Weapons and Vehicle customization

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Prolateriat Prolateriat's picture
Weapons and Vehicle customization

My gaming group will be running an eclipse phase campaign in the future, and I love to play gearheads, mechanics, armorers and other kinds of smithers. What I want is an in-depth weapon and vehicle customization section. Ideally, I'd like to take a gun, car, or whatever from the design phase to finished product, and make after-market modifications.

Right now, I'm wary of making things up on my own because I don't have a sense of game balance, and I don't want to get invested in crafting something the GM is going to veto.

So far, I really like Eclipse Phase. Keep up the good work and thanks for being awesome.

Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

I find myself in the same situation, not because I play such a character, but because one of my players does. And we will probably have to make the stats and rules on the fly. Something simple like adding all the aptitude points the new drone/robot has and other benefits and calculating from then on, or something like it. So, if anyone got any ideas on the matter, they would surely be helpful!

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Young Freud Young Freud's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

A nitpick related to this, especially if there is a gearhead book, one of the weird things that gets me about the weapons is how, especially with SMGs, how low ammo count they are. It's like Posthuman Studios based them off Uzis and Sten guns and not like the modern PDWs like the P90, the MP7 (although, the MP7 has a 20rd magazine, that's more intended for pistol use), the Chang-Feng, etc. It just seems kinda backward, especially since by the time of the Fall, those guns would be the old surplus weapons with something like a G11 derivative or the Metal Storm Surf Zone, with it's 360 round capacity and 1 million electrically-fired rounds per minute rate of fire, being the standard issue in EP. That's if chemical-propelled firearms are still around.

pjmfox2003 pjmfox2003's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

I guess it just goes along the lines of "if it isn't broke, don't fix it". Think about the 1911, a one hundred year old gun that is still considered as the top combat pistol by many. But I agree, personally I'm gonna make my own equipment list up for my players that shows some examples of the progress made.

Prolateriat Prolateriat's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Considering that ammo capacity is one of the highly maleable parts of a firearm, yeah. Hell, for most guns nowadays, you can get an 'extended' clip as an afterthought. Typically, these clips cap out at 100 rounds, but that's an arbitrary number. I'd also like to see a method of changing how weapons feed ammunition as part of the process, and I'd like a selection of secondary weapons that attach. Some of my favorites are secondary shotguns, flame throwers, tazers, grenade launchers, bayonets, and submachine guns.

A particular quality of metal storm-type weapons that I'd like to bring up is that they don't need a lot of parts, and can be mostly reduced down to just the barrel (loaded with rounds) and charge pack. I'd love to see some sneaky uses for metal storm autopistols, and other weapons, along these lines. In Shadowrun, I had a character with a monofilament sword that had a metal storm autopistol built into the handle, running parallel with the blade. I love to do things like that, and I'd like to see this mae possible.

Thanks!

-Prolateriat

7thSeaLord 7thSeaLord's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Given the technology and manufacturing capabilities, there should be one heckuva lot of possible "add-ons" for personal weapons. Much of this is probably refined to the point that additions to a standard design are kind of like fiddling with Lego - fabbing a new weapon involves going through a long menu of optional extras.

Just off the top of my head, there are the following possibilities, among many:

Styling - As in colour / appearance. Is the weapon specifically made to look cheap, or standard-issue property of a specific group, or as a "one of a kind" look for that Character?;

Sensor / sighting packages ;

Security features - People can get VERY touchy about other people messing with their gear. In this case, maybe a locking system to discourage unauthorized handling - might be hooked up to an alarm, or a shocker, or even a bomb (!);

Environmental protection - Wide variety of environments to be found within the Solar System (and beyond). Some of these can be especially tough on equipment, increasing the chance of breakdown. Suggest specific protections for environment types such as hard vacuum, temperature extremes (high OR low), radiation, high pressure / aquatic, dust, humidity, and any others that seem to fit. Some protections can be used together (eg. dust and low temp, for Martian conditions?), others cannot be mixed (easily, anyhow).

Special Configurations - A weapon might be adapted to "snap on" the outside of one's spacesuit, or to a vehicle mount. Bipod? Tripod? Silencer? Flash suppressor? Concealability?

