This page serves as a guide to proper use of explosives and incendiary elements, specifically as it applies to roleplaying on World 42. Any valuable contributors are welcome to add, especially as new content is released in-game.
The Basic Concept of Explosives
An explosive is any material that, when ignited or otherwise activated, produces a forceful and brief expansion of heat and gasses. Explosives are useful as both a tool and weapon in our world, but are volatile and dangerous as they exist in Gielinor. Common explosives that can be found in Gielinor include: Black powder, Nitroglycerin (apparent), rubium, and various low-grade fishing explosives. Such compounds are very expensive in Gielinor and likely available only to armies of nations or very rich private citizens.
Offensive Methods using Explosives
Effectively inflicting damage via the use of explosive devices can be difficult, as they are inherently dangerous to both the user and the target.
Explosives can be deadly in three primary ways:
- Encasement in a vessel such that, upon detonation of the explosive compound within, would fragment the container and send it's pieces flying as shrapnel.
- Detonation within sufficient range of the target to inflict death/injury via blast overpressure.
- Detonation in such a place in relation to the target as to cause death/injury by falling debris or structural collapse.
- Concussive blast waves caused by large explosions can traumatize (and often fatally disable) internal organs and cellular structure even if the victim is away from the deadly shrapnel blast radius. In a more merciful scenario, a victim close to the center of the blast may instantaneously lose function of his heart.
Explosives may also be used to level buildings, clear rubble, or create holes in walls.
Loosely included in the category of "Explosives" are incendiary compounds such as pitch or alcohol. These cause death/injury via immolation and suffocation/smoke inhalation.
Often, explosive compounds such as black powder, rubium or nitroglycerin may be placed in an clay, iron or steel vessel, lit with a fuse or otherwise activated, and thrown at an enemy from distance. Aside from blast trauma, the lacerative nature of the shrapnel produced by such a device is often very effective in inflicting injury/death. This sort of explosive is best suited for use against unarmored opponents.
An important thing to consider when utilizing explosive weaponry is the concept of blast overpressure. Explosions, by nature, disrupt the air around them, causing an abrupt and intense increase in air pressure. This effect is very damaging to the body of most humanoids, and can result in such injuries as ruptured lungs, blindness, and dismemberment. This blastwave can cause additional injury in the flinging of opponents against walls and furniture, etc. This force multiplies exponentially as the size of the environment decreases, meaning that an explosive device, when placed in a smaller room, grows in destructive magnitude. When utilized properly, large amounts of material may be used to blast holes in walls or, when placed on support beams, bring down all or some of a large building.
This is the most common brand of explosive, being available for the general public for very little money and, while less traumatic than blast explosives, can still cause much anatomical and structural damage when used properly. A cheap, ingenious example of an incendiary device is the molotov cocktail, made by stuffing an alcohol or pitch-soaked rag into a glass bottle or container of a similarly flammable liquid. The rag is lit and the bottle thrown. When the glass breaks, or the rag burns down inside, the liquid within will catch fire and spread flames about the impact area. Less common are high-level mixes of swamp tar and pitch or Crandish fire, which stick to surfaces and can burn for hours uninterrupted. These sorts of weapons often inflict injury/death by way of horrific burns of varying degrees, or by way of smoke inhalation. If used in a sufficiently enclosed area, such devices may sap the oxygen from the air, asphyxiating opponents.
Defending Against Explosives
Defending against explosives can be very tricky. Primarily, defensive methods regarding explosives are preventative in nature, as most armor cannot defend at all against the harmful effects of explosives.
This class of methods is usually only effective against planted explosives, or those hidden by an assassin.
- The use of trained canines or other animals conditioned to 'point out' the smell of gunpowder, etc.
- The searching of a building or area for bombs and other hazardous material before entering.
- Regularly posted guards.
As previously stated, it is very difficult to directly defend against explosives, especially if they are of the thrown variety. In this case, one's best course of action would be to take cover in a trench of some sort or flee.
List of Known Explosives In-Game
- Fishing Explosive (Slayer)
- Nitroglycerin Vial (Digsite Quest, Soul Wars and Castle Wars)
- Chinchompas (Hunter, Ranged)
- Rubium Explosives (Slug Series)
- Gunpowder (Pirate Series and Player owned Ports)
- Barrel of naphtha
This section addresses traits that inexperienced roleplayers often make when equipping a character with explosives but that aren't considered accurate in roleplay.
- Chinchompas alone are not a practical explosive for demolition-type attacks on fortifications or other heavy structures. While both would likely wound an unprotected soldier or civilian, individually they are not very powerful.
- Grey chinchompas are similar to flash grenades; their ignition or explosion creates a bright flash and a loud noise, but the resulting concussive force is fairly minimal and is far from being sufficient against an enemy fortification.
- Red chinchompas are more effective, but are still largely incendiary - the explosion of one red chinchompa would create a burst of flame, a flash, and a crack of noise, but the concussive force is still only slightly greater than that of their grey counterparts. Notice how even a fairly weak human can walk up to a wild chinchompa, detonate it with his foot, and come out fairly unscathed.
- Explosives are not a typical equipment and most types are available for trade in very specific locations. It is always wise to explain why a character has access to rare materials, whether they be valuable metals or high-risk rubium grenades only available in a little fishing town on the coast of Kandarin.
- Fishing explosives need water to be set off, special construction of a vial that holds water in one chamber and the explosive in another would allow it to be used as a more useful explosive.
- It is worth noting that many of the necessary ingredients needed to create an explosive may not be readily available to the public. Be it for reasons beside cost, such as availability. Rubium for example is highly monitored and guarded 24/7 by Kandarin soldiers to ensure it is kept safe. Only those with permission from Kandar authority are permitted to gain access or even gain hold of the substance.