Should the Big Guns skill exist?

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by SilverStarApple/Epsilon7, May 21, 2020.

  1. cratchety ol joe

    cratchety ol joe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    480
    Sep 2, 2008
    Well... This is what GURPS does best, improvisation. It's in the name after all Generic Universal RolePlaying System. The 'core' rules merely exist for players to then do what they want... If you've never played it, or invested heavily into what the core rules play like, I can suggest it probably does what you are attempting to do, but with an established, time-proven, tried and tested, and well detailed set of 'core' rules.

    You want sword fight? GURPS
    You want alien sci-fi ship to ship combat, GURPS
    You want a weapon specific to YOUR game, GURPS
    Submarines fighting scuba-fitted dinosaurs with lasers, GURPS

    I quote the following from my GURPS Basic Set: Characters (the 'core' rule book):
    The rules book even states quite blankly that it can interpret any other system or scenario book, GURPS is intended to be a universal translator of gaming, and to me, it sounds like you are trying to reinvent the wheel... I'm not saying stop what you are doing, I've been an amateur games designer for more than 20 years, but what I am saying is you should recognise when the thing you are making already exists, it may be 'easier' simply to adopt into or adapt that thing.

    So far, in the past 8 months I've run a 1920's gangsters 'city takeover' game, A dangerous-mystery Cyberpunk game and am currently running a game of Fallout... and all using GURPS. I've gone from Tommy-guns and billy clubs to embedded cyber-claws and hack-pads to Wattz Lasers and pip-boys all within the same system.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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  2. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    331
    May 12, 2020
    I think that the big guns skill should exist, as it’s a useful way to categorize guns based on the manner they are used.

    What I would rather get rid of is the energy weapons skill (like Sawyer wanted to do). I understand that the use of energy weapons probably differs from the use of conventional firearms in terms of things like recoil (if there is any), “muzzle flash”, and general maintenance, but ultimately it’s a gun. You hold it up to your shoulder, look down the sight, line up your shot, and pull the trigger. If you’re an expert with a sniper rifle, you shouldn’t suddenly be helpless when presented with a laser rifle. Like I said before, there are some differences, but not enough to justify dedicating an entire skill to it.

    An idea I’ve had for awhile was to replace the energy weapons skill with a “long guns” skill, following the naming convention of small guns and big guns. The long guns skill would cover any two-handed weapons braced at the shoulder, like shotguns, assault rifles, laser rifles, etc. Small guns would keep one-handed guns like pistols and revolvers, as well as sub machine guns and sawn-off guns. And then big guns would include Gatling lasers and plasma rifles (Winchester P94) as well as the standard miniguns, flamers, and rocket launchers. LMGs and anti-materiel rifles could fall under Big guns or Long guns, I haven’t really decided. Also, giving energy weapons lower strength requirements than their ballistic counterparts might be a nice way to allow weaker characters a chance to do some damage late-game.

    I like the synergy idea you guys have mentioned but I feel my solution would be simpler. As an added bonus, only one guns skill (big guns) would be useless until mid-game, instead of the standard two useless weapon skills. Energy weapons would simply be higher tier weapons along with gauss rifles and the like.
     
  3. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    If we're gonna talk about what makes sense then the entire skill list needs to be completely overhauled. Repair and Science needs to be outright removed and replaced by a bunch of separate skills. Eventually we'd end up with a skill list akin to Wasteland 1's and while I'd be in favor of that others aren't. So the simplest idea is just synergies. For every X points you get Y in whatever else it synergizes too (but it does not count towards actual points for perk selection).

    So every 3 points in Ballistic Firearms gives 1 point in Energy Weapons. So by 60 the other skill has 20.
    Oh and skills should start at 0 and instead of tag skills (since it worked better with a skill cap past 100) we should just get a set amount of points to divert into skills right off the bat.
     
  4. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013
    I disagree with this part, whilst I think the original games don't go far enough in making them dependent (New Vegas making it barely modify it being the worst example of this), I always thought your SPECIAL shaping your Skills was a good basic idea.
     
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  5. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    It's too easy to reach the 100 cap with the current design.
     
  6. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013
    I can agree with that to an extent but that's more in the exact execution rather than in the principle of tying it to SPECIAL. You could still do that and have reaching 100 be more stunted unless you were really heavily focusing your build.
     
