Hi! For over almost a year now I've been running a western themed 5e game, players are coming up on level 9, and I've made minimal adjustments to 5e itself. I wanted to post some of the rules here, and see if anyone had any questions!
I am a big western fan, I love the aesthetic, music, and cliches surrounding it. My buddies and I decided to run a high fantasy western game. Basically, it's 5e with all the races, classes and spells. But the technology has advanced to a higher level. Trains, guns, cowboy hats, and spurs that jingle jangle jingle. We tried this a few years ago, and scheduling issues led to its demise.
One mistake I made, was trying to make guns a rare thing. 5e fighters and paladins and the like are so melee focus, and I wanted almost no rule tweaking. So my enemies had little to no guns, and the party was seen as having these rare items. This was a big, big mistake that I would learn from. Here's the takeaway: your all in, or not at all. And mainly,
Don't Fear the Gun
I made my own firearm statistics, based loosely off the DMs Guide and Matt Mercers gunslinger stat blocks. This time around, I went all in. Gnolls and Kobolds in hats and dusters, brandishing 6 shooters. The idea itself was fun, but it balanced the game significantly. I've played with people who are really against firearms in their games. Some don't want them for the simple reason they mess up the more medieval world, but a lot think balancing them is difficulty. The same way balancing a flying 1st level is. It has it's challenges, but here's I handled it:
Risk and Reward. All my firearms have a misfire score, meaning a 1 isn't the only bad number to roll now. Firearms have to reload, running dry means doing a test to reload quick or taking an action next turn. However, almost all firearms have good damage, mainly rolling 2 dice instead of one which means no chance of getting just one damage. This means that the player is more likely to use them and want to use them, but isn't about to dominate everything.
Well Equipped Combatants. If you have guns your players can get, you have guns the enemies can get. Even if your only using muskets and flintlocks, an enemy would rather have one than not. Balance the field by just replacing weapons in stat blocks, or adding one in. Play it heavy handed, gun fights are fun. Additionally, boost melee combatant health or the amount of them. My players fought gnolls, these gnolls had a few guns they had scavenged and had a few keeping the party pinned and playing the range game. Meanwhile, melee gnolls and giant hyenas with a bit more health (Not more AC, not hitting isn't fun.) ran. The party of 6 didn't even enough combined firepower to put down 8 gnolls and 3 hyenas at once, and needed to figure out if the sharpshooters or melee should be the focus.
Basically, if your going to use these guns, embrace them. Don't do it only half way, open the armoury and let them go wild, and let their enemies embrace the way of the gun.
These weapons are designed to have as few extra rules as possible while maintaining the aesthetic and theme. I didn't want to make them rule heavy.
- Artificer. All.
- Barbarian. Shotguns, Simple Firearms
- Bard. Simple Firearms, Revolvers, Rifles.
- Cleric. Simple Firearms, Shotguns.
- Druid. None.
- Fighter. All.
- Monk. None.
- Paladin. All.
- Ranger. Simple Firearms, Rifles.
- Rogue. Simple Firearms, Revolvers, Rifles.
- Sorcerer. Simple Firearms.
- Warlock. Simple Firearms, Revolvers.
- Wizard. Simple Firearms.
- Misfire. Weapons with the misfire tag have a chance to fail when attempting to fire, Upon making an attack roll, if the number rolled before modifiers are applied is equal to or less than that of the weapons misfire number then the weapon jams. Immediately upon doing so, an intelligence saving throw (DC 10+ the number rolled on the attack roll) can be made to quickly unjam the gun. On a failed save, an action must be used to unjam the weapon.
- Reload. Weapons with the Reload tag can only be fired a certain number of times before needing to be reloaded. An action (or bonus action if attempting a quick reload) must be used to reload the weapon if there is no ammo left. A weapons maximum ammo it can hold before needing to be reloaded is indicated by the number next to the reload tag.
- Spread. Spread weapons cause damage to those around the intended target. Any creature within 5 feet of the target of a spread weapon must make a dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + Dex Modifier of wielder). On a failure they take half damage, on a success they take none.
