27 May 2017

Suffer The Slings And Magnums

A neat article about ancient projectile weapons.

Shall we reality check with GURPS?

.44 Magnum from a 6" barrel gets 3d+2 pi+ for ball.  5-20 points of raw damage that is multiplied by 1.5 for 7 to 30 points (or 18 on average).  That's a lot of damage!

According to GURPS: Low Tech, a heavy sling does sw+2 cr damage.

The average schmo (by definition) has a ST of 10 which gives a swing of 1d.  So a ST 10 person using a heavy sling delivers 1d+2 cr, for a range of 3-8 points of damage and an average of 5.

ST 11 and ST 12 would only add a point of damage each, and 12 is about the limit of what we'd expect from a common soldier.

So the most we're going to see here is a swing of 1d+2 plus 2 or 1d+4 or 2d crushing.  2-12 points with an average of 7.

7 is the least the magnum can do!

Let's do some math!  50 grams is about 775 grs.  100 mph is just 146.7 fps.

Um, that's just 36.7 ft-lb. of energy.  .44 usually delivers more than 1,000 ft-lb.!

So, no; a sling stone does not have the stopping power of a .44 magnum slug.

Also, using Douglas Cole's interior and terminal ballistics calculator, giving a heavy sling sw+2 damage is rather generous.  The aforementioned stone calculates out to a mere 1d-2 pi++ (1-8 with an average of 2).


To get an average 18 damage from a crushing attack you need to do 5d+1 cr.  For that you need your sw damage to be 4d-1 that requires a ST of 35 or 36.  Someone with a ST36 can also lug around, very slowly, more than a ton (2,592 lb.) on their back.

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