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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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    I understand that. As it was one of those reasons I'd really not wanted them in Eld.
     
  2. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    In my Donzalo's Destiny books, we're at an analog of the Late Renaissance, so guns are a fact of life. Some common soldiers may carry matchlocks, some may still use the crossbow, pike, etc, That depends on where they are and how cheap their employer might be. Cavalry men often carry a wheel-lock pistol or even two — if they can afford it.

    Now, I have had 'introduced' guns in a couple stories, where someone has carried a modern weapon through a 'gate' into another world. Those don't last long, of course. Ammo will be used up and one must be careful with it!
     
  3. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    Gun powder exists, dynamite... but, it’s very unstable due to Elemental energies. It’s a bit like Nitro only with attitude. If you’re packing dynamite around it can just blow, and once one stick goes, any nearby sticks are more likely to blow. Steam engines would suffer similar issues, or for that matter, even hydraulics, although mostly in less dramatic fashion than a fiery explosion. Distilleries need to stay on their toes, heh heh.

    So guns? Nope, not really. A single shot rifle is conceivable, but once you get to cartridge ammo, even if the bullets in your pack did you little harm, you’d have wasted a lot of money when they just started popping off, LOL.
     
  4. Mel Syreth

    Mel Syreth Scribe

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    We have flintlocks as well. Nothing like pre-arming a beautiful hand-crafted weapon that could create a huge smoke-screen amidst the sound of a thunder strike. It's sort of a ritual in itself really. Some magicians use it as a spell proxy just for the prestige factor alone.
     
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  5. Futhark

    Futhark Inkling

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    Firearms are not too far off in my world, so if my book(s) sell, I’ll get to have some of my more long lived characters packing six shooters. Of course, the introduction of cannons will change the shape of the political powers that be, so that will be fun to explore. I read a great book about the history of gunpowder in our world, but unfortunately I can’t remember which one it was.
     
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  6. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    My setting isn't to the point of firearms technology, but I almost wish it was. Early matchlocks had comically bad aim and misfired just as often as they fired, which would make for some pretty entertaining battle scenes.
     
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  7. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    I personally think it’s a great concept. I have toyed with the idea myself. Imagine what a fantasy world would be like if set in a western setting. Dwarven gunsmiths, charms to make ammo explosive, orcs with artillery pieces. Magic coexisting with guns.
     
  8. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    So WoW and The Iron Kingdoms and a few others.
     
  9. Futhark

    Futhark Inkling

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  10. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    I have that book, quite like it. Imagine that.
     
  11. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    We write urban fantasy, so guns are everywhere. We even have a magical six-shooter, a named weapon called Agmundr, that was forged by dwarves and given to one of our MC's in exchange for years of labor. It will deliver a mortal wound to the immortal sidhe lords and the MC, Etienne Knight, has used it four times. The sidhe now give him a wide berth.
     
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  12. MrNybble

    MrNybble Troubadour

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    Firearms are a luxury in my world. First challenge is the materials to make the propellant are rare and expensive. Not much need for firearms with magic providing a better means of ranged attacks. Creatures that can fly and/or use ranged attacks are trained for battle are more effective. Magic protection reduces the effectiveness of firearms even further. There are magical enhanced firearms that can be used only by a the person that made the weapon. One person in a million may have the skill to do this. Steam powered firearms are a thing, but have their own set of problems that make them ineffective for most applications.

    With all the things against mundane firearms, they are dedicated to an expensive show piece that can be used if needed.
     
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  13. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Because Altearth is an alternate history, there will inevitably be guns, all the way through sharks with lasers. The interesting (and still open) question is, how does this develop in Altearth? I mean, if you already have an army of mages who can deliver fireballs, what would motivate the development of cannons, and sidearms after that?

    I have a couple of factors in mind. One, magic in Altearth is notoriously unreliable. There would be a period where cannons would be so heavy, slow, and inaccurate, they'd be more supplement than replacement, but that would change over time. Combat mages would resent this; could make for an interesting story in there somewhere.

