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Old 04-25-2019, 10:33 AM   #1
WaterAndWindSpirit
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Default [Tactical Shooting] Breaking the rules

Hello!

So, I've been wondering how Tactical Shooting would interact with magic, psionics, superhuman characters, and TL 10 technology.

How would outright superhuman powers would interact with tactical shooting? Would a DX 30 with 4 points in Guns able to wield guns akimbo just by virtue of having a high enough DX to eat the penalties? What kind of Tactical Shooting rules could be broken with superhuman abilities, either explicitly or by being able to eat penalties that would make them bad ideas for even an exceptional human?

ESP allowing to see through cover would be great for shooting through cover to hit an enemy with a high powered weapon, or to shoot from behind cover without an OAVD.

Speaking of ESP, would having 360 Vision as an ESP ability give you a bonus to your soldier/per/tactics rolls to know what's going on in a fight? How does an ESP based Darkvision with limited range interact with Tactical Shooting and combat under low-light conditions? ESP abilities in general seem to be an especially attractive deal for a Tactical Shooter.

TL 10 has interesting technologies that can interact in an interesting way with Tactical Shooting... Do Gauss weapons have something similar to a muzzle flash? What kind of accessories would be useful on a Gauss gun for a Tactical Shooter? For a Superhuman Tactical Shooter?
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:40 AM   #2
Icelander
 
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Default Re: [Tactical Shooting] Breaking the rules

Have you read Pyramid #3/55: Military Sci-Fi, especially Hans-Christian Vortisch's "Tactical Shooting: Tomorrow"?

While the specific advice is focused on TL9, there is lots of content broadly useful for future tactical combat.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Tactical Shooting] Breaking the rules

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
How would outright superhuman powers would interact with tactical shooting? Would a DX 30 with 4 points in Guns able to wield guns akimbo just by virtue of having a high enough DX to eat the penalties? What kind of Tactical Shooting rules could be broken with superhuman abilities, either explicitly or by being able to eat penalties that would make them bad ideas for even an exceptional human?
I'm not familiar with the Tactical Shooting rules, but I am very familiar with the super human rules... and I've run campaigns that were bad designs from the get go because of immensely high point totals... and that's why I'm writing here.

Lots of the rules go wonky when you apply huge amounts of points. The first thing I thought when I read your question was: "this sounds like a recipe for a rough time GMing". I don't think I would ever run a campaign where a DX of 30 was a possibility. It just breaks the balance too much.

Basic Speed around 10.00? Higher with some points in HT or directly raising Basic Speed. Dodge at a level that means succeeding almost all the time. Every single DX based skill they spend 1 point in is at a level that ruins normal modifiers. Parry skills start with a Parry around 18.

It really just sounds like a nightmare to have to run that campaign, and come up with reasonable challenges. And it might be that challenging the characters requires essentially turning the game into GM vs Players instead of a collaboration.

So, my answer to how super humans (really high point characters) would interact with Tactical Shooting? I'd say it breaks balance immediately and makes things hard for the GM.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:42 AM   #4
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: [Tactical Shooting] Breaking the rules

The main thing that seems like it would mess with Tactical Shooting rules rather than simply make some of them toothless is abilities that let you locate and split your perception in ways that humans normally can't, so you could look over the sights of your gun without bringing it to your shoulder. Tactical Shooting: Tomorrow is useful there, because it's an obvious capability for technology to provide.

Having the general ability to simultaneously do different things with different parts of your body...like for instance aim a gun and run...creates problems with the Basic Set more than with Tactical Shooting. If you make a cybertank as a single GURPS character, it just doesn't work right because there's no Advantage that can provide the same functionality as having a driver and gunner who take maneuvers separately.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Tactical Shooting] Breaking the rules

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
The main thing that seems like it would mess with Tactical Shooting rules rather than simply make some of them toothless is abilities that let you locate and split your perception in ways that humans normally can't, so you could look over the sights of your gun without bringing it to your shoulder. Tactical Shooting: Tomorrow is useful there, because it's an obvious capability for technology to provide.

Having the general ability to simultaneously do different things with different parts of your body...like for instance aim a gun and run...creates problems with the Basic Set more than with Tactical Shooting. If you make a cybertank as a single GURPS character, it just doesn't work right because there's no Advantage that can provide the same functionality as having a driver and gunner who take maneuvers separately.
Compartmentalized Mind, extra attack, or altered time rate could all handle that without issue.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:12 PM   #6
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Compartmentalized Mind, extra attack, or altered time rate could all handle that without issue.
None of them can.

Compartmentalized Mind: the extra maneuvers can only be mental. Aim is a physical maneuver.

Extra Attack: This doesn't interact with Aim in any way whatsoever.