Zeroing / Counterfeiting- As I understand it, manufactured items are "tagged" so that one always knows where it was made, etc.. Somebody running a covert mission may desire that the weapons used do not have any identifiers, or even that a false identifier be placed on them instead.

"Do it? ... Dan, I'm not a Republic serial villain. Do you seriously think I'd explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome?
I did it thirty-five minutes ago."

Ozymandias, The Watchmen

Scottbert Scottbert's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Actually you can buy extended magazines (+50% ammo capacity) as a weapon mod, and you can attach secondary weapons by just adding in the cost of said weapon.

Scottbert Scottbert's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

(double post...)

Drake_263 Drake_263's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

One technology I could definitely see used with 'standard' projectile wepaons would be caseless ammunition - it's already been tried, actually, with the Heckler & Koch G11 prototype assault rifle. Here's a link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_&_Koch_G11

Shortly put, for those who don't like to slog thorugh the 'wiki, a caseless cartridge forms the propellant into a fairly solid 'block' around the actual projectile. There's no metal shell casing like with conventional bullets, and thus, no need for a shell ejection mechanism. This makes the weapon into a rather sealed package - and allows for higher rates of fire, since the action doesn't need to 'wait' for the old shell to be ejected. Less moving parts, less chances for dirt and stuff get into the mechanisms. Also, a higher magazine capacity since the square propellant blocks use space more effectively, and the cases won't take up space.

Another technology I could see used are the 'charge' cartridges used by Metal Storm weapons - electrically ignited, instead of a physical firing pin. Disposing of a blasting cap entirely in favor of a normally inert propellant activated by a high-current power spike. In particular, I could imagine a combination of these two working quite well..

*actually, checking through the wiki, it appears that the Metal Storm does use caseless ammo ^^; Teaches me to speak before checking my facts thoroughly.

Psyfer Psyfer's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

The Kinetic Weapons discription states that 'standerd' firarms all use caseless ammo already.

Oh, and for those wondering about the value of chemical-energy weapons in the 22nd century, remember the two things weapon buyers look for:

a) Will it kill the other guy?

b) Is it cheap?

A lot of very promising weapon systems have been abandoned because the existing platforms fulfilled these above requirements, For example, the Cheyenne and Comanche helicopter gunships and the various planned replacements for the M-16. Sure, lasers and plasma cannon may be potent, but if the old-fashoned slug-thrower can still do the job, it will still be there, and probably at a much more cost-effective price then it's higher-tech counterparts.

Just another Ghost in the Machine...

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Psyfer wrote:
The Kinetic Weapons discription states that 'standerd' firarms all use caseless ammo already.

Oh, and for those wondering about the value of chemical-energy weapons in the 22nd century, remember the two things weapon buyers look for:

a) Will it kill the other guy?

b) Is it cheap?

A lot of very promising weapon systems have been abandoned because the existing platforms fulfilled these above requirements, For example, the Cheyenne and Comanche helicopter gunships and the various planned replacements for the M-16. Sure, lasers and plasma cannon may be potent, but if the old-fashoned slug-thrower can still do the job, it will still be there, and probably at a much more cost-effective price then it's higher-tech counterparts.

Yes, but remember that high-tech counterparts eventually do become cost effective, and may eventually push old tech into total obsolescence. Look at firearms, for example. Originally archaic weapons like swords and bows remained a military mainstay, while firearms were an exotic alternative, because barrels were far harder to smith out and were therefore quite expensive. As smithing techniques improved during the renaissance, gun barrels became rather easy to produce, and reduced the price of firearms to less than the cost of older weaponry. From there, little reason remained to continue to use archaic weapons (gunpowder was quite easy to produce, ammunition could be made quite easily, and it was easier to learn how to use a gun than any other weapon), and they have largely fallen by the wayside in the modern day for anything but utility and hobby purposes.

I'd assume that short-range ballistic weapons still remain cheap and common enough to supplement the increasing number of energy weapons in the EP universe; long-range ballistic weapons are also cheaper than their railgun counterparts. It's this cost-effectiveness that makes sure that such weapons remain available. That and the fact that some bioconservatives probably prefer them, which would keep them constantly in business.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

killj0y killj0y's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

I think the real trick here is how many things can you mod without the system becoming too burdensome and at what point have you created a new weapon.

Is an SMG with a barrel extension and a shoulder stock still an SMG or is it now a rifle chambered for smaller caliber?

