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Suppressing Fire + Modes

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« Reply #15 on: (13:26:38/02-09-18) »
That does seem to be our wrinkle.  I have no reason to assume "controlled and fully automatic" isn't talking about one thing, as I don't see why the fully automatic part of it wouldn't also be controlled.  I don't think it's saying "controlled bursts or uncontrolled fully automatic fire".  The whole point of Suppressing Fire is that it is controlled over a specific area, right?

For what it's worth, I'm not reading it as "controlled bursts or uncontrolled fully automatic fire" either.  "controlled and automatic bursts", to put it yet another way, sounds like it means "bursts of all kinds".

My problems with rules-limiting suppressive fire to FA fire are as follows:

It prevents BF from being used to provide suppressive fire.  IMO that's an unreasonable restriction.. even if the SMG is only providing 3 bullets per pull of the trigger, when you're doing suppressive fire you can easily generate the assumed 20 (or lots fewer if the suppressed area is smaller) rounds over 1 IP if you're not trying to hit a metahuman sized target (spray and pray baby!) even before considering possible smartlink capability.

It prevents semi-automatics from being used to provide suppressive fire.  A standard of realism isn't ideal for a cinematic game like SR.. so consider cinematics.  Is it reasonable for semiautomatics like police sidearms to be ineligible to perform as they do in any cop/action movie ever?  I'd say no.

When it comes to reconciling syntactic ambiguity, what is better: reading it in the way that limits options/fun, or reading what's an equally semantically valid way to enhance options/fun?

Granted those are preferences/not rooted in rules analysis.  But still I consider them valid as realism is hardly the best benchmark for a game like SR... whereas whether what works in similar kinds of tropes should work under the rules is imho a fairer measure :)
However, going into analyzing the rules without bringing opinions into the mix:

The text establishes a rules-distancing from FA firing mode by making the base ammo consumption 20 rather than FA's 10.  Outside of the fluff mention that we read differently, there's nothing at all that hints at specific firing modes.

OTOH there IS the distancing from any specific firing mode by having unique rules.  Not just the ammo, but the lack of a defense test, the dice pool penalty inflicted on the target(s), etc.

It also has a commonality in ALL kinds of bursts: it provides an exception to the rules where you generally are not allowed to attack more than one target at a time.

What I'm saying is FA is simultaneously no more AND no less appropriate, under the rules, than any other kind of burst for suppressive fire.

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I don't mean to be self-righteous; but I've put a lot of time into doing this sort of thing on the errata team.  You've got to give me some credit on this sort of thing.
If I didn't care, I wouldn't argue :)  I appreciate your participation in the discussion, and also your help with developing errata that the game so often needs!

And please accept my apologies if I came across harsh.  I just have a sincere disagreement with you that honestly appears to boil down to what's probably giving a fluff text mention more rules relevance than it truly deserves.
« Last Edit: (13:55:11/02-09-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #16 on: (14:40:57/02-09-18) »
"A technique of controlled and fully automatic bursts" definitely seems to be referencing Full Auto mode of a gun. None of the other firing modes have access to fully automatic bursts.

Based on the text, the intent seems to be FA mode only, but if people wanted to house-rule other firing modes to be able to suppressive fire that's up to them. I would say that it is off-limit to Single-Shot (since it can't burst at all). Semi-Auto would be limited to at most 6 bullets (following the not enough bullets rule) and it should probably have some other sort of penalty because it really doesn't have access to those actual burst-fires (semi-auto burst is really just pulling the trigger three times). Burst-Fire should probably be limited to only 12 bullets, and again a small penalty (like just a -1) for lack of a fully auto option (burst-fire means each trigger pull shoots off 3 bullets).

I'm basing these numbers on double the maximum the modes can fire normally, because that's the source of Suppressing Fire using up 20 bullets (double FA's complex 10-shot).

« Reply #17 on: (16:03:23/02-09-18) »
Based on the text, the intent seems to be FA mode only..

I don't mean to be obstinate, but does anything beyond the quote of "controlled and fully automatic bursts" actually say this to you in the suppressive fire rules?  If so, what?

