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  • Firearms: what attribute do you use?

    In your games, what attribute do you combine with Firearms?

    I have been using Dexterity, but recently I have been thinking that, as long as you have training in Firearms, the whole "firing a gun" process (which is, hitting a target at certain distance) should be more related to a mental attribute, maybe Perception or Wits. I would like to hear your thoughts about it.

    Btw, this can be applied to any WoD game, so I ask here cause I guess this is the WoD forum with most traffic (you know, Vampire being the flagship and stuff)

    Thanx in advance.

  • #2
    I see Perception being used for something like snipers firing a rifle braced against something for steadiness. But for most situations I'd think Dexterity would be more appropriate than a mental attribute.

    I can possibly see Composure coming into play for something like an Old West duel between two gunslingers.

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    • #3
      In V5 the recommended attributes are Composure for having a prolonged firefight where you need to keep steady and controlled with chaos around you, Dexterity for a reflex-based quickdraw scenario, and Resolve for a sniper shot where the focus and preparation is key.

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      • #4
        I usually end up using the RAW: so Strength if you're wrestling with the gun, or Dexterity for anything else.

        If I was going to import in from elsewhere, I like the Storypath method of range based Attribute assignment:

        Strength or Dexterity in hand-to-hand combat. Dexterity in close combat. Dexterity or Composure for medium range combat. Composure or Intelligence for long range combat. Intelligence for combat beyond human line of sight (sniping that requires high grade optics, artillery, etc.).

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        • #5
          With my group we tend to be a bit lose with the Attribute/Ability combinations. So if someone can describe how they're shooting in a way that would reasonably seem like a feat of Perception or Wits or Strength rather than Dexterity, I'd let them do so. Heck, I've even allowed for the occasional Manipulation + Firearms to scare the piss out of someone with your gun skills.

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          • #6
            As others have said, dex for firing from the hip and close range aimed shots since you have to steady your arm to line up the shot, and perception for long range shots since you generally have your gun stabilized by sand bags or a bi-pod which means you are more accounting for wind, travel time, bullet drop, or the coriolis effect at extreme ranges. That's perceiving a ton of information and boiling it down to a single calculation on the fly, or punching it into a hand held sniper app.

            Interestingly enough the one aspect of shooting that rarely gets brought up in regards to vampires is jitters and heartbeat. In the case of sniping, even with a bi-pod your heart beat can cause enough shift in the gun to make it go off true, when close range this doesn't matter, but at over a mile away the degrees of variation stack up fast. Alternatively vampires don't have adrenalin spikes or get muscle shakes from exertion, which would make close range firing problematic. Normally vampires who are shooting won't have these issues, but the instant there is frenzy or other control issues, all of them come back into play.

            In the old TV series Burn Notice an operative made the main character run a mile in about 10 minutes to ensure he would be too winded and shakey to have a clean and snappy reaction speed if he chose to pull his gun. Every little advantage is important when your opponent is very skilled.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
              Heck, I've even allowed for the occasional Manipulation + Firearms to scare the piss out of someone with your gun skills.
              I ran into an issue with this in one game and have never found a good answer for it.

              To scare a random NPC with your weapon, you are doing one of two things. Either you are showing off a trick shot of some kind or you are just scaring them by virtue of having a weapon. But the degree to which the NPC is scared by such things is dependent upon the NPCs understanding of fire arms.

              To a person with little to no gun knowledge, a 22 caliber derringer is just as scary as a 50 caliber desert eagle. In both cases the NPC piss themselves when you put the barrel to their temple and assure them that either their brains or their signature will be on the contract in front of them before you leave. Likewise if the NPC only has knowledge of guns from movies or video games, they don't really have an understanding of how good or bad a trick shot is.

              This is then compounded by the fact that not all players and STs have this knowledge either, which makes for wide degree interpretation when it comes to the rules between groups.

              The flip side of this knowledge gap is if the NPC does know this stuff, then just seeing what hardware the PC is carrying and how it is setup can intimidate the hell out of them. If you see a gang member holding a poorly upkept pistol sideways at you, that is one level of danger. But if you see a person in a suit who has a shoulder holster with a 10mm Delta Elite with armor piercing rounds in the spare mags and never lets their hands wander too far from drawing position, you are probably have much bigger issues. Thus you don't need a roll per se to intimidate, just let them know what you have.

              About the only place where manipulation works cleanly as the replacement skill is if you are shooting from a distance while talking on a phone or something. That classic scene where you are shooting specific items very close to the person, but not actually hitting them on purpose. But you could just as easily split the rolls, one roll for the shooting, then a second roll for the social manipulation.

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              • #8
                Maybe it sounds odd, since several year I think of dice pools in: SKILL + Attribute and not ATTRIBUTE + Skill.

