Friday, July 24, 2009

A New Twist on the Peasant Railgun (4e)

Ghaa! I missed two days of posting, but to make up for it I have an awesome post:

Just about every one has heard of the peasant railgun. A mechanics experiment that requires a large number of peasants to ready an action to pass a spear (or any other item) to the next peasant when it is handed to them, causing the spear to travel a large distance in 6 seconds, effectively making it a far more deadly weapon than it was before.

Now, for the twist:
I plan to attempt this with a player character.

At level 1.

Its really simple, actually. All you need is the Fighter's Bloodrager vigor talent and the rogue's Speedy Response feat. As a human, this is possible at first level either as a fighter multiclassing into rogue or a hybrid fighter/rogue using hybrid talent to get bloodrager vigor. You want a score of 15 in dexterity, and as much as you can into constitution. For armor, you want nonmagical cloth of no armor, you want to get hit!

Ok, get your army of peasants (closest thing in the MMs would be the human rabble on page 162 in the first MM) in two rows 5 ft (one square) in between them, and tell them to attack you with an opportunity attack if you get close. Then, run down the middle.

For each 5ft you move, two peasants will get opportunity attacks against you. Two things happen if they hit you: after damage is settled, you gain temporary HP equal to your constitution modifier, and you gain a +1 bonus to speed for the move.

Now for some math!
If you have no armor or cloth armor, your AC will be 12 (due to having 15 in dex, giving a +2 to AC) and the peasants have a +6 to their attack. This means that they have a 14 in 20 chance of hitting you, that's a 70% chance.

If you have 1000 peasants (two rows of 500) then approximately 700 will hit you, causing you to move about 700 squares plus your speed (i assume 6) in 6 seconds, that's 3530 ft per 6 sec or...

Times 10 seconds = 35300 ft/minute
Times 60 minutes = 2118000ft/hr
Divided by 5280 ft = 401.1363636... Mph

That's about an additional 0.4 mph per peasant you have, assuming 70% of them hit you.

And the best part is, after all of this is over you have full health (down 4 hp with 4 temp hp) to help you survive whatever it is that you crash into!

Just over 400 MPH at level one! Sure, it needed 1000 peasants, but using rules as they were (sort of) intended I only got to just over 200 MPH, and this could even be scaled up more.

A million peasants could get you to around 401136 MPH, if my math if correct.

What makes this better is that this build could actually be useful in a battle! Though you might want to get some decent armor. If you want to get through the minions to get to the Big Bad or want to cheat at a race (and have an excuse as to that you weren't cheating).

and here is a thrown together version, named Spear:

I hope you liked it! Any questions, comments, etc? Leave a comment!


Wyatt said...

It's a funny experiment, but I don't really see how it could ever be useful in a battle. Also, something primal in me just hates physics experiments done using D&D's obviously abstract movement rules.

MacGuffin said...

If you want to get past the minions and get working on larger foes it could help... its not a beyond-all-reason over-powered idea, but if it fits the character's concept/personality, I don't see the problem with it. I'm not saying its terribly useful, its just usable.

And the mechanics experiments are just for fun.

Logos7 said...

Too Bad About that Whole 'Bad of Rats' rule or in this case 'Legions of Peasants'

Scott said...

This no longer works. It only gets you dead.

Battlerage vigor was errataed; you no longer gain the temporary hp for being hit.

MacGuffin said...

well crap, your right.
Thanks a lot WotC. I make something awesome and you have to ruin it before I even made it.