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Thread: Firearms

  1. #131
    Quote Originally Posted by tglassy View Post
    Hereís another reason to just leave the rules as how it was written: the DM should not have an opinion on how the players play the game. The DM should not have an opinion on whether or not the players should be using guns first and melee as a last resort. It is not the DMís job to have an opinion, really.
    Disagree, I think the DM should say up front how they want a campaign to be. I know not everything will always turn out their way, but if the DM says for example they want the campaign to be heavy on diplomacy and character interaction, well the players should at least think of approaching it that way. That way they won't end up in a really tough fight they generally weren't meant to fight.
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  2. #132
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    Saying how you want the campaign to be and dictating what methods the PC's use to solve the challenges presented are two separate things. If everyone wants to play court intrigue, the PC's should be allowed to approach that however they want to.

    The DM sets up challenges, not solutions. It is not the DM's job to dictate how the players will solve their problems. That is called Railroading. If you, or any other DM, thinks that a DM should say "Ok, everyone gets one cantrip, and you are only allowed to use that one cantirp, I don't care what class you are this is the cantrip you have to use every time during combat. Also, you have to use diplomacy and intrigue as often as possible, otherwise I won't have any fun. And I want you to do it like upitty lords. In fact, all of you are lords of your own fiefdoms, but I'm going to dictate what your product is for each of your fiefdoms. Oh, and make sure you use these lines while playing, i've got some zingers I want you to use and I love witty banter."

    That's bull, and it's the same thing as saying "Well, guns are obviously better than every other type of weapon, so I'm going to make sure they're really, really good, and give one shot KO's, to make sure my players only choose to use guns as often as possible, because I want to play a game with lots of high seas battles with guns and that's the image I want to see, and if they don't use guns then I've failed as a DM."

    If they don't use guns they have simply found something they want to do that is more fun to them, and that should be perfectly fine. Sure, they'll miss out, but they may find a better way to solve the problem. Or a way that everyone will be laughing about for years.

    The DM can create a setting. The DM can set up challenges. The Players get to solve those challenges. Otherwise, you may as well go play with dolls in your basement, cause then they'll do exactly what you want. The game is about the player's fun. The DM should have no stake in how it plays out other than to give opportunity for the players to shine, or die if the dice says that's what happens. And while I have DM'd quite a bit, I'm talking about this as a Player. I've played with DM's who want things to turn out a certain way, and shut down every attempt to go outside the box by simply saying "Your Warlock's Devil's Sight cannot see in this darkness because there is absolutely zero light anywhere in it so it couldn't possibly happen," and then goes off on a tangent that really boiled down to "he didn't know I had that ability and it would ruin the trap he had planned and he really, really wanted that trap to go off."

    And I've played with my brother DMing, where he throws something at us and when we shrug, not knowing what to do, he shrugs back and says "Figure it out." He lets us try anything. Sometimes it doesn't work, and sometimes it does, and when it does, it's always awesome. He doesn't even know all of our abilities, he doesn't set challenges to match what we can do. He's written an entire campaign full of awesome quests and side quests, and never does he actually ask what we can do. He simply gives us a challenge, and we have to figure it out. If I can see in the darkness, wonderful! I can get past that trap. If we're in the hold of a sinking ship and there's someone on the other side of a closed door, stuck as water is filling it up, and I use both my spell slots to cast Dimension Door twice to save him, completely bypassing the entire problem (but using up my slots, which put us in a bad situation later), then great! I figured out a way around the problem! He didn't "Want us to do it a certain way", he wanted us to use our brains and get through the problem.

    The DM is the console. He designs the world, creates NPC's, sets up challenges and provides an opportunity for the players to play out a great story. But in a game where one person has all the power and can dictate the entire world, the only thing the players can choose is their characters. The only actions they can control is their characters'. Take away that agency, start dictating how they should be playing, and you've overstepped your bounds as a DM.

  3. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by tglassy View Post
    The DM sets up challenges, not solutions. It is not the DM's job to dictate how the players will solve their problems. That is called Railroading.
    I tend to think I've written a fairly influential essay on railroading, and at no point did I ever argue that the rules of the system themselves were railroading, nor do I see how that can be sustained. Are you defining any game where their are optimal and suboptimal builds as one that is "railroading"? The 1e AD&D Thief class was entirely suboptimal. Are you suggesting that anyone that played 1e AD&D was a railroading DM because Thief was a suboptimal choice and the GM was somehow deciding that thief skills were not the way to solve problems?

