Musket Master - reloading as a free action?


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I'm playing a 7th-level Gunslinger (Musket Master) in a friend's homebrew campaign, and I'm wondering how to get reloading down to a free action. I have Musket Mastery and Rapid Reload (Musket), and I'm using paper cartridges, but after discussion, the group has decided that that gets reloading down to a swift action. Is this correct, and if so, how can I get reloading as a free action? Whether I'm right or wrong, I'd also like someone to explain to me clearly how it all works (I'm new to all of this).

Also, my character build, in case anyone thinks seeing it would help:

Spoiler:

Captain Aramia
F human gunslinger 7 (musket master)
Languages: Common, Dwarven, Aquan

Str 12, Dex 22, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 13
AC 20, touch 18, flat-footed 14
Init +6 (+8 if 1 grit remaining), max HP 70
Fort +7, Ref +11, Will +4
BAB +7/+2
CMB/CMD: 7/22

Melee: +1 rapier +14/+9, 1d6+2, 18-20/x2
Ranged: +1 grand dislocator musket +14/+9, 1d12+6, x4
Ammo: Paper catridges

Skills: Acrobatics +15, Bluff +5, Climb +7, Craft (alchemy) +6, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (engineering) +8, Knowledge (local) +8, Perception +11, Profession (Pirate) +9, Sleight of Hand +15, Survival +11, Swim +11

Feats: Gunsmithing, Rapid reload (musket), Point-blank shot, Precise shot, Rapid shot, Snap shot, Weapon focus (musket), Weapon finesse

Class features: Grit (2 points), Deeds (steady aim, fast musket, deadeye, quick clear, gunslinger initiative, pistol-whip, dead shot, startling shot, targeting)

Gear: +1 grand dislocator musket, +1 rapier, mithral chain shirt, gunsmith's kit, paper cartridges x30, gloves of dexterity +2, 23,165 gp

Any and all help would be much appreciated.


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El Ronza wrote:

I'm playing a 7th-level Gunslinger (Musket Master) in a friend's homebrew campaign, and I'm wondering how to get reloading down to a free action. I have Musket Mastery and Rapid Reload (Musket), and I'm using paper cartridges, but after discussion, the group has decided that that gets reloading down to a swift action. Is this correct, and if so, how can I get reloading as a free action? Whether I'm right or wrong, I'd also like someone to explain to me clearly how it all works (I'm new to all of this).

Also, my character build, in case anyone thinks seeing it would help:

** spoiler omitted **

Any and all help would be much appreciated.

The ruling of your group is, according to rules as written, wrong.

The steps for reloading is as follows:
Full round -> standard action -> move action -> free action.

A twohanded firearm uses a full round action,
but Musket Master treat it as a onehanded firearm for reloading, thus a standard action.
Rapid reload lowers this to a move action.
Paper cartridges lowers this one step to a free action.

If your group is set on the ruling, an alternative is the Reloading Hands spell.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, swift action doesn't come into play here. Not entirely sure why, but it's commonly accepted that that's the case.

It might be because when Rapid Reload came out, swift actions didn't exist. I think unless swift actions are strictly specified for doing something, then they just don't count for this kind of thing.


Alright. Thanks for the clarification! I actually looked on these forums for other builds when I was making my character, so I always suspected reloading was a free action for me. Now I can actually take advantage of rapid shot, haha!


Avatar-1 wrote:


It might be because when Rapid Reload came out, swift actions didn't exist.

What?

@OP
What the others have said, your character should reload his musket as a free action.


Avatar-1 wrote:

Yeah, swift action doesn't come into play here. Not entirely sure why, but it's commonly accepted that that's the case.

It might be because when Rapid Reload came out, swift actions didn't exist. I think unless swift actions are strictly specified for doing something, then they just don't count for this kind of thing.

I suspect the description of alchemical cartridges has something to with it.
PRD wrote:
Alchemical Cartridges: An alchemical cartridge is a prepared bundle of black powder with a bullet or pellets, sometimes with more exotic material added, which is then wrapped in paper or cloth and sealed with beeswax, lard, or tallow. There are many types of alchemical cartridges, the simplest being the paper cartridge—a simple mix of black powder and either pellets or a bullet. Alchemical cartridges make loading a firearm easier, reducing the time to load a firearm by one step (a full-round action becomes a standard action, a standard action becomes a move action, and a move action becomes a free action), but they tend to be unstable.link]


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leo1925 wrote:
Avatar-1 wrote:


It might be because when Rapid Reload came out, swift actions didn't exist.

What?

@OP
What the others have said, your character should reload his musket as a free action.

I suspect they are confusing their 3.5 with their Pathfinder. Swift actions were a beginning staple in Pathfinder, of course, but they were not originally an existing rule in the 3.X set.


The guys I'm playing with have all had much more experience with tabletop games than I have, so I just trusted them. I doubt they were trying to screw me over (the GM plays pretty loose with the rules, and we generated our stats using a freaking 40-point buy!), so it looks like it was a simple misunderstanding. Thanks for the paper cartridges reference line, I'll use that as proof next session =)


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So, I see pathfinder broke all semblance of realism with flintlock weaponry. 6 seconds to reload a a flintlock weapon is insanely fast by real world standards. Is there really no rule against free action early firearms reloading?


