D&D 4th Edition Firearms in 4E





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Thread: Firearms in 4E

  1. #1

    Firearms in 4E

    4E is probably one of the easiest editions of D&D to have blackpowder firearms in.

    Let's see:
    Blackpowder pistol * Simple Ranged Weapon

    cost: 50 gp
    Damage: 1d8
    Proficient: 0 (Special - if used with a power that targets AC that power instead targets Reflex)
    Range: 10/20
    Properties: Load Special (may not be reloaded in combat), counts as a crossbow for rogue powers and class features
    Weight 5 lbs

    Blackpowder musket * Simple Ranged Weapon
    Cost: 75 gp
    Damage: 1d10
    Proficient: 0 (Special - if used with a power that targets AC that power instead targets Reflex)
    Range: 15/30
    Properties: Load Special (may not be reloaded in combat), counts as a crossbow for rogue powers and class features
    Weight: 10 lbs

    Blackpowder rifle * Superior Ranged Weapon
    Cost: 100 gp
    Damage: 1d10
    Proficient: +1 (Special - if used with a power that targets AC that power instead targets Reflex)
    Range: 20/40
    Properties: Load Special (may not be reloaded in combat - a character may reload only one blackpowder rifle per short rest), counts as a crossbow for rogue powers and class features
    Weight: 10 lbs

    Blackpowder charge * Alchemical Ammo
    Formula cost 20 gp
    Component Cost 1 sp
    Level 1
    Requires the Alchemist Feat to create

    No blackpowder weapon may be used in an attack or with a power that would consume more than one charge of powder when that attack or power is used with a blackpowder weapon


    About as "realistic" as I feel like getting with firearms in D&D.

    First: Yes, they're simple weapons - the reason firearms became popular almost immediately upon invention is that, unlike bows or even crossbows, they didn't require much training. (The rifle being an exception - I would say in the hands of an untrained user it should count as a musket). This despite firearms not improving on a trained bowman or crossbowman until rather late, historically-speaking. They're also handier and easier to transport (though that's not really an issue in D&D per se), and the ammo is much less bulky.

    Lack of proficiency bonus should balance out the targeting of a NAD.

    Damage deliberately modeled on that of a crossbow and longbow; ranges deliberately shortened. I want these to be options, not must-haves. Goal is to make them interesting, especially for certain types of characters. Specifically, the rogue clause allows for pirates built on Rogue class

    Forked from: Non-Gunpowder Explosives in Fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobo
    I think that your assumptions about what gunpowder does to the campaign are incorrect. I frequently have Pirates of the Caribbean style flintlocks in campaigns I run. I like that vibe.

    1) They don't really change the campaign world that often. There are tons of rules for firearms out there, and none of them that I'm familiar with really serve to make the standard conventions of fantasy obsolete.

    2) Uh... no. A good cask or barrel of gunpowder is still only as effective as a mid-level fireball spell at most. A "grenade?" You'll have to do a lot of convincing to get me to believe that it's a) cheaper, and b) more effective than something like a flask of acid or alchemists fire already. Plus, if you carry around all that gunpowder in a world where even a very low level wizard's got burning hands, scorching ray and stuff like that? That's not an advantage, that's a liability.
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  • #2
    Quote Originally Posted by IanArgent View Post
    Proficient: 0 (Special - if used with a power that targets AC that power instead targets Reflex)
    ...
    Properties: Load Special (may not be reloaded in combat), counts as a crossbow for rogue powers and class features
    These elements seem to be the heart of your design, so I will comment on them. I still don't understand the trend of people giving guns the ability to ignore armor when historically there was armor capable of stopping bullets. Your particular implementation of it isn't bad per se, since you gave these weapons a 0 proficiency bonus to even things out (with the exception of the rifle, which I don't think is excusable as an exception), but I still dislike the concept on principle. Letting people target Reflex defense instead of AC is a pretty big deal, particularly since a character can bring multiple guns and target their powers against Reflex defense all day. This can be a big deal, since it makes a character who mostly targets AC suddenly be able to bring down Soldiers with relative ease. It also renders certain powers completely superfluous.

    I don't really like the Load Special. Saying that a gun can't be reloaded mid-battle seems way too artificial. Load Standard is my preferred approach. It is still enough of a penalty to get people to carry multiple guns.

    On the other hand, saying that a gun counts as a crossbow is something that I would do myself. However, your wording is too awkward. What about any class powers that are dependent on crossbow use that are not rogue powers? It would be clearer if you just put guns in the crossbow weapon group (they are currently lacking a weapon group anyways).

