Energy Swords

Referred to by a number of different names, these energy swords are the ultimate in melee weapons, and in the hands of a trained user can even be used to defend against ranged attacks.

A common design utilizes a gravitic field to create a variably-solid containment sheath for a powerful continuous ion, laser, or fusion stream. The gravitic field shapes the energy, gives solidity when blocking or parrying, and the energy stream is otherwise allowed to burn things touched. Basic models use a thumb switch to control the field’s mode. Others have a gravitically solid center. Older designs simply have an on/off toggle.

The resulting “lasersword” or “plasmablade” has incredible destructive capabilities. It can cut through bulkheads, vaporize projectiles mid-flight, ignite flammable material, and reflect energy blasts. The light weight of the energy “blade” means these are very fast weapons, good for lightning-quick strikes, blocks, and parries. The wielder’s melee (blade) score is considered to be +1 for the purposes of reducing the attacker’s attack role when parrying. Parries can also be made against ranged attacks with these weapons. For example – a character wielding one of thees laser-swords with the skill melee (blade) 2 would reduce the attacker’s roll by 3 points when they used the parry action.

These blades also allow a new type of reaction, known to the laser-saber masters as the “bunt block” (the origin of this phrase is lost to time). When successfully parrying a projectile attack with one of these weapons, the wielder can then make a difficult (-6) melee (blade) skill check to redirect the attack against a nearby target. Target reactions to dodge and rules for cover apply as though this were a regular attack roll.

Some of these weapons utilize specially tuned psionic crystals to allow psychic users to channel their mental powers into the weapons. Due to the nature of the psi-crystal’s tuning, these generally need to be purpose-built, either by the wielder, or by one versed in psionic crystallography. These versions add the wielder’s psionic attribute bonus to attack rolls and damage dealt and increase the cost of the weapon by %50.

At the referee’s discretion untrained users who bungle while wielding these blades might accidentally dismember or maim themselves.

Some versions include advanced safety controls that modulate the gravitic containment field in such a way that the wielder cannot hit themselves with the blade. A gravimetric sensor attached to a purpose-built safety computer controls the field, connected to an additional gravitic field that prevents the energy blade from touching whoever is holding the hilt. This safety feature increases the cost of the weapon by %30.

Long-handled energy spears are a variation on these weapons, but due to their shorter blades are not as good for defense, and give no bonus on parries. Short-bladed energy dirks are also sometimes built for close-quarter fighting, but are also not as useful for defense. Neither are usable for parrying ranged attacks – only the swords allow enough coverage.

Energy Swords

Weapon – TL, Required Skill, Damage, Heft, Cost (Cr.), Mass (Kg), Special

Basic – TL 14, melee (blades), 3d6 damage, 0 heft, 3,000 Cr., 2 Kg, Ultra-AP (ignores 6 points of armor)

Advanced – TL 15, melee (blades), 4d6 damage, 0 heft, 5,000 Cr., 2 Kg, Ultra-AP (ignores 8 points of armor)

Supreme – TL 16, melee (blades), 5d6 damage, 0 heft, 10,000 Cr., 2 Kg, Ultra-AP (ignores 10 points of armor)

Psi-crystal – TL 16, melee (blades), 5d6 + Psi modifier damage, 0 heft, 15,000 Cr., 2 Kg, Ultra-AP (ignores 10 points of armor)

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Kraken – heavy quadruped amphibious walker

krakenMechTopSmDesigned to defend static emplacements or settlements from land, sea, or air units, these massive four-legged combat walkers have a heavily armored hull that is streamlined for underwater movement. This allows them to also serve as fire-support platforms assisting amphibious assaults, or to attack boats and naval forces from the darkness of the sea.

The primary armament of the Kraken is an immense 35 mm mass driver. Mounted in a turret and fired from the walker’s stable four-legged chassis this mass driver has a range of 25 kilometers and is capable of destroying almost any target smaller than an armored spaceship.

