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  • Barrel of black powder

    So, in short, one of my PCs stole a barrel of black powder and seems intent on using it to explode in the mansion of his enemy, a powerful mage with Entropy 5. He discovered the location of his nemesis house through a NPC who spied for him and told him, then for a reason he thought it would be a good idea to explode the place lol . First of all, the game is in the 1500s and, in any case, I think the idea is stupid to begin with. So, as I'm not an expert in explosives, I'd like to ask you three things:

    1- How much damage and destruction could a barrel of black powder cause in your opinion?

    2- How would you react if you were a powerful mage and knew someone was thinking it would be a good idea to "explode your house" in such a fancy way?

    3- What do you think of the whole idea (I assume, I literally almost chuckled when he told me he wanted to do that)? Am I the only one to think it's one of the worst ways to deal with the mage he wants to kill?

  • #2
    I've been thinking 10 aggravated dmg is a good amount of damage. I'm probably going to make it explode in his face, lol...I can't find a way to not make him suffer from such a terrible idea...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
      ‚Äč1- How much damage and destruction could a barrel of black powder cause in your opinion?
      I checked Myth Busters and couldn't find any demonstration of a powder keg explosion. An iPhone in what looks like a plexiglass box of black powder survives the explosion (YouTube add revenue must be worth it). Wikipedia says that such kegs were designed to limit damage from explosions. The destructive power of an explosive is affected by the material it is encased in. Soft materials do not resists the pressure of the explosion as much. When the pressure easily overwhelms the strength of the casing, the pressure has less time to build up as the fuel and oxygen react. A paper bag full of gunpowder would cause an incendiary explosion without much pressure. A wooden barrel would be a bit more destructive, with the metal strapping acting as shrapnel. A fully metallic casing change the outcome significantly.

      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
      2- How would you react if you were a powerful mage and knew someone was thinking it would be a good idea to "explode your house" in such a fancy way?
      If I were an Entropy Master, I would curse the person so that their body was all warped and useless. Then, I would take their sanity, leaving them incapable of suicide by any means. Finally, I would tell everyone in local Mage Society that this is what happens to anyone who tries to mess with my abode.

      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
      3- What do you think of the whole idea (I assume, I literally almost chuckled when he told me he wanted to do that)? Am I the only one to think it's one of the worst ways to deal with the mage he wants to kill?
      It is actually not a terrible plan, considering the power of the mansion owner. The player wants to avoid direct contact with someone who could so punish them. A delayed or timed explosion is a reasonable solution, considering who he's up against.

      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
      I've been thinking 10 aggravated dmg is a good amount of damage. I'm probably going to make it explode in his face, lol...I can't find a way to not make him suffer from such a terrible idea...
      I wouldn't kill their character, if it's a choice. They might be wondering what else they could have done against such a foe and feel that their character didn't have a chance. The mansion owner could simply use Entropy to cause the PC to be caught by local authorities. If the player didn't want to be arrested, they might be forced to use the keg on the police, risking becoming an outlaw. If they surrender, then getting out of jail is a follow-up adventure. Story continuity is better than character death.


      Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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      • #4
        Is he getting an actual barrel - I want to say around 100 lbs of gunpowder IIRC - or something smaller like a half-barrel or a keg?

        Not sure how big said house is, but if its a Master mage, the thing is likely warded, protected with Entropy-based curses, and what not.

        Depending on where the game takes place, it probably wouldn't be all that difficult to convince the authorities that some random guy running around with a hundred pounds of gunpowder is a potential traitor or assassin plotting to murder or overthrow the local baron, duke, archbishop, or whatever.


        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post

          I checked Myth Busters and couldn't find any demonstration of a powder keg explosion. An iPhone in what looks like a plexiglass box of black powder survives the explosion (YouTube add revenue must be worth it). Wikipedia says that such kegs were designed to limit damage from explosions. The destructive power of an explosive is affected by the material it is encased in. Soft materials do not resists the pressure of the explosion as much. When the pressure easily overwhelms the strength of the casing, the pressure has less time to build up as the fuel and oxygen react. A paper bag full of gunpowder would cause an incendiary explosion without much pressure. A wooden barrel would be a bit more destructive, with the metal strapping acting as shrapnel. A fully metallic casing change the outcome significantly.



          If I were an Entropy Master, I would curse the person so that their body was all warped and useless. Then, I would take their sanity, leaving them incapable of suicide by any means. Finally, I would tell everyone in local Mage Society that this is what happens to anyone who tries to mess with my abode.



          It is actually not a terrible plan, considering the power of the mansion owner. The player wants to avoid direct contact with someone who could so punish them. A delayed or timed explosion is a reasonable solution, considering who he's up against.



