Restricted Weapons and Materials

Ranks and Regulations of Restricted Weapons and Materials

Class Zero: Unregulated

Class Zero weapons cannot be expected by reasonable people to be significant threats to human life, though they may potentially cause harm if used with intent. Few, if any, regulations exist on Class Zero materials or weapons, and use of them in a crime does not typically constitute any greater punishment than the base crime itself warrants.

Class One: Potentially Harmful

Class One weapons or materials are not designed for use in self defense or as a weapon, but do present a clear and obvious means to cause harm against human beings. Use of a Class One material against a human in facilitating a crime constitutes assault with a deadly weapon and potentially attempted murder, even if the device in question is not ordinarily used as a weapon.

Examples include most household cleaning agents, battery acid, over the counter insecticides, tobacco, and most tools such as saws, axes, hammers, shovels, knives, firecrackers, most over the counter medication, and a wide range of other materials.

Class One materials require no license, and the majority have no restrictions on their ownership or sale. What little regulation does exist is generally only to prohibit sale to minors.

Class Two: Dangerous

Class Two materials have a primary function of being used in self defense or to directly harm another living being. Sale or possession of Class Two weapons is regulated and restricted, although individual states set their own statutes in most cases. Use of a Class Two weapon in a crime is considered use of a deadly weapon.

Examples of Class Two weapons and materials include tasers, pepper spray regardless of delivery method, flashbangs and smoke bombs, as well as alcohol and many prescription medications.

Secondary lethal weapons such as bows, crossbows, and large knives, swords and other weapons are also considered Class Two weapons in most states, with far lighter restrictions than Class Three weapons, but more than the mostly unregulated Class One.

Some restricted substances (such as Marijuana) are considered Class Two substances, while most illicit drugs are Class Three.

Class Three: Significant Threat

Class Three weapons are primary weapons, or substances that can be modified into extremely harmful weapons. Class Three materials tend to be strictly regulated by the government, with minimum sentencing requirements and little interest in plea deals from the prosecution. In general, it is illegal to own any Class Three material without a permit, and some materials are not permitted at all.

Most firearms are considered Class Three weapons, as are almost all illegal narcotics. If used in the commission of a violent crime, vehicles are considered Class Three weapons, as are incendiary devices such as a Molotov cocktail or almost any case of arson.

Class Four: Military Grade

Class Four materials are considered to have little purpose save as a weapon against other human beings, or industrial materials which are useful in businesses, but can be extremely deadly if used for illegal purposes. While some Class Four weapons and materials are legal for civilian ownership, these are exceptions to the rule, and generally require specific permits to possess.

Class Four weapons include grenades, rocket launches, most assault weapons, many chemical fertilizers and industrial pesticides, a number of highly toxic or highly radioactive materials, chemical weapons such as mustard gas, light military vehicles, and anything that could reasonably be expected to indiscriminately kill several individuals at a time.

Class Five: Heavy Ordinance

Class Five materials and equipment are almost always illegal for civilian ownership. Heavy military vehicles and mounted weapons (such as tanks, attack helicopters, and SAM batteries), powerful chemical or biological agents (Sarin gas, weaponized Anthrax), bunker-buster missiles, and most materials with little purpose aside killing lots of people. In general, ownership of these materials is strictly regulated by the highest levels of government and only permitted to specific industries with specific purposes in mind.

Class Six: Military Vessel

It’s unlikely a civilian would have the resources to possess anything in this classification, ownership of these objects ceases to be a matter of traditional law, and becomes a military concern.

For the most part, Class Six is limited in scope to vessels such as battle cruisers, military submarines, and aircraft carriers, or facilities used to construct such devices. Particularly virulent (or weaponized) diseases or chemical distribution bombs can also be in this classification.

Many powerful natural phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and powerful storms can merit a Class Six response.

