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tetrasodium

Not enough design space within weapons to fiddle & differentiate within

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Posted (edited)

Right now weapons have:

 

  • Name: Self Explanatory
  • Tech Level: Usually 2-3 with a few exceptions, but mechanically there is very little impact beyond what amounts to "You can pick this weapon" & "You can't get more ammo for this"
  • Damage: A simple die size or dice pool like 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 2d6, 3d4, etc. Bigger is almost always better
  • Type: What type of damage it does, fire pierce force etc.  We don't have many monsters to compare to, but at least in standard d&d 5e shifted these from once relevant things affected by DR/x Resist/x & vulnerable/x to near irrelevant fluff on par with the color of a weapon.
  • Range: In the case of practically every weapon this is currently scaled to "enough in nearly all circumstances" making it a value that does not significantly impact weapon choice.  A longarm that deals +1 or extra damage but is limited by losing half two thirds or even three quarters of its range is objectively better as an example.
  • Capacity: This has some value when a weapon has a notable reload time, but when you have 50 shots or even 15 or 5 shots to a 1-2 action reload it's not something t be particularly concerned about when choosing a weapon based largely on the die size. Going back to that longarm, if it has a capacity of 25 or even 1000  vrs 50 with it's still a no brain choice to grab the +1 900m range one
  • Reload: most weapons have this as - 1 or 2 aside from super heavy duty stuff like grenade launchers flame throwers etc.  If that +1 rifle had a 2 or even 3 round reload time it's not a significant concern to factor in simply because a player can just reload between fights where the action cost is nullified.

All combined this leaves no room to differentiate a hypothetical larger weapon list that even the current ruleset displays as more than just hypothetical on page 63
"The standard issue longarm of the Phoenix Site is the P90, which is a Longarm with the automatic and reflex sight upgrades." vrs "The standard issue “sniper rifle” of the Phoenix 
Site, the SR9TC is a longarm with a reduced capacity but improved accuracy and stopping power. The SR9TC is a longarm with the high calibre and scope upgrade.".  Yes they have different upgrades attached to them, but there are only so many ways you can combine  them in balanced sensible ways.  Both of those weapons have a short range of "more than enough" making the scope on the second niche at best.  One is automatic 1d10 damage & one is merely semiautomatic 1d12 damage while both have an ammo capacity & range of "enough" & capacity/reload of "this is fine".  It doesn't really matter if a third weapon is belt fed extended capacity or so on.

 

The need for more mechanical values allowing subjective choice based on merits represented within the weapon statblocks themselves is critical because players can only be expected to read through so much homebrew stuff from a gm.  It's one thing to read through a list of weapons made by the gm that have varying values for things that already exist, it's something entirely different to give them that same list with a couple pages of writeup on new values that were added that might conflict elsewhere in the system & need a constant series of one off "lets handle it like this"

 

Even if all or nearly all weapons have the same values, simply having additional designspace within weapons where the gm can adjust things allows for it to e done by the GM with the much lower bar of working within the existing framework rather than creating a whole new one in need of balance & compatibility complications.  Below are some possible areas where those subjective values could exist

