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Sorry, didn't get to reply in old forums...

Read page 113 of SR3. The defender needs NET successes to begin staging damage down. This is also made clear by the example with 'Snot' and 'Liam' on the following page. I just think that it's unrealistic to use shotguns at that range with such a damaging effect.
I agee with you. The TN bonuses from the spread, and a base damage code of S or D, are what make it nasty. If you have a decent skill and use Combat Pool, you can get 10+ successes, which the defender needs to negate with his/her own successes before even beginning to stage down S or D damage. And with the TN penalty for dodging shotgun spread, forget about using enough Combat Pool to make it a clean miss. Sure, the defender is only resisting a Power of 2, but that is meaningless, since so many dice are needed to stage it down that most people will take D damage even if they get successes on all of their dice.

If I had to house rule it, I would cap the TN bonus for shotgun spread at some point before it gets to ludicrous modifiers like -9, and as well as reducing the power, I would reduce the Damage Level. I mean, if the shot is at the very limit of its spread, why the heck is it still doing Deadly damage?
Austere Emancipator
Replying to Switchblade's msg on the Old Forums:

Switchblade wrote:
O.K., this post is in response to the comment that some of us just refuse to admit that the shotgun rules are broken because they don’t work in, quite honestly, some of the best conditions I’ve ever seen. (I’m looking at you, GunnerJ and Austere Emancipator)

I didn't mention any conditions at all. My msgs did not consider conditions above and beyond some things that you can generally take for granted, like air pressure being ~1 atm and drag coefficients working like they do in the real world, etc. Those are the kind of "conditions" that the shotgun rules don't work in, apparently.

Bahn is very well covered in the jungle (+6 tn) and difficult to see in the night, because Aunia has no vision modifications (+6 tn) and has never heard of a smartlink. But Bahn is standing still (-1 tn). Aunia stops running, raises his shotgun to fire and cringes because of the chest wound he took earlier (Moderate wound, +2 tn). Guessing Bahn is pretty far out, he maximizes his choke (90 meters, choke of 10, -9 power, -9 tn). Aunia quickly aims (-1 tn) and pulls the trigger.

Now, Aunia really wants to hit Bahn, but at the same time, he is more concerned about himself dying at this moment. With that in mind, Aunia only uses three of his seven combat pool to supplement his shotgun skill of seven (he’s been at war for a very long time and has a very good skill with his shotgun) for a total of ten dice. Since it is extreme range, the base tn is 9 and the adjusted tn is 12. (Did I forget anything? Oh yeah, he’s only firing one shot.) Rolling ten dice against a target number of 12, Aunia can expect to get, what? One? Two successes? Oh hell, let’s give him three!

As a matter of fact, Aunia can expect to get 0 successes. He's (she's?) 75% likely not to roll a single success. Were he (she?) using, say, a SMG /w Smartlink, he'd (she'd?) be faced with a TN of 19, with a whopping 4.5% chance of scoring a single success (or more) with those 10 dice. I guess that right there is proof enough that SMGs really don't do any damage in SR. But there's no real fault in your example otherwise.

Is it possible that I could fire a shotgun at a person 90 meters away and never kill him because of the spread.? Because, statistically, only one little ball bearing will hit the target? Because one little ball bearing isn’t enough to kill some one, right? I’m willing to bet that if it went through the liver, brain or heart it would. And should you care to disagree, I’ll grab my shotgun and meet you in the woods of New Jersey. If you’ve got a point to prove how physically impossible it really is, by god, let’s get out there and show the folks at FanPro what a foolish oversight they made by not making the shotgun rules overly complex.

It's not a ball bearing, it's a BB shot. [Edit]Sorry, apparently it IS in fact a "Ball Bearing...[/Edit]Like the one's a Red Ryder BB gun fires. And at the same velocities, too. I suppose you wouldn't have any problem with BB guns being canon SR weapons doing 2D(f) damage?

It won't go through anyone's brain unless that brain is located outside the owner's skull, or if the pellet pierces the eye and maneuvers along the nervus opticus. The heart is right out, even the largest shot pellets at the greatest possible speeds wouldn't stand a chance against the ribs or the sternum - your clothes would most likely stop the pellet (unless you're wearing loose, light clothing). I suppose the pellet could make it as far as the liver, though (someone with more experience with BB guns can confirm), in which case you'd actually be dealing with a bleeding puncture wound, 4.5mm across and an inch or few deep.

