PDA

View Full Version : Player Help Weapons Possible with Unlimited Energy?



RickAllison
2015-11-08, 04:10 AM
This is specifically to do with the World of Darkness and its Mechanical Memento merit, but I suppose it could be applicable to other games. The point is, it is something that allows for unlimited energy, and then what that could mean for weaponry that normally would not be feasible.

What weapons or other cool things are impossible or impractical to implement as man-portable because of energy costs? Like is a railgun impractical because it has to be huge or because it requires so much energy as to be impractical?

The only thing I have been able to think up so far is being able to ignore fuel costs for vehicles. That offers up great potential for things like jets that can go supersonic without worrying about fuel, but I can't seem to think of anything else. Cool ideas from anyone would be greatly appreciated!

Dhavaer
2015-11-08, 04:19 AM
Energy is the main limiting factor for powered armour, I believe. Directed energy weapons as well.

Deffers
2015-11-08, 04:25 AM
A railgun is impractical both because of its size and because of its power draw. But the more compact your power source is, the more compact you can make it. A *lot* of that weight is capacitor banks. If you've got some strong, strong way to keep the rails from flying apart, you can reduce on a lot of *that* bulk as well.

Laser guns are another thing that's less impractical than you'd think with sufficiently high power. You could probably create all sorts of violently intense pulsed weaponry with the right sort of electronic know-how.

Since spacecrafts' biggest problem is the weight of their fuel, guess what? Combat spaceplanes are now an option, outfitted with combat lasers.

Yunno what else is suddenly feasible? Powered exoskeletons. Ion or microwave-based jetpacks. Quadrotor drones with unlimited range, meaning permanent scouting solutions. Strap a bomb to one and you've basically got an Amazon Prime sword of Damocles with your enemies' names on them.

High frequency swords are on the table. Weaponry based on electrical arc discharge is now available. The sky's the limit.

RickAllison
2015-11-08, 05:05 AM
Thanks for the quick responses! Naturally, I still have to get GM approval, but I especially like the idea of the powered exoskeleton. It's something that our party could use and it wouldn't require much of fiddling with rules. I also liked the spaceplane, but I think our GM would kill that idea. Considering we are hunting supernaturals in the middle of Nashville, it's a little bit of a step up in combat scale to suddenly get an orbiting death machine...

BWR
2015-11-08, 05:32 AM
What exactly do you mean by 'unlimited'?
How much energy can be released in a given unit of time?
If the answer really is 'unlimited' you can blow up the universe. Just scale down to where you are comfortable from there.

RickAllison
2015-11-08, 07:40 AM
"Effect: Ripped directly from the frame of a ghost-machine, a mechanical memento is a power source extraordinaire. Anything a character can jury-rig the memento up to can be completely powered by the memento alone, no matter what sort of fuel it originally required. To reiterate that point: Only the mechanical memento is required to power any machine to which it is attached. Energy provided by the memento is unlimited, meaning, theoretically, as long as the machine it is hooked up to continues to function, the memento will continue to provide energy. The only limitations on what can be powered by a mechanical memento are those decided upon by the Storyteller. Successfully hooking a mechanical memento up to a machine first requires an Intelligence + Science roll to figure out the best way to approach the problem. Actually attaching the memento requires a Dexterity + Crafts roll with a -5 penalty. The penalty is reduced by one for every success gained on the initial Intelligence + Science roll. The exact dimensions and appearance of a mechanical memento are left for the Storyteller to determine, but should bear some relation to the ghost-machine from which it originated"

This is the actual text that explains it. It's vague enough that it could cover everything from one handheld weapon to the Death Star and everything in between.

Regwon
2015-11-08, 08:51 AM
Think big. With that thing you could easilly power death star sized machinery and above. You could create a weapon that turns a sun into high frequency gamma ray projector. You could create Alcubiere projetor that fire planets at other planets at several tims the speed of light. Could make a giant optical mass creator, then make black holes pop up where ever you wished. With unlimited energy you can go anywhere and do anything. You could destroy the universe if you chose to (subject to the storytellers consent).

Xuc Xac
2015-11-08, 09:14 AM
The artifact solves the problem of power supply but it doesn't mean you can use infinite power. It might be able to provide infinite power, but only if you plug it into a device that uses and can handle infinite power. You probably don't have one of those.

