Misfires and how I hate mechanics like this


Gunslinger Discussion: Round 1

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The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

I'm all for games with guns, I love the concept and I don't have a problem having guns in a D&D game.

I'm very much opposed to auto-jam mechanics that matter to those skilled with a weapon.

I'll try to lay out the reasons I think this is a flawed mechanic and why it should be changed:

1) High level PC's shouldn't have to worry about misfires, since in most stories the heroes don't experience these sort of troubles.

2) Having more than the standard "1 always fails and 20 always hits" is a problem. It slows down the game.

3) Having to process clearing a jam on the next round is frustrating to the player. It is worse than a miss (which can be very frustrating by itself) because it is a miss that makes you pay for the miss in extra actions.

I suggest simply making a natural 1 on the die a jam that can be cleared with a free action and calling it done. Then replacing any features of the class designed to deal with misfires with other features.

Liberty's Edge

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Unforgiven had a scene like that, towards the end, when Eastwood's character's gun misfired and Hackman's character got excited and pushed his guys to take advantage.

I could cite hundreds of more movies, books, comics, tv shows, whatever if you like. So that statement is provably wrong.

Stuff like that can build dramatic tension. And a lack of that, imo, is playing in video game mode. Because that's the only place in pop culture guns never jam or misfire.


houstonderek wrote:

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Unforgiven had a scene like that, towards the end, when Eastwood's character's gun misfired and Hackman's character got excited and pushed his guys to take advantage.

I could cite hundreds of more movies, books, comics, tv shows, whatever if you like. So that statement is provably wrong.

Stuff like that can build dramatic tension. And a lack of that, imo, is playing in video game mode. Because that's the only place in pop culture guns never jam or misfire.

Either all weapons have failure mechanics or none do.

Liberty's Edge

ProfessorCirno wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Unforgiven had a scene like that, towards the end, when Eastwood's character's gun misfired and Hackman's character got excited and pushed his guys to take advantage.

I could cite hundreds of more movies, books, comics, tv shows, whatever if you like. So that statement is provably wrong.

Stuff like that can build dramatic tension. And a lack of that, imo, is playing in video game mode. Because that's the only place in pop culture guns never jam or misfire.

Either all weapons have failure mechanics or none do.

Fine by me. I'd include a mechanic where MW lowers the chance, and magic makes it nearly impossible for a weapon to fail, to add more heft to the quality of the craftsmanship as well.

I'd like to point out, though, that failure in tech usually increases the more moving parts there are. So a gun and a crossbow would fail more than a longbow, which would fail more than a sword.


houstonderek wrote:

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Unforgiven had a scene like that, towards the end, when Eastwood's character's gun misfired and Hackman's character got excited and pushed his guys to take advantage.

I could cite hundreds of more movies, books, comics, tv shows, whatever if you like. So that statement is provably wrong.

Stuff like that can build dramatic tension. And a lack of that, imo, is playing in video game mode. Because that's the only place in pop culture guns never jam or misfire.

And bowstrings never break? Or an arrow is mis-nocked and falls outof the cradle. Prof. is correct either apply it to all weapons or none. One class should nont shoulder the dramatic tension between misfires and drama= grit mechanics.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Unforgiven had a scene like that, towards the end, when Eastwood's character's gun misfired and Hackman's character got excited and pushed his guys to take advantage.

I could cite hundreds of more movies, books, comics, tv shows, whatever if you like. So that statement is provably wrong.

Stuff like that can build dramatic tension. And a lack of that, imo, is playing in video game mode. Because that's the only place in pop culture guns never jam or misfire.

Either all weapons have failure mechanics or none do.

Like the Critical Fumble Deck?

Also, all weapons don't fail as often, or in the same manner, as others. I don't see folks clamouring for all weapons having equal hardness & hit points so they defend against sunders in the same manner...

Liberty's Edge

Dragonsong wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Unforgiven had a scene like that, towards the end, when Eastwood's character's gun misfired and Hackman's character got excited and pushed his guys to take advantage.

I could cite hundreds of more movies, books, comics, tv shows, whatever if you like. So that statement is provably wrong.

