Making guns palatable in high fantasy [Design Theory]

Fanaelialae

Legend
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....

Actually, that's why I specified it should be a duel. I might be mistaken, but my impression of ye olden duels was that if the first volley missed, there were extra loaded pistols on hand for them to try a second round, rather than becoming a contest of reload speed.

IMO, it would be insanity to attempt to reload a musket or similar firearm during a typical D&D encounter (at least if one uses realistic reload speeds). You'd likely be cut down before you could finish. That's why I wanted to exclude reload speed from the equation.

I was referring merely to the deadliness of the two weapons, under circumstances where reload speed is negligible. I presume that a crossbow bolt has a similar effectiveness to a musket ball for inflicting injury and death?

Regardless, thanks for the informative response! :)
 

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Glade Riven

Adventurer
*sigh* This has really spun off into which real world analogues are best in a fantasy world argument..oh, the monsters we create.


Oh, well, moving on.


I'll slap "gun rules" for my campaign setting into "some future add-on splat" built around Mad Science. Nice and Pulpy and optional. I'm now thinking of standard, bore loaded muskets and pistols as a baseline, with full round action for loading. Masterworked versions are breach loading (standard; rapid reload shifts it to a move). For simplicity's sake, gunpowder and ball are "pre-packaged" in a cloth or paper cartredge. Magefire pistols can handle fancy magic ammunition. There's only a few technological bastions that know how to make them, anyways - one most consider to be religious nuts, and the other most people just consider nuts (half-elves are considered...weird on Phaetos). When I get down to the details, I'll be posting them in the Pathfinder forum (as it is a pathfinder compatable campaign setting).


D&D following the medieval romance hits a speedbumb when it comes to age of sea and sail (aka pirate romance). Swashbuckling adventures seem to get a little awkward (outside of Eberron) without some of the standards of age (Imperial/Victorian romance, and D&D/Pathfinder does try to include a lot of Victorian influneces). It just isn't the same without having my flint lock "glock." Eberron worked around it. Iron Kingdoms embraises it (one of many reasons I love the setting).

I'm guessing that musket wounds to extremeties were far nastier than a "clean" hit from a crossbow bolt (so long as it didn't hit an artery) - but then, there's loads of details from the US Civil War on rifle wounds shreding limbs. It's a few centuries after what we're talking about, though. Never heard anything on similar types of wounds from crossbows.
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
I was referring merely to the deadliness of the two weapons, under circumstances where reload speed is negligible. I presume that a crossbow bolt has a similar effectiveness to a musket ball for inflicting injury and death?

Regardless, thanks for the informative response! :)
Not so much similar as just 'different' - those big, fat, slow, soft lead balls did not so much break bone as pulverize it.

But a square headed crossbow bolt could penetrate armor that a bullet would mash itself flat against.

I just run with a short range, high damage, 20/x3 crit for guns. No funky rules.

The Auld Grump
 

Herobizkit

Adventurer
I'm with the AuldGrump on the mechanics of Guns.

For myself, I up the die of damage by one for guns when compared to the weapons below. x3 damage on a crit, only on 20.

I may try an experiment in 4e where a crit causes a Bleed for 1/round.

Hand crossbow = pistol or revolver
Crossbow = Rifle
Repeating Xbow = Repeating Rifle
Heavy Xbow = shotgun, as per flaming hands 3.x, or a Close Blast 3 in 4e.
 

Vael

Hero
One of the issues with adding firearms is that the mechanics of the game seem at odds with the expected lethality of guns. A game with guns isn't really about trading sword blows in the middle of a 10ft room, it's about moving from cover to cover, using suppression fire and such. The tactics of DnD don't seem like a good fit with modern firearm based tactics. Just looking at 4e, you'd have to reevaluate roles ... Defenders would now be ranged fire suppression and covering fire guys, Strikers are more like snipers, Controllers would be a bit like Defenders with added terrain alteration effects. Cover and concealment would create heavier penalties to attackers, I'd probably reintroduce penalties for firing into melee ... in other words, I think modern firearms can't just be treated as a third ranged weapon to work with bows and crossbows.
 

cattoy

First Post
Absolutely, it's the core design feature of escalating HP that makes guns mechanically incompatible with D&D.

