Making guns palatable in high fantasy [Design Theory]

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
1) historically, they existed in the time period echoed in most high fantasy.

Are you sure about that? Are you sure you aren't taking that date from the armor?

Let's remove the heavy armor, for a moment. That armor is, as others have noted, is 15th-16th century stuff: Renaissance era.

Robin Hood is set in the days of Richard Lionheart - that's the 1100s, aka 12th century. Not a fantasy, but a referent of relevant archetypes and tropes, yes?

Charlemagne (from whom we get the term "Paladin") had his nights in the 700s and 800s.

Saint George (from whom we get much of our dragon-slaying penchant) is often depicted in heavy armor. But, for cyin' out loud, he died in 303!

We get some of our other dragon-slaying tradition from Siegfried - oldest manuscript for him is 1200s, and there are people mentioned who are variously dated to the 6th century.

The oldest manuscript of Beowulf is from the 800s.

King Arthur (once you strip off the armor layered on by Romantic-era authors) is a figure best placed somewhere around the 6th century, give or take. Certainly the socio-political situation he's dealing with is not Renaissance Britain!

While Tolkien is not the end-all, be-all of high fantasy, but he's a pretty solid benchmark for the game, and sure as heck the War of the Ring isn't taking place in the equivalent of the Renaissance.

Dragonlance had Solamnic Knights in heavy armor, but for most other purposes, wasn't the War of the Lance set in something a lot more like Dark Ages?

You see the trend, here?

Now, there will certainly be fantasies solidly placed in something like the Renaissance. But it seems to me that most high fantasy is actually more like Middle Ages (in social structures, politics, and economics), with heavy armor tacked on - the armor isn't a telltale of the age, it is itself an anomaly.

You wonder why guns seem anomalous? That's because the situation depicted in most high fantasies really isn't from the era of the gun! Adding a gun isn't adjusting high fantasy to match its real-world era. It is adding another anomaly.
 
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Dausuul

Legend
The way I see it, there are three main ways to approach firearms in a D&D campaign:

1. No such animal. This is pretty simple.

2. Firearms exist, but take a very long time to load. I would approach this by giving them excellent stats but prohibitive (2-3 rounds at least) reload times. Thus, the standard tactic would be to fire your gun once, then draw your sword for melee.

3. Firearms exist and can be reloaded relatively quickly. In this case, they should be treated more or less like any other ranged weapon.

I prefer #1 or #2, myself. #3 makes it feel like there's no difference between a musket and a bow, and that's kind of dull. #2 provides a clear difference between the weapons. Guns are for melee types who need a single-shot ranged option, and for casters who want a nonmagical sidearm for use in a pinch. Bows are for dedicated ranged fighters.

(Regarding the comparison with crossbows, I think crossbows ought to go the #2 route as well, to be honest. I don't understand why it's necessary to have crossbow specialists who can match the rate of fire of a longbow. If people want crossbow specialists, can't they do something different?)
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Are you sure about that? Are you sure you aren't taking that date from the armor?

Let's remove the heavy armor, for a moment. That armor is, as others have noted, is 15th-16th century stuff: Renaissance era.

Robin Hood is set in the days of Richard Lionheart - that's the 1100s, aka 12th century. Not a fantasy, but a referent of relevant archetypes and tropes, yes?

Charlemagne (from whom we get the term "Paladin") had his nights in the 700s and 800s.

Saint George (from whom we get much of our dragon-slaying penchant) is often depicted in heavy armor. But, for cyin' out loud, he died in 303!

We get some of our other dragon-slaying tradition from Siegfried - oldest manuscript for him is 1200s, and there are people mentioned who are variously dated to the 6th century.

The oldest manuscript of Beowulf is from the 800s.

King Arthur (once you strip off the armor layered on by Romantic-era authors) is a figure best placed somewhere around the 6th century, give or take. Certainly the socio-political situation he's dealing with is not Renaissance Britain!

While Tolkien is not the end-all, be-all of high fantasy, but he's a pretty solid benchmark for the game, and sure as heck the War of the Ring isn't taking place in the equivalent of the Renaissance.

Dragonlance had Solamnic Knights in heavy armor, but for most other purposes, wasn't the War of the Lance set in something a lot more like Dark Ages?

You see the trend, here?

Now, there will certainly be fantasies solidly placed in something like the Renaissance. But it seems to me that most high fantasy is actually more like Middle Ages (in social structures, politics, and economics), with heavy armor tacked on - the armor isn't a telltale of the age, it is itself an anomaly.

