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weapon ranges need to work within the real life limits of tabletop gaming


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No not the physics  of projectiles effects of windspeed & other such such nonsense.... the reality that applies to us as tabletop gamers.  Chessex seems to make such a large percentage of battlemaps that "chessex mat" is the vinyl grid map equivalent of postit note & qtip.    Chessex mats come in two sizes. 

  • The Battlemat: 26” x 23½” (66cm x 60cm)
  • The Megamat: 34½” x 48” (88cm x 122cm)

From all appearances, the rules are written with the assumption that 1m=1 square, but 1 square=2m does not significantly change things

First we have "common weapons" that might have been listed as archaic weapons in the d20 days 

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Both a bow & a sling can shoot from one edge of the battlemat to the other edge without a penalty. & the megamat is not doing significantly better  If you are willing to accept disadvantage then they can reach across several mats end to end   for a truly excessive range given to the most primitive of ranged weapons.

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The Jaffa weapons are significantly better with the staff weapon needing to take disadvantage to hit the last 3-6 squares from the far edge of the map & the zat only able to reach about halfway.

image.png.d3867ed81020fe9b76f548f4237059f3.png

The tauri weapons are flatly obscene with a pistol able to reach everything on the megamat from anywhere.   The grenade launcher has a close range of 3 megamats long  end to long end  while the longarm tops that with four megamats.  Things go sideways from there with the longarm's disadvantage 1800 range that needs a mat taking up a sizable chunk of a football field (either version of football!).    Clearly the ranges are unworkable with battlemaps

 

Lets say that a game is using digital maps to bypass themeatspace limitations of not having multilple chessex mats or a football field sized room.  I don't think roll20 can feed a map 1800 squares across but could be wrong.  Since I use arkenforge and a tvbox that I know for a fact can handle that many squares & more we don'y need to wonder if my guess on roll20 is right or not.  Even the 24 square range of 120' eldritch blast & the 20/30 range of heavy xbow/longbow is a chore that massively raises the overhead pf gm'ing as soon as PC's realize they can attack from max range on two sides & kite any outdoor enemies who have near zero chance of reaching either half of the party.

The ranges are probably pulled from wikipedia or something & that's fine, but the point of a rpg is to be fun not simulate how far a bullet could theoretically punch through a paper target & current ranges are so generous they may as well just list "the entire map" or something.  The navy pistol qualification test is more concerned with practical use of a pistol & uses the following ranges.

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Depending on if you use 1m or 2m squares that works out to3-5 squares for short range with a pistol using the first two ranges & 1m squares or 2-5 squares for the 7 & 15yard ranges.  The marine corp rifle qualification uses targets with significantly longer ranges if you look at table1, but that allows the shooter to fire from sitting & prone position not moving 20m in 6 seconds while firing at a target 200-300 yards away.  5e does not model that in any meaningful way & the very real negative impact on gameplay is already out so it shouldn't be assumed the default range. 

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Table2 however is much closer to being reasonable for a long range by at least limiting it to a single battlemat

 

For long range attacks like carter here  where she's standing motionless & effectively performing a full round action you can both model reality and improve the gameplay experience within the boundaries of tabletop gaming by making it a full round action to nip kiting in the bud & still allow a long range strike without making it the equivalent of rods from god or drone warfare.

Edited by tetrasodium
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Don't use "mats". Or use a "1 square=10 m." rule (this measure complicates character movement, though, as it is harder to track "fractions" of the square a character moving in ranges of 3 is covering). Then, there's also the issue with 5e simply having a "short range shot/long range shot" mechanics; a rule related to range increments from 3e would be more helpful, as it imposed a -2 penalty for each range increment between shooter and target, making attacks at maximum range have a -20 to attack rolls (-10 with thrown weapons).

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Ranges need looked at asap imho. The 1800m max range for a p90 or any other 'longarm' is ludicrous. 

Personally I feel like the combat mechanic generally need looked at. Just two sides pummeling each other isn't very interesting. We should design our combat scenarios with specific objectives (activate the switch, dial the gate and escape, power down the forcefield, retrieve the downed team member). Combat then becomes more about stopping the enemy getting in your way rather than chasing down every last mob and hp.

