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Modiphius > Mutant Chronicles RPG

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.
Vini, vidi, vici et fuit facilis. Alakhai
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71 replies
Nicholas Simpson said May 03, 2015 20:04:16
Hey, I just thought of another option for dealing with the problem of munition weapons. Assign a number to each munition weapon that represents the number of momentum a player must pay in order to not use up a reload on an attack. You could also have a rule that missed shots don't cost a reload unless a repercussion occurs or the GM spends DSP. That would pretty much instantly take care of all of my issues with the munition quality, and would allow munition ammo to go back to the same abstract place as regular ammo. Something like a pistol-mounted grenade launcher may cost 3 momentum to conserve the reload, but the big drum-barreled assault rifle could cost 1. Things like single-shot rockets could just have X, to show that they always use up 1 reload per shot.
JakeBernstein said Sep 14, 2015 20:34:25
Well, we've got the full Rulebook now and have seen several sourcebooks. What have people found with using the abstract ammo rules in actual play? Any issues? I still see problems with certain Munition weapons--Nicholas, have you come up with any other fixes since May?

Nicholas Simpson said Sep 15, 2015 19:29:28

I think the best solution is to assign each weapon a number of "reloads" it can hold that does not increase encumbrance. These reloads in the weapon are what is spent when a complication is rolled or when Letting Rip. These reloads will never be reduced unless the GM spends a complication/DSP or the player Lets Rip. The reloads that characters keep on their person each have their set value of encumbrance based on the weapon size, take a restricted action to use, and will completely full up the reloads of the weapon itself.

For clarity, call the number of reloads in the weapon itself ammo capacity. The reloads carried on ones person are called "extra reloads."

So a Munition weapon might have an ammo capacity of 6 meaning t can spend 6 reloads before havin to use an Extra Reload to fill it back up to 6.

Using this, you reduce ammo tracking, reduce cognitive dissonance on what reloads represent, fix the issue of munitions weapons and ammo encumbrance, and fix the general issue of reloads costing a lot of encumbrance. It also keeps the action movie aesthetic of ammo only mattering when the player or GM thinks it's a dramatic enough moment to use it.

The only work that needs to be down is giving an ammo capacity for each weapon, which shouldn't be TOO hard to eyeball, although it would take work to balance out. This would also allow players to Let Rip much more frequently, so that may need to be balanced out with play testing.
JakeBernstein said Sep 15, 2015 23:47:44
Love it. Let's figure it out. On my phone, but I will post later tonight.
JakeBernstein said Sep 16, 2015 01:58:24
Munition weapons should probably have a Capacity more or less equal to their traditional magazine capacities. So that's fairly simple.

Every other weapon will need something more abstract, otherwise you might as well start tracking individual bullets and I just don't think that works well with the system as written (I've come to peace with the idea of an abstract system, and it's simply square peg-round hole to try to make 2d20 into something simulationist--besides which, I've already got the best simulationist game system to play with!).

And I agree that you probably need to do some balancing because this will allow more "Let Rip" actions (which is good, but which probably need to be renamed as "Rapid Volley, Burst Fire, and Full Auto" for 1 capacity, 2 capacity, and 3 capacity attacks respectively but "Let Rip" collectively).

So....some ideas:

New "Capacity" = Old MC (magazine capacity) * 1/5 rounded down. Most assault rifles end up with Capacity 6, MP-105 has Capacity 11, Punisher has Capacity 2. Not bad. LMGs typically hold 50-200 rounds, so that's 10-40 Capacity or we could keep the Spread mechanic intact and say LMGs use half the normal capacity. Something like that.


New "Capacity" = Old MC * 1/10 rounded up. Assault rifles get Capacity 3, MP-105 has capacity 6, Punisher has Capacity 2. I don't like this as much.


New "Capacity" = Old MC * something else...

Currently, I think it's clear that a reload for +1d20 and +1[DS] isn't really worthwhile when you can use Symmetry Dice on the same attack. Capacity will make it more interesting to use Let Rip attacks if that's the only change.

Then we need to figure out Ammo (Quality) issues--I think that solves itself honestly. The question should be whether a weapon that's NOT Letting Rip still gets its Ammo (Quality). This is particularly true for high-capacity weapons like MP-105s. Maybe rather than giving MP-105's Ammo (Spread 1), they simply get more Capacity.

