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View Full Version : [3.5] [CharOp masters needed] variation on the Locate City nuke



jiriku
2009-10-13, 01:37 AM
I'm preparing a backup arcane caster in the event that my primary character should die, and I'm thinking about an optimized blastomancer. I've heard about and studied the locate city nuke, and while that wouldn't pass the cheese test with my DM (and takes too many feats anyhow), I'm interested in developing a variation on it that would a) involve less speculative rules interpretations, and b) be less resource-intensive, because this would be a mutually-assured destruction tactic that I would threaten only when all the chips were on the table, not the workhorse centerpiece of my build.

My current candidate spells would be apocalype from the sky, evil weather, fimbulwinter, or control weather, but I'm open to better spells.

Minimum level for this character would be 11, but if I didn't acquire the ability to pull off the nuke until level 15-18, that's fine too. Assume standard WBL and any WotC books. Ideally I'd like a blast with a radius large enough to punch a hole in the planet's crust and trigger a volcanic eruption (the game world is fantasy Earth, so everything you know about geology applies). Personally surviving the blast would be a plus, but is not required.

Can one of the overlord-level optimizers on this board help me blow a hole in the world?

PROPOSALS UNDER CONSIDERATION

Anti-matter Detonation

Method: Cast major creation to summon a large quantity of a very dense susbstance. Case it agains to summon the anti-matter equivalent of that substance. Profit.
Pros: Minimal investment: requires only one spell known, plus possibly some high-end knowledge checks to be aware of the physics involved.
Cons: DM may rule that anti-matter doesn't exist. DM may rule that I don't know anti-matter exists. Major creation only produces matter, so another method would be required to create the antimatter.
Prognosis: Unlikely to get DM clearance.


Project Thor

Method: Assemble a gigantic spear of very dense material. Transport it to upper earth orbit and drop them on the target. Per real-world physics, the resulting impact should have the force of a nuclear bomb.
Pros: Fabricate and teleport should make this a pretty simple job. Target unlikely to have any defense against this tactic.
Cons: From a great altitude, it may be difficult to aim the projectile properly. D&D physics will cap the damage of any falling object at 20d6. 20d6 impact damage is not instantly deadly to many high-level opponents or hardened structures.
Prognosis: This is an effective tactic that can deal substantial area damage, perhaps by releasing dozens/hundreds of boulders from high altitude. I'll use it, but it's not deadly enough for what I'm looking for. I need a tactical nuke.


Flame the World

Method: Teleport into orbit. Stack the enlarge breath feat. Breath fire. Alternately, do any one of a variety of nasty things to the planet's core and extinguish all life.
Pros: Supreme dakka.
Cons: Too much dakka. I'm looking for a tactical nuke, not the end of the world. Further, the DM is likely to deny any effect that destroys his game world. Also, metabreath enlarge may not stack.
Prognosis: I need something with a more limited scope.


For those who aren't familiar with the locate city nuke:

The principle of the thing is to start with a spell that has an extremely large area of effect (such as locate city), give it the cold descriptor with the snowcasting feat, make it deal damage with the flash frost spell feat, make it offer a reflex save with the born of three thunders feat, then make it blow everything to kingdom come with the explosive spell feat.

The build challenge to this combo is that snowcasting is not a metamagic feat, and is therefore applied only when the spell is cast, so even by fairly dodgy RAI, the only class that could pull this is off is a spontaneous caster with four fairly sub-optimal feats and a suboptimal level 1 spell slot.

The practical obstacle to executing this combo cleanly is that explosive spell requires a spell that allows a reflex save and affects an area, and to deal truly devastating damage, the area must be very very large...hundreds of yards at a minimum, and tens of miles would be better. No spells fit that description, so it's generally necessary to start with a really big spell and use metamagic to shoehorn the spell into meeting the requirements for the explosive spell feat.

infinitypanda
2009-10-13, 01:42 AM
You could make an anti-osmium bomb.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/majorCreation.htm
Make anti-osmium, a rare metal. You can make 1 cubic foot per level (so 11 to start), or roughly 297000 cm^3. This is about 6,715 kilograms of anti-osmium. According to Wikipedia, every one kilogram of antimatter annihilated produces the same energy as a 42.96 megaton bomb. This means that you are exploding the equivalent of a 288,476 megaton bomb, or 5,769 Tsar Bombas.

Enjoy.

jiriku
2009-10-13, 01:45 AM
Hmm, I am pretty sure that our universe follows real-world physics closely enough to have anti-matter, but I am not sure the DM will allow me to know what anti-matter is. Is that the combo that involves two major creation spells and one very large bang?

infinitypanda
2009-10-13, 01:52 AM
Yes, it is. I edited my post to explain in more detail (but I probably messed up one vital detail, so if someone could fact-check that would be nice).

jiriku
2009-10-13, 02:00 AM
Hmm, it is good, and for sure it kills many catgirls, but it relies on the existence of a substance (anti-osmium) which doesn't exist in the rulebooks.

Is there a method of causing a great deal of ruckus that can be constructed entirely from published material?

Zaq
2009-10-13, 02:03 AM
Control Winds and/or Control Weather can ruin cities without even trying. Then you get into crazy CL boosters and you start signing treaties.

PhoenixRivers
2009-10-13, 02:06 AM
One way to most certainly raise the stakes is to announce that you've got friends in low places.

Gate, 2-way travel version.

Other side? Roll a d1000 and choose that layer of the Abyss.

Or choose a level of the 9 Hells that you like. I'm a fan of opening a gate to the base of Dispater's tower. It usually sees decent traffic.

There's a reason the phrase is "when all hell breaks loose".

All you need? A decent amount of Knowledge (The Planes), possibly Knowledge (Religion).

MickJay
2009-10-13, 05:58 AM
Locate City suffers from one inherent problem, namely, it's area of effect is a circle, not a sphere. This eliminates possibility of any massive explosive damage from happening, the worst that would happen is 2 cold damage + targets in the area are moved above or below the area of effect. Still enough to kill some commoners, but that's about it.

charl
2009-10-13, 06:38 AM
Apocalypse from the sky is about as bad as it gets. The spell is pretty much guaranteed to kill everything with less than 6 HD within an area twice the size of Iceland.

