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Can we use gunpowder? Please.

Bira

Registered User
Validated User
It's not one hit kill, but if we're talking about guns that would coexist with bows, crossbows and melee weapons, they do have a "slow to fire but pack a punch" dynamic. Which D&D just doesn't support. Crossbows have the same problem. Bows too, really - playing an archer in D&D has always involved rapid fire more than precision.
See, this expectation that they must be slow to fire but pack a punch is another one of those "compromise" solutions I was talking about, as it's usually applied in conjunction with "requires an exotic weapons feat or a specialist class". I mean, it turns out military crossbows are quite slow to fire in real life, too, because they require complex mechanisms to reload. And yet that becomes a move action in D&D, because the image in player's minds is that you can pull the bowstring of any crossbow one-handed in a second. I see no problem with making early guns faster to reload in the game than they were in reality.

Yes, and guns wouldn't be weapons there if they weren't good at something other than selling splatbooks. That was what I'm trying to get as an issue.
Well, realistically the main reason people switched from bows to guns was because guns were far easier to use. The same time and money required to train an archer could train a lot more musketeers. Making them was also easier in the time frame we're all thinking about, since bows require very specific types of wood and such.

So going that way, you could maybe say everyone has pistol proficiency, and that anyone who can shoot a crossbow also can shoot a long arm. You could make them load faster than in real life, or maybe you could say that you can fire a pistol as a minor action. That way people would have an incentive to go sword-and-pistol, or to carry whole braces of the things for that age of sail vibe.

For longer weapons (muskets and rifles and what not), you could have them be about equivalent to crossbows in damage, but with greater range in exchange for the increased noise. Rifles would be more accurate than either muskets or crossbows as well. More expensive too, but that won't matter for higher-level PCs - IIRC, rifles were thought of as the weapon of choice for small units of elite marksmen, which have "Player Character" written all over them.

And of course you can outfit them with bayonets, so you don't need to fiddle with the action economy to draw a melee weapon when the enemy closes in.
 

Constructman

Registered User
Validated User
Martial Ranged Weapons
Pistol: 1d10 Piercing, Ammunition (Firearms), (Range 30/90), Loading
Musket: 1d12 Piercing, Ammunition (Firearms), (Range 40/120), Loading, Two-Handed

I don't get why the DMG stuff isn't satisfactory?
 

Elfwine

Registered User
Validated User
So going that way, you could maybe say everyone has pistol proficiency, and that anyone who can shoot a crossbow also can shoot a long arm. You could make them load faster than in real life, or maybe you could say that you can fire a pistol as a minor action. That way people would have an incentive to go sword-and-pistol, or to carry whole braces of the things for that age of sail vibe.
I vote for the incentive for sword and pistol and/or whole braces of the things, myself. I'm comfortable messing with the idea of exactly how fast guns fire for the same reasons crossbows got it, but "a brace of pistols" can be kind of awesome.

"How many pistols is he carrying?"
"Six."
"I'm suddenly more worried about facing the PC."

is not something I can just refrain from doing.

If guns are too good as far as speeding up reloading, we're left with "why would anyone bring a melee weapon to a ranged combat fight", and no one wants that - or at least no one I can see. Fast enough to compete works, though.

IIRC, rifles were thought of as the weapon of choice for small units of elite marksmen, which have "Player Character" written all over them.
Even more slow loading, but that just makes it so that smart riflemen PCs carry swords or something, doesn't it? Or bayonets, for "And it doubles as a spear!"

That doesn't seem like a terrible scenario.


Martial Ranged Weapons
Pistol:
1d10 Piercing, Ammunition (Firearms), (Range 30/90), Loading
Musket: 1d12 Piercing, Ammunition (Firearms), (Range 40/120), Loading, Two-Handed

I don't get why the DMG stuff isn't satisfactory?
I play more 3.x than 5e, that would be my answer. The 3.x "exotic weapon proficiency" is definitely not as satisfactory.
 
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Bira

Registered User
Validated User
Martial Ranged Weapons
Pistol:
1d10 Piercing, Ammunition (Firearms), (Range 30/90), Loading
Musket: 1d12 Piercing, Ammunition (Firearms), (Range 40/120), Loading, Two-Handed

I don't get why the DMG stuff isn't satisfactory?
I will note that I don't have the 5e core books, and was speaking more about the general views on guns in D&D that I've seen over the years.

These do seem pretty satisfactory to me, and more or less in line with that I've been saying here. Them being Martial makes them harder to use than a crossbow, but far easier than the "requires a feat" or "requires a specialist class" I've seen in other related systems.
 

