Go to: [Rare GURPS Items]
by Geoffrey Brent (email@example.com)
This is a class of weapons that might be used by the fashionably rich in a TL 13 setting.
The smartknife looks like a large fighting
knife, with a somewhat oversized hilt. It weighs about
five pounds, but this is not usually apparent (see below
for the reason why.) It features a hyperdense edge to
the blade, and can also function as a vibroblade, giving
it very impressive cutting power.
The hilt contains a small reactionless drive, allowing it
to fly on its own at speeds up to 600 mph, controlled
by a small voice-activated computer. Alternately, the
drive can be used in conjunction with the touch sensors
to improve the knife's handling. The usual modes are:
Although this is a rather flashy toy without the range or
power of a TL 13 handgun, it has its uses. Firstly, it's
concealable - very concealable. It can hover alongside
you in chameleon mode, and become almost impossible
to detect. In close quarters, it's much more controllable
than a gun; it destroys only what it's supposed to, and it's
pretty good at getting through armour. Endurance is pretty
good, especially compared to a power-hungry beam weapon.
- Off (power-saving): at five pounds, it's rather heavy to
use as a knife. Minimum ST 14. Damage as large knife,
+2d+2, armour divisor 10.
- Hover: Applies five lbs lift to allow the knife to float in
midair. This doesn't make it much easier to fight with
(since you still need five times as much force to change
its direction) but it's more comfortable to carry around.
Power consumption 0.25 kW, or 9.25 kW with vibroblade
on. (Adds 1d+3 to damage.)
- Compensate: Touch sensors measure all contact
forces applied to the blade, and the drives apply
quadruple those forces. This makes it handle exactly
as a 1-lb knife. Power consumption about 1 kW, or
10 kW with vibroblade on. You can drop felt weight
to zero, but it doesn't make much difference - the limit
here is how fast you can move your hand.
- Assist: The knife's touch sensors and drives are
used to allow faster movements - rather than being
moved around by the hand, the knife actually pulls
the hand around with it, allowing the wielder to move
his hand faster than if it were empty. This makes the
knife very fast, but unless you have a neural interface
it's very hard to control. This can be used to reduce
an opponent's active defences by anything up to four
points, or enhance your own Knife Parry by the same
amount, but for every point of bonus your Knife skill
drops by 2. Every two hundred hours of training will
reduce your penalty with smartknives by one point.
Because the knife also learns what _you_ want, your
penalty with that particular knife (only) reduces by an
additional one point. (So someone who's trained for 400
hours with his knife reduces penalties by 2, or 4 for that
knife only; he can parry at +1 with any smartknife, or +2
with his own, without penalty.)
- Independent: The knife flies around on its own, obeying
your orders. It might hover beside you, or it might go
out and attack your enemies; it makes quite an adequate
scout. It can be "thrown" in this manner. It can also defend
you (parry = half of its skill, +2 for its Combat Reflexes).
Damage would be about 5d (10), or 6d+3 (10) in vibroblade
mode; although it can move at up to 600 mph, crashing into
someone at this speed will damage it. It can also be used
as a watchdog, sitting around waiting for trouble; the solar
panel allows it to recharge (very very slowly) of its own
Design (using GURPS Robots, Vehicles & High-Tech II)
60-degree F slope. No streamlining.
Tiny compact hardened neural-net +3 Dx brain: Complexity 6, Dx 14, IQ 10.
Basic sensors with peripheral vision, night vision, thermograph, no sense of smell/taste.
Basic communicator, mute, no cable jack.
200-pound vectored TL 13 Mega Thruster. Requires 10 kW at full power, 0.25 kW to hover.
Weapon (body-mounted): Very fine hyperdense vibroblade large knife (uses 9 kW in vibroblade mode.)
Power cells: 2x TL 13 rC cell (12600 kWs.)
Volume: 0.058 cf. Surface area: 1 sf.
Extra-heavy robotic living metal advanced structure. Ht 13, HP 6.
Surface features: Intruder chameleon system, deflector field (PD 8, uses 1.8 kW), DR 100 variable force screen (1 kW), 0.5 square foot solar panel (generates 0.04 kW in Earth-normal sunlight.)
Sealed, touch sensors.
Armour: 48 pounts advanced composite : PD 4. (Front: 96 pts, DR 6.)
Robot skill program: Complexity 6 Knife (16 pts: Dx+4 = 18). Combat reflexes.
Cost: $64 000. Optionally, the skill program can be downgraded to Complexity 5 (8 pts: Dx+3 = 17), which cuts the total cost to just $32 000.
Size modifier -4, speed 300. Top airborne speed 600 mph, aAccel 800 mph/sec, aMR 9 (but vectored thrust can add 40 Gs to this), aSR 3. Total weight: 5 lbs.
Brain [same as smartknife] IQ 10, Dx 14.
Sensors [same as smartknife]
Communicator [same as smartknife]
Propulsion: 800-lb vectored Mega Thruster (uses 40 kW
at full power, or 1 kW to hover.)
Very fine hyperdense vibroblade katana (uses 45 kW in
vibroblade mode; does swing+2d+2(10) cutting damage or
thrust+2d+1(10) impaling damage. Add 1d+3 extra damage
in vibroblade mode.)
Power: rD cell, TL 13 (63 000 kWs; endurance 17 hours
hovering, about 30 minutes at full power or with
vibroblade, about 15 minutes with both.)
Volume: 0.185 cf. Area 2 sf. Size modifier -3.
Extra-heavy advanced robotic living metal structure
(12 hp, HT 13), intruder chameleon system, deflector
field (PD 8, 3.6 kW while running), DR 100 variable
force screen (2 kW while running), 1 sf solar panel
(generates 0.08 kW in Earth-normal sunlight), touch
160 points advanced composite armour.
Software: Skill program (Katana) complexity 6: 16
pts = Dx+3 = 17.
Total: 20 lbs, $101 000. Katana skill program can
be dropped to complexity 5 (8 pts, lvl 16); this
reduces cost to $67 000.
Aerial performance: Max. 600 mph, aAccel 800 mph/sec,
aMR 8.5 (plus 40 G from vectored thrust), aSR 3.
Notes: The smartsword works the same way as the smartknife, except that weight and power usage are greater. When fighting on its own, the katana has ST 32 for damage purposes (minimum ST to life 800 lbs). This makes damage 8d+2(10) cutting or 5d+1(10) impaling; add 1d+3 damage in vibroblade mode.
Both the smartsword and smartknife can attack while using chameleon systems; unless their opponent can make his Vision roll, use the invisibility rules.