Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Kolson on Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:29 am

Some questions.

1. How dumb or smart is the artillery? Like, does it differentiate between living and inanimate objects? How about size and velocity? How big are the craters and is there any sound or other herald of their approach?

2. Has height ever made a difference whatsoever? Like crawling around or flying or whatever.

3. Does the shell or whatever fall out of the sky or move more like a bullet? Or are we looking at more lasers?

4. Has saturating an area with a smokescreen ever made a difference?

5. What happens if you penetrate the border with multiple incursions all at once? Is there a difference in shelling time or a pattern of any kind?
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Archengeia on Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:17 am

1. How dumb or smart is the artillery? Like, does it differentiate between living and inanimate objects? How about size and velocity? How big are the craters and is there any sound or other herald of their approach?
The artillery tends to target only animated things, which includes animals. Size and speed seem to have no bearing. The craters made tend to be about 12' in diameter unless a barrage is sent, in which case all bets are off. There is a distinct yet hard to describe sound of the air tearing in the distance before the shots hit, usually only a few seconds prior.

2. Has height ever made a difference whatsoever? Like crawling around or flying or whatever.
No. Airships are targeted just as easily, and attempting to crawl is proven to be a death sentence due to the lessened mobility.

3. Does the shell or whatever fall out of the sky or move more like a bullet? Or are we looking at more lasers?
With scanners on full from a parked Airship during a bombardment, the 'shells' appear to be contained energy casings of some type of super-heated plasma.

4. Has saturating an area with a smokescreen ever made a difference?
No. Several methods have been tried to prevent detection and none so far have succeeded.

5. What happens if you penetrate the border with multiple incursions all at once? Is there a difference in shelling time or a pattern of any kind?
Varies... wildly. Usually one given unit will be targeted first, then the other, sometimes both at the same time... depends on which part of the border one crosses, it's believed, but there is a randomness to it that seems to indicate there's another factor involved that they're not aware of.

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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Zeiss on Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:22 pm

Which methods do the military usually use to scout the border? What formations and such?
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by K on Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:37 pm

How does the exchange pay it's people? I ask, because i want to single out a few coins of the money that our rats get that isn't from us, and get a Scan on it to see were it comes from. Secrecy is of the essence, obviously, since the last thing i want to do is tip my hand. Maybe take advantage of my knowing these guys' scheduling (or mess with their schedules myself), in order to get me some alone time with their inventory.

I'm willing to sacrifice speed for stealth, if need be. I don't expect this to get done overnight, but should i get discovered for some reason, i'll invite the person in question for a chat in the office, and proceed to interrogate (if someone more intimidating or smarter than myself would like to join, feel free). If the person in question doesn't cooperate when invited for a chat, i'll relieve them of their choice in the matter; quietly, if possible, but i'm willing to tolerate some noise (far from ideal as that might be).

Should the initial premise fall flat, and i can't identify any money of these people that didn't come from us, i'll have to shadow some until i find out who they're selling info to. I'm willing to spread a false rumor or two in order to bait people into action. Nothing distasteful, mind you, just strategically important (if it were true). Again, prioritizing stealth.
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Archengeia on Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:09 pm

The Lady Floralwind usually overseers any operations along the Line and they usually use tactics she's developed over the last several years to accommodate the high risk situation.
If asked in person by Kolson: She declines to answer, stating that the point is to test his skill as a tactician and leader.
If a dice roll is done to determine what is known...
Then...:
Kolson is aware of several studies done on the tactics in the area which indicate using virtually unarmored and unarmed men and women moving at full possible speed on hover-cars usually with backup in the form of ziplines and yank chords if things get too bad. Given the high fatality rates, even these measures are insufficient.

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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Archengeia on Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:10 pm

K wrote:How does the exchange pay it's people? I ask, because i want to single out a few coins of the money that our rats get that isn't from us, and get a Scan on it to see were it comes from. Secrecy is of the essence, obviously, since the last thing i want to do is tip my hand. Maybe take advantage of my knowing these guys' scheduling (or mess with their schedules myself), in order to get me some alone time with their inventory.

