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Old 03-02-2021, 01:27 PM   #11
Tyneras
 
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Default Re: Very Rapid Fire

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
While gamers are enamored of the idea of plugging their targets lots of times for massive injury, that's really only effective against huge-but-soft targets, as when spraying elephants with AK-47s.
My experience is that eggshells with hammers is intensely un-fun. So anything that gets away from that is good, no matter how unrealistic.
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Old 03-02-2021, 01:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Very Rapid Fire

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I suspect that those weapons have small enough rounds that high-cyclic bursts are actually a meaningful boost to effect on human targets. Kromm started the 'multiple hits doesn't matter' at GPMGs. Those are characterized by firing 'full power' rounds such as 7.62mm NATO. But most modern combat small arms don't do that, and the particular examples of HCCB in High Tech very much don't.

As a result they're more likely to need multiple hits to do their job, especially if loaded with AP rounds to compensate for their limited punch against armored targets.
Point. Of course, the effect of low damage, high RoF vs high damage, low RoF is exacerbated for beam weapons. For firearms, going from bolt-action RoF 1 to an RoF 10 full-auto weapon doesn't increase weight by a lot, as you are essentially only replacing the feeding mechanism - for equal weight, an RoF 10 rifle probably still does comparable damage to an RoF 1 rifle. For beam weapons, however, weight scales linearly with output, so to go from an RoF 1 laser rifle to an RoF 10 one, you're looking at a weapon 10x the weight - for equal weight, an RoF 10 laser rifle does half the damage of an RoF 1 one.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Of course, some of that is to do with a flaw in the damage system, which has had a suggested patch for quite a while...
Yeah, things like Conditional Injury help a good deal here. Even going with the (IMO questionable) rule of Injury getting worse not being affected by the level of initial Injury (so that a -5 Minor Wound is as likely to make a +3 Mortal Wound worse as it is to make another -5 Minor Wound worse), multiple hits are markedly less problematic. As an example, hitting a DR 36 target with five hits from a 6d(2) burn laser rifle isn't nearly as bad. By default, and assuming average damage rolls, that's five 3 HP wounds, dropping an HP 10 target to -5 HP - the character is likely to lose consciousness shortly, and has a pretty good chance of bleeding (well, oozing blood plasma) out. Under Conditional Injury, that's instead five cases of taking a -3 Minor Wound; with HT 10, that's four rolls against 13 to avoid the wound getting worse, for about a 50% chance of the wound getting worse (going to a -2 Major Wound, for a knockdown/stunning check; note getting to a +1 Crippled, roughly equivalent to the -0.5xHP from above, would require failing all four rolls). If the target instead had only DR 22, the default system would put them at -4xHP (almost certainly unconscious, 4 death checks, and likely to ooze out shortly); CI would instead have the wounds each be 0 Crippled, thus a straight roll against HT for each additional one to worsen (same chance of falling unconscious, but on average will only fail twice, resulting in going to +2 Mortal, which is roughly equivalent to going to -1xHP).

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Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
My experience is that eggshells with hammers is intensely un-fun. So anything that gets away from that is good, no matter how unrealistic.
VRF under the normal rules doesn't help a lot here - it means you'll often be dealing with a lot of hits, so if your DR isn't enough to outright stop the attack, you're probably in pretty bad shape after a burst.
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:00 PM   #13
martinl
 
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Default Re: Very Rapid Fire

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I suppose there might be weirdos who need to shoot dinosaurs lots with lasers,
I thought GURPS already had dinosaur lasers.
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: Very Rapid Fire

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Point. Of course, the effect of low damage, high RoF vs high damage, low RoF is exacerbated for beam weapons. For firearms, going from bolt-action RoF 1 to an RoF 10 full-auto weapon doesn't increase weight by a lot, as you are essentially only replacing the feeding mechanism - for equal weight, an RoF 10 rifle probably still does comparable damage to an RoF 1 rifle. For beam weapons, however, weight scales linearly with output, so to go from an RoF 1 laser rifle to an RoF 10 one, you're looking at a weapon 10x the weight - for equal weight, an RoF 10 laser rifle does half the damage of an RoF 1 one.
Two problems with that.

