View Full Version : Arms and Equipment Grab Bag...

25 October 2002, 09:14 AM
After finally receiving my A&E guide from Amazon (beware the low men...) I've run into a quandary.

I've been running a campaign that isn't very equipment heavy... since there hasn't been a lot of equipment available in the books and whatever i make up, the characters had no clue it existed, so i could plug my own items whenever i felt like it.

But with the A&E out, all my gamers will want to leaf through and make their x-mas lists for their characters. I don't like this idea- why did their characters all of a sudden know that a "deathhammer" exists? Did they run into it in the scenario? No. Did they do a Gather Info check for anything new on the black market? No. Their player read it in a book and decided he wanted it for his character. The characters have survived so far without one, so why should they all of a sudden want one without even knowing what it is (as a character)?

So, my solution is to be a book hog and just make a list of all the prevalent and common items with only a price and availability. If a character has a military background, they might get a list of restricted or military items. If they have a law enforcement or criminal background, they might receive a list of illegal items.

This works for me since my players are too cheap to buy it themselves, they depend on the GM's library. I don't blame 'em, this book is expensive with so few pages... anyway, what about the rest of you? Is it a new christmas list or do you go "Grrrrr..." like me? Does the sudden emergence of goodies threaten (even modestly) the balance of your game?

Lord Diggori
25 October 2002, 09:46 AM
Good idea, Ravager.

Random Axe
25 October 2002, 09:53 AM
I know exactly what you mean, Ravager. My players do the same thing with Galladinium's Technology and Gundark's Fantastic Technology, and it aggravates me to no end. "Want it, want it, need it, want it, got it, need it..."

As GM you have the best idea, in simply not letting them read through your book. Can't do much about it otherwise, especially if they do buy the thing themselves. But even by their reading through it and assembling a Xmas list, it is still up to you as GM to determine which items are available at all, either in that sector, that region of the galaxy, or ultimately in your campaign setting. Period.

Some items, like the Glop Grenade for instance, are available ONLY in the Corporate Sector, and ONLY available to Corporate Security Police officers. PC's should NOT be able to get their hands on it in the open market. So you can assign whatever game restrictions you feel are appropriate. You are the GM, after all.

25 October 2002, 10:20 AM
We'll allow players to request a certain weapon, but whether or not they get it is a different story. As for how and of the characters would know about a new weapon, well, we have several weapon fanatics in the group. They can operate anything with a trigger with frightening skill, and one is so obsessed that he can name every weapon by maker, model number, and issue year. His home is affectionately known as The Armory because of the large ammount of hardware he's acquired (legally and otherwise).

Let your players see all the new toys the book has to offer. If they really want one, they can ask. Tease them. Give them "chances" in the game to get a hold of the weapon of their wet dreams, and then snatch the chance away cruelly. After a few games with teasings like this, if the player has behaved, perhaps even let him get to use the weapon just once. If he uses it responsibly, maybe, just maybe he can get one issued to him on a more permanent basis <i>later</i>.

Make these new weapons be a reward they'll have to work hard for. Enjoy taunting them by holding the weapons just within reach, and then snatching them away at the last second. If/when they finally get their grand new toy, introduce a bad guy who, even with the new equipment, will be hard to defeat. In essence, they neither win nor lose; they have the new weapons, but they have not gained an advantage.

Or you could always take the book, smack them in the head with it, and say "No!" ;)

25 October 2002, 10:51 AM
LOL, excellent suggestions Seghast! If my PCs are specilists in weaponry they'll have their pick for some sections. Otherwise taunt them with the book! Come again and I will taunt you a second time-Ah! Any other PC that looks can ask and make a knowledge Check DC 20 for the rare stuff. Exotic stuff is out completely. Man, I still haven't gone through the whole thing yet either. Any suggestions as to what to look out for so I & other GMs make sure it doesn't fall int PC hands prematurely?

25 October 2002, 01:01 PM
liquidsaber, be wary if all of a sudden the crew wants to visit Verpine space.... their rail gun does 6d6 damage and the description claims that the verpine don't care if they sell it to non-verpine (called a Shattergun)- i cringe when i think of my munchkins seeing that.

26 October 2002, 08:27 AM
*salivating* must.. have... Arms & Equipment...
lol, I can't wait to get this book. I'd say I'll probably give the characters a list of weapons they know are out there, then whenever they go to a marketplace or shop or something I'll give them a list of things on display, they'll have the option of asking the store owner/marketplace merchant what a certain item is. Then for anything else they can make a gatherinformation check to find out about it.
Well, back to saving money.

30 October 2002, 06:02 PM
After much slaving and inward arguments, i've compiled a list that i felt was 'reasonable' for the average joe in Star Wars Rise of the Empire era to at least have 'heard about' from the Arms and Equipment Guide.

This list is free to you and includes Name, availability and price- it does not include any descriptions or game data, so i think i'm all right in the copywright area. I certainly wouldn't want to get the good folks at the Holonet in trouble.

