Plasma technology, in this regard, is the creation and/or confinement of plasma for use in offensive action. Using a series of magnetic confinement and particle acceleration, plasma is propelled at relatively high velocities with devastating potency. Plasma weapons were considered the highest tier of weaponized projectile systems under development before the Great War and were refined and utilized by survivors afterwards.
The Enclave is the only post-war faction that deploys plasma weapons as standard issue equipment to its soldiers. As a result, plasma weapons can only typically be found in areas the Enclave are or have been deployed to. The Van Graffs in NCR territory have been able to manufacture plasma weapons with relative success because of this, but plasma weapons remain scarce in the majority of the wasteland.
The only other plasma weaponry that exists elsewhere are found in the form of the bulky Winchester P94 plasma "caster". The pre-war Mister Gutsy robot models that were outfitted with a blaster module from RobCo Industries's urban plasma rifle design were a crude result of wartime jury rigging and, as a result, are not salvagable for anything less than parts.
In Motown, plasma weapons are rare and prized by the factions vying over the city. The Enclave that maintains a small presence in the city are sought after by the other factions for a potential supply of plasma weapons and components. Independent tinkerers have created home-made plasma rifles from the scrapped Mister Gutsy models but they are as heavy, ineffective, and as uncommon as the Winchester P94 plasma "caster".
History and DevelopmentEdit
Before the war, plasma technology was experimented with by Poseidon Energy in their cancelled project SEMELE and RobCo Industries satellite company REPCONN Aerospace's Project: Quantum Plasma Modulation Matter Injection Rifle. RobCo managed to create their urban plasma rifle model before the war but due to cost, it was never adopted by the military and only found pre-war use in General Atomics's Mister Gutsy models and private sectors.
An improvement on the urban plasma rifle was in the works by REPCONN Aerospace's project and the Q-35 matter modulator prototype was made possible with stolen data and information from Poseidon Energy's project SEMELE. Poseidon Energy conspired to steal REPCONN's only working model before it was transported to the Department of Defense, but the Great War occurred before these plans could be carried out.
As a result of their inability to gain RobCo Industries in their contingency plans, the Enclave were kept in the dark of the urban plasma rifle specs and were forced to use the Winchester P94 plasma "caster" when they first deployed forces on the mainland. Sometime before reaching the Capital Wasteland, the Enclave had gained the ability to outfit their forces with the urban plasma rifle but remained incapable of producing the Q-35 matter modulator model.
Plasma weapons confer energy damage and moderate amounts of pulse damage. It deals more energy damage than laser weapons at the cost of traveling slower. It is highly effective against biological processes and quite effective against electronic equipment. Like all energy weapons, lingering damage from plasma wounds is lower and its hindrance to healing is higher compared to ballistic weapons, making them especially effective against enemies who use combat medicine or wear armor with high damage thresholds.
The veritable urban plasma rifle is the mainstay of the Enclave's forces deployed in the Capital Wasteland. They contributed to the plasma emitter from the Mister Gutsy model used before the war. The Van Graffs have acquired the ability to produce them and have been selling them to fiends to harass the NCR as well as using them for their own security forces.
The urban plasma rifle uses conventional microfusion cells, weighs around 8 pounds, and contains a small amount of MaSMA. A single rifle can be easily maintained by standard laboratory equipment and supplies alongside scrap electronics.
The Winchester P94 plasma rifle was considered archaic even before the war. As such the weapon was scarcely produced and even scarcer used. With the new-found improvements and advancements from later plasma rifle models, the P94 can be upgraded with them to serve as a sort of plasma cannon that stands alone on the battlefield. The few found models that have been improved are often regarded as plasma casters due to their lack of explosion on contact, though an EMF projector modification can be applied to give it the ability to have explosive projectiles.
Q-35 matter modulatorEdit
The Q-35 matter modulator was intended to be an improvement on RobCo's urban plasma rifle so the US Department of Defense would authorize its production. In its completed form, it was intended to use electron charge packs as well as being fully automatic, giving it unrivaled potency and essentially launch the world into the next age of weapons technology.
RobCo's CEO, Robert House, had contingency plans that he felt would greatly benefit from the increased proficiency and perfection of plasma weaponry for his securitron army. Nonetheless, he had the securitron army outfitted with low-grade Gatling lasers and made due with them.
Plasma grenades are hand-thrown magnetic bottles designed to detonate and release their highly-pressurized plasma stored inside. Typical plasma grenades are home-made, having never been mass produced by any known pre-war corporation.
They are crudely manufactured magnetic bottles that were common laboratory equipment for energy experiments before the war. The Enclave fashioned grenades from their leftover lab equipment to meet their goals but identical plasma grenades can be constructed by any tinkerer with the proper tools, resources, and ability.
Plasma mines are ground-based explosive devices that utilize plasma as a source of damage. Like all mines, plasma mines deal more of its damage than its grenade counterpart.
Plasma mines are similar to their grenade counterparts in that they are produced from typical laboratory equipment and highly pressurized plasma. The Enclave uses them to defend their sensitive installations with high-lethality and success.
Although a detonator with a resonance amplifier modification is necessary to detonate mines where they are planted, one can simply shoot them -as well as target them in VATS- for its extra damage in combat.
Enclave plasma pistolEdit
Despite the Enclave's lack of ability to utilize the urban plasma rifle before deploying onto the mainland, they were able to produce a usable facsimile from another project of theirs before the war.
Using the basic designs gleaned from a sabotaged project that produced the MPLX Novasurge, the Enclave were able to produce a working model with spare laboratory equipment much like their plasma grenades and plasma mines.
Due to its haphazard and pieced together nature the Enclave plasma pistol can be easily modified and repaired, making it and similar home-made attempts popular plasma weapons to the avid wastelander.
Glock 86 plasma pistolEdit
Over in Europe, German manufacturer Glock managed to produce plasma weapons with more success than their US counterparts. Glock's advancements in the realm of plasma confinement and projection were kept away from the US, allowing them to produce plasma weapons of higher caliber and with greater success. The result was a rugged and proficient Glock 86 plasma pistol, often referred to as the plasma "defender", that many collectors and expert marksman treasure.
The Glock 86 is extremely rare in the US, making models and parts scarce. Modifications are also limited to external modifications as virtually no one is willing or able to break it down and re-manufacture it from the inside out.
- Plasma weapons contain a fair amount of MaSMA to contain their high-temperature payloads.
- Home-made variants can be made with relative ease using laboratory equipment and scrap electronics, though the know-how required to do so is harder to come around.