new Secret of the Gun: Field Boompowder


This has been rattling around in my head for a couple of days; finally got a version I like, though it is completely untested.

This secret allows a dwarven gunner to maintain his rifle's readiness even when operating far outside of civilisation with no supply wagons. The gunner can spend twelve hours, searching an area a couple of acres square, and come up with material enough to make 3d6 charges of field boompowder. Despite its decreased potency, the material is easier to work with: all that is usually needed is something to grind the materials up, and sometimes makeshift alchemical equipment which the gunner can make in the same manner he does a field forge. The DC for a Craft (Alchemy) check to make field boompowder is 15. A single check will make up to 6 charges and takes three hours, and a failed roll ruins all the materials used to make that batch.

Field Boompowder: Field boompowder takes up twice as much space as standard boompowder: a horn has 3 shots, a keg has 6, 2 kegs are needed to fire a cannon, and 4 kegs are needed to fire a bombard. The material is not stable enough to make a good boompack or bomb; if used for construction of those items, reduce the number of dice rolled by half, rounding down. A keg or horn of field boompowder takes up the same amount of weight and space as a normal one and is stored in the same manner.

"Balancing" technique if this were to somehow get out of hand - and you wanted a mechanical stick to torment the player with - would be to assign a Craft (Alchemy) check for the foraging to be successful. DC 10 in mineral-rich areas like mountains, hills, or swamps; DC 15 for forests, general wilderness-y areas; DC 20 for well-cultivated and civilised land. Need to pass the check before you can roll for materials-found. If you fail, no retry allowed in that area, you'll need to move a bit and start again.

(note 1: the whole "dwarven gunners are spellcasters, so they can make boompowder anyway" desperately needs to go into errata and up on the site somewhere prominent. by the book, the only way you'd get boompowder otherwise is from a Brotherhood or Dessi mage, an adept, or an expert. The first two are out - not really Bor buddies - while the other two are NPC classes.)

(note 2: the "horn of boompowder" as mentioned above is a Special Item of my creation. Can carry 6 shots of boompowder and is slung under the shoulder. the horn is not waterproof and if submerged at all, the powder inside is ruined.)
I can see it now. Dwarven Captain James Kirk desperately scavenges for boompowder so that he can shoot the relentless Gourgaz that is hunting him. :D

My main beef was that for a class that relies so heavily on its gun, it's very easy to run out of boompowder on an extended mission unless you fill half your Backpack with boompowder kegs. Lone Wolf was never a big ranged attacker (you didn't even get a Bow until the Magnakai quest), I know, but this just felt like it needed to be addressed for my game.