Grimace, if this in any way violates any rule, please delete this post. Otherwise, at least you didn't have to take the time to decide what seems reasonable. Still, feel free to nix anything- i've been a bit generous.

30 October 2002, 06:15 PM
Good idea Ravager.

One of my players knows all of the blasters, because while i inputted them into the DBM he read the stats to me!:mad:

11 May 2005, 03:43 PM
Ravager ... hi there. Sorry, I know I'm a new person and all, but I wanted to respond to that. In fact, I started an account TO respond to that! ;)

Anyway, with all due respect and such, I feel like you're WAAAY overstating the issue with the shatter gun. Here's why:

First, you must remember that the weapon costs a phenomenal 15,000 credits (plus, the "special ammunition" is also 500 credits per 50 shots, or 10(!!) credits ... PER SHOT! ... and probably not something every shop is going to carry, to say the least) and is ONLY available in the New Jedi Order period (and presumably beyond). Unless your campaign takes place in that time period or beyond, it's not really even an issue, and even then, it's still VERY expensive. Much more so to mastercraft it and/or modify it.

Second -- and tying into the price of the weapon (because a broken weapon must be repaired to be made useful again, and that costs yet more money) -- there's the fact that it breaks. A lot. EASILY. It practically breaks if you sneeze on it. The weapon description actually has a special note to the effect that if it experiences a sudden drop or injury, you have to make an immediate check against its break DC.

So in other words, it has a 50-percent chance to break just because you drop it! And that happens anytime you're disarmed, anytime a Force-user successfully uses Move Object to yank it away, anytime you're stunned while holding the weapon, and anytime some miscellaneous mishap occurs that the GM decides might cause things to be dropped.

Now even aside from the cost of repairing the thing (and the need to find someone who can, unless you or someone in your party is able to), there's the inconvenience of suddenly NOT having the use of your favorite weapon in a potentially deadly fight!

And if it's lost, stolen or confiscated? Let's just say you're out some serious credits ... and that's just for the BASE WEAPON. If you had it mastercrafted and/or modified ... oh my. I pity you.

Thirdly, speaking of "confiscated," the shatter gun happens to be ILLEGAL. Now sure, that's not going to keep enterprising PCs from wanting one -- and that's fine -- but it's still an issue that can result in problems for the owner, as in many cases the gun may have to be left behind to avoid arrest, or else the owner may have to go through some serious contortions to smuggle it to wherever he/she is trying to go.

Fourth, the shatter gun -- unlike nearly all comparable weapons of its size and type (small projectile weapons, that is) -- has no multifire setting, which means it loses a potential attack per round versus just your average Joe Blow blaster pistol.

Fifth, the shattergun is an Exotic weapon, which means you must burn an extra feat just learning to use it properly. It also means you can't customize it, and you can ONLY do one personalization WITH GM PERMISSION. In other words, you can only personalize it once, and then only if the GM likes the idea of you having a personalized shatter gun. Compare that with other small projectile weapons -- again, blaster pistols -- which allow two customizations or three(!!) personalizations ... and then STILL end up costing less money!

Sixth, the shatter gun only has a 20 critical chance. Granted, a lot of weapons only have that, but it's not exactly awe-inspiring compared to some other choices.

11 May 2005, 05:51 PM
Just to follow up on my earlier post, and to give an example of how the Verpine Shatter Gun spectacularly fails to be the end-all be-all weapon you're thinking it might be, here's an example of how it stacks up next to another more-powerful-than-average, New Jedi Order-only handgun: the BlasTech T-6 "Thunderer" Heavy Blaster Pistol:

First, to simplify matters by making the weapons more comparable in performance, we'll boost the range of the T-6 by using all three personalizations to increase its range. Each one improves the weapons range by one-half its base range, or 4 increments ... times 3 is a total increase of 12. Add that to the original range of 8, and you get a range of 20 -- the same range as the shatter gun. Almost like I thought of this in advance, isn't it?? ;)

Next, we'll be generous and assume the GM decided to allow a personalization (remember, only one for exotic weapons, and then only with permission!) for the Shatter Gun, too. We'll spend that personalization on a boost to the critical multiplier, making it 19-20 ... the same as that of a T-6. Hey, that worked out nicely, huh? ;)

So with the range and critical multipliers the same on each of these weapons now, let's move on to other performance factors!


Oh, this is a favorite, isn't it? Everyone rushes straight to the "damage" number to judge a weapon, as though nothing else about it mattered. ;) Well, here's the tale of the tape:

T-6 -- 3d8 + 3 = 6-27 = 16.5 average damage per shot
Shatter Gun -- 6d6 = 6-36 = 21 average damage per shot

Oops! It looks like the Shatter Gun *does* do more damage -- specifically, 4.5 extra damage per shot! Now if we also put it on multifire ... oh, wait! We can't, can we? Of these two weapons, only the T-6 has a multifire setting! That means the Shatter Gun loses a whole attack per round by comparison! Of course, multifire admittedly reduces accuracy some as well, so there's no clear winner or loser here. It's purely situational.

