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Old 12-27-2017, 07:29 PM   #1
gibberingmouther
 
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Default ultra tech beam weapons versus modern weapons

ki blasts as i have implemented them at a high level are clearly superior to modern weapons, besides missiles and nukes. this is because you can sustain a blast at a target and burn through armor - so a high level ki blast can take out a tank or aircraft, and much weaker ones can take out individual fleshy targets.

i divided ki powers into 7 tiers ... by tier 3 (the fourth tier, as there is a tier 0), a ki powered character might have flight. aliens from ki powered races/forces usually start out at tier 3 ki powers, and it is hard to advance beyond that for most mooks. i took from DB the idea of mook aliens flying around with lasers attached to their arms, because they're too weak to use ki blasts.

the problem is that this force of mook aliens seems to be inferior to a modern military force, even though the aliens have ultra-tech. the aliens have more mobility, but you can't use a laser rifle to destroy a tank.

the fact that there might be some higher tier aliens in the group doesn't help matters, as you need to be a very high tier to destroy a single tank, and you can only probably do that a couple times before needing to recharge.

so my question is, how should my tier 3 aliens be equipped so that their combined flight and futuristic weaponry is superior to a modern military force?

i guess this question partially falls into the idea domain of futurism. i just had the thought of Halo aliens with plasma weapons ... hmmm .... flight rather than an advantage almost seems like a vulnerability unless you're using it to throw explosives over an area. so the tactics + weapons the aliens would use is the question. what do you guys think?
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:30 PM   #2
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: ultra tech beam weapons versus modern weapons

The first question to ask is, "Which lasers? And which tanks?". Choosing the exact technology will help us determine effectiveness. For example, say it's a modern TL 8 military you're talking about, and a TL 11 alien force, one that uses X-ray lasers for their main beam weapons. If the aliens are all fielding X-ray dino lasers (8d, armor divisor 5) as their primary weapons, they'll be at least potentially effective against a TL 8 main battle tank (which has 1155 DR on the front, but only 165 DR against all other directions). The dino laser is doing slightly less damage on average than will penetrate the sides DR (avg. damage of 28 vs. the tank's DR, after divisor, of 33), but only slightly less. Several alien soldiers can probably whittle down the tank.

But that's just assuming the aliens have laser rifles, which, if they're expected to go up against things like tanks, is probably not the case. Rifles are designed to be carried by someone with human strength, basically unaugmented, and used against other infantry. If the aliens are regularly taking on bigger prey, and have some technology to make themselves stronger, they'll use bigger weapons. For example, with the sort of strength boosts available at TL 11 (battlesuits and similar stuff), carrying a semi-portable x-ray laser around seems considerably more practical. At 12d (5), that's now doing an average of 9 damage to the tank per shot that hits, and with the tank's large SM and the laser's high Acc and RoF and low Rcl, that's actually quite a lot of shots potentially hitting for every attack roll. The main battle tank's 176 HP may vanish faster than you'd think.

As a more general piece of advice, though, I'd also point out that you don't have to use published stats for any equipment if you don't think they're accurately representing the setting. This is all in aid of a Dragonball game, right? In that setting, it seems to me that military hardware is mostly there to show how incredible the protagonists are when they blow them up, not to be a serious challenge, and to show off how badass the alien tech is when it makes mincemeat of it. Consider simply dividing all DR and HP on things like tanks by some number, like 10. If a main battle tank has 116 DR on its front and 17 DR everywhere else, and 18 HP, it'll blow up very satisfactorily after one or two hits from either a strong ki user or an alien firing a laser blast. And meanwhile, to make your aliens or ki users competitive, you don't have to make them so powerful that there's a huge gulf between them and the next lower tiers. Just establish at the start that the tanks and other stuff having lowered resistance to damage is just a genre conceit, and ask the players not to try weird tricks with it.
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: ultra tech beam weapons versus modern weapons

didn't know about those dino lasers! checked out this page: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=86438

so apparently beam weapons are redeemable if you take into account weapons like dino lasers and laser cannons.

my Dragon Ball inspired ruleset/game world is more like Mailanka's Psi Wars in that it borrows from several sources, mainly including my own imagination, to make a more consistent ki warrior game-verse inspired by Akira Toriyama's creation. so i'd prefer tanks to be as powerful as they are in TL 8, etc. i'd rather just make it so a skilled group of aliens flying around with a laser cannon can use it to puncture armor and go for the tank's "vitals" to quickly take it out.
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: ultra tech beam weapons versus modern weapons

