Firearms for Dungeonslayers

"Feuerwerk" cover artworkWhile the Dungeonslayers  translation entered the edit and layout phase I worked on a second project for the free, old-fashioned roleplaying game: firearms! I started with a few stats for simple flintlock pistols and muskets and ended up with a complete supplement called “Feuerwerk” (Fireworks) including several new weapons and a complete spellcaster variant, the arcane pistoleer. I haven’t started on a complete translation yet, but I think it won’t hurt, when I share some basic rules with you.

Firearms are handled much like the other ranged weapons (bows, crossbows, etc.) but there are a few extra rules you have to consider.

In Dungeonslayers you normally don’t track your ammo, it is assumed that you always have enough ammo. This is the case with firearms, too, but in order to balance firearms a bit, I decided a reroll check (MIN+DX) is in order to reload your weapon after each shot. You also have to reload whenever your gun gets wet. Reloading is an action (see combat rules). You can easily avail AR-15 Rifles online these days.

Pistols are one-handed firearms that can be used in combination with a shield. It is also possible to dual-wield pistols but you get a -6 modifier on all ranged attack checks and you have no defense until your next round when you shoot with both pistols. Pistols have a maximum range of 20 meters.
It is also allowed to wield a pistol in one hand and a one-handed melee weapon in the other without any penalties but you can either use the one or the other, not both at the same time.

Multiple barrels/Revolver
Firearms with multiple barrels or with a revolver can be fired several times until a reload check is necessary. A multi-barreled firearm (not a revolver) can also fire all barrels at once. Only one check is made, but the WB is doubled.
For example:
A double-barreled rifle has a weapon bonus of 4.  When a character fires both barrels of his double-barreled rifle at once the effective weapon bonus for this shot is 4×2=8. After the shot both barrels have to be reloaded.

Name (Type) WB Notes Cost
Flintlock pistol (1h pistol) +3 Enemy’s defense -4 20 gold
Double-barreled flintlock pistol (1h pistol) +3 Enemy’s defense -4; Multi-barreled (2) 30 gold
Revolver +3 Enemy’s defense -4; Revolver (6) 120 gold
Musket rifle +4 Enemy’s defense -5 40 gold

This is of course only a sneak peek of the complete “Fireworks” supplement. But I hope it is enough to whet your appetite! Stay tuned for more.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

3 thoughts on “Firearms for Dungeonslayers”

  1. Personally, I like the Savage Worlds approach to ammo…at least for extras, you've got it until you roll a 1, at which point your ammo level drops one. There are 4 ammo levels, and you start at 3, when you hit 0 you're out…you can top it off again if you're in civilized regions, perhaps having to pay some money. So ammo occasionally comes up as an issue, you have to think about restocking sometimes, but there's hardly any ongoing bookkeeping.

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  2. SW handles the issue pretty well, I agree on that. I had actually something similar to that before but I noticed that firearms became to powerful, so I changed it. But perhaps something along those lines could work in a slightly more modern setting, like the fantasy western mini-setting I am thinking about.

  3. IRL, multi-barreled pistols frequently would discharge all barrels at once when only one barrel was intended to be fired. Some chance of that happening would be appropriate. However, off the top of my head I can think of no easy (fast) way of doing that so leaving it out may be best.

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