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Old 09-29-2016, 01:42 AM   #241
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Shells aren't outside the realm of possibility, however. A bit of bamboo would serve quite well, actually. And if your shot is made of small enough pellets, you can get roughly the same penetration as solid lead, while causing considerably more internal injury.
I don't see why shells would be all that useful while the guns are still muzzleloading and the action either matchlock, wheellock or some form of magical action.

Paper cartridges are another matter, in that they decrease the time to reload muzzleloaders amazingly, and they have been adopted with alacrity among the PCs' men.

In any case, from a smoothbore, the ball has to be as close to spherical as possible for accuracy. Any deformation of shape, such as wax might be prone to, means that it's not useful at as long a range.

Minié and conical bullets haven't been invented yet and might not be for a long time. Until that time, replicating their shape with wax is unlikely to occur to anyone as an experiment worth conducting.

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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
Bows, crossbows and the like also are rather useful vs unarmored targets . . . . so likely not worth spending smoke powder on
At least not in the form of frangible slugs. Slung concussion grenades rigged to explode on contact, however, work amazingly well against massive creatures with high HP, but low DR. And for a crowd of un- or poorly-armoured human foes, there is always canister, grapeshot or fragmenting shell. It's worth spending the smokepowder if the alternative is to have pirate boarders swarm over the deck of a valuable ship filled with steel-torsion mechinical artillery, alchemist's fire, small volley guns, personal firearms and smokepowder.

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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
There really needs to be a guns/crossbows default. When the state greatly liberalized crossbow laws recently many of my friends who had never touched a crossbow before bought them and had no issue going and hunting with them
Agreed.

Though I don't much worry about point value for NPCs and simply declare that a few days of familiarisation are enough make crossbowmen tolerable at shooting longarms, with a few weeks usually making them perfectly proficient. PCs and their point-valued Allies can spend earned points on Guns in only a few days of they have Crossbow.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:51 AM   #242
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
...

The highest PC score in an Attribute that isn't ST is DX 17, the roguish Murlak. Several PCs or their closest allies have 16s, with two of them (since last night) having IQ, Per and Will all at 16. ST 20 is still the highest ST among the PCs, but 'Brash' Mickey has a Girdle of Giant Strength (+10 to ST) and Gauntlets of Ogre Power (+6 Arm ST).

That's all pretty reasonable for mid high level FR characters IIRC, FR being pretty high fantasy.

ths items are interesting though, IIRC in AD&D they just replaced you STR stst with another vlaues (and I'm not sure you could combine them)? But here they instead combine and add to you initial ST. (I don't know what D&D 3e + did though).




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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Well, unless you are equipping specialists, you have to tailor the issue weapon to the lowest ST in a unit. And that's ST 10 for the land-based caliver corps or sailors and ST 11 for the Marines.

ST 12 and ST 13 weapons are still valuable additions, though, because there will usually be several big guys who can carry bigger weapons.
Very true, and of course you can mix you formation up, have the bigger chaps use the ST12 wall guns or what ever, and have their slightly smaller mates act as pike men or skirmishers to cover them, or even as loaders to maintain rate of fire

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
For most Low-Tech firearms, though, I don't have a very clear benchmark of how much MinST is a function of the Weight of the weapon and how much it's a function of the recoil. Usually, LT has lighter weapons have lower MinST, even if that would mean a pretty fearsome recoil. It is to be considered that MinST 10 apparently covers handling the recoil of anything up to a Charleville musket, i.e. the musket used by the French in the Napoleonic Wars and the emergent United States in the Revolutionary War, with a ca 500 grain ball at 800-900 fps.
Yes it's not hugely clear, there's also the question of different shapes adn balances. that 21lb musket in LT* is MinST12 but there are 7.62mm LMGs in HT that weight more but with lower MinST (and I know the latter are shorter with a considerable different balance and weight distribution)

I;m guessing this stat is calculated using structured rules but also with eye to anecdotal evidence. As such I'd try and be consistent with similar weapons. (and be free with big hand's perk)

The other problem with using Rcl to base stuff off is that Rcl itself is a derived stat that encompasses a lot of different things (some of which are directly related to MinST i.e weight, so it can get bit circular here).


*which is double the weight of TL5 muskets in HT



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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
To be sure, this is a role.

On the other hand, with REF 0.8 smokepowder, which explodes more energetically than black powder, it ought to be possible to get somewhat smaller balls to a higher velocity than typical black powder velocities. Which gives you more penetration for a given recoil impulse.

There is some pretty advanced math involved in determining at what velocity you're efficiently using your propellant and when increasing velocity costs you a disproportionate amount of extra propellant.

I haven't done any actual math, meaning anything with arcane symbols in it, but I'm pretty sure that with a REF 0.8 propellant, you have a higher velocity as the baseline practical value than with black powder REF 0.4 to 0.5 propellant.
In general terms yes definitely, it's just you have to contain and harness that increased energy as well.

As you say this get's complicated, and it where we get into peak vs area and energy imparted with various knock on's (high peak means you have to contain a lot of pressure at specific point, low peak but large area means you need a longer barrel to harness all the energy).

The thing is you can have smoke powder have whatever internal ballistic characteristics here that you want, and if they are on the more extreme end of them it will effect what you guns will look like.

But generally speaking higher energy (REF in GURPS terms) will mean heavier guns (or stronger guns with better metallurgy).


