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Thread: Lightsabers and Magnetic Seals?

  1. #1
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    Default Lightsabers and Magnetic Seals?

    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
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  2. #2
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    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.
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  3. #3
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    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.
    Kelly St.Clair

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    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.
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    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.
    (Unless you wanted to strike something behind the seal, (like it's power) that would work )
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  6. #6
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    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?
    RA Jastor/ISD Rampage

  7. #7
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    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.
    No longer satisfied blowing droids apart, the cyborg Jawa ordered his very own "Little Tyke Death Star" kit from Imperial Toy Makers

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    Red face Ooops...

    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.
    Now I Am The Master!!!

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  9. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
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    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.
    RA Jastor/ISD Rampage

  11. #11
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    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
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  12. #12
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    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
    Should surprise the hell outta a Jedi.
    (ie. no it doesn`t cut through).

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

  13. #13
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    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 ?
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  14. #14
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    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
    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 .

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

    Jon
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  15. #15
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    Post Laser

    The beem of a Lightsaber ain't like a "continuous" blaster bolt, but more like a "continuous" laser bolt.
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