Author Topic: A Guide to Ranged Combat Mechanics (WIP)  (Read 136 times)

Offline C. White

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A Guide to Ranged Combat Mechanics (WIP)
« on: December 14, 2019, 03:20:31 PM »
This guide is here because of the amount scenes are paused and spammed with clusterfucks after the involvement of Ranged Combat. This includes the employment of thrown weapons and firearms.


How does it work?:

Simple. A character attacking another may roll their Dexterity along with Athletics (for thrown weapons), Archery (for bows), or Firearms (for, well, firearms). Defense methods against these vary. You may try to dodge bullets using Dexterity and Martial Arts/Athletics/Dodge at difficulty 9 as per the house-rule.

As for  thrown weapons and bows (as arrows are far slower than bullets), it sorta depends on the maneuver used. So far, I've seen people dodge thrown weapons at difficulty 6, and we'll keep it that way for now. Dodging an arrow coming out of a bow or a cross-bow is done at difficulty 8 according to the example mentioned in C:tD. After all, there's no set difficulty do dodging incoming strikes. It all depends on the situation and the type of harm coming your way.
However, Martial Artists may block incoming throwables such as spears or even an arrow at difficulty 8, but I don't think standing in the way is a good idea.

Difficulty & Dicepool Modifiers:
Although default difficulty is 6, specific advantages and handicaps still take effect. Let's start this with:

Cover:
Taking cover makes it harder to shoot you. The more cover you're hiding behind, the harder it is to hit you. However, taking cover or moving while shooting affects your accuracy as well, which makes it harder for you to shoot back.

Note that if you try to move to cover, you may only move two yards before the shot aimed at you takes effect. Having a higher initiative doesn't allow you to run up 30 yards because you have Celerity. However, you may reach your destination by the end of the turn. For example, Jane declares shooting at John, and John declares running to his car and ducking behind it. The car is about 50 yards away, but John has Celerity and has enough movement distance per turn to reach his destination. For this turn, John only enjoys the benefits of moving instead of Full Cover behind his car, because he manages to sprint only for 2 yards before Jane pulls the trigger. Right after getting shot, he drops behind his car by the end of the turn for cover, which applies next turn.

This is the chart you'll be using for covers:

I'd also like to note that having a higher initiative doesn't allow you to circumvent cover penalties. Here's an example:
John rolls 13 for his initiative, and Jane rolls 9. John's behind a wall, and Jane's prone on the ground because she can't reach for cover on time.

Jane declares shooting at John. As for John, he declares stepping out of his cover with the advantage of having a higher initiative, shooting at Jane, then stepping back behind his cover.
Such a stunt doesn't help John avoid his own cover penalty. He'll be rolling at +1 difficulty, and Jane will shoot him at +2 difficulty as usual. However, he can choose to get away from cover immediately, therefore rolling at +1 difficulty (due to Jane being prone), and Jane will shoot him back using default difficulty.


Opponent Handicaps:
Immobilized Targets: Shooting an immobilized target or one that can barely move is way easier than shooting a wolf sprinting away. Therefore, a ranged attack against an immobilized target has its difficulty reduced by 2. In some cases, attacking an immobilized character is an auto success if they can't move at all.

Knocked Down Targets: Knocked down characters are considered temporarily immobilized until they declare getting off the floor with a proper Dexterity + Athletics, difficulty 4 action if done along with another action in a combat turn. A ranged attack done against a knocked down target has its difficulty reduced by 2 unless the target declares getting up and manages to act first with the assistance of higher initiative or your attack takes place as a Rage/Celerity action.

Stunned: Stunned characters are considered immobilized until they wake up from their daze. Also, believe it or not, a character can wind up stunned after taking enough damage from a ranged attack, not only close combat blows. Keep that in mind.
Ranged attacks against stunned characters have their difficulty reduced by 2.

Attachments:
Certain attachments provide your Firearm with enhancements. In most cases, their bonuses don't mix. But first, I'd like to explain to you what aiming is:

During a firefight, accuracy is one of the major elements of success. A character may stand completely still and spend turns doing nothing but aiming at his target with a bow or a gun. For every turn spent, you gain an additional die to the roll done when you pull the trigger. You may gain a maximum aiming bonus of your Perception Rating. Therefore, if John aims his rifle at Jane for four turns, he may only gain three extra dice since his Perception is only marked on the third dot.
Aiming is necessary to activate your attachments modifiers in most cases, so keep that in mind.

Laser Sight: These ones provide your target with a hard time leaving your aim. When your weapon is equipped with a laser sight, you can spend a turn aiming as mentioned above. After doing so, your next singular shot is done at a reduced difficulty by 2. Note that this applies only to one shot. If you'd like to enhance another one, you'll have to take a full turn aiming once more.

Scopes: With the assistance of one of these, a rifle is easily turned to a sniper. This doesn't mean you may only attach these on rifles. I know some people who put them on colts.

Anyway, there are different types of scopes. Have another chart:

Note that scopes don't only apply a difficulty modifier, but also a dicepool modifier. Add two dice to the dicepool of your shot after spending the needed amount of time aiming at your target through the scope. I repeat: this bonus applies after one single shot after spending the needed amount of turns aiming at your target. If you'd like to regain these bonuses, you'll have to spend the needed amount of turns aiming again.

Range:
A character using a firearm or throwing a weapon is most likely familiar with this part of the guide. This is technically under difficulty modifiers, but whatever. Let's start with

Firearms & Bows::
Each firearm has a specific range. A colt can't shoot as far as a rifle can, obviously.
When shooting a weapon, you have to keep in mind your weapon's range and the distance between you and your target. Each weapon's range may be increased upto double at the cost of increasing the action's difficulty by 2. Expect a chart for ranged weapons here or somewhere else on forums. Eventually.

