Boltgun (3.5e Equipment)

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Mkii bolter.jpg

Exotic Two-Handed
Critical: 20/x3
Range Increment: 120
Type: Piercing
Size Cost1 Damage Weight1 hp
Fine 80 1d4 ½ 1
Diminutive 125 1d6 1 3
Tiny 250 1d8 2 7
Small 500 1d10 5 15
Medium 500 2d6 10 30
Large 1000 3d6 15 60
Huge 2000 4d6 30 120
Gargantuan 4000 6d6 60 240
Colossal 8000 8d6 120 480
  1. The SRD only gives a means to determine costs and weights of weapons for Large and Small versions based on the Medium weapons. Any other supplied values are the author's best determination.


The Bolter is a large, .75 calibre assault rifle. It has a much greater mass than most standard-issue rifles such as the Lasgun, although it is slightly shorter in length.

Unlike most rifles, it lacks a stock, resulting in a grip much like a pistol's or a sub-machine gun's. A Space Marines bulky power armour would make shouldering a stock an awkward experience,
but power armour is most likely also able to compensate for vibrations and oscillation, making a stock redundant.
Stocks are sometimes used, however, with an extended barrel and an M40 Targeter System to transform the bolter into a sniping weapon system. These sniper-bolters are most often used with Stalker Silenced Shells.
The Bolter is complex to produce and requires dedicated maintenance, which prevents it from being issued more widely throughout the Imperial Guard. Furthermore, the Space Marine warriors, or Astartes, are a breed of genetically-enhanced supersoldiers.
The Chapters of the Astartes also wear massive suits of power armour that further enhance their control over the powerful recoil of the weapon, and aid the already prodigious skill of the individual warrior with autosense uplinks and suit-integrated targeting systems.
The Bolter is simply far too heavy to be wielded effectively by the average human being or Imperial Guard soldier.
The Bolter also is far more susceptible to being fouled by dirt and mishandling than the basic Lasgun issued to Guardsmen, requiring much more training than the Guard is ready to give the standard line trooper.

The Bolter's need for physical ammunition demands far more logistic organization than the standard lasgun, and Astartes Chapters have been known to go through a small stockpile of rounds in a single campaign.

To simplify the distinction between the three man-portable bolt weapon types used in the Warhammer universe with regards to variable character size, a heavy bolter is any bolter two sizes larger then you, and a bolt pistol is any bolter two sizes smaller. Everything in between is classified as a boltgun.

The Boltgun is a weapon of raw power, and makes a terrific amount of a noise when fired. Therefore it is impossible without skills, spells or extra equipment to catch target off guard. Unless something else allows for it, targets can never be caught flatfooted with a boltgun. Also the weapon has such a kick to it that unless you have a Strength modifier over 4 you cannot shoot a medium boltgun without taking 1d6 nonlethal damage. This Str mod requirement lowers one with ever size smaller and rises with 1 for every size larger.


The damage stated above is with a Standard Bolt, but the weight stated is for an empty gun, each 10 (medium) standard bolts weigh 1 lb. and cost 1 gp a piece. Ammunition only fits boltguns of the same size and the weight and price is doubled every size larger (2 gp for lage, 4 gp for huge and so on.), and halved every size smaller (½ lb., 1/4 lb. and so on).

Standard Bolt:
The standard bolt is the standard-issue antipersonnel ammunition for the Bolter. It is designed to penetrate a target and detonate, causing horrific injuries. It uses the statistics written above.

Kraken Penetrator Rounds:
Kraken penetrator rounds are potent, more power armor-piercing rounds than the standard bolt. The uranium core is replaced by a solid adamant core and uses a heavier main charge. Upon impact, the outer casing peels away and the high-velocity adamant needle accelerates into the victim, where the larger detonator propels shards of super-hardened metal further into the wound. These are effective against heavily-armored infantry. These effectively ignores all nonmagical armor bonuses to AC, but weigh twice as much as normal rounds and the cost of a magazine is tripled.

