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  • Firedust Grenades

    So I just read the writeup for bats in ex3, and their guano mixed with red jade dust can make firedust grenades. First of all, good job on the fireball reagent nod. Otherwise though, are there stats for firedust grenades anywhere? I recall there was a discussion a while ago about how to balance them, but I don't think there was any good conclusion to that.

  • #2
    I suspect that it had to do more with the original reference for why it was a reagent for the fireball spell, as guano was often used as a source of saltpeter for pre-industrial gunpowder production.

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    • #3
      Oh right...duh.

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      • #4
        Unofficially, someone wrote a martial art for grenades which includes rules for grenades :

        -Grenades are a medium Thrown weapon that cost 4 dots of resource to afford reliably (3 dots in the South)
        -Withering attacks damage everyone in close range of the target. You only get initiative from the primary target, but crashing a secondary target award 1ini. +2 post-soak damage against battlegroups.
        -Decisive attacks split initiative evenly, +2 attack bonus against battlegroups.
        -Botching a grenade toss detonates the grenade on you, causing an environmental hazard within close range of you.
        -Can perform Feats of Demolition up to Strength 5

        So in this write-up they're pretty strong and mostly balanced by their cost and the danger of using them in close quarters.

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        • #5
          Tbh, I'd just make them Heavy Thrown weapons with the flame tag. That's the simplest way.


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          • #6
            The 2E stats are in Scroll of Kings, right?

            I think Firedust Grenades are closer to: Medium weapon, Thrown (Short), Lethal, Flame, Mounted, Special (all characters within Close range of the target lose 1 Initiative which the attacker does not gain (Uniform); Battlegroups don't add Size to Soak and take one additional level of damage on Decisive attacks), Balanced.
            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 08-29-2019, 06:00 AM.


            Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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            • #7
              I think I’d go for having them be a gambit that makes a bonfire hazard.

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              • #8
                Didn't the Adversaries of the Righteous write-up for that gang of swamp people with the trained crocodiles include a sidebar on a gambit for using grenades in combat?

                Which is to say, I know that sidebar definitely exists, and its in one of the Adversaries write-ups, was it that one specifically?

                I'm honestly a little bit dubious about alchemy as a Craft and particularly about that recipe for manufacturing firedust, but I can kind of square it if I imagine that jade is difficult enough to acquire under circumstances where you could grind it for extra powder to be used in an ingredient for something like firedust (I imagine it's something you do almost only when there's no recourse for just being the natural stuff), and that alchemy as a rule requires the inclusion of something rare and mystical to get your desired transmutation.

                EDIT: Nope, not about grenades, just generally igniting some explosive material in the vicinity. Dummy.
                Last edited by Isator Levi; 08-28-2019, 07:47 PM.


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                • #9
                  Hmmm yeah this is a tough one. Considering the only real cost to them is either money or being/having access to an alchemist in the party I'm not sure I feel totally comfortable giving them an AoE attack. I think that as a mortal game or something like that you could get away with it, but once charms start getting involved it might get out of control. For one they combo with any simple type charm, so Thousand Razor Wind becomes a charm that lets you throw out 5-7 AoE attacks in a single action.

                  Making it a medium/heavy weapon that unlocks a special gambit though would be a lot easier to balance. Maybe like difficulty 3-4 for a one time bonfire? That's still pretty good considering heavy ranged weapons are strictly better than lighter ones, not counting tags.

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                  • #10
                    I agree that a half-dozen AoEs would break things, but making grenades into a single target weapon feels like removing a vital element of flavor for the sake of balance. Some ideas :

                    A) the simplest, laziest fix : grenades cannot do withering attacks.

                    B) death of mortals fix : grenades deal their AoE with a hazard roll (the hazard from a Withering Attack could lower ini by a fixed amount instead of damaging health). So mortals still get chewed alive by the AoE but exalts can laugh off all these easy hazard rolls. This is the fix I favor myself.

                    C) limited scaling fix : add a rule that grenade AoE doesn't stack within the same Tick. So in the 7 attacks scenario you could land 7 attacks but the AoE of all combined attacks would not hit each enemy more than once. Unless fighting like 12 distinct combatants it should prevent things from getting out of control. If needed can also add that an enemy hit by a direct hit cannot take AoE damage from the other grenades in the same attack.
                    Last edited by Epitome; 08-28-2019, 10:40 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Epitome View Post
                      B) death of mortals fix : grenades deal their AoE with a hazard roll (the hazard from a Withering Attack could lower ini by a fixed amount instead of damaging health). So mortals still get chewed alive by the AoE but exalts can laugh off all these easy hazard rolls. This is the fix I favor myself.
                      A solution something like that is probably the best, since most of the crazy insane BS you can do comes from mixing charms into the thing, and not a lot of charms enhance a secondary hazard effect on your attacks. It also gets around the idea that you're blanketing a huge number of onslaugtht penalties on multiple targets.

                      The multiattack thing still kind of gets me though if it lets you template down a half dozen area hazards in a single action. I'm trying really hard to make my games not devolve into meaningless a backdrop of non-exalts against the only things in the setting that ever matter which are exalts. Even then while a lot of exalts do have resistance excellencies, not all do, and even the ones that have them don't want to be spending 15 motes in a single defense. If the difficulty was only 1-2 that might be okay, although it might get a bit tedious to roll those out all the time, but if you start getting into the 4-5 range even dedicated exalts don't have a good chance of making all five saves.

                      Maybe combined with the limited scaling it could work, like it applies a one-time hazard regardless of how many attacks you make with it. It would still be really powerful but balanced with more frequent ammunition checks I think it could work.

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                      • #12
                        What if the splash only dealt 1 Initiative damage (automatically, not rolled) which the attacker didn't gain? That'd cut back rolls, and if you're blowing motes and one-use grenades to attack seven times AND your foes are standing within Close of each other AND at Short from you, then you deserve to do 7i to them all.


                        Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                          What if the splash only dealt 1 Initiative damage (automatically, not rolled) which the attacker didn't gain? That'd cut back rolls, and if you're blowing motes and one-use grenades to attack seven times AND your foes are standing within Close of each other AND at Short from you, then you deserve to do 7i to them all.
                          Yeah I think that would work. You’re probably only carrying enough grenades to do that once, it hits your allies so you won’t be doing it all the time, it doesn’t interact with most charms, and it doesn’t have a huge amount of rolling. There are times when you’d want it, but it doesn’t turn every non-grenade option into a trap either. I’d still have to make some case by case rulings, no Persistent Hornet Attack for example.

                          It’s not insurmountable the other way either. If my players encounter somebody like that I don’t have to tell everyone without 8 dice to their hazard resistance roll and an excellency to hand over their character sheet as they’re blown to pieces by a half dozen simultaneous bonfires.


                          The only other way I can see it working in a way that keeps the feel of a grenade is if you don’t treat it like a weapon at all. No attack roll, just a combat action to use the grenade and it creates a one time hazard at short range, maybe weaker than a bonfire but they also suffer an onslaught penalty as though they’d been attacked. It’s still really useful in that case, you’re getting a moteless ranged AoE attack that does direct decisive damage. That puts them about on par with poisons, which are also monetarily expensive single use items.

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