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About Combat

posted Mar 12, 2015 22:33:42 by Alakhai
I have started a new campaign with my players to introduce them slowly to the new system (we have been playing 2nd Edition until last summer and we have tested every alpha and beta of this system). Each week that a new portion of the book comes out I try to introduce these things in the story (this week we will use vehicle combat).

I have found some things that maybe I have misread or misunderstood.

-There is no penalty to shoot at a melee? For example, one of your friends is fighting in close combat or with a pistol at reach distance with an enemy. You can shoot freely to that melee without hitting your friend?

-Movement is favouring melee characters a lot. Example we have a fight inside a warehouse, with a lot of big boxes, machines and such. There are a few lines of sights and a lot of cover. You can move anywere with your move action to go Reach distance, and people with guns need to do the Withdraw action every turn, and that is your Standar Action! People with Close Combat weapons can move AND Attack you in the same turn, you cannot escape!


I have decide to use two "house rules" but it is better fix the game at this stage than houserule :P

If you shoot at a melee where are allies and you dont want to risk hit your friend, increase the difficult to hit 1 level. Weapons like shotguns increase the difficult in the same rate of their spread vale.

I am thinking in how to houserule the same situation with grenades and flametrowers.
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Vini, vidi, vici et fuit facilis. Alakhai
http://www.mutantchronicles.es/
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71 replies
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AmazingOnionMan said Mar 18, 2015 16:55:50
Dibs on Animal Mother!
I'm not always right!
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JakeBernstein said Mar 18, 2015 18:27:43
I still think that some weapons should have multiple effective ranges, as it adds another way to distinguish them from each other. Maybe not all assault rifles, but have some special ones that are good in multiple ranges.


Agreed completely. I am still somewhat concerned that the difficulty system isn't granular enough--you go from "way too damn easy" (DC 1) to "way too damn hard" (DC3+) really fast. However, maybe that can be countered by liberal use of DSPs by the players, I don't know. I wish there was an interim step--a more detail-oriented modifier system, perhaps that affected your actual effective skill (Attribute+Focus). I can always make one though!

In the original draft, stuff that had Autofire 3 would gain 3d20 and 3[DS] just for spending a single reload. The change is that you have to spend 1 Reload per extra d20/[DS], and that the firing mode of a weapon determines how many reloads can be spent at once.


Oh right, that is a reasonable change. Mostly. See below.

So you're saying that each reload you spend on autofire would add +1 Spread? I like that idea well enough, but it could result in lots of extra hit locations being rolled. Still, it's not likely to happen THAT often. Honestly, I like the idea of spending reloads to increase Spread quite a bit. Or you could even differentiate further and say that spending 3 reloads gives a weapon Blast and Spread 1, to reflect the realistic use for full auto (clearing out a room).

That would still require something special for munitions weapons, though. As it stands, the issues are that 1) it makes sense to track individual rockets and individual hand grenades, 2) it makes less sense to track individual launcher grenades when grenade launchers can hold a dozen at once, and 3) it could unbalance the game to allow someone to have infinite grenades. Probably the simplest solution to that if using the above rules for autofire would be to have each Munition weapon list a value beside it and allow the player to ignore encumbrance of munitions loaded into that weapon up to the listed value. So the value may range from 1 for small pistol launchers to 12 for the huge drum fed launchers. That way you prevent players from having infinite ammo, but allow them to carry the amount of grenades/rockets depicted in the actual art without crippling themselves.


This is where abstract ammo really starts to lose me. You are correct about the issue with Munition weapons. It's a real problem, no doubt. It's not AS big a deal for MOST guns, since most pistols have magazines in the 15-25 range, most SMGs and assault weapons have magazines in the 25-40 range, and machinegun belts are basically 50-200 rounds. There are some guns that break those rules (notably the Bauhaus weapons and a smattering of revolvers or particularly large caliber pistols), but overall it's workable. My concern is that I can't figure out how it makes sense to use 3 full "Reloads" to make a longer burst attack. It simply does not comport in any way with how I know guns work. I am really leaning heavily towards my earlier stated house rules, which I might combine with an idea you came up with above (that of saying that certain guns have qualities that add to Reloads). If you split a Reload into quarters and say that 1/4 Reload is used to get +1d20, 1/2 Reload is +2d20 and 1 whole Reload is +3d20, it feels somehow less insane. And using your idea, Bauhaus weapons could actually gain two extra boxes, making them split into 1/6ths instead (simulating the extra ammo).

