Firearms work differently from other ranged projectile weapons—they instead use the following rules.
Firearm Proficiency: Martial weapon proficiency allows you to use all firearms without penalty. A nonproficient character takes the standard –4 penalty on attack rolls with firearms. Even though martial weapon proficiency grants you proficiency with all firearms, anytime you take a feat that modifies a single type of weapon (such as Weapon Focus or Rapid Reload), you must still pick one specific type of firearm (such as muzzle loader, blunderbuss, pistol, or double pistol) for that feat to affect. All firearms are part of the same weapon group for the purposes of the fighter’s weapon training class feature.
Capacity: A firearm’s capacity is the number of shots it can hold at one time. When making a full-attack action, you may fire a firearm as many times in a round as you have attacks, up to this limit, unless you can reload the weapon as a swift or free action while making a full-attack action.
Range and Penetration: Armor, whether manufactured or natural, provides little protection against the force of a bullet at short range. When firing a firearm, the attack resolves against the target’s touch AC when the target is within the first range increment of the weapon, but this type of attack is not considered a touch attack for the purposes of feats and abilities such as Deadly Aim. At higher range increments, the attack resolves normally, including taking the normal cumulative –2 penalty for each full range increment. Unlike other projectile weapons, firearms have a maximum range of five range increments.
Loading a Firearm: You need at least one hand free to load one-handed and two-handed firearms. In the case of two-handed firearms, you hold the weapon in one hand and load it with the other—you only need to hold it in two hands to aim and shoot the firearm.
The Rapid Reload feat reduces the time required to load one-handed and two-handed firearms.
Loading any firearm provokes attacks of opportunity.
Other rules for loading a firearm depend on whether the firearm is an early firearm or an advanced firearm.
Muzzle Loaders: This firearm requiring bullets or pellets and black powder (or paper cartridge) to be rammed down the muzzle. If the firearm has multiple barrels, each barrel must be loaded separately. It is two full-round actions to load each barrel of a firearm.
Breechloaders: This firearm is reloaded from the rear of the barrel. If the firearm has multiple barrels, each barrel must be loaded separately. It is a full-round action to load each barrel of a firearm. Some breechloaders can fire cartridges. If so, it is a standard action to load each barrel of a firearm.
Revolvers: Revolvers use cylinders containing a number of chambers. Each chamber is loaded as per a muzzle loader, though a character can swap out an empty cylinder with a loaded one as a full-round action. If the revolver fires cartridges, a cylinder can be reloaded as a full-round action.
Lever-action: This firearm only fires cartridges. Each cartridge is readied by actuating a lever as a free action.
Ammunition: Firearm ammunition takes two forms: either black powder and shot (either bullets or pellets) or cartridges. Unlike other types of ammunition, firearm ammunition is destroyed when it is used, and has no chance of being retrieved on a miss. No part of a cartridge can be reused to create new cartridges. Firearm ammunition cannot be treated with poison, unless you are using a pitted bullet.
Concealing Firearms: Like light weapons and hand crossbows, one-handed firearms are easy to conceal on your person. Some smaller firearms (like the pocket pistol) can grant bonuses to conceal a weapon on your person.
Inappropriately Sized Firearms: You cannot make optimum use of a firearm that is not properly sized for you. A cumulative –2 penalty applies on attack rolls for each size category of difference between your size and the size of the firearm. If you are not proficient with the firearm, a –4 nonproficiency penalty also applies. The size of a firearm never affects how many hands you need to use to shoot it. In most cases, a Large or larger creature can use a siege firearm as a two-handed firearm, but the creature takes a –4 penalty for using it this way because of its awkwardness.
Bucklers: You can use a one-handed or two-handed firearm without penalty while carrying a buckler.
Fire while Prone: Firearms, like crossbows, can be fired while their wielders are prone.
Firearms, Black Powder, and Water: Black powder becomes useless when exposed to water, but powder horns and cartridges protect black powder from exposure. You cannot normally load an early firearm underwater or fire any firearm underwater without magical aid.
Scatter Weapon Quality: A weapon with the scatter weapon quality can shoot two different types of ammunition. It can fire normal bullets that target one creature, or it can make a scattering shot, attacking all creatures within a cone. When a scatter weapon attacks all creatures within a cone, it makes a separate attack roll against each creature within the cone. Each attack roll takes a –2 penalty, and its attack damage cannot be modified by precision damage or damage-increasing feats such as Vital Strike. Effects that grant concealment, such as fog or smoke, or the blur, invisibility, or mirror image spells, do not foil a scatter attack. If any of the attack rolls threaten a critical, confirm the critical for that attack roll alone.
