Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:20 am
Ever since I got the new version of Degenesis, I've been working on making a supplement for it. For the most part, there's nothing I feel that the base game is missing, but I happen to like a little more complexity in firearms than is reflected in the system (and more lethal firearms, but that's coming up in a moment), and I'm not a huge fan of the Clanner cult; it does a good job of working with the very primitive clans, but leaves me unsatisfied in other areas (such as higher-tech clans like the Enemoi or clans like the Resistance), as it all revolves around a very traditional hunter-gatherer hierarchy.

Also, since I tend to write up things I've done in my campaign into supplement-style notes (for instance, if I make a new Potential for one of the players), I figured I may as well share it with the Degenesis community.

So what exactly does Artifacts add? I'll address that in more or less the order I do in the book (note that as of 4/17, this is no longer an exhaustive list of features):

Generic Potentials: Right now there is only one, Serenity, which increases the rate at which Ego points are restored during resting (up to a maximum of twice the original rate).

New Ammunition: Both for the purposes of barrel changes and for a couple new weapons I add. Some of the new ammunition is more hardcore than old ammunition. Some of it simply serves as an alternative.
Ammunition Crafting: Make ammunition. The rules are a bit of a mess, but they allow people to scavenge for appropriate scrap and then create bullets and propellant from what they've found.
Extended Change Barrel Rules: Now there's a hard and fast rule for changing calibers, mostly to give Scrappers a tool for working on their Marvels but also so that my players don't have to ask me about ammunition capacity. Basic algebra. Rifle calibers have issues when used in handguns, and vice versa. Weapon qualities are associated with certain ammunition types, so that only black powder and shot muzzle loads.
Paper Cartridges: Get rid of that annoying Muzzle Loader quality, without the expense of modification slots.
Extended Black Powder Weapons: Now with variable caliber and ammunition!

New Fire and Light Sources: E-Cubed flashlights and a handheld beacon: beacons allow other people to see you clearly in the dark.
New Orienteering Gear: Geotrackers use a 3D map to store information about surroundings; they're not as nice as a Pathfinder, but they're not as difficult to come by.

New Weapons!
New Weapon Qualities: Loose Ammunition (for bows and slings) and Single Loader change the way reloading works for certain weapons, and Muffled allows silenced firearms to be distinct, all without Hollywood whispering guns. Deployed quality has been added for some heavy weapons.
Throwing Weapons: Range tables for grenades. Powder bombs, which are very low-end grenades.
Melee Weapons: Quarterstaffs and chainsaws.
Handguns: Stats for a sawnoff shotgun and pepperbox pistol for a little more variety. A Judges' Revolver has been added as a Judges' Musket alternative. Percussion revolvers added (use full-bore rifle paper cartridges, ergo ammunition capacity). Added a derringer for Apocalyptics.
Rifles: Created the Schmidt Carbine for the Scrappers, a true atrocity of firearm design. Also added a riot shotgun for when you've gotta have more ammunition in the magazine, and a more traditional carbine for those who don't want the full weight and bulk of an assault rifle. Needle gun added, alternative to paper cartridges. Added some more Hellvetic tactical options.
Heavy Weapons: MMG and HMG that provide tactical variance with new ammunition, firing the devastating 7.62N and 14mm rounds. Anti-Materiel Rifle fires 14mm rounds for the guy who needs to take down vehicles quickly. Gatling guns for low-tech dakka.
Armor: Segmented armor fills the gap between plate armor and chain mail; the Massive quality gives it solid protection against some threats, but it's not as cool as plate armor. Blunt weapons are a real threat. Skirmish armor includes the hardened quality (which is mentioned in Katharsys but never appears), and is unique to the Corredores. Hardened quality makes hitting a target more difficult.

Enemoi Spotlight:
New fiction: Contact
Extended backstory and information based on Clan spotlight in Katharsys.
Rank system for the Enemoi based off of a mix of the Hellvetics, Chroniclers, and Spitalians in terms of inspiration. 14 ranks in total, 100% finished.
Enemoi Potentials: Six Potentials intended to reflect Enemoi lifestyles. Could theoretically be used as generic Potentials.
Enemoi Gear: Heavy pistol (in new .45 Pistol caliber), Battle Rifle (in 7.62 NATO caliber), combat knife, gunsmith's kit, digitool, and solar panels.

Matadores Spotlight:
New fiction: Bullfight
Still largely unfinished.
Matadores Potentials: Converted Matadores abilities from Katharsys into PC-friendly Potentials.
Matadores Gear: Estoc, lance, and hidden blades. Suit of Lights armor.