Using Spread is a good idea, but the more I read about DSI activated abilities, the more ideas I have about how to leverage the game's many mechanics into something Really Damn Cool. I will probably think about it some more and write up a few possibilities later on.

@OnionMan--just stick around, I aim to make this game completely usable even for people who don't like the abstraction stuff. The core of this game is great and I like almost everything I've seen to date, there's just some tweaks I need to make to want to GM it.
[Last edited Mar 18, 2015 18:28:17]
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Nicholas Simpson said Mar 18, 2015 23:09:33
I am still somewhat concerned that the difficulty system isn't granular enough--you go from "way too damn easy" (DC 1) to "way too damn hard" (DC3+) really fast. However, maybe that can be countered by liberal use of DSPs by the players, I don't know. I wish there was an interim step--a more detail-oriented modifier system, perhaps that affected your actual effective skill (Attribute+Focus). I can always make one though!


Well, I think it's honestly pretty good to have difficulty jump up, as it does encourage spending DSPs and other resources. That said, going over the list of modifiers, it would probably help to note that they should normally max out a 4 difficulty, and note for combat that the rule on combining modifiers should probably apply to everything that isn't range difference, so as to prevent shooting someone at medium range with a pistol on a dark rainy day from being impossible for most people.

Also, I'd prefer that modifiers only affect a single thing. First, this reduces the desire to focus on a bunch of minutae. Second, it prevents the problem the old World of Darkness had where it had variable target difficulties and variable success requirements and writers and GMs who had no idea how much they affected probability. Restricting the GM/Talents to only reduce or increase difficulty is a good way to keep everyone on the same page.

My concern is that I can't figure out how it makes sense to use 3 full "Reloads" to make a longer burst attack.


I mean, yeah, it doesn't really make much sense to picture an attack at full auto consisting of "I fire the weapon, reload it, fire it, reload it, fire it" as a single action. However, it does make more sense if you think of a reload as not being an entire magazine, but rather a semi-fixed amount of ammunition that may or may not fill an entire magazine. Hence why some weapons are capable of full auto, because they have a large enough magazine to accommodate spending that many reloads. So having a higher firing mode may be a combination of actual firing speed and/or magazine size of the weapon. This is really just an issue where the names given for thing (reloads, semi-auto, burst, full auto) have narrative connotations that don't really match how they work in gameplay.

Trying to make this fit, though, I think it would make sense to have another stat for weapons that is equivalent to magazine size that allows you to ignore X encumbrance from any reloads for the weapon, to represent being able to store lots of ammo in the weapon. So you could have boxes beside each weapon that allow you to track how many reloads you have for it, and below the box you would write the encumbrance of the reload. So you might have something that looks like this below each weapon:

[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Let's say your basic bolter has a magazine size of 2. It would look like this

[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

If you had four reloads for it, it would look like this (and you would be able to see that you have 2 encumbrance worth of reloads for it.

[/] [/] [/] [/] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

If you used up 1 reload on a semiauto attack, it would look like this

[X] [/] [/] [/] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

And then you could add a houserule for "realistic reloading" that says once you have crossed out a magazine's worth of ammunition, you must take a restricted action to reload the weapon, similar to if you had to unjam it (plus make it cost 1 DSP for the GM to reduce reloads by 1, and 2 if that would cause the weapon to be out of ammo). When you take an action to reload a weapon, you erase a number of /'s starting from the right equal to magazine size, then erase the X's in the magazine and change them to /'s. This is not the most elegant solution in the world (You could probably work something out using Dark Symmetry dice to show ammo; have the die side facing up be equal to the encumbrance, with the DSI side representing reloads in the magazine that have zero encumbrance), but it would allow a basic ammo tracking scheme. Hell, you could even add a quality like "slow loader X" that only allows X reloads to be added to a magazine per restricted action.

The main difference between this and your suggestion is that it avoids using fractions, and makes each spent reload have an equal effect to the other (as in your rules, some reloads have 6 effects per reload, some have 4, etc.). Also, it would probably help to name them something other than "reloads." I like "Loads," but that has some unfortunately hilarious connotations that make the immature part of me snicker. Maybe "Charge," or "Bullet," or "Shot?"

