General Weaponry: Dekhïdu, Rockets, Bombs, and PistolsIn the last five years, powder weapons have become prolific. The first to see use was the dwarven "dekhïdu" or fire-arrow, a large arrow which is placed on a wooden stand and propelled at high speed by burning powder. While the fire-arrow remains useful for scaring pack animals or untrained conscripts, few true dekhïdu are seen now. They have been superseded by rockets, which are similarly propelled but vastly different in construction. Rather than a thin, solid arrow, a rocket is wide and hollow with small fins rather than fletching, allowing it to carry explosives or other deadly payloads, which are released on impact. A volley of rockets is a terrifying experience, as trails of white smoke obscure the sky and the noise of bursting explosions echoes across the battlefield. Bombs are also commonly seen, either as rocket payloads or weapons in their own right. Large bombs are used to breach stone walls, while others are designed to be hurled by a catapult and explode on impact. The addition of alchemist's fire, perhaps the only substance more flammable than fire-powder, creates a fire-bomb or incendiary, which not only explodes with devastating force but sets fire to all around it. Finally (and most significantly for adventurers), pistols are small handheld weapons that use fire-powder to propel a metal bullet. Most are effectively small cannons, requiring constant cleaning and reloading after every shot, but their smaller size and lower powder requirement make them more economic than cannons. Soldiers sometimes carry several loaded pistols, dropping each as they fire and pulling a fresh one from their belt.
Rarer WeaponryThere are a number of rarer weapons which make use of fire-powder. These weapons are usually either expensive to build or complex to use, making them rarer then rockets and bombs.
CannonsCannons are used by both kingdoms, but are Axish in origin and named for their inventor, Thamun Cann. Rather than attaching the propellant charge to the missile, the powder and a spherical metal missile are loaded separately into a tube. A more explosive type of powder is used. When it is lit, the explosion is focused behind the ball, and it shoots forth from the tube. The apocryphal story goes that Cann was experimenting with rockets when he loaded the wrong powder into the base, and the rocket and stand exploded. He was able to recover all of the wooden pieces, except for the cap of the rocket. A few minutes later, he saw a farmer approaching, who handed him the lost piece, saying he had been walking at the edge of the nearby woods when he heard a crack and saw a dent in a nearby tree. While the basic design is useful and could be made much more efficient than a rocket, cannons require large, expensive amounts of powder. If the formula for blasting-powder was known, they might become more common, but for now they are a rare and frightening sight.
The VestisetThe Vestiset or "fire-spitter" is a type of Arcadian rocket. It is loaded with a number of small fire-arrows with a long fuse. When the rocket is launched, the arrows' fuse is also lit, and as the rocket begins to descend over the enemy force, the fire-arrows launch out and land among the enemy. While the Vestiset has been used to devastating effect in several battles, it is unstable in flight and even more expensive in powder than the cannon, making its appearance the sign of a special plan or major assault.
The Fire-LanceThe "fire-lance," known also as a "pyrlonch" or "virlanke," is a dwarven weapon designed for close combat. It consists of a spear with a hollow tube mounted beneath it. The tube is filled with rocket-powder and shaped such that, when the powder is lit through a fuse extending from the tube, fire shoots from the tube in the same direction as the spearhead. Fire-lances have become prominent in melee engagements, although, as with many powder weapons, their cost makes them prohibitive to deploy en masse.
UtilityFire-powder is primarily used for rockets and explosives, and has two main types. Both "blasting-powder" (suddenly and violently explosive) and "rocket-powder" (burns more slowly, propelling rockets) are produced in Bailenoc.
D&D 5E StatsBelow are statblocks for 5th Edition D&D describing many of the above weapons.
Dekhïdu or Fire-Arrow
A fire-arrow has a range of 1000 feet. When it is launched, the launcher makes an attack roll using their Dexterity score against a target within range. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 piercing damage.