Inferno Bolt:
Inferno Bolts are designed to immolate their targets and destroy them with superheated chemical fire. The uranium core is replaced with an oxy-phosphorus gel, known as Promethium. However, due to the decreased projectile mass, armor-piercing capabilities are compromised. These bolts deal an additional 1d6 fire damage on impact and sets the target on fire for 1d4 rounds. These are rounds weigh the same as normal but costs double the normal price for a magazine.

Hellfire Bolt:
Hellfire bolts are designed for use against organic targets, specifically the Tyranids. The core and tip are replaced with a vial of mutagenic acid and thousands of needles. When the round enters the target's body, the vial shatters and the needles pierce the victim's flesh, pumping the acid into the target. Almost the same as the Inferno bolt but this deals 1d6 acid damage and dose obviously not set the target on fire. Though the target must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or take another 1d6 damage the next round as the acid is still in the system. Each round until the target succeeds it will take 1d6 acid damage, but the DC lowers with 4 each round. These rounds weigh and cost the same as Inferno Bolts (same and double).

Metal Storm Frag Bolt:
In the metal storm srag bolt, the mass-reactive fuse of the standard bolt is replaced with a proximity fuse, and the uranium core and diamondback tip are replaced with increased high-explosives and a fragmentation casing. This means the bolt explodes when it nears an enemy, creating a lethal hail of shrapnel. This bolt is capable of inflicting casualties on multiple lightly-armored targets, but its effectiveness is dramatically reduced when facing heavily-armored foes like Chaos Space Marines. These bolts double the armor bonus to AC but hits everyone in a 5 ft. radius around the target (along with the target itself). You use the same "to hit" roll but roll separate damage for each target. These rounds cost the same as Standard Bolts and weigh the same.

Stalker Silenced Shells:
Stalker Silenced Shells are Bolter rounds with low sound signatures, meant for covert fighting. They are often used in conjunction with an M40 Targeter System, an extended barrel, and a stock to create a sniping weapon system. A gas cartridge replaces both the propellant base and main charge for silent firing, but this sacrifices muzzle velocity as a result. A solidified mercury slug replaces the mass-reactive warhead for lethality at sub-sonic projectile speed. These rounds are used when stealth and precision are required. These rounds allows for catching the target off guard and becoming flatfooted. These rounds cost the same as Standard Bolts and weigh the same.

Psycannon Bolts
Psycannon Bolts are used by the Inquisition, primarily the Ordo Malleus and its Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter. They are very similar in nature to the rounds fired by their namesake, the Psycannon, and are similarly used against psychic Heretic and daemonic targets. Of all the rounds available to the Bolter, these are the most expensive, as each and every bolt is inscribed with arcane runes on a microscopic level. According to some sources the bolts derive their anti-psychic effect from being impregnated with an extremely rare negative psychic energy; the sole source of this energy is a metabolic byproduct of the Emperor of Mankind's Golden Throne. The anti-psychic nature of these rounds are not only effective at destroying daemonic targets but also highly efficient at piercing the powerful barriers created by force field generators (such as the Tau Shield Generator and the Imperium's own Iron Halo and Storm Shield). These rounds can hit immaterial or ethereal targets such as ghosts and ignore magical armor bonuses (such as magearmor or enchantment bonuses to AC). These rounds cost four times as much as Standard Bolts and weigh the same.

Vengeance Rounds
Vengeance Round bolts were created using unstable flux core technology that makes them hazardous to use but extremely potent at penetrating through heavily armored targets. As their name implies, these bolts were developed by the Imperium specifically to target the Chaos Space Marines of the Traitor Legions. These round gives the boltgun the vicious enchantment (dealing 2d6 additional damage but deals 1d6 to the user) as en Extraordinary ability. These rounds cost the same as Standard Bolts and weigh the same.

Dragonfire Bolts
Dragonfire Bolts are hollow-shelled bolts that explode with a gout of superheated gas that can eliminate the value of cover for enemy troops. Effectively removing cover saves and bonuses. These rounds cost the same as Standard Bolts and weigh half as much.


As well as the different types of ammunition, there have also been several different types of magazines. The standard magazine is the sickle-mag. All (medium) magazines weigh 2 lb and are not calculated into the weapons weight.

