Animal control officers, forest rangers, veterinarians, farmers, police, medical orderlies, spies, biologists and many other professions may find use for a dart gun. The dart guns available in THS have some differences to earlier models. Rather than compressed gas they are coilguns. An advantage of this is that projectile velocity can be varied so that a dart does not over-penetrate. Conversely power can be increased to compensate for protection such as thick skin, dense fur or winter clothing. A dart being fired by a coilgun does not touch the barrel walls but floats in a magnetic field, so an assortment of dart sizes and capacities can be fired from the same gun. The gun does not have a conventional breech, just an open-topped chamber into which a new dart can be quickly placed. The THS dart gun also incorporates a laser ranging system which determines the exact distance to the target and adjusts the velocity of the dart accordingly. This laser rangefinder (LRF) can also be used to help aim the gun and counts as a laser sight. The laser on a dart gun may trigger laser warning receivers (LWR) on military equipment such as battlesuits and fighting vehicles. An infra-red only laser modification is available for situations such as darting shy, nocturnal animals.
The weapon is quiet, no louder than a silenced pistol.
If the dart penetrates the target’s DR and armour (if it has any), the drug is successfully delivered whether the target takes damage or not. Typical general purpose tranquilizer: Roll vs HT-3; Target unconscious for minutes equal to margin of failure. (B4e p.279, HT4e p.89)
Dart guns can be concealed in various objects although these will probably lack the laser-ranging and velocity-modification systems.
Darts can be considered to come in two sizes. The small size can carry a single dose of drug or a radio-tag. The large size dart can be filled with one to six doses of a drug or can be used to carry payloads such as a more powerful tracking device. Depending on application darts may only penetrate the skin or bury themselves in the flesh. The latter may do some actual injury to the target. A dart that does 2 or more points of damage is buried in the flesh. A large dart fired in this way does an additional 1d pi- of damage.
THS offers a wide variety of drugs and nanodrugs that can be used with a dart gun (THS 3e p.163). A remote examination could be made by shooting a dart of bionet- and diagnostic-nano (THS 3e p.162) into an animal or individual. The dart version of the radio-tag bullet (THS 3e p.158) would be available. Darts containing audio pick-ups and/or miniature cameras could be used for bugging operations.
Guns (Pistol) and Guns (Musket) (DX-4 or most other Guns at -2)
|Weapon||Damage||Acc||Range (yards)||Mass (lb)||RoF||Shots||ST||Bulk||Recoil||Notes
 The laser-ranging system ensures that the dart has velocity to only penetrate the target’s skin so default damage is 1 pi-. For targets that have DR or for deep penetration power can be increased up to +5, changing damage to 2 to 6 pi-. Adjusting the weapon takes two seconds.
The Dart rifle is a larger, longer ranged version of the pistol and is usually fitted with a x4 scope, which is represented in the table.