Freelance Traveller Contest 2008-04: Armed and Dangerous

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Freelance Traveller Contest 2008-04: Armed and Dangerous

Postby FreeTrav » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:15 am

The Challenge: Design and (more importantly) describe a personal weapon that would be considered in Classic Traveller to be a Pistol, a Revolver, an Autopistol, a Snub Pistol, or a Body Pistol. Please note that we are specifically excluding those weapons which require large or bulky power packs (such as laser, gauss, plasma, and fusion weapons); the desired weapons are those which can be carried reasonably unobtrusively.

Technical data should be presented clearly, and include data on various types of ammunition that may be available for the weapon, in a format that will allow the referee to apply any relevant formulas to it to determine how it will 'play' in a campaign.

Descriptions (being the most important part of the entry) should be "rich", and may include physical descriptions, history, quirks of the design (rather than of specific weapons of the design), or any other information that would make the entry more interesting.

You may submit as many entries as you like, but send each entry separately to contest@freelancetraveller.com.

The entry period commences immediately upon appearance of this announcement, and runs until 23:59:59 EDT (UTC -0400) on 19 July 2008. Voting will begin with the publication of the entries on 20 July, and run until 23:59:59 EDT (UTC -0400) on 26 July 2008. Winners will be announced on 27 July 2008, and will appear in Freelance Traveller shortly thereafter.

Ten percent of the entries submitted will be winners (rounded to the nearest integer; minimum one winner guaranteed).

:!:
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The Ballot

Postby FreeTrav » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:05 pm

The following items are the entries in Freelance Traveller Contest
#2008-04 - Armed and Dangerous. The contest statement can be found at
http://www.freelancetraveller.com/contests/2008-04.html. Please rate
each item on a 1-5 scale, 5 being the best. You may use any criteria
you choose in rating items; however, the spirit of the contests is that
winning entries should be felt to have potential to increase the
enjoyability of a game in some way, whether it's just adding "local
color" or providing hooks to hang activities on.

Ballots should be sent to contest@freelancetraveller.com. Votes will be
accepted until 23:59 EDT (UTC -0400) 26 July 2008.

Because of the length of some item descriptions, each will be posted as
a separate message following this one. Please use a copy of THIS
message as your ballot.

1. Light duty Line Throwing Tool Score:

2. EF2-GPS Emergency Signal Gun Score:

3. Instellarms PW-S 34 "Crowdpleaser" Score:

4. SP Arms P-12 "6day Special" Score:

5. Elizabeth II Mk.VII Body Pistol Score:

6. Anderson J-90 Body Pistol Score:
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ENTRY #1

Postby FreeTrav » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:06 pm

This is one of the items entered in Freelance Traveller Contest
#2008-04: Armed and Dangerous.



1. Light duty Line Throwing tool

The Mark 18, TL 10 Hand held, light throwing tool is found through out
Human and Zhodani space and with a variety of rounds can serve in
diverse locations including space, in forests or jungles and in and on
water environments. In many locations with high restrictions on weapon
possession, the Mark 18 slips through as a non-weapon tool loophole. In
spite of this, a hit with a bolt, explosive setting head, harpoon or
free bar can kill. Typical weight of weapon 3 kg.

The Mark 18 and its generic cousins are not an easily concealable item,
with a 30 cm (1 ft) 2.5 cm barrel, and typically a spool holder of
about 15 cm diameter and 10 cm wide under the barrel. A variety of
cable types are available but very common is a 3 mm diameter line with a
standard spool holding about 250 meters of line. This material has
strength of around 1000 kg. (a ton)
Ammunition for a line thrower appear to be like blank (non-projectile)
2.5 cm (1 inch) shotgun rounds and in an amazing number of different
loads from pop caps that will launch a plastic sticky round at a
centimeter per second up to high loads that can send a kilogram harpoon
or bolt down range at 300 meters a second. It is also common to find
flare, smoke flare and illumination rounds designed for the unit. Loads
used in space, for pushing cables or connections between tend to the low
side while hunting harpoons and forestry uses are higher power.
Range in space tends to be the limit of the line in a spool, on
planetary surfaces, friction and gravity tend to limit range, with high
power loads only good for a couple hundred meters.

Device prices tend to be similar to shotguns, 100 to 500 credits but
propellant charges are expensive, 1 credit each for set loads, 10
credits each for higher technology variable loads. The rare sets
manufactured for corrosive environments can run 20 times the price of a
standard unit. Simple harpoons, piton and cable pulling projectiles
run about 12 credits and are generally reusable, more specialized
projectiles such as those containing sensors and electronics up into the
hundreds each. Explosive placement and bomb harpoons are not reusable,
most glue heads are also consumables. Line spools are about 50 credits
empty, and line costs vary by the technology from fractions of a credit
per meter for conductor, fiber optic and simple cables or ropes up to 20
credits a meter for high technology super cable and sensor embedded
wires.

One of the nice features of a Mark 18 is that it can hold 6 propulsion
rounds in a grip magazine with one in the chamber however each
projectile must be seated against the seal manually. Multiple
projectiles and cable spools are generally carried on a utility harness
described in more detail in the accessories section below.

Table 1. Frequently encountered bolts and heads.