I'm willing to sacrifice speed for stealth, if need be. I don't expect this to get done overnight, but should i get discovered for some reason, i'll invite the person in question for a chat in the office, and proceed to interrogate (if someone more intimidating or smarter than myself would like to join, feel free). If the person in question doesn't cooperate when invited for a chat, i'll relieve them of their choice in the matter; quietly, if possible, but i'm willing to tolerate some noise (far from ideal as that might be).

Should the initial premise fall flat, and i can't identify any money of these people that didn't come from us, i'll have to shadow some until i find out who they're selling info to. I'm willing to spread a false rumor or two in order to bait people into action. Nothing distasteful, mind you, just strategically important (if it were true). Again, prioritizing stealth.
I don't know Zeiss, how do you pay your people? *all eyes turn towards Zeiss* And no the answer is not butterfly mail.


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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Zeiss on Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:30 pm

But butterflies are awesome... They make everyone happy. Everyone! I should pay my employees in butterflies instead of gold.

In all seriousness, I imagine something like this:

Image:

Just add a protective glass or something on the desk with some guards and accountants I handpicked myself, and there you have it.
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Kolson on Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:07 am

'Archengeia\" wrote:With scanners on full from a parked Airship during a bombardment, the 'shells' appear to be contained energy casings of some type of super-heated plasma.

That's excellent news. Can I get that data? What does Kolson learn from analyzing it himself?

Will we have any radar on sight for this operation?

How far away do the "shells" usually come from?

Did the scan pick up any strange energy signatures or signal wave lengths?

Just to clarify the shells only target living beings, such as animals and people? Or would a vehicle with no people or animals in it also be targeted?

Plan 1 Questions:

In my character's opinion how out of the realm of possibility would it be to target someone with a weapon using only their elemental energy?

How did Z's elemental energy projector work? I know they weren't easy to craft but could I fake it temporarily, say for a round or two? I'm not above asking for help with this.

Plan 2 Questions:

How hard would it be to rig a wagon with a blue light that blinks for every x distance it travels?


Last edited by Kolson Wezrae on Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Zeiss on Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:19 am

Oh yeah, wasn't a Leyline supposed to explode on the 19th?
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by K on Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:52 am

I meant more along the lines of what currency, Zeiss (big coins, small coins, bills, etc), or anything that might allow me to pick out what money was likely paid by us from what money probably wasn't.

Sorry, maybe it was a dumb question. I just needed to know whether there's anything i can work with.
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Zeiss on Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:43 am

We pay in coppers, silver, and gold.
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Rory on Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:33 am

Martial Training
The two black mages on the payroll as trainers will offer to teach people black magic, if they have the capacity and the desire to learn this type of magic. Mandatory: Specialization in up to two 'types' of combat(close combat, projectile, and magic - not "jobs" per sei, like scout, trooper, etc) is the limit. There will be no jacks of trades in this outfit.

Rory will dedicate morning and afternoon to overseeing training/practice this week and make note of any change in efficiency in regard to compensating for this expanding facet of his role.

Crafting
The smiths will be paid per order. They will craft with the chittick material we've given them. All light infantry are to report to the smiths to requisition chittick armor early in the week, which will be made to suit their style(from the light and medium types). This armor will not be used for training.

Fundraising
In the evening, instead of drinking himself to death, Rory will start raising funds by looking into a local fighting ring that he can join, and gamble with his unarmed fighting, following their rules of course, if they call for removing fancy magical items like the bracers. Of course, if they don't say anything about magic items, and don't notice or bother checking, why bother declaring them...?
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Archengeia on Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:36 am

That's excellent news. Can I get that data? What does Kolson learn from analyzing it himself?
Kolson is allowed to view some (not all) of the data. From his analysis, whatever this is is definitely not magical in nature, as there isn't a trace of the usual signatures that Magitek or magical damage leaves.