In the modern world, we all have this knowledge that every human being, no matter what class or level, is one (un)lucky bullet away from being a collection of donor organs. This does not mesh particularly well with PCs who can swan dive off of 100' towers and get up and sprint away from the impact crater.

You can implement something you call guns in your D&D game. You can call it whatever you want, you can fluff it however you like. But in the end, they won't be guns as we know them. Unless they are ridiculously unbalanced (a problem in and of itself), PCs won't react to them in any way we would recognize as sensible.

So, the final question remains - if guns are introduced to D&D and they aren't lethal, and they aren't instagib, then what does D&D gain?
 

Derren

Hero
So, the final question remains - if guns are introduced to D&D and they aren't lethal, and they aren't instagib, then what does D&D gain?

The same thing D&D gains from (cross)bows? They have the same problem as guns. And a single good sword or axe hit is also pretty lethal.
 

The same thing D&D gains from (cross)bows? They have the same problem as guns. And a single good sword or axe hit is also pretty lethal.

D&D gains non-magic ranged attacks. (Insert something about Robin Hood, Legolas, etc. Not that said archetypes are cooler than a gunslinger, but more fit medieval fantasy.)

It's an expectations game. It doesn't matter that a sword, axe or a crossbow is lethal, many people just won't accept them being as deadly as guns in-game or capable of "going through armor". We're more familiar with people being shot at than being chopped at with machetes.

Also, for whatever reason, people want guns to be realistic, in a game system where no form of combat is. People will accept that a 20th-level ranger can walk around with his bow strung all day, even in the rain, then fire off four aimed shots in less than six seconds, despite the need to restring the bow, use wax, etc, as we're not familiar with shooting longbows, and even those of us who are usually use modern "easy" bows that require less maintenance, less strength and aren't actually used to kill people. People will accept that a crossbow can be reloaded, aimed and fired in less than six seconds (I believe a light crossbow can be reloaded as a move action in 3.x)... I don't know if that's possible and frankly I don't care. It's a game. But the moment you bring out guns there's talk of caliber, foot-pounds, muzzle velocities, temporary wound channels, permanent wound channels, hydrostatic shock, model (matchlock vs arquebus, or are those the same thing?), the ability to dodge "triggers" or run zig zag patterns vs the inability to actually outrun a bullet, ease of use versus longbows, rate of fire, recoil, smoke causing concealment, pinning fire, whether you aim in small squad combat versus shooting at a massive block of opponents you can barely see, gun expense, bullet expense, how they compare to magic, what year and what country/empire/state used which weapons when, high crits, special armor-penetration rules, wet powder (deep breath) all impinging on game balance, flavor, understanding and fun.

Even the seemingly simple strategy of having guns being a single "one-blast" thing doesn't work. You could argue that spending a feat to be able to use a gun, which is just a single powerful shot you can use once per encounter, is balanced. PCs will do what people have done for hundreds of years - get multiple guns and hang them from their hips. Of course, you could nerf guns, in which case why bother going to all this trouble?
 

KidSnide

Adventurer
One of the issues with adding firearms is that the mechanics of the game seem at odds with the expected lethality of guns. A game with guns isn't really about trading sword blows in the middle of a 10ft room, it's about moving from cover to cover, using suppression fire and such. The tactics of DnD don't seem like a good fit with modern firearm based tactics. Just looking at 4e, you'd have to reevaluate roles ... Defenders would now be ranged fire suppression and covering fire guys, Strikers are more like snipers, Controllers would be a bit like Defenders with added terrain alteration effects. Cover and concealment would create heavier penalties to attackers, I'd probably reintroduce penalties for firing into melee ... in other words, I think modern firearms can't just be treated as a third ranged weapon to work with bows and crossbows.

That's how modern firearms would change the game. Most of this thread is directed towards much earlier forms of guns. Before the machine gun, closing to melee range was a reasonable strategy -- and the D&D rules would be a reasonable medium.

