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> GM issue, Weapons range
The Overlord
post Jul 31 2014, 02:12 AM
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So one of my players has been pestering me with various home brewed rules and what not over the last week or so. On one hand i smell a large chunk of self serving, as they have only come into being when something may affect their character in some way (be it presently or in the future). And most of it i have had to argue with them for a long time to see sense, though over all it was on things i can more or less handle. However they have recently brought up something harder to handle, The weapons range table.
The player finds it wrong on many levels as it not only 'hurts' the dual pistol wielding orc that they want to make (Max Payne-esq), but also as a gun lover, and in a more general sense. And this is where the flip side comes in as i can see and hear in how much effort that they put into describing their first character(both background and individual pieces of gear aesthetically), which screams enthusiasm. Enthusiasm for a new game, that i was able to introduce to them no less, is something i love to see in people, and which is why when they took a crack at remaking the range table, i have been more hesitant to just say no.

Personally i find nothing wrong with the existing range table as well as a lot of the rules. Sure the rules often hobble some of my ideas, but i work around them. Still, I would like to hear some feedback regarding the table before i come to a decision. I told the player to post their ideas to forums and such(pointing out that i don't know nearly as much as the collective input of others), but they have refused for unknown reasons. Please comment.

Alt Range table, Gdoc
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Wounded Ronin
post Jul 31 2014, 04:13 AM
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So pistols now have a maximum range of 150 yards, while longarms with "slugs" only have 100 yards?

Come on, that is ridiculous. It's as if the player just made the maximum range of heavy and machine pistols really long and left everything else alone. How laughable is it that he extends pistols out to 150 yards while "assault rifles" somehow are stuck at 600 yards? I mean if we're talking miracle shots well beyond the distance that the weapon was designed for 600 seems too short for a quality first world "assault rifle" if loaded with quality ammo, if a handgun is considered to be able to go to 150. I mean I feel like if pistols are considered to be effective out to 150 yards why not extend the "assault rifle" out to a kilometer, again, for a well maintained high quality .30 cal "assault rifle" loaded with match grade ammo. Ballistically the round can make it and a good enough shooter could probably hit the target at that distance at least some of the time.

Ask your player if he can go out in the desert and with any slight degree of consistency or predictability demonstrate a hit on a torso-sized target using a pistol at 150 yards especially with you screaming in his ear like a DI or rapid firing a .50 cal rifle right next to him at another target farther away.

Hail Mary type shots don't count for the purpose of establishing a table that represents statistical trends under combat conditions. I myself have gone out to the desert and gotten close (but did not hit) a steel plate at a distance in excess of 150 yards firing from an elevated position and compensating hugely for bullet drop. While I felt I did very well there is no way that would have been practical to do under combat conditions and there would be no way to consistently make the same shot especially if I had to do it at a different location on a different target after each shot, instead of making multiple attempts on one target.

How much kinetic energy would a pistol round retain at 150 yards? How much trauma would you expect it to cause? If you start pushing things out to extreme would you need to make modified reduced damage codes for pistol rounds hitting at extreme range? Remember, we are talking pistol rounds here, not specialty rifle rounds designed for long range marksmanship.

Isn't the original maximum range for pistols like 50 yards?


Of course pistol guys should run into problems when they start fighting outdoors! There is a reason pistols are usually back up weapons and are usually considered to be under-powered for firefights. Even the original Max Payne used a bolt-action rifle when fighting outdoors on the docks!
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SpellBinder
post Jul 31 2014, 04:53 AM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Jul 30 2014, 10:13 PM) *
...
Isn't the original maximum range for pistols like 50 yards?
...
Close. In game, Heavy Pistols max at 60m; Light, Hold-Out, and Machine pistols max at 50m.
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Medicineman
post Jul 31 2014, 06:28 AM
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as a compromise you could double the original Range Table and call it a Day.

with a simple doubledance
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Moirdryd
post Jul 31 2014, 10:43 AM
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The "Effective" range of the Desert Eagle .50AE is listed as 200m
However with a little digging there is a consensus of information relaying that the accuracy of a pistol dips between 25-35 ft. So 10 meters. Most inj the same reports suggets that anything over 12m range you;re better off using something that isn't a pistol.
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Juca Bala
post Jul 31 2014, 10:58 AM
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You could make a compromise and create another range, maybe called "Impossible", with -10 or even -12 dice pool penalty, and double the Extreme Range for all the weapons, and not just pistols, and say that the character must take an action aiming to be ever allowed to try the shot.
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killstring
post Jul 31 2014, 02:28 PM
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I'll echo the extended maximum range argument, and posit an idea.

Called Shot: Extreme range.

-4 to dice pool, extend final range band by X4 up to a maximum of 1,500 meters.


I don't know, that feels about right on the low end, but feels problematic once we get to assault rifles and beyond. Giving any of those weapons an effective range of a mile kicks me right in the verisimilitude.

I'm far from a real-world guns enthusiast, so I have no idea how realistic this is or is not. Were I introducing it, I'd probably just limit this to Pistols, SMGs and Shotguns, then call it a day.


.....


Unrelated: Hi! This is my first post. What up?
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FearTheReaper
post Jul 31 2014, 08:29 PM
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I'm not a complete gun nut, but I shoot occasionally and have friends that shoot. I've also done some research on real-world ranges and read some hunting magazines.

You can handwave some ranges with techno magic voodoo, but IRL at the moment here's roughly what you're looking at IIRC:

Pistols are hard to use outside of 10 yards. You have to be really good to get much more range.

