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Old 09-27-2016, 01:16 PM   #231
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
I haven't shot many handguns

I do know that the 9mm semis I've fired have had way more felt recoil to me than the very undercharged .357 hand loads my employer had at the range, fired from similar weight handguns (the former being distinctly unpleasant feeling, the range guns firing the practice ammo had less recoil than most BB guns or .22s I've fired, and I could actually see the bullet as it streaked downrange)
Small .38 Spl revolvers are a lot less comfortable to shoot than normal-sized 9mm*, probably because there is so much less weapon mass to absorb recoil.

*Which I find very comfortable to shoot, much more so than .40 S&W or .45 ACP.

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Are there examples in HT of revolvers and semiautos flinging the same round?

I believe HT has a Desert Eagle flinging .44 Mag and a M29 flinging the same
The Desert Eagle exist in .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum. Comparing it to revolvers in the same calibers, we find that the .357 Magnum version has the same MinST 10 in both, but Rcl 3 (revolver) vs. Rcl 2 (automatic); the .44 Magnum version has ST 11 (revolver) vs. ST 12 (automatic) and the same Rcl 4.

For some reason, an extra 2.4" of barrel for the .44 Magnum revolver increases MinST, not to ST 12, but all the way to ST 13! Seems like an unccessarily large jump, surely +1 to MinST was enough to account for 0.2 lbs. of extra Weight.

I'd be inclined to see the difference in stats as due to the increased weight of the Desert Eagle over the revolvers, at least in part. It does seem to argue that you can shoot a very heavy round at a decent velocity without a high MinST, with the Weight of the weapon almost the only thing that affects MinST, aside from a small modifier in extreme cases (i.e. Greener Elephant Rifle, 8-bore).
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:46 PM   #232
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

The revolver was a full size .357 magnum duty revolver intended for open carry in a belt holster by uniformed officers and according to weapons retention training was also an excellent bludgeon.

However the range was supplied with inexpensive reloads instead of actual .357 magnum.rounds. Firing these reloads the revolver had no more recoil than a BB gun.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:10 AM   #233
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Well I'd just repurpose some of the smaller cannon from LT (I think as a rough rule of thumb is unless FR metallurgy is significantly better than TL4 the increased REF and increased structural integrity balance each other out, maybe reduce length and weight a little)
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.

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?

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The Swivel gun would seem appropriate for ship to ship boarding, or the "long range awe inspiring gun" (aka "bloody great big shotgun")
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.

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).

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Ok in terms of cost effectiveness how do they stack up.
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.

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Cool (this might get in the way of high value sniping)
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.

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.

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There are other advantages, it's the kit that gives the effect here rather than years of investment in time and training. So loses can be sustained if the kit is retrieved. Paranoid commander can limit the amount of smoke powder avoidable (as it's the smoke powder this all hangs on).
The rulers of Calaunt and Mulmaster, militant city-states to the north of the Inner Sea, treat their new smokepowder-armed troops that way.

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The corollary is this also can help maintain loyalty, if you are an elite smoke powder musketeer you know you position and your effectiveness is maintained by supply of smoke powder.
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 Úlan. The difference between the professionalism of special operators and the obedience of harshly enforced conscript discipline.

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.

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Elite heavy western style cavalry (aka knight) tend to come with social baggage of their own as well. Plus require a lot more infrastructure and are despite their speed in the charge are a less nimble force when travelling about.
Absolutely.

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That said disciplined horse archers who had an cadre of chaps these guns woudl be something scary indeed
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.

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It would seem the characters are in an unusual position in having lots of gun and powder rather than lots of gunners. (I agree giving a gun to ST9 warrior is good way to leverage them)
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.

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Ah Ok, I guess I have an inherently cynical POV on this sort of thing. Ultimately most gods like more worship, and thus look favourably on things that increase temporal power of their church as well as their spiritual draw. (if nothing else the FR pantheon is competitive)
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.

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Well if nothing else those high concept items would make cool alternate high value magic weapons.
Right.

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True (or using more wizardly alternative like the oil of impact you mentioned above) I was thinking of flying ships and hand guns and having a "Lone wolf shadows on the sand moment"
Individual crewmen of Halruaan skyships may well like to carry smokepowder weapons, especially if they are not spellcasters themselves.

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yeah, although again scarcity/expense will also do that job for you.
It does surely help.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:54 AM   #234
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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#NotAllInfantry

:-)

Heh, Ok I;m going to split this post off as it is a bit of a tangent, and I don't want to get this response too bogged down the more thread relevant stuff. Also I'm leaving work in a minute so I wanr to concentrate on the rest later ;-)


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Heavy infantry at TL1 to TL4 are not representative of normal men suitable for the draft after the military revolutions in the Early Modern age. Potential heavy infantrymen generally excludes at least 95% of the poorer (and thus generally smaller, unhealthier and less strong) of the population, because, in general, only landowners, their sons or nephews or other wealthy men owned expensive armour and had the leisure to be trained to war. Heavy infantry are either from a warrior class or are professional soldiers, they are usually much better fed than average and in many cultures, they have no other function than to fight, eat or train for war.

I view ST 11-13 as quite achievable with an active lifestyle and healthy diet, for anyone not small, very unhealthy or crippled by injury or malnutrition. It's not necessarily exceptional genetics, it's an exceptional lifestyle, compared to a person who doesn't want or need to spend a lot of time doing what amounts to exercise, healthy living and muscle-building.

