Additional Combat Rules

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Metis Metis's picture
Additional Combat Rules

As it stands, combat in EP seems to heavily favor ranged combat over melee. There is the obvious, very large benefit of being able to strike someone far away, but there is also the bonus you get for aiming your shot, the increased damage ranged attacks receive, the bonus for firing from point blank range, the fact that the penalty from firing in melee combat can be negated with a quick action move, the increased benefit of dual wielding compared to melee, etc.

As it stands, there is no mechanical benefit to using melee weapons. So, here are a few ideas I have rolling around for helping to level the playing field somewhat to encourage more diverse characters and combats.

1. Those using a melee weapon, unarmed, or a light ranged weapon--eg, a pistol--receive their full Fray bonus against ranged attacks.

2. Introduce gear that is particularly effective versus ranged weapons. Force fields are a classic. Something like an emp that bounces away metal bullets. Portable cover, like a grenade that explodes into a thick foam wall.

3. Larger weapons have penalties. As it stands, firing a sniper rifle feels like the character is inside a first person shooter moreso than a breathing world. Such a weapon shouldn't be inherently superior for all run and gun tactics. Instead, a weapon like that should inflict some major penalties unless you're using it from at least medium range along with something to steady your aim.

4. Ranged attacks suffer a -30 penalty if the attacker is in melee range. That's good. Ranged attackers can walk away into pointblank range as a quick action, receiving a +10 bonus for point blank range, +10 for reach if the defender is unarmed or using a small weapon, and another +10 for using a smartlink or laser sight. Which means that, IN CLOSE QUARTERS COMBAT, someone with a large, unwieldy rifle is going to have an inherent +30 bonus against someone using a knife or shock gloves. That's terrible. In addition to revamping the modifiers, make melee combat stickier. If someone is in your face, they aren't going to idly sit by while you take ten steps back and fire. Represent this as an opposed test. Moving out of melee range is a quick action, with the person trying to escape rolling Fray/Freerunning vs the others Melee skill. Using something like a rifle inflicts a penalty, and you can gain a bonus if you make it a complex action instead of a quick action. If you fail, you not only don't go anywhere, but you take a free hit from the person you were trying to get away from.

Tearlach Tearlach's picture
Hull breach.

Hull breach.

Cardul Cardul's picture
Yeah... "Hello...I am a

Yeah...



"Hello...I am a Bouncer, I can survive in vacuum for a few

precious moments...You, sir, cannot. I really do not care about

all that dodging you are doing, because I am not shooting at you.

By the way, I have already put a nano-virus on your vac-suit, so it

will not be deploying...Now...Suck Hard Vaccuum!!"

Admini Admini's picture
"Hello...I am a Bouncer, I


"Hello...I am a Bouncer, I can survive in vacuum for a few precious moments...You, sir, cannot. I really do not care about all that dodging you are doing, bec---" BANG

"You should know better than to monologue. N00b."

ThinkWriteMute ThinkWriteMute's picture
This is because Melee stopped

This is because Melee stopped being a useful tactic in ballistic warfare in the 1700s.

Also it is far easier to displace large surface area kinetic impact.

Melee weapons are smart in specific applications. I don't think they need to be made stronger just to keep pace with Ranged weapons, Ranged weapons are better, this is the point.

Metis Metis's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

[quote=ThinkWriteMute]This is because Melee stopped being a useful tactic in ballistic warfare in the 1700s.

Also it is far easier to displace large surface area kinetic impact.

Melee weapons are smart in specific applications. I don't think they need to be made stronger just to keep pace with Ranged weapons, Ranged weapons are better, this is the point.[/quote]

And yet we still enjoy martial arts movies. Despite the fact that guns are deadlier than punches, people still like the idea of a guy dropping into a room full of mooks and smashing their heads together. Such a character does not work in eclipse phase, despite all the melee weapons they bothered to add to the game.

The fact that there is no grappling and that ranged attacks cut defense in half alone would make melee weapons suck. As it is, their only purpose is for when the GM takes away your guns or when he wants to send really pathetic mooks at you.

Backgammon Backgammon's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

Melee's main advantage is that it is discreet and requires few resources (other than arduous training, or a good skillchip).

Resources are not an issue, so that makes half the reason out the window.

Discretion can still be useful. However, it is perfectly legal to go just about anywhere with basic, low-powered weaponry, so you can be discreet while still packing a punch.

So yeah, melee is a last resort thing. You can argue it's cool, but the massive counter argument is that it wouldn'T make sense for melee to be strong. So no, EP does not need better melee weapons or rules.

Tearlach Tearlach's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

Subdual, page 204. You'll find your grappling there.

Metis Metis's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

In that case, the book should make it clear that melee combat is inferior. As it's presented, with the various melee weapons, it's almost like they're trying to present it as a somewhat viable option for characters.

Young Freud Young Freud's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

Tearlach wrote:
Subdual, page 204. You'll find your grappling there.

