Artificer UA to be released in February



log in or register to remove this ad

Firearms aren't something that you can just decide to invent from scratch. They are the result of many technological advances in metallurgy, engineering, chemistry etc. Only after all those were known were people able to consider the concept of a firearm as a practical weapon.
Eberron doesn't have those advances.

Of course they do. In fact, their "chemistry" and metallurgy is far beyond that of the civilizations in real life that were creating early firearms. They have alchemy that creates fire without sparks, bottled lightning, super glue, super glow sticks, etc. They're making special alloys that are far harder than steel, metals as hard as steel but much lighter, etc. They even have wood that's as hard as steel. The engineering and chemical tech of Eberron is way beyond what real world inventors had access too.

Its easy for us to look back through the history and say "Well, all they have to do is develop this, then that, and then they can make firearms." But the people actually doing so do not have that endpoint visible. Even more to the point, early firearms just weren't that effective. A nation would be more likely to be put resources into developing something they know will work, like improving the formulae for arcane foci to allow more people to be wandslingers.

While is makes perfect sense for nations to invest in something that can compete with trained wandslingers without requiring all of the training, we're not talking about nations arming whole armies yet though. It's literally just an artificer crafting an experimental weapon with a base of metallurgic and alchemical knowledge which is already off the charts compared to what was available to real life inventors. Copying and pasting trains and adding magic was probably a far bigger technological leap, and that airship has already sailed.

I'm pretty sure I've seen warforged with arm cannons in 3 or 3.5. Was that not a thing?

There were attached wand sheathes that were a warforged component. Warforged arm prosthetics were also a thing, and my human artificer had 2 artificial arms with built in wands.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Integrate crossbows and wands were a thing. Cannons weren't, at least not in, uh, canon. (Can't speak to what people did in their home games, of course.)

There was the also the Alchemical Launcher from 4e, which lobbed firebombs and other such grenades, but that's more like a catapult than a cannon.

Warforged components do some crazy things, like turn them into spider-tanks.
 

Even in a saturated low-magic setting like Eberron, most people can't cast damaging cantrips at-will. In fact, the presence of special arcaneers on the battlefield throwing magic around at non-magical soldiers makes a great argument for inventing firearms to level the playing field.

Whilst most soldiers may not know any damage cantrips, they can all, to a man, use a Wand of Magic Missiles, which can be made with existing technology and readily available materials. And your troops will be 100% accurate without needing any special training.
 

Whilst most soldiers may not know any damage cantrips, they can all, to a man, use a Wand of Magic Missiles, which can be made with existing technology and readily available materials. And your troops will be 100% accurate without needing any special training.

It's sort of interesting that this really only became a world building feature once 5e came out since OG 3.5 Eberron would have required spellcasting or a Use Magic Device check to cast from any wand. When the original Eberron was released, it didn't make a whole lot of sense to try and outdo cheap weapons with low level casters wielding expensive expendable items because they weren't that good for the cost, but that was the canon.

It's true, Magic Missile is the outlier in 5e since it doesn't require the user's casting mod, but it certainly doesn't make the musket obsolete since you're realistically only going to be able to fire 6 times per day without making your wand fizzle, per 400g you invest in a soldier. For 800g, a Magic Missile soldier can fire a total of 12 times a day without breaking his 2 wands while the musket user can shoot 1000 times for the same cost. The wand does more average damage per shot and obviously has more accuracy, but it isn't as cost efficient as arming soldiers who will probably want to shoot more than 6 times.

Besides, everything from magic trains to robots exist in Eberron because someone was messing around and inventing stuff. The argument could go one way or the other as far the viability of guns as a big military investment, but the idea that inventors who are literally creating factories and floating buildings might come up with ranged weapons that don't require the manual strength necessary to pull a bow or crank a crossbow is perfectly reasonable. Whether or not guns would become a common, viable military weapon doesn't necessarily preclude the idea that artificers are going to be messing around trying to come up with something stronger than an Uncommon wand.
 

It's unlikely a musketeer would get to fire his musket more than 6 times in a battle - chances are he would have either won or been overwhelmed long before - especially against enemies with magic missile wands, who would have time for around 4 shots whilst the musketeer was still reloading. Musketeers would carry enough powder and shot for maybe a dozen shots into battle - and that was being optimistic. And there is no way any musket would fire 1000 shots in it's lifetime - it's chamber would wear out or it would catastrophically misfire long before then. 100 shots maybe, if well maintained.

And without competitive primitive firearms, there is no incentive to develop more advanced versions, even supposing a gunpowder equivalent even exists on Eberron (using a tiny magic fireball as a propellent is much more plausible in the setting). Much more effective to set your artificers working on cheep Firebolt wands or crossbows that fire force bolts.
 


Herosmith14

First Post
Wahoo!

I liked the last UA Artificer, and I'm excited to see what they did to change it (hopefully wrapping the golem off into its own subclass).

I will say, I don't intend to play in Eberron all that much, do I don't mind if there's stuff that breaks theme, so long as it's good. As far as guns go, I subscribe to the philosophy of "it doesn't fit my setting, don't play it at this table." You're the DM, your rules.

Anyway, I'm eager to see the update, so I can think on how to integrate them into my campaign setting.
 


SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
Whilst most soldiers may not know any damage cantrips, they can all, to a man, use a Wand of Magic Missiles, which can be made with existing technology and readily available materials. And your troops will be 100% accurate without needing any special training.

This is the scariest most world altering thought I've heard of in ages. (And if they were all pointed at one target....)

/shudders.
 

Remove ads

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top