Arcane Gunslinger Fighter Archetype | Gunslinger Class

I’ve have been running official adventures the last while and I haven’t really needed any heavy homebrew. Now that I have started to run my Vodari campaign again, the homebrew ideas are coming in fast and furious from myself and my players. One of my players is looking to play a gunslinger in my seafaring campaign world. I ended up creating my own version of the gunslinger class, but I thought the Arcane Gunmaster archetype would work well as a fighter archetype.

This gunslinger is not a mad inventor who created the first gun, such as Matt Mercer’s Gunslinger fighter archetype. This archetype assumes a campaign world where guns are available. The easiest way to handle a gunslinger is to have them start with a firearm as a ranged weapon. Then just treat guns like crossbows that are much louder with worse range. This will have limited impact on the balance of 5e versus using the powerful firearms found in the DMG. Here are some guns that match up pretty close with crossbows. If you want the guns to have a bit more pop, bump them all up by 1 damage die to 1d8, 1d10, and 1d12 (or 2d6).

Name Cost Damage Weight Properties
Simple Melee Weapons
Bayonet 5 gp 1d6 piercing 1 lb. Special
Martial Ranged Weapons
Flintlock Pistol 125 gp 1d8 piercing 4 lb. Ammunition (range 30/90), loading
Dragon Pistol 250 gp 1d6 piercing 3 lb. Ammunition (range 20/60), loading, special
Blunderbuss 500 gp 1d8 piercing 8 lb. Ammunition (range 20/60), loading, two-handed, special
Flintlock Musket 250 gp 1d10 piercing 8 lb. Ammunition (range 40/120), loading, two-handed
Ammunition
Lead Balls (40) 5 gp 1 lb. Special
Pellets (40 handfuls) 10 gp 1 lb. Special
Powder flask (40) 10 gp 2 lb.

Special

  • Bayonet. To attach or remove a bayonet from from a musket is a Use an Object action. Because bayonets are designed for use while attached to a musket. It counts as an improvised weapon that does 1d4 piercing damage (when used by itself).
  • Blunderbuss. This weapon can be fired normally or loaded to make a scattering shot, attacking all creatures within a 15 foot cone. Each creature in the cone must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 piercing damage. Using a scatter shot requires pellet ammunition.
  • Dragon Pistol. This weapon can be fired normally or loaded to make a scattering shot, attacking all creatures within a 15 foot cone. Each creature in the cone must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d4 piercing damage. Using a scatter shot requires pellet ammunition.
  • Lead Balls. This ammunition is destroyed when used. You do not get to find half of your expended ammunition.
  • Pellets. This ammunition is destroyed when used. You do not get to find half of your expended ammunition.
  • Powder flask. Container for black powder (gunpowder), usually created from an animal horn. A flask holds enough powder for 40 shots from a firearm.

 
I really, really like the Arcane Archer martial archetype that was released with Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. However, the Arcane Archer is for elves with bows and I wanted something that would work for steampunk or seafaring adventurers. This subclass is my attempt to translate the Arcane Archer into something for my homebrew world that is focused on blasting pirates and sea monsters with magic shots.

Onto the subclass…

Arcane Gunslinger Fighter Archetype

Nobles, swashbucklers and soldiers spend years perfecting the classic arts of swordplay, but few warriors take the time to gain the same expertise with firearms. The few who invest the years of training it takes to master firearms are gunslingers.

As a gunslinger, you make your mark upon the world as a expert with flintlock firearms. While anyone can aim a pistol or rifle and fire it, a gunslinger is a cut far above the rabble. Gunslingers combine lightning fast reflexes and careful aim to act as masters of ranged combat. Gunslingers also draw on bravado, a mix of courage and confidence, to perform amazing deeds with firearms.

ARCANE GUNSMITH
At 3rd level, your seek to enhance your gunsmithing abilities using the secrets of magic. You choose to gain proficiency in the Arcana skill and with tinker’s tools. You also learn the mending cantrip. If you already have proficiency with tinker’s tools, then you can choose to be skilled with another artisan’s tool such as smith’s tools.

