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Firearms in your Fantasy?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Orc Knight, May 9, 2019.

  1. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    Sorry, no clever title this time round. So, this is a simple question for y'all. Do you allow firearms and explosives in your fantasy stories? Or in some version? Or is the magic simply more useful? Okay, so a few questions. With my usual example to start it off.

    Eld does have firearms, not the most advanced, but at least to the level of mid WW1 guns and firepower. Granted the only ones who have them are humans, but they use advanced magiteck anyways. Though since the Lich Wars, such weapons have fallen almost into a rarity. Mostly because those who can make and maintain them, much like the other advanced tech and magic, got killed in that attempt at the apocalypse. So much like with the magic power armor and airships, guns have been rendered to near relic status while retaining their killing power.

    I also didn't start with guns, going with the classic style fantasy. It turned out the playing field needed leveled some way and humans would find many, guns being just one. So, no dwarves with them. Well, not all the time. Some bought them as curiosities and few use them in combat situations. Goblins also have a version of sorts, but it usually comes with their versions of power armor.

    So, as per my usual rambling, how about you?
     
  2. I use firearms only in small doses, only black powder weapons such as muskets and pistols. They are available in the world but are in the stage where they simply aren't as reliable as a crossbow for the untrained, and as such bows and crossbows are seen more in terms of ranged weapons. A few people have the training, and the know how to maintain the weapons so they can still be used accurately, and offer better damage against armored opponents, but most people in my world who are looking for long ranged weapons either for personal use or for armies stick with crossbows for ease, or bows if they are willing to go for the extra training, but rarely ever firearms.
     
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  3. JGCully

    JGCully Scribe

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    My view is simular to Denis. Black powder weapons. It's not that they're rare, it's that they are simply another weapon option alongside bows and crossbows. My main character uses a pistol and 'elvish snipers' are mentioned but otherwise they don't have a predominate role. My books are also set in a 'post-war' society so further advancement in firearms technology will be artificially restricted...well, unless something starts things off again...
     
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  4. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

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    The world I am currently building does have firearms, but limited to Renaissance era firearms, so there are handcannons, arquebuses, pistols, muskets, etc.
     
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  5. Gotis

    Gotis Scribe

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    My WIP doesn't have guns, but I can see them developing. Most of the magic in my world is low-key. Truly epic magic only comes with decades of study and mental discipline. Also Iron naturally repels magic, though not completely. Firearms would probably develop, but not in the time period I'm writing in.
     
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  6. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    I've been thinking about introducing firearms into my WIP, or at least the use of gunpowder in warfare. The technology in my world hasn't really progressed to the point where the invention of a matchlock mechanism would be feasible. Right now I'm thinking along the lines of Jin-period Chinese gunpowder use: fire arrows and lances, hand cannons, and pottery caltrops/bombs.
     
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  7. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    So it seems keeping it fairly low tech is a regular theme. Not that I expected too much different. Outside of urban fantasy it seems that not too many really want to use guns. And I can understand the reasoning behind it, given I didn't exactly want them for Eld. Black powder and early gun powder does seem common. Even Gandalf enjoyed his fireworks. No need for a smoky gun to get involved with elves and trolls (even if they are quite effective against both). Any thoughts on that?
     
  8. Rkcapps

    Rkcapps Sage

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    I'm writing for a female audience, so no, but I can totally see them in male audience material.
     
  9. Corwynn

    Corwynn Troubadour

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    My setting has a roughly 1870s level of firearms tech. So you have revolvers, repeaters, and bolt-action rifles, but automatic weapons (except maybe Gatling guns) and smokeless powder haven't been invented yet. There are also some steampunk alternatives to conventional 19th century firearms, but most of these are rare and experimental. Pneumatic guns are fairly common and they have the advantages of being quieter, smokeless, and having much higher muzzle velocity. However, pneumatics have the disadvantage of needing a separate supply of compressed air to work, and because of the need to maintain a sealed firing chamber, repeater versions are impractical and most pneumatics are single shot. Keep in mind that all of these are recent inventions, not everyone can afford the latest tech, and guns are hard to come by in some places, so there are plenty of older firearm types and non-gunpowder weapons still in use.

