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Old 10-29-2009, 10:05 PM   #11
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Why?

If it costs $1,020 to fire a falconet, instead of the about $30 it costs in our history, don't you think it will discourse their use a bit?
No, actually. It's more likely to be used on special occasions, like a siege whereas muskets end up being used on a day to day basis.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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The main advantage of muskets is that they require little training and allow you to mass-produce soldiers. After Lepanto the Janisaries simply were out of action, because though they knew the techniques of loading a musket they hadn't caught on to that particular point and just used them as a back up to composite bows. Used in that sense, they become just another addendum to the warrior caste and weren't very useful in that regard. By contrast, Europeans had discovered what the real advantage of muskets were and started to be able to field effective soldiers year after year.
Very true.

On the other hand, if we postulate far more expensive propellant than black powder, it suddenly becomes much less desirable to mass produce musketeers. If just the ammunition for the minimal training of a line infantryman costs more than $1,000 and it keeping a regiment in the field can cost millions more than in our history; an army of crossbowmen, archers, cavalry and pikemen becomes more feasible in comparison.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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No, actually. It's more likely to be used on special occasions, like a siege whereas muskets end up being used on a day to day basis.
In a siege, though, battering down walls to form a practicable breach usually took tons of powder over months of labour.

In the setting, a ton of powder would cost $4 million.

That money can buy an awful lot of magic. I suspect that the magic would be more efficient.

Smokepowder is mostly useful because it allows someone without Magery to wield similar destructive power.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Smokepowder is mostly useful because it allows someone without Magery to wield similar destructive power.
Would alchemical powder be easily detectable? Might be handy as an assassination tool if not.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Smokepowder is mostly useful because it allows someone without Magery to wield similar destructive power.
And, on that note, you might see the occasional use for demolition. With smokepowder being nearly as powerful as TNT, a well-placed satchel charge could easily be worth the cost. Yes, you might have a mage who can do the same trick with a massive Explosive Fireball, but talented mages don't come cheap either.

If you can rig a tripwire or other trigger, or use magic to set the thing off from a distance, it becomes fairly simple (if expensive) to set lethal traps...
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Would alchemical powder be easily detectable? Might be handy as an assassination tool if not.
Well, it radiates faint magic, which rules out carrying it into the sanctums of most powerful religious or temporal leaders, but it's not otherwise conspicious.

If someone could build a small and powerful pistol, that would be a quite handy assassination tool, of course. But as the lock-types are currently limited to matchlocks, pistols aren't very feasible.

There's nothing stopping craftsmen from building wheellocks, of course, since the necessary clockwork technology is available. It's just a matter of time before someone introduces a blacksmith familiar with the new technology to a clocksmith fond of experimentation.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:20 PM   #17
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Would alchemical powder be easily detectable? Might be handy as an assassination tool if not.
How about Iocaine powder?
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

While the theoretical discussion is indeed fascinating (and I wish on no account to discourage its continuation), does anyone have any comments directed at the stats of the weapons I have already posted?

Do they seem out of place compared to stats of similar weapons in previous GURPS products?
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:52 PM   #19
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

I'm no gun expert, but at first glance, the pistol seems just a little overpowered compared to the comparable pistols from High-Tech. I'd drop it to 2d-2 pi++.

EDIT: Wait, Bulk -5? That's a typo, right?

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Old 10-30-2009, 12:04 AM   #20
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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I'm no gun expert, but at first glance, the pistol seems just a little overpowered compared to the comparable pistols from High-Tech. I'd drop it to 2d-2 pi++.
Maybe so.

I just worry that with period breastplates scoring in at DR 6+, a pistol which does an average of 5 points of damage is pretty much useless. And historically, military pistols could and did penetrate armour that was not proofed.

Note also that this pistol is far larger than the TL5 ones in High-Tech, with a barrel more than a foot long and firing a 500 grain bullet powered with the equivalent of 50+ grains of improved black powder. The Tower Sea Service, while having a similar length of barrel, is firing a ball of under 300 grains and using about half the powder to do it.
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