"Why Can't Warriors Use Guns?" - A Journey In Headcannon

Discussion in 'Card Hunter General Chat' started by ClanCrusher, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. ClanCrusher

    ClanCrusher Hydra

    Guns are a fairly straightforward and simple item to use. Outside of maintenance, manufacturing, and possibly reloading, they're pretty straightforward 'point-and-shoot' weapons. Part of the whole appeal of them is that it doesn't take much training to use one and it generally doesn't take much intelligence.

    So why is it that only the wizards (arguably the class with the highest intelligence among the three) can use them? Let's look into this a bit.

    Part 1: D&D and the Apocalypse

    The first thing one needs to realize about any D&D setting is that it usually starts on the upswing of an apocalypse. An ancient civilization hundreds of years dead, some mythical calamity that rewrote history, a meteor crashing into the planet...whatever the reason, chances are good that the D&D world you're in has recently suffered from some all-consuming war or apocalypse.

    In a thematic sense, that means that ancient relics, treasures, and weapons of long forgotten heroes are scattered everywhere, along with the smattering of plot threads adventurers can pick up on to find these treasures. For evidence of this in Card Hunter, look no further than the Astral Shrine. Ancient temple with enigmatic guardians of a long forgotten race whose original purpose is unknown? That's the Astral Shrine in a nutshell. The entire premise of the ancient, sentient artifacts? They came from a long forgotten ancient civilization of which only existed rumors until someone kicked the hornet's nest.

    And then we have the sky citadel. Admittedly it's a bit difficult to tell if they were a civilization that came before or after the Sentient Artifacts, but they fit the same theme of a long dead civilization with powerful ancient relics, and there's a case to be made that this isn't an alien presence so much as it is an old Card Hunter civilization.

    Part 2: Ancient Heroes

    Card Hunter has a lot of these. We see them all the time in legendary items. People like Hawlic, Barnum, and Quick Jon. Many of these items have titles too, like the Searing Pain, Vibrant Pain and Bloodchopper. Now, it's certainly one thing to name your own items, which I've no doubt the adventurers who wielded these weapons did, but these were the types who reached such infamy that other people knew their weapon names as well. Putting aside any sort of appraisal ability, all it takes is for your adventurers to look at these items and they instantly know what they are and who they belonged to, or at the very least someone like Radimar can tell you. The point is, whoever these people were, they achieved some level of fame or infamy in Cardhuntria to the point where their signature weapons or items are recognizable...assuming Radimar isn't just pulling these names out of his ass and lying to us.

    So what is my point in all of this? Well, if you look over the legendary items from the Sky Citadel, we see this trend continuing. Bronson's Halberd, LoPiccolo's Lash to name a couple. Zoltan even makes another appearance with Zoltan's Laser Scourge. That last one in particular is very interesting considering he has a helmet in the mix as well. Ultimately what this means is that despite the technologically advanced race that came before, this race still had heroes who were well known (or at least known) to the people of Cardhuntria today. That in turn gives weight to my theory that the Sky Citadel isn't some alien race with alien technology...it is yet another ancient civilization that suffered from an apocalypse.

    Part 3: Technology and Magic

    During the first playthrough of the Sky Citadel modules, Melvin gives us the rather classic line of 'Magic is technology we just don't understand yet.' However in this particular case I think he has it backwards. Simply put, these laser weapons and technology are certain types of magic that we don't understand. What do I mean by that? Well, consider first that magic is a tangible force in the world of Card Hunter. While it's probably subject to rules and laws just like physics are in the real world, it is nevertheless a completely different force than what we're used to, and people like Aloyozo have figured out various ways to harness its potential. Likewise, wizards over the years have crafted staves and arcane items that allow them to harness the potential of this powerful force, all the way from the weak little Beginner Staff to the fireball spewing Searing Pain.

    The progression from those two staves leads me to believe that magic had a similar rise in the past. As research and development into magic progressed, the staves became more powerful and more devastating. The key difference though, is that in order to use the more powerful staves, you yourself needed to be a more powerful wizard. In essence, whoever was pushing forward with magical research wasn't interested (or able) in giving low level wizards access to a cheap obliterating spark, nor were they intent on letting warriors throw around lightning bolts. They were interested in making more powerful options for the more powerful wizards, which brings us to our last part.

