Double-barrel pistol, firing both barrels, both misfire


Rules Questions


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I found a very old thread on this, but I'm looking for a current opinion/ruling based on current knowledge in case there are any errata or whatnot since the old thread that affect this.

Double-barrel pistol, firing both barrels at once is considered a single "standard action (the attack action)". But the to-hit is rolled separately for "each shot" (or each bullet).

If I fire both barrels at once and roll a misfire on both "shots", is it considered 2 misfires and the gun is destroyed in a single attack, or is it only considered a single misfire and then has the broken condition going forward as if it had misfired when firing only a single barrel?


It would immediately explode if you roll misfires on both attacks.


"If the natural result of your attack roll falls within a firearm’s misfire value, that shot misses, even if you would have otherwise hit the target."
It's two seperate shots, so two misfires.

So far, so good, but not the end of the story.

"When a firearm misfires, it gains the broken condition. (...) If an early firearm with the broken condition misfires again, it explodes."
Here's the thing: Both broken conditions are applied at the same time - by the time the misfire happens, the firearm did not have the broken condition yet. Since I don't think something can have multiple instances of the same condition, the second misfire is basically irrelevant (unless when you have some 'immediate action to prevent misfire' option or something).


I think it will just come down to the opinion of the GM. I'd probably rule it the same way Derklord did.


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Yeah I'd put it under the "let's not be a dick" option and just have it broken.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

AFAIK, the RAW are silent on this niche conundrum.

Personally, I think it would be very very appropriate for the weapon to explode. There are very few instances when a gunslinger's weapon is really dangerous to the bearer, and far too few instances where that highly explosive powder risks ignition.

So it's up to the DM. I vote BOOM!


I think the question is more complicated than has been explored in this thread so far.

If the barrels are broken separately, does it mean that even if one barrel misfires it can continue to be used as a single-barrel gun?

On the other hand, if the whole gun is broken when either barrel misfires, that basically squares the chance of breaking the gun - is that an intended consequence?


Kaboom.


@ Watery soup. they're "one" weapon unlike a double weapon. So its all or none. and everything at once.
=======================

So I would have to say it gets broken. But both conditions apply at once. And there are no stipulations for simuultanous in the rules. So it defaults to stacking and conditions can't stack.

So it would be broken.

If this was a paddlefoot gun. with two iterative attacks and two 1.s then it would explode. but double barrel make a specific note "both can be fired at once as a standard action (the attack action)" they are "at once" thus it would not explode.


Hmm.

Okay, that makes sense.


umm....
early firearms???

double barreled pistol is not an early firearm... least not in Pathfinder's current. imo anyway


Steelfiredragon wrote:

umm....

early firearms???

double barreled pistol is not an early firearm... least not in Pathfinder's current. imo anyway

Yes it is.

This pistol has two parallel barrels; each barrel can be fired independently as a separate action, or both can be shot at once with the same action. If both barrels are shot at once, they must both target the same creature or object, and the pistol becomes wildly inaccurate, imposing a –4 penalty on each shot. This is an early firearm.

I think I'd probably rule with Derklord on this one. While the Big Bada Boom sounds fun - and the Double Barrel Pistol gives an actual chance of that happening - I feel like it will only serve to limit the players' choices.


I vote explosion as a balancing effect for the weapon inherently offering the extra attack.


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Saldiven wrote:
I vote explosion as a balancing effect for the weapon inherently offering the extra attack.

You could consider that it basically has twice the chance of misfire as being balancing enough.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Either way you go, the player is going to be cursing his bad luck. <g>

Frankly, I don't see why you wouldn't take two broken conditions together to imply the destroyed condition, which causes the explosion. Because they're simultaneous? Come on. What an argument!


Mostly because the game treats the item as "one item" Unlike other established Double Weapons or multifacited items.

So, because it is treated as a single item. It can only be affected once per instance by weapon rules anyway.
Where as a double weapon is treated as two separate items for almost all mechanical effects in game.

Really I'd call the misfire liklihood increase its own balancing factor. More so because after it fails once and gets broken if he shoots it again it will most likely explode because of the double rolls.


