The Dwarf multicannon is a members special Ranged weapon. Unlike other Ranged weapons, it is not equipped by a player; rather, it is assembled on the ground. To use a Dwarf multicannon, the Dwarf Cannon quest must be completed.
The cannon consists of four pieces: the base, the stand, the furnace, and the barrels. After a player has loaded cannonballs into the cannon, the cannon rotates and fires automatically at any attackable NPCs nearby, causing damage to them. Cannons are often considered to be a supplement to a primary weapon or fighting method. This is not hindered or affected by the combat style a player uses. Even more so, it seems to be the case that the accuracy of the cannon is dependent on accuracy of the player's current used attack style stats/bonus (be it Magic, Melee, or Ranged).
The cannon provides Ranged experience after a monster is killed at the rate of 1 experience per 5 points of damage (compared with the normal Ranged gains of 2 experience per 5 points of damage).
After completion of the Dwarf cannon quest, players may buy the full cannon as well as a mould to make cannonballs from the dwarf engineer Nulodion, south of Ice Mountain, for 750,000 coins. Alternatively, the individual parts may be purchased for 187,500 coins each. The "Talk" option on Nulodion must be used to obtain the full cannon, whereas the "Trade" option is used to buy the individual parts. However, it is generally cheaper to buy a cannon from the Grand Exchange. Cannons are usually worth significantly less than 750,000 coins on the Grand Exchange because many people buy a cannon from Nulodion after completing the quest, and later decide they don't want it and resell it. If a cannon decays or the mould is dropped, Nulodion will provide a free replacement as well.
A player may own multiple cannons, but only one may be assembled per player at any one time. The reason for this is because Jagex doesn't want RuneScape to be flooded with cannons.
On 8 March 2011, the cannon received an update, changing its appearance and also allowing the player to repair a decayed cannon by taking it to Isak in the cannon repair shop of the Artisans Workshop. A guide on repairing cannons may be seen below. The update also allowed players to cosmetically upgrade a dwarf multicannon to a Gold dwarf multicannon and a Royale dwarf multicannon. The upgrades are purely cosmetic and do not improve the cannon's actual abilities.
From the 20 November 2012, the cannon no longer gave Ranged experience, and the market price crashed all the way to about 550k. However, after a hidden update, the cannon now provides Ranged experience again.
The Dwarf multicannon is carried in four pieces in a player's inventory. To begin setting it up, the player must place the cannon base on a vacant square surrounded by eight more vacant squares. The rest of the cannon will automatically be set up from there. Finally, the player must use up to 30 cannonballs on the cannon by selecting "Fire." It is rather heavy when each of the four parts are in your inventory, and it will make your weight extremely high. If you do run with it, it is recommended to bring a familiar to compensate for the more rapid energy loss (such as a Spirit Terrorbird).
There was a glitch where 31 cannonballs could be put into the cannon.
There are many locations where the cannon cannot be taken into or cannot be set up, including (but not limited to) the following list. If a player attempts to set down a cannon base in any of these areas, a message will appear in the player's chatbox saying that it cannot be done.
- Abyssal Area
- Ancient Cavern
- Ancient Guthix Temple
- Al Kharid Palace
- Bandos' throne room
- Barbarian Assault
- Black Knights' Fortress (in and around) "It is not permitted to set up a cannon this close to the Dwarf Black Guard."
- Castle Wars
- Chaos Tunnels "The cannon is too heavy to take it down there - you'll have to leave it it behind."
- Duel Arena
- Dwarven Mine (except in Living Rock Caverns)
- Enchanted Valley
- Fist of Guthix
- Fremennik Slayer Dungeon
- Feldip hills, red chinchompa hunting grounds
- Grand exchange
- Grotworm Lair
- Ice mountain
- Jadinko Lair
- Kalphite Queen Lair (Note: While the cannon can be set up in the Kalphite Queen's lair, she will instantly destroy it; see below)
- Killerwatt plane
- Kuradal's Dungeon
- Lair of Tarn Razorlor "This temple is ancient and would probably collapse if you started firing a cannon"
- Lumbridge Catacombs
- Mahjarrat Ritual Site Cavern
- Mort Myre Swamp (this does not include the graveyard, where Dessous is located)
- Nomad's Throne Room
- Pest Control
- Player Owned Houses
- Shade Catacombs
- Shades of Mort'ton
- Slayer Tower
- Sorceress's Garden
- Stealing Creation
- Stronghold of Player Safety
- Tarn's Lair
- TzHaar City, TzHaar Fight Cave and TzHaar Fight Pit
- Warriors' Guild
- Waterbirth Dungeon
- Water Ravine Dungeon
- Zogre burial grounds
In other locations, the cannon may be set up but may be destroyed by an NPC almost instantly, or is almost useless due to limitations:
- Certain quest bosses; for example, the Giant Roc will destroy a cannon if the player sets it up within its attack range.
- Clan Wars; cannons cannot be used to harm other players, although cannons may harm their Summoning familiars.
