Follow-up: D&D 4th Edition Firearms

In last October I created some rules for simple firearms for D&D 4th Edition that are still very popular. Some days ago the reader Perfidius posted an interesting comment that I think is worth another look. Most people aren’t probably following the comments in an one-year-old post, so I thought it’s probably the best that it here:

IMO the best take on firearms should be making them Encounters powers, especially if you want to grasp a swashbuckling feel over a realistic one.
In this way, you could make them a bit more powerful, as for instance:

Dex vs Ref
1d10+Dex (lv11 2d10, lv21 3d10)
daze (save ends)

depending on the setting, you could add this encounter power to a character class, give it for free or costing a feat, as prefered.

What do you think ?

Frenchman Extraordinaire

I think the idea is compelling, but I have not enough experience with D&D 4th Edition to tell if this could really work. What do you guys think?

This is IMHO how the power could look like in a more refined format:

Using firearms like encounter powers would definitely fit the swashbuckling theme. In those days the pistols were usually fired once at the beginning of a fight and then the pistol was discarded in favor of a melee weapon. I like Perfidius’ take on firearms in D&D 4th Edition, but I have no idea if this makes sense in the game. Perhaps some 4E experts can comment on this. Any advice is welcome!

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.

8 thoughts on “Follow-up: D&D 4th Edition Firearms”

  1. That gun is hideously broken, aside from not having an Attack line and so not being able to actually use it.

    Make the daze end at the end of your next turn, and it falls right back into line with the rest of the game.

    And add a "Dexterity vs Reflex" line.
    .-= Wyatt´s last blog ..Monsters of Eden: Introduction =-.

  2. @Wyatt: Huh! That Dexterity vs Reflex line was meant to be in. I don't know how it got lost. I now made a few changes and reuploaded the image.

  3. Ah ha, there we go!

    And yeah, I do like the idea of it being an encounter power.

    There should be a way to reload maybe, if so inclined. Perhaps a feat, and it takes a standard action to reload it, and you can only do so once per encounter? Maybe an encounter utility power to reload?

    Either way, I find this is better than some other interpretations (one that I've seen and didn't like was making guns only work on Basic attacks, but having hideous gross damage like 4d6.)
    .-= Wyatt´s last blog ..Monsters of Eden: Introduction =-.

  4. The easiest way to handle this would just to assume that the pistol is reloaded while resting, so that you can use it again on the next encounter.

  5. @greywulf: Maybe. But I don't think I will develop that idea any further. After all I don't play D&D 4th Edition right now, but I thought some people might like Perfidius' idea and expand on it.

  6. I think you have the power about right, but I don't think it should be a PC power. I would create a new category – essentially like a Magic Item – Tech Item or something similar.

    Thus a Pistol would be something like a Level 2 Tech Item with an encounter power more or less exactly as you have written. There should also be a risk of misfire, say 1 in 3 as these weapons, particularly with the primitive matchlock weapons. More effective, or higher damage weapons, would be higher level Tech Items.

    I would allow anybody to use the item, but offer feats for Black Powder weapon proficiency, which would improve the likelihood of hitting and reduce the chance of a misfire.

    Using this mechanic would mean you do not have to create an encounter power for every class. It would also enable Edward Teach to enter combat with 4 pistols, and be every bit as scary as he was in real life.
    .-= Argent´s last blog ..Handling a Major Battle in 4e Part 2 =-.

  7. Can’t say I like the idea of using guns as an encounter power. Because ultimately there is no good reason that you couldn’t drop enough gold and essentially buy three or four of those encounter powers and carry them on you. Also no good reason that you couldn’t re-use that encounter power if you get an opportunity in combat to reload… UNLESS you make the guns somehow inherently magical and only able to be used once before recharging for several minutes or something to that effect.

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