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None of the other firing modes have access to fully automatic bursts.

If you were told to get "red and green apples" from the grocery store, would it be following instructions or failing to follow instructions if you came back with multiple apples where some were red and some were green but none were both red AND green?  Is it more likely that the person instructed you to get apples that were red and/or green or to only get apples that are specifically both red and green each?

Obviously there's no objectively correct answer, but my point is the quote CAN certainly mean multiple and different things.  Only the writer knows for sure whether he meant:
Controlled bursts OR automatic bursts
Bursts that are both controlled AND automatic
Controlled bursts and/or automatic bursts

It literally can be any of the three, so given that there's no other restriction mentioned elsewhere in the rules that I'm seeing, why does the 2nd interpretation necessarily have to override the other 2 semantic possibilities when it comes to divining author's intent?  If the author intended that only guns that can do FA firing mode can be used to perform suppressive fire wouldn't s/he have explicitly said so rather than leaving that implied by possible interpretation in a mention in the flavor description of the action?  If the author meant reading 1 or 3, then you absolutely can use a semi automatic or a BF SMG to make "controlled bursts" to perform suppressive fire.

On the other hand since semi-automatic fire certainly can be used for suppressive fire (both in "real life" and in fiction/cinematic trope)  if they are to be barred from this use under the rules, shouldn't the rules make this explicitly rather than (arguably at best) implicitly clear?  I find reading 2 to be the least likely correct reading of the author's intent due to the lack of a supporting clarification elsewhere in the rules.  1 and 3 don't require one; since there isn't one that I can see it makes 1 or 3 the more likely/better reading of the author's intent.

And hell, if we want to remove authors intent and go strictly by RAW only, then you absolutely can use 1 single bullet (even from a SS weapon) to suppress a 1x2 meter area. (Per page 180, there's no requirement to use the full 20 rounds.  Using less than 20 rounds results in the width but not height of the area being reduced by 1 meter for every 2 bullets shy of 20. Being 19 bullets shy is the same as 18 bullets shy, and results in 10-9=1 meters by 2 meters) But I'm not taking it to that extreme, I agree that there's some weight to the author's intent behind the flavor/descriptive quote making "clear" that bursts have to be used.  I'm disagreeing that the rules say it has to be FA bursts and that SB/BF bursts are excluded.
« Last Edit: (16:37:52/02-09-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #18 on: (17:07:07/02-09-18) »
To use your analogy: if someone told you to go out and buy red and green apples and you came back with only red (or only green) apples you would be undoubtedly incorrect.

It is a technique of controlled and fully automatic bursts. Guns that cannot fire in full-auto can't create the part of the technique that calls for fully automatic bursts. I'm not analyzing the phrasing, I'm not considering the distinctions between did they mean "controlled bursts and full-auto bursts", "controlled full-auto bursts", or even "controlled fire and full-auto bursts" in all of these cases it is the coordinating conjunction "and" which is being used to indicate that the two parts are to be taken jointly. That means you need both.

So, your options are:
  • The words "Controlled" and "Fully" are describing the word automatic, indicating a single type of automatic burst that is both controlled and full-auto
  • The word "Controlled" and phrase "fully automatic" are describing are describing the word bursts, indicating two types of bursts that are taken jointly
  • The word "Controlled" and the phrase "fully automatic bursts" are describing two types of firing that are to be taken jointly. (Note, this option is highly unlikely as this would be grammatically incorrect due to the lack of parallel structure; you would need to have another word with controlled for this option).

All of these options require the gun to be firing in fully automatic bursts to be able to take the terms jointly. Thus the opinion that you must use FA mode to use Suppressive Fire. Guns that can't supply the fully automatic portion of the technique can't make use the technique...

« Reply #19 on: (17:18:21/02-09-18) »
To use your analogy: if someone told you to go out and buy red and green apples and you came back with only red (or only green) apples you would be undoubtedly incorrect.

Slight misuse of the analogy.  To put the context more in line with the use as presented on page 179 (to reword it: suppressive fire is made up of controlled and automatic bursts), it'd be someone telling me that "apples are red and green." and then arguing over whether an apple that's only red is in fact an apple.

