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The Definitive d20 Guide to Guns

Ken Hood

Additional Material:
R. Hyrum Savage

R. Hyrum Savage

Layout and Design:

R. Hyrum Savage

Produced By:
OtherWorld Creations

d20 Firearms 2007, OtherWorld Creations.

The OtherWorld Creations logo,

is a Trademarks of OtherWorld Creations.
All rights reserved.

Published Under the SRD, OGL, and d20 (v 3) License 2000, Wizards of the
Coast, Inc.

This book requires the use of the Players Handbook, Revised, Copyright Wizards
of the Coast. Used with Permission.

All content not specifically called out as Product Identity is OPEN.

(It also means that if you have a society
with plentiful, cheap firearms, it probably

FIREARMS will not be able to support an elite social class

of warriors. Firearms equalize death-dealing
potential. Jealous peasants with guns can
Firearms play an integral part in any modern make mincemeat of aristocracy.)
setting. Although not as deadly as in real
life (modern heroes routinely run through a
hail of bullets, either not getting hit or not ACCURACY
being seriously injured), the rules below are
a simple and effective way of introducing The bullet fired from a gun travels far faster
firearms into any setting. than an arrow, sling stone, crossbow bolt,
or hurled knife. In comparison to these
weapons, it has less need to lead a target
FIREARM ATTRIBUTES (i.e., aim in front of it) at long ranges. To all
practical means, a bullet is invisible because
Firearms have several special traits that of its speed and moves so fast as to be nigh
make them different from other weapons, impossible to dodge. It is easy to aim and
particularly muscle-powered weapons, like capable of precise targeting at relatively long
the crossbow and sword. These traits are ranges. Wind, rain, and other environmental
discussed below. effects do less to spoil its trajectory in
comparison to more primitive weapons.
For these reasons, this system gives
CHEMICALLY PROPELLED firearms an attribute called Accuracy. A
firearms Accuracy is a modifier to Attack rolls
Unlike bows, slings, and crossbows, which when a character uses that gun.
use mechanical, muscle-based force to hurl Normally, a firearm has an Accuracy
a projectile, firearms rely on simple chemical modifier of +2. A weapons recoil and other
combustion. The propellant detonates, special attributes can reduce or increase its
transforming into a gaseous state. The gas base accuracy.
expands, forcing the bullet down the barrel of
the weapon. The bullet (and some of the gas)
escapes the end of the barrel in excess of the RECOIL
speed of sound, with a loud crack and flash. When a gun is fired, it is pushed backward
The only practical limit to the velocity toward the shooter, and the muzzle pitches
of the bullet is the rate at which gases can upward. This is called recoil or kick. Recoil is
expand. This is quite unlike more primitive the guns reaction to its action of propelling a
muscle-powered weapons that are limited by bullet.
the strength and skill of the user. Regardless Generally speaking, the lighter the
of who wields the firearmfrom a withered firearm, the more it kicks. The more powerful
crone to an Austrian bodybuilderthe bullets a round fired by a gun, the more the recoil.
come out with the same force and inflict the The shorter the barrel, which causes more
same damage. propellant gas to be wasted, the greater the
What does this mean for a d20 game? recoil.
Basically, a character does not apply his The more powerful a firearms recoil,
Strength bonus to the damage inflicted by a the less accurate the firearm. When fired
firearm. rapidly, recoil spoils the aim of the shooter,
driving the barrel up and off target.

In this system, a single number
designates Recoil. The caliber of the round,
size of the propellant, and size of the firearm
Because firearms shoot small
determine it. Accessories, like a muzzle brake,
projectiles faster than the speed of sound,
can reduce that number.
they can punch through solid objects with
The effects of the Recoil attribute are
ease. This attribute is called Penetration. It
described below.
is the ability of a firearm to ignore armor.
Penetration permits a weapon to ignore a
RECOIL AND RAPID FIRE few points of Damage Reduction when it
In this systems simplified model of firearms, determines its damage. Firearms typically
Recoil applies a negative penalty to your have Penetration from 4 to 8.
attack rolls when you attempt to fire a gun
rapidly. When you fire faster than single fire,
youre going to suffer the effects of recoil. The
With a modern, self-loading firearm, you can
exact effects are described in each rate of fire
fire several shots during the time of a single
typical sword swing or thrust. Pumping out a
veritable cloud of lead is nothing more difficult
HEAVY RECOIL than rapidly pulling the weapons trigger. To
If a weapon has Recoil of 4 or more, it simulate this in play, several new Rates of
is considered to have heavy, brutal kick Fire have been created. Using a weapon with
when fired and suffers a negative penalty a special Rate of Fire lets you shoot several
to Accuracy. Table 1 shows the Accuracy times with a single attack action.
penalties for different degrees of Recoil: These new Rates of Fire are designed
with the KISS principle in mind: Keep It
Table 1: Accuracy Penalties for Recoil Simple, Stupid. While more accurate ways
Recoil Accuracy Modifier of modeling fully automatic fire exist, they
3 or less +0 require a high degree of rule complexity,
4-5 1 bogging down the play of the game. These
6-7 2 rules attempt to model automatic fire and still
8-9 3 maintain the game-quickening abstraction that
10+ 4 underlies the rule system.
Certainly there are more types of burst
PENETRATION fire in the real world, but for purposes of
In the 1850s, a black-powder rifle, the Swiss this system, only three-, five-, ten-, and fifty-
Federal carbine, was capable of firing a 10.5 round bursts have been created. Again, this
mm ball with such force that it could pierce keeps things simple.
three one-inch thick wooden boards at a
thousand paces (quoted from The Worlds STANDARD FIRE (SF)
Great Rifles, by Roger Ford). Late 20th-century Standard fire allows you to attack with a
cartridge firearms are capable of penetrating firearm as many times as you have attacks
24 or more layers of ballistic Kevlar, the per round.
material used to make bullet-proof vests. It Almost every firearm permits you to
is not uncommon for accidentally discharged perform standard fire. There are exceptions,
firearms to punch holes through the walls though. For instance, certain machine guns
of several houses in a row. Even firearms of and submachine guns let you fire bursts only.
moderate caliber can punch through the metal
bodies of automobiles; some are even capable
of piercing the engine block.

