Thursday, December 19, 2013

GURPS guns, troubles therewith

One of the things that's always bugged me about GURPS is the difference between point shooting and aiming. Having tracked down a copy of Tactical Shooting to peruse, the approximation of quick aiming (taught by all the various shooting schools and videos, like Magpul's art of the dynamic tactical combat whatever) is sighted aiming, at +1.

I think what I'll do is offer Quick Aim as a specialized perk for those with a skill of 14 or better in a particular gun skill, switching the effect of All-Out Attack (determined) to functioning as the Gunslinger perk, rather than just a +1.
With at least one point in the Quick Aim perk and at least one gun skill at 16 or better, the price of Gunslinger drops to 10 points. While the books say Gunslinger is supposed to be cinematic, it's actually pretty easy to train, and most modern combat shooting schools do a lot for training such that when you point your gun the sights align properly. Might not be as good as taking time to aim proper, but it makes combat at medium ranges DRASTICALLY more feasible than the standard rules for GURPS allows.


  1. I've playtested these rules extensively. They come out VERY realistically in the aggregate.

    Perhaps you're looking for Gun Fu with a more realistic veneer?

    1. The thing to remember about GURPS is that it's oh so very coarse. All those training schools and videos are doing is increasing your skill at Guns/TL8 Rifle, they are not teaching a different skill or even a technique by GURPS standards at all. If you see a marked improvement in your shooting after taking one of these classes, it was likely you're seeing your very first point in the skill from your previous default from DX.

      Our natural vanity doesn't like that answer, I know.

      Also never forget that the GURPS rules assume COMBAT and there are some rather huge bonuses to your skill for shots taken on a one-way range.

    2. I'm actually basing this heavily off of experiences from paintballing, particularly matches against cheaters who have their guns overpressured to the point of causing massive, bleeding welts through tough clothing at significant range (not as much of a motivator as live lead, but significantly better than a one way range). Speed is very much encouraged as opposed to regular range practice. I've had times where my gear required a proper 1 second aim maneuver (had a low power scope), and worked absolutely awful, compared with quick aim on other gear setups.

      The GURPS method for shooting from behind cover at long range is to lean out, get your sights and everything lined up and aim, then shoot. The method you see taught in such courses is to get your sights lined up most of the way, lean out and adjust your already-acquired aim onto the target, and fire. Not a huge difference, but it IS a difference in time from beginning of exposure to when you can take an accurate shot.

      A lot of engagements in paintball take place in the 10-15 yard range from behind cover, where based on the GURPS range charts should give a -5 to -6 penalty, with another -2 for pop-up attack (although that's negated by situational awareness). I'm naturally good at point shooting, but I don't think I'm good enough to get my shots so reliably on target as I find that I do when I'm on the field. Every shot goes almost exactly where it's supposed to (other than the annoying habit of paintballs to swerve through the air to avoid your target at any range beyond "very close"). Depending on the situation, I do a lot of fire against targets that should leave me at a -7 or -8 to hit from range, yet I can always get my paint on target (as much as possible per the limitations of paintballs) without taking time to stop and aim for a second. I either line up my sights before I lean out to fire, or my gun comes right into alignment for aiming as I bring it up.

      Ultimately, for the cost, Gunslinger is fairly overpriced for what it does. It MIGHT get you a +2 instead of the +1 if you have a pistol with nice sights, or MAYBE up to a +3 with a rifle (longarms get acc/2). Mostly I'm just trying to get GURPS rules to line up with my own experiences (which has better sights give better bonuses, even with extremely abbreviated aiming. I can quick aim on a target at 100 yards with my s2k and put all rounds into it without stopping to aim proper, can't do it with a pistol, and I can tell the difference is the sights).

      I'm also assuming that I'm not special and gifted with gunslinger, and if I have it or something similar it just means it can be learned through practice. The GURPS rules as standard are close, but they leave a gap in mid-range between point shooting and proper aiming that I haven't found in actual practice, which is what I'm trying to figure out.

    3. Getting your gun mostly lined up = readying your weapon.
      Leaning out then lining up is readying your weapon after exposing yourself.

      Mid-range with firearms starts at about 75m and you'd better be aiming for reals to hit a man sized target with a rifle. Point shooting is for short ranges, and you might notice that many tactical oriented classes emphasize CQB to 50 yards or so. As do many gun games.

      Long range for paintball is happening at ranges where the transition gap isn't apparent.

  2. An important part of my earlier reply is "in aggregate".

    No simulation will be perfect, but the net results you get from the rules do jive with countless accounts of real-world gun fights in terms of shots fired and hits and a reasonable approximation of terminal effects.

    Because GURPS is very coarse, real improvements in the real world don't even show in game terms. The classic example is there's no difference in Acc between a WW1 M1911 and a brand new Series 80 even though the newer gun has much more visible sights (that don't yet meet the criteria for "high visibility sights").

    There's no game advantage to adjustable sights set to the correct range over just holding-over.

    The list is endless.

    1. Having looked at the other things Gunslinger does that are listed in gun fu but not in the basic set, I'm leaning towards only stealing the quick aim feature from it (perk or advantage or technique or something, to allow better sights to actually give slightly more than a +1). As mentioned, it's the turnover from CQB to full ranged fighting where it's too close to aim but too far to hit without aiming that I'm trying to sort out; I think modifying the "sighted" shot rules slightly to differentiate for better sights works perfectly to close the gap. Instead of +1 for All Out Attack: Determined, you get +1 or +(1/2)*acc, whichever is better, since a "loose lining up" of the sights will give you a much narrower cone the longer your sight radius is.

      And then I get to figure out how to make rules for red dot sights play nice. High Tech says they just give flat +1 to Guns, Tactical Shooting says they only get used sufficiently during sighted shooting. I haven't used them enough to say which is closer to reality in this case, although I'd lean towards always +1, and either +2 cumulative with all out attack or 1+.5*acc.

      I think that one little issue is the only thing I've found in GURPS combat rules that didn't immediately strike me as basically accurate, so I have to agree with the rules as a whole being pretty darn accurate.

      The more I try to look at this, the more I think you may be on to something with just calling it close enough and saving yourself the headache.