Disarming things that go boom! Tools of the Demolitionist Trade

JCab747's picture
October 9, 2019 - 4:33pm

It’s just me and my skeinsuit, thought Raye Veektum as he approached the unexploded bomb that had been planted by a sathar agent.

A few dozen meters away, Veektum’s companions were busy evacuating the crowded monorail station. Not having any dedicated tools of his own, he had borrowed the techkit that belonged to Jill Lucky, one of his companions. Jill's closest brush with danger thus far was hot wiring the ground car that they used to get here.

Sweat began dripping from his brow as he contemplated his chances of success.

Oh why didn’t I splurge on that Demolitions-CAS when I had the chance? Veektum wondered before he began. If  I  fail to disarm the bomb, will the skeinsuit be enough to protect me?

After several moments of examining the detonator, Veektum began working on it when suddenly a flash of light blinded him as a wave of heat enveloped his body…

Technicians can purchase techkits. Characters with the robotics skill can buy a robocomkit. Medics get medkits, while an environmentalist can pick up an envirokit to assist them with their tasks. But, except for the Demolition-CAS (Computer Analysis Scanner) that was introducedin Zebulon’s Guide, the demolition specialist has very little specialized equipment presented in the Star Frontiers game to enhance their skills.

In actuality, the Core Four races would have developed a variety of equipment to defuse and dispose explosives.

Some of this gear includes blast suits, which are designed to protect demolition experts when they are defusing unexploded bombs. Various other tools are available. Then there are Explosion Containment Vessels (ECVs) that can be used to transport munitions or store suspicious objects.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
October 9, 2019 - 4:48pm

Blast Suits

Early bomb disposal soldiers did not have any type of specialized outfits. They either succeeded at defusing a bomb o rfailure often came with fatal results. Blast suits – also called bomb suits – were developed to protect the bomb defusers.

Many of these outfits are heavy body armor. Made to withstand the blast pressures and fragments that are produced during an explosion, this armor can protect a character during combat too, but that is not their intended purpose. A character wearing a blast suit into combat would suffer at least -2 to any initiative rolls.

Regarding Hands/Pseudo-pods. Bomb suits leave the wearer’s hands (or pseudo-pods in the case of dralasites) unarmored so it will not impact the character’s dexterity when performing complex defusing operations. This of course leaves the hands and forearms especially vulnerable to gruesome blast injuries. These suits come with a pair of gloves and wrist guard attachments, which provide some protection against any environmental factors while averting cross contamination of any trace evidence – such as fingerprints – that might be found on an explosive.

Minimal Suit. This blast suit consists of a jacket, apron and helmet. All told, the outfit weighs 5 kilograms. It will protect a character from the first 50 points of explosive blast damage. After that, it will absorb half of the next 50 points of blast damage before being rendered useless. Against all other inertia attacks, it acts like a 40-point skeinsuit.

Drawbacks: The character suffers a -15 percent penalty to  Reaction Speed checks; IM -2. Dexterity checks for actions other than defusing an explosive suffer a -5 percent penalty. Because the suit is made of heavy materials, a character wearing it will start suffering heat stress after 30 minutes of use, which results in an additional -5 percent penalty to all skill and ability checks.

Plastic Armored Suit. This is an early outfit made with ballistic material (Kevlar-like) with reinforced fiber-plastic plates. The suit includes a helmet and face shield and offers protection to the torso, legs and arms. This armor will fully absorb the first 100 points of any explosive blast and then half of the next 50 points of the blast before being rendered useless. Against other inertia attacks, it acts like a normal skeinsuit. It will be ruined after it takes 50 points of non-explosive inertia damage.

While the plastic armored suit will insulate a character against most electrical attacks – unless the wearer is struck in the hands – it offers no protection against fire, sonic, laser, gas, rafflur, maser, tangler, etc. attacks.

Drawbacks: The character’s movement rate is cut in half. Reaction Speed checks suffer a -15 percent penalty; IM -2. Dexterity checks for actions other than defusing an explosive suffer a -10 percent penalty. Because the suit is made of heavy materials, a character wearing it will start suffering heat stress after 30 minutes of use, which results in an additional -5 percent penalty to all skill and ability checks.

Life X-Disposal Suit. This is a more advanced version of the plastic armored blast suit. It includes layers of blast and thermal absorbent gel, better cushioning to reduce damage if a character is knocked over by a blast, and a 5-hour air supply. Again, the demolition specialist’s hands are exposed so the character can perform complex bomb defusing operations.

The Life X-Disposal Suit will absorb the first 200 points of any explosive blast and then the half of the next 50 point of blast damage before it is rendered useless. With some flame-resistant capabilities, it will trim any fire damage that the character suffers by half.

