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Fantasy Gun Control

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"The weapon of the fearsome lone bandit, Rymek Luke, it is unique in that it is designed to fire small metal rounds instead of more traditional projectiles."
— The description for the Deadeye weapon, Wynncraftnote 

In the interest of creating a medieval setting that feels sufficiently romantic, low-tech, and/or in line with The Theme Park Version of history, many authors decide not to include guns and other explosives in their works. Sometimes reasons are given for this, and sometimes not.

In Real Life, the Chinese first pioneered the use of gunpowder for warfare in the 10th century. By the late 13th century, they had developed metal cannons. By the 14th century, they as well as the Europeans and other peoples like Indians were making significant use of cannons, handcannons, and other firearms in their armies (for example, the first recorded use of cannons in Europe was 1326, and the English famously used organ guns alongside their famous longbows at the 1346 battle of Crecy). By the early 15th century significant quantities of the infantry (especially those meant to defend static positions) were carrying handcannons (China being the largest user; 10% of professional Ming troops in the 1380s had some kind of gunpowder weapon) and full cannons had almost completely replaced traditional artillery in both Europe, China, and most of the Islamic world (with smaller variants like swivel guns also being commonly mounted on forts and ships), meaning the popular view of gunpowder as a post-medieval invention is incorrect. It in fact played a decisive role in some of the most famous medieval conflicts such as the Hundred Years' War, the Hussite Wars, and the Byzantine-Ottoman Wars. In fact, the popular image of a knight wearing full plate armor - itself a 15th-century invention - actually came well after gunpowder weapons became common. The Europeans invented the arquebus and improved the cannon to fire cast iron balls in the mid-15th century, and from there, the technology spread and improved even more rapidly. By end of the 16th century, 1 in every 2 soldiers on European battlefields wielded a firearm (arquebus, musket, carbine, or pistol) as his primary weapon. Fantasy Gun Control shows up most often in fantasy (hence the name) but can appear in any genre.

Expect lots of Epileptic Trees about Enforced Technology Levels and other Fan Wank over why. If guns are present, but nerfed — whether for Gameplay reasons or Rule of Cool — it's Guns Are Worthless. If firearms are introduced to a previously gunless society and prove to be a game-changer, that falls under Firearms Are Revolutionary.

Something to note is that this primarily applies to fantasy set in the typical Medieval European Fantasy setting, with castles, swords, knights, and so on. Often these works will have many hallmarks of the Late Middle Ages or early modern period, but deliberately exclude guns. Urban Fantasy tends to have no problem mixing guns and vampires, witches, wizards, etc., since that form of Fantasy tends to use the modern world as we know it. The same goes for Science Fantasy, where the intent is to mash up things like laser guns and spells. More horror-oriented fantasy works also tend to avert it — if werewolves and vampires are featured, Silver Bullets are likely to be used. When it comes to Fairy Tales, the trope is absent. Occasionally, a Mage Marksman would use guns in conjunction with magic, or as a catalyst for casting spells.

Despite also relying on gunpowder, fireworks are notably exempt from this rule.

See the Analysis page for theories on why this trope is so prevalent.


