Firearms

I know it's somewhat controversial, but one of the things that bothered me about 4e was the fact that I couldn't use firearms in my game if I wanted to.  I know it's not for every game, but in the editions of D&D that I played before (AD&D 2e and 3.x) at least had the options for adding weapons that were beyond the typical medieval fantasy setting.

It should 100% be a modular thing, but I'd like to see support for firearms in the PHB or DMG. 
They need to be equivalent to magic items in power. And also, here's what I think: the average civilian in 4e has one HP with the assumption that they have just been caught in the middle of things (HP abstraction comes into play here). If they are prepared for combat, they might have 10 HP or so. So, if a crossbow hits, it will kill someone unprepared, and grievously wound a combat ready one. So, a crossbow will kill average Joe, and wound specialized Sue. Now, most killed with guns are unprepared, or unlucky, or not in a position to defend themselves, which means a gun will kill average Joe if it hits. Specialized Sue, however, is taking cover, using her superior tactics to predict what the enemy will do, and is in better shape in general. So a gun has an OK chance to kill her. Many shot on the battlefield IRL survive because they are specialized Sue. However, one of us probably wouldn't, we are average Joe. What I'm getting at is: a gun(RL) isn't that better than a crossbow(DND), so an extra damage die and a higher crit rate would suffice.


This is actually an approach I incorporated into all my D&D games, even the non-modern ones (my current one is modern mixed with fantasy, my last one was straight modern/scifi). I was thinking about the problem of having metal gear style missions where sneaking is more important than shooting your way through everything (although that would be a valid option at times). What I decided was that if the characters were successful in sneaking up on someone (stealth beats the person's passive perception), those people would be treated as minions. If after the surprise round anyone was still alive, they became standard monsters, which made life harder on the party just in straight combat terms and they could sound the alarm.
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It's a very different type of combat, and, for me, if you just reflavor a bow to be a gun, you haven't captured the feel of a gunfight. You've just introduced weak-ass guns.

No, we've introduced normal guns to a system where heroes can easily survive and recover from being bashed several times in the face with an axe. This "realism" problem isn't with the guns; it's with the heroes themselves and the HP system.


I want heroes to act the way fantasy heroes act when faced with an axe, which is an exciting strategic combat,  But I also want heroes to act the way heroes act in gunfights, if we are to have guns.  And that means, at least at low levels, they duck for cover. When a hero gets to this edition's equivalent of paragon tier, I have no problem with them standing and dodging bullets.  And at epic tier, even martial characters can react in Matrix bullet-time.

But if a 3rd level fighter is just standing in an open field as orc gunslingers shoot at him from rooftops, that isn't comporting with my sense of what firearms should be like.

It has nothing to do with hp.  It has to do with the experience that D&D should be trying to replicate.
Here's a thought... Long reload firearms as Vancian or Encounter use ranged weapons.

 

I... really like this idea. I'm thinking a campaign in which there are hardly any firearms, but the PCs get wind of a gun that's a shoulder-mounted, muzzle-loading, scaled-down cannon. A short adventure later, they have a 2-handed range weapon that gets a bonus to attack and deals 3d12 damage but takes 4 rounds to reload, so it's impractical to use it more than once in a combat. Maybe the PCs get smart and hire a stooge to reload the gun during firefights, but then a couple intelligent monsters take notice...
but that same character standing in the open feild seemingly unfazed while enemies bare crossbows/bows/blowguns/throwing darts/wands/etc... from rooftops is totally normal?

either which way, be it through a gun or a crossbow, a character with no way to trade blows at a distance will almost try to find some sort of cover, unless they have some sort of long range defense.

as for the whole cover>fire>cover, that relies mainly on two things:

1) the gm setting up the scene with lots of places to take cover and take advantage of cover. be it D&D, Gamma World or Serenity, any system that uses long ranged weapons will probably allow for some sort of cover.

heck i remember a gamma world session that was effectively a showdown, with the PCs on one end going "i move to cover > shoot > drop prone" followed by a few rounds of "i get up > i shoot > i drop prone". it was neat, but i wouldn't want that to happen every fight though. it was a fight that was definitely setup to be an "ambush" with a lot of open space between the party (hidden behind cover) and the enemy. but it would get boring pretty quickly if the dominant strategy is "take static cover and shoot"

one of the most boring things about pre-4th combat was how static the fights were. barring cool terrain, there was little benefit from moving around... you either had cover an took your shots or stood there and traded blows. no movement, just "i attack > they attack > i attack > they attack > etc"

D&D has done a pretty good job of making the melee combat guy not feel like a total putz when a ranged guy steps forward. thanks to the abstract HP you can take a few arrow blows before finally closing the gap and punishing that archer for daring to notch an arrow at you. on the flipside, it also lets your ranged PCs stay mobile so they don't simply end up standing still as a big, angry guy with an even bigger sword tries to perform an on-the-fly face-ectomy.

i'm far more interested in guns being fun then guns being "real" especially in the context of a game of heroic fantasy.
It's a very different type of combat, and, for me, if you just reflavor a bow to be a gun, you haven't captured the feel of a gunfight. You've just introduced weak-ass guns.

