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37

the magical creature usually much more powerful than those found around the kingdom That's a big reason. This is similar to asking why someone would lug a 22-pound machine gun into battle when you could carry a 1-pound Glock instead. Being able to project greater power than the other guy can make all the difference in a battle. Here's a different ...


19

could there be a way for a primitive society to develop weapons like this? No. liquefying air is well beyond medieval tech level. The most common process for the preparation of liquid air is the two-column Hampson–Linde cycle using the Joule–Thomson effect. Air is fed at high pressure (>60 psig, or 520 kPa) into the lower column, in which it is ...


18

In World War Z, trying to treat zombies as a "military" threat is what got most of the army killed to begin with; so, if you're going down that rabbit-hole, you will want to reimagine everything about what it means to be an anti-zombie trooper vs regular infantry. Your ideas may be good for scouting areas that may or may not have zombies, but actually ...


17

Monsters still have to be slain In order of forcing the essence of a beast into the item, it still has to be defeated or at least dominated. Not every weak magic student can do that, especially the more potent monster essences. So it’s way easier to haggle your soul for some sweet demonic support. Limitation of the items As you stated, the essence must be ...


17

Fortifications If this is a fixed location defence, then fortify, using standard layered defences with a couple of tweaks to take advantage of the giants' weaknesses. Early warning - as with any defensive position, have sentries to give early warning of approaching enemies. Make sure each sentry has a trained dog that will be able to use its better-than-...


15

Justice has a side-kick, and his name is Smackdown. If you make a contract with a magical creature, you have the option of setting terms that are agreeable to both sides and leave both sides on friendly terms for future dealings. But killing a creature, and sealing that creature's soul in an artifact has this risk: If the artifact is damaged beyond a ...


13

Because step 2 of sealing is to slay the creature. (Step 1 is, of course, to find or summon it) This has two limitations: First, you have to be able to slay it (whereas a contractual summoning just means you need to either impress it or offer it something that it desires), which limits the power available. Second, it's dead. A magical item created this ...


10

I don't think it is possible. Newton calculated that the impact depth of a projectile is roughly equal to its length. The impactor carries a given momentum. To stop the impactor, this momentum must be transferred onto another mass. Since the impactor's velocity is so high that cohesion within the target material can be neglected, the momentum can only be ...


9

Zombies Require Layered Defenses In zombie movies, when a defensive line falls, the place it defended falls with it. This is because there are never any decent internal barriers in place. Zombie movies do this because zombies are stupid, and intelligently designed defenses that compartmentalize damage (so a breach in the defenses doesn't spell certain ...


9

Exotic shotgun rounds. source Ya, shotguns make holes in the zombies. Regular guns too. Ho....hum. But it is easier to have shotguns do fun stuff regular guns cannot. Think about Green Arrow. His arrows do everything except stick in people and leave sore bleeding holes when they get pulled out, like arrows usually do. Your shotgun soldiers can be ...


9

a pike, or a halberd would be ideal for this task, as would most polearms. for fighting a giant, you'd want to have something with reach, and hence the polearm. using their weight aganst them, and polearm is your choice. Battlefield weapons is what Vikings warriors actually used in real life, plus the spear and pike was what most viking warriors used, so ...


8

There would probably be a lot of countries trying to become the ally of this island nation. There probably wouldn't be any attacks on the nation, especially if their technological superiority is common knowledge. Once they have a line of countries lined up for their technology, they will become very wealthy. Even technology 5 years ahead of where we are ...


8

To piggyback off of Andrew's answer: Veteran mages may have great respect for magical creatures. They are opposed to any type of forced servitude, even for slain creatures. As a result, they create contractual relationships instead of forcibly binding those creatures. ...here are other considerations: Ethics, Reputation, and Avoidance of Vengeance Mages ...


8

Aside from being cool (pun intended) what would be the use of a liquid nitrogen weapon? It's really not that dangerous! Liquid nitrogen is cold; but it has a pretty low heat capacity so unless you pour a bucket directly on someone it's not going to do a lot, and the gas itself is entirely harmless. A common disposal method is just to pour it on the ground ...


7

Conscription is something that worked all around the world with a good measure of success. Mobilization, on the other hand, needs to be actively managed. It's a good thing when population is prepared to act in case of an emergency. It's even better when people already have some training to make this action effective. However, the question of who would be ...


