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Prime Evil

[D6 Project] Expanded Energy Weapons Table

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For the Starfarer Universe campaign setting that I am currently developing, I wanted to expand the list of energy weapons provided in D6 Space. Here's my first crack at developing an expanded list - once I have finished writing up the various weapons, I plan to release the whole thing as Open Game Content. Any feedback would be welcomed!

 

ENERGY WEAPON TYPES

  • Laser Weapons use a solid-state crystals to generate high-energy beams of coherent light at visible wavelengths. Lasers have long ranges and function superbly in the vacuum of space, but are very sensitive to atmospheric conditions (dust, snow, fog, etc) and typically inflict less damage than other energy weapons.
     
  • Stun Weapons utilize directional beams of ultrasonic sound to cause nausea, disorientation, and unconsciousness. These weapons do not function in the vacuum of space and can be extremely dangerous if fired underwater. Although stunners are classified as non-lethal weapons, extended exposure may cause hearing loss and epileptic seizures. Stun cannons are often used as a riot control weapon by law enforcement agencies - albeit under tight legal controls.
     
  • Blasters fire coherent bolts of charged particles along an invisible laser beam that functions as a waveguide, preventing attenuation of the bolt. These are the most popular energy weapons in most SF settings because they offer a good balance between ammunition capacity, range, and damage.
     
  • Disruptors are military weapons that inflict devastating damage but have short ranges. For sheer destructive power, disruptors are the most effective energy weapons available in typical SF settings. Disruptors fire hypervelocity bolts of antiparticles along an weak invisible beam of gravitic force that prevents the antiparticles from coming into direct contact with normal matter until they strike their target. The amount of antimatter contained in each disruptor bolt is minuscule, but the effects when it strikes an object can be spectacular.
  • Plasma Weapons fire bolts of superheated hydrogen plasma from a magnetic containment chamber. They are more powerful than blasters, but have a shorter range.
  • Gravitic Weapons fire microsecond directional pulses of gravitational force, utilizing the same principles as starship tractor beams. These pulses of gravitational force can penetrate even the heaviest armor, but can be blocked by force fields.
  • Disintegrator Weapons use rapidly oscillating pulses of gravitational resonance to momentarily overpower the strong nuclear force that binds matter together, causing objects to disintegrate entirely. Typically the target is vaporized instantly, leaving behind only a fine dust or ash.

 

Weapon			Damage	RoF		Ammo	Blank	Short 	Medium 	Long 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Laser Pistol		4D	Single Shot	30	5m	25m	75m	100m
Laser Rifle		4D+2	Selective	50	10m	30m	250m	700m	
Pulse Laser (Rifle)	5D	Selective	50	10m	50m	300m	1000m
Laser Sniper Rifle	5D	Single Shot	25	15m	75m	400m	1500m
Stun Pistol 		4D Stun Single Shot	20 	2m 	15m	25m	45m
Stun Rifle		5D Stun	Single Shot	30	5m	20m	35m	60m	
Stun Cannon		5D Stun	Cone Effect	50	10m	25m	50m	75m
Holdout Blaster 	3D 	Single Shot	10	2m 	5m 	10m	15m
Blaster Pistol 		5D 	Single Shot	25 	5m	15m	25m	50m
Heavy Blaster Pistol	5D+2	Single Shot	30	5m	20m	35m	75m
Blaster Carbine		6D	Selective	50	5m	25m	50m	200m
Sporting Blaster Rifle	6D+2	Single Shot	20	10m	25m	150m	300m
Blaster Rifle 		7D	Selective	50	10m	25m	150m	300m
Heavy Blaster Rifle	7D+2	Selective	50	10m	30m	200m	350m
Light Repeating Blaster	8D	Autofire	75	15m	50m	250m	500m
Light Blaster Cannon	9D	Autofire 	100	25m	75m	300m	600m
Disruptor Pistol	6D	Single Shot	20	2m	10m	20m	35m
Disruptor Rifle		8D	Selective	35	5m	20m	35m	150m
Heavy Disruptor Rifle	8D+2	Selective	35	10m	25m	100m	200m
Plasma Pistol 		5D+1 	Single Shot 	20 	2m	10m	25m 	40m 
Plasma Rifle 		7D+1	Selective	50 	5m	25m 	150m 	300m 
Heavy Plasma Rifle	8D	Selective	50	10m	30m	200m	350m
Gravitic Pistol		7D	Single Shot	25 	5m	15m	25m	50m
Gravitic Rifle		9D	Selective	50	10m	30m	200m	350m
Light Gravitic Cannon	10D 	Autofire	150	15m	50m	250m	500m
Disintegrator Pistol	7D+2	Single Shot	25 	5m	15m	20m	35m
Disintegrator Rifle	9D+2	Selective	40	5m	25m	50m	200m
Disintegrator Cannon	12D	Autofire	75	10m	25m	150m	300m