Stuff like that can build dramatic tension. And a lack of that, imo, is playing in video game mode. Because that's the only place in pop culture guns never jam or misfire.

And bowstrings never break? Or an arrow is mis-nocked and falls outof the cradle. Prof. is correct either apply it to all weapons or none. One class should nont shoulder the dramatic tension between misfires and drama= grit mechanics.

Like I said, I agree. But the OP cited pop entertainment, and I pointed out he was incorrect in that statement, that's all.

Sovereign Court

Wait, what jamming mechanics? There are no jamming mechanics in the play test. Guns doesn't jam, they break.

You have an initial thing that happens when a firearm is fully functional, then if you do get the misfile result the first time it gives the weapon the broken condition and increases the chance of a second misfire which causes the weapon to explode. It doesn't jam, nor does it ever jam.

If it's broken you can still shoot it (at the penalty for using a weapon with the broken condition) and the gunslinger has a deed for fixing their gun for a standard action with just a grit cost versus other traditional repair methods.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ProfessorCirno wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Unforgiven had a scene like that, towards the end, when Eastwood's character's gun misfired and Hackman's character got excited and pushed his guys to take advantage.

I could cite hundreds of more movies, books, comics, tv shows, whatever if you like. So that statement is provably wrong.

Stuff like that can build dramatic tension. And a lack of that, imo, is playing in video game mode. Because that's the only place in pop culture guns never jam or misfire.

Either all weapons have failure mechanics or none do.

I did see a compromise I thought had some promise:

If you have exotic weapon proficiency with a firearm, you know how to correctly load it and do not experience misfires with that type of firearm.

This allows the gun's price to be lowered to decent levels, as its usefulness to non proficient users declines drastically.

I still have issues with how the firearm rules work, but not having time to go over numbers this week, all I can say is I think I would prefer that guns have a horrible reload mechanic and very high damage. And not ignore armor. With disadvantageous reload mechanics forcing only one shot / round as a gun based fighting style (or less often, possibly) for most of a character's career, I see little need for a full BaB class.


houstonderek wrote:

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Unforgiven had a scene like that, towards the end, when Eastwood's character's gun misfired and Hackman's character got excited and pushed his guys to take advantage.

I could cite hundreds of more movies, books, comics, tv shows, whatever if you like. So that statement is provably wrong.

Stuff like that can build dramatic tension. And a lack of that, imo, is playing in video game mode. Because that's the only place in pop culture guns never jam or misfire.

I agree with you, guns should have special advantages and disadvantages, however imo they have gone too far with "realism" this time.

Let me elaborate:
Destroying weapons is something very rare in Pathfinder, IMO the current rules for guns go against the general philosophy of the game, may cause gameplay issues and too much frustration.
Regular weapons should (from a realist prespective) break too without being intentionally sundered, specially polearms, lances and spears, but it isn't part of the game.

I agree with guns getting broken, but it should never be destroyed, at least not if it's a magical gun (i agree with that too), the broken condition already comes with penalties.
The gunslinger can avoid that at level 15th, far too late for a gun specialist imo, and the ability to avoid the destruction of the weapon should be at least available to a wide range of multiclass characters.
Edit: I forgot the Quick Clear ability, yet it means that guns can't be used properly by other characters.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Morgen wrote:
It doesn't jam, nor does it ever jam.

Jam/broken, what is the difference? For my purposes it doesn't matter.

Jess Door wrote:

If you have exotic weapon proficiency with a firearm, you know how to correctly load it and do not experience misfires with that type of firearm.

This allows the gun's price to be lowered to decent levels, as its usefulness to non proficient users declines drastically.

I thought of something like that (the Exotic feat negating the mis fire chance) when I was posting this thread.

As for the cost, I don't think it needs to be lowered any. I'm fine with the cost.

I also don't think we should limit the problem solution to a class feature of Gunslinger. This prohibits non-Gunslinger PC's from the solution. It is sort of like allowing a Barbarian to use an Axe to full effect, but blocking a Fighter from doing the same thing. The class features of the Gunslinger should help (similar to how a Barbarian's Rage helps) but shouldn't be a required feature.


I have issues with failure mechanics mainly due to the mathematics of probability.