You wonder why guns seem anomalous? That's because the situation depicted in most high fantasies really isn't from the era of the gun! Adding a gun isn't adjusting high fantasy to match its real-world era. It is adding another anomaly.
The earliest depiction of a gunpowder weapon i know of is the illustration of a fire-lance on a mid-10th century silk banner from Dunhuang. The Tê-An Shou Chhêng Lu, an account of the siege of De'an in 1132, records that Song forces used fire-lances against the Jurchens.

And gunpowder itself was invented in the 9th century, The first mention of a mixture resembling gunpowder appeared in Taishang Guaizu Danjing Mijue by Qing Xuzi (@ 808AD); the first reference to its incendiary properties is in a Taoist text tentatively dated to the mid-9th century AD.

So that gets us pretty far back. Besides...even tossing out the armor, you have other things in the game and much genre fiction that push timelines ahead instead of back: rapiers, for instance. Certain types of transport, especially ships. Even certain castle designs. Most fantasy writers weren't really historians, after all.

And the thing is, in the real world, just because some form of new weapon, armor ship or castle design showed up, doesn't mean the old stuff got abandoned. Until necessity forced them, the old stuff kept getting used, since it was still generally good enough.
 

Glade Riven

Adventurer
Well, the twisted logic of "no guns, even primative guns" and yet lasers are acceptable (wand of scorching ray) kinda bugs me. The veil between scifi and fantasy is a thin one, but a passionatly defended one. At least until gnomes show up.

That thin fantasy coating is what makes Wand of Scorching Ray fantasy instead of scifi. Hense, what I'm trying to do is add that same schlack to guns.

While we're talking fun facts of the real world, most bullets fired in actual combat do not contribute to kills - those shots are to pin down the enemy and make them duck behind cover.

Since several people seem intent on pointing out the expense of Wizards and the training time for guns...just how much time does it take to train someone to use a wand of fireballs or scorching ray? Considering that a rogue off the street can figure it out, it can't be too hard. That's a nice "clip" of 50 shots per wand, no reload times, and a simple point interface.

Gotta go...I'll "catch up" with some of the other posts shortly.
 

A

amerigoV

Guest
Ah, you see, that's not a, "problem with the game," unless you define, "does not follow real-world physics and biology very closely," to be a problem.

...

This is what I mean by it being a genre issue. In the high fantasy genre, heroes are incredibly difficult to kill, by real-world standards. They're all Conans and Rambos and John McClanes. The system is designed to support that - is that then a "problem"? No. It is a design goal!

OTOH even Rambo would hesitate if someone was pointing a gun at him (with him in the open). Not in a fantasy world -- so they must be Rambo Paragons!

D&D has always been built around swords and sorcery. Its interesting that the system always forced you "build" an effective archer when most sane people would prefer to kill things at range. Its a D&D trope (but then again, I think D&D has become its own genre, thus a problem attempting to heavily modifying it).
 

Derren

Hero
Since several people seem intent on pointing out the expense of Wizards and the training time for guns...just how much time does it take to train someone to use a wand of fireballs or scorching ray? Considering that a rogue off the street can figure it out, it can't be too hard. That's a nice "clip" of 50 shots per wand, no reload times, and a simple point interface.

Gotta go...I'll "catch up" with some of the other posts shortly.

In 3E you did need to sink quite a lot of skillpoints into Use Magic Device which was rogue exclusive and still unreliable.
And as magic item the costs are still very high for every wand charge. Gunpowder weapons are much cheaper.

In the end the effectivenes of guns over magic items depends on the size of armies. The more soldiers you have the better is it to use gunpowder weapons because of useability and costs.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So that gets us pretty far back.

Yep. Far back. And also several thousand miles away, and in a different culture than the typical English-language high fantasy. So, I'm not sure that's relevant.

Besides...even tossing out the armor, you have other things in the game and much genre fiction that push timelines ahead instead of back: rapiers, for instance.

I don't argue that there aren't anomalies all over the place. My point is that "the armor was there, so it is equivalent to this year in history, so there should be guns", tends to fall apart. Whether or not other anomalies exist, the basic setting for most of the standard tropes looks more Middle Ages to me.

Certain types of transport, especially ships. Even certain castle designs. Most fantasy writers weren't really historians, after all.

