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Firearms in D&D

Desdichado

Adventurer
The DungeonMaster's Guide has some, although frankly, I think they suck. They're really bland and boring.

I'd go with either the Freeport rules (found in the Freeport Campaign setting, or Dragon Magazine Annual from 2001) or the Iron Kingdoms rules.
 

Ibram

Villager
the firearms IMC are all exotic weapons, and require multiple rounds to load.

Muskets deal 1d12 points of damage, have a range of 60ft, and a crit of x3, it takes 5 full rounds to reload a musket.

Pistols are the same, but with a 10ft range, take 4 rounds to reload, and can be fired in melee without provoking an AoO.

The feat Exotic Weapons Proficiency [Blackpowder weapons] covers the use of all firearms IMC.

The feat Firearms Drill 1-3 can be taken to reduce to reload time of the weapons (as the name implies it can be taken 3 times, each time reducing the reload time by 1 full round).
 

painandgreed

Villager
I would think that the big advantage of such weapons would be that their attacks would considered ranged touch attacks as they penetrated armor very well.
 

Ghostmoon

Villager
While not particularly realistic, I used the following firearms rules in my game:

Harnessing the Natural Laws: Technology in Your Game: http://www.montecook.com/images/Technology.pdf

The only change I made when I implemented them in my campaign was I cranked the damage die down by one degree (as Monte had done in an earlier version of the rules: Technology in Ptolus: http://www.montecook.com/arch_ptolus5.html). I wanted them to be worth the exotic weapon feat, but not overwhelming. So far, it has been working very well and I have found the rules to be elegant and simple to implement.
 

Taren Seeker

Villager
I suggest the Player's Guide to Arcanis. It has multiple types of Flintlocks, crafting rules, feats for use, and 3 prestige classes all designed to take advantage of them.

They walk the line between following some historical limitations and making them playable and attractive weapons when compared to Bows, Crossbows, etc.
 

LostSoul

Villager
If I were to make guns in D&D, I'd make them like crossbows with a STR bonus to attack rolls and damage. That STR bonus would be independant of the musketeer's own STR.

I'd make the reload time quite slow. From what I have read, firing three rounds a minute was good back during the Napoleonic wars.
 

mmadsen

Villager
Frankly, you could just use crossbow stats for an early matchlock arquebus -- it's not like the combat system is realistic to start with.

The Strategy Page's Infantry Missile Weapons in the Renaissance covers the topic in some detail:
By 1500 infantrymen had three different missile weapons available to them. There was the arquebus, a relatively light firearm manageable by one man, as well as the very common crossbow, and the longbow, which was mostly limited to use by the English. Technically the arquebus was inferior to both the other two weapons in range, accuracy, and rate of fire, while the longbow was generally superior to the crossbow.
[...]
The inferiority of the arquebus to the other two weapons was actually even greater than the data suggest. Since it was subject to fouling due to the build up of unburnt powder in the barrel, the effective range of the arquebus tended to decay after a few rounds. So it would certainly be reasonable to conclude that the arquebus was in every way inferior to the two older weapons. Technically, this was precisely the case.

But the arquebus possessed several advantages over its two rivals.

Relatively speaking the arquebus was cheaper than either the longbow, which had to be meticulously handcrafted from yew, and the crossbow, which required equally meticulous workmanship and rather expensive steel as well. The arquebus could be mass-produced by a foundry in fairly cheap cast iron. In addition, while the range, accuracy, and effectiveness of an arquebus round were inferior to those of the other weapons, an arquebusier could carry more ammunition than either of his competitors. Arquebus ammo weighed less than arrows or crossbow bolts, even after adding in the powder charge.
[...]
The arquebus had one more very important advantage over its rivals. It was perhaps the critical advantage in determining the rather rapid conversion of armies from archers to arquebusiers. A man required considerably less skill to become an arquebusier than either a crossbowman or a longbowman. A few weeks training was all that was necessary to turn out a fairly capable arquebusier. In contrast, it took years to properly train a the bowman, who had to develop considerable musculature before being able to use his weapon to its fullest capacity. This was particularly true of longbowmen, of whom there was a saying that in order to a good one you had to start with his grandfather.
Naturally, D&D's firearms rules get every one of those elements wrong. They make firearms harder to use (exotic weapon proficiency vs martial or simple), more expensive (500 gp vs 75 gp or 50 gp), with no lighter ammo (2 lbs vs 3 lbs or 1 lb for 10 "rounds"), but more damage (1d12 vs 1d8 or 1d10). And they give firearms and crossbows ludicrous rates of fire (five rounds per minute).
 
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Aaron2

Villager
mmadsen said:
In contrast, it took years to properly train a the bowman, who had to develop considerable musculature before being able to use his weapon to its fullest capacity. This was particularly true of longbowmen, of whom there was a saying that in order to a good one you had to start with his grandfather.
This statement always bugged me. Why does only the bow have to be trained to its "fullest capacity" but not the xbow or gun?


Aaron
 

mmadsen

Villager
Aaron2 said:
This statement always bugged me. Why does only the bow have to be trained to its "fullest capacity" but not the xbow or gun?
If your argument is with his use of fullest capacity, then we agree. If your argument is with the notion that a longbowman requires much, much more training than a crossbowman or arquebusier, then we disagree. You can't even use a reasonable longbow until you "develop considerable musculature" -- a yew longbow doesn't pull anything like a modern sporting bow -- and you don't simply point and shoot, since the arrow follows such an indirect arc, compared to a bolt or ball.
 

Testament

Villager
Taren Seeker said:
I suggest the Player's Guide to Arcanis. It has multiple types of Flintlocks, crafting rules, feats for use, and 3 prestige classes all designed to take advantage of them.

