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Re: (TFT) Gunpowder/SciFi TFT campaigns

On Wed, October 4, 2006 8:29 pm, Rick Smith wrote:
... I found that I was happiest when I
> switched the combat turns to one second to
> allow the higher rates of fire.

You mean, so rate of fire is one or just a few shots per turn, instead of
emptying an entire submachinegun clip in one five-second turn on full
auto? Makes sense. (BTW, GURPS does this, so if you want to do it in TFT,
you can also look at GURPS source books like GURPS High Tech or GURPS
Traveller or GURPS WW2 or whatever, and get good data on guns etc. at a
one-second scale.)

I did a few combats with firearms in TFT at the 5-second scale, both with
the wild West weapons tables from Interplay (IIRC) and my own. I thought
the ones in Interplay didn't work too well.

I've also run Metagaming's Starleader: Assault, Traveller, GURPS, and some
ones I made up myself, and some others.

Basically I think TFT needs some adjustments to work well for firearms,
because the pacing is very different in gunfights than in medieval combat.
In medieval combat a strong formation is one where everyone is standing up
in a concentrated formation and it takes some time generally at point
blank to defeat the enemy. Gun combat is of course most effectively
conducted by spreading out, taking cover, often lying down or crouched
around corners or behind obstacles, firing from long range, trying to see
the enemy before they even see you, using sudden surprise attacks, etc. So
5-second turns are too long, and TFT doesn't offer very detailed rules for
taking cover.

Someone recently brought up the suggestion of stretching the range of
possible damage (for arrows), and I think that helps for firearms too,
since like arrows, the effect on the target is determined more by where a
shot hits than how powerful the bullet is.

Starleader: Assault is sort of better, but as I've mentioned before, it
wasn't as balanced or complete as Melee. It worked OK for low-level
characters in most situations, but boosted characters could get so much
speed that they'd do silly things, IIRC, like a silly number of pop-up
attacks per turn, or they were able to do hit and run so fast that normal
people got no chance to shoot at them - (the specifics may not be
accurate, but it was something like that).

I played the basic Traveller, and its firearms and combat rules were
pretty primitive though not as bad as something from TSR (oh ya, I have
seen Gamma World and that TSR Sci Fi series whose name blissfully escapes
me at the moment, which were typical hitpoint-fest zap&slash TSR
balderdash - D&D in space) - that is, crude and not fleshed out enough and
with weird stuff like pikes and cutlasses listed alongside firearms with
very low precision stats, but not just patently wrong like TSR stuff.

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