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firebomb/molotov


Blindhamster

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2d6 or 3d6 (max fireblade) for everyone in a circle of 2m in diameter

but seems to me very unbalanced for gameplay if it is easy to produce.

at least :

if throw fumble, dammage done on the same circle but centred on the pc who launch it

if alchemy fumble, 6d6 - 10d6 dammage done on a circle of 5m in diameter

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14 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

2d6 or 3d6 (max fireblade) for everyone in a circle of 2m in diameter

but seems to me very unbalanced for gameplay if it is easy to produce.

at least :

if throw fumble, dammage done on the same circle but centred on the pc who launch it

if alchemy fumble, 6d6 - 10d6 dammage done on a circle of 5m in diameter

just found the fire rules in the book (p157) I'd probably use that.

so 1d6 damage to a few locations (probably the hit location and one other) on a single person, or to a pool on the ground. Chance to set on fire as normal.

Fumble would have the throwers arm set on fire and probably their leg or chest as well.

Standard thrown rules and treat them as unbalanced unless specifically made for it. (so 1 meter range for ever 3 points of strength), Dex x 5 test for the actual throw.

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figure i should give context on why i asked too!

I often comment that the players should totally think of cool things to do if it comes to an encounter and don't feel too constrained by "attacks" and specified actions.

One of the first things I expect at least one of the players will probably think of, is making such things, they've already got two characters quite capable of alchemy (well, one and a sorcerer with logician).

 

Cheers all!

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1 minute ago, Diana Probst said:

"OK, first off, give me a devise roll.  It's not an idea that appears in anything your ancestors do, or any quests you know.  Why would your character think of it?"
...
"Oh, interesting.  Yes, so.  That devise roll, then.  Let me know if you just fumble."

Followed by everyone else's answers.

thats an interesting point, although greek fire is a real world bronze age thing, it doesn't mean the same general idea exists in glorantha (although do we know that it definitely doesn't?)

 

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The concept of fire and flammable liquids are not new, after all, oil lamps is a thing in glorantha. And realising you could throw a clay lamp on the floor and create a pool of burning oil is not that far of a stretch (the probability of a lamp oil catching fire notwithstanding (dropped lamp table from RQ3 anyone?)). I would say go for it! (MGF and all that) but of course YGMV.

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20 minutes ago, OxygenO2 said:

The concept of fire and flammable liquids are not new, after all, oil lamps is a thing in glorantha. And realising you could throw a clay lamp on the floor and create a pool of burning oil is not that far of a stretch (the probability of a lamp oil catching fire notwithstanding (dropped lamp table from RQ3 anyone?)). I would say go for it! (MGF and all that) but of course YGMV.

Yeah RQG has dropped lamp rules too, it was there that i spotted the fire rules and realised it was a silly question in the first place as between those and throwing rules, you are pretty much there. :)

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2 hours ago, Blindhamster said:

thats an interesting point, although greek fire is a real world bronze age thing, it doesn't mean the same general idea exists in glorantha (although do we know that it definitely doesn't?)

The Jrusteli God Learners of the Middle Sea Empire used sorcery to summon single drops of Burning Water* from the God World, which were enough to devastate whole fleets of city-sized Waertagi dragonships. The residue from those battles formed floating firebergs which were a hazard to shipping in the later Second Age until they eventually disappeared down Magasta's Pool. I hear rumours that at the close of the Third Age, monstrous firebergs are starting to float once more into the oceans of the Inner World, borne along by the great currents from the north-west and south-east, the Banthe and Togaro.

... but tell me again about your incendiary in a pot.

* in their theogonies and grimoires this was associated with the hitherto obscure (and largely theoretical) god Tanian.

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3 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

The Jrusteli God Learners of the Middle Sea Empire used sorcery to summon single drops of Burning Water* from the God World, which were enough to devastate whole fleets of city-sized Waertagi dragonships. The residue from those battles formed floating firebergs which were a hazard to shipping in the later Second Age until they eventually disappeared down Magasta's Pool. I hear rumours that at the close of the Third Age, monstrous firebergs are starting to float once more into the oceans of the Inner World, borne along by the great currents from the north-west and south-east, the Banthe and Togaro.