What more do you want? :smallbiggrin:

Violet Octopus
2009-10-13, 07:02 AM
I'm no charop master, but it occurs to me that of you Gate between the Earth's core (or possibly the inner core or mantle where it's molten) and some other plane of your choice, the pressure on the Earth side would extrude magma and molten metal through to the other side. Causing a veeeery slow deflation of the planet (or until it stabilised somehow, but I'm guessing it'd still destroy all life on the planet.

Or there's the metabreath trick, which I just heard about yesterday (get a breath weapon with a recharge time measured in rounds, take the Enlarge Breath feat from Draconomicon. Multiple uses of the same metabreath feat stack, so there's nothing stopping you from teleporting into orbit, stacking the feat a bajillion times and blanketing the entire planet in your breath weapon.

edit: if there's some sort of attract metal spell, you could do interesting things with the Earth's core. Or perhaps rusting grasp...rust has a much greater volume than iron. Bestow fire immunity on several rust monsters and teleport them to the core. You'll have your vocanic eruptions soon enough.

Da Pwnzlord
2009-10-13, 07:25 AM
You could make an anti-osmium bomb.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/majorCreation.htm
Make anti-osmium, a rare metal. You can make 1 cubic foot per level (so 11 to start), or roughly 297000 cm^3. This is about 6,715 kilograms of anti-osmium. According to Wikipedia, every one kilogram of antimatter annihilated produces the same energy as a 42.96 megaton bomb. This means that you are exploding the equivalent of a 288,476 megaton bomb, or 5,769 Tsar Bombas.

Enjoy.

Is there any particular reason it has to be Osmium? I always hear about anti-osmium bombs, but no anti-hydrogen bombs, or anti-uranium bombs.



On topic:

You could load up a Portable Hole with the dense rock of your choice. The volume of a Portable Hole is about 282 cubic feat. One cubic foot of basalt weighs 187 pounds. http://www.seed.slb.com/v2/FAQView.cfm?ID=1115

That means you can load up 52,734 pounds of rock, carry it to a suitable altitude and drop it. I don't know what would happen if you dropped a 25 ton object from several thousand feat up, but what I do know is that by RAW, if you loaded your Portable Hole up with 52,734 one-pound rocks, and dropped it from 1,400 ft (or higher), each one of those rocks would deal 20d6 damage when it hits. That's 1,054,680d6 damage total. That *should* be enough to destroy whatever the heck you want, including possibly punching a hole through the Earth's crust and starting a volcano.

charl
2009-10-13, 07:34 AM
Is there any particular reason it has to be Osmium? I always hear about anti-osmium bombs, but no anti-hydrogen bombs, or anti-uranium bombs.



On topic:

You could load up a Portable Hole with the dense rock of your choice. The volume of a Portable Hole is about 282 cubic feat. One cubic foot of basalt weighs 187 pounds. http://www.seed.slb.com/v2/FAQView.cfm?ID=1115

That means you can load up 52,734 pounds of rock, carry it to a suitable altitude and drop it. I don't know what would happen if you dropped a 25 ton object from several thousand feat up, but what I do know is that by RAW, if you loaded your Portable Hole up with 52,734 one-pound rocks, and dropped it from 1,400 ft (or higher), each one of those rocks would deal 20d6 damage when it hits. That's 1,054,680d6 damage total. That *should* be enough to destroy whatever the heck you want, including possibly punching a hole through the Earth's crust and starting a volcano.


With a spelljamming ship and this you could do an orbital impact weapon ("spear of god") with this technique, provided you had a dense enough material available.

For those unfamiliar with this it's basically dropping a rod of very dense metal from orbit. By the time it reaches planet surface it will be carrying so much kinetic energy that its impact will result in an explosion comparable to a high yield nuclear bomb without the radioactivity.

Thane of Fife
2009-10-13, 07:36 AM
Is there any particular reason it has to be Osmium? I always hear about anti-osmium bombs, but no anti-hydrogen bombs, or anti-uranium bombs.

Osmium is the densest natural element - more bang.

It wouldn't work, anyway, though. The spell specifies that you can only create matter.

Da Pwnzlord
2009-10-13, 07:42 AM
With a spelljamming ship and this you could do an orbital impact weapon ("spear of god") with this technique, provided you had a dense enough material available.

For those unfamiliar with this it's basically dropping a rod of very dense metal from orbit. By the time it reaches planet surface it will be carrying so much kinetic energy that its impact will result in an explosion comparable to a high yield nuclear bomb without the radioactivity.

The problem is, at least the way I read it, is that any falling object only deals a maximum of 20d6 damage. No matter how heavy, or how far it falls, it can only deal a max of 20d6. Even if you argue that that maximum only applies to a bonus to falling it still isn't as efficiant as spreading your weight out. Thus, several thousand small rocks, each individual rock dealing 20d6.


Here's the relevant passage from the d20srd:


Just as characters take damage when they fall more than 10 feet, so too do they take damage when they are hit by falling objects.

Objects that fall upon characters deal damage based on their weight and the distance they have fallen.

For each 200 pounds of an objectís weight, the object deals 1d6 points of damage, provided it falls at least 10 feet. Distance also comes into play, adding an additional 1d6 points of damage for every 10-foot increment it falls beyond the first (to a maximum of 20d6 points of damage).

Objects smaller than 200 pounds also deal damage when dropped, but they must fall farther to deal the same damage. Use Table: Damage from Falling Objects to see how far an object of a given weight must drop to deal 1d6 points of damage.

For each additional increment an object falls, it deals an additional 1d6 points of damage.

Objects weighing less than 1 pound do not deal damage to those they land upon, no matter how far they have fallen.

Oslecamo
2009-10-13, 07:42 AM
Osmium is the densest natural element - more bang.

It wouldn't work, anyway, though. The spell specifies that you can only create matter.

Indeed. This is the most english-raping munckinerism I've ever seen in my life, claiming that a spell that creates matter can create anti-matter!

What's next? Claim that your cleric can turn living beings? They run on positive energy after all! That's the same as negative energy isn't it?

charl
2009-10-13, 07:46 AM
The problem is, at least the way I read it, is that any falling object only deals a maximum of 20d6 damage. No matter how heavy, or how far it falls, it can only deal a max of 20d6. Even if you argue that that maximum only applies to a bonus to falling it still isn't as efficiant as spreading your weight out. Thus, several thousand small rocks, each individual rock dealing 20d6.