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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Well, that's one role, but they have several different types of smokepowder troops. There are Marines that specialise in boarding actions, but can also fight as line infantry; caliver corps troopers that fight as line infantry; sailors and naval officers who have access to pistols and blunderbusses for boarding actions; a few naval marksmen who have a rifle; and a unit of slingers who shoot grenades. And the group of Giff mercenaries, now.

Future units will be elite riflemen who can both perform as scouts and fight as infantry; a military police unit for headquarter security; sharpshooters; scout/skirmishers; and the unit of female recruits, who will probably be sharpshooters as well. Selected Marines will be trained as sharpshooters as soon as they have rifles (in fact, some of them have already been using rifles owned by the ships and meant for use by naval ratings).
Very true and some of these are going to be very different and have different requirement that will effect the weapon that is best suited of them.

But really I as just making the point that if larger more powerful weapons will be usable in "pistol" role (which woudl benefit some of those roles above)



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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
As an aside:

The Flintlock Carbine from LT is extremely attractive in terms of stats. I wonder why it gets so much better stats than everything else. It has a decent Dmg, but even though it is actually lighter than a heavy pistol once you subtract the stock, it doesn't have very high Rcl or MinST.

And it has Acc 3 as a smoothbore, higher than all the full-size muskets and equal to a Jaeger, Kentucky or a Baker rifle; which does suggest that all that rifling and longer barrel was a waste of effort.

Even when used as a pistol it is clearly better than all the other pistols, with Acc 2 and higher Dmg than all of them, but only MinST 10.

I would like to allow a weapon with the same design principle in my campaign, but I'd have to find some credible sources that the historical 1690s weapon really was that good before using the stats unchanged.
Yeah it does stack up rather well doesn't (there's nothing in the errata but that's not conclusive)

I suspect we have a condensed TL issue going on here, in that in RL this technology advanced quite quickly but also at different rates in different places and at different times within a relatively short period of time. I might be tempted to count it as fine accurate and increase the price (I think this ties in with it one relative deficit it's low 1/2dam range).

This wepoan was (AFAIK) not widely used or mass equipped for military use which suggests there was drawbacks to it for that kind of role even if it was this good.

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Old 09-29-2016, 05:07 AM   #243
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
A problem with early cannon is that the use of powder is extremely inefficient and a lot of them don't end up with very impressive stats compared to handheld 14-bore to 4-bore weapons with heavy charges..
That's true, as I said above even if just keep in to TL4 there is a huge range of results and capabilities within a pretty short period of time.

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Cannons are usually overbuilt, some of it to cope with the heat build-up from hours of cannonade during naval battles and some of it because with very poor quality control, it was the best way to increase the odds they'd not burst. Also, cannons usually could tolerate double-loading, so much heavier charges than the standard stats reflect.

As no living creature is likely to fire a handheld weapon at full rate of fire for multiple hours*, it's probably unnecessary to make cannon-caliber personal weapons quite that overbuilt.

*Aside from everything else, where would anyone keep that much ammo?
True, but steps were also taken to keep the guns form over heating and mishaps when fires at that rate, resting them, wet blankets, swabs etc, etc.

either way over engineering was a pretty natural tendency when metallurgy wasn't as uniform as it could be (and later would be), and that's not going to change going form big to small.

(although that could be another factor you could tweak in your setting)



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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I thought the Swivel-Gun Gun was pretty low-powered. It's doesn't really have better Dmg or Range than very heavy man-portable gun, like an elephant rifle (or a smoothbored elephant gun) or a punt gun.
Well I think it pretty low velocity and relatively short barrelled for use at close range, also comparing it later elephant guns seems to be a bit unfair ;-)

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The Long-Range-Awe-Inspiring Gun seems to have pretty good stats. I've always missed it because it's listed as an indirect fire weapon (don't know how that works with a shotload).
TBH I wouldn't worry about the indirect fire distinction too much, the designation seems more to matter with the early guns TL3 guns and how they were mounted and used (fixed position at high angles, not wheeled etc, etc) the TL4 guns are different enough not to really worry about that.

I do think that there's a typo in the damage for the crouching gun I think the adjustment for stone balls have been included for range but not damage (and I think we may have a TL issue again). The range for teh shot also seems wrong as it not as per the box on pg88.

As an aside there's no reason why shot and indirect fire can't work together , really the difference between direct fire and indirect fire for the TL4 guns in this context is how the gun is mounted (and even direct fire cannon had considerable bullet drop anyway)

NB there doesn't seem to be an actual TL4 heavy fixed bombard on these lists, but this might be in the companion.


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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The Thayan Oil of Impact is extremely expensive, but is actually pretty efficient when used in purpose-designed liquid fuel bombards, which might make up for the price to the Thayans. At the prices they sell to foreign customers, though, it's $15,000/pint, so it's even more expensive than smokepowder from the Church of Gond.*

For a wizard, the pure magical energy explosion is much cheaper than smokepowder. For others, typical wizards can demand extreme prices for their time and especially, taking risks for others. Having an enchanter make a permanent enchantment of that sort is cost-effective over a long enough time frame.

As it is currently a lost spell, I've not worked out what the time frame was. When it was known to a lot of wizards in Mulhorand, I'd guess that it might have paid for itself with as little as several thousand shots, if they'd set up an organised production with apprentices and journeymen supporting masters.

*The absolute worst price for REF 0.8 smokepowder is $7,000/lb, while pure Oil of Impact is REF 1.5 for $15,000.
Cool, what is the driving force behind these prices by the way, constituent parts or labour?


