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House ruling a difference between Blasters and Slug Throwers

52 posts in this topic

 

 

I can't suspend disbelief that an energy weapon bolt would travel slower than a solid projectile.

Boy, you must really hate Star Wars then... with all the bolts flying about slow enough for us to see them... ;)

 

Nah I just don't like to try and impose unrealistic mechanics on what are clearly cinematic decisions. It doesn't make sense for me that a plasma bolt travels slower than a bullet, even if it's actually moving slower than lightspeed for whatever reason.

 

 

Realism : Star Wars

Oil : Water

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A lot of people are talking about plasma and such, but from what I understand blaster bolts are not actually plasma bolts. They seem more like charged particle clouds.

 

A charged particle cloud makes more sense, and fits all the seen examples.

 

1) Damage: Damage from a blaster bolt is closer to flaying than it is to burning. It is like being hit with a super sand blaster. Every particle in the cloud that hits the target has a decent chance of passing part way into it before hitting another particle, and when it does it would shove whatever particle it hits and agitate other particles, causing a ripple effect until the energy bleeds off enough to stop effecting nearby particles. It would feel like a burn and look like a burn too. It is even possible to explain stun settings with this if you use a more less charged and less dense cloud. With the lower overall charge it is less likely to interact with objects and more likely to pass through. If enough of the cloud breaches the skin and passes by nerves, they are highly likely to agitate them, and if you do this over enough of the body at once it will cause shock.

 

2) Speed: A charged particle cloud would move at whatever speed it was projected at. Since the cloud is charges, the most likely projection method is using railgun like electromagnetic coils. These can move objects very quickly, but not light speed. 

 

3) Maximum range: Blaster bolts disperse after a certain distance. This is simply the cloud not being able to maintain coherence enough to do effective damage. This especially plays a part in space. A charged particle cloud would be bouncing internally to the cloud, thus causing it to disperse. A laser or slug will continue along its path basically forever.

 

4) Deflection and redirection: In this case, you are not actually parrying the particles, but bringing the charged field of the lightsaber into line with the charged field of the blast. Same charges = repelled bolt. Same goes for deflection shields. All they are doing is producing a charged field that interacts with the field of the bolt. As the charges interact it would even cause some stress on the generator, thus being able to blast through them with enough power.

 

So what all this means with slug throwers and blasters:

 

1) They probably have about the same penetration, just in different ways.

 

2) A blaster bolt would be as fast as the projector is set to and still maintain the coherency of the clouds. Bullets are as fast as.. well... bullets.

 

3) Blasters have and bullets both have an effective range in a gravity well, but the bullet likely should have a longer range. Outside a gravity well, the bullet doesn't stop but the bolt stops being effective eventually.

 

4) Blasters can be parried and redirected. Bullets might be destroyed, depending on material, but could never be redirected.

 

Chunks of this are a result of reading though wookiepedia as well as some of my own interpretations based on various things said about blaster bolts and how they react to the enviroment.

 

I just realized that was way longer than I thought it would be.

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Realism : Star Wars

Oil : Water

 

In a lot of cases, not really. The movies may be epic space opera cinema but they don't go full-bore unrealistic gonzo in the way of law-of-physics defiance. If slugthrowers were so much better than blasters (faster shots etc) they'd be more widespread among security forces.

 

If you want to argue that Star Wars shouldn't follow some realism, do you also claim that the movies shouldn't follow easy questions of logic? Consider this.

 

Slugthrowers are not that widespread in use; blaster technology has been extant and dominant for millennia. And there are certainly existing reasons for blasters to be more prevalent (more ammo in a magazine, rechargeable ammunition store, usable without an atmosphere for powder ignition, assuming Star Wars slugthrowers would mostly use chemical propellant instead of magnetic acceleration). But if slugthrowers had better stopping power or their shots were harder to dodge/deflect, there's no logical reason they wouldn't be used more often, especially in atmospheric conditions.

Edited by Kshatriya
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The biggest things I've read against chemcial propellant slugthrowers is that, against comparative sized blasters, they're are less powerful, easier to defeat with armor, are heavier, carry far less ammo, are effected by recoil more and the ammo isn't as interchagable between guns as gas is between blasters.