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9 hours ago, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

Don't use "mats". Or use a "1 square=10 m." rule (this measure complicates character movement, though, as it is harder to track "fractions" of the square a character moving in ranges of 3 is covering). Then, there's also the issue with 5e simply having a "short range shot/long range shot" mechanics; a rule related to range increments from 3e would be more helpful, as it imposed a -2 penalty for each range increment between shooter and target, making attacks at maximum range have a -20 to attack rolls (-10 with thrown weapons).

a penalty of 1-2 per 1-2 meters would go a long way towards acknowledging that stabbing someone in the kidney from arm's reach is dramatically easier than doing it with a ranged weapon from a football field or twenty yes.  I think that any solution that includes words to the extent of "just don't use a battlemap & restrict yourself to theater of the mind" is a shortsighted & self inflicted wound.  A system like fate core that relies on nebulous "zones" where ranged weapons can shoot 1-2 zones away works fine with theater of the mind, but 5e & the stargate 5e derivative has all of the ranges in concrete distances  that do not always translate very well to the more nebulous & wishy-washy  free form narrativist style that goes with "It's not designed for grid combat"  type solutions

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After consulting the DnD 5E Dungeonmaster guide and some ideas of my own I came up with these.

Flamethrower  2 2d10  Fire  Flamethrower Special  15m line or 10m cone   2 Ammunition, reload, two-handed
Grenade - Fragmentation 2 4d6  Force  Throwing 4m/18m   1 per 3 Thrown
Grenade - Smoke   Throwing 4m/18m   1 per 3 Thrown
Grenade - Launcher 2 4d6    Longarm 8m/24m 6   2 Ammunition, reload, two-handed
Pistol - Automatic 2 2d6 Piercing Sidearm 10m/30m 15   1 Ammunition, reload
Revolver 2 2d8 Piercing Sidearm 8m/24m 6   1 Ammunition, reload
Rifle - Automatic 2 2d8 Piercing Longarm 16m/48m 30   2 Ammunition, burst fire, reload, two-handed
Rifle - Hunting 2 2d10 Piercing Longarm 16m/48m 5   2 Ammunition, reload, two-handed
Rifle - Sniper 2 2d10 Piercing Longarm 30m/120m 5   2 Ammunition, reload, two-handed
RPG 2 6d6 Fire & Force RPG 16m/48m 1   3 Ammunition, reload, two-handed
Shotgun 2   Piercing Shotgun 6m/18m 2   2 Ammunition, reload, two-handed
SMG 2 2d8 Piercing Longarm 12m/36m 30   2 Ammunition, burst fire, reload, two-handed

 

Scope (equipment): A scope can be applied to almost any longarm. Multiply the range of the weapon by 10 if the user does not move in the same turn as the shot is taken. A proficient user removes the disadvantage caused by long range in those same conditions.

Improved Range (Requirement: Dexterity 13+, 5 MP): Choose 1 weapon proficiency when you take this feat. When wielding that weapon and

you don't move in the same turn as the shot is taken double the short and long range of the weapon. You can take this feat multiple times each time choose a new weapon group or double the range again (maximum 4 times).

 

 

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I got sucked into the Discord main channel debate on this last night. (AKA Time in my life I won't get back) 😉

My only suggestion to the overall debate would be to make the max range the weapon system's max "effective range" which would put the P90 at 200m. Then take 25-50% of that range as the "close" range for the weapon.  They also need to make different longarms because a P90, an M4, and an M16 all have very different stats and ranges.

If they don't, however, that's their prerogative since the numbers they list are based on real world tested statistics.

As for the argument about encounter distance and Tau'ri weapon superiority, that's played out in the series over and over again. This is another example of the dangers of trying to apply standard DnD logic to the modern world. If you apply real world to DnD it works because the deadliness and range of ancient weapons somewhat tracks, but modern weapons are deadlier and have much longer ranges. Just like when Zats are brought into the game, the best way to fight is to avoid taking fire because when you take fire you have the chance of instant death.

Anyway, have fun with this discussion.

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Ok so I am a gun guy in real life. Been shooting for 45 years, six in the Army as an Infantryman. Some thoughts on weapons ranges, versus what is currently in print, and what has been suggested.

Sidearm - Qualification for the CCDW (concealed carry) permit in Kentucky is 20 rounds, within the designated space on a target that resembles the standard E-type silhouette used by the US military. Range to hit the target is 7m. I can hit a target, generally speaking, out to 25m, anything beyond that will be a waste of ammo, or just suppressive fire.

