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Wedge in Red2
25 July 2002, 09:22 PM
Hi,

I recently ran a game session set in a museum. I had all the windows and display cases 'magnetically sealed' (a la the Death Star garbage compactor) as a security measure, to discourage would be criminals from trying to "blast and grab".

Anyway, the big scene happened and the heroes took off after the bad guy, chasing him through the museum. The bad guy ducked out a door, sealing it behind him, and the characters didn't know the combination. So, while one of the characters was trying to bypass the security, the Jedi and the Scoundrel ran into the next room, looked out the window and saw the bad guy about to escape on a speeder bike. The scoundrel tried to shoot out the window, but found out the hard way it was magnetically sealed (ricochetting blaster bolt). Then the Jedi elected to use his lightsaber to try and cut a hole.

Now, here's the question. Is a lightsaber reflected by a magnetic seal?
I ruled (on the spot) that it worked, as Lightsabers have a reputation for being able to 'cut through anything'.

The movies don't really give us any indication. In the DS trash compactor Luke either had his lightsaber under his stormtrooper armour and forgot about it or left it on the Falcon. Qui-Gon in PM, we don't know if the blast doors were magnetically sealed or not.

However, you'd think if all you needed to do to stop a lightsaber is get some magnetically sealed armour, more people would have done it. But, by the same token, perhaps you can't get magnetically sealed armour because otherwise it would reflect blaster bolts...

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble and my thoughts are all over the place (very long week at work). Does anyone have any facts or speculations on this situation?

Thanks in advance for your input,

Jon

Grimace
25 July 2002, 10:24 PM
There was already a discussion on magnetically sealed things. You'd have to do a search for it, as I can't remember which forum it took place in.

StClair
25 July 2002, 11:46 PM
Since you asked for opinions, I would treat magnetic seals exactly like shield generators (in fact, given the rubberiness of SW science, they may be the same thing): power-hungry, almost always immobile, and not healthy, cheap or otherwise practical for widespread personal use. (A chestplate with a magnetic field powerful enough to bounce blaster bolts would be like walking around with an MRI machine strapped to your back, running continously.)

A warning: If you do declare that lightsabers can cut through anything, you will eventually and inevitably wind up with something you don't want them to be able to cut. At one point in my game, I used a magnetic seal to keep a lightsaber from cutting through a certain bulkhead, and thus the plot. ;) That was the story-telling reason. Science-wise, you could go with the theory (among several other explanations) that a lightsaber blade is basically a continuous blaster bolt - magnetically-contained plasma - and is thus affected or deflected by the same things.

Lord Diggori
26 July 2002, 06:05 AM
St. Clair's explanation is one I'd accept. I'm not a big science guy and dont know the difference between the energy forms so it sounds right to me.

I'd rule that the saber couldn't cut through the window only because after a while cortosis gets old as the sole saber-proof defense. I understand you're reasoning though perfectly and at the spur of the moment would have likely decided as you did.

OverLord
26 July 2002, 07:03 AM
I would think magnetically sealed is that, just magnetism and there for could be cut with Lightsaber, BUT the seal would automaticly be sealed as the Lightsaber moved.
So YES you can cut through magnetic seals. :)
But NO it would have no effect. :mad:
(Unless you wanted to strike something behind the seal, (like it's power) that would work ;) )

Jastor
26 July 2002, 08:41 AM
eeeh? ok :)

i think either all of you have missunderstood things, or so have i..

magnetically sealinghave nothing to do with richochetting anything :)

what i think leia meant with "magnetically sealed" is that they locked the door to the wall with it (metal and metal .. and throw in a magnetic.. thwap.. they stuck togehter) .. cant explain why it richochetted thou :/


something about the metal?

another thought: why didnt luke take his lightsaber and open the door?? ;) hehe .. or did he leave it in the ship?

Ravager_of_worlds
26 July 2002, 09:24 AM
i think luke was just really excited about being mashed by garbage. i'm sure if he was thinking things through instead of all that adrenalin with the dianoga, he'd have thought of his saber. to him, it was a training device, not a weapon.

plus, it was a way lucas could show that droids are not worthless.

