Thursday, January 16, 2014

DF Felltower Gear: Meteoric Iron Bullets

My players asked for these, since (now) ST 18 Vryce uses a sling as his missile weapon.

Meteoric Sling Bullets and Prodd Bullets. Normal cost for this ammunition is $0.10 a pop, so meteoric costs a relatively astronomical $2 per bullet.

Notes: This is kind of cheap for what it does, but I figure, you can use the little meteoric leavings that just won't quite make a knife or sword and is thus otherwise less than easily salable. So the smith has got to be feeling like you offered money in return for hauling away his trash for him. It also assumes iron bullets would cost the same as lead ones, but I'm okay with that, too, since lead isn't terribly cheap either. If you're not, up the price a bit. You could make these +199 CF ($20 each) and they're still a bargain for a delver with wizardly enemies. But I'm not into raising the price of these just because the final cost isn't that high.

As usual for Meteoric, these bullets will shoot right through Missile Shield or Deflect Missile, and ignore the DB bonus from the Shield and the DR bonus from the Armor spell. They don't ignore the DR bonus from Fortify in my game, however, because of prior rulings that Fortify fundamentally strengthens the underlying material, it doesn't provide some kind of magical force field that meteoric could ignore.

By the way, this worked fine when they used them, too.


  1. I really think the CF system needs a bit of an overhaul, exactly because of stuff like this. Cheap base equipment shouldn't make stuff that is meant to be expensive and rare common. Expensive and rare stuff in fantasy is for Sensawunda, so it should stay that way unless you are deliberately subverting that particular trope. (Not that there is anything wrong with subversion, it just shouldn't be the default.)

    This is really the same problem as "everyone should fortify +1 their armor, even guys who just have leather jackets," or spiked dwarven axes, or even "why mine when you have create metal? GURPS tries to cover everything and occasionally the overlooked bits break default genre assumptions accidentally.

    To be fair, digging these out of the system is fun for some folks, and more power to them. Sounds like your players are in that camp, at least until the dungeon fodder catch on to this trick.

    Personally I'm just willing to house rule stuff like this, but I think the CF system would be better if it had some simple floors, like "items with a positive CF never add less cost than $50xCF, since they imply skilled craftsmen or valuable materials or both."

    In any case, the reason sling bullets are so cheap is the ease of casting lead. MI is probably more difficult to deal with and said sling bullets probably need to be forged individually by some beefy smith.

    1. Oh course, that presupposes you see "everyone has +1 Fortify" etc. as a problem - I don't. My only complaint on that in the past is the cheapness makes mundane improvements secondary to magical. But I don't have an issue with that. A floor would be odd, because it would necessarily have to scale to deal with larger or smaller items. Besides, like I say to a lot of people - DF's default is a lot closer to the subversion type. You go to the store and buy magic items. That must be the default, because "magic items are rare and priceless" is easier to bolt on than bolting on "common and available' onto a system that assumes rare and priceless.

      Anyway, lead bullets are cheap, and iron is hard to forge since you can't just melt it over a trivially easy fire and pour it. If you accept that as a basis, just raise the price as I suggested to +199 CF. It's then $20/shot to use them with a base starting wealth of $1000 and great difficulty to retrieve them. Even $2 out of $1000 is the same as a $40 round for a gun in TL8. Raise it to +199 CF and it's the same as $400 rounds for a gun. Even at a "mere" $2, it's merely an excellent deal if you happen to be good at the sling and fight wizards with Missile Shield, and don't mind throwing money at the problem.


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