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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Not that many targets have Protection from Normal Missiles permanently in effect, as that would require a magical item instead of just casting it before a battle. And yes, it would interfere.
True although the pay off changes for it if these guns become more common.

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
A partial solution would be to issue some $250 enchanted bullets to the best sharpshooters, to be used only on targets which appear immune to normal bullets.
Could work of course it requires judging if that was the thing that stopped the chap from falling over (you could just have missed etc, etc), and your gambling a pretty expensive resource. One of the down sides of this muskets ets was the smoke made it hard to tell immediate effect.


Actually that's a point I've been assuming smoke powder, creates a lot of smoke when used, in this the case though can we get smokeless smoke powder?


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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The rulers of Calaunt and Mulmaster, militant city-states to the north of the Inner Sea, treat their new smokepowder-armed troops that way.


It is to be hoped that this aids the morale of the men fighting for the PCs. In general, they usually appeal to the better nature of their subordinates and hope they will maintain willing self-discipline through loyalty, professionalism and unit élan. The difference between the professionalism of special operators and the obedience of harshly enforced conscript discipline.
Absolutely you could spin it both ways i.e "your nothing but pair of hands for the gun" vs. "look we value you by trusting you with this resource", etc, etc

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Of course, that's a lot more practical when the leaders have some combination of Appearance, Charisma, Reputation, Status, Voice and relevant Talents that give +10 or more to Reactions and Loyalty checks.
Hah, quite



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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Ankhapet Si'Hamet (PC) went to his homeland to recruit just such horse archers. They have about two thousand good cavalry from there now, although less than half of them are horse archers, with the rest throwing javelins at range.


Well, actually, the PCs never have enough smokepowder. Guns are a different matter. With some eight master gnome gunsmiths available to teach all the members of a large guild of brownsmiths, brassfounders and bronzesmiths how to use their knowledge and tools to build barrels, bronze guns were easy to build over the last six months.

They've been buying their steel guns form various sources, but in the last two months, they've collected several blacksmiths who know the techniques and are teaching all the blacksmiths in their employ to make steel guns. This is made much more effective by access to a red dragon's lair where someone capable of calling upon magical fire can awaken extremely hot controllable fore in an ingenious system that can melt any metal. The dragon was a metallurgist and liked playing with alloys.
Cool, so the smoke powder itself is the limiting factor, I'm guessing some kid of R&D on that?


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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
If the gods were like superpowered humans, their vital need for mass worship would result in them behaving like politicians to their voters, i.e. with all competing for the middle, avoiding offending large sections at all costs and becoming mostly indisguishable from each other.

I view the deities as monomaniacs about their portfolios and strangely blind to many issues outside of those. This means that they often behave in suboptimal ways. Humans are, in fact, much more effective at plans that require the cooperation of many entities with different interests and goals..
Fair enough, I guess I'd see it as a compromise between the two, the gods uses their specific purview as a way of leveraging worship. But you're right having umpteen competing CEO's in the sky looses a bit of the feel of the setting.


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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Right.


Individual crewmen of Halruaan skyships may well like to carry smokepowder weapons, especially if they are not spellcasters themselves.


It does surely help.
cool

Cheers

TD

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Old 09-29-2016, 05:24 AM   #244
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
It is entirely possible to punch through armor with the right shotgun load. Melt wax into a shell full of shot, and you end up with a frangible slug. Rather devastating effect on whatever you hit.
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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Sure, sure.

But there's no one using shotgun shells, they are loading muzzleloading smoothbores with shotloads. I'm sure it's possible to make mixed lead and wax projectiles, but I'm pretty sure that pure lead projectiles are heavier and penetrate better. Frangible slugs aren't really what you want to penetrate bronze or steel armour.
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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Shells aren't outside the realm of possibility, however. A bit of bamboo would serve quite well, actually. And if your shot is made of small enough pellets, you can get roughly the same penetration as solid lead, while causing considerably more internal injury.
I cant help but think that once you have bamboo and wax etc you reducing the density of the projectile reducing over all penetrative ability, also I'd have thought the further issues with using wax would be

1). as solid mass it has to survive the ignition, and flight (which will be difficult if you increase shot to wax proportions

2). it has to keep the shot together as it penetrates, which I think it will struggle to do against pretty much any armour, being rather prone to deform as the whole thing hits a hard surface

3). having withstood all that intact it then has to release all the pellets when exactly when you want in a less resistant medium
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:35 PM   #245
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
ths items are interesting though, IIRC in AD&D they just replaced you STR stst with another vlaues (and I'm not sure you could combine them)? But here they instead combine and add to you initial ST. (I don't know what D&D 3e + did though).
D&D 3e did indeed add to a character's score when using a magical item that granted ability bonuses and that's what I did in GURPS. It did not feel fun to utterly devalue the ST score of characters in favour of a magical item, for one thing, because it made the archetype of 'Strong Guy' worthless if someone else found (or could afford to commission) such an item.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Very true, and of course you can mix you formation up, have the bigger chaps use the ST12 wall guns or what ever, and have their slightly smaller mates act as pike men or skirmishers to cover them, or even as loaders to maintain rate of fire
Just so.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Yes it's not hugely clear, there's also the question of different shapes adn balances. that 21lb musket in LT* is MinST12 but there are 7.62mm LMGs in HT that weight more but with lower MinST (and I know the latter are shorter with a considerable different balance and weight distribution)

*which is double the weight of TL5 muskets in HT

I;m guessing this stat is calculated using structured rules but also with eye to anecdotal evidence. As such I'd try and be consistent with similar weapons. (and be free with big hand's perk)
I'm trying to find similar weapons, but it's a bit of a struggle. It seems a lot of the stats for potential benchmarks are suspicious.

