Roadwardens and pistols

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satakuua
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Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:31 am

Just occurred to me roadwardens (and river wardens) carry pistols.

To me it sounds a tad too ”expensive”, and, given the nature of their business, too high maintenance. I guess pistols are okay in the hands of roadwardens patrolling around major cities, but I find it odd they’d be common in the hands of more rural patrolmen. Then again coachmen carry blunderbusses, so maybe pistols are not too far out. But still.

Maybe I just like crossbows more. And the career is easily modified by dropping specialist weapon group (gunpowder), and giving them both quick draw and rapid reload. Not a biggie.
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Orin J.
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Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:40 am

i'm pretty sure the reason is because pistols can be used one-handed and carried easily, so roadwardens can draw up ahd be ready to shoot without having to get out and steady a big two-handed crossbow. besides, maybe they don't own them? what if it's supplied by the state and they're expected to pay for their replacement if they lose their "symbol of office"?
satakuua
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Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:41 am

Hm. Didn’t think of the one-handed use. It is a fair point.
Jadrax
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Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:37 pm

I think part of it was probably to make them more distinct from outriders, who are in a very similar niche.

Of course given the WFB Outriders, it probably would have made more sense the other way around.
Karanthir
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Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:39 am

Orin J. wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:40 am
i'm pretty sure the reason is because pistols can be used one-handed and carried easily, so roadwardens can draw up ahd be ready to shoot without having to get out and steady a big two-handed crossbow. besides, maybe they don't own them? what if it's supplied by the state and they're expected to pay for their replacement if they lose their "symbol of office"?
I like this idea! I think I'll be using it for roadwardens (PC and NPC) in my games from now on.
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Mister Moe
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Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:43 am

A bit off topic, but for my taste gunpowder weapons are hopelessly underpowered. Taken into account that these weapons have been invented to penetrate plate armour and thus rendered crossbow and bows outdated, it makes little to no sense for me that the advantage of firearms in WHFRP is "only" the impact quality. "Impact" statistically adds some 2-and-a-bit damage points compared with the crossbow. What person in their right mind would buy a gunpowder weapon except for the coolness factor?

So if I where the state and wanted to equip my roadwardens, I would give them crossbow pistols. Cost a fraction only, faster to reload, easier to handle.

And if I where the Games Workshop Gunpowder Agent, I'd see to it that gunpowder weapons get damage 6, Impact, Armour Piercing, and some "menacing" qualities. They are supposed to be manstoppers, in the end.
Theo
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Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:29 pm

Historically, as far as I can tell, the major advantage of the fairly primitive firearms of the 16th century vs. crossbows were that they were quite a bit simpler and cheaper to make and thus more suitable for mass production. They were probably a bit better at penetrating armour at close range but this doesn't seem to have been a huge difference. I don't remember the 2E WFRP price lists offhand, but in 1E gunpowder weapons were ridiculously expensive.
satakuua
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Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:15 pm

Yes, their prices were high. And I, too, remember reading the destructive capabilities of early firearms were not so great. But cheap to produce, easy to aim, and did the job in massed battles.
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Mister Moe
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Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:08 am

Theo wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:29 pm
I don't remember the 2E WFRP price lists offhand, but in 1E gunpowder weapons were ridiculously expensive.
The core rules state 200 gold crowns for a pistol, 300 gc a rifle (firearm). The blunderbus is 70 gc.

Concerning the firepower check out these two youtube links:
Crossbow vs. plate armour
Musket vs. plate armour
satakuua
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Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:04 am

Some stuff about firearms and armour (most likely old news):
www.reddit.com/r/history/comments/5wjlm ... ate_armor/

Does not seem so clear-cut, a lot of variables. But yes, in the video the musket destroys the breast plate! "Armour piercing" would not be a misnomer.
Braddoc
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Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:28 am

Well, both wardens respond directly to the Emperor, so as such they get good gear. They have a rather important and dangerous job to do, a pistol is technically more powerful than a 'mere' crossbow. Also say what you will, but a crossbow bolt is hard hitting but still is a bolt; a bullet kicks even more and good luck getting it out without having a surgeon near-by- keep in mind the people in the setting don't see a pistol and goes

'It's OK boys, it does less damage than a crossbow!'

I would go with the pistol being the Emperor's property rather than thier own item, so loosing it would result in an inquiry at the very least. If it blew up well you got the scar to show it and the few pieces of it; if you pawn it and dropped it in the river, enjoy your next year driving a desk or guarding a toll-station.

On the other end of the spectrum, Roadwardens are a good way for PCs to have access to a pistol without haivng to cough up 200 crowns-I used that method to give a pistol to my PCs, (Rest in Peace, Roadwarden Zeke) and even then they did not use it because no one knew how.

