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Old 12-01-2020, 12:18 PM   #1
FeiLin
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Own SM and ranged

I feel like I'm missing something very obvious, but I can't figure out what.

Suppose I'm SM0, shooting at a SM0 target at 20 yards (-6) so a total of -6 for these factors
  1. If the target is 10 times farther away, it's another -6 for total -12
  2. If the target instead is 10 times smaller, it's -6 for total -12
  3. If instead I'm 10 times smaller, shouldn't it be -6 for that, and total -12? (I couldn't find it in the rules, but it would seem sensible, to me.)
  4. If those are all correct, then if I shoot at something that's the same SM at a range that's fixed multiple of my size would be increasingly difficult with increasing size. Say SM0 -> SM0 at 20 yards = -6, or SM6 -> SM6 at 200 yards = -12.

What am I missing? Shouldn't the attacker's SM matter for ranged combat?
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:24 PM   #2
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Own SM and ranged

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeiLin View Post
If instead I'm 10 times smaller, shouldn't it be -6 for that, and total -12? (I couldn't find it in the rules, but it would seem sensible, to me.)
Assuming an SM0 and an SM-6 both standing in the same place and shooting at the same target using weapons with the same ranges, there's no reason why being smaller should make hitting the target any harder.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:39 PM   #3
FeiLin
 
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Default Re: Own SM and ranged

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Assuming an SM0 and an SM-6 both standing in the same place and shooting at the same target using weapons with the same ranges, there's no reason why being smaller should make hitting the target any harder.
Well, assuming everything is within range, wouldn't the weapon change SM as well (it's "part of" the attacker), following the same progression?
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:59 PM   #4
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Own SM and ranged

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Originally Posted by FeiLin View Post
Well, assuming everything is within range, wouldn't the weapon change SM as well (it's "part of" the attacker), following the same progression?
In which case you're comparing apples to oranges. If the task is to analyze whether it makes sense to consider the attacker's SM, and you do so by looking at the attacks of two different size characters, you have to make all other factors equal to see what the real effects are.
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:01 PM   #5
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Own SM and ranged

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Assuming an SM0 and an SM-6 both standing in the same place and shooting at the same target using weapons with the same ranges, there's no reason why being smaller should make hitting the target any harder.
Well, there probably are realistically, but the factors involved are represented (or more likely not represented) by factors outside SM. And they aren't as simple as the OP is suggesting.

Also, range isn't an issue. Range is something you either have or you don't. Accuracy is the weapon stat relevant to the question.


So first off, why it's not so simple: Adding together target SM and range gives you a measure of the target's 'apparent size' or 'angular size' If you ignore complications relating to actual projectile flight (time, gravity, aerodynamics), that's a pretty good measurement of how hard the shot is. The shooter being big or small makes no difference there! An ant and a giant have to aim within equal-size angular ranges to make the shot.

However, being big or small realistically (but often not fictionally) is likely to impact the shooter's performance. A small character has smaller eyes, which makes it harder to have good long-range vision. Which should probably influence shooting though that connection is a bit lacking in basic rules unless you apply Bad Sight or Telescopic Vision. Also, a small character most likely handles a smaller weapon, which likely has less ballistic accuracy (due to a shorter barrel) and less length for sighting arrangements.
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:11 PM   #6
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Own SM and ranged

As I understand it, by RAW, the size of the attacker doesn't matter, only the range and size of the target coming into play.

At first, it seems like relative SM should matter, but consider a few scenarios. We've got two SM-6 (0.2 yards tall) characters, two SM+0 (2 yards tall) characters, and two SM+6 (20 yards tall) characters fighting. When equal-SM characters are matched up, things work out decently well. At 10xheight distance from each other, each is dealing with the same penalty - the SM-6 guys are 2 yards (+0) apart, the SM+0 guys are 20 yards (-6) apart, and the SM+6 guys are 200 yards (-12) apart, so when you add in the target's SM, everyone is looking at a -6 to hit. There is the issue that, going off of RAW, the SM+6 guys can effectively get a bonus by getting really close (at 10% height - 2 yards - they have a total +6 to hit) while the SM-6 guys are at the same penalty as at 10xheight anywhere closer (as you can't get a bonus for being closer than 2 yards), but that's easy to fix - set the "no bonus when closer" point to 1xheight (rounding up to nearest SSR). That means the SM-6 guys are at +0 when 0.2 yards or closer, while the SM+6 guys are at +0 when at 20 yards or closer.