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CrazierLeech20 wrote:

So, I see pathfinder broke all semblance of realism with flintlock weaponry. 6 seconds to reload a a flintlock weapon is insanely fast by real world standards. Is there really no rule against free action early firearms reloading?

I know, right? They were doing so good realism wise, what with the guano and sulphur transforming into a firebomb, guys getting angry enough to grow horns and buying extra lives with a diamond. So sad to see them throw all that realism away by making guns useable.


CrazierLeech20 wrote:

So, I see pathfinder broke all semblance of realism with flintlock weaponry. 6 seconds to reload a a flintlock weapon is insanely fast by real world standards. Is there really no rule against free action early firearms reloading?

Eh, but if it was realistic, it would take 60 seconds/ 10 rounds to reload (and you get it down to 20 seconds/~3 rounds with rapid reload/cartridge). They wanted something actually useful. And they stuck with flintlock, since they would rather not skip from 'bows and spells' to 'gatling gun' without any steps in between.


CrazierLeech20 wrote:

So, I see pathfinder broke all semblance of realism with flintlock weaponry. 6 seconds to reload a a flintlock weapon is insanely fast by real world standards. Is there really no rule against free action early firearms reloading?

Yes, so ridiculous it puts me off my biscuits.

Reminds me of Diablo 3 and loading crossbows in the blink of an eye, while your other hand also has a rapid firing one shot crossbow.

Just what the game needs, to be more like diablo. Pew pew! Reloading is for suckers.


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Let's get upset about useful muskets, just like crossbows, they were never used in real life, right? History is full of Zen archer legolas types firing off nine arrows in six seconds from their +4 strength mod long bows, everyone knows that.


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Torbyne wrote:
Let's get upset about useful muskets, just like crossbows, they were never used in real life, right? History is full of Zen archer legolas types firing off nine arrows in six seconds from their +4 strength mod long bows, everyone knows that.

Gatling guns are only okay if they're named "longbow". Sad, but true.


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Realistic fire arms, will be followed by realistic dragons, and finally realistic clerics, who don't cast spells, have funny haircuts, and have ranks in speak dead language.


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HarbinNick wrote:
Realistic fire arms, will be followed by realistic dragons, and finally realistic clerics, who don't cast spells, have funny haircuts, and have ranks in speak dead language.

You enter the vast hoard-cavern and... there is no gold pile, nor dragon. The cave is wet and cold and you can't stop coughing. Your feet hurt. You're also late to work so you're fired. Your wife is taking the kids.

I'm glad that musket is so sensible now.


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People are so stupid wanting things to make sense. Ha!


Torbyne wrote:
Let's get upset about useful muskets, just like crossbows, they were never used in real life, right? History is full of Zen archer legolas types firing off nine arrows in six seconds from their +4 strength mod long bows, everyone knows that.

Not to rain on your parade, but there's a danish guy called Lars Andersen who can fire an arrow in .5 seconds, while still hitting a moving target, which means that he can fire 12 arrows in 6 seconds that hit its target. Granted he doesn't use a Mighty strength longbow and he doesn't pull it completely back meaning that he would likely do less damage in game terms.

Just a headsup. I don't really care about realism in the game as long as magic is a part of it so go right ahead and load that musket as often as you want as long as you follow the rules and go right ahead and use that mighty bow like it was a freaking gatling gun :D


Lifat wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Let's get upset about useful muskets, just like crossbows, they were never used in real life, right? History is full of Zen archer legolas types firing off nine arrows in six seconds from their +4 strength mod long bows, everyone knows that.

Not to rain on your parade, but there's a danish guy called Lars Andersen who can fire an arrow in .5 seconds, while still hitting a moving target, which means that he can fire 12 arrows in 6 seconds that hit its target. Granted he doesn't use a Mighty strength longbow and he doesn't pull it completely back meaning that he would likely do less damage in game terms.

Just a headsup. I don't really care about realism in the game as long as magic is a part of it so go right ahead and load that musket as often as you want as long as you follow the rules and go right ahead and use that mighty bow like it was a freaking gatling gun :D

I know about him, it's a really cool trick, but like you say he isn't even fully drawing a 30 pound bow. A +4 strength mod on a bow would probably be closer to 150 pound draw which is a different game entirely.


Lifat wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Let's get upset about useful muskets, just like crossbows, they were never used in real life, right? History is full of Zen archer legolas types firing off nine arrows in six seconds from their +4 strength mod long bows, everyone knows that.

Not to rain on your parade, but there's a danish guy called Lars Andersen who can fire an arrow in .5 seconds, while still hitting a moving target, which means that he can fire 12 arrows in 6 seconds that hit its target. Granted he doesn't use a Mighty strength longbow and he doesn't pull it completely back meaning that he would likely do less damage in game terms.

