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Old 04-02-2019, 05:53 PM   #1
FireHorse
 
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Location: Dayton, Ohio
Default Dropping Stuff on People

We have some rules for throwing stuff at people, but what about dropping stuff on them?

The only thing I can find in ITL is in the section about Aerial Combat (p.133), which says that fliers dropping boulders cause 1d damage per 100 lbs. of weight but that strikes me as not being anywhere near enough damage. The reasoning may be that such an attack is wildly inaccurate, but that should be reflected in the roll to hit, not the damage because I'm inclined to think that if a dropped 100 lb. rock happens to land straight on your head, you're just going to be dead, period.

And the reason I wonder about it is that, as it turns out, people in crow's nests sometimes added levity to boarding actions by simply tossing things out in the direction of the boarders. (In fact, the height and the waves make it easily possible for the nest to lean over the other ship.)

And by my calculations, a simple 5 lb. iron ball falling ~50 feet or so should hit with nearly the kinetic energy of a .38 Special slug.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:44 PM   #2
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Dropping Stuff on People

You are correct, although I think you'd also end up with cases where dropped stuff will be less likely to hit a single desired moving target than a 3d6 to-hit roll gives you on an automatic hit.

Which might be what Steve had in mind - 1d for a 100lb rock but it only beaned you in the head if the attack rolled triple damage?

I think you'd want some sort of scatter mechanic if you're tossing rocks for levity, especially if there are many potential targets.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dropping Stuff on People

Oh, I agree especially in the particular circumstances I'm describing, it should be essentially impossible to "aim" at anybody specific. I'm thinking you aim for a whole Megahex, with a minus to DX on top of it, and even a "hit" just gets you a scatter roll (while any miss just disappears straight into the water).

But even so, I'm still gonna put half a dozen spiked iron balls in a basket up in that nest. And if one of those things does hit somebody, it's gonna hurt.
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Old 04-03-2019, 05:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dropping Stuff on People

Halfling with a spear thrower in the crowsnest to apply the (-4 DX, +2 damage) rule from ITL 133)
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dropping Stuff on People

Assuming my spiked iron ball is roughly equivalent to a sling bullet if it grazes you, but a mace head if it hits squarely, how does this sound?
  • Target a hex and roll to hit (-4 DX)
  • If successful, roll 1d for scatter (number the hexes around the target hex 1-6)
  • Roll a second scatter based on the new hex (which may scatter back to the target hex)
  • If there's anyone standing in the final destination hex, roll one last time:
1-3 = Miss (hits ground)
4-5 = Grazing Hit (1d)
6 = Direct Hit (2d+1, plus knock down)
I'm tempted to add a "Extremely Near Miss" result too, with a Morale result (which applies only to NPCs) of something like "Target Soils Armor".
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dropping Stuff on People

That sounds about right (did you omit the result of a failed roll?), and like a good recipe for levity!
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dropping Stuff on People

You could just import the "Off-map Artillery" rule from any SPI tactical wargame to figure out scattering and whether the pattern is "loose" or "tight" etc. And, while we're on the subject, what about smoke? Or tactical nuclear weapons? ;-)
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:05 PM   #8
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Dropping Stuff on People

There really should be more fire and smoke house rules. Where there's fire, there's smoke. And smoke spells. And dust. And dust spells. And fog. And fog spells.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:06 PM   #9
HeatDeath
 
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Default Re: Dropping Stuff on People

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Halfling with a spear thrower in the crowsnest to apply the (-4 DX, +2 damage) rule from ITL 133)
I've used a spearthrower, briefly. I can't see them working "straight down" worth a dang.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:23 PM   #10
mark hill
 
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Default Re: Dropping Stuff on People

are you gripping the spear with your first and last fingers, firmly, to the womera/atl-atl? the locals in my country seem to have no trouble hitting a fish straight down (even getting the refractive index of water adjustment correct)

theres also the issue of adding the entire calculated damage again per 10 meters (or 9.8 if ya wanna get technical) fallen .. newtonian mechanics .. the 100 lbs rock or spiked ball will crush a panzer tank or sink a sailing ship from a few hundred meters up .. and frankly Id reckon a 1 lbs rock would do 1d6, 100 lbs would convert a man to vegemite from only 20 or 30 meters

Last edited by mark hill; 04-04-2019 at 01:31 PM.
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