Author Topic: d20 Modern guns  (Read 6149 times)

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GawainBS

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d20 Modern guns
« on: July 18, 2011, 05:30:22 PM »
Just a short rant, really. How illogical the design is. One of the oldest assault rifles is actually mechanically the best choice, i.e. FN FAL, because they got stuck on "calibre = damage", and didn't take into account what HP actually represent.

Nachofan99

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2011, 03:51:11 PM »
If you want to see a completely illogical and stupid "modern weapons" take, look at Shadowrun.  Now, consider that Shadowrun is 50 years in the future so you would expect some *improvements* in firearms might take place?

No.  A 6 second combat turn can produce fully automatic weapons capable of firing a maximum of 15 bullets - i.e. 2.5 bullets per second.  A world war 2 Thompson submachine gun or german mp38/40 both have rates of fire in the 10 rounds per second and higher.  They have rules for "mini-guns" that allows you to fire more, I think it's about double the base rate or a paltry 5 bullets per second.  The only problem is, modern day chain-guns have rates of fire at the 100 bullets per second level.

There's also the weirdness that is submachine gun vs heavy pistol damage.  Somehow, even though the bullets are identical, a single bullet fired from a "heavy pistol" class weapon is 20%+ more powerful than a single bullet fired from a submachine gun.

There's also the weirdness of vehicle armor and "anti-vehicle" and "everything else" weapons.  You can easily design commuter cars that can get shot by any rockets/missiles, machine guns, grenade launchers or virtually anything in the game and take 0 damage - as long as that rocket/missile does not say "anti-vehicle".  The second it says "anti-vehicle" you still might not take any damage, but there's actually a chance of scratching the thing.


About "old assault rifles" being the best choice.  The AK-47 is the best assault rifle on the planet and it's old, I see no problems with that, but I understand your specific gripe and agree.

Calibre doesn't exactly mean "damage".  There are more factors to ballistics than just how big your bullet is.

archangel.arcanis

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 04:25:01 PM »
Real world it depends on how you define best. The AK-47 is an incredibly robust gun with some power, while the M-16 has slightly less power and actually needs maintenance it is a significantly lighter weapon with lighter ammo allowing for more capacity and accuracy. So it is all in what qualities are most important to you.

Game wise they really did screw the pooch on it. They let the caliber determine the damage outright. The most obvious comparison I see is the Alexander arms Beowulf .50 cal assault rifle and the Barrett M82A1 a .50 cal anti-material rifle deal the same damage. Sure they are both .50 cal but the bullets are totally different as well as their actual power vs a target. While it is far more accurate they have the Desert Eagle as a .50 cal pistol that only deals 2d8 while the other .50cal deal 2d12.

So the game issue isn't so much about the age of a weapon it is about their sticking with a formula for how to build the weapons and not letting reality interfere with it too much. I would say you should adjust them on the fly a bit. Use the bullet size to determine the base damage, adjust for what size load the round uses in that weapon, then probably some small bonus or penalty based on the barrel length. So in my above I would say a .50 base is 2d12. DE gets -1 die size for a small load and -1/die for a really short barrel thus ends up as 2d10-2 roughly the 2d8 it is now but with a chance at slightly more damage. Beowulf would go across the board with no mods. M82A1 would have its base adding a die size doesn't seem to work for the heavy load so +1 die, +1/die for the long specialized barrel for a total of 3d12+3. Yes it looks like I'm favoring the heavy gun but it also can't be shoulder fired due to being huge and weighs a ton, something that should be taken into account in a modern game without bags of holding and the like. Once you add in ammo weight, which will have to be determined as the book doesn't have it, they should balance out nicely. As in most things add a touch of good judgement to the guidelines and it should work out fine.
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GawainBS

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 05:04:57 PM »
For me, the mechanically best weapon should be the one that everyone wants to use IRL, price and availability aside. Damage represents so many things in d20: accuracy, penetration, kinetic energy transfer, stability, burst capability, etc... I understand it's hard to differentiate between optical sights and ironsights, but I want a reason that I'd "save up" for that ultramodern assault rifle, instead of sticking to a '50 era one. Otherwise, in-game, the world stops making sense: who'd ever buy those new guns, since they aren't better than their predecessors?

It's nice to see I'm not alone in this frustration.

archangel.arcanis

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2011, 05:30:20 PM »
Yeah the modern guns' benefits don't really play into the game very well. The biggest benefits are the weight (which affects endurance while traveling and accuracy over time) and the ease of maintenance/modularity. Since none of those aside from carrying capacity really come into play the benefits are nonexistent in D20.
Clerics and Druids are like the 4 and 2 in 42. Together they are the answer to the ultimate question in D&D.
Retire the character before the DM smacks you with the Table as the book will feel totally inadequate now.-Hazren

veekie

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2011, 06:31:39 PM »
Well, gamewise I think at higher tech levels you simply need better armors(in the damage mitigation sense) to deal with better man portable weapons. I mean by the time you can fire singularities or antimatter I expect armor that can handle those won't be far behind.
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oslecamo

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2011, 11:21:33 PM »
Well, gamewise I think at higher tech levels you simply need better armors(in the damage mitigation sense) to deal with better man portable weapons. I mean by the time you can fire singularities or antimatter I expect armor that can handle those won't be far behind.

On the other hand, it's my experience that a lot of people much prefer 40K's aproach of "You may be far away in the future with insanely high-tech stuff, but old stuff is still very viable. Did I say viable? I meant to say whole armies armed with them".