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It is a technique of controlled and fully automatic bursts. Guns that cannot fire in full-auto can't create the part of the technique that calls for fully automatic bursts. I'm not analyzing the phrasing, I'm not considering the distinctions between did they mean "controlled bursts and full-auto bursts", "controlled full-auto bursts", or even "controlled fire and full-auto bursts" in all of these cases it is the coordinating conjunction "and" which is being used to indicate that the two parts are to be taken jointly. That means you need both.

It's not as "there's only one correct reading" as you seem to believe.  "The woman held the baby in the green blanket" has at least 4 distinct meanings, for example. Is the woman in the green blanket?  Is the baby?  Did the woman use the blanket to hold the baby or is she implied to have been using her hands?  etc.  Hell, we haven't even touched on whether or not the discussed line is exhaustively proscriptive or merely descriptive.  I doubt we want to go there... again as I said in response to firebug there's probably WAY too much weight being given to the line that (to me) appears to never have been intended to be part of the actual rules crunch anyway.

Let's set the line aside if we could for a moment to consider a question... other than the one possible interpretation of that one line is there anything anywhere that supports the notion that SB and BF bursts are ineligible for suppressive fire?  In the rules, not in the rules, it doesn't matter.  (any stories where a character says "Damn I wish I could use my Uzi IV/Predator to keep those guys' heads down but I can't because it only does 3 round bursts/is a semiautomatic" or such?)  ANYTHING.  If not, we're just arguing about one line in the descriptive text, are we not?
« Last Edit: (17:52:45/02-09-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #20 on: (00:09:04/02-10-18) »
Even with that second analogy, no matter how you spin it, that woman is going to have both a baby and a blanket which is green. The various ways you can read and spin things to imply the order or how the blanket was used doesn't change that it is still there somewhere.

But you're right, we are discussing only one aspect of one part. But really, that's because no other part of the rules entry really speaks one way or the other. There are several factors which lead us to believe that Suppressive Fire is limited to only Full Auto. One of those is the sentence we have been debating grammar over, which directly states that fully automatic bursts are involved. There is also the number of bullets involved, which is exactly double the number used in a normal FA Complex Action and is built into the core assumption of a Suppressive Fire action. The ability to use Suppressing Fire with less bullets is only handled in a sidebar and not part of the base rule of how Suppressing Fire works. The entries in the books also lends to this idea, with the order of the firing modes structured placing Suppressing Fire directly after Full-Auto and not mentioned as entirely different type of firing action.

But if we ignore that and move into a completely descriptive area. Nothing stops any sort of gun-shot to simply be called Suppressing Fire. Holding that shot with a SS revolver to wait until they peek their head out to make them think again and stay behind cover could be called Suppressing Fire. Firing blindly around cover so that people don't want to run out into the open could be called Suppressing Fire. You can fire off bullets at a target with whatever gun you want. If they are smart it'll probably have the effect of making them want to keep their heads down. But that doesn't mean it has the same mechanical effect.

« Reply #21 on: (00:17:15/02-10-18) »
But you're right, we are discussing only one aspect of one part. But really, that's because no other part of the rules entry really speaks one way or the other.

That's part of my point.  The actual rules don't give a restriction, so I'm saying why should you assume that there must be one from the line saying "controlled and fully automatic bursts".    To be clear I'm not saying it's incorrect to read that as saying "bursts that are both controlled and automatic", ok?

I'm asking why should that be the definitive reading when it's equally correct to read it as "controlled bursts and/or fully automatic bursts", especially given the complete lack in the "crunch" of any restrictions on firing modes?

Put another way:
In suppressive fire we have a rule that never says anything unambiguously about firing modes.  So in that absence, does it mean there is no intended restriction, or that the intended restriction was omitted and can only be inferred by the flavor text?  It's not a game of "doesn't say I can't vs doesn't say you CAN" here.  It's a case of one interpretation involving going significantly out on an assumption and one does not.  The assumption of "only FA firing mode is eligible" is an assumption that is unsupported by the rules beyond one possible reading of an ambiguous description of what suppressive fire is.
« Last Edit: (00:30:06/02-10-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #22 on: (00:33:55/02-10-18) »
If somebody said "Creating diamonds is a technique of pressure and time" would you be arguing that you could create diamonds with just one or the other? What about the statement implies that you can inject the "or" in there? You keep saying that replacing the "and" with "or" is a valid interpretation and grammatically I really don't see it.

