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James McMurray
Our group has had two runs so far. The first involved a single combat (spirit lightning bolts PC, PC kills spirit, PC runs like hell). The second one was a single long combat. In that long combat nobody died until after they'd been knocked out by stun damage (stick shock from me, gel from others). They wouldn't have evern died, but we were being paid to teach them a lesson and that's how the Face deciphered that command.

What about you guys? Do your teams shell out the cash for the nonlethal weaponry and pump out the stunbolts or do you light their fires until there's nothing left but charcoal?

Side question: if you combine damage types between party members, have you found fights to be harder when enemies stand up longer?
hyzmarca
It very much depends on the character and the game. For the most part, my characters use standard lethal weapons. A few are ideals that opt for nonlethal whenever is possible. A few are idealists who opt to kil leveryone whenever possible just to make a point. A few are the kind of people who use nonlethal weapons because so much more fun can be done after the unconscious victim is taken to someplace private.

In games where leaving witnessess causes bad things to happen deadly violence is more prevelant and in games where the authorities take murder seriously nonlethal is more prevelant.
eidolon
We tend to do whatever the job calls for. When it's left up to us, we do what fits the character. When the characters disagree, we discuss it in character, and come to an agreement. If any character can't live with the choice, they'll walk (has only happened once, that I can recall).
Ravor
Well my current character carries Regular and Ex-Ex rounds for her Predator (With a Gas Vent System, despite being against the RAW, so no silencer.), but for her silenced Colt America she carries Gel and Regular rounds.

Against guards, gangers, ect she tends to use lethal force, but against various non-combatants she tries to subdue them quickly and quietly.

On the other hand, our Kantana Bio/Adept Combat Monkey is completely unable to deal any Stun Damage even if he wanted to, which I don't think he does.

Our Decker tends to deal Stun Damage simply because she's in love with the new Tasers in melee combat, at range she carries both Regular and Gel, but I've only seen her use Regular rounds.
Dashifen
hyzmarca's right: it depends on the character. With six players around my table every weekend, we have a number of people who show restraint, and one guy with a penchant for powerballs ....
Clyde
Generally lethal. If the bad guys aren't taking prisoners, why should we?
Azralon
We've got a mixture of S-dispensers & P-dispensers in our group. It's unfortunate from a pure combat efficiency standpoint, but it's circumstantially useful to have two equally valid options.

Our semi-noncombatant faceman runs with a Fubuki and shock rounds, as it upgrades the damage code and the tazering effect helps supplement his low defensive capacity. Also that semi-exotic weapon fits his particular style. However, he'll load APDS if he thinks he'll need it.

Our troll adept beatstick has Killing Hands, of course, so she's got options. She's also got a combat axe (what troll adept doesn't?) and an airburstable MGL-12.

The second melee character is a human all-bioware martial artist (8 skill, specialized, plus a 9 Agility) with Bone Density 4. I often joke that he's a troll hiding in a "bland Asian human" costume. While his Bone Density lets him do Physical damage, we let him also choose to do Stun despite what the rules (fail to) say. He's also extremely lethal with an SMG when ranged damage needs to be done.

The other co-GM and I have magicians as part-timer PCs (he's got a Raven shaman, I've got a Dark King hermetic) for when we're not running. The shaman is, predictably, more about mind control than damage-dealing, but he's got Lightning Bolt available for when things need to get blasted. My creepy cyberdoc mage has a slightly "reinterpreted" Hippocratic Oath to deal with, so throws exclusively Stun damage (Stunbolt and Clout). Besides, you can't probe or control the mind of a dead guy.

