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Have you looked at the DMG rules for firearms? A Renaissance era pistol is 1d10 damage. It is basically a heavy crossbow that only uses one hand, but has shorter range. That "bunch of nobodies" are no worse than a handful of 1st level wizards or town guards. And the wizards d10s scale with level, while the pistol doesn't, because it has the loading property.

Oh, and the pistols have a list price of 250 gp, 3x that heavy crossbow, which nobodies may have issues scraping up. Getting a bunch of nobodies armed with pistols takes thousands of gold pieces.
I though they were talking about the gunpowder problem, i.e. big bada boom! type scenario.


Mod Squad
Staff member
An ambush with dozens of barrels of gunpowder being set off isn't big?

I feel like I am repeating myself.

A keg costs 250 GP, and weighs 20 lbs. One dozen kegs is 3000 GP. "Dozens" of kegs is getting to be tens of thousands of GP, and weighs a ton, so isn't mobile in any meaningful sense.

And, as already noted, there's no reason to expect that anyone has such a stockpile. So gathering it isn't easy.

Meanwhile, you have the Necklace of Fireballs, which weighs less than a pound, costs 2000 GP ro so to make. So, I'm not sure I see what the problem is.

For every one of these complaints, we should note: as the GM, you have complete and utter control over the supply of gunpowder the PCs can get. If you don't want them to have it, don't make large amounts available!


Great Old One
In the DMG, a keg of gunpowder exploding has a blast radius of 10', DC 12 Dex save, 7d6 damage, and costs 250 gp. It is a small, weak fireball that none of them have proficiency in using safely. So, once they reach 5th level, when they can throw fireballs around anyway, a keg of powder here or there isn't going to be unbalancing.

And that's just ONE barrel, and it costs only 250 gp. Now they can basically get as bit a fireball as they want, especially with 5e where money is plentiful. A 70d6 explosion only costs 2500 gp and is way more powerful than any fireball. Anyone can afford that, whether it's the PCs or actually the various powers in the world.

It's not only the PCs getting it (although you can be sure that some will get creative, with suicide boats full of it, people using dimension door to get out, etc.), it's the logic of the world that changes.

And I'm not even getting into the point that this is technology and, by all accounts, it evolves rapidly. Flintlocks are fine, but automatic firearms are not that difficult to conceive, it's only a bit of mechanics.

I know there are ways to control this as a DM, but the simplest of control is just not to allow it.

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