Modern Weapons

Modern Weapons

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Firearms and explosives for a modern 5e campaign.
  1. TerraDave
    These seem to have been taken from d20 modern...which I guess is what it says.

    One thing, in 3E, which is what d20 modern is based on, you did not add dex to ranged weapon damage. You did add strength to melee damage. This is one reason why firearm damage was so high.

    (As an aside, past editions had rules for making custom bows that allowed for strength damage to be added to these as well.)
  2. ArchfiendBobbie
    Okay, before I give feedback, I have one question that determines the kind of feedback I am going to give:

    Are you intending to replicate a cinematic action sequence or a real action sequence? It makes a significant difference in damage values.
  3. Yaarel
    Quote Originally Posted by ArchfiendBobbie View Post
    Okay, before I give feedback, I have one question that determines the kind of feedback I am going to give:

    Are you intending to replicate a cinematic action sequence or a real action sequence? It makes a significant difference in damage values.
    Personally, I prefer as realistic as possible. Firearms are already way deadly compared to other D&D weapons.
  4. 77IM
    I like the approach here. Here is some initial feedback, mostly on the guns (I didn't read the part on explosives yet). It's heavily colored by my own pet peeves about RPG firearm stats.

    1) The damage is too high. I don't see why being shot with a 9mm round is equally as damaging as being cleft in twain with a greatsword. Seriously, picture a greatsword, and it's cutting your guts open. Now picture a 9mm round, and it's shooting you someplace other than the brain, heart, or major artery. I'm not saying bullets can't be deadly; I'm saying that the things which make them deadly are not well represented by simply having a high damage number.

    Now the really big guns might exceed melee weapon damage. I'd be willing to accept that an antimaterial rifle is more lethal than a greatsword. Ditto for something like a mounted gun. I'd probably put the bigger hunting rifles, or a 12-gauge at close range, about on par with the greatsword.

    2) Now, one of the things that DOES make modern guns deadly is their rate of fire, especially compared to bows and crossbows. If you're good, you can fire a bow several times in a round. But with even a basic handgun and modest training, you can shot that thing several times in a round, and potentially even hit someone if they are close enough. And for weapons with full auto, or machine guns, it's even worse for the victim. BUT doing that chews through ammo!

    My suggestion is to blatantly steal from Savage Worlds: Make each gun's base damage modest, and then let the shooter expend extra ammo to get bonus damage. For example, maybe a 9mm is a 1d6 weapon, but if you spray out 3 rounds, it goes up to 2d6. Maybe an M-16 deals 1d8 damage, but you can fire a 3-round burst for 2d8 damage, or a 15-round burst for 3d8 damage! That's a pretty significant ammo expenditure, if you're tracking ammo.

    3) The ranges are very good for game-play but they seem short compared to real-world ranges. I think I'd fix this with another special action. If you spend an action to Aim, your range is doubled for a handgun or SMG, or tripled for a rifle. This stacks with a scope. This represents that snipers really can take a long time to line up a shot. A single action is not super realistic, but I think most players would get the idea right away.

    4) I like systems where shotgun spread causes its damage to decrease slightly at range. (I don't subscribe to the RPG wisdom that the shotgun's spread makes it much easier to hit. Or if it does, it also reduces damage, since you'd not be hitting with the full load. I guess the factors involved in firearm accuracy are complex, and I'm not convinced that the shotgun's spread is significant enough to provide any bonus, at the coarse level of D&D mechanics.) In 5e terms, I think the way I'd do this is at long range, the shotgun has "disadvantage" on damage -- roll twice and take the lower damage. So you might still manage to hit someone with the full load at range, but it's less likely.
  5. ArchfiendBobbie
    Okay, if you want realistic (as someone mentioned earlier), let's start by dispelling a media-perpetrated myth.

    Firearms are, in general, one of the less-lethal weapons in humanity's arsenal. Look up gunshot statistics sometime; one thing you'll notice is that not only do most people who are shot survive, but a vast number of them walk away with nothing more than a scar and a scary story to tell. Just about every weapon in the DnD arsenal has a higher lethal rate.

    There are two exceptions: The flintlock pistol and musket. Both of these weapons are just fine where they are, and the musket might actually be suited by an increase in damage. In real life, both of these weapons had a very high lethal rate when they hit. They just didn't have any accuracy to speak of, which is why the idea of a firing line evolved.

