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Old 07-10-2013, 10:17 AM   #141
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
When using projectiles of the same weight, yes, pistols will deal more damage, unless you have the worst gun/smokepowder in history. But at closer ranges, the guy lobbing a 2-3lb projectile at closer range is going to do a LOT of damage.
Yes, absolutely.

But the GURPS rules as written have both the sling and staff sling using projectiles of less than 1 oz., which means that they are about equal to a heavy black powder pistol ball.

I want to correct the sling rules (in the other thread, which is probably a more appropriate forum for this discussion, eh?), so that light sling projectiles are good against unarmoured people, but don't even penetrate heavy clothing*, but the only way to use them against armoured opposition is to use magic, alchemy, in some cases chemistry or, extra heavy projectiles.

*Which experiments bear out.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:18 AM   #142
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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I could see using a buckler, or even designing the bottom of a tower shield to be planted in the ground, giving you portable cover. One shot every 5 seconds is realistic for somebody with decent skill.
Roman shields were bucklers and are easy to rest on the ground.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:21 AM   #143
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Roman shields were bucklers and are easy to rest on the ground.
Mobile cover for your slingers is definitely going to be a battlefield advantage.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:25 AM   #144
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Ah, I dont recall hearing of that. What books or such could I read about that in? (not GURPS books necessarily, my fantasy setting is mildly Rome-ish inspired (at least to the point of using Apicius as my primary non fiction reference book))
Vegetius discusses training with slings as part of Roman military training. Xenephon mentions slings being used by hoplites from Rhodes as backup weapons. Archeological finds confirm that lead glandes were used by legionaries, not just auxiliaries. There's plenty of scholarly literature on the subject, but I'd start browsing on slinging.org before you delve more deeply.

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On GURPS - I dont see fast draw sling or fast draw sling bullet listed in Basic Set, are they actually listed as being fast drawable somewhere? Bows, crossbows, and blowguns are listed for fast draw arrow, not slings
MA p. 56-67 adds both Flexible (covers slings) and Stone (covers sling ammo) specialites to Fast-Draw.

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I still think there is a definite niche for a 'can be drawn and fired in a single round' weapon though, whether its a pistol or a throwing stick or whatever
I don't disagree. I just think that it's silly to pretend that pistols aren't also more powerful than slings using the same weight of ammunition, but going at around 20% of the velocity.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:30 AM   #145
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I can't imagine that re-using the material as grenade casings would be particularly sensitive to any impurities.

Also, I understand early modern-ish artillerymen had a tendency to melt down bronze churchbells to make new cannon, and they would care about metal quality a bit...
True. There is a wide range of bronze available, in the form of old weapons, old armour, bells, gongs, decoration, even old furniture. Ranges from more than 3000 years old to new (but no longer used for its intended purpose).

I'm sure that some of it is not high quality enough to be easily worked into cannon or useful armour, but is good enough to make wire intended to be wrapped around ceramic ammo.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:37 AM   #146
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Mobile cover for your slingers is definitely going to be a battlefield advantage.
Well, yes, but if you want to sling really heavy projectiles, you need to use both hands to do it, preferably with a staff sling.

I could arm some slingers with staff slings, to act as grenade launchers, others as fairly heavy infantry with traditional slings using lead glandes of up to four ounces, a large shield designed to be placed on the ground and maybe even a bit of armour and yet others with lighter slings with lighter projectiles and smaller shields, to act as skirmishers.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:38 AM   #147
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Default Explosive sling projectiles

Do the following seem broadly reasonable?

For the concussion grenades, especially, I'm not sure that without wire to wrap around the biconical projectile, the casing is enough to contain the explosion so that you get full effects for the weight. But I just don't know.

Light concussion glans grenade; Dmg 3d cr ex; Weight 0.3 lbs.; Cost $30.

Made by taking the smallest earthenware jar on p. 34 of LT, making it Waterproof for a +1 CF, adding Light Compartmentalisation to represent space for a fuze (+10% Weight, +0.25 CF), making it Rugged for a Weight x1.2 and Cost +1 CF and adding Expensive to to it, +1 CF and Weight 2/3. This yields a container 0.132 lbs. or so which comes to a Cost of $4.25* after I call standardised ovoids x10 in base price compared to any kind of jar the craftsman prefers. Then you add 2 oz. of smokepowder (0.125 lbs. and Cost $25). Round weight up to a nice round 0.3 lbs. for a cork to close it and a bit of waxing, do the same for Cost to $30.

