With a growing sense among the Pathfinder community that the new firearms rules are going to be a mess, it got me to wondering how guns could be incorporated into the game some other way. One simple option that has been used before is the exploding dice mechanic. Roll 1d8 for damage, if you roll an 8, roll again. Repeat as necessary. It's simple enough if you just have one type of gun, but what happens if you have a pistol that does 1d6 and a musket that does 1d8? You actually have a better chance of exploding your die and, thereby, rolling more damage with the smaller weapon. You could do a dice pool approach, a pistol does 1d6 and a musket does 2d6. Any sixes are exploded.
This approach is functional, but I find it inelegant, largely because it is an exception to the normal combat rules. I think a better approach is to take armour out of the AC business altogether and make it all about DR. Give characters a defense value equal to 1/2 BAB. All AC modifiers other than armour and natural armour, but including shields would be added to the defense value. Then, make another type of damage, called ballistic, which would plug into the DR rules just as slashing, piercing and bludgeoning already do. As an example, take leather armour. Instead of +2 AC bonus, give it DR: 1/ballistic. Magical leather might be DR: 2/ballistic. I would want heavier armour types such as plate or dragon scale to have some DR against firearms, so full plate would be something like DR:5/ballistic and 2/- (no stacking). Monsters would also have this. A creature with a natural armour
would, instead, get DR similar to armour of comparable AC bonus. I think natural DR (such as that granted to the barbarian class) should stack with DR granted by armour, which, I concede, is an exception to the general rule on DR, but I think it's an exception worth including.
So what do you all think about this?
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