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> Opinions on Suppressive Fire, What are yours?
darloth
post Jan 29 2004, 12:34 AM
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Basically, as the topic title says, what are your opinions on the suppressive fire system currently in shadowrun?

I personally have to house rule it so that if people don't choose to dodge, or fail their dodge, they get hit, even if the shooter misses.

Otherwise, an unskilled person with a mounted, fully RC/ed machinegun can fire 10 rounds down a 1 meter wide passageway, and anyone can walk down it without taking a scratch

This is because the unskilled person will never realistically manage to get more than one or two successes at a quickness(10) test, and will usually fail completely.

Discuss?
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BitBasher
post Jan 29 2004, 12:42 AM
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That's because that person cannot keep the gun pointed on the 1 meter he wants to. He's not competent in the use of a weapon. I think that's very reasonable.
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Bearclaw
post Jan 29 2004, 12:59 AM
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If a gun is properly mounted, it's easy to keep it mostly on target.

If some one is shooting at an area, and some one enters that area, they should stand a decent chance of getting hit. That's the reality. I realize Shadowrun's VERY abstract rules make this hard to work out, but that's still how it should be.

ex:
A sniper is up in the church tower. To get a shot at him, your buddy has to get across the street. You poke your head and gun just slightly around the corner, and start squeezing off rounds at the opening. You might not be able to hit the snipers head on a quick shot like that, but you can hit the 3 by 5 opening. Your buddy runs. If the sniper is dumb enough to poke his head up, he will likely die. He knows this, so he keeps his head down til you stop shooting, then pops up for a quick shot. If you're not still there, he does the skilled guy version of cover fire. He let's you think it's safe, while drawing a bead 2 inches out from the corner you were just shooting around. If you poke your head out, you will very likely die.

In real life, both of these tactics work, and are used anywhere people are shooting. In SR, we need a good rule to deal with the first situation (the second is already covered by held actions and standard combat rules).
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Jason Farlander
post Jan 29 2004, 02:13 AM
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Some thoughts.

Suppressing fire, by its nature, doesnt seem to take skill into account. You dont even have to see your target (visibility mods dont matter) to it, so theres clearly no real differentiation in skill level here. The idea is just to make a given area somewhat dangerous to be by filling it with flying hot lead.

However... if youve never fired an automatic weapon before (you dont have at least a 1 in any gun skill), then the recoil from the weapon can be rather surprising... to the point that you might have quite a bit of trouble keeping the weapon aimed in the proper direction. This isnt necessarily true, though.

So... how about this. In order to use suppressive fire, make a quickness test at a TN equal to the total recoil, after compensation, for the attack. Each success allows the firer to increase the bullet density in a given area by 1. Having a skill of 1 or more in the weapon being fired negates the need to make this test.

The targets must make dodge tests as normal, requiring one success per bullet that exists in the area they are moving through. Since the deadliness of the attack is based less on skill and more on random chance, I would say that the attack stages itself up based on how many bullets the targets fail to dodge.

Example:

Slick Rick is hiding behind a parked car. GM Goon 1, who has an irrational hatred of Rick, is across the street with a tripod-mounted ingram valiant sporting the standard gas-vent 2. Rick, who would rather not die, decides to make a break for the alley, 5 meters away. Goon 1 would prefer to kill Rick, and lays down suppressive fire between the car and the alley.

Goon 1 found this ingram valiant on the side of the road with a belt of ammunition and has never fired it before. As such, he has to make a quickness test. He is firing 10 rounds, with 2 points of RC from the gas vent and 6 points from the tripod. Uncompensated recoil for a heavy weapon is doubled, giving him a TN of 4. Rolling his quickness of 4, he gets 2 successes, allowing him a maximum bullet concentration of 2 bullets/meter. this is fine, since he is covering a 5 meter stretch.

Rick makes a break for it. He is pretty fast, with a cybered-up quickness of 8 and a combat pool to match. He decides to also add a couple dice of karma pool (that gun sure *sounds* scary). Luck is with him, and he scores 7 successes -- well above the average for the amount of dice rolled. Unfortunately, 7 successes is not enough.

He failed to dodge 3 of the bullets, so the GM rolls 3 dice at the normal TN for that range, which in this case is is short. 2 Successes. This stages the damage of the attack up from its base of 7S to 7D. Ouch.

