Firearms, BB Variant (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Note that all material contained within this firearm section was specifically created for a bloodbourne campaign. It make the assumption that the Armor AC, BB Variant rule is in effect.


Firearms should use their DEX modifier for bonuses to hit. Their descriptions and load times (using a 6 second combat round) are as follows:

Pistols: Pistols are smaller firearms, easily fired with one hand. A pistol typically weighs between 3 and 5 pounds. Often, the larger the caliber, the higher the weight. In these rules, loading a pistol takes one full round. The pistol is always loaded with and fire a single ball shot. D&D rules for a pistol are similar to a single bolt crossbow, i.e. when loaded, make a ranged attack to fire, followed by a required reloading. Pistols can theoretically fire bullets of any caliber, but each pistol is locked on the caliber of bullet it is customized for and can only fire one caliber size at a time. Pistols are a X4 Critical with a threat range of 19-20 at "very long" range. The threat range increases one step for each range step closer.

Blunderbuss: Blunderbuss are the effective precursor to modern day shotguns. They are usually shorter firearms which fire a spread of smaller shot. They range from 6 to 10 pounds, and take two full rounds to load. When firing a blunderbuss bullets of all three calibers are necessary. The blunderbuss requires two small caliber bullets, two medium caliber bullets, and one large caliber bullet for each firing. Upon a successful hit, roll a d6. Then roll the requisite "d3's" to find which bullets strike. Note that if all bullets of a specific caliber already hit (2 small/medium or 1 large) and the d6 lands on this option, re-roll until a valid number is rolled. Follow the results as provided in the table below.

Table: Blunderbuss Hit Format
Number of Hits
d6 Roll Result
1 Miss
2 1d6
3 2d6
4 3d6
5 Special 1
6 Special 2
Hit Types
d6 Roll ("d3") Result
1-2 Small Caliber
3-4 Medium Caliber
5-6 Large Caliber

If there is a character in either of the two adjacent squares and "Special 1" is rolled, make an attack(s) upon one/both characters as if they were the target of the shot (regardless if the character is player or enemy). Upon success, roll a single d6 (each) to determine which bullet hits (for each character hit)(again continue re-rolling if the large caliber bullet is rolled a second time). If "Special 2" is rolled, roll a d4 and re-use the table (ignoring results "5" and "6" of the d6 table). Treat this result as a normal hit on the aimed enemy. Then act as if a "Special 1" was rolled (keeping in mind all "expended" shots). If is only one character adjacent, still only target them once. If there are no characters adjacent, count "Special 1" as a miss. Blunderbuss are a X3 Critical with a threat range of 20 at "very long" range. The threat range increases one step for each range step closer.

Muskets: Muskets are longer, heavier firearms, which have no rifling in the barrel. They weigh between 6 and 10 pounds. It takes three full rounds to load a musket. A character would begin loading on the 1st round, skip the 2nd, and fire as the last action on the 3rd. Typically, a musket is loaded with a single bullet and acts similar to a pistol with longer range. When taking other action while reloading, only a movement action is possible, or the reload is automatically a failure. Muskets are a X4 Critical with a threat range of 18-20 at "very long" range. The threat range increases one step for each range step closer.

Firearm Range Table[edit]

Ranges in 5 Foot Grid Squares (Rounded)

Firearm Damage Point Blank Range Short Range Medium Range Long Range Very Long Range
Pistols Caliber Table - 1 Damage Die ≤1 2-5 6-10 11-16 17-20
Blunderbuss Caliber Table - 2 Damage Die ≤1 2-3 4-6 7-10 10-16
Muskets Caliber Table ≤3 4-10 11-17 18-26 26-40
  1. Point Blank Range: +1 to Hit, Damage Die +1
  2. Short Range: No Modifier
  3. Medium Range: -2 to Hit
  4. Long Range: -4 to Hit
  5. Very Long Range: -6 to Hit

Caliber Damage Table[edit]

Caliber Damage Armor Penetration Without Modifiers
Small 2d8 8
Medium 2d12 6
Large 3d8 4
  1. If a "large" caliber strikes a small creature, add 1d8 damage. If it stikes a tiny creature, add 2d8 damage.
  2. If a "medium" caliber weapon strikes a tiny creature, add 1d8 damage.

