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Price for Alchemical Cartridges?


Rules Questions


Ok, by the strict reading of the rules an Alchemical Cartridge costs 50% of the buy price when a Gunslinger makes them himself, which would be 6 gp for a paper cartridge.

I think that interpretation is wrong and it should be 1.6 gp.

Here's why:
Alchemical Cartridges are described as basically nothing more than a bullet, some black powder and all of it wrapped in a bit of paper and sealed with beeswax, right?

Now the price for a completed Alchemical Paper Cartridge is 12 gp.
The price for Black Powder is 10 gp per dose.
And a bullet costs 1 gp.

So... the stuff inside the Alchemical Cartridge costs 11 of the 12 gp already. That means the actual cartridge is worth 1 gp, right?

So now I make the black powder and bullets normally for 10% of it's price, making it 1.1 gp per shot. Then add 50% of the price for the cartridge which is 1 gp, bringing the total up to 1.6 gp.

That's still 32 times the price of a single arrow (which costs 5 copper), so I don't really think it's too cheap, and should be enough to make up for the advantages firearms get over bows.

Silver Crusade

You are forgetting that an alchemical cartridge reduces the reload speed of a weapon.

They're significantly different from a bullet and Black Powder that you can't combine the two and call it an Alchemical Cartridge.


Yes, but why does it reduce the reload time? Because now you don't have to stuff black powder and bullet into the gun seperately, you just stuff the pre-prepared package in.

It's not some kind of weird magic or anything. It's really just bullet and black powder, in a paper bag.


A sheet of rice paper is five coppers and a whole pound of wax is just one gold piece. So if you're looking at the materials, it doesn't make a lot of sense. When I had a Gunslinger a while back, my GM let me get away with 2gp per cartridge for the basic variety.

That said, it is 6gp per shot, officially.

Silver Crusade

The point is that they're significantly different enough that per the rules, you can't just combine the raw materials and come out ~4.5g under the cost.


Personally I would house rule it that paper cartridges are 1.2 gp to create. Paper cartridges were a widely used, real world thing. Their whole purpose was to save you from measuring out gunpowder. They're not magic, there's no 'alchemy' involved. Just a paper envelope that might be treated with lard or tallow that contains a metal ball and just enough powder for the barrel and the priming pan. And of course they're mandatory in PF if you want iterative attacks so why not let them be cheap?

The Exchange

eh pepperbox makes them a bit less important

Silver Crusade

Horbagh wrote:
Personally I would house rule it that paper cartridges are 1.2 gp to create. Paper cartridges were a widely used, real world thing. Their whole purpose was to save you from measuring out gunpowder. They're not magic, there's no 'alchemy' involved. Just a paper envelope that might be treated with lard or tallow that contains a metal ball and just enough powder for the barrel and the priming pan. And of course they're mandatory in PF if you want iterative attacks so why not let them be cheap?

Well I think part of the point is to try and balance the gunslinger with money.


Elamdri wrote:
Horbagh wrote:
Personally I would house rule it that paper cartridges are 1.2 gp to create. Paper cartridges were a widely used, real world thing. Their whole purpose was to save you from measuring out gunpowder. They're not magic, there's no 'alchemy' involved. Just a paper envelope that might be treated with lard or tallow that contains a metal ball and just enough powder for the barrel and the priming pan. And of course they're mandatory in PF if you want iterative attacks so why not let them be cheap?
Well I think part of the point is to try and balance the gunslinger with money.

Yeah, probably. It just rubs me he wrong way for some reason.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, probably because money is a poor substitute for proper balance.


I have always wanted to know how you make Adamantiam ALchemical paper cartridges how does that math break out?

Silver Crusade

Adamantine is +60g per missile, so 72g a cartridge, 36 if you make them yourself.


how did you arrive at that math? Alchemical cartridges are just a bullet paper and powder?


List price for a regular paper cartridge is 12gp. Adamantine ammunition is +60gp per. So a paper cartridge with adamantine bullet would be 72 gp. Since paper cartridges are technically alchemical cartridges by RAW, you only get a 50% discount. That comes to 36gp.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This is why a Wands of Abundant Ammunition are a Gunslinger's friend.


Paper cartridge:
Lead ball (1 sp)
Black powder (1 gp)
Paper envelope (4 gp 9 sp)
Total: 6 gp

Adamantine paper cartridge:
Adamantine ball (6 gp 1 sp)
Black powder (1 gp)
Paper envelope (28 gp 9 sp)
Total: 36 gp

Makes perfect sense.


You're right. This would be the first time a mechanic doesn't make sense.

Star Voter 2013

Horbagh wrote:
Elamdri wrote:
Horbagh wrote:
Personally I would house rule it that paper cartridges are 1.2 gp to create. Paper cartridges were a widely used, real world thing. Their whole purpose was to save you from measuring out gunpowder. They're not magic, there's no 'alchemy' involved. Just a paper envelope that might be treated with lard or tallow that contains a metal ball and just enough powder for the barrel and the priming pan. And of course they're mandatory in PF if you want iterative attacks so why not let them be cheap?
Well I think part of the point is to try and balance the gunslinger with money.
Yeah, probably. It just rubs me he wrong way for some reason.

Probably for the same reason it rubs me wrong they over balanced the weapons to a point where they are almost functionally useless.

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