- Quick Reload. As a bonus action you can attempt a quick reload by making a sleight of hand check. The DC is 10+ the amount of bullets you are attempting to reload, which you must declare before rolling. Doing so successfully results in a fully reload of however many bullets you said you were reloading. A failure results in no reload. A critical fail results in a jammed weapons.
- CQC Shooting. Revolvers, Flintlocks and shotguns do not a penalty to shooting in close quarters.
|Arquebus||15 gp||1d10 Piercing||Range (80/120), Loading, Heavy, Two Handed, Misfire (2|
|Flintlock||5 gp||1d6 Piercing||Range (20/60), Loading, Light, Misfire (3)|
|Musket||5 gp||1d8 Piercing||Range (50/100), Loading, Light, Misfire (3)|
|Revolver||20 gp||2d4 Piercing||Range (30/90), Reload (6), Light, Misfire (2)|
|Heavy Revolver||60 gp||1d10 Piercing||Range (40/100), Reload (4), Misfire (2)|
|Rifle (Bolt)||50 gp||2d8 Piercing||Range (100/200), Reload (6), Two-Handed, Loading, Misfire (2)|
|Rifle (Lever)||35 gp||2d6 Piercing||Range (70/110), Reload (4), Two-Handed, Misfire (2)|
|Shotgun (Double)||70 gp||4d4 Piercing||Range (20/50), Reload (2), Spread, Two-Handed, Misfire (3)|
|Shotgun (Lever)||65 gp||3d4 Piercing||Range (20/40), Reload (4), Spread, Misfire (3)|
|Shotgun (Single)||60 gp||3d4 Piercing||Range (30/50), Spread, Loading, Two-Handed, Misfire (3)|
Attachments can be added or created for guns, allowing for a wider diversity in how you use them. They usually need to be custom made or ordered as each gun is different.
- Scope. Can be applied to a pistol or rifle, and adds and additional 30ft to both minimum and maximum range. Usually 75+ gold depending on the weapons.
- Long Barrel. Can be added to revolvers and rifles. Gives the weapon a +1 to hit and for damage, adds 10 ft to max and minimum ranges. Expensive, and need to be custom made or ordered. 100+ gp.
- Stock. Can be added to a revolver, giving it the two-handed trait, and making it lose the light trait. However, it gains a +1 to hit. Needs to be custom ordered. 50+ gp.
- Extended Tube. Can be added to any lever action gun, gives it a +2 ammo capacity. 40+ gp.
- Stock Bandoleer. Can be added to any weapon with a stock. You gain proficiency or expertise in sleight of hand checks made to quick reload with this weapon, so long as the bandoleer is loaded (can have as much ammo as the weapons reload score). 30+ gp.
These weapons aren't considered magical, but are rare and usually custom made pieces of equipment.
+ 5 Lever Action Rifle
- Massive. This weapon requires a strength of 15 to wield properly, otherwise the user suffers disadvantage on all attack rolls. Additionally, unless the user is firing while prone then this weapon requires a bonus action to get ready to fire.
- Cover Destroyer. This weapons ignores all cover except fully cover.
- Huge Rounds. This weapon deals an additional 2d12 piercing damage on top of it's original damage die. Additionally, this weapon deals an additional 1d12 if fired at an object not being worn or carried.
Extra Heavy Revolver.
|Extra Heavy Revolver||N/A||3d4 +2 Piercing||Light, Reload 3, Misfire 4, Spread, Range 20/40,|
A few extra things: I allow my warlock to use a revolver for Hexblade. And all my casters can use a gun instead of a melee weapon for spells like booming blade, but their guns range is cut in half for it.
Also, this is my first time sharing homebrew and honestly, my biggest homebrew project. I hope I'm posting it on the right sub and that ya'll like it!
- Request your constructive input and help identifying unknown unknowns. I considering running a 5e gritty, low fantasy campaign with crude firearms. The rules I am considering are in the post. (I know they will completely change the flavor of the game. That is intended.) What are your thoughts?
- Armorer Artificer’s Power Armor weapons counting as one-handed weapons
- BFV’s gunplay is awesome, but terrible to balance
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Saloons & Shootouts, or how I learned to embrace the Yee and Haw." specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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