Thursday, 23 February 2017

Equipment Locker: Beam SMGs and Beam Staffs

I've already made some pretty big expansions to David Pulver's system for designing energy weapons but I'm always looking for new stuff to add. The biggest gap I saw that needed filling was the lack of any intermediate weapon form factors between pistols and rifles. In real life, the personal defence weapon (PDW) is a vital part of most modern military and police forces, as it gives a happy medium of firepower, controllability, and manoeuvrability in small spaces. For added fun, I also came up with a way to make energy weapons into long staffs, like the Goa'uld staff weapon from the Stargate series. Any plasma SMGs, blaster PDWs, or laser staffs you want can be made with the tricks here!

The two new configurations use the modified rules for determining a weapon's Acc that I introduced in my post for new beam types for the design system. The equation you need is:

Acc = Ca×Ab

Check the post linked above for explanation, as this post will only give values for Ca for the configurations.

A two-handed weapon that is shorter than a rifle, resulting in a shorter sightline and focusing array, but more stable than an equivalent pistol, with a more compact frame with a lower bulk. Typical of PDWs, short carbines, and weapons designed for CQB.
  For SMGs, Ca is 1.5, ST multiplier is 2.2, SB is 1.5, and minimum Bulk is -2. Use Beam Weapons (SMG) to wield – this is a new speciality of the Beam Weapons skill, defaulting to DX-4, other Beams-4, or Guns (SMG)-4. Optionally, if using the revised Guns specialities (Pyramid #3/65, p. 16), SMGs are wielded with Beam Weapons (Long Arm).

A long, thin weapon of the size and shape of a staff, with the optics, accelerators, or other internal components distributed through the long haft. The lack of a stock or proper sights reduces accuracy, though advanced shooters can mitigate this by holding the staff over the shoulder like a rocket launcher to use the entire length of the weapon as a sightline.
  For staffs, Ca is 0.75, ST multiplier is 2.4, SB is 1.5, and minimum Bulk is -4. Use Beam Weapons (Staff) to wield – this is a new speciality of the Beam Weapons skill, defaulting to DX-4, or other Beams-4.

Here are two examples of weapons created using the system.

  Laser PDW (TL10): A two-handed laser weapon using the same generator as the heavy laser pistol (GURPS Ultra-Tech, p. 115) with a higher rate of fire, mounted in a compact carbine frame with an integrated stock, pistol grip and foregrip, like an FN P90.
  Goa'uld Staff Weapon (TL11^): A long, two-yard staff with weighted heads on either end. One holds the emitter of a plasma weapon and the other holds a naqada fuel cell (a superscience nonrechargeable power cell). The staff can also be wielded as a melee weapon, acting as a quarterstaff (GURPS Basic Set, p. 273) with +1 damage per die for swing attacks only. The staff is both Cheap (-1 Acc, -1 Malf., -0.5 CF) and Heavy (+50% weight, -0.25CF).

TL Weapon Damage Acc Range Weight RoF Shots ST Bulk Rcl Cost LC Notes
Laser PDW
4d(2) burn 9 300/900 4.8/2C 20 56(3) 4† -3 1 $3,800 2
Goa'uld Staff
12d(2) burn ex 2 300/900 4.3/C 3 95(3) 4† -4 2 $1,280 2 [1]

[1] Malf. 16.


  1. Thanks for this; I've had Goa'uld weapons and equipment on my to-do list for quite a bit now, but it looks like you've got that handled, now! Cheers!

  2. This is the second post out of the Sci-fi blogs I follow to tackle beam SMGs, and the first to offer real stats (beyond pointing out the need for them). This will directly help my work. Thanks!

  3. Don't forget to add BEAMS (SMG) (Defaults to DX-4, other Beams-4, or Guns (SMG)-4. Also Figuring Acc for SMGs is a bit easier then needing a formula heh. It's 8 for Blaster, Neutral Particle and Pulsar. It's 6 for Plasma Guns and 9 for all Lasers, Force, Gaser and Graviton.

    1. I'm personally a fan of the reduced number of specialities for Guns optional rule, using just Pistol, Longarm and LAW, so I stuck with that for the SMGs.

    2. I'm in the same boat there, I much prefer Han's rules when it comes to guns. I was just going off of my habit to stay as close to RAW with my posts as possible just to keep things universal heh.

    3. That's actually a very good point, so I've updated the post to reflect both the vanilla and optional rules.