Seeker Kinetic Kill Missile

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Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
Seeker Kinetic Kill Missile

How would people here do rules for a purely kinetic seeker missile? No warhead other than metal and speed.

My first instinct would be to start with rail-sniper stats and improve from there, but I'm not sure how well that would work.

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

Chrontius Chrontius's picture
A buddy of mine is published

A buddy of mine is published in a (third-tier, Chinese) journal of wound ballistics, so I'll try to add some science to this.

You need two things to do damage with a bullet - energy and momentum.

With lots of energy and no momentum, you do messy, ugly shallow damage that splats on armor.
With lots of momentum and no energy, you push someone over.

I posit that seekers would tend to be large projectiles, maybe not even supersonic. This would tend to make them quiet - or at least suppressable - and have unexpectedly good armor penetration with so-so damage.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Stats wise, using a kinetic

Stats wise, using a kinetic penetrator with the seeker gyrojets would be like using a HEAP round, but without any blast radius at all. The effect is similar, but it's just the initial kinetic energy of launching a seeker, and no added boost of using an explosive to turn the projectile into a jet of molten copper or whatever (which is usually how HEAT/HEAP rounds work in the modern day). Reduce the AP by a couple points, step down the DV bonus significantly (Maybe something like -6 AP 3d10+6 DV). You're not going to beat a HEAP round for penetration and damage, but a kinetic penetrator is going to not explode when you shoot it at something, might might make it ideal for LE or CQB where you don't want to throw around boiling hunks of metal in the immediate vicinity to your target. It probably should not match the Railgun Sniper, because that's using some pretty intense magnetic forces to hurl a very small object very fast. The Seeker weapons are hurling a small object at a fast speed using gyrojet technology. As far as I know, you would not be generating the same amount of force. On the same token, this means that seeker slugs would be less likely to over penetrate a really hardened target completely and punch through something important, like the hull.

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puke puke's picture
scram...

I'm a little rusty, but are these things not described as little air-breathing SCRAM jets? They may rely on the gyroc in vacuum, but in atmosphere I think they'd be hypersonic and anything but quiet.

Probably still worse penetration than HEAP, or worse even than solid armor penetrators from a rifle. But it probably has enough mass and momentum to cleave off unarmored limbs.

Chrontius Chrontius's picture
"Quiet" is relative!

Actually, I'd strongly disagree with "worse penetration than HEAP" - you can replace the explosive fill with a tungsten or duranium long-rod penetrator, or increase the fuel load and burn rate to get velocity.

As for SCRAM jets, the original gyrojets were described as being as loud as opening a can of Coke. Giving them a low-powered kickstart from a gas gun or chemical propellant, we can be certain that you want them to leave the barrel below the speed of sound if you like your collarbones and want to keep them in one piece. The lack of a sonic crack in the proximity of the user helps reduce the signature - or at least, makes it harder to track with computer-aided antisniper systems. And while I describe them as "probably quiet", this is in stark contrast to a good old-fashioned shotgun, which is loud enough to render you instantly deaf if used even once in the sort of confined environments ubiquitous in space habitats. Hell, one round of .223 on an outdoor rifle range will damage you permanently. Less of a problem in the age of healing vats, but "crippled until extraction" can be achieved by making them pull the trigger, and hitting the party with an EMP grenade. They will then spend the next several hours scrounging for ectos, or won't be able to communicate effectively beyond arm's length.

A big rifle - a .375 - can clock in at up to 170 dB. Getting it below 140 dB means prompt, permanent hearing damage is no longer a certainty, but still a risk. Getting it below 100 dB means that you don't need hearing protection in a firefight. Sustained exposure will still do you harm, but if you have unprepared, unexpected sustained exposure to machine gun fire, something has already gone terribly wrong. Simply delaying the ignition of the SCRAM stage by a meter or two should take advantage of that best of shielding, the square-cube law.

With a suppressor, you should be able to get it down to about as loud as city traffic. This is just below the point where permanent damage is possible, loud enough to hear clearly, but quiet enough to not interfere with communication or to make it easy for gunshot detection systems to immediately triangulate your location.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Well, true, we have some

Well, true, we have some lovely penetrators. I was thinking more a long the lines of just slapping a metal block on the end of the scramjet. This would have less force than the added energy of the HE part of HEAP. Of course, there are a couple of concerns here. First, while the books describe how Seekers work (magnetic coils for the initial kick and then scramjets for distance) it doesn't really indicate how this configuration functions. So we can't necessarily say you can just give it a bigger fuel load. The other is that penetration, being an abstraction, is a tiny bit bullshit. The Monofilament Sword has AP -4. The Monowire Garrote has -10. Presumably, these weapons are based on the same technology (monomolecular edges). Now, obviously, some of this is related to differences in size an applicability, and also accounts for the ability of the wielder to exert force on them, but since AP doesn't go up even for transhumans who can hit like small cars (your static damage goes up via DB instead), just going "more pen!" might not be the best answer.

