Defensive Equipment: Helmets

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by Bill Logan


Unpowered Helmets

The Star Frontiers game has no helmets. I’m not sure why, but I guess professional adventurers and explorers having exciting adventures on alien worlds fear getting their hair matted down.

Helmets have an important role in the military – but science fiction has many more uses for headgear. A great deal of equipment in the Miscellaneous section of the Alpha Dawn game can be integrated into a helmet, with heads-up displays and intelligent circuitry.

Universal Combat Helmet

The basic combat helmet is simple in design and effective protection against light shrapnel and projectiles. Unlike some earlier helmets – these helmets are not camouflaged but polished and white, designed to deflect a glancing beam weapon.

Combat helmets come in sizes and shapes for all four of the major races. This helmet has a universal fit, with inserts and chin straps designed to accommodate each of the four core species. All simple combat helmets (including this Universal one) costs 50Cr and weighs nothing when worn. They weigh 1kg when stored.

In game terms, a helmet doesn’t do much in the core Alpha Dawn rules. If using the hit location rules from Star Frontiersman Issue #2, characters wearing helmets could ignore the stun and unconsciousness effect of getting hit for certain thresholds of damage.

Referees may allow called shots to the head (with a substantial penalty, -20 for example) to cause double damage unless protected by a helmet. Alternatively, referees may immunize characters against the automatic knock-out that occurs when an opponent rolls 01- 02 to hit while so protected (see the Alpha Dawn remastered book, page 16).

Powered Helmets

All powered helmets are energized by a 20-SEU Power- Clip, but can be connected to a 50-SEU Power BeltPack or 100-SEU Power BackPack with a 1.5 meter power cord. When deactivated, there is no power drain on the power source, but none of the helmet’s functions will work (though it will still act like an unpowered helmet). When powered, the helmet drains 1 SEU per day.

Badlands Explorer’s Helmet

When your character is hired to explore the dangerous wastes of a desert world, or seek out new resources in a mine on a jungle planet, or find a secret treasure lost on a swamp world... having the right tool for the right job is always helpful.

The Badlands Explorer’s Helmet is just that tool. The helmet is quite costly, and owning one is a boasting point for experienced explorers. It costs 1,500Cr and weighs 1kg even while worn.

Badland Explorer’s Helmet Integrated Functions:

  • Integrated Chronocom, 5km range - (with HUD galactic standard time and date at the top in the middle of view)
  • Integrated Compass - (with HUD direction shown under the time)
  • Integrated Gas Mask - (self-regenerating dual-filters, allowing one to be functioning while the other regenerates, estimated to last for up to 5 years)
  • Integrated Polyvox - (activated by buttons on side, can store up to four languages in addition to PanGal)
  • Integrated Sungoggles - (automatically tints when needed, but not fast enough to protect the wearer from being flash-blinded by intense sudden lights)
  • Integrated Toxy-Rad Guage - (with HUD toxin readings listed on the left of side of the viewing area, toxins in red text are dangerous, otherwise text is in green)

Star Law Targeting Helmet

Star Law is everywhere, and they have vehicles and weapons and uniforms. When you’re cruising down the busy streets of Port Loren and a Star Law hovercyclist motions to pull you over, he’s probably wearing a Star Law Targeting Helmet.

It is illegal for anyone to own one of these. They are made specifically for Star Law by WarTech Industries. Purchase of these helmets is extremely costly because one must secure its purchase through illicit means. Normally, the visor is dark tinted and the helmet white, the arrow decor in navy blue. This helmet costs 1,200Cr and weighs 1kg. Note that the Yazirian version’s facial visor doesn’t cover the wearer’s face completely (it allows for the muzzle to extend).

Star Law Targeting Helmet Integrated Functions:

  • Connects to any beam weapon via wireless connection to a transceiver that mounts on the tip of the weapon itself. A heads-up display shows number of shots remaining in the weapon in the lower left corner of view, next to a small “SEU” symbol.
  • Crosshairs are placed on HUD to indicate target placement/aim management whenever the weapon is drawn from its holster. There is a slight lag to weapon movement, but the crosshairs improve aim by +10, and halves penalties associated with range.
  • Integrated two-channel Chronocom (one channel can be used to make normal chronocom calls, the other is only tuned to a special Star Law frequency), 5km range. Time is shown on a heads-up display in the lower right corner.

Sentry Helm

Bodyguards can’t always stand next to their charge and flex their muscles. They can’t always wear long overcoats and sporty sungoggles. In the very diverse Frontier, sometimes bodyguards have to look intimidating and look uniform... and that’s something the golden Senty Helm does well.

Based on ancient Vrusk helms still on display in some historical museums, the Sentry Helm can be purchased to accommodate any of the core races, though the Dralasite version is shorter and the Yazirian version has an extended frontal piece designed to go over the muzzle. It completely hides the face of the wearer. Add a long civilian skeinsuit made to look like a cloak, and hand your guards pole-arms or electric swords and put them outside your door... these guards look scary.

Although plumes of various natures are based more on medieval human history, the Sentry Helm can be ordered with various plumages. Additionally, to accommodate ancient Dralasite customs dating back thousands of years, the Sentry Helm can be purchased with replica beast horns from a catalog of many known animals. These options won’t change the cost of the helmet, but adds to any order’s delivery time.

The Sentry Helm costs 800Cr when purchased alone, but is typically sold in a bundle of 8 for 5,000Cr (quite a discount). It weighs 1kg.

Sentry Helm Integrated Functions:

  • Integrated IR Goggles to see in the dark when an infiltrator removes building power.
  • Integrated Gas Mask to instantly immunize the guard from doze grenades and other airborne toxins. Filters don’t automatically regenerate, and have a life expectancy of only 2 years.
  • Integrated voice modulator, to deepen the guard’s voice and add a slight echo – all to add an intimidating sound and a uniformity to the voices of the guards. The voice modulator adds +10% to intimidation rolls for those first encountering it, but after the first time, characters aren’t really affected by that anymore.
  • Integrated communication device with 5km range that works the same as a chronocom but without timekeeping functionality. The voice modulator does not work over the chronocom.

Yazirian Revolution Helmet

During the wars which secured the independence of Yast from Hentz, both sides of the heated battles often word this helmet. It has the appearance of an unpowered helmet, but is quite powered. It will not fit properly on a Human or Vrusk, though a Dralasite can shape his head to fit nearly any helmet.

When ordering, a clan’s symbols and colors must be specified. The helmet comes complete with these symbols and colors laser-etched, so carbon scoring and ablated chips won’t make these symbols of family pride fade.

The helmet costs 600Cr and weighs 2kg because of the added integrated hardware.

Yazirian Revolution Helmet Integrated Equipment:

  • Integrated Sungoggles (automatically tints extremely rapidly when needed to prevent the flash-blindness that Yazirians get when hit with bright lights.)
  • Integrated Locator System (allows field generals to use specialized hand-held display systems to coordinate battles on-screen. Although this hand-held unit is no longer sold, some can still be found in the Frontier (and clever computer specialists can create programs to use this special Locator System).
  • Integrated Radiophone with 1,000km range, can be set to one of 12 frequency channels.