Longarm - this will vary by specific weapon, but 1800m I can guarantee you, it unrealistic. For example, I was regularly knocking down targets at 300m with a standard M16A2 rifle, with no optics. The best I ever did was an EXPENDEX within my platoon, and I hit 18 out of 20 from a standing unsupported position at 500m. Twice. If memory serves, area target for the M4 was 550m, so engaging a larger than man sized target or suppressing an area, that was the max effective range, in general. Point targets, as in a man, the range was 500m. This was strictly iron sights, no optics. Using my AR15, with a 16 inch barrel, and just a 3x optic, I can hit a point target at 500m without much effort, and not just hit it, but hit it in tight groupings. The standard optic used by both the Marines and Army is the Trjicon ACOG, which is a 4x scope, with a fiber optic illuminated reticle. I'll let one of the younger grunts that has direct experience with those chime in on effective ranges.

Additionally, the caliber as well as the projectile itself, have a great deal to do with the performance of the weapon. The military is shifting over to the 6.8mm SPC cartridge, which has more power than the current 5.56mm cartridge, further range, and shoots flatter. It also dumps a lot more energy into the target. That said, swap out the FMJ projectile with something with a better ballistic coefficient, and you can get better range, better velocity, and even more damage inflicted on the target.

I personally shoot 5.56mm and .300 Blackout. I run standard 55 grain and 62 grain ammo in my 5.56 AR. I am currently running 110 grain Lehigh Defense Controlled Chaos ammo in my 300BLK, from a barrel length half that of my 5.56mm. I am getting 2/3 the velocity, but due to the bullet weight, the ballistic coefficient, and the fact that the projectile is a milled copper hollow point, designed to have four petals curl back, shear off, and create their own wound channels, dumping most of the kinetic energy into the target within the 6-8 inch penetration range, it is my preferred hunting and home defense caliber. BUT, because this is a modification of the casing of the 5.56mm round, using pistol powder rather than rifle powder, and a .30cal projectile, the range suffers. At 200m I am looking at about 12 inches of bullet drop, which means I have to aim a foot higher than my intended point of impact. At 300m, it increases to 18 inches. At a 500m target, you have to aim so high above the target, you aren't able to use the optics anymore. 350 Legend has similar ballistics, as does 7.62x39 (the AK47). I am very seriously considering building an upper receiver for my AR rifle chambered in 6.5 Grendel, which will hit like a hammer, and reach out to 500-800m, shooting very flat. And that's an AR15.

As much as I love the shows, it always bothered me why they would use the P90 over existing M4s and variants. The 5.7mm round doesn't really offer close to the armor piercing capabilities of the black tip armor piercing 5.56mm ammo. Yes, the standard magazine holds 50 rounds, but at the rate of fire exhibited on TV, you're going to burn through the 10,000 rounds hauled in by FRED in no time. Besides, with an M4, one or more team members could be also equipped with any make of the conversions to .22LR, making hunting small game an easy task. And a brick of 100 rounds of .22LR takes up hardly any space, and the weight is negligible. A smaller package than a Henry AR-7 in the pack.

I was never a sniper, but the effective ranges for any number of commonly used rifles can easily be found. I would look at the general maximum range targets have been engaged in the field, rather than looking at record breaking shots. And as for shotguns, range and damage are dependent on the size of the shot, or slug, fired. When I lived in New York, we were only allowed shotguns to hunt deer, and the furthest I shot a deer, or even tried, with a slug, was 75m. Any further was an increasingly exponential chance of a miss, or hitting it so softly as to make it mad, and come kick me out of the apple tree and kick my ass. Buck shot, as in 00 buck, would be the next longest range, and decreasing in effectiveness and damage according to the smaller size shot used.

 

Edited by millard_audene
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I think Algernon hit the nail on the head, but do see where the physical real world limitations come in as well. The short range/long range from D&D just doesn't really account for modern firearms. The actual FNP90 has an effective/maximum range of 200m/1800m. I think instead of tying effective and short together you simply have close/effective as mentioned with the usual disclaimer that anything over effective is made with disadvantage. Even then the effective range will probably never come up too often since if we look at the skirmishes or even pitched battles on screen there was always a plot reason to be close such as capturing a prisoner or freeing one, obtaining some tech or intel, ideal terrain for an ambush, or most often the gate itself being a natural choke point and/or focus.