Uneven matchups work out as well. Looking at the most extreme, we've got SM-6 vs SM+6. Assuming 10x[attacker's height] distance, the small guy is at +6 (+0 for a Range of 2 yards, +6 for an SM+6 target) to his attack roll, while the big guy would be at -18 (-12 for a Range of 200 yards, -6 for an SM -6 target). This still makes sense - if we were to scale each attacker to SM+0, and scale the distance and target size the same way, the SM-6 character attacking an SM+6 one at 2 yards becomes an SM+0 character attacking an SM+12 one at 20 yards (total is still +6), while the opposite case becomes an SM+0 character attacking an SM-12 one at 20 yards (total is still -18).
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:30 PM   #7
Anthony
 
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Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Own SM and ranged

I have considered a house rule of 'minimum range modifier for weapons = -SM' -- i.e. currently SM+0 doesn't get a +2 for shooting at a distance of 1 yard, and this just makes it general (all creatures, when shooting at another creature of the same size as them, will never get a net positive modifier). However, be aware that changes like this do adjust the value of SM.
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:51 PM   #8
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Own SM and ranged

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I have considered a house rule of 'minimum range modifier for weapons = -SM' -- i.e. currently SM+0 doesn't get a +2 for shooting at a distance of 1 yard, and this just makes it general (all creatures, when shooting at another creature of the same size as them, will never get a net positive modifier). However, be aware that changes like this do adjust the value of SM.
Having SM be a Feature is a bit of an issue as it stands, although this would exacerbate the problem (as it makes negative SM even better, and positive SM even worse). I wonder if, with this added in, it would be appropriate to apply a tweak I've long considered - instead of simply getting a discount on ST at higher SM's, SM determines base ST, and each [+10] is +10%. Base ST would either follow SSR on its own (10, 15, 20, 30, etc) or would be 5x[nominal height] (10, 15, 25, 35, etc). When SM-6 means you're hard to hit but also have a base ST (and HP) of 1, and each +1 costs a full [100] (or [20]), suddenly cheesing your way into being really hard to hit is a great deal less enticing (conversely, getting a base ST of 100, and it only costing [1] per +1, makes the downside of everyone being at +6 to hit you less of an deterrent).
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:02 AM   #9
FeiLin
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Own SM and ranged

Yeah, it's a bit sloppy when I say "range". What I mean is the compounded estimate of primarily angular size, and I think that what's bothering me is attacker size. Or, more specifically, projectile size.

Also, what's a "hit"? Does it mean the a collision of the projectile and the target with the two centers of mass perfectly aligned? Does it mean anything but a "clean miss"? Probably something in between for the vast majority if cases. This has huge implications for size of projectile. If you require just grazing the target, having a bigger projectile is an advantage, whereas requiring not a single part of the projectile to be outside the "silhouette" of the target, it's actually a disadvantage (since you have to hit further from the perceived "edge" of the target to account for the increased projectile size).
  1. Imagine not two combatants but two objects. They are both SM6, say, 20 yards apart (range penalty -6), so they would be at 0 to "launch themselves" at one another. If one is swapped for a 100 times smaller object (SM-6), the other object would now be at -12 to hit whereas the new object would still be at 0. If they were both SM-6, they would both be at -12.

