Some of my first popular posts were on firearms and explosives. A lot of those rules are being thrown out since the Dungeon Master’s Guide presented official rules for gunpowder weapons and bombs. The Renaissance items from that book are available for PCs and NPCs alike in Exploration Age. Of course their counterparts, aberrant firearms and bombs will also be available as well. Below is an excerpt from the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide which gives the firearm and bomb rules for the setting.

Firearms

There are two types of firearms in Exploration Age. Those using gunpowder and those powered by aberrant technology. The gunpowder weapons in use are the same as the Renaissance weapons on pg. 268 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Aberrant firearms are described below.

Module: Firearms Proficiency

Any character with a proficiency in all martial weapons has proficiency in all firearms available as Renaissance weapons in the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the aberrant firearms in the Exploration Age Campaign Guide.

Aberrant Firearms

Name Price Damage Weight Properties
Martial Ranged Weapons
Aberrant Revolver 500 gp 1d6 varies 5 lb. Ammunition (range 80/320), light, reload (8 shots)
Aberrant Rifle 750 gp 1d8 varies 10 lb. Ammunition (range 100/400), reload (15 shots), two-handed
Ammunition
Acid Charge (10) 5 gp acid 1 lb.
Cold Charge (10) 5 gp cold 1 lb.
Fire Charge (10) 5 gp fire 1 lb.
Lightning Charge (10) 5 gp lightning 1 lb.

Aberrant Revolver. Using technology discovered in the aberrant ruins, researchers at The Arcane College created a weapon capable of carrying eight pieces of ammunition. The gun uses alchemical charges as ammunition. Depending on the charge loaded, the revolver can deal acid, cold, fire, or lightning damage.

Aberrant Rifle. Like the aberrant revolver, the aberrant rifle was also created by The Arcane College. This weapon packs more of a punch, can carry 15 pieces of ammunition, and can shoot further distances, though it is bulkier and requires two hands to use. The gun uses alchemical charges as ammunition. Depending on the charge loaded, the revolver can deal acid, cold, fire, or lightning damage.

Module: Ranged Two-Weapon Fighting

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light (melee or ranged) weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light (melee or ranged) weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.

If the pistol Renaissance weapon is allowed in your game, the light property can be added to it. The decision to add this property is up to the DM.

Bombs

There are two types of explosives in Exploration Age. Those using gunpowder and those powered by aberrant technology. The gunpowder explosives in use are the same as the Renaissance items on pg. 268 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Aberrant explosives are described below.

Name Price Weight
Frost Bomb 400 gp 1 lb.
Lightning Bomb 400 gp 1 lb.
Thunder Bomb 300 gp 1 lb.

Frost Bomb. Using technology found in the aberrant ruins, researchers at The Arcane College developed special explosives. One of these is the frost bomb. As an action you can light a frost bomb and throw it at a point up to 60 feet away. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 cold damage and have their speed reduced by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.

Lightning Bomb. The lightning bomb was also created by The Arcane College. As an action you can light a lightning bomb and throw it at a point up to 60 feet away. Each creature within 10 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 lightning damage.

Thunder Bomb. The thunder bomb was also created by The Arcane College. As an action you can light a thunder bomb and throw it at a point up to 60 feet away. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 3d6 thunder damage and be deafened until the start of your next turn.

Variant: Oops, Explosion

Accidents happen. Bombs can be a hazard to the user. Each time you throw a bomb, roll a d20. On a roll of 1 the bomb explodes in your hands.

Make Them Magic!

Now that the rules for firearms have been revamped it’s time to make some magic ones! Our Exploration Age magic item preview continues on Thursday. You may have already seen Canus’ weapons, armor, rings, rods, staffs, wands, and wondrous items. I’ve shown you bioarcane items and artifacts unique to the setting. If you haven’t checked them out yet, please do! I’m taking any and all feedback into consideration so please let me know what you think. Next week get ready to see all these magic items in a nice and tidy PDF on the Free Game Resources section of this site. I’ll also be adding a PDF of these variant firearm and bomb rules. They’ll live there forever, so let’s make sure I get it right!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

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Comments
  1. Michael Robbins says:

    Something I’ve thought about for a 5E homebrew campaign kicking around in the back of my head is gun proficiency. One of the real world draws to firearms was how much easier it was to teach someone how to use them.

    What do people think about the idea of treating Firearms as a tool proficiency? You could throw in that someone with the Soldier Background could choose Firearms proficiency instead of their Land Vehicles skill. It has two big impacts in my mind, one that I like, and one that may or may not work with setting:
    * The one that I like is that tools are something that all characters can train for during down time. With the way feats work in 5E, I’m really not a fan of having someone have to use a feat to learn how to use firearms. A feat is a REALLY significant investment of resources for a character.

    * The impact that may not be so great is that it does mean that with RAW, some character concepts that you think of that you may want to use a gun may not start with proficiency in the weapon. The tool thing makes firearms much more accessible to a lot of classes, but then your martial weapon classes don’t start with proficiency in guns by default (which in the case of a Barbarian might not be a bad thing). If guns in your setting are so prevalent, having the Fighter NOT start with proficiency might seem odd. On the other hand, if guns are that prevalent, I would argue that other classes would be using them as well…again, firearms are much easier to learn to point and fire than mastering hand to hand combat with a sword.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the tool idea certainly works, especially because loading, cleaning, and maintaining a gun is more like using a tool than a weapon in some ways. Great thought!

      Like

    • qpop says:

      I think you could easily get around the background issues just by creating a custom background for your PC. Even just tweaking an existing one, like you said with Soldier, could work fine. Basically this is an awesome idea and I think it could work just fine with a few slight background tweaks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • John Snow says:

      Something I had thought of was molotovs. My hope is that I have balanced them properly. Range is 10/30, roll 1d4 for damage upon hit and burn damage as well. Atk bonus: +0-3 depending on range (3 being not a throw, but a strike causing you to make a dexterity roll to avoid burning yourself.) Opponent makes constitution saving throws each turn to see if they can put out the fire or ignore it’s effects. Just an idea, let me know what you thing

      Also it opponent can make athletics, dextarity or speed roll to catch Molotov if thrown with disadvantage

      Like

  2. Michael Robbins says:

    Wizards website has 5E conversion notes for Eberron!

    Liked by 1 person

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