Shortcut: A New Dimension to Gunfire (http://fudgerpg.com/goodies/fudge-files … -Gunfire/)
I needed to explore a bit to figure out what subsystem of the Fudge files had the referenced document. If I was successful, the line above has a link to get you there from this forum directly. If not, it has the info on the whereabouts in the Fudge Builds subsection.
A very nice basic structure - the idea of defining weapons in terms of the delivery mechanism and the damage mechanism. I am sure you have thought about this a lot more than I, but I had a gut reaction to the "Special Effects' that they could be perhaps more generalized. You have the main damage types as Thermal, Kinetic, and Energy. And the effects as Sabot, Wave, Explosive, and Breaching. If I think of the effects as, say, 'Only', 'Expanding' (or this could be called 'Exploding','Contracting' (or Imploding), or 'Directional' where Direction is the damage directed in a cone along the delivery direction. The cone may be very narrow or very wide. A Sabat then becomes Kinetic-Only, A fragmentation Grenade is both Kinetic Exploding and Thermal Exploding. A device designed to 'breach' a force field - that is open a hole in a field for something else to pass through - is Energy Expanding (alias for Exploding). It causes a radial collapse or negation of the force field. A "G-Compressor Pistol" is Delivery Pulse, Damage Energy (Gravity) Imploding and causes a variable amount of crushing damage upon the person hit, perhaps up to an including crushing them to a singularity and disappearing from the universe. A "Burner" pistol may have Delivery: Stream and Damage Energy (or Thermal) Directional - A "Burner" fires a beam of energy that upon contact with its target burns an cone shaped hole through whatever material it hits. Shaped charges, Hollow Point Bullets (that flatten and expand upon impact with a person making teh exit would larger than the entrance wound) is Kinetic Directional.
I like the terms Only, Exploding/Expanding, Imploding/Collapsing, but wish i could thing of a better term for a shaped force (be it thermal, kinetic, or some form of energy).
Any way, love the work on weapon and just thought I'd put out a few thought for your musings.
To be honest I'm not completely happy about the special effects. They were intended primarily to cover complete edge cases, if rather common ones. The distinction between Sabot and Wave has to stay, as it determines which of the armor defenses is applicable, though a singular term could work. A bullet would become Kinetic-Physical (Term), a laser Stream-Energy (Term), etc. As for directional effects, the lack there was the assumption that whatever first gets in the way is likely to stop them, a flamethrower is going no further than a bullet once it actually hits something. That said, a revision of the explosive rules to cover spreads is likely a good idea.
The big worry with special effects is that they ever become required. Ideally most weapons won't have them, as I'd much rather have a two stat system than a three stat system, particularly when the first two stats are vastly more important. Even worse is a really high statistic system, as range, rate of fire, and many of the regulars may well be introduced, and this system already adds a statistic on top of those present (assuming the removal of damage), two is simply too much.
The [-] die.
I have been writing comments for the last few days, but based on your latest message, I think I am heading in the wrong direction. You appear to attempting to simplify space opera combat resolution to its least form (two attributes (delivery and damage) with two sets of qualifiers (one for an offensive weapon and the other for a defensive system to be overcome). Although your introduction says that the higher tech setting of space opera "needs something more", you are reducing the resolution system to something less. "Shields" oppose "delivery systems" (and you suggest all three "have the same rating") and "Armor" opposes "damage sysem" (and again you recommend "all of them be the same"). Your categories (for delivery and damage types) are distinctions wihout a practical differences under such a recommendation.
Have I misunderstood the intent of your article (twice?)? My initial reaction was to the very useful dissection of the basic components of a weapon between its delivery and its damage subsystems (and the similar dissection of how to counter an attack by such a weapon description). I was treating this core concept as a framework from which to analyze and build the "something more" that you suggested was needed (beyond damage and range combat resolution of more traditional (and lower tech) projectile weapons).
The key point of misunderstanding is that this is being interpreted as a complete system. What it is intended to do is take damage and expand it, without replacing anything else. If there are mechanics for range, they stay, if there are mechanics for varying rates of fire, they stay, etc. As for the recommendations of varying shield and armor resistances being the same, there are several qualifiers used, as well as technology examples that make a difference. The idea is more that both armor and shields would have some basic modifiers all at one level, with tweaks on top of that, for a modular system; than the distinctions being rendered irrelevant.
In short, I recommend reading a little closer, particularly on those points, as it appears there has been a misunderstanding. The lack of a clarification paragraph regarding this just being an expanded damage section and some connected technology is partially to blame, and will be added in the next version.
The [-] die.
My apologies for taking so long to reply with my comments. I was attempting to tackle too much in one reply and then your clarification about the supplemental nature of your proposal (rather the misinterpretation as a complete combat system) rendered some of what I had written moot (particularly comments about ignoring range). I sort of abandoned what I had written and tried to start again based on that better understanding. The second effort fizzled. So, hoping that you can weed out what might be useful from my excessive comments, below is what I had gotten written in my "first draft" as far as the comments on "Delivery". If none of it is useful, please feel free to ignore it. I had a few sketchy comments about Damage and Defense, but if this rambling "feedback" that may wander too far into my own thoughts than what you were intending to discuss is too moch off-the-mark, I will spare you the waste of your time (and find other ways to amuse myself).
