Posts Tagged ‘firearms’

Note: You can now find the magic items in this article as a part of 50 New Magic Items, a Pay What You Want product on the DMs Guild.

That’s right. 12 glorious pages of magic items.

Over the past month or so on this blog I’ve shown you a whole slew of new magic items including weapons, armor, rings, rods, staffs, wands, firearms, bombs, wondrous items, bioarcane items, and artifacts. Throughout the entire process a wonderful community of readers, fellow bloggers, and RPG enthusiasts (that’s you!) provided me with amazing feedback. For that I am so, so grateful.

Well that feedback has allowed me to put all of these items in a PDF available for download in the Free Game Resources section of this site and in these links right here, which include a full list and each category of item in its own list.

 

Bioarcane Items

 

Artifact – Tools of Order

I’ve also included the Exploration Age rules for new mundane firearms and bombs as well.

Firearms and Bombs

So grab these PDFs as a thank you from me. You are all amazing. Thank you so much for the super helpful feedback!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

The Exploration Age magic item preview continues with sweet new firearms and explosives. If you missed the rules for Exploration Age’s nonmagical firearms and bombs go ahead and check those out.

These are the final items I’ll be showing off (for now) as part of the Exploration Age magic item preview. If you’ve been following this blog you may have already seen the weapons, armor, rings, rods, staffs, wands, wondrous items, bioarcane items, and artifacts for the setting. If you haven’t checked them out please do so. I’m taking any and all feedback into consideration! Once I’ve revised the items I’ll be posting them in a lovely PDF for your consumption in the Free Game Resources section of this site. It’ll live there forever.

So enjoy the excerpt from the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide below.

Aberrant Revolver of Comedy

Weapon (aberrant revolver), rare (requires attunement)

This ivory and jade revolver has a barrel opening shaped to look like a laughing face. When fired, the revolver lets out a wild cackle. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with the revolver. When you damage a creature with an Intelligence score of 5 or higher with the revolver you can choose to have the revolver cast Tasha’s hideous laughter on the creature (save DC 15). The revolver cannot cast this spell again until you complete a short or long rest.

Aberrant Revolver of Weakening

Weapon (aberrant revolver), very rare (requires attunement)

This revolver is made of shining steel embedded with lapis lazulis. You gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with the revolver. When you damage a creature with the revolver you can choose to force the creature to succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. If the creature fails, its melee attacks deal only half damage for 1 minute. A creature who fails this saving throw can repeat it at the end of its turn, ending this effect on a success. You cannot use this feature again until you complete a short or long rest.

Aberrant Rifle of Webs

Weapon (aberrant rifle), rare

This double-barreled aberrant rifle is made of black steel embedded with spider web shaped tiger’s eye gems. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this rifle. This rifle has 10 charges. As an action you can expend a charge and shoot a magic web as a ranged attack from the second barrel of the gun at a creature who is no more than 30 feet away. A creature hit by the web is restrained. The web has no effect on creatures that are formless or creatures that are Huge or larger. As an action, a creature can try to free itself or another creature restrained by the web with a successful DC 15 Strength check. Dealing 10 slashing damage to the web (AC 12) also frees the creature without harming it, ending the effect. This rifle regains 1d6+4 charges each day at dawn.

Asphyxiating Charge

Weapon (alchemical charge), rare

This alchemical charge is filled with a green liquid and explodes on impact releasing poison gas in a 30-foot-radius. Creatures in the effected area must make a DC 15 Constituion saving throw. Creatures who fail take 4d6 poison damage and are poisoned for 1 minute. Creatures who succeed take half damage and are not poisoned. Creatures who fail this saving throw can repeat it at the end of its turn, ending the poisoned condition on a success.

Bomb of Horrors

Weapon (bomb), rare

This bomb looks like a screaming skull and has two red zircons for eyes. All creatures who are in the zone of the bomb’s blast must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you for 1 minute. Creatures who fail this saving throw can repeat it at the end of its turn, ending the frightened condition on a success.

Bomb of Silence

Weapon (bomb), uncommon

This bomb has a single purple zircon on its bottom. When the bomb explodes it makes no sound. After the bomb explodes all sounds are magically silenced in the zone of its blast for 1 minute.

Exploding Bullet

Weapon (bullet), very rare

This diamond dust flecked, lead ball sparkles in the light. When handled it feels quite warm. When you shoot the bullet it explodes on impact in a 20-foot-radius. All creatures in the effected area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 10d6 fire damage, creatures who save take half damage.

