So Howard posted earlier today a spoiler of writing from the book. Not to be outdone, I’m posting one myself. But first, let me give you some back-story and example of how design and play-testing impacted this part of the game.
During the early pre-Alpha days of the Schlock Mercenary playtest, we had a lack of weapons. Howard had really only canonized a handful of weapons, and obviously the players wanted more options than that. So I quickly handwaved a few companies into existence, statted up a bunch of generic weapons for usage, and one very, delightfully non-generic weapon, the Shurikannon.
The Shurikannon started life is a massive, underslung, hip mounted, rotating barrel railgun that fired shuriken instead of bullets, or lasers, or plasma. That’s right. It was a portable minigun that fired throwing stars.
Players loved it. I don’t think a session went by where someone didn’t bring the Shurikannon with them, and I know for a fact it got used.
When Howard was fleshing out the weapons and manufacturers, I requested that the Shurikannon be made into…well, canon.
We discussed it, I explained the idea, and lo, and behold, Howard wrote the following that night:
“Phubahr 75mm Shurikannon
If you want to hit your target like a metric truck-fun of drunken ninjas, hold tight and let loose with the 75mm Shurikannon from Phubahr. This pea-shooter launches 5-packs of 7.5cm “throwing stars” at roughly 200 meters per second, and can empty a 20-round magazine (that’s 100 shuriken) in two seconds.
But when we say “hold tight,” we mean it.The Shurikannon kicks with 8500 newtons of force for each sharp, starry cluster of joy sent downrange, and that’s almost exactly the force you got hit by that one time during sparring practice when you told your sensei not to hold anything back.
There have been worse ideas in the long history of bad ideas, but most of those ideas envy the Shurikannon for how cool it looks in the moments before things go pointedly un-cool. Of course, given the recoil, the stresses on the barrel, and the irregularities inherent in the projectiles, not to mention the failure-prone workmanship characteristic of all Phubahr weapons, “pointedly uncool” is a cute understatement. If your imagination has painted an unpleasant picture here, perhaps a bit of good judgment will prevent a 75mm Shurikannon from doing the painting for you. Or, frankly, with you.”
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go stat up a character for playtest, who intends to duel wield these magnificent toys.
And wear a LOT of armor.