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So on my way back to work from Starbucks a few months back, I had an idea. In Shadowrun, it's altogether likely that they've perfected travel mugs to the point where very little heat would be transferred through the mug itself, allowing a rather unique weapon for office infiltrations. Say you have a decently large stainless steel travel mug filled with coffee or other liquid at or very near the boiling point. You wander around in the office, looking pretty normal, and if anyone stops you you throw the contents in their face or some other vulnerable part. How much damage should it do? Physical or stun? Special effects?

Also, how much should a travel mug capable of keeping liquid near-boiling for extended periods of time cost? It would presumably have a top, but the top would have to be easily removable.

I`d go for stun.
if you want it to be physical, dont use coffee.. or lace the coffee with contact poison. I suppose you could use boiling acids or a simple layer of heavy oil under the coffee, carefully poured over a tiny layer of potassium/sodium..which must NOT make air contact.. while the liquid wont do any harm the subsequent spark will. this is nusing common lab materials..
material safety

chemistry is your friend, always worth 5 points at LEAST.. smile.gif

I don't think it could reasonably get beyond, but I think Light Physical is more than possible from the scalding.

Why not just a spray bottle of with some Cyanide solution in it? Pose as a maintenance crew and *blammo*.
And +something to all target numbers for a few rounds. (above and beyond the light wound) Maybe a Will test to do anything other than grab your face and go "Aaaarrrgh!"
Because being a fake wageslave is so much more fun grinbig.gif

A good idea. I'll keep that one in mind. Possibly Light Physical with Power equal to 2*Succeses on a Quickness test minus 2*Successes on an opposing Quickness test in addition to other modifiers, or somesuch? Then modify for things like face-covering armor? Or am I getting too complicated for the effect?

It would have to be physical - you don't heal facial scalds in a matter of hours, you just don't. But it shouldn't be a particularly vicious physical - you are highly, highly unlikley to kill someone with one cup of scalding coffee or other beverage, imho. but not impossible. You pour it over someone's head at the right temperature and in the right way and the shock and sudden temperature change in the outer layers of the brain could indeed kill a regular person outright.

That means you can't put either the power or the damage level too high, so I'd go with a nL staged up by your special skill or quickness on +4 TN for defaulting if you don't have one. So you can feasibly deal out a D if you've got a special 'starbucks assault techniques' skill, but are normally going to throw out around a M. The power though.. that's the tricky part. a 4 or 5 I think is reasonable, otherwise if you DO throw out a D its hitting with as much force as a light pistol which just seems a bit wrong. The power would have to be based on temperature though, not the test. The test should stage as normal.

A pedestrian office worker is probably going to take that M - a moderate physical, a week or so to recover fully is still pretty unrealistic if you ask me, but with medical attention maybe not so much.

Tricky one. Anyone a scalds specialist?

Edit - the 'starbuck's assault techniques' skill. I just liked it.
Wounded Ronin
Considering that getting shot dosen't even necessarily inflict L damage on you with a low caliber handgun, I don't think that boiling coffee should be anything on that scale.

In fact, considering that getting beaten with a mace does Stun damage, I fail to see how boiling coffee could do anything but stun.
"I ambushed you with a cup of coffee!"

More ROnin quotes = a better game. smile.gif
ah, but a master with a mace - trained, and with Vicious blow - can do physical damage with that, like they can with nunchaku. It just does stun as a base cos its a blunt object. I'm assuming the subject of how broken the Stun damage rules are has been done to death though: a dart from a dart gun does L physical, but a mace does Stun as a base? WRONG!!!

If it was to do Stun, I'd go with a really high power (if not damage level) to try and increase the chances of a wound effect - horrific scars, anyone?
The maces are stupid. Ignore them.

I'm going to side with some variant on Light with some added pepper punch-like effects. Nothing too powerful, but scalding is not, you know, pleasant.
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
In fact, considering that getting beaten with a mace does Stun damage, I fail to see how boiling coffee could do anything but stun.

