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Assuming max starting skill level of 75 and access to 1920s weapons, what is the maximum damage a PC can do consistently?

The character should be able to carry the weapon, equipment, or apparatus without concern for its size or transportation, although we can assume an STR of at least 10.

In 7th edition — using the supplementary weapons from 6th edition Investigator's Companion — player characters have access to:

Probabilities at 75 skill points: 0.15 = impale, 0.6 = success, 0.25 = fail. We can ignore malfunctions for now.

  • Shotgun with Buckshot (4d6+6 at close range) 2×/round
    • On hit: 4 × 3.5 + 6 = 20
    • Extreme Success: 4 × 6 + 6 = 30
    • Average: 0.15 × 30 + 0.6 × 20 = 16.5 2×/round = 33
  • Thrown Dynamite or Hand Grenade (4d10 within 3 yards) 2×/round
    • On Hit: 4 × 5.5 = 22
    • Impale: (4 × 5.5) + (4 × 10) = 62
    • Average: 0.15 × 62 + 0.6 × 22 = 22.5 2×/round = 45

Seems pretty open and shut here, but I can't shake the feeling there's some kind of tricky way to get a more consistent SPLAT.

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    \$\begingroup\$ On a cosmic scale, all finite numbers are basically the same as 0 anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Trip Space-Parasite May 30 '18 at 23:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Valid point, but some insignificant specks are of the opinion that the oblivion ought to earn the right to ignore them. \$\endgroup\$ – chaos Jun 4 '18 at 15:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Another consideration is that many mythos creatures have armor thresholds. In particular the armor applies to every die in the shotgun damage, greatly minimizing shotguns damage capacity. Also, shotguns do not impale in 7e (not sure about other editions) \$\endgroup\$ – Destruktor Nov 30 '18 at 19:45
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The answer depends on some of the exact details of the situation, but generally it's going to be a high-capacity machine gun (if the investigators have access to these, but some of them do have prices for 1920), if you're targeting a single, large target.

For example, Disposable Joe surprises a ghast at close range with his Vickers .303 Machine Gun and empties the magazine into it (yes, all 250 bullets). This takes a single round. Each volley can consist of up to 7 bullets, so up to 36 volleys can be fired, with the last consisting of 5 bullets, except that the gun is likely to malfunction before then.

First volley: On hit: 11 damage per bullet * 3 = 33 damage On impale: 44 damage for the bullets that 'merely' hit + 27 damage per bullet for the remaining 3 = 125 damage. Average: 0.0225 × 125 + 0.45 × 33 = 38.55 Cumulative Odds of malfunction: 2%

Second volley, there are penalty dice: Average: 17.6625 Cumulative total: 56.2125 Cumulative odds of malfunction: 5.8808%

And so on...generally, you're still adding damage, at least until the odds of a malfunction start going way up. On the other hand, 6-ish percent isn't nothing, and the Browning auto rifle may be a better choice if you think 3 volleys is enough and you don't mind changing the mag the next round (or grabbing your second, loaded Browning...) Various factors can come into play: same scenario with Dagon, you have 6 points of armor, but a large build, which means bonus dice:

First volley On hit: 5 damage per bullet * 3 = 15 damage On impale: 81 damage Average: 0.2775 × 81 + 0.84 × 15 = 35.0775

Second volley Average: 0.15 × 81 + 0.6 × 15 = 21.15 Cumulative total: 56.2275

The fact that that's basically the same as the last answer is a coincidence but apparently being big will cancel out about 6 points of armor in this situation. Anyway, full automatic fire gets worse against multiple targets, but is still deadly. Against a cluster of targets, a 75mm field gun is going to be the most effective, for the first round (fire rate of 1 per 4 rounds). Incidentally, it looks like hand grenades actually have a fire rate of 1 per 2 rounds, not 2 per 1, unless that's a typo (I have the 7th edition Keeper Rulebook, but not the Investigator's Guide).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A vickers wont malfunction IRL \$\endgroup\$ – Neuromancer Jan 1 '19 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Damage bonus doesn't apply to gun damage, right? \$\endgroup\$ – chaos Mar 23 '19 at 20:03

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