Author: Fraser Ronald
Publisher: Sword’s Edge Publishing
Open Game Content
Gunpowder Firearms Table
Size: This size is based on weapon sizes as per standard d20 rules used in fantasy campaigns: 2H = two-handed, 1H = one-handed and L = light. If using the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game. For fantasy d20 rules, all two-handed weapons are Large, all one-handed weapons are Medium, and all light weapons are Small.
Weapons designed for size Small characters do one die type lower damage. Therefore, a matchlock arquebus for a Small character would do 2d4 damage rather than 2d6. For weapons that do 2d4 damage, role 2d4 and divide by 2.
Range: The weapons listed have 10 range increments. For each increment beyond the first, the attack roll incurs a -2 penalty. Gunpowder weapons receive a +1 bonus to damage within the first range increment. This stacks with Point Blank Shot.
Type: All firearms are listed as Piercing weapons. This is for use with the d20 rules. If one is running a game using the MSRD, the Type would be Ballistic..
Charge: This indicates the number of standard gunpowder charges required to fire the gun.
While a character might believe that adding more powder will equal more power, it will not. What it will do is increase the chance for a misfire by one.
If a character is running low on gunpowder, that character might try to use less gunpowder. Putting one charge less than required lowers the range by one-half, but does not lower the chance for a misfire.
Reload: This is the number of full round actions that are required to reload a gun (see crossbow, heavy for details).
Misfire: The gunpowder weapons listed here have a tendency to misfire. This may come from poor maintenance, bad powder, or poorly forged barrels. The number in the misfire column is the attack roll die number. If this roll equals the range in the Misfire column, the attack does not succeed, and the player must roll the die or dice listed and compare the roll against the table below. If there is damage indicated, the character must make a Reflex save against DC 15. Success results in half damage, and failure indicates the character takes damage as indicated.
|1-3||Explosion||The weapon explodes, inflicting 2d6 damage on the character and 1d6 damage on any character within 5 ft. All affected characters are allowed a reflex save as above.|
|4-7||Fouled Barrel||While the weapon discharges, the barrel is fouled. The attack is an automatic failure and the weapon must be cleaned before it can be used again. Cleaning takes 30 minutes.|
|8-12||Hangfire||The gunpowder is slow to ignite. This hangfire inflicts a -3 circumstance penalty on the attack roll.|
|Arquebus||45 gp||2H||2d6||30||10||P||2||7||1-3, 1d4||X2|
|Blunderbuss||30 gp||2H||2d4||5||10 P||2||7||1-3, 1d4||X2|
|Caliver||55 gp||2H||2d6||25||8||P||1||6||1-3, 1d6||X2|
|Musket||50 gp||2H||2d8||40||20||P||2||6||1-3, 1d6||X3|
|Belt Pistol||175 gp||L||2d4||30||5||P||1||2||1-2, 1d8||19-20/X3|
|Horse Pistol||190 gp||1H||2d6||30||6||P||1||3||1-2, 1d8||19-20/X3|
|Fowling Piece||280 gp||2H||2d6||40||8||P||1||4||1-2, 1d8||19-20/X3|
|Belt Pistol||225 gp||L||2d4||30||4||P||1||2||1-2, 2d6||19-20/X3|
|Blunderbuss||300 gp||2H||2d6||5||10||P||2||5||1-2, 2d6||X3|
|Horse Pistol||275 gp||1H||2d6||40||6||P||1||3||1-2, 2d6||19-20/X3|
|Musket||380 gp||L||2d8||75||14||P||2||5||1-2, 2d6||19-20/X3|
Arquebus: Also known as the harquebus, this is a gunpowder longarm. It should not be termed a rifle. While the term rifle usually denotes a modern longarm, it properly refers to a longarm with a rifled barrel. The arquebus is smaller than a musket and uses a matchlock trigger mechansim. Even when matchlock technology was superseded by the wheellock and snaphaunce mechanisms, arquebuses were still common in the military, as they were cheap and easy to manufacture.
The arquebus receives a +3 modifier to attack rolls against armored opponents or opponents with natural armor.
Belt Pistol: A belt pistol is a pistol of a size smaller than a horse pistol. It is a lighter weapon that can be carried on one’s person and can also be concealed with relative ease.
The belt pistol receives a +1 modifier to attack rolls against armored opponents or opponents with natural armor.
Blunderbuss: The Blunderbuss is a precursor to the shotgun. It was designed not to attack a single target, but a group or cluster of targets. As such, when a blunderbuss is fired, the wielder makes an attack against DC 10. The target must make a Reflex save against a DC equal to the attack roll or take the weapon’s damage. If the target of the attack is within 30 feet, all individuals within 5 feet of the target must make a Reflex save against a DC equal to the attack roll or take the weapon’s damage. A confirmed critical is only applied to the target of the attack.
Caliver: The caliver is a longarm, less bulky than a musket or an arquebus. These were no longer common after the arrival of the snaphaunce, after which muskets became manageable.
Calivers receive a +2 modifier to attack rolls against armored opponents or opponents with natural armor.
Flintlock: The flintlock replaced the snaphaunce. Flintlock weapons use a piece of flint striking steel which creates sparks to ignite the primer gunpowder, which then ignites the gunpowder charge. The difference between a snaphaunce and flintlock trigger mechanism is based on the the separate pan cover and steel of the snaphaunce and the combined cover and steel of the flintlock.
Fowling Piece: A small, light longarm, designed for hunting birds and small game. This was one of the more common types of Wheellock longarms.
The fowling piece receives a +2 modifier to attack rolls against armored opponents or opponents with natural armor.
