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> The SR3 Legend Of Automatic Fire, Help me understand recoil once and for all
Wounded Ronin
post Mar 24 2008, 06:00 PM
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On DSF automatic fire and recoil have been frequently discussed in terms of things being unrealistic in SR3. I feel like now it's time for me to pin down my personal understanding of the issue in terms of how recoil "should" be portrayed using the SR3 engine. I feel that once I have done this that I will be more mentally ready to revitalize and continue my stalled "80s Run" project.

So, this is my issue. I recall lots of people on DSF basically saying how +1 TN per round fired was unrealistically high of a penalty. The contention was that anytime someone sprayed out 10 rounds they were nearly guaranteed to miss if they didn't have elaborate recoil compensation whereas in reality if someone sprayed out 10 rounds at a target in close range they would be unlikely to miss completely.

On the other hand, when I think back to recent experiences I've had with automatic weapons which I've written up at http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?show...t=0&start=0 I kind of have to say I can understand where the +1 TN per round penalty was coming from. While the all-or-nothing way that SR3 (and SR2) handled automatic fire might be simplified to the point of being pretty unrealistic, I really feel like using automatic fire especially with weapons like the M1A1 and the G3 basically *would* route your accuracy straight into the crapper.

So I feel like what I need to do now is better understand exactly what people didn't like about the +1 TN per round system besides for the "all or nothing" to-hit mechanic. I need to ask you personally if you feel like +1 TN per round was too high of a penalty and if that was your main beef with autofire under the SR3 engine, or if you feel that that's okay.




When I think about it I feel like +1 TN per round could actually be okay for certain weapons. But not all weapons recoil the same. For example, someone on bullshido.net once told me that if you took a M16A2, but the butt against your testicles, and squeezed out bursts you wouldn't get anything more than a pleasant vibration, so that suggests to me that with some firearms the recoil might qualify for less than +1 TN per round fired whereas for others like the G3 you really couldn't get away with less than +1 TN penalty per round fired. So maybe one part of the solution could be having each weapon have its own autofire TN penalty, just like ideally each weapon would have its own cyclic rate of fire, effective range, and so on.

However, this kind of thinking gets very complicated, because if we wanted to be realistic we probably really should get back to rolling for each round fired, which would have the dual effect of enabling better-implemented suppressive fire, and possibly interacting with the recoil TNs so that the first few rounds could be more on target in terms of lower TNs than later rounds. This is a whole other can of worms...
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kzt
post Mar 24 2008, 06:24 PM
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I'd vary by weapon, with bennies based on skill. I've had limited experience with full auto weapons myself, but I found that shooting an MP5 it was pretty controllable in short and some longer bursts. M16s are used by SOCOM guys in full auto quite a bit and to good effects. I've seen clips of people using SMGs to very good effect. I've seen a guy shoot an M60 off-hand and hit targets a few hundred meters away. I had a vietnam era seal talk convincingly about using a cutdown m60 to bounce around coke cans in an open field at 25 yards shooting from the hip.

But M14s are reputed to be essentially useless on autofire (with exceptions for using prone with a bipod) and the G3 and FAL don't seem to used much on auto. Full auto shotguns are mostly just seen in bad movies.

None of the people who seemed to be good had just picked up the gun and blazed away. They had all spent a lot of time training and shooting a lot of ammo. So instead of rating on recoil comp I'd provide a direct modifier to the weapon for firing auto bursts, another for FA and limit high recoil weapons to only shooting wide bursts.

But I'm not strongly married to these ideas.
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Ed_209a
post Mar 24 2008, 06:41 PM
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How about mechanically eliminating everything but the short burst?

Your character may fire a long burst, but you the player are rolling for two short bursts in sequence.

Assign a penalty of 1 per short burst fired, ie -1 for the first, -2 the second, etc. This is the _base_ recoil. This will represent the difficulty of firing short to moderate bursts from fullsize assault rifles and SMGs.

From here, you start adding penalties per burst for weapons that are harder to control, like full-auto battle rifles, full-auto shotguns, machine pistols, etc.

So while a 6lb 9mm SMG might go -1/-2/-3, a 2lb 9mm machine pistol might go -2/-4/-6, or even -2/-5/-8

This will eliminate the all-or-nothing nature of bursts. It really isn't that hard getting all the first 3 rounds on target, it just gets dicey after that.
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Wounded Ronin
post Mar 24 2008, 08:47 PM
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QUOTE (Ed_209a @ Mar 24 2008, 01:41 PM) *
How about mechanically eliminating everything but the short burst?

Your character may fire a long burst, but you the player are rolling for two short bursts in sequence.

