Firearms and DD


Player character options and their spells

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Post Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:44 am

Firearms and DD

Ways (and anyone else interested in commenting),

I'm in the extremely early stages of contemplating a game that takes the DD combat system and adapts it to North America around 1800. A Lewis & Clark-style game of exploration, if that reference doesn't elude the non-American members of the audience.

Can you recommend a ruleset that explains the firearms of that age in DD/OD&D terms, or would you rather try to hash out some house rules here?

This can be a "slow boiling" thread if the latter; I'm in no rush.
Chiron the Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 4/4, FC Man, L) dagger+torch, The Mellifluent Concord
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Post Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:05 am

Re: Firearms and DD

Might want to look at the Dark Dungeon rules, Sully. It's another ODD retro. They use smooth bore muskets with what they term Red Powder.

Class limitations, damage, and cost covered on pg 52 and weapon details on pg 62 of the free manual.
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Post Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:47 am

Re: Firearms and DD

Although it's not precisely "D&D", my first port of call would be TSR's original Boot Hill.

What do you need, specifically? Equipment lists? costs? firearm ranges? something else?
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]
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Post Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Firearms and DD

Just wanted to pop in and say a DD game in a setting similar to the Lewis & Clark expedition sounds really cool. Role Play would be important.

Of particular note in regards to Lewis & Clark, take a look at this weapon. The Air Rifle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pqFyKh-rUI

DD Combat is abstract and all but when weapons are so different in concept I think they deserve a bit of extra attention rules wise. :)
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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:11 pm

Re: Firearms and DD

Thanks, Idrahil. I had never heard of the Air Rifle before. A little more research shows that it was a powerful but undependable weapon. Apparently it was quite fragile. Definitely could be something of a prize for the intrepid explorers, perhaps?

Ways, I guess when I think of firearms co-existing with the DD ruleset, I wonder how you deal with damage. Is there an easy way to represent the killing power of guns without unbalancing the game? I read somewhere about the idea of giving guns "exploding" damage dice. (i.e. roll a d6, for example, and if you roll a 6, roll again. Keep rolling until you don't roll any more sixes)

Also, guns make armor superfluous, which makes regular weapons more deadly as well. Much easier to kill someone with a dagger if they're not outfitted with chain mail and shield.
Chiron the Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 4/4, FC Man, L) dagger+torch, The Mellifluent Concord
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Post Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:06 am

Re: Firearms and DD

A lot will depend on how advanced you want your firearms to be, I think.

Plate armor might still be effective against against the earliest shot weapons, but you might want to declare all targets AC 9 vs more powerful firearms?

Regarding damage/killing power, a very simple mechanic might be: any damage die of 6 is a kill shot. End of story. All other damage results 1-5 are "near miss" scratches, scrapes, and "harmless" pass through wounds.

Particularly powerful weapons could do 2 (or even 3!) dice damage, and have a greater chance of getting at least one 6 (a kill shot). These weapons would be deadly indeed!
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]
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Post Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:34 am

Re: Firearms and DD

Might it be more accurate to say the setting makes armour superfluous? Meriwether Lewis didn't wear plate mail floating up the Mississippi. I suppose the most you might see is a conquistador's breastplate and a metal helm; maybe some modified sort of leather buckskin that acts as padded armour. No chainmail, though.
Dougal Blackfoot (MV 9", AC 6, HD 1, HP 5/5, FC 1 Man) leather, short sword+main gauche
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Post Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:05 pm

Re: Firearms and DD

ehiker133 wrote:Might it be more accurate to say the setting makes armour superfluous?

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. There's nothing about the setting that would make people discard armor, except for the prevalence of firearms.

On the contrary, there are lots of examples of people wearing armor in pre-gunpowder eras despite the setting. Crusader knights, for example, always wore padded armor and a chainmail shirt over it, despite the draining heat of the Middle East, because they knew that would make them practically invulnerable to Saracen weapons.
Chiron the Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 4/4, FC Man, L) dagger+torch, The Mellifluent Concord
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Post Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: Firearms and DD

sully wrote:
ehiker133 wrote:Might it be more accurate to say the setting makes armour superfluous?

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. There's nothing about the setting that would make people discard armor, except for the prevalence of firearms.

On the contrary, there are lots of examples of people wearing armor in pre-gunpowder eras despite the setting. Crusader knights, for example, always wore padded armor and a chainmail shirt over it, despite the draining heat of the Middle East, because they knew that would make them practically invulnerable to Saracen weapons.


I was basing it off of your OP...

sully wrote:I'm in the extremely early stages of contemplating a game that takes the DD combat system and adapts it to North America around 1800. A Lewis & Clark-style game of exploration...


I read that as you were going for a specific historical setting. I wasn't saying anything about knights of the crusades; I wasn't even saying anything about soldiers wearing armour during the development of firearms - in fact, I believe there is about a 300 year overlap of the two.

I was saying I just don't know how much armour was worn by anyone settling North America in the 1800's. You might have some breastplates and helms left over from the 1700's but, for the most part, we're talking post-redcoats - militia, settlers, and pioneers - Daniel Boone, Hawkeye, that sort of thing. No "suits" of armour to speak of.
Dougal Blackfoot (MV 9", AC 6, HD 1, HP 5/5, FC 1 Man) leather, short sword+main gauche
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Post Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:51 am

Re: Firearms and DD

I agree with you that practically no one in North America wore armor in 1800. I said it was because of the prevalence of firearms. You disagreed and said it might be more accurate to say it was because of the setting.

I have no idea what that means. What is it about the setting (specifically the American wilderness circa 1800), other than guns being commonly available, that would prompt people to discard their armor?

I was guessing that perhaps you meant it would have been difficult to go overland or on rivers with heavy armor on. With the Crusader example, I was arguing that there were other times where it was difficult to get around in armor but people wore it anyway.

Putting that discussion aside, my concern is that I assume the rules are built assuming that most folks (e.g. non-magic-users) are wearing armor. If, in fact, no one's wearing armor, it's going to be a lot easier for everyone to kill everyone else. I don't know how deadly we want to make combat.
Chiron the Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 4/4, FC Man, L) dagger+torch, The Mellifluent Concord
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