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Firearms, also called guns, are ranged weapons that fire a projectile from a barrel at high speeds using black powder. Firearms are a recent invention in Exandria, having been created in 807 PD, and have only just begun to reach widespread use by 836 PD.

Individuals that are skilled in the use of firearms are called gunslingers.

History[]

Invention[]

Orthax-Manipulating-Percy-by-David-Rodrigues

Fan art of Percy wielding the List while being manipulated by Orthax, by David Rodrigues.[art 1]

The first known gun created in Exandria was created by Percival de Rolo. Around the year 807 PD, two years after the Briarwoods invaded Whitestone and killed Percy's family, he had a dream in which a shadowy creature, a demon named Orthax, offered him a means to enact revenge. Percy, believing the dream to be nothing more than that, accepted the bargain. When he awoke, he set about creating his first gun, a device with six revolving chambers that he called a pepperbox. The sidearm he created from it would be known as The List. Percy would also invent the propellent necessary to fire the bullets from the gun, known as black powder.

Percy attempted to use this gun to kill one of the conspirators that worked with the Briarwoods, a woman named Doctor Anna Ripley. He failed to do so, and was imprisoned by her in Jorenn Village, where he was later found by the adventuring party Vox Machina, whom he joined. Meanwhile, Ripley became obsessed with the weapon that Percy had created, and set about creating a replica, having studied the weapon while Percy was imprisoned and using eye-witness accounts of the weapon across Vox Machina's adventures.[2]

Percy would later build a second firearm, this time a powerful, single shot musket. He would name this weapon Bad News. Percy recognized the danger of the weapons he created, and when he was done adventuring with Vox Machina, planned to have his guns and the schematics to create them destroyed.

In the city of Vasselheim, an eccentric man named Victor independently invented black powder. He had discovered that the substance had explosive results and was using it for the purposes of blast mining. He was overjoyed to learn that Percy had another use for black powder and was looking to purchase some from him.

Initial spread[]

By 810 PD, Anna Ripley had created her own gun, a four shot revolver with only a single barrel, though the experimentation with creating black powder would cost her an arm. Percy and Vox Machina encountered Ripley in the dungeon of Whitestone Castle during the Whitestone Rebellion. Percy confiscated Ripley's revolver, which he would use and name Retort after The List was destroyed by Scanlan Shorthalt. Ripley escaped from Vox Machina and eventually made her way to Vasselheim, where she also encountered Victor and purchased a large amount of black powder.

Ripley and Orthax - Lap Pun Cheung

Fan art of Ripley and Orthax, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 2]

During the Chroma Crisis, Ripley made a deal with Orthax, who desired revenge after being spurned by Percy during the Whitestone Rebellion. Through this deal she created her own pepperbox named Animus. She also manufactured a number of guns, both revolvers and muskets. While she kept some for use by her associates, she sold a number of them in Vasselheim and Ank'Harel, as well as the schematics to produce more.[3] While Ripley and her associate gunslingers were killed and their weapons confiscated by Vox Machina, the damage was done and the seed of firearm usage was spread across Exandria.

Percy, recognizing that he could no longer prevent the spread of the weapon he created, outfitted a number of guards in Whitestone with the confiscated firearms and trained them in their use, creating the Whitestone Rifle Corps.

Later use[]

Firearms and black powder would eventually make their way to the Concordian city of Port Zoon, on the Menagerie Coast of Wildemount. There, tinkerers made incredible advancement in black powder technology. Firearms were mass produced and made more reliable, and large guns known as cannons would be created to defend ships at sea and mounted to create siege engines. The designs for these guns made their way inland to the Dwendalian Empire, where the city of Hupperdook produces them for use by the Righteous Brand.[4]

By 835 PD, guns are somewhat common in Wildemount but are not sold for civilian use. They are primarily used by the Righteous Brand, the Dwendalian military, as well as the navy of the Clovis Concord, the Shore Wardens.[4] However, a black market of firearms trade has sprung up, and pirates of The Revelry[5] and agents of the Myriad crime syndicate[6] are commonly seen using and trading guns as well.

