Wolfgang Baur was kind enough to treat me to an advance copy of Kobold Quarterly Issue 7 in October, and one article in particular caught my eye. John Flemming’s “Powder Burn: Spells of the Gun” covers magic for using firearms in your third edition D&D game. It’s a topic I’ve given some thought to in the past, so I’m happy to see that I’m not alone in this.
First, a quick primer on firearms. The Dungeon Master’s Guide gives us statistics on renaissance guns, which require the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms) feat to use without penalty:
Pistol, one-handed exotic ranged weapon. Cost 250 gp, damage 1d10 (1d8 Small), critical x3, range increment 50ft., weight 3lbs, damage type piercing. Standard action to reload.
Musket, one-handed exotic ranged weapon. Cost 500 gp, damage 1d12 (1d10 Small), critical x3, range increment 150ft., weight 10lbs, damage type piercing. Standard action to reload.
Any setting with firearms is likely to develop firearm enhancements and protections against firearms, and that’s where this article is of interest. The first spell listed is barrier cloth, which converts piercing damage to nonlethal. Next, blunderbuss burst targets an opponent’s firearm and sabotages it to explode when fired. Similarly defensive is misfire, which fouls your opponents’ weapons and makes them useless until reloaded.
In the offensive spells we have deadeye, halfing range penalties for all ranged weapons and Spot checks the caster makes, a level 1 bard/cleric/ranger spell with a duration of one minute per level. Higher level is heart seeker, in which a bullet drills its way to your opponent’s heart for an instant kill, musket brigade, which conjures a deadly firing squad, and wall of powder, a thick barrier of black powder.
You can find Powder Burn and twelve more D&D articles for third and fourth edition in Kobold Quarterly #7, available at the Kobold Quarterly Store.
Edit: A few more have chimed in with their reviews on KQ7:
- KQ7 Editorial: Fair Games or Fun Ones?
- Dungeon Mastering.com: What everybody ought to know about rogues
- Gnome Stew: Troy’s Crock Pot: At Full Gallop at the KQ Carnival
- Ogre Cave: Interview: Stan!
- Musings of the Chatty DM: Adventure Prep: Of Airships, Feys and Player Input
- Atomic Array: Episode 009: Kobold Quarterly 007