No, we've introduced normal guns to a system where heroes can easily survive and recover from being bashed several times in the face with an axe. This "realism" problem isn't with the guns; it's with the heroes themselves and the HP system.


I want heroes to act the way fantasy heroes act when faced with an axe, which is an exciting strategic combat,  But I also want heroes to act the way heroes act in gunfights, if we are to have guns.  And that means, at least at low levels, they duck for cover. When a hero gets to this edition's equivalent of paragon tier, I have no problem with them standing and dodging bullets.  And at epic tier, even martial characters can react in Matrix bullet-time.

But if a 3rd level fighter is just standing in an open field as orc gunslingers shoot at him from rooftops, that isn't comporting with my sense of what firearms should be like.

It has nothing to do with hp.  It has to do with the experience that D&D should be trying to replicate.


It's not really about the hero dodging bullets.  Those of us in the RP community tend to treat gunfighting like target-practice on the run, but it's a very different thing to actually try to hit a target that is shooting back at you.  Gunfighting has been described as taking your time in a hurry.  If you're in too big of a hurry, you're gonna miss.  If you're taking too much time, you either won't get your shot off or you'll get shot first.

There are a lot of things that can be represented by a miss:
1) misfire
2) failure to prime the pan
3) going off half-cocked
4) not properly packing the powder or ball and wading
5) forgetting that you already fired the last round in your clip/cylinder
6) forgetting you have the safety on
7) accidentally clicking the safety on
8) fumbling the ramrod or clip on reload
9) a cartridge jam
10) your flint breaking
11) moving the gun after the pan flashes but before the ball fires (for those who don't know, there are two booms for breechloaders)
12) being scared or blinded by an overcharged pan

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

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There are a lot of things that can be represented by a miss:
1) misfire
2) failure to prime the pan
3) going off half-cocked
4) not properly packing the powder or ball and wading
5) forgetting that you already fired the last round in your clip/cylinder
6) forgetting you have the safety on
7) accidentally clicking the safety on
8) fumbling the ramrod or clip on reload
9) a cartridge jam
10) your flint breaking
11) moving the gun after the pan flashes but before the ball fires (for those who don't know, there are two booms for breechloaders)
12) being scared or blinded by an overcharged pan



+1
As the OP said this should be opt-in modular type thing. but if they do include a page or two in the dmg about including guns in your game this list is good content.
I know it's somewhat controversial, but one of the things that bothered me about 4e was the fact that I couldn't use firearms in my game if I wanted to.

Gee, that's odd, I thought that was a flintlock pistol that my bard fired at a bugbear Monday night. Shortly after one of the other PCs shot it with his musket.

Houseruling items hasn't been banned, you know.
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The problem is that a firearm is an extremely costly wepon that requires a talent (because apparently is a lot more difficult to aim it than a crossbow... Whatever),

Actually, real-world early firearms did not require a special talent to aim - as we understand the term, it simply wasn't possible to aim one. 

* Inconsistent shot weight
* Inconsistent shot size
* Inconsistent powder loads
* Inconsistent weight of wadding
* Inconsistent pressure when packing
* And if you learned how to fire one gun well, you couldn't put it down and pick up an "identical" gun because the barrel would be a different internal diameter with a different pattern of irregularities in that diameter

What you did was get 20 or 30 guys with these firing them in the general direction of the enemy.

In our game Monday night my Bard fired a flintlock pistol - which was a pretty lousy weapon by modern standards but a vast improvement on early firearms. It's an encounter power to use, and hits her on a 1. But it's her high-damage encounter power, and plenty accurate (historically INaccurate). Of course, a Bard isn't all about damage.

The Scout in the party has a musket, and he can do far more damage in a single turn with his sword - and he IS all about damage; on the other hand, the musket is his only high-damage RANGED power, and also by far his longest-ranged power (other than that he's throwing a dagger - primarily as part of Throw-and-Stab).

This seems a good use for firearms without breaking the general magic-steampunk feel of Eberron: an encounter power with a risk, that brings the character something the character otherwise doesn't have a lot of. Damage for a low-damage character, range for a melee character...

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
They need to be equivalent to magic items in power.


In another thread someone was talking about powersourc-keywords for magic items. Firearms would make interesting Martial "magic" weapons.
Those of us in the RP community


Excuse me?  Are you saying I'm not in the roleplaying community?!  Obnoxious much?

tend to treat gunfighting like target-practice on the run, but it's a very different thing to actually try to hit a target that is shooting back at you.


Not at the close ranges in which a D&D fight is taking place.  Most people are shooting at each other from less than 60 feet away from one another.  That's within "point blank" range for pretty much any firearm.

Even primitive flintlocks were accurate within 50 yards (150 feet).  The reason they are considered so inaccurate is that most wartime combat occurred across fields with distances of hundreds of yards.  In D&D combat, we rarely roll for initiative if the combatants can't be placed on a single battlemat!