One is that your basic premise is flawed - you can't presume you can trade 10 pulses per second for one 10x as energetic pulse per second. It's not like the laser has a fixed amount of power output in the second but can split it up however it wants. The other direction might work, but there's no reason for the rapid-pulsing laser to be capable of a 10 times stronger than normal pulse at all. Meanwhile, all rapid fire necessarily adds is the ability to quickly recharge the lasing system between shots (that's supposing the actual firing cycle happens in less that 1/10 seconds, but that seems much more likely than not.)

The other is that 10 shots at half damage can mean doing 5 times as much damage.
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Yeah, things like Conditional Injury help a good deal here. Even going with the (IMO questionable) rule of Injury getting worse not being affected by the level of initial Injury (so that a -5 Minor Wound is as likely to make a +3 Mortal Wound worse as it is to make another -5 Minor Wound worse), multiple hits are markedly less problematic. As an example, hitting a DR 36 target with five hits from a 6d(2) burn laser rifle isn't nearly as bad. By default, and assuming average damage rolls, that's five 3 HP wounds, dropping an HP 10 target to -5 HP - the character is likely to lose consciousness shortly, and has a pretty good chance of bleeding (well, oozing blood plasma) out. Under Conditional Injury, that's instead five cases of taking a -3 Minor Wound; with HT 10, that's four rolls against 13 to avoid the wound getting worse, for about a 50% chance of the wound getting worse (going to a -2 Major Wound, for a knockdown/stunning check; note getting to a +1 Crippled, roughly equivalent to the -0.5xHP from above, would require failing all four rolls). If the target instead had only DR 22, the default system would put them at -4xHP (almost certainly unconscious, 4 death checks, and likely to ooze out shortly); CI would instead have the wounds each be 0 Crippled, thus a straight roll against HT for each additional one to worsen (same chance of falling unconscious, but on average will only fail twice, resulting in going to +2 Mortal, which is roughly equivalent to going to -1xHP).
Is conditional injury intended for hardware?

I was referring to Anthony's expanded wound size modifiers or David L. Pulver's version in Pyramid 3/34, which mitigate the usefulness of small-caliber weapons against large targets such as vehicles. (They don't mitigate the effectiveness of exploiting high accuracy for destroying people's unarmored personal gear.)
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Very Rapid Fire

I selected GPMGs for good reason: Those are where full-auto weapons for use vs. infantry came into their own. Well, Gatling guns before that, but you get my point. Originally, GPMGs and MMGs fired rifle rounds because there were lots of rifle rounds around and the weapons kind of had to be useful at ranges where they could engage people shooting back, also with rifle rounds.

Then SMGs emerged, usually firing pistol rounds. Then people starting fielding LMGs and automatic rifles which had more manageable recoil achieved mostly through lighter rounds, which also let soldiers carry useful amounts of ammo. These could still compete at rifle distances because propellants advanced to make light, fast rounds a viable option.

Which led to various armor-piercing rounds – whether by design or consequence – that could achieve useful penetration despite light weight.

At which point we're at various carbines, PDWs, and even offensive combat pistols that are worth taking to war. These are where extremely high cyclic rates started showing up: Yes, the rounds shoot far and penetrate really well, but they make tiny holes and don't inflict much trauma . . . so you need to hit with lots, and a gun that puts two, three, or four rounds on target is a good idea.

Not entirely orthogonal to this was the desire to have the higher hit probability of automatic fire without the waste of ammo associated with the stressed infantryman's tendency to spray and pray. That, too, drove the development of high-cyclic weapons. Something that spews a few rounds per pull has higher odds of a hit without chewing through a ton of ammo.

