This article is to define places where we've had to make technological adjustments to make things compatible and not automatically restrict a characters effectiveness.
- 1 Troy Rising & KEW's
- 2 Movement in Space
- 3 Mithril
- 4 Photon Torpedoes and Proton Torpedoes
- 5 Hyperspace and Otherspaces
- 6 The Force
- 7 Kyber Crystals
- 8 Vibranium
- 9 Adamantium
- 10 Laser Weapons
- 11 Plasma Weapons
- 12 Melta Weapons
- 13 Sources
Troy Rising & KEW's
After some discussion with the player involved in introducing us all to Troy Rising we have discussed the two types of KEW's; planetary bombardment and ship-to-ship.
Ship to Ship KEW's
A ship-to-ship KEW is standardized to around 2 metric tons (2000 kg), so about the mass of a car and travels at a velocity of an MAC round (12,000 meters/second). This gives each one having a rough impact yield of around 25 megatons which, we will also standardize to be just over the effective yield of a photon torpedo except entirely kinetic where as the photon torpedo uses an antimatter warhead. While it was once figured that these missile weapons moved at near light speed, it has been discussed and the comparison to a MAC round suits for game purposes.
In Game Play
Given calculations already made, it is canon in Trek that the shields of a Constitution Class vessel can take a 25 gigaton blast at once, and then take that 5 separate times. I've always found this figure to be absurd and inconsistent with what is seen on-screen; using both these ideas as a guide and doing some rough-estimates of differences between a blast yield and just shields being hit with something that massive, we figure that a modern Star Trek (Solas Tempus) vessel shields can take between 2-4 direct KEW impacts separately. That is to say, one impact, then a 2nd impact, etc.. This does not translate to simultaneous impacts as robustly, multiple KEWs hitting at the same time, we'll say if 2 hit at the same time it'll collapse a ships shields. This is going to be for all Starships within game roughly the size of the Constitution Class (286 meters long) and above; for the sake of simplicity, we'll figure that size vessel has a good ratio of power to shields per square meter of surface area protected in order to produce equal protection for size of the ship.
It is also noted that the KEWs can be dodged, destroyed, and deleted but pinpointing one is difficult because it is made of sensor-absorbent materials and they must be detected either by a fighter within visual range or via their effects on surrounding space. Given that they are in space and use gravity to travel, they would be most detectable when changing direction, accelerating, or decelerating (when the gravity plating would be most active). They produce negligible thermal signature and sensors have trouble detecting them in flight.
Shield Durability vs KEW's
- Ships 250 meters long and above are able to withstand 2-4 direct hits at full shields from ship-to-ship KEW's
- Ships between 150-250 meters long are able to withstand about 1-3 direct hits at full shields from ship-to-ship KEW's
- Ships smaller 50-150 meters long are able to withstand about 1 direct hit at full shields from a ship-to-ship KEW's
- Anything smaller than 50 meters would be pretty much destroyed if hit with a KEW
Hull Durability vs KEW's
Solas Temps / Star Trek hulls would not withstand a direct KEW hit very well, given the mass and speed it is entirely likely that a KEW impacting the hull directly would actually just put a hole in the hull, full sop. Areas where the hull is thin enough (say the saucer of a Saladin Class Starship) could even have the KEW actually just go right through the hull to the other side. Suffice it to say, a KEW hitting an unshielded ship would cripple it if not destroy it, depending on where it hits. Star Trek ships are just not really designed to withstand such impacts directly, we see in one episode of Star Trek. Thus, a KEW would cripple of destroy a Star Trek style ship whose shields were not up.
Planetary Bombardment KEW's
This kind of KEW we will also make around 2 metric tons, but this moves at near light speed. This gives the effective impact yield comparable to a 21.48 gigaton blast, and that is just the impact. Using the relativistic baseball as a guide it is also likely that a single one of these impacting an atmosphere would cause extreme damage from nuclear fusion of the atmosphere with the leading edge of the object. The resulting fireball and x-ray blast along with the kinetic impact would be a planet-killer.
Now, given the effects of a 2000 kg object hitting atmosphere at light speed, after discussing it with out player, Bucket, who knows the series we are going to figure that in-game the KEWs that impact a planet for bombardment are only going 50% of light speed, taking the same 2 minutes to speed up. This means that the atmosphere isn't going to undergo nuclear fusion with the KEW at reentry, it still retains enough velocity to not slow down much in the atmosphere, and can easily take out any city. This would produce a blast equivalent of a 5 or 6 gigaton bomb, easily taking out more than a city but avoiding the atmospheric effects. This kluge allows the use of the planetary KEW's as liberally as they are in the book series.
