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Firearms

jasper

Rotten DM
One of the problems with the Renaissance Firearms is that they reload too fast. Historically experts could fire a musket about 3 times per minute. That roughly translates into taking 2 rounds to reload. But for the sake of record-keeping and ease of play at tables reload time could be reduced to 1 round.

I don't they should take bonus actions to reload as I want firearm combat to involve swords as necessary backup weapons, and having bayonets see use.
So me historical experts taking damage from a fire ball. Most of the armour stuff in the game is bs too. Do like them don't let them in your campaign, or don't use them.
 

Psyzhran2357

Villager
I suggest musket 2 actions to reload, pistol 1 action to reload (but make the pistol a Light weapon), and increase musket damage to 2d8. A musket ball was a massive chunk of lead you definitely did not want to get hit by, but definitely not a practical skirmish weapon beyond the first shot! To be kind to high level warriors I'd let them use 1 attack for a reload action, so a Fighter-20 could potentially shoot a musket twice in 6 seconds! :eek:

Edit: And if you want heavy crossbows resembling historical ones they should be at least as slow as the musket, and do a lot more than 1d10 damage, likewise - I use 2d10 at short range (unlike a musket ball x-bow bolt effectiveness drops off fast with range). The 5e stats make them more like (slightly less) light crossbows.
I assume the reason this was not implemented RAW is because sitting out a turn doing nothing isn't fun. The way things are, you're at least getting a chance to get a hit in every turn.

Besides, the only classes that can use the DMG Renaissance firearms to their full potential are Rogues who took Weapon Master to get proficiency, and maybe Tempest, War, and Death Clerics using Divine Strike tk shore up the damage? Jacking up the reload time would punsih even them for using those firearms, which are pretty suboptimal for everybody else. Sure they have a bigger damage die, but almodt everybody who can use them also wants to use Extr
a Attack, and the ammo is way more expensive than it's worth.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Explorer
I generally find that the greatest issue with introducing (balanced) firearms to a setting is rarely the firearm itself.
- Its making gunpowder readily available to the PCs that tends to have worse knock-on effects than just reskinning a hand crossbow.
 

S'mon

Hero
I assume the reason this was not implemented RAW is because sitting out a turn doing nothing isn't fun. The way things are, you're at least getting a chance to get a hit in every turn.

Besides, the only classes that can use the DMG Renaissance firearms to their full potential are Rogues who took Weapon Master to get proficiency, and maybe Tempest, War, and Death Clerics using Divine Strike tk shore up the damage? Jacking up the reload time would punsih even them for using those firearms, which are pretty suboptimal for everybody else. Sure they have a bigger damage die, but almodt everybody who can use them also wants to use Extra Attack, and the ammo is way more expensive than it's worth.
Well for a renaissance setting the weapons need to be a lot cheaper, and count as simple weapons. PCs should be using a brace of pistols, and I wouldn't expect a PC to carry a musket, it's more something you'd see an enemy squad carrying.
 

Scott Graves

Villager
I generally find that the greatest issue with introducing (balanced) firearms to a setting is rarely the firearm itself.
- Its making gunpowder readily available to the PCs that tends to have worse knock-on effects than just reskinning a hand crossbow.
Yeah... black powder is dangerous stuff to play with. However a DM should require them to spend a lot of time studying how to blow things up. It's not as easy as setting a keg of powder in the middle of a bridge and setting it off.
 

David Howery

Explorer
The only time I ever used firearms was in a 2E campaign, where the PCs ended up with some wheellock pistols after a sojourn into Realmspace. I had them pretty simple... 1D4 damage, ignore armor at close range, 1 shot per round (considering that a 2E round was a full minute, reloading inside that space was reasonable). Just to simplify things, I had the PCs buy 'cartridges' (those paper/linen things they used back in the day) just like buying arrows or bolts, sold in packs of 20 just like them. Not incredibly accurate, but it did the job. Of course, different D&D systems will have to change it around (IIRC, a 5E round is 6 seconds, which is incredibly fast for reloading)…
 

Satyrn

Villager
When I converted the Borderlands video game guns into D&D, I wound up refluffling the manufacturers into legendary dwarven smiths. Doing that, and wanting to keep gunpowder out of the setting for reasons similar to what @Cap'n Kobold mentioned, made me rework how the guns actually fuction so that they were more dwarvish than real-world guns.

I wound up calling them "Dwarfbows" and they are built with the typical dwarf's blend of clockwork gears and magical enhancement. When the trigger is pulled, the clockwork gears swing a miniature hammer, the hammer strikes a dart loaded into the launch chamber, and the force of this strike is magically amplified, launching the dart with lethal power.

