7
\$\begingroup\$

My game has renaissance firearms (Chapter 9: DMG, Firearms) and the rogue is proficient with a Pistol (1d10 piercing, 3lb, Ammunition (range 30/90), loading.

He has a custom feat that works similar to Crossbow Expert:

Through a combination of smithing, tinkering and ingenuity, you've discovered how to craft firearms.

You gain proficiency with firearms. You can now ignore the loading property of one-handed firearms. Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls with one-handed firearms.

He's also attempting to use Two-Weapon Fighting to wield a shortsword at the same time. (Chapter 9: PHB, Combat, Two-Weapon Fighting)

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you're holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you're holding in the other hand. You don't add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.

If either weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon, instead of making a melee attack with it.

From what I understand, he cannot dual wield a Renaissance Pistol and a Shortsword as 1) They aren't both light, and 2) They aren't both melee

My question is what should I do to follow the rules more closely, as well as help the rogue out? This style has become part of their character.

I found this for the Crossbow Expert Feat:

When you use the Attack action and attack with a one-handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a hand crossbow you are holding.

How do I modify this feat to get the two weapon pistol and sword style to fit better?

The character concept is a swashbuckling sword and pistol rogue. I feel that if I just added the above text, the feat would be overpowered.


Alternatives that I have looked into and that I don't really like (hence this question):

  1. I am considering nerfing his pistol from 1d10 piercing to 1d8 piercing and giving it the light property so that he can dual wield it, even though it's not melee.

  2. Ignore the fact that it's not melee;

  3. Stick to RAW and tell him too bad the game doesn't work that way?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ You have already answered your question. Whether you should modify anything is opinion based. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega May 30 '18 at 15:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, if you modify this question to ask perhaps if a houserule allowing this happen is balanced, I think this could be reopened \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose May 30 '18 at 16:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I have edited this question to get it away from "should" and into a more acceptable homebrew style "how do I make this work in a more balanced way" style question. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 30 '18 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's what I don't understand about these types of homebrew balance question. "Is this balanced" is just a roundabout "Should I?" I think this question would better be served it it were just about one homebrew feat or similar, instead of still including all the untested ideas; The "should" is still implied. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o May 30 '18 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jason_c_o Homebrew balance questions are not about "Should I" but rather "Will this be balanced?" - Balancing is not opinion based. We can objectively compare the homebrew to existing content and tell if it is way better or worse than it, from experience with the existing content and possible similar tests we've made ourselves. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint May 31 '18 at 6:25
15
\$\begingroup\$

RAW? Not really; "Two-Weapon Fighting" is for melee weapons.

You provided the quote yourself, but I'll add the emphasis:

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you're holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you're holding in the other hand.

Crossbow Expert vs. Your Feat

You've found the nearest equivalent to pistol-and-sword in RAW 5e. You've built some of it into your custom feat, but you left out the part that would allow a pistol-and-sword style.

When you use the Attack action and attack with a one-handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a hand crossbow (pistol) you are holding.

As a result, you have allowed the less-realistic of the two options. Loading a black powder weapon is a long, complicated, multi-stage process; you have to load the powder, pack the ball, pack the wad, then load the primer. Typically, black powder pistoleros carry more than one gun.

How to solve your problem simply

  1. Apply the bonus-action-shot rule from Crossbow Expert.

  2. Have your pistelerogue carry more than one pistol.

    Instead of messing with Loading, adjust the custom feat to make drawing and holstering not require an action. Characters with larger numbers of attacks or who expect to maintain fire for multiple rounds will have to purchase multiple weapons. If pistols are suitably rare, that will serve as your balancing factor.

Experience base for this homebrew modification

I've done something similar for a pirate game in D&D 3.5, but the idea applies equally to D&D 5e.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Like your answer; hope you like the edit (format and flow; if pistolerogue was a step too far, by all means revert/edit again :) ) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 30 '18 at 16:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Pistolerogue? I only wish I thought of it. :) \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. May 30 '18 at 17:15
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Per pistol's ammunition property one still needs a free hand to reload, so dual-wielding without multiple pistols is out of the question entirely. \$\endgroup\$ – AntiDrondert May 31 '18 at 6:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AntiDrondert Which is what T.J.L. was saying. Even if you could load them with a full hand (you can wield a shield with the Crossbow Feat and shoot twice, after all), there's still the issue of reload time, which is why his solution is to not deal with the loading/ammunition aspect in combat, and just have multiple single shot pistols. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Aug 17 '18 at 15:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't mean to cut in, but I was going to ask the same thing (with the hand crossbow.) Just to clarify, if I had a crossbow loaded and ready, having cast Ensnaring Strike on my last turn, and had to choose to either take a shot at a mage to break his concentration with the vines or defend against my attacker, I could use dual wield to do both? \$\endgroup\$ – Victor B Mar 9 at 10:03
1
\$\begingroup\$

The RAW doesn't allow for dual wielding.

It appears that you understand the rules as written, and exactly how you would be deviating from them.

Alternative within RAW

You could allow the character to hold both weapons in such a way that one or the other could be used without having to drop the other. In that way, they can shoot or melee in a round.

Alternative weapon

Modify the pistol in such a way that it can be used as a melee weapon. Perhaps add a blade to the front. Modify the damage to 1d6 piercing ranged or melee.

Reloading

Either way the character will not be able to reload the weapon without a free hand.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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