Black powder weapons


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I’m new to Pathfinder, and I understand that 2nd edition dispensed with firearms that were present in the previous edition. While black powder weapons are not essential to my campaign, I am leaning towards a Victorian/pre-Victorian flavor within my narrative.

Is there a Pathfinder 2nd edition supplement that covers firearms rules, or a balanced set of unofficial rules that exist in the RPG-sphere?
Thank you in advance.


It's not so much that 2nd edition "dispensed with firearms" as it is that it didn't promote them to core rulebook importance. They were a later-added element in 1st edition, and will no doubt be added later in 2nd edition since the flavor the world hasn't changed and there's not been a retcon that removes their origins.

That aside, I've not yet looked at anyone's homebrew to see if I'd deem it balanced - and Paizo hasn't released the official rules yet.

If they aren't essential to your campaign, I advise just waiting for the official rules. If you can't wait, I'd suggest looking at a crossbow and then trading in/out some traits for some sizes of damage die and finding your own version that feels balanced because just about anyone else's version is done that same way but to their own tastes which might not match yours.


Considering that several muskets/rifles are displayed very prominently in the campaign guide you can be sure that they eventually come back.


Fire arms are still official as they are talked about in legends and in the world book when talking about the mana wastes. I expect to see them probably sooner rather than later but there were other things that needed to get covered first as a fire arms section probably takes up a good bit of whatever book it is in.

Liberty's Edge

If you want to see them added sooner rather than later the best thing you can do is appeal to Paizo for them to release some Adventures and/or Lost Omens Books that have a focus on the Mana Wastes and Alkenstar, both of which represent some of the only regions that haven't seen significant module/lore support in the last 10 years.

That said, I think we can PROBABLY except to see a handful of Archetypes to handle these things for PC options rather than an actual full Class based on some dev comments on the topic.


The plus side it looks like the geb/nex war is starting to fire up again which leaves alkenstar right in the middle of the path of attack so I suspect that part of the world gets more coverage than it had.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

There is one in age of ashes.


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Personnally, I'd just take the Hand Crossbow/Heavy Crossbow, increase damage die by one size and add Deadly d10 to each. Promote them to Uncommon Advanced weapons.

Boom, Pistol and Rifle that arent broken or complicated.

I'm really hoping that when these get added to 2E, they aren't overly complicated or overly "glorified" mechanically - theyre just another ranged weapon.

The one in Age of Ashes is more of a unique monster ability than something I'd like to see from a PC as a regular use item...

Dark Archive

Here's my suggestion.
Start with the Crossbows.

Increase the Damage Die one step on the Hand and Light.
Increase Range 50%
Give them Fatal increasing the die another step on a crit.
Give the Heavy Deadly as well.

Hand Gonne - 1d8P - Range 90 - Load 2 - Fatal d10
Carbine Musket - 1d10P - Range 180 - Load 2 - Fatal d12
Long Musket - 1d10P - Range 180 - Load 2 - Deadly d12, Fatal d12

Make them all Advanced Weapons.


TiwazBlackhand wrote:

Make them all Advanced Weapons.

Off topic: I must always laugh when RPGs handle firearms the total opposite of how they were in real life.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
KrispyXIV wrote:

Personally, I'd just take the Hand Crossbow/Heavy Crossbow, increase damage die by one size and add Deadly d10 to each. Promote them to Uncommon Advanced weapons.

Boom, Pistol and Rifle that aren't broken or complicated.

I'm really hoping that when these get added to 2E, they aren't overly complicated or overly "glorified" mechanically - they're just another ranged weapon.

100000% agreed.

I'll die on the hill that guns shouldn't be super weapons in this setting, and allowing them to fall in line with other weapons solves *so many* problems.

People act like their suspension of disbelief will be in tatters if guns don't somehow ignore armor, while mountain sized magic lizards with diamond teeth are all tripped up by regular chain mail. Or magical bows with adamantine tipped arrows enchanted to fly at bullet speeds just pale in comparison to a ball of lead flung by a tiny explosion. All ignoring that magic armor enchantments might just have a anti-bullet magic included in the anti-knife runes.


Ixal wrote:
TiwazBlackhand wrote:

Make them all Advanced Weapons.

Off topic: I must always laugh when RPGs handle firearms the total opposite of how they were in real life.