Will we have any radar on sight for this operation?
All Line operations have an Airship supporting them, quite a ways back from the Line. Kolson himself will not be on said airship, if he agrees to this plan, he will be at the Line with his men.

How far away do the "shells" usually come from?
Unknown, they do not follow a consistent parabolic path, but it's definitely farther than Airship scanning range..

Did the scan pick up any strange energy signatures or signal wave lengths?
Insert technobabble here. No seriously though, nothing further to add.

Just to clarify the shells only target living beings, such as animals and people? Or would a vehicle with no people or animals in it also be targeted?
What the artillery targets seems to be inconsistent. Sometimes it will ignore inanimate objects, including an entire hovercar. Sometimes it will trigger if you throw a rock over the line. Best guess is it varies based on whomever is manning them at the time.

Plan 1 Questions:

In my character's opinion how out of the realm of possibility would it be to target someone with a weapon using only their elemental energy?
Such a weapon would be at Scion level of advancement at the least, but given what Kolson has seen is at least feasible. Any such weapon would either A: Target anyone of a type of elemental energy within X range, or B: Somehow have to determine the exact amount of elemental energy a specific individual had to target them... somehow.

How did Z's elemental energy projector work? I know they weren't easy to craft but could I fake it temporarily, say for a round or two? I'm not above asking for help with this.
Making an item that just gives off elemental energy in general is not overly hard. The mastercraft item Z had is... a lot more complex then that and did far more than just mask her elemental energy. But if you want to just project another energy, this is doable by yourself.

Plan 2 Questions:

How hard would it be to rig a wagon with a blue light that blinks for every x distance it travels?
Incredibly easy.

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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by K on Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:59 pm

Well, i can't think of any way to figure out what came from where unless we started marking our money right now, and that'd take too long even if it weren't impractical.

Regardless, do have access to someone with the ability to scan?

If so, i'll get some of my gold switched into part copper and silver, pick one target, make sure i get some alone time with his possessions and switch my money with his, then get his/her money scanned and see if what we can figure out.

If not, i'll plant some false information that'll lure the rats into selling it off, shadow one of them and see what i can glean.


Either way is imperfect and limited, but i can only do this one suspect at a time. The rest of my previous post applies.


Also, allow me to suggest we start paying people all in the same coin. Make it mighty easier next time we have to do this.
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Rory on Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:39 pm

operation "please stop stealing from us":
We have one token yellow mage. Whom I think is also our thief-for-hire.

I can be intimidating if I need to be.

For these people, I suppose we could go and meet each one rather than call them to us, and try Diplomacy, using Zeiss' line of reasoning. They won't go unpunished for their actions, however. Some or all of their pay for a week could be docked on a case-by-case basis, in addition to house arrest - on a case-by-case basis, as there are a lot of offenders. Once we narrow it down to the few who had malicious intent or simply won't stop, we can exile them and make sure everyone knows what they in particular did, as well as what these offenses are that aren't acceptable and what our punishments are for them.

We could do all this...next week. I gotta play catch-up.
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by K on Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:34 pm

All valid, and thanks for telling me, Rory, but i'm more interested in catching who's buying the information. I want to know who our enemies are.

Going with Plan A: replace one of the Rats' money and get it scanned. Reiterating, if secrecy is lost, we'll go with bringing in the suspect and interrogate.

To really reiterate, stealth is the priority here, since we'll certainly have to do this more than once.
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Kolson on Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:32 pm

Archengeia wrote:All Line operations have an Airship supporting them, quite a ways back from the Line.  Kolson himself will not be on said airship, if he agrees to this plan, he will be at the Line with his men.

Why do you keep implying Kolson is a coward who wouldn't be there with his men? I'm just trying to come up with a solution to your little Kobayashi Maru that minimizes the risk for all individuals involved while trying to find a better way to do it and I don't appreciate your insinuations as to the motives of my character.

