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Old 02-16-2020, 02:59 PM   #7
Michael Thayne
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Default Re: [High-Tech][Ultra-Tech] Ultra-Tech style write-ups of TL5-8 ammo

Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
For explosives, they should really improve at every TL, as REF of contemporary explosives go up. Roughly speaking, and assuming REF is 2 at TL8, 1.5 at TL7, and 1 at TL6, you're looking at x0.85 to damage at TL 7, x0.7 damage at TL 6. Call the former -1 per 2d, the latter -1 per 1d. If you want to go lower, TL 5 is probably REF 0.5 (x0.5), TL 4 is REF 0.4 (x0.45), and TL 3 is REF 0.3 (x0.4), all of which would count as -2 per 1d.
This all strikes me as dubious. In WWI amatol was widely used and High-Tech lists its REF as 1.2. And while it's true that High-Tech has thermobaric explosives with REF 2 appearing at TL8, but not every TL8 warhead is thermobaric! Warhead designers don't just care about maximizing their TNT equivalent; finding stable and easy to handle mixtures is also quite important. I'd guess that in practice the common explosive mixtures used in shells and bombs at TL8 have an REF around 1.4, which is only going to give you 8% more damage than amatol.

Fragmenting explosives "use up" some of their power producing and propelling fragments, so those designed to not produce fragmentation (like thin-shelled HEC rounds) should do more damage. Roughly speaking, fragmentation tends to be around 1d per 20mm (which matches up well with your values), and every 2d of fragmentation generated "costs" 1d of explosive damage.
In theory this is right but Ultra-Tech ignores this and I may too for the sake of simplicity. Of course you can try to be more realistic if you like.

Other thoughts: Ultra-Tech's TL9 stats for APHEX aren't that different from some of High-Tech's TL6 stats for APEX. Maybe they aren't that different, at least at the level of resolution GURPS cares about? Similarly TL8 and TL9 thermobaric don't seem that different, but I'm not totally certain about that. EFP I'm really uncertain what to do about because High-Tech only has one example.
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