Thursday, August 25, 2016

Better Living Through Superior Firepower

Happy GURPS Day once again everyone!

Sadly... After how well received my last GURPS Day post was... this is not the GURPS Day post you all deserve.... Heck, this wasn't even planned to be my GURPS Day post.

Originally this was meant to be a side post. The plan was to get this post out by the 22nd followed by What's the Deal With the Beam Weapons Skill?, a post covering my issues with how GURPS 4th edition handle the Beam Weapons skill and some suggestions on how to fix it by yesterday and my GURPS Day post was going to be another gear break down post called Power Armor, Powered Up! showing you how to create custom battle suits and exoskeletons...

But then work happened... hard... and I was lucky to have 20min a day to focus on writing this post. Also... because of how chaotic things are at my job atm... my posting might become a little sparse for the near future... or at lest until we can hire some new help (assuming our store parasites... I mean directors give us the payroll we need to >.>),  get them trained up to speed... and then hope they stay, which would be a near miracle... 9 out of 10 new hires for my department quit after a few weeks. So sorry about this guys... Hopefully this will blow over soon.

Also I apologize in advance for the wonkiness of some of the stat blocks. Don't know what happen there. I spent an hour trying to get them to all line up but nothing I did had any effect. I'll try again them when I get some free time. 

But that's enough doom and gloom... on ward to what you all came here for!

Better Living Through Superior Firepower
Alrighty guys! Time for the last of the left overs!

As I've mentioned before, when I originally conceived Plasma Guns, Re-Energized! I got a little to ambitious. It was going to cover not only Plasma Guns but Flamers and Plasma Lances and I was also going to have a list of custom made plasma guns with stats and histories. Hell, even early version of the companies I used in my last post, Brand Loyalty, had their start in that post! Needless to say I had to cut it down a bit. Most of that went into the Addendum post but that left me with my partly written table of plasma weapons.
So I figure, "Might as well post this too, heck it would be a nice follow up to Brand Loyalty." I'd stat up a couple of weapons, give them back stories and interesting modifiers and so on. But then as I started to write this post... an idea hit me.

While having a fully fledged out list of weapons here would be a fun read and fun to write... how helpful would this be really, at lest as something you all could port into your own games? I mean if it would be one thing if I was coming up with my own setting and meant for them to be used in it but since these would have built in assumptions... their generic versatility kinda goes out the window.

So instead I'm gonna do something different, something I feel Ultra-Tech should of did.

One of my problems with the weapons listed in Ultra-Tech was the uneven coverage. My other was the lack of any real advice on how to customize the weapons listed to better suit your game.

Below you will find a list of plasma guns to play with. Unlike my normal weapon write ups so far, the write ups for these one follow Ultra-Techs example and only give you enough detail to understand the weapons role. However you will also see that I've given you a rather large selection to play with. I also threw in as a bonus rules how to make energy weapons SMGs.

This fixes the problem of coverage though note I kept heavy weapons to a minimum. This is both do to the fact I wanted to focus on the type of guns most PCs are going to use as well as the fact I wanted to keep them with in the weight limits of the required ST list from Plasma Guns, Re-Energized! so you could reverse engineer them if you wanted to.

How to tweak these weapons are things I covered not only in the options listed in Plasma Guns, Re-Energized! and its follow up post but especially in Brand Loyalty

So think of this as somewhat of a homework assignment on how to make full use of the articles I written so far. Take the weapons I made here that you'd want for your campaign and use my advice on how to tweak them your needs. 


Hold Out Plasma Pistol: A low powered but very concealable plasma pistol designed for self deference No much used against armored targets but is quite effective against unarmored ones.

Ultra-Light Plasma Pistol: A small, compact plasma pistol meant for concealment and low cost.

Light Plasma Pistol:  Somewhat lighter then the medium plasma pistol, the light plasma pistol trades off some of its stopping power and penetration for lighter weight and a lower price tag. Good for personal defense.

Medium Plasma Pistol: The stranded plasma side arm for TL10^. As ubiquitous as a 9mm pistol is today. A good compromise between easy of carry, stopping power and penetration.

Heavy Plasma Pistol: A heavier plasma pistol that was designed for military use. Also favored by security forces that have to deal with potentially armored threats.

"Magnum" Plasma Pistol: Just shy of being big enough to be banned from civilian sales, the magnum plasma pistol is pure over kill incarnate.

Borg Plasma Pistol: Effectively a pistol format light plasma gun meant as a side arm for heavy combat cyborgs or battlesuit troopers.