- The Kalphite Queen, any of the monsters in the God Wars Dungeon, and the King Black Dragon will destroy a cannon if a player attempts to use it.
These are the mechanical aspects of the Cannon. This section includes the rotation, targets, and decay of the cannon's parts.
After the cannon has been set up, loaded, and fired, the barrel will rotate and fire at targets within its line-of-sight and range. The cannon barrel rotates in discrete intervals; there are 8 directions the barrel may face, and the barrel makes a 45 degree turn every 0.6 seconds (one game tick), completing a full revolution in 4.8 seconds. The cannon fires one cannonball while facing each direction, so it fires up to 8 cannonballs per revolution.
In a single combat zone, the cannon fires at the monster the player is being attacked by. If the player is not being attacked by any monster – not being hit by any monsters – the cannon fires at multiple monsters. This means that a player can range, mage, or halberd from a "safe spot" in a single combat zone and have the cannon shoot at multiple monsters, as long as the player is never attacked by a monster, in which case that monster will be the only target the cannon attacks. However, the player will need to regularly come out of cover to reload the cannon.
In multi-combat areas, the cannon fires at every potential target within line-of-sight and range, even if the player is under attack.
After the Evolution of Combat update, all areas are multi-combat, so the cannon will fire on every potential target anywhere that it can be set up, even if the player is under attack.
For each direction the cannon faces during its rotation, there is a specific set of squares relative to the cannon's location that a cannonball may be shot into at that time. This target region can be visualized by a triangle emanating from the cannon barrel. Squares may be cut off from the target region by an obstacle.
Target regions for different directions overlap slightly. This may result in shooting multiple cannonballs at one monster in one cannon revolution, even one that is standing still. Up to two cannonballs may be shot at a monster that takes up a single square per rotation. If it is not in the proper location however, only one, or even zero cannonballs may be shot per rotation.
Additionally, even more cannonballs may be shot at monsters that take up multiple squares. Monsters taking up multiple squares can be shot at using any of the squares that they are covering. For example, up to 4 cannonballs can be shot per rotation at a dragon because they are so big (3 squares by 3 squares) and if done correctly strykewyrms (also 3 squares by 3 squares) can be hit on all 8 rotations. Also, the chances of killing a monster is much faster if the cannon is placed near the spawn point; for example, if a player sets up a cannon near a Frost Dragon spawn, the dragon will be hit 3 times in a row.
Players cannot control what target is chosen, thus it may fire at anything around it. However, if a player is already engaged in single combat, the cannon will only fire at the current opponent. A cannon will never initiate combat against a revenant that the player themselves can not attack.
Although a cannon will never target another player, if a cannon is set up in the wilderness, it may target a player's familiar in a multicombat zone if that familiar belongs to a player who could be attacked by the cannon's user. This will result in the owner of the cannon receiving a skull. Players should exercise extreme caution about using a cannon in multicombat areas of the wilderness.
Interestingly, despite being much larger and using larger ammunition, it seems to only have half the max hit of a hand cannon. This could be because the multicannon is bigger and less accurate.
Cannons disappear after a certain period of time being continuously set up. 20 minutes after the cannon has been set up, a message appears that the cannon has almost decayed. 25 minutes after the cannon has been set up, or 5 minutes after the warning message, the cannon will decay. However, the decay timer can easily be restarted by picking up the cannon and re-assembling it again.
The decay effect is not based on the number of cannonballs shot, but based on the decay timer as stated above.
The cannon's decay is a one-time event, not a continuous degrading associated with declining performance. The cannon is equally effective at all times.
Cannons that do decay are not lost forever, but rather may be re-obtained for free from Nulodion (it does not matter if you bought it at the Grand Exchange or at Nulodion's himself). If bought at the GE, he will try to sell you a new one, there is a right-click option to replace multicannon, choose that option. The fastest way to get to Nulodion is to cast Lassar Teleport (an Ancient Magicks teleport). Alternatively, players may teleport to the monastery using a charged Combat Bracelet and run to Nulodion, or they can choose to run from Edgeville or Falador. Another method would be to use the Wicked hood to teleport to the body altar situated below the monastery and run from there. Finally, one can use a Skull scepter to teleport to Barbarian Village and run north-west to Nulodion.
If you log out while your cannon is set up you can right-click Nulodion and select "Replace-cannon" to retrieve it free of charge.
Cannons will also disappear right away if they are set up and then you switch worlds. You can get them back from Nulodion in the same way as when it decays.
If a player dies while a cannon is set up, the cannon stays set up at the location. After it decays, it may be re-obtained for free from Nulodion. It is a common belief that cannons are lost upon death, but in this case the cannon may easily be re-obtained for free. You cannot re-obtain a cannon that was in your inventory if you are killed in the wilderness.
If a player dies while a cannon, cannon parts, or cannonballs are in the inventory, these items are lost, unless the player is able to re-obtain them from the gravestone. If you are under attack by a strong enemy that may kill you, immediately set up your cannon. If you do die, you won't lose your cannon.
