Explosives

Author: 
James Fullerton

Making things go BOOM!

C4 plastic explosive

A localised blast explosive that remains inert until an electric charge is passed through it. Fully plastic, the putty like substance can be moulded into any desired shape. A quarter of a kilo of C4 has a Blast Rating of 20 and a PEN of 6. Unlike grenades the primary blast radius for C4 is only one metre, and the secondary radius is only 2 metres. Each additional quarter kilo adds 5 to the Blast Rating, 1 to the PEN, increases the primary blast radius by a metre and the secondary by 2 metres. A kilo of C4 will therefore have a Blast Rating of 35, a PEN of 9 to a primary radius of 4 metres and a secondary radius of 8 metres. The C4 requires a blasting cap to detonate.

Refined C4 'Black Irish' plastic explosive

A localised blast explosive, Black Irish is identical in manner to normal C4. However it has a higher penetration rate than normal C4. Blast Rating 20, PEN 10. Both the Blast Rating and PEN increase by 5 points for each quarter kilo. Blast zones as per C4.

Dynamite

A nitro-glycerine based explosive, this is primarily used in construction and mining. Each kilogram stick of Dynamite has a Blast Rating of 10 and PEN of 4. The Blast Zone is identical to a normal grenade (6m/12m). Each additional stick adds 2 to the Blast Rating and 1 to the PEN. It also adds 1m to the primary blast radius and 2 metres to the secondary blast radius. A 'barrel' of seven sticks will have a Blast Rating of 22 and a PEN of 10. This would affect a 12m primary area and 24m secondary area. Dynamite can be detonated using a blasting cap, fuse or timing device.

Liquid Nitro-glycerine

An extremely dangerous and unstable compound, nitro-glycerine (NGC) can detonate from a simple bump, knock or mild electric shock. NGC has a Blast Rating of 10 for a 0.1 kg/ tenth of a litre. It also has a PEN of 8, a Primary Blast Zone of 6 meters and a secondary blast zone of 18 metres. Each additional 0.1 kg/ tenth of a litre increases the Blast Rating by 5, the PEN by 2, the primary blast zone by 1 metre and the secondary blast zone by 3 metres. A kilo/litre of NGC would therefore have a Blast Rating of 55 and a PEN of 26 to a 15 metre area with secondary damage to a 45 metre area.

Thermite

A localised explosive that can cut through metal, Thermite is often used in engineering, for example the demolition of structures, due to its focussed blast. A kilo of Thermite has a Blast Rating of 20 and a Pen of 12. Thermite has a primary blast radius of 0.25m and a secondary blast radius of 1m. Each additional kilo adds 10 to the Blast Rating, 8 to the Penetration and increases the blast radius by 0.25m/0.5m. Thermite requires a blasting cap or radio detonator to detonate.

White Phosphorous

Not technically an explosive White Phosphorus (WP) burns ferociously when detonated, creating smoke, toxic fumes and starts fires on contact with air. 1kg will detonate with a Blast Rating of 10 and a Pen of 8. The primary blast radius is 3 metres and the secondary blast radius of 4 metres. WP continues to burn after detonation, causing half damage every round for 5 rounds to anything that took damage in the initial explosion. Each additional 1kg of WP adds 3 to the Blast Rating, 2 to PEN and increases the blast radius by 0.5m/2m. Burning duration remains the same. Anyone caught in the explosion will also suffer from the effects of the toxic fumes, which act as a riot gas grenade across the whole of the primary and secondary blast radius. White Phosphorus grenades for Operatives are not available at this time.

Combustible fluids

Fuel can be added to any explosion to further increase its effectiveness. Normally it is just a case of placing fuel canisters adjacent to the explosive, but occasional these can be more complicated affairs especially if Liquid Nitro-glycerine is involved. Each litre/kilo of fuel adds one to the Blast Rating of the explosive and increases the secondary blast zone by an additional metre. For example a quarter kilo of C4 with ten litres of fuel will have a Blast Rating of 30, a Pen of 6 and a Blast Zone of 1m/12m.

