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Guns are no strangers to fantasy. The earliest authors of fantasy and weird fiction often included guns in their stories.

Heroes like Burroughs’s John Carter or Howard’s Solomon Kane carried pistols alongside their swords, and it’s hard to imagine a pirate ship without cannons blazing.

These authors likely included guns because they are exciting, but also because the guns they chose were primitive ones relatively unpredictable weapons, prone to misfire and malfunction. This made firearms excellent storytelling devices. Such weapons could cause hero or villain to falter or triumph, changing the action within the tale in a flash or a fizzle. Still, a firearm remains an ominous and terrible weapon in the hands of a skilled gunman.

This section presents an anachronistic collection of hand-held black powder weapons. Most of them are single-shot muzzle-loaders with highly inefficient triggering mechanisms’ traditional sword and sorcery firearms. More advanced firearms are also presented for those brave enough to mix their fantasy with a technology much closer to that of the Old West than the slow and unstable weapons that gave musketeers their name. If you are interested in letting such weapons in your game, do so with the following warning: Advanced guns can substantially change the assumptions of your game world, in the same way that they changed the face of warfare in the real world. If you like your fantasy to be of the more traditional variety, stand clear. Or, better yet, run for cover.

Firearms in Your Campaign

Georg Friedrich Kersting (1785-1847) Title : Outpost Duty Date 1829

Firearms and gunslingers are not for every campaign, and even if you are excited about introducing firearms into your campaign, you should still make a decision about how commonplace they are. The following are broad categories of firearm rarity and the rules that govern them. Pathfinder’s world of Golarion uses the rules for emerging guns, which is also the default category of gun rarity.

No Guns: If you do not want guns in your campaign, simply don’t allow the rules that follow.

Very Rare Guns: Early firearms are rare; advanced firearms, the Gunslinger class, the Amateur Gunslinger feat, and archetypes that use the firearm rules do not exist in this type of campaign. Firearms are treated more like magic items “things of wonder and mystery” rather than like things that are mass-produced. Few know the strange secrets of firearm creation. Only NPCs can take the Gunsmithing feat.

Emerging Guns: Firearms become more common. They are mass produced by small guilds, lone gunsmiths, dwarven clans, or maybe even a nation or two -the secret is slipping out,and the occasional rare adventurer uses guns. The baseline gunslinger rules and the prices for ammunition given in this chapter are for this type of campaign. Early firearms are available, but are relatively rare. Adventurers who want to use guns must take the Gunsmithing feat just to make them feasible weapons. Advanced firearms may exist, but only as rare and wondrous items – the stuff of high-level treasure troves.

Commonplace Guns: While still expensive and tricky to wield, early firearms are readily available. Instead of requiring the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat, all firearms are martial weapons. Early firearms and their ammunition cost 25% of the amounts listed in this book, but advanced firearms and their ammunition are still rare and cost the full price to purchase or craft.

Guns Everywhere: Guns are commonplace. Early firearms are seen as antiques, and advanced firearms are widespread. Firearms are simple weapons, and early firearms, advanced guns, and their ammunition are bought or crafted for 10% of the cost listed in this chapter. The Gunslinger loses the gunsmith class feature and instead gains the gun training class feature at 1st level.

Firearm Rules

Lantenac at the battery. Edmond Morin, from Ninety-three vol. 2, by Victor Hugo, London, New York, 1889.

Firearms work differently from other ranged projectile weapons – they instead use the following rules.

Firearm Proficiency: The Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms) feat allows you to use all firearms without penalty. A nonproficient character takes the standard -4 penalty on attack rolls with firearms, and a nonproficient character who loads a firearm increases all misfire values by 4 for the shots he loads.

Even though the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms) feat 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 musket, axe musket, 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. In the case of early firearms, capacity often indicates the number of barrels a firearm has. In the case of advanced firearms, it typically indicates the number of chambers the weapon has.

Range and Penetration: Armor, whether manufactured or natural, provides little protection against the force of a bullet at short range.

Early Firearms: When firing an early 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, early firearms have a maximum range of five range increments.