We've got a technomancer, too, but he's the "pasty nerd" type with Incompetencies in the athletic skills and anything manly like that. He prefers to not venture out into the Big Blue Room so any damage coming from him is going to be drone-based.

~~~~~

So are fights longer because we're mixing damage types? We've been playing weekly since October, and I recall only two combats in which an opponent would have dropped one or two IPs sooner if we had been throwing homogenous damage.

The tradeoff of being able to take prisoners for interrogation is well worth it, though. Nothing saves your butt in Shadowrun more than good intel.
Edward
for reasons of take down power I prefer non lethal.

In holdout weapons stick and shock dose more damage than anything else.

In a heavier weapon gel rounds will do more damage than anything other than exex, gel is cheaper and easier to get (available at char gen)

And stun tracks are typically shorter than physical tracks so you take the target out of the fight much faster with non lethal weapons.

Edward
nick012000
QUOTE (Clyde)
Generally lethal. If the bad guys aren't taking prisoners, why should we?

So you can use Personafix chips to turn your prisoners into personal sex slaves, duh. nyahnyah.gif
Azralon
QUOTE (nick012000 @ Apr 13 2006, 10:54 AM)
QUOTE (Clyde @ Apr 13 2006, 09:30 AM)
Generally lethal.† If the bad guys aren't taking prisoners, why should we?

So you can use Personafix chips to turn your prisoners into personal sex slaves, duh. nyahnyah.gif

Heh.

Although my bad guys have been known to take prisoners. That's usually a fate worse than a character's death (although the P-fix trick hasn't been deployed yet).
Big D
Gel has another advantage, too... it's technically legal, as long as you have the fake license for it.
Azralon
QUOTE (Big D @ Apr 13 2006, 11:18 AM)
Gel has another advantage, too... it's technically legal, as long as you have the fake license for it.

Well, the license for the gun is needed.

Yet another reason to have a rolodex of good, licensed, fake SINs. They're your best defense against the cops.
stevebugge
QUOTE (James McMurray)
Our group has had two runs so far. The first involved a single combat (spirit lightning bolts PC, PC kills spirit, PC runs like hell). The second one was a single long combat. In that long combat nobody died until after they'd been knocked out by stun damage (stick shock from me, gel from others). They wouldn't have evern died, but we were being paid to teach them a lesson and that's how the Face deciphered that command.

What about you guys? Do your teams shell out the cash for the nonlethal weaponry and pump out the stunbolts or do you light their fires until there's nothing left but charcoal?

Side question: if you combine damage types between party members, have you found fights to be harder when enemies stand up longer?

This is a character by character issue for me, and also situational. Example I have a mage who's personality and background have him a being sort of a sociopathic pyromaniac (yeah everyone just loves him) so unless there are restrictions put on the job or it would be a major tactical blunder, he goes for the flamethrower spell first. I have another character who's a hacker with some combat ability who swears by tazers and stun batons. For most of the rest it's situational, dictated by goals and job requirements (last night we had a run where there was a 2000 nuyen.gif penalty to our pay for every security guard killed).
Teulisch
you should always have the option of both. even if you dont want to do lethal to people, your going to need to shoot drones, vehichles, and doors from time to time. a gel round dosent have the same tire-popping ability as regualr ammo.

shock glove, tasers, and gel rounds for stun. Bone density, and regular guns for physical. smoke and flashbang gernades for those visibility modifiers.

and of course, the smart runners will have respirators.
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (Big D)
Gel has another advantage, too... it's technically legal, as long as you have the fake license for it.

...not to mention the greater chance for knockdown (-2 to body) of your opponent as well, forcing him or her to spend at least one action trying to get up. If they have serious wound mods to boot, this can be quite a task.
Edward
Personally I prefer the stick and shock for its extra dice penalty and chance the target will curl up on the ground

For a hold out there is no other ammunition

Edward
James McMurray
That's why I went with stick shock. I'd rather knock them out then knock them down, and the automatic -2 dice is just nasty.
Ankle Biter
My characters have mellowed recently, I used to go for dropping the opponent any way possible, but now my characters prefer to avoid killing.

Even my bloodyer characters from 2nd/3rd ed took the time to trauma patch combatants I had dropped that were only guards doing their jobs, and most of the time opposing runners were captured and turned over to our Johnsons.

