Firearms (5e Variant Rule)

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A collection of variant rules useful for modern and futuristic firearms.

Armor Piercing[edit]

Armor Piercing

Attacks with weapons or ammunition with the armor piercing trait are quite effective against armor, by either burning straight through it or passing through unsealed areas.

  • Armor Piercing (-1). Targets with natural armor or worn armor and an AC of 14 or better take a -1 penalty to AC.
  • Armor Piercing (-2). Targets with natural armor or worn armor and an AC of 16 or better take a -2 penalty to AC, in addition to the benefits of armor piercing (-1).
  • Armor Piercing (-3). Targets with natural armor or worn armor and an AC of 18 or better take a -3 penalty to AC, in addition to the benefits of armor piercing (-1) and (-2).
  • Armor Piercing (-4). Targets with natural armor or worn armor and an AC of 20 or better take a -4 penalty to AC, in addition to the benefits of armor piercing (-1), (-2), and (-3).
  • Armor Piercing (-5). Targets with natural armor or worn armor and an AC of 22 or better take a -5 penalty to AC, in addition to the benefits of armor piercing (-1), (-2), (-3), and (-4).

The AC penalties do not stack together.

Burst Fire Nonproficiency[edit]

The DC of Dexterity saving throws made against firearms using burst fire (DMG p. 267) is 10 (not 15) if the attacker does not have proficiency with the weapon.

Burst Fire Proficiency[edit]

The DC of Dexterity saving throws made against firearms using burst fire (DMG p. 267) is 13 + the attacker's proficiency bonus (not 15) if the attacker has proficiency with the weapon. You may use this rule in conjunction with the Burst Fire Nonproficiency rule, above.

Short Burst[edit]

Firearms with the short burst trait can, fire a number of rounds of ammunition with a single pull of the trigger. This is typically a three-round burst but could be anywhere between two and five.

When you make an attack with a firearm with this trait, you can choose to expend a single round of ammunition as normal, or fire a short burst and expend additional rounds of ammunition as indicated in the parenthesis. If you fire a short burst and successfully hit, you can re-roll a number of the damage die, as indicated in the parenthesis, accepting the new results.

For example, a bolter has short burst (2), so when you attack you expend three rounds of ammunition and re-roll two of the damage die if you successfully hit.

Scope[edit]

Firearms with the scope trait have a scope which facilitates extreme long-range engagements.

If you have not moved since the end of your last turn, you can use an action to aim down the scope of a firearm that has this trait at a specific target. Once you do so, you are incapacitated and your speed becomes 0 until the start of your next turn. However, the first attack you make against the target at the start of your next turn is made as if the firearm has a different range value (listed in parentheses), with no long range at which attacking imposes disadvantage on your attack roll.


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