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The Bowcaster... underpowered? My take on it.
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CRMcNeill
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Joined: 05 Apr 2010
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Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only reservation with this is that the EU has built quite a bit on Wookiees' technical proficiency being one of the main reasons they were highly prized as slaves.

EDIT: As for putting Threepio's head on backwards, well, I think he might've done it for the laughs, considering how annoying Threepio can be. It did seem like there was a bit of a Wookieeish chuckle in there somewhere just before he switched him off.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
As for putting Threepio's head on backwards, well, I think he might've done it for the laughs, considering how annoying Threepio can be. It did seem like there was a bit of a Wookieeish chuckle in there somewhere just before he switched him off.

I agree. It was a joke leading into my statement of how technically oriented Chewie is.

CRMcNeill wrote:
My only reservation with this is that the EU has built quite a bit on Wookiees' technical proficiency being one of the main reasons they were highly prized as slaves.

In my SWU there are Wookiee slaves, and yes some of them are working in various capacities on technical projects. However I don't see a too many slaves having a Technical of 3D+2 (or higher). Too many technically savvy slaves and it would become much easier to sabotage stuff. And the vast majority of all slaves (of all species) are mooks. How many mooks of any species are going to have 3D+2 in any attribute (except maybe Strength)? A 13D Wookiee with 3D+2 Technical isn't going to have much dice for the other attributes. I can see a team of slaves working on a highly technical aspect of a project all having 3D Technical tops, with foremen or slaver project leaders having higher Technical and coordinating. Do you envisions large teams of Wookiee slaves all with 4D+1 Technical? That's outrageous. And the primary reason Wookiees were enslaved was their Strength.

And besides, RAW maxes out Wookiee Technical at 3D+1, so I actually better honor the fluff with my 3D+2. And in my game, the species max is for PCs and most NPCs. As GM I still reserve the right to have a rare special NPC exceed the species maxes, but I would do so very rarely. Maybe Chewie would have a Tech higher than 3D+2 in my game, but even that would be more than RAW and it will probably never matter.

If you still disagree, it's your SWU. Although I generally try to incorporate as much EU (and non-film canon) continuity into my SWU as possible, the films override everything else in my book. My Wookiee stats and slight EU species concept tweaks are not at all contradicted by the films, and they're supported by RotS. But whatever works for you.
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CRMcNeill
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Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
If you still disagree, it's your SWU. Although I generally try to incorporate as much EU (and non-film canon) continuity into my SWU as possible, the films override everything else in my book. My Wookiee stats and slight EU species concept tweaks are not at all contradicted by the films, and they're supported by RotS. But whatever works for you.

Actually, you got me thinking. I've been looking at it from a perspective of a species with a specific aptitude needing a high Max in that attribute, but the best way to represent a species in general having a technical aptitude would be to raise the minimum instead, since that is the level most common members of that species would have. In the case of Wookiees, just giving them a min. Tech of 2D+1 or 2D+2 automatically means that any Wookiee, even of the least technically inclined of the Wookiee species, will still have a better intuitive grasp of all things Technical than the average human.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyway, back on topic...

Here's a new concept.

WOOKIEE BOWCASTERS
There is a great deal of disagreement in the galaxy at large as to what a bowcaster is and how it operates. The reason for this is that the bowcaster is actually part of a broad class of weapons ranging from simple, single-shot hunting weapons to full-on, multi-shot assault weapons. Scholars have broken bowcasters down into a handful of broad categories, based on similarities of design.

BUILDING A BOWCASTER:
Because of their symbolic importance, Wookiees refuse to mass produce bowcasters; every bowcaster is assembled by hand. Assembling a bowcaster requires 5 days of dedicated work (8 hours per day) and three separate Bowcaster Repair rolls. The Difficulty of those rolls is dictated by the pattern of the bowcaster being assembled.


QUALITY BONUS:
Once all three Bowcaster Repair rolls have been completed, compare the lowest skill roll to the Base Assembly Difficulty. For every 5 points by which the low roll beat the Difficulty, add +1 pip to Fire Control, representing a particularly well made bowcaster.


BOWCASTER PATTERNS:

Initiation Pattern (aka Hrrtayyk Pattern)
Assembly Difficulty: Easy (500 credits for materials)
Ammo: 1, plus 50-shot power pack in butt-stock.
Fire Rate: 1 (Attempting to fire more than 1 shot per round results in a MAP of -3D due to the multiple actions required to hand load a round).
Capsule: The Initiation Pattern is the simplest type of bowcaster, and is generally the type assembled by a Wookiee youngling as the first step in its Hrrtayyk rite of passage to adulthood. It is a single-shot, breech loading weapon, and is found in bolt, break-open, lever and pump-action variants (this does not appreciably affect the Difficulty of reloading). Initiation Pattern Bowcasters are commonly kept as heirlooms even if their owner has since moved on to one of the other Patterns, and are still deadly weapons despite their relative simplicity.

