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Continued debate with Hobbes

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Lormyr:

--- Quote from: Hobbes on --- :)

Grenades really should be triggering the harshest response from the game world the GM is willing to throw at the PCs.  And HTR teams should be tactically aware enough to not walk into a rolling barrage.  Details will vary wildly based on the situation of course.  But if the building is already blown full of holes and everyone is dead.... just fire off a half dozen HE Missiles from a safe distance and have done with 'em.  Follow up with an Astral scout or a swarm of cheap drones.  Blame the terrorists for the collateral damage, it's why they pay the PR team.

This is mostly a table issue IMO as no matter what you do with AoE damage the PC will have some kind of access to it.  Either Spells, Chem Grenades, or Explosives.  Any and all of them can be abused.  If one grenade isn't enough, fine bust out the burst fire launcher.  Or have the Rigger fire off half a dozen from the Rotodrone murder squad.  Or have three mages on the team.

If the players are knocking down buildings with spells and explosives or tossing around chemical weapons they should expect the GM to pull out the biggest hammer in the toolbox if they stick around. 

Unless of course its some kind of Barrens/CZ/war zone where no HTR team is paid to care : )   Then, by all means, break out the 120mm Mortar squad and frag some hoops.

--- End quote ---

I wanted to respond to this in the other thread, but I'll put it here instead for Skalchemist.

Overall, I agree with you. Strictly putting aside game mechanics and fun factor, just going with setting, let's look at this from a powerful corps perspective. If you have a team with top of the line firepower raiding one of your facilities, I think the most appropriate response is a quick cost vs. loss analysis. In other words, will it cost you more (money, influence, reputation, whatever) to let the raided site and/or it's assets go or more to launch enough counter firepower to put a stop to the intruders? Other factors will certainly play a part, but in most cases, profit is the bottom line.

Lets look at game mechanics though. In 6e specifically, aoe spells cast even by fairly advanced spellcasters do not come anywhere close to grenades in power or radius. A magic 10 mage casting a fireball, and let's say amped up with +8 drain (4 for 2 damage, 4 to increase the radius to 8m) does 7 damage in an 8m radius. The grenade has a radius of 20m, doing a minimum of 8 damage at the same range as the spell, and much more to poor souls closer. That comparison alone is absurdly out of balance. At the risk of being an ass, I believe so strongly in the indisputable truth of that simple math that I have a very hard time taking anyone who disagrees seriously.

Fun wise, Shadowrun has two traditional styles: trenchcoat and mohawk. Neither is better, both are fun, both fit, it comes down purely to tastes. Setting aside trenchcoat for this conversation, lets focus on mohawk. What do you personally think would be more fun for the players?

A). Loud attacks are so deadly that whoever launches them pretty much wins. That means the players come in loud, obliterate the opposition, then (rightfully) get obliterated by the HTR retaliation.

or

B). Throw those greandes and spells. They are dangerous, but do moderate damage vs. lol you're dead son, with their primary benefit being the sheer number of people they can hit at once. The team comes in loud, still has to work for their kills, and then HTR responds in kind, and the team is facing trouble rather than certain death?

I don't know about you man, but I'll take B every time on either side of the "screen". Make those grenades damage 6, with a 10m radius and you will still get excellent value out of them without being obvious overkill. And for fucks sake people, allow a defense test.

Hobbes:
I think you're underrating Spellcasting as Net hits also increase damage.  Magic 6, Spellcasting 5, Spec, and Expertise, Rating 4 Foci, 13 dice at chargen, up to 18 pretty quick.  This is in addition to the brute squad of nigh invincible Spirits doing whatever they want.  Plus spells have the nifty option of being Mana or Stun damage, which in many situations helps with the security/game world response.

Grenade DV is too high?  Lower them to 4 DV its still just a matter of more grenades.  Either bust out the Semi Auto Launcher and fire off 4 per turn per Gun Bunny, or have the Rigger's Drone swarm saturate the area.  I guess more PCs get to fire off grenades than just whoever wins initiative? 

Give Grenades a defense test?  Sure.  But an optimized Samurai or Physad or Rigger will rarely miss with a gun, unless you've got a significantly different mechanic in mind, I don't think it would be much of a change.  Could be wrong.  Defense tests tend to favor PCs, not NPCs.  Most stock NPCs don't dodge real well, and I think that may be deliberate.   

