Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-11-2013, 06:41 PM   #171
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Fuses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Agreed. However, there will be cases where the projectile is either not correctly thrown (a slinger in a rush, or perhaps one that is himself struck while slinging) or where it gets sent into a tumble (turbulence from a nearby explosion, glancing off a target - or the target's weapon/shield for a just-barely-failed defense - but then hitting something else nearby; heck, with massed slingers it may occur that you have the stones themselves glancing off each other mid-flight). These probably wouldn't have an effect on the crush fuse, but likely would on the needle mechanism.
These are all misses, in GURPS terms. All of them would mean that the glans will not penetrate for full damage. Sure, some of what you describe could be a very low damage roll instead, given that GURPS has no other mechanism to describe hitting a target with a thrown weapon that doesn't align right in flight, but that's very much an edge case. In general, a glans that fails to align right in flight will also miss the intended target by many meters, unless you are slinging at point-blank range, something like 10-15 feet.*

I agree that the fuse will work imperfectly or not at all on a missed shot, but that's not directly relevant to Malf.

It just means that there is a different chance for the projectile to explode if it misses the target than if it hits. The deformation-based fuse still has a high chance, but not as high as on a solid hit, but the pin-based fuse will have a less than 50% chance of activation on anything that isn't a hit.

I was thinking that the Malf. of a quick-match fuse ought to be 14, but being delivered at much more velocity than normal throwing would play havoc with such a simple fuse. Reduce Malf by -1 for velocity which results in more than 50 yds or so of Max Range. Reduce Malf. by -2 for velocity which results in more than 200 yds of Max Range. Malf. is reduced by -3 for velocities producing Max Range in excess of 500, by -4 for velocity resulting in Max Range 1000+ yds and by -5 for velocity resulting in Max Range 2000+ yds.

Note that this is while using projectiles about rock density, since even metal projectiles are filled with less dense payload, so the velocities in question are fairly high. Assuming projectile weights of 0.25 lbs. to 3 lbs., they are meant to correspond to, roughly, 100+ fps, 300 fps+, 500-700 fps, 800-1200 fps and up to 2000 fps or so.

Instead of using merely a simple quick-match fuse, a design that resembles fusing for TL5 shells, with a quick-match fuse protected by a cover, not to mention better quality quick-match, as well as one that is carefully measured and passes stringent quality control, would be the preferred alternative for time-fuses.

I'm thinking that this will cost $20 and be effectively Fine (Reliable), as well as being designed to withstand higher velocities and specifically reduce the odds of catastrophic failure. They'd have Malf. 15 and reduce Malf. for velocity by one step less, i.e. starting at -1 for 300 fps (200 yds) and ending at Malf. 11 for high velocity cannon. Also, a result of 15-18 on the Misfire chart would be rerolled and only on a second 15-18 would an immediate explosion result, otherwise it was only a a late detonation or a dud.

Quick-match fuses that worked effectively for cannon/mortars would require more elaborate design and come to $100 at this TL. They'd count as Very Fine (Reliable), have a base Malf. 16 and reduce the velocity penalty on Malf. by three steps, i.e. Malf. 15 for fairly low velocity cannon and Malf. 14 for higher velocity. It would enjoy the same reduced chance of premature explosion as the Fine (Reliable) version.

Any fuse length is possible, but 1-5 seconds is probably the most practical, depending on range.

The better grades of quick-match fuse are competative with the alchemical fuses, at least in safety, though obviously there are combat benefits from a contact fuse.

I was thinking that deformation-based fuses were Malf. 16 and pin-based ones were Malf. 15. The high prices for each already include Fine (Reliable), but given the finicky design of contact fuses, they don't include the benefit of rerolling Explosion results in the Misfire chart. On the other hand, velocity doesn't penalise the Malf., though obviously individual fuses must be designed for a particular weapon-ammo combination. In general, though, that wouldn't change Cost, as it already includes an expert glassblower achieving a specific thickness of vial.

Very Fine (Reliable) contact fuses are available, with +1 Malf., but given that this would have Cost $200 for a deformation-based one and $400 for a pin-based one, you'd usually be better off using a Delay Ignite Fire enchantment instead, as that costs $250.

On the other hand, enchanters are a limited resource and there are a lot more glassblowers than enchanters, so maybe there is a role for it if you can't get enough magical fuses enchanted in the time frame for when you want them.

*In which case you would be bold indeed to be using an explosive projectile.
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 07-11-2013 at 09:03 PM.
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 01:48 AM   #172
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
If you have some real-world contraptions with better performance than result from merely scaling down the artillery stats* in Low-Tech, I'd be very interested.
Afraid not. Since engines hadn't been mentioned (that I'd noticed) I was checking if they were relevant.
johndallman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 04:26 AM   #173
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

I'm just imagining catapults lobbing dozens of jars full of pitch, followed by a few slingers with incendiaries. How practical is this for your setting? For offensive and defensive purposes?
Nereidalbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 11:26 AM   #174
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Afraid not. Since engines hadn't been mentioned (that I'd noticed) I was checking if they were relevant.
They are extremely relevant. The primary delivery system for the smokepowder, Thayan Fire and the more effective Alchemist's Fire so far has been the mechanical artillery carried by the warships of the PCs' fleet.

