1. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    Weaponry?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Ritrezer, Apr 26, 2014.

    I plan to include hi-tech/sci-fi weaponry in my work, any ideas? Though personally, I'm a lover of medieval weapons, such as the sword, bow and arrow etc. Is there any way to blend both such cultures and sort of "upgrade" or "modernize" these weapons? So far, I've only come up with sci-fi guns, which I don't quite like and few others including lasers. So any ideas or views? :)
     
  2. Tiradentes
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    Tiradentes Member

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    There's not really any plausible way to "upgrade" bladed weapons without it being absurd, e.g. chainsaw swords. The best you can do is improve the materials for certain specific needs like ceramic knives, but that isn't very exciting from a story perspective. A knife is still a knife.
     
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  3. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    I agree with Tiradentes. All the trouble spent making some kind of sword effective against armor and machinery seems like it'd be better spent just using a projectile weapon which is already inherently more effective at this task.

    If you are determined, the classic updated melee weapon is, of course, the lightsaber.
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    You need to take a close look at Warhammer 40k, the tabletop game. The figures you have are from the 41st millenium, but they can stay have swords and other older weapons. I would suggest you search for "Space Marines" on a search engine and take a look at what comes up. :)
     
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  5. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    Depends how realistic you want to make it. I've read a few books with high tech bows (I have no idea how plausible they'd be). If you're throwing realism out the window why not turn a medieval close combat weapon into a ranged weapon.
     
  6. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You could come up with some weird-ass mindray that makes the enemy kill themselves :p
     
  7. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think anything will replace projectile weapons when it comes to those intended for killing, but for less-than-lethal weapons, we already have things like Tasers, cattle prods etc. so you could have some sort of stun... er, sticks?
    Maybe you could have a bladed Taser (e.g. a dagger with a small crossguard that'd have a red dot sight and two holes out of which it'd shoot the prongs at the enemy): first tase the shit out of the guy and then, when he's incapacitated, go and stab him to death. :D But that's a pretty dumb idea, to be completely honest.

    As others have said, if you want to be realistic, swords are pretty much out, and bows and arrows / crossbows can't really compete with semi-automatic / select fire rifles / carbines. Of course, if you don't care about realism, you can have all kinds of super-powerful, planet-destroying bigass anime swords.
     
  8. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    It would make sense to use improved medievil technology if they are fighting in hard vacuum or near explosive gasses.

    I've seen explanations for using bullets instead of cool lazers, one being that soft lead doesn't rupture ships hulls like excited electrons do.
     
  9. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Smoke Z brought up a valid point: the firearms would use specialized ammunition, specifically designed to be used inside space ships / stations etc. so they wouldn't punch through hulls. Of course, those hulls would also be built to withstand small arms fire. I mean, it'd be weird if a large space ship or space station could withstand hits from debris flying through space at insane speeds but then gets punctured by a 9x19mm hollow-point fired from your run-of-the-mill pistol. I get that it might be a bad idea to fire a .50BMG at a space ship window, but if there are guns in your space, it stands to reason the structures are built to handle the occasional runaway bullet.
     
  10. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    Hmm, I do want to retain a good amount of realism, and not make it too over-the-top and unbelievable.
     
  11. Fronzizzle
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    Fronzizzle Member

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    In video games, they do this quite often. Swords that also shock/electrocute people, knifes that have poison on/in the blade, arrows that are poison-tipped, cause explosions, light things on fire, etc. Melee weapons could also deal freeze or fire damage or temporary/partial paralysis. Ranged weapons could be 100% silent and disappear or disintegrate on impact for a stealth effect. Depending on what happens in your story, having these weapons require recharging at certain points could add intrigue.

    Between that and then making the weapons and ammo out of cool & unusual materials, I think you could end up with some pretty awesome medieval sci-fi type weapons.
     
  12. desert rat
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    desert rat Member

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    I would think that you can still use medieval style weapons with the right rationale. G. Lucas confined them to an elite group in Star Wars and so made them more significant than modern weapons (and made us believe they were more noble and "respectful" weapon). Chewbacca had a crossbow that fired energy and we didn't question that. How about an arrow with toxic nanoparticles that infected a person. And confined to assassins due to the silence? I suspect there is a place for these traditional weapons (for example, soldiers today still carry one of mankinds oldest weapons - the knife); you don't necessarily simply throw out old technology when new come along.

    I think your audience will accept anything plausible as long as the rationale is presented as to why it is the appropriate weapon for a given purpose. Han Solo summed it up with his comment about lightsabres "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match when you have a good blaster at your side". Yet there was a very prominent place for those ancient weapons in the story. Sometimes it is about more than efficiency - it can be about honor, grace, courage etc. The "ancient weapons" required a more intimate relationship with the enemy. Can you use that angle to bring the need for old weapons into your story?
     
  13. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    There will always be situations were melee weapons are necessary. When ammunition runs out. When silence and stealth is required. When fighting in an area with delicate or explosive equipment. When carrying a ranged weapon is forbidden. When you can't get a firearm/beam weapon (just like today).

    And I wouldn't dismiss "souped up" melee weapons either. Have look at these. Remember they were just made for fun and not (yet) with advanced technology for the military -



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_622457&feature=iv&src_vid=5mITp-g1yb0&v=YBPwo7CBQFk
     
  14. DPVP
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    DPVP Active Member

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    It choud also depend on who your characters are, Soldiers? Civilians? less then legal professions? maybe projectile weapons are illegal and/or either hard to procure or drones/ surveillance picks up gun fire/ energy bursts and sends the law.
     
