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Last session one of my players wasted equivalent to two whole minion groups with a single attack. With his gun and combat skills he's almost become a one man army against minion groups and rivals. Even he made the comment that Auto-Fire is broken.

Am I reading the rules right? He adds a difficulty die to the check, rolls for the attack, cancels die, then is left with 3 uncanceled success symbols and 4 advantages. The base damage on his gun is 9. Does that mean he can do 12 damage 3 times?

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13 minutes ago, HistoryGuy said:

Last session one of my players wasted equivalent to two whole minion groups with a single attack. With his gun and combat skills he's almost become a one man army against minion groups and rivals. Even he made the comment that Auto-Fire is broken.

Am I reading the rules right? He adds a difficulty die to the check, rolls for the attack, cancels die, then is left with 3 uncanceled success symbols and 4 advantages. The base damage on his gun is 9. Does that mean he can do 12 damage 3 times?

Yup.

Lotsa houserules on autofire.  Mine is no more total hits with an unsupported autofire weapon than the shooter's Brawn.  That dials it back a bit, but it's still really good.  

My issue with autofire and disruptor weapons as well, isn't so much I am worried about PCs using them on opponents, cuz there's lots of Stormtroopers in the galaxy, it's more about the fact I can't use this sh*t on PCs without erasing them.

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I like the house rule that increases the advantage cost for extra hits on autofire and linked weapons to 3 advantage.

Another one I like is that you only get to add your successes to the damage of one hit.

Combine these and autofire might actually be balanced...

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13 minutes ago, ShadoWarrior said:

I use Donovan Morningfire's rule of 1+skill ranks in allowable extra hits. Increasing the cost to 3 is too much, IMO.

3 advantage is how much a typical blaster requires for a critical hit.  90% of the time, I'd rather hit twice than hit once and crit.  So 3 advantage seems like a reasonable price to me.

If I may point out, even for a beginning PC with one rank, Donovan's house rule would not prohibit any part of the attack that the OP characterized as, uh, OP

Edited by DaverWattra

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3 hours ago, DaverWattra said:

3 advantage is how much a typical blaster requires for a critical hit.  90% of the time, I'd rather hit twice than hit once and crit.  So 3 advantage seems like a reasonable price to me.

It a little ironic that you rather take two hits with something like 12 damage, instead of one hit with a crit. Why? Because just last session our force user got three hits incoming, with 11, 11 and 12 damage. He suffered 1 wound and one critical wound. If you want those criticals or prefer more hits really depends your weapon, target and talents.

The easiest way to screw autofire weapons is a high soak value, the easiest way to bypass  high soak / parry / reflect is to use high-damage single fire  weapons which hit like a truck in a single shot. The difference between those two is not gigantic before soak, but usually quite larger after soak is applied. 12 damage, three times is against something like a tame soak 6 target "just" 18 damage. A 15 damage rifle with pierce 6 and 3 success does literally the same 18 damage in one shot and crits twice on top or disarms or does another interesting things with those advantages. 

The elephant in the room here is that most sniper rifles just have the same base damage as their auto-fire brethren (like this Abysmal E-11s with a base damage of 10, pierce 2 and freaking slow-firing on top) and the extreme heavy autofire weapons like the Heavy Repeating Blaster or  Sidewinder Repeating Blaster. They do more damage per shot than most sniper rifles, come with vicious and autofire on top. They are basically superior in any way as they game with long or even extreme range as well. The only downside is that those weapons are comically heavy that they might not be of use in most adventures, at least not in players hands. So the larger issue is the autofire weapons themselves and not just the autofire quality which is imo completely fine in something like a Merr-Sonn IR-5 "Intimidator" Blaster Pistol. 