    Final score: 2/5. Needs more work.

  • #3
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    ° Ignore thundershot
    Remember when 4E was first announced (and that Thor and other gods would be in it) and someone asked if firearms would be in the DMG... and the reply was no, they'd be in the PHB. That means the rules are out there, and they just haven't found a home for them yet. An article on 4E GIFF would be a great place to combine a firearms article for Dragon...
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    ° Ignore Urizen
    I figured I'd add to this thread. I have a mini-CS coming out soon for 4th edition; Scarrport, City of Secrets, and it has some steampunk elements and makes use of Firearms. The guy who wrote these rules is Greg Tito, who also co-wrote Forgotten heroes: Fang Fist and Song

    From the text:

    "Babel Springstep was the first to introduce a weapon that used small explosions to propel projectiles into an opponent at great distances. At first, his weapons were unpredictable and difficult to aim. But experimentation in the Craftwerks with different sized tubes and strange new propellants have resulted in a weapon that can be effective in the chaos of the battlefield. Watching children twist a ball while throwing it gave Babel Springtep a vital clue to providing the accuracy necessary and his rifled barrels are highly sought after. The crafty gremlin would like to one day mass-produce these weapons in his factories but, for now, each pistol needs to be handmade.

    Loading the firearms with bullets, however, is still a tedious affair and takes several moments away from contending with the foe. Only the quickest duelists have learned to reload their firearms and make them as effective as a crossbow. These adventurers are, oddly enough, also the some of the only individuals able to afford the expensive firearms.

    Firearms can be used with a basic ranged attack as well as any ranged weapon power. All firearms have a special power that can be used once per encounter, as long as they are loaded during a short rest. This special power represents a well packed and loaded shot and is able to do significantly more damage than a standard ranged weapon. Once fired, the special power renders the firearm unusable for the rest of the encounter.

    Firearms may not be enchanted with magic item properties, but they can be crafted with an inherent enhancement bonus. For example, you cannot buy or craft a Thunderburst Springstep Pistol, but you can buy or craft a Springstep Pistol +5 for 625,000 gp.

    Ammunition for pistols and rifles are different and more expensive than arrows or bolts. There is no special ammunition that can impart higher damage. Firearms require special tools, brushes and oils to load and maintain the weapon. Any extended rest in which you do not have access to a firearm kit, you have cumulative -1 penalty to hit with the weapon."

    Sample Weapons:

    Standard Pistol (+1 to +6) Level 3+

    The brushed steel of this weapon has a dull gleam which can terrify your opponents.
    Price:
    Lvl 3 +1 680 gp Lvl 18 +4 85,000 gp
    Lvl 8 +2 3,400 gp Lvl 23 +5 425,000 gp
    Lvl 13 +3 17,000 gp Lvl 28 +6 2,125,000 gp


    Weapon: Firearm
    Enhancement: Attack rolls and damage rolls
    Critical Hit: +1d6 damage per plus
    Power (Encounter): Standard action. Attack one creature within 20 Squares: Dexterity + 2 vs. AC; 2d8 + Dexterity modifier damage.
    (Level 13-18): Increase attack bonus to +4 and increase damage to 3d8 + Dexterity modifier damage.
    (Level 23-28): Increase attack bonus to +6 and increase damage to 4d10 + Dexterity modifier damage.

    ------------------------------------------

    Standard Rifle (+1 to +6) Level 3+

    Many of the Red Guard carry this weapon as standard equipment in Scarrport.
    Price:

    Lvl 3 +1 680 gp Lvl 18 +4 85,000 gp
    Lvl 8 +2 3,400 gp Lvl 23 +5 425,000 gp
    Lvl 13 +3 17,000 gp Lvl 28 +6 2,125,000 gp

    Weapon: Firearm
    Enhancement: Attack rolls and damage rolls
    Critical Hit: +1d6 damage per plus
    Power (Encounter): Standard action. Attack one creature within 40 squares: Dexterity + 2 vs. AC; 3d8 + Dexterity modifier damage.
    (Level 13-18): Increase attack bonus to +4 and increase damage to 4d8 + Dexterity modifier damage.
    (Level 23-28): Increase attack bonus to +6 and increase damage to 5d10 + Dexterity modifier damage

    ----------------------------------------------

    Paragon Feat

    QUICK LOADING

    Prerequisite: Proficiency with firearms, Dexterity 17
    Benefit: Reloading a firearm takes a minor action instead of a standard action.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Thoughts, anyone?
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  • #5
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    ° Ignore Pbartender
    Quote Originally Posted by IanArgent View Post
    4E is probably one of the easiest editions of D&D to have blackpowder firearms in.
    Here's the problems I'd have with your firearms...