Just because you want to be able to say that it means "controlled or fully automatic bursts" doesn't meant that it does. It isn't a valid reading because the structure of the statement doesn't support it. "a combination of controlled and fully automatic bursts" means that you have both not one or the other. Just like a combination of red and green apples means that you have both and not just one or the other.

EDIT: And Firebug and I have been on the same line the whole time. The phrasing and description of the action heavily implies that FA only weapons can be used. But we both agreed that it would be a reasonable houserule to allow other weapons to use it as well. I even offered ways to handle it in my first post.
« Last Edit: (00:36:37/02-10-18) by Kiirnodel »

« Reply #23 on: (00:49:18/02-10-18) »
If somebody said "Creating diamonds is a technique of pressure and time" would you be arguing that you could create diamonds with just one or the other? What about the statement implies that you can inject the "or" in there? You keep saying that replacing the "and" with "or" is a valid interpretation and grammatically I really don't see it.

I'm a trained linguist.  That's why we're seeing ambiguity differently.  Yes, for the record, I WOULD argue that "creating diamonds is a technique of pressure and time" is an example of syntactic ambiguity.  That sentence can absolutely mean several things.  I'm sure that as the author you know which one (and only one) meaning you intended, but the way the english language works that kind of sentence structure CAN mean several things, no matter what your intended meaning was.

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Just because you want to be able to say that it means "controlled or fully automatic bursts" doesn't meant that it does. It isn't a valid reading because the structure of the statement doesn't support it. "a combination of controlled and fully automatic bursts" means that you have both not one or the other. Just like a combination of red and green apples means that you have both and not just one or the other.

I'm not saying it has any one meaning.  I'm rejecting that your reading is the one and only possible meaning.  That's an important distinction.  Whether you believe it or not, "it is a combination of controlled and fully automatic bursts" can absolutely mean any of the following:

It only exists when it is both controlled and fully automatic at the same time (your preferred interpretation)
A specific instance of it is either controlled bursts or fully automatic bursts (honestly not sure why you're insisting this is impossible Edited for ease of understanding)
It is an indefinite mix consisting of controlled bursts and/or fully automatic bursts (honestly this is what I suspect the author intended)
It is a controlled burst or a fully automatic burst but never both at once (granted, unlikely to be the author's intent but it's a completely legitimate possibility)

I could go on, but this is a serious case of going down into the semantic weeds over what I'll say for the third time is something that really doesn't warrant it.  If the sidebar on page 180 doesn't count as "real rules", this troublesome line certainly doesn't count as rules crunch either.  The. Rules. Don't. Give. A. Firing. Mode. Restriction.  I mean, that should be the end of discussion.


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EDIT: And Firebug and I have been on the same line the whole time. The phrasing and description of the action heavily implies that FA only weapons can be used. But we both agreed that it would be a reasonable houserule to allow other weapons to use it as well. I even offered ways to handle it in my first post.

Your opinion is noted.  You're sure it's a viable house rule, I'm sure it's allowed by the rules as-is.  We can probably agree to disagree from here out.
« Last Edit: (01:42:49/02-10-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #24 on: (00:53:18/02-10-18) »
how can you have a combination of two things without both things?

« Reply #25 on: (01:00:40/02-10-18) »
how can you have a combination of two things without both things?

In this line of text's case, one example of how something that is a combination of two things might not be both things at once is a case where the text is describing suppressive fire in a categorical sense (as being controlled bursts and fully automatic bursts) while allowing for single instances of suppressive fire to possibly be one without being the other.   It'd be reading the sentence in the same way as you'd likely read "The human race is made up of men and women".  Would you say the sentence is claiming that individuals can't be just a man or just a woman?  Of course if you're keeping up here you'll know that I WOULD be saying "yep, that's actually one possible meaning!" ;)  Ambiguity isn't necessarily bad, we deal with it all the time.  So often we do it without even realizing it, but that's where we can get tripped up.  Maybe, just maybe, the author didn't actually mean what you're assuming.  Goes to interpreting best you can what you think the author meant.