SMGs use pistol ammo, but they're more stable. IIRC they're around 100yds effective range.

Shotgun with slug can hit out to about 200yds. With shot you're probably looking at closer to 50, and you have to be pretty good (I've seen a guy take a pheasant from LONG range before, and figure that it was pretty close to 35-40yds. Everyone was congratulating him on it afterwards too.).

ARs are supposed to be 400yds, I think. Designated Marksman Rifles are supposed to go out to 600yds effective range. Sniper range is past that. Out to a mile you can hit with heavier calibers, but it's really chancy because the wind and Coriolis effect can affect the bullets profoundly.

Someone who shoots more could probably cross-check my numbers and give a more accurate estimate.
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Cain
post Jul 31 2014, 08:46 PM
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I'm no expert, but it's also about accuracy, more than just propellant.

Pistol barrels are simply too shot to impart a lot of spin, which makes the trajectory less stable after a shorter distance. Shotgun barrels are longer, but they have no rifling at all; even though they can reach a ways, they're less predictable than a rifle. The reason sniper rifles can shoot so far is a mix of their sights and precision barrels, which impart the maximum spin and allow precise targeting.
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kzt
post Aug 1 2014, 04:03 AM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Jul 30 2014, 10:13 PM) *
I myself have gone out to the desert and gotten close (but did not hit) a steel plate at a distance in excess of 150 yards firing from an elevated position and compensating hugely for bullet drop. While I felt I did very well there is no way that would have been practical to do under combat conditions and there would be no way to consistently make the same shot especially if I had to do it at a different location on a different target after each shot, instead of making multiple attempts on one target.

9mm and .40s are a lot better for this kind of insanity that .45s that the devotees of Saint John Moses Browning like to drag around. I remember doing this in a class (admittedly at 100 meters, not 150) and while I was hardly the best shot in the class I could pretty constantly hit a man-sized plate with .40 while even the best shooting devotees were missing much more often.

But yeah, it isn't rapid combat shooting. It took at least 5-10 seconds between shots, during which you are totally immobile and carefully aiming. It is taught because you might possibly find yourself with just a pistol against someone with a long gun, and it's lot easier to survive approaching crazy active shooter when you only need to get to 100 yards rather then 10 yards.

But if you are talking about realism, pistols are grossly overrated in SR. Short range with a pistol is 2-7 (or maybe 1-5) meters, medium is 7-15 meters, 16-30 is long, and everything after that is extreme. At under 1-2 meters with a firearm you are in a world of trouble, as you just got into a knife-fight with a gun, and that is at least as bad as being in a gunfight with a knife. Though a pistol is not as awful as a sniper rifle or MMG, it's going to suck a lot when someone grabs it with one hand and starts going stab stab stab like a sewing machine with the other. And yeah, armed melee is also underrated, swords and axes split skulls and remove limbs with a single hit.
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psychophipps
post Aug 1 2014, 04:27 AM
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What really makes rifles more accurate is their longer sight radius and additional bracing location. Handguns are far more difficult to shoot well, ask any pistol instructor.
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Uli
post Aug 1 2014, 10:18 AM
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QUOTE (The Overlord @ Jul 31 2014, 04:12 AM) *
. . . i smell a large chunk of self serving, as they have only come into being when something may affect their character in some way (be it presently or in the future). And most of it i have had to argue with them for a long time to see sense, though over all it was on things i can more or less handle . . .

Also have a thorough talk with him/them about attitudes and expectations toward the game. I may be mistaken, but they sound a little contrarian und uncooperative - focused on winning and pushing the GM around, if they can.
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Juca Bala
post Aug 1 2014, 10:57 AM
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Well, Shadowrun uses what we call "cool movie reality", and so it gives a reason to someone choose pistols and SMG over rifles and carbines. In real life, we train with pistols at distances of up to 10-15 yards at most (15 yards only for the shooting range qualification tests), and most "active drills", where you have to hit at torso-sized sillouettes after moving, or even during movement, most of the targets are between 3 and 7 yards maximum!
Also, yes, you can hit a target at 40 or even 100 yards with a pistol, in a stand, with favorable conditions, and, most important, with no one shooting back at you.
But Shadowrun don't need to emulate real life all that good, and I think that the ranges in the weapons range table do a good job for the game.
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psychophipps
post Aug 1 2014, 06:53 PM
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Holdout are fine at 5 meters for short range. Snubbies and other micro pistols are tough to shoot accurately, especially at range.

The other handguns would be fine having a short range of 10 meters. Bigger and heavier doesn't make them any easier to shoot and every combat trainer in the world focuses from 0 to at least 7 yards/meters. 10 meters is also the range where these trainers find the people with poor fundamentals despite all of the force on force they have done. They do great to 7 meters, get worse out to 10 meters and everything past 10 meters is a frickin' joke. A true target pistol could have a longer short range bracket, but most "working guns" would be well served with a short range of 10 meters.

SMGs should have a short range of 25 meters. This is the range where they truly shine and this is why they are still such good tools for police tactical teams. Police tactical teams in the US are all "Well, SOF uses ARs" but SOF doesn't operate in areas where they control the perimeter, have limited engagement ranges, and have a whole neighborhood of folks around them that they are really worried about when they work. These teams also forget that if there is an AR in the house, there is a weapon that can kill a cop right through their armor in with them. With a SMG, that's typically not a factor. The teams with the highest rollouts in the country, NYPD ESU, still use the MP5 to great effect.

Besides, if you've ever cranked of a 9mm vs a 5.56mm in a hallway, you'll take the 9mm every damn time, thanks.
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