Note in many cases the bolts are light and sabot ringed to fit the
barrel. The weapon has a positive action seal or collet to hold one
round in place.

1. Marine harpoon, barbed head, stays connected to line.
2. Detach harpoon, barbed head, head will free from line at some
predefined force.
3. Bomb or explosive harpoon, in addition to barbs of head connected
to line, an explosive charge is include to wound or kill large
organisms.
4. Tagging harpoons, These come in a variety of sizes from delicate
ones for implanting trackers in small game, to heads that can
monitor large organisms for years, thousands of kilometers.
Variety of release forms, quick detach, programmed delay, signal
delay. This head are generally not reusable.
5. Piton or anchor pin bolts
6. Explosive head Piton or anchor pin bolts.
7. Glue squish heads, several types of glue chemistry, these are
designed to stick to impact surface with out penetration. Sizes
range from couple centimeters to expanding units with deployed
heads of over a meter diameter.
8. Fiber optic and conductor pulling heads
9. Throw over bolts, intended to be shot over target so that line
falls to a location where it can be secured.
10. Super injector rounds.
11. As mentioned above flare, smoke, incendiary and illumination
rounds. Many have parachutes for hang time. At TL 11 and above
units may have anti-gravity or maneuver units built in.
12. Flashlight/LED mounts on squish or barb heads
13. Monitoring sensor heads. These also include remote cameras,
infrared, ultraviolet, visual.
14. Rocket assisted heads, additional range but not more than double
on planetary surface.

TABLE 2. Some Cable spools available.

a. 1 mm super tensile, encapsulated woven monomolecular, Typical
spool 800 meters, TL 11 and above, requires special fittings for
connections. Tensile strength 4000 kg but susceptible to kink and
nick damage reducing the rated values a lot.
b. 1 mm fiber optic communications, Typical spool, 1000 meters, TL 9,
Tensile 50 kg
c. 2 mm 4 pair twisted communications wire (silver or copper) TL 8
Typical spool 750 meters, Tensile 50 to 100 kg.
d. 3 mm standard, woven high performance , Typical spool 250 meters
but some go to 325, TL10
e. 3 mm macro coated molecular filament with fiber optic pair and
three conductor strand included. 2500 kilogram test. TL 10
f. 4 mm high flex plastic rope, TL 10, tensile of 500 kg Typical
spool of 125 meters but elongation up to 100%
g. 5 mm standard, woven high performance fibers, Typical spool 100
meters, TL 9. Breaking strength 1500 kg, Suitable for climbing
safety, line crawlers.
h. 5 mm high voltage three conductor insulated wire. Typical spool
80 meters with 50 cm bare of insulation at both ends
i. 5 mm, Stiff stuff, chemically treated fibers become rigid on
exposure to environmental conditions, ( moisture in some
environments, exposure to vacuum in space, air in other cases)

Common accessories include:
- Vests and holsters to carry device, rounds, spools and heads.
Because of bulk of the line spools, a holster with weapon, two
spools and ammunition is often taken as a low technology computer
or communications unit bag.(45 cm tall, 12 cm wide, 20 cm front to
back)
- Optical and electronic sights, with range finding and projectile
trajectory estimation are common but pricey 1500 credits.
- special crimpers and connecting hardware
- Heads up display caps for sensor, monitor and camera heads.
- Folding or extending stocks, like most hand arms, adding a stock
so it can be braced against body greatly improves possible
accuracy.
- At high tech levels, a system of line pulling rounds with a drone
style controller handset and heads up display (CRIMP 3000)
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ENTRY #2

Postby FreeTrav » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:06 pm

This is one of the items entered in Freelance Traveller Contest
#2008-04: Armed and Dangerous.

2. EF2-GPS Emergency Signal Gun

The EF2 is an Emergency "Flare" gun that fires a light emitting disc
that also sends a distress message. You can use the standard distress
message or record your own.


Features of the new GPS model:
The new GPS model will also program the Advanced Emergency Broadcaster
Disc (EBD-2) with GPS information to be included in the distress
message. The EBD-1 can still be used.

A display shows your current location.

When connected via the data port you can download data from the past 4
hours. A Data module can be added for storage as well. The data module
is inserted via the opening in the butt of the gun.

The energy cell is also stored in the butt of the gun.

Read the instruction manual to use the data port to configure the gun to
receive data from non standard Global Positioning Systems.


The Emergency Broadcaster Disc is not self propelled and a single shot
propellant cartridge is required for altitude deployment. The gun can be
stored with the Broadcaster Disc inserted but for safety reasons the
propellant should not be inserted until the gun is ready for use. Lights
indicate the status of the propellant cartridge and EBD. A yellow light
indicates the EBD is inserted and a green light indicates both the EBD
and the propellant are inserted.

The gun can be fired without a propellant. The EBD will transmit
without activating the distress lights and attitudinal stabilizers.

WARNING: In extremely dense atmospheres the EBD may not eject when the
gun is fired without propellant.

WARNING: Your kit should include several EBDs. Read the label on your
EBD and only use the model designed for your atmosphere and gravity.

WARNING: Not for use indoors.
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ENTRY #3

Postby FreeTrav » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:07 pm

This is one of the items entered in Freelance Traveller Contest
#2008-04: Armed and Dangerous.


