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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:33 pm
  

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This question has been bugging me for the last few days.

No independent pilot should be able to sustain a Glitter Boy. Any damage should be permanent, since ordinary laser torches can't weld, cut, or shape the armor's unique plating, and pure chromium is rare, and fabricating replacement armor requires specialized equipment. Their ammunition should run out and be difficult to replace, since no other weapon uses the boom gun's unique flachette projectiles. The last suit should have shut down permanently over 200 years ago, since their power cores only last 25 years on average, and no country in North America can mass produce their miniaturized power sources. Frankly, even most countries should find it all but impossible to keep a Glitter Boy active for more than a decade or two.

Despite these factors, Glitter Boys depicted in the books are usually undamaged, even pristine, and they're common enough to be universally recognized all over North America. The Glitter Boy O.C.C. has always been a major part of Rifts artwork and games, and the armor is so central to the Rifts setting that the game itself was originally going to be called Boomers.

I have a few ideas that I think explain this, and I'm curious to hear some other perspectives on this one.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:54 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
This question has been bugging me for the last few days.

No independent pilot should be able to sustain a Glitter Boy. Any damage should be permanent, since ordinary laser torches can't weld, cut, or shape the armor's unique plating,


Source?

Quote:
and pure chromium is rare, and fabricating replacement armor requires specialized equipment.


Source? *Creating* the armor is certainly difficult and expensive and something not everyone knows how to do, but cutting a slab of it with a plasma cutter and fitting it in to replace damaged armor isn't difficult. And even a destroyed GB leaves tons of the armor lying around to be salvaged (from the legs/arms if nothing else). No reason you cant repair the plating on an GB with salvaged plating.

Quote:
Their ammunition should run out and be difficult to replace, since no other weapon uses the boom gun's unique flachette projectiles.


Except that a 19th century blacksmith could make new shells for it. They aren't remotely high tech or special. A guy with a lathe in a garage and you're good to go.

Quote:
The last suit should have shut down permanently over 200 years ago, since their power cores only last 25 years on average, and no country in North America can mass produce their miniaturized power sources.


Other than FQ (and Archie). Though "mass produce" on their scale means 1000 or so a year, which wasn't enough to meet their own needs. But damaged units leave spare power plants lying around. And apparently given how the power plants in RIFTS work, if they aren't being used, it extends their life somehow. We also dont know that no one else manufactures power plants for them; we are just told FQ couldn't make enough for their own despite being able to make them. Northern Gun may be able to make a few dozen a year, or even more, but its not exactly like FQ was going to go to NG and be like "whip us up a few thousand behind Chi-Towns back, 'kay?".

Quote:
Frankly, even most countries should find it all but impossible to keep a Glitter Boy active for more than a decade or two.

Despite these factors, Glitter Boys depicted in the books are usually undamaged, even pristine, and they're common enough to be universally recognized all over North America. The Glitter Boy O.C.C. has always been a major part of Rifts artwork and games, and the armor is so central to the Rifts setting that the game itself was originally going to be called Boomers.

I have a few ideas that I think explain this, and I'm curious to hear some other perspectives on this one.


Well, for one, we know that over the centuries Archie alone put out hundreds of new suits to find. And spare parts, armor, and ammo. We also know that on several occasions the Black Market or other salvagers found caches of completely intact GBs sometimes numbering into the hundreds (probably NEMA caches). And FQ was selling limited numbers for decades as a source of income and also to explain how they were repairing and getting new ones after they joined the CS. They'd release them onto the market and then be seen to be "buying" GBs from outsiders.

There's never a hard and fast statement about how many there are in North America. Even big mercenary companies usually only have a dozen or two or not even that (if they have any at all). There may be a few thousand suits in individual hands on the entire continent. Given that there have been finds of hundreds of suits in the past, plus the initial survivors of the Cataclysm, plus Archie seeding them, plus FQ selling limited numbers, etc...

That seems totally fine. I think the impression that their ubiquity in the art gives is that they are very common, and the reality is that in the setting they aren't that common. A few thousand continent wide isn't that big a deal.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:28 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
This question has been bugging me for the last few days.

No independent pilot should be able to sustain a Glitter Boy. Any damage should be permanent, since ordinary laser torches can't weld, cut, or shape the armor's unique plating,


a) Sure it can. Lasers do 1/2 damage, not 0 damage.
b) You got a problem with plasma torches and other tools...?

Quote:
and pure chromium is rare, and fabricating replacement armor requires specialized equipment.


All MDC armor repair requires special equipment.

Quote:
Their ammunition should run out and be difficult to replace, since no other weapon uses the boom gun's unique flachette projectiles.


Pretty sure that any rail gun ammo manufacturer could make them, though.
Heck, for all we know any decent blacksmith could.

Quote:
The last suit should have shut down permanently over 200 years ago, since their power cores only last 25 years on average,


"On average."
Palladium never gets into how their super-tech nuclear power supplies work, but if you have 25 years worth of time, and you only use about an hour worth of energy per month, that'd last a long time.
Regardless, nuclear power isn't in hugely short supply on Rifts Earth.

Quote:
and no country in North America can mass produce their miniaturized power sources.


a) Where's it say that?
b) What about imports?

Overall, I think you're looking for problems, and basing the ones that you find on a host of assumptions that aren't necessarily true (or even really indicated, in some cases).

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:10 pm
  

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A wilk's portable laser torch (RUE 269) doesn't seem to care about the intensity of the damage you're doing in regards to clip capacity, so even assuming minimum 4 MD from 4D6 MD and then halving it to 2 MD due to laser resistance, I'm guaranteed 200 MD per pair of E-clips, guaranteed minimum 100 MD/clip, so it would only take me less than 8 e-clips to deplete a Glitter Boy's main body.

Part of the meager 100 shots might also assume inefficiencies at startup. We're also told 2 hours of continuous use. 120 minutes / 100 shots = 1.2 minutes per shot, so the equivalent of 1 shot is used every 72 seconds of continuous burning? Is that how long it takes to inflict 4D6 MD? Maybe 1 attack refers to how long it takes to turn it on?


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:13 pm
  

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Good points, all; I should have provided sources. Here goes:

The only laser torch I know of in canon (source: Wilk's Laser Torch, RUE p269 and RMB) is not variable-frequency, and laser shots can and do ricochet off glitter boys (source: Sharpshooting skill description in New West, CB1, and other places). Therefore, using a laser torch on chromium armor would be a bad idea due to reflective hazards, both because of the hazard of the surface reflections and dynamic surface geometry which would change during cuts and welds, creating hazardous reflected beams (source: my brain). Do you have a source on MDC plasma torches being common (or even existing as a thing in canon? I don't see any in GMG or RUE, perhaps the NG books?)? Given that chromium armor is more heat resistant than regular armor (source: FQ p97, QST-333 canon description), plasma torches might not work all that well on it, either.

Chromium is not abundant in North America; in real life, most of it comes from Asia and Africa (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium). In Rifts Earth, Glitter Boys and a handful of variants are the only types of vehicles or armor that use the MDC chromium. Hence, it's rare, or at least, unusual; a specialty/niche market.

Each "round" of ammunition includes 200 flachette slugs (source: RUE, FQ). Flachettes aren't just a round rod of metal. Each is a pointed projectile with a vaned tail (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flechette). Thus, they can't simply be made by turning simple iron or steel on a lathe. The fact that they must fly straight and true over 2 miles (source: G10 description in RUE and FQ) indicates that they must be made precisely, especially the fins, because even a small defect would deflect them (source: watching what happens when I throw a paper airplane with a bent wing), so they can't just be hammered into shape. A machinist could make a single slug, but individually making the 200 needed for a single shot would be impractical, and making 200,000 flachettes needed for a full load of ammunition would require specialized industrial equipment for that specific purpose, especially if the slugs themselves are made from M.D.C. materials.

Free Quebec seems to be awesome at making everything Glitter Boys need except the power core; they suck at that. While they can totally refurbish a wrecked Glitter Boy within 36 hours(FQ p79), Free Quebec has clearly been able to make new Glitter Boys, yet they shell out top dollar for parts and salvage (FQ p20). Though they've been making new Glitter Boys for generations, these have been a stockpiled reserve, and 80% of them had no power source until their deal with the NGR (FQ p). The original FQ Glitter Boy Legion was 288 (FQ p36), although 864 suits were found. The power core manufacturing process is mentioned as particularly difficult/expensive for FQ (same page). Triax has supplied 6,000 suits to Free Quebec (FQ p74), and their total GB legion numbers 15,000 GBs as of the start of war with the CS in late 105 P.A. (FQ p77). Free Quebec can make 500-600 per year (FQ p74), and has likely been doing so since the deal with the NGR, which happened sometime before 104 P.A. since that is when Triax started making and delivering their GBs to Free Quebec (T&NGR, p45). Assuming 2 years for them to design, prototype, and begin production on the T-550 Glitter Boy, this means that the deal got signed in 102 P.A. and that FQ had somewhere around 7,000 GB suits in reserve at the time that they signed the Triax deal, but only about 1400 of them had power cores (and many of those cores may have been mostly depleted, since this was a mothballed reserve; it's what I'd do if I had un-powered suits in reserve).

Fewer than 3000 Glitter Boys from prewar have been found/activated in the last 200 years across North America, though no more pre-apocalypse ones have been found in 20 years, and around 60% of Glitter Boys have been active for 100-200 years (FQ, p20). Free Quebec has sold or "lost" another 350 (FQ p72).

Those are the facts as I understand them from canon. Now for my own interpretation:

------------------------------------------------

It seems likely that Free Quebec can't make new power cores from scratch, or can't do so economically, and yet the math seems to indicate that they can replenish their supply to some limited extent. If Free Quebec has maintained 288 Glitter Boys in the field for 200 years, that would consume 2304 cores, nearly three times the number that they started with. My unsupported interpretation is that Free Quebec can reprocess depleted power sources to create new ones, perhaps requiring two depleted cores to create one new one. Thus they can extend their power core supply, but until the deal with the NGR, they could barely keep pace with their usage rates.

Further, I believe that Free Quebec limited their pre-NGR-deal Glitter Boy Legion to 288 in order to conserve power cores, since they sucked at making new ones. 200 years ago, Free Quebec found 864 Glitter Boys (FQ p74). Even refurbishing their cores, they would use up 1152 cores. This usage rate would make them about to run out of power cores around the same time that they made their deal with the NGR. which gives them a practical reason for them making the trade when they did.

I believe that the bulk of the power cores in Free Quebec's stockpile pre-NGR deal would be cores nearing, but not at the end of, their operational life (1 year left or so). This would allow Free Quebec to surge over a thousand Glitter Boys into a short conflict of Of course, FQ would also lose cores in combat and acquire more from salvaged and found suits, but I think it's reasonable for those factors to offset each other.

Now I'll look broader. Across North America, 3,000 or so suits that have been found in the last 200 years. Almost a third of them went to Free Quebec. ARCHIE made and left caches here and there for the Republicans in their early years, and he continues to do so, but he does not sustain these suits. This is where I'm tempted to get a little creative.

Given the fact that descended GB pilots are a thing outside of Free Quebec, and most suits have been in service for over a century, it stands to reason that there are organizations dedicated to servicing, repairing, and resupplying these pilots and their suits. Since such organizations aren't known among the power players of North America, it seems reasonable that they would be fairly loose associations, something between a professional association and a knightly order. Given that Glitter Boys are more associated with heroism than with villainy, it seems plausible that these organizations hold themselves to some standards of behavior.

I've been thinking of exploring the idea of Glitter Boy clans/orders/associations a bit more as a way of fleshing out this class that is so visibly prominent in the game's art, and yet so unexplored in terms of its way of life/culture. Is there anything like that in canon?