I mean, you're not wrong. I think this is a common suggestion though because "balance" reasons, and people wanting firearms to be mechanically superior to other ranged weapons.

If you abandon that desire, I'm all for calling them Uncommon Simple weapons and just giving them Deadly over a crossbow.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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We'll get around to guns eventually. They're a part of the setting and have been from the start, even before the Pathfinder rules existed and we were doing stuff with the 3.5 OGL rules. They haven't gone anywhere. We just can't duplicate ten years of rules content in 1 year, so we have to pick and choose what we do.

That said, the goal of the guns will be to make them 1) fun, and then 2) balanced, and then 3) not overly complicated.

Making them "real-world realistic" isn't super high on the agenda, since it's a game about fire-breathing dragons, elves shooting fireballs, and vampires and angels and talking trash monsters.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

TL:DR Make guns cool by making their ammo be useful for different things. For example have armor piercing ammunition that ignores a certain amount of DR or hardness.

I had some ideas way way back (almost a year ago now). I had made a homebrew post: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42pu1?Early-Firearms-and-the-Musketeer#1

To be honest, I'd skip over most of it (it's a year old and I was generating ideas long before the swashbuckler came out, so there was an imagined idea for panahe in there), but one thing I want to pluck from the old post is how Firearms could find their niche with different types of Ammo. Specifically, different ammunition could be used to be better against targets with hardness (bypassing armor specialization DR and shield hardness).


Themetricsystem wrote:

If you want to see them added sooner rather than later the best thing you can do is appeal to Paizo for them to release some Adventures and/or Lost Omens Books that have a focus on the Mana Wastes and Alkenstar, both of which represent some of the only regions that haven't seen significant module/lore support in the last 10 years.

That said, I think we can PROBABLY except to see a handful of Archetypes to handle these things for PC options rather than an actual full Class based on some dev comments on the topic.

Jason all but confirm that they would return as a full class and not an archtype.

Dark Archive

Ixal wrote:
TiwazBlackhand wrote:

Make them all Advanced Weapons.

Off topic: I must always laugh when RPGs handle firearms the total opposite of how they were in real life.

I mean, you're not wrong.

I think it's mostly because if guns are made too realistic they force game combat to undergo the same changes they forced real combat to go through.

Suddenly nobody is bothering with armor, and everyone is using a gun.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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TiwazBlackhand wrote:
Ixal wrote:
TiwazBlackhand wrote:

Make them all Advanced Weapons.

Off topic: I must always laugh when RPGs handle firearms the total opposite of how they were in real life.

I mean, you're not wrong.

I think it's mostly because if guns are made too realistic they force game combat to undergo the same changes they forced real combat to go through.

Suddenly nobody is bothering with armor, and everyone is using a gun.

If we did this, we'd also have to make sure everything else in the game was "realistic" as well. Including how swords and hammers interact with different kinds of armor, how expensive it is to build things, and so on. We'd lose giant bugs, dragons, and all the magic.

"Realistic" is not a goal of Pathfinder. There are other games that scratch that itch.


I actually really hope that guns actually aren't relegated to just being advanced weapons; since that invalidates a lot of cool concepts like the spellslinger from pf 1e.

Since we already have a game that divorces rarity from difficulty of use, why not make a couple simple firearms (like one shot shotguns or hunting rifles that have similar stats to a crossbow), some martial (like beefed up crossbows, or have magazines), and some advanced?


James Jacobs wrote:

We'll get around to guns eventually. They're a part of the setting and have been from the start, even before the Pathfinder rules existed and we were doing stuff with the 3.5 OGL rules. They haven't gone anywhere. We just can't duplicate ten years of rules content in 1 year, so we have to pick and choose what we do.

That said, the goal of the guns will be to make them 1) fun, and then 2) balanced, and then 3) not overly complicated...

Pathfinder 1 treated them as "better crossbows" - and, as Ixal pointed out, made them Exotic in order to impose a feat tax. Historically, a loaded gun was quite a bit simpler to operate than, say, a thrown javelin. (But I'll say this for the javelin - it never accidentally goes off during loading.)

In PF2 you have some game elements that can easily be adapted to include guns. Ammunition is easily classed as an alchemical item: the weapon itself as a simple weapon (but with Uncommon access): and the action economy set to encourage the gun as a once-per-fight weapon. The fighter fires once and then pulls his sword, the rogue reserves it for the perfect sneak attack, etc.

