Thursday, November 24, 2016

Ultra-Tech Quickie: More Options for the Blaster and Laser Design System

Happy Turkey day everyone! In honor of this day of being thankful, I give you guys some I think we all can be thankful for; ways to make high energy death rays even more versatile!

Follow me after the jump for some more options to round off you custom energy weapons stated up with the Blaster and Laser Design System!

This article is meant to be an expansion to the Blaster and Laser Design System published in Pyramid 3/37 Tech and Toys II which is needed to make use to these expanded rules.

Below I cover how to stat up both early, "first gen" version of energy weapons that show up one Tech Level early as wells as how to stat up how more advanced version that show up at latter Tech levels, how to make cheaper but heavier version of energy weapons and lastly how to stat up TL9 Chemical Power Packs for use with custom designed TL9 Chemical Infrared laser.

Energy Weapons at Different Tech Levels 
How Tech Levels effect an energy weapon is something that the design system didn't cover. However going over the weapons stated up in Ultra-Tech in detail does show that David did take into account that Tech Level should effect a weapons weight. Using this info I was able to make the the following modification to his design system (except for the two TL earlier stat, this was figured by looking up the weight to kW ratio of some real world laser weapons). Though to make everything line up with Ultra-Tech we need to first redefine the "base" Tech Level for some of the energy weapons covered in the article, I also include Plasma Guns which can be stated up using this post

For as low as 1 dollar a shot!
Weapon               Base TL
Lasers                  10
Force Beam         10^
Blaster                  11
Rainbow Laser      11
X-Ray Laser         11
Graviton Beam      11^
Pulsar                   12
Plasma  Gun          10^
Graser                  12

Look up the Base TL of the weapon you are building. If you are building a weapon of that TL then use the design system as is but if:

If the weapon is two Tech Levels before Base TL multiply the weapons weight by 32. 
If  the weapon is one Tech Level before Base TL multiply weapons weight by 4.
If the weapons is one Tech Level after Base TL multiply weapons weight by 0.5.
If if the weapon is two Tech Levels after Base TL multiply weapons weight by 0.25.

Note that for TL8 energy weapons, a TL8 C cell holds 1/8th the number of shots of a TL9 version using a TL9 cell. If a TL9+ power cell is used, a TL8 energy weapons gets 1/2 the shots a TL9 energy weapon would get using a a power cell of a given TL.

Example: Let's build a non-superscience  TL9 laser that does 4d worth of damage with a ROF of 1 and a medium Focal Array. Since this is one Tech Level before a laser weapons base TL of 10 its weight will be multiplied by 4. This gives it a weight of ((4×1)/3)3×1×1×4 or 9.48lbs which we can round off to 9.5lbs which is pretty close to the TL9 Assault Laser (Ultra-Tech pg. 115 and 116. The only reason they don't 100% line is that the Assault Laser has a slightly larger Focal Array which would give it an F of 1.03). If it was a TL10 laser it would weigh 2.4lbs and at TL11 it would weigh 1.2lbs.

Low Cost Energy weapons
When building cannon sized energy weapons, sometimes cost is a bigger factor then weight. Energy weapons can be built with older or off the self parts doubling their weight but also halving the cost as well.

Example: Let's say we have a non-superscience TL9 laser cannon that does 30d worth of damage, a ROF of 1 and a medium Focal Array, it would weigh ((30×1)/3)3×1×1×4 or 4,000lbs and cost 4,000×$500×1 or $2,000,000. That's a bit pricey! If we don't mind a little extra weight then we can make it weigh 8,000lbs while dropping the cost to only $1,000,000 a unit

Chemical Laser Chemical Power Pack
Since TL9 power cells don't quiet have the punch yet, use the energy provided by chemicals reactions is the way to go till TL10 powers cells show up to power laser weapons. A Chemical Power Packs that weighs as much as an C power cell will provide 160 shots for a TL8 laser, 320 shots for a TL9 laser and 640 shots for a TL10+ laser. Ultra-Tech gives no mention of a Chemical Power Packs cost, assume they Cost $20 per pound. See the box on pg. 114 as well as pg. 115 of Ultra-Tech for the full rules for Chemical Power Packs, Chemical Power Packs can only be used to power Infrared Lasers.

Example: A single C cell sized Chemical Power Pack would provide a 5d Chemical Infrared Laser with 320/153 or 2.56 shots. I we wanted to power 20 shots we would need about 8 of them for a total weight of 4lbs and cost of $80.


  1. I really liked this post; being able to adapt energy weapons up or down TLs opens up a lot of flexibility. I even wrote my own post using your rules for TL weight adjustments, to update sonic screamers to TL10^:

    1. Thanks for the support man. There's a lot of details to be gleamed by breaking down the numbers in Ultra-Tech (as flawed as the book is), that and being a borderline stalker of post done by David on the forum lol. Those are a huge gold mine as the sometimes confirm hunches I had or outright state the behind the scenes magic at work.

      I've also checked out your blog before, it's gonna be in my next blogs that I like post. I'm all for more sci-fi oriented GURPS blogs.

  2. Good stuff; will need to give it a go sometime when I actually have time / design target!