Welcome to A Brace of Pistols, the first firearms-based product in the new Super Genius Presents line of books. Each of the products in this line is the strong vision of a single game designer, bypassing the normal planning, development, and revision process used for most Super Genius Games products. While we consider those processes to be a major part of maintaining a high level of compatibility, quality, and balance in our main product lines, we also know that sometimes a writer has a strong vision that doesn’t exactly match the style of our company, or that the designer doesn’t want to be diluted through normal development processes. In those cases, if we believe in the skill and vision of the designer, we now have the option of presenting their work without laying claim to it as part of one of our standard product lines.
While most Super Genius Games products are the carefully developed work of a team (even when there’s only one designer, the input of the whole Super Genius staff is likely to have affected the product), Super Genius Presents are the editorial pages, the solo rants, and the soapboxes. As a company we’re giving individual creators a chance to present their ideas more directly to the consumer. As commercial works we’ll try to ensure such products are professionally produced and edited, but the tone, content, and voice are largely under the control of the authors.
Louis Agresta is a well-known freelance game designer, a respected member of the game writer’s guild known as the Werecabbages, and a spokesman for the Iron GM gamemastering competition.
Flintlocks in Fantasy
Swashbuckling rings incomplete without the fiery retort of the pistol: the shower of sparks, the flash of powder, the reek of sulfur. No self-respecting pirate captain boards her enemy’s ship without a rapier at her belt and a brace of flintlocks in her sash. The genteel highwayman halts the coach with his firearms out. Nobles, sleeves rolled up, turn at ten paces. Weapons crack, and they vanish behind simultaneous plumes of white smoke, their fates momentarily obscured.
A Brace of Pistols contains rules to expand the options for black-powder flintlocks in fantasy campaigns that allow them, supporting the uniquely dramatic flavor of the pistol – the arresting jab of a gun in the back, the standoff, highway holdups, and the ferocious chaos of ship-to-ship boarding battles – as well as some unusual real-world firearm variants, and some new fantasy-based rules that mix muskets and magic.
Overview: Flintlocks in Your Game
Despite their cost, black powder flintlock pistols were frequently fired just once and then tossed away. They were prone to misfires and highly inaccurate – except at dangerously short range – as well as increasingly less dangerous over distance; up close, they were devastating.
To carry multiple flintlocks, characters must wear holsters. Medium and heavy armor prevents you from wearing certain holsters, as the armor leaves the holstered flintlock difficult or impossible to reach, while rendering the armor awkward or unbalanced. A mounted character in light or no armor has the option to carry up to five pairs – also called a ‘brace’ – of flintlocks ready to be drawn as weapons: one in each hand, two in a chest holster, two through a belt, two in leg holsters, and two in mount holsters. Ten total. Any additional flintlocks must be stored and retrieved as items.
All the rules in A Brace of Pistols work with the early firearm rules found in Ultimate Combat.