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WOIN Firearm and grenade damage in NEW

TheHirumaChico

Explorer
Hi again. I was kitting out some of my bad guys for my next session, who will be elite mercenaries. I was thinking it would be interesting to have some of the mercs be a heavy-weapons team, with a couple machine gunners and maybe a flame-thrower merc and a grenade launcher merc. However, in reviewing the firearms stats on p. 93 of NOW 1.2, I couldn't see any reason why the machine gunners would be any more interesting or different than a regular bunch of mercs with assault rifles. For example, an H&K G3 assault rifle does 3d6+2 damage with a range increment of 18. Compare that with an M60 medium machine gun which does the same damage (3d6+2), has a range increment of 20, but weighs twice as much and costs nearly twice as much. And the M2HB Browning heavy machine gun makes even less sense, doing only 3d6 damage for a slightly improved range increment of 22, but weighing 7 times more than the G3 and costing 2.3 times more. All three have the AUTO trait, so other than flavor/style, I see no practical reason to take a machine gun over the assault rifle.

In a similar vein, I am not seeing a significant advantage in a frag grenade over a 9mm pistol in terms of damage output. I recognize the benefit of BURST and that the attack is vs. VITAL DEFENSE, but 2d6 damage seems rather inconsequential given typical NPC/player character health totals and body armor/soak. I can always house-rule it to be higher, but I was just trying to get a better understanding why the damage ranges are so narrow for these rather different weapons. A machine gun is only 1d6 more damage than a pistol and is also 1d6 more than a grenade.

I'm also thinking that in this day and age, the thermobaric weapon is the likely successor to the flamethrower, so any suggestions on what those stats might look like would be appreciated. Here is a Wikipedia link to one used by the Russian Spetsnaz: RPO-A Shmel - Wikipedia

Thanks for reading.
 

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MacD

Just a tourist passing your way...
Most WOIN weaponry is for style and completion; many people do the mistake and read the equipment list as a single shop. If a DM says "your store sells only brand xy" and the party is in the need of fast firepower / simply playing in an era / land / wherever without internet and same day delivery, they will grateful buy those "overpriced" items
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
A lot of the damage in WOIN comes from the attacker not the weapon. Being shot in the head with a pistol is worse than being shot in the foot with a machine gun. Being stabbed in the eye with a pencil is worse than having your hand lopped off with a greatsword. You exchange attack dice for damage dice to do more damage.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Well the M-60 amd the G-3 are firing the same bullet and so should do the same damage. The advantage of an M-60 or other machine gun is that the greater weight and better cooling , as well as a belt feed allow more prolonged automatic fire while in practice almost no one will hit anything with a G-3 on full auto . Hence why most armies moved to smaller calibre ammo with better recoil control for rifles.

An M-2 Browning on the other hand fires a .50 cal bullet which is massively larger than the G-3 and will go through a vehicle engine block or light armoured vehicles. A hit from a .50 cal anywhere on the human body is pretty much instant death as it will remove the limb causing massive blood loss. Not familiar with the system but doubling the damage and ignoring body armour looks like a minimum for .50 cal ammo. If there is a Barret .50 sniper rifle that fires the same ammo and may have different damage.

Grenade lethality similar to a 9mm is not unreasonable the advantage is it hits everyone in the area often multiple times, however body armour which protects agaisnt pistol fire will usually stop such shrapnel.

Also being stabbed in the eye with a pencil is likely to be none lethal unless you really penetrate deep through the bone into the brain, while having a hand chopped off will probably kill you as it severs arteries and without a tourniquet you will dead pretty damned fast.

