a blog of short and medium length ttrpg thinking posts

Thursday, December 30, 2021

power tools (towards HULK RATS)

I have spent too much time thinking about first person shooters for someone who has not played one in years. Here's a sketch of a system encompassing scifi power tools (and, correspondingly, guns). This was written with a (forthcoming? who knows) mashup of Orbiter's Local 519 and Maze Rats in mind, working title: HULK RATS.

Power Tools Parts

A power tool has three parts: base, frame and head. The tool base powers the tool head, while the tool's frame lets the user it set up and control its action. The following frames can be used to create tools:

  • Pistol
    • Light action
    • Can be stowed
  • Foregrip
    • Standard action
    • Two-hand grip
  • Hybrid
    • Combines a primary and secondary action using either the same base or the same head.
    • Can be stowed if both actions are light.
    • Heavy actions can be used only with a brace or hardpoint.
    • On a usage roll of boxcars, tool fouls up and needs stripped and cleaned.
  • Mounted
    • Heavy action.
    • Needs a brace or a hardpoint

There are three tool bases and five tool heads. The actions and their weights (light, standard or heavy) of a tool is depends on the combination of its base and head. Not all combinations are viable, and not every action works at every weight.

Dynamo Exotic Pulse
Bit Ripper --- Ripper
Fork Plasma Manipulator ---
Shard Laser Exclusor Punch
Snub --- Punch Javelin
Spool Grappler --- Bolter

See below for a description of each of these different tool actions. The base of a tool also places restrictions on how it can be used. Whenever the usage of the tool indicates, roll 2d (or use the attack roll if used as an attack).

  • Dynamo bases power the tool with a highly efficient engine that burns chemical fuel. Unless the usage roll is greater than the amount of fuel burnt since the tool last cooled, the tool overheats.
    • Fuel capacity: 5 (base hybrid), 10 (pistol), 12 (head hybrid) 15 (foregrip), 24 (mounted).
    • Light usage burns 1 fuel, standard 2 and heavy 3.
    • Usage:
  • Exotic bases power the tool with an unstable core of exotic matter. If the usage roll is doubles, the core decays, overheating the tool and requiring replacement. Replacement cores can be carried in stabilizing traps.
  • Pulse bases power the tool with the energy of detonating pulse caps, supplied by a replaceable magazine. If the usage roll is snake-eyes, the mechanism has fouled and needs a round to be cleared.
    • Light magazine: 8 (base hybrid), 15 (pistol or head hybrid)
    • Standard magazine: 5 (base hybrid), 10 (foregrip or head hybrid)
    • Heavy magazine: 3 (base hybrid), 8 (mounted or head hybrid)

Tools do not cool in a vacuum unless coolant is applied.

Power Tools Actions

  • Bolter: Cuts and fires bolts cut from a spool of wire with the explosive force of pulse caps. Medium-range rapid-fire weapon. Usage per shot.
    • Light: 30 bolts per spool.
    • Standard: 20 bolts per spool, +1 damage.
    • Heavy: 15 bolts per spool, regular damage through light walls or double damage in direct fire.
  • Exclusor: Projects a two-dimensional manifold that suspends the momentum of any anything passing through it. Usage per impact.
    • Standard: up to three square meters.
    • Heavy: up to twelve square meters.
  • Grappler: Fires wires from a spool, pulling itself and anything it can hook to together. Wires can be cut loose at any point, a spool contains 60 meters of wire.
    • Light: hauls about thirty kilos. Usage per minute.
    • Standard: hauls about a hundred and fifty kilos. Usage per round.
    • Heavy: hauls about a thousand kilos. Usage per round.
  • Javelin: Fires a projectile with explosive force, which can carry a line or wire. Long-range weapon, projectile must be reloaded after each use. Pins targets to the wall behind them.
    • Standard: double damage in direct fire and normal damage through a light wall.
    • Heavy: triple damage in direct fire, double damage through a light wall and normal damage through two.
  • Laser: Fires a concentrated beam of energy, burning or superheating thermal insulators. Line of sight ranged attack, beam stays on target until the target saves or the user removes it.
    • Standard: 1 damage for each round the beam has already been on the target. Usage per round.
    • Heavy: 1 damage, +1 for each round the beam has already been on the target. Usage per round. The dynamo required for a heavy laser is too large to be used on a hybrid frame.
  • Manipulator: Captures an object in its field and uniformly charges it with kinetic energy. Strangely, the greater the discharge energy, the smaller the charging field. Usage per discharge. Line of sight weapon in microgravity, medium-ranged on moons and short-ranged on planets.
    • Light: captures up to thirty kilos and deals up to 2 damage.
    • Standard: captures up to eight kilos and deals up to 5 damage.
  • Plasma: Creates a deadly arc that ionizes and burns through thermal insulators. Can be used as a close combat weapon anywhere or a ranged one in an atmosphere. Usage every other round of cutting or per shot.
    • Light: normal damage, beam reaches to long range in atmosphere.
    • Standard: +1 damage, beam reaches to medium range in atmosphere.
    • Heavy: double damage, beam reaches to short range in atmosphere.
  • Punch: Delivers a blast of blunt force, which spreads over the surface of the target. Range weapon, requires no proficiency to use. Usage per shot.
    • Light (pulse): deals 1 damage and knocks sharply back within short range. Makes a small hole when held up to a light wall.
    • Standard (pulse or exotic): deals 1 damage and knocks sharply back up to medium range. Makes a large hole in a light wall or a small one in a sturdy wall.
    • Heavy (exotic): normal damage within short range, 1 damage within medium range and knocks sharply back up to long range.
  • Ripper: Cuts through stuff with a spinning blade or bit. As a heavy weapon (+1 damage) in close combat.
    • Standard (dynamo): cuts light walls, usage per meter.
    • Heavy (pulse): cuts any wall (three uses per meter). A heavy ripper can be used without a brace in close combat.

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