No straight examples; otherwise, we'd have nearly every fantasy book in existence here.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan applies this unevenly, as it tends to with its technology. Firearms are confined to basic muskets and considered all but useless outside of peacekeeping operations. On the other hand, cannons and artillery rounds are fairly advanced and considered vital for the defense of the Walls. Flare guns are standard equipment for the Survey Corps, with colored gunpowder being used as a major element of their communication system. Pistols do seem to exist, though don't seem to be very common outside the criminal elements. It turns out that the lack of advancement in firearms is intentional, with the Secret Police murdering inventors of newer firearms as a threat to the government. The members of the elite Anti-Human Suppression Squad use custom-made revolvers to hunt down and slaughter rebellious elements within the military. Completely subverted with the introduction of the world beyond the Walls, where technology is roughly that of circa-First World War, and thus use guns liberally.
  • Played straight for the most part in Avesta of Black and White with the exception of Zurvan who makes use of firearms. The interesting bit is that while firearms do exist aplenty within the setting, hardly anyone uses them as they are seen as crude weapons without skill or soul. As a result, Zurvan is seen as something of a heretic.
  • In Battle Angel Alita this is a major plot point in the first arcs when the action still took place in the Old Scrapyard. The Factory authority only ever enforced two rules, which strictly forbade the possession of aircraft (so that the populace couldn't reach Zalem/Typhares), and firearms, so no resistance could stand a chance against the Factory forces. Since the Barjack War, after the Factory power crumbled, no one seemed to care anymore, and in Last Order, where the action goes into space, there are guns galore.
  • Berserk: In Berserk's fantastic setting, where magic can reshape the landscape in a matter of moments and strong swordsmen sometimes end a fight scene on a literal mountain of bodies, the exclusion of firearms from the story is heavily Downplayed. In general, the setting's gunpowder usage resembles the Late Medieval era, where large and primitive cannons are quite common as artillery, but man-portable examples are rarer and less practical.
    • On one hand, just about all armies and navies make extensive use of cannons, to the point where the objective of the first raid that Griffith makes Guts participate in is to set the enemy camp's gunpowder stockpile on fire. Young mechanical prodigy Rickert is able to cobble together an Arm Cannon for Guts using parts that Godo had lying around the shop—which can fire a roughly billiard ball-sized cannonball for massive damage against monsters—and later produces goodies for Guts or himself such as mini bombs and a shoulder-fired rocket launcher. The giant Grunbeld also has a personal cannon built into his shield.
    • The big caveat that makes the trope still present is that so far the aforementioned one-off gadgets are the only personal firearms we've seen at all. The conventional design of an arquebus or pistol doesn't exist anywhere. Instead, massed archery continues to dominate in battle alongside field artillery. It kind of makes sense in-universe because arrows and crossbow bolts are frequently shown to pierce plate armor. On top of that, Guts and Rickert have Automatic Crossbows, and two-shot crossbows are fairly widespread, whereas every gun we've seen is single-shot. Based on these factors, a firearm might not be considered worthwhile unless it's a BFG that can inflict heavy damage with each shot.
  • In Chainsaw Man strict gun control is worldwide thanks to the Gun Devil, which was created by a wave of gun-related crimes that inspired fear that strengthens devils, and whose massive body count only served to heighten fear of guns (and devils) even more. In the aftermath, strict gun control policies and media manipulation were enacted to remove guns from public thought in order to restrain its power. Even then, contracting with the Gun Devil still allows one to get guns, though this is a lie, as most guns, supernatural or no, are now used by governments for state-sponsored violence, while using the Gun Devil as a scapegoat.
  • Taken to an extreme in Claymore, forget about not having gunpowder. Despite having technology that looks to be 14th century and later, the soldiers of that island don't even have bows or crossbows! To hit Yoma from a distance, they rely on tossing spears and the occasional throwing knife. The only archer that appeared in the series, is the Abyssal One Isley, and his "bow and arrows" were organic extensions growing out of his hand. Near the end of the series, bows do show up in the hands of a militia but for about a few panels.
  • Enforced in Creature Girls: A Hands-On Field Journal in Another World. Certain technologies, namely gunpowder, electricity, and the internal combustion engine, are banned by societal convention due to monsters irrationally attacking any settlement that develops them. The author states in an endnote that he wanted to give himself a challenge by preventing the modern Japanese protagonist from simply Giving Radio to the Romans.
  • Drifters actually uses this as a plot point. The eponymous Drifters, being sucked from various ages and times in our world, range from those used to fighting with nothing but swords and arrows, to the Wild Bunch (with six-shooters and an early Gatling gun) and a Japanese Zero pilot. The world they're dumped in, however, is roughly around the same era of advancement as 1100's Europe, with no real machinery and firearms being a near-complete unknown. One of Oda Nobunaga's first tasks is to get large supplies of sulfur and charcoal and to start the creation of a saltpeter pit for gunpowder, and practically creams himself when he sees how far ahead of muskets the Wild Bunch's firearms are. The Drifters are explicitly changing the rate of technological expansion at a breakneck pace every time they're brought in, and it's even stated directly by the guy who summons them that it's one of their primary purposes — to force the world to advance well beyond the pace it normally would.
  • The Eminence in Shadow anime shows a pre-electrical tech level where guns are shown to exist, but only used by criminal elements, such as the bandits in the second episode using a flint lock pistol, but they rarely appear. This is justified by the magic system. Dark knights are the primary military force who can simply shrug off non-magical attacks. Once it leaves the body, magic quickly disperses, rendering ranged attacks rare. Blades can be enhanced with magic as the user holds onto them, but trying that will a bullet will cause the magic to disperse by the time it hits the target. The only time guns were showed to be effect was against opponents who were unable to use magic.
  • Inuyasha is fully aware of the time period it is set in, where firearms are growing in popularity but haven't quite reached Japan yet. So when one of the Band of Seven has guns, they're just handwaved as being imported. Before the arc is over, he gets turned into a tank with missiles.
  • Justified in Lyrical Nanoha. The TSAB specifically outlaws the use of mass-based weaponry in its territories in favor of far less lethal magic-based weapons due to the destruction wrought by WMDs during the days of Ancient Belka. That said, traditional firearms do exist in areas outside of the TSAB's jurisdiction.
  • Naruto
    • One of Pain's paths is basically a bio-mechanical weapon that can fire missiles.
    • The normal Word of God prohibitions on guns is ignored in The Movies, when there are kunai turrets, artillery, muskets, and kunai machine guns. Also, the characters recognize the existence of guns.
    • You have to pay attention, but during the Land of Waves arc, in one of the shops Sakura goes into, you can see the owner has a shotgun. Much later, in Part 2, Suigetsu jokingly threatens Sasuke by holding a finger-pistol to his head. Should be noted, though, most ninja possess enough Super-Speed to render guns moot (at the very least, they are far too fast for most shooters, if not the bullets) and possess far greater destructive power, with the strongest capable of destroying Villages and mountains and single-handily taking on entire countries in battle. In other words, they don't really need guns all that much.
    • It can also be argued that the necessity of guns dropped (or never arose in the first place) due to the difference in how battles are fought in the setting; in the Naruto universe, combat tends to be more focused on the utilization of Ninjutsu, prioritizing speed and stealth rather than firepower and direct confrontation. Guns, while still as effective as you can expect against people, are notoriously loud and therefore very much not weapons of stealth, making them of no use to a Ninjutsu user, especially when there are ranged weapons, such as kunai, which are much more in line with the ninja way. While they may make small appearances here and there, guns in the Naruto universe are a bit of a square peg for a round hole and thus unfit for use in large-scale ninja-based warfare and therefore are pretty rare to find being utilized in combat.
    • Suigetsu's finger gun gesture gets explained much later; one of his clan's signature jutsus is to make the gesture in order to shoot a high-speed water bullet out of their pointer finger. Hell, it's even called the "Water Gun Technique".
  • Nasuverse: Justified and sometimes averted. Most big-name supernaturals are by nature immune to mundane weaponry, and most competent mages can walk off normally fatal bullet wounds without issue, so most don't bother simply because what they already have is usually more effective and destructive. However, a sufficiently specialized mage can make firearms into situational but effective weapons, as seen with Kiritsugu Emiya and Kairi Sisigou, who combined magitech guns with high explosives and more magic. Fate/Zero's Berserker Sir Lancelot also possessed the ability to make any weapon he held supernatural and thus effective, allowing him to utilize a stolen fighter plane against other Servants effectively, though tellingly despite the firing of multiple machine guns and a missile, he didn't manage to achieve anything with it except destroying Gilgamesh's flying boat, a crash Gilgamesh himself was uninjured by.
  • Slayers
    • The anime introduces gunpowder-based weapons as the arsenal of Jillas, a humanoid fox minion of the third season's Big Bad Valgaav. He has access to guns, bombs, and even built a primitive tank. This was given a certain justification in that Jillas came from a region with less magic; without magic, people had to come up with other ways to do things — and "other ways" include building a ballistic missile as powerful as a Dragon Slave.
    • In REVOLUTION, it's revealed that Seyruun has at least adopted cannons, and it's hinted they're designed by Jillas.
  • Wolfsmund: The Swiss rebels use a few handgonnesnote  during the assault on the Wolfsmund fortresses, which they consider to be almost as dangerous to their wielders as to the Habsburg occupiers. Other than that, ranged weapons are limited to crossbows, ballistae, and catapults.