As I increase in level I have more attacks, that means my probability of a critical success increases (% critical x number of actions).

However if I include critical failures, having more attacks actually functions as a penalty (% critical failure x number of actions).

This creates the very unsatisfactory phenomenon of increasing your failure rate as you level.

While % failure x number of bullets fire might be acceptable in the real world the failure rate of a weapon is generally not something that can be modeled with the relative coarse probabilities of a d20. Combined with the increasing failure rate as you level tends to make failure mechanics a distinct detractor to using a weapon saddled with them.


BPorter wrote:


Also, all weapons don't fail as often, or in the same manner, as others. I don't see folks clamouring for all weapons having equal hardness & hit points so they defend against sunders in the same manner...

Yet all weapons are susceptible to sunder.

But right now, the only kind of weapon that can have problems with malfunction are firearms.

Most weapons, if not all, can some issues that the game doesn't address by default. Keep a bow or crossbow strung all the time and they wear out, and if you mess up, strings break. Swords must be oiled and sharpened all the time, and they can get notched and all that. You probably have to replace wooden handles of axes and the like fairly often. It goes on and on.

Yet none of these weapons have any rules associated with it.

This sort of "selective realism" should not be used without giving it some serious thought.

Personally, I'd prefer it to be an optional mechanic.


vuron wrote:

I have issues with failure mechanics mainly due to the mathematics of probability.

As I increase in level I have more attacks, that means my probability of a critical success increases (% critical x number of actions).

However if I include critical failures, having more attacks actually functions as a penalty (% critical failure x number of actions).

This creates the very unsatisfactory phenomenon of increasing your failure rate as you level.

While % failure x number of bullets fire might be acceptable in the real world the failure rate of a weapon is generally not something that can be modeled with the relative coarse probabilities of a d20. Combined with the increasing failure rate as you level tends to make failure mechanics a distinct detractor to using a weapon saddled with them.

Um, BS.

Yes, as you increase in level, you have more possible chances to fail. Just as if I jump a dirt bike off a ramp, I have a chance to fail each time that I do it.

However, as you level, the chances of you missing decrease. So the chances of confirming that critical fail, drop. Big time.


houstonderek wrote:
Like I said, I agree. But the OP cited pop entertainment, and I pointed out he was incorrect in that statement, that's all.

Fair enough, I misread your intention, and apologize. I will admit I was kinda surprised to begin with as I usually am in agreement with you and TOZ on things.


KaeYoss wrote:
BPorter wrote:


Also, all weapons don't fail as often, or in the same manner, as others. I don't see folks clamouring for all weapons having equal hardness & hit points so they defend against sunders in the same manner...

This sort of "selective realism" should not be used without giving it some serious thought.

Personally, I'd prefer it to be an optional mechanic.

I'd be ok with that.


In another thread, Cartigan had a very good idea IMHO:

Apply the malfunction only to non proficent users.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
vuron wrote:

I have issues with failure mechanics mainly due to the mathematics of probability.

As I increase in level I have more attacks, that means my probability of a critical success increases (% critical x number of actions).

However if I include critical failures, having more attacks actually functions as a penalty (% critical failure x number of actions).

This creates the very unsatisfactory phenomenon of increasing your failure rate as you level.

While % failure x number of bullets fire might be acceptable in the real world the failure rate of a weapon is generally not something that can be modeled with the relative coarse probabilities of a d20. Combined with the increasing failure rate as you level tends to make failure mechanics a distinct detractor to using a weapon saddled with them.

As long as critical failures require two failed rolls, relative skill can overcome the increased chance of a critical failure in a round to a certain extent, but then the higher an enemy's AC, the more likely a skilled combatant is to hurt themselves seems a poor mechanic as well.

Liberty's Edge

Dragonsong wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Like I said, I agree. But the OP cited pop entertainment, and I pointed out he was incorrect in that statement, that's all.
Fair enough, I misread your intention, and apologize. I will admit I was kinda surprised to begin with as I usually am in agreement with you and TOZ on things.

No worries, I'm used to people misunderstanding my points on these boards.

;o)


BPorter wrote:
vuron wrote:

I have issues with failure mechanics mainly due to the mathematics of probability.