 

On the pro side, they can be silenced and don't fire the equivilant of a tracer round every shot thus giving away your position. They can extend their range by firing on a ballistic arc where blasters just peter out and specialty ammo can defeat darn near anything if your willing to develop it or pay the credits to obtain it. Finally, the weapons themselves tend to be cheaper.

 

Other style of slugthrowers, such as railguns, are far more powerful than the chemical propellant variety. However, they tend to be very expensive and rare. Most vehicle slugthrower weapons fell out of favor after the advent of particle shielding, which easily defeated even the most powerful slugthrowers (as per Essential Guide to Warfare, so that no longer may be the case.) Laser and ion weapons ended up being far more effiecient at battering down shielding, so the switch was made and no one looked back.

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Slugthrower rifles can fire deadly poison tipped darts that apparently kill people dead in mere seconds. That's a pretty neat advantage over blasters that apparently can be shrugged off if It's Not That Bad.

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The differences are already sangificant.

Slug throwers are generally inferior anyway. Lower crit rating damage as standard, much cheaper

Cannot benefit from upgrades that would benefit blaster only. Spin, blast. Barrels for example. You would have to invent mod to raise damage on slug thrower, since superior is only option. Czerka adventurer is the example of a high floor, low ceiling weapon, since it's mod potential is low in terms of raw dps, but starts off amazing)

Harder to spot (bullet instead of plasma bolts)

Easier to pass through customs (bullet weapons are generally taken less seriously, can be used as sign of big game hunter or other occupation.)

Will ignore energy absorbing tech, so may counteract shields.

So generally, there are a large number of differences. Ideally, blasters would deal less damage, but would alway have percice, slug throwers would have higher base damage, but less damage overall due to general lack of armour penetration except on lightly armoured targets. As of it is, perice is basically a crappy form of damage that is unneeded on most weapons, unless it has a lot of it to raise the base damage of the weapon on heavily armoured targets. I have had arguments before, as I generally treat perice 1-2 guns as damage, since nothing we fight generally have less soak then that

As that isn't the case, atm most slug throwers are weapons you give to deprived npc', though if you have mechanic, you can devise damage upgrades. Exclusive weapon upgrades, explosive/ poison tipped rounds anyone?

Edited by LordBritish

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I've added the heavy blaster trait of "GM can spend 3 threat or 1 despair" to force any slugthrower to run out of ammo. Other then that, I think they are fine as is. But I've also added options such as Extended Extra Reloads (like normal, but Maneuver not needed to reload on FIRST out-of-ammo result) and Ammo Belts (ignore 3 out-of-ammo results, but action to reload, adds 2 to weapon cumbersome via a required weapon attachment*, and maneuver to prepare to fire after moving).

 

*A further modification to this attachment is the "Ammo Can" which removes these penalties and cuts cumbersome to 1.

Edited by Sturn

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As a House Rule for Slugthrowers, I say that instead of them adding wounds to the character they lower the wound threshold because the bullet is lodged in there or they are bleeding out as a result.

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As a House Rule for Slugthrowers, I say that instead of them adding wounds to the character they lower the wound threshold because the bullet is lodged in there or they are bleeding out as a result.

And what would be the mechanism to get it out?

 

That seems too good.

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I find it really interesting that so many people are invested in making slugthrowers more effective.  They're not supposed to be competitive with blasters except in certain niche roles, like sniping.  They're already incredibly cheap, easy to get ahold of, and reasonably lethal.

 

IIRC some of the early Star Wars material (might have been from WEG) extrapolated that the Rebel Alliance didn't use slugthrowers unless they had to due to the difficulty in supplying and carrying the ammo (easier to trace, and much heavier per round than blaster power cells) and because Stormtrooper armor rendered them almost worthless without difficult-to-obtain specialty rounds.