Sickle Magazine:
The standard-issue magazine, seen on most Bolter patterns. The magazine's shape is slightly curved to take up less space. Carries 20 to 30 bolts. Costs 50 gp for a full magazine with 30 bolts. For a 20 bolt magazine lower the price by 1gp pr bolt.

Straight Magazine:
A straight version of the sickle magazine. Holds less ammunition (only 10 to 20 bolts), but is easier to load in more intense situations. Costs 30 gp for a full magazine with 20 bolts. For a 10 bolt magazine lower the price by 1gp pr bolt.

Drum Magazine:
Drum magazines are a relatively rare sight in the 41st Millenium. This is due to their unreliability; drum magazines have an unfortunate tendency to jam. However, drums can carry 40, 60 or even 100 bolts, negating the need to reload as often. Despite the frequent jamming, they still brook some favor with local Hive Gangs or planetary defense militia. They are also frequently seen on Storm Bolters or in brutal assaults, where running empty in a firefight can mean certain death. Costs 150 gp for a full magazine with 100 bolts. For a 60 or 40 bolt magazine lower the price by 1gp pr bolt. Also add 2 lb to magazine weight do to increased size. When firing roll a d10 on a roll of 1 the magazine jams and a move-action dexterity check DC 15 is needed to fix it. This offers Attack Of Opportunity.

Belt Feed:
Some troops forgo using magazines at all, preferring to feed the bolts directly into the firing chamber using a linked belt. Because the belt is exposed to the elements, it is frequently clogged with dirt or dust. This can, like the Drum Mag, lead to jamming, and is rarely used within the Imperium, although it is very commonly used by the Chaos Space Marines of the Ruinous Powers. Costs 250 gp for a belt feed that connects your backpack with you Boltgun. The amount of ammunition you have at your disposal depends on how much you can carry in your backpack. This set up weighs an additional 30 lb. When firing roll a d10 on a roll of 1 or 2 the magazine jams and a full-round-action dexterity check DC 20 is needed to fix it. This offers Attack Of Opportunity.

Duplus X:
This type of magazine is quite popular amongst local planetary law enforcement or Hive Gangs. It involves two standard magazines which are attached together by some means, usually a band of cloth or tape (similar to the "ready-mags" of ancient Terra). This means when the weapon has to be reloaded, the user can simply flip the magazines around and insert the loaded magazine. This type is rarely produced officially, usually being 'manufactured' by those who utilize it. Doing this makes it a swift action to change the magazines but only when you switch between these two. Cost the same as two Sickle or Strait magazines and weigh the same as two magazines.


With a stock even mortal soldiers can handle the mighty boltgun.
This addon lowers the Str mod required to use a boltgun without taking damage by 2. Costs 25 gp and weighs 1 lb.

Extended barrel:
Increases the range by 30 ft (to a total of 150 ft.). Costs 25 gp and weighs 1/10 of the boltgun.

Double barrel
Also know as the Storm Bolter variant. This allows you to reroll you attack if you miss (but only once pr attack) because you drown your target in bullets, but this consumes double the amount of ammunition and increases the required Str Mod by 1.
This variant cost x1.5 the amount of a standard bolter (1500 gp for a medium) and weigh twice as much.

M40 Targeter System:
This scope and laser dot sight allows you to ignore the first range increment penalty if you use a fullround action to aim. Cost 200 gp and weigh ½ lb.


Due to its bulk and weight, Imperial Guard infantry operate Heavy Bolters using a two-man team, mounting the weapon on a tripod.
This allows you to use bolters normally too large for you without penalty and removes the Str mod requirement, but you will be unable to move the gun while set up on the tripod.
It takes 2 full round actions to setup and dismantle the gun and tripod. A tripod can handle guns 2 sizes larger, and a medium tripod costs 100 gp and weighs 5 lb. Every size larger is an extra 50 gp and 1½ lb.

Ammo belt protection:
That Space Marine heavy bolters have the ammunition belt feed protected by a tough, flexible feed chute.
Can be bought for additional 200 gp and removes the chance of jamming, but increase the weight by 20 lb'

This is a conversion of a Warhammer 40K boltgun/pistol made by me and information is borrowed from [1]

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