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Old 10-20-2019, 09:17 PM   #1
Sorenant
 
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Default [LT/UT] Vibroblade Spear + Laser Pistol Combination Weapon

I want to design a spear that doubles as ranged weapon and this is my first attempt. Does it feel right?
I don't think Combination Gadget rule applies for weapons, but it was the closest thing I found so I went ahead and used anyway to combine a Vibroblade Spear with a Laser Pistol. I've also used the Combination Weapon rule from MA to recalculate minST (it also matches with LTC2).

Code:
SPEAR (DX-5, Polearm-4, or Staff-2)
    			Dmg		Reach		Parry		Cost		Weight		ST
Vibro Spear		thr+2(3) imp	1*		0		$1,420		5.3/C		11
Two Hands		thr+3(3) imp	1,2*		0		-		-		10


BEAM WEAPONS (SPEAR) (DX-4, other Beam Weapons-4)
		Damage		Acc	Range		Weight		RoF		Shots		ST		Bulk	Rcl	Cost
Laser Beamer	3d(2) burn	3[1]	200/600		5.3/C		10		33(3)		11[2]		-6[3]	1	$1,420
Notes:
[1] It's configuration is similar to Beamer so Acc is reduced.
[2] Same ST as using the spear (melee) mode of attack with one hand.
[3] Bulk from spear when using Thrown Weapon (Spear).
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:48 PM   #2
Varyon
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Default Re: [LT/UT] Vibroblade Spear + Laser Pistol Combination Weapon

A few points of note here.

Weapons above TL6 IIRC are considered Fine by default, for +1 to damage, for thr+3 and thr+4, respectively.

You have enough real estate with a spear-sized weapon to aim decently well, provided you equip it with sights of some sort. I'd probably keep pistol Acc (indeed, you could justify boosting it to something more akin to laser rifle Acc).

There's no good reason to throw your weapon when you can use it to shoot people. The spear is therefore rather unlikely to be weighted for throwing. I suggest using the type of spear head that the heavy spear and short spear have (both of which aren't weighted for throwing, but get +1 damage when used for a tip slash).

Due to vibroweapons getting an additional +1d when used for cutting, I'd suggest adding in lines for the tip slash damage. This is normally -2 relative to impaling, for thr+1d+1(3) and thr+1d+2(3), respectively (for a Fine spear). If you use my advice from above, however, this becomes thr+1d+2(3) and thr+1d+3(3), respectively*.

You may wish to consider making the weapon Superfine. This would boost the cost to $2,060**, but would give a further +1 to damage (as for Very Fine) and an armor divisor of (5). An ST 11 soldier using it in two hands would thus deal 1d+4(5) imp with a normal thrust or 2d+3(5) cut with a tip slash. The thrust (average damage for penetration 37.5) can get through any flexible armor at TL 10 (but will be stopped if trauma plates come into play) and will get past most lower-TL armor, while the tip slash (average damage for penetration 50) can make it past light clamshell or the limb armor of a combat hardsuit. Your current build, with only 1d+3(3) imp (19.5 penetration) or 2d+2(3) cut (27 penetration) will fair far worse against armor.

Finally, I'd argue that only the weight of the spearhead (1 lb) should be considered for determining the drain on the energy cell, so a C cell can work for up to 300 seconds. If you use the same energy cell for the laser portion as for the vibroblade, each shot uses up 9 seconds. Note also the vibrations may throw off the weapon's aim, although these vibrations being more predictable than the inherent shakiness of the normal weapon platform - a Mk I human - the microcomputer controlling the range adjustments for the laser can probably compensate well enough for you to not notice any difference.

*Yes, this means a vibrospear will almost always perform better with a tip slash than a normal thrust. If, like me, you find this problematic, you may wish to consider boosting the armor divisor of impaling vibroweapons.

