[Announcement] Canning the Cannon Canon

Ced

Mountain Bum
Retired Staff
#1
Hey folks, controversial announcement incoming-

We're adding a rule for black powder weaponry because we feel as a whole that trebuchets, ballistae and catapults are more the sort of aesthetic we'd like to have on the server. We're not just outright banning cannons, don't worry, but at the moment they're a little too convenient/safe to use and really, why would you make one of the three alternatives when a cannon is so powerful? A perhaps ham-fisted comparison is that it would be like allowing new characters to start off with steel plate armour. It should be noted that if your character doesn't know how to create black powder equipment, these new rules do not replace the experiment mechanic (sending in what your character does to the lore team and getting a response back for the sake of self-teaching and skill progression).

All black powder weaponry (cannons, bombs, fire-rockets etc) now comes with a roll system. When your character attempts to use this equipment, you roll a d20 and the results are:

1-4: an explosion centered around the launcher proportional to the amount of powder used and also subject to the effects of rolling 5-8. Specifically, this means the equipment detonates before launch.
5-8: launcher breaks in a way that requires extensive, long-term repairs (unusable for the rest of the OOC day).
9-12: a dud-shot, requires cleaning out and reloading (in the case of explosives, the bomb just doesn't go off and needs re-ignition).
13-20: the machine/weapon works as intended. This doesn't replace any rolls needed for aiming.

Another restriction that is effective as of this announcement is that cannons can no longer be wished into existence. Consider the plate armour comparison from before. If you want to acquire cannons you must first either build them or buy them. This involves RP contact with a faction, town or forge that is capable of creating cannons (such as Blackstone's cannon-works) and organising a commission. You can also, if you own a forge equipped and manned well enough to justify it, create your own.

Honestly if the entire server cries out in anguish and raises a shit storm we may revoke this as at the end of the day we want you guys to have fun, but we feel like this will lessen the incentive for building Victorian battleships and lining the walls of keeps and castles with what is essentially a very large gun. If you have any ideas on how to further improve this system or if you have a complaint about this announcement give me a PM because I'd love any input for brainstorming improvements to the server.
Thanks!
Hrmn. Alright, read most of this with a 'fair enough' expression, let's see what we can do. It's probably my fault naming the thread like I did, but the rules include all other gunpowder based weaponry, not just cannons. Hence the use of the word launcher, Polo. I didn't mean to put you in such a tizz, but I was referring to anything used to launch projectiles, such as the hand of a person. The rules are not exclusive to cannons, but were designed to encompass them.

I'm up for editing these rules to suit the community, so what would be helpful is if people continue saying what they like/don't like in this thread. I'm getting a general vibe of "having a roll system is acceptable but the brackets are bonkers" from the folk that have commented so far. If you're a part of the silent majority and don't fly with this, please speak up so that we don't just end up with a new set of rules and a new set of people unhappy with them.

On rolling: while I'm against rolling for combat RP in general, for black powder weapons (including cannons) the roll is there to 1. represent the danger of black powder and to (perhaps clumsily) factor in the operator's chance of fumbling the process of operating the engine and 2. to nerf their effectiveness in-game. In this case I find a roll reasonable because personal attributes don't play as big a part as they do in skill-based acts. If a DM is present, it's up to them to add modifiers to the roll as they see fit.

On the brackets: hokay, 20% chance to blow up is a little hardcore. The "proportional to the amount of powder used" bit was supposed to limit the failure's effect with cannons and mostly screw over people trying to throw hand-grenades or use fire rockets. For example, 4lb of powder blowing up in your hand = no more hand. 4lb (assuming you're using ~16lb cannon shot, which is on the heavy side afaik, someone correct me if I'm wrong) of powder going wrong in a cannon just means lots of smoke and a broken cannon, depending on its construction, not necessarily death (unless you're unlucky). It means you're better off using less powder with lighter shot.

Anyway, down to what matters. How about this:
1: 5%. An explosion centered around the device proportional to the amount of powder used and also subject to the effects of rolling 2-4. Specifically, this means the powder ignites before launch.
2-4: 15%. Device breaks in a way that requires extensive, long-term repairs or reconstruction (unusable for the rest of the OOC day).
5-10: 30%. A dud-shot, requires re-ignition (DM's discretion on negative effects if applicable).
11-13: 15%. Device works at 50% effect.
14-20: 35%. Device works as intended.

This means that the chance of a catastrophic failure is reduced from 40% to 20%, while the chance of a perfect shot is reduced from 40% to 35%, with the addition of Polo's half-strength detonation making an at least semi-successful operation a 50% chance. What do we think?
 
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Blorbis83

Lord of Altera
#2
Would a scientist creating say, naphtha or Greek Fire be acceptable within reason (i.e Someone having forty dudes with Greek Fire siphons or naphtha pots would be considered unrealistic and OP- but having 5 or so people with them would be ok.)? And would it also be used in the roll system since it's explosive/flammable, but not really gunpowder-based per-say. It's been a question on my mind for a while.
 

ApatheticYank

Legend of Altera
#6
Would a scientist creating say, naphtha or Greek Fire be acceptable within reason (i.e Someone having forty dudes with Greek Fire siphons or naphtha pots would be considered unrealistic and OP- but having 5 or so people with them would be ok.)? And would it also be used in the roll system since it's explosive/flammable, but not really gunpowder-based per-say. It's been a question on my mind for a while.
Considering the actual recipe for greek fire is still unknown...I would think this would be a difficult task. I have considered it in the past hehehe. Though quicklime seems a reasonable alternative...
 