As I increase in level I have more attacks, that means my probability of a critical success increases (% critical x number of actions).

However if I include critical failures, having more attacks actually functions as a penalty (% critical failure x number of actions).

This creates the very unsatisfactory phenomenon of increasing your failure rate as you level.

While % failure x number of bullets fire might be acceptable in the real world the failure rate of a weapon is generally not something that can be modeled with the relative coarse probabilities of a d20. Combined with the increasing failure rate as you level tends to make failure mechanics a distinct detractor to using a weapon saddled with them.

Um, BS.

Yes, as you increase in level, you have more possible chances to fail. Just as if I jump a dirt bike off a ramp, I have a chance to fail each time that I do it.

However, as you level, the chances of you missing decrease. So the chances of confirming that critical fail, drop. Big time.

Misfire mechanics in the current ruleset does not have a confirming roll. It's a static 5% or 10% that increases to 25% or 30% when the firearm is in a "broken" state.

This means that 5% x number of attacks is actually accurate math :D

The Steadfast enchantment negates the penalty but seriously it a +4 enchantment meaning that doesn't come into play until 14th or 15th level at the earliest.

Liberty's Edge

Kaiyanwang wrote:

In another thread, Cartigan had a very good idea IMHO:

Apply the malfunction only to non proficent users.

There's merit to this.


vuron wrote:


Misfire mechanics in the current ruleset does not have a confirming roll. It's a static 5% or 10% that increases to 25% or 30% when the firearm is in a "broken" state.

This means that 5% x number of attacks is actually accurate math :D

The Steadfast enchantment negates the penalty but seriously it a +4 enchantment meaning that doesn't come into play until 14th or 15th level at the earliest.

Sorry. I was responding to the "critical failures" part of your post, not to the guns/misfire rules specifically.

My bad.


houstonderek wrote:
Kaiyanwang wrote:

In another thread, Cartigan had a very good idea IMHO:

Apply the malfunction only to non proficent users.

There's merit to this.

This is why I like it:

1) If I have the EWP:gun, I'm very likely to "live" a lot with the weapon, cleaning and treating it very well. An "noob" will not have the same care.

2) Explains why I have gunslinger PCs, but pistols and muskets are not so diffused in the gameworld.


BPorter wrote:
vuron wrote:


Misfire mechanics in the current ruleset does not have a confirming roll. It's a static 5% or 10% that increases to 25% or 30% when the firearm is in a "broken" state.

This means that 5% x number of attacks is actually accurate math :D

The Steadfast enchantment negates the penalty but seriously it a +4 enchantment meaning that doesn't come into play until 14th or 15th level at the earliest.

Sorry. I was responding to the "critical failures" part of your post, not to the guns/misfire rules specifically.

My bad.

No problem, I realize that my terminology had significant overlap with the Critical Failure deck.

Liberty's Edge

Kaiyanwang wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Kaiyanwang wrote:

In another thread, Cartigan had a very good idea IMHO:

Apply the malfunction only to non proficent users.

There's merit to this.

This is why I like it:

1) If I have the EWP:gun, I'm very likely to "live" a lot with the weapon, cleaning and treating it very well. An "noob" will not have the same care.

2) Explain why I have gunslinger PCs, but pistols and muskets are not so diffused in the gameworld.

I can dig that, too. Makes sense, and gives the class more of a "mystique" (which it badly needs, right now I think the concept is very flawed, it doesn't make much sense as a base class to me).


I think the main reason for the misfire chance is to prevent a character such as a rogue or assassin from picking up a random pistol and sneak-attacking against flat-footed touch AC. The -4 to hit is insignificant when their AC drops to about 10+deflection, but the 25% misfire chance drops the reliability.


Kommadore wrote:
I think the main reason for the misfire chance is to prevent a character such as a rogue or assassin from picking up a random pistol and sneak-attacking against flat-footed touch AC. The -4 to hit is insignificant when their AC drops to about 10+deflection, but the 25% misfire chance drops the reliability.

Firearms do not make someone flat-footed though.

If the target is flat-footed for some other reason, surprised victim of a feint then yes you can sneak attack with a pistol if range is less than or equal to 30 ft (just like any other ranged weapon).