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Originally Posted by gibberingmouther View Post
so i'd prefer tanks to be as powerful as they are in TL 8, etc. i'd rather just make it so a skilled group of aliens flying around with a laser cannon can use it to puncture armor and go for the tank's "vitals" to quickly take it out.
Fair enough! I'd certainly recommend picking up Ultra-Tech if you're looking for more tech options for your aliens. X-ray lasers aren't even the best beam weapons in there (you can get ones with armor divisors of 10, rather than 5, for instance), and it's got lots of other fun toys for the aliens to play with.

But you don't need to buy Ultra-Tech if you don't want to, either. If you know what sort of DR and HP you want to give your TL 8 vehicles, you can just make up stats for weapons that will regularly penetrate their armor and bring them down to killing-level HP. Ultra-Tech is guesswork, remember - reasonably good, well-researched guesswork, by and large, sure. But still, guesswork. If you just make up weapon stats on your own, they can be plausible. Just do the math to make sure they're killing tanks at a rate you're comfortable with. :)
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: ultra tech beam weapons versus modern weapons

Ultra tech has "issues" that may not be obvious to first time readers.
But absolutely works wonderfully for sci fi ideas.

Edit: to be clear, the worst Gurps book is still better than pretty much 99% of all other RPG books.
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: ultra tech beam weapons versus modern weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
Fair enough! I'd certainly recommend picking up Ultra-Tech if you're looking for more tech options for your aliens. X-ray lasers aren't even the best beam weapons in there (you can get ones with armor divisors of 10, rather than 5, for instance), and it's got lots of other fun toys for the aliens to play with.

But you don't need to buy Ultra-Tech if you don't want to, either. If you know what sort of DR and HP you want to give your TL 8 vehicles, you can just make up stats for weapons that will regularly penetrate their armor and bring them down to killing-level HP. Ultra-Tech is guesswork, remember - reasonably good, well-researched guesswork, by and large, sure. But still, guesswork. If you just make up weapon stats on your own, they can be plausible. Just do the math to make sure they're killing tanks at a rate you're comfortable with. :)
Should you want some guidance, there is "Blaster and Laser Design" from Pyramid #3/37.
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: ultra tech beam weapons versus modern weapons

Lasers have the advantage in accuracy, ammunition, and range. Kinetic energy weapons have the advantage in damage and flexibility, but it is possible for lasers to shoot down the projectiles of kinetic energy weapons (though it is usually only possible when the flight times are greater than a second, if you have ultra-tech sensors, and if you have computer-assisted targeting).
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: ultra tech beam weapons versus modern weapons

I know one poster on these boards has an awesome detailed realistic site on energy weapons. But I can't remember who since my last computer died and I lost most of my favorites.
I want to say lwcamp, but that's a shot in the dark, so to speak.
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Old 12-28-2017, 06:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: ultra tech beam weapons versus modern weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I know one poster on these boards has an awesome detailed realistic site on energy weapons. But I can't remember who since my last computer died and I lost most of my favorites.
I want to say lwcamp, but that's a shot in the dark, so to speak.
That is exactly who it is and this is the link I keep in my favorites.

http://panoptesv.com/RPGs/Equipment/...apons.php?HR=0
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: ultra tech beam weapons versus modern weapons

First off, determine if you want infantry to readily take down armored cavalry. If you're making your own setting (and thus aren't stuck with Dragonball's premise when it comes to modern technology - namely, that it's useless against the characters), and you want lower tier ki warriors to not be tank-killers... then don't have alien mooks be tank-killers. Their incredible mobility, highly-accurate weapons, and improved armor technology all give them a huge advantage over TL 8 infantry, and in fact just about anything short of a tank or perhaps an APC will likely fall to them rather quickly. When they need to take out tanks, they either call in their own armor, or they may have some specialists with antitank weaponry. Of course, against a TL 8 tank, you don't need to get that special - a TL 11 thimble grenade with a HEMP warhead does 21d(10) cr inc, which will punch through any part of the tank's armor but the front. Toss a couple as you fly over a tank, and as long as one hits the tank's crew is likely dead or seriously injured.
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