Converting Plasma Gun into Dedicated Nanoswarm Killer?

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Peregrine Peregrine's picture
Converting Plasma Gun into Dedicated Nanoswarm Killer?

I have gotten my hands on a plasma gun. And have recently discovered the "joys" of nanoswarms attacking us.

Now I'm interested in taking the big flipping plasma gun, and making it more effective against nanoswarms.

Right now, the idea I've got is to step down the size of the bolt/blast/charge to much smaller, in order to make the heat less of an issue. The weapon will still do plenty of damage to nanomachines, since they're so small, but it'll be something you can spread out, and keep up a steady output of damage, rather than shooting twice every three actions.

My current idea is to step it down to assault rifle damage, with 0 AP, because each individual plasma burst is relatively tiny, but giving it the various fire modes, and doing full damage to nanoswarms. Rather than the normal 1d10 damage, it does 2d10 or whatever because it's making the cloud swiss cheesed with lots of holes all over the place, rather than one big hole through the center. The 0 AP and lack of different ammo (no AP, for example) would make it much less effective against more solid targets. Maybe even make it spend a round cooling off if it's used in full auto, to show that it's still not a perfect nanomachine killing plasma hose.

Other possibilities included some sort of shotgun blast, of wide area, less dense energy, but in terms of in game skills, that requires more than I'm really comfortable attempting, whereas you could get most of the way to the previous option with tweaking settings.

I ask you for other options to share with the GM, if there's other ways to do this, or something similar.

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Converting Plasma Gun into Dedicated Nanoswarm Killer?

I don't know much about weapons design, but I assume the ideal design would be something like a flamethrower that allows you to completely fill a volume with hot plasma. The trick is likely to ensure that every surface nook and cranny also get thoroughly sterilized.

Nanomachines are unlikely to survive any temperature above ~2000 K since any material melts, but in practice they break at far lower temperatures - diamond burns at 800 C, and the wild thermal motions of atoms will no doubt mess up mobile nanomachines before that.

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Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Re: Converting Plasma Gun into Dedicated Nanoswarm Killer?

I think a EMP grenade would be better against nanomachines, or your own nanoswarms. An acid gas could be another useful idea to melt at least most of the moving parts. Personally, I don't like the energy weapons of the setting, the look to me as heavy weaponry, and my players are more prone to retreat when faced by heavy opposition than to engange, and kinetic weapons are much easy to acquire, mantain and keep anonymous.

I think what you want is to turn the plasma weapon into a sort of plasma machinegun, to kill lots and lots of nanomachines. While it looks heroic, it's less effective than the flamethrowing idea previously presented by arenamontanus, since you won't be able to kill all the nanobuggers ever... while with the flamethrower design you might have a chance of doing so..

In essence, what you need to do to transform the plasma thrower is Hardware: Armorer (COG), maybe supported by Knowledge: Physics or Knowledge: Beam weapons (or even better, Knowledge: Plasma), and then turn the weapon into a spray weapon that rolls with the Beam Weapons skill.

CONS: Low ammo (10 shots... unlikely to be increased by turning into a flamethrower), high PEN and damage for a weapon devoted to nanoswarm-killing (overkill!), two-hands weapon, heavy weight, exceedingly prone to friendly fire situations as an area weapon.
PROS: the cooling problems only occur in vacuum (derived from the absence of movement, thus the heat remains around the weapon much more time than in an atmospheric enviroment).

My advice would be to ADD a flamethrowing mode to the weapon, so you can use it as the vanilla mode, and swith as a free action to flamethrowing mode (using then the Spray Weapons skill, to maximize damage and avoid hitting friends), using a whole charge to produce a really big ball of plasma.

By the way, keep in mind that TITAN-level nanomachines are much more advanced and less limited than the ones avaiable to players (for startes, TITAN nanoswarms can self-replicate, while the transhuman ones are designed not to self-replicate), so in theory anything the GM wants, they can resist.

kindalas kindalas's picture
Re: Converting Plasma Gun into Dedicated Nanoswarm Killer?

Speaking as a GM here, considering the ridiculous damage output of the plasma Rifle I'd probably disallow any modifications to the weapon what I would allow is the trading of the Plasma Rifle for pretty much any other weapon as it is one of the few Expensive weapons in the game.

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Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Re: Converting Plasma Gun into Dedicated Nanoswarm Killer?

kindalas wrote:
Speaking as a GM here, considering the ridiculous damage output of the plasma Rifle I'd probably disallow any modifications to the weapon what I would allow is the trading of the Plasma Rifle for pretty much any other weapon as it is one of the few Expensive weapons in the game.

Well, I would just have a spray gun (independent or attached to the plasma rifle) or a guardian nanoswarm myself, but he asked XD