Board index » Across the Megaverse® » G.M.s Forum

 


Post new topic Reply to topic
Author Message
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2022 5:10 am
  

User avatar
Megaversal® Ambassador

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:23 am
Posts: 4214
Location: Houston, TX
Comment: "I will not be silenced. I will not submit. I will find the truth and shout it to the world. "
In most Palladium games dating back to at least Robotech 1e and TMNT the Sniper skill is an espionage skill that simply adds a +2 to strike to an aimed shot for single shot weapons only. All this for the cost of one scholastic skill. As a result, I don't think I have had a player select this skill for a player, nor have I given it to a convention pre-gen, in 30 years. The only PCs with this skill in my games had it as part of OCC/MOS/skill package without them choosing it.

I think the greatest failure of this skill is the lack of a skill for Sniping. A percentage skill that allows the PC or NPC to locate a suitable sniper position that could avoid obstacles, avoid detection, and even avoid collateral damage. This would be a skill that could be used for counter-sniping as well allowing a person trying to combat an active sniper or secure an area against the threat of a sniper.

What I am thinking about, and I am doing this for Heroes Unlimited but would probably add it to Rifts, is the following.

Available as both an Espionage and Military skill

Sniper skill 30% +5% per level (OCC/skill package bonuses would apply so if one were not stated the bonus would be the same as any comparable Espionage or Military skill)

Bonus to Camouflage skill of +20%, applies only to creating a Sniper/observation perch big enough for 1 or 2 people and only if the spot was selected using a successful Sniper skill roll

Additional +1 to aimed or called shot at level 1 with an additional +1 at levels 4 and 8
An additional +2 can be added from an appropriately skilled and equipped spotter. This means if you as a shooter have a +2 and you have a spotter you get a +4 to strike, along with the +2 from aimed shot. The spotter must be using his actions as a spotter though and cannot be attacking on his own.

So any feedback on my house modification for this skill would be appreciated as well as if any of you have used your own house skill for this.

_________________
Northern Gun Chief of Robotics
Designer of NG-X40 Storm Hammer Power Armor & NG-HC1000 Dragonfly Hover Chopper
Big game hunter, explorer extra ordinaire and expert on the Aegis Buffalo
Ultimate Insider for WB 32: Lemuria, WB 33: Northern Gun 1, WB 34: Northern Gun 2
Showdown Backer Robotech RPG Tactics
Benefactor Insider Rifts Bestiary: Vol 1, Rifts Bestiary: Vol 2


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2022 2:11 pm
  

User avatar
Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:49 pm
Posts: 305
Ranged weapons to-hit bonuses are stupid rare.

Since PP doesn't apply, you get the +3 from skill, maybe a +1 or +2 from equipment and optics, and that's about it without specialized bonuses.

The difference is, hitting a 14 called shot with a Wilks (+1) is 50/50 without sniper, and 60/40 with it.


In my opinion, the sniper skill is just fine as is.

_________________
Palladium Books® Games Q. & A.

Games F.A.Q. Archive


Some of you may die, but that's the sacrifice they're willing to make.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2022 11:28 pm
  

User avatar
Champion

Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 7:48 pm
Posts: 2773
Location: Boise, ID (US)
Warshield73 wrote:
In most Palladium games dating back to at least Robotech 1e and TMNT the Sniper skill is an espionage skill that simply adds a +2 to strike to an aimed shot for single shot weapons only. All this for the cost of one scholastic skill. As a result, I don't think I have had a player select this skill for a player, nor have I given it to a convention pre-gen, in 30 years. The only PCs with this skill in my games had it as part of OCC/MOS/skill package without them choosing it.

Greetings and Salutations. While I think it could be better, I'll say I've selected Sniper as a skill for certain characters, and have had players select it for theirs. In my experience, it's really want we want done for the character. But that's just my personal experience, and that has no bearing on how it feels for you or your group.

Warshield73 wrote:
So any feedback on my house modification for this skill would be appreciated as well as if any of you have used your own house skill for this.

Since you asked for feedback, I'll do my best to provide as much constructive criticism as I can. I'll put on my game designer hat, as I believe those are traits that help with better refining new rules and skills. This is not to nitpick, but to point out potential issues to improve, or holes in the rules to be exploited and addressed first.

Warshield73 wrote:
I think the greatest failure of this skill is the lack of a skill for Sniping. A percentage skill that allows the PC or NPC to locate a suitable sniper position that could avoid obstacles, avoid detection, and even avoid collateral damage. This would be a skill that could be used for counter-sniping as well allowing a person trying to combat an active sniper or secure an area against the threat of a sniper.

Well, let me say that the Sniper skill is more appropriately a Marksman skill. The skill does NOT cover everything a Sniper can do, but a sniper is more than just a single skill. As some would say, it's more of its own O.C.C. I recall jaymz made such an O.C.C. in the past, and can be found here: https://worldofjaymz.fandom.com/wiki/Sniper

For example, a lot of what you want the skill to do should already fall under Detect Ambush (sniper is effectively a type of ambush, and the skill isn't necessarily seeing an ambush about to happen, but noticing spots that are good for one), Camouflage, and Detect Concealment (the counter to camouflage). So while I like skills to have % instead of simply combat bonuses, I'm NOT a fan of skill bloat when existing skills already fill that role and/or making one super skill that could replace multiple skills.

What I am thinking about, and I am doing this for Heroes Unlimited but would probably add it to Rifts, is the following.

Warshield73 wrote:
Bonus to Camouflage skill of +20%, applies only to creating a Sniper/observation perch big enough for 1 or 2 people and only if the spot was selected using a successful Sniper skill roll

That's an insanely high synergy bonus! Palladium bonuses from other skills tend to be 5% or lower. And you might be thinking: "But this has only limited application, so the bonus isn't that bad." Except, it is. I'll give Hunting as an example. This is a skill that exists solely to provide bonuses to other skills. It has no inherent abilities of its own. Yet, it's highest bonus is +10 to cooking game animals only, a very specialized aspect to the skill. Again, this is a skill that exists solely to provide bonuses to other skills, and it's highest bonus to a very specialized aspect of a single skill is half of what you have here ... on a skill that (as designed now) has its own bonuses as well as fair overlap with other skills.

Warshield73 wrote:
Additional +1 to aimed or called shot at level 1 with an additional +1 at levels 4 and 8

This makes it weaker at lower levels while superior at higher levels. I have no strong feelings on this particular change. Though I'm not sure how I feel about the "or" called shot, as it indicates snipers will be inherently better at unaimed shots as well. But this isn't a deal breaker for me.

Warshield73 wrote:
An additional +2 can be added from an appropriately skilled and equipped spotter. This means if you as a shooter have a +2 and you have a spotter you get a +4 to strike, along with the +2 from aimed shot. The spotter must be using his actions as a spotter though and cannot be attacking on his own.

I'm not opposed to the concept, as I like encouraging players to work together, but I find the current execution lacking. Primarily, this adds a new game mechanic without adding the game mechanic to make it work. You mention a spotter with the skills and equipment ... without mentioning what that is, or creating the new skill or what equipment is appropriate. You can add a new skill if you really want (though, as I stated earlier, I'm opposed to skill bloat when not needed), or expand greatly on it. Overall though, while this is something I can appreciate in concept, I would probably cut from a game design stand point.

Hope some of that helps. Farewell and safe journeys.

_________________
Living the Fantasy (fan website)

Rifter #45; Of Bows & Arrows (Archery; expanding rules and abilities)
Rifter #52; From Ruins to Runes (Living Rune Weapons; playable characters and NPC)
Rifter #55; Home Away From Home (Quorian Culture; expanded from PF Book 9: Baalgor Wastelands)

Official PDF versions of Rifter #45, #52, and #55 can be found at DriveThruRPG.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2022 6:39 am
  

User avatar
Priest

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 2:01 am
Posts: 30929
Location: In the ocean, punching oncoming waves
Comment: "Your Eloquence with a sledge hammer is a beautiful thing..." -Zer0 Kay
Warshield73 wrote:
In most Palladium games dating back to at least Robotech 1e and TMNT the Sniper skill is an espionage skill that simply adds a +2 to strike to an aimed shot for single shot weapons only. All this for the cost of one scholastic skill. As a result, I don't think I have had a player select this skill for a player, nor have I given it to a convention pre-gen, in 30 years. The only PCs with this skill in my games had it as part of OCC/MOS/skill package without them choosing it.


The base for aimed shots was +3, so a +2 bonus nearly doubles that.
Virtually all of my characters who could access the skill took it.

But I agree the skill is flawed.

Quote:
I think the greatest failure of this skill is the lack of a skill for Sniping. A percentage skill that allows the PC or NPC to locate a suitable sniper position that could avoid obstacles, avoid detection, and even avoid collateral damage. This would be a skill that could be used for counter-sniping as well allowing a person trying to combat an active sniper or secure an area against the threat of a sniper.


Detect Ambush already covers finding a good sniper position, but it doesn't cover avoiding collateral damage.
That would be covered by requiring a Called Shot, although I could see utility in giving a percent change for this in order to flesh things out a bit more.

Quote:
What I am thinking about, and I am doing this for Heroes Unlimited but would probably add it to Rifts, is the following.

Available as both an Espionage and Military skill

Sniper skill 30% +5% per level (OCC/skill package bonuses would apply so if one were not stated the bonus would be the same as any comparable Espionage or Military skill)

Bonus to Camouflage skill of +20%, applies only to creating a Sniper/observation perch big enough for 1 or 2 people and only if the spot was selected using a successful Sniper skill roll

Additional +1 to aimed or called shot at level 1 with an additional +1 at levels 4 and 8
An additional +2 can be added from an appropriately skilled and equipped spotter. This means if you as a shooter have a +2 and you have a spotter you get a +4 to strike, along with the +2 from aimed shot. The spotter must be using his actions as a spotter though and cannot be attacking on his own.

So any feedback on my house modification for this skill would be appreciated as well as if any of you have used your own house skill for this.


There's not much difference between sniping and hunting many kinds of game; camouflage of various sorts, finding a good position, long-distance shooting adjustments, etc.
You might consider making it a Wilderness skill as well.

You could probably skip the percentage, replacing it with a bonus to Detect Ambush. The strike bonus would already help with Called Shots, as mentioned.
You might think of it more like the Hunting skill, which offers no specific percentage, but has bonuses for multiple other skills.

I like the bonus for having a spotter. :ok:
What would qualify somebody to be a spotter in this regard? I don't think it should be just anybody with binoculars or whatever.

In my own games, I've played with various ideas of improving the skill, specifically:
1. Making the +2 bonus a natural +2 bonus, so it counts toward critical hits. A standard character crits on nat 20, and a sniper could crit on a natural 18+ because of the bonus. If he had the right rifle, like the one from Dinosaur Swamps, he could lower that further to critting on a nat 16+.
Most people want snipers to have uber-powerful weapons, but I think the skill of deadly sharpshooting is better represented by allowing easier crits. Real-world snipers tend to use standard hunting or combat calibers, after all.
or
2. There's a power in Ninjas & Superspies called "one life, one shot, one hit, one kill" or something like that. The gist is that your character can spend attacks aiming in order to gain strike bonuses, AND the shot crits on a modified 20+.
So if a sniper with that power aims for 5 rounds, he gets +5 to strike (in addition to other bonuses). On an aimed shot he'd be +8, and with a targeting sight he'd be +9 or better, giving him nearly a 50/50 shot at critting. Better, if he spends more time aiming.
For the Sniper skill, I'd modify that a bit.
Scrapping the +2 to strike from the original version of the skill, I'd give +1 per attack/action aiming (or calculating windage, etc.) with the character's level as a maximum. So in order to spend 5 attacks to get a +5 strike bonus, you'd have to be 5th level or higher. At first level, you could only get a +1 bonus this way.
But as with the N&S power, I'd allow the modified strike roll to count for crits; anything 20 or higher does double damage (if it hits, etc.).

_________________
Annual Best Poster of the Year Awards (2012)

"That rifle on the wall of the laborer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." -George Orwell

Check out my Author Page on Amazon!


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2022 7:36 am
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 8:59 pm
Posts: 4095
Location: Ohio
Warshield73 wrote:
So any feedback on my house modification for this skill would be appreciated as well as if any of you have used your own house skill for this.


I don't have it handy, but you might want to also check out Rifter #23, CS Target Acquisitions Group, which covers CS snipers.

As to what you have here, I've certainly seen more than a few select the skill. The Camouflage bonus I might lower, as I think any OCC that would select the sniper skill would also select that skill, and they are likely to have a bonus to it already.



Actually I wonder if a "Sniper" Advanced Training would be appropriate. I think there is a "Marksman" AT available?

The AT's are found here if not familiar -
https://palladium-store.com/1001/produc ... anity.html


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2022 6:53 am
  

User avatar
Megaversal® Ambassador

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:23 am
Posts: 4214
Location: Houston, TX
Comment: "I will not be silenced. I will not submit. I will find the truth and shout it to the world. "
Thank you for the input everyone, it is a lot easier on me when the people on the forums poke holes in my ideas before players do.

ITWastrel wrote:
Ranged weapons to-hit bonuses are stupid rare.

Since PP doesn't apply, you get the +3 from skill, maybe a +1 or +2 from equipment and optics, and that's about it without specialized bonuses.

The difference is, hitting a 14 called shot with a Wilks (+1) is 50/50 without sniper, and 60/40 with it.

In my opinion, the sniper skill is just fine as is.

I do understand this, like I said this is mostly about players never taking the skill or using it and as it specifically says it can only be used for aimed and called shots, with the rules for those being even more restrictive than sniper itself, it just seems to never get used. I do have a few Robotech 2e pre-gens that have the skill but I have found it is difficult for players to understand how to use it and in games with regular players they never do.