If a randome Venezualen conscript with a G-3 rifle gets a lucky hit , it is just as deadly as being hit by a master sniper heavy bullets kill people, Cinematics not withstanding , I believe the record for a kill with a .50 cal is a well over a mile
 

MacD

Just a tourist passing your way...
Not familiar with the system but doubling the damage and ignoring body armour looks like a minimum for .50 cal ammo. If there is a Barret .50 sniper rifle that fires the same ammo and may have different damage.
As Morrus tried to say - in WOIN it's the character that matters. Tools (like a weapon) help characters doing something better and / or enable them doing things (like shooting people), but equipment stats show only the base.
Raw weapon damage is what a child or untrained nobody could do with it.
A trained sniper will take that base damage, use about five times the range without penalties, ignore the target's SOAK (armor) and deal about 3-4d6 +5 more damage.
It's literally people killing people - not weapons killing people.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
There was one draft of WOIN which had all weapons doing the same damage. And another where they had no damage values themselves, it all came from exchanged dice.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Fine for superhero games or recreating cinema. I was advising on what happens with actual guns if the OP wanted to change things to more accuratly reflect reality.
I use GURPS as guns are reasonably scary in that or Hero System for superheros. For modern day games I like guns to hurt.
Its not unique I remember the 2nd ed of Twilight 2000 where a 9mm bullet in the head was comparable to a shaving cut and that was meant to be gritty

To be fair there really is not that much difference between similar guns and a lot of systems which try either introduce a lot of complications which amount to very little or accidentally produce the 'One True Gun' which is just so much better so some level of abstract is good and it depends wether you are trying to mode reality or Jon Wick
 

Evil_DM

Chris
We found the same, especially with grenades, and significantly diversified damage, as well as introduced some new concepts.

Grenades (HE grenades that is) do 5D6 damage with us but cascade (each square beyond the impact square reduces the damage by 1d6). Also, for all grenades we have introduced a Mitigated Damage line, about what happens if you hit the target square but fail to beat the VITAL DEFENSE (for the HE grenade, that is half damage, in case you were wondering).

We have also upped damage for most weapons, since (through basic rules) increasing damage is very easy anyway (a +1000 cr. upgrade) - and we made it much more difficult to increase damage in other ways.

In our mod, most weapons that are very damaging (the .50 sniper for example, does 5D6) have several downsides attached to them. For example, a short range if you are not bracing it, limited ammo capacity, or heinously expensive ammunition. The short range if you do not brace it (shooting an MG or .50 sniper while in a move-and-fire manouvre reduces your ranges significantly) allows you to do more damage but are limited in your action economy (allowing a dynamic PC with a standard 3D6 assault rifle to do about the same amount of damage in a round, but in a completely different way).

Finally, we also introduced a way more granular armor, SOAK and HEALTH system, including a wound system where the more damage you take in one attack, the more you run the risk of injuries that cannot be healed by just sleeping a night.

On the other side, we nerfed the Deadly Strike to only give a +1D6 damage on 1 weapon type (pistols, or rifles, or swords) instead of on all attacks.

The important thing we find, is having the right tool for the right situation. A heavy .45 pistol may do 3D6 damage, but will lose the sidearm trait. That 5D6 .50 sniper is very good, but in certain situations. Heavy MG's (the .50 you talked about) will also do 5D6 damage but must be mounted on a tripod and will take several rounds to assemble/disassemble. However, it would be a death sentence to attack it head-on. Grenades do a lot of damage potentially to a large group, but medium to high soak and fair VITAL DEFENSE will mitigate most of that (as it should).
 
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TheHirumaChico

Explorer
That was a post chocked full of juicy goodness @Evil_DM! Greatly appreciate you sharing all of these home-brew tweaks and mods! The Cascade idea is f*%$@!# brilliant, and made me face-palm 🤦‍♂️ at it's elegant simplicity (and because it made me think "why didn't me and my group think of that?").

We made a similar nerf to the Deadly Strike exploit (nice to be on the same page with a group of apparently brilliant minds). I'd love to see all the other specific details of your weapon adjustments if you have more to share. Thanks again for sharing what you have already! Information like this from other WOIN-system users is very helpful to review as me and my players use the system ourselves.
 

Evil_DM

Chris
Addendum: we made a distinction between 'normal' weapons and AT weapons, to prevent PC's using high damage AT weapons as one-shot weapons versus other (non player) characters.

AT weapons do a lot of damage, but are harder to hit targets smaller than an armored car or tank. Conversely, 'normal' weapons only do half damage versus vehicles. Else, with a mob armed with pistols you could should shoot a tank to death in a few minutes (since each 6 on your damage roll does 1 point of damage, and/or because of low DEFENSE you can exchange a lot of to-hit D6's for additional damage D6's).