Advanced Firearms: Advanced firearms resolve their attacks against touch AC when the target is within the first five range increments, but this type of attack is not considered a touch attack for the purposes of feats such as Deadly Aim. At higher range increments, the attack resolves normally, including taking the normal cumulative -2
penalty for each full-range increment. Advanced firearms have a maximum range of 10 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. Loading siege firearms requires both hands, and one hand usually manipulates a large ramrod (which can be wielded as a club in combat). The Rapid Reload feat reduces the time required to load one-handed and two-handed firearms, but this feat does not reduce the time it takes to load siege 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.

Early Firearms: Early firearms are muzzle-loaded, requiring bullets or pellets and black powder to be rammed down the muzzle. If an early firearm has multiple barrels, each barrel must be loaded separately. It is a standard action to load each barrel of a one-handed early firearm and a full-round action to load each barrel of a two-handed early firearm. It takes three full-round actions by one person to load a siege firearm. This can be reduced to two full-round actions if more than one person is loading the cannon.

Advanced Firearms: Advanced firearms are chamber-loaded. It is a move action to load a one-handed
or two-handed advanced firearm to its full capacity.

*Misfires: (See FAQ below) If the natural result of your attack roll falls within a firearm’s misfire value, that shot misses, even if you would have otherwise hit the target. When a firearm misfires, it gains the broken condition. While it has the broken condition, it suffers the normal disadvantages that broken weapons do, and its misfire value increases by 4 unless the wielder has gun training in the particular type of firearm (see Gunslinger). In that case, the misfire value increases by 2 instead of 4.


If I roll a misfire when attempting to confirm a critical hit with a firearm, what happens?

You cannot misfire on a critical hit confirmation roll. If you roll a misfire when attempting to confirm a critical hit, just treat it as a normal result of the die (which might confirm the crit or fail to do so).

Early Firearms: If an early firearm with the broken condition misfires again, it explodes. When a nonmagical firearm explodes, the weapon is destroyed. Magical firearms are wrecked, which means they can’t fire until they are fully restored (which requires either the make whole spell or the Gunsmithing feat). When a gun explodes, pick one corner of your square, the explosion creates a burst from that point of origin. Each firearm has a burst size noted in parentheses after its misfire value. Any creature within this burst (including the firearm’s wielder) takes damage as if it had been hit by the weapon’ a DC 12 Reflex save halves this damage.

Advanced Firearms: Advanced firearms can misfire, but when they do, they only gain the broken condition. A further misfire does not cause advanced firearms to explode.

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 coat pistol) can grant bonuses to conceal a weapon on your person.

*Inappropriately Sized Firearms: (See FAQ below) 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, the exception being siege firearms and Large or larger creatures. 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.


Do the inappropriately sized firearms rules allow a Medium or smaller creature to use larger firearms of any size?

The text of the rule is, “The size of a firearm never affects how many hands you need to use to shoot it.” The intent of that rule was to prevent a Medium character from using a Small rifle as a one-handed pistol; it wasn’t intended to let a Medium character use a Large, Huge, Gargantuan, or Colossal two-handed firearm as a two-handed weapon. Just like with non-firearms, a creature cannot wield a weapon that’s far too big or small for it. Specifically in the case of firearms, a Medium character can’t use a two-handed firearm sized for a Large or larger creature, and a Small character can’t use a two-handed firearm sized for a Medium or larger creature.

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.

Deflecting and Snatching Bullets: The Deflect Arrows feat and the Snatch Arrows feat can be used to deflect bullets, but not Pellets shot from a scatter weapon. Neither of these feats can be used to deflect siege firearm attacks.

Firearm Descriptions

Lantenac at the battery. Edmond Morin, from Ninety-three vol. 2, by Victor Hugo, London, New York, 1889.
Lantenac at the battery. Edmond Morin, from Ninety-three vol. 2, by Victor Hugo, London, New York, 1889.

There are two general categories of firearms: early and advanced. Firearms are further divided into one-handed, two-handed, and siege firearms. As the category’s name implies, one-handed firearms need only one hand to wield and shoot. Two-handed firearms work best when you use two-hands while shooting them. Two-handed firearms can be shot with one hand at a -4 penalty on the attack roll.

