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ken-do-nim
2007-04-11, 11:05 AM
I'm going to take a break from my 'fix the game' threads and pose a brain teaser. I'd like this to become a regular, weekly thread (I've got lots more thought up). Basically, when I'm just standing in line at the checkout counter, this is the kind of thing I think about (well, you know, when not thinking about that other thing that consumes 90% of a man's brain). This is basically a nod to the super-hero element of D&D.

What Really Happened:
On December 7, 1941 at 7:55 AM, the Japanese fleet launched a surprise attack on the US naval forces at Pearl Harbor. In total, the Americans suffered 2,896 casualties of which 2,117 were deaths. All together the Japanese sank or severely damaged 18 ships, including the 8 battleships, three light cruisers, and three destroyers. On the airfields the Japanese destroyed 161 American planes and seriously damaged 102. Comparatively, the Japanese lost 29 planes over Oahu, one large submarine (on 10 December), and all five of the midget submarines. Their personnel losses (according to Japanese sources) were 55 airmen, nine crewmen on the midget submarines, and an unknown number on the large submarines. The Japanese carrier task force sailed away undetected and unscathed.

What Can Your D&D Character Do About It?
Now let's say you are a D&D character, sympathetic to the US, living near the naval base. The Japanese fleet has just arrived, and you hear the first explosions. What can you do to stop/mitigate the assault?

The limitations:
Core only
Magic items according to wealth-by-level
28 point buy (though you don't need to get that specific)

The award goes to the person who thinks up the most clever answer using the least amount of character levels and considering the comprehensiveness of the solution.

Okay, I look forward to seeing your creative responses :smallsmile:

Telonius
2007-04-11, 11:45 AM
"Control Weather" would be the most obvious one, but that's high-level and requires advanced knowledge that the Japanese are planning something.

I've thought of one lower-level solution. First of all, you'll probably need two wizards, one Gnome illusionist and one evocation specialist. Wait out the waves of fighters; they're not the real threat, since they're not going kamikaze yet. Have a Gnome cast "Rainbow Pattern" as the bombers approach. 24 HD of Bomber pilots are fascinated, and crash into the ocean. Evocation specialist readies a Fireball to ignite any bombs that make it through, exploding them before they hit. Repeat for each wave of attackers.

Alternate plan: Divination to find out what radio frequency the Japanese are using. Bard with high Bluff check casts Tongues, and completely screws up their battle plans, sending them to attack an area of open ocean (with no ships actually there). Repeat as necessary, until their fuel runs out.

daggaz
2007-04-11, 12:25 PM
Detect thoughts. Hang out near the president and his intelligence liason. Oh, whats that? The Japanese are going to attack, and you are going to let it happen??

What you do about that (and how you prove it to the masses) is a whole nother problem.. Of course, be aware that if successful, you will probably stall the US involvement in the war until it is too late for the rest of the world.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-11, 12:50 PM
You're caught by surprise as well? You're already hearing the first explosions? Seems to me that without some kind of time-manipulation trickery there's not a LOT you're going to be able to do do mitigate this. There aren't too many spells that will stop or deflect large objects like bombs by enough to keep them from doing damage, and the pilots are going to be inside the planes and thus out of line-of-effect for things that target them directly.

Telonius' Rainbow Pattern plan is pretty good, though. You need mass save-or-lose spells vs the pilots, mainly. Hypnotic Pattern has the problem of it's small (10-ft radius) spread which is going to be a problem in general vs the air forces - they will be spread out over a very large area.

Most battlefield-control spells likewise will fail due to their low height. Wall of Force is a contender, as the level 10 wizard who can cast it would be able to make 10-foot walls that are 100 ft. high, and will last for a minute or so. Getting planes to crash into these would be the trick. Unfortunately the spell does specify a vertical wall.

I go for the spells because I really don't see a non-caster class being able to deal with this situation so well. Unless you have a really epic rogue who can hide the fleet or something :smallbiggrin:

An Air Elemental Swarm might do some good with the whirlwind ability, as well.

Also, wasn't there an episode of Freakazoid where he did this?

Sundog
2007-04-11, 12:58 PM
Detect thoughts. Hang out near the president and his intelligence liason. Oh, whats that? The Japanese are going to attack, and you are going to let it happen??

What you do about that (and how you prove it to the masses) is a whole nother problem.. Of course, be aware that if successful, you will probably stall the US involvement in the war until it is too late for the rest of the world.

There's no proof the President knew of the attack. In fact, the evidence regarding it is quite feeble.

You're a first level Bard - go to the Radio Station and start singing. Double the BAB of every 1st level fighter/warrior (i.e. green soldier) on the island within range of a working radio receiver. Every MG gunner, rifleman, and pilot just significantly increased their chance of nailing a Japanese plane...

ken-do-nim
2007-04-11, 01:20 PM
There's no proof the President knew of the attack. In fact, the evidence regarding it is quite feeble.


That's my understanding too.



You're a first level Bard - go to the Radio Station and start singing. Double the BAB of every 1st level fighter/warrior (i.e. green soldier) on the island within range of a working radio receiver. Every MG gunner, rifleman, and pilot just significantly increased their chance of nailing a Japanese plane...

Hilarious! We may have a winner.

My thoughts were much higher level. I agree it is hard to stop the planes, but you can sure as hell make sure they have nowhere to land. Your invisible, water-breathing, enduring elements, protected vs. normal missiles wizard/sorcerer flies out to the Japanese fleet. Swim under the carrier fleet. A few well-placed disintegrate rays should sink those carriers (unless they are just too big and the spell would have no effect?)

But yes, an air elemental swarm with the whirlwind ability should sweep the sailors off the decks.

Another idea is simply to teleport no error to the Imperial Palace in Japan and raise havoc, maybe hold the Emperor hostage until the attack is called off.

The_Werebear
2007-04-11, 01:24 PM
My thought was Scry on the Air Craft Carrier they came from after the first wave, teleport in to magazine, drop a fireball(delayed blast) and port out.

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 01:24 PM
I'm not going to bother thinking of ways to attack the planes. They are moving too fast and the battle covers too much area for D&D spells to have any affect. You could bring down some IJN planes, but not enough (and certainly not fast enough) to save Pearl Harbor.

The best, lowest level thing I can think of requires some real artistry using illusions. Basically, fly out to sea and create an illusion of aircraft carriers. The spell won't make a full sized one, so you basically need to create one in such a way that a close illusion appears to be farther off. Hopefully, this will draw off a big chunk of the attackers since they really wanted to sink the US carriers. Augment this with some sort of suggestion or fake broadcast like Telonius mentioned.

Another approach, albeit a fairly high level one, would be to use scry to find their fleet, cast fly and improved invisibility or whatever they're calling those spells now, cast teleport without error to get there. Once there, use an illusion to make a torpedo wake heading straight for a carrier then use fireball (for flash) and disintigrate or passwall (to make a hole) to simulate the detonation. Rinse and repeat, if possible. havoc. Hopefully that will get the admiral in charge (Nagumo? Can't remember off hand) to decide he's been discovered by American subs so he will call back his planes and head for Japan. Spice it up with an illusion of periscopes in the water near the fleet. For fun, wait until the planes return and get near the stern of the carrier then, when the planes try to land, use a wand to magic missile the pilots as they try to land.

Edit: Then, like sort of like someone else suggested, Teleport without Error to the Imperial Palace, kidnap the emperor and Teleport without Error with him to the White House and deliver him to the President.

Then, some rest and rememorization of spells. Once word comes of the attack on the Phillippines, I'll need to go kick more butt.

Person_Man
2007-04-11, 01:40 PM
Teleport onto the bridge of the Akagi. Cast Dominate Person on Admiral Yamamoto. Have him call off the attack. When the fleet is well on its way back to Japan, Teleport back to Hawaii with the Admiral. Have him tell the Americans everything he knows about the Japanese war preparations. USA wins.

Requires a single 9th level Wizard or Cleric (Travel and Domination domains), or even a low level Rogue or Warlock with scrolls and high enough UMD. A Warlock 4/Marshal 1 with the Motivate Charisma aura should be able to do it quite easily.

Ikkitosen
2007-04-11, 01:41 PM
Some kind of divination to locate the japanese commander, and teleport to get your ass to him. Suggestion to get him to call off the attack.

EDIT: Simu'd!

Telonius
2007-04-11, 02:27 PM
Hmmmm ... now there's an idea. It would probably require a Changeling or a Spymaster, but you could Teleport Without Error into the Imperial Palace, assassinate the Emperor, and stuff the remains into a Bag of Holding. Changeling assumes the identity of the Emperor and calls off the attack. He then declares war on the US using standard diplomatic channels, leading Germany to (as planned) declare war as well. Shortly thereafter, defect to the Allies. Send half the fleet through the Suez to bolster North Africa.
EDIT: Blast, that's not core-only. Let me think a bit on it ...

Ah, there we go. Just cast Polymorph on any high-Charisma Bard with Maxed out Diplomacy, Bluff, and Knowledge (Japan). Turn him into the Emperor.

lacesmcawesome
2007-04-11, 02:35 PM
My character? I honestly can't think of much that he would be able to do. Lvl 1 rogue/lvl 1 sorcerer...

I'd probably try to use magic missile on planes that are in the middle of other planes. If one blew up the explosion would hopefully damage the rest. I could probably get three groups of japanese planes.

Once I've used up all my spells, I'd most likely try to use my flaming bolts (invested heavily in those a while back) on the planes.