Overall reaction: I like the distinction between “delivery” and “damage” as components of an attacking weapon. In particular, they help both in the design of the weapon and the design of the countermeasure(s). How do you ensure (avoid) the weapon makes “contact” with the target? How does the destructive force affect (get diverted) what it does “hit”? The applicability of these aspects is not limited to “gunfire” nor space opera weaponry.
But, “delivery” strike me as a wider characterization rather than a replacement for the more traditional “range/reach” trait. Although the article discusses the nature of the delivered “charge” (such as state, mass) and the requirement for connectivity (or not) between the source and the charge during the time from launch and contact (and possibly thereafter to increase the damage inflicted), it drops the issues of effective travel distance and dispersal/drift from a focused target to greater area of (weakened, off-target) effect. In more classic settings, gravity and air friction act significantly against mass and surface area of a projectile as commonly summarized as the "range" attribute (usually only in limiting delivery, not typically diminishing damage). In space combat in vacuums, "weightlessness" and massless projectiles, these same laws of nature may have considerably lessened effects, but there may be other factors over the sometimes immense distances that act to limit effective range. For example, is there a temporal consideration on how long a "pure energy" projectile will be able coherently to hold together, such that the function of velocity and this time limit essentially defines a distance beyond which the projectile loses potency? A contemporary "streaming energy" weapon that came to my mind upon reading of this category is a taser for which the range is limited by the length of the connecting wire. Spaceships (attempt to) stay out of range of tractor beams in scifi stories; something must be dampening the effectiveness with distance. In Fudge mechanics, perhaps these range considerations are more appropriately managed in the modifiers to the "difficulty of the task" rather than the definition of the weapons and countermeasures, but I do not feel that the "delivery" attributes described in the article can be adequately used to ignore the distance between weapon source/launch and target in all instances.
* The first three categories define "remote effect" weapons (projectiles) typical of the article's title, "gunfire", and the space opera context of its introduction. The fourth defines a category also seen in space opera of a hand-held delivery system for a damage system that acts (upon contact) independently from the energy employed to manuever (deliver) the damage system on target (i.e. impact with target might trigger the damage system, but the impact energy/momentum is not the source of its destructive force). As the introduction states, the primary purpose is extending a weapon classification system into future technology capabilities which we have not yet seen. Nonetheless, I found myself asking "how backward compatible" is this system when I have a campaign pitting knights and longbowmen against space invaders? Ewoks against spacetroopers? Wizards versus aliens? I think delivery/damage can cover it all.
* My first dissection of the categories' descriptions identifies two factors: (1) continued connection (or not) to the to-be-delivered "charge" after launching the attack, and (2) the nature of the delivered charge (matter/energy, state of matter). On the first characteristic, the "Stream" and "Swung" delivery systems required continued connection whereas the "Pulse" and "Physical" delivery were released after launch. But, the second characteristic was not as clearly restricted. Stream and Swung could deliver either energy or matter (laser & flamethrower, lightsaber & nailgun on a stick (btw: love it, MacGyver)). The Pulse and Physical are distinguished by this difference between not solid/liquid and matter-based solid/liquid "objects", but it is not clear to me that is not a meaningless division when describing the delivery aspect (although probably more closely related to the damage aspect, i.e. Pulse delivers Thermal/Energy only (the Tidal Burst description does not suffice to tell me what "kinetic charge" is delivered) and Physical delivers the Kinetic energy of the matter's momentum and/or the Potential energy inherent in the matter's chemical nature). Removing the restriction for a "not solid or liquid" delivered charge, a crossbow & bolt, atlatl & spear, rifle & bullet, cannon & shot, and catapult & Greek fireball are all weapons that release a "pulse" of solid/liquid matter that carries on henceforth independently of the launching component of the delivery system. For the purpose of discussing "delivery", I am inclined to remove the "Physical" category from the article's list and allow both matter and energy objects to be "pulsed" under the second category.
* So, what advantages would each of the "Stream", "Pulse", and "Swung" relationships between the charge and the launcher convey such that you would employ that method of delivery for a damage subsystem (embodied in the charge)? I basically react to "Swung" as the most primitive, then "Pulse", and finally "Stream" as the most modern, so I will analyze them in reverse of the presented order in the article.
o Swung. The separation of the damaging force from the delivery energy probably is really a step above the most primitive clubbing, stabbing, and slashing "swung impact weapons". I will take swinging the burning end of a branch pulled out of the campfire as my most primitive prototype for a "swung non-impact damage" weapon. Continuing to hold on to the weapon gives the wielder a lot of ability to modify the direction, speed, and general motion of the flaming end to react to changes in the target. Control after onset of the attack seems to be the principal advantage with the secondary advantage (over swung impact weapon) that the damaging energy is beyond muscular effort, releasing the Potential energy of the wood via combustion (as a Thermal weapon). The chief disadvantages (overcome by the other two delivery systems) is the proximity of the target (for its counterattack) and (potentially) the proximity of the damage system -- you do not typically want to fight with an explosive weapon at the end of a stick shorter than the effect range of the explosion.
