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PV and MD Weapons


The concept of penetration value (PV), used with SD weapons should extend to mega-damage (MD) weapons. These incredibly focused weapons are far more likely to penetrate armor than are their less powerful SD counterparts. To begin this process, I'll make an analog to the SD concept of damage rating; damage rating will serve as the base value of PV.

Damage Rating
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35

Damage Done by MD Weapon
1
1D4
1D6
1D8
2D6
3D6
4D6
5D6
6D6
1D4x10
1D6x10
2D4x10
2D6x10
4D4x10
3D6x10
5D4x10
4D6x10

Different weapon types cause inherently different levels of penetrative damage. In my opinion, the most important factor to consider is how focused the energy is. A better focused weapon will burn through less material when passing through a surface, and thus will have a higher PV than a less focused weapon with the same damage rating. These modifiers are the same as those used for SD attacks; the main difference between SD and MD is found in the damage rating. A sample of PV modifiers likely to be found in MDC settings, by weapon type, are as follows:

MD Weapon Type
Plasma
Ion Blaster
Laser
Particle Beam

Physical Projectile (single round)
Physical Projectile (burst)
High (Armor Piercing) Explosive
Fusion Block / Explosion

Psionic: Force/TK
Psionic: Energy
Magic: Force/Weapon
Magic: Energy

PV Modifier
-3
-2
0
0

-6
-4
-2
0

0
+1
+1
+1

Some attacks and weapons warrant additional bonuses or penalties before determining a PV. Perhaps adult dragons, through their incredible mystic power, have inherently penetrating breath weapons; their attacks should probably have an additional PV bonus. Highly advanced or alien weapons may be more intense than those available as normal equipment, and should also have a PV bonus. The values I present here are meant as a guide, representing the technology available on RIFTs earth circa the Main Book. Gamemasters can use the value of PV to customize new weapons, modify existing weapons, or penalize malfunctioning weapons. This system is a framework, allowing greater flexibility in describing weaponsthan currently exists in the standard rules.

Final Results

To determine the PV of a given MD weapon, add the MD Damage Rating to that weapon type's PV Modifier.

For example, a Wilk's 320 Laser Pistol does 1D6 MD giving it a damage rating of 21. Added to the modifier for laser weapons, 0, this weapon has a PV of 21. Using the chart of material thickness vs Penetration Resistance, this weapon will burn through about 253 mm of SDC steel armor plate, or 25.3 mm (about an inch) of MDC material. This relatively weak MD weapon will easily penetrate modern SDC body armor, as it should, but will not penetrate typical MDC body armor (PR between 22 and 25).

As a comparison, the NG-P7 Particle Beam Rifle does 1D4x10 MD, giving it a PV of 28. It will burn holes almost 4 inches deep in MDC armor, making it appropriate for use as a heavy support weapon. A sample of some common MD weapons from the RIFTs setting follows:

MD Weapon
Wilk's 320 Laser Pistol
Wilk's 447 Laser Rifle
Wilk's Laser Wand (MD Setting)
NG-57 Heavy-Duty Ion Blaster
NG-P7 Particle Beam Rifle
L-20 Pulse Rifle
JA-9 Juicer Assassin Laser Rifle
RG-14 "Boom Gun"
C-40R SAMAS Rail Gun
C-18 Laser Pistol
C-12 Heavy Assault Laser Rifle
C-27 Heavy Plasma Cannon
Vibro Knife
Vibro Sword (Large)

PV
21
24
20
20 / 22
28
23
23
29
24
22
25 / 23
24
17
19