Just a headsup. I don't really care about realism in the game as long as magic is a part of it so go right ahead and load that musket as often as you want as long as you follow the rules and go right ahead and use that mighty bow like it was a freaking gatling gun :D

Actually Lars says the old times they didn't use pull it back completely very often. This is why he went with rapid shot technique because it was the old ways.


Scythia wrote:
CrazierLeech20 wrote:

So, I see pathfinder broke all semblance of realism with flintlock weaponry. 6 seconds to reload a a flintlock weapon is insanely fast by real world standards. Is there really no rule against free action early firearms reloading?

I know, right? They were doing so good realism wise, what with the guano and sulphur transforming into a firebomb, guys getting angry enough to grow horns and buying extra lives with a diamond. So sad to see them throw all that realism away by making guns useable.

They could have gone in the diferent direction, making, for example, one shot every 6 second to be something meaninful.


Nicos wrote:
Scythia wrote:
CrazierLeech20 wrote:

So, I see pathfinder broke all semblance of realism with flintlock weaponry. 6 seconds to reload a a flintlock weapon is insanely fast by real world standards. Is there really no rule against free action early firearms reloading?

I know, right? They were doing so good realism wise, what with the guano and sulphur transforming into a firebomb, guys getting angry enough to grow horns and buying extra lives with a diamond. So sad to see them throw all that realism away by making guns useable.
They could have gone in the diferent direction, making, for example, one shot every 6 second to be something meaninful.

...and any concealment or blurr effects at all would render them completely useless.


lemeres wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Scythia wrote:
CrazierLeech20 wrote:

So, I see pathfinder broke all semblance of realism with flintlock weaponry. 6 seconds to reload a a flintlock weapon is insanely fast by real world standards. Is there really no rule against free action early firearms reloading?

I know, right? They were doing so good realism wise, what with the guano and sulphur transforming into a firebomb, guys getting angry enough to grow horns and buying extra lives with a diamond. So sad to see them throw all that realism away by making guns useable.
They could have gone in the diferent direction, making, for example, one shot every 6 second to be something meaninful.
...and any concealment or blurr effects at all would render them completely useless.

Not to mention, Deflect Arrows. If guns were single shot mighty cannons, monks would literally be bulletproof.


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Everybody has their limit on suspension of disbelief. And there is no reason that limit is going to be static, objective, or universal.

On a question of game balance, the waters are slightly less muddy. Free-action musket reloading (at minor cost) is pretty freakin' powerful, but not impossibly greater than a similarly-twinked melee-manz. Or so the people around here who crunch those numbers tell me.

Actually while we're on the subject, Musket Master's bonuses apply to the axe or warhammer musket, right?


boring7 wrote:
Actually while we're on the subject, Musket Master's bonuses apply to the axe or warhammer musket, right?

Last I saw, that was still an issue of contention. Some people read it strictly, that abilities that apply to a musket apply only to a musket, not a ___ musket. Others think it applies to any kind of musket, thinking of musket as a type rather than a specific name.


Fair enough.


Torbyne wrote:
Let's get upset about useful muskets, just like crossbows, they were never used in real life, right? History is full of Zen archer legolas types firing off nine arrows in six seconds from their +4 strength mod long bows, everyone knows that.

9 arrows in six seconds? Which army is that? What level are they meant to be at?

:D

In a game I am in around tenth level, the archer certainly isn't pumping out nine. For actual real-world archery, I can do two in six seconds, (just as an intermediate archer), and I've seen it done faster, so I can tell you that it isn't ridiculous to shoot multiple arrows in six seconds. Impossibly fast musket loading is true folly though. There are many steps to go through. It isn't draw, knock and shoot, smoothness doesn't matter in fitting it into the time of a round as there is a whole lot more to it, and it simply can't be done at the speeds paizo allows it to be at.

If you hear about any reenactors give it a look. I was privileged enough to see some Japanese matchlock reenactors go through the whole process many times. About 27 seconds between each shot, and these chaps knew what they were doing (and were doing it in armour).

When pew pew firearm diablo spam was introduced, it was a sad day for the game.


DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Let's get upset about useful muskets, just like crossbows, they were never used in real life, right? History is full of Zen archer legolas types firing off nine arrows in six seconds from their +4 strength mod long bows, everyone knows that.

9 arrows in six seconds? Which army is that? What level are they meant to be at?

:D

In a game I am in around tenth level, the archer certainly isn't pumping out nine. For actual real-world archery, I can do two in six seconds, (just as an intermediate archer), and I've seen it done faster, so I can tell you that it isn't ridiculous to shoot multiple arrows in six seconds. Impossibly fast musket loading is true folly though. There are many steps to go through. It isn't draw, knock and shoot, smoothness doesn't matter in fitting it into the time of a round as there is a whole lot more to it, and it simply can't be done at the speeds paizo allows it to be at.

If you hear about any reenactors give it a look. I was privileged enough to see some Japanese matchlock reenactors go through the whole process many times. About 27 seconds between each shot, and these chaps knew what they were doing (and were doing it in armour).

When pew pew firearm diablo spam was introduced, it was a sad day for the game.

