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FF_Ninja 03-21-2016 10:11 AM

Dodgin' Bullets
 
I've been reading up on mechanics for handling gunfights and noticed that (unless I missed something important) defenders get basically the same roll for dodging a bullet that they would from a slower projectile or a melee weapon. The book does differentiate here by establishing the defender as not actively dodging the bullet as much as preemptively dodging the shooter, and, arguably, the defender cannot parry or block gunfire, but the straight-up dodge roll appears to be unchanged: success vs. dodge.

In a comparative lineup, one can reflexively dodge a swing from a baseball bat or a thrust from a knife; one can even conceivably duck or twist to avoid a well-aimed arrow (although I, having shot my share of bows, would consider that a degree more difficult; arrow velocity is not negligible); but most firearms launch a projectile at several hundred feet per second in general.

And yet they all get the same success roll vs. dodge.

My question is this: Did I miss something in my basic study of combat mechanics, or do the basic rules really operate this way? Are there supplements that deal with this topic?

Again, maybe it's the fact that I'm missing certain supplements, but I just find it odd that you can have a crack shot ace his shots with impunity, only to have his target dodge the round with the same frequency as any other attack.

The more I think about it, the more I feel I really must be missing some rules somewhere, because the mitigating anti-whiff factors for melee attacks come in the form of feints and ruses and the like, but I'm not seeing anything a gunner can do to impact his target's dodge roll.

Insight?

DouglasCole 03-21-2016 10:19 AM

Re: Dodgin' Bullets
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FF_Ninja (Post 1990961)
I've been reading up on mechanics for handling gunfights and noticed that (unless I missed something important) defenders get basically the same roll for dodging a bullet that they would from a slower projectile or a melee weapon.

My question is this: Did I miss something in my basic study of combat mechanics, or do the basic rules really operate this way? Are there supplements that deal with this topic?

The more I think about it, the more I feel I really must be missing some rules somewhere, . . . but I'm not seeing anything a gunner can do to impact his target's dodge roll.

Insight?

Check out Dodge This!, from Pyr #3/57

mlangsdorf 03-21-2016 10:22 AM

Re: Dodgin' Bullets
 
The Basic rules are that you can Dodge an unlimited number of shots from firearm shooters that you can see, so you're correct in that aspect.

Martial Arts adds Prediction Shots (MA 121) to allow shooters make Deceptive Attacks that only penalize the target's Dodge. Some people house-rule that high speed attacks (bullets, laser beams) include a certain amount of automatic Prediction in them.

Tactical Shooting adds an optional rule for Restricted Dodge Against Firearms (TS 17) where you can only Dodge against one attacker with a firearm at a time.

Edit: ninja'd by Doug: And there's a couple of optional rules floating around in Pyramid but I don't recall the issues.

Varyon 03-21-2016 10:25 AM

Re: Dodgin' Bullets
 
Martial Arts, Tactical Shooting, and the "Dodge This" Pyramid article (#3/57) all address this in various ways. Your reading is accurate - you get the same Dodge roll against a baseball bat as against a rifle. Well, almost - against that bat, you can Retreat for +3, but against the rifle to get a +3 you have to Dodge and Drop, which puts you in a bad position to avoid later shots. Martial Arts and Tactical Shooting also have rules for making ranged Feints and Deceptive Attacks (called Predictive Shooting for the latter), and there are also rules for being harsher in terms of the character being aware of a rifle pointed at them, requiring the characters be moving evasively to even get a Dodge, and so forth.

malloyd 03-21-2016 10:33 AM

Re: Dodgin' Bullets
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FF_Ninja (Post 1990961)
The more I think about it, the more I feel I really must be missing some rules somewhere, because the mitigating anti-whiff factors for melee attacks come in the form of feints and ruses and the like, but I'm not seeing anything a gunner can do to impact his target's dodge roll.