True. There's lot of anomalies. But, let's face it, most of them are window dressing (almost literally - they're visual, and that's about it). The author names the wrong kind or structure of ship. Big whoop - they still don't pull a Magellan, even if they're using the right kind of ship to do so. And the world doesn't have DaVinci or Copernicus, or massive, economy changing trade that creates the Medicis.

The author names the wrong kind of armor - but rather than leading troops with primitive muskets, they're still clashing with sword and shield.

Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that the whole desire to add guns is that they *not* be mere window dressing, but that they be effective, and functional, not just visual. That's the point at which you risk infringement on the fictional tropes. Not that I'm a trope purist - I'm running Deadlands right now, which is all about trope mash-ups. The thing is that when I sit down to play a game, I'm enacting a fiction, not re-enactign a history. The condition of my tropes is more important than the condition of my historical accuracy. So, telling me, "But it was there in history!" does not give me confidence that the appropriate thought about what it means for the fiction has yet taken place.

And, all in all, I find the argument for guns based on historical accuracy or consistency is weak (and ironic) when you are only asking for consistency for your one favorite item, but are fine with the rest of the anomalies. Inconsistent consistency?
 
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Derren

Hero
Yep. Far back. And also several thousand miles away, and in a different culture than the typical English-language high fantasy. So, I'm not sure that's relevant.

European Hand Cannons are 14th century (About 1312 they came to England), maybe even 13th century.
Cannons fall in the same century (early 14th, 13th when you count islamic countries. And a lot earlier for China)
I don't argue that there aren't anomalies all over the place. My point is that "the armor was there, so it is equivalent to this year in history, so there should be guns", tends to fall apart. Whether or not other anomalies exist, the basic setting for most of the standard tropes looks more Middle Ages to me.

The problem is that the existence of guns played a very important part in the development of those armors. Without guns you would not have thick full plate armor. And there is nothing else in D&D which would promt armors to develop the same way. Actually for D&D it would make sense to wear less or more agile armor becuse there are so many things which can simply crush you (dragons, giants) or bypass armor (magic).
And a lot of other things depend on advanced armor. Two handed weapons and bastard swords were only invented after full plate armor reduced the need of a shield. A lot of typical D&D weapons were only invented at the same time or after cannons. There are not just a few anomalies but actually quite a lot.

The issue is simply that D&D is not "vikings with crude axes" but "knights in shining armor". And to even et knights in shining armor you also need guns from which exactly this armor protects.

And about your tales,they had been created in earlier ages, but by now everyone associates them with the late middle ages. The modern society as romanticed those tales and the "romantic idea of the middle ages" is set in the high to late middle age, meaning 15th century and onward.

PS: There is gunpowder in Lord of the Rings...
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Yep. Far back. And also several thousand miles away, and in a different culture than the typical English-language high fantasy. So, I'm not sure that's relevant.

Then we need to toss the D&D monk out as well, because- inaccurate though it may be- it most closely resembles the fantastic Eastern martial monk tradition, not the clergymen of the West at all.

Likewise, for consistency, certain weapons need to be tossed from "Western" fantasy fiction & RPGs: kukris, shuriken (and almost any "monk weapon" except the quarterstaff), repeating crossbow (Hawk the Slayer, OH NOES!), etc.
 
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Hassassin

First Post
Since several people seem intent on pointing out the expense of Wizards and the training time for guns...just how much time does it take to train someone to use a wand of fireballs or scorching ray? Considering that a rogue off the street can figure it out, it can't be too hard. That's a nice "clip" of 50 shots per wand, no reload times, and a simple point interface.

Supposing a first level trained user in 3.5 there's still a quite large chance to fail. If you train a normal soldier (a first level warrior) you'd probably only have +2 UMD for a 1/10 chance to succeed - not worth it. So you'd need specialized troops (experts) for this purpose. Let's say Cha 14, 4 ranks, and only 14-20 succeed - about two in three chance to misfire. There's also a 1/20 chance of "jamming" the wand for the day. Even if successful, the attack roll (with scorching ray) may miss.

A full fireball wand costs over 11k. Let's say an average of 6k for procuring used wands. Barded heavy cavalry costs 400 (heavy warhorse) + 800 (splint barding) = 1.2k on top of whatever the rider needs. So for the price of five heavy horse you'd get one wand. Not terribly expensive. Actually, equipping each rider costs at least 200 gp, which you'd only pay once for the wandman, so four to one is closer.