    So if you want realistic, you can start by lowing the damage of just about every weapon. The 9mm and 5.56mm weapons, in particular, are not very lethal in real life; 9mms are the most common round that people get shot with, and thus survive, while the 5.56mm was intentionally designed to wound instead of kill. While both of these rounds can kill someone very easily, they're not good at it.

    The other thing you can do is increase the shotgun ranges a bit. In general, you're not going to see the low of 30 feet as a max range on a shotgun unless you've loaded it with something like rocksalt. They should also be at the higher end of firearm damage, as a shotgun blast to the chest tends to be pretty lethal. There's a reason why Americans issued them during World War 2. Other than that, I would leave them alone; by the time the pellets have hit a range where spread is an issue, they've also usually not going to be a problem for a player character. The spread issue was a problem with the blunderbuss, but modern shotgun rounds tend to act a lot more like bullets as far as accuracy and tend to be pretty accurate in the hands of someone trained in their usage.

    The antimateriel rifle and heavy weapons? Leave their damage alone.

    I would also suggest looking up weapon weights. The AA-12, for example, is 6 pounds too heavy. Even the original version, which was considered heavy enough it needed less weight, only came in at 11 pounds.

    That's just advice to start.

    Now, if you want cinematic, leave it alone. Perfect representation.
  6. dwayne
    FBI studies have shown that a novice can fire three shots in less than a second, and a trained shooter can double that. (Two of the officers in the 1999 Amadou Diallo shooting emptied their 16-bullet magazines in about four seconds.) That means an experienced gunman can fire off a 20-round magazine—the likely capacity of Hasan's gun—in 3.3 seconds. Reloading takes under two. You just press the magazine release button with your shooting hand and insert the new magazine into the grip with your offhand. * Experts holster extra ammunition on the side of their nonshooting hand to speed the exchange and can have the new magazine loaded before the empty one hits the ground. So each 20-round magazine would take no more than 5.3 seconds, including time to reload. That means you could fire off 1,575 shots in seven minutes—provided you were carrying 79 magazines on your person
  7. Imaculata
    When you say a 9mm pistol does a certain amount of damage, are you describing just one shot, or several shots that count as one attack? Because if the latter, then the amount of damage is probably fine.
  8. LuisCarlos17f
    I was thinking sometime I could create a new thread about pirates vs knights, firearms vs armours in a fantasy setting, and when the nPCs are too dangerous because they can use firearms. Let's imagine a goblin with an axe and a shield. OK? And now the same goblin with the same stats, but now with a sniper rifle from the top of a tree, and almost PCs are standar sword & sorcery heroes, without armours, shields nor guns. Other example, in a campaign, Jakandor, for example, the PCs are being invaded by alien goblins riding steampunk mechas. You can suppose the balance of power is totally broken. An option would be enemies with that "extra help" should be a higher XP reward, like a monster template was added (but how many XPs?). Other option could be allowing some little magic tricks to saboteur firearms, for example a little piece of ectoplasm to block the canon or the catrip "watering gundpowder". But what if the PCs are the gunslingers fightings against supernatural menaces? What if you can't shoot because enemy is using illusory magic to create the effect of smoke grenades to hide? And what if in the big cities firearms can't work in the streets because it is avoided by a field of divine magic? Or warpriests wouldn't be allowed to heal with divine magic to gunslingers because "firearms are against the true warrior spirit"?
  9. Horwath
    IMHO, all the damage is too low.

    Or firearm attacks ignore armor.

    But if for simplicity you want to keep the armor math then even 9mm should start at 3d6 damage. As it is impossible to dodge the projectile and no medieval armor or shield is going to hold the bullet.

    Also wounds from bullets are quite more deadly than arrows. Arrow hit is clean and straigth. Bullets break up, tumble while going through tissue and even do shockwave damage.

    If we had current level ER service in 14th century there would be maybe 10% of deaths from arrows after battle than what it was back then.

    Also fire rate. Maybe extra bullets per "attack" could be balanced by having cumulative attack penalty per shot because of recoil and the need to stabilize the weapon after each shot.
    Depending on the weapon it could be -3 per attack up to -10 per attack. Higher str could reduce the penalty by some amount.
  10. Imaculata
    Quote Originally Posted by Horwath View Post
    But if for simplicity you want to keep the armor math then even 9mm should start at 3d6 damage. As it is impossible to dodge the projectile and no medieval armor or shield is going to hold the bullet.
    I'm not sure if your assessment of the penetrative powers of a 9mm bullet versus a medieval suit of armor is accurate.
  11. Horwath
    Quote Originally Posted by Imaculata View Post
    I'm not sure if your assessment of the penetrative powers of a 9mm bullet versus a medieval suit of armor is accurate.
    Breastplate(thickest part of the plate armour) was ineffective vs muskets and early flintlock pistols at close range. that is why armor faded out of use.

