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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    The question is not how, but why? Why would we want to do something like this?

    *shrug* O well.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    You ask *why* we would want to smash and burn things?

    Are you playing the same game we are?

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Grommen View Post
    The question is not how, but why? Why would we want to do something like this?

    *shrug* O well.
    He already provided that reason. He's been up against epic-level-challenge-rating encounters at level 11.
    Last edited by lsfreak; 2009-10-22 at 11:00 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Actally, I can sympathize with that. Some DMs equate challenge with "lets find mobs ridiculously above their CR".

    It generally leads to an arms race, and using something blatantly ridiculous helps illustrate it well.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Wouldn't a lead projectile dropped from space simply melt during atmospheric reentry before it ever got to the ground?

    I mean if we're trying to be realistic here, can't just embrace some real-world physics and ignore others
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Realistic? I relied entirely on RAW for my damage. =)

    Dropping from space is unnecessary, though. Once you hit the point of "utterly ridiculous damage that one shots them even when they save for half", you don't really need to go higher.

    By raw, damage caps out at 200ft, so if you chill about there, it saves you all the worry about accuracy.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Moriato View Post
    Wouldn't a lead projectile dropped from space simply melt during atmospheric reentry before it ever got to the ground?
    Not necessarily. Depending on the size of the lead object, which I have been led to believe is ridiculously large, and not knowing the melting point of lead off the top of my head, I would guess that some of the outer layers would be stripped away, but the bulk of it would remain intact.

    And even if it did melt, in that case, you'd have a glob of molten lead falling from the atmosphere, leading us to Another Poet's scenario on steroids.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Marillion View Post
    Not necessarily. Depending on the size of the lead object, which I have been led to believe is ridiculously large, and not knowing the melting point of lead off the top of my head, I would guess that some of the outer layers would be stripped away, but the bulk of it would remain intact.

    And even if it did melt, in that case, you'd have a glob of molten lead falling from the atmosphere, leading us to Another Poet's scenario on steroids.
    It's 600 something degrees F. Not very hot, your oven could probably almost melt lead. And a glob of falling molten lead wouldn't stay a glob, it would break up into droplets, or probably just vaporise. I would be... rather unhealthy for the environment, but not that deadly, I don't think.

    Druids would be upset.
    Last edited by Moriato; 2009-10-22 at 05:12 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Dropped from orbit? Hmm...assuming one fabricate load, aka 10 cubic feet, shaped however you will...

    You'd want a rod with a slight bit of drag on the end. Fins, most likely.

    Now, fabricate doesn't need to be entirely one type of metal, so you could have a bit of a blast shield on the nose, and make the fins of steel. Steel definitely still falls under acceptable materials, and while it can still melt, it's gonna last a lot longer.

    That should get it to the ground, mostly in one piece, though yeah, it'll be a bit of a mess, and you'll have lead vapors boiling off on the way down, and droplets splattering everywhere.

    Accuracy would go to hell due to the melting, mind you, but whatever it did hit would be sorry.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Why go for orbital placement?

    Just get a 1 pound adamantine ball and accelerate it in a vacuum until you reach c fractional speeds and then make use of ring gates for delivery.

    Oh, but be sure to cast a Wall of Force through the ring gate before letting the ball through, you don't want a hole in the ground.

    If you want real fun, cast Resilient Sphere around the ring gate and then send through the ball (and make sure that the ball is the 100th pound of matter to go through for the day, you don't want backlash). You now have fully contained something like 20 megatons of energy with no where to go. Once the resilient sphere goes away you will get a very big boom.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Just jumping in on damage: if you DM does limit it to 20d6, you're pretty much screwed. Sure it'll nuke a wooden building, but stone walls have hundreds of hp and half damage before applying hardness as well. A couple hundred d6's on the other hand...
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Why go for orbital placement?

    Just get a 1 pound adamantine ball and accelerate it in a vacuum until you reach c fractional speeds and then make use of ring gates for delivery.

    Oh, but be sure to cast a Wall of Force through the ring gate before letting the ball through, you don't want a hole in the ground.

    If you want real fun, cast Resilient Sphere around the ring gate and then send through the ball (and make sure that the ball is the 100th pound of matter to go through for the day, you don't want backlash). You now have fully contained something like 20 megatons of energy with no where to go. Once the resilient sphere goes away you will get a very big boom.
    Yeah, I am surprised this didn't come up earlier. The ol' vaccuum ring gate ICBM. Does what the OP wants done, better than what the OP wants to do. Threadwin.
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Hmm, oh. This should work for what you want as well.

    My Magic Missile.
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    Alright. I finally surrender. Tippy, you do in fact equal win. You have claimed the position of being my idol.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Hmm, oh. This should work for what you want as well.

    My Magic Missile.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Why go for orbital placement?

