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Lloyd Dupont

How sturdy is a stone wall?

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MY player are stranded in a remote planet, or "dimension" since it's a fantasy adventure... full of dark elves that practice magic extensively.

Those Elves have seemingly 1 piece stone walls on luxury building (the benefits of shape stone, hey?)

Now at one stage the players took it upon themselves to try to shatter one of those walls with a war hammer...

Now I have no doubt you can shatter a plaster, wood or brick wall... 
But I have to say, I am not sure about a stone wall...

BTW, it was not the super thick outside wall of a castle, but an inner wall inside a .. temple.
Well.. I gave them a hole (beside, there was a gaping passage right in the middle, hidden by an illusion :P  ) ...

But I am curious, generally, how sturdy this wall should have been!

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I think it would be doable if you had a big hammer and some time. But imagine the noise it would create.

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They were totally (just) detected.. The issue, which I handled in their favor, is how much time it would take... (i.e. a big enough hole to find the illusion in under a minute or 2)

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In a real-life encounter in the city of Fallujah Iraq , US marines trapped in a location known as the "candy store" (a small corner store) dug a 3-foot hole in a concrete wall in just a couple of hours with a TACTICAL TOMAHAWK in order to escape an encirclement!  If you're scared enough and fit enough, a warhammer could make short work of such a wall.  

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tl;dr -- it depends.

It really REALLY depends on the stone.  Sandstone is quite soft, but has many desirable/luxurious qualities; limestone & marble too.  These are softer than most concrete (n.b. one can get differing grades/hardness of concrete, depending on how you work with it, what you include, etc).

Basalt, on the other hand, or granite; or quartz/ite... You can get rocks that are notably harder than concrete.

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2 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

But I am curious, generally, how sturdy this wall should have been!

I can vary considerably. Stone can be very tough or very easy to break.  Plus when it does break it might just chip off in small pieces and take forever to break apart. How thick it is matters too. 

 

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Well there are values  for stone walls in in BRP and in RQ3 (IMO, the RQ3 values are better because they give armor ratings instead of just SIZ/hit points). In anutshell if someohne spends enough time hitting it with something it, like anything else, will break. It's just a matter of the time and effort required. It really depends on who built the wall and what for. If it were just designed as a fence or to mark a boundary then it probably would have been made with the closest materials. If it were designed as a defense then it would have been made with the sturdiest stuff available, and taken a lot longer to get through. 

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From my short brush with mineralogy, what type of rock was shaped into that stone wall, and did the shaped stone retain the physical properties of the rock it was before? Did it retain banding, inclusions etc, like a slice of marble or granite? Or was it more or less made ductile, "rolled" into the desired shape by the magic and then made as rigid as it was before? Did it retain the tension of the rolling process, and could there have been something similar to a cooling process as per Tears of Bologna glass?

Things like these matter.

If you take chalk rock or sandstone, hitting that with a hammer will destroy the local cohesion, and the rock will crumble where you hit. Hitting granite or basalt will have much less visible impact effect, but the accumulated stress may cause inclusions or intrusions to separate, and to form cracks sooner or later.

If "shape stone" still is active (or activated again), the hammer might be swallowed by the wall. A similar thing may occur if a spirit or elemental was bound into that wall, or if it was awakened by the process of erecting the wall - how animistic do you want your setting to be?

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They use shape stone to put some small stone block together and meld it into a smooth one piece block... 

The idea was, hey those Dark Elves use magic extensively everywhere, it should show even in the architecture me think, and I came with the idea that they might improve building finish and polish with shape stone. As for the stone, I imagine it to be a sturdy building stone, like Granite, it was a temple after all.

Anyhow the player were also under the impression they only "broke the wall" because they luckily and unknowingly hit hit just at the edge of the illusion!
So I can still make whatever decision I want about future walls :P 

Checking BRP now.. I guess it should have between 7 to 11 armour and about 30HP.... (p101 wall spell and p277 material armour)

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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On 11/10/2019 at 10:15 PM, Atgxtg said:

I can vary considerably. Stone can be very tough or very easy to break.  Plus when it does break it might just chip off in small pieces and take forever to break apart. How thick it is matters too. 

 

and please, always wear yer ppe, marines stones at great velocity can kill (just ask Goliath, err David might be the better choice for that question) and the shrapnel from taking down a stone wall with a sledgehammer... well stones, dust and sparks are pretty much a guarantee.

 

On 11/11/2019 at 9:57 AM, Atgxtg said:

someohne spends enough time hitting it with something it, like anything else, will break.

Have you seen all of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who episodes. There is one that stands out here... I will post a hidden contents message to hide spoilers if needed to explain further upon request...

 

On 11/10/2019 at 10:19 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Oh well.. it is done now anyway! :) 

and this is going to stop old grognards from running this puppy to ground? I say thee nay, a thousand times nay....
Aw hell it was better in Rune Dungeons 34.2 the one with the optional Space Marines weapon systems (and phased plasma rifles in the 40 watt range, the off-the-shelf models)... stone wall my fat hairy.... George y’all stop that cussin this instant.... yes Martha dearest, love of my life, honeybuns...

Cheers

 

phased plasma rifles in the 40 watt range?

https://youtu.be/z_WdITpxeDE

 

 

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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As everyone here has said 'what kind of stone?' is the main question. The follow-up is 'how thick?' since a very thick wall will (depending on stone type) actually be able to compress and vibrate to distribute the force of the impact throughout its smoothly integrated mass, rather than breaking. Putting a spike through 1" of concrete is doable in a couple swings, getting a spike 1" into SOLID, 2' thick concrete is a lot more work. The actual distribution of mass and amount of mass are going to have mechanical effects on its durability which are, however, very hard to model in a role-playing game and thus end up being represented more by the variation in dice rolls than by particular rules (even GURPS doesn't try to incorporate that much engineering into its rules).

Edited by VonKatzen

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17 hours ago, VonKatzen said:

As everyone here has said 'what kind of stone?' is the main question. The follow-up is 'how thick?' since a very thick wall will (depending on stone type) actually be able to compress and vibrate to distribute the force of the impact throughout its smoothly integrated mass, rather than breaking. Putting a spike through 1" of concrete is doable in a couple swings, getting a spike 1" into SOLID, 2' thick concrete is a lot more work. The actual distribution of mass and amount of mass are going to have mechanical effects on its durability which are, however, very hard to model in a role-playing game and thus end up being represented more by the variation in dice rolls than by particular rules (even GURPS doesn't try to incorporate that much engineering into its rules).

We haven't even toughed upon how well it is put together, the quality of the mortar, how much the mason skimmed off the top, or how thick the wall is.. So we could probably assume a  wide variance from one wall to the next.

It's almost like asking how sturdy is a tank. Depends on the tank.

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40 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

We haven't even toughed upon how well it is put together, the quality of the mortar, how much the mason skimmed off the top, or how thick the wall is.. So we could probably assume a  wide variance from one wall to the next.

It's almost like asking how sturdy is a tank. Depends on the tank.

Common, the question was pretty clear, I believe, how sturdy are typical dark elves indoor magical construction during the great slaving period of 2500AC! But I would also consider the enlighten era typical construction info! :P 

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12 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Common, the question was pretty clear, I believe, how sturdy are typical dark elves indoor magical construction during the great slaving period of 2500AC! But I would also consider the enlighten era typical construction info! :P 

LOL! I'm still testing the wall with my typical Dwarven repeating catapult.

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