    Comic Books 
  • Artesia is set in a fantasy world that looks to be at about 15th-century European technology levels. They have bombards, although they have not been seen on-page as of yet.
  • Dungeon Twilight: The Big Bad Wannabe tries to invert this by executing blacksmiths so his nitro guns become the only weapon available for his father's empire since the army still prefers blades. It doesn't help that he tries doing that before even making sure his nitro guns work.
  • Fables: Both justified and subverted. Since the Empire coexists with modern-day Earth, the Adversary could provide his army with modern firearms. He chooses not to because he fears that introducing guns to commoners might lead to rebellion. The exiled Fables of Fabletown have no such inhibitions towards modern arms technology, which is one of the main reasons they win the war against the Empire.
  • Grimjack includes firearms... but since the city of Cynosure exists in multiple dimensions, the natural laws of any given neighbourhood may not let them work.
  • Necrophim: Guns are simply impractical because gunpowder spontaneously explodes when brought near a furnace. In prog 1665, one of Astaroth's lieutenants recruits five real-life firearms engineers to develop guns that will function correctly in Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • In Pathfinder: Worldscape, firearms like muskets, rifles, and radium guns are present in the Worldscape due to people like American Civil War veterans and Martians being drawn from different timelines and worlds. With that said, they are used sparingly due to the lack of available ammo in this realm, and as such, bladed weapons are the most commonly used.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), predominantly in the original continuity, is all over the place with this. The Mobotropolians rarely use guns due to a royal decree by a past king when his son is killed by one. This doesn't stop Robotnik/Eggman and his goons, the Overlanders, the Humans nor the Echidnas outside of the Guardians from using them. None of the SEGA-based characters use them outside of E-102 Gamma and E-123 Omega (not even Shadow), and the only ones seen using any sort of firearms of the heroes are Bunnie Rabbot and Julie-Su.