Here's the relevant passage from the d20srd:


Oh, well. Serves me right for trying to apply real world physics to DnD.

I think the max 20d6 rule is to account for maximum falling velocity, though. And that only applies if you are within the planet's immediate gravity field (never mind that it doesn't take into account atmospheric resistance). If you drop it from space those rules really shouldn't apply.

Violet Octopus
2009-10-13, 07:50 AM
Indeed. This is the most english-raping munckinerism I've ever seen in my life, claiming that a spell that creates matter can create anti-matter!

What's next? Claim that your cleric can turn living beings? They run on positive energy after all! That's the same as negative energy isn't it?

Not to mention that matter is made from the classical elements, not from subatomic particles :smallsigh:

charl
2009-10-13, 07:56 AM
Not to mention that matter is made from the classical elements, not from subatomic particles :smallsigh:

Uhm... no? Matter is made from electrons, protons and neutrons. Those are last time I checked subatomic particles.

Douglas
2009-10-13, 07:59 AM
Or there's the metabreath trick, which I just heard about yesterday (get a breath weapon with a recharge time measured in rounds, take the Enlarge Breath feat from Draconomicon. Multiple uses of the same metabreath feat stack, so there's nothing stopping you from teleporting into orbit, stacking the feat a bajillion times and blanketing the entire planet in your breath weapon.
Multiple uses of some specific metabreath feats stack. Enlarge is not one of them.

BobVosh
2009-10-13, 08:11 AM
Uhm... no? Matter is made from electrons, protons and neutrons. Those are last time I checked subatomic particles.

I don't know why, but I can't help imaging you over a microscope somehow checking this out.

I know it doesn't work that way, my imagination cares not for your "facts."


Original Anti-Osmium post.(as far as I know) (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2010735&postcount=38)

charl
2009-10-13, 08:17 AM
I don't know why, but I can't help imaging you over a microscope somehow checking this out.


Haha. Now that would be cool. (In real life I'm not a very science minded person. I study literature and rhetoric!)

No, but really. If a spell calls for matter then anti-matter is out of the question.
At least that's how I would rule it if I was the DM.

Violet Octopus
2009-10-13, 08:24 AM
Uh, I meant matter is composed of the classical elements in D&D. Which can be houseruled or homebrewed otherwise in a fantasy Earth setting, but unless such houserules exist, subatomic particles and hence antimatter do not exist.


Multiple uses of some specific metabreath feats stack. Enlarge is not one of them.


For example, a Small dragon with a line-shaped breath weapon could use Enlarge Breath twice on the same breath. Since the base length of the line is 40 feet, the doubly enlarged line would become 80 feet long (20 extra feet per application of the feat), and the dragon would have to wait 1d4+2 rounds before breathing again.
It does go on to say that if a metabreath feat stacks with itself, this is noted under "Special", and Enlarge Breath doesn't mention it. So it's unclear.

woodenbandman
2009-10-13, 08:31 AM
Getting back to the question:

If you want to cast any spell at all as an immediate action 1/day, read on. The Anima Mage allows you to cast any spell at all with any casting time as an immediate action once per day, at ECL 14. At that point, I believe you get Control Weather.

Do the math.

Oslecamo
2009-10-13, 08:34 AM
Uh, I meant matter is composed of the classical elements in D&D. Which can be houseruled or homebrewed otherwise in a fantasy Earth setting, but unless such houserules exist, subatomic particles and hence antimatter do not exist.



Ah, true indeed! Everything is made out of fire, water, earth, wind and HEARTH!

When their powers combine they form CAPTAIN PLANET, PROTECTOR OF CATGIRLS!:smallbiggrin:

Douglas
2009-10-13, 08:38 AM
It does go on to say that if a metabreath feat stacks with itself, this is noted under "Special", and Enlarge Breath doesn't mention it. So it's unclear.
It's a classic case of WotC not reading their own rules when writing their examples. It's not unclear at all, when an example and rule conflict, the rule wins. The rule is that self-stacking metabreath feats have a "Special" section that mentions this fact and Enlarge Breath does not have such a section. Therefore Enlarge Breath does not stack with itself.

Random832
2009-10-13, 08:55 AM
Uh, I meant matter is composed of the classical elements in D&D. Which can be houseruled or homebrewed otherwise in a fantasy Earth setting, but unless such houserules exist, subatomic particles and hence antimatter do not exist.


DMG 136 - This section on world-building assumes that your campaign is set in a fairly realistic world. That is to say that while wizards cast spells, deities channel power to clerics, and dragons raze villages, the world is round, the laws of physics are applicable, and most people act like real people. The reason for this assumption is that unless they are told otherwise, this situation is what your players expect.

This was the argument given to me when I actually cited the written rules on how gravity works in the D&D world. You've got less to stand on than I did.

Violet Octopus
2009-10-13, 09:09 AM
OK, I concede.
edit: about metabreath feats, that is.

In any case, it's an uncreative way of destroying a planet.

Back on topic, my rust monster plan: the earth's core (including outer core) has a radius of about 3400 km, or a volume of 1.646x10^20 cubic metres. A rust monster can corrode a 10ft cube of metal/round, or 28.32 cubic metres.

...about 1x10^12 years for a single rust monster to devour the entire core, and to trigger eruptions, you'd probably need a sizeable amount of the core to be corroded, so at best we can knock off a couple of orders of magnitude.

Unless the OP can get a billion rust monsters, this isn't going to work. Unless there's some way to improve the rust monster?

The Gilded Duke
2009-10-13, 09:27 AM
Summon Dalmosh
Dalmosh is a Gargantuan Outsider in Monster Manual V that tries to eat anything in his path. He grows more mouths when he is damaged and has a demiplane in his stomach.

Summoning him only requires 10,000 gp of food and drink and an hour long ritual.
For extra fun cast Fly on him as soon as he appears. Then teleport away (he tries to eat anything, including you)

sambo.
2009-10-13, 09:43 AM
That's 1,054,680d6 damage total.
many moons ago, in a heavily modified, very high-powered Champions game i was in.......

one of the PCs was sitting "at rest" relative to the Sun when the Earth slammed into him.

he took similar damage to what you describe. one dude had to write a quick computer program to roll all the dice. being it was sometime in the 1980's, said computer took quite some time to calculate the damage.


