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Firearm Ranges


Cdr Vimes

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I have a small issue/question with the rules regarding firearm ranges. I am happy with the basic ranges and the difficulty mods applied as the ranges are doubled etc. It is also fine that a rifle will have a better basic range than a pistol therefore allowing tgts to be hit at greater ranges. However when using weapons in shorter ranges, such as within buildings, close country etc, my PCs often still choose the rifle over the pistol as they will remain within the basic ranges and roll to hit on their skill levels. In reality I would think that smaller weapons such as pistols and SMGs will have a greater utility within close in fighting being easier to aim quickly and manoeuvre the weapon around obstacles etc.

This seems difficult to model with RAW but has anyone come up with some home brewed rules to model this?

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Pistols etc. while smaller are also inherently much less accurate. There are plenty of examples of police officers emptying their service weapon at close range <10m and failing to hit their target. I suggest having a player move round your apartment carrying a broom in a ready to shoot position and see how difficult it is. Then apply some modifiers to their weapon use indoors if they insist on using a rifle. For example have someone carrying a rifle and try and open a door without kicking it in. Firstly they would have to point the rifle away from the door to reach the handle easily, they then only have one hand on the rifle - can't shoot one-handed. Anyone ready with a weapon inside the room is going to almost certainly get the first shot.

If you've done the walk round the apartment thing then you have a ready made third-party who will back you up regarding the difficulties inherent in using a rifle indoors. If you've got buy-in from the players then the issue won't arise. If you penalise them with making it one or two degrees harder to use a rifle at close quarters you've got it about right.

A rifle round is likely to go straight through drywall. Add in some collateral damage by injuring the neighbors and having them arrested for reckless endangerment might be a wake up call.

Nigel

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As players will inevitably go for the largest weapon they can I expect that they would be armed with something doing pretty high damage. If they try to fire it from the hip give them a massive penalty and a broken wrist.

SMG's and sawn-off shotguns would be best for house clearing but be sure to allow for rounds spraying everywhere and read up on the rules for solid slugs rather than shot in a shotgun.

Nigel

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Considering that the US military still teaches room clearing with m16s to recruits, and m4 carbines are used by everybody else in theater backed up with shotguns and short-barreled m249s, I don't think that SMGs would superior to semi-automatic carbines in most room clearing situations.

The only penalties I could think of that would make sense would rounds penetrating the walls into other houses, room and possibly killing hostages, friendlies or non-combatants. This problem is fixed with frangible rounds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frangible

As for opening a door, usually the guy opening the door isn't the first one in, because he probably doesn't have both his hands on his weapon, or is off balanced.

My roleplaying blog: Axes and Orcs. Scramblings of anime, D&D, and RQ-derived games.

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I was also thinking of applying a dex rank penalty to allow for the bringing the rifle etc back up to the aim indoors...

I think you are on the right track here – the issue is speed. In theory, you could give a 1 DEX rank/SR bonus for using a pistol, no bonus for a SMG/Carbine, and a 1 DEX rank/SR penalty for a rifle. In reality though, I should note that it takes me about the same amount of time to get an M4 Carbine on target as an M9 pistol – although the pistol comes up quicker than the carbine, it takes longer (at least for me) to get the pistol on target.

So, perhaps a better model would be to just assess a 1 DEX rank/SR penalty when using anything bigger than a SMG/ carbine.

...only allow unarmed [unaimed?] shots as if firing from the hip etc.

I don’t think this accurately models reality – I learned “short-range marksmanship” on an M16, and I was taught to aim every shot. As Canis notes, soldiers can and do clear rooms with M249s, and I have seen them do it with the long-barrel and full stock – again, aiming every shot, or burst, in this case.

Another issue not mentioned is the possibility of an opponent either grabbing your barrel or moving in close to grapple. In these instances, shorter barrels have a definite advantage, with pistols being the most useful, since they are the only firearm that still be put on target when grappling.

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Thanks Galahad, good points. The era I am GM,ing is Steampunk to WW1. I have used modern weapons myself so it was the advantage of using pistols over a full length Lee Enfield or Martini type rifle i was trying to model. I think I will go with your Dex/ SR penalty. Had't considered the grapple to weapon issue. Mightvtrybit next session.

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By Thimpsons I presume you refer to the use of SMG in the OP. You perhaps aren't aware that WWI saw several varieties of weapon that would later fall under the sub machine gun term. Starting in 1915 we have the Villar-Perosa, an Italian SMG firing 9mm pistol ammo and the later Bergmann MP18. An earlier, but non production weapon, was a pistol caliber version of thr Maxim used for demonstrations where a full length range was not available (no doubt some to be the weapon of choice for CoC players).

Nigel

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The era I am GM,ing is Steampunk to WW1.

A historically accurate, and available firearm for your period that would be useful for room clearing is Winchester’s “Special Short Carbine” a.k.a. “Baby Carbine” or “Trapper’s Model.” Generally, these are Model 92 and 94 Winchesters that came from the factory with 12-15 inch barrels.

Here is a model 92 with a 12 inch barrel in .44-40 (pistol cartridge).

And here is a model 94 with a 15 inch barrel in .30-30 (rifle cartridge).

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Yes, as has been pointed out, rifles are more accurate than pistols, even at short range. A good deal of accuracy comes from the length of the barrel and the distance between the front and back sights.

But there is something to be said about pistols being quicker to bring to bear,ou might want to do is to give weapons a modfier to SR or DEX rank *depending on which rules you use(, when determining the order of action in a round. For instance, a decent light pistol that is quick to bring to bear, might be worth :1 DEX, while something like a typiucal rifle might be -3 DEX, and big heavy elephant gun -4 or even -5.

That way, if everthing else was equal, the guy with the pistol would probably get off his shots before someone with a rfile, but the guy with the riufle has a better chance of hitting if he is still around.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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