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MrMxyzptlk

Yet another Autofire thread...

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Alright, I've read the various "Is Autofire Broken" threads and considering the player in my game who has a character that uses a Jury Rigged Autofire Heavy Blaster Rifle has said "this is broken" we have come up with a few rules to make it, and a few other broken bits, better.  This comes from last nights session where I had them battling wampas, when they were battling them the autofire guy would simply back up from Engaged range to Short, burn two Strain so he could use Aim and drop a huge handful of dice because his Agility is Five and his Skill is Three.  He had, on average, three Yellow, two Green, one Blue and two Purple...  Combined with his Jury Rigged Heavy Blaster Rifle he had between five and seven extra hits at between eleven and fifteen damage.  He chewed up wampas making short work of the beasts.  So we had plenty of time to discuss the problems since the adventure went by pretty quick.

 

First off, there isn't (as far as we can find) any penalty or problem with simply backing away from opponents at Engaged range to Short range so you don't have to suffer the extra difficulty of firing Heavy weapons in Engaged range.  Also it seemed strange that there would be such a strong penalty for using ranged weapons in engaged range when a shooter could simply use a maneuver to back away and eliminate those extra difficulty dice.  If you look at the math of it staying at Engaged range, aiming and shooting means three purple dice and one blue dice while backing away and shooting without aiming means only one purple die.   We've decide that if a character wants to back away from an Engaged opponent they must use two maneuvers to do so.  If they don't use two maneuvers the opponent gets a free attack on the retreating character.  We figured this makes it harder for anyone who wants to shoot their way out of every problem to do so and it makes the one dimensional big shooter less attractive than the well balanced character.  

 

Second we decided that to shift fire from one target to the next needs some kind of penalty.  Several other gaming systems that have autofire do something similar so we decided that in order to move to the next opponent they must spend one Advantage.  After all, bad guys don't stand shoulder to shoulder waiting for the good guys to hose them down, they spread out to make it more difficult to take them all out.  Also those shots that go between the bad guys can be used for all kinds of mischief by an evil minded GM.

 

Third we decided that the autofire attack can only cover a 30 to 45 degree arc.  Mind you that's hard to do if you aren't using a grid and character markers but one can use a rule of thumb to determine the maximum number of targets.  At Engaged range at most there can be two bad guys in that arc.  Then as you go out to Short Range make it three, then four at Medium range and perhaps six at Long range and lastly eight at Extreme range.  One could use a Leadership check from the opponent group leader to reduce those numbers indicating a skilled leader would have his troops spread out.  Cut the maximum targets down by one for every uncancelled Success on that check.  

 

Fourth we decided that instead of adding one purple die to the autofire roll we would upgrade one purple die to a red die.  This gives a chance of really bad things happening so a creative GM can have an excuse to damage something they may have needed or hitting an ally with a stray shot.  It also makes an autofire user think twice about using it in certain places where that stray shot can screw them up.  I would also use that rule for dual wielders since wild shots can cause all manner of problems.

 

Lastly I think the player needs to say which targets they will be spraying fire over before rolling.  After all, they don't know how much damage it will take to finish each opponent off and they won't know how many hits they will have.  So while they may know their average hits and what average damage may be for the attack they shouldn't be able to move to the next target after they've taken the first one out.  That implies a level of control that simply can't exist.  So while there may be three targets in their optimal arc do they want to spray over all three hoping for enough hits and damage to take three out or would it be a better idea to spray over only two?  As a GM you hope they chose all three and dividing the damage and hits with needing to spend two Advantages to engage the three targets your bad guys will survive long enough to get a second turn of attacks.  

 

I don't think these tweaks are a complete eff you to the autofire guys since two of the five apply to more than just the autofire players and the rest of them are simply applying some reality to the existing rules.  

 

Comments?

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The story is supposed to be the limiting factor on there weapons. One does not simply walk around with a machine gun over their shoulder. There should be a lot of negative NPC reactions to this character, to the point where the PC should only bring out the big gun on special occasions. In reality a weapon that can fire as fast as those is incredibly violent and dangerous, so some times PC's have their fun and mow down the enemy, but other times they have to leave it at home and find other less efficient ways to deal with their problems.

And if you both think it's broken why keep using it? Just change the character to dual wield pistols, or a regular rifle, or anything else!

