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Old 06-08-2022, 12:22 AM   #51
jacobmuller
 
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

Does the sling material itself matter or is it just whatever is locally available?
My home brew setting is 25th century, firearms are tightly controlled, but genetically altered birds are a problem in the city and cheap food. Slings are easy to conceal; multifunctional tools. As a weapon both ranged & melee use.
There are also SM+2 chimeric uplift hominids - there isn't much work for big folk so violent crime is a common life path.
"What's wrong with a bit of string? It's okay, unless it's around your throat, but as a sling? When a 1 ton Fairy can chuck a honed meta-bullet 300 metres to punch through your body armour and rip your lungs out, a bit of string becomes a serious thing." Fern Ratschic, TRU-LEO, Zurich Arcology, early 25th Century. Translation by Tomei-Tok "Wir sprechen alle Sprachen"
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Old 06-08-2022, 08:04 AM   #52
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post
Does the sling material itself matter or is it just whatever is locally available?
My home brew setting is 25th century, firearms are tightly controlled, but genetically altered birds are a problem in the city and cheap food. Slings are easy to conceal; multifunctional tools. As a weapon both ranged & melee use.
There are also SM+2 chimeric uplift hominids - there isn't much work for big folk so violent crime is a common life path.
"What's wrong with a bit of string? It's okay, unless it's around your throat, but as a sling? When a 1 ton Fairy can chuck a honed meta-bullet 300 metres to punch through your body armour and rip your lungs out, a bit of string becomes a serious thing." Fern Ratschic, TRU-LEO, Zurich Arcology, early 25th Century. Translation by Tomei-Tok "Wir sprechen alle Sprachen"
Let's say that for game purposes you consider relevant just the difference between low-density materials (clay & stones) and high-density materials (lead, iron, copper...).

Low-density materials are default. Range x10/x15.
High-density materials give +1 damage and +40% Range (+4/+6).

Regarding the shape:
- Unshaped: -1 to hit (or worse, if the shape is highly irregular).
- Rectangular/Round/Roundish: default.
- Biconical/Ovoid/Glande: +1 Acc, +20% Range (+2/+3).

Let's say your PC is out of ammo and is forced to pick some steel scraps from the ground. They're made of high-density material (+1 damage, +40% Range) but they're also unshaped (-1 to hit). Then he/she would do sw+1 pi, Acc 0, Range x14/x21 at -1 to hit. If he/she uses properly shaped lead glandes instead (+1 damage, +1 Acc, +60% Range), then he/she would do sw+1 pi, Acc 1, Range x16/x24 at no penalty to hit.
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Old 06-08-2022, 08:30 AM   #53
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post
Does the sling material itself matter or is it just whatever is locally available?
Lighter material means that more of the energy you put into it goes toward accelerating the projectile - because you don't have to put as much into accelerating the sling itself. But that's probably more along the lines of "you burn less energy launching the projectile" than "you impart more velocity to the projectile," and the former is largely below GURPS resolution (even using "The Last Gasp," I don't think the difference is likely to be enough to justify +1 AP to cost). At least so long as the sling material isn't ridiculously heavy, anyway.

Of course, a lighter sling is going to generally be less resilient than a heavier one. You could theoretically have a sling that's too weak and ends up taking damage in the process of accelerating the projectile, eventually breaking, but again, that's probably generally below system resolution.

Overall, I'd say that, generally speaking, the material of the sling probably doesn't make much difference, so long as you aren't using something that won't really work for a sling anyway. If you intend to use the sling in melee - as an improvised flail (put a projectile in and don't release it, just club people over the head with it) or as a rope garrote - then the material probably matters a bit more, mostly just for answering the question "does it break?"

The material of the shot, however, is important. Rasna's guidelines look good to me there, but I'm hardly an expert.
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Old 06-08-2022, 09:24 PM   #54
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Lighter material means that more of the energy you put into it goes toward accelerating the projectile - because you don't have to put as much into accelerating the sling itself.
It's the other way round. The amount that goes into accelerating the sling to a given speed is constant, but the amount that goes into the projectile varies by the projectile's mass. Thus the heavier the projectile the more of the energy you put into the system ends up in the projectile. So you want as light a sling as can be managed, and as heavy a projectile as you can efficiently spin up.

Also, as with throwing things, too light and the velocity is capped by how fast your muscles can work.

On top of this, a lighter projectile will (all else equal) slow down faster and have less range than a heavier one, and have less momentum for the same energy (which is relevant for penetration at low velocities).

However, for the same energy the heavier projectile will be slower, and thus have a more curved trajectory and take longer to arrive at the target, making it harder to land hits. Also, if the projectile is too heavy it will affect the efficiency of the slinger's muscles, reducing the energy available to put into it.

Overall, there'll be a 'sweet spot' for projectile weight (and we can assume that ancient sling users found it, and used it).
Quote:
The material of the shot, however, is important. Rasna's guidelines look good to me there, but I'm hardly an expert.
I'm okay with the LT ones, mainly because I think Rasna's overstate the overall accuracy of a sling vs bows.
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Old 06-08-2022, 09:32 PM   #55
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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It's the other way round.
Neither is precisely true.