Altered Time Rate: Gives you multiple maneuvers performed sequentially. Not simultaneously, which poses a number of problems. Plus you'd have to make up some limitations if you want to avoid it allowing the tank to move super fast instead of shooting, or shoot super rapidly instead of moving or aiming.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Tactical Shooting] Breaking the rules

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
How would outright superhuman powers would interact with tactical shooting?
Tactical Shooting with superhuman powers is pretty much my favorite genre, so let me tackle some of these questions.

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
Would a DX 30 with 4 points in Guns able to wield guns akimbo just by virtue of having a high enough DX to eat the penalties?
Well, yes, obviously. -4/-8 and an inability to Aim are a much lesser problem if you have skill 32 than if you have skill between 10 to 18.

That being said, having skill levels like that can allow you to double-tap brain stems at any range up to the mechanical accuracy of the weapon and ammunition combination. Just because you have high skill is really no reason to waste it on low-percentage techniques that merely look flashy.

While guns akimbo guy is making Torso shots at not much more than 30-50 yards, because he can't Aim, you make Skull shots at 1,000+ yards with a rifle.

That being said, DX 30 and 4 points in Guns is a horrible way to make a tactical shooter, at least in terms of point efficiency. For the cost of a couple of levels of DX, you can get the right Perks and Techniques to remove most of the penalties for your favorite ways to shoot people. And, yeah, that can include Ambidexterity and Off-Hand Weapon Training for guns akimbo guy, even in a realistic campaign, but it's just a lot more effective, I've found, to use the points for realistic Techniques like Fast-Firing, Quick-Shot and Targeted Attack (Guns (Pistol and/or Longarm)/Face, Skull or Vitals).

Anything you want to say with two pistols fired more or less wildly at RoF 3 + 3 with Dual-Weapon Attack, I've found you can say better and with more authority with a tactical rifle fired at RoF 1 to 6 + 1 to 6 with Quick Shot ( Fast-Firing if it's not a selective fire rifle) and Targeted Attack at the sniper's triangle.

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
What kind of Tactical Shooting rules could be broken with superhuman abilities, either explicitly or by being able to eat penalties that would make them bad ideas for even an exceptional human?
Most of them, I've found.

All the same, it's a lot more fun, realistic and effective to use your superhuman abilities along with good tactics. Use all the tricks and techniques tactical shooters do, just faster, better and more accurately.

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
ESP allowing to see through cover would be great for shooting through cover to hit an enemy with a high powered weapon, or to shoot from behind cover without an OAVD.
If you have weapons that shoot through barriers, cover becomes concealment. If you can see through barriers, not even concealment is much good against you.

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
Speaking of ESP, would having 360 Vision as an ESP ability give you a bonus to your soldier/per/tactics rolls to know what's going on in a fight?
It certainly removes any Facing penalty to notice foes and, yes, perhaps it should also give a +2 or +4 to the Situational Awareness roll, by analogy from other Abilities enhancing skill use from GURPS Powers.

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
How does an ESP based Darkvision with limited range interact with Tactical Shooting and combat under low-light conditions?
Generally, I've found that being able to see when no one else can is pretty much an "I Win" button against anything that isn't an awesomely powerful supernatural horror of some sort.

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
TL 10 has interesting technologies that can interact in an interesting way with Tactical Shooting... Do Gauss weapons have something similar to a muzzle flash? What kind of accessories would be useful on a Gauss gun for a Tactical Shooter?
That's a very good question and one I don't really know the answer to.

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
For a Superhuman Tactical Shooter?
Chase Taylor, my former Special Forces 18B Weapon Sergeant with superhuman senses in the Jade Serenity campaign, hasn't rely relied on weapon accessories so far. He has Night Vision 9, which makes any kind of NVG or night sight inferior to his own vision as long as there is even a hint of light somewhere.

Ideally, though, he would benefit from a scope with clear glass and offset red dot sight, as well as a good pair of BUIS. And mounted IR light with a comfortably positioned switch, as turning it on would allow him to use his Night Vision even in complete darkness.

Game-mechanically, Taylor doesn't need much in the way of extra Acc bonuses unless he's using a rifle and load combination that allows truly astonishing precision (in game terms, with Acc 5 and lower weapons, Taylor hits the MOA limit on effective skill at one second of Aim, anyway). So, with anything other than an exqusitely fine target rifle and custom handloads for accuracy, Taylor won't want high magnification. Fast target acquisition and rapid recovery of sight picture are much more important.

Especially as Taylor's 'natural' vision functions as a range-finding sensor with Enhanced Tracking, so he can be Aiming at two targets (who have to fit within his field of vision, however) while he does something else. Like servicing targets. In the right situation, Taylor can engage two targets per turn (Quick Shot), reacquire new targets in his sights and receive Aim bonus in his next turn. It's basically Gunslinger (built using GURPS Powers: Enhanced Senses rules, equivalent in cost) that makes him superhuman when he acts like a real tactical shooter and doesn't help with cinematic nonsense.

