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Acid explanation


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I don't believe it does.

This simplest way is brutal: damage done by acid simply destroys everything physical.  4 points of acid damage on 6 point armor turns it to 2 point armor. 

More realistically, even for the nastiest acid, there's a time factor - maybe it will burn 1 point PER ROUND until it reaches 4 points.  That gives victims a chance to throw water on it, etc to mitigate the damage.

I've seen some people make a resist roll out of it for that result, ie that 4 point acid has a 40% chance to do 1 point of damage to armor.  If it's not stopped by armor, it does the remaining POT (after armor mitigation) to skin.  Some rule it as ongoing damage until diluted/neutralized.

There might even be magical acids that do nothing to physical object, but burn through magical protections and (when they hit a living creature) MP the same way.  :)

 

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5 hours ago, styopa said:

I don't believe it does.

This simplest way is brutal: damage done by acid simply destroys everything physical.  4 points of acid damage on 6 point armor turns it to 2 point armor. 

More realistically, even for the nastiest acid, there's a time factor - maybe it will burn 1 point PER ROUND until it reaches 4 points.  That gives victims a chance to throw water on it, etc to mitigate the damage.

I've seen some people make a resist roll out of it for that result, ie that 4 point acid has a 40% chance to do 1 point of damage to armor.  If it's not stopped by armor, it does the remaining POT (after armor mitigation) to skin.  Some rule it as ongoing damage until diluted/neutralized.

There might even be magical acids that do nothing to physical object, but burn through magical protections and (when they hit a living creature) MP the same way.  :)

 

From a chemist's perspective, what you describe is a magical acid.

The worst reaction to an acid I have seen was the interaction of human tissue with hot (hotter than boiling water) concentrated sulfuric or phosphoric acid, which will burn off the tissue like you see in horror flicks. It does so by removing all water in the cells, which get destroyed in the process and leave some of the ugliest scar tissue you may see. Using cold concentrated acid is a bit more insidious - it will heat up dramatically when you remove it with too little water, and react more slowly with the cells, prolonging the pain and leaving bad wounds behind.

Interaction with a solid piece of metal is disappointing - the acid will etch the surface, opening avenues for subsequent corrosion. After several minutes of interaction, the metal might begin to weaken.

But then consider - how much will the armor keep you and the underside dry? When the acid reaches the straps of the armor, it can do real structural damage.

Linen and cotton get brittle upon contact with concentrated sulfuric acid. The fun fact here is that even after you wash out the offending acid, the decay of the fabric will continue. I had lab-coats that disintegrated after a few washes.

The bad stuff starts happening when the acid intrudes between your skin and your armor. The skin will be attacked, and the armor will chafe away affected skin tissue.

Then there are more and less vulnerable tissues. Eyes are the most vulnerable, and will react badly even to weak acids. Open wounds are as bad. On the other hand, the insides of a working person's hand will show hardly any reaction to anything but the strongest acids, which is insidious in itself as you are more likely to smear acid onto more vulnerable surfaces of your body or your textiles.

 

Realistically, most acid (and bleach) damage accrues a lot more slowly than by melee rounds. If you want a realistic in melee effect, require the POT to overcome AP of an item or CON to start doing damage.

I would more or less ignore location AP on a hit with acid. Rather than the AP, the surface coverage counts, and whether the surface can soak up that acid.

 

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8 hours ago, styopa said:

This simplest way is brutal: damage done by acid simply destroys everything physical.  4 points of acid damage on 6 point armor turns it to 2 point armor. 

I think this was the rule in RQ3 but yes, it’s brutal. And my players tend to dislike when I destroy their expensive equipment ;)

Thanks Joerg for this non-magical explanation !

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10 hours ago, Joerg said:

From a chemist's perspective, what you describe is a magical acid.

 

Great explanation of the realistic consequences of acid, certainly. 

Absolutely I recognize this isn't real-world acid behavior, but we're also postulating creatures that spit/spray/exude/excrete acid as part of their offensive/defensive arsenal.  Acid - as it acts in the real world - is nearly pointless in this role.  I believe the only animal that actively uses acid in any way like this would be ants (formic acid, which is more or less a low-grade toxin more than an acid unless at really high concentrations).  In most other cases, it's more like a capsaicin-like reaction than anything.

"That horrifying black dragon lurches into view, inhales and spits ...something that's really not that much different from water.  You're almost entirely unbothered by it, it might make your eyes sting a little if you had them open...." - not particularly fearsome, IMO.

Of course, what "RPG monster" acid is like is more imagined to be akin to Alien(1979) blood:

mQKOgp.gif

Finally, in a game-mechanic sense it's useful to have something that is particularly damaging to equipment.  (Without resorting to the even-more-kludgier Rust Monster...)

 

7 hours ago, Valeren said:

I just saw there was a topic for this kind of questions. I asked there, sorry for flooding.

Why apologize?  It was a good question, and I think the discussion is interesting.  

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51 minutes ago, styopa said:

Of curse, what "RPG monster" acid is like is more imagined to be akin to Alien(1979) blood:

Yeah. The same with most RPG poison too. In real life few poisons make someone drop dead instantly, and most that do either weren't around back in the days of swords and armor, or were difficult to impossible to get that high a dosage into the victim.  

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1 hour ago, styopa said:

Great explanation of the realistic consequences of acid, certainly. 