Siege weapons are typically mounted on some sort of platform, movable or otherwise, and have greater power but a much slower rate of fire – they’re detailed in their own section.

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. Cannons with the scatter weapon quality only fire grapeshot, unless their descriptions state otherwise.

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. A firearm that makes a scatter shot misfires only if all of the attack rolls made misfire. If a scatter weapon explodes on a misfire, it deals triple its damage to all creatures within the misfire radius.

Early Firearms
(Early) One-Handed FirearmsCostDmg




Buckler gun750 gp1d41d6×410 ft.1 (5 ft.)26 lbs.B and P
Pepperbox3,000 gp1d61d8×420 ft.1–2 (5 ft.)65 lbs.B and P
Pistol1,000 gp1d61d8×420 ft.1 (5 ft.)14 lbs.B and P
Pistol, coat750 gp1d31d4×310 ft.1 (5 ft.)11 lb.B and P
Pistol dagger740 gp1d31d4×310 ft.1 (5 ft.)11 lb.B and P
Pistol, double-barreled1,750 gp1d61d8×420 ft.1-2 (5 ft.)25 lbs.B and P
Pistol, dragon1,000 gp1d41d6×420 ft.1-2 (5 ft.)13 lbs.B and Pscatter
Pistol, sword cane775 gp1d31d4×310 ft.1 (5 ft.)11 lb.B and P
(Early) Two-Handed FirearmsCostDmg (S)Dmg (M)CriticalRangeMisfireCapacityWeight1Type2Special
Blunderbuss2,000 gp1d61d8×2special1-2 (10 ft.)18 lbs.B and Pscatter
Culverin4,000 gp2d62d8×430 ft.1 (10 ft.)140 lbs.B and Pscatter
Double hackbut 4,000 gp2d102d12×450 ft.1-2 (5 ft.)218 lbs.B and P
Fire lance25 gp1d41d6×410 ft.1-4 (5 ft.)14 lbs.P
Musket1,500 gp1d101d12×440 ft.1-2 (5 ft.)19 lbs.B and P
Musket, axe1,600 gp1d61d8×430 ft.1-2 (5 ft.)16 lbs.B and P
Musket, double-barreled2,500 gp1d101d12×440 ft.1-3 (5 ft.)211 lbs.B and P
Musket, warhammer1,600 gp1d61d8×430 ft.1-2 (5 ft.)16 lbs.B and P
(Advanced) One-Handed FirearmsCostDmg (S)Dmg (M)CriticalRangeMisfireCapacityWeight1Type2Special
Revolver4,000 gp1d61d8×420 ft.164 lbs.B and P
(Advanced) Two-Handed FirearmsCostDmg (S)Dmg (M)CriticalRangeMisfireCapacityWeight1Type2Special
Rifle5,000 gp1d81d10×480 ft.1112 lbs.B and P
Rifle, pepperbox7,000 gp1d81d10×480 ft.1-2415 lbs.B and P
Shotgun5,000 gp1d61d8×220 ft.1-2112 lbs.B and Pscatter
Shotgun, double-barreled7,000 gp1d61d8×220 ft.1-2215 lbs.B and Pscatter

1 Weight figures are for Medium weapons. A Small weapon weighs half as much, and a Large weapon weighs twice as much.

2 A weapon with two types is both types if the entry specifies “and.”

Early Firearms

Georg Friedrich Kersting (1785-1847) Title German: Auf Vorposten Outpost Duty Date 1829
Georg Friedrich Kersting (1785-1847) Title German: Auf Vorposten Outpost Duty Date 1829

Early firearms are typically matchlock, wheellock, or flintlock weapons, and require more finesse and care to use than advanced firearms. Early firearms are muzzle-loaded, requiring a bullet and powder (or other special alchemical substances) to be shoved down the barrel before the weapon is fired. Early firearm ammunition can be loaded from a cartridge, but that cartridge is made of soft material (like paper or cloth) that is torn open so that the contents may be shoved down the barrel.