I have the philoshophy that killing people limits your options as to what you can do with them from that point forward, keeping them alive on overflow then using a force 1 heal spell on them will keep them out of the picture for the foreseeable, while still leaving them available for interrogation later.

Also blood is harder to clean off than... uh... drool? Stun is the way forward, but to keep somebody down for a potentially prolonged fight shiv them till they are nearly dead then do a low level heal on them.
James McMurray
Blood also tends to draw more enemies. If you take out a corp site with no bloodshed, management will be pissed, but most Sec gaurds will just be glad to be alive. If you kill half of them, the other half may go hiring a runner team of their own.
Kyoto Kid
I agree, lower body count often means less attention for the characters. Another good reason for knocking someone out is that it takes longer to recover (there are no spells to heal stun damage) and you have someone to hogtie for interrogation later.

For the most part, my PCs (and even some NPCs) prefer to use non lethal attacks be it Gel Rounds, Stick & Shock rounds, Flash Bang Grenades, baseball bats or fists.

Yeah, Hurricane Hannah does have Killing hands, but that is usually reserved for things that can't be touched by normal weapons. Unfortunately for her ranged attack (Compound Bow), there aren't any non lethal options, yet (would be nice if they had included "Hammerheads" the arrow equivalent of Gel Rounds in SR3 CC).

KK4.1 is the only difficult character of the bunch since there are no subdual rules when using bladed weapons (eg "the flat of the blade") that I have been able to find. Hence, she tends to rely more on her Super Warhawks loaded with Gel rounds rather than her Katana unless it is absolutely necessary.

Nasrudith
Nonlethal can be better, after all you'll gather less attention for knocking out a ton of people then killing a ton of them.
Big D
Once you control the battlefield, you can always spend half a minute killing the sleepers if you have a reason (like witnesses) to do so.
NightHaunter
My group appears to do both at the same time, or whatever whim takes them at the time.
Example 1: Twitch, The Ork Former Merc, switched from a gel round pistol to aluminum bone lacing when he took a little bit of damage!
Causing the gel rounds fired later to be lethal!
Example 2: Glow, The 16yr old Cat Shaman Elf, with fibreoptic hair, was tranq-ing some guards. While Twitch and Briggan, the Dwarf Hacker/Rigger, were shooting other in the head, execution style, on the other side of the room.
Edward
So can anybody give a tactical reason to use lethal weapons?

Impact armour is often lower.
Stun tracks are often shorter.
Gell rounds increase knockdown.
Stick and shock imposes a -2 dice pool if the target /dose/ resist
You make fewer enemies.
In order to do moor damage than gel rounds you need to move up to EXEX.
You donít have to worry about failing to penetrate armour and getting some damage on the wrong track,

The mix and mach is the worse in my opinion because you wind up with an enemy on 8 physical and 8 stun, if everybody had bean dealing the same damage (even if it was a little lower) he would be out buy now.

Edward
NightHaunter
QUOTE (Edward)
So can anybody give a tactical reason to use lethal weapons?

Impact armour is often lower.
Stun tracks are often shorter.
Gell rounds increase knockdown.
Stick and shock imposes a -2 dice pool if the target /dose/ resist
You make fewer enemies.
In order to do moor damage than gel rounds you need to move up to EXEX.
You donít have to worry about failing to penetrate armour and getting some damage on the wrong track,

The mix and mach is the worse in my opinion because you wind up with an enemy on 8 physical and 8 stun, if everybody had bean dealing the same damage (even if it was a little lower) he would be out buy now.

Edward

Yeah!
Roleplaying without higher mathematics?

Try it!
Ravor
Well something to keep in mind is that almost all of the opponents a normal Runner team is going to face off with are Grunts with a single CM, so in that sense it doesn't really matter whether you are dealing Stun or Physical.
ThatSzechuan
It matters if the GM cares about body count.
Big D
Stupid questions...

Is the damage for shock gloves based on either/both being used in a single attack, or can they be "dual wielded"?

Do they add net UC hits to their DV? If so, is the extra DV in (e) or normal S?

Also, please tell me that shock gloves do replace UC DV, including things like crit strike; that would be just wrong if you got to add 5 (or even 10) S(e) on *top* of a physad troll's damage--you'd kill somebody with S damage in one hit.

Slightly less (maybe) stupid question... any reason stun batons can't be dual-wielded?

Finally... any rules for replacement batteries for these things? Something more like changing a clip than plugging into a wall?

Edit: Yeesh. "weild". I need more sleep at night.
Ravor
QUOTE (ThatSzechuan)
