Omega Weapons in Battlelords of the 23rd century always niggled at me as being a bit wrong. I just rolled with it and continued because they are pretty damned fun. Recently I’ve been writing more material for BL and reading the in-game explanations of how the technology works. Omega weapons fire a flux shield at the target. When it strikes targets the energy transfers through armor’s hard exterior, without damaging it, and can only be stopped by absorption liners. They go on to say that on large things like buildings and tanks omega weapons do damage the hull. So they break their own internal consistency. It ignores hull except on big things. Mechanized Battle Armor is a big thing, and so are Gemini druids, but it ignores those Thresholds and hits absorption. When we flip it, flux shields can stop hard things like bullets and reflex missiles hitting them without concussion damage penetrating the shield which strongly implies that they would also be stopped if rammed against hard things without shock waves getting through. It’s also stated that they are the cutting edge of weapons technology but there are Tech Level 4 (same as many firearms) Omega weapons.
Now what can one do about this?
The Magnetic Disruptor halves damage of Omega and Pulse attacks. Flux shields counter them point for point. However, there is no dedicated defense against Omega attacks.
Technology Option 1
Dedicated Omega defense technology as armor option. Provides decent Threshold against Omega attacks similar to Kinetic Energy Shield (can make the Kinetic Energy Shield work against Omega).
Technology Option 2
Flux shields can be damaged by many attack types. Without a projection unit backing up the Omega pulse they are vulnerable to counter-attacks (inflict double damage). CIWS type systems can shoot down Omega attacks with any attack type that affects flux shields. The CIWS inflicts double-damage on the omega pulse, if it hits, and if the damage equals or exceeds the damage the pulse would have inflicted it is nullified.
Rules change option 1
To make Omega weapons consistent across all scales we redefine them as “flux shields launched as magnetically contained projectiles that inflict kinetic concussion damage”. We reduce the THR from the damage. This amount is halved and applied to the AI of the armor or vehicle struck represented as the buckling & twisting of armor as described in the existing rules. The remainder of the damage still strikes the absorption as normal. Same is applied to all concussion damage such as grenades and Omegatons.
Rules change option 2
This is the minimal change that I prefer. It only alters omega weapons against spaceships.
Buildings – omega has to exceed THR and damages AI
Flux – omega inflicts damage normally, one for one
Spaceships – hull is immune to omega while engine is running
Vehicles – omega has to exceed THR and damages AI only
Battlelords of the 23rd Century is one of those games that is presented as slightly gonzo and cheesy. Yet, it has a solid setting that makes a decent amount of sense and a system that scales better than RIFTS across the same scope. It is old-school in that you have to add and subtract numbers greater than 20 in one pass, be able to choose values from large tables of numbers, and combat is pretty darn lethal.
So I figured why not cut down the crunch and try streamline it… and I did.
Here’s a PDF of a way to play Battlelords of the 23rd Century as a LITE version. You will still need all the books for gear, species, and setting information.
I have added more Battlelords Stuff to the page. Updated the weapons PDF, armour PDF, added two adventure resources. First one is a STALKER game tribute mini-capaign for Battlelords. Download links for the adventure resources are also put down here.
Listrom STALKER Tribute
The players are sponsored to retrieve an artifact from Listrom in Gharick sector. Characters will be challenged by rival groups, bandits, faction conflicts, and even HALs as they try to find a matrix-like artifact in the exclusion zone on Listrom.
A handful of you that have read my stuff may have picked up on the seeds of this one from the Draco Illustrated Galaxy Guide and/or the Gharick Sector guide. Here is a bullet-point form of a campaign guide with key-events and some complications to introduce. Better suited for the GM who does not require everything laid out and is happy to improvise & expand on other ideas.