That *should* be enough to destroy whatever the heck you want, including possibly punching a hole through the Earth's crust and starting a volcano.

it wasn't. Behemoth (for such was his moniker) survived.

i'll grant you that he did punch a rather large hole in the deck which did indeed, eventually, fill up with lava.

we had to get his fat arse out of the hole before the magma could flow.

(did i mention this was a seriously high-powered game?)

- - - -
back on topic, dropping a whole ****load of 1lb objects from high altitude should flatten the city of your choice.

of course, aiming the damn thing could be a little dicey. do you have Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Orbital Bombardment?

i didn't think so. that's one hell of a range penalty coupled with the non-proficiency penalty you'll have to overcome unless you want to risk hitting something you don't actually want to hit.

perhaps consider the possibilities offered by a simple TrueStrike spell......

lvl 1 sharnian
2009-10-13, 09:45 AM
The problem is, at least the way I read it, is that any falling object only deals a maximum of 20d6 damage. No matter how heavy, or how far it falls, it can only deal a max of 20d6. Even if you argue that that maximum only applies to a bonus to falling it still isn't as efficiant as spreading your weight out. Thus, several thousand small rocks, each individual rock dealing 20d6.


Here's the relevant passage from the d20srd:

I'm pretty sure that the max damage only applies to the distance falling rather than altogether; don't you think it's a bit silly that the Moon could fall onto Earth and we would only take 20d6 damage?

Violet Octopus
2009-10-13, 09:51 AM
This was the argument given to me when I actually cited the written rules on how gravity works in the D&D world. You've got less to stand on than I did.

from the DMG, page 147:
Inner Planes: These six planes are manifestations of the basic building blocks of the universe.

While it'd be entertaining to planeshift to the Plane of Charm, I think the writers of the DMG intended "laws of physics" not to mean quantum chromodynamics.

jiriku
2009-10-13, 10:08 AM
I have updated the initial post with the proposals under consideration.

To clarify my request, I do not want to destroy the game world. The DM would be highly annoyed with me if I tried to do that. He likes his game world. What I do want to do is create a trump card, a means of assuring the instant and irrevocable destruction of everything in an area of miles or tens of miles. Within our campaign, that is an acceptable level of practical optimization for near-epic levels. Also, we may do some traveling to the lower planes at the upper levels, and honestly, I won't lose any sleep at night if I have to rip up large chunks of Baator while I'm down there.

How about a micro-nuke? Are there any spells with an area effect of long range? If I could apply explosive spell to something with an area of 400+25'/level, that would deal at least 100d6 to everything in the area. That could have a place in my arsenal.

Lycanthromancer
2009-10-13, 11:41 AM
If you just want a fudge-ton of damage to a few different creatures, try using shrink item on some boulders, strap them all together, toss them in a bag of holding and telekinesis them at your foes. They'll expand on impact, dealing several thousand points of damage (more, if metamagicked). Or, you could just drop them from several hundred feet up, with a raven familiar readying the command word, if need be.

Alternately, get a 300 page book of empty pages. Explosive runes on the front and back of every page. A quick (non-targeted) dispel magic at minimum CL should deal quite a bit of damage (again, especially if metamagicked). Not much range, but you can still do a bunch of damage in a small area. Or, just some runes written on the moon. Everything that is close enough to read it (ie, everything on the planet's surface) will take force damage with no save (great with Explosive Spell!).

Also, control weather. Or storm of vengeance.

Or, planar bind or animate some wraiths, shadows, or other undead that create more undead when their victims die. Start yourself a wightocalypse.

lsfreak
2009-10-13, 11:55 AM
No, but really. If a spell calls for matter then anti-matter is out of the question.

No no no no NO! Antimatter IS MATTER. It's made up of the same stuff, interacts via the same forces, everything is the same, except the quarks (and therefore the particles) have the opposite electrical charge. It would be like calling night 'anti-day' and then saying it's not part the 24-hour day.

Da Pwnzlord
2009-10-13, 12:01 PM
- - - -
back on topic, dropping a whole ****load of 1lb objects from high altitude should flatten the city of your choice.

of course, aiming the damn thing could be a little dicey. do you have Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Orbital Bombardment?

i didn't think so. that's one hell of a range penalty coupled with the non-proficiency penalty you'll have to overcome unless you want to risk hitting something you don't actually want to hit.

perhaps consider the possibilities offered by a simple TrueStrike spell......

It's not Orbital Bombardment. This is the altitude of airplanes, and a low-flying one at that. And we don't want to aim very well anyway. It would be much better if we scattered our missles of death all over a city, to best replicate the effect of a nuke. Dealing three and half milllion damage to 4 five foot squares is awsome, but that means everyone else in the area gets off scott free.

v
I'm pretty sure that the max damage only applies to the distance falling rather than altogether; don't you think it's a bit silly that the Moon could fall onto Earth and we would only take 20d6 damage?

Of course I do. I find the concept of magic itself somewhat silly too. I'm just playing RAW advocate. You can do whatever you want in your game. I whole-heartedly endorse ruling that dropping a 25 ton object from near-earth orbit would have effects not measured in rolls of dice. I'm just seeing where RAW will take us here. Additionally, even if you consider the limit to apply to distance only, thousands of little rocks still deal more damage. I think.



I also like using Shrink Item to make the mass of all the rocks smaller, then expanding them mid-air.

Oslecamo
2009-10-13, 12:06 PM
No no no no NO! Antimatter IS MATTER. It's made up of the same stuff, interacts via the same forces, everything is the same, except the quarks (and therefore the particles) have the opposite electrical charge. It would be like calling night 'anti-day' and then saying it's not part the 24-hour day.

Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! I'm studying in a physics course, I've discussed the issue with my coleagues who play D&D, and they all agreed that anti-matter isn't matter, because it's not the same stuff. We don't care that it's only the electrical charge that's diferent, it's still diferent, and thus unqualifies anti-matter from the status of matter. Why do you think it was called that way in the first place?

Your reasoning is the same as claiming that right and left are the same since they only have one direction of diference. One diference is more than enough.

