"Charged Particle" Weaponry?


General Discussion

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Are there weapons in Starfinder that could accurately be described as "charged particle" weapons like Star Trek's phasers or the LZ Answerer in Resident Evil VIllage?

You can imitate the LOOK of these things with standard lasers and plasma weapons, but they're technically not the same things, and the only things with a label resembling "particle weapon" I can see on AoN are all starship weapons.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What would be the actual difference between a plasma weapon and a particle weapon?


By the physics definition, plasma is indeed made up of charged particles. Likely most electrical damage weapons could also be described as charged particle weapons.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:
What would be the actual difference between a plasma weapon and a particle weapon?

I thought plasma had, like, a canister of specific gases that you vented when you activated it, like a kind of energy super-soaker, while charged particle things didn't emit a beam so much as charged existing particles in the air and target like some kind of super-tightly-focused-microwave.


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
What would be the actual difference between a plasma weapon and a particle weapon?
I thought plasma had, like, a canister of specific gases that you vented when you activated it, like a kind of energy super-soaker, while charged particle things didn't emit a beam so much as charged existing particles in the air and target like some kind of super-tightly-focused-microwave.

Most beams are at least partially composed of particles anyway (see photons, electrons, particle/wave duality rabbit hole)

As far as my limited understanding of physics goes, they'd have to send out some sort of electron/proton/positron in some method to do cause particles in the air to become charged.

I think you're wanting a sci-fi mumbo jumbo gun called a charged particle weapon, but the physics definition is anything that shoots plasma or lightning.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I was mostly thinking in regards to Star Trek phasers. They're apparently distinct from plasma weapons somehow? From what you're saying is true than nearly every sci-fi weapon I'd want to emulate: lightsabers, blasters, omni-blades...it's plasma weapons all the way down?


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I was mostly thinking in regards to Star Trek phasers. They're apparently distinct from plasma weapons somehow? From what you're saying is true than nearly every sci-fi weapon I'd want to emulate: lightsabers, blasters, omni-blades...it's plasma weapons all the way down?

Anything that does electrical damage works too. But, lightsabers and blasters, almost definitely plasma. Omniblades (assuming mass effect) probably hard light weapons of some sort? Phasers are described by various wikias as either plasma or some other made up particle weapon (nadion). Yeah, science terms often mean pretty mundane things in real life (not that plasma is mundane in any way).


I wouldn't exactly call phasers charged particle weapons, they don't behave anything like such. They are pure phlebotinum guns.

Setting aside the actual weapon charts in Starfinder, what kind of stats would a charged particle beam have? Well, a particle beam generally does damage in two ways, electromagnetic and radiation. They deliver electrical charge to the target, causing various effects akin to a bolt of lightning ( which is, note, a beam of charged particles ), and if they have enough energy, they also act as ionizing radiation. So, a low powered particle beam would do electrical damage, and a higher power version would also gain the Irradiate property.

( There are also such things as neutral particle beams, which obviously don't do electrical damage because the particles aren't charged. I don't really have a good way to represent them in Starfinder, because there is no "radiation damage" category, which is pretty much the main effect such a beam would have. )


Starfinder seems to simulate "radiation damage" with some combination of weapon special effects and fire damage.


Perpdepog wrote:
Starfinder seems to simulate "radiation damage" with some combination of weapon special effects and fire damage.

So either a plasma weapon with the irradiated property, or a special weapon that forces saves vs. radiation regardless of armor level.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / "Charged Particle" Weaponry? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Starfinder General Discussion
Looking for GameMaster