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This seems to be a gun forum...


Cross-posted from the basic T20 boards-

Another question for everyone (specifically the playtesters and/or developers)-

In Spycraft, the guns have a fairly diverse range of damages, and in order to differentiate between weapon power, the game changes the critical range between rounds as well as the dice type and amount.

For example, a good old 5.56mm NATO round does 4d4 with a 19-20 crit range (their crits don't affect damage, which is odd, but the damage goes directly to Wounds, something T20 doesn't have to worry about as ALL damage goes to both Vitality/Wounds|Stamina/Lifeblood.) A 9mm does a d10 with a threat range of 20.

So, my question is why did the designers of T20 choose to use a simple "increase the die size" mechanic to differentiate between weapon damages (that's what D&D does, sure, but guns are usually more diverse than what T20 shows).

I guess my main complaint isn't that you aren't using "interesting" die codes, because I note that an ACR does something like a d12+2 and a gauss rifle does 2d12. My problem lies in average damage. The weapons aren't very reliable in damage potential- sometimes you get an assault rifle doing much less damage than a pistol (which I believe does d8 or d10.) Spycraft weapons use enough dice to create a nice normal distribution (like the 4d4 of an assault rifle). Granted, this can be a pain in the butt to roll, but at least you usually do around 10 points of damage with your AR.

Of course, now I'm just babbling, but I think my point is in there somewhere. Ok, having just opened up my T20 Lite PDF, I see something else that bothers me. Most pistols do a d10...many of the rifles do a d12 and they all have the same crit range. Don't you think that maybe rifles are getting shafted or that pistols are too powerful? I know that some rifles can do bursts and stuff, but a single hit from a 7.62mm NATO rifle is going to suck a lot more than a single hit from a 9mm pistol.

Obviously, d20 isn't a system that is used for it's incredible realism, but c'mon now, something in this isn't right. (BTW: my personal opinion is that most of those handguns should do less damage.)

Heh. Sorry, this post just keeps getting longer and longer, but now I've opened up my TA01, and discovered yet another disturbing trend. There is a "heavy autopistol" that ALSO does a d12 damage with no change in crit range. I don't care what anyone says, there is no autopistol that will match penetration with nearly any serious rifle round.

Comments, flames, answers? Thanks!
I don't care what anyone says, there is no autopistol that will match penetration with nearly any serious rifle round.
Can anyone say Desert Eagle .50AE ? or maybe a Casul .454 ? These things wouldn't have the range of say an M16, but (discounting burst/full auto) would do FAR more damage per shot.

OK OK.. I know I am quibbling.. other than the above I like your idea of like 4d4 or damage for a rifle.. making a nice bell curve instead of a flat spread.. good idea! I think.... the autopistol at 1d10 vs. rifle at 1d12 IS a bit too close together IMHO. maybe 4d4 would be better for the rifle?
I have to differ with the last poster.
Even the most god awefull huge unwieldy impractical handcannon round, is frikkin WIMPY on the scale of 'serious rifle' cartridges.

If you disagree, show me some numbers.
Alright.. let's see if I am right about the massive hand cannons vs. rifles...

.454 Casull: 300gr. x 1625fps (Winchester factory Super-X load) = 1759 ft/lbs

.454 Casull: 265gr 1800fps (Cor-Bon) = 1907 ft/lbs

.50AE: 325gr., 1400fps (Speer) = 1414 ft/lbs

5.56 NATO (.223): 55gr, 3200fps (Cor Bon load) = 1251 ft/lbs.

5.56 NATO SS109 standard loading: 62gr x 2910fps = 1165 ft-lbs

5.56 NATO older M193 loading: 55gr x 3065fps = 1145ft-lbs

on the same subject I just found this page.. is interesting.

NOW, I am comparing to an assault rifle round, not an auto-rifle. I could make the argument that the auto-rifle should do more damage in the game (7.62 NATO vs. 5.56 NATO), but that isn't the way it is, and I found the 5.56 results first
Well. I don't consider .223 remington, m1 carbine, .30 cal Russian (SKS, AK-47) to be 'serious rifle rounds'

But I stand corrected that at big ugly impractical hand cannon can theoritcally, on a shot for shot comparison can out damage a light weight low recoil, and usually autofire capable, long arm.

