Demolitions skill

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 27, 2011 - 11:07pm
Principly the rules are concerned with TD19 and variable timers

However, nukes are officially part of the game system (KH's weapon is explicitly stated to be a nuke)

Are demolitions experts able to defuse a Nuke?

Should there be a difficulty penalty? Or a level qualification? Like higher levels of technician can pilot progressively more difficult aircraft?


I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 28, 2011 - 2:41am
I don't see why a demolitionist couldn't disarm a KH torpedo. All sorts of scenarios come to mind for such a setting...

1> a sather torpedo lands in a city but doesn't detonate (thus the PC needs to disarm it just to be sure, with the usual -20% alien tech pnealty)

2> Free Frontiersmen Foundation terrorists make off with a torpedo and PCs infiltrate their ship as secret agents posing as anti-UPF propaganda lovers with the ultimate goal of disarming the weapon(s)

3> PCs are captured by space pirates and held aboard their frigate which is threatening to nuke a major population center...PCs escape captivity and make their way to the launcher to disarm the weapons


As far as bonuses/penalties go, the actual skill itself is dependant on the specialist's skill level versus the "bomb-maker's" skill level (re: base 50% chance to difuse +10/difusing character's level -10/bomb-maker's level)...so it's ultimately up to the ref to decide what skill level the "bomb-maker" who constructed the torpedo is.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
February 28, 2011 - 8:18am
I would allow a Technician to disarm as well. 
1/2 LOG + 10% per level.

Electronics of nuke;
Low-tech    +10
Modern-tech +0
High-tech -10
Cutting-edge -20

dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
February 28, 2011 - 9:00pm
I have a buddy in Explosive Ordinance Disposal. I will ask him and get back to you. If I remember correctly disarming nukes, both ours and russian; was part of the course of study, but like I said... I will ask him and get back to you. He told me a lot about it while trying to recruit me into that field.
The bombing starts in five minutes.

iggy's picture
iggy
February 28, 2011 - 10:04pm
How about the PCs get called in to disarm a fake nuke on an interstellar transport carrying a cargo of credit chips for an insurance company.  The hijacker jumps out of the back air lock while in deep space to get away.  The PCs discover the nuke is a fake and then chase the bandit across the Frontier to the Rim.  Along the way they must fight each other and deal with a wacko NPC from an adventure in the distant past.

I have a friend that did a full career in the AF disarming munitions.  One of his assignments was disarming US and Russian nuclear warheads then destroying the old warheads so they could not be rearmed.  He has a pretty interesting story about discovering that a detonator had not been removed on a devise they were deep into the process of disarming.  They looked over the warhead and as best they could discern found that the detonator have been disabled in a different way.  So, the order was to proceed which involved triggering the detonator.  Talk about trusting the engineers when they go stand far away and you alone have to pull trigger.  He says he didn't expect to come home that day.  He made me promise not to tell his wife the story.

So, I think that demolitions skill should cover nukes.
-iggy

dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
March 1, 2011 - 6:52pm
Talked my EOD Buddy... Yes EOD can disarm nukes they are trained to do so. Aparantly nukes are easier to disarm because they have so many safeties on them. But Bomb disposal and demolitions are two very different jobs. Demolitions also involves knowing where to place an explosive for best effect. For example How to place charges to drop a bridge roadbed without dropping the supports so they can be reused later that sort of thing.
Disarming a bomb requires the person to know how the fireing mechanism works and are set up. Some are mechanical some are electrical. EOD is a long and difficult school, and all the services share the school. Army, Air Force and Navy.
The point is this though, Combat Engineers blow stuff up, EOD disarms/disposes of bombs or munitions
The bombing starts in five minutes.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 1, 2011 - 7:02pm
Thanks moffet for the feed back

saddly if we stick to AD rules the same skill does both.

which is actually ok with me from the perspective of game playability.

But what I hear in this thread is that the schooling involved is long- would it be safe to say that a Frontier demolitions expert is probably not fully qualified to dissarm a nuke till at least 2nd level?

