Snaplock Firearms 4E (1540-1600)

The Snaplock Firing Mechanism

The Snaplocks and the Snaphaunce are early forms of flintlocks that use a trigger to release a spring-loaded flint onto steel to strike sparks which ignite the powder.

(Author’s Note: How did we get here?  Review the previous articles The Joy of Guns: part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Handgonnes | Matchlocks | Wheellocks )

Snaplock Firearm Tables

With muzzle loading weapons, training is required to operate a firearm. Therefore, there are no simple ranged weapons in the matchlock collection. Historically, bullets were weighted and sized as “shots per pound” and I will provide the numbers I used to calculate the muzzle energy.

Misfire Die: When a weapon uses a Misfire Die roll it along with your normal attack roll. If a character without the correct weapon proficiency reloads the weapon, the gun will misfire 50% of the time. If the character does have the required proficiency they will use the Misfire Die specified in the weapon description. If the Misfire Die rolls a 1, the weapon misfires and must be cleaned before it can be used again. Cleaning a weapon requires a short rest. The dungeon master may add penalties to the misfire roll to account for adverse conditions like mist, light rain, heavy rain, or lack of proper maintenance.

Eight Chamber Revolving Snaplock Pistol

Special Treat: In the superior weapons table I am including a snaplock pistol revolver and a snaplock musket revolver based on actual pieces.

MILITARY RANGED
Side Arms (one-handed)
Weapon Prof. Damage Range Defense Misfire Payload Weight Group Properties
Snaplock Coat Pistol +1 2d4 5/10 AC 1d10 1 1 lb. Light Ballistic Load Standard 5, High crit, Off-hand
Snaplock Pistol +1 2d6 10/20 AC 1d10 1 3 lb. Light Ballistic Load Standard 5, High crit, Off-hand
Snaplock Horse Pistol +1 3d4 10/20 AC 1d10 1 4 lb. Light Ballistic Load Standard 5, High crit
Snaplock Dragon +2 2d4 1/2 AC 1d10 1 3 lb. Light Ballistic Load Standard 5, High crit, Boomer, Brutal 1
Short Bayonet +2 1d4 AC 1 lb. Light Blades Off-hand
Long Arms (two-handed)
Weapon Prof. Damage Range Defense Misfire Payload Weight Group Properties
Snaplock Carbine +2 3d6 12/24 REF 1d10 1 7 lb. Heavy Ballistic Load Standard 5, High crit
Snaplock Half-Musket +2 4d6 30/60 REF 1d10 1 9 lb. Heavy Ballistic Load Standard 5, High crit
Snaplock Full-Musket +2 4d6 40/80 REF 1d10 1 14 lb. Heavy Ballistic Load Standard 5, High crit, Brutal 1, Reach
Snaplock Blunderbuss +3 3d4 5/10 AC 1d10 1 5 lb. Heavy Ballistic Load Standard 5, High crit, Scattershot, Brutal 1
Long Bayonet +2 1d6 AC 2 lb. Light Blades Reach
SUPERIOR RANGED
Side Arms (one-handed)
Weapon Prof. Damage Range Defense Misfire Payload Weight Group Properties
Snaplock Revolving Pistol +1 2d6 10/20 AC 1d8 8 5 lb. Light Ballistic Load Standard 4 (per barrel), High crit
Long Arms (two-handed)
Weapon Prof. Damage Range Defense Misfire Payload Weight Group Properties
Snaplock Revolving Musket +2 4d6 40/80 REF 1d8 8 16 lb. Heavy Ballistic Load Standard 5 (per barrel), High crit

 

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Weapon Properties

Scattershot: This weapon causes damage with a spray of small projectiles. The weapon’s damage, 1[W], is broken up into individual scattershot damage dice, 1[S], and applied individually to the target. In addition, the bonus to damage based on the dexterity modifier is also applied individually. For example if 1[W] is 3d8, the damage will be 1[S] + 1[S] + 1[S] where S = 1d8. If the target has damage resistance it applies to each shot die and the dexterity modifier. In addition, any creature adjacent to the target takes 1 damage for each scattershot die as well.

Example:

Elspeth has a dexterity modifier of +1.  She fires a snaplock blunderbuss at a kobold leader standing adjacent to 2 kobold minions.  The blunderbuss does 3d4 damage + dexterity modifer.  Because of an encounter power the kobold leader has temporary resistance 2 to all weapon damage. Elspeth rolls her scattershot damage (1[S] + 1[S] + 1[S] + DEX) for the kobold leader and manages 1, 3 and 4 with her dexterity modifer of +1.  The kobold leader’s resistance is applied to each die and to the dexterity modifier individually.

