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Old 11-08-2020, 08:08 AM   #1
Tessen
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Gurps Spells to cause unpredictable munitions.

So the scenario is that the PC's have just stumbled on a large hidden cache of weapons , explosives , ammo and equipment. They have no explosives to blow the stuff up and they're running out of time.

If you had to sabotage the enemies armoury to cause the maximum grief and confusion which Gurps spells could your spell user cast?

i.e to cause the bullets to ricochet and return to hit the firer or on cause gun barrels to seize up when the gun was being held?.

I'm trying to think outside of the box i.e metallurgy spells to mess with the guns (remove trigger or firing pin), but what about other sneaky ones?

Could the enemy spell user just cast to negate the other guy's spell effects?
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Old 11-08-2020, 08:50 AM   #2
WingedKagouti
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Default Re: Gurps Spells to cause unpredictable munitions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessen View Post
Could the enemy spell user just cast to negate the other guy's spell effects?
Look up Dispel Magic (M126), Remove Enchantment (M58) and Remove Curse (M126).

Given the way Shape Metal (M182) is worded, there could be an argument as to whether a stable shape could be simply dispelled back to normal or not. The wording on Dispel Magic makes me lean towards it being able to undo Shape Metal, but there's certainly also an argument to be made against it. If you decide against letting Dispel Magic undo Shape Metal, it becomes very hard to restore a weapon after it has been ruined with that spell.

If the PCs have less than an hour, their options become increasingly limited as any form of enchantment based curse takes at least an hour to pull off.

Edit:
Quote:
hidden cache of weapons , explosives , ammo and equipment. They have no explosives
Any reason they can't use the explosives in the cache to blow it up?
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Old 11-08-2020, 09:19 AM   #3
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Gurps Spells to cause unpredictable munitions.

I think Tessen was looking more for ideas to booby-trap the ammunition rather than simply destroy it. It might be more annoying, for instance, to warp and corrupt the ammo so that it jams weapons in use, has a lot of duds, or plugs the barrel so the next round can burst it. Delay a spell on a magazine so that every round in a magazine goes off when one round is fired. That kind of thing. If you just destroy the cache and leave a smoking crater, that has some value, but the enemy knows the weapons are useless and will make other arrangements. If the weapons seem normal, then they'll issue them and may only discover the failures once the battle starts.

Dispel Magic ends a Shape spell, but doesn't reverse it. That is, ending a Shape spell doesn't mean all the material spontaneously re-flows back to its form before the spell was cast. (That effect would be casting a second Shape spell to restore things -- assuming you knew what the old shape was.) It just means the shaping magic stops, which is important mostly if the new shape isn't stable. Shape Spells can hold material in forms that would be impossible naturally -- tall columns of water, long thin bridges of stone, etc. Take away the magic, and those kinds of shapes collapse. (Many of the Shape spells have a note to that effect. I'd suggest even the ones that don't still conform to this principle; it's just that the authors of those short spell descriptions weren't thinking of, say, Shape Air being used to hold air inside a spaceship with a hull breach, as opposed to moving some of the air around inside a lot of other air.)
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Old 11-08-2020, 10:32 AM   #4
Tessen
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Re: Gurps Spells to cause unpredictable munitions.

I wonder if you could cast a spell to specifically shape or direct the energy of the explosion or to some how amplify the effects of using the munitions?.

Maybe in the interests of world peace all the magic users could get together and do a mass spell cast to negate or alter the big slaughterama munitions like nuclear bombs to redirect the nuclear blast into something else say propulsion for a rocket? But then maybe the enemy may cast and redirect that!.
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Old 11-08-2020, 11:31 AM   #5
WingedKagouti
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Default Re: Gurps Spells to cause unpredictable munitions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessen View Post
I wonder if you could cast a spell to specifically shape or direct the energy of the explosion or to some how amplify the effects of using the munitions?
If targeting hand held/mounted guns, Shape Metal or Shape Plastic (depending on the actual materials) supported by Armoury/Engineer with Small Arms/Heavy Weaponry specialization depending on what is being altered (similar to how you'd use Architecture to make a stable building type construction). A normal failure on Armoury/Engineer would still make the munitions misfire, but not in a way that the caster intended. A critical failure on Armoury/Engineer would make the munitions behave in the worst way possible for the caster (ie. a bit of extra damage if used by enemies, destroyed weapons if used by allies).
Quote:
Maybe in the interests of world peace all the magic users could get together and do a mass spell cast to negate or alter the big slaughterama munitions like nuclear bombs to redirect the nuclear blast into something else say propulsion for a rocket? But then maybe the enemy may cast and redirect that!.
They'd have to pull several Great Wishes for something on that scale unless they're going around to every single bomb to alter them. With multiple Great Wishes a lot of things are possible, but it's not something you'd see without a lot of mages working together due to the restrictions on ceremonial magic.