It matters if the GM cares about body count.



My response was aimed at Edward's example of worrying about dealing damage on both the Physical and Stun Tracks, since Goons only have one track it isn't really an issue in terms of spliting damage.

As for the Keeper of Fate caring about the body count, well our group uses the suggestion given about if half the damage was Physical and the damage from the last attack was also Physical (Or Stun that overflowed) then the Goon is straightout dead, otherwise he is simply passed out and/or in need for medical attention to prevent death.


If the Keeper of Fate wants to limit the 'body count' then the best way to do it is with both a carrot and the stick. The carrot is bonus pay for not killing the guards, and the stick is the increased heat and rep that mass murderers cause. (Of course something to remember is that sometimes a job requires the 'soft touch' of a Minigun in a crowded mall.)

Something else that I've found helps keep the body count down is protraying the NPCs as real people. Security Guards simply do not fight to the death unless they are given no other choice, most people will do their best to protect children, ect. Make the innocent bystanders and opponents more then mere numbers on paper.

However, just remember to play fair, if a character is likely to shoot a bystander if they fire without careful aim and thought, then so do your NPCs, and that too will affect their tactics, even in the 2070s, a Security Guard is unlikely to open fire into a crowd without a very, very good reason for doing so.



Red
Isn't it suggested in the NPC grunt section that they should be considered as having only 1 damage track for both physical and stun? The overlap problem is an issue for PCs, Lts, and special NPCs.
Xenith
As a player, I'd generally use stun to tick off fewer people. Kill a cop, yakuza, or even random innocent, you get someone after you for blood in addition to whatever a corp might want for payback (if they bother with recourses).

On the other hand, if my cover is blown or ident is reveiled and they are alone, I shoot them in the face.
Shrike30
QUOTE (NightHaunter @ Apr 14 2006, 06:49 AM)
Yeah!
Roleplaying without higher mathematics?

Try it!

I think what he's trying to point out is that non-lethal weapons *in practice* are noticeably more effective than lethal ones in SR. Given that, it's not too much of a reach to begin wondering if *in fluff/in game,* people are going to have taken notice of that fact and started equipping their characters/goons to reflect this.

I've seen situations where police use a less-lethal weapon to knock someone down or otherwise disable them (beanbag round, taser shot, pepper spray, flashbang) when they posed a lethal threat to people around them (guy waving a weapon around with other people nearby, hostage situation, etc), and the arguement for the use of that weapon has been that they were concerned that the suspect would hurt someone if they shot him and didn't kill him right off, but they felt the less-lethal weapon actually gave them a better chance of disabling their target before he could respond.

It'd make sense, if the technology has progressed to the extent that the *system* for SR4 indicates (with gel rounds and tasers being noticeably more effective in a gunfight than hardball ammo), that the game world may have begun to respond to this. Imagine the marketing campaigns...

QUOTE (Ares Trid ad)
Conventional ammunition relies on penetrating tissue to cause injuries, but even the lowest home invasion robber now wears body armor easily capable of stopping most handgun ammunition.† But Ares' latest GelForce ammunition doesn't care how much kevlar your target is wearing; it develops and transfers more kinetic energy, even through an armored jacket, than any solid slug on the market, making sure your target goes down, and STAYS down, when you tell him to... something you really can't do with conventional ammunition.

And you don't have to worry about hurting a loved one or getting into legal troubles with GelForce in your home... the rapid-deforming slugs won't overpenetrate a person or a wall, and while they'll knock a troll senseless, you don't have to worry that the relatives of your late robber-to-be will try and sue.† They can still talk with their cousin... in prison.† GelForce... the next generation of home defense.


I'm sure there's plenty of people who just want a good old-fashioned lead slug in their gun. But if the nonlethal stuff is so much more effective, and the public is aware of this fact, imagine what it'd do to the whole gun-toting mentality. If I had the option of carrying a less-lethal round in my carry piece that's been shown to disable a target more reliably than a straight-up lethal slug, I'd load it with those in a hot second. A spare magazine of hardball would have it's uses (mostly, in keeping my options open), but the primary load would probably be gel ammunition if it performed as well as SR4 would lead us to believe.