If you wanted to model a really good kinetic penetrator, I'd probably say you should go ahead and just make an APFSDS round and have the micromissile just be a shell around the penetrating rod it sheds at a certain speed and hurls forward like a dart. Say this is like using AP ammo. Technically, by the mechanics, HEAP should probably still be a little better because for kinetic ammo it's similar to the RAP round, but that's comparing abstractions, so anyway. Increase the AP by -5 to -13, but reduce DV by 2, so that's 3d10+10 for a minimissile. You can further massage this because it's a kinetic object now, so you could probably apply either the Biter or Flayer Smart Ammo types. Obviously, this removes early notations about lacking in overpenetration. Something like this is going to blow holes clean through your target, probably whatever is behind him and keep going until it finds something dense or hard enough to really bleed momentum out of. Or maybe not because to need that kind of penetration at that size, you'd have to be fighting Reapers, Fenrirs or Main Battle Tanks.

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ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
good write up chron

good write up chron

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
Chrontius wrote:Actually, I'd

Chrontius wrote:
Actually, I'd strongly disagree with "worse penetration than HEAP" - you can replace the explosive fill with a tungsten or duranium long-rod penetrator, or increase the fuel load and burn rate to get velocity.

This is what I was thinking of in the OP.

Stat-wise, I was thinking of increasing damage with range to show that the missile is constantly accelerating. Kind of an inverse of Spray weapons. Thoughts?

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

Chrontius Chrontius's picture
I think the acceleration

I think the acceleration thing might make sense. On the other hand, if the bullet is designed to shatter the propellant grain on impact, you could still get a small but significant explosion inside the target as the fuel degrades into gas, monopropellant style, and then all oxidizes as quickly as it can find oxidizer in a second small but unpleasant explosion.

Chrontius Chrontius's picture
Rocket fuel sometimes blows up...

I think the acceleration thing might make sense. On the other hand, if the bullet is designed to shatter the propellant grain on impact, you could still get a small but significant explosion inside the target as the fuel degrades into gas, monopropellant style, and then all oxidizes as quickly as it can find oxidizer in a second small but unpleasant explosion.

puke puke's picture
poor communication skills

Sorry, I'm bad at getting ideas across clearly. Let me try again:

These things probably have little to no muzzel report - they are described as being launched at high speed via coilgun. There is no explosive propellant.

After that, they are described as scramjets. This means that they were launched at sufficient velocity that an oxygenated atmosphere will combust inside the jet's combustion chamber.

The SC in SCRAM means supersonic combusting. It is moving faster than the speed of sound so that the engine geometry will compress and combust the atmosphere. Modern prototypes start working at about mach 4.

bullets make a loud tearing sound as they fly, even though they are small and aerodynamic. These are large, have a gaping mouth sucking in air at the front, and are being pushed by a jet engine. A Scramjet engine, at that.

even though there will be no real muzzel report, they will be screaming through the atmosphere at better than Mach 4 from the time the seeker leaves the muzzle until the time it impacts the target. The good news is that at Super Sonic speeds the target will not hear the first shot. The shooter absolutely will, and should consider some sort of aural dampening augmentation.

any actual aerospace engineers in the room may object that drag is at least as significant as thrust at high speeds. But the implications of that are above my pay grade.

how these things work in vacuum, I will leave as a question for you smarter folks.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Mr Torgue Approves These Explosions.

The damage increasing with range... bugs me. I don't know why, but there's something about it that's setting off alarms.
Instead I propose this:
Minimissile DV = 2d10+10, and only half of the targets kinetic armor rating applies.

That way you get something that's very effective against hardened targets, with a decent chance of inflicting wounds, but with a low absolute damage rating limiting it's use against squishies.

Chrontius wrote:
Hell, one round of .223 on an outdoor rifle range will damage you permanently. Less of a problem in the age of healing vats, but "crippled until extraction" can be achieved by making them pull the trigger, and hitting the party with an EMP grenade. They will then spend the next several hours scrounging for ectos, or won't be able to communicate effectively beyond arm's length.

Ehh, I just handwave the physiological effects of weapon fire with basic biomods - the eardrum has crumple zones, or morphs come equiped with a pressure release system... that sort of thing.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Standard seeker ranges would

Standard seeker ranges would still apply I think, but simply treating the rest of it as a rail sniper rifle with homing bullets seems to cover the rest pretty neatly. Use the AP ammo rules to represent a sub-caliber penetrator.

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Standard seeker ranges would still apply I think, but simply treating the rest of it as a rail sniper rifle with homing bullets seems to cover the rest pretty neatly. Use the AP ammo rules to represent a sub-caliber penetrator.