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And backing out of engaged may not always be possible.  The PCs have their back against a real wall (maybe the blast door shut closed) and the enemies moved up to engage them, inorder to disengage they would need to move through them and past the group hanging back a bit.  Requiring 3 maneuvers to get past them all to be able to shoot engaged (1 to leave the first group, 1 to move through the second and the last to be clear of them).

 

Remember that with no grid, you need to be realistic when thinking about the PCs and NPCs position and use a bit of common sense.  Like with Grenades, I rarely let more then 1 or 2 things be in the blast range, unless they are in something like a ship corridor or the PCs have said that they are all taking position by the air lock.....

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You can make it more difficult to escape an engagement by using the Knockdown or Ensnare item qualities.  Remember that unarmed attacks have Knockdown by default, so those wampas could probably impede escape that way.

 

Difficult terrain (like those icy wampa caves) would reasonably make leaving an engagement require two maneuvers, which could apply in some instances without necessitating a house rule.

 

Adding a purple die increases the chance of failure twice as much as upgrading to red, so I'm not sure making that the auto fire penalty is the best house rule.  Remember that you do upgrade a die when firing at someone who's engaged with an ally, which occurs frequently when you exit an engagement to shoot.  You really don't want to generate despair then, because it can be used to hit your ally instead of your enemies.

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Thankfully, I haven't had any players try to abuse this weapon quality.  Probably because they know doing that is an invitation for me to send in a bunch of enemies doing the same thing! :)

 

What I'd do if it it DID come up was limit the usage of the Jury rigged talent on the ability ("Not a part of the gun you want to mess with!") and introduce the house rule that when you wanted to use the autofire ability, you announce before the check how many shots you want to fire and upgrade the difficulty of the roll that many times.  THen as usual you need 2 advantage per shot.

 

This introduces a LOOOOOT of opportunity for Despairs, which is a Bad Thing when combined with careless automatic fire.  *evil grin*

Edited by Benjan Meruna

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I just don't allow it to be Jury-Rigged. Since Auto-Fire doesn't have a numerical value in the stats of a weapon (it's written simply as 'Auto-FIre", while others, like Disorient, are written as "Disorient 2" or some such), it can't be modified by the Jury-Rigged talent. This solves a whole slew of problems.

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I just don't allow it to be Jury-Rigged. Since Auto-Fire doesn't have a numerical value in the stats of a weapon (it's written simply as 'Auto-FIre", while others, like Disorient, are written as "Disorient 2" or some such), it can't be modified by the Jury-Rigged talent. This solves a whole slew of problems.

Just to make sure your aware Jury Rigged doesn't increase the Disoriented rating from 2 to 3, it just reduces the Advantage required to activate any single Active Weapon Quality (normally 2 Adv to 1 Adv). I'm not trying to say your wrong to limit Auto-Fire, just that Jury Rigged has limits too.

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I'm into my second campaign now.  Our first lasted a couple years, and I don't think we've had any characters take an autofire weapon yet.  The situations where they can come in handy are pretty limited, as no customs agent is going to let them through and most of them are pretty big.  That and our group tends to value role play over massive munitions. 

 

They are really powerful, but so are light sabers, tricked out vibro axe marauders, and skilled duel wielders.  If you have a character with one then have him/her go up against one of the others.

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The situations where they can come in handy are pretty limited, as no customs agent is going to let them through and most of them are pretty big.  That and our group tends to value role play over massive munitions. 

In AoR, you're part of a military force opposing the Empire. Why would such characters worry about customs agents? In EotE, many groups are smugglers, so getting things by a customs agent is pretty much happening all the time. Again, customs agents shouldn't be that big of a deal.

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I hardly see what is broken with Autofire, after all you keep the same check as most mechanic in the game don't make you roll additional attack, you only apply the dmg again for every two uncanceled advantage you had left on your check, and for that to happen you first need to declare you are using the autofire mode on the weapon, which add a difficulty dice to the check thus increasing the chance it miss or reduce the advantage count. Where it can be intense is with large dice pool that include lots of blue dice and such or coupled with tallent that give automatic advantage but even then I feel it will mostly balance out. Beside if you read the ability it says this make it hard to be accurate hence the increased difficulty so you could easily rule out any aiming bonus, at lest that's how we handle it and yes some time it make for 2 or 3 attack against a group of minion or whatnot but it make that character shine a little and move the fighting along. At any rate I have a hard time seeing what is broken about it.  