  • The Night Unfurls: Zig-zagged.
    • Only three characters (all hunters) have guns and trick weapons that shoot bullets under their possession: Kyril, Hugh and Soren, which makes sense, considering they are related to the Bloodborne setting. Other than that, the Kuroinu 'verse, assumed to be a standard Medieval European Fantasy, seem to indicate that no original guns and cannons exist in the setting. To elaborate, none of the populace or soldiery is shown using firearms of any kind, and there is no indication as to whether there is any firearm or even gunpowder production in the land.
    • There is evidence showing that people from Eostia actually know what a firearm is, which further complicates matters. Best illustrated in the remastered version, where Vera, one of Alicia's subordinates, is able to identify that Kyril has a pistol holstered at his side, while describing his other firearmnote  as "one much like a musket save for its barrel", which looks more like a cannon. Vault, in one occasion, internally narrates how Kyril uses his firearms to take down orc war chiefs in one shot. Both examples indicate that terms related to guns (pistol, musket, barrel, firearms) are NOT a foreign concept — certain people, if not all, from the Kuroinu 'verse have some degree of knowledge on the nature of firearms. More importantly, there has never been a single character that have shown to be confused or weirded out when they see someone wielding a gun instead of other "typical" ranged weapons like bows, crossbows, or magic staffs. In fact, one certain character, Klaus (aka Claudia's husband), has shown interest in replicating the mechanism of Kyril's pistolnote !
    • Thorn seems to be the exception, as seen in Chapter 33 of the original. There, ashigarunote  are shown wielding arquebus muskets.
  • Slayers Trilogy: Downplayed. One of the villains in Reflect makes use of a six-shot musket, but it's mentioned that the gun in question is a prototype that was only invented a few weeks before the series started.
  • Thy Good Neighbor: Lord Fairchild does possess Yharnamite firearms, but he is certainly not interested in spreading them and Lord Stark isn't going to ask him to.
  • Vow of Nudity: Averted; the Jackal wields a flintlock pistol, as do the dwarves of the Slime Island Factory. Though firearms do seem to be reserved for technologically-focused characters, as the former is a zeppelin pirate captain and the latter are highly-trained artificer/engineers.