Ir-5_blaster_pistol.png

 

Lastly, elephants like the Sidewinder are elephants not only in the game balance way, but they are as well in the environment. I have never seen a shadowrun player bringing his mini-gun to a bar, nor will I ever see a player suggesting to bring his Sidewinder mini-gun to a star wars cantina. Heavy arms like those draw a special kind of attention, appropriate in heavy combat, but not for a infiltration mission for example. That's enough balancing factor with all restricted weapons, especially those too big to hide.

Which ironically leaves the solid standard choice of the heavy blaster rifle open, I have no freaking idea why they thought his thing should be a civilian, legal weapon to own. Especially as the DLT-19 is based on the MG34, a military machine gun from WW2. 

DLT-19_DICE.pngDigital_Museum_MG_34_Right.jpg

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Auto-Fire is really strong. Personally if i were to redesign the system i would make autofire weapons less base damage than their non-autofire counterparts. Generic autofire pistol does like 4 base, where a non autofire pistol does 6 base. So that when autofire activates it does a little more damage, but without autofire does a little less. I think this would balance it out a bit better and make non-autofire weapons a little more attractive as an option. If that isn't balanced you could also reduce their range by 1, so a generic autofire pistol would have a max range of short, where a non-autofire pistol would have a range of medium.

All in all i personally don't think autofire is balanced by RAW, but while i have ideas and suggestions, i also have not done the playtesting on those ideas and suggestions yet.

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Another thing is that games like shadowrun with plenty of autofire weapons all increase the difficulty per additional hit and not just by a flat. So firing those huge volleys in one action is always a gamble if you can actually control the recoil, which feels more satisfying as a game mechanic. 

SWRPG? A flat increase by merely one, in moments like this the game looks super lazy designed.

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Yes, more thought has gone into the SR rules than what we see in FFG's. OTOH, SR is on its 5th edition, while FFG is still on its 1st. And given the track record of Lucas licensing, the odds of FFG ever keeping the license long enough to get to a 5th edition are as slim as ... putting a proton torpedo into a shielded reactor vent angled 90 degrees to the path of incoming Y-wings.

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11 hours ago, HistoryGuy said:

Am I reading the rules right?

You are.  Autofire is sadly one of the few points of the game that is outright broken.  It gets even worse if he applies the Jury Rig talent to it, reducing it to a single Advantage to activate additional hits.

Houserules to bring Autofire back down to parity with other options such as Two Weapon Fighting vary from GM to GM.  My fix that I've found to work well is to have the player declare how many extra shots past the first they want to attempt.  Then, you upgrade their roll (Upgrade, not increase difficulty) that many times.  The math works out well, for a single extra shot they're actually MORE likely to get a successful hit than the base rules, but that 12% chance of a Despair counteracts this.  In general, it lets you lets all sorts of consequences happen, the most common of which is simply that they run out of ammo or overheat the barrel, damaging the weapon one step.   The ability still goes up in power as their Ranged - Heavy skill increases, but since Despairs don't cancel the risk still increases the more shots they spray around.  So, the damage potential stays the same but it's a little harder to reach it and some unavoidable risk is introduced into the roll.

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10 hours ago, 2P51 said:

My issue with autofire and disruptor weapons as well, isn't so much I am worried about PCs using them on opponents, cuz there's lots of Stormtroopers in the galaxy, it's more about the fact I can't use this sh*t on PCs without erasing them.

That's one part of the issue, but for me another part is that it's never good when one PC completely outshines the rest in combat.  I mean, if there's only one dedicated combat character in the group and the rest weren't expecting to do much past the occasional grenade toss and contributed Boost die, then I suppose it wouldn't be as much of an issue.  But if you have a Lightsaber user, a two-pistol gunslinger, and a guy with Autofire, it really dampens the enjoyment for the first two to have the entire encounter deleted before they can even act.  And even if you just keep throwing waves of minions at the Autofire guy just so everyone else can take down a mook or two, that still tends to breed resentment.  That's why balance exists in RPGs: players all deserve equal spotlight.  For the one who choose to shine in combat, they all need to shine equally.