You could let the thermobaric weapon do 5D6 or 6D6 damage easily in a large area, but give it severe to-hit penalties when using versus persons or similar small/nimble targets. Don't forget, versus vehicles each 6 you roll on the damage dice allows you to roll a critical hit effect.
 
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TheHirumaChico

Explorer
Else, with a mob armed with pistols you could should shoot a tank to death in a few minutes (since each 6 on your damage roll does 1 point of damage, and/or because of low DEFENSE you can exchange a lot of to-hit D6's for additional damage D6's).
Doesn't the SOAK 20 of a tank pretty much nerf this issue already? Or am I missing something?
 

TheHirumaChico

Explorer
Unless you made the SOAK ablative, which I certainly could see doing with some of the SOAK value for a modern tank considering they use reactive/ablative armor over the base steel/composite shell.
 

Evil_DM

Chris
Doesn't the SOAK 20 of a tank pretty much nerf this issue already? Or am I missing something?
The rules say that every 6 you roll on the damage dice, inflicts at least 1 point of damage regardless of SOAK (p. 167 of the NEW book). Additionally, if you have a fair MDP (say,7d6) it is relatively easy to get a 5D6 or 6d6+3 damage with a pistol versus a DEFENSE 10 target. Doing the math, you would do an average of 5 points of damage, with each shot, with a pistol to a tank. To add insult to injury, according to the vehicle combat rules, every 6 you roll on damage also inflicts a critical hit effect (Vehicle Combat — What's O.L.D. is N.E.W.).

EDIT: I just saw a tank has a DEFENSE of 2, so you could easily to 7D6 or 8D6+3 with a pistol to a tank twice per round, with the numbers also saying you would do at least 1 critical effect each attack. However, the rules are not concise here, since other rules state a DEFENSE is never below 10 (though I can imagine a tank being difficult to miss, hence the DEFENSE of 2).
 
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Evil_DM

Chris
Unless you made the SOAK ablative, which I certainly could see doing with some of the SOAK value for a modern tank considering they use reactive/ablative armor over the base steel/composite shell.
The vehicle and normal tactical rules are clearly not meant to be mixed, but we like putting them together on the battlefield anyway. Hence, we made that distinction between vehicles and AT weapons, and 'normal' weapons. We also had to make some houserule regarding SPEED of vehicles versus characters (using Roll20 we can play on very large maps, so it makes it at least doable to mix vehicle and character combat from a scale perspective - and also make sniper rifles worth while from time to time).

So in our houserules, normal weapons do half damage versus vehicles, do not automatically do a point of damage when rolling a 6 on the damage dice and certainly do not roll for a critical effect when rolling a 6 on the damage dice.

If we wanted to go even further, we would have to make a distinction between unarmored, lightly armored and heavily armored vehicles and what weapons would effect them, but that was going more into simulation than RPG so we will just accept the system is not perfect in that sense - we just tried to have it make a little bit of sense.
 
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Evil_DM

Chris
Even more addendum: we ignored the rules update that said you can exchange 1 hit die for 1 damage die and kept the original 2 for 1. However, being able to exchange 1 for 1 became a feature of the auto trait, representing you can either spray an area or focus on one target:

Auto (houserule). These weapons give you below benefits:
  • By spending 2 ACTIONS, you may attack multiple targets. Pick a target and make an attack roll at -1D6. If you succeed, you do normal damage for the weapon. You may then continue attacking targets, each no further than 10’ away from the previous target, with cumulative -1d6 to hit per additional target. You may only attack each target once. Each attack requires at least 10 rounds of ammunition. Support weapons reduce the penalty by 1d6. Or:
  • Grant an extra +1D6 of cover to an ally when using suppressive fire by spending 10 rounds, or:
  • You may trade one die of attack for one die of damage, once per attack, by spending 10 rounds per die exchanged. Normally, you trade -2D6 to attack for +1D6 of damage.

this means the Strafe exploit does normal weapon damage instead of 1d6 though (making it better than just firing auto)
 

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