FIREARMS AND THE PATHFINDER GUNSLINGER CLASS IN 5th EDITION DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
For many fantasy roleplaying games, there isn’t a place in the party for a pistol-packing, Old West-style, gunslinging hero. For a long time, I shared this opinion and used to believe that, at best, guns may have a place in an Age of Sail or Three Musketeers-inspired setting, but otherwise didn’t jive with the tone and trappings of fantasy gaming.
Another problem I saw with including guns in fantasy RPGs was that firearms were rarely considered when the rules for these games were first written, meaning that the games often didn’t have the necessary “language” in the combat mechanics to represent how different guns are from, say, bows and crossbows. Instead, any gun-related rules tended to feel like something that was tacked on, with the usual result being that guns felt either far too powerful in comparison to other weapons or next to useless.
That opinion changed once I started running the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game, which heavily features firearms and gunslinging heroes in the setting (indeed, in my long-term IK RPG game, my party included a human gun mage based on Clint Eastwood’s character from the film Pale Rider, an Elven duelist with a pair of custom revolvers, and a trollkin brawler who lugged a mini-cannon around with him). The Iron Kingdoms RPG taught me that not only can guns fit in a fantasy RPG thematically, they do not skew the balance of the game, as long as you have good rules represent them.
With that in mind, I decided to take a stab at converting Firearms and the Gunslinger class from the Pathfinder RPG for use in the 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons game.
I’m not sure I would allow these weapons or this class in every campaign setting (for instance, I likely won’t be permit them in my Forgotten Realms games), but it will certainly be included as an option when I run the Iron Gods adventure path.
Hit Dice: 1d10 per gunslinger level.
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per gunslinger level after 1st.
Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, Firearms
Tools: Gunsmith’s Kit
Saving Throws: Constitution, Dexterity
Skills: Choose two skills from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Medicine, Perception, and Sleight of Hand.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- A pistol or a rifle
- Any simple weapon
- Leather armor
- An explorer’s pack, an ammo bandolier, a holster, 50 bullets, and a gunsmith’s kit
|1||+2||1||Grit, Deadeye, Gunslinger Dodge, Quick Clear|
|2||+2||2||Pistol Whip, Quick Draw|
|3||+2||3||Gunslinger Archetype, Utility Shot|
|4||+2||4||Ability Score Increase|
|8||+3||8||Ability Score Increase|
|9||+4||9||Evasive, Startling Shot|
|12||+4||12||Ability Score Increase|
|13||+5||13||Bleeding Shot, Menacing Shot|
|16||+5||16||Ability Score Increase|
|17||+6||17||Death Shot, Stun Shot|
|19||+6||19||Ability Score Increase|
As a gunslinger, you make your mark upon the world with daring deeds. Some gunslingers claim they belong to a mystical way of the gun, but it’s more likely that the volatile nature of firearms simply prunes the unlucky and careless from their ranks. Whatever the reason, all gunslingers have Grit Points. Your gunslinger level determines the number of points you have, as shown on the Grit Points column of the Gunslinger table.
You can spend these points to fuel various grit features. You start knowing three such features: Deadeye, Gunslinger Dodge, and Quick Clear. You learn more grit features as you gain levels in this class.
When you spend a grit point, it is unavailable until you finish a short rest or long rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended grit back into yourself.
You can also regain grit by performing daring acts. The Dungeon Master has the ultimate say as to whether an act constitutes a daring act, but as a general guideline, a daring act should be risky and dramatic. It should take a good deal of guts, and its outcome should have a low probability of success. If it is successful, the gunslinger regains 1 grit point. Before undertaking an action, the player can ask the Dungeon Master if it will qualify as a daring act.
You can never have more grit points than your levels in the gunslinger class.
You can spend 1 grit point to avoid suffering disadvantage on an attack roll when you attack a target beyond normal range with a firearm.
When you are hit by an attack, you can use your reaction to spend 1 grit point and force the attacker to reroll its attack roll and take the lower of the two results.
You can spend 1 grit point to use a bonus action to unjam a firearm that has misfired.