I've tried holding random minerals and other substances, and waving my hands while chanting (I used to be an active neo-pagan), but I never once made fire appear. In fact, nobody I've ever seen has, without the aid of a rig.

Besides, are you telling me that you, as an intermediate archer, could fire nine arrows in under six seconds that would have enough draw strength to penetrate plate and chain armor (with related padding) from over 100 yards away? We're not talking short pulls to hit a foam target 20 feet away. Oh, while using something like a wooden Welsh style bow no less.


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Historically speaking, the widespread deployment of the musket ended the usefulness of swords and armor. There was still a value in pikemen, until they invented staggered firing lines and paper cartridges, but only because pikemen were cheap enough to train.

Realistically speaking, a musket should do weird super damage against armored targets as the bullet bounces around inside the armor. Realistically speaking, any hit on a character should have a chance of being instantly fatal. Realistically speaking every scifi and fantasy every that lets melee compete (or beat) with guns is ridiculous, but nearly every fantasy and scifi will jump through any number of hoops to let main characters have sword-and-sorcery duels.

As I said, everyone has their own limit on suspension of disbelief, but others are not and should not be bound by it. If the rapid-fire Musketeer is just too silly for you, don't play it.


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Scythia wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Let's get upset about useful muskets, just like crossbows, they were never used in real life, right? History is full of Zen archer legolas types firing off nine arrows in six seconds from their +4 strength mod long bows, everyone knows that.

9 arrows in six seconds? Which army is that? What level are they meant to be at?

:D

In a game I am in around tenth level, the archer certainly isn't pumping out nine. For actual real-world archery, I can do two in six seconds, (just as an intermediate archer), and I've seen it done faster, so I can tell you that it isn't ridiculous to shoot multiple arrows in six seconds. Impossibly fast musket loading is true folly though. There are many steps to go through. It isn't draw, knock and shoot, smoothness doesn't matter in fitting it into the time of a round as there is a whole lot more to it, and it simply can't be done at the speeds paizo allows it to be at.

If you hear about any reenactors give it a look. I was privileged enough to see some Japanese matchlock reenactors go through the whole process many times. About 27 seconds between each shot, and these chaps knew what they were doing (and were doing it in armour).

Besides, are you telling me that you, as an intermediate archer, could fire nine arrows in under six seconds that would have enough draw strength to penetrate plate and chain armor (with related padding) from over 100 yards away? We're not talking short pulls to hit a foam target 20 feet away. Oh, while using something like a wooden Welsh style bow no less.

Of course he's not. He's also not saying he's a 20th level archery specialist.

As an intermediate archer getting 2 in 6 seconds? He's probably closer to second level with Rapid Shot. Nor, most likely has he pumped Str enough to use the heavy bows. (Not that Str has anything to do with firing speed in PF. If you can't get off nine shots with the heaviest bow you can use, you can't do it with a basic shortbow. Nor range or accuracy (other than penalties for range/Rapid shot and your iteratives.))

And he's still as close to a 20th level archery specialist (in firing speed) as the best real world musketeers are to a 1st level Musket Master.

And frankly I have more problems with the low level gunslingers speed than with 6 shots at 20th level or whatever. High level characters are supposed to be doing things we think impossible. 1st level martials are supposed to be more realistic. The base firing speed for a musket is ridiculous. Even a 1st level warrior (or commoner!) can fire much faster than anything historical.


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boring7 wrote:
Historically speaking, the widespread deployment of the musket ended the usefulness of swords and armor. There was still a value in pikemen, until they invented staggered firing lines and paper cartridges, but only because pikemen were cheap enough to train.

It's that part that bothers me. Golarion gets around it by saying they weren't widespread, essentially just because. But then crams hundreds of years of military technological development into one small country in a short timeframe with no one outside bothering to care. And apparently no one ever actually using these things in war to see how effective they are.


thejeff wrote:
boring7 wrote:
Historically speaking, the widespread deployment of the musket ended the usefulness of swords and armor. There was still a value in pikemen, until they invented staggered firing lines and paper cartridges, but only because pikemen were cheap enough to train.

It's that part that bothers me. Golarion gets around it by saying they weren't widespread, essentially just because. But then crams hundreds of years of military technological development into one small country in a short timeframe with no one outside bothering to care. And apparently no one ever actually using these things in war to see how effective they are.

Yeah, well, most fantasy setting also exist in a place where there is any semblance of historical mystery, even though though most events probably had some elf or dwarf witness. And Elf or Dwarf who is probably still alive because they live for so damn long, and wizards who can probably just ask a god what happened.

But ya know, they don't tell anyone what happened for plot reasons.


I've always liked the idea of getting rid of fast reloading with early firearms, and instead let the deed that lets you pool shots work for all feats and attacks. Makes at least a little more sense that way, while still keeping the balance in the Gunslingers favor (since they need the help).

Of course, this means Monks are still invulnerable to firearms. But whatever, who wants to rain on a Monk's parade?


Scythia wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Let's get upset about useful muskets, just like crossbows, they were never used in real life, right? History is full of Zen archer legolas types firing off nine arrows in six seconds from their +4 strength mod long bows, everyone knows that.

