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Dakka Dakka
With a called shot you can take a penalty equal to the target's armor to disallow the target to use armor to soak. Do you use the base value or the value or the value adjusted by the shot's AP?

I'd prefer the latter ruling because the former completely ignores part of the weapon's capabilites. On the other hand the latter implies that the shooter includes lightly armored parts in his field of fire, which might not be so easy to discern.

This brings me to another question, can invisble armor (dermal plating/sheath under clothes, adept powers etc) be avoided?
Lilt
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ May 8 2009, 11:23 AM) *
With a called shot you can take a penalty equal to the target's armor to disallow the target to use armor to soak. Do you use the base value or the value or the value adjusted by the shot's AP?

I'd prefer the latter ruling because the former completely ignores part of the weapon's capabilites. On the other hand the latter implies that the shooter includes lightly armored parts in his field of fire, which might not be so easy to discern.

This brings me to another question, can invisble armor (dermal plating/sheath under clothes, adept powers etc) be avoided?

It would be the former, as finding an unarmored part of the body is just as difficult regardless of the type of weapon or the ammo you're using. I.e.: Why should finding an unarmored portion be harder with gel rounds than with Ex-Ex rounds.

As for what types of armor you can bypass, by the RAW I think you can bypass anything. It's also arguable that, BY RAW, it's an all-or-nothing shot. You either bypass all 15 armor the target has (and the target just rolls body), or you don't.

Logic, however, dictates that you can only bypass what you're aware of. That scarf, for example, may not look armored but may sport a kevlar weave. The same goes for a dermal sheath you may not be aware of. If the attacker is unaware of some of the armour, I'd have said they could only avoid what they're aware of. That'd be my rules-call, however.
Dakka Dakka
As the armor value is an average over the whole body it would be possible to shoot a part that is so lightly armored, that the armor penetration of the weapon used would negate this light armor.
ArkonC
Because of the abstract nature of the rules I'd probably rule AP mods apply and then you get the rest of the armor value as a DP penalty...
Of course, I would only count absolute values in reduction, no AP mods that say half armor, just because it seems to make sense to me...

Just my 2 nuyen.gif
Dakka Dakka
Why would you exclude halving AP?
ArkonC
Because it doesn't punch through the armor, it just makes it softer, and you're aiming for the parts you can punch through...
Also, the math is much quicker... (the lazy point of view is still a point of view smile.gif )
Method
I disregard the weapons AP all together if the shooter calls a shot to bypass armor. Getting a thru-and-thru head shot with an AP round doesn't make you any more dead than the same hole from a regular round unless you wanna start talk talking about the barrier rating of the metahuman skull, which is beyond the scope of the game if you ask me. In all reality, the AP round should be *less* effective against unarmored targets because the round is designed not to fragment or deform to create a nastier wound channel.

As for bypassing unknown armor, I would allow the player to make the shot but make a hidden roll for the targets defense taking into account the weapons AP and the hidden armor then describe the targets response IC.
Mx
QUOTE (Method @ May 8 2009, 06:01 PM) *
I disregard the weapons AP all together if the shooter calls a shot to bypass armor. Getting a thru-and-thru head shot with an AP round doesn't make you any more dead than the same hole from a regular round unless you wanna start talk talking about the barrier rating of the metahuman skull, which is beyond the scope of the game if you ask me.

Yes but AP rounds allow you to target light armored spot, that the AP-round penetrates, instead of totally unarmored spot so the AP-valua should be taken into acount when calling shot to bypass armor.
Method
QUOTE (Mäx @ May 8 2009, 07:27 AM) *
Yes but AP rounds allow you to target light armored spot, that the AP-round penetrates, instead of totally unarmored spot so the AP-valua should be taken into acount when calling shot to bypass armor.


If that were the case I'd probably make the player spend an action to Observe in Detail and possibly roll his Armorer skill. After all, the character is usually making this highly selective shot within a time frame of less than a second. That doesn't leave a lot of time to mull over the target's trendy fashion ensemble and decide which article looks less armored than the others... Remember your character doesn't look at armor in terms of neatly quantified Ballistic and Impact ratings.

Now if you have lots of time on your hands (a sniper situation for example), you might have the time to make that distinction. But doing so in a pitched fire fight strikes me as a little metagamey. No-one under fire thinks to them-self "Well, I could shoot that guy in the head, but that would take extraordinary effort. Instead I'll just aim for that less armored area, since my AP ammo will definitely punch through it..." I would argue that the thought process is something more like "Dontgetshot-dontgetshot-fuckme-dontgetshot-Igottakillthisguyintheface-dontgetshot....."
Mx
QUOTE (Method @ May 8 2009, 08:44 PM) *
If that were the case I'd probably make the player spend an action to Observe in Detail and possibly roll his Armorer skill. After all, the character is usually making this highly selective shot within a time frame of less than a second. That doesn't leave a lot of time to mull over the target's trendy fashion ensemble and decide which article looks less armored than the others... Remember your character doesn't look at armor in terms of neatly quantified Ballistic and Impact ratings.

