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Weaponized Tractor Beam
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CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
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Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 12384
Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:00 pm    Post subject: Weaponized Tractor Beam Reply with quote

In other media, I've heard of tractor beam type tech being weaponized. Specifically, rather than pulling a target in or pushing it away, it oscillates between the two hundreds or thousands of times per second, literally vibrating a solid object apart. The Squib Tensor Rifle seems to function on a similar premise, but has anyone ever played around with standard tractor beam projectors modified to do this?
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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Bren
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Joined: 19 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope.

I find differentiating weapon systems to be more interesting (useful, worth the trouble, fill in the blank) if the source of the damage vs the target matters. Crunchy medieval or fantasy games may differentiate edged, pointed, and blunt force weapons in how they effect mail or plate armor, for example. The distinction between physical and energy weapons in Star Wars is another example. Traveller did this with multiple types of armor and a table with +/- for each weapon against various types of armor.

Currently ships have ray shielding and particle shielding. Ion cannons ignore shields but don't do damage other than ionizing or locking up systems. Lasers, blasters, missiles, and torpedoes are blocked by shields. Missiles and torpedoes do a lot of damage, but require the firer to lower particle shields which drops the hull strength by 2D. According to the rules, damage from a tractor beam is more like ionization damage in that it doesn't physically shake the ship apart, but it damages the engines of resisting ships which decreases the space move. Presumably if the ship takes more move damage than it has movement points the engines either overload and shut down or burn out.

So we already have a rock, paper, scissors kind of thing going on. If vibration damage was going to be a thing, how would tractor beam shake-and-rattle damage differ from any of the already existing types or sources of damage? Should shields be more effective, less effective, or even inaffective?
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