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Very Different Places RPG

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Hand weapons: Anything that extend a hand's reach will be used against someone's head eventually. Hand weapons can be socketed for extra sharpness, more impact, and so on.

Sword: A hand weapon with a broad blade, one or two edged, and a point. Many kinds exist (longsword, sabre, cutlass...)
Foil: A very thin sword with no edge and a very sharp point, usually longer than a sword. A few kinds exist (epee, rapier...)
Falchion: A very broad sword with one edge, intended to be used for slashing. A few kinds exist (dao, scimitar...)
Axe: The quintessential peasant's tool can be used for defense and offense.
Polearm: Polearms allow ranked infantry to fight in multiple lines. Surprisingly viable in urban combat. A number exist.
Mace: If everything else fails, blunt instruments remain effective. As many types exist as there are shelves in a hardware store.

Some weapons may grant a defense bonus; some skills may allow using a weapon's power to be used defensively. This is usually the case with melee weapons, but creative use of launchers is encouraged.

Launchers: If one can aim, shooting things at an enemy is often a good way to at least soften them up before coming to blows.

Bow: Bows are quiet, can be nocked quickly, and offer good penetration but require high skill and stamina. Most are drawstring, but some are elastic.
Crossbow: Often operates by pneumatics or springs rather than a bow, but the principle remains the same; "launcher" is generally assumed to mean "pneumatic crossbow" if there is no qualifier.
Pyroarm: Fires a cartridge containing a raw crystal and a payload (usually a ball or an ogival bullet, but grapeshot cartridges exist). Long range, great punch, expensive ammo. Pyroarms have to be a certain size in order to accommodate a crystal cartridge.
Sprayer: Any pneumatic device that sprays a gas or a liquid; a standardized backpack cylinder exists that can emit ignited fuel, liquid (very cold) lifting gas, electrified salt water, or even bagpipe music!
Blaster: This is a socketed launcher that fires a raw crystal as it dissipates, usually with some effect superimposed on it. Requires focus to use, but is easy to aim. Very expensive, and dependent either on a named crystal or a mnemonic good enough to be used in a firefight -- most blasters are handmade, require months of training before they can be fired in anger, and aren't interchangeable. It is said that Invader blasters did not require psi and could be used like pyroarms. Due to lack of recoil and moving parts, it is possible albeit difficult to make a blaster small enough to fit in one hand.

Launchers generally have an ammo magazine, which requires a separate action to be replaced. A single-shot launcher requires "replace" and "reload" actions after every shot, and thus can generally only be used every other turn. Most mortar or rocket launchers are of this type, as do high-accuracy crossbows; most other launchers have a gravity or spring fed system carrying 3 to 30 pellets or darts in them. A "magazine" can simply mean that the launcher has multiple launching mechanisms; for example, most pyroarms are two- or three-barreled.

However they are flavored, mechanically weapons are statted very simply. A weapon may be required to use a skill -- the best fencer can't do much without a sword, for example. Some weapons may grant reach in melee, such as polearms; others may require high Strength to be operated in exchange for a powerful punch:

Unarmed10May be increased by martial art skills
Knife11May be thrown (range 10)
Sword12Type and fighting school may give bonuses to attack rolls
Pike21May be thrown (range 8)
Boomerang121Returns on miss
BB xbow201Most common launcher type
Sprayer52Environmental effect depends on fuel
Rocket304Single use; must attack with all available dice
Motorized weapons: Thermal lances, angle grinders, chainsaws, hand drills and the like can be used in a fight -- in general they are hard to hit with and can lead to serious self-harm on a fumble, but they can tear through armor like paper if they connect. Thermal lances and the like are considered "motorized" even if strictly speaking they have no self-moving parts; they can be powered by crystals, compressed air, small steam engines and so on.
Socketed weapons: Adding a named crystal socket to a weapon is occasionally done to give it extra effective sharpness or oomph. This however gets expensive quickly, as crystal charges must be used. If a mnemonic is used, this cuts down on cost and complexity but the user needs to train with the weapon to recall the mnemonic in combat. Blasters always have sockets.


Whip Wire: Single use. Can be left to drag behind your rig's tail and used to entangle an enemy's propeller or rip their wings. Decreases max speed and maneuverability when deployed. Particularly daring pilots put them on their wingtips. Usually rigs that use whip wires can deploy a few of them after one has been expended.