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First the gunslinger should shoot first, because Han always shoots first and second is the gunslinger doing 4 hits himself with his pair of HH-50 or auto firing pistols, while the lightsaber is doing his lightsaber stuff.  *g*

Lastly, personally I would not play which people who's enjoyment of an RPG gets dampened in this way, but they I get it, DnD is a thing and people have this mentality. So fix it with your house rules when it becomes a problem on your table or handhold your group with good encounter design to make the game enjoyable for everyone. Give the lightsaber dude his soak 13 opponents with 5 ranks in reflect, give the gunslinger a pair of disrupters and tough rivals to one-shot and let the jury-rigged heavy blaster rifle guy mow down the minions while the pilot kills the oppositions vehicle support and outlaw techs overrides the security protocols of the building secures a fast escape route and plants a few demolition charges, and with a few I mean 10 proton grenade charges, just to make sure that nothing within a mile radius will chase the PCs after their daring escape. ;-)

Sometimes this forums feels like players on most tables charge into the enemy's log cabin in the woods guns blazing, instead of bringing a canister of gasoline, locking the doors and setting fire to it and complain afterwards that the gas station attendant  and locksmith specs are so weak. And now  I got carried away a little, sorry about that. *grin*

Anyway,  autofire comes with little to no drawbacks and should be taken seriously. Full-automatic weapons are super deadly and come with little drawbacks. There are some drawbacks, so in my group only the sentinel is using them, but they are a force to consider during encounter design … 

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42 minutes ago, Benjan Meruna said:

That's one part of the issue, but for me another part is that it's never good when one PC completely outshines the rest in combat.  

Why, is it bothering you, when the Techie is outshining everybody while slicing, or the Face in social circles? It's all a matter how you weight and arrange different kinds of encounters.

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One of the reasons I retired my Soldier in our bi-weekly SW Game is because he had a Sidewinder with Superior customization, a fully optioned Blaster Actuating Module and an Electronic Sight and a decent Ranged; Heavy (or was it Gunnery?) . base of 15 damage with an Auto-advantage and Aim as incidental out the Gate. Ended up with enough success and advantage to crank it up to 21 damage and hit the target twice...target was a Sith Lord and he barely survived...then proceeded to take the cannon away. 

So YES Autofire is Broken and I'm of the school of increasing the difficulty for each subsequent shot,  to reflect the difficulty...but only after the first. But I might also include a modifier based on  Brawn because a: brawn rating effects encumbrance which adds penalties anyway if encumbered and b: the Specializatiosn that are MEANT to use Heavy Weapons (Heavies) will get a great benefit out of Talents like "Burly". 

That way if a brawn 3-4 Heavy has an Autofire he would have much better control of his autofire than some civilian who picks up a machine gun, and that would reflect more accurately on the design of the game.

Of course if I wasn't against adding MORE rolls to combat I'd say make each shot a separate roll add add one die of difficulty to each shot...

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Just now, Grimmerling said:

Why, is it bothering you, when the Techie is outshining everybody while slicing, or the Face in social circles? It's all a matter how you weight and arrange different kinds of encounters.

Because unlike those niches, parties tend to have multiple characters who are adept at combat to at least some degree.  After all, despite their differing specializations Han, Leia, and Luke all knew how to fight.  And even though Chewie is very likely a pure combat spec, he didn't outshine all the rest of them.  If I had multiple faces or multiple techs, I would absolutely make sure that they all get equal spotlights when doing non-combat stuff as well.

 

In general, each session should give each player a chance to shine, be it in combat or some other activity.  That's why it sucks when it comes time for combat and one character basically solos it while the other combat characters get to stand there and watch.

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12 minutes ago, ShadoWarrior said:

Chewie isn't a pure combat spec. He is also mechanic and a pilot. In fact, he likely has a higher mechanical skill than any combat skill.

Chew was a co-pilot, I thought?  Basically, the one who frees the Pilot up to do Pilot Only maneuvers by taking care of the other stuff.

