Guns in D&D
I hate guns in D&D. (Please note, I didn’t say I hated guns, so calm your jets in the comment section) Now I know this post will only appeal to a select group of players out there. A great many people enjoy this home-brew addition and love having it in their games. I am not one of the people, and let me explain why.
I am admittedly an old school player. AD&D was not based on the current games mixture of heavy roleplaying with some fighting. It was a much simpler game of dungeon crawling, killing monsters and getting gold and magic items. The fighter had a sword, the cleric a mace, the ranger a bow, the wizard a staff, and the thief a dagger. We fought tons of orcs and kobolds and had a blast doing it. No one thought of putting guns in the game, cause they were guns! They had no place in the game. It was about swords and monsters. Adding guns to the D&D was flying in the face of what I see as one of the core fundamentals of the game.
I’ve hunted around the web and haven’t seen much in the way of people complaining about the introduction of guns into D&D. I guess I’m in the minority in this subject. Most of the complaints have to do with the rules around guns. They were introduced in 3.5e as a result of their success in Pathfinder. Most of the rules were imported from Pathfinder and adapted to 3.5e. The general consensus was that while the rules were flawed in many ways, a good GM would tailor the rules for his or her game. Many did, and guns were here to stay in the world of D&D.
Now I could ramble on about how this country is infatuated with guns and the gun culture in the US. I’m not prepared to tackle that subject and how it pertains to D&D. I’m sure it plays into it on some level. We sure do love our guns here in the good ol’ USA. But the subject matter is way too massive for me to try to take on here.
In my opinion, the influence of video games is one of the major reasons guns started appearing, and gaining popularity, in D&D. World of Warcraft was, and still is, an open world D&D campaign on the computer. Guns in WoW play an important role. The hunter class relies on guns, and they can do massive amounts of damage. One of the coolest guns is the Shrediron Shredder, which looks like a musket. A badass musket. So for the D&D player who plays WoW, they of course would love to have these weapons carry over into the tabletop game.
And, of course, with Matt Mercer being the voice of McCree in Overwatch, there is just one more reason for a D&D player to want to play an old west gunslinger.
Speaking of Mr. Mercer, with his introduction of the gunslinger class in 5e, guns went “mainstream” in D&D. I have to say, I’ve read through it and it looks pretty interesting. Maybe I’ll play one in my next campaign. Times change and change can be scary. I am willing to give it a chance and see what all the fuss is about. But until then, I just don’t understand how or why guns in D&D exist. I’ll take a good old sword any day.