For attacking targets while under the water, the Kraken uses a “blue-green” laser cannon that is wavelength-tuned for optimal sub-marine range in a small chin turret, typically operated by the Kraken’s commander.krakenMechSm

Finally, to strike airborne targets, they mount an anti-aircraft TAC missile with a range of 50 kilometers. On an external hard point, it can instead carry an anti-armor or anti-personnel TAC missile. (more…)

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Einhorn – heavy quadruped combat walker

einhornMechSmA larger, updated successor to the venerable Quarterhorse mech chassis, the Einhorn class combat walker also saw extensive use at the dawn of the stellar era. Like the Quarterhorse, they mount the main weapon in a small forward turret, in this case a gatling laser with a range of 5 km. Mission versatility is achieved through two light TAC missile hard points, which can carry anti-armor, anti-personnel, or anti-air missiles as needed.

They are still sometimes used as command units due to their long-range communications, heavy armor, and extensive defensive systems. On the battlefields of the Inheritance wars they were frequently deployed to provide fire support and anti-air cover for lances of Quarterhorse mechs.

Einhorn heavy quadruped combat walker with long range air defense capabilities
System Details
Cost (Cr.) 1,314,200
TL 10
Skill drive (walker)
Agility 0
Speed 80 kph
Range 300 km
Crew 1
Cargo none
Open no
Hull 6
Structure 7
Armor 40, (60 front, 40 left and right, 20 rear, 40 top, 40 bottom, 60 turret front, 40 turret sides, 20 turret rear)
Shipping Size 30 tons
Height (m.) 8
Weapons light turret with TL 8 gatling laser (6d6, auto 2, distant range)
2 hard points for light TAC missiles (missiles not included)
Extras AFV
extra legs (+1 drive on rough or uneven ground, +1 to hit)
laser anti-missile system (TL 10, +1 to negate hits)
advanced controls (+1 agility)
advanced sensors (+2, very distant)
standard navigation (+2)
TL 10 communications (encrypted continental)
long term life support
prismatic aerosol
extra armor x 4

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Combat Walkers of the Confederation of Planets – Quarterhorse

These combat walkers, or “mechs” as they are more commonly called, are old tech level (TL) 9 and 10 designs used by the Confederation of Planets in wars past. Occasional examples of these vehicles show up in the planetary defense forces of Confederation worlds, in the private armies of mercenaries, and in the hands of rich collectors of expensive weapons. Others are seen in the form of copies, variants, and equivalents on low-tech worlds.

Quarterhorse – light quadruped military walkerquarterhorseMechSm

A basic four-legged mech, the Quarterhorse is relatively fast, very sure-footed, and provides a nimble firing platform for its heavy autocannon. Good out to a range of about 500 meters, the autocannon can threaten most light or medium armored units.

Still used for patrols or perimeter defense, they were mainly used in assaults as infantry support vehicles. Their, agility, build, and high forward turret placement give their “mech-jockeys” the ability to crouch the mech behind cover and pop up to fire.

Quarterhorses are sometimes mockingly referred to as “poor planeteer’s battle armor”, as they provide protection and armament similar to the powered personal armor of higher-technology forces at a fraction of the price.

Lacking life-support, pilots using them in hostile environments must wear vac suits or otherwise make arrangements for their respiration.

Quarterhorse light quad military walker, general purpose
Cost 428,000 Cr.
TL 9
Skill drive (walker)
Agility +2
Speed 102.5 kph
Range 300 km
Crew 1
Cargo none
Open no
Hull 2
Structure 3
Armor 20 (30 turret front, 10 turret rear)
Shipping Size 10 tons
Height 2 meters
Weapons small turret with

  • heavy autocannon (8d6 Semi-AP (ignores 4 points of armor), distant range) + 1,500 rounds
  • heavy machinegun (5d6 AP (ignores 5 points of armor), rifle range) + 3,500 rounds
Extras AFV
2 extra legs (+1 DM on rough terrain, +1 DM to attack rolls)
advanced controls (+1 agility)
basic navigation (+1)
TL 6 communications
advanced sensors (+2 bonus, very distant range)
increased speed
Keep your eyes here on Claw/Claw/Bite for more designs coming soon!