OverLord
26 July 2002, 09:49 AM
sorry...

I belive there are magnetic seals and magnetic shield:
Magnetic seals lock doors inn place so they cannot be opend.
Magnetic shield are fields that protects against energy and deflects it.

The trash compactor had both types. (i think)

Seals can be cut to tiny shreds.
Shields cannot as I wrote before.

Jedi_Staailis
26 July 2002, 12:49 PM
I would rule that the lightsaber cuts through magnetically sealed doors, but with a little difficulty. If you treat magnetically sealed as being a shield of sorts projected over the door (note the similar effect of the battle droid blasters on Anakin's fighter in Episode I), then the lightsaber can come in contact with the shield and start to damage it until it comes down. In the case of a window, the shield probably isn't strong enough to hold it for long. If the shield is very powerful (as in the red shields in the Theed power plant in Episode I), then it might be able to stop the lightsaber indefinitely. This way you as GM can suit the shield to the situation and story.

Jastor
26 July 2002, 01:32 PM
you dont actually damage the shield :)

how i think shield generators work: you tell it to create a shield here ... it creates a shield there... something tries to get throuhg... it outputs more power to prevent it .. you try to get through more .. it outputs more power ... 2 things happen: either the shield generator blows up due to high power output, or the energy (battery or similiar) source it emptied.

loudanddeep
26 July 2002, 01:46 PM
Ok, the accecpted assumption in EP4 was that the Magnetically Sealed was the reason the bolt richoched in the trash compactor....

"I already tried that....put that thing away you will get us all killed"

Magnetically sealed does not refer to how it was locked....

Ok, this in theory works because blaters bolts are some sort of plasma....well, if light sabers are plasma in your campaign, the yes, it should work....

Now, I would assume that most people would magnetically seal their blast doors...that way you could not blast through them....now, I guess when you magnetically seal a ship...it is called shields!

Well, that is the way I would rule....

Soooo....if shields work against light sabers.....

(they do in my campaign).

Yeah...you do need someway to stop jedi from just cutting through everything.....

I guess the nimodians did not think of magnetically sealing their doors....maybe it would have interfered with the droids or somehthing....

dp

Ronin
26 July 2002, 11:07 PM
In my games I`d say that "magnetically sealed" means both the lock and a shielding effect.
Hence blaster bolts are deflected.
AND I`d have the lightsaber blade bend back too. Like a laser on a mirror...angle of incidence = angle of reflection. ie. don`t stick it in at 90 degrees to the door :D
Should surprise the hell outta a Jedi.
(ie. no it doesn`t cut through).

Same for the red energy-field (plot devices) in EP1.

Zyborg22
27 July 2002, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by StClair
Science-wise, you could go with the theory (among several other explanations) that a lightsaber blade is basically a continuous blaster bolt - magnetically-contained plasma - and is thus affected or deflected by the same things.

If that's true, wouldn't blaster bolts go through the blast door that Qui-Gon cut open with his Lightsaber :? ?

Wedge in Red2
27 July 2002, 08:33 PM
Originally posted by Ronin

AND I`d have the lightsaber blade bend back too. Like a laser on a mirror...angle of incidence = angle of reflection. ie. don`t stick it in at 90 degrees to the door :D
Should surprise the hell outta a Jedi.
(ie. no it doesn`t cut through).


Yeah, that was sort of what I was thinking too. See below.


Originally posted by Zyborg22
If that's true, wouldn't blaster bolts go through the blast door that Qui-Gon cut open with his Lightsaber :? ?

Yeah, eventually they would. If you continued firing blaster bolts at a door for long enough (ten minutes or something), you could eventually burn through it. The problem you're likely to run into is that your blasters will need to get new power packs. But that's a whole new kettle of fish :).

I agree with the idea of a lightsaber being like a "continuous" blaster bolt (which St Clair raised). Following that logic, I would now say that the lightsaber should have been deflected. However, maybe the magnetic shielding shorted out...I'm sure i can come up with some sort of explanation that will mean I can deflect lightsabers next time, without it appearig like a continuity error :D.

Thanks everyone for you input. It's been great.