 

If anything I'd house rule that any kind of hardshell armor (laminate and above) gets double its soak value against slugs.  Yes, that would put the typical Stormtrooper at soak 7 versus slugthrowers.  The weapons should be fine against low-tech opponents (modern body armor probably qualifies as padded, tops) but obsolete on the galactic scale for a reason.

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As a House Rule for Slugthrowers, I say that instead of them adding wounds to the character they lower the wound threshold because the bullet is lodged in there or they are bleeding out as a result.

And what would be the mechanism to get it out?

 

That seems too good.

 

It's definitely too cumbersome. Obligation already has a chance to lower Strain Threshold at the beginning of sessions (like AoR has the chance to raise WT)...

But doing that sort of things multiple times during combat would be annoying. 

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I agree that we should be doing nothing to make them more effective compared to blasters. Do that (slugs compareable to lasers in effectiveness) for some other scifi game, but don't try to do it for Star Wars. Obviously blasters are the best weapon to use in Star Wars (versus slugs) or the slugs wouldn't be so rarely seen. If you change that, you are changing a facet of Star Wars. 

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Off topic a bit, but here's one thing that concerns me: the sniper slugthrower from Enter the Unknown (forget its name. Away from my book at the moment). The constant argument is that slugthrowers are ineffective against stormtrooper armor. Sure, that makes some sense for regular slugthrowers, but the sniper from EtU has Pierce Goddamn 5. That eats through nearly anyone's armor. How do we reconcile that? I have a player using one now, and with its Accurate 2 this thing is an absolute beast. I guess one could argue that it is a .50 BMG style round, but in that case, shouldn't it totally have Slow Fire and Limited Ammo?

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Off topic a bit, but here's one thing that concerns me: the sniper slugthrower from Enter the Unknown (forget its name. Away from my book at the moment). The constant argument is that slugthrowers are ineffective against stormtrooper armor. Sure, that makes some sense for regular slugthrowers, but the sniper from EtU has Pierce Goddamn 5. That eats through nearly anyone's armor. How do we reconcile that? I have a player using one now, and with its Accurate 2 this thing is an absolute beast. I guess one could argue that it is a .50 BMG style round, but in that case, shouldn't it totally have Slow Fire and Limited Ammo?

I think they forgot the limited ammo, it does list I think a 3 shot mag in the write up, so that should have been included.  I assume the 5 pierce was a mod?  

 

If you asking about a slugthrower being able to pierce in reality some big game rifles are more like small bazookas in reality and wouldn't have trouble piercing a hell of a lot of armor.

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Off topic a bit, but here's one thing that concerns me: the sniper slugthrower from Enter the Unknown (forget its name. Away from my book at the moment). The constant argument is that slugthrowers are ineffective against stormtrooper armor. Sure, that makes some sense for regular slugthrowers, but the sniper from EtU has Pierce Goddamn 5. That eats through nearly anyone's armor. How do we reconcile that? I have a player using one now, and with its Accurate 2 this thing is an absolute beast. I guess one could argue that it is a .50 BMG style round, but in that case, shouldn't it totally have Slow Fire and Limited Ammo?

 

Not having the book in question my assumption would be it is specifically designed to be armor piercing.

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Oddly enough, while several members of my group carry combat knives rather than vibroknives, none carry slugthrowers rather than blazers.

We do have a bounty hunter that uses the Air Rifle with SmartTranq, but that's not really the same (and she has a blaster rifle for when the Air Rifle isn't appropriate for the job).

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Ideally, I've wanted slug throwers to run out of ammo quicker than blasters, but in order for that to be fair, I'd have to up their damage and I'm not going to do that.

 

I've always considered the higher Encumberance of many slugthrowers compared to their blaster equivalents to represent the weight of additional ammunition.

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Ideally, I've wanted slug throwers to run out of ammo quicker than blasters, but in order for that to be fair, I'd have to up their damage and I'm not going to do that.

 

I've always considered the higher Encumberance of many slugthrowers compared to their blaster equivalents to represent the weight of additional ammunition.

 

 

I think this is easily taken care of by a utility belt.

