Weapons

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Charlie, Ramirez, Hector, and Godwin charged at Severian from the security archway. Each of them swung the barrel of a G38 grenade launcher around and took aim. Severian was out of ammo; his Python revolver made a disheartening CLICK.

In one swift, smooth motion, Asclepius drew his white monomolecular blade and counterattacked. Antonia stalked into the melee close behind, her razorclaws flashing wickedly.

Kentaro drank the contents of an FTS vial as Severian neck-tapped his adrenaline implant into turbo mode. Gavalin, backpedaling towards the exit, said, "Clusterfuck."

Yrs, spinning her duro-axe in a wicked curve of steel as she advanced on the security team, said, "Yes"

Kentaro and Antonia took down Ramirez and Charlie in roostertails of blood and loops of spilling intestines.

A single sweep of Yrs's duro axe ripped apart Hector's entire neck, blood erupting into a fountain from severed carotid arteries. Yrs followed through with her swing, spinning around to drive the duro axe into the nape of the neck, leaving only a savaged spinal column holding his body together. Hector slumped down in a crumpled mass of flesh -- dead.

Asclepius slashed Godwin to the floor, pressed a foot into Godwin's face, and drove his white monomolecular blade into the exposed flesh of Godwin's neck. Godwin's body twitched as the unfortunate soul expired.

Severian, still reloading, said, "Holy shit, m'people."

--Kurita-Hillman Security Debriefing

In the lawless and chaotic years following Zero Day, the trappings of modern warfare became scarce. Guns jammed without proper cleaning and maintenance supplies. Ammo dried up as stockpiles were exhausted or depots became inaccessible in radiation zones. Batteries decayed in acid rain, and fuels ran low under the gnawing chill of nuclear winter. Survivors learned that a sharp knife or a heavy club could always be counted on to kill even when more "civilized" technologies failed. In the aftermath of near-extinction, humanity rediscovered hand-to-hand combat.

In Cybersphere's future, most combatants use melee and simple projectile weapons out of desparation. Some, like the Yakuza, hew to stylized traditions of martial artistry that emphasize skill and grace in personal combat. The cutting edge of melee weaponry users are corporate merc armies and security teams, whose professionals know that sometimes only a quiet knife or a silent crossbow bolt will succeed against firearm-sensor security.

A wide variety of simple melee and projectile weaponry exists. Its sophistication ranges from simple clubs and improvised construction tools to high-tech monomolecular blades capable of slicing titanium armor. Inspecting most weapons will reveal their general construction and skills they require. With a little research here, you can compare weapon types and find one suited to your style, tactics, and targets.

Knives

Short-bladed weapons used for stabbing and slashing, knives range from makeshift shivs to sawtooth-edged combat weapons designed for maximum penetration. All knives work best if used as a natural extension of the hand in extremely close-quarters combat, where they can be swift and difficult to defend against. Skill and training plays a heavy role in knife use: Finesse factors greatly in their effectiveness, but most blades are mildly effective if employed in simple brute-force styles. Knives are particularly useful in sneak attacks, ambushes, and backstabs against flat-footed opponents, but their compact size limits damage and penetration. Certain exotic knives require Martial Arts skills for proper employment; these weapons emphasize the blade as an extension of the fighter's overall fighting style.
Ingame Information
Initiative Fast
Penetration Low
Finesse Medium
Damage Low
Concealability High
Skillset Knife/Martial Arts

Swords

Swords and sword-like weapons encompass a broad array of blades coming in many sizes and shapes. In general, smaller swords tend to require high amounts of skill and practice for effective use, while larger two-handed variants require powerful chopping swings with less finesse. Penetration and damage increase with the weight and length of the blade, but exceptionally crafted, exotic, and compact blades can blend light weight with exquisite finesse and lethality.
Ingame Information
Initiative Medium
Penetration Medium
Finesse High
Damage Medium
Concealability Medium
Skillset Sword

Axes

Rarely used and prized mostly for their style and intimidation factor in a fight, axes deliver savage amounts of damage with considerable penetration through most armor. Though not a weapon of finesse, they nontheless require some skill and massive strength to be effective. Axes and axe-like weapons are particularly heavy, massive, and difficult to wield quickly in combat. Certain exotic axes and pole-arms require Martial Arts skills and finesse.
Ingame Information
Initiative Slow
Penetration Medium
Finesse Low
Damage High
Concealability Low
Skillset Melee/Martial Arts

Blunts

Blunt weapons are the simplest and most direct of melee weaponry, and most require only rudimentary skill and emphasize brute strength for effective results. Nevertheless, their low-tech appearances can be deceiving in the hands of a trained martial artist and some exotic blunt weapons are designed specifically for elegance, finesse, and quickness. Most armor tends to absorb the impact of blunt weaponry, limiting effectiveness against well-protected targets. Some exotic blunt weapons require a user trained in Martial Arts; these weapons typically require more skill and finesse.
Ingame Information
Initiative Medium
Penetration Low
Finesse Medium
Damage Medium
Concealability Medium
Skillset Melee/Martial Arts

Makeshift Weapons

In a desparate world of constant violence, survival comes from using the tools at hand. Makeshift weapons include a broad array of implements like heavy-duty drills, rivet guns, air hammers, sledgehammers, chains, baseball bats, and others too numerous to name specifically. While damage and penetration vary, most makeshift weapons are designed for something other than combat and thus can be a little slow and unwieldy. High degrees of strength and raw melee experience can offset these weaknesses.
Ingame Information
Initiative Slow
Penetration Variable
Finesse Low
Damage Variable
Concealability Medium
Skillset Melee

Simple Projectile Weapons

Simple, compound, and crossbow weapons are fairly rare in Cybersphere's future and mostly prized for their stealth and ability to re-use ammunition. Their slow firing rates, lower ranges, and reduced penetration is outclassed by firearms in most cases, but they still remain valuable in situations requiring silence and style. High degrees of proficiency and skill are required to use these weapons with effectiveness and finesse in combat.
Ingame Information
Initiative Medium
Penetration Medium
Finesse High
Damage Medium
Concealability Medium
Skillset Martial Arts

Mono-Weapons

While not necessarily a separate class of weapons themselves, mono-weapons include a wide variety of swords and knives with hyper-sharp cutting surfaces. Monomolecular technology allows the construction of blades that narrow to a single molecular width at their edge, dramatically increasing penetration and sharpness. Because of their thin, carefully crafted design, mono-weapons tend to be less massive and deliver lower amounts of damage.
Ingame Information
Initiative Unchanged
Penetration Increased
Finesse Unchanged
Damage Decreased
Concealability Unchanged
Skillset Unchanged

Vibro-Weapons

The vibro-weapon class includes a variety of blunt and edged weapons modified to vibrate at extremely high frequencies. Typically these vibrations are powered by a high-power crystal or power cell. The vibrating weapon blade or impact surface transfers enormous destructive energies to the target on a successful strike, but intervening layers of armor tend to dampen the oscillations and reduce damage on impact.
Ingame Information
Initiative Unchanged
Penetration Decreased
Finesse Unchanged
Damage Increased
Concealability Unchanged
Skillset Unchanged