Centurion

Dark Council Elite
#7
Would a scientist creating say, naphtha or Greek Fire be acceptable within reason (i.e Someone having forty dudes with Greek Fire siphons or naphtha pots would be considered unrealistic and OP- but having 5 or so people with them would be ok.)? And would it also be used in the roll system since it's explosive/flammable, but not really gunpowder-based per-say. It's been a question on my mind for a while.
Greek Fire does not exist. This conversation has already happened like five times.
 

Blorbis83

Lord of Altera
#8
Greek Fire does not exist. This conversation has already happened like five times.
I didn't know such things had already been asked. Out of curiosity, why doesn't/can't it exist- if it's a time period issue, then I can say with confidence that it was made before the 14th century. Can we create it, then? Perhaps a mixture of pine resin, quicklime, sulfur and some other flammable substance like naphtha.
 
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Centurion

Dark Council Elite
#10
I didn't know such things had already been asked. Out of curiosity, why doesn't/can't it exist- if it's a time period issue, then I can say with confidence that it was made before the 14th century. Can we create it, then? Perhaps a mixture of pine resin, quicklime, sulfur and some other flammable substance like naphtha.
Because Greek Fire falls into the category of things that remain unwelcome on the server for the potential mentioned overpowered strength. It's obviously not up to me on whether or not this position is reconsidered, but Greek Fire adds nothing to the server but a method by which to win a battle in one fell swoop, regardless of reaction to the effects. On top of this, the most likely faction to first acquire something in the vein of Greek Fire is Anhald, and while for obvious reasons I wouldn't mind this, most of the server would, as it would add another tier of unstoppability to our armies.
 

Cap

Lord of Altera
#12
On top of this, the most likely faction to first acquire something in the vein of Greek Fire is Anhald, and while for obvious reasons I wouldn't mind this, most of the server would, as it would add another tier of unstoppability to our armies.
we've got oil which you can set fire to but i think greek fire is dumb so i'm never gonna ask for it

as for the original post, imho the changes to cannons are fine. medieval cannons were known for being utter shit if they messed up.

only thing i'd suggest is making it 10+ to work, not 13+. 13+ is realistic, but there's a point where it's just unfun to have to beat an impossible DC to use your weapon
 

NIAH

Secretly Elz
Retired Staff
#13
we've got oil which you can set fire to but i think greek fire is dumb so i'm never gonna ask for it

as for the original post, imho the changes to cannons are fine. medieval cannons were known for being utter shit if they messed up.

only thing i'd suggest is making it 10+ to work, not 13+. 13+ is realistic, but there's a point where it's just unfun to have to beat an impossible DC to use your weapon
At which point, if the DC is daunting just to get it to work, just choose a different weapon. I think that was part of the reason of the post, to discourage cannon usage and encourage the other types of siege weapons.
 

Blorbis83

Lord of Altera
#14
Because Greek Fire falls into the category of things that remain unwelcome on the server for the potential mentioned overpowered strength. It's obviously not up to me on whether or not this position is reconsidered, but Greek Fire adds nothing to the server but a method by which to win a battle in one fell swoop, regardless of reaction to the effects. On top of this, the most likely faction to first acquire something in the vein of Greek Fire is Anhald, and while for obvious reasons I wouldn't mind this, most of the server would, as it would add another tier of unstoppability to our armies.

I mentioned this in the first post- of course it's OP- it's why I asked whether it would have to be placed in this roll system. It's so expensive to create that I'm sure a reasonable CRPer would only give them to say, 4 or so guys- though rather that's idealistic. Basically- I think that having cannons, Greek Fire or what have you is ok- and having OP weapons should be allowed, but only with realistic limitations and a way to counter them. For example- Greek Fire can be extinguished with sand and day old urine- or if it's on wood, cover said object in vinegar-soaked rags. The only problem that exists is that people already abuse armor- everyone is a noble and everyone somehow has plate armor- so there is the real criticism that this could happen with any other new, powerful weapon.

Not to mention, Greek Fire would bypass the increasingly overpowered plate armor people tend to have.
 
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Cap

Lord of Altera
#15
At which point, if the DC is daunting just to get it to work, just choose a different weapon. I think that was part of the reason of the post, to discourage cannon usage and encourage the other types of siege weapons.
so this is only using dice to discourage using a weapon in RP instead of for the sake of realism, good to know

realistically every single siege engine should have a DC for breaking, as should any big bows or crossbows
 

ApatheticYank

Legend of Altera
#16
I mentioned this in the first post- of course it's OP- it's why I asked whether it would have to be placed in this roll system. It's so expensive to create that I'm sure a reasonable CRPer would only give them to say, 4 or so guys- though rather that's idealistic.
Key words there being "reasonable crper".
 

Naelwyn

Non sum qualis eram
#17
At which point, if the DC is daunting just to get it to work, just choose a different weapon. I think that was part of the reason of the post, to discourage cannon usage and encourage the other types of siege weapons.
Might as well just have banned them then though.

Not saying I even disagree with that idea, really. I support this decision in general, I think limiting the impact of cannons will have positive effects on ship design and whatnot - I'm just not a fan of the 'Rito games Twitch & Evelyn' style of balancing or discouraging use of something.
 

Jazzper

Actually a cactus
Staff member
Jasper151627237
Jasper151627237
#18
I think it's good at there is a 13+ DC for cannons because currently there's plenty of cannons that were found or whatever.
Medieval cannons easily blew themselves up quite often so it's a realistic thing and they're currently quite OP based on how I've seen them being used.
The one time I used a cannon I set the DC at 15+ anyway :p
 

mokwar

YĆ« Yi
Retired Council Member
#19
On a slightly different note-
Could a system alike be implented for ballistas and etc? :D
For example a specific chance that the string breaks or something ^^