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The point to broken condition is the risk involved. When you break it do you want to continue knowing the risk? The explosion option takes that choice away which is pretty crappy thing to do to a player.

What we are essentially doing with the explosion is saying that one happens after the other. If that was the case not only is the player being punished for having 2 misfire chances but then it causes an explosion on a single toss of the dice WITHOUT the player saying "ya I'll risk it".

Furthermore we aren't even scratching the surface of rules complications.

If I rolled a one and a three does the GM make the gun blow up? After all, its jammed on a 1 and now the misfire chance is doubled. That makes the 3 blow it up. Not only are we punishing for 2x the chance to misfire but now 2x the chance on the second die to do so? If they aren't happening at the same time in order to ALLOW explosions, does the player have to announce which shot is first?

I stand by my point of "don't be a dick to your players"

The simpler thing is to have it jam.


Saldiven wrote:
I vote explosion as a balancing effect for the weapon inherently offering the extra attack.

The balancing comes form the increased misfire range. Since the UC errata, you don't double all shots, onle those made as the standard attack action, that means in practice, the DBP is only useful if you have to move prior to shooting. If you can full attack, it's a pure downgrade.

Wheldrake wrote:
Frankly, I don't see why you wouldn't take two broken conditions together to imply the destroyed condition, which causes the explosion. Because they're simultaneous? Come on. What an argument!

Yeah, "let's do what the rules say" is obviously a totally silly suggestion, and "because the rules say so" is, like, the weakest and most pathetic argument ever!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hmmmm.

Didn't mean to be dismissive.

But if you want to get into niggling details, the rules don't actually say that when you have a single item simultaneously getting the broken condition twice, that one of those simultaneous broken conditions should be disregarded.

What we're discussing here is an *interpretation* of the rules regarding the broken condition and the subsequent destroyed condition due to a second application of the broken condition.

FWIW I'm not particularly keen on firearms in my fantasy RPGs to begin with, and find the reload rate on musket-loading firearms (once you get the right feats and class abilities) to be ridiculously fast.

But at the end of the day I have no problem accepting that a double misfire only results in the broken condition. No problem at all. It just seems to me that it's not actually specified in the rules as such. So consequently it is a DM call, not a RAW situation.


Wheldrake wrote:

Hmmmm.

Didn't mean to be dismissive.

But if you want to get into niggling details, the rules don't actually say that when you have a single item simultaneously getting the broken condition twice, that one of those simultaneous broken conditions should be disregarded.

We aren't disregarding it, we are following the rules. The rules for firearms say "When a firearm misfires, it gains the broken condition. (...) If an early firearm with the broken condition misfires again, it explodes." and since both attack rolls are made at the same time, misfires would happen at the same time as well - at the time of firing the firearm does not yet have the broken condition, and thus the condition for "explode" isn't fulfilled.

There is some ambiguity, in that it's not explicity stated whether one condition can be applied more than once. If they do, the firearm would have the broken condition twice, i.e. you might need to use Quick Clear twice, and suffer a -4 to attack rolls and +8 misfire range until then.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hmmm.

You quote from the rules:
"When a firearm misfires, it gains the broken condition. (...) If an early firearm with the broken condition misfires again, it explodes."

AFAICT, you're interpreting the word "again" to mean "at a later time". It seems to me that it is just as valid an interpretation to say that a second simultaneously gained broken condition fulfills the requirements of the "again" clause.

It seems to me that it is a real case of ambiguity. I understand your argument, but it all hinges on that interpretation of "again".

Caveat: I don't have any skin in this discussion, since none of my players are currently into firearms. Although we are playing a pirate-themed campaign, and I have told them that early firearms are a real possibility that they could explore. This issue could theoretically come up in my games, but seems unlikely at present.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Derklord wrote:
both attack rolls are made at the same time

Thing is, very little in this game - if anything - is executed in parallel. It's a single-threaded queue of actions the player and GM perform. The pistol ability doesn't presume that there are more than one d20 at the table.

I'd say you roll once, misfire. Now the weapon is broken. Roll your second shot - even though it's happening at "the same time" - and incur the -2 penalty for the weapon being broken. Misfire again and it detonates.