As for how the damage works... I haven't looked closely enough but I agree in principle that assault rifle ammo and Rifle/autorifle ammo should not have the same or even close damage stats. And -most- pistols will be less effective than assualt rifles.

I also think that giving higher powered and armour peircing rounds damage rolls with more dice with give them better armour penetration. (since armour ratings subtract from the dice)
An expamle of why a pistol, 22 short might do mor damage than a 50Cal MG. Think shot placement. A 50 Cal HMG hit to the pinky finger finger nail of the left hand will distract the person quite a bit, but not as much as a 22 to the throat.

Accuracy matters.
Of course, all things being as unequal as hell, the HMG will tear the target a new orifice, as the 22 will usually extremely piss off the dude.

Just my .02Cr
The energy of a bullet is a good indicator of maximum damage potential, but does not tell how much damage it will do.
Other factors must be considered.
Bullet geometry, how much of the energy of the bullet will be absorbed by the target.
Blow through, How much of the bullets energy is wasted into the person standing behind your target.
Shot placement, Arm, leg, torso, head, bone, muscle, skin only, vital organ. A bone will stop a bullet much better than skin.

This is why we use dice to determine damage.
A reduction in the targets Armor Rating, rather than increased damage dice is a better way to depict pentration for armor-piercing ammo.
An unarmored target is not going to take more damage from the weapon, the AP characteristics of the bullet will just make armor less effective.
Obviously, I agree with Garf on this matter. Yes, there may be a few handgun rounds than outperform the smaller caliber military rounds when you compare the numbers. However, the rifle will still have a longer range and greater accuracy, but that isn't really what I was disputing.

I think that the rifles should be significantly more effective than handguns and right now, they are basically the same. A d12 isn't that big of an improvement over a d10, and most pistols do d10's. It's too late to change it (and I'm not sure the designers would agree with me anyway...after all, they must have reasons for doing what they did in the first place), but I am considering changing the damages over to a more "realistic" scale. The Spycraft system is good, but it messes with T20's armor system, in that you subtract whole dice of damage first, and then take points away from whatever's left. This is still a good idea, I think, but something should be done about the discrepency between rifles and handguns.

One more question- why do lasers do so much more per shot than any other weapon we've seen to date? I would argue that they aren't that much more effective than guns, except maybe in zero-g where their recoilless nature is a major boon. At any rate, I'm just deciding if T20 will be "realistic" enough for my tastes when it comes to weapons. If the only real difference between weapons is the occasional autofire capability or range increment, that's just not gonna cut it. Sure, carrying certain weapons might have "style" but if you reach for the long arm when the going really gets tough and find that it does no more damage than your pistol, I can see no reason for any PC to use anything more than a machine pistol.
Originally posted by apoc527:
One more question- why do lasers do so much more per shot than any other weapon we've seen to date? I would argue that they aren't that much more effective than guns, except maybe in zero-g where their recoilless nature is a major boon.
Lasers don't just drill a neat cauterized hole through a body. They vaporise body fluids -- can you say "steam explosion?" Very nasty.
Once out of the bore, pretty much the only things that affect the slug are drag, gravity, wind shear, and the target.

Longer projectiles are easier to stabilize by rifling due to a lower rotational moment of inertia. Longer rounds also have a typically better drag coefficient, and therefore retain their velocity (and energy) longer into the flight path. Longer rounds also tend to penetrate better than shorter slugs of the same mass and energy. The problem is that there are only two ways to make a slug longer... reduce the calibur or increase the mass.

Those large bore slugs from pistols can often have huge muzzle energies, but the energy only counts when the round hits the target. Some of those hand cannons loose more than half their energy in a space of less than 20 yards. The fast moving small calibur slug on the other hand might still have 75-90% of its muzzle-e at 50-60+ yards, depending on the load and ballistics.

Now, any hunter will tell you that light weight bullets are absolutely no use for hunting in brush. You can be dead on with your aim, but the smallest twig between you and the target can and will deflect your bullet. Those heavy fat slugs, on the other hand, will plow right on through to the target like drunk snow plow driver. But this is not the same as penetration.

How do you handle all of this superflous stuff in a game? Maybe give the rounds similar damage, but give the pistol a very short range relative to the rifle and ignore the rest? Separate the damage and pen into separate variables like TNE did? I suppose how you handle it would depend on how detailed you want your rules to be.