7

It's good as a room clearer, as per real life I'm writing this answer based on Word War Z zombie rules. WWZ had a very clear 'one shot, one kill' policy when it came to zombies - you took them out with a clean shot to the base of the skull, and that was it. Body shots are more or less useless, but leg shots are a bit better as they slow them down. Shotguns ...


7

The sphere would fare pretty well. Fundamentally, that's a very big solid mass, and they generally do pretty well against nuclear explosions. We haven't really broken the earth yet with our nuclear tests! There's a few effects we can consider. The first is the radiative heating effects. Nuclear bombs are hot enough to vaporize things under the raw ...


7

Your most effective weapon is your organisation. People tend to focus way too much on hardware, which can be pretty marginal in warfare. A well-trained, well-organised, well-disciplined force with good leadership and sound tactical sense will beat a disorganised, undisciplined force with ease. Lack of intelligence means the giants are doomed to fall prey ...


6

Starve them of natural resources. A small island is never going to have access to the rare earth elements needed to build and maintain high tech equipment, let alone resources like lead, lithium, cobalt, crude oil for polymers etc. Even if your nation is 50 years ahead of everyone else, they are still going to be reliant on them just as every other ...


6

Drop things on their heads There's a rule which pretty much boils down to "If you can't solve a problem with X, that just means you aren't using enough X. If you can't solve a problem with duct tape, you aren't using enough duct tape. If you can't light something on fire, your fire isn't hot enough. And, if you can't destroy a country by chucking rocks at ...


6

If the energy source is handwaved then the electrolaser is a serious contender. It's a medium distance stun-gun/direct energy weapon, that rely on: creating a plasma channel which connects the target with the "muzzle". It uses a powerful laser discharge to ionize the air along the path a high-voltage discharge is then created along the plasma channel. And ...


6

I would imagine that they would be useful in limited capacity like house clearing, but in most cases a short barrelled AR15 platform or pistol calibre carbine would be a better choice. While the spread of the shotgun is going to be more forgiving for landing headshots under pressure, with the comparatively low capacity of a shotgun and the large number of ...


6

Hygiene, health and safety You say: I often wonder despite the incredible low rate of success for contractual summoning, why are there so many veteran mages still preferred this method than simply sealing a slain magical creature into a weapon? Wild creatures are natural reservoirs for all kinds of nasty things, such as: Broken prions (which cause ...


6

could there be a way for a primitive society to develop weapons like this? Yes... ...in a slightly kinky, low fantasy world, one can imagine how such "firearms" work. For example: your armoury could make use of cryogrobbins, a kind of wee imp that destills nitrogen from the air as a byproduct of its own respiration. This is for the cryogrobbin a waste ...


5

Ammunition allowed? Look up a rail gun. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railgun and a taser is deliberately made safe - can taser-like weapons that stop you heart on purpose count? A laser can generate a stream of conductive plasma in the air, and you can pump as much juice through that as you want. Not sure anyone has DELIBERATELY made that lethal...


5

Greater control. Power is one issue, but the bigger matter is negotiating what magical properties are to be used. If one out of ten contracts fails, it is better than when one out of twenty brooms cast the blizzard you want, and that after all the bother of killing the creature.


5

Contractual Magic can't be stolen from you It's not all upside that anyone with basic understanding of magic can use artifacts. While artifacts make for nice heirlooms, there have been to many anecdotes of powerful mages killed by thieves and overzealous apprentices. Why pay you gold to cast fireballs if I could just take your artifact for myself?


5

It is well beyond impossible, if you assume the alien god has mass. If you do something clever like positing the alien god is made up neutrinos, as one comment pointed out (mass not the issue with them), then it's pretty easy to get 99.99999999% of it sent thru the Earth. However, your desire for "hard science" in the face of a supernatural alien is ...


5

I'll go tree-hugger on this one. Vikings didn't use much stone, so grow a forest around your village. Giants call this accursed place "headwhack forest". The tree species should be selected for its propensity to grow low branches, so a conifer would be a bad choice, but there are Scandinavian oaks that should be able to do that. With a bit of work (ie, ...


5

Okay... so you say in your question that you want "an oil-throwing gun; as in, kind of like a water gun, except instead of shooting out a thin jet of water, it fires a thin jet of oil", and you have not adequately explained how you think this can be reconciled with "a crossbow". So I'm going to ignore the whole "crossbow" thing. You already answered your ...


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