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Ok regarding the maximum range of the PS90/P90, I can guarantee you will not be hitting a target at that range. That's the maximum flight distance of the projectile, before it hits the ground. At best. And certainly NOT from a short barrel P90 as seen in the TV shows. It's a slightly larger projectile than the 5.56mm round fired by the M16/M4/AR15 family. It's even a lighter projectile. Anything hit beyond 200m, is only going to get mad. Obviously realism isn't going to work in a tabletop game setting. Accuracy and range are impacted by more than just the caliber. I can buy a barrel that costs more than my AR pistol build in 5.56, and dramatically increase my accuracy. I can do the same, and go with an 18 inch or longer barrel, and increase both my accuracy, and muzzle velocity. By changing to a different weight projectile, say a move from M193 ball (55 grain) to M855, I can impact the muzzle velocity, as well as amount of energy delivered to the target on impact. And we haven't even brought up atmospheric conditions.

Something simple needs to be generated. Something like:

Pistol - maximum range 50m
Short Barreled Rifle (under 16 inches barrel length) - Maximum range 200m
Full size battle rifle (barrel length 16 inches or greater) - Maximum range 500m
Sniper Rifle - Maximum range 1600m
Small bore machinegun (M249 SAW) - maximum range 600m
Large bore machinegun (M60/M240B) - Maximum range 1200m

A to hit penalty can be added for shots attempted past maximum range, say -2 for every 20% beyond maximum range of the weapon, not to exceed an additional 50% of maximum range for the weapon type. Add bonuses for applicable optics. And oh boy, are there some really awesome optics out there. Such as thermal long range scopes that can link to your phone and livestream your hunts.

I'm going to attach a photo of one of my ARs. It's a pistol configuration, which according to the ATF, can have any barrel length, must NOT have a vertical foregrip, and must not have a rifle stock. Mine has an arm brace, not a stock. If I filled out the appropriate paperwork, paid the $200 tax, and was approved (which would happen since I have had several federal level background checks in the last several years for employment purposes), then I could put a stock on it, and it would be an SBR. This has a 7.5 inch barrel, and has a shorter range than a full sized rifle, or even if I swapped out the upper half for a slightly longer barrel. This red dot mounted is only really good for within 100m, and has zero magnification. I do have a scope I can mount that has magnification, as well as an amazing reticle with range finding and bullet drop calculation capability built in. That would increase my ability to engage targets accurately out to 200m, the furthest I would engage a target with this caliber (300 Blackout).

300BLK_2.jpg

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You make a lot of good points, and I think the crux of the issue is how all that translates to representation on the tabletop. 

I don’t think it’s necessary to get into the realism or granularity of real world firearms beyond some really basic points, because to do otherwise invites breaking the entire game framework  

D&D 5e is in many respects grounded in melee combat, and the ranges reflect that. Even most of the longest range spells and weapons top out at 120ft before you start rolling at disadvantage.

If we take into consideration the constraints of tabletop play, the action portrayed within the show, and the limits of the system itself, combat over 200ft is so rare as to be non existent in most cases, and that should be the cornerstone of every combat encounter.

Especially when we consider that one of the baseline enemy NPC’s will be wielding a 3m/60m weapon. That means every Jaffa will be rolling at disadvantage outside of 3m, and it becomes clear, at least from a GM perspective that you want to keep the majority of combat under 100m. Which happens to be just under the size represented by many commercial RPG battle maps. 

Almost every Tau’ri weapon’s range can exceed that scope though. Which to me means that the GM has to put a modicum of effort into properly setting up encounters. Cover from forests, buildings, any type of obstacle cutting down sight lines and visibility, as well as other environmental factors should level the playing field as much as possible. And that’s with a smaller battlefield. Because with a 500m open field, a squad of enemy Jaffa with Ma’Toks is going to have almost 36 rounds of movement and dashing as an action before they can even fire inaccurately. That wouldn’t be fun to play as a PC or GM. 

That’s why I don’t think the straight adaptation of 5e’s short/long range is necessarily the best option. I think maybe adopting something more along the lines of CQB/Battlefield for range might be more productive. Specific weapons would have their own modifier or roll conditions. Kind of like how it’s already set up how the P90, MP7A1, and SR9TC are all “longarms”, but in reality the bullpup design of the P90 is ideally suited for CQB, whereas the SR9 would fulfill a DMR role. 

This would enable players to utilize the mission prep more effectively by increasing player choice. If you know that the next mission is underground in caves, you’re probably not going to want to bring a sniper rifle, in fact maybe someone should bring a shotgun. 