Weight: 1 lb
An explosive rocket targets a 10-foot-radius sphere up to 600 feet away. On the round after it is launched, each creature inside the area must make a Dexterity saving throw, taking 3d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.
|None||3d6 (save for half)||Fire||600 ft|
Cost: 200+ gp Weight: 1.5 lb
A fire rocket targets a 10-foot-radius sphere up to 600 feet away. On the round after it is launched, each creature inside the area must make a Dexterity saving throw, taking 2d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. In addition, the 5-foot square at the center of the area is set on fire. Any creature that enters the square for the first time on its turn takes 1 fire damage, as does any creature or object that starts or ends its turn in the square. The square burns out after two rounds.
|None||2d6 (save for half)||Fire||600 ft|
Cost: 200+ gp Weight: 1.5 lb
Explosive thrown Common
A small bomb can be lit as an action and thrown to a point within 60 feet. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 fire damage.
Cost: 150 gp Weight: 1 lb
Explosive thrown Common
A small firebomb can be lit as an action and thrown to a point within 60 feet. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 2d6 fire damage. In addition, the 5-foot square containing the point where it landed is set on fire. Any creature that enters the square for the first time on its turn takes 1 fire damage, as does any creature or object that starts or ends its turn in the square. The square burns out after four rounds.
Cost: 150 gp Weight: 1 lb
Firearm loading, special Common
Special: A pistol must be carefully reloaded after each shot, a slow process that prevents sustained fire. Reloading the pistol requires an action.
|Simple Ranged||1d10||Piercing||30/90 ft||loading, special|
Cost: 250 gp Weight: 3 lb
Adventuring Gear Uncommon
A pistol brace originally held only two pistols, but special variants exist that can hold up to six ready at once. When loaded pistols are stored in the brace, they do not have the loading property; however, each pistol can still only be fired once without reloading. Once all of its pistols have been fired, each pistol must be reloaded using one action per pistol as normal.
Cost: 50 gp per pistol (2 - 6 pistols; 100 gp - 300 gp) Weight: 2 lb
CannonLarge object AC: 18 Hit Points: 75 Damage Immunities: poison, psychic A cannon uses blasting-powder to propel heavy metal balls at high speeds, destroying whatever it hits. The cannon is supported by a wooden frame, sometime with wheels. It must be loaded and aimed before it can be fired, each of which takes one action. These actions must be taken on subsequent rounds: for example, if three people are able to help with the cannon, it cannot be fired every round. However, it can be fired on the same round as it is aimed; if so, its attack is made with disadvantage. Cannonball. Ranged weapon attack. +6 to hit, range 600/2400 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (5d10) bludgeoning damage.
VestisetA Vestiset targets a circular area with a 15-foot radius between 20 and 720 feet away, chosen by the launcher. On the round after it is launched, each creature in the chosen area must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 1d8 piercing damage and 1d6 fire damage, as fire-arrows rain from above.
Weapon reach Common
As an action, the powder tube can be lit, causing a blast of fire to shoot out up to 15 feet away. Make an attack roll against a single target within 15 feet; on a hit, the target takes 3d4 fire damage. The powder tube must be reloaded after it is lit, a process which requires rocket-powder and a fuse and takes around one minute.
Cost: 5 gp Weight: 4 lb
- Access & Availability
- The Feuding Kingdoms have access to large amounts of powder, though never as much as they would wish. The Iron Mountain League heavily restricts the trade, and absolutely refuses to disclose the process of making the powder. They believe that, without their monopoly on fire-powder, either Axmund or Arcadia would soon conquer them, and they have threatened to cut off powder supplies to any kingdom that attacks them. For this reason, both Kingdoms are desperately attempting to steal the secret for themselves and stop the other from learning it.
- The exact time of fire-powder's discovery among the gnomes of Bailenoc is unknown, but its existence has been known for at least two hundred years. However, it is only in the past five years that it has been widely used in weapons by the Kingdoms.
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