BEAM WEAPONS (PISTOL) (DX-4, other Beam Weapons-4, or Guns (Pistol)-4)
TL   Weapon                               Damage                   Acc   Range       Weight     ROF  Shots   ST  Bulk  Rcl Cost       LC
10^  Hold Out Plasma Pistol      3d(2) burn ex sur      4      150/450      0.2/1B     3        45(3)   5    -1       2    $400/$3   3
10^  Ultra- Light Plasma Pistol  5d(2) burn ex sur     4      250/750     1.2/1C      3        54(3)   7    -1       2    $1,400/$10 3
10^  Light Plasma Pistol            6d(2) burn ex sur      4      300/900     1.8/1C      3        31(3)  8     -2        2    $2,600/$10 3
10^  Medium Plasma Pistol       7d(2) burn ex sur      4      350/1,050   2.5/1C     3        20(3)  9     -2      2    $4,000/$10 3
10^  Heavy Plasma Pistol          8d(2) burn ex sur      4      400/1,200   3.5/1C     3         13(3) 10    -2       2    $6,000/$10 3
10^  Magnum Plasma Pistol      9d+1(2) burn ex sur  4      471/1,413   5.3/1C     3         8(3)  11    -3       2    $9,600/$10 3
10^  Borg Plasma Pistol           11d+1(2) burn ex sur    4      571/1,713   9.6/2C     3       10(3)  12   -4       2    $17,200/$20 2

To build an energy weapon SMG just build a pistol level weapon but treat it as a rifle and give it a Acc that's equal to what it would have as a pistol plus half of the difference between its pistol and rifle forms Acc. For example a laser SMG would have Acc 9 since a laser pistols Acc is 6 and a laser rifle Acc would be 12 giving a difference between them of 6. Half of that is 3 so 6+3 equals Acc 9. 

If firing a energy weapon SMG one handed, its Acc drops back down to pistol levels, its ST is multiplied by 1.2 and if it has an Rcl higher then 1, increases it by 1. 

Light Plasma Machine Pistol: A variant of the light plasma pistol designed for bust fire. It has an extended double C cell magazine and a flip down front grip (Takes a ready action to flip down or flip up). If fired with the grip down and held change required ST to ST 6†.

Medium Plasma PDW: A personal defense weapon based on the medium plasma pistol but redesigned for rapid fire with a collapsible telescopic stock (takes a ready action to collapses or extend) and a slightly longer accelerator barrel. This makes the weapon slightly heavier and more power hungry but gives it more hitting power and accuracy. It uses a double C cell magazine. Collapsing the stock reduces the weapons bulk to -2 but drops Acc back to 4, bumps ST up to 8† and increases Rcl to 3

Heavy Plasma PDW : A personal defense weapon version of the heavy plasma pistol with the same modification as the medium plasma PDF. Designed to fit heavy firepower in a compacted package, the heavy plasma PDF is used in situations were heavier firepower is needed but military grade weapons would be over kill. Do to how high powered its shots are it uses a triple C cell magazine. Collapsing its stock reduces the weapons bulk to -2 but drops Acc back to 4, bumps ST up to 8 and increases Rcl to 3

BEAM WEAPONS (SMG) (DX-4, other Beam Weapons-4, or Guns (SMG)-4)
TL   Weapon                            Damage                   Acc   Range       Weight     ROF   Shots   ST  Bulk   Rcl Cost          LC
10^ Light Plasma                   6d(2) burn ex sur    4       300/900     2.3/2C     10         62(3)   9   -2         2   $5,200/$20  3
       Machine Pistol
10^ Medium Plasma PDW  7d+1(2) burn ex sur  6     371/1,113   3.4/2C     10          34(3)  7†  -3*      2    $9,600/$20 3 
10^ Heavy Plasma PDW     8d+1(2) burn ex sur  6     432/1,296  5.2/3C     10           30(3) 7†   -3*     2    $14,800/$30 3

Plasma Guns

Light Semi-Auto Plasma Gun: Favored by frontier men on less developed colonies and civilian shooters everywhere. The light semi-auto plasma gun brings a nice balance between  weight, cost and stopping power. Uses a triple C cell magazine.

Semi-Auto Plasma Gun: Harder hitting version of the light semi-auto plasma gun designed for para-military  and heavy security forces work. Uses a triple C cell magazine.

Plasma Carbine: A light, full auto military plasma gun based on the semi-auto plasma gun. Useful for fighting in close quarters. Uses a quad C cell magazine. Has a collapsible stock (takes a ready action to collapse or extend it). If collapsed, reduce the weapons bulk to -3 but drops Acc to 6, bumps ST up to 10 and increases Rcl to 3

Assault Plasma Gun: A full sized military assault plasma weapon. Uses a five stack C cell magazine. Has a collapsible stock (takes a ready action to collapse or extend it). If collapsed, reduce the weapons bulk to -4 but drops Acc to 6, bumps ST up to 12 and increases Rcl to 3
Battle Plasma Gun: A heavy, hard hitting assault plasma gun. Used by anti-battle suit or heavy cyborg squads as well as by battles suits and heavy cyborgs themselves as a light long arm. Uses a detached D cell magazine that is worn like a back pack. It feeds the weapons through light weight feeding cable.

