Tech Brief 3: EP Rifles

EP rifle REV

The trademark weapon of the Coalition battlemancer is the Ethergenic Plasma rifle. The most common version is the V3-A, commonly known as the Banshee due to the piercing wail of its plasma bolts.

In outward construction, an EP rifle is similar to other mundane firearms and can use many of the same accessories (scopes, lamps, etc…) without modification, but the similarities stop there.

At the core of an EP rifle is a specialized form of the Keiler/Felbs amplifier array.  Unlike a traditional booster like the Esper Series, the EP rifle core is designed to intensify and catalyze raw vim into a tangible high-energy state, similar to that of the lightning common in Etheric storms. In this physical form, known as Ethergenic Plasma or Ethergy, the vim becomes extremely unstable.  However, when focused through alchemechanical compression lenses into narrow bolts, it can be discharged with reasonable accuracy at range, making it a functional weapon.  Ethergenic plasma bolts cause significant damage to physical matter and its highly discordant harmonics make it particularly effective at penetrating magical barriers and wards.  This makes the EP rifle the weapon of choice for dealing with heavily warded targets and bio-magical creatures, like dragons.

EP rifles are undeniably powerful, but suffer from some significant limitations. Foremost is their heavy expenditure of ‘stone cartridges. Condensing vim to such an extreme level is severely taxing on the vimstone core making burnouts quite common, often after only a few bursts.  This makes EP rifles expensive to maintain and care must be taken to limit their use to targets that cannot be engaged with less costly munitions such as JAM or Field SCAM rounds.

Secondly, as the system cannot contain the plasma state for more than a fraction of a second, it requires a large influx of vim for each shot. This means that the user must supply the vim for the shot just as if he or she were channeling a spell into a booster. This makes repeated firing of an EP rifle exhausting and potentially dangerous for the user and also puts a practical limit on the size of an EP rifle. While naval engineers might dream of skycruiser mounted vimcannons, no living being short of a dragon would possess enough natural vim to power such a device and one would be extremely hard pressed to find any willing to do so.

Just like a Booster, effective use of an EP rifle requires a high degree of specialized training. Only Coalition Battlemancers receive formal training in the use of these weapons. It is extremely rare to encounter anyone outside of the military with access to EP rifle technology or the skills to use it properly.

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