Exploding Dice[edit]

Exploding Dice: Firearms are very lethal. If you’re hit, it’s most likely that you’ll take a helluva lot of damage. Every time the max number is rolled on a damage die, add another die of damage. Example: If damage is 1d6, and you roll a 6, roll another d6. "Multiple die" are actually just a single larger die i.e. a 2d8 is not a d8 rolled twice, it is a simulated d16, with a lower chance of a 16 roll and no chance of a 1 roll. This is capped at two extra "die" for pistols, one extra die for each blunderbuss shot, and three extra "die" for muskets. (This wouldn't apply to sneak attack dice - only base damage dice).

This is due to the fact that bullets - unlike arrows and bolts - are soft and expand once inside dealing trauma damage beyond what the bullet's size might imply. This allows a 'lucky shot' to potentially kill something very dangerous in a single; or do very little in the fashion of 'grazing shot'.

Ammunition Material Table[edit]

Material Range Modifier[1] Damage Modifier[2]
Stone -50% -50%, Half Armor Penetration
Lead None None
Iron None -25%, +50% Armor Penetration, No exploding dice
Silver -25% +25% Against Beasts
Ashbone -50% +100% Against Corrupted Beings
  1. Always round range up to the nearest square.
  2. Also, always round damage up.

AC Penetration[edit]

When a firearm is discharged and hits an opponent, some of the AC of the opponent is negated. This is mainly armor based AC. A firearm will go through all non-magical armor, natural armor, and shield AC up to the stated maximum. Enhancement bonuses on armor/shields will not be penetrated, except, when the firearm also has an enhancement bonus. So a chainmail may be completely penetrated by a point blank shot of a musket, but a +3 chainmail will provide a +3 AC bonus to armor regardless of the armor penetration. If the musket is a +3 musket, the bullet will now be able to penetrate all of the chainmail once again. If the musket is merely a +2, for example, then the +3 chainmail will always provide at least +1 AC. An unenhanced firearm will not penetrate magical defenses, size based defenses, deflection AC, or feat-based AC bonuses. A firearm enhanced to even +1 will penetrate deflection AC and size based AC.

If the bullet is magical/enhanced (bullets must be enhanced separately from firearms contrary to bows), in addition to whatever enhancement the bullet bares, the bullet (and only the enhanced bullets for blunderbuss purposes) will also penetrate magical defenses and some feat-based AC bonuses.

A firearm will never penetrate dexterity based AC. Feat-based AC bonuses that are dexterity based (i.e. dodge) cannot be bypassed; however, non-dexterity based feat AC bonuses can be bypassed by magical bullets. Note, even unenhanced, Ashbone bullets count as magical.

DR Penetration[edit]

As stated, these firearm rules follow an armor-damage resistance variant rule. Any armor can have up to half its AC bonus and shields its full AC bonus as DR/Adamantine. A firearm can penetrate this.

Anytime a bullet hits, there is a penetration value and an opponents "penetrate-able" AC value. That is, the combined value of all the different sources of AC the opponent has that can be penetrated by a bullet. Every point the penetration value is above the "penetrate-able" AC value is one armor/shield DR that the bullet can penetrate.

For example. An opponent has base 10 AC, a +2 Dex AC, a +1 Dodge (feat) AC, a splint mail with +6 AC (with DR 3/Adamantine), and a shield with +2 AC (with DR 2/Adamantine). The total AC is 21 (and the total armor/shield DR is DR 5/Adamantine); however, only 8 of this AC can be penetrated. Assume a musket was fired at point blank range. If it was a medium caliber the armor penetration would be 12. 8 of that armor penetration would go through the armor/shield and 4 would go through the DR/Adamantine (leaving DR 1/Adamantine). A large caliber the armor penetration would be 8, so would not penetrate any DR. A small caliber bullet however, would penetrate 16 and thus go through all the armor/shield AC and all 5 DR. It would not do more than penetrate the 8 AC and the 5 DR.

Bullets will go through any DR but DR/-, DR/silver (unless the bullet is silver), or DR/magic.