Plus anti-matter of any kind is expensive as hell, so even if it was matter it couldn't be obatined by major creation.


jiriku:Minor quirck, but locate city just doesn't work, because it affects only a circle. This means that even if you could apply all the feats, all that happens is that the creatures in the area of the circle are pushed to the nearest edge, wich is not the exterior radius of the circle, but just a litle up or down, since a circle has no tickness. So nobody moves 10 feets, and nobody takes a single point of damage.

charl
2009-10-13, 12:10 PM
No no no no NO! Antimatter IS MATTER. It's made up of the same stuff, interacts via the same forces, everything is the same, except the quarks (and therefore the particles) have the opposite electrical charge. It would be like calling night 'anti-day' and then saying it's not part the 24-hour day.

If a spell only works at night I wouldn't allow it to work during day.

And I really don't want my players to create anti-matter in order to make huge explosions, so I'm going to rule that for the purpose of that spell matter does not mean anti-matter.

Heliomance
2009-10-13, 12:16 PM
Falling damage is capped by height but not by weight. There's a table in CW, I believe, that shows how damage by weight increases; this is abused for fun and profit by the Hulking Hurler.

technophile
2009-10-13, 12:35 PM
back on topic, dropping a whole ****load of 1lb objects from high altitude should flatten the city of your choice.

Not likely. Dropping a 1lb. rock from orbit will result in absolutely no effect, since the object will burn up entering the atmosphere. The Space Shuttle weighs considerably more than 1lb and it can't survive reentry except under extremely tightly controlled circumstances and using extremely sophisticated materials. Virtually all meteorites burn up long before hitting the ground; only the really truly big ones cause the kind of damage he's looking for.

Dropping it from within atmosphere it will still be limited to terminal velocity and thus won't be much different than dropping a 1lb object from the top of a skyscraper. You might get lucky and hit someone in the head, but aside from some minor breakage and such injuries, it won't really do much (and people will start looking for sturdy shelter as soon as the first one hits, reducing further injuries). It sure as hell won't punch holes in the planetary crust.

To get any kind of real damage, you're going to have to use something a) large, b) dense, and c) moving very rapidly (relative to the planet) when it enters the atmosphere, so that it survives long enough to actually hit the ground.

jiriku
2009-10-13, 12:45 PM
Falling damage is capped by height but not by weight. There's a table in CW, I believe, that shows how damage by weight increases; this is abused for fun and profit by the Hulking Hurler.

Perhaps the Thor project can work after all. I'll check that table when I get home and can look at my books.

charl
2009-10-13, 12:48 PM
To get any kind of real damage, you're going to have to use something a) large, b) dense, and c) moving very rapidly (relative to the planet) when it enters the atmosphere, so that it survives long enough to actually hit the ground.

Spelljamming ship + major creation to make a tungsten rod.

You'd have to invent astrophysics to make all the relevant equations to know where and when to "drop" the rod though.

Ravens_cry
2009-10-13, 01:03 PM
Spelljamming ship + major creation to make a tungsten rod.

You'd have to invent astrophysics to make all the relevant equations to know where and when to "drop" the rod though.
*shrugs*
A lich, or Elan if your interested in still looking pretty, always has time to research these things.
Medium animated objects would make a dandy linear accelerator for particle physics experiments, if another piece of uber cheese is allowed to work.

technophile
2009-10-13, 01:04 PM
Spelljamming ship + major creation to make a tungsten rod.

You'd have to invent astrophysics to make all the relevant equations to know where and when to "drop" the rod though.

It's going to have to be a big damn tungsten rod. At CL20 you're only going to get about 24,000 pounds (20 cubic feet) of tungsten; I very much doubt that 12 tons is going to be sufficient to survive atmospheric entry with enough left over to make a big boom when it hits the ground.

Accelerating it is going to be another question; letting gravity do the work probably won't build up enough kinetic energy to do the job, plus there's the duration to worry about; assuming tungsten counts as a "rare metal" you've only got 20 rounds -- 2 minutes -- to get the rod to the ground. Just falling that far will probably take longer than 2 minutes.

Edit: and yes, I'm assuming the commoner railgun is out of the question. For one thing, you'd have to figure out how to keep all those commoners alive in vacuum.

subject42
2009-10-13, 01:11 PM
You could always just use the 0-Level spell "Launch Bolt" from the spell compendium with a several-times-more-colossal-than-colossal bolt made from a redwood tree, or possibly Yggdrasil if you're feeling ambitious.

Ravens_cry
2009-10-13, 01:11 PM
Edit: and yes, I'm assuming the commoner railgun is out of the question. For one thing, you'd have to figure out how to keep all those commoners alive in vacuum.
Two words: Animated. Objects.

Random832
2009-10-13, 01:15 PM
It's going to have to be a big damn tungsten rod. At CL20 you're only going to get about 24,000 pounds (20 cubic feet) of tungsten; I very much doubt that 12 tons is going to be sufficient to survive atmospheric entry with enough left over to make a big boom when it hits the ground.

It doesn't have to survive entry. The heat that is generated by that friction is going to do something. If you accelerate a mass to a given speed, that kinetic energy is going to somehow do bad stuff to whatever you aim it at, whether that's by shock waves or heat from vaporization or physical impact. You can't cheat the laws of thermodynamics.

(yeah, RAW doesn't have such effects, but RAW doesn't have it get vaporized in the first place.)

charl
2009-10-13, 01:30 PM
It's going to have to be a big damn tungsten rod. At CL20 you're only going to get about 24,000 pounds (20 cubic feet) of tungsten; I very much doubt that 12 tons is going to be sufficient to survive atmospheric entry with enough left over to make a big boom when it hits the ground.

Accelerating it is going to be another question; letting gravity do the work probably won't build up enough kinetic energy to do the job, plus there's the duration to worry about; assuming tungsten counts as a "rare metal" you've only got 20 rounds -- 2 minutes -- to get the rod to the ground. Just falling that far will probably take longer than 2 minutes.

Edit: and yes, I'm assuming the commoner railgun is out of the question. For one thing, you'd have to figure out how to keep all those commoners alive in vacuum.

