I'd bet money someone came up with the idea before the Crafty Designers. If WotC needs to be called, so would they.
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Yeah, I get the intention. I think it's a good idea, it's like applying Call of Cthulu insanity rules to combat and I think that should be a real thing.
My contention is that, in all my not real at all video gaming combat experience that does track at least some attested to combat experiences, beyond first encounters you don't get the shakes from preparing a shot. That does happen, but it goes away.
First you hesitate, then you calculate, then you hate your enemies for trying to harm you, and then you stop caring pretty much altogether and regard setbacks as a kind of personal insult ("how DARE YOU try to out-snipe me!") and at the far end of that track is just being numb where victory is just a precursor to the next battle and only nearly dying makes you feel anything at all.*
Recoil is just a factor you compensate for. Only fire your MMG from a braced position. Only fire your AM rifle from the prone with the bipod. Pick your shots with your temperamental marksman's gun. You want to run and gun? Bring an SMG and a selection of grenades.
*upon reflection THIS means something. I think if you really want to get into battle stresses you need to consider stages of the progression of being jaded.
Thinking about it I think part of my negative reaction to your stress model was using John Done. That this character especially picks up 25 points of stress from a single exchange is really wretched. This dude is The Ultimate's Rambo. He's hard as submarine hull. Maybe some example of the stress reducing itself or being negated would help.
Mortality relates to your 3 gauges example. A player who is stressed out/lost their cool, readily located by the enemy, and in a crappy position should get real interested in a round or two of defensive play. I was thinking of that with my Mobile Warfare chain and the idea that when the enemy is most poorly prepared to react is when it's most tactically viable to burst out and try to run them over. Bayonet charges are really not a thing of course, so maybe the answer is basically never but eh we'll see.
And I think we're just at a deadlock about weapon controlability and it's consequences. I get what you're saying about AR and BR selection, but I just don't agree that it should translate into shooting stress. Yes, players always gravitate towards larger kill dice just like they always gravitate towards larger magazines and tacticool accessories. The way to discourage that is with the practical issues of supply and reliability.
Let me give you a SC2.0 example. My agent Leopard carried a S&W 500. I got a measure of crap for that (some from agents on these forums who're all dead now ha ha) and it was for reasons that your argument encapsulates. The 500 has a recoil of 25, IIRC. Leo hard a 14 strength. Holy cow muzzle flip, yes.
But emphasizing that disparity misses the point.
Leopard nearly died in The Beast of Dunveegan with The Beast gnawing one leg and a frogman stabbing at the other while she grappled the defector who had (of all the goddamn things) a Beretta Leopard hold out pistol shoved into her ribs.
Leopard's take away was that a) holy shit always wear an armored vest and b) "I need a harder hitting weapon and fuck anyone's opinion about how silly it looks. I won't bet my life on the reliability of burst mechanisms and I also need as much range as I can get because my weapon has to be versatile as 90% of the time I won't have selection of terms of engagement."
Boom, no pun etc, Hunting Revolver.
Our GC made sure her .500 suffered catastrophic breakages every time a 1 came up on the d20 and it ran out of ammo at least a few times and I learned to invest in Clockwork Action and extra loads of magnum rounds. I only carried that gun because no matter what else I had to find a way to max out my firepower while it remained nominally low profile.
(And I got to dance on a few graves, ho ho. That gun carried me through Nest and Lockdown and every other brutal bullet ballet LSpy could serve up.)
A weapon's concealment factor is not a problem one of our considered soldiers is likely to have, but the malfunctions and the ammo shortages? Yeah, that'll be a thing. So will smaller magazines as most of the 7.62 guns are 20 not 30. Smaller mags means more conservative shooting and hence more action conservation.
This is also where using Encumbrance as a balancing factor comes in. Strength is recoil and endurance and part of how much of your loadout is ammo? Better ask Valentina to hump some .50, because Mr. Not Real Buff the Sniper already has his limit filled by that monster 25 kilo sniper rifle (this also happened in LSpy, hi shadow! ).
And let's not lose sight of that the world's most common, sought after, and manufactured weapon is the AKM. The 30rnd mag 7.62 rifle. With the shorter accurate range. And the greater recoil. NATO countries can get as righteous as they want about how important it is for a weapon to be controllable and light and all the rest, but the rest of the world wants a gun that carries lots of bullets, kills what it hits, and always works.
See also the SAW variants with those silly looking gigantic banana magazines that are none the less more reliable and easier to operate than the superior NATO choices.
I get what you're saying about arbitrariness of gamification, but that's always going to be a thing. There will be a point where 1 point of stress will be the difference between a hit and a miss. You know this. This is a consequence of their being rules. I say "pick your battles."
Anyway, I appreciate that you're putting a lot of thought and time into this. I am interested and I have probably contributed more in this thread than I have in the last fews months if the topic is anything except politics. So I'm invested as well. Faster, sleeker, XCommier (I am an XCommunist!?) combat sounds like all the fun for having all the mechanics and 0% of Central constantly butting in to remind me to tie my fucking boots!
Ahem. Party on. I'll be here.
And I thought up a Cool-based feat chain for keeping action options while out of control at various degrees of penalties. I'm just kinda worn out on this post. Gotta take a break for a while.
Perhaps recoil stress is a temporary thing? In other words, it's cumulative for the round in which you use it then it goes away after your shooting is done?
Hm. Well, I'm down with rewarding success, but should it punish failure further?
