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Tales from Sullapolis, a modern-day Pathfinder Supplement
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:10 pm    Post subject: Tales from Sullapolis, a modern-day Pathfinder Supplement Reply with quote

So for a while now I've been working on a modern-day Pathfinder urban fantasy setting called Tales from Sullapolis—Pathfinder Modern, if you will—for an upcoming campaign of mine, conveniently titled Tales from Sullapolis. Now, of course, being that this is me, I decided to do this right and forego the use of the already existing Pathfinder Modern supplement, for various reason, and made my own from scratch.

Now I'm honestly not sure if there's any interest in this at all, but I've been working on this for months and I need an outlet.

So here's a look at what I have done so far. As of this moment, I'm 65 pages in, including:
  • Rules for modern settlements
  • New uses for existing skills that cover...
    • detective and forensic work,
    • crafting items with a price in dollar,
    • disarming bombs and security systems,
    • breaking and entering (emphasis on breaking),
    • emergency aid (CPR) and surgery,
    • urban tracking,
    • modern-day music gigs (and the propaganda work that comes along with it), and finally
    • rules to get and keep a day job, get raises and work freelance

  • Two entirely new skills and two new knowledge skills, including
    • A Computer Use skill that is far more comprehensive than d20 Modern's,
    • A Vehicle Operation (drive, sail, pilot) skill to consolidate driving skills,
    • And finally the Knowledge skills Bureaucracy and The Outside, which replaces Planes

  • Dozens of new feats and traits to cover use of computers, modern vehicles and weapons, as well as modern fighting styles like Boxing and Fencing
  • Dozens of new melee and ranged weapons, including some pretty thorough rules for modern firearms with, with new weapon qualities to handle burst and autofire, long-range weapons and scopes
  • A large number of firearm accessories and ammunition varieties to go with the aforementioned rules
  • New armor to defend against all those nasty new weapons, or to firefight, or to play football, or to do whatever you damn well please
  • New explosives and rules for explosive deconstruction (demolitions)
  • A nuclear blast hazard. Because.
  • Rules for cheap knockoffs and a handful of modern gadgets, like GPS, wing suits and the like
  • Rules to expand on the existing Computer Use skill, to reflect computer hacking and security
  • Rules for gambling (poker, texas hold'em, slots) and... the lottery. Because... fuck it. Because I can.
  • Comprehensive rules for modern vehicles, including something I'm quite proud of: Vehicle options, which enable you to recreate virtually any existing vehicle, no matter the brand, make or model, from one basic stat block (per type).
  • Rules for stunt driving. A locomotive. A space shuttle. Yeah. That's right. A goddamn space shuttle. Yeah, I don't know either—it was requested by one of my players.
  • That's it. For now.


Now as you can see, this is a pretty long list. But here's a list of what I have plans for before the book is even ready for release:
  • A fully fleshed out metropolis, population 2.8 million, divided into 16 individual districts, each with their own quirks and curiosities, set in ...
  • A fully fleshed out fictional state bordering lake michigan, called North Tacoma,
  • Rules governing day-to-day life in the present era and how things are different than D&D standard, including a section on the internet,
  • A comprehensive section detailing The Outside, an alternate dimension that serves as a virtually infinite megaplane, which is divided in its own realms and kingdoms, each with their own rulers (called Lords of the Outside).
    You are either Inside or Outside—there is no Shadow Plane, or what have you. This means certain spells, like Plane Shift and Gate, are changed or removed entirely.

    Expanding on this section are subsections describing the various denizens of the outside and how they can sometimes come to inhabit our reality (the Inside, keep up, will you?) under an instinctual, magical disguised called a Glamour.

    New spells, and magic items and rules to supplement all of that and make players' life both more amazing and miserable all at the same time. You want to be able to transmute water to gasoline? That's okay. So do I.
  • A section describing the de-facto supernatural governing body, which doesn't have any real official power but takes it anyway: The Grimm Council.

    The organization is named after the Brothers Grimm, who are responsible for gettnig the Lords of the Outside to sign the Grimm Covenant (or simply the Covenant) in the early 1800s, forcing them to obey a certain edict in exchange for eternal recognition through folk tales. Why is that important, you ask? Well, I'll tell you: The Covenant is one of the major contributing factors that lead to the Industrial Age and people no longer seriously believing in monsters, which in turn lead to the cushy, comfortable chair you're sitting on, and the device you're browsing this website this with. You know--in the game world. I'm sure there's no such thing as magic, really.