You ARE right that he was a mechanic, I was mostly thinking of his portrayal in AHN which had him mostly doing combat on the Death Star. 

10 minutes ago, GandofGand said:

As far as I could see his only real combat skills were shooting the bowcaster and occasionally roaring at things in an intimidatiin' manner...

Hey, when all you have is a bowcaster....

Edited by Benjan Meruna

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12 hours ago, HistoryGuy said:

Last session one of my players wasted equivalent to two whole minion groups with a single attack. With his gun and combat skills he's almost become a one man army against minion groups and rivals. Even he made the comment that Auto-Fire is broken.

Am I reading the rules right? He adds a difficulty die to the check, rolls for the attack, cancels die, then is left with 3 uncanceled success symbols and 4 advantages. The base damage on his gun is 9. Does that mean he can do 12 damage 3 times?

Back to the topic of Autofire.  In addition to houserules on capping shots, don't be shy about Setbacks.  They can add those annoying Threat to the results and help in suppressing the craziness as well.  I've been trying to remember to add more myself.  It's dark, Setback. It's raining, Setback. Busy street with lotsa by standers, Challenge and Setback, with a Despair by default chewing up one additional shot hitting a by stander,  Smoke grenades, potentially multiple Setbacks depending on conditions.  etc.  You get the point.

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1 hour ago, ShadoWarrior said:

Then you need to watch ESB again.

Yeah, I wholly admit I had completely focused on ANH without giving thought to ESB, that was my bad.

Regardless though, the point I was making was: if any one of the characters had basically single-handededly killed every Stormtrooper seen on the Death Star while the rest just kind of looked bored, it would have been much less entertaining for everyone involved.

58 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

Back to the topic of Autofire.  In addition to houserules on capping shots, don't be shy about Setbacks.  They can add those annoying Threat to the results and help in suppressing the craziness as well.  I've been trying to remember to add more myself.  It's dark, Setback. It's raining, Setback. Busy street with lotsa by standers, Challenge and Setback, with a Despair by default chewing up one additional shot hitting a by stander,  Smoke grenades, potentially multiple Setbacks depending on conditions.  etc.  You get the point.

This is good advice for a lot of other instances too, not just combat.  Especially if your PCs have Setback negation Talents.  Keep in mind though that you need to come up with ways for the setback to apply to that specific PC only, which may not be doable in certain situations.  Otherwise, you're just making things harder for the rest of the group as well, when THEY aren't the ones who needed Setback to balance things out.

Edited by Benjan Meruna

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My 2 cents.

 

Auto-Fire should be strong. It's only on some ranged weaponry, typically only Ranged-Heavy weapons and some Gunnery weapons. You can apply it to Ranged-Light weapons bUT with a significant drawback of 3 Setback dice.

One despair is enough to make that weapon run out of ammo. If the player is smart and bought the talent that prevents it, you can still spend despairs to damage their weapon. You can give an adversary high skill in vigilance or cool to let them act first. You can flip a destiny to bring in reinforcements that the auto-fire character couldn't target before. You can give adversaries auto-fire weaponry. You can make the environment/bystanders react in bad ways to auto-fire weaponry. There's so many ways to ensure it isn't "broken" without the requirement of house ruling it. I'm fine with it as is. I know it's strong but I plan ways to deal with it.

 

I can understand why others would rather just modify how it works to attempt making it less powerful than it is. It certainly is strong. So is pressure point marauder and many other builds.

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1 hour ago, ShadoWarrior said:

Then you need to watch ESB again.

He may have been doing mechanics, but I don't think he was very good at it.  Han ripped into him for putting things together wrong.  He assembled 3PO backwards.  Han was fixing the hyperdrive with Chewie assisting in the escape from Hoth.  In the escape from cloud city, he gets so frustrated, he starts beating on the falcon with a spanner.  Generally, any time you see him doing mechanical, he was either under Han's supervision, or he got it wrong.

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