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Firearms

Source Ultimate Combat pg. 135
Guns are not strangers to fantasy. The earliest authors of fantasy and weird fiction often included guns in their stories. Heroes like Burroughs’s John Carter or Howard’s Solomon Kane carried pistols alongside their swords, and it’s hard to imagine a pirate ship without cannons blazing. These authors likely included guns because they are exciting, but also because the guns they chose were primitive ones— relatively unpredictable weapons, prone to misfire and malfunction. This made firearms excellent storytelling devices. Such weapons could cause hero or villain to falter or triumph, changing the action within the tale in a flash or a fizzle. Still, a firearm remains an ominous and terrible weapon in the hands of a skilled gunman.

This section presents an anachronistic collection of hand-held black powder weapons. Most of them are singleshot muzzle-loaders with highly inefficient triggering mechanisms—traditional sword and sorcery firearms. More advanced firearms are also presented for those brave enough to mix their fantasy with a technology much closer to that of the Old West than the slow and unstable weapons that gave musketeers their name. If you are interested in letting such weapons in your game, do so with the following warning: Advanced guns can substantially change the assumptions of your game world, in the same way that they changed the face of warfare in the real world. If you like your fantasy to be of the more traditional variety, stand clear. Or, better yet, run for cover.

Firearms in Your Campaign

Source Ultimate Combat pg. 135
Firearms and gunslingers are not for every campaign, and even if you are excited about introducing firearms into your campaign, you should still make a decision about how commonplace they are. The following are broad categories of firearm rarity and the rules that govern them. Pathfinder’s world of Golarion uses the rules for emerging guns, which is also the default category of gun rarity detailed in this Pathfinder RPG supplement.

No Guns: If you do not want guns in your campaign, simply don’t allow the rules that follow. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game plays perfectly well without them. Very Rare Guns: Early firearms are rare; advanced firearms, the gunslinger class, the Amateur Gunslinger feat, and archetypes that use the firearm rules do not exist in this type of campaign. Firearms are treated more like magic items—things of wonder and mystery—rather than like things that are mass-produced. Few know the strange secrets of firearm creation. Only NPCs can take the Gunsmithing feat.

Emerging Guns: Firearms become more common. They are mass-produced by small guilds, lone gunsmiths, dwarven clans, or maybe even a nation or two—the secret is slipping out, and the occasional rare adventurer uses guns. The baseline gunslinger rules and the prices for ammunition given in this chapter are for this type of campaign. Early firearms are available, but are relatively rare. Adventurers who want to use guns must take the Gunsmithing feat just to make them feasible weapons. Advanced firearms may exist, but only as rare and wondrous items—the stuff of high-level treasure troves.

Commonplace Guns: While still expensive and tricky to wield, early firearms are readily available. Instead of requiring the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat, all firearms are martial weapons. Early firearms and their ammunition cost 25% of the amounts listed in this book, but advanced firearms and their ammunition are still rare and cost the full price to purchase or craft.

Guns Everywhere: Guns are commonplace. Early firearms are seen as antiques, and advanced firearms are widespread. Firearms are simple weapons, and early firearms, advanced guns, and their ammunition are bought or crafted for 10% of the cost listed in this chapter. The gunslinger loses the gunsmith class feature and instead gains the gun training class feature at 1st level.

Firearm Rules

Source Ultimate Combat pg. 135
Firearms work differently from other ranged projectile weapons—they instead use the following rules.

Firearm Proficiency: The Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms) feat allows you to use all firearms without penalty. A nonproficient character takes the standard –4 penalty on attack rolls with firearms, and a nonproficient character who loads a firearm increases all misfire values by 4 for the shots he loads.

Even though the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms) feat grants you proficiency with all firearms, anytime you take a feat that modifies a single type of weapon (such as Weapon Focus or Rapid Reload), you must still pick one specific type of firearm (such as musket, axe musket, blunderbuss, pistol, or double pistol) for that feat to affect.

All firearms are part of the same weapon group for the purposes of the fighter’s weapon training class feature. Capacity: A firearm’s capacity is the number of shots it can hold at one time. When making a full-attack action, you may fire a firearm as many times in a round as you have attacks, up to this limit, unless you can reload the weapon as a swift or free action while making a full-attack action. In the case of early firearms, capacity often indicates the number of barrels a firearm has. In the case of advanced firearms, it typically indicates the number of chambers the weapon has.

Range and Penetration: Armor, whether manufactured or natural, provides little protection against the force of a bullet at short range.

Early Firearms: When firing an early firearm, the attack resolves against the target’s touch AC when the target is within the first range increment of the weapon, but this type of attack is not considered a touch attack for the purposes of feats and abilities such as Deadly Aim. At higher range increments, the attack resolves normally, including taking the normal cumulative –2 penalty for each full range increment. Unlike other projectile weapons, early firearms have a maximum range of five range increments.

Advanced Firearms: Advanced firearms resolve their attacks against touch AC when the target is within the first five range increments, but this type of attack is not considered a touch attack for the purposes of feats such as Deadly Aim. At higher range increments, the attack resolves normally, including taking the normal cumulative –2 penalty for each full-range increment. Advanced firearms have a maximum range of 10 range increments.

