[Runequest] Flaming attacks

Ben Turner ben.turner at pobox.com
Wed May 15 00:06:17 EST 2013

Hi all,

I'm running a "bog standard, medieval style fantasy setting" for the latest
Runequest version, and my players have come across a tower with stone
walls, two floors (the dividing floor being made of thick, hard wood), and
a thatched roofing.

There are a large number of foes on the second floor of the tower, and
assaulting it via the ladder has only led to one of them disarming a single
opponent - by dropping off the ladder with his spear still impaled in his

With this in mind, the party have decided to... burn them out.
So my questions are around the realism of the following:

* Burning Arrows. Using standard arrows, strips of cloth and oil (lamp oil,
I guess) they are hoping to burn the tower. Would manufacturing such arrows
be a simple enough task ? And would it have much effect on a wooden floor
(assuming solid wooden planks) ? I am guessing a thatched roof might be
easier to go up - although this tower is in a swampy atomsphere, so
assuming some dampness around.

* Molitov cocktails - does lamp oil burn like alcohol ? Was never sure
about this from my D&D days. Thought it just smouldered...

I guess I don't want to say "no", but it strikes me that in the middle of a
(semi) abandoned swamp tower, manfacturing flaming weapons might not be as
easy as my players were insisting. In any case, the session came to an end,
and I said we'd pick it up next week after hearing there plan, so buying me
a little time to look into the realism of it all.

(I think the tower occupants will be coming out regardless; they are just
waiting for the summoned river spirits to appear - should only take a
minute or two to heed their call...)

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