D&D (2024) Make firearms "magic items"

Shiroiken

Legend
Why don’t simply make a section in the PHB to explain what is the concept of a setting, and explain that some game elements may be missing or add in a specific setting. Elements which may include, armor, weapon, spell, feat, class, sub class, background, race.
Because that would make sense...
 

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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
I mean, doesn't every DM tailor their campaign and deny some things allowed in "da books"? If we're going to start putting warning labels on things for "reasons", where does it end?

If Simulacrum doesn't have a warning label, I don't see why guns need to be singled out.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
This is similar to my own opinion that items, weapons, and armor need a technology level, which helps explain why some are just better/worse than others. Crappy weapons like clubs and bottom tier armors could be found in the most primitive cultures, but almost nobody would use them outside of that unless they had no choice. On the other end of the spectrum, firearms, rapiers, and top tier armors should only be found in the most technologically advanced cultures, explaining why they're better than most other options. This allows the DM to easily limit what's available for purchase to PCs.

I'm sorry to say this is... pretty much false.


People were still using clubs and literal just branches long into the Medieval period, well after guns and swords and "superior" weapons were available. Because they were still effective. Painting evidence for historical accuracy at around 7 minutes. There is a section in the first five minutes about guns in the medieval period too.

Yes, the DM can limit things to fit their setting. But they can always do this. Is the shortsword made of bronze, iron, or steel? Because all of those are very different, but the actual answer DnD gives is... it doesn't matter. Which is frustrating if you want to have a "historically accurate" game, but the core game isn't historically accurate. It isn't realistic. It is DnD fantasyland, and guns are a part of that for many people. And anyone who doesn't want guns... doesn't need a warning label or them put in a special category. Because they know that they don't want them.
 

Horwath

Legend
1. Firearms should be simple weapons, with ALL crossbows while we are at it.
It really takes very little time to learn to aim with firearms.

2. For simplicity sake, firearms should use same attack/AC mechanics like all other ranged weapons.

3. Early firearms were quite inaccurate, I would give a simple pistol range of 20/60ft and a two-handed musket 40/120 max, maybe even just 30/90ft.

4. Balance more damage with shorter range and/or reload time. 1 Action for reload at least. Gunner feat could reduce that to Bonus action.

5. Most if not all firearms would be with bayonet to double up as melee weapon.
Pistol as a dagger for d4 damage, musket as a spear for d6 with reach.
 

In my campaign, "exotic" weapons are special weapons (fullblade, greatbow, chain whip, et al) that are mundane but not widely available and are often made from unusual materials. They're still martial or simple, but not necessarily magical, and are more powerful than the default PHB weapons chart. They're not found in any old weapon store, and that allows me as a DM to create a category of item that's between mandane PHB options and full-on magic gear. Firearms fit in this category.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
When one of my players found the "rifle" in one of the crypts beneath Castle Ravenloft... I knew I wanted it to be better than the standard weapons in the weapons table. So indeed I just made it a "magic item". I took the stats of the Wand of Lightning Bolts, turning the attack from lightning damage to piercing damage, and then kept everything else the same. Same damage, same number of "shots" per day before you had to "clean the weapon" the next morning, the bullets could go through people and hit everyone in a 5' wide column. Easy-peasy, and it made the special weapon actually fun for the player to use.

The way I figured it... what was the point of having a "rifle" in the game that was barely better than a crossbow? Especially when spellcasters could fire ranged attacks doing 8d6 worth of damage and no one would bat an eye at that? So why not let the player enjoy themselves, was my feeling.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
When one of my players found the "rifle" in one of the crypts beneath Castle Ravenloft... I knew I wanted it to be better than the standard weapons in the weapons table. So indeed I just made it a "magic item". I took the stats of the Wand of Lightning Bolts, turning the attack from lightning damage to piercing damage, and then kept everything else the same. Same damage, same number of "shots" per day before you had to "clean the weapon" the next morning, the bullets could go through people and hit everyone in a 5' wide column. Easy-peasy, and it made the special weapon actually fun for the player to use.

The way I figured it... what was the point of having a "rifle" in the game that was barely better than a crossbow? Especially when spellcasters could fire ranged attacks doing 8d6 worth of damage and no one would bat an eye at that? So why not let the player enjoy themselves, was my feeling.
This is the way.

I've reskinned a Wand of Magic Missiles in the same manner, to make a pistol. Clean, easy, and fun.

I've since adopted some more detailed rules for flintlock firearms from Seas of Vodari, but I do miss the elegance of that one pistol.
 
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