How does a scope change my longarms' range increment?


Rules Questions


Scope wrote:
In addition, a scope increases a weapon’s range increment for determining penalties to attack rolls due to range. For small arms, a scope increases the weapon’s normal range increment to 1-1/2 times its listed range for this purpose. For longarms and heavy weapons, the increase is 4 times the normal range increment.

I have a Disintegrator rifle, liquidator (range increment 30 ft.) with a Scope, Laser. I use a move action to aim using the scope. What is my range increment?

  • 1. 120 ft. = 4*30 ft.
  • 2. 150 ft. = 30 + 4*30 ft.

I read it as the second option since "the increase is 4 times the normal range increment". It does not say "increased to 4 times the normal range increment". However, I'm not certain.


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I believe 120 is correct. The scope increases (changes) a small arms weapon to 1.5x it's normal range increment.
1.5x30 is 45.

On a longarm, the increase (change) becomes 4x instead.
4x30 is 120.


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It’s 120, but it’s always 120, including when you don’t use a move action. The move action additionally subtracts from any range penalty.

It’s the difference between aiming with cheap iron sights (unmodified weapin) and an ACOG. Even on a quick snap shot you have to look through the scope and benefit from the magnification and aiming dot. Taking more time just steadies you for extra long shots.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Also, it is worth keeping in mind that 120ft is only your range increment for determining penalties, so 300ft is still your absolute maximum range.

Sovereign Court

Anything that gives you at least 100ft range is good enough for a majority of fights though. Scopes can rescue some of the non-laser weapons from obscurity.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
It’s 120, but it’s always 120, including when you don’t use a move action. The move action additionally subtracts from any range penalty.

You sure about that? I, and everyone I know, have never once read it that way.


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Ravingdork wrote:

If that were the case, wouldn't it also mean that the cones of automatic weapons outfitted with scopes would expand as well?

I very much doubt that sort of interaction was intended.

I’m reasonably sure, and it cannot interact with automatic fire. Read it again.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Regardless, it could not interact with the automatic property. Scopes change the range increment ONLY for determining penalties. That is why they don't increase maximum range.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
It’s 120, but it’s always 120, including when you don’t use a move action. The move action additionally subtracts from any range penalty.
You sure about that? I, and everyone I know, have never once read it that way.

It's a separate clause.

"In addition, a scope..."


Xenocrat wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

If that were the case, wouldn't it also mean that the cones of automatic weapons outfitted with scopes would expand as well?

I very much doubt that sort of interaction was intended.

I’m reasonably sure, and it cannot interact with automatic fire. Read it again.

Plaintext reading would suggest a difference between "the increase is" and "increases to".

Sovereign Court

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However, in that same section near the end it states that ‘The reduction in penalties due to aiming with a scope ...’ which implies that you have to aim with the scope to get the reduction in range penalties. SO not all the time.


Ellias Aubec wrote:
However, in that same section near the end it states that ‘The reduction in penalties due to aiming with a scope ...’ which implies that you have to aim with the scope to get the reduction in range penalties. SO not all the time.

An extension of range increment is not a reduction in penalties. And they are different clauses.

It is sufficiently ambiguous in the way they wrote it that you’re not crazy or dumb for thinking otherwise, though.


Never considered that the range increment increase might not require the aim action. Rereading the scope rules I do think you might be onto something though.


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Lej wrote:
Never considered that the range increment increase might not require the aim action. Rereading the scope rules I do think you might be onto something though.

When you can read the rules so that they're nonsensical and read them another way so that they're sensible the latter one is far often the better reading.

"I slapped a scope on my pistol now i can shoot the wings off a fly at 300 feet while shooting from my hip..." doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

"I slapped a scope on my pistol now I can shoot the wings off a fly at 300 feet by taking a few seconds to line up the rectical..." now we're talking


Looking at it right now, how I'm reading it is having a scope increases your effective range increment, but ONLY for determining range penalties. This prevents the cone from automatic weapons from expanding, and also doesn't let you shoot past the fifth range increment for your weapon.

When you take the move action to aim, the penalty to shoot past the first increment is reduced by 1 per increment.


Wow. This is... not something I caught reading the Armory.

