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Old 02-05-2021, 07:01 PM   #121
SolemnGolem
 
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
One thing I'd like to point out: A lot of people have claimed here and in other places that you need higher skill levels to reflect professional levels in things like combat skills.

I disagree. Guns-12 and proper use of modifiers for day-to-day situations is enough to reflect most skilled shooter's performance at the range, and without those reflects combat performance fairly well too (possibly too well).
Agreed, and in fact supported in GURPS Tactical Shooting. The sidebar on p.42 lists street criminals, irregulars, and untrained armed citizens at default skill level.

11 is feasible for beat cops and drafted soldiers, as well as trained paramilitary.

13 is for routine hunters, professional soldiers.

Higher than that and you're looking at people who are inherently remarkable.
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:10 PM   #122
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by SolemnGolem View Post
Agreed, and in fact supported in GURPS Tactical Shooting. The sidebar on p.42 lists street criminals, irregulars, and untrained armed citizens at default skill level.

11 is feasible for beat cops and drafted soldiers, as well as trained paramilitary.

13 is for routine hunters, professional soldiers.

Higher than that and you're looking at people who are inherently remarkable.
Most beat cops have never been in a firefight.

I don't know about paramilitary, but that covers a lot of ground.

Hunters rarely have to worry about their prey shooting back. Therefore, like snipers, they can make things as advantageous as possible.

Professional soldiers are a huge category. I've known some that can shoot well and others who could barely qualify at the range.

The problem, as I see it, is a discrepancy between two types of shooting: long range and short range. The long range shooters can take their time and aim. The short range shooters typically have somebody shooting back at them. I run a fairly cinematic game, so I suggest that pc's have a relatively high firearms skill (15-18) because of the penalties that can occur.

I understand that a low skill is fairly realistic, but this isn't typically how the heroes in an action or scifi books shoot. Think of Northwest Smith -- when he shoots, the bodies start dropping, usually one shot, one body. True, he's probably about a 250 point character.

And yes, I do keep most of my NPC's to fairly low levels of firearms (around 10-14, depending; many young criminals use their default). Only the named henchpeople get the ridiculous levels of skills (15-16).
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Old 02-05-2021, 11:35 PM   #123
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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This is fine for a sniper where they have the time and safety to prepare. I'd expect a real-world sniper to be able to take their time for a shot.

However, if we have that same character with Guns-12 in a shootout with a criminal who is shooting back at a range of 10 yards, you get a very different story.

We remove most of the bonuses because he didn't have time to aim, don't have the ground "marked" so the range is exact, and is under stress. So, now he is rolling against his skill at -4 (range) to his, or 8.

I have heard that shootouts involving police often have a lot of bullets flying without hitting anybody, so maybe this is realistic.

However, I'd give my character a 16+ in their firearms skill. With a skill of 16, the -4 reduces this to a 12, which gives a reasonable chance of hitting my target.
That character would have the shooting skill of a Martin Riggs.
Riggs was a former special operative, and he was notably the best shot in both of his precincts, and one of the best in the entire LAPD.

Roger Murtaugh was also a good shot, for a police officer, but at the time of the events in Lethal Weapon, he'd been on the force for more than 20 years and went to the range regularly. He was also a former airborne trooper and Vietnam combat veteran.

Murtaugh would be fairly typical for characters at the start of my campaigns. I usually start them with 125 points, no more than about 40 points of Disads and 5 points of quirks.

That usually gets people a cut above average, but nowhere near superhuman, with the potential to become Badass by the end of the campaign. I do permit players to buy up ST and HT if the characters have a good reason to do so, but seldom permit increases in IQ and DX, except in special circumstances -- probably a quest designed to let the characters do exactly that.

Riggs is at least 200 points at the start of the film and easily 50 points of disadvantages -- including Chronic Depression with a decently high control roll, which he buys off with experience points earned by the end of the movie.