Sadly while the Elf Wizard was getting trained in firearm use by a Dwarf teacher in Nuln, she rolled a 100 during practice and it blew up- fortunately, it only slightly burned her hand.
In 4th ed I got a Riverwarden adn he bought one (for the ridiculous low price of 8 Crowns) he used it once and it prove lethal (moslty because the weapon and the ammunition both have qualities that stacks.)
satakuua
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Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:07 am

Which stacking qualities of ammo and gun are you referring to?
Braddoc
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Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:11 pm

satakuua wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:07 am
Which stacking qualities of ammo and gun are you referring to?
Ah, not stacking per se, but ammunition have qualities in 4th ed, compared to 2nd and 1st which the weapon had qualities, and the ammo was just ammo.

Ammunition quality are more qualities and special rules you got to keep in mind when you or a PC fires and hit.
Machete_Matt
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Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:48 pm

Reading this thread I have started thinking about lowering the prices of firearms.

I have explained the high cost of firearms by them using a wheellock mechanism, and that being new and complex, with only a few manufacturers (e.g., Dwarf shops in Nuln) being able to produce those. So high demand + low supply = high prices. [The alternative would be using matchlock, and that would not be suitable for adventurers -- need dry conditions, need a source of fire, there is a delay between pulling trigger and actual firing.] The other expensive component I can think of is a rifled barrel, which would explain the price differential between a blunderbuss vs. firearm/pistol.

I am thinking, though, that the extreme prices of firearms means that anyone carrying one is pretty much automatically a target for theft or robbery. You can live for years off the price of a (stolen) firearm. So maybe lower prices would be more logical. Would also explain why a roadwarden could have one. Needing the specialist talent would still restrict their use by PCs, plus, as pointed out, they are not overpowered. Except maybe the repeating versions.
Braddoc wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:28 am
Well, both wardens respond directly to the Emperor, so as such they get good gear. They have a rather important and dangerous job to do, a pistol is technically more powerful than a 'mere' crossbow. Also say what you will, but a crossbow bolt is hard hitting but still is a bolt; a bullet kicks even more and good luck getting it out without having a surgeon near-by- keep in mind the people in the setting don't see a pistol and goes

'It's OK boys, it does less damage than a crossbow!'

I would go with the pistol being the Emperor's property rather than thier own item, so loosing it would result in an inquiry at the very least. If it blew up well you got the scar to show it and the few pieces of it; if you pawn it and dropped it in the river, enjoy your next year driving a desk or guarding a toll-station.
According to Sigmar's Heirs the roadwardens are not an imperial police force: "They act in the service of a higher authority, whether chartered town, noble, or even an Elector, to keep that authority's lands free of outlaws and other dangers." (p. 31) Based on that, perhaps roadwardens in Reikland might work for the Emperor, as the Elector of Reikland, but not others.

Also, the pistol being "on loan" would not explain why the roadwarden would still have it when they leave their job to go adventuring. Unless they are travelling on official business, having been seconded to a group of adventurers, of course. :-)
Jadrax
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:10 am

It may be worth bearing in mind that the Pistol is not even the most expensive trapping the roadwarden requires, the Light warhorse is worth far more.
Knight of the Lady
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Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:56 am

Machete_Matt wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:48 pm
Reading this thread I have started thinking about lowering the prices of firearms.

I have explained the high cost of firearms by them using a wheellock mechanism, and that being new and complex, with only a few manufacturers (e.g., Dwarf shops in Nuln) being able to produce those. So high demand + low supply = high prices. [The alternative would be using matchlock, and that would not be suitable for adventurers -- need dry conditions, need a source of fire, there is a delay between pulling trigger and actual firing.] The other expensive component I can think of is a rifled barrel, which would explain the price differential between a blunderbuss vs. firearm/pistol.

I am thinking, though, that the extreme prices of firearms means that anyone carrying one is pretty much automatically a target for theft or robbery. You can live for years off the price of a (stolen) firearm. So maybe lower prices would be more logical. Would also explain why a roadwarden could have one. Needing the specialist talent would still restrict their use by PCs, plus, as pointed out, they are not overpowered. Except maybe the repeating versions.
Braddoc wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:28 am
Well, both wardens respond directly to the Emperor, so as such they get good gear. They have a rather important and dangerous job to do, a pistol is technically more powerful than a 'mere' crossbow. Also say what you will, but a crossbow bolt is hard hitting but still is a bolt; a bullet kicks even more and good luck getting it out without having a surgeon near-by- keep in mind the people in the setting don't see a pistol and goes

'It's OK boys, it does less damage than a crossbow!'

