So, my MC was a scout that was part of a team from Contact Bureau that belong to a Space-Faring Civilization. They had descended on some 'primitive medieval-esque' Planet for scientific studies to judge about the possibilities of integrating the planet inhabitant (or at least part of them) to his parent civilization (They don't really care about habitable planet, colonizing empty rock is more simpler and without backslash from the natives or activists).

He had conducted a peaceful contact with a number of native villages near his Science Base. So all was looking well...

Suddenly, the peaceful native was attacked by another native from different country. The MC want to help, but his supervisor said that he cannot use 'Lethal-power' because it will become bad PR for the Contact Bureau back at homeplanet. So how can MC archive this?

I'm looking at non-lethal weapon that can:

  • immobilize or incapacitate quite large number of person in short time (<10 minute)
  • non-lethal, or hardly lethal (death not caused directly from the weapon effect)
  • can be portable or static but not something that need large energy requirement (like a dedicated energy source), even better, something that can be carried by a drone plane like Predator.
  • If possible, based on current tech/science, or something can be extrapolated from current one.

A little about situation:

  • The planet natives can be considered had High Medieval Tech (low grade steel is available although not in great number), gunpowder is known but not widely used in warfare.
  • The enemy equipment was a mix of leather and metal plate armor, with mix of sword, spear, and bow.
  • The enemy numbered 300 people, highly motivated and trained professional soldier leaded by a highly motivated General-equivalent that was worshiped by his soldiers. (Just think of him had the same bravado as Julius Caesar or Alexander)
  • They camped at 500 m from nearest village at the middle of common temperate deciduous forest and maybe would attack tomorrow.
  • The defender was just 600 common militia (think European standard peasant militia) with limited training and experience behind hastily constructed wooden fence.
  • his team can only give indirect support (not participating physically) due to some bureaucratic rule... (damn bureaucrats)
  • The current season is Mid-Spring.
  • If possible the MC don't want his identity as off-worlder known, but he accept if it can still be considered as 'Magic'.

Had I narrowed it down? It doesn't too broad right? If it impossible, I just had the MC Machine gunned them down them with Drone and pretend they just died from natural cause.

As usual, sorry for the bad English and thanks.

  • $\begingroup$ Does your non-lethal weapon have to incapacitate or is "driving off" the aggressor sufficient? $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Aug 9 '15 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ Sound gun: LRAD $\endgroup$ – Mazura Aug 9 '15 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ If they were driven off they would come back again. So mostly incapacitation that I seek... so that the natives themselves that would solve their dispute... $\endgroup$ – Satori Wita Aug 10 '15 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ Are these humans on this planet or mere humanoids? I have some ideas but they depend on specific biological traits of humans. $\endgroup$ – Green Aug 10 '15 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ They can still be considered 'homo sapiens' only that separated from Common Ancestor 6000 years ago... Blame my anthropocentric principle... (no sapient alien in sight since I like Fermy paradox and All Alien was Human trope) $\endgroup$ – Satori Wita Aug 10 '15 at 17:48

You can use powerful LED or laser based image projector and HI-FI audio system, and draw a picture of their God on clouds demanding the warriors to surrender. Also you can disperse some drugs in air to improve the effect.

[Jesus in clouds]

  • $\begingroup$ I haven't thought this before.. quite out of the box... $\endgroup$ – Satori Wita Aug 11 '15 at 1:30


That's the simplest and lowest tech option. You have a range of possibilities - tear gas, if you want to disperse and incapacitate the opponents in a certain area. More powerful irritants can cling to clothing and skin and make people unable to fight. Or you can induce uncontrollable vomiting.

Or you can just use knockout gas.

  • $\begingroup$ How we can limit their area of effect? I had read that gas as weapon is hard to use since they can be blown by wind and it would be bad if the gas was blown to the village. But since the enemy was inside a forest the wind effect on gas may diminished? $\endgroup$ – Satori Wita Aug 9 '15 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ Unless it is in an enclosed space, gas is also exceedingly difficult to concentrate enough to be effective without killing some of the people. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Aug 9 '15 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ Gas would be very biology-dependent, they'll probably have to do quite some studying to know what is lethal and what has no effect at all... $\endgroup$ – Mark Oct 23 '15 at 22:10

In my opinion, if you're going as far as having a star-faring civilization, it's much more consistent to have something very different from anything we know, rather than something that is available today. We are so far from real space travel that things like nanotechnology, quantum computers, and even mind uploading seem close in comparison, so I always find it rather unlikely when a space opera looks too much like our own time.