 

Notes:

  • Weapons marked as 'single shot' can be fired multiple times in a single round, but doing so incurs a multi-action penalty.
     
  • Weapons that are marked as having a 'Selective' rate of fire can be used to fire single shots, short bursts, and long bursts. They can also be used to perform sweep attacks and lay down suppressive fire.
     
  • The maximum range of an energy weapon is equal to twice the value listed for long range - beyond this point attenuation and/or decoherence render the beam harmless. Of course, the maximum effective range of the weapon is much shorter.
     

 

Weapon			TL	Availability		Concealability
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Laser Pistol		7	Common (10)		Easy (10)
Laser Rifle		7	Common (10)		Very Difficult (25)
Pulse Laser Rifle	8	Uncommon (15)		Very Difficult (25)
Laser Sniper Rifle	8	Rare (20)		Very Difficult (25)
Stun Pistol 		8	Common (10)		Easy (10)
Stun Rifle		8	Uncommon (15)		Very Difficult (25)
Stun Cannon		8	Very Rare (25)		Impossible
Holdout Blaster 	9	Uncommon (15)		Very Easy (5)
Blaster Pistol 		9	Common (10)		Easy (10)
Heavy Blaster Pistol	9	Uncommon (15)		Moderate (15)
Blaster Carbine		9	Uncommon (15)		Difficult (20)
Sporting Blaster Rifle	9	Common (10)		Very Difficult (25)
Blaster Rifle 		9	Uncommon (15)		Very Difficult (25)
Heavy Blaster Rifle	9	Rare (20)		Very Difficult (25)
Light Repeating Blaster	9	Very Rare (25)		Heroic (30)
Light Blaster Cannon	9	Extremely Rare (30)	Impossible
Heavy Blaster Cannon	9	Extremely Rare (30)	Impossible
Disruptor Pistol	10	Uncommon (15)		Moderate (15)
Disruptor Rifle		10	Rare (20)		Very Difficult (25)
Heavy Disruptor Rifle	10	Very Rare (25)		Very Difficult (25)
Plasma Pistol 		8	Uncommon (15)		Easy (10)
Plasma Rifle 		8	Rare (20)		Very Difficult (25)
Heavy Plasma Rifle	9	Very Rare (25)		Very Difficult (25)
Gravitic Pistol		11	Uncommon (15)		Easy (10)
Gravitic Rifle		11	Rare (20)		Very Difficult (25)
Light Gravitic Cannon	11	Extremely Rare (30)	Impossible
Heavy Gravitic Cannon	11	Extremely Rare (30)	Impossible
Disintegrator Pistol	12	Rare (20)		Easy (10)
Disintegrator Rifle	12	Very Rare (25)	      Very Difficult (25)

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Awesome, great descriptives and lists. :D

 

So basically a blaster is a plasma weapon with a waveguide, since plasma is just an ionised (ie charged) gas. ;)

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:cl:

 

Marvelous! Well done - I look forward to seeing Starfarer Universe if this is the tiniest morsel of what's in it!

 

 

Thanks!

 

I've been thinking of some other energy weapons that might also be useful in a generic SF campaign setting....

 

  • A weapon that uses microwaves or high energy radio frequency (HERF) pulses to fry unshielded security robots and cybernetic implants. Even if the robot's 'brain' uses optical circuitry, it is possible that this weapon will burn out servomotors and other delicate components. I'm not sure how to model this in game terms though.
     
  • Taking the same idea a bit further, another possibility might be an EMP Grenade that uses explosive magnetic flux compression to generate a single broadband burst of high-energy radio frequency noise capable of destroying electronic devices within the blast radius - the basic principle was demonstrated at Los Alamos National Laboratory as far back as 1958!
     