**Arguably, Superfine was meant for swords and the like, not spears, so should have a higher cost (like how Very Fine is +19 CF for swords, but +49 CF for spears). However, UT also uses the outdated multiplicative modifiers rather than the additive CF of current GURPS books. Changing to CF, Superfine would be +5 CF and Vibroblade would be +9 CF (rather than the two together becoming x30); Superfine for a spear would this be something like +14 CF, for a total of +24 CF, which would actually cost less than the above.
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:58 AM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [LT/UT] Vibroblade Spear + Laser Pistol Combination Weapon

It is still an odd choice when you can have TL10 heavy pistol deal 8d(5) imp inc damage with Viper HEMP rounds (skill 14) for $2.04 per bullet. Since piercing damage is replaced with HEMP damage and user skill is replaced with bullet skill, 1/2 D range is a meaningless concept, meaning that you can engage at the full range of 2,000 yards. By comparison, vibroblades are sort of pointless, as laser pistols, for military purposes.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:56 AM   #4
Sorenant
 
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Default Re: [LT/UT] Vibroblade Spear + Laser Pistol Combination Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Weapons above TL6 IIRC are considered Fine by default, for +1 to damage, for thr+3 and thr+4, respectively.
Good thinking, I forgot about that bonus. Thanks for reminding me of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
You have enough real estate with a spear-sized weapon to aim decently well, provided you equip it with sights of some sort. I'd probably keep pistol Acc (indeed, you could justify boosting it to something more akin to laser rifle Acc).
I picture this weapon to look like an ordinary spear (as far as ultratech vibro spear with built-in laser can be), so there's no sights and aiming something like this straight is awkward due to the constraints on wrist movement. Even when using it two-handed I think the best way would be shooting from a lower stance, kinda like when sometimes you see action heroes hip shooting gatling, or try to raise it to eye-level by holding it in an awkward way not unlike reverse-grip. Regardless, I think Acc equivalent to weapons with proper configuration to be aimed is not achivable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
There's no good reason to throw your weapon when you can use it to shoot people. The spear is therefore rather unlikely to be weighted for throwing. I suggest using the type of spear head that the heavy spear and short spear have (both of which aren't weighted for throwing, but get +1 damage when used for a tip slash).
Another good point. The laser part is precisely a replacement to throwing the weapon. I don't think there was any extra cost to change spear head types so it's pure bonus, nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Due to vibroweapons getting an additional +1d when used for cutting, I'd suggest adding in lines for the tip slash damage. This is normally -2 relative to impaling, for thr+1d+1(3) and thr+1d+2(3), respectively (for a Fine spear). If you use my advice from above, however, this becomes thr+1d+2(3) and thr+1d+3(3), respectively*.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
*Yes, this means a vibrospear will almost always perform better with a tip slash than a normal thrust. If, like me, you find this problematic, you may wish to consider boosting the armor divisor of impaling vibroweapons.
I use KYOS so tip slash is better than when using Basic damage table so I'm hesitant to give full benefit of vibroblade to it. Besides, I think there's a case to be made that a tip slashes doesn't use proper cutting edges deserving of extra damage, and that only something like glaive can claim this bonus.
On the other hand, Kromm confirms tip slash is treated as cutting for all purposes, so by RAW it should include the bonus damage. The problem here is the interaction with older rules that assumed thrust damage is going to be much worse than swing damage (though not so much for average humans).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
You may wish to consider making the weapon Superfine. This would boost the cost to $2,060**, but would give a further +1 to damage (as for Very Fine) and an armor divisor of (5). An ST 11 soldier using it in two hands would thus deal 1d+4(5) imp with a normal thrust or 2d+3(5) cut with a tip slash. The thrust (average damage for penetration 37.5) can get through any flexible armor at TL 10 (but will be stopped if trauma plates come into play) and will get past most lower-TL armor, while the tip slash (average damage for penetration 50) can make it past light clamshell or the limb armor of a combat hardsuit. Your current build, with only 1d+3(3) imp (19.5 penetration) or 2d+2(3) cut (27 penetration) will fair far worse against armor.