Why is a 11.2 lbs. 20-gauge blunderbuss firing what appear to be seven 9mm lead shot only ST 7† in LT while the 20-gauge black powder shotgun in HT, weighing in at 10.7 lbs. and firing seven sligthly smaller buckshot, is ST11†?

For that matter, why is the 17 lbs. Fowling Piece, Double only ST8† in LT?

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
The other problem with using Rcl to base stuff off is that Rcl itself is a derived stat that encompasses a lot of different things (some of which are directly related to MinST i.e weight, so it can get bit circular here).
Basing it on weapons of similar weights that have a similar real world recoil impulse is pretty much the only thing I can do, but for that, I've got to figure out what assumptions underlie those weapon stats I use as benchmarks.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
In general terms yes definitely, it's just you have to contain and harness that increased energy as well.

As you say this get's complicated, and it where we get into peak vs area and energy imparted with various knock on's (high peak means you have to contain a lot of pressure at specific point, low peak but large area means you need a longer barrel to harness all the energy).

The thing is you can have smoke powder have whatever internal ballistic characteristics here that you want, and if they are on the more extreme end of them it will effect what you guns will look like.
I've established that REF 0.8 smokepowder comes in very fast-burning pistol versions as well as slightly slower burning versions for longarms. It has a higher peak pressure than mundane black powder and can accelerate shot to over 3,500 fps, at least when set off by magic that ignites much of it simultaneously within a near-indestructable dragonbone barrel. More normally, it achieves the higher range of black powder velocities easily.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
But generally speaking higher energy (REF in GURPS terms) will mean heavier guns (or stronger guns with better metallurgy).
The part of a gun's weight which comes from making the barrel strong enough for the charge is often not a major factor. Elephant guns were made heavy to help a relatively normal human handle the recoil, not because only super-heavy barrels could take the charges for 4-bore or 8-bore round balls.

Sure, barrels which last thousands of shots with powerful, high-velocity loads are expensive, but they don't need to be all that heavy. It's generally cheaper to go with a heavy barrel for an extra margin of safety, but while economising on gunsmithing made sense in real history, it makes less sense when the cost of the ammunition is some orders of magnitude higher.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Yeah it does stack up rather well doesn't (there's nothing in the errata but that's not conclusive)

I suspect we have a condensed TL issue going on here, in that in RL this technology advanced quite quickly but also at different rates in different places and at different times within a relatively short period of time. I might be tempted to count it as fine accurate and increase the price (I think this ties in with it one relative deficit it's low 1/2dam range).

This wepoan was (AFAIK) not widely used or mass equipped for military use which suggests there was drawbacks to it for that kind of role even if it was this good.
It's not just a matter of the weapon being late TL4. Come to think of it, most of the listed flintlocks in LT are late 17th century or early 18th century, hence the same era or slightly later than the Flintlock Carbine.

The Flintlock Carbine better as a pistol than all smoothbore muzzleloading TL5 pistols, including being more accurate than the more expensive and TL5 Wogdon Duelling Pistol, specifically noted as being designed for accuracy in a smoothbore, and more accurate as a longarm than any TL5 smoothbore.

As for comparing it to TL4 longarms, it's for some reason +2 Acc relative to full-size military fusils*, +1 Acc relative to all other longarms. Despite weighing in at only 3.9 lbs. with a collapsible stock (heavier than a normal stock at our TL, at least), while the others are full-size weapons, with proper stocks and presumably longer barrels.

*Why, oh, why does Acc for those go down to pistol-levels when they are chambered for a slightly heavier caliber than hunting fusils?
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:16 PM   #246
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
D&D 3e did indeed add to a character's score when using a magical item that granted ability bonuses and that's what I did in GURPS. It did not feel fun to utterly devalue the ST score of characters in favour of a magical item, for one thing, because it made the archetype of 'Strong Guy' worthless if someone else found (or could afford to commission) such an item.

Very true


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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I'm trying to find similar weapons, but it's a bit of a struggle. It seems a lot of the stats for potential benchmarks are suspicious.

Why is a 11.2 lbs. 20-gauge blunderbuss firing what appear to be seven 9mm lead shot only ST 7† in LT while the 20-gauge black powder shotgun in HT, weighing in at 10.7 lbs. and firing seven sligthly smaller buckshot, is ST11†?
Well assuming you are talking about the Tower gun in HT, the HT one is lighter and firing significantly more (13x 1d compared to 7x 1d) and it's 11g not 20g.

But yeah In general I take your point

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
For that matter, why is the 17 lbs. Fowling Piece, Double only ST8† in LT?
Yeah I take your point. I suspect it's a factor of how weight, MinST and Rcl interact (obscured by the fact that we don't have a slug Rcl value here)

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Basing it on weapons of similar weights that have a similar real world recoil impulse is pretty much the only thing I can do, but for that, I've got to figure out what assumptions underlie those weapon stats I use as benchmarks.
Yep

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I've established that REF 0.8 smokepowder comes in very fast-burning pistol versions as well as slightly slower burning versions for longarms. It has a higher peak pressure than mundane black powder and can accelerate shot to over 3,500 fps, at least when set off by magic that ignites much of it simultaneously within a near-indestructable dragonbone barrel. More normally, it achieves the higher range of black powder velocities easily.
That is fast! (although I get that usual guns won't get that high) But C17th Muskets we're firing at a much slower velocity than that (that's a link straight to a PDF called "Ballistics of 17th Century Muskets " not web page) Sorry reading you post in the Chinese guns threads I realise I'm not telling you anything you don't already know here! But ultimately I think the combinations of such high peak and TL4 metallurgy, is going to mean needing very sturdy sections of barrel where the peak will be contained.


