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Expedient Shotgun, v.2

Timestamp: Asheets 19:28, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Type: New weapon type
Scope: humans
Description: (This is a revision of my original proposal. It was requested that it be pulled and moved to discussion for cleanup before resubmitting for final voting. This was placed into the discussion area on 12/28/06, and should be moved to either voting or discussion archive on 1/3/07.)

I was thumbing through my old military manuals, and stumbled across an old US Army guide on how to make a field-expedient shotgun out of a shell and length of pipe. Given the number of military-playing characters in the game, this might make sense.

The requirements would be a military character, Asheets 19:33, 28 December 2006 (UTC) no particular starting class (other than being human), advanced shotgun training skill, construction skill, a length of pipe, and a shotgun shell. Loading the shell into the pipe removes the shell from inventory and converts the pipe to expedient shotgun (so it cannot be used for bashing attacks anymore). Once fired, the pipe/expedient shotgun is removed from inventory (the device is a single-fire device only).

To make this an advantageous weapon to have, the inventory cost of the pipe should be reduced to .5 per pipe. This, combined with the fact that pipes are easier to find should make the expedient shotgun a popular weapon. Since pipes can be found at locations other than PDs and malls, the importance of those locations is reduced (although finding shells at those locations is still required).

Accuracy and HP of the Expedient Shotgun should be similar to the regular shotgun. Asheets 19:33, 28 December 2006 (UTC) However, since it is a homemade weapon, there is the small possibility that it could blow up in the user's face for a random amount of HP loss. Also, since it is a homemade weapon, there is a similar small chance that the gun could hit/damage something other than the intended target in a populated area.

Damage: 10 points (8 against a flak jacket.)

Capacity: 1 Shotgun Shell

65% chance of hitting something (64% chance of hitting desired target)

Average Damage Per 2 Shells: 13

To Kill 50HP Enemy: 9 Attacks (15 AP)

1% chance of blowing up, inflicting 10 points (8 against user wearing a flak jacket.)

1% chance of hitting something other than the target, inflicting 10 points (8 against a flak jacket.)


  • Searching for the shotgun versus the pipe:
    Pipes: Factories (5%), Power Stations (5%), Warehouses (5%), Junkyards (1%?), Storehouses (?%) -- 5 locations with an average of 3.4% find rate
    Shotgun: Mall Gun Stores (4%/5%), Armories (2%), Police Departments (1%), Pubs (1%) -- 4 locations with an average of 2% find rate.
    Shell: Mall Gun Stores (7%/11%), Armories (6%), Police Departments (6%), Junkyards (1%?) -- 4 locations with an average of 5% find rate.
    The improved find rate and locations of pipes justifies the requirement for Advanced Shotgun Training and Construction, in my opinion.
  • Carrying capacity of loaded expedient shotguns versus loaded shotguns:
    Expedient Shotgun with 1 shell: 1.5 -- total carrying capacity is 34 with 34 shots.
    Shotgun with 2 shells: 4 -- total carrying capacity is 12 with 24 shots.
    The ability to shoot/kill more is offset, of course, by having to search a bit more often for new pipes. On the other hand, if you need to take out a large seige of zombies (or survivors, if you are a PKer) all at once and you know that you'll get some breathing room to do a bit of extended searching, this is THE weapon to use. It may even be interesting to see what this will do during a large Mall defense.
  • To offset the greater carriage capacity of the expedient shotguns, built into this is a small chance of the unit blowing up in the user's face. The user will have to guage by experience whether or not to take a chance with these things (and how often). This also makes for some interesting flavor in the game (literally, "in your face" insults will be heard quite a bit).
  • Again, to offset the greater carriage capacity of the expedient shotguns, there is also the small chance of hitting something other than the intended target. This "other" could be another zombie, a nearby survivor, barricade, generator, radio, Christmas tree, or Christmas lights. This also will make for some flavor in the game (and in some crowded places, like malls, these things could be "banned" by other players in much the same way that radio spam is "banned").