Jon

OverLord
28 July 2002, 03:03 AM
The beem of a Lightsaber ain't like a "continuous" blaster bolt, but more like a "continuous" laser bolt.

Tony J Case, Super Genius
28 July 2002, 02:02 PM
I say no - only because that way I've got The Great Equilizer at my disposal whenever I need it. If I want to stop a lightsaber - BOOM, the item is mag sealed.

Of course if I want to stop my Jedi from cutting through walls and bulkheads - I've got far more fun things in my bag of tricks. The Jedi can hit anything from a main sewer line ("Oh YUCK!") to a main plasma power condiut - blacking out that entire section, shorting out the lightsaber and knocking the Jedi out until next week.

Jedi_Staailis
28 July 2002, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by OverLord
The beem of a Lightsaber ain't like a "continuous" blaster bolt, but more like a "continuous" laser bolt.

Personally, I wouldn't try to explain the lightsaber this way. The way a lightsaber works, as seen in the movies and EU, is very different from a laser. Though I don't think I would call it a blaster bolt either, that explanation is closer to the truth than a laser beam.

This site (http://www.synicon.com.au/sw/ls/sabres4.htm) goes into incredible detail about lightsabers, and though I think the analysis looks a little too closely into the cinematic effects of the films, they have a good section on why lightsabers can't really have much to do with light. :) Go down the page until you see the heading "So What CAN we say about the blade?"

I don't mean to be bashing anyone's ideas, but if you try to toss in this explanation to a player who is versed in physics, their suspension of disbelief will be lost in a heartbeat. You're safer using a bit of technobabble.

reliant
29 July 2002, 12:14 PM
I'd say NO it couldn't cut through just so you could have something besides cortosis to keep jedi out. And as for armor and such, you would need too much power to carry it around (or say prolonged exposure will kill you because it produces raditation or something). As for getting out of the continuity thing on the last adventure, just say that those mag shields were fluxuating or old. Or else the harmonics of that particular lightsaber somehow had an effect on the mag shield or something...

I like the other idea too, just say that it CAN cut through, but that the cut closes behind the blade.

Jaggard
29 July 2002, 01:08 PM
alright it's a slight deviation from this but what would happen to a lightsaber going against a mirror, or through a window. how about a prism? I don't go with the light saber being plasma itself or a laser. I'm more of the opinion that the blade is a series of forcefeils pinched together at the center and forming a plasma like effect at the center. Think of the forcefeilds that get hit by something how they glow and offer physical resistance as well as an implied heat output (ever see some one try to force their way through a forcefeild they get kind burned in the stuff I've read; not all SW) So the same might happen to two force feild that touch. Hence glowing hot sticks of force feilds when struck together flare. Now this means this type of saber doesn't just go through glass without damage it cuts it. Mirrors might reflect some heat and a flash but not be effective against them. and The answer to the question of magnetic feilds depends on how forcefeilds are made. If I had to deal with it on a whim I'd say the blade stuck a feild over the window and seemed to fray out over the surface of it causeing it to char before being gnawed away as if it was plastic hit by acid. Left behind is still glowing jagged rims of the window looking like an enlarged blast shot on a white wall.
That way it worde against this window but you left it so that maybe it doesn't always and stronger feilds may work better against it.
I will say it never occoured to me that the magnetically sealed door was just able to bouce the shot and the seal was just to hold it closed. It seems possible but I don't know if that's how it worked for really. Now I'm devided.
But magnetic seals/feilds wouldn't work as sheild. Destroyer droids have them they'd have a hard time working, as would ship systems (sensors and computers on even mainly machanical ships) Hey even a magnatised engine block today is a bad thing.

LiquidSaber
30 July 2002, 07:00 PM
Magnetically shielded items have a good deal of protection about them, they obviously can deflect blaster bolts. But then again so do lightsabers. I don't like to go against the classic fluff behind the lightsaber (i.e. it will cut through anything), but that doesn't mean it won't be really, really, hard.

According to the original edition, the very first Star Wars sourcebook (1987), CH. 11: Lightsabers, "...with a blade of pure energy powerful enough to cut through most materials--except another lightsaberblade...