If infantry is defined as 'guys who fight on a battlefield', I quite agree that ST 12+ is not necessary to belong to it at any TL. There are plenty of levies, skirmishers and other people who may be fairly strong and active for their weight because farming calls for a fair bit of physical work, but are much smaller and weaker than the better fed warrior class. Also, they are much less likely to have the leisure to compete in feats of strength, wrestling and other ST-intensive sports on a regular basis.

Kromm was specifically talking about a non-technical definition of 'heavy infantry'; halberdiers, axemen, macemen, longswordmen and suchlike, not Dan Howard's (and Mass Combat's) formation-based* definition of the term. In other words, elite, heavily-armed and armoured soldiers who carry impressive weapons that mark their distinction, like the Swiss Guard, Varangian Guard or Doppelsoldner and/or dismounted knights.

See more Krommpost on the subject of the 'Navy SEALS of their time'.

*Where naked spearmen are 'Heavy infantry' (with poor equipment) if they fight in close formation, but a group of dismounted knights in field plate with pollaxes and maces are Light or Medium Infantry (with exceptional equipment) if they fight in loose formation or skirmish order.

Well given navy seals are what a two and a thousand chaps selected and culled through an intensive vetting process from an armed service that numbers a million+, which itself sits within a country with potential a recruitment population of up to a hundred million and benefits of C20th training and selection processes. (As do the navy seals themselves once they make the grade). So I'd say no, historical heavy infantry in general and navy seals are in no way analogous in this regard.


To make a historical comparison one for the historical societies that woudl have been most able to select and train with concerted effort was the roman empire (but still not in the same league as the Modern day US in terms of methodology).

The total population of the roman empire at it's height seems to be between 50-90m so even if we divide the highest by 3 to get recruitment population (which I did to get the US one) for elite infantry we end up with 30m significantly less than the current US one. Were each legion was approx 5k men. Not that I have problem with exceptional legionary's having ST12 or higher it's just they will be increasingly exceptional and not the norm.

And Rome would have been historically one of the high water marks for this kind of thing, there being very few other societies as large and more importantly as logistically joined up to even attempt such a thing.

(obviously not all legionary's were as elite as each other, but that's true of navy seals as well)

Personally I view a ST of 10 as being the average result for a reasonably average healthy diet and exercise regime. These discussions only ever seem to see ST10 as the possible starting point for rather than the average point (possibly an artefact of how we create characters in GURPS!)

However I think the first line in the post you link is key here it errs on the heroic

On top of this historically armed forces we're just not groomed and selected like this most of the time. Yes you might have occasional elites with extensive training, to call on but that was the exception, both in terms of numbers and context. Now this changed over time, but it took a long time.

Then we get into the point that sadly throughout history an awful lot of soldiers arrived on the battlefield, hungry, exhausted or sick. Or a combination of all three, and this was often a decisive factor for performance. The Crimean war was famously the first war were death by disease didn't out match death by enemy action (or was it the last one that did, I can't quite remember).


So yes even you have ST12 at peak condition back home in your castle sleeping in you own bed, chances are you won't after only a pretty short time on campaign.


Then we get to the assumption in regards to the weapons themselves.

We seem to assume that all soldiers had the raw ST to match the MinST of their weapons. This is a huge assumption, I think more realistically some weapons where just harder to wield in certain ways, and so a lot of halbardiers may well have been suffering a -1 to hit etc. The former assumption is based on a perfect world that really didn't (hell still doesn't) exist in war, reality in war is much more making the best of less than perfect situations.


This also leaves aside the point specific training tends to give specific results, so I find the idea of a well trained halberdiers having a the big hands perk to offset the The MinST deficit rather than training tp fight with halberds suddenly giving them all the benefits a blanket +1 to ST would give. (not that I assume they all be 8st weakling either of course)


Lasts and not least, how weapon weight and MinST works.

First off the weights of these weapons even in LT are historically speaking too high (Dan Howard has said this, beofre you take my word for it). Secondly I think BL and MinST give conflicting results here. A ST13 chap can lift with both hands 270lbs above his head without effort for as long as he likes, you're telling me he can only just use a Halbard that weighs 4% of that without penalty?

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Good point.
Yeah sorry to go off on one above! I'll try and get onto the good stuff later!

Last edited by Tomsdad; 09-29-2016 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:17 AM   #235
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

Has the idea of the blunderbuss/shotgun caught on with anybody? Shotguns can get some surprising amounts of penetration with relatively simple to make loads.
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:22 AM   #236
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Has the idea of the blunderbuss/shotgun caught on with anybody? Shotguns can get some surprising amounts of penetration with relatively simple to make loads.
All smoothbore muskets are effectively shotguns, of course. A single round ball gets better penetration than a multiple projectile load, but when facing unarmoured opposition, it might be worth to load with shot. Buck-and-ball is also a possibility.

Shorter-barrelled, handy blunderbusses with wider muzzles to make reloading easier are popular with boarding parties.
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:41 AM   #237
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All smoothbore muskets are effectively shotguns, of course. A single round ball gets better penetration than a multiple projectile load, but when facing unarmoured opposition, it might be worth to load with shot. Buck-and-ball is also a possibility.

Shorter-barrelled, handy blunderbusses with wider muzzles to make reloading easier are popular with boarding parties.
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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Old 09-28-2016, 12:01 PM   #238
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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.
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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Old 09-28-2016, 01:12 PM   #239
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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.
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.
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:20 PM   #240
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

Bows, crossbows and the like also are rather useful vs unarmored targets . . . . so likely not worth spending smoke powder on

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
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