Firearms in DDN

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I was just reading over Ed Greenwood's article on Early guns from Dragon #60. Have firearms made an appearance anywhere else in D&D canon.


 I think they would be an excellent addition, but hard to manage and would really stress future history in the campaign. But I’m sure there are creative workarounds that could be implemented to keep them from dominating the game. Thanks for your input.


I love the idea of firearms in D&D. However, ranged combat is generally balanced around bows and crossbows, and so firearms almost always end up either overpowered or terrible, the latter more often than you might think. My campaigns' solutions? See those mechanics normally used for bows and crossbows? Bam! Now they're guns instead. Sure, there are sometimes some extremely minor discrepancies, but this is one area where reflavoring works very well in general.

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!
2nd edition had firearms in the Hisorical Reference book 'a mighty fortres' as well as in the Players Option 'combat & tactics' . Good addition for that sort of game yes. Personally I find it awkward for Forgotten Realms though
i've seen a few firearms tables spread around a handful of books over the years.

as for using them in a game, i think it could work out in the right campaign. i certainly wouldn't want them being part of the core assumptions though.
I would say Firearms, Firearm-Related Specialities and possibly a Gunslinger class with some interesting Prestige Classes (Magical Gunslinger for example). Would be a great module to be added later on. Definitely not in PHB1 though...

It just isn't core D&D to me - and, if I need to run Firearms in the mean time, I'll give them to a few select NPCs and make them rare, or just switch the rules for bows over. 

Oh yeah, I’m with you guys there, not core! But it would be a great module. I can’t think of a well done rule set governing firearms in a fantasy setting. I think I saw a post by James Raggi about a gun supplement for LotFP, but I’m not sure.

I agree firearms should appear in a supplement. Here's what I did for 4e.
Firearms are definite module fodder, and would best be at home in a setting that caters for them, typically post-Renaissance.

I would design them as short-to-medium range missile weapons with a high crit bonus that gain advantage against creatures beneath a particular movement rate, e.g. 30'. This would reflect firearms making it more important for opponents to be agile rather than armored.
I don't see a reason why they need to be relegated to a supplement.  I say put them in the PHB, but make sure it's clear that the inclusion/exclusion of firearms is a worldbuilding choice, and is thus left to the DM, whose approval the players will need to get before being allowed to use them.

Also. . .
Death to smoke powder!
I shouldn't have to rely on finding a magic powder as treasure to power my gun.
Death to backfires!
Guns should be as reliable as crossbows.  Gimps can be added as flavor options, but not included for balance.
Screw realistic/quazi-realistic reloads!
If you use guns, you should be able to use them every round.  Just about the only realistic way to treat guns is to make them one shot per encounter SoD (using the threshold version of SoD) weapons.
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.

I agree firearms should appear in a supplement. Here's what I did for 4e.




I love weapons that have debilitating results instead of damaging ones. I used this technique in Rifts once the players became too powerful to slow down with normal weapons. Your suppressive zone certainly fits that bill, and may well be the way to do firearms damage. I would add a deafness clause as well I think, and maybe a mandatory morale check of some sort. Good write up though wrec, I’m going to print it out I think.




Wow, the mostly positive responses are surprising to me. Not what I was expecting, seems as though something has shifted, I wonder what this means.

I would say that firearms should be covered very briefly within the core books, merely to cover the eventuality that someone will need them for a homebrew setting - except, the last time they tried that, it only produced rules which were universally ignored.
The metagame is not the game.
Since my setting is just now entering the "Age of Rifles" and exiting slowly from the "Ages of +1 Swords" due to piracy and trade, I would appreciate gunpowder rules to better represent my mid-18th century feel of the southernmost continent, the 16th Century feel of the Goblin kingdom that trades with them, and less technological advanced warfare elsewhere.