    Films — Animation 
  • Frozen (2013): Despite its ambiguous setting, the clothes and architecture resemble those from the Victorian Era, but the only ranged weapons are javelins and crossbows.
  • Famously averted in Princess Mononoke. Lady Eboshi manufactures matchlock muskets in Irontown, which are a complete game-changer in this Historical Fantasy version of Japan: iron musket balls from her weapons mortally wound both the Boar God and Moro the Wolf God, and are light enough to be used effectively against attacking samurai by her militia. This is Truth in Television: after acquiring and copying muskets from Portuguese traders in the 16th century, Japan rapidly started producing guns, with 300,000 arquebuses being produced within a few decades.
  • Inverted in the 1977 animated film Wizards where the protagonist Avatar uses benevolent magic while his evil twin Blackwolf relies on malevolent magic and Nazi technology. Ironically enough, Avatar uses a gun to kill his brother rather than engage in a magical battle. Furthermore, Word of God has dismissed the film's stance as not being anti-technology, but rather anti-propaganda.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Hunger Games: Though the Capitol law enforcement is seen carrying black automatic rifles, the Districts have no such access since it's in the best interest of the powers-that-be to not have subjects shooting back at them. No firearms are provided in the actual Hunger Games themselves, likely to keep the games more interesting.
  • In Warcraft (2016), Lothar's very first scene includes him being introduced to dwarven "boomsticks" (one-shot gunpowder pistols), and by the time of the final battle, the entirety of Stormwind's forces is equipped with them, despite maintaining a medievalesque tech level in general.
  • In The Wizard of Oz, some of the munchkins are seen wielding muskets, and the Scarecrow has a revolver when he goes with Dorothy to find the Witch. None of them are actually used, however.
  • One of Lord Vultare's raiders in Quest of the Delta Knights has a flintlock pistol. He's given a dramatic closeup of him firing it at a procession of clergy.