9 arrows in six seconds? Which army is that? What level are they meant to be at?

:D

In a game I am in around tenth level, the archer certainly isn't pumping out nine. For actual real-world archery, I can do two in six seconds, (just as an intermediate archer), and I've seen it done faster, so I can tell you that it isn't ridiculous to shoot multiple arrows in six seconds. Impossibly fast musket loading is true folly though. There are many steps to go through. It isn't draw, knock and shoot, smoothness doesn't matter in fitting it into the time of a round as there is a whole lot more to it, and it simply can't be done at the speeds paizo allows it to be at.

If you hear about any reenactors give it a look. I was privileged enough to see some Japanese matchlock reenactors go through the whole process many times. About 27 seconds between each shot, and these chaps knew what they were doing (and were doing it in armour).

When pew pew firearm diablo spam was introduced, it was a sad day for the game.

I've tried holding random minerals and other substances, and waving my hands while chanting (I used to be an active neo-pagan), but I never once made fire appear. In fact, nobody I've ever seen has, without the aid of a rig.

Besides, are you telling me that you, as an intermediate archer, could fire nine arrows in under six seconds that would have enough draw strength to penetrate plate and chain armor (with related padding) from over 100 yards away? We're not talking short pulls to hit a foam target 20 feet away. Oh, while using something like a wooden Welsh style bow no less.

You went around my questions to try and imply I said something I did not.

To be clear:

Who is shooting 9 arrows in six seconds? I have never seen this.
When has this come up in game?
What level was it?
Are you comparing an epic level archer to a low level gunslinger?
How does archery relate to ridiculously fast loading of complex firearms? I ask this because low to mid level bab can be represented by the ability of actual archers.
What soldiers of a real world army shot 9 arrows in six seconds? What were you getting at by sarcastically saying this? It doesn't seem to follow.

Additional notes:
No I did not say I could fire 9 in six seconds. I got up to two when I tried and timed it.
Yes it was with a powerful bow. 45 pound, use bodkins and you are laughing in regards to penetration (angled surfaces and solid metal can always stuff up a shot).
No it was not with a short pull, bows don't work well if you don't actually draw it. I was not letting it fall out on to the grass path and calling it a shot, the shots were actually taken. No skipped steps.
Where did the requirement of a cumbersome Welsh bow come from?
Why are you putting this in as a requirement?
I have also seen a longbowman do two in 7 seconds. Archer wasn't the fastest archer around either.
Clarification on penetration. You do not need a large Welsh bow to rip through armour, smaller bows can do it well (you know like the Assyrians, Scythians, Huns and Mongols favored) it is more about the arrow type, the power and the placement of the shot (any suit has weak spots).

Jokes:

Not a bad one about the magic, I'll give you that, but this brings us to a real issue. The magic of the game runs according to rules. There is a lot behind it, how casting occurs, memorisation, spell choices. It all comes together and certain pcs and npcs can cast spells on their turn. Okay, we are walking together and we can see the rules and requirements behind it.

What are these things? They aren't like what they are meant to be.

Now loading ye olde firearms also had rules and procedures, but paizo's times are completely wrong, and with feats and investment, it can be taken down to almost nothing. Free and move actions for something that took upwards of four steps and involved moving multiple things around in both hands? What?

This choice of design is exactly like some computer games, that ditch the reality and the rules of what is involved in loading these types of weapons. Why? So that you can take a shot, or many shots all without following the actual procedure that would be required. No need to go through the steps, no hair-raising duration of you loading your very powerful firearm - it is done, and getting it ready to unleash smoke, fire and shot, simply skip to the end, you can shoot again. No or very little time passes while you do that. Rush to the result.

Yay, pew pew.

Now some hiss at house rules, but I've run games with more realistic firearm rules, and it worked. The players simply carry more of them, and don't load in combat. Players could still be gunslingers or a daring shootist, but their slow loading firearms were more tools they used, generally at the start of combat, before they closed or did other actions. They couldn't spam fire with a pistol in each hand, because loading these types of weapons and preparing them to use simply takes time.

Why do I care?
Well my players all used them in the pirate setting, and had fun. There was one player who thought the time should be shorter. So I explained what I had seen and found out, and how that translates to the dnd round. They wanted it faster, no they didn't want multiple rounds of loading. So I broke it down for them and walked them through it, so they could grasp just how long it can take.

Some want the spam, and they like that actual steps are skipped, so they can spam out more shots. Damage over planning or paying a time cost to use a high technology weapon. If paizo is bringing firearms into their setting, the weapons put into their games should actually be somewhat like what they are claiming to be. That is what I am getting at. Archery isn't really very relevant to this point, while some bow abilities via feats are silly, the basic bow rules are pretty solid for representing drawing arrows and shooting people. Some archers are even quite capable of shooting a lot of arrows in short order.

Why?