This outfit will act like a normal skeinsuit against other inertia attacks. After absorbing 50 points of non-explosive inertia damage, it will be rendered useless.

This suit will insulate a character against most electrical attacks – unless the character’s hands are struck! Because it has an air supply, the wearer is also protected against most gas weapons unless there is a type where a chemical can be absorbed by the exposed skin. It does not offer defenses from sonic, laser, maser, rafflur, etc. attacks.

A visocom, a hands-free version of a chronocom, can be installed for 55 Credits. The suit is designed so the character can use a variety of Demolition-CAS units along with a specialized demolitions bodycomp.

Drawbacks: The character’s movement rate is cut in half. Reaction Speed checks suffer a -15 percent penalty; IM -2. Dexterity checks for actions other than defusing an explosive suffer a -10 percent penalty. The suit has a limited cooling system, powered by a 2 SEU microdisc, that will last for one hour. After that, the wearer will start suffering heat stress, resulting in an additional -5 percent penalty to all skill and ability checks.

Advanced Explosive Ordnance (AdXO) Disposal Suit. This is a heavy outfit of polyplatebody armor, along with federanium chainmail and exoskeleton capabilities. It is designed to protect the wearer from the pressure and fragments generated by large bombs.

With overlapping plates of armor for maximum protection, suit has layers of energy absorbing gel, foam, and plastics to shield the character inside from an explosion’s blast wave. It offers the wearer defenses against laser, sonic, incendiary, electronic discharge, maser, rafflur, and gas warheads along with limited radiation shielding (up to 20 rads per hour).

The AdXO suit will absorb the first 800 points of any explosive blast and then half of the next 100 points before being rendered useless. Against all other attacks, it acts similar a suit of full polyplate armor. The AdXO suit will take 250 points of non-blast damage before it stops protecting the wearer.  While the suit is intact, the wearer only takes one-fourth damage.

The suit has a 10-hourair supply, a body temperature regulation system that negates any heat stress, and a built-in visocom, the hands-free version of the chronocom. The suit is designed so the character can use a variety of Demolition-CAS units, a specialized demolitions bodycomp, and bio-robotic prosthetics.

Having exoskeleton-like capabilities, the AdXO is a powered, which eliminates all the normal penalties that a character receives from wearing a blast suit. When powered up, the the AdXO will not count against a character’s carrying capacity. Other than these features, it does not offer any other exoskeleton benefits.

An AdXO is powered by two 20 SEU powerclips and can operate for 20 hours continuously.

Bio-Robotic Prosthetics. Since the most vulnerable parts of a demolition specialist are his hands and forearms, Eversafe Enterprises has worked in combination with other companies including Pan-Galactic, Tachton Instruments, and even several Vrusk tradehouses to develop a line of bio-robotic prosthetics,

These units operate as extensions, rather than replacements, of a character’s forelimbs, whether it is for a human, a yazarian, a vrusk, or dralasite. The bio-robotic prosthetics are controlled by the movements of the user’s own hands (or pseudo-pods when it comes to dralasites).

These artificial limbs have tactile sensors that transmit the feeling to the user.  They are also mounted with miniature cameras and lights. The image captured by the cameras can be transmitted to a character’s visocom or helmet heads-up display (Dis-Viz). At the demolition specialist’s option, the image can also be transmitted to a nearby support team.

Although a demolition specialist requires no special skills to operate a bio-roboticprosthetic, in order to use it, the character must have a bodycomp that is equipped with a bio-center (type B) progit and have the appropriate surgically implanted brain transmitter!

When using the bio-robotic prosthetic, the demolition specialists own hands are fully protected from a bomb blast and most other negative environmental conditions.  

These prosthetics are used in pairs. Each individual unit is powered by a 2 SEU microdisc and can operate for 20 hours continuously.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
October 12, 2019 - 7:24am

 Starting Equipment

 Although the original Alpha Dawn rules neglected to provide specific starting equipment for characters with military skills, the remastered version offered the following option:

“A character with a Military PSA should be able to start off with the tools of his trade, just as those in the less militant professions... Only equipment from the core Alpha Dawn game is shown in the table below. Referees may substitute equipment from their own campaign settings, as long as the it sums up to 500Cr.”

For the Demolitionist, the starting equipment would be: 1 Military Skeinsuit, 6 Variable Timers, 3 kilograms of Tornadium D19, and 2 fragmentation grenades.

Computerized Support

Demolition specialists can purchase a variety of support devices including computerized analysis scanners (CAS) and specialized bodycomps. Each CAS has a number of mcroswitches, small gauges and lights, and can accept voice commands and offer audio replies.