And instead of firing with a bang, they sound like a hammer striking an anvil. They fire with a clang.
 

Kobold Avenger

Explorer
I assume the reason this was not implemented RAW is because sitting out a turn doing nothing isn't fun. The way things are, you're at least getting a chance to get a hit in every turn.
I'm fine with having a round or 2 sitting out reloading, there's a reason pistols were often used with swords and muskets had bayonets. I want to encourage such things.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Registered User
Don't forget firearms can be used by enemies, and a goblin with a rifle from the top of a tree is a higher challenge and it XPs reward should be different.

When we talk about firearms and d20 I say the "Cobretti effect" because in the movie "Cobra" Brigitte Nielsen's character couldn't face night slasher but only to hide and run away like in a survival horror game, but Sylvester Stallone with enough weapons, and ammo, could kill all the members of the New Dawn cult.

This isn't only about gunpowder, also we have to talk about crossbows what can reload itself. The biopunk tech, machines by living tissues are canon in Athas, Dark Sun, by the halflings (rhul-thaun) lifeshape tech. Do you remember the tyranid weapons from Warhammer 40.000 or the yuuzhan vongs from Star Wars legends? In the real life the pistol shrimp can kill "firing bubbles". Let's imagine spellcaster using reverse engineering to create a weapon like the gristle gun in the Chinese restaurant scene from the movie "ExistEnZ".

Players and DM create their homebred countermeasures against firearms, for example a little piece of ectoplasm to block a canon, illusory magic like the equivalent of smoke grenades, or summoning swarns. In D&D some supernatural factions (dragons, giants, lord feys, sentient undeads, clerchy of war gods) don't want to allow them.
 

Satyrn

Villager
Let's imagine spellcaster using reverse engineering to create a weapon like the gristle gun in the Chinese restaurant scene from the movie "ExistEnZ".
Huh. I'm probably the only other person here who has seen that movie, but I don't remember that scene.
 

Satyrn

Villager
Wow. It took only 8 minutes for me to be proven wrong.

But surely, we're the only 3 people who have seen eXistenZ
 

Azzy

Explorer
I hope the OP ignores most of this thread, and just uses the weapons in the DMG and doesn't try to make them "realistic".
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
I hope the OP ignores most of this thread, and just uses the weapons in the DMG and doesn't try to make them "realistic".
Agreed. And I think @jmartkdr really hit it on the head when we pointed out that,

The problem with firearms in DnD is they can really be only one of the following three things:

1. Balanced for gameplay,

2. Historically accurate,

3. True to the Hollywood tropes of guns.

So you need to pick one and run with that.

As for making firearms realistic, that can be fine, and it can be fun if you're into that. Big warning though, not everyone wants to have that much realism in their game. And, if you do make them more realistic, don't expect a character to actually reload a gun in combat (especially if it's a pistol). But, if you go realistic you might want to give the gun advantage on attack rolls against armored foes to play up their armor-piercing quality (and to really make it actually worth something to use one, and to consider reloading it).
 
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Kobold Avenger

Explorer
I hope the OP ignores most of this thread, and just uses the weapons in the DMG and doesn't try to make them "realistic".
The OP asked one question that could be answered right away, it's the nature of internet to go off on tangents after that.
 

Kobold Avenger

Explorer
As for making firearms realistic, that can be fine, and it can be fun if you're into that. Big warning though, not everyone wants to have that much realism in their game. And, if you do make them more realistic, don't expect a character to actually reload a gun in combat (especially if it's a pistol). But, if you go realistic you might want to give the gun advantage on attack rolls against armored foes to play up their armor-piercing quality (and to really make it actually worth something to use one, and to consider reloading it).
There's limitation on how 5e is and there's no equivalent of D20 Modern to compare against like there was in 3e. But generally I think reloading a gun could be seen as wasting an action. I realize that beyond 1 action to reload (and that's being generous), the only longer length of time that's worth bothering with is "out of combat", based on all the problems with tracking which round someone is on reloading.

I know the strong need for specialization and optimization makes the idea of a character mixing ranged combat and melee combat seem sub-optimal and totally undesirable, even though that's really was a thing where there was an opening salvo of gunshots and then everyone charged into melee with swords or bayonets or using muskets as clubs. And it might play up some of the more unusual combination weapons that existed like Axe-Guns or Rapier-Pistols, especially if they're the types of things that non-humans are way more into then Humans ever were.
 

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