    Just get a 1 pound adamantine ball and accelerate it in a vacuum until you reach c fractional speeds and then make use of ring gates for delivery.

    Oh, but be sure to cast a Wall of Force through the ring gate before letting the ball through, you don't want a hole in the ground.

    If you want real fun, cast Resilient Sphere around the ring gate and then send through the ball (and make sure that the ball is the 100th pound of matter to go through for the day, you don't want backlash). You now have fully contained something like 20 megatons of energy with no where to go. Once the resilient sphere goes away you will get a very big boom.
    Oh Tippy, this is marvelous.

    What method do you use to travel and avoid death in a vacuum?
    How do you place a ring gate in space and keep it stable?
    How do you accelerate the ball?
    How do you aim it precisely enough to dunk through the ring gate at that speed?

    Edit: I like the magic missile as a delivery system, but the explosive runes warhead is much too small a payload. I'm looking for weapons that will disable an installation or decimate an army. And, umm, I'm only 12th level so I have to do it on the cheap.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2009-10-23 at 12:50 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Is there any material available in the game that is inherently explosive? Dropping something like reactive armor that explodes on impact would be spectacular.

    Dropping a massive block of Thinaun would ensure that anyone killed by the blast would probably have their soul trapped in the shrapnel that killed them... Totally unnecesary, but funny.

    A couple thousand pounds of frozen acid (or alchemist's fire, or contact poison) could be neat, if contained within a thin metal shell, so that it flew all over the place and then did tons more damage as it melted / hit people.

    Air dropping green slime, russet mold, yellow mold, brown mold, etc. can also be fun. I vaguely remember that being a tactic (green slime, anyway) dealing with an army of frost giants in the Bloodstone H-series modules.

    If the missile doesn't need to exist for more than a couple of rounds of falling, it could be made of adamantine and ignore the castles hardness. :)

    1 cubic foot of steel is ~500 lbs. (Thanks Dragon Annual #1!) Adamantine armor and weapons are not stated as being any heavier than steel armor or weapons, so we'll go with the steel weights.

    At minimum CL 9, you'll be creating 9 cubic feet of adamantine, weighing 4500 lbs (add 500 lbs / CL over 9). By 11th level, with an Int of 20 or more, you'll be able to drop three of these puppies a day, one right after another, over the course of three rounds, if you want.

    No need for a vehicle, just Greater Invisibility, Overland Flight and head to the castle you want to bombard. Once you're over the target spot, drop a flask of alchemist's fire to make sure that you are on target, and then start casting Major Creation.

    "Boss, there is a fire on top of the keep tower." "Never mind, it's out." "Holy crap!!"

    Frozen acid, alchemist's fire or black lotus extract probably weighs more or less the same as frozen water ice, so go with 60 lbs / cubic ft, or a measly 540 lbs at CL 9. The secondary damage is the exciting part here.

    I wonder what sort of Craft check you'd need to make a shrapnel bomb, a block of adamantine that is composed of about 4500 dagger blades connected by frangible wires, all pointing outwards and ready to fly apart in all directions upon impact? I'd give it a try. Even if you fail, it's still a 4500 lb ball of adamantine...

    Too bad the Black Cloud toxin generated by Achaierai isn't an option. "A big chunk of black ice fell and lots of people died. Then the survivors went insane for three hours."
    Last edited by Set; 2009-10-23 at 01:25 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    If damage cap is an issue, just create multiple smaller missles. If necessary for the purpose of the spell, you can join them together with tiny treads of string, which would burn up during reentry and seperate all of your missles. Then, you can roll for damage for each chunk of lead.

    Even if max falling object damage were 20d6, you can make a heck of a lot of them all fall onto the same area, and multiply an average of 70 damage times the number of missles. For example, you could create at least 16 half-ton lead weights, doing a total of at least 1120 damage, and that's not counting secondary shockwaves & area effect.
    Last edited by DwaggieBard; 2009-10-23 at 01:51 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    I know that long-range sniping requires the Coriolis effect in order to land a round on the target. I assume it's the same with long-range artillery. I would definitely assume the same with this exercise.

    EDIT: And while the energy released might be equivalent to a ~20kt nuclear explosion, keep in mind the lead rod will still act differently just by nature of not being a nuclear reaction. Burst height, full-spectrum radiation, etc. I don't know enough about ballistics to know how much different wind speeds and pressures and the like will be, but I'd wager that will be noticeably different as well.
    Artillery definitely requires consideration of the Coriolis effect in order to achieve accuracy. Corrections for it are part of any Tabular Firing Table, or the programming of an artillery computer. It actually also requires correction for the spin of the projectile based on the rifling of the barrel, but that's not an issue here.

