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Old 07-11-2013, 06:41 PM   #171
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Location: Iceland*
Default Fuses

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.
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Last edited by Icelander; 07-11-2013 at 09:03 PM.
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