How many mods could you actually apply to a weapon before you violate the weapon's essential integrity? If you took a pistol and swapped out the barrel, magazine, grips, and trigger assembly you don't have much left.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

killj0y wrote:
I think the real trick here is how many things can you mod without the system becoming too burdensome and at what point have you created a new weapon.

Is an SMG with a barrel extension and a shoulder stock still an SMG or is it now a rifle chambered for smaller caliber?

How many mods could you actually apply to a weapon before you violate the weapon's essential integrity? If you took a pistol and swapped out the barrel, magazine, grips, and trigger assembly you don't have much left.

The real question is whether any of that actually matters. There is no mechanical aspect tied to the label of the gun. It doesn't need to be called by its original name to function. My character's custom sniper railgun is called "Delilah", and if I get it modified even more, the original brand and type is pretty trivial to note.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

killj0y killj0y's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

which is why a simple weapons chart isn't really all that great in a world where customization means that you get someone to work up a unique nano-fab design for the weapon you are going to use until you die.

Vera or Delilah or whatever you want can be a single body with any number of variations in ammo capacity, weight, barrel length, caliber, ammo type and rate of fire.

A system that links these characteristics to aspects of the game rules would be far more flexible in creating a weapon suitible to a given character than making up mods for the existing weapons stock.

I'm sure once I have a better grasp of the mechanics involved i'll have all kinds of ideas here but for the moment I'm just going to console myself that someone else probably thought of this and didn't have the pagecount to include it.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

killj0y wrote:
which is why a simple weapons chart isn't really all that great in a world where customization means that you get someone to work up a unique nano-fab design for the weapon you are going to use until you die.

Vera or Delilah or whatever you want can be a single body with any number of variations in ammo capacity, weight, barrel length, caliber, ammo type and rate of fire.

A system that links these characteristics to aspects of the game rules would be far more flexible in creating a weapon suitible to a given character than making up mods for the existing weapons stock.

I'm sure once I have a better grasp of the mechanics involved i'll have all kinds of ideas here but for the moment I'm just going to console myself that someone else probably thought of this and didn't have the pagecount to include it.

The specs given are for default weapons, upon which modifications can be made. If you have your own nanofabrication device, you can in theory create a weapon whole cloth with all modifications built on, essentially building a weapon completely different from the original template. In that case, you can classify it however you want, but it is mechanically one type of weapon with a specific set of mods built on.

Such a system might be created for the game in the future, but it would be excessively complex for the core book of a game which professes simplicity. It'd be like plugging a chapter on quantum mechanics in a book called "Preschool Science".

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

killj0y killj0y's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

which is pretty much what I said.

Hard to descibe a system of multi-target smartlink poison flechette shoulder mounted auto guns controled by murder thoughts when you've got to indoctrinate people into 150+ pages of world history.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

killj0y wrote:
which is pretty much what I said.

Hard to descibe a system of multi-target smartlink poison flechette shoulder mounted auto guns controled by murder thoughts when you've got to indoctrinate people into 150+ pages of world history.

Actually, I think the bigger problem is that we don't need a weapon creation system that's more complex than creating your character.

At least for now. :D

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

It that must no... It that must not be named's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

One thing I want in EP and will make for myself if none of the designers oblige me is gyrojet weapons.

Now look: There was a lot of bad stories about the original gyrojets in the 60's, but most of that was traced to ONE bad batch of ammo that had a minor defect in one of the stabilizers that caused the ammo to be inaccurate.

Properly made gyrojet ammo was highly effective and allowed for far more powerful rounds than normal ammo due to the reduced recoil.

With EP's tech base gyrojet ammo would be a snap to make, and it's low, low recoil would make it useful in micrograv. Also, the relatively large size of gyrojet ammo would make adding neat types of specialized tips, like even shaped charge explosive armor piercing or even the "bolts" from warhammer 40,000 feasible.

Of course regular explosive ammo is nothing to sneeze at either. For a look at a gyrojet weapon with 'advanced" tech, check out the old tom selleck SF movie "runaway".