Also, with the introduction of Sharp Shooting in New West almost every player that wanted to improve weapons combat took that instead of sniper. But I understand why most people would say it is OK as I have not given it more than 2 or 3 minutes of thought in the last 35 years of playing PB games.

Prysus wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
So any feedback on my house modification for this skill would be appreciated as well as if any of you have used your own house skill for this.

Since you asked for feedback, I'll do my best to provide as much constructive criticism as I can. I'll put on my game designer hat, as I believe those are traits that help with better refining new rules and skills. This is not to nitpick, but to point out potential issues to improve, or holes in the rules to be exploited and addressed first.

I asked for it so thank you for looking it over.

Prysus wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I think the greatest failure of this skill is the lack of a skill for Sniping. A percentage skill that allows the PC or NPC to locate a suitable sniper position that could avoid obstacles, avoid detection, and even avoid collateral damage. This would be a skill that could be used for counter-sniping as well allowing a person trying to combat an active sniper or secure an area against the threat of a sniper.

Well, let me say that the Sniper skill is more appropriately a Marksman skill. The skill does NOT cover everything a Sniper can do, but a sniper is more than just a single skill. As some would say, it's more of its own O.C.C. I recall jaymz made such an O.C.C. in the past, and can be found here: https://worldofjaymz.fandom.com/wiki/Sniper

For example, a lot of what you want the skill to do should already fall under Detect Ambush (sniper is effectively a type of ambush, and the skill isn't necessarily seeing an ambush about to happen, but noticing spots that are good for one), Camouflage, and Detect Concealment (the counter to camouflage). So while I like skills to have % instead of simply combat bonuses, I'm NOT a fan of skill bloat when existing skills already fill that role and/or making one super skill that could replace multiple skills.


I have seen jaymz OCC before, and one of my versions of a modified sniper skill is just adding a few items from his OCC like penalty reductions and range increases. But that skill is easy and won't really unbalance a game at all so I saw no reason to ask for input on it.

As for making it a super skill I more wanted to make it an actual skill that advances in some way. Sniper is one of the very few skills, the others being physical skills and hunting, that do not advance and I was looking for a way to make an experienced sniper a little more deadly than a level one without breaking the combat system.

Technically right now a sniper would need Detect Ambush to find a spot to snipe from (this is not specifically stated in the description, but I agree with all of you that it is implied), Detect Concealment to make the perch (the description says it "confers the ability to construct unobtrusive shelters), and probably Camouflage to make the unobtrusive shelter even more hard to find.

I already add a ton of skills to my games to I am trying to reduce the number and am trying to modify or add to existing skills rather than add new ones. As for super skills, I tried to make the description of the abilities for this as limited as possible but you have a good point.

Prysus wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Bonus to Camouflage skill of +20%, applies only to creating a Sniper/observation perch big enough for 1 or 2 people and only if the spot was selected using a successful Sniper skill roll

That's an insanely high synergy bonus! Palladium bonuses from other skills tend to be 5% or lower. And you might be thinking: "But this has only limited application, so the bonus isn't that bad." Except, it is. I'll give Hunting as an example. This is a skill that exists solely to provide bonuses to other skills. It has no inherent abilities of its own. Yet, it's highest bonus is +10 to cooking game animals only, a very specialized aspect to the skill. Again, this is a skill that exists solely to provide bonuses to other skills, and it's highest bonus to a very specialized aspect of a single skill is half of what you have here ... on a skill that (as designed now) has its own bonuses as well as fair overlap with other skills.

You are correct here, I was looking at skills like Forgery, Impersonation and even Field Armorer which all add +10% to a skill as well as having skill percentages of their own. But I had already adjusted it down to 7% in my revision after I posted this. I was more thinking about the limited utility of it and the low starting percentage of the skill, but you are correct way too high.

Prysus wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Additional +1 to aimed or called shot at level 1 with an additional +1 at levels 4 and 8

This makes it weaker at lower levels while superior at higher levels. I have no strong feelings on this particular change. Though I'm not sure how I feel about the "or" called shot, as it indicates snipers will be inherently better at unaimed shots as well. But this isn't a deal breaker for me.

This is the aspect I am almost certain to keep, I will even probably add an additional +1 at level 12, as this accomplishes my major goal of having this skill advance in some way.

The called shot thing is directly from the wording of the skill
Rifts Ultimate Edition, Pg. 309 wrote:
Sniper. This skill represents special training in long-range shooting and marksmanship. Only weapons that can be made to fire a single round or blast can be used for sniping; no automatic burst firing. Acceptable weapons include bow and arrows, crossbows, bolt-action rifles, and energy rifles capable of switching from bursts or pulse attacks to a single shot. Bonus: +2 to strike on a Called or Aimed Shot only.

I am certain it is refering to an aimed shot (2 attacks) and an "aimed called shot" (3 attacks)

Prysus wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
An additional +2 can be added from an appropriately skilled and equipped spotter. This means if you as a shooter have a +2 and you have a spotter you get a +4 to strike, along with the +2 from aimed shot. The spotter must be using his actions as a spotter though and cannot be attacking on his own.

I'm not opposed to the concept, as I like encouraging players to work together, but I find the current execution lacking. Primarily, this adds a new game mechanic without adding the game mechanic to make it work. You mention a spotter with the skills and equipment ... without mentioning what that is, or creating the new skill or what equipment is appropriate. You can add a new skill if you really want (though, as I stated earlier, I'm opposed to skill bloat when not needed), or expand greatly on it. Overall though, while this is something I can appreciate in concept, I would probably cut from a game design stand point.

At the time I was just referring to them having the sniper skill and I was not sure what the equipment would be as it would probably differ from setting to setting.

Right now I am leaning towards a set of simple bonuses (probably a +1 to strike and a bonus to range) for a partner with either read sensor equipment or optic systems with a device that can provide accurate range, speed of target and windage when using projectile weapons.

Prysus wrote:
Hope some of that helps. Farewell and safe journeys.

It does and thank you.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
The base for aimed shots was +3, so a +2 bonus nearly doubles that.
Virtually all of my characters who could access the skill took it.

But I agree the skill is flawed.

I think what has always stopped my characters from using it is how rarely they use an aimed shot (as it takes 2 or 3 attacks during which time you cannot defend yourself without losing the attacks you put into it) and that it never advances. All WPs have increasing bonuses, as does sharpshooting, so it just falls flat.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Detect Ambush already covers finding a good sniper position, but it doesn't cover avoiding collateral damage.
That would be covered by requiring a Called Shot, although I could see utility in giving a percent change for this in order to flesh things out a bit more.

Detect ambush is not specific about this but I agree it is the skill most likely to apply here. Truthfully the percentage skill aspect is the thing I am least attached to and am already leaning towards getting rid of.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
There's not much difference between sniping and hunting many kinds of game; camouflage of various sorts, finding a good position, long-distance shooting adjustments, etc.
You might consider making it a Wilderness skill as well.

You could probably skip the percentage, replacing it with a bonus to Detect Ambush. The strike bonus would already help with Called Shots, as mentioned.
You might think of it more like the Hunting skill, which offers no specific percentage, but has bonuses for multiple other skills.

I like the bonus for having a spotter. :ok:
What would qualify somebody to be a spotter in this regard? I don't think it should be just anybody with binoculars or whatever.

I am leaning towards calling this "Marksmanship/Sniper" and applying it to Espionage, Military and Wilderness but that all depends on how the skill comes out. I already allow camouflage and Detect concealment as wilderness skills as well as combing and modifying tracking humans and animals into one skill and creating/detecting traps into one skill and applying to both military and wilderness so this would just be one more.

I like the hunting skill analogy and truthfully that is the direction I am heading with bonuses to Detect Ambush, Detect Concealment, and Camouflage of maybe 4% or 5% each.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
In my own games, I've played with various ideas of improving the skill, specifically:
1. Making the +2 bonus a natural +2 bonus, so it counts toward critical hits. A standard character crits on nat 20, and a sniper could crit on a natural 18+ because of the bonus. If he had the right rifle, like the one from Dinosaur Swamps, he could lower that further to critting on a nat 16+.
Most people want snipers to have uber-powerful weapons, but I think the skill of deadly sharpshooting is better represented by allowing easier crits. Real-world snipers tend to use standard hunting or combat calibers, after all.

I actually like this idea a lot and truthfully it might be an easier game mechanic than a range bonus or reducing penalties for target speed and size.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
2. There's a power in Ninjas & Superspies called "one life, one shot, one hit, one kill" or something like that. The gist is that your character can spend attacks aiming in order to gain strike bonuses, AND the shot crits on a modified 20+.
So if a sniper with that power aims for 5 rounds, he gets +5 to strike (in addition to other bonuses). On an aimed shot he'd be +8, and with a targeting sight he'd be +9 or better, giving him nearly a 50/50 shot at critting. Better, if he spends more time aiming.
For the Sniper skill, I'd modify that a bit.
Scrapping the +2 to strike from the original version of the skill, I'd give +1 per attack/action aiming (or calculating windage, etc.) with the character's level as a maximum. So in order to spend 5 attacks to get a +5 strike bonus, you'd have to be 5th level or higher. At first level, you could only get a +1 bonus this way.
But as with the N&S power, I'd allow the modified strike roll to count for crits; anything 20 or higher does double damage (if it hits, etc.).

I am less inclined in this direction as, while it adds a lot of realism, would be difficult for a player to really use in combat which rarely goes more than 2 rounds or 6 to 8 attacks for the average player. Still might have to look at it.

Dustin Fireblade wrote:
I don't have it handy, but you might want to also check out Rifter #23, CS Target Acquisitions Group, which covers CS snipers.

Actually I wonder if a "Sniper" Advanced Training would be appropriate. I think there is a "Marksman" AT available?

The AT's are found here if not familiar -
https://palladium-store.com/1001/produc ... anity.html

TAG was the first thing I looked at when I started thinking about this. All it really has is a few skill and strike bonuses for an existing CS OCC as well as adding standard cybernetics to the character and then some basic equipment.

The Marksman AT is the second place I looked and it is really more of an extension of sharp shooting than sniper. Nothing that I really wanted for this skill.

Dustin Fireblade wrote:
As to what you have here, I've certainly seen more than a few select the skill. The Camouflage bonus I might lower, as I think any OCC that would select the sniper skill would also select that skill, and they are likely to have a bonus to it already.

That seems to be the consensus, but I just feel the skill needs some advancement or something to add on to make it worth it.

Thanks to everyone for the input, I am definitely not going to use the skill modifications I listed in the OP but I still want to do something with this skill so this will help.

_________________
Northern Gun Chief of Robotics
Designer of NG-X40 Storm Hammer Power Armor & NG-HC1000 Dragonfly Hover Chopper
Big game hunter, explorer extra ordinaire and expert on the Aegis Buffalo
Ultimate Insider for WB 32: Lemuria, WB 33: Northern Gun 1, WB 34: Northern Gun 2
Showdown Backer Robotech RPG Tactics
Benefactor Insider Rifts Bestiary: Vol 1, Rifts Bestiary: Vol 2


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2022 7:24 am
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 8:59 pm
Posts: 4095
Location: Ohio
Warshield73 wrote:

Dustin Fireblade wrote:
I don't have it handy, but you might want to also check out Rifter #23, CS Target Acquisitions Group, which covers CS snipers.

Actually I wonder if a "Sniper" Advanced Training would be appropriate. I think there is a "Marksman" AT available?

The AT's are found here if not familiar -
https://palladium-store.com/1001/produc ... anity.html

TAG was the first thing I looked at when I started thinking about this. All it really has is a few skill and strike bonuses for an existing CS OCC as well as adding standard cybernetics to the character and then some basic equipment.

The Marksman AT is the second place I looked and it is really more of an extension of sharp shooting than sniper. Nothing that I really wanted for this skill.



Sorry I meant take your concept and turn it into a "Advanced Training" package. So essentially someone would already need the sniper skill to qualify for it perhaps. Then you can add your Strike bonuses listed above and whatever extra skill's and/or skill bonuses as needed.

Combine that with I think it's the "Stealth" AT package (?) and I think you got a qualified sniper available.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2022 3:42 pm
  

User avatar
Megaversal® Ambassador

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:23 am
Posts: 4214
Location: Houston, TX
Comment: "I will not be silenced. I will not submit. I will find the truth and shout it to the world. "
Dustin Fireblade wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:

Dustin Fireblade wrote:
I don't have it handy, but you might want to also check out Rifter #23, CS Target Acquisitions Group, which covers CS snipers.

Actually I wonder if a "Sniper" Advanced Training would be appropriate. I think there is a "Marksman" AT available?

The AT's are found here if not familiar -
https://palladium-store.com/1001/produc ... anity.html

TAG was the first thing I looked at when I started thinking about this. All it really has is a few skill and strike bonuses for an existing CS OCC as well as adding standard cybernetics to the character and then some basic equipment.

The Marksman AT is the second place I looked and it is really more of an extension of sharp shooting than sniper. Nothing that I really wanted for this skill.



Sorry I meant take your concept and turn it into a "Advanced Training" package. So essentially someone would already need the sniper skill to qualify for it perhaps. Then you can add your Strike bonuses listed above and whatever extra skill's and/or skill bonuses as needed.

Combine that with I think it's the "Stealth" AT package (?) and I think you got a qualified sniper available.

I see what you are getting at but really this is past the scope of what I am trying to do. All I want to do is add to the sniper skill to make it more of a skill. Not really looking to make an entire training program. Mostly, I wanted to define the skill so players could more easily make use of it in a game.

