Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby AndrewW » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:11 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:Having a weapon that you can use to shoot people inside a tank should do a lot more than tickle them, it should strike fear into the hearts of all who face it.
But what if you are a Kender immune to fear¿
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby F33D » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:25 pm

alex_greene wrote:Which brings us back to S&P 72, and my take on the whole issue - including different kinds of disintegrator such as the Argand Gun, and different tools employing disintegrator and nuclear damper technology in a very creative way.
Right. This type of thing needs to be in the rule book where an item like that is listed.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby Imperium » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:09 am

It just seems broken when no one can consistently adjudicate based on extrapolation from the concept or precedance.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby Captain Jonah » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:43 am

AndrewW wrote:
Captain Jonah wrote:Having a weapon that you can use to shoot people inside a tank should do a lot more than tickle them, it should strike fear into the hearts of all who face it.
But what if you are a Kender immune to fear¿
They become extinct because they are too stupid to hide from people with guns.

Also they are annoying thieving short people introduced to allow players no one likes to irritate the heck out of other players with mischief, trouble making, thieving and other chaotic and anti social behaviour. They are a curse and should be wiped out. I hates em I does, hates the little thieving scum...................

Lawful Evil, Bringing order to the Universe one execution at a time (groups and entire species executed by appointment) :twisted:

Anyway back to Disintegrators.

A multi Dton medical unit that can perform the most delicate of surgery in a hospital or med bay, treatments for the worst radiation poisoning, the most dainty works of art. All this and more is possible.

A battlefield weapon designed for the mud, rain, harsh treatment at the hands of the troops, reliable enough not to need constant maintenance that is likely impossible anyway in the field, easy to use and much more. A Disintegrator weapon is not going to be delicate, precise or dainty. It is going to be lowest bidder, tough enough to survive in battle and designed to kill people/tanks/craft.

At any meaningful Tech level in Traveller it is going to be clunking, loud, dangerous to everyone around it or the target and something that troops will avoid like a curse.

Yes Disintegrator tech is going to be around to do all the good things. But a man portable disintegrator that safely dumps the energy release into sub space is so far up the tech levels it makes no sense having it as a weapon (past tech 25 use tailored nanite disassemble clouds or psion area neural shredders or some other death technology that will make the best 3rdI defences less than paper. Why bother making a nm hole in a tank if you can just open a mm wide subspace portal and wave that through the tank.

A battlefield Disintegrator is not viable at Traveller tech, bringing in one of Grandfathers old toys yes but then you are murdered in you sleep by people who want it or who will pay vast bounties for it.

In terms of effect. While we are arguing about the effectiveness of a Disintegrator consider just how useless they are against people. A 4D weapon against 5 points of armour does more average damage than a 2D through Disintegrator, a 5D laser rifle does a lot more damage against flak than a Disintegrator does. A hit from even the lower end PGMPs or FGMPs will do 15+ damage after burning a hole in battledress.

I think that Disintegrators should be scary, 2D6 damage through armour. Not scary.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby alex_greene » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:49 am

Captain Jonah wrote:I think that Disintegrators should be scary, 2D6 damage through armour. Not scary.
You keep forgetting - it ignores armous and adds the armour rating to the Effect.

So your guy's wearing battle dress and takes a 2d6 D-gun hit. Damage is 2d6, not mitigated by armour. Add the Effect; +18. He takes 2d6 + 18 damage and nothing to absorb it.
Or say he's leaning against some hard cover, like a brick wall. Let's say the brick wall can stop up to 24 points of damage. The D-gun goes through that like nothing. Your guy sustains 2d6 + 18 for the Battle Dress + 24 for the brick wall's armour rating.

Or let's say he's in a Battle Dress, and he's inside a ship, and he takes a D-gun hit, which punches through the armour of the ship (12 points, say - you're on the bridge of the Defiant) and you. That's 2d6 + 18 + 12, and the ship takes 2d6 + 12 damage to Hull or Structure too.

And the guy with the D-gun just smiles, checks the settings, and resets to full auto next round.

How's that cold sweat coming on?
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby Captain Jonah » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:27 pm

Clearly we have different ideas about how they work in game.

My understanding is that the Disintegrator hits like any other weapon but rather than effect (which adds to the base damage roll) being determined by the "to hit" roll it comes from the targets worn armour.

So a hit from a disintegrator against someone in 18 armour does 2D6 plus 18. The 18 is stopped by the armour and it does 2D6 to the meat sack inside. Against someone with 5 armour it does 2D + 5 of which 5 is against the armour and 2d6 hits the meat sack.