  • It might be worth including some weapons that reflect recent developments in the use of millimeter microwave pulses as non-lethal area denial weapons that cause intense pain but no lasting injury (in most cases). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Denial_System for more information.
     
  • A neural weapon that electrically stimulates the target's nervous system, inflicting excruciating pain or unbearable pleasure. I'm thinking of using the tasp from Larry Niven's Ringworld novels as a model....
     
  • If psionics exist, it might be possible to build weapons that can transmit crude telepathic signals. Imagine an area-effect weapon that attacks the target's subconscious mind, transmitting an overpowering sense of terror. Or an energy weapon that transmits a pulse of intense psychic noise, disrupting all psionic powers in a cone-shaped area ...

 

I think that these weapons would also have practical uses in many campaigns and would fill niches that are not covered by the expanded weapon list.

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Awesome, great descriptives and lists. :D

 

So basically a blaster is a plasma weapon with a waveguide, since plasma is just an ionised (ie charged) gas. ;)

 

There are a number of ways that you can model blasters in practical terms and that is certainly one of them. It is certainly possible to transmit a bolt of superheated plasma along an electrically conductive Laser-Induced Plasma Channel (LIPC) - check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_channel for more info.

 

Another possibility is they are electron bolts focused by powerful electrostatic lenses (similar to the quadripole lenses used by modern particle accelerators). Although we have no idea at the moment how to reduce the size of the lenses to a size that can be used by portable sidearms, this might become possible with the advent of room-temperature superconductors. An electron bolt that is accelerated to somewhere near the velocity of light can impart a massive amount of kinetic and thermal energy when it hits something.

 

In either case, the invisible laser beam is necessary to create a plasma channel because the blaster bolt carries an electrical charge - otherwise the bolt will rapidly lose coherence as the charged particles in the bolt repel each other. In addition, the laser minimizes the effect of the phenomenon known as blooming where the bolt disperses most of its energy into the surrounding atmosphere.

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:cl:

 

Marvelous! Well done - I look forward to seeing Starfarer Universe if this is the tiniest morsel of what's in it!

 

Nice. I'm looking forward to seeing the Starfarer Universe setting too!

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I noticed that some of the weapons have an autofire function. However, I don't remember there being a set of rules designating how autofire weapons work. Was this in one of the D6 books, and I don't remember it, or is this something we plan to expand on in open D6?

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Do you have any suggested ammo values for these weapons? In a hard science campaign, I'd rule that the energy required to power these weapons (particularly blasters) is quite high. The pro of using energy weapons is their increased damage (compared to firearms) but the con is that you get fewer shots. and/or the precision engineering required means that the energy weapons are less rugged.

 

I'm not sure if your setting is more hard science or space opera, but figured it was worth mentioning.

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Do you have any suggested ammo values for these weapons? In a hard science campaign, I'd rule that the energy required to power these weapons (particularly blasters) is quite high. The pro of using energy weapons is their increased damage (compared to firearms) but the con is that you get fewer shots. and/or the precision engineering required means that the energy weapons are less rugged.

 

I'm not sure if your setting is more hard science or space opera, but figured it was worth mentioning.

 

Most of the sidearms listed in the revised energy weapon table can fire 25-50 shots from a single power cell. The figures given in the table are a compromise designed to make energy weapons a viable alternative to conventional small arms. They are probably a bit high for a hard science setting, even assuming breakthroughs in energy storage such as the use of compact superconductor loops. The Traveller approach of backpack-sized power packs might be more reasonable in such a setting. However, the figures might also be a bit low for a cinematic space opera setting – where protagonists are able to trade blaster fire with opponents for several minutes without ever stopping to reload - doubling or tripling the listed ammo values might be reasonable in such a setting.

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I noticed that some of the weapons have an autofire function. However, I don't remember there being a set of rules designating how autofire weapons work. Was this in one of the D6 books, and I don't remember it, or is this something we plan to expand on in open D6?

 

I've got some homebrew rules for autofire that expand on the d6 Rulebook - I'll see if I can post them when I get home.

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I noticed that some of the weapons have an autofire function. However, I don't remember there being a set of rules designating how autofire weapons work. Was this in one of the D6 books, and I don't remember it, or is this something we plan to expand on in open D6?