  7. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    Could get rid of Tags and just make it dependent on SPECIAL numbers I supoose.
    STR 1 = 5:1
    STR 2 = 4:1
    STR 3 = 3:1
    STR 4 = 2:1
    STR 5 = 1:1
    STR 6 = 1:2
    STR 7 = 1:3
    STR 8 = 1:4
    STR 9 = 1:5
    STR 10 = 1:6
    So someone with STR 1 would never be able to achieve 100 in Unarmed, unless you're willing to spend 500 points.
    Would require less skill points per level though.

    And again, if you want the skill levels to line up with your special then you can always do that manually. Nothing stopping you from raising every skill that's at 0 to 7 or 4 or 14 or whatever.
     
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  8. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Nov 26, 2007
    It always seemed to me that the skill system in Fallout matched the setting's retro aesthetic (along with everything else).

    The PC is an everyman [guy or gal] who was picked in a pinch, and was always a pinch-hitter with generalized —or even improvised knowledge... Someone out of their true element or expertise, but making the best of it. In this light, the skills loosely categorized the type of tasks and varied [informal] experience involved in them; not a professional mechanic, just a guy trying to get an engine started; not an orator, an academic scientist, nor a military specialist, just a guy drawing upon life experience and gumption when faced with the need to perform these tasks to some functional degree.

    In all of these, the Doctor skill is the outlier, because it is a professional career choice, but doctor or not, the rest of the skill categories still fit a person out of their element; not an experienced professional adventurer.

    Tag skills are where their true aptitudes lie.
     
  9. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    849
    Jun 7, 2015
    I think instead of limiting skill choice by SPECIAL, you should have checks that are gated by SPECIAL alone, and some checks that take into account both a given skill and your SPECIAL. SPECIAL represents the characteristics you've been endowed with by genetics and upbringing, whereas skills are things you can work at to achieve.
     
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  10. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013
    This is one my bigger bones to pick that I wish I could fix with New Vegas, Speech alone is the most powerful skill in that game but Charisma is considered a dump stat. You shouldn't be able to make like half the Speech checks in that game without the right Charisma.
     
  11. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    331
    May 12, 2020
    I had a somewhat similar idea, although I would keep tag skills (also I think we should have skills go up to 200 or 300 like in the originals). My idea would be that skill point investment is 1:1 until you hit your SPECIAL limit (one point in the stat correlates to 10 points in the skill), then the skill point cost would exponentially increase. Here’s how it would work:
    With a Strength of 5, you would be able to invest points normally into Melee Weapons (for simplicity’s sake, let’s ignore the fact that Agility should govern Melee as well) until you hit Melee Weapons level of 50, after which the skill point cost would exponentially increase for that skill.

    Although I might be getting off-topic here.
     
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  12. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013
    Late reply but I really like this solution. I believe Van Buren was going to have a more broad version of this approach where any Skill after the 50 mark would require 2 points per 1 Skill rank (Which would be neutralized if it was a Tag as you'd get 2 Skill Ranks for each 1 point spent). Whilst I think the Van Buren approach strengthened Tag Skills, I quite like this SPECIAL dependant method as it makes absurdities like 1 STR Brawler builds or 1 CHR diplomats far less likely.

    As time goes on I also agree with Sawyer's decision with Van Buren to split Speech into Persuade and Deception, having 3 speech related skills (Assuming Barter was going to be used as the "Money talk" skill ala New Vegas) makes being a Diplomat Boy build much more of a dedication/branch rather than Speech being a catch-all Skill for every build.
     
  13. Tribalus Maximus

    Tribalus Maximus First time out of the vault

    26
    Dec 27, 2018
    No, it should not.

    Small Guns and Big Guns into -> Firearms (both 10mm pistol and minigun goes there),
    Energy Weapons -> leave it as it is,
    Unarmed -> F2 way so leave it as it is, but add karate, krav maga, special kicks and so on,
    Melee Weapons -> merge it with throwing eg. you throw a spear so it uses this skill,
    Throwing and Traps into > Explosives (dynamite and grenades, and also rockets).

    More intuitive and balanced. Don't know where flamer should go, perhaps into Energy Weapons. It's a Fallout3/New Vegas way? It's just, if you know how to deal with dynamite and grenades there you should know how to make a trap or blow something out, bazookas should also come in handy couse you have the general idea how explosive warheads work.
     
