I’ve ran into a bit of a problem with the Demolisher playbook I’m doing. The problem is blast range of his grenades.

I’ve ran into a bit of a problem with the Demolisher playbook I’m doing. The problem is blast range of his grenades.

I’ve ran into a bit of a problem with the Demolisher playbook I’m doing. The problem is blast range of his grenades.

The wizards fireball does this:

 You evoke a mighty ball of flame that envelops your target and everyone nearby, inflicting 2d6 damage which ignores armor.

I am sure this is a good description of a blast range, but say you want a bomb that has a wider blast than a grenade – does it then become “everyone not so nearby?” Or “Everyone a but further”?

How do you upgrade it if the base description is so vague?

Help me out here, please.

19 thoughts on “I’ve ran into a bit of a problem with the Demolisher playbook I’m doing. The problem is blast range of his grenades.”

  1. You could devise a simple tag system:

    – tiny (affects the area right where it lands)

    – small (affects a foot or two around where it lands)

    – average (affects up to five feet around where it lands)

    – large (affects up to ten feet around where it lands)

    – huge (affects up to twenty-five feet around where it lands)

    – massive (affects up to fifty feet around where it lands)

    Might be overkill?

  2. I would leave it the same as a fireball, “nearby”.  With a vague AoE system like that, why does your Demolisher’s blast necessarily need to be bigger anyway?

  3. David Schirduan : you can get some weirdness with that approach where it really doesn’t make sense. Blast hits 2 people, but there are five in equal distance from the grenade…

    Or, one time you throw, closest guy is 1 foot, it hits him, but not a guy 10 feet away (if you roll 1 on targets). Next time you throw, closest guy is 10 feet, and it hits him.

    Not saying my approach was better!

    Vague range is fine, just set a number or range of numbers. Or use the weapon tags and adapt them.

  4. How many enemies do you reckon you’ll be up against regularly? Something bigger than a grenade in a fantasy setting would be like a little nuke! Can you imagine throwing that into a building?!

    I wouldn’t have something bigger than a grenade and I’m not usually one to be turned off by an idea. Instead, what if you could apply powers to your grenades, like a thief can apply poisons to knives?

    Smoke grenade, fire grenade, stench grenade, electro grenade…

  5. Perhaps you have already, but if not, you might want to take a look at the artifcer playbook for a potential pattern of development. Just a word of caution, the more powerful the play-toy, the more dangerous it is to use. Imagine failing on 6- “The grenade detonates in your hand, or it bounces behind you and explodes in their midst of your party” Worse yet, how does a grenade not bring down the ceiling in many dungeons?  Just a thought.  I do like all the ideas shared by Alexander Davis David Schirduan and Tony Ferron 

  6. Burk Diggler  This is the way I have it in the first draft, but I wanted to see if people had better ideas. (I was also thinking of hitting an amount of targets, as somebody here suggested)

    I have been thinking whether the core ranges were influenced by the D&D 3.- grid: “Close” means the square right next to you, “reach” a square away. That would make the “close” blast range a square of 9 squares, and “reach” blast range a square of 25 squares. 

    Translated into DW “close” blast range could then potentially hit 9 people in a crowd, and reach 25 people, where my previous calculation gave “close” blast range the potential of hitting only 4 people in a crowd. 

    While I am absolutely against a grid in DW, I think there should be some guide as to how big a blast is, since there is fictionally quite a difference between hitting potentially only 4 targets and hitting 9.

    So my question is, how would you word your  “close” blast range description to provide this guidance?

  7. I’d just refer back to the Close tag. Imagine you’re standing where the fireball hits – the explosion hits everything a foot or two beyond arm’s reach of that position. Does that help?

  8. Tony Ferron Yes. In the advanced moves there are 8 mundane specialist grenades an 8 arcane grenades (basically a spell bomb) The player can choose two twice of each as he levels up.

  9. This is a tough one. Normally I would say do what makes sense in the fiction. But since you’re attempting to standardize the results for blast radius I think you’re going to have to get creative. If you just say “everything in X range tag gets hit”, I’d say your poorly representing grenades.