Class Seven: Citywide Threat

There are not, strictly speaking, any “Class Seven” materials or hardware on record. The classification is reserved for city sized weapons platforms or other individual targets with similar power scales. Some military strategists do use the term to refer to choice targets such as heavily fortified military bases and carrier groups.

Certain powerful natural events such as volcanoes or earthquakes might be destructive enough to reach this scale. These events are vanishingly rare, but make for great disaster movies.

Class Eight: Weapon of Mass Destruction

Only devices or materials/organisms capable of threatening millions of lives in a single strike fall under this classification. The use of any Class Eight weapon against any target is a violation of numerous international treaties. The ownership of materials which can build such weapons tends to be strictly regulated.

To date, atomic weapons are the only official Class Eight devices.

In theory, if the San Andreas fault drops California into the ocean, it would rank as the highest Class Eight threat on record.

Class Nine: Planetary Disaster

A theoretical classification, as it would require a weapon with a reasonable chance to end civilization (if not necessarily life) on an entire continent. Even the possession of such a thing is cause enough to start World War Three. To date, no known example of such a weapon has ever existed, but the international community has numerous plans and treaties in place in case such a threat arises.

The act of attempting to create a Class Nine weapon is cause for war.

Class Ten: Doomsday Scenario

Further theoretical classification, a true doomsday device which has a high likelihood of driving the human race into extinction. Nobody actually believes they’ll ever see a Class Ten weapon in human hands,  so it stands more as a “response plan” rank used by world powers against outside threats.

This classification mainly deals in celestial events that may come to threaten the planet, such as massive asteroids, hostile extraterrestrial or inter-dimensional contact, nasty solar flares, or other cosmic scale forces.

Class Eleven: That’s All, Folks

“Put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.”

A tongue in cheek ranking which someone added to the list to signify anything which can destroy entire solar systems. There are no plans to deal with such an event.


13 thoughts on “Restricted Weapons and Materials

  1. A/N- Seeing as I’ve referenced “Class X weapons” more than once, and never really explained what they mean, here’s the whole rundown of weapons classifications as seen in the Price setting.

    Note they’re very similar to the power rank classifications, and for the same reasons. They’re both methods developed in the aftermath of World War Two to preemptively classify all possible future threats for priority response, and were adopted for police and educational purposes.


  2. I love how it goes Up To Eleven. Now, some questions:
    Does Priceverse have H Bombs?
    Was the Tsar Bomba a thing?
    Also, when did Price achieve nuclear status? What class weapon can one expect Gadgets to be at?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Strictly speaking? No hydrogen bombs as we think of them. They have Gadget equivalent fusion reactors, but they don’t use the same methods we do.

      Again, equivalent but not exact with the Tzar. Their methodology uses a very small amount of antimatter to get the fusion going.

      The first attempts at it were done in the late WW1 era, using an imploding gravity field to essentially generate a miniature black hole to force uranium into critical mass- they never managed to fit it into a device small enough to be weaponizable, however. Part of the problem was they hadn’t yet figured out isotopes enough to know about separating U-235.

      They tabled the project after the first war, kept it top secret, and opened it back up for the second.

      Gadget weapons tend to run the scale, usually in the 2-4 range. Vertigo guns that make people dizzy rank a 2, a sonic blaster may rank a 3 if it can blow out eardrums. High end versions that will shatter bone fit into a 4.

      Some Gadgets are in the 1 or 5 range, but they’re the exceptions. Rank 0 literally means “not a weapon”, and there are plenty of Gadgets in that pool, but by definition they weren’t built as weapons. No individual Gadgeteer has ever built a 6 or above weapon. That’s usually restricted to government projects with billion dollar budgets and dozens of Imbued and Mundane scientists.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So if law enforcement gets a call about a rampaging Gadgeteer with little further information, they’ll assume it’s in the 2-4 range?
        So they were aware of mass-energy conversion, then? Nice.
        Also, they seem to have figured antimatter pretty early. Good on them.
        Thanks for the answers! This is an amazing world you’ve built! The rewrite is worth it just for these extras.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. With Gadgeteers? They’ll always assume a four.