Lesson from this: Dont run into a stream of bullets coming from an Ingram Valiant.

[Edit] An afterthought: note that the unskilled person took 10 bullets to hurt someone as much as a skilled person could have done with a single bullet. [/Edit]

This post has been edited by Jason Farlander: Jan 29 2004, 02:22 AM
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Austere Emancipa...
post Jan 29 2004, 06:50 AM
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I use the canon rules with a few slight modifications. For one, the TNs end up a lower -- low enough for low-skill shooters to manage a hit if they spray enough lead. The amount of lead undodged in any one area also gives -TN on the test to hit anyone who didn't dodge, as well as increasing damage when there's enough of it.

The fact that I've house ruled RoFs to realistic figures helps. Instead of a low-skilled unwired guy spraying 10 rounds per 3 seconds (one round every 0.3 seconds, pathetic for suppressive fire), he can fire 40-60 with most firearms (or less, if the mag isn't large enough).
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Jpwoo
post Jan 29 2004, 05:08 PM
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House rules subject to testing:

Surpressing fire takes a complex action. It can only be performed by a person with an appropriate firearms skill of 3 or more. The person firing picks an edge that they are firing at. An edge is any cover horizon, a window sill, one side of a doorway, the corner in a hallway etc. They only get to cover one edge, so if they are looking down the front of a building with many columns they can effectively only cover one of them.

The suppressive fire lasts for one initiative pass, so if it starts on 15, it goes until 5. If it starts on less than 11 it goes for a ten count total even into the next round. so if it starts on 3 at the end of one combat around it will cover for an additional 7 counts the next initiative.

At short range suppressive fire generates a flat 4 successes on anyone passing the threshold of the edge. So anyone leaning out, stepping out, running through etc will eat 4 successes from the gun. At medium it is a flat 3 successes. At long 2, at extreme range 1.

Firing suppressive fire eats up half the ammo capacity of the gun. Automatic weapons are considered to have fired a three round burst.

Rationales:

Base skill requirement of 3. It would take a fair amount of training before you could lay effective suppressing fire. This could be lowered to 2 I guess.

With the flat rate successes anyone trying to get through is going to be forced to use combat pool. One of the goals of suppressing fire is to punish anyone who steps into it, so eating up some combat pool seems a fitting enough punishment for risking the move.

Time is really what suppressing fire is about. giving someone else time to do something. Or to keep an area clear. Two actions of surpessing fire will empty any gun, that seems fair.

Maybe smg's and rifles get the 3 round burst damage, lmgs and hmgs get a 6 round burst damage.

Another thing that comes to mind would be to tie the ability to lay effective suppressing fire to the Small Units Tactics skill. The only time you would use it really would be with friends around. And it adds another game reward for having the skill. So maybe instead of the firearms requirement have the skill requirement be Small units at 3 or better.

Just some thoughts.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Jan 29 2004, 05:25 PM
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QUOTE (Jpwoo)
Firing suppressive fire eats up half the ammo capacity of the gun.
Maybe smg's and rifles get the 3 round burst damage, lmgs and hmgs get a 6 round burst damage.

Half ammo capacity will give rather silly results. Although, as long as you are limiting this per Complex Action and not per CT, you will get silly results regardless. Oh well.

LMGs and MMGs do not neccessarily have any higher rates of fire than ARs or SMGs. In fact SMGs and LMGs have, on average, almost exactly the same kinds of cyclic RoFs. HMGs, on average, have very low RoFs (though still not as low as a non-wired guy would be limited to in canon). MGs might be more controllable while firing full auto, but I think that's a bad mechanic for making that difference.

Coupled with the 4 flat successes, suppressive fire will certainly be deadly with these rules. A bit too deadly for my tastes, but that's really a question of personal preferences. Don't be surprised if people mow down platoons of surprised baddies with one action of suppressive fire with these rules.
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Jpwoo
post Jan 29 2004, 06:14 PM
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QUOTE
Half ammo capacity will give rather silly results. Although, as long as you are limiting this per Complex Action and not per CT, you will get silly results regardless. Oh well.


Like I said, untesting and off the cuff. Firefights don't last long enough to change clips anyway, at least not in my games. So this was mainly made so that someone someday might have to reload.

Give me your example of the Complex action getting silly though, I would like to hear it.

