Gear: Phasers

Micropulse Phased Array Lasers

Micropulse phased array lasers (which were inevitably shortened to the term phaser) are old Earth legacy weapons. Some can still be found in the Verge, although they are rare and extremely valuable. Any piece that comes onto the market will be coveted by companies trying to reverse engineer the tech and wealthy collectors wanting to own an authentic piece of old Earth. Some unscrupulous individuals or organizations might not decide to wait for a piece to come on the market.

The communications protocols used by old Earth tech and the current Verge are different, so these legacy weapons cannot be synched to a current Verge computer or work with a current Verge HUD.

Phasers are similar to pulse lasers in most respects. Instead of emitting just one pulse that lasts a millisecond, they break up that pulse into nearly 100 pulses of just a few nanoseconds duration each, separated by about ten microseconds. The extreme intensity of the nanosecond pulses causes any matter the pulse is focused on to violently explode, carving out a cavity in the material. The subsequent pulses arrive after the plasma and debris has cleared and are incident on the back wall of the original cavity, blasting out a deeper channel into the target as each subsequent pulse arrives.

As their name indicates, the beam is emitted and focused through an optical phased array rather than a lens or mirror. This gives the phaser a distinctive look, with a smooth end without an obvious focusing aperture like the current Verge pulse lasers. Smallarm phasers mostly emit their beam in the direction the weapon is pointed (with minor adjustments for beam stabilization) but larger phaser heavy weapons use their phased array beampointers to rapidly flick the beam from target to target without needing to slew the pointing of a large monolithic focal array. Even phaser smallarms can shoot off-axis and rapidly switch between targets if synched to a computer running a targeting program (which can be a challenge, since current Verge computers do not have the legacy communications protocols).

Phasers cause Pierce-type damage ‐ the train of mini-explosions damages the material by mechanical rather than thermal mechanisms. The Temperature score is irrelevant – no material held together by chemical bonds is capable of withstanding energy densities of that magnitude, and affector screens cannot interact with the light in any event.

The rules for beam focus, compressed beams, adjustable beam energy, propagation of the near-visible beams through air, water, and optical materials, changing beam color, and beam pointer turrets are the same as for pulse lasers. Because legacy phasers are more efficient than current Verge pulse lasers at turning electricity into light, the table for variable energy beams is changed, use the table below.

Energy Pen Wound
Energy Pen Wound
Energy Pen Wound
This table can be extended ... ×1000 to Energy is ×10 to Pen and +7 to Wound score.

The weapons table lists phasers produced using old Earth technology. If engineers from the Verge figure out how to make micropulse lasers, the first models will be less efficient and less powerful than these legacy models – use the stats for pulse lasers, but AP becomes -7. Improving efficiency and beam generator capability will get the improved Pen and Focus; improving power handling will allow the improved ROF. To get phasers proper you will also need to reverse-engineer the optical phased arrays, which will allow beam agility and rapid re-targeting (and will also be cheaper and more durable than the lenses currently used).

Palm Phaser14-1¾-7s,101000-1½+1-6+4+80.18|0.02
Pocket Phaser Pistol18-1-7s,101000+2-3+7+100.5|0.05
Phaser Pistol22-7s,101000+0+3-1+9+111|0.1
Heavy Phaser Pistol28-7s,101000+3+1+10+122|0.2
Auto Phaser22-7s,405000+3+7-2+11+113|0.5
Light Phaser Carbine28-7s,101000+3+7-3+11+122|0.2
Phaser Carbine32-7s,101000+3+7-2+13+123.5|0.25
Battle Phaser35+1-7s,101000+3½+7-1+13+134.5|0.35
Big Game Phaser45+1½-7s400+3½+7+0+14+145|0.3
Sniper Phaser45+1½-7s400+4+7+1+15+147|0.3
Elephant Phaser50+1¾-7s400+4+7+1+14+146|0.4
Anti-Materiel Phaser60+2½-7s400+4½+7+3+16+1512|0.8
Battlesuit Phaser100+4¼-7s400+6+7+6+17+1740|3
Support Phaser35+1-7305000+4½+7+1+13+137+1.8
Heavy Support Phaser60+2½-7255000+6+7+6+16+1535+10
Strike Phaser75+3-7305000+7+7+9+18+16100+18
Air-Defense Phaser75+3-7605000+8+7+11+20+16250+18
Phaser Cannon250+7-7s400+9½+7+16+24+221k+60

  • Palm Phaser: A small, easily concealable weapon the size of a modern flip-phone or pack of cigarettes. Without any obvious sighting mechanism it has Aim +0 unless the built in laser sight is used or it is synched to an HUD.

    Energy per shot: 400 J
    Aperture: 1 cm

  • Pocket Phaser Pistol: A small, thin phaser designed to be easily concealed.

    Energy per shot: 1 kJ
    Aperture: 2 cm

  • Phaser Pistol: A typical phaser sidearm of old Earth.

    Energy per shot: 2 kJ
    Aperture: 3 cm

  • Heavy Phaser Pistol: A bigger, bulkier phaser pistol with a bit more oomph to its beam.

    Energy per shot: 4 kJ
    Aperture: 3 cm

  • Auto Phaser: An ultra-rapid fire phaser.

    Energy per shot: 2 kJ
    Aperture: 5 cm

  • Light Phaser Carbine: A light, handy phaser longarm.

    Energy per shot: 4 kJ
    Aperture: 5 cm

  • Phaser Carbine: A common phaser longarm of old Earth.

    Energy per shot: 5 kJ
    Aperture: 7 cm

  • Battle Phaser: A typical infantry weapon of old Earth's armies.

    Energy per shot: 7 kJ
    Aperture: 7 cm

  • Big Game Phaser: A phaser used for hunting large, dangerous game.

    Energy per shot: 15 kJ
    Aperture: 7 cm

  • Sniper Phaser: A phaser with a high energy beam and a large focusing phased array to allow it a long range.

    Energy per shot: 15 kJ
    Aperture: 10 cm

  • Elephant Phaser: One of the highest energy sporting phasers available back on old Earth.

    Energy per shot: 20 kJ
    Aperture: 7 cm

  • Anti-Materiel Phaser: A phaser designed to be used against equipment, such as vehicles or installations.

    Energy per shot: 40 kJ
    Aperture: 10 cm

  • Battlesuit Phaser: A light phaser cannon carried by battlesuited troopers.

    Energy per shot: 150 kJ
    Aperture: 10 cm

  • Support Phaser: A phaser serving in a machine gun role.

    Energy per shot: 7 kJ
    Aperture: 7 cm

  • Heavy Support Phaser: A tripod or vehicle mounted rapid fire phaser.

    Energy per shot: 40 kJ
    Aperture: 10 cm, Separatable beam pointer turret with mass 4 kg (included in the listed mass).

  • Strike Phaser: A stationary or vehicle-mounted light cannon.

    Energy per shot: 70 kJ
    Aperture: 20 cm, Separatable beam pointer turret with mass 35 kg (included in the listed mass).

  • Air-Defense Phaser: A rapid-fire point-defense weapon.

    Energy per shot: 70 kJ
    Aperture: 30 cm, Separatable beam pointer turret with mass 120 kg (included in the listed mass).

  • Phaser Cannon: A stationary or vehicle-mounted heavy cannon.

    Energy per shot: 3 MJ
    Aperture: 40 cm, Separatable beam pointer turret with mass 250 kg (included in the listed mass).

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