A large, difficult to conceal pistol, the Instellarms PW-S 34
"Crowdpleaser" has become popular among civil enforcers and military
police, especially those on riot control duties, because of its unique
design.

Built to address the specific concerns of over-penetration and stray
rounds in an urban environment, the Crowdpleaser fires a shot type shell
loaded with pellets of a compressed, highly volatile compound. Lethal
at short ranges, the pellets will dissipate harmlessly at 3m beyond the
muzzle of the pistol (precisely 3.08m in 1 atm of pressure). This very
short range allows the weapon to be deployed in situations where
bystanders behind the target might be endangered, it has also been
considered for use by some planetary customs officials, as the weapon's
shot is unlikely to reach or damage sensitive controls or equipment. Of
course, because of this weapon's unique characteristics, it is intended
to be deployed as a secondary weapon, not as the primary weapon for a
peace officer.

Physically, the weapon has a very large frame for autopistol, a wide
bore, short barrel (16 mm), and a 6-round box magazine just forward of
the pistol grip (the box magazine is too large for a hand grip usable by
most humans, and the barrel length is largely inconsequential for such a
short range weapon. The recoil for this weapon is impressive, as is the
report and muzzle flash - a standard two-handed firing stance is
recommended.

*Important Note*: Atmospheric differences from Imperial Standard gas
mix (75% N2, 20% O2) or pressures significantly different than 1 atm may
cause changes in this weapon's performance. This weapon is not usable
in a vacuum.

PW-S 34: (Mongoose Traveller)
TL: 11, Ranged Pistol skill, Dmg: 3d6+2, Auto: No, Recoil: 1, Mass: 1.3
kg, Magazine: 6, Cost: 600 Cr, Ammo Cost: 50 Cr
Personal: -1, Close: +1 (max range Close)
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ENTRY #4

Postby FreeTrav » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:07 pm

Though mostly forgotten now, Survivor Tech LIC released a series of
sealed, non-reusable firearms intended to supply new colonies or
corporations in harsh conditions with reliable means of protection with
minimal maintenance required. For the most part the carbine and rifle
style weapons were declared too inaccurate for hunting and too low
powered for protection from dangerous predators at close ranges.
Additional concerns raised about the quality of production and risks to
firers caused by chamber explosions caused the product line and the
company to collapse and almost completely vanish - one portion of the
product line was purchased and continued.

ST Arms (a wholly owned subsidiary of Blackhawk Industries, LIC of
Rhylanor) now produces the ST Arms P-12 - a small, disposable autopistol
marketed as a reliable, maintenance free weapon designed for use in
hostile environments.

After purchase, the user need merely tear open the vacuum sealed
package, remove the one-time trigger lock, and the weapon is ready to be
fired. It comes fully loaded with an 11 round, 8mm magazine sealed in
the pistol grip, and a single round chambered (for a total of 12 shots).
The trigger is double action, there is no external slide to cock and
there is no safety to release. The weapon itself is a polymer and
aluminum frame - extremely lightweight but not suitable for extended
service (or reloading), and the shells are caseless so there is no
ejection port. The whole weapon is designed to be fired and then
disposed of in a manufacturer approved facility. A sealable carrier
envelope is included in the packaging, allowing the weapon to be safely
wrapped and bulk shipped to a proper facility.

Notes: A small, flat, black plastic pistol, this weapon has no external
ports or catches, save the trigger and the muzzle (a bonus could should
be applied for attempts to conceal this weapon). All seams on the
weapon have been sealed during manufacturing. This weapon is very
popular among gangs looking for cheap firepower, criminals looking for a
disposable weapon, and transients looking for any weapon at all. The
weapon is shoddily made and somewhat unsafe for the firer, further there
is no way to clear jams or misfires as the weapon is not strippable (at
least not in a way that will allow it to be used again). The rate of
fire is slightly slower than an average autopistol, due to the harsh
trigger pull, and range penalties are increased because of the
substandard barrel. ST Arms does not advertise in exploration or
speculative type venues, instead focussing on low-income areas and other
"grey" media sources that might spread information about this weapon's
less savory uses. This weapon could be reloaded by a sufficiently
skilled gunsmith, but most gunsmiths would have nothing to do with this
firearm.

Mongoose Trav stats:
TL: 8, Pistol skill, Dmg: 3d6-3, Auto: 3, Recoil: 0, Mass: .2 kg,
Magazine: 12, Cost 110 Cr
Ranges: Personal -1, Close +0, Short -2, Medium -4, Long -6

As the weapon is poorly made with minimal safety features, an optional
malfunction table may be used for it:

On a natural 2 while firing, roll 2d6

2 - Gun explodes while firing, user take 2d6 damage, gun is destroyed
3-4 - Firing chamber cracks, no damage to user but the gun is destroyed.
5 - Rifling damaged by stress fracture or shoddy bullet - all future
shots at -1
6-7 - Round jams in chamber, gun is unfireable (an out-of-combat
Mechanic check may free the jam, or may cause a cook-off)
8+ - No malfunction
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ENTRY #5

Postby FreeTrav » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:08 pm

The Elizabeth II, Mark 7 Imperial Ministry of Intelligence (IMI) Issue
Body Pistol.

