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Black Powder Weapons IV – Monsters

In Black Powder Weapons, D&D 4E on February 19, 2009 at 9:19 am

What begun as a simple post on how to include black powder weapons in Dungeons & Dragons has bulged out like a gelatinous cube and is now into its fourth installment. With players getting most of the love so far, time has come for the DM to receive some well deserved attention. It’s time for some black powder inspired monsters and traps. Read on for the goodies!

First of all, as I’ve mentioned before, reskinning is your friend. Adding a black powder touch to a monster doesn’t have to be harder than describing them with muskets instead of javelins. Reskinning, however, can only take you so far, here are some original monsters, with stats, that should be usable in any setting or part of setting where black powder is prevalent. These monsters are mainly intelligent humanoids, I’ve avoided the Black Powder Golem or Black Powder Dragon or the like on the basis that I think black powder should be all about people shooting stuff with guns (and perhaps blowing stuff up).

On to the monsters, I’ll start with the Dwarf Musketeers and their captain. Dwarves have always been the black powder specialists in my campaigns, especially in dungeons & dragons where goblins don’t typically use steam technology as they do in some other settings. All monsters are made in Asmor’s brilliant monster maker and I’ve included the .mon files for download for those who use that tool. Also, to see all the special symbols, you’d need to install the 4E symbol font from EN-world. I’ve linked to these in my idisk as wordpress doesn’t allow for zip-files or the like:

  • All the dwarves in a zip-file.
  • The D&D 4E symbol font.
  • The css-file (put it in the same folder as the html files)

Dwarwen Musketeer Unit

This could be a travelling mercenary company or the city guard. They typically line up close to the captain and fire volleys at his command. Supplemented by a front line of e.g. dwarf hammerers (MM 97) they are a dangerous crew.

Dwarf Musketeer

Dwarf Musketeer Level 6 Artillery
Medium Natural Humanoid (Dwarf, Black Powder) XP 250
Initiative +7 Senses Perception +6
HP 58; Bloodied 29
AC 18; Fortitude 18, Reflex 19, Will 18
Saving Throws vs Poison +5
Speed 5
M Musket Butt Strike (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+11 vs AC; 1d8+3 damage.
R Musket Shot (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
Ranged 10/20; +13 vs AC; 1d10+4 damage. If target has fewer than 3 musketeer marks, the target receives a musketeer mark until the end of his next turn. The square where the dwarf stood when firing the musket provides light obscuration until the end of his next turn.
r Musket Volley (Standard; recharge 56) ♦ Weapon
The dwarf musketeer makes one musket shot attack. For each musketeer mark on the target, including the one placed by this attack, the attack deals an extra +1d6 damage. All allied dwarf musketeers recharge this power collectively, only one recharge roll is made per round. The square where the dwarf stood when firing the musket provides light obscuration until the end of his next turn.
Stand Your Ground
When an effect forces a dwarf to move – through a pull , a push, or a slide – the dwarf moves 1 square less than the effect specifies. When an attack would knock the dwarf prone, the dwarf can roll a saving throw to avoid falling prone.
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common, Dwarven
Skills Dungeoneering +8
Str 16 (+6) Dex 19 (+7) Wis 16 (+6)
Con 16 (+6) Int 16 (+6) Cha 16 (+6)
Equipment chainmail, musket, 20 shots

Dwarf Musketeer Tactics

The dwarf musketeer forms lines and concentrates its fire on one target at a time, using their Musket Volley attack when available and trying to stay out of melee combat.

Dwarf Grenadier

Dwarf Grenadier Level 7 Soldier
Medium Natural Humanoid (Dwarf, Black Powder) XP 300
Initiative +8 Senses Perception +6
HP 83; Bloodied 41
AC 23; Fortitude 20, Reflex 19, Will 19
Saving Throws +5 vs Poison
Speed 5
M Battle Axe (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+14 vs AC; 2d6+5 damage.
r Throw Grenade (Standard; at-will)
Ranged 5. The dwarf grenadier throws one of his grenades. If lit, it will explode as per the Light Grenade power.
Battlecunning (Immediate Interrupt; at-will)
Trigger: An adjacent enemy makes an opportunity attack with the dwarf grenadier as one of the targets; the dwarf grenadier makes a basic melee attack at the enemy.
Stand Your Ground
When an effect forces a dwarf to move – through a pull , a push, or a slide – the dwarf moves 1 square less than the effect specifies. When an attack would knock the dwarf prone, the dwarf can roll a saving throw to avoid falling prone.
Light Grenade (Minor; recharge 56) ♦ Fire, Thunder
The dwarf grenadier lights one of his grenades. It will explode at the end of his next turn as a close burst 1 (from the grenade), +12 vs Reflex; 2d8+5 damage. Secondary attack +12 vs Fortitude, target becomes dazed until the end of his next turn. Tertiary attack, +10 vs Fortitude, target becomes blind until the end of his next turn.
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common, Dwarven
Skills Dungeoneering +8
Str 16 (+6) Dex 16 (+6) Wis 16 (+6)
Con 19 (+7) Int 16 (+6) Cha 16 (+6)
Equipment scalemail, battleaxe, 6 grenades