|New Weapons||Cost||Dmg (S)||Dmg (M)||Critical||Range||Capacity||Weight1||Type2||Special|
|Pocket Pistol||350gp||1d3||1d4||x3||10ft||1||1lb||B and P||—|
|Light Pistol||500gp||1d4||1d6||x4||25ft||1||3lb||B and P||—|
|Light Pistol, double barrel||750gp||1d4||1d6||x4||25ft||2||4lb||B and P||—|
|Heavy Pistol||650gp||1d6||1d8||x4||20ft||1||4lb||B and P||—|
|Heavy Pistol, double barrel||850gp||1d6||1d8||x4||20ft||2||5lb||B and P||—|
|Leopard Gun||800gp||1d8||1d10||x2||special||1||5lb||B and P||scatter|
|Pocket Revolver||1000gp||1d3||1d4||x3||10ft||3||1lb||B and P||—|
|Light Revolver||1500gp||1d4||1d6||x4||25ft||6||4lb||B and P||—|
|Heavy Revolver||1700gp||1d6||1d8||x4||20ft||5||5lb||B and P||—|
|Muzzle Loader, light||750gp||1d8||1d10||x4||40ft||1||8lb||B and P||—|
|Muzzle Loader, light double barrel||900gp||1d8||1d10||x4||40ft||2||10lb||B and P||—|
|Muzzle Loader, heavy||1050gp||1d10||1d12||x4||35ft||1||11lb||B and P||—|
|Muzzle Loader, heavy double barrel||1200gp||1d10||1d12||x4||35ft||2||13lb||B and P||—|
|Muzzle Loader, Blunderbuss||950gp||1d10||1d12||x2||special||1||8lb||B and P||scatter|
|Breechloader, light||1350gp||1d8||1d10||x4||40ft||1||8lb||B and P||—|
|Breechloader, light double barrel||1500gp||1d8||1d10||x4||40ft||2||10lb||B and P||—|
|Breechloader, heavy||1700gp||1d10||1d12||x4||35ft||1||11lb||B and P||—|
|Breechloader, heavy double barrel||1850gp||1d10||1d12||x4||35ft||2||13lb||B and P||—|
|Breechloader, shotgun||1200gp||1d10||1d12||x2||special||1||8lb||B and P||scatter|
|Repeater, revolver||2100gp||1d6||1d8||x3||30ft||6||B and P||—|
|Repeater, lever-action*||2550gp||1d6||1d8||x3||35ft||8||B and P||—|
|*Can only fire cartridge rounds|
Pocket Pistol and Revolver: Less powerful than other firearms, this pistol is small enough to be easily concealed in a jacket or coat. You get a +2 bonus on Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal a coat pistol on your body. A coat pistol uses either a bullet and a single dose of black powder or an alchemical cartridge as ammunition.
Bayonet: This blade or spike can be attached to any two-hand firearm, allowing it to be use in melee. The firearm is treated like a spear when used in this fashion.
Firearm Ammunition and Adventuring Gear
Those who wield guns have a number of options when it comes to loading their weapons, and often need gunsmith’s kits to provide proper care and upkeep for their firearms.
|Alchemical cartridge, dragon’s breath||40 gp||—|
|Alchemical cartridge, entangling shot||40 gp||—|
|Alchemical cartridge, flare||10 gp||—|
|Alchemical cartridge, paper (bullet or pellet)||12 gp||—|
|Alchemical cartridge, salt shot||12 gp||—|
|Black powder (dose)||10 gp||—|
|Black powder (keg)||1,000 gp||5 lbs.|
|Firearm bullet (1)||1 gp||—|
|Firearm bullet (30)||30 gp||1/2 lb.|
|Bullet, adamantine||61 gp||—|
|Firearm bullet, pitted||5 gp1||—|
|Firearm bullet, silver||25 gp||—|
|Gunsmith’s kit||15 gp||2 lb.|
|Metal cartridge||15 gp||—|
|Pellets (handful)||1 gp||—|
|Pellets (30 handfuls)||30 gp||1/2 lb.|
|Powder horn||3 gp||1 lb.|
|1 Does not include the cost of poison compound.|
Alchemical Cartridges: An alchemical cartridge is a prepared bundle of black powder with a bullet or pellets, sometimes with more exotic material added, which is then wrapped in paper or cloth and sealed with beeswax, lard, or tallow. There are many types of alchemical cartridges, the simplest being the paper cartridge—a simple mix of black powder and either pellets or a bullet. Alchemical cartridges make loading a firearm easier, reducing the time to load a firearm by one step (a full-round action becomes a standard action, a standard action becomes a move action, and a move action becomes a free action), but they tend to be unstable. The misfire value of a weapon firing an alchemical cartridge increases as listed in each entry.
Dragon’s Breath Cartridge: This cartridge contains alchemical compounds that, when fired, produce a cone of fire instead of the normal attack of a one-handed or two-handed firearm with the scatter weapon quality. The nonmagical flame deals 2d6 points of fire damage to all targets within the cone of the scatter firearm (DC 15 Reflex save for half). These cartridges cannot be used in firearms that don’t have the scatter weapon quality. Because this ammunition forces a saving throw inst00ead of making an attack roll, the misfire rules are slightly different. If you roll a 1 with either of the damage dice, the firearm misfires.