Anyhow here's a neat excerpt I though was really informative. I just wanted to share.

"...a tremendous charge of pure energy flows from the power cell...a super conductor transfers the power from the flux aperture (also the handguard at the tip of the hilt) [back] to the power cell. Almost no energy is lost in the process - the beam doesn't even radiate noticeable heat, though it does flouresce and hum. The saber looses power only when it cuts through something - but not when contacting another lightsaber blade."

As things stand though, I'd allow my players to cut through magnetically shielded stuff, but I'd use the hardness of the whatever they are trying to cut that is magnetically shielded. Just like a "shield" doesn't lose its DR value even from a lightsaber.

If it's a super reinforced heavy door and it is magnetically shield with DR 20 / 400 wound points and thier lightsaber only does 3d8, it's gonna be a looong time, hehe. ;)

Bombaatu
30 July 2002, 07:10 PM
I would say that Magnetic Seals (or Shields, whutever) give DR like the shields on the Droidekas. Since the SW FAQ (posted on this site and approved by the Powers That Be at WotC) state that Lightsabers ignore DR from armor, vehicles, ships, etc, but *not* the DR of shields (like the Droideka's), I would state that yes, the lightsaber can cut thru the Magnetically Sealed door, *BUT* the door would get DR from the M.S. (it would not get its own non-sealed DR).

BTW, the Lightsaber is *not* a laser or any other sort of optical effect - it emits light but is not made of light. If it was a laser, it would not cast a shadow or be blocked by another lightsaber. This site (http://www.synicon.com.au/sw/ls/sabres.htm) is an excellent examination of movie and other canon evidence regarding lightsabers - definately worth a look-see.

OverLord
31 July 2002, 06:41 AM
Then why did Anakin refer to Qui-Gon's Lightsaber as: "I saw your Lasersword"?

Corr Terek
31 July 2002, 07:13 AM
Then why did Anakin refer to Qui-Gon's Lightsaber as: "I saw your Lasersword"?

Anakin was a ten-year-old slave kid. How many ten-year-olds do you know that have a firm grasp of physics? He simply referred to it as what he thought it was. He hasn't referred to them as "laserswords" any time recently.

Lightsabers obviously aren't made of lasers. A laser is a beam of light, and light always travels forever in an unending line. A lightsaber blade stops after a certan point, which suggests that it is made of plasma or something similar.

Actually, this whole thing about magnetic shields is very easy to answer. In the NJO book Rebel Stand, it mentions at one point that Leia's lightsaber "bounces" off the magnetically sealed walls of a trash compacter. This obviously means that it couldn't cut through -- indeed, it appears that Leia couldn't even hold it against the wall. I'm guessing that there was a reaction similar to the one you get when you try to put the north poles of two magnets together.

OverLord
31 July 2002, 07:32 AM
Anyone have any idea why it's called a Lightsaber?

Shouldn't it then be called Plasmasaber? (I have seen stats for a Plasmasaber, and even if it looks the same it is NOT the same)

Corr Terek
31 July 2002, 09:55 AM
Easy. Instead of thinking of it as a saber that is made of light, think of it as a saber that gives off light. Hence the term "lightsaber". A lightsaber blade does look as if it's made of light...but it's not. It just gives off light. And I was guessing when I said it might be made of plasma. I'm no physicist. There was a guy who made a website about the physics of lightsabers and such. I don't have the link, but someone else probably does. I'd suggest you check it out -- if you can understand it (most of it was over my head, as I said before, I'm no physicist). It's well worth the read, and also has descriptions of lightsaber fighting styles and the weapons of most Jedi in the movies.

OverLord
31 July 2002, 10:04 AM
Who has said thet the Lightsaber isn't made of light?

I mean; the laws of physics dosn't really count in Star Wars, only the laws of Lucas. And he has named the Lightsaber: Lightsaber, so maybe it is made of light...?

Bombaatu
31 July 2002, 10:37 AM
Corr - that link was in my previous post.