If that's all we do, it's probably enough. Thoughts?

Nicholas Simpson said Sep 16, 2015 03:22:09
Remember that a single attack with an assault rifle will use more bullets than one from a pistol, even if neither attack Lets Rip.

Another possible rule of thumb would be:
1)Ammo Capacity cannot be less than Firing Rate of weapon
1)Ammo Capacity for non-munition weapons equals weapon Encumbrance minus the Encumbrance value of 1 Reload (-1 extra for WhiteStar weapons)
3)Weapons with a Munition Attachment subtract an additional 1 from Ammo Capacity
4)Munition Attachments normally have an Ammo Capacity of 1, and increase the weapon's encumbrance by 1 for each every 3 ammo capacity
5)Munition Weapons have ammo capacity mostly determined by fluff.

So this gets you:
Pistols: Bolter 2; Ironfist 1/Munition 1; Ronin 1; P1000 2 ; Aggressor 2; MP-105 2; Punisher 2; Piranha 1; Iron Hand 1

SMGs: CAR-24 2/Munition 1; Windrider 2/Munition 1; CAW2000 2/Munition 1; Interceptor 2/Munition 1; Plasma Intruder 2; MP-105GW 2/Munition 1; Hellblazer 2; Destroyer 7; MG-40 4; Justifier 4; Rebrov 5

Assault Rifles: M50 3/Munition 6 (+2 Encumbrance); Shogun 2/Munition 3 (+1 Encumbrance); AR3000 3/Munition 4 (+1 Encumbrance); Invader 4/Munition 14 (+4 Encumbrance); Plasma Carbine 5; Panzerknacker 3/Munition 4 (+1 Encumbrance); Volcano 4/Munition 3 (+1 Encumbrance); Zhivo 3

Sniper Rifles: Manstalker 6; Archer 3; SR3500 3; Assailant 7; PSG-99 5; Mephisto 7; Okhotnik 6

LMGs: M606 5; Kensai 3; TSW4000 3; Destroyer 7; MG-40 5; Justifier 3; Rebrov 5

HMGs: M89 16; Dragonfire 5; SSW4200P 6; Charger 22; MG-80 7; Purifier 4/Munition 3 (+1 Encumbrance); Nova Vesna 9

Shotguns: M516S 4/M516D 5; Airbrush 3; SG7000 3; Mandible 5; HG-14 4; Brzygi 1; Zhukov 6

Flamers: Light 4; Heavy 7; Puker 21

Launchers: Deuce 6; Daimyo 7; SSW5500 7; Southpaw 19 (+1 Encumbrance); ARG-17 11 (+1 Encumbrance); Pushkin 6

Autocannon: Deathlockdrum 9/Munition 19 (+6 Encumbrance); Nimrod 8

So, a lot of these values may seem very low, but keep in mind that we want them to be as low as possible in order to not have them differ too much from the baseline rules. Also, for many of these weapons a single attack may represent several bullets being spent even if Let Rip wasn't used. As I look at the values, they all seem to be pretty good. The biggest things that would need changed would be for the Sniper Rifle Ammo Capacities to be reduced, SMG capacities to be increased, and a few odd weapons to be either increased or decreased. What are your thoughts?

JakeBernstein said Sep 16, 2015 04:46:57
I think basing it off encumbrance gets a little weird (look at the Charger). I was taking a somewhat mechanical approach to things. My thinking is that 5 rounds sounds about right for a +1d20, +1DS bonus. Dividing Magazine Capacity by 5 gives you a number of "bursts" that you can play with. Maybe what I should do is do ROUNDDOWN(MC/5)-1 to account for the fact that you are firing off rounds during normal usage.

I think the idea I like the most from your post is the idea of "reloads" refilling the capacity in a semi-abstract way. Reminds me of how XCOM Enemy Unknown works. I would totally add in "Reload" as a Standard Action and maybe allow some kind of Talent to allow reloading as a Restricted Action. (That's an idea I am stealing from XCOM--reloading only matters when it becomes interesting and in a game where the "action economy" is pretty small, an action to reload is fairly important.)