    Grenades are notorious for having unpredictable damage. They have to hit a very sweet spot to do damage to Man 1 but Man 2, just as close to the blast radius but on the opposite side, takes only very minor damage, most coming from the fact he was thrown by the blast.

    The larger the blast the better the blast radius is at being consistent. A typical blast radius has rings of effectiveness. Lets say it is 10 feet and there are three rings; hand, close, reach. Anything at hand distance is toast. Anything at close distance either has X chance of being hit or takes X of Y possible damage (roll 2d6, take the lesser amount or halved damage). Anything at reach is handled just like close is, but with even smaller effect values/probability.

    For simplicity sake you could standardize grenade usage and always do X damage based on proximity, but if you go that route you either have your original line of thought (mimic Wizards fireball) or David Schirduan’s idea where 1dX targets are affected.

    For an entire playbook that is based on explosions I really think you should be introducing a better set of range tags like Alexander Davis suggested. Otherwise the playbook concept is being dumbed down to be on par with other playbooks using the same DW ruleset. How you handle it from there is up to you. Based on the type of bomb you could maybe use a mixture of all these methods. Fire is more likely to affect all targets where frag or blast grenades are likely to have variable targets and damage.

    I think Fr. Tom Miller brings up a very good point though. The more dangerous the play toy the more likely the character is to blow themselves to bits. If you don’t want to dumb down the playbooks power just so they can survive their own mayhem, you might consider introducing a new armor type or tag that allows them to be largely protected from blasts. This could be a simple solution or one where you say the more protection they have the more limited their mobility. Either way this is probably something that will need to be addressed.

  10. Marques Jordan

    Thanks for the thoughtful answer! 

    I was just thinking of  areas of primary and secondary effect, eg 2d6 in the close range and 1d6 in the reach range. But shrapnel flies much farther than the “blast range” so somebody much farther may also get hit. 

    The problem is, this would get all sumulationey, and DW is about story, not simulation. 

    The version I just typed now goes something like this: “Blast range: Close (up to 8 or so human sized targets in a packed  crowd)”, and “Blast range: Reach (up to 20 or so human sized targets in a packed crowd).”

    I’d like to hear your opinion if this makes it better or not. My feeling is probably not – that one should leave it to the GM to decide. 

    In meantime, here is some homework:


  11. Holy cow that is a lot of information about explosions! This is so much you can do with this playbook. So many ways of handling it. I think it is very exciting ^_^

    My biggest worry is that with the ability to consume such a large number of targets, this Playbook is likely to put all other playbooks at the table to shame. It seems extremely capable of dealing mass death. You said there were a total of 16 grenade types, but how does the total number of grenades on hand work? How often can life be so easily removed in troves?

    I’m not sure if you’ve shared the character sheet yet but I’m curious if you have modeled this PB after a real world demolitionist or if it is more fantasy themed where the physics we know don’t exactly work the same in the games fiction? I could see a fantasy themed demo specialist being as specialized as Jacob Randolph’s Mage class. Definitely some cool possibilities if you were to think of specializing similarly to the Mage’s Foci.

    Another issue is going to be how a player will use the playbook effectively when foes are mixed with friendlies. Have you addressed this at all in your design? Or is it as simple as “I throw the grenade, I got a 10+, 8 of those baddies are blown to bits but my three companions don’t have a scratch on them, despite their proximity”?

    I don’t know if I like the idea of just leaving it all up to the GM. Maybe you could include a third sheet with a discussion of different ways of handling explosions. There is definitely a lot of information specific to this topic that won’t translate very well to a standard character sheet. Throwing in some advice or discussion on the topic along with the playbook might go a long way to helping GM’s get the most mileage of the playbook at their table.

  12. TPK caused by a player mishap, great story but there would be some angry party members. Of course someone could defy danger to avoid all the damage or some of the damage. I look forward to how this class develops.

  13. OK so here is a possible decaying area of effect

    Blast range: Close. Affects 1d8 targets in the close range and and 1d4 targets in the reach range.

    Still not happy…

  14. I think variable damage is the way to go. If you feel certain grenades should pack a certain level of auto targets you can always add that in as a static modifier. If Grenade A does 1d8 damage but you feel it should do a minimum of three targets, simply downgrade that 1d8 to a 1d6 and add a +2 modifier.

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