Chapter 30: Grenade and Aerosol Combat

Grenades and aerosols are area of effect weapons. An area of effect weapon is one where the attack’s effect is not just on a single target, but on every target within a certain area. All grenades have an area of effect that spreads outwards from a central point damaging everything within the area. Aerosols have area of effects like sprays, and spherical blobs. Both area of effect weapons are easy to use, but the rules are designed to be played with a combat tabletop  in mind. Using grenades in the tactical combat system with a hexagon play table is easy. 

Simba deals with Scar.
Simba deals with Scar.

Grenades

Grenades are area of effect weapons which can be thrown a reasonable distance. Combat with molotovs, acid misters, pipe bombs, explosives and artifact grenades are explained here. The point of grenades is that, besides being destructive, they are simple to use. The grenade combat system reflects this. The ease with which grenades can be discharged is in part what makes them so deadly. Everyone should remember that anything caught within the area of effect—personas, targets, equipment, walls—is subject to the grenade’s full effect. Some points to remember about grenades. Many grenades cannot be manually thrown out of their area of effect. Such grenades were designed for grenade launchers or specially armoured troops. Armour, unless specifically stated in the armour description, does not absorb grenade damage. Grenade effects are three dimensional, affecting anything above the blast hex.

Grenade Activation There are many different ways to activate a grenade (pin, twist cap, etc.). Most grenades should have at least one safety feature, which allows them to be transported and handled roughly. This does not apply to homemade grenades such as molotovs or pipe bombs which are inherently dangerous. All grenades have a setting where their detonation is irreversible. Personas can easily explode grenades  by fiddling with them. Contact fuses (molotovs, some pipe bombs, and most hi-tech grenades) detonate the grenade when it contacts a solid or dense liquid surface. Timer fuses (lit fuses, and some hi-tech grenades) detonate the grenade at a preset time following activation. Regardless of the fuse type, the persona need only throw the device to activate it.

Range of Grenades: The target hex chosen by the player can be anywhere within throwing range of her persona. A persona can throw a normal grenade 1 hex per point of PSTR. Heavier than normal grenades would have a shorter range. The player can count the hexes to see how far her persona can throw the grenade, but she cannot count hexes to determine the area of effect. However  a player would be able to count area of effect hexes if her persona were a high level mercenary using safe grenade throw. So when a player’s persona is about to throw a grenades she can count the range of the grenade throw, but she cannot count the hexes of the grenade’s area of effect. The diagram below demonstrates the area of effect for a 1 hex and a 2 hex radius of effect grenade.

Grenade Malfunction: The chance of a grenade being a dud  depends on whether it is an artifact grenade or a homemade mundane grenade. Grenade malfunctions are determined by the unadjusted kilo die roll of the player, and bonuses to hit are not considered. Mundane area of effect weapons (See Chapter 28: Weapons) have a high chance of malfunctioning or even exploding in the mitts of the persona. Homemade grenades will detonate when thrown if the kilo die to hit roll is less than 42. They will not explode at all if the to hit roll is less than 200. Artifact grenades (Chapter 45: Grenades and Aerosols) are proper military devices and are much more robust. A referee may check for a malfunction if the kilo die to hit roll is exactly 42. The referee and player would use a sphincter dice challenge from Chapter 16: Special Rolls to determine the outcome of the malfunction. 

Cover and Damage: Cover from grenades can be offered by very sturdy protection such as bunkers, rocks, or vehicles. A completely covered target will take no damage from a grenade attack. If the referee feels that there should be some damage reduction for cover a simple rule may be to reduce the damage by the percent cover that a persona has. If a target has 90% cover then reduce the damage by 90%, if the target has 33% cover then reduce the damage to 33%. Concealment has nothing to offer versus grenades. For more information about how to differentiate cover and concealment see Chapter 35: Combat Adjustments.

Figure 30.1 Grenade Area of Effect

A grenade can miss can be close enough to damage targets.

To Hit Roll

The standard to hit roll on kilodice determines how successfully the persona has thrown the grenade. A grenade attack targets a specific hex, not necessarily a specific target. The target hex can contain an opponent, or be an empty hex that is within a group of opponents. A successful to hit roll will indicate that the grenade has detonated in the target hex, having whatever effect that is described. A miss with a grenade will cause it to detonate somewhere other than the target hex.

For a player to hit the target hex, she must roll over 600. The target hex does not actually have an armour rating. What the roll represents is the chance of aim, timing, and grenade skills being successfully integrated for the grenade attack. A miss does not always indicate a poor shot; it indicates that the grenade did not detonate in the desired hex. This could occur because of bad aim, or strange bounces, but it is a miss all the same.

