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Old 12-30-2016, 04:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Making a blowpipe-wielding small character useful

The volume of acid you can have could injure an eye but not much else. However I can see it causing Aginy as a whip crack does.
Spell Arrow would be great here and the small size is good for carrying a set to draw from rather than reloading as suggested above.
With those skills almost any poison could be made but you still need to penetrate the skin. So Targeted Attack (Blowgun/Face) seems the best.
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Making a blowpipe-wielding small character useful

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It's easy. Just replace the human lungs behind the blowpipe with a large compressed air tank. The fundamental limit behind blowpipes, which forces them to be inferior weapons, is that they're powered by a single contraction of human lung muscles. They have something of a compactness advantage over bows and crossbows, but there's really nothing you can do with a blowpipe that can't be done with a dart slingshot.
Well, the forest gnome character doesn't have human lungs or human arm muscles. Nor does he have any inclination to use slings, as his blowpipe is a combination weapon with his flute. He's a bard.

I get that a ST 5, SM -3 character is not going to be doing much raw damage with any muscle-powered weapon. Nor will a blowpipe boost his raw damage output.

But I'm looking for ways to make hits that do maybe 1-2 HP of injury still tell, because of poison, alchemical concoctions or TL4 gadgets of some sort.
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Making a blowpipe-wielding small character useful

You could use the Blow gun to delver pixie dust, which can be the excuse for a lot of afflictions from, sleep, to irresistible dancing etc...
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Making a blowpipe-wielding small character useful

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But I'm looking for ways to make hits that do maybe 1-2 HP of injury still tell, because of poison, alchemical concoctions or TL4 gadgets of some sort.
Invent a variant on Spell Throwing that uses blowguns. Honestly, if there's any projectile weapon that ought to be able to fire spells, it's a blowgun.
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Old 12-30-2016, 10:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: Making a blowpipe-wielding small character useful

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Invent a variant on Spell Throwing that uses blowguns. Honestly, if there's any projectile weapon that ought to be able to fire spells, it's a blowgun.
Sure. And while the character has Energy Reserve remaining, he can use magic. The blowpipe is meant to allow him to contribute, through poisonous or alchemical darts or spikes, without using up his magical energy (or after it has run out).

This is a starting adventurer. Very talented and likely to be a star later, but for now, neither very rich nor powerful. When starting out, he only had $2000 to spend on all his equipment. That forced him to use a very ineffective poison. Assuming everything works out, he'll have $5,000+ to spend when he's next in town.

I'd like to have statted a few nice poisons and alchemical solutions he can take along for the next delve. Even just a second or two of stunning, a hefty penalty like Pain or Blindness for a few seconds or a distraction that might induce enemies to act suboptimally for a few moments would allow him to feel useful for more combat turns than he can currently.
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Old 12-30-2016, 10:06 PM   #16
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Maybe a single point of corr with a 1d second delay. Placed instead in a fragile glass bulb or similar, it might allow you to aim at the forehead (~-7 to hit) and cripple one eye with the acid that runs down the face (an attack at -9 hits the forehead right between the eyes and can cripple both). This wouldn't cause any real injury, however, and crippling probably can't exceed Lasting (for Temporary, the blinding only lasts 1d minutes).



Probably justifies making the dart's attack Incendiary (+1 burn damage)



A dart to the face is going to put the flash a matter of inches from the eyes, but we'll just say 0.5 yards to make the math easy. If you take something that blinds at 10 yards, having it blind at 0.5 yards requires 0.002x the intensity of light (based on Illumination Levels from Powers: Enhanced Senses), and thus if I'm not mistaken 0.002x the weight. As the dart is a bit more than 1/10th the weight of the nageteppo, that should be doable. In fact, I'd probably extend it out to 1 yard (1/100th weight), which can blind multiple close foes at once if done right. 2 yards (1/20th weight) is probably pushing it, however, as then nearly half the weight of the dart is the flashing payload.



Ah, ye olde thunderstone. If you already have stats in mind, you can apply the same methodology to that as I did to the flash nageteppo above. For example, the DnD thunderstone causes deafness (on a failed Fortitude save - HT roll in GURPS) to targets within 10 feet. As DnD uses 5-foot squares instead of 1-yard hexes, we'll say in GURPS that device deafens foes within 2 yards, so a 1/100th weight (assuming it weighs the same as a flash nageteppo - I think DnD's thunderstone weighed 1 lb, but I suspect if they had the equivalent of the flash nageteppo it probably weighed the same) version probably deafens within 0.2 yards (roughly 7 inches), which is enough to deafen a foe you manage to hit in the head with the thing.
Those are all lovely suggestions and I'll adopt them all. Any ideas about pricing?