Because a bow is a far simpler and quicker to use weapon than a flintlock, matchlock or wheellock firearm.


thejeff wrote:
boring7 wrote:
Historically speaking, the widespread deployment of the musket ended the usefulness of swords and armor. There was still a value in pikemen, until they invented staggered firing lines and paper cartridges, but only because pikemen were cheap enough to train.

It's that part that bothers me. Golarion gets around it by saying they weren't widespread, essentially just because. But then crams hundreds of years of military technological development into one small country in a short timeframe with no one outside bothering to care. And apparently no one ever actually using these things in war to see how effective they are.

Well, while it is possible for shoot a lot at once (with a lot of extra damage since you shoot so well-dex to damage), that takes several levels and feats (and that is just for pistols; you have to be a specialist to do this with muskets). Combined with their extraordinary cost, and it is hard to get very many people with that skill. So you mostly have people plinking 1d8 or 1d10 every other round (remember, it takes a standard action normally to reload 1 handed, and full round for 2 handed), and it only hits for touch at a rather close range. Past that, they are just terrible bows.

Now compare that to the various rays from casters can do. I use rays here, since they work somewhat similarly (touch AC, only works at a certain range, standard action, etc). Even bad wizards can shoot rays of frost infinitely (2 rays of frost means 2d3, or 3 damage over 2 turns, which is fairly close to a pistol's 1d8=4.5 and musket's 1d10=5.5, and it is completely free to use. And moderately good wizards (survived to level 3) can blast out Scorching Rays, which is a straight 4d6 or 14 damage. And those rays can have other purposes, such as the ray of enfeeblement.

And beyond that, casters have a much longer history of changing entire battlefields. It would take a very, very long time before guns could properly take a similar role on the battlefield, since it would require advanced firearms to both exist and produced at a cost that couldn't hire a whole darn army (Well, 4,000 would mostly get a crowd of peasants with maybe spears; still, it would wipe out 1 guy with a rifle).

So currently, guns are mostly the purview of specialist with extraordinary skills that can take on dragons by themselves. And a few people will find that cool, try to copy that, and most likely fail horrible (although a few will go on to become new specialists). Rinse, repeat, wait for someone to make better guns at reasonable prices.


thejeff wrote:
Scythia wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Let's get upset about useful muskets, just like crossbows, they were never used in real life, right? History is full of Zen archer legolas types firing off nine arrows in six seconds from their +4 strength mod long bows, everyone knows that.

9 arrows in six seconds? Which army is that? What level are they meant to be at?

:D

In a game I am in around tenth level, the archer certainly isn't pumping out nine. For actual real-world archery, I can do two in six seconds, (just as an intermediate archer), and I've seen it done faster, so I can tell you that it isn't ridiculous to shoot multiple arrows in six seconds. Impossibly fast musket loading is true folly though. There are many steps to go through. It isn't draw, knock and shoot, smoothness doesn't matter in fitting it into the time of a round as there is a whole lot more to it, and it simply can't be done at the speeds paizo allows it to be at.

If you hear about any reenactors give it a look. I was privileged enough to see some Japanese matchlock reenactors go through the whole process many times. About 27 seconds between each shot, and these chaps knew what they were doing (and were doing it in armour).

Besides, are you telling me that you, as an intermediate archer, could fire nine arrows in under six seconds that would have enough draw strength to penetrate plate and chain armor (with related padding) from over 100 yards away? We're not talking short pulls to hit a foam target 20 feet away. Oh, while using something like a wooden Welsh style bow no less.

Of course he's not. He's also not saying he's a 20th level archery specialist.

As an intermediate archer getting 2 in 6 seconds? He's probably closer to second level with Rapid Shot. Nor, most likely has he pumped Str enough to use the heavy bows. (Not that Str has anything to do with firing speed in PF. If you can't get off nine shots with the heaviest bow you can use, you can't do it with a basic...

I agree. Well put. It is indeed the case, that the base firing speed with these supposed tools is way off. Commoners with impossibly fast hands unite!


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lemeres wrote:
thejeff wrote:
boring7 wrote:
Historically speaking, the widespread deployment of the musket ended the usefulness of swords and armor. There was still a value in pikemen, until they invented staggered firing lines and paper cartridges, but only because pikemen were cheap enough to train.

It's that part that bothers me. Golarion gets around it by saying they weren't widespread, essentially just because. But then crams hundreds of years of military technological development into one small country in a short timeframe with no one outside bothering to care. And apparently no one ever actually using these things in war to see how effective they are.

Well, while it is possible for shoot a lot at once (with a lot of extra damage since you shoot so well-dex to damage), that takes several levels and feats (and that is just for pistols; you have to be a specialist to do this with muskets). Combined with their extraordinary cost, and it is hard to get very many people with that skill. So you mostly have people plinking 1d8 or 1d10 every other round (remember, it takes a standard action normally to reload 1 handed, and full round for 2 handed), and it only hits for touch at a rather close range. Past that, they are just terrible bows.