... but tell me again about your incendiary in a pot.

* in their theogonies and grimoires this was associated with the hitherto obscure (and largely theoretical) god Tanian.

That as it may, when people know how to make lanterns, the idea that they wouldn't also know how to throw something better shaped for throwing with the same solution inside seems rather... unlikely. As pointed out above.

(Although the lore on God Learners is, as always interesting thanks!)

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7 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

The Jrusteli God Learners of the Middle Sea Empire used sorcery to summon single drops of Burning Water* from the God World, which were enough to devastate whole fleets of city-sized Waertagi dragonships. The residue from those battles formed floating firebergs which were a hazard to shipping in the later Second Age until they eventually disappeared down Magasta's Pool. I hear rumours that at the close of the Third Age, monstrous firebergs are starting to float once more into the oceans of the Inner World, borne along by the great currents from the north-west and south-east, the Banthe and Togaro.

... but tell me again about your incendiary in a pot.

* in their theogonies and grimoires this was associated with the hitherto obscure (and largely theoretical) god Tanian.

And if you look up at Orlanth's Ring, there is a 3 in 7 chance that one of the three new stars is that of that formerly theoretical deity...

The real question seems to me: has anybody ever tried "mining" those firebergs, and bottling them?

The History of the Heortling Peoples mentions turtle barges from Slontos spouting fire sailing all the way up to Durengard in the Second Age. But then, there is no mention of burning water, or of stuff floating on that water which burns.

 

Gloranthan siegecraft can be quite interesting. Lobbing incindiaries into cities has a long tradition, with varying carriers for delivery. Harald Hardradas feat in Sicily (releasing doves with burning rags bound to their feet - presumably separated by a piece of cord - just outside their home city) may easily be repeated with magically controlled avians or similar flyers.

 

Anti-personnel incindiaries other than Firearrows may be less developed, Firearrow is your instant molotov.

Soaking enemies with flamable liquid probably isn't exactly new, either. Hot pitch is a favorite in sieges. Hot oil or grease works, too, but usually you don't waste valuable survival food as incendiaries.

Low evaporation flammable liquids are known. One type is known as perfume. Again, not your usual type of incendiary missile, but one uses what one has on hand.

I wonder how well oiled beards and locks will catch fire. But then, Dara Happans might have magic that renders them immune to fire damage. I guess that DHan bathing culture might involve being rubbed down in oil and then setting it aflame, both for hair removal and odor removal.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Time to take away the punch bowl on this party!

The book rule on fires appears reasonable.  It will probably disappoint players who think they've found a great 20th century RW weapon to use in the Bronze Age.  But if you want to rain on  that particular parade, you might point out some nasty old RW reality:

- A pint of olive oil or even of whiskey has a lot less energy in it (and a lot more water in it)  than a pint of gasoline.  Yes you might start a house fire with it, no you will not kill anyone in a melee round or two.  It's like unattended candles or smoking in bed, not instant but just risky. 

- And there is no evidence in RQG that the Gloranthans have discovered distilling, let alone distilling gasoline from crude oil or even distilling alcohol.  It's not a RW bronze age technology, it's iron age  technology at earliest.  And requires several tech advances to do well.   (How do I know? My grandpa made a still coil  during prohibition, told me how and what to be careful of; Wife has bootleggers in the family tree).   Its earliest forms were not particularly efficient, so you wouldn't get pure alcohol.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distillation#History.

- 20th century Molotov cocktails themselves are easily over-rated.  Actually a clever  weapon of desperation, and not really likely to destroy a tank: the successes appear to have been because of their novelty, smoke sucked in by engine fans fooling the inexperienced crews into thinking they were on fire and so bailing out.  Much smaller effective bursting radius than a grenade, so against personnel you're really throwing water balloons only with oil.  A clay jar used in that manner will likely bounce off a man and break on the floor nearby. And the more flammable your liquid, the more dangerous it is to light if you use the rag- in- bottle type of ignition.   If they are the white phosphorus ignition type, they are dangerous to carry (and WP is definitely not bronze age chemistry.).   If Molotov cocktails were so great then why would the Soviets have gone on to invent shaped charge antitank grenades in WWII, which are also recognizable as weapons of desperation? 