If you supply the shotgun that spreads any shot round to a 9 meter diameter pattern at 90 meters, I'll start saving for the airplane ticket. Or, better yet, you mail the shotgun over here, I'll get the whole thing filmed and send it back to you.

Oh, and they made the shotgun rules more complex than they needed to. They could have, for example, gotten rid of choke altogether, allowed spread to only negate the rising TN due to range (ie base TN 4 at any range, not stacking with scopes or laser sights and only a -1 for Smartlink like it works now (right?)) and had shot round Power drop by 3 per Range beyond Short and Damage Level by 1 at Long, 2 at Extreme (Defiance T-250 /w shot rounds = 10D/7D/4S/2M). Add +1 to TNs to dodge shot rounds per Range category, and that's all the rules you'd need for shotguns. Simple, yet a whole lot more believable than the way they work now. Not perfect, but much closer.

That would get rid of the whole body armor not really protecting you against shotgun shot rounds at extreme ranges business, too. Because if you can manage to stop the pellets before they reach the target's skin/eyes/orifices, the damage sustained at those ranges (50+ meters) will be similar to firing the shotgun while holding the stock loosely in front of the chest, wearing a kevlar vest, ie nothing.

PS. This new forum eats up messages like no one's business.

PPS. Do the rules 3 paragraphs above this one appeal to you at all, Glyph?
Herald of Verjigorm
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
It's not a ball bearing, it's a BB shot. Like the one's a Red Ryder BB gun fires. And at the same velocities, too. I suppose you wouldn't have any problem with BB guns being canon SR weapons doing 2D(f) damage?

What do you think BB stands for? Those are ball bearings.
Hmm. It's unfortunate that I didn't see Switchblade's post, but Emancipator handled things quite nicely.

I stand by my assertions: even the conditions Switchbalade decribes, it should not be easier to aim simply because of shot disprersal, rather, it should be easier to get hit. The difference is subtle. Easier aim is caused by negative modifiers to the ranged attack roll, and it not only increases the chances of hitting, it increases the chanses of doing greater damage. Geting hit more easily is covered by simply increasing the dodge TN, and does not increase the damage, as is proper.

And yes, the shot dispersal pattern Emancipator describes would make it very improbable for a shotgun blast deadly at the ranges described, so the "OMG you don't think shotguns can kill ppl!?" strawmen were gratuitous.

I also like Emancipator's rules about staging down. I would probably rule that after a certain choke interval, the damage level goes down by one instead of (or in addition to) the power going down by one per interval.
Herald of Verjigorm
QUOTE (GunnerJ @ Aug 16 2003, 03:11 PM)
I would probably rule that after a certain choke interval, the damage level goes down by one instead of (or in addition to) the power going down by one per interval.

Why not use an inverse of the "no damage over D" rule that applies to some tests. When the TN drops to 1, reduce the damage scale and set the TN to 3, if it is reduced to 1 again, set it to 3M.

There is probably an easier way to describe the effect, but if the TN to resist is modified to -4, the damage would change to 2L.
That's a good idea too.
Austere Emancipator
Herald of Verjigorm wrote:
What do you think BB stands for? Those are ball bearings.

I really didn't know that. I thought that it was just some semi-random letter, no different from the rest in the 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-BB-BBB-T-F-continuuuuuuuuum.

-1 Damage Level/+2 Power when Power gets modified low enough is a good idea as well, and might work the canon choke rules somehow. Personally, I'd suggest using it when Power is modified to 0 (or -2, or -4) just for the sake of tidiness.

[Edit]I think LiAmbyStEmofRa is far more common knowledge than BB = Ball Bearing? Or at least I knew that without checking, but I had never even thought of the BB thingie.[/Edit]
Herald of Verjigorm
Few people know the origins of acronyms these days.

On this point, but off topic: who knows what laser stands for?
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
I just make the shotgun drop a wound level for every 2 times it spreads. At 90 meters theres gonna be one 00 buck pellet over every dozen or so square meters in the cone of fire at the spread listed earlier. This brings it right in line.
I didn't realize that BB stood for Ball Bearing either. I only knew what was in there because my friend and I took apart a shell a few years ago. That and the BBs you're thinking of are rubber. I think there's a CC entry for the BB you're thinking of... it does stun.

How far does a typical shotgun fire in real life? I summon the gods of firearm knowledge!
Austere Emancipator
Slightly off topic, but I meant BB guns as in the Red Ryder etc airguns, that fire lead (or similar metal) pellets. 3 meters behind me there's an airgun that can be used to fire a BB pellet or a 4.5mm bullet @ 135m/s, and that didn't even hurt through padded (winter) clothing.

