No. The intent of the people who created the rules was to provide one set of modifiers that specifically apply to combat situations, while another, more generalized set applied to non-combat situations, and then leave it to the players and GM to determine if anything extra applied. As a role-playing game derived from a more structured war game, the combat modifiers are pretty specific, and may be used without any extra modifiers. But we also acknowledge that they are hardly all-inclusive, so other modifiers may apply, as the GM feels they are appropriate. It falls on the GM to determine which modifiers apply, and which do not.
- Herbert Beas
Catalyst Game Labs
Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, I appreciate it! So just to make sure I understand, the intent of the game designers was to provide the modifiers on page 41 as a set of modifiers to apply to non-combat situations (even though the -2 modifier I've been asking about seems to apply to a combat situation) and then you've got the much more specific combat modifiers that apply to combat situations.
I understand that the intention of playing a game is to have fun and that the GM has final say, I'm just trying to get clarification for a vague rule. Scenario One:
So let's say you (Herbert) are the gamemaster. You've been playing Mechwarrior using the "Time of War" rules and now your players are going to battle in their Mechs. The players have moved their Mechs, and the enemy has moved their Mechs. It's now time for them to fire their weapons at each other. Along with every other potential modifier, which do you do as a Gamemaster (and one who helped write the rules)?
Answer A: Apply a -2 modifier to their Gunnery (Mech) roll because they are "under fire" as stated on page 41.
Answer B: Do not apply the -2 modifier.Scenario Two:
You are still the gamemaster, and you are also one of the people who helped write the rules. Your players have emerged victorious from their Mech battle and are slinging back whiskey in a bar to celebrate. Someone named Heyscot walks up to them and sneers, "You guys suck! Time to die!" and pulls out a pistol to fire at them. All other combat modifiers have been applied, initiative has been figured out, etc. etc. and it's time for the character named Heyscot to fire at the players. Using all of the rules as they are intended in A Time of War, which do you choose?
Answer A: Heyscot gets a -2 modifier to his Small Arms skill because he is "under fire" as stated on page 41.
Answer B: Heyscot does not get the -2 modifier.Scenario Three:
You are running a session of Battletech. Randall walks into the above bar where there is a vicious gunfight going on and quickly realizes that the only possible way he can stop Heyscot from killing his comrades is to deactivate him--Heyscot is a robot who cannot be stopped by mere guns, bargained with, reasoned with, nothing! But look over there! There's a computer terminal that Randall is sure he can hack into using his Computer skill in order to upload a virus into Heyscot's mainframe and deactivate him, thus saving the entire bar and perhaps all of the Capellan Confederation! Randall runs over to the computer terminal, dodging a myriad of bullets and flying body parts on the way, and nervously begins hacking into the computer terminal. Using all of the rules as they are intended in A Time of War, which do you choose?
Answer A: Randall gets a -2 modifier to his Computer skill because he is "under fire" as stated on page 41.
Answer B: Randall does not get the -2 modifier.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my scenarios, Herbert. I appreciate it!