Firing into Melee

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caveman
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Firing into Melee

Post by caveman » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:48 pm

Here's a houserule I've been using.


FIRING INTO MELEE: d16 to hit. A die roll of 2-4 hits an ally for minimum damage.

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by meinvt » Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:28 pm

The rules show a -1 modifier and then if the attack is a miss a 50% chance of hitting an ally instead.

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by caveman » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:31 am

I'm not fond of rolling the 50% thing

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by reverenddak » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:57 am

Hmm, I missed the -1 rule. It's not in the "text" but it's in the chart.

My group hasn't found a problem with the 50% rule, some don't ever risk it, as most shouldn't unless it's an emergency. A Warrior could use a MDoA and by-pass it all together.

I do like flat rules like 50/50, 1 on 6, or 2 in 6, for certain things. Fiddly rules are annoying sometimes. And the "possibility" of hitting an ally is a good case for a simple rule like 50/50.
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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by caveman » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:30 pm

I think -1 is too mild. And I like to avoid percentile dice in play, just cause.

The idea is that friendly fire hit on a 2 or 3 makes it is only one roll, and minimum damage mitigates the horror of an arrow to the back.

Mitigating horror is probably a mistake...

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by meinvt » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:30 pm

It is a pretty reasonable house rule. It reduces both the chance of hitting an enemy or an ally and it mitigates the penalty of hitting the ally. In total it reinforces to the player that missiles into melee are usually not worth it, while being less punitive to the player who decides to attempt it. I only posted to clarify that this is a house rule where you are changing something that exists, not "filling in" an undefined case in the base rules.

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by caveman » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:52 pm

Maybe they meant -1d?
But yeah, the rule is definitely there already.

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by TheNobleDrake » Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:03 pm

I have always preferred a variation on the %50 rule that takes relative size and number of bodies in the melee into account, and doesn't rely on archer "failure" for someone to get in the way.

Examples:
A man-sized character is in melee with a creature his size - the archer adds a d2 to his attack roll: 1 he checks his attack roll against his ally's AC; 2 he checks against the enemy.

Same man-sized character in melee with a creature twice his size - the archer adds a d3 this time: 1 still results in his ally being the target; 2 or 3 targets the enemy.

It can get a bit complicated when you have one ally surrounded by 5 smaller sized enemies though - roll a d7, 1 or 2 targets friend, results 3 through 7 are each one of the 5 enemies. Throw a large opponent into the same mix and you need a 10 - Ally is 1-2, big enemy is 3-5, and 6-10 are the little guys.

Then, there is a rule I use in conjunction with the above: If your target is 3 or more times the size of the ally you are trying not to accidentally shoot, you only have to roll to see if you avoid targeting your ally if the larger creature is actively using your ally as a shield.

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by SYKOJAK » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:07 am

My DM just follows the rules. It has only resulted in the deaths of (2) 0 level characters so far.
There comes a point in time when it all comes down to the roll of a die!

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by reverenddak » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:42 am

SYKOJAK wrote:My DM just follows the rules. It has only resulted in the deaths of (2) 0 level characters so far.
Me too, it also has resulted in the fratricide of 2 zeros. After that second one, people are hesitant shooting into crowds.
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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by Mintaro » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:32 pm

My players quickly learned not to fire into melee. More than that they leaned to fear my "50%" die, which is a two face coin I got with my copy of 'The Dark Knight'. I also use it to see if torches go out, or to see if missed ranged weapon breaks.

I did adjust the rule a little however. My players decided to try and destroy a certain huge sized trap in a certain room, So I ruled that for a huge or even a large enemy, unless the player is standing within a 5' radius of the line of fire, they are not a viable target. Allowing them to use angles to safely use ranged attacks into melee. It got them thinking more about where they could stand.


Though one of my players still managed to throw a dart into a companions neck at level 0. Thankfully the one hit was a rare 4hp peasant.