Really? At my level I've got little in the way of effective strategies off the top of my head, and would be just as helpful if I got into a plane or something

shaddy_24
2007-04-11, 02:43 PM
If there's only the one person, use the bard suggestion or be a wizard and start burning holes in the bottom and sides of the boats. If there's more than one, then it gets fun. Drop a few mid-level rogues and fighters onto one of the ships and commandeer it. Works best if you hit one at the back. Then start bombing the back of the others with the guns. If that looks like it won't work, send them to the next. Best idea, simply drop them on the admiral's ship and hold him hostage. That, or use him as ammo for one of the guns on his ship and watch their reactions when the admiral starts shooting at them. Especially when he shoots himself over :smallbiggrin:

Variable Arcana
2007-04-11, 02:45 PM
Telonius-

If you can Teleport without Error, you can PAO yourself into the Emperor. No changeling required.

Telonius
2007-04-11, 02:47 PM
Yeah, I realized that just after I edited. Thanks!

JaronK
2007-04-11, 02:49 PM
At level 6 or so, with wealth by level spent on a Candle of Invocation. Summon an Effreti with it. Three wishes spent on 3 more candles. Repeat a couple times, then gate in Solars to beat the snot out of the Japanese air force. I figure 10-20 Solars could do some real damage.

JaronK

Fax Celestis
2007-04-11, 02:52 PM
Incapacitate incoming airplanes with Wall of Forces, Telekinetic Spheres, Forcecages, Resilient Spheres, and judicious applications of Disintegrate, Fireball, and Lightning Bolt. Wall of Force in front of a plane will cause it to crash, as will a Telekinetic/Resilient Sphere or a Forcecage around it. Blast those you can't incapacitate.

Or, you could cast Control Weather and make it impossible for planes to fly.

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 02:58 PM
Teleport onto the bridge of the Akagi. Cast Dominate Person on Admiral Yamamoto. Nagumo. Yamamoto was in Japan during the attack. He planned it, but it was executed by Nagumo.

In any case, I'd worry about the reactions of everyone else present when that happened...

Dark_Wind
2007-04-11, 02:58 PM
You're a first level Bard - go to the Radio Station and start singing. Double the BAB of every 1st level fighter/warrior (i.e. green soldier) on the island within range of a working radio receiver. Every MG gunner, rifleman, and pilot just significantly increased their chance of nailing a Japanese plane...

Is it bad that the first thing that came to mind when I read this post was this (http://www.robotech.com/infopedia/episodes/viewepisode.php?episode=22)?

As for my own plan, the only ideas I can think of involve either wingbind or downdraft as the planes come in to strafe, but neither spell is core. Meh.

Shrew
2007-04-11, 03:03 PM
Not sure if this would work but how about several walls of fire to cause the bombs, and planes to explode before they get to the harbor. At 8 level you can make a wall of fire 160 ft long and 20 ft high.

Also, how about mass suggestions to just go home.

Telonius
2007-04-11, 03:05 PM
Okay, one thing that may be important - what are the bomber pilots' stats? I'm thinking probably Warrior2/Expert1, or Warrior3. Planes were a lot simpler back then, but you still couldn't just pick up any Commoner1 and put them in a cockpit.

Dark_Wind
2007-04-11, 03:08 PM
I'd say Expert X. Warriors are physical fighters. Flying a plane, however, takes skill.

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 03:21 PM
There are three problems with most of these spells: range, area and targeting.

1. Range: World War II planes flew at speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. In D&D terms, 200mph would be something like a movement rate of 1760. At speeds like that, a plane could pass in and out of range of most spells in a single round. Further, the battle took place over an area of several square miles. The vast majority of that battlefield is going to be out of range for any given wizard, even with a fly spell.

2. Area: Likewise, compared to the size of the battlefield, most D&D spells affect a very tiny area. You really can't target multiple planes with a spell simply because they'll be too far apart. The ships being targeted are hundreds of feet long, so protecting any one of them will require many castings of most spells to protect the whole thing.

3. Targeting: The space the battle is taking place in is vast in D&D terms. Placing a stationary effect like a wall of force for planes to run into has a very low chance of success simply because there is so much space for the planes to fly in. Its not a matter of doging, but simply of the low chance of a pilot choosing to fly through just exactly the few dozen feet of air you happened to put a wall of force (or whatever) in.

I don't think it's possible to bring down all (or even most) of the planes before they can carry out their mission.

Person_Man
2007-04-11, 03:21 PM
Nagumo. Yamamoto was in Japan during the attack. He planned it, but it was executed by Nagumo.

Doh! Serves me right for watching too much G4 and not enough History Channel. And I haven't read a book about Pearl Harbor for at least 8 years, but I've read multiple books about the fake histories of fantasy worlds. Oh well. I'd do better if this were a Greek or Roman history brain teaser.


In any case, I'd worry about the reactions of everyone else present when that happened...

I don't know, I think having someone appear would just freak them out. Casting the spell just requires me talking, and maybe waving my arms around a little. Maybe I should cast Repulsion and Protection from Arrows on myself before I Teleport over?


Another idea: If you get there too late, have a team of Necromancers Create Undead ghouls from all of the fallen, use a Teleportation Circle to get them to a small town in Japan, kill and eat everyone there, eventually turning everyone in the entire country into ghouls. Now that you've won, you have plenty of time to cast True Resurrection for all of the American servicemen who bravely fought for your side as part of your undead legion. Sounds like the premise of a fun movie, now that I think about it.

Teloric
2007-04-11, 03:24 PM
I like the 1st level Bard idea. Can't think of a low level solution that would have better results.

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 03:31 PM
I don't know, I think having someone appear would just freak them out. Casting the spell just requires me talking, and maybe waving my arms around a little. Maybe I should cast Repulsion and Protection from Arrows on myself before I Teleport over? Ideally, you should be invisible or should use magic to disguise yourself as a Japanese officer.

enderrocksonall
2007-04-11, 03:32 PM
I'm thinking more alone the lines of a 10th level wizard with his fully charged made it myself wand of mirage arcana casting it all over Pearl Harbor to make it look like empty land. Sure the people are still visible but only if they are outdoors. And the ships are probably big enough to count as structures that can have their appearance changed into whales.

Then after a few minutes spent protecting the base, use Sleet Storm on the decks of the carriers, along with Shatter on the braking lines, to insure that the planes cant land. Also solid fog will mess with planes on approach since it will slow them and throw them off target with the carrier.
Liberal use of Cloudkill on the sub's air circulation systems should take care of them. Of course using Overland Flight to get to all these targets.

Ikkitosen
2007-04-11, 03:32 PM
Ideally, you should be invisible or should use magic to disguise yourself as a Japanese officer.

If you can teleport you can certainly cast Alter Self, so no worries. Finding the commander though - what divination spell will do that?

Fax Celestis
2007-04-11, 03:35 PM
There are three problems with most of these spells: range, area and targeting.

1. Range: World War II planes flew at speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. In D&D terms, 200mph would be something like a movement rate of 1760. At speeds like that, a plane could pass in and out of range of most spells in a single round. Further, the battle took place over an area of several square miles. The vast majority of that battlefield is going to be out of range for any given wizard, even with a fly spell.

2. Area: Likewise, compared to the size of the battlefield, most D&D spells affect a very tiny area. You really can't target multiple planes with a spell simply because they'll be too far apart. The ships being targeted are hundreds of feet long, so protecting any one of them will require many castings of most spells to protect the whole thing.

3. Targeting: The space the battle is taking place in is vast in D&D terms. Placing a stationary effect like a wall of force for planes to run into has a very low chance of success simply because there is so much space for the planes to fly in. Its not a matter of doging, but simply of the low chance of a pilot choosing to fly through just exactly the few dozen feet of air you happened to put a wall of force (or whatever) in.

I don't think it's possible to bring down all (or even most) of the planes before they can carry out their mission.

Here's your answer: Timestop, with Flight beforehand.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-11, 03:38 PM
Nagumo. Yamamoto was in Japan during the attack. He planned it, but it was executed by Nagumo.

In any case, I'd worry about the reactions of everyone else present when that happened...Yes, and it's likely that many of the people you'd subsequently be ordering about (assuming you have no trouble subduing the bridge - a safe bet I'd say) will have been in radio contact and heard the whole thing. Potential problems!

I'd also worry about the reactions of the attack force when you impersonate/dominate their leader into giving a retreat order. I also don't know much about WWII-era japanese logistics...can the Admiral actually patch himself through to the entire force that quickly?

Remember, the attack has already started.

If you can only contact various sub-commanders, some of them might conceivably refuse to comply. It would depend on discipline, morale, etc.

That said, this is one of the more practical plans for a single character IMO. Although the "fight as best you can, then lead the zombie invasion of the Japanese homeland" plan is also pretty sweet.

Person_Man
2007-04-11, 03:42 PM
If you can teleport you can certainly cast Alter Self, so no worries. Finding the commander though - what divination spell will do that?

The easiest is probably Scrying (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/scrying.htm).

Another idea: Polymorph into a giant flying Japanese dragon that looks like Ryujin, god of the sea. Cast whatever that spell is makes your voice insanely loud (I forget what its called, I think its in the Spell Compendium). Fly about ordering all of the Japanese to cease the assault because it is a dishonorable disgrace against their ancestors. For good measure, land on the flagship and order Nagumo to do the same. If he refuses, cast your favorite killing spell on him, and then ask his second in command to order the retreat. (Repeat as needed).

Just hope no one on the Japanese side can cast Dispel Magic. I hear people get pissed when you impersonate one of their gods.

enderrocksonall
2007-04-11, 03:44 PM
1. Range: World War II planes flew at speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. In D&D terms, 200mph would be something like a movement rate of 1760.


No they didn't. My dad owns one of those planes with an engine that is better than the original and it still won't go more than about 122 MPH unless its got one hell of a tail wind. Any plane from WW2 that does go the kind of speeds you're talking about is definitely from the end of the war and would not be in use during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

But you are still right about them going in and out of the area of effect in no time. The point is to have a spell using an effect that will mess with the plane the minute it touches it.