Armor Penetration Table[edit]

(Modifiers based off of the Caliber Damage Table, arranged smallest caliber to largest on table below. The first number in a block is for armor penetration on smaller calibers, the next number is for armor penetration on the medium sized calibers, and the third number is for armor penetration on the larger calibers. Pistols suffer no armor penetration penalty, blunderbuss are reduced to 50%, and muskets are multiplied to 150%. Modifiers are multiplied 1.5x for point blank range, 1x for short range, .5x for medium, .25x for long, and .125x for very long. The 50% stone and iron shot modifier added afterwards.

Weapon Type Point Blank Short Range Medium Range Long Range Very Long Range
Pistol 12/9/6 8/6/4 4/3/2 2/2/1 1/1/1
Pistol (Stone Shot) 8/6/4 4/3/2 2/2/1 1/1/1 1/0/0
Pistol (Iron Shot) 16/12/8 12/9/6 8/6/4 4/3/2 2/2/1
Blunderbuss 8/6/4 4/3/2 2/2/1 1/1/1 1/0/0
Blunderbuss (Stone Shot) 4/3/2 2/2/1 1/1/1 1/0/0 0/0/0
Blunderbuss (Iron Shot) 12/9/6 8/6/4 4/3/2 2/2/1 1/1/1
Musket 16/12/8 12/9/6 8/6/4 4/3/2 2/2/1
Musket (Stone Shot) 12/9/6 8/6/4 4/3/2 2/2/1 1/1/1
Musket (Iron Shot) 20/15/10 16/12/8 12/9/6 8/6/4 4/3/2

An example would be that if a character were to have an AC of 18 from a suit of plate, no Dex modifier, and the base AC of 10, and were to be shot by a small caliber musket from short range, it would be as if the character had an AC of 10. The same for medium caliber, but large caliber would be as if the character had an AC of 12. If the armor were enchanted with a +2 enhancement, (for a total of 20), and shot from short range (12 penetration), it would be as if the character had an AC of 12 rather than 10. If the musket were a +1, it would be as if the character had an AC of 11. If the musket were a +2 or higher, then, it would be as if the character had an AC of 10.

Misfire Tables[edit]

Standard Misfires[edit]

On every shot fired, 1d100 should be rolled to determine if a misfire occured.

1d100 Roll Misfire
1 - 90 No Misfire Occurs
91 - 92 Primer fails to ignite. Recock and attempt again in two "initiative" steps.
93 - 95 Blankfire, the shot is a dud. Action lost and must reload.
96 - 98 Hangfire, DM rolls 1d10 (and does not tell player of result), and firearm will fire in that many initiative steps
99 Flint shatters, replace flint, takes 4 rounds
100 Roll again, if 100 is rolled twice in a row, a critical fault in the firing mechanism occurs.
  1. On Hangfire, DM rolls 1d10. Firearm will go off in that many "initiative steps". (Do not tell character what you rolled.)
  2. On critical failure the Firearm is now unusable until the character can perform maintenance on it. Cannot be done in combat.

For example if you roll a 91; if combat is occurring around you, and you misfire at the beginning of the round, attempt to fire again after the next two subjects on the initiative list have their turn.

Misfires Due to Weather[edit]

If a shot is fired in weather, roll an ADDITIONAL 1d100 to see if a misfire occurs due to weather. Further, while loading a firearm in weather, roll a 1d20 to see if the powder gets wet.

Weather Failure to Ignite Hangfire Failure to Keep Powder Dry (on 1d20)
Drizzle 87 - 95 96 - 100 1 - 2
Shower 83 - 94 95 - 100 1 - 4
Downpour 77 - 93 94 - 100 1 - 8
Deluge 52 - 92 93 - 100 1 - 16
Snow 90 - 92 93 - 100 1
  1. On Failure to Ignite, Character must recock the hammer. Character can fire again in two "Initiative Steps."
  2. On Hangfire, DM rolls 1d10. Firearm will go off in that many "initiative steps". (Do not tell character what you rolled.)
  3. On critical failure the Firearm is now unusable until the character can perform maintainence on it. Cannot be done in combat.

Crafting or buying wax paper cartridges (the bullet, patch and the powder needed to fire it are loaded into a small paper pouch, which is used to prime the flash pan and fire the gun) somewhat seals the priming powder and charge from the elements allowing for an easier time protecting it from the elements. With wax paper charges you can reduce the difficulty of keeping powder dry by one step.


