Firearms, Questions and Discussion


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Goblin Squad Member

Leithlen wrote:
Early musket formations were guarded by pikemen in the front to defend them from cavalry charges.

The cavalry sure did not like canister though.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Leithlen wrote:
Additionally, early muskets were EXTREMELY inaccurate.

No, they were exactly as much accurate as a sniper actually, which is 1D20+AB vs AC.

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
Leithlen wrote:
Additionally, early muskets were EXTREMELY inaccurate.
No, they were exactly as much accurate as a sniper actually, which is 1D20+AB vs AC.

From what I recall from playing napoleonics some 20 years or more ago, musket fire at range was tested by firing at a wall some 100 yards or more away and typically had something like 5 hits per 100 shots fired.

Don't quote me on that becasue its a long time ago and I do not have any of the books anymore to look it up :D


Audoucet wrote:
Leithlen wrote:

I'm not sure what you're referring to. I'm simply pointing out, that contrary to what KarlBob was stating, it is easy for an experienced archer to fire about 10 shots at a 2-second-per-shot pace. Hell, I can fire 10 shots in a minute and I'm a novice (and that's being generous).

I was involved in another gaming community where this was discussed at length and it's actually quite possible for experienced archers to fire what looks to us as extremely fast. Not as fast as Legolas in LOTR, but then again, he's an ELF, a mystical creature of grace and speed!

I was involved in another gaming community were most guys were passionate by military history, and were convinced that the belgium army was superior in every way to Russia's, and that the EU would invade Moscow if they attacked the Ukraine.

And you can shoot ten shots a minute, which gives you a 40% superior efficiency than a regular mediaeval English bowman.

I'm not sure where you're getting any of your information from, or if you're even trying to be serious, but I'm guessing you're not anymore. I've pointed out clear examples of the historically slow firing-rate of early muskets (which most of the posters here were mentioning) and that archers could, in fact, fire an arrow about once every 2 seconds, which KarlBob contended was fully unrealistic, which it actually isn't, although it's a common misconception.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I thought that a 60 arrows in 10 minutes from a 150-lbf draw bow was a standard.

Then again, I got those numbers from fiction, so they might not be true.

Then again, 60 reps of 150 pounds is a lot.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

The thing is, I do not care what is the rate of fire of a girl on YouTube, or some modern guys in clubs. That's irrelevant.

The only vaguely relevant comparison would be with medieval bowmen, who couldn't shoot like you do, for a lot of reasons.

And anyway, when you people start talking about realism, you are completely missing the point. D20 is not a realist system. That's not the point.

The only point is : Are guns and meaningful in Golarion ? How could they give something positive to the gameplay, if implemented ?

High damage, low damage, high accuracy, low accuracy, high speed, low speed, everything can be justified, in a medieval fantastic context. Swords hurt more than shotguns is stupid, but it is a very very commonplace in steampunk, post-apo, med-fan & in between.

Goblin Squad Member

I think the fastest modern archer can get off 13 arrows before the first hits the ground. Whatever that translates to in arrows per minute.

A muzzle loader is supposed to be able to fire about 3 aimed shots per minute.

If firearm attacks took 20 seconds they would have to do such insane damage they may be able to one shot some people to be viable.

I know that runs counter to intended design goals about how fast you can die.

Fun > Realism

Give them whatever refire rate is most fun.


Then you missed my point Audoucet and the points many were making in this thread. People were suggesting slow muskets for game balance and realism. Someone said bows are unrealistically fast in this game. I showed that they aren't. I was simply rebutting that claim, not saying what should fire how fast for gameplay fun. That's obviously up to the goals of the developers.

I'm sorry you didn't like my evidence. I don't have video of medieval archers, but I do have video of modern archers copying medieval techniques, so, contrary to what you said, it is very relevant.

In the end, it's about what works for the gameplay. I was simply pointing out that trained archers can fire about once per 2 seconds.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Leithlen wrote:

Then you missed my point Audoucet and the points many were making in this thread. People were suggesting slow muskets for game balance and realism. Someone said bows are unrealistically fast in this game. I showed that they aren't. I was simply rebutting that claim, not saying what should fire how fast for gameplay fun. That's obviously up to the goals of the developers.