No one mocks goblins, gnomes, and kobolds in my world anymore.
Yes, I balance guns by giving them only to small races with mental issues.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

The zeitgeist can find itself in uncharted waters very quickly, but it is not fickle, the course mostly stays the same. I am definitely getting the feeling that firearms are something that are on the minds of fantasy role-players. So maybe they do warrant a section in the core. At least establishment of base rules that can cope with them.

IIRC the arqebus was in the 2E PHB.  Generally firearms in D&D are balanced by bringinjg in accuracy and malfunction issues.  The arqebus that I remember was rarely used simply because of the damage to self and effective loss of the weapon upon a critical fumble.

A character specialized not just in firearm use but also maintanence and repair would be an exceptional member of society in most D&D games.  Firearms might be okay with 2E style limitations in "core" material, but anything more than a nod (especially a class) should definitely be a module.
\I cannot abide firearms in fantasy.

What is it that you vehemently detest so much about firearms in fantasy? I'm just curious about the strong reaction..

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!
Perfect module material, perhaps in the 5e equivalent of the Arms and Equipment Guide.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I don't see a reason why they need to be relegated to a supplement.  I say put them in the PHB, but make sure it's clear that the inclusion/exclusion of firearms is a worldbuilding choice, and is thus left to the DM, whose approval the players will need to get before being allowed to use them.

Also. . .
Death to smoke powder!
I shouldn't have to rely on finding a magic powder as treasure to power my gun.
Death to backfires!
Guns should be as reliable as crossbows.  Gimps can be added as flavor options, but not included for balance.
Screw realistic/quazi-realistic reloads!
If you use guns, you should be able to use them every round. 



All of these, definitely.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Here's a real good article about why you should add firearms to fantasy

gnomestew.com/gaming-trends/johnnys-five...

Always love pimping the folks over at Gnomestew

PS: Guns back then took a while to reload. 6 seconds is actually the system doing you a favor :P 
My two copper.
Pathfinder has a firearm based class called the Gunslinger.  It actually balances out pretty well.  The main limiters is rate of fire and controlling ammo (keeping it safe, dry and sometimes acquiring it).  Many guns can malfunction (Jam, misfire, etc).

It should be noted that firearms and Gunslingers are core, but are found in the Ultimate Combat Guide so as to be optional for those campaigns where firearms are not desired.
\I cannot abide firearms in fantasy.

What is it that you vehemently detest so much about firearms in fantasy? I'm just curious about the strong reaction..



No clue, just instantly offensive to me. Always has been. I have no problem with them anywhere else...but in fantasy settings I instantly disconnect, get irritated, and go do something else.  I don't have the same reaction to mundane weapons in sci-fi usually (as long as it's handled reasonably), so I have no idea what's up with it.

I'm the same way. -- Inexplicably doesn't jive with my version of fantasy fun.

BUT I can abide by modular inclusion. (If I have to.)

Danny

\I cannot abide firearms in fantasy.

What is it that you vehemently detest so much about firearms in fantasy? I'm just curious about the strong reaction..

No clue, just instantly offensive to me. Always has been. I have no problem with them anywhere else...but in fantasy settings I instantly disconnect, get irritated, and go do something else.  I don't have the same reaction to mundane weapons in sci-fi usually (as long as it's handled reasonably), so I have no idea what's up with it.

*shrugs*
Well thanks for at least admitting that it's not really based on anything rather than being one of those people that think they need to justify their simple preferences as logically superior.

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!
I was just reading over Ed Greenwood's article on Early guns from Dragon #60. Have firearms made an appearance anywhere else in D&D canon.



Very briefly covered in the 1e DMG.  There was a section on converting between D&D, Boot Hill (TSRs Wild West game) & Gamma World.
Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (AD&D module) also included ray guns....

Also, guns (and a Gunslinger class) work well enough over in Pathfinder.  Go read PF Ultimate Combat.

