Tetherpod - a firearm attachment

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Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Tetherpod - a firearm attachment
Tetherpods attach to the forend of a firearm to provide a stable firing base from a variety of firing positions and under different conditions. The pod consists of 3 tethers made from a smart material that allow them to move, stiffen and stretch out to a 2 meter length. The ends of each tether has a gecko patch so they can stick to most surfaces. The tethers have high tensile strength but can also stiffen with enough strength to support the weight and recoil of even large firearms. Tetherpods are extremely useful in micro-g environments where they let shooters attach to any surface and fire their weapon without having to worry about recoil sending them spinning. Tetherpods work equally well from prone or standing positions. In corridors or doorways the tethers will typically spread out 120 degrees apart for maximum support. If no surface is within reach “above” the shooter they can attach in a more standard tripod configuration. Tetherpods also see a lot of use in standard gravity. They provide stable standing firing positions, and many soldiers with tetherpods prefer to set up behind cover instead of resting their weapon on the cover, as the tethers can telescope down when ducking behind the cover. They also see frequent use in doorways and windows, where the tethers attach to the frame at an angle and stiffen to support the weapon floating inside the room, so the weapon isn’t sticking outside, and still easily push the weapon forward and out if they need to fire at opponents close to the building. The tetherpod has haptic sensors, several cameras and a simple AI that controls the tethers and interfaces with the user’s smartlink. In almost all cases, the tetherpod only needs to be commanded to attach or detach and it will operate independently. Tetherpods require a Quick Action to attach or detach. They take the rest of the Turn to attach during which the user suffers a -10 accuracy modifier due to the moving tethers. At GM discretion, it may take Complex Actions to attach the tether if it requires special guidance to find proper attachment points. Once attached, the firer will generally never suffer modifiers or adverse effects due to bad firing position, recoil or risk drifting away in micro g. Cost is [Moderate].
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
I like the idea, but the
I like the idea, but the execution sucks. You're giving a player a -10 penalty for the entirety of their action turn - for someone with Speed 4, that's four actions, four or even eight chances to kill people. The return is that you nullify one negative modifier which [i]explicitly does not exist in Eclipse Phase[/i] (Recoil), and two for which there are no rules other than your GM being a dick - poor firing posture and unintentional acceleration in microgravity. Try it takes hold immediately with your Quick Action. Then it might be worth something.
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Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
I agree that the mechanics
I agree that the mechanics suck. The device makes real world sense, but EP's combat modifiers are totally bonkers in ignoring firing position; the problem the tetherpod fixes doesn't exist mechanically. I've been wanting to make some house rules for some time but since I apparently never get around to it, I figured I'd just post this. Maybe someone will use it for flavor. I do think that any group that would be interested in modifiers from such attachments would be simulationist enough to give players recoil modifiers/problems in micro-g (not from muzzle climb but simply from intertia causing them to tumble around), and it is something that people have talked about here.
ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
My first thought was batman
My first thought was batman graplers. This seems a lot more useful for microg personal maneuvering than firearm stabilization. I'd probably ever only use this is if were to bring in shadow's heavy weapons.
Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
A measly assault rifle firing
A measly assault rifle firing 2 full auto bursts will give you impulse larger than walking at brisk speed. And most likely that impulse isn't going just going push backward at walking speed; since it isn't going to be pushing towards your center of mass it's going to make you spin. Being in a firefight in micro-g will require that you have something to counteract the recoil.
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Most people shooting in
Most people shooting in microgravity will either be magbooted or grip padded to something, or will be firing an energy weapon with less recoil than an assault rifle. Even for those who don't, I would expect that a personal gyro unit to control rotation would be standard for any micrograv shooters, and probably for the shooter to have some kind of maneuver unit to control rotation and acceleration.
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Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:Most
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Most people shooting in microgravity will either be magbooted or grip padded to something, or will be firing an energy weapon with less recoil than an assault rifle. Even for those who don't, I would expect that a personal gyro unit to control rotation would be standard for any micrograv shooters, and probably for the shooter to have some kind of maneuver unit to control rotation and acceleration.
Gekko shoes and magboots would help, but they don't seem optimal. You have to have the feet against a surface, which limits firing positions (for example prone getting the soles down is impossible). You're going to be attached and rotate at your feet while recoil is applied to the shoulder - that's torque you're going to be pulling against, hurting your firing position stability and rotating you either behind cover or out from it, and at some angles it is going to at a really awkward angle. And foot anchoring doesn't give you a support for the weapon, which is the most important thing for accuracy. Compare that to a tetherpod. Almost anywhere you can attach and float straight behind the weapon to provide the smallest profile or in whatever direction gets you behind cover, the weapon is always supported, and it absorbs all recoil instead of you having to muscle through it. I have no idea how feasible a gyro system is. Can it be powerful enough given the size constraints? A gas maneuvering system could counteract and have other advantages, but it is going to be reaction mass intensive when it has to counter 5-10 grams at 1,000 m/s for each shot. And the tetherpod also provides support for the gun. Even in gravity, it would be awesome. As a hunter and ex-soldier I'd so much like to have one. I've gone hunting with a guide a few times where he carried a long tripod that could support my shooting when standing, and it is such an advantage that you don't have to find a tree to brace the rifle against. In the army if we couldn't lie down with the LMG we had the helper kneel and place it on his shoulder (I always wanted to try that with ammo, even blanks), and from prone on hills sometimes the front bipod position doesn't work so you have to move it back towards the middle of the gun. Finding somewhere to brace your weapon is a big deal. Trust me, a tetherpod would rock. I think a serious space marine would have both a maneuvering pack, gecko shoes and a tetherpod.
Erulastant Erulastant's picture
Quote:I think a serious space
Quote:
I think a serious space marine would have both a maneuvering pack, gecko shoes and a tetherpod.
Well, I'd expect there to be gecko pads all over the armor of any serious space marine, for basically the reasons you mentioned above: You don't want your only possible point of attachment to be the soles of your feet. And of course training on how to minimize recoil torque without support. Redundancy is a wonderful thing.
You, too, were made by humans. The methods used were just cruder, imprecise. I guess that explains a lot.
Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
I think you're right. EP
I think you're right. EP gekko patches, the stickiness can be turned on and off, right?
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Pretty sure non-bio grip-pads can be controlled via mesh inserts
Isn't weapon stabilization covered by the Gyromount? I was under the impression that if you had one of those then your weapon stable to the point where your motion and/or position are irrelevant. More generally, if you're going to use that level of simulation then you wouldn't use balistics at all. No kinetic weapons, no railguns, and the plasma rifle gets renamed to plasma drive. Instead you would use something more along the lines of a seeker rifle where the weapon fires self-propelled projectiles, either launched slowly a'la Gyrojets, or more preferably by allowing unrestricted exhaust egress in the manner of shoulder-mounted missiles or recoilless rifles.
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?