                I have players roll Firearms and almost any Attribute regarding the circumstances - nowadays, V5 has adopted a similiar approach. I had players roll Firearms + Manipulation to "fake shoot" somebody or Firearms + Charisma to impress an audience.

                I want my players to think of their characters expertise in achieving something and not to invent ways to incorporate their very high Dexterity for instance. The cahracter with Firearms 4 + Dex 1 is still a better shot than one with Firearms 1 + Dex 4. Even though the dicepools are the same.


                Gamelines: Requiem, Lost, Awakening, Trinity Continuum: Aeon, some V5.
                Likes cheesecake (quark-based)

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                • #9
                  Dexterity is very broad, but at least it's cohesive. Composure on the other hand... Skill with firearms and your ability to deal with social stresses.... I think it's too broad. I do like V5's -Use Strength to shoot in melee- but that's somewhat because of how abstract the combat is. As I play VTM rather than V5, I stick with Dexterity. I'm more generous with Aim rules so I don't really need to switch out Dex for perception when sniping, because you'll get most of your Perception added on to the roll and it becomes Dex+Firearms+Perception (and Auspex mitigates the need for a scope/reduces range penalties)

                  i've been thinking lately that the best roll for using a gun is actually Charisma+intimidation. unfortunately I've not been able to play lately so can't really test that out but...


                  Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
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                  • #10
                    The point of using Composure (though you could use Stamina if Composure falling under Social really bugs you) is that is measures your ability to stay, well, composed. Not giving into panic or stress during a fire-fight, and controlling your breathing for steady shooting at range, that sort of thing: where your ability to rapidly adjust your aim to moving targets under Dexterity is less relevant.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                      The point of using Composure (though you could use Stamina if Composure falling under Social really bugs you) is that is measures your ability to stay, well, composed. Not giving into panic or stress during a fire-fight, and controlling your breathing for steady shooting at range, that sort of thing: where your ability to rapidly adjust your aim to moving targets under Dexterity is less relevant.
                      Exactly. Wits sorts of has that 'remain cool' function in V20 and earlier, so I've been toying with Wits for most shots and Perception for sniping/aiming.

                      But realism aside, Dex just does too much in older editions of the game.

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                      • #12
                        If we don't account for celerity being broke, Dex isn't really that powerful. Strength is better for brawl, and in a non-murderfest game most physical confrontations are going to be done with brawl. Strength is also more-often paired with athletics. For firearms, resources, allies, retainers, mob, cult and so on are better stats to have than Dex; you can make up for lack of dex with sheer volume of fire, or you can snipe and add perception. Most gunfights should really end on the first turn where you have a gun out and they don't or they don't see you shooting. It's only melee where I think Dex takes more than it's due, and initiative that makes Dex (and wits) a pain (but initiative how initiative works in earlier editions is a problem irrespective of stats)

                        Appearance and intelligence are often considered "dump stats" but they can also be really fucking powerful if you actually try to make use of a good score. Poor dexterity can be made up for with good skills, but the same's not really true for other attributes.


                        Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
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                        • #13
                          In V20 and earlier, Dex helps with Brawl, Melee, Firearms, Dodge, Athletics and initiative. It only doesn't help if you use the other manoeuvres which allow you to use Strength + Brawl or whatever, but those are generally less useful and more niche.

                          It's also used for sneaking and larceny in some cases, too.

                          Add Celerity and it's even more of a godstat.

                          Sure, Strength adds more damage, but as successes on the hit roll carry over to the damage dice pool, it helps there too.

                          I'm with you on Backgrounds and Abilities for obtaining Firearms, though. Especially outside the USA, where countries have much stricter gun laws. Though guns hardly ever appear in our games for that reason.

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                          • #14
                            Brawl is used for tackles and grapples, and they're a lot better tactically than just punching fools. The strategy of Grab'n Bite is a strength thing (well, the bite is dex for some absurd reason, but that's easily houseruled, and it doesn't matter much when you've got someone in your arms and there's no escaping them). When you spend a blood for potence auto-successes on your grab roll, it's an auto win much of the time, and it doesn't matter how many extra actions someone's got loaded up if they cannot escape.
                            Carry over is a -maybe- , strength is certain.


                            Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                            There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                              Brawl is used for tackles and grapples, and they're a lot better tactically than just punching fools. The strategy of Grab'n Bite is a strength thing (well, the bite is dex for some absurd reason, but that's easily houseruled, and it doesn't matter much when you've got someone in your arms and there's no escaping them). When you spend a blood for potence auto-successes on your grab roll, it's an auto win much of the time, and it doesn't matter how many extra actions someone's got loaded up if they cannot escape.
                              Carry over is a -maybe- , strength is certain.
                              I agree. Grab and bite is way better than punchs, kicks, shoots and stakes.

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