Orgone Shields are one of the TL6+3^ technologies of Æthereal Sun. They resulted in some changes to the way war is waged on Etera, due to highly peculiar behaviour. Orgone shields depend heavily on the biofield of the wearer. Thus, they can only be used as a personal defence item (typically a 20-pound, bulky belt), not as a vehicle defence system. Full shield stats for various levels of protection can be seen here.
Orgone shields generate a strong defensive field along the surface of the wearer; it does not extend an appreciable distance from the body, so it offers no defence against grapples or the equivalent, though it does extend enough to protect clothing or armour (even though many would prefer if they could keep rigid armour on the outside of the shield).
Ablation and Recharge of DR
An orgone shield's peculiarity is that this defence field is only diminished by certain attacks. The rate of diminishing depends on how focused the attacker is, and thus the shield's DR (Damage Resistance) acts differently against different attacks:
- Explosions (even internal), fragmentation, weapons firing many shots in rapid succession, accidental or unintentional damage, damage from non-sapient entities - full strength, and shield does not diminish;
- Single shots, or short successions of distinct, single shots (RoF 3 or less) - full strength, but DR is treated as Ablative;
- Mêlée weapons - DR is divided by 10, and is treated as Ablative (specific interpretation: 5 damage against DR10 will mean that 4 damage get past DR, and after that DR is reduced by 1);
- Yliaster blades or unarmed - DR is bypassed completely, and shield strength is ablated by a number equal to the damage rolled.
Orgone shields that are depleted completely (DR 0) cause a burst negative feedback, dealing 1d injury (see Orgone Radiation).
It takes about a minute to fully charge a shield (either from a depleted state, or after donning it).
Effect of mental state on shields
(This section will be rebalanced in the near future) The shield-user's mental state affects how much of the shield's power actually participates in the defence. These states are similar to the ones described in GURPS Tactical Shooting, with minor changes. Note that mental state only affects the first second of an encounter - after that, mental state shifts to 'Red' or 'Black', and the shield is no longer reduced. The states are:
- 'White'/Completely Unaware: characters who are unconscious or sleeping, or suffer a -2 or worse penalty to Per or IQ from missed sleep, alcohol, or some sort of affliction, and has no reason to suspect trouble right now.
- 'Yellow'/Alert - character is not expecting trouble, but knows that it can happen. This is the default state for most characters familiar with combat.
- 'Orange'/Focused - character expects trouble within 10 minutes (due to warning, knowledge, observation, Empathy or Body Language showing hostile intent, Danger Sense etc.). Keeping this state requires a successful Will roll or 1FP per 10 minutes, plus another 1 FP (regardless of Will) with an active shield.
- 'Red'/Triggered - combat has started, and the game goes second by second. In this state, shields drain 1FP per minute.
- 'Black'/Panicked - result of failed Fright Check or Total Surprise.
Part of the shield's DR is 'reserved' in some of these states. This DR will neither aid in reducing damage, nor be ablated by attacks (even Yliaster blades). For most intents and purposes, it just isn't there. The phrase 'shields up' means the process of the shield changing from a partially reserved state to a fully active state. The states are:
- White - 0% active, i.e. all of the shield is down.
- Yellow - 10% active, 90% reserved.
- Orange - 50% active, other 50% reserved (remember, it eats up 1FP/10min).
- Red OR Black - 100% active (shield drains 1FP/minute).