I feel like the dedicated, stick-to-my-gun Musketeer would be best reflected by an archetype rather than feats or the like. Still, I'm sure all this has already been chewed over at the Paizo offices.


I can see the issues with it being an advanced weapon but pathfinder era fire arms pretty much ARE advanced weapon. They need specialist knowledge to use and maintain and fire. They may just do that by rarity or some kind of background ancestry option like if you are from the mana wastes treat them as martial instead of uncommon.


kaid wrote:
I can see the issues with it being an advanced weapon but pathfinder era fire arms pretty much ARE advanced weapon. They need specialist knowledge to use and maintain and fire. They may just do that by rarity or some kind of background ancestry option like if you are from the mana wastes treat them as martial instead of uncommon.

The thing about that though is that 1e and 2e handle proficiency in ways that really can't be compared. Like, if in 1e, I took martial and exotic weapon prof, I can use a gun at my full bab, which scales up as I level.

In 2e, while there's a weapon proficiency general feat, it only offers trained; there's no way to scale it up. The only way to replicate the spellslinger, or have gun using rogue or what have you is: a combat style archetype that gives scaling proficiency, rogue rackets, a wizard thesis, or what have you that gave scaling proficiency, or make martial and simple guns.

Also in 1e, it straight up says that guns could be made into martial weapons in higher tech games, so their status as exotic weapons was honestly more of an availability control measure than power balance thing


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What I'd love to see is the black powder firearms taking a decent time to reload. Being more of a one shot per gun per fight thing.


Homebrew Firearms rules I'm using for my campaign.

New Equipment:

Pistol Price: 6 gp
Damage: (see below)
Bulk: L
Hands: 1+
Range: 30 ft.
Reload: 2
Category: Simple
Ammunition:Alchemical Charge & Shot
Group: Firearm
Traits: Deadly (see below)
Note: Pistols may not be enchanted with fundamental or property runes.

Alchemical Charges and Shot for Pistols Pistol Charge
Level
Bonus to Hit
Damage
Deadly
Cost per Charge

Least
1
+1
2d6 P
2d10
2 gp

Lesser
4
+1
3d6 P
2d10
8 gp

Moderate
8
+2
4d6 P
2d10
40 gp

Greater
12
+2
5d6 P
3d10
200 gp

Major
16
+3
7d6 P
3d10
1,200 gp

Rifle
Price: 9 gp
Damage: (see below)
Bulk: 2
Hands: 2
Range: 60 ft.
Reload: 2
Category: Simple
Ammunition: Alchemical Charge & Shot
Group: Firearm
Traits: Deadly (see below)
Note: Rifles may not be enchanted with fundamental or property runes.

Alchemical Charges and Shot for Rifles
Rifle Charge
Level
Bonus to Hit
Damage
Deadly
Cost per Charge

Least
1
+1
2d10 P
2d10
3 gp

Lesser
4
+1
3d10 P
2d10
12 gp

Moderate
8
+2
4d10 P
2d10
60 gp

Greater
12
+2
5d10 P
3d10
300 gp

Major
16
+3
7d10 P
3d10
1,800 gp

Making them more akin to normal alchemy rules.


Not having guns in the first year worth of books is because the firearm rules are going to need a solid amount of playtesting, and you can only do so much playtesting and other things were higher priority.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Not having guns in the first year worth of books is because the firearm rules are going to need a solid amount of playtesting, and you can only do so much playtesting and other things were higher priority.

No more play-testing than anything else; this isn't the reason we haven't put them in a book yet at all.

The reason we haven't put them in the rules yet is because they take up a sizable footprint in a book, and they're not universally popular, so the amount of space that they take up has been weighed against the value of that space in providing things that we know a LOT of people want.

We'll get there eventually, and likely sooner than it took for us to get to them in 1st edition, I'm guessing (but not guarenteeing), but they don't have a place in the Core Rules or the Advanced Player's Guide—the only two rulebooks we've yet published where they could have appeared if we had made different choices about what content to put in there in the first place.


Alchemic_Genius wrote:
kaid wrote:
I can see the issues with it being an advanced weapon but pathfinder era fire arms pretty much ARE advanced weapon. They need specialist knowledge to use and maintain and fire. They may just do that by rarity or some kind of background ancestry option like if you are from the mana wastes treat them as martial instead of uncommon.