    What is an issue here is the relative motion of the planet beneath you as you drop the object. Assuming you inherit the angular velocity of the planet as you teleport up, you're still only moving the speed the planet is at the surface. Since you're now higher, you're moving around a larger circle (ignoring the complexities of actual orbits and the fact that they aren't exactly circular for simplicity) so you'd need to accelerate in order to remain over the same point, and more importantly, make sure your lead bomb was moving laterally fast enough to stay over the target.

    You could also compute lead and teleport far enough ahead to achieve a hit. You'll also need to account for air resistance slowing down your lateral movement.

    Some people have already gone into how many dice of damage you'll get, but while you'll get a very large blast, rpobably, like someone said, around 20 KT, but it won't behave exactly like a nuclear blast. in particular, there won't be a nuclear fireball, but here will be plenty of blast and shockwave. To keep things simple, its probably easist to calculate effects based on a groundburst explosion of the yield its ultimately determined you get. Here is a nuclear weapon effects calculator:

    http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Science/Nuke.html

    Here is a reltivity effects calculator; relativistic effects won't happen in this scenario, but it will still give you energy yield based on velocity and mass

    http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/...elativity.html

    In fact, to knock out a castle, you probably could save a lot of weight and use a smaller projectile, assuming you can figure out a way to get a direct or near-direct hit. If you can't, you may want to stick with the 8-ton projectile in case you miss. This is why real nuclear warheads have shrunk so much since the early days of ICBMs; greater accuracy means they don't need such a massive warhead to knock out enemy ICBM silos. It's also why Russian weapons usually have somewhat larger warheads; to compensate for somewhat reduced accuracy.

    As for the lead melting, no, a solid hunk of 8-tons of lead is not going to melt at the velocities it will achieve from 20-30 km up, although some of the outside might melt. It's also not going to separate into droplets; there might be some but they will remain relatively close to the mass of the projectile. All the velocity is down and in the direction of orbit; there's no force pushing the droplets apart or dispersing them. They certainly won't vaporize.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    One more thing to consider: if the missile is an aerodynamic rod, then the explosion will be definately underground. I can't estimate, how deep it will go, but it is an issue. Or maybe not, since it should shake the ground sufficiently to at least replicate Earthquake spell. Which is not quite, what was sought for, yet a nice trick to have up one's sleeve.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    This. Is. Awesome.

    Set: I'm a necromancer, so actually I can think of a couple of uses offhand for a weapon that kills a bunch of people and traps their souls. Good idea!

    I also LOVE your idea for low-altitude payloads involving unusual munitions. I don't know if there's an easy way for me to freeze this much stuff without establishing a secret antarctic base, though...although, as a rule I don't really object to establishing secret antarctic bases. Hmmm...perhaps I could just take craft wondrous item for my level 12 feat and build some kind of instant-cooling ceramic freezer.

    I had toyed with the idea of an adamantine-jacketed missile, but I think the drop time on the missile will be long enough that it's dicey whether the duration would be sufficient. Maybe I should take extend spell instead....

    I do need a delivery vehicle, because conjuration spells must create their objects "fully supported". Right now my current vehicle of choice is a summoned fiendish gargantuan monstrous centipide with bull's strength cast on it. It can lift nearly 8 tons under a heavy load IIRC, and with CL 18 I can teleport it and myself as needed. CL 18 is easily achievable through red wizard circle magic. Odd how I cannot teleport an 8-ton lead telephone pole, but I can teleport a 30-foot centipede carrying said telephone pole. That's magic for you.

    Dwaggie: Submunitions! That's a great idea. I will definitely add that plan to our arsenal.

    Diamondeye: I was actually considering applying some threading and tailing to the missile to make it tumble in flight, like a bullet. This is good info from you: clearly I need to take some ranks in Profession (siege engineer) to make this work. I already have ranks in Knowledge (architecture and engineering) and several relevant craft skills to help me in the design and construction phases of the project. It looks like there's enough to consider that I ought to find an isolated test range and perform some test drops from various altitudes, maybe using barrels of paint to easily determine where my item lands.


    It occurs to me there's also a political element to this. I'm a foreigner in the country we're traveling in, and destruction on this scale could make a lot of very powerful people very frightened. That could have negative impacts on my longevity.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Create some sort of all-seeing eye construct, animate it and make it fly. Before that, surround it with thousands of explosive runes. Have it have it's eye closed. It lands somewhere and opens it's eye. After that, every rune goes boom. Maybe hold a few wail of the banshee scrolls there too, but otherwise, it is attainable at lowish level. Pricy, though.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by AtwasAwamps View Post
    I think he means "Assume that falling damage is infinite but all other rules of DnD apply".
    Wait doesn't that contradict the rules of real life? The 200ft. falling limit is likely a simplification of terminal velocity, and in real life, terminal velocity is the maximum rate that you can fall at in terms of speed. Either that, or its the maximum rate you can accelerate at.

