The BlackHammer CyberPunk Project

B l o w   I t   U p

Listen Up You Primitive ScrewHeads gave us detailed rules for explosives in CyberPunk 2020, but the table provided at the bottom of the page (pg 105) was somewhat strange. When attempting to extrapolate the table in the case of a very large explosion, I found there was no actual pattern to the numbers as given.

The original numbers (shown below) are, however, close to a pattern. With a bit of tweaking and some help with the (albeit basic) mathematics we whipped up a revised table to handle various multiples of explosives, as well as the basic formula to figure out what quantity of explosives is required for a certain damage and range multiplier.

The Original Table
1x11
2x1.51
3x22
5x2.52
8x33
10x3.53
12x44
17x4.54
21x55
27x5.55
33x66
37x6.56
41x77
BlackHammer Table
1x11
2x1.51
3x22
5x2.52
7x33
10x3.53
13x44
17x4.54
21x55
26x5.55
31x66
37x6.56
43x77

 While initially the differences seem minimal between the two tables (the only differences are on the x3, x4, x5.5, x6 and x7 lines), the table on the right follows a defined formula for determining the number of explosive units required to produce a certain damage multiplier. This formula is ((n^2 - n) + 1) units produces (n) damage multiplier. By using this method we can figure out the damage dealt by extreme quantities of explosives. For example a 1000kg load of GunCotton (1kg base unit, 3D10 dmg, 3m radius) will have n=32 (which means a damage multiplier of x32 and an explosion covering 32 radius bands, or 96m radius). Therefore it deals 96D10 damage on contact. By the rules, someone 1-3m away will take 48D10, 4-6m take 24D10, etc... Unfortunately this leads to another problem with the explosive rules as presented in Listen Up. Assuming a charge of 43kg of C6, we have a damage multiplier of x7, over 7 range bands. Damage base is therefore 8D10x7 damage at contact, 8D10x3.5 damage at 5m, 8D10x1.75 at 10m, 8D10x0.875 at 15m, 8D10x0.4375 at 20m, x0.21875 at 25m, x0.109375 at 30m and finally x0.0546875 at 35m. This leads me to wonder why we bother with the damage radius, as at the listed edge of the explosion, it will deal an average of 2.4 damage. When we extrapolate this with the above example (1000kg of guncotton) we get 32 radius bands to cover. At the half-way point (48m from the center of the explosion) damage has been reduced from the initial 528 to a mere 0.008 points. So once you get past the 5th range band or so, the only reason we worry about range bands is for the shrapnel damage (as shrapnel strikes up to 2 range bands beyond the outer limit of the blast). I feel that the 1D10 for shrapnel damage should be multiplied also by half the multiplier of the explosion (as bigger blasts will find more material to use as shrapnel, such as the ground). At 1/3 of the max range the damage is cut in half, and in half again at 2/3 of the max range. One final extrapolation... lets figure out the damage of a 15kiloton nuclear blast. (Nuclear blasts are measured in equivalent weights of TNT so therefore that's 15,000,000kg of TNT). This deal 3,872x normal damage over 3,872 range bands, or an average damage of 85,184 on contact. Unfortunately at 36m according to this, damage will be 21 points, and at 51m damage is reduced below the 1 point line. So... the system needs work.