For example, it doesn't matter that the plane can pass through the area of the wall of stone spell in less than a second because once it does it will be operating without crucial parts of its anatomy. In this scenario you have gotten your rock smashed up while the enemy has gotten their plane smashed up. That seems like a good trade off to me.

Ooh!! that gives me an idea!!! Summon a bunch of swarms of bats and birds and stuff to fly into the planes as they are flying!!! That will probably mess up their engines and cause them to crash. You might have a problem with druids after this battle though...

Merlin the Tuna
2007-04-11, 03:48 PM
Transmute Metal to Wood seems like a fun toy for this sort of situation, though the 40ft radius means it won't hit that many planes/bombs. Still, I've got to imagine a couple pilots would freak out when their wingman's plane turns into bamboo.

OzymandiasVolt
2007-04-11, 03:50 PM
Of course, be aware that if successful, you will probably stall the US involvement in the war until it is too late for the rest of the world.
I'mma go with that.

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 03:53 PM
Here's your answer: Timestop, with Flight beforehand.That may let you get a few more planes than you would otherwise, but not anything like a significant percentage of the whole bunch. There were over 350 planes in the attack, in two waves. That's around 180 planes per wave. Even with Timestop, you aren't going to be able to take out a significant number of those.

Timestop will make getting in range and targeting planes easier, but it only lets you get in 5 rounds of actions at most (actually 1d4+1) and you can't cast it very many times per day even if you're 20th level. Fly only lets you fly at 60, so even five rounds of free movement won't let you go as far as a plane goes in just one round.

It's not like you are going to be able to take out more than one or two planes with most spells. The planes are big enough and fly far enough apart that the area of effect of most spells will only cover one or two planes (and then only if they're in a tight formation). The smallest plane the Japanese used in the attack had a wingspan of 40 feet. Even a 120' long lightning bolt could only get more than one if the others were flying literally wingtip to wingtip.

Dark_Wind
2007-04-11, 03:57 PM
That may let you get a few more planes than you would otherwise, but not anything like a significant percentage of the whole bunch. There were over 350 planes in the attack, in two waves. That's around 180 planes per wave. Even with Timestop, you aren't going to be able to take out a significant number of those.

Timestop will make getting in range and targeting planes easier, but it only lets you get in 5 rounds of actions at most (actually 1d4+1) and you can't cast it very many times per day even if you're 20th level. Fly only lets you fly at 60, so even five rounds of free movement won't let you go as far as a plane goes in just one round.

It's not like you are going to be able to take out more than one or two planes with most spells. The planes are big enough and fly far enough apart that the area of effect of most spells will only cover one or two planes (and then only if they're in a tight formation). The smallest plane the Japanese used in the attack had a wingspan of 40 feet. Even a 120' long lightning bolt could only get more than one if the others were flying literally wingtip to wingtip.

Unless it's a maximized time stop (metamagic rod, duh) and you gate in a solar or five. Then you'll do quite a bit of damage, I think. Nevermind the spammage of fireball and other long-range attack spells once time stop is over. One plane every six seconds (or two, with quicken) until you run out of spells aught to put a dent in the numbers.

ClericofPhwarrr
2007-04-11, 04:02 PM
Ooh!! that gives me an idea!!! Summon a bunch of swarms of bats and birds and stuff to fly into the planes as they are flying!!! That will probably mess up their engines and cause them to crash. You might have a problem with druids after this battle though...

I like this one.

I think most, if not all of the Japanese planes carried their bombs slung underneath, but if any had an internal bomb rack, hold portal would be nice.

Also, how about boosting your AC until you're exceptionally hard to hit, then casting fly/levitate, enlarge person, mirror image, etc, and just floating in front of the main attack waves of planes? You could then either attack them or further make yourself into a target, but either way you'd be a very compelling distraction from their assigned targets.

One thing to remember is that most of the deaths came from the ships that trapped soldiers when they sank. Stopping the ships from sinking could be quite effective in mitigating the deaths caused by the attack, possibly more than destroying Japanese planes.

The_Werebear
2007-04-11, 04:03 PM
No they didn't. My dad owns one of those planes with an engine that is better than the original and it still won't go more than about 122 MPH unless its got one hell of a tail wind. Any plane from WW2 that does go the kind of speeds you're talking about is definitely from the end of the war and would not be in use during the attack on Pearl Harbor.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Zero

According to this, they can hit 316 Mph. They were used in the early war, in fact, in this very attack

Fax Celestis
2007-04-11, 04:03 PM
That may let you get a few more planes than you would otherwise, but not anything like a significant percentage of the whole bunch. There were over 350 planes in the attack, in two waves. That's around 180 planes per wave. Even with Timestop, you aren't going to be able to take out a significant number of those.

Timestop will make getting in range and targeting planes easier, but it only lets you get in 5 rounds of actions at most (actually 1d4+1) and you can't cast it very many times per day even if you're 20th level. Fly only lets you fly at 60, so even five rounds of free movement won't let you go as far as a plane goes in just one round.

It's not like you are going to be able to take out more than one or two planes with most spells. The planes are big enough and fly far enough apart that the area of effect of most spells will only cover one or two planes (and then only if they're in a tight formation). The smallest plane the Japanese used in the attack had a wingspan of 40 feet. Even a 120' long lightning bolt could only get more than one if the others were flying literally wingtip to wingtip.

Placing an invisible wall of force as wide as possible in front of a formation would do wonders. If I can cast Timestop, I'm at least 17th level. A 17th level wall of force has a maximum width of 170'. Without Quicken, I can set up five maximum in a timestop, but I'll assume four for the purposes of this, for a width of 680'. Assuming a tight formation (40' wingspans, 20' between planes, so 60' per plane), I can put it in front of 11 planes. That's just the front row. Since wall of force is invisible, it'd be like running into a barrier of unbreakable glass.

Also assuming formation, the planes in potentially the following three ranks would also strike, not being able to avoid either the wall or the wreckage of those in the rows in front.

ClericofPhwarrr
2007-04-11, 04:04 PM
Transmute Metal to Wood seems like a fun toy for this sort of situation, though the 40ft radius means it won't hit that many planes/bombs. Still, I've got to imagine a couple pilots would freak out when their wingman's plane turns into bamboo.

These are JAPANESE WW2 planes. You'd want Wood to Metal.

I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote this. I know better than this...

LotharBot
2007-04-11, 04:04 PM
My dad owns one of those planes with an engine that is better than the original and it still won't go more than about 122 MPH unless its got one hell of a tail wind.

You're thinking of WWI planes. By the start of WW2, fighter aircraft were in the 300+ mph range (Mitsubishi zero (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A6M_Zero): 316 mph, Supermarine Spitfire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Spitfire): 378 mph.) Toward the end of the war they were in the 400+ mph range (F4U Corsair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F4U_Corsair): 417 mph).

(I worked here (http://www.museumofflight.org/Portal.asp?Flash=True).)

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 04:05 PM
No they didn't. My dad owns one of those planes with an engine that is better than the original and it still won't go more than about 122 MPH unless its got one hell of a tail wind. Any plane from WW2 that does go the kind of speeds you're talking about is definitely from the end of the war and would not be in use during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Then I expect your father owns a trainer. The dive bombers and torpedo bombers used in the attack both had a top speed of around 250mph and the Zero fighters they used had a top speed of over 400mph.


But you are still right about them going in and out of the area of effect in no time. The point is to have a spell using an effect that will mess with the plane the minute it touches it.

For example, it doesn't matter that the plane can pass through the area of the wall of stone spell in less than a second because once it does it will be operating without crucial parts of its anatomy. In this scenario you have gotten your rock smashed up while the enemy has gotten their plane smashed up. That seems like a good trade off to me. That's true as far as it goes. The problem is that such spells have a small enough area of effect compared to the size of planes that you're only going to get one or two planes with each spell. There were 350 involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

And that's leaving aside the fact that Wall of Stone has to be anchored to stone.

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 04:13 PM
Unless it's a maximized time stop (metamagic rod, duh) and you gate in a solar or five. Then you'll do quite a bit of damage, I think. Nevermind the spammage of fireball and other long-range attack spells once time stop is over. One plane every six seconds (or two, with quicken) until you run out of spells aught to put a dent in the numbers.The Solars will have the same movement rate problems you do. Nothing in D&D moves anywhere near as fast as a WWII plane.

Yes, you could theoretically take out one or two planes every six seconds so long as there is actually a plane within range every 6 seconds. Given the size of the battlefield, I don't necessarily think that's going to happen

Merlin the Tuna
2007-04-11, 04:13 PM
Ooh, might've found a silver bullet.

Control Winds. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/controlWinds.htm) By 9th level, you can get a 360 ft radius on the thing, and it lasts 90 minutes -- the length of the assault. Throw some over the US ships in descending order of importance, and watch the incoming bombs get tossed off harmlessly into the sea. The USS Arizona, for the record, was just over 600 feet long, so one Control Wind will cover the thing and then some, as long as you center it properly. That alone takes out half the American casualties.

And as soon as you're done with that, you can do the whole "sneak attack teleport to Japan and kidnap the emperor/gate in Godzilla" routine in retaliation.

LotharBot
2007-04-11, 04:17 PM
As for the Pearl Harbor attacks: IMO your best bet is to attempt to minimize the actual damage / deaths that resulted from the strikes. The majority of deaths were due to sinking ships. Instead of trying to stop the planes, just quickly repair the damage they did to the ships. (Except for the one shot that hit the powder magazine on one of the battleships... that would need to be stopped somehow.)

It may be possible to mitigate much of the damage with simple "make whole" spells (cleric 2). So a group of level 3 clerics could spread out along the battlefield and seal the worst of the torpedo holes. No sunken ships = very few casualties.