  • Fighting Fantasy, despite its setting in a medieval-era fantasy world, occasionally averts this with the player being given access to flintlock pistols.
    • Howl of the Werewolf is set in Mauristatia, a land loosely inspired by medieval Bavaria, and you can obtain a flintlock pistol either from a Headless Horseman or from your werebeast hunter ally, Van Ricten. You can also obtain Silver Bullets to be used against various werebeasts.
    • In Magehunter you're the titular character who hunts, well, mages (hostile ones). As such, one of your default weapons is your trusty pistol, used to execute mages before they can complete their spells, also invoking The Magic Versus Technology War.
    • The Port of Peril resurrects the villain, Zanbar Bone, but this time you can collect a pistol as a weapon against the lich-sorcerer and his undead underlings.
    • Semi-justified in Stormslayer, set in Allansia, the same continent where the previous gamebooks take place, but also a few decades into the future. Technology has moved on, and now you can obtain a blunderbuss as a sidearm.
  • The Lone Wolf series averts this with the Darklords' ironclad warships armed with cannons and the "primitive" Dwarven Bor Muskets. In this series, guns are NOT worthless; Lone Wolf will either die or face a chance of dying instantly if an enemy has one of these muskets. When the muskets are first seen in Book 5, the friendly dwarves who have them manage to drive off a flock of Kraan, flying beasts that always give Lone Wolf a good fight in hand-to-hand combat. Oddly enough, they are always referred to as "primitive"; nothing else (except the aforementioned ironclads) seems to be more advanced in Magnamund. Certainly nothing from Sommerlund.
  • The Fabled Lands has all the usual fantasy weaponry, though when purchasing a weapon from a market, a player is allowed to choose any weapon type, so there's nothing stopping you from purchasing a firearm. The CRPG adaptation confirms that the "Magic Spear" found off the coast of Sokara in The War Torn Kingdom is a rifle or musket of some description, implying that guns are at least a Lost Technology.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the second season of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, there's Wendimoor, an alternate fantastical world with medieval-level tech and some magic. The villainous Mage, who has been trying to conquer this world, learned how to cross to our world after the young Reality Warper who created Wendimoor had a stroke and broke the storyline, and has imported AK-47s, both to give his men an edge, and to encourage a war between his enemies.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The lack of any firearms in large part is what allows Daenerys to essentially wield their fantasy equivalent of weapons of mass destruction unimpeded; pretty much nothing can match a dragon, even when they're still young and vulnerable, giving her the most powerful offensive weapon in the world, that just continues to get more deadly and unstoppable as her children grow.
    • Also, while the Iron Fleet act as a stand-in for Vikings, their boats are more akin to those used during the The Golden Age of Piracy and their combat tactics resemble those a lot more. However, as they lack the weaponry of classical pirates, they make do with regular bow and arrows and catapults rather than pistols or cannons (they don't even use crossbows, despite those explicitly being a thing).
    • While guns aren't a thing yet, a minor plot point is how the weapon technology of the setting is slowly evolving. There didn't use to be a need for more than a sword or a bow back when magic was widely used, but after the fall of Valyria and the extinction of dragons, magic largely disappeared, and recently people have been trying to create new weapons to compensate. As part of the backstory, Aerys Targaryen had devised a flame-throwing weapon in an attempt to recreate the power of the dragons his ancestors had once commanded and made extensive use of a napalm-like concoction called wildfire. Crossbows are becoming more widely used and advanced, and scorpions (essentially giant crossbows wielded like a BFG turret) are being developed to combat Daenerys' dragons. The advancement in projectile weaponry and the advancement of explosive weapons coinciding gives the feeling they're only a decade or two away from someone thinking to combine the two.
  • Into the Badlands: Explicitly invoked. The series takes place in a distant future, after an Unspecified Apocalypse. Humanity has rebuilt itself into a feudal society with more modern technology, but the Barons all agree to ban guns entirely. This is, more than anything else, done to Hand Wave the need for kick-ass kung fu fight scenes.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • About half of the series takes place in a fantasy world inhabited by classic fairytale characters (the Enchanted Forest), and for the most part, they stick to swords and sorcery. Emma, who grew up in the World Without Magic (i.e. 21st century modern world), owns a gun and briefly tries to kill both an ogre and a dragon with a pistol, both of which fail. The Enchanted Forest is a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, however, and after Captain Hook is introduced, it's shown there's an entire area of the Enchanted Forest's world dedicated to piracy fantasy, with cannons and flintlock pistols shown to exist and be common, yet strangely reserved solely for naval combatants.
    • Also, while he's from the Enchanted Forest, Prince Charming takes over Storybrooke's sheriff's office while his daughter Emma, the previous sheriff, is trapped in the Enchanted Forest with her mother/his wife Snow White. During that time, he adapts quickly to using guns; though it's shown he does prefer a sword, he's shown to not be a bad shot.
  • Power Rangers Samurai featured a storyline where the extra-dimensional demons the Rangers were facing began arming their troops with rifles. As the Samurai Rangers were almost exclusively armed with non-long ranged weaponry (the blue ranger had a bow), they greatly outclassed until developing their own ranged ordnance: the Bullzooka. note 
  • Revolution Most civilians carry low-tech weapons like swords and crossbows even though cartridge firearms don't rely on electricity. This is explained as guns being illegal for civilians to own, which is graphically demonstrated on a rebel who gets caught by the militia for illegally possessing guns in Episode 2. However, that doesn't explain why militia members, who are allowed to have guns, only use muskets. Could be explained by most of the modern ammunition being used up during the intervening 15 years. Musket balls are probably easier to manufacture with primitive technology. This theory is verified by Episode 3, with Jeremy mentioning that pre-blackout ammunition was a rare commodity and that copper jackets and smokeless powder were beyond at least the Monroe Republic's manufacturing capabilities.
  • Shadow and Bone averts this. The Ravkan First Army wields rifles, Jesper is a gunslinger par excellence, and in one scene, two Drüskelle make use of a water-cooled machine gun against Ravkan infantry. Early on, a First Army soldier mentions that advances in technology may one day make their setting's Military Mages obsolete.
  • In The Tribe, a 90s and early 2000s New Zealand teen post-apocalyptic soap opera, The City (which is located in an unnamed country that is generically Anglophone to the point of Where the Hell Is Springfield?) is a Teenage Wasteland or warring "tribes," including one, the Locos, who terrorize the streets with an appropriated police car. But there are no guns anywhere to be found. The Locos have a police car, but not police firearms (suggesting possibly that the show's very generic setting, police pre-apocalypse didn't regularly guns, like in some European and Asian countries). When Lex gets mad enough to assassinate the local fundamentalist cult leader, he arms himself with a crossbow, and the characters treat it like an instantly lethal, game-breaking weapon. And finally, in Season 4 the city is invaded by a technologically advanced tribe with stun guns... and yet no one thinks to dust off their parent's old revolver. Clearly, the pre-apocalyptic version of whatever country the hell this is had some serious gun control.

