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.

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