Plus the variations are already more or less present in 5e with some weapons with the versatile trait where the damage dice gets upped when wielded two handed. Simply having CQB/Battlefield apply versatile to one or the other depending on the weapon would be the easiest way. 

Edited by Aurelianus
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/20/2020 at 3:43 PM, Aurelianus said:

You make a lot of good points, and I think the crux of the issue is how all that translates to representation on the tabletop. 

I don’t think it’s necessary to get into the realism or granularity of real world firearms beyond some really basic points, because to do otherwise invites breaking the entire game framework  

D&D 5e is in many respects grounded in melee combat, and the ranges reflect that. Even most of the longest range spells and weapons top out at 120ft before you start rolling at disadvantage.

If we take into consideration the constraints of tabletop play, the action portrayed within the show, and the limits of the system itself, combat over 200ft is so rare as to be non existent in most cases, and that should be the cornerstone of every combat encounter.

Especially when we consider that one of the baseline enemy NPC’s will be wielding a 3m/60m weapon. That means every Jaffa will be rolling at disadvantage outside of 3m, and it becomes clear, at least from a GM perspective that you want to keep the majority of combat under 100m. Which happens to be just under the size represented by many commercial RPG battle maps. 

Almost every Tau’ri weapon’s range can exceed that scope though. Which to me means that the GM has to put a modicum of effort into properly setting up encounters. Cover from forests, buildings, any type of obstacle cutting down sight lines and visibility, as well as other environmental factors should level the playing field as much as possible. And that’s with a smaller battlefield. Because with a 500m open field, a squad of enemy Jaffa with Ma’Toks is going to have almost 36 rounds of movement and dashing as an action before they can even fire inaccurately. That wouldn’t be fun to play as a PC or GM. 

That’s why I don’t think the straight adaptation of 5e’s short/long range is necessarily the best option. I think maybe adopting something more along the lines of CQB/Battlefield for range might be more productive. Specific weapons would have their own modifier or roll conditions. Kind of like how it’s already set up how the P90, MP7A1, and SR9TC are all “longarms”, but in reality the bullpup design of the P90 is ideally suited for CQB, whereas the SR9 would fulfill a DMR role. 

This would enable players to utilize the mission prep more effectively by increasing player choice. If you know that the next mission is underground in caves, you’re probably not going to want to bring a sniper rifle, in fact maybe someone should bring a shotgun. 

Plus the variations are already more or less present in 5e with some weapons with the versatile trait where the damage dice gets upped when wielded two handed. Simply having CQB/Battlefield apply versatile to one or the other depending on the weapon would be the easiest way. 

I've been going back & forth on how to respond to this for a few days now, it's quite a bit more than a "modicum of effort" without making a couple problematic elements the core of one's GM style.  It's a trivial amount of effort if you rob players of any sort of agency and go hardcore railroad "so your making your way into town from the east">"wait what?  when did we decide that?">"I did", but that's pretty universally accepted as a bad thing to avoid as a GM.  The other thing is over use of the quantum ogre which is sometimes ok& good but it's a toxic slide that breaks down the motivations for your players to care about your game.  If every approach is the same with the same quantum ogre reinforced defense force all the time & the jaffa always magically have handy quantum ogres to hide behind they will gradually start to notice that their decisions don't matter ever.  It leaves the players slowly coming to the conclusion that they are just life support for your storytelling sessions.

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It’s not about railroading or taking away player agency. It’s about effective encounter building, and how the rule set creates difficulties if you’re not careful. 

For example, the village set they started using on the show around season 8. They fought Jaffa, Wraith, and Ori on it. Each encounter was different, had episode specific stuff, but it was still the same set. 

What could break an encounter in that village is setting up the party with sniper rifles on a distant hill and trying to take down a Jaffa patrol in the village from 1500m away, and then having the Jaffa run at them for 125 rounds of combat while the party just rolls dice until they kill them.

So how do you keep the players from inadvertently or intentionally breaking combat? The Jaffa take hostages, hide in buildings, both, call for backup, there’s a glider patrolling, the list is endless. The point being you don’t want to let the weapons range break every encounter, so you account for it. The goal should be to build encounters in a way that encourages creative thinking and tactics versus exploiting design limitations of the game system. 

The easiest way to accomplish that is to stick to about 100m as an active combat area. Anything outside that probably shouldn’t warrant initiative being rolled. Which again isn’t to restrict the players, just allow for solidly built encounters. 