Edited by Squaredeal Sten
one sentence; & spelling
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2 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

And there is no evidence in RQG that the Gloranthans have discovered distilling, let alone distilling gasoline from crude oil or even distilling alcohol.  It's not a RW bronze age technology, it's iron age  technology at earliest.

So are triremes (penteconters are the best that the Bronze Age cultures came up with) or metal coins (although there seem to have been temple-backed "script" money in the shape of seal-stamped clay tokens earlier).

 

Evaporation of salt brine is pretty much a no-brainer if you are living next to a salt lake. Salt gardens on sea shores may be as old as permanent settlements (something fishers and gatherers achieved at least in the Mesolithic).

Capturing the evaporated vapors is less intuitive, but if you are using steam to straighten spear shafts (another technology that may have been practiced by paleolithic hunters), you may notice that the piece of wood gets covered with droplets of water from the treatment.

Distillation of birch pitch from bark has been proven by archaeologists for at least 150,000 years before our time. Whether a comparable technology was transferred to liquids containing ethanol or naphta is a different question, as you need significantly lower temperatures to be able to condensate and thereby catch those vapors.

 

Quicksilver dwarves know distillation, at least in the form of "thermal transfer of liquids through the vapor phase" that is used e.g. in whisky stills. Fractioned distillation probably is unknown, but serial "thermal transfer" will have very similar results. Human alchemists may have received some technology transfer, stolen the grimoire, or similar. The Alchemist Guilds are a secretive bunch, almost as bad as the Mostali.

 

Creating an alembic is well within the skills of a potter able to create an amphora with a stopper. Sure, the heat exchange through a ceramic pipe is a lot worse than through a metal or glass pipe, but it still happens, and length of the pipe will be a factor in getting the temperature down.

If you have an idea of the concept, you could even construct one from material available to paleolithic hunters, like hollow bones for the pipe (a coil doesn't need to curve, you can make up for that by length) and a skull for the evaporation vessel, with hide and/or for sealing the joinings.

 

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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30 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I would say it is a weapon skill,  dex*5 is very high at the beginning. I may use rock (15) as the only skill for both natural and manufactured "projectile" or create a dedicated skill with the same base (15).

just basing that on core book page 159. It doesn't matter which part of the makeshift bomb hits the target assuming its brittle material. Potentially if its meant to be harder, it could be dex x4 or even 3.

that being said, treating it as a weapon skill isn't a terrible idea if you want to limit its effectiveness I guess?

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

So are triremes (penteconters are the best that the Bronze Age cultures came up with) or metal coins (although there seem to have been temple-backed "script" money in the shape of seal-stamped clay tokens earlier).

 

Evaporation of salt brine is pretty much a no-brainer if you are living next to a salt lake. Salt gardens on sea shores may be as old as permanent settlements (something fishers and gatherers achieved at least in the Mesolithic).

Capturing the evaporated vapors is less intuitive, but if you are using steam to straighten spear shafts (another technology that may have been practiced by paleolithic hunters), you may notice that the piece of wood gets covered with droplets of water from the treatment.

Distillation of birch pitch from bark has been proven by archaeologists for at least 150,000 years before our time. Whether a comparable technology was transferred to liquids containing ethanol or naphta is a different question, as you need significantly lower temperatures to be able to condensate and thereby catch those vapors.

 

Quicksilver dwarves know distillation, at least in the form of "thermal transfer of liquids through the vapor phase" that is used e.g. in whisky stills. Fractioned distillation probably is unknown, but serial "thermal transfer" will have very similar results. Human alchemists may have received some technology transfer, stolen the grimoire, or similar. The Alchemist Guilds are a secretive bunch, almost as bad as the Mostali.

 

Creating an alembic is well within the skills of a potter able to create an amphora with a stopper. Sure, the heat exchange through a ceramic pipe is a lot worse than through a metal or glass pipe, but it still happens, and length of the pipe will be a factor in getting the temperature down.

