While this bit is designed primarily for the Federation-Apocalypse setting, there’s nothing to keep it from being used in other settings – as long as there are some major weapons about. Otherwise defenses of this magnitude can render things pretty near invulnerable.
Military and Starship Shields are essentially large-scale relatives of standard Effector Modules – high-powered manipulable force-field systems, generated by a network of fusion-powered field-broadcast nodes and grids, generated in a two-layer configuration, and linked with negative-energy systems which “fill” the area between two force-field layers. The force-field layers act to deflect material items, while the negative-energy layers absorb incoming energies (negative energies are an exception, but those are opposed by the force-field layers in any case). Ultimately, of course, the strength of a negative energy field is limited: reduce the vacuum energy level of space too far and pair production at the intersection of the force-field layer and the negative energy layer will eventually both deplete whatever energy source you’re using to power your force field and exceed the generating (anti-generating?) capacity of your negative-energy system. Expanding the volume between the force fields will increase the total storage capacity – but weakens the containment field, which must be structured and fed energy through a volume of space saturated with negative energy. Attempt to expand the volume too much, and the outer containment field will weaken – and lose definition – until it starts to “leak” into the negative energy field and dissipates. In combination, these two effects limit the energy-absorbing capacity of any shield system.
Further weaknesses can occur due to local overloads and due to the need to leave “ports” open for sensors, weapons, and conventional thrusters. Thus a “Critical Hit” – generally equating to a direct hit rather than due to simply being with a weapons damaging radius – will transfer at least half its damage through a Shield, no matter how powerful. Unfortunately, all shields otherwise provide 100% Fortification, and thus Critical Hits have no other effect.
Shields, like standard Effector Modules, can be reconfigured to manipulate objects, minimize air resistance, assist external workers, load and unload cargo, and perform a wide variety of other tasks. On the internal side – thanks to negative energies interaction with gravity, the equivalence principle, mach’s principle, and modern computers, the negative energies stored in a shield can also be used to compensate for the acceleration resulting from the use of thrusters (a gravity-screen drive creates annoying disturbances if used too near an inhabited planet) or from collisions.
While there are few uses for uncontained negative energy, there are plenty of uses for high-end force fields without negative energy – such as vehicle hulls (and drive systems, and most other parts), industrial molding, tools, weapons, buildings, heavy lifting, construction work, mining, and virtually everything else in Core – or at least within the Core Central Systems.
R1 Force Field Generators are too weak to contain negative energy and only weigh a few hundred pounds. They’re typically found in light flits, power armor systems, and light industrial operations.
R2 Generators weigh somewhat over a ton, and are typically found in light civilian spacecraft, heavy duty flits, housing systems, and heavy industrial operations.
R3 Generators weigh several tons, and are usually found in Orbs, heavy civilian spacecraft (or those with wealthy and paranoid owners), in heavy industrial applications, and in light resource-transport systems.
R4 Generators weigh about twenty tons, and are usually found in patrol vessels and destroyers, midrange bulk transport systems, and
R5 Generators weigh at least a hundred tons, and are usually found in midrange military vessels and heavy duty bulk transport systems.
R6 Generators weigh hundreds of tons, and are normally only mounted in capital-class military vessels.
|DR vrs physical damage||08||10||12||13||14||15|
|AC Bonus (Vrs Physical)||+08||+10||+12||+13||+14||+15|
|Casamir Capacity Limit||—||150||300||600||1500||3000|
The DR versus Physical Damage adds to the vehicles actual DR due to its construction (if it isn’t entirely virtual) and is also effective against negative energy based attacks.
“Damage” is what the field can do if shaped into physical weapons. Most systems are not designed or programmed for this, but military systems usually are.
The Casamir Capacity Limit is the maximum amount of Casamir (anti-)energy which the system can store. This negates points of energy-based damage on a one-to-one basis. It can also counteract abrupt – or instantaneous – velocity changes, at a ratio of 25 points of capacity to one mile per second. This won’t help much if you ram something at interplanetary speeds, but comes in very handy if you’re coming in for a crash landing. Unfortunately, this does not affect external kinetic energies, and so can’t stop kinetic energy weapons.
Unfortunately, Casamir Charging Systems tend to interfere with each other, limiting the total generation capacity of any single vehicle. They’re normally rated in Points per Round – and are available in 5 (weighing in at a few hundred pounds), 10 (about a ton), 20 (several tons), 30 (20 tons), 45 (a hundred tons), and 60-point per round (several hundred tons) capacities. Such systems can also be used to compensate for thruster-based accelerations, at up to one gravity per 5 points-per-round capacity.