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    Default D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2.1 - PEACH

    Version 0.2.1 (Second Draft)
    Version History
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    Version 0.2.1 - Slight alterations to the sighting rules
    Version 0.2 - Rewrite, first post
    Version 0.1 - Unpublished first draft.


    Criticals and Precision Damage
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    Basic guns score a critical threat on a roll of 20. They deal triple damage on a critical hit.

    Rifled weapons may also deal precision damage (such as Sneak Attack damage) against any foe that is vulnerable to such damage and is within the first range increment.


    Pistols (Simple)
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    The smallest barrelled weapons in existance, Pistols are weak and inaccurate compared to every other weapon class.

    A pistol deals one damage die per shot, and has a basic range increment of 15'.

    Pistols are always fired one-handed. There are no special penalties for using a pistol while mounted.

    A pistol can be used as a hand to hand weapon, using the rules for a sap. It can also be shot while in melee with no penalty. A pistol counts as a 'light' weapon. Reloading a pistol one-handed takes twice as long as reloading two-handed.

    Pistols count as Simple weapons.


    Carbines (Martial)
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    Half way between a Pistol and a Longarm, the carbine has long been a favourite of mounted forces for the ease with which it can be used in the saddle. Lacking the strength or range of a full-sized longarm makes this weapon class unpopular amoungst infantry forces, not least because it is too small to be effectively fitted with a full sized bayonet. It is, however, popular amoungst outlaws, due to it's relative strength and ease of concealment.

    A Carbine does two damage die per shot, and has a range increment of 30'.

    Carbines can be shot one or two handed - although shooting one-handed incurs a -4 penalty on the 'to hit' roll. Carbines suffer no penalties for mounted use, and can be used in melee combat according to the rules for a club. A carbine can be fitted with a bayonet, which uses the rules for a knife.

    Reloading a carbine one-handed takes twice as long as reloading a carbine two-handed.


    Longarms (Martial)
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    The favoured weapon of most infantry (and hunters), Longarms are the standard weapon of all modern armies.

    A longarm does 3 damage die per shot, and has a range increment of 40'.

    Longarms can be used in melee combat according to the rules for a quarterstaff. A Longarm fitted with a bayonet uses the rules for a spear.

    Longarms cannot be wielded one-handed. Reloading a longarm one-handed takes four times as long as reloading it two-handed.



    Shotguns and Blunderbusses (Simple)
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    Never the most popular of weapon types for military service, Shotguns lack the range and accuracy of other types of firearms. They compensate for this by dealing damage over a larger area, and are lethal at short ranges.

    A Shotgun deals damage in a 20' cone. It deals 5 damage die per shot, with the damage evenly shared out between any target caught in the area of the shot. Targets caught by a shotgun blast are allowed a Reflex save for half damage. The DC of this save is equivalent to an attack roll by the firer -10.

    Shotguns cannot be wielded one-handed. Reloading a shotgun one-handed takes four times as long as reloading it two-handed.


    Caliber
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    Gun calibers are measured in eights of an inch. A standard smoothbore musket has a caliber of 3/8ths of an inch, and can be effectively used by anyone of average strength (10/11) or higher. For every 8th of an inch difference in the caliber, the required strength bonus increases or decreases by one point.

    The size of the damage die done by a gun is a direct result of the caliber of ammunition used. A 1/8th gun does d2 damage die, and the size of the die increases by two points per 8th.



    Firing Mechanism
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    Matchlock
    A length of slow-burning fuse, fastened to the gun at one end and set alight at the other. When the trigger is pulled, the fuse is applied to the powder charge and the gun fires.

    A matchlock weapon cannot use cartridges. A matchlock weapon cannot be used while wet.

    Flintlock
    A shard of flint is held within the firing mechanism, and once the trigger is pulled this flint is struck against a metal plate to generate a spark. This spark ignites the powder and fires the gun.

    A flintlock weapon cannot use cartridges. A flintlock weapon cannot be used while soaked. While firing a flintlock weapon in the rain, roll a % die. On a score of 1-50 the weapon fires, on a 51-100 the priming is too wet and must be replaced before the gun can be fired.

