Laser scalpel as a melee weapon?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 7, 2017 - 8:12am
I was looking at a page on Alvin Johnson's web site:


http://www.albinjohnson.com/starfrontiers/robots/sf-roblist5.gif And noted in the details of the medical robot that the laser scalpel was described as a weapon. Interesting.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 7, 2017 - 8:17am
My take is that it could be a melee weapon doing 1d10 worth of damage. At 1d10 it's not an exciting weapon but certainly an improvised one. 

I'd allow medics to use their medical skill with it to make a to hit roll on the presumption that it's a tool of the trade and Thier great familiarity with it. 

As a bit of a bonus to a medic due to their knowledge in medicine and anatomy they add their skill level to the damage down with the laser scalpel
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 7, 2017 - 8:20am
Let's say it's powered by a mini SEU disk from Zebs. 1 SEU /hour of operation as a scalpel or 1Seu per attack. No port to jack it into a power belt
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 7, 2017 - 8:27am
Sounds reasonable. It might have one of those negative melee weapon modifiers, however, since I think someone would need to get very close to an opponent to use it.
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 7, 2017 - 12:15pm
-10 melee modifier?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 7, 2017 - 12:32pm
That would probably be appropriate.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 8, 2017 - 7:55am
I would probably go so far as to call it 1d5 worth of damage, and even that is being generous.

Think about it, on the operating table a potential 10 points of damage for an incision is nearly a quarter of the average STA score. By design it is merely intended to open the skin and cut no deeper, unlike conventional weapons that are designed to go considerably deeper. To rate it the same as a single bullet damage from an automatic rifle, I can't digest that comparison.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 8, 2017 - 8:00am
Good points shadow, 

I'm of 2 minds on this now: 

1d5 damage for 1SeU and now we track power on a mini clip for it

OR 

It does 1 point of damage per hit, we don't bother tracking power usage but in the hands of a medic he can add his skill level to damage done due to familiarity with the tool and knowledge of anatomy.

The second option keeps it a limited improvised weapon to be used as a last resort.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 8, 2017 - 8:24am
jedion357 wrote:
Good points shadow, 

It does 1 point of damage per hit, we don't bother tracking power usage but in the hands of a medic he can add his skill level to damage done due to familiarity with the tool and knowledge of anatomy.

The second option keeps it a limited improvised weapon to be used as a last resort.

I like your second option. A skilled medic would know just where to strike whereas someone else would not.
Joe Cabadas

iggy's picture
iggy
February 8, 2017 - 10:51am
I rationalized the 1SEU / hour surgery vs 1SEU / attack like this.  In surgery the scalpel is on only during a cut.  The surgeon lines up for the cut and then presses a trigger while making the cut.  So the scalpel is not on the entire time.  1SEU / hour is an average of any given surgery.   In an attack the user must hold the scalpel button on all the time to be ready for the strike and cut.  Hence it burns through more energy just cutting air.  1SEU per attack is a good rule of thumb to cover any given engagement of say 15 minutes or less.
-iggy

Zulkee's picture
Zulkee
September 22, 2017 - 5:09pm
Don't know about that damage, a scalpel is very sharp it can open a person from sternum to navel fast as heck. And if it seu powered 1d5 not enough, it would cause serious trauma too. But like stated above in a medics hands it would be lethal.....In a none-medic I would use the improvised weapons table with str. bonus added.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 16, 2017 - 11:04am
was thinking about writing this up in the house rules wiki

so consensus on this is -10 melee modifier due to it being small and you need to get close to the target.

and in the hands of a medic it should/would be more lethal than an ordinary improvised weapon- default thinking is +1 of damage/level of medic skill.

For comparison: Punching does 1 pt of damage per 20 points of str.


two options on this are

scalpel holds a mini SEU clip (see zebs) and uses 1 SEU per hour of surgery or 1 SEU per hit in combat and 1d5 damage though there is no concensus on this damage.

other option, called option two above: does one point damage per turn no tracking of energy usage and medic gets a bump in damage from his skill.

Sure on a table a scalpel can open up a body right quick and the rules offer +20 to hit a stunned person so I would apply that modifier to anyone on an exam table.

sould the scalpel be on par with punching?

+1 point of damage for every 20 points of LOG? as well as the previously mentioned +1 point/level of medic skill?

Would not the scalpel be a weapon of the truly desparate hence 1 pt of damage plus a point or two for LOG with medics getting the most bang out of it?

I'm liking option 2 as its less tracking but gives a medic in a dire situation an option, what's dire? Oh forgetting to bring your laser pistol to a wandering monster encounter.

EDIT one more caveat here: no tracking of energy usage but any to hot rolls that miss and are doubles or are 95-00 burn out the scalpel's power source- must be replaced. medic cant do surgery without the scalpel only first aid for 1d10.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 16, 2017 - 4:09pm
Had a duh moment, and realized i should run this by my brother who was an army medic in the emergency room of a combat support hospital in Iraq and now is a nurse administrator running a clinic in AK. 

His take was scalpel as a weapon is only good if sharp, would require dex not str. And produce the wound track of a 22LR but without the force behind it. So im kind of good with 1pt of damage + 1pt/ level of medic skill or maybe 2 pts base damage plus 1 pt medic skill
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!