I think it's important we look at more than phrases here:

The Armory wrote:

A scope is a telescopic sighting device with an incorporated reticle that attaches to a small arm or railed weapon’s top rail. A scope can’t be added to a weapon with a sight (see page 61). As a move action, you can aim through a scope. This can be done as part of the same move action required to aim a weapon with the sniper weapon special quality, or as part of a sneak attack where you do not take any movement even if you also aim a sniper weapon as part of that action. Aiming through a scope reduces penalties to attack rolls due to range as well as bonuses to AC from cover.

In addition, a scope increases a weapon’s range increment for determining penalties to attack rolls due to range. For small arms, a scope increases the weapon’s normal range increment to 1-1/2 times its listed range for this purpose. For longarms and heavy weapons, the increase is 4 times the normal range increment. For sniper weapons, the increase is twice the range increment of the sniper special property. The reduction in penalties due to aiming with a scope applies only to the next attack roll you make with the weapon before the end of your next turn.

This is a mess. A scope:

1. Let's you "aim" which reduces penalties due to range and over
2. In addition it increases the range increment.
3. But then it says it's only for the next attack.

It's the paragraph break that's really making this difficult to parse. If the last sentence of the second paragraph were up with the first paragraph this would be easy.


Wingblaze wrote:

Wow. This is... not something I caught reading the Armory.

I think it's important we look at more than phrases here:

The Armory wrote:

A scope is a telescopic sighting device with an incorporated reticle that attaches to a small arm or railed weapon’s top rail. A scope can’t be added to a weapon with a sight (see page 61). As a move action, you can aim through a scope. This can be done as part of the same move action required to aim a weapon with the sniper weapon special quality, or as part of a sneak attack where you do not take any movement even if you also aim a sniper weapon as part of that action. Aiming through a scope reduces penalties to attack rolls due to range as well as bonuses to AC from cover.

In addition, a scope increases a weapon’s range increment for determining penalties to attack rolls due to range. For small arms, a scope increases the weapon’s normal range increment to 1-1/2 times its listed range for this purpose. For longarms and heavy weapons, the increase is 4 times the normal range increment. For sniper weapons, the increase is twice the range increment of the sniper special property. The reduction in penalties due to aiming with a scope applies only to the next attack roll you make with the weapon before the end of your next turn.

This is a mess. A scope:

1. Let's you "aim" which reduces penalties due to range and over
2. In addition it increases the range increment.
3. But then it says it's only for the next attack.

It's the paragraph break that's really making this difficult to parse. If the last sentence of the second paragraph were up with the first paragraph this would be easy.

2.5: it only increases your range increment for the purpose of calculating range penalties, which means it's not actually increasing your range increment.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't think that's right, Pogiforce. That just seems way too complex to have been intended.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Pogiforce wrote:

Looking at it right now, how I'm reading it is having a scope increases your effective range increment, but ONLY for determining range penalties. This prevents the cone from automatic weapons from expanding, and also doesn't let you shoot past the fifth range increment for your weapon.

When you take the move action to aim, the penalty to shoot past the first increment is reduced by 1 per increment.

There's one thing wrong with this. Maximum range for most ranged weapons is 10 range increments, not 5, per CRB page 245.


Pogiforce wrote:
and also doesn't let you shoot past the fifth range increment for your weapon.

Not that it is directly related to the scope question, but normally it's ten range increments.

Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 245 wrote:
For most ranged weapons, the maximum range is 10 range increments, or 10× the number listed as the weapon’s range. For thrown weapons, the maximum range is 5 range increments. Some ranged weapons have different maximum ranges, but if so, their descriptions specify their maximum ranges.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lej wrote:
Never considered that the range increment increase might not require the aim action. Rereading the scope rules I do think you might be onto something though.

When you can read the rules so that they're nonsensical and read them another way so that they're sensible the latter one is far often the better reading.

"I slapped a scope on my pistol now i can shoot the wings off a fly at 300 feet while shooting from my hip..." doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

"I slapped a scope on my pistol now I can shoot the wings off a fly at 300 feet by taking a few seconds to line up the rectical..." now we're talking

This reads like a caveman explaining how a wheelbarrow can't possibly help move a heavy weight and you should just pick it up and carry it on your back.