Horse Pistol: A horse pistol is a large, long pistol designed for use from horseback. These pistols could be used by cavalry in place of lances. Usually, horsemen would carry at least a pair of horse pistols―a brace of pistols―but often carried three or four due to the time required to reload and the difficulty of reloading while riding.
The horse pistol receives a +2 modifier to attack rolls against armored opponents or opponents with natural armor.
Matchlock: These weapons use a slowmatch, which is a a smoldering cord used to ignite the gunpowder. The character must have some source of fire (torch, campfire, etc.) to ignite the slowmatch.
Musket: Muskets are bulky longarms, mostly used by the military. The were designed for durability, range, and power. Due to bulk and poor balance, Matchlock Muskets require a Y-shaped rest to support the weapon when fired. Cost of the Matchlock Musket includes the support-rest. If the rest is not used when the weapon is fired, a -4 penalty is applied to the attack roll. If the Matchlock Musket is otherwise supported―such as by a low wall or tree branch―the attack roll penalty is reduced to -2.
Muskets receive a +4 modifier to attack rolls against armored opponents or opponents with natural armor.
Snaphaunce: The snaphuance replaced the wheellock. Snaphaunce weapons use a piece of flint striking steel which creates sparks to ignite the primer gunpowder, which then ignites the gunpowder charge. The difference between a snaphaunce and flintlock trigger mechanism is based on the the separate pan cover and steel of the snaphaunce and the combined cover and steel of the flintlock.
Wheellock: This trigger technology superseded the matchlock and was itself replaced by the snaphaunce. Wheellock pistols use a fragment of sparking material, such as iron pyrite, against a spinning metal wheel to produce the spark that ignites the primer powder. The metal wheel was put in motion by a spring which needed to be wound before the pistol could be used. It should be noted that keeping the spring wound wore it out more quickly―in game terms this means that the spring is usable only 3 times before it needs replacing, rather than 10.
Amunition, Price: 1 gp, Weight: 1 lbs.
Ammunition for early gunpowder weapons consisted of metal or stone balls. These balls, which can also be called bullets, are sold by the score (20).
Flint, Price: 1 gp, Weight: n/a
A piece of flint is used to produce the sparks that ignites the gunpowder in a snaphaunce or flintlock weapon. Though the flint does not shrink noticeably, each usage does reduce the flint slightly. However, for game purposes, there is no real limit of usages. Of course, flint can easily be removed from the trigger mechanism or otherwise damaged to make it unusable.
Gunpowder, Price: 2 gp, Weight: 1 lbs.
The chemical propellant used in the weapons listed above is gunpowder, as per our world’s history. Gunpowder, in our world, was produced with regularity and while supplying armies with enough gunpowder could be a logistical problem, access to gunpowder was only restricted by economics. By the time that firearms were a regular part of most militaries, the production of gunpowder met demand. As such, the cost listed is for an item that is not difficult to obtain. In order to restrict the use of firearms, gunpowder may be exceptionally expensive. In the mythical campaign world, perhaps one or all of the components used to manufacture gunpowder is rare. Is gunpowder only produced through magical means? If one would like to restrict the use of firearms, restricting access to gunpowder―or its replacement in the campaign world―is an easy alternative.
Gunpowder is sold in units of 10 standard charges.
Slowmatch, Price: 1 sp, Weight: n/a
Slowmatch is a cord soaked in a chemical compound to allow it to smolder over a long period of time. It is used in matchlock weapons to ignite the gunpowder charge. A single slowmatch will remain alight for 10 minutes.
Wheellock Spring, Price: 1 sp, Weight: n/a
This metal spring is part of the mechanism which propels the spinning wheel of metal which gives the wheellock its name. After repeated usage, the spring loses effectiveness. A single spring can be used 10 times before it must be replaced.
Gunpowder Weapons Feats
The character has trained long or has had extensive experience loading gunpowder weapons, and so is capable of loading a weapon with such skill that it rarely misfires.
Prerequisites: Deft Hands
Benefit: The chance for misfire when using a gunpowder weapon is halved.
Special: The character can gain Deft Loader multiple times. Each time the character takes the feat, it applies to a new type of gunpowder weapon, either matchlock, snaphaunce/flintlock longarm, snaphaunce/flintlock pistol, wheellock longarm, or wheellock pistol.
The character has natural skill with gunpowder weapons.
Prerequisites: Point Blank Shot.
Benefit: When the character uses a gunpowder weapon, its range increment increases by one-half (multiply by 1-1/2).
Special: The Far Shot feat does not apply to gunpowder weapons. The Marksman feat does not apply to non-gunpowder weapons.
The character has trained long or has had extensive experience loading gunpowder weapons. The character is capable of loading a weapon with speed but without sloppiness.
Prerequisites: Dex 13.
Benefit: The time for reloading a gunpowder weapon is halved.
Special: The character can gain Rapid Loader multiple times. Each time the character takes the feat, it applies to a new type of gunpowder weapon, either matchlock, snaphaunce/flintlock longarm, snaphaunce/flintlock pistol, wheellock longarm, or wheellock pistol.
The character has steady hands and eagle eyes when taking the time to aim a gunpowder weapon.
Prerequisites: Wisdom 13, Marksman.
Benefit: Before making a ranged attack with a gunpowder weapon, the character may take a full-round action to line up the shot. This grants the character a +2 circumstance bonus on her next attack roll. Once the character begins aiming, she can’t move, even to take a 5-foot step, until after the character makes her next attack, or the benefit of the feat is lost. Likewise, if the character’s concentration is disrupted or the character is attacked before her next action, the character loses the benefit of aiming.
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System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
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