Considering virtually every rogue strategy depends on flanking (or maybe concealment with a cloak) and flanking can't be done with a ranged weapon (and ranged attacks in base to base result in AoOs) the firearm rogue is definitely an edge case.

Indeed I suspect the only way for a ranged firearm rogue to be able to routinely sneak attack is via a permanent concealment effect.

Grand Lodge

I might be off in left field, but it's my understanding that the mis-fire/failure/jam/broken (whatever you want to call it) is a product of an imperfect technology, not necessarily the skill (or lack of it) of the user...


Azmyth wrote:

I might be off in left field, but it's my understanding that the mis-fire/failure/jam/broken (whatever you want to call it) is a product of an imperfect technology, not necessarily the skill (or lack of it) of the user...

I agree, take up a history of firearms book and you will find that they where just as dangerous to the user as they were to the person being shot. Early firearms where not reliable, didn't matter how skilled the user was.

Dark Archive

Azmyth wrote:

I might be off in left field, but it's my understanding that the mis-fire/failure/jam/broken (whatever you want to call it) is a product of an imperfect technology, not necessarily the skill (or lack of it) of the user...

I agree with this. Also I would like to add that I see the gunslinger as a one shot, and rush into melee type of character. Reloading seems to be a pain.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Darkon Slayer wrote:
Azmyth wrote:

I might be off in left field, but it's my understanding that the mis-fire/failure/jam/broken (whatever you want to call it) is a product of an imperfect technology, not necessarily the skill (or lack of it) of the user...

I agree, take up a history of firearms book and you will find that they where just as dangerous to the user as they were to the person being shot. Early firearms where not reliable, didn't matter how skilled the user was.

I disagree with this. Adding a layer of 'only this weapon has this' onto combat rules will over complicate the situation. As it stands already, you have a weapon with marginally better damage than a crossbow that, like a crossbow, shafts you when your BAB hits +6. Adding to the fact that 90% of the GM's I interact on a regular basis ignore auto-fail on a 1 anyway, it just seems that you're over penalizing a character for something that frankly isn't very good.

Sure, classical firearms may have been controlled bombs, but none of the other weapons in PF act like this. You don't have your bow fall to pieces RAW if you nat 1 a couple of times. You don't have the hilt fall off of your sword, gaining the broken condition if you nat 1 a couple of times. I just don't see how putting a nonsensical price tag and a goofy penalty mechanic onto weapons that only have the benefit of an x4 crit multiplier is useful.


monskers wrote:
Azmyth wrote:

I might be off in left field, but it's my understanding that the mis-fire/failure/jam/broken (whatever you want to call it) is a product of an imperfect technology, not necessarily the skill (or lack of it) of the user...

I agree with this. Also I would like to add that I see the gunslinger as a one shot, and rush into melee type of character. Reloading seems to be a pain.

You...see the gunslinger as someone who barely uses their gun?

Do you...do you not see the flaw in this?


KaeYoss wrote:
This sort of "selective realism" should not be used without giving it some serious thought.

Take out everything after "used" and I am in perfect agreement.

No other weapon in the game is treated "realistically". There are no compelling reasons -- whether looking at mechanics, game balance, or flavor -- that merit firearms being the exception.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

houstonderek wrote:
it doesn't make much sense as a base class to me).

I think it is fine if it has minor things that not every class has.

Things like the gun kata from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0238380/

I think the base weapon use and most of the basic "I shoot a gun" things shouldn't be loaded into the Gunslinger, but instead be part of EWP:Firearms and/or other feats.

Azmyth wrote:

I might be off in left field, but it's my understanding that the mis-fire/failure/jam/broken (whatever you want to call it) is a product of an imperfect technology, not necessarily the skill (or lack of it) of the user...

I'm sure it is, but there are better ways to model that such as reducing the damage output or the critical multiplier?

I'm not a fan of this suggestion, but something like on a 1 deal 1d3 (or 1d6) damage to the 5 ft square the gun is in (area effect damage from a shattered bullet/shell.)

Spes Magna Mark wrote:
No other weapon in the game is treated "realistically". There are no compelling reasons -- whether looking at mechanics, game balance, or flavor -- that merit firearms being the exception.

