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Handheld weapon against starships
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Naaman wrote:
What Im saying is that a pilot should not be able to put crosshairs on a person and shoot them with a blaster cannon whose fire control system relies on intense heat signatures, radio frequencies and other starfighter scale criteria to differentiate between what is an enemy fighter and what is space debris, etc.

You are forgetting that pretty much every starship in the SWU comes equipped with LFIs (Life Form Indicators) that process sensor information to differentiate living beings from background noise, and even to determine what kind of living being it is. It's not too much of a stretch to assume that a starfighter's sensor system can identify a living being on the ground and throw a marker up on the pilot's viewscreen / HUD / whatever that will give him a point to aim at.

Naaman wrote:
And yes: I'd rule that a starfighter scale targeting system cannot detect a character scale target, and I would disallow the fire control dice if the gunner said, "I shoot HIM with my blaster cannon!" Instead of, "I strafe the ground with my blaster cannon!"

The problem you're having is trying to make the rule conform to the letter of the law of reality, and not the spirit. You are, essentially, making a blanket prohibition on a certain task in the game, then trying to find a way to allow it to happen anyway, rather than simply letting the dice do the work of making the seemingly impossible just very difficult.

If the starfighter pilot's ultimate goal is to hit the ground as close to the characters as possible in the hopes of inflicting damage, then there is no need to argue the semantics of exactly who or what the pilot is shooting at; his goal is NOT to simply strafe the ground, it is to attack the characters. The idea is to land high-powered energy beams as close to the characters as possible to inflict maximum damage, even if a direct hit is highly improbable.

Per the RAW, a TIE Fighter Pilot is going to be rolling a measly 1D to hit (5D Starship Gunnery + 2D Fire Control - 6D Scale) even before MAPs are calculated; that 1D will be contingent on the TIE flying straight and level at low velocity (no maneuvers or speeds triggering a Piloting roll) to even have a chance of hitting the characters. That 1D only has a 1-in-3 chance of beating the Base Difficulty (Very Easy) at Point Blank Range, never mind beating whatever the characters roll to Dodge.

Bottom line, there is no need to say "you are not allowed to do that" when the dice say it for you.


Sure, I get what you're saying.

But I'm not saying "you're not allowed." I'm saying no fire control dice since that's not what the system is designed to do. It doesn't matter whether the sensors can detect life forms (even if they detect life forms individually, which is not what I've imagined; I've always interpreted the life sensors to indicate "yes/no" and a general magnitude/density of bio matter, not give a detailed population count and specific locations of life forms for a given area). It would also matter whether such sensors interface with the fire control system, even if they could identify specific life forms with any degree of detail.

Of course, if the admiral or whoever is in charge of the fleet wants to reliably take down personnel with spacecraft, then he should deploy air-to-ground attack craft, or fit his existing craft (if they happen to be modular) with air-to-ground weaponry either in addition to or instead of the air-to-air weaponry that is standard.

Now, as GM, if I had to house rule a strafing run on the fly, I'd say, "roll gunnery, but you cannot make any reaction skills this round other than to angle your shields." If the character goes through with it, then I'd give him full gunnery (no scale modifier). Depending on terrain, I'd randomly determine how many characters below are able to get to cover or otherwise "dodge" out of the way (not too hard if they can hear the craft coming and figure out what it's doing... they'd have plenty of time to scatter unless there was a ground level threat keeping them pinned down).

The higher the attack roll, the more enemy troops that take damage from the strafe, with the possibility of destroying the cover and killing those who thought they were safe (depending on what cover is available). But there are just too many variables that would make this go from anomalously unlikely to fish-in-a-barrel.

What is the terrain? Is it a canyon with caves and crags and giant rocks/arches to hide behind/under? Is it a wood with lots of dense foliage and places to hide (making the angle of approach difficult to determine)? Is it an open field?

How dense are the troops packed in? Are you trying to get a specific guy ("hey, look! That's Luke Skywalker! Shoot him!!!") or just blast as many troops as you can that happen to get caught in the line of fire?

Plus any number of other variables that I'm not thinking about right now that could probably make such a scenario plausible or not.

Depending on the specific circumstances, it's either, "yeah, sure, do a strafing run. No problem." Or, "well, you can do that, but if you do, here are the astronomical penalties on top of the scale modifier."

Anyway, it seems pretty clear there's just no middle ground on this issue. So I'll leave it at that and bow out of this specific tangent.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mostly, it sounds like you are needlessly overcompensating things by overthinking them. But, hey, you do you.
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's something you guys have probably already figured out, but I haven't seen it pointed out yet.

2E R&E Page 96 wrote:
The higher scale attacker rolls its normal attack roll;
the lower scale target adds the "adjusted modifier" to
its dodge roll.


If a character isn't dodging it does not get the scale bonus.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I consider that an error or poor choice of words on WEG’s part. Scale modifiers are based on size, and objects do not magically become larger just because they aren’t moving. At the very least, if a target isn’t moving, I’d use the 2D=7 rule to convert the Scale Modifier into a flat value applied to the base difficulty. For example, a starfighter attacking a character scale target at Short Range (Easy Difficulty) would have to beat a 31.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kytross wrote:
Here's something you guys have probably already figured out, but I haven't seen it pointed out yet.

