About firearms

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About firearms

Postby Saturno » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:19 am

Hey guys,
I'm trying to adjust the ASOIAF RPG rules to a scenario of my own and I'm stuck on making firearms work. In my setting there are few kingdoms more evolved in technology than others, with canons and muskets and even rudimentary pistols (as Spain in the movie Alatriste), and I don't know how to represent the power of gunpowder without making the game too much unbalanced. I dont want to make armor obsolete nor turning knighthood extinct... all these things still exist, but I want to create the notion that the times are changing and the world is too.

Im thinking about making a fixed damage for each firearm (it is not based on Athletics or Agility) and using the Piercing quality with a high value to represent the penetration power of these weapons. So a musket, for instance, would have a base damage of 8 and a Piercing quality of 8 maybe? It is too powerful? Should I make a Quality that is necessary to use these weapons?

Im shooting in the dark here fellas, please help me if any of you had any thought on this matter.


PS: pardon my english, please
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Re: About firearms

Postby Legate » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:34 pm

"Im shooting in the dark here ..."

No pun intended I expect. :wink:

I think the general idea you have as is is pretty solid. It may take a little testing to get the piercing quality not being too powerful, however, not sure if 8 is too high or not.
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Re: About firearms

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:34 pm

In fact firearms are no more deadly than crossbows or longbows.
So with Piercing of 3 or 4 you are already depicting quite hefty firearms.
Also:
Firearms cannot hit shit.
At least early ones with smooth barrels.
Muskets actually worked on the principle of massed-fire because that increased their probability of hitting through stochastics.
Especially with early firearms those are no game-breakers.
The English used longbows well into the times of frontloaders.
They stopped because it was economically ineffecient, not because it was combat ineffecient.
Then there is also shorter range of firearms (both ballisticly, because you cannot correct plunging fire, and effectively because of spread) and greater problems in adverse weather conditions.
Bows and crossbows loose effeciency in bad weather, firearms cease to function when the powder turns to black sludge or the match is soaked.
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Re: About firearms

Postby Saturno » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:08 pm

Thank you both for the answers, guys. And yeah, no pun intended ;)

DaimosofRedstone wrote:The English used longbows well into the times of frontloaders.
They stopped because it was economically ineffecient, not because it was combat ineffecient.

Really? to fully train and prepare longbow men it was more expensive than doing it with fireguns? whoa, I really did not know that!! I thought it was quite the opposite.

So what we got:
-shorter range than bow/crossbow
-higher penalty for untrained use
-the gun do not work when wet and with specific weather conditions
-piercing 3 or 4

Something else? what about reloading time, guys?
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Re: About firearms

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:18 pm

Highly trained British or Prussian infantry was able to fire a shot every 20 second. But that was with flintlocks which were pretty much trimmed for rapid fire.
With matchlocks you look at something like a minute per shot, which would translate to 10 turns to reload though you would probably need a Benefit to do it, since loading a firearm is not exactly as easy as loading a bow.
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Re: About firearms

Postby Paedrig » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:28 pm

I have read in a book about medieval arms, that the early gun were very cheap (and much more easy to produce) than a good longbow. Also to be efficient with a longbow you need years of permanent training. This was one of the causes why english laws forbade other sorts of sport, because the young men should concentrate on longbow shooting.
After all up to the 19th century the normal infatry gun did not shoot faster (and was much more inaccurate) than a longbow. But was cheaper and easier to learn...
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Re: About firearms

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:49 am

Crossbows also played a role along firearms for quite some time.
The best crossbows where better (more damage, penetration) than firearms but slower to load while smaller crossbows fired faster but with less damage.
Training being equally crossbows were slowly phased out the better guns became.
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Re: About firearms

Postby Legate » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:18 am

"Training being equally crossbows were slowly phased out the better guns became."

