Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nukes in Scion

...should do about 50 dice of damage.

Arthur3535 at the forums eyeballed it at 50 levels, and then I did some math to confirm that he was in the right ball park.

Here's some math and notes that lead to that conclusion:

4184 terajoules in 1 megaton explosion

W = F x D

W is foot-pounds. F is force (in pounds). D is distance (in feet).

1 horsepower = 550 foot pounds

1 joule = 0.737562149277 ft·lb

1,000,000,000,000 joules = 1 terajoule

1 terajoule = 737,562,149,277 ft lbs

Epic Strength 11 can lift 1,250,000,000 pounds
and throw 125,000,000 pounds a distance equal to (Str+Ath) in yards
that distance is probably 11+5+46 = 62 yds = 186 feet

125,000,000 x 186 = 23250000000 foot-pounds of energy

0.737562149277 x 23250000000 = 17,148,319,970.69 joules
which is 0.017148319971 terajoules

that's without knacks, but obviously anyone with Epic Strength 10 is going to have a few knacks. Hurl to the moon allows you to throw that same mass as far as you can throw a dart before penalties set in. that's 30 feet times 5,000,000 from epic strength. 150,000,000 feet!

125,000,000 x 150,000,000 = 1.875e+16 foot pounds
1.875e+16 mean 18,750,000,000,000,000

0.737562149277 x 1.875e+16 = 1.38292903e+16 joules
1.38292903e+16 means 13829290300000000
which is 13,829.290298944 terajoules

13,829.290298944 divided by 4,184 is the energy equivalent of 3.3 megatons

The most powerful nuclear weapon in US service is 1.2 megatons.
The God of Strength would do around 13 dice + 46 successes with his bare hands, or as high as 26 dice + 46 successes with a by-the-books relic labrys. (And my improvised weapon system would rate the hurl-to-the-moon attack above at 11 dice + 56 successes). He does more damage than the nuke to a single target, which makes sense since his attacks could have 3.3 megatons of energy. But he doesn't have the multi-mile undodgable blast radius the nuke would presumably have.


Here's some other things I wrote on the forums in the process of convincing myself that 50 dice is the way to go.

I'd suggest starting with Nukes. Figure out how much damage you want a nuke to do in the system, then reverse engineer everything less by plotting where it falls on the rifle to nuke scale.

In another thread, Arthur suggested 50 levels for nukes, which sounds pretty good. According to the list on page 201 of Scion, only stone walls and blast doors would survive that, and the former would have holes blown in it big enough for humans to walk through.

Epic Stamina 7 would guarantee survival... from the first blast. And as a fun bonus, anyone with Epic Strength 9+ would be able to claim they punch with the force of a nuclear device. That'd be flavorful.

Since damage dice become levels against inanimate objects, you could probably just make the nuke be an undodgable 50 dice of lethal with the penetrating tag. That'd be more than enough to fry humans - it'd be pretty rare that 50 dice doesn't turn up the 10 successes needed to kill a non-extra in riot gear. At the same time, it'd allow PCs a chance to survive as far down the power-scale as Legend 6 or so. Making it dice would seriously downgrade the killing power in regards to Gods and Titans, but it'd still be an effective weapon against the titanspawn army depicted in the wicked illustration on page 156 of Demigod.

By Legend 5 or 6, the PCs have the Epic Manipulation to get themselves an A-bomb, or the Epic Intelligence to build their own, or the Epic Physicals to rob a bank to pay off some terrorists...etc. You can't keep the PCs away from it if they want it. Sure, they probably won't want to start nuking the earth, but, they might not think twice about dirty-bombing Helheim or dropping some Atomic Depth Charges into the Drowned Road.

That's why I vote to keep Nukes in the range where a stamina-heavy god (or god-level antagonist) is almost certain to survive it.

Otherwise, the aforementioned deadman's switch starts looking like the optimal in-game tactic, and that's not the game i want to run.

and here's the explanation of the deadman's switch comment:

Or imagine a God carrying a briefcase nuke with a deadman's switch on a 1-second delay. You take a guard action till your target takes any 3 to 5 tick action, then interrupt yourself to spend 1 tick dissolving your physical form. When the bomb goes off, you're safely immaterial, but the target's still waiting a tick or two before they can react. Ugly.

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