Fantasy Firearms (5e Variant Rule)

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Fantasy Firearms[edit]

So, picture this. You're playing D&D. The guy next to you has a sword, the gal on your right uses her fists, and the friend of loosely-defined gender who sits across from you wields arcane magic of destructive potential. You? You've got a gun. Now, if you're playing in a fantasy setting... hey, maybe guns don't fit the tone. But, in a world with enchanted weaponry, undead, and whatever the heck Flumphs are, it's not unreasonable to say some gnome or dwarf had the idea of making fantasy-gunpowder from dragon bone or fairy dust or something. So even in the most Tolkien-esque settings, there may be a place for it.

That said, the DMG does give rules for weaponry for renaissance, modern, and futuristic settings. Unfortunately, said weapons are not balanced for the traditional high-fantasy settings most are used to. So, this page will categorize, instead, firearms (or firearm-adjacent creations) that could conceivably fit in your run-of-the-mill D&D campaign.

The Reload (X) Property[edit]

Currently, there's three types of vanilla D&D ranged weapons: Bows, Crossbows, and Thrown Weapons. Bows are two-handed weapons, with no restrictions to how often you can fire them. Crossbows have the loading property, preventing the user from firing them more than once per round (or requiring them to take the Crossbow Mastery feat), but many have more damage or are one-handed to compensate. Thrown weapons are just disposable melee weapons.

To differentiate firearms from these types of weapons, they can receive a "Reload" property. Weapons with the reload property can hold a certain amount of ammo, e.g. a Revolver with 6 rounds. So, unlike crossbows, firearms can be fired more than once per round. However, when they run out of rounds, the weapon cannot be fired again until you use an action to reload it. Then, just like crossbows, they can come in one-handed or two-handed varieties. A firearm user does not need to invest in a feat to take advantage of any extra attack class features they get, over a crossbow user, but then has to deal with needing to spend a turn in "down-time" every now and then. A weapon with a Reload(2) or even a Reload(1) property would be really rough!

Categorized List[edit]

Feel free to put the [[Category:Fantasy Firearms]] onto any firearm page that meets the following criteria:
1) It uses the Reload property
2) It is balanced alongside other vanilla D&D weapons, as opposed to the anachronistic weapons listed in the DMG or on this site.
3) The fluff for the page works for a fantasy setting, even if it uses copious amounts of Magitek. (If magic can create a wall of pure force or cross dimensions, it can also create an enchanted weapon that can accelerate a metal slug at relativistic speeds...)

Mundane Firearms
Fantasy Firearm Cost Damage Weight Properties
Alchemic Bullets
Bayonet Rifle, Variant 70 gp 1d10 piercing / 1d6 piercing 10 lb. Ammunition (range 60/200), heavy, reload (3 shots), special, two-handed
Bayonet Rifle 95 gp 1d10 piercing / 1d4 piercing 12 lb. Ammunition (range 100/400), heavy, reload (4 shots), special, two-handed
Drake Cannon 250 gp 2d6 piercing 4 lb Ammunition (range 25/40), reload (2), special
Hand Cannon 50 gp 2d6 bludgeoning 20 lb. Ammunition (range 20/60), heavy, two-handed
Heavy Cannon 300 gp 2d8 bludgeoning 40 lb Ammunition (range 50/150), heavy, reload(1), two-handed
Revolver, Variant 150 gp 1d10 piercing 2 lb Ammunition (range 25/100), light, reload (6 shots)
Rifle, Variant 90 gp 1d12 piercing 11 lb. Ammunition (range 125/500), heavy, reload (4 shots), two-handed
Simple Pistol 100 gp 1d10 piercing 0.5 lb. Ammunition (range 25/75), hidden, light, reload (1), special
Magic Firearms
Firearm Rarity Type
Deus Ex Calibre very rare Simple Pistol
Devil's Chamber very rare revolver
Quickdraw Revolver rare revolver


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