    It was too heavy and too expensive to only protect vs longrange fire.

    And that was with smooth barrel weapons. Modern firearms will go through any medieval armor no problem. Maybe hollow point bullet at long range will deform enough at the plate so it will to go through, but that is borderline case.
  12. Imaculata
    Quote Originally Posted by Horwath View Post
    Breastplate(thickest part of the plate armour) was ineffective vs muskets and early flintlock pistols at close range.
    Oh, no doubt. But that is not the type of bullet we're talking about here.



    Quote Originally Posted by Horwath View Post
    And that was with smooth barrel weapons. Modern firearms will go through any medieval armor no problem. Maybe hollow point bullet at long range will deform enough at the plate so it will to go through, but that is borderline case.
    You are making the mistake here of presuming that modern fire power is more powerful than classic firepower, simply because it has the word 'modern' in front of it. But a musket bullet could easily sever your arm at the shoulder. A 9mm bullet will not do that.

    Likewise, a musket bullet would probably go through a suit of armor with ease. But a 9mm bullet is a lot smaller, and not fired with classic gunpowder. It is not designed with armor penetration in mind.
  13. Horwath
    Quote Originally Posted by Imaculata View Post
    Oh, no doubt. But that is not the type of bullet we're talking about here.





    You are making the mistake here of presuming that modern fire power is more powerful than classic firepower, simply because it has the word 'modern' in front of it. But a musket bullet could easily sever your arm at the shoulder. A 9mm bullet will not do that.

    Likewise, a musket bullet would probably go through a suit of armor with ease. But a 9mm bullet is a lot smaller, and not fired with classic gunpowder. It is not designed with armor penetration in mind.
    Musket would be more powerfull at close range, that is sure. But as it is smoothbore and round lead bullet it will lose speed very fast across distance.

    Also if we compare size an caliber of the weapon, then musket must be compared to Barret .50Cal

    And that will kill a guy in plate, then the next guy behind, then the next behind him.
  14. Imaculata
    Quote Originally Posted by Horwath View Post
    Musket would be more powerfull at close range, that is sure. But as it is smoothbore and round lead bullet it will lose speed very fast across distance.
    But we're not discussing effectiveness over distance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Horwath View Post
    Also if we compare size an caliber of the weapon, then musket must be compared to Barret .50Cal
    If you want to compare it to a .50Cal as well, you're welcome to do that... but you specifically mentioned the 9mm. And that is where I disagree.
  15. Horwath
    Quote Originally Posted by Imaculata View Post
    But we're not discussing effectiveness over distance.



    If you want to compare it to a .50Cal as well, you're welcome to do that... but you specifically mentioned the 9mm. And that is where I disagree.
    We were discusing armor penetration of medieval armor. I think that every firearm, except maybe low cal "lady pistols" would penetrate plate armor.

    Plate armor was 1,5-2,5mm thick. depending on the body part. Military vehicles have 4-5mm steel plates. That is for small arms only protection(9mm). Maybe 5,56 at longer range. Or 7,62mm at extreme range.

    If you would wear 5mm full plate, it would be well over 100kg.
  16. Cap'n Kobold
    Note that if you've got modern firearms being used, you're likely to have modern armours in use as well.

    Breastplates were quite capable of stopping musket balls: the armour of that period was 'proofed' by firing a ball at it. As with arrows, range and angle of impact are important factors. Firearms were already pushing armour out of use due to economic and logistical reasons even before they became powerful enough to make it impractical.

    A discussion of "how much damage should a firearm deal" isn't going to be resolved because people treat hit points as representing different things.

    I would suggest that you decide what you want fights involving guns to look like in your game and design their rules to support that accordingly.
  17. Imaculata
    Quote Originally Posted by Horwath View Post
    We were discusing armor penetration of medieval armor. I think that every firearm, except maybe low cal "lady pistols" would penetrate plate armor.


    It would seem that anything less than a .50 caliber has great difficulty piercing plate armor.
  18. Horwath
    Quote Originally Posted by Imaculata View Post


    It would seem that anything less than a .50 caliber has great difficulty piercing plate armor.
    Wow, it held better than I would expect.

    But, helmet was the thickest piece of armor. Also as head is much smaller than the torso, helm has greater curvature than breastplate. It would be harder to get a glancing blow on someones chest.

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