Just for fun I decided to write up a gunblade for use in OSR/SWORDDREAM style tabletop RPGs. Initially I thought it would be pretty simple, just a regular sword with bonus damage. But after looking into the new Gunbreaker class in Final Fantasy XIV, I realized through specialized ammunition it could be much more interesting.
The rules below are mostly system neutral (leaning towards Knave.) I’m sure it will not be difficult to adjust things to fit into your game.
Gunblades are swords with pistol grips and firing mechanisms. When the trigger is pulled it fires a round that adds more force to the strike. Generally this is used to increase the damage of attacks, but experienced gunblade wielders have come up with creative uses for the additional kick. Gunblades can also be loaded with different types of ammo making it a very versatile weapon.
Gunblades are wielded like normal swords, but after a successful attack the user can declare “Trigger!” to activate the loaded ammo’s effect. Start with the ammo in position 1, then discard the die. The next time a Trigger is declared use the next die in line.
There are two types of Gunblades: two handed revolvers, and the newer one-handed Hyperion models. Each is loaded in a different way.
- Revolver Gunblade
- 2h Sword, 1d8 Slashing damage
- Revolver reload, 6 rounds, ammo spin
To load a revolver gunblade make a circle with 6 dice in the below pattern. The color of the die indicates the type of ammo loaded in. This ammo is loaded into a revolving cylinder, allowing the user to rotate the cylinder to select their ammo.
- Hyperion Gunblade
- 1h Sword, 1d6 Slashing damage
- Clip reload, 6 rounds
Hyperion gunblades use clips and are loaded in a vertical line. This ammo is loaded into clips, not allowing for ammo to be selected in between attacks. Clips are easier to reload, and multiple can be carried around.
- White: Standard ammo increases the force of the strike adding +1d6 damage.
- Black: Unleashes explosive black powder from the sides of the blade, nearby enemies must make a DEX save or take 1d4 damage.
- Blue: Covers the target in a freezing gel. Target makes a CON Save, on failure they move at half speed and all rolls are at -1 for 1d4 rounds.
- Red: Covers the target in burning gel, target must make a DEX save or burn for 1d4 rounds. Each round on fire take 1d4 damage.
- Green: Releases a soothing mist backwards towards the wielder, healing them and nearby allies for 1d4 hp.
- Yellow: Creates a bright flash reflected in the sides of the blade. Target and nearby foes must make a INT save or be blinded for 1 round.
- Purple: Releases a hazy mist around the user and nearby allies. Enemies attacking into the mist must make a WIS save or the attack misses.
- Orange: Releases an invigorating mist, granting the wielder and nearby allies a +1 bonus to the next action taken.
Encourage your players to use the gunblade in creative ways inside or outside of combat. For example, they could describe slamming the gunblade on the ground and triggering it to propel themselves to greater heights than a normal jump.
Let me know in the comments or on twitter if you think of any other types of ammo or cool special moves to do with a gunblade!
Follow me on Twitter