The Forge: Gun Crossbow

The name is Orik Flamebeard, I am a Dwarven Blacksmith. I create all forms of magic items, weapons, and armors; anything you can think of I got it. Let’s see what spark of creativity Moradin has blessed me with today.

The name is Orik Flamebeard, I am a Dwarven Blacksmith. I create all forms of magic items, weapons, and armors; anything you can think of I got it. Let’s see what spark of creativity Moradin has blessed me with today.


Gun Crossbow

Weapon (any two handed crossbow) uncommon/ rare

3d6 piercing damage. Two handed, loading, Ammunition (3 per shot)
Range 20/40

This crossbow was built using three other crossbows in order to make a weapon that focused more on close range destruction of enemy troops. When fired, three projectiles fly towards enemies within a short range. Its heavy weight requires that it be handled with two hands.


This is a simple weapon idea with a lot of stipulations. Alternately, you can have an alternate firing mode where each creature in a 15ft cone must make a Dex save, or take half as much damage (the DC I often use is 10 plus proficiency). It’s worth noting, in order to keep this weapon balanced it should guzzle through ammo. So maybe in this alternate firing mode it consumes double the amount of ammo (6). This weapon is meant to feel like a shotgun of sorts, in a setting where guns might not exist. It really is up to you as the player/DM to figure out how you want it to work (inspired by the game Vermentide).

As a side note, if you’re worried about balance, especially if you introduce this weapon too soon, remember that an adventurer should realistically only be able to carry 1-2 packs of bolts on them at a time since it would be difficult to lug that amount of arrows/bolt around (about 20 per pack). But adventuring parties are smart and resourceful. All it takes is a large amount of coin and a cart to carry more. So maybe the gun crossbow is still in early stages of development. Maybe it works like a gun in dnd where on a roll of a 1 or 2 the weapon jams and needs to take time to fix, but that’s really up to you.

Warning, I would say be aware of rogues with their sneak attacks. If they are a traditional rogue who only gets to attack once per turn then maybe that’s okay, since they are all about 1 big heavy attack. The way I see it is this, multiple weaker attacks, or one big strong attack. But if they are multiclassed and get two attacks or more, I say be very weary of this weapon design. That being said, sneak attack should not be able to stack with the alternate firing mode. The Loading property prevents characters from attacking multiple times but most will just take a feat to counteract this. So if you’re a new DM and you are worried about balance then maybe shy away from this one for a little while, but if you have a little more experience and feel you can handle having one of these bad boys around then have at it.

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