I am certainly not a god of firearm knowledge, but I feel it's only fair to warn you that there will be no easy answer to your question... Even if you narrow "typical shotgun" down to, say, 12G 2-3/4", you'd still be faced with loads weighing between 1 and 1.5oz, and most importantly, the different shot sizes.

I think most military and police outfits use the largest possible shot size, so we're looking for a RL effective range of a 12G (any 12G, as long as it's mentioned what length you're talking about) BB, BBB, F or T shot round, and how large is the pattern at the longest effective range, in general (I know that this, too, will depend on a whole lot of things, but use a 75% error margin...). I'm guessing 80 meters for 12G-3", but it's just that, a (rather uneducated) guess.

[Edit]And remember, that 80 meters is the range where, ideally, you might cause incapacitating damage to someone. It wouldn't penetrate anything at that range, that's for sure, the only hope of the shotgunner is that some pellet finds soft tissue to disrupt.

And I think no one was worked up, at least I wasn't (I know I can sound/look/read? like that sometimes). And the fact still remains the the shotgun rules do not just seem unrealistic, they are.[/Edit]
Okay... I apologize for getting people worked up, my original head-shaking was really at the seemingly very unrealistic nature of the shotgun rules.
No need for apologies. Good house rules come from discussions like this. smile.gif
Crusher Bob
As for the actual range of shotguns, that is a bit up in the air...

00 buckshot is 'range dangerous' out to 300-400 or so meters, in that if some poor schmuck happens to get hit by the shot at that range they will probably sustain injury.
Buckshot is 'cover dangerous' our to around 100-150 meters in that someone shooting at you will make you want to find some cover. At this range the (especially if they are shooting multiple times) the pellets still have enough energy to maim or kill you, though the chances of this are comparatively low (you are just in for a painful hospital stay instead). At the 60-80 meter mark you can still comfortably engange unarmored targets with single shots.

For 'irregular shot' (rock salt, etc) cut these numbers by 50% or more.
For birdshot cut these number by 25 to 50%.
For slugs multiple these numbers by around 2 to 2.5
For flechettes, multiply by 1.5 to 2.

Anyone want to disagree?
I think I like Emancipator's house rules more than Herald's, because I would rather fix just the gun that's causing the problem, instead of re-working the whole "net successes" concept used in ranged combat.

I agree it should be limited more than it is, because even though it's just the flavor text, the rules talk about shot being almost useless against "modern" body armor. Unfortunately, the actual mechanics of the rules create a situation almost opposite of that.
Herald of Verjigorm
I only was thinking of shot type attacks for the idea I suggested. If the normal rules aren't broken, there is no need to add complexity there.

Also, I forgot to mention that the modifiers should only apply when the TN changes that low before armor (I was assuming it, but never mentioned it)
Anyone want to disagree?

Well, before I disagree, I'd like to ask what your sources/calculations are for the results you obtained? One important thing would be to know the choke setting in question.

Second, yes, I am in disagreeal (Is that a word?), especially about your contention that shotgun blasts are a serious maim/kill threat from 100-150 meters. This site maintained by, it seems, a sport hunter, has a few interesting things to say, and he seems to know what he's talking about from experience.

The shotgun is a very short range weapon. Moving targets over about 30 yards away are in little danger when fired on with a shotgun in average hands. At 40 yards, even the best shooters are limited by the fact that this cloud of pellets is spreading out and slowing down very rapidly, thus limiting it's [sic] effectiveness severly.[sic]

Emphasis added.

Hopefully, Raygun will grace this thread with his presence and put an end to all this. wink.gif
Crusher Bob
The data I was using was based off of observation of shotguns...

Notice that the site you quote is talking about birdshot, while the base numbers I am using are the largest variety of buckshot commonly available, Handy shot size table.

If you'll notice, I say that when using birdshot you should reduce the ranges I quote by 25 to 50% (depends on how heavy the shot you are using is). So for light bird shot you get:

Range Dangerous: 150 meters
Wound Danger: 50-75 meters
Effective Range: 30-40 meters

When using light birdshot (around #8 pellets). If you are using 'wetland birdshot' (around #4) then your ranges are a bit further out than that. Note that these ranges are also partly based on the target you are shooting at, you can engage birds at these ranges, engaging man sized targets at 30 or 40 meters with birdshot is probably not going to get you very far. When using 'shot' in SR I make the assumption that it is some type of buckshot (between #4 buck and 00 buck, 000 buckshot is not readily available)

I am assuming a 20+ inch barrel using a modified or full choke, 12 guage 2 3/4 in rounds.
The White Dwarf
Shotguns are not that deadly at that range. Your example was made using an instance of maximum firepower and combat pool, with nothing else taken into account. Of course someone using everything theyve got in a single shot under ideal conditions will have amazing success within the SR system. The following is a more viable example for the situation you suggest, but by playing it out youll see that its not overpowering.