My understanding is that a disintegrator does 2D6 damage regardless and has a mechanism in place to negate the armour by adding the armour to the damage then subtracting the armour from the damage as normal.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby F33D » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:16 pm

alex_greene wrote: and the ship takes 2d6 + 12 damage to Hull or Structure too.

And the guy with the D-gun just smiles, checks the settings, and resets to full auto next round.

How's that cold sweat coming on?
I tiny hole in the hull won't do 12 (ship scale) damage. Sorry, not happening.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby locarno24 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:22 pm

I tiny hole in the hull won't do 12 (ship scale) damage. Sorry, not happening.
No. It should still ignore the ship's armour, though, so it'll do a single hit (because it won't do more than 1 point of damage on ship scale - remember the x50 multiplier). Still, that's not half bad through bonded superdense plate...

As I understand it, Captain Johnah is correct on how the rules work - disintegrators ignore armour due to their effect=armour rule, they don't ignore it then add the armour to the damage. See Mercenary:
This weapon was specifically designed for killing heavy infantry. The science behind the weapon is simple; causing the target to shed neutrons at an alarming rate and using its own matter against it. The larger or more dense a target is, the larger the reaction. The Effect used with a matter disintegrator is not determined by the attack roll; instead it is equal to the Armour rating of the target – meaning that the weapon will always inflict damage if it hits.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby F33D » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:34 pm

The science behind the weapon is simple; causing the target to shed neutrons at an alarming rate and using its own matter against it. The larger or more dense a target is, the larger the reaction.
I just make something that'll stop it. A ship fuel tank full of L-Hyd. No neutrons. Battle dress with a layer of Hyd., etc. :lol:
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby alex_greene » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:41 pm

F33D wrote:
The science behind the weapon is simple; causing the target to shed neutrons at an alarming rate and using its own matter against it. The larger or more dense a target is, the larger the reaction.
I just make something that'll stop it. A ship fuel tank full of L-Hyd. No neutrons. Battle dress with a layer of Hyd., etc. :lol:
Erm, that's liquid hydrogen, you know.

Besides, i imagine disintegrators would still wreak havoc with the containment systems that keep the LHyd liquid and store it. And that's assuming the D-gun operates on the principles outlined above. They could work along the principles established by Larry Niven, suppressing the electromagnetic field around a nucleus causing the suddenly chargeless nuclei to shed their electrons and resulting in massive ionisation outside the field of the D-beam.

Also, it makes your guys walking fuel tanks - just perfect for the next hot round or naked flame to set your guys somewhat explosively on fire - a TL 0 solution instead of a TL Ω one.

I think it scares players to imagine a weapon that can punch a starship-sized hole through a starship, yet be light enough to carry in one hand. Unless their characters are the ones carrying the weapons.

The thing about improbable tech like this is that it allows you to imagine the cool factor of being able to bring down a starship with a handgun, and for the Referee to state something like the following, and I quote ...

"This thing is a handheld device capable of unleashing devastating destruction on a vast scale. I haven't got to the stage where you see what the spinal mount is capable of doing, but as far as I can tell D-guns aren't in the CRB at all so anything that comes out of the laboratories of Tech Level Silly is capable of doing whatever damage I rule it does.

"If I rule that this thing sets off a cascade reaction that allows a man with a D-gun the size of a Sig Sauer or a matchbox to inflict 2d6 + armour damage to man, a vehicle and even a starship's Hull and Structure, no matter how large the scale, I don't care how many rulebooks I'm defying. It's science fiction. This is what ALL D-guns can do in this setting. Get used to it."
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby alex_greene » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:05 pm

My understanding is that the Disintegrator hits like any other weapon
An assumption which has got many a smart primate blown up, along with the facility he is standing in and a kilometre of innocent countryside all around, whenever the Hom saps toy with Tech Level Whatthehell.

A human-built D-gun might work along the lines of projecting a beam at a target and making whatever that beam touches go away, quietly yet sharpish, whether it's a whole human, a platoon of whole humans or just the spinal column of a whole human just below the foramen magnum, a 1mm circle cut out of the aorta or a 1 cm section of the vagus nerve of a whole human.

(All of which, I have to add, would cause instant and instantaneous death: the target would literally not feel it coming).

It might operate on the principle of firing a beam at the target, because that's how humans have interacted with humans for almost half a million years. However, someone else's idea of such interaction might not work the same way.