That's actually a good idea.

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

Chrontius Chrontius's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:Ehh,

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
Ehh, I just handwave the physiological effects of weapon fire with basic biomods - the eardrum has crumple zones, or morphs come equiped with a pressure release system... that sort of thing.
Call it "Firewall biomods" or "gangbanger biomods" maybe, but I think it's a limited set of autonomist and scum habs that would consider that "basic".
Bursting Eagerness wrote:
That's actually a good idea
From a mechanical point of view, I'll second that. My current D&D campaign blew up from rules complexity, so, yeah. Elegant solutions FTW.
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
"Bad-At-Chemistry Biomods"

Chrontius wrote:
Call it "Firewall biomods" or "gangbanger biomods" maybe, but I think it's a limited set of autonomist and scum habs that would consider that "basic".

I actually consider hearing-loss/perforated eardrums a perfect example of "basic". They're common conditions which are aggravating and take a long time to heal, but are "mechanically" simple and theoretically easy to prevent/repair.
Sure, gunfire might not be a common issue, but loud music, machinery, or vehicles?

Chrontius wrote:
Elegant solutions FTW.

+1.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Technically, it wouldn't be

Technically, it wouldn't be Homing unless you also bought the Homing Smart Ammo. Seekers are roughly unguided unless you actually pay for the guided munitions.

But damn if that isn't a lot of Pen. I'd wonder what anybody would need it for. I've personally never run into a problem that HEAP couldn't solve.

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
UnitOmega wrote:Technically,

UnitOmega wrote:
Technically, it wouldn't be Homing unless you also bought the Homing Smart Ammo. Seekers are roughly unguided unless you actually pay for the guided munitions.

But damn if that isn't a lot of Pen. I'd wonder what anybody would need it for. I've personally never run into a problem that HEAP couldn't solve.


Remember that Seeers come with a built in Smart Ammo option. I'm guessing that most people would pick Homing.

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
I believe that statement

I believe that statement refers to how Seekers as an ammo type have a slot for Smart Ammo options, other than Biter or Flayer, much like how under Smart Ammo, you can combine it with regular Kinetic Ammunition options, other than Biter, Flayer or Proximity. It never implies that you get it for free, just that it exists as an option, I assume you still have to combine the prices or otherwise designate it as Homing HEAP, for instance.

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
UnitOmega wrote:I believe

UnitOmega wrote:
I believe that statement refers to how Seekers as an ammo type have a slot for Smart Ammo options, other than Biter or Flayer, much like how under Smart Ammo, you can combine it with regular Kinetic Ammunition options, other than Biter, Flayer or Proximity. It never implies that you get it for free, just that it exists as an option, I assume you still have to combine the prices or otherwise designate it as Homing HEAP, for instance.

It explicitly says that you they come equipped with one.

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Quote:Each seeker has one

Quote:
Each seeker has one smart ammo option (p. 338)
other than biter or flayer.

compare to:
Quote:
With the exception of biter,
flayer, and proximity rounds, smart ammo may be
combined with other ammo types (accushot armorpiercing,
for example)

To me that says the same thing, that seekers can be equipped with Smart Ammo same as kinetic. Since Seekers are an ammo type, that makes sense. But, Rule 0, if you want to give your players smart ammo for free, that's your prerogative. Just to me that doesn't ring with how kinetic ammunition is handled. I mean, sticky is an option for Grenades, but you still have to pay for it.

I mean, you could easily interpret that to also be "each individual seeker has a smart ammo option you can choose whenever", but that would require some kind of fabber or other smart material programming in the Seeker weapon which I'm pretty sure it doesn't have. So you'd have to designate a block of Seekers as say, "Proximity" or "Accushot", and I see no reason why you wouldn't pay the additional price for it.

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
UnitOmega wrote:Quote:Each

UnitOmega wrote:
Quote:
Each seeker has one smart ammo option (p. 338)
other than biter or flayer.

compare to:
Quote:
With the exception of biter,
flayer, and proximity rounds, smart ammo may be
combined with other ammo types (accushot armorpiercing,
for example)

To me that says the same thing, that seekers can be equipped with Smart Ammo same as kinetic. Since Seekers are an ammo type, that makes sense. But, Rule 0, if you want to give your players smart ammo for free, that's your prerogative. Just to me that doesn't ring with how kinetic ammunition is handled. I mean, sticky is an option for Grenades, but you still have to pay for it.

I mean, you could easily interpret that to also be "each individual seeker has a smart ammo option you can choose whenever", but that would require some kind of fabber or other smart material programming in the Seeker weapon which I'm pretty sure it doesn't have. So you'd have to designate a block of Seekers as say, "Proximity" or "Accushot", and I see no reason why you wouldn't pay the additional price for it.

