With his .45 automatic in hand, Fred felt confident holding the funny-looking stranger at bay till the police arrived. It didn't matter how weird the fellow looked, or whether the rumors about him having come from another world were true. All that mattered was that Fred had a gun, and this so-called alien had nothing but a walking stick. Here on earth we have a saying about bringing a stick to a gunfight, and Fred would be happy to teach him that lesson if the stranger tried anything.
Fred's corpse was still on fire when the police cars arrived on the scene.
The Boom Stick is the high-tech (or magical) variant of the Simple Staff. This is a gun shaped like a staff, that fires projectiles (or more often, energy blasts). Often the idea is that they give a certain regal flair to their users, and is handy to use in melee if needed. Of course, such weapons would be unwieldy and hard to aim. What differentiates the Boom Stick from the Magic Wand is that the Boom Stick is not necessarily magical in nature, and even if it is, it has little other use in performing magic other than for shooting people.
TV and Film: Several characters in the Stargate setting use boomsticks. Nearly every episode of the TV show Stargate SG-1 features one in one scene or another.
Game and Story Use
- Need a bunch of mooks that can't hit the broad side of a barn? Equip them with Boom Sticks (for ceremonial or status reasons), and penalize their attack rolls for the awkwardness of such a weapon.
- As Arthur Clarke said, any sufficiently advanced technology looks like magic. The Boom Stick is an excellent bit of flavorful fluff with which to drive that point home.
- Consider a gun with no trigger, scope, or stock, and no indication which end is the business end or how to fire it. Such a boom stick could be used as a (admittedly heavy-handed) way to give a high-powered weapon to an NPC without throwing the power balance of the campaign out of whack when the PCs pry it from his cold dead fingers. They'll still have it as a trophy, but might not figure out how to use it till the climactic battle with the Big Bad Evil Guy.
- Be careful giving one of these to an NPC wizard. It'll be at least half an hour before they stop calling him "Tim".