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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Challenge Laid Down

    In the Things I May No Longer Do thread I mentioned that I am aware of a player in a game who spent three years IRL researching DnD spells and how nuclear warheads work so that he could in-game make a nuclear warhead. No idea why. Then, Doorhandle said if I brought it up here, someone would do it in less then three days. So, challenge laid down:

    Time on deck is 0045 5 November 2012 UTZ. You collectively have until 0045 8 November 2012 to come up with a spell with the equivalent destructive force of a nuclear warhead.

    Oh, and this was done in a 2nd Ed campaign. So, there's that restriction.

    This seemed like the least-wrong place to put this thread.

    Edit:

    OK, I just realized two things. One, I should have edited to include something I posted earlier, and two, he did not literally make a nuclear warhead, he just used a combination of DnD spells to replicate the destructive force of a nuclear weapon in human lives, destroyed property, and post-explosion nuclear fall out. I was wondering why everyone kept talking about slamming together uranium. Sorry folks, procede

    1. Replicated the area affected by one of the nuclear warheads used in Japan
    2. He did this by allegedly mapping out the area on a grid, and approximating the damage done by distance from warhead
    3. Then setting off a mock one once he thought he had it
    4. Included something that was meant to approximate nuclear radiation.
    5. The package was (apparently) the same dimensions as one of the actual warheads. Without a portable, for example.
    Last edited by Zahhak; 2012-11-05 at 06:19 PM.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Wish would cover it, wouldn't it? Not to use the lame way out, but...

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Apocalypse from the sky + explosive spell (using some sort of metamagic reduction) would compact everything within 10 miles per caster level into a 5-ft thick sphere.

    Does that count?
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Alejandro
    Wish would cover it, wouldn't it? Not to use the lame way out, but...
    I'm not familiar with the spell. I've never heard of it being used offensively...

    Quote Originally Posted by Forrestfire
    Apocalypse from the sky + explosive spell (using some sort of metamagic reduction) would compact everything within 10 miles per caster level into a 5-ft thick sphere.

    Does that count?
    It's not an explosion...

    That is probably the best you could get without doing something completely insane, like what this guy ended up coming up
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Wish technically has no upper limit to what it can do, it just gets more dangerous to the caster the farther the wish goes. Just wish for an explosion of the right power and range.

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Does 2e have Major Creation? If so, just create an above-critical mass of plutonium. Boom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    I'm tempted to say that that is cheating, since you're stepping outside of the bounds of what that spell is meant to do by replicating the real world.

    I should mention, now that I'm thinking about it, the guy who did this did the following things which I believe will increase the difficulty of this task:
    1. Replicated the area affected by one of the nuclear warheads used in Japan
    2. He did this by allegedly mapping out the area on a grid, and approximating the damage done by distance from warhead
    3. Then setting off a mock one once he thought he had it
    4. Included something that was meant to approximate nuclear radiation.
    5. The package was (apparently) the same dimensions as one of the actual warheads. Without a portable, for example.
    Zahhak's guide to PC generation: Anything worth doing is worth doing serious and unneeded research into.

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Shrink Item. Apply liberally, to objects as large and heavy as you can manage.

    Put them in a Forcecage or Resilient Sphere, without any holes (or six Walls of Force). The smaller the better.

    Dismiss Shrink Item - you get a near arbitrarily large amount of mass compressed in a small space, with the forcewalls being unbreakable.

    Welcome to a fusion event. Or event horizon, if you've got enough mass stacked up.

    Dismiss the 'cage.

    Stand WELL back and watch the shockwave.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    1. With a competent DM, the effective force of a spell is based on its level. Even a wish is limited by what 9th level magic can do, so Meteor Swarm is the best measure of the force it can produce. This is epic-level magic, and possibly above that.

    No human in my D&D world would be able to wield such god-like (or demonic) power.

    2. In a world in which people can create lightning out of nothing, teleport to the top of a mountain, and move rocks with mental power alone, the laws of physics as we know them simply don't apply. Energy is not conserved, momentum is not conserved. Modern subatomic chemistry is just not a guide to how things work in a D&D universe. I would rule that radioactivity didn't work. Uranium and plutonium wouldn't even exist.

    3. If a PC starts trying to research radioactivity, I will state, "OK. To begin, you need a good library and a well-stocked lab. Where are you going to look for books on the subject, and how are you going to determine what the lab needs to be stocked with?" If she comes up with a good answer for this, I will then say, "Please understand that from the discovery of radioactivity to the creation of the first bomb took about half a century, in a modern industrialized world, with the work of thousands of scientists. When they had built it, the scientists didn't have a bomb; the government did. And within two years, another government had the secret. How much time are you willing to spend in the lab, how many people will you share the secret with, and how much do you trust the various kings in this world?"

    4. Oh, all right. An atomic bomb is two sub-critical pieces of Uranium-235 slammed together hard enough to make a single critical mass. But the finicky part is slamming them together, because of course there is no such thing as teleportation or matter creation. All you need is a large enough chunk. So transmutation, or Djinn creation, or teleportation, or anything else that can create a sphere of Uranium-235 that's more than 52 kilograms, will produce an instant chain reaction and fission explosion. I recommend researching a spell with a really long range.


    And the wizard who creates it is now the biggest threat to every high-level character, king, demon or god in the multiverse. I predict a second large uncontrollable explosion minutes after the first one.
    Last edited by Jay R; 2012-11-05 at 08:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    I'm tempted to say that that is cheating, since you're stepping outside of the bounds of what that spell is meant to do by replicating the real world.

