Kobold Quarterly. Today's topic is mixing gunpowder with magic--a volatile combination. It's a subject that's been near and dear to my heart since I wrote the historical supplement A Mighty Fortress for AD&D back in the mid-'90s.
In this golden age when we have dozens of well-designed, polished FRPGs to choose from, gamer arguments tend to be about whether game A is “better” in some indefinable fashion than games B through Z. There was a time long ago when only a handful of FRPGs existed, and most roleplayers had tried all of them to one extent or another. Then, arguments tended to be about what you did or didn’t allow in your campaign. One of the most contentious campaign elements was gunpowder. If two gamers collided in a hallway, you could count on a “you got gunpowder in my magic/you got magic in my gunpowder” fight breaking out. (more at Kobold Quarterly ...)
Dunno if it's a "Foe", but I don't want it in my AD&D game.ReplyDelete
My regular answer for my D&D worlds is "Of course black powder has been invented. Many times, actually. But in a world where so many inhabitants can conjure flame, keeping an incendiary bomb strapped to your body has always proven to be a bad idea."ReplyDelete
I think it works, IF the campaign setting was built with it from the beginning. Adding it in later doesn't seem to work as well. I've run a swashbuckling, 3 musketeers type game for years in many incarnations. Five different campaigns, three completly different groups, for 15 years on and off, and it has never been a problem for me.ReplyDelete
I can think of two scenarios which I think would work great.
1. The characters encounter a secretive nation where gunpowder is a "secret weapon" they've been using for years. Other nations are terrified of the military might of these people. They seem to think that every footsoldier is a sorcerer. As the players adventure in this nation, they encounter cannons, rifles, and handguns. Adventuring in this nation has the potential to open up the gunpowder trade to the rest of the world.
2. The players are involved in the origins of gunpowder. They're hired to help someone acquire the necessary components for his gunpowder experiments. Perhaps they're asked to field-test the first rifles. As the campaign progresses, the technology could spread, eventually ending up in the hands of the party's foes. I imagine trap-building kobolds would have a lot of fun ideas for gunpowder.
AMF was you? That book rocks! Please accept my sincerest fanboi gushing in the spirit intended.ReplyDelete
And of course gunpowder belongs in D&D: look at the material component list for fireball.
Thanks. Expressions of appreciation are always received with humble gratitude.Delete
Echo: What M. Hogan said. That's been one of my favorite books for 2e. It came out as I was reading Sienkiewicz's Trilogy (novels set in 16th-17th century Poland), and those combined to inspire one of my favorite campaigns.Delete
The "exploding die" mechanic for bullet damage was an eye-opener, especially as it seemed to show up at *just* the right moments. The best one being when a PC tried to shoot a cursed magic sword, and rolled 40+ damage.