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Old 11-03-2009, 10:16 PM   #71
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Xplo View Post
...they would presumably starve.
And so would the humans.

It's pretty hard to engineer a famine so that a minority eats well and the dispossesed majority is nice enough to die off without ever resorting to violence in order to eat.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:39 PM   #72
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Alternately, they're an opportunity to take out humans who can't be tolerated.
Well, that would be war.

But there's a wholly different character to a war where the sides are set by species lines. Humans may have a lot of reasons, some valid, some not, to prefer violence to talking when it comes to dealing with other humans. Orcs and goblins, however, have many of the qualities of an ecological disaster.

Humans, while far from ecologically sensible, will at least tend to breed fast during times of plentiful food and slowly during famines. And while a brutal form of birth control, it is a fact that human children are very sensitive to harsh conditions and without sufficient resources, human population will tend to stabilise due to infant mortality.

Orcs and goblins birth live young as humans do, but in litters of up to half dozen. The gestation period is shorter than with humans for both races and the young are born more capable than human young. Both orcs and goblins can eat a wider range of foodstuff than humans without getting sick, have a more robust constitution and tolerance for environmental conditions and diseases. The combined effect is that even living on the inhospitable outskirts of human lands, these races double their population every ten years or so.

If it wasn't for their warlike natures and tendency to band together into a raiding horde when the carrying capacity of their caves is exceeded, both races would have the capability to colonise all the lands left empty by humans and then start moving on to human lands. The regular invasions of thousands of warriors are seen as s scourge by the average human, but the alternative, that the creatures would instead scrounge peacefully for more resources and wait until they outnumber their civilised counterparts by hundreds to one, is far worse.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:48 PM   #73
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

If you want to flesh out the orcs and goblins, there's a couple of d20 books you might want to try to find:
Kenzerco's KoK books, Strength & Honor (hobgoblins) and Fury in the Wastelands (orcs). It's not Forgotten Realms specific, but...
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:44 PM   #74
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But there's a wholly different character to a war where the sides are set by species lines. Humans may have a lot of reasons, some valid, some not, to prefer violence to talking when it comes to dealing with other humans. Orcs and goblins, however, have many of the qualities of an ecological disaster.
So you're saying humans in your FR are too sensible to risk the survival of their species for personal advantage?
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:54 PM   #75
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So you're saying humans in your FR are too sensible to risk the survival of their species for personal advantage?
Not at all.

I'm saying that their species, due to factors such as the frailty of infants and the reduction in birth rate during times of less nourishment, has an inbuilt resistance to explosive overpopulation. Sure, this resistance takes the form of infant mortality and is therefore not popular, but it's still a fact that humans are far less likely to build up the kind of population pressure that orcs routinely do.

While individual mad archmages or divine prophets might play with the future survival of the species, most humans are not able to do enough damage to seriously risk the survival of the species.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:33 AM   #76
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So like what they did to Dark Sun in Dragon/Dungeon? (And what I presume they're going to do when they release the 4e version...)
I didn't see the Dark Sun changes, so I'm not in a position to compare the two.

But judging from the 4e content I've seen so far, I'd say that you are unlikely to enjoy the 4e Dark Sun unless you favour a style of game play that is dramatically unlike anything I recognise as fun.

If you enjoy WoW for the story and characterisation, for example, you might be in good hands.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:18 AM   #77
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Reading back through your examples, I realized something - you aren't including the cost of ammunition. Knowing how much these weapons cost per shot is going to be very useful in determining how likely they are to be fielded.
Hmm, yes, that was a bit deliberate. The cost varies enormously depending on where and from whom the smokepowder is bought.

I did include several comments about the cost per pound, though. I've added the weights of the powder charge and ball for each of the weapons in the initial post.

The cost of lead is about $20/lbs. and the cost of smokepowder between $2000-$40,000/lbs., though it only costs about $700/lbs. in Kara-Tur.

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Of course, the primary cost of fielding musketeers is actually that of maintaining them - they burn through a lot of powder when training. How much would it cost to create a magical training musket? You would use simulated powder (probably some sort of sand), but a real match, wadding, and bullet. Upon pulling the trigger, the musket would rock back (simulating recoil) and an illusionary bullet would fly out and strike where it was aimed at. Ideally, the musket would also automatically get rid of the "powder" and shot so the recruit doesn't have to empty it before reloading (thus allowing quick powder drills). Not perfect, but if you can enchant it on the cheap you can save a lot of money in the long run.
EDIT: The "weapon" would just need to resemble a musket, so it wouldn't have a high base cost. The bullet seems like it would be a simple illusion. The big problem is the recoil - maybe some sort of wind magic?
I've thought about this, yes.

The problem is that you'd need at least enough replicas to be able to practise platoon fire, if you hope to gain any battlefield advantage from it. Individual markmanship is pretty irrelevant and there is a great difference between loading and firing on one's own and doing it while surrounding by muskets spouting flame and noise.
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:07 AM   #78
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Of course, the primary cost of fielding musketeers is actually that of maintaining them - they burn through a lot of powder when training. How much would it cost to create a magical training musket?
No. At leas in our world and time. Speaking about the soldiers in the age of Napoleon
Quote:
Britain was the wealthiest country in the world with relatively small army. They could afford high ratio of practice rounds per soldier in life fire training:
1. British 'Rifles' - 60 rounds and 60 blanks per man
2. Prussian jägers and Schützen - 60 rounds per man (in 1811-1812)
3. British light infantry - 50 rounds and 60 blanks
4. Prussian fusiliers (light infantry in line regiments) - 30 rounds
5. British line infantry - 30 rounds
6. Austrian line infantry - 10 rounds (in 1809)
7. Austrian line infantry - 6 rounds (in 1805)
8. Russian infantry - 6 and less rounds
From http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/fo...ish_army.htm#b

As you can see, the regular infantry of first line armies (entries 5 and below) was considered well trained with just ten rounds of ammo or less. The training involves no marksmanship, because the weapon was so imprecise that don't allow it. The soldier was trained in loading the weapon, in putting the bayonet, in marching in close order and change formation. But for firing, just put the musket roughly in the general direction of the incoming enemies and fire to an objective 200 yards wide.
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:14 AM   #79
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No. At leas in our world and time. Speaking about the soldiers in the age of Napoleon


From http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/fo...ish_army.htm#b

As you can see, the regular infantry of first line armies (entries 5 and below) was considered well trained with just ten rounds of ammo or less. The training involves no marksmanship, because the weapon was so imprecise that don't allow it. The soldier was trained in loading the weapon, in putting the bayonet, in marching in close order and change formation. But for firing, just put the musket roughly in the general direction of the incoming enemies and fire to an objective 200 yards wide.
Well, let's keep in mind that entries below #5 did pretty badly in battle against those higher on the list.
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:42 AM   #80
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Orcs and goblins birth live young as humans do, but in litters of up to half dozen. The gestation period is shorter than with humans for both races and the young are born more capable than human young. Both orcs and goblins can eat a wider range of foodstuff than humans without getting sick, have a more robust constitution and tolerance for environmental conditions and diseases. The combined effect is that even living on the inhospitable outskirts of human lands, these races double their population every ten years or so.

Hmmm. Just how does an Orc or goblin female carry six fetuses that are delivered live and "more capable"? What is the birthweight of those Orc babies? How soon do they walk on their own? How fast are they maturing?
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