Thanks Red. I knew it was something obvious, but my mind isn't very active yet... I need more caffeine.
With that new knowledge in hand, I think that Hass's idea is a good one. If you fired ten ricochet bullets in a spray into a room, you have a good chance of hitting someone in there, regardless of where they are standing. Having a -10 penalty to every shot would make it tough to hit them, especially if they are hiding behind cover. The whole point of ricochet is to be able to easilly hit people from around corners or behind cover.
i am quite confused....it seems my rulebook is different from yours....
under the richochet explanation(p.50) i find the following sentence:
"ricochet rounds bouncing in this manner ignore all bonuses and penalties to their attack rolls (such as the firer's bab, OR THE PENALTY FOR BEING RAPID FIRED) but may not used in conjunction with a called shot"
so you roll 10 attacks (if the space is small enough) without any modifier... just the dice.
And here is the problem with D20... or the blessing (depending on whether you are the target or not...)
The DV of some higher level characters is over 20. So only natural 20's will hit. 10 shots witha RR gives therefore a very small chance of hitting - if my maths is correct (which is unlikely!) it's (in bookies terms) a 1:2 chance - I wouldn't bet on a horse at those odds.
Add to this the damage that a hit might cause - then compare and contrast to the comic. In the comic, one RR shot can take out a major criminal - especially when fired by Dredd. In the game, it quite simply can't - even in the unlikely event your level 15 perp is shot with a RR, his HP total is going to make damn sure that he walks away without a scratch (or with 94 HP instead of 104) I'd like too see something in the game which means that one bullet can kill even the most powerful character - WFRP has this chance, and because it does PC's don't rush blindly into every fight, just like in real life.
This hp problem came to light when I ran Dark Phoenix rising from S&P - the PC's were hard enough to shrug off the damage from dozens of Raptaurs, so long as they got them one or two at a time, and the whole thing was just way too easy - this may be because I am not comfortable enough with the D20 rules to be able to make creatures truly deadly, but in truth although D20 makes for great PC'S, it's still nowhere near the kind of system I feel fits an ultraviolent SF comic book blastathon! I want the possibility that one punk armed with a las rifle can kill your ultra hard PC - that's important! Otherwise PC Judges can just wander into enemy fire and arrest everyone.
Does what I have written even make sense? Or am I too pumped full of bourbon to be able to be coherent?
Seriously, I agree that to appropriately portray the feel of the comics the combat should be more lethal than it is in basic d20 system. As JD was the first (or second) game by Mongoose they didn't have enough experience to modify the system like they seem to do with their newer releases (like Starship Troopers RPG).
I might stir a hornets' nest here but d20 system is hardly ideal for most genres and JD is unfortunately one of them. Note, this is just an opinion from someone who has very much tried to like d20 system but has yet to run a single session using any variation of it (although there are many great games using that system). But if you like the system you can make the game a bit more lethal by lowering Massive Damage Threshold to 20 or to Constitution attribute. In original rules (D&D) MDT is 50. Mongoose has done this in Conan and I have seen the other option in Thieves' World by Green Ronin.