    Could someone clarify this? Is falling damage based entirely on misunderstood physics?

    Asteroids create huge craters, but that's because they fall faster than gravity drives them, right?

    According to current falling damage rules, you'd have to drop a castle on a castle to destroy a castle.

    I wonder what sort of Craft check you'd need to make a shrapnel bomb, a block of adamantine that is composed of about 4500 dagger blades connected by frangible wires, all pointing outwards and ready to fly apart in all directions upon impact?
    Realistically, that'd take a long time to craft in a mundane manner. Also it sounds more complicated than inventing gun powder and building a big dumb grenade. :P

    If I were GM, I'd claim the character would have to spend hours upon hours mulling over the physics with middle age math (the fact that they haven't invented calculus then is probably brutal).
    Last edited by imp_fireball; 2009-10-31 at 05:09 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Three problems with the ring-gate ICBM have to do with the receiving gate. First, if the bomb works, the gate is hella destroyed -- expensive. Second, how do you get it to the proper place? Third, once you get it there, unless it's done right before use (which complicates HOW to get it there), the enemy could conceivably find it and use it against you somehow. I think aiming a non-smart bomb would be the simpler (if not easier) task ... though that depends somewhat on how much the DM distrusts you and wants you dead.

    Incidentally, is alignment an issue? You'd almost inevitably be killing lots of innocents.

    What would happen in the Ethereal when a KE weapon hits? Do other overlapping planes exist in the gameworld?

    A Gargantuan bipedal creature with Str 32 could lift eight tons as a heavy load, but it'd take CL 24 to teleport one Gargantuan creature along with you.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by imp_fireball View Post
    Wait doesn't that contradict the rules of real life? The 200ft. falling limit is likely a simplification of terminal velocity, and in real life, terminal velocity is the maximum rate that you can fall at in terms of speed. Either that, or its the maximum rate you can accelerate at.

    Could someone clarify this? Is falling damage based entirely on misunderstood physics?

    Asteroids create huge craters, but that's because they fall faster than gravity drives them, right?

    According to current falling damage rules, you'd have to drop a castle on a castle to destroy a castle.
    Well, for one thing the amount of damage a falling object causes is based on a different formula than the one for how much damage a character takes from falling.

    For another, terminal velocity is kind of a tricky thing. It applies to objects dropped from within the atmosphere, not to objects entering the atmosphere with some massive velocity already.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Exceptional Deflection could defeat it, but that's Epic.

    Emphasis added. So, any level-21 character with a free hand can survive a nuclear attack.
    You know what? If a player actually took 21 levels of monk, I'd be more than happy to let him survive a nuclear attack.

    Also, rule of cool. I see this extremely cinematic scene in my head of a 8-ton lead spear falling from the sky at terminal velocity, with a lone monk standing below on a castle roof, bracing for impact. Just as the projectile is about to land, the monk, with a powerful shout, hits it with the palm of his hand, sending it flying a few hundred feet away from the castle.

    The country side is ravaged due to the gargantuan lead spear tearing a 50-ft wide trench in the plains, but as the dust settles, you can see the castle stands unharmed. The epic monk casually wipes the dust from his hands and heads back inside.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    Incidentally, is alignment an issue? You'd almost inevitably be killing lots of innocents.

    What would happen in the Ethereal when a KE weapon hits? Do other overlapping planes exist in the gameworld?

    A Gargantuan bipedal creature with Str 32 could lift eight tons as a heavy load, but it'd take CL 24 to teleport one Gargantuan creature along with you.
    My character is true neutral tending towards neutral evil. I cart around a neutral good cleric cohort specifically to use him as my confessor. If he gets upset and decides to leave...well, you can't be an Evil Genius (TM) if you don't consider your minions to be expendable.

    As for the border ethereal, I imagine the furniture would get rearranged somewhat over there, yeah.

    You're correct about needing CL24 to teleport a gargantuan creature carrying eight tons of lead. However, I also need CL24 to create the eight tons of lead in the first place, so you can bet I have a solution. My patented Red Wizard Circle Dance makes achieving a caster level of 24 fairly trivial, even at 12th level, where I'm at currently. DMG prestige classes FTW!
    Last edited by jiriku; 2009-11-06 at 03:25 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Need a guided missile

    and then drop the projectile
    "I release the projectile."

    DM: "It floats next to you."

    If you just let it go in orbit it will stay in orbit where you let it go. Or rather, it will be sorta falling in such a way that it misses the ground. You can always push it down (toward earth) and out of orbit i guess. You need to be strong through. Especialy since you have no foothold or place to stand to give you leverage.

    I don't think there's a spell that says "you automatically hit",
    Their is however a level one spell that give you +20 to To Hit.
    Last edited by Stormthorn; 2009-11-10 at 09:03 PM.

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