Now if you have lots of time on your hands (a sniper situation for example), you might have the time to make that distinction. But doing so in a pitched fire fight strikes me as a little metagamey. No-one under fire thinks to them-self "Well, I could shoot that guy in the head, but that would take extraordinary effort. Instead I'll just aim for that less armored area, since my AP ammo will definitely punch through it..." I would argue that the thought process is something more like "Dontgetshot-dontgetshot-fuckme-dontgetshot-Igottakillthisguyintheface-dontgetshot....."

The minus you take to you dice pool when doing a called shots to avoid armor prepresent it being harder to hit a non armored place in the target as opposed to just hitting the target in general, AP-ammo makes it easier as you don't necceseraly have to hit a spot thats completdly unarmored as you bullet will punch trought light armor.
Dikotana
When shooting normally you are, or should be, aiming for the center of mass. Sure, you're aiming at a pile of kevlar and future ceramics designed to make your bullet do nothing much, but if you miss the center of mass you hit the slightly off-center of mass, which is still your target's abdomen and probably bad news for him. Miss even worse and you're looking at a hit to a limb (or the head, if you're very lucky!)

When you make a called shot, you're taking a substantial hit to accuracy by aiming for a particular weak spot. The downside is that the center of mass isn't your target anymore. You're aiming at a head, or the unarmored limbs, or a joint, or something like that. The penalty is for the fact that you're already aiming away from the easy target. Missing a little bit now means you won't hit at all.

Armor is an abstraction. The higher the armor rating, the better the armor and the more coverage it applies. Trying to shoot around it means choosing less and less optimal shots as the armor gets better. Aiming at more lightly armored parts (joints, or whatever) just seems like a way to abuse stacking of AP and called shots.

I've always run adept powers and dermal armor as full-body coverage. You could conceivably shoot around dermal armor, but you'd also have to aim away from vitals, and in the end it's a wash or an exercise in trying to shoot someone without shooting his skin. Adepts are using magic, and bullets just can't get around that.
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Dikotana @ May 9 2009, 11:47 AM) *
Armor is an abstraction. The higher the armor rating, the better the armor and the more coverage it applies. Trying to shoot around it means choosing less and less optimal shots as the armor gets better. Aiming at more lightly armored parts (joints, or whatever) just seems like a way to abuse stacking of AP and called shots.
I'd hardly call it abuse, it's more of a way to make avoiding armor a more viable option, the -dice +DV option is the overpowered one.

QUOTE (Dikotana @ May 9 2009, 11:47 AM) *
I've always run adept powers and dermal armor as full-body coverage. You could conceivably shoot around dermal armor, but you'd also have to aim away from vitals, and in the end it's a wash or an exercise in trying to shoot someone without shooting his skin. Adepts are using magic, and bullets just can't get around that
So does the shot's AP work in the case of Adept powers in your opinion? BTW only the heaviest form of dermal sheath and orthoskin are full body coverage.
Method
QUOTE (Method @ May 8 2009, 09:44 AM) *
...strikes me as a little metagamey.

QUOTE (Mäx @ May 8 2009, 10:06 AM) *
<snip> [game mechanics]

I don't think its possible for you have missed my point more friend. Must have been all those dice you minused on your called shot at understanding...
Dakka Dakka
Isn't it metagamey as well if you try to shoot an adept wearing a leather jacket and having Mystic Armor 6, and you have to reduce your dicepool by 8? On the other hand if you can't reduce the invisible armor, why wouldn't you get the AP modifier on the mystic armor?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Method @ May 8 2009, 09:01 AM) *
I disregard the weapons AP all together if the shooter calls a shot to bypass armor. Getting a thru-and-thru head shot with an AP round doesn't make you any more dead than the same hole from a regular round unless you wanna start talk talking about the barrier rating of the metahuman skull, which is beyond the scope of the game if you ask me. In all reality, the AP round should be *less* effective against unarmored targets because the round is designed not to fragment or deform to create a nastier wound channel.

As for bypassing unknown armor, I would allow the player to make the shot but make a hidden roll for the targets defense taking into account the weapons AP and the hidden armor then describe the targets response IC.



1. Which is generally how it works in real life... an AP round against an unarmored target has No additional effect but to dissipate its energy on teh terrain behind the target...

2. Not a bad idea, and is probably how I would rule it... you should not be able to bypass that dermal armor (of the Troll) or the mystic armor (of the adept), for instance... but AP capabilities may still nullify it after the target is impacted...
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ May 9 2009, 09:07 AM) *
Isn't it metagamey as well if you try to shoot an adept wearing a leather jacket and having Mystic Armor 6, and you have to reduce your dicepool by 8? On the other hand if you can't reduce the invisible armor, why wouldn't you get the AP modifier on the mystic armor?