          That’s the thing- they weren’t aware of mass-energy conversion as of WW1 era. Uranium+Compression=boom was discovered quite by accident.

          Long story short? Einstein presented his E=MC^2 as an explanation of known phenomena, not a theoretical model.

          Antimatter follows a similar principle: they know what this shit does, they really still have no idea how it actually works.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. In a way, that’s true of our reality too – Einstein’s proposal of the theory of Special Relativity was a way of explaining the observations of the Michaelson-Morley experiment and others, as well as building on theories put forward by Lorenz and others. Resnick’s 1968 book Introduction to Special Relativity can give a way more complete explanation of the topic than I can, but that’s the Tl; Dr.
            Sorry, I geek out when it comes to math and physics. Also, I tend to be more coherent when not half asleep.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Well, Relativity and mass-energy conversion aren’t actually the same theory. Yeah, Einstein’s relativity was where the math came from to predict mass-energy conversion… but you do not need the former to learn the latter- IF you can observe the latter as it happens, at least.

              In Price, it followed the “reverse engineering” pattern of the setting, rather than the “build from theory” pattern of our own universe. The discovery of atomic power required new forms of math to describe it (because Newton’s wasn’t enough), which saw the theory of Relativity more or less as we know it today.

              Most of the theories that Einstein built off of never existed in Price. They figured out atomic power and then went to task of explaining it.

              Much the same way as in our world, we knew about lightning, then had to explain it. The power of electricity was observed first, then theory built from that point. So it was with atomics in Price.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Yeah, makes sense. It just occurred to me that, in terms of science, we and Priceverse are not that dissimilar – it may be more a difference of magnitude than one of kind.
              Also, I shudder at the expense it must have taken them to arrive at Maxwell’s Equations. Or modern quaternions (If quaternions don’t exist in Priceverse, please don’t tell me – I would cry).
              Back to weapons, though, do classifications change based on who is carrying things? Say, if one can use toy guns to shoot lethal bullets, are they required to get a gun permit in order to buy a NERF gun? Such laws would be hard to enforce, but in a world with precogs, who knows…
              Additionally, how frequent is the attempt to “plunder” foreign Imbued? Any international treaties on it? Is use of Imbued combatants regulated by military agreements?
              What about information security? Are Imbued restricted access to certain areas, on the off chance that they might uncover secrets “above their pay grade”?
              Sorry for all the questions. Hope I am not bothering you… you’re one of my favorite authors ever!

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Well, aside from the “superpowers” thing, physics in Price are identical to our own… science and theory is just humans learning the source code of the universe. Same code=same conclusions, ultimately.

              Maxwell’s equations are just about the mechanics of electromagnetics- in the end, electricity is one thing that’d be most similar in both settings in terms of the science, because it’s one of those sciences which we discovered a phenomena and learned to harvest it (as they do in Price) rather than working up from theory.

              I’m not comfortable enough with complex math to draw an opinion on what they do and do not have in detail- but, it can be safely assumed mathematics not related to observable natural phenomena are lagging behind our own by a significant margin. You see… nobody pays scientists in Price unless they can deliver useful results.

              As a whole, use of Imbued abilities on civilians is, by definition, a weapon’s charge based on the power level of the Imbued. Chloe, as an example, ranked a low 3 on the threat scale (after the explosion it’s now a mid 4)- any act of violence she inflicts on a civilian is going to be treated by law as equivalent of using assault weaponry- whether she uses a weapon or her own bare hands. An Imbued with is judged by the power they possess as if those powers are (potentially) lethal weapons in their own right.

              Enslaving foreign Imbued is a… well… the nations that try it tend to learn quickly that it ends poorly far more often than not. More friendly means of recruitment (re: lots of money) is a common tactic that fucks over poorer nations (see the setting divergences post from a week ago).