_________________
Northern Gun Chief of Robotics
Designer of NG-X40 Storm Hammer Power Armor & NG-HC1000 Dragonfly Hover Chopper
Big game hunter, explorer extra ordinaire and expert on the Aegis Buffalo
Ultimate Insider for WB 32: Lemuria, WB 33: Northern Gun 1, WB 34: Northern Gun 2
Showdown Backer Robotech RPG Tactics
Benefactor Insider Rifts Bestiary: Vol 1, Rifts Bestiary: Vol 2


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2022 9:11 pm
  

User avatar
Monk

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 17678
Location: Eastvale, calif
Maybe the OP should write the skill up as it would appear in a skills list. So we can comment on his idea about what the "write up" would be, now that his 'ideas' have gotten some feed-back.

_________________
Answering the OP's question with the canon answer should be done First.
After that you can post your house rules....as your house rules.

May you be blessed with understanding,
and the ability to change course when you are off the mark.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2022 12:55 am
  

User avatar
Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:01 pm
Posts: 288
Location: Montana
Warshield73 wrote:
I see what you are getting at but really this is past the scope of what I am trying to do. All I want to do is add to the sniper skill to make it more of a skill. Not really looking to make an entire training program. Mostly, I wanted to define the skill so players could more easily make use of it in a game.


One thing you might consider adding is something that the Targeting skill seems to have lost along the way. In the Fantasy setting (1E anyway), the targeting weapon proficiency adds range to thrown or fired weapons (10/20 feet per level of the skill). I don't see that as part of the skill in HU2 or RUE. You might consider incorporating something like that (scaled up for firearms ranges) into your custom sniper skill to give them the ability to push range just a little farther than anyone else.

On further checking, HU 1E had the range increase with targeting, but it was only for bows and thrown weapons. So that got dropped somewhere between the 2 editions.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2022 10:15 am
  

User avatar
Palladin

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
Posts: 6854
Location: WI
Warshield73 wrote:
I think the greatest failure of this skill is the lack of a skill for Sniping. A percentage skill that allows the PC or NPC to locate a suitable sniper position that could avoid obstacles, avoid detection, and even avoid collateral damage. This would be a skill that could be used for counter-sniping as well allowing a person trying to combat an active sniper or secure an area against the threat of a sniper.

I have to wonder if this might already be covered by existing skills like Detect Ambush, since a sniper position could be considered a form of Ambush. Sure this could be covered by the Sniper Skill itself, but it primarily seems concerned with shooting by the description, so I would think expanding the shooting capabilities would be more ideal, though I'm not saying it couldn't provide synergy bonuses to other skills.

Warshield73 wrote:
Additional +1 to aimed or called shot at level 1 with an additional +1 at levels 4 and 8
An additional +2 can be added from an appropriately skilled and equipped spotter. This means if you as a shooter have a +2 and you have a spotter you get a +4 to strike, along with the +2 from aimed shot. The spotter must be using his actions as a spotter though and cannot be attacking on his own.

I think I would leave it at the flat +2 Strike on an aimed/called shot, however I could see allowing them to:
-reduce the action cost of making an aimed or called shot by 1 (this might not apply to some older settings, but in Rifts:UE these take multiple actions normally), obviously you can't reduce it to Zero (or below) action cost.
-increase the critical range (+1 per 3 or 5 levels) of an attack
-require rolling on critical hit tables for qualifying "sniper" weapons (ex. of a table I mean RUE pg353 for when Robot/PA lose to much MDC in a given location)
-reduce the Called Shot target value (applicable in older lines, IINM Rifts-UE just requires an extra action or no bonus to strike so here I would say it gives a bonus to strike on a called shot with a weapon capable of being used by the Sniper Skill)
-I don't know if I'd go for increase the range of the weapon, but I could go for reducing the "shoot beyond effective range" option's penalties to strike.
-maybe a bonus to strike a moving target (normally this incurs a penalty)
-since those behind cover require a called shot anyway that seems to be covered by above


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2022 2:16 pm
  

User avatar
Priest

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 2:01 am
Posts: 30929
Location: In the ocean, punching oncoming waves
Comment: "Your Eloquence with a sledge hammer is a beautiful thing..." -Zer0 Kay
Warshield73 wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
The base for aimed shots was +3, so a +2 bonus nearly doubles that.
Virtually all of my characters who could access the skill took it.

But I agree the skill is flawed.

I think what has always stopped my characters from using it is how rarely they use an aimed shot (as it takes 2 or 3 attacks during which time you cannot defend yourself without losing the attacks you put into it) and that it never advances. All WPs have increasing bonuses, as does sharpshooting, so it just falls flat.

Quote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
2. There's a power in Ninjas & Superspies called "one life, one shot, one hit, one kill" or something like that. The gist is that your character can spend attacks aiming in order to gain strike bonuses, AND the shot crits on a modified 20+.
So if a sniper with that power aims for 5 rounds, he gets +5 to strike (in addition to other bonuses). On an aimed shot he'd be +8, and with a targeting sight he'd be +9 or better, giving him nearly a 50/50 shot at critting. Better, if he spends more time aiming.
For the Sniper skill, I'd modify that a bit.
Scrapping the +2 to strike from the original version of the skill, I'd give +1 per attack/action aiming (or calculating windage, etc.) with the character's level as a maximum. So in order to spend 5 attacks to get a +5 strike bonus, you'd have to be 5th level or higher. At first level, you could only get a +1 bonus this way.
But as with the N&S power, I'd allow the modified strike roll to count for crits; anything 20 or higher does double damage (if it hits, etc.).

I am less inclined in this direction as, while it adds a lot of realism, would be difficult for a player to really use in combat which rarely goes more than 2 rounds or 6 to 8 attacks for the average player. Still might have to look at it.


Both of these reasonable responses have the same root: Aimed Shots are less useful in actual combat than they used to be.
Under the RMB rules, Aimed shots were the default, so bonuses to Aimed shots were quite useful and powerful, but under RUE where it takes an extra attack, not so much.
Still, sniping is not something that one typically does while in a direct firefight with the enemy, or when somebody's rushing at you with a sword; it's something best done when the other side doesn't even know you're there, and Aiming shots is still entirely useful any time you're ambushing somebody else, and you have time to aim before initiative is even rolled.
It's something that comes up before that free round of attacks you get with Surprise, with a proper ambush. You spend an attack (or with One Life/etc. you spend multiple attacks) lining up your shot, then you fire, then initiative is rolled (unless the targets are psychic or otherwise detect the ambush before it's sprung).
If you're in an adventure/campaign where the GM is constantly ambushing YOU, and not letting you perform ambushes, that's not very useful, especially if you're also denied cover and other factors that buy you the time to make important shots.
But if you're in an adventure/campaign where the PCs get to do the ambushing a decent chunk of the time--which should be the case any time one of the PCs is a sniper as their primary or even secondary specialty--it can likely still be quite valuable.
Or in situations where the enemy has a hard-to-hit weak spot, Smaug-style, one that makes it worth the time to really focus on aim.

Anyway, you might consider allowing the Sniper skill an additional bonus (or creating a new skill with this kind of bonus): allowing characters with the skill to--at least in some circumstances--take an Aimed Shot without spending an attack to aim.
I'd consider doing this kind of thing only if the sniper is specifically NOT under heavy fire or otherwise has their concentration disrupted in the same way mages can have their spells disrupted.
That way it has the most effect when the character is shooting from concealment and/or cover, and doesn't dominate the game.
If you go this route, you might nerf or simply not boost the strike bonus, and I'd definitely consider how balance might be affected for characters who can turn invisible (like Brodkil).

_________________
Annual Best Poster of the Year Awards (2012)

"That rifle on the wall of the laborer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." -George Orwell

Check out my Author Page on Amazon!


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2022 6:47 am
  

User avatar
Megaversal® Ambassador

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:23 am
Posts: 4214
Location: Houston, TX
Comment: "I will not be silenced. I will not submit. I will find the truth and shout it to the world. "
drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
Maybe the OP should write the skill up as it would appear in a skills list. So we can comment on his idea about what the "write up" would be, now that his 'ideas' have gotten some feed-back.

I am thinking on it, will probably post something in the next few days. What I originally posted was my basic idea for the new skill but after it was picked apart so effectively not sure what I want. Still hate the current skill but after that I just have too many ideas.

Maybe just do the +2 to strike with a % skill for just the location of a sniper position / counter sniping requiring detect con or camo to create it. Maybe split the plus to strike over multiple levels and just give small bonuses to detect ambush and camo. The range or penalty reduction sounds good but hard to make that something that grows over time without serious math getting involved. If I did this I would make it more of marksmanship skill and would really be just a poor man's sharpshooting skill which arguably is what sniper already is.

Kraynic wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I see what you are getting at but really this is past the scope of what I am trying to do. All I want to do is add to the sniper skill to make it more of a skill. Not really looking to make an entire training program. Mostly, I wanted to define the skill so players could more easily make use of it in a game.


One thing you might consider adding is something that the Targeting skill seems to have lost along the way. In the Fantasy setting (1E anyway), the targeting weapon proficiency adds range to thrown or fired weapons (10/20 feet per level of the skill). I don't see that as part of the skill in HU2 or RUE. You might consider incorporating something like that (scaled up for firearms ranges) into your custom sniper skill to give them the ability to push range just a little farther than anyone else.

On further checking, HU 1E had the range increase with targeting, but it was only for bows and thrown weapons. So that got dropped somewhere between the 2 editions.

I am thinking about using some of the range and reduced penalty ideas that is in the Sniper OCC by jaymz which sounds a lot like what was in this old skill but I might take a look.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I think the greatest failure of this skill is the lack of a skill for Sniping. A percentage skill that allows the PC or NPC to locate a suitable sniper position that could avoid obstacles, avoid detection, and even avoid collateral damage. This would be a skill that could be used for counter-sniping as well allowing a person trying to combat an active sniper or secure an area against the threat of a sniper.

I have to wonder if this might already be covered by existing skills like Detect Ambush, since a sniper position could be considered a form of Ambush. Sure this could be covered by the Sniper Skill itself, but it primarily seems concerned with shooting by the description, so I would think expanding the shooting capabilities would be more ideal, though I'm not saying it couldn't provide synergy bonuses to other skills.


Yeah, that has already been discussed above. Detect Ambush would probably, it doesn't explicitly say it by it is not much of a stretch, allow you to find a good sniper perch and Detect Concealment does explicitly say that you can use it to make a small, concealed area so those two skills will work. I just figured that somebody with the sniper skill should be better at finding a spot (for purposes of sniping and counter sniping) than a rando man at arms or Wilderness Scout with Detect Ambush.

Truthfully I kind of agree with the person above who said maybe the skill should have been called marksmanship instead of sniper, then I don't think it would bug me so much. Wouldn't make it any more useful but less of an issue personally.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Additional +1 to aimed or called shot at level 1 with an additional +1 at levels 4 and 8
An additional +2 can be added from an appropriately skilled and equipped spotter. This means if you as a shooter have a +2 and you have a spotter you get a +4 to strike, along with the +2 from aimed shot. The spotter must be using his actions as a spotter though and cannot be attacking on his own.

I think I would leave it at the flat +2 Strike on an aimed/called shot, however I could see allowing them to:
-reduce the action cost of making an aimed or called shot by 1 (this might not apply to some older settings, but in Rifts:UE these take multiple actions normally), obviously you can't reduce it to Zero (or below) action cost.
-increase the critical range (+1 per 3 or 5 levels) of an attack
-require rolling on critical hit tables for qualifying "sniper" weapons (ex. of a table I mean RUE pg353 for when Robot/PA lose to much MDC in a given location)
-reduce the Called Shot target value (applicable in older lines, IINM Rifts-UE just requires an extra action or no bonus to strike so here I would say it gives a bonus to strike on a called shot with a weapon capable of being used by the Sniper Skill)

Truthfully the +1 to strike with additional +1 at 4, 8 & 12 is the part that I am about certain to add. Makes it less effect at level 1 but grows at a similar rate to a weapon proficiency but it is slow enough growth to where the average PC I have had in my groups would never get above +3 and would likely just be +2.

I have already thought of and discarded the idea of reducing the number of actions for aimed and called. When I run the numbers a sniper can get off too many shots too fast which I think is more of an issue then the other changes I am thinking about.

ShadowLogan wrote:
-I don't know if I'd go for increase the range of the weapon, but I could go for reducing the "shoot beyond effective range" option's penalties to strike.
-maybe a bonus to strike a moving target (normally this incurs a penalty)
-since those behind cover require a called shot anyway that seems to be covered by above

Penalty reduction is what I am looking at for everything, range included, but I am more likely to reduce penalty for moving and maybe increase the beyond normal range to 40% or something like that.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Both of these reasonable responses have the same root: Aimed Shots are less useful in actual combat than they used to be.
Under the RMB rules, Aimed shots were the default, so bonuses to Aimed shots were quite useful and powerful, but under RUE where it takes an extra attack, not so much.

Yes the rules in RUE and other new PB like Robotech 2e make it less useful but even in TMNT and Robotech 1e my player never really used it because in those games, like Rifts original MB, you had the old burst fire rules. This meant damage was exponentially higher with a burst than an aimed shot so they had even fewer aimed shots then.

The damage is, what I feel, should be kept in mind here. Even if you triple the bonus for sniper or reduce the number of attacks the single shot damage from most weapons is not going to damage a super hero/villain in HU or an MDC being or armor in Rifts. There might be a few weapons in South America 2 or Triax 2 that are better but for most players single shot weapons are going to be in the 3D6 to 4D6 range. In HU the damage is higher but has to contend with AR.

This is also I think why I never spent much time on this skill or why players never really asked for it. There just aren't that many weapons with high single shot damage or long range that really scream "sniper rifle".

