First and foremost, they are a terror weapon. A species of Death Beam, Annihilators are so effective because they completely bypass armor, concentrating their lethal effect on living matter. This is of course very convenient for pirates (at least in theory) because Annihilators are a weapon which eliminates people while leaving plunder intact.
Of course, the truth is a bit more complicated yet.
Annihilators often inflict a condition known as Overkill. When absorbing annihilation radiance, the flesh has two responses. For most victims, contact with an Annihilator spells death. However a small but certain number of those targeted by this lethal radiance experience a weird transformation, leaving behind a ravenous, living corpse hell-bent on revenge. Many a pirate boarding party has learned to rue the day their Captain trained an Annihilator on another ship.
This terrible weapon also comes in hand-held portable versions:
- Annihilator Pistol: D6 damage that bypasses armor*; Ranges: OK, OK, -3
- Annihilator Rifle: D10 damage that bypasses armor*; Ranges: -3**, OK, OK
**Because it is a very bulky weapon
It is unusual for a combat team to be equipped with more than one of these weapons, as the beam's penetrance combined with crossfire quickly poses lethal problems for all sides.
Special: Any time a target's health is reduced to Knocked Out by Annihilator damage, someone may spend 1 Plot Point to declare that the target has succumbed to Overkill. (Players can negate this for their own character by spending a Plot Point.) The target rises, and the person who spent the Plot Point determines who the Overkilled attacks next. It's future actions are determined by the LN, subject to narrative challenges by players.