 


 


 

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4 hours ago, Aurelianus said:

It’s not about railroading or taking away player agency. It’s about effective encounter building, and how the rule set creates difficulties if you’re not careful. 

For example, the village set they started using on the show around season 8. They fought Jaffa, Wraith, and Ori on it. Each encounter was different, had episode specific stuff, but it was still the same set. 

What could break an encounter in that village is setting up the party with sniper rifles on a distant hill and trying to take down a Jaffa patrol in the village from 1500m away, and then having the Jaffa run at them for 125 rounds of combat while the party just rolls dice until they kill them.

So how do you keep the players from inadvertently or intentionally breaking combat? The Jaffa take hostages, hide in buildings, both, call for backup, there’s a glider patrolling, the list is endless. The point being you don’t want to let the weapons range break every encounter, so you account for it. The goal should be to build encounters in a way that encourages creative thinking and tactics versus exploiting design limitations of the game system. 

The easiest way to accomplish that is to stick to about 100m as an active combat area. Anything outside that probably shouldn’t warrant initiative being rolled. Which again isn’t to restrict the players, just allow for solidly built encounters. 


 


 


 

100m in every direction is a freaking gigantic map that makes return to undermountain & other mega dungeons look positively cozy.  Having to prep maps of that scale for every possible place the players might need is a gigantic hurdle.  Using your own example  you call in the quantum ogre with gliders & backup called in.  If it doesn't matter what tactic they use the tactic becomes "shoot down the gliders screw the hostages" or "where are the reinforcements, lets target there first"... you have gigantic maps ready for both of those situations right?..   What about if they setup a diversion elsewhere in order to target the reinforcements coming in to handle the diversion?... Alternately are the players not allowed to do those things  because the rail is not wide enough to allow or are they not allowed because the quantum jaffa/quantum deathgliders don't exist yet?  By comparison, the entire map of undermountain is only about 170x400 squares .

7bb5be122d3f33d032619085113e3e16.gif

Battle maps for encounters on that scale  is not a mere "modicum of effort".  You even admit these maps made with a mere "modicum" of effort take over a hundred rounds to cross.  Simply filling in a map of that scale edges deep into making territory where techniques normally reserved for making world maps called for to make encounter maps

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Sorry, I think I’m not being clear enough on some points, and it’s causing confusion  

When I say 100m, I mean 100m2. To me that’s the absolute upper limit for encounter size for multiple reasons, chief among them are real world feasibility and limits of the system. Because of the real world feasibility I agree with your OP that 1 square = 2m is the easiest way to represent that on an actual table top. It ends up being roughly equivalent to the normal 1 square = 5ft anyways.

Encounters on that scale would be like the SGC operation to rescue Sha’re and the captured Abydonians on P8X-873 in Forever in a Day or the battle in Heroes pt1&2. Huge fights with tons of combatants. Those would fit on the largest available commercial grid maps. 

The vast majority of all encounters would be much smaller. I wasn’t clear that I was talking about the absolute biggest size, and I think that caused the most confusion.

Additionally the variables I used were examples on how to build the encounter from the beginning to discourage metagamey ranged antics. It’s hard to sit and snipe if everybody is inside, hostages might get killed if the attack isn’t quick enough, or it’s not smart to start a sustained long range assault when there’s air cover or a patrol in the area. Those aren’t traps waiting to be sprung, it’s information that helps the players know what difficulties their plan needs to overcome. 

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On 10/3/2020 at 11:00 AM, Aurelianus said:

Sorry, I think I’m not being clear enough on some points, and it’s causing confusion  

When I say 100m, I mean 100m2. To me that’s the absolute upper limit for encounter size for multiple reasons, chief among them are real world feasibility and limits of the system. Because of the real world feasibility I agree with your OP that 1 square = 2m is the easiest way to represent that on an actual table top. It ends up being roughly equivalent to the normal 1 square = 5ft anyways.

Encounters on that scale would be like the SGC operation to rescue Sha’re and the captured Abydonians on P8X-873 in Forever in a Day or the battle in Heroes pt1&2. Huge fights with tons of combatants. Those would fit on the largest available commercial grid maps. 

The vast majority of all encounters would be much smaller. I wasn’t clear that I was talking about the absolute biggest size, and I think that caused the most confusion.