Yes, it is metagamey... You should not lose the dice for this... However, that being said, the armor would apply (the mystic armor) if the target was actually hit, and would be modified by the AP of the round at that point...
Falconer
This is just me... but it makes more sense to do a called shot for damage if you are already packing anti-vehicular rounds. +4DV is roughly akin to removing 12 dice of armor soak. And it seems much more akin to, 'aiming for a weak point in the armor' rather than bypassing it totally. The only time that shouldn't really be enough will be if someone pulls out a tank.

6P base, +4 10, -4AP... we're already punching through armor rating 14. Depending on the size of the target... I might even allow a wide burst (wide burst into the trucks radiator grill w/ the APDS AR).

W/ the new scatter rules it doesn't make much sense... but I always kind of missed that there isn't an anti-vehicular grenade for the launchers... the kind of thing which works great if you can get a direct hit. Not the kind of thing which is too hard for a player to make IC though.

Maybe we need a called shot to reduce scatter option :).



Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Falconer @ May 9 2009, 09:29 AM) *
This is just me... but it makes more sense to do a called shot for damage if you are already packing anti-vehicular rounds. +4DV is roughly akin to removing 12 dice of armor soak. And it seems much more akin to, 'aiming for a weak point in the armor' rather than bypassing it totally. The only time that shouldn't really be enough will be if someone pulls out a tank.


Ditto...
Method
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ May 9 2009, 08:07 AM) *
Isn't it metagamey as well if you try to shoot an adept wearing a leather jacket and having Mystic Armor 6, and you have to reduce your dicepool by 8? On the other hand if you can't reduce the invisible armor, why wouldn't you get the AP modifier on the mystic armor?


As I said I would allow a player to bypass the leather and then apply the AP vs the Mystic Armor. In other words, in my game you cannot use a Called Shot to bypass Mystic Armor or any other armor you don't know about, but in that case I would honor the weapon's AP.

My point about selecting less armored parts of the target is that when you do the math the average Simple Action in SR is *less than half a sec*. The character may be highly trained and fast enough to make an "Armored vs Not Armored" distinction or a "Center of Mass vs Head Shot" distinction, but studying the target's armor and selecting what looks like it might be a less armored area is unrealistic, and the underlying logic reflects the *players* understanding of AP and Ballistic ratings- which is metagaming. I am not saying it cannot be done, or that I wouldn't allow it. I am proposing that the character is required to spend a whole other half a second (or less) to study the armor and possibly make an Armorer test.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Method @ May 9 2009, 11:05 AM) *
My point about selecting less armored parts of the target is that when you do the math the average Simple Action in SR is *less than half a sec*.


A character could however chose a "headshot" over "bodyshot" knowing that the target does have a cyberskull with Armor, but it isn't the cybertorso, armored up and wearing a flak jacket.
Method
I suppose. If the character knows that much about the target in advance. See point #1 above.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Method @ May 9 2009, 10:05 AM) *
My point about selecting less armored parts of the target is that when you do the math the average Simple Action in SR is *less than half a sec*. The character may be highly trained and fast enough to make an "Armored vs Not Armored" distinction or a "Center of Mass vs Head Shot" distinction, but studying the target's armor and selecting what looks like it might be a less armored area is unrealistic, and the underlying logic reflects the *players* understanding of AP and Ballistic ratings- which is metagaming. I am not saying it cannot be done, or that I wouldn't allow it. I am proposing that the character is required to spend a whole other half a second (or less) to study the armor and possibly make an Armorer test.


At which point you have just wasted your action for the pass, as a non-combat SKill test tends to take up a minimum of Simple action and usually a complex action or more (in this case... Perception Test, Armorer Test... Minimum of Complex Action, Possibly more)... remember, the round is only 3 seconds long...

That being said, this could work, though I would never go this route myself...
Method
I agree with your point, but SR combat considerably faster than you have described. The Combat *Turn* is 3 seconds long. A Pass is 1 to 0.75 secs (depending on if there are 3 or 4 passes, there are rarely less in my experience). If we assume that everyone that acts in a pass acts almost simultaneously the Simple action is 0.5 to 0.375 seconds *at the most*. If you do not assume everyone acts simultaneously its even less. SR combat is retarded fast.

However, I should clarify that I would use the Armorer Skill Test as a proxy for a Knowledge Skill check, and I would not require an additional Simple or Complex action. The character either recognizes the target's armor or doesn't. And even if you did require an action, waiting an additional 1 or 0.75 sec to make this kind of shot does not seem unreasonable.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Method @ May 9 2009, 09:46 AM) *
I agree with your point, but SR combat considerably faster than you have described. The Combat *Turn* is 3 seconds long. A Pass is 1 to 0.75 secs (depending on if there are 3 or 4 passes, there are rarely less in my experience). If we assume that everyone that acts in a pass acts almost simultaneously the Simple action is 0.5 to 0.375 seconds *at the most*. If you do not assume everyone acts simultaneously its even less. SR combat is retarded fast.