    The second, and ultimately more important factors, would be much the same as it was in Real Earth; namely, firearms take comparatively less training and so can be distributed to common recruits. Eventually that makes for a more powerful army than a purely magic-based one. Figuring out how combat magic and firearms might supplement one another (or conflict) is an interesting exercise in itself. In any case, the development of firearms would follow a somewhat different timeline in Altearth. Since it's all post-medieval, I haven't given it a lot of thought.

    But now I realize I have to re-visit even more basic technologies. How would the advent of magic affect the traditional weaponry of catapult, bow and arrow, blade, and spear? I've already dealt a bit with how combat magic might affect traditional battlefield tactics, but only a little bit, for one book. But I'm going to have to tackle it head-on for my next book, which is set in the High Middle Ages and involves a whole range of armed encounters. No guns, though, as it's early 13thc. Dodged a bullet there. *groan*
     
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  14. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

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    My superhero setting is Renaissance based, so I've got matchlock muskets and wheellock pistols. They're expensive enough that the Izari City Guard are the only story relevant faction that has firearms in large numbers. Some of the top agents for Izar's various crime families have wheellocks, but there aren't many of them. The Lost Souls social movement acquired some muskets, thanks to their leader being able to create a dozen copies of any non-living object he touches every three hours, but they were still massively outgunned by the ICG.

    With that setting, its post-apocalyptic nature greatly hinders their manufacture and sale.

    I wrote a novella earlier this year that's basically a fantasy western, inspired by the Texas-Comanche War, so that world has cap and ball revolvers, flintlock muskets, percussion cap rifles, and shotguns. Cartridges are just emerging, so whenever I come back to this world I plan to introduce revolving rifles and lever-actions.
     
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  15. robinlxs

    robinlxs Dreamer

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    I don't have guns in my current work. Simply because they use magic instead. You don't need to invent gun powder if some one can throw fire balls out of his hands.
     
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  16. HIMDogson

    HIMDogson Dreamer

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    My setting is a WWII era setting where only elves can use magic. At this stage, everyone uses firearms, as guns outstripped the abilities of all but the most skilled mages at around the Revolutionary period. Currently, the average elven footsoldier uses firearms supplemented by the small amount of magic they have; meanwhile, specialized magic infantry act as tanks. Since the elves were until recently in isolation (before striking out in a last-ditch attempt to subjugate the world) humans have had to adapt their armies to fight magic; heavy tanks are next to useless, and light tanks absolutely bristling with machine guns usually act as mage-killers. No human weapon can match the power of a fully-realized warmage, but the elves cannot make new ones, they can only hope more are born.
     
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  17. J.W. Golan

    J.W. Golan Dreamer

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    My current fantasy world sees very limited use of black powder - much like the centuries when the Chinese had gunpowder, but never thought of using it in concert with a long metal tube to propel a single projectile.

    More interestingly, in my current writing, magic is used to enhance the very limited quantities of black powder in use. In other words, a poorer mage can use black powder in concert with magic to produce effects that would otherwise require either a true explosive, or a more capable mage.
     
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  18. Esudeath

    Esudeath Dreamer

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    In my world, weapons typically have siphons on them that keep the user from burnouts. So my guns would probably be specific to the user in terms of how much firepower they can shoot out of it. It probably has much more power than a regular attack with just using hands but is limited because of said power usage. I don't think everyone could really use one.
     
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  19. elemtilas

    elemtilas Sage

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    In The World, flash powders are known of, and there have actually been a couple now semi-mythical bombardes that were said to have actually been used in battle. By in large, "firearms" as Americans tend to think of them do not exist. First, scarcity of iron means the stuff is far too valuable to be used making ordinary weapons. Second, a bronze or brass firearm can only be so big before it becomes too bulky to handle. A matchlock blunderbuss would probably be about as practical a gun as could be made. By the time you get a shot fired off, your enemy has already advanced, poked his lance into your brain and moved on. Guns simply aren't seen as the way forward.
     
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  20. Just as an FYI, a lot of cannons made, particularly early ones, were made using bronze. And smith and Wesson made a bronze pistol. Semi automatic 1911. The Bronze 1911 pistol -

    And a Kentucky long rifle made of brass.
    6: Early Brass Barrel Kentucky Rifle Dated 1771, Attrib on LiveAuctioneers

    I don’t want you running afoul of the gun bloggers they're a tough bunch.
     
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