I don't think scorching ray is worth it, since a CL 3 magic missile wand is half the cost, has no chance of missing the target, has longer range, and is still powerful enough to have a decent chance of killing first level targets. Such wands cost (used) about as much as cavalry.

Same goes for wand of cure light wounds, of course. You get more "clerics" by training some soldiers to use wands. Better yet, give one both a cure wand and a fireball wand and you have a versatile wizard/cleric. Since CLW is so cheap you'd be insane not to give one of those to everyone you give a fireball wand. I definitely think these troops should be a part of armies.

Yes, wands would have interesting consequences for war. :hmm:

I really wish there was a proper, well thought writeup of what D&D warfare looks like. Or is there? I haven't seen any.
 

Derren

Hero
Then we need to toss the D&D monk out as well, because- inaccurate though it may be- it most closely resembles the fantastic Eastern martial monk tradition, not the clergymen of the West at all.

Likewise, for consistency, certain weapons need to be tossed from "Western" fantasy fiction & RPGs: kukris, shuriken (and almost any "monk weapon" except the quarterstaff), repeating crossbow (Hawk the Slayer, OH NOES!), etc.

Exactly. When we also remove all weapons which were invented after cannons and guns the weapon list would be quite short indeed.
- Longsword
- Shortsword
- Dagger
- Axe
- Spear
- Bow
- Crossbow
- Club

I agree with Umbran that the early middle ages would fit very well with the concept of D&D where you have low populations and wandering bands of mercenaries. But that is simply not how D&D is used. Just look at the Forgotten Realms. Even after all the catastrophes in 4E it is still high middle ages (and also has guns)
And even in "generic" settings you have standing armies, a city guard, sewers and other "modern" stuff.

Yes, wands would have interesting consequences for war. :hmm:

Imo they wouldn't change that much. Too expensive for mass production. Just think how many crossbowmen you could equip with that kind of money. But if you have heroes on your sides that would change radically (or you are just short on manpower)
I really wish there was a proper, well thought writeup of what D&D warfare looks like. Or is there? I haven't seen any.

Depending on the magic level it would either look like WW1 or nothing would change at all.
I think there was a 3E book about mass combat which touched that topic but it only acknowledged the WW1 scenario and described only the mediveal one.
 
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Hassassin

First Post
Imo they wouldn't change that much. Too expensive for mass production. Just think how many crossbowmen you could equip with that kind of money. But if you have heroes on your sides that would change radically (or you are just short on manpower)

But I think I showed that they aren't all that expensive, compared to the cost of cavalry and armor. Magic missile or scorching ray might not offer much in comparison to crossbows (they just ignore armor...), but area effects and utility magic fill very different niches.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The problem is that the existence of guns played a very important part in the development of those armors.

Well, try this then - somewhere several hundred million years ago, there was a far more important historical development, that led to the fact that there's no such thing as a functional six-limbed vertebrate! Dragons and pegasi don't match real-world history. Do we have to toss them?

If you can say evolutionary history need not apply to the fictional world, why not say that technological history also need not apply?

Heck, let us be honest - in the history of the game, aggregated over players, would we not expect the most common use of heavy armor has been on some fighter type, on foot, in a dungeon crawl? Never mind that that armor was not intended for or typically used by infantry, much less for small unit tactical incursions in enclosed spaces!

But we're going to quibble that the presence of armor requires guns? Really?

Then we need to toss the D&D monk out as well, because- inaccurate though it may be- it most closely resembles the fantastic Eastern martial monk tradition, not the clergymen of the West at all.

You seem to be proving my point.

If we are looking for historical and cultural accuracy, then yes. If you are arguing for guns because guns go with the armor, then yes, you probably ought to toss out the monks, because they *don't* go with the armor. Though, oddly, they do go with the guns. Go figure.

But, since I've said a bunch of times already that form of accuracy and consistency means rather little to me when I sit down to a game, I can have them! I'm worried about integrity of tropes, not integrity of history.
 
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Well, the twisted logic of "no guns, even primative guns" and yet lasers are acceptable (wand of scorching ray) kinda bugs me. The veil between scifi and fantasy is a thin one, but a passionatly defended one. At least until gnomes show up.

That's probably why tinker gnomes are hated.

That thin fantasy coating is what makes Wand of Scorching Ray fantasy instead of scifi. Hense, what I'm trying to do is add that same schlack to guns.

While we're talking fun facts of the real world, most bullets fired in actual combat do not contribute to kills - those shots are to pin down the enemy and make them duck behind cover.