  1. I am gratified that, when I submitted this for initial voting, that it received ZERO spam votes. Further, I'm also happy that of the kill votes, most of them were because of fixable technical reasons. When this was pulled, there were 12 keeps, 13 kills, and 0 spams.
  2. Here is a summary of comments that I have received on this. I have modified the main description to accomodate many of the below comments:
    Keep Interesting use for pipes. I think there's a lot that needs to be fixed here but I'm going to give it a vote of overall confidence. Disposable one shots, pretty nifty. --Jon Pyre 18:54, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    re: I'll take suggestions about how to make it better -- especially from you, since you've gotten a lot of things into peer reviewed. I just wanted to keep the suggestions as simple as possible, and use as many pre-existing numbers as possible. Asheets 20:56, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    Re re I don't think it should have a chance of blowing up. And it might need to take up two inventory slots for technical reasons. --Jon Pyre 21:19, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    re re re: If it didn't have a small chance of blowing up, then it might be a super shotgun, which would get "shot" down pretty quickly (oof, bad pun). Plus, the inventory thing is to counter the alledged disadvantage of it being a 1-use only weapon. Asheets 00:01, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
    Keep - But please remove the bit about not hitting the intended target. A PKer's dream. "Oh, I'm sorry I killed him, I was aiming for the zombie that came in and left while you were asleep..."--Labine50 MH|ME|P 23:43, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    re Claiming to hit something other than the intended target 12 times in a row 'might' be a little suspicious. Asheets 00:03, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
    Keep - Definitely would work! Some people have forgotten that you can buy a military skill for 150 points if you are a Science, or 100 if you're a civilian. However, in this case, if it was a skill, I think ALL amounts should be increased by 50. Maybe make it take up two spaces, because it's a length of pipe, but the 1% is added on for everything: you hit, but you get the 1%, and end up shooting some angel. Funt Solo, you're a bit Kill-happy. It seems to be a pretty good idea! Peterblue 23:55, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    Incomplete - Interesting idea, I must admit, but I'm not sure if it really fits. More importantly, there's a lot of numbers missing (chance of blowing up, damage done when that happens, etc). Plus, I think there should be a little more required to make that work (I'm sure that in real life there's more to it than just a pipe and shell, there needs to be a trigger mechanism and such). --Reaper with no name TJ! 18:56, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    re: IRL, you also need a nail, a 2x4 for a stock, and some good twine. I'm willing to overlook it. In terms of numbers, how 'bout a 1% chance of blowing up for 8 HP damage (reduced by 1 if you are wearing a flak jacket), and a 1% chance of hitting something other than the intended target. And inventory cost of the pipe should be 1/3 of their current cost, and 3/4 when loaded with a shell. Asheets 20:56, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    Interesting - similar idea to Pipe Guns in Peer Reviewed. I'd like to see this idea refined, as suggested by Reaper. --Funt Solo Scotland flag.JPG 19:00, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    re: Similar idea, but I don't like the one in peer reviewed because (1) the high AP cost, (2) the need for a new skill, and (3) there aren't any advantages to outweigh the disadvantages in the hands of the right person. Asheets 21:05, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    Re - the chance of it backfiring is one of the reasons I would never use it, and never vote for it. It's one of the things that needs fixed. I think you should take this to the discussion page. --Funt Solo Scotland flag.JPG 21:26, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    re: I would have no objection to having this moved over to the discussion page if you or a mod wishes to do the honors. There seems to be the desire to clean this suggestion up a bit. However, I'll withdraw the suggestion altogether if further discussion or keeping this suggestion is dependent on eliminating the "backfire" portion of the idea. Asheets 23:43, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    Kill for a couple of reasons. It's only available to military characters- it's not ideal to cut off options to people based on a choice (character class) which they made before they knew anything about the game. And I don't think that easier search odds and taking up less space in the inventory is enough to compensate for the downsides mentioned. --Toejam 23:03, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    Kill - I hate that non-military characters can't get that ability. That totally stinks. Also, why so many skills required? Why not just a "Expedient Shotgun Training" skill in the military class under Advanced Shotgun Training?Waluigi Freak 99 23:32, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    re: we can talk about whether non-mils should/can get this if the suggestion is moved to discussion. But I don't think requiring 2 skills is out of line. Asheets 23:59, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
    Kill - Interesting and amusing but incomplete. I would think 1-5% chance of explosion for 8-7 damage, for it to deal 8-7 damage on a successful hit, and to have it only boosted by basic firearms training, and possibly shotgun training, but not advanced shotgun training. If a skill is required to use it, I would rather it have it's own skill on the tree beneath shotgun training. Do not make it have a chance to hit someone else than the target or mess with it's inventory size as a fraction. 1 slot for a loaded pipe (implementable by making it a new item type unto itself?) would be fine. Also, though class homogeneity is something I dislike, don't shut this off from non-military characters.--Burgan 00:03, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
    Kill - Not because it is a bad idea, but because it needs to go to the discussion page. Probably should have started there.--Nosimplehiway 00:15, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
    Incomplete. All the stuff in your RE to Reaper should have been in the suggestion, at the least. For an example of this weapon, watch the movie Dead and Breakfast. But beyond that, there is NO reason this weapon should be as accurate as a shotgun (or as powerful).--Pesatyel 05:39, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
    Kill in the Kill section More details please. If you want a chance for it to blow up in your face, give a percentage and the damage. Also give the accuracy and damage of the weapon (is it similar to the shotgun or identical to it?) and its splash damage if any. Then we will know if it's worth making one in the first place. -- Ashnazg 1003, 20 December 2006 (GMT)"