**Arguably, Superfine was meant for swords and the like, not spears, so should have a higher cost (like how Very Fine is +19 CF for swords, but +49 CF for spears). However, UT also uses the outdated multiplicative modifiers rather than the additive CF of current GURPS books. Changing to CF, Superfine would be +5 CF and Vibroblade would be +9 CF (rather than the two together becoming x30); Superfine for a spear would this be something like +14 CF, for a total of +24 CF, which would actually cost less than the above.
Fine and Super Fine on spears are awkward, the Fine CF for spear is cheaper than the one for Swords, while Superfine is more expensive, so I'm not sure what Superfine would cost for impaling only weapons. I have Tech and Toys III but all it says is that "Superfine weapons cost six times list price (this replaces other multipliers for superfine listed in Ultra-Tech)" which is not very helpful. My guess is that it means a superfine vibroblade would cost 10*6=60 times list price but I'm far from sure.
I definitely want Superfine, however, so actually using it as spear might be more worthwhile. I think at least for the moment it would be better to use the RAW cost of x30 from UT, upping the final cost to (40*30)+(1100*.8)=$2,080, perhaps rounded down to a nice $2k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Finally, I'd argue that only the weight of the spearhead (1 lb) should be considered for determining the drain on the energy cell, so a C cell can work for up to 300 seconds. If you use the same energy cell for the laser portion as for the vibroblade, each shot uses up 9 seconds. Note also the vibrations may throw off the weapon's aim, although these vibrations being more predictable than the inherent shakiness of the normal weapon platform - a Mk I human - the microcomputer controlling the range adjustments for the laser can probably compensate well enough for you to not notice any difference.
Your argument is valid and I'm going along with it. Tthe rule in UT seems to only have weapons that are mostly blade in mind, so I believe it's fair to use knife-like weight to calculate duration. Regarding aiming and vibration, the text makes believe the vibration is barely perceptive to humans so I think it's at worst a matter of familiarity, like using a rifle with bayonet.


Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
It is still an odd choice when you can have TL10 heavy pistol deal 8d(5) imp inc damage with Viper HEMP rounds (skill 14) for $2.04 per bullet. Since piercing damage is replaced with HEMP damage and user skill is replaced with bullet skill, 1/2 D range is a meaningless concept, meaning that you can engage at the full range of 2,000 yards. By comparison, vibroblades are sort of pointless, as laser pistols, for military purposes.
It's for a very cinematic (and arguably whacky) world, so that type of realism is not a priority, to be honest. To give you an idea, this weapon is going to be used by high tech ancient greeks: hoplites with hardshell panoply armed with force shields and these laser shooting spears, in a world with an extra layer of anachronism featuring western european knights in battlesuits wielding hyperdense greatswords. It also has giant mechas instead of tanks, by the way.

Last edited by Sorenant; 10-21-2019 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:29 AM   #5
Varyon
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Default Re: [LT/UT] Vibroblade Spear + Laser Pistol Combination Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
I picture this weapon to look like an ordinary spear (as far as ultratech vibro spear with built-in laser can be), so there's no sights and aiming something like this straight is awkward due to the constraints on wrist movement. Even when using it two-handed I think the best way would be shooting from a lower stance, kinda like when sometimes you see action heroes hip shooting gatling, or try to raise it to eye-level by holding it in an awkward way not unlike reverse-grip. Regardless, I think Acc equivalent to weapons with proper configuration to be aimed is not achivable.
There's little good reason to do this, as the spear is going to obviously not be a normal spear. I think the Jaffa staff weapons (which your spears are rather similar to) in Stargate lacked sights and the like due mostly to mistakes made by the design team, although the Goa'uld wanting the weapons to be more difficult to use in case of armed rebellion could be a part of it. If you simply want it for aesthetic reasons or for some concept of game balance, that's fine, although you may want to consider what will happen when a player gets the idea to have his character install some sights on the thing (or worse, figures out a way to slave the aiming system* to his HUD).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
I use KYOS so tip slash is better than when using Basic damage table so I'm hesitant to give full benefit of vibroblade to it. Besides, I think there's a case to be made that a tip slashes doesn't use proper cutting edges deserving of extra damage, and that only something like glaive can claim this bonus.
On the other hand, Kromm confirms tip slash is treated as cutting for all purposes, so by RAW it should include the bonus damage. The problem here is the interaction with older rules that assumed thrust damage is going to be much worse than swing damage (though not so much for average humans).
KYOS simply means higher thrust damage here, which equally benefits both the normal thrust and the tip slash. Also, I tend to think of the tip-slash-enhanced spearhead of the short spear and heavy spear to be akin to a knife blade, so I feel at least with that it should get the full benefit of being a vibroblade. As noted, to make the normal thrust competitive, I feel vibroblades should give a better armor divisor to impaling attacks than to cutting - 3->5 for normal vibroblades, 5->10 for superfine ones. This will make the stab better for getting past armor (an average roll needs DR 75 to stop), but the tip slash better for fighting unarmored/lightly armored foes and crippling limbs.