Movement in Space
Some concepts of space travel are confusing, even to writers of science fiction. In actual science moving in space is a lot more complicated in some ways that it is when moving in atmosphere or water. As most anyone knows drag prevents anything on Earth from going beyond a certain speed, this speed-limit changes based on technology, design, and vehicle but there is always a theoretical speed limit of any vehicle moving within atmosphere or other substance like water. This drag has some serious benefits as well as drawbacks. The most potent one is double-edged, a jet flying in the air has to speed up and maintain thrust to maintain speed and thus flight. However, it doesn't need to expend thrust to slow down or turn (the air resistance does this for you as well). That is how flying works as it is understood by the general population.
Now, moving to space. Science Fiction writers have been lying to everyone for a long time. On a basic level Newton's Laws of Motion rule everything, there is no air resistance or other major forces acting upon an object in space. In planetary space or space within a star system, gravity can be a factor but by-and-large it isn't unless one is very close to the source of gravity. This is critically important because space crafts have to expend significant energy to move their mass (relative to the mass of the space craft), force is measured in Newtons, the force required for 1 kg (kilogram) of mass to accelerate 1 meter per second squared. To break that down further, in space 1 Newton would provide acceleration for 1 kg of mass of adding to the existing velocity 1 meter/second every second..
Acceleration and Velocity
So ships moving in space don't have to have their engines on constantly, they can accelerate at sub-light speeds and then cut thrust and keep going. This has a lot of implications that completely go against everything we've seen in 99.9% of all science fiction over the years. For the purposes of role play we are going to assume that all space craft (unless otherwise specifically noted) have a methodology of dealing with most of those implications. Most ships have some kind of way to manipulate gravity (artificial gravity); Star Trek uses gravity generators embedded within gravity plating and Star Wars has such technology, but it is not explained the method by which it works as well as countless other genre's which use a variety of unspecified methods. This also has some other benefits, gravity is measured as a unit of acceleration (1 G is equal to the force of gravity on Earth roughly 9.8 meters per second squared). This is a bit of fudge, but a healthy bit. Forcing players to deal with gravitational forces (or lack there of) on a ship is something that science fiction found out was a loser a long time ago.
Gravity, Inertia, and Ubiquitous Technology
Two bits of technology will be assumed to be had in some level or another (as they are related) for all ships unless otherwise noted. That of artificial gravity (mentioned above) and inertial dampeners. Inertia is kind of a complicated item, it is related to the laws of motion, more specifically that an object will remain at rest or in motion until acted on by an outside force. Within atmosphere that outside force is the air, in space there isn't a lot of that (other that in special cases) of orbital space and the like. In the case of science, the ability to manipulate space in such a way as to reduce the effects of inertia is possibly the single most technologically out-there and advanced bit of technology within Star Trek. Inertia is tied into acceleration and how matter (humans and other living creatures in particular) behave under changes in velocity (acceleration and deceleration). Acceleration forces are measured in multiples of G's (g-forces), this is how weightlessness is simulated when in free-fall because your acceleration cancels out the force of gravity. Even Star Wars has such technology as the inertial compensator, without such technology present any ship would be subject to a max acceleration factor of about 8 or 9 G's for highly trained pilots, which is quite limiting for space-based travel and game-play.
Star Trek Ships Moving
Within Star Trek, the Inertial Dampener is primarily used to protect the ships interior from acceleration forces, the same can be assumed for Star Wars (we'll get there in a bit). However, what about the ship and moving around? Star Trek ships employ the Warp Drive to move faster than light by generate a warp field, which alters space-time and creates propulsive force by pushing space-time in layers, each layer pushing against the others. Warp fields do not have to propel a ship to warp velocities and are omnidirectional, a Star Trek vessel with Warp Drive would be exceptionally maneuverable for it's given mass, so long as power holds out or the warp drive was undamaged using the warp field to alter space and the inertial dampeners to protect the crew against the sudden and extreme directional changes. Most Star Trek ship designs also have relatively small impulse engines, especially in their larger vessels. This indicates that their impulse engines are not as powerful as their Star Wars counterparts and that the warp drive is relied upon more for even sub-light travel than canon would indicate. This may be somewhat for efficiency but also could be a design choice, the limited thrust capacity of the smaller engines could allow for the fact that there are no engines that face forward to slow the craft during sub-light flight. It is safe to assume the ship uses thrusters and / or a warp field to slow the vessel.