2E R&E Page 96 wrote:
The higher scale attacker rolls its normal attack roll;
the lower scale target adds the "adjusted modifier" to
its dodge roll.


If a character isn't dodging it does not get the scale bonus.


Well, it was something i raised a while back, in asking "If there's no way they can dodge, does scale still apply".
Let me see if i can find the thread..

http://www.rancorpit.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5611&highlight=suprise+dodge
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My stance has long been that just because WEG used a particular turn of phrase doesn't mean it is set in stone. There's a reason I picked that particular WEG quote for my signature, and situations like this are why. Never feel bound to abide by WEGs rules when they say something that doesn't make sense to you.

In this case, as I said above, just because something isn't moving doesn't change its scale. A capital ship should not be able to ignore a 12D difference in scale just because its target isn't moving.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That might be where we differ: you said scale modifiers are based on size. I tend to interpret it that scale modifiers are based on scale, not size.

There are, for example, orders of magnitude of difference between the largest and smallest capitol ships.

But, I rather believe that a scale modifier is determined by the kinds target the weapon was designed to engage, not the scale of the platform it is mounted to, and certainly not the shooter's scale.

Its one reason EWEBs are so great/useful.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
That might be where we differ: you said scale modifiers are based on size. I tend to interpret it that scale modifiers are based on scale, not size.

There are, for example, orders of magnitude of difference between the largest and smallest capitol ships.

But, I rather believe that a scale modifier is determined by the kinds target the weapon was designed to engage, not the scale of the platform it is mounted to, and certainly not the shooter's scale.

Its one reason EWEBs are so great/useful.

Actually, I believe both to be true. I simply disagree that a starfighter's Fire Control system simply stops working when trying to engage a character-scale target on the ground. Fire Control dice are an aggregate of multiple factors that affect weapon accuracy, and scale modifiers adequately represent the added difficulty of engaging a smaller-scale target. However, the system only gets it half-right, in that while smaller scale targets are harder to hit, a weapon of sufficient power that gets close enough to transfer destructive energy indirectly (as would be the case when shooting a blaster bolt into the ground near a character) will still have the potential to inflict some damage.

In fact, by throwing out Fire Control dice, you're creating an additional imbalance. You are essentially saying that a starfighter with 4D Fire Control on its cannon will be just as effective against a Character-Scale target as a starfighter with 2D Fire Control on its cannon, since you are tossing out both Fire Control dice values without accounting for the difference in accuracy provided by both.

I, on the other hand, am saying that the -6D Scale penalty between Starfighter and Character is sufficient to represent the increased Difficulty, reducing the respective Fire Controls from above to -4D and -2D respectively, a difference which must, in turn be made up by the relative skill level of the pilot. It's still possible to be somewhat accurate, but the pilot will have to be either very good or very lucky to get a direct hit.

And yes, I do believe weapons should also be gauged by the scale of what they are designed to engage, but the difficulties inherent in engaging a target small enough to be outside that scope are best represented by existing scale modifiers applied to the weapon's fire control dice, not a blanket prohibition on using the Fire Control system at all. Sure, it'd be very difficult to hit a person with a SMAW or a Carl Gustav, but if you aim it at the rock outcropping the target is standing next to, or the ground at their feet, and it hits close enough to do damage, you accomplished your goal, which was to hit the character-scale target with a larger-than-character-scale weapon, even though the method you used involved aiming at something near the target.

I'm really at a loss as to why this point is so hard to get across.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I generally use the scaling system, however I also love implementing the "natural" aspects of randomness.

If we look to weapons and mount scales, we see that these are not scaled like the targets they are meant to engage.
I can have turbolasers on my starfighter, a weapon normally used on capital ships.
Now if we look to the real world for a little, what anti air portable weapon systems do we have?

Shoulder fired missiles and with lucky shots....bullets.

this is really it, not much more.

Allowing a portable missile launcher to do shp damage makes logical sense.
I would how however do this: Launcher missile DMG 7D ( Character scale) but against a ship it deals only -1D damage.

As for rifles and blasters, vs anything up to light freighters there is a chance to hit something somewhere....so I tend to allow for the use of a character point to deal normal damage against the ship .
This happens ONLY if the attack is rolled with MAX damage, meaning a DMG 6D Stormtrooper rifle will need a roll of 36, and then by spending a point that attack then deals damage normally.

Any ship larger than light freighters are generally too heavily armored and deflects blasters of character scale.

I treat E-Web and heavy repeating blasters much like machineguns, heavy machineguns and autocannons....allowing them at a -1D only to be used "normally" against vehicles and air/space craft......though the sheer shiled and armor value of a star destroyer more than negates any such threat.

A TIE on the other hand is often shown taking "heavy" damage by hand held blaster fire....again I allow this at a -1D
And or the MAX dmg +1CP to do normal damage
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