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Last edited by Hotrod on Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:21 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
\The last suit should have shut down permanently over 200 years ago, since their power cores only last 25 years on average,


"On average."
Palladium never gets into how their super-tech nuclear power supplies work, but if you have 25 years worth of time, and you only use about an hour worth of energy per month, that'd last a long time.
Regardless, nuclear power isn't in hugely short supply on Rifts Earth.

Quote:
and no country in North America can mass produce their miniaturized power sources.


a) Where's it say that?
b) What about imports?

Overall, I think you're looking for problems, and basing the ones that you find on a host of assumptions that aren't necessarily true (or even really indicated, in some cases).


See my previous post; it addresses most of your points.

As far as I can tell in canon, there are only two sources of new Glitter Boys in North America: ARCHIE, who isn't a country, and Free Quebec, which could only make enough for 20% of its own stockpile (FQ p72). This passage specifies that these are special miniature nuclear power supply units; apparently they're a big part of why the Glitter Boy is so awesome.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:38 pm
  

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So.... don't use a laser torch?
Us a plasma torch?
Or don't use a torch at all?
Or heck... it is possible that in the various unspecified tools in the various shop kits there ARE variable laser torches...its not like we have an itemized list of what is in a workshop after all, just a few examples of a couple items from a few vendors.

As for the power plants...
...who is making new plants? You don't have to make a new plant, just refuel the existing ones. This sort of thing is what they invented Operators for.
Ditto for making ammunition.
Ditto for making new parts (all but the Chromium are easy enough to make)

The only hard part here is the Chromium... which comes from
Salvage from old suits
Supply Caches (suits...sometimes hundreds at a go)
Supply Caches (parts)
"Seeded" Stocks by Archie/Republicans
Quebec selling units and/or parts
Triax Selling Units and/or parts
South America selling Units and/or Parts
Occasional imported units and/or parts from Phase World


I see no issue with the existence of the GB at all. This is one of the few areas of Rifts lore that actually doesn't stretch credulity.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:17 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Good points, all; I should have provided sources. Here goes:

The only laser torch I know of in canon (source: Wilk's Laser Torch, RUE p269 and RMB) is not variable-frequency, and laser shots can and do ricochet off glitter boys (source: Sharpshooting skill description in New West, CB1, and other places). Therefore, using a laser torch on chromium armor would be a bad idea due to reflective hazards, as the surface geometry would change during cuts and welds, creating hazardous reflected beams (source: my brain). Do you have a source on MDC plasma torches being common (or even existing? I don't see any in GMG or RUE, perhaps the NG books?)? Given that chromium armor is more heat resistant than regular armor (source: FQ p97, QST-333 canon description), plasma torches might not work all that well on it, either.


"More resistant to heat" without a game mechanic attached to it is just pointless fluff. As for plasma torches existing... are you trying to imply that they somehow went away between now and Rifts? We have them now. A good plasma cutter can slice through several FEET of concrete, and is what is used to cut off and repair armor on the M1 (different types of the same tool; the one for concrete is built differently). Everyone here (and even Palladium) agrees that an M1 is an MDC vehicle (if light by Rifts standards), and plasma cutters work just fine on their armor.

Also... even if the GB is difficult to repair with a laser cutter - its still worth it. You just wear some light body armor while doing the repairs. Any good Operator should know how.

I'm curious why you would think that everyday items that aren't listed in a Rifts book somewhere dont exist in the setting, though. There are lots of things that by inferrence MUST exist (or some version of them, at least), that are never detailed. Like.. running water. Pumps. Transformers. Capacitors. Etc.

I'd go with this logic: whatever it takes to repair GBs, it exists. Because GBs have been getting repaired since the Dark Age, and are still getting repaired now. So whatever it is that is required, isn't that uncommon among people who can do repairs to robots and power armor.

Quote:
Chromium is not abundant in North America; in real life, most of it comes from Asia and Africa (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium). In Rifts Earth, Glitter Boys and a handful of variants are the only types of vehicles or armor that use the MDC chromium. Hence, it's rare, or at least, unusual; a niche market.


The chances that "Chromium Armor" has any real Chromium in it is slight at best. Its called that because it sounded like Chrome and the Glitterboy looks like Chrome. Dont kid yourself thinking anything else. Availability of Chromium (the real deal) is meaningless. FQ can make enough of the stuff to outfit not only their GBs but the Sidekicks too. Triax had no issues mass producing it when shown how. The chances that it needs real Chromium, at that point, is miniscule. Its just a particularly rare/expensive/hard to work form of super-advanced/dense armor. Molecularly bonded special mojo that you have to be shown how to do that is one step past even the molecularly bonded ceramic composite MDC armor that most stuff seems to use. Think K.I.T.T. only shiny metal instead of shiny black.

Quote:
Each "round" of ammunition includes 200 flachette slugs (source: RUE, FQ). Flachettes aren't just a round rod of metal. Each is a pointed projectile with a vaned tail (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flechette). Thus, they can't simply be made by turning simple iron or steel on a lathe.


Actually, they still can and have been made that way for centuries. There are examples of all-steel crossbow bolts (basically large flechettes) from the 1600s in several museums. Some are turned, and some are just crucible cast, which leads to my next point...

Quote:
The fact that they must fly straight and true over 2 miles (source: G10 description in RUE and FQ) indicates that they must be made precisely, especially the fins, because even a small defect would deflect them (source: watching what happens when I throw a paper airplane with a bent wing).


You dont throw a paper airplane at roughly Mach 20. (Which is what the GB should actually be throwing at; the current Naval Rail gun hits near Mach 17 and isn't as powerful as the Boom Gun yet). Enough motive force will cause the least aerodynamic objects in the world to go in a straight line. They dont have to be *that* precise....

Quote:
A machinist could make a single slug, but individually making the 200 needed for a single shot would be impractical, and making 200,000 needed for a full load of ammunition would require specialized industrial equipment for that specific purpose, especially if the slugs themselves must be made from M.D.C. materials.


Just a fire hot enough to make crucible steel. You could make a mold for the flechettes absurdly easily. Flechettes are NOT high tech. We've been using them for literal centuries. Oh, and extruded steel sabots. Something we've been able to make since the Civil War.

Quote:
Free Quebec has clearly been able to make new Glitter Boys, yet they shell out top dollar for parts and salvage (FQ p20).


Because using spare parts is cheaper. Not sure i see a point here.

Quote:
Though they've been making new Glitter Boys for generations, these have been a stockpiled reserve, and 80% of them had no power source until their deal with the NGR (FQ p). The original FQ Glitter Boy Legion was 288 (FQ p36), although 864 suits were found. The power core manufacturing process is mentioned as particularly difficult/expensive for FQ (same page). Triax has supplied 6,000 suits to Free Quebec (FQ p74), and their total GB legion numbers 15,000 GBs as of the start of war with the CS in late 105 P.A. (FQ p77). Free Quebec can make 500-600 per year (FQ p74), and has likely been doing so since the deal with the NGR, which happened sometime before 104 P.A. since that is when Triax started making and delivering their GBs to Free Quebec (T&NGR, p45). Assuming 2 years for them to design, prototype, and begin production on the T-550 Glitter Boy, this means that the deal got signed in 102 P.A. and that FQ had somewhere around 7,000 GB suits in reserve at the time that they signed the Triax deal, but only about 1400 of them had power cores (and many of those cores might have been mostly depleted, since this was a mothballed reserve).


Interesting numbers but im not sure they really mean anything.

Quote:
Fewer than 3000 Glitter Boys from prewar have been found/activated in the last 200 years across North America, though no more pre-apocalypse ones have been found in 20 years, and around 60% of Glitter Boys have been active for 100-200 years (FQ, p20). Free Quebec has sold or "lost" another 350 (FQ p72).


And how many did North America START with, during Chaos Earth/the Dark Age? If there were ten or fifteen thousand at the start of the Dark Age, and another 3000 have been found since then... having a few thousand GBs active (particularly with Archie seeding parts/suits/ammo during the Dark Age) now doesn't seem like a stretch. Theyre hard to kill to begin with, and each scrapped suit provides parts to repair several others.

Quote:
Those are the facts as I understand them from canon. Now for my own interpretation:

------------------------------------------------

It seems likely that Free Quebec can't make new power cores from scratch,


Since you literally just quoted the section where it outright says they CAN, in fact, make them, just not quickly, i have no idea how you interpreted that.

Quote:
or can't do so economically,


This is far more correct/likely. It's difficult for them, especially since their tech is behind the rest of the CS by about 15-20 years in most places.

Quote:
and yet the math seems to indicate that they can replenish their supply to some limited extent. If Free Quebec has maintained 288 Glitter Boys in the field for 200 years, that would consume 2304 cores,


Or they could just refuel them. There's nothing anywhere about "throw power plant away when it runs out of fuel" being a thing in Rifts.

Quote:
nearly three times the number that they started with. My unsupported interpretation is that Free Quebec can reprocess depleted power sources to create new ones, perhaps requiring two depleted cores to create one new one. Thus they can extend their power core supply, but until the deal with the NGR, it was a losing struggle.


It was never a losing struggle, they just couldn't produce power plants as fast as they could produce suits. Thats the only reason they dont have tens of thousands of the damn things - because they never saw the point in having a massive reserve of suits that they could never hope to power. They kicked into high gear on their own suit production when it became possible to rapidly get power plants from the NGR.

Quote:
Alternately, as cores near the end of their operational lives, Free Quebec may have used some of them to power their reserve suits while refurbishing others.

Further, I believe that Free Quebec limited their pre-NGR-deal Glitter Boy Legion to 288 in order to conserve power cores, since they couldn't create new ones from scratch. If they replaced each core as it got down to one year of operational life left, they would use up 288 cores about every 50 years, assuming that they could refurbish power cores as I mentioned in the above paragraph. 200 years ago, Free Quebec found 864 Glitter Boys (FQ p74). Even refurbishing their cores, they would use up 1152 cores. This usage rate would make them about to run out of power cores around the same time that they made their deal with the NGR, which gives them a practical reason for them making the trade when they did.

I believe that the bulk of the power cores in Free Quebec's stockpile pre-NGR deal would be cores nearing, but not at the end of, their operational life (1 year left or so). This would allow Free Quebec to surge over a thousand Glitter Boys into a short conflict of Of course, FQ would also lose cores in combat and acquire more from salvaged and found suits, but I think it's reasonable for those factors to offset each other.


FQ kept their "GB Legion" at 288 because of a treaty with the Coalition States. That's straight up mentioned about a dozen times in various books. And even then, they were lying and still producing suits, at roughly 3-4x the pace they could produce new power plants.

The above conjecture is based entirely on a premise that is directly contradicted by sources you quoted yourself.

Quote:
That leaves us with the 3,000 or so suits that have been found in the last 200 years. Almost a third of them went to Free Quebec. ARCHIE made and left caches here and there for the Republicans in their early years, and he continues to do so, but he does not sustain these suits. This is where I'm tempted to get a little creative.

Given the fact that descended GB pilots are a thing outside of Free Quebec, and most suits have been in service for over a century, it stands to reason that there are organizations dedicated to servicing, repairing, and resupplying these pilots and their suits. Since such organizations aren't known among the power players of North America, it seems reasonable that they would be fairly loose associations, something between a professional association and a knightly order. Given that Glitter Boys are more associated with heroism than with villainy, it seems plausible that these organizations hold themselves to some standards of behavior.

I've been thinking of exploring the idea of Glitter Boy clans/orders/associations a bit more as a way of fleshing out this class that is so visibly prominent in the game's art, and yet so unexplored in terms of its way of life/culture. Is there anything like that in canon?