There's no reason to think they'll stop using their 5-lb, 10-lb, 15-lb, 20-lb, 30-lb and 60-lb steel spring TL3+1 ballistae. But those are all too heavy and unwieldy for use in the kind of mobile field warfare that the PCs intend on land. Not to mention that they are having trouble enough with maintaining a supply of them sufficient to expand their fleet, as they require TL4 (advanced) blacksmithing.

I'm very interested in ideas for making TL2+1 field artillery, though. Something they could make with local materials which would be light enough to work as a sort of mountain mortar, carried by infantry and deployed by two men. It doesn't have to be quite as powerful as the heavy examples in LT, as long as it can get a 5-lb projectile to reach 60+ yds when launched at a high arc.

Of course, the value would go up considerably if the range were over 100 yds and even more if it could work at 200 yds. And being able to deploy it out of arrow or sling range would add even more value, but that might demand a heavier model.

Surely someone on the GURPS forums has experience playing with light catapults. Isn't that the sort of thing mad-scientist engineering students like to do?
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 07-12-2013 at 11:34 AM.
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 12:00 PM   #175
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default The situation in which the PCs are using these weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
I'm just imagining catapults lobbing dozens of jars full of pitch, followed by a few slingers with incendiaries. How practical is this for your setting? For offensive and defensive purposes?
For defensive purposes, very practical. For offensive purposes, only if you are attacking something within a few hundred yards from deep water, where the ships that carry heavy artillery can sail.

The logistical situation for the ground war is somewhat odd. For the past winter, the Free Unther* side had been subject to a blockade of their remaining coastline and, in any case, were feeding hundreds of thousands of refugees. As a result, oxen, mules and horses had mostly died, been eaten or are so skinny that they are little use for warfare.

But now the Free Unther side more or less controls the seas, at least on the coasts in the northern parts of Unther, where the ground war has advanced, so they have fairly good mobility and logistics, as long as they stay near the coasts or near navigable rivers. Or near the Methmere, a huge freshwater lake near the western border of Unther. But inland, the Free Unther forces have very little mobility.

*Fifteen years ago, it was a decadent fading empire ruled by a sole despot, the God-King Gilgeam, who used to be heroic god, but slowly became corrupted by power until his rule had become an almost intolerable tyranny.
The northenmost provinces remaining to the empire had experienced food riots and a slave rebellion in the largest city, which turned into a full-blown revolution, albeit one where the rebels were divided into factions with contradictory goals and many revolutionaries had incomplete or no goals beyond being carried by the course of events into overthrowing local government. This city was Messemprar and the likely result of this revolution was that its fate would be the same as when revolution had broken out in smaller towns in Unther, it would be crushed by Gilgeam's armies.
Due to events in the divine realms, this didn't happen. Instead, Gilgeam and his nemisis, Tiamat, clashed for control over the central provinces of the empire. Tiamat, the Mother of Dragons and Nemesis of the Gods, rallied to her banner much of the discontented people of Unther, though Messemprar was too far from the scene of the action to become involved on any large scale.
As it turned out, Tiamat slew Gilgeam, but was herself (apparently) destroyed. Much of central and southern Unther remained under the local nobility, but the rebels broke into factions of various mutual allegiances, under the clergy of Tiamat, under the charismatic warlord Furifax and under hundreds of local figures. The north remained effectively independent, with its own factions. Eventually, the remnants of the official government managed to retain the other large cities, because the army remained together, but much of the south paid tribute to Furifax and his Grey Ghosts and the Tiamatians, once they started to recover form the apparent loss of their goddess, had a lot of followers and began plotting against the rump government.
The north, on the other hand, was invaded by an army from the now-independent provices to the west. This was due to more divine politics. Gods clashed, destroyed one another and Messemprar was saved by the intervention of a foreign god (eager to claim the followers left by Gilgeam's death). The western army was not defeated, but many decided to leave once the leadership was dead or disappeared. Others became local warlords or petty bandits.
So for the past fifteen years, Unther has been the scene of several civil wars, one invasion and a descent into warlordism. Messempar became effectively independent, as the rump regime had no time or attention to spare for it.
Ironically, once the coalition government of former Gilgeamites had established a more-or-less stable order again, two years before the PCs get involved, the neighbouring empire in the east, the (Egyptesque) Mulhorand, finally emerged from their isolation. By launching a holy crusade to liberate Unther from chaos, warlords, evil gods and backwardism; bringing them good order and the right gods.
This crusade shattered the rump regime has taken over much of the country. The rebels, however, merely changed their targets from Gilgeamites to the Mulhorandi. And the north of what remained of Unther, dominated by Messemprar, became the center of resistance against the armies of the Pharoah. Refugees from the rest of Unther fled there, especially after the old capital fell to the Mulhorandi, and the remains of the armies of the Gilgeamites went there as well. An uneasy peace was arranged between warring Untheri factions (at least those that didn't abandon Unther or throw in with the Pharoah), to focus on the real enemies, those nasty foreigners.
That is the situation when the PCs arrive.
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 01:44 PM   #176
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Default Re: The situation in which the PCs are using these weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
For defensive purposes, very practical. For offensive purposes, only if you are attacking something within a few hundred yards from deep water, where the ships that carry heavy artillery can sail.

