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Why are Gun based RPGs so much more rare then the sword rpg's

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Lukrame, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Sacred82 Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Sacred82
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    A strength attribute - which is a clear characteristic of people, if we accept the idea of attributes - doesn't mean shit for shooting guns. At the very least, the ever increasing numbers game doesn't make sense here.

    I'd also say that most games classify as heroic fantasy with all that entails. That includes the 'heroic' behaviour to wade into scores of enemies with sword in hand. I can absolutely see a more grimdark fantasy setting where most open fights begin at range, there's lots of ambushing and melee is actually reserved for stealth attacks. But that's not traditional fantasy.

    Then there's the whole 'technology vs. magic' angle which just doesn't seem intuitive to most people. Saying "yeah that gun there is more effective because it's magic" just doesn't go over as well as "this sword here is better because it's magic" does. Then you end up with a real conundrum like in Arcanum, where better guns are supposedly more advanced while swords get better due to magic. There are some rabbit holes you just don't want to go down in fantasy. In Arcanum they clearly overdid this by supposing some conflict between technology and magic because the two are inherently contradictory. It would have been enough to design the setting so that there's a side that favors magic and one that favors technology, without shoehorning in some reason why the two just can't coexist. But that kind of thing happens when you try to sell a setting that has both modern technology and magic in it.

    Yeah, as above, it just doesn't seem a counterintuitive to players that things don't die for a long time when hit with a sword (or that gargantuan creatures die to what is basically a toothpick to them) as when people don't die from getting shot in the face once.
     
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  2. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    I am blaming that on politic.

    It's easier to build and expand on sword&bow setting than a gun&ammo. Gun make people thinking too much of politic, while sword is not.

    On a real life aspect, boys playing gun game face more problem from liberal antigun parents than playing a sword&bow game. Like, if you get caught shooting Nazi WW2 it's a bigger mess than using sword chopping bandits in Skyrim.
     
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  3. Jimmious Arcane Patron

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    Although I love RPGs or Strategy RPGs with guns (hello Fallouts and JA2 etc) , the reason why they're more rare is p.obvious for me:
    Any nerd can shoot a gun but in order to lift a two handed battle axe and swing it properly you have to be super trained. And here enters an important part of role-playing : imagining you are someone else and doing the things he would do.
    Imagining you are shooting a gun is not some wild fantasy, you just need to go to the closest gun range and do it. Imagining you are a IMMENSELY STRONG DWARF WITH A MYTHICAL BATTLEAXE is a different story though..!
     
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  4. Sykar Arcane

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    Ever shot a gun? Especially machine guns or assault rifles full auto? Not as easy as you make it sound and you should be at least fit if you want to run around with it all day. German MG 3 which I as the 2nd tallest guy in my company had the "pleasure" of carrying around 3 days in the field weighs 11.5 kilos plus ammo.
     
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  5. Jimmious Arcane Patron

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    Yes I have, I was in the army. Sure you won't be John Rambo and of course there is room there to imagine stuff but there is a difference
     
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  6. Sykar Arcane

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    Compare the weight from an assault rifle or a machine gun like the German MG 3 to a long sword and a two handed sword. You will be surprised though there are large variances.
     
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  7. Jimmious Arcane Patron

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    Yeah but you don't have to hit the enemy with the assault rifle hard enough to kill him, you need to hold it , aim and press the trigger
     
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  8. Sykar Arcane

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    You do not have to hit hard with a sword either, since its armor penetrating ability is far too poor to attempt to punch through most armor, even a gambeson and leather armors were hard to slice through, unlike what modern movies and games try to sell their general audience. You also do not have to deal with the recoil.

    http://www.thearma.org/essays/2HGS.html

    3.65 kg for a 1.8 m long two-handed sword. That is a lot less than an MG 3 and even some Assault Rifles like the G3, which was my main weapon during my brief service, exceed it in weight.
     
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  9. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    The classic .45-caliber M1911 pistol will break my sissy wrist the which only do keyboard smashing. So no, imagining and escapism doesnt explain that huge discrepancy.

    Also, this day and age it's easy to buy sword online, especially from China, especially if you want it cheap~ EASIER than a gun, as it require no license.
     
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  10. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    There's plenty of ways in which guns can work well in RPG contexts, and there have been plenty of pen and paper systems that did it well, including RPGs set in WW2, in modern urban fantasy, in magical worlds with guns, in post-apocalyptic settings etc. Just because most of these didn't make it into PC gaming yet doesn't mean it doesn't work.

