Stunning weapons in WOIN
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  1. #1
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    Stunning weapons in WOIN

    My NEW party has just shifted gears to pursue a bounty hunting career, and as part of our preparations, I started looking at the options for dealing non-lethal damage, in case we need to bring somebody in alive.

    There are a bunch of ways to go, but what I noticed and wanted to discuss here is how some of them seem notably better or worse than the other choices available.

    The good options:

    Sap. Its description says it "does little damage", but that's not reflected in its stats, which say it does the same damage as a club or light hammer, with the stun trait and a special stunning effect if you attack with it from surprise. Pretty awesome for something so small, cheap and low-tech.

    Rubber bullets (in any ballistic firearm). These are a very cheap way to deal stunning damage at range without needing a whole new gun. Though since slug-throwers are cheap too, you could always pick a new one up just for use with rubber bullets.

    Phasers. These are not available for our group as we're limited to 8B advancement level, but in settings where they exist, they're great (high damage, and optional stun).

    The notably bad options:

    Stun Baton. Deals exactly the same amount of damage as a sap (without the special effect), and is larger, heavier, higher-tech, and 100 times more expensive. Only remotely useful against androids and heavy armor users.

    Electro-arc. This taser-equivalent doesn't actually list "stun" as a trait in the weapons table, but it does mention it in the detailed description (so I'm guessing the table has an error). It does less damage than a slugger pistol, and has much less range. Since it lacks the "Sidearm" trait, it's worse than a normal pistol a lot of the time even if you are up close. And it costs so much that for the same price you could buy a slugger pistol or rifle and eight other magazines of specialty ammo in addition to rubber bullets (or get a better quality weapon and less ammo). An exceptional quality phaser pistol costs the same as a normal quality electro-arc!

    My suggestions for how to improve balance:

    The sap should probably do less damage. Probably 1d6 would be enough. Or if special mechanics seem worth it, maybe it could deal an extra d6 or two of damage that immediately heals afterwards if it doesn't render the victim unconscious.

    Rubber bullets might also deserve a damage reduction. Even if it's just a -1, or that they no longer deal damage through armor on a 6, it might make them less of an obvious choice.

    The electrical weapons should have some more useful stunning effect. Maybe they should get a chance to stun on all hits (like the sap gets for surprise attacks). The electro-arc should also have a longer range and/or gain the Sidearm trait. They should also be quite a bit cheaper (especially the electro-arc, which should definitely not cost more than a phaser weapon).
    Last edited by Steven Barker; Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019 at 10:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    Theres no obligation in my mind for all weapons to be equal. Some things are better than other things. The electro arc, for example, is supposed to be pretty primitive compared to the a phaser; its basically an antique - a taser. Its AL 6; a phaser is AL 9. A phaser is deliberately much better than it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    Theres no obligation in my mind for all weapons to be equal. Some things are better than other things. The electro arc, for example, is supposed to be pretty primitive compared to the a phaser; its basically an antique - a taser. Its AL 6; a phaser is AL 9. A phaser is deliberately much better than it.
    I don't really mind the phaser being good. I didn't actually suggest any changes for the phaser either, as it seems to be in a fairly good place. My main problem is with how the electrical stun weapons compare to the other low-tech options.

    When it comes to stunning biological targets, an AL 2 sap is better than an AL 6 stun baton in every way. And an AL 5 slugger pistol with rubber bullets (not sure what AL these are, but probably 5-6, since they exist today) is much better than the AL 6 electro-arc.

    The only thing that the stun baton and electro-arc do better is deal damage to androids and biological characters wearing battlesuits. But even then, buying a few magazines of AP ammo for the slugger pistol makes it almost as good as the electro-arc against the heavy armored characters, and it's still a lot cheaper and more versatile.

  4. #4
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    I believe that there is only a few changes needed:
    1) The saps damage be reduced to 1d6, like an unarmed attack essentially.
    2) The stun baton and electro arc require the target to make an END roll to stay conscious every time it hits. (It's electricity, won't make a difference whether you see it coming or not).

    The electro-arcs range should stay the same, a tazer has leads and is a one shot

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