Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

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Tenacious-Techhunter
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Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby Tenacious-Techhunter » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:14 am

Players and GMs often have to talk about not one explosive, but multiple explosives; how much plastic explosive to use to breach that door or blow that wall, how much is needed for a larger blast radius, and what happens if that pile of missiles is set off, instead of just one.

Blast radius increases by the square root of either the volume, mass, or number of explosive devices (as convenient); explosives constrained to two dimensional expansion by impervious structure have a blast radius that increases by the cubed root of the square of the volume, mass, or number of explosive; explosives constrained to one dimensional expansion by impervious structure has a blast radius that increases linearly with the volume, mass, or number of explosive. How the damage increases is a bit system-dependent, and not clear from the base rules.
chiron0224
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Re: Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby chiron0224 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:05 pm

While you are correct about the real life physics of explosives it's important to stop and think "will this be fun to have to figure out in game?". The MegaTraveller core book has a calculus equation in it and my friends still say things like "MegaTraveller, isn't that the one with actual calculus in the rule book? Good thing we play Mongoose"
steve98052
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Re: Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby steve98052 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:46 am

chiron0224 wrote:While you are correct about the real life physics of explosives it's important to stop and think "will this be fun to have to figure out in game?". The MegaTraveller core book has a calculus equation in it and my friends still say things like "MegaTraveller, isn't that the one with actual calculus in the rule book? Good thing we play Mongoose"
There's actual calculus? Can you point out where it is? I don't recall seeing that.

Also, I can't see science fiction gamers having a problem with low-level arithmetic like squares or cubes -- particularly if most of it is built into an equipment list where a 4 kg demolition pack wrecks stuff with a blast radius double that of a 1 kg explosive.
chiron0224
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Re: Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby chiron0224 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:30 pm

My bad, it wasn't calculus. It did still have complicated equations for determining travel times within a system.

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Tenacious-Techhunter
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Re: Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby Tenacious-Techhunter » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:36 pm

Is it fun to have players and GMs get in a big argument over what the result of multiplied explosives should be? No; that's why it has to be in the rules. It's important for GMs and Players to be given realistic expectations of how things are going to happen when you multiply an effect; particularly with explosives.
Meeko100
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Re: Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby Meeko100 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:52 pm

Because everyone has that explosive technician in their group, calling the GM out when he says the explosion was 20 meters, when it should be 40 meters...

Seriously, its kinda a small point. Big boom equals big boom. Unless we want to be determining the blast radius for nuclear weapons, its not too much a issue. I mean, the effects of a bomb planted in the Solomani Secretariat, should for example, not be calculated. The power of that big bomb you threw on the Zhodani Escort Cruiser as you fell back into atmo isn't that big a deal. Was it enough to do what you wanted to do (i.e. damage/destroy that cruiser, or kill the entire 87th floor) is really the question that should be asked when dealing with large quantities of explosives, and that should be left to the GM's decision as to how well that worked out.

Giant bombs are just as much plot points as weapons, and should probably be handled that way. A example of blast damage should be in the book for how dead someone getting blown up would be, but rules to determine the size of the explosion seem unnecessary.

"I want to make a bomb big enough to crack the space port in two"
"Well you may want a really big bomb...100 kg I suppose."

The blast size determines the amount needed, unless people are playing handgrenade with sticks of C4.
Tenacious-Techhunter
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Re: Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby Tenacious-Techhunter » Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:53 pm

But what if the required explosive power would have a blast radius so large as to kill innocent nearby civilians? Shouldn't the GM and the Players have a means to know that?

Everyone at the table should have the means to know that, while setting off 3 of the missiles in that stack over there would do the job, setting off all 6 would be catastrophic.

GMs can always fiat that bombs are a plot device. But when they are a known quantity, they can be a puzzle element!

Code: Select all

 Supposed Leader: "Why don't we just blow up that whole stack of bombs over there? That should destroy it, right?"

Bomb Nut Wannabe: "Well [i]yeah[/i], but us and a whole bunch of people would go up with it..."

Supposed Leader: "Oh... that would suck... and one is too small, right? So how many do we need?"

Bomb Nut Wannabe Rolls a Skill... : "At least 3, probably not 4... I'm going with 3, to stay on the safe side, unless we can space 4 out somehow."

Supposed Leader: "Not enough room, if we don't want to set the other 2 off; but we can put the extras in that power reactor core, I think..."

Bomb Nut Wannabe Rolls a Skill... : "Yeah... yeah... that should work... let's do this thing!"

Victory Explosion rocks the Docking Bay
And besides; when a player plans for one conceptual context, and then gets the other, their whole plan, session, and day, might well be ruined. Better to guarantee that everyone is on the same page from the get-go.
Meeko100
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Re: Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby Meeko100 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:51 pm

Hmm. I can see the point.

It still smells of unnecessary math in my head though...


Hmm. So a missile with a blast radius of 5m exploding next to another would explode with a radius of 25m? Hmm. Maybe I've watched way too many Hollywood action flicks, but it feels wrong in my head.

It should be noted in the sidebar of the page with the explosives stats, and maybe expanded in the compedum. With various different sets for how much boom the campaign would call for, like a cinematic set that has massive amounts of explosives be ridiculously explosive, but small amounts impotent, and the like.

That actually could be expanded further, with one damage style set being with all armor halved, for when your scruffy smuggler has to escape from the nameless space WMD. But that could be its own topic...


But yes, I see point.



EDIT- I just say point on puzzle element. That makes me very happy that it could come up like that. I can now imagine some folks going into a ancient ruin (maybe after a corsair band has killed the research crew) and finding a brick (or superdense) wall right in the way, so they'd have to figure out how to remove the wall without blasting themselves. As a puzzle, that would be neat.

That brings me to myfriend who made a D&D puzzle which needed the guys to think about steam pressure in order to get a door to open, and had to allocate steam to different smaller pipes from the main to open the door. Everyone died then. :mrgreen:. But damn if it isn't a neat puzzle!

Excuse that off topic smear...
Tenacious-Techhunter
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Re: Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby Tenacious-Techhunter » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:35 am

4 missiles would double the radius in open air. The power squares; the effect depends on how the volume of the explosion is constrained. Radius and damage starts going up quickly in a tunnel. I omitted damage increase because I'm not sure by what function damage is supposed to scale in Traveller, exactly.

Off-topic excused on entertainment value grounds. :)
Meeko100
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Re: Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby Meeko100 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:06 am

Ok. So the amount of explosive must be squared to get the desired radius. Ok. That makes me a little less leery of this. Unless i'm wrong again.

I always had figured that explosions in tunnels just expand further down the tunnel until it runs out of energy. A lot of action movies would have been a lot more boring if it wasn't. So would a lot of mine tunnel collapses, but besides the point.
Tenacious-Techhunter
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Re: Rules should reflect that explosive power SQUARES!

Postby Tenacious-Techhunter » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:12 am

Meeko100 wrote:Ok. So the amount of explosive must be squared to get the desired radius. Ok. That makes me a little less leery of this. Unless i'm wrong again.

I always had figured that explosions in tunnels just expand further down the tunnel until it runs out of energy. A lot of action movies would have been a lot more boring if it wasn't. So would a lot of mine tunnel collapses, but besides the point.
Yes it does; see my first post for how the math changes as the dimensions become constrained. Damage should increase too, but without a solid understanding for how damage in Traveller scales, I can't math that out.

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