That said?  Even if WoTC releases poo rules for guns?  That's no reason they still can't play entertaining roles in your games.  Afterall, there's more to these games than just an exercise in mathmatical min/maxing during combat.
 Ex; Along time ago we had a game where handguns & rifles were the newest social craze.  They were more of a really expensive status symbol than effective field weapons.  Made some interesting treasure.  And those "guns" that were effective weapons?  Well, most of them were ship or fortress mounted....  Some (very few) were field cannon - &  they came into play about as often as catapults & such ever do. 
Not just no, but HELL NO. At least, not in core (I REALLY REALLY REALLY wouldn't want even $.01 of my purchase price to go their inclusion).

If they're going to appear in anything other than their own volume I request that they be carefully located so that I won't lose anything on the opposite page when I cut/burn them from book.

Sry, but this is a SUPER peeve of mine...I cannot abide firearms in fantasy. Still completely pissed about GW2.


A lot of us are going to be paying for things in DDN that we either won't like or won't use.  For some people, these things even approach deal-breaker status (just search for the tirades against including martial healing).  If the playtest material is any indication, optional variants will appear alongside the core rules.  So no one will have the option of cutting or burning them away without losing anything else.  That said, nothing is stopping anyone from censoring it with a black marker.

Also, as long as the rules state that the inclusion/exclusion of firearms is a worldbuilding choice that rests with the DM, you still aren't required to dip the yummy chocolate of firearms into your fantasy peanut-butter.
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.

\I cannot abide firearms in fantasy.

What is it that you vehemently detest so much about firearms in fantasy? I'm just curious about the strong reaction..

No clue, just instantly offensive to me. Always has been. I have no problem with them anywhere else...but in fantasy settings I instantly disconnect, get irritated, and go do something else.  I don't have the same reaction to mundane weapons in sci-fi usually (as long as it's handled reasonably), so I have no idea what's up with it.

*shrugs*
Well thanks for at least admitting that it's not really based on anything rather than being one of those people that think they need to justify their simple preferences as logically superior.



Oh it's not superior in any way...any more or less than people who like firearms in fantasy, or any other playstyle preference. Just one of those things for me personally.


It's not coming off as being a superiority thing from you.  And, I have to agree with Crimson, that it's somewhat refreshing.  I still recall a conversation on the forums where one poster said D&D needs to never have firearms that aren't gimped to death just so he didn't have to say no to his players when they asked to use them.
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.

I would like firearms, but it is a true challenge to game designers. 

It isn´t only balance of power, but the ranged combat could replace the hand-to-hand combat. Who would choose a PC barbarian or paladin with heavy armour when he can be a gunfighter?

* Second point:

Gunpodwer can be easily neutralized by magic or psionic. Let´s imagine homebreed spells like "Wet gunpodwer",  "blocked barrel", "get jammed" or "teletransport march".  Only characters with counter-spells powers could avoid it. 

Some D&D deities could give special godsends to brave followers who fight hand-to-hand againt  disgraceful gunfighters.  

* My suggestion is killing enemies by means of firearms or other extra help (allies, pets or legendary weapons) should be lower XPs reward. Facing a horde a ghouls is a true challenge... but if you are from safety of a balcony and you can killing them by means of a spiked chain.... or only you need run to attract them to a trap. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

The only way I'd argue that they can't exist at all for anyone is if they adjusted the rest of the game to compensate for their inclusion somehow. THEN it would be a definite dealbreaker without question. But as long as they just stuff it somewhere unobtrusive, and don't let it impact any other part of the game, I'm fine just not buying that book, or cutting out that part, or blacking it out, or whatever.



There seems to be a trend in which the older gamers here when there is something in a book that they don’t like will have to blot it out or remove it entirely, while the guys under 35 or so seem happy to just ignore the offending article. Or is that just me drwing conclusions on too little data again?

\I cannot abide firearms in fantasy.

What is it that you vehemently detest so much about firearms in fantasy? I'm just curious about the strong reaction..