    If I launch either single pebbles (SM-6) or boulders (SM6) at a target with my giant catapult (it's special purpose to handle both -- dont ask), it seems counterintuitive to me to have the projectile size be irrelevant -- at least not for a sufficiently small target. Using a hexagonal tactical battle map and placing the projectile where it lands, if the target is one hex (or in the case of a pebble, a fraction of a hex) and the projectile is the same size, there's not a lot of spaces you could place to get a hit (varying somewhat, of course, on how clean hit you require for it to count), so you'd have to be more precise which implies a bigger penalty for projectile size. If you instead imagine an SM6 projectile, you can place it in quite a lot of actual hexes and still cover the entire (fraction of a) hex, which I would consider a hit.

    Melee seems to have the same phenomenon, as well. I'd use a SM-6 flyswatter and occasionally be able to hit a pesky SM-12 insect in spite of having no training beyond a little everyday experience (ie the penalty is -6, not -12). Wouldn't it make sense, then, to have the modifier for the attack in regards to the target SM in fact be the larger of the target SM and the projectile/meleee weapon SM. Of course, this is likely irrelevant in most cases, since most combatants are much larger than the incoming attacks, but great for roleplaying as a lepidopterist!


  2. Another thing I came to think about is regarding the "no bonus when closer point set to own SM"; shouldn't it be based on the target SM instead? For instance, I'm waving around my hand as though aiming a gun, and I imagine that if I'm SM0 and firing at an SM0 door, I likely wont get a benefit from being closer than 2 yards. However, if I'm firing at an SM-6 painting hanging on the door, being closer probably would help (up to, say, a tenth of that distance). If I'm firing at the SM6 wall the door is part of, it might not help being closer than 20 yards. Wouldn't this hold during stress/combat as well? Of course, at small enough range, the reach of the arm and the weapon or equivalent start becoming relevant.

I saw the melee errata says to take the SM difference, but maximum bonus +4; perhaps something similar would be sensible for ranged? Would something like that be relevant in either of the two cases above, or are these phenomena already covered/irrelevant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
However, being big or small realistically (but often not fictionally) is likely to impact the shooter's performance. A small character has smaller eyes, which makes it harder to have good long-range vision. Which should probably influence shooting though that connection is a bit lacking in basic rules unless you apply Bad Sight or Telescopic Vision. Also, a small character most likely handles a smaller weapon, which likely has less ballistic accuracy (due to a shorter barrel) and less length for sighting arrangements.
So, is accuracy (the ranged weapon stat), something that should vary with size, then? Something along the lines of damage for weapons of different SMs (in fact, even the exact same rules, perahaps)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
instead of simply getting a discount on ST at higher SM's, SM determines base ST, and each [+10] is +10%. Base ST would either follow SSR on its own (10, 15, 20, 30, etc)
I like the idea of this, but it might be better to let it be [1] per 1% ST (since it will no longer match to even multiples of 10). Any feedback from how it actually plays out?
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Old 12-03-2020, 06:44 AM   #10
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Own SM and ranged

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeiLin View Post
Yeah, it's a bit sloppy when I say "range". What I mean is the compounded estimate of primarily angular size, and I think that what's bothering me is attacker size.
Angular size would be notionally computed from a mathematical point at the apex of the triangle with the target. The SM of stuff near that point doesn't matter to the apparent size of the target. (If you lie on your back and shoot upward, does it get easier because you're now the SM of the Earth?)

You can argue about stuff like the MoA of a rifle, but that's at best a point or so of Acc, not an SM modifier (and even some of that is relative to the shooter). Not all targeting mechanisms depend on a sight radius, for that matter. If you want that much detail, seems like you'd want to houserule an Acc modifier.

Quote:
Or, more specifically, projectile size.
Sounds more like a rule to reduce the pi category or damage (for non-pi attacks) when a projectile shrinks. Since GURPS has separate hit and damage rolls, it makes less sense to me to apply that to the hit (unlike systems that treat damage as "goodness of hit" with a single roll). Also, not all ranged weapons are projectile weapons, so they wouldn't have worse damage at range. (Might even get better -- "burning" changing to "tight-beam burning" when it shrinks, for instance, cr becomes pi, etc.)
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