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Still, sniping is not something that one typically does while in a direct firefight with the enemy, or when somebody's rushing at you with a sword; it's something best done when the other side doesn't even know you're there, and Aiming shots is still entirely useful any time you're ambushing somebody else, and you have time to aim before initiative is even rolled.
It's something that comes up before that free round of attacks you get with Surprise, with a proper ambush. You spend an attack (or with One Life/etc. you spend multiple attacks) lining up your shot, then you fire, then initiative is rolled (unless the targets are psychic or otherwise detect the ambush before it's sprung).
If you're in an adventure/campaign where the GM is constantly ambushing YOU, and not letting you perform ambushes, that's not very useful, especially if you're also denied cover and other factors that buy you the time to make important shots.
But if you're in an adventure/campaign where the PCs get to do the ambushing a decent chunk of the time--which should be the case any time one of the PCs is a sniper as their primary or even secondary specialty--it can likely still be quite valuable.
Or in situations where the enemy has a hard-to-hit weak spot, Smaug-style, one that makes it worth the time to really focus on aim.

See I have always treated Sniper like this. You had to be in a sniper position and it would require an action just to get up and moving. To me, and my first players back in the day, that just made sense. I based this not on if you were being attacked but if you either took damage or acted defensively. Someone can shoot at your perch all day long but as long as they don't hit you or you don't dodge you can still snipe.

As for making the shots count, ehhh. I mean how many things can you even seriously damage, much less incapacitate, much less destroy with a 3D6 shot? Maybe a hand weapon or a small target on a PA but not much else. This is why in the TAG story in Rifter 23 such a big deal was made about the target removing his helmet, because no single shot weapon in the CS inventory is going to do dick to EBA helmet.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Anyway, you might consider allowing the Sniper skill an additional bonus (or creating a new skill with this kind of bonus): allowing characters with the skill to--at least in some circumstances--take an Aimed Shot without spending an attack to aim.
I'd consider doing this kind of thing only if the sniper is specifically NOT under heavy fire or otherwise has their concentration disrupted in the same way mages can have their spells disrupted.
That way it has the most effect when the character is shooting from concealment and/or cover, and doesn't dominate the game.
If you go this route, you might nerf or simply not boost the strike bonus, and I'd definitely consider how balance might be affected for characters who can turn invisible (like Brodkil).

Now that two of you have mentioned this maybe something like a snap fire where the bonus is half (for sniper and aim) but it takes only one attack. That would make it more useful without really breaking the combat system.

Truthfully any of this would help in HU but in Rifts, where there are very few options for a true sniper rifle, not sure if it even makes a difference. This goes to one of my biggest complaints with Rifts going back to the beginning and that is weapons are just on a continuum for worse to better. Weapons with higher damage tend to also have a bonus to strike or be lighter or both and very few weapons have limits to rate of fire.
The only weapon I can remember a PC having in Rifts was the NE Shoulder Canon from Phase World SB. Its high weight and low payload with a 2D4X10 MDC single shot damage for 6000 ft was perfect for a sniper. If I were writing it I would have limited the shots per melee but still good balanced weapon. That player frequently used it as a sniper rifle but he spent the extra skill and took sharp shooting. He saw no benefit at all to sniper.

Think of a high-powered laser that can only fire twice a melee and is really heavy and awkward but has high damage and longer range. Things like that would really make the sniper skill more valuable but that is another discussion. Right now I just want to see if I can make this skill more useful without breaking the game.

_________________
Northern Gun Chief of Robotics
Designer of NG-X40 Storm Hammer Power Armor & NG-HC1000 Dragonfly Hover Chopper
Big game hunter, explorer extra ordinaire and expert on the Aegis Buffalo
Ultimate Insider for WB 32: Lemuria, WB 33: Northern Gun 1, WB 34: Northern Gun 2
Showdown Backer Robotech RPG Tactics
Benefactor Insider Rifts Bestiary: Vol 1, Rifts Bestiary: Vol 2


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2022 10:00 am
  

User avatar
Priest

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 2:01 am
Posts: 30929
Location: In the ocean, punching oncoming waves
Comment: "Your Eloquence with a sledge hammer is a beautiful thing..." -Zer0 Kay
Warshield73 wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Both of these reasonable responses have the same root: Aimed Shots are less useful in actual combat than they used to be.
Under the RMB rules, Aimed shots were the default, so bonuses to Aimed shots were quite useful and powerful, but under RUE where it takes an extra attack, not so much.


Yes the rules in RUE and other new PB like Robotech 2e make it less useful but even in TMNT and Robotech 1e my player never really used it because in those games, like Rifts original MB, you had the old burst fire rules. This meant damage was exponentially higher with a burst than an aimed shot so they had even fewer aimed shots then.


In those rules, modern weapons could be dodged as easily as melee, IIRC, so strike bonuses were relevant any time you were dealing with an enemy that was trying to dodge your attacks.
I don't recall if either of those books had anybody with auto-dodge, but it's still good to avoid a situation where your opponent has enough attacks to dodge everything you throw at them, and still get some licks in, or when an opponent was trying to escape so focused on dodging.
Also, ammunition is a factor because bursts/sprays use more ammunition. If your character is in a mecha with unlimited laser fire, that's not a factor; burst away. But if your character isn't made of money, and/or is trying to avoid civilian casualties, and/or has a rare weapon with uncommon ammunition, single shots again become a good idea.
Firing 6 shots to do x2 damage isn't always a bargain, and neither is using 15 rounds to inflict x5 damage, much less using 30 rounds and two attacks to inflict x10 damage.
I mean, I have to agree that it very often IS a bargain; early Rifts was so deadly we tended to panic and rip off a clip any time something seemed particularly threatening, because we never knew if this might be our last battle. At the same time, if we used too much ammunition while out in the wilderness we'd run out of ammunition long before we ran out of enemies, and we'd also die.
And if we used too much ammo while in town, we'd spend so much money on ammunition that we wouldn't be able to afford armor repairs, and we'd also die.
With TMNT and Robotech, armor repairs aren't as much of a factor; either you naturally recover your lost personal SDC/HP, or the RDF repairs your mecha free of charged, I believe. That would change the dynamic in favor of burst fire.
And those were before the burst/spray rules nerfed the damage for Long and Full Clip bursts down to x3 and x7 damage respectively.
So I can see where you're coming from there. There were many cases in which burst fire was in fact superior, and Aimed shots were a sucker's bet.

Quote:
The damage is, what I feel, should be kept in mind here. Even if you triple the bonus for sniper or reduce the number of attacks the single shot damage from most weapons is not going to damage a super hero/villain in HU or an MDC being or armor in Rifts. There might be a few weapons in South America 2 or Triax 2 that are better but for most players single shot weapons are going to be in the 3D6 to 4D6 range. In HU the damage is higher but has to contend with AR.


Okay, a lot here might well come down to a personal gripe of mine. Or it might not.
My gripe is that players and GMs seem to simultaneously:
a) want their opponents to be equipped with top-level gear in order to "have a fair fight" or "present a challenge,"
BUT ALSO
b) want to one-shot-kill their opponents, and/or otherwise dominate combat with little time and effort.

As a general rule, I see a lot of this kind of conflict messing up games simply because the GMs insist on putting their PCs up against people in Heavy Deadboy as a default, and avoiding using enemies in Homespun or Plastic Man armor. But then they want deadlier weapons in order to overcome this top-level EBA they're insisting on using.
If you follow.
I don't know if that applies to you or yours on any level; I just wanted to point out something I see pretty commonly in various rifts groups/players.

Take a good Rifts sniper rifle like a JA-11. It does 4d6 MD, for an average of 14 MD per shot.
This isn't great damage against a foe in decent EBA in direct combat; even home made armor at 30 MDC would take 3 shots to get through on average. That's not great, but it's not horrible either.
It's certainly better than going up against old style Heavy Deadboy (80 MDC, requiring an average of 6 shots), or new style Heavy Deadboy (100 MDC, requiring an average of 9 shots).
But that's if you're shooting at the main body, and in a sniping situation or any other situation where you can make a Called Shot, that's not necessarily the best tack to take.
Head shots aren't all that great either because as you point out, most helmets inexplicably have about as much MDC as the Main Body. But not all.
Homemade armor (RGMG 193) has 30-40 main body MDC for light, 50-65 for medium, but only 20 MDC per helmet. This drops it down to two average shots to take a person out, if you can hit the head reliably.
Now, this is where RUE kind of crippled snipers, because you no longer need good aim to shoot somebody in the head; you only need to spend an extra attack. And you need to spend that extra attack no matter HOW good you are. If I was running a sniper campaign/adventure, I'd consider going back to RMB Called Shot rules, or otherwise changing this horrible situation that makes little sense.
Granted, heads are often considered "small targets" and impose a -3 or -4 penalty to strike, so strike bonuses aren't irrelevant, but it's a fact that they're certainly less relevant than they used to be.
Bah.

Anyway, remember that 14 MD is the average of the JA-11, and there's a decent chance that a sniper could take out a 20 MDC helmet with a single shot. Worse than even odds, but still fairly decent.
And with double damage from a Crit, that helmet is flat-out gone, dropped to -8 MDC.
(now, this is another place where RUE crippled snipers, with the GI-Joe rule. The rule does have "common sense" limits, though, and I'd argue that being dropped to -40% of your armor's total capacity should be enough for some mega-damage to carry through to the soft target underneath. You know, assuming that I played with that rule in the first place, which I avoid.)

And you might be under-estimating the ability of a good limb-removal when it comes to taking the fight out of somebody; in a mega-damage environment like Rifts, it's usually a pretty good fight-ender to blow off a person's arm or leg.
At x2 damage for critting, a JA-11 would have decent--if sometimes less than 50%--odds of killing or crippling any squishy wearing any of the following fairly common armors from the RGMG:
Bandito (30 MDC helmet) (18 MDC arm) (24 MDC leg)
Crusader (35 MDC helmet) (20 MDC arm) (30 MDC leg)
Fury Beetle Armor (30 MDC helmet)
Gladiator (28 MDC arm) (35 MDC leg)
Homemade (20 MDC helmet) (no listed MDC for arms or legs)
Huntsman (30-50 MDC helmet) (No listed MDC for arms or legs)
Plastic Man (35 MDC helmet) (15 MDC arms) (20 MDC legs)
Traditional Dogboy (20 MDC helmet) (12 MDC arms) (20 MDC legs)
Heavy Dogboy Armor (35 MDC arms)
Juicer Plate (20 MDC helmet) (15 MDC arm) (15-20 MDC leg)
Super-Hide Juicer Armor (30-50 helmet) (25-35 MDC arm) (20-70 MDC leg)
NG Vaqueros (32 MDC arm)
NG Buffalo (30 MDC arm) (28 MDC leg)
NG Maverick (10 MDC for a hat, 35 for a helmet) (12 MDC arm) (15 MDC leg)
NG Range Rider (10 MDC hat, or 35 MDC helmet) (30 MDC main body) (12 MDC arm) (15 MDC leg)

Also, keep in mind that Patchwork armor has 15-20% less MDC than normal versions, and Used & Reconditioned Armor has 4d6% MDC less than brand new armor. If the used armor has been patched and repaired it will have 20-30% less MDC, and if it has been battered or heaviliy patched it has 30% less armor.
So if you're up against somebody in used old-style Heavy Deadboy armor, the helmet might be dropped from 50 MDC down to 35 MDC, putting it in range of a sniper crit with a JA-11 taking it out.
With a better gun, the odds increase.
A C-27 Plasma canon does 6d6 MD, a C-29 does 1d6x10, for example. The range isn't as good as the 4,000' that the JA-11 and some other weapons get, but the C-27 can still fire 1600' easily, with gusts up to 2080' if you take a -5 penalty to strike (here is where strike bonuses again matter).
And the C-29 can fire 1400', or 1820' with a -5 penalty.
(also, I don't think it would be an unreasonable house rule to allow the +30% range for -5 strike to become "+30% range per -5 to strike" either, allowing for even further ranges in the name of sharpshooting and sniping. ;))

I do agree that the average sniper rifle having about 2d6 MD per shot is low, but there's nothing wrong with getting an above-average rifle.
With the low-end sniper weapons, I consider them to be intended for use against soft targets primarily, against unarmored or SDC armored or barely armored foes.
Which brings me to another thing about Rifts, which I consider part of the setting: armor technology has outpaced weapons technology to a large degree.
I think of it as a feature, not a bug. It makes things interesting.

Anybody wearing EBA or better is effectively an Armored Unit, and snipers are NOT the go-to choice for taking out armored units as a rule.
Like you said, it's best to wait until they take their helmet off, with the sniper waiting and watching silently from the shadows until the opportunity to strike is ideal.
People can only stay in EBA so long, after all.
I'd consider sniping in Rifts Earth to mostly be about that kind of thing, with the more glorious "I took out somebody in heavy EBA in a single shot" to be pretty rare, with the role of snipers changing a bit in face of new technology.

Quote:
This is also I think why I never spent much time on this skill or why players never really asked for it. There just aren't that many weapons with high single shot damage or long range that really scream "sniper rifle".


Well, I always liked the Shemarrian Rail gun, but they're hard to find, harder to obtain, and pretty darned bulky/heavy.
For the most part, I get where you're coming from and I agree, which is why I'm in favor of giving Snipers easier crits and/or better crit damage.
My main issue when people design a "sniper rifle" that can one-shot-kill a target in heavy EBA on an average non-crit, is that pretty much any weapon that can be used for a single-shot attack can be used in some form for rapid fire.
Take the ATL-7, with its 2d6x10+20 MD. It uses an entire E-clip, so people are okay with that kind of damage, and argue that it's not overpowered, BUT hook that puppy up to a nuclear power supply, or any other system where the power drain isn't a factor, and the situation changes.
Heck, for giggles I wrote up a gatling gun version of it that used like 6 ATL-7s for incredible damage; there's not much real in-game reason why such a thing couldn't exist.
And when vehicle mounted energy weapons tend to not go above 6d6 MD, I think it makes little sense to have too many small arms that inflict much more damage than that.
And if you have a single-shot weapon that does 1d6x10 MD or better, even if there's somehow a very good reason why it wouldn't/couldn't be modified to be rapid fire, it'd still be more effective in the hands of a dual-wielding gunman than a sniper.
What makes sniper weapons special is their accuracy, not just their power, and I think that's best reflected via critical hits rather than pure damage.
(As I've already over-explained ;))

Quote:
As for making the shots count, ehhh. I mean how many things can you even seriously damage, much less incapacitate, much less destroy with a 3D6 shot? Maybe a hand weapon or a small target on a PA but not much else. This is why in the TAG story in Rifter 23 such a big deal was made about the target removing his helmet, because no single shot weapon in the CS inventory is going to do dick to EBA helmet.