No clue, just instantly offensive to me. Always has been. I have no problem with them anywhere else...but in fantasy settings I instantly disconnect, get irritated, and go do something else.  I don't have the same reaction to mundane weapons in sci-fi usually (as long as it's handled reasonably), so I have no idea what's up with it.

I'm the same way. -- Inexplicably doesn't jive with my version of fantasy fun.

BUT I can abide by modular inclusion. (If I have to.)


I am in the same mindset, to a lesser degree.

I wouldn't mind firearm rules in a supplement; but nothing more than a mention, if that, in core. 
The only way I'd argue that they can't exist at all for anyone is if they adjusted the rest of the game to compensate for their inclusion somehow. THEN it would be a definite dealbreaker without question. But as long as they just stuff it somewhere unobtrusive, and don't let it impact any other part of the game, I'm fine just not buying that book, or cutting out that part, or blacking it out, or whatever.



There seems to be a trend in which the older gamers here when there is something in a book that they don’t like will have to blot it out or remove it entirely, while the guys under 35 or so seem happy to just ignore the offending article. Or is that just me drwing conclusions on too little data again?[/quote]


I think that Old Guard D&D players have simply seen too many players with a "It is in the PHB, therefore I must be able to play it." or DMs with a "It isn't in the PHB, therefore no." mentality.  It has lead to some people pay a lot of attnetion to what is core, what is in the PHB, and what is modular.

Some of us have been burned simply by what chapter information in a D&D book has appeared in.


Sorry for the format issue, but the html looks proper.  Edit:  And now the issue is gone.  Weird.
The only way I'd argue that they can't exist at all for anyone is if they adjusted the rest of the game to compensate for their inclusion somehow. THEN it would be a definite dealbreaker without question. But as long as they just stuff it somewhere unobtrusive, and don't let it impact any other part of the game, I'm fine just not buying that book, or cutting out that part, or blacking it out, or whatever.



There seems to be a trend in which the older gamers here when there is something in a book that they don’t like will have to blot it out or remove it entirely, while the guys under 35 or so seem happy to just ignore the offending article. Or is that just me drwing conclusions on too little data again?



I think one's person's opinion is too little data to draw this type of conclusion. I'm 43 and would just ignore any such rules.

I would definately rather see my core rulebook space used for more relevant material though.
Hmm... I've tended to use firearms as magical crossbows of a slightly increased level/rarity than what a given party (or party-member) should expect. In my fantasy, I like them to stand out but not necessarily be unique.

It's been interesting incorporating them into my Dark Sun campaign and working around the lack of metal.

EX: The rogue character finds a 3-shot lupara (a la Vincent Valentine) in Kalak's ziggurat when they go to confirm his death, then no one else gets one for a while til another character loses their arm and gets the Genasi, who live in a sealed city-state of their own called Quasam in the Southern Sea of Silt where they utilize elemental technology to build him a cannon arm (a la Guts). Later, they eventually meet up with an artificer on the moon who is part of this whole weird cybermagi-punk culture from the end of time and fights synthetic Illithids on the reg, who uses some firearms incorporated into his body and uses his skills to eventually to build dual gunblades for my the eladrin warlord.

...As you can see, my games are rife with Easter Eggs. A lot of my DM ideas are somewhat derivative, but there are so many points of derivation and many are so obscure, that I've haven't encountered many complaints. Anyway, yay fantasy guns!
IIRC the arqebus was in the 2E PHB.  Generally firearms in D&D are balanced by bringinjg in accuracy and malfunction issues.  The arqebus that I remember was rarely used simply because of the damage to self and effective loss of the weapon upon a critical fumble.


There were also rules for flintlock muskets and pistols along with gunpowder grenades in the 3.0 DMG, and then there's all the stuff in d20 Modern and d20 Past for them.
A character specialized not just in firearm use but also maintanence and repair would be an exceptional member of society in most D&D games.  Firearms might be okay with 2E style limitations in "core" material, but anything more than a nod (especially a class) should definitely be a module.