However, I should clarify that I would use the Armorer Skill Test as a proxy for a Knowledge Skill check, and I would not require an additional Simple or Complex action. The character either recognizes the target's armor or doesn't. And even if you did require an action, waiting an additional 1 or 0.75 sec to make this kind of shot does not seem unreasonable.



Average passes for our group is 2...

And point taken
Method
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 9 2009, 09:31 AM) *
Average passes for our group is 2...
I tend to assume the average is three, since any drone or spirt will usually have three passes minimum.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Method @ May 9 2009, 11:46 AM) *
I agree with your point, but SR combat considerably faster than you have described. The Combat *Turn* is 3 seconds long. A Pass is 1 to 0.75 secs (depending on if there are 3 or 4 passes, there are rarely less in my experience). If we assume that everyone that acts in a pass acts almost simultaneously the Simple action is 0.5 to 0.375 seconds *at the most*. If you do not assume everyone acts simultaneously its even less. SR combat is retarded fast.

However, I should clarify that I would use the Armorer Skill Test as a proxy for a Knowledge Skill check, and I would not require an additional Simple or Complex action. The character either recognizes the target's armor or doesn't. And even if you did require an action, waiting an additional 1 or 0.75 sec to make this kind of shot does not seem unreasonable.


I'm listening to a book on CD called Blink: Thinking without Thinking. I'm near the end, section 5.

Section 5 starts off with descriptions of gunfights from police officers detailing the heat of the moment, one guy describes in excessive detail watching each bullet that he shoots hitting the target, where it landed and how much effect it had before the next shot landed (he saw where 4 of 5 shots went: above left eye, "the target went 'oh!' as in 'oh! you hit me' and kept moving his gun towards me, so I shot again," below left eye, to the side (eye explodes), side of the head). However, he was only aware of the target's head and face and couldn't hear anything, including his own gun going off. When his senses returned to normal the bullet casings were still bouncing on the tile.

It is not entirely unfeasible for someone to make snap judgments about "less armored" locations over "more armored" locations--requiring a roll or not--without taking up even a free action. Every person who operates in this heightened state of awareness (a heart rate of about 115 to 145 beats per minute) experiences the same effects:
  • Tunnel Vision
  • Apparent slow motion
  • Lack of hearing
  • Blood withdrawing to core muscle mass (has the effect of hardening the muscles, like armor, and reducing blood loss from injuries)
  • Aggression
  • Inability to read faces/emotions (game mechanics: Sense Motive)
  • Loss of speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of rational behavior


As your heart rate passes 145 you move outside the optimal heightened sense zone and move into terror/uselessness and the above symptoms become apparent (such as the loss of rational behavior) or increase to debilitating levels (tunnel vision, loss of coordination). Over a heart rate of 175 and you cease being human, your middle brain (the "dog brain") takes over and you're left with instinctive reactions--attempting to talk to someone in this state is about as effective as talking to a dog. At this level people become completely unable to dial a telephone much less remember the number for 9-1-1 (under 175 and over 145 people tend to dial 4-1-1).

What's happening is that the brain is filtering out sensory details it regards as useless information (over 175 people void their bowels because the necessary control is considered extraneous) so that the highly focused information can be processed more rapidly granting an edge in highly stressful situations.

Note the 4th one from the bottom, Inability to read faces. The author of Blink refers to this as "mind reading," which is almost correct. It's a function of the brain that allows us to be aware of the current mental state of the other person we're dealing with, RPGs tend to call this Sense Motive, though generally should only come up if the target is attempting to hide their emotions. Autistic people don't have this ability (they regard people the same way the rest of us regard objects). So losing this ability during highly stressful situations can be disastrous: imagine being unable to tell the difference between absolute terror and overt aggression. Misinterpreting facial cues is one thing, being oblivious is another.

That's the kind of stuff a good combat RPG needs (by which I mean any RPG that goes into the intricacies of combat much the way Shadowrun does). Alpha Omega has "states" which do seem to model this, including a Fear State (raising a state is good for the subject, so "Raise Fear State 1 level" is grammatically odd). Changing the Fear State upwards grants a bonus to all actions while reducing it imposes a penalty to all actions. Mental State influences "metal skills," the speed state makes people move faster and have a bonus to their Reaction rolls (we're still trying to decide if it increases the number of initiative passes, which is based on Reaction, as well as Defense Rating, though we agreed that a starting points character who can raise someone to the highest Speed state 8 times a day granting that kind of silliness was, well, definitely not RAI).
Larme
Called shot to bypass armor is one of those things that has to be controlled by GM discretion. The GM first has to rule that there is a weak spot in the armor. If you're shooting a Spirit with Immunity to Normal Weapons, there wouldn't be, every spot on the spirit is equally immune. The RAW doesn't say that, but you have to use your brain a little bit, and then it becomes pretty obvious. Same might be with a tank or a Citymaster -- there are no 'weak points' that you can target, at least not without climbing on top and poking your gun into the exhaust ports. After all, "The Gamemaster decides if such a vulnerable spot is accessible." p.161, SR4A.