*Realistically, lasers need to be designed to focus on a specific point, rather than just sending out a beam of constant width, in order to get the impressive ranges seen in UT. This can roughly consist of something akin to a camera's rangefinder and autofocus, and to prevent it from getting stopped by leaves/debris between you and the target, it may need a built-in camera with a pattern recognition program running to prevent it from autofocusing on illegitimate targets (a simple laser rangefinder would fail at that). However, with the oddities of your setting, you could easily disregard this - lasers go *PEW PEW* and burn stuff, probably with visible beams.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:06 AM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [LT/UT] Vibroblade Spear + Laser Pistol Combination Weapon

If it is just cinematic 'Hoplites in Space', I would suggest building weapons as gadgets or modified Signature Gear. For example, you could have a melee Impaling Attack with an alternate attack of a ranged Burning Attack as a gadget or you could just add extra damage and armor piercing to a combination weapon as Signature Gear. Either way, it is a more flexible route to take with the design.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:42 PM   #7
Sorenant
 
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Default Re: [LT/UT] Vibroblade Spear + Laser Pistol Combination Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
There's little good reason to do this, as the spear is going to obviously not be a normal spear. I think the Jaffa staff weapons (which your spears are rather similar to) in Stargate lacked sights and the like due mostly to mistakes made by the design team, although the Goa'uld wanting the weapons to be more difficult to use in case of armed rebellion could be a part of it. If you simply want it for aesthetic reasons or for some concept of game balance, that's fine, although you may want to consider what will happen when a player gets the idea to have his character install some sights on the thing (or worse, figures out a way to slave the aiming system* to his HUD).
Thanks for the Stargate link, I knew I had seem this kind of weapon multiple times in all kind of media but I couldn't recall the specifics of any.
Regarding the Acc itself, I'm going to keep it at 3 for now because it fits perfectly in the Beamer description from Blaster and Laser Design: "The weapon is handheld but has no stock or hand-grip and no special aiming systems." I think sights could work like a Panzerfaust, but HT gives Acc 0 to it and using it one-handed could be awkward. HUD Link gives +1 too Acc and I don't think there's a problem with this, Laser Sight also could work well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
*Realistically, lasers need to be designed to focus on a specific point, rather than just sending out a beam of constant width, in order to get the impressive ranges seen in UT. This can roughly consist of something akin to a camera's rangefinder and autofocus, and to prevent it from getting stopped by leaves/debris between you and the target, it may need a built-in camera with a pattern recognition program running to prevent it from autofocusing on illegitimate targets (a simple laser rangefinder would fail at that). However, with the oddities of your setting, you could easily disregard this - lasers go *PEW PEW* and burn stuff, probably with visible beams.
Yes, my setting is far from a hard scifi with a well thought system like that. As you said, it's a spear that fires bright projectiles as it goes pew pew, it's a magic bolt with a chrome finish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
KYOS simply means higher thrust damage here, which equally benefits both the normal thrust and the tip slash. Also, I tend to think of the tip-slash-enhanced spearhead of the short spear and heavy spear to be akin to a knife blade, so I feel at least with that it should get the full benefit of being a vibroblade. As noted, to make the normal thrust competitive, I feel vibroblades should give a better armor divisor to impaling attacks than to cutting - 3->5 for normal vibroblades, 5->10 for superfine ones. This will make the stab better for getting past armor (an average roll needs DR 75 to stop), but the tip slash better for fighting unarmored/lightly armored foes and crippling limbs.
You have a point, I'm still on fence but much more inclined to giving the damage bonus to tip slashes. Still, doing so would make tip slashes deal +2.5 damage relative to impaling (-2 from tip slash, +1 from heavy spearhead, +3.5=1d from Vibroblade), so it would be desirable to give stabs more oomph.
One idea is also applying the Armor-Piercer option from LTC2: -1 to imp damage for AD(2). In this case, the AD would increase the existing AD by one step to (10), like you suggested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
If it is just cinematic 'Hoplites in Space', I would suggest building weapons as gadgets or modified Signature Gear. For example, you could have a melee Impaling Attack with an alternate attack of a ranged Burning Attack as a gadget or you could just add extra damage and armor piercing to a combination weapon as Signature Gear. Either way, it is a more flexible route to take with the design.
It's certainly an idea, but I find gadgets to be too personal and Innate Attacks expensive in high/ultra-tech settings. Making pre-defined weapons using Innate Attacks and then filling the blanks (eg bulk, minST) to turn into gear could work, but I think that would be as much or more work than simply building as equipment from get go.
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