Gunfighting has been described as taking your time in a hurry.  If you're in too big of a hurry, you're gonna miss.  If you're taking too much time, you either won't get your shot off or you'll get shot first.


Right.  Because most actualy gunfights lasted six seconds.  The most famous gunfight of all, the Shootout at the O.K. Corral took one or two rounds in D&D time once shooting began.  And yet, during this gunfight, Tom Laury's first instinct was to run for cover, having wisely positioned himself by a horse, which he used for cover.  (Tom was still shot, despite cover, and stumbled away from the melee.)  In the open, Ike Clanton grabbed Wyatt Earp to use him as a human shield, but Wyatt threw him off and Ike fled the field.  Three people fled as soon as guns appeared and were fine.  Everyone else, except Wyatt Earp, got shot and wounded.  Wyatt got one of the first shots off, hitting Frank Laury, the other side's best shot, which is probably why Wyatt didn't get shot.  Once everyone was wounded, it was pretty clear that Earp's folks were less wounded than the Clantons and the Clanton's tried to flee, shooting behind them if they could.  The Earps and Holliday pursued them and shot them down.

That's just not something D&D is meant to replicate.  And, frankly, there were very few "misses".  Everyone who didn't flee immediately, but Wyatt, took a bullet in that fight.

But let's not look at real gunfights, since D&D isn't supposed to be "real".  It's supposed to be cinematic.  So it should replicate cinema, not reality. And in most Westerns, when shooting starts, people duck for cover.  The reason is generally because cinematic guns are almost entirely unable to hit people hiding behind a barrell or horse trough, but nearly always kill anybody standing in the open.  Hiding behind cover also gives the characters time to banter, a must for any cinematic Western.  And, cover allows the characters to be sneaky, running across rooftops, or somersaulting from barrell to trough until they get the drop on the gunmen and start fistfighting. 

In short, cinematic gunfights are different than cinematic swordfights.  D&D models itself after cinematic swordfights, but if they introduce guns, they should also introduce rules that preserve the cinematic nature of the fights.  Replacing bows with guns and not changing the rules is just reflavoring and I see no point in even having guns instead of bows in that case.

There are a lot of things that can be represented by a miss


Yes, there are.  What does that have to do with what I'm discussing?  I didn't say that there's no explanation for a gun missing.  I said that treating guns like bows fails to capture the cinematic flavor of gunfight combat, which is the main reason, imo, to even consider introducing guns (at least repeating revolvers and breech-loaders) into D&D.
The problem is that a firearm is an extremely costly wepon that requires a talent (because apparently is a lot more difficult to aim it than a crossbow... Whatever),

Actually, real-world early firearms did not require a special talent to aim - as we understand the term, it simply wasn't possible to aim one. 

* Inconsistent shot weight
* Inconsistent shot size
* Inconsistent powder loads
* Inconsistent weight of wadding
* Inconsistent pressure when packing
* And if you learned how to fire one gun well, you couldn't put it down and pick up an "identical" gun because the barrel would be a different internal diameter with a different pattern of irregularities in that diameter

What you did was get 20 or 30 guys with these firing them in the general direction of the enemy.

In our game Monday night my Bard fired a flintlock pistol - which was a pretty lousy weapon by modern standards but a vast improvement on early firearms. It's an encounter power to use, and hits her on a 1. But it's her high-damage encounter power, and plenty accurate (historically INaccurate). Of course, a Bard isn't all about damage.

The Scout in the party has a musket, and he can do far more damage in a single turn with his sword - and he IS all about damage; on the other hand, the musket is his only high-damage RANGED power, and also by far his longest-ranged power (other than that he's throwing a dagger - primarily as part of Throw-and-Stab).

This seems a good use for firearms without breaking the general magic-steampunk feel of Eberron: an encounter power with a risk, that brings the character something the character otherwise doesn't have a lot of. Damage for a low-damage character, range for a melee character...





That's true, I was thinking more of "modern" old firearms, the one that you can actually expect to shoot in the general direction of your aim and have accuracy comparable to the crossbow, and still require a talent to be used without penalties.

