Kobold Press

Gun Upgrades: More Bang for Your Buck!

Wolfgun by David Smyth; parchment background by sinnedaria (via deviantart.com)
Whether you love them or hate them, guns are becoming more and more common in fantasy games. If you look closely, though, you’ll see that the guns currently available for the Pathfinder roleplaying game have a strangely large technological gap between them. That is to say, the step between early firearms and modern firearms is huge, and as such, it makes many GMs balk at the idea of allowing modern firearms into their game. The following weapon qualities have been envisioned to bridge the gap a little by allowing for a gradual increase in the power of a character using firearms.

The rules below are mostly suited to running a game using the “commonplace guns” rules variant. For ease of use, the pricing of each upgrade is in line with the normal prices for firearms. If using these rules with the “commonplace guns” variant, they cost 25% of the listed prices.

Breech Loading

A breech-loading firearm can be loaded only by using special paper cartridges. When using a breech loader, the misfire chance from using a cartridge is reduced by 1 (minimum +0). A breech-loading firearm is 200 gp more expensive than a regular firearm of its kind.

You cannot add breech-loading to a firearm after it’s created; it must be crafted as a weapon of that type.

Superior Rifling

The rifling on this weapon is of extremely high quality, allowing for superior accuracy over greater distances. This increases the maximum number of range increments of the firearm to ten (instead of five for most firearms) and allows the wielder to target touch AC in the first two increments instead of just the first. Superior rifling costs 2,000 gp for a one-handed firearm and 5,000 gp for a two-handed firearm per barrel. Superior rifling has no effect on firearms with scatter quality.

The rifling of an existing weapon can be upgraded to superior rifling by a skilled gunsmith (a character of at least 6th level with the Gunsmithing feat).

(Firearm), High Calibre

A high calibre (firearm) is designed to take advantage of above average Strength score by using a larger bore for the barrel of the gun and allowing for the wielder’s superior strength to absorb the kick. The default high calibre (firearm) costs an additional 200 gp and offers a maximum +0 Strength bonus to damage. For each additional +1 bonus, the price is increased by an additional +400 gp. If you are not strong enough to use a high calibre (firearm) properly, you suffer a –2 penalty to attack rolls and cannot target touch AC. If a character has the ability to add a Dexterity bonus to damage with a firearm, he or she cannot use this ability with a high calibre version of that firearm.

(Astute readers will notice a lack of a cost increase to the ammunition. This is to allow for focus on play rather than on accounting. GMs who wish for a greater level of verisimilitude in their games should increase the cost of the black powder by +1 gp per +1 Strength bonus of the weapon.)

You cannot add high calibre to a firearm after it’s created; it must be crafted as a weapon of that type.

Silk Cartridges

A silk cartridge is similar in design to a paper cartridge, but it is made from tougher material. If a firearm with the broken condition misfires with a silk cartridge, it does not explode, though the cartridge is still ruined. Silk cartridges cost 14 gp.

2 Replies to "Gun Upgrades: More Bang for Your Buck!"

Morgan Boehringer

November 29, 2012 at 3:48am

Nice technological upgrade David! I particularly liked the superior rifling and the improvement inherent in the silk cartridges. And a very nice gun illustration too!

Biggest kudos of all for “focus on play rather than on accounting…” :)

David "Hecknoshow" Smyth

November 29, 2012 at 8:33am

Thanks man, glad you liked it.

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