Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm going for an Old West feel; my players wanted something like Shadowrun but Western instead of Cyberpunk (I love my players so much). Think Trigun with halflings and dragons. They like Pathfinder, and the Talenta Plains in Eberron seemed appropriate, so I thought, "Hey, guns, cool":

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateCombat/combat/firearms.html

But the Guns Everywhere rule bothers me, because guns are too expensive to be "commonplace" or "widespread."

Guns Everywhere: Guns are commonplace. Early firearms are seen as antiques, and advanced firearms are widespread. Firearms are simple weapons, and early firearms, advanced guns, and their ammunition are bought or crafted for 10% of the cost listed in this chapter. The gunslinger loses the gunsmith class feature and instead gains the gun training class feature at 1st level.

Even at 90% off, 500 gp for a rifle, other things being equal, is way too much. It makes little sense to arm common law enforcement nor soldiery with a weapon like that, nevermind an outlaw gang or a frontiersman wanting a hunting weapon.

So I'm thinking about "Guns Everywhere, No Really," which is my house rule that's identical to Guns Everywhere except that firearms (non-alchemical ammo) are 2% of the listed price. That puts guns in the affordable range (only a little more, give or take, than a crossbow).

The question is, how dangerous is it to do this? Will I break the game in some way I can't forsee? Making touch attacks this common seems to be risky.


Update: Several people said very useful things. Thank you! I've upvoted where appropriate. Here's a compilation which taken together seems to tell me what I need to know. A better way to word my question is probably, "What will change when guns really are everywhere?"

somori had the biggest realization of all:

It will have an effect, because people won't bother with armor. There's no reason to get weighed down/slowed/possibly drowned if people can easily and cheaply shoot at your touch AC instead.

Shannon John Clark was the most thorough about firearm tactics (reworded for clarity):

If you want your players to have fun do make sure that you give them encounters on a grand scale -- guns in a close quarters dungeon get ugly (and fairly simple) fast, though closing and taking/triggering AoO's becomes important. Encounters that involve complex geography and range will make spells & guns more fun and complex to play. Also make sure you understand and are consistent in enforcing cover and concealment and lighting rules (this holds true whatever type of guns you use and equally if you have other ranged characters).

Gates VP said interesting things about tactics, equipment, and magic items:

If you want to includes "advanced" weapons, be ready to really expand your battlefields. melee attackers will start carrying tower shields for cover. Wizards will be watching the ranges on their spells (fireball > rifle). Magic weapons will have smaller bonuses as "Lucky" will be the defacto first buff (after +1).

Thanks everybody.

share|improve this question
    
you can certainly answer your own questions - with an answer. If you just want to say what other answers you liked, up here's the place. –  mxyzplk Oct 17 '12 at 22:22
    
I guess we disagree about whether or not the answers I liked "tell me what I need to know," or in other words, answer my questions. –  tex Oct 17 '12 at 23:14
    
not really, why? –  mxyzplk Oct 18 '12 at 0:00
    
Well I kind of explain it in the preamble: "Here's a compilation which taken together seems to tell me what I need to know." In other words, taken together, people provided an answer. Just so happens that nobody did it individually. –  tex Oct 18 '12 at 2:02
    
Sure. And on SEs that's customarily done in this way. –  mxyzplk Oct 18 '12 at 2:15
show 1 more comment

4 Answers 4

Worth also considering that at 10% of the listed prices guns become cheaper than magic weapons and not much more than Masterwork weapons. I'd suggest trying things at the published price point before making thing really cheap or really available - consider that after the first few levels most humanoids your party would be facing would have some magical weapons (or at least masterwork) - at 10% they could easily have guns as well/instead.

And definitely look at the wide range of gun archetypes for nearly every class in the game - I'd think in such a world people would love to play a Spellslinger (wizard with an arcane bonded gun) or a Holy Gun (paladin with a divine bonded gun)

Which could be really fun even with the rules of Early Guns let along the rules for Advanced Guns.

The key thing about early guns is action economy and misfire chances. (as well as maneuvering for range & for gunslingers careful use of Grit). Advanced guns will make it far easier for characters to rapidly reload & fire weapons (with early guns it takes specialized archetypes like the Musket Master + the Rapid Reload feat + relatively expensive Alchemical Cartridges to get to the "reload as free action" speeds required to perform iterative attacks with a gun. Until then reloading guns means that gun users can't just take many shots every turn - and even with all that you have to make sure that people are tracking ammunition when it comes to guns (even with unlimited money and magical bags of holding/hand haversacks or the new item from Ultimate Equipment designed to hold lots of ammunition there is still a limit to how much a gun user can have readily available.