    And while I have DM'd quite a bit, I'm talking about this as a Player.
    We could all tell that.

    I've played with DM's who want things to turn out a certain way, and shut down every attempt to go outside the box by simply saying "Your Warlock's Devil's Sight cannot see in this darkness because there is absolutely zero light anywhere in it so it couldn't possibly happen," and then goes off on a tangent that really boiled down to "he didn't know I had that ability and it would ruin the trap he had planned and he really, really wanted that trap to go off."
    Aha! I think I've now discovered the crux of the argument. For you this isn't an argument about firearms. This is a proxy argument. What you are really arguing is that you've had bad DMs before that were jerks, and now that you've been burned, you are highly skeptical of anyone who wants to change the rules. And so now you are projecting the motives of your bad DM onto everyone else in the thread. Wonderful, let me solve the argument for you.

    Your brother sounds like a much better DM than that guy that burned you. I think we'll get widespread agreement on that.

    However, this is a discussion about how to integrate firearms in the campaign, not that bad DM you had. Your bad experiences are coloring how you see what is being said, and leading you to say some pretty extreme things as absolute truths. No one here is disagreeing with claims like, "The only actions they can control is their characters'. Take away that agency, start dictating how they should be playing, and you've overstepped your bounds as a DM." Heck, I'm in an entirely different thread where I'm the one staunchly defending that principle. But house rules are NOT necessarily attempts to take away player agency, and indeed rarely are. It's not taking away player agency to say, "This world has no firearms." or "This world has modern firearms, that are probably better in a lot of ways than magical weapons" or "This world has firearms that work like this." That's all part of designing the world. Can it be done badly? Sure. But you aren't overstepping your bounds as a GM to decide what sort of firearms you want and how you want them to work.
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  4. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    The problem you're going to run into if you make firearms more than a die better is that it throws the balance of the whole combat system off. If you introduce a class of weapons that do significantly more damage you have to change a whole host of other rules.
    I don't think that is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    Of maybe more immediate import is that you have, by default, made the characters themselves less survivable, assuming that their humanoid enemies are also going to be armed with firearms.
    Of course. But the players have plenty of access to healing and protection of all kinds. Deadlier combat simply means the players will have to play differently, and think more about their strategies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    Plus you've put your thumb on the scales when it comes to magic, because the damaging spells are scaled against melee by level (mostly).
    This is a fair point, which is why I think any spells and special abilities that work against projectiles, should also work against bullets. This includes any abilities to deflect arrows with your fists. All it takes is one level 1 protection spell to protect yourself against all firearms (excluding cannons/siege weapons). And just like that spellcasters have a very important role in a setting with firearms. It also means the players will face opponents that have a mage/wizard of their own to deal with their weapons. And I strongly feel this balances things out by quite a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    On a separate note, you're the GM, so if you tell your players "hey, this is a pirate campaign, so we're using firearms unless you have a marvelous story reason not to" that should be enough regardless of the rules in question.
    No, I don't think that is good enough. I also want my players to have a good strategical reason to use their weapons. Having them use firearms is just as important to me as having them occasionally switch to melee weapons when the situation calls for it. I don't want to tell them "Hey, just use firearms okay?". In a setting that revolves around firearms, I feel firearms should kick butt, but with a specific place for melee weapons as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    ...But house rules are NOT necessarily attempts to take away player agency, and indeed rarely are. It's not taking away player agency to say, "This world has no firearms." or "This world has modern firearms, that are probably better in a lot of ways than magical weapons" or "This world has firearms that work like this." That's all part of designing the world. Can it be done badly? Sure. But you aren't overstepping your bounds as a GM to decide what sort of firearms you want and how you want them to work.
    I agree entirely. And in addition, I feel it is my job as a DM to design my combat encounters in such a way as to challenge my players, and to occasionally approach things differently. By running a campaign that revolves strongly around firearms, I'm also using this as an opportunity to get my players out of their comfort zone. This is why I want firearms in my campaign to be deadly, because it means the players are forced to approach combat differently. And the fact that these weapons are highly susceptible to moisture, jamming and to anti-projectile spells, means that the players have to respond to situations that they are not used to dealing with in D&D.

