Adjust Less-Lethal Escalation

I saw a post recently where the use of baton slugs was ruled as “lethal”, and the guy adjudicating commented that it might be prudent to change the rules a bit to accomodate for weapons that toe the line between “lethal” and “non-lethal”.
I also think it’s a good idea to re-examine our policy on it, so here we go!

Let’s take a look at the current edition of the Escalation rules regarding lethality.


  • Fists/General melee/MP tools
    • MP tools are not considered lethal weaponry. Unless a MP is shooting you, or using a baton on harm intent, you can’t respond lethally.
  • Knives/Dangerous melee
  • Lethal Weapons/Chemicals used as weapons
    • For example: Inaprovaline Overdoses, Chloral Hydrate, Tramadol/Oxycodone Overdoses
  • If at any point combat is disengaged and both parties leave the area, you cannot skip escalation and plunge back into a fight. What’s done is done.

Ok, so looking at this- Well, basically every single marine weapon is considered “lethal”, and only MP tools like pepper spray, flashes, etc. are considered “non-lethal”.

There’s no “less-lethal” category as far as I know- Which is odd. Whilst some people might argue “If you use a fucking baton slug fired from a grenade launcher, that’s 100% a deadly weapon equivalent to a firearm” (and well, in a realistic situation yes, that is valid), it fails to encapsulate the intent behind the attack.

First and foremost, CM is a game. In this game, some weapons basically do no damage, and hence being attacked by these is treated the same as a painless punch or chair fight by other players (unless they are MPs, CiC or staff).

Amongst players, baton slugs are generally considered a “non-lethal” weapon. In practice, if I get shot by one, I won’t give a shit- I get a bit of brute, bleeding and I walk it off. I see marines run around shooting baton slugs at each other pre-drop all the time, similar to beating the shit out of each other with chairs.

If a marine is using baton slugs- They are generally not on a KILL intent. The intent is generally “haha funny prank” or “get the fuck out of here”. I do not believe “less-lethal” weapons used in this way should be treated the same as intentionally discharging a firearm at another person (which is clear intent to kill.) Rather, these weapons represent another step in escalation.
Currently, we go from “non-lethal disarms/MP tools”, to “beating the shit out of each other”, to “using lethal melee weapons (basically never happens)”, to “using ‘lethal’ ranged weapons”.
I think we should divide this further into “less-lethal ranged weapons” and “lethal ranged weapons”.

I think we should group any similar ‘less-lethal’ weapons into their own category. You’d still get arrested and stuff for using them- But the charge should be less than using a firearm designed to kill instead of stun, and it shouldn’t violate escalation rules imo.

What do you guys think?

[There is currently a strange feature where baton slugs will instant-kill the target and user. I’ve been told this is NOT a bug, and is intended. I have no idea why it exists, but it’s very funny when someone commits a murder-suicide on accident when they were really trying to just do something harmlessly amusing. I think this feature needs to go, since as funny as it is- It’s kinda sad to watch people get noted or BEd when they thought they were doing a funny prank.]


I’ll only give a brief comment due to IRL constraints but I’d be wary of adding any extra layers to escalation. At most I’d consider making non-lethal weapons (like the slug baton) fall as a dangerous melee/knife weapon in terms of escalation.


I was looking at the same report and was confused that the staff being reported considered baton slugs to be a straight-lethal option when the description clearly states that they are “less-than-lethal” and have been used to incapacitate, not kill.

Considering the number of times I’ve seen marines use slugs on one another for fun, I don’t think its fair to consider them a lethal weapon, and it would be better if they were moved into the dangerous weapons category like Steelpoint suggested.


You’re making a common mistake here.

Batton slugs are considered lethal from the perspective of the person being shot.

Basically like rubber rounds you’re not expected to be able to tell if the explosive bang and the thing that just whizzed past you was a bullet or a rubber bullet.

It is not considered “lethal” so far as rules are concerned for firing it. You can fire it yourself and have it be non-lethal, something free to use at any point, BUT if the person you fire it at panics and unloads some live ammo into you, then they haven’t broken the rules.

The ruling here is not that rubber rounds cannot be used, or slugs can’t be used for non-lethal. The ruling is that if you use rubber bullets or a rubber round unless it becomes super obvious the person you’re shooting isn’t expected to stop and wait to figure out if you’re firing live rounds or not, they can shoot back.

Same as blanks really, if you fire a blank at someone you’re in an argument with, don’t be surprised when they fire lives back.


Then what’s with the note then?

The staff report in question, which is the post this

refers to, was denied and the note left in place.


Besides there being a rather big difference between rubber bullets which look exactly like normal ones and baton slugs, the report is not about the person attacked with a baton slug shooting back or something, but about medeelel getting noted for using it.

Look, In all my place. The whole incident was on me. Hell I used a slug baton on the SL in the hangar before ‘OMSK’ used it in REQ. And I did it for fun. Marines beaten me and shot me back with the slug. Afterwards they stole my m79 and I left to go to REQ again. The SL who clearly wanted revenge started breaking windows with a SG and a medic.

I called for help over the comns to QM since they were destroying great cargo. And used his m79 with the baton slug to shoot the SG to get him out. I clearly showed my gun at him and pointed at him, He responded by turning off his IFF and shooting me. Responded back with the same.

