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Lloyd Dupont

armed to the teeth in everyday life

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I am wondering.. for my (still) upcoming scifi campaign... what would happen to people slinging their repeating rifle blaster on their shoulder and sporting their best combat armor in the street...

A question best asked to our american friend I imagine..

What happen in Texas if, say, you walk in the street in full knight armor with a 2 handed word on your back?
Or walk with body armor and kalachnikov on your back to burger king?

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As someone living in Texas, I think people may give you weird looks if you went around in plate with a sword, but unless you actually started swinging at people that'd be it. As for the second example, there are no laws in Texas prohibiting open carry of guns save for handguns, which you must have a license for. I can't speak for other states.

Edited by Richard S.
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Well, that hit the inevitable end-point right away.

Bringing it to more realistic ground, a person walking the streets armed to the teeth is going to be avoided by just about everyone, including people they want to interact with.  No one trusts someone who's clearly prepared for armed conflict unless they understand the circumstances and context in advance of the encounter.  Add personal biases and cultural bigotries to the situation, and that understanding gets murkier and harder to arrive at.

Even in municipalities with "open carry" ordinances, most people give wide berth to those who are clearly trying to make a statement by being overtly or exaggeratedly armed.  Those who don't are typically fellow travelers or looking to create a confrontation (which, quelle surprise, is exactly what the armed individual was intending to provoke).

If the question is really about what would happen in a game situation, assume that the local citizenry will have to treat a stranger displaying arms as a threat and respond accordingly -- probably by avoiding them, maybe by confronting them.  Your favorite Western movie probably sets the right tone.  A stranger comes riding into town, pistols at his side and a rifle across his saddle, the locals head indoors and the sheriff comes out for a little talk.

!i!

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Come to think of it, shop keepers might call the police to get you out of their shops (or shopping mall)...

As you said Ian, shop keepers don't want you there...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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Mmm... This is inspiring me.... In my scifi setting I plan for a somewhat distopian or corrupted setting...

Maybe most cop will be trigger happy against other races! :P 
And probably most cop will be Bulrathi... (it's MOO2 inspired.. in a multi racial, heavyly cloned Bulrathi fallen empire)

I also wonder, beyond the social stigma, if there are practical pain to be heavily armed... I guess weapons are heavy (I never could GM fatigue quite convincingly) and armor might hamper agility somewhat.. and both should hamper communication skills...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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Traveller (LBB 1980) had a "Law Level" (or somesuch) as part of the UPP.  There was some general fluffy discussion of autocratic-vs-democratic, but is was obviously too simplistic to REALLY describe governance; everyone I knew just treated it as "how armed in public can you be, vs how ardently the gov't would look for illicit arms & armor."

On some planets, ANY weapon (even non-lethal tangler/stunner types) would get you a Law-Enforcement action as if an active terrorist or mass-murderer was on the loose... and they'd be using invasive scans to find any hidden or inobvious weapons or armor, so ...

Other planets... anything LESS than obvious full combat-kit was an invitation to be killed or kidnapped ... Or a challenging claim that you were SO badass you could take the others down, kit&all, WITHOUT your own kit.

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As a former (now retired) LE, I would say you'd be advised to keep it concealed.  This is why the PISTOL (not the Assault Rifle) is the number ONE weapon used in the majority of crimes in the US.  Pistols are easy to conceal under normal clothing and just as easy to carry (for weight/ENC reasons) in most "social environments."  Knives rank second worldwide and restrictions on carry could encourage such weapons being used.  Even in the US "Old West," most gunfighters concealed their "Hog Legs" and "smoke Wagons" in order to avoid "public scrutiny" by the local authorities.

You could carry a short-barreled rifle (or a bullpup) or an SMG with a retractable stock under a long winter coat or duster but it may still "flash" when the wearer moves.

You should also bear in mind that in most civilized locations, you will need a permit or license to carry a weapon in public. 

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I was wondering for a scifi settings...

I guess it's going to vary depending on the location..
but I was looking for inspiration on how to handle the typical fully armed adventurer archetype...

What's an "LE" btw?

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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While there are many comment on weapon carrying...

What about wearing armor....
It's a bit annoying all those adventurer in full combat armor all the time... I mean it's certainly safe.. but it's not really immersive....

 

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To be brutally frank, the question as formulated is next to useless...

 

Most consider "Star Wars" to be sci-fi.  Arms and armor were a common sight in Mos Eisley.

Most consider "Star Trek" to be sci-fi.  Arms and armor were a rare sight in the United Federation of Planets (outside of Star Fleet operations).

So... the answer is "it depends."

It's easy enough to define a peaceful world where even a hint of tactical gear gets you taken out hard and fast, as an immediate threat; it's equally easy to define a world where "anything goes" and heavy assault gear only raises an eyebrow... and that only if your card-game is boring, or your hand is a bust.

It's similarly easy to expand either POV to a system, a sector, a galactic arm, or to the entire galaxy...

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Well.... to help you answer I could refined the question:

in a place where people don't usually walk the streets in full armor.. why the hell not?

For example why not more American go to burger king with full ceramic armor?! :P  

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

For example why not more American go to burger king with full ceramic armor?! :P  

Bold of you to assume we can afford it after paying for healthcare :P

But honestly, the primary reasons are a) it's expensive and b) it's not necessary most of the time. Also, most body armour nowadays can be concealed at least somewhat, so it could be that there are people walking around with it on and we just don't notice.

