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5E Never Give Them Unlimited Black Powder

Coroc

Hero
A general recommendation here by me:
If i want to introduce gunpowder aka firearms or at least cannons into the setting, then "both sides" will have it, e.g. some organized hobgoblin troops have also cannons.

That way you also have more stuff you can blow up.
 

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Azzy

Newtype
Sure, but he was a researcher/chemist, not a shaman. Probably working directly for the Chinese Imperial Household.
A Daoist mystic, actually. Which is irrelevant. The point still stands that RW "shamans" used more than herbs in creating their medicines and "magical" concoctions. Gunpowder was discovered by accident from a Daoist mystic trying to create a medicine. Therefore, someone creating experinental medicines can accidentally discover gunpowder regardless of being a shaman, a daoshi, or a Nickleback fan.
 

Azzy

Newtype
Outright theft or Fiat Ka-boom are going to be seen as arbitrary, so many of the recommendations here aren't feasible or in any way linked to gunpowder... they are just linked to explosive weapons, which any wizard or cleric potentially qualifies as.

Playing on the particular weaknesses of gunpowder is fine. Making everyone and their monstrous mother suddenly aware of them is not.

Y'know, if you want to ignore verisimilitude in order to dismiss arguments, that's on you.
 

Azzy

Newtype
1) there are some with fire res/immunity. Over the overall numbers, very few. Tons of hp = use more gunpowder or set up a collapse.

Fire resistance/immunity is the most common resistance/immunity. Also, creature immune to non-magical damage are not uncommon. A group of wererats is going to laugh at your explosives. Also, increase numbers of monsters—you're 10' radius blast that does 7d6 fire damage can affect only so many.

2) Who said I was saying it was common?!?! The OP said the PC's are using it, potentially a lot of it. He said nothing about EVERYONE using it? You are inserting artificial facts in there to support your argument.

Don't use the OP as a shield—you'll notice that they aren't the ones arguing here—it's just you. Also, you're the one that claimed that it was available at any settlement. Stop vacillating.

In any event, that still doesn't mean your enemies have it overnight, especially a whole culture.

Overnight? In your increasingly unrealistic arguments, you're now claiming that all these settlements and PCs have such widespread and unlimited access to gunpowder overnight?

3) Given you keep modifying the scenarios away from the narrative I'm using with artificial evolution of the enemies, I'm not surprised.

Woah there, Nelly. You're the one that keeps changing your arguments. I'm just trying to keep up with you.

4) If we're talking gunpowder, the raw elements of charcoal, sulfur, and saltpeter are NOT hard to procure. They are literally commodities. 'Hard to procure' generally just means 'go to a bigger city, you're exceeding the wealth cap'. If the base rules don't call out going on a quest for rare elements, they, like material components for spells, are considered to be easily available. It's the default rule. You don't have to go on quests for materials to make tindertwigs, which are basically tiny versions of the same thing.

It doesn't matter how common something is, no settlement is going to be able to maintain supply of any commodity when there is constant demand for bulk supplies of it, there are other uses of the material that increases demand, or when other settlements are competing for resources. Commodities still need to be procured, refined/processed/manufactured, shipped. All of that takes time. So, yes, when the settlement you're at runs low of supplies because the PCs (and likely NPCs, too—because if the PCs can do, so can anyone else), you can expect wait times, higher prices (oh, yes, the greater the damnd for something the more sellers that aren't idiots are going to up-charge), and empty shelves. At that point, yeah, the PCs are going to have to go on quests to procure their own if the want to keep their supplies up.

i.e. the standard rule is that unless it has unique/extremely rare comps, you can just buy them. And if it's actual gunpowder, that's truth.

It doesn't matter if an item is mundane—it's not alway accessible (especially in these silly scenarios that you keep inventing). And that's the truth.

5) Not at all. The wizard doesn't have to haul around gunpowder at all, and can unleash several fireballs at will from a great distance away, doing more damage then gunpowder and so killing people, and then do it again tomorrow.

So, you've just undermined your entire position. Congratulations.

So, considering gunpowder a 'massive threat' when these walking cannons are running around is stupid on its face.

Then you admit that your gunpowder scenarios are less powerful than a a standard wizard. Congratulation, your argument is lost.

Gunpowder's ability comes from the fact you can build up an arsenal of it, and unleash it all at once, AND from the fact it gives a non-spellcaster a KABOOM ability. It takes a much longer time to make bullets than to shoot them, after all.

Well, if you're builing up an arsenal of it, you're going to be treated like someone that is stockpiling weapons (which you are). Authorities genererally don't like that sort of thing because it looks like a coup in the making.

Note the OP is Players getting unlimited blackpowder access. Building up a stockpile for use in situations is how you use the stuff... and means that when needed, you can get more fireballs/day then a wizard, and all at once, too. that's how wars are basically fought.

The the PCs with gunpowder are more dangerous than a standard wizard. Pick a stance and stick with it.You don't get to have it both ways.

6) Because not everyone is a Caster or level 18? CoDzilla is high-end power. Gunpowder is low-end power. A level 1 can light a fuse and launch a keg! True Ubah powah!... oh wait, we just call that a grenade in modern day, ignoring how awesome it would be in a magical world to have your own fireballs as a non-caster.

CoDzilla doesn't need nearly as high of levels as your are suggested. Level 1 PCs are not going to be able to afford a lot of gunpowder, so that's a weak argument. Moreover, since the OP labeled this as a 5e question, your 3e arguments are invalid.

7) 8) Alchemist in PF, artificer in D&D, and other systems generally have magical alchemists in some form or another, too. The balance issues with gunpowder are still there... it's a world-changing advance in technology for a good reason, after all.

Since PF is irrelevant, and the 5e artificer doesn't have any features that grant them the ability craft any mundane objects faster or in greater quantities than any other character.




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Fauchard1520

Explorer
Assuming they're using the stuff in the DMG, then a keg will deal 7d6 damage.
And will take 50 days of downtime to craft.
Each.

That's just it. One thoughtless mention of, "What's in the ship's magazine? I dunno. A dozen kegs of black powder I guess?" and your campaign is facing down a 120d6 crater. It might makes sense for a pirate ship to have a reasonable amount of boom, but that raw damage can get out of hand if you're not careful.
 

MarkB

Legend
That's just it. One thoughtless mention of, "What's in the ship's magazine? I dunno. A dozen kegs of black powder I guess?" and your campaign is facing down a 120d6 crater. It might makes sense for a pirate ship to have a reasonable amount of boom, but that raw damage can get out of hand if you're not careful.
If the players can manage to maneuver a wagon-load of explosives worth a few thousand gp to a position where they can leverage it into overwhelming a single tough encounter, that sounds like a worthwhile encounter in itself.
 

I wonder if you could put a cannon in a Bag of Holding or other portable extradimensional space, and then aim and fire it with only the muzzle extending from the bag?

Seems like a more practical way to weaponize gunpowder in D&D than carting barrels of powder around.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I wonder if you could put a cannon in a Bag of Holding or other portable extradimensional space, and then aim and fire it with only the muzzle extending from the bag?

Seems like a more practical way to weaponize gunpowder in D&D than carting barrels of powder around.
You couldn't fit a cannon in a BoH, as it's dimensions are 2'x4' internally. Also, it only holds up to 500lbs, and cannons usually weigh considerably more than this.

You could do it in a portable hole, perhaps, if your GM allows for building permanent fixtures in the portable hole that remain undisturbed through multiple openings. In that case, sure, you could do a horizontal hole with a cannon mounted inside. Slap it on a wall and you have a cannon.
 

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