Firearms use explosive alchemicals to fire metal ammunition. Reloading involves drawing and tearing open a paper cartridge, which contains firedust and a bullet. The gunman pours firedust down the barrel, then packs in the bullet with a ramrod. The firing hammer of the weapon strikes a firegem set at the back of the barrel, which acts as a percussion cap, producing a spark inside the barrel. A typical firegem percussion cap must be replaced every few dozen shots or else there is a risk the gem will crack and misfire, but the cost is negligible. Risur produces pistols, carbines, and muskets from a variety of factories in Flint and elsewhere. Drakr possesses somewhat superior firearm technology, and it is possible to import (or custom-make) shotguns, grenades, and rifled versions of normal firearms. Additional innovations such as metal cartridge ammunition are known to exist, but they are the domain of specialized gunsmiths, and as yet cannot be mass-produced.
Firearm rules are available in the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game Ultimate Combat rulebook. The Zeitgeist setting uses the rules presented within that volume but assumes firearms function with firedust and paper cartridges as explained above. Acquiring and paying for firearms uses the “commonplace” rules presented in the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game Ultimate Combat rulebook. PCs must spend the appropriate gold listed for ammunition, though it is assumed this ammunition consists of firedust and a specially constructed cartridge rather than the black powder/alchemical cartridge listed. Note that, despite the presence of commonplace firearms, PCs cannot purchase advanced firearms at any point in the campaign unless advanced firearms are specifically mentioned in an adventure or in a subsequent Zeitgeist release.