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Lloyd Dupont

Future weapon

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8 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Unless you give it some sort of velocity and  make some sort of container/path for it to follow. For instance you could use a laser to make a super heated air corridor that could function as a tube to hold the plasma together until it reaches the target. The idea is that as warn air is less dense the plasma will want to flow down the thin super heated air and be blocked off by the colder denser air outside it. If the plasma is ionized gas, then  an electrical charge could be used to drive the plasma in the right direction as well.  This should also make them viable inside an atmosphere, with the laser burning a path for the plasma. 

mmm... this almost sounds convincing..  🤔

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

... And also they explode and fire behind cover, last I heard...

Yeah.  Timed/fused grenade rounds.

You take the range to the "cover" your foe is hiding-behind (because your sight/scope has an integrated laser-dot with a rangefinder -- if your average home handyman has it today, so does your future-trooper!!!).  You tell the grenade via timed fuse (and you know the muzzle velocity & time-to-range) to explode 5 feet PAST their cover.  Then you aim a little bit wide of whatever, fire... *boom*

This is in working designs today, not even sci-fi!  IIRC, the weapon is still in prelim stages, as the military has doubts about field-durability & maintenance issues...

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23 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

mmm... this almost sounds convincing..  🤔

Well, most new tech doesn't sound all that convincing until someone actually gets it to work. Then it seem obvious. But in theory it's a path of least resistance thing.  

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My Mage the Ascendance Corespondence gun was nice. Basically, it allowed to put the muzzle right adjacent to the target. Might be done with sufficient levels of unobtainium as a technology, too. Maybe a warp gun. I seem to recall that an Alcubierre drive might push all the intermittent space dust forward on the ejection vector, creating a flare worthy of a quasar if you're unlucky. Sounds like a gun to me.

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On 6/6/2020 at 1:15 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Another idea I had reading star wars lore (though mine is definitely NOT a star war settings), is the blaster are made of a special reactive gas... so maybe they could fire some tiny bit of solid unstable matter which turn to burning gas on hitting solid obstacle, i.e exploding. But the original propulsion issue remain, it should still be a bullet, ie. with contemporary magazine size and a big bang when fire, wouldn't it?...

I know you said that you were not going the blaster route earlier, but for a warhammer  40k/star wars test game I am running for me and my brother I used blasters and came up with a way for them to work using ultra hot phosphorus pellets fired out of the gun. I am not sure how they are fired, but I think I like the rail gun/bullets idea @g33k suggested.

I also made a "lightsaber" called an arc-blade that works by using a magnetic field to extract plasma from a reserve or generator build into the hilt and wrap it around a blade made of heat resistant metal. It can cut through nearly anything and even block the aforementioned blaster bolts, by virtue of the phosphorus vaporizing upon contact with the plasma. What it can't cut through, however, is another arc-blade, since their magnetic fields repulse each other, allowing for flashy lightsaber dules to occur.

Now I just have to figure out how my arc-blades react to bullets and actual lasers. I did not know that being a game master required so much scientific knowledge. :P

Edited by Old Man Henerson
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I admit to overthink it...

It started with "Fireball", whichever way I approached it (trying to give Fireball to my Dark Elves) I was always unhappy with the game mechanic one way and another (it was not BRP though, I think I can make it work in BRP now). And then 8D6 of instant pure elemental Fire started to also hurt my physics training and memories on heat diffusion equation....

Anyway, written on my draft now: Modern Weapon with Advanced Bullet (additional Fire, Cold, Shock, Acid damage, like Borderland, just increase dice 2 step for an average +2 damage and more special damage option), Laser (bypass forcefield), Plasma (space only), Disintegrator (Antarian only), Stun weapon (bypass armor, stop by shield, non lethal damage, i.e.using CoC Critical Wound mechanic, they never cause one).

Anyway you make me think about Blaster again... They do set a nice scifi tone.. and your sounds almost convincing.. plus I got idea for propulsion! How about a gas gun? The magazine contains many sliver which have 2 part, the phosphorous head and a tail of an unstable chemical substance. Which got vaporised by the propulsion mechanic (need an internal battery too), and push the head. It would have shorter range, but still good enough... And it wouldn't be 100 ammo per magazine either (more like 20?).

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16 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I admit to overthink it...

It started with "Fireball", whichever way I approached it (trying to give Fireball to my Dark Elves) I was always unhappy with the game mechanic one way and another (it was not BRP though, I think I can make it work in BRP now). And then 8D6 of instant pure elemental Fire started to also hurt my physics training and memories on heat diffusion equation....