When you have full body protection that cannot by bypassed, I think that armor would function as normal. So if you bypass armor on an Adept with mystic armor, his worn armor would be a penalty to your shot, and his magical armor would count as normal, being modified by AP as normal. The same would apply for internal armor that can't really be avoided -- bone lacing would always count for instance, since you can't really do a called shot to avoid hitting someone's bones. That's just crazy. Almost as crazy as trying not to shoot their skin... Same with orthoskin and dermal plating. But cyberlimb armor could be bypassed as long as it wasn't on the entire body.

As for AP against an unarmored location, that's where a very common house rule should come into play -- positive AP can't increase your dice beyond the level of armor you're wearing, and negative AP can't decrease your dice beyond the level of armor you're wearing. If you're wearing a leather jacket and get shot by APDS, that means your armor jacket is completely worthless against the bullet. Any armor piercing qualities after that are wasted, because as point have pointed out, AP rounds actually do less damage than normal rounds. I'm fine with them doing the same damage after piercing armor, but I don't believe they should get any benefit at all against unarmored targets.

EDIT: Wait! It's not a house rule! That is, it's a house rule that you can't get more bonus to armor than you're wearing in the first place. But see SR4A p.162: AP modifies your armor rating. If your armor rating is reduced to 0 or less, you don't get to roll any dice from armor. So it's not a straight penalty to your damage resistance pool, it is a penalty to your armor rating only! If you shoot someone and bypass their armor, you lose all benefit of your weapon's AP because they're effectively not wearing any. And if they're wearing a leather jacket against APDS for instance (ballistic 2 vs. AP -4), all it does it punch through the jacket, it does not provide any additional penalty to soak rolls.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Method @ May 9 2009, 11:05 AM) *
I tend to assume the average is three, since any drone or spirt will usually have three passes minimum.


Spirits only have 3 passes in Astral space, they only have 2 in the real world...
Drones must use one of theirs for Piloting every turn, so effectively only 2 passes for discretionary maneuvers/combat purposes...
Maxwell Silverhammer
In the games I have ran and played we never had an issue with called shots. No one EVER used them unless the situation specifically allowed for it. Like, as previously mentioned a sniper situation, where the character had the time, skills, and Specific reason to use a called shot.

When we did use them it wasn't as a game mechanic to reduce AP, it was to hit a Specific Limb or point. I.E. the head, then the specific limb then only gets the armor that is on it. To stage down or resist damage.

The main reason that no one ever used called shots was that once a character did, all the "bad guys" we would encounter used them as well, nothing stops a numbers crunching munchkin quicker than the bad guys using his tricks against him.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Maxwell Silverhammer @ May 9 2009, 02:33 PM) *
In the games I have ran and played we never had an issue with called shots. No one EVER used them unless the situation specifically allowed for it. Like, as previously mentioned a sniper situation, where the character had the time, skills, and Specific reason to use a called shot.


My group rarely used called shots. The last time it happened it was because I wanted that guy with the flamethrower DOWN NOW. The flamer was just too big of a threat.

Initially I wanted to blow the tank, but doing so was significantly more devastating than I wanted.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ May 9 2009, 01:45 PM) *
My group rarely used called shots. The last time it happened it was because I wanted that guy with the flamethrower DOWN NOW. The flamer was just too big of a threat.

Initially I wanted to blow the tank, but doing so was significantly more devastating than I wanted.



Yeah, that tends to be the case with exploding tanks of viscous flaming fluids...
Draco18s
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 9 2009, 04:08 PM) *
Yeah, that tends to be the case with exploding tanks of viscous flaming fluids...


I was actually surprised that SR has rules for what happens if you shoot it.

Also turns out is has huge amounts of armor (yay structure!)

OTOH we found out that in Alpha Omega a 3" steel wall is completely immune to weapons that do less damage than a point blank shotgun blast.

(Armor (and all objects) has 3 values of importance: Damage Threshold, Damage Resistance, and Structural Integrity. When damaged (say, 30 points in 1 blast) you first subtract the Threshold (say 8, leaves us with 22) then subtract the Resistance (say 15, leaving us with 7) and apply that to SI (say 100, which takes us down to 85) and apply the remainder to the wearer (or punch through the wall or whatever). 3" of steel however has such a high DT that nothing ever hits SI, except point blank shotguns and vehicular weapons.)
Inane Imp
3" of steel plate is a lot of armour, its roughly the vertical (belt) armour on a WWII Light Cruiser. So what were you firing small arms at it for in the first place?