I realize that is falls under house rules but it seems to me that at least level 2 for full qualification on nukes might be appropriate.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
March 1, 2011 - 8:56pm
Actually keeping a military nuke from going off should be easier; because of the extra safety devices built in to them. Disarming it should be left to experts though. But simply turning them off is easier.
However, one can not say about a device built by a terrorist or a "mad bomber".

As to the skill in the game... it's a game. You can have the demo guy be able work as TV repairman on the side if your referee wants. So hey totally up to you. I would say that a guy who sets explosive a lot would general know how to dismantle the common stuff safely. Engineers in the army have to know how to "recover" thier own explosives if it does not get used, so they do defuse thier own stuff quite a bit. I would have to judge that the TD-19 and its common detonators would be easily defused by someone familier with them.  No penalty there. Also remember that a fission bomb is usually preceded by a conventional explosive device to set off the fision device, and a fusion device required a fision device.... so yes a level 1 guy should be able to disarm a nuke. Remember that a level 1 character is proficient, and level 6 character is supposed to be a graduate degree type ie Master or PHD.

Lets take the Mad bomber
If the mad bomber is level six explosives and the player has a skill of level 1, The Character should have a massive penalty to disarm the device, simply because the mad bomber would have made his circuitry that much harder to understand, with all the appropriate anti tampering circuits. The Disarming Character could roll and simply fail ie nothing happens, or he could roll and fail catastrophicly causing the device to go off. In this case, where the demo expert is a mad bomber type and has built a devious timing circuit with anti tampering devices give the character disarming it a 5% penaltyfor every difference of level. ie 6-1=5  and 5X5 equals 25% penalty. If the mad bomber mixes his own explosives and makes his own fuses and makes his own wireing and cicuits you could give it 10% per level difference instead.

On the other hand if the bomber used all standard explosives (TD-19 and standard detonators and circuits etc) the character would have no penalty because he is fully trained in the use of those items. I think that it is situational.
The bombing starts in five minutes.

iggy's picture
iggy
March 1, 2011 - 9:39pm
This is where AD rules have always gone for the simplified grouping of skills and not breaking them apart.  The engineering side of me would split the skills between demolitions and EOD and make the player buy both.  But I can understand how others would go for simpler.
-iggy

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
March 2, 2011 - 7:31pm
And the AD rules already has the negative modifier for diffusing an explosive set by a person with a higher skill.  The success chance is given as 50%+10% x skill level (of diffuser) - 10% x skill level (of constructor).

So you can make disarming nukes harder for earlier players simply by saying that they were build by a person of skill 5 or 6 which is completely reasonable. 
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
March 2, 2011 - 8:04pm
My house rules permit (actually mandate is a better word) that a specialist develope the subskills separately. It's up to the player to raise each one a level at a time or to stick with a single subskill or two as a specialty.

In other words, a technician could specialize in "operate machinery" or "repair machinery" and let the other subskills lag (thus attaining starship pilot or engineering skill much quicker) or he could specialize in the security subskills (detect, defeat, and open locks). 

dmoffett wrote:
If the mad bomber is level six explosives and the player has a skill of level 1, The Character should have a massive penalty to disarm the device, simply because the mad bomber would have made his circuitry that much harder to understand, with all the appropriate anti tampering circuits.


Actually the canon skill already takes that into account. The "difuse charges" subskill has a base chance of 50% plus the demolitionist's skill bonus (+10/level) MINUS the bomb maker's demolitionist level (-10/level). Hence, your first level difuser against a LVL:6 bombmaker's charge would have a success rate of 5% (50+10-60=0, but 01-05 always succeeds and 96-00 always fails) 
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 26, 2018 - 6:52am
So I'm of a mind that since a military nuke has lots of safeties built in, disarming it is +20% and no penalty for the level of the bomber who set it.

mad terrorist bomber or say a cadre bomber who is intent on doing damage then they will not be including safeties on their device or they will be modifying the Khs torpedo warhead to circumvent the safeties. in this situation the the disarm roll will be modified by -10/level of the bomber.

EDIT: so it seems most people thing a nuke is easy to disarm due to complexity of electonics and safeties and etc. so +20 to disarm even if it was set by a mad bomber.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!