Does Peasant Railgun 5e dnd really works? Theory explained


What is the PEASANT RAILGUN 5e in D&D?

The Peasant Railgun 5e theory in dnd is quite simple:

  1. Gather a group of peasants or skeletons, goblins, or other intelligent creatures and ask them to perform the “Ready” act. The item is given to each peasant, and they pass it along the line.
  2. It could be a 10-foot pole, bucket, rock, spear or bucket. The theory is that the item doesn’t matter.
  3. The last peasant inline uses different Ready action to the rest. Instead, this peasant used their Ready action once they received the item.
  4. You can start the Domino Effect by handing the item to each peasant along the line. They will pass the item down the line to the last peasant, who is now ready to throw it at their target.

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Peasant Railgun 5e

Here’s how it works. The idea is to gather three thousand peasants and then give one spear to the man at the back. The rest prepare an action to grab the spear from the man behind and then pass it to him in front. The spear travels fifteen thousand feet in six seconds. A thrower at either end of the line will receive it at a velocity of over Mach 2. He should roll high.


The Peasant Railgun’s idea is that the item would accelerate at a fantastic rate and deal a tremendous amount of damage due to the force behind it.

Let’s suppose you gather 1000 peasants, each occupying a 5-foot square. Give them instructions. The item passed down the line can travel a staggering 5000 feet in just 6 seconds.

In a moment, we’ll get into the math.

Even if you don’t have exact math, it is easy to see that anything travelling at this speed will cause some severe damage to anyone with whom it comes into contact.

According to the theory, the object that collides with it is a highly unlucky enemy who didn’t see this coming.

It’s evident because most of the peasants will be screaming in pain while their arms are ripped off by much speed as they pass a rock at Mach-speed.


A peasant railgun can be made, but it is not possible.

Two things are required for this to work.

  1. This set of rules combines real-world physics and D&D game rules to make something that isn’t quite as good as the other.
  2. A DM who doesn’t know the rules or isn’t interested in caring.

If we take the RAW (rules exactly as written), the party could hire a few peasants and then have them stand in a line passing objects to one another.

The last peasant in the chain would make a standard improvised weapons attack. If the attack hits, he rolls 1d20+STR.

That is, although the item may be passed faster to the next generation of peasants.

To make the Peasant Railgun 5e work, you must do a lot of physics homework. Then, ignore the 5e rules and substitute your damage.

The rules of 5e are not meant to be unrealistic. These rules are intended to give the game a structure and allow DMs to adjudicate cases accordingly.

There’s Rule Zero, which means that the DM decides what goes.

We’ll get there soon.

Let’s first do some math!


Okay, let’s get down to it.

  • Let’s assume that the party has lined up 1000 peasants, and they have given their instructions, as discussed earlier. This line is 5000 feet long, and each peasant takes up a 5-foot area.
  • The action has begun to transfer the rock from the last peasant to the next one. Zeke, the Unfortunate, will be the previous peasant to throw the stone at Zeke.
  • The party gives the rock to the first peasant who comes in line, 5000 feet from Zeke. Zeke stares in horror.
  • The rock can travel 5000 feet in 6 seconds (833.33 feet per sec) or 567.95 miles an hour on average.
  • Let’s say that 1000 peasants aren’t enough for you. Let’s go up to 10,000!
  • This exercise shows that the rock can travel 50,000 feet in 6 seconds. That’s the same time it takes to travel 5000 feet. The rock travels at 8333 feet per minute or 5681.6 miles an hour with 10,000 peasants.
  • The fastest bullets travel around 1,800 miles an hour. The speed of light is approximately 186,000 miles per second. That is faster than the F-15 fighter jet’s top speed of 3,017 miles per second.
  • The rock is passed down the line by screaming peasants, and the last peasant throws it at the Goblin target. Zeke explodes, and the rock continues its trajectory, doing untold harm to anyone in its path.
  • This calculation can be extended if necessary. This calculation tracks the acceleration rate to determine when these peasants lose limbs when they pass something faster than a fighter plane.
  • Math and physics are not my strong points. Let me know if you’re interested in learning more about these calculations.


