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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    For Star Wars Saga Edition, what are the pros and cons of rifles vs. carbines?

    -Carbines can be used to make attacks of opportunity whether the stock is folded or extended.
    -Carbines are generally lighter.
    -Carbines cannot be used to make attacks at long range (Is this one correct?)

    Any insight, even on your personal preference is appreciated!!

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    This always confused me. The blaster carbine and the blaster rifle are almost identical, except that the carbine is lighter and therefor better.
    Still, it's cheaper!

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Yeah that was my problem. I'm trying to see why a rifle would be better in anyway. Some carbines, like the ones in the Legacy Era Campaign Guide, say they can't be fired at long range, but I don't see that in the Core book. So...

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Found something in the errata:

    p. 126-127 – Table 8-4: Ranged Weapons
    All damage entries in the “Stun” column of the table should be replaced with the word “Yes” except for the stun grenade, which should say, “Yes (4d6).”
    The listings for the sporting blaster pistol, the sporting blaster rifle, and the bowcaster should be given a superscript of 4, denoting accurate weapons.
    The listings for the hold-out blaster, heavy blaster pistol, blaster carbine, blaster cannon, heavy blaster rifle, thermal detonator, net, and grenade launcher should be given a superscript of 5, denoting inaccurate weapons.
    Add the following footnotes at the bottom of the table:
    4 Accurate weapon: This weapon takes no penalty when firing at targets at short range.
    5 Inaccurate weapon: This weapon cannot fire at targets at long range.
    So this makes the blaster rifle have a longer range.

    That the heavy blaster rifle has a shorter range doesn't make much sense, but maybe they thought it trades more power for accuracy?

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    The problem is that the average game will never see a battlefield large enough to make a rifle worthwhile (or, for that matter, large enough to make the sniper talents for the Assassin prestige class worthwhile). In fact, the average game probably won't see a map larger than a rifle's short range. While this is more realistic than giving ranged weapons stupidly low ranges (which is how many games deal with this), it has the side effect of making rifles almost completely inferior to carbines. I think it's slightly poor design, and I wish rifles had some edge beyond range.
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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobey_Wee View Post
    Yeah that was my problem. I'm trying to see why a rifle would be better in anyway. Some carbines, like the ones in the Legacy Era Campaign Guide, say they can't be fired at long range, but I don't see that in the Core book. So...
    Basically, without the errata, carbines are superior in every way. WITH the errata, they are unable to fire at long range, but with the attack penalties for that range, you aren't terribly likely to hit anything ANYWAY.
    Man this thing was full of outdated stuff.
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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    The problem is that the average game will never see a battlefield large enough to make a rifle worthwhile (or, for that matter, large enough to make the sniper talents for the Assassin prestige class worthwhile). In fact, the average game probably won't see a map larger than a rifle's short range. While this is more realistic than giving ranged weapons stupidly low ranges (which is how many games deal with this), it has the side effect of making rifles almost completely inferior to carbines. I think it's slightly poor design, and I wish rifles had some edge beyond range.
    They really ought to have, yeah. I'd suggest stepping down the damage die for carbines to 3d6, and possibly also giving them a completely separate range table (intermediate between that of Pistols and Rifles, perhaps 30/60/90/120 or 25/50/100/150 with "long-range" shots allowed)*. I'd probably up the weight by 1 or 2kg, too - a carbine is much closer in size to a full-sized rifle than to even the heaviest pistol, after all. These changes would bring the carbine into line with the Sporting Blaster Rifle in damage (an "accurate" weapon per the errata, reflecting the fact that both of these weapons have tactical advantages over the standard Blaster Rifle); and while the carbine would do less damage than the Heavy Blaster Pistol, it would still handily outrange the smaller weapon (with or without a new range table) and so would still have a niche to fill. Hmmph. I should send that in to WotC...

    * With projectile weapons, the difference between rifles and carbines is that carbines fire a given load at a reduced muzzle velocity; this reduces hitting power as well as range and accuracy.
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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    * With projectile weapons, the difference between rifles and carbines is that carbines fire a given load at a reduced muzzle velocity; this reduces hitting power as well as range and accuracy.
    Except that when dealing with energy weapons, barrel length has nothing to do with either power or range. The convention is just a holdout from what people assume about projectile weapons.