It is always good to stretch the game to its limits and find your own way of doing things. I still need to play and test the system myself before I see if anything needs changing. What I have found is that psychic powers in the big golden book are rather lacking, so I am trying to flesh them out by either converting other powers or by finding inspiration from games like Earthbound.

16 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Anyway, written on my draft now: Modern Weapon with Advanced Bullet (additional Fire, Cold, Shock, Acid damage, like Borderland, just increase dice 2 step for an average +2 damage and more special damage option), Laser (bypass forcefield), Plasma (space only), Disintegrator (Antarian only), Stun weapon (bypass armor, stop by shield, non lethal damage, i.e.using CoC Critical Wound mechanic, they never cause one).

Anyway you make me think about Blaster again... They do set a nice scifi tone.. and your sounds almost convincing.. plus I got idea for propulsion! How about a gas gun? The magazine contains many sliver which have 2 part, the phosphorous head and a tail of an unstable chemical substance. Which got vaporised by the propulsion mechanic (need an internal battery too), and push the head. It would have shorter range, but still good enough... And it wouldn't be 100 ammo per magazine either (more like 20?).

Your weapon selection is pretty cool. I especially like the different effects and bypasses you worked in. I should try that for my own games. Alternatively, you could make it so lasers explode when hitting forcefields like in Dune, that would keep the players on their toes. ;)

Also, I am glad you liked the blaster idea, and thanks for the idea about the gas population! I was actually thinking about adapting the my setting into a book one day so this idea will really help me a lot. A low clip and shorter range will create a good variety of arms and equipment. It would be easier to use bullet shooting guns with more amo now that I think about it, and bullets would certainly still be the amo of choice for snipers, but I guess that bullets would not have the piercing power of ultra-hot phosphorus. Good stuff to think about.

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1 hour ago, Old Man Henerson said:

... and bullets would certainly still be the amo of choice for snipers ...

With enough power, lasers become the snipers' weapon of choice.  No windage, no drag, no overshooting for gravity, no delay between firing and impact...

They just need power enough to generate a kill (i.e. put a hole through the target).

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57 minutes ago, g33k said:

With enough power, lasers become the snipers' weapon of choice.  No windage, no drag, no overshooting for gravity, no delay between firing and impact...

They just need power enough to generate a kill (i.e. put a hole through the target).

Wouldn't fog, clouds, smoke disperse a laser beam?

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1 hour ago, el_octogono said:

Wouldn't fog, clouds, smoke disperse a laser beam?

Answer 1:  Is there too much fog/cloud/smoke to see your target?   If so... why are you firing / what are you "aiming" at?   If not... just add MOAR P0WAR to compensate for dispersal, and the lasers should be OK.

Answer 2:  Anything that can "disperse" the laser has to interact with it to do so.  A high powered laser will likely burn its way through, rather than reflecting/refracting or otherwise "dispersing."

Caveat:  Lasers may need tuning away from the classic "red light," i.e. a maser (microwave freq), etc.  A couple of years ago, some researchers using SLAC facilities got room temperature water to 100000C in 75 femtoseconds (insta-plasma) using an Xray laser.

edit:  https://www.pnas.org/content/115/22/5652

Edited by g33k
PNAS

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4 hours ago, Old Man Henerson said:

... but I guess that bullets would not have the piercing power of ultra-hot phosphorus. Good stuff to think about.

I don't think the heat will matter much.  It isn't in contact with the target long enough to "burn" anything; heat-transfer by physical contact is relatively slow, particularly in regards to hypersonic rounds.

Imagine taking a sword, heating the tip to white-hot, and stabbing someone.  The danger is actually STILL the sharp hard blade, the heat doesn't really aid penetration or damage (if anything, it may be LESS damaging, as it cauterizes when pulled out).  A classic simile is a "hot knife through butter," but that's a slow, studied slice, tabletop cooking & serving speed.  If you just CHOPPED the butter, hard and fast, you would get almost no melt (heat "damage").

The best current anti-armor (anti-tank) rounds are either HEAT or some version of sabot rounds.  Both rely on kinetic impact, not heat (the "HEAT" round (High Explosive Anti Tank) doesn't use "heat" to do damage -- it uses the shaped-charge to force a physical/kinetic penetrator into the tank's armor).

Edit:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-explosive_anti-tank_warhead
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabot_(firearms)  &  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armour-piercing_discarding_sabot

 

Edited by g33k
wikipedia - actually a decent overview!
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5 hours ago, g33k said:

With enough power, lasers become the snipers' weapon of choice.  No windage, no drag, no overshooting for gravity, no delay between firing and impact...

They just need power enough to generate a kill (i.e. put a hole through the target).

Modern lasers can already do that.  The target just has to be reasonable enough to stand in place for 15 minutes while you drill him.  😉. Han shot first (after tricking Greedo into stepping into a couple buckets of fast-drying cement)!

