My GM favors combat-centric pulpy games, so I've had lots of opportunities to study the combat rules in great depth. Sometimes more than I wished!
It seems I have a greater opportunity to hit with a lower SMG rating.
You aren't required to break into the maximum number of bullets per volley. It's up to that many. You are generally better firing volleys of an even number because you round down on the number of bullets that hit. Regular success half the bullets hit/Extreme all hit but half impale--in both cases the half is rounded down.
However, higher skill is better because each additional volley incurs an additional penalty die.
Volley 1: Regular Attack
Volley 2: 1 Penalty Die
Volley 3: 2 Penalty Dice
Volley 4: 2 Penalty Dice, Hard success required
Volley 5: 2 Penalty Dice, Extreme Success Required
Volley 6+: 2 Penalty Dice, Critical Hit Required.
Penalty dice are harsher on lower skilled characters, so it's really hard to hit with additional "volleys" as you go down in skill. Some nice folks here did the math in another thread. But for the 40/50 example you use, it goes 40/16/6 or 50/25/12.
I certainly don't understand why one's competence with a weapon should have any effect on the number of rounds a weapon can fire per burst, that's a property of the weapon.
Volleys are not bursts. Volleys are how a single long auto-fire is abstracted in game terms. If you empty a 20 round clip, in game terms you're just holding the trigger down and emptying the gun. In game terms, you divide it up into "volleys" because skill determines how many bullets you can put on target before the recoil forces it off target. More skill = more bullets on rolls with fewer penalty dice. Burst fire in the sense of selective fire where the mechanics of the weapon dictate that one trigger pull shoots a set multiple of bullets is at no penalty and is determined by the gun. Burst fire in the sense of someone with good trigger control shooting multiple bursts is in game terms someone shooting full auto but choosing only to fire one volley each round.
And yeah, I'd much rather have simpler rules for this in most "straight" Call of Cthulhu games. On the other hand, for Pulp Cthulhu, this kind of complication seems more in keeping. The "not shooting your whole clip" burst in real world terms, the "selective fire built into the weapon" burst in game terms, and volley in game terms could be better explained because in common English, we tend to think of them as all being the same.
Edited by numtini, 27 November 2017 - 04:18 PM.