Imp
Draco18s
QUOTE (Inane Imp @ May 9 2009, 09:29 PM) *
3" of steel plate is a lot of armour, its roughly the vertical (belt) armour on a WWII Light Cruiser. So what were you firing small arms at it for in the first place?

Imp


It was an observation by a player on the structural hardness of materials.

While I agree that firing small arms at a light cruiser isn't going to do much, I do think that the metal would dent (on the surface) at the very least.
Dreadlord
The last session I ran, we had a similar metagamey event where my decker/rigger/sammie guy on foot was up against a Super Thug who was in a full-on military suit (thanks Iron Man thread!). The player took a shot with a weenie pistol with a called shot to avoid armor (with the player knowing full well his pistol would do nothing), which told him exactly how much armor Superthug had, so the team bugs out. It smelt very cheesy to me, as the player was able to glean precise information he should only have been able to guess at. I would prefer a more tactically diverse way, such as the player saying, "I choose to negate X points of armor by withholding X dice!" In my opinion, it is the same kind of situation they just fixed in SR4A for the bonus defense dice instead of attack penalty dice some of the modifiers used to be.

QUOTE (Falconer @ May 9 2009, 11:29 AM) *
This is just me... but it makes more sense to do a called shot for damage if you are already packing anti-vehicular rounds. +4DV is roughly akin to removing 12 dice of armor soak. And it seems much more akin to, 'aiming for a weak point in the armor' rather than bypassing it totally.


Holy crap! I have never looked at the numbers behind this kind of called shot! What a bargain! -4 dice for an effective -12 armor! WAY better than a called shot to avoid armor! Hope my players never look this one up! On the other hand, I could use it myself... read.gif
Draco18s
QUOTE (Dreadlord @ May 9 2009, 11:16 PM) *
Holy crap! I have never looked at the numbers behind this kind of called shot! What a bargain! -4 dice for an effective -12 armor! WAY better than a called shot to avoid armor! Hope my players never look this one up! On the other hand, I could use it myself... read.gif


Of course, I don't think that it counts in the mod of DV vs. AV -> stun|physical check.
Falconer
Yes it does Draco... Called shot for damage counts for that purpose... you're thinking of the narrow burst rules which are an exception to the rule ( they include a special clause stating that extra damage from narrow burst doesn't count for the armor threshhold test).

It's one of the most commonly raised tricks for dealing w/ spirits and their ItnW as a mundane. Which is a big reason it should count for this purpose.

The thing is, base 6, +4called, 10dam... but target is at -4 armor for APDS... so we're at armor rating 14 right there. That covers pretty much all your garden variety drones... the majority of spirits... even enough to give trolls a bad day... and some low avail, highly illegal ammo.

And quite frankly... I think it's a lot faster to resolve... and it approximates partially bypassing armor for most practical purposes.
Larme
QUOTE (Falconer @ May 9 2009, 10:43 PM) *
It's one of the most commonly raised tricks for dealing w/ spirits and their ItnW as a mundane. Which is a big reason it should count for this purpose.


I thought the most common trick for killing spirits was to use stick-n-shock. To the point where, some time ago, people wanted stick-n-shock to be nerfed so that their spirits could invincibly rule everything.

I don't think that called shots should have any affect on spirits, though. They don't have vital organs, you can't shoot for their eyes or their necks or anything to increase the damage -- if they even have eyes or necks, they're just a shape. They're made from the same protoplasm as the rest of the spirit's body, with equal immunity to normal weapons all around. Remember, all called shots are subject to GM approval. Instead of spending pages listing everything you could or couldn't called shot, they left it up to the GM, and the GM shouldn't be afraid to say "there are no accessible weak points on this target." For targets that don't have internal organs and have no structural weaknesses, a called shot to increase damage just doesn't make sense.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Larme @ May 9 2009, 09:58 PM) *
I thought the most common trick for killing spirits was to use stick-n-shock. To the point where, some time ago, people wanted stick-n-shock to be nerfed so that their spirits could invincibly rule everything.

I don't think that called shots should have any affect on spirits, though. They don't have vital organs, you can't shoot for their eyes or their necks or anything to increase the damage -- if they even have eyes or necks, they're just a shape. They're made from the same protoplasm as the rest of the spirit's body, with equal immunity to normal weapons all around. Remember, all called shots are subject to GM approval. Instead of spending pages listing everything you could or couldn't called shot, they left it up to the GM, and the GM shouldn't be afraid to say "there are no accessible weak points on this target." For targets that don't have internal organs and have no structural weaknesses, a called shot to increase damage just doesn't make sense.



With this I agree...
Draco18s
QUOTE (Larme @ May 9 2009, 11:58 PM) *
I thought the most common trick for killing spirits was to use stick-n-shock. To the point where, some time ago, people wanted stick-n-shock to be nerfed so that their spirits could invincibly rule everything.