ABSTRACT.

The Elizabeth II, Mark Seven IMI Issue Body Pistol (E2M7BP) is the
current (IY 1100) issue body pistol for Agents with Branches Five or
Six, and other Individuals at Request or Order of the Minister of
Intelligence, the Subsector or Sector Duke, HIM or the Moot's Office of
Special Affairs. This media presentation will cover multiple areas of
interest regarding this new weapon.

HISTORY.

The E2M7BP is a replacement for the previous IMI Issue BP, the
Vindicator, Mark 14, Modification 69 (VM14M69).

The Vindicator was a body pistol crafted by the Engineers of the
[REDACTED] according to IMISPEC 1000-001-56BP-Q-BP-XO23845. The supposed
"Thousand Year Pistol" as it was touted in the Company Literature as the
BP that would "..Last the Imperium One Thousand More Years!" It failed
miserably and it would appear only the Bureaucracy's resistance to
Issuing a New Specification that kept it in service a full century. The
Vindicator used a hyper-pressure-micro-aerosol-trinary-propellant system
which any sensible being could look at the specs for and realize that it
would develop problems down the lane. Problems it did develop, it was
found that the weapon would malfunction in the field in most explosive
of fashion. Numerous Agents and Officers of the Imperium were killed or
maimed when the propellant system failed during the firing cycle.

With Complaints and multiple attempts failing to fix the problems of the
Vindicator it was Decided that a new Specification was Required by Order
of the Moot and Minister. The new SPEC required that the weapon be
designed and built entirely in-house and Q-Branch began it's work. The
E2M7BP was named after a Terran Imperial Majesty of the 20th Century who
may or may not have employed a early generation chimera geneered Agent
in her employ. It is something of an egghead in joke among the Q-Branch.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION.

The E2M7BP is approximately the same and mass as a standard Civilian
body pistol. However, its appearance is somewhat different. The design
is multifunctional and completely rounded to prevent it from getting
caught up on surfaces, (another problem of the blocky structure of the
previous body pistol and the various attachments most Agents used in the
Field). The streamlined form has lead to it being dubbed "the Ray Gun",
it is not however an directed high energy weapon. It is advanced TL F
hyper-material micro machine firearm.

The Elizabeth II has had seven major refits and as thus is in Mark 7
Series, current Modification 0. The basic structure consists of a round
ended cylinder and an angled hand grip containing the ammunition
magazine. Connecting the muzzle end of the cylinder and the forward end
of the hand grip is what is commonly referred to as "the Sail", but is
in fact a brilliant material used to break up the shape of the weapon
and fool pattern recognition systems. The brilliant material is used a
morphic reservoir of material to form a protective finger guard.


SECURITY FEATURES.

The Security/Fail-Safe vary according to the Tech Level (TL) of the
Issuing Ministry. They range from cybernetic IDent Implants, to quantum
particle capsules to the Seed.

The lowest (third grade) technological security/fail-safe features is
the Cybernetic IDent Implant (TL A-). These implants contain electronic
micro-data chips created in pairs on the same machine. They contain
IDent Information on both the weapon and the individual issued that
weapon. One chip is implanted in the weapon, the other in the person
being issued the weapon. They function by using a cybernetic connection
created when the Agent grips the weapon closing physical IDent
connectors and engaging in an electronic callback handshake protocol
between the Security chips. Failure of this system prevents the weapon
from functioning and engages various other user defined contingency
functions and programs.

The second grade technology uses a pair of quantum entangled particles
contained in TL B-D) capsules with nano-field-circuits, and a
manufacturing process (two particles created at one time in one
accelerator) and security protocol similar to the third grade technology
(CII), however the hand shake is done via encrypted wireless. Due to
the wireless system, an Agent can use the dedicated micro-computer to
fine control and tune the weapon and its systems.

The final and most secure security/fail-safe system is the Seed (TL E+).
Though most Citizens believe that the Psionic Suppressions wiped all
psionic technologies and sciences, this is not true. Various Secret
Edicts and Warrants have allowed certain continuing programs to function
over the centuries and to use those developments to Aid the Imperium.
One of those is the Seed, the Seed is a psionic semi-organic crystalline
technology. Seeds are created again in a pair by [REDACTED]. Once
created they are stored in Null-Space Stasis Containers in certain
Ministry Buildings and aboard The SEEDRON Fruit Tree Series SEED
Vessels. Once an Agent and Weapon are to be United, they are left in a
CYCLONE shielded room and allowed to Bond. Once a firm bond is created,
the Seed is split, and one half is placed in the weapon and one in the
subject. From that point on the Seed will collect regular psionic
imprints and will always know its being and weapon and will allow
psionic control of the weapon with out the Agent actually having an
appreciable Psionic Rating and it grants no other psionic abilities.

The final security/fail-safe feature is common in all E2M7BPs. That is a
micro-carbon tube network containing an extremely stable and highly
energetic explosive timed to detonate in order to destroy the limb
holding the weapon. It is designed to deal a fatal wound on the
individual who attempts to use the weapon with out the proper security
permissions. Also most of the weapons will have control features or
programs that allow it to be remote fired.