I don't see any particular reason you couldn't allow feints and ruses with Guns skill if you like. But is there a reason you need to? In reality most shots miss moving, let alone evading, targets. That's why hunters try for an ambush after all. Firing the magazine dry without hitting your opponent is not such an unusual result in a gunfight.

FF_Ninja 03-21-2016 10:44 AM

Re: Dodgin' Bullets
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by malloyd (Post 1990971)
Firing the magazine dry without hitting your opponent is not such an unusual result in a gunfight.

Depends on the situation, of course - weapon type (pistol, automatic, or longarm?), level of training, environment (cover?) - but I would respectfully disagree with this. Unless you're suppressing a target with high-volume or automatic fire (in which case your aim isn't to hit the target as much as keep them immobile and passive), shots landed on an actual visible target are not that rare. But, again, situations vary wildly from scared street thugs and wild insurgents to trained cops and hardened soldiers. Military experience to back this one up.

This does make me wonder if there are suppression rules, though... I should look that up. It would add an extra element to high-volume fire!

DouglasCole 03-21-2016 11:13 AM

Re: Dodgin' Bullets
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by malloyd (Post 1990971)
I don't see any particular reason you couldn't allow feints and ruses with Guns skill if you like. But is there a reason you need to? In reality most shots miss moving, let alone evading, targets. That's why hunters try for an ambush after all. Firing the magazine dry without hitting your opponent is not such an unusual result in a gunfight.

What I've found is that if you encourage/require a step on the Dodge - effectively a retreat, but at least some motion on the combat map - having all those dodges in place isn't nearly so WTF-creating. My super (like 1,300 points) pulled a Agent-in-the-Matrix move the other day. Now, he's high point value, though not that great a Dodge, but the only part of that that was weird was that he didn't move before or after.

With a step? Yeah. People miss in gunfights all the time. And consider the consequences - in most cases, one or two bullets is The End for the PCs. If not "dead or crippled," then at least "out of the fight and reading a book in the background" which is, given RPGing is a social thing, the metagame equivalent of 'yer ded. sorry.'

DouglasCole 03-21-2016 11:16 AM

Re: Dodgin' Bullets
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FF_Ninja (Post 1990975)
Unless you're suppressing a target with high-volume or automatic fire (in which case your aim isn't to hit the target as much as keep them immobile and passive), shots landed on an actual visible target are not that rare. But, again, situations vary wildly from scared street thugs and wild insurgents to trained cops and hardened soldiers. Military experience to back this one up.

This does make me wonder if there are suppression rules, though... I should look that up. It would add an extra element to high-volume fire!

Hit rates in combat engagments tend to be less then 25%, often in the 10-15% range, though. That's pretty much one or two hits per magazine under the usual conditions.

Ulzgoroth 03-21-2016 11:21 AM

Re: Dodgin' Bullets
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FF_Ninja (Post 1990975)
But, again, situations vary wildly from scared street thugs and wild insurgents to trained cops and hardened soldiers.

If you think trained cops tend to hit most of the time, either 'trained' is excluding a heck of a lot of cops or the statistics aren't going to agree with you.
Quote:

Originally Posted by FF_Ninja (Post 1990975)
Military experience to back this one up.

Is the military experience really making you imagine that rounds in magazine to people shot is going to be anywhere near 1:1?

Do also note that people participating in a gunfight often dodge at a penalty or not at all. Being prone penalizes attackers, but it also penalizes active defenses. Engaging in any sort of aimed or sighted shooting precludes dodging as well, though the rules do allow you to dodge after an Aim maneuver at the cost of ruining your Aim benefit.
Quote:

Originally Posted by FF_Ninja (Post 1990975)
This does make me wonder if there are suppression rules, though... I should look that up. It would add an extra element to high-volume fire!

In Tactical Shooting.

Anthony 03-21-2016 11:23 AM

Re: Dodgin' Bullets
 
I wonder to what degree hit probability, over history, varies per shot vs per reload. There is some incentive to say "I have an 18 round magazine, so I might as well take 5% shots", whereas if you had a 6 round magazine you might pass on those same shots.


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