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Author Topic: More Upgrades for Guns  (Read 1428 times)
Bhurano
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« on: July 07, 2011, 04:30:35 PM »

Hi there Forumites,

currently I am a bit struggling with some specific aspect of our campaign setting for FC.
One of the main empires (Imperiuam Hadvar) is a bit of a progressive mix of roman/greek influences, with a bit of British Empire to boot.
At least that's how I described it in short for a friend. He began to build a char who should open a fight with a pistol... only to drop his usual sword & shield approach... and asking straight for more dakka. Grin It let him run with it and came up with the following upgrades.
I would like to hear your opinions about them, since I would rather not break the game with uber-upgrades. Smiley
So here we go:

Chambered I
Upgrade: Black Powder Weapons only
Complexity: +5
Cost: +400 %
Description: Holds 4 shots. Additionally reduces load to 1 per bullet. The gun gains the unreliable quality. If it already has it, the error range goes up by 2.

Chambered II
Upgrade: Black Powder Weapons only
Complexity: +7
Cost: +600 %
Description: Holds 6 shots. Additionally reduces load to 1 per bullet .The gun gains the unreliable quality. If it already has it, the error range goes up by 2.

Drum
Upgrade: Only Blunderbuss
Complexity: +9
Cost: +900 %
Description: Holds 20 shots. Additionally reduces load to 1 per Bullet. The gun gains the unreliable quality. If it already has it, the error range goes up by 2.

If you come up with better names for the upgrades, let me know it, since I am not a native speaker. I pondered the idea to link the reloading to dex, but it appeared to clunky... and possibly to powerful for high-dex characters. I would like to know if these upgrades are ok, or if they are to strong. Undecided

In my opinion - hadn't time to test it in play for now - it seems ok. As always every opinion will be welcomed and thanks for the help in advance. Smiley
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Tegyrius
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 04:49:13 PM »

I don't believe Load should be reduced to 1 unless you're dealing with metallic cartridges.

- C.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 08:03:52 PM by Tegyrius » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 10:01:53 PM »

It's conceivable that the Load 1 is reflective of repeating crossbow-style fighting: you rack it to advance the chamber/cylinder between shots.

You "load" it outside combat, I'd think.
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 10:18:31 PM »

Personally, I think that applying these upgrades to black powder weapons as written produces guns that are very powerful.  I can't see why anyone would bother to use anything else.  They're very expensive but that just delays the ownage. Smiley

I'd drop the damage somewhat on the weapons in the book.  Change 3d4 to 2d4, 3d6 to 1d10, and 3d6 to 2d6.  Give all the guns load 3 (so that a bandolier still has a use) the chambered quality and leave the rest of their stat line unchanged.

Chambered:  A black powder weapon with this quality may be fired four times before it must be reloaded. 

This way, your gun bunny can have his guns from level one without being that much better than bows. 
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paddyfool
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 09:55:20 AM »

@Bhurano,

Quote
Chambered I
Upgrade: Black Powder Weapons only
Complexity: +5
Cost: +400 %
Description: Holds 4 shots. Additionally reduces load to 1 per bullet. The gun gains the unreliable quality. If it already has it, the error range goes up by 2.

I can see why it would be tempting to make a four-or-more-chambered pistol, since one pistol of this kind isn't any better than the slightly cheaper option of four non-chambered pistols out of the box (aside from the rapid reload, which really is too much).  However, you also have to consider the synergy with favoured gear, and the fact that you get much more bang for your buck with enchantments and upgrades on one such weapon than 4, plus minor issues like weight (which should probably have a 25% increase, although one pistol like that is still much lighter than 4) and concealability.  Therefore, either Blankbeard's nerf on chambered damage, or having a "cock firearm" handle item action required between shots (effectively load 1, but irreducible) plus a long load time to reload the chambers (the weapon's base load time on each chamber, perhaps) would probably be necessary for balance.
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Catodon
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2011, 12:01:20 AM »

I don't believe Load should be reduced to 1 unless you're dealing with metallic cartridges.

- C.


A little history that may help. What this might mean in game terms I'll leave to someone else.

Pre-prepared paper cartridges go back to the Napoleonic era, cloth versions for canon predate even that. The paper cartridges were produced by soldiers in the field during 'down-time' using a method somewhat akin to rolling cigarettes.

Repeating Gun Experimental
Also from about the 1680's people began to (unsuccessfully) experiment with methods to get multiple shots before reloading.
Some had rotating magazines, others slides, and some had a single vented barrel with multiple firing mechanisms along its length. Up to ten shots before reloading was possible. However all suffered from problems with fragility, difficult maintenance, fouling, back-flash, and magazine explosion. They were also heavy for their calibre and should be fired from a tripod, stand or other support.  

Multibarrel
Multiple guns on a single grip or gun carriage. Each barrel has its own trigger, though a user can pull multiple triggers. A gun can have up to ten barrels each making the gun much heavier. For human scale longarms and pistols a practical maximum is three barrels.

