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TKDNinjaInBlack
So here's the scenario. Three players are in a warehouse covering a door which they know two goons are going to kick through and most likely engage them at. The warehouse is one player's dwelling and by using the advanced character lifestyle rules has the lifestyle quality of "security conscious." This means that the three PCs have good cover against ranged attacks from where ever they are in the warehouse because of shelves and racks and boxes and crates, etc etc. Now, due to an intervening smog spirit trying to engulf and suffocate their shaman right before our two goons enter, the PCs are turned around and distracted from the door they were covering. When goon A kicks in the door, he bolts in and ducks for cover against some crates a few meters in front of the door, disappearing from view. Goon B however has an LMG (white knight) and opens up with suppressive fire towards my PCs. Two succeed in their test to hit the deck or jump out of the way, one gets clipped (he's a troll tank, so he took 1S, nothing to bitch about) and eventually ducks. Two of the three players (including the one hit) decide to try and berate me for even making them roll the test because they think since the warehouse has good cover they are effectively behind it and don't have to make the test according to the RAW. Here is what the core book says on suppressive fire:

QUOTE ('SR4')
Suppressive Fire
Sometimes a character may just use full autofire to make
his opponents keep their heads down. This type of shooting—
where the character saturates an area with bullets without specifically
targeting anyone—is called suppressive fire. A character
using a full burst to suppress can target a triangular area projecting
from the shooting character outward up to a distance of
his choosing with a width of 10 meters at its end and a height
of 2 meters. Suppressive fire takes a Complex Action and uses
20 bullets. The area remains “suppressed? until the shooting
character’s next Action Phase.
Suppressive fire is treated as a wide burst, but for simplicity
we assume that the wide burst and recoil modifiers cancel
out. The character laying down suppressive fire simply makes a
Success Test using Agility + appropriate firearm skill. Note any
hits.
Any character that is currently in (but not behind cover or
prone) or that moves into or out of the suppressed area
before
the shooter’s next Action Phase risks catching some flying lead.
That character must make a Reaction + Edge Test (+ Dodge if
on full defense) with a threshold equal to the hits scored by the
suppressing attacker. If the test fails, the character is hit, suffering
damage at the weapon’s base Damage Value. Characters in
the suppressed area who do not move other than taking cover
or dropping prone are not at risk.


the bold sentence is what they were using as a citation for why they thought I was wrong. However I read that as someone who is trying to hide behind cover (ie not get shot and stay hidden) or prone doesn't need to make the check, but someone who is still standing in an area that has some cover due to the environment OR someone who is peeking out from cover or partially exposed (as described in the partial and good cover ranged modifiers) still have to make the check because they are still possibly exposed.

So the sides in the argument were set. I argued for the wording of the RAW's "behind cover" to mean fully covered, and they argued for its meaning to include having any kind of partial cover as well. I tried to cite what a soldier is instructed to do when caught in suppressive fire, which is keep your body covered and your head down (SR equivalent of the "full cover" -6 modifier) to avoid getting caught by a round, and one of the players in our group is an Army reserve Afghanistan vet and confirmed I was right about that.

For some reason the players thought it would be acceptable that when being shot at with the intent to make you take cover and prevent you from attacking that you can hang as much of your body out of cover as you want, but if you have any cover modifier at all you don't have to take the suppressive fire test and won't be hit. As an extension of that belief, since the warehouse had good cover all over for combat, ideally in their minds, they could run around the warehouse all day and nobody could try to get them to seek cover with suppressive fire because they were "behind cover" as per the rules and need not make the check to see if they got clipped.

The argument lasted entirely too long, and it ruined the middle of the session (but came back together for a wicked rescue at a bus depot in downtown Seattle for the climax) and left both sides thinking they were still right. It was only resolved to go back to playing under the grounds that I would ask the forum for the answer, and specifically get an answer from a developer on what they intended by the phrase "behind cover" (either meaning actively seeking cover to not get shot or just having cover modifiers in your favor from the environment) in the suppressive fire passage of the core book. The rest of you are more than welcome to give input however and I'd like to hear some other perspectives as well. If you have any other questions about the scenario that would help, just ask.

Thanks
Rad
The rules for the Security Conscious lifestyle option say that residents can always find cover, not that they always have it. Unless they specifically stated that they were taking cover, they gain no benefit.

Even in a warehouse full of shelves, you can still get caught standing in the aisle. wink.gif
kzt
If they can't notice or shoot at the guy running in because their is something between them and the door I'd say they can't get shot by him. If they are rolling to see or shoot at him they can get shot.

