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Zamira

The Zamira has been used by the Yazirians for many centuries; it is a metallic disc about 10 centimeters in diameter, with sharp edges, used as a hurled weapon. Yazirians wear a gauntlet of light metal mesh when using this device so they will not be cut by it.


History

The Zamira was used in the early history of the Yazirians as a dueling weapon. The two Yazirians in the duel would climb separate poles about 20 meters in height with a distance of about 5 meters between them. At a given signal the Yazirians would leap from the poles and glide downwards; each would have one Zamira to throw at the other. If the duel was not between enemies, the Yazirians would try to hit each other's wing-like membranes, causing opponents to fall faster. The duelists would try to critically wound or kill each other if they were enemies.

The winner of the duel had to fill several conditions. He had to be alive when he landed, the last one to touch down, and had to land within a two-meter diameter circle which was clearly marked on the ground. One contestant had to meet all these requirements or the duel was considered a draw.

Sometimes duels were carried out using Zamiras made of softer material. These were generally non-lethal, but sometimes contestants were badly injured or slain with them anyway. Over the years the Yazirians started using the Zamira not only in duels but also in any sort of fighting. Even now in the age of space travel, most Yazirians know how to use the weapon.

Combat

The statistics for using Zamiras in Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn gaming is as follows:

Zamira
Damage 2d10 (1d10 if non-lethal variety)
Ammo 1 (itself)
Rate of Fire 1/turn
Defense Inertia
Range 5/10/20/30/40

The chance to hit an opponent is by normal rules: half the character's Dexterity plus 10% per level in Thrown Weapons, modified by range and other factors as per the normal Ranged Weapon Modifier table. Use an additional - 15% penalty if cast by a gliding Yazirian (such as during a duel).

If cast at a gliding Yazirian, a roll "to hit" that is less than or equal to 1/10th the thrower's normal "to hit" score may (at the caster's option) disable one of the target Yazirian's wing-like membranes, forcing him to cut his gliding distance in half and land quickly.

If two Yazirians are throwing Zamiras at each other, each has a chance to catch the Zamira thrown at him with the battle-gloved hand. The chance is equal to one-half the character's dexterity plus 3% per Thrown Weapons skill level. If the gloved character is hit by a Zamira yet makes his catch percentage, he will take no damage.

Any character with a skill level of four or better has a chance to try rebound shots. For example, the character may be pinned down by gunfire in a corridor, with an assailant firing from around the corner. The Zamira thrower may attempt to make the Zamira bounce off a wall or other surface and strike the assailant. There must be a hard surface for a rebound shot to be attempted, and a Zamira can only bounce off one surface to make an effective attack. The following procedure must be used:

  1. Basic chance to hit: 1/2 dexterity (round fractions up).
  2. Bonus: +5% per Thrown Weapons skill level instead of +10%... skill helps, but not as much as normal use of the Thrown Weapons skill would.
  3. Add or subtract range modifiers, adding 5 meters of effective distance for the rebound itself.
  4. Use the rest of the modifiers listed on the Ranged Weapons Modifier table of the STAR FRONTIERS Rulebook.
  5. Subtract half from the damage roll if it hits the target, as the rebound absorbs part of the Zamira's kinetic energy.

Limitations

A Yazirian will carry at most two types of Zamiras. One type is produced in a variety of colors (except red) and can be used anytime the character wishes. The other type is dark red, and can only be used against that Yazirian's life-enemy. Often the red Zamira will be carried as a sign of honor if the Yazirian chooses a life-enemy that is not a living being, such as a disease or a competitive company. Typically only one red Zamira is ever owned by a Yazirian; to own more is considered disgraceful. A character may own as many other kinds of Zamiras as he pleases.

Other character races may use the Zamira, though Yazirians tend to frown upon such practices. The Zamira has a significant place in Yazirian folklore and culture, and Yazirians like to see it treated with proper respect (which they don't feel can be given the device by other races). Although they usually won't attack someone seen using a Zamira, Yazirians won't necessarily be happy to see this situation, either.

Yazirian battle gauntlets and Zamiras are made of strong, light alloy; Zamiras weigh about .5 kilograms. Game characters can never "modernize" Zamiras by adding devices to make them some sort of energized weapon.

The Zamira will always be used before any other weapon carried by a Yazirian if a life-enemy is being fought. When a Yazirian is using a Zamira against his life-enemy, he gains a +10% bonus to the chance that he will go into a battle rage, which will last as long as he is fighting his life-enemy. A red Zamira will be used against life-enemies if possible, though other sorts will do.

(Original article by William Tracy, edited by Bill Logan)

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