Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fused Tech

Barbarians on spaceships! Remember them? My beloved barbarians storming the decks with swords and crossbows! They're getting an upgrade.

As any barbarian will tell you arrows and bolts suck next to bullets. They just do. Being barbarians you can't always make the jump to full on assault rifles without a few tech level hiccups along the way. After all if it were that simple every planet would have a TL 15 store.

The planet Peraspera in my Icy Shores setting had just this problem. While not up to even 21 century tech standards the locals were able to maintain and even expand an industry producing air crystals, a commodity that was prized in life support systems. This and low offworld funds for importing firearms made it a tempting target for raiders.

The charges against several corporations for hiring raiders to encourage the Perasperans to sell their facilities cheap remain unproven.

Without a lot of guns the Perasperans decided that they did not have to be impregnable to offworld attacks, just a big enough hassle to make raiders turn elsewhere.

A local armorer made an exhausting study of a snub pistol and soon determined that it's muzzle velocity was about 100 meters per second. By happy coincidence local crossbows fired bolts around this speed. he quickly refitted a few HEAP rounds to some bolts. Some quick testing showed the bolts would indeed impact with enough force to trigger the explosive charges in the rounds.

Consider: bullets are fairly cheap compared to firearms. They are also smaller and much easier to ship. A snub round weighs about 7 grams. Not much compared to a 65 gram bolt. Balancing the new bolts was not trivial but doable. Once enough bolts were churned out the locals proceeded to raise merry Hell among the first raiding party to hit the dirt.

Of course this isn't Avatar so the frustrated raiders rained a couple of missiles on the defenders from a safe altitude.

Snub Bolts- Use the range characteristics of the bow. Use the armor modifiers for the snub pistol round. Snub bolts can fired from crossbows and long bows reliably. Fired from smaller bows they malfunction and do not go off on a 1 in 6 chance. The Perasperans have produced HE and HEAP bolts/arrows. Gas or tranquilizer arrows are possible as well. The drawbacks of the snub bolts become apparent when used in 0-gee combat. The modifiers to retain or regain control are -3 for crossbows or -4 for other bows.

Which is why one Perasperan troop decided to lay carpet on her ship and attach hook and loop pads to the soles of her boots.