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Old 11-23-2016, 08:51 PM   #1
Calvin
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Calgary
Default How large is a dose?

GURPS assumes that the weight of a dose is negligible, and gives no volume stats on how much space a dose of anything takes up. Does the size of the dose depend on the type of poison? I suppose that could make sense, though it doesn't make things easier.

Even acid has a "dosage", B428 says that a vial of acid big enough to do one of any number of fun things costs 10$. I suppose that means that the dosage is vial sized, but how large a vial? I can find vials from 5ml in volume up to 100ml.

I'm asking specifically because I've been designing some stuff for an upcoming steampunk game. I'd like my gadgeteer to have some cleverly disguised weapons on him. Among them, acid/poison filled fountain pens. Either for stabby time or shooting at enemies that have got their guard down. Acids can also be used to eat through locks so I've got a hip flask full of that.

My current working theory is that a dose is 10ml. Roughly 48 doses in a 1 pint hip flask, and a 10ml capacity isn't unreasonable for a fountain pen. Though that is a situation where I'm fitting my awnsers to my requirements.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:16 PM   #2
Warlockco
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Colorado
Default Re: How large is a dose?

Well for acid, you usually need a decent amount to really accomplish anything significant.
While for poison and some medicines, you need just a few ml to make an impact.
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:29 PM   #3
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default Re: How large is a dose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlockco View Post
Well for acid, you usually need a decent amount to really accomplish anything significant.
While for poison and some medicines, you need just a few ml to make an impact.
Though even a small amount of strong acid or base in the eyes is...nasty.
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:36 PM   #4
Calvin
 
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Location: Calgary
Default Re: How large is a dose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Though even a small amount of strong acid or base in the eyes is...nasty.
That's the idea, 1d-3 damage is pretty lame anywhere but the eyes. The fact that any face hit causes an HT roll to avoid it actually hitting the eyes is a big bonus. The idea behind all of these camouflaged weapons is that I want to have something on me as a backup if I find myself without a gun. Which due to the setting will be most times I'm anywhere that's near respectable people.

Gun pen, acid pen, poison pen, and pen grenades. And that's just the start. I've mostly been going through High Tech and Low Tech looking for things that seem like they'd either make a good weapon or could hide a weapon well. Pens were the first things that jumped out to me since you can shoot the contents up to a yard away.

I just hope no one asks me to borrow a pen.
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:41 PM   #5
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: How large is a dose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
That's the idea, 1d-3 damage is pretty lame anywhere but the eyes.
On a good roll that could cripple a hand.... but yeah, "Go for the eyes Boo!"
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:45 PM   #6
Calvin
 
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Default Re: How large is a dose?

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
On a good roll that could cripple a hand.... but yeah, "Go for the eyes Boo!"
Hands are a different matter entirely. Those I can deal with hand to hand. Working from the Fairbairn book I made a combination to grapple and then fingerlock a hand. On the next turn with the Throws from locks option for Judo throws I can pretty reliably tear off a hand. Or at least I double the cripple threshold and destroy it permanently.

Unarmed vs Unarmed, or even Unarmed vs Melee I'm not too concerned. It's Unarmed vs Guns that I'm creating these contingencies for.

I've got my ST up high enough for a BL of 51, and I've got the Long Coat with the Undercover clothing upgrade for a +7 holdout bonus. So I can hide pretty much anything in there. I just need to work out things to hide.
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:57 PM   #7
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: How large is a dose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
GURPS assumes that the weight of a dose is negligible, and gives no volume stats on how much space a dose of anything takes up. Does the size of the dose depend on the type of poison? I suppose that could make sense, though it doesn't make things easier.
But is unfortunately how poisons are. Assuming they killed you on a failed HT roll, a "dose" would presumably be about the LD50 dose for an average human, which can vary wildly - i.e. its about 900 grams of salt, 600 grams of ethanol, 60 grams of nightshade berries, 15 grams for caffeine, 7 grams of cocaine, 1.2 grams arsenic trioxide, 0.5 grams of sodium cyanide, 0.2 grams of castor beans, 1.8 milligrams of ricin, 1 microgram of botox....

For low TL natural extracts 10 grams or milliliters isn't an unreasonable value for "good" poisons though.
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Old 11-24-2016, 01:06 AM   #8
Anthony
 
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Default Re: How large is a dose?

The problem with acid to the eyes is that, unless you have a sprayer or something, it takes quite a bit of liquid before you have much chance of hitting the eyes, and even ordinary glasses will provide quite a lot of protection (some sorts of acid will etch glass, and more will damage plastic, but none will penetrate it in a combat-useful timeframe). Note that, unless you have a particular desire to cause permanent damage, even very basic things like alcohol or vinegar will do a fine job of temporarily blinding people.
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Old 11-24-2016, 01:41 AM   #9
Flyndaran
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: How large is a dose?

I once got the barest dot of aftershave under my contact lens. My face "made a fist" and it took quite a while to literally pry my eyelids open to remove the lens. No "real" injury whatsoever, but enormous pain for a mass that would've required an atomic scale to measure.
I have no idea how I dropped it into my contact lens case, but mega-ouch.
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Old 11-24-2016, 02:37 AM   #10
scc
 
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Default Re: How large is a dose?

I think part of the OP's problem is that while ACU has units smaller then the ounce, they never entered common use before the metric system came along and so when people need to measure things that small they use metric, which would cause problems at the table, mainly from fiddling around
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