Therefore, if John tries to shoot at Jane with a light revolver (12 range), but she's already making a run for it and the distance between them is 22 yards, he may still take a shot by applying the specified penalty above. Since she's a moving target, John will have to apply not +2 difficulty, but +3 instead. As he's attacking a moving target who's too far away for his revolver's designed range.

Exceeding your weapon's range makes your life harder, but getting close enough to taste the sweet blood of your victim comes with its perks. Which takes us to Point-Blank.

Point-Blank means the distance between the shooter and their victim is two yards, if not less. In that case, shooting difficulty is reduced to 4. Not reduced by 2.

Thrown Weapons::
Sometimes throwing a bottle of beer or a damn car at your target is your only option. In that case, range depends on your character's Strength, as well as the bulkiness and weight of the object you're throwing. After all, cars weren't designed to be thrown at flying shadow inquisitors.

With the assistance of a storyteller, you can figure out the proper difficulty modifiers you'll be applying to your roll. If your target is close enough, you may end up throwing your weapon at difficulty 5. However, if the target's too far, or the object you're throwing isn't made for such an action, the action's difficulty may increase by 1 or 2.

Fire rate:
You can only pull the trigger of a weapon a few times each turn. Each weapon has its own firing rate and some automatic weapons are capable of mass destruction through specific maneuvers I'll be talking about later on in this section.

In order to shoot out of a weapon multiple times, you have to either split your available dicepool as you wish for each shot or employ powers that imbue your character with extra actions such as Celerity and Rage. However, being fast doesn't affect your weapon's firing rate. Therefore, if John tries to shoot four times off a Desert Eagle (Rate: 3) by employing Celerity, he'll only be able to shoot three times.
This also applies to bows. Yup, logic doesn't apply when World of Darkness mechanics break the door down and tell you what to do. According to every firearms chart, bows have a firing rate of only 1. Trying to shoot four times out of a bow will only get you a stinky admin record.

So as I was saying before, some weapons are capable of mass destructions through three-round bursts, full-automatic spray, and strafing sprays. Every played First Person Shooters?

• Three-round Bursts: A maneuver used to release three-rounds in quick succession out of your assault rifle/submachine gun.
System: The shooter adds 3 dice to his attack dicepool, but also increases the difficulty of the roll by 1.

• Full-automatic Spray: Your character unleashes the full potential of their weapon at the cost of ending up with an empty magazine. Such a maneuver greatly harms your accuracy for a sweet cookie.
System: The shooter adds 10 dice to his attack dicepool, but also increases the difficulty of the roll by 2. In order for the maneuver to be executed, a character needs at least half of the magazine full of ammunition. After the action is executed, your character ends up with an empty magazine and needs to reload.

• Strafing Spray: Your character, once more, unleashes the full potential of their weapon at multiple enemies. The harm isn't the same as spraying at a singular target, but it usually does the job.
System: The maneuver works exactly like Full-automatic spraying. The shooter adds 10 dice to his attack dicepool, but also increases the difficulty of the roll by 2. However, your successes are evenly distributed evenly between each target involved. If the number of successes rolled winds up smaller than the number of targets, then the Storyteller decides who’s been hit and who’s been missed by that spray of bullets.

Clips & Reloading:
Your character's prone to running out of ammo after pulling one of the stunts above, or simply needing to shed more blood. A weapon's Clip is the amount of bullets a weapon's magazine can hold before running dry.
Expect a chart here for weapons and their clips. Eventually. For now, refer to Mage: The Ascension or Werewolf: The Apocalypse charts.

Whenever you run out of ammunition, your character needs to reload.
Reload: Whenever your weapon runs out of ammunition, reloading is a must. Your character takes their time out of combat (or under stress within combat) unattaching the dry magazine and replacing it with another.
System: A character with a Firearms rating of 1 and above outside combat may reload their weapon without spending actions or making a roll. However, under certain conditions, a Dexterity + Firearms roll is necessary. Such as reloading in a moving car or while being badly hurt.
An expert shooter in combat may reload their weapons by reducing their dicepool by 2 if they happen to have a spare full magazine. If not, a Dexterity + Firearms roll is required and an entire turn to refill an empty magazine or a speed-loader.

Speaking of speed-loaders, Revolvers are no small deal when it comes to running out of ammo in combat. These precious items deal more damage and have more range than new automatic pistols at the cost of a lower fire rate and clip, let alone reloading complications. A character reloading a revolver doesn't need to make a roll but has to spend an entire turn doing nothing but filling up a revolver with clips. A solution to this is keeping around a speed-loader, which allows you to use the mechanics above for reloading instead.

As for Bows, a character with an Archery level of 3 and above may nock, draw, and loose as a single action. However, other characters usually have a bad time doing so, as they need a turn to nock and draw, and another to loose the arrow.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2019, 09:46:00 AM by C. White »

Offline C. White

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Re: A Guide to Ranged Combat Mechanics (WIP)
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2019, 03:20:47 PM »
Have me know if I missed any necessary details.

Also, if you're interested in reading about ambush mechanics for ranged attacks, refer to General House Rules & Clarifications -> Ambush Mechanics.

A to do list for myself:-
• Dual Wielding.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 12:04:13 PM by C. White »

Offline Hades

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Re: A Guide to Ranged Combat Mechanics (WIP)
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2019, 12:05:44 PM »
Needs bigger font imho.  ::)