But yeah, I'd put it as spending 1 reload adds spread 1, 2 reloads adds spread 2, and 3 reloads adds Blast (close). Munition weapons would work much the same as they do RAW, but would have a listed magazine size as well. How does that look to you?



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JakeBernstein said Mar 18, 2015 23:17:43
Second, it prevents the problem the old World of Darkness had where it had variable target difficulties and variable success requirements and writers and GMs who had no idea how much they affected probability. Restricting the GM/Talents to only reduce or increase difficulty is a good way to keep everyone on the same page.


Ain't that the truth. Well, I can see how it works out in actual play. If I want to house rule it, nobody else has to use it as long as I can keep the probabilities straight!

bunch of stuff on ammo


See, that's all very creative, but now I have to ask the KISS question: why not just track ammo? And I guess I suggested the 1/4 Reload thing to make it a bit less abstract--each "Reload" is an actual magazine/belt/etc, but maybe that actually just complicates it more. Now I'm tempted to just write up a set of rules using full ammo tracking and compare and contrast. FYI, I'd do something like this:

1 Reload (+1d20 or Spread 1, or however you want to do it) = 3 rounds
2 Reloads (+2d20 or Spread 2) = 10 rounds
3 Reloads (+3d20 or Blast (Close)) = 20 rounds

You can have clear cost and encumbrance for Reloads, know what they will do, you can stop linking Ammo (Quality) to using up Reloads (which REALLY hurts my brain), you can add another differentiator for weapons, and you can have a clear Reload action if necessary. Plus, you could even allow some kind of Rapid Fire for semiauto weapons. This equates roughly to the three levels of autofire attacks in MC1/2 -- Burst Fire (3 rounds), Fully Automatic Attack (10 rounds), and Area Spray (20 rounds)--okay, that's a fairly exact equivalency, I guess!

Anyway, I'll keep pondering. Good stuff though, Nicholas, let's keep it going!
[Last edited Mar 18, 2015 23:27:50]
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Nicholas Simpson said Mar 18, 2015 23:34:10
why not just track ammo?


1) Because magazines hold large amounts of bullets and you end up either piddling away at a massive magazine, or having to do multiple digit subtraction or other complicated math. It's also hard to visually represent a magazine with 36 bullets in it.

2) Because tracking ammo is typically a lot of work for an anticlimactic result. You track a bunch of individual bullets that don't mean that much so that you can eventually spend a simple action to completely refill the gun. I think that's the reason why most players tend to ignore ammo rules in games, because they end up rarely coming up and have a pretty minor effect.

So you have the nice thing where it's pretty easy to have ammo issues come up AND there's an actual reward for spending ammo and tracking it.

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JakeBernstein said Mar 18, 2015 23:46:59
1) Because magazines hold large amounts of bullets and you end up either piddling away at a massive magazine, or having to do multiple digit subtraction or other complicated math. It's also hard to visually represent a magazine with 36 bullets in it.

2) Because tracking ammo is typically a lot of work for an anticlimactic result. You track a bunch of individual bullets that don't mean that much so that you can eventually spend a simple action to completely refill the gun. I think that's the reason why most players tend to ignore ammo rules in games, because they end up rarely coming up and have a pretty minor effect.

So you have the nice thing where it's pretty easy to have ammo issues come up AND there's an actual reward for spending ammo and tracking it.


But doesn't that depend on how much ammo we're talking about? I agree COMPLETELY with you regarding your typical 30ish round assault rifle or submachinegun magazine. I really do, no joke. But that argument works less and less well the more each shot counts--a revolver with six shots, a shotgun with 5 shells, a rocket launcher with 2 rockets, an underbarrel grenade launcher...a large caliber pistol doing big damage vs. a small caliber pistol doing smaller damage but firing faster, etc etc.

There are definitely places where I completely agree with you, but there are also a lot of still common scenarios where I don't--where each shot DOES matter. (Good example is current weapon balance--the P60 Punisher is just plain awesome in this edition--in 1st/2nd Edition it "only" had 13 bullets and that was a real consideration.)

I don't think multi-digit subtraction is "complicated math" -- I usually just use hash marks to track ammo and it's a non-issue.

