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 Post subject: Loading flintlocks
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:50 am
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Location: Tampa, Florida (temp.)
I've started a new rule for using flintlocks in Arcanis in my home campaign, and I recommend it for the general game in any rules system. I'd suspected this before and learned for certain about flintlocks in real life at a demo over July 4 weekend.

Unlike a modern gun, you can't walk around with a loaded flintlock. You have to load it right before you use it. You have to hold the blastpowder (gunpowder) in the pan level and horizontal or else it will spill out, and a wind can also blow it or moisture can ruin it. Thus, you need to explicitly load your gun each time before you use it. That means first draw the weapon (2 ticks or as part of a 4-tick Cautious Advance, unless you have the Quick-draw talent), then load it (10 ticks for a pistol or 12 ticks for a rifle), and only then fire it (2 ticks). Then reload if you want to shoot again. Loading is an interruptible action. If you're expecting a fight within a minute or two, you may declare before combat begins that you want to draw and load your weapon, but if no fight happens or you are prevented from keeping your gun level (e.g., you fall down), then you just wasted that shot (which costs 2.5 silver coins each).

Similarly, any time you fall down, get wet, or otherwise would have your loaded shot ruined, you have to lose that shot. In that sort of case, some sort of partial reload in combat seems reasonable, but I'll figure it out when/if it ever matters.

If characters are expecting a fight, I let them load a gun, but they have to explicitly declare it. If it turns out that there is no fight but is one a couple minutes later, then the gun is still loaded, but if there's no fight for half an hour of wandering around, the blastpowder won't have stayed in the pan, and the entire shot will have to be cleaned out and reloaded.

The ARPG rules have a reload time. I explicitly now call that a load time, meaning that the initial loading of a ranged weapon is not free but must be done before the first shot is fired. Sometimes the weapon can be loaded beforehand, depending on circumstances. Oftentimes it's unloaded. The fact that the rules talk about "reloading" rather than "loading"--combined with the fact that one can walk around with a modern gun loaded all the time--is likely what makes everyone act like loading before the first shot is never necessary.

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Sestius Ovidius val'Mehan Comma and Khamat - psion patrician diplomatic legate and his Myrantian tutor
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Amadi val'Abebi - Monk of Althares
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 Post subject: Re: Loading flintlocks
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:12 pm
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Realistic yes. However, if you use those rules, you may as well remove flintlocks from the game. As is, I mostly only see flintlocks used as a 1-shot "trick".

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 Post subject: Re: Loading flintlocks
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:26 pm 
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Location: Southwestern Ohio
I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure pistols at least could be carried loaded. If you look at your usual officer/cavalryman of the period they usually have a pair or more of pistols mounted on either side of their saddle. I'm reasonably sure they would pull those in combat, fire them and (most likely) stick them back in the "holster." I also seem to recall the pan having a cover that you put in place after you have loaded it to keep the powder from falling out. If memory serves (I'm at work) when you pull the trigger on a flintlock, as the flint hits the steel and makes sparks the pan is opened to expose the powder. I imagine as a general rule infantry carried their muskets unloaded to prevent accidents rather that for fear of the power falling out. But as I said I'm no expert on antique firearms. :)

Now if you really want a pain in the butt just be glad Henry didn't make us use matchlocks! :(

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 Post subject: Re: Loading flintlocks
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:53 pm 
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Not even realistic. As one when who has fired and hunted with black powder muzzle loaders, it is not possible for powder or shot to fall out. The ball must be forced in, hence the need for a ramrod. There is a square of cloth called the wad, or wadding, that seals the barrel and helps the ball catch the rifling.
In addition, many if not most of the historic flintlock weapons, and almost all wheelock weapons had a pan cover to hold the priming powder in the pan. This cover would open when the weapon was cooked. (Sometimes at full cock, sometimes at half cock, varied by maker.

Peter

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 Post subject: Re: Loading flintlocks
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:22 am 
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Location: Tampa, Florida (temp.)
Here's a discussion I found about flintlock firearms on another gaming Website. Admittedly by gamers.

https://mythicscribes.com/forums/resear ... stion.html

TLDR: The ball and powder will not come out of the barrel no matter how it's held. The frizen covers the pane, which prevents the powder from coming out of the pan. The primer might have to be reloaded occasionally depending on the environment. When traveling with a loaded weapon and not expecting an immediate fight, the trigger should be left half-cocked and needs to be fully cocked before firing.

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Sestius Ovidius val'Mehan Comma and Khamat - psion patrician diplomatic legate and his Myrantian tutor
Quintus Ovidius val'Mehan - patrician military tribune
Amadi val'Abebi - Monk of Althares
Talathos - choleric Kelekene dabbler


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 Post subject: Re: Loading flintlocks
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 613
While I understand what you are trying to do Dante, you are fundamentally messing with the mechanical balance of the game, and as Peter pointed out there are flash pan covers. I will also point out that SMOKE POWDER is not BLACK POWDER. The first is a magical concoction, the second is a chemical reaction.

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