If you have an idea of the concept, you could even construct one from material available to paleolithic hunters, like hollow bones for the pipe (a coil doesn't need to curve, you can make up for that by length) and a skull for the evaporation vessel, with hide and/or for sealing the joinings.

 

 

Yeah, Glorantha uses about 300BC Iron Age Earth innovations, and gives lip service to the whole Bronze Age thing. In addition to coins and triremes, there are crossbows, phalanxes, catapults, kopises, greatswords etc. These things can be constructed without iron, but they weren't invented during the Bronze Age.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I would say it is a weapon skill,  dex*5 is very high at the beginning. I may use rock (15) as the only skill for both natural and manufactured "projectile" or create a dedicated skill with the same base (15).

If used as an area weapon, DEX * 5 could be ok to get a grenade-like weapon close to the target, but there should then be some sort of scatter and distance rolls too. And on a failed roll the distance from the target should be greater. Succeeding in a Thrown rock (15) skill means a direct hit.

 

Clay jars full of lamp oil weren't used on ancient battle fields because they weren't very effective, and the rules should show this. 3d6 is damage for magical fire, and normal oil fire should do less damage. Perhaps d6 to one location. The rulebook has decent rules for fires on p. 157.

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14 minutes ago, Brootse said:

If used as an area weapon, DEX * 5 could be ok to get a grenade-like weapon close to the target, but there should then be some sort of scatter and distance rolls too. And on a failed roll the distance from the target should be greater. Succeeding in a Thrown rock (15) skill means a direct hit.

 

Clay jars full of lamp oil weren't used on ancient battle fields because they weren't very effective, and the rules should show this. 3d6 is damage for magical fire, and normal oil fire should do less damage. Perhaps d6 to one location. The rulebook has decent rules for fires on p. 157.

yes your suggestion for following the fire rules is exactly the conclusion i came to.

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53 minutes ago, Brootse said:

Clay jars full of lamp oil weren't used on ancient battle fields because they weren't very effective

Isn't the whole point of lamp oil that it will only burn through the use of a wick? Not sure you can even put a puddle of lamp oil on fire in any simple way.

It's not gasoline, or even ethanol.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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16 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Isn't the whole point of lamp oil that it will only burn through the use of a wick? Not sure you can even put a puddle of lamp oil on fire in any simple way.

It's not gasoline, or even ethanol.

this is a fair point, although it makes the idea that dropping a lamp can create a fire questionable too

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30 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Isn't the whole point of lamp oil that it will only burn through the use of a wick? Not sure you can even put a puddle of lamp oil on fire in any simple way.

It's not gasoline, or even ethanol.

As many cooks have found out, cooking oil can be lit on fire quite easily.

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8 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

- 20th century Molotov cocktails themselves are easily over-rated.  Actually a clever  weapon of desperation, and not really likely to destroy a tank: the successes appear to have been because of their novelty, smoke sucked in by engine fans fooling the inexperienced crews into thinking they were on fire and so bailing out.  Much smaller effective bursting radius than a grenade, so against personnel you're really throwing water balloons only with oil.  A clay jar used in that manner will likely bounce off a man and break on the floor nearby. And the more flammable your liquid, the more dangerous it is to light if you use the rag- in- bottle type of ignition.   If they are the white phosphorus ignition type, they are dangerous to carry (and WP is definitely nor bronze age chemistry.).   If Molotov cocktails were so great then why would the Soviets have gone on to invent shaped charge antitank grenades in WWII, which are also recognizable as weapons of desperation? 

Molotov cocktails were efficient when used from above, because WW2 tanks were not sealed, and burning liquids went inside the vehicle, which itself was full of oil, gasoline vapors and explosives. The heat in itself was sometime sufficient to ignite the shells or their propellant. But of course, it is using flammable products not available in bronze, or even iron age, not speaking of those built by Frederic Joliot-Curie as can be seen in 'Is Paris burning' movie: a chemistry nobel prize with access to one of the worlds most advanced lab, he made truly efficient homemade weapons.

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