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Keep Your Powder Dry!

Part 2: Early
Modern Firearms
s innovation marches on,

   crude early firearms

give way to muskets and pistols

that are easier to use and finally

replace bows and crossbows as

the ranged weapons of choice on

the battlefield. This article takes

a look at the second generation

of firearms developed in the early

modern period.

Firearms Ascendant
Firearms became much easier to use in the
period between 1500 and 1700 CE. The
muskets that replaced the heavy harquebus
were more easily held and fired thanks to
advancements in design that allowed for
smaller bullets without reducing damage. writing Walt Ciechanowski
The fickle match was replaced with new color art Indi Martin
mechanisms (starting with the wheellock editing James J. Haeck
and culminating with the flintlock) that layout Eric Life-Putnam

EN World EN5IDER  |  Early Modern Firearms

Open Game Content The game rule information in this article is designated Open Game Content. The lance-bearing armored alternative to other ranged weapons. This short musket has a flared feel in a fantasy campaign (and there’s a lot of fun barrel and is designed to fire shot rather than to be had in a fantastical age of musketeers and bullets. “EN Publishing. narrative and descriptive text. with swashbuckling. the evolution of firearms coincided of flavor to your campaign! with the end of medieval tactics. the rules mechanics support either of pistols. blunderbusses pirates!) that need not be the case. Later. character and place names. then it guns from firing. If strong winds or excessive rain preventing their gunpowder gets wet (or even just damp). Unlike a hand cannon. pistols also changed the face of warfare. they are still won’t fire if loaded patterns. two-handed club dealing 1d6 damage. If any of these conditions play pikemen that could keep enemies at bay while the a factor then the GM can either impose disadvan- harquebusier reloaded. trade dress. In melee the blunderbuss may be used as a after firearms became ubiquitous. Musket-wielding rangers can walk side-by- the body to be used in quick succession. Many fantasy require specially-made pellets rather than using worlds have had potent and prolific magics on whatever’s at hand. Practical armor disappeared and fencing swords and knives became the dominant melee weapons. Publishing ™ Early EarlyModern Firearms | | EN ModernFirearms  ENWorld EN5IDER World EN5IDER . and EN World and EN Publishing logos. Soldiers no longer had to worry about Matchlocks are very susceptible to the weather. the development of tage on the attack roll or. disallow the use of matchlocks absent magic or   The development of hand blunderbusses and creative thinking to overcome it. is reduced to 2d4 and until the gun is cleaned Conversely. Hand side with mace-wielding clerics clad in chainmail blunderbusses and pistols could also be easily and longbow-wielding elven fighters if you wish used on horseback. firearms can add a lot Historically. also the bayonet alleviated the need for pikemen. or you can knight evolved into the pistol-wielding dragoon. Either way. Armies made keep gunpowder clean). In a pinch. pistol- wielding fighters and rogues being the dominant Flintlocks and Fantasy martial classes. even fantasy campaigns with a high during a short rest.” EN Publishing EN product and article titles. are designated Product Identity. Those who could afford them often carried a “brace   In short.created their own sparks by striking steel to Keeping Your Powder Dry pyrite. Harquebusiers were accompanied by with wet gunpowder. in really bad weather. go all-in and design your fantasy world with a 17th century aesthetic. making firearms cavalry to include firearms as a potent but short-range weapons as well. Lighting a match is difficult up for the slow rate of fire by grouping in the rain and keeping it lit is a challenge in windy harquebusiers—and later musketeers—together conditions.” or several loaded pistols worn on style. a blunderbuss can the battlefield without eliminating the armored be loaded with improvised shot.” “EN5ider. While later firearms have done away in lines so that they could rotate their fire with the match. is rendered inert until it dries (prestidigitation will   Tactics changed accordingly. including maps and illustrations (including illustrations in the public domain).” “EN World. any misfire result breaks the medieval feel often accommodate rapier-wielding barrel (as the improvised shot has compromised duelists who historically didn’t appear until well it). but its damage knight or axe and shield-wielding warriors. While this Firearm Descriptions could certainly point towards a swashbuckling   Blunderbuss. All of the other material in this article.

