Can we use gunpowder? Please.

rakehell

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Basically: if a player wants to be Roland Deschain (or, heck, Murlynd), I'm happy to let him.
This is where I'm at. Someone here asked for a "gunslinger" a while back, so I wrote them a battlemaster variant (mostly so I could name the abilities things like "True Grit" and "Deadshot"). I assumed the guns were six-shooters that basically acted like hand crossbows, and I didn't include misfires and stuff because I don't like "weapon break" rules. I think the person ultimately opted to use Mercer's PF port mentioned above, because they liked the weapon breaks.

I like gun-based adventure fiction tropes just as much as like the other adventure fiction tropes D&D uses. A big chunk of the stuff usually cited as the inspiration for the game has guns in it. Guns absolutely belong in D&D if you want to put them there.
 

DarkStarling

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I certainly want guns for running a musketeer style game. And since PCs are small teams of specialists rather than an army, trade offs that allow an archer and a musketeer in the same party make sense. After all, your bow or crossbow is dead quiet by comparison and shoots much faster.

Basically at musketeer level technology I’d treat a gun or rifle as basically a once-per-encounter power and balance accordingly. Adding more guns or having reloading enchantments will alter the math, but that’s not too difficult.

Once you get to, like, revolvers then a bow or crossbow becomes a specialist tool. But that’s far in the future of most dnd campaigns.

As far as society goes, the biggest thing with introducing cannons is that you can now produce fireball-wizards in arbitrary numbers. It’s the crossbow vs longbow problem again: how many years does it take to learn to cast major combat magic, how many people can even hack it (that int bonus ain’t cheap) and whether they’re more valuable doing something else.
 

vitruvian

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Maybe realistically, but it’s not about realism, it’s about expectations. When a gun pops up in a fantasy novel, it’s almost always going to be something dramatic and terrifying; something from across the sea, or a mad scientist’s workshop. Guns do show up in the kind of fantasy DnD likes to emulate, but when they do, they’re flatly better than more traditional weaponry, and people unfortunate enough to end up on their business end tend to die dramatically.
Don't forget that Burroughs was in Appendix N too, and yet even supertech energy weapons didn't prevent swordplay from happening a'plenty on the red sands of Mars. Neither did the Three Musketeers solve too many of their problems with musket fire. Much less should single shot black powder weapons which take time to reload and against which plate is at least sometimes effective necessarily mess up a D&D setting with otherwise similarly high medieval to Renaissance technology.
 

vitruvian

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I'm not saying guns are Overwhelmingly Superior to bows - on the scale of D&D parties, it's probably the opposite - but guns have to have something they do that bows and crossbows don't to make sense as an addition to the setting for me. Call it being simulationist if you insist, but if they're not something people in the setting (not just the PCs) will be picking up in at least some contexts instead of bows and crossbows, they seem kind of silly to me as anything but Secret Special Weapons (which happen to be firearm-like). Your game may vary, but it's something to think about if you are aiming for "guns are just weapons" IMO.

But "oh noes, people are going to insist on guns being handled pseudo-realistically"...well, as opposed to what?
I can say "Why would D'Artagnan and friends use guns if guns aren't any better at anything than bows" and skip the nonfiction section entirely, but it amounts to the same thing - modeling guns that are actually being worth the trouble of inventing and developing when bows are useful weapons.
Honestly, I think the DMG got it pretty much right for these purposes. Early firearms tended to have somewhat better penetration, damage (especially with the size balls used), and range (if not necessarily accurate range) than crossbows, and were approximately as easy or somewhat easier to train newbies in how to use than crossbows and a lot less training involved than bows. They may have had accuracy issues without a bunch more training involved, but that didn't matter so much when being used for massed fire on the battlefield. So, the existing stats with somewhat higher damage than crossbows and no real leeway on the reload time work just fine, and then you can define whether having learned the drill (more for reloading properly and quickly than for aiming really) is under simple ranged, martial ranged, or a new proficiency.
 

Elfwine

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Honestly, I think the DMG got it pretty much right for these purposes.
As far as the 5e stats go, I'd kind of agree, yeah. I don't think guns need to be much more than that certainly - I'm both a detail nut at times and more inclined to "bleeding rules would be useful" kind of realism - but those are matters of increasingly fussy personal taste, not the above post.

As far as deadliness and damage in that sense: I remember the Sword of the Samurai battle scenario where you are a ronin with a bow with one arrow and a sword, and one of the guys you're fighting has a gun. You can totally wint his if you're good at the game."

It's not exactly my standard for how guns should work in regards to the topic, but I think it's more apropos than say, Indiana Jones's scene of "Don't take a sword to a gun fight." to the way D&D has traditionally handled dangerous people facing dangerous weapons.
 

Skaorn

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We used to run Eberron in 3.5 and added a lot of elements from the D20 version of Iron Kingdoms, which fit well. We had no problem with guns and were usually used by non-martial classes as longbows still won out for them. They were good party starters for a rogue saddled with a bunch of unstealthy companions. As for wizards vs cannons, it was never an issue. A wizard with a fireball can ruin a cannon crew's day and druids could be even worse.
 

Knaight

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Guns aren't a serious problem.
It's the implied explosives that are.
This is the same game that has spells like disintegrate - and given that much higher explosives aren't issues in other genres I'm not too worried about black powder.
 

Dillon_Burke

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Guns aren't a serious problem.
It's the implied explosives that are.
Riffing off an idea I saw someone else mention of a setting where gunpowder was like crack cocaine for fire elementals, I spent some time looking at airguns. Something like the Girondi "windrifle" is available with Napoleonic era level of technology, while a breechloading spring or CO2 gas pistol date to the 1870s. Downside on the wind rifle is the 1500 odd hand pumps it takes to repressurise an air reservoir.

Esper Genesis added an extra die of damage and extended the critical range to 19-20 for high velocity weapons used against targets that had no armour or other form of protection. Which felt like an okay way to me of handling any perception in my play group that firearms should be more lethal.
 

BarefootHobbit

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I had no idea gunpowder wasn't supposed to work in the Forgotten Realms. There are drow with pistols in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.

Anyway, I played Warhammer Roleplay before D&D, so gunpowder weapons in fantasy games seem natural to me. I used the DMG's firearm rules when I ran Warhammer's Enemy Within campaign in D&D 5e, and they work fine.
 
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