Tungsten is a very heat resistant material. Enough is going to survive to create a pretty impressive crater upon impact. The time limit is going to be hard to do something about though. I was going to suggest strapping some simple alchemical fireworks on to it and light them. The rod will continue to accelerate until it hits the atmosphere, so it would just be a question of launching it from a far enough distance. But that's going to take longer than 2 minutes.

technophile
2009-10-13, 01:31 PM
It doesn't have to survive entry. The heat that is generated by that friction is going to do something.
Not really. Earth gets bombarded by meteorites all the time (there are meteor showers that happen consistently several times a year). Unless it's just a seriously huge mass, the atmosphere's average temperature is just not going to be affected by heat increase from objects burning up on entry. ("A stony meteoroid of about 10 metres (30 ft) in diameter can produce an explosion of around 20 kilotons, similar to that of the Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki, and data released by the U.S. Air Force's Defense Support Program indicate that such explosions occur high in the upper atmosphere more than once a year." And yet we're not all melting.)

By the time it's shedding enough heat to alter the planetary climate, it's going to be big enough to pull off a mass extinction just by hitting the ground; I really don't think you're going to cause the kind of chaos the OP wants by burning up relatively small objects in the upper atmosphere.

Oslecamo
2009-10-13, 01:34 PM
And how exactly do you force your target to say still while the giant burning meteor falls from the skies?

Well, it still makes an handy fortress buster. Wich explains why dungeons are so popular.

charl
2009-10-13, 01:37 PM
And how exactly do you force your target to say still while the giant burning meteor falls from the skies?

Well, it still makes an handy fortress buster. Wich explains why dungeons are so popular.

The target wouldn't even realize you are bombarding it until it's too late to get out of the blast radius.

Plus most dungeons would probably be completely destroyed from the surface hit above it. A large crater would be made, which poses some obvious problems. Also the force of the impact would cave in the dungeon.

Mikeavelli
2009-10-13, 01:40 PM
No no no no NO! Antimatter IS MATTER. It's made up of the same stuff, interacts via the same forces, everything is the same, except the quarks (and therefore the particles) have the opposite electrical charge. It would be like calling night 'anti-day' and then saying it's not part the 24-hour day.

It's more like calling the "Darkness" spell "anti-light."

Which, in D&D, it pretty much is.

I cringe every time I read about the Anti-osmium bomb, or anything similar. Every time you do horrible things to phyiscs as an abuse of D&D rules, you have to admit the only reason you're able to do these horrible things is because the Rules as Written allow you to do so.

Taking the logical leap that real world physics would somehow magically apply after you're through having your little love affair with RAW is ridiculous. Physics is not going to be your bitch. Physics is not going to take this abuse, when you show up drunk and blurry-eyed at her door the next day, she's going to throw you out, and all your stuff too, you've made your bed with RAW, and you're going to lie in it.

jiriku
2009-10-13, 01:43 PM
Well, let's try a groundborne nuke approach. Apocalypse from teh SkyZZ0rz is level 9, deals 10d6 to everything, even objects in the area, and stretches for miles. Oddly, it lacks elemental descripters even though it deals elemental damage. Can we find a way to qualify it for born of the three thunders without using snowcasting? I ask because any snowcasting+metamagic combo basically forces me to be a sorcerer, and I want to limit the build as little as possible.

lsfreak
2009-10-13, 01:48 PM
Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! I'm studying in a physics course, I've discussed the issue with my coleagues who play D&D, and they all agreed that anti-matter isn't matter, because it's not the same stuff. We don't care that it's only the electrical charge that's diferent, it's still diferent, and thus unqualifies anti-matter from the status of matter. Why do you think it was called that way in the first place?

Your reasoning is the same as claiming that right and left are the same since they only have one direction of diference. One diference is more than enough.


The problem is that "antimatter" still has all the qualifications for being "matter" as normal matter. You can contrast matter with antimatter, or you can contrast matter with energy. The problem is, does Major Creation mean "matter as in normal matter" or "matter as in matter."

[Another problem is that calculations with antimatter often don't take into consideration that a) 50% of the resultant energy will be harmless neutrinos and b) the chunk of antimatter has essentially zero compression, which means it will blow itself apart before making a dent as impressive as it first appears.]

Claudius Maximus
2009-10-13, 01:49 PM
Explosive Fimbulwinter? Or perhaps Fell Drained? If you can pull off the metamagic it's preferable to Apocalypse from the Sky since it doesn't require an artifact as a material component, though the area is smaller. It's already a [cold] spell, too.

Jayabalard
2009-10-13, 01:53 PM
Physics is not going to take this abuse, when you show up drunk and blurry-eyed at her door the next day, she's going to throw you out, and all your stuff too, you've made your bed with RAW, and you're going to lie in it.Agreed, she's really the jealous type.

PhoenixRivers
2009-10-13, 01:58 PM
I'm pretty sure that the max damage only applies to the distance falling rather than altogether; don't you think it's a bit silly that the Moon could fall onto Earth and we would only take 20d6 damage?

We'd take more. The moon would only take 20d6. We'd take damage based on the weight of the moon, and the Comp Warrior improvised weapon table.

root9125
2009-10-13, 02:12 PM
I just did the math. We'd actually take 811,301,125,000,000,000,005d6 damage. That's an average of 2,433,903,370,000,000,000,015 damage.

In other words, don't get hit by the moon. Please?

*calculated using the rule that a 400 lb object deals 5d6 damage and each additional 200 lbs after that deals +1d6 damage. Also, using g = 9.81 m/s^2, which it does on most fantasy planets, most fantasy planets being earth repackaged. This is calculated as if the moon were an improvised weapon, which makes the most sense to me for how much people should be hurt by being SMASHED BY A PLANETARY BODY.

THAT'S ONE OCTILLION DAMAGE!

Doc Roc
2009-10-13, 02:21 PM
Explosive Fimbulwinter? Or perhaps Fell Drained? If you can pull off the metamagic it's preferable to Apocalypse from the Sky since it doesn't require an artifact as a material component, though the area is smaller. It's already a [cold] spell, too.

Someone called?
Locate cities, but legal. (http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ATLN8w39LvwoZGRmMmRjYmhfMXg1bndmNGd4&hl=en) It's complicated, and on some pretty squishy RAW grounds. We found that we basically had to psychic reformation into and out of firing mode, but that the end result was worth it when we could produce a roiling storm of fire and death that lasted long enough to actually push the planet out of orbit.

