Ranged Weapons
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Condition: Normal
ID: 4050


June 30, 2007, 4:49 pm

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Magnetic Bolas


The Magnetic Bolas can be thrown at an enemy’s melee weapon to hinder its effeciancy, making it harder to swing, and causing it to miss more often.

Magnetic Bolas
Two powerful magnets connected by a tough rope. They are very heavy and should only be thrown by strong combatants. The bolas wrap around and stick to an enemy’s metal weapon and increase its weight, making it harder to use. Swings become powerful but random, possible doing more damage but certainly missing more.

A popular tactic for the Magnetic Bolas is to use them in a room with a metal floor, they must be thrown high to cover enough distance to reach the enemy weapon but, with any luck, the magnets will draw the metal weapon towards the ground. These can also be used as normal bolas for making ranged trip attempts and are actually quite effective because it is hard to free the magnets from each-others magnetic fields.

The Magnetic Bolas were created by a simple alchemist, who was the friend of a warrior, that wanted to help out a friend by trying something new. He knew about the properties of magnets and their uses, it was part of the alchemist training his master made him go through. So all he had to do was find magnets with enough pull and bind them together with strong rope and… viola! Magnetic Bolas were born.

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Comments ( 8 )
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Voted manfred
June 30, 2007, 18:10
This one is a little silly, but you could see it shaking things up on the battlefield. Actually, not as useful for mass combat, but a very interesting diversion in small-scale fights, like those your typical heroes will undergo any day. When your super-sharp sword becomes a clumsy hammer, you can bet the fighting ability will go down.

Of course, the negatives will also apply to the side using the Bolas, but that is a tactical issue one can adapt to, and base strategies on (like entangling own weapons with theirs, throwing the Bolas on them, then quickly drop the mess and grab a prepared secondary weapon while the enemy is surprised). Some groups, that use few metal weapons could definitely like it. ("Hah! Your steel weaponry is no match for us!")

I admit to know little about magnetism, so don't know if sufficiently strong stuff exists naturally - but that can be always amended by referring to fantasy materials, or, as usual, magic. :)

But particularly to this I feel is an extension necessary: some easy way to deactivate the magnetism, at least for a while. Strong magnets tend to be annoying precisely because of their power. A cantrip, or magical dust, something ought to exist.

As I said, it is a little silly, but it has a strong surprise factor if creatively used. Sounds like fun!
June 30, 2007, 19:05
Yeah, I don't know much about magnetism myself either and I agree with all your points. Some sort of magical powder that temporarily kills the magnetism would be useful but I doubt it would make a great stand alone submission. So, yeah it's a little silly and a little flawed, but arent all the greatest things in the world? Eh? Whatcha got to say to that?
July 1, 2007, 17:06
Never said it is flawed.

It has its imperfections, and it is impractical for everyday use, but is just the right thing when you need a bit more edge, something unusual, and unexpected. The issues can be solved by some creative tinkering, or, hooray, magic. The applications are limited only by our imagination. :)
Voted Siren no Orakio
June 30, 2007, 19:32
Sufficiently strong magnets exist, however, they are generally very, very brittle. The real problem, in my eye, is this: How do you keep the bola ends from smashing into each other and just becoming one big magnet on a rope before you cast it? Maybe magical monopoles? I dunno.

It's an interesting version of an entangling weapon, it's just ... not very practical.
Voted valadaar
June 30, 2007, 20:04
I have a couple very strong magnetic spheres only 3/4" in diameter - I think large ones would do as you suggest - being an impediment, but siren's concern is absolutely valid.

Not sure the end is worth the hassel. But as pure magic would make these better.
Voted Scrasamax
June 30, 2007, 20:20
I can see these being used by bounty hunters, not so much to tangle weapons or make them heavier, but against a warrior in iron plate armor, a couple of these can tangle up his joints and make life very difficult. Well done.
Voted Wulfhere
July 1, 2007, 17:14
In order to make something like this work, perhaps only one of the bolas' weights would be magnetic, with the other ends made of a non-magnetic material like bronze. The bola would tend to tangle when it hit, so the target would still end up with a clumsy, tangled mess clinging to his blade or armor.
July 1, 2007, 17:37
Duh. There you go about phantasizing magical solutions, and Wulf shows the most natural and easiest way how to make it work.



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