What about super-heated coffee, like at McDonalds, that reaches an almost Plasma-like state? grinbig.gif
If it really was close to boiling, you could hurt someone pretty horribly with it.

Imagine getting boiling liquid into your eyes. Or tossing it in someone's face as they inhaled to scream, possibly resulting in a burned mouth and airway. Not pretty.

And, if you could get someone to make you a mug out of... I don't know, the stuff they make space shuttle tiles out of, that conducts almost no heat - you could easily carry something that wouldn't risk an accidental chemical reaction but had a much higher boiling point than water.
You can get as complicated as you want, it's your rule smile.gif

The thing would basically be our modern cofee mug with a very small power unit added, maybe a thin base you place the mug on to recharge and connect the device to your terminal ("mug unit is to re-heat coffee after my 3PM meeting"). It could have a grip sensor which would reheat the contents when picked up and activate a safety valve to prevent spills if the mug is tipped beyond a certain angle while not held.

I imagine the thing would replace the current stainless mugs as a common corporate promo item, and would cost the same as its ancestor costs today. If a nuyen is worth a USD (is that the case ?), then maximum price would be under 25 nuyen - see for design options !
Luke Hardison
Not too sure about the mechanics, but make sure you get the lid to retract from a button in the handle, so you can do it all one handed.
First degree burns are superficial injuries that involve only the epidermis or outer layer of skin. They are the most common and the most minor of all burns. The skin is reddened and extremely painful. The burn will heal on its own without scarring within two to five days. There may be peeling of the skin and some temporary discoloration.

Second degree burns occur when the first layer of skin is burned through and the second layer, the dermal layer, is damaged but the burn does not pass through to underlying tissues. The skin appears moist and there will be deep intense pain, reddening, blisters and a mottled appearance to the skin. Second degree burns are considered minor if they involve less than 15 percent of the body surface in adults and less than 10 percent in children. When treated with reasonable care, second degree burns will heal themselves and produce very little scarring. Healing is usually complete within three weeks.

Third degree burns involve all the layers of the skin. They are referred to as full thickness burns and are the most serious of all burns. These are usually charred black and include areas that are dry and white. While a third-degree burn may be very painful, some patients feel little or no pain because the nerve endings have been destroyed. This type of burn may require skin grafting. As third degree burns heal, dense scars form.

Want to learn about Burns? *Work safe but graphic....

Coffee or other types of Hot liquids would apply to the area "splashed" and just how much area was affected. Bottom line is that anybody that has ever been burned knows this counts as "Stun" and without a doubt has a secondary effect of Physical. As a GM it would be difficult stating how a Splash weapon would work but I am pretty certain it would work the same as the Acid Spell. *Going from memory but think the reference on splashing weapons was from the 2nd Ed Grimoire.

Will look that up when I get home and see if anything further might help.
I think I have found something to load in my supersquirt. I wonder if I could mod a flame thrower. I could see it now. Java Joe, office merc of death. Sounds like a Monty Python skit.

And then there was none.
Gah if it was physical, you could kill someone with it in a coup-de-gras! If you beat a man to within an inch of his life, you shouldn't be able to kill them with boiling coffee...

Healed stun damage is not necessarily healed it just isn’t adversely affecting your performance any more. For example in eth corse of my sailing I was on occasion hit by the boom, a couple of times very hard, enough to leave a nasty brose, clearly stun damage probably moderate. Within an hour it was no longer adversely affecting my performance but it still hurt when poked and was clearly visible for several days. I would expect a coffee scald to behave similarly.

My estimation of its damage is based on a single success comparing to the damage of other weapons with a single success. Power 3-5 depending on temperature and level L for a cup M for a pot. Perhaps not the most realistic possibility but in keeping with other weapons

All the comments about hitting the face when they are trying to scream scalding airways and eyes should be modelled with called shots and many successes, just like shooting somebody in the eye with a holdout pistol.