WEAPON FEATURES.

The E2M7BP has several built in features to aid the Officer in the
Field. The weapon is constructed of several TL F hyper (brilliant)
materials. These hyper materials are mostly micro-machine network
structures and infrastructures allowing morphic memory programs to be
used, the "Sail" structure material reservoir is merely one example of
its use.

The Elizabeth II also has an integral sound suppression system and a
folding electronic combiner optical 3d simulatation sight. This allows
the Agent to use the E2M7BP in stealth situations and tends to grant
higher hit percentage with E-Sight use.

The last and in some Agents' opinion the best feature is the morphing
magazine well, receiver and bore. The morphing parts allow the Agent to
use Standard Ammunition in Emegencies. The Standard BP ammunition is a 5
mm round, the E2M7BP uses a 5 mm caseless round containing a 2.7 mm
payload. The base of the round uses a special hydropolycarbon long chain
polymer substance that uses the shell as the charge igniter for the
primary accelerant and thus all the shell is consumed and leaves no
trace and is in fact extremely hard to detect and most detectors that
could would know what it was and give a pass or assistance.

AMMUNITION TYPES.

"Crystal" is an ammunition type that is constructed of pre-stressed
crystal that is designed to shatter upon entry creating multiple
penetrating wound tracks and causing massive internal bleeding in most
humanoid subjects.

"Slippy" is an ammunition which uses a fin stablized, discarding sabot
round of Durasteel to penetrate armors. This Durasteel penetrator is
approximately 1.2 mm in diameter and travels at hypersonic speeds. It
will not penetrate BattleDress but most other Combat Armors will be
defeated by this round, unfortunately it does less trauma to the
subject.

"Boom" is the name for the Explosive round used in the E2M7BP. It uses
the same explosive compound as found in the micro-carbon tubes discussed
in the Security Features Section. It will blast about a 0.2 meter hole
in most organic matierals and soft targets.

"Track" is the non-lethal round which delivers a micro-wireless tracking
device which can be tracked for about 5 Km by standard IMI or ImpMil
tracking devices, greater range and sensitivity of Orbital Sensors may
allow greater tracking range.

"Gello" rounds are used to deliver biologic agents and other non-lethal
agents, including CS, DM, or other BioChem or nerve agents.

"Zap" rounds launch a ultra capacitor powered electrical shock device
designed to stun most Humanoid Species with the first round, however it
has been shown that two or even three rounds may be needed to deal with
highly agitated subjects.

ACCESSORIES.

There are multiple Accessories for the the E2M7BP. These include a butt
mounted Shock Absorbing Recoil Stock and a Barrel Extender with integral
fore-grip and sound suppression technologies.

Miscellaneous. SEEDRON (Special Engineering and Equipment Distribution
Squadron) are Squadrons that 'Ride Circuit' and manufacture and
distribute those Technologies that the local Subsector Government does
not have access to due to TL constraints. They are composed of the
Primary SEED Starship, (which carries the Manufacturing and Storage
facilities and are named after varieties of Fruit Trees Native to
Important Worlds of the Imperium), 2 Destroyer Escorts, 2-4 Corvettes,
and several Support Vessels, including Oilers and Tenders.
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ENTRY #6

Postby FreeTrav » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:08 pm

The Anderson J-90 Personal Defence Body Pistol is designed for
discretion. The weapon is constructed entirely of plastics and ceramics
in order to avoid registering on simple metal detectors and its
diminutive size makes it easy to conceal in a pocket, a purse or, in a
recent demonstration, in the heel of a combat boot. With overall
dimensions of a mere 85 x 70 x 14mm including stowed silencer, a
hollowed boot heel was shown to accommodate the weapon along with a
small box of essential spare parts. A similar compartment comfortably
held three spare magazines.

Ammunition for the J-90 is similarly discreet. The 30 x 5.5mm rimfire
rounds are plastic cased and have a plastic-jacketed ceramic crystal
head. The jacket prevents excessive barrel wear which would occur with a
bare crystal round. The long case holds an extra charge of propellant to
impart more velocity to the lightweight bullet.

Optionally, accelerator rounds are available for the weapon, having a
secondary charge that increases lethality by accelerating the round
after it leaves the barrel, without increasing recoil on the lightweight
weapon. However, manufacturing processes dictate that these are
conventional metallic rounds and are detectable by the most basic of
security systems.

Six rounds of either type are fitted into a detachable pistol grip
magazine and a seventh may be carried within the chamber. Rounds are
loaded by operation of a manual slide mechanism, but in a practised hand
this feature does not dramatically reduce the practical rate of fire for
most normal situations.

The pistol has a detachable silencer that can be clipped to the top of
the slide for stowage. When attached, it effectively doubles the length
of the weapon, but is a very effective sound suppressor.

There is no sighting mechanism beyond a groove in the top of the slide,
as the weapon's limited range makes aiming instinctive.

The J-90 is aesthetically pleasing with smooth, clean lines and a
minimalist style. It is available in a variety of two-tone colours,
including the popular black and white and a brass and wood effect.

The operational components, being non-metallic, are subject to greater
fatigue than metal parts and each weapon is shipped with a comprehensive
pack of spares. Regular preventative maintenence is strongly recommended
by the manufacturer, but if the guidelines are followed reliability is
not compromised.