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Remind me of one Metatron video (he is Italian) he was saying he wears Chain Mail fulltime! (hidden under the TShirt!)

I guess people might get suspicious and call police on people in full armour.. but hey, if it's a stealthy model!

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12 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Remind me of one Metatron video (he is Italian) he was saying he wears Chain Mail fulltime! (hidden under the TShirt!)

 

Excellent protection against all the blades he plays with, bad if he's hit with something blunt... and bad for body hair. 😉

SDLeary

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21 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I was wondering for a scifi settings...

I guess it's going to vary depending on the location..
but I was looking for inspiration on how to handle the typical fully armed adventurer archetype...

I suggest looking at history, and not just recent history. Back when societies allowed people to walk around armed. So you could have something like the Old West, or something like the Renaissance or age of enlightenment, when people dueled, and tended to be very polite. 

Edited by Atgxtg
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2 minutes ago, SDLeary said:

Excellent protection against all the blades he plays with, bad if he's hit with something blunt... and bad for body hair. 😉

SDLeary

Unless he is wearing something beneath the mail for padding/anti-chaffing 

Edited by Atgxtg

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14 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

...

in a place where people don't usually walk the streets in full armor.. why the hell not?

For example why not more American go to burger king with full ceramic armor?! :P  

Because SWAT will be called & the fool acting our power/threat fantasies will get arrested (as happened last August in Springfield, Missouri).

Edited by g33k
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19 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

While there are many comment on weapon carrying...

What about wearing armor....
It's a bit annoying all those adventurer in full combat armor all the time... I mean it's certainly safe.. but it's not really immersive....

 

Armor will also be "regulated" in most civilized societies.   For example,  in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where I live and worked, it is NOT illegal to possess or even wear body armor.  HOWEVER, IF the wearer were to commit a crime like Robbery or Assault, their wearing body armor while doing so can trigger another charge called "Possession of an Implement of Crime." 

     The "Possession of an Implement of Crime" is used to charge the user of legal objects in criminal activity.   Some other examples of this statute include someone caught committing Burglary in possession of a crowbar and screwdrivers,  Someone stealing cars in possession of a locksmith's kit, or someone accused of Hacking having "hacking programs" on their laptop.   While all the tools in question have a "legitimate use" in our world, the specific situation in which they are encountered above would lead a "reasonable man" to suspect that they were used to "help perpetrate a crime."   Similarly, possession of such objects without a reasonable need to be carrying said items COULD trigger what is known by LEOs as an "investigative stop."  This is when a "reasonable man" might be suspicious of the motives of someone visibly in possession of an item or implement who otherwise wouldn't be required to have that item for work or general activity.  Walking down the street in the US with a rifle slung on your shoulder will usually trigger an investigative stop.  So would hard body armor (which is usually worn over clothing).  There are exceptions to this.  In most rural towns in PA during Deer Season, no LEO would stop a man wearing an orange vest, hat, and carrying a slung rifle because the majority of PA residents hunt and people walking with long arms is a common sight here.  Do the same thing in LATE WINTER (when there are no hunting seasons) and you will attract the attention of any LEO who passes by.  YOU MUST DETERMINE JUST HOW MUCH "LAW" (AND MORE IMPORTANTLY... ENFORCEMENT) THERE IS IN YOUR SETTING. 

     Armor can be concealed under clothing and current NIJ (the National Institute of Justice) Level 3A armors can easily be worn under a uniform shirt and will stop the majority of handgun rounds.  Most rifle-grade armors (NIJ Level 3 & Level 4 as well as Level 3+) are hard armors that MUST be worn over clothing.  The Marine Corps new DYNEEMA vests are actual soft Level 3 (rifle) armor but it is BULKY (at about 1" thick).  Thus, wearing armor today will often be fairly obvious with a simple Perception check. 

       Carry out armor development a single generation though, (think SHADOWRUN) and rifle level armors would now be concealable.  Go out two+ generations (think of THE EXPANSE) and soft body armor that stops handgun rounds could be woven into clothing while hard armor could stop significant damage while still being concealable.  Once you get to STAR TREK levels of tech, armor loses its potency because hand-held weapons can disintegrate significant material structures.  YOU MUST SET A TECH LEVEL YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH.         

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16 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

in a place where people don't usually walk the streets in full armor.. why the hell not?

For example why not more American go to burger king with full ceramic armor?! :P  

I know one or two people who own riding/racing gear that essentially amounts to full body armor, and they'd sum it up for you:

  1. It's really uncomfortable;
  2. It just doesn't look cool if you're not on your bike.

I have to assume much the same applies to combat body armor.  Also, since we keep entertaining the absurd, see my post above about reactions to someone armed to the teeth.  Public censure, whether by official statute or informal reception, will keep anyone but an overt troublemaker from displaying an intent to engage in mayhem.  If you want to blend, don't look like you're prepared to kill someone.

!i!

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I suggest looking at history, and not just recent history. Back when societies allowed people to walk around armed. So you could have something like the Old West, or something like the Renaissance or age of enlightenment, when people dueled, and tended to be very polite. 

One could go the Serenity/Firefly root. Armed to the teeth, gotta problem with that?

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