Alternate Characters:
Rules for handling Palers as a Culture.
Rules for Cultless characters, who give up the bonuses of a Cult for increased flexibility in their Backgrounds (loosely inspired by the Phoenix, but less awesome).
Rules for gaining Potentials during play without requiring XP investments.

Tables containing information for the above.

Bestiary
Currently contains 13 (if I can count) animals from across Africa and Europe.
Planned additions for Clanners and Cultists for quick encounters.

Changes to Katharsys
Minor balance changes, adding qualities from Artifacts to Katharsys gear, etc.

Author's Notes
I explain why I did things certain ways, for the most part.

And, without further ado, a link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6bE3C ... sp=sharing
The preview for the PDF might be broken, but downloading the PDF (by using the button just to the right of center on the top bar) will still give you the full file. I'm not sure how to fix this, as it seems to be an issue with Google Drive.

There is also a form-fillable PDF character sheet available, which isn't as nice as the official one, but supports custom cultures/cults (and notes!): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6bE3C ... sp=sharing

Feel free to give feedback or suggestions below.

EDIT: If you pounced on this thread real early, you might have an old version without the Judges' Revolver and some unfinished MG stuff.
EDIT 2: Added paper cartridges and conversions, two paper cartridge weapons.
EDIT 3: Huge update, finished the Enemoi. Fixed the date at the beginning of the Author's Notes being off.
Last edited by KWilley on Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:49 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by Shamae Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:05 am
Very cool stuff in there!
I may be able to use some it in my campaign.
Thank you and keep on the good work! :)
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:30 pm
Shamae wrote:Very cool stuff in there!
I may be able to use some it in my campaign.
Thank you and keep on the good work! :)

You're welcome! Anything you'd like to see?
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by Shamae Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:24 am
KWilley wrote:You're welcome! Anything you'd like to see?


Some ideas to continue on, you could:
- create some NPCs for the Enemoi.
- specify in which region of the degenesis world an animal could potentially be found.
- put in even more cool stuff! ;)
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:16 am
Shamae wrote:
KWilley wrote:You're welcome! Anything you'd like to see?


Some ideas to continue on, you could:
- create some NPCs for the Enemoi.
- specify in which region of the degenesis world an animal could potentially be found.
- put in even more cool stuff! ;)


- NPCs for the Enemoi are coming somewhat soon; I want to finish up their player section first, but expect to see a couple next week, including maybe even some sample PC pregens?
- That's a good idea. I tend to make a note on some of that in fluff, but there's no reason not to include habitats explicitly.
- Done. There's now a set of rules for paper cartridge firearms.

EDIT: Oh yeah, the original link has been updated. I'm going to be annoying and bump the post whenever I update, whether or not anyone's replied to me.
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by permanomad Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:00 am
This is seriously impressive!

Would be also good to get a list of what the Enemoi think about other cults, and their potential attitudes towards them :)
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by WoeRie Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:05 am
Very nice! Looks great and I especially like the Enemoi. The beasts I already commented in another thread, so thumbs ip for them, too. The new items are also fine, though not really necessary, they add additional fluff, so I like them.

But the rules for ceating ammunition looks far too easy for me, or are your rules expecting that the character already has projectile, casing, primer, and propellant in his hands and the things you describe is "only" for putting everything together?
If this is the case ok, but a difficulty of 3 to create a shot gun shell and primer out of scrap sounds too easy for me.

I would also use AGI+Crafting for Tech III ammunition (like the rules for item modifications suggest).
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:02 pm
WoeRie wrote:Very nice! Looks great and I especially like the Enemoi. The beasts I already commented in another thread, so thumbs ip for them, too. The new items are also fine, though not really necessary, they add additional fluff, so I like them.

But the rules for ceating ammunition looks far too easy for me, or are your rules expecting that the character already has projectile, casing, primer, and propellant in his hands and the things you describe is "only" for putting everything together?
If this is the case ok, but a difficulty of 3 to create a shot gun shell and primer out of scrap sounds too easy for me.

I would also use AGI+Crafting for Tech III ammunition (like the rules for item modifications suggest).


Yeah, part of the reason there's not a ton of stuff in Artifacts is because there's not a whole lot I feel a need to add.