That's not how shooting works. No one shoots from the hip. An aimed shot or shots in a 6 second period involve lining up your eye and your sights. If you have a scope or sight, you're going to benefit from that even with a quick snapshot. The extended range increment reflects that benefit. See here for a scope. Here for a sight.

It's ok not to confidently opine on what is nonsensical when it comes to things you don't understand!

I am very open to the idea that Paizo's developers also don't understand this and that their intent with this somewhat poorly worded item was not to reflect reality. That's also ok! But until they explain it, I'll go with reality where it matches up with a defensible reading of the text.


Lej wrote:
Pogiforce wrote:
and also doesn't let you shoot past the fifth range increment for your weapon.

Not that it is directly related to the scope question, but normally it's ten range increments.

Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 245 wrote:
For most ranged weapons, the maximum range is 10 range increments, or 10× the number listed as the weapon’s range. For thrown weapons, the maximum range is 5 range increments. Some ranged weapons have different maximum ranges, but if so, their descriptions specify their maximum ranges.

My mistake, I'm still thinking pathfinder on that one. Granted, I could still be wrong, but my GMs always told me five range increments, and I never had a combat with a ranged character do far out that I had to really concern myself with whether I was properly informed in that regard.

My point that it doesn't let you shoot any further than normal is still relevant, though.


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Ravingdork wrote:
I don't think that's right, Pogiforce. That just seems way too complex to have been intended.

It's very explicit on that wording though, increases your range increment ONLY for the purposes of determining range penalties to the attack roll. That means for all other uses of the range increment, aka the range of cones for automatic weapons, or the maximum range the weapon can fire before hitting your target becomes an impossibility, you would still use the base increment of the gun. I agree that that is more complicated since you will have to track 2 different range increments (3 with snipers) depending on whether the weapon is automatic and how far you are shooting, but it's very clearly intended.

Scopes let you shoot more accurately, not further. Otherwise people would smack a scope on every blast weapon and you end up with shotguns inexplicably shooting people 20/25 feet away.

Though I wouldn't mind a weapon attachment that constrains the pellet spread of a shotgun, allowing it to shoot further but in a tighter spread. Convert it into a 25 foot line istead of a 15 foot cone.


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Well, that's how a scope behaves in real life, too.

You can't use optics to make your ordnance go faster or farther, they just help you to see far enough to make better use of your weapon's maximum range.

In SF, this is represented by reducing the penalties for extended range shots. Seems ok to me.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I agree that it doesn't extend the range of auto-cones. I still think you're overthinking it though. Scopes in Starfinder do increase the weapon's maximum range. I just don't think it was the intent of the developers for you to have to constantly cross-reference two different ranges for a single weapon just to see if you take a minor penalty to hit.


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Ravingdork wrote:
I agree that it doesn't extend the range of auto-cones. I still think you're overthinking it though. Scopes in Starfinder do increase the weapon's maximum range. I just don't think it was the intent of the developers for you to have to constantly cross-reference two different ranges for a single weapon just to see if you take a minor penalty to hit.

Scopes do not increase the maximum range, it's VERY clear about that.

Scopes wrote:
In addition, a scope increases a weapon’s range increment for determining penalties to attack rolls due to range. For small arms, a scope increases the weapon’s normal range increment to 1-1/2 times its listed range for this purpose. For longarms and heavy weapons, the increase is 4 times the normal range increment. For sniper weapons, the increase is twice the range increment of the sniper special property. The reduction in penalties due to aiming with a scope applies only to the next attack roll you make with the weapon before the end of your next turn. Scopes also confer other benefits depending on their type.

The scope's improved range is only for calculating range penalties. Nothing else. There is no complicated cross referencing necessary, just take your normal range increment, multiply by ten, you can't shoot further than that. Use the scope's enhanced increment to determine attack penalties.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Respectfully, I disagree with your interpretation. Your own description also references two different range increments, the original, and the modified, then compares them to determine the max range and the range penalties. I just don't believe it to have been the intent of the designers to add so many unnecessary steps/rules.

Feel free to disagree with my interpretation, but throwing the same text at me ver and over isn't going to change my mind.