Within canon we see this, numerous times throughout the series and movies a vessel without warp drive is portrayed as significantly handicapped and this is likely because the system is so heavily relied upon even for sub-light maneuvering.
Star Wars Ships Moving
The best reference to Star Wars vessels moving comes in Episode V, the Empire Strikes Back where a group of 3 Imperial Star Destroyers are fighting the Millennium Falcon. In the scene the Falcon is able to run circles around the Star Destroyers themselves but harassed by fighters when Solo pilots the Falcon to run the two groups of Star Destroyers head-to-head with each other and then getting out of the way. The impending collision is barely avoided with the singular Star Destroyer orders evasive maneuvers and pulls up hard to avoid the collusion. We see a few things during this clip; for one that the Star Destroyers can become agile along their current path of flight but when faced with impending collision find it easier to change direction than to slow down. The three ships chasing the Falcon are unable to keep up with the smaller Falcon's movement.
Since Star Wars vessels don't employ space-time manipulation in sub-light travel, we can assume that other than inertia (as specified earlier) to protect the crew, they still must apply classical Newtonian physics. This has a few implications of this, for one we see the size of the main engines of really all the ships within the Star Wars universe indicates that they are indeed powerful conventional engines using some sort of gas propellant to push the vessels along their forward axis. It is also important to note that there are not corresponding engines forward-facing engines, similar to that of Star Trek vessels, is a huge problem for stopping or slowing down along the direction of flight. With engines that large it is inconceivable that enough thrusters exist along the space craft to slow it down. This also explains why Star Wars vessels are so large with such heavy reliance on auxiliary craft. Large space craft in Star Wars are depicted almost as massive battle stations that jump into locations and then send out fighters, shuttles, or other smaller ships. This makes sense for a ship designed in such a way that its massive engines can move the massive ship to high speeds but the ship would literally have to turn around and apply reverse thrust in the opposite direction in order to stop.
Within canon we see Star Destroyers jump in and immediately deploy fighters but remain held back. Such vessels would also be extremely armor plated with powerful shields as they would be easy targets for smaller vessels.
Power Balancing & Design Implications
So what are the implications of all this?
Before I begin this, however, I'd like to state that this only comes into play during a direct comparison between the two. Stories should focus less on capabilities and more on the characters involved. In truth, neither Star Trek nor Star Wars ships are designed really well for actual space travel in a hard-science sort of way. Star Wars ships are designed the best, massive engines that propel the ship forward, but they are always depicted as on with the colloquial understanding about engines needing to be burning and going all the time (as with Jets) it gives the idea that they are always accelerating somewhere. In Star Trek the ships travel vast distances with no regard for the actual stats posted on how fast the ship could or not could not if it was real and Star Wars gets around much of this by just even explaining how anything works.
In the end both ships have incredibly massive design flaws and are portrayed in at times conflicting ways within each stories own continuity. The scene with the ship going jumping to Light Speed in the recent Star Wars Episode 8 is absolutely ludicrous (if that was possible you'd make missiles that are nothing more than a hunk of mass and a hyperdrive). Likewise Star Trek has the Enterprise at one point travel hundreds if not thousands of lightyears in the span of a few hours.
The point of this section is to provide a framework for conflicts and interactions between Star Wars, Star Trek, and other genre's vessels in the same game so that everyone is playing by the same rules. It is not meant to be hard and fast, written in stone.
Capital ships such as those in Star Wars would be incredibly handicapped in terms of sub-light movement in a general sense. It would be easy to turn them to face whatever direction one wanted or even alter their direction of flight by small amounts at a time (imagine turning around in your car but somehow it keeps going down the freeway in the same direction you started). Such massive vessels with such powerful sub-light engines would be heavily armored, heavily shielded, and be nearly immune to tractor beams from smaller vessels. They have the room and man-power for massive power plants allowing them to soak significant damage. A well managed fleet of fighters could hold out for a long time under those conditions. A Star Destroyer or other capital class ship would be a mobile armored fortress with highly advanced communications, sensors, tractor beams, and other ancillary systems designed to bring things to them and destroy them.
