoot and to get the maximum accuracy of the gun,


So really, how essential is a good scope at extreme range? At moderate or long range? Should it confer any bonuses at all aside from to perception tests?
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kzt
post Oct 21 2007, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi)
So really, how essential is a good scope at extreme range? At moderate or long range? Should it confer any bonuses at all aside from to perception tests?

I've never done any shooting at really long range. 300 meters is long enough for me. And you don't need a scope there, even using a well used m16 which probably has worse than 2 moa accuracy. It's easy to knock down the target every time at 300 meters.

At 300 meters the hardest part of shooting the target is seeing it appear and the second hardest part is remembering to hold over the top of the "head".

The main thing a scope adds is that you can correct for range and be able (assuming you and the rifle are good enough) to choose where to hit the target. If they have a good aiming point, someone who is good should be able to hit within 6 inches or less of their aiming point at 300 meters.

At 800 meters I'd expect you'd need a scope to see the damn target unless your nickname is eagle eyes. Go have a friend stand under a tree a half mile away and try to spot him with and without good binoculars. That's 800 meters.

The other thing a military scope has are some tools to estimate range fairly accurately. If you can't determine the range (and in the 80s there are no personal laser rangefinders) you are not going to hit where you want, if you hit at all.
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Snow_Fox
post Oct 22 2007, 12:38 AM
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Yeah, we usually don't do much sniping but we are aware of the possibility of it coming down on us. A lot of nsiping is not the TN's but the mind set of the reciever and the sender.


Try Ghost in the Shell: Stand Along complex. The character of Saito is the team sniper, 2nd gig had an episode about how he met the major and the mind set of a sniper. Similarly the 3rd movie "Solid State Society" has him going up against another sniper, and gives you some of his mind set.

For an 80's sniper try the Harrison Ford movie "Clear and Present Danger." Mostly unwatchable it's clearly how Clancy wanted the iran-contra scandal to comeo ut, but I remember there being a whole bit about a USMC sniper in it.
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Critias
post Oct 22 2007, 02:35 AM
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QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
For an 80's sniper try the Harrison Ford movie "Clear and Present Danger." Mostly unwatchable it's clearly how Clancy wanted the iran-contra scandal to comeo ut, but I remember there being a whole bit about a USMC sniper in it.

That's Domingo "Ding" Chavez (or his representation in that particular film, at any rate) of Rainbow Six fame, by the way, for those of you playing our home game.
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kzt
post Oct 22 2007, 03:08 AM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
Anyway, it does seem that I could be justified in creating a "sniper" active skill, which would be dealing with the various issues that come up at longer ranges. I suppose that the main question is how much detail do I want to go into. Would it be better to just abstract everything with a really high TN but have certain sniper procedures a character could undertake to lower the TN to something hittable? Or would it be worth it to, say, have seperate steps for estimating wind and compensating, estimating range and compensating, and so forth?

If you want to keep the abstract feel of SR4s combat system I'd do it as one roll. I'd probably change the range modifiers, plus additional modifiers from crosswinds and significant elevation changes.

A rough idea:

So short +1, med =0, long -4, extreme-8 No "image mag" modifiers
Following modifiers only apply at long range and apply double at extreme
Unknown range -1
crosswind -1
strong crosswind -2
elevation change of of 50 to 100 meters -1
every 100 meters of elevation change after the first 100 meters -1

Sniping skill can be applied only to range mods and the long-extreme range modifiers above.
Snipers can "take aim" up to 1/2 their sniper skill to cancel range mods and the long-extreme modifers above, in addition "take aim" actions with their longarm skill.

sniper skill might work best with a characteristic attached.
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Wounded Ronin
post Oct 22 2007, 03:22 AM
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I'm printing these threads out and reviewing them carefully.

Should the sniper skill be linked to Intelligence?
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kzt
post Oct 22 2007, 03:31 AM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
I'm printing these threads out and reviewing them carefully.

Should the sniper skill be linked to Intelligence?

I'm not sure that is desirable, as it allows people to cancel a lot modifiers with 1 pt of skill. That's why I was thinking of it being a free standing skill, as it only exists to cancel negative modifiers. But I'm not sure.

I suppose I'd have to play with a few builds and do the math.
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Critias
post Oct 22 2007, 05:56 AM
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If your heart is set on a sniper skill, I'd say (1) yes, INT would be the way to go, and (2) why not work in a method to make it work almost like Centering does for Adepts? A complimentary skill (for easy shots to get more successes), or as a means of lowering the sniping-only TN mods, etc?