So let's run down what I know so far. Inconsistent parabolic path, operator difference, and a border that periodically drifts. Sounds like mobile artillery, if not those mobile weapons platforms like we saw on the Lassels maybe an unknown number of airships or orbital cannons of some kind. For there to be operator differences, they must have the ability to see the border from a distance away. We know they have the ability to discern the difference between living and nonliving material, and smoke makes no difference to their scopes. Which implies they can see in in some other spectrum. Maybe even multiple.

Okay, I'm almost done formulating my plans. Just some last questions I think.

What's the longest sustained barrage ever recorded?

Does weather affect the artillery's performance or the recon team's detection at all? Like heavy rain or such? For that matter what kinds of weather conditions do they typically get around the mission area?

Have they ever attempted a recon without airship support?

Can the elemental energy from the projectors be projected at range? If so, how much? Would multiple aimed at the same spot increase the distance I could project the amount of energy say the average man or woman would give off? How hard is it to go through the elemental spectrum, ie would it be possible and practical to have a projector or projectors that can easily change to different elemental spectrums?

Have they ever tried using dumby elmental energy like this before?

Is it possible to suppress a person's elmental energy and if so, have they ever tried it?
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Archengeia on Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:29 pm

What's the longest sustained barrage ever recorded?
Roughly 3 hours.

Does weather affect the artillery's performance or the recon team's detection at all? Like heavy rain or such? For that matter what kinds of weather conditions do they typically get around the mission area?
Many attempts have been made during harsher or more difficult weather, but there is no noticeable change in reaction or time.

Have they ever attempted a recon without airship support?  
Yes, by necessity since Airships are not always available.

Can the elemental energy from the projectors be projected at range? If so, how much? Would multiple aimed at the same spot increase the distance I could project the amount of energy say the average man or woman would give off? How hard is it to go through the elemental spectrum, ie would it be possible and practical to have a projector or projectors that can easily change to different elemental spectrums?
Yes, the further the range (in feet) the more difficult a Weave it becomes directly. Each foot basically adds 1 to the DC, in game terms. Multiple do not increase the range of projected energy. Having an item that can do multiple energy outputs is possible; a manual switch to change spectrums is much easier, an automatic or timed thing would be considerably harder.

Have they ever tried using dumby elemental energy like this before?
Yes, with odd results. Sometimes they 'take the bait'... sometimes they don't.

Is it possible to suppress a person's elemental energy and if so, have they ever tried it?
It is possible, and yes it has been tried, to zero success.

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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Kolson on Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:20 am

I'm thinking I'm on to something with the multiple spectrum idea. I bet the times it worked were when they were scanning in that spectrum. What other spectrums do scanners hit? Heat, elemental, etc.
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Archengeia on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:40 am

Kolson Wezrae wrote:I'm thinking I'm on to something with the multiple spectrum idea. I bet the times it worked were when they were scanning in that spectrum. What other spectrums do scanners hit? Heat, elemental, etc.
Naturally they only have assumptions but they do believe that whatever the Tumerok are using to scan they can detect heat, Elemental life, motion, and vibration / sound.

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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Kolson on Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:08 am

Talking to the men themselves, what does a typical scout job of this look like? Please include equipment, scouting tactics, and a step by step description of a typical operation. I want to make sure I'm not doing something they're already doing.

Plan comes after this answer. That's a promise.
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Archengeia on Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:09 pm

Kolson Wezrae wrote:Talking to the men themselves, what does a typical scout job of this look like? Please include equipment, scouting tactics, and a step by step description of a typical operation. I want to make sure I'm not doing something they're already doing.

Plan comes after this answer. That's a promise.
So I've been waiting this entire time for a post from Kolson and nothing was showing up... decided to check MANUALLY today since deadlines and all that and see this post which never notified me there was a new post. *sigh*

Ahem.

There is no standard equipment setup, since it varies based on the scout, their commander, and the specific task and area of the Line in question, but expense is generally not spared.

