Thursday, January 26, 2012

Guns and D&D

I played D&D back in the day.  Dungeons and Dragons.  Yeah, I was cool like that.  Lot's of guys were back then.

Well they are coming out with a new version to try to fuse the community back together.  There have been schisms over which rules version is the One True Version.  Arguments over Canon are legendary across the internetz.

Well, there is a common problem.  The game is swords and arrows and magic.  But there is always some munchkin of a player that wands to mix sulphur, charcoal, and saltpetre and thus have a gun.  With this invention he can leapfrog up to USS Iowa and Sherman Tanks, and take over the world, thereby 'winning' Dungeons and Dragons for all time.

How to deal with such shennanigans?

Easy!  Let em have it!  Give them all of it.  Plenty of powder making materials and a 'hand gonne'.  Inform them that while it will do marginally more damage as their crossbow, but at one third the rate of fire.  Plus it's heavier.

They usually respond with, "Well, I invent a Ma Deuce next!"  Fine.  Describe even the fundamental of how to construct a Ma Deuce.  Satisfy a Dungeon Master with that and you only have to wait 200 years of constant study and effort in a single minded industrial pursuit to get the technology up to mere Gatling level.   Sheesh.


elmo iscariot said...

I never got the opposition to guns in D&D. Like you say, it's all in the rate of fire--and accuracy, for that matter, since we're talking medieval hand gonnes.

Now, if a character in one of my games wants to invest the time and RPG capital into developing a selfloading hand gonne based on magic, using the bow and crossbow equivalents as a precedent... Well, he will have impressed the DM enough to have earned it.

Bubblehead Les. said...

On a related note: I remember the one time I went to Pennsic with my Girlfriend-at-the-time, and I was surprised to hear a Cannon going off. This would be in the late 80's. I asked her "Hey, I thought this was SCA! No Guns Allowed!" She told me that, under the Rules at the Time, that the Cutoff Date was about the Time of Columbus, and there were Guns in use. But she also said that a lot of people in SCA REALLY didn't like it, but where does one draw the line?

I think this would happen to D+D.

But hey, there's always the Off Switch, right?

Thirdpower said...

A good DM can counter anything. Does the character have the appropriate metalurgical/chemical knowledge to create such a device? If not, they can't do it.
If they try anyway, plan for a hell of a critical malfunction in the metal assuming the mixes are exactly right.

Now let's assume they manage to build one successfully, such a weapon would attract attention. Especially those who want such power for themselves.

Oddball said...

My thoughts are "you want to role play in a world with guns? fine... play a system with guns." Otherwise, nope, sorry.

Oh, and for the record, I once played an insane vampire chemist that ran around fighting other vampires (White Wolf World of Darkness setting) with a paintball gun with paintballs filled with white phosphorous. The GM and I came up with the rules for it with the full knowledge that it could turn out very bad for me if it malfunctioned/something hit it. So, I'm no stranger to odd concepts.

I Am McThag said...

My gaming group quit DnD before there was a second edition AD&D.

Traveller and Twilight 2000 were more our thing. We occasionally had the opposite problem in T2K of someone wanting to use a sword. No rule for swords...

We moved on to GURPS because we wanted real rules to mix and match technology. Did you know a standard fantasy world still works pretty well if the tech is old-west?

SCA's time frame goes into the realm of the snaphance; but the founders, being Californians, detested the implications of that and were active in discouraging persona from eras with such things.