    For example, I had a fire fight in my campaign with a hold that was quickly filling up with water. Not only did the water incrementally slow their movement, but they were forced to keep their weapons above water. And getting tackled by an enemy would mean their gun would get wet, rendering their most powerful asset useless. This style of play opens up so many options to me as a DM to challenge my players.
    Last edited by Imaculata; Monday, 20th May, 2019 at 09:38 PM.
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  5. #135
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    Hmm, yeah, railroading, or at least extreme versions of it, is bad, but nothing we're talking about here fits the bill. It's a term that tossed around a lot without everyone having a clear idea what it means.

    @Celebrim - you got a linky for that article? Maybe it'll help everyone get on the same page. I'd love to read it too!

    As for the console analogy, I'm with Kobold et al - the GM isn't a console at all. Fair arbitration is one of the GM's hats, but that's not the same thing as not having an opinion. As a GM I am doing a lot more work than everyone else involved in a game, so it's absolutely critical that I be enjoying myself. Generally that means that whatever contract and agreements that were set up between myself and the players in session zero are being adhered to, and everyone is on the same page with expectations and results. Even then, should I take steps as a GM to reign in players and get things back on track I'm still not railroading.

    Anyway, we've moved pretty far astray from firearms, but I do think we've hit upon one of the subterranean reasons why the arguments about firearms are so contentious sometimes.

    @Imaculata - you're making a category mistake. What is commonly true of most campaigns is one thing, and all of my points in that regard are on point, and accurate. Just because you want to do something different doesn't make me wrong. I'm not wrong. You want to push things with firearms? Go ahead, but it's got nothing to do with what works in a general sense.
    Last edited by Fenris-77; Monday, 20th May, 2019 at 09:45 PM. Reason: grammar. have some.

  6. #136
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    Firearms

    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    I tend to think I've written a fairly influential essay on railroading, and at no point did I ever argue that the rules of the system themselves were railroading, nor do I see how that can be sustained. Are you defining any game where their are optimal and suboptimal builds as one that is "railroading"? The 1e AD&D Thief class was entirely suboptimal. Are you suggesting that anyone that played 1e AD&D was a railroading DM because Thief was a suboptimal choice and the GM was somehow deciding that thief skills were not the way to solve problems?



    We could all tell that.



    Aha! I think I've now discovered the crux of the argument. For you this isn't an argument about firearms. This is a proxy argument. What you are really arguing is that you've had bad DMs before that were jerks, and now that you've been burned, you are highly skeptical of anyone who wants to change the rules. And so now you are projecting the motives of your bad DM onto everyone else in the thread. Wonderful, let me solve the argument for you.

    Your brother sounds like a much better DM than that guy that burned you. I think we'll get widespread agreement on that.

    However, this is a discussion about how to integrate firearms in the campaign, not that bad DM you had. Your bad experiences are coloring how you see what is being said, and leading you to say some pretty extreme things as absolute truths. No one here is disagreeing with claims like, "The only actions they can control is their characters'. Take away that agency, start dictating how they should be playing, and you've overstepped your bounds as a DM." Heck, I'm in an entirely different thread where I'm the one staunchly defending that principle. But house rules are NOT necessarily attempts to take away player agency, and indeed rarely are. It's not taking away player agency to say, "This world has no firearms." or "This world has modern firearms, that are probably better in a lot of ways than magical weapons" or "This world has firearms that work like this." That's all part of designing the world. Can it be done badly? Sure. But you aren't overstepping your bounds as a GM to decide what sort of firearms you want and how you want them to work.
    I was never talking about mechanics. Im saying that making the statement that if my players donít use firearms, then Iíve failed as a DM is the DM trying to force the players to play the way he wants to play, rather than just letting them play. It would be the same as making swords outclass every other weapon type simply because the DM likes the image of a party of sword bearers.

    I have no problems with changing the rules, when itís necessary. As a player, Iíd also have little problem if the DM says everyone in the entire cavern complex heard my gun go off. And Iím not projecting bad motives to everyone else in the thread, Iím merely saying that the DM isnít failing simply because somebody decides that they like the look of a pirate who uses a hand crossbow instead of a gun. The DM also doesnít need to worry about making sure melee fighting is viable, either. How the party solves the problem is not up to the DM. If the DM sets a specific way to solve a problem i guarantee you one of the players will figure out something he never thought of and throw him off. Which types of weapons are used is a player choice, and if the DM Boggs himself down with trying to make sure certain weapon types get used, it just complicates things.

    Create a challenge. Let the players prepare however they see fit, and then let them tackle the challenge. Thatís it.