As someone who runs a game where guns are prevalent, I agree with the sentiment that you need to first decide what genre conventions you want and then design gun rules to meet those genre conventions. For example, I don't care whether guns are unusually lethal (to my eyes, a bullet is no more or less deadly than a sword blow), and I do care about whether guns can be used by PCs effectively in a "standard 4e" method. Accordingly, I provide long reload times for NPCs and non-gun-specialist PCs, but specialist PCs get magically reloading guns that lets them use their bard or ranger powers with the standard degree of effectiveness.

I expect that other GMs will have different priorities and reach different results.

-KS
 

Seriously though, I think Umbran nailed the real issue back on page 1.

However, on a more general point, it might be instructive to investigate and compare the relative lethality of spears and bullets, for instance.

The challenge isn't the actual lethality of the weapons in question, but the perceived lethality. There's this Hollywood-induced perception that modern projectile weapons are one-shot-one-kill wonder weapons, which while occasionally true isn't generally the case. But people expect firearms to be significantly more lethal on a single-shot basis, and then get disappointed if you don't play them that way.

In one of my prior jobs I was involved with a detailed scientific study of the lethality of modern small caliber firearms (which incidentally led to the development of the new M855A1 rifle round the US Army is now using, but I digress ...). We did a lot of gel block shots in the early part of the study, with a lot of modern ammunition. For fun, some of the guys at the lab pulled out some older weapons ... and we started using .50 musket balls, Minie balls, and older weapons -- even bayonets -- on the gel.

Here's what we learned: the older weapons -- knives, bolts/arrows, musket balls -- generally caused equal or greater damage, given a hit, than modern weapons. The reason for the ultimate widespread adoption of firearms is that you can dramatically increase probability of hit, at longer ranges, with significantly less training, with a modern weapon than you can with prior generations. So muskets replaced bows and crossbows, which were in turn replaced by rifled weapons, which increased in range and rate of fire ...

It stands to reason -- look at hunting. Hunting a deer with bow or crossbow can be just as effective as with a muzzle loader or .306 rifle, but does take greater skill and occurs typically at much shorter ranges.

For game purposes, I'd suggest that you can use the existing mechanics for bows and crossbows, but giving the firearms slightly longer range increments (which IME doesn't really come up much in play anyway). Easy to do and it makes firearms a flavor choice rather than a mechanical one. But frankly by doing this you'll just start arguments at the table with folks who have watched too many movies and may not get anywhere. Best of luck.

(Incidentally I'm of the "gunpowder firearms don't fit in my fantasy", but that's just me. If Gygax didn't have a problem with it -- Murlynd, et al -- who am I to judge? There's a long history of guns in D&D.)
 

howandwhy99

Adventurer
For game purposes, I'd suggest that you can use the existing mechanics for bows and crossbows, but giving the firearms slightly longer range increments (which IME doesn't really come up much in play anyway). Easy to do and it makes firearms a flavor choice rather than a mechanical one. But frankly by doing this you'll just start arguments at the table with folks who have watched too many movies and may not get anywhere. Best of luck.

Great post Olgar. By your explanation I would give modern firearms more ROF / round too depending on the type. OD&D has missile weapons firing twice/round except crossbows (and other wound projectiles like siege weapons).

I've found most players address combat like a hack & slash attrition-fest. (Get the weapon with the highest odds of dealing damage in a round and start hacking) But I've found each weapon can be better and worse by situation. A group of M-Us can use X-bows while hidden to ambush approaching enemies. The surprise round is 1 attack and win or lose 1st round initiative, they still get a second shot in before the enemy can typically cross short x-bow range. That's enough to do in most low level bandit squads. (at higher levels the M-Us will probably start off with a few spells anyways)
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
The challenge isn't the actual lethality of the weapons in question, but the perceived lethality. There's this Hollywood-induced perception that modern projectile weapons are one-shot-one-kill wonder weapons, which while occasionally true isn't generally the case. But people expect firearms to be significantly more lethal on a single-shot basis, and then get disappointed if you don't play them that way.

In one of my prior jobs I was involved with a detailed scientific study of the lethality of modern small caliber firearms (which incidentally led to the development of the new M855A1 rifle round the US Army is now using, but I digress ...). We did a lot of gel block shots in the early part of the study, with a lot of modern ammunition. For fun, some of the guys at the lab pulled out some older weapons ... and we started using .50 musket balls, Minie balls, and older weapons -- even bayonets -- on the gel.