Ammunition is relatively easily made at lower tiers because shotshells and black powder/bullet ammunition are decently easy to make. I'm not sure how much manufacturing of paper exists in Degenesis, but you can make shotgun shells (the only Type III ammunition to have case needs) out of paper with the brass of an expended shell, or using a surviving plastic shell (paper shells tend to be durable enough for reuse, and may actually be preferred in cold climes. As far as finding spent casings or stuff like that, I mostly overlooked it due to the complexity it brings with it: that's why the test is more difficult at higher levels. I'd love to make it into a mechanic, but it's one of those things that encourages paperwork and, since I already make scavenging explicitly for ammunition components a requirement I don't really worry about it so much. I should probably re-read my book on ammunition manufacturing and figure out exactly how hard it is to make casing: I know that there's a huge focus in e.g., Fallout at one point on how cases are super-rare but filling them is cheap, but it may actually be simpler to manufacture crappy steel cases, like Russian military surplus ammunition uses, than to rely on a supply of brass.

There is a reason to my madness in using INT+Science: it's the skill used for chemistry. The most difficult part of the ammunition making process for people in Degenesis is likely the chemistry, to the point where I'd expect to see people using black powder in firearms never intended to use it, simply because it's on hand. If I were willing to make the system more complex, I'd probably have multiple stages for it, but I assume that everyone has access to some sort of firearms handbook as-is, since honestly I'm not entirely sure that the majority of Degenesis characters even know how a firearm really works or how to manufacture or replace any of its components. It's just a nightmare to do so.
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by WoeRie Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:40 pm
Hm, we had some disussions on the german forum and I saw a couple of videos and I have to say, creating a primer by yourself looks terrible complicated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0jxpLH8FtY
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:11 pm
WoeRie wrote:Hm, we had some disussions on the german forum and I saw a couple of videos and I have to say, creating a primer by yourself looks terrible complicated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0jxpLH8FtY


Yes, if you're not able to use a facility designed for the purpose. However, I find it difficult to believe that there is no place in Justitian or in a variety of large settlements where there is the actual industrial tooling required to make primers the "right" way.

If you move past the practice of cutting off match heads, and you have any industrialization of the process, which is possible for Tech III and Tech IV societies across Europe and Africa, you could easily make primers. People making ammunition on their own only produce about a couple dozen rounds a day if they spend their whole day on it, which doesn't seem particularly unreasonable given real world estimates and Degenesis scavenging rules.
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by WoeRie Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:46 pm
Yes, but the Judges use no primers for their guns, so I expect that in Justitan primers are not done by a big industry, as all weapons which use primers are at the black market only.

But I expect the Hellvetics to have labors and equipment to easily create it. However still not compareable to the 19th to 21th century as the ammunition is very restricted in the Hellvetic army.

But I think it is your game and if you like your players to get ammunition quite easily then go for it.
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:16 am
Primers aren't necessarily that hard to make: modern firearm primers are self-contained in cups, which requires a bit more precision and higher-grade primer chemistry than early primers, but it's not impossible to make very simple primers from highly accessible materials: that the Judges actually don't do this is something that strikes me as unusual, almost more of an image they want to project. With the current events in Justitian, they'd certainly want to upgrade to more practical military-grade weapons, rather than the muskets that serve them fine for law enforcement but not much else.

I always blamed the scarcity of ammunition for the Hellvetics on the lack of resources, though it also seems perhaps unreasonably low to me: they do make their bullets with special composites, which certainly lean late IV or early V in terms of tech level and doubtless slow down things a lot.

This, mind you, leads to a bit of a head-scratcher, since it's hard to say that Borca doesn't have the materials to produce ammunition (since Scrappers do, albeit not quite at commercial levels), but the Hellvetics either don't get out enough to get the necessary materials (which doesn't seem likely) or insist on using super high-performance ammunition at the expense of actually having enough ammunition.

In my game, I rely on brutal time restrictions to keep my players from getting access to more ammunition than they should have: only two or three of them even have guns (high turnover rate, that), and none of them barring the Scrapper actually have the skills required to begin to work on manufacturing ammunition.

Anyway, I don't mean to sound confrontational: Artifacts is sort of my own personal campaign guide, and I'm not too self-conscious about it. A lot of it is my own personal "season to taste" stuff, so while I do want to make it useful for as many people as possible there are things that people may themselves want to tweak. That's part of the reason I work in LibreOffice: you can open up the document yourself and modify it before sending it off, removing stuff you don't like (and that's okay), or changing it to fit your needs.

Brief overview:

Unique armor for the Corredores, who may be my next focus in terms of adding content to Artifacts if people want it.

"Finished" the Enemoi ranks and added in two more potentials so they now have a full contingent of six. Knowing me, there's probably somewhere I missed in my review, but they *should* be finished, and I'm sticking to that story.

Changed some incorrect table values, gave the Enemoi a couple new unique items.