Unless otherwise stated, the CAS must be within one meter of the object that will be scanned. Only can a character with the appropriate skills interpret the data provided by a CAS. For example, only someone with a demolitions skill use the Demolitions-CAS.

Notes on CAS. Although Zebulon’s Guide does not provide statistics on power use, assume that all computerized analysis scanners are powered by a 20 SEU clip and they use 1 SEU per hour of operation. They can be plugged into a belt or power backpack.

If a character purchases a Duo-CAS, which combines the operations of two scanners into one, the cost is 20 percent more than each individual unit, but they provided better scanner range and added capabilities.

Demolitions-CAS. This device can analyze explosives, bombs, or mines that are up to two meters away. Its sensors can penetrate through most materials, except for federanium and then tell the operator what type of explosive material is present, what detonation devices are attached, and it provides suggestions on how to defuse it. This CAS grants the character with a +15 percent modifier when defusing explosives and will alert the operator if any anti-handling devices (booby traps) are present.

Demolitions-Electro Duo-CAS. This device is good for characters who also have the Technician skill. The scanning range is boosted to 10 meters – though only 4 meters through the ground. Not only does it have the capabilities of the Demolitions-CAS but it can scan electrical circuitry and power sources.

It will display how a machine – or bomb – is wired. It will indicate any breaks in wiring and suggestions on how to repair it. This device is useful for repairing or rewiring bombs, mines, etc. along with other repairs. This CAS provides the character with a +15 percent bonus for the following Technician sub-skills: Detect Alarms/Defenses, Deactivate Alarms/Defenses and Open Locks (if it is an electronic lock).

Demolitions-Chemical Duo-CAS. Combining the demolitions and chemical CAS units into one device. It will scan an object – up to a metric ton in weight/density – and indicate what natural and synthetic chemicals and compounds are present. If a character has an Environmental Skill, it will provide a +15 percent bonus for Analyze Samples and Ecosystems. But it can be used by a character who just has the Demolitions skill. This duo-CAS provides the demolition specialist with a +30 percent bonus for disarming mines, bombs, charges, and other unexploded munitions.

Demolitions-Geological Duo-CAS.This scanner is useful for a character who has the Demolition and Environmental skills. The geoscanner functions will examine up to a metric ton of geological samples. It will indicate what minerals are present including whether or not any valuable minerals, gases, or oil deposits are nearby. Itwill provide a warning if there are any nearby dangerous elements or geologicalhazards.

Providing a +15 percent bonus for the following Environmental sub-skills: Analyze Samples, this CAS is useful for mining operations. When setting explosive charges for mining )or even conducting a controlled avalanche), the demolition specialist receives a +20 percent bonus and+15 percent bonus for Analyze Demolition Site.  

Demolitions-Magnetic Duo-CAS. This computerized analysis scanner combines the functions of a demolition and magnetic CAS into one unit. Along with the normal functions of the Demolitions-CAS, this CAS can scan up a metallic structure up to one metric ton in density. It will show the character what metals and metal alloys are present. The CAS will reveal structural weak points, strong points, how a structure may react to certain stresses, etc. The scanner can also indicate whether there are any sources of electromagnetic radiation within 10 meters of the CAS, including the the strength, and likely source.

If using the expanded demolition skill presented in Part 3 of the “Things that go boom!” series, this unit will provide a character with a +15 percent bonus for Analyze Demolition Site to determine where to place a charge for maximum impact. This device is very useuful for detecting mines and bombs with magnetic, motion and proximity sensors before entering their range. It improves the character’s mine detection rate by 30 percent.


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
October 12, 2019 - 12:06pm

Basic Demolitions Bodycomp. While a character can purchase and customize any bodycomp, A basic design exists for demolition specialists. It first starts with a battle bodycomp belt– or “battlecomp” for short. With a synthsteel overlay, the battlecomp can withstand most explosions at close range. It has a level 5 hand-print security lock.

Next the basic model has a type B processor pack and a tenpack for power. The progits that come with this model include: Audio-Act (A), Calc-All (A),CAS-Interface (A), Comp-Talk (A), Diz-Viz (A), Helm-Link (A), and Comm-Link (B).This leaves the processor and powerpack with enough space to install up to three more type A or B progits. Other ecommended progits could include a Bio-Center (B) if the demolition specialist wishes to use a bio-robotic prosthetic; along with a Robo-Link (B). The Robo-Link would allow the character to control a specialized demolitions robot or drone directly from his bodycomp rather than a separate control unit.

One of the key benefits of the demolitions bodycomp is that it allows for the hands-free operation of any Demolition-CAS units. The Calc-All progit will provide an additional +5 percent bonus for all demolition skill checks.


Joe Cabadas