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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The part of a gun's weight which comes from making the barrel strong enough for the charge is often not a major factor. Elephant guns were made heavy to help a relatively normal human handle the recoil, not because only super-heavy barrels could take the charges for 4-bore or 8-bore round balls.
Elephant guns weren't firing that higher pressure peak / energy load (certainly nothing like 3500 fps) even a modern day .700 H&H nitro express is 2000fps

C19th 4g elephant guns were really just big short barrelled shotguns firing a sold ball at low velocity relying on mass to damage the target. Which is why even with that mass 1/2d is low on these guns

Also if your metallurgy isn't great than you have to overcompensate

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Sure, barrels which last thousands of shots with powerful, high-velocity loads are expensive, but they don't need to be all that heavy. It's generally cheaper to go with a heavy barrel for an extra margin of safety, but while economising on gunsmithing made sense in real history, it makes less sense when the cost of the ammunition is some orders of magnitude higher.
Well again I think your underestimating how much more reliable, consistent metallurgy is a factor*. There's a reason why the 4d+2 (0.80 calibre) musket at TL4 is 20lbs, but the 4d+2 (0.75 calibre, so not significantly smaller) Brown Bess flintlock at TL5 is half the weight.

*especially as weak spots and failure points will fail more consistently when subjected to normal use (i.e. being fired) than a weak spot in say a piece of armour that might go unnoticed for a while, and might even be less obvious and catastrophic when it does fail.

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
It's not just a matter of the weapon being late TL4. It's better as a pistol than all smoothbore muzzleloading TL5 pistols, including being more accurate than the more expensive and TL5 Wogdon Duelling Pistol, specifically noted as being designed for accuracy in a smoothbore, and more accurate as a longarm than any TL5 smoothbore.

As for comparing it to TL4 longarms, it's for some reason +2 Acc relative to full-size military fusils*, +1 Acc relative to all other longarms. Despite weighing in at only 3.9 lbs. with a collapsible stock (heavier than a normal stock at our TL, at least), while the others are full-size weapons, with proper stocks and presumably longer barrels.

*Why, oh, why does Acc for those go down to pistol-levels when they are chambered for a slightly heavier caliber than hunting fusils?
No you are right. The more I think about it, the more I see this as a gentlemen's hunting gun / show off gun. And would assume it's fine accurate and bump up the price. (that fits better with the range and as well)

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Old 09-29-2016, 02:58 PM   #247
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Well assuming you are talking about the Tower gun in HT, the HT one is lighter and firing significantly more (13x 1d compared to 7x 1d) and it's 11g not 20g.
I refer to the Colt Model 1855, 20G Caplock. Totally different action, of course, but the lbs. used for Weight in the weapon tables should be the same unit of measurement regardless of the action type of the weapon and similarly sized lead shot propelled by black powder at similar velocities should produce similar recoil.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
But yeah In general I take your point

Yeah I take your point. I suspect it's a factor of how weight, MinST and Rcl interact (obscured by the fact that we don't have a slug Rcl value here)
The Weight difference is only 0.5 lbs. and the Blunderbuss has slightly higher Range. There's no reasonable way to conclude that the 20-gauge Blunderbuss firing 7 shot that do 1d pi and have Range 45/810 can be affected by less recoil in a Newtonian sense than a 20-gauge shotgun firing 7 shot that do 1d pi with range 40/800. If anything, it's the same felt recoil, the extra 0.5 lbs. of the Blunderbuss compensating for the slightly heavier shot thrown by it (as evidenced by the slightly longer 1/2D Range).

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
That is fast! (although I get that usual guns won't get that high) But C17th Muskets we're firing at a much slower velocity than that (that's a link straight to a PDF called "Ballistics of 17th Century Muskets " not web page) Sorry reading you post in the Chinese guns threads I realise I'm not telling you anything you don't already know here!
I highly doubt any gun made with non-magical bronze or steel will even aspire to half of that velocity. In any case, that sort of velocity requires not only a completely sealed chamber and breech, with the only path open for expanding gasses pushing a tightly fitted ball out the muzzle, which is easy to do when the 'action' is an Ignite Fire spell, but also a fairly powerful Ignite Fire spell effect that simultaneously ignites the entire charge.

I guess it's not a typical example, being more in the nature of a alchemical-magical plasma-charge rifle than a TL4 technological construct.

Also, I'd love to read the PDF, but it takes me to a page which tells me my URL was invalid. Paywall? Password-protected?

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
But ultimately I think the combinations of such high peak and TL4 metallurgy, is going to mean needing very sturdy sections of barrel where the peak will be contained.
Sure, for any weapon that proposes to function at such extreme velocities. I do not expect that to be common, however, with most longarms I envision using a fairly light charge of less finely ground smokepowder for subsonic velocites.

On the other hand, historical muzzleloaders could often take a much heavier powder charge than the listed stats assume without bursting. The limiting factor was often the recoil that the shooter was prepared to face, not the strength of the barrel. When pushing a smaller ball faster than typical black powder weapons, this limiting factor is not as severe.