Price for the mug will range between 5 and 25 nuyen depending on quality and design. Animated mugs can be as high as 150 nuyen. The quick open modification would have to be custom but any PR skill that includes case moulding work could be used.

Herald of Verjigorm
Depending on where you pour the coffee, sure you can!

I agree, a simple splash of hot water should not be a killing blow unless it is entirely contained in the lungs of the target or is dumped directly onto certain essential internal organs.
Fygg Nuuton
also remember that even though a mace does stun damage, a spiked mace does physical

id rule that hot ass coffee would blind them, and distract them enough for you to smack them or retreat
Kanada Ten
A successful strike would require a net success on an opposed Quickness test; Combat Pool may be added to both rolls. The coffee inflicts Light Stun with an additional +8 TN for the first turn reduced by 1 every turn thereafter or until the application of a remedy (cold water, ect) to the affected area.
*chuckle* Now to really get to brass tacks with details - Would the damage code (and resultant TN modifiers) go down with time after the coffee is taken from the percolater? I mean, after it is removed from the coffee maker, the coffee doesn't STAY boiling.
Sandoval Smith
Contact with a boiling sustained for more than one second will result in third degree burns (remember the McDonald's coffee lady? One dropped cup of 'only' 180 degree coffee resulted skin grafts and $20,000 in medical expenses). For a cup of boiling liquid, I'd go for a moderate wound (physical) but keep it at a low power to represent how inefficent a weapon it is. In order to do any real damage you have to get most of it in one place, and for maximum effect, you need to hit a vulnerable spot (like the face or groin). Actually, Joe Wageslave might be pretty good at dodging spilled coffee too.

You could concievably kill someone with it. Get that boiling liquid in the mouth and nose, and the swelling and tissue damage will close off their air passaged. Or just get a good dose right in the throat.

Also make sure that you get your coffee right from the microwave. Nothing is more embarassing than grabbing a cup of coffee to hurl in a sec guards face, only to find out it's been sitting there since the previous evening.
QUOTE (Sandoval Smith)
Also make sure that you get your coffee right from the microwave

Heh. Don't forget to smartlink your coffee cup, to help make staging damage up easier smile.gif
Austere Emancipator
Keep in mind that 3M Physical is what the average human male (if you go with 3s being average) does with a Short Cougar Fineblade or Vibro Knife. I think killing someone with either of those should be easier than with a cup of near-boiling liquid.
QUOTE (Edward)
Healed stun damage is not necessarily healed it just isnít adversely affecting your performance any more. For example in eth corse of my sailing I was on occasion hit by the boom, a couple of times very hard, enough to leave a nasty brose, clearly stun damage probably moderate. Within an hour it was no longer adversely affecting my performance but it still hurt when poked and was clearly visible for several days. I would expect a coffee scald to behave similarly.

What do you sail, Edward? 'Cause I've seen flying jibes in a 37' racing sloop, and I gotta say that's a damn sight higher than Moderate stun... smile.gif
Well I never took hit from the boom of the STS Lewin (she is a fins ship, 3 masts the fore rigged with squares). Mostly mirrors. It has been a long time and I can’t remember the exact length. They are a 2 man dingy (preferably adult and child) the mast comes in 2 parts so all the spars will fit inside the boat. The boom itself was only made out of 2” timber. As a child my parents had a Hartley 16’ trailer sailer. I have also dabbled in cats around the 14’ mark.

A 35’ racing sloop would be far more dangerous

Yah, I learned on a boat much like a Mirror. I'd call that a medium stun. smile.gif
Just Jonny
I'd think that boiling hot (as in 212F or 100C, not just really hot) coffee should have a damage code of around 4-6M. Boiling anything is really just nasty and vicious. Done right, or with enough volume, it could be lethal. Also, as a home rule in my game, burns have double the wound penalties. Burns really do hurt WAY more than their amount of trauma would seem to indicate.
Coffee and boiling water came up in my group recently.

