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Durakken

RPG + Guns - Shooter

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I'm often thinking of coming up with stories for RPGs, but curtailing it or finding an explanation to not have guns, because in a standard menu based RPG they don't seem right... Not making it a shooter and not having it menu based then doesn't feel right because it's weird that you need to shoot multiple times to do a set level of damage because  you're going to have a set target.

 

So I just had this idea...What if you were to make it so that it's actiony in that the enemies are on the overworld map. Your character uses only a gun. You can target like you would with an action RPG, but instead of just pushing a single button you open a menu (or set up the button controls) and select where you want to aim which then rolls an accuracy check vs that body part and a hit check to see what the damage actually is. So you could for example hit an artery and bleed out or you could nick or you could just have the bullet embedded...

 

This seems like a good way to handle this... but I might just be delirious.

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Well conceptually in a menu based rpg fire pistol, swing sword, and cast fireball are all the same.  Different rules and animations but they are work in the same way.  So there is no reason you can't have firearms in an rpg final fantasy did it all the time.

 

But your idea reminds me of the old Mechcommander games.

 

You had a team of up to 5 mechs that you outfitted and then dropped into a mission.  It was real time so you could move around take advantage of terrain and try and maneuver behind enemies.   By default when you click attack on an enemy it would target their torso at optimal range. But you could use different number pad keys to target specific arms, legs, or the head and also set the range you wanted to maintain from the enemy short, medium, or long.

 

The head was the hardest to hit but taking out the head also gave you the highest odds of being able to reclaim the damaged enemy mech after battle. Destroying an arm might take out an enemy weapon and damaged legs would cause them to limb around the battle field.

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Have you played Fallout 3 or New Vegas?  They had mechanics in place to be able to target different body parts when not in 'FPS' mode.  You could run around just shooting stuff like it was an FPS, or you could enter what they called VATS (Vault-Tec Automatic Targeting System), which allowed you to target specific body parts and even queue up multiple shots in a pseudo-turnbased mode.

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This seems like a good way to handle this... but I might just be delirious.

 

try it, see if its cool.

 

if its not, turn off the code.

 

and back to the drawingboard.

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Menu-based RPGs often include features that crudely simulate conditions in melee combat.  Events like dodging, blocking, counterattacking etc. all have a rough analog in swordfights or fistfights where posture and momentum and reactions have an effect on the outcome of an encounter.  Gunfights work differently, since nobody parries or dodges a bullet, and firing a rifle doesn't throw you off-balance enough to make a riposte more effective against you.  Instead, elements like stance, focus, situational awareness, fields of fire, zones of cover, rate of fire and the ever-dramatic pause to reload would factor into the equation for success.

 

There are games that do a good job of presenting gunfights in a turn-based RPG, like Silent Storm, but their melee systems are generally pretty basic by comparison and all the best ones use spatial relationships as part of the game space.  A concealed sniper taking a turn to zero in and control his breathing before taking a shot on a distant target is like a mage channeling mana or a spearman taking a rooted defense stance, so the mechanics aren't foreign, they're just different.  Quick-draw moves, target transitions, hip-fire versus aimed fire, all of this can be worked into a successful shooting RPG system.

 

Some trouble might arise when you blend the shooting and the stabbing together, since melee characters and firearm characters will essentially be playing by different rules.  Knife to a gunfight and all that.  There's the old 21-foot rule, which states that the average knife-wielding assailant can cover seven yards of distance and stab you in the neck faster than you can draw a pistol and shoot him.  It's a point of focus for police trainers when suspect interview comes up, and it's why you see the police on Cops cuffing dudes "for our safety, sir" even though the "suspect" is just a random elderly hobo who may or may not have shown his pecker to a passing motorist.  Nobody wants to get stabbed, and it's way easier to stab a cop than it is to hire and train one, so rules get made.

 

So you can achieve balance that way, especially if you have the creative power to make guns cumbersome or have them preclude certain armor types.  You could make gunslingers invincible badasses until their ammo runs out, so they can mow down knights and wizards for a turn or two, then while they're shoving new cartridges into their revolver some barbarian strolls over and shoves their revolver down their throat.  Guns could be terribly slow, so your musketeers can lay down somewhat respectable fire, one shot every three turns or so, until the enemy closes on them, and then you either fix bayonets or reach for your rapier, because it's all hand-to-hand from here on out.

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Your idea isn't bad. As a matter of fact, it is the one of the main combat mechanics of Fallout 3. The idea that guns can't fit in RPGs was populated by the fact that most designers either didn't create their RPGs in a setting where guns would fit, or they couldn't find a way to meld it seamlessly with the rest of the weapon mechanics in the game. You could make it so that each weapon type has a certain set of attributes, and guns would be able to do piercing damage and were very weak. Final Fantasy XII is a good example where guns make sense -- you can have different types of ammunition, each with stat effects and bonuses. 

 

Hope you find a method that works for you.

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I have heard of Fallout's VATS... but only in game... where I didn't know what it was... I found the game too boring to get very far in it...

 

This is just something I thought up for a number of reasons... The more I think about it I think it is viable but I'm leaning more towards just doing a shooter RPG.

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RPG and guns can coexist just fine, no strings or nasty divorce needed you just have to implement the guns right for the game;
Check this out!

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