They walk the line between following some historical limitations and making them playable and attractive weapons when compared to Bows, Crossbows, etc.
Another reccomendation for Arcanis here. Plus, it has rules for modifying and misfiring.
 

David Howery

Explorer
I don't think I'd have flintlocks in a D&D game, as they were pretty far into the Industrial Age when they appeared... a little too advanced for the typical medieval setting of D&D. Matchlocks would be better.
Once, I adapted the 2E firearms damage rules, although I never got a chance to use them in a campaign. Basically, I rather liked the 'extended damage' rules of 2E, but not the way they were applied (a pistol had a 25% of doing extended damage, as it used a D4 for damage, but a rifle used a D8, so had a much smaller chance.. the opposite of what it should have been). So, basically I had two firearms damage ranges: 1d4 for pistols and 2d4 for long guns; if a 4 is rolled on any of the die, you roll again for extended damage, as per the 2E rules. This way, the long gun has a better chance of doing extended damage (logically, as they have bigger shot and charge). OTOH, it takes a loooooong time to reload them.....
 

Jack Daniel

Adventurer
I use an adaptation of the FFG "Sorcery & Steam" firearms rules, combined with a little 2e and a little d20 Modern.

Holdout pistol, flintlock: 1d8 damage, crit 20/x3, range 10', 1 shot, reload time 2 full rounds.
Holdout pistol, percussion-cap revolver: 1d8 damage, crit 20/x3, range 10', 4 shots, reload time 8 full rounds.
Holdout pistol, breech-loading revolver: 2d4 damage, crit 20/x3, range 10', 6 shots, reload time 1 full round (Single-action revolvers can be used with Rapid Shot and Manyshot; Double-action revolvers can be used with Rapid Shot and Double-Tap.).

Belt pistol, flintlock or percussion-cap revolver: 1d10 damage, crit 20/x3, range 20'
Belt pistol, breech-loading revolver: 2d6 damage, crit 20/x3, range 20'

Horse pistol, flintlock or percussion-cap revolver: 1d12 damage, crit 20/x3, range 30'
Horse pistol, breech-loading revolver: 2d8 damage, crit 20/x3, range 30'

Musketoon, flintlock or percussion-cap: 2d6 damage, crit 20/x3, range 50'
Carbine rifle, breech-loading: 2d8 damage, crit 20/x3, range 70'

Musket, flintlock or percussion-cap: 2d8 damage, crit 20/x3, range 90'
Rifle, breech-loading: 2d10 damage, crit 20/x3, range 110'

Light blunderbuss, flintlock: 2d8 damage, crit 19-20/x2, range 20', -1 damage each range increment beyond the first
Sawed-off shotgun, breech-loading: 2d10 damage, crit 19-20/x2, range 20', -1 damage each range increment beyond the first

Heavy blunderbuss, flintlock: 2d10 damage, crit 19-20/x2, range 30', -1 damage each range increment beyond the first
Shotgun, breech-loading: 2d12 damage, crit 19-20/x2, range 30', -1 damage each range increment beyond the first
 
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Wombat

Villager
Personally, if I were to add firearms to a D&D game, I would not go as far as flintlocks. Touchholes and matchlocks are fine, maybe wheellocks, but never all the way up. Equally I would leave them as smoothbores, rather than monkeying around with rifling.

Just trying to stay pre-17th century with the game technology ;)
 

beeber

Villager
i use the freeport firearms rules myself. they are also located in green ronin's "skull & bones" buccaneer d20 game. right now, only the gnome empire has 'em. that stigma, coupled with the requirement for the exotic weapons prof. feat, has kept my players away from them. so far. . . .
 

Frostmarrow

Villager
The one thing that makes firearms uselsess in a D&D-campaign is the noise they make. [Regardless of damage, range and reload times.] I emplore you to try a pistoleer or musketeer in a swashbuckling campaign. It never works. -You see, swashbuckling is a little bit like Shadowrun. What you do isn't necessarily legal and most of the time the authorities aren't on your side. It's not like adventurers have a license to kill. So, if your main schtick in combat is absolutly going to attract wandering monsters, enemy reinforcements, or the city guard, you are a goner.

It works in ship to ship combat, though. ;)
 
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James Heard

Villager
My game uses firearms, with paper cartridges. They're simple weapons and generally take the place of crossbows with similar characteristics. They're really not very common among players, I don't have anything like a pistol and there aren't an awful lot of magical varieties lurking around yet. Mostly you see cannons on boats, which is why I decided to have firearms in the first place. A lot of times it's very very hard to find ammunition in rural areas. Most of the PCs carrying guns are mages, with a single fighter character that someone experimented with once.
 

Staffan

Explorer
David Howery said:
Basically, I rather liked the 'extended damage' rules of 2E, but not the way they were applied (a pistol had a 25% of doing extended damage, as it used a D4 for damage, but a rifle used a D8, so had a much smaller chance.. the opposite of what it should have been).
Note that the pistol still does lower damage on average. Basically, the average of an "exploding" die is (half max value+1) + 1/(max value-1). So, the average of an exploding d4 is (2+1)+1/(4-1) = 3 1/3. The average of an exploding d8 is (4+1)+1/(8-1) = 5 1/7. The lower die gets a bigger boost out of the explosiveness (5/6 compared to 8/14), but unless you're rolling d1s the higher die will still have a better average.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
David Howery said:
I don't think I'd have flintlocks in a D&D game, as they were pretty far into the Industrial Age when they appeared... a little too advanced for the typical medieval setting of D&D. Matchlocks would be better.
Two things: 1) most players don't know the difference between matchlocks, wheelocks or flintlocks; "olde tymey" black powder weapons all being more or less the same to them, and 2) there's very little else about D&D that is "typical medieval"; so why not firearms?
 

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