Average Weapon Damage

Some starship weapons (particularly fire-linked weapons) deal incredible damage. To speed up play, you can decide to deal average damage with weapon attacks instead of rolling handfuls of dice and adding them up. Table: Starship Weapons lists average damage in parentheses in the Damage column.


Beam weapons deal energy damage, usually of a nonspecific type. They range from weapons as simple as a high-powered laser to monstrous devices capable of harnessing the fundamental forces of the universe.
Beam weapons draw power from a starship's power plant and are considered to have unlimited ammunition.
Beam Weapon Mounts: Beam weapons are mounted on turrets or in banks that, coupled with the starship's ability to adjust its orientation, allow the weapons to fire in any direction. The cost of a turret mount or bank is included in the purchase DC of the weapon.


Projectiles are generally solid slugs delivered to the target, where the velocity and density of the slug hopefully punch through the target's defenses. The most basic projectile weapons launch a small hunk of metal at roughly the speed of sound; the most advanced can push around mountains or molecules at greater than the speed of light.
Projectile weapons tend to be slightly more expensive than beam weapons, but the top end damage is considerably higher.
Starships have sufficient storage space to contain a virtually unlimited supply of projectile weapon ammunition.
Projectile Weapon Mounts: Like beam weapons, projectile weapons are mounted on turrets or in banks that, coupled with the starship's ability to adjust its orientation, allow the weapons to fire in any direction. The cost of a turret mount or bank is included in the purchase DC of the weapon.


A missile is an explosive warhead fixed to a guided rocket and fired from a missile launcher. The type of warhead determines both the type and amount of damage.
All missiles are equipped with guidance systems that negate the penalty for range increments. Missiles are purchased in racks of eight.
Missile Launchers: A starship must be equipped with missile launchers to fire missiles. Each type of missile has its own type of missile launcher; for example, a launcher designed to fire CHE missiles cannot fire KE submunition missiles. Missiles can fire in any direction. A missile launcher has a purchase DC of 20.


Mines are immobile explosives that must be deployed to be effective. Mines are equipped with sensors to scan approaching ships and detonate when hostile ships draw near. Some mines also come equipped with cloaking screens and other defensive systems to conceal their presence (see Defensive Systems).
Mines are sold individually. Although a mine weighs no more than a few thousand pounds, one mine consumes 100 tons of a ship's cargo capacity (most of it taken up by the launch system and radiation shielding).
Minelayers: A starship must be equipped with a minelayer (purchase DC 25) to deploy mines, and only Colossal ships can be fitted with minelayers. A minelayer consists of two or more mine rails-low-powered magnetic accelerators that can deploy one mine per round.
Deploying a Mine: A starship equipped with a minelayer can, as an attack action, deploy a single mine in any 500-foot square it occupies. Only after the starship leaves the mine's detonation area does the mine activate.
A starship that deploys a mine sets the conditions under which the mine detonates. Up to four mines can be deployed in the same 500-foot square and programmed to detonate simultaneously.
A deployed mine is a Medium-size object with Defense 5, hardness 10, and 50 hit points. Damaging or destroying a deployed mine has a 50% chance per hit of detonating it.
Detonating a Mine: When certain predetermined conditions are met (usually when an enemy ship enters the mine's detonation area), the deployed mine explodes. The mine's detonation area includes the square it occupies and all adjacent 500-foot squares (9 squares total). All ships within the mine's detonation area take damage when the mine detonates. A pilot may attempt a Pilot check (DC 25) to reduce the damage by half; making this check does not count as an action.


Fire-linked weapons are identical beam weapons, projectile weapons, or missile launchers that point and fire in the same direction. In effect, this arrangement creates a single weapon (fired with a single attack roll) that deals greater damage than either weapon alone.
Each full doubling of the number of fire-linked weapons (two weapons, four, eight, and so on) increases the damage by one-half the base damage. For example, a fighter using two fire-linked rail cannons (damage 6d12 each) deals 9d12 points of damage with a successful attack. Fire-linking weapons adds +1 to the purchase DC of each weapon in the link; taking the above example, each fire-linked rail cannon would have a purchase DC of 31 instead of 30.
Variable fire links also exist, allowing the gunner to decide from attack to attack whether to fire the weapons individually (as normal), in a full link (as described above), or in a partial link. A partial link allows the pilot to fire the linked weapons in groups of two. Only starships with four or more fire-linked weapons can be fired in a partial link. The variable version of the fire link adds +3 to the purchase DC of each weapon in the link.


A weapon battery consists of a cluster of up to five identical beam weapons, projectile weapons, or missile launchers that fire as a single weapon (requiring a single attack roll). When using battery fire, every weapon after the first in a battery adds a +1 bonus on the attack roll, to a maximum of +4 for a five-weapon battery. If the attack succeeds, roll damage as if one of the weapons had hit. In addition, a weapon battery has a greater chance of scoring a critical hit. Regardless of the number of weapons in the battery, the threat range is increased by 1. For example, a battery of plasma cannons (normal threat range of 20) has a threat range of 19-20. This effect stacks with other systems that expand a weapon's critical threat range, such as Achilles targeting software.
Batteries of weapons cannot be "split" into individual weapons; they either fire all together, or not at all. Installing weapons in a battery increases the purchase DC of each weapon by +1.
Only mediumweight, heavy, and superheavy starships can be equipped with weapon batteries.


Table: Starship Weapons provides the following statistics for various ranged weapons:
Damage: The damage the weapon deals.
Critical: The critical threat range of the weapon.
Damage Type: Most beam weapons deal a nonspecific type of energy damage that is not subject to energy resistance. A few weapons deal a specific kind of energy damage; for example, a laser deals fire damage. Projectile weapons deal ballistic damage.
Range Increment: A weapon's range increment is given in feet. An attack at less than this distance is not penalized for range. However, each full range increment causes a cumulative -2 penalty on the attack roll. Beam weapons dissipate and become ineffective past 10 range increments, while projectile weapons have unlimited range.
Rate of Fire: Ranged weapons have three possible rates of fire: single shot, semiautomatic, or automatic.
Single Shot: A weapon with a single shot rate of fire can fire only one shot per attack, even if the gunner has a feat or other ability that normally allows more than one shot per attack.
Semiautomatic (S): A semiautomatic ranged weapon fires one shot per attack (effectively acting as a single shot weapon). However, a gunner who gains multiple attacks per round because of his level or because of certain feats can fire a semiautomatic beam weapon multiple times in rapid succession, getting more than one shot per attack.
Automatic (A): Automatic ranged weapons fire a burst or stream of shots. Only weapons with the automatic rate of fire can be set on autofire or be used with feats that take advantage of automatic fire. See the Starship Weapons on Autofire for more rules and information.
Minimum Ship Size: The minimum size of starship capable of supporting the weapon.
Purchase DC: The purchase DC of the weapon.
Restriction: The level of license required to purchase the weapon legally.