The uh. *rubs eyes* Okay I'm going to try to organize my thoughts to give an example of an operation. Gimme a bit.

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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Archengeia on Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:36 pm


  1. Gather troops well behind the Line at the nearest outpost to quadruple-check equipment and plan.
  2. Team moves out on reinforced hovercar up to the minimum safe distance and then splits up into lances.  2 people to each Lance, organized by movement speed and equipment layout, and spread out along the Line to their designated range.
  3. Lances can and have used multiple forms of communication but one way or another will signal each other to move on the Line simultaneously.
  4. Each Lance has a specific mission.  Most common missions include; scouting past the Line, determining the range of the Line, and testing the sensitivity of the Tumerok artillery.  The scouts uncover zero information about 99% of the time, given how difficult it is to go any distance past the Line.
  5. Each Lance has one person who is in charge of making the snap decision to retreat if it is deemed necessary by him or her.  The other Lancemate is instructed to follow that decision regardless of all circumstance.  All soldiers given this assignment are drilled, repeatedly, how it is more important to survive the encounter than to accomplish the mission and to place priority at all times on maintaining an exit vector.
  6. There is generally no defined 'retreat time', since it's somewhat superfluous given the individual Lance's autonomy regarding this and the fact that most missions last in the seconds range.  But support personnel, which always includes White Mages and skilled mundane healers, are on standby on the Aluvian side of the Line until all troops are accounted for one way or another.

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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Kolson on Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:42 pm

Okay, thank you. Let's get this done then.

She can yell at me if she wants to, but Lady Aayndia only asked me to find the kill zone border with as much accuracy as possible, not to scout any nonsense beyond the border. So that's what I'll do.

I'm going to need a few things. I need to buy two crates of flying discs or the most equivalent toy or sports gear I can acquire, in Holtburg if necessary. With some assistance from any Weavers they have, I need them converted to make a strobe light effect and to produce an annoying, high pitched sound. I want these effects to activate after the toy has been in flight for however long 15 feet is and deactivate after 2 rounds if possible. I think 4 to 6 charges per toy will be fine. If it would be faster or cheaper, I'll split the light effect and the sound effect half and half between the crates.

The idea with this is to give the scout teams a method to "scout" ahead that minimizes the risk by engaging the Tumerock sensors on multiple detection fronts. I'll keep the 2 man lances for this but I'll need them to practice with these until they can throw them a good distance with regularity and accuracy.

I also want to alter arrows to project elemental energy upon landing. The energy can be of all types but it needs to be the same amount a person would give off and needs to last for up to three rounds if possible. I'll also need some altered arrows to vibrate the air around them and release a high pitched sound for the same amount of time. One use per arrow is fine. I'm guessing 80 arrows will do it, 40 of each if possible. I'll pay for them of course.

If anyone asks why arrows, I'll make it clear that its because I don't have time to invent something that can go as far with the kind of accuracy I need. If my plans work, I'll start figuring out a better and more cost effective method. Right now I just want to prove it works.

Lastly, I'm going to need some rangefinders. I know artillery is a thing but you understand where they are at in terms of the tech. I need whatever the most accurate and portable rangefinder the military is currently using for this to work. I'll need at least 3 teams to do this.

The idea behind the arrows and the rangefinders is goading the tumerocks into firing their weapons so my rangefinder teams can use math to figure out the border rather than bodies and luck. I'll put them as far back as they can be and still do their jobs.

Just to make sure, the area I'm scouting isn't too windy for this kind of plan is it? I asked about weather and never really received an answer so if it is too windy, I have an idea to get around that but I can already say you guys aren't going to like it. Hell I don't.
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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

Post by Rory on Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:51 am

Well that presents an intrigue. Instead of targeting someone with elemental energy, how about the inverse? Something that could target a Desolate. Or is that like asking for heat-seeking missiles that don't seek heat? It's purely player curiosity, so if Kolson decides to check that out or ponder it, I'll leave it to him.
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Rory

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Re: Week 4: April 12th - 19th April

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