Kentucky rifles didn't need massively heavy barrels to tolerate firing a .45 caliber ball at higher velocities than most military muskets operated at with their heavier balls. Even with their very long barrels, a typical example is listed in High-Tech as weighing 7 lbs., which is significantly lighter than I intend for the calivers and muskets used in my game. And the rifles were hand-crafted, with no tools that I'm aware of that are unavailable to TL4 craftsmen in the Forgotten Realms.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Elephant guns weren't firing that higher pressure peak / energy load (certainly nothing like 3500 fps) even a modern day .700 H&H nitro express is 2000fps
That's understood. But note that the performance of anything from 40-bore to 4-bore carbines, muskets, pistols and rifles can be improved very much from the stats listed in Low-Tech without reaching quite such awesome velocities. 'Just' increasing velocity from 300 fps to 900 fps makes pistols a whole different weapon, while 20- to 22-bore longarms can penetrate like low-to-average-velocity 8- to -4 bores if they achieve supersonic 1500-1600 fps at the muzzle rather than 650-1,000 fps.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
C19th 4g elephant guns were really just big short barrelled shotguns firing a sold ball at low velocity relying on mass to damage the target. Which is why even with that mass 1/2d is low on these guns
For actual use by humans, I'm thinking mainly ST 9† to ST13† weapons. Most of it is a far cry from 4-bore elephant guns. On the other hand, they're a good benchmark for how much recoil impulse a human can handle and how much power an early TL5 barrel can stand.

I'm currently thinking that smaller balls at greater velocities mean less recoil for the same penetration and so of the weapons I've imagined for the human soldiers of the PCs, only the naval blunderbuss has a higher caliber than 20-bore.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Also if your metallurgy isn't great than you have to overcompensate
Metallurgy is mature TL4 at most places that the PCs are getting their smithing done, with TL4+1 available to them in some numbers, TL4+2 being what brightest sparks affiliated with the Church of Gond are using for clockwork, springs and gearing and up to TL4^ and/or TL4+4 available through special methods. There's also quite a bit of TL1^ orichalum and TL1+3 improved bronze available in the Old Empires where they are, although both of these depend on magical or clerical support.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Well again I think your underestimating how much reliable consistent metallurgy is a factor*. There's a reason why the 4d+2 (0.80 calibre) musket at TL4 is 20lbs, but the 4d+2 (0.75 calibre, so not significantly smaller) Brown Bess flintlock at TL5 is half the weight.

*especially as weak spots and failure points will fail more consistently when subjected to normal use (i.e. being fired) than a weak spot in say a piece of armour that might go unnoticed for a while, and might even be less obvious and catastrophic when it does fail.
This is true, but bronze guns were stronger than iron/steel ones at TL4 (and the added expense of bronze is trivial compared to smokepowder costs) and, in any event, it is not likely that they'll have any guns that are meant to reach a decent velocity built without having master craftsmen supervise the process and testing the results with the Measurement spell.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
No you are right. The more I think about it, the more I see this as a gentlemen's hunting gun / show off gun. And would assume it's fine accurate and bump up the price. (that fits better with the range and as well)
I haven't found what historical firearm that these stats represent, but I'd be surprised if a Cost of $245 at TL4 is meant to represent a fancy show-off gun when a Wogdon Dueller costs $300 at TL5 and does not count as Fine (Accurate).

In any event, with the stock folded, it has one step lower Bulk than most of the military pistols found in LT, it does much more Dmg than anything but the 40" barrel Petronel (which it equals) and it has Acc 2 as a pistol. Yet it's cheaper than the inferior Military Pistol and Puffer Pistol. The only remotely competative pistol is the Queen Anne Pistol, but the increased Acc there is at least balanced by the extra trouble to reload it.

With the stock extended, it can be compared to the Fine (Accurate) Fusil Fin, except a few dollars cheaper, 2.6 lbs. lighter, one type of Dmg better (pi++ instead of pi+), one step of ST less, one step of Bulk less, but at least it's -10/-80 to Range compared to it. I don't really think that these few yards of Range make up for being better in so many other ways.

I'd understand it better if it was a famously successful weapon. But it's not. Why would everyone continue to use heavier and less accurate carbines, fusils and muskets for 150 years if this clearly superior alternative was available? At the very least; scouts, cavalry and skirmishers should have picked it up, as it is much lighter, handier and faster to reload than rifles while retaining the same Acc.

I'd think that if we were to change the stats of the weapon, a much more sensible change would be simply to reduce Acc to 2 with stock, Acc 1 without it. Then it's perfectly compatible with other weapons and quite useful as a niche weapon, without being better than everything else.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:32 AM   #248
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I refer to the Colt Model 1855, 20G Caplock. Totally different action, of course, but the lbs. used for Weight in the weapon tables should be the same unit of measurement regardless of the action type of the weapon and similarly sized lead shot propelled by black powder at similar velocities should produce similar recoil.
Ah OK in general I agree, however I'd also try to compare like for like as much as possible. The Tower gun is much more like for like comparison to the earlier blunderbuss in pretty much all ways. I.e. try and remove as many potential variables as possible (especially as we don't actually know what variables are used and how they are used for deciding the Rcl's and MinSt values of individual weapons listings)


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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The Weight difference is only 0.5 lbs. and the Blunderbuss has slightly higher Range. There's no reasonable way to conclude that the 20-gauge Blunderbuss firing 7 shot that do 1d pi and have Range 45/810 can be affected by less recoil in a Newtonian sense than a 20-gauge shotgun firing 7 shot that do 1d pi with range 40/800. If anything, it's the same felt recoil, the extra 0.5 lbs. of the Blunderbuss compensating for the slightly heavier shot thrown by it (as evidenced by the slightly longer 1/2D Range).
Thing is that assumes felt recoil here is only subject to that. Also we're equating felt recoil to the Rcl Stat and the MinST and I think we know from previous threads it's not that simple. Also we have the issue that we don't actually know the Blunderbuss' real Rcl, we only get the shot version not the slug version. Judging by the Towergun which seem to be throwing more shot out of lighter gun I think we can safely assume the TL4 version would have a lower slug Rcl stat.


