DnD 4e- the Musketeer

edited August 2008 in General Discussion


  • CrazyDE
    Posts: 14
    I'm currently DMing a 4e game in a homebrew campaign setting (Midnight Sun if you're curious). Some parts of the world have advanced to a Renaissance-like level of technology. These nations employ musketeers in their military, and I'm planning to write up a Musketeer class. Of course, writing a class is a pretty big job, so I'd like to see what thoughts you guys might have on the idea.

    So far, I've worked out that I want the Musketeer to be a Martial Controller. They would be proficient with light blades and muskets. Probably light armor, too.

    The abilities associated with the Musketeer would be, in order, Dexterity, Strength or Constitution, and Charisma. Dexterity would govern the melee attacks and precision shooting, while Strength or Constitution would effect the power of the musket blasts the Musketeer could handle. Sturdier characters could handle heftier kick from their weaponry. Charisma would handle some effects and a lot of the skills available to Musketeers. I included Charisma because Musketeers from films are always dashing, magnetic people, but I worry this may be stepping on the toes of the Rogues.

    The at will powers need a lot of thought, because they will remain in use through the life of the character. Their at will powers should all be based around fencing. In the movies, you always see the fencing heroes fighting off multiple men at a time, so the fencing powers would probably target more than one enemy. I need to be careful about this, though, because I want the Musketeer to be a controller, not a defender. The focus of these powers should be on letting the Musketeer duck and weave through the battlefield instead of drawing the attacks of the enemies. These powers would probably be small, close blasts, or ways of changing the targets' conditions. One idea I like is a close blast 1 that allows the Musketeer to shift away a few spaces.
    It's possible the Musketeer may end up dealing too much total damage with area powers depending on the blade he uses. Maybe his powers would use a specific damage die.

    The defining feature of the Musketeer would, of course, be her musket. It would not be a particularly accurate weapon, but it would have good range and damage. It would probably require a standard action just to load it, but the damage output should make up for it. The damage dice may vary by the model of the musket.
    Musket-related powers could fit any role, but I plan to make a controller. A class feature of the Musketeer would be the capability to craft specialized rounds for their powers. Some examples would be rounds that would spread into a wide blast, set enemies ablaze, or alter the terrain (projectile caltrops, maybe).

    Musketeers would have many of the same class skills as rogues, but with the addition of Athletics or Endurance, depending on which ability they end up favoring. I'm not really certain about the skillset the Musketeer will end up with, since I'm not sure if Charisma will continue to be a key ability.

    Any thoughts?
  • FemmeLegion
    Posts: 521
    Okay, on the one hand, you're wanting someone who can duck and weave through combat. On the other hand, you want someone proficient with a weapon that could take a standard action to load. The two don't mesh together well in my head. If you've got it reconciled, that's fine since it's your campaign, but it looks incongruous from here.

    A gun-related power probably ought to be that you can sacrifice your move action that round to get +2 to hit. Y'know, taking time to aim. I've seen that mechanic in other games, and if you make the musket realistically inaccurate you can bet your players will be begging for it.

    Your mention of Charisma as a power gave me the mental image of holding someone at gunpoint and glaring threateningly at them as you move. Maybe at a high enough level they could make an Intimidate check, with a success allowing them to _shift_ up to their speed. Heck, that could conceivably work for any sort of paragon class.
  • CrazyDE
    Posts: 14
    That's a good point about the sword fighting and gunning not mixing. I could probably work in two separate builds, like the rangers who take either two weapon fighting or archery. Another idea is to downplay the duck-and-weave stuff, and have only the at-will powers be centered around it. This would mean the sword fighting exists only to let the Musketeer get into a good position. However, I like the idea of a flexible class. As much as I love fourth edition, I don't like how specific the purposes of each class are. Having a class that would be effective up close and afar would be cool, but it might also be overpowered. I was never planning on letting the Musketeer have a lot of HP, so the player probably wouldn't want to stick around the front lines anyway.
    The other suggestions are good, too. I think sacrificing the move action to improve the chance to hit might work as a class feature, but I don't know.
    I have a lot to consider.
  • RobJustice
    Posts: 178
    Something else to consider, From Wikipedia's Musket entry:
    "A skilled unit of musketeers was able to fire three rounds per minute"
    The average turn is 6 seconds, making 10 per round so your looking at a shot fired every 3 rounds, not every other round.

    With Flintlock weapons an option might be simply to forgo ammo counting and simply make their gun's reliable encounter or daily powers.
  • CrazyDE
    Posts: 14
    Well, last night we ran our first game with a musketeer in it, and it seems that the basic mechanics of the class work pretty well. I decided to stick with letting the Musketeer use only one standard action to load; realism isn't a big priority here. The delay allows him to have some pretty cool powers without outshining the rest of the party. By the end of the night, I almost forgot that the character was supposed to be a test subject. A few more tweaks and it'll be perfect.
    What's left now is to crank out more powers. There are really only so many things that can conceivably be done with a musket. Any ideas there?
  • FemmeLegion
    Posts: 521
    Ideas, yes. GOOD ones, maybe not so much.

    There really doesn't need to be a power titled "BOOM! HEADSHOT!"

    (I also had to stop naming peoples' magical items in Living Arcanis. If you craft a magical item, you need to name it, and someone was crafting a Pearl of Power. I don't dare actually say the word I proposed as its name, but it's a teeny tiny part of feminine anatomy.)
  • CrazyDE
    Posts: 14
    I'm sure one of us will yell "Boom! Headshot!" whenever he scores a critical.

    On an aside, it occurs to me that a Musketeer can load and fire in one turn if he spends an action point. I like it.
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