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Dropping the Advantage cost from 2 down to 1 is huge. The game probably shouldn't let you do that  (but that's just IMO).

 

The problem as I see it isn't the difficulty of the roll but how advantage is applied and that's how I'd address it. I'd make it that each successive activation of the same item quality cost +1 Advantage more than the previous one. So a 1 Adv Autofire would cost 1, 2, and 3, for three hits for a total of 6 Adv (rather than just three). I'd do this also for Linked where it's often better to just keep activating Linked rather than other, more interesting things, like Critical. 

 

[EDIT: It might be wise to simply replace the wording of Jury Rigged to "decrease the Advantage cost on its Critical, or any single other effect

by one to a minimum of two."]
Edited by Hedgehobbit

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So a 1 Adv Autofire would cost 1, 2, and 3, for three hits for a total of 6 Adv (rather than just three).

 

This was my initial thought, but I've moved away from it.  The issue is that there are already decreasing odds of getting higher numbers of advantages, so if you increase the cost of each activation you're doubling the limitation, to the point where you've effectively put a cap on the number of activations.  I've come around to the idea that, for Jury-Rigged, it's sufficient to keep the initial activation at 2A, and charge 1A for each subsequent activation.  By the time a PC can pull off multiple hits with any regularity, they probably deserve the results.

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The issue is that there are already decreasing odds of getting higher numbers of advantages, so if you increase the cost of each activation you're doubling the limitation, to the point where you've effectively put a cap on the number of activations. 

 

On a related note, I wish I could change the layout of the blue dice so they had only three advantage and three successes (instead of 4A and 2S). Right now Blues generate Adv as well as any other die (and twice the amount of Threat generated by Setbacks). As it stands now, a highly skilled character doesn't need much extra successes so having a dice generate excess advantage is just adding to the problem (whereas an extra success will just add one point of damage). 

 

But, since the dice are fixed, it's a moot point anyway. 

Edited by Hedgehobbit

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I hardly see what is broken with Autofire, after all you keep the same check as most mechanic in the game don't make you roll additional attack, you only apply the dmg again for every two uncanceled advantage you had left on your check, and for that to happen you first need to declare you are using the autofire mode on the weapon, which add a difficulty dice to the check thus increasing the chance it miss or reduce the advantage count. Where it can be intense is with large dice pool that include lots of blue dice and such or coupled with tallent that give automatic advantage but even then I feel it will mostly balance out. Beside if you read the ability it says this make it hard to be accurate hence the increased difficulty so you could easily rule out any aiming bonus, at lest that's how we handle it and yes some time it make for 2 or 3 attack against a group of minion or whatnot but it make that character shine a little and move the fighting along. At any rate I have a hard time seeing what is broken about it.  

 

Well, let's take a look at two things: dual-wielding and the Linked quality.

 

Assuming you're using two of the same weapon, dual wielding requires you to increase the difficulty of your combat roll by one, the same as autofiring. If you hit, you may spend two uncanceled advantage to hit with the second weapon.  You can only hit one target with both weapons.

 

With autofiring, you make the same roll and can just.  Keep.  Hitting.  with every two advantage you get, AND you can hit multiple targets.

 

Similarly, Linked is a highly powerful and useful quality that allows you to get extra hits for 2 advantage...but only up to the number listed in the quality.  And again, you are limited to just the one target.

 

Autofire is a quality that should be limited like Linked.  You trade the extra difficulty for the ability to hit multiple targets.

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I hardly see what is broken with Autofire, after all you keep the same check as most mechanic in the game don't make you roll additional attack, you only apply the dmg again for every two uncanceled advantage you had left on your check, and for that to happen you first need to declare you are using the autofire mode on the weapon, which add a difficulty dice to the check thus increasing the chance it miss or reduce the advantage count. Where it can be intense is with large dice pool that include lots of blue dice and such or coupled with tallent that give automatic advantage but even then I feel it will mostly balance out. Beside if you read the ability it says this make it hard to be accurate hence the increased difficulty so you could easily rule out any aiming bonus, at lest that's how we handle it and yes some time it make for 2 or 3 attack against a group of minion or whatnot but it make that character shine a little and move the fighting along. At any rate I have a hard time seeing what is broken about it.  