People keep claiming that SnS isn't as good against spirits as it is by RAW too, claiming RAW.

Anyway, the way I'd change the rule is that SnS has a -1 or -2 AP modifier, except against spirits where it gets AP -half. Keeps it just as effective against spirits, but less effective against people.

SnS shouldn't be the "I Win" button either.
Falconer
No I don't agree. The spirit's has a magical form. It's just a special kind of vortex of magical energies. Physical attacks can and do interfere with this. Just because it's magical doesn't mean it's special and has no vulnerabilities. Now finding them is another matter... and you might want to ask your friendly mage to tell you where you need to aim, or the char might have needed some past experience to justify it.

I don't like your interpretation, again for balance reasons. Now when the force 8, 9 or even 10 spirit comes out... what do you do?
Now even SnS isn't much good to you (though expensive as hell!). Going to grab your handheld taser and go against their 14-22 melee defense dice? Also remember those weapons only do stun.

Not allowing mundanes a reasonable method to attack high force spirits and such is basically just handing any middling magic mage a big "I win" button. (only takes magic 4 to get a force8, 5 to get a force10).

You're getting too hung up on fluff, when you should be more concerned about balance. You're also forgetting that there is a cost involved to do this... you need to sacrifice dice from your pool. So this isn't free. Also, the max is -4/+4DV... but the exact allowed is from -1 to -4 so there is grey area there for limited effect when called for.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Falconer @ May 10 2009, 01:22 AM) *
No I don't agree. The spirit's has a magical form. It's just a special kind of vortex of magical energies. Physical attacks can and do interfere with this.


One of the main reasons why I think SnS isn't subject to ItNW the same way lead is. It hits, then delivers a high voltage electric shock. It's not magical, but it sure isn't ballistics!
Larme
QUOTE (Draco18s @ May 9 2009, 11:53 PM) *
People keep claiming that SnS isn't as good against spirits as it is by RAW too, claiming RAW.

Anyway, the way I'd change the rule is that SnS has a -1 or -2 AP modifier, except against spirits where it gets AP -half. Keeps it just as effective against spirits, but less effective against people.

SnS shouldn't be the "I Win" button either.


I disagree. If people want to be resistant to SnS, they can wear nonconductive armor. If players abuse SnS, start having their opposition do that. It shouldn't be rare for security to have nonconductive armor, since tasers are the #1 non-lethal way of putting someone down. Nothing says "security breach" like a whole force of guards who can be quietly tased and stuffed in the broom closet. Nonconductivity is cheap enough that almost anyone, except maybe really crappy gangers, could plausibly wear it. Though I don't really see what the problem is, even without putting that armor mod on the opposition. You can gas the guards, or you can stunbolt the guards, or you can dartgun the guards, or you can supersquirt the guards, or you can freezefoam the guards... There are all kinds of ways to easily take people down non-lethally in Shadowrun. If you nerf stick-n-shock, your players will just exploit some other way of executing non-lethal takedowns.

The solution to player "abuse" is never house rules, unless the players agree that it sucks and should be fixed. If it's just the GM who feels like his players aren't being fair, he needs to quit whining and realize that he's the god of the game world! An actual god is telling me that he's at his wits end over stick-n-shock? Hah! The GM can always win if he wants to. The point is, the GM isn't really supposed to win. He's supposed to provide an entertaining story. And I don't think that the guards putting up more of a fight necessarily creates a better story. The GM can continually escalate threat levels to provide more challenge, but that's a pointless battle. Unless you use lethal force that can kill the players, you're never really going to do serious harm to the players. And if you use such lethal force, players will die, and that ruins everyone's good time. Present them with harder targets, and they'll get bigger guns. Present them with even harder targets, and they'll get bigger guns than that. Present them with the hardest targets you can, and they all die. That's where it ends up when the GM's only idea to challenge the players comes down to "have a fight between the PCs and some NPCs."

How about a little bit of thought put into it? Maybe the mission fails if the team's cover is blown, and knocking out guards will trigger an alarm because they all have biomonitors. Maybe there are serious automated defenses to take care of that come online if the guards don't report in every 5 minutes. Maybe the PCs need to get into a fortified area, and their only way through is past a set of fortified barriers where opposition, armed with automatic weapons, will have cover, and the PCs will have none (which means, of course, that trying a frontal assault is suicide). Maybe the macguffin is inside a den of Tanamous ghouls, where literally hundreds will come pouring out if you SnS anyone. Nobody wins when you nerf important gear. If SnS gets nerfed, will that make all your games balanced? No, because players pull out all the other incredibly effective tech at their disposal. Challenging missions come from difficult objectives, and obstacles that can't be overcome with several shots from a pistol. They don't come from a drawn out firefight that only exists because the GM nerfed a particular kind of ammo.