Morty

Registered User
Validated User
See, this expectation that they must be slow to fire but pack a punch is another one of those "compromise" solutions I was talking about, as it's usually applied in conjunction with "requires an exotic weapons feat or a specialist class". I mean, it turns out military crossbows are quite slow to fire in real life, too, because they require complex mechanisms to reload. And yet that becomes a move action in D&D, because the image in player's minds is that you can pull the bowstring of any crossbow one-handed in a second. I see no problem with making early guns faster to reload in the game than they were in reality.
I'm... not really sure what you mean. I never mentioned requiring special feats or classes anywhere. Speeding up the reloading time to a move action or otherwise one shot per turn is reasonable, but such a weapon will still fail to keep up. And if I'm shooting a gun or crossbow multiple times per round... well, why am I even using one instead of a bow to begin with?
 

Bira

Registered User
Validated User
The weird requirements was something I complained about in my earlier post.
 

Dalillama

Registered User
Validated User
Well, the best way to put it: Why wouldn't they study archery if guns weren't good enough to take over the battlefield, or at least certain contexts (relevant to our heroes) of it?
What others have noted; learning to use a self-bow strong enough to be of use in battle is a matter of a decade plus of training, ideally begun in childhood. Crossbows have their own issues: as Bira notes, it takes a crank and considerable time to span a war bow, comparable to an arquebus, which has fewer moving parts and a punch up there with quite strong crossbows. By the 1600s, self bows weren't enough better on the battlefield than arquebuses to make up for needing ten years instead of ten weeks to train someone, so there weren't any archer cultures left in Europe that trained kids in bows. There never were any in France anyway. So as soldiers, the Musketeers learned guns. If they'd been hunters, they might well use crossbows, which are quieter and more accurate. (In a mass battle, pinpoint accuracy isn't really necessary)
The part about hiding a pistol vs. a bow is nice, though. Pistols don't really have a pre-gunpowder equivalent that quite fits what they do, at least in my knowledge of weaponry.
There really isn't. The oldest gun control law on record dates from the late 1500s and prohibits carrying wheellock pistols in city limits, because that's the kind of thing a mugger or assassin would do.
And yet that becomes a move action in D&D, because the image in player's minds is that you can pull the bowstring of any crossbow one-handed in a second.
Also, there's the badass factor. PCs are usually assumed be more badass than the average bear, and a fighter can thus presumably span a pretty heavy crossbow by hand; what else are mighty thews for?
Rifles would be more accurate than either muskets or crossbows as well.
They also, in that era, took much longer to load, requiring a special additional bit wrapped around the bullet to make it cling to the grooves. IRL that didn't change until the mid 19th century, but there's no reason the Minié ball couldn't have been invented earlier.
 

Elfwine

Registered User
Validated User
What others have noted; learning to use a self-bow strong enough to be of use in battle is a matter of a decade plus of training, ideally begun in childhood.
What I'm trying to get at is not "why did people do this historically? I don't know that", as "If guns don't have an advantage over bows here, people would continue to learn archery."

RL guns were good enough for the easier training time to more than overcome any advantages of bows for many armies, and then all armies - but it seems silly for fantasy guns meant as "just weapons" and not as "weapons for picky specialists" to fail that, which "requires exotic weapon proficiency" or the like is doing IMO.
 
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Count_Zero

Game Master
Validated User
Probably. They do not appear in most of the supporting fiction. By this, I am not just referring to D&D fiction, but Conan, anime, and so forth. The anime Berserk, I think, had a good mix of this; cannons but not "handle gonnes" (at least not in the part that I saw). Warhammer Fantasy managed to make it work; I note that most of the characters don't use guns. (In fact, the only main characters I recall using guns were an inventor/slayer and a pair of inquisitors in a short story.)
In the original anime, (and the manga that adapts that portion), Guts has a literal Hand Gun that he uses (setting up that he's going to lose his hand later when we move into the Golden Age Arc).
 

Manitou

Emperor of the Americas
Validated User
Has the OP tried using the Gunslinger from the DM's guild?
It was made by matt mercer of Critical Role fame to adapt pathfinders guns to D&D 5e. It's pay what you want, or free basically. It's also already on D&D Beyond.
The Gunslinger

It has rules for Reloading and Misfiring.
While not totally realistic, it's balanced for play and lot of D&Der's will have some idea of what it is(even if they don't use it in their games).
 
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