Particle beam radiation damage

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Old School
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Particle beam radiation damage

Postby Old School » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:42 pm

How do you guys handle radiation damage at the spaceship scale? Particularly looking at the Pirstes of Drinax: the Harrier is unbeatable against many opponnents due to the combination of superior thrust and superior range of the particle beam barbette. But if I’m reading the rules right, if you pop the average 200-400 ton ship with that particle beam a few times, everyone on board is dead from radiation exposure. Am I missing anything?
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:02 pm

Old School wrote: Am I missing anything?
No.

Note that by RAW you don't even have to hit with the Particles to induce the radiation damage:
Core, p75 wrote:Radiation: When a Radiation weapon is fired, anyone close to the firer, target and the line of fire in-between the two will receive 2D x 20 rads, multiplied by 5 for Spacecraft scale weapons.

I let ships with radiation shielding (≈all military ships) be effectively immune to Radiation for simplicity.

Civilians have the choice of surrender (hopefully) or death facing military weapons such as Particle, Fusion, or Nukes.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby Reynard » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:58 pm

I believe that was the whole purpose to 'give' players a PA weapon. It convinces targets they have little other choice and gives a.... slight edge on warships so they might get away. What it also does is make the players think. They have a devastating weapon. They can partially or wholly eliminate innocent crews in a couple shots without trying hard. Should they? Would they? Wow, dilemma.
Old School
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby Old School » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:09 am

Good input, thanks!
AndrewW
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby AndrewW » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:22 am

Reynard wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:58 pm
I believe that was the whole purpose to 'give' players a PA weapon. It convinces targets they have little other choice and gives a.... slight edge on warships so they might get away. Wow, dilemma.
Partially, it is meant as a heave to or else, also the range was a factor for ships that are silly enough to attempt to flee.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby PsiTraveller » Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:13 pm

The weapon can be devastating. My players rolled a 10 for rad count, X 20 is 200 rads, times 5 is 1000 rads. Spaceship hulls block 500 rads, but the 500 points that get through can really take the starch out of someone. 6D damage, sterility. Ouchie. A few hits and a smaller ship starts running out of crew. It is a terror weapon for the commerce raider. The threat of a Harrier in a region will have crews in protective gear all the time they are heading to port, or out to the Jump Point. Reynard's point is spot on. A particle weapon against a small trader is death. The ship will drop cargo and run as directed, or heave to for boarding.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby SSWarlock » Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:19 pm

And don't forget that radiation is the gift that keeps on giving. Not much point in boarding a ship that's heavily irradiated by multiple PA hits. That radiation doesn't just go away instantly. It keeps spreading its effects to anyone who get close enough to its radiating source.
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PsiTraveller
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby PsiTraveller » Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:23 pm

Not sure if the particle weapon gives long term effects. Page 77 of core book:

"Travellers exposed to a weapon with the Radiation trait
will receive a one-time dose of radiation. Entering a
radioactive area or being exposed to a leak or solar flare
will cause exposure each round or hour respectively"

The question to answer next is does the particle beam weapon make an area radioactive for long term exposure? If so it might be terrible for a pirate weapon as it makes the ship useless to let go so the trader can be robbed later on.
Old School
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby Old School » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:17 pm

I’m thinking the paricle beam would be good matched with an advanced technology pulse laser, with the advanced texh goving it the long rsnge trait. Thst pushes the pulse laser from long to very long. Then youve got two weapins thst can batter opponents from a distance, one with radiation.

Also makes radiation shielding a must.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:33 pm

SSWarlock wrote: And don't forget that radiation is the gift that keeps on giving. Not much point in boarding a ship that's heavily irradiated by multiple PA hits. That radiation doesn't just go away instantly. It keeps spreading its effects to anyone who get close enough to its radiating source.
I don't think that is much of a problem. A Particle hit would leave very little residual radiation, and that would be easily countered by anti-par medication.

The residual radiation from Nukes are mostly the remains of the weapon, not induced radiation.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby steve98052 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:40 am

There are two ways to leave residual radioactivity.

