Ideas For Bursts and Collapsing Several Rules Into One

Two separate ideas here. First, a problem that I’ve been trying to crack since first edition. Burst weapons, high fire rate weapons like some plasma and projectile weapons ought to convey some improved chance of hitting since they’re in theory filling a volume of space with their fire. I haven’t found a mechanism to model that properly maybe up until now. There was always an exception that made any simple solutions not work.

Thanks to my son for offering a suggestion that I just simplified, The idea is as follows. The player chooses a number of shots that will be used to hone in on a target. This part is a little artificial for my liking. Someone that’s aiming a weapon doesn’t consciously do that but in a way they do by how willing they are to fire and then track their rounds until they hit the target.

Because of that these sacrificed shots are “Tracking Shots.” Each shot sacrificed increases a Boost by one up until 9. So if the character uses one tracking shot, they get a Boost 1. If they use five tracking shots they get a Boost 5. They can’t go over 9 however. I feel like the utility of using tracking shots shouldn’t be infinite, so it’s capped at one Boost.

The variability of such a Boost seems a little unprecedented so far so I’m sure it will cause some confusion. As with everything, playtesting is needed.


Next is an idea that may or may not work. It may require a lot of changes to existing damage stats so we’ll see.

Right now there are rules for avoiding hitting shields and avoiding hitting hard points in armor. There are also individual rules that can double the damage done like getting a head shot and vehicles have critical hits that can disable a vehicle completely. These offer dramatic and descriptive elements to the game. They allow a weaker weapon to overcome powerful defenses by being used skillfully.

They also cause a lot of confusion and complexity.

What if we re-used a single tool to get the same results? Sounds like a win, right? Well, mostly.

In 4e I decided to move away from range brackets. What resulted to keep some of the same flavor of action is that weapons have a stated range but you can add to that range by spending a success. However the other half of that is that the damage of a weapon dropped as it hit further out. For that, I introduced “Damage Drop” to the stats. Each time the range of a weapon is extended, the Damage Drop was subtracted from the weapon damage.

Back to the problem at hand, what if we renamed Damage Drop and made it multipurpose? What if it was called Damage Shift and it was still subtracted when range was extended but instead of avoiding shields, armor and special condition damage doubling, the damage shift could be added with a success?

This has some issues, the effect is significantly weaker than the effects that predate it in most instances. With simplicity comes a loss of surprising results. It also does not inherently explain why damage is being increased. With each use, the player doesn’t inherently know why the damage just went up. Narratively I could justify it, but theres no scaffold there to guide the players.

I like the simplicity. I don’t like the simplicity. I’ve been debating a starter set of rules and an advanced set. Maybe this is a good candidate for a split?

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