Produced as part of the Modern Mediaeval line, this is a straightforward run-down of early firearms for use within the D20 system, primarily D20 Modern although notes are provided for those who'd prefer to introduce them to a Dungeons & Dragons game instead. From matchlocks through wheellock and snaphaunce to flintlock, each fundamental mechanism is described and a few actual weapons presented with the necessary statistics.
There is also a range of feats to enhance your characters' abilities in using early firearms - quite different from firing modern ones, as any re-enactor will tell you - and notes on the accessories such as ammunition, replacement parts such as flints and the gunpowder itself. It's noted that while in historical times gunpowder was not a limiting factor, being produced in sufficient quantities for the needs of those wishing to use these weapons, a fantasy GM may wish to make it more expensive or limit its availability as a tool to control the spread of firearms within his game.
A major advantage of this work is the clear descriptions of both the weapons themselves and their mechanical use within the D20 system, however it lacks any real thoughts on how you might want to incorporate these weapons into a game (although you can get more ideas by reading other works in this series).
Overall, this is a compact and comprehensive collection of early firearms, enabling you to run a 17th century game (the Three Musketeers or the English Civil War, perhaps?) or to introduce them into a D20 Modern game as either archaic weapons or when your characters travel back in time to an era when these were the cutting edge of weapons technology.
Return to Gunpowder Plots page.
Reviewed: 25 July 2006