The pistol is built and can use improvised shot like a regular into the hilt of a melee weapon in such a way as blunderbuss. although it does allow a are substituted for the gun shield’s in the awkwardness of lighting and firing so quickly. loading. two-handed Gun Shield 250 gp 1d10 piercing 7 lb. real dragons!) is a one-handed blunderbuss particularly one-handed ones. With the introduction of the (commonly called a “dragon” in our world. A standard shield pistol requires two While its weight is unchanged. The GM should feel free to increase the cost if the weapons are sufficiently rare. in some settings they may even be considered priceless “magic” items! 2  New properties are described in “Keep Your Powder Dry! Part 1: Firearms for Fantasy Campaigns”* 3  Wheellocks are prone to misfire more often than other types of firearms. In melee the matchlock pistol may be used as a club dealing 1d4 damage. If you fire more than one * Get Part 1: Walt Ciechanowski. wheellock it became easier to meld firearms— probably not so much in a fantasy setting with specifically the pistol—with melee weapons. Ammunition (range 20/60). loading. loading. misfire. EN World EN5IDER  |  Early Modern Firearms . shot (2d4 piercing) Hybrid Pistol 250 gp 1d10 piercing Var. loud. the cost is the firearm has the same weather problems of its same but the mechanics of the hand blunderbuss musket counterpart. Ammunition (range 20/60). two‑handed Pistol 200 gp 1d10 piercing 2 lb. match loading. loading. loud. misfire Musket 300 gp 1d12 piercing 10 lb. then you Firearms for Fantasy Campaigns. loud. This early one-handed blunderbuss instead of a pistol. although an enterprising handled by anyone trained to use it. In melee the gunsmith could create a trigger that could be matchlock musket may be used as a two-handed pulled by the hand holding the shield. club dealing 1d6 damage.   Gun Shield. misfire Hand Blunderbuss 175 gp special 2 lb. loud.   Hand Blunderbuss. loading. The wheellock version of this weapon misfires on a d20 roll of 1 or 2 when mak- ing a ranged attack. loud. “Keep Your Powder Dry! Part 1: matchlock pistol in the same round. melee as a regular melee weapon of its type. misfire.patreon. Ammunition (range 20/60). A hand blunderbuss   Hybrid Pistol. Ammunition (range 20/60). reduced to 1d4.Simple Ranged Weapons Name Cost1 Damage Weight Properties2.   A gun shield can be crafted using a hand   Matchlock Pistol.3 Blunderbuss 250 gp special 8 lb. loud. misfire. loud. match loading. shot (2d6 piercing). misfire. two-handed Matchlock Pistol 150 gp 1d10 piercing 2 lb. misfire 1  Costs are for settings where such firearms are commonly available. it fires smaller hands to use (one to hold the shield and the bullets with greater accuracy and can be easily other to fire the gun). The matchlock musket hybrid pistol—the pistol is built directly into is an improvement on the earlier harquebus. This is a defensive version of a   Matchlock Musket.” EN World EN5ider. the shield. Ammunition (range 40/120). Ammunition (range 40/120). have disadvantage on all ranged attacks due to https://www. but its improvised damage is not to compromise the integrity of the weapon. In melee the hand blunderbuss The weapon may be fired as a pistol or wielded in may be used as a club dealing 1d4 damage. Ammunition (range 20/60). creature to use it and draw and fight with another weapon in its off-hand. loud. match loading. misfire Matchlock Musket 200 gp 1d12 piercing 10 lb. Ammunition (range 10/30).