Recoil 3 imposes a 3 penalty to Jacks
attack rolls in triple fire mode.
DOUBLE FIRE (DF) The first attack would normally be
Double fire lets you fire two shots with each +8. With triple fire, it is three shots at
attack. Each shot suffers a penalty to hit +5/+5/+5.
equal to half the weapons recoil (round up, The second attack would normally be
1 minimum). a single shot at +3, but with triple fire it is
Double fire may be directed at two three shots at +0/+0/+0.
separate targets. This imposes a 4 penalty Jack gets six attacks:
to hit both targets. +5/+5/+5/+0/+0/+0.
Damage bonuses for specialization and
the like apply to each shot you perform with 3-ROUND BURST (B3)
double fire. A burst occurs when several bullets are rapidly
and automatically fired with a single pull of a
Double Fire Example firearms trigger. The advantages of a burst
Jack has an Attack bonus of +8/+3. He are that it is easier to hit your target, and it is
wields a double-action revolver with Recoil of possible that you might hit your target with
3. Jack decides to double fire on both of his more than one bullet, inflicting more damage.
attacks. A 3-round burst counts as one attack;
One-half the recoil of his revolver is three bullets are fired with a single pull of
1.5. This is rounded up to 2, so Jack suffers the trigger. If you perform a standard attack
a 2 penalty on his attacks. action, you can do one burst. If you perform a
The first attack would normally be +8. full attack action, you can perform one burst
With double fire, it is two shots at +6/+6. for each attack.
The second attack would normally be A 3-round burst provides a +3 Attack
a single shot at +3, but with double fire, it is bonus.
two shots at +1/+1. For every (2 + Recoil) points you roll
Jack gets four attacks: over the number needed to hit your target,
+6/+6/+1/+1. an additional bullet hits and inflicts normal
damage, up to the total number of bullets
TRIPLE FIRE (TF) fired at your target. Resolve the damage of
Triple fire lets you shoot three times with each bullet separately. (For example, if you
each attack. Each shot suffers a penalty to hit use a Recoil 3 weapon, for every 5 points you
equal to the weapons recoil (2 minimum). roll higher than the amount needed to hit your
As with double fire, triple-fire shots target, another bullet hits and inflicts damage.)
may be directed at separate targets, but with You cannot hit an opponent more times
a 4 Attack penalty against each target. than the shots in your burst. For instance, if
Damage bonuses for specialization and the you fire a three-round burst,, no more than
like apply to each shot. three shots can hit your target.
Double-action weapons and auto- You cannot direct a three-round burst at
loaders are capable of triple fire. multiple targets.
Damage bonuses for specialization and
Triple Fire Example similar abilities apply to the first bullet in a
Jack has an Attack bonus of +8/+3. He burst, but not any others.
wields a double-action revolver with Recoil of
3. Jack decides to triple fire on both of his Point Blank Burst: If you fire a burst at a
attacks. target within 5 and hit, all bullets in the burst
automatically hit the target.