    Percussion Cap
    A small solution of pressure-sensitive explosive fulminates, a percussion cap produces a small explosion when hit by the firing hammer. This explosion ignites the main powder charge. Percussion Cap weapons may be muzzle loaders or cartridge-firing breech loaders (with the percussion cap built into the cartridge). A single percussion cap weapon can be made for either bullets or cartridges, but not both. A percussion cap weapon can fire so long as the barrel is not immersed in water.


    Loading and Firing
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    Muzzle Loading (shot, smoothbore or rifled)
    A muzzle loading weapon requires three rounds to load and fire. This is a sequence of four actions:
    -A full round action to load powder and ball
    -A full round action to ram these with a ramrod (this takes an additional turn if the weapon is rifled)
    -A move action to prime the pan or load a percussion cap and **** the firing mechanism
    -A standard action to fire

    Tap Loading (shot, smoothbore)
    Tap loading is a slightly faster alternative to regular Muzzle Loading. The full-round ramming stage is replaced with the standard action tapping stage (hitting the stock of the weapon against something solid to jar the shot into place).

    Using this technique reduces the weapon's range increment to 3/4 its normal value.

    Fast Loading (shot, smoothbore or rifled)
    A muzzle loading weapon can also be loaded without tapping or ramming the shot. Roll a % die. On a roll of 1-20, the shot is weakly ejected from the barrel and wasted. On any other roll, multiply the weapon's normal range increment by the rolled percentage.

    Muzzle Loading (cartridge, smoothbore or rifled)
    A muzzle loading cartridge weapon requires two actions to load and fire. A full round action to load with a cartridge, followed with a standard action to fire.

    Breach Loading (cartridge, smoothbore or rifled)
    Loading a breach-loading weapon requires one standard action. Firing a breach-loading weapon requires one standard action.

    Multiple Shot Weapons (Cartridges, smoothbore or rifled)
    A multiple shot weapon that is loaded with cartridges uses the breach loading rules for loading and firing times. It can store multiple shots, but these must be loaded individually. If a multiple shot weapon contains enough loaded rounds, it can be fired multiple times in a full attack action.

    Multiple Shot Weapons (Magazines, smoothbore or rifled)
    A Magazine-fed weapon requires one full-round action to remove the old magazine and replace it with a fresh one. It follows the multiple shot rules for firing speeds.


    Rifling
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    A rifled weapon has twice the range increment of an equivalent non-rifled weapon.


    Sights
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    Basic Sights grant a +1 to hit targets in the first range increment, but are ineffective at greater ranges.

    Telescopic sights grant no bonus to hit, but double the range increment and reduce the range increment attack penalty to one point per range increment. Using telescopic sights to line up a shot is a full round action, and the bonus only applies to the first attack made on the following round. If the firer moves or changes target or loses line of sight to the target in the intervening time, the benefit of lining up the shot is lost.

    A gun can posess both types of sights: The effects stack. Multiple sights of the same type do not stack.


    Ammunition
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    Masterwork ammunition provides a +1 bonus to To Hit rolls. This bonus stacks with any bonuses provided by the gun (including masterwork bonuses).


    Smoke
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    Firing a black powder weapon creates enough smoke to apply a -2 to subsequent attack rolls for attacks passing into, out of, or through the square in which the weapon is discharged. This smoke cloud dissipates by one point per three rounds, or two rounds in any significant breeze. A Smokeless Powder weapon creates no smoke.


    Fouling and Cleaning
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    Every time a non-cartridge weapon is fired, roll a percentile die and compare this number to the number of previous firings since the gun was last cleaned. If the roll is lower than the number of previous firings, the gun jams and cannot be reused until the stuck projectile is removed. Masterwork guns grant a +10 bonus on jamming checks.

    A gun can be field-cleaned by urinating down the barrel, then emptying the resulting sludge out of the weapon. This removes half of the fouling points currently on the weapon, rounding down. It also clears the jammed shot from the barrel, if applicable. Field-cleaning a weapon is a full round action, and generally not performed in polite society.

    A gun can be cleaned properly by rinsing with boiling water, then leaving to dry. This removes all the fouling points currently on a given weapon, and will also unjam the weapon, if applicable.

    Cartridge weapons are not subject to the fouling rules.