 

IIRC Autofire adds 3 to the to-hit difficulty but adds +1D to damage (over Burst fire damage)

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Here's a couple of additional notes that I've recently added to my weapons tables:

 

TECHNOLOGY LEVELS

Like most SF roleplaying games, the Starfarer Universe uses the concept of Technology Levels to define when particular technologies become available. My Tech Level chart is loosely based upon the one from the Mongoose Traveller SRD, with some tweaks and changes to suit my requirements. Here's how my summary table looks at the moment:

 

TL	Description			Defining Technologies
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TL 0: 	Stone Age			Flint tools; domestication of animals; cave paintings
TL 1: 	Bronze Age			Metalworking (copper and bronze); agriculture; city-states; primitive astronomy.
TL 2: 	Iron Age			Metalworking (iron); mathematics and geometry. 	
TL 3: 	Medieval			Metalworking (steel); Wind and water power; alchemy. 
TL 4: 	Renaissance			Primitive gunpowder weapons; clockwork mechanisms; classical physics; calculus. 	
TL 5: 	Early Industrial Age 		Steam power; hydraulics; telegraph; telephone; railways; lighter-than-air dirigibles; chemistry. 
TL 6: 	Mature Industrial Age		Nuclear fission; Internal combustion engine; aircraft; radio; radar; television; plastics; relativity; quantum physics.
TL 7: 	Information Age			Semiconductor-based computers; global computer networks; hybrid electric vehicles; gene sequencing. 
TL 8: 	Cyberpunk Age			Immersive virtual reality; direct neural interface; artificial intelligence; genetic engineering; robotics; power armor; railguns / gauss weapons; carbon nanotubes & other fullerenes.
TL 9: 	Early Interplanetary Age	Fusion power; Room-temperature superconductors; plasma drives and fusion drives; orbital colonies; theory of quantum gravity.
TL 10: 	Mature Interplanetary Age	Gravity manipulation; synthesis of exotic matter; STL reactionless drives; inertial dampening; artificial gravity; contragravity vehicles; portable particle beam weapons (blasters).
TL 11: 	Early Interstellar Age		FTL warp drive; gravitic force fields; tractor beams; neutrino communications; 
TL 12: 	Mature Interstellar Age		FTL communication systems; antimatter power systems; hyperdense materials. 
TL 13: 	Advanced Interstellar Age	Artificial wormholes; Personal force screens; non-destructive uploading; megastructures such as dyson swarms; dry molecular nanotechnology
TL 14:	Age of Transcendence		Artificial pocket universes; total conversion power systems;  temporal physics; time travel; transdimensional travel; interstellar teleportation. 

 

Please note that the Starfarer Universe assumes a fairly conservative rate of technological progress that does not include a sudden technological singularity during the middle decades of the 21st century. Instead, it assumes that the rate of technological progress will gradually slow down as the inherent difficulties of further advancements become apparent. It also assumes that the development of artificial intelligence will not suddenly lead to the evolution of godlike super-intelligences as further developments will be constrained by the limitations of available hardware.

 

ENERGY WEAPONS AND TECH LEVELS

The availability of portable energy weapons is largely determined by the development of energy storage technologies. Although the theory behind most of the weapons described here was established as early as TL 6, it was impossible to store the massive amounts of energy required by these devices at that time. Prototype laser weapons and particle beam weapons appeared at TL 8, powered by bulky backpacks containing hydrogen gel fuel cells. The first vehicle-mounted particle beam cannons also appear at TL 8, Mature portable energy weapons do not become until the development of room-temperature superconductors at TL 9. This permitted the development of rechargable high-density power cells containing superconductive loops that make efficient long-term energy storage practical.

 

Based upon these considerations and the ongoing revisions to the Tech Level table, I have revised the availability of portable energy weapons as follows:

 

  • Laser Weapons become available at TL 8, although early prototypes may exist at TL 7.
  • Stun Weapons appear at TL 8.
  • Blasters appear at TL 10, although vehicle-mounted particle beam weapons appear at TL 9.
  • Disruptors appear at TL 11
  • Plasma Weapons appear at TL 11.
  • Gravitic Weapons appear at TL 13.
  • Disintegrator Weapons appear at TL 14

Edited by Prime Evil

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