I wouldn't permit Riggs as a starting character, in any campaign I've ever run.
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Old 02-05-2021, 11:51 PM   #124
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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However, I'd give my character a 16+ in their firearms skill. With a skill of 16, the -4 reduces this to a 12, which gives a reasonable chance of hitting my target.
I have a simple rule of minimum skill 12/14/16 and ranged weapons fall in last. This had nothing to do with realism and seeing how much Gun-14 is a 'professional' I would state that real world professionals aren't good enough to go on roleplaying adventures... which doesn't seem out of place.
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Old 02-06-2021, 12:55 AM   #125
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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Originally Posted by DangerousThing View Post
However, if we have that same character with Guns-12 in a shootout with a criminal who is shooting back at a range of 10 yards, you get a very different story.

We remove most of the bonuses because he didn't have time to aim, don't have the ground "marked" so the range is exact, and is under stress. So, now he is rolling against his skill at -4 (range) to his, or 8.

I have heard that shootouts involving police often have a lot of bullets flying without hitting anybody, so maybe this is realistic.

However, I'd give my character a 16+ in their firearms skill. With a skill of 16, the -4 reduces this to a 12, which gives a reasonable chance of hitting my target.
And 8- is about right. If the opponent is dodging (probably also at 8-) it might be a little low. On the other hand, 10 yards is at the outer end of pistol v pistol fights, so hitting on an 7-10, depending on range and lighting, and having the opponent dodge on an 8- gives hit chances in the 12-37% range, which is fine for a realistic gun-fight at these ranges.

Now, if you want you guys to hit more often than normal professional police and soldiers, because it feels better to you, by all means do so. It doesn't mean that professional 'need' guns-14 to do their jobs though.

For what it's worth, people with Guns-12 and appropriate weapons (i.e. ones that can damage the PCs on a hit) can threaten very high point value 'gun bunnies' if the latter don't get to dictate the range, lighting, etc. and just try a stand-up shoot out with the 'mooks'.
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Last edited by Rupert; 02-06-2021 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 02-06-2021, 01:38 AM   #126
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Default Re: Skills - maybe this game isn't what I'm looking for

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And 8- is about right. If the opponent is dodging (probably also at 8-) it might be a little low. On the other hand, 10 yards is at the outer end of pistol v pistol fights, so hitting on an 7-10, depending on range and lighting, and having the opponent dodge on an 8- gives hit chances in the 12-37% range, which is fine for a realistic gun-fight at these ranges.

Now, if you want you guys to hit more often than normal professional police and soldiers, because it feels better to you, by all means do so. It doesn't mean that professional 'need' guns-14 to do their jobs though.

For what it's worth, people with Guns-12 and appropriate weapons (i.e. ones that can damage the PCs on a hit) can threaten very high point value 'fun bunnies' if the latter don't get to dictate the range, lighting, etc. and just try a stand-up shoot out with the 'mooks'.
To me, that's one of the main features of the GURPS system, and not at all a "bug."

People with guns are dangerous.

Now, some are considerably more dangerous than others, but in point of fact we have designed modern firearms as machines that do one thing incredibly well. Anybody who has one of those machines has the potential to cause real harm.

No player should ever feel completely safe about walking a PC into combat, and modern firearm combat should always make them a little shakey. Even a toddler with a .22 pistol could accidentally roll a critical hit.

If a bunch of effective-skill 8 gang-bangers, or skill 10 Taliban fighters, start capping off rounds, the odds that one of them rolls a critical hit goes way up.

Yeah, the skill-16 FBI SWAT guy gonna kill at least 10 gangsters before one even gets a round anywhere near him; and there's a reason we send Spec OPs teams after Taliban strongholds -- and the teams still lose people.

As for real-life police shootings, I covered a "suicide by cop" incident in Fort Morgan, when I worked out there.
Two officers emptied the mags of their 9mm pistols at the suspect, who nearly emptied his mag at them.

Of the about three dozen shots fired, three hit the suspect -- one in the hand, one in the ankle, and one center-of-mass.

The cops didn't get hit even once.

So, three shots hit out of about 36 fired, and only one of hits was life-threatening.

I'd say PCs definitely need to be better than that. :)
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