o Pulse (released, independent charge) The "traveling damage component" of a Pulse attack addresses the proximity problem, moving the damage effects further away, providing the attacker both a larger area of influence and some isolation from counterattack and (self-inflicted) collateral damage. Transit distance and delivery velocity define a delay period during which a target might react (e.g. change position) A non-intelligent Pulsed "charge" presumably will continue under the instructions (trajectory) provided at the time of launching. The charge's potential "maximum punch" is pre-determined (by design and/or execution) at the time of launch without any ability to feed more energy into a "successful hit". The greater the expense (in material and/or energy) of the "bullet", the greater the waste involved in a "missed shot". A rapid-fire Pulse weapon can use less expensive (and thus less potent) individual charges to gain variety in its launching instructions (multiple trajectories laying down a "line of fire") to optimize operating expenses in compensating for a "high miss ratio". But if you have a one-shot Pulse weapon, you want that delivery system to have a very high success rate of "delivery on target" and a damage system that can "get the job done" with one hit.
o Stream (connected charge) While it may not be the article's proposed intent behind a "Stream" delivery system, I see the "need" for such an ongoing connection between "launcher" and "charge" as a design decision to overcome the loss of control (modification of instruction or affect) over distance. It is a blending of the Swung weapon's immediacy for adjustment and the Pulse weapon's remote damage placement. When I look at the examples, however, I am unclear enough about the technologies to know whether a StarTrek phaser (for example) is really a "Stream" weapon or just a "Pulse" weapon with an "elongated" charge. For a visual cinematic effect, a phaser appeared as a (straight) streak of light from source to target, but the ability to "set phasers to stun" would indicate to me that the phaser pistol delivered a predetermined quanta of energy. Holding the phaser's trigger down (on a stun setting) did not deliver more energy than that single "measured" shot. Only when a phaser was used like a blowtorch to cut through metal did it appear to be an adjustable delivery system of a "damage effect" moving across a targetted surface for as long as the trigger was depressed. An "automatic (pulse) weapon" with rapidly repeated triggering would have the same effect of "moving the damage" as successive shots are aimed on a line of trajectories.
In the attempt to attribute a purpose to "streaming" in a weapon delivery system design, I probably have this all torqued out of shape of the original's "beam"-like nature of the projected charge for a Stream weapon irrespective of whether being connected from launcher to target (or whereever the "beam" ends off-target) had a purpose or was just the nature of the emitted charge that stretched noticeably over distance. If so, my apologies for allowing my imagination and analysis to wander so far from the authors' intent. But having started down this path, let me "recycle" the term "Stream" to examine the achievable effects for a post-launch controlled payload (where the "stream" is the control channel).
+ Assisted or redirected aiming. The "stream" of the delivery system is a "communication channel" to which the released payload can react. Modern examples are precision-guided munitions, such as radio controlled instructions to the payload's engines and steering mechanisms or a reactive system on the payload vehicle trained to follow a laser spot held on a moving target by the launching system. The article's TAG Cannon moves the source of the aiming transmission from the launcher to the delivered tracer charge, but essentially the "damage system" grenade(s) that follows is then based on streaming delivery technology.
+ Guaranteed delivery (non-waste) of damage energy. The damage system's release is delayed until the delivery system has established a successful pathway. The earlier example of a tazer illustrates this prerequisite delivery success prior to a damage energy/material expenditure; unless the delivery system contacts (hooks into) the targetted person, no shocking electricity is applied to the connecting wires. A similar speculative weapon system might use one form of energy/matter in its delivery subsysytem until streaming feedback indicated a defeat of the shielding system before it released the destructive energy/matter through the breach. While not guaranteed, the TAG system again builds upon the success (and ongoing information gained by the success) of the tracer delivery system to increase the likelihood of success in delivering the more costly followup damage system.
+ Interspersed weird thought: a tractor beam, fishing line/reel, and lariat - are these "streaming delivery subsystems" without a damage subsystem? The establishment of the connection allows non-destructive force/work to be applied along the connective media after the delivery success.
+ Pouring it on. Essentially repeating the above, but a stream to the successfully hit target might allow more charges (or continued transmission of an elongated charge) to be channeled down the pathway. If unsuccessful or the "stream is broken" the application of (more) damage energy/matter would be discontinued.
That was actually immensely helpful, including the wanderings. I'd pondered delivery and damage as a split in earlier eras, concluding that it had no business being in the same article, if it is even an idea worth considering*. Furthermore, this is indicative that the presentation throughout A New Dimension to Gunfire was flawed, as it appears to have consistently appeared to have been a complete subsystem, rather than an expansion to damage and some ramifications thereof. In any case, it has both been tested in play and acted as an inspiration to others, as such it doesn't warrant abandonment.
*Much of this related to the modeling armor in both shape and composition, though some problems are caused by both flexible cloth armor and mail.
The [-] die.