The thing about that though is that 1e and 2e handle proficiency in ways that really can't be compared. Like, if in 1e, I took martial and exotic weapon prof, I can use a gun at my full bab, which scales up as I level.

In 2e, while there's a weapon proficiency general feat, it only offers trained; there's no way to scale it up. The only way to replicate the spellslinger, or have gun using rogue or what have you is: a combat style archetype that gives scaling proficiency, rogue rackets, a wizard thesis, or what have you that gave scaling proficiency, or make martial and simple guns.

Also in 1e, it straight up says that guns could be made into martial weapons in higher tech games, so their status as exotic weapons was honestly more of an availability control measure than power balance thing

There already are ancestry feats that make weapons of that ancestry count as a step more common usage so martial goes to trained/advanced goes to martial. I fully suspect if they do go with advanced weapon there will be feats like that to let people who want to invest in using guns able to do so. This keeps guns in the hands of those working to use them and less likely something everybody randomly just sports a brace of guns for opening volleys in a fight.


ikarinokami wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:

If you want to see them added sooner rather than later the best thing you can do is appeal to Paizo for them to release some Adventures and/or Lost Omens Books that have a focus on the Mana Wastes and Alkenstar, both of which represent some of the only regions that haven't seen significant module/lore support in the last 10 years.

That said, I think we can PROBABLY except to see a handful of Archetypes to handle these things for PC options rather than an actual full Class based on some dev comments on the topic.

Jason all but confirm that they would return as a full class and not an archtype.

When did this happen? I must have missed that information.

I'm easy with it being a full class or archetype, just wanted to know the current statements on which way it will go.


kaid wrote:
There already are ancestry feats that make weapons of that ancestry count as a step more common usage so martial goes to trained/advanced goes to martial. I fully suspect if they do go with advanced weapon there will be feats like that to let people who want to invest in using guns able to do so. This keeps guns in the hands of those working to use them and less likely something everybody randomly just sports a brace of guns for opening volleys in a fight.

The problem with that is even with the step down, it still prevents anyone who's not trained in all martial weapons from using guns at a proficiency that scales up with their class. Even rogues don't get proficiency with all martial weapons. It would also prevent alchemists, a class that thematically at least goes really well with firearms, from using them as well. The ancestry feat route leaves them solely in the domain of fighters, rangers, and other dedicated martial classes.

If you want to keep everyone from using guns, the easiest way isn't feat tax, but rarity. If the flavor of, say, your wizard, is carrying a single shot shotgun instead of a crossbow, even though there isn't a mechanical difference, you should just be able to do that without jumping through tons of hoops, and being forced into playing a human and/or waiting until level 3


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In PF1 firearms being exotic made sense because there wasn't a lot of room to fit them into the other categories of weapons while still maintaining a feeling of balance.

I think PF2 having a more robust weapon trait system could fit firearm weapons into multiple categories, though I can see how some firearm fans would potentially take issue with the combo of damage die size and traits resulting from that not being big enough - but it's the way I'd rather see things handled so that using a gun isn't pushed hard toward being effectively a class feature option.


thenobledrake wrote:

In PF1 firearms being exotic made sense because there wasn't a lot of room to fit them into the other categories of weapons while still maintaining a feeling of balance.

I think PF2 having a more robust weapon trait system could fit firearm weapons into multiple categories, though I can see how some firearm fans would potentially take issue with the combo of damage die size and traits resulting from that not being big enough - but it's the way I'd rather see things handled so that using a gun isn't pushed hard toward being effectively a class feature option.

I'd rather them go the opposite direction.

Guns are simple weapons, but have such difficulty being reloaded that without class features you can at most fire them once per round.

They make for a great opening shot and then you switch to other weapons, much like they did in the early days of firearms (if you didn't have dedicated troop roles where you had a group of hand cannoners which were protected by a group of pikemen in "front" (but out of the line of fire).


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Claxon wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

In PF1 firearms being exotic made sense because there wasn't a lot of room to fit them into the other categories of weapons while still maintaining a feeling of balance.