Let's check out some other factors:


T-6 -- Break DC: 17, Hardness: 5, WP: 5
Shatter Gun -- Break DC: 10, Hardness: 3, WP: 2, any sudden drop or injury requires a check against its break DC

Need I even say it?


T-6 -- Medium-sized weapon, -4 to conceal
Shatter Gun -- Small-sized weapon, no modifer to conceal

Well, it looks like the Shatter Gun is easier to keep hidden! And that's a good thing alright, because ...


T-6 -- Availability: Common, restricted
Shatter Gun -- Availability: Rare, illegal

Better not get caught! ;)


T-6 -- 900 credits
Shatter Gun -- 15,000(!!) credits



T-6 -- 25 credits per 50 shots (one power pack)
Shatter Gun -- 500 credits per 50 shots

DOUBLE ouch!


T-6 -- It's a blaster. It goes CHOO! ... or whatever.
Shatter Gun -- Soundless discharge! Hey, neat.

So. If you were keeping track, you probably noticed that out of all of those considerations, the Verpine Shatter Gun only took an uncontested lead in two of them ... and damage was NOT one of them! Meanwhile, the weapon costs a small fortune ... both to purchase AND to maintain ... even if you somehow manage to NEVER break it! The ammunition ALONE is 20 times more expensive than the ammunition used in a comparable blaster pistol.

What's my point here? Simply this: don't skim through one of these books, only look at the numbers listed after "Damage," and think you've identified which weapons are great and which aren't. More importantly, consider NOT going into "no I'll never let you have that!" mode before thinking things through a little more. The truth is, the Verpine Shatter Gun IS a pretty cool weapon for someone who wants a quiet, concealable gun with a lot of punch (if not much in the way of critical chances). It is NOT an end-all be-all munchkin weapon, however, and in fact, it's highly impractical as a primary weapon for any but the wealthiest and/or most frugal (in terms of other purchases and also ammunition usage) PCs.

Speaking as a recovering munchkin myself (like recovering alcoholics, we're never fully cured, but we try ;) ), I can tell you that if anything, the weapons to watch out for are those 18-20 critical chance rifles, modified down to 17-20, then dropped further down to 16-20 in the hands of someone with Improved Critical. Then if that person takes the elite trooper prestige class and gets to Deadly Strike, which doubles threat ranges ...

You do the math. ;)

14 May 2005, 11:22 PM
lol....and th einteresting math is done.

As a GM i personaly MAKE people come up with exacts specs of the wepaon they hav. I want poeple with different blaster so not everybody has the same type of blaster.

When it comes to bigger badded weapons....I go with the dc check, + a story of how they know it. Then, and only then if they can come up with the money, and the a secondary reason to go a specific planet...i'll let them try to get it.

If i just dont want them to have it, I let them go to the planet, I just never allow them to get it. I will put them through hell and back, and If they survive it all, and still wanna stay on the planet, and still want to get the gun....they hell i think they deserved it (or i just come up with another escuse to why they cant have it....ha i'm a dick at times.)

1 June 2005, 10:34 PM
just depend on the game situation. if the game requires them to have it let them if not they will find a way to get it. but sure limit them to what they can buy. just becouse it can be sold doesnt mean it is.

4 June 2005, 10:57 AM
What's my point here? Simply this: don't skim through one of these books, only look at the numbers listed after "Damage," and think you've identified which weapons are great and which aren't. SpaceyBH

Thanks for responding to a 3 year old post. :) As you may have guessed, I've pretty much got the A&E comitted to memory by now. Most books I do skim through the first time around before letting players get a hold of it. But the Shattergun has never been an issue for me yet, even after 3 years. It just doesn't exist in my SW universe at present (ie, none of my villains/heroes have gotten their grubby hands on it).

You have excellent points in how to destroy or take away a Shattergun. Since none of my players bought the A&E, I didn't have this trouble and have started 2 different campaigns since I originated this post.

And welcome to the Holonet.

5 June 2005, 09:34 PM
Thanks. And yes, I know my approach in bringing up such an old post was really odd. ;)

But I'd like to stress that I'm not a big believer in "taking away" things -- at least not me (your style is your own). I think if it's there, there's no reason to prevent people from trying for it. The shattergun is plenty impractical all by itself without any GM having to actively be a jerk about someone wanting to use one. Heck, I'd give props to any PC who's willing to put up with the darned thing!

12 June 2005, 11:59 AM
I have no problems with characters getting their hands on illegal or exotic weapons as long as they can explain a) how their character knew about that type of weapon and b) what connections they have that could get them the weapon. Beyond that, they're free to get whatever weapons and armor they want. Of course, I am a stickler for penalties if they're caught by authorities with an illegal weapon on them. And ammo for exotic weapons is quite hard to find outside their home territory and often much more expensive. What's more, I often classify exotic weapons as illegal when they're not in their "normal" territory.

Police officer: "What's that you've got there?"
PC: "It's just a Squib Tensor Rifle."
Police officer: "Frankly, I don't know what it is, but it looks dangerous. Better come down to the station with me while we figure out exactly what you've got there."