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The Mutane of Ruwa’duniya

Homeworld: Ruwa’duniyaMutaiOrigMed

Mass: 9/14,400 KM (1.25g)
Atmosphere: 11/Corrosive
Temperature: 11/Hot
Hydrology: 9/ 86-95% surface is water
Population: 7/ Tens of millions

Starport: 7/Class C
Government: Rating 10
Factions: 2
First faction: rating 8, Hereditary Oligarchy
Second faction: rating 8, Captive government (Imperial colony)
Law level: 10
TL: 13

Race: The Mutane

Ecological Stock: Carnivore/Chaser
Gender: 2 genders
Reproduction: Live-bearing
Size: Large
Locomotion: Swimmer/legs
Symmetry: Bilateral Symmetry, 3 pairs of limbs
Limbs: 1 pair locomotion (fin/feet combination,) 2 pair manipulators (1 pair humanoid arms/hands, 1 pair tentacles.)
Speed: Fast (12 m on land, 18m in water)
Ability scores: Str 3d6+1 Dex 1d6+1 End 3d6 Edu 2d6+1 Soc 2d6+1 Int 2d6
Starting age: 18
Base height: 245cm + 4d6x5
Base weight: 260kg + 4d6x5
Alien traits:
Atmospheric requirement
Heat endurance
Fire resistance
Cold vulnerability
Natural swimmer
Multiple limbs
Natural armor
Natural weapons: claw/bite
Low-light vision
Acute hearing


The Mutane evolved to be the dominant species on the planet Ruwa’duniya, a water world situated on the Imperial border with the Skein Reach, which has only a handful of scattered islands on its surface.  Imperial xenobiologists theorize that the Mutane were uplifted by the ancients and given self-awareness hundreds of millennia ago from aquatic mammals like Terran dolphins or orcas.  Unlike the Terran cetaceans, the Mutane had evolved with legs that allowed them to move about on the islands that dotted the planet, and two sets of limbs that allowed fine manipulation of tools.
Already being the apex predators worldwide, the uplift led to the Mutane dominating all aspects of the environment on Ruwa’duniya.  Over time, tribes formed and the Mutane developed an oligarchic government. Several hundred years ago, Imperial scouts discovered Ruwa’duniya and the mineral deposits hidden beneath the ocean, leading to an attempt at conquering the world.
While the Empire managed to subjugate and win over part of the Mutane population, the others maintained their traditional government and began a long, quiet war against the Empire and their fellows who had accepted imperial rule. The rebel oligarchic Mutane often will venture off-planet, particularly if they are from a family near the bottom of the society, these sojourns usually last a few years at a time, although some Mutane have left their home for good.  The rebels also send envoys to the Federation and the more powerful operators in the Skein Reach, looking for help with removing the empire from their world.
Those who swear allegiance to the Emperor are valued as shock troops, both in zero-g and in operations on other worlds with large amounts of water. The Mutane tendency to have psi-talent also led to recruitment into the Emporor’s cult of psions (called the S’ith in guarded whispers).


The Mutane are clearly aquatic, with heavy bullet-like torsos and thick legs and arms ending in webbed hands and feet that sport short, sharp claws.  They tend to have very short, thick necks and wedge-shaped heads.
Mutane have large eyes that have very little white and no pupil, and a vast variety of iris colors that change for many different reasons. Close medical examination of Mutane eyes has revealed that the irises actually contain many different pupils that adjust in size to control light reception, they also have multiple lenses that allow very acute sight both above and under water.
The eyes are located on either side of a stout bony ridge that supports a head fin, as well as what Imperial xenobiologists refer to as a “snorkel” that allows the Mutane to breathe without completely surfacing.
Circling the neck and coming up over the back of the skull are a series of vents that serve as combined auditory and olfactory receptors, providing them with exceptional senses of smell and hearing.
All the openings on the head are protected by extraordinarily tough nictitating membranes that resist the corrosive atmosphere of the planet.
As striking as the other features of the head are, the mouth tends to draw the most attention.  Nearly invisible when closed, when a Mutane opens its mouth it appears to replace the rest of the face with a toothy abyss.  The shape of the mouth makes it difficult for Mutane to vocalize at all, and actual language is out of the question.
Mutane communicate amongst themselves with a complex sign language, for communication with other species they often use a “speech box” that is tied to their nervous system and language centers.  Mutane also often develop basic telepathy which allows communication without issue underwater as well as with other species.
The entire body of the Mutane is covered in tough hide that is ridged and furrowed all over, lending a great deal of hydrodynamic advantage.  The skin ranges in color from green and blue to black.  Some Mutane have iridescent patches of skin, a feature that is prized among members of the rebel oligarchs.

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