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mercwerk

Firearms: Less likely to malfunction while shooting close range?

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mercwerk

A player recently brought this up to me in a session and it caught my attention as a glaring loophole in the 7th edition RAW.

 

1. A person with a gun who is attempting to shoot a target within (1/5 DEX) feet receives a Bonus Die to their attack roll.

2. A gun will break if its wielder rolls above the gun's Malfunction score.

 

The rules make sense individually, but together, the combination doesn't make any sense. Firing a gun at a close-range target does not decrease the chance that the gun's mechanism will break, nor does firing at a long-range target increase that chance.

 

Do the rules address this discrepancy anywhere? 

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revnye

That is funny, but true.

 

the rules never address that.

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4Acrossisemu

Honestly, the way i looked at it, the Advantage and Disadvantage are the mechanics behind the reality. The second roll should be perceived as the only roll and the other is ignored. Where it does if the player some grace towards MAL, that reality never happened. You could say that the MAL roll should be entirely independent of the roll too as it has nothing to do with aiming at all its about the maintenance of the gun and its design.

 

To have it dependent on any aim roll is against sense, but its a game mechanic and it keeps the crunch down, and the flow of action high. 

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Denis

Personally, I don't see a problem. Rules are an abstraction, and in Cthulhu the players need all the break they can have.

 

If you or your player are dismayed by this, I suggest that you have the gun malfunction if either roll shows a malfunction.

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mercwerk

That gives rise to the opposite problem - if either die can Malfunction, it becomes twice as likely. We drafted the idea that maybe only the first die (aka the non-bonus non-penalty die) should be capable of malfunctioning, but in the moment we settled for RAW.

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Denis
2 hours ago, mercwerk said:

That gives rise to the opposite problem - if either die can Malfunction, it becomes twice as likely. We drafted the idea that maybe only the first die (aka the non-bonus non-penalty die) should be capable of malfunctioning, but in the moment we settled for RAW.

 

You're right, opposite problem. 

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misterPockets

Yeah, but I think MAL covers malfunctions caused by both mechanical failure and user error.

 

I do feel like user error would be more common when rushing to fire at a target less than 10 feet away.

 

Though, like @Denis said, rules are an abstraction. There's always something more to model more accurately. Gotta draw a line somewhere and call it good enough.

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klecser
3 hours ago, mercwerk said:

That gives rise to the opposite problem - if either die can Malfunction, it becomes twice as likely. 

 

Statistically, this is not the case at all and it is related to how this situation is applied.  A roll with a bonus die allows the player to choose to take the lower result of one of the tens dies.

 

This is not a "what are the odds of rolling at least one 90 on two dice." If that were the case, it would indeed be more likely to get at least one 90 result. (20/100 combinations will have AT LEAST one 90 = 20%). 

 

But this isn't about "at least" one 90. If the second dice doesn't land on 90, you aren't going to choose the only 90 result.  This is a case of "what are the odds of rolling 90s on BOTH the regular tens place AND the bonus die." You need two 90 results in the tens place to have a guarantee of a malfunction (assuming your single place rolls appropriately high). There are 100 possible result combinations for rolling 2d10. Of those 100 combinations, only ONE RESULT produces two 90 results on the tens dice. 1/100 = 1%.

 

To sum up:

 

The odds of you rolling a 90 on a single die representing d10 = 1/10 (10%)

 

The odds of you rolling TWO 90s on a "regular" tens dies AND the bonus die (which is the only result that FORCES a result of a malfunction) is 1/100 = 1%

 

Firing with a bonus die does not increase the chances of a malfunction. It's called "bonus" precisely because it always you to not be forced to have to pick a 90 result if you roll any number other than a 90 on the other die.  The error here is in the interpretation of statistical odds (a struggle for many of us!), not the game system.

 

If this was a penalty die, it is a completely different story. Penalty die REQUIRES you to pick the higher of two results. And the odds of hitting AT LEAST one 90 result on two dice is 20/100 = 20%, which is higher than the base chance of 10% hitting any one number.

 

The way I interpret the original post "why would it be less likely to have a malfunction" is that getting a bonus die is such an advantage that luck is on one'e side and whether we feel it is "realistic" or not, it is the game system giving a biased advantage to investigators to make for better stories.

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mvincent

Just checking: is there a penalty die for shooting into melee (or being in melee while shooting)?

I hardly ever grant the point blank bonus die because of this.

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klecser
3 minutes ago, mvincent said:

Just checking: is there a penalty die for shooting into melee (or being in melee while shooting)?

I hardly ever grant the point blank bonus die because of this.

 

Yes for the first one. Not sure about the second (being in melee while shooting).

 

This does make for a "sweet spot" in which you want to be close enough, but not too close. Sounds appropriately Lovecraftian. ;)

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mvincent
35 minutes ago, klecser said:

Yes for the first one. Not sure about the second (being in melee while shooting).

 

Well... for the second one, you're likely shooting at a target that's in melee anyway (assuming your target is the one you're in melee with). This helped me mostly do away with point-blank bonuses, since they caused players to worry more about optimizing precise distance numbers, which does not capture the feel of real combat. The measuring tended to break immersion.

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MrHandy

I actually did roll a 9 on both my tens die and my bonus die recently here. Fortunately, no malfunction occurred (my rolls were 91 and 90) and I was able to do much better with later shots. With penalty dice, you have the opposite problem: malfunctions become more likely.

 

If you want to smooth this out and have the malfunction chance be independent of bonus/penalty dice, you can arbitrarily check only the initial roll to see if there's a malfunction, regardless of bonus/penalty dice.

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Shuikkanen

In terms of  game philosophy, CoC is not a simulationist game. I would ignore this discrepancy altogether. Even games that place emphasis on simulating reality eventually draw a line between game flow and reality.

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