The Storm Has a Name
Use: Unskilled use penalized. Macro skill.
Sample specializations: Buildings, bridges, walls, vehicles, armour
Axiom: Tech 13
Demolitions allows a character to do two things; to determine how much explosives are necessary to blow something up and to increase the damage done by an amount of explosives. Demolitions is not needed to simply set off explosives, it just makes their use more effective.
The first use of the skill involves the player stating what object her character wants to blow up and what, if any, other effects the character wants the explosion to have. For example, a character may want to topple a tree so that it falls across a road and blocks traffic rather than it falling in a random direction.
The player generates a demolitions skill check against a difficulty determined by the gamemaster. If the skill check is successful, the character knows how much explosives he needs to use and where to place them for the desired effect. Some sample difficulty numbers are given in the chart below:
|Familiar object (tree, wall, rock)||8|
|Moderately familiar object (tank, bridge support, armoured bulkhead)||10|
|Unfamiliar object (building of unknown but familiar construction, a familiar object of unknown construction)||12|
|Completely unknown object (doesn’t know what it is or what it’s made of)||15|
|Object has a mostly inconsistent structure (made out of two dissimilar aterials like wood and stone)||+2 To +5|
If the character succeeded at the skill check he knows the damage value necessary to inflict the desired amount of destruction on the target (generally, a wound will break an object and dead will completely destroy the object.) If he has the right amount of explosives to produce the desired damage value, he can place and detonate the explosives without having to make another demolitions skill check.
If the character does not have enough explosives to produce the desired damage value, the second use of the skill comes into play. By making a second demolitions skill check against the same difficulty number, the character can determine where to place the explosives he does have available in an attempt to produce the desired effect. This second skill check is treated as a power push (see Chapter Four), with the results of the push being added to the damage value of the character’s explosives. If the damage value is increased enough to equal or exceed the damage value determined with the first skill check, the character can produce the desired effect with the amount of explosives on hand.
Example: A demolitionist in the Victorian army in Orrorsh needs to bring a bridge down. He made his first demolitions skill check and learns that he needs a damage value of 25 to blow the bridge. Unfortunately he only has enough TNT to produce a damage value of 22.
He makes a second demolitions skill check against the same difficulty number. The gamemaster calculates the results of the power push and determines that the character gets a +4 bonus to the damage value of his explosives. This raises his damage value to 26, enough to blow the bridge exactly the way the characters wants to do it.
If the character fails the first demolitions skill check, he has no idea how much explosives are necessary for the desired effect and will have to guess how much to use and where to place the explosives.
The gamemaster will have to judge the likely outcome by comparing the amount of explosives used compared to the amount needed and how simple or complicated of an outcome the player wants.
Example: Quin wishes to cause a rockslide on a narrow mountain road and block it off so that no one can pass. Since rock is considered a familiar object, the base difficulty is 8. Quin does not have demolitions though so Becky assigns a Very Hard modifier, increasing the difficulty to 18. Paul does not roll very well; Quin only generates a skill total of 12 and fails.
Quin has enough plastique on hand to produce a damage value of 29. Figuring too much is better than too little, he plants all of it along the rocky slope he wants to have slide down onto the road. If Quin had made his skill check, Becky would have told Roger that a damage value of 17 was all that he needed. Since Quin is after a fairly simple result, Becky figures that he will get his desired rockslide.
But because he’s using much more explosives than necessary, the shockwaves will trigger a second rockslide that threatens Quin and he’ll have to move quickly to get away from it!