Gunpowder use is an extremely optional addition to any fantasy campaign. I debated it's use for years before finally accepting it once 3e came about.
I strived to make it usable and balanced, and also relatively simple. I discarded the nitpicking ( Penetration values, calibers, powder quality, etc... )and collected various ideas and rules to make it's use reasonable in any setting.
Here's the base rules for what will follow here:
The standard firearm will use 1oz of blackpowder per shot. The powder propels a 1oz lead ball that inflicts terrible damage, but has limited accuracy.
Rate of fire is 1/10 ( one minute ) untrained
1/5 ( 30 seconds ) trained
Damage: 3d10 at short range/ 2d10 medium/1d10 long
ROF: 1/5 ( 1/10 untrained )
Special: Knockdown at short range ( Reflex Save DC 20, creatures size S or M )/ 10ft spread at medium range/ broken glass, nails, gravel, and lead balls may be used as ammunition.
ROF: 1/5 ( 1/10 untrained )
ROF: 1/5 ( 1/10 untrained )
Explosives and Artillery
Keg of powder is a 5lb keg.
5d10 damage 0-5' 3d10 damage 6-15' 1d10 damage 16-25'
For multiple kegs. up the area of effect by 1' for every additional keg. Each keg will inflict damage, so multiply damage. example: 12 kegs BR = 36'ft max ( 5d10 x 12 0-16' 3d10 x12 17-26' 1d10 x 12 27-36' ) damage = x12
Damage depends on the shot used. the size of the cannon effects only the range. The rules can be expanded to reflect heavier shot, but this is optional. The following is a basic guidline for quick artillery. ranges are roundshot/grapeshot.
roundshot d10 damage ( optional rule making damage d10 per 1b of weight for the shot )
grapeshot d10 per 5' square occupied. reflex save dc 20 for 1/2. the ranges reflect a cone shaped area of effect, extending to full width at maximum effective range.
rate of fire assumes a full crew. add 5 rounds to the reload time for every 1 short in a crew. min crew for any cannon is 2. the exception being the light cannon.
light cannon ( deck guns, and chasers. Giant sized humanoids with strengths 20 and above could carry such weapons and use as blunderbus )
( Optional roundshot weight maximum 4lbs )
reload/rof ( trained only ) 1/10
Medium Cannon ( standard field artillery 18th 7 19th century )
( Optional roundshot weight maximum 18lbs )
reload/rof ( trained only ) 1/20
Heavy cannon ( bombards, super cannons )
( Optional roundshot weight maximum 50lbs )
reload/rof ( trained only ) 1/30
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? Responses (12)
Wait! This isn't D20! Never mind, shivamuffin! Bravo!
Well done rules!
I don't know why black powder rules have caused so many issues. They are wimpy magik items (when compared to most of them), that any class can use, that requires an expensive material component. When you think of them in that way, they are not so scary.
However, they will have an impact upon the campaign world, unless the mages can monopolize the production of gun powder.
Other than that little tirade, very nice set up.
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Now posting 1100+ RPG tips @ www.openroleplaying.org
Standing 6 feet from a keg of powder causes the same amount og damage as being 25 feet from a blunderbus? I thought that was like a shotgun, not a gatling gun! 450 range for a musket? Did barrel rifling get invented along with the gunpowder? One shot a minute? Maybe with a three man crew, one shooting, one cleaning and one loading.
I just can't see any way to make gunpowder viable. It was unbalancing in reality and therefore is always unbalancing in games.
15th century guns were highly inaccurate, good for only about 30-40 yards. These used slow matches to fire and were unreliable as to if they were going to fire at all. Firearms remained that way for near to 100 years before anyone even thought of rifling the barrels, but the first rifling was straight grooves, not spirals, and were used to catch the unburn powder and keep it from clogging the barrel. Spiraled rifling was only utilized once someone noticed it had more area to hold the unburn powder.
My sources for all this:
I try to avoid gunpowder and such in my campaigns as it's the players often trying to make it on their own. If they can somehow justify their CHARACTER knowing how to cut spiral grooves in a narrow hole (something I've never been able to figure out myself) Then that let's me know they'd probbally rather be playing a sci-fi game and we switch genres.
Any character trying to do this stuff on his own in a midevil setting would be stuck with the unreliable, short range, likely-as-not-to-blow-yourself-up guns that are accurate to period. They just have to face the fact that any character that can acquire the nessecary knowledge to make any or all of this is probally a mage, and would rather cast magic missile with no chance of missing, much less blowing his fragile person to smitherines, than construct one of these silly things.
Although, that line does give me an idea for a cool campaign...
Ah you are suffering from the difference in character skill than player knowledge. If they want to do that, then require them to know exactly how to take care of that blade or what the reasoning behind their spell components are, or why certain poisons are applied in different ways. These are all things their characters know, that their players don't (usually(.
As for making the grooves, it is for rifleing. It is like throwing a ball. If you put a longitudal spin on it, it actually goes farther and with a flatter trajectory and does not tumble, resulting in more accuracy. That is why many fletchers, twist the feathers on crossbow bolts. It creates a spin that makes the bolt go farther. This trick does not work for arrows because of the bow draw length.
I fully understand what the grooves do, that's pretty elementry. I have no idea HOW they cut the things, in a spiral, inside the long, very narrow hole that is the barrel. I mean, straight groves, that's easy enough, just a long file or something, but you can use a straight file to make a sprial groove, you would just end up enlarging the bore. Maybe some special spiral file ... then the players are gonna have to have some real made skills to make the tool steel, give it a perfect and even twist, cut the teeth, and then apply it to the bore. If the twist on the file isn't exactly perfect, they'll have irregular rifling widths and the file will get jammed up often as the two sides try to twist at different rates.
If they can think up some other way, or research the real way, it probally isn't much easier in a pre-industial revolution society.
WHEN SOMEONE FINDS THIS AFTER THE VERSION 2 MIGRATION, Copy it over to a System's Post. (Combative/ Historical) Then make all these comments, comments on that Post. Not really an item's post.
The biggest thing which slows the historical growth of firearm use is metallurgy.
No good having high quality powder if the barrel will explode.
Fun comments. Good read.