Plus SR is silly ignorant about how hard it is to actually stop bullets. There really isn't much in a typical house that is going to provide actual cover from an LMG. Unless the PC lives in an engine block warehouse there probably isn't much there either that will actually provide cover. To reflect that requires changing the rules, so you probably don't want to do this.
Method
I agree with Rad. I think the devil in these details is actually in the wording of the Security Conscious quality in RC.

QUOTE
Security Conscious +2
The interior design of the home makes it perfect for defending
against intruders. Whether by design or accident, the layout, rooms,
and furniture make perfect cover and give residents (and regular visi-
tors) an advantage in battle. Residents can always find partial cover or
full cover in combat. At gamemaster discretion, the home may also
provide a dice pool modifier for AR (AR Modifiers, p. 208, SR4).

Also interesting to note that they make a distinction between full and partial cover here. I assume this is at GM discretion (since any sane player will always opt for full cover), which means it was reasonable for you to call for the Reaction+Edge roll so long as none of your players specifically stated that they were seeking out full cover.

I would also consider Initiative in this whole scenario. It sounds like they were expecting the goons, so if they had plenty of lead time I would give them a break, but if not there is always the possibility that the goons busted in before their action and didn't leave them time to seek cover.

Overall, I'd say you were in the right, and besides its not like they got owned or something.
Rad
Particularly what gets me was the line "due to an intervening smog spirit trying to engulf and suffocate their shaman right before our two goons enter, the PCs are turned around and distracted from the door they were covering."

Right, so they got caught with their backs turned? No cover. Hell, I'd be tempted to give their door-kicking opponents the benefit of surprise, depending on how quickly this happened.
AllTheNothing
QUOTE (kzt @ Dec 15 2008, 06:27 AM) *
If they can't notice or shoot at the guy running in because their is something between them and the door I'd say they can't get shot by him. If they are rolling to see or shoot at him they can get shot.

Plus SR is silly ignorant about how hard it is to actually stop bullets. There really isn't much in a typical house that is going to provide actual cover from an LMG. Unless the PC lives in an engine block warehouse there probably isn't much there either that will actually provide cover. To reflect that requires changing the rules, so you probably don't want to do this.



Oh if the rules say that it can be done there must be a reason.
And we are speaking of shadowrunners who are paranoid people by definition; all the furnishing will be made of nanotube-armored titanium layers (minimum thickness 8 mm) covered with some other material for disguise, same thing the doors, there will be drones carring around armored screens to cover the runners, moving (armored) walls, and a few Otomos special "Bubba the love troll" serie welcoming the unwanted guests.
Not to mention some free spirit who always bothers the runners that doesn't like mayhem on his turf and is more than happy to have new toys (victims) to play with, the sumolike abusive ninfomaniac girl of the next door and the Lone Star agent turned drugdealer who wants no dreck around his operation.
Obviously were not for the never deal with a dragon thing there would be also a couple of dragons too. biggrin.gif

In bocca al lupo.
ornot
I'd agree with your running of it. They can find cover easily, but they aren't automatically in cover. Hence I might have made it easier to avoid catching any flying lead by reducing the threshold, but that would have made no real difference in your situation. Fine tactics by the attackers, using a smog spirit to distract them biggrin.gif Good work!

So far as what can actually provide cover, I usually go with what's dramatically apropriate, with cursory consultation of the barrier rating chart. It seems guns are already hideously unrealistic in SR in terms of firing rate, damage rating, armour penetration and so on, but since I'm no 'gun enthusiast' I can suspend disbelief sufficiently.
Malachi
You played it right in the OP. I would have agreed with your players except that they were distracted at the time, and if they engaged the spirit in any way then you have a good case for saying that they moved away from cover. As a compromise you could have given them the cover penalty as a bonus to their test to avoid being shot.

However, the initial shot isn't really the issue. Even if the rules do mean "any kind of cover" that just means they don't need to make a test to be hit. They are still suppressed for the remained of the initiative pass and will risk getting hit if they attempt to shoot back at the guy doing the suppressing anyway.
Method
Well you also have to consider that part of the cover modifier is due to blocked LOS. By the raw even soft cover like bushes and curtains that won't stop a round still convey partial cover.
hobgoblin
yep, cover is more about not knowing exactly where to shoot, then it stopping the bullet (thats what shooting thru barrier rule is for)...
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