edit: fixed quote tags.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (NightHaunter)
QUOTE (Edward @ Apr 14 2006, 03:21 PM)
So can anybody give a tactical reason to use lethal weapons?

Impact armour is often lower. 
Stun tracks are often shorter.
Gell rounds increase knockdown.
Stick and shock imposes a -2 dice pool if the target /dose/ resist
You make fewer enemies.
In order to do moor damage than gel rounds you need to move up to EXEX.
You donít have to worry about failing to penetrate armour and getting some damage on the wrong track,

The mix and mach is the worse in my opinion because you wind up with an enemy on 8 physical and 8 stun, if everybody had bean dealing the same damage (even if it was a little lower) he would be out buy now.

Edward

Yeah!
Roleplaying without higher mathematics?

Try it!

That would make the Pythagorean mage very sad.
Lagomorph
my character plays both sides, being a rigger with high ROF weapons, I have the ability to draw lines in the battle field with suppressive fire. (which in his mind is non lethal since every one has the ability to get out of the line of fire while the vindicators wind up). And then once the bio monitors for the team members start fluctuating wildly (ie damage), then the blood bath starts. Other team members have commented that he's like a rock start tha has only has two volume settings, 0 and 11.
Nikoli
I also find that true of my riggers. Options are the power of a runner. Not how many bodies they can stack up.
NightHaunter
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
QUOTE (NightHaunter @ Apr 14 2006, 09:49 AM)
QUOTE (Edward @ Apr 14 2006, 03:21 PM)
So can anybody give a tactical reason to use lethal weapons?

Impact armour is often lower.†
Stun tracks are often shorter.
Gell rounds increase knockdown.
Stick and shock imposes a -2 dice pool if the target /dose/ resist
You make fewer enemies.
In order to do moor damage than gel rounds you need to move up to EXEX.
You donít have to worry about failing to penetrate armour and getting some damage on the wrong track,

The mix and mach is the worse in my opinion because you wind up with an enemy on 8 physical and 8 stun, if everybody had bean dealing the same damage (even if it was a little lower) he would be out buy now.

Edward

Yeah!
Roleplaying without higher mathematics?

Try it!

That would make the Pythagorean mage very sad.

Ok.
Fair point.
But simple flavor without working outs the odds for maximum damage works just as well.
Edward
I didnít realise mooks only had one track, still an issue for BBEG and lieutenants. Although with that (unfortunately complicated) rule for mook death you want to be doing only stun.

And like Shrike30 said I do believe that the rules reflect the technology and in a world such as SR where such things are researched the relative take down ability of types of rounds will be known and characters should select accordingly (after considering how much they know about guns and ammunition, and there mentality).

At the very least in the case of holdout weapons with stick and shock rounds there would be a easily observed difference,

Gel to standard rounds, not to hard to notice

Gel to explosive, setting hard to determine

And the repercussions of murder (law enforcement, angry friends and relatives) are a purely in character arguments

Edward
TwitchtheOrk
QUOTE (NightHaunter)
My group appears to do both at the same time, or whatever whim takes them at the time.
Example 1: Twitch, The Ork Former Merc, switched from a gel round pistol to aluminum bone lacing when he took a little bit of damage!
Causing the gel rounds fired later to be lethal!
Example 2: Glow, The 16yr old Cat Shaman Elf, with fibreoptic hair, was tranq-ing some guards. While Twitch and Briggan, the Dwarf Hacker/Rigger, were shooting other in the head, execution style, on the other side of the room.

Ok... for my defense in the first one I'd the guy was a Troll Sam who had just flattened our Phys Adept Troll in one hit and my gel rounds were bouncing off of him when he directed his attention to me.

Didn't mean to kill him that time as we would have gotten paid more if he was alive.

Example 2... yeah I was dumb and didn't think about it properly, but then I very rarely use non-lethal force, though thinking about getting some shock gloves so I at least have the option.
Butterblume
I prefer regular ammo, because it's a dark, dangerous world out there.

I won't switch to gel just because it's more effective.
Waltermandias
We've house-ruled the non-lethal weapons quite a bit in our game, so now they aren't more effective than lethal options. We disliked the idea that choosing things like stick and shock, gel rounds, narcoject, and stunballs were the "easy" options since they were both non-lethal and way better. Moreover, we had a hard time accepting that getting tasered vs. getting shot were dramatically different in terms of how likely I was to continue fighting after either happened to me. Now I may be a wuss, but it strikes me that if I got shot OR tasered I would most likely end up writhing around on the ground wondering where it all went wrong. It looks, to my group, that they decided guns and such should be cinematic, while tasers and such should be more realistic. We've just made both cinematic.