Concussion glans grenade; Dmg 4d cr ex; Weight 0.5 lbs.; Cost $50.

Made by taking the smallest earthenware jar on p. 34 of LT, making it Waterproof for a +1 CF, adding Light Compartmentalisation to represent space for a fuze (+10% Weight, +0.25 CF), making it Rugged (Weight x1.2, +1 CF) and adding Expensive to to it, +1 CF and Weight 2/3. Then you make it Reinforced +100%. This yields a container 0.264 lbs. or so which has a Cost of $5.25. Then you add just around 3.5 oz. of smokepowder (0.22 lbs. and Cost $44). Round weight up to a nice round 0.5 lbs. for a cork to close it plus waxing, do the same for Cost to $50.

The materials for the concussion grenades are denser than typical fired clay, but the shell will inevitably not be perfectly filled and there needs to be a space for the fuze. Even so, the damage and range would be between that of a rock and a fired clay projectile when launched from a sling. I imagine that fired clay ovoids are -1/die damage, but normal range (more aerodynamic than naturally occuring rocks), and these would be -1 per two dice of damage and receive +10% bonus to range.

I'm sure it's possible to make fired clay projectiles of the exact same size, weight and balance for help with training, as long as you embed a bit of lead in them.

Light wire fragmentation grenade; Dmg 2d [1d+1] cr ex; Weight 0.5 lbs.; Cost $60.

This is a light concussion grenade wrapped in 0.2 lbs. of bronze wire to strengthen it and add fragmentation damage. This is priced as 6' 8" of bronze jewelry chain, although the design is obviously different, the price is close enough. It comes to +$26.67, which we round to a neat $30, because **** untidy numbers, and also for the work involved in wrapping it tightly and such.

Glass glans fragmentation grenade; Dmg 3d [1d+1] cr ex; Weight 1 lb; Cost $60

A simple weapon made from an ovoid glass container, the size that in LT can hold a maximum of 14 cubic inches (but designed for less volume than that), with Rugged and Expensive modifiers applied to represent high-quality and good design, as well as another +4 CF** for standardisation and quality control. Comes to 0.384 lbs. of casing, which costs $12. Add 3.5 oz. of smokepowder (0.22 lbs. and $44) and stuff the rest of the volume full of bronze fragmentation material (just under 0.4 lbs., $4).

Wire fragmentation grenade; Dmg 3d [2d] cr ex; Weight 1 lbs.; Cost $120.

This is a larger concussion grenade (the 0.5 lbs. version) tightly wrapped wrapped in 0.5 lbs. of bronze wire. That adds $66.67 to the final cost, which we round to a $70 for aforementioned reasons.

Metal glans grenade; Dmg 4d+2 [1d+1] cr ex; Weight 1 lbs.; Cost $150.

This is an ovoid metal shell filled with 0.5 lbs. of smokepowder ($100). The casing is either local bronze or imported cast-iron cast in two parts, or it is segmented iron meticulously assembled locally, with lead and wax used to solder weak points. In each case, there is a +3 CF, either for rare expertise, foreign imports during wartime or valuable local metal (with local merchants selling it to the PCs at a significant markup). The casing is otherwise treated as a the smallest metal box from LT, with the ovoid shape (and space for a fuze) counting as Heavy Compartmentalising (Weight x1.2, CF +0.5), Rugged (Weight x1.2, +1 CF) and Expensive (Weight x2/3, CF +1). This comes to $45.5 for the casing, which weighs 0.384. We'll assume that we fill the extra space with scraps of bronze and glass shards for extra fragmentation, and round the whole thing to an even $150.

2-lb Metal glans fragmentation grenade; Dmg 4d+2 [2d] cr ex; Weight 2 lbs.; Cost $200.

