Problem making a sniper for micro grav. Help?

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Grim G Grim G's picture
Problem making a sniper for micro grav. Help?

I'm making a character for a friend who doesn't have the time. Based on what they told me, they want to be a sniper with drone support and a neotenic as a morph. The setting is micro gravity, so certain gear is needed to brace the rifle. And this is where problems are coming up for me as I don't know which gear items can allow one to stay prone in an environment with no concept of "up".

A prehensile tail was one idea, but wouldn't more anchor points be needed to lay flat without drifting?

Magnetic shoes were an idea as well, but the pads are on the bottom, only allowing you to stand and nothing else.

I was also thinking prehensile feet, but the position of them made me picture a "hinge" motion with drifting.

Obviously you could put grip pads on arms and knees to act as an anchor point to aid the three above, but a sniper rifle, neotenic, and one of the above augments are 6MP already. This isn't including ammunition either.

If all else fails, I could just say the bipod is magnetic, but I'd like to know how y'all think I should adjudicate this.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
You will have to execute the

You will have to execute the right to homebrew and ask for 1e magnetic system on elbows or chest armor/clothing.

If you are not the GM and you have to negotiate, I recommend starting with "laying prone and bracing is useful for snipers in earth gravity because they then don't have to bear the weight of the weapon, so obviously in microgravity they should recieve prone bonuses to aim constantly and with coldgas RCS thrusters in a vacsuit the shot shouldn't make them spin out of control"

And then deescalating to proposition 1.
;-)

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Grim G Grim G's picture
CordialUltimate2 wrote:You

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
You will have to execute the right to homebrew and ask for 1e magnetic system on elbows or chest armor/clothing.

If you are not the GM and you have to negotiate, I recommend starting with "laying prone and bracing is useful for snipers in earth gravity because they then don't have to bear the weight of the weapon, so obviously in microgravity they should recieve prone bonuses to aim constantly and with coldgas RCS thrusters in a vacsuit the shot shouldn't make them spin out of control"

And then deescalating to proposition 1.
;-)


I am the GM. I don't think that's how it would work in micrograv though. Bipods are about stopping slight hand motions. Thanks anyway.
arokha arokha's picture
Newton and You

A tail could work, depending on the arrangement.

Tailed onto something to your left or right is the least likely to work as you'll be inclined to orbit it when you fire, but if your tail is strong and the object isn't just a round pole, it's possible even then to just grip it hard enough that you force yourself to stay in place. Just imagine holding a cardboard tube and a friend trying to rotate it in your grip vs that tube having more edges like a rectangular prism and them trying the same thing. More digging in, pain, but... in the end probably easier to prevent it from turning. I dunno about biomorph tails being that strong though.

It's easier to imagine laying down, tailed to something behind you and just using it like a spring to absorb recoil (or the same while floating). If the tail is long enough, tailed to something infront of you at center-of-mass-height would be enough to stop you from flying backwards assuming the tail is again strong enough.

Neotenics are small though, and I'm imagining a small organic tail on a neotenic... maybe if it's a synth tail actually affixed to his skeletal structure like, directly attached to pelvis.

Androminous Androminous's picture
Why complicate things?

No real world or scifi rpg gear list or system can take every combination of equipment and scenarios into account. You have to use the gear list as a list of guiding examples.

First, the «Fixed» trait says that the weapon is designed to be fired from a prone or braced position. Then I assume it includes what needed to do that in any common environment in the setting. Thus the bipod would include both velcro and magnetic feet and knee/shin covers of the same kind.

If a player wants to buy velcro or magnetic knee cover, gloves or whatever separately, just assume the same complexity as the magnetic shoe.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Grip Tape

Actually, you might not even need homebrew, just copious amounts of grip tape at the same places you've been thinking of using magnets.

A slight smell of ions....

PhishStyx PhishStyx's picture
It occurs to me...

That a rail gun sniper rifle would have completely different characteristics than a regular rifle, & likely would not need the same bracing because it doesn't "kick" the same way.

AllTooHuman AllTooHuman's picture
I was thinking the same way

PhishStyx wrote:
That a rail gun sniper rifle would have completely different characteristics than a regular rifle, & likely would not need the same bracing because it doesn't "kick" the same way.

I thought the same thing, but then started looking into the subject for the last few days and discovered I was wrong. It turns out that the law of conservation of momentum still applies; the force generated in expelling the round will be met by a similar force acting on the weapon. Turns out that a rail gun will kick about the same as a conventional rifle, given that the same size (mass) round is projected at the same speed. There was one argument which suggested that a secondary recoil effect from the chemical propellant of a conventional round wouldn't be present in a rail gun, but if you watch a navy rail gun being fired you see that rail guns create their own secondary recoil effect from the round compressing gasses. Also worth mentioning is that real world rail guns use a compressed plasma as the medium which propels a round; the plasma makes the electric connection to the rails and is then what is pushed forward moving the projectile forward as the plasma is expelled behind it.