I added the jackal and gave each animal a habitat profile. This shouldn't be too controversial, unless people think the Jackals are too weak (to be fair, they're really weak, but they're also not particularly large creatures; they're actually smaller than I originally intended to go to, but since the Anubians have a jackal symbolism thing going on I figured I'd add them in.

I also made a form-fillable character sheet for Degenesis; the web-browser based one is good (and prettier than mine), but doesn't allow the insertion of custom Cult/Culture fields. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6bE3C-eR4DHMmVMVUVSbnQwQ2s/view?usp=sharing
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by Nergal Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:33 pm
Some huge work you have done there, KW! Noice, I will use it!
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:18 am
Nergal wrote:Some huge work you have done there, KW! Noice, I will use it!


Thanks! I'm going to be taking a break from Artifacts for a few days, while I work on personal projects (shoemakers' children go barefoot and somesuch), but feel free to make any suggestions you have for when I get back; I'll probably do the Corredores and the Resistance, just to give myself a Clan from three of the seven Cultures, then call it good on Artifacts; it might not be my last Degenesis-related fan work, but Artifacts itself is already a big read, and it's crossing the borders of Degenesis into moving too far stylistically toward something else with its focus on combat-heavy Clans and the addition of a Cultless character system.
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:04 am
New update, lots of fun stuff added this time:

Editing improvements to the first section of the book. I still need to go through and add some editing to later elements.

Variable caliber black powder weapons and more advanced bullet ammunition (i.e. Minie balls) provide the opportunity to give black powder firearms a much needed boost.

New Hellvetic weapons, because while the Trailblazer is very versatile, most real fireteams would have some weapon diversity; the Devastator offers intense close-quarters power (with the allure of cheap ammunition) and the Defender offers a mix of a SAW and DMR in terms of its battlefield role. The Gatekeeper serves as a back-up sidearm for Hellvetics not using a Trailblazer.

The Apocalyptics get a Derringer to provide them with a special-purpose ranged weapon; it uses the wimpy .357 caliber, but it has the Double Barreled quality to make up for it.

A variety of new melee weapons; both simple wood and reinforced quarterstaffs for stick fighters as well as chainsaws for those who want brutality even if it comes at the cost of accuracy.

Matadores are (partially) in! I haven't yet finalized a rank structure, but I've converted the special abilities from Katharsys into Potentials as well as giving them 4 pieces of Cult gear, three of which are melee weapons and one of which is a special armor, the Suit of Lights. Feedback on the fiction and/or the icon for the Matadores is much appreciated.

My plans are to give the Matadores the same treatment I gave the Enemoi, then do a quick Bestiary filler-upper with four character examples from each Cult as well as two from each Clan that didn't get expanded, then basically consider Artifacts finished except for minor content additions. Any further Clan expansions will be done as separate supplements.

Unrelatedly, I can't find stats for offensive grenades anywhere, so I might whip some up if nobody can point me to 'em.
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by Blümchen Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:48 pm
I do sadly not have the time to look at the thing in detail right now, but looking over it very quickly... This is great work. A little confusing, since I only know the German terms and not the official translations for everything, but what did I learn english for...

I am especially enamored by the fact that your favourite Clans seem to match up rather nicely with mine^^
And am very much looking forward to what you will do with the Matadores. Any chance you will do any others afterwards? (Storski, perhaps? :twisted: ) Because what you did with the enemoi surpasses the little things I did for them for my campaign by far in detail and quality, but our impressions do mix quite nicely - in fact I am quite amused that you took the same "somewhat american" style from them that I did.
Since you did not mention anything on it: I took to accentuating that "american-ish" thing by giving them American first names, mixed with clearly German lastnames, that kinda stick out in the wastelands of Borca. And them keeping Pre-eshatonic names in their "culture" seemed to fit quite nicely with their ties to that time.
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:37 am
Blümchen wrote:I do sadly not have the time to look at the thing in detail right now, but looking over it very quickly... This is great work. A little confusing, since I only know the German terms and not the official translations for everything, but what did I learn english for...

I am especially enamored by the fact that your favourite Clans seem to match up rather nicely with mine^^
And am very much looking forward to what you will do with the Matadores. Any chance you will do any others afterwards? (Storski, perhaps? :twisted: ) Because what you did with the enemoi surpasses the little things I did for them for my campaign by far in detail and quality, but our impressions do mix quite nicely - in fact I am quite amused that you took the same "somewhat american" style from them that I did.
Since you did not mention anything on it: I took to accentuating that "american-ish" thing by giving them American first names, mixed with clearly German lastnames, that kinda stick out in the wastelands of Borca. And them keeping Pre-eshatonic names in their "culture" seemed to fit quite nicely with their ties to that time.