Specifications:
TL: 9
Mass: 0.25kg
Length: 85mm
Magazine: 6rds
Range: 25m max
Price: Cr500
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Postby DirkD » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:37 pm

Good stuff, but it's a little hard to read such a long article in a forum (at least for me). If you don't mind, I can make a pdf-version of the contest entries available for download until the contest is over.
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Postby FreeTrav » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:27 pm

I don't have a problem with this, though I'm not sure why a PDF would be any easier to read than the postings in the forum. I'm not sure, however, that it will really be worth the effort, as you'd have to pull the PDF this coming Sunday, anyway, as the contest ends Saturday night midnite Eastern time. I don't actually intend to delete threads from forums, however.
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Postby DirkD » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:47 pm

For everyone who prefers to read longer text in a pdf: http://www.mediafire.com/?kh1202vdomr
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Postby AKAramis » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:27 pm

FreeTrav wrote:I don't have a problem with this, though I'm not sure why a PDF would be any easier to read than the postings in the forum. I'm not sure, however, that it will really be worth the effort, as you'd have to pull the PDF this coming Sunday, anyway, as the contest ends Saturday night midnite Eastern time. I don't actually intend to delete threads from forums, however.
Several reasons:
1) PDF is generally going to be easier to print, use less ink in so doing, and print consistently the same way.

2) PDFs can be read on most e-book devices; HTML is less universal

3) Acrobat will read it aloud to you; firefox, not so well.

4) PDF is easier to read off-line

5) PDF is easier to find the rescaling controls.
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VOTING PERIOD EXTENDED

Postby FreeTrav » Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:07 am

Although technically enough ballots were cast to give a result, fully 40% of the ballots cast were malformed, and did not follow the rules for voting. Because of this, we are extending the voting period for this contest by one week, to close at 23:59:59 EDT 2 AUG 2008.

The entries were posted to the Pyramid/JTAS newsgroup sjgames.gurps.traveller, to the Traveller Mailing List, to Citizens of the Imperium forum "The Lone Star", to the Travellers' Aid Society forum "General Traveller", and to the Mongoose Publishing forum "Traveller", all on 20 July 2008. They may be read at any of those locations again. In the CotI, TAS, and Mongoose forums, this message has been posted to the same thread as the entries were earlier.

If your ballot was invalid, you will receive a private message so indicating.

Anyone may vote; if you have previously voted, and choose to re-vote, the EARLIER ballot will be DISCARDED.

Please rate each of the submitted items SEPARATELY, giving EACH a score from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest rating. The general criteria for rating in ALL Freelance Traveller contests is that the entry being rated should be "interesting" and should, in the rater's opinion, add "something" to an adventure or a campaign.
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FINAL RESULTS

Postby FreeTrav » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:28 pm

Balloting is closed for this contest, and the results have been tabulated.

The final order of the entries is as follows:

1. Light Duty Line Throwing Tool
2. Anderson J-90 Body Pistol
3. SP Arms P-12 "6Day Special"
4. Elizabeth II Mk. VII Body Pistol
5. EF2-GPS Emergency Signal Gun
6. Instellarms PW-S 34 "Crowdpleaser"

Nobody who submitted a ballot omitted a rating for any of the weapons, but several voters noted that the Light Duty Line Throwing Tool and the EF2-GPS Emergency Signal Gun seemed to be outside the the spirit of the contest. We agree, but felt that they met the loose specifications for the contest well enough that we could not in good conscience disqualify them, and enough voters gave the LDLTT a sufficiently high rating that it was the winner.

Les DeGroff therefore has the option of specifying Freelance Traveller Contest #2008-05; Les, please e-mail us at contest@freelancetraveller.com with your idea or with a note saying that you wish to leave it up to us.
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Re: VOTING PERIOD EXTENDED

Postby EDG » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:34 pm

FreeTrav wrote:The entries were posted to the Pyramid/JTAS newsgroup sjgames.gurps.traveller, to the Traveller Mailing List, to Citizens of the Imperium forum "The Lone Star", to the Travellers' Aid Society forum "General Traveller", and to the Mongoose Publishing forum "Traveller", all on 20 July 2008. They may be read at any of those locations again. In the CotI, TAS, and Mongoose forums, this message has been posted to the same thread as the entries were earlier.
Um, wouldn't it be better to post it all on one site than on five different forums? It'd save you a lot of reposting and you do have your own website (that you also have control over) that you can archive the results on after all.

I guess this is a problem with the current Traveller community - there's so many forums and discussion lists it's becoming difficult to decide where to post something of interest. (you also missed the SF RPG boards, and the Children of Earth boards, and the GURPS Traveller SJG vBulletin board, and apparently your own forums too ;) ). Maybe just pick one popular board (or the one with the most appropriate fanbase or where the most entries come from) and stick with that to save yourself a lot of effort?
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Re: VOTING PERIOD EXTENDED

Postby FreeTrav » Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:04 am

EDG wrote:Um, wouldn't it be better to post it all on one site than on five different forums? It'd save you a lot of reposting and you do have your own website (that you also have control over) that you can archive the results on after all.