BTW, someone is still working on a "next generation" gyrojet project, here's a link: http://www.deathwind.com/project.htm

"I learned the hard way that if you take a stand on any issue, no matter how insignificant, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it." -Jesse "the mind" Ventura.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Gyrojet is completely outclassed by railgun technology, which is also recoilless and has far greater projectile speed (mach 1+ vs mach 6+). Besides, seeker pistols and rifles largely fill the role that gyrojet weapons once did (gyrojets are essentially the world's first micromissile weapons).

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

nick012000 nick012000's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

I thought that Seeker Pistols/Rifles were gyrojets?

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

It that must no... It that must not be named's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Hmm, I'm not sure I agree that railguns complete outdo gyrojets. Yes, they can shoot a slug faster and carry more ammo, and have other advantages, but remember, all a railgun can do is fling simple projectiles.

A gyrojet round can have a more complex warhead and carry a variety of payloads.

"I learned the hard way that if you take a stand on any issue, no matter how insignificant, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it." -Jesse "the mind" Ventura.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

It that must not be named wrote:
Hmm, I'm not sure I agree that railguns complete outdo gyrojets. Yes, they can shoot a slug faster and carry more ammo, and have other advantages, but remember, all a railgun can do is fling simple projectiles.

A gyrojet round can have a more complex warhead and carry a variety of payloads.

The part you are missing is that a seeker weapon IS a gyrojet. That's essentially what gyrojet was... portable missile guns. Seekers fulfill that role entirely, as they are the same exact weapon.

As for railgun technology, it has more potential than you think. If it can be made aerodynamic and magnetic, you can theoretically make it into a railgun round. I can imagine that futuristic gravity bombs will also be made in railgun round forms, albeit for much larger railguns. I can imagine that smaller bomb payloads could also be made for railguns. The only real thing you can't produce for railguns are seeking rounds... they completely defeat the advantages that railguns try to achieve.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

nick012000 nick012000's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Decivre wrote:
As for railgun technology, it has more potential than you think. If it can be made aerodynamic and magnetic, you can theoretically make it into a railgun round. I can imagine that futuristic gravity bombs will also be made in railgun round forms, albeit for much larger railguns. I can imagine that smaller bomb payloads could also be made for railguns. The only real thing you can't produce for railguns are seeking rounds... they completely defeat the advantages that railguns try to achieve.

Electronics are unlikely to be capable of being fired out of a railgun; the powerful magnetic feilds are likely to short them. That said, non-magnetic materials can be fired out of them by simply adding a suitably conductive sabot to carry it.

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

nick012000 wrote:
Electronics are unlikely to be capable of being fired out of a railgun; the powerful magnetic feilds are likely to short them. That said, non-magnetic materials can be fired out of them by simply adding a suitably conductive sabot to carry it.

Magnetic shielding has come a long way. Faraday cages are capable of shielding electronics from massive levels of electricity, and require minimal construction materials. The biggest hurdle to creating electronics in a railgun round is actually acceleration, not magnetics. You need to create computers and such capable of handling massive G forces. Even so, I never said anything about electronics at all. I talked about modifying gravity bombs to be capable of being used in a railgun. A gravity bomb is the most basic form of bomb: bomb falls, hits ground, detonates. In this case, bomb accelerates to mach 7, bomb hits object, detonates. Same basic function, different direction.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

CTC Paradox CTC Paradox's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Decivre wrote:
Gyrojet is completely outclassed by railgun technology, which is also recoilless and has far greater projectile speed (mach 1+ vs mach 6+). Besides, seeker pistols and rifles largely fill the role that gyrojet weapons once did (gyrojets are essentially the world's first micromissile weapons).

Where do people get this idea that railguns are recoiless? Do people think that Newton's Third Law doesn't apply to them? Sorry I see this misconception all the time and it bugs me.

As for weapons customisation I think it's best to leave it up to the GM and player to determine. Trying to cover every possible combination of mods and upgrades will just limit creativity.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

CTC Paradox wrote:
Where do people get this idea that railguns are recoiless? Do people think that Newton's Third Law doesn't apply to them? Sorry I see this misconception all the time and it bugs me.

As for weapons customisation I think it's best to leave it up to the GM and player to determine. Trying to cover every possible combination of mods and upgrades will just limit creativity.

They are considered recoilless because the recoil for such a weapon is virtually negligible. When a classic firearm goes off, the primary source for recoil is the explosives in the cartridge, not the expulsion of the bullet. In a railgun, the only existing recoil comes from the mass ejection of the bullet... which is very little in comparison. It's like when people refer to objects in space as "weightless"... in reality they do have weight* (and will gravitate to the largest mass in vicinity), but that weight is negligible in context.