I would go with the pistol being the Emperor's property rather than thier own item, so loosing it would result in an inquiry at the very least. If it blew up well you got the scar to show it and the few pieces of it; if you pawn it and dropped it in the river, enjoy your next year driving a desk or guarding a toll-station.
According to Sigmar's Heirs the roadwardens are not an imperial police force: "They act in the service of a higher authority, whether chartered town, noble, or even an Elector, to keep that authority's lands free of outlaws and other dangers." (p. 31) Based on that, perhaps roadwardens in Reikland might work for the Emperor, as the Elector of Reikland, but not others.

Also, the pistol being "on loan" would not explain why the roadwarden would still have it when they leave their job to go adventuring. Unless they are travelling on official business, having been seconded to a group of adventurers, of course. :-)
I have to ask though, if a Roadwarden would leave for adventuring and take his pistol with him. What chances do the authorities actually have to hunt him down and reclaim the stolen goods?
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Orin J.
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Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:07 pm

Knight of the Lady wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:56 am
Machete_Matt wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:48 pm
Reading this thread I have started thinking about lowering the prices of firearms.

I have explained the high cost of firearms by them using a wheellock mechanism, and that being new and complex, with only a few manufacturers (e.g., Dwarf shops in Nuln) being able to produce those. So high demand + low supply = high prices. [The alternative would be using matchlock, and that would not be suitable for adventurers -- need dry conditions, need a source of fire, there is a delay between pulling trigger and actual firing.] The other expensive component I can think of is a rifled barrel, which would explain the price differential between a blunderbuss vs. firearm/pistol.

I am thinking, though, that the extreme prices of firearms means that anyone carrying one is pretty much automatically a target for theft or robbery. You can live for years off the price of a (stolen) firearm. So maybe lower prices would be more logical. Would also explain why a roadwarden could have one. Needing the specialist talent would still restrict their use by PCs, plus, as pointed out, they are not overpowered. Except maybe the repeating versions.
Braddoc wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:28 am
Well, both wardens respond directly to the Emperor, so as such they get good gear. They have a rather important and dangerous job to do, a pistol is technically more powerful than a 'mere' crossbow. Also say what you will, but a crossbow bolt is hard hitting but still is a bolt; a bullet kicks even more and good luck getting it out without having a surgeon near-by- keep in mind the people in the setting don't see a pistol and goes

'It's OK boys, it does less damage than a crossbow!'

I would go with the pistol being the Emperor's property rather than thier own item, so loosing it would result in an inquiry at the very least. If it blew up well you got the scar to show it and the few pieces of it; if you pawn it and dropped it in the river, enjoy your next year driving a desk or guarding a toll-station.
According to Sigmar's Heirs the roadwardens are not an imperial police force: "They act in the service of a higher authority, whether chartered town, noble, or even an Elector, to keep that authority's lands free of outlaws and other dangers." (p. 31) Based on that, perhaps roadwardens in Reikland might work for the Emperor, as the Elector of Reikland, but not others.

Also, the pistol being "on loan" would not explain why the roadwarden would still have it when they leave their job to go adventuring. Unless they are travelling on official business, having been seconded to a group of adventurers, of course. :-)
I have to ask though, if a Roadwarden would leave for adventuring and take his pistol with him. What chances do the authorities actually have to hunt him down and reclaim the stolen goods?
well that really depends on HOW they find out he's left his post, doesn't it? they find out two provinces away from your route, turning in bandits you can kinda squeak by with a "i've enlisted these fellows in helping me chase the bastards down, they led me on quite the chase. i'll just.....be on my way.....back....bye..." but you're spotted in shady dealings in altdorf with a man suspected of being a cultist well it's probably a whole pack of your "fellow" wardens sent out explictly to retrieve you for a quick trial and a cell.
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totsuzenheni
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Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:16 pm

Some reasons why crossbows were still in use when firearms were still around were given by Jason Kingsley on his Modern History TV channel here: https://youtu.be/MTr3tHWGv-U?t=245 . In short, it's because crossbows are easier and cheaper to maintain; because (expensive) gunpowder doesn't do so well in damp or wet conditions, which is particularly relevant at night; and because they are quieter and therefore consequently less likely to bring unwanted attention. All in all, Jason Kingsley posits that crossbows are better for night raiding.
Theo
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Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:42 am

Crossbows were used for hunting well into the 17th century, too.
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Orin J.
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Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:39 pm

Theo wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:42 am
Crossbows were used for hunting well into the 17th century, too.
crossbows are used for hunting NOW. they just aren't as flashy as firearms so people buy them less.
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