Gun Mages in RoleMaster
Full Metal Fanatasy in RoleMaster.
These rules must be read in conjunction with those in the IKCG and IKWG. Where there is an apparent contradiction, these rules will take precedence.
Channelling spells through IK firearms
Gun Mages can cast their spells through any firearm. Magelock weapons are pretty scarce outside of state sponsored military organisations. When casting a spell through a firearm, the spell has to overcome the Alchemical Inertia Factor (AIF) of the weapon. Magelock weapons have an AIF of zero (ie they do not impede magic in any way). The AIF of other firearms is based on the mass of the material:
In order to defeat the AIF, the caster has to make a Base Attack Roll against the weapon, using that weapons AIF as it’s level.
All IK firearms have a “durability”. This represents the magical wear and tear that each firearm can take before it is ruined beyond repair, unable to either fire mundane ammunition or to act as a conduit for the Gun Mage’s magic.
The magical durability of firearms is based on the mass of the material:
The “Durability” is reduced, on a point for point basis, for every spell point channelled through the weapon. When the weapon’s durability has been reduced to 50% of its initial durability score, the weapon receives a –5% penalty to both firing mundane ammunition and to any spell cast through it. When the weapon’s durability has been reduced to 25% of its initial durability score, the weapon receives a –10% penalty to both firing mundane ammunition and to any spell cast through it.
When the weapon’s durability has been reduced to zero, it is scrap. Or art, if you like. A memento. Like a paperweight.
Casting Rune Bullets
Rune bullets, as described in the IKCG, require the successful rolling of both Craft, Small Arms and (Read/Use) Runes in order to create each individual bullet. Failure at either stage indicates that both valuable time and expensive lead and gold (or other precious metals, see NQ 6) have been wasted.
The Crafting of Blasting Powder
Given the necessary equipment, space and reagents, raw materials can be processed into blasting powder. Generally this is still done in the grand (cottage industry) style of the medieval alchemist, one small batch at a time. A weeks work, successfully completed produces: A ‘rifler’s pound’ of blasting powder consists of a small keg containing five ounces of red powder and another eight ounces of black powder. These measures are the ones used by people with Craft: Small Arms or Craft: Long Arms skills to manufacture their own ammunition.
The industrious alchemist can buy raw red powder and raw black powder in one and one and half pound quantities respectively. These then must processed (separately) in order to reach a state where they become reactive to one another, hence the apparent wastage. The applicable skill for this is Alchemy (IKCG p 300).
A rifler’s pound of blasting powder is enough to make 20 charges for a small pistol but only 8 charges for a military rifle. These numbers all assume that the person ‘rolling their own’ is consistently successful and doesn’t waste any powder. Powder in charges is dolled out in a 6:4 ratio. ie 6 parts of black powder to 4 parts of red powder. Therefore a typical long rifle charge requires about 175 grains (nearly 3 drams) of black powder and 115 grains (nearly 2 drams) of red powder.
The base price for a rifler’s pound is 25 gold pieces.
Inscribing reinforcing runes
Runes can be inscribed on magelock weapons to add to the durability of that weapon. This requires the successful rolling of Craft, Small Arms using the added total of the character’s (Read/Use) Runes score as a modifier. For every point this roll exceeds 120, another point is added to the weapons durability on a one for one basis.
Runes can be inscribed on non-magical weapons to add to the durability of that weapon. This requires the successful rolling of Craft, Small Arms using the added total of the character’s (Read/Use) Runes score as a modifier. For every point this roll exceeds 280, another point is added to the weapons durability on a one for one basis. This turns the previously mundane weapon into a magical one, albeit with no bonuses of other special powers beyond the reinforcement.
This may only be done once during the life of the weapon. It takes one day for each inch of barrel length. The cost of the precious metals to inlay into the etched runes must be at least 100 gold pieces. The culmination of this process is the successful (ie a Magic Ritual modified roll of 111 or more) completion of this magic ritual. This is an absolute requirement for the activation of the reinforcing runes.
Obviously the precious metals must be purchased and the time expended before the final magic ritual roll is made.