So in my case I'd argue the author intended an and/or operator in there, but it got through editing as is to make it flow more naturally at the expense of being less technically unambiguous.   There's a lot to be said for readability trumping technical clarity...just look at legal and academic writing and see how much fun that is to read ;)  But again taking the ambiguous language in that line out of the equation: there's no restrictions given elsewhere and thus the absence of supporting restrictions makes reading a "boolean and" in there questionable.  In my humble opinion.  You don't share it, and that's fine.
« Last Edit: (01:34:20/02-10-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

ShadowcatX

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« Reply #26 on: (01:52:27/02-10-18) »
To me, if the authors meant or, they would have said or. They said and, so they meant and. Arguing otherwise in order to gain a mechanical benefit is just a blatant attempt at twisting the rules and continuing to do so would be enough for me to show you the door.

« Reply #27 on: (02:16:01/02-10-18) »
To me, if the authors meant or, they would have said or. They said and, so they meant and.

It's almost like everything I said went right over your head :(

Let's presume you're absolutely right in that AND is exactly the word the author intended and there's no possibility he meant and/or there.

Here's the complete sentence for reference's sake:
"Though it may appear as a “spray and pray” technique it is in fact a
combination of controlled and fully automatic bursts
focused over a narrow area and directed at anything
that moves."

In order to narrow our focus, can we agree on a simplified and slightly reworded phrase of "suppressive fire is a combination of controlled and fully automatic bursts" as being true to the original text's meaning?

Assuming yes, I'm moving on.

ALL of the following are true given the criteria of "suppressive fire is a combination of controlled and fully automatic bursts" .

Suppressive fire is always a combination of both controlled AND fully automatic bursts.
Suppressive fire is categorically a combination of both controlled AND fully automatic bursts.
Suppressive fire is categorically a combination of both controlled AND fully automatic bursts, but individual cases can be exclusively one or exclusively the other.
Suppressive fire is categorically a combination of both controlled AND fully automatic bursts where individual cases can include both types of bursts in any combination.
Suppressive fire is descriptively made up of such kinds of bursts as controlled AND fully automatic burst, but potentially can implicitly include other kinds of bursts because this is a descriptive list.
Suppressive fire is exhaustively composed of only controlled AND fully automatic bursts, but can be individually composed of either.
Suppressive fire is exhaustively composed of only controlled AND fully automatic bursts, and each instance must include both.
Suppressive fire is exhaustively composed of only controlled AND fully automatic bursts, and each instance can include either or both.

I mean, thats 8 potential meanings right there still sticking to the the "AND MEANS AND!" paradigm. I could have given more.  And this isn't up for debate, btw.  If you want to argue you're arguing with the English language not me. ;)

If you want to argue about which meaning you feel the author PROBABLY meant, do so.  I did so, basing my opinion on there being a lack of restrictions in the actual rules, making this "fluff sentence" completely unsupported if read to mean FA only.  It does still give insight to author's intent, agreed.  I agree that 1 bullet from a SS gun should not be able to perform suppressive fire based solely on the presence of this line.  Because again there's no rules mention of a restriction on firing modes.  Ever. 

And IMO that's the final word on the question.  The rules don't ever give any restriction on firing modes for suppressive fire.  It's a binary truth with not a lot of wiggle room.  All we're arguing about at this point is whether one possible reading of ambiguous flavor text out of many possible readings counts the same as the rules explicitly giving a restriction.  My agreement with those I'm arguing with extends only to the point that the flavor text makes it clear that bursts of some kind(s) should need to be used.  There's too much ambiguity and too little supporting evidence from the rules to go decisively beyond that, leaving the negative state of an absence of a restriction on firing modes as the status quo for the rules on suppressive fire.
« Last Edit: (02:51:17/02-10-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »