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08-24-1998, 06:00 AM #1Tim NuttingGuest
I have never liked the "well - guns just don't work in this setting...
because they don't" excuse.
There really is no reason why something that works in real life should be
barred from a game, just because. If the players and DM are happy not
having firearms in their game, fine... more power to them. Same for a
group that likes guns.
Guns don't need to have the DM god come down and say no, likewise they
should not need semi-magical "smoke powder" to make them workable, the
elements are common enough, or should be. However, guns have some glaring
A new technology. First off, the "gunpowder" material should already be
around in any fantasy world that claims to have a culture equivalent to the
Renaissance. Whether or not an actual gun has been developed is another
story. Now, because it's new - there better be a really damn good reason
why the PC's nation came up with it, and if ANY PC comes up with the words
"it's simple"... waste 'em. Ideally, at least to me, the weapon should be
introduced by the DM through a lone inventor or in the hands of the enemy.
In BR, the Brecht are the race most likely to develop the weapon, and I can
see many Brechtish guilds just happy jolly to feed the Anuirean warlords
this new toy. The weapons should also be exceedingly primitive. Matchlock
at the best, and the first issues should be at least twice as likely to
fail as the standard book issue. These weapons need lots of work to be any
good at all, and it will take a long time, far longer than the life of most
campaigns I daresay. Here the DM must decide if guns are new, or if they
have existed for a time.
It's an idiot's weapon. The gun was made so that any peasant could aim his
weapon downrange and blow a hole through his enemy. It is highly
unchivalrous, as it lends an "unfair" advantage on the first shot, thus any
lord who uses such a peasant's tool should be highly ridiculed at best, and
laughed out of power at worst. Until a marksman class evolves in his or
her culture - the gun will remain a fool's weapon. (At least in Anuire)
It is inherently inferior to the bow. This statement hinges on the concept
that this is a new tech to some degree, but consider this as an idea posted
some time ago to the list. What happens to the line of musketeers on the
battlefield when a fireball goes off in their midst? How about this...
give an enterprising wizard a few months, and he comes up with a spell
specifically designed to destroy gunpowder in a given region...
explosively. A battle spell like this used once or twice to eradicate an
entire unit of soldier will have any lord thinking twice about introducing
such soldiers with such expensive weapons, even though they be for
peasants. Now - one wizard with this spell would keep it a secret as a
matter of realm security, but how long before others duplicate his
discoveries and mimic his spell? Imagine that on a grander scale with a
wizard casting a horizontal lightning bolt through the artillerist unit
equipped with bombards. *Boom* Soon the musket becomes more of a target
than some fortifications, and just as vulnerable. Now we get to some other
inferiorities, the most glaring of which is the rate of fire. I learned
today that the standard for royal archers in the 1200s in England was thus:
12 hits with 12 arrows in 1 minute on a single man-sized target at 200
paces. Archers are DEADLY. Conversely, if you are very good with a musket
you can reload it in just about one minute. The chances of doing it right
though in battle are even more scarce and make the average time jump up a
Cost effectiveness. How much money to equip and train 100 men (or 200 if
you are a die hard member of the "every unit is exactly 200 men" camp)
with matchlock muskets and have them battle ready? Now, how much money to
hire a wizard to accompany the general's unit? And would you even need to
hire the wizard if he was family? It may sound silly, but I was just
playing the new Warhammer computer game: Dark Omen. In one battle
scenario against the orcs I had but one wizard as a full, lone unit, and
his power was absolutely immense. Just the way the enemy would scatter
when a well placed ball of fire lashed their ranks... beautiful. By
contrast, my artillerists were a pain in the butt. Granted, the AI had
something to do with it, but it was difficult to time their bombardment
with raking attacks by cavalry.
Well... with that...
08-24-1998, 09:43 AM #2TriztGuest
On 24-Aug-98, you wrote:
- -> So, has anyone incorporated guns into their games? I'm working on
- -> for a mortar unit (mortars, the little short squat cannons, were the
- -> gunpowder weapons I believe), which I think at least Avanil, Ghoere,
- -> Boeruine, and probably Muden would have at this point. Any thoughts?
Oh no, one who's making BR more like FR.
//Trizt of Ward^RITE
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08-26-1998, 06:51 AM #3Daniel McSorleyGuest
>-> So, has anyone incorporated guns into their games? I'm working on
>-> for a mortar unit (mortars, the little short squat cannons, were the
>-> gunpowder weapons I believe), which I think at least Avanil, Ghoere,
>-> Boeruine, and probably Muden would have at this point. Any thoughts?
>Oh no, one who's making BR more like FR.
> //Trizt of Ward^RITE
That was entirely uncalled for. BR is the only setting to incorporate
technological advancement, and much as you seem to be denying it, that will
lead to things like guns, eventually. Besides, who's worse, me saying that
guns might have, possibly, arrived in a Renaissance culture, or the guy that
replied to me saying, "Yeah, but then you just cast a Chain Lightning and
all the gunpowder explodes." If you like a static setting, that's fine, but
BR seems to be the most dynamic setting there is. Borders change, rulers
age, die, and are replaced (how long has Azoun ruled, anyway? like 3000
years or something), and yes, technology does advance. It would have an
even better reason to be advancing in BR, where the political dynamic
enforces survival of the fittest with brutal efficiency.
Daniel McSorley- email@example.com
08-26-1998, 08:13 AM #4Gary V. FossGuest
Daniel McSorley wrote:
> >Oh no, one who's making BR more like FR.
> > //Trizt of Ward^RITE
> That was entirely uncalled for. BR is the only setting to incorporate
> technological advancement, and much as you seem to be denying it, that will
> lead to things like guns, eventually. Besides, who's worse, me saying that
> guns might have, possibly, arrived in a Renaissance culture, or the guy that
> replied to me saying, "Yeah, but then you just cast a Chain Lightning and
> all the gunpowder explodes." If you like a static setting, that's fine, but
> BR seems to be the most dynamic setting there is. Borders change, rulers
> age, die, and are replaced (how long has Azoun ruled, anyway? like 3000
> years or something), and yes, technology does advance. It would have an
> even better reason to be advancing in BR, where the political dynamic
> enforces survival of the fittest with brutal efficiency.
> FRish indeed!
I don't think he meant it as much more than a tongue in cheek remark. It's
often hard to convey tone in typing (and emoticons are sometimes a little
dumb...) but I don't think Trizt meant to be snide or anything.... Oh, I could
be wrong, but it doesn't help to get offended by the comment. I mean, I don't
like technological advancement much either. I don't think it makes sense to
have gunpowder in BR. I've already stated that I have no probelm with simply
ruling that the physical laws are different in an AD&D world. In fact, that's
what I do in my campaigns. After all, magic exists, therefore, the physical
laws of the world are different. If a player disagrees with me, I welcome him
to cast a charm person spell on me and simply tell me to change my mind.
Barring that, I think I'm sticking by my ruling.
Besides, if there is a FRish influence around here, I'm probably it! :-) [Note
the incredibly stupid use of the emoticon.] After all, I've advocating more
magic items, I've made arguments that there are literally thousands of mages
running around Cerilia and I've tried to get everybody to allow non-blooded
rulers to collect RPs based upon their experience level rather than just
bloodline.... In the immortal words of Elminster: Bwuahahahaha!
Anyway, here's an idea I've been thinking about recently:
Wizard regents are screwed. They get no GBs/domain turn, no infrastructure
along with their source holdings, no right to raise troops from sources, have to
pay RPs to maintain ley lines or they fizzle away (though very few people seem
to use this rule--I tossed it out sometime in the middle of the first gaming
session myself) and all of their realm spells affect provinces on a political or
military basis. Why would a mage want to become a source holder? For the
power? The power is all directed towards politics. Why not control a province
or two rather than sources? You get taxes that way. It makes your role as
regent much easier if you don't have to take a month and burn massive RPs just
to conjure up a few GBs.
Sure there are those people in the world who actually LIKE being in the
political sphere. But mages are supposed to be guys dedicated to their mystical
studies, aren't they? Why throw your gauntlet into the political ring if you
are really just interested in magic?
Controlling sources grants very few actual benefits to a mage on a personal
power level. If he controls all the sources of the realm he can walk about in
it as if he were a natural part of the province; the animals do not flee from
him, and the bees presumably do not sting. He can dance about like Julie
Andrews in The Sound of Music, singing The Hills are Alive, but so what?
Petting bunnies is not what being a wizard is all about.
Here are a few ideas I have for making mages with sources more equitable with
other regents, or at least give them a few reasons why they might be interested
in getting control of a source or two and fight to keep them.
1. When in a province in which a mage controls sources, the wizard can tap the
magical energies of the source to increase the power of the spells he casts. He
may add the level of the source (or the level of the highest source on a ley
line to that province) to his level for the purposes of determining the spell
duration, area of effect, etc. of the spell. For example, a 4th level wizard in
a province in which he controls a source 3 would be considered 7th level for
determining the effects of the spells he cast. Instead of two magic missiles,
he produces four. A Detect Invisibility spell (Duration: 5 rds/level, Area of
Effect: 10 yds/level) would last thirty-five rounds, not twenty and reach
seventy yards. A wizard gains no actual levels from this ability. He can still
cast only 3 first and 2 second level spells.
2. A mage who stays in a province in which he controls a source heals a number
of hit points per day equal to his normal healing rate plus the level of the
source in the province, or the highest level source on a ley line to the
3. A wizard effectively has the Survival proficiency in any province in which he
controls all the sources.
4. A wizard also has the ability to work with untrained, natural animals in a
province in which he controls all the sources as a ranger of equal (unmodified)
5. A wizard in control of all sources in a province can cast the equivalent of a
Commune With Nature spell in that province 1/month at the level determined by #1
above.. Only one such casting is possible, even if the mage controls all the
sources in more than one province.
6. In a province in which a wizard controls all the sources he may cast Locate
Animals or Plants 1/day at the level determined by #1 above.
7. In a province in which he controls all the sources, the wizard gains the
druid ability to identify plants, animals and pure water.
8. A mage can disperse magical energies away from him, giving him a +1 on saving
throws vs. spells per 3 levels of sources controlled in the province, or the
highest level source on a ley line connected to the province in which he is in.
That is +1 for sources 1-3, +2 for 4-6 and +3 for sources 7+.
9. Saving throws for targets of a mage that are in a province in which he
controls sources are at -1 for every 3 levels of the source, as above.
Anyway, that's what I've come up with off the top of my head. What do you guys
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