The original trick for dropping the moon actually was mine, and used CL boosters alongside the locate cities bomb. It's a pretty clean way to do things, though you'd probably end up needing to use stacked consumptive fields via the degenerative reading.

Anti-osmium is silly, well into GM fiat area. I've never heard it mentioned outside these boards, and I don't think it is really worth considering.

Godskook
2009-10-13, 02:29 PM
Taking the logical leap that real world physics would somehow magically apply after you're through having your little love affair with RAW is ridiculous. Physics is not going to be your bitch. Physics is not going to take this abuse, when you show up drunk and blurry-eyed at her door the next day, she's going to throw you out, and all your stuff too, you've made your bed with RAW, and you're going to lie in it.

Technically:

1.Its a three-way.

2.Physics is RAW's bitch; she brought Physics to the party.

Doc Roc
2009-10-13, 02:40 PM
Actually Physics never showed up. That was her fraternal twin, RuleOfCool.
Seriously. Bringing physics into a rules debate is quite silly.

Radar
2009-10-13, 02:53 PM
It's going to have to be a big damn tungsten rod. At CL20 you're only going to get about 24,000 pounds (20 cubic feet) of tungsten; I very much doubt that 12 tons is going to be sufficient to survive atmospheric entry with enough left over to make a big boom when it hits the ground.

Accelerating it is going to be another question; letting gravity do the work probably won't build up enough kinetic energy to do the job, plus there's the duration to worry about; assuming tungsten counts as a "rare metal" you've only got 20 rounds -- 2 minutes -- to get the rod to the ground. Just falling that far will probably take longer than 2 minutes.

Edit: and yes, I'm assuming the commoner railgun is out of the question. For one thing, you'd have to figure out how to keep all those commoners alive in vacuum.
It's not only metter of mass, but also of shape - a properly pointed rod will have excelent aerodynamic properties, or you can go a step further and solve the supercavitation problem for air (they work on it as far as i know), or slap Resist Elements on the rod (or some energy resistance).

As for acceleration, energy and falling time assuming no friction (it is far fetched, but will show the proper order of magnitude):
1. Energy: 53.3 MJ/kg if thrown from a geostationary (G) orbit (36000km above ground); 966 kJ/kg if thrown from contractual edge (E) of space (100km above ground). For 24000 pounds (about 12 tons):
G: 639.6 GJ -> 153 tons of TNT
E: 11.6 GJ -> 2.77 tons of TNT

2. Falling time:
G: about 9900s (using Newton law of gravity) if i did it right - too long for Major Creation of tungsten without persisting, lead would be good to go tough (1hr/CL) and would pack enough punch.
E: about 143s (using 9.81m/s^2 acceleration) - good enough, since tungsten or osm is not more then precious metal, right? If not, then i propose lead as the warhead material again.

As for the railgun: it doesn't work under RAW anyway. Velocity isn't conserved when you drop an object - it simply falls under your feet. So no number of Commoners or Animated Objects with readied actions would actually accelerate anything. You can do as much as drop the object in an adjectant square. :smallfrown:

jiriku
2009-10-13, 02:57 PM
Someone called?
Locate cities, but legal. (http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ATLN8w39LvwoZGRmMmRjYmhfMXg1bndmNGd4&hl=en) It's complicated, and on some pretty squishy RAW grounds. We found that we basically had to psychic reformation into and out of firing mode, but that the end result was worth it when we could produce a roiling storm of fire and death that lasted long enough to actually push the planet out of orbit.


Doc, I see the build, but I'm not sure how the pieces are put together. Can you step me through it?

Cieyrin
2009-10-13, 03:01 PM
I just did the math. We'd actually take 811,301,125,000,000,000,005d6 damage. That's an average of 2,433,903,370,000,000,000,015 damage.

In other words, don't get hit by the moon. Please?

*calculated using the rule that a 400 lb object deals 5d6 damage and each additional 200 lbs after that deals +1d6 damage. Also, using g = 9.81 m/s^2, which it does on most fantasy planets, most fantasy planets being earth repackaged. This is calculated as if the moon were an improvised weapon, which makes the most sense to me for how much people should be hurt by being SMASHED BY A PLANETARY BODY.

THAT'S ONE OCTILLION DAMAGE!

But, but, I want my Dragon Mechs, though! Without lunar rains, we have less excuse for pulling out steam-powered machinery and giant hollow zombies piloted by necromancers! How can we deny ourselves this?!?

jiriku
2009-10-13, 03:27 PM
I don't think the DM would allow the sky nail concept if I simply threw a major creation together and expected the world on a platter. However...assuming a used major creation and fabricate to build, say, a massive lead shark statue, but with broad fins that area suited for use as guidance fins in freefall (it should have appropriate aerodynamics). And then I animate it as a colossal animated object, buff it with resist fire, and then fly it or teleport it up into orbit...then I give it a target and tell it to go... I could probably get him on board with that.

What would you name a colossal animated lead shark statue whose only purpose was to fall from geostationary orbit into an enemy city, wreaking utter destruction?

Random832
2009-10-13, 03:33 PM
What would you name a colossal animated lead shark statue whose only purpose was to fall from geostationary orbit into an enemy city, wreaking utter destruction?

Agrajag. :smallcool:

Wait, no, he was the bowl of flowers.

Stabby
2009-10-13, 03:35 PM
I don't think the DM would allow the sky nail concept if I simply threw a major creation together and expected the world on a platter. However...assuming a used major creation and fabricate to build, say, a massive lead shark statue, but with broad fins that area suited for use as guidance fins in freefall (it should have appropriate aerodynamics). And then I animate it as a colossal animated object, buff it with resist fire, and then fly it or teleport it up into orbit...then I give it a target and tell it to go... I could probably get him on board with that.

What would you name a colossal animated lead shark statue whose only purpose was to fall from geostationary orbit into an enemy city, wreaking utter destruction?

Jim

I would name him Jim, demonstate my powers and then say, "You don't spit in the wind, you don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't pull a gun on the ol' Lone Ranger and you don't mess around with Jim."

That or I would name him Bad Bad Leroy Brown. Baddest Shark who can level a town. Badder than a Legendary Ape, Meaner than a Dire Dog.

