vaminion wrote:If I ever run Torg and want to keep the penalty for firing into melee I'll probably steal a rule from Savage Worlds: if you roll a natural odd and you miss you hit someone else in melee at random. But I'll admit the immutable 50% chance to hit a random bystander really bothers me regardless of whether it's a power or a gun.
Well here's something that will make you want to use that house rule even more, it's actually more that 50% chance of attacking a random target. Since the chance of a final die total being odd is greater in Torg due to rerolls on 10's and 20's, it's a bit more than a 50% chance that you'll attack a random target. However that random target could be the original target too, not just bystanders or buddies. So it's less than a 50% chance that you'll attack the wrong target still. And you could still miss.
I do like the effect, there needs to be something to encourage melee, more than just the small chance of a mishap. But all these odd/even roll stuff is jarring to me, and it's never really good to have the sniper shooting his buddies, it hardly ever happens in movies and feels very un-cinematic. I rather think that villains would also pick the path of "Shoot them both," from Raiders of the Lost Ark. and this doesn't model that well either, though that's sort of because of the way rapid fire and multi-attack works.
So considering all that, I have considered a house rule to instead force the users of rapid fire options and Double Tap to attack everyone who is "engaged" in a melee clump. That gives me the ability to do the "Shoot them both" thing, which would work for some anti-heroes too. For single shot attacks, I think the RAW rule works well enough for unskilled attackers to reflect the randomness of their shooting, but I think if you have the appropriate skill I'll just make it so that the randomly selected target is only made Very Vulnerable (or Very Stymied if already Very Vulnerable), which should be a good deterrence to firing into melee and potentially even more deadly without the anticlimax of having a Storm Knight get cut down by one of their own, at least not directly. And finally I like the house rule that if you take the Aim action you don't have a chance to hit anyone else, but I'm only going to allow Aim for single shots, I don't allow it with multi-target attacks or rapid fire anyway.
So if you're going to hose the bad guy down with a machine gun while your buddy is swinging a sword at them, they are both getting attacked as if you were trying to hit them both. If you're taking your time to aim, no chance to hit a different target. If you're firing a single shot, then your allies (not everyone) becomes Very Vulnerable as the bullets whizz past them. It's a bit gamey, especially the latter result as some would say "what about the other bad guys in that melee clump?" but I don't feel it's too unrealistic within the context of cinematic gameplay and that it is a little more fair toward the players as those damage rolls can get crazy at the worst times.
All that said, my house rule list is purposefully short, and I'd like to keep it that way, so I'm not sure I'll implement this at all, just ruminations.