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D&D 5E Why do guns do so much damage?

Stalker0

Legend
So another way we could look at this, in a more dnd context.

Again, dnd heavily simplifies mechanics. We have a 6 second round, and in that round numerous attacks are occurred, which is then simplified due to a single attack with a single damage number.

So we keep comparing what a single bullet wound vs a single sword wound would do, but maybe the better question is:

How much damage would a musket do in 6 seconds vs a longsword in 6 seconds. Aka if we accept that a musket does more damage per shot, but the longsword can get in several swings....would the longsword overtake the gun in damage over the course of several swings?
 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
To stray of topic just a little, I do really like the idea of fantasy firearms that operate using something besides gunpowder, like the steam-powered muskets from Last Exile.

To DnDify it, I imagine a particularly mad artificer binding a steam mephit into a gun and hoping for the best.

Brilliant!

Here's the start of a short story with an elemental doing the job... An Excerpt from “The Effigy Engine” | Lynch Industries
 


jasper

Rotten DM
Probably.

From drawings of how a dragonlance works, it appears to attach to a pintle mount. The shield which is traditionally attached to protect the rider would stay and become the blast shield. Most of the tech to attach the M2 is already there; just swap out the lance with the M2.

Further, if you have someone who knows a little bit about the inner workings of the M2, you could mount two of them side-by-side by reconfiguring each M2 to feed from different sides and expel the brass out the bottom. If you plan to do a lot of firing, I would probably figure out a way to make a bigger saddle for a second rider, so as to allow for a barrel change during combat.
Barrel changes are a bother on the M2. I was always happy we never had to use it while I was in. My mom had better looking oven mitts.
 


wellis

Villager
From drawings of how a dragonlance works, it appears to attach to a pintle mount.
Speaking of dragonlances, I can't quite remember if they truly were magical, as if you required some sort of mystical something to kill dragons in Dragonlance, or whether they just did more damage (meaning other powerful mundane weapons could do the same).
 

Speaking of dragonlances, I can't quite remember if they truly were magical, as if you required some sort of mystical something to kill dragons in Dragonlance, or whether they just did more damage (meaning other powerful mundane weapons could do the same).
They were.

They added the Dragon you were ridings HP to the damage to your attack with them or something insanely OP from memory.
 

Here is a detailed report on the effects of a Brown Bess musket (smoothbore musket).

At 150 yards:

The first experiment was designed to simulate the effect of the musket shot hitting a man in the torso at 150 yds—the likely distance of engagement. A blanket was placed around the gelatine block to replicate clothing. An entry wound 38 mm across was inflicted, and an exit wound of 65 mm. The maximum permanent cavitation was around 40 mm. It is assessed that this level of damage to the ballistic gelatine block represents a catastrophic effect on a human torso at the likely maximum distance of engagement, assuming a strike to the torso.

At 75 yards:

Next, the effects of the musket shot hitting the chest of a man at 75 yds were measured. The high-speed camera captured evidence of some extremely large temporary cavitation, stretching the gelatine block to twice its original height and volume. The entry wound was 48 mm across, and exit was around 55 mm. The maximum permanent cavitation was 80 mm across, and the wound track had forced off a chunk of ballistic jelly. The temporary cavitation is much greater at 75 yds compared to 150 yds, meaning that considerably more damage would have occurred, that would almost definitely have been fatal.

images


Summary:

The effects demonstrated using ballistic gelatine at realistic engagement ranges have shown that if struck by a lead shot, the human body will at the very least be incapacitated, and most probably fatally injured. In this respect, the ballistic performance of this weapon system can be said to be excellent, with its effect on modern CBA showing it to be comparable to modern weapons (except enhanced penetrating ammunition).

http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/44838/1/44838.pdf
 

Stalker0

Legend
Here is a detailed report on the effects of a Brown Bess musket (smoothbore musket).

At 150 yards:



At 75 yards:



images


Summary:



http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/44838/1/44838.pdf
Do we have an equivalent for swords?

I looked up some youtube videos as far as swords used on ballistics gel. I only found one of note, and the sword did far far less than what the notes above describe, though the person was using the blade 1 handed for the most part. But the video is not exactly scientific.
 

Do we have an equivalent for swords?


There are some pretty gruesome ones with guys who wind up and smack ballistic heads with swords dealing considerable damage.

Not that I have ever argued that getting hit flush with a sword on the side of the head by someone who has wound up would be anything less than fatal.

The above videos do clearly show that in a sword fight, you're going to get hacked up really badly before such a killing blow can be landed though.