    Honestly I have no idea why Star Wars or any setting with primarily energy based weaponry even bothers with the distinction, it just leads to confusion. For example, the E-11 stormtrooper blaster is almost always referred to as a rifle, despite it being distinctly carbine sized (given that the prop was built from a real life submachine gun).

    I would suggest just rolling the properties of the carbine into rifles and eliminating the difference altogether. As many have pointed out, range really isn't a consideration in most table-top games; make rifles and carbines identical in performance, and people can just use the weapon they want to fit their character.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grynning View Post
    Except that when dealing with energy weapons, barrel length has nothing to do with either power or range. The convention is just a holdout from what people assume about projectile weapons.
    That depends on the design of the energy weapon, no? We don't know how a blaster works, so it's entirely possible that the "barrel" extension on the end of the gun is in fact a necessary and useful feature. Maybe it contains focusing magnets or some other system for keeping the beam tightly focused. Certainly that kind of thing is necessary on particle beams in real life accelerators.

    I would suggest just rolling the properties of the carbine into rifles and eliminating the difference altogether. As many have pointed out, range really isn't a consideration in most table-top games; make rifles and carbines identical in performance, and people can just use the weapon they want to fit their character.
    In this case, that's probably the smart thing to do.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Heh, well the inner workings of the Star Wars blaster have been the subject of a lot of debate, because Lucas said they were lasers, then the expanded universe folk revised that because they obviously don't work like a laser at all. The Wookiepedia article describes them as particle accelerators of a sort, but also notes that there have been plasma based designs (which seems to have the most detailed pseudoscience explanation).

    Regardless of that though, using the movies as a primary source, there doesn't seem to be any real difference in the performance of small arms based on barrel length. Han's heavy pistol blows large bits off of the building when he shoots it out with the troopers at Mos Eisley, and Padme's little holdout gun one-shots droids just as well as the droid's own smg/carbine sized rifles. Also we rarely see anyone using something that would amount to a full-sized rifle outside of the first film. The first mention of a carbine in the Star War's universe that I can think of was in the Han Solo Adventures book series by Brian Daley, and he didn't even describe them as being shorter barreled, but as simpler, cut down blaster rifles with a reputation for reliability.

    Sorry about the tangent, I'm a bit of a weaponry nerd both IRL and when it comes to Star Wars.

    Anyways, seems we all agree that for game purposes rifles and carbines should be the same.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Grynning's Avatar

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Double-post, sorry. Stupid internets.
    Last edited by Grynning; 2009-04-05 at 05:13 PM.
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    Philistine's Avatar

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grynning View Post
    Except that when dealing with energy weapons, barrel length has nothing to do with either power or range. The convention is just a holdout from what people assume about projectile weapons.

    Honestly I have no idea why Star Wars or any setting with primarily energy based weaponry even bothers with the distinction, it just leads to confusion. For example, the E-11 stormtrooper blaster is almost always referred to as a rifle, despite it being distinctly carbine sized (given that the prop was built from a real life submachine gun).

    I would suggest just rolling the properties of the carbine into rifles and eliminating the difference altogether. As many have pointed out, range really isn't a consideration in most table-top games; make rifles and carbines identical in performance, and people can just use the weapon they want to fit their character.
    In RL terms, I agree - I certainly don't think that a directed-energy weapon is likely to have a rifled barrel! In game terms, though, we have two weapons, a "rifle" and a "carbine," which are primarily distinguished by their different barrel lengths (and therefore weight and ease of handling in close quarters), and ranges. What's more, I rather like the distinction - I just wish they'd made it a bit more of a choice, with each option offering some real (if small) advantage over the other. As it is, the carbine is clearly mechanically superior. While your suggested fix is certainly a simpler way to alleviate that last, I feel that by eliminating the advantages of the carbine you're throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Where is the wealth by level formula in the core rule book? I've seen people post (level + level -1) x 2000, or different variations of that, but I'm not sure what that means, especially when people don't put the parentheses in the same place. So can anyone make sense of this for me?

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    There are no WBL guidelines in the book.