Absolutely I recognize this isn't real-world acid behavior, but we're also postulating creatures that spit/spray/exude/excrete acid as part of their offensive/defensive arsenal.  Acid - as it acts in the real world - is nearly pointless in this role.  I believe the only animal that actively uses acid in any way like this would be ants (formic acid, which is more or less a low-grade toxin more than an acid unless at really high concentrations).  In most other cases, it's more like a capsaicin-like reaction than anything.

"That horrifying black dragon lurches into view, inhales and spits ...something that's really not that much different from water.  You're almost entirely unbothered by it, it might make your eyes sting a little if you had them open...." - not particularly fearsome, IMO.

Of course, what "RPG monster" acid is like is more imagined to be akin to Alien(1979) blood:

mQKOgp.gif

Finally, in a game-mechanic sense it's useful to have something that is particularly damaging to equipment.  (Without resorting to the even-more-kludgier Rust Monster...)

 

Why apologize?  It was a good question, and I think the discussion is interesting.  

I agree, don't apologize. In fact, I've been thinking recently tha TOO many people have been answering questions on the core rules questions thread. I thought it was intended for official Chaosium answers. With people other than Jason, Jeff, and Rick answering, it becomes harder to figure out the "official" answer. Having a separate thread for a rule discussion is a Good Thing.

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2 hours ago, styopa said:

Great explanation of the realistic consequences of acid, certainly. 

Absolutely I recognize this isn't real-world acid behavior, but we're also postulating creatures that spit/spray/exude/excrete acid as part of their offensive/defensive arsenal.  Acid - as it acts in the real world - is nearly pointless in this role.  I believe the only animal that actively uses acid in any way like this would be ants (formic acid, which is more or less a low-grade toxin more than an acid unless at really high concentrations).  In most other cases, it's more like a capsaicin-like reaction than anything.

There's nothing to stop you from having beasties spraying your characters with pepper spray.

Yes, acid is not exactly pointless, but a lot less fast-acting. Neurotoxins are much more fun, which is why nature is so generous in deploying them.

The Komodo dragon spittle with its fatal but slow-acting mix of venom and micro-biome is particularly gruesome. (Broosome?)

Apart from ants, lots of nettles use formic or acetic acid, too - the trick is to combine the acid with subcutaneous injection. But, when you're at it, neurotoxins or highly active digestive enzymes delivered that way are what makes Australian wildlife so interesting.

RQ being a game aiming at gritty realism, non-magical acid should act normal.

2 hours ago, styopa said:

"That horrifying black dragon lurches into view, inhales and spits ...something that's really not that much different from water.  You're almost entirely unbothered by it, it might make your eyes sting a little if you had them open...." - not particularly fearsome, IMO.

Yeah. I never understood why dragons - beasts of fire - would spit acid anyway. Leave that to ants and similar. (And don't start color-coding dragons, either...)

 

2 hours ago, styopa said:

Of course, what "RPG monster" acid is like is more imagined to be akin to Alien(1979) blood:

Yeah, that utter bollocks. Doesn't even seem to obey the conservation of matter...

Only the most potent Gorp might be able to dissolve reality. Even illusion takes longer to disappear...

 

2 hours ago, styopa said:

Finally, in a game-mechanic sense it's useful to have something that is particularly damaging to equipment.  (Without resorting to the even-more-kludgier Rust Monster...)

Actually, I prefer the rust monster or similar magical corruption. Some "Tap metal" sorcery.

Name it "essence of corruption" or "spirit of disintegration" if you want to turn metal plating into lacework. Possibly brought to you by some weirdly openhanded Nidan dwarf.

And yes, @Valeren, good thing you aired this question here where we are free to give our opinions.

 

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47 minutes ago, drablak said:

Personally I think that RQ is aiming to be what bronze-age people believed to be true, not realist. A flat-earth is the first clue ;) 

In that case, the term "acid" is quite out of place, as bronze-age people had no systematic notion of acidity. They knew sourness, of course, which is similar in taste (and which coincides with the term acid in my native language). Strong acids would be known as vitriols, weaker acids probably as vinegars. Alien-type disintegration droplets would get their own names as there would be noone desperate or crazy enough to taste them.

People would know etching of metal surfaces. They would also know all manner of tissue dissolving agents from tanning which, made into natural weapons, would melt the exposed flesh off the bones.

The flat earth of Glorantha is an observable fact. Round Earth theories like those spouted by MOB's fictional character Columbus Mercator are weird belief systems.

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14 hours ago, Valeren said:

I think this was the rule in RQ3 but yes, it’s brutal

Some magical acid was even worst as it just destroy the SIZ of the target : Meaning a 3Pts acid damage on your body just destroy 3Pts of SIZ O_o

In term of physics and RPG, The best way to describe acid and others corrosive substance is something between fire and poison. Mainly because an acid really burn you like fire AND the damage are really similar but just a bit slower to take effect like some poison).

The simplest way to rules it : Rapid action acid => Fire Damage / Slower and nastier one => Poison rule.

14 hours ago, Valeren said:

And my players tend to dislike when I destroy their expensive equipment ;)

Just tell them : If the don't want to lose it, just don't use it :p

The more you pc complain, the better (as GM) you are... and for any GM this is the best compliment you can get (Complain ~> Compliment ^_- )

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Our RQ2 Players prayed for criticals when being sprayed with acid, just so it would ignore their nice shiny iron armour and just burn their flesh a bit.

LOL! What did  your RQ3 players do? Taken off thier armor and put up Protection?  Armor was much more expensive in RQ3.

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