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Keep Your Powder Dry!

Part 1: Firearms for
Fantasy Campaigns
hether your

campaign setting
already incorporates
firearms or is on the
verge of developing
them, adding gunpowder
weapons to the battlefield
can make for exciting new
challenges and tactics. This
article takes a look at the
earliest firearms developed
in the late medieval period
as well as a new alchemist
advanced study in the art writing Walt Ciechanowski
color art Sade
of black powder. editing James J. Haeck
layout Eric Life-Putnam

EN World EN5IDER  |  Firearms for Fantasy Campaigns

If you are hiding. It uses a matchlock system to hold a chance. Given all this. are designated Product Identity. If there is fantasy world is only starting to experiment with already an accessible flame to light the match gunpowder and firearms. are wildly inaccurate. early require far less training than longbows or heavy firearms did have some advantages. Open Game Content The game rule information in this article is designated Open Game Content.” “EN World. Loud   Hand cannons were the first firearms. Because of the time required to load this could quickly train and outfit large numbers of weapon. firearm available in Europe between 1300 and 1500 CE. slow to reload. The result was that armies fire. or reaction to fire it. inaccurate. including maps and illustrations (including illustrations in the public domain). they   In spite of their limitations. Publishing ™ Firearms Firearmsfor forFantasy Campaigns | | EN FantasyCampaigns  ENWorld EN5IDER World EN5IDER . an accomplished archer would be hard-pressed to replace their long bow with a harquebus. a harquebus is still a bit during the 9th century and by the late medieval bulky to use without a rest. projectile down the barrel more difficult. Gunpowder is when fired. you may also move on a turn when you fire encompass the two main types of hand-held this weapon. “EN Publishing. so the rules below with.” “EN5ider. trade dress. they Firearms are noisy and expel a lot of powder consist of a barrel and a touch hole. with rifling by the end of the 15th century. ignites the gunpowder and fires the projectile. where it advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks to see.The Dawn of Firearms  The harquebus is an improvement on the hand When gunpowder is invented is a matter of cannon. period cannons and handheld firearms were   Both of these firearms are smoothbore weapons. narrative and descriptive text. then you have placed in the back of the barrel and the projectile disadvantage on ability checks to remain hidden (or projectiles) jammed down the muzzle. character and place names. making them more ubiquitous fire this weapon. It was very crossbows. and smell you. hear. and EN World and EN Publishing logos. however. and you can fire only one piece over time. Firearms are considered simple weapons. Gunsmiths experimented They were bulky. Certain firearms have some of the easy to train a soldier to use a firearm compared following weapon properties: to training that same soldier to use a bow or crossbow. which means that the projectiles don’t spin and   The first firearms were hardly game-changers. While most medieval fantasy worlds match in place so that the shooter may aim and presume that gunpowder has yet to be invented. It was also much easier to produce and Match Loading carry firearm ammunition than it is to produce Your weapon requires several steps to load and and carry arrows. All of the other material in this article. contrary to popular belief. A match or move silently while other creatures have is lit and placed into the touch hole. appearing on the battlefields of Europe. of ammunition from it when you use an action.   This article presumes that your medieval bonus action.” EN Publishing EN product and article titles. and fantasy spellcasters still possess Weapon Properties stronger and more reliable magical ranged attacks. but and highly dependent on the weather for their rifled barrels are more quickly fouled and take usefulness (also. While negating the need for real-world Chinese alchemists developed it a second set of hands. you may not move in a turn when you harquebusiers. hand cannons and harquebuses. fire when ready. armor longer to reload as the rifling makes jamming a was still effective against early firearm rounds).