Dwarf Grenadier Tactics

The dwarf grenadier starts the battle by lighting a grenade and then attacking in close combat. He will then attempt to throw the grenade where it makes the most damage and attempt to follow-up by attacking the dazed, blinded opponents. If subject to opportunity attacks, he will use his Battlecunning to retaliate.

Dwarf Musketeer Captain

Dwarf Musketeer Captain Level 9 Artillery (Leader)
Medium Natural Humanoid (Dwarf, Black Powder) XP 400
Initiative +7 Senses Perception +7
Commandeered Accuracy aura 2; Every ally in the aura gains a +1 bonus to ranged basic attacks.
HP 77; Bloodied 38
AC 20; Fortitude 20, Reflex 20, Will 21
Saving Throws vs Poison +5
Speed 5
M Musket Butt Strike (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+13 vs AC; 1d8+5 damage.
R Musket Shot (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
Ranged 10/20; +16 vs AC; 1d10+6 damage. If the target has fewer than 3 musketeer marks on him, the target recieves a musketeer mark until the end of his next turn.
r Marking Shot (Standard; recharge 56) ♦ Weapon
Ranged 10/20; +16 vs AC, 3d10+5 damage and all allies gain a +1 bonus to attacks against the target until the end of the dwarf musketeer captain’s next turn. Also, if the target has fewer than 3 musketeer marks, the target receives a musketeer mark until the end of his next turn.
r There’s Your Target! (Minor; at-will)
If target has fewer than 3 musketeer marks, the target receives a musketeer mark until the end of his next turn.
c Fire At Will (Standard; encounter)
Close Burst 2; All dwarf musketeers in the burst may make a basic ranged attack
Stand Your Ground
When an effect forces a dwarf to move – through a pull, a push, or a slide – the dwarf moves 1 square less than the effect specifies. When an attack would knock the dwarf prone, the dwarf can roll a saving throw to avoid falling prone.
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common, Dwarven
Skills Diplomacy +14, Intimidate +14
Str 17 (+7) Dex 17 (+7) Wis 17 (+7)
Con 17 (+7) Int 17 (+7) Cha 20 (+9)
Equipment chainmail, musket, 20 shots

Dwarf Musketeer Captain Tactics

The dwarf musketeer captain will keep his musketeers close to him so that they benefit from his aura. He will guide their fire and attempt to take out one enemy at the time, while avoiding melee.

Dwarven Cannon Crew

The black powder cannon is a feared weapon among the enemy of the dwarves. It is typically served by a crew of three, two cannon loaders who load and prime the cannon and one cannon master who fire it. When placing the cannon crew, the cannon itself occupies one square. It can be pulled 1 square by using a move action (meaning the puller moves one square and pulls the cannon with him).

Dwarf Cannon Loader

Dwarf Cannon Loader Level 4 Soldier
Medium XP 175
Initiative +6 Senses Perception +4
HP 55; Bloodied 27
AC 20; Fortitude 17, Reflex 16, Will 16
Saving Throws vs Poison +5
Speed 5
M Warhammer (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+11 vs AC, 1d10+4 damage.
Load Cannon (Standard; at-will)
The dwarf cannon loader loads an unloaded black powder cannon.
Prime Cannon (Standard; at-will)
The dwarven cannon loader primes a loaded black powder cannon.
Stand Your Ground
When an effect forces a dwarf to move – through a pull , a push, or a slide – the dwarf moves 1 square less than the effect specifies. When an attack would knock the dwarf prone, the dwarf can roll a saving throw to avoid falling prone.
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common, Dwarven
Skills Dungeoneering +9, Thievery +9
Str 18 (+6) Dex 15 (+4) Wis 15 (+4)
Con 15 (+4) Int 15 (+4) Cha 15 (+4)
Equipment leather armor, cannon loading equipment, 6 cannon balls and black powder

Dwarf Cannon Loader Tactics

The dwarf cannon loaders load and prime the cannon for the cannon master to fire. They defend themselves and the cannon if attacked, but usually run away if the cannon master dies.