The same reasoning that produces a device capable of unravelling the knotted membrane of quantum space that is what matter is, quietly making that matter cease to exist, might also devise an instrument capable not of delivering a payload that crosses a distance and has to penetrate armour but rather scan a region of space and trigger the effect within that targeted space, bypassing all those layers of armour and muscle and tegument altogether and just "really advanced technologically" causing just the targeted matter to vanish, leaving all the surrounding tissues intact.

Tech Level Morethanyoucanhandle might be capable of such incredible levels of efficiency because it does not follow the constraints of conventional weapons, whose limitations are based on the structural ability of the weapons to contain or disperse the energies they unleash (rifle barrels have been known to melt under full auto, haven't they?) and the need to moderate recoil, and still provide a weapon that can be carried around.

If the Referee rules that if one D-gun is capable of inflicting this damage, all D-guns built using the same principles are capable of inflicting this damage, it won't matter if the Referee goes and tears up the CRB before your eyes and stares at you through blood red eyes and frothing lips, as long as it's consistent within the setting.

Mind you if you've driven your Ref to that stage, quibbling over the rules for D-guns is likely to be the least of your problems.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby daryen » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:13 am

I am sure the others are correct, and Alex described it wrong. A disintegrator does 2D6 to a person irrespective of armor because the "effect=armor" is so it can ignore the armor. It doesn't do "effect=armor" AND ignore armor in addition to that. That is the RAW.

Now, what you do as a GM is, of course, completely up to you.

The way I do disintegrators is to do the "big damage" (i.e. 6D6 through 10D6 depending on exact weapon) and simply state that once an items damage has been exceeded, it simply goes away. So, after that cloth armor finishes absorbing its 5 damage points, it just goes away. Once the person finishes absorbing its full damage, the person goes away. And so on. Border cases up to the referee (e.g. disintegrating a wall).

Is that "realistic"? Not really, no. But it lets me totally avoid "partial disintegrations" and yet still give the players an actual disintegration. Plus, it's simple enough to easily use.

But, the CSC disintegrator is a cool weapon. It has a nice mechanic and, despite its low damage, it is very effective. It just doesn't actually disintegrate anything. Really, if they had just called it something else, everyone would likely be happy with it and not worry about it.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby alex_greene » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:41 am

I cite older rules; specifically, the original CT RAW, which posited disintegrators as extensions of nuclear damper technology which operates on stable matter, whereas nuclear dampers only operate on unstable nuclei.

Nuclear dampers, as they work, seem to penetrate just about anything. Each beam itself is harmless: it's where they intersect that the damping effect takes place. So disintegrators would have to work the same way, with two intersecting beams striking and penetrating any form of armour to do its damage upon whatever is inside.

Look at how meson guns work: they penetrate matter, barely interacting with anything, until they decay at a very specific spot. This means that, say, if someone had a meson beam trained on a man holding a hostage, the character could literally shoot through that hostage and take out the hostage taker without leaving a mark on the hostage.

D-guns are most definitely an exception to the usual sorts of weapons, because every other kind of weapon adds something to the target - heat, kunetic energy, a stream of radiation and fusing hydrogen, a shower of mesons: but a D-beam does literally the opposite. Where other beams add, these things subtract. Where other weapons force things into the target, D-beams remove something from the target, causing the thing to cease to exist - or merely to cease to function due to a missing key component.

I don't know about you, but if the RAW suck, time to throw them away and use what's cool, as long as it's well-thought out and consistent.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby daryen » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:28 am

alex_greene wrote:I don't know about you, but if the RAW suck, time to throw them away and use what's cool, as long as it's well-thought out and consistent.
Which is, of course, why I mentioned how I handle disintegrators. :)

And, again, the CSC disintegrator is not a bad weapon. It is a cool weapon with the wrong name.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby locarno24 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:25 am

I don't know about you, but if the RAW suck, time to throw them away and use what's cool, as long as it's well-thought out and consistent.
Indeed. I don't mind them, but if you do, go with it.

RPG rule #1: In any disagreement between the GM and the Rulebook, the Rulebook is wrong.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby alex_greene » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:56 am

daryen wrote:And, again, the CSC disintegrator is not a bad weapon. It is a cool weapon with the wrong name.
I really need to get out of the habit of looking for the like button on a forum ...
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Re: Central Supply Catalogue- Disintegrator Question

Postby Imperium » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:34 am

alex_greene wrote:
daryen wrote:And, again, the CSC disintegrator is not a bad weapon. It is a cool weapon with the wrong name.
I really need to get out of the habit of looking for the like button on a forum ...

I concur. :)

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