(and re the length of combats - I've regularly run Pathfinder Society games at the 4-5 level tiers with combats that stretched for double digit rounds - helped that the players kept triggering additional encounters while dealing with one encounter)

If you want your players to have fun do make sure that you give them encounters on a grand scale - guns in a close quarters dungeon get ugly (and fairly simple) fast - though closing and taking/triggering AoO's becomes important) - encounters than involve complex geography and range will make spells & guns more fun and complex to play. Also make sure you understand and are consistent in enforcing cover and concealment and lighting rules (this holds true whatever type of guns you use and equally if you have other ranged characters)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Note that not all guns have a ridiculous ranged touch attack.

"Early" firearms only do touch attacks within their first range increment, typically 50 or less. (often much less). "Advanced firearms" like the rifle have an amazing range (80ft), with touch attacks out to 5x that, but the "advanced" list is pretty short.

Honestly, we had a gunslinger in our group and without the advanced firearms, the range thing really becomes an issue. The one-handed guns are all 30 ft or less, so you can get a round of "touch" attacks but you will then be harassed by the monster if he survives that round. Especially at higher levels with flying, teleporting, reach monsters, trying to play around the 30 foot range is a big deal.

If you keep it to "early" weapons, the game does not really break too much. Dex becomes more important and Dodge / Deflection bonuses are a bigger deal. You'll also see damage resistance take on a bigger role. Remember that guns don't have a damage bonus modifier. Weapon fighters still get to plow strength bonuses into their attacks + power attack, but guns do not have great static damage.

If you want to includes "advanced" weapons, be ready to really expand your battlefields. melee attackers will start carrying tower shields for cover. Wizards will be watching the ranges on their spells (fireball > rifle). Magic weapons will have smaller bonuses as "Lucky" will be the defacto first buff (after +1).

All in all, I don't think you really "break" Pathfinder with that change. But I think it is worth thinking out the world in advance and identifying which changes are going to happen as a result.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Rule number 1: This is your world. Your rule. If you think that firearms would be common to the point of like, even the commoner protects his farm with a shotgun, hey..go for it!

Just keep in mind that you would have to make the guns Martial weapon instead of requiring a specific feat. So that any military-grade training will provide training with guns. Or maybe even simple weapon (depending if you use gunpowder or alchemical shells). Because it's not that hard to pull a trigger and point a certain direction.

Guns are really powerful in Pathfinder. I noticed that when I had two gunslingers at my table. I would throw them monsters with damage reduction and lots of touch AC..because your player will shoot and kill everything at range.

Also, if guns are that common, players shouldn't feel like they are the only guys in town with them right? If everyone has guns, even the goblins ambushing them on the road will be a really interesting encounter.

share|improve this answer
2  
+1 for martial training in guns and the potential for simple. Also for sharing pathfinder experience with two gunslingers. Never played that through, so will keep that in mind. –  LitheOhm Oct 14 '12 at 21:17
4  
On the subject of firearm proficiency, it's worth noting that they were originally adopted not because they were particularly good weapons (they weren't, and many countries had longbowmen who were more effective), but because they were a lot simpler to train soldiers in. Even early firearms (which did require some training rather than "point & shoot") were much simpler to learn to use proficiently than were swords, shields, or bows. –  KRyan Oct 15 '12 at 21:25
2  
@tex Rudeness when people take time to answer your questions is generally unwise, even if you don't get anything out of the answer. MrJinPengyou, responding to squabble with squabble is similarly generally unwise. Pruning comments. –  mxyzplk Oct 17 '12 at 19:59
    
@mxyzplk & MrJinPengyou, I'm sorry if I got rude; I was mostly being brief, too brief it seems. Yet I think in one patch I did in fact get snippy. I apologize for that. –  tex Oct 17 '12 at 20:52
add comment

It will have an effect, because people won't bother with armor. There's no reason to get weighed down/slowed/possibly drowned if people can easily and cheaply shoot at your touch AC instead.

From the sounds of it, that's an intended effect of moving things into an Old West style world.

The unintended consequences are likely to be in what makes the scissors against gun's paper and armor's rock. You may find that you have to add more hit points to everything to make encounters last a similar length of time.

share|improve this answer
    
That sounds right to me too regarding armor being devalued. It's kind of okay with me if encounters are shorter, provided it's moving from, say, d6+6 rounds per comabt to 2d4 rounds. I don't want to move to 1d3 rounds! –  tex Oct 14 '12 at 1:40
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.