Icer

Weapon (aberrant rifle), very rare (requires attainment)

This blue steel aberrant rifle is studded along its barrel with icy sapphires. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this rifle. This bonus rises to +2 if you load the weapon with cold alchemical charges. As an action you can expend a cold alchemical charge loaded in the aberrant rifle to shoot a 60-foot line of cold energy. Creatures in the line must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving. Creatures who fail take 3d6 cold damage, creatures who succeed take half.

As an action you can expend a cold alchemical charge loaded in the aberrant rifle to coat a 5-foot by 5-foot area in a thin layer of ice. The ice lasts for 1 minute before melting, unless the area’s temperature is extremely cold, in which case it could last longer (which is up to the DM). Creatures who enter the effected area must make a DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check or fall prone. If the ice is used to coat over a door or doorway, a DC 15 Strength check is required to break through the ice.

Musket of Force

Weapon (musket), legendary (requires attainment)

This musket’s oversized barrel flares slightly at the end and its cherry stock is embedded with with a single large sapphire. You gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this musket. When you hit a target with a bullet from this rifle it deals an extra 1d6 force damage and pushes the target back 10 feet. As an action you can shoot the ground beneath your feet, launching yourself 10 feet into the air and in a horizontal direction of your choice. If you do launch yourself this way you must make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (your choice) to land safely. If you fail the check, you take 1d6 bludgeoning damage and land prone.

Musket of Lights

Weapon (musket), rare

This musket’s barrel is made of shining steel and polished walnut which never dulls. Its fine stock is embedded with diamond studs. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this musket. As an action that does not expend any bullets, you can shoot a brilliant firework from the musket at a creature who is adjacent to you. The target must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or be blinded until the start of your next turn.

Musket of Merriment

Weapon (musket), very rare (requires attunement)

This musket has a mother of pearl stock and gem-encrusted mitral barrel. You gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this musket. As an action you can fire the musket into the air without expending any bullets. Glitter flies from the musket and music can be heard in an area within 30 feet of you. All creatures you choose who can hear the music are subject to Otto’s irresistible dance (save DC 17). You cannot use this feature again until you have completed a long rest.

Pistol of the Blind

Weapon (pistol), uncommon

This pistol has a black steel stock and chestnut handle studded with onyx gems. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this pistol. When you deal damage to a creature who is invisible with this weapon its invisible condition ends.

Pistol of Drowsiness

Weapon (pistol), rare (requires attainment)

This pistol is has a gem-studded barrel shaped like a wine bottle and a stock carved with images of ale mugs. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this pistol. When you deal damage to a creature with the pistol you can force it to succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The creature must repeat this saving throw at the end of its turn, ending the poisoned condition on a success. If the creature fails the second saving throw, it falls unconscious 1 minute. If the creature takes damage or another creature uses its action to wake it, the unconscious condition ends. You cannot use this feature again until you have completed a long rest.

Pistol of Honesty

Weapon (pistol), legendary (requires attunement)

This pistol has a gold barrel and an oak stock embedded with three large emeralds. You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this pistol. Before attacking with the pistol you can ask a creature a question. If you deal damage to the creature with this pistol within 1 minute of asking the question, the creature must make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure the creature must answer the question you asked it as honestly and completely as it is able.

Revolver of the Dragon Hunter

Weapon (aberrant revolver), legendary (requires attunement)

This adamantine revolver has blue sapphires inlaid in the grip and is pure midnight black everywhere else. When used in a fight, the revolver grows warm with excitement and red Dwarish runes spelling out the phrase “death to lizards” appear on the barrel. You gain a +3 bonus to attack rolls with this weapon. In addition, this weapon ignores any acid, cold, fire, or lightning damage immunities of enemies.

Screaming Rifle

Weapon (aberrant rifle), rare

This aberrant rifle is made of heavy adamantine and studded with jade gems. When fired the rifle lets lose a primal scream that can be heard by all creatures in a 500-foot-radius. This rifle deals an additional 1d8 thunder damage. When you deal damage to a creature with this rifle, that creature is deafened until the start of your next turn.

Feedback Please

Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Some of my first popular posts were on firearms and explosives. A lot of those rules are being thrown out since the Dungeon Master’s Guide presented official rules for gunpowder weapons and bombs. The Renaissance items from that book are available for PCs and NPCs alike in Exploration Age. Of course their counterparts, aberrant firearms and bombs will also be available as well. Below is an excerpt from the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide which gives the firearm and bomb rules for the setting.

Firearms

There are two types of firearms in Exploration Age. Those using gunpowder and those powered by aberrant technology. The gunpowder weapons in use are the same as the Renaissance weapons on pg. 268 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Aberrant firearms are described below.

