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Old 03-22-2011, 02:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Magic items made from Great Red Dragon's corpse

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Originally Posted by Bruno
...I forget if there's a spell that gives you an aerial vantage point in GURPS. If not, it's from D&D, but regardless, that's an interpretation of "seeing as the dragon sees" - "getting a dragons-eye-view" as they say.
You mean an actual displacement of your pov, like Clairvoyance? I don't think so... that is the niche usually filled by Wizard Eye.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: Magic items made from Great Red Dragon's corpse

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The brain is mostly destroyed. The beast was killed by a barrel of alchemical explosive placed inside the brain, after one of its eyes was squished.

On the other hand, how much mana organ ought there be? How many mana stones?

If the mana organ is the relative size of the human spleen, it would weight five tons or so. That ought to make a fair number of mana stones.
1 carat = .2 grams, 5 tonnes = 5000kg, every 1000 carat = 200 grams, so ~25,000 manastones if the entire spleen sized mana organ is converted into manastones

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I've proposed that dragons can eat minerals, such as stones. Also, that they lie dormant for years at a time and require no food for those periods.
Still an ideal synergy for pots of create food, which can turn rocks into edible, if unpalatable, nutritious food. You could also have a ring that makes you able to digest rocks like a dragon.

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That would be rather powerful. Possible, of course, but it would require the services of several archmages and a lot of time.

The dragon had ST 3500 or so and a range of abilities besides. Probably worth 10,000 points or more.
Just don't make it free, being able to turn into a red dragon is awesome, but since it's a 10,000 point creature it is going to require a HUGE energy supply to cover the difference in CP to turn into the dragon (perhaps one of those manastones) (as per the shapeshift spell). Alternatively have it turn them into a red dragon of equivalent age to the user (which will likely still be powerful, but in 'just post hatchling' stage), or if you are feeling partciularly generous, both.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Magic items made from Great Red Dragon's corpse

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1 carat = .2 grams, 5 tonnes = 5000kg, every 1000 carat = 200 grams, so ~25,000 manastones if the entire spleen sized mana organ is converted into manastones
This is why the wizards are prepared to do quite a lot of free labour in order to be allowed to keep the rest. ;)

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Still an ideal synergy for pots of create food, which can turn rocks into edible, if unpalatable, nutritious food. You could also have a ring that makes you able to digest rocks like a dragon.
You're right, of course.

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Just don't make it free, being able to turn into a red dragon is awesome, but since it's a 10,000 point creature it is going to require a HUGE energy supply to cover the difference in CP to turn into the dragon (perhaps one of those manastones) (as per the shapeshift spell). Alternatively have it turn them into a red dragon of equivalent age to the user (which will likely still be powerful, but in 'just post hatchling' stage), or if you are feeling partciularly generous, both.
I doubt any of the PCs will desire such a huge effect. Being a great red dragon is cool, but it also makes you everyone's target.

Also, a larger number of nifty little items seems to be the sort of thing they like.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: Magic items made from Great Red Dragon's corpse

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I doubt any of the PCs will desire such a huge effect. Being a great red dragon is cool, but it also makes you everyone's target.

Also, a larger number of nifty little items seems to be the sort of thing they like.
Well it would not be 'being a huge red dragon' in the singular sense. It would be 'consuming an entire one of your 1000 point manastones, to be a huge red dragon, for one minute', or conversely for the same age as user dragon 'like shapeshift elephant, but with claws, and scales, and flight, and a natural breath weapon, and no chance of being stuck that way because it's racial average IQ is probably higher then yours'

I actually like handing out the 'immensely powerful but one use' items in my games. Ironically my experience is that PCs find it awesome to get them, dutifully write them down on there character sheets, and then refuse to use them except to threaten people because 'I only have ONE!'. For one particularly epic fight I awarded the party archer an 'arrow of annihilation' which destroys a 50 meter sphere at point of impact, he still has it ~300 quests later, and the most he has ever used it for was to knock it and THREATEN to use it.

Last edited by starslayer; 03-22-2011 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: Magic items made from Great Red Dragon's corpse

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Well it would not be 'being a huge red dragon' in the singular sense. It would be 'consuming an entire one of your 1000 point manastones, to be a huge red dragon, for one minute', or conversely for the same age as user dragon 'like shapeshift elephant, but with claws, and scales, and flight, and a natural breath weapon, and no chance of being stuck that way because it's racial average IQ is probably higher then yours'
Indeed it would. This would be rather beneficial, I should think.

On the other hand, even SM +1 is dangerous. SM +4 or more is fatal, usually. An endless stream of explosive missiles, killer spells and focused melee attacks. Aimed at vitals, armour gaps and eyes.

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I actually like handing out the 'immensely powerful but one use' items in my games. Ironically my experience is that PCs find it awesome to get them, dutifully write them down on there character sheets, and then refuse to use them except to threaten people because 'I only have ONE!'. For one particularly epic fight I awarded the party archer an 'arrow of annihilation' which destroys a 50 meter sphere at point of impact, he still has it ~300 quests later, and the most he has ever used it for was to knock it and THREATEN to use it.
Oh, I don't mind the power they'd get.

Indeed, how do you think the PCs killed the 150 meter long dragon in the first place?

The issue is that they're rather have items they can use to attack conspicious foes while remaining SM 0 and able to take cover themselves.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:28 AM   #16
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Default Re: Magic items made from Great Red Dragon's corpse

Does anyone have any thoughts regarding how powerful a smokepowder weapn made from dragonbone could be? The powder is REF 0.5 and the weapon could tolerate more 'chamber' pressure than TL8 weapons.

How much recoil can a ST 12 human cope with? How much damage would that be?
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:30 AM   #17
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Default Re: Magic items made from Great Red Dragon's corpse

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Does anyone have any thoughts regarding how powerful a smokepowder weapn made from dragonbone could be? The powder is REF 0.5 and the weapon could tolerate more 'chamber' pressure than TL8 weapons.