The firearms-as-magic-items is a cool way to handle them, it does not break balance and you can feel that a firearm is a really powerful weapon. The real problem is that even the crossbow has a similar slow rate of fire and can be used every round... But eh, who cares, D&D and historical accuracy are not on the same plane, having a balanced alternative for firearms is all that I ask... 
I get what Wrecan is saying, there is a different flavor for gun battles than for magic and melee. I've noticed in my games that this just sort of happens. Even without any special rules beyond the guns themselves, other people often have similar ideas of how gun combat should work, and thus their characters replicate it. In fact, I got a message from another Amethyst user that was worried about gun battles becoming too static because of everyone ducking behind cover (the easy fix to that of course is just having enemies move to try to get a better shot, forcing the PCs to adjust their positions accordingly). You don't necessarily need much in the way of special rules to evoke that playstyle.
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I'm a pretty firm traditionalist when it comes to D&D, and I wouldn't care if there were rules for representing primitive firearms.  I don't want to see them represented as Pathfinder recently did, though, with guns completely ignoring armour bonus.  I wouldn't even mind if guns caused a penalty to armour bonus; I just don't want to see them totally ignoring it.
But let's not look at real gunfights, since D&D isn't supposed to be "real".  It's supposed to be cinematic.  So it should replicate cinema, not reality. And in most Westerns, when shooting starts, people duck for cover.  The reason is generally because cinematic guns are almost entirely unable to hit people hiding behind a barrell or horse trough, but nearly always kill anybody standing in the open.  Hiding behind cover also gives the characters time to banter, a must for any cinematic Western.  And, cover allows the characters to be sneaky, running across rooftops, or somersaulting from barrell to trough until they get the drop on the gunmen and start fistfighting. 

In short, cinematic gunfights are different than cinematic swordfights.  D&D models itself after cinematic swordfights, but if they introduce guns, they should also introduce rules that preserve the cinematic nature of the fights.  Replacing bows with guns and not changing the rules is just reflavoring and I see no point in even having guns instead of bows in that case.

Actually, a better solution would be to model it similarly to Three Musketeers style combat.

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@ wrecan specifically, but discussion in general

I agree and disagree with your cinematic conception of gunfire and gunfights, and that is probably the main problem with this discuasion.

Gun fights have to encompass a broad and at times bewilderingly diverse group of cinematic concepts, from the western gunfight, to the hyper realistic "real gunfight", to the ludicrously heroic star wars and shoot 'em up models, and finally the assasins/shooter sniping model of gun fights.

All of these have different rules in their fundamentals, from the importance of cover, to the effects of a wound, etc.

No single set of rules can easily accomodate this with out individual exceptions.

IMO if guns are included, they need to be accounted for not just with different rules, but with different rules for the different themes of gunfights that occur.

For instance if you're in 1900's WWI era sniper combat, that has a very different rules mod from the pirates of the caribean rules mod.

In my D&D games I go a route of guns being a sort of non-magical "magic" item that can be recharged in combat and functions largely like magic missle.  I feel like this well represents the single shot nature, and the determined shot actually hitting reliably that generates a "pirates" sort of feel to it.  YMMV of course.

TL:DR trying to say that guns can have a single comprehensive reule structure is like emulating braveheart battlefield scens with fencing rules. Not all gunfights are equal.
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a better solution would be to model it similarly to Three Musketeers style combat.


Sure.  In that case, a gun is a once an encounter item.  You use it in the first round of battle and then forget it because there's no way you can reload a musket while engaged in melee combat.

But I don't think people who want guns in D&D are thinking muskets.  They're thinking Colt .45's or semi-automatic weapons.

I agree with MajesticMoose.  There are lots of ways to model a gunfight.  If you are looking for WWI snipers, then guns are deadly weapons in the hands of trained sniper -- a save-or-die weapon.  Or couse, WWI stories are often about the fragility of life, a theme that is generally antithetical to most D&D stories.

Westerns and WWII stories are often about duck-and-cover scenarios. 

Gun-fu stories are often D&D-lite, with people dancing around battlefields from vantage to vantage, like Neo in the Matrix, or in a modern wire-fu.  These guns miss everyone but minions all the time, but still require gunslingers to take cover, particularly when they have to reload. 

So there are lots of ways to model a D&D gunfight.  I think Firearms would make a great module to include in the game, with rules for whichever genre the DM wishes to incorporate.  (Actually, I'd make it part of a larger D&D Modern remake.)

But what I really don't want is "guns are bows with a bigger damage die."
a better solution would be to model it similarly to Three Musketeers style combat.


Sure.  In that case, a gun is a once an encounter item.  You use it in the first round of battle and then forget it because there's no way you can reload a musket while engaged in melee combat.

But I don't think people who want guns in D&D are thinking muskets.  They're thinking Colt .45's or semi-automatic weapons.

I agree with MajesticMoose.  There are lots of ways to model a gunfight.  If you are looking for WWI snipers, then guns are deadly weapons in the hands of trained sniper -- a save-or-die weapon.  Or couse, WWI stories are often about the fragility of life, a theme that is generally antithetical to most D&D stories.

Westerns and WWII stories are often about duck-and-cover scenarios. 

Gun-fu stories are often D&D-lite, with people dancing around battlefields from vantage to vantage, like Neo in the Matrix, or in a modern wire-fu.  These guns miss everyone but minions all the time, but still require gunslingers to take cover, particularly when they have to reload. 

So there are lots of ways to model a D&D gunfight.  I think Firearms would make a great module to include in the game, with rules for whichever genre the DM wishes to incorporate.  (Actually, I'd make it part of a larger D&D Modern remake.)

But what I really don't want is "guns are bows with a bigger damage die."