    As a sidenote, Gary Gygax is revered by the faeries for being directly responsible for knocking the goblins down a peg with his Dee-and-Dee—from Hero to Zero, from Mythical Menace to Monotonous and Mediocre, from Seriously Scary to Simply Shameful ... you get the idea.

    Hilarious, I know.

    Oh, and as a sidenote to my sidenote, when I say Faeries I don't mean the nice kind. I mean the Fair Folk, the nightmare-inducing, definitely-chaotic-neutral little menaces you really don't want to piss off.
  • A more fleshed out equipment section to include more present-day novelties like computers and cell phones and everything in-between and more besides
  • Modern-day prices for ye olde objectes (I have this for weapons already, but essentially, it goes like this: 1 gp -> $20)
  • A finished vehicles section that also includes rules for aerial stunts (I just finished the stunt driving maneuvers earlier)
  • Completed rules for modern day siege weapons (I have decided not to include ballistic or long-range missiles except possibly as a hazard because it's absolutely ridiculous)
  • Rules for present-day drugs and addictions, like cocaine, heroin or LSD. And also magical drugs to go with them. Because magic.


And that's all that comes to mind right this second. I'll expand on this more later if there's interest or if I remember. In the mean time, that's all you get.

I have to say it's been more than a little refreshing working on a project that's not chock-full of self-imposed limitations created years ago and even more manga-related constraints besides. I'm finally working within the confines of a genre I'm truly comfortable with, adapting a game I love and have been playing for almost two decades to a medium I can introduce to my friends who, I hope, will come to like it as well.

And as a bonus, I get to permanently replace that god-awful d20 Modern system in my group. It's worth it if only for that.


So, until next time.

'ta
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Elon
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems pretty nice. You have my interest.

I've been dming d20 modern lately and I never thought I needed a new revision till I read your post. Damn you!

On a sidenote, my setting is roughly based on Day Watch novels by Timur Bekmambetov. I did not make any new rules though, it's only flavor. It features something similar to your Outside.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a pretty common feature in Urban Fantasy novels. You'll find something similar in in the Sandman Slim series, the Dresden Files and even the Nightside series to name just a few, and you'll find commonalities with all of those, even with the Night Watch novels' Twilight/Gloom, although admittedly more with Jim Butcher's Nevernever, which I have to say is my favorite of the lot.


As for d20 Modern, it's no secret I absolutely loathe the system, and have for a long time now. After working with it for 10 years, I deserve something better, and that's what I'm trying to do with Pathfinder here—although, like always, it's a challenge to do everything by my lonesome.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interest or not, nothing can stand in the way of progress.


So today instead of doing what I should have been doing, I finalized my page layout and it looks damn good. Whereas Naruto d20 was built purposefully to be devoid of such niceties (Tsk, tsk, tsk, past Frankto), I let nothing stop me from building them in from the get go.

And to put the cherry on top, I learned something about game designers today: we make poor writers. There's a simple reason for that, of course. Because of the way rulebooks are structured, they read basically like a sourcebook you might find in a school. Sentences are long-winded, use a lot of words you wouldn't find elsewhere and, in general, that style just doesn't lend itself to writing a good book.

But tonight I started playing with the Hemingway app I found on reddit a few days ago and it taught me a lot about the mistakes I made. So I used that newfound knowledge to correct the mistakes in my beginning chapter story blurbs, and they improved 200%.


Now I've always considered myself someone who doesn't like writing. The only reason I started doing it in the first place was to give back because I enjoy reading so much.

But this?

This is fun.

And that's how progress goes.
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chaoticangel97
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't posted int his yet, despite being a big Pathfinder fan. This whole thing you've got here sounds pretty cool.

Seems you're enjoying working on this which is really good.
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Dairius_Chi
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've also become quite partial to the Pathfinder system, won't say it's perfect but for every problem I find with it I find two things it did better than 3.5 so... all in all I'd say a win.

This sounds like another quality supplement so I look forward to its release and, for whatever it's worth, would offer any support I can give even if it's limited to simply cheering you on.
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Elon
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankto wrote:

But this?

This is fun.