    I don't personally miss 'em. There's not all that much to spend the credits on, after all. I mean, there's only that much mesh tape you'll ever get to use in a campaign.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    actually, the guns the clones use in AOTC blow destroyer droids to bits and those are friggen huge, comparable to a modern LMG.

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Attilargh View Post
    There are no WBL guidelines in the book.

    I don't personally miss 'em. There's not all that much to spend the credits on, after all. I mean, there's only that much mesh tape you'll ever get to use in a campaign.
    Wait, so in the not-so-grimdark future of Star Wars, there isn't super pimped and expensive equipment for people to buy?

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    Attilargh's Avatar

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Well, no, not really. Unless you count ships as equipment or play a Mandalorian bounty hunter.

    In other words, no, unless your GM owns Starships of the Galaxy and/or Scum and Villainy.
    Last edited by Attilargh; 2009-04-06 at 06:15 AM.

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Yeah, if you want to spend a great deal of money you basically have six options:

    Core:

    1.) The Thrawn Option: Invest heavily in art. Hey, it might come in handy.

    2.) The Healbot Option: Buy a Bacta tank and try to fill it.

    3.) The Slave-driver Option: Who needs a living party? 1. Buy droids. 2. Customize droids. 3. ??? 4. Profit.

    With Starships of the Galaxy:

    4.) The Falcon Option: Buy an innocuous colossal space transport. Make it a match for the King Hell God Emperor Starfighter of Death.

    With Knights of the Old Republic:

    5.) The Video Game Option: Stack templates on everything you own. EVERYTHING.

    With Scum and Villainy:

    6.) The Mandalorian Option: Modify everything you own. EVERYTHING.
    Last edited by Ascension; 2009-04-06 at 07:42 AM.
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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post

    1.) The Thrawn Option: Invest heavily in art. Hey, it might come in handy.
    Does this option include bonuses to perception checks?

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobey_Wee View Post
    Does this option include bonuses to perception checks?
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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grynning View Post
    Heh, well the inner workings of the Star Wars blaster have been the subject of a lot of debate, because Lucas said they were lasers, then the expanded universe folk revised that because they obviously don't work like a laser at all. The Wookiepedia article describes them as particle accelerators of a sort, but also notes that there have been plasma based designs (which seems to have the most detailed pseudoscience explanation).
    I always like to visit the official Star Wars Databank for lore questions like this.

    http://www.starwars.com/databank/tec...ter/index.html

    Basically, Tibanna gas (the same kind of gas being mined on Bespin in Empire Strikes Back) is excited by a power source, processed in an "actuating blaster module", then passes through a "refinement chamber". A rifle's "barrel" could simply be an elongated refinement chamber which makes a more cohesive bolt of energy capable of being fired at a greater range before being dissipated by attenuation.

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Ascension, you've forgotten the 4th core option: Explosives. Thermal detonators, explosive charges, a selection of grenades... The price isn't quite as huge as that of a starship or bacta tank, but large quantities of the better-quality explosives can still be expensive, especially if you have to resort to the black market, so it's a good soak for money.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    Ascension, you've forgotten the 4th core option: Explosives. Thermal detonators, explosive charges, a selection of grenades... The price isn't quite as huge as that of a starship or bacta tank, but large quantities of the better-quality explosives can still be expensive, especially if you have to resort to the black market, so it's a good soak for money.
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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Well, if you have to assassinate anyone, kill a general, or look professional, you go with a carbine.

    If you shoot from the hip and fight hordes of minions, [LUKE!], you use Carbines.

    So generally, carbines are better unless you're a scout or a snipery type soldier.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: SWSE: rifles or carbines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grynning View Post
    Heh, well the inner workings of the Star Wars blaster have been the subject of a lot of debate, because Lucas said they were lasers, then the expanded universe folk revised that because they obviously don't work like a laser at all. The Wookiepedia article describes them as particle accelerators of a sort, but also notes that there have been plasma based designs (which seems to have the most detailed pseudoscience explanation).
    None of them exactly fit - except maybe particle accelerator since that's a bit vague in terms of what it actually does. Laser beams/bolts travel at light speed since they are light. The shots in Star Wars are slow enough to visibly follow the tragectory so that's out. Plasma is superheated matter. I wouldn't expect it to spark when it hits something. I'd expect it to just cut straight through.

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