Actually, a person could be trained to use a firearm much more quickly then a crossbow, that is pretty much why the bow and crossbow were phased out in favour of the gun.
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Re: About firearms

Postby Kajani » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:25 am

If I am correct the crossbow was in some aspects similar to firearms - it was much easier to learn to handle it than to train a good bowman.

If someone wants to use firearms, I would say the time of reloading should be not TOO long. For this system reloading a crossbow works much faster than in reality, I guess (normally a heavy crossbow with winch did not fire much more often than 1-2 times per minute). So I would say a firearm should need more time than a bow, but not more than twice the time (or so) as a crossbow in this system - otherwise it would be unfair. But I do not know if I would say the piercing should be up to 4. Two or (for a heavy handgun) three seems enough - the first guns were quite not so effective.
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Re: About firearms

Postby Tedric » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:45 am

The first firearms were almost as dangerous for the shooter than for the target. They could easily explode in your hands which should be reflected in the rules if you use them.

At first, their main advantage was to frighten horses by the noise and so, disorganise cavalry charges. They were not very efficient in terms of damage.

Anyway, I wouldn't use firearms in this game. it seems to me it is kind of "betraying" the general idea of a static society in terms of technology.
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Re: About firearms

Postby coldwind » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:01 am

Tedric wrote:Anyway, I wouldn't use firearms in this game. it seems to me it is kind of "betraying" the general idea of a static society in terms of technology.


I think the idea is to use firearms in this system (Chronicle), not necessarily the setting (Westeros).
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Re: About firearms

Postby Saturno » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:16 am

Coldwind is right, Tedric... I just want to adapt the system to my own setting which is something like the XV century europe! ;)
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Re: About firearms

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:35 pm

Legate wrote:"Training being equally crossbows were slowly phased out the better guns became."

Actually, a person could be trained to use a firearm much more quickly then a crossbow, that is pretty much why the bow and crossbow were phased out in favour of the gun.

Why is that?
Winching a crossbow is not more complicated than properly loading a gun and ballistics are similar for both weapons.
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Re: About firearms

Postby stew31r » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:45 pm

Winching a crossbow is actually, step by step, less complicated than loading an early firearm like a matchlock or wheellock, and quicker as well.
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Re: About firearms

Postby ceranko » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:52 pm

WHY are you using firearms in westeros? George has stated that there are no gunpowder weapons in his world AT ALL. He hates the idea of it. And gunpowder doesn't work in Westeros. Thats why technology hasnt advanced in a thousand years or so. DON"T DO IT! :)
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Re: About firearms

Postby coldwind » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:53 am

ceranko wrote:WHY are you using firearms in westeros? George has stated that there are no gunpowder weapons in his world AT ALL. He hates the idea of it. And gunpowder doesn't work in Westeros. Thats why technology hasnt advanced in a thousand years or so. DON"T DO IT! :)


Your fervor not withstanding, he's NOT using them in Westeros. He wants to use them in his OWN setting, using the Chronicle rules; just as Green Ronin plans to expand the Chronicle system beyond ASoIaF, so too do some players/narrators.
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Re: About firearms

Postby Legate » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:28 pm

DaimosofRedstone wrote:
Legate wrote:"Training being equally crossbows were slowly phased out the better guns became."

Actually, a person could be trained to use a firearm much more quickly then a crossbow, that is pretty much why the bow and crossbow were phased out in favour of the gun.

Why is that?
Winching a crossbow is not more complicated than properly loading a gun and ballistics are similar for both weapons.