You mean like.....

Operators? That have guilds, pacts, companies, asossciations, and are known to support heroes with cheap/free repairs and upgrades, and (many of whom) wander the wasteland providing their services to people in need?

Yeah, there's something like that in canon.

Also, the Black Market, as of the founding of Bandito Arms, can make the power plants. The Shadow Boy is literally a Glitter Boy without the Chromium Armor. It was the only part of the armor they couldn't make (because they didn't find the formula for it). They can even make the Boom Guns.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:19 pm
  

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eliakon wrote:
So.... don't use a laser torch?
Us a plasma torch?
Or don't use a torch at all?
Or heck... it is possible that in the various unspecified tools in the various shop kits there ARE variable laser torches...its not like we have an itemized list of what is in a workshop after all, just a few examples of a couple items from a few vendors.

As for the power plants...
...who is making new plants? You don't have to make a new plant, just refuel the existing ones. This sort of thing is what they invented Operators for.
Ditto for making ammunition.
Ditto for making new parts (all but the Chromium are easy enough to make)

The only hard part here is the Chromium... which comes from
Salvage from old suits
Supply Caches (suits...sometimes hundreds at a go)
Supply Caches (parts)
"Seeded" Stocks by Archie/Republicans
Quebec selling units and/or parts
Triax Selling Units and/or parts
South America selling Units and/or Parts
Occasional imported units and/or parts from Phase World


I see no issue with the existence of the GB at all. This is one of the few areas of Rifts lore that actually doesn't stretch credulity.

I don't see an issue with Glitter Boys existing, per se. I just feel like these suits seem to have far more longevity than any other in canon, and it seems like there should be of an explanation than what we see in the books.

I started this line of thinking by pondering the core Rifts classes that are and aren't sufficiently developed in a roleplaying sense. The Glitter Boy O.C.C. as presented seems a bit lacking; where do these pilots come from, and why is their training so standardized? Where do their suits come from and how are they supposed to keep them supplied and in repair? How do they relate to other Glitter Boy pilots? As written, the suit seems to be more developed as a character than the person who drives it.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:31 am
  

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Palladin

Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:40 pm
Posts: 10141
Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
Hotrod wrote:
eliakon wrote:
So.... don't use a laser torch?
Us a plasma torch?
Or don't use a torch at all?
Or heck... it is possible that in the various unspecified tools in the various shop kits there ARE variable laser torches...its not like we have an itemized list of what is in a workshop after all, just a few examples of a couple items from a few vendors.

As for the power plants...
...who is making new plants? You don't have to make a new plant, just refuel the existing ones. This sort of thing is what they invented Operators for.
Ditto for making ammunition.
Ditto for making new parts (all but the Chromium are easy enough to make)

The only hard part here is the Chromium... which comes from
Salvage from old suits
Supply Caches (suits...sometimes hundreds at a go)
Supply Caches (parts)
"Seeded" Stocks by Archie/Republicans
Quebec selling units and/or parts
Triax Selling Units and/or parts
South America selling Units and/or Parts
Occasional imported units and/or parts from Phase World


I see no issue with the existence of the GB at all. This is one of the few areas of Rifts lore that actually doesn't stretch credulity.

I don't see an issue with Glitter Boys existing, per se. I just feel like these suits seem to have far more longevity than any other in canon, and it seems like there should be of an explanation than what we see in the books.

I started this line of thinking by pondering the core Rifts classes that are and aren't sufficiently developed in a roleplaying sense. The Glitter Boy O.C.C. as presented seems a bit lacking; where do these pilots come from, and why is their training so standardized? Where do their suits come from and how are they supposed to keep them supplied and in repair? How do they relate to other Glitter Boy pilots? As written, the suit seems to be more developed as a character than the person who drives it.

that is straight up because the suit is a favorite of Kevin.
Period.
No other reason really.
There is no other reason why this one suit gets a special mythos and mystique attached to it. They do because its cool, thats all.
As for supplies and repair... well logistics in Palladium are paper thin... in the best of cases.

As for more longevity... they have a longer 'shelf life' becuase they are one of the few suits that was around 300 years ago. The reason the other suits dont have the same longevity... is that most of them have only existed for a handful of years.
Its the reason that you have a lot of classic Fords around and not a lot of classic Teslas.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:48 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Good point on the plasma torch; it doesn't take a stretch to imagine that it could work on something as resilient as MDC chrome.

On the subject of the M.D.C. Chromium, considering that it's the official name of the Glitter Boy (Chromium Guardsman), it seems likely that it's an ingredient, but without more information, it's impossible to say one way or another. However, the fact that only one type of armor uses it, and the fact that it is significantly and materially different from other M.D.C. materials, suggests that it's something of a niche market outside of Free Quebec.

On the subject of flachette quality, you're both right and wrong in your comparison, It's true that high momentum tends to keep high-velocity slugs on course, and high velocity helps with that. However, the fact that each round (and the GB holds 1000, remember) has 200 slugs; these things aren't likely to be much more massive than a medium-thickness nail. Hence aerodynamics are going to matter. Incidentally, the only navy rail gun system I know of throws a 3.2 kg projectile at around Mach 7. What's this Mach 33 system you speak of? Just curious.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:

Just a fire hot enough to make crucible steel. You could make a mold for the flechettes absurdly easily. Flechettes are NOT high tech. We've been using them for literal centuries. Oh, and extruded steel sabots. Something we've been able to make since the Civil War.

So you need a reusable mold with thousands of shaped cavities, into which you pour crucible steel. Sounds like specialized industrial equipment to me. It's not high-tech, but it's not a trivial thing most operators would just carry with them, either.
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:

Interesting numbers but im not sure they really mean anything.

Yeah, I was rambling. See the edited version up now. My point was that Free Quebec seems to be awesome at refurbishing and making all the components of the Glitter Boy except for the power sources, which they suck at.
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:

Quote:
and yet the math seems to indicate that they can replenish their supply to some limited extent. If Free Quebec has maintained 288 Glitter Boys in the field for 200 years, that would consume 2304 cores,


Or they could just refuel them. There's nothing anywhere about "throw power plant away when it runs out of fuel" being a thing in Rifts.

Miniature Nuclear power supplies aren't well defined in canon, so I'll make a few educated guesses here. Historically, generating nuclear fuel is the hard part of building reactors and bombs (enriching uranium or breeding plutonium). That's also true of RTGs. If that's any indication, then the fuel is the difficult and expensive part. It's not like recharging an E-clip or pumping in some gas (unless Kevin says it is somewhere).

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:

The above conjecture is based entirely on a premise that is directly contradicted by sources you quoted yourself.

My thoughts weren't well laid out; sorry about that. It happens sometimes when I'm writing stream-of-consciousness about an under-developed idea. Demand-wise, Free Quebec loses cores in three ways:
1. Normal consumption (288 per 25 years over 200 years is 2304 cores)
2. Sales or "losses" of Refurbished Glitter Boys (350 cores)
3. Destroyed in combat (indeterminate number, could be as low as a few dozen, could be as high as a few hundred)
Net losses are maybe 2714 total.

Before the NGR deal, Free Quebec got new cores from two sources:
1. Making their own (indeterminate, but known to be uneconomically expensive/difficult)
2. Acquiring salvage/parts (indeterminate).
3. Their original stockpile (864 cores)

When they started, Free Quebec had 864 cores. They used 288 suits on active duty and kept 576 suits in reserve. All these suits were brand new, and therefore so were their cores.

Just before the NGR deal, the numbers I mention in the post above suggest that Free Quebec had 1400 cores on stockpiled Glitter Boys and 288 on active Glitter Boys, for a total of 1688 cores.

In terms of combat-ready suits, Free Quebec had 824 more after 200 years than they did starting out. If I were in charge of them, I'd take all cores out of my active 288 suits about a year prior to their expiration and put them into reserve suits. That way, I could surge my reserves in if necessary while still getting 96% of each core's designed operational life. However, Free Quebec hasn't done this, since they would otherwise have almost a thousand more powered suits in their pre-NGR-deal reserves.

There seems to be a bit of an unexplained gap here. At the time of the NGR deal, Free Quebec seems to have too many cores expended at this point relative to how many suits they have in reserve. My "core reprocessing" idea was meant to address that, allowing Free Quebec to extend their power core duration at the cost of the available total. Of course, it's also possible that Free Quebec simply keeps all cores in their suits until they expire and then discards them, and simply produces new cores. That's a simpler explanation, but I don't like it, as each expended and discarded core could have been another reserve unit ready to throw into a national emergency on short notice; bottleneck system components tend to be very carefully managed.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:

Quote:
I've been thinking of exploring the idea of Glitter Boy clans/orders/associations a bit more as a way of fleshing out this class that is so visibly prominent in the game's art, and yet so unexplored in terms of its way of life/culture. Is there anything like that in canon?


You mean like.....

Operators? That have guilds, pacts, companies, asossciations, and are known to support heroes with cheap/free repairs and upgrades, and (many of whom) wander the wasteland providing their services to people in need?

Yeah, there's something like that in canon.

Also, the Black Market, as of the founding of Bandito Arms, can make the power plants. The Shadow Boy is literally a Glitter Boy without the Chromium Armor. It was the only part of the armor they couldn't make (because they didn't find the formula for it). They can even make the Boom Guns.

I don't just mean the operators; the Glitter Boy O.C.C. has its own distinctive set of skills and is described as an intrinsically heroic type of person; at least, that's their public image. In a way, their RUE fluff seems reminiscent of the cyber-knight in the original Rifts book before the Siege on Tolkien: a member of a decentralized order of good guys with no command structure to speak of.

I was wondering if it might be worth it to try my hand at a Rifter article fleshing out the way of life for independent Glitter Boy pilots and how generation after generation of them keep these 25 million credit bullet magnets working in a hostile, war-torn North America for centuries.

Given the response, I guess it's a bad idea.

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Last edited by Hotrod on Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:57 am
  

User avatar
Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
Posts: 2125
Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
eliakon wrote:
that is straight up because the suit is a favorite of Kevin.
Period.
No other reason really.
There is no other reason why this one suit gets a special mythos and mystique attached to it. They do because its cool, thats all.
As for supplies and repair... well logistics in Palladium are paper thin... in the best of cases.

As for more longevity... they have a longer 'shelf life' becuase they are one of the few suits that was around 300 years ago. The reason the other suits dont have the same longevity... is that most of them have only existed for a handful of years.
Its the reason that you have a lot of classic Fords around and not a lot of classic Teslas.


The Silver Hawk RPA didn't last, nor did almost any of the other original NEMA weapons. There are some pre-rifts designs that have lasted, but it seems unusual for non-GB weapons and power armor of the pre-Rifts era to survive.

I agree with your assessment as to why the Glitter Boy gets its own O.C.C. I just don't find it satisfying as an explanation, when so many other original O.C.C. have been expanded and fleshed out, often with their own sourcebooks.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:23 am
  

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Rifts® Trivia Master

Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 3:37 pm
Posts: 14206
Location: Missouri
Hotrod wrote:
Good point on the plasma torch; it doesn't take a stretch to imagine that it could work on something as resilient as MDC chrome.

On the subject of the M.D.C. Chromium, considering that it's the official name of the Glitter Boy (Chromium Guardsman), it seems likely that it's an ingredient, but without more information, it's impossible to say one way or another. However, the fact that only one type of armor uses it, and the fact that it is significantly and materially different from other M.D.C. materials, suggests that it's something of a niche market outside of Free Quebec.


Triax 2 establishes that Chromium is a part of the armor. it was one of the first american adaptations of Triax's MDC technology, and got unveiled alongside Triax's first piloted robot in the 2064 worlds fair.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:42 am
  

Hero

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:49 am
Posts: 804
glitterboy2098 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Good point on the plasma torch; it doesn't take a stretch to imagine that it could work on something as resilient as MDC chrome.

