I’m introducing an antagonist faction into my campaign that heavily uses gravity manipulation technology. The PCs have been encountering signs of their technology and relics but soon they’ll be encountering one of their ships and I want to use this gravity mastery in their weaponry.
Any ideas what existing weapon effects I could apply could show this or what new effect I could homebrew? Maybe something where attacks automatically apply some level of a Tractor Beam (each effect adds +1 Strength) for example? This would be for their Energy weapon attacks, if that makes a difference.
Perhaps it should have an effect on the hull of the ship more than the shields - make it much weaker against shielded targets, but stronger against the hull; it effectively massively increases the gravity in a section hit, crushing a section, or causing a rendering-effect, so any Breaches are automatically against the Structure, regardless of where hit (making it especially dangerous). I would also consider making it lethal for crewmembers in the affected section, perhaps local application of the Dangerous atmosphere / Heavy Gravity rules, as if on a planet?
Because you bring up gravity, I think this might be appropriate.
Warp technology itself is the warping of spacetime, and gravity is an effect of warping spacetime, so technically… every race in trek that uses warp could or should be using ‘gravity’ weaponry in the fact that it is the warping of spacetime.
However, here’s an idea you may find cool, maybe, who knows.
They don’t use shields or weaponry such as we see in trek. They use a gravity warping of spacetime to deflect all attacks away from their ships, and they don’t need weapons because if they feel suffeciently annoyed, they are able to re-direct the attacks of the people attacking them back against their own ships.
One other idea would be high energy beams that are able to create a 'kugelblitz" or… basically a white hole, a black hole created by concentrated light instead of concentrated mass. So maybe part of their “gravity” thing is being able to create these white holes.
What I have so far is the following:
Gravimetric Gradient Projectors
-1 CD Damage (so a Scale 4 ship with Security 3 would have 6 CD damage)
Comes with the Shearing quality, any time a Breach is caused, an additional Breach is caused to Structure.
Overall reflecting the idea that shields can protect well against these attacks, but due to the sheer blunt force of the attacks, once it starts damaging a vessel, it’s doing widespread damage as opposed to precision damage. Based off @Sirok’s suggestions
Based off @JohnDW’s idea of using space warp for deflection of attacks, I have the following:
Whenever receiving an attack, the ship has CD cover dice equivalent to it’s Scale. The number of CD is halved if the ship’s Structure is Damaged (i.e taken half of its maximum number of Breaches).
The idea of potentially reflecting attacks back at the enemy is cool, but I’m not sure how to implement it without a clunky set of mechanics.
I would say, there’s a skill check of some sort that the crew makes to use gravity to deflect against attacks, and if there are enough special effect results, or enough successes, or both, then they did such a good job redirecting the attack that they make it go back to the ship that fired the weapon.
Since this is a gravy based defense, it would probably only work on beam weapons, and weapons that require direct contact, if a weapon gets within a certain proximity and explodes, then maybe the gravity defense would not work.
All the ideas here are great. Just for creative inspiration … here’s what the TNG Tech Manual says a deflector shield does (no it’s not technically canon anymore but it’s the best we’ve ever gotten):
"Like most forcefield devices, the deflector system creates a localized zone of highly focused spatial distortion within which an energetic graviton field is maintained. The deflector field itself is emitted and shaped by a series of conformal transmission grids on the spacecraft exterior, resulting in a field that closely follows the form of the vehicle itself. This field is highly resistive to impact due to mechanical incursions ranging from relativistic subatomic particles to more massive objects at lesser relative velocities. When such an intrusion occurs, field energy is concentrated at the point of impact, creating an intense, localized spatial distortion.
And for further inspiration here’s what a tractor beam is (again from TNG Tech Manual):
"Tractor emitters employ superimposed subspace/ graviton force beams whose interference patterns are focused on a remote target, resulting in significant spatial stress being applied on the target. By controlling the focal point and interference patterns, it is possible to use this stress pattern to draw an object toward the ship. Conversely, it is also possible to invert the interference patterns and move the focal point to actually push an object.
Dunno if this helps but when I read OP I was thinking of ye olde tractor/repulsor beam:
Tightly focussed high frequency tractor/pressor beam shifting back and forth randomly or in a controlled fashion to find the natural frequencies of the target’s structures and shatter them like a crystal glass at the end of a bad Klingon opera.
Damage dice as you have them but maybe:
Piercing 4 (to represent that tactical deflectors aren’t designed to deal with weapons like these. Let players find a way to reduce this by learning how the weapon works and modify systems accordingly)
Vicious 2 (to represent it being very painful if it penetrates the shields)
Devastating (to make it hard for the players to repair the ship in the middle of no where because stuff’s not overload or burnt out…it’s gone)
Anyway…my 2 credits…if we still used money anymore.
Now I want to see a gravy-based weapon…