Defender Pattern
Assembly Difficulty:
--Revolver-Type: Easy (1,000 credits for materials)
--Pump-Action & Magazine: Moderate (1,000 credits for materials)
Ammo:
--Revolver-Type: 6 (in a revolving drum), plus 50-shot power pack in butt-stock.
--Pump-Action: 4 (in under-barrel tube), plus 50-shot power pack in butt-stock.
--Magazine: 6 (in detachable box magazine with integrated power pack).
Fire Rate: All models are either lever- or pump-action, which is counted as a Non-Roll Action for MAP purposes. However, the lever and pump actions require an Easy Strength roll as a Free Action to successfully reload.
Reloading:
--Revolver-Type: 1 Non-Roll Action per round loaded, although Speedloaders are available that reload all 6 shots in two Non-Roll Actions.
--Pump-Action: 1 Non-Roll Action per round loaded. Not Speedloader compatible.
--Magazine: 1 Non-Roll Action to replace box magazine.
Capsule: The next step up from the Initiation Pattern, the Defender Pattern is the common weapon of Wookiees who generally have other, non combat duties. Multiple pattern types exist, with the primary difference being the method of ammunition storage and reloading. Each has its own advantages, with the choice being based on individual preference. The Revolver type is easier to assemble but slower to reload (although Speedloaders are commonly available); the pump-action is also slow to load, but is more compatible with loading and firing specialty rounds on short notice; and the magazine type is quick to reload, but is the least compatible with specialty rounds (which must be in a box magazine and can not be individually loaded).

Battle Pattern
Assembly Difficulty: Difficult (1,500 credits for materials)
Ammo: 6 (Detachable Magazine, with integrated power pack)
Fire Rate: Semi-Auto. Reloading magazine counts as a Non-Roll Action.
Capsule: The Battle Pattern Bowcaster is the standard weapon for Wookiee warriors, with quicker firing rate than the Defender and Initiation Patterns. Its only real weakness is that it can only fire ammo from magazines, which makes it difficult to use more expensive and rare rounds, such as the Slayer Dart. Very rarely, a Battle Pattern Bowcaster will feature a Revolver-Type magazine (Moderate Assembly Difficulty, with same reloading restrictions as the Defender Pattern), but the vast majority are magazine-type.

Hunter Pattern
Assembly Difficulty: Very Difficult (2,500 credits for materials)
Ammo: 6 (in motorized revolver drum with loading port). Switching between ammo types is a Free Action.
Reloading: 1 Non-Roll Action per round loaded. Not Speedloader compatible.
Capsule: The ultimate in bowcaster design, the Hunter Pattern features a smart-revolver system. Individual rounds are scanned and encoded as they are loaded into the drum, and specific rounds can be selected for use by the shooter using button controls built into the bowcaster's foregrip. This allows the shooter to load and carry multiple types of bowcaster darts in the same weapon and quickly toggle between them as needed. Bowcasters of this type are found almost exclusively in the possession of solitary Wookiee hunters and scouts, who appreciate the ability to switch ammo types in an instant to deal with the unexpected.

Assault Pattern
Assembly Difficulty: Base Model +5 (Base Model Cost + 500 credits in materials + cost of combination weapon).
Ammo & Reloading: As Base Model.
Capsule: One of the most fearsome shoulder ams in existence, the Assault Pattern Bowcaster reconfigures one of the other Bowcaster Patterns as an under-barrel weapon in combination with a blaster rifle of some type. While any shoulder arm is a possibility, the most common combinations by far are the Heavy Blaster Rifle, Light Repeating Blaster or Marksman's Rifle.


AMMO TYPES:
EDIT: While Wookiees refuse to mass produce bowcasters, they have no such compunction when it comes to mass producing bowcaster ammunition. Most types of ammo are readily available and relatively inexpensive. The only exception is the powerful Slayer Round, which incorporates a proton nano-warhead, and is extremely difficult to manufacture.

Standard
Cost (Availability): 1 credit each (1)
Range: 3-10/50/150
Damage: 6D

Hunter
Cost (Availability): 1 credit each (1)
Range: 3-30/100/300
Damage: 5D

Penetrator
Cost (Availability): 2 credits each (1)
Range: 3-30/100/300
Damage: 4D physical (ignores up to 2D of Armor Protection)

Explosive
Cost (Availability): 20 credits each (2, R)
Range: 2-10/50/100
Damage: 5D/4D/2D
Blast Radius: 0-2/4/6

Shocker
Cost (Availability): 2 credits each (1)
Range: 3-10/50/150
Damage: 5D (Stun / Ionization)

Stalker
Cost (Availability): 2 credits each (2, R)
Range: 2-10/50/100
Damage: 4D+2 (physical)
Special: The Stalker has almost no firing signature, and can only be detected on a Moderate Perception or Search roll, and even then only if within 20 meters of the shooter.