The sub-light engines would be powerful enough to break through almost any tractor beam given their size and power capacity of the ship based on the size.
Devoting so much power to the warp drive is limiting. This is likely why there is no canonical star ship that is thousands of meters long, it is probably just too hard to produce enough power to generate a warp field of that size. A Star Trek vessel has to use a lot of power to move the way it does and relies heavily on it's FTL drive system. It can produce a lot of power for it's size but mostly for the engines, maintaining full engine power would weaken weapons and shields, likewise having to dump a lot of power into shields would limit how effective the ship could move and how agile. Given that Star Trek vessels are designed to show up, move around, and investigate with the main ship they can move quickly and agilely but are not designed to soak damage but rather to avoid it. They would also become very limited if their Warp Drive was damaged or non-functional. The ships are designed to be very reliant on the warp field's alteration of space-time.
Since mithril is a construct originally by J. R. R. Tolkien as a substance that dwarves made into a metal which was harder and stronger than steel. Within the context of the game, mirthil is not identical to tritanium, i.e. it is not the same substance but as far as properties of strength and durability is equals that of tritanium. Within the context of the game, it is also made from iron forging it in a magical fire during a long and laborious process. This is not canon to a particular other setting, and certainly not the Lord of the Rings universe, but was come up with by one of our players. This deviates from Lord of the Rings, where it states the mithril is a substance that is then turned into a metal by dwarves.
Photon Torpedoes and Proton Torpedoes
For the purposes of the game, it is figured that a Proton Torpedo has a similar effective yield to a Photon Torpedo although they operate differently.
A Photon Torpedo uses a matter/antimatter warhead to produce an explosion when the magnetic containment fields collapse either when the torpedo runs out of power, is set to detonate, or impacts a target.
Proton Scattering Warhead
A proton torpedo scatters protons from the warhead in question. Since a scattering of protons is essentially ionized particles (specifically hydrogen nuclei), this is probably most similar in Star Trek to a Plasma Torpedo used by the Romulans in the 23rd century. Within the canon of Star Trek these were seen to have limited range but be incredibly powerful, more powerful then Federation defenses at the time, the only way the Enterprise could avoid them was to reverse engines and outrun the torpedo. Thus it is completely within canon of a plasma based torpedo to be incredibly powerful.
Hyperspace and Otherspaces
Most venues of science fiction have mentions of some kind of extra-dimentional space. Many call it Hyperspace when it is used for faster than light travel. In Warhammer 40k there is the concept of The Void, in Babylon 5 there is also a Third Space which was inhabited by some dangerous alien creatures. Star Trek, too, comes with its own baggage of alternate planes of reality.
Within the Solas Tempus Universe (Blazing Umbra Setting) the term Hyperspace is used in reference to travel through a subspace domain based on Babylon 5 (see Spacetime, Subspace, and Hyperspace for more information on that). That does not, however, mean that Star Wars characters must used this Babylon 5 style Hyperspace to travel.
Within Star Wars the term Hyperspace is defined as an alternate dimension of spacetime. This fits well within the confines of Star Trek which defines subspace as having an infinite number of tertiary subspace manifolds, described as a honeycomb with an infinite number of cells. These manifolds are usually referred to in the Blazing Umbra Setting as Subspace Domains, which correspond to various regions which provide unusual physical and energy characteristics. Within the game, the Babylon 5 Hyperspace is thus described as one such subspace domain, the Dimensional Fold Drive also uses this definition of layers of subspace not only being cells of reality each with its own universe in it but that there is a kind of gradient of physical laws shifting between one domain and another. See articles on Spacetime, Subspace, and Hyperspace, The Void, and Subspace Domains for more information on this.
As such, a Star Wars vessel using their hyperdrive would push their vessel (or jump) into Hyperspace as normal, and this space would simply be another Subspace Domain where the physical laws work differently. It is also noted that within the Star Wars Hyperspace massive objects such as planets and stars have shadows within Hyperspace which facilitate the need for extensive course calculations to avoid such things. Within Star Trek this would indicate that vessels are moving through a domain of subspace very close to normal space (as Star Wars terms is realspace). Since Star Wars hyperdrives use Hypermatter, which is a form of matter that is tacyonic rather than baryonic (normal matter) and found within hyperspace. There is little information on how this matter is collected and thus a vessel running on Hypermatter that does not have the capabilities of gathering such would require an alternate fuel source since it is also noted that massive amounts of it are required.
