This is rather old post that I forgot about. Nevertheless, it was mildly interesting so I thought I'd post it anyway.
Having mulled over the weapons for a couple of days, I decide to try a couple of tweaks. One is adding a couple of extra class types, allowing for a bigger range of sci-fi weaponry (and general weaponry) like fire, as well as arranging things so that being a game-mechanical Gas is emergent (Mask + Blast) and adding a Stealthy property as I mentioned originally. I'm also considering Dan's suggestion that Strength could be applied with a single save, rather than one save per point; this would mean Strength is less often strictly better than Pen, particularly when dealing with low-Wound creatures. However, I'm still not sure about that, since it ought to also be possible to restrict that imbalance by speccing up weapons so that it isn't really an issue - if only unwieldy Heavy weapons have higher Strength, while more convenient classes offer Penetration instead, that might be enough of a distinction.
I produce a beautiful spreadsheet so large that Excel cannot filter it without crashing, despite stripping out all my lovely intuition-guiding conditional formatting. With much effort, I delete an unnecessary weapon class (31104 rows!) and leave it at 28832 theoretically possible combinations. I strip out weapons targeting Ward defence, on the grounds that I don't even know whether I'm using that, let alone can I think of a weapon that would do so (the idea is basically anti-magic warding, but I'm not sure I want that kind of magic system). 186625 values. We're still on sorting only to remove values...
Remove explosive close-combat weapons (but not grappling ones, as this could cover auras or personal protective devices). 171072. Remove weapons that target Mask other than Chemical and Toxin. Remove Shock, Fire, Cold and Force weapons that target Visor. 106921 weapons left! Should I remove Photon weapons that target Armour..? But isn't that just, y'know, lasers?
At this point I decide there's no point including the most extreme costs. While it's certainly possible to imagine weapons that are just superlatively good (and I might want those for special circumstances, such as hardpoint-mounted defences or terrifying war robots) they're not relevant to the current exercise. I'll cut out everything with a cost modifier of more than +/-3.
The most useless weapons in existence include:
- A toxic two-handed grappling weapon that slightly impairs the opponent's senses. (cost -9) Found largely on Vultros Major, this is a ritual duelling weapon: an entire sacred sknar, generally known as the giant dream fungus, a metre-wide toadstool that secretes hallucinogenic slime. It must be handled carefully to avoid poisoning the wielder.
- A heavy cold grappling slowing weapon (cost -8).
- A heavy thrown toxic blinding weapon (-8).
The most terrifying weapon in existence is (one of a dozen or so very similar weapons):
- A compact silent weapon that fires phials of compressed chemical that erupt into lethal clouds on impact, seeping into the vulnerable eye membrane to render victims helpless in moments. Unsurprisingly it is utterly illegal. This Strength 3 one-handed Medium-ranged Chemical Blast Stealth weapon targets Visor with Pen 16, leaving it at cost 11.
This leaves only, um, 60777 weapons, of which 8883 are zero cost. Ouch.