All and all. It should’ve been me who gotten the note. But in the end. Notes don’t matter.

escalation is just a really shitty rule that defies logic


The ruling there is pretty wack, this is clearly a spirit of the rules thing, and not a rules as written thing. Yes, the rules don’t explicitly mention that baton slugs are considered less-lethal, but there is a community consensus that they don’t rise to the same level as shooting at someone with a real gun.

I’m not exactly sure why the manager decided to interpret the rules exactly as written when doing so only sets a precedent that the rules do not fall in line with realistic escalation. Its not like they don’t have the power to consider the totality of the situation and make an exception, and even expedite the process of a rules amendment.


I have always been an advocate for enforcing the rules as they exist, not as they should be, it’s the only way to approach some level of consistency. If a rule needs to be changed, then let’s get that thing changed.

I’m all for adding less than lethal options into the escalation system, probably alongside “dangerous melee” as Steelpoint suggested. It’ll need to be worded in such a way to cover all weapons of that category without also allowing people to use intent or results as a defense, i.e. “I was trying to shoot him in the legs to be less than lethal,” or “he didn’t die so it was less than lethal.”

As for escalation itself, it may not be a perfect system, but everyone on the server has access to firepower. There needs to be some way to order the chaos: this way people can both engage in lethal combat with allies when necessary, but it also allows both parties to determine amongst one-another when lethal combat is appropriate (since escalation requires two opposing active contributors). If anyone has a better idea, the rules are not set in stone, and we (at least certainly I) want them to reflect a community consensus.


I respect that.


I have always been an advocate for enforcing the rules as they exist, not as they should be, it’s the only way to approach some level of consistency. If a rule needs to be changed, then let’s get that thing changed.

“Because consistency” is a poor argument. Yes, consistent enforcement of reasonable rules is a good thing, but consistency in enforcing a rule that you acknowledge should be changed isn’t much better than inconsistent enforcement of that same rule.

Consistent or not, a bad taste is left in the mouth of every player that is required to roleplay in a way that goes against community norms and common sense, just because the rules were written without a certain aspect of the game in mind.

As a manager, you are in a unique position to not only overturn the poor enforcement of such a ‘rule’ (seeing as the rule does not even mention less lethal ranged weapons, and it was only decided that since they had to be sorted into one of the existing categories (???) they would be considered lethal weapons), but to also expedite the process of that obvious grey area being codified.

Ultimately, when you uphold the enforcement of a rule that you agree should be changed, instead of using your near-exclusive ability to overturn the ruling, acknowledge the grey area that exists, and set new precedent until said rule can be fixed, you become responsible for all the negative effects of that enforcement.


I didn’t say the rule should be changed, I said the rule may need to be changed/ perhaps it should. I didn’t ascribe my own personal beliefs.

Additionally, even if I did think the rule needed changing, and while I physically have the power to change rules and their enforcement, managers arbitrarily changing the enforcement of certain standards based on their own preference is a key complaint the community is making at the moment.


The issue with slug batons is that I feel it falls into similar territory as stun/rubber bullets.

In that in the heat of the moment you can’t tell if they are firing a lethal grenade or a non-lethal grenade.

Personally, I am of the opinion that if someone fired a HIRR Baton at another player, then I’d consider it acceptable if the victim returned fire with a lethal weapon assuming they did so immediately (so <1 second not 10 seconds later when they know its not a lethal grenade).

Furthermore, HIRR Baton’s still deal damage and can even cause fractures and organ damage, admittedly not as easily as bullets. Ergo the term ‘less than lethal’ feels more appropriate since even these weapons can still hurt and kill someone.

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Imo if a clown fired a baton slug at another guy in briefing, and the victim magdumped the clown, I believe most people would say the other guy over-escalated.
I don’t think comparing HIRR slugs to rubber bullets/blanks is appropriate, because HIRR slugs are brutally obvious to everyone, whereas blanks/rubbers are indistinguishable from real bullets.

The noise is quite obvious, and the knockdown is also incredibly obvious- No lethal grenade does the same.


I recently had a Grenadier Specialist get gunned down cause they fired baton slugs at someone else, and their GL made the slugs sound like a real grenade.

Ergo, its not so clear cut.

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The complaints here aren’t about people getting gunned down after firing a baton slug. It’s about someone getting noted for IE after baton slugging someone.
You could have it be treated as a lethal weapon for the purposes of the other person responding (they can shoot back with lethal weapon if you baton slug) but not have it count as a lethal weapon when judging if you are allowed to baton slug someone.

This seems to be what moonshanks said it was earlier but in that case I think people are just confused over the recent report ruling.

On second thought that kinda creates a situation where it’s easy to create ‘valid’ shootouts by baton slugging people and hoping they pull out a lethal weapon on you so you can fire lethals back… Although technically abusing escalation like that is already kinda possible and should probably just be considered griefing if you’re clearly just trying to bait like that


There’s a big difference between rubber and baton sounds. If you can’t find out that you got hit by a baton when you flew 3 tiles with a baton slug lying right in front of the place you got hit then there’s a big problem.

A baton slug is a non lethal weapon used to stun a person.


Thats my thoughts.

It makes sense in character to shooty shooty bang bang back with a real gun.

It doesn’t make sense to IE note someone for using it.


This is arguing semantics but I would classify it as less-than-lethal. It still deals 15 damage through armour and almost guaranteed bleeding, plus it can cause fractures like any other projective, excluding further damage from being thrown against an object.

I would continue to argue that a baton slug falls under the ‘knives/dangerous melee’ part of escalation.

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