How much recoil can a ST 12 human cope with? How much damage would that be?
Does your amazingly pressure resilient dragon bone have a constant bore diameter? Or can it be 'machined' to have one? All the ballistics I've ever looked at assumes that the projectile has a good seal against the barrel and there is a known leak rate function (which can be idealized as 0... hey it's magic, why not?).
As to what kind of recoil / damage a given ST can support, why not just model it on the recoil & St numbers for other firearms?
For a first pass, the critical decisions should (IMO) be chamber pressure (P), bore (Axc), barrel length (L) and projectile mass(M). This should give you approximations of F=P*Axc=M*a, allowing a final V for a known L. V, with M, gives both momentum and kinetic energy (at the muzzle), which are needed to figure out range and collision characteristics.

If these numbers make it too powerful, apply leakage past the projectile or a time-pressure profile to tone things down a bit.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:48 AM   #18
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Default Re: Magic items made from Great Red Dragon's corpse

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Does anyone have any thoughts regarding how powerful a smokepowder weapn made from dragonbone could be? The powder is REF 0.5 and the weapon could tolerate more 'chamber' pressure than TL8 weapons.
Assuming an arbitrarily strong material, I believe the constraints will actually be on how big the weapon is, to determine how much charge you can squeeze in and how much barrel length you can handle to ensure the projectile can achieve maximum acceleration before leaving the barrel and the propelling gasses start dissipating in three dimensions.

So for a man portable weapon, you're looking at something probably equivalent to "the biggest blunderbuss ever hauled by man". If the dragonbone is lighter than bronze or steel, possibly a little bigger than the biggest blunderbuss ever hauled by man :)

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How much recoil can a ST 12 human cope with? How much damage would that be?
Nitro Express .700 elephant gun seems to be the (slightly im)practical upper end for sheer "kick", and has a reputation for sending firers spinning around, or for knocking hunters flat on their butts. High Tech page 113, 5dx2 pi++, RCL 9, 19.3 lbs for two barrels (and only two shots).

The .600 isn't really much more practical, but has a history that extends back closer to the original gunpowder era. The .600 Nitro Express double rifles weighed in at 5dx2 pi++ 16.4 lbs, RCL 7. I'm not sure why, but it has the same damage and better range than the .700 - I'm going to go ask if that's errata or not.

These are ST 15 and 14 guns (respectively), so a ST 12 wielder could sort of manage them a little bit, and are I think an excellent benchmark for the upper end of the "OH MY GOD" range.

The Nitro Express .470 is considered actually practical, and does 8d+2 pi+, is 14.2 lbs, ST 12, RCL 5

These weapons are using cordite, so REF 0.8 compared to your REF 0.5 - I'm not sure what replacing the Cordite with your smokepowder would do to the statistics.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:50 PM   #19
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Default Re: Magic items made from Great Red Dragon's corpse

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Does your amazingly pressure resilient dragon bone have a constant bore diameter? Or can it be 'machined' to have one?
You can use necromancy to Shape Bone in order to make a tube of a certain size and a bullet cast of the same size.

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All the ballistics I've ever looked at assumes that the projectile has a good seal against the barrel and there is a known leak rate function (which can be idealized as 0... hey it's magic, why not?).
Because this will probably be a muzzleloading smoothbore, there will be windage between the bullet and bore.

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As to what kind of recoil / damage a given ST can support, why not just model it on the recoil & St numbers for other firearms?
Because most TL4 and TL5 firearms, the ones that use REF 0.4 to REF 0.5 gunpowder, were limited by the reliability of metallurgy. You couldn't load them to high pressures because they'd be dangerous to the user.

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For a first pass, the critical decisions should (IMO) be chamber pressure (P), bore (Axc), barrel length (L) and projectile mass(M). This should give you approximations of F=P*Axc=M*a, allowing a final V for a known L. V, with M, gives both momentum and kinetic energy (at the muzzle), which are needed to figure out range and collision characteristics.
I can use Douglas Cole's spreadsheet to figure out the damage and range based on these factors, yes.

What I need to know is how much recoil impulse is plausible to assume that a ST 12 man can handle? If we're using a ca 15mm diameter, 300 grain spherical bullet (or 12mm, 150 grain, whichever works out with the best GURPS stats) with enough windage to avoid having to take extra time to load a muzzleloading smoothbore pistol, how fast can we propel it with REF 0.5 powder without making it more than ST 12? How long does our barrel need to be to get that kind of velocity? How much improvement do we see if we use the same bore and bullet, but make it a rifle with a longer barrel?

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If these numbers make it too powerful, apply leakage past the projectile or a time-pressure profile to tone things down a bit.
Since the´PCs can make Wands of 6d Explosive Fireballs fairly trivially, I'm not all that worried about the damage of a dragonbone pistol. But if it doesn't meet certain performance minimums, they'll simply not bother with it.
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Last edited by Icelander; 03-23-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Magic items made from Great Red Dragon's corpse

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Indeed it would. This would be rather beneficial, I should think.

On the other hand, even SM +1 is dangerous. SM +4 or more is fatal, usually. An endless stream of explosive missiles, killer spells and focused melee attacks. Aimed at vitals, armour gaps and eyes.
Well, assuming defenses don't properly scale with size, at least. My general rule of thumb for giant monsters is that they don't have any locations with DR less than 10% of hit points, and they have a BL of at least 10% of their mass, so a SM +4 (10 ton) dragon has a ST of at least 100 and DR 10 in its weak spots, and a SM +11 (150 yard, 30,000 ton) dragon has ST 5,500 and no locations with DR less than 550. Obviously, YMMV...
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