Agreed.
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I also think guns have a strong place in fantasy. I'd like to see gun rules that look like they weren't designed passive-agressively by someone who hates firearms. The world doesn't need another set of "okay, you can have guns if you want, but they take a year to reload and they explode all the time and require proficiency and are otherwise identical to shortbows". Pathfinder's firearms rules work out pretty well; they compensate for making firearms slightly a pain in the butt to use (not to mention expensive) by letting them hit touch AC at short range. Letting things hit touch AC is itself problematic because Touch AC does not scale much (and eventually scales backwards), meaning that harder monsters are not harder for the gunslinger to hit like they are for other people. But they tried, at least.

I think firearms work out happiest (like most other things) when you try to model how they work in fantasy, rather than shooting for some misguided sense of realism. (This is the approach D&D has taken with traps for forever, and people seem fine with that.) Most people who want to play a character who fights with a gun want to play a character who fights with a gun. Gun rules that don't support that aren't really serving their most important purpose.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I'd like to see a 1-page blurb and a small table for fireams in the DMG. Something akin to what we saw in 3e. It's inclusion is totally modular and can be put in if the campaign supports that style of play.
\I cannot abide firearms in fantasy.

What is it that you vehemently detest so much about firearms in fantasy? I'm just curious about the strong reaction..



No clue, just instantly offensive to me. Always has been. I have no problem with them anywhere else...but in fantasy settings I instantly disconnect, get irritated, and go do something else.  I don't have the same reaction to mundane weapons in sci-fi usually (as long as it's handled reasonably), so I have no idea what's up with it.

I'm the same way. -- Inexplicably doesn't jive with my version of fantasy fun.

BUT I can abide by modular inclusion. (If I have to.)


I am in the same mindset, to a lesser degree.

I wouldn't mind firearm rules in a supplement; but nothing more than a mention, if that, in core. 


Your objections aren't inexplicable. When Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings, he decided to stop technology at around the invention of gunpowder. Tolkien had a huge impact on the fantasy genre, including D&D. Because of his influence, many fantasy settings also stop technology at around the invention of gunpowder. Your objection to firearms stems from a tradition of fantasy literature ranging from The Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter to Harry Dresden to Percy Jackson.

I like the possibility of guns in D&D because there are other fantasy traditions besides Tolkien. Pirate stories come to mind, though I'm sure anyone can think of other examples. It's a wide enough range of genres to warrant the addition of a weapon or two as options in the core.
If I'm building a world, I like to include firearms in my fantasy settings.  But I'm a huge fan of genre mashups, and honestly fine "straight fantasy" to be pretty damn dull.  Concepts, and especially themes, from other genres constantly make appearances.

That said, I would guess that I'm an outlier, in that my "fantasy firearms" almost always lean toward "the American West"-era weapons, and not the lower "tech levels" that are usually given rules, when rules are given at all.

Most people who want to play a character who fights with a gun want to play a character who fights with a gun. Gun rules that don't support that aren't really serving their most important purpose.


Also this.  This x1000.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I used to hate the idea of firearms in D&D when I was a teenager, as they reminded me of the modern world, which I was trying to escape from. But I warmed to them as I grew older.

I think that a story arc where one of the standard hostile races (goblins, orcs, even kobolds) are the first people to get their hands on firearms would absolutely rock. It'd be a fine way to introduce firearms to the campaign, and put the PCs in the tricky situation where the "bad guys" have the superior technology.
I have no problem with their inclusion.  Also, this is the same argument over on the paizo forums for adventure paths featuring pirates, ninjas, etc...  "No guns in the AP!  Guns ruin EVERYTHING!"  Gahhh!  And now people are whining about Numeria (even though it's a Barrier Peaks/Blackmoor homage)  If you don't like it, don't use it!  Also, I find the "Fantasy Gun Control" trope to be a serious writing cop-out, unless you want a purely medieval Swords and Sorcery type deal.  Personally, I think core should cap it at Flintlock era.  Anything beyond that is too easy for even the common simpleton to use and just kills swordfighting...  Even though melee combat still existed in American Civil War and World War I.  However, D&D is high fantasy at its core.  High fantasy need not abide by our timeline for scientific progress and invention.  It's one of the reasons I find Eberron to be so fascinating.  For lower fantasy, I can imagine why you wouldn't want guns crossing paths with your knights and castles though.  Okay, enough ranting...

