PDA

View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Firearms and Tasers and Pepper Spray



blackjack50
2019-06-03, 08:45 PM
Looking to get some help on how to create a home brew of these. Like Grog, Iím not so hot on the numbers. So I could use some help. The idea would be very basic firearms in a 5e rule set (because I have that). I can handle damage (but Iím open to suggestion). It would be relatively high for even basic handguns. ďGod made men, Sam Colt made them equal.Ē That is how I feel about firearms. They are an equalizer for weaker races and classes. But what I am struggling with is how to handle people using them. Should they operate on the same principe as crossbows and flintlocks? I feel that might make short fights. But thatís ok. Firefights arenít usually very long. Protracted gun battles are the exception. Not the rule. So Iíd potentially be able to get away with some pretty interesting RP and game mechanics if I DM this.

As for Tasers and Pepper Spray...I suppose I could use it as a stun or blinded right? Shouldnít be too tough.

Anymage
2019-06-03, 08:59 PM
Play a different game. HP scaling in D&D means that high level characters have no problem with punishments that would liquefy normal people, and attempts to counteract this (dealing stat damage or having damage scale with the level of the target) are going to be necessarily fiddly and also beg to have players exploit them.

P. 268 in the DMG has firearm rules that work okay for what they are; dangerous to low level characters, an acceptable backup weapon for someone who isn't normally a combatant, but not really an upgrade to a high level character's normal attacks. More importantly, a bunch of hirelings or animated dead with by-the-book guns aren't much worse than that same bunch of NPCs with bows or crossbows. Tasers giving a con save to avoid being stunned for a round if you're hit, and pepper spray being a save or blinded for a round, should work. Even here, though, the idea of a bunch of minions being able to spam debilitating condition attacks makes me worry.

blackjack50
2019-06-04, 09:05 AM
Play a different game. HP scaling in D&D means that high level characters have no problem with punishments that would liquefy normal people, and attempts to counteract this (dealing stat damage or having damage scale with the level of the target) are going to be necessarily fiddly and also beg to have players exploit them.

P. 268 in the DMG has firearm rules that work okay for what they are; dangerous to low level characters, an acceptable backup weapon for someone who isn't normally a combatant, but not really an upgrade to a high level character's normal attacks. More importantly, a bunch of hirelings or animated dead with by-the-book guns aren't much worse than that same bunch of NPCs with bows or crossbows. Tasers giving a con save to avoid being stunned for a round if you're hit, and pepper spray being a save or blinded for a round, should work. Even here, though, the idea of a bunch of minions being able to spam debilitating condition attacks makes me worry.

I could play a different game, but the idea is to be able to take 5e rules and use them in a modern setting. Firearms SHOULD be able to spammed if you want to progress in era past swords and shields. At least if everyone isnít able to become a wizard/Druid/magic user.

Tiadoppler
2019-06-04, 10:10 AM
If you're interested in this topic, I'd like to hear your feedback on my homebrew, Firearms through the ages (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?589428-Firearms-through-the-ages). I've got tasers and tear gas grenades, but no pepper spray (yet!).

The assumption I started with was that shortbows and low caliber pistols are roughly equivalent (based on ballistics gel tests I've seen). It works out quite well, in my opinion: low-level play is very fast, swingy and has a lot of verisimilitude, and high-level play is very Hollywood action movie (the PCs can take quite a bit of punishment, and RAW classes fit some fun action archetypes.

blackjack50
2019-06-04, 10:26 AM
If you're interested in this topic, I'd like to hear your feedback on my homebrew, Firearms through the ages (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?589428-Firearms-through-the-ages). I've got tasers and tear gas grenades, but no pepper spray (yet!).

The assumption I started with was that shortbows and low caliber pistols are roughly equivalent (based on ballistics gel tests I've seen). It works out quite well, in my opinion: low-level play is very fast, swingy and has a lot of verisimilitude, and high-level play is very Hollywood action movie (the PCs can take quite a bit of punishment, and RAW classes fit some fun action archetypes.