As for (2), that's very interesting to me and I, again, don't necessarily disagree. There is a big discussion on the GURPS forums about this same issue, actually, and that game DOES track every bullet. The issue seems to be one of context--if you have "enough bullets," then reloading really only matters as something to slow you down in a fight (note that this can matter A LOT and add to the tension of combat--it's no different than playing any FPS video game, rounding the corner and seeing bad guys and realizing you have no bullets in your magazine!). If you DON'T have "enough bullets," then tracking shots MATTERS, dramatically. An example is if you get dropped off in the jungle and have to hike 4 days with only 3 magazines of ammo. Another example is "street clothes" where you may have only 1 reload for a pistol--then individual shots CAN matter. Does it matter if you are a fully kitted out soldier with 10 reloads for each gun? Probably not as much.

Anyway, another thing to consider is "does the game system reward use of ammo?" In the original MC, it largely did because one shot was unlikely to severely slow down your opponents unless it hit the head or something. You had to do Full Auto All The Time to bring down certain types of foes anyway. One of the "schticks" of MC is blowing through a lot of ammo, but it worked. In GURPS, you often have no need of it because the simulationist nature of the game makes shot placement with single shots quite effective (though full auto is ALSO very effective).

I want to do some testing against various types of NPCs, with and without hit locations and with and without several kinds of autofire rules. I agree that it's best to have a system where, if you are going to track ammo, it should matter and have a real, tangible effect.

Again, good discussion!
[Last edited Mar 18, 2015 23:50:56]
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Nicholas Simpson said Mar 19, 2015 00:40:06
But doesn't that depend on how much ammo we're talking about? I agree COMPLETELY with you regarding your typical 30ish round assault rifle or submachinegun magazine. I really do, no joke. But that argument works less and less well the more each shot counts--a revolver with six shots, a shotgun with 5 shells, a rocket launcher with 2 rockets, an underbarrel grenade launcher...a large caliber pistol doing big damage vs. a small caliber pistol doing smaller damage but firing faster, etc etc.


Hence why the basic idea of abstracting ammo into "reloads" that likely won't even reach the double digits is a good idea.

As for (2), that's very interesting to me and I, again, don't necessarily disagree. There is a big discussion on the GURPS forums about this same issue, actually, and that game DOES track every bullet. The issue seems to be one of context--if you have "enough bullets," then reloading really only matters as something to slow you down in a fight. If you DON'T have "enough bullets," then tracking shots MATTERS, dramatically. An example is if you get dropped off in the jungle and have to hike 4 days with only 3 magazines of ammo. Another example is "street clothes" where you may have only 1 reload for a pistol--then individual shots CAN matter. Does it matter if you are a fully kitted out soldier with 10 reloads for each gun? Probably not as much.

Anyway, another thing to consider is "does the game system reward use of ammo?" In the original MC, it largely did because one shot was unlikely to severely slow down your opponents unless it hit the head or something. You had to do Full Auto All The Time to bring down certain types of foes anyway. One of the "schticks" of MC is blowing through a lot of ammo, but it worked. In GURPS, you often have no need of it because the simulationist nature of the game makes shot placement with single shots quite effective (though full auto is ALSO very effective).


And this is why having spending ammo only really happen if you're getting a benefit from it or if you're suffering a consequence leading to it. And by abstracting ammo to exist in such small quantities, you end up with spent ammo being much more important.

So the basic idea of the ammo system in this game is pretty sound. You reduce the numbers so that tracked ammunition becomes much more important. You also create special benefits or punishments based around using up ammunition. When those don't occur, you basically just ignore ammunition.

Where the system in this game fails is that 1) the translation of different firing modes to narrative doesn't make a lot of sense, 2) the encumbrance system doesn't work very well for tracking different reloads, and 3) the actual effect of spending reloads is kind of weak.

As I see it, my proposed fix would solve most of the narrative issues other than the fact that a reload that represents possibly infinite ammo may not even be an entire magazine's worth of ammunition. I think that's a small narrative sacrifice in comparison to the current RAW system.