I think PF2 having a more robust weapon trait system could fit firearm weapons into multiple categories, though I can see how some firearm fans would potentially take issue with the combo of damage die size and traits resulting from that not being big enough - but it's the way I'd rather see things handled so that using a gun isn't pushed hard toward being effectively a class feature option.

I'd rather them go the opposite direction.

Guns are simple weapons, but have such difficulty being reloaded that without class features you can at most fire them once per round.

They make for a great opening shot and then you switch to other weapons, much like they did in the early days of firearms (if you didn't have dedicated troop roles where you had a group of hand cannoners which were protected by a group of pikemen in "front" (but out of the line of fire).

My main problem with this approach is that you're introducing new features that will inevitably be ignored through class feats. And I don't like introducing mechanics that are built to be ignored, it's the same reason I don't like misfire.

If guns are going to have a downside, I want it to be one that's not crippling but it's expected that everyone who uses guns will have to deal with. Like maybe a recoil trait that's the reverse of agile, making MAP -6/-12.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Salamileg wrote:
Claxon wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

In PF1 firearms being exotic made sense because there wasn't a lot of room to fit them into the other categories of weapons while still maintaining a feeling of balance.

I think PF2 having a more robust weapon trait system could fit firearm weapons into multiple categories, though I can see how some firearm fans would potentially take issue with the combo of damage die size and traits resulting from that not being big enough - but it's the way I'd rather see things handled so that using a gun isn't pushed hard toward being effectively a class feature option.

I'd rather them go the opposite direction.

Guns are simple weapons, but have such difficulty being reloaded that without class features you can at most fire them once per round.

They make for a great opening shot and then you switch to other weapons, much like they did in the early days of firearms (if you didn't have dedicated troop roles where you had a group of hand cannoners which were protected by a group of pikemen in "front" (but out of the line of fire).

My main problem with this approach is that you're introducing new features that will inevitably be ignored through class feats. And I don't like introducing mechanics that are built to be ignored, it's the same reason I don't like misfire.

If guns are going to have a downside, I want it to be one that's not crippling but it's expected that everyone who uses guns will have to deal with. Like maybe a recoil trait that's the reverse of agile, making MAP -6/-12.

Heavy Crossbows right now are reload 2, which I think is a good spot for guns by default. If they introduce things to make heavy crossbows quicker to reload, the same sorts of things can be applied to guns.


Claxon wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

In PF1 firearms being exotic made sense because there wasn't a lot of room to fit them into the other categories of weapons while still maintaining a feeling of balance.

I think PF2 having a more robust weapon trait system could fit firearm weapons into multiple categories, though I can see how some firearm fans would potentially take issue with the combo of damage die size and traits resulting from that not being big enough - but it's the way I'd rather see things handled so that using a gun isn't pushed hard toward being effectively a class feature option.

I'd rather them go the opposite direction.

Guns are simple weapons, but have such difficulty being reloaded that without class features you can at most fire them once per round.

They make for a great opening shot and then you switch to other weapons, much like they did in the early days of firearms (if you didn't have dedicated troop roles where you had a group of hand cannoners which were protected by a group of pikemen in "front" (but out of the line of fire).

Took me a second reading of your post to realize your first line was just referring to me recounting PF1's approach and not the overall message of my post.

Because what I was talking about when I said "could fit firearm weapons into multiple categories" was that you could have something like a simple flint-lock pistol, a martial rifle, and then some advanced category weapons like revolvers and such.


Right, and I'm saying I think all guns should be simple proficiency, but just have a reload time that will prevent multiple shots in a turn.

Maybe reload 3, but have high damage dice and even the deadly trait, something along those lines.

The funny thing is more advanced and better firearms are easier to use, while the old flint-locks are much more difficult to use, but it you were to represent that accurately you have the best guns require no training.


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Claxon wrote:

Right, and I'm saying I think all guns should be simple proficiency, but just have a reload time that will prevent multiple shots in a turn.

Maybe reload 3, but have high damage dice and even the deadly trait, something along those lines.

Reload 3 would make them unusable.

I could see Reload 3 with something like 'Capacity' for magazines.

A lever-action rifle with Reload 3 and Capacity 4 could take four shots before needing to reload, whereupon they would need three actions to reload.


I think martial is a good fin for gun proficiency. Mainly to explain the training to load them at a combat speed. Plus this gives them more room for damage and traits within the currently existing weapons system which people will want.