On top of that is the point made above about not being like for like comparisons in terms of actual guns either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I highly doubt any gun made with non-magical bronze or steel will even aspire to half of that velocity. In any case, that sort of velocity requires not only a completely sealed chamber and breech, with the only path open for expanding gasses pushing a tightly fitted ball out the muzzle, which is easy to do when the 'action' is an Ignite Fire spell, but also a fairly powerful Ignite Fire spell effect that simultaneously ignites the entire charge.
I agree it a idealised set up for actually projecting a ball out the barrel at a maximum velocity, but a lot of that doesn't effect the actual explosive force of the propellant (although a looser ball and lack of the idealised everything igniting at once will) which is what matters for the structural integrity of the gun.

Thing is we have lots of anecdotal evidence for older guns being loaded too hot, or loaded with more modern, more powerful/energetic propellants and bursting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I guess it's not a typical example, being more in the nature of a alchemical-magical plasma-charge rifle than a TL4 technological construct.
Yes, and I'd give some pretty good stats accordingly!

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Also, I'd love to read the PDF, but it takes me to a page which tells me my URL was invalid. Paywall? Password-protected?
Hmm strange it came up for me first time (maybe do a title search in google), either way in terms of what we're discussing here it;s not telling you anything you don't already know, low Muzzle velocity with quite quick drop off at range


Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Sure, for any weapon that proposes to function at such extreme velocities. I do not expect that to be common, however, with most longarms I envision using a fairly light charge of less finely ground smokepowder for subsonic velocites.
OK but that will mean you won't get the superior effect

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
On the other hand, historical muzzleloaders could often take a much heavier powder charge than the listed stats assume without bursting. The limiting factor was often the recoil that the shooter was prepared to face, not the strength of the barrel. When pushing a smaller ball faster than typical black powder weapons, this limiting factor is not as severe.

Hmm I think Much is relative term, they also burst.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Kentucky rifles didn't need massively heavy barrels to tolerate firing a .45 caliber ball at higher velocities than most military muskets operated at with their heavier balls. Even with their very long barrels, a typical example is listed in High-Tech as weighing 7 lbs., which is significantly lighter than I intend for the calivers and muskets used in my game. And the rifles were hand-crafted, with no tools that I'm aware of that are unavailable to TL4 craftsmen in the Forgotten Realms.


That's understood. But note that the performance of anything from 40-bore to 4-bore carbines, muskets, pistols and rifles can be improved very much from the stats listed in Low-Tech without reaching quite such awesome velocities. 'Just' increasing velocity from 300 fps to 900 fps makes pistols a whole different weapon, while 20- to 22-bore longarms can penetrate like low-to-average-velocity 8- to -4 bores if they achieve supersonic 1500-1600 fps at the muzzle rather than 650-1,000 fps.


For actual use by humans, I'm thinking mainly ST 9† to ST13† weapons. Most of it is a far cry from 4-bore elephant guns. On the other hand, they're a good benchmark for how much recoil impulse a human can handle and how much power an early TL5 barrel can stand.

I'm currently thinking that smaller balls at greater velocities mean less recoil for the same penetration and so of the weapons I've imagined for the human soldiers of the PCs, only the naval blunderbuss has a higher caliber than 20-bore.


Metallurgy is mature TL4 at most places that the PCs are getting their smithing done, with TL4+1 available to them in some numbers, TL4+2 being what brightest sparks affiliated with the Church of Gond are using for clockwork, springs and gearing and up to TL4^ and/or TL4+4 available through special methods. There's also quite a bit of TL1^ orichalum and TL1+3 improved bronze available in the Old Empires where they are, although both of these depend on magical or clerical support.

Ok the above all seem pretty linked yes i agree if you accessing better than average TL4 metallurgy (in what ever way) and you have better than average TL4 propellent than yep you'll get good results


Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
This is true, but bronze guns were stronger than iron/steel ones at TL4 (and the added expense of bronze is trivial compared to smokepowder costs) and, in any event, it is not likely that they'll have any guns that are meant to reach a decent velocity built without having master craftsmen supervise the process and testing the results with the Measurement spell.
Yep that will certainly help as well


Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I haven't found what historical firearm that these stats represent, but I'd be surprised if a Cost of $245 at TL4 is meant to represent a fancy show-off gun when a Wogdon Dueller costs $300 at TL5 and does not count as Fine (Accurate).
Well considering the Wogdon dueller is only acc1 it shouldn't!

As I said I'd up the cost considerably

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
In any event, with the stock folded, it has one step lower Bulk than most of the military pistols found in LT, it does much more Dmg than anything but the 40" barrel Petronel (which it equals) and it has Acc 2 as a pistol. Yet it's cheaper than the inferior Military Pistol and Puffer Pistol. The only remotely competative pistol is the Queen Anne Pistol, but the increased Acc there is at least balanced by the extra trouble to reload it.

