Bog's World

Altogether elsewhere

<< Previous Main Menu Next >>

Tûd’s mysterious delivery

A crate is delivered. It contains two small but heavy barrels, two finely crafted boxes, the crate itself, a well sealed letter and two oilskin packages.

  • The two barrels are rifler’s pounds of blasting powder (each barrel is subdivided by lead sheets into four parts red powder, six parts black). Each rifler’s pound, assuming minimal wastage, should make eighteen charges for these weapons. Red and Black powders suffer explosive exothermic reactions when mixed; charges are ignited by simply piercing the paper or silk ‘wrap’. In the confined space of a breech, this is enough to propel the bullet down and out of the barrel at lethal speed.
  • One box contains a mould for eight bullets, a small, long handled lead pouring jug, a file and a felt lined section with sixteen ready made bullets.
  • The other box contains a sort of small mitre, a roll of paper, a roll of silk, a very small, very sharp knife and a vial of aqueous glue with a small brush built into the lid.
  • The letter is in Tud’s handwriting and explains the objects and their uses[1] , it further wishes you luck and regrets that he doesn’t have time to give you any more information, but he has a lot to do. It is dated three weeks ago. Despite the author’s avowed haste, there is a postscript that notes that this small bundle of joy amounts to a considerable monetary investment, including carriage, nearly 1400gp.

The oilskins each contain one of the following:

  • Small Pistol: This weapon’s main virtue is that it is easy to conceal, being only 9 inches long over all. Each cost 400 gp (new purchase price), they have an effective range of 18m (59 ft), and a dry weight of 4 lb. Highly polished rose wood furniture, brass fittings, steel barrel. Brass makers plaque (Radcliffe Gunworks of Caspia, dated 604AR).

These are one shot weapons. When first unwrapped the pistols are loaded but not cocked. They are slightly greasy from the oil cloth, but as explained in the letter, Tud cleaned the manufacturer’s grease off less than a month ago.

In order to reload, the breech must be opened. Next, the powdery remnants of the old charge need to be cleaned out. The new ammunition needs to be seated firmly in the firing chamber, and the breech needs to be closed. Lastly the spring-loaded firing mechanism must be wound or cocked. All of these steps are covered by one skill roll. Craft (small arms) allows a character to reload a weapon, clear a misfire and clean a weapon to keep it in working order. It does not allow design or repair of small arms. Using a firearm offensively (ie shooting) is also a separate skill.

Small arms ammunition[2] consists of blasting powder and projectile wrapped together into a tight cylinder. To make ammunition[3] , a spellcaster must have the new skill Craft Blasting Powder, which any arcane spellcaster with at least five ranks of Alchemy skill, special reagents, expensive equipment and a great deal of time and an undisturbed laboratory or clean workshop environment

Lastly, since ammunition is partly magical (the powder charge), it can be rendered inert temporarily by dispel magic. The ease with which it can be suppressed depends on the level of the creator, but in general a successful BAR will render blasting powders inert for a round per point of failure/success. Most ammunition contains a simple lead ball, but there are other options available. Incendiary, poisoned or even enchanted projectiles are available for the right price.

[1] “Especially beware the noise and smoke when you discharge the weapons.”
[2] Ammunition costs 6–10 gp for a pistol charge and 8–12gp for a rifle charge. Costs for ammunition can vary dramatically depending on the location and demand; at times, ammunition may be unavailable at any price, turning guns into expensive, lavishly decorated clubs. Ammunition is fragile; it is ruined if it gets wet or if it takes 1 point of physical damage. It is also flammable, and any exposure to flame will destroy it. Alchemical blasting powders burn fiercely, but like modern gunpowder they will not explode unless they are confined.
[3] Cannons fire a much larger projectile, and so there are some especially fiendish projectile options for the cannoneer to choose from. A cannon charge costs 20–50 gp depending size Of course, speciality projectiles increase the cost of ammunition dramatically, particularly if they are magical.

<< Previous Main Menu Next >>