    Ways to make guns work well with RPG mechanics:
    - don't tie damage to skills, but things like hit chance, critical hit chance, firing rate (high skill means you take less AP to aim, reload, etc)
    - add locational damage so a hit to a limb does less damage than a hit to the head or a vital organ
    - add critical hits and increase critical hit chance for skilled characters, representing the fact that they know which body parts to aim for (vital organs, major arteries etc) and are better at actually hitting them than a noob
    - add different bullet types like hollow point for higher raw damage output against unarmored targets, AP for armor piercing
    - have guns with different behavior, like sawn-off shotguns with buckshot having high spread, low chance for critical, low accuracy, but decent damage due to causing shallower but wider wounds; assault rifles that can switch between full auto, burst, and single shot, each with different AP costs, hit chances, and potential damage; SMGs that are great at putting a lot of bullets in the air but get really inaccurate when using full auto; etc
    - use suppression mechanics so not every shot has to be a hit in order to be effective; helps with the suspension of disbelief, firefights aren't about every bullet hitting and doing some damage, but about cover, suppression, etc

    Ways to make guns work well with magic, since someone here said magical guns are less intuitive than magical swords:
    - add an enchantment to a gun that makes it more accurate
    - add an enchantment to a gun that allows its bullets to go around corners or move in an ellipse or something, anything that isn't a straight line
    - add an enchantment to a gun that splits bullets when they leave the muzzle, essentially turning a normal pistol or rifle into a buckshot shotgun
    - add an enchantment to a gun that lets it reload automatically, the spell ejects the magazine when it's empty and telephathically snatches the next mag from the shooter's ammo belt or something like that
    - add an enchantment to a gun that heats up bullets when they leave the muzzle, giving them fire damage in addition to normal damage

    Lots and lots of ways to make guns fun in an RPG context, even if you add magic to the mix if it's an urban fantasy setting or something like that.
     
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  11. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    Oh yeah and then you have an RPG like Dead State where the choice between guns and melee actually matters for several reasons and you might want to restrict your use of guns in favor of melee most of the time.

    The game has a lot of flaws but the balance between melee and guns is really done well.

    It's an RPG set during the zombie apocalypse and has a big focus on scavenging for resources. Ammo for lower end guns is plentiful, but ammo for high end military guns isn't. You have to craft it or find it only in military camps which are either guarded by soldiers or have lots of zombies in them. So ammo preservation is one reason why you'd rather not use your best guns all the time. You need them for hard encounters against well-equipped human enemies.

    Then there's the noise levels. Guns are loud. They make a lot of noise. Especially the high end guns like rifles, machine guns, and explosives like grenades. Very effective weapons, but they make a big noise. And if you make a lot of noise, it will attract zombies from all across the map and even make new zombies enter the map from outside the bounds of the level. This means that you don't want to get into extended firefights unless you're prepared to deal with a horde of zombies pouring in towards you (which can also help you, since they'll attack you and your enemies indiscriminately).

    This means that when dealing with zombies, you usually want to use melee weapons only since they allow for relatively silent takedowns and you can deal with the zombies in small groups. If you use guns, they'll all pour towards you at once. You also don't want to waste precious ammo on zombies, cause it's more useful against tough human opponents.

    When fighting well-equipped human opponents, high-end guns like assault rifles are definitely the best choice, much more powerful than melee. A decent hit with a good rifle can do good damage even against well-armored opponents, whereas doing damage with melee weapons against armored opponents requires a much higher weapon skill from your character, not to mention using guns gives you more range and you don't need to spend action points walking from enemy to enemy, you can just stay in position and shoot at everyone in range. This makes guns the objectively superior weapon when dealing with human enemies. But due to melee being so much more useful against zombies, melee characters don't become useless.

    This is a thing the game does really well. Both melee and ranged are useful, and for believable reasons.
     
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  12. Fluent Arcane Possibly Retarded The Real Fanboy

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    Off-topic but Dead State is an underrated gem of a CRPG. It does a lot of things right and is a great experience, even for someone like me who doesn't care for zombies much. Recommended to anyone who wants something different but with nice RPG mechanics (the combat and AP system are done very well.)
     
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  13. Kev Inkline Arcane

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    I'm truly surprised by the scarcity of whip-based crpgs.
     
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  14. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    Yeah I don't care for the zombie genre at all but I played through the entirety of Dead State because the gameplay loop was just fun, and the encounters with human enemies were challenging. Very underrated game.

    There are plenty of things I think it could've done better but it's great for what it is.
     
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  15. Neanderthal Arcane

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    One good thing about W40k is that you can take big, horrible wounds that'd cripple you normally and get em replaced with cybernetics, or if you're an Ork just grow em back or be stapled back on by a Mad Dok. Guns are fearsome but the consequences aren't game ending, just really bloody inconvenient for a while.

    In fact if you're a member of the iron tenth you're probably looking forward to this kind of shit, because the flesh is weak.
     
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  16. Egosphere Savant

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    Fallout 1,2,NV; Arcanum; Vampire Masquerade Bloodlines; Jagged Alliance 2; Underrail; ATOM; + probably a whole bunch more I'm forgetting. There's lots of guns in rpg.
     
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  17. Reinhardt Arcane

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    Just make enemies who are generally stronger and faster than party like werewolves for example and suddenly guns are not that bad idea.
     