On the subject of the M.D.C. Chromium, considering that it's the official name of the Glitter Boy (Chromium Guardsman), it seems likely that it's an ingredient, but without more information, it's impossible to say one way or another. However, the fact that only one type of armor uses it, and the fact that it is significantly and materially different from other M.D.C. materials, suggests that it's something of a niche market outside of Free Quebec.


Triax 2 establishes that Chromium is a part of the armor. it was one of the first american adaptations of Triax's MDC technology, and got unveiled alongside Triax's first piloted robot in the 2064 worlds fair.
We already have 1000s of tons of Chromium on reserve in the USA. You can bet that they'd have gotten a whole bunch more once it became essential to making chromium armor. You can also get it by recycling stainless steel. I don't see the continued ability to make it requiring any more disbelief than MDC does in the first place.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:47 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
Posts: 5762
Location: WI
Hotrod wrote:
. Their ammunition should run out and be difficult to replace, since no other weapon uses the boom gun's unique flachette projectiles.

Several issues here:
A. We are told the ammunition is easy to produce.
B. Are we sure that Golden-Age Tech didn't make more use of said style of weapon? (Mutant in Orbit has Flechette type weapons in use, possibly indicating use during the GA)
C. This style of weapon is actually NOT unique, there are several other Flechette style weapon systems (Naruni, Archie3/Shemarrian, MiO, Arkhons to name but a few).

Hotrod wrote:
Each "round" of ammunition includes 200 flachette slugs (source: RUE, FQ). Flachettes aren't just a round rod of metal.

Unfortunatly being "just a rod of metal" is exactly what the canister contains (per artwork).

I would also point out two things:
1. That the ammunition itself IS NOT A flechette, it is described as "flechette style rounds" at least once (pg219 RMB, C&P: WB8 pg137, MIO pg67, WB5 pg46, WB22 pg83&86, RUE pg72, and probably other instances for Naruni and Shemmarian examples). IMHO that means it is not a "flechette", but something like it.
2. Mutants in Orbit describes flechtte weapons as "fire rounds that explode in mid-flight, releasing 20 to 100 tiny shards that inflict damage". So it is entirely possible that Palladium's use of the term is not real world accurate (not a shocker really).

Hotrod wrote:
The last suit should have shut down permanently over 200 years ago, since their power cores only last 25 years on average,

How often are these suits used?

An average of 25 years would mean 219,000 operating hours (ignoring Leap Years, but that only adds 144 hours). The suits could operate for 8 hours every for 365 Days a year for 25 Years and only use 73,000hours (OR 1/3). It would take 75 Years to exhaust the power supply, so if the suits don't operate as frequently you could theoretically reach 300years.

This also assumes that no one salvages destroyed suits for their nuclear power source for parts or fuel.

Hotrod wrote:
Do you have a source on MDC plasma torches being common (or even existing as a thing in canon? I don't see any in GMG or RUE, perhaps the NG books?)? Given that chromium armor is more heat resistant than regular armor (source: FQ p97, QST-333 canon description), plasma torches might not work all that well on it, either.

I can't comment on availability level or independence, but Plasma torches do exist in canon (and this is by no means a complete list or even complete review):
-Trident Power Armor in SB4 has it as an optional system
-FX-370C Borg Frame in WB22
-IR-2015 Robot in WB8
-IPA-70 Power Armor in WB8
-IR-2020 Robot in WB8
-Plasma Torch in Bionic SB (pg97, actually has two on the page by title. Given this is a compilation book they can likely be found in other books)


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:09 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:23 pm
Posts: 4173
Also one should note that destroyed gb still have a lot of armor that is salvageable and the GB parts are basically indestructible unless you are using heavy weapons to wreck them and most people would not spend the time/resources to further demolish a downed GB. I would imagine a lot of the old legacy armor has a leg from one unit an arm from another different torso plates as the units were mass produced so the parts should all be basically interchangeable. A glitter boy arm is likely only valuable to a glitterboy pilot. Most tech cities probably have a salvage yard that likely contains a lot of GB wreckage. They were the main units used by nema so there were many employed so they would be probably the most plentiful of old battlefield salvage for those 200 years. As for ammo if they really do have 1000 rounds then any wrecked GB probably contains a careers worth of ammo for most pilots. And the ammo is also probably the easiest of the components to replicate. Rail guns are common enough so the basic manufacturing is clearly available and the only really different part of GB rounds is the flechette casing.


Lastly for the power supply we know manufacturers have a hard time making the power plants but you don't need to remake the power plants you just need to refuel them and their power plants are likely not different enough that places that could do other robot/power armor power systems could not refuel. They may not be able to make them from scratch but removing the old fuel supply and replacing it should be pretty reasonable. Also as mentioned that 25 years is 25 years of constant activity. Most units are not going to be active 25 years straight.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:32 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 1630
Hotrod wrote:
On the subject of flachette quality, you're both right and wrong in your comparison, It's true that high momentum tends to keep high-velocity slugs on course, and high velocity helps with that. However, the fact that each round (and the GB holds 1000, remember) has 200 slugs; these things aren't likely to be much more massive than a medium-thickness nail. Hence aerodynamics are going to matter. Incidentally, the only navy rail gun system I know of throws a 3.2 kg projectile at around Mach 7. What's this Mach 33 system you speak of? Just curious.


They recently showed another video where it is now up to 60% power, and can fire multiple times a minute. It demolished a hill at 2 miles. Like.. there was a hill, and then there wasn't.
I never said anything about Mach 33, i said it was currently throwing at around Mach 13. And isn't as destructive as the GB's gun.


Quote:
So you need a reusable mold with thousands of shaped cavities, into which you pour crucible steel. Sounds like specialized industrial equipment to me. It's not high-tech, but it's not a trivial thing most operators would just carry with them, either.


Not all Operators travel. And.. specialized? Sure. But easily within the ability of an Operator to create, and fairly trivially. Itd be a bit time consuming (a few days) to make the mold unless you had a shell's worth of flechette's to copy, but that's really about it. Anyone capable of cutting or repairing MDC materials can easily create crucible steel.

Quote:
and yet the math seems to indicate that they can replenish their supply to some limited extent. If Free Quebec has maintained 288 Glitter Boys in the field for 200 years, that would consume 2304 cores,


We're back to the "i need a source on power plants being "consumed" ". I just dont see that as being a thing.

Quote:
Miniature Nuclear power supplies aren't well defined in canon, so I'll make a few educated guesses here. Historically, generating nuclear fuel is the hard part of building reactors and bombs (enriching uranium or breeding plutonium). That's also true of RTGs. If that's any indication, then the fuel is the difficult and expensive part. It's not like recharging an E-clip or pumping in some gas (unless Kevin says it is somewhere).


Historically is irrelevant, as it is definitely NOT a problem to generate nuclear fuel in Rifts Earth. There are literally millions of Power Armor suits with nuclear power supplies. They just aren't as small or high-output as the GBs. Far more likely that the nano-technology to make the reactor that small is the limiting factor on GB power supplies. You have to make all those seals, pressure tolerances, etc, with a much smaller package.

Quote:
My thoughts weren't well laid out; sorry about that. It happens sometimes when I'm writing stream-of-consciousness about an under-developed idea. Demand-wise, Free Quebec loses cores in three ways:
1. Normal consumption (288 per 25 years over 200 years is 2304 cores)
2. Sales or "losses" of Refurbished Glitter Boys (350 cores)
3. Destroyed in combat (indeterminate number, could be as low as a few dozen, could be as high as a few hundred)
Net losses are maybe 2714 total.

Before the NGR deal, Free Quebec got new cores from two sources:
1. Making their own (indeterminate, but known to be uneconomically expensive/difficult)
2. Acquiring salvage/parts (indeterminate).
3. Their original stockpile (864 cores)

When they started, Free Quebec had 864 cores. They used 288 suits on active duty and kept 576 suits in reserve. All these suits were brand new, and therefore so were their cores.

Just before the NGR deal, the numbers I mention in the post above suggest that Free Quebec had 1400 cores on stockpiled Glitter Boys and 288 on active Glitter Boys, for a total of 1688 cores.

In terms of combat-ready suits, Free Quebec had 824 more after 200 years than they did starting out.


Here's where you go off the rails. According to FQ (Page 74), it took almost 120 years before FQ could understand the tech well enough to duplicate it. So, until 20 P.A., they were limited solely to whatever the original factory could produce. They didn't start increasing their stockpiles at a high rate until at the very earlierst 20 P.A. (and even that is unlikely as they were trying to keep things secret from the CS. And lets not forget that during this time they also sent out 350 GBs into the wild for money). It wasn't until they decided that a break from the CS was inevitable did they ramp up full-bore and contract with Triax.

Quote:

I was wondering if it might be worth it to try my hand at a Rifter article fleshing out the way of life for independent Glitter Boy pilots and how generation after generation of them keep these 25 million credit bullet magnets working in a hostile, war-torn North America for centuries.

Given the response, I guess it's a bad idea.


I totally thought you meant the "some secret knightly organization that kept the GBs running".

Loose brotherhood of GB pilots and families seems fine, and like it could be worthwhile.

The similar Rifter article for Mystic Knights is basically canon as far as im concerned. =P

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:54 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 1630
Hotrod wrote:

The Silver Hawk RPA didn't last


This was specifically mentioned in Chaos Earth as to why though. The flight packs couldn't handle the debris in the atmosphere, which grounded them, and exposed them to being killed much more easily, as they were still being used to screen the GB/CG, but couldn't fly off. And they were a lot weaker to begin with.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:41 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
Posts: 2125
Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Historically is irrelevant, as it is definitely NOT a problem to generate nuclear fuel in Rifts Earth. There are literally millions of Power Armor suits with nuclear power supplies. They just aren't as small or high-output as the GBs. Far more likely that the nano-technology to make the reactor that small is the limiting factor on GB power supplies. You have to make all those seals, pressure tolerances, etc, with a much smaller package.

Does all nuclear fuel in Rifts require the same critical mass to sustain power output? That's not how it works with real-life nuclear tech, where the amount needed to sustain power output varies from 2.7 kg for Californium-252 to 192 kg for Berkelium-247. Producing specialized isotopes is a difficult process involving nuclear reactors and some fairly funky chemistry.

On a related note, NASA is developing a miniature nuclear reactor for deep space missions, which I think is pretty awesome.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Quote:
My thoughts weren't well laid out; sorry about that. It happens sometimes when I'm writing stream-of-consciousness about an under-developed idea. Demand-wise, Free Quebec loses cores in three ways:
1. Normal consumption (288 per 25 years over 200 years is 2304 cores)
2. Sales or "losses" of Refurbished Glitter Boys (350 cores)
3. Destroyed in combat (indeterminate number, could be as low as a few dozen, could be as high as a few hundred)
Net losses are maybe 2714 total.

Before the NGR deal, Free Quebec got new cores from two sources:
1. Making their own (indeterminate, but known to be uneconomically expensive/difficult)
2. Acquiring salvage/parts (indeterminate).
3. Their original stockpile (864 cores)

When they started, Free Quebec had 864 cores. They used 288 suits on active duty and kept 576 suits in reserve. All these suits were brand new, and therefore so were their cores.

Just before the NGR deal, the numbers I mention in the post above suggest that Free Quebec had 1400 cores on stockpiled Glitter Boys and 288 on active Glitter Boys, for a total of 1688 cores.

In terms of combat-ready suits, Free Quebec had 824 more after 200 years than they did starting out.