Akimbo
I've been playing the same character for about 4 years now. I respecced with SR4 were appropriate. My characters has a kill list of at least 350. After rolling so many dice to end someone, I wised up and realized that killing people in Shadowrun is stupid.

My GM was about ready to really lay the law down on me for how high profile running was with her. Hell, I survived quite a few crazy situations. Karma has really saved my ass in the past, and now edge is proving to be a huge help too.

A few months before SR4, I decided to go non lethal with tasers, stun rounds, and the like. This has proved to be a lot less painful emotionally, and proved to keep the law off my ass a little better.

In conclusion, a high body count sounds like a lot of fun, but in actuality it's really stupid. I'm glad that I'm redeeming my character.
Piecemeal
back in the day.. say... SR1.. i was, admittedly, a body count player. have gun, will slaughter. in the many good years since, i've tapered off the need for my targets to bleed lead.

i wont go so far as to say a high body count is stupid... detrimental, perhaps. stupid, no. fits perfectly for a chromed out, beetle fried gunbunny with a penchant to be just as smidge paranoid. "one more dead is one less enemy." yeah i know... it's a completely flawed line of thought, given some examples in posts above. however, we are dealing with in a lifestyle were -most commonly- Morals arent a luxury, they're a handicap.
QUOTE
In this God forsaken, magic rampant, technotrash society we call our Modern World, you gotta eat or be eaten.  Take a look around you, Chummer.  You gettin' the clear 20/20's?  You like what you see?  You all comfy there in yer corp run little con-apt, happy to cash in yer soul so you can reap the benefits of corporate social cluster? Well rezz this little AR stream.  Some of us out here have to eek out a living doin' the jobs yer oh-so-glamorous Corp patrons don't wanna dirty their hands with... to keep themselves bright and shiny in the public eye.

And some of us like what we do.


as for me, currently, i am very accepting of takedown alternatives. how nice is it to Shoot First and ACTUALLY ask questions later if the need be? biggrin.gif

Confushuzz say, "Man with no options may have Op shunned."
Voran
I lean towards non-lethal. However with the almost commonplace presence of drones and the like, I find it also important to pack gear I would usually have carried as 'run gear' back in SR 3. Heck even in late SR 3 I started carrying AP/AV rounds as possible.

I also like chemical weapons.
TheOneRonin
Too bad SR4 really falls off (more like leaps off, head-first, screaming madly) the reality bandwangon when it comes to this sort of thing.

Any body armor that can stop pistol rounds is going to allow the wearer to completely ignore crap like "gel rounds" or "stun rounds".

And with ballistic plate inserts, your armor will make you practically taser proof (unless you get nailed in an unarmored spot).

I understand the niche those devices fill in the game world, but that doesn't make them any less absurd/silly.

Tasers vs. unarmored foes...makes sense. All the other crap, ludicrous.

Again, it would be nice if at least one or two of the designers had a clue how some of this stuff works IRL.
Kremlin KOA
actually the steel plates in several forms of body armor is surprisingly useless against tasers
Azralon
QUOTE (Waltermandias)
It looks, to my group, that they decided guns and such should be cinematic, while tasers and such should be more realistic. We've just made both cinematic.

The "cinematic versus realistic" dichotomy is a pretty key realization when reconciling how SR4 game mechanics (are intended to) work.

For me, I love realism, but I learned a long time ago that at some point realism must take a backseat to ease of gameplay and effective dramatics. SR has always leaned more towards cinematic gaming but isn't as openly hokey as, say, Feng Shui.
Piecemeal
Ronin, i'm sure, is referring to Ballistic armors using the current SOTA forms of ceramic composite inserts.
Kremlin KOA
true
but then needles get through that stuff easily as long as they DON'T directly hit a ceramic plate
Piecemeal
and i completely agree with you on that point, Kremlin, since taser darts puncture. unless you happened to be firing Taser darts manufactured by Nerf.
TheOneRonin
QUOTE (Kremlin KOA)
actually the steel plates in several forms of body armor is surprisingly useless against tasers

Of course they are. But I highly doubt the ballistic armor inserts circa 2070 would be steel. Ceramic would be my best guess.

Like what this page says...

And here...

(see question #11, paragraph 3)

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