In fact, here are my proposed magazine sizes, based off the original MC weapons.
Pistols:
Bolter (2), Ironfist/Launcher (2/1), Ronin (1), P1000 (2), Aggressor (2), MP-105 (4), Punisher (2), Piranha (1), Iron Hand (Not Sure)
SMGs:
CAR-24/Launcher (2/1), Windrider/Launcher (2/1), CAW2000/Launcher (3/1), Interceptor/Launcher (3/1), Plasma Intruder (2), MP-105GW/Launcher (4/1), MP-103 (3)
Assault Rifles:
M50/Launcher (3/6), Shogun/Launcher (2/3), AR3000/Launcher (2/4), Invader/Launcher (3/10), Plasma Carbine (3), Panzerknacker/Launcher (3/4), Volcano/Launcher (Not sure), Zhivo/Launcher (Not sure)
Sniper Rifles:
SR-50 (1), Archer (1), SR3500 (2), Assailant (1), PSG-99 (4), Mephisto (2), Okhotnik (Not sure)
LMGs and HMGs: Ammo is carried separately in a belt and thus full encumbrance rules apply
Shotguns:
M516S (1), M516D (1), Airbrush (1), SG7000 (2), SG72001 (1), Mandible (2), HG-14 (1), Bryzgi Sawn-Off (Not sure), Zhukov (Not sure)
Flamers:
Light Flamer (1), Heavy Flamer (2), Gehenna Puker (1)
Rocket Launchers:
Deuce (6), Daimyo (7), SSW5500 (7), Southpaw (10), ARG-17 (10), Pushkin (Not sure)
Autocannons:
Deathlockdrum/Launcher (4/10), Nimrod (4)

Basic conversion was that magazine of 1-19 = 1, 20-29 = 2, 30-39 = 3, 40-59 = 4
Munitions weapons I just did a straight conversion with a maximum of 10






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JakeBernstein said Mar 19, 2015 01:14:50
Will come back to respond later, but what about the issue of the Ammo (Quality) weapon quality? That drives me nuts. And what if I want to load AP rounds in a Bolter? This was specifically allowed in MC1/2, it's specifically possible in real life, and there is no way that sacrificing that ability "for abstraction" is worth it to me. How would you deal with that?
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Nicholas Simpson said Mar 19, 2015 01:23:27
Will come back to respond later, but what about the issue of the Ammo (Quality) weapon quality? That drives me nuts. And what if I want to load AP rounds in a Bolter? This was specifically allowed in MC1/2, it's specifically possible in real life, and there is no way that sacrificing that ability "for abstraction" is worth it to me. How would you deal with that?


Just deal with it the same way it is in the current rules. Special ammo is more expensive to buy and when you spend a reload it gains the extra qualities. It's unclear if this is in addition to the normal benefits of spending a reload or if it gains those benefits cumulatively for each reload spent at once. Seems like it would be simple enough to just add special ammo that can be used in other guns that gains its qualities when a reload is spent. I don't really mind that as not being very realistic.
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JakeBernstein said Mar 19, 2015 03:36:48
Just deal with it the same way it is in the current rules. Special ammo is more expensive to buy and when you spend a reload it gains the extra qualities. It's unclear if this is in addition to the normal benefits of spending a reload or if it gains those benefits cumulatively for each reload spent at once. Seems like it would be simple enough to just add special ammo that can be used in other guns that gains its qualities when a reload is spent. I don't really mind that as not being very realistic.


Yea, I can't handle that. I just think using real ammo numbers is going to solve way more problems than it causes. Not that you have to use those rules, but I think that's the direction I will take it. You can and should keep trying to fix the issues with the abstract system though!
[Last edited Mar 19, 2015 03:37:05]
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JakeBernstein said Mar 19, 2015 03:47:26
So the basic idea of the ammo system in this game is pretty sound. You reduce the numbers so that tracked ammunition becomes much more important. You also create special benefits or punishments based around using up ammunition. When those don't occur, you basically just ignore ammunition.


Ultimately, I just don't quite follow this. As we've already seen in a few places, the "abstraction" can be unduly hard to fit into a sensible narrative. When that happens, you can either look your players in the eye and say "that's just how it works in these rules" or you can change it. Ultimately, the question is one of cost-benefit analysis: do you lose too much by using overly abstracted ammo or do you gain enough from using ammo tracking to overcome the costs of either?

I don't see how the quantity of ammo in a real or abstract sense has any effect on the importance of that ammunition. The importance of ammo is so you can answer the question, "Can I shoot this gun?" In any but the most unrealistic video-gamey style of campaign, that is an important question in and of itself. The punishment of using ammo is that you can no longer shoot the gun! Benefits of using up ammo are that you are hopefully killing stuff! I don't see ANY situation where "ignoring ammo" helps a narrative or makes the game more fun.