I get it that's punitive, but there's a 1 in 400 chance of this happening and... it's how everything else is done. Even in odd situations such as nested attacks of opportunity, there's a one-event-at-a-time method for resolving what happens. About all I can think of that really happens simultaneously are things like AoE damage.


How is it a 1 in 400 chance on a 1-2 misfire when the second shot adds 2 to the misfire chance? (4 without gunsmithing) Should all players have to announce which die goes first on something that happens at the same time? Because that doesnt seem to be at the same time anymore.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Cavall wrote:
How is it a 1 in 400 chance on a 1-2 misfire when the second shot adds 2 to the misfire chance? (4 without gunsmithing) Should all players have to announce which die goes first on something that happens at the same time? Because that doesnt seem to be at the same time anymore.

Sorry, I won't pretend I just double-checked the firearms rules, but isn't a misfire rolling a natural one? One in twenty chance of that happening. Twice in a row is one in four hundred. But - again - I haven't checked on what specifically invokes a misfire... because it's only germane to the odds, not the procedure taken.

Yes, players get to / need to declare what a given d20 is for. "At the same time" is with regards to the result. Before other things happen. As in - for instance - I wouldn't allow a bad guy with an immediate action ability to insert that between the two attack rolls from this pistol. That bad guy could interrupt before, or after, but not between.

Keep in mind that literally everything in a given round of combat is also happening at the same time. Initiative and every other sequence mechanic is in place to model that simultaneity in a manner that a group of human beings can handle.


Some guns have a bigger chance. This gun is 1-2. If you don't have gunsmithing a misfire jumps it by 4. If you do it's only 2. So 10% the first shot and 20% on the second... I wouldn't want to play by rules that stated the gun blew up without me having a chance to even choose to shoot with a 20% fail rate


Quote:

Misfires: If the natural result of your attack roll falls within a firearm's misfire value, that shot misses, even if you would have otherwise hit the target. When a firearm misfires, it gains the broken condition. While it has the broken condition, it suffers the normal disadvantages that broken weapons do, and its misfire value increases by 4 unless the wielder has gun training in the particular type of firearm. In that case, the misfire value increases by 2 instead of 4.

Early Firearms: If an early firearm with the broken condition misfires again, it explodes. When a nonmagical firearm explodes, the weapon is destroyed. Magical firearms are wrecked, which means they can't fire until they are fully restored (which requires either the make whole spell or the Gunsmithing feat). When a gun explodes, pick one corner of your square—the explosion creates a burst from that point of origin. Each firearm has a burst size noted in parentheses after its misfire value. Any creature within this burst (including the firearm's wielder) takes damage as if it had been hit by the weapon—a DC 12 Reflex save halves this damage.

The double barrel pistol misfires on a 1 or 2 roll. So, it regular misfires 1 out of 10 times. Or double misfires 1 out of 100.

Note that there is also a double barreled musket that misfires on a 1,2 or 3 making matters even worse.


Looking at the RAW of the double shot:

You get 2 attacks as a standard action.
You roll separately for each bullet/attack.
If they both hit, Damage Reduction would be applied separately.
If only the first one misfires, the gun gains the broken condition and the misfire chance increases for subsequent attacks.
If only the second one misfires, the gun gains the broken condition and the misfire chance increases for subsequent attacks.
If they both misfire, on the first misfire the gun gains the broken condition and the misfire chance increases for the subsequent attack. On the second misfire, the gun already has the broken condition, and thus explodes.

Point 6 is the one that is applicable to this situation, and is how it works RAW. If they were fired at once and totaled their damage together before applying Damage Reduction, or if it was like Manyshot, and only one attack roll was made for both attacks, I'd say both misfires would count as one misfire, thus only giving the broken condition.

As a GM, I'd allow the player to choose to not roll the second attack and instead act as though the misfire of the first shot made the second one unable to occur as well. If they chose to roll the second attack anyways, then I'd make the gun explode if they misfire.