To make them something people use you could have a gunslinger class, though I’m still not sure what you’d give it to make it unique enough I’m sure they could. And also one or two specific archtypes like a musketeer for rifles and another for pistols(just as an idea), which give sliding proficiency like the archer archtype does as well as level appropriate abilities.

If you need them before that then I agree that modified crossbow is the way to go. Just try and keep them somewhat balanced. If you really want to go out on a limb and want something central you could Make a proto archtype with archer and the ranger crossbow feats as a base.


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TheGentlemanDM wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Right, and I'm saying I think all guns should be simple proficiency, but just have a reload time that will prevent multiple shots in a turn.

Maybe reload 3, but have high damage dice and even the deadly trait, something along those lines.

Reload 3 would make them unusable.

I could see Reload 3 with something like 'Capacity' for magazines.

A lever-action rifle with Reload 3 and Capacity 4 could take four shots before needing to reload, whereupon they would need three actions to reload.

Not unusable, but not able to be fired every round.

It means only specialist could use the weapon in a typical adventure combat setting, but for specialized units in part of an army it's fine.

Lightwire wrote:
I think martial is a good fin for gun proficiency. Mainly to explain the training to load them at a combat speed. Plus this gives them more room for damage and traits within the currently existing weapons system which people will want.

Actually, I kind of like the idea of simple proficiency can reload as 3 actions, martial proficiency can load as 2 actions, and exotic proficiency can reload as 1. With gunslingers able to reduce it to a no action reload.

And let me clarify because I think my wording is poor, I mean that anyone can use the weapon with any proficiency, but the weapon has a variable reload speed depending on what proficiency you have.


I think the looong reloads some here are going for are not going to happen
why?
because its no fun to spend a whole turn and a half reloading just to fire one more shot

and reducing reload through prophiciency...does not sound really good to me
if you use a gun on a regular basis you would get used to the whole process and after a while don't need that much time anymore
so more logical would be through training (untraining 4 action, trained 3, expert 2, master 1, legendary 0)
but this would also cause a too wide swing in efficiency for guns

A magazine that needs a bit more reload time would be probably okay - as well as a 'Recoil' trait (i really like the idea, especially for heavy firearms like shotgun, blunderbuss etc)

and i really hope that we got a riflemen archetype of some kind (besides the obvious gunslinger)


I guess the real question is if we made gun reload times somewhat historically accurate (even an expert would take 15s to reload a flintlock, which would be roughly 7-8 actions), but guns were powerful enough to consider still worth using, how are we going to get around the "it's best to just carry 6 pistols like Blackbeard" issue?

Or do we want "once you can afford 6 pistols, just do it" to be a thing?


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
...elves shooting fireballs...

Elves can shoot fireballs? Where's that feat at!? XD


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I guess the real question is if we made gun reload times somewhat historically accurate (even an expert would take 15s to reload a flintlock, which would be roughly 7-8 actions), but guns were powerful enough to consider still worth using, how are we going to get around the "it's best to just carry 6 pistols like Blackbeard" issue?

Or do we want "once you can afford 6 pistols, just do it" to be a thing?

Totally support that - have flintlocks take that kind of time to reload - generally not reloaded in the average fight, if you can afford the cash and bulk to carry several, do so.

You can finally have an arming montage the makes sense then!


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TiwazBlackhand wrote:


I mean, you're not wrong.

I think it's mostly because if guns are made too realistic they force game combat to undergo the same changes they forced real combat to go through.

Suddenly nobody is bothering with armor, and everyone is using a gun.

Thats actually not what I meant.

Guns, in reality, were actually the opposite of how most RPGs describe them.

For example, they were not armor penetrating superweapons. Plate armor evolved alongside guns and were designed to protect from them. The term bulletproof comes from "bullet proof", shooting a plate armor with a gun as a proof that it can withstand gunfire.

But the reason for my initial comment was something else, the idea that guns would be advanced weapons which required soecial training.
In reality, guns were weapons for the common masses. No matter who, he could use a gun. Show him how to reload and hes technically ready for war. You would spend more time training him how to move in formation than how to use his weapons.

Crossbows and normal bows on the other hand required strong people, something not modeled in Pathfinder. Not everyone could use a bow.

