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Privateer Press Presents

An Iron Kingdoms PDF:

Firearms Basics v1.0, Page 1 of 2

Privateer Press is the publisher of The Witchfire Trilogy and other fine d20 products. To learn more
about us, please visit us at http://privateerpress.com .

New Skills & Feats

In The Witchfire Trilogy Book I: The Longest Night,
firearms were introduced to the Iron Kingdoms game setting, and several new Craft and Profession skills were listed. Here is addressed in more detail the actual operation
of firearms in combat. Note that Iron Kingdoms firearms
are quite different than their real-world historical counterpartsthey are not intended to adhere exactly to
Earth history. More importantly, they are not intended to
replace bows and crossbows in the game.
The ability to use pistols, rifles and cannon is dependent on the character possessing the Exotic Weapon
Proficiency feat. Small Arms (meaning handguns and
long guns only) should be added to the list of Exotic
Weapons found on PH 99. Cannon should be added to
the Exotic Weapons list as well, though a treatment of
these heavy weapons will have to wait.
Using a pistol or long gun in combat also requires a
new skill: Craft (small arms), which is a class skill for
Fighters, Paladins, Rogues and Warriors (DMG 39); it is
unavailable to Barbarians. Craft (small arms) allows a
character to reload a weapon, clear a misfire and clean a
weapon to keep it in working order. It does not allow
design or repair of small arms. Similarly, the reloading
and maintenance of heavy blasting-powder projectile
weapons requires Craft (cannoneer), which is an exclusive
skill available to Fighters, Paladins and Warriors. It is
considered a cross-class skill for Paladins.

Reloading a firearm of any kind always takes at least

one standard action and a successful Craft (small arms or
cannoneer) roll. The action details and the DC of the roll
depend on the complexity of the weapon. Pistols and
rifles usually require 1 or 2 standard actions to reload,
but a more complex weapon such as a cannon could take
many full-round actions to service, perhaps even involving more than one operator. The DC of the reload roll
will usually be 10 or less for small arms, so taking 10 to
reload weapons before or after combat guarantees success.
If the Craft roll succeeds, the weapon will be reloaded
after the necessary actions are spent. If the roll is failed,
or if a multi-round reload in progress is disrupted, the
reloading process must begin anew. If the roll is failed by
5, the reload is fumbled and the ammunition is ruined.
Lastly, all reload actions provoke attacks of opportunity.
Soldier with

Open Game Content

The game rules in this document are released by Privateer Press
as Open Game Content. This includes all new skill and feat
descriptions, as well as the sample firearm stats and the rules given
for reloading them. Artwork and the descriptions of how firearms
and ammunition operate are Privateer Press product identity, and
are not Open Game Content. In other words, use these rules for
guns if you like them, but leave the rest of the stuff to us.
The use of this D20 System game content requires the
Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Players Handbook, published by
Wizards of the Coast. Dungeons & Dragons and Wizards of the
Coast are Registered Trademarks of Wizards of the Coast and are
used with permission. The D20 System and the D20 System Logo
are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, and are used under
the terms of the D20 System Trademark License.

Copyright 2001 Privateer Press LLC. All rights reserved. Firearms Basics PDF v1.0, 6/12/01

Privateer Press Presents

An Iron Kingdoms PDF:

Firearms Basics v1.0, Page 2 of 2

Privateer Press is the publisher of The Witchfire Trilogy of adventures and other fine D20 System
products. To learn more, please visit our web site at privateerpress.com.
During reloading, the operator has a few tasks to perform. First, the breech must be opened. Next, the powdery
remnants of the old charge need to be cleaned out. The
new ammunition needs to be seated firmly in the firing
chamber, and the breech needs to be closed. Lastly the
spring-loaded firing mechanism must be wound or
cocked. All of these steps are covered by one skill roll.

Sample Firearms
Firearms all have at least 2 dice of damage and a crit
rating of 1920/x3 or better. The reload rating is shown
as 2S/DC8, where 2S is the number of standard actions
required and 8 is the DC of the Craft (small arms or cannoneer) skill roll. Weapons that require full-round actions
to reload will display an F instead of an S.
DMs can make up new weapons easily by varying these
stats. More powerful weapons should have longer and/or
more difficult reloads, as well as more expensive ammunition. Repeating weapons should be very rare.
Small Pistol: This weapons main virtue is that it is easy to conceal,
being only 9 in. long. 400 gp, 2d4 piercing, reload 1S/DC6, crit
1920/x3, range 40 ft., 4 lb.
Military Pistol: This is a larger, more powerful pistol typically issued
to military officers. It is 1 ft. in length, with a fat barrel. 600 gp, 2d6
piercing, reload 1S/DC8, crit 1920/x3, range 80 ft., 5 lb.
Military Rifle: A basic military rifle is usually between 3 and 4 ft. in
length. Rifle regiments are quite rare. 1200 gp, damage 2d8 piercing,
reload 2S/DC12, crit 1920/x3, range 200 ft., 15 lb.
Small Cannon: These stats are typical for the smallest variety of cannon, such as those placed on compact warships. 3000 gp, 2d12 piercing, reload 3F/DC12, crit 1920/x3, range 150 ft., 200 lb.

A typical small pistol

Small arms ammunition consists of blasting powder and
projectile wrapped together into a tight cylinder. To make
ammunition, a spellcaster must have the new feat Craft
Blasting Powder, which any arcane spellcaster of at least 5th
level can gain. The process also requires the Alchemy skill,
special reagents, expensive equipment and a great deal of

time. A detailed treatment of the process is outside the scope

of this document, but lets just say it isnt trivial.
Ammunition costs 610 gp for a pistol charge and 812
gp for a rifle charge. A cannon charge costs 2050 gp
depending size. Costs for ammunition can vary dramatically depending on the location and demand; at times, ammunition may be unavailable at any price, turning guns into
expensive, lavishly decorated clubs. Ammunition is fragile; it
is ruined if it gets wet or if it takes 1 point of physical damage. It is also flammable, and any exposure to flame will
destroy it. Alchemical blasting powders burn fiercely, but like
modern gunpowder they will not explode unless they are confined. Lastly, since ammunition magical, it can be rendered
inert temporarily by dispel magic (PH 196). The ease with
which it can be suppressed depends on the level of the creator, but in general a dispel check of DC 18 will render
blasting powders inert for 1d4 rounds.
Most ammunition contains a simple lead ball, but there
are other options available. Incendiary, poisoned or even
enchanted projectiles are available for the right price.
Cannons fire a much larger projectile, and so there are some
especially fiendish projectile options for the cannoneer to
choose from. Of course, specialty projectiles increase the
cost of ammunition dramatically, particularly if they are

A Word on Feats and Skills

By the book, a PC needs to have a base attack bonus
of +1 to take the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat. That
means that there will be a lot of first-level characters
that cant pack a pistol, and that may not fit your gaming groups style. If thats a problem, bend the rules! One
of the original IK PCs here at Privateer Press was a goggle-wearing Sor1 toting a pair of pistolsand if we did
it, you can do it too.
So please, bend or break class skill restrictions if you
have a good reason. For example, in the Iron Kingdoms
wizards get Decipher Script as a class skill and rogues
dont, because it always seemed to make more sense to us
that way. Likewise, if a barbarian PC with a rifle fits your
campaign, bend the rules and let him in.

Copyright 2001 Privateer Press LLC. All rights reserved. Firearms Basics PDF v1.0, 6/12/01