3-round Burst Example
Jack has an Attack bonus of +8/+3. He
wields an assault rifle with Recoil of 3. Jack is
10-round Burst Example
going to perform a 3-round burst.
Jack has an Attack bonus of +8/+3. He
The burst gives Jack a +3 bonus to
is firing a submachine gun (Recoil 5) in 10-
hit. For every 5 (2 + 3 Recoil) points he rolls
round burst mode. The submachine gun
higher than the targets Defense, he will hit
normally inflicts 1d10+1 damage with a 50
the target one additional time.
range increment.
Jack attacks and rolls a 23. His target
Since Jack has two attacks per round,
has an AC of 15. Jack hits.
he is going to fire two bursts. The first burst
Because Jack rolled 8 points higher than
uses his +8 attack bonus to determine the
his targets Defense, one additional bullet hits.
Reflex save DC. The result is DC 13 (10 +
Jack resolves the damage for two
8 attack 5 recoil). The second burst uses
bullets striking the target.
his +3 attack bonus for a DC of 8 (10 + 3
attack 5 recoil).
5-ROUND BURST (B5) At one range increment, the burst
In a 5-round burst, five bullets are inflicts 2d10+2 damage, at two or more
automatically and rapidly fired with a single range increments, 1d10+1.
pull of the trigger. A 5-round burst works
like a 3-round burst, except it provides a +5
Attack bonus.
Some self-loading fully automatic weapons,
like modern Gatling guns, are capable of 50-
10-ROUND BURST (B10) round bursts.
A 10-round burst is an extended burst A 50-round burst is similar to a 10-
intended to spray an area with a hail of round burst in mechanics, except it affects a
bullets. With a single pull of the trigger (one 10 wide path, the DC for the saving throw
attack), 10 rounds are automatically fired from is 15 + the Attack bonus the weapons
the weapon. For all practical purposes, a 10- recoil any penalties for range, and damage
round burst is rock-n-roll, fully automatic fire. is greater.
A 10-round burst is treated like an area- At one range increment, the weapon
effect attack. It affects a 5 wide path in a inflicts triple normal damage; roll three
straight line at the weapons maximum range. times the normal dice and triple all damage
Everything within that path suffers damage modifiers. At two range increments, it inflicts
from the burst. A Reflex saving throw halves double normal damage. At three range
the damage. The DC of the saving throw increments, damage is normal. At four or
equals 10 + the shooters Attack bonus the more range increments, a successful Reflex
weapons recoil any penalties for range. saving throw means the target suffers no
At one range increment, the weapon damage at all.
inflicts double normal damage; roll two
times the normal dice and double all damage
modifiers. At two range increments, it inflicts
normal damage. At three or more range
increments, a successful Reflex saving throw
means the target suffers no damage at all.
Targets of a burst may apply Deflection
bonuses to their Reflex save.

Few weapons lend themselves to
REPORT AND MUZZLE FLASH customization as readily as firearms. A scope
Firearms are more conspicuous than muscle- or optical sight can increase the accuracy of
powered, primitive weapons. Where a a gun at long ranges. A stock could be added
crossbow makes no more than a twang to a pistol to make it more stable. Armor-
when fired, a gun makes a loud, resounding piercing ammunition increases penetration,
crack and spits a ball of fire. while hollow-point rounds increase damage.
Two things cause the loud crack when Larger magazines let a weapon carry more
a gun is shot. One is the chemical combustion ammunition. A muzzle brake reduces recoil.
that propels the roundthe expanding gases The accessory choices are almost without
make a loud pop. The other is the bullet limit.
breaking the speed of sound and causing a
small sonic boom. The loud noise of a gun
firing is its report.
The ball of fire spit from the muzzle
This section contains the nuts-n-bolts for
of a gun when it fires is called muzzle modeling a real-world firearm in the d20
flash. Muzzle flash is the burning of wasted system.
propellant. In some guns, it is so bright that
it can be seen in broad daylight. Usually, There are six steps to building firearms using
the shorter the barrel of the weapon, the this system:
less effectively propellant is burned and the
greater the muzzle flash. 1. Choose Propellant Size
Report and muzzle flash make it easy 2. Choose Bullet Caliber
to detect a firearm when it is shot. 3. Choose Barrel Length
The sound of a firearm shooting can be 4. Choose Receiver
heard about half a mile away in open country 5. Choose Feed
and about two hundred yards away in urban 6. Model Special Attributes
areas. You do not need to make Listen checks
to hear it. However, if you wish to pinpoint Following these steps, you should be able to
the direction from which the sound came, model almost any cartridge-based firearm.
you must make a Listen check against DC 0
(modified normally for distance).
A Spot check against DC 0 detects 1. CHOOSE PROPELLANT SIZE
muzzle flash at night, DC 10 during the day. In order to simplify things and make these
Sound suppressors and subsonic rules playable, a round (one unit of ammunition
ammunition can reduce or eliminate a for a firearm) consists of two parts: propellant
firearms report. A flash suppressor makes and bullet. Propellant is the go-juice of a
the muzzle flash more difficult to detect. firearms ammunition, a general measurement
of the amount of powder the cartridge
contains. The more propellant there is in the
cartridge, the more velocity imparted to the
bullet and the harder the bullet hits.

