W is for super Weapon

grand_moff_tarkinA super weapon is an antagonist and Nemesis given the form of a terrifying object. It is a means to inspire fear and trepidation on the galactic scale fueled by the accumulated wealth, anxieties, and nightmares of a trillion worlds.

Super weapons are the ultimate display of both power and hubris. They are designed by highly focused minds, flawed by deep-rooted neuroses. Super weapons are also a projection of a society, proudly showing their most advanced technologies built, in vain, to alleviate their crippling insecurities.

Everything about a super weapon must be over the top and larger than life. They are always described in the most extreme way possible, often with one or more Superfluous Descriptors. These monikers need not even be accurate. the need only inspire fear, wonder, and awe in those that gaze upon them.

Though the ideals behind them are quite radical, the basis of functionality and purpose to a super weapon is always grounded in a relatively simple idea. The Means and Method of a super weapon are easy to grasp, in contrast to the often ignored technological details, so as to be immediately understood in a story. They often represent a very basic idea, magnified to a truly galactic scale.

Lastly, all super weapons must inevitably face their own downfall in the form of an exploitable Vulnerability. This weakness has the most dramatic impact when used to mirror the personality flaws of the super weapon’s designer, such as the Death Star being destroyed by insignificant snub fighters to reflect Grand Moff Tarkin’s apathy towards those he deemed beneath him.

To generate a new Super Weapon, roll at least four d10’s on the table below for a random assortment of a least one selection from each of the four columns. Or, simply select as many choices from the Superfluous Descriptor, Means, Method, and Vulnerability categories that fit the unique, new technological terror you have constructed.

1   Death   space station   extreme destruction   starfighters
2   Super   planetary destruction   extreme range   computer slicing
3   Ancient   torpedo   advanced artificial intelligence   the Force
4   Chaos   tractor beam   affects hyperspace   ion cannons
5   Shadow   laser cannon   self-replicating   a traitor within
6   Hyperspace   crystal   affects the Force   very slow
7   Dark   droid   affects gravity   requires costly fuel or other upkeep
8   Star   Jedi or other Force user   undetectable   sonic vibrations
9   Graviton   army   indestructible   sensor or communications disruptions
10   Electromagnetic   starship   psychic   boarding parties

About C. Steven Ross

C. Steven Ross is the founder of Triumph & Despair. View all posts by C. Steven Ross

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