Here's where you go off the rails. According to FQ (Page 74), it took almost 120 years before FQ could understand the tech well enough to duplicate it. So, until 20 P.A., they were limited solely to whatever the original factory could produce. They didn't start increasing their stockpiles at a high rate until at the very earlierst 20 P.A. (and even that is unlikely as they were trying to keep things secret from the CS. And lets not forget that during this time they also sent out 350 GBs into the wild for money). It wasn't until they decided that a break from the CS was inevitable did they ramp up full-bore and contract with Triax.

I'm not sure I understand your argument. Free Quebec produced suits slowly for years, and gradually ramped up production, as it increased its stockpile by 2-3% per year for most of the time it was a Coalition member(FQ). However, most of its stockpile was unpowered. Then it closed the Triax deal and got many thousands of new power cores. FQ implies that production has been at full capacity since, focusing mostly on the newer variants, while Triax has sent new G10s and T-550s.

Until the deal, capacity to produce wasn't Free Quebec's problem. It took Free Quebec 118 years to understand tech well enough to build a small, second factory. On the same page of FQ, it states that Free Quebec got the original factory up and running 10 years after they found it, and discovered that everything they needed to make more GBs. They have had the ability to create new GBs for 190 years. This second factory is described as being secret and small and inside a city, suggesting that it may not produce as much as the original. According to FQ, they can currently produce 500-600. The capacity of the new and older factories isn't specified, but even 300 a year out of the old factory would have more than replaced their entire declared legion in a single year all the way up until they broke away from the Coalition.

FQ also states that Free Quebec only increased its stockpile of GBs by 2-3% per year for a long time. This indicates that they created only around 10-15 in the early years. In later years, this may have risen to 100-150, a number likely well within the first factory's capacity, and again, it's canon that 80% of the stockpile was unpowered until the NGR deal.

The 350 Free Quebec sold or "lost" were refurbished GBs, not new ones produced in their factory (same passage, I think). Their power cores may have simply been the same ones that came in those suits to be refurbished, in which case Free Quebec found it more economical to sell them "as is" and fund R&D and crazy-expensive and slow power core production rather than to use them as reserve suit power sources.

My hypothesis about a power core critical shortage motivating Free Quebec's deal with Triax isn't necessary to explain why the deal happened; I just liked how it complements canon by giving their leaders a logistics-driven urgency to close a deal that they knew would hack off Chi-Town's elite in general and Emperor Prosek in particular.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Quote:
I was wondering if it might be worth it to try my hand at a Rifter article fleshing out the way of life for independent Glitter Boy pilots and how generation after generation of them keep these 25 million credit bullet magnets working in a hostile, war-torn North America for centuries.

Given the response, I guess it's a bad idea.


I totally thought you meant the "some secret knightly organization that kept the GBs running".

Loose brotherhood of GB pilots and families seems fine, and like it could be worthwhile.

The similar Rifter article for Mystic Knights is basically canon as far as im concerned. =P


Yeah, I was thinking of something more akin to loose associations with traditions and varying degrees of mutual support, not some kind of hierarchical crusading order. The only secrets would be for hidden caches of spare parts and backup suits, and maybe one or two secrets specific to one such association (for example, pilots who are also Republicans might belong to a particular brotherhood, forming a secret subset of that brotherhood). I would see them as more akin to skilled trade organizations or the nicer, friendlier types of motorcycle clubs and groups (like the Buffalo Soldiers, Bikers Against Child Abuse, or the Patriot Guard). There would be an element of mutual support and maybe a few clubhouse-type places with some dedicated/specialized operators where members could restock, repair, and maybe pick up a job/contract, but no central authority, just a set of rules/guidelines for members to live by (pay your tab at the clubhouse, keep your armor clean and shiny, no murdering children, et cetera).

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:19 pm
  

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dreicunan wrote:
glitterboy2098 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Good point on the plasma torch; it doesn't take a stretch to imagine that it could work on something as resilient as MDC chrome.

On the subject of the M.D.C. Chromium, considering that it's the official name of the Glitter Boy (Chromium Guardsman), it seems likely that it's an ingredient, but without more information, it's impossible to say one way or another. However, the fact that only one type of armor uses it, and the fact that it is significantly and materially different from other M.D.C. materials, suggests that it's something of a niche market outside of Free Quebec.


Triax 2 establishes that Chromium is a part of the armor. it was one of the first american adaptations of Triax's MDC technology, and got unveiled alongside Triax's first piloted robot in the 2064 worlds fair.
We already have 1000s of tons of Chromium on reserve in the USA. You can bet that they'd have gotten a whole bunch more once it became essential to making chromium armor. You can also get it by recycling stainless steel. I don't see the continued ability to make it requiring any more disbelief than MDC does in the first place.

I don't see it as a "doesn't exist" or "impossible" issue. There are millions of power armor suits in North America and at most a few thousand Glitter Boys outside of Free Quebec. Keeping Chromium plating in stock for 0.1% of one's customers seems like it would be a pretty low priority for most repair shops, as would any specialized tools/equipment for their maintenance/supply. More conventional M.D.C. materials that can effectively patch and repair the other 99.9% of M.D.C. body armor, vehicles, power armor, and robots out there would be the focus for most operators. M.D.C. Chromium and Glitter Boys are a niche market.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:50 pm
  

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glitterboy2098 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Good point on the plasma torch; it doesn't take a stretch to imagine that it could work on something as resilient as MDC chrome.

On the subject of the M.D.C. Chromium, considering that it's the official name of the Glitter Boy (Chromium Guardsman), it seems likely that it's an ingredient, but without more information, it's impossible to say one way or another. However, the fact that only one type of armor uses it, and the fact that it is significantly and materially different from other M.D.C. materials, suggests that it's something of a niche market outside of Free Quebec.


Triax 2 establishes that Chromium is a part of the armor.


What's the exact quote?

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:59 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
\The last suit should have shut down permanently over 200 years ago, since their power cores only last 25 years on average,


"On average."
Palladium never gets into how their super-tech nuclear power supplies work, but if you have 25 years worth of time, and you only use about an hour worth of energy per month, that'd last a long time.
Regardless, nuclear power isn't in hugely short supply on Rifts Earth.

Quote:
and no country in North America can mass produce their miniaturized power sources.


a) Where's it say that?
b) What about imports?

Overall, I think you're looking for problems, and basing the ones that you find on a host of assumptions that aren't necessarily true (or even really indicated, in some cases).


See my previous post; it addresses most of your points.


Eh. Only kinda.

Quote:
As far as I can tell in canon, there are only two sources of new Glitter Boys in North America: ARCHIE, who isn't a country, and Free Quebec, which could only make enough for 20% of its own stockpile (FQ p72). This passage specifies that these are special miniature nuclear power supply units; apparently they're a big part of why the Glitter Boy is so awesome.


What would happen if you jury-rigged a normal nuclear power supply in place of the special one?
Does it say anywhere that the power supplies can't be renewed/refilled/refitted, that they have to have a brand new one built and installed when the old one burns out?

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:15 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Yeah, I was thinking of something more akin to loose associations with traditions and varying degrees of mutual support, not some kind of hierarchical crusading order. The only secrets would be for hidden caches of spare parts and backup suits, and maybe one or two secrets specific to one such association (for example, pilots who are also Republicans might belong to a particular brotherhood, forming a secret subset of that brotherhood). I would see them as more akin to skilled trade organizations or the nicer, friendlier types of motorcycle clubs and groups (like the Buffalo Soldiers, Bikers Against Child Abuse, or the Patriot Guard). There would be an element of mutual support and maybe a few clubhouse-type places with some dedicated/specialized operators where members could restock, repair, and maybe pick up a job/contract, but no central authority, just a set of rules/guidelines for members to live by (pay your tab at the clubhouse, keep your armor clean and shiny, no murdering children, et cetera).


Right, the way it came across originally sounded totally different. What you're describing here seems like it could be interesting if it is fleshed out.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:26 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
What would happen if you jury-rigged a normal nuclear power supply in place of the special one?
Does it say anywhere that the power supplies can't be renewed/refilled/refitted, that they have to have a brand new one built and installed when the old one burns out?


Jury-rigging a reactor would depend on what kind of reactor you used and how good the jury-rigging is. Assuming that the jury rigging handles all the relevant plumbing, voltage/current compatibility, et cetera, I see one of two fairly likely scenarios:

1. The reactor is more powerful than what the Glitter Boy needs and is much bigger than what would be ideal. This would lead the suit to move slower and less gracefully, and it would also stick out of the armor to some degree or have to be attached to the outside, where it would be relatively vulnerable.

2. The reactor is less powerful than what the Glitter Boy needs for optimal performance. This would lead the suit to move slower. It would also affect the main gun, as rail guns draw a lot of power. It could reduce its muzzle velocity, range, and damage, or it might simply mean that the suit could only one or twice per melee round, or both.

As for what happens when a nuclear power supply dies out, I know of no sources in canon that describe it in detail. In real life, you can reprocess the fuel to remove fission products and harvest fissile uranium and plutonium, and you can refuel large nuclear reactors (large commercial power reactors get refueled every 2 or 3 years, naval reactors every 30 years or so). Small reactors such as the Kilopower reactor I mentioned earlier mostly consist of the fuel itself, with the plumbing to extract useful power from the heat being pretty cheap by comparison.

Refueling a ship or submarine's nuclear reactor is a major overhaul involving cutting through multiple decks (and the pressure hull, in the case of a submarine). Reactor cores on a ship tend to be very well protected and centrally located so that they can't be easily accessed. Expended fuel from reactors is very radioactive and has to sit in a cooling pool for something like a year or two before reprocessing or permanent storage can happen.

One rather unique nuclear power system was a reactor designed to power a plane that the Air Force came up with back in the 1960s. The concept was that the plane would drop the reactor in a hole on the runway after landing and pick it up/hook in prior to takeoff. It was a terrible idea, but they actually prototyped it and went so far as to have an operating nuclear reactor on a flying aircraft as a proof of concept.

It's hard to say how nuclear power source replacement and refurbishment would work. I suspect that creating the fuel itself would likely be the most difficult part, because miniaturizing a reactor to the size needed to fit on a Glitter Boy would require an exotic fuel like Californium, but since we don't even know if such power sources are fission reactors, all we can do is guess.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:35 pm
  

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Yeah, I was thinking of something more akin to loose associations with traditions and varying degrees of mutual support, not some kind of hierarchical crusading order. The only secrets would be for hidden caches of spare parts and backup suits, and maybe one or two secrets specific to one such association (for example, pilots who are also Republicans might belong to a particular brotherhood, forming a secret subset of that brotherhood). I would see them as more akin to skilled trade organizations or the nicer, friendlier types of motorcycle clubs and groups (like the Buffalo Soldiers, Bikers Against Child Abuse, or the Patriot Guard). There would be an element of mutual support and maybe a few clubhouse-type places with some dedicated/specialized operators where members could restock, repair, and maybe pick up a job/contract, but no central authority, just a set of rules/guidelines for members to live by (pay your tab at the clubhouse, keep your armor clean and shiny, no murdering children, et cetera).


Right, the way it came across originally sounded totally different. What you're describing here seems like it could be interesting if it is fleshed out.
Yeah, "knightly order" often conjures images of the Templars and Hosplitars, who had strict oaths, extensive duties, elaborate organizations, and strict hierarchies. I was thinking more along the lines of the Order of the Black Swan, where they required members to have two horses and be able to help out a fellow knight for up to a week if needed. They wore distinctive heraldry, got together once a year to vote on how to spend their collected annual dues (much of which probably went to their host to pay for the wine they drank), and promised to watch each other's backs.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:01 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
What would happen if you jury-rigged a normal nuclear power supply in place of the special one?
Does it say anywhere that the power supplies can't be renewed/refilled/refitted, that they have to have a brand new one built and installed when the old one burns out?


