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Firearms in TB

Fenris

Villager
Ok, finally picked up the print version of TB and got a chance to really dig into it. It is everything I wanted it to be. Enough of GT and MH along with the familiarity of 3.5. This will be my preferred choice of game from now on. Thanks Wulf and Glassjaw.

Now one question for the group. I am going to run a pirate style game, in TB. I want to include firearms. Now I want my firearms to be much like they were historically and in the movies, fire once them use it as a club or draw your sword. However I do want to let the rare PC who wants to really specialize make it work every turn. I already know how Wulf would feel about using gold to limit the availability so let's toss that out. Ranged weapons aren't covered in the TB analysis but we can make some extrapolations.

Seems like for a simple weapon (yes I think firearms should be simple) going up a time increment (light crossbow to heavy crossbow) increases the damage. I want a firearm to have that bang for the buck but be slow, my base line is a 4 round reload. Three moves up the damage chart shows a 3d6. Make that the base line for say a musket and drop it one to 2d8 for a pistol. I am not very interested in making more firearms than a pistol and a musket.

That should be pretty good for a shop keeper to have one ready for a robber and enough that a PC will want one or two to fire before melee starts. Now I would make a pistol not provoke an AoO. For muskets should it provoke or simple not be able to be used against an adjacent foe? I was thinking ranges about 30 ft for pistols and 120 ft for muskets, seem fair?

So here were my two ideas on reloading. Opinions on how each would work in TB welcome.

Either have a series of feats, firearms reload, improved, greater that lowers the reload time to 2 rounds, 1 round, and a move action for one firearm. That should let a dedicated PC fire every round. But I can't see it being effective at lower levels or even at higher levels giving up the iterative attacks. But it does fit the thematic material.

The other idea was to start at 4 rounds and impose a -2 to hit penalty for each round less than that is spent reloading. A -8 to hit is pretty bad at low levels but so as big a deal at high levels.

So other than me over thinking this :p any thoughts?
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
Ok, finally picked up the print version of TB and got a chance to really dig into it. It is everything I wanted it to be. Enough of GT and MH along with the familiarity of 3.5. This will be my preferred choice of game from now on. Thanks Wulf and Glassjaw.
Thanks! Glad you are enjoying it. Spread the word! ;)

I am going to run a pirate style game, in TB.
Sweet. I love me some pirate gaming.

Side bar: Just curious - are you running TB "as-is" or are you tweaking anything to make it more "piratey"?

I want to include firearms. <snip> So other than me over thinking this :p any thoughts?
Firearms aren't my specialty per se - I'll get Wulf's eyes on this - but it seems to me that there already exists a lot of firearm systems for d20. I recommend checking out Skull & Bones from Green Ronin or even Grim Tales.

You don't really have to worry about compatibility (too much) with TB. I would just use an existing system so as not to create more work for yourself.

It probably doesn't but I hope that helps. :p
 

Wulf Ratbane

Villager
Don't over-design. Keep it simple.

Firearms should not provoke an AoO to fire. Probalby should provoke to reload.

I don't think having a reload time of 4 rounds will do much for you from a Gamist sense. A fight's basically over in 4 rounds-- and yet making it shorter seems to short. (The Simulationist would tell you to find out, historically, how long they took to reload...)

I'd make the reload time long enough that your pirates will want to keep TWO pistols in their belt. (And consider allowing a double-barrel variant.)

I'd also consider either increasing the damage outright, or making them very deadly via a low massive damage threshold. Firearms don't really work very well on a hit point system because it will cause you and your players all sorts of headaches with verisimilitude. Basically, I'd force a massive damage save against any damage that exceeds CON.

If the save is made, assume it was a grazing hit. (For low level opponents, massive damage notwithstanding, 3d6 or 2d8 is still deadly outright from normal damage.)

Also, for the record, I don't think there's enough distance between 3d6 (10.5 average, VERY average due to the 3 die bell curve) and 2d8 (9 average).

Use multiple dice for weapons that you specifically want to have very reliable but average damage; use big, single dice for damage that you want to be very linear/swingy.

My instinct would be to use 2 dice for all firearms; bigger dice for longarms; and 3 dice for "rifled" or otherwise high-quality weapons.

Keep in mind that "reliable damage" does not necessarily mean "accurate weapon." A shotgun-like musket with 6d4 damage is very reliably "deadly" despite the fact that the average damage is going to cluster heavily around 15 damage.
 

Fenris

Villager
Ok, after reading some more and pondering quite a bit I think I have my answer. Now I am shooting for a Pirates of the Caribbean movie type feel.

I think I will go with pistol doing 2d8 range 30 ft, musket doing 2d12 range 120 ft. 4 rounds to load. There will be a double barrel pistol available but each barrel fires separately (Good for those with two actions).

Firearms, and only firearms will trigger a massive damage save, where the threshold is Con. Additionally I will use armor as DR. I figure that gives armor wearers a boost against having to make that save.

I had thought about adding in a HD variant, allowing the MDT raise with level. maybe Con + 1 for every 3 levels you have? So that higher level characters are harder (but not impossible) to drop with the one shot.
 

ValhallaGH

Villager
Or maybe only NPCs have to worry about getting one-shotted by guns. This way you won't be accidentally killing PCs in round one, and you control who they can and can't one-shot among the opposition.

Dramatic immunity to one-shot gun death is a standard part of fiction (especially the Pirates movies). Embrace it and relish the shift in flavor.

Good luck.
 

Fenris

Villager
Or maybe only NPCs have to worry about getting one-shotted by guns. This way you won't be accidentally killing PCs in round one, and you control who they can and can't one-shot among the opposition.

Dramatic immunity to one-shot gun death is a standard part of fiction (especially the Pirates movies). Embrace it and relish the shift in flavor.

Good luck.
yeah but I WANT them to be scared of guns. If they weren't Wulf would take away my neophyte Rat Bastard DM badge.
 

ValhallaGH

Villager
yeah but I WANT them to be scared of guns. If they weren't Wulf would take away my neophyte Rat Bastard DM badge.
Oh! :devil:

In that case, try this.
Guns do a lot of damage. 2d4+5 to 2d12+25 (d6+10, d8+15, d10+20) depending upon the bore, barrel length, and standard powder charge.
Guns are mean. They have a 19-20 threat range, and a critical multiplier of x3.
Guns are easy to use, requiring a simple weapon proficiency.
Guns take time to reload. Generally three to six full-round actions.
Guns are deadly. If a firearm deals damage equal to the target's CON score plus size modifier (use the Intimidate modifiers) then the target must make a Massive Damage save.

Does that work for you? Note that it's not really balanced, just mean as can be without being "I win!" I didn't address armor piercing issues (though you can; I'd recommend firearms ignoring half of the AC bonus from non-ballistic armor), or systemically ignored things like bleeding.

Good luck.
 

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