    Part 4: Guns are the New Staves

    This finally brings us back to the original question asked in this thread. Why can't warriors use guns? Well, the simple answer is, these are not 'guns' in the traditional sense, they're simply more powerful staves. No, I'm not talking about gameplay wise, I'm talking from an actual story standpoint. Take for instance Richie's Frigid Laser. It's a combination of three cards that could only have been found on a laser weapon, and three cards that you can find on the more fantasy-focused staves and arcane items. Now, while we're not certain exactly what the requirements for using magic are (though the evidence seems to point towards needing to be born with certain potential), what we do know is that warriors can't use staves, nor can they really use magic.

    Combine that logic with the insinuation that the 'guns' in this universe are simply more complicated staves, and things start falling into place. Why can't Warriors use these guns? Because even though they look like guns, they're really magical based pieces of technology that requires magic potential to use. They're not guns in the traditional sense, but rather guns that have been fashioned in a similar manner of staves with the potential for new 'magic' that was unavailable to the basic staff design. A warrior couldn't pick up and use this weapon any more than he could shoot obliterating sparks from his sword.

    Sure, even the wizards don't really know how to use them (Pull the Trigger anyone?), but a warrior picking up the same weapon and pulling that trigger would likely not have anything happen (further evidenced by the fact that 'pull the trigger' is only on staves to begin with).

    Part 5: In Conclusion

    So, here are the points presented again, summarized from each section.

    1) Card Hunter takes place in a universe that is recovering from some apocalypse or another and might very well be racing towards another one that your heroes are trying to prevent.

    2) We can tell from the item titles of the Sky Citadel items that well-known heroes of the past used these technologically advanced items, giving weight to the theory that the Sky Citadel is an ancient Card Hunter civilization and not some alien race.

    3) Magic is a tangible force in the universe subject to laws we're not quite clear about, but one thing that holds true is that wizards are the only ones with the potential to really utilize this magic in all its various forms. Just like weapon technology from the our world, progressing from throwing rocks, to bows, to guns; magic too progressed from tiny zaps and sparks, to fireballs and obliterating lightning, with the key exception that you could only utilize more powerful magic by increasing your own skill.

    4) Because the 'guns' of the sky citadel share magical spells and cards with the weaker staves, it is logical to assume that these 'guns' are not actually guns in the traditional sense, but rather staves of a different sort, designed differently and using different magical concepts to form 'magic' of a different type. Because of this, a warrior couldn't use one of these guns any more than they could reasonably pick up a staff and use it instead of a sword.

    And that's my take on the issue, a fun little thought experiment that started out from the question this thread is titled after. It's not a laserproof argument to be sure and there are still some odd interactions in the game itself (seriously, how do you get Dual Laser Beacon from Laser Block?), but I think its been set up well within the canon of the universe, and while I get the feeling we're not going to be seeing many more laser weapons, I do hope I've made the case that they have a place here in Cardhuntria.
    Fifjunior7, kustaa, Farbs and 6 others like this.
  2. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    First of all, thanks for putting a lot of thought into it. That was a great read.

    On the specific matter: I think you're reading too much into it. The first and most important point to be kept in mind, I feel, is that CH don't really have an extremely consistent, super carefully flashed out and unified setting. The mish-mash of thropes and references to RPG/pop-culture and whatnot is definitely more important than making sure 100% of what's to be found in CH makes sense.

    Regarding EttSC. It is indeed pretty clear it is an alien spacecraft by following the storyline's text alone. Thematically, it's pretty straightforward: you're dealing with aliens/mutants/robots using sci-fi technology. Also, Expedition to the Barren Peaks (which EttSC is heavily inspired to) basically used the same premise. CH (just like D&D) is a fantasy game, and nothing prevents aliens from coming into the picture, so it's not like every single, extraordinary strange item/creature/technology needs to be from an ancient civilization for it to make sense.

    As for Zoltan... I'm more inclined into thinking that it was sloppy item-naming on Blue Manchu's side... But if you do want to find an in-game explanation for it, it would suffice to say that Zoltan was somebody very fond of Lunging Bashes, hence somebody thought (erroneously) the exotic whip might have belonged to him.

    As for the guns = staves... I don't know what to think man. Are bows = staves too? Why can't warriors just pick up a bow and shoot at somebody?