If I'm building a world, I like to include firearms in my fantasy settings.  But I'm a huge fan of genre mashups, and honestly fine "straight fantasy" to be pretty damn dull.  Concepts, and especially themes, from other genres constantly make appearances.

That said, I would guess that I'm an outlier, in that my "fantasy firearms" almost always lean toward "the American West"-era weapons, and not the lower "tech levels" that are usually given rules, when rules are given at all.

Most people who want to play a character who fights with a gun want to play a character who fights with a gun. Gun rules that don't support that aren't really serving their most important purpose.


Also this.  This x1000.



Seeing as my home setting is an anachronistic patchwork world (like the Ravenloft setting and maybe classic Blackmoor/Mystara?), similar deal.  Personally, I only do traditional fantasy when I'm reeeaaalllyyy in the mood for it (Or if I need to fulfill a desire to do something Tolkien-esque or Arthurian legend...  more so Arthurian)  Albeit, I haven't explored "Era of Steam" level technology as much, outside of Iron Kingdoms/Deadlands-esque steampunk.

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They are fine, and they are fun. But to make them as functional as some people are wanting is really immersion breaking to me :P

The issue is that guns exist, ergo our mind has a frame of refference on how a gun would actually look/function in that kind of society/time frame. You could say "it's magic" or whatnot, but it will always seem wrong and kind of forced because we have that frame of refference :P It's the same reason people are always kind of reluctant to give martial characters crazy, mountain leveling abilities.
My two copper.
I would like firearms, but it is a true challenge to game designers. 

It isn´t only balance of power, but the ranged combat could replace the hand-to-hand combat. Who would choose a PC barbarian or paladin with heavy armour when he can be a gunfighter?



You can make guns realistic, damage no higher than most weapons but not dependent on wielder abilities, range and accuracy suck compared to a longbow, damage drops off substanially with range (round shot losses speed fast), takes forever to reload, but any simpleton can use them, and they don't really imballance anything. The otherwise pure melee character carries 4 or more for use when melee isn't appropriate and he drops them after he shoots. No problem.

You can make guns that aren't at all realistic, abilities comparable to a D&D crossbow but we call it a "gun", and again nothing is unballanced, and if anyone objects that they aren't good enough you point them toward actual history.

Once upon a time 50,000+ turks with firearms attacked less than thousand guys in plate armor with swords at a place called Malta. You may want to look into the outcome. (Hint: the guys with firearms lost, historically the Turks resorted to things like covering metal hoops in pitch and setting them on fire and trying to get these over the plate armored guys heads in the desperate effort to finds SOMETHING that could hurt the guys in armor unlike their nearly useless guns.)

English Civil war cavalry manuals have guys carrying 4+ guns, and recommend saving one for pursuit or to cover your retreat after you've closed and settled things with swords, because the guns had NO REAL CHANCE of being decisive on their own. They were just carried because the cavalry could AFFORD to carry 3-4 each and it didn't really hurt anything to try.

Plate armor was ROUTINELY proofed by standing it up with no backing, and firing a double powder charged firearm at it at point black range, square on, and then examining the minor dent that left as the bullet bounced off.

Realist guns are no more deadly than a battle-axe to the head, in fact prior to things like minee balls and smokeless powder they are substantially inferior in damage done. Firearms had their advantage in the fact that you could HAVE an army of 100,000+ guys with firarms, and no one could manage more than a small fraction of that number with good quality armor.
tl;dr haiku:

Are guns too deadly?
Designers can balance them
Historical stuff