And that's what could make this even greater! The best histories I wrote were the ones that had me entertained when writing them Very Happy
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Reznor
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to combine this with Nd20 and run that.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not... exactly what I'm making this thing for. -_-'
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know lol. I'm going to give it a spin, it sounds great.
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Reznor
Kage


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Dozens of new feats and traits to cover use of computers, modern vehicles and weapons, as well as modern fighting styles like Boxing and Fencing
Dozens of new melee and ranged weapons, including some pretty thorough rules for modern firearms with, with new weapon qualities to handle burst and autofire, long-range weapons and scopes
Alot of hope for these parts.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now with a pleasing new formatting, more armors, finalized fighter weapons group, stuff and things. Among the cooler new arrivals is new special materials (titanium alloy, which lets you have archaic but bullet-proof metal armor; and carbon nanotubes, which is basically mithral for modern armor), and the availability system, which deals with stuff like licensing and rarity, which smoothly lets me implement a black market system.

So, you know, that's cool.
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Reznor
Kage


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested to see what you do with classes.
Class is hard to do in a modern setting well - d20 Modern opting for base classes operating around wide, overarching aspects of a character (strong, fast, smart, etc.) rather than specific functions (spellcasting, fighting, etc.) was a good choice, but not necessary the only way.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I've been working on the section for real world guns. You see, the equipment section lists a lot of firearms, but you can't buy a Glock or a TEC-9 there. It only has entries for "machine pistol," or "suppressed pistol" or "large pistol," or even "infantry assault rifle."

If you want to get yourself a desert eagle, you go to Appendix I — Modern Firearm Packages by Brand. There, you'll find things like these:
Barret M82: Also known as the "Light Fifty," this rifle is among the most powerful ones of its kind; infantry sniper rifle, misfire 0, range 160 ft. Accessories: Accessory rail, bipod. Modifications: Improved range (1), reliable. Cost: $8,175.
SA M60 Annihilator: Steele Armory's finest, biggest gun, it is sometimes known as the "M60 CryHavoc"; light machine gun, misfire 0, capacity 30+1, weight 27 lbs, – 1 to attack rolls, 1-shot grenade launcher, +2 bonus to confirm critical hits vs. targets within 30 feet. Accessories: Accessory rail, magazine (3), masterwork grenade launcher, masterwork reflector sights. Modifications: Reliable. Cost: $14,250.
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Kage


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like that way better than d20 moderns list. Too bulky and not much variety to show for it. Better in everyway.

Interested to see if the base guns are done like Pathfinder does.
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Kage


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I like gun reliability being a thing.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please just edit your posts instead of posting in rapid succession, yes? Also, glad to see you're so... enthusiastic.

And yes, the firearms use the basics laid by Paizo in Ultimate Combat with rules to supplement them and the use of scopes, automatic and burst-fire weapons, and the like.

And yes, the rules reflect the possibility of long-range kill shots according to the updated world record to the best of my ability. So it's possible, if you have a really amazing gun and if you're really, really good at it, to kill somebody with a rifle from a mile away—or, at the very least, wound them.

Incredibly unfair, I know, but them's the breaks.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a whopping example of do-what-I-say-not-what-I-do, here's a double post of my own!




Actually, this is turning out so well I decided to show my cards. So here's MOAR GUNS. Funny story, there's actually a store called Moar Guns near where I live. Hilarious!
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chaoticangel97
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is kinda funny. And this is still looking like it's gonna be really awesome.
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Kage


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm digging Moar Guns.
I feel like choice of firearm will mean something with this.
Quote:
Please just edit your posts instead of posting in rapid succession, yes? Also, glad to see you're so... enthusiastic.

In a whopping example of do-what-I-say-not-what-I-do, here's a double post of my own!
I do the same on the forum I admin, so I'd have a double standard about double standards if I objected.
As it is yours, I will make use of the edit button.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided to update the document which is now mostly finished. The formatting is all laid in, but only two of the subsection flavor texts is finished. Again, that's...


MOAR GUNS!


EDIT: I can't believe I forgot the AK-47. Dammit. This is going to mess up my formatting.

– AK-47: The Kalashnikov rifle is used by military personnel, insurgents and movie stars world-wide; infantry assault rifle, autofire-capable. Accessories: None. Modifications: Grant autofire. Cost: $3,500.
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chaoticangel97
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a moment I was surprised to not see a Beretta 92, then I saw police issue Beretta and was like "Oh, that's it."

Looking really good here Frankto. A quick question, will there be any rules for sawed-off/shortened barrels?
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Kage


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd suggest greater reliability for AK-47 due its famous reliability and durability.

I'd be interested to see the base models these refer to (infantry shotgun, pocket pistol, etc.) to see how they end up.