While I agree that D&D should be/is modeled after "movie-rules", in the movies we rarely see heroic archers or crossbowman, they are mostly just minions. If an hero is known as an archer, they use melle-weapon more often than a bow and the bow is generally reserved only for the minions (like Legolas or Robin Hood). Personally, I have yet to see a bow vs bow duel, probably because it's not really cool to watch, but probably it will involve a good deal of cover, ducking and all the tropes of a gun vs gun fight.
And that has always been a problem with the HP system. Anyone that views it as their character actually being smashed in the face with an axe every time is going to have serious issues with it past level 3-5, depending on the character.

That's exactly my point, actually.
I don't view a hit with an axe as always necessarity hitting, so I don't view a hit with a gun as always necessarily hitting either. A lot of people drastically overestimate how easy guns are to use in realistic combat situations. For example:
Most people are shooting at each other from less than 60 feet away from one another.  That's within "point blank" range for pretty much any firearm.

My face when I read this did an immediate . 60 feet is nowhere near point blank range. Back in 3.5, Sneak Attack and Point Blank Shot were limited to 30 feet, and even that was pretty amazing.

Also, I always think that it's pretty funny when people discuss firearms in D&D and forget that armor and shields exists. Firearms don't and shouldn't target Reflex. They target AC. Armor exists, and it helps. Especially in a fantasy world where firearms exist, one could easily imagine that armor adapts to it.

I said that treating guns like bows fails to capture the cinematic flavor of gunfight combat, which is the main reason, imo, to even consider introducing guns (at least repeating revolvers and breech-loaders) into D&D.

The problem with the cinematic flavor that you're going for, though, is that it only takes place in places where firearms are the top tier weapons. In D&D, that isn't and shouldn't be the case, so you're not going to get that. Unfortunately, I can't think of many fantasy combat scenes that included firearms in addition to melee weapons and spells, but I can think of one good one at least: here.

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My face when I read this did an immediate . 60 feet is nowhere near point blank range. Back in 3.5, Sneak Attack and Point Blank Shot were limited to 30 feet, and even that was pretty amazing.

Also, I always think that it's pretty funny when people discuss firearms in D&D and forget that armor and shields exists. Firearms don't and shouldn't target Reflex. They target AC. Armor exists, and it helps. Especially in a fantasy world where firearms exist, one could easily imagine that armor adapts to it.



I disagree based on experience. While damage effects can be different when a gun is a few feet from its target, accuracy doesn't suffer much at 60 feet. Go set up a couple of targets, one at 60 feet and one at 120 feet. It sounds like a lot but the 60 foot target is very easy to hit and with a good pattern.

As for armor, it depends on the firearm. As they developed less and less emphasis was placed on armor and then in recent times it has caught up again to some degree. Not that your setting couldn't use magic in place of kevlar. just sayin.
I'm a pretty firm traditionalist when it comes to D&D, and I wouldn't care if there were rules for representing primitive firearms.  I don't want to see them represented as Pathfinder recently did, though, with guns completely ignoring armour bonus.  I wouldn't even mind if guns caused a penalty to armour bonus; I just don't want to see them totally ignoring it.



It is actually kinda funny. Real armor is pretty dang effective versus early firearms, plate armor particularly. The main problem is that dnd treats armor as making you harder to hit when what it really does is make you harder to damage. You cannot ignore this fact when deciding how to consider firearms, which is what pathfinder did. Pathfinders approach is just wrong.

One of the few real uses of an encounter power should be things like flintlocks and heavy crossbows. I do not mind guns at all as long as they keep them to the early pre industrial types. Guns had bayonets for a reason, this was not changed till machine guns came into play and charging the gunner suddenly became a very bad plan.

They are certainly not overpowered when compared to how much damage a first level thief with use magic device could do with a wand of fireballs....   If you really want to scare the party arm the minions with some real weapons. (this is another balancing problem with 3.5, the consumable magic items are overpowered)
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Go set up a couple of targets, one at 60 feet and one at 120 feet. It sounds like a lot but the 60 foot target is very easy to hit and with a good pattern.

Yes, now go try that again when the targets are moving and trying to kill you.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Go set up a couple of targets, one at 60 feet and one at 120 feet. It sounds like a lot but the 60 foot target is very easy to hit and with a good pattern.

Yes, now go try that again when the targets are moving and trying to kill you.



You can set this kind of thing up at a gun range. Place more than one target at 60'. Face the target, lower your arms and close your eyes. Open your eyes, take aim and fire as fast as you can. Or you can move laterally across the safe firing position and fire on the move. 60 feet still isn't that far. But it really doesn't matter since most players probably haven't been in a gunfight. A lot of gun enthusiasts haven't been in gunfights either. So its more about what your houserules accept as realism I suppose.
Those of us in the RP community


Excuse me?  Are you saying I'm not in the roleplaying community?!  Obnoxious much?