of a single round. dealing 1d6 damage. have misfired. then all creatures Gun Kit. In melee the harquebus when making a ranged attack. Shot whatever’s at hand). and cast new the attacker has a spell save or maneuver save DC ammunition. These the barrel and the firearm is useless until repaired count as two-handed weapons dealing 1d8 (requiring a day of work with a gun kit or a use of damage of the appropriate type (bludgeoning mending). 2 sp. Ammunition. repair a a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take damage. 1 lb. and cast 10 rounds with a gun kit. then it Hand Cannon is rendered inert until it dries (prestidigitation will The earliest handgun required resting the weapon keep gunpowder clean). Lighting a match is difficult while dropping a lit match to the touch hole. matchlocks require rounds The weapon may fire multiple projectiles instead cast just for their barrels. Powder Flask. Harquebus The harquebus is the earliest type of matchlock Misfire firearm. then you have cracked integrating a club or axe into the design. these items can be used decreases as noted in the weapon description. If you only have two hands Gunpowder and Ammunition available and do not have a rest. If misfire. This lead bar can be melted down long range have advantage on their saving throw. reducing its range. 25 gp. Creatures in Lead Ingot. If shot is used. While hand cannons use sling bullets (or. your range Unless otherwise noted. then in addition may be used as a two-handed club dealing 1d6 to missing the target the firearm is considered to damage. If the d20 roll is a 1 and you had harquebuses are designed as hybrid weapons. This set of artisan’s tools contains within range (the shot is cone-shaped) must make everything necessary to clean a gun. It with any of the firearms in this article. remove a stuck bullet. for club. 2 lb. use the higher DC. This is a portable container that holds the gunpowder that a creature needs to load along with the ammunition and are often made from materials that won’t spark nor easily EN World EN5IDER  |  Firearms for Fantasy Campaigns . firearms can’t be used absent magic or creative thinking to overcome it. rounds (20). If the d20 roll is a 1 range without one. Weather Conditions Firearm Descriptions Early firearms are very susceptible to the weather. higher than 15. The addition of a melee weapon makes the harquebus a little more Rest difficult to aim and fire. You in the rain and keeping it lit is a challenge in windy must use a rest or have another creature drop the conditions. slashing for axe). takes an action or bonus action to set a rest. All of these weather conditions can be match for you to avoid the rest penalty. While easily held in two hands it is Occasionally a firearm fails to fire due to fouling unwieldy without using a rest. disadvantage on the roll. In melee simply handled by either imposing disadvantage the hand cannon may be used as a two-handed on the attack roll or. in bad weather. 3 lb. hence the reduced or the round getting stuck. ruling that club. You must clear the barrel using a gun kit as an action before it may be fired Harquebus Hybrid again (note that the cleared ammunition may Given the relatively slow rate of fire some be used again). The weapon requires more than two hands to operate effectively. 1 gp. If gunpowder gets wet (or even just damp). in the case of shot.

Rifled barrels are mastered the formula for gunpowder and can slower to load. two-handed * Costs are for settings where such firearms are commonly Firearms Firearmsfor forFantasy Campaigns | | EN FantasyCampaigns  ENWorld EN5IDER World EN5IDER . You cannot mix multiple proficiency bonus to properly apply a sight to a discoveries together into a single powder. The price is for a typical wooden powder Science of Black Powder flask—many flasks are made from more expensive (Alchemist Advanced Study) materials and have intricate carvings. By when you load and fire a rifled weapon. heavy. your studies of the Science span of a long rest) and grants a +1 attack bonus of Black Powder allow you to concoct magical when using the firearm. 5 gp. powder to infuse firearms with magical power. even expending a spell slot. without rest 25/75). All ranges of a rifled firearm are doubled. A requires several hours and a gunsmith workshop. range and accuracy. Ammunition (range 20/60). and prestidigitation are added to the alchemist Rifling. Rifling a barrel powder to fire 5 rounds per spell slot level. misfire. in some settings they may even be considered priceless “magic” items! burn.Simple Ranged Weapons Name Cost* Damage Weight Properties Hand Cannon 80 gp 1d8 piercing 12 lbs. loud. especially with smoothbore weapons. The cantrips mending in either or both of the following ways. “The Alchemist: Where Madness Meets Magic. creature using this signature powder adds 1d4 to Purchasing a rifled firearm adds 50 gp to its cost. misfire. heavy. the science of black powder focuses Rest. Ammunition (range 30/90. Add 100 gp to purchase a firearm with   Each spell slot spent grants you enough powder sights. so you can never move on a turn also give it an extra magical spark as well. making Sometimes seen as a subset of the science of them works of art. You need to make a DC variants of black powder. Discoveries of Black Powder but possible. firearm. you enchant enough black if you have a fire source ready. The GM should feel free to increase the cost if the weapons are sufficiently rare. its attack roll and there is no chance of misfire. loud. This is a forked rod that is set into the on harnessing the explosive energy of black ground so that a creature can rest its weapon. or 200 gp to add sights to an existing for 5 rounds multiplied by the spell slot level. While this is costly in terms of magical power. 1 lb. two-handed Harquebus 100 gp 1d10 piercing 10 lbs. Rifling a barrel increases its effective spell list. heavy. destruction. Ammunition (range 25/75. rest. one alchemist can give a significant edge to a squadron of harquebusiers. on choosing this science. but lowers the round’s speed. match loading. Customizing Firearms   This advanced study is a new option for the Any of the firearms in this article can be improved alchemist character class*. loud. but the Signature Powder damage dice for hand cannons and harquebuses At 2nd level. Putting proper sights on a firearm is tricky. 2 lb. misfire. shot (1d6 piercing).” https://www. It requires a few hours (within the At 6th and 10th levels. firearm. you have are 2d3 and 2d4 respectively. Richard Davies. Select one discovery 20 Wisdom ability check with the gun kit tool from the list below. match loading. two-handed Harquebus Hybrid 150 gp 1d10 piercing 15 lbs. 1 sp. Sighting. without rest 20/60). Match loading. * C.patreon.

