The Hotchkiss 6 pounder is a direct-fire advanced siege firearm that must be mounted in place on a vehicle to be used. It fires high explosive (HE) shells that deal 8d6 points of bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage in a 30-foot radius around the point of impact (Reflex DC 20 for half).
but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to parse this. Does it mean that the 8d6 weapon damage listed is in addition to the damage of the explosion (in which case the shot does 8d6, and then there's an explosion), or that the weapon damage is simply shorthand for the 8d6 of the explosion?
The first case is closer to how splash weapons behave, which raises the further questions of whether the target needs to save against the explosion separately from taking direct-hit damage, and what happens on a miss (splash weapons still explode, but that's not explicit here).
The second case is closer to how a fireball works, but it makes a "miss" really strange and raises the question of whether you can target a square to avoid having to hit someone's AC.
Can anyone help me clarify this?