To Hit Bonuses: Personas throwing grenades make an attack with a Type B weapon against a specific hex on the playing table (or against a general location if not using a grid system). The persona usually adds her Bonus Non Proficient (BNP) to the roll since grenade proficiency is unusual. Grenade proficiency will allow the persona to use her Bonus Proficient (BP). Any penalties for Type B weapons apply to grenade attacks. A grenade can be accurately thrown one hex per point of PSTR. Grenade launchers and grenade slings can increase this range.

Miss Result

A miss with a grenade can still be a hit. There is a chance the grenade will still even land in the target hex. As long as the grenade detonates every target in the area of effect will be damage. As the old adage goes, close onoly counts in horseshoes and handgrenades. A miss will indicate that the grenade lands somewhere other than the target hex. Which hex the little gift lands in is determined by rolling on Table 30.1: Distance of Grenade Miss and Table 30.2: Direction of Grenade Miss

Table 30.1 Distance of Grenade Miss

Determines how far off the target hex the grenade lands.
To Hit Roll ResultMiss (hexes)
To Hit RollHexes
500-5991d3-1
350-4991d3
100-3491d4
10-991d6 (from thrower)
01-091d4 (from thrower)

Figure 30.2 Grenade Miss Direction

Which facet direction does the grenade miss head.

Figure 30.3 Example Grenade Miss

Example of an oops.
Ding. Dong. Facial calling.
Ding. Dong. Facial calling.

Aerosols

The aerosol is a simple weapon to use in both play, and in game mechanics. An aerosol is kind of like a safe grenade, where the user merely points and pushes the eject button. Almost all aerosols have their business ends clearly marked. The weapon is generally foolproof, and even mercenaries can use the device with little difficulty. The various types of aerosols are detailed in Chapter 45: Grenades and Aerosols. A combat aerosol can only be acquired as an artifact and there is no mundane version to be purchased or created. A military aerosol is a device designed to eject lethal materials such as flames shrapnel or poisons. Most of the other aerosols are industrial in nature, but are effective in lethal personal combat.

To Hit Roll: An attack with an aerosol requires no roll to hit, and targets in the area of effect are automatically effected. If a persona were targeting a specific target, the aerosol would attack as a type C weapon. Aerosols are not discerning, and will damage a fellow expedition member as easily as a target. The important details about aerosols and their ranges, effects, and peculiarities are described in Chapter 45: Grenades and Aerosols.

Stream Area of Effect: This is the most common aerosol area of effect, and it is hallmark of a military aerosol. Another type of aerosol has a stream area of effect. Such aerosols may have a 2 hex x 9 hex area of effect immediately in front of the aerosol. So when this type of weapon is discharged it will cut a swath 2 hexes wide, and 9 hexes long. Whatever is caught in this jet stream will be affected by the aerosol.

Spherical Area of Effect: Spherical area of effect aerosols fire a charge out to their maximum range, and then explode outwards, with a spherical area of effect. So an aerosol with a 10 hex range, and a 5 hex radius of effect, would spray 10 hexes, and then engulf a 10 hex diameter ball of targets (or teammates). Anything caught within this sphere will be damaged, coated, poisoned, or whatever.

This aerosol attack would be best described as a high velocity blob travelling over the 10 hex range, and then spontaneously atomizing into an effect area with a  5 hex in radius. The attack is instantaneous. If the blob, while travelling along its course, strikes any particularly dense object it would immediately atomize to its full area of effect. If a persona were to accidentally fire an aerosol into the back of a persona in front of her, the entire expedition is likely to be affected by the attack. Note that if an aerosol’s area of effect can surround an object, that object cannot be used for cover 

Aerosol Confinement: When aerosols are used in close quarters some of the worst gaming complications can arise. For example, what happens if an aerosol with a 9 hex radius of effect is used in a 4 hex by 4 hex room? What happens when a stream aerosol is fired against a wall? If the ref proceeds to calculate volume, areas, 3 dimensional vectors, etc. combat will quickly become bogged down and players die from arithmetic overload as their personas die from napalm.

Consider this pseudo-scientific : The aerosol attacks depend on the delicate atomization of liquid before they are effective. When the gaseous particles strike a solid surface, after they have atomized, they immediately condense, and lose their effectiveness. The condensed liquids are in a non-volatile, impotent form which means the effects of the aerosol are only carried out to within a molecule’s width of the constraining walls, and proceed no further. Yet the violent effects of the attack are fully transferred to the containing surface. The condensate will be conveniently useless to the personas in the expedition because it will immediately evaporate. 

Figure 30.4 Aerosol Area of Effect

Examples of aerosol blast areas of effect.