A special case of Hyperspace is from the game Starfinder which uses Drift. Drift is described as being a hyperspace dimension, which puts it firmly within the scope of this section. Similar to Hyperspace from Babylon 5, beacons are required to safely traverse from one point to another. As such, we're going to assume that a Drift Engine is another way to enter the Babylon 5 style Hyperspace. In the game it is possible to Drift while within the Drift, the game doesn't explore this operation much, however in this context we are going to assume that it plunges a vessel deeper into the subspace domain of Hyperspace creating a weaker connection with normal space. We are assuming this due to storyline reasons (as of 12/30/2017 this idea is being used for a plot involving an Infinity Wave), even though it really doesn't say anywhere in the game canon or in Babylon 5 canon that such a thing can be done. It would be considered extremely dangerous.
Fuel Without Hypermatter
It is noted that some Hyperdrive systems are able to use antimatter for fuel and the jump to Hyperspace is described as a vessel riding waves in space-time. This is similar to how Warp Drive works, described as creating distortions in local space-time. This also means that it might be possible for a Warp Drive enabled vessel to make use of Star Wars style Hyperspace within game, though this should be cleared with a member of the Staff before doing.
A matter/antimatter reactor can be used as a replacement for the Hypermatter reactor or modifications made to the Hypermatter reactor made to accept antimatter so that Star Wars vessels can continue to exist, use their Hyperdrive, and fly around within the setting.
The Warp / Void from Warhammer 40k
In Warhammer 40k there is this idea of The Warp which is a special realm of space which is composed of psychic energy. This idea is similar to an idea from Star Trek of a realm where thoughts become reality. Star Trek is never going to be anywhere near as dark as Warhammer 40k but this can be accounted for. Within the Blazing Umbra Setting it is stated in the article on The Void that there is this distance between different realities in the multi-verse. This distance is called the void, as one gets closer to a particular reality the void changes to gradually match the reality in question. This also goes back to the idea of subspace being composed of infinite manifolds, each with its own physical laws and properties.
Thus, the Warp is simply the area of The Void from the Blazing Umbra Setting immediately surrounding the Warhammer reality. As the article The Void notes, most areas surrounding a reality are smooth transitions of void-energy native to that region between realities, this makes the Warp atypical. Using this definition, the void energy used by Warhammer 40k characters would work differently within Blazing Umbra Setting as they would be unable to draw from their native void. Since the void for each region is different it would be left up to a Staff member how reality reacted to void energy being drawn and used by a character capable of doing so. This is meant as a power-balancer to give 40k characters their abilities but impose limitations on those abilities as needed.
This is not to be confused with the similarly named Void from Warhammer 40k, which is also another layer of subspace between the reality of Warhammer and other realities and is also not the same as the Warp.
In the setting of Star Wars, a considerable amount of the plot revolves around The Force, according to the first movie released (Episode 4, Star Wars: A New Hope) the force is an energy field generated by all living things. In this capacity, The Force is similar to many different stories ideas of magic. Including this one. In the Blazing Umbra setting the idea of Magical Energy is quite similar, that being where an energy field exists throughout the universe, this is then divided into Ley Lines and Wells (see the appropriate page for more). While Star Wars does not have this quality, it is analogous in the fact that there is a generalized energy field.
In this capacity, The Force is to be treated the same as Magical Energy. Similarly, in Star Wars, there are only some people who have the ability to use The Force. In fact, within pop culture, Jedi Knights (who are trained experts are using The Force) are sometimes called Space Wizards. Thus, a user of The Force within Star Wars translates to a Mage / Wizard / Sorcerer within the Blazing Umbra setting - as well as associated Embers of Soteria and Angelic Sins settings.
Within the Star Wars universe one of the background artifacts is that of a Kyber Crystal, said to be a living crystal and attuned to The Force. These crystals (or similar crystals / objects attuned to The Force) are at the heart of a Light Saber, as such they are an important part of the setting of Star Wars. There is no direct analogy for these within the Blazing Umbra setting for the crystals, nothing exactly matches. That being said, the best match is of the Solar Crystal, an object which draws its power from the fabric of reality and one of the only known objects to generate magical energy. Given these similarities, a Solar Crystal or an Aurora Crystal are both analogous for Kyber Crystals within the Blazing Umbra setting.