In addition. Equipment and the blunderbuss description. Firearms that do 1d12 damage do 2d6 muskets and pistols (including matchlocks and damage instead with a rifled barrel. were invented a few decades matchlock muskets. Each shot of be fired more than once per round). Thus the cheaper musket and shares all of its features save range. over matchlocks. You can turn your musket into a spear by plugging a long knife into the end of the barrel. there are a few new and might decide to give wheellocks an edge. Blunderbusses and introduction of flintlocks. 2 lb. In this case. muskets aren’t as century (although some “proto-flintlocks. A double- the same round. it an aristocratic weapon of choice even after the   Ammunition. wheellocks were far more dif-   Pistol. Early EarlyModern Firearms | | EN ModernFirearms  ENWorld EN5IDER World EN5IDER . wheellocks hand blunderbusses require specially-made do not have the loading property (enabling them to pellets that make up a load of shot. while they had a huge advantage used as a two-handed club dealing 1d6 damage. shot (20). of its flintlock counterpart. This weapon dispenses the need for Wheellock Firearms a match. a GM this article.” such vulnerable to inclement weather as the earlier as the snapchance. between them each round. could Customization be used for wheellock blunderbusses as well as All of the equipment and options listed under flintlock blunderbusses. In matchlock remained in service until the more melee the pistol may be used as a club dealing 1d4 cost-effective flintlocks finally phased them damage.   Double Barrel. property can be fired twice before reloading. While this difference page) are available for the firearms contained in would be negligible in a 6-second round. although you may freely switch barreled musket also has the heavy property. pulling the trigger creates a spark that Wheellock firearms predate flintlocks by about a lights the gunpowder. out. In this case. The Weapons table does not distinguish between flintlocks and wheellocks as there is little mechanical difference between them in combat. Thus.  Musket. In melee the musket may be earlier) and. a barreled firearm costs 1½ times its original price musket may not be fired and used as a spear in and weighs nearly twice as much. A double- Since affixing the bayonet requires some time. a pellets is effectively the same as a bullet in terms wheellock would command double or triple the cost of price and weight. making amended options listed here. although an enterprising gunsmith might develop   A misfire generally only fouls one barrel. socket   Double-barreled firearms with the loading bayonets weren’t common until the 18th century. the one earlier.   Bayonet. (Historically. for example. the harquebus) with two barrels. It is possible to purchase   Rifling. 1 gp. This is a one-handed version of the ficult to construct and maintain. Gunpowder and Ammunition and Customizing   There is some debate whether wheellocks were Firearms in Part 1 (see footnote on previous actually faster than flintlocks.) other may be used normally until it too misfires.

for friendly terms if not worshiping that particular example. if you normally score a critical hit on a deity). Each type is easily identifiable by the color of the pellets in the shot. you do an extra 2d8 radiant damage. the Proclaimer loses its magic. one of Proclaimer automatically misfires if an unattuned the hardest substances in existence. count as a use of your Channel Divinity). uncommon damage rolls made with this magic weapon (the   These bullets are made of adamantine. Attacks with creature tries to use it). then you may expend one of the charges 19 or 20 then the adamantine bullet scores one on a when making a ranged attack with the Proclaimer roll of 18. then you only score that creature and all undead within 30 feet of a critical hit when you normally would (a roll of it are affected as if you had used your Channel 20 for most creatures) but the adamantine armor Divinity: Turn Undead class feature (this does not does not downgrade the critical hit.   There are five types of dragon’s breath shot: black (acid). If you are lower. but a successful save still causes half damage. then   If you fire an adamantine bullet at a creature in addition to the ammunition’s normal damage wearing adamantine armor. blue (lightning). against an undead creature. 19. at dawn. or 20 (if you normally score a critical hit on a 19 or   The Proclaimer also has 7 charges.   Adamantine bullets are typically cast in groups   The Proclaimer regains 1d6 + 1 charges daily of 20. You must Dragon’s Breath Shot perform some service for your deity in order Weapon (shot).New Magic Items This section lists three magic items that appear The Proclaimer along with firearms. Their rarity depends on how Weapon (any musket or pistol). e blunderbuss with this shot. When you hit an undead adamantine bullets score critical hits on rolls of 19 with it. green (poison). and white (cold). EN World EN5IDER  |  Early Modern Firearms . rare to be deemed worthy to have the Proclaimer   When you fill your blunderbuss or hand restored. red (fire). it fires a cone of energy similar to a particular dragon’s breath weapon rather than doing its normal damage. or 20). You gain a +2 on attack and Weapon (bullet). On a 1. roll a d20. then the adamantine bullet scores a critical a cleric dedicated to that deity (or on otherwise hit on lower die results on a 1-for-1 basis. Dragon’s breath shot does 8d6 damage of the appropriate energy type. attunement by a cleric)   This firearm is dedicated to and blessed by Adamantine Bullet a particular deity. If the bullet hits. very rare (requires common firearms are in your campaign. If you expend the last charge. Creatures may make a saving throw against the shot as normal (including having advantage at long range).