Module: Firearms Proficiency

Any character with a proficiency in all martial weapons has proficiency in all firearms available as Renaissance weapons in the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the aberrant firearms in the Exploration Age Campaign Guide.

Aberrant Firearms

Name Price Damage Weight Properties
Martial Ranged Weapons
Aberrant Revolver 500 gp 1d6 varies 5 lb. Ammunition (range 80/320), light, reload (8 shots)
Aberrant Rifle 750 gp 1d8 varies 10 lb. Ammunition (range 100/400), reload (15 shots), two-handed
Ammunition
Acid Charge (10) 5 gp acid 1 lb.
Cold Charge (10) 5 gp cold 1 lb.
Fire Charge (10) 5 gp fire 1 lb.
Lightning Charge (10) 5 gp lightning 1 lb.

Aberrant Revolver. Using technology discovered in the aberrant ruins, researchers at The Arcane College created a weapon capable of carrying eight pieces of ammunition. The gun uses alchemical charges as ammunition. Depending on the charge loaded, the revolver can deal acid, cold, fire, or lightning damage.

Aberrant Rifle. Like the aberrant revolver, the aberrant rifle was also created by The Arcane College. This weapon packs more of a punch, can carry 15 pieces of ammunition, and can shoot further distances, though it is bulkier and requires two hands to use. The gun uses alchemical charges as ammunition. Depending on the charge loaded, the revolver can deal acid, cold, fire, or lightning damage.

Module: Ranged Two-Weapon Fighting

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light (melee or ranged) weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light (melee or ranged) weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.

If the pistol Renaissance weapon is allowed in your game, the light property can be added to it. The decision to add this property is up to the DM.

Bombs

There are two types of explosives in Exploration Age. Those using gunpowder and those powered by aberrant technology. The gunpowder explosives in use are the same as the Renaissance items on pg. 268 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Aberrant explosives are described below.

Name Price Weight
Frost Bomb 400 gp 1 lb.
Lightning Bomb 400 gp 1 lb.
Thunder Bomb 300 gp 1 lb.

Frost Bomb. Using technology found in the aberrant ruins, researchers at The Arcane College developed special explosives. One of these is the frost bomb. As an action you can light a frost bomb and throw it at a point up to 60 feet away. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 cold damage and have their speed reduced by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.

Lightning Bomb. The lightning bomb was also created by The Arcane College. As an action you can light a lightning bomb and throw it at a point up to 60 feet away. Each creature within 10 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 lightning damage.

Thunder Bomb. The thunder bomb was also created by The Arcane College. As an action you can light a thunder bomb and throw it at a point up to 60 feet away. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 3d6 thunder damage and be deafened until the start of your next turn.

Variant: Oops, Explosion

Accidents happen. Bombs can be a hazard to the user. Each time you throw a bomb, roll a d20. On a roll of 1 the bomb explodes in your hands.

Make Them Magic!

Now that the rules for firearms have been revamped it’s time to make some magic ones! Our Exploration Age magic item preview continues on Thursday. You may have already seen Canus’ weapons, armor, rings, rods, staffs, wands, and wondrous items. I’ve shown you bioarcane items and artifacts unique to the setting. If you haven’t checked them out yet, please do! I’m taking any and all feedback into consideration so please let me know what you think. Next week get ready to see all these magic items in a nice and tidy PDF on the Free Game Resources section of this site. I’ll also be adding a PDF of these variant firearm and bomb rules. They’ll live there forever, so let’s make sure I get it right!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!


I sit down with Alex Basso, Rudy Basso, Allison Rossi, and John Fischer to talk about the parting of ways between Trapdoor Technologies and Wizards of the Coast and what it could mean for the future of the DungeonScape app and digital tools for fifth edition D&D. Then, we talk Hand and Eye of Vecna, the Orb of Dragonkind, and more in the Dungeon Master’s Guide Extra Life previews. After all that goodness, it’s an interview with Kobold PressWolfgang Baur about the brand-spanking new Kobold Guide to Combat. This podcast was recorded on October 25, 28, and 29, 2014.

Links:

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my other podcast Gamer to Gamer, tell your friends, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Guns. Man I have so many complicated feelings when I read that word, particularly when it comes to gaming. In a medieval fantasy setting, how does one create firearms that don’t do what firearms did in our real world – make other weapons obsolete.

Drawbacks

And then this guy blows up in your face!

