The adventures you write in Dungeons & Dragons are as broad and varied as your imagination, so it stands to reason that some places have firearms. Depending on the time period you might be influenced by, that might include Renaissance weapons like muskets and pistols. If it’s a space-age quest, stuffed with futuristic technology, then laser and antimatter rifles would fit in well.
There are currently ten firearms in the source material of Wizards of the Coast, but these can be adapted to fit whatever characters you and your dungeon master agree on. Here are their details.
All of these weapons are considered martial ranged weapons, and proficiency would need to be decided upon with the dungeon master, as to whether it would fit in with your character’s background. Otherwise, a pistol would be a straight roll plus your Dexterity modifier to hit, and then 1d10 piercing damage. It’s one-handed, so you can dual wield or have a shield in your offhand.
A standard pistol would hold 15 bullets, a bag of ten would typically cost 3gp, and to reload the pistol during combat would require a bonus action. It has a range of 30ft, or up to 90ft with disadvantage.
9 Automatic Pistol
Where a standard pistol might cost around 250gp,a more futuristic weapon is more difficult to price, as the scarcity and currency would need to be adjusted to fit the world you’re building. Both kinds of pistol weigh around 3lbs, but the automatic does 2d6 piercing damage, and has a standard range of 50ft.
This could go up to 150ft if you don’t mind rolling at disadvantage, or if you have advantage for other reasons, then it’s a straight roll. It takes the same number of bullets, and requires a bonus action to reload once they’re all gone. Similarly, the price of bullets in this setting may be subject to change.
8 Hunting Rifle
Another modern weapon, the hunting rifle weighs more than twice as much as the Pistols, at 8lbs, though it takes the same ammunition. It can only hold five bullets at a time, and needs a bonus action if you want to reload mid-fight.
A drawback of this firearm is that it’s two-handed, meaning there’s no chance of dual wielding or defending yourself simultaneously. It makes up for that by doing 2d10 piercing damage, and having an extended range of 80ft. It might be worth rolling at disadvantage though, as the maximum range for a hunting rifle is 240ft! This means with an ally near the enemy, or the Sharpshooter feat, you can snipe someone before they even know they’ve been spotted.
7 Automatic Rifle
Weighing the same as the hunting counterpart, but with 2d8 piercing damage instead, the automatic rifle might seem like a straight downgrade. The range is exactly the same, and it’s still two-handed. Where the automatic rifle shines, though, is getting up close and personal with a group of enemies.
This firearm carries 30 bullets, and has a property called Burst Fire. Instead of a normal attack roll, everyone within a 10ft cube (anywhere within the 80ft range) must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw of 15 or take 2d8 damage. This neat trick uses up ten bullets, but is a fantastic scatter-shot approach when you need to get rid of a bunch of weak creatures.
The revolver weighs 3lbs, and does more damage than either of the pistols at 2d8 piercing. Unfortunately, it only holds six bullets at a time, and takes a bonus action to reload unless you have Crossbow Expert. This feat allows you to ignore the loading properties of a weapon, and you can even attack with two one-handed weapons in a turn.
That means, in theory, you could dual wield revolvers, and it wouldn’t impose disadvantage up close either, so you could fire both weapons within 5ft of an enemy.
Being two-handed, the Crossbow Expert feat wouldn’t help much here. However, Gunner might be your saving grace. You can ignore the lengthy loading time and fire it within 5ft of an enemy.
The range of a musket is 40ft, which isn’t shabby, and can go up to 120ft. It costs double the price of a regular revolver, and does 1d12 piercing damage. Without any feats, it’s a step up from the other renaissance era firearms.
A shotgun is an all-rounder when it comes to modern firearms. It takes two hands to wield, and does 2d8 damage. It’s on the heavy side at 7lbs, but would cost less than most of the other weapons in this time period.
The range is 30ft, or up to 90ft, which covers an average battle map, though it only holds two shots, so would need a bonus action to reload every other attack without any feats. Gunners have to start somewhere, and sometimes all you can afford is a basic shotgun.
3 Laser Pistol
Heading into the future now, these weapons are powered by Energy Cells. Typically, one Cell powers a full ‘magazine’ of shots in these three guns, but due to futuristic technology each Cell weighs only 5oz. So, you when you can get your hands (or paws) on some, be sure to stock up.
Weighing the least of all the firearms, the laser pistol is only 2lbs, and produces 3d6 radiant damage. This is great against Undead foes, or those of a more devilish persuasion. You can fire it 50 times, and hold one in each hand. With a range of 40ft/120ft, this is a fantastic little weapon to wield.
2 Laser Rifle
As with the other rifles, the laser rifle weighs more and shoots further than the other weapons. It’s also two-handed because of its weight. A straight attack roll will hit 100ft away, and up to 300ft for those sniper shots.
This weapon also does radiant damage, at 3d8 a hit, and it holds 30 charges of an Energy Cell, so no need to worry about wasting bonus actions to reload.
1 Antimatter Rifle
This is the big one, and likely the most expensive firearm available in a futuristic campaign setting. The antimatter rifle weighs a whopping 10lbs, and is of course two-handed. It only holds two shots, but you can bet those charges will count for a lot.
The basic range is 120ft, so you can blast spaceships or invading aliens with ease. Or, with some of those amazing feats, you can shoot 6d8 necrotic damage 360ft away without disadvantage! This is what you pull out when they ask for the ‘Big guns’.
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