Entangling Shot Cartridge: This mix of black powder and an alchemically treated resin strong enough to survive the shot can only be loaded into a blunderbuss, a dragon pistol, or other scatter weapon. It deals half damage to those hit by a cone attack made with this weapon, but any creature hit by the shot must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex saving throw or become entangled for 2d4 rounds. An entangling shot cartridge increases the firearm’s misfire value by 2.
Flare Cartridge: When a flare cartridge hits its target, it only deals half damage, but the creature struck is blinded for 1 round (Fort DC 15 reduces this to dazzled), and creatures within a 20-foot burst are dazzled for 1 round (Fort DC 15 negates the effect). Flare cartridges are also useful for sending up signal flares. Firing a flare cartridge increases the firearm’s misfire value by 2 unless it is fired from a blunderbuss or a dragon pistol, in which case doing so only increases the firearm’s misfire value by 1. Flares can only be used to attack single creatures; they do not work as a shot for a cone scatter attack.
Paper Cartridge: This simple mix of black powder and either pellets or a bullet increases the misfire value by 1.
Salt Shot Cartridge: This mix of black powder and rock salt can only be loaded into a blunderbuss, a dragon pistol, or other scatter weapon. It deals nonlethal instead of lethal damage, and increases the misfire value by 1. You can only use it with a scatter weapon’s cone attack.
Black Powder: Black powder is the key explosive component within a firearm that enables it to function, but in larger amounts this alchemical material can be quite destructive on its own as well. A single dose of black powder is enough to power a single shot from most one-handed and two-handed firearms, while 10 doses are required to fire a cannon. Black powder is often stored and transported in kegs (which hold 100 doses), but in this quantity the powder itself becomes dangerous. Exposure to fire, electricity, or a misfire explosion causes black powder to explode—a single keg that explodes in this manner deals 5d6 points of fire damage to anyone within a 20-foot burst (DC 15 Reflex half). Storing black powder in a powder horn protects the powder from explosion.
Bullet: The ammunition of most one-handed and two-handed firearms, firearm bullets typically take the form of small balls of lead or some other metal.
Bullet, Adamantine: These expensive bullets are crafted from adamantine. They ignore hardness 20 or less when attacking objects.
Bullet, Pitted: This ammunition is pitted with a pattern of small pocks into which specially formulated poison compounds can be applied. A poison compound is a derivative of a standard toxin that is alchemically reduced to a solid form. These can be made from any standard injury or contact poison with a Craft (poison) check equal to the poison’s DC + 4. The cost of purchasing an already prepared poison compound for the purpose of treating pitted bullets is equal to the poison’s base cost + 20 gp. Once crafted, the compound can be pasted into the ammunition’s pitted design and allowed to harden. Upon completion, the bullet can be fired from an appropriate firearm, releasing the poison compound into its target upon impact, but the poison’s DC is reduced by 2. A pitted bullet cannot be used with an alchemical cartridge.
Bullet, Silver: This ammunition is specifically crafted from silver, and though nonmagical, it is particularly detrimental to lycanthropes, automatically confirming any critical threats against such creatures. A firearm that is shooting a silver bullet takes a –1 penalty on damage rolls (with a minimum of 1 point of damage).
Gunsmith’s Kit: This small kit has all the tools a person needs to create, repair, and restore firearms, except for the necessary raw materials. Without such a kit, you cannot properly construct or provide upkeep for firearms.
Metal Cartridge: These sturdier versions of alchemical cartridges serve as the ammunition for advanced firearms. They can hold either bullets or pellets.
Pellets: A handful of pellets, along with a dose of black powder, is commonly used as ammunition for one-handed and two-handed firearms with the scatter weapon quality, though rocks or other small bits of hard material can be used in the pellets’ place. Using anything other than pellets or alchemical cartridges when firing off a cone attack with a scatter weapon increases the weapon’s misfire range by 1 (though this increase can be removed by switching back to standard ammunition).
Powder Horn: Typically crafted from animal horn, but increasingly crafted from metal in a wide variety of shapes, a powder horn can hold up to 10 doses of black powder. A powder horn protects black powder stored within in it from exposure to fire, electricity, firearm misfires, and water.
Special Materials and Properties
Special materials are applied to firearms as per normal weapons. Those made from adamantine can be double loaded with powder for an additional 1d4 damage.
Rifling: When a firearm is constructed, it can include rifling. This doubles the firearms range increment. This property adds 700gp to the firearm’s price. Firearms with scatter can not be made with this property.
Cartridges: And breech loader or revolver can be made to fire a metal cartridge. Doing so decreases the reloading time of the firearm by half. This property adds 500gp to the firarms price.
Bulletproofing: Any metal or hide armor can be bulletproofed during it’s construction. Doing so adds a damage reduction against firearms.