One of the biggest banes to a game is when a player knows way too much on a subject, and totally kills any fun that could be had if everyone was ignorant. The only thing worse is when it's the Game Master.

Interestingly, there's been apparently a lot of research into whether ancient weapons could penetrate different kinds of armor. However, I couldn't find any references to just how much energy was required to puncture the different kinds of armor. The closest I found was a note regarding the slice and puncture force required on human skin. There was an interesting article on the physics of English long bows, but that still didn't estimate the force required to puncture armor.

So, I took the range of forces generated by a long bow, and rolled it down to a rough approximate of what I thought it would take to puncture hardened leather: 300 Newtons. I then approximated the weight of the boulder, minus the weight of the rotating spike, to 50 kg. This means the spike needs to travel at about 6 m/s. The distance the boulder must travel straight down to reach this velocity is about 3.7 meters (initial velocity is 0, constant acceleration of 9.8 m/s/s). Then, there's the whole aspect of how long it took for the spike to spin, and if Thorgrum just stood there mesmerized by the contraption.

Five points if you saw this one coming.

There doesn't seem to be a thread for this chapter. Check for yourself at the forum for chapters.

Transcript:

Scene: Thorgrum is being attacked by a death trap.
Conan:{ yelling } And he's impaled!
DM:The spike bounces off his armor.
Thorgrum (as Thulsa Doom):Aaaah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ho ho he he he ha ha!
Conan:What? That's so unfair!
DM:The boulder was directly connected to the rotating shaft, which means it could only fall half of its circumference before the spike connected. It would need to fall about four meters before it could pierce the armor and actually hurt him. That's not even counting the moment of inertia.
Thorgrum (as Thulsa Doom):Ha ha heh heh hooo. *Sniff*
DM:{ pause } Would you like me to draw up a force diagram? { pause }
Rexor (as Thulsa Doom):{ charging towards Conan } Sneak attack!

Last updated: Wed, 08 Oct 2008 00:04:00 CST

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