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Old 05-19-2014, 01:18 AM   #1
Sindri
 
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Default Survivable Guns Realism

The Survivable Guns article is clearly written to make guns, well, survivable and it mentions being for cinematic campaigns. On the other hand it also questions the lethality of GURPS firearms.

So what do you think about Survivable Guns from a realism perspective?
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Survivable Guns Realism

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
The Survivable Guns article is clearly written to make guns, well, survivable and it mentions being for cinematic campaigns. On the other hand it also questions the lethality of GURPS firearms.

So what do you think about Survivable Guns from a realism perspective?
It's a big question. The problem is when you have automatic results from a system. When it comes to gun shot wounds there aren't many scenarios that have an automatic result (and even then it's more a really, really likely end result).

Personally I think the standard rules in combination with HT over penetration rules for torsos are fine.

(although there is the question about damage mods and max damage)

Which ultimately makes a single round no where vital* pretty survivable in the long term, but multiple rounds will take you out** pretty quick. As will bleeding if left untreated from less powerful rounds or very dangerous from large powerful rounds even with first aid.

Were you hit makes more difference than what your hit with (within a certain range obviously). But in RL how your body reacts to being hit is also a major factor, and in GURPS that's a matter of HT rolls to stay upright, concious and alive.

People survive getting shot all the time, but people also don't. Which I admit isn't much of an answer, but I think GURPS RAW does a pretty good job of giving this range of results with a healthy gloss of verisimilitude.

*in a broader sense than RAW but obliviously including vitals.

**take out not necessarily meaning instantly dead, but can often lead to being dead pretty quick.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 05-19-2014 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Survivable Guns Realism

I have found hightech (And generally TL9 guns) are pretty survivable. Had a dog survive a bunch of shots last night taking 3d6+1 pi+ gunfire.

I think it becomes cinematic where you take a bullet and just shrug like nothing happened.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:48 AM   #4
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I have found hightech (And generally TL9 guns) are pretty survivable. Had a dog survive a bunch of shots last night taking 3d6+1 pi+ gunfire.
...How? About 4 should have hard-killed it unless it's a really huge dog.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Survivable Guns Realism

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...How? About 4 should have hard-killed it unless it's a really huge dog.
Dog with 9 HP. Takes 54 damage to outright kill. That's a lot of HP in consideration. And a 3d6+1 pi+ weapon has 16 damage average for wounding. However, people roll random for damage, so one shot could be 6 damage, another could be 29.

Damage rolls weren't all that high, recoil makes a lot of bullets miss, the ones that hit dropped it down to -4xHP and it was still up and kicking.

To quote my players "DIE DOG DIE!"

It ended up failing HT roll to remain conscious, but nobody outright killed it. And 3d6+1 pi+ is a pretty big gun.


Point being, with even a little body armor, bullets become nothing. It's easy enough to get 8 DR against bullets, which turns gunshots to piddily damage in a firefight, but getting riddled with them sucks.

Not sure I like the idea myself that bullets aren't scary to players. Anytime someone might go "I'll just take the shot" something is wrong. To quote a source book from GURPS, "Best defense against gunfire is not being in the way of the bullet."

That's just my feeling on the matter.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Survivable Guns Realism

I've had good success with adding an armor divisor and halving gun damage (including pistols), at least if you're using hit locations and some form of bleeding. Random hit locations make gun combat a lot more survivable, and halving damage prevents even pistols from almost always crippling limbs. But even 1d to the vitals still almost always results in people falling over when hit there and rapidly bleeding to death, barring 1st world EMTs and hospitals nearby.

Anyway, I like that getting shot is more immediately survivable, unless you get hit somewhere important, but still does pretty severe damage and tends to make you bleed a whole bunch. Tends to fit my sense of reality better.

Oh, I also use armor as dice, so you will pretty much have to crit and get lucky trying to shoot through body armor that is rated to stop your weapon, as opposed to just rolling high on damage.
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Last edited by Crakkerjakk; 05-19-2014 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: Survivable Guns Realism

Realistically, weapons have:
  • Lower variance in penetration than GURPS implies; what variance there is mostly comes from different strike angles and the target's armor being different at different locations.
  • Higher variance in lethality than GURPS implies; there should be a fairly substantial chance that a 7.62 round (7d) blows through without doing more than tissue damage, and that a .22LR (1d+1 pi-) inflicts a mortal wound.
  • Extremely unreliable about incapacitation, particularly with less than lethal damage.
  • Less cumulative effect. In GURPS, if one hit has a meaningful chance to kill, three hits is an automatic kill. To some degree this could be covered by variance in lethality.
However, that combination of traits doesn't really result in survivable guns; if anything, it would probably increase the odds of PC death.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Survivable Guns Realism

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Less cumulative effect. In GURPS, if one hit has a meaningful chance to kill, three hits is an automatic kill. To some degree this could be covered by variance in lethality.
This is something I've toyed with, but not to the point of serious playtesting. What it takes is a system where each injury is its own "wound", with a severity based on the damage inflicted. The consequences of injury are based on the worst wound received, rather than an accumulation of damage (though blood loss and shock should still have cumulative effects). L.W. Camp has an interesting houserule along these lines on his GURPS page.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:58 AM   #9
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This is something I've toyed with, but not to the point of serious playtesting. What it takes is a system where each injury is its own "wound", with a severity based on the damage inflicted.
Not necessarily; it's also possible to just use extremely high variability in damage, a la Phoenix Command (where the range in damage from being hit by a pistol is something like 5-1,000). I briefly get into this in my article on wound size modifiers, basic idea is that you add 1d-4 to effective wound size, which means a pi attack doing 10 penetrating damage would have a chance to do 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 injury.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Survivable Guns Realism

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Not necessarily; it's also possible to just use extremely high variability in damage, a la Phoenix Command (where the range in damage from being hit by a pistol is something like 5-1,000). I briefly get into this in my article on wound size modifiers, basic idea is that you add 1d-4 to effective wound size, which means a pi attack doing 10 penetrating damage would have a chance to do 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 injury.
Hmm. I'd prefer to handle such damage variability through hit location (such as a Torso shot's 1/6 chance of hitting the Vitals, or 1/6 chance of hitting the Skull through the Face). To each their own though.
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