ARCANE AMMUNITION
At 3rd level, when you gain this feature, you learn to infuse your ammunition with special magical effects. When you gain this feature, you learn two Arcane Ammunition options of your choice (See “Arcane Ammunition Options” below).

Once per turn, when you shoot a firearm as part of the Attack action, you infuse the ammunition with one of your Arcane Ammunition options to the shot. You decide to use the option when the shot hits, unless the option doesn’t involve an attack roll. You have two uses of this ability, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a short or long rest.

You gain an additional Arcane Ammunition option of your choice when you reach certain levels in this class: 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th level. Each option also improves when you become an 18th-level fighter.

MAGICAL FIREARM
At 7th level, your ability to combine magic and smithing allows you to create a magic pistol or rifle. You are assumed to have been collecting materials and working on the gun for quite some time, finally finishing it during a short or long rest after you reach 6th level.

When you wield this firearm it has the following properties:

  • Whenever you shoot nonmagical ammunition from a firearm, you can make it magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. The magic fades from the ammunition immediately after it hits or misses its target.
  • If you lose this firearm, you can create a new one over the course of three days of work (eight hours each day) by expending 50 gp worth of metal and other raw materials.

EVER-READY SHOT
Starting at 15th level, your magical ammunition is available whenever battle starts. If you roll initiative and have no uses of Arcane Ammunition remaining, you regain one use of it.

ARCANE AMMUNITION OPTIONS
The Arcane Ammunition feature lets you choose options for it at certain levels. The options are presented here in alphabetical order. They are all magical effects, and each one is associated with one of the schools of magic.

If an option requires a saving throw, your Arcane Ammunition save DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

Blinding Shot. You infuse evocation magic into your shot. As the shot hits the creature, it flares with a bright light. The creature hit by the shot takes an extra 1d6 radiant damage. The target must also succeed on a Constitution saving throw, or be blinded until the start of your next turn. A creature blinded by this shot makes another Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful save, it is no longer blinded. After you reach 18th level in this class, a target also takes 2d6 radiant damage when the shot hits it.

Agonizing Shot. You infuse necromantic magic into your shot. The creature hit by the shot takes an extra 2d6 necrotic damage. The target must also succeed on a Constitution saving throw, or can’t regain hit points until the start of your next turn. The necrotic damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Concussive Shot. You infuse your shot with force energy drawn from the school of evocation. Immediately after the shot hits the creature, the target and all other creatures within 10 feet of it take 2d6 force damage each. The target is also deafened until the start of your next turn. The force damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Enfeebling Shot. You infuse necromantic magic into your shot. The creature hit by the shot takes an extra 2d6 necrotic damage. The target must also succeed on a Constitution saving throw, or the damage dealt by its weapon attacks is halved until the start of your next turn. The necrotic damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Freezing Shot. You infuse evocation magic into your shot. The creature hit by the shot takes an extra 2d6 cold damage. The target must also succeed on a Constitution saving throw, or its speed is halved and it can’t use reactions until the start of your next turn. The cold damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 17th level in this class.

Healing Shot. You infuse evocation magic into your shot. The creature hit by the shot takes no damage and instead regains hit points equal to 2d6 + your Charisma modifier. The healing increases by 2d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Incendiary Shot. You infuse evocation magic into your shot. Immediately after the shot hits the creature, the target and all other creatures within 10 feet of it take 2d6 fire damage each. The fire damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Storm Shot. You infuse evocation magic into your shot. Immediately after the shot hits the creature, the target and all other creatures within 10 feet of it take 2d6 lightning damage each. The lightning damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Toxic Shot. You infuse conjuration magic into your shot. The creature hit by the shot takes an extra 2d6 poison damage. The target must also succeed on a Constitution saving throw, or is poisoned. A creature poisoned by this shot makes another Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful save, it is no longer poisoned. The poison damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.


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