In another thread here on the boards
, we were discussing variant models for blaster pistols. I said that it would be better not to go where RCR did and have dozens of models of pistols that carry only tiny variations in their statistics that you could never remember without pulling out the book.
I suggested instead, if you want to include some significantly different blasters that really tweak the usual sporting blaster / blaster / heavy blaster classifications, that a good way would be having some equipment available on the market with pre-installed factory-standard S&V Upgrades or Tech Specialist upgrades. They cost a little more, and may break some of the rules normally associated with upgrades. Note that this equipment does not come with an upgrade slot unless an entry specifically says that it does.Edit: To clarify my thinking a bit, I should explain that I don't object at all to variant blaster models, but I feel the D20 Star Wars RCR "Arms & Equipment Guide" was far too fiddly, with +/- 1 to 3 damage, DR, range incriment, or stun DC being common adjustments. I think the differences need to be
significant -- if you're carrying around a blaster that is claimed to have second-rate damage but a strong stun effect, that should be a major factor in your tactical decision-making, not just a couple points plus or minus (in this case, the Bothan template is perfect). The fact that we have systems that do exactly that already in place in the game (between Tech Spec, Upgrades from S&V, and Templates from KotOR) means it's very easy to plug in those effects to get some unique gear.
Here are some ideas I came up with. Many are based on equipment from the A&E guide, though only loosely -- I didn't really look at their stats, just read the text description of "what is this gun good at, what is it bad at, and what was the maker's intent in producing it?" And then I tried to reflect that in the upgrades, stripping, and so on that I applied.Czerka Deadshot 88Technical description:
Blaster Pistol + Pulse ChargerCost:
Czerka Corporation created the Deadshot 88 to provide the power of a heavy blaster pistol with the accuracy and smaller form factor of a traditional blaster pistol. While the pulse charger can produce a powerful bolt with long-range characteristics comparable to a normal blaster, there is also an unfortunate energy spillover effect that affects the weapon's accuracy at all ranges. Most planetary governments have ruled that the Deadshot 88's high energy output puts it into the same legal category as a heavy blaster pistol, which generally restricts its sale to only military personnel.Merr Sonn Model S3 CustomTechnical description:
Sporting Blaster Pistol + Silverplate + Spring Loaded + Targeting ScopeCost:
The S3 Custom is an artistically designed silverplated sporting blaster with an integrated targeting scope. It is meant more as a fashion statement than as a weapon, though it is as effective on the target range as any other sporting pistol. The included mag-grapple mount, in addition to facilitating a fast draw, allows the weapon to be on full display even when not in use; one would not want to hide away such a beautiful weapon in a holster!Notes:
Why yes, silverplate is
absurdly expensive. I'd probably use a weapon like this as a treasure reward. I also decided that it made no sense for silverplate to cost an upgrade slot, so in this case it doesn't. The thing has two upgrades but only spends one slot for it. The mag-grapple mount is kind of a reference to the SW:TOR MMO, where the smuggler has no holsters; his guns just sort of cling to his hips and he holsters them by just putting the gun next to his thigh and letting go. Anyway I like the idea of using a magnetic holder to explain faster quickdraws rather than a spring-loaded gun (which always makes me imagine the pistol popping up like a slice of toast).Merr-Sonn IR-5 "Intimidator"Technical description:
Blaster Pistol + Strip Stun + Rapid Recycler + Retractable StockCost:
A major departure from Merr-Sonn's usual product aesthetic, the Intimidator is bulky, angular pistol, nearly as large as a heavy blaster pistol. They sacrificed the weapon's stun setting and overall look for the sole purpose of providing an autofire option in a pistol form factor. The retractable stock can be used to improve long-range accuracy and helps stabilize the lightweight weapon when using its autofire mode, which can otherwise cause a great deal of recoil and affect the weapon's accuracy.Special:
When fired in auto mode with the stock retracted, the Intimidator takes an additional -2 penalty on its attack roll.After some thought, I decided there might be a better way to model this sort of thing. Here's another version of the same weapon:Merr-Sonn IR-5 "Intimidator"Technical description:
Blaster Pistol + Strip Range + Rapid Recycler + Retractable StockCost:
In this version there's no special penalty to autofire; instead the weapon just has an annoyingly short accurate range when the stock is retracted. Stripping the range means it uses Thrown weapon ranges, so its point blank only extends to 6 squares. Extending the stock brings it back up to normal Pistol range (it uses Rifle range, which the stripping reduces to Pistol) . I'm not sure how to justify having a short single-shot range when in pistol mode.BlasTech T-5 "Thunderer"Technical description:
Blaster Carbine + MiniaturizedCost:
BlasTech approached the same solution as the Intimidator from the opposite direction and came up with something very similar. The Thunderer is effectively a very small blaster carbine, with a foldable stock and foregrip that allows it to be handled either like a pistol or like a more traditional carbine. Many starsystems consider the highly compact firepower to be excessive for a pistol and put military-level restrictions on its sale.Notes:
I put the military restriction on here because carbines are already ridiculously competitive with heavy blaster pistols -- a carbine with a folded stock is the same as an HBP with an an autofire mode, the only difference being one kilogram of mass. Miniaturizing a carbine to the size of a blaster pistol makes the thing a little unbalanced vs the HBP, so to level things a little I stuck a higher licensing level on it.SoroSuub Security S-5 BlasterTechnical description:
Ascension Gun (G@W) + Strip Damage (3d6) + Dual Gear with Darter (see notes)Cost:
The Security S-5 is a combination weapon that merges the abilities of a number of weapons while excelling in no particular area. While it has a relatively low energy output for a heavy blaster, the integrated dart launcher allows it, when loaded with knockout agents, to bring nonlethal force to bear much further away than than the usual 6-square stun range. The grappling gun gives the user additional mobility options. The combination of functionality makes the Security S-5 a good choice for organizations that may encounter a variety of situations, which makes it popular for elite forces working in generally peaceful locales.Special:
The Security S-5 has one available upgrade slot. A recognition system is a very common upgrade.Notes:
It is a swift action to switch between blaster and darter mode. The Darter (GoI p65) is a Simple weapon that can fire only out to Short range and carries a clip of six darts. A dart deals 1 damage on a hit; if the target takes damage from that (in other words, it has no applicable SR or DR), then the dart delivers its payload. The usual payload is a simple knockout chemical that immediately deals 3d8 stun damage to the target, but generally any injury toxin can be loaded into a dart, or the chemical delivery dart can be replaced by other types of ammunition, such as a surveillence tagger or firestarter. A clip of six standard knockout darts costs 30 credits; for other payloads the dart's cost is subsumed by the cost of the toxin dose or other device, and provides a single round.Notes part 2:
Apparently the S-5 was statted out in one of the KOTOR web enhancements. I did not know that! Oh, well, this is still a nice example of building a fairly complex weapon with Dual Gear.
More to come; feel free to add your own! Minor rule-breaking is totally acceptable. I generally add about a 10% surcharge on these items, for the benefit of not having to do the work yourself.