Exactly. Only good that Unarmed Combat skill is in ranged combat. Close in quickly enough and you can take their gun away or prevent them from bringing it to bear.

Karri Karri's picture
Re: "Hello...I am a Bouncer, I

Admini wrote:

"You should know better than to mon--"
Boom. Never give the other side tips. Sometimes they listen.

Err, I mean. Yeah, that combat thing. I could see some rules regarding the use of ranged weapons in close combat.
Despite what someone said, melee weapons have their place. They proved pretty useful in the trenches of WW1, in Vietnam tunnels, and there's still a fairly big psychological factor (I recall reading a relatively recent article about US troops that mounted bayonets and fought off numerically superior insurgents, but I'm too lazy to really look). I can see them working in the confines of certain ships, places you REALLY don't want overpenetration, and probably several other situations.
All good reasons that you might want the sniper rifle, disturbingly perfect all around weapon that it apparently is, to take a penalty when someone with a knife jumps the wielder. Plus, it gives people a reason to pick pistols and SMGs, that aren't nearly as unwieldy.

Additionally, what about that armor? It seems so... all over the place. Reapers have decent basic armor, for example, but despite them being ultimate badasses (give or take), their armor doesn't layer. A problem powered armor seems to suffer from too. Or perhaps those were the intended power level for all armor, and layering of generic armor turned out to be a little too awesome. Either way, some clarification on all that.

And, armor damage. It seems pretty obvious that it was meant to be included, but was cut for some reason. There's even an armor mod that allows armor to repair itself... although it's currently pretty useless, except when dealing with story-convenient damage.
I actually think armor damage actually saves the whole layering thing. Currently it isn't THAT hard to suit up to the point where you can expect to shrug off most attacks. That'd be much less of a problem if the players couldn't expect to stand nearly as well against the next hit. It could even be a way to encourage some extra thought when choosing armor, if, say, stronger armor was harder to damage than light armor. For example, a 16 point armor might not protect as well as a 12 point armor layered with a 6 point armor, but a player might consider the 16 point armor if it could take a beating.

Or you know, something like that.

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Re: Additional Combat Rules

I don't see any reason to make melee weapons as powerful as ranged weapons. That is like insisting pistol be as powerful as rifles.

The main thing I see needed is to balance ranged weapons - there seem to be little reason for SMGs and ARs.

What I do is introduce Cumbersome Weapons Ratings. Weapons with a CWR applies this as a modifier to Initiative rolls, unless the weapon is properly braced (lying prone, weapon resting on a low wall, etc.). In confined spaces, like melee combat, firing from inside a small vehicle, or leaning out of a window, the GM can choose to apply the CWR as a modifier to the attack.

SMG and smaller: 0 CWR
Automatic rifle sized: -20 CWR
Sniper rifle/machine gun sized and larger: -40 CWR

This puts SMGs back in the game for room clearing and such, snipers and MGs still rule protracted battles, and ARs cover the middle ground.

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Additional Combat Rules

Smokeskin wrote:

What I do is introduce Cumbersome Weapons Ratings.

This, but I would have it as "Cumbersome Gear Ratings" & have it applied at other gear too.

this penalty would also affect movement, combat actions & various other actions.

Ever tried performing tasks while also carrying something cumbersome? Carrying a backpack is quite a burden, in more ways than the weight of its load.



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Additional Combat Rules

Smokeskin wrote:
I don't see any reason to make melee weapons as powerful as ranged weapons. That is like insisting pistol be as powerful as rifles.

The main thing I see needed is to balance ranged weapons - there seem to be little reason for SMGs and ARs.

What I do is introduce Cumbersome Weapons Ratings. Weapons with a CWR applies this as a modifier to Initiative rolls, unless the weapon is properly braced (lying prone, weapon resting on a low wall, etc.). In confined spaces, like melee combat, firing from inside a small vehicle, or leaning out of a window, the GM can choose to apply the CWR as a modifier to the attack.

SMG and smaller: 0 CWR
Automatic rifle sized: -20 CWR
Sniper rifle/machine gun sized and larger: -40 CWR

This puts SMGs back in the game for room clearing and such, snipers and MGs still rule protracted battles, and ARs cover the middle ground.

I find their function to be more logical for other purposes. SMGs are relatively small weapons, and can be used one-handed (at least that's what I infer from the book), making them the largest weapons of that class. Much easier to pack SMGs than to try and dual-wield assault rifles.

As for assault rifles, they have a bit more finesse than machine guns. They deal the same amount of damage on a per-round basis, so the only real tradeoff is ammo count for the option for semi-automatic fire. Thanks to this, you can make an assault rifle's ammo last longer than a machine gun, and that is a definite perk.

There's also one other factor you may not have considered: cost. Assault rifles and SMGs are just plain cheaper than sniper rifles and machine guns. That might not seem much, but as someone who lives in a country where military issue is often decided solely by the price point, I know that it can mean something.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

Metis wrote:
In that case, the book should make it clear that melee combat is inferior. As it's presented, with the various melee weapons, it's almost like they're trying to present it as a somewhat viable option for characters.