* Assumption - every weapon has 1 Reload's worth of Encumbrance for free--otherwise the term "reload" makes no sense. In other words, it can't be a "re-"load unless there's a load in the weapon. This becomes important later.*

So, capacities by my revised rule would be as follows:

Pistols: Bolter 2; Ironfist 4/Munition 1; Ronin 2; P1000 3 ; Aggressor 4; MP-105 10*; Punisher 1; Piranha 1; Iron Hand 1

SMGs: CAR-24 3/Munition 1; Windrider 3/Munition 1; CAW2000 5/Munition 1; Interceptor 7/Munition 1; Plasma Intruder 3; MP-105GW 10*/Munition 1; Hellblazer 5*

Assault Rifles: M50 5/Munition 6; Shogun 4/Munition 3; AR3000 4/Munition 4; Invader 4/Munition 14; Plasma Carbine 6; Panzerknacker 8*/Munition 4 (+1 Encumbrance); Volcano 3/Munition 3 (+1 Encumbrance); Zhivo 5

Sniper Rifles: Manstalker 1; Archer 2; SR3500 3; Assailant 2; PSG-99 8*; Mephisto 1; Okhotnik 2

* These weapons fire really fast and currently have Ammo (Spread 1). An idea is to halve the Capacity for each point of Spread to represent the extreme rate of fire. So, MP-105 and MP-105GW have Capacity 5 but Let Rip with Spread 1. Panzerknacker and PSG-99 have Capacity 4 but Let Rip with Spread 1. The Hellblazer has Capacity 3 and Spread 1.

LMGs: Each belt of ammo is basically 50 rounds. Most LMGs can link 2-4 belts, so 100-200 rounds. Each belt is Capacity 9 base. Spread 1 LMGs (all but MG-40) therefore have Capacity 5 (I rounded up just because) per belt. Spread 2 LMGs get Capacity 3 per belt (i.e. MG-40). Every belt is Encumbrance 1, but every weapon includes 1 belt in its encumbrance.

HMGs: Same basic idea as for LMGs but each belt is 100 rounds (for Encumbrance 2). That's capacity 18 and then halved twice (round up) down to Capacity 9 or 5 because these weapons have Spread 1 or 2. These weapons probably use ammo hoppers on a backpack, so I would allow up to 500 rounds (Encumbrance 10) to be linked together at a time. That's Capacity 45 or 25 depending on Spread.

Shotguns: M516S 1/M516D 2; Airbrush 2; SG7000 1; Mandible 3; HG-14 1; Brzygi 2, Zhukov 1

Flamers: Light 4; Heavy 4; Puker 6 (judgment call based on older edition and Encumbrance of Reloads and Munition rules)

Launchers: Deuce 6; Daimyo 7; SSW5500 7; Southpaw 19; ARG-17 11; Pushkin 6

Autocannon: Deathlockdrum 4/Munition 19; Nimrod 2 (both have Spread)

Numbers will have to be created for all the new guns in the various corporate books, but that's not hard (many are from the older editions anyway).

And then how to use these numbers:

Normal fire uses no Capacity unless a Repercussion is rolled. All "Let Rip" modes of fire (Semi-Auto, Burst, and Automatic) replace "one Reload" with "one Capacity." A weapon may never use a Let Rip mode unless sufficient Capacity remains in the weapon. When a weapon has used all Capacity, it must be Reloaded, which is a Standard Action. Weapons with Ammo (Quality) gain the Quality when spending Capacity, not Reloads.

I'm gonna hit Post and then see how different our numbers ended up being.
[Last edited Sep 16, 2015 04:48:13]
JakeBernstein said Sep 16, 2015 05:00:08
So, what does this mean? Let's take some examples!

An M13 Bolter has 2 firing modes: you can plunk away at bad guys at 1+DS4 forever or you can snap off a bunch of rounds twice before reloading at 1+DS5 and +1d20 on the attack. That extra DS gives you additional chances to activate the Armor Piercing 1 Quality, so it's pretty useful.

The Ironfist, on the other hand, normally does 1+3DS, but can gain up to 2d20 and +2DS on the attack roll up to two times (or +1d20/+1DS 4 times) per reload. Not bad.

An MP-105, on the other hand, normally does 1+3DS but can fire in Burst mode with Spread 1 and has Capacity 5, so it can do 1+5DS with +2d20 on the attack and with Spread 1 and it can do that twice per Reload.