Jury-rigging a reactor would depend on what kind of reactor you used and how good the jury-rigging is. Assuming that the jury rigging handles all the relevant plumbing, voltage/current compatibility, et cetera, I see one of two fairly likely scenarios:

1. The reactor is more powerful than what the Glitter Boy needs and is much bigger than what would be ideal. This would lead the suit to move slower and less gracefully, and it would also stick out of the armor to some degree or have to be attached to the outside, where it would be relatively vulnerable.

2. The reactor is less powerful than what the Glitter Boy needs for optimal performance. This would lead the suit to move slower. It would also affect the main gun, as rail guns draw a lot of power. It could reduce its muzzle velocity, range, and damage, or it might simply mean that the suit could only one or twice per melee round, or both.


Or it works, but has a lower lifespan than 25 years.
Or it works, but you have less cargo room.

Quote:
As for what happens when a nuclear power supply dies out, I know of no sources in canon that describe it in detail.


Yup.
So any assumptions about what might happen are assumptions.
Since the Nuclear technology of Rifts Earth is so far beyond what we have today that it seems almost nonsensical, it's about as likely that you could just recharge it as it is that you'd have to replace it entirely.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:29 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
What would happen if you jury-rigged a normal nuclear power supply in place of the special one?
Does it say anywhere that the power supplies can't be renewed/refilled/refitted, that they have to have a brand new one built and installed when the old one burns out?


Jury-rigging a reactor would depend on what kind of reactor you used and how good the jury-rigging is. Assuming that the jury rigging handles all the relevant plumbing, voltage/current compatibility, et cetera, I see one of two fairly likely scenarios:

1. The reactor is more powerful than what the Glitter Boy needs and is much bigger than what would be ideal. This would lead the suit to move slower and less gracefully, and it would also stick out of the armor to some degree or have to be attached to the outside, where it would be relatively vulnerable.

2. The reactor is less powerful than what the Glitter Boy needs for optimal performance. This would lead the suit to move slower. It would also affect the main gun, as rail guns draw a lot of power. It could reduce its muzzle velocity, range, and damage, or it might simply mean that the suit could only one or twice per melee round, or both.


Or it works, but has a lower lifespan than 25 years.
Or it works, but you have less cargo room.


Both are also possible. If Rifts nuclear power sources work like a nuclear reactor, then there's a problem with just ramping up power output: eventually, the fuel gets so hot that it, or the vessel that holds it, overheats and breaks. This is why I think the "exotic fuel" is more plausible than "miniaturized plumbing" as the chief issue for manufacturing them (though other components could prove challenging as well).

It's all speculative, of course, but it's interesting to contemplate.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:06 am
  

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We don't know enough about how Rifts nuclear power works for us to make any determination on reactor lifespan. Does it have to be replaced, or can it be refueled? Is that process hard, or is it easy? We just don't know.

And since we don't know, claiming that this is a reason Glitter Boys should be less common is unsupported.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:47 pm
  

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Eagle wrote:
We don't know enough about how Rifts nuclear power works for us to make any determination on reactor lifespan. Does it have to be replaced, or can it be refueled? Is that process hard, or is it easy? We just don't know.

And since we don't know, claiming that this is a reason Glitter Boys should be less common is unsupported.

Less common than what? I've been looking at factors working against Glitter Boys in this thread; I'm not saying that there aren't any working for them. Certainly since the Triax deal, there's plenty of grounds for them becoming more common, and ARCHIE has clearly played a role in keeping them around. Looking at the numbers of the critical-shortage systems provides an interesting basis in determining what it would take to counter-balance the factors driving their numbers down.

In any case, we know that these GB power cores are difficult/expensive to make (unless you're Triax), and we know how long they last. Anything beyond that isn't covered in canon, so anything on the subject of Rifts nuclear power is speculative.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:33 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Eagle wrote:
We don't know enough about how Rifts nuclear power works for us to make any determination on reactor lifespan. Does it have to be replaced, or can it be refueled? Is that process hard, or is it easy? We just don't know.

And since we don't know, claiming that this is a reason Glitter Boys should be less common is unsupported.

Less common than what? I've been looking at factors working against Glitter Boys in this thread; I'm not saying that there aren't any working for them. Certainly since the Triax deal, there's plenty of grounds for them becoming more common, and ARCHIE has clearly played a role in keeping them around. Looking at the numbers of the critical-shortage systems provides an interesting basis in determining what it would take to counter-balance the factors driving their numbers down.

In any case, we know that these GB power cores are difficult/expensive to make (unless you're Triax), and we know how long they last. Anything beyond that isn't covered in canon, so anything on the subject of Rifts nuclear power is speculative.

That's the problem
Your inventing out of whole cloth the idea that they are used up.
Is there any text whatsoever to suggest that this is the case?
I get that they are the chokepoint of the building process, and that they can build suits faster than they can build cores for them...
....but that doesn't mean that suits that HAVE cores need new ones.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:08 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Eagle wrote:
We don't know enough about how Rifts nuclear power works for us to make any determination on reactor lifespan. Does it have to be replaced, or can it be refueled? Is that process hard, or is it easy? We just don't know.

And since we don't know, claiming that this is a reason Glitter Boys should be less common is unsupported.

Less common than what? I've been looking at factors working against Glitter Boys in this thread; I'm not saying that there aren't any working for them. Certainly since the Triax deal, there's plenty of grounds for them becoming more common, and ARCHIE has clearly played a role in keeping them around. Looking at the numbers of the critical-shortage systems provides an interesting basis in determining what it would take to counter-balance the factors driving their numbers down.

In any case, we know that these GB power cores are difficult/expensive to make (unless you're Triax), and we know how long they last. Anything beyond that isn't covered in canon, so anything on the subject of Rifts nuclear power is speculative.


You are proposing that they should be less common than they are presented in the fiction. Since it's your argument that things should be different, you've got the burden of providing textual support for it. You've got to show that Glitter Boys being as common as they are portrayed doesn't make sense given what we know about them. And one of your arguments is "those reactors only last 25 years".

Except we're never told what happens after 25 years. Can they be recharged? Do they have to be completely replaced? We don't know. It could be as simple as recharging Mr. Fusion from Back to the Future. It could require an entirely new core. Is it either of those? Something in between? No idea. Since we don't know, you've only got an assumption that it has to be replaced. But that's your own supposition -- we are never told that -- and it doesn't have to be that way.

It's like me saying that it doesn't make sense for Emperor Prosek to still be alive, because he has had brain cancer since he was a kid. I mean, sure, he might, but that's not anything that is ever mentioned in the books. It's something I decided in my own head.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:53 pm
  

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anyone got the SB1 robot rules handy? i seem to recall they may actually say what happens when the time is up =S (but they may only say for certain ones... particularly, i think, the TW power supply...)


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:09 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
anyone got the SB1 robot rules handy? i seem to recall they may actually say what happen when the time is up =S (but they may only say for certain ones... particularly, i think, the TW power supply...)

Interesting. It says that any high-tech town can make repairs to a robot's nuclear power source. I'm not sure whether that would include restocking its nuclear fuel, but that interpretation seems quite plausible. On the flipside, if the fuel can be easily replaced, then what exactly about such a power source makes it difficult and expensive to make in the first place for Glitter Boys?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:25 pm
  

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Eagle wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Eagle wrote:
We don't know enough about how Rifts nuclear power works for us to make any determination on reactor lifespan. Does it have to be replaced, or can it be refueled? Is that process hard, or is it easy? We just don't know.

And since we don't know, claiming that this is a reason Glitter Boys should be less common is unsupported.

Less common than what? I've been looking at factors working against Glitter Boys in this thread; I'm not saying that there aren't any working for them. Certainly since the Triax deal, there's plenty of grounds for them becoming more common, and ARCHIE has clearly played a role in keeping them around. Looking at the numbers of the critical-shortage systems provides an interesting basis in determining what it would take to counter-balance the factors driving their numbers down.

In any case, we know that these GB power cores are difficult/expensive to make (unless you're Triax), and we know how long they last. Anything beyond that isn't covered in canon, so anything on the subject of Rifts nuclear power is speculative.


You are proposing that they should be less common than they are presented in the fiction. Since it's your argument that things should be different, you've got the burden of providing textual support for it. You've got to show that Glitter Boys being as common as they are portrayed doesn't make sense given what we know about them. And one of your arguments is "those reactors only last 25 years".

Except we're never told what happens after 25 years. Can they be recharged? Do they have to be completely replaced? We don't know. It could be as simple as recharging Mr. Fusion from Back to the Future. It could require an entirely new core. Is it either of those? Something in between? No idea. Since we don't know, you've only got an assumption that it has to be replaced. But that's your own supposition -- we are never told that -- and it doesn't have to be that way.

It's like me saying that it doesn't make sense for Emperor Prosek to still be alive, because he has had brain cancer since he was a kid. I mean, sure, he might, but that's not anything that is ever mentioned in the books. It's something I decided in my own head.

Please take another look at my original post. I'm not saying that they should be less common. I'm saying that the logistical problems with sustaining such a suit for centuries in a chaotic and hostile setting seem insurmountable for independent pilots. I observe that they clearly do overcome these challenges, and I'm wondering how they do so. The economics and practical considerations of keeping robots and power armor in good repair are daunting, and they are even more so with Glitter Boys. I never meant to imply that GB pilots and their families can't overcome such challenges.

I see an aspect of published canon that seems somewhat incomplete, and I'm contemplating writing up a treatment on Glitter Boy pilot culture (which also seems lacking) as a way to address it.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:59 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Historically is irrelevant, as it is definitely NOT a problem to generate nuclear fuel in Rifts Earth. There are literally millions of Power Armor suits with nuclear power supplies. They just aren't as small or high-output as the GBs. Far more likely that the nano-technology to make the reactor that small is the limiting factor on GB power supplies. You have to make all those seals, pressure tolerances, etc, with a much smaller package.

Does all nuclear fuel in Rifts require the same critical mass to sustain power output? That's not how it works with real-life nuclear tech, where the amount needed to sustain power output varies from 2.7 kg for Californium-252 to 192 kg for Berkelium-247. Producing specialized isotopes is a difficult process involving nuclear reactors and some fairly funky chemistry.

On a related note, NASA is developing a miniature nuclear reactor for deep space missions, which I think is pretty awesome.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Quote:
My thoughts weren't well laid out; sorry about that. It happens sometimes when I'm writing stream-of-consciousness about an under-developed idea. Demand-wise, Free Quebec loses cores in three ways:
1. Normal consumption (288 per 25 years over 200 years is 2304 cores)
2. Sales or "losses" of Refurbished Glitter Boys (350 cores)
3. Destroyed in combat (indeterminate number, could be as low as a few dozen, could be as high as a few hundred)
Net losses are maybe 2714 total.

Before the NGR deal, Free Quebec got new cores from two sources:
1. Making their own (indeterminate, but known to be uneconomically expensive/difficult)
2. Acquiring salvage/parts (indeterminate).
3. Their original stockpile (864 cores)

When they started, Free Quebec had 864 cores. They used 288 suits on active duty and kept 576 suits in reserve. All these suits were brand new, and therefore so were their cores.

Just before the NGR deal, the numbers I mention in the post above suggest that Free Quebec had 1400 cores on stockpiled Glitter Boys and 288 on active Glitter Boys, for a total of 1688 cores.

In terms of combat-ready suits, Free Quebec had 824 more after 200 years than they did starting out.


