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Author Topic: Entry Revision: Firelance Machine  (Read 3174 times)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« on: 15 April 2012, 00:32:17 »

I seem to have found that my own projects in R'unor have given me custody of some sort of solar-powered nuclear weapon. That's really the best description for it, in case you were wondering.
Namely the Firelance Machine.
I can appreciate building awesome stuff as much as the next developer, but this... thing, is unconscionable.

Quote
The Firelance Machine is quite possibly the single most horrific weapon devised by any sentient people which is capable of vaporizing any and all organic material in a radius of up to 30 kilopeds.
Leaving out the bit about measurements, the absolutes and the sheer absurdity, we're talking about a device that probably rivals the kind of power of a Chosen would have been capable of pulling down, if I understand my history and magic correctly. And it's not some forgotten relic. This wonderful little toy would have been developed in the last 300 years, based on when its inventor lived.

Given the choice of words and read with that in mind, this is a device that vaporizes anything that is alive or has ever been alive. Timbers for buildings, bones in crypts, any scrap of paper or fabric, not to mention very likely rendering the soil in a given area completely barren and infertile. The ability to level vast parts of a city, destroy an entire forest, commit minor acts of genocide... I could go on...

Basically, I'm asking for carte blanche to fix this.
My current solution for  an old-fashioned Burning Glass that has been scaled up. The resulting construction is both fairly fragile and fairly complicated, meaning that they wouldn't be built carelessly and would hardly be mobile. It solves the problem of how a small collection of islands manages to remain a significant power, and disposes of our would-be atomic weapon without much trouble.
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #1 on: 15 April 2012, 03:23:19 »

Do the R'unorians have the harbour defense employed by Archimedes (I think) of using large bronze mirrors to ignite enemy ships? That's hardly too tricky, and seems in line with their style.
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Bard Judith
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« Reply #2 on: 15 April 2012, 18:09:36 »

I think you would be well within parameters to change and repair this.  Not only is it pretty short and sketchy, it's extremely overpowered. 

While I'm not the Weapons of Mass Destruction Moderator (looks nervously around)  you would certainly have my approval to make some modifications to the entry.  Check in with Art by PM and see what he thinks, eh?
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Tharoc Wargrider
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« Reply #3 on: 15 April 2012, 19:30:34 »

Hi Val. If you haven't already seen it, I think watching this episode of Mythbusters may provide you with some useful ideas. They recreate Archimedes' Death Ray in full scale, using the same materials, and try to set fire to a ship in harbour. Then they build it using modern materials and compare results.

Gotta love them Mythbusters!

Say.....am I missing an eyebrow?
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #4 on: 15 April 2012, 21:14:15 »

I'd like to mention here what I added as comments to the Gregory Firelance entry people have started on ages ago, but never managed to get finished:

See here (first version) and then here (second one). I quote the key part here:

Quote
R'unor is a pretty small kingdom spread on many isles. So weapons of mass destruction don't make that much sense on it, unless you like to invent something pretty cool primarily - and notice the real outcome much later. Maybe you could establish first that he has a certain proficiency with all kinds of devices and then the Santharian kingdom (maybe some officials were checking on some R'unorian Brandy) became interested in his abilities. They could have sponsered a cooperation between Santharia and R'unor in order to get such a device constructed by a genius like Firelance. (The name could eventually be Erpheronian-inspired BTW, more as a honorary one.)

I'm just letting my mind free reign here, maybe this is something that you'd like to pick up, as I think you can make things quite interesting that way: Expanding on that idea that the work was commissioned by Santharia as well there was a lot of pressure on him, and eventually he realized that he couldn't continue with it. Then he destroyed his plans - you don't explain his motivations clearly yet. I guess his conscience stopped him from continuing such a war machine, as maybe it was just interesting for him to realize such a magnificent device. - Maybe he then went undercover, escaping the Santharian wrath, and started working elsewhere as a clockmaker, and only after his death his wife revealed her identity and told the story etc.

In short: I would tune a construction of this magnitude down considerably, make it very unstable, Firelance more a "mad professor" kind of guy, who has problems with getting it really done. So with your suggestion to make this machine "fairly fragile and fairly complicated" etc. this looks much more likely and is definitely the way I'd go with it, yup.
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #5 on: 15 April 2012, 23:17:39 »

@Tharoc and Ath
That's exactly what I had in mind actually.

@Judy: The moderator in charge of weapons of mass destruction would seem to be yours truly.

"Well Valan, what do you think, is this crazy?"
"Yes Valan, I think it's absolutely mad. Would you like to rewrite it?"
"I don't think I could Valan, why don't you?"
"Well if you insist!"

@Art: I was thinking perhaps painting Firelance a little more along the lines of Da Vinci, ideas that are ahead of his time in that sense. But the mad professor idea certainly has its merits. But don't worry, he's on my list of revisions to-do as well. As is Vladmir Fly-eater. I'm thinking those might just be Tharianizations of actual names, much like say... brownie names.

@All: Thanks for the go-ahead!
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« Reply #6 on: 16 April 2012, 11:37:24 »

I'd love to see Firelance be a mad gnomish da Vinci.  We need more famous people of other races...the humans are overly-well represented much of the time...

Just a thought!

P.S.   And if you did.... I can see the picture for this in my head already.   Hint hint hint....
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #7 on: 16 April 2012, 12:32:07 »

Sadly, dear bard he's a R'unorian and we have a distinct lack of the little races here.
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« Reply #8 on: 16 April 2012, 23:39:21 »

There's always Ludd da Sprynng, Judy. Remember him? The inept Dwarven inventor of the windmill powered pyrate ship, the Multi-plough, RatNav and numerous other almost-successful contraptions.
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