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ZEITGEIST Detonating the Coaltongue's powder magazines?

Ambrus

Explorer
So, last session playing through the initial adventure, my players got the jump on the engine room engineers early, knocked them both out and snatched Sokana's elemental gem before she fled. The engine room is all but secure. Now there's only Sokana and Ilton at large in the lower decks and they need to come up with a backup plan, quick.

Ilton's already pilfered the fire wards in the powder magazine. The adventure states: "Even if all the wards are removed, the design of the magazine prevents an explosion in one room from setting off
a chain reaction in other rooms. The only way to detonate all the casks and cause a catastrophic explosion to destroy the ship is to damage them all simultaneously." Looking at the ships' maps, the "design" seems to be metal bulkheads separating the rooms and their contents. It seems that, with the magazine's hatches open, Sokana could simply stand far back on the grating and simultaneously target casks in each room with the three rays of her scorching ray spell. Alternatively, she could use the rust monster whip she carries to create holes (each of its five attacks can destroy up to 1 cubic foot of metal) in the metal bulkheads separating the magazine's rooms so that a blast in one area could spill over into adjoining rooms for an explosive chain reaction.

My question is, assuming Sokana is ready to attempt a suicidal strike, is there some reason either of these approaches couldn't detonate the entire ship's magazine and, if successful, what might be the result of the explosion?
 

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hirou

Explorer
Honestly... Sokana is not an evil terrorist mastermind. She is not even an evil overlord's minion. She is a handmaiden to Risuri diplomatic civil servant (who possibly was a pirate in pre-third war Risur, but that was long ago), who genuinely believe in the signs of bad future to come and came up with terribly not-foolproof plan in hope to at least do something. Note that Ethelyn's backup plan is "invade this island and try to find any evidence you can before being annihilated from one side or another", and ultimately she finds nothing.

Taking this into account, if you still think that eladrins make good suicide bombers... She still lacks the knowledge of ship construction. While we are at it, probably noone but ship's captain and maybe Massarde among those on board has sufficient knowledge of Coaltongue floor plans and can deduce that an explosion of a single magazine will not cause a chain reaction. So, I'd make the goal of Sokana to try and detonate a single magazine.
 

Meigeall

Explorer
She could also use the rusting effect to quietly reveal the wooden frame of the ship on the lowest level, blast it with a keg of firedust (probably alerting the PCs), and then rust through the hull (if it's armored below the waterline) to try to sink the ship.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Sokana would only know that she needs to overload the boiler. Is the boiler still overloaded with fire gems, or did the PCs unload it? The elemental gem only accelerated the countdown rather than start it. If the countdown is still going, she could try to blow one powder room, then misty step through the floor grating if all the PCs head upstairs. Ilton could also try to pickpocket the elemental gem if he is still invisible.

Otherwise, it is time to escape or surrender.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
The Coaltongue is a warship , so hard to sink with magic.
however on any gun armed historical warship a magazine explosion is fatal,from wooden wallers to ironclads. You could assumr fire prevention wards in the magazine but absent magic an open flame in a powder store or cartridge store will rapidly create an out of control conflageration and explosion. All the precautions and they are good are to stop a flame getting into the powder room/magazine. Magazinr explosions are much more dangerous than boiler explosions off hand I cannot think of a ship sunk by accidental boiler explosion but at least 3 killed by spontaneous magazine explosions and could find more if I looked (USS Maine, HMS Audacious (name may be wrong), IJN Mutsu )
in wooden ship the powder room is below the waterline, has a double door one of which should always be closed to prevent flashovers, it is lit by a lantern shining through a glass window and sailors in there wear boots without iron nails to prevent sparks. You tube should have tours of HMS Victoryand Trincomolee or the uss Constitution
Ironclads have more complicated arrangements, A chain reaction only matters with a very modern ship 1890+ were an explosion in a secondary magazine may be survivable if it does not touch of a main magazine.
Coaltongues map is a very poor reprentation of an ironclad, but those are hard to do.
 

I did some research on actual ironclad ship designs, and like pretty much any ship design, below decks they are cramped and don't have a ton of interesting spaces for melee combat when the rules want everyone to fit into 5-ft. squares.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Having been around several ironclads and more modern ships I have to agree, but sailing ships except for the Gun decks are just as bad. Ships are really not good places for D+D style fights particularly for all those people with Greatswords. The USS Olympia is probably the best fit for the technology of an intact ship and that is not a good ship for space to swing a cat.
 

Meigeall

Explorer
Perhaps wave it off with a little 'ironwood, woodshape, and strengthening enchantments allow for larger construction,' and 'ancient deals with sea fey changed how buoyancy works for ships.'
 

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