This is all the modern firearms I know of PF covering so far.
Code:
(Advanced) One-Handed Firearms    Cost    Dmg (S)    Dmg (M)    Critical    Range    Misfire    Capacity    Weight1    Type2    Special    Source
Revolver    4,000 gp    1d6    1d8    ×4    20 ft.    1    6    4 lbs.    B and P    —    UC
(Advanced) Two-Handed Firearms    Cost    Dmg (S)    Dmg (M)    Critical    Range    Misfire    Capacity    Weight1    Type2    Special    Source
Rifle    5,000 gp    1d8    1d10    ×4    80 ft.    1    1    12 lbs.    B and P    —    UC
Rifle, pepperbox    7,000 gp    1d8    1d10    ×4    80 ft.    1–2    4    15 lbs.    B and P    —    UC
Shotgun    5,000 gp    1d6    1d8    ×2    20 ft.    1–2    1    12 lbs.    B and P    scatter    UC
Shotgun, double-barreled    7,000 gp    1d6    1d8    ×2    20 ft.    1–2    2    15 lbs.    B and P    scatter    UC


Probably better than d20Moderns guns. Less damage but the Touch AC thing is good to have. (Been meaning to try Pathfinder Modern's guns)

Sullapolis's guns will hopefully improve substainally from these.

--------------

Vehicle rules are something that I'd always love for something to have good rules on - as an fight involving them is usually awesome - but systems rarely handle it well. Hopes for those too.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rules for vehicles go from page 57 to 70 of the current rules. I even have a space shuttle. I've got rules for hybrid cars, gasoline cars, sports car, concept cars, whatever you want. All of them, again, completely modular and the vast majority of each featuring their own vehicle options besides the vehicle options available to all. You can build yourself a cop car if you like by taking a Sedan and adding a performance engine, a law enforcement mod and the armored option. It'll run you around $45K and hey, whaddya know, that's just about what the LAPD paid on somesuch year.


As for the AK, yeah, I'm aware that reliability is its main feature. Unfortunately gun modifications are expensive and this would bump up the cost of the firearm to $6,500. It's either that, or it has Burst fire only as baseline instead of Autofire.

Now I don't know much about guns (or cars, for that matter), but that just doesn't sound right. Also, I'm well aware of the pathfinder guns, being that I had to base my rules on them. They're alright, for the most part, except the shotgun, which shoots in a 30 foot cone. I changed that, of course, because that's ludicrous. But I still had to keep the scatter quality, for, again, the most seamless transition from Pathfinder to Tales from Sullapolis possible.


I'm also well aware of Pathfinder Modern's guns, and its everything else. I respect what it's trying to do, but ff you ask me, it's a half-assed direct d20 Modern port, without a single thing changes, and that is not a good thing.
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Kage


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As for the AK, yeah, I'm aware that reliability is its main feature. Unfortunately gun modifications are expensive and this would bump up the cost of the firearm to $6,500. It's either that, or it has Burst fire only as baseline instead of Autofire.
Hm, perhaps it pales in some other areas. (Less range or stopping power than other assaults perhaps? Don't know off the top of my head.)

I guess you'd either have to sacrifice realist simulation or game mechanic balance with price otherwise.

Or it could because "reliability" is something that, realistically, the cost should be proportional to the complexity of the object. (It's real easy to make a reliable calculator, harder to make a cutting edge computer reliable.)
Quote:

I'm also well aware of Pathfinder Modern's guns, and its everything else. I respect what it's trying to do, but ff you ask me, it's a half-assed direct d20 Modern port, without a single thing changes, and that is not a good thing.
Yeah, all I'd say about it is that is better than d20 modern, which doesn't really say much.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strip firearms. Hmm....
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Elon
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankto wrote:
They're alright, for the most part, except the shotgun, which shoots in a 30 foot cone. I changed that, of course, because that's ludicrous.


It's funny. When I first read the cone thing I thought it was logical. What's your take? I'm curious.
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Kage


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elon wrote:
Frankto wrote:
They're alright, for the most part, except the shotgun, which shoots in a 30 foot cone. I changed that, of course, because that's ludicrous.


It's funny. When I first read the cone thing I thought it was logical. What's your take? I'm curious.


Go into a large room, measure out a 30' cone and see what that looks like IRL. It looks much different than on a combat map.
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Frankto
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I changed the scatter ability to be a bit less ridiculous, but just a bit. Most shotguns now fire in a line, except the sawed-off shotgun. And the blunderbuss.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's weird that scatter ends up being only viable for high accuracy, given that spreads and automatics seem to less reliant on accuracy than single shots
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