I guess this is a problem with the current Traveller community - there's so many forums and discussion lists it's becoming difficult to decide where to post something of interest. (you also missed the SF RPG boards, and the Children of Earth boards, and the GURPS Traveller SJG vBulletin board, and apparently your own forums too ;) ). Maybe just pick one popular board (or the one with the most appropriate fanbase or where the most entries come from) and stick with that to save yourself a lot of effort?
I'd love to limit to one location; however, sad experience indicates that the fewer locations I post to, the less action I get on these, and I'd like to get widespread participation.

Posting to web-only forums is the most time-consuming part of disseminating the material; it means I have to log in to each board and post separately. If everyone supported NNTP, the way SJG Pyramid/JTAS (paid) and Freelance Traveller (free) do, it might be possible to set up discussion areas that would propagate, like on Usenet, and be able to reach multiple forums with a single posting. The problem is that when the Web became the "oooo, shiny" of internet access, the authors of webforum software chose to reinvent the wheel and axle, complete with their own hubcap, instead of using the perfectly good wheel and axle that was out there, and simply coming up with the new hubcaps.

I may have forgotten to state in this one that if you know of a (Traveller-related) forum that contest stuff SHOULD be posted to, but wasn't, to feel free to post it there and let me know. That's pretty much standard with these contests now.

Even better would be if I could encourage traffic on my forums, somehow; the best way I can think of, though, would annoy the hell out of other forum operators, and be against the TOS of some - so I won't, because I don't believe in pissing off some of the engines of the Traveller community.

Best of all would be if I could convince other forum operators to use the same forum software I do, even if it isn't the glitziest, so that the NNTP/e-mail/RSS infrastructure would be there, and then we could set up joint forums that would propagate among the various sites, just like Usenet (but separate from Usenet).
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Postby EDG » Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:23 am

As far as I'm concerned NNTP is dead - I don't think much of the current generation use it, and I sure found it awkward and annoying and unfriendly to use while it was around. I think SJG is the only RPG company that still uses NNTP, and even it has a separate web-based vbulletin forum now. But if you insist on sticking to NNTP then if I were you I wouldn't be surprised that nobody uses your boards nowadays - like it or not, the web is the way to go now, and frankly has been for the past decade or so.

The problem with private forums is that you need to give people a reason to go there - as you point out, they have to register and remember yet another password and username (and if they have to figure out how to use usenet readers and posting software too then that's really going to put a crimper in your userbase). Publishers provide an obvious reason for people to go there - to discuss their products and get some official word on the product - but most of the smaller private forums don't, especially if they support a game that's already got (at least) one major forum centred on it. And given that Traveller has three publisher forums dedicated to it (one of which claims to cover every version of the game) I don't really see a niche for other Traveller forums to occupy. I'm just looking at your forum now and don't have a clue what to do with it or how to post anything (so you've lost me there already), and even if I could post, I don't have a reason to because apparently only a handful of people would read it and fewer would be likely to respond. Why do that when I can go to a forum based on familiar software, where I can get a response much more quickly from a much larger userbase?

Websites and blogs are an entirely different matter though. Your own website gives you a chance to post your own material somewhere that you have complete control over it. And a blog gives you a chance to do that as well, and gives you a chance to have a discussion of it too.

I may sound harsh and disparaging, but I'm just trying to be realistic here - if you really want to maximise the chance of someone reading your posts and working on your contests then you have to go where the people who are most likely to do that are, and make it easy for them to do so (while also not spending all your time copying and pasting the same things over and over again). And right now the most popular format of discussion is the web-based bulletin board, and the three most popular places that Traveller fans hang out are most likely the Mongoose Traveller boards, the TML, and CotI (and there's a fair degree of overlap).

I might suggest that you set contests that use design systems that are already out there though. There are perfectly good ship design and vehicle design rules in all versions of Traveller (and weapons rules in TNE), but not so much rules for designing items that could be found in a ship locker.

I'd suggest that the solution would be to drop your own forums and just pick an existing larger forum and stick with it. Where do most of your submissions come from? If it's all or mostly from the TML or JTAS then just post the contest announcements there, don't bother posting the entries on forums at all (which should save you a tone of time), and when it's all over just make a second announcement saying that it's done and link to a page on your website with the entries there for people to refer to.
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Postby FreeTrav » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:53 am

