jigsawjones wrote:Two things:
1) I like to make a firm distinction between "complicated" and "complex". The former is needlessly muddled, the latter can be detailed, but also implies an elegance that indicates an underlying simplicity. Aiming for the latter is what we're after.
2) I think, so long as we make a distinction between "Basic" and "Advanced" rules, there should be no argument over complexity of combat, be it vehicular or otherwise. Me, I'd be more likely to run a game using the basic rules, because that's the level of player I'm dealing with right now. But I'd still like to know that the system can DO something more realistic/complex, in case I ever want to explore that. I think there's room for both.
Okay that had to be done first because if I failed to state that clearly from the get go I would have my thread clogged with "that's too complicated" posts. These rules are probably not for the casual gamer they are more for players who want high performance RL combat simulators. These rules are inspired by my RL Law Enforcement training. These are for players who like a level of complexity with out having a bunch of complicated tables to follow. Implementing these makes combat a lot more dynamic and tactical in nature.
Using advance cover rules will change the way combat works in some significant ways. Because combat because combat now revolves around cover a whole lot more than it does in the standard game. These are two things that you should definitely take note of.
Talents / Feats that defeat cover
The have been a lot of these over the years examples include skip fire in d20 Modern, sniper in SWSE, point blank shot in 4.0, and even the aiming mechanic in SWSE. General rule of thumb is if you use these rules things that give you the ability to ignore cover should be done away with or at the very least nerfed.
The game that I invented these rules for actually took place in the 1930s so armor was extremely limited in both quality and quantity. In more modern settings armor is a primary form of defense, in these rules cover becomes a primary form of defense as well. It would probably work okay to have armor and advance cover rules going in the same game but it will make combat last longer, because characters will be harder to hit. For this reason if these rules are used you might want to consider doing a simple nerf of armor, but having said that I am waiting to see how armor actually works before telling you how to do so.
If you use these rules most examples of covers would not be so easy to destroy. An AK-47 for example could blast multiple holes in a door, but really wouldn't destroy the door.
Okay we got those items out of the way it's time to the mechanics of it all.
To be clear on this fact servile editions of D&D including 4.0, they erroneously refer to concealment as soft cover. There is a very clear distinction between soft cover and concealment. With concealment there is nothing physical between you and the bullet (or arrow, laser, blaster bolt, phaser beam, death ray, or whatever). Examples of concealment include smoke, shadows and darkness, tall grass and shrubbery, curtains and closed blinds, mist or fog. Sometimes you have to think a bit abstractly about concealment as well. For example in a dark environment pretty much everyone who isn't wearing a glow in the dark clothing is going to have concealment, but creatures low light vision (either through a species trait or though night vision goggles or similar equipment) will be able to ignore all but the most extreme forms of darkness. However if were shine an extremely bright light into the eyes of a defending creature then you are going to have concealment against the defender even if the defender has low light vision. Additionally the defender won't have a concealment against you because you have him lit up like a Christmas tree. Rules wise I can think of no conceivable reason not to use Gary's rules for concealment it gives a +2 bonus and does not prevent attacks of opportunity.
Unlike concealment with cover you have an actual physical barrier between you and the projectile. In some cases the barrier may not stop the projectile, but it will always slow it down and reduce the damage. There are three levels of cover, poor cover which only covers half of your body or less gives a defense bonus of +2, good cover covers more than half of you body and gives you a defense bonus of +5, excellent cover is extremely rare but only leaves a tiny portion of your body open to gun fire (examples include an arrow slot, or the door slots in an armored car) and gives you a +10 bonus. Unlike concealment it protects you from attacks of opportunity. There are also two types of cover to be concerned about.
Soft cover is not strong or thick enough to stop a bullet a 100% of the time but it offers protection to defender none the less and is a significant step above concealment. When confronted with soft cover a shooter has two options. He can choose to shoot around the soft cover in which case the cover acts normally. Alternatively he may choose to shoot thorough the cover in which case he treats the cover as concealment, if he hits the defender his damage is reduced by the hardness of the defenders cover, and any excess damage is then transferred to the defender. It's worth noting that while multiple layers of soft cover would not improve the defender's cover defense bonus they would improve the damage reduction of the defender. It's also worth noting that it's usually only practical to shoot through soft cover if the defender has at least good cover. Examples of soft of cover.
- *Thick glass, turned over bed mattress, multiple layers of cardboard = DR 1
*Thin wood (example hollow core door or garden fence) dry wall, plaster, sheet rock, = DR 3
* Thick wood, car door = DR 5
* Brick walls, stone walls, thin layer of steel = DR 10
Hard Cover is too strong for a bullet to penetrate through. Examples of hard cover.
- * Tree trunk
* The engine block of a car
* Thick steel plating
* Bullet proof glass
* Concrete monuments
* Standing water
* Sand dunes
* sand bags