Now compare that to the various rays from casters can do. I use rays here, since they work somewhat similarly (touch AC, only works at a certain range, standard action, etc). Even bad wizards can shoot rays of frost infinitely (2 rays of frost means 2d3, or 3 damage over 2 turns, which is fairly close to a pistol's 1d8=4.5 and musket's 1d10=5.5, and it is completely free to use. And moderately good wizards (survived to level 3) can blast out Scorching Rays, which is a straight 4d6 or 14 damage. And those rays can have other purposes, such as the ray of enfeeblement.

And beyond that, casters have a much longer history of changing entire battlefields. It would take a very, very long time before guns could properly take a similar role on the battlefield,...

Because Paizo arbitrarily set the cost for firearms ridiculously high to produce that result.

And well before the tech level of PF guns (at least in terms of firing speed) they'd completely changed the face of war. But I think you're right. In PF, they wouldn't do that. And that's without even considering casters. Longbows are better. And easier to use.

So essentially my problem with Paizo's approach to firearms is that they aren't guns. They don't work like period firearms. They don't play the same role in the world as firearms did (and still wouldn't even if took magic out of the picture.) I'm not sure what they are, but they're not guns.


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DM Under The Bridge wrote:

This choice of design is exactly like some computer games, that ditch the reality and the rules of what is involved in loading these types of weapons. Why? So that you can take a shot, or many shots all without following the actual procedure that would be required. No need to go through the steps, no hair-raising duration of you loading your very powerful firearm - it is done, and getting it ready to unleash smoke, fire and shot, simply skip to the end, you can shoot again. No or very little time passes while you do that. Rush to the result.

Yay, pew pew.

Now some hiss at house rules, but I've run games with more realistic firearm rules, and it worked. The players simply carry more of them, and don't load in combat. Players could still be gunslingers or a daring shootist, but their slow loading firearms were more tools they used, generally at the start of combat, before they closed or did other actions. They couldn't spam fire with a pistol in each hand, because loading these types of weapons and preparing them to use simply takes time.

Why do I care?
Well my players all used them in the pirate setting, and had fun. There was one player who thought the time should be shorter. So I explained what I had seen and found out, and how that translates to the dnd round. They wanted it faster, no they didn't want multiple rounds of loading. So I broke it down for them and walked them through it, so they could grasp just how long it can take.

Some want the spam, and they like that actual steps are skipped, so they can spam out more shots. Damage over planning or paying a time cost to use a high technology weapon. If paizo is bringing firearms into their setting, the weapons put into their games should actually be somewhat like what they are claiming to be. That is what I am getting at. Archery isn't really very relevant to this point, while some bow abilities via feats are silly, the basic bow rules are pretty solid for representing drawing arrows and shooting people. Some archers are even quite capable of shooting a lot of arrows in short order.

Why?

Because a bow is a far simpler and quicker to use weapon than a flintlock, matchlock or wheellock firearm.

Yes and no. Even an early firearm is a much simpler weapon to learn to than a longbow (or even a regular bow.) Sure you have to be taught to reload it, but other than that it's point and shoot. Especially when you're aiming at something like an army in formation rather than picking specific targets. Bows, especially heavy draw longbows, take years of practice to build up the muscles you need to use well.

That's one of the main reasons early firearms took off. You didn't need such elite training to use them effectively. Crossbows were similar.
This isn't really reflected in PF in any way, though I've long thought that the longbow might be best as an exotic weapon.

Beyond that though, I disagree that PF's take on guns owes anything to video games. It's a straight derivation of the 3.x iterative attack/6 second round approach to combat. For them to be effective primary weapons for a class in that game, they need to be able to fire in that time scale.

If your players are willing to play a class in order to use its class features once or twice at the start of a fight and then be a second rate fighter the rest of the time, you've got a different set of players than I've ever seen. Or you've got more house rules than you're talking about that make it more viable.


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"Yay pew pew!"

You DO realize you're being a passive-aggressive jerk, right?


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Scythia wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Scythia wrote:
CrazierLeech20 wrote:

So, I see pathfinder broke all semblance of realism with flintlock weaponry. 6 seconds to reload a a flintlock weapon is insanely fast by real world standards. Is there really no rule against free action early firearms reloading?

I know, right? They were doing so good realism wise, what with the guano and sulphur transforming into a firebomb, guys getting angry enough to grow horns and buying extra lives with a diamond. So sad to see them throw all that realism away by making guns useable.
They could have gone in the diferent direction, making, for example, one shot every 6 second to be something meaninful.
...and any concealment or blurr effects at all would render them completely useless.
Not to mention, Deflect Arrows. If guns were single shot mighty cannons, monks would literally be bulletproof.

Wait, hold on, bullets aren't arrows.

Also, you guys, there was a thread about this last week, I highly recommend it, we had all these arguments already. Oh wait, I forgot, there are 50,000 threads discussing guns being reloaded too quickly, silly me.

The argument basically goes like this

1: "Guns reload too quickly"
2: "Realism is for suckers, nerd"
1: "But rapid shot flintlock guns seem too far, man"
2: "Because spells and dragons are so within the bounds of reality?"
1: "That's seems like a really broad generalization"
2: "For that matter, nobody ever calls out the crossbowman firing every round!"
1: "When was the last time you saw a crossbow based character?"
2: "Touche."