    I set the weapons tech level where it is for specific reasons. I wanted to have guns, but I also wanted traditional weapons like swords to still be viable, at least in certain circumstances. Up until the late 19th century, you could get away with using a sword sometimes because early firearms were less powerful, less accurate, smoky, slower firing, slower to reload, and had less ammo capacity. In my opinion, the invention of automatic firearms in the 1880s and 90s was the final nail in the coffin for non-gunpowder weapons.

    This isn't quite set in stone. Often I toy with the idea of downgrading the overall firearms tech, or making it so that only pneumatic guns exist because gunpowder was never discovered in my world (its discovery in ours was a fluke, so it's not too implausible). However, I'll most likely keep things where they are.
     
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  10. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    My worlds are in a state of transition from roughly late middle ages to the Enlightenment. Explosive powder saw its first military use in the closing battles of the Traag War - barrels filled with black powder and sharp objects, hurled via catapults into the enemy ranks. (The characters in my current tales are veterans of that conflict, a few had front row seats to that display). Afterward, the engineers came up with more portable versions: the one used against the southern nomads ten years after the Traag War is a fat, hollow crossbow bolt filled with black powder that explodes on contact. I am contemplating a series of novellas set most of a century after this period where cartridge type firearms are becoming standard issue.

    That said, the 'ancient aliens' who terraformed these planets left all sorts of destructive toys behind when they departed - though most function poorly at best.
     
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  11. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    The Ancients really got to stop leaving extremely powerful tech and weapons just laying around. Any idiot could stumble on them and blow up the world.
     
  12. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Troubadour

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    I do, but then I set my fantasy in technologically advanced societies on other planets.
     
  13. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Most of it is badly damaged, and either wouldn't work or would fizzle out. More importantly, the ancient alien tech that does work requires an operator with psi ability.

    One of the characters in 'Labyrinth: Seed' - a member of a recently returned alien race - bemoans this point at length, complaining about have to 'Frankenstein' components together to keep their machines functional. A human sorceress does manage to activate another gargantuan relic, but it promptly reports a long list of issues ranging from low power to time damaged components. (Still, it did demonstrate absolutely awesome abilities.)

    In 'Empire: Judgment' the characters do spend time at a couple ancient alien installations (a ground based outpost and badly damaged spacecraft, respectively). The former has a lethal guardian - good enough to thwart the minions of a wizard king - and keeping the other from completely falling apart is a challenge.
     
  14. kinslayeur

    kinslayeur Scribe

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    In my world, I do merge firearms into the storyline, but only when my MC and supporting cast travel by boat to another land. There, they encounter people who have no magic abilities but use firearms. I have modeled them after the Spanish Conquistadors so it's not too futuristic and still a bit rough.
     
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  15. I have a range of firearms in my works. I have one set in the distant future where big ol' honkin spaceships use magnets at people, making Newton the deadliest SOB the world has ever seen. Small arms are still powder operated.

    Another world is set in the 1870s so repeaters and revolvers and what not.

    Another set right here on earth in the 2020s.

    Another couple of worlds are just barely creating canons and figuring out how useful those could be.

    TBH, I haven't really ever done no shooty-shooty pew-pews for any of my worlds.
     
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  16. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    That sentence hurt even me. Like a sniper rifle it did. :p
     
  17. Peat

    Peat Sage

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    In most of my ideas, no. I just aesthetically find swords and what not more interesting.
     
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  18. Not even the worst sentence I have read. #quadruplenegativeFTW
     
  19. Gray-Hand

    Gray-Hand Scribe

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    The construction of a castle with high walls is an important plot point in my story, so I’ve had to limit gunpowder to explosives and very early period mortars and cannons.
    Anything more advanced than that makes high castle walls obsolete. So all but the most primitive hand cannons are out too.
     
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  20. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I've used guns a few times. I feel that a well-placed gun ramps up the fear level like nothing else can.

    In my settings there's an element to gunpowder that's rare so firing a gun is expensive. I actually have this alchemical system behind it, where the substitute-gunpowder represents a mix of fire and earth, while something like acid represents earth and water, and so on. But the guns are the only part of that which I've ever used, so I don't know.
     
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