And the path of house rules for minor game balance tweaks is one without an end. Maybe SnS does too much damage. Don't you also have to fix zapper rockets now? And what about zapper road strips? And tasers, and stun batons, and shock gloves! Not to mention those monowhips, they do so much damage and you can have an S of 1! Nerfbat there too. For that matter, what's with shotguns, they can totally blow peoples' heads off with one slug. Don't want that, now do we? And grenades, they have such high DV! The NPCs are never going to be a challenge if the PCs can grenade them. But if we nerf all these things, then mages are way too good, so we need to fix that. I actually talked to someone who had to rewrite most of the entire game to "fix" stick-n-shock. First, he made it so it didn't work on spirits. But then, he made spirits a lot crappier to balance that out. Of course, that made spellcasting too good, so that had to be nerfed. Which made mages pointless compared to mundanes, so he had to nerf guns, as well. All that, just to fix how spirits were too vulnerable to SnS. There's no end to the infinite balancing and rebalancing you can do, and each thing you tweak sends ripples through the whole system, unbalancing other things that were balanced before. Unless the game is broken, i.e. everyone at the table really doesn't like the way it's set up, leave it alone. As long as it's fun, minor issues like the DV and AP of SnS ammo shouldn't matter.
toturi
There was a comment made by a dev/writer once on the subject. IIRC, the comment itself was quite ambigous though. I read it that the secondary electrical damage was not meant affect spirits, justified in the dev/writer's post as the spirits did not have nervous systems to disrupt.

I do not yet have the dead tree version of SR4A (and I am not going to buy the pdf version), so I will not comment on the state of the RAW on this issue. If this thread is still current when I get the book, I will see what light I can shed on the issue.
Draco18s
QUOTE (toturi @ May 10 2009, 04:05 AM) *
There was a comment made by a dev/writer once on the subject. IIRC, the comment itself was quite ambigous though. I read it that the secondary electrical damage was not meant affect spirits, justified in the dev/writer's post as the spirits did not have nervous systems to disrupt.


Which makes spirits the "I win" button, unambiguously.

The whole point of summoning a spirit is to fuck with a mage (critter powers are not subject to counterspelling), so spirits rape mages.

Spirits of high enough force are all but immune to guns (Hardened Armor 12 with no stun track anyone?). Spirits rape the mundane and the drones.

Who fights back?

The fucking military because they actually have tanks.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ May 10 2009, 11:07 AM) *
Which makes spirits the "I win" button, unambiguously.

The whole point of summoning a spirit is to fuck with a mage (critter powers are not subject to counterspelling), so spirits rape mages.

Spirits of high enough force are all but immune to guns (Hardened Armor 12 with no stun track anyone?). Spirits rape the mundane and the drones.

Who fights back?

The fucking military because they actually have tanks.


I believe the term for your argument is "Strawman"?

Have you heard of Banishing? If you are tired of having your mages getting raped, have them learn a little Banishing and let them go to town...

Forcing a spirit to dodge the Gunfire removes their options to do anything else (only 2 passes)... and, if the Spirit is overconfident and does not dodge, there are many weapon options to handle such spirits without resorting to the apparently ubiquitous SNS option that so many on Dumpshock seem to favor...

As an Example... The Group that I play with have yet to have any real trouble in our game putting a spirit down usiing plain old Standard Ammunition or ExEx Ammunition for guns (not to mention the occassional clip of APDS), the Adept's abilities to pound on the Spirit, Anyone's ability to use the Force of Will attack (even have a Mundane that uses that option), Banishing, our own spirits, or plain old Combat Spells... May take a little bit of time, but generally if the Mage can't handle the Spirit (Pretty Rare) then the Street Sam or Adept does so, without resorting to the questionable tactic of SNS... It just is not necessary...
Draco18s
Stunbolt is more effective against spirits than Banishing is. Haven't we already had a thread or two on that?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ May 10 2009, 03:52 PM) *
Stunbolt is more effective against spirits than Banishing is. Haven't we already had a thread or two on that?



Probably, there are so many...

I was just wanting to understand your position, as it applies to your previous coupel of posts, and I am not sure that I do, hence the observation that was made...

Sorry...
Draco18s
The problem is that mundanes don't have a way to counter a mage who summons spirits except to get their own mage. So they get stick and shock, which has the side effect of working on mundanes equally well.

It's like like Rock-Paper-Scissors where Rock beats Scissors unless Scissors brings his friend Hammer or unless he pulls out a Gun. Unless Rock also pulls out a Shield (counters Gun) or brings his friend Duct Tape (counters Hammer), or Rock could conjure up his friend Scissors (Rock beats Gun, Scissors ties Scissors).

Unless...
Falconer
Yeah... I'm half tempted to make a stormcloud allied spirit w/ an immunity to electricity (you don't burn a fire elemental... why shock a storm elemental) just to give the SnS/Taser crowd a run for their money.
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