firearms and game balance

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firearms and game balance

Postby mwsasser » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:16 am

Would the introduction of black powder weapons throw off the game balance of rq2 as it's written? I'm thinking of introducing them in a limited way into my game.
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Re: firearms and game balance

Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:49 am

mwsasser wrote:Would the introduction of black powder weapons throw off the game balance of rq2 as it's written?
Yes, in the same way that inventing black powder weapons unbalanced real life.
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Postby mwsasser » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:04 am

Er.... not sure thats what I was looking for.
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Postby DamonJynx » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:05 am

Probably not too much - provided you take care with how they interact with AP and the damage and range issues.
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Postby Redcrow » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:27 am

I think increasing the fumble range to better reflect early black powder weapons propensity to misfire might be a good first step to balancing things. Combined with their relative expense, low availability and longer reload times I don't really see them being all that unbalancing.
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Postby Deleriad » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:22 am

They're perfectly fine. The MRQ1 supplement Pirates had them as did original A&E.

The biggest drawback of such weapons tends to be long reload time and careful handling needed.

As I recall (and I'm not a gun nut so I could be wrong) the damage potential of a bpw is not significantly greater than a crossbow or longbow. The advantages seems to be that it is easier to aim, requires less strength and can be used with less training. None of which are particularly amenable to being simulated by RQ rules. There is also supposed to be an intimidating effect from the noise and flash which will spook animals.
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Postby Verderer » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:19 am

We use muskets and pistols in Clockwork and Chivalry, and they're fine. A musket is a powerful weapon with a short range, and pistols are very handy close combat weapons (with the sword and pistol combat style naturally).

Said sourcebook contains stats for blackpowder weapons, and there was a very good article in recent Signs & Portents 89, Armes of Battel II, I think it was called. Download that, it has good stuff even if it's geared for C&C.

I decided to allow Impale combat maneuvre for firearms, by the way. Although without the pulling out stuff, of course. It might make firearms even too powerful?
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Postby mwsasser » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:27 pm

Ah, good points about rq1 and clockwork. Thanks guys.
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Postby Simulacrum » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:09 pm

I included them (in fairly primitive form) for Age of Treason - there are fire cultists who can use an Ignite ability rather than have to prime the pan and work the lock. So two different load times depending on how you are firing. But range with these things is an issue, mostly because of inaccuracy - so I have kept range short, but allowed hits at longer ranges at a higher level of difficulty and with reduced damage dice. Accurate simulation or not, the massive difficulties with the device and slow load means that big damage at short range is, in my view, a game necessity to give them a cool purpose.
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Postby havercake lad » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:28 pm

Blackpowder bullets will generally punch through common metal armour etc a lot more efficently than most other ammo types of bows, javelins etc.
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Postby Ultor » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:55 pm

Still waiting for Games Workshop's contribution to Questworld

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Postby mwsasser » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:26 pm

This reinforces my idea to add them in a very limited fashion to the game. Perhaps even making the rare ammo and even rarer black power prohibitively expensive in most cases.

Perhaps something along the lines of 50sp for black power shot and then a little in-game lesson about keeping your powder dry.

Using this thinking it'll allow pirates to have a cannon shot or two at their enemies and then boarding will require a normal fighting action to overcome your enemies.
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Postby soltakss » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:06 pm

Making them inaccurate and likely to explode in your face might help dampen players' desire to use them (or PCs' desire - making players use something that could maim them might be too extreme, but maybe not).
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Postby havercake lad » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:44 pm

Strict licensing by authorities can cut down number in a campaign. ( The Shogunate actually did this historically )
Plus not everywhere is going to manufacture and produce black powder for sale.
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Postby havercake lad » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:45 pm

You could even have a Church/Religion ban it, which historically happened at times with some weapons.
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Postby taxboy » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:11 am

I think the balance item can be addressed with simple economics - if it is super expensive to build guns and ammo / powder , then there won't be many of them and low impact on balance.

Same logic as magical swords, etc (shh, don't tell D & D!!)
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Postby mwsasser » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:24 am

taxboy wrote:I think the balance item can be addressed with simple economics - if it is super expensive to build guns and ammo / powder , then there won't be many of them and low impact on balance.

Same logic as magical swords, etc (shh, don't tell D & D!!)

Thats very much my plan. :)
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Postby soltakss » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:51 pm

taxboy wrote:I think the balance item can be addressed with simple economics - if it is super expensive to build guns and ammo / powder , then there won't be many of them and low impact on balance.
Unfortunately, that doesn't really work with PCs, in my experience.

If you have something that is very expensive then PCs will save up to buy it, no matter the cost.

Also, if the PCs meet someone who has something expensive and that person accidentally dies, then the PCs could very well obtain said item. Do it several times and every PC has a firearm.

Making ammo expensive might help, but PCs will take whatever ammo they want from opponents, or will raid ammo stores. They might even ask to be paid in ammo. They always have a way around things.

My gut instinct is that if you introduce something that will unbalance a game then the PC will use it as fully as they are able. And PCs are very, very able indeed.

So, introduce firearms, but don't think for one moment that your players will say "Firearms, that's nice, oh look - a dagger".
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Postby Old timer » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:05 pm

I think that the power of fire arms is being over stated here. Yes, they do a lot of damage (the musket from arms and equipment does 2d8+1) but it takes 6 combat actions to reload, and has less range than a bow. How many players want to spend so many actions reloading, whilst an enemy simple charges them as they are desperately reloading. Plus they don't work if the powder gets wet. In my experience these tend to be balancing factors when black powder weapons are introduced in a campaign.
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Postby RosenMcStern » Wed May 04, 2011 9:53 am

Actually, I used firearms in RQ3 already, and they worked extremely well in historical situations. They are exceptional support weapons, able to win a fight with a simple hit, while a bow or sling need a critical to disable the same foe, but the long reload time and the propension to jam/explode mean that you cannot rely solely on them .

The trick is to use them in the historical way. Cortez conquered Mexico with his superior weaponry, but when he came back none (yes, none) of his muskets was still working: all had been destroyed in combat. In the end, the Spanish had to fight with swords and pikes, much more reliable weapons that were still superior to Aztec weaponsry. When I ran my conquistador game years ago, I used the musket stats for Land of Ninja (3d6 damage, a big hit in RQ3) and ruled that a 96-00 roll meant the weapon was rendered useless (exploded on 00), requiring repairs that were not possible while in the wilds. And it worked just fine: the muskets often made the difference and they won at least one major battle with a big monster, but by the end of the scenario most of them had gone "boom" and the players were all fighting with swords.

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