I'm sorry you didn't like my evidence. I don't have video of medieval archers, but I do have video of modern archers copying medieval techniques, so, contrary to what you said, it is very relevant.

In the end, it's about what works for the gameplay. I was simply pointing out that trained archers can fire about once per 2 seconds.

Your video is as much relevant than a video of Usain Bolt, to estimate antique Greek athletes' performances.

And I understand your argument, but the problem is that people always start missing the basic point of the game, with stupid battle of argument and counter argument. What will be the next step of the argument ? Perforation, and then armour types, and then argument on misconceptions about :

A/"Heavy armours didn't exist, that would be stupid, they were only for parade"

B/"Heavy armours were easy to wear, you could even run just like if you were naked and dodge bullets"

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Yes, but how many bullets can a modern muzzleloader fire before the first hits the ground?

The MAUL can do five easily, but it might be a challenge to reload fast enough to get ten or fifteen in the air at once, mostly because of a hot barrel.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Leithlen wrote:

Also, I looked up musket firing time (they were earlier and slower than rifles) and, from what I read, it looks like 17th century (1600s) muskets took about 1 minute to reload. By the 18th century (1700s) this was down to about 20 seconds per reload for experienced soldiers. By the 19th century (1800s) and the time of the civil war, it was down to about 10-15 seconds for experienced soldiers to re-load, aim, and fire.

1-minute per shot may be a bit extreme for gameplay in PFO, but could be used to balance extreme power. 20-second reload may be better gameplay balance. It's still nowhere near the 2-4 seconds per shot for an archer, which is about what it felt like when I used a bow in Alpha 7, but I'll check more carefully this weekend.

Additionally, early muskets were EXTREMELY inaccurate. I mean REALLY, REALLY inaccurate. (I can explain the reasons if anyone really wants to know.) Strategists put musket-men in formations that had lines 3 deep and had them shoot in rotations, or sometimes all at once. A cluster of shots would stream out of the formation and hopefully hit something that was in front of them. Early musket formations were guarded by pikemen in the front to defend them from cavalry charges.

I think I could live with 20 to 30 second reloading. Bows can definitely fire faster than either crossbows or muskets.

I'm just worried that holding guns to historical reality will put them at a severe disadvantage compared to bows, crossbows, and of course, people summoning fireballs, columns of flame and lightning (no historical accuracy whatsoever).


@Audoucet: That video is an average person, not a super athlete, using a medieval technique. No special physical prowess is required; just a good level of coordination and practice. That's not the same thing as using an olympic athlete to talk about speeds.

@Audoucet & KarlBob: I was never actually advocating basing things on realistic firing speeds. I was simply pointing out that the archery firing rate isn't actually unrealistic right now. Gameplay will determine how each one is treated in game. My point was simply that the firing speed in game isn't actually unrealistic. I never intended it to be justification for any design decisions.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Firing speed for bows in tabletop Pathfinder may be realistic. I'll grant you that, no problem.

Crossbow firing speed? Maybe not. Firearm firing speed? Definitely not.

People waving their arms and chanting and unleashing magic missiles? Absurdly unrealistic. Realism isn't everything.

Goblin Squad Member

@Leithlen, just so you don't feel ignored, I wanted to say that it's very clear to me what you're saying. It can be frustrating when folks take a tidbit out of what you said and treat that like it's the only important bit, I know. If it's any consolation, you can think of it as an example of "Can't stop the signal" :)

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

I was willing to be persuaded on the bow speed issue. I'm just still stuck on the idea that guns shouldn't be held to a realistic standard any more than magic should.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Leithlen wrote:
@Audoucet: That video is an average person, not a super athlete, using a medieval technique. No special physical prowess is required; just a good level of coordination and practice. That's not the same thing as using an olympic athlete to talk about speeds.

Yes it is, because you don't have the same health, the same food, the same time and money to practice, the same materials, and the same conditions.

And also, because you are not actually shooting something alive, while everybody around you is dying, and hundreds of guys want to kill you.


Andius the Afflicted wrote:

I think the fastest modern archer can get off 13 arrows before the first hits the ground. Whatever that translates to in arrows per minute.