This proposed analogy has the added complication for characters coming from the Star Wars universe, that a Solar Crystal bonds to its owner in a psychic link, which works well for the definition of how a Light Saber works, it also means they cannot be easily passed from one person to another. This inconsistency is a great place to apply some of the Fudge but players should be aware of it. Aurora Crystals do not suffer from this same problem, however and might make better choices for players when crafting an item that will need to be used by many different people.
Within the description of the Light Saber, it specifies that some Jedi use other objects rather than just crystals - but they are all attuned to The Force, this is analogous to creating a magical artifact which focuses existing magical energies. As such, a magical artifact can be created, that is not a crystal, which allows a Jedi to be attuned to the light saber.
Vibranium is more problematic in the Blazing Umbra setting as it is listed as having some rather incredible properties, saying that it is an ore not naturally found on Earth that came to earth in a meteor and is capable of absorbing sound and kinetic vibration energy into itself with little or no effect on its own internal structure.
Comparison to Star Trek
The closest material that even comes close is the Star Trek universe material of neutronium which is a rare and super-dense material found within neutron stars. The exact characteristics are not specified, but it is known to be incredibly resistance to phaser fire, sensors are unable to penetrate it, and neither the Federation nor the Borg have ever been able to reproduce it. An unknown race did reproduce it, however, in the form of the planet killer encountered by the USS Constellation and the USS Enterprise as well as others.
Since the exact properties of the substance are not said, it is certainly possible that it has the seemingly impossible qualities of vibranium, able to somehow absorb seemingly infinite amounts of kinetic energy without disturbing its molecular structure.
Comparison with Blazing Umbra
In the Blazing Umbra setting, vibranium is considered to be the same as neutronium. It cannot be replicated and does indeed possess the obvious qualities for which is it known in the Marvel Comics universe. However, this substance is exceedingly rare and thus any character bringing it in from another universe would undergo extra scrutiny to explain how they got the substance and further scrutiny in its usage during gameplay.
Adamantium is used in several different series. But it is defined as coming from Greek Mythology, being a mix of diamonds, other gemstones and some metal. The two instances that have come up in this game are that of its use in Warhammer 40k and in the Marvel Comics universe.
- Warhammer 40k
- Doesn't really define is specifically just as the hardest substance known to the Imperium. It also says that most of the vessels, vehicles, and power armor are made of the substance.
- Marvel Comics
- Defines the metal much more specifically, saying that it is an artificial substance made from steel, vibranium, and some unknown catalyst. It is supposed to be super dense and nearly indestructible. It even says a sword made out of the substance can cut through nearly anything.
There are of course other mentions of the substance (see the first reference for this section for a comprehensive list). This article does not pretend to cover everything.
Comparison with Blazing Umbra
Since the Blazing Umbra setting is based on Star Trek, they have the substance of Tritanium which is an ore which is 21 times harder than diamond. It is not listed as being the hardest substance, however. The Warhammer 40k material could easily be a Tritanium alloy, since Tritanium is used in construction of most vessels in the Star Trek universe as well. Given that it is so many times more than diamond, for the purposes of Blazing Umbra, Warhammer 40k Adamantium is Star Trek Tritanium.
In terms of Marvel Comics Adamantium, the substance is harder to give a good correlation to in terms of what it might be in a Star Trek universe. Since the substance is said to be made from vibranium, we can also figure that adamantium is an alloy made with neutronium and thus also cannot be replicated. In the course of Blazing Umbra's history this material does not exist and has never been made. A character bringing in Marvel Comics Adamantium would be subject to extra scrutiny of game play and back story to sufficiently explain how they got the substance.
- Laser (Actual Definition)
- A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation, in this case lasers are highly focused and very pure beams of light in a certain frequency range.
- Laser (Star Trek)
- A directed-energy technology utilizing a beam of light, with all wavelengths equal and all particles in phase with one another. Due to this, the photon's motion was almost parallel, which allowed the beam to travel over a great distance with very little increase of the beam's square area, and therefore with little loss of energy per area.
- Laser (Star Wars)
- A laser was a beam of focused energy operating under the same principles as blaster weaponry. Energy-rich gas would be converted to a glowing particle beam that could melt through targets.
Clearly the way Star Trek defines laser technology is much the same way it actually works. A laser being a focused beam of light energy in the form of photons which all have the same phase (that is to say they are all sharing the same wave-length and thus the same color spectrum). The way that Star Wars defines a Laser is very different, however, it defines a Laser to be a focused particle energy beam of energy rich gases. The pharse energy rich gases is, in this context, most likely electrically charged or ionized gas, which is also called plasma. That means a Star Wars laser weapon (blaster, laser cannon, turbolaser) is actually a Plasma Weapon in Star Trek terms which is used by many different races.