Obviously that wouldn't work for Pathfinder. There is no room or demand for something worse than crossbows or slings and the expectation from PF1 is that guns are better than bows.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

In my opinion guns should have a drawback beyond cost. I also think they should offer a strength that other weapons don't generally.

For me, I think a part of the strength that makes sense to me would be an avenue of improvement that does not rely on magic. I think that a firearm should be a weapon that a warrior in Alkenstar can use to take down high level beasts and do damage appropriate to their level, without relying on magic to do it. I've considered having an alchemical equivalent to striking runes that would provide additional damage die, like striking, and not stacking with striking. But there are other methods, such as a trait that does add on force damage that they make a fortitude save to reduce. (but I'd imagine you'd need to stop it from working in conjunction to a striking rune on the bullet or gun, if you went that route)

Another potential perk they could have might be a grazing wound mechanic, allowing a miss to do minimum damage (a 1 on all die), or allowing a miss to add an amount based on rank in the firearm (+2 trained, +4 Expert, +6 Master, +8 Legendary) to convert a miss into a graze (the hit, but minimum damage). This bonus would only convert a miss to a hit not a normal hit to a critical hit, for instance.

Misfires and longer reload times seem like reasonable aspects of negative traits for guns. (being loud, as mentioned also seems quite viable, if they can codify it reasonably in mechanics, but might also have positive aspects, notifying your allies of your engagement, potentially contributing to intimidate checks, etc.)

Misfires shouldn't typically be blowing up, as that is too extreme. I'm not against it being a possibility, for a poorly maintained weapon that has taken damage and close to being broken, but is being used anyway. However, a well oiled and maintained gun, that takes a misfire should simply be jammed, which might damage the weapon. Fixing a jam in combat may require investment in some manner, and does damage to the weapon. Misfires should not be tied to critical failed hit attempts since targeting a fly in the distance shouldn't make you more likely to misfire than targeting the side of the barn. I think it should be tied to something like the roll of a specific number(s) on a die such as a nat 1. (training status might impact this)

Before talking about reload times, I think it makes sense to point out that point and shoot is relatively simple. Which is why crossbows are considered simple. I think firearms should be similar, and should end up being able to be effectively be used as an uncommon simple weapon. However, I'm thinking they should perhaps be classified as a Uncommon Martial ranged weapon (to keep damage die from being boosted by effects on weak simple weapons), with something like a Simple-Fire trait. With Simple-Fire, you can make a ranged strike with the weapon using simple weapon proficiency, but each normal reload action takes a two action activity to complete each step (normal 1 action reload), and/or requires a craft skill check which if failed causes a jam/misfire that would need to be cleared. This means without some investment use of such a weapon becomes more of a once per combat. In general, I think reload times should probably be about 1 more than crossbows of similar form factor. Just ball-parking, I'm suspecting damage die being similar to the crossbow, but potentially having a powder trait that give 1 extra damage, that turns into the extra striking or bonus force damage at higher quality versions of the blackpowder, allowing for the non-magic damage enhancement.

Then there would be openings for firearms that would do small AoE type damage, I'm actually thinking it could make the most sense to make it a variation on splash rules. Potentially doing less damage than a similar firearm of that tier to a primary target, but doing something akin to splash damage to everyone in its AoE, which I'd lean towards making a 5' line out one range increment. On a miss, the target and everyone in the area just takes the splash damage, for instance.

There would also be room for double barrel weapons... allowing you to preload 2 shots. That would also allow for a recoil trait, giving a -x to subsequent ranged attacks that round. You would not want to have the recoil trait tied to reverse MAP as it would mean that someone who made two saber attacks, following up with gun attack would be at a greater map, while someone attacking with an agile weapon after firing the gun would still be at -4. (which that might be fine if you want recoil to only affect ranged strikes, or only that particular weapon)

I don't mind the idea of a character choosing to own an carry a couple or few firearms and shoot through them, but I don't want that to be an overpowered tactic, just viable and niche. I'll admit, when I first started thinking about it, I was wanting to give it a bonus die of damage, with long reload times. However, that would have resulted in carrying multiple pistols, for instance as being too powerful in short fights, for instance. I'd also looked at way to avoid resistance using guns, but in the end, some things like skeletons DR to slashing and piercing wouldn't' make sense to be bypassed, as might others. It might work as an aspect of a critical hit specialization however if it did get thrown in there.