Did someone piss you off?  Because I never said you weren't a member of it.  We both are.  At least that was the assumption I was going under.
There are a lot of things that can be represented by a miss


Yes, there are.  What does that have to do with what I'm discussing?  I didn't say that there's no explanation for a gun missing.  I said that treating guns like bows fails to capture the cinematic flavor of gunfight combat, which is the main reason, imo, to even consider introducing guns (at least repeating revolvers and breech-loaders) into D&D.


It's relevant because your post that I was responding to made it seem as if people would just be dodging bullets in an open field.  A miss doesn't have to mean the aim was on-target and you dodged it.  I was simply elaborating on that point because it often gets overlooked.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Go set up a couple of targets, one at 60 feet and one at 120 feet. It sounds like a lot but the 60 foot target is very easy to hit and with a good pattern.

Yes, now go try that again when the targets are moving and trying to kill you.



You can set this kind of thing up at a gun range. Place more than one target at 60'. Face the target, lower your arms and close your eyes. Open your eyes, take aim and fire as fast as you can. Or you can move laterally across the safe firing position and fire on the move. 60 feet still isn't that far. But it really doesn't matter since most players probably haven't been in a gunfight. A lot of gun enthusiasts haven't been in gunfights either. So its more about what your houserules accept as realism I suppose.



The problem is what's called "buck fever" in gun or military circles.  Just because you can hit even a moving target reliably on the range does not mean you can do it when your life depends on it.  In fact most people suffer from catastrophic drops in accuracy under stress (most commonly found in hunting when you want to get that perfect shot on a buck that you just saw...hence the term).

-Polaris
60 feet is nowhere near point blank range. Back in 3.5


I was referring to the accuracy of real-life firearms because the paragraph you wuoted was me responding someone seeking firearms to act more realistically.  The technical term of "point blank" is the range where a trained gunman can expect to hit their target's vital organs without having to account for external factors like gravity and wind.  For all guns, even flintlocks, that distance is more than 50 yards.  (As opposed to bows, which have a much shorter point blank range.)

Firearms don't and shouldn't target Reflex. They target AC. Armor exists, and it helps.


Not from any sort of realism standpoint.

Especially in a fantasy world where firearms exist, one could easily imagine that armor adapts to it.


Sure, we could reflavor scale mail into kevlar.  But at some point, aren't we just playing D&D Modern?  Once you have anti-bullet armors, who is still using bows and arrows for anything but sport?

The problem with the cinematic flavor that you're going for, though, is that it only takes place in places where firearms are the top tier weapons. In D&D, that isn't and shouldn't be the case


Why not?  Firearms are the top tier weapons.  It's why we don't have broadswords and longbows in combat.  We have combat knives, pistols, rifles, and automatic weaponry.  Any magic that can be applied to medievalish weapons can just as easily be applied to firearms, which keeps firearms in that top tier.

I can't think of many fantasy combat scenes that included firearms in addition to melee weapons and spells


Evil Dead.  And the boomstick wins.  Every time.  All things being equal, guns beat arrows.  They also beat swords.  And pole arms.  And ...

, but I can think of one good one at least: here.


A good example of "gun fu", in which every one appears to be jumping around like Jeci and superheroes in the high Paragon or Epic Tier.  They certainly aren't 3rd level characters running up falling steel girders and doing triple back flips and... dodging bullets shot at close range.
The problem is what's called "buck fever" in gun or military circles.  Just because you can hit even a moving target reliably on the range does not mean you can do it when your life depends on it.  In fact most people suffer from catastrophic drops in accuracy under stress (most commonly found in hunting when you want to get that perfect shot on a buck that you just saw...hence the term).


Few buck are shot from less than 120 feet, which is pretty much the limit on most encounter areas in D&D combat.  Most studies in combat accuracy involves shots from "within 100 yards".  That's 300 feet!

If D&D combat was talking place in encounter areas of 300 feet, it might be a dfferent story.  But it's not.  D&D combat happens within 100 feet, usually within 60 feet, depending on lighting.  Rarely is combat on an open grassy area with more than 100 feet of distance. 

Now, what usually happens in close combat is the gunman gets one shot off before the target either flees or tackles the gunman.  Sometimes the gunman and the target are even in reach of one another and then you have a struggle for the gun.  But gun vs. sword?  Other than gun-fu scenarios I can't think of that happening in real life or movies in a way that ends well for the swordsman.
It's relevant because your post that I was responding to made it seem as if people would just be dodging bullets in an open field.


Dodge?  No.  There's no "dodge" in D&D.  There's also no incentive to take cover instead of closing to melee range.  Unlike in a cinematic gunfight. 

All your list does is turn the PCs from people who can dodge bullets into people who magically make guns jam or other weird coincidences occur.  None of it feels cinematic or even particularly fantasy-related.

I don't mind gun-fu as an option.  But I'd like Western-style gunfights to be an option too.  I'd like trench warfare to be an option too.  And flintlock fire-and-drop to be an option.
Funny... I've been using the renissance firearms straight out of the 3.0 DMG for a while with no problems (I'm not a huge fan of fantasy gun control: it works in some settings that want a conan or middle earth feel, but a gun is nice in others goign for a more swashbuckling or gothic feel).  In general, the lengthy reload means, barring shenanigains, guns get used once per encounter -- they obsolete crossbows assuming you take exotic weapon prof for them, but not bows.

