Saturday, October 25, 2014

Colonial Era Firearms and Armor (OSR)

These weapons were notoriously inaccurate do to lack of rifling in most barrels, thus the reduced range increments compared to more advanced firearms. Volley fire was popular because it threw out a storm of lead balls to hit targets; inaccuracy is less of a problem this way.

Firearms Descriptions
Pocket Pistol
The pocket pistol be reasonably well hidden within one’s hand or coat pocket. Such pistols are a favorite weapon of last resort among rogues, gamblers, the clergy, and the nobility.

Flintlock Pistol
Pistols are small enough to be carried stuck through a character's belt or waistband, and can easily be concealed beneath a cloak. They are popular, come in a huge variety of styles and decorations, and are common self defense weapons.

Horse Pistol
The horse pistol is larger, up to eighteen inches long and weighting several pounds. It was developed for use by cavalry. The soldiers would typically carry them in holsters slung over their saddles. Horse pistols are fitted with a large ball at the bottom of the grip. The ball makes it less likely that the weapon would be dropped when drawn on a moving horse and also makes it an effective club, in which case it inflicts 1d4 points of damage.

The musket was a long gun that weighed in at around 9 pounds and was almost 5 feet in total length. For close combat a bayonet was added onto the end, which was quite necessary in those times. During battle muskets were not always accurate and because they took so long to load in between shots, the enemy could advance, not giving enough time to get another shot out. The bayonet helped to give the soldier another weapon to work with once the enemy got too close. Muskets are common throughout the colonies, used for defense and for hunting.

Carbine Musket
The carbine is a lighter, shortened weapon developed for the cavalry to replace the musket which was cumberson to fire on horseback. True Cavalry had to ride with some agility and engage in sword-wielding melees with opposing cavalry so carrying anything long would be a dangerous practice. Carbines were short enough to be loaded and fired from horseback but this was, in the field of combat, rarely done.
A carbine was typically no longer than a sheathed sabre, both arranged to hang with their tops clear of the rider’s elbows and bottoms clear of the horse’s legs.

Kentucky Rifle/Long Rifle
The Kentucky Rifle or Long Rifle is characterized by a long graceful stock and a rifled barrel longer than that of a musket. It had a smaller caliber bore and was famous for firing further and being more accurate than any other rifle in the Colonies. It was popular with frontiersmen and anyone who relied on hunting as their primary source of food. Owners and their long rifles were also sought after as sniper's in battle.

The English (or French) Fowler
The fowler was a type of bird gun. As such it was always a smooth bore gun and fired small shot. It generally had a relatively long barrel, sometimes as long as 50 or more inches.They were relatively slender guns; they were not as heavy as military muskets and lacket a bayonet lug. The fowler gun was to be found in early colonial days and was carried during the early revolution when "citizen soldiers" were required to provide their own firearm for duty. As a weapon against man, they were loaded with buckshot or with a round ball (2d6, 40'.)

The Blunderbuss
The Blunderbuss has a flared, trumpet-like barrel and fires lead shot in a wide pattern. The weapon is just over 30 inches in length. The blunderbuss can fire nearly anything poured down it’s barrel in a pinch: gravel, nails, small scrap metal, etc.
HOWEVER, this can be a really bad idea as it will damage the bore of the gun, resulting in a misfire of a 1 OR 2 on the d20 attack roll.

When this dagger-sized blade is attached to the barrel beneath the muzzle of a musket, rifle or carbine the bayonet transforms the firearm into an improvised spear. Musket-mounted bayonets may be set against charging opponents and an unattached bayonet may be used as a dagger.

Flintlock Firearm Characteristics
Reload time for flintlock weapons:
Two rounds, fire on the third.
Any action other than walking requires a Dex check otherwise the reload fails and must be started again,

Dampness/Wet Weather
In light rain there is a 25% chance of failure to fire.
Medium rain raises the chance to 75%.
Heavy rain or immersion in water is an automatic failure.

This is rolled each round that the weapon is used under these conditions.
If it does fail to fire due to dampness then the gun must be cleaned and dried to be useable, this takes at least a half hour. Snaplocks and matchlocks cannot be reloaded in the rain. 

The Dangers of firearms:  
For various reasons, firearms occasionally misfire. 
If the attack roll is a 1, the weapon does not fire. The DM should roll 2d6:
2-3 Explosion
4-7 Fouled barrel
8-12 Hangfire

An explosion inflicts 2d6 damage on the character holding the firearm, or 1d6 on a save vs. death. 
The gun is destroyed. 

A fouled barrel ruins the shot and renders the gun useless until carefully cleaned, taking 1d3 x 10 minutes.

A hangfire goes off 1d3 rounds later then it should. If the user keeps the gun lined on target he can make a normal attack when it fires.

If a character takes massive fire damage (such as from a fireball or being thrown into a burning fireplace, etc), the DM will decide on a d6 (typically 1 or 2 but possibly higher if the DM warrants it) if containers containing powder for reloads is breached by the fire. If a breach occurs, the black powder ignites and inflicts 1d2 points of damage on the character for every charge carried. 

Double Barrel Firearms  
Double barreled versions of rifles and pistols can be purchased or commissioned but are very expensive. The design can be side by side barrels with their own igniton systems or a revolving barrel which hs it's own primer pan but is twisted around to the flint and trigger mechanism. 

Repairing Firearms
Gunsmithing (Int check)
Characters with a background with firearms can build and repair firearms and make bullet molds. 

If the check for building fails, the weapon is damaged, and it explodes the first time it is used, causing 1d8 points of damage to the user. Any failed repair check indicates that the character breaks something in the firearm being fixed, necessitating two subsequent successful checks to repair it. 

Heavy Coat/Soft Leather AC +1
Heavy Leather Vest/Jacket AC +2
Mail (Very rarely used) AC +4
Breast Plate AC +5
Shield (Very rarely used) +1
Helm +4 to head (50% cover)

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