I don't know how much clearer it can be, when the book says it increases range increments specifically for range penalties. You may think it's too much rules, but that doesn't mean it's against the design or intent of scopes.


Pogiforce wrote:
I don't know how much clearer it can be, when the book says it increases range increments specifically for range penalties. You may think it's too much rules, but that doesn't mean it's against the design or intent of scopes.

It's very clear what the rule actually is, he just doesn't believe they meant it.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

How does a little magnifying glass glued to the tip of your rifle cause your bullet to fly farther?


Nefreet wrote:
How does a little magnifying glass glued to the tip of your rifle cause your bullet to fly farther?

Theoretically, the maximum distance could be represented by how far you have any reasonable chance of hitting something, rather than the maximum distance the bullet can fly.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

By that model, the maximum range should be the point where the spread of the weapon is too great, not the wielder's ability to line up the sights. Without weapon spread, energy dissipation and similar properties that wouldn't be affected by optics, it would be pretty hard to justify the maximum range of a rifle with standard, cheap sights being as low as they are. The disruptor rifle this started with, for example, has a maximum range of 100 yards. That's nothing. Far too low to be explained as farther than a competent shooter can aim without aftermarket sights or scopes.

On the other hand, the behavior of the sniper property does definitely affect maximum range, but, on the gripping hand, the behavior of thrown weapons in low gravity and zero g has nothing plausible to do with accuracy, so trying to make the range increment rules match up with reality in a consistent way may be far too optimistic.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Again, you guys are overthinking it. The rules are an abstraction. If the developers were trying to mimic the ranges of real world weapons, they might as well not bother with ranges at all, since it would be much farther than any battle map.


Ravingdork wrote:
Again, you guys are overthinking it. The rules are an abstraction. If the developers were trying to mimic the ranges of real world weapons, they might as well not bother with ranges at all, since it would be much farther than any battle map.

We don’t have to think it, we just have to read plain English.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I like my abstractions to at least make sense.

If I aim a rifle up, and pull the trigger, my bullet maybe flies 1000 feet up.

It shouldn't fire 2000 feet simply because of some polished glass and duct tape.


Nefreet wrote:

I like my abstractions to at least make sense.

If I aim a rifle up, and pull the trigger, my bullet maybe flies 1000 feet up.

It shouldn't fire 2000 feet simply because of some polished glass and duct tape.

But the range increment doesn't represent "how far your bullet flies", it represents how far away you can hit a target, which would absolutely be impacted by the sights of the weapon.


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Nerdy Canuck wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

I like my abstractions to at least make sense.

If I aim a rifle up, and pull the trigger, my bullet maybe flies 1000 feet up.

It shouldn't fire 2000 feet simply because of some polished glass and duct tape.

But the range increment doesn't represent "how far your bullet flies", it represents how far away you can hit a target, which would absolutely be impacted by the sights of the weapon.

It represents elements of both. That’s why the sight/scope helps your increment only for purposes of determining range penalties and not for purposes of your maximum range.


HammerJack wrote:
but, on the gripping hand

Oh wow. Fantastic!


Lets look at the 9mm Beretta.

Effective Range: 50 meters or 164 feet or about 5 30 foot range increments.

Maximum Range: 100 meters or 328 feet or about 10 30 foot increments.

This corresponds well to the Semi-Auto, Tactical Pistol.

However the Beretta's maximum projectile range is 1,800 meters or 5,905 feet or about 196 30 foot increments.

So a scope increases the range increment for determining penalties with the RAW.

So for penalty purposes only the range increment is 45 feet.

So at 90 feet you would normally have a -4 penalty but now aiming with a scope it is only -2.

In my game I absolutely allow a player to take an aimed shot with a scope out to 450 feet. It is less than 10% of the bullets maximum travel ability.

Bullets travel a long, long way. It is the limitations of the human senses and abilities that make effective and maximum ranges so short.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Wait, didn't a developer answer this in this very thread a short while ago? Where did his post go? *scratches head*


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It was in the other thread.

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42khz?Do-scopes-increase-a-weapons-maximum-ran ge

But the result is that it was confirmed that scopes only affect penalties, not maximum range.

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