Custom Senario weapon- comments and criticisms needed!

  • Last Post 08 August 2018
Prince posted this 23 July 2018

Hey dudes, I have a "superweapon" style gun I need to stat out properly based on its implications, and I'm looking for opinions. I found the concept of a "nuclear pulse cannon" from reading old Scifi (I think I way reading Heinlein) wherein ships carried "cannons" that were little more than mirrored "firing chambers"- the idea being, that a nuclear weapon would be detonated within this mirrored chamber and directed out a hole or barrel (similar to how radiation therapy is done, at it's core), 'firing' the nuclear blast into a jet. It's principles are also being considered for many concepts of interplanetary ships, as "nuclear pulse propulsion" is one of the few ways we know of that can propel a ship to C-fractional velocities.

The fluff is that the Rim Worlds Republic- of course- realized that the star league would royally (heh) push their shit in once terra was conquered, and the Nuclear Pulse Cannon was one of the few "wonder weapons" that was successfully created. Though it was little more than a specialized breach-loading cannon that "fired" nuclear rounds, such a weapon cannot be shot down like missiles against AMS and have some ability to fire into orbit; and since the weapon is firing a nuclear charge instead of launching one and relying on the shockwave, it could be mounted on most any vehicle and could avoid some of the harsher issues of fallout.

It's problem is that naturally it's not nearly as powerful as typical atomics, it makes the firing unit radioactive, the cannons themselves have to be readily replaced, and it's a direct-fire artillery weapon. Such a tool would also "normalize" the use of such nuclear weapons which I feel is the reason why the project was taken and hidden by a handful within the Republic who had more sense than the others (and is ironic)- and that's how its found by the players, in a bunker stashed on an airless rock along with it's attendant mech.

Rules wise, I'm gonna use Arrow IV launchers and tons of ammo as baselines but jack the heat up to 15-20 points per firing, plus 1D6 for any radiated heat from the munition. Since BT's ammo count per ton is wonky, 1 "ton" of munitions equals 3 rounds of charges, and after 20 uses the whole barrel and assembly has to be replaced- which is enormously difficult since the gun becomes radioactive due to firing.

My problem is that I don't know what I should do for damage. I was thinking Area of Affect with the blast spreading out in a cone from the struck unit, with minimum of 25 damage applied with +2D6 heat to it but only if they are a sealed unit, i.e. battlemech/aerospace fighter/dropship ecetra but DOUBLE if the unit lacks any sealing, since you know, you just got nuked in the damn face. But in a weird sense, I don't know if that's *enough* and if it doesn't hit that sweet BFG-like spot where this heavy weapon HAS to be used, but each shot still has to be shepherded and cared for, if my players decide to actually use it. Thoughts? Comments? I'm all ears, even if you hate it.

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icehellion posted this 24 July 2018

Aren't there rules for nukes?

Thunder posted this 25 July 2018

I'm getting mixed messages.  On one hand I think you're trying to make a poor man's hellbore.  On the other there are word choices that make me wonder if you're firing very small nukes at a target hex.

If going the Hellbore route,  I'd suggest using a HAG40 as the basic template,  but with much higher heat, and no need for ammo. (The hydrogen plasma needed for ammo is taken from the main fusion engine, its mass is negligible.)

If going the AOE route, the 25 points of damage stat already matches the long tom cannon.  I think there are thermobaric rounds that do 35 damage.  If you wanted to push the envelope maybe go for Fusion-Plasma rounds doing 25 to 50 damage with N D6 heat.  Drop extra rules about sealed units.  Borrow the Heat vs units without heat scale rules for extra damage. (See Plasma rifles and cannons.)

Prince posted this 01 August 2018


Yeah, its basically a projected nuke. It's my attempt to make a superweapon for the PCs to find, to congratulate them on sticking with a difficult route of the game (my game is roguelike in nature) to get it. So likely 35 damage, AoE, Heavt versus units that without heat scales... anything else? Any better ideas?

Thunder posted this 02 August 2018

Hellbore.  From Keith Lamar's Bolo series of stories.

Basicly it fires fusion explosions at relativistic speeds. (Thus slowing down the explosion until it gets slowed down by the targets armor allowing time to speed back up all nice and compressed against the targets armor.)

35 damage is kinda underwhelming.  Then again I've been thinking in Clan Tech for the last few weeks.

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Prince posted this 08 August 2018

Huh, neat.

Well for a superweapon, I am more than happy with upgraded damage.