Here's what we learned: the older weapons -- knives, bolts/arrows, musket balls -- generally caused equal or greater damage, given a hit, than modern weapons. The reason for the ultimate widespread adoption of firearms is that you can dramatically increase probability of hit, at longer ranges, with significantly less training, with a modern weapon than you can with prior generations. So muskets replaced bows and crossbows, which were in turn replaced by rifled weapons, which increased in range and rate of fire ...


Thank you! Great to hear that some experimentation has been done on the issue, and it comes out rather in the direction I would expect - similar damage, but modern weapons require less skill to achieve a hit, and across longer ranges.

I could see a variety of ways that could be effectively modelled in various systems.

Cheers
 

I think the easiest way to model that progression of ease of use is to treat a gun like a crossbow {both Heavy and Light versions} that has its range increments extended for each increase in technology {blunderbuss, smoothbore, flintlock, rifled, modern}

Then toss in the special rule about reload/preparation time. Guns take move actions to load/prepare, which you can rush by taking a -2 penalty to your 'to hit'. This is in reverse of the increase in range:
{blunderbuss -4, smoothbore -3 , flintlock - 2, rifled - 1, modern - none}
A companion character can spend these move actions for you.
Heavy guns take an additional reload/prepare action.

This means a phalanx of early guns with 4 ranks can cycle forward and fire every round with decent accuracy at longer range than crossbows. That is a big enough advantage for the weapons to come into use, as long as they are relatively cheap to produce.

I believe that guns should not be treated as more lethal than other weapons.. lethality is driven by the game systems hp/health mechanic. This means that in CP2020, guns are very lethal... as is pretty much everything else. In Elric, everything is still lethal {hps = your CON, longsword does 1D8}.. in DnD.. well, the heroes are heroes as mentioned above.

One other note that just came to me. Bows and arrows take a specific set of skills to make ammunition that is good. Ball ammunition is simply melting down a soft metal and pouring it into a mold. {yes, this is simplified.. I know. But I just watched the Mythbusters with the Hwacha in which they had to make 200 bolts for the weapon}
This alone makes them cheaper and easier to use.
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
The challenge isn't the actual lethality of the weapons in question, but the perceived lethality. There's this Hollywood-induced perception that modern projectile weapons are one-shot-one-kill wonder weapons, which while occasionally true isn't generally the case. But people expect firearms to be significantly more lethal on a single-shot basis, and then get disappointed if you don't play them that way.
Exactly - most shots miss - even at close range. Most hits don't kill - even head shots from bullets of, I believe .32 or less. (And the now discontinued .25 was really bad.)

I disagree with the longer range as a factor, but only up into the 16th century - by the 17th the longer barreled musket and jezail were becoming common.

But even in the 1600s the Spanish still used two units of pike for every unit of arquebusiers.

Then they really hamstrung the gunmen by putting them in units with between thirty and fifty ranks. An awful lot of gunmen never fired a shot in most battles.

As for the caracole....

The Auld Grump, waste of horseflesh is what that was!
 

mmadsen

First Post
Absolutely, it's the core design feature of escalating HP that makes guns mechanically incompatible with D&D. [...] Unless they are ridiculously unbalanced (a problem in and of itself), PCs won't react to them in any way we would recognize as sensible.
When it comes to realistic combat, the problem with hit points is not that a high-level D&D fighter can survive a dozen sword cuts, spear thrusts, or gun shots, but that he cannot die by any one attack.


Also, for whatever reason, people want guns to be realistic, in a game system where no form of combat is.
I actually don't disagree with that notion that no weapon is handled realistically in D&D, but I feel that some kinds of combat are handled better than others.

For instance, in a sword-fight between two knights in head-to-toe armor, it does not strain credibility that they exchange multiple blows before one of them lands the telling blow, and that even the winner is rather beat up by the end. That seems realistic, and it matches the fiction; go back and read Le Morte D'Arthur for countless examples. Is it a perfect model of knightly combat? No, but it works, because we expect most sword blows against armor to be less than final, and because we expect the fighters to be worn down over the course of the exchange.