  • 1[S] = 1 – 2 = 0
  • 1[S] = 3 – 2 = 1
  • 1[S] = 4 – 2 = 2
  • DEX = 1 – 2 = 0

Total = 0 + 1 + 2  + 0 = 3

The kobold leader’s resistance absorbs most of the attack but he still takes 3 points of damage.  The adjacent kobold minions have no resistance and each take 1 point of damage for each scattershot die for 3 damage from the spray.

Boomer: This short-barreled close range weapon causes damage with a spray of small projectiles.  This weapon creates a blast 2 within its range as chosen by the attacker.   The weapon’s damage, 1[W], is broken up into individual scattershot damage dice, 1[S], and applied individually to the target.  In addition, the bonus to damage based on the dexterity  modifier is also applied individually.  For example if 1[W] is 3d8, the damage will be 1[S] + 1[S] + 1[S] + DEX where [S] = 1d8.  If the target has damage resistance it applies to each shot die and the dexterity modifier.

Example:

Elspeth has a dexterity modifier of +1.  She fires a snaplock dragon at a kobold leader standing adjacent to 2 kobold minions who are within the blast.  The dragon does 2d4 damage + dexterity modifer.  Because of an encounter power the kobold leader has temporary resistance 2 to all weapon damage.  Elspeth rolls her scattershot damage (1[S] + 1[S] + DEX) for the kobold leader and manages 1 and a 4 with her dexterity modifer of +1.  The kobold leader’s resistance is applied to each die and to the dexterity modifier individually.

  • 1[S] = 1 – 2 = 0
  • 1[S] = 4 – 2 = 2
  • DEX = 1 – 2 = 0

Total = 0 + 2  + 0 = 2

The kobold leader’s resistance absorbs most of the attack but he still takes 3 points of damage.  The adjacent kobold minions have no resistance and each take the full 6 points of damage.

Handgun Descriptions

Snaplock Coat Pistol: This pistol is small enough to be carried in a coat pocket. It trades range for portability. Assuming a 15.1 gram bullet makes ~30 shots per pound firing with a muzzle velocity of 400 ft/s = 83 foot-pounds force.

Snaplock Pistol: This pistol could be used in either hand.  Assuming a 15.1 gram bullet makes ~30 shots per pound firing with a muzzle velocity of 500 ft/s = 129 foot-pounds force. You may add a short bayonet to this weapon.

Snaplock Horse Pistol: This heavier pistol was often used by mounted soldiers and carried in saddle holsters.  Assuming a 22.7 gram bullet makes ~20 shots per pound firing with a muzzle velocity of 550 ft/s = 235 foot-pounds force. You may add a short bayonet to this weapon.

Snaplock Dragon: This primitive precursor to the shotgun was used to spray bullets at close range.  It is a shortened single-handed version of the blunderbuss.

Snaplock Revolving Pistol: This weapon is identical to the Snaplock Pistol but has eight rotating chambers which fire from a single barrel. A misfire in one barrel affects the other barrels.

Long Arm Descriptions

Snaplock Carbine: The carbine was a specialized short musket favored by scouts and cavalry.  It featured a standardized bore size which allowed the mass production of bullets. Assuming a 18.9 gram bullet makes ~24 shots per pound firing with a muzzle velocity of 1,000 ft/s = 647 foot-pounds force. You may add either a short or long bayonet to this weapon.

Snaplock Full Musket: The snaplock full musket was so heavy that it could not be fired without resting the gun barrel on something to stabilize it and the gunman carried a staff for this purpose. Because the weapon is heavy and long, it has the Reach property and cannot be fired at an adjacent target. Assuming a 57 gram bullet makes 8 shots per pound firing with a muzzle velocity of 1,000 ft/s = 1,943 foot-pounds force. You may add either a short or long bayonet to this weapon.

Snaplock Half Musket: The snaplock half musket was a lighter version of the full musket. The weapon could be fired without a musket staff. Assuming a 45 gram bullet makes 10 shots per pound firing with a muzzle velocity of 1,000 ft/s = 1,542 foot-pounds force.  You may add either a short or long bayonet to this weapon.

Snaplock Blunderbuss: This primitive precursor to the shotgun was used to spray small balls (shot) at close range. Reliable muzzle energies are difficult to calculate for this weapon but our estimates place it at about 400 foot-pounds.

Snaplock Revolving Musket: This weapon is identical to the Snaplock Half Musket but has eight rotating chambers which fire from a single barrel. A misfire in one barrel affects the other barrels.  (See the image in the gallery below.)

Images of Snaplocks

 



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