Ace Calhoon
31 July 2002, 11:34 AM
OverLord: Lucas hasn't said that the lightsabers ARE made of light either: Anakin's comment probably doesn't count (what's the likelyhood of Anakin knowing the workings of a lightsaber at that point?), and the name can just as easily be interpreted as a saber that projects light as it can a saber made of light. This means that we are left to external sources and what evidence we can draw from the films to determine what they're made of. So far, all sources point to something other than light.

End result is that you can call them as made of light in your game, but chances are that you won't convince many other people about it.

Bombaatu
31 July 2002, 01:06 PM
Well said, Ace.

OverLord
31 July 2002, 01:21 PM
OK, let's agree on one thing: Lightsabers are one of the marvels of the Star Wars univers that we cannot explain or understand, and just leave it with that, ok?

And wether it can cut magnetic seals (or shields (or whatever!)) we have no way of determen, so it is fully up to the Gamemaster to determen for any given circmstances, as they seem fit.

Now I humbly backing of this discussion before I make a complete idiot of myself ;), unless it's to late, then I am happy to continue...
:D

Jaggard
31 July 2002, 02:52 PM
laser sword comes from earlier in the writing process. Everybody had them in draft two of the Adventures of luke star killer. They are called light sabers by most but notice the 'blade is not even saber lik; it's straight and cylyndrical rather then curved with one bladed edge. The name is just a name and it's abilies vary from story to story depending on what is dramatic. And they cast shadows becauses the prop dowel rods uused as blade do.

Ace Calhoon
1 August 2002, 09:25 AM
And they cast shadows becauses the prop dowel rods uused as blade do.

True on all points except (maybe) this one... If this was the case, wouldn't they have taken the shadows out of Special Edition?

Corr Terek
2 August 2002, 06:06 AM
I heard that they decided to leave the shadows in for some reason.

Rouge8
13 August 2002, 05:56 PM
In Rebel Stand Liea uses her saber and it bounces off of a magnetically sealed wall. In a trash compacter.

Corr Terek
14 August 2002, 05:26 AM
In Rebel Stand Liea uses her saber and it bounces off of a magnetically sealed wall. In a trash compacter.

Thank you, Rouge 8! I said that earlier but no one seemed to listen and went on in pointless debate over something that had already been answered.

LiquidSaber
14 August 2002, 05:48 AM
Yes, a good point guys but that is EU. It's gotta be difficult coordinating consistency between all those books out there. As far as RPGing mechanics goes, as a GM I'd go with my previous ruling. It's never good to tell your players something is impossible. Instead I like to grin at them wickedly and say things like "Soooo how long you want to take to try and cut through it?" (I.e. Qui-gon style)

Agback
14 August 2002, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by OverLord
Shouldn't it then be called Plasmasaber?

Why? A lightbulb is made of glass, but we don't call it a glassbulb.


This site (http://www.synicon.com.au/sw/ls/sabres.htm) has a lot of interesting discussion of lightsabres, including discussions of about six or seven suggestions of how they might work.

Regards,


Agback

Wedge in Red2
14 August 2002, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by Rogue 8
In Rebel Stand Liea uses her saber and it bounces off of a magnetically sealed wall. In a trash compacter.


Originally posted by Corr Terek


Thank you, Rouge 8! I said that earlier but no one seemed to listen and went on in pointless debate over something that had already been answered.

Yeah, thanks both of you, I did notice that, and I was glad that someone could chip in with some EU knowledge :). My EU knowledge is not the best, and a figured that this topic may have been dealt with in a novel or something else.

As I think I said earlier, in hindsight I probably should not have allowed it. But I could have said that the shielding was worn thin by the previous blast, or all sorts of other excuses. At the end of the day, I tend to use Star Wars Physics - that is, physics does what I want it to do! Lucas does the same thing (sound in space, as an example), so I figure I can too :D!

Jon

OverLord
15 August 2002, 07:11 AM
Originally posted by Agback
Why? A lightbulb is made of glass, but we don't call it a glassbulb.
My point was that I have seen stats for a Plasmasaber somewhere.


Originally posted by Wedge in Red2
I tend to use Star Wars Physics - that is, physics does what I want it to do! Lucas does the same thing (sound in space, as an example), so I figure I can too !
Yes, you can. Infact you are supposed to. That is the power of the GameMaster! ;)