The story: you are a random medieval fake druid (there is no real magic, only fakes like you) but by accident you stumble upon gunpowder. What is the best way for you to exploit your new invention without killing anyone (or selling it to someone who might kill someone) for you are a pacifist and do not believe in violence of any kind.


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    $\begingroup$ The same way the Chinese did, make fireworks instead of cannons or guns. Admittedly ti does take an intellectual leap to realize the black powder that goes bang can be used as a weapon. Obvious to us, but not back then. $\endgroup$ – a4android Aug 3 '17 at 2:02
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    $\begingroup$ Bear in mind that, up until about a hundred or so years ago, worker safety wasn't exactly something most people worried about. People were often viewed as expendable. The early production of black powder was a risky endeavor in itself, with the facility making it capable of going "Boom!" on a moment's notice. $\endgroup$ – Andon Aug 3 '17 at 2:32
  • $\begingroup$ It looks like you're asking for us to tell you a story about your world not help you with building your world. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Aug 3 '17 at 2:37
  • $\begingroup$ Make the equivalent of billions of dollars killing people, have an existential crisis and spend the rest of your days trying to atone for creating a new flavor of warfare, a la Nobel. $\endgroup$ – Sean Boddy Aug 3 '17 at 3:34
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry - I didn't mean to sound like that, I was typing while sleepy. But a genuine pacifist with good foresight would take this discovery and try very hard to suppress its development, once they understood what it could do. If they failed to understand the destructive potential, you end up with fireworks, as has been noticed. $\endgroup$ – Sean Boddy Aug 4 '17 at 15:52

As Alexander says, you can use it as firework, but also for civil engineering : if gunpowder can blow up castles, it can also blow up rocks. Before the use of gunpowder, fire-setting was used to destroy rocks, but was replaced by gunpowder during the Renaissance.

Some projects such as canal du midi were done thanks to gunpowder. Canal du midi was a great project for this time: it connects Toulouse to Mediterranean Sea, making, via the Garonne, a path between the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean

Keep in mind that safety fuse is a late invention, so it was quite dangerous. Plus, you can also use it for mining, but they are two more risks: smoke, as mine is not in open-air, and gas, that can make a chain reaction.

  • $\begingroup$ That canal du midi is great! Thank you for linking it! $\endgroup$ – Willk Aug 3 '17 at 2:29

Use it like Chinese did for centuries. Create fireworks!

  • $\begingroup$ yes rich people would pay a LOT of money to see that but then wouldn't some rich emperor decide that he is going to enslave you to make fireworks for him $\endgroup$ – Foxy Aug 3 '17 at 0:45
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    $\begingroup$ If there is an emperor that likes to enslave his best servants, rather than shower them with money and court appointments, then there is a good reason to stay away from this emperor. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Aug 3 '17 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ Another problem is that said emperor might get an idea to shoot those in the enemy formation. Not to cause direct damage but to terrify and rout them. $\endgroup$ – Nick Dzink Aug 3 '17 at 7:54
  • $\begingroup$ @NickDzink And it will work. Breaking formation and morale was a common way to win. That why archers coordinate fire, or why napoleon use infentry in column and not line : both tactics deal less "dps" but it is an instant shock. $\endgroup$ – Kepotx Aug 3 '17 at 9:51

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