The issue of the "limitless reload" is already silly--but having one reload and then getting an unlucky roll and suddenly having no ammo is way worse. How is a player supposed to reconcile making one attack with his pistol and then being out of ammo? It simply makes no sense no matter how you spin it.

Anyway, I guess I don't need to be trying to convince you that full ammo tracking is worthwhile. While I can agree with you that sometimes tracking individual bullets is less than important, it's easy enough to do that I've never seen the costs of doing so outweigh the benefits.

With that, I should start thinking of ways to utilize real ammo counts...
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Nicholas Simpson said Mar 19, 2015 04:40:07
Well, keep in mind that the idea behind a reload is that it doesn't represent one magazine, but rather several magazines worth of ammunition. Basically, that one reload can represent several instances of a character reloading a weapon. It doesn't run out until the player rolls a repercussion (a good GM will offer the player a choice of outcomes that also make sense; yes this does put the burden of "reality" on the GM, but no more than any other calls he'll make). As a standalone system, the reload is fine as an abstract thing. The game pretty much doesn't care about your ammo count or running out until it's narratively interesting. The problem it runs into is in tracking munitions for weapons that hold more than one round at once, AND in the extra rules for Letting Rip that allow ammo to be expended for bonus effects. The problem with the latter is that the concept of what a reload represents can suddenly change. It goes from being several magazines or clips to being a single depleted magazine of bullets. In the old version of the rules, where it only cost one reload to activate any fire rate, this made SLIGHTLY more sense, but the latest rules would have your character getting a bonus by effectively unloading 3 magazines or more worth of ammo in a single attack. All this in a game that also bothers to include drawing a weapon as a standard action. So yeah, the issue is that what is a cool gamist mechanic similar to spending DSPs ends up being tied to the game narrative and not making sense.

As far as I can tell, you have no objection to players being able to spend DSPs or chronicle points to gain bonuses. This is because they're entirely meta-currency that work only within the game, not the actual narrative. They affect the narrative, but aren't a part of it. Reloads, on the other hand, ARE a part of the narrative of the game, and thus have to be tied to the narrative in uses, effevt, and so on. They're tied to the narrative in a way that's similar to saying that players can just spend assets 1:1 to add successes to a social roll. That's a cool enough idea (and thematic), but it doesn't fit in the context of the rest of the rules being fairly simulationist/grounded.

So what can be done? Well, the ammo system could be grounded into the narrative, similar to what jakes thinking of. I'll be honest and say that I think it's boring to track ammo, though. If that's your cup of tea, then great, but I don't think it ADDS anything to the game so much as just doesn't conflict with the narrative. So the other option would be to decouple Reloads from the narrative entirely and turn them into a spendable resource like DSPs are. The issue with that would be balancing them with DSPs, momentum, and melee weapons. That would honesty probably require a total overhaul for combat.

So, all that said, I think the suggestion to just add magazine size as a stat and have it not count toward load encumbrance would work just fine as a way to minimize gameplay/narrative conflict.

As far as your problem with special ammo goes, it's a pretty easy houserule to just say it always applies even if you don't spend a reload. Simple enough.

I'm curious why if you agree that ammo tracking is superfluous most of the time that you're not interested in a system that tries to do away with it, or at least minimizes the tracking involved. The instance of a repercussion causing a player to run out of ammo at a time that makes no sense is basically counting on a GM to go out of his way to make that happen when there is a literal list of other options available to him that could make more sense. It's like worrying that the GM will spawn enemies in a locked room that you already cleared just because he is technically allowed to by the rules.

Here is my list of the actual paradoxes of the reload system:
1) Infinite Ammo, although this is really a minor issue, since a reload can represent multiple magazines and the like, plus it's specifically meant to evoke an action movie feel. It's like complaining about James Bond not having to reload.
2) Letting Rip causes an entire reload or more to suddenly disappear. This is a bit more problematic. It makes narrative sense for a repercussion to make a reload run out "that last burst of gun fire emptied out your magazine and you have to grab more, mark off a reload." It doesn't make as much sense to say either "you go through several magazines in a single attack to deal major damage" or "you spend your last magazine on this Attack and deal major damage."
3) the encumbrance of ammunition, particularly munitions, ends up being higher than the weight of the weapon it's for. This makes sense for regular ammo, as that can be seen as representing several magazines. It doesn't make sense for a single grenade. Grenades are less than half a kg each. All I would need to carry more grenades than is possible for your average MC3 character (8 str and phy) to carry without crippling penalties (20 grenades) is a backpack to put them in. The total weight of them all would be less than 8 kg.
4) it doesn't make sense that special ammunition would only work if a reload was expended.