    Still to Come
    Crafting Rules
    Market Rules
    Invention Rules
    Last edited by whoiam; 2010-07-13 at 02:16 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Early Firearms - v0.2 - PEACH

    Yo, there's a link in my signature to a guide I posted on firearms, using what WotC has published in both the DMG and with one of their Dragon Magazines. I respectfully refer you to it, and feel free to PM me with questions.
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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Early Firearms - v0.2 - PEACH

    Wow... wheellocks! I haven't read about those in years! Possibly because my, ah, specialist period in military history is the Napoleonic Wars where Smoothbore Flintlocks were the standard and rifles and percussion caps were just working their way into the picture.

    It's a nice resource, but it's got a lot of bits I don't actually intend to impliment - hilt pistols, shield pistols, that sort of thing. I wasn't going to include rules for anything quite so esoteric.

    I will not be using the rules from the DMG. Why? Well, take a look at their rules for a Musket - with a range increment of 150 yards.

    Then consider how accurate a Renaissance Musket was in real life. This is just from Wikipedia, but it's the closest source to hand: "A typical smooth bore musket firing at a single target was only accurate to about 50 yards (46 m) to 70 yards (64 m).".

    So the DMG rules gave early muskets a range increment about three times as long as the range at which a trained soldier stood any sort of chance of hitting a target. You can see why I'm not happy with them...

    I don't think I'll be covering missile launchers, either. They didn't really become a viable weapon until the 20th century. Artillery rockets were around then, but they come under artillery, and I haven't tackled that yet... hm, I should add that to the 'to do' list.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Early Firearms - v0.2 - PEACH

    i search info of guns in d&d they are alot more but your basic info are well reated i like it nwn

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Early Firearms - v0.2 - PEACH

    This may come in handy for the colonial campaign i was thinking of doing...
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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Early Firearms - v0.2 - PEACH

    You were thinking of doing a colonial campaign?

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Early Firearms - v0.2 - PEACH

    Eh, too complex for my tastes. D&D combat is already slow. Whenever it comes up in my campaigns, I just use the following stats:

    Pistol: exotic ranged weapon, 2d6 damage, 19-20 crit, 150' increment. 6 lbs. 200 gp, 10 bullets and powder cost 5 gp, 1 lb. Fires and reloads as a light crossbow.

    Longrifle: exotic ranged weapon, 3d6 damage, 19-20 crit, 200' increment. 12 lbs. 300 gp, 10 bullets and powder cost 5 gp, 1 lb. Fires and reloads as a heavy crossbow. Also, imposes a -4 penalty to attack unless you're prone while firing it.

    For either weapon, a natural 1 will jam it. Fixing a jam so the weapon can be reloaded is a full-round action.

    This emphasizes how new the technology is (little variety), but they're still nice weapons that are superior to other ranged weaponry. Clockwork scopes and reloading mechanisms are optional fluff (though a longrifle usually has a lens of some kind.)
    Last edited by Thomar_of_Uointer; 2010-07-11 at 02:08 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Early Firearms - v0.2 - PEACH

    You raise a good point. I do a decent 'intricate', but 'simplistic' just isn't my thing.

    You did the same thing as WoTC, though. Gave primitive firearms a range increment they honestly didn't deserve. The range increment's the distance at which it starts to be inaccurate, not the range limit. And a primitive pistol isn't perfectly accurate up to 150'.

    Besides, if they're primitive enough that there's no variety in the weapons, you'd still be centuries before a decent rifle;)

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Early Firearms - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by whoiam View Post
    You raise a good point. I do a decent 'intricate', but 'simplistic' just isn't my thing.
    Well, but to be fair the other D&D weapons are done in simplistic ways.

    Bows and crossbows don't take a penalty for geting wet, blades don't get dull, spears don't get stuck on your oponents, etc, etc. Altough "realistic" those details don't really make for a much fun experience unless you like really gritty games.

    In particular when you're fighting the dragon with hundreds of HP meaning you need dozens of shots to take it down, sudenly geting the weapon jammed isn't really very fun.

    At least I sugest cheap "magic" options to bypass the penalties. Like enchanted weapons never jamming and being able to fire even when wet ect.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Actually, I was just going to stick a note on the bottom noting that a DM doesn't have to use the smoke and fouling rules.

    But you make a good point on the magic to keep water out of the pan. That's definitely going in...