If they are going around and changing every nuclear bomb on an individual scale, I'd require rolls against Physics and Engineer with appropriate specializations on top of whatever spells they're using to reshape the bombs. A normal failure on these rolls is likely just going to defuse the bomb, possibly leaking radioactive material. Any critical failure has the potential to be catastrophic for the mage(s).

And do remember range penalties if the mages are trying to do this without touching the wepaons.
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Old 11-08-2020, 12:13 PM   #6
Rolando
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Panama
Default Re: Gurps Spells to cause unpredictable munitions.

Your bet shot to make booby trapped ammo and weapons are Link and Reflex spells from the Meta Magic college.

You can place some ignite fire in most of the ammo with a Link or Reflex spell that activate by using one of those ammo at a range of a few inches, so shooting one will burst the entire magazine.

Same with spells like shape metal, and the making and breaking ones, specially Weaken, Shatter, Reshape, Rive, Ruin, Explode. Many other spells may work but will depend on what you are trying to sabotage.
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Old 11-08-2020, 12:13 PM   #7
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Gurps Spells to cause unpredictable munitions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessen View Post
So the scenario is that the PC's have just stumbled on a large hidden cache of weapons , explosives , ammo and equipment. They have no explosives to blow the stuff up and they're running out of time.
So they cast Create Fire or even better cast Essential Fire and unless a talented enemy mage is right there nobody can stop the armory's destruction before it's too late.

Subtle sabotage like using Shape Metal to subtly warp gun barrels or Earth to Air on firing pins would have to be done on a weapon-by-weapon basis and is incompatible with the "running out of time" remark.

It may have been in Grimoire for 3e rather than Magic for 4e but there was a little talk about casting Curse on machines you wanted to malfunction. There are Spells specific to that purpsoe but you'd have to put delay on them and agin you don't have time (and probably don't have the energy) for that.

So you go for the Essential Fire. They don't actually award bonus pts for subtlety in war.
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Old 11-08-2020, 12:15 PM   #8
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Gurps Spells to cause unpredictable munitions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessen View Post
So the scenario is that the PC's have just stumbled on a large hidden cache of weapons, explosives, ammo and equipment. They have no explosives to blow the stuff up and they're running out of time.

If you had to sabotage the enemies armoury to cause the maximum grief and confusion which GURPS spells could your spell user cast?
Is this the basic spell system, as per Basic Set and Magic?

If the idea is to booby-trap the place, using Delay (Magic p. 130-31) on an Ignite Fire (p. 72) on a block of explosive should do the job nicely.

If the idea is to make the ammunition useless without being obvious, using Fireproof (p. 73) has entertainment value, but it needs to be cast on the weapon(s), rather than the ammunition.

A caster using the basic spell system is unlikely to have the energy resources to mess up a large armoury, as opposed to just blowing it up. A skilled user of Ritual Path Magic could probably do what you're after, because they're both powerful and flexible.
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:04 PM   #9
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Gurps Spells to cause unpredictable munitions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
If the idea is to make the ammunition useless without being obvious, using Fireproof (p. 73) has entertainment value, but it needs to be cast on the weapon(s), rather than the ammunition.
Delay + Pull cast on the floor below a weapon's rack might be kinda fun.

M147's "the ground, not on objects" restriction gives me some confusion though: isn't there a gray area since grounds are just objects of varying sizes? The moon smaller than earth, comet smaller than moon, boat smaller than comet, etc.

Maybe it could have some large basic penalty like -10 which can be offset by the SM+ of something large you cast it on?

Forbidding creatures would mean that you could attract to a normal carpet but not a magic one? Like what is the "object criteria" which would something an "immune creature" or an "immune object" ?
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Old 11-10-2020, 07:36 PM   #10
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Gurps Spells to cause unpredictable munitions.

If you want to break things fast, use create fire and leave, or just make use of the explosives already in the stockpile. Or both. This will likely cause plenty of grief and confusion as well, ammunition stockpiles exploding are fairly messy.

If you want to be more subtle and have a bit of time, weapons can be disabled quite fast (1-2 seconds per weapon at 6/3 per minute) in a way that isn't totally obvious by casting Reshape and then doing things like squeezing the barrel.
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