For other kinds of fight, the system does not match expectations nearly as well. In a samurai movie, we expect a fight to be settled by one decisive hit. Hit points can handle this well, I suppose, as long as no one has enough hit points to survive a single katana-stroke. In such a hyper-lethal system, no one would survive a second hit.

Western gun-fights tend to follow the same pattern as samurai-movie sword-fights, where a quick-draw is vital, because the weapons are hyper-lethal. Plot-protection rarely comes in the form of withstanding many hits, but rather in not getting hit: spotting the ambush just in time, shooting the attacker just before he shoots, etc.

A more realistic gun-fight would involve less-lethal guns, but not less-lethal in the D&D sense of causing no real harm until the nth hit. A .22 pistol, for instance, can kill you dead in one shot -- or not.


Before the machine gun, closing to melee range was a reasonable strategy -- and the D&D rules would be a reasonable medium.
Even before the machine-gun, rifled muskets were lethal against massed infantry in the American Civil War, and some experts recognized that the new-fangled "magazine rifles" firing "smokeless powder" rounds would make the next war, the Great War, a war of entrenchments.

But, yes, marching at the enemy was a perfectly reasonable tactic for centuries. The attacking force would take some casualties from a volley or two, and the defending force would (hopefully) break and run at the sight of "cold steel" (bayonets).

With D&D-style hit points, anything that might kill you with a single shot will kill you with two, so guns have to be extremely lethal for this to play out "realistically".


The challenge isn't the actual lethality of the weapons in question, but the perceived lethality. There's this Hollywood-induced perception that modern projectile weapons are one-shot-one-kill wonder weapons, which while occasionally true isn't generally the case. But people expect firearms to be significantly more lethal on a single-shot basis, and then get disappointed if you don't play them that way.
Again, the problem is that we know guns can kill people -- competent or incompetent -- with one shot, and single-shot guns have been used throughout history for dueling and hunting.

With D&D-style hit points, anything that can kill you with one shot will kill you with two -- and vice versa -- so we have to make guns unrealistically lethal to get the "realistic" result that they sometimes kill people and animals with a single shot.

If wounds didn't involve hit points but were instead save-or-die, a not-so-lethal little .22 could still have a 1-in-20 chance of killing someone (or something) with no guarantee that the second, third, fourth, or tenth shot would be lethal.

Here's what we learned: the older weapons -- knives, bolts/arrows, musket balls -- generally caused equal or greater damage, given a hit, than modern weapons. The reason for the ultimate widespread adoption of firearms is that you can dramatically increase probability of hit, at longer ranges, with significantly less training, with a modern weapon than you can with prior generations. So muskets replaced bows and crossbows, which were in turn replaced by rifled weapons, which increased in range and rate of fire ...
In fact, a modern assault rifle round is deliberately weak compared to old battle rifle rounds, because the initial concept of an assault rifle was a weapon with the full-auto capabilities of a submachine-gun, but with longer range than a pistol round can deliver. Thus, it uses an "intermediate round" -- between a pistol round and a true rifle round -- that travels further than a stubby pistol round, but without the kick of a full-power rifle round.

And if troops are going to fire at full-auto, we want them to carry as many rounds as possible, so smaller-caliber, lighter rounds make the most sense.

That's not how American troops use their assault rifles these days, but that was the theory for a few decades.

Anyway, looking at this through D&D lenses warps the relative importance of damage. Almost any rifle round designed for combat or for deer-hunting is going to have plenty of potential to kill any human it hits, but very, very few rounds find their target. In fact, very few troops find their target before firing; they don't ever see who they're shooting at. Instead, they fire thousands of rounds into the tree-line or into suspicious looking buildings for every one that hits an enemy. (It's like they think they'll hit on a natural 20, but real life's rules don't work that way.)

And at shorter distances, where both sides might see each other, most troops can't "take their time in a hurry" and manage to use their sights and control their trigger unless they feel really, really safe behind good cover or with no incoming fire.

D&D-style hit points invert the relative importance of hitting at all and hurting someone once you've hit them, leading to odd in-game consequences. For instances, when you're going up against the toughest hombre in town, the obvious answer is... to bring a Buffalo rifle, because it does the most damage, and soaking up damage is what "tough" guys do, right?
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
The thing to bear in mind, and this is important, is that any weapon can kill you with a single strike.