    ...after Mamellek's next post and the next batch of Terminator feats.:$ Busy, busy, busy.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Hey there! I actually DID take part in a campaign set in colonial America and played a soldier with a musket. Coincidentally, I homebrewed virtually the exact same stats as you for my longbore musket, 3d8 damage per shot with a x3 crit modifier. It worked perfectly and made my ranger competitive with normal archer once I took the quick load feat.

    When I combined it with crit-increasing spells, the musket proved quite potent indeed! I think you did a great job on these guns, and they'll serve you well.
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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Early Firearms - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by whoiam View Post
    You raise a good point. I do a decent 'intricate', but 'simplistic' just isn't my thing.

    You did the same thing as WoTC, though. Gave primitive firearms a range increment they honestly didn't deserve. The range increment's the distance at which it starts to be inaccurate, not the range limit. And a primitive pistol isn't perfectly accurate up to 150'.

    Besides, if they're primitive enough that there's no variety in the weapons, you'd still be centuries before a decent rifle;)
    I just tried to keep it in line with crossbows, not base it on anything realistic. :)
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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Telescopic sights grant no bonus to hit, but double the range increment and reduce the range increment hit penalty to one point per range increment. Using telescopic sights to line up a shot is a full round action, and the bonus only applies to the first attack made on the following round, so long as the firer does not move or change target before then.
    I have other rules for a telescopic sight - my rules state that you can sight and then shoot multiple targets while sighting only once. But they must all fall within your line of sight.

    Thus, when sighting, your line of sight is actually narrowed (albeit increased with the sighting) to whatever direction you are facing, in a cone - with the benefit that minimum range increments are increased by whatever magnification you chose (anything beyond minimum increment is still penalized as normal, but the maximum penalty is reduced considerably - ie. increase 120ft. range to 360ft.? Maximum range would be 1200ft., but with the sight, this only incurs about a -14 (120ft. increments beyond 360ft.) penalty as opposed to -20; the 'far shot' feat allows you take advantage of bullet fall off points). You can also have a sighter watching one area from far away, allowing the potential for sentries facing different directions and the like - it also makes long range shoot outs more exciting - say, you spotted a guy hiding with your scope, but then he ran out of your line of sight! Now you've got to look around with your scope again. It also makes it necessary to include spotters.

    Too complicated?

    Other rules for using guns that I've thought of
    - Firing while not moving = +2 to attacks
    ------

    You should stat up gatling guns (since you're doing turn of the century and 19th century) and ming dynasty gunpowder arrow shooters (whatever those are called; they shoot entire volleys of arrows and can fire high powered individual bolts due to gunpowder reagent).
    Last edited by imp_fireball; 2010-07-12 at 03:10 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    The main reason I had a one shot per sighting rule is that firearms in the period would just have too much recoil to take multiple shots without having to line up a second time.

    Dropping out of Line of Sight is an effective counter to the sights under both sets of rules... although it wouldn't hurt to make that a little more explicit in my description. I'll get on it.

    If anything, I'd be tempted to put in a -2 penalty for firing on the move rather than a +2 bonus to firing standing still. Guns of the period I'm aiming for just weren't all that accurate.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    For a comparison here's the firearms rule set I use, when designed it wanted to make sure guns weren't just fancy loud crossbows.

    Requires Exotic Weapon Proficiency Firearms
    Pistol
    ———Small/Medium,
    500gp, 1d8/2d6 Critical x3 (Range Increment 50ft)
    Weight 6lbs
    3gp for 10 bullets

    Long Rifle
    ———Small/Medium
    600gp 2d6/3d6 Critical x3 (Range Increment 150ft)
    Weight 6lbs
    3gp for 10 bullets

    *Firearms deal piercing damage, and require a standard action to reload, [move or part of move action with rapid-reload]

    Armor Penetration
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    Firearms are deadly against armored targets as the bullets can easily rip straight through most armor and into flesh. The target takes a -4 penalty on its armor class. (this penalty can not exceed the combined shield, armor and natural armor bonus).

    Firearms ability to penetrate armor does not extend to force effect based armor, nor will they penetrate adamantine armor unless the bullet is also made from adamantine.
    So for example a cleric with an AC of 27(+9 Armor, +3 Shield, +2 Deflection, +2 Natural, +1 Dex), would only have an AC 23 vs a pistol or rifle.