By expending a spell slot. firearm is automatically fouled after the veil Thus. that you know. Its formula is unknown to most alchemists damage of a particular energy type (chosen when and is highly sought after for its usefulness in you take this discovery). e combine superior powder with any other black EN World EN5IDER  |  Firearms for Fantasy Campaigns . Their rarity depends on how and negates damage resistance against piercing common firearms are in your campaign. you may choose to add an extra 1d8 damage always seems to manage to land in the hands of per spell slot above the first rather than enchant the worst cultists and assassins. There is no chance of normally. providing you have enough spell you can choose to “disenchant” any remaining slot levels. This mist   A rain match is a cord covered with an lingers for 1d4 + 1 rounds and the area containing alchemical fluid that allows it to burn even in the mist is considered heavily obscured. you have truly perfected your art.You don’t regain expended spell slots until the powder discovery (including signature powder) powder is completely used. firearms equipped with a rain match suffer powder is used. you create a Spark Staff shimmering powder that helps slide a round into Weapon (hand cannon). very rare Energy Powder. You can infuse your black   This chalk-white alchemical powder produces powder with a particular type of energy. You may choose this sniper fire and assassinations. more ammunition. Veil Powder. common mist in a 5-foot radius centered on you. so long as it has superior hole. The spark staff resembles and a creature may make as many ranged attacks functions like a hand cannon without a touch per round as it is able. Wondrous item. The gunpowder and round must be loaded powder and ammunition. After a long rest. When using a higher level spell where firearms are common. gunpowder ignites. This match is consumed after being extinguished. At 14th level. You have concocted a denser Rain Match version of black powder that leaves an obscuring Wondrous item. creatures that are normally immune to piercing weapons take half Moon Powder damage from rounds fired with ghost powder. but somehow it slot. magical help. Any rounds fired by these discoveries have no chance of misfire. Spark staves fire faster than You create enough powder for 5 rounds times hand cannons and have the loading property in the spell level of the spell slot spent. Additionally. Rounds fired hand cannons were more easily fired with a little with superior powder take little time to load. requiring it to be cleaned with a no disadvantage in rainy weather providing gun kit before it can be fired again. uncommon place and explodes on command so long as the   It didn’t take long for shooters to realize that shooter is touching the weapon. but instead of touching a match the misfire and rounds fired with superior powder creature need only utter a magic word and the get an extra damage die. each time selecting a different   Moon Powder is very rare even in campaigns type of energy. You may also place of match loading. You have concocted a type of This section lists three magic items that appear black powder that touches the Ethereal Plane along with firearms. New Magic Items Ghost Powder. or when it Superior Powder burns out after 12 seconds. that the gunpowder is kept dry. magical powder in order to reclaim the spell slots. The heavy rain (it may be snuffed by other means). discovery twice. Rounds no noise nor visible smoke when used to fire a fired with this powder do an additional 2d8 round. weapons.