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2 hours ago, seneschal said:

 ... The target just has to be reasonable enough to stand in place for 15 minutes while you drill him ...

like I said.

MOAR P0WAR

 

It needs to go deep enough into the target in about .075 seconds, to be fatal.

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There is a design flaw in this discussion, which is... "this thing has limitless power", anything has limitless power if you the GM decide so. there is no reason that laser are more limitless that sluggers. To make unlimitedly dangerous hand portable laser you need incredibly energy dense batteries, in which case you could just as well make incredibly hand railgun...

At any rate I am not interest in this path (and I doubt it).. will go with the damage as they are in BRP. Where handlaser guns do D8 damage and hand rifle laser do 2D8 (except I will switch damage type from empaling to light, which effeclively reduce their lethality further, light damage being like fire but with forceshield bypass)

Basically I don't like 1 shotting weapons... Explosives and Fireballs give me endless grief there... one one hand I want them, on the other hand.. I dont like them...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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9 hours ago, g33k said:

With enough power, lasers become the snipers' weapon of choice.  No windage, no drag, no overshooting for gravity, no delay between firing and impact...

They just need power enough to generate a kill (i.e. put a hole through the target).

Yeah, lasers would do better for long range combat, but setting-wise, my technologically challenged Imperium of Man knockoff can't develop personal use laser weapons, unlike their Tau expy nemesis who have perfected laser weapons.

7 hours ago, g33k said:

I don't think the heat will matter much.  It isn't in contact with the target long enough to "burn" anything; heat-transfer by physical contact is relatively slow, particularly in regards to hypersonic rounds.

Imagine taking a sword, heating the tip to white-hot, and stabbing someone.  The danger is actually STILL the sharp hard blade, the heat doesn't really aid penetration or damage (if anything, it may be LESS damaging, as it cauterizes when pulled out).  A classic simile is a "hot knife through butter," but that's a slow, studied slice, tabletop cooking & serving speed.  If you just CHOPPED the butter, hard and fast, you would get almost no melt (heat "damage").

The best current anti-armor (anti-tank) rounds are either HEAT or some version of sabot rounds.  Both rely on kinetic impact, not heat (the "HEAT" round (High Explosive Anti Tank) doesn't use "heat" to do damage -- it uses the shaped-charge to force a physical/kinetic penetrator into the tank's armor).

Edit:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-explosive_anti-tank_warhead
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabot_(firearms)  &  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armour-piercing_discarding_sabot

 

Now this I did not know. I will have to take a look at these links, thanks. My only question here is how is this different than an arc welder that can cut through metal with ease?

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Classic Traveller had laser rifles/laser carbines with huge backpacks for their power source and limited shots. They also had (on starships) the meson cannon, where you calculate a beam of subatomic particles to decay just inside the boundary of your enemy's starship, at which point they explode (for a reason I can't remember the pseudoscience). Advantage is that the beams normally ignore matter, so no armour penetration required. The meson cannons didn't work on planets though.

In Dune Frank Herbert didn't want the Guild to have any power from space over Arrakis, so he made the whole lasgun+shield = big BADA BOOM thing (and also made shields not work too well on Dune beyond the Shield Wall because they attract sandworms). It's a literary handwavium thing because he wanted personal combat and human factors to decide victory, not technology. It's not even clear that a Dune lasgun even is a laser; it sounds more like one of the high energy radiation beams mentioned earlier.

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2 hours ago, Old Man Henerson said:

... My only question here is how is this different than an arc welder that can cut through metal with ease?

How well does an arc welder handle two-foot-thick steel armor?  How fast can it penetrate?  Because HEAT & APDS rounds go through instantly (i.e. in a very-tiny fraction of a second).

Also, how well do arc welders deal with ceramic &c (poorly, I think)?  Modern armor is layered, rather than solid metal, and makes heavy use of ceramic plates.

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23 hours ago, g33k said:

With enough power, lasers become the snipers' weapon of choice. 

Possibly. It depends on what else is out there. For instance a smart bullet that can lock onto a target and course correct along the way might be a better choice, if avlaible.

23 hours ago, g33k said:

No windage, no drag, no overshooting for gravity, no delay between firing and impact...

Not really true, but the effects of gravity and delay are probably low enough to be ignored. But with a laser and good optics, it possible to be shooting at a target so far out that drop and delay might need to be accounted for. I mean, with a powerful enough laser and optics, snipers could probably shoot out beyond visual range to where curvature of the Earth becomes a factor. 

23 hours ago, g33k said:

They just need power enough to generate a kill (i.e. put a hole through the target).