    When deciding on feature to make firearms fundamentally different then say crossbows, I thought of two ways to do this. The first was some augmented critical say 19-20x3 the other was some kind of armor penetration. I went with the armor penetration as it was most disadvantageous to the PC's. It lets a lower level NPC's hit a PC much more easily. So far its worked quite well.

    Enchanting Firearms,
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    Guns use a alchemical reaction to propel metal slugs into the target, this makes enchanting weapons more difficult as the power of the weapon lies in the powder and not actually in the weapon. As such firearms cost an additional 2,000gp to enchant[much like cold iron weapons]


    Firearm related feats, most obviously you can take rapid-reload to reload pistols and rifles more easily, but say crossbow sniper is available for firearms as well.

    For weapon sights I simply use the one from arms and equipment that makes the target count as two range increments closer.

    Blunderbuss. 300gp
    Weight 10lb
    Full-round action to reload
    Damage 3d6,
    Blundershot 10gp (10)
    *Piercing*
    This weapon shoots a 20-foot cone of shrapnel that deals 3d6 points of piecing damage to all creatures and objects in the area. As no attack roll is required no proficiency is necessary. A successful DC 15 reflex save halves the damage. Reloading it is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
    Because this is an area effect a Blunderbuss deals its full damage to swarms.

    A magical blunderbuss works differently then most weapons, as it lacks an attack roll any enchantment bonus to hit instead adds to the reflex save at a 2 for 1 ratio. So a +3 Blunderbuss adds +6 to the reflex saving throw. In addition any feats like weapon focus or ranged weapon mastery also adds directly to the reflex save DC instead of the non-existent attack roll.instead add to the reflex saving throw.

    The Blunderbuss is very new compared to my other firearms rules it has in fact yet to be used in practice as my current campaign only just started after I took a few months off from DMing and the Blunderbuss didn't exist in my previous one. So I've yet to see how well this one will work out.


    A couple of my house rules that effect ranged combat
    Splitting Weapons:
    Works only on your first shot of the round,

    Stacking, the enchantment bonus on the ammo and the weapon stack. So a +5 arrow fired from a +5 longbow nets you +10 to hit and damage, special abilities don't stack however, a flaming arrow fired from a flaming bow still gets you only +1d6 fire.

    The thing that really took me the longest was the blunderbuss or shotgun, the reason being I had so much trouble figuring out how it should work. Eventually I found something that worked.

    With all firearms on a roll of a natural one the gun will jam requiring a standard action to clear the chamber.
    Last edited by Lord Vukodlak; 2010-07-12 at 04:37 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    I'm not an expert by any standards, and most of my gun-type knowledge lies in modern weaponry, but a 20ft cone (on the Blunderbuss) is outrageously inaccurate.

    From the SRD;
    A cone-shaped spell shoots away from you in a quarter-circle in the direction you designate.
    We're talking about spontaneously filling ~350 square feet with shrapnel. That's just not right.
    Last edited by Lyndworm; 2010-07-12 at 04:53 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Dropping out of Line of Sight is an effective counter to the sights under both sets of rules... although it wouldn't hurt to make that a little more explicit in my description. I'll get on it.
    Yes, because otherwise - you can see people standing behind you while sighting. Sighting should be an action in itself that incurs a condition of some sort.

    I made sighting a swift action, and then some other action to go out of sighting and then another action to increase or lessen sighting magnitude. It's around the forums somewhere.
    -----

    Also: Some ammo qualities allow you to deal maximum damage on a sunder with an appropriate firearm rather then 1/2 damage (usual for ranged weapon).

    We're talking about spontaneously filling ~350 square feet with shrapnel. That's just not right.
    How about - it extends outwards in a cone until the cone reaches a width of 20ft., after which the shape changes to become a 20ft. thick line that extends outwards to line of effect the shooter chose.

    Chances are 350ft. width means that the shrapnel is too dispersed to do any damage - not necessarily a 350ft. wide barrage and more like a hazard involving shrapnel flying through a some spaces here and there.