Assign a penalty of 1 per short burst fired, ie -1 for the first, -2 the second, etc. This is the _base_ recoil. This will represent the difficulty of firing short to moderate bursts from fullsize assault rifles and SMGs.

From here, you start adding penalties per burst for weapons that are harder to control, like full-auto battle rifles, full-auto shotguns, machine pistols, etc.

So while a 6lb 9mm SMG might go -1/-2/-3, a 2lb 9mm machine pistol might go -2/-4/-6, or even -2/-5/-8

This will eliminate the all-or-nothing nature of bursts. It really isn't that hard getting all the first 3 rounds on target, it just gets dicey after that.


Holy crap, man. Years on DSF and yours is the most elegant solution I think I've ever read. I'll definitely be looking into this as a good possibility. It sure still beats rolling for every bullet in the air.
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Stahlseele
post Mar 24 2008, 09:13 PM
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the only problem with the +1TN per round fired is with HVAC and Miniguns, because there's NO WAY IN HELL to get the TN to Moderate Levels again, if you have a +15 or +18 . . other than that, i actually like the simple +1 per bullet fired . . because at 18 or 15 bullets your PN goes up accordingly, so even one single success would mean that if you start out at 7S damage with the vindicator you end up at 22D Damage, which is pretty much enough to kill anything that does not have hardened armor of at least 7 ballistics
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Fortune
post Mar 24 2008, 09:35 PM
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You could always go back to the SR1 method, and roll for every bullet. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Adarael
post Mar 24 2008, 11:21 PM
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Only if we can also bring back the Dodge and Defense pools!
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DocTaotsu
post Mar 25 2008, 12:08 AM
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Unless that mechanics of shooting on burst are vastly different than shooting semi...

Putting the butt of an M16 against your testicles for purposes of firing is going to leave you with some pretty bruised testicles. ;p

That said I guess it all depends on your feelings on what "Pleasant vibration" constitutes.
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Critias
post Mar 25 2008, 07:18 AM
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I used to have a cobbled-together house rule for Full Auto, that basically turned long full auto bursts into open tests.

The way I see it, even with those (real world) autofire bursts, you've still got the shot lined up when you first squeeze the trigger. Even to someone without much practice, without wrestling with the gun at all or leaning into it to help with muzzle climb, if you've got it aimed right at the start of the burst, well, you should hit something, even if after the first shot or two you're all over the place.

So you basically had your "base" TN (the normal TN based on lighting and range and cover and stuff), and your "total" TN (that TN, then with uncompensated recoil tacked on). If you hit your "base" TN, then you blast 'em with the base damage of your weapon, plus however many shots you've got recoil compensation for. For very TN past that that you happened to roll, you hit with one more round (up to the maximum of however many shots you fired).

The problems were (1) it was an open test and no one likes open tests, (2) it caused hairiness with counting successes and junk like that. So it never really caught on.
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Herald of Verjig...
post Mar 25 2008, 12:06 PM
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While I do like open tests (at least for stealth and other unpredictable scenarios), I prefer to just use suppressive fire for any use of full auto. As a bullet-wasting tactic, it lets you swap the cash from gun mods to just more bullets with no loss in combat quality. Also fun, is that the target has to dodge your wall of lead, then you get to roll just to see how much damage gets through (no dodge after the attack roll). It's balanced since most FA weapons don't have high damage codes for each bullet, but it does offer spray and pray results. As another fun detail, off-hand isn't one of the penalties applied on the attack test, so you don't have to be ambidexterous to get the full benefit of shooting 20 or 30 bullets into a small area and seeing how many people get hit.
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Critias
post Mar 25 2008, 01:41 PM
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I like the idea of suppressive fire (in SR3, I'm talking), but in practice it was only ever useful when my GM let my Adept Center to avoid the built-in +2 TN, or the time MFB and I were horrible monsters and both had gunbunny Adepts, with bonus dice and Centering (his with a medium machinegun, mine with an assault rifle), and both suppressed at the same time.

Otherwise, it really doesn't matter how good you are -- slinging your base dice at TN 6, and not being able to stage damage for multiple bullets? People just plain aren't scared of that, thanks to the stupid low damage (base) of assault rifles, SMGs, etc. I know for certain none of my characters ever bothered dodging it.

It was a neat idea, but just not very frightening for the most part.
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nezumi
post Mar 25 2008, 01:44 PM
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One suggestion I've seen is instead of adding to damage, extra bullets add extra dice on the firing test.