    And I guarantee you, you will not need to alter and change guns to make them more appealing when youíre dealing with ship to ship warfare. It will be a no brainer.
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  7. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    Hmm, yeah, railroading, or at least extreme versions of it, is bad, but nothing we're talking about here fits the bill. It's a term that tossed around a lot without everyone having a clear idea what it means.
    A lot of terms get tossed around without a clear definition of what they mean, to the point that I've become highly skeptical of jargon that consists of multiple everyday ordinary words which when put together form a new idea that means something special and technical. It seems to be the goal of a great many fields of study to coin one of these phrases, or just repurpose a single ordinary word, and use it to describe something, and have that phrase become common parlance in a sub-community, and I'm beginning to find the whole concept a bit corrosive and obnoxious. Invariably these phrases, because they are composed of ordinary words, will be encountered by the layman in a context outside of the essay the phrase was coined in, and the laymen will think that because they know the words they understand the term, when in fact what was meant is something completely different. It would be better to invent gibberish to describe the thing than compound together a phrase.

    Worse, sometimes it seems that the inventors of the jargon do so deliberately to corrode peoples understanding of the word's the phrase is made of, and then I feel like we're being taught Newspeak by a Ministry of Truth official.

    Anyway, I digress. The point I'm getting at is words like "railroading" and "metagaming" are words that could have specific meanings, but mostly they are used as catch-alls to mean, "Anything I don't like." I'm not sure that any good definition for either actually exists (although I could attempt a few, I'm not perfectly happy with any of them) which is why in my essay I didn't even attempt a Socratic definition but attempted to define "railroading" imperfectly by example.

    Here it is: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...or-Railroading.

    (As for how influential it is, it probably isn't, but I have on a couple of occasions had someone quote other writers about railroading, where the ideas seemed suspiciously similar to what I'd outlined in the essay.)

    The purpose of the essay was in part frustration at having conversations where if something didn't quite fit into what the person was familiar with, they'd engage in some mental gymnastics to call it railroading. Truth is, something may well be bad, without being either "metagaming" or "railroading", and I'd even go so far as to say "metagaming" and "railroading" aren't always bad. (Indeed, the more I've thought about metagaming, the more I've concluded that metagaming is generally more a positive than a negative, and if a negative tends to be something the GM and not the players are doing.)
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  8. #138
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    These clips exhibit what I have tried to do with regards to firearms in my game. For myself I run two separate initiative tracks for melee and ranged weapons simultaneously.




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  9. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radaceus View Post
    Matt Mercer's Gunslinger archetype is also worth considering if you are going to allow pistols
    Eh, you're better off taking the Battle Master subclass and simply giving the player gun proficiency and proficiency with Tinker Tools.

    The Gunslinger isn't actually very good at all. What we see from Percy on Critical Role is a result of the many attacks a Fighter gets, and abilities that the Battle Master also has, and the properties of the guns he built. The subclass is adding basically nothing that isn't in Battle Master, just different for the sake of difference, with the added drawbacks of not adding to damage like Manuevers do, requiring declaring before the attack (and thus wasting your "grit"), and many of the trick shots increasing your chance of misfire for no particular reason.

    not to mention the chance of completely breaking the gun every time you misfire, and the fact that the subclass only does anything at all for you if you have a gun, while a Battle Master could just pick up a sword and use their manuevers with the sword if their gun breaks.

    OH! And if you load the gun and hand it to your fellow in preperation for battle, they have a higher chance of misfire. Not simply if they load it, but even if you load it and then hand it to them.

    It's a subclass so worried about appearing overpowered that it ends up being inferior in every measure of balance to the battle master, while also having fewer options.

    The only things I'd take from the Gunslinger are;

    1, how the reload property works

    2, the explosive property

    3, the guns themselves

  10. #140
    Quote Originally Posted by Kobold Avenger View Post
    This is where genre conventions come in over other concerns, what's described here is mass combat and while I'd certainly would like to think about mass combat rules (which I'm not satisfied with any of the iterations from Unearthed Arcana), there's also the D&D (or any RPG) conceit that many character vs character encounters aren't going to be starting from 100's of feet away. If PCs are involved, then things are going to be within melee range relatively soon, and that's not counting the involvement of magic and all sorts of special things PCs can do.
    Doesn't matter how large combats are, for the type of combat you want you are several centuries too late when you use Napoleon as example.

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