So that's the "niche" of these weapons. Whether beam weapons need this at all depends on their behavior: Do they pierce armor well but do little harm to flesh? Do they consume costly resources if left to blast away? Well, that's all a question of what sci-fi you're trying to emulate. I don't think Star Trek phasers would want or need VRF . . . one hit seems to disintegrate most targets, and apparently power packs do run out. Star Wars blasters don't ever seem to get reloaded, but they mostly just poke little smoking holes, so maybe VRF is good there.
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: Very Rapid Fire

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Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post

My experience is that eggshells with hammers is intensely un-fun. So anything that gets away from that is good, no matter how unrealistic.
It depends very heavily on what style of play you want.

When I was running my modern secret-agents game, the players wanted their highly trained operators to be able to fight hordes of mooks with just one magazine per scene, each shot a kill shot. They didn't care about their own eggshells getting smashed, because they had all those great cinematic traits for dodging, shrugging off flesh wounds, etc. So one-shot-kill weapons were the order of the day, and spraying lots of light rounds all over was seen as tedium involving too many dice rolls. There were a lot of anti-materiel rifles and hand cannons.

A long time ago, when I ran a nominally fantasy campaign which crossed TLs and worlds a lot, yeah . . . Some PCs were angels, giants, wraiths, etc. and wanted to be able to "tank" guns the same way they could soak up hits from maces and tiger claws. So there, I had to carefully tweak the weapons to support that. It ended up that super-high-RoF, armor-piercing, ultra-low-damage flechette guns and lasers were the most fun. The PCs could get shot 20 times and mostly not die, but they could count on getting hit some and not on their armor stopping the hits.
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: Very Rapid Fire

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Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
My experience is that eggshells with hammers is intensely un-fun. So anything that gets away from that is good, no matter how unrealistic.
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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
A long time ago, when I ran a nominally fantasy campaign which crossed TLs and worlds a lot, yeah . . . Some PCs were angels, giants, wraiths, etc. and wanted to be able to "tank" guns the same way they could soak up hits from maces and tiger claws. So there, I had to carefully tweak the weapons to support that. It ended up that super-high-RoF, armor-piercing, ultra-low-damage flechette guns and lasers were the most fun. The PCs could get shot 20 times and mostly not die, but they could count on getting hit some and not on their armor stopping the hits.
Many people hate 'big sack of hit point' enemies.

It's possible that significantly fewer dislike 'big sack of hit point' PCs though.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: Very Rapid Fire

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Many people hate 'big sack of hit point' enemies.

It's possible that significantly fewer dislike 'big sack of hit point' PCs though.
My very long (42 years) experience with RPGs in general, and long experience (35 years) with GURPS in particular, is that this is one of those areas where symmetry – while realistic in most cases – isn't popular with anybody but rabid realism nuts the likes of whom I've never gamed with. My players prefer their PCs to be able to "soak" lots of attacks, whether that's via avoidance (in GURPS, high defenses, Luck, or spending character points to influence rolls), absorption (in GURPS, through HP, ablative DR, or a "Stun Points" mechanic), or rapid recuperation (in GURPS, Instant Regeneration or the Flesh Wounds mechanic). On the other hand, they expect their PCs to be able to drop one foe per turn, ideally. I guess this can be realized through gear . . . but honestly, I prefer special abilities and meta-game mechanics. YMMV.
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:03 PM   #19
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One is that your basic premise is flawed - you can't presume you can trade 10 pulses per second for one 10x as energetic pulse per second.
This is the way it works in Spaceships, albeit the other way around - an RoF 1 (per 20 seconds) beam weapon can be exchanged for an RoF 10 (per 20 seconds) beam weapon that has exactly the same weight and cost, but 1/10th the output per shot (and thus ~1/2 the damage) - or even one with RoF 100 (per 20 seconds) and 1/100th the output (and thus ~1/4 the damage). That's not the only way it could work - as you note, you could have the bit that "recharges" the system (which would necessarily include cooling systems as well) be only a small factor in the total weight, and thus be able to increase RoF markedly with only a modest boost to weight. If that's the case, however, the RF and VRF options for the Spaceships beam weapons should make the weapon cost and weigh markedly less (probably just in the form of giving cargo space for the weight reduction).
I should note I was comparing different weapons, not saying that any given beam weapon should be able to freely adjust output and RoF. I can see where the confusion could come from, however, as I suggested a weapon in a previous post that could indeed switch between two RoF's (with different outputs for each) - that was meant to be a specific, purpose-built weapon. It wouldn't have as good of performance as a weapon of equal weight that is only RoF 10 (and 1/10 output) or only RoF 1, and may not be available in certain settings, but could be an interesting weapon in a setting with fully ablative force shields.