    It's pretty clear the reason for warriors in CH not having access to powerful ranged attacks (be it via a gun, magic, throwing weapons and whatnot) is that it would pretty much fall outside of the class archetype.

    Again, if you want an in-world explanation, you could say that the alien's technology is so advanced that their guns can indeed mimic the effect of magic spells. Why couldn't that technology be put into sci-fi melee weapons is up for debate. And maybe the inhabitants of cardhuntria are so irremediably stupid, that anyone but the slightly-smarter wizard can't get around pointing a gun at somebody and pulling the trigger :p
  3. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader



    How about this: when you find these otherworldly artifacts within the metallic monstrosity, you also find some writings here and there, and you connect some dots and figure out oh, this must be the genetic console that once belonged to this cool alien Yatzie. ;)
  4. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    I always interpreted the item names as being very much meta.

    Like, the names of all the items are actually listed in the CH instruction manuals coming in the base set's and expansions' boxes, so ofc Gary & pals do have access to that info.

    Which is very far from the in-game-characters knowing what the name of every piece of junk awesome loot they find was.
    karadoc likes this.
  5. doog37

    doog37 Hydra

    I would agree that EttSC is supposed to be an "alien" spaceship. However it is more likely that instead of aliens, this is merely a time travel experiment gone wrong (evidenced by the 9 different items that can Accelerate Time). I hypothesized that a spaceship went back in time possibly to escape or warn of an apocalyptic event and didn’t have accurate maps of the past and crashed into the mountains. The ensuing crash killed most of the crew and exposing all the other life to high levels of radiation, leaving only some mutants, their pet spiders and the feeder insects, some robot security, “The Captain” and the obligatory evil sentient computer.

    But then I realized the truth…
    that the irradiation was not an accident but an attempt to take control of the ship when Darius realized they were headed into past he vented the nuclear power source into the ship causing all of the mutations but of course sparing the robotics and computers. But in a classic case of unintended consequences crazed mutants took control of the helm controls and crashed the spacecraft (once already in the past), and it was discovered by ambitious adventurers. These adventurers having just defeated sentient artifact weapons were ready for the unexpected and as always were in search for more treasure and more powerful gear, which brought on a new era in Cardhuntria with Bejeweled Swords and Laser Sticks being used side by side.

    As for the names of items the crew of the ship was likely ancestors of the current inhabitants of Cardhuntria, although it seems that despite having a clear disadvantage in their racial gear Humans managed to be the only race of hominid life that progressed to a future with lasers, force fields and beacons, although some of the features of the Elven race in can be seen in the squishiest members of humanity. So seeing a name as common as Zoltan on an item from the future is a mere coincidence or just another marketing ploy by Randimar whose control over the Legendary item trade is still questionable, but the challenge from Mr. Daily has seemed to improve his stock rotation.

    As for the original question... well warriors can use the guns but without the specialized training to aim, it was decided to keep laser rifles and the like out of the hands of warriors to prevent the many horrible deaths due to holding the gun the wrong way and 1-footed warriors no longer able to even Shuffle across the battlefield. Let’s face it warriors are not known for their intelligence. Priests with their years of study are able to learn to use some of the radiation weapons without it blowing up in their faces and wizards who are the geniuses of their time (which is why it is surprising there are more than a handful of Dwarven wizards) are able to use the most complex items and years of learning to aim sparks and bolts etc. lets them use them pretty effectively although we still see the occasional meltdown using all of the laser based technology by even the wise wizards who are still using technology that they were never trained on.
  6. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader

    The Daily Deal is actually just another one of Randimar's outfits... :cool:
  7. Maybe it's secretly based not on D&D, but on Gamma World, and the non-human types are simply humanoids with incredibly heritable, consistent mutations. ;)
  8. Questor

    Questor Ogre

    Me too, let us just assume that EttSC is the result of some specific events on Tau Ceti V and Cardhuntria is just unfortunate because it is near that area of space.

    I just hope that if they manage to create the 3rd part they will incorporate a hint of the events of EttSC into the SS lore.
  9. Christofff

    Christofff Guild Leader

    Quick answer to your question "Why can't warriors use guns?" is, "Why can't wizards use shortswords?" ;)
    doog37 and Bandreus like this.
  10. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    I think the point of the exercise was to avoid a short answer. :rolleyes:
    Flaxative and Sentient_Toaster like this.

Share This Page