Well you didn't counter any of my arguements in my vote. Why would this thing have ANYWHERE near the accuracy of an ACTUAL shotgun? Are you adding on sights and a grip/handle? No, this is, basically speaking, just a pipe with a shotgun shell rammed in the end. (And, no the piddly 1% chance of exploding is NOT a counter). This seems like the kind of thing for an emergency. "Oh shit, zombies are busting in! I've got that pipe I never use and some shotgun shells but no shotgun! Lets see what I can McGyver up..." Here is how I'd consider doing it:

  • Damage: 12/10 (yes, higher)
  • Requirements: Construction, a pipe and a shotgun shell.
  • Accuracy: Base 5%. Basic Firearms Training applies (+25%) for a max of 30% to hit.
  • 5% chance of blowing up doing damage half damage (6/5) to the firer.

As I said, I see this as more of an "emergency" weapon or something more for a newbie.--Pesatyel 06:34, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

re Well, see... I disagree. If we were talking about an expedient rifle or pistol, then I'd see accuracy coming WAY down. Having once been stupid enough to have built one of these things IRL, I personally didn't notice much accuracy dropoff from a real chokeless or sawed-off shotgun -- which is what I envision being used in Malton. Plus, the Army manual where I got the idea from recommends test firing (from a distance) the thing 10 times, then inspecting for damage on every use thereafter. Can't do that in-game, so I'm guessing a 1% failure rate on every use then disposal thereafter. In addition, the distribution section of my manual recommends that the reader have a certain high level of advanced infantry and POW training -- which is why I believe that newbies should not have this weapon, and that it should only be available to those with advanced shotgun training. Asheets 17:26, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
So, on that one you built, was it just a pipe and a shell and a trigger of some sort? Or did you add sights and grips and such? And you describe the weapons as a ONE SHOT item. Meaning the computer rolls to hit, factoring in the chance of it exploding. So that 1% failure rate you mention means nothing. I see NO benefit to using this weapon, especially given the chance of taking damage yourself. Why wouldn't you just search for a shotgun? That's why I suggested the higher damage and the more "newbie friendly" version. Bare in mind too that realism isn't mandatory (why are we using these double-barrel shotguns in the first place? And what pistol only holds 6 rounds?). Seriously though, compare the two:
  • shotgun: 2 spaces, holds 2 shells, 65% to hit (maxed), 10 damage
  • this suggestion: 2 spaces, holds 1 shell, 64% to hit (maxed), 10 damage, 1% chance of exploding.

Except for pistol ammo in a clip, you can't have fractional "weight" for inventory purposes. A pipe would have to be a minimum of 1, shell a minimum of 1 and this weapon a minimum of 2.--Pesatyel 20:51, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I know of no documented reason, offhand, why there can't be fractional inventory items. If there is, and you can link to it, then the whole suggestion goes out the window (and I'll accept that). If there isn't any reason, though, then the advantage of this weapon over the shotgun is that you can carry and fire a lot more ammo (34 to 24) (BTW, from what I've read, a loaded shotgun takes 3 spaces, not 2) with only a slightly lesser chance to hit.Asheets 04:07, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
How about the radio? It takes FIVE spaces. Not because it is big, but because it HAS to. Don't you think something like THAT would use "fractional" space if it could? Or what about syringes and shotgun shells themselves? Or how about the portable generator? Logically it would take a LOT of space on its own, wouldn't it? The system just doesn't appear to be DESIGNED for fractional counting (not to mention the balance factor) and if it did, I can think of MUCH better things to use it on then this (no offense). And wouldn't you always have to have TWO of these things so as to not waste the space?--Pesatyel 06:09, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

I would consider adjusting the accuracy level down a bit, but I'd need some help adjusting some of the other numbers (search rates, locations, weights) so that this suggestion would still be a viable choice. Asheets 17:26, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

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