Duck's foot
Another handheld variant was the duck's foot pistol. A pistol with four barrels designed to be fired in unison. The barrels are spread at angles enabling a lucky shooter to hit multiple targets and an unlucky one to hit none.

You could also check out this for more Reason era fire-arm madness
http://www.fantasycraftdb.com/character-options/gear/199-big-black-powder-weapons
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 12:18:29 AM by Catodon » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 07:36:40 AM »

Pre-prepared paper cartridges go back to the Napoleonic era, cloth versions for canon predate even that. The paper cartridges were produced by soldiers in the field during 'down-time' using a method somewhat akin to rolling cigarettes.

Yep.  And I'd take those down to Load 3 or 4 because they're still relatively labor-intensive (bite, pour, ram, fit percussion cap).

To look at it another way, Load 1 is one action to reload - just as fast as slapping a fresh magazine into a modern firearm in Spycraft.

- C.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 07:38:27 AM by Tegyrius » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 11:19:44 PM »

Well, single action revolvers in SC2.0 had the Manual Action (-1) quality. Unfortunately, that doesn't really help directly since that quality was part of SC2.0's dynamic initiative system (oh how i miss thee).

With the tools we do have, I'd probably consider Load 1 for working the action. Loading will depend if you see these as cap and ball, front-loading combustible cartridges, or centerfire/rimfire cartridges.

Cap and ball should use the same Load value as the pistols in the book, the steps are essentially the same, but the process is a bit more fiddly. You didn't have to fiddle with a separate ramrod since it was built into the frame, but you had to grease or wax the chambers if you didn't want the revolver to explode in your hand. So Load 7 per chamber. Which fits reality well, since the main effect of the C&B revolver was to let you carry one pistol rather then 5 (Colt mechanism, if you loaded - well, capped- all six chambers the gun would have been unsafe to carry) or 6 (Remington mechanism). Maybe Load 6 per chamber.

Combustible cartridges are interesting design-wise. I think the best mechanic is to treat them as the Bandoleer. Or, more properly, make a Cartridge Box that does the same thing as a bandoleer (or perhaps reduces by three, but Grump's the expert here) and holds 20 rounds, but isn't available until after Reason. Make a Pistol Cartridge pouch that has the same effect, but holds 30 rounds. I'm sure Grump or a US Civil War buff could give better numbers.

For metallic, rear loading cartridges, we have rules for those in SC2.0. Three rounds per Handle Item action, or one for a speed loader.
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2011, 06:55:16 AM »

Thanks for the replys,

the combustible cartridges will be used by the military and some city guards. The Cap and Ball variant for the better military units. I will also work on some of the mory exotic gun upgrades that Catodon described and pillage the FC DB for even more gun versatility.

The initial idea was to use guns like those of the wild west and therefore metallic cartridges... for those who can afford them.

For now I will play it safe. The player gets a weapon with more ammo... and if he wants to, he can carry more than one to circumvent the reloading time in a combat.

On a sidenote: I think a trained archer is deadlier than a musketeer, since he ignores most armor and has a high rate of fire... pull of some of the tricks that are available to bows and it gets nasty like hell.

@Krensky
Load 1 for working the action means to pull the trigger, right? If I am right with my assumption, this means that to fire such a gun you could fire only once per round, or twice with quick load... is that right?
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Krensky
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 07:45:40 AM »

In this context it would be re-cocking the hammer.

Even Load 1 seems sort of excessive, but I'm not sure how otherwise to handle it without the massive heavy lifting and game changing involved in bringing Dynamic Initiative back. The only alternative I have is to just hand-wave working the hammer, ie not making a mechanical distinction between single and double actions.

Also, note that combustible cartridges are better and more sophisticated then pure C&B. So your rank and file would still be using paper cartridges, where the better units are using combustible cartridges. Also, not that combustible cartridges either require a breech loading mechanism or a revolver mechanism, both or which existed in the time period.

More advanced repeating rifles like the Spencer or Henry use metal cartridges.

Remember that for a good sized chunk of the wild west, metallic cartridges didn't exist.
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 09:43:51 AM »

On a sidenote: I think a trained archer is deadlier than a musketeer, since he ignores most armor and has a high rate of fire... pull of some of the tricks that are available to bows and it gets nasty like hell.

The numbers are a little uneven for highly trained PCs, it's true.  Let's consider two level 5 PCs with 5 relevant feats each (doable for soldiers and scouts), dex 16 and full BAB:

EDIT: Cleaned up now that I've checked the text of some feats, added stances.

Bob blackpowder carries three pistols and a bandolier, all his weapons and ammo have the superior and AP upgrades, and he has the Two Weapon Fighting, Quick Draw, Firearms Master, and, oh, let's say Black Powder Basics/Mastery feats (too low level to really benefit from Bulls Eye without them, and even with them, Firearms Master is better).   He can fire 3 shots a round in the first round at a total of +8 to hit on each (5+3+1-2+1), each doing 3d6+1d4+2 (average 15) damage w AP 4.  Then in each round after he can fire one shot at first +11, then +12, etc. to hit (assuming one target, and using the stance/bonus from black powder basics and mastery), doing a further 3d6+1d4+2 damage w AP 4.  Each shot also has a good chance of knocking over the opponent, but that's rather tricky to factor in.