Using a slightly scaled up case, which adds ca +50% to Weight (0.768 lbs.) and +100% Cost ($91) of the casing, this leaves space for more fragmentation material in addition to the unchanged 0.5 lbs. smokepowder charge ($100), which makes for a much more effective weapon, albeit one harder to launch long distances from a sling. Using glass, ceramic shards and scrap metal (that can't be packed as tightly as purpose-built fragmenting material), this rounds to a nice $200.

2.5-lb Metal glans improved fragmentation grenade; Dmg 4d+2 [2d+2] cr ex; Weight 2.5 lbs.; Cost $225.

The fragmentation part of this weapon is made with pre-cut metal pieces carefully stacked for better use of space inside the shell. This is otherwise very similar to the above weapon and hardly more expensive for the increase in effectiveness. It is, however, heavier.

Glass glans heavy fragmentation grenade; Dmg 4d [2d+2] cr ex; Weight 3 lb; Cost $130

A simple weapon made from an ovoid glass container, the size that in LT can hold a maximum of 14 cubic inches, with Rugged and Expensive modifiers applied to represent high-quality and good design, as well as another +4 CF* for standardisation and quality control. Reinforced +200% for thicker sides. Comes to 1.152 lbs. of casing, which costs $15. Add 8 oz. of smokepowder (0.5 lbs. and $100) and stuff the rest of the volume full of bronze fragmentation material (just under 1.35 lbs., $13.5). Round to a neat $130.

3-lb Metal glans grape grenade; Dmg 6d [3d] cr ex; Weight 3 lbs.; Cost $325.

Packing a casing of the same size as the 2-lb and 2.5lb shells to maximum capacity with 1-lb of smokepowder and a hundred lead bullets, this is a very effective weapon, but difficult to sling far enough to be safe from the fragments. Fragmentation damage is pi+ instead of cut. Often used with a magical fuze (+$250).

I suppose that a 4-5 second quick-match fuze would come to around $5 with the insane price of smokepowder, so add that to all of the above. Edit: Actually, I suppose that I'll leave the fuzing off, to leave the option open of whether to go for a $5 quick-match, a carefully made $20 quick-match encased in something to shield it, a much more expensive glass-and-alchemist's fire fuze or just a magical fuze.

*LT calls the base price $0.1, which I think is insanely low, but I have no idea how to price this otherwise. In any case, it might be reasonable to use a different base price than $0.1 for very small earthernware ovoids of standardised design rather than simple jars of any kind the craftsman prefers. I arbitrarily increase Cost by x10.
**Less than the x10 to base cost applied to the smallest earthenware container used as a shell, because glass was actually used in alchemical work and suchlike, so would be more familiar with precise requirements and odd shapes.
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Last edited by Icelander; 07-11-2013 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:53 AM   #148
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

Those look very fair. I'm am curious how you settled on those numbers for the fragmentation damage though. Your Fragmentation Grenade seems similar to the TL5 Black Powder grenade from the Basic Set or High Tech (same damage, similar mass) but with double the fragmentation damage. That would certainly be possible if using larger fragments, but that would also mean fewer fragments, which should negatively impact their hit-chance.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:00 PM   #149
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Those look very fair. I'm am curious how you settled on those numbers for the fragmentation damage though. Your Fragmentation Grenade seems similar to the TL5 Black Powder grenade from the Basic Set or High Tech (same damage, similar mass) but with double the fragmentation damage. That would certainly be possible if using larger fragments, but that would also mean fewer fragments, which should negatively impact their hit-chance.
Instead of using the cheapest available shell casing, with no special effort being devoted to getting the best possible fragmentation; which is a design concept that makes eminent sense in a world where gunpowder is inexpensive and metal is more expensive, so the less you spend on casing, the more booms you can lob at the foe; I instead spent roughly eight times the resources that the entire casing of a TL4-5 grenade costs just on the fragmentation material (tightly wrapped metal wire).

Although I did not arrive at the Cost that way, I note that this is functionally identical to saying that they are using TL6 fragmentation sleeves made with TL3 methods and tools, for a Cost modifier of x8.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:04 PM   #150
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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Do you know if it would be possible to melt down really old bronze armour, shields and weapons and reuse the metal? Or would cleaning the impurities out of it be too difficult?
I wouldn't expect that to be a problem. Your damage variability should cover variations in strength. How reliable are your fuses? They should have a Malf number.
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