    I should mention, now that I'm thinking about it, the guy who did this did the following things which I believe will increase the difficulty of this task:
    1. Replicated the area affected by one of the nuclear warheads used in Japan
    2. He did this by allegedly mapping out the area on a grid, and approximating the damage done by distance from warhead
    3. Then setting off a mock one once he thought he had it
    4. Included something that was meant to approximate nuclear radiation.
    5. The package was (apparently) the same dimensions as one of the actual warheads. Without a portable, for example.
    Did this guy have issues with leaving the house or talking to other people?

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Did this guy have issues with leaving the house or talking to other people?
    Never met him, just going on what I was told. This may have never happened and someone was just messing with me. to be honest.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Well there was Swordguy who did this...

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...35#post2010735

    And a few posts down on that thread (Its post # 47 by Jack Mann) there's mention of another method (though I honestly have no idea how that would work...).


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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    The problems he has to overcome are
    1) Refine U-235 from Uranium ore (Doing this without modern chemistry to understand the concept of isotopes is going to be tricky)(usually centrifuges but there are other known methods ) OR create Plutonium from uranium reactor which involves conceptualising elements beyond those found in nature and thenpicking the right one.
    (IMO or in any fantasy game I ran this is fundamentally insoluble as isotopes are beyond medieval conception or measurement and of course magic means modern physics is wrong so .......)
    2) Handle the material without dying , Plutonium is horrific stuff and can kill you by poisoning or strange density shifts from temperature creating sub critical masses and death by radiation. (You also have to know what the exact critical mass is , discovering this killed physicists and they understood radiation). Uranium is better but there is the whoel criticality issue and as I undertand itthe centrifuge process uses horrible chemical compunds of Uranium which kill you.
    3) The easy bit ! actually cause a critical mass by either firing a small mass into another mass and causing a critcal mass (Little Boy) or imploding a sphere to create a critical mass (Fat Man). The implosion requires really precise fine control magic may do it otherwise completely beyond the realms of possibility this leaves us with the gun method which is pretty damn foolproof if you have the right grade of materials

    There is a reason the manhattan project was MASSIVE and involved a lot of genuine genius's and it took everyone else years to duplicate it with the basic knowledge and physics required already worked out.

    I just cannot see step 1 being achieved or any GM allowing it. Either that or actually it would be easy as magic allows you to ignore all the incovenient physics

    Wish for a Plutonium sphere
    Cast Implosion on said sphere , have a contingent teleport which goes off as soon as the implosion spell is cast

    I don't think Implosion existed in 2nd ed so there I would for for 2 masses of U-235 created by wish and then slam them together with a telekinesis spell, with the contingent teleport to escape

    Or Polymorph any object 1 ton sphere of Iron into 1 ton sphere of Plutonium/U-235. I don't think it would manage to melt before going critical be pretty inefficient but get you multi kiloton yields

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Sorry guys, I just realized why everyone kept talking about making uranium. He did not literally make a nuclear warhead, he just simulated the power of one. My bad. I've edited the OP to that effect.
    Zahhak's guide to PC generation: Anything worth doing is worth doing serious and unneeded research into.

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    There was an old BBS/usenet netbook about 20 years ago detailing alcohol and drugs in D&D. Towards the end there was a 9th level spell that created an alcohol based fuel air explosive. One major downside to it was that it required a body part from a mature alcohol dragon that was in the same book.
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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    Sorry guys, I just realized why everyone kept talking about making uranium. He did not literally make a nuclear warhead, he just simulated the power of one. My bad. I've edited the OP to that effect.
    Why imitate when you can duplicate?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Hm... I don't know about creating fallout and radiation, but we could probably create a giant dust/implosion/pressure bomb quite easily.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    Sorry guys, I just realized why everyone kept talking about making uranium. He did not literally make a nuclear warhead, he just simulated the power of one. My bad. I've edited the OP to that effect.
    In that case, with a competent DM, it should be impossible. The power levels of spells are supposed to be balanced. You can invent a new third level attack spell, but it should do no more damage than a Fireball or Lightning Bolt. Even a ninth level spell should not do any more damage than the current ninth level spells can do.

    Clever use of spells can do small actions that lead to greater damage, as when telekinesis moves one rock that starts an avalanche. But that's not what you're asking about, since you want the spell to simulate the power of a nuclear device.

    (If that is what you're talking about, just drop a mountain on a city from ten miles up.)

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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Just came across this thread.
    Basically we did this in a 2E game years ago. The trick was to overlap portals to the positive and negative material planes. Its more like matter V anti-matter than fission/fusion.
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' Actually it's worse than that.


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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R
    In that case, with a competent DM, it should be impossible.
    My understanding was that it was one of those "I wonder if I could do this..." and the DM just let him fantasize about it, and then invented some scenario where a nuclear warhead would be vaguely useful so he would feel good about himself.

    (If that is what you're talking about, just drop a mountain on a city from ten miles up.)
    It's missing the fall out. And I think that would be more destructive.

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz
    Basically we did this in a 2E game years ago. The trick was to overlap portals to the positive and negative material planes. Its more like matter V anti-matter than fission/fusion.
    That is pretty much the version of things I was told, along with some unhallow spells (or something like it) to simulate the fall out.
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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    That is pretty much the version of things I was told, along with some unhallow spells (or something like it) to simulate the fall out.
    It was done to an undead city, so there you go.
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' Actually it's worse than that.


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    Default Re: Challenge Laid Down

    The simplest method I think, would be to find a magical method of calling or summoning an astroid strike. A small one could easily have the power of a small nuke, and a large one could wipe out all life on the planet.

    Which is really not a bad campaign hook. Badguy gets the idea to do a doomsday strike on the planet and the PCs have to thwart him somehow.

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