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The other is that 10 shots at half damage can mean doing 5 times as much damage.
This depends on a lot of variables to determine if it's worth it. Against a foe who is lightly armored (relative to your weapon) or unarmored, you are indeed likely to see an increase to Injury under the default wounding system. Against a foe who's DR is very close to (or exceeds) the average damage of your RoF 10 weapon, you'd be better off with the double damage RoF 1 weapon - 5 shots of 6d(2) burn isn't going to do much against a foe with DR 60, but an average-damage shot from a 12d(2) weapon will get 12 damage past that armor, possibly dropping the target outright. And, of course, even against an unarmored foe, 5 shots at half damage are unlikely to reach the wounding level of a single shot at full damage under Conditional Injury (although the more serious the initial wound, the more likely this becomes, due to the oddity of using absolute severity to see if a new wound upgrades an old one).

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Is conditional injury intended for hardware?
It's clearly designed with characters in mind, but I see no reason it couldn't be extended to hardware (indeed, it has specific rules for Unliving/Homogenous) - which should help the old "Warship vs Muskets" problem.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:11 PM   #20
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This is the way it works in Spaceships, albeit the other way around - an RoF 1 (per 20 seconds) beam weapon can be exchanged for an RoF 10 (per 20 seconds) beam weapon that has exactly the same weight and cost, but 1/10th the output per shot (and thus ~1/2 the damage) - or even one with RoF 100 (per 20 seconds) and 1/100th the output (and thus ~1/4 the damage). That's not the only way it could work - as you note, you could have the bit that "recharges" the system (which would necessarily include cooling systems as well) be only a small factor in the total weight, and thus be able to increase RoF markedly with only a modest boost to weight. If that's the case, however, the RF and VRF options for the Spaceships beam weapons should make the weapon cost and weigh markedly less (probably just in the form of giving cargo space for the weight reduction).
I should note I was comparing different weapons, not saying that any given beam weapon should be able to freely adjust output and RoF. I can see where the confusion could come from, however, as I suggested a weapon in a previous post that could indeed switch between two RoF's (with different outputs for each) - that was meant to be a specific, purpose-built weapon. It wouldn't have as good of performance as a weapon of equal weight that is only RoF 10 (and 1/10 output) or only RoF 1, and may not be available in certain settings, but could be an interesting weapon in a setting with fully ablative force shields.
I'm not really sure what laser engineering could justify a constraint of one shot per 20 seconds, and am definitely not going to take it as a given that such a justification actually exists. For a different angle of attack this is equivalent to saying that there is no way to make a rapid fire laser that is more efficient than simply strapping together 'single shot' lasers equal to the desired ROF, which seems highly implausible. In conclusion Spaceships is sort of okay for what it's supposed to be but not a solid foundation for such extrapolation. Further work: Pyramid 3/37's Laser and Blaster Design article would agree that weight and cost go with the cube of damage, but says that you can go from RoF 1 to RoF 10 (real per-second RoF, not Spaceships per 20s) for only a 25% increase.

Side note: recharge and cooling are actually significantly separable concerns. They wouldn't be for a weapon intended for indefinite continuous firing. But few if any weapons are so intended. If you assume that lasers need cooling to support that level of use, you should be subjecting firearms to the same demands. At which point they'll be quite different, much more cumbersome, and pay a crippling price for autofire!
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This depends on a lot of variables to determine if it's worth it.
It could, obviously. But just throwing out 'half the damage' is highly misleading - it's got half the penetration, but is far more destructive in many cases.
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