And then it runs in circles, indefinitely. Have fun, everybody.

(Not meant to sound catty, intended with humor)


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"DM Under The Bridge wrote:
The magic of the game runs according to rules. There is a lot behind it, how casting occurs, memorisation, spell choices. It all comes together and certain pcs and npcs can cast spells on their turn. Okay, we are walking together and we can see the rules and requirements behind it.What are these things? They aren't like what they are meant to be.Now loading ye olde firearms also had rules and procedures, but paizo's times are completely wrong, and with feats and investment, it can be taken down to almost nothing. Free and move actions for something that took upwards of four steps and involved moving multiple things around in both hands? What?

The magic works by rules, yes. Rules made up for this game. The guns also work by rules. Rules made up for this game. Neither models reality. I tend to think this is a good thing because this is a fantasy game.

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Because a bow is a far simpler and quicker to use weapon than a flintlock, matchlock or wheellock firearm.

Now who's being unrealistic? Using a bow well requires much more training (and some might say skill), while using a matchlock firearm is much easier to learn. Ease of use is one of the most often cited factors in why guns replaced bows for military use.


GypsyMischief wrote:


Wait, hold on, bullets aren't arrows.

Deflect Arrows works on ranged attacks, not just arrows. They have to have a physical component, so no defecting ray spells. They also can't be big things like thrown boulders from a giant. Guns are a-ok.


Right, I know that, I'm just nit-picking semantics here. Also, it wouldn't be difficult to retcon deflect arrows to do what it actually says; Deflect arrows, as opposed to being "Deflect missle attack of appropriate size comprised of physical matter".

But yeah, RAW, you're right.


GypsyMischief wrote:

Right, I know that, I'm just nit-picking semantics here. Also, it wouldn't be difficult to retcon deflect arrows to do what it actually says; Deflect arrows, as opposed to being "Deflect missle attack of appropriate size comprised of physical matter".

But yeah, RAW, you're right.

Retcon is one of my least favourite words. It always seems to mean something bad.

Limiting to arrows only is needlessly restrictive. I think deflecting thrown knives makes at least as much sense as arrows. Even Ol' Jack Burton could deal with a thrown knife. :P


My point was to add bullets to that same list involving magical rays and giant boulders, because deflecting a bullet is...just...come on, man. Doing massive periodic damage with firearms doesn't sound like that bad of an option.


Meh. Might make taking Deflect Arrows worth it in some cases. Generally there's something more useful on that list of bonus feats.

And deflecting bullets is well within the range of Wuxia martial artists. Not at low level, I suppose, but certainly high level ones wouldn't have a problem batting them away.


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I'm wondering how this thread got necro'd. It was dormant for sixteen months, because it existed only to answer a question, and it fulfilled that purpose. If somebody else was looking for an answer on the same thing, surely there would have been a more recent thread to answer it? Was somebody looking for something to complain about?

Also, I'm the OP, and I enjoyed my rapid-fire unrealistic badwrongfun musket.


El Ronza wrote:
I enjoyed my rapid-fire unrealistic badwrongfun musket.

That's what matters most in a game. :)


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Knuckles the thief was a crossbow specialist.

Any ranged sniper who can't afford a high strength can find value in rapid-fire crossbows.


thejeff wrote:
lemeres wrote:
thejeff wrote:
boring7 wrote:
Historically speaking, the widespread deployment of the musket ended the usefulness of swords and armor. There was still a value in pikemen, until they invented staggered firing lines and paper cartridges, but only because pikemen were cheap enough to train.

It's that part that bothers me. Golarion gets around it by saying they weren't widespread, essentially just because. But then crams hundreds of years of military technological development into one small country in a short timeframe with no one outside bothering to care. And apparently no one ever actually using these things in war to see how effective they are.

Well, while it is possible for shoot a lot at once (with a lot of extra damage since you shoot so well-dex to damage), that takes several levels and feats (and that is just for pistols; you have to be a specialist to do this with muskets). Combined with their extraordinary cost, and it is hard to get very many people with that skill. So you mostly have people plinking 1d8 or 1d10 every other round (remember, it takes a standard action normally to reload 1 handed, and full round for 2 handed), and it only hits for touch at a rather close range. Past that, they are just terrible bows.

Now compare that to the various rays from casters can do. I use rays here, since they work somewhat similarly (touch AC, only works at a certain range, standard action, etc). Even bad wizards can shoot rays of frost infinitely (2 rays of frost means 2d3, or 3 damage over 2 turns, which is fairly close to a pistol's 1d8=4.5 and musket's 1d10=5.5, and it is completely free to use. And moderately good wizards (survived to level 3) can blast out Scorching Rays, which is a straight 4d6 or 14 damage. And those rays can have other purposes, such as the ray of enfeeblement.

And beyond that, casters have a much longer history of changing entire battlefields. It would take a very, very long time before guns could properly take a similar

...

I think they are some type of extremely expensive magic tool that allows ranged touch attacks and loads really quickly. Are they, half-wands? Projectile tube tech? Magical cap guns? :D

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