Okay, so this may be a controversial view that contradicts what I said earlier in the article.

If you or your group is interested in creating a Peasant railgun, and you’re playing a purely comical game, then do it.

That is not something I recommend if you’re playing a serious game that has a compelling story. One of the best ways to ruin a game is to get peasants to line up to throw rocks at 3,000 mph into the BBEG fortress.

You are welcome as the DM to let the players line up their peasant armies only to discover that it doesn’t work. I would warn them before they do.

It’s all about having fun. That is your group’s idea for fun, and it doesn’t compromise the hard work that went into the story, then why not?

If you do decide to let your players do this, I would appreciate it. They will run screaming out of a dungeon as a necromancer line them up with 1000 zombies and gives the first one a rock.


Okay, so I’ve never met anyone who would go all-in for a Peasant railgun 5e. It’s rare to find a player who is truly serious about making this happen in their game.

The idea of this thing is essentially people being stupid. It is possible to give hundreds of reasons why it doesn’t work.

That does, however, touch on something more common than gathering hundreds of people in towns with the single intention to throw things fast and hard.

As I said, the Peasant Railgun theory is based on creating a strange and selective combination of D&D 5e rules and physics.

It’s impossible to put real-world science and physics into Fantasy games. Refusing to accept the rules and world of Fantasy games as they are will almost always result in passionate and pointless arguments.

A friend of mine said, “Stop complicating a marshmallow.”

Your game should not be dominated by arguing about rules.

Sometimes, a DM must say “no, this it is” before moving on. It is precisely what the Peasant Railgun 5e does.

Enjoy the game, and don’t be surprised if you are unable to believe it.

There are many ways to harass your DM, and you don’t even need to use a calculator or physics book.


It is complicated to speak or write about the Peasant Railgun 5e without a smile. This concept is so absurd and hilarious that I accidentally choked on my coffee while writing this. It’s a fun topic to talk about, ultimately. Do you know of any spells or mechanics that could change the world?

There are a couple of reasons why pleasant railgun 5e did not work.

A) Nothing about readied actions allows you to accomplish things usually beyond your abilities, e.g. accelerate an object past the speed of sound with just your arms.

B) D&D doesn’t have real-world physics, so unless the rules explicitly say otherwise, real-world physics are ignored when it comes to RAW. In this case, specifically, you could have stick travel down a chain of peasants that’s a billion miles long over six seconds. In the end, it would still be an improvised weapon with a range of 5 ft that deals 1d4+str damage.

Note: The last bit might not be entirely accurate as I am not very familiar with the rules for improvised weapons.

Peasant railgun 5e relies on combining RAW – the way readied actions to work – with real-life – how objects travelling at high speeds work. But imagine that humans had the magical ability to accelerate the pole: it would tear their arms off. The ultimate tensile stress of bone is high but nowhere near high enough. There’s a reason humans can’t use their full strength most of the time: we have a psychological limit on how much power we’re allowed to exert unless our emotions are running so high that the limit goes. Or put it another way: if you’re given a thing that’s moving that fast – bear in mind it doesn’t get faster with each commoner. It has to be travelling at 1188 mph all the time (or at least on average), not just at the end of the movement. If someone passes you something at speed, they’re effectively hitting you in hand with it. Normally, that doesn’t matter because you’re usually giving something to someone at maybe five mph tops. Still, each commoner has to take the hit at 1188 mph.

Also, given the efficiency of a human, assuming all wasted energy is thermal and not accounting for the air resistance (or common sense), you would cause your own body to heat up by ((3.62874*486.37952/2)/0.2)/(80.7*4.184)=6356 degrees celsius during the throw. There’s a reason real railguns use something with a way more significant efficiency than a human’s 20%. Even they practically destroy themselves during the shot (“the stresses involved in firing this sort of device require an extremely heat-resistant material. Otherwise, the rails, barrel, and all equipment attached would melt or be irreparably damaged. In practice, the rails used with most railgun designs are subject to erosion from each launch.”). Any attempt to fire the peasant railgun would destroy the peasants, the shot, and practically anything nearby.

So would you cast a spell of Peasant Railgun 5e?