Since many games, settings, universes, and the like do not spent a lot of time describing how things work, a player can decide if an incoming laser weapon is the Trek style or the Star Wars style of laser. Traditional style lasers are known to be ineffective against vessels that have advanced shields but the technology is still used in mining and other industrial applications, so would still be dangerous without advanced shield technology.
Lasers from Troy Rising Series
Lasers from the book series Troy Rising are far more powerful than standard lasers in the Star Trek franchise, even a medium powered laser is 150 Petawatt. This puts the laser output within the range of the total solar output absorbed by Earth from the sun. In Star Trek, most lasers cannot even penetrate navigational deflectors of the starships, however one exception in canon is that of the Borg cutting beam which is specifically noted to be a laser that the Federation was not expecting to be powerful enough to damage ships. In fact during the battle of Wolf 359 the laser destroyed 2 vessels, at least. While a power level isn't given for the beam, it is reasonable to assume that it is far more powerful than expected. For the purposes of game play we are going to assume that it gets into the Petawatt range (since most Warp Cores don't even range above the Terawatt range).
Further, for the purposes of game play the laser is not particularly effective against shields, which work by using graviton particles in layers for static shields from a shield grid, or emitting from a deflector dish for navigational purposes except in extremely high power output situations. Without the canon of Star Trek specifically saying that laser weapons are not effective against even the navigational deflectors of a starship (see the Outragous Okana episode previously mentioned) one would assume that lasers of this power would just cut right through a shield grid. Since photons have relatively no mass it makes sense that gravitons would not be overly effective. However, in another episode, Yesterday's Enterprise, Tasha Yar makes a comment to another person about the shields having higher heat dispersal rates than its predecessor and that allowed to to stay in a fight longer. One can thus assume that through, whatever magic of techno-babble one wants, how the shields operate they convert incoming energy into heat which is then dispersed at a certain rate.
One thus assumes that if the rate of heat dispersal isn't high enough to disperse all the incoming heat, that shield components will overload and thus lower the effectiveness of the shields. This is speculation, but for the purposes of game play we can go with this as a reasonable explanation. Further, a laser that shoots a beam into the Petawatt range would be effective against shields by virtue of overloading shield systems and thus able to damage shields. We will then figure that the Borg cutting beam operates within the several hundred petawatt range, this also explains why they use it only in short bursts.
Though simple comparison we can allow that lasers from the Troy Rising book series would be effective against shields by way of burning out shield emitters through building up too much heat, but have very little bleed-through damage, unlike Phasers and Photon Torpedoes which have 5-20% bleed-through damage according to Star Trek Online. Lasers will not have this benefit and will only do damage to the hull once the shields have been depleted. Once shields have been depleted, the hull will take significant heat damage especially from prolonged exposure to a focused beam.
It is Star Trek canon that the precursors to Phase Cannons were Plasma Weapons, however, it should not be a foregone conclusion that all plasma weapons are inferior to phasers, disruptors, and other known weapons used often in the later 24th and early 25th centuries. In fact, it is known that forced plasma beams are used by the Borg and other races as well . This means a plasma weapon can be just as powerful as a phaser or disruptor. All of which are classified as particle weapons and thus it can be kluged together that races coming in from other universes to this setting with plasma weapons might be as powerful as the standard weapons present.
Warhammer 40k has weapons that are called Melta Weapons which use a micro-fusion reaction to produce superheated plasma so hot that it can burn (or melt) through nearly anything, turning a target into scraps of molten slag.
Comparison to Blazing Umbra
It has been seen that a Type II Phaser set to level 16 can vaporize solid granite as well as heat rocks to a near-motel state on a low heat setting. Clearly the two weapons work differently and the Melta Weapons are designed to be as destructive as possible both to the target and anything in its way. However, that being said if the weapons were to be compared, the Phaser would be just as much destructive capabilities as the Melta Weapon if properly configured for a wider beam and a higher heat. Additionally. Plasma weapons exist which could be configured for similar effects. The fusion-based power source is outstripped in its effective ability to produce massive power and heat by the matter/anti-matter reactions commonly used in Star Trek.