Coil guns also suffer the same issue, law of conservation of momentum just can't be gotten around. There are ways to mechanically lessen the effects of recoil, generally by having some component of the weapon move independently of others, but I'm not sure how effective they would be in a microgravity situation.

Probably best to go with something like grip pads or magnetics or a combination of devices. I suppose if you linked omnidirectional thrusters into your suit, and linked them to the firing mechanism of the rifle and programmed the thrusters to compensate for the recoil, that could work as well. If that computing was done in the morph, then it could be reactionary and require less physical linkage between thrusters and weapons (morph knows the trigger is being pulled, anticipates and feels the effects of recoil, reflexively applies compensation from thrusters).

Or, maybe we are all overthinking this, I'm pretty sure I am. :)

ICU2 ICU2's picture
If you don't mind using a

If you don't mind using a micro-missile rather than a bullet, something that does a soft launch with a bit of compressed gas before igniting its rocket should have minimal recoil.

AllTooHuman AllTooHuman's picture
Thrusters, revisited

I overthought this some more and realized that the basic issue is to increase the coefficient of static friction between the sniper and the surface on which he is bracing. Grip pads and magnets help, but only sometimes. Magnets won't help on a nonferrous surface, including aluminum, titanium, tungsten, or several other metals likely to be used in various surfaces. Grip pads would only really work well on clean and dry surfaces. Grip pads which emulated a geko foot pad (using van der Waals forces) would work on many surfaces, but not on ones covered in thick dust or debris.

The best all purpose solution would then be the thrusters, but not as I described their use above. Instead, the thrusters should provide force normal to the plane upon which the sniper is braced. By pushing the sniper into the surface, the coefficient of static friction is then maximized, regardless of the surface he is on. Keep in mind that low friction surfaces such as highly polished ice or surfaces coated in low viscosity oil will still be problematic. Also note that the thrusters should be able to provide approximately 1g of force (enough to hover in a 1g environment) and should probably be attached to a rigid body suit to avoid concentrating the thrust on various parts of the sniper's body (a jetpack over a flexible layer of clothing would likely cause back problems over time, for instance). Also note; the jets, in a microgravity environment, would also allow the sniper to move to and brace against any surface including walls and ceiling.

Anyway, that's how I'd approach it.

Edit: If all else fails, use the default techno cheats common to EP, such as psychic powers or nanotechnology. You can bypass the laws of physics with those solutions easily enough.

New gear: nano-grippers - this nano hive generates nanobots which grip any surface using a combination of forces including van der Waals, or just filling in microfractures and surface imperfections, they can displace oils and debris and chain together to form semi-crystaline connections between the user and the surface to which they are directed to adhere. This grants the character perfect connection to any surface in any condition. Cost: Moderate.

New psi slight: spirit of the gecko - makes the magic man stick to crap.

ICU2 ICU2's picture
If you have a gas-jet system

If you have a gas-jet system (ware or gear), it could probably be set to synchronize with whatever you're firing to compensate for recoil. Combine that with some training in Free Fall, and I don't think anything more exotic should really be necessary.

Franwax Franwax's picture
Recoilless firearms?

Hi there. Maybe I am reading too much into this but the description of firearms on page 210 mentions from the get go that EP kinetic weapons are “effectively recoilless (thanks to rheological smart fluids mechanisms)”... so maybe no need to look too far for a solution?

AllTooHuman AllTooHuman's picture
Franwax wrote:Hi there. Maybe

Franwax wrote:
Hi there. Maybe I am reading too much into this but the description of firearms on page 210 mentions from the get go that EP kinetic weapons are “effectively recoilless (thanks to rheological smart fluids mechanisms)”... so maybe no need to look too far for a solution?

That's just as valid of a solution as nanotechnology or psi powers.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
You are right. That would

You are right. That would break Newton's laws. So maybe it means that the guns are not recoilless, but their recoil is constant, instead of pulsed. The fluids are smoothing out the recoil. In railguns maybe some counter weight movement helps with that. Of course it assumes pretty rapid fire or heavy weapons.

With proper grip design you could also counter upswing.

Edit:

Or go all the way. Put the gyros in the weapon, supplement them with RCS thrusters x-)

Add AI to it and it will basically shoot and aim itself.

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