Mercenaries and Firearms

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Dr Magister
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Mercenaries and Firearms

Postby Dr Magister » Tue May 31, 2011 2:37 pm

So, between squealing like a girl over the new AFF, I've been pondering the Maelstrom rules regarding firearms, especially as regards mercenaries. The living was written when missile weapons were only a barely mentioned after-thought, and I feel mercenaries have been sold short by this.

Firstly, the reload times in the Companion seem very optimistic. 10 seconds to reload a wheel-lock pistol, and fifteen seconds to reload a matchlock musket seem very low. Speaking as someone who does English Civil War re-enactment, fifteen seconds would be good with a flintlock and a lot of practice, under ideal conditions. Most Livings would be completely unfamiliar with guns, let alone able to reload and fire in such a short time. I would suggest 30 seconds for muskets (6 rounds) and maybe twenty seconds (4 rounds) for pistols.

However, I would say that all Mercenaries can reduce reload times by 2 rounds (ten seconds) since they've had plenty of practice blazing away frantically on the fields of Europe.

Also, in character creation, I would give Mercs the choice of either increasing Attack Skill OR Missile Skill, as well as DS, Endurance and Speed to reflect those who were professional arquebusiers/musketeers instead of general pikemen/ billmen/ swordsmen.

What do folks think?
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PaulB
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Postby PaulB » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:00 pm

I agree with the principle of what you're saying. In many respects, the Mercenary warrants consideration as a grouping of sub-specialties rather than a single type of Living. Soldiers selling their talents for cash will invariably have spent time in different forces learning different skills and gathering unique experience - so, a catchall set of 'training' improvements doesn't neatly fit to the practical diversity. In many respect the Mercenary Living does not stand alone in this regard - and warrants further consideration.

In the meantime, I see no major issues with making adjustments for your own character generation as you've outlined - though, I think you should take care further diversifying and empowering the already powerful Mercenary.

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