There are two size categories
of propellant: light and heavy. Pistols
generally use light propellant rounds. Rifle REALITY CHECK
usually use heavy. Here is a list of real world ammunition and
The generic term propellant is used in its propellant size and bullet caliber in this
these rules, instead of powder or gunpowder. system:
This is because advanced propellant types,
like electrothermochemical (ETC) and magnetic .22 Long light propellant, small caliber.
acceleration, do not use gunpowder. .22 Short light propellant, small caliber.
Propellant size combined with bullet .357 Magnum light propellant, large
caliber determines the base damage inflicted caliber
by your firearm. .44 Magnum light propellant, large caliber.
10mm Pistol light propellant, medium
LIGHT caliber.
Light propellant ammunition corresponds 5.56mm NATO heavy propellant, small
to straight-necked cartridges, like those caliber.
found in pistol rounds. This is a smaller, less 7.62mm Warsaw Pact heavy propellant,
powerful type of ammunition. medium caliber.
A light propellant round inflicts one die 9mm Parabellum light propellant, medium
of damage. caliber.
Browning .50 heavy propellant, large
HEAVY caliber.
Heavy propellant ammunition is the Colt .45 ACP light propellant, large
larger, necked cartridge found in rifles. These caliber.
have a large amount of propellant, providing a
lot of punch to the bullet. The extra propellant There are three general calibers (sizes) of
allows them to take better advantage of barrel bullets in this system: Small, Medium, and
length to increase the rounds damage. Large. Small caliber bullets are around 5mm or
In this system, heavy propellant rounds .22 to .25 inches in diameter. Medium caliber
inflict two dice of damage. This increases their bullets are about 9mm to 10mm or .30 to
average damage, representing their greater .40 inches in diameter. Large caliber bullets
stopping power and muzzle energy. are generally over 10mm or .45 inches in
2. CHOOSE BULLET CALIBER The bullets in light propellant rounds
Force equals mass times acceleration. For the tend to be short and stubby, usually round at
purposes of these rules, the propellant in a the tip. The bullets in heavy propellant rounds
cartridge provides the acceleration part of this are longer and often pointed.
equation, while the caliber (size) of the bullet The caliber-based statistics for light
provides the mass part. The bigger the bullet propellant rounds are listed in Table 2. Heavy
and the more propellant, the more force with propellant rounds use Table 3.
which the bullet will strike its target and the Regardless of ammunition size,
more damage it inflicts. all firearms have a Critical of 18-20, x2.
Having decided the propellant size of Damage type is piercing.
your round, you now figure the size of the Handling ammunition with these
bullet. These two attributes determine the general categories tends to downplay the
damage inflicted by the round, as well as performance differences between relatively
Penetration and Recoil. similar rounds, like 9mm Parabellum and
10mm or .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum.
However, accounting for damages

D20 FIREARMS propellant charge, and they are usually
designed for longer weapons.
In this system, there are six general
INTERCHANGEABLE! categories of barrel length: Short Pistol, Pistol,
In this system, 9mm and 10mm pistol
Long Pistol, Short Rifle, Rifle, and Long Rifle.
ammunition are both light propellant, medium
Barrel Length determines the range
caliber rounds. Even so, you cannot use 9mm
increment of a firearm. It also alters the damage of
ammunition in a 10mm pistol and vice versa.
the weapon, as well as its Penetration and Recoil.
When you determine the ammunition for
Table 4 provides the statistics for barrel
your firearm, make sure you record its actual,
length with light propellant ammunition. Table 5
real world size. Suspension of disbelief
provides information for heavy propellant.
is disrupted when a player can take a .375
magnum bullet and fire it with equal ease
Short Pistol
from his .50 caliber pistol.
This category is for pistols with shorter-than-
of each specific caliber of ammunition can normal barrels, usually under 4in length.
make for an unwieldy system that requires Derringers fit in this group, as do snub-nosed
a great deal of technical knowledge to use pistols like the Saturday Night Special. It is not
properly. possible to build a short pistol that accepts heavy
propellant ammunition.
Table 2: Caliber Effects for Light Propellant Short pistols can be used with one hand.
Rounds They are tiny sized weapons.
Caliber Base Damage Penetration Recoil Pistol
Small 1d8 4 2 This is a normal length pistol. Some of the smallest
Medium 1d10 4 3 submachine guns fit into this category.
Large 1d12 4 4 Pistols can be wielded in one hand. They are
small weapons.
Table 3: Caliber Effects for Heavy Propellant
Long Pistol
Caliber Base Damage Penetration Recoil Pistols with extremely long barrels (usually over 8)
Small 2d6 6 3 belong to this category. Most submachine guns are
Medium 2d8 6 4 treated as long pistols in regards to barrel length.
A long pistol can be used with one hand.
Large 2d10 6 5
They are small sized weapons.


Barrel length affects several characteristics Short rifles have barrels of 18length or less.
in a firearm. The longer the barrel, the more Carbines and the larger submachine guns fit into
propellant burns completely and cleanly, this category.
adding more force to the round. Also, the A Short Rifle is a medium-sized weapon. It
longer the barrel, the more accurate the must be wielded with two hands.
weapon is at longer ranges. Finally, the longer
the barrel, the heavier the firearm; the heavier Rifle
the firearm, the lower the recoil. This is a normal-sized rifle. Assault rifles belong to
Heavy propellant rounds make this category.
the best use of barrel length to improve Rifles are medium-sized weapons. Two
their performance. This is because heavy hands must be used to handle the weapon
propellant rounds have a larger properly.