Here's where you go off the rails. According to FQ (Page 74), it took almost 120 years before FQ could understand the tech well enough to duplicate it. So, until 20 P.A., they were limited solely to whatever the original factory could produce. They didn't start increasing their stockpiles at a high rate until at the very earlierst 20 P.A. (and even that is unlikely as they were trying to keep things secret from the CS. And lets not forget that during this time they also sent out 350 GBs into the wild for money). It wasn't until they decided that a break from the CS was inevitable did they ramp up full-bore and contract with Triax.

I'm not sure I understand your argument. Free Quebec produced suits slowly for years, and gradually ramped up production, as it increased its stockpile by 2-3% per year for most of the time it was a Coalition member(FQ). However, most of its stockpile was unpowered. Then it closed the Triax deal and got many thousands of new power cores. FQ implies that production has been at full capacity since, focusing mostly on the newer variants, while Triax has sent new G10s and T-550s.

Until the deal, capacity to produce wasn't Free Quebec's problem. It took Free Quebec 118 years to understand tech well enough to build a small, second factory. On the same page of FQ, it states that Free Quebec got the original factory up and running 10 years after they found it, and discovered that everything they needed to make more GBs. They have had the ability to create new GBs for 190 years. This second factory is described as being secret and small and inside a city, suggesting that it may not produce as much as the original. According to FQ, they can currently produce 500-600. The capacity of the new and older factories isn't specified, but even 300 a year out of the old factory would have more than replaced their entire declared legion in a single year all the way up until they broke away from the Coalition.

FQ also states that Free Quebec only increased its stockpile of GBs by 2-3% per year for a long time. This indicates that they created only around 10-15 in the early years. In later years, this may have risen to 100-150, a number likely well within the first factory's capacity, and again, it's canon that 80% of the stockpile was unpowered until the NGR deal.

The 350 Free Quebec sold or "lost" were refurbished GBs, not new ones produced in their factory (same passage, I think). Their power cores may have simply been the same ones that came in those suits to be refurbished, in which case Free Quebec found it more economical to sell them "as is" and fund R&D and crazy-expensive and slow power core production rather than to use them as reserve suit power sources.

My hypothesis about a power core critical shortage motivating Free Quebec's deal with Triax isn't necessary to explain why the deal happened; I just liked how it complements canon by giving their leaders a logistics-driven urgency to close a deal that they knew would hack off Chi-Town's elite in general and Emperor Prosek in particular.

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Quote:
I was wondering if it might be worth it to try my hand at a Rifter article fleshing out the way of life for independent Glitter Boy pilots and how generation after generation of them keep these 25 million credit bullet magnets working in a hostile, war-torn North America for centuries.

Given the response, I guess it's a bad idea.


I totally thought you meant the "some secret knightly organization that kept the GBs running".

Loose brotherhood of GB pilots and families seems fine, and like it could be worthwhile.

The similar Rifter article for Mystic Knights is basically canon as far as im concerned. =P


Yeah, I was thinking of something more akin to loose associations with traditions and varying degrees of mutual support, not some kind of hierarchical crusading order. The only secrets would be for hidden caches of spare parts and backup suits, and maybe one or two secrets specific to one such association (for example, pilots who are also Republicans might belong to a particular brotherhood, forming a secret subset of that brotherhood). I would see them as more akin to skilled trade organizations or the nicer, friendlier types of motorcycle clubs and groups (like the Buffalo Soldiers, Bikers Against Child Abuse, or the Patriot Guard). There would be an element of mutual support and maybe a few clubhouse-type places with some dedicated/specialized operators where members could restock, repair, and maybe pick up a job/contract, but no central authority, just a set of rules/guidelines for members to live by (pay your tab at the clubhouse, keep your armor clean and shiny, no murdering children, et cetera).



On the reactor stuff and the type of fuel remember that basically all north america tech that is not alien all is derived from the same technology base for their military equipment. So I would imagine most of the reactors probably are more similar than different in what fuel they need. Over time that would diverge but until recently in the game time line most of the NA powers were working off what was effectively modifications on golden age weapons/armor/vehicle plans.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:59 pm
  

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eliakon wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Eagle wrote:
We don't know enough about how Rifts nuclear power works for us to make any determination on reactor lifespan. Does it have to be replaced, or can it be refueled? Is that process hard, or is it easy? We just don't know.

And since we don't know, claiming that this is a reason Glitter Boys should be less common is unsupported.

Less common than what? I've been looking at factors working against Glitter Boys in this thread; I'm not saying that there aren't any working for them. Certainly since the Triax deal, there's plenty of grounds for them becoming more common, and ARCHIE has clearly played a role in keeping them around. Looking at the numbers of the critical-shortage systems provides an interesting basis in determining what it would take to counter-balance the factors driving their numbers down.

In any case, we know that these GB power cores are difficult/expensive to make (unless you're Triax), and we know how long they last. Anything beyond that isn't covered in canon, so anything on the subject of Rifts nuclear power is speculative.

That's the problem
Your inventing out of whole cloth the idea that they are used up.
Is there any text whatsoever to suggest that this is the case?
I get that they are the chokepoint of the building process, and that they can build suits faster than they can build cores for them...
....but that doesn't mean that suits that HAVE cores need new ones.

I'm not saying that they are used up. I'm saying that there doesn't seem to be enough factors working in favor of preserving them against the vicissitudes of centuries of service in Rifts North America. They clearly aren't just used up; most suits out there have been active for over a century. I'm wondering how that happens, especially since virtually no other NEMA equipment has survived centuries of use in significant quantities (and that includes items that are less conspicuous and simpler, such as body armor and hand-held weapons). I suspect that there are social and cultural aspects of the Glitter Boy pilot and family such that their way of life strives to preserve the suits for the future, and I started this thread to explore other possibilities and thoughts on the matter. I was thinking of trying my hand at a Rifter article on the subject. Glitter Boys are the Chosen Ones of Kevin, and I can accept that real-world explanation. I just find the in-universe treatment of their pilots and their suits lacking in this respect.

Thus far, nearly everyone responding to this thread has rejected the premise of this line of thinking out of hand, which doesn't exactly bode well for where I wanted to go with this. When I wrote the subject "Why do Glitter Boys Still Exist?" I didn't mean to state or argue that they should not; rather, I had hoped to explore gaps in the Glitter Boy O.C.C.'s canon presentation that could explain it. I didn't mean to get into debates over whether Glitter Boy logistics challenges exist, but rather ponder how people would overcome them.

Clearly, my posts have failed to foster the kind of conversation I'd hoped for. Perhaps I should focus on how to write and communicate my thoughts and intentions better before I try writing up a Rifter submission. Or perhaps the idea just wasn't good enough in the first place.

Please pardon my public introspection.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:33 pm
  

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kaid wrote:
On the reactor stuff and the type of fuel remember that basically all north america tech that is not alien all is derived from the same technology base for their military equipment. So I would imagine most of the reactors probably are more similar than different in what fuel they need. Over time that would diverge but until recently in the game time line most of the NA powers were working off what was effectively modifications on golden age weapons/armor/vehicle plans.


Without more canon details, I look to real life, where I see a wide variety of nuclear reactors. Here are a few design types off the top of my head and the fuel they use (from Wikipedia):

CANDU: uses heavy water and natural uranium
PWR: uses 2-4% enriched uranium or mixed oxide fuel (where they blend in plutonium)
Research Reactor: most use ~20% enriched uranium
EBR-2: used 67% enriched uranium with liquid metal as a coolant (and bred its own plutonium in a closed fuel cycle)
Navy Carrier Reactors: use ~35% enriched uranium
Submarine Reactors: up to 93% enriched uranium
MSR: Uses some enriched uranium and breeds its own fissile fuel out of thorium, uses liquid thorium salt as a fuel.

Enriching uranium is a major industrial process, and these reactor designs can't simply swap one type of fuel out for another. Stating that most nuclear reactors use the same fuel is akin to stating that most combustion-powered engines use interchangeable fuel. Some of the fuels described above are as dissimilar in structure as coal and diesel fuel.

Of course, nuclear power sources in Rifts are more akin to Iron Man's magic "arc reactor" than anything in real life.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:08 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
When I wrote the subject "Why do Glitter Boys Still Exist?" I didn't mean to state or argue that they should not; rather, I had hoped to explore gaps in the Glitter Boy O.C.C.'s canon presentation that could explain it. I didn't mean to get into debates over whether Glitter Boy logistics challenges exist, but rather ponder how people would overcome them.

Clearly, my posts have failed to foster the kind of conversation I'd hoped for. Perhaps I should focus on how to write and communicate my thoughts and intentions better before I try writing up a Rifter submission. Or perhaps the idea just wasn't good enough in the first place.

Please pardon my public introspection.


Introspect away!

My thing is that I just don't really see the gaps that you do.
I'm good with a lot of hand-waving, and the whole "nuclear power supply" issue is one of them. The nuclear power supplies in Rifts don't work like anything in the real world. I'm good with that; I chalk it up to Super Advanced Science.
I haven't put much thought into the GB power supply specifically, but I have wondered how so many pre-rifts power armors, robots, and vehicles could be functioning (power-wise) after all this time. NOT just the stuff that has been out and in use, but in situations where the PCs find an ancient armory with some SAMAS or something in it.
Should they have to spend the time getting a new power supply, installing it, etc., before they can use the ancient artifact?
I decided that No, they shouldn't.
I decided that such power supplies could be put into effective stasis by disconnecting them from the source: possibly with something as simple as a switch on the inside of the armor/vehicle/whatever.
That makes the power supplies last potentially a HECK of a lot longer.
From this thread, it sounds like other people have had roughly the same take, that the 10 Year Life Span of a nuclear power supply or whatever is based on actual use, instead of being a doomsday timer for your gear that starts counting down the moment the nuclear power supply is built.
In fact, this makes the most sense.
Otherwise if a 10-year nuclear power supply sat on the shelf for a year before getting sold, it'd be a 9 year power supply at the time of purchase.

That one small thing handles the power issues not only of the Glitter Boys, but of everything, and without cabals or power swapping unions or aliens or anything.

Same kind of thing with the "Chromium" armor.
The Robot Vehicle Repair tables in SB1 don't have a different cost for GBs.
I don't know of ANY place that states the GBs are particularly difficult to repair.
Yes, it could make sense for them to be difficult, since they're molecularly bonded materials, but I don't remember that ever being actually stated anywhere, or even otherwise indicated.
So I've always had them be able to be repaired anywhere that could repair anything other power armor or robot vehicle.
I'd bet that virtually everybody has.
So from our perspective, you're essentially creating a problem in order to solve it, which isn't particularly interesting or engaging. In fact, it emotionally nets out to some degree as if you're telling us that we've been doing things wrong by NOT caring about this factor, and by treating GB armor like any other armor when it comes to repairs.

None of this means you shouldn't write a Rifter Article if you feel like it.

There have been countless articles written and published that I don't care about. Most players don't care about most Rifter articles.
But almost all players care about SOME Rifter articles, and if YOU have these concerns, somebody else out there may have them as well. So if you want to write an article, write an article.
Just, you know, don't count on us here in the forum for much help!
:D

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:38 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Good points, all; I should have provided sources. Here goes:

The only laser torch I know of in canon (source: Wilk's Laser Torch, RUE p269 and RMB) is not variable-frequency, and laser shots can and do ricochet off glitter boys (source: Sharpshooting skill description in New West, CB1, and other places). Therefore, using a laser torch on chromium armor would be a bad idea due to reflective hazards, both because of the hazard of the surface reflections and dynamic surface geometry which would change during cuts and welds, creating hazardous reflected beams (source: my brain). Do you have a source on MDC plasma torches being common (or even existing as a thing in canon? I don't see any in GMG or RUE, perhaps the NG books?)? Given that chromium armor is more heat resistant than regular armor (source: FQ p97, QST-333 canon description), plasma torches might not work all that well on it, either.

