Furthermore, since it is on my blog that I run the 17th century, and Anthony's post included the words "17th century," there seems to have been a connection made. These last seven months I find myself having to answer questions regularly about why I don't use firearms.
|Take 30-300 damage|
There's no rational, reasonable way for an army in a D&D world to store gunpowder in any conceivable way that doesn't demand several high level mages, and I promise you my little army of low level apprentice-trained casting scum is going to out do your scant number of wizards in the long run. Answer: armies in a world with magic have to train their warriors to fight with swords, because firearms just aren't dependable. No matter what suppositions you make, in the long run the first battle you lose because the enemy used magic and swords is going to be the last time you lose a battle that way.
Without anyone willing to spend hordes of money developing, manufacturing and distributing weapons that will likely never work as anything other that complicated clubs, swords and magic will persevere as the only practical options for armies to use.
Oh, and for those who would suggest that armies wouldn't distribute the gunpowder in the field, or store it there in large piles, that only means that it will be the manufacturing centres that will be hit, blowing up every factory that dares to mass produce black powder. While perhaps some small maker might be able to produce a few pounds at a time in a basement (which I presume is true for my world), it would never be enough for an army.
So sure, a few people might make their own weapons, and use them, but most would never waste the time training apprentices to make a complex tool that will go to waste anyway. The knowledge of how to make guns would never be widespread. So expecting to find them for sale in a public market would be foolish. No one would buy them. The general sense would be, yeah, they're interesting, but when your gun doesn't fire in an alley, what are you going to do?
It is important to note that firearms were not a hugely embraced phenomenon in human history. It took more than 250 years for guns to outnumber hand held weapons on the battlefield, mostly because of the consistent unreliability of firearms ... I feel without question magic would tip the balance in the matter, and that firearms were finally just abandoned after their early development in the late 1400s did not prove their worth. The intellectual energy of the world was put elsewhere.
Does this at last put the matter to rest?