Loading a Firearm: You need at least one hand free to load one-handed and two-handed firearms. In the case of two-handed firearms, you hold the weapon in one hand and load it with the other—you only need to hold it in two hands to aim and shoot the firearm. Loading siege firearms requires both hands, and one hand usually manipulates a large ramrod (which can be wielded as a club in combat).

The Rapid Reload feat reduces the time required to load one-handed and two-handed firearms, but this feat does not reduce the time it takes to load siege firearms.

Loading any firearm provokes attacks of opportunity. Other rules for loading a firearm depend on whether the firearm is an early firearm or an advanced firearm.

Early Firearms: Early firearms are muzzle-loaded, requiring bullets or pellets and black powder to be rammed down the muzzle. If an early firearm has multiple barrels, each barrel must be loaded separately. It is a standard action to load each barrel of a one-handed early firearm and a full-round action to load each barrel of a two-handed early firearm. It takes three full-round actions by one person to load a siege firearm. This can be reduced to two full-round actions if more than one person is loading the cannon.

Advanced Firearms: Advanced firearms are chamber-loaded. It is a move action to load a one-handed or two-handed advanced firearm to its full capacity. The Rapid Reload feat reduces this to a free action. Misfires: If the natural result of your attack roll falls within a firearm’s misfire value, that shot misses, even if you would have otherwise hit the target. When a firearm misfires, it gains the broken condition. While it has the broken condition, it suffers the normal disadvantages that broken weapons do, and its misfire value increases by 4 unless the wielder has gun training in the particular type of firearm (see the gunslinger class). In that case, the misfire value increases by 2 instead of 4.

Early Firearms: If an early firearm with the broken condition misfires again, it explodes. When a nonmagical firearm explodes, the weapon is destroyed. Magical firearms are wrecked, which means they can’t fire until they are fully restored (which requires either the make whole spell or the Gunsmithing feat). When a gun explodes, pick one corner of your square—the explosion creates a burst from that point of origin. Each firearm has a burst size noted in parentheses after its misfire value. Any creature within this burst (including the firearm’s wielder) takes damage as if it had been hit by the weapon—a DC 12 Reflex save halves this damage.

Advanced Firearms: Advanced firearms can misfire, but when they do, they only gain the broken condition. A further misfire does not cause advanced firearms to explode.

Ammunition: Firearm ammunition takes two forms: either black powder and shot (either bullets or pellets) or cartridges. Unlike other types of ammunition, firearm ammunition is destroyed when it is used, and has no chance of being retrieved on a miss. No part of a cartridge can be reused to create new cartridges. Firearm ammunition cannot be treated with poison, unless you are using a pitted bullet.

Concealing Firearms: Like light weapons and hand crossbows, one-handed firearms are easy to conceal on your person. Some smaller firearms (like the coat pistol) can grant bonuses to conceal a weapon on your person.

Inappropriately Sized Firearms: You cannot make optimum use of a firearm that is not properly sized for you. A cumulative –2 penalty applies on attack rolls for each size category of difference between your size and the size of the firearm. If you are not proficient with the firearm, a –4 nonproficiency penalty also applies. The size of a firearm never affects how many hands you need to use to shoot it, the exception being siege firearms and Large or larger creatures. In most cases, a Large or larger creature can use a siege firearm as a two-handed firearm, but the creature takes a –4 penalty for using it this way because of its awkwardness.

Bucklers: You can use a one-handed or two-handed firearm without penalty while carrying a buckler.

Fire while Prone: Firearms, like crossbows, can be fired while their wielders are prone.

Firearms, Black Powder, and Water: Black powder becomes useless when exposed to water, but powder horns and cartridges protect black powder from exposure. You cannot normally load an early firearm underwater or fire any firearm underwater without magical aid. Deflecting and Snatching Bullets: The Deflect Arrows feat and the Snatch Arrows feat can be used to deflect bullets, but not pellets shot from a scatter weapon. Neither of these feats can be used to deflect siege firearm attacks.

Firearm Description

Source Ultimate Combat pg. 137
There are two general categories of firearms: early and advanced.

Firearms are further divided into one-handed, twohanded, and siege firearms. As the category’s name implies, one-handed firearms need only one hand to wield and shoot. Two-handed firearms work best when you use twohands while shooting them. Two-handed firearms can be shot with one hand at a –4 penalty on the attack roll. Siege weapons are typically mounted on some sort of platform, movable or otherwise, and have greater power but a much slower rate of fire.

Scatter Weapon Quality: A weapon with the scatter weapon quality can shoot two different types of ammunition. It can fire normal bullets that target one creature, or it can make a scattering shot, attacking all creatures within a cone. Cannons with the scatter weapon quality only fire grapeshot, unless their descriptions state otherwise. When a scatter weapon attacks all creatures within a cone, it makes a separate attack roll against each creature within the cone. Each attack roll takes a –2 penalty, and its attack damage cannot be modified by precision damage or damage-increasing feats such as Vital Strike. Effects that grant concealment, such as fog or smoke, or the blur, invisibility, or mirror image spells, do not foil a scatter attack. If any of the attack rolls threaten a critical, confirm the critical for that attack roll alone. A firearm that makes a scatter shot misfires only if all of the attack rolls made misfire. If a scatter weapon explodes on a misfire, it deals triple its damage to all creatures within the misfire radius.