Additionally the variables I used were examples on how to build the encounter from the beginning to discourage metagamey ranged antics. It’s hard to sit and snipe if everybody is inside, hostages might get killed if the attack isn’t quick enough, or it’s not smart to start a sustained long range assault when there’s air cover or a patrol in the area. Those aren’t traps waiting to be sprung, it’s information that helps the players know what difficulties their plan needs to overcome. 

 

That clears up intent a bit but still misses the scale problem 100x100 encoutnter maps are still more than a lot of dungeon crawls.

  • CoS argenvostholt: 2 floors ~26x26  & 18x14
  • CoS Amber Temple: blank 27x9 & dungeon 28x24
  • CoS van richtens tower.  4 6x6 floorsplus small outside & 1x2 wagon.
  • CoS wizard of wines: 3 floors, 11x20, 11x20 plus small outside, & 7x13 basement
  • The only maps that have scales capable of even modeling the weapon ranges in sgp are towns & yester hill where they are 50ft/square.
  • LMoP Goblin Ambush:  They attack from the trees, not even a map.
  • LMoP Cragmaw hideout you chase the goblins to is 31x20 mostly of tunnels
  • LMoP town of phandain  probably about 500x1000 but they just have a bar showing scale rather than sqares.
  • LMoP Cragmaw Hideout: ~29x17
  • LMoP Ruins of thundertree (a town sized encounter map) ~28x20
  • LMoP Wyvern Tor ~25x15
  • LMoP Wave Echo Cave ~33x44

I could continue but the point is made.  A GM puts a lot of work into making a map for a dungeon crawl because of how large it is & even those are likely to be only a fraction of a 100x100 encounter map made with a mere "modicum" of effort.  Your last paragraph underscores a problem you are treating as a feature that handles a design issue rather than an option.  If the assumption is that the bad guys will always be inside limiting weapon ranges to the size of rooms, then weapon ranges should be constrained to something at least close to the size of a large room rather than ranges closer to seeing the building containing that room on the horizon.  Not having that limit or some easily applied secondary rule with vision causes all of the problems noted in the OP, requires boatloads of extra effort for encounter maps, & says anything but a dungeon crawl is probably badwrongfun.  It may have been a few years since I watched any of the stargates on tv, but I don't remember dungeon crawls being the norm even if there were a decent number of encounters that took place on gouald ships.

 

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Maximum range is a meaningless number to an RPG. Yes FN indicates the 5.6mm round may travel 1800m, but that's just a gravity thing. FN lists the EFFECTIVE range (as sited several times above) as 200m, which is basically the range a normal someone could hit and hurt a target (keep in mind the issue is not just hitting the target, but the kinetic energy transmitted after hitting it - most is used up traveling 1800m).

Also keep in mind regardless of what the weapon is capable, only a handful of snipers could hit a target 1,000m out - which is a huge accomplishment. They are also probably using a spotter and a ballistic computer on a special rifle with a special sight. Very few could even hit a target at 1,800 m, certainly no one who would be on an SG field team.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Table scale for minis users tends to be a bit of an issue.

The typical sizes for Sci Fi games varies widely.

Traveller uses 12.7mm=1.5m and 25.4mm=1.5m, with one edition using 25.4mm=2m  Ratios: 1:118, 1:59, 1:79

Twilight 2000 2.x used 25.4mm=2m for tactical, and 25.4mm=10m for large scale combat. 1:60 and 1:394
Twilight 2000 4e is using 2cm=10m. (1:50 scale)

GURPS uses 1 in= 1yd; that's 1:36 (despite some printings claiming other numbers)

Actual minis games usually divorce ground scale and figure scale. Often by 10:1 or 100:1. As in, a minis game using 1:285 micro armor might have 1in = 750 to 800 ft. (7× figure scale) Many actually use 3 or more scales... one for representative figures, another for vehicles, and a third for ground, and sometimes a separate scale for terrain height. 

A large scale combat system can be cobbled together pretty easily, given 1 grid=1m on core...

A 5 round long turn, using a phased movement chart, with an action every phase, but movement on 5m hexes, listed per phase.

Speed 5 1/1/1/1/1
Speed 6 1/1/1/1/2
Speed 7 1/1/2/1/2
Speed 8 2/1/2/1/2
Speed 9 2/1/2/2/2
Speed 10 2/2/2/2/2
and so on. Act once per phase, which may include moving. Adds a little complexity, gives 5x the ground scale, doesn't mess with the odds (since you attack the same number of times)

(and yes, I give permission to use this with only attribution to Wyvern Games, or, for that matter, any other.)

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