*: Weight and mass are not the same thing. W=mg

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Thunderwave Thunderwave's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Decivre wrote:
CTC Paradox wrote:
Where do people get this idea that railguns are recoiless? Do people think that Newton's Third Law doesn't apply to them? Sorry I see this misconception all the time and it bugs me.

As for weapons customisation I think it's best to leave it up to the GM and player to determine. Trying to cover every possible combination of mods and upgrades will just limit creativity.

They are considered recoilless because the recoil for such a weapon is virtually negligible. When a classic firearm goes off, the primary source for recoil is the explosives in the cartridge, not the expulsion of the bullet. In a railgun, the only existing recoil comes from the mass ejection of the bullet... which is very little in comparison. It's like when people refer to objects in space as "weightless"... in reality they do have weight* (and will gravitate to the largest mass in vicinity), but that weight is negligible in context.

*: Weight and mass are not the same thing. W=mg

I should also note that firearms are reaching a near recoilless stage now. There are all kinds of improvements being made and new systems in development to compensate.

CTC Paradox CTC Paradox's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Okay see a lot of people think railguns have zero recoil. None, nada. Which is why I posted. If you'd said low recoil, sure I agree. The lack of exhaust gasses, and the smaller, faster projectile both tend to produce a lower recoil weapon.

However as long as something leaves the barrel it will produce recoil. You can redirect it, delay it and reduce how powerful it FEELS with all manner of clever improvements, but there will always be recoil.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

CTC Paradox wrote:
Okay see a lot of people think railguns have zero recoil. None, nada. Which is why I posted. If you'd said low recoil, sure I agree. The lack of exhaust gasses, and the smaller, faster projectile both tend to produce a lower recoil weapon.

However as long as something leaves the barrel it will produce recoil. You can redirect it, delay it and reduce how powerful it FEELS with all manner of clever improvements, but there will always be recoil.

But it's less than low recoil. It's negligible recoil. It might have an effect if, say, you are in a microgravity environment firing the weapon in full-auto, but it is otherwise something you really need not even think about. I think that the severe lack of recoil in most weapons by the time in Eclipse Phase is probably the main reason there are no recoil modifiers to speak of in the books. The only real modification that recoil has by this time period is to influence a weapon's maximum range.

And this isn't the first time that the common terms used were inaccurate in regards to the way that they are used. Firearm silencers don't make anything silent, by any stretch of the means. They may make a gun quieter, but I've never seen a "silenced" gun. And bullet-proof vests? I've seen them get torn apart by bullets, so they are hardly "proof" of them. Maybe resistant, or bullet-durable... but not proof. Then there's barcodes... they are usually more akin to a bar alphabet than any sort of code, since they can be read with the bare eye and are not necessarily encoded. Modern 2-dimensional data matrixes ones may be more akin to codes.

Don't get me started on tank tops. Which tanks are they topping? Why not torso tops? Torso shirts? Those make more sense!

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

CTC Paradox CTC Paradox's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Well after some research the consensus seems to be that around 60% of the recoil comes from the projectile, with the remaining 40% from propellant gasses. So recoil would be less but I wouldn't say negligible.

I apologise if I come across as picky, I'm a physics student so when I see the word recoilless I think of zero recoil in the physics sense. Combined with the number of people I encounter who genuinely seem to think that railguns have zero recoil, well, I felt the need to add my 2 cents.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

CTC Paradox wrote:
Well after some research the consensus seems to be that around 60% of the recoil comes from the projectile, with the remaining 40% from propellant gasses. So recoil would be less but I wouldn't say negligible.

I apologise if I come across as picky, I'm a physics student so when I see the word recoilless I think of zero recoil in the physics sense. Combined with the number of people I encounter who genuinely seem to think that railguns have zero recoil, well, I felt the need to add my 2 cents.

