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Month Index: September, 1996

From:     Toby Mekelburg <toby@????.net>
Date:     Thu, 19 Sep 1996 17:21:03 -1000
Subject:  Re: Ballista Boxes
>I like the ideas for the "ballista boxes" any thoughts on stats for such a

Ok, here we go:

Ballista Boxes
aka "thorn throwers', "pincushion machines"
Cost: 700 gp
Range: 2 hexes(1,000 yds)
Damage: 2d4 each missle
Crew: 1(to fire), 3(to reload)
Rate of Fire: special

Ballista boxes are a new invention that have begun appearing through-out the
spheres as the weapon of choice for attacking groundling settlements. No one
knows who exactly invented these weapons, although many races have taken
credit for them. These are war machines that fire a dozen, four foot long
missles. The missles are similar to spears, although some users have
developed miniature versions of the projectiles that ballistas fire(the ones
with the barbed heads). The boxes have cylindrical tubes on the front facing
of the weapon, and tightly coiled springs in the base of the box that shoot
out the projectiles with devastating force. The rear of the box can be
opened to re-coil the springs through the use of hand cranks. The box can be
reloaded of it's missles from the front. The missle tubes are reinforced
with thin sheets of metal that are specially fitted for the weapon.

The boxes are usually fitted onto swivel stands that can be swung upwards or
downwards in a 180 degree angle. The missles do not fall out if the box is
swung down, as the projectiles are pushed into the springs until they are
released. The positioning allows for easy reloading in a battle. Reloading
takes 4 rounds for a single volley, or 12 rounds for a full volley.

The firing mechanism is usually a lever near the machine. Pulling on the
lever causes four missles to be fired at one time, and subsequent pulling of
the lever will cause the weapon to discharge its missles unto all are fired.
Pushing forward on the lever will fire all twelve missles. Any firing mode
requires one attack. Also, you may want to use the direct fire modifiers on
p. 159 in C&T.

Ballista boxes can be mounted on the decks of SJ vessels. These have the
same stats, although they may have a bigger payload, and can be swiveled in
a 360 degree circle.

Some groundling communities have acquired ballista boxes as well. The
groundlings have found that ballista boxes are not that effective against SJ
craft, but are mostly interested in using them to keep SJ crews that are
attacking them preoccupied, or against dragons and other flying creatures.

The giff have tried using smokepowder to propel the missles in the ballista
boxes, instead of springs. On the few times this has been successful, the
range and damage have doubled. But more often than not, the boxes have blown
up, killing the unfortunate giff.

Comments welcome. I'm also thinking of creating hull mounted bombards or
cannons encased in a glasteel bubble(ala WWII bombers)

A star rushes past, to crash upon the shore
But the first of many many more
Stoke the fire and stout bar the door
For this is the night mages go to war

Toby Mekelburg
Tobymeke@???.com-"Hey, those sign up disks are everywhere!"

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Month Index: September, 1996

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