I'm not sure what side you are pushing? If you reject realism, you are therefore against using misfire?


He's saying that there's no reason firearms should be treated with too much realism if no other weapon is.


making the weapon misfire and all blah blah is cool, i like the "dang it misfire" feel.

HOWEVER....

this should be used to balance something that would otherwise be unbalanced. Which the gun is NOT. So it needs some work.

More damage? Maybe.

Higher crit range AND better crit multiplier?

YES, i think this is the ticket.

Crit range should be 17-20 and x4 crit multiplier. (yes and still by pass armor at close range)

Bang Zoom alice! now we got something that's scary and needs some draw backs (think about keen pistols or ammo).

So i say either one.... take away the misfire/break (DM's can add this flavor on nat 1 if they want like i do with bows) OR up the Crit to make the jams worth it.


Ellington wrote:
He's saying that there's no reason firearms should be treated with too much realism if no other weapon is.

Exactly. No misfire. No really long reload times. No armor penetration or (worse still) ranged touch attacks. No super-high damage and/or super-high crit ranges and/or multipliers.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Spes Magna Mark wrote:
Exactly. No misfire. No really long reload times. No armor penetration or (worse still) ranged touch attacks. No super-high damage and/or super-high crit ranges and/or multipliers.

I agree with most of this also.

The armor penetration and/or touch attacks is a problem.

The damage output now isn't that scary, but I haven't done a DPR comparison between a Greatsword fighter each level and a Gunslinger.

Also, the crit multiplier and increased threat range shouldn't be combined.

Sovereign Court

James Risner wrote:
Jam/broken, what is the difference? For my purposes it doesn't matter.

Just so you know, Jammed is when it can't fire and Broken is when your shooting at a -2 to hit with a chance of it exploding. So when you say jammed and complain about jamming it sounds like, at least to me, that your saying it can't shoot when you get a misfire which is incorrect.


James Risner wrote:
Spes Magna Mark wrote:
Exactly. No misfire. No really long reload times. No armor penetration or (worse still) ranged touch attacks. No super-high damage and/or super-high crit ranges and/or multipliers.

I agree with most of this also.

The armor penetration and/or touch attacks is a problem.

The damage output now isn't that scary, but I haven't done a DPR comparison between a Greatsword fighter each level and a Gunslinger.

Also, the crit multiplier and increased threat range shouldn't be combined.

look at the falchion

I always wondered if that was some kind of typo?


Pendagast wrote:


Higher crit range AND better crit multiplier?

YES, i think this is the ticket.

Crit range should be 17-20 and x4 crit multiplier. (yes and still by pass armor at close range)

Bang Zoom alice! now we got something that's scary and needs some draw backs

No way in hell! 17-20 already is better than any other weapon, and even the weapons with the "extreme" threat range (18-20) got no more than x2. The only time an increased threat range and an increased crit multiplier are combined are with one exotic weapon that gets 19-20/x3.

17-20/x4 cannot be justified in any way.

Pendagast wrote:


look at the falchion

I always wondered if that was some kind of typo?

That one's 2d4 (for medium characters) and 18-20/x2. The really good threat range is its bonus for a martial weapon (a longsword is similar, except that instead of another boost of the range, it does more damage).


my bad i meant falcata

Falcata 18 gp 1d6 1d8 19-20/x3

if the gun had the crit range of falcata it'd be ok to put up with the jamming/breakage.

As it stands 20/4 isnt good enough to warrant a huge draw back like loosing actions with primary weapon.
It would have to be something that was out of the ordinarily unbalanced ( like a 17-20 crit range) to warrant the jamming/breakage, that was what i was trying to say (on the facetious side)

(i ws also thinking of my magus with a keen falcata thats 17-20)

but regardless it isnt good enough to need balancing mechanic.

Sovereign Court

I have to agree that the misfire rules either need to be:

1. Removed, as no other weapon simulates critical failures, and no other weapon costs the equivalent of low level wonderous magic items as an opening cost. Misfires make you lose actions, and can potentially cause the character to be hurt AND their very expensive gun being destroyed. That's a lot of penalties just to give a sense of "realism" to a game that isn't really well designed or intended to be a simulation.