The ratio of projectile weight to sling weight determines what percentage of the energy input to the sling winds up in the projectile.
The total weight of the sling plus projectile weight (and the strength of the wielder) determines how much energy actually can be put into the sling. This is highly nonlinear (up to a certain point energy keeps going up, but the point at which the energy gain isn't as valuable as the loss in velocity and accuracy is far lower than that point).
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Old 06-09-2022, 04:33 AM   #56
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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I'm okay with the LT ones, mainly because I think Rasna's overstate the overall accuracy of a sling vs bows.
Well, actually no. Even with my HR, sling Acc can't be superior to 1, as in Low-Tech. The only thing that changes about accuracy in my HR is the fact that you can have Acc 1 also using properly shaped clay and stone slingshots, while in Low-Tech you have to use lead glandes in order to have Acc 1.

Bows are already more accurate than slings in GURPS rules and I'm fine with that. If you use rules from Low-Tech and #34 A Deadly Spring, war bows have on average Acc 2 and being an [A] skill means that with the same points of a Bow skill you're at +1 to hit compared to the same points of a [H] Sling skill. So if your PC is a bowman having the same skill points of a slinger and taking Aim, he/she is at +2/+3 to hit compared to the slinger. Also, bows and arrows can be of Fine Quality, giving an additional +1 to Acc (I don't think that even the better manifactured slings and slingshots would qualify to give +1 Acc, +1 Acc for slingshots is for beign of a particular shape and it can't be improved further).
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Old 06-09-2022, 05:12 AM   #57
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

In LT Slings are Acc 0 and lead bullets don't change that. Unshaped stones give -1 to hit. Thus you're giving +1 Acc to slings when using properly made ammo.
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Old 06-09-2022, 06:31 AM   #58
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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It's the other way round.
My post was in response to a question about sling material. Basically, lighter sling, heavier projectile, is what you want.

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Neither is precisely true.

The ratio of projectile weight to sling weight determines what percentage of the energy input to the sling winds up in the projectile.
The total weight of the sling plus projectile weight (and the strength of the wielder) determines how much energy actually can be put into the sling. This is highly nonlinear (up to a certain point energy keeps going up, but the point at which the energy gain isn't as valuable as the loss in velocity and accuracy is far lower than that point).
Are you saying a heavier sling will impart more energy to the projectile, even though the percentage of the energy invested in accelerating the sling+projectile that ends up in the projectile is lower? I could see that if your light sling has a sufficiently-higher volume than your heavy sling that air resistance is a major factor in how quickly you get the sling moving, but I'm pretty certain when you release the bullet it just keeps going forward at the same speed it was already moving, it just doesn't have the sling tethering it to you anymore so it goes forward. Outside of the above air resistance situation, I don't think a heavier sling is going to go any faster than a light one. But perhaps I'm missing something when it comes to the physics of slings.
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Old 06-09-2022, 06:48 AM   #59
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
In LT Slings are Acc 0 and lead bullets don't change that. Unshaped stones give -1 to hit. Thus you're giving +1 Acc to slings when using properly made ammo.
Well, using standard rules, you can have the very same results of +1 Acc if you consider properly made slingshots as Fine Quality, but they would be way costlier. Maybe too much in a strictly historical setting.

I still prefer my HR because better range adjustment and more granularity. But of course that is a matter of personal preference, not being "less or more right".
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Old 06-09-2022, 07:32 AM   #60
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Well, using standard rules, you can have the very same results of +1 Acc if you consider properly made slingshots as Fine Quality, but they would be way costlier. Maybe too much in a strictly historical setting.
Using your rules and allowing for a Balanced (+1 Acc) Sling and Balanced (+1 skill) Lead Glandes, you'd be looking at a weapon system that has +1 to skill and is Acc 2, Range x16/x24, MinST 6, Bulk -4, $100 and 0.5 lb for the weapon and $0.8 and 0.05 lb for the projectile. Compare this to a Regular Bow, which is Acc 2, Range x15/x20, MinST 10, Bulk -7, $100 and 2 lb for the weapon and $2 and 0.1 lb for the projectile. The former is logistically superior - the +1 to skill makes up for the higher difficulty of Sling, it has longer range, it can be used by weaker soldiers, is easier to transport (both the weapons and their projectiles), and the projectiles are less than half the cost. In terms of damage, for a character with ST 10 the sling does 1d pi, while the bow does 1d-1 imp - the bow is better against unarmored foes (sling averages 3.5 Injury, bow averages 5.17), but adding armor makes them closer - they deal equal Injury on average against DR 3 (1 each), and the sling outperforms the bow up to DR 5 (beyond which neither causes any Injury).

Given the logistical advantages of the slings, however, I think they would ultimately be preferable to bows, but it's close enough to go either way.
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