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  15. Daemantalo Nyrin
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    Daemantalo Nyrin New Member

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    Some of the only plausible ideas for making weapons "more high-tech" yet "believable" would be making them out of different materials. Example: In one story, I made a modern Spartan with a carbon-fiber Xiphos sword. I mean, you can take the route of making your own minerals/elements. You could also make powerful and high tech bows, similar to Green Arrow. Harnessed electric swords/sabers work well too. (Maybe ripping off Star Wars, but meh).
     
  16. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    This won't help with sci-fi, but for fantasy you can have them be touched by the elements (magically of course) for extra power. Flametouched swords, oh my!

    But look at Wolverine and Captain America. They're sci-fi (I guess. I'm not sure if that's what they are exactly, but it's close enough). Captain America's shield is made from Vibranium (ficticious metal) and Wolverine's claws are made of Adamantium (I think). Two ficticious metals and now they're sci-fi.

    I could be wrong though. But that's sci-fi to me.
     
  17. Inkwell1
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    Inkwell1 Active Member

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    Erm...all I can think of is a crossbow. Perhaps the particular person/group of people you're talking about lives in a world where electric gadgets form weaponry (like your sci-fi guns) but carry around hand-crafted swords and bows and arrows anyways.
     
  18. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    A long time ago, I spent more time than I'd like to admit designing computer games. The one I got the farthest with was called Mecha Ghost. One of the playable characters had exactly six 'electro-knives' he could use for each level. If thrown accurately, the electro-knife would stick into the enemy (usually a techno-terrorist) and periodically shock the nasty bugger until he died.

    Think of absurd technological improvements that can be made to weapons: perhaps a numbing shuriken that can disable limbs temporarily (or permanently), or a halberd that deposits micro-explosives, or even rocket-powered arrows that attract bees (or randy animals).

    Edited to add: Once you've established your super awesome arsenal, give the hero a wooden fighting stick/sword as his weapon. Nobody will not be able to root for him.
     
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  19. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    Yes, that is the most realistic explanation why someone in a sci-fi story (most probably set in the future) would use swords or crossbow. If someone fights against the government and getting real weapons is not an easy task he must use what he finds. The material is available at junkyards and the technology to produce a lethal weapon out of it is available in a workshop.
    A modified version of this is if all official weapons are produced so that it can be operated only by it's owner and if he kills someone with it the police would know who's weapon was used.

    He might choose to use a sword because of religious reasons. Or to thrill the enemy be leaving behind dead bodies cut to small pieces and entire rooms covered with blood.
     
  20. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Vandor76 I'm not sure about blades getting "outdated"...nothing compares with the share joy of cutting your enemy's neck :)
     
  21. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    crossbow styled rail guns. you could fire a non steel or iron alloy bolt using a specialized steel sled. the sled launches the bolt using the traditional bow and string beefed up with electromagnets possibly giving it silent and near sonic speeds and the accuracy of a crossbow.
     
  22. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    In case of a lone hero it is OK but full armies equipped with swords are not realistic in a sci-fi, unless the story is about a technically developed group of people (conquerors or shipwrecked) fighting against a planet's natives who are on the technical level of the ancient Rome.
     
  23. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Vandor76 sci-fi is hardly a realistic genre if you put it that way. :) In that particular scenario, I'd just nuke the Romans from a safe distance - no reason to waste men and ammo. If there is no balance of power, thee guy with the biggest cock wins! :D
     
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  24. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    i don't see a reason why swords could not be used in the future. lets say you have developed the tech needed for lasers, rail guns and other future weapons. add a flaw to the system, a realistic reason to need hand to hand combat. Low battery reserve or recharge. in the early days of firearms pike men would protect the slow loading hand cannons and even early muskets. bayonets were nothing more than a replacement for the pike men. lets say slow to recharge weapons revert mankind back to Napoleonic warfare.
     
  25. Mike Nemesis
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    Mike Nemesis Active Member

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    I'm reading Words of Radiance at the moment by Brandon Sanderson, it's a fantasy but a lot of it focuses around weapons called shard blades which have the ability to pass through flesh or objects with little or no resistance it can cut through stone walls easily and will slash through clothing but when it meets flesh it simply ghosts through it and deadens any limb it passes through.

    If you wanted to apply this to sci fi you could create something like a ghost blade that can be tripped so it phases through resistance and then activates when you want it to e.g. slips straight past the enemies army and then activates past this to leave a nice hole in their stomach. If your fighting any other melee opponents it would completely ruin their usual combat routine as they work on the basis that parrying an attack will block it not just allow it to phase straight past their resistance.

    As for reasons that no one has said yet, depending on your story perhaps your up against an alien race that(as an example) has a naturally high resistance to fire arms due to a hardened shell that they have. The only way to quickly bypass this resistance is to use melee weapons designed to break down this shell.

    Perhaps you have religious factions that believe it is immoral to be able to take lives with such little thought or skill, they believe that if death is necessary it should be delivered up close and personal. Or maybe you have a world like metal gear solid 4 where all fire arms are registered and can only be fired if they are activated by the government and registered to certain users this would lead to an increase in melee weapons that can't be controlled in this fashion as they have been built in peoples own homes.
     

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