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 04:20 PM
Placing an invisible wall of force as wide as possible in front of a formation would do wonders. If I can cast Timestop, I'm at least 17th level. A 17th level wall of force has a maximum width of 170'. Without Quicken, I can set up five maximum in a timestop, but I'll assume four for the purposes of this, for a width of 680'. Assuming a tight formation (40' wingspans, 20' between planes, so 60' per plane), I can put it in front of 11 planes. That's just the front row. Since wall of force is invisible, it'd be like running into a barrier of unbreakable glass.

Also assuming formation, the planes in potentially the following three ranks would also strike, not being able to avoid either the wall or the wreckage of those in the rows in front.However, given the setup for this problem, the planes are already attacking and have therefore broken from their large formations to attack their individual assigned targets or seek targets of opportunity. You're not going to have lots of planes in tight formations to do this to. You're going to have planes buzzing around in groups of two to four proceeding to various targets on various approaches.

Even if you did have large formations, keep in mind that large formations usually had vertical separation as well as horizontal.

Fax Celestis
2007-04-11, 04:22 PM
Alright, then a better solution: Wall of Force some thirty feet above any ships. Using the same calculations, one wall can cover one ship and render it nearly impervious to dropped weapons.

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 04:26 PM
Ooh, might've found a silver bullet.

Control Winds. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/controlWinds.htm) By 9th level, you can get a 360 ft radius on the thing, and it lasts 90 minutes -- the length of the assault. Throw some over the US ships in descending order of importance, and watch the incoming bombs get tossed off harmlessly into the sea. The USS Arizona, for the record, was just over 600 feet long, so one Control Wind will cover the thing and then some, as long as you center it properly. That alone takes out half the American casualties.That's a good idea. It still leaves torpedos and strafing on the airfields to work with, but it helps a lot.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-11, 04:30 PM
The Solars will have the same movement rate problems you do. Nothing in D&D moves anywhere near as fast as a WWII plane.

Yes, you could theoretically take out one or two planes every six seconds so long as there is actually a plane within range every 6 seconds. Given the size of the battlefield, I don't necessarily think that's going to happenWell, I agree, but bear in mind that the planes are going to keep coming back to your general area to make their own attacks. If they go running off, they're not doing damage. And there are enough planes that it seems at least somehwhat likely that there will be a plane in your general vicinity at any given time. Until you start to thin their ranks, at which point you need a different approach anyway.

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 04:31 PM
Alright, then a better solution: Wall of Force some thirty feet above any ships. Using the same calculations, one wall can cover one ship and render it nearly impervious to dropped weapons.Well of Force only lasts one round per level and the attack lasted 90 minutes. Also, it only covers one 10 foot square per level -- much smaller than a battleship. A 20th level wizard would make 20 10' squares, which would cover 1/3 of the length of the Arizona but only 10' of the width -- and it was over 100' wide at the center. You'd need many Wall of Force spells to cover it.

Merlin the Tuna
2007-04-11, 04:33 PM
Alright, then a better solution: Wall of Force some thirty feet above any ships. Using the same calculations, one wall can cover one ship and render it nearly impervious to dropped weapons.Wall of Force specifically says it needs to be a flat, vertical plane. I'm pretty sure Heroes of Battle has a shield that lets you make an umbrella-style Wall of Force, but he said core-only.

Fax Celestis
2007-04-11, 04:33 PM
Yeah, alright. Control Weather works better.

MaxKaladin
2007-04-11, 04:37 PM
Well, I agree, but bear in mind that the planes are going to keep coming back to your general area to make their own attacks. If they go running off, they're not doing damage. And there are enough planes that it seems at least somehwhat likely that there will be a plane in your general vicinity at any given time. Until you start to thin their ranks, at which point you need a different approach anyway.Depending on where you're positioned, that's true. Pearl Harbor is a big place, after all.

The other consideration is if a fireball will take out a plane after all -- and how. How many hit points does a plane have? Does it count as a weapon of the pilot? Does it get hardness? Does a pilot in an enclosed cockpit get cover bonuses? Can the pilot make a reflex save for reduced damage?

Jayabalard
2007-04-11, 04:41 PM
No they didn't. My dad owns one of those planes with an engine that is better than the original and it still won't go more than about 122 MPH unless its got one hell of a tail wind. Any plane from WW2 that does go the kind of speeds you're talking about is definitely from the end of the war and would not be in use during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The attack on pearl harbor was in december 1941; The air speed record at the time was held by the Messerschmitt Me 163 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_163) at 623.65 mph; even 10 years before the attack in 1931 the Supermarine S.6B (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_S.6B) had set the air speed record at 407.5 mph. Even going all the way back to 1913 (only 10 years after the Wright brother's first flight), the air speed record was 126.7 mph, and that was in a bi-plane (the Monocoque Deperdussin) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deperdussin)... a pre-WWI plane as a matter of fact.

The Japanese planes used in the attack were the Mitsubishi A6M Type 0 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Zero) fighters, Nakajima B5N Type 97 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakajima_B5N) torpedo bombers, and Aichi D3A Type 99 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aichi_D3A) dive bombers . They had a maximum speed of 316 mph, 242mph, and 229 mph respectively.

The A6M2 Type 0 Model 21 (the "Zero" ) ,which is the one that clocked the highest top speed, was first built in 1940, after a slight redesign allowing the wings to be folded for use on a carrier.

Shortly after the attack, in 1942, the A6M3 Type 0 Model 32 was delivered, which had a supercharger, raising the power of the engine from 950 hp (709 kW ) to 1,130 hp (840 kW)...

Ailurus
2007-04-11, 04:44 PM
Personally, I don't think getting out to attack the carriers, ice their decks, etc. wouldn't really work. By the time the first planes arrived, the Japanese carriers were already close to 240 miles from Pearl, and moving away around 30 MPH. Also, by that time the whole Japanese attack force was en-route, so at best it would just cause extra Japanese causalities.

Illusions might help, but as far as I know the Japanese had a pretty good idea of where their targets were to start with.

My personal approach:
Sorcerer, minimum of level 12. No magic items, but instead a huge supply of Gold Dust.
Head out to one of the battleships, and shoot down bombs for a little bit as best I can. Once one of the ships starts looking pretty beat up, I teleport over to it. Cast a couple quick spells to do what I can do douse fires if there are any, and head below decks. Look for the biggest torpedo hole, and using hull fragments from the explosion cast Wall of Iron to close off the area as best I can (the requirement for a vertical wall means that patching the hull probably won't work, but a level 3 Wall should be able to close ship hallways entirely). Head back up, and keep doing fire-fighting until another ship needs help.
(Edit - I think Wall of Iron is Core, but not sure, and can't check right now)

illathid
2007-04-11, 04:47 PM
Hmm... well, battle ship row is about mile long and half a mile wide, and after rigorous calculations is much too large to cover with permanent images in a reasonable amount of time.

I like the Timestop, with invisible walls of force in front of the attack formations. I think the remaining pilots would be likely to call off the attacks if their comrades suddenly crashed into nothing in the middle of the air.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-04-11, 05:00 PM
Wind Wall to stop bombs, Wall of Force to stop torpedoes.

According to earlier calculations, one CL 9 casting of each will cover one battleship or so from above and one side. That'll help a good deal.

Jayabalard
2007-04-11, 05:05 PM
hmm... wind wall seems to be a bad idea.

It would not affect bombs... "A giant-thrown boulder, a siege engine projectile, and other massive ranged weapons are not affected.", and even a "normal ranged weapon passing through the wall only has a 30% miss chance." Bombs are pretty massive, at least compared to regular projectiles.

It would also interfere with shooting back at the planes who are bombing/torpedoing the ships.

I_Got_This_Name
2007-04-11, 05:36 PM
I had a big post typed up about Warlocks before I remembered the core-only rule; suffice to say, though, that an 8th-level Warlock would be able to shoot down quite a few planes (possibly as many as five planes per minute; more likely one), then cripple the Japanese navy, assuming they don't have any equally-leveled characters running around.

Best I'd think in core would be a Wizard, boards a fighter (via Dimension Door, or, if necessary. Teleport), Dominates the pilot (you need one-man planes for this, but the Zero works nicely for this), then provides them with buffs: 4 points each of dexterity and wisdom are probably more than the gap between most aces and the average pilot; Protection from Arrows could save the plane, if it were to take machine-gun fire that should kill the pilot but leave the plane intact. If he's got several scrolls of Dominate, then his now-friendly fighter pilot can fly him within range of another plane, and he can teleport over to it and repeat the process.

Eventually, he has to return to already-captured planes, probably by getting his plane and the plane he wants to go to to form up, then flying over, and cast a Silent Image on various telltale markings on the plane to change them, giving the plane a clean slate so that it isn't the same plane that just shot down several bombers. Ideally, the wizard would be able to mark them in a code that the US machine gunners would recognize (but the Japanese wouldn't know to look for), but, given that the machine gunners will be shooting at quite a distance, they won't notice anything.

He does, of course, need lots of wands for this to work.

Dominate also lasts a day per caster level, so he has these nice puppets to make a counterattack with.

Control Weather, depending on interpretation, takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to start working, but it's probably their best shot; being able to cut off 2/3 of the attack might be the best we've got. Of course, a storm might damage the ships, too. Control Winds looks like a quicker bet.

Ailurus
2007-04-11, 05:40 PM
Is anyone familiar enough with flying to comment on how windspeed affects planes? The Control Winds description does sound like it could stop most of the bombs. However, at the bottom of the same description it says


Strong winds (21+ mph) make sailing difficult.

A severe wind (31+ mph) causes minor ship and building damage.

A windstorm (51+ mph) drives most flying creatures from the skies, uproots small trees, knocks down light wooden structures, tears off roofs, and endangers ships.