QUOTE
LMGs and MMGs do not neccessarily have any higher rates of fire than ARs or SMGs. In fact SMGs and LMGs have, on average, almost exactly the same kinds of cyclic RoFs. HMGs, on average, have very low RoFs .


The burst and 6 round burst limitations were put in not to reflect the firing rates of the guns, but rather the difference in quality of Supressive fire with different kinds of weapons. It should be more dangerous to step out in front of a minigun than it is a barrage of pistol shots.

QUOTE
Coupled with the 4 flat successes, suppressive fire will certainly be deadly with these rules. A bit too deadly for my tastes, but that's really a question of personal preferences. Don't be surprised if people mow down platoons of surprised baddies with one action of suppressive fire with these rules.


You couldn't take a suppresive fire action on a target you could see. I realize that this is silly, and inconsistant with the rules, but the mechanic is supposed to create the ability to keep someone pinned down. The idea being that it is dangerous and that people won't step into suppressive fire. to give a viable option to the hold action and opportunity fire that we have now.

The flat successes could be scaled back or up to fit your desired level of danger. You are definately right. It is all a matter of prefrence :)

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Austere Emancipa...
post Jan 29 2004, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE
It should be more dangerous to step out in front of a minigun than it is a barrage of pistol shots.

A minigun is not a LMG, MMG or a HMG. They are different animals altogether. Even miniguns firing assault rifle/LMG ammunition weigh as much and are as bulky as conventional HMGs. They also have RoFs in the range of 3 to 10 times as fast as other fully automatic firearms. At best, in the 100 rounds per second range, stepping in front of one would certainly get you ripped into shreds.

QUOTE
You couldn't take a suppresive fire action on a target you could see.

Then consider a dozen secguards standing on a rooftop, and a guy with a LMG 50 meters away at street level. Declare suppressive fire at the edge of the roof. Splat, 12 dead secguards.

QUOTE
Give me your example of the Complex action getting silly though, I would like to hear it.

Let's consider Mr Average Soldier, with an init of 6 (1 action per CT).

Under canon rules, he can never squeeze more than 300 rounds per minute from any non-minigun non-HV weapon. With your rules, looking at SMGs first, that gets upgraded to 480 rounds per minute from the Ingram Smartgun (32 magazine, 16 rounds per Complex Action). IRL, many SMGs go well over 1000rpm cyclic, emptying a 30-round magazine in under 2 seconds. Either by your rule or by canon, an MP5TX would be limited to 300rpm, while real MP5s fire at ~850rpm.

With your rules, an Ares Supermach 100 could add 50% to its RoF by using an Extended Magazine (60) instead of the standard (40). In either case, it would be constricted to RoFs well under what many LMGs do IRL (900rpm with the extended magazine vs many RL LMGs at 1000-1200rpm). By far the fastest RoF would be that of the G38 LMG with a drum, 50 per complex action/1500rpm -- but if you use the standard 30 round magazine, you only get 450rpm (about half of what the RL G36 fires at).

The Vindicator minigun would end up at the same Suppressive Fire RoF as many MMGs and LMGs (750rpm).

Now take Mr Wired Streetsammy with 3 actions per CT. Suddenly he can squeeze 4500rpm out of a G38 LMG with a drum magazine.

I could keep going for much longer, but I think that's enough proof that limiting RoF by Complex Actions, especially for Suppressive Fire, is really hard to justify. It will always have huge gaping holes logic-wise, no matter what kind of justifications you try to dig up (and I've seen quite a lot of those).
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Jpwoo
post Jan 29 2004, 07:16 PM
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Ahhh you meant silly from a RL perspective, not from a game balance perspective. and the half ammo thing obvious doesn't work for belt fed weapons.

QUOTE
Then consider a dozen secguards standing on a rooftop, and a guy with a LMG 50 meters away at street level. Declare suppressive fire at the edge of the roof. Splat, 12 dead secguards.


Ok by why I wrote the whole rooftop would be considered an edge. Limit the Area suppressed to two meters wide or tall. And limit the action so that you can't fire suppressive fire into an area with a live target (drone person etc.)

so the guy on street lvl with the lmg fires suppressive fire along the roof edge. The purpose of the rules would be to stop people who poped up over the roof edge from doing so.

So in your scenario he looks up at the roof and 12 gaurds stand on the edge. he walks fire across the roof and kills them all.