    A) Too many "Special" case exceptions to rules. Personally, I hate them. They muddle the rules, and are troublesome to keep track of.

    B) Proficiency as a simple weapon. Remember, anyone can use any weapon. You just don't get the Proficiency bonus to attack, if you aren't. It makes the weapon more meaningful, if you the character has to sacrifice a feat or two to get the full benefit of the weapon.

    C) Realistic Shmealistic. This is D&D.

    Consider these...

    Weapon: Pistol
    Prof: +2
    Hnd: 1H
    Dmg: 1d8
    Rng: 15/30
    Price: 50 gp
    Wght: 2 lb.
    Group: Firearms
    Properties: Load move, high crit


    Weapon: Musket
    Prof: +2
    Hnd: 2H
    Dmg: 1d10
    Rng: 30/60
    Price: 75 gp
    Wght: 4 lb.
    Group: Firearms
    Properties: Load move, high crit


    Ammuniton:
    Firearm cartridges (10) 1 gp


    MUSKETEER [Rogue]

    Prerequisite: Dex 13, rogue
    Benefit: For the purposes of powers and feats, firearms count as crossbows.


    They are both about a half step up from the equivalent crossbows. The prices are expensive, but not prohibitive for 1st level characters. The single feat allows for gunslinger rogues, without special rules for the weapon itself. The weapon proficiency bonus and the high-crit property can be considered the "armor piercing" side of firearms.

    I'd make them a superior ranged weapon, since they require a specialized knowledge and a reasonable amount of practice when it comes to caring for the weapon, loading it, and firing it without flinching.
    The Pbartender

  • #6
    In a system where you can reload, aim, and fire a freaking longbow at someone anywhere between right in front of you to five hundred yards away and hit them at ease in the space of six seconds, I never understood the need to make guns suck for "realism" purposes.

  • #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessorCirno View Post
    In a system where you can reload, aim, and fire a freaking longbow at someone anywhere between right in front of you to five hundred yards away and hit them at ease in the space of six seconds, I never understood the need to make guns suck for "realism" purposes.
    I seem to recall this being my #1 disappointment with Iron Kingdoms d20.

    EDIT: Well, that and the fact that only one class had 'Jack Handling.

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  • #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessorCirno View Post
    In a system where you can reload, aim, and fire a freaking longbow at someone anywhere between right in front of you to five hundred yards away and hit them at ease in the space of six seconds, I never understood the need to make guns suck for "realism" purposes.
    Nock > draw > release is just a a quick thing that's basicaly one fluid motion. It's easy for people to imagine that happening very fast.

    Powder ( and fuss with the cork..) > bullet > ramrod > tamptamptamp > re-stow ramrod > cock is um.. One can't really picture that quickly. Especialy when one must spend two actions in order to switch wands...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbartender View Post
    Ammuniton:
    Firearm cartridges (10) 1 gp
    Cartridges? No way.. Bullets and powder for these muskets and flintlocks. Cartridges are way too modern.
    I'm sorry.

  • #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessorCirno View Post
    In a system where you can reload, aim, and fire a freaking longbow at someone anywhere between right in front of you to five hundred yards away and hit them at ease in the space of six seconds, I never understood the need to make guns suck for "realism" purposes.
    Precisely.


    Peacemaker (handgunne, snaphance)
    superior ranged weapon, load move
    +2 proficiency bonus, range 10/20
    2d4 damage, Brutal 1

    Longrifle (harquebus, snaphance)
    superior ranged weapon, load move
    +2 proficiency bonus, range 15/30
    2d6 damage, Brutal 1
    Author of ZWEIH─NDER Grim & Perilous RPG, a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay retroclone

  • #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessorCirno View Post
    In a system where you can reload, aim, and fire a freaking longbow at someone anywhere between right in front of you to five hundred yards away and hit them at ease in the space of six seconds, I never understood the need to make guns suck for "realism" purposes.
    Well, this is partly rationalization, but from what I can tell the most common claimed rate of fire for an English longbowman was eight arrows a minute. A minute is 10 rounds, 8/10 is 1.25, round to one round.

    With the same procedure, and the English standard for a musket armed infantryman to be able to fire three rounds a minute: 3/10=3.333, round to 1 shot every 3 rounds.

    That rate would make pistols and muskets capable of being reloaded, but in a close fight you'd fire and use the bayonet or the musket as a club or just drop it and draw a sword.
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