    For the sake of video games - I made a shotgun with a special quality that made it do maximum damage as per damage die within point blank (1/4 first range increment; 10ft. or so).
    Last edited by imp_fireball; 2010-07-12 at 05:22 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    I'm not an expert by any standards, and most of my gun-type knowledge lies in modern weaponry, but a 20ft cone (on the Blunderbuss) is outrageously inaccurate.
    Well that's how the blunderbuss worked it was an early shotgun, with short barrels. If I tried to be more exact it be a longer more narrow cone that dealt more damage close up then further away and cover would reduce damage as well.[as some of the lead pellets would impact the object or creature rather then you].

    The actual real life blunderbuss has a lethal range of about 30-40ft, beyond that you just piss the guy off, and its spread certainly wasn't as significant but D&D spacing rules facilitate simplicity rather then reality of combat, so that needs to be taken into account.

    But that's just to complicated, a 20ft cone of lead pellets gets the spirit of the weapon across while keeping things simple. I could go with a 30 or 40ft cone with the width half that of the length but thought 20ft standard cone was better.
    Last edited by Lord Vukodlak; 2010-07-12 at 05:47 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Just for squits and giggles, I decided to see what gurps has to say about firearm reloading times. It ain't pretty.

    I'm limiting myself to just the flintlock/caplock weapons here. Once you get into more modern gun systems in gurps, you come back to sane rates of fire.

    Your basic long arm smoothbore gun takes 40 seconds (6 2/3 full-round actions) to reload. Change that to a rifle, and it is 60 seconds.

    Converted to D&D full-round actions (with rpm listed in brackets afterwards)

    * muzzle-loading musket - 7 full-round actions (1.5 rpm)
    * muzzle-loading rifle - 10 full-round actions (1 rpm)
    * muzzle-loading rifle, patched ball - 7 full-round actions (1.4 rpm)
    * muzzle-loading rifle, Minié ball - 5 full-round actions (2.1 rpm)
    * muzzle-loading smoothbore pistol - 3 full-round actions (3 rpm)
    * muzzle-loading rifled pistol - 5 full-round actions (2 rpm)
    * breech-loader - 2 full-round actions (6 rpm)

    That's anything from 2 to 6 full-round actions. Multiply the time by 1.5 if reloading a long arm and not standing. If riding, make a DC 15 Ride check at the end of the reloading time; failure means you dropped the ammunition instead of loading it.

    A self-measuring flask for the powder will shave off one round from this time. Some guns incorporate a self-priming pan, which reduces reload time by two rounds. Paper cartridges halve the reload time. These three options can not be combined; only one can be used at a time.

    The best rate of fire is 12 rpm (breech-loader with paper cartridges). The worse is 1 rpm (muzzle-loading rifle).

    For comparison, a gurps crossbow can get 15 rpm, 7.5 rpm, or 2.7 rpm, depending on the relative strength of crossbow and wielder. A bow in gurps can achieve 20 rpm.

    Just some numbers to bear in mind when deciding on a reload time for your D&D guns

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Just for squits and giggles, I decided to see what gurps has to say about firearm reloading times. It ain't pretty.

    Spoiler
    Show
    I'm limiting myself to just the flintlock/caplock weapons here. Once you get into more modern gun systems in gurps, you come back to sane rates of fire.

    Your basic long arm smoothbore gun takes 40 seconds (6 2/3 full-round actions) to reload. Change that to a rifle, and it is 60 seconds.

    Converted to D&D full-round actions (with rpm listed in brackets afterwards)

    * muzzle-loading musket - 7 full-round actions (1.5 rpm)
    * muzzle-loading rifle - 10 full-round actions (1 rpm)
    * muzzle-loading rifle, patched ball - 7 full-round actions (1.4 rpm)
    * muzzle-loading rifle, Minié ball - 5 full-round actions (2.1 rpm)
    * muzzle-loading smoothbore pistol - 3 full-round actions (3 rpm)
    * muzzle-loading rifled pistol - 5 full-round actions (2 rpm)
    * breech-loader - 2 full-round actions (6 rpm)

    That's anything from 2 to 6 full-round actions. Multiply the time by 1.5 if reloading a long arm and not standing. If riding, make a DC 15 Ride check at the end of the reloading time; failure means you dropped the ammunition instead of loading it.

    A self-measuring flask for the powder will shave off one round from this time. Some guns incorporate a self-priming pan, which reduces reload time by two rounds. Paper cartridges halve the reload time. These three options can not be combined; only one can be used at a time.