It seems like a popular way to make guns less attractive to adventurers and NPCs is to give them a drawback. Here are some of the more popular drawbacks I’ve seen:

  • Explosive I’ve seen a lot of firearms for systems with the caveat of roll a 1 when attacking with this weapon and it explodes dealing the wielder x amount of damage. That’s an interesting drawback! Makes using a firearm risky. However in order for this risk to be fun it needs to have the threat of actually happening. Rolling a 1 on a twenty-sided die occurs 5% of the time, which seems like a good amount of minimal risk, but at the same time I can’t think of ANYTHING that lasts long on the market that also has a 5% chance of fiery-explosion-in-your-faceville. Who would buy that?!?! And even worse, if you survive the malfunction, you have to go buy another one that has the same risk? Cutting those odds down would have to involve a trigger that then sets some more rolls into motion and that would then slow down play at the table. I’ve got to pass on this drawback for Exploration Age’s firearms.
  • Reload Times Well when you consider the real world this actually makes a ton of sense. Primitive guns took quite a while to reload. If you don’t believe me go watch some Revolutionary War reenactments. However, at the table this goes down one of two ways. One, you have one player who took the right feats, ability score increases, and sacrifices to be a great gun fighter who is at best useless every other round. This can severely hamper that person’s fun. Two, all your players carry a gun and use it as an encounter power and then drop the firearm and use other weapons. Either way, I think it’s still missing the mark for someone who wants to create a firearms using character.
  • No Magic This may actually be the worst drawback that is often involved when firearms make an appearance in a fantasy setting. They cannot be enchanted, because, ya know, in a world of squid-headed brain-eaters with mind powers and githyanki knights from the astral plane riding red dragons the thing that doesn’t make sense is a magic gun. That aside, this means most folks aren’t going to carry firearms around for the second half or more of their adventuring career. Regular gun or magic bow that increases you attack and damage bonuses while also possibly granting you a cool special ability and has a sweet name like Oathkeeper or Heartseeker? Not to mention, many high level creatures have damage resistances and immunities that cannot be pierced without a magic weapon, meaning bringing a gun to a dragon fight is a terrible idea. This drawback doesn’t make guns even with regular medieval weapons, it makes them the worst weapons around.
  • Expense This is usually a drawback added to one or more of the drawbacks above in a fantasy setting when firearms get involved. This does make some sense to me, the technology is newer and the weapons are more complex and require more sophistication in their design. Still it seems like an unfair way to punish someone for their character concept, especially if they’re buying a new weapon all the time because their gun just exploded. Plus when you really think about it many guns today are probably cheaper than swords, so I’m going to say that firearms have actually been around for a while and that accounts for their price being on par with other weapons.
  • Feat Tax In many settings a feat is required to use a firearm. This doesn’t make much sense to me since one of firearms advantages is that they are easier to use than most bows. Also, this prevents a character from using firearms until at least fourth level which means you can’t start out as a gunslinger. Going to have to say no.

What’s The Advantage?

A pet bear AND a gun? That’s cheating.

Why do we usually go through adding drawbacks to firearms in fantasy settings? Well, they often deal a lot more damage than other weapons, which, again, at first blush makes sense.

Ok, but, now let’s really think about it. In D&D hit points aren’t meant to simply represent the number of times a character can be stabbed with a sword or shot with an arrow before he or she kicks it. It’s a combination of that, plus stamina. So not every hit your character takes is a physical hit so to say. You’re being worn down for that final killing blow. I’m not sure why dodging a sword swing or crossbow bolt would waste anymore stamina than dodging a bullet.

Maybe some of you don’t agree with that Wizards of the Coast approved interpretation of hit points. In that case consider the following – if a PC could take say four or five sword hits or arrows without going down, why couldn’t he or she take four or five bullets? Let’s face it in the hands of a trained warrior a sword, bow, spear, trident, axe, hammer, or whatever is just as deadly as a gun. Likewise those not proficient with a sword or bow are just as likely to injure themselves or an unintended target as those not proficient with firearms.

Therefore I believe it is totally plausible that firearms in a D&D game would deal damage on par with other weapons. Maybe just a bit higher? If that’s the case then firearms don’t really need a drawback.

Which brings me to another point, I don’t think PCs who want their characters to use firearms are looking to deal more damage in the game. I believe they have a character concept involving firearms they think would be fun to play. They aren’t trying to break the game, just play an interesting character who uses a different kind of weapon.

Firearms in Exploration Age

So how about guns in Exploration Age, huh? Well, take a look at these charts and weapon descriptions I’ve been working on below and allow me to explain my thinking.

There are two types of firearms in Exploration Age. Those powered by gunpowder and those powered by aberrant magic. Take a look at the descriptions and table below to see what kinds of firearms you could have in your game.

Name

Price

Damage

Weight

Properties

Aberrant Revolver

50 gp

1d6 varies

5 lb.