Ravens_cry
2009-10-13, 03:36 PM
The Big Bite?
Death from Above?
Sky Shark?
AeroBulette?
Selachimorpha Giganticus?
Led Sharke?

Lycanthromancer
2009-10-13, 03:43 PM
What would you name a colossal animated lead shark statue whose only purpose was to fall from geostationary orbit into an enemy city, wreaking utter destruction?Jump.

Feel free to respond if this joke caught your eye.

Doc Roc
2009-10-13, 03:56 PM
Doc, I see the build, but I'm not sure how the pieces are put together. Can you step me through it?

Basically, go read Residual Magic. It specifically lets you reapply meta-magic. This means we sculpt the spell on the first cast, and hit it with explosive, then we recast it, dropping the sculpt but reapplying explosive because Residual magic specifically says we can, even though we shouldn't be able to.

The whole deal is basically lining up explosive spell, then sliding in something to make the fimbulwinter do damage, in this case probably one of the two MMs from PHBII.

technophile
2009-10-13, 03:58 PM
Ah, resist elements is an aspect I'd not considered.

Okay, yeah, a lead rod with resist elements dropped from the contractual edge of space will make a reasonable dent in a village and certainly ruin someone's day.

I'm not sure it would do much to a city, though; nukes are measured in megatons of TNT. 2 tons is merely four standard Mk84 2000lb bombs (which have ~1000lb of explosive each), varieties of which were used in any number of wars in the last 60 years and are generally used against bunkers, trucks, artillery, etc.

Even dropping from a geostationary orbit you're well below 1 MT; probably impressive to watch but still not really the MAD solution the OP is looking for.


Now, if you have plenty of time to prepare, and you put a couple hundred lead sharks in geostationary orbit, and you can launch them more or less at the same time at more or less the same target (where target = city sized), you might have a going project.

Tar Palantir
2009-10-13, 04:25 PM
Has anyone mentioned the Fell Drain version of Locate City? Snowcasting + Flash Frost + Fell Drain is cheap enough to do without MM reducers, relies on no shaky RAW interpretation, and gives everything in the area without cold resistance a negative level. Cast repeatedly until everything is dead.

Prime32
2009-10-13, 04:31 PM
Get a kobold bloodstorm blade with the Distant Shot (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/feats.htm#distantShot) feat. Have him throw an ally to the moon, then have the ally use that charm bracelet which summons friends.

The bloodstorm blade now uses his capstone ability to throw his ally at as many targets in 1 round as he wishes, which is as many things as he can see. For extra fun use kensai levels to apply the explosive enchantment.

Alternatively, just throw your enemies into the sun. Or get a guy with Distant Shot to help you set up a moonbase.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-13, 04:46 PM
Spelljamming ship + major creation to make a tungsten rod.

You'd have to invent astrophysics to make all the relevant equations to know where and when to "drop" the rod though.

Alternative, easier solution: Drop lots of rods.

deuxhero
2009-10-13, 04:48 PM
snip

Uh, not an expert, but isn't that a very bad bit of wording at the end? "using the breath weapon" would have been a lot better.


Get a kobold bloodstorm blade with the Distant Shot (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/feats.htm#distantShot) feat. Have him throw an ally to the moon, then have the ally use that charm bracelet which summons friends.


Why Kobold?

jiriku
2009-10-13, 04:49 PM
Has anyone mentioned the Fell Drain version of Locate City? Snowcasting + Flash Frost + Fell Drain is cheap enough to do without MM reducers, relies on no shaky RAW interpretation, and gives everything in the area without cold resistance a negative level. Cast repeatedly until everything is dead.

The issue I have with locate city is the unlikelihood of DM approval. Any effect that lets you blow a hole in the world at 7th level is overpowered for our campaign setting, and psychologically, doing it with a spell that was clearly designed to be benign is an even bigger pill to swallow. On the other hand, a spell like apocalypse from the sky or fimbulwinter or control weather is pretty high level and is already designed to make people think the end of the world is coming. Metamagicking one of those spells into a city-killer creates a much smaller disturbance in the Force, verisimilitude-wise, and it's in the same order of magnitude of power with clever (non-abusive) use of spells like genesis and gate, or the shenanigans that can occur inside a heavily meta-magicked time stop.

I know even contemplating punching a whole in the world in a pre-epic game would be wildly inappropriate for most campaign worlds, but our present campaign setting features mighty demons, devils, and angels, and even at levels 10-12 we've encountered magical effects that approach epic power. This won't be such a big stretch for us by the time we hit levels 16-20.

lsfreak
2009-10-13, 04:53 PM
Why Kobold?

Qualifies for epic feats at first level due to Dragonwrought + Old age, so you can get it pre-epic rather than having to wait a few levels.

deuxhero
2009-10-13, 05:00 PM
Oh right, that bit of cheese.

charl
2009-10-13, 05:33 PM
Alternative, easier solution: Drop lots of rods.

It would have to be a lot of rods. We are talking distances where being a single degree of with your drop can mean you missing the continent your target is on.

MickJay
2009-10-13, 08:05 PM
I'm not sure it would do much to a city, though; nukes are measured in megatons of TNT. 2 tons is merely four standard Mk84 2000lb bombs (which have ~1000lb of explosive each), varieties of which were used in any number of wars in the last 60 years and are generally used against bunkers, trucks, artillery, etc.

Fission nuclear bombs of power in the range of 15-25 kilotons are enough to obliterate a modern medium-sized city, in fantasy settings they'd be enough to completely destroy major cities.

LCB: again, the spell is only powerful if one chooses to ignore its description, or completely reworks it from scratch. Area of effect: circle does not allow for any "explosive" damage beyond the 2 cold damage.

Tar Palantir
2009-10-13, 09:32 PM
LCB: again, the spell is only powerful if one chooses to ignore its description, or completely reworks it from scratch. Area of effect: circle does not allow for any "explosive" damage beyond the 2 cold damage.

Or if one doesn't use Energy Substitution/Born of Three Thunders/Explosive Spell, but rather just Fell Drain. No boom, just death. And wights. And more death. Repeat.

(If you're a wight, are all wights you create under your control, or just those you create from your level draining touch attack? Because if it's the former....)