With muskets, its 'blam' and you've likely already suffered a killing blow, or at the least, are no longer in the fight due to the bullets stopping power.

Your body has just absorbed the better part of 2000 joules of energy braking a lead ball with your tissue and organs, causing severe damage to surrounding organs plus whatever you hit.

The ease of use of a firearm (point and shoot) makes them far more lethal than swords, where (barring an incapacitated victim) blows to the vital organs are much harder to come by.
 

Coroc

Hero
The last site I was on suggested that a really good soldier could manage 6 rounds a minute, which is essentially a shot shot per round. Average was closer to three, so every other round. I might even go to a two round reload if I were making the weapon list from scratch, but add in abilities by level to cut that down. In all those cases accuracy was mostly junk past about 100 yards (a very loose and general number). So maybe something like 100/300 with a -3 to hit at long range. Again, abilities could cut that at higher levels.

I'd rather an adventurer have a musket and a brace of pistols than have to faff about trying to make people happy with starting reload times for the long gun.

I got a colleague who did the exercise with historical weapons and he estimated that you could manage do load a musket within 10-15 seconds
 

Coroc

Hero
So another way we could look at this, in a more dnd context.

Again, dnd heavily simplifies mechanics. We have a 6 second round, and in that round numerous attacks are occurred, which is then simplified due to a single attack with a single damage number.

So we keep comparing what a single bullet wound vs a single sword wound would do, but maybe the better question is:

How much damage would a musket do in 6 seconds vs a longsword in 6 seconds. Aka if we accept that a musket does more damage per shot, but the longsword can get in several swings....would the longsword overtake the gun in damage over the course of several swings?
Your analysis is precise and therefore i give you a like, but the definition of that 6 second round, resulting in a hit or a miss with a sword is, as you stated, an exchange of blows - with the hit being the count for damage (whether it was the one big hit amongst many misses within that 6 seconds or several less impactful hits summarized).

At least that is how i read it somewhere.
 

Do we have an equivalent for swords?

I looked up some youtube videos as far as swords used on ballistics gel. I only found one of note, and the sword did far far less than what the notes above describe, though the person was using the blade 1 handed for the most part. But the video is not exactly scientific.

Ballistics Gel is not a proper testing medium for swords and other edged weapons. It's too soft for that use because it doesn't have the surface tension of human flesh requiring 4lbs per square inch of pressure to break, functions as a primarily stable liquid, and has no resistance whatsoever to draw cuts, which are the appropriate way to inflict damage with a sword, of course. Which is why the above video uses wet newspaper and why I basically never use Skallagrim as a good example of weapon use. He just kinda whacks with his sword. Appropriate for an axe, not for a sword.

Ballistics Gel works for bullets to demonstrate penetration and cavitation because bullets have such a high psi that the skin just doesn't -matter- for any test involving them. It just kind of averages out the density of the human body, rather than displays the exact imparting of force and damage because any testing medium is going to be imperfect until we can just -make- disposable human bodies.

That's why a pig is a better example for the use of edged weapons. Specifically a fairly young pig which has a similar skin thickness to a human being, as opposed to an old boar with a skin thickness that is -massively- higher.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
If you've never seen Forged in Fire (was on History channel, most recent season on Netflix), all I can say is I never want to get hit with a sword. Skip ahead to the 5 minute mark to see the equivalent of all the ballistic jell vs bullet videos:

 




The speed isn't important. It's the amount of damage done that matters.

A bullet puts a finger sized hole in your body. A battleaxe will put a hole you can fit your ENTIRE HAND IN.

The speed of the bullet is how it punches that hole in the body, but it's the size of the hole and the amount of damaged material that matters.
That is not a complete understanding of reality. I small object moving very fast can do more damage ( more force) than a large object moving slow
 


That is not a complete understanding of reality. I small object moving very fast can do more damage ( more force) than a large object moving slow
This has been pointed out to her repeatedly; the amount of energy contained in that bullet (which is transferred to the body via terminal ballistics) doesn't just 'punch a small hole' in someone.

Coupled with the destructive force of a bullet is the incredible ease of hitting a vital organ with one (you point and fire) as opposed to a sword, where the likely outcome of a sword swing is nothing more than a (nasty) defensive wound to your opponent.

Can a sword hack off an arm or a head? Clearly it can (see the above video of falchion v pig). But that's a restrained animal carcass dealt a full wind up 'power' swing with a large heavy sword.

In DnD terms, it's a 'power attack' vs a helpless target (so an automatic critical hit).

Firearms OTOH just hit those vital areas (abdomen, torso and head) reliably without the need for a helpless target.
 

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