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Laser Blade

by Antti Lahtinen

"Laser Blade" is a powered melee weapon consisting of a small range finder and battery-powered 2 kW laser cutter. The weapon looks like a contoured 2.5 x 17.1 cm metal rod with focal array at one end and a power switch on the side near the array. When the rod is held in hand at sabre-grip, the power switch can be pressed with thumb. Pressing the switch activates the range finder.

The laser cutter will be activated as long as the power switch is pressed and there is a target within one meter in front of the range finder. When the rod moves near a target, the laser cutter "blade" is activated only when the "blade" touches the target within one meter.

The laser cutter is focused at small area so that the fluency is high enough to cause vaporization before heat conduction (like surgical lasers). When that "blade" passes across a living target, it leaves a series of ragged holes caused by small steam explosions.

The maximum rate of fire can be selected by a ring selector situated around the focal array. The selector has six positions marked with numbers 0 - 5. At "0" the higher numbers mark higher pulse rates. If the laser blade is used as weapon, the selector is usually set at position "1" or "2". Higher settings are preferred only when the blade is used as cutting tool.

Laser Blade

Weapon Details
Tech Level: High Stellar (TL-14)
Weapon Type: 2 kW DEI pulsed laser cutter, 0.5 cm focal array
Pulse Energy: 0.4 kJ, required energy: 0.5 kJ, 50+ Hz pulse rate
Weapon Length: 17.1 cm (5.7 cm laser)
Weapon Mass: 0.191 kg loaded, 0.051 kg empty, with no magazine
Weapon Price: 11 Cr
Magazine Mass: 0.14 kg
Magazine Price: 2.24 Cr (1000-shot battery)
Features: no stock, melee weapon frame

Name ROF DamVal PenRtg Bulk Magaz SS Burst S Range
Laser Blade 50 1 Nil 0 1000 0 0 1 (80)

Name DV (Pen) Recoil Range Bulk TL Mass ExtMag ROF Magaz Price
Laser Blade 1 (Nil) None 80 m 0 14 0.2 kg 0.1 kg 50 1000 11

Notes: This is very unusual weapon, since it has some features of both ranged and melee weapon. The strength of user has nothing to do with the damage, and the weapon has immaterial energy "blade". The rate of fire is also quite high, so the weapon is likely to "fire" several shots at each successful melee hit.

Instead of using the huge range finders from FF&S fire control section, I used small rage finder, similar as one used in currently avaialable commercial optical devices (camears, etc). The range finder is 1 cm3, 2 gram, 5 Cr, and is accuarate within ~50 m range.

If "d10" is used as damage dice, the damage and number of hits at various setting would be:

# Rate Damage Hits
0 0 0 0
1 50 1d10 2d6
2 150 1d6 6d6
3 250 1d4 6d10
4 500 1d3 5d20
5 2500 1 6d100

The number of hits was obtained by calculating how many times the weapon fires in 1.2 seconds and selecting suitable amount to dice. Note that only the settings "1" and "2" are used in combat. The hits should be divided evenly to 1d6 hit locations.

Example: A human is hit with a laser blade. The blade was set at rate #1, which produces 2d6 hits with 1d10 damage at 1d6 locations. Player rolls for 8 hits at 3 locations. This means 3 hits at first and second locations and 2 hits at the final location.

The rolled hit locations were: chest, right arm, left leg. The GM decides that the last location is too unlikely target for a single swipe and that the laser blade passed from chest (3 hits) to right arm (3 hits), and did not reach the leg. The final result is DV 3 to chest and DV 3 to right arm, and only 6 shots were used from the 1000-shot battery.

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