Of those, 2 and 3 are really the biggest issues that strike me as something a player would rightfully call BS on. 1 is about giving the game an action feel and 4 is a pretty obvious game mechanic rather than a world simulation. 2 and 3 just don't make a lot of sense, though.
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JakeBernstein said Mar 19, 2015 04:56:14
I think ammo tracking CAN be superfluous, but I think the cost of not doing it is higher than the minor inconvenience of a little bit of extra bookkeeping. I mean, this isn't a miniatures based tactical game where each player is controlling a dozen or more guys. It's an RPG where each player is generally concerned with the actions and resources of a single PC. At any rate, I've been tracking individual ammunition expenditure for 20 years, it just isn't a big "cost" to us. YMMV, though.

So, if I'm going to track ammo, what will I do with it? Well, I had some fun. Try these on for size:

2) Fire Modes
a) Manual/Single Shot
i) May only fire one shot per attack. This is commonly used for sniping or rocket launchers. This mode allows you to Brace or Exploit Weakness as a Restricted Action instead of a Standard Action.
b) Semi-Auto
i) May spend up to 3 ammo per attack. Allows "Extra Hit" Momentum spend, which simply allows another hit location to be rolled for normal weapon damage only (no bonus damage of any kind, though DSIs count normally) up to the number of shots fired. You may ALSO spend Momentum normally, but bonus damage only applies to one round.
c) Burst
i) Fires a short, controlled burst of 3 rounds. Provides +1d20 on the skill test. Allows up to 2 Extra Hit Momentum spends. You may also spend 1 Momentum to Swift Strike to fire another Burst at no penalty. A Swift Strike for any other purpose uses the normal rules.
d) Full Auto
i) Fires a long burst using up 10 rounds. Provides +2d20 on the skill test. Allows up to 4 Extra Hit Momentum spends. You may NOT spend Momentum on bonus damage at all. You may NOT spend Momentum on Swift Strike.
e) Let Rip (why not)
i) Fires a very long burst of 20 rounds (if there are less than 20 rounds remaining, you may not Let Rip). Provides +3d20 on the skill test. Allows up to 4 Extra Hit Momentum spends and Secondary Target only costs 1 Momentum and can be chosen twice. Moreover, Extra Hits can be assigned to any Secondary Targets.
f) Ideas
i) Fiddle with momentum spends and fire modes. Think about Called Shot or Bonus Damage being more or less effective depending on Fire Mode.
ii) Get rid of all "half damage" effects where this makes no sense-- Spread, Secondary Target, but keep it for Devastating Blow (which is more abstract anyway).
b. Penetration vs. Damage Momentum spends
i. Penetration ignores 2 Soak per Momentum, but can only be chosen on Single Shot or Manual fire mode.
[Last edited Mar 19, 2015 05:02:22]
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JakeBernstein said Mar 19, 2015 05:01:52
Now, I admit, this was all just off the cuff playing around. There is a ton to enjoy about this game system and I'm having a lot of fun just brainstorming creative ways to use these mechanics. Restricted or boosted Momentum spends are super handy ideas IMO.

One of the things I need to do is look at weapon damage and armor Soak values and see if the whole "half damage" thing makes sense or not. I also need to figure out if "normal weapon damage" is going to be enough to get through armor. If not, I may have to fiddle some more.

My design goals here are to provide bonus hits that pit the weapon vs the armor of the target without bonuses for Momentum spends unless the character is firing slowly to maximize effect. This will probably require more fiddling.
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Nicholas Simpson said Mar 20, 2015 15:46:36
Just remember, each damage die is worth .5 average damage. Spread is worth half the average damage of the weapon minus .5 (because if you roll a DSI it won't be adding damage. So let's say you have a weapon that does 2+3[DS] spread 2. It would deal an average (assuming you round down) of 4.5 damage.
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