My scenario, he knows there is security on the roof but he can't see it. . He picks his spot and sprays rounds up there so that the roof security doesn't move up and kill his friends who are running into the building. Any of those security people who did move up would have to deal with a lot of pain. This doesn't seem unreasonable. If there were gaurds that he could see on the edge of the roof and he wanted to kill them he would make his attack check at normal.

As for your 1000 round wired samurai, there are lots of weird discrepencies between the real world and SR game mechanics. I agree. The half ammo thing would be to keep someone from getting pinned down indefinately. So our samurai freind can only keep a doorway covered for 20 initiative tics before he has to reload. does 1/3 sound better? the best solution would be to have some kind of formula for type of gun vs size of clip etc, but I like rules as simple as possible. so 1/2 clip per action with a regular clip, 1/3 clip per action with extended clip doesn't seem unreasonable.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Jan 29 2004, 07:31 PM
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QUOTE
and the half ammo thing obvious doesn't work for belt fed weapons.

I used only removable magazines ("Clips" in Shadowrun) for the numbers in the above post.

QUOTE
I like rules as simple as possible.

Okay then. Just keep an eye out for the game balance issues.

I'm not good with simple rules. I am far better with rules that make sense, both from RL and game balance POVs.
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Jpwoo
post Jan 29 2004, 07:47 PM
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QUOTE
I'm not good with simple rules. I am far better with rules that make sense, both from RL and game balance POVs.


Yikes! The SR rules must make your head hurt all the time! They are good at doing what they do, but they certainly don't do reality.

It is very good to see how ludicrous the numbers are though. Thanks for the input!
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Austere Emancipa...
post Jan 29 2004, 07:50 PM
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QUOTE (Jpwoo)
The SR rules must make your head hurt all the time!

Oh they certainly do. Which is why I've house ruled most aspects of ranged combat, especially in relation to firearms. Even further than, though in many cases perhaps not as well as, Raygun. Needless to say, "10 rounds per Complex Action of Fully Automatic fire" was one of the first to go.
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darloth
post Jan 30 2004, 05:04 AM
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Well, since this topic seems to be rules swapping (And by the way Jason, if you don't mind i'll be using portions of those rules...) here are my personal takes on houseruling aspects of this mess *grin*

Complex action full-auto is still a 10-round max (or bigger depending on weapon). However, since shadowrun has (i believe) a maximum of 4 combat passes per round, even if a goon with a single action has only one complex action in the first of these, much like the falling rules, he can continue suppressive fire into the other three (Again, 10 shots per round).

However... if someone wants to do this, they MUST fire the full 10 shots per round (Or whatever is max for weapon), and they MUST continue this shooting each pass until they next have an action (Which is often the first action next turn).

This means people with better reactions get better -control-, but the same (maximum) amount of lead. And the people with only one action get to empty clips fairly often.

I also (usually) allow people with semi-auto pistols to do this as well (two shots per pass) but of course, with only two shots, they're much less likely to hit everything.

(And i know the RoFs are still screwed, but hey, this is shadowrun :))

These rules have the side effect of pinning down slow characters more than fast characters, which is okay, as i quite like that.

(eg: 30 round clip, first three passes are full of nasty bullets, so noone can go anywhere, but the 4th is free, and the speed-junky with 34 init waltzes out and decapitates the goon before he can even eject the empty clip)
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Jason Farlander
post Jan 30 2004, 05:29 AM
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QUOTE (darloth)
Well, since this topic seems to be rules swapping (And by the way Jason, if you don't mind i'll be using portions of those rules...) here are my personal takes on houseruling aspects of this mess *grin*


Might I inquire as to what specific portions you intend to use? Of course I don't mind... if I didn't want others to use them for whatever reason I wouldn't have posted them. But if there are certain parts you like and certain parts you dont, I'd like to know what parts fall into which category. I pretty much made up that set of rules on the spot, so I would like to hear some constructive feedback.

Also: I like the idea of allowing suppressive fire to continue after your initiative... I'm just wondering how well it would work out in game...

Let me know if you decide to try that out.
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Zazen
post Jan 30 2004, 06:55 AM
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I house ruled that there is simply no staging from the attacker. The attack hits at base damage, period. I also don't let anyone put more than 5 rounds into a 1-meter area (they can, but the additional rounds have no effect). This nerfs suppression fire a bit, I admit.

