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  • Boom Gun Boom (II)

    The other thread was locked so I had to create a new thread to bring up a new detail I discovered while perusing the original RIFTS 1st Edition.

    The authors obviously made some mistakes in their concept. For example, they state that the rail gun accelerates the flechette style rounds to a speed of Mach 2.

    First of all, Mach 2 is PITIFULLY slow when compared to the muzzle velocities of most guns, so we have to try to understand the spirit of what they said rather than the actual words they used. For example, the rounds fired by modern weapons that size are fired with a velocity of about Mach 10.

    So, assuming that the authors intended their words to mean that the rail gun accelerates the flechette style rounds to a speed of Mach ludicrous, and we are closer to the truth.

    Second, the original design of the Boom Gun ammunition had shell casings with 200 slugs, not unlike an enormous shotgun round. Rail guns don't use or need shell casings. Granted, they would probably have discarding sabots for the flechette rounds, but traditional shell casings would be unnecessary.

    And here's where I think we can explain the boom effect of the boom gun being centered on the gun only.

    From a power consumption point of view, the amount of energy necessary to accelerate about 10 kilograms of slugs to mach 10 is about 118 million Joules. I don't care how you supply it, that is an enormous amount of energy. And let's not forget that that is just the energy to get the rounds to go as fast as they go today. So the more of this energy can be packed with the rounds in the form of an explosive in the shell casing, the less energy would be required by the rail gun portion of the gun to accelerate them even further. And that is where I think we have our final product.

    The only way I see that we have a rail gun with the boom effect centered on the gun as it is, is to have a gun firing 75mm (about 3 inches) shotgun rounds and accelerating the projectiles to ludicrous speed before they leave the barrel.

    Thus we have our rail gun (check) we have our ejected shell casings (check) we have our ludicrous velocity (check), and most of all, we have our intense boom sound (check) at the gun (check).

    Win-Win. We have satisfied the physics, we have satisfied the game system, and we actually end up with a more realistic energy consumption profile for the Glitter Boy as well.

    All we have to do is disregard the statement by the authors that boom is a sonic boom and it all starts to come together.
    Last edited by Portentious; 05-15-2018, 04:08 PM.

  • #2
    I'm not trying to be dismissive here, but it works because of high tech super science makes the slugs travel at hypersonic velocity.

    No need to think of the 'whys'. Super-science = Magic. Maybe the Boom Guns designers tapped into parallel dimensions via quantum physics to manipulate the Higgs bosun and messed with the mass of the slugs at the point of acceleration, or the gun itself hypershunts the slugs through a parallel dimension with different physcis or some ****.

    'Beyond our current comprehension.'

    Applying modern physcis to 'how does this advanced super science future tech work' is inherently flawed. Its like applying ones knowledge of ancient chirurgery to modern medicine, applying ones knowledge of Ptolemiac astrology to contemporary astrophyscis, or applying ones knowledge of dark ages engineering to a partcle collider.





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    • Portentious
      Portentious commented
      Editing a comment
      When in doubt, rely on the ol' axiom that any technology, sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from magic. There's always that, I suppose.

    • GM Radio Rob
      GM Radio Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, sometimes us geeks need to riff on this stuff, especially if something meant to be wondrous seems less so than actual current reality.

      I must take exception to the author's use of ludicrous speed, especially when the plaid effect is not referenced in any appearances of the Boom Gun in the Palladium source, Savage Rifts or any associated tests. Perhaps ridiculous speed would be more accurate?

    • Portentious
      Portentious commented
      Editing a comment
      That would be funny. I wonder if anyone would get the joke in-game if you said the rounds leave a plaid tracer effect.

  • #3
    The actual description of the Boom Gun operation is kinda absurd. Mach 2 flechette are going to bounce off heavy armor - so everything Kevin S wrote needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Between the massive discharge of electricity, the jet engine powering up, and the explosive leg bolts firing, the boom gun is freakin loud. Anything more complicated than that is just too complicated to worry about.

    Myself, I'd prefer the boom gun to fire *either* flechette ammo that lacks the armor-penetration, or solid slugs that punch holes in mountains. The original rules supported different ammo types - I wrote up a proposal to my GM but he shot it down at Mach 10 in favor of the RAW.

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    • #4
      I've been running a game with a Glitter Boy and I am really enjoying the added touches this concept has provided.

      Before I begin, I feel I must set the stage for my Rifts North America setting.
      First, the industrialization in my world is not significant. Access to high tech materials requires a global economy that just doesn't exist on an affordable economic scale. So there is a huge market and demand for recycled materials. This manifests itself in many ways. For example, Triax products are so extremely rare in North America as to be unique. I consider them like beaver pelts in europe in the 17th century: available but very expensive and rare due to the risks involved. Another way this manifests is that most all armor is patchwork from scavenged pieces or shows obvious signs of repair. Only the wealthy and powerful can keep their armor well maintained and in one piece from combat to combat. I've done this to provide just another tangible benefit for players when they level up. Novice player characters are running around in unsealed suits of patchwork armor while veterans get full sets and access to repair technology. What it means for this discussion is that ammunition for the Boom Gun is rare and expensive.

      Second, Glitter Boys use a shell loaded with high explosive to fire the rounds into the rail portion of the rail gun. Then it ejects the shell casings. This is in keeping with the character art of the GB and with the original concept by the designer. Just like modern guns today, ejected casings can be re-used by packing them with explosive and flechette rounds. Arms dealers in my world charge a significant premium for factory assembled rounds and significantly less for the component parts. This also lets the characters customize their ammunition, substituting low quality explosive when they just need more ammo and can't make the run up to Northern Gun and also allowing them to use flechettes with different characteristics of their own design. (or the design of the Tech Wizard in the party :-o)

      My GB player is enjoying this and has hired a little subservient goblin-like squire who is very proud to have the most important job he could possibly ever get: Collect the spent shell casings. So this little guy is so eager in his job that he rides his four-wheeler and follows the GB everywhere, even in battle, daring explosions and other hazards in order to impress the GB pilot. Needless to say, the guy is half deaf and a bit odd. The GB Pilot treats him well and I think the players would cry if anything were to happen to the little guy.

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