Advanced Firearms

Advanced firearms are more reliable and accurate than early firearms. The ammunition of an advanced firearm takes the form of metal (usually brass) cartridges that are loaded into a chamber rather than shoved down the muzzle.

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.

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.

Firearm Adventuring Gear Descriptions

Firearm Gear Firearm Gear
Alchemical cartridge, dragon’s breath40 gp
Alchemical cartridge, entangling shot40 gp
Alchemical cartridge, flare10 gp
Alchemical cartridge, paper (bullet or pellet)12 gp
Alchemical cartridge, salt shot12 gp
Black powder (dose)10 gp
Black powder (keg)1,000 gp5 lbs.
Firearm bullet (1)1 gp
Firearm bullet (30)30 gp1/2 lb.
Bullet, adamantine61 gp
Firearm bullet, pitted5 gp
Firearm bullet, silver25 gp
Gunsmith’s kit15 gp2 lb.
Metal cartridge15 gp
Pellets (handful)1 gp
Pellets (30 handfuls)30 gp1/2 lb.
Powder horn3 gp1 lb.

Firearm Magic Items

The following magic items and magic qualities all pertain to firearms. Most grant extra abilities or protections to the firearm user, but others protect creatures from some of the effects of firearms.

Firearm Ammunition Special Abilities

The following special ability allows a firearm to be fired with the affected ammunition in environments without air, including underwater.

 Specific Firearm Ammunition

Several types of magical bullets have been developed to be used with firearms. The following represent just a few of these types.

Burrowing Bullet
Aura moderate necromancy; CL 9th (burrowing bullet) or 13th (greater burrowing bullet)

Slot none; Price 1,722 gp (burrowing bullet) or 3,447 gp (greater burrowing bullet); Weight –

This +1 firearm bullet deals normal damage, but when it hits a living creature, it burrows into the creature’s flesh, causing wracking pain until removed or until the bullet burrows its way out of the creature. While these bullets burrow, the creature is staggered. This effect lasts for 1d3 rounds or until the bullet is removed with a DC 15 Heal check made as a standard action. Greater burrowing bullets take longer to pass though the bodies of living creatures (the staggered effect lasts 1d3+2 rounds) and are harder to remove (DC 20 Heal check as a standard action).
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, symbol of pain (burrowing bullet) or symbol of stunning (greater burrowing bullet); Cost 861 gp (burrowing bullet) or 1,723 gp (greater burrowing bullet).
Tracer Bullet
Aura faint evocation; CL 2nd

Slot none; Price 100 gp; Weight –

These +1 firearm bullets deal no damage, but instead cause a pale glow to outline the target, granting the effect of a faerie fire spell and causing the target to take
a -2 penalty to AC against ranged attacks. These effects last for 1d4 rounds.
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, faerie fire; Cost 50 gp

Magic Firearm Special Abilities

The following special abilities are exclusively for firearms.

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 8th; Price +1 bonus
This special ability can only be placed on one-handed or two-handed firearms. A lucky firearm has its own magical reservoir of grit. Usually this grit is stored within the marks of an engraving or in a trinket that hangs from the firearm. Often these marks take the form of holy symbols or fetishes, but such a reservoir can take just about any form. This reservoir holds 1 grit point, which is refreshed at the start of each day. Whether or not the wielder of a lucky firearm has any deeds (see page 10), she can always spend 1 grit point from the lucky firearm to reroll an attack from it
that would result in a misfire. When the wielder does so, she must take the second result, even if that attack roll also results in a misfire.
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, heroism, creator must be a grit user
Lucky, Greater
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 12th; Price +3 bonus
This special ability  can only be placed on one-handed or two-handed firearms. A greater lucky firearm is nearly identical to a lucky gun, but its reservoir holds 3 grit points instead of 1. A firearm cannot have both this special ability and the lucky special ability.
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, greater heroism, creator must be a grit user
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 8th; Price +1 bonus
This special ability can only be placed on firearms. A reliable firearm is enchanted so that it is less likely to jam than other firearms. This enchantment reduces the misfire value of the affected firearm by 1 (minimum 0). This reduction occurs after any increases are calculated for firing with the broken condition, or for any other effect that might increase the misfire value of a firearm.
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, mending
Reliable, Greater
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 12th; Price +3 bonus
This special ability can only be placed on one-handed or two-handed firearms. A greater reliable firearm is enchanted so as to be less likely to jam than other firearms. It reduces the misfire value of the affected firearm by 4 (minimum 0). This reduction occurs after any increases are calculated for firing with the broken condition, or for any other effect that might increase the misfire value of a firearm. A firearm with greater reliable cannot have the reliable special ability.
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, make whole