              Well, all military practices have between 3 and 10 times the funding as in our world, and that includes security. Wikileaks stuff almost never happens in Price- and when it does, there are Black Ops forces with precog backers poised to suppress anything too sensitive.

              Civilians… including most Imbued… prefer to stay away from that shit, because they want to live. Many criminal Imbued are willing to target companies or even the police, but fucking with the Feds? Not so much. The benefits aren’t worth the risk.

              Which takes us into Government vs Government stuff… which is contentious as fuck, as always. Treaties about use of Imbued exist, but nobody actually follows them, in the same way there are treaties against involving schools and hospitals in war. Yet they get used as military bases and bombing targets in our world all the time.

              And feel free to keep asking questions, I like enthusiastic readers.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Maxwell’s most important contribution to his eponymous Equations was based more on theoretical and mathematical zeal, in particularly a desire for symmetry in the theory, than any observational necessity. Although I guess in Priceverse any 19th century equivalents would have had access to much more powerful observations than he did, so the point is moot.
              So Imbued-targeted propaganda must be a priority in military spending, no? Are there provisions for Imbued deployment in their equivalents of NATO or the Warsaw Pact?
              Also, were Chloe not in the Deep South, then Romeo could have potentially charged her with Assault and Battery with lethal weaponry, given that she pretty blatantly used powers and basically got outed by the op-ed on her mom’s death?
              How powerful/organized are Imbued as a voting block? I know this is not a weapons question, but I’m on a roll. You know not what you gave me permission to do.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Ah, well, the philosophy aspects wouldn’t work so well given that the Price setting is more about “discovery” than “guesswork” by their nature. I’m sure his zealotry would find a different angle in the setting, perhaps one based on not making assumptions and trusting the evidence.

              Yeah, well, I think I’ve shown enough of PREP and Outreach to show the priority Imbued get for “soft” recruitment- things are made very easy and convenient for them to find gainful employ, one way or another. The government as a whole does not like the ‘superhero’ culture as much- that was propaganda from about a century prior that outlived its welcome. The goal isn’t necessarily to get them into the military (though, as far as ‘bribery’ goes, it’s hard to beat ‘government funding’), just to keep them away from crime (or, worse, rebellion). It works pretty well.

              Yeah, there’d be laws on how a nation can use Imbued included in every major peace treaty. I think they’d be too tiresome to cover in detail, but they’d no doubt exist.

              Romeo could possibly have argued that even against her costumed identity. Imbued secret identities *are* considered their own, independent, legal identities with their own rights and privileges and responsibilities. A right to privacy protects their secret identities (though it’s a right that can easily be revoked in case of criminal prosecution).

              Romeo might be able to try to press an issue, but Chloe’s not been outed, and the use of a nonlethal takedown with no serious harm would work in her favor. Especially in a trial of “known gang member gets ass kicked”.

              Imbued don’t have a particularly organized voting block. By definition, they usually come from oppressed (real definition of oppressed- which mostly means “poor people”) communities more often than not, but poor communities are rarely organized, so there’s a wide spread of celebrity imbued on every side of every issue.

              On the plus side, this does keep power disparity in Price a little more even, since actively oppressing communities does not go over well. At the same time… oppression cuts both ways… and poor whites who feel like immigrants and foreigners are getting better treatment than native born members of the country are often very likely to get powers.

              … Slavery in Price was a little more difficult, as you might imagine… it happened, but as a rule slavers went after adults and the practice of breeding people for slave labor wasn’t widespread at all.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Is the object in the sentence a plural (i no grammar good)?
    “Class Zero weapons cannot be expected by reasonable people to be significant threat to human life, though may potentially cause harm if used with intent”
    ->”Class Zero weapons cannot be expected by reasonable people to be significant threats to human life, though they may potentially cause harm if used with intent”

    Also, how are people bolding or using italics in the comments?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is some form of vb code built into wp that’ll let you manually type in formats.

      itallics is (em) (/em), but with instead of ( ).

      bold is (strong)(/strong)

      So have fun with that while I fix my typos.


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