Monday, March 3, 2014

Some extra rules for BRP - autofire and initiative

I've been very much in love with BRP lately. It's a game system I've played since I began this hobby, and it still feels like it can do anything. When Savage Worlds and FATE come and go as the "go to" systems for setting conversion, I always feel BRP could do it.

There are some oddities in the rules, though. Like almost every other rules set out there, it's more inspired by action movies than real life. I shall not try to bring up the dreaded "realism" argument, but sometimes you want to tone down the action hero aspects for a grittier game.

Autofire is one of those things I'd live to tweak. I've been thinking on this a while, and also been reading people's tweaks. This is my presents thoughts, archived. If you have any input I'm quite interested to hear it. I might still change things up a bit until I actually try these ideas out

Autofire

On of the oddities about autofire is that it's no harder to hit regardless how many bullets you put in the air. Recoil is abstracted out, and the amount of bullets that hit have no relation to your skill. I'd like to change that.

When you autofire, roll to hit as usual. But, do not add +5% per bullet! If you hit, take a note of your margin of success. A successful hit mean one bullet hit, and one more bullet per 5% of margin of success. But, regardless of success level, mark of all those bullets fired.

That will mean skill matters, and recoil is kind of factored in by removing the extra +5%. Optionally: subtract -5% per bullet fired if you really want to make recoil matter.

Another effect of autofire is to make people keep their heads down. To make that happen, I'm thinking of adopting a concept found in some games from GDW, namely Coolness Under Fire.

Coolness Under Fire

I'm not sure yet if this should be a derived ability, or a skill. The latter makes it easy to slot in among the other abilities. But, it's only partly something trained so I'm unsure if that makes sense, but also what to derive it from! Average POW and INT? Is low INT maybe a benefit? For now I'll treat it as a skill.

CuF is a skill, with a base chance of your POW. You can put skill points into it, just like any other skill. When you'd normally call for initiative rolls, instead roll CuF. For every 10% of your margin of success you get a +1 bonus to your DEX rank for initiative. Those who succeeded then act like usual in DEX order.

Those who fail their roll must take cover at once, and may not attack. Each round you make another roll to try to get to act.

Optional: For every bullet fired towards your area you take a -5% penalty to your CuF roll. That way autofire is very useful to lay down covering fire.

Final thoughs

The big problem with this will probably be for those players who fail their CuF, and get to sit there and do nothing. I guess that's why the rules are like they are in the book, but I have played enough conflict simulation games to appreciate the idea of having a field of combat a little less ordered and with a little less control.  I mean, RPGs are not like chess, right?

The other big thing is if CuF should be a skill at all. I'm still not sure about that, and change my mind every day. I'll put this out there as a working draft of my ideas. Hopefully I get to try them out when I've decided on something.

4 comments:

  1. I like your ideas with autofire! I assume Crits and specials only for the first bullet (per regular rules), is that what you'd do? And what would you do with firing at multiple targets? I hear what you're saying about recoil being factored in by not adding the five percents, but I'm tempted to add maybe +1% per bullet, although that's getting awfully fiddly, I know. I don't believe I would subtract 5% per bullet (your optional thing on making recoil "really matter").

    With CuF, the way you've laid it out I would tend to think of it as a skill, but I get your dilemma. Would you deal with Crits and Specials and Fumbles with CuF?

    Good stuff!

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    1. Thanks!

      I didn't mention it, but all rules not explicitly overruled would be in effect, i.e. crits and specials as usual, yes.

      Special results on the CuF roll I must confessed had not really crossed my mind! Thanks for reminding me! I'll have to think a bit on that.

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  2. You're right ... it is a pretty dire consequence for a failed skill roll, though, to run for cover... Cheers.

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    1. It is. It is my conviction, though, that most of us would probably duck and stay down if someone shot at us. It takes training to stand your ground, take sensible cover and return fire with effectiveness.

      One option could be to loose first round only, or a random amount of rounds after which you can act normally.

      There are holes to be filled in these rules, to be sure!

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