The logistical situation for the ground war is somewhat odd. For the past winter, the Free Unther* side had been subject to a blockade of their remaining coastline and, in any case, were feeding hundreds of thousands of refugees. As a result, oxen, mules and horses had mostly died, been eaten or are so skinny that they are little use for warfare.

But now the Free Unther side more or less controls the seas, at least on the coasts in the northern parts of Unther, where the ground war has advanced, so they have fairly good mobility and logistics, as long as they stay near the coasts or near navigable rivers. Or near the Methmere, a huge freshwater lake near the western border of Unther. But inland, the Free Unther forces have very little mobility.
Do any mages know some form of spell to add levels of stretching to something? Ballistae that can be drawn back an extra 20ft without obscene amounts of material could be rolled up behind the lines of archers.
Nereidalbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 01:47 PM   #177
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: The situation in which the PCs are using these weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Do any mages know some form of spell to add levels of stretching to something? Ballistae that can be drawn back an extra 20ft without obscene amounts of material could be rolled up behind the lines of archers.
Levels of stretching could be arranged, but would be prohibitively expensive to make permanent. Basically, there are hundreds of ways to make enchanted artillery effective, but the same goes for enchanted bows, slings or anything else. And any real permanent enchantment that mattered on a battlefield would come to tens of thousands of GURPS $ at minimum.

And, in any case, the number of wizards is not infinite and the real purpose of well-designed artillery in warfare in this magical world is to allow non-wizards to deliver fireballs or similar.
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 01:51 PM   #178
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Default Re: The situation in which the PCs are using these weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Levels of stretching could be arranged, but would be prohibitively expensive to make permanent.

And, in any case, the number of wizards is not infinite and the real purpose of well-designed artillery in warfare in this magical world is to allow non-wizards to deliver fireballs or similar.
I wouldn't expect ALL your artillery to be enchanted. Just a few sudden shots at ranges nobody would ever believe a ballista could fire would help demoralize the enemy. Sometimes, it just takes a bit of demoralizing to turn the tide of battle.

For defensive purposes, how hard would it be to cover a large area in dry brush a day or two before the enemy arrives? Assuming proper scout reports, that is.
Nereidalbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 02:31 PM   #179
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: The situation in which the PCs are using these weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
I wouldn't expect ALL your artillery to be enchanted. Just a few sudden shots at ranges nobody would ever believe a ballista could fire would help demoralize the enemy. Sometimes, it just takes a bit of demoralizing to turn the tide of battle.
The enemy has no trouble believing in extreme ranges. Both sides have access to and use enchanted missile weapons. There are champions with bows that can shoot half a mile or more, for example.

Magical artillery is known and used. I'm looking for ways to leverage a willingness to spend money and access to a lot of TL2+1 to TL2+2 workers into low or non-magical solutions that offer similar possibilities.

Obviously, there will still be dozens and even hundreds of magical long-range missiles, whether spells, enchanted artillery or enchanted bows used by champions, but in warfare between thousands and tens of thousands, it can also make a diffeence if you can add several hundred devices which can outrange non-magical bows and slings and deliver effective incendiaries and explosives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
For defensive purposes, how hard would it be to cover a large area in dry brush a day or two before the enemy arrives? Assuming proper scout reports, that is.
Easy enough. In fact, as spring turns into summer, the sun is going to do it whether either side wants it or not. There are areas where brush fires are a common danger within the operating theatre.

On the other hand, the opposition is not going to be enthusiastic about entering an area with a lot of dry brush in it without first taking precautions. And it's not as if they don't have scouts, including scrying wizards, clerics taking auguries, divine servants in the form of birds, etc.

Among those precautions would be summoning a rainstorm, for example. The opposition has a lot of clerics and they are good at ceremonial magic.
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2013, 03:06 AM   #180
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

Has anybody in your world discovered aluminum? Even if the metallurgists have no use for it, a creative (or lucky) aalchemist could come up with a few destructive uses for it.
Nereidalbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cabaret chicks on ice, forgotten realms, low-tech, mass combat

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.