  14. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    849
    Jun 7, 2015
    Flamers should go into Explosives IMO
     
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  15. Slaughter Manslaught

    Slaughter Manslaught Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 11, 2006
    Personally, I think the big issue is that most Fallout games are really light on Big Guns and Energy Weapons in general. FO1 and FO2 are devoid of energy weapons and big guns until the mid game. I understand it might be a design approach, because by that point you have already liked maxed out your tag skills and you are currently looking to branch out your points.

    It also doesn't help that Small Guns/Guns in most Fallout games is the most interesting weapon skill. Weapons from beginning to end of game (FO2 is the one exception to this, but not for long at all), the most weapons, different ammo types (especially if you use mods fixing AP ammo in the OGs), weapons catering to all sorts of styles of play, from fast shooters hosing the enemy in lead to cold snipers crippling and destroying the opposition with one hit one kill aimed attacks.

    I think the real solution is to have a lot more low-level big guns and energy weapons. Not enough to banalize the concept, just enough to carry

    This also goes to throwing. Personally, I'm starting to think New Vegas did right by making the Explosives skill a thing. You could fuse explosive throwing weapons and traps into one skill, and put non-explosive throwing weapons alongside melee as a muscle-powered weapon skill. It would work in the isometric games too, making Explosives an interesting choice because it would be both a combat skill (thrown bombs into dudes) and an utility skills (disarm traps so bombs don't explode on your face).

    I disagree. I think fusing Big Guns and Small Guns into Guns makes far more sense than get rid of Energy Weapons.

    Also, energy weapons is just super-thematic and iconic a skill. These distinctions also get important if you consider crafting.

    As for the whole "you would be helpless", I think the future lies in skill synergies. But it has to be done well, so that it doesn't make actually raising your skill points become redundant entirely.
     
  16. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013
    Perhaps you could have Outer Worlds style branches i.e a broad "Firearms" skill that levels normally, but once you reach a threshold such as 50 - it splits into Big Guns, Small Guns, Energy Weapons - it would allow you to have a reasonable basic shared competence, but also specialize. Make the point to rank ratio 2:1 after that branch point and it makes you really have to focus your specialty.

    Yeah I also think Explosives was a very smart choice for New Vegas. It definitely feels more natural as a Skill than the Big Guns/Throwing/Traps divide. There's a little bit of a gap in where you'd put specialty with non-explosive traps (Bear traps et cetera) but you could roll that into a "Security" skill that also includes Lockpicking I suppose. Though I think Explosives both being a weapon and utility skill might make it a little bit too good.

    As for Big Guns and Small Guns, I've come to the opinion myself that "Big Guns" like Miniguns and LMGs should be covered under one flat "Guns" skill, but have a strength requirement instead. Flamer should go under Energy Weapons to give that Skill a bit of a boost.

    I am a little torn over Speech though.
     
  17. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    849
    Jun 7, 2015
    I feel like it would make sense to put bear traps under repair, in the same way that in Fo3/FNV we use repair to disarm traps. But you do raise the good point that lockpicking is arguably the single most useless skill in the games, especially in the 3D games where its 4 hard thresholds and no other uses. Further consider that the majority of the time when a lock is important to a quest and not just extra loot, there's almsot bound to be a key somewhere somehow. Finally, I'm not sure that I've ever seen a Lockpicking dialogue option. With all this in mind, maybe instead of a general security skill, fold Lockpicking into Repair.

    Energy weapons are already arguably the most powerful category in the game. Honestly New Vegas's retinue works perfectly fine, just moderately beef it up (add in the both of the Wattz laser weapons in edition to the AER/AEP, maybe buff the Recharger Rifle as an early game energy weapon, borrow some notes from bethesda's book and add the Gamma Gun/Radium Rifle) and it'll be fine.
     
  18. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    331
    May 12, 2020
    Fallout 3 was actually the game that introduced the Explosives skill.
     
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  19. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    331
    May 12, 2020
    I think Lockpick could be combined with the old Steal skill to create a “nimble fingers/sleight of hand” type skill. Also throw Gambling into that one. I always figured the gambling skill was just your character being good at cheating.
     
  20. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    849
    Jun 7, 2015
    That's also a good idea