Long Rifle
These are rifles with extremely long barrels, like
many sniper rifles. Individually Loading
A Long Rifle is a large weapon. It requires This type of receiver holds only one round
the use of two hands. of ammunition. Each time you wish to fire,
you must manually load a new round into the
Table 4: Barrel Length Effects for Light firearm.
Propellant Rounds Individually Loading receivers are
Barrel Range capable of Single Fire.
Length Increment Dmg Pen Rcl Individually Loading receivers may only
Short have a Breech-Loaded Feed System.
10 +0 -2 +1
Pistol The Sharps Old Reliable is an
Pistol 30 +0 +0 +0 individually loading rifle, while the Uberti
Long Rolling Block is an individually loading pistol.
50 +1 +1 +0
Short Single-action Revolver
100 +2 +1 -1
Rifle A Single-action Revolver uses a manually
Rifle 200 +3 +2 -1 operated receiver and cylindrical ammunition
Long Rifle 300 +4 +2 -2 feed. You must manually cock the hammer
of the weapon. This causes the ammunition
Table 5: Barrel Length Effects for Heavy cylinder to turn, placing a round in firing
Propellant Rounds position, and it puts the trigger into a ready
Barrel Range to fire position. When you pull the trigger,
Length Increment Dmg Pen Rcl the hammer crashes down, driving the firing
NA NA NA NA pin into the cartridge and exploding the
rounds propellant.
Pistol 30 +0 -2 +2
Long Single-action Revolver are capable of
50 +0 +0 +1 Single Fire and Double Fire. They may only
Short have a Cylindrical Feed System.
100 +2 +1 +0 The Colt .45 Peacemaker is a single-
Rifle 200 +4 +2 -1 action revolver.
Long Rifle 300 +6 +3 -2
Double-action Revolver
A technological improvement over the Single-
4. CHOOSE RECEIVER action Revolver, the Double-action revolver
The receiver is the part of the firearm that
automatically cocks the firing hammer and
receives a cartridge from the weapons
rotates the ammunition cylinder whenever
ammunition magazine, places it in the firing
you pull the trigger.
chamber, holds it in place, and ignites the
Double-action Revolvers may only have
propellant, firing the round. Some receivers are
a Cylindrical Feed System. They are capable
operated manually; the operator pulls a lever,
of Single Fire, Double Fire, and Triple Fire.
pumps a slider, or opens and closes a bolt. Other
The Colt Peacemaker is a double-action
receivers automatically load ammunition into the
weapon, such as those on a submachine gun or
assault rifle.
Receivers determine your firearms rate
of fire.

Self-loading: Fully automatic
A Fully Automatic weapon fires continuously
Bolt-action as long as the trigger is depressed and
With this type of receiver, you manually ammunition is available.
operate a lever to open and close the bolt Fully Automatic weapons may only
of the weapon (the part that holds the firing perform 10-round Bursts. Increase Recoil by +1.
pin and chambers and extracts cartridges). Machineguns, like the M60 and Browning
Bolt-action weapons are capable of .50, are fully automatic weapons. The Mac
Single Fire. Ingram M10 and IMI Uzi are fully automatic
Bolt-action reduces a weapons Recoil submachine guns.
by 1.
The Wichita Classic Silhouette is a Self-loading: Selective Fire
Bolt-action pistol. The M/89 Belgian Mauser, Selective Fire weapons allow the user to choose
M1903 Springfield, and Lee-Enfield Mark III between semi-automatic or fully automatic fire.
are bolt-action rifles. In some cases, the weapon will also have three
or five round burst as a choice. In other cases,
Lever-action Selective Fire weapons may only have semi-
You manually operate a lever on the handle automatic and three or five round bursts as an
of the weapon to load a round and cock the option.
firing pin. Selective Fire weapons can perform Single,
Lever-action weapons are capable of Double, or Triple Fire if set to semi-automatic.
Single and Double Fire. They can fire 10-round bursts on fully automatic.
The 1873 Winchester Carbine and If they have short burst options, they may also
1860 Henry Rifle are both Lever-action perform three or five round bursts. Increase
weapons. Recoil by +1.
The M16A2 is a selective fire assault
Pump-action rifle with semi-automatic and three-round burst
You manually pump the fore-end of the options. The AK47 is a selective fire assault
weapon to load and cock it. rifle with semi-automatic and fully automatic
Pump-action firearms are capable of (10-round burst) options. The Heckler and
Single and Double Fire. Koch MP5A5 is a selective fire submachine gun
Many shotguns, like the Remington with semi-automatic, 3-round burst, and fully
Model 17, use a pump-action receiver. automatic fire options.

Self-loading: Semi-automatic REALITY CHECK

Also known as autoloaders, self-loading In the real world, self-loading weapons
weapons automatically fire and load a use a variety of mechanisms to load and fire
cartridge whenever you pull the trigger. A cartridges: blowback operation, gas operation,
Semi-automatic Self-loader fires one shot recoil operation, and the like. Each of these
for every pull of the trigger, automatically impacts the performance of the weapon, its
cocking and loading itself each time. accuracy, recoil, and other attributes. For the
Semi-automatic weapons can perform purposes of these rules, these highly technical
Single, Double, and Triple Fire. Increase the firearm components will be ignored. This is to
weapons Recoil by +1. make these rules relatively easy to use.
The Colt .45 1911 is a semi- If you feel the mechanism of a weapon
automatic Pistol. Federov Avtomat 1916 is warrants lower recoil, then by all means lower
a semi-automatic assault rifle that uses the weapons Recoil statistic by one point.
6.5x50mm ammunition.