I saw a demonstration by a curator at the ROM, he was trying to figure out why firearms replaced the crossbow in battle. Along with specialists in both weapon types he attempted to fire both weapons...he missed with the crossbow (by a wide margin), apparently part of the training is how to aim the thing properly. But, he bullseyed the target with the match lock rifle (he had no previous experience in firing eitherof these weapons). You can pretty much hand any shmuck a rifle and he will more then likey hit what he aims at, whereas you could not do so with the crossbow and expect the same outcome without some training.
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Re: About firearms

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:35 pm

Hmm, stands to reason that the crossbow manages its energy realtivly poorly, which would mean a need for 'balistic aiming', e.g. figuring in drop and such, while bullets tend to hold much more energy making for a straighter flight path... though i would still regard that ROM event as a anomaly with statistically relevant results closer together than that.
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Re: About firearms

Postby Legate » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:26 pm

DaimosofRedstone wrote:Hmm, stands to reason that the crossbow manages its energy realtivly poorly, which would mean a need for 'balistic aiming', e.g. figuring in drop and such, while bullets tend to hold much more energy making for a straighter flight path... though i would still regard that ROM event as a anomaly with statistically relevant results closer together than that.



True, it could have been an anomloy, but the fact that it did happen the way it did does lend credence to it. It would have been better if they had fired say 10 shots each weapon (at least) and compared hit statistics, that would have given more of a scientific result. But, IMO it definetly lays the foundation for the theory.
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Re: About firearms

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:59 am

I still think thats fishy.
I am gonna just disregard it.
Store it as an interest piece of information incase corboration comes along, but until that time crossbows will, to me at least, remain rifles with worth energy output.
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Re: About firearms

Postby Legate » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:25 am

Also, to add my limited experience to the mix I am a pretty good rifle shot with minimal training. Though I have never fired a medieval made crossbow, I would think from viewing examples in museums that it would not be as easy as some people think. They are awkward contraptions with no real sighting mechanism, at least with a bow you can sight down the arrow, but I don't think you can do that with a crossbow; it seems to me you would have to fire the weapon quite a few times to get the feel of how it shoots before you are putting rounds in the bulls eye.

Just my two cents worth, anyway.
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Re: About firearms

Postby Gurkhal » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:18 pm

Lots of interesting ideas on the subject of firearms.

For my own I don't really like the addition of firearms into Westeros as I feel that it will more or less start an unravelling of the Medieval/Antiquity feeling of the world. But I realize that other people think different from me on the matter and I wish the best of luck to you.
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Re: About firearms

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:44 pm

Legate wrote:Also, to add my limited experience to the mix I am a pretty good rifle shot with minimal training. Though I have never fired a medieval made crossbow, I would think from viewing examples in museums that it would not be as easy as some people think. They are awkward contraptions with no real sighting mechanism, at least with a bow you can sight down the arrow, but I don't think you can do that with a crossbow; it seems to me you would have to fire the weapon quite a few times to get the feel of how it shoots before you are putting rounds in the bulls eye.

Just my two cents worth, anyway.

But then it is hard to find any Westerner, indeed anyone with access to TV, who does not have a working knowledge of firearms.
Couldn't say the same for crossbow.
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Re: About firearms

Postby smash54 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:17 pm

Gurkhal wrote:Lots of interesting ideas on the subject of firearms.

For my own I don't really like the addition of firearms into Westeros as I feel that it will more or less start an unravelling of the Medieval/Antiquity feeling of the world. But I realize that other people think different from me on the matter and I wish the best of luck to you.


i probably agree to you +1 i don't like the feeling of adding the firearms into westeros
if they dont trust us with brass knuckle how can we trust them with the government?
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Re: About firearms

Postby TheSmilingKnight » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:20 am

Well, while this discussion is going on I want to add my 2 cents. First of all, it is your game and you should run it whatever way you enjoy the most. Next, I respect that you won't be using the Westeros setting as it is based on the War of the Roses in 15th century England, which saw no use of firearms despite their utilization in Russia and the Ottoman Empire at the same time. That said, artillery cannons were used extensively in the centuries prior to this and, in my mind, I'm surprised a civilization like Myr would not have developed gunpowder at least. If someone were to introduce firearms into a near future era of Westeros, I would suggest looking at firearms and artillery that were developed during the 100 Year War and use those for inspiration.
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