I don't think alternate ammunition for Las-weapons would be the way to go. It would be very odd to have many different kinds of ammunition for what should be one-size-fits-all ubiquitously available generalized standard munitions. It is well-known that lasguns are outperformed by many other weapons; lasguns are used as the Kalashnikovs (R.I.P. Q_Q) of the 41st millennium.
Lasweapons, however, could potentially have a wide range of different patterns and types, and I think Lasweapons should have access to many different and diverse weapon upgrades.
And with that logic in mind, Hotshot Laspacks doesn't make sense and never made sense. "Hotshot Charger" makes a lot more sense, and could be an available mod/upgrade for Lasweapons - "Hellguns" being those lasguns that comes with a pre-assembled and integrated Hotshot Charger.
The "Variable Setting" should also be a Special Quality available to specific-pattern lasweapons, but also available as a general lasweapon mod/upgrade, perhaps mutually exclusive (as an upgrade) to the Hotshot Charger.
In addition to that, lasweapons could have focusing lenses, dispersal attachments, etc, etc, etc. Perhaps, to keep up with ammunition and genuinely separate the weapons, some of these mods could be easily affixed, allowing you to rearrange your output on-the-fly.
Affixing a Lasweapon Focus Lense that doubles range but forces any and all penetration to zero (no matter the weapon and attached mods), halves the damage bonus (so 1d10+4 becomes 1d10+2) and gives Accurate. Half-Range. Incompatible with Variable Setting (or whatever such a Special Quality would be called; the overcharge function simply wouldn't work without damaging the lens).
Attaching a Wide-Beam Dispersal Shocker completely disperses the laser, resulting in a brief but strong flash of light; completely removes damage, reduces range to 1/3, but let's it act as a directed Flash Grenade, extending in a 30-degree arc - the damage modifier of the Lasweapon adds to the difficulty in resisting the effects (So a 1d10+1 Laspistol would make the opponent (or ally...) take -10 to the test. 1d10+5 would mean -50 to the test, etc). Might cause permanent retinal damage or minor burns at very close ranges (such as Point-Blank) at the GM:s discretion.
Mounting (or unmounting) a "Light-Puncher" Flakburner Lens takes 1 round and a Routine (+20) Tech-Use Test or a Trivial Trade (Technomat or Armourer) Test, and transfers Bonus Damage to Penetration at a 1:1 rate (1d10+1 Pen 1 becomes 1d10 Pen 2), but removes Reliable (or, if it did not have Reliable, makes the weapon Unreliable), Accurate (if it had it), and reduces effective range by 1/2. Adds Recharge (2) Incompatible with Charge Pack Modifications and Variable Settings set to overcharge.
(Recharge (2) means that it can fire twice before needing one full round to recharge - can be forced to recharge before firing twice, but takes a Half-Action or Reaction).
Just some ideas. Making Lasweapons highly modular could make up for the many different kinds of ammunitions they don't get, and simply make the different Types of weapons matter more, without necessarily "overpowering" lasweapons in regards to how much they are actually supposed to suck in the setting.
These are just brainstormed - they haven't actually been playtested at all. Mileage may vary and without doing crunch on the various lasweapons, it's impossible to tell if this would be worthwile or unbalancing. Just throwing it out there.
Minions and Comrades serve different functions.
Comrades are a mechanism to have a 10-man squad while a) having half the number of players and b) still making the PCs completely central.
I know what they're for. I'm saying I don't like that mechanic and how it's depicted (or how it lacks being depicted). Just because you don't like something doesn't mean that you don't understand it - in my experience, to me, it's usually the opposite.
Also, Comrades are far more than what you describe. In both cases, Companions/Minions vs. Comrades, they are effectively extensions of the player characters, following their orders. And in Only War, Comrades even have a wide range of talents associated with them. Yet there's a complete absence of rules regarding their actual nature or guidelines to generate their statlines.
"I tell my Comrade to shoot at that ork over there."
"Alright. What's his BS?"
"I.. have no clue? Don't you have stats for these things?"
Even their creation is incredibly shallow. I realize that this is due to the comrades never being supposed to outshine their 'masters', but it all ends up being very vague. What can an Operator's Comrade do? Can he assist the Operator in Operate tests? Can he assist in Tech-Use? I don't know, do you?
Instead, I think that the "Minion" rules should be used in Only War, with the player characters (when applicable) simply gaining a 'Minion', created with pre-defined restrictions aside from the regular "Minion" creation rules, including "No special traits, humans with minimum characteristics of 20 to 25 and a maximum of 30 to 35, only Tier 1 Talents, and only these Skills based on the player characters Specialization" (so an Operator Comrade might get a choice of Operate skills, Tech-Use, etc, while a Sergeant's Comrade is forced to have Tech-Use and may choose to have a single Tactics skill or Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis).
Or at least something along those lines.
Edited by Fgdsfg, 24 December 2013 - 04:34 AM.