If the cannon itself is destroyed in combat, the player can re-obtain a new dwarf multicannon from Nulodion, free of charge. Monsters that destroy the dwarf multicannon are bosses. Example: King Black Dragon, Kalphite Queen, and many more. However, cannons CAN be used to kill the Corporeal Beast and Chaos Elemental.
Nulodion will not hand out a replacement cannon if the cannon or cannon parts are banked, set up, sold, or dropped. Replaced cannons come loaded with cannonballs equal to the amount loaded in the cannon when the cannon was lost.
Cannons are commonly used by players training Slayer to speed up tasks. At about 186 coins per cannonball, the use of a cannon is often considered to be quite expensive. However, the cost is often considered to be justified by the bonuses of using a cannon. A player doing a slayer task can melee almost the entire time, getting nearly as much melee experience as they would without using a cannon. The cannon will also attack several targets even in a single-way combat area as long as the player is not under attack, (e.g. in a safe spot).
In a crowded multi-combat area, such as the dagannoths under the Lighthouse, the cannon may produce a level of mayhem usually only achieved with Ancient Magicks spells. However, in highly populated multi-combat areas, the player will need to remain almost constantly by the cannon in order to reload it because large numbers of cannonballs will be needed, also, they will probably get negative feedback from other people fighting.
Before the return of the wilderness many people brought cannons to areas of the Wilderness such as green dragons to speed up the kills and make large sums of money. Even though these are single combat areas if the Dragon is not attacking the player the cannon will attack any dragon that is not currently attacking any other player. Because it is a single combat zone it is advisable while using the cannon not to let the dragon attack you, so ranging can really benefit the player. This has generally had negative feedback with most players who kill green dragons for the bones and hides for money. Many players have complained about this on the forums saying that cannons break single combat zone rules. Now that player killing has returned to the wilderness this is more dangerous now as you can be killed by other players. If you do get attacked it is recommended to not pick up your cannon as it will be lost on death, but to keep it set up and then see Nulodion to re-obtain it for free after you have died.
On 8 March 2011, an update allowed decayed cannons (not player owned) to be repaired by taking them to Isak in the cannon repair shop, located in the Artisans Workshop. Repairing a cannon requires 62+ Smithing, a hammer, cog mould, pipe mould, test cannonball mould, and some Grade II steel ingots. For each fully repaired and tested cannon, 3,846 Smithing XP is earned. The process for repairing cannons is:
- Fix cannon base:
Pick up the base from the desk near Isak and empty it - there should be 10 broken cogs inside. Use all of these cogs on an anvil to attempt to repair them. If any break, you will need to make replacements by using your ingots in the furnace while holding the cog mould. Once you have 10 cogs, put them back into the base and set the base in the centre of the room.
- Fix cannon stand:
Take the stand from the desk near Isak and empty it - inside are three pipes, all of which will be broken. To fix them, use them in the furnace with the pipe mould in your inventory, then put them back into the stand and set the stand on the cannon base.
- Fix cannon barrel:
Grab the barrel off the parts desk and use it with an anvil to fix it. You'll likely need to use it with an anvil a few times to fully bash it back into shape. Once done, set the barrel on the cannon stand.
- Fix cannon furnace:
Take the furnace from the last desk and empty it. Inside is a fuse box and a flint, both of which will need fixing on an anvil. Once fixed, fill the fuse box with gunpowder from the barrels between the furnaces and smelter, then place both components back into the furnace, in turn placing that on the cannon barrel.
- Test fire:
Now the cannon is rebuilt it will need test firing to calibrate it. Use a couple of your steel ingots in a furnace while holding the test cannon ball mould to create 8 test cannonballs. Then, simply load the cannon to initiate the firing sequence. The cannon will occasionally get stuck when firing at the targets; Click it to fix it with a hammer and get it started again.
- The cannon will not shoot at dwarves.
- The only ammunition for cannons that players can use is cannonballs made from steel. However, Dondakan from the quest Between a Rock... fires Adamantite, Runite, and gold cannonballs from his cannon. In addition to that, in Quick Chat, it is possible to say, "I am smithing: [bronze/iron/steel/silver/gold/mithril/blurite/adamantite/runite] cannonballs."
- The cannon received a massive graphical rework on 8 March 2011, along with the release of the Artisan's Workshop.
- If a player uses a cannon, and that cannon hits a nearby monster, and another player attacks that monster hit by the cannon, it will say "Someone else is fighting that.", even though the cannon is not a person.
- If the cannon is fired in a single combat area the chat will say "I'm currently under attack." along with an occasional "Someone else is fighting that." depending on the combat status of the player-character.
- If a player drops the components of the cannon set, they will discover that the items are 1x1 size, despite the cannon being 3x3.
- Beast of burden familiars can't carry the parts for the cannon; it will say "This item is too valuable to trust to a familiar". They can carry cannonballs.
- The cannon can glitch when you set it up near a wall of the Grand Exchange.
- During the May 2012 Wild Weekend Rise of the Zombie Monkeys! event, members were using the cannon to get Zombie monkeys which prevented other players from getting the monkeys. The event was moved to Free-to-play worlds to prevent the use of cannons.