Mastikator
2015-11-08, 10:36 AM
With unlimited energy you could create a series of very powerful lasers, shoot all of them into a microscopic spot and get the energy density of a black hole, the lasers keep feeding it until the black hole is massive enough to not instantly disintegrative through Hawkins Radiation.
At that point the game is over, it will start consuming the planet as it falls down, crashing into the surface won't slow it since anything that touches it just adds to its mass, as it rips through the planet slowly eating it you wonder "maybe unlimited energy wasn't such a good idea after all..."

Basically you can destroy planets and stars.

You could also use unlimited energy to create a reactionless spaceship, simply fire a laser behind you, light has momentum and you get pushed forward, but you never run out of energy for the laser so you can go as far as you'd like and as fast as you'd like.
You could travel to other stars, and destroy them.

Slipperychicken
2015-11-08, 11:09 AM
"Effect: Ripped directly from the frame of a ghost-machine, a mechanical memento is a power source extraordinaire. Anything a character can jury-rig the memento up to can be completely powered by the memento alone, no matter what sort of fuel it originally required. To reiterate that point: Only the mechanical memento is required to power any machine to which it is attached. Energy provided by the memento is unlimited, meaning, theoretically, as long as the machine it is hooked up to continues to function, the memento will continue to provide energy. The only limitations on what can be powered by a mechanical memento are those decided upon by the Storyteller. Successfully hooking a mechanical memento up to a machine first requires an Intelligence + Science roll to figure out the best way to approach the problem. Actually attaching the memento requires a Dexterity + Crafts roll with a -5 penalty. The penalty is reduced by one for every success gained on the initial Intelligence + Science roll. The exact dimensions and appearance of a mechanical memento are left for the Storyteller to determine, but should bear some relation to the ghost-machine from which it originated"


Why don't you hook it up to some kind of enormous power station, so you can effectively solve the entire world's energy needs?

Studoku
2015-11-08, 11:16 AM
Hook it up to a major power grid, powering all of mankind's machinery cheaply and cleanly.

NRSASD
2015-11-08, 12:42 PM
Best part about attaching it to the local power grid is doing it extremely nonchalantly. Just clip it on to a relay and watch as first the local power companies, then the energy department, scramble to figure out why Nashville is suddenly powering the entire globe. Stand back and let the dozens of science teams converge on the device, followed closely by the military and every intelligence agency in the world, show up and duke it out over who gets the rights to poke/protect/steal the magic box that now holds humanity's fate in its circuits. Enjoy as Nashville suddenly becomes more secure than Fort Knox and more contested than the only spacesuit on a leaking space station.

P.S. Bonus points if you disguise the device in an extremely improbable way and attach it to the grid in an unusual location. Like placing it inside a beaver dam.

Aetol
2015-11-08, 02:15 PM
This is kind of bothering me. The way most devices work is determined by the power that is fed to them ; if this power becomes "whatever you want", then we're left with an unknown. If a memento is used to power a light bulb, will it shine as normal or will the filament melt ? If it is used to power an electric motor, how fast will it spin ?

Grim Portent
2015-11-08, 02:56 PM
This is kind of bothering me. The way most devices work is determined by the power that is fed to them ; if this power becomes "whatever you want", then we're left with an unknown. If a memento is used to power a light bulb, will it shine as normal or will the filament melt ? If it is used to power an electric motor, how fast will it spin ?

Given the way WoD mechanics usually work it's probably intended to have the item function as if it had it's optimal/normal power supply, rather than being destroyed by a limitless surge of energy.

Traab
2015-11-08, 03:55 PM
Given the way WoD mechanics usually work it's probably intended to have the item function as if it had it's optimal/normal power supply, rather than being destroyed by a limitless surge of energy.

Thats how I took it. Its a universal battery. Fits any object, is compatible with any tech, and works forever without needing to recharge. Anything from your christmas lights to your death star. Dont worry about the physics or else I start murdering cat girls.

Fable Wright
2015-11-08, 04:33 PM
Best part about attaching it to the local power grid is doing it extremely nonchalantly. Just clip it on to a relay and watch as first the local power companies, then the energy department, scramble to figure out why Nashville is suddenly powering the entire globe. Stand back and let the dozens of science teams converge on the device, followed closely by the military and every intelligence agency in the world, show up and duke it out over who gets the rights to poke/protect/steal the magic box that now holds humanity's fate in its circuits. Enjoy as Nashville suddenly becomes more secure than Fort Knox and more contested than the only spacesuit on a leaking space station.