Talon
Cost (Availability): 10 credits each (1)
Range: 2-10/50/100
Damage: 5D (Stun / Ionization)
Capsule: The Talon round is a specialized round used to hunt Kroyie birds, but has also proven quite effective against Imperial Patrol Droids. The Talon fires an expanding electro-net on the end of a fiber-line. It stuns or ionizes on impact (depending on the target), while simultaneously encasing the target in the net. The shooter then uses the attached line to reel in the target (which would otherwise drop into the depths of the Kashyyyk forests).

Slayer
Cost (Availability): 1,000 credits each (3, R)
Range: 3-10/30/50
Damage: 8D
Note: Slayer Rounds are reserved only for the most dire threats, and Wookiees consider themselves honor bound to use them sparingly.

Magazine - 20 credits each, rounds sold separately.

Speedloader - 10 credits each, rounds sold separately.

Note: These prices are listed for Wookiees only; for all others, Availability is Not Available For Sale. Exceptions may be made for non-Wookiee honor family members.
_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.


Last edited by CRMcNeill on Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:52 am; edited 5 times in total
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RedKnight
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you have now made my imperial players investigation of jedi activity on Kashyyk even worse then it initally was going to be......thank you so much !
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RedKnight wrote:
you have now made my imperial players investigation of jedi activity on Kashyyyk even worse then it initially was going to be......thank you so much !

Glad to be of service. There were a couple of concepts that didn't quite make it in last night (I was typing it up on my tablet at a truck stop), but I'll be adding them in momentarily.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Added stats for the Stalker (a silenced round) and the Talon (an electro-net used for hunting birds and small droids, with a tether to allow the target to be reeled in).
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are super nifty!

I'm glad Wookiees are getting some spread of love, instead of being a bulletproof melee beast.

Thanks for taking the time McNeill!
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
These are super nifty!

I'm glad Wookiees are getting some spread of love, instead of being a bulletproof melee beast.

Thanks for taking the time McNeill!

Glad you like.

The inspiration was the recognition that, with so many different ideas for what constituted a bowcaster, any or all of them could be accurate, with a bowcaster being a specific class of weapon with multiple sub-types. I tried to cover as many of the variations this topic has spawned as possible.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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Ninja-Bear
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice!
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRM just won the internet.

This is a brilliant solution.

I do have one quibble: the drfender pattern is not really any better or faster than the initiation pattern, since a single action is required between shots.

FWIW, a manually cycled weapon DOES add a smidge of complexity to its operation, but comes nowhere near what I would consider MAP worthy (with a bolt action being a possible exception... but the reason we still use bolt guns IRL is because they are inherantly accurate out to very long distances...farther than most can even ID a target with the naked eye).

In case its helpful, I consider reloading to be a minimum of 3 non-roll actions. Instead of requiring an action to cycle the weapon, I limit the number of shots possible based on Dex (though, the bowcaster skill could also be used to determine the max shots per round).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
CRM just won the internet.

This is a brilliant solution.

Thank you, thank you.

Quote:
I do have one quibble: the defender pattern is not really any better or faster than the initiation pattern, since a single action is required between shots.
Quote:
In case its helpful, I consider reloading to be a minimum of 3 non-roll actions. Instead of requiring an action to cycle the weapon, I limit the number of shots possible based on Dex (though, the bowcaster skill could also be used to determine the max shots per round).

Very helpful, indeed. How about giving players with the Initiation Pattern the option of a -3D MAP to reload if they want to fire more than one shot per round, or restricting them to a Fire Rate of 1 with no MAPs?

Something like this would also give me room to insert a Strength roll rule to recock on the Defender Pattern, which fits with both WEG's original bowcaster stats and Chewbacca's use of a cocking bowcaster in the Han Solo Trilogy. It also explains the differences in operation rather nicely; during the Han Solo trilogy, Chewie was using a Defender Pattern Bowcaster, but sometime between then and Return of the Jedi, he upgraded to a Battle Pattern.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDIT: Went back and changed the Initiation Pattern and Defender Pattern to reflect Naaman's point on Rates of Fire, and the inclusion of a Strength roll to re-cock the Defender.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now.... the three actions to reload is just how I do it.

I am certain that most here would consider reloading a single action, and I understand why they do.

In any case, I think that slowing down the initiation pattern OR speeding up the defender pattern gets the point across.

Perhaps the strength check you want to use could be a once per round or once per battle (with a MAP assessed for a retry to get a better result) whichh would negate the MAP incurred by cycling the weapon? Or were you thinking MAPs + strength check? Also, a minor consideration: would lifting be allowed to sub for the strength check?

As I think about it, I like the idea of a big bad ranged weapon that requires lots of muscle to use: it fills an almost archetypal cinematic role (like Jesse Ventura's use of the minigun in Predator, for example).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For weapons requiring Strength rolls, I've been thinking of adapting the Fluency rule from Languages. Say a bowcaster requires an Easy or Moderate Strength roll to re-cock, but if a character can make 10 consecutive successful Strength rolls at that Difficulty, they are considered "Fluent" in operating it (or Familiarized, if you like). This could also be used for things like the Smart-Gun rig from Aliens, where the shooter has to learn how to use a light touch on the gun so as to not throw off the auto-aiming function.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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