Dwarf Cannon Master

Dwarf Cannon Master Level 8 Artillery
Medium Natural Humanoid (Dwarf, Black Powder) XP 350
Initiative +7 Senses Perception +12
HP 71; Bloodied 35
AC 20; Fortitude 20, Reflex 21, Will 20
Saving Throws vs Poison +5
Speed 5
M Warhammer (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+15 vs AC, 2d6+5 damage.
R Black Powder Pistol (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
Ranged 5/10; +15 vs AC; 1d10+4 damage. The square where the dwarf stood when firing the pistol provides light obscuration until the end of his next turn.
a Black Powder Cannon (Standard; at-will) ♦ Fire, Thunder
Area burst 1 within 20 squares, +13 vs Reflex, 2d8+5 damage. The cannon can only be fired if it is loaded and primed and becomes unloaded and unprimed when fired. Secondary attack, enemies within close burst 1; +13 vs Fortitude, target becomes Dazed until end of his next turn. Also a close burst 1 of black powder smoke provides obscuration until the end of the cannon masters next turn.
a Fire Shell (Standard; recharge 6) ♦ Fire, Thunder
Area Burst 2 within 20 squares, +13 vs Reflex, 3d8+5 damage. The cannon can only be fired if it is loaded and primed and becomes unloaded and unprimed when fired. Secondary attack, enemies within close burst 1; +13 vs Fortitude, target becomes Dazed until end of his next turn. Also a close burst 1 of black powder smoke provides obscuration until the end of the cannon masters next turn.
Stand Your Ground
When an effect forces a dwarf to move – through a pull , a push, or a slide – the dwarf moves 1 square less than the effect specifies. When an attack would knock the dwarf prone, the dwarf can roll a saving throw to avoid falling prone.
Load Cannon (Standard; at-will)
The dwarf cannon master loads an unloaded black powder cannon.
Prime Cannon (Standard; at-will)
The dwarf cannon master primes a loaded black powder cannon.
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common, Dwarven
Skills Dungeoneering +12, Thievery +14
Str 17 (+7) Dex 20 (+9) Wis 17 (+7)
Con 17 (+7) Int 17 (+7) Cha 17 (+7)
Equipment dwarvwn black powder cannon, 4 cannon balls and blackpowder, warhammer, black powder pistol, 12 shots

Dwarf Cannon Master Tactics

The dwarf cannon master has a drilled crew of cannon loaders loading his cannon for him to shoot. He will delay his initative until after the cannon has been loaded and primed. If his loaders should perish, he can load the cannon himself in time.

More

These are some typical black powder creatures that should be doable in any black powder campaign. Other ideas would be the eladrin musket sniper, the halfling gambler or some regular humans, the outback innkeeper or the highway robbers.

Next installment, I’ll take a look at ways to include Pistoleer, Musketeer and a Warlock special – gunmage as multiclass feats such as the net fighter and spiked-chain fighter from Dragon.

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  1. Nice! Although, instead of a “Musket Butt Strike”, I would have the muskets equipped with bayonets (same game mechanics, just a different flair). A wall of dwarves holding their bayonets at the ready would be very intimidating, especially since they’re going to be able to “Stand Their Ground”.

  2. This series has been amazing. I think when it’s all done you should release it as a free PDF supplement. Good way to promote your new site!

  3. @Doug: That would be a nice addition! I’d especially like it if they had some kind of power associated with it, a basic attack as soon as someone moves adjacent as an encounter ability eg.

    @Xero: Thanks! And thanks for the mention on your blog. I have a couple of posts more in the pipeline (black powder fighting multiclass feats and some traps at least, perhaps a skill challenge or two) and then I might wrap it up and format it in a nice pdf :)

  4. Sounds nice, I can’t wait!

  5. Me too! I’m looking forward to it – and the gunmage, however it comes!

  6. I’ve only just stumbled across these entries, but I’ve enjoyed them quite a bit! There’s a couple things that come to mind, however. First, the Dwarf Grenadier’s “battle cunning” power might need to be changed to a free action, usable once per round, as you can’t take immediate actions during your own turn to my knowledge. You might also want to change the Dwarf Musketeer Captain’s “there’s your target” power to be a once/round minor action, unless the intention is to have him use all of his actions piling marks on the target right off the bat.

    Still, this is fantastic stuff!!

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