EDG wrote:As far as I'm concerned NNTP is dead - I don't think much of the current generation use it, and I sure found it awkward and annoying and unfriendly to use while it was around. I think SJG is the only RPG company that still uses NNTP, and even it has a separate web-based vbulletin forum now. But if you insist on sticking to NNTP then if I were you I wouldn't be surprised that nobody uses your boards nowadays - like it or not, the web is the way to go now, and frankly has been for the past decade or so.
The software I've chosen is multifunction - if you don't want to use NNTP, you don't have to - but it's an option, and it's one that I require simply because it lets me download messages, read, and compose replies at times that I don't have access to the 'net. That's why I am on the paid SJG forums; I can grab them using NNTP and read/compose on the train or when I'm between trouble calls at work. The web interface for Freelance Traveller's forums isn't really all that different, fundamentally, from any other webboard.
EDG wrote:The problem with private forums is that you need to give people a reason to go there - as you point out, they have to register and remember yet another password and username (and if they have to figure out how to use usenet readers and posting software too then that's really going to put a crimper in your userbase). Publishers provide an obvious reason for people to go there - to discuss their products and get some official word on the product - but most of the smaller private forums don't, especially if they support a game that's already got (at least) one major forum centred on it. And given that Traveller has three publisher forums dedicated to it (one of which claims to cover every version of the game) I don't really see a niche for other Traveller forums to occupy. I'm just looking at your forum now and don't have a clue what to do with it or how to post anything (so you've lost me there already), and even if I could post, I don't have a reason to because apparently only a handful of people would read it and fewer would be likely to respond. Why do that when I can go to a forum based on familiar software, where I can get a response much more quickly from a much larger userbase?
All very good points. I have the forums mostly for completeness; as a Traveller Resource, I think that it's "necessary". I'd certainly like to see more traffic, but, as you indicated, I don't have the "draw", and I can't think how to get it. (BTW, if you haven't signed up, you won't be able to post. This is mostly because I don't want to become a spammer haven; if I require membership to post, I have better control over removing spammers.)
EDG wrote:Websites and blogs are an entirely different matter though. Your own website gives you a chance to post your own material somewhere that you have complete control over it. And a blog gives you a chance to do that as well, and gives you a chance to have a discussion of it too.
I honestly see very little difference between a blog and a forum; the principal difference appears to me to be that in a blog, *I* control the discussion threads, plus the "traditional" presentation. In my case, I originate very little discussion material; forums allow others to originate threads. If I wanted to, I could even make the FT forums look bloggish.
EDG wrote:I may sound disparaging, but I'm just trying to be realistic here - if you really want to maximise the chance of someone reading your posts and working on your contests then you have to go where the people who are most likely to do that are, and make it easy for them to do so (while also not spending all your time copying and pasting the same things over and over again). And right now the most popular format of discussion is the web-based bulletin board, and the three most popular places that Traveller fans hang out are most likely the Mongoose Traveller boards, the TML, and CotI (and there's a fair degree of overlap).
Which is why I chose to post to all of the above, plus Comstar's/Avenger's Traveller's Aid Society and the SJG JTAS/Pyramid forums. I'd forgotten about SJG's free forums; I'll have to give them a lookie. But cut-and-paste is literally that; I don't have to retype, and in an era of tabbed browsers that can save sessions, it's not even all that time consuming. The more exposure I get, the better the turnout has been (although I recognize that there are limits to that). If there were ways of increasing the turnout within a given forum, I'd be interested in knowing that, too.
EDG wrote:I might suggest that you set contests that use design systems that are already out there though. There's ship design and vehicle design rules in all versions of Traveller, but not so much for items that could be found in a ship locker.
A valid point, but one that I'm inclined to disagree with. The Locker contest WAS off the beaten track, but the idea - as with most stuff in Freelance Traveller - is to come up with interesting ideas that can add to a campaign, whether they're rule-based or have generation systems or not. It's mostly people's IMAGINATIONS I'm after here; what's the point in churning out hundreds of designs without any imagination as to how they could be used, or what makes them special? All 200-ton Free Traders fit into the same niche, but the Empress Marava-class can't be the only model out there - what are some of the others, and why might I choose one of them (or NOT!) instead of a Marava? That's what I'm after, with most of the contests - the imagination that takes us beyond the generic Marava hired by the generic patron to do a generic job armed with generic body pistols. It's also the reason I don't do much with the Shipyard at Freelance Traveller; too much of what was submitted was just specs, generated by one program or another, with no real imagination added. I don't want that; I'd rather see more imagination and less stats.
EDG wrote:I'd suggest that the solution would be to drop your own forums and just pick an existing larger forum and stick with it. Where do most of your submissions come from? If it's all or mostly from the TML or JTAS then just post the contest announcements there, don't bother posting the entries on forums at all (which should save you a tone of time), and when it's all over just make a second announcement saying that it's done and link to a page on your website with the entries there for people to refer to.
Meh. The time cost isn't really that high; the biggest downside is the inconvenience to me in having to go to all of the different forums separately. Which I'd still have to do to alert people when things get updated even if I limited the contest specs and entries to a single location (regardless of what that location would be). Given my druthers, there'd be just one central Traveller forum site - not even necessarily mine, though I think I'm reasonably well-equipped for it - with a whole bunch of generic topic areas, and one or two vendor-specific topic areas for each vendor, with a vendor rep present. That'd make the community less fragmented, and reduce the number of passwords and usernames that people would have to remember. Ideally, it'd support all of the access methods - e-mail, news/nntp, RSS, ATOM, and web - but I think the most important point would be to defrag the community.

That's unlikely to happen, though, so the principal objective here is going to be to try to keep track of what's there, and I'm the one that needs to make the effort to reach out, rather than asking people to reach out to me. If people WANT to reach out to me and come to my forums, I'll be happy - but it's ultimately up to them. Until that happens, I need to reach out to them, since I'm asking them to do something for me (provide material for FT).

(BTW, contact me at editor@freelancetraveller.com or see me in #Traveller on Undernet or #Lonestar on Otherworlders if you want help with the FT forums.)

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