This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
NOTICE: Some online security services are reporting that information for a limited number of users from this site is for sale on the "dark web." As of right now, there is no direct evidence of this, but change your password just to be safe.

Author Topic: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs  (Read 1151 times)

moonsweeper

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 744
    • View Profile
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2021, 04:36:39 PM »
My adult daughter's a paramedic and bit of a gamer, I just ran her through a Conflict scenario and we were discussing this thread.

She recently had a job where a guy had been assaulted with a crowbar. Both hands broken (defensive wounds), and the skull cracked, swollen - the intensive care paramedic couldn't intubate him, they had to take him to a hospital for an anaesthetist to do it. A crowbar.

She is the firm opinion that calibre doesn't mean shit. "You take one in the head and you're gone," she said.
"How about trunk?"
"Fifty-fifty. Half the time you're gone, the other half the time you're back after 18 months or so."
"Leg?"
"Your dancing days are over. Better hope you keep your balls."

Sorry, paramedics are brutal like that.

Something seems wrong with that argument.  Let's try a parallel one:  "It doesn't matter if it's a dagger or a claymore, a blade through your heart will make you dead."  Certainly true, but it doesn't capture the whole situation.

Most of the arguments about firearms amongst actual shooters is based on the concept of ending the combat.  The final lethality or permanent damage is irrelevant to most actual firefights.  Unless you get the nervous system, adrenaline can keep pain/shock from stopping a firefight.  Sure the guy who just took a round to his shoulder may may immediately lose use of that arm but still be functional enough to shoot back.  In a firefight your objective is to end the shooting as quickly as possible.  Final bleed out 5 minutes later or permanent crippling of the bad guy won't stop him from killing you.  This is why there are arguments about what to use, etc.  If guns were that equal everybody would carry .22s because of accuracy, shootability, concealability, ammo capacity, and suppressability...but nobody recommends that as a standard sidearm or rifle to use for defensive purposes, do they?

Shot placement is king, but adrenaline fucks with accuracy which means a larger bullet has a better chance to hit the vital area you are aiming at.  This is why they train you to shoot center-of-mass.  For gaming purposes, model for whatever level of 'realism' you want, but any combat beyond a basic OSR approach pretty much needs penetration effects and hit location to be worth the effort of going beyond the system Kyle uses.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 04:38:21 PM by moonsweeper »
"I have a very hard time taking seriously someone who has the time and resources to protest capitalism, while walking around in Nike shoes and drinking Starbucks, while filming it on their iPhone."  --  Alderaan Crumbs

"Just, can you make it The Ramones at least? I only listen to Abba when I want to fuck a stripper." -- Jeff37923

"Government is the only entity that relies on its failures to justify the expansion of its powers." -- David Freiheit (Viva Frei)

Kyle Aaron

  • high-minded hack
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9059
  • high-minded hack
    • View Profile
    • The Viking Hat GM
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #46 on: April 27, 2021, 09:01:29 PM »
Out of curiosity, how many gunshots does she see a year in your part of the woods?
Not many! I've seen a few myself, though.

Quote
I think her odds are a bit too skewed to death given I know a person who survived a point blank shot to the head,  a person who was back at work at a near point blank shot to the chest after 6 months, and several who function normally after shots to the leg.
I think you will find they have ongoing problems. In Conflict what I've done is say that if you survive what could have been a lethal wound, you lose a point of health (rated 0 sickly to +3 athletic).

In the game, if someone receives a possibly lethal wound - called "Immediate" because you need attention within minutes or you die - and is treated, they need 12+ on 2d6 to survive.

First aid skill gives +1. Physician +3. Let's say it's a cardiac arrest and you're doing CPR. A mask is basic equipment and gives +1. An AED gives +2. Full trauma ward gives +3. So the odds of survival become,

no training & no gear   3%
1st aid OR mask   8%
1st aid & mask, OR AED   17%
1st aid & AED   28%
Physician & no gear   28%
Physician & mask   42%
Physician & AED   58%
Physician & ER   72%

I've run those figures by a former ED doc and he says that looks about right - for one day survival. Longer-term is another matter.

And of course as I said, you lose a point of Health. That means even the super-athletic guy with Health+3 has 4 heart attacks and he's certainly dead. If you were sickly (Health 0) to begin with, you're put on palliative care and your family get to say goodbye.

Now, obviously not all possibly-lethal injuries, poisonings etc are the same as a cardiac arrest. But it's a reasonable approximation for a game.

Quote
Headshots do tend towards high fatality or vegetable status, but a surprising number of people do live.   People survive alot of shootings, but for certain there is a world of difference in surviving a shot to the head with a .22 and a 12 gauge slug.   Whether you want to represent this in a game or not is another matter.
Yes, people do survive. Most aren't in good shape later, though. I'm not sure any game needs to simulate, "He survived, and had to spend 18 months in physiotherapy learning to walk again, but he wears a diaper, walks with a cane and can't type or write anymore." For game purposes, that guy's dead.