I did it because I don't like the idea of someone throwing 10-15 rounds of suppression fire at an opponent because it's sometimes better than shooting them normally. It happened a few times in my game, and I think it's cheesy.
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Diesel
post Jan 30 2004, 07:03 AM
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AE: If you have all these houserules somewhere, can you send them to me either by PM or Email?

industriallegion@hotmail.com

I'm working on making my game a little better, but I'm caught up in writing the story at the moment, any rule help would be God.<edit>-like</edit>.
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Kagetenshi
post Jan 30 2004, 07:05 AM
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Fonitrus
post Jan 30 2004, 11:06 AM
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In my game, we used to go by the CC rules. Got abused. house ruled it. got abused. house rulled it. got even further abused..then i removed it from the game..
the they deliberately suppressed fire to force rules to be made awailable..
so i stood up..went to the toilet...ran some ideas in my head...got back...
told the group "do u want suppression fire rules???"
they said "yes"...
then i said "ok well..the persons u were suppressing about took cover and are not popping their heads up"...
i thought #### rules and just think reality...
so then eventually the goons got a chance to fire and they decided to suppress... the PCs just decided to return fire...i paused the game and asked for a willpower roll of 6...few failed and told them they just duked down but if thay want they can act...they felt confused with what i said(it was a hint) and then said they chose to act..1 chose to roleplay it and he didnt even bother acting even that he succeeded the willpower test.

the PCs who abused my liniency, those who failed yet still acted, did not survive that battle...its nasty when a drone gets a lock on u :)

so yea...any rule tht i ahve seen with supression has glitcches simply because the FA mode on guns is nasty to use becaus eof recoil problems but with supression rules (the many i have seen and used) give a free pass to recoil and just pick TNs out of a hat and let the gunbunnies circumvent the FA rules and recoil modifiers..

thats why i dont have them in my game...
sure i allow supression and if ppl act the way they are suposed to then fine,...if not crap happens...

of course it all depends on who is doing the shooting...most my playes have at least 5 in skills for the guns that have FA capability so its never an issue...but if someone of skill less than 5 tried then i arbitrarily drop the willpower TN to match.
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Jpwoo
post Jan 30 2004, 04:00 PM
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Ohhh! I like the willpower check to pop out into suppressing fire. That is the most elegant solution yet. Good job.
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darloth
post Jan 31 2004, 08:56 PM
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I tend to do one of those anyway, at least for people i figure need one (I don't tend to make any brick-type character who knows full well that piddling machine pistol won't hurt him roll...)

Jason: The part about unskilled having to make extra quickness rolls is too hard (for me) to remember in game i suspect, so i'll drop that and just use the standard default rules, see if they can actually succeed at a weapon skill test at +6 mod.

For everyone else, simply give them a max bullet density per meter = skill+recoil comp

then use the one dodge sux at TN 4 per bullet, if you don't get them all, you take damage which coincides to however many you missed.

But i think i'll keep the damage capped to the base weapon level, and just let the extra bullets increase power. Otherwise this -will- make suppressive fire far too powerful.

(Final result: Trained shooters with reasonably recoil-dampened or mounted weapons can fire as much as they like into a meter, up to gun's limit. Less skill = less bullets

Good dodges help immensely, bad dodges result in a fairly small wound which does penetrate very well.

If you failed to dodge 6 bullets from an Ingram Smartgun (7M base i think) then you'd be facing 13M damage code, modified by ballistic armour as usual. )

What do you think?
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Fresno Bob
post Jan 31 2004, 09:49 PM
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Keep in mind that firing in Suppressive Fire ignores recoil modifiers. The only thing that applies is the attacker's wounds, and a +2 modifier just for suppressive fire. So quit putting recoil in your equations.
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mfb
post Feb 1 2004, 12:21 AM
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no recoil, and--by the rules--no defaulting modifiers. a person with Qui 6 can suppress just as well as a person with 6 skill.
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Jason Farlander
post Feb 1 2004, 01:29 AM
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QUOTE (mfb)
no recoil, and--by the rules--no defaulting modifiers. a person with Qui 6 can suppress just as well as a person with 6 skill.


Actually, not anymore. check out the new CC Errata.
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mfb
post Feb 1 2004, 04:07 PM
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just saw that. i emailed rob about that way back when; glad to see it made it into the errata!
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