P.S. Bonus points if you disguise the device in an extremely improbable way and attach it to the grid in an unusual location. Like placing it inside a beaver dam.

I like this one. Personally, though, I would make sure to carve "HE COMES" on the box just before attaching it to the grid to add about a dozen levels of paranoia to the investigation.

GorinichSerpant
2015-11-08, 04:38 PM
I like this one. Personally, though, I would make sure to carve "HE COMES" on the box just before attaching it to the grid to add about a dozen levels of paranoia to the investigation.

And combine several geometric shapes to make a symbol that doesn't actually have any meaning.

rooster707
2015-11-08, 04:42 PM
Hook it up to an industrial-size Star Trek replicator. Then you can create pretty much anything you can imagine.

Necroticplague
2015-11-08, 05:55 PM
Just start looking up things from a lot of sci-fi. A lot of tech I find that they go with fall under "technically, physically possible, but requires way more energy than could ever be feasible". The first ones that come to mind are high-power laser weaponry, plasma weaponry, and coilgun/railgun weapons .Depending on the size of the Memento, you could make these considerably smaller than normal, since a lot of space/weight for such weapons is making a power source and power source of suffecient size. Antimatter bombs would also work (though, given their potency, this is probably overkil).\

Interesting thing is, based on that description, it seems it can provide any type of energy, not just electric. If it can provide chemical energy, it could be used to force otherwise impossible reactions to occur, allowing for a massive array of very exotic explosives and material throwers. Given that most of a flamethrower (or similar device) is just a backpack for fuel (replaced by memento) and compressed air (which you could replace with an air compressor powered by the Memento), you could probably cut down the size to something about the size of a spray can (and likely similar appearence). I imagine if it provides the chemical energy needed to force oxygen and water to seperate, acts in place of the water fuel such a device would normally use, and providdes electricity to power an aie compressor, the rest could basically be a funnel to direct is and you'd have a heck of a flamethrower (as the seperated oxygen and hydrogen exit the device, they then mix back together, causing a highly exothermic reaction to occur).

Aetol
2015-11-09, 11:05 AM
Interesting thing is, based on that description, it seems it can provide any type of energy, not just electric. If it can provide chemical energy, it could be used to force otherwise impossible reactions to occur, allowing for a massive array of very exotic explosives and material throwers. Given that most of a flamethrower (or similar device) is just a backpack for fuel (replaced by memento) and compressed air (which you could replace with an air compressor powered by the Memento), you could probably cut down the size to something about the size of a spray can (and likely similar appearence). I imagine if it provides the chemical energy needed to force oxygen and water to seperate, acts in place of the water fuel such a device would normally use, and providdes electricity to power an aie compressor, the rest could basically be a funnel to direct is and you'd have a heck of a flamethrower (as the seperated oxygen and hydrogen exit the device, they then mix back together, causing a highly exothermic reaction to occur).

No need to make it so complicated, you can separate water into hydrogen and oxygen with an electrical current. But it should be noted that if you use hydrogen you'll have a big blowtorch, not a flamethrower. For a true flamethrower you need a liquid fuel that can be projected in a stream of fire.

rooster707
2015-11-09, 12:02 PM
Interesting thing is, based on that description, it seems it can provide any type of energy, not just electric. If it can provide chemical energy, it could be used to force otherwise impossible reactions to occur, allowing for a massive array of very exotic explosives and material throwers.

A grenade launcher, firing explosive copies of Twilight!

Necroticplague
2015-11-09, 01:05 PM
No need to make it so complicated, you can separate water into hydrogen and oxygen with an electrical current. But it should be noted that if you use hydrogen you'll have a big blowtorch, not a flamethrower. For a true flamethrower you need a liquid fuel that can be projected in a stream of fire.

True enough. Depends on whether you're going for the 'flame' or the 'thrower' part. A little bit of google shows me that hydrogen burns about 3 times as hot as kerosene, but being a gas instead of liquid, it wouldn't really stick (or spread, any more than a normal fire) like flamethrowers do.

