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Airburst weapons.


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So, I was thinking and I realized that I missed something very deeply from my ancient SS13 days: airburst weapons. They were made by making sure that oxygen vastly overcountered plasma (but then again, that was also before aircode - back when the heating machines could take the tanks to over 50000 kelvins in an hour with no issue). It was awesome - when you didn't want to particularly KILL someone but wanted to do some damage. BAM - all windows (for powerful enough airbursts, even reinforced ones) are broken. Everyone flies off into walls. Yet no structural damage and everyone walks away from it. And so I suggest four types of them:

Airburst bomb either by enabling an oxygen-oxygen overpressure, allowing a violent but dry explosion with N2O and plasma (under the logic that extreme heat denatures nitrous oxide under the formula 2 N20+heat=2N2+02 - and so the denaturation of the oxide would simply cause violent gas expansion with extreme temperatures because the oxygen helps the plasma burn, but the denaturation and the huge saturation of nitrogen prevents actual fire from happening) or having some chemical way, like thermite+welder fuel+water.

Second, an airburst cannon - built pretty much exactly like the pneumatic cannon, except that instead of finalizing the cannon by welding after the valve, you'd either add more metal or a pipe adapter before welding. The result would essentially be a 2-range pneumatic cannon with no inventory - but that can propel people away (and in space give significant recoil, maybe equivalent to twice a fire extinguisher's?) mostly safely (unless they hit a wall).

Second point B, a vertex cannon - similar to an airburst cannon, except with an additional components. While it would be significantly less powerful for a same given pressure, it would travel MUCH farther.

Third, a MOUNTED airburst cannon. Start with a machine frame, add the stuff for two airburst cannons in the machine frame, then weld the whole thing - results in something that looks like an emitter, but is instead a violent pneumatic cannon

In order to work, it needs to be wrenched on one of the canister interfaces, in a pipe network that includes a pressurized canister. Just like the pneumatic and airburst cannons, you can set the pressure at which it operates. At this point, it could function three ways: one, manually via interface; two, via attached gizmos (infrared sensor as soon as something is in front of it within X range, proximity sensor when someone's close enough, timer is self-explanatory) and three remotely (by attaching a remote signaller - which can be triggered by the standard assemblies or standalone). Normal canister pressure (4000kPa) at maximum valve pressure (50%) would result in a blast that's still powerful yet non-lethal (just like the video - it would be enough to cause minor injuries if someone hits the wall), while a max-pressure canister (12000kPa I think it was?) at that ratio would be enough to cause minor-to-severe injuries upon fire, with possible injuries if a wall is hit soon enough.

Why do I present this idea? For these main reasons:

First, Science. Science often needs brute damage data (at least Sybil does), and there's no brute damage data more relevant than overpressure blasts.

Second, with the help of Science and Engineering, it gives Security more non-lethal means of interacting/apprehending crew (an airburst bomb could be used to set up safe traps, while a portable airburst cannon could be used in stead of a flash, and a mounted airburst could give interdiction zones). Since it's overpressure, everyone who's not wearing magboots (and a hardsuit for those really high pressures) would be knocked down, which IMO is a very effective way to safely apprehend people without harming or even truly disabling them (as people who are knocked down stay down for what, 10 seconds? And they're completely unharmed afterwards). And I mean - it's not like they'd have huge range, either - an airburst bomb (unless we allow REALLY powerful ones, equivalent or bigger than the bombcap) would probably only be effective within 5 tiles, while the portable cannon would have 2-3 tiles at most (the vertex, maybe 5-6?) and mounted 7... if the conditions are right.

Third, it gives extra options to peaceful/stealth/normal antags. Overpressure weapons? BAM, safely take hostages. BAM, safely (and harmlessly) take down security. If they got magboots, BAM easier escape plan. Or hell, BAM - powerful airburst provides distraction as engineers and security have to respond to a mysterious overpressure at the other side of the station that the antags are working on.

Fourth, Xenobiology. If your fire extinguisher runs out, and since slimes are immune to everything but cold, a pneumatic cannon (or a well-set mounted cannon) could be the key between "this xenobio died because of slimes" and "this xenobio ALMOST died because of slimes".


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Guest Marlon Phoenix

These sound like wonderful ideas. The mounted vortex cannons, if given a bit more knock-back, could form wonderful non-lethal area-denial weapons. Revolutionaries trying to storm the bridge? Set one up in the command hallway, laugh as the commie scum go flying backwards. A much more potentially hilarious alternative to flashbangs.

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It definitely seems like a more practical way of subduing a large amount of uncooperative people than flashbangs/horrible chloral hydrate smoke grenades. Additionally, like Jackboot said, these could create some pretty hilarious situations. It'd be like being beaten by a massive amount of force gloves. I'm all for more force gloves-like weapons.

Plus, it would give toxins and atmos something to do other than making explosives.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You bet. I'd be a liar if making non-lethal airburst proximity bomb traps to possibly capture (or escape from) people wasn't in the back of my head when I made this.

Also I just realized a hilariously amazing idea for area-denial.

With the help of Atmos, it would TOTALLY be possible to pipe up a mounted airburst cannon... on the main atmos distro of the station

Then make sure that there's a scrubber/pump to solve overpressure, and BAM - infinite airburst cannon.

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