Melee is a viable option, depending on the context. Stealth missions all but require melee weapons, as do all other situations which require subtlety. Try killing someone in the middle of the street with a gun, and trust me when I say you'll gather way too much attention. Not to mention that melee combat is all but essential to asyncs.

There are plenty of situations where melee will be useful, but you just have to remember which ones. When a full-on brawl breaks out, and subtlety flies out the window, don't bring a knife to the gunfight... plain and simple.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

Or bring a knife to such a gunfight brawl ( and bulletproof armor)

Quote:
Creedy: Bollocks. Whatcha gonna do, huh? We're swept this place - You've got nothing. Nothing but your bloody knives, and your fancy karate gimmicks... we have *guns* !

V: - Now, what you have are *bullets*, and the hopes that when your guns are empty, I'm no longer standing, because if I am... you'll all be dead before you'll reloaded.

V for Vendetta

Non motorized Melee weapons big strength( to name some) is that they are reliable, reusable, dont run out of ammo, have less chance of accidentally rupturing atmospheric containment and doesn't give a awkward propulsion in low gravity.

Quote:
"Any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed"

Lieutenant Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Jack" Churchill



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

King Shere wrote:
Or bring a knife to such a gunfight brawl ( and bulletproof armor)

I doubt that V would have made that speech if he were up against a transhuman who could move three times faster than a normal human and had smart weapons with guided rounds in them. Besides, if you have armor capable of standing up against railgun rounds, then the guy with the knife is anything but a threat. :D

King Shere wrote:
Non motorized Melee weapons big strength( to name some) is that they are reliable, reusable, dont run out of ammo, have less chance of accidentally rupturing atmospheric containment and doesn't give a awkward propulsion in low gravity.

Yeah, but there are issues there. A melee weapon can be disarmed at melee range much easier than a gun can be disarmed at gun range. In melee combat, the guy without a weapon is still a threat, while you've pretty much got all the control if your opponent doesn't have a ranged weapon at range. In the end, combat follows one important adage: the guy with the advantage will win. Knowing when your melee weapon is the advantage you need is the key to using it victoriously.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

Decivre wrote:
I doubt that V would have made that speech if he were up against a transhuman who could move three times faster than a normal human and had smart weapons with guided rounds in them. Besides, if you have armor capable of standing up against railgun rounds, then the guy with the knife is anything but a threat. :D

Yes, I doubt V would have had the same (suicidal) tactic & speech against such a foe. Though he came across as something transhuman himself.

As for the railgun armor & no threatening knife- perhaps -Unless its "that" dune armor. Generally speaking, Body armor is designed to stop projectiles, not bladed weapons. There are different grades of body armor, as well. Better grades are heavier and restrict movement more, but all could be penetrated by a blade if the assailant were so inclined.

As for taking down foes, atmospheric containment areas. seems to be the "most common" environment in EP. Thus stunning weapons, Melee, gas, poison & micromachine/nanomachines would both be much "safer" & effective than firearms. Flamethrowers, plasma weapons, explosives and grenades, effective & destructive (unsafe)

-edited away some silly stuff



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

King Shere wrote:
Yes, I doubt V would have had the same (suicidal) tactic & speech against such a foe. Though he came across as something transhuman himself.

As for the railgun armor & no threatening knife- perhaps -Unless its "that" dune armor. Generally speaking, Body armor is designed to stop projectiles, not bladed weapons. There are different grades of body armor, as well. Better grades are heavier and restrict movement more, but all could be penetrated by a blade if the assailant were so inclined.

As for taking down foes, atmospheric containment areas. seems to be the "most common" environment in EP. Thus stunning weapons, Melee, gas, poison & micromachine/nanomachines would both be much "safer" & effective than firearms. Flamethrowers, plasma weapons, explosives and grenades, effective & destructive (unsafe)

-edited away some silly stuff

The descriptive text of the plasmaburst grenade/seeker seems to imply that energy weapons which don't produce explosive force are relatively safe for use inside habitats (as the plasmaburst was designed for). Plus, there are plenty of ammo options which would be safe inside a vacuum sealed habitat: plastic rounds in a sniper rifle or machine gun can be very brutal, even if they aren't as potent as their lethal counterparts. The freezer spray gun would also be pretty damn handy even in a ship. There are plenty of weapon options for use inside a ship that don't require the use of melee combat.

Besides, you might also want to take into context the actual strength of the ship's hull when deciding what weapon to use. The minimal armor for a ship seems to be about 15, so any weapon that does that or less damage per shot should be generally safe for use in said ship. In fact, that seems to me a great incentive to invest in pistols rather than the much larger firearms that exist.

As for me? I'm the sort who believes in using the beefiest weapon he can... and the sturdiest vacsuit to boot.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: This is because Melee stopped

I m the sort to go to great length to avoiding becoming a target, preferring diplomacy, range & air-strikes. "nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.".



"To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult."
Plutarch