Ammunition (range 80/320), light, see description

Aberrant Rifle

75 gp

1d8 varies

10 lb.

Ammunition (range 100/400), see description

Arquebus

75 gp

1d12 piercing

9 lb.

Ammunition (range 30/120), heavy, loading, two-handed

Blunderbuss

50 gp

1d8 piercing

8 lb.

Ammunition (range 15/60), heavy, loading, two-handed, see description

Pistol

20 gp

1d6 piercing

4 lb.

Ammunition (range 20/80), loading, light

Aberrant Revolver Using technology discovered in the aberrant ruins, researchers at The Arcane College created a weapon capable of carrying eight pieces of ammunition. The gun can only take alchemical charges and depending on the ammunition it can deal fire, lightning, cold, or acid damage. Once an aberrant revolver has been fired eight times it needs to be reloaded using an action. An action may also be used to change out the type of ammunition in the aberrant revolver.

Aberrant Rifle Like the aberrant revolver, the aberrant rifle was also created by The Arcane College. This weapon packs more of a punch and can shoot further distances, though it is bulkier and requires two hands to use. The gun can only take elemental charges and depending on the ammunition it can deal fire, lightning, cold, or acid damage. Once an aberrant rifle has been fired eight times it needs to be reloaded using an action. An action may also be used to change out the type of ammunition in the aberrant rifle.

Blunderbuss  The blunderbuss is a firearm designed for close combat. Instead of bullets, a handful of pellets may be loaded into the gun. When pellets are loaded, the blunderbuss does not attack normally. Instead all creatures in a 15 foot cone must make a successful DC 14 dexterity saving throw or take 1d4 piercing damage.

Ammunition All firearms require ammunition to use. All bullets come with the appropriate amount of gunpowder needed to propel them from their weapons. The arquebus, blunderbuss, and pistol use bullets, the blunderbuss can use pellets, and the aberrant revolver and rifle take alchemical charges.

Name

Price

Weight

Alchemical Charges (20)

Acid

1 gp

2 lb.

Cold

1 gp

2 lb.

Fire

1 gp

2 lb.

Lightning

1 gp

2 lb.

Bullets (20)

1 gp

2 lb.

Pellets (20 handfuls)

1 gp

2 lb.

 

So you can see, the arquebus, blunderbuss, and pistol are all primitive guns. They have the loading property, which means they can only be fired once per round, but do not take a full action to reload. The arquebus does more damage than a heavy crossbow, but sacrifices significant range to do, which feels realistic and not too overpowered nor like too much of a drawback. The pistol is the same deal when compared to the hand crossbow.

The crossbow information from the last D&D Next public playtest packet.

The crossbow information from the last D&D Next public playtest packet.

The blunderbuss is a special case as per it’s description. It has a very small range, but can be loaded with pellets, giving it a shotgun feel. This allows for a little more variety and another kind of feel a player wanting to play a gun-wielding PC might be after, though it is not overpowered since the spread option does only a little damage.

The aberrant guns take a different approach to firearms. This is a bit more sci-fi. I know, I know, don’t put your lasers in my fantasy, but hear me out! Exploration Age is already a world of airships, living constructs, and other strange magic technology. I think it makes sense that a world with a history so full of wars would have invested in a few weapons, especially with all this aberrant technology lying around, waiting to be discovered.

When it comes to distance and damage, you can see the aberrant revolver and rifle are just like the shortbow and longbow presented in the last public playtest packet for D&D Next. There are a few big differences when you look at descriptions of these items. The guns take an action to reload every 8 shots, that’s their disadvantage. Their big advantage is that they can do variable elemental damage types based on the ammunition with which they are loaded.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 11.29.21 AM

Shortbow and longbow stats from the last D&D Next public playtest packet.

Also, take a look at the supplemental rule I’m adding to Exploration Age which allows the use of two light ranges weapons at once, so a character can use two pistols or two aberrant revolvers and have more a gunslinger feel during play if that’s what a player is after.

Ranged Two-Weapon Fighting When you are fighting with two light ranged weapons, you can attack twice when you take the attack option on your turn, attacking once with each weapon. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack, however. If you haven’t used your full move for the turn, you can move between attacks. And if you are wielding a light melee weapon in one hand instead of a light ranged weapon, your attack with that weapon is a melee attack.

This is based on the last public playtest packet’s melee two-weapon fighting rule.

The two-weapon fighting rules from the last D&D Next public playtest packet.

The two-weapon fighting rules from the last D&D Next public playtest packet.

So, how’d I do? Does this make sense or the guns too absurd in some way? Too little damage? Too much? Not enough drawbacks? Too many? I really want to know what you think!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!