And that said, if the "recoil stress" thing is really so far off-track, I am gestating alternative ideas to handle burst inaccuracies.
While getting beaten by your gun is a real thing, and gun selection should generally match beast to weilder (kind of the heart of SC recoil mechanic - "use a gun your size, yo?") often the worst beatings come from shooting badly. A.k.a. the poorly seated shotgun to the shoulder.
It seems like with stress being a fluid thing, making kicking ass being a cause for celebration while a miss could be disheartening OR represent that poorly seated shotgun moment, recoil-based stress damage on a miss might achieve all goals more fluidly. "Yes, my shoulder is sore, but I GOT THE SUNUVABITCH!! Yoo hoo!" vs. "Bang, ow, and shit he's still coming..."
Hot take: firing causes stress but missing doesn't?
My counter-intuitive is maximum.
But I kind of get it. I think you want stress to function as an action currency.
I don't think is a bad idea, but you might want a different concept. Maybe Focus or Awareness or the fairly standard Energy. Some reason why kill'em all and move on isn't the constant and default tactic. I mention this because as so far illustrated the idea of stress naturally bleeding off seems unlikely.
Maybe instead go with Cool which you lose as you fight but you can regain by breaks in the action. Have abilities gated by how much Cool you have going. Hard to snipe when you're frenzied/freaked the fuck out, etc.
I get the firing stress rifle example thinger you've given, but honestly? That's full-throttle grognard. Let it go. If you want gear restrictions make it a supply chain deal -"yes, we only give out controllable 5.56 and 7.62 guns here. Yes, you can install a vertical grip. No, you can't hip-fire the .50." PC's are limited by supply and access to cleaning kits and replacement parts and all the rest (maybe some Geneva Convention details) is why it's not Pro to carry a .50MRIAEDE instead of an M9. The Crafty Lads have a good clean outline with "be X strong or take Y penalty to-hit."
And weapon degradation is a fantastic little corner to share. The more exotic your weapon, the faster it'll get to "dubiously useful" because somebody just had to carry a gun that made the armorer roll her eyes.
IMO also a symptom of going Full Grognard is the implication that characters aren't really prepared for the recoil stress of firing a weapon. That's just....wut. I get that a SCAR has an untamed feel to it, but my brain just doesn't the idea of that being something that a skilled operator doesn't factor in just by being a skilled operator. Like it's an additional layer to the concept of non-proficiency. Which follows with the question of how long a non-familiarity modifier should last.
You need something to keep mortality on the player's mind. Since you're going something like semi-simulationist you need an element that suggests the usual "slay the standing, vault the fallen, trample the dead" approach isn't necessarily wrong, because I kinda think that's a real world impulse too, but that it's not always a good idea.
With JA2 and XCom hovering nearby quite how combat can end with prisoners could use some illustrations. What little I know about US covert ops in Afghanistan and Pakistan suggests exactly how many POW's are produced can vary wildly based on many surprisingly..."fluid" factors that seem to involve how much patience a given soldier has. So rules for PC psychology require more depth. Does taking prisoners risk/reward with intel, Supply, and somehow keeping a minimal "Humanity" value or should double-tapping them and leaving them for the fauna have a place?
I get the point about the real world efficiency of aimed single shots, but lotsa Police/SWAT/military guns also come with a 3-shot setting which suggests to me that if you're going to squeeze off 1 careful shot Uncle Sam would like it if you tried to do that with 3 bullets instead of one.
Also because you're less likely to spasm out the entire magazine.
So I'm definitely interested but I think wanting all these stress modifiers and bent corners and details really muddies up what I think is supposed to be a efficient, streamlined system. The emphasis on suppression is understandable, but I think it misses the point of applying suppression and that's that you either can't hit your target directly or that you can't find the target. I'm sure one of the actual soldiers could clarify this for me but how much actual in-the-shit shooting is just hammering rounds out kinda in the direction of the enemy instead of either keeping your head down or watching for the chance to directly drill someone?
Last I'd heard blindly pointing a weapon over cover and fanning out the magazine was a gigantic no-no.
Maybe suppression shouldn't necessarily be a direct action and should be a side-effect of an actual attack? IE "John Done missed, but he missed by 5 or less so he still get a Suppression effect on his target." Multi-target or area suppression could still be a thing, but be more a tactical choice (I have 3 shooters for 5 enemies, so shooter A is going to suppress tangos 1-2-3 while B looks to kill any heroes while C scampers around the flank) instead of it just being "I'm either shooting to kill or suppressing but not both." The point is that any incoming bullet is a potential threat, right?
D20 modern didn't do much right but IIRC how it handled suppression was that movement in the targeted area demanded a reflex save or you caught a round and that might be some kind of a useful model for this project. Spend 5 rounds per target being suppressed and anyone who breaks cover takes an attack at -10% per target (3 targets, -30% frex) to hit or the like.
(WW1 trench assaults also came to mind. Kind of what I was thinking of with Pounce as the modern version is taking a doorway for when you have to rely on shock of assault and just pouring into the area.)
I don't know. I think I get what you're aiming at and I kinda like how it could shape up -ie the default PC stance not always seeing any chance to attack as one that should be taken- but I don't think stress is quite the right concept. You want conservation of energy and the importance of tactics and movement, but perhaps the incentive should be expressed as the ebb and flow of a positive value (spend Cool) not a negative one (gain Stress).