    The best rate of fire is 12 rpm (breech-loader with paper cartridges). The worse is 1 rpm (muzzle-loading rifle).

    For comparison, a gurps crossbow can get 15 rpm, 7.5 rpm, or 2.7 rpm, depending on the relative strength of crossbow and wielder. A bow in gurps can achieve 20 rpm.

    Just some numbers to bear in mind when deciding on a reload time for your D&D guns
    Which is exactly why you don't use real life reload times in D&D, a heavy crossbow could fire twice a minute, a bow could fire ten times a minute.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Vukodlak View Post
    Which is exactly why you don't use real life reload times in D&D, a heavy crossbow could fire twice a minute, a bow could fire ten times a minute.
    Well, the point of quoting those numbers wasn't to do a strict copy of real-life rates of fire. That would probably be really awkward for D&D. However, by looking at the relative differences between bows, crossbows, and guns, you could easily pick a rate of fire for guns that preserves the same relative values.

    fwiw, a realistic archer can get 10 rpm. gurps overestimates the rate of fire to a crazy degree there.
    Last edited by Ashtagon; 2010-07-12 at 05:59 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Actually, under battle conditions, 10rpm isn't that far off a proper archer's fireing rate.

    But that's mostly because battle conditions doesn't require more than the most rudimentary of aiming. They just had to draw and fire, and 6 seconds was more than enough for that.

    GURPS actually underestimated the firing rate of muskets - the historic firing rates at the time of the Napoleonic Wars (the numbers I know off by heart) were between 3 and 5 rounds a minute on average (French conscripts averaging around 3 and the Redcoats averaging a little over 4).

    That's the numbers my reloading cycle was based on - loading and firing takes three rounds (18s), so you can hit slightly over three shots a minute.

    Anyway, this is now slightly past midnight local time, so I'll take a look at your rules suggestions tomorrow after work. Thanks for all the suggestions!

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Well, the point of quoting those numbers wasn't to do a strict copy of real-life rates of fire. That would probably be really awkward for D&D. However, by looking at the relative differences between bows, crossbows, and guns, you could easily pick a rate of fire for guns that preserves the same relative values.
    But there are certain other issues, like why bother using a weapon you can only fire every other round. You could say give firearms 3 move/standard actions to reload, powder, ball, plunger. But if anyone is going to bother to use a weapon you fire every other round it need some major advantages, and if your going to bother adding something new to the game you'd hope people would use it.

    Then of course the abstract hit point system, when one crossbow bolt can kill an armored knight with a decade of experience it doesn't matter that a longbow can fire ten times as fast. You can hand out crossbows to conscripts archers were often expensive mercenaries.
    Last edited by Lord Vukodlak; 2010-07-12 at 06:12 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by whoiam View Post
    GURPS actually underestimated the firing rate of muskets - the historic firing rates at the time of the Napoleonic Wars (the numbers I know off by heart) were between 3 and 5 rounds a minute on average (French conscripts averaging around 3 and the Redcoats averaging a little over 4).
    Not really. By Napoleonic times, guns would have been reloaded with paper cartridges, which doubles the base rates of fire I noted. That brings them right into the rate of fire ballpark that you identified as standard for Napoleonic era guns. Even more so if you assume some of the soldiers will have the Fast Reload talent, which brings it down even more (something I didn't bother writing into the notes.

    * Muzzle-loading smoothbore long arm, paper cartridge: 60/21 rpm (2.85)
    * Muzzle-loading smoothbore long arm, paper cartridge: 60/16 rpm (3.75) Fast-Draw
    * Muzzle-loading rifled long arm, paper cartridge: 60/31 rpm (1.9)
    * Muzzle-loading rifled long arm, paper cartridge: 60/26 rpm (2.3) Fast-Draw
    * Muzzle-loading rifled long arm, paper cartridge: 60/31 rpm (1.9)
    * Muzzle-loading rifled long arm, paper cartridge: 60/26 rpm (2.3) Fast-Draw
    * Muzzle-loading rifled long arm, Minié ball paper cartridge: 60/21 rpm (2.85)
    * Muzzle-loading rifled long arm, Minié ball paper cartridge: 60/16 rpm (3.75) Fast-Draw

    Still a little below your 3-5 rpm, though not by much.