Slat foils: Partially retractable blades that cover the outer leading edge of a wing, generally extending past it. Surprisingly effective if the attacker can disengage. There's a small fuel penalty for their use, so ordinarily the foils remain slatted in the wings and it's only right before an engagement that rig pilots lock S-foils in attack position. Given that slat foils are a slashing rather than a piercing weapon, purists insist that they should be called slat scimitars.

Mine: Any weight (the warhead is optional) that deploys a chute right after being released. The chute has steel wire in it, and will entangle or at least blind any pursuing rig it hits.

Bomb: Anything that is dropped with the intention of hitting the ground, rather than shot or released in a dive; small bombs are occasionally used against ships. After the Big War, carpet bombing is universally considered an atrocity; during successful pirate raids it's not uncommon for the flight's bomber to drop one or two bombs to show that they are available, and loiter while the rest of the raiders get the loot.

Bolter: A simple pyroarm, somewhat larger than a handheld weapon. It can fire various cartridges consisting of a crystal and a payload.

Bolt: A normal projectile. Could be just a piece of rebar, or have stabilizing fins.
Grapeshot: This cartridges fires a large amount of small pellets. Only useful at close range and doesn't do much damage, but it's hard to miss with it.
Flak: This cartridge explodes into fragments after a set time. A middle ground between bolt and grapeshot.
Sabot: A thin bolt in a paper or wooden sabot. Does not do much damage, but negates most armor.
Rocket: Often powered by solid fuel, more rarely by crystal. Long range and can set things on fire, but cannot be aimed accurately unless psi is involved.

Socketed Bolter: Launchers with sockets allow the shooter to use a mnemonic to give the projectiles various properties (heat, cold, shockwave, etc). Talented psi users can make their bolts home on a target to some degree.

Ballista: A largely or purely kinetic launcher. Heavier than the bolter, but uses no crystals and therefore ignores psi-inhibiting techniques. Slow to reload, even if it's motorized, so it requires a dedicated gunner. It fires larger versions of bolter rounds.

Torpedo Tube: These generally cannot be reloaded except on ships or dedicated big rigs; engine exhaust is generally used to kickstart the torpedo, which results in lower speed and maneuverability during launch. A torpedo is a large tubular shape with a rounded front and usually foldable dihedral wings for stability.

Shredder: A dedicated shipkiller, most of the tube carries propellant and the wings have armored, bladed roots for destroying envelopes.
Starburst: This torpedo breaks apart into fasces of smaller rockets. A good way to disrupt a formation, although it does not do much damage to a single target.
Boarding: Actually a very small two-person glider with deployable wings. Only for the foolhardy. Generally filled with impact foam.
Boomer: Essentially a bomb with a fuselage.

Ak-ak: A steam- or pneumatic- powered repeating launcher that usually fires balls or simple bolts. This is one of the few weapon systems that can achieve a sustained rate of fire; normally only ever seen on ships, although dedicated big rigs carrying one or two of these exist. Dedicated ak-ak coaches also exists, but can generally only shoot on one broadside and are used only for ground attack.

Cannon: A very large launcher that usually fires explosive or flak rounds. Only mounted on ships due to requiring a stable platform for aiming, and occasionally used in ship to ship combat when rigs cannot be launched due to weather condition. A cannon normally takes a long time to aim since a miss is as good as a mile, and a fair time to reload. Rigs caught by a cannon shell are generally destroyed immediately.

Sunbeam: A complicated optical device that uses an array of mirrors and a crystal matrix to focus the sun's energy on a target. It is extremely large, does not have particularly long range, it will only operate in clear skies during the day, and it requires an expert mathematician to focus the crystals - due to focusing issues, a sunbeam can only realistically be used on a land installation or on a heighliner (Archiella is said to have two functional sunbeams, but hasn't fired them simultneously in recent memory; the Unity has one, and fires it once a year on the summer solstice or thereabouts weather permitting; Harmattanites claim their heighliner has an Invader-tech sunbeam, but nobody's seen it fire). However, it will almost never miss and heat anything to slag in seconds. It is said that Invader sunbeams generated their own energy and could operate regardless of weather. Sunbeams have no reload time, but most have to periodically stop focusing to prevent overheating.

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Page last modified on April 09, 2015, at 04:40 PM