I agree that 3d6 is low.
BUT by the rules, even 1d6 MD can take out a dinosaur with hundreds of MDC, if you shoot it in the right spot, as per Dinosaur Swamps.
The rules are vague, but they're there, and they're official.

Other than that, a 3d6 MD shot could take out most energy pistols (12 MDC according to CB1 p. 14), small vibro-blades (12-20 MDC, and I assume the 20 is for larger stuff like swords).
A Hand grenade happens to have 2 MDC. Wouldn't take much to destroy one, and I don't think a GM would be out of line deciding that it explodes when you kill it. :-D
Fusion blocks have 5 MDC, mini missiles have 1-2 MDC, short range missiles have 5 MDC, Medium range missiles have 10 MDC, LRMs have 20 MDC.
Typical bionic hand/claw has 5 MDC.
Typical bionic forearm blaster has 10 MDC
Typical bionic retractable forearm blades have 10 MDC, and vibro have 12 MDC

Depending on how the GM calls things, even without boosting crit options via houserules, a sniper with a decent (3d6-4d6 MD) rifle could:
-Take down dinosaurs and other large living targets in a single shot.
-Target exposed missiles on mecha/bots/vehicles, detonating them and inflicting significant or massive damage to the target.
-Target any exposed grenades on infantry, detonating the grenade for significant or massive damage
-Take out minor weapons like pistols, bionic weapons.

Which isn't really all that bad, even if they can't just heart-shoot or head-shoot and reliably kill most people through EBA.

Quote:
Now that two of you have mentioned this maybe something like a snap fire where the bonus is half (for sniper and aim) but it takes only one attack. That would make it more useful without really breaking the combat system.


Seems reasonable to me.
:-D

I hope I've helped with some of my thoughts/views, and good luck with you project!
:ok:

_________________
Annual Best Poster of the Year Awards (2012)

"That rifle on the wall of the laborer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." -George Orwell

Check out my Author Page on Amazon!


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2022 10:11 am
  

User avatar
Priest

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 2:01 am
Posts: 30929
Location: In the ocean, punching oncoming waves
Comment: "Your Eloquence with a sledge hammer is a beautiful thing..." -Zer0 Kay
Oh, and in case you're interested, here's a link to some homebrew sniper weapons I designed a while back (along with a bunch of other homebrew stuff):
viewtopic.php?p=2615462#p2615462

Quote:
BH-42 Variable Frequency Laser Sniper Rifle
Weight: 8.0 lbs
Mega-Damage: The rifle has three different power settings: 1d4x10 SDC, 2d6 MD, and 4d6 MD.
The SDC setting and the 2d6 MD settings also each have a three-shot pulse option, inflicting 3d4x10 SDC and 6d6 MD respectively. Keep in mind that strike bonuses for pulses are halved on Aimed and Called shots (round down), and that certain bonuses (like from the Sniper skill) are not applicable when firing pulses.
Rate of Fire: Single Shot or 3-shot pulse.
Effective Range: 4,000 Feet
Payload: 20 (MD) shots per short clip, 50 shots per long clip
6 SDC shots count as one MD shot. 1 2d6 MD shot counts as one shot. 1 4d6 MD shot counts as 2 MD shots.
Pulses count as three shots of the appropriate type (there is no pulse for the 4d6 MD setting).
Laser Targeting Sight: +3 to strike on an Aimed shot. 4,000' range.
Bonuses to Strike: Due to the the superior balance and craftsmanship, the BH-42 receives a +1 bonus to strike on aimed shots.
In the case of a custom-made BH-42 that is designed for a specific individual this +1 bonus does not count as a "standard" bonus to strike. For the purpose of dice rolls, the bonus is now a Natural bonus to strike, meaning that a die roll of 19 or 20, on a 20-sided die, before other bonuses to strike are applied, is actually read as a Natural 20 and is a critical strike. In the case where the roll is actually a Natural 20, before the Natural Strike Bonus is added, the critical damage is 3x normal instead of 2x.
In addition, a customized BH-42 so greatly complements that person's skill and natural ability that the Aimed or Called Shot strike bonus from the shooter's Sniper skill (where applicable) also counts as a Natural bonus.
This Natural bonus is applied first, modifying the initial die roll before any other considerations are added. In the case that a Natural 1 is rolled, this means that it counts instead as a Natural 3, meaning that it is not an automatic miss.
Cost: 42,000 credits for a basic model, 63,000 credits for a rifle customized to a specific individual


Quote:
The BH-R25 Sniper's Rail Gun
Rumor has it that Bullhunter Arms created this weapon by analyzing Triax's TX-250 Maxi-rail gun and redesigning it as a slimmer, more accurate weapon to be used by snipers.
The techs at Bullhunter have taken advantage of the built-in single-shot feature and superior range, while managing to lose some of the original model's weight and bulk by reducing ammo capacity and losing the 30 round burst option, as well as significantly increasing the accuracy by creating their models with narrower specifications and more precise engineering than the mass-produced German originals.
They also designed special new ammunition designed for armor penetration and maximum damage, putting more care, effort, and expense into creating rounds that would be far too expensive to be used in regular burst firing. The new rounds are ramjet style ammunition similar to what is available from Wellington Industries, only much larger than the standard ammunition Wellington deals with. It is designed to work with rail guns, and is loaded with explosive armor-piercing charges. Each round, once fired, essentially becomes a miniature armor piercing missile. Each one of these "Dragonslayer" rounds costs 1,200 credits.
The PR department has been hyping this new weapon as the single best man-portable rail gun for use by snipers.
(Of course, the term "man-portable" in an age of M&Ms and D-Bees is somewhat up for debate.)
Weight: 165 lbs (including tripod)
Mega-Damage:
Standard Ammunition: 1d4 MD per single shot, 2d6 MD per 10 round burst
"Dragonslayer" Ammunition: 3d6 MD per single shot, 1d4x10 per 10 round burst.
The Dragonslayer Ammunition inflicts double damage when the modified strike roll is 18 or higher, and inflicts triple damage on a strike roll of a Natural 20.
Rate Of Fire: Single-shot or 10 round burst only.
Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet.
Payload: The standard magazine for the weapon holds 30 rounds, but it is also capable of being belt-fed (belt of 250 rounds).
Power Source: The BH-R25 can be hooked into any standard nuclear power supply, or it can utilize the E-Clip ports built into the legs of the tripod. Each leg can hold up to two Long E-Clips. A rail guns require tremendous amounts of power, each single shot uses up 3 charges from the E-Clips, and each burst uses up 6 charges.
Targeting: The BH-R25 comes with a built-in targeting system that offers +1 to strike. Moreover, the added stability of firing from the tripod adds an additional +1 to strike, regardless of range, and allows the shooter to use strike bonuses from WP Rifle instead of WP Heavy Mega-Damage Weapons if preferred.
Cost: CR 100,000

_________________
Annual Best Poster of the Year Awards (2012)

"That rifle on the wall of the laborer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." -George Orwell

Check out my Author Page on Amazon!


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2022 1:36 pm
  

User avatar
Champion

Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 7:48 pm
Posts: 2773
Location: Boise, ID (US)
Greetings and Salutations. Well, I've still been following this thread and since the OP seems to be torn on how to proceed with this skill, I'll take a quick attempt at it and see what others think (trying to fulfill the OP's wants, while keeping it loosely based on existing skills).

Sniper: [flavor text remains for simplicity]. Damage: +1D6 damage on a Called Shot at level 2. Bonuses: +1 to Strike on an Aimed Shot at levels 1 and 10. The character also becomes better at lining up shots over time and receives a +1 to Strike at level 5 (applies to both Aimed and unaimed shots). Skill Bonuses: +5 to Detect Ambush, +5 to Detect Concealment, and +10% to Camouflage when creating a Sniper/observation perch big enough for 1 or 2 people.

*****

I also wrote up some additional Called Shot rules for a different thread (this was for PF, not Rifts, so I address Blood Loss and such more), but will include them here as well because I believe they'd help the situation by giving rules and benefits for doing so ...

Spoiler:
Called Shots
Many players will desire to make Called Shots to specific parts of an enemy's body, such as targeting the character's head or legs. Sometimes this is represented in game mechanics by giving each limb a separate S.D.C./H.P. pool. In my experience though, one of two things happen: The pools for the limbs are so large as to make them meaningless, or the pools are so small that they're almost guaranteed kills or dismemberment. Instead, I try to keep things simple.
For starters, this means that the character's S.D.C. and Hit Points remain constant regardless of where the character is hit, though sometimes the attack will do more damage.

Legs: The character's speed is reduced by 10%. If the character suffers Hit Point damage to the leg, -1 on Initiative and -50% to the Speed attribute. If the character suffers Hit Point damage to both legs, the character is -3 on Initiative and Speed Attribute is reduced by 75%!

Arms: The character suffers a -10% penalty to all Skill checks. If the character suffers Hit Point damage to the arm, -40% to all Skill checks, -1 to Strike and Parry, and punch damage is reduced by half.

Head: Attacks inflict double damage. If the character suffers Hit Point damage to the head, the character will have trouble focusing. All Skill performance is reduced by 30%; -1 to Strike, Parry, and Dodge; and Practitioners of Magic cannot cast spells that take longer than one action to cast.

Hands: The character suffers a -20% penalty to all Skill checks. If the character suffers Hit Point damage to the hand, -60% to all Skill checks, -2 to Strike and Parry, and the character must make a Save vs. Pain (16 or higher). A failed save means the character drops anything held in that hand (such as weapons).

Feet: The character's speed is reduced by 20%. If the character suffers Hit Point damage to the leg, -75% to the Speed attribute, -2 on Initiative, and -2 to Dodge and Roll with Punch. If the character suffers Hit Point damage to both feet, the character loses Initiative and goes last, Speed Attribute is reduced by 90%, and -5 to Dodge and Roll with Punch.

Neck: Attacks inflict triple damage. If the character suffers Hit Point damage to the neck, triple the Blood Loss (every action taken inflicts 3 H.P. damage, or 3 H.P. damage per minute).

Eye: Attacks inflict damage direct to Hit Points. The character is -3 to Strike, Parry, and Dodge (until an adjustment period, when the penalty can be reduced to only -1 to Strike, Parry, and Dodge for melee attacks, and -2 to Strike, Parry, and Dodge for ranged attacks). In addition, the character no longer has peripheral vision on that side. This means the character can only parry attacks from the front and to the other side, while attacks from behind and to the side of the missing eye are considered surprised attacks and can only be dodged (if the character is even aware of the attack). If the character survives losing both eyes, the character is blind and suffers a permanent -8 to Strike, Parry, and Dodge until s/he can find some way to replace their vision.

Penalties to Hit
Hitting small moving targets isn't easy. First, the character requires a 12 or higher to hit, and most body parts also suffer a penalty to strike. A failed Called Shot misses the target completely (no damage). This means while hitting an opponent's limbs may be beneficial, missing may cause the battle to take even longer. Characters should consider if it's worth taking the chance, whether they're confident or just desperate to turn a losing situation.

Called Shot: 12 or higher to hit.
Legs: -2 to Strike.
Arms/Handheld Weapon: -3 to Strike.
Heads/Hands/Feet: -4 to Strike.
Neck: -6 to Strike.
Very small targets (such as an eye): -8 to Strike.
Bypassing Armor: Sometimes a character will try to find a weak point in the armor and still hit one of the above targets. In these situations, add the Armor Rating on top of the Called Shot number. Any penalties still apply.

*****

If interested, these are also the Blood Loss rules I wrote ...

Spoiler:
Damage: S.D.C. vs. Hit Points
Within the Palladium system, characters have both Structural Damage Capacity (S.D.C.) and Hit Points. In concept, S.D.C. is damage that hurts, but isn't life threatening. These are flesh wounds, and commonly seen in movies where the hero is stabbed and shot, but walks it off and continues on without any real hindrance and saying it's just a scratch. Meanwhile, Hit Points are meant to be serious injuries and truly dangerous. In actual game mechanics however, the two work effectively the same.
The goal here is not to change the system, but to build upon the current rules to better reflect their intent. In addition, by making Hit Point damage more lethal, the hope is to encourage characters to retreat when necessary and, when applied to opponents as well, help players find a way to capture or drive off enemies instead of all enemies simply fighting to the death.

S.D.C.
For the most part, S.D.C. is left as written. Characters can take hits to S.D.C. without any real concerns other than not getting so low the character suffers Hit Point damage. The concept here is that through luck, reflexes, and skill, the character is able to avoid serious injury. The war hammer only lands a glancing blow, the knife cut isn't too deep, and the gunshot only grazes the arm. None of this is pleasant, but our heroes can continue on without penalty.
However, like death by a thousand cuts, even small injuries can start to add up. When the character's S.D.C. is depleted, the character will start to suffer Hit Point damage. All these little wounds have just added up so the character's reflexes have slowed just enough that they can't keep narrowly avoiding serious injury.

Hit Points
Attacks don't inflict any extra damage to Hit Points, but the character does need to worry about other factors such as Blood Loss, Pain Penalties, and Shock (optional).