2. Give some kind of increased potency to firearms to balance out the misfire. 18/x3 crit, max out damage on a crit, more damage dice, exploding dice, etc. This can be sorted out because it just comes down to math. Rather than a bell curve, you have a trough, with extreme effects on either end of the spectrum.

I'm in favor of option 1 because it simply fits with the rest of mechanics and vision of the system. While option 2 is better than how it currently stands, it just adds wacky chaos that can be a disincentive to some players and GMs to not bother with the firearm rules.


The issue is people expect something more with firearms then say bows. If it is treated just as another ranged weapon with nothing else to them why bother in the first place. I do agree that if you are going to loose multiple actions or have them destroyed the damage needs a bump or something. They have to be more then a touch attack to a class that has a great base attack.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
houstonderek wrote:

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Good points! Plus, real guns jam and misfire even today. If you have ever shot a real shotgun, you have delt with jams. Shoot a muzzleloader for any time and you will have a misfire. This happens with modern firearms...imagine the barely understood stuff coming out in Golarion.


h2ofowler wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Good points! Plus, real guns jam and misfire even today. If you have ever shot a real shotgun, you have delt with jams. Shoot a muzzleloader for any time and you will have a misfire. This happens with modern firearms...imagine the barely understood stuff coming out in Golarion.

You mean the place where people regularly have over 20 Int scores and the ability to polymorph any object to design prototypes?

With that in mind the jams and misfires should be as common as they are today maybe a tad more. After 20 dove hunting seasons I have had one shotgun jam, and that was due to a badly reloaded shell. I think this line of reasoning is garbage for this game setting and the abilites available to the citizens of it.

7th seas setting maybe, not PF.


h2ofowler wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

Personally, I think if you want a gun, you should have to deal with gun issues. And I don't know what lit you are reading or what movies you're watching, but several use misfire and jams as plot devices.

Good points! Plus, real guns jam and misfire even today. If you have ever shot a real shotgun, you have delt with jams. Shoot a muzzleloader for any time and you will have a misfire. This happens with modern firearms...imagine the barely understood stuff coming out in Golarion.

Either all weapons have potential malfunctions (Just like in real life!) or none do.

None of this "only guns have to follow realism" BS.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

h2ofowler wrote:
real guns jam and misfire even today.

In real life yes, but D&D is more about dramatic realism. I don't remember seeing a jam in any of the Matrix movies. While there may be some jams as plot points in some movies (Unforgiven was mentioned above) that is something the GM is always free to insert and he doesn't need a mechanic (rule) to do so.

If you really want realism, then why have Evasion? You can't avoid a fireball in the small room.

Hargert wrote:
The issue is people expect something more with firearms then say bows

Which can be accomplished by using exploding die or other mechanics. It doesn't require a broken condition.


Nobody would ever use a firearm if one shot in twenty (or 1 in ten for a musket) caused a misfire.

Even if you accept that failure mechanics might be warranted (some people like critical failure rules) the simple fact of the matter is that the probability of failure is way, way too high.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

In my CoT campaign I had a player using a gunslinging ranger using the rules from the campaign setting. Pistols and muskets were pretty meh in there, but he used the better guns. Improved vital strike plus a 4d6 or something weapon meant that he dished out more damage than the rogue could consistently. He also never missed, and I could never get him in range of monsters. For reference, I used both optional rules: misfire chance and exploding dice.

Keeping that in mind, I think that the misfire rules as written in this playtest are much better than the previous misfire rules. The only change to them I'd like to see is a feat that gunslingers can take that eliminates (or reduces by one) the misfire chance of a type of firearm. I don't think it should be bundled in with exotic weapon proficiency. Perhaps a trait that lets you ignore one misfire per day?

tl;dr
Misfire is currently a bit too harsh (but better than previous). Should have an option to eliminate the chance, but not bundled with EWP.

Edit: Also, if misfire is kept, then exploding dice should be reintroduced... but make it so that extra dice from vital strike or sneak attack don't explode. As written, they did...

Edit again: Actually... exploding dice are unnecessary. The whole touch ac thing is a good counter to misfire.

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