Small caliber pistol like a .22 or .25 or .32 or .380? Or 9mm and .38 special? Man. Now Iím curious about this. I will take a look. I like the idea of quick action.

Vogie
2019-06-04, 02:36 PM
Middle Finger of Vecna's Firearm Rules Redux (https://mfov.magehandpress.com/2018/04/firearm-rules-redux.html) are the ones I'd use.

Pepper Spray is effectively a Color Spray variant - Probably effecting more d10s, but with a much shorter range. I'd say probably use the splash mechanic from Acid splash too. A policeman with a "can of pepper spray" would just have Wands of Pepper Spray.

I'd think it'd look like this:

Pepper Spray
Conjuration cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 10 feet
Components: S
Duration: 1 round

You spray aerosolized capsicum towards a creature's eyes to attempt to subdue a target. Roll 7d10; the total is how many hit points of creatures this spell can effect. Choose one creature within range, or choose two creatures within range that are within 5 feet of each other. Starting with the creature that has the lowest current hit points, each creature affected by this spell is Blinded until the spell ends. Subtract each creatureís hit points from the total before moving on to the creature with the next lowest hit points. A creatureís hit points must be equal to or less than the remaining total for that creature to be affected.

This spellís die increases by 3d10 when you reach 5th level (10d10), 11th level (13d10), and 17th level (16d10).

Breccia
2019-06-04, 02:49 PM
I've played a few GURPS, Palladium, DC Heroes, Fallout #, and other multi-genre games throughout the years. When intentionally made as such, melee weapons and firearms tend to be somewhat similar. But that's due to game balance more than anything else, and just as much, that's due to PCs and NPCs knowing what they're getting into.

A Dark Ages knight, when faced by, oh I don't know, a Connecticut Yankee with a revolver or something, is wearing exactly the worst thing in the world: something that will slow him down but not deflect bullets.

Simply put, something along the lines of a Colt 1800's pistol hurls a 0.44 ball of lead (yes, ball, this is an ancient weapon in RL context) at 300 meters or more per second, giving it a minimum kinetic energy of 405J, while even a modern compound bow (400 feet per second, max) throwing a modern arrow (say, graphite shaft with aluminium FMJ) is hitting 150J on with a tailwind. Granted, inertia isn't everything, but while some would argue "the arrow is bladed" I would counter with "the bullet is going so fast it doesn't care, plus hollow point". So if I'm feeling exceptionally cautious and say the modern bow is a shortbow 1d6, then the gun does 2d8 to keep the average damage matched up. One non-critical shot knocks out anyone in a 1st level party except the defender. And that's me giving the bow as much credit as I can stretch the numbers. A real wood and sinew shortbow can't keep up with a modern compound bow, nor will wood and steel arrows match current ammunition. According to "The Great Warbow" (cited by many sites as the standard for stats for medieval archery) a 150-lb draw longbow fires a 53g arrow at 65 meters per second, or, 112J. And ain't nobody drawing more than 150 lbs. If that's a 1d8 longbow, the gun is 4d6 or more. And that's a party wiper.

That's already a big mark against the arrow, but it gets worse. Pretty much any steel breastplate you've seen (from knights in armor to the famous Muskateers, who, yes, were named after the firearms they carried and neither their fencing swords nor Disney mascots) had a raised "breastbone" so that there was a slope off to the side. This was to deflect arrows. Plate mail steel wasn't really all that thick -- MIT did a study a while ago saying that the chest plate was 3mm -- and the angle was necessary to turn arrowheads. As we all know, cutting diagonal at a 45 degree angle means you cut through root-2 times the thickness (that's about 141% between friends) and most medieval arrows couldn't do that. You needed something stronger, like the Welsh longbow and a direct hit. Modern steel has Ultimate Tensile Strength of 400 MPa (there are stronger alloys of course), and the 1800's era Colt ball will go through 5mm of such steel -- enough to penetrate the plate even at a bad angle of 45 degrees. Even a modern arrow from a modern bow has no chance of accomplishing the same feat.