          I wouldn't kill their character, if it's a choice. They might be wondering what else they could have done against such a foe and feel that their character didn't have a chance. The mansion owner could simply use Entropy to cause the PC to be caught by local authorities. If the player didn't want to be arrested, they might be forced to use the keg on the police, risking becoming an outlaw. If they surrender, then getting out of jail is a follow-up adventure. Story continuity is better than character death.
          First of all, thanks for the research lol. It seems a wood barrel wouldn't be able to blow up a whole house (and on a side note, iPhones are very resistant indeed, then lol)

          I also don't want to kill the character (even though he kinda deserves lol), the explosion won't kill him. The thing is, they are in the 1500s and it's a small village isolated from most urban centers and the house the mage NPC is in, is even farther in the countryside, away from everything, so the authorities don't offer much of a threat to him and also the mage is a nephandi (so he probably wouldn't bother making the PC to go to jail, he would probably want to get rid of him in a nastier way).

          I'm a very experienced ST, but sometimes I like to see the way others see a situation (even more so, when I see a player has done something VERY UNUSUAL) and just love to discuss ST things, that's one of the main reasons I like to come here to the forums. I'm basically looking for ideas, I don't want to go too conventional on the situation. In any case, even if the character is killed, the story will go on. The group's main problem is that the villain is aware they are hunting him.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
            Is he getting an actual barrel - I want to say around 100 lbs of gunpowder IIRC - or something smaller like a half-barrel or a keg?

            Not sure how big said house is, but if its a Master mage, the thing is likely warded, protected with Entropy-based curses, and what not.

            Depending on where the game takes place, it probably wouldn't be all that difficult to convince the authorities that some random guy running around with a hundred pounds of gunpowder is a potential traitor or assassin plotting to murder or overthrow the local baron, duke, archbishop, or whatever.

            The problem with the authorities is again the fact that the village they're in is very isolated, and the character is acting at night, i.e. not being seem by common folk, etc. The house is a mansion, located in an farm, distant from the village center, so it probably wouldn't be completely blown up by a barrel of powder.

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            • #7
              Since he's Nephandi, one trick could be to throw a debutant ball, scheduled for the day of the explosion, hiring carriages (or ferries if it's coastal) to bring the young women over. He could perform a virgin sacrifice ritual in advance, let his mansion be exploded, fake his death and frame the PC's Cabal as Nephandi.


              Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
                Since he's Nephandi, one trick could be to throw a debutant ball, scheduled for the day of the explosion, hiring carriages (or ferries if it's coastal) to bring the young women over. He could perform a virgin sacrifice ritual in advance, let his mansion be exploded, fake his death and frame the PC's Cabal as Nephandi.

                That sounds very interesting hahaha (evil laugh)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                  Is he getting an actual barrel - I want to say around 100 lbs of gunpowder IIRC - or something smaller like a half-barrel or a keg?

                  Not sure how big said house is, but if its a Master mage, the thing is likely warded, protected with Entropy-based curses, and what not.

                  Depending on where the game takes place, it probably wouldn't be all that difficult to convince the authorities that some random guy running around with a hundred pounds of gunpowder is a potential traitor or assassin plotting to murder or overthrow the local baron, duke, archbishop, or whatever.
                  This is the one question that needs answering to start since it will determine how much *boom* you can get. Black Powder is a low explosive so its not as good as TNT (nor as gunpowder) but it can still be effective. The 'relative effectiveness factor' (effectiveness of a explosive relative to TNT) for Black powder listed on Wikipedia is listed as 0.55 REF but it could vary (black powder IIRC had about 1/3 the energy of smokeless powder, for example)

                  REF isn't a perfect indicator but like if you had a 100 kg barrel (And most of that was black powder, say 80% of the weight is the powder) it might be equal to 20 kilos of TNT. Depending on where it goes of and who is nearby there would be some blast and heat (although the blast is probably not as serious as you'd think) and more likely secondary splinters propelled from the barrel (The real danger here, likely.)

                  Beyond that I'd probably struggle to work out some 'equivalence' without doing math but I'm pretty sure one supplement or another (Chronicles if not WoD) has some way to work out the 'damage' done by a given quantity of TNT. So if you know what a given mass of black powder is roughly equivalent to in TNT terms, you shoudl be able to figure out the damage.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
                    Since he's Nephandi, one trick could be to throw a debutant ball, scheduled for the day of the explosion, hiring carriages (or ferries if it's coastal) to bring the young women over. He could perform a virgin sacrifice ritual in advance, let his mansion be exploded, fake his death and frame the PC's Cabal as Nephandi.

                    Funny tangent. The "Virgin" requirement of sacrifices is a misunderstanding of hermetic texts which required a sacrifice not be used in another ritual(demons don't actually care about your sex-life), but because victorian era english were a Very repressed people, the Other definition is the one they latched onto and popularized.

                    Infernalists have been making their own lives harder for Years because of a misunderstanding.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks people, but it has already been "solved". I feel the need to add though that this sub forum is so much more helpful than the Vampire one lol, I'm asking there for a decade now for people to come up with their homebrew discipline powers and techniques (because I'm very short on time lately and my players keep asking me to create new powers etc), but not a single soul came to help me, while here I asked about a strange and specific situation and many people came to help, not only here, but also through pms, I received a lot of pms for alternative ways to go in the situation. Thank you very much folks!

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