There don't seem to be good rules for that. Players are generally unwilling to give up the "kill the bad guy" option in order to "make them keep their heads down".

Since several people seem intent on pointing out the expense of Wizards and the training time for guns...just how much time does it take to train someone to use a wand of fireballs or scorching ray? Considering that a rogue off the street can figure it out, it can't be too hard. That's a nice "clip" of 50 shots per wand, no reload times, and a simple point interface.

Which classes can use Use Magic Device?

The DC to use a wand is at least 20, but there are higher DCs for "activate blindly". (Otherwise, said rogue would have to pay a wizard to use an identify spell/ritual to figure out the command word.)

In 3.x terms, a rogue with Charisma 14 at start needs to reach 8th-level (assuming no Charisma boosting, as that's going into Dex) to activate a wand with a known command word half the time, and I don't think the DM would allow the rogue to "take 10" on such checks, not without another ability to do so. An expert can take any 10 class skills, and could probably do a little better, although their starting highest stat (Cha) would be 13, but they might as well boost Cha, take Skill Focus (Use Magic Device) and a +2/+2 feat, if available for that, letting them pull this off at 4th-level. A 1st-level wizard could do so reliably with no checks (it would break the rules of game balance in terms of item values to NPCs, but I don't think we're talking about that here).

At this point, the real reason Wands of Fireball aren't given to experts on the field is the expense of making these wands and how quickly experts die. (Yes, wizards are also fragile, but they have better defensive options.)

In Eberron, artificers can use wands more easily, and I think even magewrights can do so. (Magewrights are an NPC class that are all about making and using items. Using the Mark of Making, Cannith magewrights might be able to make Wands of Fire despite not having class levels or even appropriate ability scores, using the "background" super economy-busting items that PCs never get to use.) Of course, Eberron is specifically written to allow for this.
 

mmadsen

First Post
Guns are controversial in role playing, despite their historical roles.
Guns are controversial in fantasy RPGs because fantasy is not about recreating the middle ages so much as it about recreating medieval romances.

One of Rateliff's Classics of Fantasy pieces discussing William Morris's The Well at the World's End addressed this:
Morris not only served as Tolkien's personal role-model as a writer but is also responsible for fantasy's characteristic medievalism and the emphasis on what Tolkien called the subcreated world: a self-consistent fantasy setting resembling our own world but distinct from it. Before Morris, fantasy settings generally resembled the arbitrary dreamscapes of Carroll's Wonderland and MacDonald's fairy tales; Morris shifted the balance to a pseudo-medieval world that was realistic in the main but independent of real-world history and included fantastic elements such as the elusive presence of magical creatures.

Ironically, Morris did not intend to help create a new genre but was seeking to revive a very old one: He was attempting to recreate the medieval romance -- those sprawling quest-stories of knights and ladies, heroes and dastards, friends, enemies, and lovers, marvels and simple pleasures and above all adventures. The most familiar examples of such tales to modern readers are the many stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, but these were merely the most well-known among a vast multitude of now-forgotten tales. Morris deliberately sat down to write new stories in the same vein and even something of the same style, right down to deliberately archaic word choice. But just as the creators of opera thought they were recreating classical Greek drama a la Aeschylus and wound up giving birth to a new art form instead, so too did Morris's new medieval tales belong to a new genre: the fantasy novel.​

Even in the non-fictional real world, there was a lot of nostalgia for pre-gunpowder warfare, and that lasted for centuries. The warrior elites wanted armored knights on horseback to rule the battlefield long after they stopped being the most effective "weapon system", and adventure fiction didn't give up on sword fights and cavalry charges until they became laughable -- when we got light saber duels instead.

The swords & sorcery genre isn't about medieval romance so much as any and every adventure sub-genre pulled together without the necessity for meticulous research, fitting everything into existing (real-world) continuity, etc. Even there though, if guns exist, they're an adjunct to the real fighting, which tends to be hand-to-hand.
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
The way I see it, there are three main ways to approach firearms in a D&D campaign:

1. No such animal. This is pretty simple.

2. Firearms exist, but take a very long time to load. I would approach this by giving them excellent stats but prohibitive (2-3 rounds at least) reload times. Thus, the standard tactic would be to fire your gun once, then draw your sword for melee.

3. Firearms exist and can be reloaded relatively quickly. In this case, they should be treated more or less like any other ranged weapon.