  • BIONICLE only had throwing disks, explosive fruit, and energy projectiles for half of its run, then introduced more gun-like weapons due to Executive Meddling (they sold better than close-combat weapons), the most notable being the Cordak Gatling guns whose projectiles weren't magical energy blasts or Phlebotinum shells, but genuine explosives. The Zamor launchers, Midak Skyblasters, Nynrah Ghost blasters and Thornax launchers are more fantasy-esque but resemble personal, hand-held firearms. Kopaka's Skyblaster is even outfitted with a bayonet, Gali's Nynrah Ghost gun has crosshairs attached, and both have laser-sights.

  • At Arm's Length: True for the most part, as most of the magical beings prefer bladed or wooden weapons, or use magical-based spells and projectiles for attacks. Still averted in a few cases, such as Ginger, who packs a WWI-era Colt M1911, as well as an unseen minotaur who was mentioned by Sheila to have been carrying a .44 Magnum when they encountered him.
  • Drowtales: Zig-zagged. Drow do not use black powder-based weaponry, as their natural mana-based abilities are just as powerful and get more powerful as they get older. However, so-called "goblin" races such as dwarves and humans do, occasionally using crude blunderbusses as a way of evening up the odds.
  • In Endstone, one is introduced to deal with Anti-Magic.
  • Erfworld: Other than the faux-cute atmosphere, Erfworld is a pretty standard fantasy world, so swords and bows with the occasional magical Ray Gun device. Then Charlie reveals he's used epic magic to create modern weaponry, with the added bonus of an enchantment that provides an Instant Expert ability to anyone holding one (which is important, because it is impossible for an Erfworlder to use a gun with any sort of proficiency without this enchantment). At one point, Lilith sends Parson an image of herself committing suicide with a pistol, and there is a very long pause as Parson digests the full implications of that.
  • Middleways: Justified, as the atmosphere of Middleways is different and doesn't allow for traditional combustion. A variety of alternatives and workarounds are employed by people from Earth, like using glorified potato-guns to fire amrit-negative spheres.
  • No Scrying: Justified. Firearms are both illegal and blasphemous on account of being associated with "Infernium", an extremely nasty and devastatingly poisonous substance which is itself believed to have the power of Hell. The fact that firearms tend to be manufactured and used by the despised underclass of goblins to give them an edge against Knights and Paladins surely can't be relevant.
  • Skullkickers has no practical guns EXCEPT for Baldy's surprisingly sophisticated revolver. eventually it is revealed that he has been displaced from another dimension with more advanced technology, in a wild west setting. Watching Baldy repeatedly shove a gun into the face of people who don't understand that they're being threatened never ceases to be hilarious.
  • Sluggy Freelance: The Dimension of Lame has this in place, though not for the usual reasons. It's not that they don't have the technological capacity to build guns, it's just that every single being in that universe is a die-hard pacifist. Even tapeworms are polite and friendly and inexplicably sapient. Their most advanced weapon is a NUKE (Notification of Unified Kindness' Envelopes), the "NUKE" blankets the area with thousands of polite yet stern letters. (This is considered a weapon of absolute last resort, as it is littering!) Their greatest psychopath, after months of training, manages to bring himself to hit a demon in the toe with a mallet before having a breakdown and apologizing.
  • Table Titans: There's a new class in Fallen Veil that uses rune-powered guns, which the party can't play of course.
  • Twice Blessed has a kobold bounty hunter that uses a very large gun (or a small cannon) with a Chinese dragon motif.
  • Unsounded: There have been no guns seen in the comic as the only nation likely to have them in the setting is isolationistnote . There are fantasy versions of artillery, like pymaric cannons and Saw Shooters with pymaric enchantments, but for the most part, only ranged weapons that use impure materials and excessive enchantments are mass-produced. Much of this is due to the nature of in-universe spellcraft, which allows mages to 'steal' aspects and properties from common materials at a distance - such as stealing the very tendency of gunpowder to explode, or even pellets of steel to move in a straight line, rendering any non-exotic ranged ammunition useless.