Unrelated note, just realize that one could loophole their way into getting more than one weapon out of this thing. Instead of being wired into the weapon itself, you could wire it into some kind of 'battery back' or 'electric magazine/clip', which could then be exchanged between different high-powered weapons

braveheart
2015-11-09, 01:33 PM
I'm thinking you start energy to matter conversion, and antimatter storage, between making unlimited stuff from nothing, you also get just as much anti stuff that can unstuff stuff into raw explosive energy. If you have unlimited energy the whole c^2 restriction is inconsequential, and a few hundred kilos of antimatter is enough to make planets uninhabitable, or you could do the responible thing and fire into space on a collisionless tragectory. Either way you win reality by whatever definition of win you are using.

Red Fel
2015-11-09, 02:43 PM
Why don't you hook it up to some kind of enormous power station, so you can effectively solve the entire world's energy needs?


Hook it up to a major power grid, powering all of mankind's machinery cheaply and cleanly.

These. The thing to remember is this:

If you attach an unlimited power source to a weapon that would be unfeasible but for unlimited power, you have a powerful weapon. If you create unlimited power absolutely, you have solved the world's energy needs.

Do you know what happens when you do that? The short version is that there is an economic cascade, as energy leads to improved logistics, which leads to a diminution in poverty and scarcity, which in turn leads to a boom in R&D. When money concerns start to become a thing of the past, scientists can devote their time to building new tech.

And that includes an even more awesome weapon than the one with which you started.

Mark Hall
2015-11-09, 03:31 PM
Consider other limiting factors as well, though; with certain machineguns, I am given to understand that they have a rate of fire high enough that, with sufficient ammo, they can melt the barrel. Sure, you have unlimited energy, but that doesn't necessarily translate into "continuous beam weapons are feasible"

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-11-09, 04:35 PM
I think this question kind of broke my brain. I just don't know where to begin. Infinite energy, literally infinite energy (and I'm assuming infinite power, no limits on how much energy you can release per second), that's big. For one thing, it would revolutionize industry. Any assumptions we make here about melting barrels and stuff don't really have to apply. Just supply your men with a steady supply of barrels, transported using free energy, made using free energy. Or make the barrels from exotic materials. create artificial diamond barrels from simple carbon deposits. There's still a trick to getting that to work properly, but at least the energy part of the equation is solved. Out of resources? Fast space travel gets a lot easier with infinite energy. I bet that using todays technology and a device that supplies infinite energy you could make some sort of ion drive that gets up to a decent fraction of the speed of light. (Acceleration is still a problem. Assuming you're fine with continuous sportscarlike acceleration you're looking at about a year of speeding up before you're somewhere near the speed of light). Or, you know, use your infinite energy to make more of the right types of matter. With a decent particle accelerator you can turn anything into anything. And one of the hardest bits of accelerating particles is the huge energy requirements.

I have no idea what sort of weapons we would develop if we ever got our hands on a device like that, but it will probably change a lot more than I'm imagining now.

Strigon
2015-11-09, 05:36 PM
To make it very simple, just about anything is possible.
Your best bet, though, is probably to make a mech/tank/whatever form of vehicle you fancy and equip it with energy weapons (Lasers, flamethrowers, railguns, microwave cannon, sound cannon, etc.), and load it up with literally the heaviest armour around. You have infinite energy, so moving it isn't a problem. Thrusters of some sort would probably be your best bet, but don't forget to add tracks for backup, since thrusters aren't known to be very durable.

Next up, you'll want some sort of tracking system/escape pod. This isn't for you; the machine will probably get far too hot for anyone to be inside it, but instead it's for the power source. If your weapon sustains too much damage, the power source flies off and returns to a predetermined location to be plugged into another one.

Having a jet wouldn't be a bad idea, either; you could easily destroy any missiles headed your way, and you have the firepower to destroy any AA installations long before they could harm you.

TheThan
2015-11-09, 07:46 PM
Lightning cannons. Everything is made better with lightning cannons.

Weaponized Tesla coils for point defense like in Command and Conquer: Red Alert. Heck; lightning cannons for infantry; how awesome is that.

Aetol
2015-11-09, 08:16 PM
One thing to keep in mind : just because we have unlimited energy, doesn't mean that using it will be easy. That's especially true for those who suggest you can create matter : unlimited energy means unlimited matter in theory, but how do you create matter from energy ? Right now particle colliders can only create minute amounts of particle-antiparticle pairs. You'd need enormous facilities to create any usable amount of matter, even more facilities to make it into an usable form (i.e. atoms), and somewhere to contain all the waste antimatter. Better get your hand on some raw matter and transform that to fit your needs.