Bill the Bow on the other hand carries a longbow and a ton of standard arrows, all with the superior and AP upgrade.  He has Bow Basics/Mastery/Supremacy, plus Rapid Fire and Bow Master (too low level to be able to hit well with the Blackened Sky combo).  He can fire 9 shots per round, doing 1d6+1d4+4, avg 10 damage, with 3 shots on a net of +9 to hit, 3 on +5, and 3 on -1.  

Now, let's say they're firing at a single large target with a total defence of 15.  Ignoring criticals for now (whole other headache) Bob will be doing 15*3*0.65 damage on his first round (29.25), and 15*0.8 (12) damage the next round, with a marginal improvement in damage (0.75) each round after.  Bill, meanwhile, will be doing 8*3*0.7 + 8*3*0.5 + 8*3*0.2 (total of 33.6 damage) each round; slightly better on the first round, and significantly better after that, albeit at a greater cost in ammo.  Adding in stances made a significant difference; weirdly, Bob Blackpowder might have been better off going with Bow Basics than Black Powder Basics/Mastery, since it grants a stance with significantly more general utility (Focused Aim being best for when you've a long time to watch your target before firing, which is generally unlikely, and only really works at all with the Mastery ability).

The general power balance which this illustrates is aimed at the 17th/18th centuries, when highly trained archers > highly trained musketeers, but musketeers required much less training to be effective.  Which is not to say that you couldn't make a perfectly effective Musketeer or Dragoon Soldier 4/Deadeye who plinks 2 or 3 opponents in the first round and 1 in each round after, just that they would be less scary than an Archer Soldier 4/Deadeye.  Whereas a group of 10 NPCs with black powder weapons is much more scary (if potentially lucrative) to your PCs than 10 NPCs with bows, and a black powder weapon of some description can offer a significant boost on top of a bow or crossbow in ranged combat to a PC who doesn't want to invest more than a proficiency or two and some spare cash in it.

On the whole, bringing in 19th century technology like multiple-chambered firearms raises a whole load of other questions.  E.g., are there also steamships, trains, etc.  (Are you ending up in the realms of steampunk, or at least the wild west, in short).  They don't have to, if you don't want them to, but it's something to think about.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 03:48:15 AM by paddyfool » Logged
Krensky
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 12:36:36 PM »

On the whole, bringing in 19th century technology like multiple-chambered firearms raises a whole load of other questions.  E.g., are there also steamships, trains, etc.  (Are you ending up in the realms of steampunk, or at least the wild west, in short).  They don't have to, if you don't want them to, but it's something to think about.

Mild pet peeve...

Steampunk generally means the Victorian period (or something like it). That same time frame in the US is known as the Gilded Age in the US, and covers most of what we classically think of as the US Wild West.

I find this very important to remember, because while most people focus on the Victorian styles in Steampunk and Gothic, cowboys are just as appropriate.
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2011, 03:42:38 PM »

As are bush rangers and Nyungar warriors.
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"I just do eyes"
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2011, 04:24:09 PM »

Red Sun.

Charles Bosnin, Toshiro Mifune, Ursula Andress.

Cowboys and Samurai in the old west.

Pure Win.
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2011, 03:01:48 AM »

Actually there are magical and technological powered ships, trains, early cars - looking like normal carriages just not horse-drawn. Many other technology is in place to make life easier. The better tech is mostly reserved for the nobles, rich ones and the high houses of magic. So in a sense it is a steampunk/victorian setting, it just happens to be in a crapsack world. Grin

The whole reason is, that the technology (and/or magical) development is necessary for the survival of everyone. Most of the world is bleak and inhospitable. Many species go to war for just about anything. Evil The underdark is a hiding place for those who had to flee, and a place to reign for those who got there out of their free will.

The different races struggle to regain the lost land, that has and in some places is still ravaged by demons. Most of these are lesser ones and can be killed by normal means, but the rest is mostly immune to normal weapons - that's where the magic helps out.

Therefore the whole technology has been developed in different directions, some pure tech, some pure magic and another branch that is magitech.

One of the players - the guy with more dakka - even owns a magitech powered flying barge, which flys per magic, but uses technology for the luxury aboard, and a bit of crosstech for its weapons. He even knows that it used to be a slaver barge - cargo included, since his lieutenant got his hands on it just before the start of this campaign... and some magical problems will arise with that thing to - he got a fair warning about this plot hooks from me, and was ok with it.

Sorry, got a bit carried away...

@paddyfool

your analysis is a bit frightening for me Shocked... I just realized, that the powergamer in our group chose the probably deadliest ranged weapon in the game... I just shouldn't wonder about that. Smiley

@Catodon and Krensky

I like these ideas...
BTW, Red Sun seems like a awesome movie. Grin I didn't know about that one... thx.
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