Chromium is not abundant in North America; in real life, most of it comes from Asia and Africa (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium). In Rifts Earth, Glitter Boys and a handful of variants are the only types of vehicles or armor that use the MDC chromium. Hence, it's rare, or at least, unusual; a specialty/niche market.

Each "round" of ammunition includes 200 flachette slugs (source: RUE, FQ). Flachettes aren't just a round rod of metal. Each is a pointed projectile with a vaned tail (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flechette). Thus, they can't simply be made by turning simple iron or steel on a lathe. The fact that they must fly straight and true over 2 miles (source: G10 description in RUE and FQ) indicates that they must be made precisely, especially the fins, because even a small defect would deflect them (source: watching what happens when I throw a paper airplane with a bent wing), so they can't just be hammered into shape. A machinist could make a single slug, but individually making the 200 needed for a single shot would be impractical, and making 200,000 flachettes needed for a full load of ammunition would require specialized industrial equipment for that specific purpose, especially if the slugs themselves are made from M.D.C. materials.

Free Quebec seems to be awesome at making everything Glitter Boys need except the power core; they suck at that. While they can totally refurbish a wrecked Glitter Boy within 36 hours(FQ p79), Free Quebec has clearly been able to make new Glitter Boys, yet they shell out top dollar for parts and salvage (FQ p20). Though they've been making new Glitter Boys for generations, these have been a stockpiled reserve, and 80% of them had no power source until their deal with the NGR (FQ p). The original FQ Glitter Boy Legion was 288 (FQ p36), although 864 suits were found. The power core manufacturing process is mentioned as particularly difficult/expensive for FQ (same page). Triax has supplied 6,000 suits to Free Quebec (FQ p74), and their total GB legion numbers 15,000 GBs as of the start of war with the CS in late 105 P.A. (FQ p77). Free Quebec can make 500-600 per year (FQ p74), and has likely been doing so since the deal with the NGR, which happened sometime before 104 P.A. since that is when Triax started making and delivering their GBs to Free Quebec (T&NGR, p45). Assuming 2 years for them to design, prototype, and begin production on the T-550 Glitter Boy, this means that the deal got signed in 102 P.A. and that FQ had somewhere around 7,000 GB suits in reserve at the time that they signed the Triax deal, but only about 1400 of them had power cores (and many of those cores may have been mostly depleted, since this was a mothballed reserve; it's what I'd do if I had un-powered suits in reserve).

Fewer than 3000 Glitter Boys from prewar have been found/activated in the last 200 years across North America, though no more pre-apocalypse ones have been found in 20 years, and around 60% of Glitter Boys have been active for 100-200 years (FQ, p20). Free Quebec has sold or "lost" another 350 (FQ p72).

Those are the facts as I understand them from canon. Now for my own interpretation:

------------------------------------------------

It seems likely that Free Quebec can't make new power cores from scratch, or can't do so economically, and yet the math seems to indicate that they can replenish their supply to some limited extent. If Free Quebec has maintained 288 Glitter Boys in the field for 200 years, that would consume 2304 cores, nearly three times the number that they started with. My unsupported interpretation is that Free Quebec can reprocess depleted power sources to create new ones, perhaps requiring two depleted cores to create one new one. Thus they can extend their power core supply, but until the deal with the NGR, they could barely keep pace with their usage rates.

Further, I believe that Free Quebec limited their pre-NGR-deal Glitter Boy Legion to 288 in order to conserve power cores, since they sucked at making new ones. 200 years ago, Free Quebec found 864 Glitter Boys (FQ p74). Even refurbishing their cores, they would use up 1152 cores. This usage rate would make them about to run out of power cores around the same time that they made their deal with the NGR. which gives them a practical reason for them making the trade when they did.

I believe that the bulk of the power cores in Free Quebec's stockpile pre-NGR deal would be cores nearing, but not at the end of, their operational life (1 year left or so). This would allow Free Quebec to surge over a thousand Glitter Boys into a short conflict of Of course, FQ would also lose cores in combat and acquire more from salvaged and found suits, but I think it's reasonable for those factors to offset each other.

Now I'll look broader. Across North America, 3,000 or so suits that have been found in the last 200 years. Almost a third of them went to Free Quebec. ARCHIE made and left caches here and there for the Republicans in their early years, and he continues to do so, but he does not sustain these suits. This is where I'm tempted to get a little creative.

Given the fact that descended GB pilots are a thing outside of Free Quebec, and most suits have been in service for over a century, it stands to reason that there are organizations dedicated to servicing, repairing, and resupplying these pilots and their suits. Since such organizations aren't known among the power players of North America, it seems reasonable that they would be fairly loose associations, something between a professional association and a knightly order. Given that Glitter Boys are more associated with heroism than with villainy, it seems plausible that these organizations hold themselves to some standards of behavior.

I've been thinking of exploring the idea of Glitter Boy clans/orders/associations a bit more as a way of fleshing out this class that is so visibly prominent in the game's art, and yet so unexplored in terms of its way of life/culture. Is there anything like that in canon?


A laser torch like a laser scalpel has a beam with a short range.
1. The GB Armor isnt going to somehow break off the beam and somehow extend its range.
2. If the beams range is two inches and you do something to ensure the beam is only 1.75 inches away from the cutting then there is never a danger of damaging the torch something like turning it into a laser router.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:45 pm
  

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:52 pm
  

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regarding the richochet aspect, I'm skeptical this applies to short-range things... do we expect a laser knife to bounce off and hit someone? The laser torch has a max range of 10 feet, so if I stand 10 feet away while I weld, how far past me can it richocet?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:15 pm
  

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Axelmania wrote:
regarding the richochet aspect, I'm skeptical this applies to short-range things... do we expect a laser knife to bounce off and hit someone? The laser torch has a max range of 10 feet, so if I stand 10 feet away while I weld, how far past me can it richocet?


I'd love to see what sort of quality weld I'd do from 10 feet away. I think the 10 feet has to do with the divergence of the beam, meaning that it only stays focused enough to do what it's made for for 10 feet. Applying that to a reflective surface with a shape that will change dynamically... that sounds like the plot of an OSHA PSA video.

How does a laser knife work?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:11 am
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
regarding the richochet aspect, I'm skeptical this applies to short-range things... do we expect a laser knife to bounce off and hit someone? The laser torch has a max range of 10 feet, so if I stand 10 feet away while I weld, how far past me can it richocet?


I'd love to see what sort of quality weld I'd do from 10 feet away. I think the 10 feet has to do with the divergence of the beam, meaning that it only stays focused enough to do what it's made for for 10 feet. Applying that to a reflective surface with a shape that will change dynamically... that sounds like the plot of an OSHA PSA video.

How does a laser knife work?

Another thing to keep in mind is that while Chromium armor can be used as a reflective surface, it may not necessarily be so at all angles otherwise there'd probably be a note about lasers bouncing back and hitting the person who fired at the GB suit with the laser. Which means a laser welder would have to be selective in the angle they weld at.

How does a laser knife work?
If you are referring to the Wilk's Laser Knife (and Sword) I can state the technobabble "creates a stable laser field", though just what that actually means is open to debate. My personal opinion on how they work is the blade is the product of "hard light" or "stopped photon" technology (which is a real thing).


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:39 am
  

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chromium armor likely operates by Diffuse relection, scattering incoming hits.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:03 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
regarding the richochet aspect, I'm skeptical this applies to short-range things... do we expect a laser knife to bounce off and hit someone? The laser torch has a max range of 10 feet, so if I stand 10 feet away while I weld, how far past me can it richocet?


I'd love to see what sort of quality weld I'd do from 10 feet away. I think the 10 feet has to do with the divergence of the beam, meaning that it only stays focused enough to do what it's made for for 10 feet. Applying that to a reflective surface with a shape that will change dynamically... that sounds like the plot of an OSHA PSA video.

How does a laser knife work?

Another thing to keep in mind is that while Chromium armor can be used as a reflective surface, it may not necessarily be so at all angles otherwise there'd probably be a note about lasers bouncing back and hitting the person who fired at the GB suit with the laser. Which means a laser welder would have to be selective in the angle they weld at.

How does a laser knife work?
If you are referring to the Wilk's Laser Knife (and Sword) I can state the technobabble "creates a stable laser field", though just what that actually means is open to debate. My personal opinion on how they work is the blade is the product of "hard light" or "stopped photon" technology (which is a real thing).

There actually is a way to reflect a laser back to its source: Take three adjoining sides of a cube and make the inside faces reflective. Any beam coming in along a fairly wide angle will get reflected back to the source (depends on how deep the indentation is). This is how many reflective panels work. Convex mirrors, which is what the armor of a GB is made of, spreads out beams of light, which would reduce the effective range of the reflected beam. As for angular dependence, the art depictions of Glitter Boys don't reflect (pun) that.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:30 pm
  

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glitterboy2098 wrote:
chromium armor likely operates by Diffuse relection, scattering incoming hits.

That's how things like white paint, white marble, and plaster work. Glitter Boy reflections show sharp edges.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:29 pm
  

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Glitterboy armor probably difuse lasers via applied Phlembotium.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:15 am
  

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eliakon wrote:
Glitterboy armor probably difuse lasers via applied Phlembotium.

I thought it was an alloy of solidified aether and phlogiston.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:27 am
  

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dreicunan wrote:
eliakon wrote:
Glitterboy armor probably difuse lasers via applied Phlembotium.

I thought it was an alloy of solidified aether and phlogiston.

nah, phlogiston is extremely flammable and would make absolutely awful armour.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:09 am
  

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Hotrod wrote:
ShadowLogan wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
regarding the richochet aspect, I'm skeptical this applies to short-range things... do we expect a laser knife to bounce off and hit someone? The laser torch has a max range of 10 feet, so if I stand 10 feet away while I weld, how far past me can it richocet?


I'd love to see what sort of quality weld I'd do from 10 feet away. I think the 10 feet has to do with the divergence of the beam, meaning that it only stays focused enough to do what it's made for for 10 feet. Applying that to a reflective surface with a shape that will change dynamically... that sounds like the plot of an OSHA PSA video.

How does a laser knife work?

Another thing to keep in mind is that while Chromium armor can be used as a reflective surface, it may not necessarily be so at all angles otherwise there'd probably be a note about lasers bouncing back and hitting the person who fired at the GB suit with the laser. Which means a laser welder would have to be selective in the angle they weld at.

How does a laser knife work?
If you are referring to the Wilk's Laser Knife (and Sword) I can state the technobabble "creates a stable laser field", though just what that actually means is open to debate. My personal opinion on how they work is the blade is the product of "hard light" or "stopped photon" technology (which is a real thing).

There actually is a way to reflect a laser back to its source: Take three adjoining sides of a cube and make the inside faces reflective. Any beam coming in along a fairly wide angle will get reflected back to the source (depends on how deep the indentation is). This is how many reflective panels work. Convex mirrors, which is what the armor of a GB is made of, spreads out beams of light, which would reduce the effective range of the reflected beam. As for angular dependence, the art depictions of Glitter Boys don't reflect (pun) that.

I'm just saying that game mechanically the laser resistant nature of the material ONLY reduces damage by 1/2, it doesn't do the reflection thing except under very specific circumstances (ex. trickshooting). If mechanics of attacking a glitterboy (or other LR-material) said (for example something like) "you take 1/2 damage as the other half is reflected like a wild shot, roll to see who gets hit with the reflected beam" I would agree that a Laser Welder might be an issue, but as it is I am not aware of any such mechnaic that applies all the time which would allow someone to laser weld.


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