Blood Loss. These are no longer just glancing blows, but serious injuries. Some S.D.C. attacks may cause a trickle of blood, but these wounds aren't serious and have no game mechanic impact. Once an opponent inflicts Hit Point damage, the character begins to bleed out and suffers Blood Loss. Blood Loss causes the character to continue suffering Hit Point damage even if no new injuries are suffered, until the Blood Loss is stopped.

For every attack the character uses during Blood Loss, the character suffers 1 point of damage to Hit Points. Every attack the character makes causes blood to pump faster and/or opens the wound further. This means characters with more attacks will bleed out faster than characters with less attacks. Even non-combat actions that cost an attack (such as running away) will cause Hit Point damage until they're stopped. Any and all attacks spent inflict 1 Hit Point damage until the Blood Loss is stopped.

Alternately, the character can try to slow the Blood Loss. Applying pressure and moving as little as possible will help and slows the damage to only 1 Hit Point suffered every minute to Blood Loss. Actions that do not cost an action (such as parrying) will not cause any additional Blood Loss.

The character will continue to suffer Blood Loss until proper medical treatment is provided. This can involve two characters (the injured character and the one providing treatment) being removed from combat for the duration. Stopping Blood Loss involves a successful skill check using First Aid or Surgeon/Medical Doctor, or Holistic Medicine (-10%). Characters without these skills may attempt to stop Blood Loss, but must roll equal to or below the I.Q. of the untrained character using percentile dice.

Magic and Psionic healing will stop Blood Loss immediately, even if the healing does not fully restore the Hit Point damage. However, the next Hit Point damage suffered will begin the Blood Loss again.

Pain Penalties. Hits to the S.D.C. of a character may hurt, but this is pain the individual can shrug off and ignore. With more serious injuries, even if the character can push through the pain, they still have an impact on the character. Note: Some abilities, such as Summon Inner Strength, allow the character to ward off pain. When such abilities are active, rolling on this table is not necessary.

Minor Injury (Any Hit Point damage): -1 on Initiative.

Moderate Injury (Below 50% base Hit Points): -3 on Initiative; -1 to Strike, Parry, and Dodge; and -10% on all skill checks.

Major Injury (Below 25% base Hit Points): The character is barely keeping it together. Once reaching this point and every point of damage after, the character must roll on the following table.

01-20%: Momentarily stunned. Lose one attack for the current melee round (or the following melee round if the character has no attacks left in this one).

21-40%: Stunned and knocked down. The character partially collapses and falls to the ground (or at least to one knee) and loses Initiative, two attacks, and suffers an additional -1 to Strike.

41-60%: Severely stunned and knocked down. The character falls to the ground and loses Initiative, all melee attacks/actions for one full melee round, and suffers an additional -2 to Strike, Parry, and Dodge.

61-80%: Momentarily knocked unconscious. The character has lost enough blood that they pass out for 1D4 melee rounds. While unconscious, the character cannot move, think, or plan, nor is he aware of events happening around him. The unconscious character is completely helpless and open to attack, and may appear dead to his attacker.

81-90%: Knocked unconscious. The character has lost so much blood they pass out for 1D6 minutes. While unconscious, the character cannot move, think, or plan, nor is he aware of events happening around him. The unconscious character is completely helpless and open to attack, and may appear dead to his attacker.

91-00%: Lucked out! The character is able to keep it together and continue without further penalty.

Shock (optional). If the character ever suffers Hit Point damage equal to or greater than half his base Hit Point total in a single attack, the character must make a Save vs. Shock (roll a D20, 16 or higher including P.E. bonuses). A character who fails their check instantly falls unconscious and continues to suffer Blood Loss on each of their attacks/actions. This character will quickly bleed out and die without immediate medical attention.

Only the Medical Doctor (-15%) and Holistic Medicine (-20%) skills can attempt to deal with a character in Shock. First Aid and untrained characters simply lack the skills. Magic and Psionic healing can halt the Blood Loss, but without proper medical attention (or Psychic Surgery) the character will still enter a coma due to the Shock and must make roll on the Recovery From a Coma table (Palladium Fantasy Second Edition, page 20) to come out of it.

Supernatural Beings
The above rules are for mortals and Creatures of Magic. However, unless in their home dimension, typically don't have blood or nervous systems as we know them. The above rules do not apply to them, as they cannot bleed or suffer shock. However, Supernatural Beings, though intelligent, tend to be creatures motivated by and driven by instincts. When a Supernatural Being suffers Hit Point damage, they will sense the danger and have a natural instinct to flee.

Lesser beings will attempt to escape regardless, even exposing their backs to enemies. More intelligent Supernatural Beings will only flee when it's safe. If they cannot do so safely, they will either try to create an opening or possibly even negotiate, depending on the being in question.

Running away isn't just about instinct though. Many Supernatural Beings have much faster healing rates than mortals. A good tactic could be simply escaping to bio-regenerate to full health, and then attacking their foes again before the mortals have time to heal. This can also work for some Creatures of Magic, such as dragons.

*****

General Notes: I reduced the OP's desired level advancement on Aimed Shots. However, I feel this is balanced out by adding in the Damage bonus on Called Shots, and encourages the Aimed Called Shot to get both bonuses at the same time. The level 5 bonus acts as the "quick shot" bonus discussed above (but can still benefit the Aimed Shot as well). Increased damage is based on skills such as Fencing (Physical) and the W.P. Battle Axe version from PF2. This also gives just some general bonuses to various skills similar to Hunting. This allows the skill to aid in a variety of ways without replacing any existing skill (to my knowledge). I didn't include any critical bonuses because while I don't mind the idea, there's no current Palladium skill with such a bonus so I decided to stick with something that fits with what Palladium already has established.

The goal of the Called Shot rules is to keep the rules simpler. Instead of having various body parts each have their own damage, it just applies penalties and/or damage increase. So a Called Shot to the head does x2 damage. The rules together would place a level 2 sniper headshot using a 3D6 weapon to 4D6x2 damage (x3 if Critical). In addition, this would provide combat penalties which can make it easier for allies. So even if it doesn't grant a kill, there is still a tangible benefit. However, I also added the note that a Called Shot that doesn't hit the target doesn't hit at all (no safety net of hitting the main body after, because that always annoyed me). This gives a reason to use Called Shots, while also not making it too safe.

Blood Loss rules were designed to make S.D.C. and H.P. separate. The other thread suggested some alterations I was supposed to make, but I never quite got around to it and (I believe) they were mostly flavor text changes anyways. This may not come up as often in a setting such as Rifts, but might be applied to something like HU.

Feel free to dissect what I've posted here, because I appreciate constructive criticism. Farewell and safe journeys.

_________________
Living the Fantasy (fan website)

Rifter #45; Of Bows & Arrows (Archery; expanding rules and abilities)
Rifter #52; From Ruins to Runes (Living Rune Weapons; playable characters and NPC)
Rifter #55; Home Away From Home (Quorian Culture; expanded from PF Book 9: Baalgor Wastelands)

Official PDF versions of Rifter #45, #52, and #55 can be found at DriveThruRPG.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2022 2:09 pm
  

User avatar
Palladin

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
Posts: 6854
Location: WI
Warsheild73 wrote:
Yeah, that has already been discussed above. Detect Ambush would probably, it doesn't explicitly say it by it is not much of a stretch, allow you to find a good sniper perch and Detect Concealment does explicitly say that you can use it to make a small, concealed area so those two skills will work. I just figured that somebody with the sniper skill should be better at finding a spot (for purposes of sniping and counter sniping) than a rando man at arms or Wilderness Scout with Detect Ambush.

Then why not just have the Sniper Skill provide synergy bonuses to appropriate skills instead since someone acting as a "sniper" is likely to also take those skills that already cover aspects that you want to add. As it is you seem to be trying to turn a single skill into a skill package.

Warshield73 wrote:
Truthfully I kind of agree with the person above who said maybe the skill should have been called marksmanship instead of sniper, then I don't think it would bug me so much. Wouldn't make it any more useful but less of an issue personally.

I do agree the name is somewhat misleading, I can sort of see why they went with it (more pop culture definition than technical).

Warshield73 wrote:
I have already thought of and discarded the idea of reducing the number of actions for aimed and called. When I run the numbers a sniper can get off too many shots too fast which I think is more of an issue then the other changes I am thinking about.

I think it might be more accurate to describe what I was going for is that the Sniper skill would reduce any multi-action attack (w/sniper weapon) cost by one. In terms of game impact, the firing rate is not any different than the older RMB-era rules (where Called/Aimed shots took up 1 attack, as opposed to now requiring 2-3) so unless you thought the RMB-era rules allowed too many shots (granted RMB wasn't 2AFL).

Warshield73 wrote:
Penalty reduction is what I am looking at for everything, range included, but I am more likely to reduce penalty for moving and maybe increase the beyond normal range to 40% or something like that.

I'd leave the beyond normal range increase alone for RUE-style rules), mechanically 30% base increase means +300ft for every 1000ft of range at a flat negative (-5 strike). This is actually pretty generous when you compare it to say the RMB-style rules where it's handled in 25ft increments at -4strike per increment (300ft = -48 to strike) where I could see changing the increment value.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2022 4:04 pm
  

User avatar
Demon Lord Extraordinaire

Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:28 pm
Posts: 6615
Location: Apocrypha
Comment: You probably think this comment is about you, don't you?
You could try borrowing a bit of the One Shot, One Life, One Hit, One Kill ability from N&S, and allow those with the skill to add 1 to strike for every minute they spend aiming at their target.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2022 7:06 pm
  

User avatar
Monk

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 17678
Location: Eastvale, calif
The Beast wrote:
You could try borrowing a bit of the One Shot, One Life, One Hit, One Kill ability from N&S, and allow those with the skill to add 1 to strike for every minute they spend aiming at their target.

One Shot, One Life, One Hit, One Kill ability, N&S page 122.
1st: it's a martial arts technique, not a "skill". So that limits it to chars that meat the requirements to acquire MAT's.
2nd: it's bonus is +1 to ranged shot per melee round. With another bonus.
-------------

As per a modified sniper skill could have something like the 1S1L1K MAT....yes...but it would be more limited.
I would limit the total bonus to +1 to ranges strike,+1 every other level gained. With Beast's idea of it costing a minute for each bonus to the ranged strike, Without that MATs other bonus.

It might be that a sniper char could have this modification as part of their class skills. But other man-at-arms chars would need to use a 2nd sniper skill skills slot to acquire this modification.

_________________
Answering the OP's question with the canon answer should be done First.
After that you can post your house rules....as your house rules.

May you be blessed with understanding,
and the ability to change course when you are off the mark.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 7:24 am
  

User avatar
Megaversal® Ambassador

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:23 am
Posts: 4214
Location: Houston, TX
Comment: "I will not be silenced. I will not submit. I will find the truth and shout it to the world. "
Before I dive in I wanted to post a couple of reminders.

First, in any comparison between the old combat rules (Robotech 1e, RMB, even HU) and the newer combat systems (RUE, Robotech 2e, etc.) you have to remember the new system has a penalty to dodge weapon fire that the old did not have. In many ways it is a LOT easier to hit a target than it use to be.

Second, a character without a WP has penalties for any attack other than a single shot so the WP bonus of +1 or more is misleading because the skill eliminates those penalties in addition to providing a bonus and opening new avenues to attack.

Fianlly, if you are playing in a game where the GM doesn't allow MaA to have Sharp Shooting from New West than the sniper skill might be more appealing.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
In those rules, modern weapons could be dodged as easily as melee, IIRC, so strike bonuses were relevant any time you were dealing with an enemy that was trying to dodge your attacks.
I don't recall if either of those books had anybody with auto-dodge, but it's still good to avoid a situation where your opponent has enough attacks to dodge everything you throw at them, and still get some licks in, or when an opponent was trying to escape so focused on dodging.
Also, ammunition is a factor because bursts/sprays use more ammunition. If your character is in a mecha with unlimited laser fire, that's not a factor; burst away. But if your character isn't made of money, and/or is trying to avoid civilian casualties, and/or has a rare weapon with uncommon ammunition, single shots again become a good idea.
Firing 6 shots to do x2 damage isn't always a bargain, and neither is using 15 rounds to inflict x5 damage, much less using 30 rounds and two attacks to inflict x10 damage.
I mean, I have to agree that it very often IS a bargain; early Rifts was so deadly we tended to panic and rip off a clip any time something seemed particularly threatening, because we never knew if this might be our last battle. At the same time, if we used too much ammunition while out in the wilderness we'd run out of ammunition long before we ran out of enemies, and we'd also die.
And if we used too much ammo while in town, we'd spend so much money on ammunition that we wouldn't be able to afford armor repairs, and we'd also die.
With TMNT and Robotech, armor repairs aren't as much of a factor; either you naturally recover your lost personal SDC/HP, or the RDF repairs your mecha free of charged, I believe. That would change the dynamic in favor of burst fire.
And those were before the burst/spray rules nerfed the damage for Long and Full Clip bursts down to x3 and x7 damage respectively.
So I can see where you're coming from there. There were many cases in which burst fire was in fact superior, and Aimed shots were a sucker's bet.

Exactly. For most my players finishing the bad guys quick was considered more important than conserving ammo as they rarely ran out. Also I adopted modifications for burst firing and use of cover long before those changes came through in the books so they tended to rely on cover from each other when they needed to reload.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Okay, a lot here might well come down to a personal gripe of mine. Or it might not.
My gripe is that players and GMs seem to simultaneously:
a) want their opponents to be equipped with top-level gear in order to "have a fair fight" or "present a challenge,"
BUT ALSO
b) want to one-shot-kill their opponents, and/or otherwise dominate combat with little time and effort.

