Thursday, January 27, 2011

Firearms in Pathfinder

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?



Obiri said...

They have to do something with the firearms rule otherwise there is no point in playing one.

Peronsonally I don't see a big problem with it being a touch attack. For now I don't see any way to reliable shoot more then once a round (you'll run out of grit points pretty quick making extra attacks) so who cares if they do consistent low damage?

I can't say I've gone over the rules in much detail so there may be some way at high levels to get off lots of attacks but through low and mid levels I don't see any way.

Also you have to get close. Not a big deal for a martial class but getting grappled is always a pain.

Rognar said...

That all changes at 11th level. Then a gunslinger can get Signature Deed which allows another deed to be performed for one less grit point (minimum 0). Since Lightning Reload Deed costs only 1 grit point, it becomes zero and since it makes reloading a free action, you get your full attack option with the gun. It could be nerfed by making the reload a swift action, but right now, it's a free action.

Rognar said...

Throw in a Far-Reaching Sight for a measly 2000 gp and you can use your musket out to 5 range brackets as a touch attack.

Derobane-bane said...

Additional rules that complicate the game further are not the solution, methinks.
Keep the firearms rules as they are but limit this class and these weapons to a certain area of Golorion.
Make the region a cool place to visit for variety, but quarentined so as not to infect the rest of the world with guns and stuff.

Rognar said...

No way, man! If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. :D