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Old 06-30-2018, 02:42 AM   #1
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Default Glass arrowheads

Are there any rules/unofficial stats for glass arrowheads? If not, any ideas on what effects they'd have on damage/accuracy/armor penetration?
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Old 06-30-2018, 02:44 AM   #2
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Glass arrowheads

Man made glass should probably perform similarly to natural or volcanic glass aka obsidian. Cheap for breaking purposes but +1 damage due to extreme sharpness.
Some posters have suggested reduced penetration of armor for all stone weapons and obsidian especially.
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:14 AM   #3
mr beer
 
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Default Re: Glass arrowheads

No idea but should be 0.5 penetration vs. metal armour I would think. I don't mind giving it a damage bonus vs. no armour. I suspect the Neal Stephenson thing of molecular thinness slicing effortlessly through bulletproof fibreweave is probably...overstated.
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:25 AM   #4
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: Glass arrowheads

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Originally Posted by mr beer View Post
No idea but should be 0.5 penetration vs. metal armour I would think. I don't mind giving it a damage bonus vs. no armour. I suspect the Neal Stephenson thing of molecular thinness slicing effortlessly through bulletproof fibreweave is probably...overstated.
Ehh, I can couch through personal experience that kevlar kinda sucks against anything doing Cutting damage. If that's what glass/obsidian arrowheads are designed to do, they're going right through your kevlar vest. Any kind of anti-stab plate would definitely stop them dead, though.
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Old 06-30-2018, 09:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Glass arrowheads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Ehh, I can couch through personal experience that kevlar kinda sucks against anything doing Cutting damage. If that's what glass/obsidian arrowheads are designed to do, they're going right through your kevlar vest. Any kind of anti-stab plate would definitely stop them dead, though.
They don't "go right through" unimpeded, which is what Stephenson portrayed. They aren't slowed as much as bullets, but that's why Kevlar gets a split DR. It doesn't need an additional armor divisor over any other arrow.

Making the arrowhead out of glass doesn't "design" it for cutting any more than a steel one - steel arrows have edges too. GURPS reserves cutting damage for forked or "frog crotch" style arrowheads.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:21 PM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Glass arrowheads

I think that the key utility of glass arrowhead over obsidian warheads is that they would break within the target (leaving fragments that would require surgery to remove) and the enemy could not reuse them (plus they would receive +1 damage because of their sharpness). I would think that they would cost x20 as much as normal warhead though, as producing glass with a useful edge would be difficult.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Glass arrowheads

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Originally Posted by mr beer View Post
I suspect the Neal Stephenson thing of molecular thinness slicing effortlessly through bulletproof fibreweave is probably...overstated.
I never trust an author to 'do the maths' unless they've developed a reputation for doing their homework. Stephenson's reputation is rather in the opposite direction... he makes things up and refuses to accept when he get's it wrong.
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:07 PM   #8
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Glass arrowheads

There are exotic glasses that are capable of holding very sharp edges wiyhout breaking, but they are modern materials that are very expensive (TL7+ and 100x cost). If someone was willing to pay the price though in my games, such materials would probably function as superfine ammunition (+2 cutting/impaling damage and (2) armor divisor). They would be inferior to firearms, though their relative silence could have some utility for stealth missions. It would probably be just the right sort of ammunition for a modern martial arts character with Heroic Archer and Weapon Master (Bow), like Hawkeye from Marvel or Green Arrow from DC, when they need maximum lethality.
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Old 06-30-2018, 02:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Glass arrowheads

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I think that the key utility of glass arrowhead over obsidian warheads is that they would break within the target (leaving fragments that would require surgery to remove) and the enemy could not reuse them (plus they would receive +1 damage because of their sharpness). I would think that they would cost x20 as much as normal warhead though, as producing glass with a useful edge would be difficult.
Keep in mind that obsidian is just naturally-occurring glass and that flint-knappers regularly use glass blocks as a substitute for flint cores.

Unless you're willing to pay for an ultra-tech ceramic, glass = obsidian.

To some extent, any non-socketed projectile tip will have exactly the properties you describe because the attachment between the shaft and the head isn't as secure as that of a metal socket-style head. If you've got a split shaft, with the head bound into place using cord and/or glue, there's the chance that the head will stay in the wound when the shaft is pulled out.

That's why archeologists find mammoths with evidence of arrowheads/spearpoints in them:

http://www.newsweek.com/14-inch-tusk...keleton-742377

Often, by design or by accident, low-tech projectile points remain in the wound, since moisture from blood softens the sinews that hold the point in place.

https://allthingsliberty.com/2013/05...out-of-a-body/

FWIW, that's a possible origin of the term "toxic," (ultimately from Ancient Greek "Toxicos' - related to bows or archery) since arrow wounds would inevitably become septic, either due to the head remaining in the wound or because the surgeon had to root around in the wound channel to find the detached head.
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Old 06-30-2018, 03:05 PM   #10
mr beer
 
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Default Re: Glass arrowheads

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
They don't "go right through" unimpeded, which is what Stephenson portrayed. They aren't slowed as much as bullets, but that's why Kevlar gets a split DR. It doesn't need an additional armor divisor over any other arrow.
Yeah that was what I was getting at, I figure a glass warhead might be better than bullets vs. certain materials in certain circumstances but not a superweapon. If it was that good, we'd use glass now, not like it's a secret technology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
I never trust an author to 'do the maths' unless they've developed a reputation for doing their homework. Stephenson's reputation is rather in the opposite direction... he makes things up and refuses to accept when he get's it wrong.
Was not aware of that. I guess he gets away with it by being a fantastic writer.
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