High-magnification is also limiting at closer ranges and anything above 4x magnification both adds a penalty to Bulk and requires Aiming for a number of seconds equal to the Acc bonus to be able to use the scope at all. Taylor has a Perk that allows him to use a 4x scope in just one Aim maneuver, so he strongly prefers that magnification.

The result is that pretty much his ideal optic for any kind of rifle other than a sniper rifle for very long range would be the Trijicon ACOG TA01NSN 4x32 or a closely similar model. Offset, he'd mount a Trijicon RMR, though he wouldn't balk at Docter or JPoint red dot sights either.

The light module might be anything that includes an IR option and given that he is unlikely to use the visible light option and only needs a hint of IR, the smaller and lighter, the better. The EOTech/Insight WMX200 Tactical Illuminator and the SureFire M300V IR Scout Light are both tried and true, especially for someone last deployed in early 2011, and even though they are heavier, Taylor would use any of the Insight AN/PEQ-2A TPIAL, AN/PEQ-15 ATPIAL, AN/PEQ-16 IPIM or the LA-5B/PEQ High-Power ATPIAL.

Give him a choice of any commercial model illuminator, credentials that allow him to purchase the various IR light options for LE or Military customers and some time to test the new models he's unfamiliar with and I'm sure he could find a model he preferred over the military models, though, especially on a smaller carbine where he doesn't need to laser designate something a mile away.
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Last edited by Icelander; 04-25-2019 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:42 PM   #8
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: [Tactical Shooting] Breaking the rules

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
TL 10 has interesting technologies that can interact in an interesting way with Tactical Shooting... Do Gauss weapons have something similar to a muzzle flash? What kind of accessories would be useful on a Gauss gun for a Tactical Shooter? For a Superhuman Tactical Shooter?
Hmm. Rail guns likely do to some extent - at high power, the conductive bridge between rails that drives the projectile is liable to become quite hot. And there might be arcing as it leaves the rails, though that could be avoided. (Some approaches have the driving material convert to plasma, dunno how good an idea that is.) Gauss guns probably not so much, though. The driven magnetic material may experience some harsh effects but if it breaks down enough to be muzzle flash it will have lost the magnetic properties that make it useful, I'm pretty sure.

Mostly the usable accessories would be aiming accessories, and maybe variants of certain reloading assist accessories.

Running through the list...Sound suppression is mostly useless when you're throwing hypersonic rounds, and a gauss gun probably doesn't have any particular barrel noise to suppress if you're firing subsonic. Slings and holsters, reloading aids, and stocks and supports mostly work fine, though some of them are built-in or redundant with standard features for UT guns. (You don't need a see-through magazine if your gun has a bullet-counter display.) The miscellaneous accessories that aren't related to gun gas seem applicable, though again many may be included as incidental features of TL10 gear.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Tactical Shooting] Breaking the rules

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
Do Gauss weapons have something similar to a muzzle flash? ?
That depends on the specific technology being used. Actual railguns propel their projectiles with a plasma that arcs between the two rails being used. This makes for a huge muzzle flash.

Contactless coil guns don't use a plasma and don't have a muzzle flash.

Railguns are easier to make and can produce higher velocities. They can even produce velocities so fast that the projectiles would burn up while travelling through an Earth-like atmosphere and explode on contact with their target. This would amke a shalow crater in the target's armor rather than the narrow but deep hole that you would prefer.

Given this probably all of the Gauss weaposn in UT are actually coilguns even if the name says they are "railguns".
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Tactical Shooting] Breaking the rules

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That being said, DX 30 and 4 points in Guns is a horrible way to make a tactical shooter, at least in terms of point efficiency. For the cost of a couple of levels of DX, you can get the right Perks and Techniques to remove most of the penalties for your favorite ways to shoot people. And, yeah, that can include Ambidexterity and Off-Hand Weapon Training for guns akimbo guy, even in a realistic campaign, but it's just a lot more effective, I've found, to use the points for realistic Techniques like Fast-Firing, Quick-Shot and Targeted Attack (Guns (Pistol and/or Longarm)/Face, Skull or Vitals).
Or just buy Guns-32 and DX20 (which is plenty of just about anything), save 160 points to buy lots of supporting skills (many of which aren't DX based) and advantages. My SF game has people with Guns-28-32 in it, and they don't need techniques, and in fact have ignored them in favour of just being better at everything.
Quote:
Generally, I've found that being able to see when no one else can is pretty much an "I Win" button against anything that isn't an awesomely powerful supernatural horror of some sort.
Which is why having night vision of some sort and fighting in the dark is a popular move.
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