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Some questions for Jason (if you have time).


Nightshade

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I'm thinking perhaps a better way to go would be to give them some kind of unusual special result; that way the basic damage isn't godawful, but they're ugly with a solid hit. Zap and you're gone still might be excessive, though, but perhaps something more severe than your usual impale or the like.

Don't call it a Special or an Impale. Call it a "Red Shirt" and hopefully your players will have a sense of humor. :D Now that's a proper phaser...I mean "disintegrator"...

Roll D100 and let the percentiles sort them out.

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Did you happen to miss I had a couple more questions about shields and missile weapons in my response?

I didn't miss the questions - I've just been swamped at work and haven't had time at home to address them.

I'm also babysitting solo for my 18-month-old daughter today through Sunday (wife out of town to see a friend), so my time online will be extremely limited.

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I didn't miss the questions - I've just been swamped at work and haven't had time at home to address them.

I'm also babysitting solo for my 18-month-old daughter today through Sunday (wife out of town to see a friend), so my time online will be extremely limited.

Sorry, didn't mean to nudge; take your time. I just thought it might have got lost in the mass of "okay, I see that" and "Ah". :)

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Probably the most perfect example of a Disintegrator is the Star Trek phaser; Basically one shot and your dead!..BTW, Does anyone remember someone ever surviving againt one? (except ofcourse on the stun setting).

Edited by mrk
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Probably the most perfect example of a Disintegrator is the Star Trek phaser; Basically one shot and your dead!..BTW, Does anyone remember someone ever surviving againt one? (except ofcourse on the stun setting).

Species 8472 from Voyager were almost immune to phaser fire, even when set on disintegrate.

Used to work on Star Trek Online... so I had to know that.

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Probably the most perfect example of a Disintegrator is the Star Trek phaser; Basically one shot and your dead!..BTW, Does anyone remember someone ever surviving againt one? (except ofcourse on the stun setting).

There were occasions, usually when something had a force field or was otherwise paranormal. Of course, its wise not to forget that the original phasers had about five settings; two stun settings, a heat setting, a disrupt setting (which was supposedly the canonical weapon setting because it'd still kill things pretty dead without being the energy hog that dematerialize would) and dematerialize.

But really, I'm not suggesting that the disintegrators be ST phasers; as I said, that's probably not a good weapon design for an RPG that's going to have any combat at all, because you can't make sure only redshirts are going to be targeted by it. But if you're going to have something called a disintegrator, it ought to be a bit more dangerous than most of the other energy weapons, at least some of the time.

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That's easy. In "Undiscovered Country," the Klingon Chancellor is shot by Federation phasers and NOT disintegrated. Remember those drops of Klingon blood floating in the ether? That's not just an isolated case. Like this one. I remember hearing offhand remarks about "phaser burns" (Google it up) from my mis-spent youth, so it is surviveable. I think the writers of Trek were about as consistent as anybody and even then, they had to allow instances of people surviving getting shot by a phaser, but if they wanted something spectacular, they could do it when they liked. Evidently, though they only refer to "Stun" and "Kill," but in observation the effects include "stun", "heat", and "dematerialize." Confusing. I think the ST RPG addressed it better, but I never played it. Nightshade is right, if you're going to call it "disintegrator," you may as well not nerf it. There is a possible solution below:

In Frank Herbert's Dune Universe, personal shields had the interesting effect of creating a particularly nasty side effect if shot with a "lasgun." KABOOM in a huge, ugly way!!! This helped to enforce the almost-medieval feel of the tech and the weaponry and ended the use of such weapons because of the generally undesirable side effect of killing everyone in the vicinity.

In the "Firefly" universe beam weapons were outlawed.

In "Star Wars" people were generally lousy shots. (I never much understood why Stormtroopers wore armor since it never helped.)

Etcetera.

Edited by FunGuyFromYuggoth

Roll D100 and let the percentiles sort them out.

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My take on weapon damage is that weapons are designed to do as much damage as is needed to take out the opponent.

You want to take out a human? You need a modern firearm or an ancient-style melee weapon. You want to take out a tank? You need an RPG or something similar.

Things like phasers and other energy weapons have a certain charge/battery storage and more powerful blasts take more energy, so you restrict yourself to the sort of charge necessary to disable/kill the opponent.

I usually make the assumption that a more powerful weapon is more difficult to make because it has to be better engineered, stronger, have a better quality lens, needs to be able to release a larger burst of energy or whetever. So, you buy weapons according to what you are going to fight.

Look at the Starship Troopers film - the marines had very powerful weapons because their enemies were very strong. Limbs came off left, right and centre because of it.

There's no point using a Thermonuclear Hand-Grenade (THG) in every combat, but against a Planet-Killer you could use one.

Similarly, you could go around carrying a massive Ship to Ship weapon on a harness to blow anyone to bits, but it would be cumbersome, expensive and incredibly difficult to recharge.

These would be setting specific, of course. Something set in an Asimovian universe would have needle-guns and blasters. Star Trek has Phasers, Disrupters and so on. Star Wars has Blasters for most people and Light-Sabres for Jedi.

In most cases, a standard pistol would be as good as a blaster, but pistols are very dangerous in space as they tend to punch holes in spaceships. Once again, Klingons use melee weapons as well as energy weapons because it is a cultural preference and energy weapons are not much cop in close combat.

I would expect soldiers to be equipped differently to itinerant adventurers simply because the opponents and battefield conditions will be different.

I'm not a fan of Disintegrators as they are not particularly good from a story point of view, nor are they particularly realistic. I can rationlise a Blaster - it fires a chunk of enrgy that hits you and burns away part of your body. What does a Disintegrator do? Is it a Field-Weapon that interacts with the field around a body and destroys anything within that field? How does it do it? Does it disrupt the chemical bonds? If so, why doesn't it disintegrate part of a body or something the body is touching?

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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I'm not a fan of Disintegrators as they are not particularly good from a story point of view, nor are they particularly realistic. I can rationlise a Blaster - it fires a chunk of enrgy that hits you and burns away part of your body. What does a Disintegrator do? Is it a Field-Weapon that interacts with the field around a body and destroys anything within that field? How does it do it? Does it disrupt the chemical bonds? If so, why doesn't it disintegrate part of a body or something the body is touching?

I'm not sure _any_ energy weapon is particularly realistic. Breaking down atomic bonds remotely doesn't seem all that much less realistic than putting enough power in something your hand that can fire a coherent fusion beam or whatever a blaster is doing powerful enough to blow holes in people. Its just clearly more advanced tech, and honestly, I don't expect to know how advanced tech does things, because if I did, it wouldn't be that advanced.

Now the story based objections I think have some real merit, as I've indicated in my comments about Star Trek phasers on dematerialize.

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