Railgun technology is still in its infancy, so there's little information to really rely on. For instance, many people think that railguns will be silent, when in actuality they are very noisy. The one advantage they might have is that a target will not hear the firing of a railgun until well after they've been hit by the round... but they otherwise produce far more noise than normal guns do... and ironically not necessarily the gun, but the bullet traveling at hypersonic speeds. Worst of all, there is no real way that you can possibly suppress the sound of a railgun round, short of firing it in vacuum.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

CTC Paradox CTC Paradox's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Well even a 9mm round from a pistol can break the sound barrier so that's not really anything special on the part of the railgun. They can however achieve speeds that a conventional firearm can only dream about.

Thunderwave Thunderwave's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Decivre wrote:

Railgun technology is still in its infancy, so there's little information to really rely on. For instance, many people think that railguns will be silent, when in actuality they are very noisy. The one advantage they might have is that a target will not hear the firing of a railgun until well after they've been hit by the round... but they otherwise produce far more noise than normal guns do... and ironically not necessarily the gun, but the bullet traveling at hypersonic speeds. Worst of all, there is no real way that you can possibly suppress the sound of a railgun round, short of firing it in vacuum.

Funny you should say that. When I was in the military they taught us a simple way to figure out how far someone was from us when firing. Listen for the bullet impact and then for the sound of the shot. Take the time between the two, do a little math, and you've got a rough distance from you to the shooter.

I just imagine the impact from a railgun would be a lot harder to detect depending on the size of the round.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Thunderwave wrote:
Funny you should say that. When I was in the military they taught us a simple way to figure out how far someone was from us when firing. Listen for the bullet impact and then for the sound of the shot. Take the time between the two, do a little math, and you've got a rough distance from you to the shooter.

I just imagine the impact from a railgun would be a lot harder to detect depending on the size of the round.

Definitely. When a gun goes off, most men are trained to know the firecracker-esque sound of a firearm going off. Railguns wouldn't have that, and would simply have the sonic boom coming from the round. There would be no source sound from which to trace the source, nor the distance... and the only real info you might have to help you figure that out would be the direction of the blood splatter (or the way an object breaks, in the case of a shot that doesn't cause a casualty) and the volume of the boom.

I think one of the hardest-to-research parts of the setting is the actual damage that railguns can cause. While railgun technology exists, no one has ever used one on an actual target... so I don't know if anyone knows how much damage it can do to a person, or even an armored target. It may be that the force of a gauss rifle is underrepresented and they can kill people with mere foot injuries, tearing apart the rest of their bodies with sheer hypersonic force. It may turn out that they suck as weapons, and are only slightly more powerful than a similarly-sized firearm. Who knows?

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

Decivre wrote:

I think one of the hardest-to-research parts of the setting is the actual damage that railguns can cause. While railgun technology exists, no one has ever used one on an actual target... so I don't know if anyone knows how much damage it can do to a person, or even an armored target. It may be that the force of a gauss rifle is underrepresented and they can kill people with mere foot injuries, tearing apart the rest of their bodies with sheer hypersonic force. It may turn out that they suck as weapons, and are only slightly more powerful than a similarly-sized firearm. Who knows?

Didn't the American Navy do some testing on a prototype railgun and find that the hypersonic shock of a round hitting a target would result in hyperstatic death? Doesn't matter how much damage the round does when the forces involved are powerful enough to cause braindeath inducing overpressure of the blood.

-

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

CodeBreaker wrote:
Didn't the American Navy do some testing on a prototype railgun and find that the hypersonic shock of a round hitting a target would result in hyperstatic death? Doesn't matter how much damage the round does when the forces involved are powerful enough to cause braindeath inducing overpressure of the blood.

I know the Navy did testing on a railgun, but from my understanding they mainly fired it at an uninhabited island. I don't know if they ever actually tested it on a target. Plus, their prototype is likely not going to function the same way as the portable hand-held version. For one thing, it has a 7-pound bullet! I highly doubt that a railpistol will be packing that.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

CTC Paradox CTC Paradox's picture
Re: Weapons and Vehicle customization

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_OjZyQ6LGE&feature=related

I believe this is the railgun in question. It's very impressive. Lots of plasma flying around (vaporised rail material maybe?), lots of noise and enough kinetic energy to explode when it hits the target. Like Decivre said the US Navy is designing the weapon for blowing other ships to pieces or maybe bombarding hard shore targets. So the effects are probably quite different to any potential hand-held version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m86gK-EOEsQ

Here's guy designing a hand-held coilgun (bit different but still an electromagnetic-based weapon).