I prefer #1 or #2, myself. #3 makes it feel like there's no difference between a musket and a bow, and that's kind of dull. #2 provides a clear difference between the weapons. Guns are for melee types who need a single-shot ranged option, and for casters who want a nonmagical sidearm for use in a pinch. Bows are for dedicated ranged fighters.

(Regarding the comparison with crossbows, I think crossbows ought to go the #2 route as well, to be honest. I don't understand why it's necessary to have crossbow specialists who can match the rate of fire of a longbow. If people want crossbow specialists, can't they do something different?)
I lean towards 2 or 3, mostly 3 - but that has more to do with the moaning and the crying if I tried to give crossbows a realistic reload time.

But then I think that crossbows should pretty much ignore most armor. They were actually better at penetrating armor than bullets were. Longbows did much the same with basic chain mail - as far as the arrow was concerned chain mail was a series of loosely connected holes. Bar mail and double mail were a response to the longbow. (I would treat both of those as 'masterworked', if I were given to adding armor penetration for bows, crossbows, and warhammers.)

The Auld Grump
 

Derren

Hero
Imo 2. Firearms should exist but should be at the bottom of the ranged weapon pecking order (which would also match reality for that time period).
 
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Fanaelialae

Legend
While option 2 is the more interesting method, I wouldn't recommend it. Some clever player will inevitably break the system by creating a character with quick draw and a brace of pistols. From what I understand, that's reasonable on a historical basis. You'd have to balance them with that in mind, and at that point they'd likely be like a crossbow with a worse rate of fire (possibly historically accurate, but not much fun).

I don't think option 3 is a bad choice. I'm of the school of thought that a killing weapon is a killing weapon. Until they achieve a better RoF, guns don't seem to me to be superior to a crossbow or a sword. Any of the three can kill one dead. Once you can let lose a hail of lead in roughly the same time that a crossbowman can loose a single bolt, that changes dramatically of course.

Would a hand cannon have any advantage over a crossbow in a duel? From what I know (and I admit I'm not expert on the matter) I would say the answer is no. Therefore guns shouldn't be a superior type of weapon. That isn't to say that you cannot differentiate them by making them 1d4 (x4 crit) for example. Just that I think the best approach is to keep them balanced with similar weapon types.
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
Would a hand cannon have any advantage over a crossbow in a duel? From what I know (and I admit I'm not expert on the matter) I would say the answer is no. Therefore guns shouldn't be a superior type of weapon. That isn't to say that you cannot differentiate them by making them 1d4 (x4 crit) for example. Just that I think the best approach is to keep them balanced with similar weapon types.
Yes, they actually did have an advantage - they were much quicker to load.

I wish folks could find some crossbows with detachable cranquins, just so they can see how long the danged thing takes to load. No to mention that it is actually fairly hard work to get the bugger cranked up.

Even a hand cannon will get in at least three shots to every two with an arbalest. Four with someone who knows what they are doing.

Don't get me wrong - I would still rather have a crossbow than a handgonne, but the matchlock was really where the deathknell of the crossbow began as far as war was concerned. For hunting, the crossbow remains a better choice, at least until the wheellock (though wheellocks were much more complex and expensive), the snapchance and the flintlock made guns cheaper as well as faster than the crossbow.

My own favorite period for gaming is c. 17th century. Printing presses, religious turmoil, the dissemination of improved mining technologies, and, yes, decent guns....

The Auld Grump, oh, cursed be the locksmith, that made me old gun,
For I've shot my own true love, in the rue of a swan.
She had her apron wrapped around her, and I took her for a swan.
But alas and alack, it was she, Polly Vaughn....
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
You seem to be proving my point.

Not so much.

To my mind, D&D is vast, it contains multitudes. AD&D had all kinds of anomalies- including a spaceship full of robots & blasters- so I don't have a problem including firearms as well. Later editions had their own quirks.

Not that I do so on a regular basis. Maybe...5 times in 30 years as a DM?

For me, including firearms is not so much a drive for historical accuracy, but more of a "Why not?"

As in, why not include firearms (historically accurate or not) in a setting with other things from the same period...and other things as well?

When I did use them, they did really decent damage, but each iteration had their own drawbacks: accuracy, reliability...and as pointed out before, carrying gunpowder in a realm where guys can shoot fire from their fingertips or summon water at will has its own risks.

And some of the firearms in those games were either anachronistic themselves- I included a Gatling like thing in one- or had no RW analogs- like a reloadable gun-grenade that would fire bullets in all directions.
 
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