Guns & Gunpowder
Guns do exist, and they are relatively common in some areas, particularly around the Sea of Pearls. However, the great bottleneck in firearms is the production of black powder. Black powder can only be made from the redfish, a variety of deep sea fish that is extremely dangerous to handle. When agitated or handled indelicately, these fish explode violently as a 6th-level fireball, dealing great damage. These fish are only found in deep oceans, and only in the Sea of Pearls. The fish are fed upon by several varieties of sharks and dangerous sea monsters, and as such any expedition to harvest them is complicated both by the danger of the fish themselves and by the other things often drawn up in their nets. This is on top of the dangers of the much of the Sea of Pearls in the first place and its rampant piracy, and aggravated by the fact that the largest concentration of redfish are found in the western regions of the Sea of Pearls, the pirate-ruled region known as the Barony. Nevertheless, some well-prepared and foolhardy people harvest and refine redfish and use it to create blackpowder, for its destructive value is well worth the risk. Despite this, most of the blackpowder of the world is created by the Dervish Gnomes, a civilisation of gnomes that dwells in a hollowed out mountain on an island in the center of the Sea of Pearls. It is unknown how they get access to sizeable quantities of the redfish nor how they process it without danger, but they produce more than anywhere else, and are willing to sell it to outsiders at a high price.
It is a common practise amongst pirates to keep an alchemist on board in case the supply of black powder runs too low. Then they may undertake the dangerous task of catching some redfish in order to process them. Producing blackpowder from redfish can be done by any alchemist with an APR of 80% or higher. It has a base 50% chance of explosion, which is reduced by 1% for each 5% of APR above 80%, and also has the alchemist's dexterity subtracted from it; a DEX 16 alchemist with an APR of 80% would have an 34% chance of explosion. The red bladder of a single redfish is enough to produce 2d4 "charges" of blackpowder when combined with 1 dram of rare earths and a 1 dram of coal dust. When quantities of blackpowder are ignited, the effects are similar to that of a fireball. 5 charges of blackpowder will produce a fireball of 3d6 damage within a 5-foot radius. Each additional 5 charges beyond this will increase the damage by 1d6, and each additional 10 charges will increase the radius by 5 feet.
Dragging the nets for redfish has a 50% chance of underwater explosion damaging the nets, but if successful will produce 1d20 redfish per hour. Handling the redfish requires a dexterity check; failure causes them to explode as a 6d6 fireball (save vs. spell for half damage) with a 20-foot radius. Dragging for redfish has a 10% chance per hour of attracting a sea monster that hunts redfish.
The great advantage of firearms is their ability to pierce through armour. At short range, all armour is ignored; target AC relies entirely on dexterity and cover unless his armour is such that it cannot be penetrated (dragon scale, mithril, adamantine). At medium range, all AC is penalised by 5, again unless they have indestructible armour. At long range, the target's AC is penalised by 2. These penalties only apply to AC granted by armour, not to AC granted from dexterity or cover.
Firearms also deal "exploding damage". Any time the maximum damage is rolled, roll the same dice again. If this is also maximum, it "explodes" into yet another dice, and so on. For a critical hit, which always deals maximum damage, the dice automatically explodes once, but thereafter is rolled and only explodes if it would normally. Finally, at point blank range firearms do an additional point of flame damage due to the fiery discharge, which may set flammable items on fire.
On a roll of a natural 1 with a firearm, it misfires and cannot be used again until 1 turn (10 rounds) have been spent fixing, clearing, cleaning and readying it. On a roll of a natural 2, the firearms "hangfires". This does not affect the firing, but it means that in the future it will misfire on a roll of a 1 or a 2 and hangfire on a roll of a 3. Each time it hangfires this is expanded (misfire on 1-3, hangfire on 4 and so on) until the gun is properly cleaned.
For the attacks per round of a fighter specialised in a firearm, refer to the relevant section of Combat & Tactics, under "Weapon Specializations".
Siege Cannon: A large cannon, which may be wheel-mounted, this is an extremely expensive siege weapon that is mostly used for breaching the walls of castles. A siege cannon is worth 30,000 gold pieces and weighs 2,000 pounds. Uses 20 charges of gunpowder per shot.
Naval Cannon: A smaller cannon worth 15,000 gold pieces and mounted in a ship, this is used by pirates and naval officers on the Sea of Pearls in naval warfare. A naval cannon weighs 1,000 pounds. Uses 10 charges of gunpowder per shot.
Snaplock Musket: Known as the "Gnommish Rifle". A sophisticated weapon that is easier to use and safer than the wheellock. A snaplock musket is worth 3,000 gold pieces.
Snaplock Pistol: Known as the "Gnommish Pistol". A sophisticated weapon that is easier to use and safer than the wheellock. A snaplock pistol is worth 1,000 gold pieces.
Wheel Lock Pistol: The most common firearm, the wheellock pistol replaces the slow burning match with a flint-striking wheel similar to the way a mechanical lighter works in modern times. A wheellock pistol is worth 500 gold pieces.
Matchlock Caliver: A large weapon, about 4 to 5 feet long. Relies on a slow-burning match to light the powder charge. Reloading is very slow. A matchlock caliver is worth 150 gold pieces.
Matchlock Arquebus: A small weapon, about 3 feet long. Relies on a slow-burning match to light the powder charge. Significantly more advanced than the arquebus in the PHB. Reloading is very slow. A matchlock arquebus is worth 250 gold pieces.
Cannon Ball, Siege: Weighs 60 pounds. Worth 200 gp.
Cannon Ball, Naval: Weighs 13 pounds. Worth 50 gp.
Black Powder, 1 charge: Worth 25 gp, though this varies wildly by location.
Siege Cannon: Size L, Type B, Speed 20, Every character in area of impact must save vs. petrification. Success takes 1d4, failure takes 5d12.
Naval Cannon: Size L, Type B, Speed 20, Every character in area of impact must save vs. petrification. Success takes 1d4, failure takes 5d12.
Snaplock Musket: Size M, Type P, Speed 8, 1d12 damage
Snaplock Pistol: Size S, Type P, Speed 6, 1d8 damage
Wheellock Pistol: Size S, Type P, Speed 7, 1d8 damage
Matchlock Caliver: Size M, Type P, Speed 9, 1d8 damage
Matchlock Arquebus: Size M, Type P, Speed 10, 1d10 damage
Siege Cannon: ROF 1/20, Short 500 yards, Medium 2500 yards, Long 5000 yards.
Naval Cannon: ROF 1/12, Short 450 yards, Medium 2250 yards, Long 4,500 yards.
Snaplock Musket: ROF 1, Short 65 yards, Medium 130 yards, Long 390 yards.
Snaplock Pistol: ROF 1, Short 15 yards, Medium 30 yards, Long 45 yards.
Wheellock Pistol: ROF 1, Short 15 yards, Medium 30 yards, Long 45 yards.
Matchlock Caliver: ROF 1/2, Short 40 yards, Medium 80 yards, Long 240 yards.
Matchlock Arquebus: ROF 1/2 Short 60 yards, Medium 120 yards, Long 360 yards.