Seems easier to me to fold it into the existing system than to work up a whole new mechanic for it.
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kzt
post Oct 22 2007, 06:02 AM
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Thinking about this more my idea would be that the average shooter would be able to reliably hit at shot and medium range, sometimes hit at long range and not hit much hat all at extreme range.

An expert trained sniper would be able to reliably hit with many successes at shot and medium range, hit with multiple success at long range and realibly get a hit at extreme range.

For long and extreme range, this assumes aiming, a good solid shooting position (assumed to be a +2) and say an additional -1 to -2 for long & extreme modifiers, while short and medium assume offhand (no modifier).

To translate to dice pools that would be
Average shooter (3 stat and 3 longarm skill = 8 with aiming, 10 supported)
Short: 8 (2-3)
Medium: 7 (2)
Long -1: 3 (1)
Extreme -2: 1 (0-1)

Expert (5 skill, 5 stat, 5 sniper skill, 13 with aim, 15 supported, cancel up to 8 pts of mods)
Short: 13 (4-5)
Medium: 12 (4)
Long -1: 15 (4-5)
Extreme -2: 13 (4-5)

Hmm. On second thought, sniper skill shouldn't allow an aim action to increase the effect, it should require the aim to get the bonus (at 1:1, after getting the bonus to long arms). And it should work on all range mods.

In this case it becomes

Expert (5 skill, 5 stat, 5 sniper skill, 13 with aim, 15 supported cancel up to 5 pts of mods)
Short: 13 (4-5)
Medium: 13 (4-5)
Long -1: 15 (5)
Extreme -2: 10 (3-4)

Hmm. The bonus for shooting from the prone supported has more effects than I thought. I'd rather a fairly skilled sniper only have about 4-6 dice at extreme range (including the minus 2, so 6-8 dice base at extreme).

But maybe it's me?

*Darn, I did this as SR4, not SR3. Oops. Too late to redo it tonight.*
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mfb
post Oct 22 2007, 06:15 AM
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here's part of how you could deal with sniping, to make it harder without affecting the rest of the firearms rules: add in a distance modifier to the TN, something like +1 per 50m or 100m. that way, in addition to the base TN of 9 for an 800m shot, you'd also have +8 TN for actual distance--and that +8 TN would not be reduced by having a scope, the way the base TN is. so even with a scope, at 800m, you're looking at a TN of 12. the only way to reduce it further? aiming.

snipers generally work with spotters, since the sniper's focus is through his scope. to reflect this, i would modify the spotting rules from Cannon Companion. the spotter's TN would be the same as the sniper's TN, but it wouldn't incur the extra distance penalty (ie, the spotter would use the unmodified rules from SR3--TN 9 base, reduced to 4 by magnification). the sniper can use the spotter's successes to increase the number of actions he's allowed to spend aiming, or use them to reduce the number of actions he has to spend aiming to get a given bonus.

for instance, let's use the 800m shot i talked about above. the spotter's TN for this shot is 4 (9, reduced to 4 via magnification). he rolls his 6 spotter dice + 6 combat pool and ends up getting 6 successes. the sniper's TN is 12 (9 base, reduced to 4 via magnification, +8 for the 800m distance). his skill is six, so normally he could spend three actions aiming. he uses four of the spotter's successes to gain four extra aiming actions (total -7 TN), and uses the remaining two spotter successes to reduce the number of actions it takes to get -7 TN by two. so he spends five actions aiming, gaining -7 TN, for a final TN of 5.
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Tziluthi
post Oct 22 2007, 12:07 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Oct 21 2007, 10:53 AM)
The police do not employ snipers in any country that I'm aware of. They do employ sharpshooters.

To make sniping more interesting, there need to be rules for skills for doing things like excreting into small containers while moving as little as possible, or not falling asleep after staring at an empty road for ten hours, or putting up with the smell of a garment that's deliberately been dredged through dirt, mud, and sometimes manure and has never been cleaned.

~J


Quite right, like a 'surveillance' skill.
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Link
post Oct 23 2007, 02:10 AM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
To make sniping more interesting, there need to be rules for skills for doing things like excreting into small containers while moving as little as possible...

Stealth (Body) test. Add 2 to TN for improvising with a canteen.