This is actually my point in a way. The entire point of a sniper is to one shot an opponent or their gear. When you can't do that the skill itself, and as discussed even aimed shots, becomes less useful. I find weapons that can one shot characters, PC or NPC, to be a little unbalancing but if they are done correctly with the proper limitations, it could add to the usefulness of the skill.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
As a general rule, I see a lot of this kind of conflict messing up games simply because the GMs insist on putting their PCs up against people in Heavy Deadboy as a default and avoiding using enemies in Homespun or Plastic Man armor. But then they want deadlier weapons in order to overcome this top-level EBA they're insisting on using.
If you follow.
I don't know if that applies to you or yours on any level; I just wanted to point out something I see pretty commonly in various rifts groups/players.

Take a good Rifts sniper rifle like a JA-11. It does 4d6 MD, for an average of 14 MD per shot.
This isn't great damage against a foe in decent EBA in direct combat; even home made armor at 30 MDC would take 3 shots to get through on average. That's not great, but it's not horrible either.
It's certainly better than going up against old style Heavy Deadboy (80 MDC, requiring an average of 6 shots), or new style Heavy Deadboy (100 MDC, requiring an average of 9 shots).
But that's if you're shooting at the main body, and in a sniping situation or any other situation where you can make a Called Shot, that's not necessarily the best tack to take.
Head shots aren't all that great either because as you point out, most helmets inexplicably have about as much MDC as the Main Body. But not all.
Homemade armor (RGMG 193) has 30-40 main body MDC for light, 50-65 for medium, but only 20 MDC per helmet. This drops it down to two average shots to take a person out, if you can hit the head reliably.
Now, this is where RUE kind of crippled snipers, because you no longer need good aim to shoot somebody in the head; you only need to spend an extra attack. And you need to spend that extra attack no matter HOW good you are. If I was running a sniper campaign/adventure, I'd consider going back to RMB Called Shot rules, or otherwise changing this horrible situation that makes little sense.
Granted, heads are often considered "small targets" and impose a -3 or -4 penalty to strike, so strike bonuses aren't irrelevant, but it's a fact that they're certainly less relevant than they used to be.
Bah.

Anyway, remember that 14 MD is the average of the JA-11, and there's a decent chance that a sniper could take out a 20 MDC helmet with a single shot. Worse than even odds, but still fairly decent.
And with double damage from a Crit, that helmet is flat-out gone, dropped to -8 MDC.
(now, this is another place where RUE crippled snipers, with the GI-Joe rule. The rule does have "common sense" limits, though, and I'd argue that being dropped to -40% of your armor's total capacity should be enough for some mega-damage to carry through to the soft target underneath. You know, assuming that I played with that rule in the first place, which I avoid.)

And you might be under-estimating the ability of a good limb-removal when it comes to taking the fight out of somebody; in a mega-damage environment like Rifts, it's usually a pretty good fight-ender to blow off a person's arm or leg.
At x2 damage for critting, a JA-11 would have decent--if sometimes less than 50%--odds of killing or crippling any squishy wearing any of the following fairly common armors from the RGMG:
Bandito (30 MDC helmet) (18 MDC arm) (24 MDC leg)
Crusader (35 MDC helmet) (20 MDC arm) (30 MDC leg)
Fury Beetle Armor (30 MDC helmet)
Gladiator (28 MDC arm) (35 MDC leg)
Homemade (20 MDC helmet) (no listed MDC for arms or legs)
Huntsman (30-50 MDC helmet) (No listed MDC for arms or legs)
Plastic Man (35 MDC helmet) (15 MDC arms) (20 MDC legs)
Traditional Dogboy (20 MDC helmet) (12 MDC arms) (20 MDC legs)
Heavy Dogboy Armor (35 MDC arms)
Juicer Plate (20 MDC helmet) (15 MDC arm) (15-20 MDC leg)
Super-Hide Juicer Armor (30-50 helmet) (25-35 MDC arm) (20-70 MDC leg)
NG Vaqueros (32 MDC arm)
NG Buffalo (30 MDC arm) (28 MDC leg)
NG Maverick (10 MDC for a hat, 35 for a helmet) (12 MDC arm) (15 MDC leg)
NG Range Rider (10 MDC hat, or 35 MDC helmet) (30 MDC main body) (12 MDC arm) (15 MDC leg)

Also, keep in mind that Patchwork armor has 15-20% less MDC than normal versions, and Used & Reconditioned Armor has 4d6% MDC less than brand new armor. If the used armor has been patched and repaired it will have 20-30% less MDC, and if it has been battered or heaviliy patched it has 30% less armor.
So if you're up against somebody in used old-style Heavy Deadboy armor, the helmet might be dropped from 50 MDC down to 35 MDC, putting it in range of a sniper crit with a JA-11 taking it out.
With a better gun, the odds increase.
A C-27 Plasma canon does 6d6 MD, a C-29 does 1d6x10, for example. The range isn't as good as the 4,000' that the JA-11 and some other weapons get, but the C-27 can still fire 1600' easily, with gusts up to 2080' if you take a -5 penalty to strike (here is where strike bonuses again matter).
And the C-29 can fire 1400', or 1820' with a -5 penalty.
(also, I don't think it would be an unreasonable house rule to allow the +30% range for -5 strike to become "+30% range per -5 to strike" either, allowing for even further ranges in the name of sharpshooting and sniping. ;))

I do agree that the average sniper rifle having about 2d6 MD per shot is low, but there's nothing wrong with getting an above-average rifle.
With the low-end sniper weapons, I consider them to be intended for use against soft targets primarily, against unarmored or SDC armored or barely armored foes.
Which brings me to another thing about Rifts, which I consider part of the setting: armor technology has outpaced weapons technology to a large degree.
I think of it as a feature, not a bug. It makes things interesting.

Anybody wearing EBA or better is effectively an Armored Unit, and snipers are NOT the go-to choice for taking out armored units as a rule.
Like you said, it's best to wait until they take their helmet off, with the sniper waiting and watching silently from the shadows until the opportunity to strike is ideal.
People can only stay in EBA so long, after all.
I'd consider sniping in Rifts Earth to mostly be about that kind of thing, with the more glorious "I took out somebody in heavy EBA in a single shot" to be pretty rare, with the role of snipers changing a bit in face of new technology.

I would agree, except, there are weapons from 1D4X10 MDC grenade launchers to p-beams and pulse weapons that can do up to 1D6X10 MDC it wouldn't be to game bending if there was a sniper weapon that did single shot damage in that range if it had appropriate limitations.

Again the NE shoulder cannon is a good example. That is an excellent sniper weapon as well as being a heavy weapon, just depends on how you use it. Like a 50 cal.

As for the various grades and classes of armors, I have used it all. In the early days most of the opposition had things like plastic man, huntsman and bushman. These days patchwork is a favorite for bandits and I often have opponents in better armor already have some damage.

In both HU and Rifts the other problem with sniper skill is a lot of targets are super beings or monsters with high MDC/SDC & AR so single shots not doing much.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Quote:
This is also I think why I never spent much time on this skill or why players never really asked for it. There just aren't that many weapons with high single shot damage or long range that really scream "sniper rifle".


Well, I always liked the Shemarrian Rail gun, but they're hard to find, harder to obtain, and pretty darned bulky/heavy.
For the most part, I get where you're coming from and I agree, which is why I'm in favor of giving Snipers easier crits and/or better crit damage.
My main issue when people design a "sniper rifle" that can one-shot-kill a target in heavy EBA on an average non-crit, is that pretty much any weapon that can be used for a single-shot attack can be used in some form for rapid fire.
Take the ATL-7, with its 2d6x10+20 MD. It uses an entire E-clip, so people are okay with that kind of damage, and argue that it's not overpowered, BUT hook that puppy up to a nuclear power supply, or any other system where the power drain isn't a factor, and the situation changes.
Heck, for giggles I wrote up a gatling gun version of it that used like 6 ATL-7s for incredible damage; there's not much real in-game reason why such a thing couldn't exist.
And when vehicle mounted energy weapons tend to not go above 6d6 MD, I think it makes little sense to have too many small arms that inflict much more damage than that.
And if you have a single-shot weapon that does 1d6x10 MD or better, even if there's somehow a very good reason why it wouldn't/couldn't be modified to be rapid fire, it'd still be more effective in the hands of a dual-wielding gunman than a sniper.
What makes sniper weapons special is their accuracy, not just their power, and I think that's best reflected via critical hits rather than pure damage.
(As I've already over-explained ;))

You bring up a major problem with a lot of TTRPGs but definitely PB and double for Rifts and that is the inconsistency of damage. Having a vehicle's primary weapon doing less damage than an infantry rifle is hard to work around. To me this is best handled by rate of fire/overheating limitations which few weapons in Rifts use or making it so heavy that it has penalties when not being used in a sniper situation.

If the ATL-7 had a specific limit on rate of fire, regardless of payload, that would eliminate the problem you are talking about. I do agree that accuracy is a major component of a sniper rifle, but so is damage and even stealth. If you have a rifle that is hard to track back to its source, in addition to having a good strike bonus, then a low damage ability would still be worth it,

I will say you are wining me over on the expanded critical hit idea though.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Quote:
As for making the shots count, ehhh. I mean how many things can you even seriously damage, much less incapacitate, much less destroy with a 3D6 shot? Maybe a hand weapon or a small target on a PA but not much else. This is why in the TAG story in Rifter 23 such a big deal was made about the target removing his helmet, because no single shot weapon in the CS inventory is going to do dick to EBA helmet.


I agree that 3d6 is low.
BUT by the rules, even 1d6 MD can take out a dinosaur with hundreds of MDC, if you shoot it in the right spot, as per Dinosaur Swamps.
The rules are vague, but they're there, and they're official.

Other than that, a 3d6 MD shot could take out most energy pistols (12 MDC according to CB1 p. 14), small vibro-blades (12-20 MDC, and I assume the 20 is for larger stuff like swords).
A Hand grenade happens to have 2 MDC. Wouldn't take much to destroy one, and I don't think a GM would be out of line deciding that it explodes when you kill it. :-D
Fusion blocks have 5 MDC, mini missiles have 1-2 MDC, short range missiles have 5 MDC, Medium range missiles have 10 MDC, LRMs have 20 MDC.
Typical bionic hand/claw has 5 MDC.
Typical bionic forearm blaster has 10 MDC
Typical bionic retractable forearm blades have 10 MDC, and vibro have 12 MDC

Depending on how the GM calls things, even without boosting crit options via houserules, a sniper with a decent (3d6-4d6 MD) rifle could:
-Take down dinosaurs and other large living targets in a single shot.
-Target exposed missiles on mecha/bots/vehicles, detonating them and inflicting significant or massive damage to the target.
-Target any exposed grenades on infantry, detonating the grenade for significant or massive damage
-Take out minor weapons like pistols, bionic weapons.

Which isn't really all that bad, even if they can't just heart-shoot or head-shoot and reliably kill most people through EBA.

My general rule on explosives is that most, especially fusion blocks and most missiles, must be armed to really blow up but there should be a chance depending on the explosive and what it is hit with.

This is in fact what I have seen characters with low powered weapons do is hang back and hit small targets to disrupt the enemy while higher damage players do the killing so even the current sniper skill would help with that. The problem is that most PCs that do this can't actually take sniper.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Quote:
Now that two of you have mentioned this maybe something like a snap fire where the bonus is half (for sniper and aim) but it takes only one attack. That would make it more useful without really breaking the combat system.


Seems reasonable to me.
:-D

I hope I've helped with some of my thoughts/views, and good luck with you project!
:ok:

Thank you and yes very helpful.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Oh, and in case you're interested, here's a link to some homebrew sniper weapons I designed a while back (along with a bunch of other homebrew stuff):
viewtopic.php?p=2615462#p2615462

These are pretty interesting. I especially like the rail gun and I have been thinking about bringing in the protoculture powered sniper rail gun from the recent robotech books, just change it to be a mini-nuke.

Prysus wrote:
[justify]Greetings and Salutations. Well, I've still been following this thread and since the OP seems to be torn on how to proceed with this skill, I'll take a quick attempt at it and see what others think (trying to fulfill the OP's wants, while keeping it loosely based on existing skills).

Sniper: [flavor text remains for simplicity]. Damage: +1D6 damage on a Called Shot at level 2. Bonuses: +1 to Strike on an Aimed Shot at levels 1 and 10. The character also becomes better at lining up shots over time and receives a +1 to Strike at level 5 (applies to both Aimed and unaimed shots). Skill Bonuses: +5 to Detect Ambush, +5 to Detect Concealment, and +10% to Camouflage when creating a Sniper/observation perch big enough for 1 or 2 people.

Interesting. You cover a lot of the territory I wanted without making it overpowered. I will say that I agree with an earlier post that the +10% may be too high. Some good ideas to consider though.

The Called Shot and Blood Loss rules are interesting, but I haven't had too much call to house rule those. Still interesting changes you made.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Warsheild73 wrote:
Yeah, that has already been discussed above. Detect Ambush would probably, it doesn't explicitly say it by it is not much of a stretch, allow you to find a good sniper perch and Detect Concealment does explicitly say that you can use it to make a small, concealed area so those two skills will work. I just figured that somebody with the sniper skill should be better at finding a spot (for purposes of sniping and counter sniping) than a rando man at arms or Wilderness Scout with Detect Ambush.

Then why not just have the Sniper Skill provide synergy bonuses to appropriate skills instead since someone acting as a "sniper" is likely to also take those skills that already cover aspects that you want to add. As it is you seem to be trying to turn a single skill into a skill package.

I can understand why you think that but if you look at other espionage skills they often cover a lot of ground. Intelligence covers what would be dozens of specialties, maybe hundreds, and skills like impersonation can allow a player to do multiple things. Sniper is a simple +2 to strike on only a certain kind of attack in certain situations and you need 3 other skills to really make the most out of it. To me this is an unofficial skill package that could easily be reduced to one or two skills.