As for the calibres, as I said exactly where the shot goes makes a big difference - bigger than the calibre. That's why we have random dice rolls.

Quote
I will also say sometimes people die from almost innocuous things like falling and bumping their head in their houses. 
Yes, I have falling damage rules!

Haha just as I am writing this I'm discussing it with my daughter and she got an email... the guy clobbered with the crowbar has, somehow, survived - they're extubating him today. She can't believe it and is very happy. There will presumably be some serious long-term effects, and maybe the guy should learn not to while drunk visit a caravan park to (we think) score drugs from a known violent guy.

He's alive, but he's out of combat, and nobody wants to roleplay his next 12 months. In a game we'd just call him KIA :)
« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 09:18:30 PM by Kyle Aaron »

Mishihari

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • M
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #47 on: April 28, 2021, 02:41:28 AM »
Hit location is being discussed, but I've always thought it's an unnecessary extra step unless you're allowing players to aim for specific locations.  It's far easier to just say that it was a head or heart shot if there's enough damage to kill, a lung shot if they'll die in a short time, etc etc down to "just a scratch" for a single point of damage. Same result, less work.

S'mon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11756
    • View Profile
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #48 on: April 28, 2021, 03:08:03 AM »
I thought the gun porn in Cyperpunk 2020 did a good job emulating the consumerist mentality; and Twilight: 2000 as a Survivalist game also benefitted from having detailed and granular gun rules - T:2000 2e is probably my favourite ruleset for firearms, I love the autofire and recoil rules; they remind me of army training (the only time most of us Brits get to shoot guns). :)

If the genre is say James Bond/Spy, you want a different approach from T:2000 - you want Bond's Walther PPK to be viable against goons armed with AK74s, say. Taking a realistic approach wouldn't work; Bond would soon be toting an assault rifle.

Likewise deadliness and lingering injuries needs to suit the genre. A zombie apocalypse game IMO ought to have deadly guns and lingering injuries; same for other survival genres. But maybe your zombie apocalypse is more a Doom-style shooter, in which case you want 'bigger is better' guns and minimal realism.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 03:09:59 AM by S'mon »

Kyle Aaron

  • high-minded hack
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9059
  • high-minded hack
    • View Profile
    • The Viking Hat GM
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2021, 03:21:46 AM »
Hit location is being discussed, but I've always thought it's an unnecessary extra step unless you're allowing players to aim for specific locations. 
I'm using hit location for all named characters and NPCs, and just the three wound conditions for the nameless masses :)

HappyDaze

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • H
  • Posts: 3293
    • View Profile
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2021, 03:49:44 AM »
I thought the gun porn in Cyperpunk 2020 did a good job emulating the consumerist mentality
While I normally prefer just having a few categories of guns, I did like CP 2020 and was really surprised that CP Red dropped so much of its gun porn.

Ghostmaker

  • Chlorine trifluoride
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1470
    • View Profile
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2021, 10:03:50 AM »
Kyle, does Conflict have a luck mechanic to avoid fatal injury? Because wow, this looks pretty damned lethal.

I don't wanna harsh your mellow here cause I think you've done your homework. But hoo boy, it seems like characters would die off fast in a firefight if the dice don't go their way.

GeekyBugle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2868
    • View Profile
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2021, 11:13:35 AM »
I thought the gun porn in Cyperpunk 2020 did a good job emulating the consumerist mentality
While I normally prefer just having a few categories of guns, I did like CP 2020 and was really surprised that CP Red dropped so much of its gun porn.

How about a few categories of guns and a huge list on the back to allow for the Players/GM to use to add flavor?

Instead of "I take my heavy revolver and shoot at X" you can say "I take my .357 Magnum and shoot at X". Mechanically they are the same, you don't HAVE TO peruse a huge list of different items to find the one you want to buy.

BUT, you CAN peruse a huge list (IF YOU WANT TO) to add to your flavor/RP.

Of course this necesitates making all the guns that fall into category X mechanically the same, but hey we already do that with longbows, and there were a few different ones and they had different reach, draw power, impact power, etc.
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjC7-w5KDKNiD-k0tVo1DPw?view_as=subscriber

Wntrlnd

  • Newbie
  • *
  • W
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2021, 06:12:05 PM »
Not only for flavour, but for a pulp detective game, calibers can be used as clues.

So the pulp hero kills a gunman before they can strike, but they're dead and so can't answer questions on who sent them.
The pulp detective examines the gun:
a .38 special or .45 acp -likely an american
a .455 webley revolver- british
a 7.62 nagant -russian
a 8mm lebel -french
a 9mm -most european

a .357mag -wait? arent those FBI issued?

GeekyBugle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2868
    • View Profile
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2021, 06:16:44 PM »
Not only for flavour, but for a pulp detective game, calibers can be used as clues.

So the pulp hero kills a gunman before they can strike, but they're dead and so can't answer questions on who sent them.
The pulp detective examines the gun:
a .38 special or .45 acp -likely an american
a .455 webley revolver- british
a 7.62 nagant -russian
a 8mm lebel -french
a 9mm -most european

a .357mag -wait? arent those FBI issued?