A muzzle loader is supposed to be able to fire about 3 aimed shots per minute.

If firearm attacks took 20 seconds they would have to do such insane damage they may be able to one shot some people to be viable.

I know that runs counter to intended design goals about how fast you can die.

Fun > Realism

Give them whatever refire rate is most fun.

The thing I don't like about these large scale (or supposedly) pvp games is they balance damage based on 1v1 it seems. That's also why people tend to roll 1v1 builds and just have 30 of them. Where as, having archers or gunners that can hit the enemy as they approach would be invaluable.

Even give guns like knockback so you could get someone off one of your more important mid or back liners. Ranged support is good, but everyone wants dps.

It's a balance. Ideally, melee should be the most powerful because once you breach the line you should be rewarded. But then magic and ranged attacks need to be balanced. If there is a high damage AoE spell, there's no reason why there can't be a high damage other ranged attack.

Would also be cool to see misfires and jams. That may be a way to balance it. Even instead of having a whole cool down, it would be like fire skill, load skill, clean skill occasionally. The two at the end would require you to be rooted. Then you could make gun attacks hit pretty hard. It could balance out, but at some point you'd be like... JAMMED! And you'd have to take appropriate measures to get your weapon ready for battle again.

If all of the gun actions are done automatically and you just fire based on a re-fire rate that's kind of boring. Could use the same mechanic in crossbows except I don't think they would require such upkeep.

Creative solutions are most fun.

Goblin Squad Member

I think that it might be best to develop tactics and practices based around what the game universe gives you for it's "reality". Things will never match up well with everything from magic to firearms included in a computer simulation.

That and the geek factor is getting too high in here. ;)


Thanks Nihimon

I understand your concerns KarlBob. I do think guns should be slowish to be balanced. The playable reload time is probably between 7-15 seconds.

Audoucet, historical records show medieval archers firing at these speeds. The video I linked is just showing how it's done. Elves could conceivably do it faster.


celestialiar, I like your ideas about jamming, misfires, and upkeep being used for balance instead of just a longer timer. Unpredictability is a good way to balance power.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Leithlen wrote:
Audoucet, historical records show medieval archers firing at these speeds.

Which ones ? Wikipedia says 6/minute max, unmaintainaible rate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_longbow#Shooting_rate

Leithlen wrote:
I do think guns should be slowish to be balanced

Slower means more burst actually, it doesn't "balance" by itself.

Goblin Squad Member

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I like historically accurate games. Have played napoleonics,ancients, micro-armor, flames of war to name a few that attempt to recreate historical warfare. Spent 10 years flying a 109 for the Reich online in ILR2.

However - in a game where magic is a thing and if you train lots you get healthy enough to fall off cliffs and survive, well getting too obsessed with historical accuracy is a waste of time.

The ongoing arguments about Spiked Chains back under 3.5 before Pathfinder nerfed them was a case in point. A lot of the complaints were to do with how no such weapon existed in medieval times and how it was impractical - in a game with fireballs and time stop.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
Leithlen wrote:
Audoucet, historical records show medieval archers firing at these speeds.

Which ones ? Wikipedia says 6/minute max, unmaintainaible rate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_longbow#Shooting_rate

Maybe I am reading the wrong part, but that says they don't like to try for more than 6 a minute with the heaviest bows. I find it entirely plausible that a lighter bow could make those speeds.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

More on topic, has it been said how common firearms are in the river kingdoms? I thought they were pretty much exclusive to Alkenstar, and even seeing more than a few in another country was more or less unheard of.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Kurok wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
Leithlen wrote:
Audoucet, historical records show medieval archers firing at these speeds.

Which ones ? Wikipedia says 6/minute max, unmaintainaible rate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_longbow#Shooting_rate

Maybe I am reading the wrong part, but that says they don't like to try for more than 6 a minute with the heaviest bows. I find it entirely plausible that a lighter bow could make those speeds.

You could, but then you wouldn't be firing a bow suitable for combat.