    Web Original 
  • Chaos Fighters: Played with, as explained by word of god.
  • Critical Role has Percy the gunslinger, who invented the gun (specifically a flintlock pepperbox pistol) after making a deal with a demon. This is explicitly seen as a bad thing; Percy shows a lot of regret with his invention, and his rival, Dr. Ripley, stole his blueprints and sold them on the black market. Throughout campaign 1, he is one of the few people with access to guns, with black powder being seen as a useless byproduct by others. Eventually, however, he does produce more and forms Whitestone's Riflemen (which don't actually wield rifles but flintlock muskets; the word "rifle" itself is made-up nonsense in-universe), realizing that he'll be unable to stop their spread. By the time campaign 2 rolls around, guns are more widespread across Exandria, with a few of The Gentleman's henchmen wielding muskets.
  • In Dimension 20:
    • The world of Spyre (where Fantasy High, Pirates of Leviathan and The Seven take place) has cannons as well as primitive firearms in the form of arquebuses; Riz Gukgak, one of the [PCs] in Fantasy High, uses them as his primary ranged weapon, and is even allowed to carry it around school.
    • Outright averted in The Unsleeping City; being an Urban Fantasy campaign taking place in New York City, firearms are easily accessible. That said, only Pete uses a gun on a regular basis, with other party members preferring spellcasting (such as Rowan, Kingston and Kugrash) or melee combat (Sophia and Ricky).
    • By contrast, Calorum from A Crown of Candy and The Ravening War seems to lack even the technology for cannons; at one point in A Crown of Candy, the Taste Buds are involved in combat with two other ships while the one they are on is sinking, and rather than try to sink the ship with cannon fire, all the combat that takes place during this session is some form of swashbuckling.
    • Averted outright in Of Mice And Murder; taking place in a version of Victorian England populated by Funny Animals, firearm technology is relatively advanced, with Lars Vanderchomp getting shot by a revolver and barely surviving at one point.
  • The Lay of Paul Twister: Paul Twister apparently Doesn't Like Guns, and in his narration, he says that that's one thing he has no intention of starting one of his research projects on. In the epilogue, we find out that the invention of gunpowder was what prompted the dragons to separate the world of magic from Earth, and they've been suppressing knowledge of it ever since. Ryell tells Paul that guns, bombs, and rockets are "abominations" that are forbidden. She claims that she wants to preserve a peaceful world; Paul theorizes that the real reason is that they would make it possible to create weapons that could easily harm a dragon.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra are an interesting case. Guns don't appear, although by the second series technology has progressed to not just cars, radios, and skyscrapers, but biplanes, plasma cutters, and even Mini-Mecha. Yet, non-benders are still stuck with primitive muscle-powered weapons. Fans usually try to dismiss this with the excuse that rudimentary early firearms wouldn't have stood a chance against powerful benders, especially the metal-benders, though this completely ignores that benders are a minority of the population and even early guns would be an objective improvement over the spears, swords, bows, and catapults that the bulk of the troops use. Most likely, the humans of the Avatar world just happened to never think of it. However, gunpowder and other explosives are quite prevalent and used in both war and terrorism. One cannon is even seen as early as the first series, albeit as a one-off. In the final season of Korra, Kuvira's spirit energy Wave-Motion Gun bears great resemblance to a real-life railway cannon, and is referred to as such. Most "cannons" seen in both series are more channeling devices for benders than true independent weapons.
  • Justice League Unlimited: In Chaos at the Earth's Core, Skartaris is shown as a medieval or lower society with strong magic users. Since the Warlord of Shamballah and the Big Bad's mooks have no trouble using guns and other advanced weapons, the issue seems to be one of know-how and available resources. (This is in keeping with the original comics, above.)
  • Pirates of Dark Water has guns that are actually some sort of acid-spraying or dart-throwing creature encased in a tube, with a grip and trigger much like a pistol. Much of their technology is based on the indigenous ecology of Planet Mer. Like using a sea star as a shuriken.