Fun is relative.  IME, make sure players understand that explosives = immediate countdown to an over the horizon Guarda Swarm launch or Astral Mages continuous Spirit bombing or whatever HTR shenanigans the GM feels like.  If they decide to drop a building (and I recall doing just that multiple times in my Shadowrun career) the clock starts, better do what you need to do and get out.

Grenades haven't changed that much between editions.  There was a Burst Fire launcher in the 5e CRB I think and Chunky Salsa was a thing.  If a 'Runner team wanted to blow the hell out of a run with Grenade launchers in 5E, they could.  Most teams chose not to because they didn't want the heat/consequences/notoriety/whatever that comes with decisions like that.  That calculus should still be valid in 6E.  Clearly YMMV.

I think part of it is the DV difference between "normal" weapons and grenades is so high in this edition it just "pops" more?  Dunno. 

Banshee:
Grenades suck as they are for sure, but they have always sucked but even more so now unless changed which is on the wish list so we shall see what comes of it.

As for a little bit of a side rant this is the type of thing that makes me hate Missions play because I can't control what the players do at that level but in my home game grenades are a no go for everyone.

skalchemist:
I'm glad you posted this, Lormyr.  At the risk of stepping into a duel in progress between you and Hobbes, I did want to talk about grenades!  :-)

Your session report in a different thread was both eye-opening and hilarious, especially this bit...

--- Quote from: Lormyr on ---(All of us): Fuck explosives. Seriously, what in the hell were you guys thinking?

Please
Give
Them
A
Defense
Test
For
Fuck's
Sake
--- End quote ---
My GM and I laughed and laughed at that.   :D

I also generally agree with you that the current rules make grenades so huge of a threat that they will lead to not fun situations in our own game (I won't speak for anyone else's game or in absolute terms here, only with respect to my personal preferences).

I think our group tends more towards "trenchcoat", if I am inferring the meaning of those two paradigms of Shadowrun correctly; that is, more gritty, less manic.  Given that, I've been thinking about the following house rules to mitigate grenades somewhat, but not as much as what you are suggesting...

1) The only time someone gets hit with the Ground Zero damage is if they are literally standing on the grenade or its in their pocket.  Otherwise, they get the benefit of the doubt as close range.
2) The Avoid Incoming minor action is not affected by dodge penalties; 1 hit equals 1 meter moved.
3) Both the Avoid Incoming and Hit the Dirt minor actions have the following extra bit: "This action gives you X auto hits on a damage resistance test against blast effects (e.g. grenades)."  I'm thinking X is 2, maybe 3.

With these house rules the ground zero damage code (which is just super-huge) will almost never come up in normal circumstances, so its really only the 12P and 8P that you need to think about.  By changing the Avoid Incoming, it makes it easier to get out to Near (or out of the blast entirely).  By adding the auto-hits to both Avoid Incoming and Hit the Dirt it makes it more useful in defense, and also provides some defense if you have already used Move/Sprint. 

I think this would mean that grenades will still be close to insta-kill in confined spaces like hallways or rooms.  But outside of that context, they become more of a tactical consideration; as long as you hold a minor action you can probably make it through a grenade blast. 

EDIT: although if they have an MGL, you probably won't survive two blasts using SA mode unless you were able to get behind proper cover with the Avoid Incoming. 
EDIT: I assume that in a lot of cases by using Avoid Incoming (especially as I have modified it) a character can put some kind of physical barrier (a car, a wall, etc.) between them and where they hope the grenade will land, in which case they may not take any damage at all.  A grenade used on targets in the open is therefore mostly useful as a way to force the enemy to move out of position and put their heads down.
EDIT: It also occurs to me that Avoid Incoming would be more useful if the scatter diagram was biased in some fashion in the direction of travel.  That is, a grenade was more likely to go long or short than to bound left or right.

Anyway, that's my take on the subject.

Hobbes:

--- Quote from: Banshee on ---Grenades suck as they are for sure, but they have always sucked but even more so now unless changed which is on the wish list so we shall see what comes of it.

As for a little bit of a side rant this is the type of thing that makes me hate Missions play because I can't control what the players do at that level but in my home game grenades are a no go for everyone.

--- End quote ---

It depends on how Missions decides to use the Heat Mechanics.  If explosives make the next run harder...

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