What used to be advanced firearms would definitely be overpowering, due to the ease of firing and having short times between shots. It would potentially require a recoil type mechanic to make multiple shots in a turn get harder. (even if pistols were considered agile weapons, but had a recoil of 2 or determined by the rating of the powder used for instance) Such weapons should basically be the equivalent to a higher level magic item. Also, potentially advanced firearms might be limited in the 'power' of the type of powder used in their cartridges. Basically allowing Blackpowder weapons potentially competing as higher level items, by doing larger single strike damages, with longer reload times, while advanced weapons do decent damage and do it multiple times in a round, with occasional long reload after several shots to reload, but don't match the single strike damage they could have gotten with an archaic powder weapon of a similar level.

And of course, with rules being modular enough that if people want to play P2 with only archaic blackpowder weapons, it should function easily enough and allow those weapons to have options up through 20th level, without having to resort to moving to advanced weapons.


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I feel like for most people the "carry a brace of pistols for one-off use in combat" is going to work (to get around the economy issue, you can have the brace in which the pistols are stored impart magic on all of the pistols), so you can do the "sword and pistol" thing and make it work.

Then just make your "cleaning and reloading" part of your 10 minute refractory period between combat.

The gunslinger is the person who has the fantastic skill to reload guns in the heat of battle, but most people wouldn't need or want to.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like for most people the "carry a brace of pistols for one-off use in combat" is going to work (to get around the economy issue, you can have the brace in which the pistols are stored impart magic on all of the pistols), so you can do the "sword and pistol" thing and make it work.

Then just make your "cleaning and reloading" part of your 10 minute refractory period between combat.

The gunslinger is the person who has the fantastic skill to reload guns in the heat of battle, but most people wouldn't need or want to.

This is exactly how I'd like to see it implemented. Impractical for anyone but a gunslinger to use more than once in combat, but an effective option when used nonetheless.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I guess the real question is if we made gun reload times somewhat historically accurate (even an expert would take 15s to reload a flintlock, which would be roughly 7-8 actions), but guns were powerful enough to consider still worth using, how are we going to get around the "it's best to just carry 6 pistols like Blackbeard" issue?

Or do we want "once you can afford 6 pistols, just do it" to be a thing?

I think the easiest way to avoid the characters carrying around 6 firearms is to state, weapons cannot be stored loaded without damaging the weapon. You can’t walk around with a bow/xbow/flintlock loaded all day without it weakening the bow string or causing a jam in the gun. I can see the character carrying A gun loaded holding up the muzzle to keep it out of the dirt or jostling the load too much. Now there is a different story when you talk about revolvers and guns with bullets, but unless your campaign leans towards 1800s/steampunk those types of guns will most likely be unavailable.


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To quote our favorite dinosaur

James Jacobs wrote:
Making them "real-world realistic" isn't super high on the agenda, since it's a game about fire-breathing dragons, elves shooting fireballs, and vampires and angels and talking trash monsters.

And I am glad about that. Realistic firearms would definitly not feel good in the game.

Firearms in 1e weren't realistic either, why start now? It would just ruin the fun in those weapons for most players.

I agree that we need some restrictions (uncommon at the very least) so gamemasters can rule it out more easily if it fits their campaign
but as 'one use per battle' items? heck no...


Yeah, I don't really want anything realistic from them either. I'd much rather they be like any other weapon, maybe with a couple unique traits.


KrispyXIV wrote:

Personnally, I'd just take the Hand Crossbow/Heavy Crossbow, increase damage die by one size and add Deadly d10 to each. Promote them to Uncommon Advanced weapons.

Boom, Pistol and Rifle that arent broken or complicated.

I'm really hoping that when these get added to 2E, they aren't overly complicated or overly "glorified" mechanically - theyre just another ranged weapon.

The one in Age of Ashes is more of a unique monster ability than something I'd like to see from a PC as a regular use item...

That’s what I did but I didn’t even add the extra features or anything. I just kept them as is and reskinned them. It’s purely aesthetic lol.


Salamileg wrote:
Yeah, I don't really want anything realistic from them either. I'd much rather they be like any other weapon, maybe with a couple unique traits.

Sadly the "you got firearms in my fantasy" crowd will still be upset about it and want to keep them still relegated to only one class being able to use them really and the world being unable to make use of them even though they have been around for close to a decade in world now.

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