In SR rather than 80's-run 'ware like Digestive Expansion (with added benefit that any taste- or smell-based Perception Tests are made at -1 die) or Jolt Alert may help. For the actual firing, the Metabolic Arrestor can slow your heart and breathing.
Though the military probably use drones for sniping by 2050 specialised cyberware would be good, a bit reminiscient of the snipers loading device drivers in GitS.

On spotting, I agree with using the actual skill 'Launch Weapons (Spotter)' - you could just about use the rules for spotting and indirect fire and have the spotter give extra dice rather than aim actions to the shooter.

I'd seperate vision mods from weapon ballistic performance and use the sorcery vision chart from Grimoire 2. Spotting and rifle scopes would modify the vision adjustment.
This would render a TN of 15 (Base 9 for ballistic degradation +6 for vision range) for an 800m shot with a sniper rifle sans low light, high crosswinds etc. A scope could reduce the vision range penalty.

CODE
VISUAL RANGE (Grimoire 2)
0 – 150 None
151 – 300 +2
301 – 600 +4
601 – 1,250 +6
1,251 – 2,500 +8
2,501 – 5,000 +10
5,001+ BVR
Optics device - rating
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Snow_Fox
post Oct 26 2007, 03:08 AM
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QUOTE (Tziluthi @ Oct 22 2007, 07:07 AM)
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Oct 21 2007, 10:53 AM)
The police do not employ snipers in any country that I'm aware of. They do employ sharpshooters.

To make sniping more interesting, there need to be rules for skills for doing things like excreting into small containers while moving as little as possible, or not falling asleep after staring at an empty road for ten hours, or putting up with the smell of a garment that's deliberately been dredged through dirt, mud, and sometimes manure and has never been cleaned.

~J


Quite right, like a 'surveillance' skill.

Looks through a scope attached to a high powered rifle to pick off a target at long range at the right momment, before the target can see them and take cover- sniper/sharp shooter, we're splitting hairs, it's the same thing.
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Kagetenshi
post Oct 26 2007, 03:12 AM
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Not at all. Fieldcraft, for example, is critical in sniping but unnecessary in sharpshooting.

~J
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mfb
post Oct 26 2007, 04:20 AM
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the separation of the terms 'sniper' and 'sharpshooter' serves solely to emphasis the differences between the two disciplines. if one is not specifically discussing those differences, it's generally not worth it to be picky about which term you use.
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Kagetenshi
post Oct 26 2007, 04:54 AM
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We've already got two terms for sharpshooters—sharpshooter and marksman. Making "sniper" a synonym increases the number of ways to express that exact same concept in one word, while removing the ability to refer to sniper as in fieldcraft + long-range rifle engagement with one word (unless I'm missing one).

As such, I hold the attempt to merge the concepts as being actively harmful to communication, and will not support it. Considering that I'm still fighting far more nitpicky and futile battles (for example, over the meaning of "the lion's share" or the term "hacker"), it would be inconsistent of me to accept that as a mitigating circumstance :)

~J
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mfb
post Oct 26 2007, 05:18 AM
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the difference here is that the concepts started out merged, and remain merged to a large degree. differentiation is a change, not the baseline. (irony is nitpicking about not nitpicking.)
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Kagetenshi
post Oct 26 2007, 05:26 AM
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Actually, they started out differentiated, as a sniper was one who hunted snipe :)

But the fact remains, we've got two words that mean exactly the same thing, without even the nuances that synonym-like words get. Even if the third had never had a different meaning, I would be of the opinion that one of them needs to differentiate itself or stop existing.

~J
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mfb
post Oct 26 2007, 05:45 AM
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but they do have nuances. sniper implies a lot of things, weapon and target foremost. snipers use rifles to shoot people--an Olympic athlete competing in riflery, a bowhunter, and a man who shoots people with pistols are all examples of people who may be referred to as sharpshooters but never as snipers, aside from the police/military distinction. 'sharpshooter' and 'sniper' are only truly synonyms when you're talking about people who shoot other people with rifles--which is the general definition of sniper. if anything, a sharpshooter is most correctly a subset of sniper.
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Wounded Ronin
post Oct 26 2007, 07:34 AM
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So if I want my terminology to be correct, I should not have a "sniper" skill? Instead I want a "sharpshooter" skill, where sniping would be considered a combination of using your Stealth skill, your Survival Skill, your Rifles skill AND your Sharpshooter skill?

Incidentally I'm still working on these rules. It just takes a while for me to think each iteration through.
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RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 23rd April 2024 - 08:13 AM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.