In addition to the musket balls themselves, black powder is needed to fire bullets. Below is a chart indicating the amount of powder (set in units) needed to fire each caliber bullet from each firearm type.

Firearm Small Caliber Medium Caliber Large Caliber
Pistol 3 2 1
Blunderbuss 2 1 1
Musket 6 3 2
  1. Note that the Blunderbuss must fire 2 small, 2 medium, and 1 large caliber bullet for every shot and requires black powder in an amount to reflect that.

Black powder is a very flammable mixture. If hit directly with flame, the powder will ignite. Covered powder will only have a percentage chance to ignite (80% for cloth, 40% for wet cloth, 50% for hide, 25% for metal, -10% if a material is magical). Attempts to intentionally ignite the powder (by an opponent) comes at a -6 to hit, -8 if in an enclosed container, and -12 if concealed in a closed container. A successful reflex save will prevent an AOE flame attacks from connecting if made with a +2 DC (must be stated beforehand) or if the character possesses the feat Evasion. Otherwise, roll to see if the powder ignites.

Ignited flame will have a 50% chance to explode. When exploding, the powder does 1d6 fire damage for every 10 units of black powder with a range of 5 feet per 10 damage. The damage is diminishing, so dead center, the explosion will do max damage and every 5 foot tier (radially) away from the center deals 10 less damage (Reflex 1/2 DC = # Black Powder units, with a DC -2 for every square away from the center). Regardless, ignited powder can no longer be used.

In unfavorable conditions, black powder may become wet. There are three tiers of moisture to the powder: moist, wet, and soaked. The three reduce the chance the powder will ignite by 10%, 30%, and 80% respectively. Moist powder will have an additional 30% misfire chance, wet powder an additional 65% misfire chance, and soaked powder will always misfire. It takes 24 hours per tier in dry conditions to dry the powder.


Reloading a firearm requires the character use full round actions. Multiple full round reloading must be on consecutive turns. Exceptions can be made however. A concentration check (DC base 15 out of combat, 20 in combat) can be rolled to perform other actions in the middle of reloading. The DC increases +2 for every turn the reloading is delayed (full road actions taken to reload after a reload has started and been interrupted do not require a check, nor do they count to increasing the DC; however, all DC increases are cumulative for each reload (once a reload has started, the DC does not reset until the weapon is reloaded or the reload fails). At least one hand must be occupied with reloading a weapon each turn once a reload has started, even if no reload actions occur during the turn.

At any point, a reload can result in a failure. This can happen purposefully, due to a failed check, a successful disarm attempt, or failing a save when attacked. When successfully attacked by an opponent, a reflex save (DC 5 + 1/2 Damage dealt) must be made or a reload will fail.

Upon failure to reload, roll a d20. On a critical failure the firearm is jammed and requires twice the reload time to unjam (treat exactly like a reload and stack jamming times if necessary). For a 2-19, the firearm suffers from a failed reload that takes an equal amount of time to fix as passed on the current reload (i.e. if a full round has gone into reloading a musket and the reload fails, another full round must be spent fixing the failure before another reload cycle can begin). On a critical success, reset the reload cycle (you must still reload).

For the purposes of reloading, a swift action counts toward 1/6 of a turn, a movement action 2/6 of a turn, and a standard action 3/6 of a turn. Part of a turn can be spent reloading; however, increasingly difficult concentration checks must be made for each turn not entirely reloading (once reloaded, the reload cycle ends; anymore actions left for that turn can be taken without penalty). Note that with muskets, taking a standard action while reloading is an automatic failure, regardless of the check.

Magical Ammunition[edit]

Custom Bullets: Modified bullets which hold special magical and elemental properties can be made. There are six different types of elemental bullets ; Cold, Fire, Electrical, Sonic, Acid, and Poisoned. Additionally, holy and unholy water capsule bullets which contain aligned water, powdered silver, and garlic (or other materials that could be suspended in small capsules) can be added to bullets to be used against evil or good enemies. Every hour, 6 bullets can craft of any one element and requires materials detailed in the following chart. Additionally, each hour requires a craft (bullets) DC check to successfully create. Failure results in the loss of all crafting materials.