Self-loading: Multi-barreled Autocannon
This type of firearm is an electrically feed,
rotating Gatling gun capable of spewing out Tubular Magazine
hundreds of rounds in a matter of seconds. A tubular magazine is long, hollow tube,
Multi-barreled autocannons can perform mounted parallel to the barrel of a firearm.
50-round Bursts. Increase Recoil by +2. Individual rounds are loaded into the hollow
Multi-barreled autocannons may only tube. A spring in the tube pushes the rounds
have Rifle or Long Rifle barrels. into the receiver.
Tubular magazines are normally used
5. CHOOSE FEED for rifles. From 10 to 13 light propellant or up
A firearms Feed is the mechanism by which to 7 heavy propellant rounds may be held in a
ammunition is stored in the weapon and tubular magazine.
provided for the receiver. There are several With a move equivalent action, you can
different types of Feed. They have no impact load two rounds of ammunition into the tube.
on the firearms performance, other than Both the Henry and Winchester lever
determining the amount ammunition available action rifles use tubular magazines.
for the weapon and how quickly it can be
reloaded. Clip
Ammunition feeds are not A clip is a thin piece of metal that holds
interchangeable. For example, you cannot several (usually 8 to 10) rounds together. The
stick the box magazine of a rifle into the grip clip is pushed into the receiver of the firearm
magazine of a pistol. and stored in an internal magazine space.
When the clip is emptied, it is automatically
Breech-loaded ejected from the weapon and discarded.
A breech-loaded weapon holds but one With a move equivalent action, you can
round of ammunition, and the ammunition is load a clip into a weapon.
manually loaded into and extracted from an The M1 Garand uses an 8-round clip.
opening in the rear end of the weapons barrel.
Loading a breech-loaded weapon is no Box Magazine
more difficult that loading and drawing a bow, This is a spring-loaded metallic or plastic box
so a character can automatically reload with attached to the receiver of the weapon, like
each attack. the banana-magazine of an AK47 or H&K
The Sharps Old Reliable is a breech- MP5A5. Box magazines can hold a large
loaded rifle. amount of ammunition. (For example, some
snail drum magazines hold up to 200
Cylindrical rounds.) Typically, they hold between 30 to
The magazine of a revolver is a cylindrical 50 rounds.
feed system. Normally, these are only made With a move equivalent action, you
for light-propellant ammunition. Up to twelve can load a box magazine.
rounds of small caliber ammo and up to six
rounds of medium or large caliber ammo can Grip Magazine
fit in the cylinder. A grip magazine is a small, spring-loaded box
With a move equivalent action, you that is inserted into the hollow grip of a self-
can load two rounds of ammunition into the loading pistol. Grip magazines usually hold
cylinder. between 7 to 15 rounds. They may not be
The Colt .45 Peacemaker is a single- used for heavy propellant ammunition.
action revolver

Finishing Touches
Once youve followed all of these steps,
With a move equivalent action, you can you wrap them up into a weapons statistic
load a grip magazine into a pistol. block for your firearm, like the one below.
The 1911A1 Colt .45 ACP uses a grip
magazine. Weapon Type: Firearm [size]
Cost: [invented by you or a real world figure]
Belt Accuracy: [+2, less any modifiers for recoil]
Belts are long belts of ammunition linked by Damage: [dice of damage, plus any modifiers;
metal or plastic connectors and fed into self- always piercing]
loading firearms, usually machineguns. Belts Critical: 18-20, x2
often hold 100 or more rounds. Range Increment: [based on barrel length]
With a move equivalent action, a belt Penetration: [derived from several factors]
can be loaded into a weapon. Recoil: [derived from several factors]
The M60 machinegun uses belt feed. Rate of Fire: [determined by the receiver and feed]
Ammunition: [number of rounds, type
Cassette of feed, real world caliber (to prevent
Big and heavy, this type of ammunition feed interchangeable ammunition)]
is normally reserved for modern-day Gatling Weight: [a real world figurepistols usually
guns and autocannons. It uses pre-packaged weigh a couple of pounds, while rifles weigh
ammunition attached to an electrically six to ten pounds]
powered link feed system. Cassettes hold
thousands of rounds. At the end of this document, there
Replacing a cassette is a complex task are several examples of how firearms were
and takes a few minutes. modeled with this system.


Sometimes, a firearm is chunky and hard to ALTERNATE TECHNOLOGIES
hold, like the Desert Eagle. Some firearms The rules presented in Modeling a Firearm
are designed for superior three-round bursts, (above) assume that you want to create a
like the H&K G11. Other firearms have modern-day firearm that uses cartridge-based,
exceptional recoil reducing mechanisms. gunpowder ammunition. This section deals
These are attributes that must be with how you should modify the modeling
modeled on a firearm-by-firearm basis. rules for alternative firearm technologies, such
Because each of these is unique, they require as shotguns, and muzzle-loaders.
a judgment call on your part as to how they
will affect the weapons d20 statistics. SHOTGUNS
For example, the Desert Eagles Shotguns normally fire a cluster of small
large grip and bulk imposes a 1 penalty pellets, instead of a single bullet. The cluster
to its accuracy. When the G11 is fired on spreads as it exits the barrel of the gun,
3-round Burst, all of the bullets automatically making it easy to hit targets.
strike the target on a successful Attack The pellets fired from a shotgun have a
roll. Firearms with excellent recoil reducing much lower velocity than bullets fired from a
mechanisms can lower their Recoil score by normal cartridge weapon, so they have poor
one or two points. penetration. However, the sheer multitude of
pellets striking a target can inflict a great deal
of damage, especially to unarmored targets.