Used as a Missile / Bomb
Warhammer 40k makes note of various bombs used which produce devastating explosions by attaching to vehicles or massive high-capacity bombs which are several thousand kilograms heavy used by starships. In terms of a comparison to Blazing Umbra, these follow the same design attitudes, of being really, really big but essentially deploying the same thing as the smaller versions. Star Trek uses matter/antimatter warheads in the form of Photon Torpedoes. These are more efficient at converting matter directly into energy than any fusion device (this is backed up by the fact that a fusion power plant cannot produce enough power to take a ship into warp, where a matter/antimatter reactor can). In matter/antimatter reaction the entire quantity of matter is converted into high energy plasma. In an explosive warhead this is devastating. By comparison a fusion device would only convert a small portion of the effective mass into energy, since fusing materials together releases a certain amount of mass as energy but the end-produce produced is new matter composed of the old matter.
Thus pound-for-pound a fusion-based Melta Weapon cannot be as destructive as a Photon Torpedo or other matter/antimatter device. This is, however, compensated for somewhat that no known force in Star Trek uses 10 thousand kilograms of matter and antimatter in their devices. That being said, there is nothing say that one couldn't do that if one wanted to. It is just not part of the paradigm of Star Trek's general storyline.
There are also other devices, including the Tricobalt Device and Quantum Torpedoes which increase destructive capacity through the use of subspace, warp, and zero-point energy / multi-dimensional technologies.
- Molten Aether forum post about the shields and weapon yields
- Deflector Shields Article on Memory Alpha Wiki
- The Enterprise D is destroyed by a direct impact to the Warp Nacelle in the Star Trek the Next Generation episode S05E18 Cause and Effect
- What-If article on the effects of a Relativistic Baseball
- Wikipedia Article on Newton's Laws of Motion
- Wikipedia Article on the Newton
- Memory Alpha Article on Artificial Gravity
- Wookieepedia Article on Artificial Gravity
- Wikipedia Article on Standard Gravity
- Wikipedia Article on Inertia
- The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M. Krauss ISBN 978-0465002047
- Wikipedia Article on g-force
- Wookieepedia Article on the Inertial Compensator
- PBS Article on Gravity Forces
- Memory Alpha Article on Warp Drive
- Memory Alpha Article on Warp Fields
- Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back at approximately 37 Minutes
- Wikipedia Article on Mithril
- Memory Alpha Article on Photon Torpedoes
- Wookieepedia Article on Proton Torpedoes
- Memory Alpha Article on Plasma Torpedoes
- Star Trek Original Series Season 1 Episode 8 Balance of Terror
- Wookiepedia Article on Hyperspace
- Memory Alpha Article on the Tertiary Subspace Manifold
- Wookiepedia Article on Hypermatter
- Drift from the Starfinder Wiki
- Memory Alpha Article on Warp Drive
- Warhammer 40k Wiki Article on Immaterium
- Star Trek the Next Generation Season 1 Episode 6 Where No One Has Gone Before
- Wookiepedia Article on The Force
- Comedic YouTube Video about the destruction of the Death Star
- Wookiepedia Article on the Kyber Crystal
- Wookiepedia Article on the Lightsaber Crystal
- Marvel Database Wiki Article on Vibranium
- Memory Alpha Article on Neutronium
- Star Trek Original Series Season 2 Episode 9 The Doomsday Machine
- Wikipedia Article on Adamantium
- Warhammer 40k Wiki
- Marvel Database Wiki Article on Adamantium
- Memory Alpha Article on Tritanium
- Star Trek the Next Generation Season 2 Episode 4 The Outragous Okana in a conversation between Worf, Riker, and Picard
- Wikipedia Article on the Laser
- Memory Alpha Article on the Laser
- Wookieepedia Aritcle on the Laser
- Wikipedia article on Plasma
- Memory Alpha Article on the Forced Plasma Beam
- Borg Cutting Beam Article on Memory Alpha Wiki
- Ship Shields Article on Star Trek Online's Gameopedia Wiki
- Memory Alpha Article on Plasma Weapons
- Memory Alpha Article on Particle Weapons
- Warhammer 40k Wiki Article on Melta Weapons
- Star Trek the Next Generation Technical Manual
- Memory Alpha Article on the Phaser
- Wikipedia Article on Nuclear Fusion
- Memory Alpha Article on Tricobalt
- Memory Alpha Article on the Quantum Torpedo