Roleplayer #25, August 1991

More Bang For The Buck

Ultra-Tech Grenades

by David Pulver

"Remember: Once you pull the pin, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend."

– Seen on a button at GenCon

Energy Grenades

At TL10, energy grenades become available, representing an increasingly attractive alternative to conventional explosives, especially for commando units, terrorists, etc. Not only are they are immune to detection from chemscanners, but the small B cells they use are very hard for radscanners to detect (see Scanners on p. UT59). All energy grenades weigh one pound and cost $100. They are not reusable; the power cell burns out along with the grenade's mechanism after use. They are very reliable; the malfunction number is Ver. (Crit.).

EMP Grenades create a powerful, short-lived magnetic pulse, which can permanently short out computers within a ten-yard radius. Any TL7 electronic system using integrated circuits automatically goes down, as does any computer without EMP protection; repairs will usually take several hours, and memory loss is likely. TL8 energy weapons, suit HUDs, or simple sensors or other gadgets (including those with dedicated computers) are assumed to be partially shielded, but still experience a temporary "surge." Unless protected by force screens or DR 50+ armor, every electronic device (including most weapons) within 10 yards fails for 3 seconds. They are LC 2.

Sonic grenades consist of a sonic generator built around a B cell. When the grenade is activated, it generates a pulse of concentrated sound that liquefies flesh and bone, doing 6d+6 damage to anyone within a four-yard radius around the target hex. This damage continues each turn for 3 turns, after which the B cell burns out.

Other effects are similar to a screamer, but more powerful. Any armor in the area of effect loses 3 DR per turn, unless protected by a force screen. Natural armor (fur, scales, etc.) loses as many points of DR at the spot as damage it blocks. Each turn, anyone in the area of effect must roll against HT or his eardrums will be shattered, deafening him until the eardrums are replaced. Wearing a sealed helmet protects totally, but if the helmet's DR was exceeded by the damage, the victim will be affected unless he makes the HT roll. Sonic grenades are LC 1.

Stun Grenade: Basically a lower-powered sonic grenade, a stun grenade emits a wave of sound that affects the nervous systems of all beings within its area of effect. Anyone within a 2-yard radius around the grenade must roll against HT-3 to avoid being stunned (against HT if within a 4-yard radius). A failed HT roll renders the victim unconscious for (20-HT) minutes, with a minimum of 1 minute. Sealed armor adds 1 to effective HT per S points of DR; unsealed armor is useless. The sonic pulse contin-ues for 4 turns before the grenade's power cell is exhausted – anyone in the area of effect must roll vs. HT each turn or be affected. These are LC 3.

For an extra $50 it is possible to purchase a grenade that can be set to function as either a sonic or a stun grenade. These are LC 1.

Launched Tangler Grenades

Tangler rounds are available as booth hand grenades and launched grenades; the effect is identical to a normal tangler round, but with range, etc., appropriate to the way it is thrown or fired. A tangle grenade costs $25 and weighs one pound. Tangler mines also exist. They can be triggered by foot pressure or electronically, and have the effect of a normal tangler round. A Dodge-2 roll is allowed to jump to an adjacent hex. Cost for each mine is $10 and weight is 2 pounds. Smart tangler mines (see p. UT27) cost $250. All tangier devices are LC 5.

Flechette Grenades

Available only for grenade launchers (and mines), these contain scores of tiny steel needles, released to produce a directional effect like a giant shotgun. Damage is 8d+8 impaling (but use the shotgun rules, p. B119, so the effect is actually eight attacks at 1d+1 each), 1/2D 80, Max 200, other stats (SS, accuracy, etc.) as for the grenade launcher. If a flechette mine is detonated, use a default skill of 9 to determine hit chance. Flechette grenades or mines cost $30 and are LC 1.

Rocket Grenade Launcher

Not an electromag weapon, the RGL is a shoulder-fired, one-use rocket booster for standard grenades, the TL8 equivalent of a LAW or RPG. It consists of a launch tube and a rocket. To use it, any grenade is screwed into the rocket as a warhead. The effect of the weapon depends on what grenade is used. The RGL weighs 4 pounds, or S pounds with a grenade screwed into it. Its cost, without a grenade, is $100. The RGL is a Legality Class 0 device.

Mounting a grenade takes 10 seconds; the weapon is then ready to fire. Rocket grenade launchers produce lethal backblast when fired (so the launch tube cannot be reused). The firer is safe, but anyone in a 60-degree cone behind him takes 3d damage if within 1 yard, or 1d damage if within 2 yards. Anything flammable within 2 yards catches fire on a roll of 10 or less. There is no effect past 2 yards.

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