Modeling a Shotgun
Ammunition: Shotguns use shells made
of paper or plastic packed with metal balls increments, a successful save means no
and a load of propellant. Instead of choosing damage is inflicted.) The DC of the saving
propellant sizes and caliber, you just choose throw equals 10 + the shooters current
between small gauge (20-gauge or less) or Attack bonus the shotguns recoil.
large gauge (12-gauge or more) ammunition.
Table 6 shows the base damage values for Shotgun Example
shotgun ammunition. A large gauge shotgun with a rifle
length barrel inflicts 3d6 damage up to 30
Table 6: Base Characteristics of Shotgun Shells distant, 2d6 from 31 to 60, and 1d6 from
61 to 150. Beyond 91 feet, a successful
Gauge Base Damage Penetration Recoil
Reflex save indicates no damage.
Small d4 0 4 If the person shooting the shotgun had
Large d6 0 5 an Attack bonus of +6 and the shotgun had
Recoil 4, the DC of the Reflex save would be
Barrel Length: Unlike other weapons, barrel 12. (10 (base) + 6 (Attack) 4 (Recoil) = 12)
length does not increase the damage inflicted
by a shotgun. The length of the barrel Shotguns and Burst Fire
determines the range increment of the weapon A shotgun fired in fully automatic mode
and affects it Recoil. See Table 7. becomes a truly fearsome weapon, able to
clean an entire room of enemies in a single
Table 7: Barrel Length Effects for Shotguns sweep.
Barrel Range
Length Increment Dmg Pen Rcl 3-round Burst: A shotgun fired in 3-round burst
Short Pistol NA NA NA NA mode affects a 5 wide path in a straight line
Pistol NA NA NA NA out to five range increments. At one range
Long Pistol 10 +0 +0 +1 increment, it inflicts 4d damage. At two range
Short Rifle 20 +0 +0 +0 increments, 3d; at three, 2d; and four and
Rifle 30 +0 +0 -1 beyond, 1d. The DC of the Reflex saving throw
Long Rifle 40 +0 +0 -2 is 15 + the shooters current attack bonus
the shotguns recoil. At five range increments,
Receiver and Feed: Shotguns can use any of a successful save means no damage.
the standard receivers and feed systems.
5-round Burst: This mode is similar to a
Resolving a Shotgun Attack 3-round burst, but it affects a 10 wide path,
Shotguns are handled as area-effect weapons. and a successful Reflex save indicates half
They affect a 5 wide path in a straight line damage regardless of range.
out to five range increments. Anything in that
path is hit by the shotgun blast and suffers 10-round Burst: In 10-round burst mode, a
damage depending on how close they are shotgun affects a cone five range increments
to the shooter. At one range increment, the in length. At one range increment, it inflicts 5d
damage is 3d. At two range increments, a damage; at two, 4d; at three, 3d; at four, 2d;
shotgun inflicts 2d. At three or more range and 1d at five range increments. The DC of
increments, 1d. the Reflex saving throw is 15 + the shooters
Anyone within the path of a shotgun current attack bonus the shotguns recoil.
blast gets a Reflex saving throw for half A successful save indicates half damage
damage. (At four or more range regardless of range.

With a feat (Fast Muzzle-loader,
Prerequisites: Dexterity 13+, Firearm
Not a Precision Weapon Proficiency, and Base Attack Bonus 4+),
Shotguns are not precision weapons. you can reload a muzzle-loader in a standard
You may not apply damage modifiers for action.
specialization, sneak attacks, and similar skill-
related bonuses. Muskets
Muskets are muzzle-loading firearms that have
no rifling in the barrel. This makes them less
MUZZLE-LOADERS accurate than rifles. When creating a musket,
Early, black powder, muzzle-loading halve all range increments and reduce base
firearmsgenerally speakinglack the same Accuracy to +0.
punch as modern, cartridge firearms. The
powder tends to burn inefficiently, with a
great deal of lost gas pressure. Also, muzzle-
loaders have a much slower rate of fire than
cartridge arms. COMBAT RULES
Modeling a Muzzle-loader
Ammunition: The black powder for a In a setting that uses firearms, it is almost
muzzle-loader is hand measured and roughly inevitable that players will want to take part in
equivalent to light propellant, though less a one-on-one quick draw gun dueljust like in
hot. Muzzle-loaders normally have very the cowboy movies. The rules for this are as
large ball ammunition. Most of their rounds follows.
are over .40 inches in diameter and should be
large caliber. Participants
Table 8 determines the muzzle-loaders Two or more characters can engage in a
base statistics. Showdown.
All participants must be wielding a
Table 8: Base Muzzle-loader Statistics medium-sized firearm. The firearm must be
Caliber Base Damage Penetration Recoil holstered or in a not ready position.
Small 1d8 2 3 All participants must be aware of one
Medium 1d10 2 4 another.
Large 1d12 2 5 All participants must agreeat least
tacitlyto take part in the duel and not draw
Barrel Length: Muzzle-loaders use the same prematurely.
table for the effects of barrel length as Light
Propellant rounds (Table 2). No Short Pistol Resolution
barrel length is available. At a predetermined moment, such as when
a clock chimes, a ten count ends, or one
Receiver: Muzzle-loaders may only have participant twitches, every character involved
Individually Loading receivers. in the Showdown makes an opposed Dexterity
check. The winner (and only the winner) can
Feed: Muzzle-loaders have a special feed perform a partial action, and the loser(s) are
type, aptly named Muzzle-loaded. The flat-footed. After this, initiative is rolled and
weapon holds only one round of ammunition. combat resolved normally.
A full round action is necessary to reload the
weapon after it has been fired.