We're running semi-legitimately. One suggestion I had was a water cannon loaded boiling water so we could deal with riots very effectively and literally flush people out of buildings.

I also wanted a coffee machine in the group vehicle for those long stake outs.

We realized we could combine the boiling water cannon with a coffee machine! Instead of all that heat going to waste, it'd all go into our coffee. We could have a little spout on the side of the water cannon that served us coffee while simultaneously inflicting rampant, horrible death on others.

Sadly, I wont be allowed to install it out for obvious reasons, so statting it out is a bit of a moot point. Apparently, the 'legitimate' part is more important than the 'semi' part. I'm still going to install a coffee machine.

More on-topically, I vote for physical damage, but possibly with a limitation on it that it can't do more than a certain level of damage. It doesn't matter how well you throw coffee on someone, you aren't going to kill them with it without utterly excessive amounts of coffee. It might be best to just treat it as a chemical with a contact vector. This would let many defenses work against it and at the same time not require totally new rules to implement.
Would magical coffee be a straight up water elemental or toxic? Because the best part of waking up is getting engulfed (and subsequently getting it in every orifice) in hot bean broth.

The only real downside I can see to using hot coffee in a watercannon is that the smell would attract people from miles over. Drive past a Dunkin' Donuts early in the morning, sometime.
Sandoval Smith
A boiling water cannon? Sure you'd end the riot damn quick, but then the lawsuits from all the people you killed/ maimed for life (assuming that people putting down riots on some sort of civil force) would be even more deadly. I'd just say break out the guns.

I also think there's a funny image to be had in the fact that a fineblade in the hands of a salariman can be as deadly as a cup of coffee in the hands of a runner.

When all coffee is outlawed, will only outlaws have double lattes?
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Sandoval Smith)
I also think there's a funny image to be had in the fact that a fineblade in the hands of a salariman can be as deadly as a cup of coffee in the hands of a runner.

A salariman, a Face, or a Covert Ops Specialist.
I'd rule it as BOTH stun and physical damage.

Starbucks Super-Latte (Boiling)

Concealibility: N/A (No one cares about coffee)
Damage Code: 2M Physical, 5S stun.
Range: 2
Cost: 20 nuyen.gif (Oh, FYI one Cred is worth about a quarter)
Jason Farlander
QUOTE (Wutasumi @ Oct 10 2004, 02:56 PM)
(Oh, FYI one Cred is worth about a quarter)

Actually I think you got that backwards. 1 nuyen = 4 UCAS dollars.

Ahhh, but what is a UCAS dollar worth compared to todays?
1 UCAS dollar = n USD.

Then, I'd love to hear your explanation of how a soy-burger costs 80$ modern.

Herald of Verjigorm
1 nuyen.gif ~= $5 UCAS
The standard ruling in SR is that cost in nuyen.gif ~= current cost in $US. Meaning that the UCAS dollar will be the equivalent of 20 current US cents.
So now the burger is 20$. We have the same problem.
QUOTE (Wutasumi)
So now the burger is 20$. We have the same problem.

See. This is why I prefer Nuyen.
Right, but when pricing new items you usualy come up with a cost in USD do you not? If we had a real conversion, that'd help pricing.
Jason Farlander
QUOTE (Herald of Verjigorm)
1 nuyen.gif ~= $5 UCAS

Hey Herald, did you see that link I provided? In a table about 2/3 down the page it explicitly sets the exchange rate at 4 u$: 1 nuyen.gif .
I saw a conversion table somewhere, but I don't remember where.

In any case, the GM I have doesn't bother worrying about it. Food is covered in the lifestyle cost, so null sheen.
I thought the original nuyen was supposed to (rougly) equal one current USD. But that was a long time ago...
Ok, then what about Custom GM created items selling costs, or any other new cool stuff like that. I'm just using burgers because it's easy.
Herald of Verjigorm
It's 4 now? Ok, where did I read 5...
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