• COMING SOON! -- Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition! Level up your 5E game! The standalone advanced 5E tabletop RPG adds depth and diversity to the game you love!
log in or register to remove this ad


D&D 5E Why do guns do so much damage?


SO, after 22 pages of notes, this is what my takeaways are:
  • Firearms are Simple weapons, but one still has to be trained with them. (I.e. you don't get it just for having Simple Weapon Proficiency.)
  • Firearms are Loud. Pistol is thunderclap (100'), Rifle is thunderwave (300')
  • Firearms can be fired prone, like a crossbow; bows can't.
  • D&D Firearms should be considered breechloaders, with a small Short range and a less-than-longbow inaccurate Long Range.
-------- OPTIONAL: At half of Short range, penetration is very high; add a die of damage.
* D&D Firearms should not fire more than once per round - probably once per 2 rounds, but Game. In balance, increase damage with Extra Attack instead (to reflect increased skill). This is mirrored by combat cantrip increases.
-------- EXCEPTION: You can fire multiple loaded pistols in a single round... but then they must all be reloaded!
* Firearms don't like being wet. (In my game, +2 "fumble" range if gun or ammo is wet, +4 if both. I.e. "Nat 1" all the way to a roll of 5.)
-------- SIMPLER: Water + Firearm = Disadvantage.
  • If fixed with a blade, a pistol can be used as a dagger; a rifle as a Spear with Versatile (d8). [Without, either can be used as an Improvised club.]
  • Your fantasy setting will influence availability of firearms, and their effect on society.
-------- In my world, the Blackrock Clan of dwarves constructs sealed tubes powered by alchemy... and trapped to explode if opened. They work like firearms, with a receptacle for bullets, but you can only get them from the BCDs, and they can't be (haven't been) reverse-engineered. Imperial Nobles have them, the Imperial Navy has a few cannon... and that's it. And, by the way, the PCs aren't in the Empire!

And most importantly...
* D&D combat - especially 5e - is an abstraction! AC is not "armor and deflection", and HP are not "meat points". Don't worry about guns vs. bows, vs. swords!
-------- In my world, they are loud simple "crossbows" that can inflict hideous wounds (multiple dice, multiplied by critical hits).... Fighters eschew them for the quicker (skilled) bow and arrow, while Rogues and some Clerics cherish them for small powerful ranged weapons that take little skill.

log in or register to remove this ad

Level Up!

An Advertisement