  • accuracy dropoff/gain: every N meters you suffer or benefit from -/+Y points.  For whatever reason a given gun (such as a pistol) might have a -1 penalty to hit for every 1 meters (-1/1)while something else like the hk sr9tc  on page 63 might only take -1 every 10 or 50 feet for -1/10 or -1/50.  Meanwhile a Serrakin self guided Macguffin gun might work better the greater the distance & gain +1/5 or something
  • minimum value on a damage die: Maybe the p95 shoots Naquadah enhanced rounds that are especially damaging that deal 1d8 damage with a minimum of a 4 on that d8
  • Knockback: How often did we see someone get hit by a staff weapon or have a staff weapon simply hit the ground near them & send them flying?  Knockback could just be a simple value in meters where a medium sized target is knocked back that far when it's hit by that weapon.  Maybe the value doubles or halves as sizes go down & up away from medium.
  • What the weapon gets a critical hit or critical fail on other than 20 & 1.  Maybe the Kull repeater is a 1d6 automatic plasma weapon that deals 1d6  instead of the Ma'Tok 3d6 but is extra scary because it  gets a crit on a 19-20  & deals while an ashen blaster is 1d4 automatic & gets a crit on a 17-20.
  • If the weapon affects the user's proficiency die or not & how (ie bump/shrink the die or set a minimum value on the die).   The Ma'tok  staff weapon only shoots once every other round due to the recharge1, but maybe it  bumps the user's proficiency die by one step, allows the user to reroll anything less than 2 on the proficiency die or even sets the floor on the die to 50% the proficiency die so a d6 d8 d10 proficiency die user can't roll less than 3 4 & 5 respectively making the elite among the elites quite scary while still providing a nice benefit of a 2-4 proficiency die for cannon fodder.
  • How much or what level of armor or damage reduction/resistance it ignores..  Armor piercing is pretty self explanatory to the point where tv & movies frequently use it as a big thing

 

 

Edited by tetrasodium

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Yeah, I fed back something similar through the feedback form based on conversations with my players.

Your characterisation of insufficient design space is bang on. In the interests of simplicity we've collapsed the complexity of the system to the point that in play it raises more questions than it answers. 

My suggestions were to (1) separate the upgrades into 'functions' and 'addons'. Functions are inherent to the weapon being stated (automatic, belt fed, etc), while add-ons can be added to any of the compatible types - that's your scopes, lasers etc. (2) limit the number of functions, add-ons as well as damage rating based on Bulk. More damage more bulk.

I fed back more to the Devs but that's the main points

 

 

 

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in my game we replaced the weapons with a similar system but more specificity.
So a few more classes, and then guidelines to upgrades.

 

Importantly, partly due to the extreme ranges, but also to deal with remote play, we replaced the entire range system to one more like FATE.

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4 hours ago, Deriachai said:

in my game we replaced the weapons with a similar system but more specificity.
So a few more classes, and then guidelines to upgrades.

 

Importantly, partly due to the extreme ranges, but also to deal with remote play, we replaced the entire range system to one more like FATE.

what do you mean by more specificity? 

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Posted (edited)

You're in the military, you're not a merc or other form of freelance murder hobo like in D&D or Star Wars.

By and large, as a soldier you don't get to choose what you're issued with. Even special forces operators have a limited choice of firearms

Edited by 1001100x02

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1 hour ago, 1001100x02 said:

You're in the military, you're not a merc or other form of freelance murder hobo like in D&D or Star Wars.

By and large, as a soldier you don't get to choose what you're issued with. Even special forces operators have a limited choice of firearms

Don't be ridiculous, this is a game & There are multiple stargate tv series where a main character uses an alien/nontauri weapon despite joinnig the secret military agency.  Not to mention...

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To take things one step further, even if we assume your words as the one true & only way to "play" the game, the design space is lacking for a GM to create new equipment that represents small & lateral improvements other than +1/+2/+3/etc, "more of a value that's already nearly always enough to nearly always be irrelevant", and "less of a value that's already low enough to nearly always be irrelevant" thereby getting hamstrung by the same problem you seem to be trying to dismiss as not relevant to the way it should be played.

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I'm working on a ruleset to build any ranged weapon in under two pages - should work for Tau'ri and offworld weapons. Will post it here when it's done. Maybe a couple of days 

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11 hours ago, 1001100x02 said:

You're in the military, you're not a merc or other form of freelance murder hobo like in D&D or Star Wars.

By and large, as a soldier you don't get to choose what you're issued with. Even special forces operators have a limited choice of firearms


Our purpose wasn't to become a murderhobo party, but mostly to clarify the existing rules. If anything this restricts the players more.
As it is, this actually binds the players more to what is available on base, and what they are actually able to requisition.

Players are welcome to rearm themselves after the briefing, and this way I can be more free to have interesting restrictions or stories which force the players to think about their equipment.

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