Your quote at the top is literally all that needs to be said. It says that each one "has" one, not that they "can have" one. I would have it as a preset per-pack-bought/fabbed thing, not individually changeable, but they are explicitly included in the cost of the Seekers, just like a smartlink and safety are included in every gun in the book for free.

To me, the second quote doesn't make any sense to bring up.

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Bursting Eagerness Soul wrote

Bursting Eagerness Soul wrote:
UnitOmega wrote:
Quote:
Each seeker has one smart ammo option (p. 338)
other than biter or flayer.

compare to:
Quote:
With the exception of biter,
flayer, and proximity rounds, smart ammo may be
combined with other ammo types (accushot armorpiercing,
for example)

To me that says the same thing, that seekers can be equipped with Smart Ammo same as kinetic. Since Seekers are an ammo type, that makes sense. But, Rule 0, if you want to give your players smart ammo for free, that's your prerogative. Just to me that doesn't ring with how kinetic ammunition is handled. I mean, sticky is an option for Grenades, but you still have to pay for it.

I mean, you could easily interpret that to also be "each individual seeker has a smart ammo option you can choose whenever", but that would require some kind of fabber or other smart material programming in the Seeker weapon which I'm pretty sure it doesn't have. So you'd have to designate a block of Seekers as say, "Proximity" or "Accushot", and I see no reason why you wouldn't pay the additional price for it.

Your quote at the top is literally all that needs to be said. It says that each one "has" one, not that they "can have" one. I would have it as a preset per-pack-bought/fabbed thing, not individually changeable, but they are explicitly included in the cost of the Seekers, just like a smartlink and safety are included in every gun in the book for free.

To me, the second quote doesn't make any sense to bring up.

I tend to agree with Omega; the use of the word "option" says to me that smart ammo may be applied to seekers or not at the user's discretion. Since the same is true of kinetic ammunition types, and one must pay extra for smart kinetic ammo, then it follows that one must pay extra for smart "options" on a seeker round.

Now, this is how I would use seeker ammo in a game I was running. You may disagree with my reading and run them differently in your games, and that's perfectly fine. ;)

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Oh fine...

I agree with Bursting Eagerness Soul: all seekers come with a free smart-ammo.
Because they're missiles, not kinetic rounds.

Also, "Has One Option" would only imply that seekers don't come with a smart-ammo as a default if other ammunition types had more than one option.

So, two votes each. Who's next? :P

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Chrontius Chrontius's picture
My vote: The name "seekers"

My vote: The name "seekers" implies it all right there. Homing is applied standard; a second smart option can be bought as usual. I'd probably lean toward homing and proximity, but the nature of the things seem to be captured nicely in the one-word name for them.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Voting

It's not a matter of votes, guys; it's a matter of interpretation. You can read it either way, and the only interpretation that matters is the one your GM is going on.

This is a game, which we play to have fun. There's no "wrong" way to have fun.

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
TheGrue wrote:It's not a

TheGrue wrote:
It's not a matter of votes, guys; it's a matter of interpretation. You can read it either way, and the only interpretation that matters is the one your GM is going on.

This is a game, which we play to have fun. There's no "wrong" way to have fun.


Agreed.

A consensus on this would be nice, though.

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Bursting Eagerness Soul wrote

Bursting Eagerness Soul wrote:
TheGrue wrote:
It's not a matter of votes, guys; it's a matter of interpretation. You can read it either way, and the only interpretation that matters is the one your GM is going on.

This is a game, which we play to have fun. There's no "wrong" way to have fun.


Agreed.

A consensus on this would be nice, though.

Why? Reasoning has been presented for both interpretations. Consensus is both unnecessary and irrelevant as no one would or should be bound by it.

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
TheGrue wrote:Bursting

TheGrue wrote:
Bursting Eagerness Soul wrote:
TheGrue wrote:
It's not a matter of votes, guys; it's a matter of interpretation. You can read it either way, and the only interpretation that matters is the one your GM is going on.

This is a game, which we play to have fun. There's no "wrong" way to have fun.


Agreed.

A consensus on this would be nice, though.

Why? Reasoning has been presented for both interpretations. Consensus is both unnecessary and irrelevant as no one would or should be bound by it.


I would just like to hear people's opinions on it. No one needs to be bound by it, but I would like to have more opinions voiced on the topic.

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Indeed.

A consensus is useful because it provides a basic standard upon which further discussions can be based, regardless who uses that interpretation or not.

It's also interesting finding out what alternate interpretations actually exist.
Finding out more about other peoples' point of view is always fun.

Also, to be a tad meta, the more active discussions a Forum has, the more likely it is new discussions will be initiated, which keeps the Forum alive. I favor this.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?