New Gunslinger Archetype: The Sniper
Week over week, we continue to develop new content for Seas of Vodari and show it off here, both because we like sharing cool stuff with our readers (literally why I started blogging and eventually joined Tribality), and because feedback on our drafts is wonderfully useful. Today I’m sharing the Sniper, a musket-focused gunslinger archetype.
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If you’ve read our previous draft of the gunslinger, you’ll recognize some of the changes we’ve made. The obvious one here is that gunslingers now get features from their archetypes at five different levels, as fighters do, rather than four as was previously the case. In general, designing a whole class to be about ranged weapon use is a complicated proposition, especially if you’re further narrowing the weapons they’re intended to use. They usually don’t have the depth of options that a primary spellcaster does, or the positioning and movement game that a melee combatant does.
It’s off-topic, but if you’re having trouble providing a threat to the archers and gunslingers of your campaign, consider effects (especially attacks by big monsters) that destroy any cover they’re hiding behind, and skirmishing or lurking creatures that outflank the shooter’s allies.
Sniper (Gunslinger Archetype)
The development of increasingly accurate muskets and ammunition has led some gunslingers to become stealthy, precise hunters, in the wild or on the battlefield. They also become masters of keen observation and debilitating their targets in preparation for the kill.
Starting at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in one of the following skills of your choice: Perception, Stealth, or Survival.
Also at 3rd level, you gain the following bravado deeds.
Distracting Shot. When you hit a creature with a firearm attack, you can expend 1 bravado point to attempt to distract the target with your shot. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw, or grant advantage on its next attack rolls against it until the start of your next turn.
Hidden Hunter. As a bonus action, you can spend 1 bravado point to use the Hide action. Add 1d8 to the result of your Dexterity (Stealth) check.
Slayer’s Bullet. When you have advantage on a ranged weapon attack with a musket and hit, you can spend 1 bravado point to deal 2d6 additional damage. Starting at 7th level, you can spend 2 bravado points to deal 4d6 additional damage. Beginning at 11th level, you can spend 3 bravado points to deal 6d6 additional damage. You can’t spend bravado points on this feature more than once per turn.
One Shot, One Kill
Beginning at 6th level, you gain advantage on musket attacks if your target is surprised. If you are invisible or hidden from a surprised target, your first musket attack that hits is a critical hit.
In My Sights
Starting at 10th level, when you observe a group of up to ten creatures for at least 1 minute, you can learn certain information about their capabilities and interactions. Choose two of the following questions for the DM to answer. It is almost impossible to deceive or misdirect your observation, even with magic.
- Which creature in this group is the greatest threat?
- Which of these creatures, if any, is in charge of this group?
- Are any of these creatures illusory or affected by the charmed condition?
- Do these creatures have nearby reinforcements or hidden allies?
- Are these creatures aware of any traps or hazards in the immediate area?
Elite Sniper’s Deeds
Beginning at 15th level, you gain the following bravado deeds.
Headshot. When you have advantage on a ranged weapon attack with a musket and hit, you can spend 2 bravado points to make your target roll a Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the target is stunned until the beginning of your next turn. You can’t use this deed against creatures whose anatomy doesn’t include a discernible head.
Piercing Shot. You carefully line up your enemies behind your target. When you hit a creature with a musket attack, you can expend 3 bravado points and the target takes an additional 1d10 damage. In addition, you make an attack roll against every creature in a line directly behind the target. On a hit, an additional target takes 1d10 piercing damage. Each of the additional targets must be within the normal range of your firearm.
Suppressing Fire. As a reaction when a creature that you can see stands up from prone, you can spend 1 bravado point to make a ranged weapon attack against it with a musket that you have loaded and in hand. Your attack doesn’t suffer disadvantage from the target’s prone condition.
Starting at 18th level, while you are hidden, you can move at full speed without revealing your position. If you leave cover or concealment and would normally be revealed, you remain hidden as long as you end your movement behind at least the same degree of cover or concealment that you left. Loud noises still reveal your position as normal.