Bullet Points: 7 Magic Firearm Properties (PFRPG) PDF (based on
Super Genius Games
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Sometimes rules supplements read like the world-setting bible of frustrated novelists. While solid world-building is a useful skill, you don’t always need four paragraphs of flavor text to tell you swords are cool, magic is power, shadows are scary, and orcs are savage. Sometimes a GM doesn’t have time to slog through a page of history for every magic weapon. Sometimes all that’s needed are a few cool ideas, with just enough information to use them in a game. Sometimes, all you need are bullet points.
Bullets Points is a line of very short, cheap PDFs each of which gives the bare bones of a set of related options. It may be five spells, six feats, eight magic weapon special abilities, or any other short set of related rules we can cram into about a page. Short and simple, these PDFs are for GMs and players who know how to integrate new ideas into their campaigns without any hand-holding, and just need fresh ideas and the rules to support them. No in-character fiction setting the game world. No charts and tables. No sidebars of explanations and optional rules. Just one sentence of explanation for the High Concept of the PDF, then bullet points.
The High Concept: Seven magic properties designed specifically for firearm weapons (from early firearms – such as those highwaymen, musketeers, and pirates use – to more advanced weapons appropriate in western or pulp-era campaigns).
The properties included are:
Boomstick: You can deafen your foes.
Burrowing: Your bullets can deal long-term damage.
Dependable: Your firearm misfires less often and is more reliable than standard firearms.
Dimensional Capacity: Your firearm holds triple the weapon's normal capacity.
Entangling: Your firearm can entrap your foes.
Hot Lead: Attacks with your firearm deal fire damage.
Ricochet: Attacks with your firearm can hit more than one target.
You know the drill: 3 pages - 1 page cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, 1 page content, let's take a look!
I'm a sucker for firearms and thus have been looking forward to do this one and indeed, master of crunch Owen K.C. Stephens does not disappoint with the first enchantment:
-Boomstick weapons enable you to shoot foes with blasts of sound in the first increment - this sound-attack does not deal damage, but instead can deafen foes for a limited time.
-Burrowing: Ammunition shot by such a weapon deals d4 damage for 3 subsequent rounds to hit targets.
-Dependable: -2 to misfire rate and item slowly repairs itself: Nice and a godsend for gunslingers with bad luck.
-Dimensional Capacity: A mini-bag of holding for ammunition, enabling you to use different types of ammo on the fly against your foes -provided you've loaded it, of course.
-Entangling: Essentially the same as with boomsticks, only for entangling.
-Hot Lead: These weapons don't need ammunition or to be reloaded and deal fire damage, but come with a maximum of possible shots per round.
-Ricochet: The first attack each round, if it hits, always ricochets and can potentially hit a second opponent.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to SGG'S 3-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. 7 properties and 2 of them had me gibber with glee: I love how firearms essentially can duplicate tanglefoot bags and thunderstones and used the ideas to create more, similar enchantments and weapons for my riot-team/SWAT-style elite-cadre of guards in one of the cities. Good crunch is one thing - inspiring by crunch-writing to do specific things and design yourself, now that's a sign of excellence. Seeing that none of the enchantments is glitchy in my opinion as well, I am practically forced to give this one 5 stars- go get this and while you're at it, check out "Brace of Psitols"!
Well, the irony is not lost here, we finally got a Bullet Point dealing with firearms. Took long enough. Follows the standard 3 page format with the second page being where all the magic happens. Two pieces of black and white art (the front piece being the better of the two in my humble opinion), and the excellent editing and grammar I've come to expect from the SGG crew. The meat of the matter follows a three column format, and gives us magical properties for one of the most argued pieces of equipment in fantasy role playing. But here's the nice thing in regards to that, the material is presented such that is applies to fantasy based firearms as well as more advanced weaponry. And besides, if you are of the camp that has no usage for firearms with your dice rolling, you probably aren't reading this review, or that PDF anyway, right?
We all know the drill by now, each Bullet Point gives us a handful of useful info on concept, this time out we get 7 new magical properties, with such interesting entries as Boomstick (forgo damage dealt for a chance to deafen a target), or Burrowing (ammo just won't stop digging in). Dependable gives you the classic self healing gun, repairing itself from the broken condition if left to its own for a while.
Entangling does exactly what you would think, swapping out damage for a tanglefoot bag, and hot Lead deals fire damage instead of firing ammunition, and there is mention of the cold iron alternative to this, dealing cold damage (personally I think a gunslinger carrying a matched pair of one each would make an awesome NPC). Ricochet allows you to shoot one target, deal your damage, then potentially hit another target with the same round. And, I saved the best for last, as this reminded me of why I like the SGG products. Dimensional Capacity turns that ammo chamber of your gun into the equivalent of a bag of holding for ammo, tripling your ammo capacity. The interesting combinations one could accomplish with this ability, as it allows you to load varying ammo and call up specific bullets as you choose them as well.
So, final thoughts on the latest Bullet Point? Buy it. Pure and simple. OK, ok, if you are not a fan of firearms in your games this might not be for you, that is true, I'll go with that. But for those of you out there who have added any level of firearm, be they emerging or full on manufactured smooth bore rifled weapons of reach out and touch someoneness ...this handful of Magical Properties will be a welcome addition to your firearms options. Have to go with a 5 on this one for a rating, as once again I can find no fault, and each offering was a solid, and good addition.