And that doesn't stop here. To manufacture what we want we need something that can manufacture anything : this can't be small. To transport what we created we need to set up a mean of transportation. And we need a way to feed power to all these systems, because we're assumed to run on a single of these unlimited power devices.

In short, energy is the only things that's free here. Everything else will hinder you.

themaque
2015-11-10, 03:10 AM
How about near anything in the Iron Man & Captain America movies? In both films the McGuffin was unlimited power.

Doesn't quite fit the setting unless you are the Sons of Ether but... yeah.

Aetol
2015-11-11, 08:14 PM
Well, Cap also has a super-serum and shield made out of impossible metal. Iron Man has incredibly compact propulsion and weapon systems, and some more impossibly resistant metal.

themaque
2015-11-12, 01:49 AM
Well, Cap also has a super-serum and shield made out of impossible metal. Iron Man has incredibly compact propulsion and weapon systems, and some more impossibly resistant metal.

True, but Hydra was using unlimted power sources.

Iron man's systems while incredibly compact are also powered by his core reactor. If you had cheap easy access to unlimited energy his suit suddenly becomes much more believable.

Strigon
2015-11-12, 08:24 AM
True, but Hydra was using unlimted power sources.

Iron man's systems while incredibly compact are also powered by his core reactor. If you had cheap easy access to unlimited energy his suit suddenly becomes much more believable.

You'd still have trouble making the suit, but unlimited energy could certainly be useful for fabricating the materials; compressing metal plates into denser, thinner metal plates, and of course - if you had the technology - using that energy to manipulate the chemical structure of materials so you could make entirely new ones.

nedz
2015-11-12, 09:36 AM
Why don't you hook it up to some kind of enormous power station, so you can effectively solve the entire world's energy needs?


Hook it up to a major power grid, powering all of mankind's machinery cheaply and cleanly.

To weaponise this though which was the OP's question:

Connect to the power grid
Wait for all of the power stations to go off-line because they are not needed
Disconnect from the power grid
CHAOS

Slipperychicken
2015-11-12, 12:48 PM
To weaponise this though which was the OP's question:

Connect to the power grid
Wait for all of the power stations to go off-line because they are not needed
Disconnect from the power grid
CHAOS


Maybe if planners developed some kind of chronic brain disorder wherein they completely forgot the need for contingency planning and backup power sources.

nedz
2015-11-12, 06:45 PM
Maybe if planners developed some kind of chronic brain disorder wherein they completely forgot the need for contingency planning and backup power sources.

Accountants.

You've been giving them free power, for a while perhaps, so they can maximise profits by shutting down their base load stations: so they do.

They will still have their surge stations, but that's not enough.

Never underestimate the power of the bottom line.

Slipperychicken
2015-11-13, 10:49 AM
They will still have their surge stations, but that's not enough.

Someone would have enough backups to keep us from going mad-max tier. Even if some government agency winds up paying for it because they're the only people paranoid enough to back up the infrastructure. It would be trivial to at least have plans to run the plant on conventional fuels if the magical infinite power-source is taken offline.


And it's clear that the machine is supremely vulnerable. It's run off a unique, irreplaceable power source that can be damaged or stolen. Even an accountant could see that risk, if not the people who are supposed to be managing risks.

RickAllison
2015-11-13, 12:48 PM
Accountants.

You've been giving them free power, for a while perhaps, so they can maximise profits by shutting down their base load stations: so they do.

They will still have their surge stations, but that's not enough.

Never underestimate the power of the bottom line.

For some background on this idea, it's useful to see how actual coal-fired power plants use backups. Generally, they always keep one generator supplying and one going just fast enough to be able to start it going if the first failed (and usually at least one more offline). In a situation like this, power plants would still be running at least one reactor on low power just in case this situation occurs. It would still be disastrous, however, as other power plants would not be ready to accept the excess load. Power would be severely limited for a few hours until the main furnaces are back up to speed (much faster thanks to already being running). If you really wanted to screw with the population, you could accompany that with attacking a few of those plants. At that point, they are looking at a week of down-time as they get another furnace going up to speed.

My hometown has a significant power plant right outside of town, so I have become VERY well acquainted with them.