Saracin (which I'm sure I spelled wrong) archers fired medium bows capable of piercing chain mail at high rates of speed. I shot per 10 seconds is extremely slow. I have no idea where that number on Wikipedia came from. From my own experiences I can tell you that's extremely slow. I'm bored of arguing this at this point though. I've made my points to my satisfaction. If you really want to argue for the sake of arguing, knock yourself out.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Kurok wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
Leithlen wrote:
Audoucet, historical records show medieval archers firing at these speeds.

Which ones ? Wikipedia says 6/minute max, unmaintainaible rate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_longbow#Shooting_rate

Maybe I am reading the wrong part, but that says they don't like to try for more than 6 a minute with the heaviest bows. I find it entirely plausible that a lighter bow could make those speeds.
You could, but then you wouldn't be firing a bow suitable for combat.

Are you trying to say nothing smaller/lighter than an English longbow is suitable for combat?

English longbows were known for being very huge bows (often taller than the archer) capable of firing over extreme distances.

There were plenty of smaller bows that earned kills on the battlefield. Really almost every bow that wasn't an English longbow.

Measuring the refire rate of bows by the English longbow is like measuring the refire rate of modern projectile weapons by a howitzer. Really poor weapon to use as a reference.

Audoucet quite clearly either chose that weapon to support his position of the refire rate of bows being slow, or doesn't know his bows at all.

Goblin Squad Member

This youtube clip is about the Danish guy that claims modern archery techniques are actually slower than historical ones and shoots in the video 10 arrows in 4.9 seconds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zGnxeSbb3g

Goblin Squad Member

Andius the Afflicted wrote:

Are you trying to say nothing smaller/lighter than an English longbow is suitable for combat?

English longbows were known for being very huge bows (often taller than the archer) capable of firing over extreme distances.

This is the thing a lot of people forget. The English longbow was a significant force in formation combat, but was not the standard, even there. People consumed with it's power and range have elevated it to an almost spiritual status of being the only bow that matters, and the standard-by-which-everything-must-be-judged (and generally found wanting.)

There are plenty of other bows, many faster and just as lethal when not involving long rows of soldiers in heavy armour across wide fields

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

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I would consider the Mongol short bows pretty darned significant in history, too.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Records suggest that the Mongolian bow could hit a target at over 500m. What do you think the draw weight has to be to do that with a compound bow?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
People consumed with it's power and range have elevated it to an almost spiritual status of being the only bow that matters, and the standard-by-which-everything-must-be-judged (and generally found wanting.)

The thing is, the people you are talking about are the TT devs too.

Tabletop RPGs are not based on historical accuracy, so it's stupid anyway to talk about historical accuracy.

You will never get a realistic bow or gun. Because if you can OS dudes at 200 meters, well the game will be brocken, because it's not meant to be a simulator.

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
...OS...

Meaning, please?

Goblin Squad Member

Out shoot?

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
People consumed with it's power and range have elevated it to an almost spiritual status of being the only bow that matters, and the standard-by-which-everything-must-be-judged (and generally found wanting.)

The thing is, the people you are talking about are the TT devs too.

Tabletop RPGs are not based on historical accuracy, so it's stupid anyway to talk about historical accuracy.

You will never get a realistic bow or gun. Because if you can OS dudes at 200 meters, well the game will be brocken, because it's not meant to be a simulator.

My 3.5 Wood Elf Archer with some silly prestige classes at level 15 could hit with a longbow at 14km.

Hard part was seeing that far.

Goblin Squad Member

Actually if you really want a great example of how D&D is not historical look up Planar Shepherd :D

Goblin Squad Member

KoTC Edam Neadenil wrote:
Hard part was seeing that far.

Use forward observers? :-)

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
Tabletop RPGs are not based on historical accuracy, so it's stupid anyway to talk about historical accuracy.

Hence the point.

I'm not trying to make a case of any side in this argument. I'm saying that people are talking about the English Longbow as some kind of standard that must be adhered to. Whether or not any standard exists that could apply to how Pathfinder plays, the English Longbow needn't be it.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
...OS...
Meaning, please?

Probably one shot

Goblin Squad Member

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
...English Longbow as some kind of standard...

Do I remember others tried to "borrow" the longbow concept, but had limited success, due to the length of training-time required for proficiency?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

T7V Jazzlvraz wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
...OS...
Meaning, please?