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  18. CryptRat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Developer

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    I'm not fan of games where all characters stand still shooting each others, I prefer when at least some of them move around the battlefield, which is why about games with guns I can appreciate things like :
    - no partial cover mechanisms, only field of views
    - important melee mechanisms additionnally to guns,
    - movement action points separated from attack action points,
    - be careful if implementing various reaction abilities, they can be fun but they can also just make the game more boring especially if they prevent characters from roamming the battlefield. A character setting traps onto the battlefield or releasing whatever gas during his/her turn tends to be more fun battlefield control management than "wait&shoot if ..." reaction actions.

    None of these is any close to mandatory, these are just things I like.

    Also combat is much more fun with interesting status change effects and area control abilities and items, and exploration is more fun with interesting non-combat abilities, if you can't make a game as complex as a D&D ones with their big spellbooks without magic then just use magic, making a less complex game because "meh no magic" is plain unforgivable decline.
     
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  19. Reinhardt Arcane

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    I'd like to play some turn-based claustrophopic horror rpg with guns.
     
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  20. Lonely Vazdru Pimp my Title

    Lonely Vazdru
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    If you count Sci-Fi weapons (like X-com, Star Trek or Fallout) as guns, then there are many.

    If you mean "real life" weapons, then AFAIC I just don't care for them. I want to escape reality when I play a RPG. Sure I can make an effort if the game is brilliant (like Jagged Allliance or Silent Storm) but real guns settings don't appeal to me in the least.
     
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  21. Apostle Hand Learned Possibly Retarded

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    guns are very common these days
    everybody hold a gun
    too much massive shootings these days
    thats why people dont like guns in rpgs

    otoh if you wield powerful halberd or greatsword its different
    makes you feel special
     
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  22. Alkarl Learned

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    Sword and Sorcery rpgs are pretty easy to make, the template is already there. You add in guns and you have to start making considerations.

    First you have to decide what you're abstracting in your pew-pew rpg.

    Then you have to pick a setting that doesn't piss on the Shadowrun or Warhammer people while being original enough not to get drowned out by the several other fallout/wasteland clones.

    Then you have to make it actually fun and engaging to play.

    With all of that done you still have to find an audience, or hope you hit your target.

    Fantasy rpgs are a dime a dozen because the audience is and will likely always be out there, and the vast majority have terrible tastes/standards. You drop a gun into your game about orcs and dragons and you might lose half or more of your audience (plus gain a lawsuit or two..) People playing games for guns have different concerns than people who play games with swords and magic.

    So the anwser as to why it isn't done often is the same with most things: It's really hard and scary. Between potentially getting slapped with a "Warhammer" of a lawsuit or just flat out not finding an auduence and wasting your time and money isn't worth the effort or investment.
     
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  23. CappenVarra phantasmist Patron

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    Which is great - but the way it handles firearm rounds (generic 7.62/8.6/9 mm calibers with no length variation between pistols and rifles) is one of the game's weakest points in my book.

    There are other, worse games that make similar basic mistakes that make you wonder why did no one in the dev team at least spend 15 minutes reading up on firearms on wikipedia (e.g. Wasteland 2).

    If the game fails basic verisimilitude checks on medieval weaponry, it's easier to get away with it since most players have never been within hand's reach from one of those, let alone know how it's meant to be used.

    Except: recoil management, the amount of ammo a character can carry without getting encumbered, and ability to maneuver and aim heavier weapons.

    You don't even have to go full simulationist to imagine how e.g. D&D characters abilities could be modeled to affect firearm skills. It's just that nobody seems willing to spend the effort when you can use well known and generally accepted mechanics how they affect quasi medieval weaponry.
     
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  24. d1nolore Learned

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    Its not that there aren’t guns in rpgs, there are some, its just a less popular setting than a swords and magic setting. Why? Probably because it takes you further away from present day and further down a fantasy rabbit hole.

    Love me some Shadowrun, Arcanum, VtMBL.

    I don't see the lack of attributes/abilities argument as a viable argument. Just imagine Joe Blow with a hand gun compared to a Navy Seal, those differences are your attributes and abilities.

    Most game development companies are afraid to take risks and just jump onto trends. So if guns in RPGs become a trend you'll see a lot of copycatting. Otherwise Swords and Magic is just a more popular theme for RPGs. Same reason why there is so much AAA fps and trash, that's what sells.
     
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  25. lightbane Arcane

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    Agreed, but it's a hard thing to do compared with same old sword of greatness+1.

    WRONG. I suffeded through that game and balance is not really a thing.


    That's because you were not using bows, which had all of the advantages of guns, no noise and good anti-armor capabilities somehow. Moreover, there are arrows everywhere, since apparently there was an archery convention going on right before the zombiepocalypse.

    Not really, they followed the standard gamey AI where they favour your guys and especially the MC when there are multiple targets, even if they have an easier target nearby (ie: A prone enemy).
     
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