Table: Modified Bullets

Type Craft DC Bonus Damage Required Materials
Fire 22 +1d8 fire 1 flask of Alchemists Fire
Cold 15 +1d6 cold 1 Coldstone
Holy 12 +1d4 holy 1 flask of holy water
Unholy 12 +1d4 unholy 1 flask of unholy water
Sonic 15 +1d6 sonic 1 thunderstone
Electric 22 +1d8 electric 1 bolt paper
Acid 15 +1d6 acid 1 flask of chosen acid
Armor Piercing 20 Negate an additional 1d6 AC Adamantine

Over Powdered Shots[edit]

If a shot is fired with a charge 50% more than recommended (i.e. 1.5x black powder units (rounded up)) damage is multiplied by 1.5x. Reloading takes an addition full round (regardless of feats to reduce reload times) for all firearms. Also, on a roll of 1 - 2 on the 1d100 misfire table, the gun will burst, causing 2d12 blast/shrapnel damage in a one square radius.

If a shot is fired with a double charge (2x black powder units), damage is tripled. This takes an additional 3 full rounds to reload for all firearms (again, regardless of all means to reduce reload times). Also, on a roll of 1 - 8 on the 1d100 misfire table, the gun will burst, causing 5d12 blast/shrapnel damage in 2 square radius.

Feats in Regards to Firearms[edit]

Point Blank Shot remains unchanged.

Far Shot remains unchanged.

Precise Shot remains unchanged.

Improved Precise Shot remains unchanged.

Sharp-shooting remains unchanged.

Rapid Shot remains unchanged (though multiple loaded firearms are necessary).

Many Shot remains unchanged (though again, multiple loaded firearms are necessary).

Shot on the Run remains unchanged.

Rapid Reload rather than a free action, reduces reload time down one step (3 full to 2 full, 1 full to a standard, a standard to a move, a move to a swift).

Firearm Feats[edit]

All firearm feats can be used as "Fighter Feats".

Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Far Shot, Shot on the Run, and Improved Precise Shot can count as firearms feats for the purpose of stacking.

Weapon Proficiency (Firearms): Allows for the usage of pistols, blunderbuss, and muskets by the character.

Snap Shot: When character is caught flat-footed, if the character has a firearm in his or her hands, roll a d20. If it's more than 10, the character can actually fire their shot as they are being struck (counts as one AoO even if the situation wouldn't allow an AoO). Also, if an AoO can be made, and the player possesses the feat combat reflexes (and has a free AoO), resolve that first, then the shot can be taken (this counts for two AoO).

Improved Snap Shot: (Pre-Req: Snap Shot) When a character is caught flat footed, if the character has a firearm in his or her hands, roll a d20. If it's more than 7, a shot can be fired before being struck (counts as one AoO even if the situation wouldn't allow an AoO). Also, if an AoO can be made, and the player possesses the feat combat reflexes (and has a free AoO), resolve that first, then the shot can be taken (this counts for two AoO).

Man and Nature: Character treats deluges as downpours, downpours as showers, showers as drizzles, and drizzles and snow count as clear weather.

Rifle and Body: On any misfire roll, character immediately rolls again, taking the second result (note the DM must say that there is a "misfire," not what type.

Strength of Guns: (Pre-Req: INT 17) Character can load 1.5x powder without the risk of the firearm exploding. Character can load 2x powder and have it treated as if it had the same risk of exploding as a 1.5x load of powder.

Aimed Shot: (Pre-Req: INT: 15) If character is unengaged in melee combat, the character can pick out and aim for weak spots in a creature's armor. On a successful hit, add 2 to armor penetration. 3/Encounter

Stock Attack: (Pre-Req: BAB: 6) Character can use the stock of his or her firearm to attack in melee. Pistols have the same statistics as clubs, blunderbuss have the same statistics as a flail, muskets have the same statistics as quarterstaves. Bonuses from firearms feats and stacking apply. (Armor penetration does not.)

Bleeding Injury: (Pre-Req: Aimed Shot) On a successful Aimed Shot, the target takes bleeding damage. Damage is 1d4, reroll each turn at a 1d4-(turns spent bleeding) until the result is less than or equal to 0.

Firearms feats stack. For each two feats a character takes, add a +1 to attack/damage rolls (alternating, for two feats, +1 attack roll, for four, +1 damage, for six, +1 +1 (+2 total) attack rolls, etc.) made with the firearms.

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