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D&D 3E
I'm running a campaign that takes place on a broken world. The pieces… 
3rd-Dec-2004 10:53 am
I'm running a campaign that takes place on a broken world. The pieces that are left float in space and they travel from island to island having adventures. They're currently on a jungle island and I'm running them through Rana Mor, from a back issue of Dungeon magazine. There's another island nearby, visible from the island they're on now, thet they'll probably go to next. I'd like the next island to have a western feel. It's a rough and tumble frontier town. And I would like to have shoot-outs. The thing about shoot-outs is, they're deadly. Thing about combat in D&D is, it's not. Not immediately anyway. And I don't really want it to be. But what's the threat in being challenged to s ahout-out if, when you lose the shoot-out, you take 1d6 damage? BFD, you know? What I'm considering is using the rennaisance firearms as described in the DMG, only one-shot weapons, but use a house rule that says on a successful critical hit, the target needs to make a Fort Save, DC 10+Attacker's Ranged attack modifier, or drop to zero hit points. What do you think? Too harsh? I'll demonstrate the rule in effect to the PC's before they fall victim to it, so they would know being challenged to a shoot-out is a big deal. And it's not easy to do an instant kill. Anyway, what do you think?
3rd-Dec-2004 03:59 pm (UTC)
Floating islands in the sky? Sounds like a magical world to me.
Who says ballistic physics in your magical realm needs to work in the same way ballistic physics works on Earth. Your gunpowder might not even be sulphur based. I think it's entirely fair to say that 'for whatever reason' if someone manages to shoot you with a 'bullet' you're in deep trouble.

This effect might also only work on the Western island so you can avoid problems with the PCs carrying guns off elsewhere.
3rd-Dec-2004 03:59 pm (UTC)
Just make them duel with wands of lightning bolt. ;)

I do think subverting the hit point system is a big deal. You're essentially saying, "firearms are more dangerous than, say, a huge bolt of lightning or a meteor strike." Hit points are more than your ability to take damage: they're your ability to shrug off damage, your luck, and your divine favor. I suspect players will resent any tampering with the hit point system.

If you want them to be afraid, give them dueling weapons that do lots of damage, or drain levels, or cause ability damage (poisons?), or do something else within the rules as they exist.
3rd-Dec-2004 04:02 pm (UTC)
Combine our suggestions and you might end up with a scene where pistol like weapons shoot black balls of vampiric energy or round crystals of negative energy, etc.
3rd-Dec-2004 04:05 pm (UTC)
or beads of force. perhaps i could come up with an array of exotic ammunition. they all do different things.
3rd-Dec-2004 04:12 pm (UTC)
You have to remember that people can and do survive gunshot wounds. Even multiple gunshot wounds.

If you can accept the idea of a sharpened sword being swung into a human body by a beefy guy causes (however much damage) a few times it is probably comparable to bullet-wound trauma.
3rd-Dec-2004 04:28 pm (UTC)
True - but it's about atmosphere rather than realism. You can die from a single knife thrust in real life as easily as you can survive being stabbed thrice. It all depends on what gets hit. D&D tends to be heroic fantasy and so the rules don't do that.
3rd-Dec-2004 05:11 pm (UTC)
Thats what I'm saying; there's no need to lethalize guns just because they are guns. And certainly not in the name of "realism". Just treat it as any other weapon. Perhaps a 'powerful' weapon (2d6 or 2d8 damage maybe?) but really no special treatment.

3rd-Dec-2004 05:29 pm (UTC)
But if there's the desire to have a "gun fights are lethal" atmosphere then something needs to be done. You want your heroes hiding behind rocks for cover and getting into shoot outs and not charging across the plains with their swords because they know they can take the first two hits.

But it ain't my game, so I'll shush :D
3rd-Dec-2004 05:23 pm (UTC)
why not have a society built up around this dueling idea. Maybe have a priest "officiate' over the duels, creating a "bullet of slaying". Invest the ceremony with some discriptions, let the priest say his mumbo jumbo and give each participant a limited use magic item - duplicates an arrow of slaying, but only against one person (not a type), and in a specific location, and for a limited duration.

I.E it will kill Bob if it hits him, for the next five minutes, in this designated temple.

3rd-Dec-2004 05:40 pm (UTC)
For the average commoner, who uses a D4 for hit points, guns are deadly!

I'm not an expert on the topic, but I've read that firearms - especially dueling pistols - even through the 1700's were extremely inaccurate. Formal duels of that period were more a matter of "playing chicken" than "to the death". (People did die, but it wasn't guaranteed.)

Rifts: New West had a similar problem -- cinematic combat and "invulnerable" PCs -- and came up with a few several ideas. They pretty much came down to no armor, no protective items, no "outside" magical influence, etc. With Detect Magic being a zero-level spell, it's pretty likely that both combatants will be given a once-over to make sure they're not cheating. No NPC will fight a "coward" who won't take off his armor, and will think that something is up if the character won't submit to a trivial magical scan.

Here's a couple of other options:

2nd Edition lacked true critical hits. In Spelljammer campaign, any time you rolled max damage with a firearm, you got to roll another die of damage. (If the next die was the max, you added another one, and so on...)

The bullets could be coated with a heat-tolerant poison that does major damage (2d6 Con). Each additional hit would force a new saving throw, and do more poison damage.

The shootout could be called once first blood is drawn.

You could have an alternate "rapid shot" feat, where a full-round action can be used to fire all six rounds in a six-shooter. Each additional shot could either have a cumulative -2 penalty. Or you could modify rapid shot so that more than one shot can be added, but for each additional attack all attacks take an extra -2 penalty. (But this can only be done for opponents within 20 or 30 feet with accuracy ;)
3rd-Dec-2004 08:32 pm (UTC)
Adapt the Iaijutsu Focus rules from Oriental Adventures... bonus damage for the person to go first and hit the other flat-footed.


Use this skill to gather your personal energy (hi) in an Iaijutsu duel . Check: If you attack a flat-footed opponent immediately after drawing a melee weapon, you can deal extra damage, based on the result of an Iaijutsu Focus check. In addition, if you and your opponent both agree to participate in a formal Iaijutsu duel, your Iaijutsu Focus check replaces your initiative check for the ensuing combat. In an Iaijutsu duel, you and your opponent make opposed Iaijutsu Focus checks, and the winner accumulates extra damage dice according to the accompanying table. You can also use Iaijutsu Focus in preparation for striking an inanimate object, assuming no distractions. Your extra damage is halved, just like your ordinary damage. This is the technique martial artists use to shatter objects.
4th-Dec-2004 02:02 pm (UTC)
perhaps you could add some sort of poison to the bullet/shots. like a d6/d6 Con drain one. That way average commoner would take d6 hp from the shot, plus potentially lose an average of 7 con, which would definitely knock them out.

You'd obviously have to be careful about them taking a pile of bullets with them after.

4th-Dec-2004 09:12 pm (UTC)
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