If you want to avoid going too far afield, you can use the concept of a foam explosive, which explodes and releases a large amount of sticky foam in a wide area. The foam hardens very quickly and totally immobilizes anyone caught in it. The only way to remove the foam is to use a special solvent. Conveniently, you can dissolve only some of the foam around a person to keep his hands and/or legs constricted while you haul him away. I don't think there is anything like this currently in development, but it's always struck me as quite advanced-sounding, but still very plausible.


You can also use nano-technology, which is kind of a license to do anything you like while still maintaining suspension of disbelief. You can have nanites that mess with the peripheral nervous system, intermittently blocking nerve signals to the limbs, causing enemies to fall over and be unable to advance.

Less impressively, you can just have them cluster around the targets' eyes (or equivalents), blocking vision. Or maybe just zap them if they move around too much.

  • $\begingroup$ Riot foam is a thing. howitworksdaily.com/experimental-crowd-control-riot-foam $\endgroup$ – Sobrique Aug 9 '15 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ I choose the resemblance because their spaceflight tech are coming from an ancient artifact that they still can't understand nor reproduced (space gate). So their background tech didn't need to really that advanced... Anyway, I like the foam idea... The idea of some foam harden into something hard would be bewildering to the natives. $\endgroup$ – Satori Wita Aug 10 '15 at 6:10

Sound. we already have several different non-lethal weapon systems designed to disperse crowds and protesters. LRAD is one of them and was used on Occupy Wallsteet protesters.

Some produce high pitched sounds that are uncomfortable to our ears, others low frequency sounds that make us very uncomfortable. Others just painfully loud sounds. The LRAD can get over 149Db. That hurts.

The LRAD is also used to keep animals away from things like wind power generators.

  • $\begingroup$ Although it maybe usefull for dispersing... I like to know more something that incapacitating... I wonder if we can 'tune' the sound somehow that it can (don't know) cause disturbance in SemuCircular Canals in the inner ear to cause Severe Seasickness at the unfortunate target.... $\endgroup$ – Satori Wita Aug 10 '15 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ @SatoriWita actually yes, that is another side effect of some of them. Some cause extreme nausia too. $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Aug 10 '15 at 18:07

All the above are good conventional weapons that actually already exist.

For a "new invention/Sci Fi weapon" I think some sort of TASER Round. The gun is traditional in all sense with magazines, scope, etccc... except they have a specific type of ammunition that fires a small electrically charged round that tazes upon impact. Metal armor really wouldn't help in this case sense it would conduct electricity. Perhaps have the gun powered by NOS similar to a paintball gun so as to avoid the velocity gunpowder would cause the projectile to send out. Basically this is a rapid fire stun gun. Drawback would be limited range (perhaps 500 feet) do to the NOS power.

Another way would be to have the "ammo" be the NOS canisters that need to be replaced. (Think mass effect 2 and the heat sinks). And the gun fires a beam of electricity that tazes the target.Range would again be limited.

  • $\begingroup$ hmm piezoelectric shock projectiles... limited range maybe can be offset if it was fired from fast moving drone... $\endgroup$ – Satori Wita Aug 10 '15 at 17:59

Auto-bola robots: robots that carefully aim and fling bolas at a high rate, tangling the legs and arms of opponents. We will probably have this technology in the next 10-20 years. Just make sure to have regular forces come in and make arrests before the foes free themselves.

  • $\begingroup$ But it seems that we need quite a lot of them to be effective restricting 500 people movement in a short time while not giving them a chance to escape or take cover.... $\endgroup$ – Satori Wita Aug 10 '15 at 6:02
  • $\begingroup$ Each robot would have a hopper full of bolas, which are not very big, especially if advanced materials are used. Each robot could carry a couple hundred bolas. $\endgroup$ – master_gibber Aug 11 '15 at 16:11

You control snakes with their head.

These men worship their commander. They will do anything for him. Therefore, it seems to me that the best way to stop them would be to capture their general and get them to surrender their weapons.

I would image the easiest way to accomplish this would be to use a cloaking device (maybe an advanced Rochester Cloak) to get really close to the general. Either place a powerful hand cannon (you can give a demonstration), or a knife at his throat in front of his army, and demand their immediate and unequivocal surrender.

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    $\begingroup$ Ah.... It's an interesting idea For story telling ... $\endgroup$ – Satori Wita Aug 10 '15 at 18:08

Something that could be delivered through a drone plane would be something such as the Active Denial System that is in use by active US Military.

This is quite literally a "heat ray" in the sense that it heats the surface it's pointing at. It's non-lethal, but can cause slight burns.

A slightly advanced technology would simply make this technology smaller and apply to a wider effect, basically forcing enemies into a painful position. They'd simply not want to be in pain any longer and retreat/surrender.

Metal plate armor would negate this, though the useful parts for fighting, such as the eyes and joints, would not be protected.


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