Hurricane force winds (75+ mph) destroy wooden buildings, sometimes uproot even large trees, and cause most ships to founder.

A tornado (175+ mph) destroys all nonfortified buildings and often uproots large trees.


Would something in the 30 MPH range really affect the planes enough to negate the brunt of the attack? Or would the 50+ mph range be necessary (at which point we could be running into destroying the very ships we're trying to protect?)

Dhavaer
2007-04-11, 05:50 PM
Levitate and Enlarge kill switch. Bye bye planes.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-11, 05:57 PM
Kill switch?

Dhavaer
2007-04-11, 06:00 PM
Turns off a vehicle. Think of it as the ultimate off button.

illyrus
2007-04-11, 06:03 PM
Bard with a lyre of building. He summons a phantom steed to ride on, uses scrolls or spells to make him harder to see/kill and runs over to an important set of ships and uses the lyre's first ability to make them invunerable (depends on your ruling whether this would work). Then he rides around the battlefield playing the lyre constantly and repairing bomb and torpedo damage to prevent the ships from sinking.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-11, 06:05 PM
Turns off a vehicle. Think of it as the ultimate off button.Sounds pretty cool, where is it from?

Dhavaer
2007-04-11, 06:09 PM
Sounds pretty cool, where is it from?

Modern Magic, by the Game Mechanics.

Merlin the Tuna
2007-04-11, 06:25 PM
Or would the 50+ mph range be necessary (at which point we could be running into destroying the very ships we're trying to protect?)Given that we're using magic to shape air, restricting its use to air touching the ground seems a bit stupid. With that in mind, we throw the cylinder some distance above the deck of the ship, sculpting an "eye" in the middle of the storm (as per the spell's description) to avoid catching some of the important bits around the center of the ship. It should be possible to minimize damage to the vessel, though it does open the ship up to attacks from some angles (and potentially kamikazes, problematically enough).

Still, after the first 30 bombs get hurled back into the ocean (potentially near your submarines, actually, and wouldn't that be an amusing chain reaction), do you really pull out your protracter and try to sneak one in underneath the cylinder -- which you can't even necessarily see, given that it's air?

Edit: Oh, and what's dangerous for D&D boats isn't necessarily the same as what's bad for 1940's battleships, either. They're a mite sturdier than your average frigate.

Annarrkkii
2007-04-11, 06:53 PM
A few Symbols might do the trick, if they were Widened.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-11, 06:56 PM
Reading up on the specifics of the battle, it sounds like much of the damage was actually inflicted by the torpedo bombers. What could be done to protect against these, specifically?

Another thought I had was unorthodox use of Animate Object. Animate some airplanes, have them attack their pilots. I'd rule them as Huge objects, so you could get 2 per casting at 16th level. They would probably crash, but you target the ones moving away from the fleet at the moment.

F.L.
2007-04-11, 07:44 PM
For revenge, a druid wildshaped into a fish to reach the carriers, followed by some rusting grasps would do a number on them. For defense, no idea.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-11, 07:49 PM
...
there has GOT to be a core way to do Rusting Grasp at range, right? Right? Goodbye planes, goodbye bombs, goodbye ships.

Fizban
2007-04-11, 08:17 PM
Reading up on the specifics of the battle, it sounds like much of the damage was actually inflicted by the torpedo bombers. What could be done to protect against these, specifically?

Another thought I had was unorthodox use of Animate Object. Animate some airplanes, have them attack their pilots. I'd rule them as Huge objects, so you could get 2 per casting at 16th level. They would probably crash, but you target the ones moving away from the fleet at the moment.
Heck, animate the ships. The hit dice on those things will be huge, firing their own guns at the same time.

Not many ways to do this without at least 7th or 8th level spells. Control winds is great, sunburst has an 80' radius, but it won't deal enough damage. Blinding a pilot however, would be lethal. Except the planes technically grant full cover.

It wouldn't work, but I just had a cool image of a huge wall of summoned wraiths killing pilots as they fly.

Foeofthelance
2007-04-11, 08:43 PM
I think perhaps trying to stop the attack itself if going to be a bit more difficult then negating the attack. The best way to do that would be to protect the ships. More specifically, preventing them from sinking.

Now, I admit to not having the various core spells memorized the way some of the board members do. But surely there are few spells to either encase the ships in ice, at least below water, to prevent them from being struck by torpedoes. Or, better yet, raising the seabed below the ships, so that they can not be sunk (already being grounded) as well as allowing for an easy reversal, thus granting the ships access back to open water. Any damage the dive bombers do manage to inflict could then be repaired using liberal doses of Mend.

If the ships could be protected from being sunk they could pursue the Japanese ships as they prepare to depart the mission area, and might even have the element of surprise if the terrain is adjusted to make it look like they were sunk or destroyed. Imagine Nagumo's surprise if a "destroyed" Arizona began to pund his flight deck with 16" shells. (Actually, I don't remember if they were sixteen inch guns mounted on the battleships, but a book I'm currently reading involves a pair of WWII cruisers mounting 8" guns, so it doesn't seem unreasonable to me for the bigger ships to be packing. Though I could be wrong. ::Shrugs::)

JaronK
2007-04-11, 08:47 PM
A wackier plan... forget Pearl Harbor... hit Japan during the attack and cripple their war effort. How? Archivist. Cast Polymorph to turn into a big lizardman, then cast Giant Size, and maybe Divine Favor. Now attack Tokyo. Wheee!

JaronK

karmuno
2007-04-11, 10:02 PM
I'm thinking more alone the lines of a 10th level wizard with his fully charged made it myself wand of mirage arcana casting it all over Pearl Harbor to make it look like empty land. Sure the people are still visible but only if they are outdoors. And the ships are probably big enough to count as structures that can have their appearance changed into whales.

Admiral: Status report
Pilot: We've reached the harbor but, well, everybody's gone. And there's... Well, you're probably not gonna believe me.
Admiral: What is it?
Pilot: There are all these 600-foot long whales just floating around.


Anyway, for a low-level character I think his best asset would be not in helping with the defense but with propaganda. While, yes, a couple magic missiles aren't going to put a huge dent in the Japanese plan, imagine what the mass populace would think of this (either American or Japanese, although it would require some tricky manipulation to get word of this to the enemy civilians). Think about it, the Germans have great tanks and planes, the Allies have a superior navy, manpower, and, oh yeah, A WIZARD.

I like the bard idea too. It's really mundane and almost feasible in a real-world context (i.e. we wouldn't have any knowledge if a bard was using magical powers to increase gunners' abilities, we'd just give them medals of honor).

Control winds is pretty good too, although moderately high-level.

Dove
2007-04-11, 10:34 PM
In this magic vs. technology fight, magic seems to be having a very hard time keeping up. That encourages me, because it agrees with all the discissions I've had on the topic.

My DM and I like to try to translate modern military hardware into D&D terms, and we always come up with crazy numbers. Damage in the 1000d6 range. 200/- style damage reduction. Speeds and sensors that make a mockery of even the longest range spells. Scry? Satellite. Fireball? JDAM. Greater Teleport? ICBM. Miracle? Nuke. M1A1 vs. Tarrasque? Pit Fiend vs. F-22? Great Wyrm Red Dragon vs. Fokker? Good times.

We always find that magic has a very, very hard time competing, unless you use a spell like Charm Person to attack the human.

When you think about it, though, it makes sense. D&D is set in a medieval world, on a medieval scale, with medieval damage and speed and pacing. Sure, the characters take on superhero aspects in the later levels, but magic users are ultimately intended to balance with and augment warriors who are . . . very good at swinging swords. Small wonder they can't handle WWII fighters.

It's not a knock on fantasy or magic; technology's just come a long way. If wizards and clerics had been written balance with tanks and jets and battleships, they would look MUCH different.

Merlin the Tuna
2007-04-11, 11:09 PM
I think perhaps trying to stop the attack itself if going to be a bit more difficult then negating the attack. The best way to do that would be to protect the ships. More specifically, preventing them from sinking.Control Water (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/controlWater.htm) might do the trick, but the area isn't quite as impressive as Control Wind's. Might be able to make a kind of reverse-moat around a boat to cause the torpedos to drop to the ocean bottom.

Still, your best bet is attacking the higher-ups. D&D magic isn't really designed to handle threats like planes, and not having been able to get your 10 minutes of casting Control Weather/Elemental Swarm/whatever is a serious problem. I'd throw up a few Control Winds to protect the big ships, then slap on a basic buff (Stoneskin or even Protection from Arrows would likely do it), and teleport to the enemy's bridge to do some threatening.

Casting an illusion of a Japanese god is a pretty clever solution, though.

Fax Celestis
2007-04-11, 11:55 PM
...
there has GOT to be a core way to do Rusting Grasp at range, right? Right? Goodbye planes, goodbye bombs, goodbye ships.

Rust ray, in the Spell Compendium. Or, reaching rusting grasp.

Against torpedoes...

Wait. Are the ships valid targets for stoneskin? Hell, have someone stand on the deck with a wand of mending and tap the ship over and over and over...

Jayabalard
2007-04-12, 12:08 AM
Actually, I don't remember if they were sixteen inch guns mounted on the battleships, but a book I'm currently reading involves a pair of WWII cruisers mounting 8" guns, so it doesn't seem unreasonable to me for the bigger ships to be packing. Though I could be wrong. ::Shrugs::
Armament of the USS Arizona (Pennsylvania-class "super-dreadnought" battleship): 12 14 in (356 mm) guns,
22 5 in (127 mm) guns,
4 3 in (76 mm) guns,
2 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes

just in case you (or someone) was actually interested.