One shot

Goblinworks Executive Founder

1 person marked this as a favorite.
KoTC Edam Neadenil wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
People consumed with it's power and range have elevated it to an almost spiritual status of being the only bow that matters, and the standard-by-which-everything-must-be-judged (and generally found wanting.)

The thing is, the people you are talking about are the TT devs too.

Tabletop RPGs are not based on historical accuracy, so it's stupid anyway to talk about historical accuracy.

You will never get a realistic bow or gun. Because if you can OS dudes at 200 meters, well the game will be brocken, because it's not meant to be a simulator.

My 3.5 Wood Elf Archer with some silly prestige classes at level 15 could hit with a longbow at 14km.

Hard part was seeing that far.

That's easy; if they don't make a hide check, you see them automatically.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DeciusBrutus wrote:
KoTC Edam Neadenil wrote:
Audoucet wrote:
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
People consumed with it's power and range have elevated it to an almost spiritual status of being the only bow that matters, and the standard-by-which-everything-must-be-judged (and generally found wanting.)

The thing is, the people you are talking about are the TT devs too.

Tabletop RPGs are not based on historical accuracy, so it's stupid anyway to talk about historical accuracy.

You will never get a realistic bow or gun. Because if you can OS dudes at 200 meters, well the game will be brocken, because it's not meant to be a simulator.

My 3.5 Wood Elf Archer with some silly prestige classes at level 15 could hit with a longbow at 14km.

Hard part was seeing that far.

That's easy; if they don't make a hide check, you see them automatically.

You are forgetting the +1 / 10 feet perception DC increase, starting at 0 for something visible. That is why you need to roll 49 billion on perception if you want to see the sun.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Minus the size penalty to stealth, if the sun is trying to hide.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Records suggest that the Mongolian bow could hit a target at over 500m. What do you think the draw weight has to be to do that with a compound bow?

Wow. That's pretty amazing. I would have guessed the range was much shorter than that.

Goblin Squad Member

The Mongolian horsebow was another exception to the rule weapon. It was made partially of bone, and could punch through armor like butter. And yes the draw strength was enormous.

This is like talking the about .50 cals and sniper rifles of bows though. There were much lighter weapons that saw an extreme amount of successful use in combat. It's the "AK-47s" of bows that are the best measure of a bow's refire rate.

They just don't draw the same amount of attention because they didn't have such exceptional qualities.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Sure. What was the draw weight of of the bows that weren't exceptional, how rapidly could they be fired, and how effective were they?

Goblin Squad Member

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Handguns are all well and good but let's think bigger. Fixed piece siege guns were the first practical gunpowder weapons. Technologically they are very simple to produce and relatively easy to operate(if somewhat dangerous). I become giddy at the thought of a battery of dragon mouthed cannon raining destruction on an enemy stronghold.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Sure. What was the draw weight of of the bows that weren't exceptional, how rapidly could they be fired, and how effective were they?

You want me to give stats? Life is not a video game. These don't all come with set refire rates, damage ratings etc.

Many Native American bows had about a third the draw strength of an English longbow and were plenty effective, though Native American tribes had little in the way of armor and Europeans were phasing it out at the time the Americas were discovered.

But the bow and spear are two pieces of technology widely used by pretty much every culture ever up until the widespread use of firearms. There are thousands of different kinds of bows, most adapted the deal with the armor level of common enemies if used in war, and very few with the draw strength of an English Longbow or Mongol Horsebow.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Andius the Afflicted wrote:
DeciusBrutus wrote:
Sure. What was the draw weight of of the bows that weren't exceptional, how rapidly could they be fired, and how effective were they?

You want me to give stats? Life is not a video game. These don't all come with set refire rates, damage ratings etc.

Many Native American bows had about a third the draw strength of an English longbow and were plenty effective, though Native American tribes had little in the way of armor and Europeans were phasing it out at the time the Americas were discovered.

Five minutes of Google gave me 45#, and a typical range of 5 yards for American Indian hunting bows, with a maximum range of about 30 yards. Zero information about refire rates, possibly because the users didn't value fast firing as much as accurate firing.

A little bit more digging shows that the Indian war bows were shorter ranged than the firearms they were used against, enough so that they used interesting tactics to close the distance.

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