Rifle Corps - Ameera

Official art of a member of the Whitestone Rifle Corps, by Ameera from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn pg. 188.[art 3]

By 836 PD in Whitestone, members of the city's Pale Guard are permitted limited use of three-barreled pepperbox revolvers. The Whitestone Rifle Corps are only permitted to wield their rifles while patrolling the city's walls and castle battlements. The Grey Hunt have also adopted the use of firearms, with each weapon custom made for its owner. Members of the Gray Hunt are entrusted not to lose their weapons. Should it not be destroyed, they are not permitted to return without it. Grey Hunters are honor-bound to apprehend and return any Whitestone-made firearms that are found in the wrong hands.[7]

When Bells Hells visited Ruidus in 843 PD, they encountered a native guard carrying an Exandrian firearm.[8]

Design[]

There is a flash pan where there’s a preload powder, basically a powder capsule attaches to a flash pan. The hammer contains a sparking mechanism that hits a plate, causes a spark to hit the powder and the flash pan, goes into the gunpowder that's within that's actually packed inside of the barrel and sends the shot out.
– 
Taliesin explaining how Percy's guns worked.[9]
[!h]

The firearms originally created by Percy use a flintlock mechanism.[10] Many of them had revolving chambers, either with the barrel attached, in the case of the pepperbox, or with a separate barrel. Percy's guns, while intricate and powerful, were somewhat liable to break when fired, and were expensive to repair. Later designs were more durable, but often at the cost of firepower and speed, having only one chamber.[11]

Types of guns[]

The following types of guns have appeared on Critical Role.

  • Carbine: A long gun that has a barrel shortened from its original length.[12]
  • Pistol: A sidearm with a single chamber.[13]
  • Revolver: A sidearm with a rotating cylinder with four chambers, and a single barrel.[14]
  • Pepperbox: A sidearm with a rotating cylinder with three to six chambers, with an equal number of barrels.[14]
  • Musket: A longarm with a single chamber.[13][14]
  • Cannon: An artillery gun that fires large cast iron balls.[15]

Notable guns[]

Guns made by Percival de Rolo[]

  • The List: the first gun ever made, a six chambered pepperbox.
  • Bad News: Percy's most powerful gun, a long musket.
  • unnamed toy gun: given to Fearne Calloway and used by her wildfire spirit Little Mister to shoot flaming poop pellets

Guns made by Anna Ripley[]

  • Retort: Anna's first working replica of Percy's gun. A four chambered revolver.
  • Animus: Anna's second gun, a six chambered pepperbox.

Guns made by others[]

Trivia[]

  • The design of Percy's guns, save for Bad News, are flintlock revolvers, which are very rare in real life. This is due to them being invented in the 1820s, at the end of the flintlock's popular use, as percussion caps were introduced around the same time. The most notable real life gunsmith who made flintlock revolvers was Elisha Collier.
  • The crew of the Crimson Abyss had firearms, even though they and their ship became ghosts during the 8th century, decades before Percival de Rolo invented them. They stole those weapons during their existence as undead, not being fully familiar with them.[16]

References[]

  1. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 0:05:43 through 0:06:13.  Two years after Percy escaped from Whitestone in 805, Orthax appeared to Percy in a dream and showed him how to make his first gun.
  2. See "Reunions" (1x33) at 0:56:07.
  3. See "Cloak and Dagger" (1x68) at 1:48:31.
  4. 4.0 4.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 9.
  5. See "Dangerous Liaisons" (2x37) at 0:46:28Avantika's crew carries firearms.
  6. See "Fleeting Memories" (2x14) at 0:14:37.  Some members of The Gentleman's Troupe carry rifle-like firearms.
  7. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 76.
  8. See "Arrival at Kreviris" (3x87) at 1:30:02.
  9. See "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 0:14:33.
  10. See "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 0:14:33.
  11. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 9. The guns used are the "Renaissance Guns" found in the Dungeon Master's Guide, which are single shot with no misfire.
  12. See "Hidden Truths" (3x26) from 1:54:35 through 1:55:40.
  13. 13.0 13.1 See D&D: Dungeon Master's Guide, 5th ed., p. 268.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 DDB Gunslinger on D&D Beyond
  15. See D&D: Dungeon Master's Guide, 5th ed., p. 255.
  16. See "Phantasmal Parley" (3x72) at 3:43:13.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Percy wielding the List while being manipulated by Orthax, by David Rodrigues (source). Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Ripley and Orthax, by Lap Pun Cheung (source). Used with permission.
  3. Official art of a member of the Whitestone Rifle Corps, by Ameera from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn pg. 188. Used with permission.
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