Also the casualties of Pearl Harbor:
2335 military and 68 civilians killed,
1143 military and 35 civilians wounded,
4 battleships sunk,
4 battleships damaged,
3 cruisers damaged,
3 destroyers sunk,
2 other ships sunk,
188 planes destroyed,
155 planes damaged


Alot of the defenses are talking about defending ships... don't forget how many planes were destroyed, most of which were destroyed on the ground iirc.

Dervag
2007-04-12, 12:34 AM
Alternate plan: Divination to find out what radio frequency the Japanese are using. Bard with high Bluff check casts Tongues, and completely screws up their battle plans, sending them to attack an area of open ocean (with no ships actually there). Repeat as necessary, until their fuel runs out.Tell them to attack Lahaina Roads; it would probably give a bonus to the Bluff check because they were expecting that they might have to do this anyway.


My thought was Scry on the Air Craft Carrier they came from after the first wave, teleport in to magazine, drop a fireball(delayed blast) and port out.There were six carriers.


Teleport onto the bridge of the Akagi. Cast Dominate Person on Admiral [SIZE=-1]Yamamoto. Have him call off the attack. When the fleet is well on its way back to Japan, Teleport back to Hawaii with the Admiral. Have him tell the Americans everything he knows about the Japanese war preparations. USA wins.First of all, a guy like Nagumo (the one who was actually on the Akagi) would have a high Will save. Second of all, the Japanese bridge officers would probably try to shoot you or chop you in half with swords.


Hmmmm ... now there's an idea. It would probably require a Changeling or a Spymaster, but you could Teleport Without Error into the Imperial Palace, assassinate the Emperor, and stuff the remains into a Bag of Holding. Changeling assumes the identity of the Emperor and calls off the attack.Since the Emperor was largely ignored by the Japanese government (he led Japan much as a figurehead leads a ship), that would be really interesting to watch. You'd be giving all kinds of orders while 'your' senior officers ignored you very politely.


My character? I honestly can't think of much that he would be able to do. Lvl 1 rogue/lvl 1 sorcerer...

I'd probably try to use magic missile on planes that are in the middle of other planes. If one blew up the explosion would hopefully damage the rest. I could probably get three groups of japanese planes.Wouldn't planes have a lot of hit points? And it's not like they were flying wingtip to wingtip. Remember that planes explode from battle damage in real life; they know this and take steps to avoid having an entire formation riddled with shrapnel from one plane.

However, given that one guy actually shot down a Zero using two magazines from a Browning Automatic Rifle, you have every chance of taking out a plane or two.


Once I've used up all my spells, I'd most likely try to use my flaming bolts (invested heavily in those a while back) on the planes.That would be a really good idea. Japanese planes had poor firefighting gear; I would say they were quite vulnerable to fire damage.


Really? At my level I've got little in the way of effective strategies off the top of my head, and would be just as helpful if I got into a plane or somethingThere was a shortage of planes that day; there were a lot of pilots that never got off the ground because their fighters were blown up by the first wave of Japanese bombers when they were still parked out on the runways wingtip to wingtip to make sure no saboteurs could sneak up on them.


I'm thinking more alone the lines of a 10th level wizard with his fully charged made it myself wand of mirage arcana casting it all over Pearl Harbor to make it look like empty land. Sure the people are still visible but only if they are outdoors. And the ships are probably big enough to count as structures that can have their appearance changed into whales.Those would be some really big whales. Battleships are several times longer than any whale.


Then after a few minutes spent protecting the base, use Sleet Storm on the decks of the carriers, along with Shatter on the braking lines, to insure that the planes cant land. Also solid fog will mess with planes on approach since it will slow them and throw them off target with the carrier.
Liberal use of Cloudkill on the sub's air circulation systems should take care of them. Of course using Overland Flight to get to all these targets.I like this part, with one caveat.

The ships are moving at something like twenty or thirty miles per hour; a spell like Solid Fog cast on the deck would get left behind rapidly.


No they didn't. My dad owns one of those planes with an engine that is better than the original and it still won't go more than about 122 MPH unless its got one hell of a tail wind. Any plane from WW2 that does go the kind of speeds you're talking about is definitely from the end of the war and would not be in use during the attack on Pearl Harbor.What model is the aircraft? It may be some kind of courier plane like a Piper Cub that was never designed as a frontline aircraft.


Ooh!! that gives me an idea!!! Summon a bunch of swarms of bats and birds and stuff to fly into the planes as they are flying!!! That will probably mess up their engines and cause them to crash. You might have a problem with druids after this battle though...Does this make anyone think about Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?


These are JAPANESE WW2 planes. You'd want Wood to Metal.No, the Japanese planes were made out of metal. You simply can't get wooden planes with the kind of performance they needed unless you're really good at the design. Even then it isn't easy.


Well, I agree, but bear in mind that the planes are going to keep coming back to your general area to make their own attacks. If they go running off, they're not doing damage. And there are enough planes that it seems at least somehwhat likely that there will be a plane in your general vicinity at any given time. Until you start to thin their ranks, at which point you need a different approach anyway.Even the area they're attacking (Pearl Harbor) is miles wide. Your handful of beings could not reasonably hope to defend it; most planes would zip in and out before you could intercept them.


Depending on where you're positioned, that's true. Pearl Harbor is a big place, after all.

The other consideration is if a fireball will take out a plane after all -- and how. How many hit points does a plane have? Does it count as a weapon of the pilot? Does it get hardness? Does a pilot in an enclosed cockpit get cover bonuses? Can the pilot make a reflex save for reduced damage?A fireball would almost certainly take out a plane. The pilot's cockpit is made of glass. The fireball would almost certainly destroy the glass. That would disable the plane all by itself; at the speeds of World War II aircraft you can't fly without a windshield.


Best I'd think in core would be a Wizard, boards a fighter (via Dimension Door, or, if necessary. Teleport), Dominates the pilot (you need one-man planes for this, but the Zero works nicely for this),There's no room inside the fighter (one-man plane, remember?), and if you try to hang onto the outside you're casting in a hurricane-force wind.


Would something in the 30 MPH range really affect the planes enough to negate the brunt of the attack? Or would the 50+ mph range be necessary (at which point we could be running into destroying the very ships we're trying to protect?)A large enough region of 30 mph crosswinds could throw the level bombers and their armor-piercing bombs off with difficulty, but you'd need a zone of winds that was thousands of feet high.

Note that the part about 'endangers most ships' refers to wooden sailing ships and not to battleships and cruisers at anchor.


If the ships could be protected from being sunk they could pursue the Japanese ships as they prepare to depart the mission area, and might even have the element of surprise if the terrain is adjusted to make it look like they were sunk or destroyed.The Japanese would almost certainly have gotten away; they were faster than the US Battleships and their location was not well known. But the rest of the idea is pretty good.


(Actually, I don't remember if they were sixteen inch guns mounted on the battleships,14" on most of them- the Pearl Harbor battleships were mostly older designs.
but a book I'm currently reading involves a pair of WWII cruisers mounting 8" guns, so it doesn't seem unreasonable to me for the bigger ships to be packing. Though I could be wrong. ::Shrugs::)What's the title? Just wondering.

Merlin the Tuna
2007-04-12, 12:37 AM
Alot of the defenses are talking about defending ships... don't forget how many planes were destroyed, most of which were destroyed on the ground iirc.1102 of those 2400 deaths were from the USS Arizona alone; knowing that, the ships (and that ship in particular) are definitely the first priority. There's also a lot more startup time in reproducing a single battleship than a mess of fighters; even if the sinking of 1 battleship is equivalent in cost to the destruction of 100 planes, you're getting some payoff as you try to rebuild those hundred planes, while the battleship just nocks off another mark on the production checklist. The loss of aircraft, while certainly problematic, is ultimately a secondary concern. The exception to this is if you can cover them well enough to get an appreciable scramble, allowing them to repel parts of the assault.

Hypothetical
2007-04-12, 03:21 AM
There were six carriers.


The Swikagu, Shokagu, Kong-Ni, Kong-Na, Hiryu, and Soryu, to be precise. 2 Attack class Carriers and 4 Escort class Carriers.

And, the best one Character defense I can think of off the top of my head would be...

A 1st Level Half-Gold Dragon Barbarian.

Enter Rage, fly about swatting those annoying Meatballs out of the sky. Bullets? Against a Half-Dragon? Yeah right.

The second best I can think of is a 1st level Japaneese Monk, with the feat "Sacred Vow", 18 Wisdom, and 4 ranks in both Diplomacy and Bluff. Get on the radio and change the order from "Climb Mount Assabi" to whatever the recall order was.

JaronK
2007-04-12, 04:37 AM
You know, a bard standing below deck on the USS Arizona with a Lyre of Building could play the reenforcing song and keep that ship in the fight a heck of a lot longer...

JaronK

Were-Sandwich
2007-04-12, 04:45 AM
If Tornado force winds destroy non-fortified buildings? What do you think it would do to fighters?

Whenever I read about wizards flying around shooting down fighters I get the metnal image of a wizard in the canononical (sp?) robe and pointy hat flying around, with his arms extended like a small child 'playing air-plane', making 'machine gun noises' as he strafes the fighters.

Someone already made the Godzilla joke....

What about polymorphing into a dragon and flying round toasting fighters? Even if you only get a few, imagine the morale damage.

Fighter Pilot: Command, we just lost half the fighter wing!
Command: What is it? Some new american weapon?
Fighter Pilot: You're not going to believe this sir, its...a dragon!
Command: ...

Otilukes Freezing Sphere is core and if targeted at an area of water will cause it to freeze to a certainn depth. Ice floats. Cast it targeted right next to one of the battleships a couple of times to get the whole area below the water-line encased in ice. That should aid with the not-sinking quite a bit.