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by goodmangames » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:57 am

Mintaro wrote:Though one of my players still managed to throw a dart into a companions neck at level 0. Thankfully the one hit was a rare 4hp peasant.
Sounds like the start of a great character history! Hopefully "tough-neck" survived the dungeon?

DCC RPG seems to invite friendly fire at low levels for some reason. I suppose it's because of the large numbers of PCs. In playtests I went through a number of different "firing into melee" rules, including some simple ones and some complicated ones (like "there are 8 guys in combat and 3 are friends so there's a 3-in-8 chance..."). I ended up with the one in the book but this thread does have some good suggestions for house rules as well.
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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by SYKOJAK » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:15 am

Just thinking about "friendly fire" at low level combat, it should be duly noted that is to be expected. First, as players are new to the game, learning that you just killed one of the party members with one shot, it really will make you rethink your next "shoot into melee action". Second, I would also state that as the party goes up in levels they become more "seasoned" players as well as characters. This is along the lines of, that is a 4th level mage fighting a goblin now. I have all the confidence in the world that he can handle a simple goblin in hand to hand with whatever means at his disposal.
My main point being, low level partys (all characters level 0 to 1,) should be somewhat clumbsy and inept. They just don't have the combat skills yet developed to be efficent. Even with veteren players playing those same toons, it will still take some playing sessions to organize thier party properly so that everyone knows who is going to do what in a typical combat encounter. That all takes time, teamwork and most importantly cooperation between the players.
So in turn, only a combat newb, or someone highly skilled, is going attempt such an act. Unless of course they really don't care whom they hit!
There comes a point in time when it all comes down to the roll of a die!

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by ragboy » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:00 am

goodmangames wrote: DCC RPG seems to invite friendly fire at low levels for some reason.
Was it 1st edition AD&D that you rolled randomly to hit with missile fire -- thus if your fighter was up there engaged with 5 orcs and the ranger was back sniping, you rolled randomly (d6) to see who was hit? Can't remember if that was one of my bastard DM houserules or actually in the book...

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by shadewest » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:28 pm

goodmangames wrote: DCC RPG seems to invite friendly fire at low levels for some reason.
Not all halflings are good with slings. The horror!
...unless the judge rules otherwise.

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by Mintaro » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:11 am

I think it takes players and characters alike to realize that even 1 points of damage to an ally can be the difference between life and death.

Sadly Mr "tough-neck" didn't survive the dungeon. In the end it was a cowardly tax collector (who hid behind his indentured servant), an equally cowardly tarot card reader, an Elvin stone mason (with remarkably good stats). Then finally my personal favorite a chicken farmer of average stats, who managed to eviscerate a snake daemon single handed (thanks to a pair of lucky crits).

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by Karaptis » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:02 am

Is the -1 a -1 die as in d16 instead of d20?

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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by Aplus » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:03 pm

I'm not familiar with the actual DCC rule for this, so I'm not going to say anything about good/bad/indifferent with regard to that rule. However, this is what I have been using for a long time, it works great, and it's dead simple:

You may fire into melee. Sure, go ahead!
If you hit, awesome, great job!
If you miss, and the number showing on the attack die is even, then it's a regular old-fashioned miss.
If you miss, and the number showing on the attack die is odd, then you hit a random ally in the melee. Roll damage against your friend!
No chance to hit a different bad guy or anything like that; That would be too clunky!

I didn't invent the rule, but I love it! It basically integrates the 50% chance to hit an ally on a miss into the attack roll itself. (Okay, if you miss on a 1-7, then it's not exactly 50%, but so what!)
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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by reverenddak » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:12 pm

Aplus wrote: I didn't invent the rule, but I love it! It basically integrates the 50% chance to hit an ally on a miss into the attack roll itself. (Okay, if you miss on a 1-7, then it's not exactly 50%, but so what!)
I love combining die rolls. Top Secret S/I had a really good system of integrating hit location and damage into a single attack roll.
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Re: Firing into Melee

Post by Karaptis » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:21 pm

Top Secret!!! Awesome, I'm thinking of taking that and/or Boot Hill out of retirement to try and run something.

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