The Quick Draw feat is important to
a character that routinely engages in duels of
Step 3: Choose Barrel Length
this sort. It permits you to draw your firearm as
The Colt M1911 .45 is a pistol.
a free action, rather than having to waste your
This gives us the following statistics:
partial action to ready the weapon.
Damage 1d10, Range Increment 30,
Penetration 4, Recoil 3.
Showdown Example
Jack (Dexterity modifier +3), Jeb (+2), and Sue
Step 4: Choose Receiver
(+4) face off for a three-way Showdown. At the
The Colt M1911 .45 is a semi-automatic,
chime of the town clock, they will draw and fire.
self-loading pistol.
The clock chimes.
A semi-automatic receiver increases
The three perform an opposed Dexterity
Recoil by +1.
check. Jack rolls 16. Jeb rolls 9. Sue rolls 23.
The statistics of the weapon are
Sue wins.
now: Damage 1d10; Range Increment 30;
Since Sue has the Quick Draw feat, she
Penetration 4; Recoil 4; Rate of Fire: SF, DF,
draws her pistol as a free action. For her partial
action, she fires at Jack.
Jack, because he lost the roll, is flat-
Step 5: Choose Feed
footed and hopes for the best
The Colt M1911 .45 uses an 7 round grip
SAMPLE FIREARMS Step 6: Model Special Attributes
COLT M1911 .45
The 1911 .45 ACP pistol has a mystique Final Statistics
that is unmatched by any other pistol. It was These are the d20 statistics for the Colt
designed for the Army in an era when the M1911 .45.
cavalry rode into battle on horses. Created by Weapon Name: Colt M1911 .45
John M. Browning at the turn of the Twentieth Weapon Type: Firearm Small
Century, the 1911 was the climax of a series Cost: $40
of autoloader designs that culminated in the Accuracy: +2
adoption by the Army of the M1911 in the year Damage: d10 (piercing)
from which it took its name. It is perhaps the Critical: 18-20
most loved, studied, and enduring pistol design Range Increment: 30
of all time. Penetration: 4
Recoil: 3
Step 1: Choose Propellant Size Rate of Fire: SF, DF, TF
The Colt M1911 .45 uses short, straight Ammunition: 7 (grip, .45)
cartridges. This means it has light propellant. Weight: 2 lb.

Step 2: Choose Bullet Caliber

.45 caliber ammunition is considered medium
caliber in this system.
Medium caliber, light propellant gives the
following base characteristics for the weapon:
Damage 1d10, Penetration 4, Recoil 3.

Final Statistics
These are the d20 statistics for the
Winchester 1873.
WINCHESTER 1873 Weapon Name: Winchester 1873
Manufactured from 1873 to 1919, the Weapon Type: Firearm Medium
Winchester 1873 was offered in .32, .38, and Cost: $19
.44 calibers.Soon after the introduction of the Accuracy: +2
Winchester 1873, Colt began producing the Damage: 2d8 +4 (piercing)
Single Action Army in these calibers. Carrying a Critical: 18-20
rifle and revolver that could fire interchangeable Range Increment: 200
cartridges became popular in the American Penetration: 8
West, where ammunition re-supplies might be Recoil: 3
somewhat problematic. Here is how we would Rate of Fire: SF, DF
model it with this system . . . Ammunition: 7 (tubular, .38)
Weight: 8 lbs.
Step 1: Choose Propellant Size
The Winchester 1873 uses long, necked
cartridges. This means it has heavy propellant.

Step 2: Choose Bullet Caliber

.38 caliber ammunition is considered medium
caliber in this system.
Medium caliber, heavy propellant gives
us the following base characteristics for the
weapon: Damage 2d8, Penetration 6, Recoil 4.

Step 3: Choose Barrel Length

The Winchester 1873 is a rifle. It fits in the
Rifle category.
Now, we derive the following statistics:
Damage 2d8+4, Range Increment 200,
Penetration 8, Recoil 3.

Step 4: Choose Receiver

The Winchester 1873 is a lever-action rifle.
Lever-action weapons are capable of Single
and Double Fire.
The statistics of the weapon are now:
Damage 2d8+4; Range Increment 200;
Penetration 8; Recoil 3; Rate of Fire: SF, DF.

Step 5: Choose Feed

The Winchester 1873 uses a 7 round tubular

Step 6: Model Special Attributes

The Winchester 1873 has no special

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