Not core, but might be funny, Summon Luminous Assassin from PHBII. Summons this little glowy assassin guy who falls from the sky and attacks as he drops, sneak attacking, then keeps attacking. Cast it on a fighter pilot, a glowing little assassin guy drops from the sky and lands on his wind-screen, obscuring his view, and smashing through the windscreen to start sneak attacking him. More morale damage ("They have ninjas too!")

I'm sure most utility spells would have a use somewhere.

Or just teleport over to Britain and ask us to help you out. Thats what they do normally.:smallwink:

Zherog
2007-04-12, 09:55 AM
...
there has GOT to be a core way to do Rusting Grasp at range, right? Right? Goodbye planes, goodbye bombs, goodbye ships.


Rust ray, in the Spell Compendium. Or, reaching rusting grasp.

Core only, remember.

One way to do it would be to multiclass wizard and druid, and use the spectral hand spell to deliver your rusting grasp. At the minimum wizard level to cast it, it would give you a range of 130 feet on your 4th level and lower touch spells.


A wackier plan... forget Pearl Harbor... hit Japan during the attack and cripple their war effort. How? Archivist. Cast Polymorph to turn into a big lizardman, then cast Giant Size, and maybe Divine Favor. Now attack Tokyo. Wheee!

JaronK

Again, core only. So no archivist cheese. :)

Reinboom
2007-04-12, 10:16 AM
Hmmn, would making an illusion of a colossal bipedal lizard (http://www.thenextstepp.com/wizartist/forumpix/godzilla.jpg) work?
What about putting darkness on some sort of heavy anti air artillery?
Given the time and place, that should be enough to at least frighten and demotivate the attack somewhat.
shattering wings of planes if you could figure out a way to get in range would also be extremely effective.
Could casting sanctuary on random ship crew who do not need to attack but are prone to attack and having them stand on the more vital points of the ship benefit?

Telonius
2007-04-12, 10:32 AM
I'd considered the "Mending" or "Make Whole" spells for the ships. But all Mending does is essentially welds metal together instantly. The Arizona is going to have some engineers with blowtorches who can do something similar (though not as fast). "Make Whole" is even less useful:

The spell does not repair items that have been warped, burned, disintegrated (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/disintegrate.htm), ground to powder, melted, or vaporized,

rollfrenzy
2007-04-12, 10:42 AM
Didn't the planes have to slow down and fly straight and low to drop thier torps? IIRC they needed to be between 50-150 feet off the water and in line with the boats to drop the torpedos ( I know the torps didn't track back then). So couldn't you strategically WoF the attack lines?

Is there any spell which puts debris in the air on a large scale?

Reinboom
2007-04-12, 10:53 AM
Actually, a great bonus would be to cast wings of air or wing's of air greater on all the pilots. Improving flight maneuverability but steps at a time makes huge differences.
Submerge ship can also effectively change the battle.
Eye of the hurricane could shake things up.

Blah... to many spells.

rollfrenzy
2007-04-12, 11:01 AM
What about Wail of the Banshee over their radio frequncy. Assuming you could figure it out through divination.

Zherog
2007-04-12, 11:02 AM
What about putting darkness on some sort of heavy anti air artillery?

Along those lines, what about casting darkness on the windshields of the planes? ;)

Reinboom
2007-04-12, 11:03 AM
Their planes? That would be difficult, darkness is touch.

Zherog
2007-04-12, 11:05 AM
Spectral hand, mentioned earlier, allows you to deliver 4th level and lower touch spells at a Medium range.

Reinboom
2007-04-12, 11:45 AM
Hmmn, shrink item delivered by spectral hand could shrink certain necesarry plane pieces, however, thats still 6 seconds used per plane, not efficient enough!

Actually, a level 1 spell in the spell compendium would make this rather easy.
raging flame has a medium range and a 30 ft radius, so it could encompass a small group of planes. All the fire in the area is goes out twice as quickly and burns twice as hot.
Given this, this would cause the combustion engines of the planes to emit too much heat too quickly and burn out too quickly at the same time. This would force the engines to overwork to both try to keep up but at the same time rapidly heating causing the combustion engines to explode, thus effectively destroying the planes.
This is also a lasting duration, so it would effect planes entering the area as well, and could be cast over and over. No saving throw either.
A 1st level sorcerer with high charisma (18 + 2... there has to be something with cha bonus at ecl 0..?) could cast this 5 times, 4 times if there is nothing with cha bonuses.
Given the first wave was of 181, this could take out, due to the formations used, anywhere from 2-4 planes every 6 seconds per usage. With an average of 3, that means 90 planes within a minute and a half (casting all 5 uses and waiting for their duration to end). I will drop this figure down to around 40 for practicality reasons.

Foeofthelance
2007-04-12, 01:57 PM
What's the title? Just wondering.


Yellow Eyes by John Ringo and Tom Kratman out of Baen Books. Basically cannibalistic aliens invade earth. but they can't swim, and have not concept of a wet navy, so they overhaul all the remaining ships that haven't been scrapped. The two ships in the book are the Des Moines and Salem, which may or may not have originally sported the eight inch guns, but they were by the time they hit battle. It's a fun read, especially when some Aritificial Intelligence devices donated by friendly alien forces realize the ships have a sort of conciousness of their own, and merge with them.

LotharBot
2007-04-12, 06:09 PM
D&D magic would have a tough time in actual WWII combat, trying to deal damage and put up protective wards. Think about scale:

if you play D&D on a standard grid, 1" = 5'. A fireball spell (20' radius) has an 8" diameter -- it's the size of a basketball. A sunburst spell is 32" across -- a bit under 3 feet, or the size of an athletic/stretching ball. A "long" range spell cast by a level 20 caster has a range of 1200 feet, which in scale is about 20 feet.

Now, your average battleship was 600 feet long and maybe a hundred feet wide, or in scale, 10 feet by 1.5 feet. The whole of Pearl Harbor was about 2 miles across, which scales to over a hundred feet. So just the grid for the battlespace would stretch end to end on a basketball court and be maybe 3 times as wide (and this is just the harbor; I'm not counting the airfields.) A WWII-era fighter plane, moving at 300 mph, would cover about 2500 feet in a round, or a mile in 2 rounds. Even a slow bomber, moving at 200 mph, would pass over the entire battle grid in 36 seconds, or 6 rounds.

And there's your little 30mm wizard figurine, trying to cast fireballs the size of a basketball with a range the size of the midcourt circle, trying to turn the tide of battle. Or your little dragon with a move speed of 150' and its breath weapon with a 120' line, trying to engage things moving 12-20 times its speed. And they're firing back from their 20mm or bigger cannons that rip off over 100 shells per round at a muzzle velocity of 2000 feet per second and can hit a target the size of a dragon from a half mile away. If a greatsword does 2d6 damage, the cannons on a zero can kill any beast in the monster manual in a round. Or maybe your epic wizard is making 200x10' walls of force that last 2 minutes a piece -- in scale, again, these are about four feet long and 2 inches wide.

D&D magic is simply screwed if you're out there on the battlefield trying to deal damage or set up protections. You don't have the range, speed, or coverage to work with a battlefield that large.

Here's what you could do, though, with a high-INT level 20 wizard who'd been planning to protect the fleet against this sort of attack:

use "locate object" to get the exact compass direction to the nearest Japanese carrier. Teleport to another island and cast locate object again. Do a little math to triangulate the position of the nearest Japanese carrier.

Cast fly and invis and then teleport above the nearest carrier. Now start throwing down permanent walls of force in the middle of the carrier decks. Depending on their spacing you may need to cast more locate object spells and more teleports. Once you've made each carrier completely non-functional (the Japanese have no way to dispel a permanent wall of force, so their planes will be destroyed on takeoff OR landing) teleport back.

All in all, you end up needing at least 13 level 5+ spells and 15,000 XP for this portion of the plan, and you can complete it in about 5 minutes. Depending on the timing, you may be able to prevent some of the waves from launching, and you may very well be able to force those trying to return to either crash on the deck or run out of fuel on their way back to find a landing strip on hawaii.

Once you're sure all of the carriers are out of commission, teleport back to battleship row. If you have access to any sort of spell compendium "repair holes in battleship" spells, break them out now; mending and make whole aren't going to cut it.

Once you see a ship start to sink, break out the spells of control water. Pearl Harbor is only about 40 feet deep, which means three casts (200x200 each, to get 600' length) will drop the water completely out from under a single battleship for 3 hours, meaning nobody is going to drown. Provided, of course, you use some of the surplus squares to create a path to dry land.

There you go... you've effectively decomissioned six Japanese carriers and saved perhaps half of the American deaths, without trying to directly attack or even deter the planes. And there's a pretty good chance those planes will either crash or be forced to land on Oahu, where the pilots AND aircraft will be captured.

... or, you could greater invis - teleport - dominate person on admiral Nagumo and have him call off the attack. Which is why will-save-or-change-sides spells are a win button.

Reinboom
2007-04-12, 06:57 PM
Inconsistent, you seam to stop scaling with figurines half way through :P

F.L.
2007-04-12, 06:58 PM
Well, if you just use magic missiles against the expert pilots in the planes, about 3 should kill each pilot. If the BOED was allowed, a handful of Mustevals could take out the entire air force... Otherwise some apprentices with wands of magic missiles from a wizard with leadership... Since magic missile always hits, the speed of the planes presents no problems. Also, get some eyes of the eagle too. Though your AA would only have 190' or so of range.

LotharBot
2007-04-12, 07:13 PM
Inconsistent, you seam to stop scaling with figurines half way through :P

Right... once I've established the scale, and therefore demonstrated that it's virtually impossible for D&D casters to be effective in a combat area of that scale, I move to a different topic, namely, what they CAN do: jack with a much smaller area (carrier decks) or use mind-affecting spells.


use magic missiles against the expert pilots in the planes

Glass blocks line of effect and magic missile can't damage planes.

