16 January 2012

Classic D&D variant: Firearms

I've been talking a lot about Portown and the Sea of Dread lately, and to many people, that means pirates. The Hin of the Five Shires, as well as many of their human neighbors, are responsible for a lot of piracy on the waters of the Sea of Dread, and an entire culture has sprung up around the setting's less than scrupulous sailors.

To a lot of people, pirates means guns. Cannons and muskets are an integral part of the genre. To allow the option of firearms in a pirate themed game, I came up with the following quick conversion of the rules from the Freeport: City of Adventure campaign setting (Green Ronin Publishing, 2002):

Firearms are a relatively recent invention, appearing in Portown only about 5 years ago, when a strange gnome named Kolter Mai opened up a smithy and shop in the city. Kolter's "guns" are a mixture of clockwork gears and a strange alchemical substance called smoke powder, which explodes violently when exposed to flame.

The three most readily available weapons from Kolter's Clockworks (the name of his shop, which also sells clocks and clockwork toys) are:

Privateer Pistol - dmg 2d4, same ranges as a short bow
Cost: 500gp
Ammo Cost: 1cp*

Gorgon Musket - dmg 2d6, same ranges as a light crossbow
Cost: 800gp
Ammo Cost: 2cp*

Titan "Swivelgun" (light cannon) - dmg 2d10, same ranges as long bow
Cost: 1200gp
Ammo Cost: 1sp*

Some notes:
Reloading for all of these weapons is a slow process, taking 3 entire rounds. This also means that characters who somehow have more than one attack per round may only make multiple shots if they have more than one loaded firearm.

Aside from the basic cost of the lead ball ammunition used by these weapons, each shot must be accompanied by a charge of smoke powder. These are sold in tea bag sized packets for the pistol and musket, and slightly larger packets for the swivelgun, they cost 1gp and 3gp each, respectively.

Any time a natural 1 is rolled on the d20 to hit roll with one of these weapons, the firearm jams and explodes, causing the full damage of the shot to the person firing it (Save vs. Breath to drop the firearm and take half damage) as well as causing havoc with the clockwork gears. Kolter, or another craftsman trained in firearm maintenance may repair the damage to the clockworks for 1/10th the cost of the weapon.

This is a really quick and dirty conversion of a much more detailed and varied system used in the Freeport setting. I don't plan to make much use of it, but wanted to provide something simple for others to work with in conjunction with Portown and a Pirates of the Sea of Dread campaign.

Culinary Magic!

I always like fun and interesting new magic for the game, things the players least expect. I had some notes on magical food concoctions in my notes, and remembered them while reading about the Chef class in an old issue of Polyhedron magazine. I decided to type up my notes, and convert some of the Chef magic stuff from AD&D to Classic D&D, here's what i came up with.

Miija's Gingersnaps (75 gp for 6 cookies)
The crunchy and tasty cookies, invented by the famous (in the Five Shires, at least) Hin baker Miija Copperkettle, grant the eater the effects of a Haste spell for 1d4 rounds. Attempting to eat more than one per day, however, will cause the eater painful heartburn and debilitating cramps, inflicting 1d4 points of damage that can only be cured by a full night's rest (not even magical healing spells will help).

Druids Bayberry Tea (10 gp per cup)
This rather bitter tasting brew, common among the woodland folk of Alfheim, acts as a mild healing draught and a full cup will heal 1d4 hp of damage. Drinking a full pot (4 cups) will either heal 4d4 hp of damage, or cure any single non-magical disease or posion.

Miija's Peculiar Pepper Sauce (100gp for one bottle, 6 chugs)
Another invention of Miija Copperkettle, this extremely hot blend of chili peppers from around the islands of the Five Shires and Ierendi allows anyone taking a gulp of it to spit forth a gout of flame with a 15 foot range and causing 1d6 points of damage to anything it hits.
The sauce burns its drinker as well, however, causing 1d2 points of damage for every gulp taken. In addition, for each gulp taken beyond the first each day, the drinker must make a Save vs Death with a cumulative -1 penalty or die from choking.

Druid's Basil Cakes (10gp for one tart)
These vile tasting herbal tarts require a successful CON check to eat without gagging and vomiting, but if kept down, they guarantee  success on any one Save vs Petrification within the next 24 hours.

Miija's Elven Carrot Cake (50gp for one cake, 4 slices)
Eating a slice of this sweet treat grants the eater infravision with a 10 foot range for one hour. Repeated consumption of the cake the same day has no effect.

Miija's Amazing Applesauce (30gp for a 12oz jar)
This thick, sweet and slightly chunky apple sauce is not only delicious, it's extremely filling and nourishing. One 12 oz. jarserves as an entire week's worth of rations.

Miija's Potent Peas (5 gp for 12 peas)
Three of these dried peas will create an entire serving of a nourishing, if rather bland tasting, pea soup when placed in a bowl with hot water. One serving satisfies a humanoid of man size or smaller for one day.

Miija's Regiberry Tea ( 20gp per vial, 3 sips)
One sip of this sweet, fruity tea provides the equivalent of an entire days ration of water.


Miija Copperkettle owns and runs a small bakery in Portown, where these items (including the two druidic recipes) may be purchased, but she has also sold her recipes to other bakers who promise not to open a competing shop in Portown, so the DM can have the items turn up at a market or bakery just about anywhere. 
Miija is also constantly on the look out for new and rare ingredients for her culinary creations, and may serve as a minor patron for PCs looking for work.