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Old 04-04-2016, 03:36 PM   #21
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: [LT] Ancient Nitroglycerin

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Originally Posted by Jinumon View Post
what is the most conceivable alternative to Nitroglycerin or Nitrocellulose? Cordite? TNT?
What exactly do you want it to do? Also, if they're in competition with a magical society, what magic system is involved? Standard GURPS Magic is way more disruptive from an economic standpoint than a military standpoint.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:38 PM   #22
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: [LT] Ancient Nitroglycerin

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Originally Posted by Jinumon View Post
All that being said, what is the most conceivable alternative to Nitroglycerin or Nitrocellulose? Cordite? TNT?
Cordite is a nitrocellulose derivative (may also involve nitroglycerine?). TNT has some superior properties (but being harder to detonate isn't necessarily a good thing at this TL) but isn't going to be easier chemically.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:57 PM   #23
Jinumon
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: [LT] Ancient Nitroglycerin

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
What exactly do you want it to do? Also, if they're in competition with a magical society, what magic system is involved? Standard GURPS Magic is way more disruptive from an economic standpoint than a military standpoint.
Magic is GURPS standard, with specific spell and school limitations. That being said, only about 1 in 100,000 people possess the magical "juice" to be a full fledged Sorcerer (Magery 2+). Enchantment is available but not prevalent, and yes, Sorcerers are at the top rung in many societies.

I'm not sure if I want Serpentine Powder to be available or not. Honestly, it's really just its simple composition that stops me from using it, as it would be too easily adopted by other nations if it were used. I'm really just going for a stronger propellant that can preferably be used in firearms as well as a general explosive.

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Old 04-04-2016, 04:01 PM   #24
johndallman
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Default Re: [LT] Ancient Nitroglycerin

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Originally Posted by Jinumon View Post
All that being said, what is the most conceivable alternative to Nitroglycerin or Nitrocellulose? Cordite? TNT?
Cordite is a combination of nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose, plus more chemical processes that are hard work before TL6.

TNT needs the same powerful acids to prepare as nitroglycerin, plus toluene, which wasn't discovered until 1837.

Basically, there are fairly strong reasons why black powder was the only explosive in use until late TL5.

Last edited by johndallman; 04-04-2016 at 04:14 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:04 PM   #25
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: [LT] Ancient Nitroglycerin

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Cordite is a nitrocellulose derivative (may also involve nitroglycerine?).
That depends on whether or not cordite is a single-based or double-based smokeless powder.<googles> Double-based. That means it's made by combining nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin.

The OP seems to want a propellant so single-based is simpler. That needs nitrocellulose and ether and TL6 steel to make the guns out of so they don't blow up. Also a primer of some sort. He's going to be hitting TL3+3.

I'm not even sure how he's enforcing his mage ban without magic to detect eh mages.
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:05 PM   #26
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Default Re: [LT] Ancient Nitroglycerin

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Originally Posted by Jinumon View Post
I'm not sure if I want Serpentine Powder to be available or not. Honestly, it's really just its simple composition that stops me from using it, as it would be too easily adopted by other nations if it were used. I'm really just going for a stronger propellant that can preferably be used in firearms as well as a general explosive.
One option for black powder (I believe I discussed it in Urban Magics) is to say that its high rate of concentrated energy release can trigger an uncontrolled mana release that acts as a critical failure on a random spell. For added problems you can have it automatically result in summoning a demon. After all, the sulfurous odor of black powder is widely known, and there were later suggestive incidents like Blackbeard's use of slow match (or, on the other hand, the Chinese use of firecrackers for driving out demons).
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:11 PM   #27
Jinumon
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: [LT] Ancient Nitroglycerin

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
The OP seems to want a propellant so single-based is simpler. That needs nitrocmoreellulose and TL6 steel to make the guns out of so they don't blow up. Also a primer of some sort. He's going to be hitting TL3+3.

I'm not even sure how he's enforcing his mage ban without magic to detect eh mages.
I'm fairly certain that TL4 crucible steel is very nearly the strength of TL6 factory steel, it's just much more expensive and difficult to make. As for magic detection, Divine magic is a thing, albeit much more subtle and tempered than something like D&D clerics. Priests can be used to detect Sorcerers.

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Old 04-04-2016, 04:20 PM   #28
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [LT] Ancient Nitroglycerin

Note, of course, that a setting that has magic has different laws of physics anyway, so you can justify different chemistry if you choose.
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:21 PM   #29
malloyd
 
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Default Re: [LT] Ancient Nitroglycerin

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
One option for black powder (I believe I discussed it in Urban Magics) is to say that its high rate of concentrated energy release can trigger an uncontrolled mana release that acts as a critical failure on a random spell.
I really have become fond of riffing on the effect of saltpeter, and ruling that under the right conditions a charge of black powder becomes a pastille of permanent irreversible impotence. Nobody has expressed doubts that permanent impotence as an almost certain side effect of firing enough shots to pick up a point of Guns skill would be plenty to keep guns from being widely adopted.
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:23 PM   #30
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [LT] Ancient Nitroglycerin

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Nobody has expressed doubts that permanent impotence as an almost certain side effect of firing enough shots to pick up a point of Guns skill would be plenty to keep guns from being widely adopted.
This is what the Eunuch Force is for.
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