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A friend of mine is planning for a campaign in a colonial/pirate setting, and is planning on re-skinning crossbows as firearms, (i.e. light crossbow = musket, hand crossbow = flintlock), but I was wondering if there were already rules for such weaponry.

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You may find this thread interesting. :) – OpaCitiZen Jan 14 '13 at 13:33
up vote 13 down vote accepted

The 3.5e Dungeon Master's Guide has some rules for firearms in the Building a Different World section (p144).

Page 145 provides details for Renaissance weapons: pistol, musket, bomb and smokebomb. It also provides some details and considerations for how gunpowder and firearms work. They're stronger or as strong as a heavy crossbow, but have some different drawbacks.

In addition, the following page details Modern and Futuristic weaponry (from revolvers to antimatter rifles). The game is much less prepared for how powerful these are, though! You may be able to use the futuristic weapons if you reskin them as powerful magic weapons.

Bear in mind this is all a starting point. The chapter containing these rules is provided as a sort of springboard rather than a complete ruleset.

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They'd make good "magic items" in a Return to the Barrier Peaks adventure, though. – SevenSidedDie Jan 11 '13 at 4:54
My friend saw the DMG rules for firearms. He liked the stats, but since the campaign was more colonial than Renaissance, he lowered the weight and price of them and made them Martial weapons since by this point they were theoretically more efficient and commonplace than in the Renaissance period. – Cobalt Jan 14 '13 at 22:51

Pathfinder has some gun rules available, as well as an entire gun-themed base class. Both are fairly weak (about the power level of a 3.5 soulknife) but if it's gotta be Guns or Bust, it might be worth looking into.

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The strong point for firearms in PF is that you target a victims touch AC rather than their full AC, which is rather nice. I don't think that's the same in 3.5 – Rob Jan 11 '13 at 9:08

Pre-existing sources of d20-compatible blackpowder weaponry include (just what I can remember right now):

  • Dungeon Master's Guide (p. 144 and on)
  • Pathfinder
  • d20 Modern system
  • Iron Heroes campaign setting

Frankly speaking, for a setting you describe the DMG rules are more than enough. You will have to work a bit if you want more detail, and you will definitely have to add cannons (reskinning existing siege weapons, probably), but open DMG and you're set.

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Pathfinder is probably the best bet for more in depth 3.5 compatible rules -- I'd list that before d20 Modern or Iron Heroes, which will make some (possibly hidden) assumptions about the rules. – starwed Jan 12 '13 at 20:48
Agreed, such an assumption won't be what I intend. Bumped Pathfinder. – Jeor Mattan Jan 12 '13 at 22:58

Besides the DMG (see previous answers by others), issue #321 of Dragon Magazine dealt with guns. You should try and get a copy of it (see my link, but you might want to run a google search as well for other options / sellers.)

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