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tetrasodium

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 

image.png.37814df2053dcc759b90cca04b209207.png

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.

image.png.ca824ad1859b7ae7c288cb718103b739.png

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. 

image.thumb.png.c27c13a4186acb232f0b3f602bd26710.png

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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