bfm75
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Low damage for firearms

Mon 10 Jun 2019, 20:28

Hi

First post here.

To me the base damage of firearms seems low. 1 damage for a handgun and 2 for a pulse rifle, I would at lest bump them both up by one. Especially considering a knife has a base damage of 2.

If it isn’t a mistake then I would to know what the reasoning behind this.

Thanks

Looking very much forward to the finish game.
 
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Valyar
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Re: Low damage for firearms

Mon 10 Jun 2019, 21:03

It simply reflects the legality of the weapons. In the real world if you are stabbed bad you die. Same if you are shot. This is my take.
In this game you have HP around 2-4. Adding the critical into the fray... things get bad when you are hit and the armor does not soak.
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Low damage for firearms

Mon 10 Jun 2019, 21:09

It can be a balance factor but also you much also consider how the rules for the weapons are used. A knife (probably a combat knife of some sort) actually has a lot of metal that goes into your enemies body. An attack with a knife can be easily blocked away in this game. So if you end up in a melee fight, you probably will end up getting one success through and if you hit, it is 10-15 cm of metal, 2 cm wide into his body.
A ranged attack is not opposed so all the successes will be used for the effect (mostly to add damage), So it is likely that a 9mm pistol will do 2 damage, perhaps even 3, sometimes. The system is abstract and we have to squeeze in a lot of types of weapon and also consider that an average human can take 3 damage before he goes down. If we increase all the ranged weapons (we can't just increase the damage for one or two), then all combat between PC and NPCs will be a lot more deadly and the combat between PC and Xenomorphs less so.
“I’d say thistles, but nobody listens to me, anyway.” - Eeyore
 
bfm75
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Re: Low damage for firearms

Tue 11 Jun 2019, 12:42

Thank you for the quick reply

I’m completely new to the Zero game engine and of yet not any at-the-table experience with it :)

It just struck me as odd that a knife would have high base damage as a pistol. But, of course, I haven’t factored in the defense roll in melee.

Thanks again and I’m really looking forward to the final product.
 
darl_loh
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Re: Low damage for firearms

Fri 14 Jun 2019, 17:26

I'm curious if the damage will change at all depending on the game mode. Just watched Aliens again recently (so awesome) and it struck me how quickly the marines are blowing the aliens apart. A single burst from a pulse rifle reliably takes an Alien down. Looking at the rules in the starter kit, even with a start of 8 dice (Agility 5, Ranged Combat 3) with aim and full auto, its still fairly unlikely to take a fully grown alien down in one hit. But, Aliens is also a different beast than most of the other movies in the franchise. More action horror. So, I wonder if when playing a Colonial Marines story the weapons will get beefed up a bit, or the enemies will be a bit squishier.
 
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aramis
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Re: Low damage for firearms

Fri 14 Jun 2019, 21:12

A knife actually delivers more energy to target than a small caliber bullet does... 

A typical knife attack is 7-10 m/s , a typical knife 1 kg... but the knife also has the mass of the arm, unlike a bullet, and a typical arm is 4-6 kg... using the minimums and maximums, 98-300 J. Putting one's full mass behind it at a run can generate up to 20 m/s and 80+ kg... 16 kJ... (E= 0.5*M*V²)
A .22 LR (≅5.5 mm) is 155 to 190 J at the breech, and a .45ACP 350-495 J at the breech.  actual energy on target can be half or less, depending upon range. 
5.56N runs 1790 to 1890 J, and 7.62N 2990 to 3590, again, at the breech. ‡ That's the energy in the powder on a standard specification round. The barrel steals some air steals a good bit more, some is wasted on too-short a barrel... if you have muzzle flash, the round isn't getting all of it. 

300 J on target  is comparable to many small-caliber pistols, and a good knife has less contact area (0.1 x 30mm is 3 mm² for a good knife's initial tip penetration;  πr² on a 5.5mm is around 23.75 mm² for the light pistol...  penetration is better for knives; knives do actually shed almost all their energy in target, and friction increases rapidly with depth, and small caliber bullets do tend to go through on extremities, which also means not all the energy is in target.

At the level of detail in the QS, same damage for both seems pretty reasonable, because the energy dump into target is in the same range.

Now, armor seems pretty useless RAW. 

† https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0811/0811.3955.pdf
3g³ Guns! Guns! Guns! by Greg Porter.
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bfm75
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Re: Low damage for firearms

Thu 20 Jun 2019, 13:05

I have no problem that damage of different weapons are offset due to game mechanical reasons. And if I disagree I can always house rule them, done that before, so not a problem.

However, when you look at various studies of survivability of stab wounds vs gunshot wounds, the studies are pretty much unanimous; it is much more dangerous to get shot that it is to getting stabbed. What happens to a body when shot or stabbed is much more complicated that just kinetic energy, and bullets, especially traveling a high velocity can do terrible things to the body.

Also, your kinetic energy example of a stabbed, although it might be correct (although it would be some more like a ‘drop kick stabbing’) a punch or a drop kick will yield the same energy. So clearly kinetic energy allow cannot account for damage done.
 
Konungr
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Re: Low damage for firearms

Thu 20 Jun 2019, 15:19

Its not which is more likely to kill you in the long run. Its which is most likely to break you now.

Yes. A gunshot wound is more likley to be lethal. Over time. Because the bullet tends to stay inside and cause more damage. But a knife is more likely to cause a wound that will make you bleed out now. A bullet is less likely to disable limbs or cause other injuries like on the critical injury tables. A bladed weapon can cause them instantly and easily.
 
decanox
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Re: Low damage for firearms

Thu 20 Jun 2019, 18:03

Anyway, last week I played the first session of the scenario and I can tell you: the damage for firearms is not low... It's far from low in fact.

Keep in mind:

- You can roll a lot of dice: adding dice for pushing, stress, weapon modifiers, range, skills and actions. So a lot of 6s can be rolled.
- there is no evade action or roll: the damage inflicted is the damage taken, except for minor armors.
- the health points are not high: a strong character could have 5 health points, no more.

So it's not strange to see a character with 2 or 3 health points die in a single hit. It's simple, damage with the weapon and a bad critical injury and that's all.
 
 
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aramis
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Re: Low damage for firearms

Fri 21 Jun 2019, 07:48

Its not which is more likely to kill you in the long run. Its which is most likely to break you now.

Yes. A gunshot wound is more likley to be lethal. Over time. Because the bullet tends to stay inside and cause more damage. But a knife is more likely to cause a wound that will make you bleed out now. A bullet is less likely to disable limbs or cause other injuries like on the critical injury tables. A bladed weapon can cause them instantly and easily.
Bullets left inside seldom do more damage. More often than people realize, removing the bullet does as much or more damage than the initial wound. Several trauma surgeons have opined that Pres. Lincoln probably would have lived if they hadn't tried to remove the bullet from his brain.

Generally, bullets get left in, especially if FMJ non-hollowpoint. I've a bunch of acquaintances with bullets left in.
The exceptions are 
  • when it is near a major artery or vein, as the risk of being dislodged and creating an embolism &/or stroke
  • when it is pressing on a major nerve.
  • when it is highly radioactive
  • when the bullet is directly removable from the wound with just forceps. (or fingertips.)
  • when it's fragmented and has sharp fragments in.
The body's reaction to a bullet (or stone - I carried a piece of rock from a bike accident in my hand for literally years) is simply to encapsulate it in scar tissue.

Also, while I cannot find the data on the rates of it, a large portion of gunshots are through-and-through... nothing to remove.
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