A more likley scenario is that someone with shotguns 6 is firing a 10S-base shotgun at a target 80 meters away. The shooter is using flecthette ammunition, with a choke setting of 10. By the time the shot reaches the target, the shooter will recieve a -8 TN modifier, and the damage code will be reduced to 2S.

Now, Im going to assume the shooter is a Sam, with SL-2 and a Rangefinder, since thats not all that unlikley. The attacker is likey walking, in most combats the shooter is moving around. Also, the target is aware of the attack, and so is at least running or in some cover (+2). The final TN for the shot is modified to 1, which becomes a minimum of 2.

Now the attacker can score an average of 10 successes with using maximum combat pool (which almost any character will only be able to do once before running short of pool). The defender is wearing a Longcoat (4/2, not uncommon in the shadows) so has to resist 2S (flechette doesnt do anything against armor, and the power cant go below 2). Now assuming the target uses an equal amout of combat pool, plus thier body (say 10 dice, for body 4 and combat pool 6) they wind up taking a deadly wound.

So, what does this really mean? It means that a Sam with skill of 6 (an innate level of ability), the right tools for the job (smartlink, rangefinder, shotgun, flechettes), using everything he has to make one attack (most sams wont have 12 combat pool to do this again) can .... drop an average person in average armor? Um yea, they should be able to.

Consider an actual threat, such as another runner. With the same example, a defending runner with a body of 6 takes only a serious. A troll might take just a moderate or a light. Anyone using more than 6 combat pool, or using karma pool, will likely do the same. Net result, the sam tossed everything into one shot, the target used his all to defend, and normal damage was delt. Oh, and the shooter did collateral damage to a lot of stuff (bad on some runs, irrelevent on others) in case it matters.

Its really not that overpowering. Its just an "outdice" situation, where you can try to just use more dice than the other guy to win. Not any different than an "outpower" situation where you use something like an assault cannon to get a number so big they cant get any successes to defend. And like the assualt cannon, it looks good on paper but in practice isnt really any more effective than other strategies for a similarly skilled runner using his own specialty to its max.
Fair enough, Crusher.

White Dwarf, you are right that ideal conditions will result in near-ideal results. However, I still have a logical problem with lowering the TN just for dispersal, which effectively makes the attack more powerful as the shot becomes thinner, which is absurd.
The White Dwarf
Well, if you think of it as not the attack increasing in strength, but just the likleyhood that you clip your target in a vunerable area, then it makes more sense. Of course then you have to deal with the fact that as shot density goes down, so do the number of pellets impacting- which again is a bit counter intuitive. I chalk this one up to one of the grey areas since its a game and not RL, expecially since even if someone were to try and abuse it the effects would be mediocre at best. For an unsuspecting GM, the first time it came up might be harsh, but really anyone that couldnt be killed by a normal attack isnt going to die to this; making it a non-issue in my book.
Just some thoughts on shotguns and how much the choke and range can affect these things.

When getting a gun ready for turkey, I sight in the gun with a full or super-full choke and make sure I'm getting 10 pellets in the center of my shot (the size of a turkey's head) at 40 yards with #4,#5, or #6 shot (fairly small). Last year my father took one at about 75 yards, but this is a fairly rare thing to do since turkey hunting is all head shots.

In this scenario, shotguns can really keep a tight shot pattern and deliver a lot of energy to the target...

However, at the same shooting range, I was hit by an incompetent skeet shooter at 200 yards with a 12 gauge and it felt like small hail. Admittedly, this was not a full choke and the guy was firing steel shot which has much reduced power and range, but it hit bare skin and bounced right off without leaving a mark.

I personally liked the house rule suggested by someone that the spread affects the dodge test, but doesn't reduce the target numbers to hit. The high success shots should represent very precision hits which are possible but are not affected by the choke. Should shotguns become unbalanced in our game, this sounds like a strong solution.

We'll still use our house rule that shots whose power is reduced below zero by armor give the target extra dice to resist equal to the points reduced below zero (we actually use this for any damage tests). These two combined should balance out any shotgun abuse.
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