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Origin of Impact Hammer / Mau?

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  • Origin of Impact Hammer / Mau?

    Just looking for some fluff on these weapons and I can't find any references from Classic Rifts in the books I have. Anyone know where these weapons originated from or are they creations of Savage Rifts? Thanks.

  • #2
    The NG-B50 shows up in Northern Gun 1, as, I assume from the write-up, an improvement to an earlier, generic impact hammer.


    • #3
      Originally posted by paladin2019 View Post
      The NG-B50 shows up in Northern Gun 1, as, I assume from the write-up, an improvement to an earlier, generic impact hammer.
      In NG1, NG-B20 is actually the hammer version of the NG-B50 Bangstick. They use explosive shotgun shells to deliver mega-damage in impact. So the NG-B50 "Thunderer"Combat Hammer from the Tomorrow Legion Player's Guide is mostly consistent with the original material.

      But that explains the origin of the NG-B50 from TLPG, not the Impact Hammer from TLPG. I couldn't find anything that could be the Palladium Rifts equivalent of the Savage Rifts Impact Hammer or the Impact Maul. So unless you can find one elsewhere in another Savage Worlds setting, or I missed it in the Palladium source material, it looks like you'll be able to make up your own provenance for those items in your game world.

      (By the way, I am assuming that Impact Hammers in Rifts are not like Impact hammers in our world air-impact-hammer-kit-92037.html, which are designed to work over a period of time while being pressed into the target rather than actually being swung at it.)

      Having said that, the TLPG states that the Impact Hammer and Impact Maul are advanced weapons to deal with the savagery of the setting. So here's what they would have to do, from a purely logical deconstruction of the concept:
      The energy absorbed by an impact is the product of the mass of the impacting object and the square of the object's velocity at impact. So it is far more important to increase the speed of the weapon than it is to increase the mass of the weapon. But that is just the available energy. It doesn't give us any information about how damaging it would be to be hit, because damage is delivered by the impulseof the collision between weapon and target. Impulse is a measure of how fast that mass decelerates at impact. That's why everyone says it's not the fall that kills you, but the sudden deceleration at the bottom. This also explains why rolling with a punch makes it hurt less, because it actually does.

      I hope I haven't lost you yet.

      So to make an impact hammer work, we have to somehow maximize the velocity of the hammerhead and maximize the deceleration at impact. One way would be to put rockets on it just like Doc Ido's Hammer in Battle Angel Alita. Another way would be to give the hammer a very flexible or articulated haft so it could use a wind-up to give the head a faster airspeed than the welder's arm. Think of how a whip's tip can reach supersonic speeds, for an extreme example.

      Now, once we've tried to maximize the velocity as much as possible, we can increase it even more by creating an energy-absorbing head on the hammer. This seems counter-intuitive at first, but bear with me. So the energy absorbing head actually minimizes the deceleration of the hammer head, making the initial impact cause as little damage as possible. Inside the head of the hammer, however is some high-tech contraption that stores all that energy. For any given mass and velocity at impact, the less damage we do at impact, the more energy is stored. The impact weapon then releases the stored energy back to the impacting surface of the head at a velocity orders of magnitude faster than it could have ever impacted with the power of the weilder alone. This secondary impact is what does the increased damage and is why the weapon is considered an advanced weapon. The second impact can never have as much total energy as was available at the first impact, but because it is traveling so much faster, there is a much greater deceleration at impact, a greater impulse, and thus more damage.

      Put in electrical terms, the energy absorber would be something akin to a capacitor, which then discharges all of its stored energy all at once.

      So, if you are searching for something that could explain how an impact hammer or an impact maul would work, this is one way that it could actually be done.

      (edited it because I timed out)
      Last edited by Portentious; 09-09-2019, 05:22 AM.


      • #4
        Actually there is a NG-B50 "Thunderer" BigBore Combat Hammer in the NG1 World Book on pg. 208.

        My quest to find the origins got me to buy the PDF and I found there was also a NG-B20 Bangstick Hammer on pg. 206. My feeling this is the predecessor to the Impact Hammer and Impact Maul even though the latter do not use ammo. This is only speculation, of course. I figure someone decided one melee weapon consuming ammo was enough.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Radecliffe View Post
          Actually there is a NG-B50 "Thunderer" BigBore Combat Hammer in the NG1 World Book on pg. 208.
          Right you are. I stand corrected, the bangstick staff is actually the NG-B30, not the B50 as I said. You correctly identified the B50, which is directly sourced into Savage Rifts. Good catch. Also, interestingly there is a NG-B40 anti-vampire "Big Bangstick" in the lineup as well.