And again, as is this skill can not compete with Sharp Shooting and is not even as effective the regular WP over the long term (those skills grow over time). This really gets bad when you look at all the skills you can get for one espionage skill selection.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Truthfully I kind of agree with the person above who said maybe the skill should have been called marksmanship instead of sniper, then I don't think it would bug me so much. Wouldn't make it any more useful but less of an issue personally.

I do agree the name is somewhat misleading, I can sort of see why they went with it (more pop culture definition than technical).

Agreed. The name has a cool factor that just isn't matched by the stats.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I have already thought of and discarded the idea of reducing the number of actions for aimed and called. When I run the numbers a sniper can get off too many shots too fast which I think is more of an issue then the other changes I am thinking about.

I think it might be more accurate to describe what I was going for is that the Sniper skill would reduce any multi-action attack (w/sniper weapon) cost by one. In terms of game impact, the firing rate is not any different than the older RMB-era rules (where Called/Aimed shots took up 1 attack, as opposed to now requiring 2-3) so unless you thought the RMB-era rules allowed too many shots (granted RMB wasn't 2AFL).

Like I said in the begining of this you have to be careful comparing RMB combat rules with RUE. That penalty to dodge gun fire is a, pardon the pun, game changer. If you fired 4 aimed shots before you had a much lower chance of hitting than you do with 2 now.

It is an interesting idea, but if I use it I am leaning towards the snap fire option.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Penalty reduction is what I am looking at for everything, range included, but I am more likely to reduce penalty for moving and maybe increase the beyond normal range to 40% or something like that.

I'd leave the beyond normal range increase alone for RUE-style rules), mechanically 30% base increase means +300ft for every 1000ft of range at a flat negative (-5 strike). This is actually pretty generous when you compare it to say the RMB-style rules where it's handled in 25ft increments at -4strike per increment (300ft = -48 to strike) where I could see changing the increment value.

If I changed this at all I might only take 1 to 3 off the top of the penalty. I do agree that it would be powerful but it would make the skill more useful all on its own and sniper should be able to do long range attacks.

drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
The Beast wrote:
You could try borrowing a bit of the One Shot, One Life, One Hit, One Kill ability from N&S, and allow those with the skill to add 1 to strike for every minute they spend aiming at their target.

One Shot, One Life, One Hit, One Kill ability, N&S page 122.
1st: it's a martial arts technique, not a "skill". So that limits it to chars that meat the requirements to acquire MAT's.
2nd: it's bonus is +1 to ranged shot per melee round. With another bonus.
-------------

As per a modified sniper skill could have something like the 1S1L1K MAT....yes...but it would be more limited.
I would limit the total bonus to +1 to ranges strike,+1 every other level gained. With Beast's idea of it costing a minute for each bonus to the ranged strike, Without that MATs other bonus.

It might be that a sniper char could have this modification as part of their class skills. But other man-at-arms chars would need to use a 2nd sniper skill skills slot to acquire this modification.

I pulled N&S from the shelf and marked the page. I will have to give it a read before I make any final decisions.

Thanks again everybody. It has been interesting diving into a skill that, as I said before, I probably haven't thought 2 minutes about in 30 years.

_________________
Northern Gun Chief of Robotics
Designer of NG-X40 Storm Hammer Power Armor & NG-HC1000 Dragonfly Hover Chopper
Big game hunter, explorer extra ordinaire and expert on the Aegis Buffalo
Ultimate Insider for WB 32: Lemuria, WB 33: Northern Gun 1, WB 34: Northern Gun 2
Showdown Backer Robotech RPG Tactics
Benefactor Insider Rifts Bestiary: Vol 1, Rifts Bestiary: Vol 2


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 11:02 am
  

User avatar
Palladin

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
Posts: 6854
Location: WI
Warshield73 wrote:
I can understand why you think that but if you look at other espionage skills they often cover a lot of ground. Intelligence covers what would be dozens of specialties, maybe hundreds, and skills like impersonation can allow a player to do multiple things. Sniper is a simple +2 to strike on only a certain kind of attack in certain situations and you need 3 other skills to really make the most out of it. To me this is an unofficial skill package that could easily be reduced to one or two skills.

And again, as is this skill can not compete with Sharp Shooting and is not even as effective the regular WP over the long term (those skills grow over time). This really gets bad when you look at all the skills you can get for one espionage skill selection.

Actually, a lot of skills in various categories cover a lot of ground it isn't just espionage. As it is the Sniper Skill (RAW) is a general skill covering the overlap between its two (military) roles: marksman and sniper. IMHO that means unless you are planning to separate the skill into two separate role optimized skills, added benefits should take both roles into consideration.

The simple +2 strike on Aimed/Called shots is actually pretty potent from a strictly mechanical bonus perspective. Under the RMB-style rules, that translates to having an Aimed Shot bonus SIX LEVELS higher than their current WP skill (+1 per 3 levels after level 1), under RUE-style rules I'm not sure as it will vary from applicable WPs but it will still be a several levels higher.

Comparing the Sniper Skill to other Synergy to WP Skills (Targeting in RUE, Fencing in RUE, Paired Weapons in RUE, Roping in RUE, and Sharpshooting in WB14) in terms of leveled progression for strike bonus (Roping is Entangle for WP Rope), the Sniper Skill's flat bonus isn't unusual. In fact, of the 6 synergy WP skills in RAW that came to mind, only 2 actually use level progression and those seem able to function without WPs IINM unlike the others that only seem to work if you have a WP.

Warshield73 wrote:
If I changed this at all I might only take 1 to 3 off the top of the penalty. I do agree that it would be powerful but it would make the skill more useful all on its own and sniper should be able to do long range attacks

While a sniper should be able to do long range attacks, there are factors that will impact how far the weapon's range can be extended before it starts to impact performance (damage and accuracy). As it is right now 30% seems to be the implied edge before you get into non-accuracy stuff, so any range enhancement should be very limited (maybe even tied to level, like 1% per 2-3levels, maybe even allowing them to change when penalties kick in when shooting beyond listed effective range).

It's probably also worth considering that dedicated sniper weapons tend to out range regular infantry weapons (unless packing Mini-Missiles or PA-class Rail Guns). For example, from MercOps we have the Wilk's 587 Sniper Laser Rifle has a range of 3000ft and the NG-SR3 Laser Rifle range of 2400ft (the NG-SSL20 is 2000ft and the WI-SR15 Sniper Rifle is 2600ft), and the JA-11/9 (RUE) Assassin laser if 4000ft. Compared to basic infantry rifles in RUE or MercOps (and elsewhere) which have a range of 1600-2000ft typically (4000ft is reserved for the heavy weapons like Rail Guns). So, if the Sniper is using a purpose-built weapon, they already have the range advantage built-in unless going up against mecha or heavy weapons emplacements IMHO.


          Top  
 
Unread postPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 4:30 am
  

User avatar
Megaversal® Ambassador

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:23 am
Posts: 4214
Location: Houston, TX
Comment: "I will not be silenced. I will not submit. I will find the truth and shout it to the world. "
ShadowLogan wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I can understand why you think that but if you look at other espionage skills they often cover a lot of ground. Intelligence covers what would be dozens of specialties, maybe hundreds, and skills like impersonation can allow a player to do multiple things. Sniper is a simple +2 to strike on only a certain kind of attack in certain situations and you need 3 other skills to really make the most out of it. To me this is an unofficial skill package that could easily be reduced to one or two skills.

And again, as is this skill can not compete with Sharp Shooting and is not even as effective the regular WP over the long term (those skills grow over time). This really gets bad when you look at all the skills you can get for one espionage skill selection.

Actually, a lot of skills in various categories cover a lot of ground it isn't just espionage. As it is the Sniper Skill (RAW) is a general skill covering the overlap between its two (military) roles: marksman and sniper. IMHO that means unless you are planning to separate the skill into two separate role optimized skills, added benefits should take both roles into consideration.

The simple +2 strike on Aimed/Called shots is actually pretty potent from a strictly mechanical bonus perspective. Under the RMB-style rules, that translates to having an Aimed Shot bonus SIX LEVELS higher than their current WP skill (+1 per 3 levels after level 1), under RUE-style rules I'm not sure as it will vary from applicable WPs but it will still be a several levels higher.

Comparing the Sniper Skill to other Synergy to WP Skills (Targeting in RUE, Fencing in RUE, Paired Weapons in RUE, Roping in RUE, and Sharpshooting in WB14) in terms of leveled progression for strike bonus (Roping is Entangle for WP Rope), the Sniper Skill's flat bonus isn't unusual. In fact, of the 6 synergy WP skills in RAW that came to mind, only 2 actually use level progression and those seem able to function without WPs IINM unlike the others that only seem to work if you have a WP.

Looking at the "Synergy" Skills, as you label them, in Rue I have some thoughts:
Targeting can add to an existing skill but it works on it's own and advances by level.

Paired weapons allows for all new avenues of attack and defense in melee combat so while it does not advance by level it does almost double a characters combat capability in melee, especially damage. Also, many characters get this free as part of their hand to hand so most players don't even spend a skill on it.

Roping is what made me think of modifying Sniper after all these years because it has an actual rope work skill percentage as well as combat bonuses.

Quick Draw would be another one of these synergy skills and it does not advance by level but it does increase with PP so it can be a lot more useful than sniper depending on the character and it can be used far more often.

Fencing is the one where I think you have the best point but it is a Physical skill so far less limited and provides for a bonus to damage as well as strike and parry. To be honest I have very few people take this skill either but more than sniper that is for sure.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I want to thank everyone for their input. It gave me a lot of things to think about and even some new directions for the skill modification that I really like.

I also want to thank people for their criticism of my original modification. The bonuses and areas covered were way too much for one skill and I really appreciate the honest input.

That being said I have a new version of the skill for people to tear apart if they so choose so please read below.

First as a reminder here is the current skill as published.
Canon skill from Rifts Ultimate Edition, Pg. 309 wrote:
Espionage Skill: Sniper. This skill represents special training in long-range shooting and marksmanship. Only weapons that can be made to fire a single round or blast can be used for sniping; no automatic burst firing. Acceptable weapons include bow and arrows, crossbows, bolt-action rifles, and energy rifles capable of switching from bursts or pulse attacks to a single shot. Bonus: +2 to strike on a Called or Aimed Shot only.


The new skill with my reasoning below
My Modified Skill wrote:
Espionage or Military Skill: Sniper. This skill represents special training in long-range shooting and marksmanship as well as the ideal location from which to fire on a particular location. In addition this skill can be used for “counter-sniping” or determining the possible locations of enemy snipers and the best ways to eliminate them. Base Skill: 25% +5% per level of experience. A failed Sniper roll means the location the shooter chose may have no or limited visibility to target or may be easily visible to the target.

Bonuses: +1 to strike at levels 1, 3, 6 and 10 with an acceptable weapon on an Aimed Shot or an Aimed “Called” Shot only. Only weapons that can be made to fire a single round or blast can be used for sniping; no automatic burst firing. Acceptable weapons include bow and arrows, crossbows, bolt-action rifles, and energy rifles capable of switching from bursts or pulse attacks to a single shot. These bonuses are not applicable while moving, engaging in any defensive actions or taking significant/distracting damage (what level of damage is significant or distracting is the GM’s discretion but any damage that would move the shooter or weapon would certainly count).

Spotter: A spotter is a person with the Sniper skill, Optic Systems or Read Sensors skill, appropriately equipped (must be able to determine range, speed and direction of a target as well as windage when using a projectile weapon in the atmosphere) and is engaged in no other activity. Use of a spotter reduces the number of actions required for shooting by 1 (Aimed Shot would be 1 attack instead of 2 or an Aimed “Called” Shot would be 2 attacks instead of 3), and would reduce the penalty from either Shooting Beyond Normal Range or Moving Target by 1 per level of spotter’s experience (i.e. a level 1 sniper would reduce the penalty for one of these by 1 while a level 5 spotter would reduce the chosen penalty by 5).

1- I really felt that this skill needed to be available as both Espionage and Military given its real life uses. You can make an argument that it might work in Rogue or even Wilderness as well but

2- I did decide to include a skill percentage here for locating a shooting position and for use in counter-sniping. The Detect Ambush skill could cover this but it is not explicit and that skill already covers a lot so I wanted to make this a bit more specialized.

3- The ability to create a hidden position was not included as that is explicitly covered under both Camouflage and Detect Concealment. Also, many sharp shooters have no idea how to create such things.

4- Most modern WPs start at a+1 and end up as a +7, 8, or even 9 by the time they reach level 14 which can be used in all circumstances and many of those skills can be taken as secondary skills. I felt that a limited use skill should have a little more than +2 and as I said I wanted it to build with experience.

5- Also explicitly added when this skill can be used.

6- I decided to use the reduced number of attacks for aimed or called shots with the spotter. I thought this would make sense in game as the shooter is now just concerned with shooting and out of game as two players would be using their combat time towards this.

7- The penalty reduction may seem like a lot but remember it is just penalty reduction so if you have a level 5 spotter but the moving penalty is only -3 those extra 2 levels don’t add in to anything else.

8- I decided not to extend range past the 30% as I agree with Shadow Logan that you are likely to get into damage reduction and other problems.

So that’s the skill as of this moment. It has everything I wanted and in the small testing I did it seemed to make the sniper skill a little more useful without completely altering the game.

_________________
Northern Gun Chief of Robotics
Designer of NG-X40 Storm Hammer Power Armor & NG-HC1000 Dragonfly Hover Chopper
Big game hunter, explorer extra ordinaire and expert on the Aegis Buffalo
Ultimate Insider for WB 32: Lemuria, WB 33: Northern Gun 1, WB 34: Northern Gun 2
Showdown Backer Robotech RPG Tactics
Benefactor Insider Rifts Bestiary: Vol 1, Rifts Bestiary: Vol 2


          Top  
 
 
Post new topic Reply to topic



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot]


Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group