Heavy Plasma Gun: A large, high powered plasma gun used as anti-material weapon. Fine (Accurate) version are often used as markmens weapons. Uses a detached D cell magazine that is worn like a back pack. It feeds the weapons through light weight feeding cable

Assault Heavy Plasma Gun: A full auto version of the heavy plasma gun used as a standard battlesuit or heavy cyborg long arm. Uses a detached double D cell magazine that is worn like a back pack. It feeds the weapons through light weight feeding cable

BEAM WEAPONS (RIFLE) (DX-4, other Beam Weapons-4, or Guns (Rifle)-4)
TL   Weapon                            Damage                     Acc    Range        Weight   ROF   Shots   ST  Bulk   Rcl   Cost         LC
10^ Light Semi-Auto            9d+1(2) burn ex sur      8    471/1,413   6.3/3C       3     24(3)   8†   -4       2       $9,600/$30     3 
               Plasma Gun
10^  Semi-Auto Plasma Gun 10d(2) burn ex sur     8     500/1,500    7.3/3C      3    21(3)   8†   -4        2     $11,600/$30      2
10^  Plasma Carbine             10d(2) burn ex sur      8     500/1,500    7.8/4C    10    28(3)   8†   -4*     2      $23,200/$40     2 
10^  Assault Plasma Gun     11d+2(2) burn ex sur  8     582/1,746     11.6/5C  10    20(3)   9†  -5*     2       $36,400/$50     2
10^  Battle Plasma Gun       6d×2(2) burn ex sur    8    600/1,800     10/1Dp    10    40(5)   9†  -5       2     $40,000/$100     2 
10^  Heavy Plasma Gun      5d×3(2) burn ex sur    8    750/2,250     20/1Dp    3      20(5)  10† -7       2     $39,000/$100    1 
10^  Assault Heavy Plasma 5d×3(2) burn ex sur    8    750/2,250     20/2Dp    10    40(5) 10† -7        2     $78,000/$200    1

Plasma Light Machine Guns 
Note that the amount of ammo these weapons hold varies depending on whether they are being held by a normal solider, a battle suited solider or on a vehicles pintle mount. Because of this variable nature I list how many rounds a D cell magazine can hold for each one in their respective description blurb. 

Plasma Squad Automatic Weapon: A variant of the assault plasma gun with increased cooling and power supply to handle a much higher rate of fire without overheating. A D cell magazine holds 40 shots.

Plasma Squad Heavy Support Weapon: A heavier light machine gun based on the Battle Plasma Gun. A D cell magazine holds 40 shots.

Battle Suit Plasma Automatic Weapon: A heavy machine gun modified for use as a light machine gun for battle suits and heavy cyborgs. A D cell magazine holds 20 shots.

BEAM WEAPONS (LMG) (DX-4, other Beam Weapons-4, or Guns (LMG)-4)
TL   Weapon                            Damage                      Acc    Range        Weight   ROF   Shots   ST  Bulk   Rcl   Cost       LC
10^  Plasma SAW                  11d+2(2) burn ex sur   8     582/1,746     11/ver.     20    ver.   9†  -5     2       $44,000        2
10^  Plasma HSW                  6d×2(2) burn ex sur    8    600/1,800         12/ver.   20     ver.    9†  -5       2     $48,000        2   
10^  Plasma AW                     5d×3(2) burn ex sur     8    750/2,250     23/ver.    20      ver.  11† -7        2     $93,600        1 

Fixed the stat line blocks, for some reason the blogs HTML code was doing odd things I never told it to do to them and I had to go through the code and hand correct it. What is up with blogger? 

Also added a clarification note under Plasma Light machines Guns.  


  1. Good work; I'm interested in seeing the Beam Weapon skill article, as I'll be using that at some point (I think).

    I'll also keep an eye to the Exosuit as well - I have a few mecha I've made a note to do specs for, but are kind of at the far-flung peripheral of the timeline I'm focusing on right now.

    For the charts, I just use Excel, and crop it down. Some early articles I fiddled with doing them in HTML (and one or two articles went live that way) but I didn't find the effort worth it.

    1. I'll try to get on it, I gotta hop a train in the morning so I'll try to get started on it during the ride.

      If next week at work isn't as bad as this one was I should have the battlesuit one up by next gurpsday. It's gonna be a two parter with the first one covering power armor and the second one upping it to a simple mecha design system. After that I got a few more ideas lined up dealing with more custom gear ranging from passive visual sensors to radios and after that I got a little project in the works...

      I also found out what was wrong with the stat line blocks, blogger was acting goofy again so I had to fix the HTML code.

      But once again, thanks man. I really appreciate your effort to comment on my posts.

    2. I like the idea of a mech design system - might reference it. I had done the Bradley series of vehicles just using the guidance Basic and High Tech gives, and I had been meaning to check Ultra Tech to see if they had more for mechs or not.

      No rush, though. I'm plodding along in my own release cycle - I have, no joke, 114 articles listed as "draft" right now. I think I'm actively working on about 3, and sort-of-actively working on another two - one of which I suppose I could have finished and out the door within a day if I wanted.

      I've also got a radio thing coming up, but it's a real world radio so I still need to comb through specs and whatnot. Because lord forbid I be content with saying "Large Radio, see HTXX".

      If you spot anything of mine you like particularly, let me know sometime. If I have drafts along the lines of what my active audience indicates they like, they find their way to the top of the queue. No idea how useful TL6-8 stuff will be for you, though!

  2. Again, excellent work. One quibble a "Plasma Light Machine Gun" really needs a better name, I use 'pulser' for pulsed-plasma weapons so it'd be a medium auto-pulser.