Friday, 13 September 2013

Monitors: armoury

In a adventure-romp game of secret agents and special forces, weapons are going to be important. Let's see what sort of things a Monitor might be dealing with. I'm picturing this as several broad groups with different types of effect. PCs can trade off between power and convenience, as well as between weapons effective against different targets. While extensive armoury lists are a common RPG thing, I may actually end up using few weapons than I've outlined below; to some extent I think a few well-distinguished weapons that people can use to define a character may be a better fit than a long list that turns into number-crunching or constant re-equipping.

Photon weapons

These weapons produce a brief, intense burst of light across a range of wavelengths, allowing them to dazzle a wide range of species, regardless of their visual organs. They are near-silent, and their safety makes them a favourite for policing.

  • Flare pistol. Effectively a supercharged torch, the flare pistol sends a sharp pulse of light at a single target. In an emergency, it can be used to fight up surroundings, overload sensors or signal for help.
  • Magnesium bomb. A grenade which releases a brilliant burst of light when triggered, dazzling onlookers.
  • Photon cannon. A heavy photon weapon used in shock raids and to subdue wild beasts. It functions like a hypercharged spotlight, flooding the target area with a tight beam of brilliant light, with minimal overspill.

Force weapons

These weapons induce sympathetic kinetic impact in the target, acting like a physical blow. They range in effectiveness from light slap to sledgehammer, and auto-calibrate to the target's composition to avoid unwanted lawsuits.

  • Blaster. A small handgun that can send an opponent reeling.
  • Blast rifle. The mainstay of many a security force, this convenient and reliable weapon has a kick like a carthorse.
  • Blast cannon. A heavy and powerful weapon that can send targets flying and buckle armour plating.

Shock weapons

These weapons produce a pulse of electricity, scrambling circuits or nervous systems and leaving targets slow and clumsy. More painful than photon weapons, their use is more heavily restricted, but they are particularly favoured for anti-robot use.

  • Stunner. A lightweight melĂ©e weapon that zaps the target with a disabling pulse.
  • Shock rifle. The gold standard in robot fighting, portable and devastating.
  • EMP grenade. An disrupting weapon used to disable vehicles and computers, but equally useful against robots and tech-dependent organics.
  • Suppression cannon. A heavy weapon used to quell riots, subdue packs of vermin and bring down large creatures that shrug off lighter weaponry.

Knockout weapons

These weapons use a mix of tranquilisers to subdue targets, rendering them slow and clumsy, and eventually unconscious. They are effective against most carbon-based lifeforms.

  • Mister. Easily concealed in a pocket or fist, this is a favourite of both safety-conscious civilians and career criminals.
  • Needler. This light weapon fires a minute hypodermic loaded with sedatives. Monitors and other specialists carry a range of ammunition types for unusual targets.
  • Knockout grenade. Developed from crude gas grenades, this intelligent weapon directs a stream of nebulised sedative towards nearby targets.

Physical weapons

These weapons use direct physical force. They are mostly used as backup or in extremis.

Weapon effects

Some possible special rules:

  • Unwieldy weapons suffer a penalty at close range and may be inconvenient at other times (more difficult to ready, harder to do other things while holding)
  • Force weapons have reduced effect against oozes, rubbery creatures and so on, which can absorb and disperse the kinetic energy without harm.
  • Shock weapons are more effective against robots and certain creatures. They create a blast if the target is in water, but if fired underwater, instead create a blast centered on the user.
  • Gas weapons are ineffective against non-breathing targets.
  • Disposable weapons are single-use.
  • Chemical weapons rely on metabolism, and are ineffective against robots and certain creatures.

Most likely creatures can have associated keywords, and these determine vulnerability or resistance to weapons. I don't think it's necessary to go full-blown D&D Types on it.

Resistance to soft attacks (blind and slow) could work in one (or both) of two ways. The first is to simply decrease the die size, thus increasing the odds of the target recovering. The second is to allow a reroll. I'd need to run the maths on these to determine which is nicest.

Vulnerability to soft attacks has slightly different options. The first is to decrease the die size, thus reducing the odds of the target recovering. Unlike resistance, I really don't think rerolls are a good idea: this would leave a 1d10 blind as a 1/100 chance to recover, adding an extremely swingy factor to such creatures, which I'm not keen on. So my second option would be a simple one-time penalty, with the first success on the recovery roll being ignored. Again, maths is needed.

Next time on Monitors - more fun with maths, as we take a look at wounding probabilities and the hit/wound interaction!

No comments:

Post a Comment