Correct, and yet some of those would be the same mechanically. So it's not gun porn (or not only), it's also flavor and any other thing that can be useful for the campaign.
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjC7-w5KDKNiD-k0tVo1DPw?view_as=subscriber

Kyle Aaron

  • high-minded hack
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9059
  • high-minded hack
    • View Profile
    • The Viking Hat GM
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #55 on: April 28, 2021, 08:40:51 PM »
Kyle, does Conflict have a luck mechanic to avoid fatal injury?
Yes, it's called the dice.

Quote
I don't wanna harsh your mellow here cause I think you've done your homework. But hoo boy, it seems like characters would die off fast in a firefight if the dice don't go their way.
That's why they plan.

In the book it's explained: there are only three kinds of fights.

  • Ambush: you kill all of them, all of you survive
  • Ambushed: they kill all of you, all of them survive
  • Stand-up fight: everyone dies
So you want the first one. Get intel, scout, plan, work as a team. Rambo will die.

oggsmash

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1322
    • View Profile
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #56 on: April 29, 2021, 07:04:50 AM »
Kyle, does Conflict have a luck mechanic to avoid fatal injury? Because wow, this looks pretty damned lethal.

I don't wanna harsh your mellow here cause I think you've done your homework. But hoo boy, it seems like characters would die off fast in a firefight if the dice don't go their way.

  It seems to set a tone of two tv shows I enjoyed a few years back.   Deadwood and Rome.  In both shows there are protagonists that are extremely capable in situations of violence.  However they also know that a violent situation is often lethal or crippling, so the tension of the chance at impending violence is palpable.   Every character thinks fairly long and hard before they engage in violence, and when they decide violence is going to happen, it becomes serious.   I think that tone makes combat much more meaningful in a sense, and as Kyle said, it makes all those who are looking at a possible violent outcome really consider negotiation or surrender before engaging in it if they cannot have some advantage.

Kyle Aaron

  • high-minded hack
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9059
  • high-minded hack
    • View Profile
    • The Viking Hat GM
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #57 on: April 29, 2021, 07:52:45 AM »
oggsmash has the right of it. I would add that the referee of a realistic-themed modern combat game should, just like the referee of any game, not be a stupid arsehole. Any referee can just have someone put a .50 cal in the head of some player-character from 1,000 yards, just as any DM can have an invisible magic-user fireball the party.

But that would be stupid and boring. The intelligent referee will offer players something which challenges them - scenarios which with a lot of scouting, gathering information, planning and scheming, and making use of the particular abilities their characters happen to have, have a fair chance of success.

That plus character generation should be quick.

Kyle Aaron

  • high-minded hack
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9059
  • high-minded hack
    • View Profile
    • The Viking Hat GM
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #58 on: May 04, 2021, 11:20:44 PM »
Some statistics might be of interest here.

Even cops mostly miss [pdf link, lengthy, below is from pp14-15].

Quote
Officers involved in gunfights fired, on average, 7.6 rounds, compared with an average of 3.5 for officers who fired against subjects who did not return fire.

Between 1998 and 2006, the average hit rate was 18 percent for gunfights.

Between 1998 and 2006, the average hit rate in situations in which fire was not returned was 30 percent.

Accuracy improves at close range, with officers hitting their targets 37 percent of the time at distances of seven yards or less; at longer ranges, hit rates fall off sharply, to 23 percent.
Against a suspect firing back, 18% of 7.6 rounds struck, or 1.37 rounds on average. Against suspect not firing back, 30% of 3.5 rounds struck, or 1.05 rounds on average. So essentially they're firing until they get one hit, maybe two.

As for survival rates, the Brady United guys tell us,

34,566 are intentionally shot by someone else and survive, 14,062 are murdered - which is a 71% survival rate.

They also tell us that 521 are killed by legal intervention, and 1,376 are shot by legal intervention and survive, which is a 72% survival rate.

As well, 23,437 die from gun suicide, and 3,554 survive an attempted gun suicide - so even attempted suicide with a firearm has a 13% survival rate.

Going to the warfare side of things, about 90% of Americans who do die from combat wounds (not all or even mostly gunshot) do so before reaching medical care. Overall 92% of those wounded will survive. If the medic can keep you alive long enough to reach the hospital, you'll very probably make it.

In Conflict (which has now been published, see sig), if shot unarmoured then 78% of hits will be nonlethal; if armoured, 92% will be nonlethal. And "lethal" is just if you're untreated - treatment may save you, and if it's a proper physician with a trauma ward, very probably save you.

Honestly, the odds are better than for a 1st level AD&D character.

Spinachcat

  • Toxic SocioCat
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • S
  • Posts: 14102
    • View Profile
Re: Lets talk guns and granularity in RPGs
« Reply #59 on: May 05, 2021, 12:13:40 AM »
Guns need kewl names.

Beyond that, the granularity only matters in terms of game stats. Attack bonus, damage, armor penetration, effective range, extreme range, price.