And enough collimation to keep the light from diffusing before it reaches the target. Not to mention Line of Sight to the target. Still, a sufficently advanced laser is a great choice for a sniper.

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17 hours ago, seneschal said:

Modern lasers can already do that.

Yes, it's just that currently slug throwers do it better, mostly due to the power requirements, and durability/alignment. Lasers are just becoming practical for use as vehicle weapons, and are still away off from being practical for personal weapons.  

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1 minute ago, Atgxtg said:

Possibly. It depends on what else is out there. For instance a smart bullet that can lock onto a target and course correct along the way might be a better choice, if avlaible.

Well, a Sufficiently Advanced bullet might well have facial recognition & the ability to turn corners & otherwise exceed line-of-sight limitations.

 

Also -- and MUCH more significant, IMHO; though maybe not from a RPG/combat POV -- a projectile can do a lot of other things that a laser cannot.

It can deliver a drug, for example, via tranq-dart (or a medicine!).  It can deliver an infectious agent -- they THINK they survived the drug that made them really sick for several hours, but that drug was just "cover" for an infection (that will become contagious in 48 hours, when they are back with their group/team).

Going with Sufficiently Advanced biotech, it could deliver some sort of "gene therapy" to re-write the DNA of the target.

It can deliver a taser-round to either stun a biological or to burn out electronics.

Etc etc etc...

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Not really true, but the effects of gravity and delay are probably low enough to be ignored.  But with a laser and good optics, it possible to be shooting at a target so far out that drop and delay might need to be accounted for...

In all human/sniper scale engagements, it's close enough.

We don't need to apply correction to the laser, any more than we need Einsteinian physics (rather than Newtonian) for the bullet; even though Newtonian physics is explicitly false (in all circumstances), it's close enough to be usable.  I will note that (although I have not done the math) it's likely that the gravity sufficient to warp the path of light over the course of a shot -- by even as much as a millimeter -- is sufficient to turn the sniper into a thin film of goo... 

HOWEVER, gravity is irrelevant in ALL cases (even intense/Einsteinian gravity):  if you see it, you can shoot it; the laser will follow the same course TO the target, that the image you're aiming at follows FROM the target; light is light, and follows the same path in both directions.

Delay on a laser?  About 1/100 of a second, if the target is about 2000 miles away.  That's 20 times as long as the time from when the sniper decides to "take the shot... NOW," until they actually fire (assuming human reflexes).

 

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

... I mean, with a powerful enough laser and optics, snipers could probably shoot out beyond visual range to where curvature of the Earth becomes a factor ... 

You remember how I keep calling for MOAR P0WAR on the laser, right?

With enough power (and collimation) there is absolutely no reason or limit that would stop a sniper from killing satellites in orbit.  "Low Earth Orbit" is about 1200 miles.  Geosynchronous is about 22000 miles (these will obviously vary on planets with other than 1G of gravity, but it gives us a reasonable 1st estimate).

This probably calls for XRay laser or other supra-optical wavelength -- the physics of diffraction & collimation is a function of wavelength of the light.  I'd need to crunch some numbers, but it's likely the laser would be (at least) the size of the entire satellite, by the time it hit from the surface of a 1G world.  No nice neat hole, alas!  But with MOAR P0WAR, the planet-facing surface could at least be slagged...

 

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17 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

There is a design flaw in this discussion, which is... "this thing has limitless power", anything has limitless power if you the GM decide so. there is no reason that laser are more limitless that sluggers. To make unlimitedly dangerous hand portable laser you need incredibly energy dense batteries, in which case you could just as well make incredibly hand railgun.

All you need is an  unlicensed nuclear accelerator  on your back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag_xdhFUjwc

Or a  Mr.Fusion  unit:

https://www.thegreenhead.com/2014/09/back-to-future-ii-mr-fusion-home-energy-reactor-replica.php

I mean... this problem has already been solved!  😉

 

 

18 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

... Basically I don't like 1 shotting weapons... Explosives and Fireballs give me endless grief there... one one hand I want them, on the other hand.. I dont like them...

From an RPG & at-the-table game-play standpoint, I agree 100%

The problem is... living creatures are f'ing delicate, and mere "modern" weapons (already developed and deployed) are incredibly dangerous.  1-shot kill weapons (in the real world) are plentiful, and varied.

Advanced future-tech is only going to get more so.

I mostly don't play anything near "hard sci-fi" RPGs these days -- though I love the genre -- simply because my suspension-of-disbelief breaks so badly.

 

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You just need an efficient, reliable asteroid delivery system to bring raw minerals to the precise processing site.

Wait!  What do you mean you didn't want them to enter the Earth's atmosphere?  Was that even in the specs?

Oops!  😳

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