I say bring on the mini-module.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."
On Worldbuilding - On Crafting Aliens - Pillars of Art and Flavor - Simulationism, Narritivism, and Gamism - Shub-Niggurath in D&D
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Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
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Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

The technical term of "point blank" is the range where a trained gunman can expect to hit their target's vital organs without having to account for external factors like gravity and wind.

How trained a gunman are we talking about here? And does that also exclude needing to account for external factors like a target that's moving and trying to kill you?

Not from any sort of realism standpoint.

Completely absurd. You know that Reflex Defense, what used to be Touch AC, is supposed to represent? It's supposed to represent an attack that must merely touch you in order to take effect (fire and electricity are great examples of this). That's why armor doesn't help, because that still counts enough as touching you. Tell me, do you get hurt from picking up a bullet? No, you don't. A bullet doesn't hurt you by touching you. A bullet hurts you by getting launched out of a gun and penetrating your body. This is just like a sword or an arrow. Those don't hurt you just by touching you. They hurt you because they're enough speed behind them to penetrate your flesh.

This is why I have a bit of a thematic problem with many martial attack powers in 4E that target Reflex. They don't really make any sense. If they're trying to represent a more precision strike or one that pierces armor, then they should just give an additional bonus to hit as part of the power. 3.5 got this right from a realistic point of view.

Sure, we could reflavor scale mail into kevlar.

Or we can just say that scale mail offers some protection against bullets too, which it does in real life anyway. It's not much protection, no, but I don't see anything thematically troubling about exaggerating it a bit for the sake of the game.

Why not?

For the same reason that, despite the fact that magic is conceptually superior to martial prowess in every way, we still want casters to be balanced with martial characters. Realism doesn't matter if it means that only a select few things are really going to be viable in the game. We don't play D&D because we want to run a Harry-Potter-style campaign where everybody's a wizard because there's no point in being anything else because wizards can do everything. We play D&D because we like the variety that it can offer, letting us play as many different kinds of characters as possible while still being badass doing it.

Evil Dead.

Never seen it. Way before my time.

A good example of "gun fu", in which every one appears to be jumping around like Jeci and superheroes in the high Paragon or Epic Tier.  They certainly aren't 3rd level characters running up falling steel girders and doing triple back flips and... dodging bullets shot at close range.

I fail to see any problem. That's what looks cool and looks both thematically and mechanically balanced, so that, if anything, is the sort of thing that I would like D&D to offer.

If you want D&D to be running the style of game where everybody has a gun and wants shootout battles from behind cover all of the time, then arrange that with your players, same as you would do if you wanted everybody to play a Wizard for a Harry-Potter-style campaign.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
How trained a gunman are we talking about here?


Trained enough to not shoot off his foot.  It's just basic training that is used to determine point blank range.  Guns are reliably accurate.  Even flintlocks.  But not over large distances, like across a battlefield.

They hurt you because they're enough speed behind them to penetrate your flesh.


Except for plate armor against flintlocks, or modern any-bullet technology, armor is not useful against bullets.  It shouldn't count as a defense to them.  You don't want to use 3e's Reflex?  Fine.  Then it should be AC without any armor or shield bonus. 

Or we can just say that scale mail offers some protection against bullets too, which it does in real life anyway.


No, it doesn't.  Scale mail isn't thick enough to stop a bullet, unless it's from the very first firearms.  And then we're just talking about a gun that goes off once an encounter.

Realism doesn't matter


I'm not arguing realism.  I'm arguing for cinema.  There's a reason whild west gunslingers, or even Civil War soldiers, don't walk around with scale mail.  It didn't help against bullets and the armor that could help against bullets would make you walk at a snail's pace.

if it means that only a select few things are really going to be viable in the game.


Fine, then no guns at all.  I'm okay with that too.  I just don't want guns that are reflavored longbows.

Evil Dead.

Never seen it. Way before my time.


Well, now you know.

that, if anything, is the sort of thing that I would like D&D to offer.


Bully for you.  I already said gun fu should be an option.
Well, it looks like we're just going to be at a stand-still disagreement, so I don't see much point in continuing this debate. I'll just end with this statement:

My opinion is clearly better than yours because I'm smarter than you and know what's better for you than you do. Tongue Out

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
You know, there is a middle ground. You can have guns that are more than reflavored crossbows without making them the only viable option.
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Thats the ticket right there. surely this would be some kind of module or houserule thing. I really don't expect to see it on the equipment list in the PHB. So, it would seem to me that you could do it whichever way you want. With a page or so of advice on the different ways you could go with it in the DMG. Options would be the name of the game.
For some examples of what I'm talking about, here's some famous cinematic gunfights.