And keep the ideas coming!
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: Making a blowpipe-wielding small character useful

Alchemical elixirs would be much more useful if they could be delivered by blowpipe, either by modifying the rules for powders to allow for inhalation or by modifying the rules for pastilles to allow them to be blown and ignited (like the incendiary blowpipe, LT p. 84); this might require some alchemical invention but should be pretty simple. The former option is cheaper, and doesn't require keeping a lighted match. The latter option might also work well with lacquer (LT p. 129). Using a wide-mouth incendiary blowpipe to light pastilles and throw them for distance and accuracy might tip the scale on usefulness.

For the existing elixirs, Sleep and Death are the obvious choices, but Fear, Weakness, or Foolishness might have some uses. Spells that should be easy to research as elixirs include Stench, Retch, Choke, Darkness/Blackout, and Dye, since they can be produced by mundane chemicals. Daze, Mental Stun, and Panic would also be helpful.
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Old 12-31-2016, 10:18 AM   #18
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Default Re: Making a blowpipe-wielding small character useful

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Those are all lovely suggestions and I'll adopt them all. Any ideas about pricing?
The acid, alchemist's fire, and flash nageteppo are normally all of roughly equal weight (once you remove the bottle from the equation), so I'd go with roughly 1/100th weight in all three cases - which works out to 1/100th cost (so $0.10, $1, and $0.50, respectively). A thunderstone I'd price the same as a flash nageteppo, so a full-size one is $40 and the blowdart payload is $0.50. A payload dart is probably double normal price, possibly more. If desired, you can increase price on each with a variety of justifications - you need to use a more potent acid to get any damage out of it, you need a fast-burning variant of alchemist's fire (note I've taken 1d over 30 seconds - roughly 100 damage - and condensed it down to 1 point over 1 second at 1/100th the weight), or you need a special plunger design to activate the nageteppo/thunderstone.

Last edited by Varyon; 12-31-2016 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:55 AM   #19
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Default Re: Making a blowpipe-wielding small character useful

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
The acid, alchemist's fire, and flash nageteppo are normally all of roughly equal weight (once you remove the bottle from the equation), so I'd go with roughly 1/100th weight in all three cases - which works out to 1/100th cost (so $0.10, $1, and $0.50, respectively). A thunderstone I'd price the same as a flash nageteppo, so a full-size one is $40 and the blowdart payload is $0.50. A payload dart is probably double normal price, possibly more. If desired, you can increase price on each with a variety of justifications - you need to use a more potent acid to get any damage out of it, you need a fast-burning variant of alchemist's fire (note I've taken 1d over 30 seconds - roughly 100 damage - and condensed it down to 1 point over 1 second at 1/100th the weight), or you need a special plunger design to activate the nageteppo/thunderstone.
Good thoughts.

As the blowpipe rules from Pyramid make darts inferior to spikes as weapons, but twice as expensive, it makes sense to assume that the distinction lies in their value as delivery systems. If delivering something more exotic than a poison, I guess that a +1 or +2 CF wouldn't be out of line.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: Making a blowpipe-wielding small character useful

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
The acid, alchemist's fire, and flash nageteppo are normally all of roughly equal weight (once you remove the bottle from the equation), so I'd go with roughly 1/100th weight in all three cases - which works out to 1/100th cost (so $0.10, $1, and $0.50, respectively). A thunderstone I'd price the same as a flash nageteppo, so a full-size one is $40 and the blowdart payload is $0.50. A payload dart is probably double normal price, possibly more. If desired, you can increase price on each with a variety of justifications - you need to use a more potent acid to get any damage out of it, you need a fast-burning variant of alchemist's fire (note I've taken 1d over 30 seconds - roughly 100 damage - and condensed it down to 1 point over 1 second at 1/100th the weight), or you need a special plunger design to activate the nageteppo/thunderstone.
Since the cost is so comparatively low, I'm guessing that the player will want to use more payload per dart.

How much alchemical substance could one deliver with a typical blowpipe dart? Maybe 15% of the dart weight?

Combining flash and thunderstone sounds like a nice idea.
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