    But there are certain other issues, like why bother using a weapon you can only fire every other round. You could say give firearms 3 move/standard actions to reload, powder, ball, plunger. But if anyone is going to bother to use a weapon you fire every other round it need some major advantages, and if your going to bother adding something new to the game you'd hope people would use it.
    Um, you do realise that, strictly by RAW, the D&D heavy crossbow can only be used every other round. If you're going to slam guns for this flaw, better start off by slamming the crossbow.
    Last edited by Ashtagon; 2010-07-12 at 06:28 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Early Firearms - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by whoiam View Post
    You were thinking of doing a colonial campaign?
    Of sorts. I've had a longing to do a cosmic horror campaign set sometime around the revolutionary war.
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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Um, you do realise that, strictly by RAW, the D&D heavy crossbow can only be used every other round. If you're going to slam guns for this flaw, better start off by slamming the crossbow.
    Um You do realize that with rapid-reload they can be fired once a round, there's also a weapon enchantment that does the same thing but without granting a feat. One has to take those things into account

    By the 18th century[1700's] a very experienced soldier could load and fire a musket at about three shots per minute. The rapid-reload feat can easily represent that kind of experience. Really early firearms had comparable reloading times to the larger crossbows one of the reasons they replaced them.
    Last edited by Lord Vukodlak; 2010-07-12 at 07:42 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Vukodlak View Post
    But that's just to complicated, a 20ft cone of lead pellets gets the spirit of the weapon across while keeping things simple. I could go with a 30 or 40ft cone with the width half that of the length but thought 20ft standard cone was better.
    I don't think you seem to know what you're talking about, sorry.

    You should list the specifics of the cone. Also, usually such an attack incurs a reflex save for half damage - and cover does help because it usually offers a bonus to said reflex saves.

    like why bother using a weapon you can only fire every other round.
    Period pirates usually carried multiple firearms for this very reason. Instead of rapid reload, take quick draw and two weapon fighting. It'd be like throwing daggers, except you are shooting pistols and then putting them away very rapidly.
    Last edited by imp_fireball; 2010-07-12 at 08:03 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by imp_fireball View Post
    I don't think you seem to know what you're talking about, sorry.

    You should list the specifics of the cone. Also, usually such an attack incurs a reflex save for half damage - and cover does help because it usually offers a bonus to said reflex saves.
    I don't think you know what your talking about, sorry[did you read my original post #15 or just the one you quoted?]
    My blunderbuss already includes a reflex save for half damage, 15. What I meant was in a more realistic sense for a blunderbuss or any shotgun like weapon cover would reduce damage automatically rather then just providing a bonus on the reflex save.

    Cover works against area effects be default[unless the effect is a spread, or has no reflex save], why then should I include it in my Blunderbuss entry.

    Quote Originally Posted by imp_fireball View Post
    Period pirates usually carried multiple firearms for this very reason. Instead of rapid reload, take quick draw and two weapon fighting. It'd be like throwing daggers, except you are shooting pistols and then putting them away very rapidly.
    Utterly and completely ineffective in D&D due to the cost of enchanting weapons. Eliminate damage reduction and then that can work. Early firearms already had comparable reload times to heavy crossbows, D&D speeds up the reload time of a heavy crossbow from RL so why not guns.
    Last edited by Lord Vukodlak; 2010-07-12 at 08:37 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    These are all incredibly weak for their incredibly long loading time. Their only real use is maybe at low levels where you can load a very powerful shot and then ditch the weapon.

    I respect the concept of realism, but honestly, this makes guns basically useless. All guns should also be simple weapons if you want them to ever be picked over bows, as well.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5e Firearms ~1600-1900 (Complex) - v0.2 - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    These are all incredibly weak for their incredibly long loading time. Their only real use is maybe at low levels where you can load a very powerful shot and then ditch the weapon.

    I respect the concept of realism, but honestly, this makes guns basically useless. All guns should also be simple weapons if you want them to ever be picked over bows, as well.
    Well I've found nearly the entire party I DM has picked up and used guns even the ones who aren't proficient. But I kept my reload times to be comparable to crossbows.

    A gun also doesn't necessarily have to be simple weapon. Plenty of people try and shoot from the hip, or otherwise hold it the wrong way and try and fire them. And for those old school flintlock users would closer their eyes at the last moment due to the muzzle flash of smoke.

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