So say you have skill of 4 firing 8 rounds out of an AK with 3 rounds recoil comp. The TN goes up by 5 (+8 - 3) but you're rolling 12 dice + combat pool. This also has the benefit of making autofire more useful at close range (where the lower TN means you want to increase dice, even if it increases the TN a little bit), is of limited use at medium range, and just about useless at long range (sort of like real life). Tie this in with a change to how scopes work and you're golden.
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Heath Robinson
post Mar 25 2008, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Mar 25 2008, 07:18 AM) *
The way I see it, even with those (real world) autofire bursts, you've still got the shot lined up when you first squeeze the trigger. Even to someone without much practice, without wrestling with the gun at all or leaning into it to help with muzzle climb, if you've got it aimed right at the start of the burst, well, you should hit something, even if after the first shot or two you're all over the place.

That is not true. The recoil begins as soon as the projectile leaves the round casing, which allows the barrel to move due to recoil before it leaves the muzzle and therefore your first round which was accurately line up can miss unless you know how to damp the recoil well enough to keep the muzzle on target.

This is why placing the barrel of a gun in your mouth is popular if you're committing suicide; you can't damp the recoil with the body of the gun away from you because it's so damn awkward, so you keep the muzzle on target by jamming it up against the the roof of your mouth.
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DocTaotsu
post Mar 25 2008, 01:58 PM
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And I always thought it was because your brain in located just above your mouth (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

*ducks*
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Heath Robinson
post Mar 25 2008, 02:13 PM
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Aye, but it's also right next to the ear - which is another place you can place a gun to blow your brains out that only really gets used by people unaccustomed to handling the guns they're using to kill themselves because it has a nasty habit of not doing the job due to the muzzle rise, or so I've heard. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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kzt
post Mar 25 2008, 03:12 PM
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I've seen some pictures of guys in ERs after they blew their face off trying this....
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Ed_209a
post Mar 25 2008, 03:33 PM
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QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Mar 25 2008, 09:47 AM) *
That is not true. The recoil begins as soon as the projectile leaves the round casing

I have also read that a significant portion of the recoil comes from the high pressure gas escaping around the round just as it leaves the chamber. Kind of like a rocket engine. I think this is why muzzle brakes are so effective at reducing felt recoil.

QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Mar 25 2008, 09:47 AM) *
This is why placing the barrel of a gun in your mouth is popular if you're committing suicide; you can't damp the recoil with the body of the gun away from you because it's so damn awkward, so you keep the muzzle on target by jamming it up against the the roof of your mouth.

Also, putting the gun underneath your chin is a good way to come to in an ER looking forward to years of reconstructive surgery. My parents know someone this happened to.

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Stahlseele
post Mar 25 2008, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi @ Mar 25 2008, 02:44 PM) *
One suggestion I've seen is instead of adding to damage, extra bullets add extra dice on the firing test.

So say you have skill of 4 firing 8 rounds out of an AK with 3 rounds recoil comp. The TN goes up by 5 (+8 - 3) but you're rolling 12 dice + combat pool. This also has the benefit of making autofire more useful at close range (where the lower TN means you want to increase dice, even if it increases the TN a little bit), is of limited use at medium range, and just about useless at long range (sort of like real life). Tie this in with a change to how scopes work and you're golden.

THAT is an approach i can get behind . . just because someone's slinging a dozend of bullets at you, doesn't mean all of it is going to hit or all of it is going to miss either . .
and it'd be "realistic" in comparsion too *g*
would make full auto a little bit less scary on the downside . . but meh, if you're in a place where you can actually get hosed with lead like that, it's your own fault to begin with, in the most cases ^^
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DocTaotsu
post Mar 25 2008, 03:54 PM
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Hm... yeah I do like the extra dice. Still a chance to dramatically stage up the damage but mostly it just increases your chances of hitting someone, at least a little bit.
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Stahlseele
post Mar 25 2008, 04:08 PM
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which is, incidentally, what spraying bullets is for anyway *g*
of course, with the easier to hit from more bullets there does come more damage, but meh, it's a nice secondary effect ^^
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nezumi
post Mar 25 2008, 05:21 PM
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I can't take credit for the idea (although I forgot who originally suggested it). It does mean machine guns are less likely to kill you in one burst, but it makes it much more likely for them to actually hit you and do damage (the shooter rolls more dice to hit, and gets more successes making it harder to dodge).

I have not yet considered how to change dodge tests, if at all. Do I increase the TN of 4 for the dodge test by the number of bullets fired? That hit? Or not at all? It also requires we rethink immunity to normal weapons (the spirit power) since this no longer increases damage and therefore when before my 8M AK had a chance against a force 6 elemental (by firing 5 bullets) now it doesn't. And like I said, aim tests. But since basically all three of these issues are already unrealistic, I don't feel bad going back to meddle with them more.
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