Now, just how useful are the bonuses from Letting Rip? Well...

First, the bonus DS help overcome armor and can drastically add to the overall damage production of any attack. Each DS from a spent Capacity also increases odds of rolling a DSI to activate special qualities! But most importantly, those extra d20 give bonus Momentum, which can boost damage, allow extra attacks, cause additional hit locations or targets to be struck, and all kinds of other mayhem. The system is already abstract so I'll just leave it that way--there're a million ways to rationalize, explain and narrate how a burst of bullets from any weapon justifies any of the momentum spends in combat. Some easy ones:

Bonus damage! Automatic fire simply lets you do MOAR DAMAGE. That's helpful.

Devastating blow! Even a weapon without Spread can hit multiple locations and the half damage can still be plenty painful if you used other momentum to add to damage.

Secondary Target! This is a no-brainer.

Swift Strike! Automatic fire makes it easier to shoot more stuff in a turn...this ought to be a particularly common use of momentum gained from spraying lead around the battle zone.
Nicholas Simpson said Sep 17, 2015 03:12:12
Those are pretty good numbers for things. I like the idea of adding Ammo (spread 1) to weapons with really high magazines/rates of fire. I also like having the belts being fed to machine guns each provide a set capacity. I think the biggest remaining issue is that many of the munitions weapons have massive ammo capacities. Those should probably be reduced down by a huge amount. Id say a maximum of 3 for most launchers, maybe up to 6 for launchers with special characteristics.
JakeBernstein said Sep 17, 2015 04:37:10
Actually, the Ammo (Spread 1) may have been my idea at one point, but it made it into the final rulebook! So I was just using that rule and rationalizing something that made sense. I think the numbers turned out pretty nice too.

As for Munition weapons, I tend to agree, but the issue is how Munition is defined. Let me think about it. "Encumbrance" wasn't exactly a thing in MC 2nd Edition, so I think we can solve the problem with Encumbrance. The question is how...

So, first I think we need to clarify something (i.e. house rule):

The Cybertronic SSW5500 rocket launcher has a clear typo: it's Enc should not be 22. More like 7 or 8.

Next we think about how much grenades and rockets should really weigh -- a hand grenade is about 1 lb and a 25-30mm launched grenade is about .5 lbs (i.e. most grenade launchers in MC3). Because they do the same damage however, we'll call them the same basic Encumbrance (see below). The rockets in most rocket launchers in MC are probably about 2 lbs. Without getting too detail oriented, we can therefore begin to make the following generalizations:

1 Enc = 4 launched grenades (compact, but can't be thrown, dropped, etc)
1 Enc = 2 Hand grenades or Rockets/Missiles

Now, Encumbrance is abstract and isn't a 1:1 ratio to weight so we don't need to be precise. I say we take care of it like this:

All Munition weapons have Capacity, just like other weapons. The difference is that every attack uses up 1 (or more) Capacity. A Reload for any given Munition weapon has its own Encumbrance based on the Capacity and type of weapon:

Launched Grenade (i.e. pistols, SMGs, rifles, etc.): 1 Reload has Encumbrance = Capacity/4 (minimum 1)
Rocket or Missile Launcher: 1 Reload has Encumbrance = Capacity/2 (minimum 1)

Most importantly, the weapon's Encumbrance includes just 1 point of Encumbrance as ammo. So a full load of Munitions may add to Encumbrance (this goes back to your earlier idea actually).

So, the Invader Assault Rifle (Munition Capacity 14) uses Enc 3 Munition Reloads. Since only 1 Encumbrance of Munition is free, a fully loaded Invader with 14 grenades has Encumbrance 8. Each drum of grenades is then Encumbrance 3 on top of that.

The crazy Southpaw has Munition Capacity 19 and therefore has Encumbrance 9 Reloads. But the crazy Southpaw also is Enc 17 base, so we might need a special rule for this oh so special rocket launcher...I'll think about that later.

Anyway, what do you think of that?

JakeBernstein said Sep 23, 2015 23:07:10
I'm going to formalize the last page of discussions in a house rules doc and modified weapon spreadsheet and try some simple playtesting. Nick, let me know if you'd like me to email you the docs (or have other comments on this).
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