Glad you like it!

The main things that I'm running into with doing other Clans are that some of them actually fit really well into the Clanner rank structure, though I have no qualms with giving them expanded writeups and potentials. I don't have plans to do more Clans in Artifacts, but I'm not dropping Degenesis anytime soon: it's likely that we'll see writeups for other clans (some of which may not get unique rank structures) as I move on to other projects (just because Artifacts is approaching the magic 20,000 word count).

I'm interested in getting some practice with writing scenarios/adventures for publication, and I have no qualms with bundling a bunch of content with them.
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:07 am
Some quick updates. Not sure what all I added after posting the most recent thing to Google, but I've added at least one rifle (the Varmint Rifle, a new low-end rifle to replace the hunting rifle: note that I've also suggested that the Hunting Rifle be converted to 5.56 millimeter ammunition, as .357 is too weak to ethically hunt with [I mean, technically, it could be post-Eshaton, but then it's too weak to effectively hunt anything that's left] and makes for a really lousy round at range) and a shield.

On the other front, I started working on the Threats section for NPCs and added in Cockroaches. Most Clans will only see 2 or so examples given, but the Cockroaches have four because my campaign is set in the Protectorate and they're major villains.

To further respond to Blümchen, who deserves more of a response than I gave, my naming scheme for the Enemoi is as follows:

English versions of Biblical first names (I also treat the Enemoi as quasi-American, even though they appear to be tied to the UEO, since the Russians aren't exactly known for being particularly pro-democracy) are the norm for my Enemoi naming schemes. Kurtz is, sadly, just a ripoff of Heart of Darkness, and Krieger as a surname actually came from an NPC in my campaigns. I like to use surnames to cement the Culture that a character is from, and Kurtz happens to be a very German surname in any place. I wanted the element of traditional Christian names to be a thing for the Enemoi partly because they have access to the past in the form of the Acolytes and the computers aboard the convoy, and partly because it makes my job a lot easier when trying to come up with names on the fly.

The Enemoi weapons being designed after American weapons (the M14 and 1911) are actually due to something a friend of mine pointed out: there are a lot of surplus NATO weapons dumped out there, and while most European military forces don't use them anymore there would likely still be stashes of them somewhere from the 1950's if nothing else.

As for the Storskis, we might see them in a future thing I do. My players may wind up heading to East Borca after some political indiscretions (namely, losing a very important case of goods taken from pheromancers) on a suicide mission to investigate the Needle Towers there (in no small part to facilitate swapping out a new player's character for a Hellvetic).
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

by Der SonntagsHeld Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:57 am
KWilley wrote:I've also suggested that the Hunting Rifle be converted to 5.56 millimeter ammunition, as .357 is too weak to ethically hunt with


Don't think so. -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.357_Remington_Maximum
At least .357 is only the diameter of a bullet. ;)
... and .357 as well as .38 are the typical handgun bullets which are fine to stop humans from living ... :D
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Re: Artifacts: Unofficial Supplement

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by KWilley Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:50 pm
Der SonntagsHeld wrote:
KWilley wrote:I've also suggested that the Hunting Rifle be converted to 5.56 millimeter ammunition, as .357 is too weak to ethically hunt with


Don't think so. -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.357_Remington_Maximum
At least .357 is only the diameter of a bullet. ;)
... and .357 as well as .38 are the typical handgun bullets which are fine to stop humans from living ... :D


Oh, I'm more referring to the damage level of the in-game cartridge. 6 damage, even if you're a good shot and bump it up to 7 or 8 with triggers, won't really put anything into the Trauma zone unless it's very small. Keep in mind that the .357 in Degenesis is outperformed by 9mm, which would lead us to expect that it's something like .357 SIG, which is much lighter than the round you suggested.

Humans are actually among the most fragile creatures; it doesn't take a lot to kill us. On the other hand, the effective lethality of firearms is highly exaggerated: stopping power (incapacitation) is more important in reality than it is in Hollywood, and people walk away from being shot (without realizing it, sometimes), or can be shot several times and survive.

Rifle cartridges tend to be where extreme power comes in; bullets traveling at higher speeds cause more shock as they pass through tissue. Unfortunately, Degenesis doesn't really model this; the .50 GL cartridge is about right for a high-caliber pistol cartridge, but a .50 BMG round would do much more damage. When I suggest changes to Katharsys, I generally try to shift the damage levels higher on the high end (stuff like rocket launchers), since there are very few weapons that pose a significant one-hit threat to combat-focused characters.
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