One is neutron activation, where atoms in a substance absorb enough neurons that they become unstable. Some atoms can absorb quite a few neutrons without becoming radioactive; they're useful for fission reactor control rods, as well as for shielding. Other atoms become radioactive by absorbing just one neutron. Technically, it's possible for particles other than neutrons to be absorbed and make atoms radioactive, but they must be much more energetic than neutrons, so all other particles add up to very little of what we might call "non-neutron activation". Anything left inside a fission reactor will gradually become radioactive due to neutron activation, because fission reactors are neutron-rich environments.

The other is fallout, where matter that is already radioactive is left behind. That happens from a dirty bomb, the fission products of a nuclear bomb, and to an extent, from neutron activation of some elements in soil in a nuclear ground burst.

Traveller doesn't tell us what kind of particles are used in its particle weapons. But the most plausible for a long range space weapon is neutralized protons. Either the weapon accelerates equal numbers of protons and electrons in some way that allows them to merge instead of de-focusing due to electrical charge repulsion, protons are accelerated and pass through a neutralizer stage that combines them with electrons on the way out the weapon, or the particles are accelerated by some hypothetical non-magnetic process.

By the way, proton accelerators are used in medicine. They have the useful property of depositing a gradually increasing amount of energy in the patient's tissues as depth increases, then a sudden drop-off beyond a certain point. That means that the energy hits mainly the target, with little irradiation to the surrounding tissues. That is similar to the description of the meson gun, but as it applies here, it doesn't leave meaningful irradiation behind.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby SSWarlock » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:34 pm

Excellent post, steve98052! Logical enough for me to amend my campaign and remove harmful residual radiation from particle weapon effects.
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Old School
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby Old School » Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:31 pm

So with a PB barbette you can just kill ‘em at range, board, toss a few bodies out the hatch and have free ship. Depending on ow hard it is to get ahold of a particle beam, it seems foolish to go into space without extra radiation shielding.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby BigDogsRunning » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:09 pm

Given Gravitic control they could be using Neutron Accelerators. Harder to shield against.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby Reynard » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:36 pm

Almost makes you wonder there wouldn't be very harsh penalties for civilian craft to be sporting PAs considering how nasty they are. I'm sure they have a unique signature that screams "Shoot me'.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby SSWarlock » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:17 am

Reynard wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:36 pm
Almost makes you wonder there wouldn't be very harsh penalties for civilian craft to be sporting PAs considering how nasty they are. I'm sure they have a unique signature that screams "Shoot me'.
Oh, I'll bet. And the moment an Imp Navy ship spots that signature coming off of a civvy, all bets are off and that civvy just became navy meat.
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Old School
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby Old School » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:28 am

Should also be extremely difficult to acquire outside of navy vessels. In other words, you can’t just customize your new far trader with one, unless its being built at Theeve.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby NOLATrav » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:37 am

I don’t have the book but doesn’t the Theeve Cluster supplement discuss black market weapons/upgrades/exotic toys?

If not that would be a cool Referee’s Briefing.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby SSWarlock » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:34 am

NOLATrav wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:37 am
I don’t have the book but doesn’t the Theeve Cluster supplement discuss black market weapons/upgrades/exotic toys?

If not that would be a cool Referee’s Briefing.
Mongoose's "Agent" and "Scoundrel" supplements for Traveller do.
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Re: Particle beam radiation damage

Postby Reynard » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:41 am

This is why pirates and privateers sport all sorts of arms the civvies only dream about between criminal organizations and governments, respectively. Also having a place to run back to when the heat is on after firing those particular weapons to often.

Always love the Superman Effect the Harrier enjoys. It openly sports a PA and uses it. If there are witnesses, whether from a hit from the gun or were given an opportunity to verify they were in fact facing such a weapon (surrender now, please), they can report such a ship and gun to authorities. And yet, how many times have players landed their ship at any normal port facilities and no one blinks there's a ship with an obvious Particle Accelerator in a turret?

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