And your range is only 300 feet -- in scale, you could hit anything in the centercourt circle on a basketball court while the battle raged across 3 full courts.

You simply can't do enough combat damage to enough targets in an area the size of a real-world aerial battlefield with only one non-epic caster.

F.L.
2007-04-12, 07:53 PM
Glass blocks line of effect and magic missile can't damage planes.

And your range is only 300 feet -- in scale, you could hit anything in the centercourt circle on a basketball court while the battle raged across 3 full courts.


If you need to get around line of effect, then magic jar is the ticket. Load a wizard's body into a plane's bomb bay, and have the wizard use an enlarged magic jar (with 500' or so of range). Fly said plane to an aircraft carrier (maybe crash into the deck, who cares, you have magic jar). If any fighters approach within 500', you possess their body, open the fighter plane's cockpit window, bail out of the plane, and return to the focus (killing the pilot, and 1 plane down. Should be 3 rounds). When you get onto a carrier, though, the real fun begins. The commanding officers get possessed, call of the attack, and then start killing their own subordinates. Or order an attack on the fleet with their own ships. If a mutiny occurs, let the body you're in die, and then take the leader of the mutineers. Or open blow up the engine room inside an engineer. Or take over a munitions officer and start smoking in the ammo stores. Then take over a pilot and fly to the next carrier, carrying the phylactery.

Dervag
2007-04-12, 09:34 PM
Hmmn, shrink item delivered by spectral hand could shrink certain necesarry plane pieces, however, thats still 6 seconds used per plane, not efficient enough!

Actually, a level 1 spell in the spell compendium would make this rather easy.
raging flame has a medium range and a 30 ft radius, so it could encompass a small group of planes. All the fire in the area is goes out twice as quickly and burns twice as hot.A 30 ft. radius would not catch multiple planes. The planes themselves are roughly 30 ft. long and flew with hundreds of feet of space between them.


Yellow Eyes by John Ringo and Tom Kratman out of Baen BooksThat's what I would have guessed. I liked it too, by the way.


Well, if you just use magic missiles against the expert pilots in the planes, about 3 should kill each pilot. If the BOED was allowed, a handful of Mustevals could take out the entire air force... Otherwise some apprentices with wands of magic missiles from a wizard with leadership... Since magic missile always hits, the speed of the planes presents no problems. Also, get some eyes of the eagle too. Though your AA would only have 190' or so of range.I don't know if magic missiles would pack the damage required to bring down a Zero, though.


Glass blocks line of effect and magic missile can't damage planes.Are you sure?

Granted that the planes are inanimate objects. However, since the planes themselves are the primary weapons and vehicles for this combat, I'd argue that they're more like constructs (with human controllers) than they are like an inanimate object such as a statue. After all, the weapon and motive power come entirely from the planes themselves.

Of course, airplanes, unlike constructs, have discernible anatomy and are vulnerable to critical hits.

LotharBot
2007-04-12, 09:45 PM
constructs are magically animated. Airplanes are mechanical.

Reinboom
2007-04-12, 09:59 PM
A 30 ft. radius would not catch multiple planes. The planes themselves are roughly 30 ft. long and flew with hundreds of feet of space between them.


wingspan is about 39 1/2 ft actually. Give you don't need to encompass the entire plane. This should mean that about 20 ft into the plane would hit the engine. Also, the initial formation doesn't have the planes more than 20 ft apart, thus, you could encompass 2 planes side to side easily (20 ft in the plane on the left, 20 ft in between max, 20 ft in the plane on the right). This also may encompass a plane forward or behind in many formations.
Mind, we are dealing with D&D characters here who have, for some strange reason, AMAZING accuracy.

I_Got_This_Name
2007-04-12, 10:58 PM
There's no room inside the fighter (one-man plane, remember?), and if you try to hang onto the outside you're casting in a hurricane-force wind.

Reduce Person. Polymorph. The first can get you to small, and the second to Fine, so long as you can find something Fine and human-shaped (and capable of speaking) so that you can still cast spells. Most of the mini-fey should do it. "You can't physically fit" means just as much to a wizard as conservation of energy (see Meteor Swarm. See also Cone of Cold).

There's probably something more effective to do, though.

I'd probably go with Mirage Arcana or something similar, now that I know the actual statistics, if the airfields are small enough. I figure that if I can save one airfield, add one fighter scramble to the defense, though, I'll have significantly affected the battle.

Possibly, instead of hiding an airfield, I add extra airfields. I can get, at 10th level, 10 cubes per casting. Even if I can't add airfields with this (and I can't, at least not in a hurry or with a reasonable number of spell slots), I can put some extra hangars up (possibly extra planes, depending on whether or not planes count as structures) and do other such confusing things. Still, the best way to help would be to get a proper fighter scramble, most likely. Perhaps a Control Winds centered above the areas where the planes are parked, so that the planes are safely outside (under) the wind, and the ends of the runways are outside the wind, but bombs get deflected by it from hitting the parked planes. If the runway needs repairs, you can get a terrible runway (but better than one bombed out) with Wall of Stone.

Likewise, mass buffs on the pilots. If even, say, 11 pilots recieve Mass Cat's Grace, their flying, their marksmanship, everything about them improves, for a few minutes, and you have the makings of some aces. Haste would also markedly improve a scramble, although being able to run twice as fast probably wouldn't get them off the ground significantly faster.

Control Water on anything less than an entire ship (and one casting won't get a 600' ship at anything less than level 30) would probably do more harm than good, and possibly capsize the ship. I wouldn't reccomend it. If you want to rescue people from sinking ships, you need Teleportation Circle or possibly to just Disintegrate a way out (if everyone on a ship's going to drown if you don't act, drowning 70% of them a few minutes faster to save the other 30% is a net gain, and that's a conservative estimate for saves, assuming you follow up).

Running from point to point (possibly riding on a Phantom Steed, actually, if that makes you significantly faster), casting Magic Weapon, or, better yet, the Greater variety, at a high enough caster level, on the defensive machine guns would be useful.

Hmm. . . 1st-level wizard, in a jeep, with a wand of Magic Weapon, driving from anti-aircraft gun to anti-aircraft gun, buffing. Not quite as good as the bard on the radio, though.

Might only take out one plane at a time, at close range, but an intelligent item with a Special Purpose: Defend the United States of America (or, possibly, Defend Democracy), and Dedicated Power: 10d6 Fireball (no use limitation specified, and, by my calculations, the pricing works out pretty close to the estimate for at-will) could be decently effective, and could probably take out a plane (maybe two) each round; 9k for the level of intelligence that we need, there are some pretty decent cheap lesser powers (Bless is great for this, and the most expensive are only 6.5k GP, cheap compared to the Fireball, which is 60k; assuming that we go with 17/17/10 stats, Bless, two top-end lesser powers, and Fireball, we're looking at 83k GP, which is accessible at 12th level, and could be expected from the primary equipment of someone 15th level.

Putting that into troy ounces, and multiplying by a price I found on Google for gold in 1940 (http://www.finfacts.ie/Private/curency/goldmarketprice.htm), we're looking at about $700,000 (in 1940 money). Unfortunately, I can't find any costs (at time of purchase) for US military hardware, so I don't know if we're talking bomber or battleship level cost here, or something completely out of consideration.

Of course, this would be a weapon capable of bringing down one attacking plane per round, and would need a weilder to bring it to the planes. More scary (one plane going down every six seconds, with the pilot being helpless to prevent it, in a flash of fire leaving a charred corpse falling to the ground is scary to the rest of the crew) than deadly.

Solo
2007-04-12, 11:11 PM
Two words: Reverse Gravity.

Bye bye bombs...

Reinboom
2007-04-12, 11:50 PM
Actually, going on the concept of saving the crew specifically? Submerge ship. Everybody within a given amount of distance from the ship that is now underwater gains waterbreathing.

Jayabalard
2007-04-13, 12:03 AM
1102 of those 2400 deaths were from the USS Arizona alone; knowing that, the ships (and that ship in particular) are definitely the first priority. There's also a lot more startup time in reproducing a single battleship than a mess of fighters; even if the sinking of 1 battleship is equivalent in cost to the destruction of 100 planes, you're getting some payoff as you try to rebuild those hundred planes, while the battleship just nocks off another mark on the production checklist. The loss of aircraft, while certainly problematic, is ultimately a secondary concern. The exception to this is if you can cover them well enough to get an appreciable scramble, allowing them to repel parts of the assault.that was the point: If you get those fighters off the ground with their pilots in them before the attack, rather than letting them be destroyed on the ground, then that's a non-trivial change to the battle in and of itself.

F.L.
2007-04-13, 06:21 AM
Hmm, also, if you could get on the Japanese communications channel, casting a Song of Discord into it may be able to take out the entire Japanese fleet by getting them all to fight each other.

Telonius
2007-04-13, 09:00 AM
Hmm, that's a great idea, but a little iffy on the rules. Song of Discord has an area of "Creatures within a 20 ft radius spread." There's no limit on the number of creatures. But are we counting 20 feet from the Bard, or 20 feet from the radio speakers? If I were DMing, I'd say 20 feet from the speakers, but I could see somebody ruling differently. If it's ruled okay, 5% of the enemy will make their will saves (i.e. natural 20). 47.5% of the attacking force - will then attack the other 52.5% for at least 13 rounds (1 minute 18 seconds).

I_Got_This_Name
2007-04-14, 10:43 AM
Well, the narrow targeting of Song of Discord implies that the magic is transmitted over a shorter area than the sound. It's not a stretch to say that the radio filters that out.

Inspire Courage, however, affects all allies who can hear it. The suggestion of getting a 1st-level Bard on the radio and piping it to every allied defender works wonders. Plus, I'm prety sure the bard doesn't need to concentrate, so he can man a machine gun while doing this.