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Guns Equipment

Black Powder Siege Weapons

Source Guns & Gears pg. 172
The advent of black powder is beginning to offer a new sort of weapon to warriors in Golarion, one that isn't dependent on the physical strength of the wielder. Siege weapons like ballistae and trebuchets create tremendous force at a distance with the efforts of multiple operators, allowing for destructive power to rival even mighty spellcasters. Black powder siege weapons take the potential of such machines of war and amplify it to the next level, adding explosive power to the cooperative efforts of the crew. In addition to the force of the black powder ignition itself, black powder siege weapons are able to funnel and direct the energy through a reinforced barrel or muzzle in ways torsion and counterweights cannot, increasing the accuracy, range, and impact of the weapon.

Siege weapons of all kinds operate largely the same way whether they incorporate black powder in their design or not. The Aiming, Loading, Launching, and Move Siege Weapon actions are all identical to the rules found on page 72. The most notable change is the chance of misfire; just like a firearm, improper use, inadequate cleaning, and a number of other factors can lead to deficiencies in a piece of artillery. The construction of the weapons and ammunition are also more expensive and harder to find due to the more advanced makeup.

Siege Weapon Misfire

Source Guns & Gears pg. 172
Just as personal firearms require a meticulous regimen of proper care and cleaning to operate at peak performance, black powder siege weapons must be properly maintained on a regular basis to avoid the risk of terrible consequences that might otherwise befall those who use them. If you attempt to fire a black powder siege weapon that was used or assembled prior to the current day and hasn't been properly cleaned and maintained since the last time it was used or assembled, you must attempt a DC 5 flat check before making your attack roll, risking misfire on a failure. A black powder siege weapon can also potentially misfire as a result of using a specific ability or due to using an unreliable black powder siege weapon with the cobbled trait, such as a siege weapon created at the risky pirate volcano foundry known as the Motaku Ironworks.

If you fail this misfire flat check, the siege weapon misfires and jams, and the attack also becomes a critical failure. To clear the jam, the crew must collectively use a number of Interact actions equal to the number of actions required to complete a single Load activity for the siege weapon. The weapon can then be reloaded and fired again. Once the crew has spent at least an hour cleaning and maintaining the weapon, they don't need to roll for a misfire until the next day unless an effect says otherwise.

If you critically fail a misfire check when attempting to fire a siege weapon, the siege weapon explodes, dealing the damage listed in its Launch entry to all creatures in a 30-foot emanation with a basic Reflex save. The DC of the save is the standard DC of the siege weapon's level (Core Rulebook 503). When it explodes in this way, the siege weapon is destroyed.

Related Rules

Siege Weapons (Source Guns & Gears pg. 72)