And then you somehow get  WW II caliber soldiers facing aliens with said singularity weapons and anti-matter cannons and plasteel armor backed up by psychic force fields, and the result is a deadlock. :eh

GawainBS

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2011, 11:27:44 PM »
Well, gamewise I think at higher tech levels you simply need better armors(in the damage mitigation sense) to deal with better man portable weapons. I mean by the time you can fire singularities or antimatter I expect armor that can handle those won't be far behind.

On the other hand, it's my experience that a lot of people much prefer 40K's aproach of "You may be far away in the future with insanely high-tech stuff, but old stuff is still very viable. Did I say viable? I meant to say whole armies armed with them".

And then you somehow get  WW II caliber soldiers facing aliens with said singularity weapons and anti-matter cannons and plasteel armor backed up by psychic force fields, and the result is a deadlock. :eh

They have LOTS of WWII caliber soldiers? And big, big, BIG tanks and mechs.

oslecamo

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2011, 11:45:17 PM »
How can I put this...

Imagine in one side you have tribal cavesmen. As much as you want. And heck let's throw them any number of beasts of war you want at their side.

And in the other you have a modern combat force with bombers, battleships, combat helicopters, artillery, biological weapons, ect.

Short of you bringing enough cavesmen that you can cover the surface of the planet with enough corpses to drench the oceans and consume all the available oxygen, no, the cavesmen are not gonna win no matter how many you bring.

For a recent example, review the butchering of most american tribes (and yes I'm including south, north and middle here, whole american continent) by the colonizers. Sure the tribes did manage to score some victories here and there... But they then were still utterly crushed no matter how you look at it, despite having massive numerical advantage in the begginning.

But of course in a game, people want their groups of dudes wavering pointy sticks, regardless of being the middle ages or the grimdarkness of the future.

archangel.arcanis

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2011, 11:48:11 PM »
How can I put this...

Imagine in one side you have tribal cavesmen. As much as you want. And heck let's throw them any number of beasts of war you want at their side.

And in the other you have a modern combat force with bombers, battleships, combat helicopters, artillery, biological weapons, ect.

Short of you bringing enough cavesmen that you can cover the surface of the planet with enough corpses to drench the oceans and consume all the available oxygen, no, the cavesmen are not gonna win no matter how many you bring.

For a recent example, review the butchering of most american tribes (and yes I'm including south, north and middle here, whole american continent) by the colonizers. Sure the tribes did manage to score some victories here and there... But they then were still utterly crushed no matter how you look at it, despite having massive numerical advantage in the begginning.

But of course in a game, people want their groups of dudes wavering pointy sticks, regardless of being the middle ages or the grimdarkness of the future.
CIV has taught me if you get enough warriors in a stack they can club a tank to death.  ;)
Clerics and Druids are like the 4 and 2 in 42. Together they are the answer to the ultimate question in D&D.
Retire the character before the DM smacks you with the Table as the book will feel totally inadequate now.-Hazren


veekie

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2011, 06:29:33 AM »
Well, gamewise I think at higher tech levels you simply need better armors(in the damage mitigation sense) to deal with better man portable weapons. I mean by the time you can fire singularities or antimatter I expect armor that can handle those won't be far behind.

On the other hand, it's my experience that a lot of people much prefer 40K's aproach of "You may be far away in the future with insanely high-tech stuff, but old stuff is still very viable. Did I say viable? I meant to say whole armies armed with them".

And then you somehow get  WW II caliber soldiers facing aliens with said singularity weapons and anti-matter cannons and plasteel armor backed up by psychic force fields, and the result is a deadlock. :eh
Well, thats where class features come in I guess. Theres gotta be ways to ramp damage up and down without just depending on weapons and armor.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

GawainBS

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2011, 05:28:51 PM »
How can I put this...

Imagine in one side you have tribal cavesmen. As much as you want. And heck let's throw them any number of beasts of war you want at their side.

And in the other you have a modern combat force with bombers, battleships, combat helicopters, artillery, biological weapons, ect.

Short of you bringing enough cavesmen that you can cover the surface of the planet with enough corpses to drench the oceans and consume all the available oxygen, no, the cavesmen are not gonna win no matter how many you bring.

For a recent example, review the butchering of most american tribes (and yes I'm including south, north and middle here, whole american continent) by the colonizers. Sure the tribes did manage to score some victories here and there... But they then were still utterly crushed no matter how you look at it, despite having massive numerical advantage in the begginning.

But of course in a game, people want their groups of dudes wavering pointy sticks, regardless of being the middle ages or the grimdarkness of the future.

The WH40K analogy isn't so one-sided as you put it. (I do appreciate the comedic effect you attained, though.  ;))


Nachofan99

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Re: d20 Modern guns
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011, 08:53:37 PM »
How can I put this...

Imagine in one side you have tribal cavesmen. As much as you want. And heck let's throw them any number of beasts of war you want at their side.

And in the other you have a modern combat force with bombers, battleships, combat helicopters, artillery, biological weapons, ect.

Short of you bringing enough cavesmen that you can cover the surface of the planet with enough corpses to drench the oceans and consume all the available oxygen, no, the cavesmen are not gonna win no matter how many you bring.

For a recent example, review the butchering of most american tribes (and yes I'm including south, north and middle here, whole american continent) by the colonizers. Sure the tribes did manage to score some victories here and there... But they then were still utterly crushed no matter how you look at it, despite having massive numerical advantage in the begginning.

But of course in a game, people want their groups of dudes wavering pointy sticks, regardless of being the middle ages or the grimdarkness of the future.

You do not have to go that far back *at all* to make an even stronger point in the same vein. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mogadishu_%281993%29

This shit went down in 1993 (not ancient history in the slightest) and the "tribesmen" still had AK-47s  and RPGs which are significantly better than pointy sticks.  Same basic outcome as above.