With the stock extended, it can be compared to the Fine (Accurate) Fusil Fin, except a few dollars cheaper, 2.6 lbs. lighter, one type of Dmg better (pi++ instead of pi+), one step of ST less, one step of Bulk less, but at least it's -10/-80 to Range compared to it. I don't really think that these few yards of Range make up for being better in so many other ways.

I'd understand it better if it was a famously successful weapon. But it's not. Why would everyone continue to use heavier and less accurate carbines, fusils and muskets for 150 years if this clearly superior alternative was available? At the very least; scouts, cavalry and skirmishers should have picked it up, as it is much lighter, handier and faster to reload than rifles while retaining the same Acc.

I'd think that if we were to change the stats of the weapon, a much more sensible change would be simply to reduce Acc to 2 with stock, Acc 1 without it. Then it's perfectly compatible with other weapons and quite useful as a niche weapon, without being better than everything else.
Well As I said I think it works better if you look at this as an exceptional gun that was very expensive. Which explains what it matches up so very favourably in comparison to contemporary guns but didn't become ubiquitous because of it's stat advantages (there's also the issue that we know there are granularity issues here with Acc etc, and some of these stats may have defaulted as being the "one better than that" in game terms)

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Old 09-30-2016, 02:56 AM   #249
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
On the other hand, historical muzzleloaders could often take a much heavier powder charge than the listed stats assume without bursting. The limiting factor was often the recoil that the shooter was prepared to face, not the strength of the barrel. When pushing a smaller ball faster than typical black powder weapons, this limiting factor is not as severe.

Kentucky rifles didn't need massively heavy barrels to tolerate firing a .45 caliber ball at higher velocities than most military muskets operated at with their heavier balls. Even with their very long barrels, a typical example is listed in High-Tech as weighing 7 lbs., which is significantly lighter than I intend for the calivers and muskets used in my game. And the rifles were hand-crafted, with no tools that I'm aware of that are unavailable to TL4 craftsmen in the Forgotten Realms.
It seems to me that I recall that one problem with hunting rifles as war weapons was that they were prone to overheating in actual combat situations. Ideally you should just fire once and charge with the bayonet, so the heat of loading and firing dozens of times in quick succession would not be a problem, but hunting rifles were not fitted with lugs, and it turned out that hangers and hatchets against a line of men with bayonets did not work well either.

So it was great to have a few troops with rifles to pick off individuals at beyond effective musket range, but arming a large body of troops with rifles, and especially with civilian rifles, had problems.

I would never try to use game stats to ask why a weapon was not more widely adopted. As S.A. Fisher says, game stats are at best a selective simplification of reality, and any research behind them is out of charity or self-respect, not because game companies can pay for it. Most GURPS authors do their best, but they can only spend so much time and money on a project.

I suspect that your best bet would be to just research pre-Napoleonic firearms yourself, present the results in real-world terms with footnotes, then if nobody has big problems work out the game stats yourself. The questions that you asked a few weeks ago would require three or more people with serious education to spend several days or weeks finding an answer (say a historian of firearms, a ballistician, and an industrial engineer- who would have to ask you a lot of questions about how things are made in your setting, and would not be satisfied by any answer containing the phrase "tech level").
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:11 AM   #250
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
It seems to me that I recall that one problem with hunting rifles as war weapons was that they were prone to overheating in actual combat situations. Ideally you should just fire once and charge with the bayonet, so the heat of loading and firing dozens of times in quick succession would not be a problem, but hunting rifles were not fitted with lugs, and it turned out that hangers and hatchets against a line of men with bayonets did not work well either.

So it was great to have a few troops with rifles to pick off individuals at beyond effective musket range, but arming a large body of troops with rifles, and especially with civilian rifles, had problems.
Obviously.

I wasn't saying that Kentucky rifles should have replaced heavier muskets, I was using them as an example of a muzzleloading black powder weapon that used a smaller caliber ball at higher velocities without needing massive barrels to handle high pressures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
I would never try to use game stats to ask why a weapon was not more widely adopted. As S.A. Fisher says, game stats are at best a selective simplification of reality, and any research behind them is out of charity or self-respect, not because game companies can pay for it.
Out of self-respect, authors should probably avoid having the stats fly in the face of common sense.

The TL4 Flintlock Carbine is listed as being as accurate as full-size combat rifles like the TL5 Baker rifle while remaining a smoothbore that was as fast to reload as any carbine, fusil or musket, not to mention weighing only 3.9 lbs. and being cheaper than the Baker. When used as a pistol, it has higher Dmg than any muzzleloading pistol of reasonable size listed in a GURPS supplement (equal to the Petronel, which has a 40" barrel and is no handier than a long rifle). It also has Acc 2, higher than a TL5 dueling pistol and equal to the best smoothbore muskets. It's either made out of unobtainium that no other historical weapon can use or the stats are wrong.

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
I suspect that your best bet would be to just research pre-Napoleonic firearms yourself, present the results in real-world terms with footnotes, then if nobody has big problems work out the game stats yourself.
I can do that for some things, like Dmg, Range and Weight. On the other hand, Cost in GURPS is usually a measure of game-mechanical utility (excepting High-Tech), not historical economical realities. And ST and Rcl are abstractions that I can't really assign without comparing my weapons to weapons already statted in GURPS I've chosen as benchmarks.

My problem is that many of the potential benchmarks in GURPS Low-Tech have stats that I'm having trouble correlating with any real physical features of the historical weapons they are meant to represent.
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