 

Well, let's take a look at two things: dual-wielding and the Linked quality.

 

Assuming you're using two of the same weapon, dual wielding requires you to increase the difficulty of your combat roll by one, the same as autofiring. If you hit, you may spend two uncanceled advantage to hit with the second weapon.  You can only hit one target with both weapons.

 

With autofiring, you make the same roll and can just.  Keep.  Hitting.  with every two advantage you get, AND you can hit multiple targets.

 

Similarly, Linked is a highly powerful and useful quality that allows you to get extra hits for 2 advantage...but only up to the number listed in the quality.  And again, you are limited to just the one target.

 

Autofire is a quality that should be limited like Linked.  You trade the extra difficulty for the ability to hit multiple targets.

 

Don't underestimate the drawback of increasing the Difficulty by 1.

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And TWC is hard as it by necessity because anyone can Brawl and try to hit twice, or pick up 2 cheap pistols, it's the most cost effective way to hit more than once in a round. Autofire often brings many other complications, and linked does too.

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I hardly see what is broken with Autofire, after all you keep the same check as most mechanic in the game don't make you roll additional attack, you only apply the dmg again for every two uncanceled advantage you had left on your check, and for that to happen you first need to declare you are using the autofire mode on the weapon, which add a difficulty dice to the check thus increasing the chance it miss or reduce the advantage count. Where it can be intense is with large dice pool that include lots of blue dice and such or coupled with tallent that give automatic advantage but even then I feel it will mostly balance out. Beside if you read the ability it says this make it hard to be accurate hence the increased difficulty so you could easily rule out any aiming bonus, at lest that's how we handle it and yes some time it make for 2 or 3 attack against a group of minion or whatnot but it make that character shine a little and move the fighting along. At any rate I have a hard time seeing what is broken about it.  

 

Well, let's take a look at two things: dual-wielding and the Linked quality.

 

Assuming you're using two of the same weapon, dual wielding requires you to increase the difficulty of your combat roll by one, the same as autofiring. If you hit, you may spend two uncanceled advantage to hit with the second weapon.  You can only hit one target with both weapons.

 

With autofiring, you make the same roll and can just.  Keep.  Hitting.  with every two advantage you get, AND you can hit multiple targets.

 

Similarly, Linked is a highly powerful and useful quality that allows you to get extra hits for 2 advantage...but only up to the number listed in the quality.  And again, you are limited to just the one target.

 

Autofire is a quality that should be limited like Linked.  You trade the extra difficulty for the ability to hit multiple targets.

 

 

Lets look at auto-fire weapons which can be used by brawn 3 and lower and compare them so something as simple as dual-wielding a SoroSuub X-30 Lancer Precision Blast Pistol. I get pierce 2, accuracy, 5 damage, 4 crit, 3 hp and long range. Does this look so bad compared to auto-fire guns which I could wield with brawn 3 or lower? 

 

And lets not better talk about verpine shatter guns, knockdown and how easy melee will get onto someone with an auto-fire weapon when that guys is prone. 

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I never found spreading Autofire onto multiple targets to be the issue. For me it was the massive number of hits against any single target that took out every Nemesis in a single attack.

The presumption being that one may in fact trigger autofire more than once per attack may be the core of this problem.

 

My solution was that Autofire can only be triggered once per target...  Thus if there are two targets, you can only trigger it twice. Pick which one gets hit twice. Keeps that effect down somewhat.

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I never found spreading Autofire onto multiple targets to be the issue. For me it was the massive number of hits against any single target that took out every Nemesis in a single attack.

The presumption being that one may in fact trigger autofire more than once per attack may be the core of this problem.

 

My solution was that Autofire can only be triggered once per target...  Thus if there are two targets, you can only trigger it twice. Pick which one gets hit twice. Keeps that effect down somewhat.

 

 

How many dice is your group rolling and how little defense is your nemesis having when you roll 4 advantages and more while still hitting and doing significant damage past soak. And why is this so much different from dual-wielding linked blaster pistoles like two HH-50 or attacking with double lightsabers?

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