Ultimate Equipment Guide II

Author Greg Lynch, J. C. Alvarez

Publisher Mongoose Publishing

Publish date 2005

Bombs are designed to be dropped by the rider of a flying mount onto enemies below. They are crude devices that do not always work correctly, and can be dangerous to handle, especially without a bomb box built into the saddle. Most bombs share a fairly standard construction. They consist of an outer shell of extremely thin wood in the shape of a tube with a protrusion at one end (the end which is intended to strike the ground first).

This end is capped with a metal plug. At the other end are several long strips of cloth, used to hold the bomb before dropping, and which serve to create drag on that end, making the pointed end more likely to strike ground first. Inside the point of the wooden shell is a thunderstone, and seated directly above it is a huge flask of alchemist’s fire (thrice the normal size). Packed between the flask and the wooden shell is the bomb’s ammunition.

Ideally, when the bomb strikes the ground, sharp spike on the back of the metal plug is driven into the thunderstone, which then detonates, causing the flask of alchemist’s fire to explode. The explosion scatters the bomb’s payload of ammunition. Bombs are grenade-like weapons, usually targeted at a five-foot square, rather than a single creature. The armour class of the square is AC 5, and the bombs have a range increment of 20 feet. Note that the range of a bomb is limited only by the height to which the creature dropping it can fly, but the higher one Climbs, the more difficult it is to drop the bomb onto the desired square.

It is, of course, possible to aim a bomb at a specific creature, but the range penalty of the attacker is doubled when attempting this. Additionally, the targeted creature is entitled to a Reflex saving throw (DC 15) to step aside, avoiding a direct hit. The base damage of a bomb is 2d6 to everyone within a ten-foot radius of the point of detonation, in addition to the potential deafening effects of the thunderstone. A Reflex saving throw (DC 25) will reduce this damage by one half. A creature struck directly by the bomb is subject to 4d6 damage, with an additional one hit point of damage for every range increment the bomb passed through on its way to earth (maximum five points).

Bombs are hideously dangerous, not only to their targets but to the individual using them as well. Rolling a natural one on an attack with a bomb is truly disastrous, causing the bomb to strike its wielder or its wielder’s mount, exploding immediately. In such a case, both wielder and mount are considered to have been subject to a “direct hit” from the bomb, suffering all the damage that entails. Additionally, an exposed bomb makes a tempting target for an enemy.

Because of the extremely thin wood used in their construction, bombs have a hardness of 3 and two hit points. A bomb destroyed in an attack that overcomes its hardness and hit points has a 50% chance of detonating. If it does not detonate, it is ruined, its alchemist’ fire and payload falling away toward the ground below. Lastly, exposed bombs are extremely vulnerable to area effect spells like fireball. If the bomb is within the area of effect of a spell which deals fire, electrical, force or impact damage, the wielder of the bomb fails his saving throw against the effect and the bomb is destroyed, it has a 50% chance of detonating immediately. In the case of someone carrying several bombs, the result could be quite unfortunate.

In addition to their danger, bombs are unreliable. Every range increment through which the bomb falls gives it a cumulative 5% chance of not landing point-down, and thus not exploding properly. Games Masters may rule, depending on the circumstances, whether or not the bomb still exploded from the impact.

Bombs may also be used as ammunition for siege engines such as catapults or trebuchets. Doing so is not without risk, however. If the crew chief for the siege engine rolls a one on his attack roll, the bomb will detonate the moment it is fired, likely damaging or destroying the engine and certainly causing injuries amongst the siege engine’s crew.

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