Ask an emergency room medico which kills more often - a knife wound or a gunshot?

You may be surprised that knife wounds are more lethal by a large percentage. You know, the standard d4 dagger?

There are no winners in a knife fight.

Picture your good friend the sledge hammer - what do you think happens when the path of the maul intersects with that of a human head?

Picture that standby of horror movies, the woodsman's axe.

Yeah, one strike can kill you.

Think of swords as longer machetes, if that helps - do you think that isn't going to hurt?

Guns are not more lethal - they merely allow the application of force at an increased range.

The Auld Grump
 
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KidSnide

Adventurer
I actually don't disagree with that notion that no weapon is handled realistically in D&D, but I feel that some kinds of combat are handled better than others.

For instance, in a sword-fight between two knights in head-to-toe armor, it does not strain credibility that they exchange multiple blows before one of them lands the telling blow, and that even the winner is rather beat up by the end. That seems realistic, and it matches the fiction; go back and read Le Morte D'Arthur for countless examples. Is it a perfect model of knightly combat? No, but it works, because we expect most sword blows against armor to be less than final, and because we expect the fighters to be worn down over the course of the exchange.

For other kinds of fight, the system does not match expectations nearly as well. In a samurai movie, we expect a fight to be settled by one decisive hit. Hit points can handle this well, I suppose, as long as no one has enough hit points to survive a single katana-stroke. In such a hyper-lethal system, no one would survive a second hit.

Western gun-fights tend to follow the same pattern as samurai-movie sword-fights, where a quick-draw is vital, because the weapons are hyper-lethal. Plot-protection rarely comes in the form of withstanding many hits, but rather in not getting hit: spotting the ambush just in time, shooting the attacker just before he shoots, etc.

I think that this is the key point and that all the discussion about "realism" is a distraction. According to the genre conventions of sword fighting, the opponents fence back and forth for a while before the lethal blow is struck or knights who smack at each other's armor for a while before delivering a properly deadly blow. This is very consistent with "hit points" that represent strikes that are barely deflected, gutted through or turned to bruises.

(I'll leave arguments about whether healing (from any edition) makes sense in this or any other context for another thread.)

For firearm combat, the genre conventions for surviving combat mostly consist of ways to not get hit. This matches the luck / canny / dodged-just-in-time view of hit points, but is harder to match with the toughness / grit version of the fiction. For GMs who like to narrate a "hit" as a solid blow that is toughed through (rather than averted) by the high hit-point character, guns with regular D&D stats seem insufficiently lethal.

-KS
 

cattoy

First Post
The thing to bear in mind, and this is important, is that any weapon can kill you with a single strike.

Ask an emergency room medico which kills more often - a knife wound or a gunshot?

You may be surprised that knife wounds are more lethal by a large percentage. You know, the standard d4 dagger?

There are no winners in a knife fight.

Picture your good friend the sledge hammer - what do you think happens when the path of the maul intersects with that of a human head?

Picture that standby of horror movies, the woodsman's axe.

Yeah, one strike can kill you.

Think of swords as longer machetes, if that helps - do you think that isn't going to hurt?

Guns are not more lethal - they merely allow the application of force at an increased range.

The Auld Grump

IRL, sure. In D&D, not so much. Not once you're 10th level, anyway.

Once 3.0 happened, and there weren't any vorpal swords, I've never seen a high level character killed in one blow by anything that wasn't a giant wielding a ginormous greataxe or something like that.

Once you hit high levels in D&D, weapons aren't so much lethal as laughable. It's those damned save or die spells that you fear...
 


Jon_Dahl

First Post
IMO there are lots great opinions for and against guns in this thread, but my humble opinion is that I like guns in fantasy if they are simple muskets and pistols and unable to completely replace crossbows, bows and other ranged weapons.

If standard fantasy weapons and gunpower weapons are in the same level, I feel that it brings more options to the game. However, if gunpower weapons are superior it would change the game bit too much from the fantasy-gaming that I've learnt to love.
 

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