Skills and Penalties

Demolitions skill

When setting up explosives it is possible to 'shape' the charge being use. This allows the focus of the explosion to be aimed at a narrower focal point and reduces the blast zone of the attack. An additional skill roll is undertaken following the set up of the explosives and if successful the Pen is recalculated as if there was 100% more explosive there. The blast zones are reduced in size as if there was 50% less explosives there. For example a 'shaped' kilo of C4 instead of doing BR35, PEN9 to a 4m/8m area will do BR35, PEN 13 to a 2m/4m area.

Demolitions Disposal skill

When deactivating explosives, C4 and Dynamite can be undertaken every 5 rounds/fifteen seconds with an 11+ roll. Failure (unless it is a double 1, or a booby trapped detonation mechanism), simply means that five rounds have to pass before a second attempt. Black Irish is a little more complicated, requiring a roll at -2 again with an attempt every 5 rounds. NGC is much more complicated requiring a roll at -10 with failure causing it to detonate prematurely. This penalty can be reduced by one point for every minute of study taken prior to the attempt. However the penalty can not be reduced to less than -5. Grenades are relatively simple to deactivate requiring a straight roll. A new attempt can be tried every round. Any device with fuel attached to it adds a further -2 to any attempt to deactivate the explosive.

All attempts to deactivate explosives require the use of a Mechanics kit (CMC Maintenance kit). Plastic Explosives can be attempted without using a kit at -5. Although they are simpler explosive devices, the character is unable to use his tools to check whether it has been booby trapped. This penalty can be reduced by one point for each minute of study given prior to the attempt.

Explosive mechanisms

Most explosives use either a timing device, a blasting cap or a radio detonator. The Disposal skill identifies the key ways of bypassing most of these devices, however these can be customised by highly skilled Demolitions experts to cause additional problems. Blasting Caps can confer an additional -1 to -3 difficulty to a Disposal roll, as can radio detonators. Timing Devices tend to be used in the most complicated of devices. Effectively the Demolitions Expert can add his rank in Demolitions to the difficulty of any explosive, as long as he has had at least one hour per rank to construct the device. This is in addition to the penalties for the different types of explosives. A Disposal expert can counteract all mechanism penalties by studying the device. For each 15 minutes spent studying the device, one rank of difficulty can be reduced. The maximum amount that can be reduced is equal to the Disposal experts skill.

Example

Hopper, a DarkNight Infiltrator specialising in Explosives, decides to make his most complicated explosive yet. Having Demolitions of 8, he spends eight hours on a timing device for a Nitro-glycerine and fuel based explosive. When Operative Reeves (Disposal 7)finds the explosive his default chance of defusing it is:

2d10 -8 (Hopper's Demolitions skill, applied through the timing device) -10 (due to NGC) -2 (due to fuel) + his skill(7) i.e.: 2d10-13

Fortunately Operative Reeves discovered the bomb with 24 hours left to run. He first spends five minutes working out how to isolate the NGC. This reduces the penalty by five points. He then spends the next 105 minutes (quarter hour * Disposal skill 7) analysing the timing device. This will reduce the timing device penalty from 8 down to one. After a total time of 110 minutes the chance of Operative Reeves' deactivating this explosive device is now:

2d10 -1(timing device) - 5(due to NGC) -2(due to fuel) + skill(7) i.e.: 2d10 -1
He reaches for the red wire...

Costs

C4 per kilo - 15,000 UNIs
Black Irish per kilo - 25,000 UNIs
Dynamite per kilo - 5,000 UNIs
Nitro-glycerine per kilo/litre - 75,000 UNIs
CMC Maintenance kit - 50c/ 1,000 UNIs
Blasting Cap - 30c / 750 UNIs*
Radio Detonator - 30c / 600 UNIs* + transmitter
Timing Device - 15c / 400 UNIs*
*multiply price for each additional level of difficulty desired.

Thanks to Kris Steel for some help on the different types of explosives here.