And that gun really isn't all that great. Repeat the problem with a 0.38 S&W revolver (the famous Saturday Night Special), 270 meters per second and an 8.1 gram projectile (you have options, this is mathematically the worst) and the bullet still penetrates 3mm steel at a 45 degree angle, although admittedly it crawls out the other side and probably won't kill you as easily. You've seen this gun before, I promise: it's basically the second-smallest gun in fiction outside of sleeve-mounted one-shot Derringers. And it still injures, maybe kills, someone in plate armor. If you're feeling vindictive, crack open a 0.30-06 Springfield. Not only is it a heavier (rifle) round, it's going 800 meters/second or faster, packing 2800J or so. No, that's not a typo. That rips through the chest plate, the wearer, the back plate, and into the probably surprised wizard standing behind him, killing them both. And neither of these are fantastic weapons.

Colt might have made men equal, but he sure didn't make classes equal. Anyone in medium or heavy armor just forfeit their Dex adjustment in exchange for being a larger, shinier target. The rogue's leather might as well be paper, but at least he's far less likely to get shot.

And that's leaving out the much lighter ammunition, much easier training, much higher range, the ridiculous rate of fire some of these handguns can get compared to a bow, etc etc. Hey, did you know modern gunpowder contains oxygen so firearms actually work underwater? It's amazing!

There's a reason we don't fight wars with bows anymore. Guns just do way more damage, reload far faster, the projectiles are far faster and effectively invisible (so no dodging), and take far less skill to use effectively. Any realistic version of modern guns in a medieval situation has the guns absolutely destroying the competition.

NOTE: All those calculations above were assuming point-blank shorts, as in "kick down the door, shoot the orc" which I assume to be the standard for most D&D games. If you're talking realism, the bullet will do lower damage at higher range, but by the time you're talking a significant range (say, 50 meters?) for that to stop the Colt 0.44 from breaking steel plate at an angle, then a realistic arrow takes half a second to get there -- and average human reaction time is half a second, meaning the arrow misses an aware target.

Another way of looking at it: the comic SnarfQuest was made by Larry Elmore, one of the most famous D&D artists ever. In the comic, the main character has a standard-looking 20th century six-shot revolver. In it, he fires the last two shots he ever gets into the head of what appears to be an adult red dragon. Both bullets penetrate not just the dragon's scales, but also its skull, killing it instantly.

So: what's my advice about modern guns in a D&D setting?

Don't.

Stick to black powder weapons. Their projectiles were much slower (120 m/sec to 360 m/sec, roughly one-third their modern counterparts) and the balls were much wider, both of which make them lower damage and worse armor penetration. The blunderbluss is even "better" for D&D due to its (in fiction especially) nearly useless low range and mixed-bag junk projectiles. Plus, black powder weapons have multiple significant disadvantages, including a reload time comparable with a ritual spell and a weapon that won't work in even a light drizzle. These, incidentally, were the weapons that ended chivalry. There's no need to get nastier than that with a 9mm Glock, which would end multiple chivalries before reloading.

What if you don't want realistic balancing, but something more attuned to gameplay?

Well, then you can reference the aforementioned game manuals and compare. GURPS puts most modern 0.45 and 9mm pistols as 2d6 to 2d6+2 weapons, while it takes a high-end crossbow to hit 2d6. So, if a D&D heavy crossbow does 1d10, then a pistol needs to do at least 1d10 but probably 2d6 or 2d8 damage. Bear in mind, that still doesn't resolve the range, rate of fire or other issues, and those are just pistols. I don't know what the D&D rules are for, casing in point, a modern military rifle with 3-shot burst and a 20-round magazine, but I do know I don't want one anywhere near my campaign.