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Cavall wrote:
Some guns have a bigger chance. This gun is 1-2. If you don't have gunsmithing a misfire jumps it by 4. If you do it's only 2. So 10% the first shot and 20% on the second... I wouldn't want to play by rules that stated the gun blew up without me having a chance to even choose to shoot with a 20% fail rate

10 out of 100 rolls will enter the "danger" state. Of those 10, since the odds of misfire increase to 20% odds, 8 of them will not misfire and 2 will. Meaning you're looking at 12% odds for misfiring twice, compared to 10% for every single shot. Yes, that's (significantly) different from the 1-in-400 I originally brought up (assuming a flat 5% condition per-shot), but really, when you're comparing 10% and 12%... you're already a massive gambler and the odds aren't significantly poorer.


Yeah but that's the point isn't it. 12% chance every round to lose your weapon? Totally destroyed.

Imagine spending all your cash to gain a +3 weapon and having a 12% chance to have it be a total waste of slag each round. Every round of his career? That's assuming he has gunsmithing.

I honestly thinking that is beyond brutal.


Wheldrake wrote:
AFAICT, you're interpreting the word "again" to mean "at a later time". It seems to me that it is just as valid an interpretation to say that a second simultaneously gained broken condition fulfills the requirements of the "again" clause.

It's not the "again" part, it's the first part. "If an early firearm with the broken condition misfires again, it explodes." At the time of misfire, it doesn't have the broken condition.

Anguish wrote:
Thing is, very little in this game - if anything - is executed in parallel. It's a single-threaded queue of actions the player and GM perform. The pistol ability doesn't presume that there are more than one d20 at the table.

Ignoring for a moment that rolling multiple attack roll dice at the same time is totally something being done (it saves time and smoothes up combat), for the mechanical/rule side, they explicitly do happen at the same time as the description says the attacks are made "at once".

willuwontu wrote:

If they both misfire, on the first misfire the gun gains the broken condition and the misfire chance increases for the subsequent attack. On the second misfire, the gun already has the broken condition, and thus explodes.

Point 6 is the one that is applicable to this situation, and is how it works RAW.

"Subsequent" means "after" or "later". Both attacks are explicitly made "at once". By the very definition of the word, none of two attacks made at once are subsequent to the other.


Wow, thanks everyone! Little did I know this would be just as lively of a debate now as it was in the 6 year old thread I originally read.

To add a bit of clarification to the situation... My character is a gunslinger so has gunsmithing. As someone pointed out the 2B pistol has a misfire of 1-2. I'm also using paper alchemical chartridges which increases the misfire to 3. Then, IF you're in the camp that both "shots" do apply and cause the gun to explode, then the misfire on the 2nd roll would be 5 (a "broken" gun increases misfire by 4, or 2 with gun training). I happened to roll a 1 and a 3.

We've been playing this campaign for a little over 2 years and I've never rolled a misfire on both when firing both barrels at once before. So this is the first time that it happened, and we didn't know for sure how to treat it.

As the player, I'm in the camp as someone described...

Under a full iterative attack, when it misfires once, the player then has a choice whether to take the risk to continue firing with the gun in broken condition, and if it misfires again and explodes, well, then the player chose to take that risk. I can accept that.

When firing both barrels at once (I moved, so I can't make an iterative attack, so firing both barrels at once is the next best thing), we take the combination of "at once", and "standard action" to imply that the player must delcare firing both barrels up front and then MUST roll BOTH "shots" (i.e., both attack rolls). I.e., if the first "shot" misfires, they don't have a choice on the 2nd roll, they must technically still roll it.

I'm certainly willing to accept that if either shot misfires (even if the other one does not), that both shots "miss". But because of the lack of choice in making the second roll (technically MUST make the 2nd roll), it would be more fair to the player to say that the 2nd shot does not make the gun explode. Of course, in actual game play, you'd just say that if the first shot misfires then don't bother to roll the 2nd roll. But we're using Roll20 and the macro automatically rolls both dice at the same time.

I guess if the rules explicitly stated that the gun explodes if firing both barrels at once and both roll misfire, then I'd accept that too, but then the player knows that rule going in and can again make an informed choice of whether to take that risk. Since the rules don't explicitly state it, and unless the GM mentions it ahead of time, the player (me) doesn't think about that possibility when making that decision.

I.e., it's one thing if a rule explicitly exists and the player either forgets or fails to take that into account in their decision making. It's another if the player can't make an informed decision because the rules are fuzzy.

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