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Off topic a bit, but here's one thing that concerns me: the sniper slugthrower from Enter the Unknown (forget its name. Away from my book at the moment). The constant argument is that slugthrowers are ineffective against stormtrooper armor. Sure, that makes some sense for regular slugthrowers, but the sniper from EtU has Pierce Goddamn 5. That eats through nearly anyone's armor. How do we reconcile that? I have a player using one now, and with its Accurate 2 this thing is an absolute beast. I guess one could argue that it is a .50 BMG style round, but in that case, shouldn't it totally have Slow Fire and Limited Ammo?

 

Not having the book in question my assumption would be it is specifically designed to be armor piercing.

 

 

By sniper rifle, are you referring to the Model 38? That weapon is Accurate 2 and Pierce 3. I don't see any Pierce 5 guns in EtU. The Model 77 air rifle is the highest with Pierce 4. 

 

The description for the Model 38 does state: It chambers a powerful, large-caliber round with a specially coated penetrating bullet that can pierce even the toughest hides.

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Off topic a bit, but here's one thing that concerns me: the sniper slugthrower from Enter the Unknown (forget its name. Away from my book at the moment). The constant argument is that slugthrowers are ineffective against stormtrooper armor. Sure, that makes some sense for regular slugthrowers, but the sniper from EtU has Pierce Goddamn 5. That eats through nearly anyone's armor. How do we reconcile that? I have a player using one now, and with its Accurate 2 this thing is an absolute beast. I guess one could argue that it is a .50 BMG style round, but in that case, shouldn't it totally have Slow Fire and Limited Ammo?

 

Not having the book in question my assumption would be it is specifically designed to be armor piercing.

 

 

By sniper rifle, are you referring to the Model 38? That weapon is Accurate 2 and Pierce 3. I don't see any Pierce 5 guns in EtU. The Model 77 air rifle is the highest with Pierce 4. 

 

The description for the Model 38 does state: It chambers a powerful, large-caliber round with a specially coated penetrating bullet that can pierce even the toughest hides.

 

 

I do find it odd there is no "Limited Ammo" tag on the slug throwers in EtU. Outside that as the GM I would combat the extreme range with environments,  mist, darkness, being in the city, toss out some destiny points for a jam so the minions/nemesis/rival can close in faster.

 

Honestly its probably one of the better sniper rifles out there when you take into account the 4 HP's (See my other thread on this topic for irony)

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Like I said on the Model 38 I think no listing for Limited Ammo was just an oversight as the write up says it has a detachable 5 shot mag.

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Limited Ammo just means it's a pain in the butt to reload. Slugthrowers aren't limited ammo because it's easy to drop out the old mag/clip and slap a new one in there. 

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Limited Ammo just means it's a pain in the butt to reload. Slugthrowers aren't limited ammo because it's easy to drop out the old mag/clip and slap a new one in there.

 

That's why I make them like Heavy Blaster Pistols instead - more prone to run out of ammo, but just as easy to reload as blasters.

 

Oddly enough, while several members of my group carry combat knives rather than vibroknives, none carry slugthrowers rather than blaZers.

 

Blazers_And_Lasers_Wiki_Banner.jpg

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What about the occasional fear check?  Bear with me on this....
For the most part, just about everyone in SW has some kind of blaster, either pistol or rifle.  They're fairly common...most spacers and ground bound folk have seen them before.  You pull the trigger, it goes *ZAP* and vaporizes a small crater in whatever you were shooting at, no problems.
But what about the time that thug/mook/bad guy shoulders an auto rifle and empties a magazine?  For those that have heard an auto rifle on 'Full Tilt Boogie', its a sound you don't easily forget.  And then theres the shrapnel of the bullets destroying smaller items and gouging chunks out of larger items.  Thats a whole lot of 'Holy %*#&@&^ Hell!' released all at once.

The other thing is, what about when the party is sneaking into, or out of, or through a building, doing their best to be quiet...and they hear that soft *click* of a hammer being cocked?

Or the time your group is moving through an overgrown area....jungle, city, what have you...and they hear that sizzle of an incoming shot, followed by the impact and one of the party drops.......and THEN they hear the crack of the sniper shooting?

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