Tombstone's Shoot-Out at the OK Corral (start at 1:30).  It takes place with combat between shooters less than 50 feet from one another.  In the first six seconds, the Earps, who clearly get initiative, have shot and hit every one of the Clantons who showed a weapon.  None of the Earps are hit, yet.  In round two (1:36-1:42), Ike Clanton (unarmed) calls for parley, and everyone readies action, except Tom McLaury, who got to cover behind a horse and pulled a weapon, which sets off the readied action.  Tom gets shot and another Clanton is brought down.  In round three and four (1:43-1:57), Ike -- the only one standing -- parleys.  He is told to withdraw and he does.  In round five, (1:57-2:03), Tom, who apparently spent a healing surge, gets off and shoots wildly (total defense?).  He is taken down, but Doc Holliday gets grazed.  At the end of round six (2:03-2:10), Frank McLaury, who finally stabilized and spent a healing surge, shoots an Earp.  In round seven (2:11-2:17), the Earps unload into Frank, killing him.  Meanhile, Ike finds his nerve, seeing his brother killed, steals a gun from someone else and begins shooting from cover.  (2:17-23).  In round nine (2:23-29), the Earps shoot at Ike, who now has cover.  (Another Clanton gets up, too.)  In round ten (2:29-2:35), Ike loses his nerve again, retreating behind the cover of gunsmoke and the building where he took refuge.  In round eleven (2:35-2:41), he makes a Stealth check and then runs.  In round twelve and thirteen (2:41-2:53), there is no shooting.  One Clanton remains, and then Wyatt makes as if he's out of bullets.  In round fourteen (2:53-2:59), he gets shot twice. Combat over.

And in Braveheart a lot of guys went died when they got hit in melee, but we don't ask for claymores to deal 2d20 damage.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
Nor do I want that.  I am not and never have asked for guns to do more damage.  In fact I specifically said that would be a horrible result, though that's like 90% of the gun-rules proposals you see put forward.  (And is more or less the way it was done in 3e.)

I want an option for gunfights to resemble movie gunfights.  For a rules-based incentive to be to find cover, like the Clantons did in the movie I cite above.  (I forgot to supply the link.)

Another option would be for rules for gun-fu style fights.  Another option might involve trench warfare style fights.  And another option for three musketeers guns-as-encounter-powers.  But gun as the equavalent of a hand crossbow +1?  Why?
Nor do I want that.  I am not and never have asked for guns to do more damage.  In fact I specifically said that would be a horrible result, though that's like 90% of the gun-rules proposals you see put forward.  (And is more or less the way it was done in 3e.)

I want an option for gunfights to resemble movie gunfights.  For a rules-based incentive to be to find cover, like the Clantons did in the movie I cite above.  (I forgot to supply the link.)

Another option would be for rules for gun-fu style fights.  Another option might involve trench warfare style fights.  And another option for three musketeers guns-as-encounter-powers.  But gun as the equavalent of a hand crossbow +1?  Why?


I have no problem with options for cinematic gunfights, or any of the things you mentioned there, and I also don't want them to do massive damage.  We do have to start somewhere for their weapon stats though, and a crossbow is a good place to start.  How it will be modified will no doubt depend on the kind of gun (whether it be a Tommy Gun, a Colt 1911, a Winchester, a flintlock, or what-have-you).

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

No, it doesn't.  Scale mail isn't thick enough to stop a bullet, unless it's from the very first firearms.  And then we're just talking about a gun that goes off once an encounter.



Yep, the effect of a bullet on an ancient armor is devastating. Go check it, this is the effect of an early gun used in the Battle of Pavia (1525) versus a  fullplate armor (sorry the link is in italian, but that's the best I know...).
I don't know if it can pierce throught a knight and hit the other knight behind it, but it's damn close :p

Never seen it. Way before my time.



Then you must see it! 
No, it doesn't.  Scale mail isn't thick enough to stop a bullet, unless it's from the very first firearms.  And then we're just talking about a gun that goes off once an encounter.



Yep, the effect of a bullet on an ancient armor is devastating. Go check it, this is the effect of an early gun used in the Battle of Pavia (1525) versus a  fullplate armor (sorry the link is in italian, but that's the best I know...).
I don't know if it can pierce throught a knight and hit the other knight behind it, but it's damn close :p

Never seen it. Way before my time.



Then you must see it! 



Yeah, this is somewhat misleading. Your reinactors are using modern blackpowder that is machine made, and probably a modern replica of a long rifle flintlock as well with a perfectly sized ball. It represents the best case scenario, not the average one. I do not want guns that good in my campaigns.

In dnd terms you are using a +5 flintlock with +5 ammo. Your example crossbow is also a light crossbow with probably a 30 lb pull firing wooden arrows. The real example it should be using is an arbalest with a gear crank firing metal bolts.

I want canons, not musketeers in my campaigns. I certainly do not want gunslingers since breech loading wheel guns just cause huge problems. Not the last of which is it instantly narrows the hero advantage to the common man.
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