Beginning at 2nd level, you can make an attack with the butt or handle of your firearm as an Attack action. The damage of your attack is based on the size of your firearm; a one-handed weapon deals 1d6 bludgeoning damage and a two-handed weapon deals 1d10 bludgeoning damage. For the purpose of this attack, treat the firearm as if it was a simple weapon with the finesse property.
Beginning at 2nd level, you can always ready a single firearm on your turn without spending an action (even if you have already interacted with another object that round). Further, you can spend 1 grit point to gain advantage when rolling Initiative.
At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that specializes and focuses your skill with guns. Choose Musketeer, Pistolero, or Spellslinger, all detailed at the end of the class description. The archetype you choose grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.
Starting at 3rd level, if you have at least 1 grit point left, you can take a shot with a firearm that creates a dramatic effect, rather than causing damage. This can blast open a lock that is not sealed by magic, scoot an unattended object of 10 pounds or less, sever a rope, or any other suitably dramatic effect that the DM approves.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
The number of attacks increases to three when you reach 11th level in this class.
Starting at 7th level, when you take an Attack action, you can spend 1 grit point to combine all your attack potential into a single, deadly shot. When you do this, you make all of your possible attack rolls (including those from your Extra Attack and your Archetype abilities, but not those that you may gain from two-weapon fighting) against a single target, and then combine the damage rolls for each of those shots that hit into one, single damage roll that uses only one unit of ammunition. If one or more of those rolls is a critical hit, treat the combined damage roll as if it was a single damage roll, and roll all the dice twice and add them all together. Further, unless you roll a misfire on all of the attacks, your firearm does not misfire.
For example, if you have are able to attack three times when you take the Attack action with your pistol, (which does 1d10 piercing damage) and your Gunslinger Archetype ability grants you a further two attacks as a bonus action, you can use an Attack action and spend 1 grit point to roll three separate attacks (or five if you spend your bonus action too). If three of those attacks hit, you roll 3d10 + three times your Dexterity modifier for damage. Further, if one of those three hits was a critical hit, you get to roll 6d10 + three times your Dexterity modifier for damage.
Starting at 9th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or an ice storm spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.
At 9th level, you can spend 1 grit point to purposely miss a creature you could normally hit with one of your attacks in order to grant advantage on all attack rolls on the target until the start of your next turn (including any other attack rolls you may make this round). You can use this ability once per round.
At 13th level, you gain the ability to inflict a lingering wound on your targets. When you hit a target with an attack with a firearm you can spend 1 grit point to cause the target to take 1d6 additional damage at the start of each of its turns. The target can make a Constitution saving throw at the end of its turn to end this effect. The saving throw DC is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier.
Beginning at 13th level, as an action, you can spend 1 grit point to shoot a firearm in the air. All enemies within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened as if affected by the fear spell. If an affected creature ends it turn in a location where it doesn’t have line of sight to you, it can make a Wisdom saving throw to end the effect. The saving throw DC is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier.
Beginning at 15th level, you have the ability to target a specific part of a target’s body by spending 1 grit point. The effect on the target on a failed saving throw depends on the part of the body targeted, as set out below. The saving throw DC is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier.
|Body Part||Effect on a Hit|
|Arms||The target takes no damage, but drops an item carried in its hands if it fails a Strength saving throw.|
|Head||The target is blinded until the start of your next turn if it fails a Dexterity saving throw.|
|Legs||The target is knocked prone if it fails a Constitution saving throw.|
|Torso||The target takes damage as normal, but you score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.|
|Wings||If the target is flying, the target falls 20 feet if it fails a Dexterity saving throw.|
At 17th level, when you score a critical hit on an attack roll with a firearm, you can spend 1 grit point to force the target to make a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency). If it fails the saving throw and has 100 hit points or fewer, it dies. Otherwise, it suffers the normal effect of a critical hit.
Beginning at 17th level, when you hit a target with an attack roll with a firearm, you can spend 1 grit point to force the target to make a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency). If it fails the saving throw, it is stunned until the start of your next turn.
Starting at 18th level you gain the ability to evade certain death through sheer force of will. When you are reduced to 0 hit points, you can spend 6 grit points to drop to 1 hit point instead.
At 20th level, you select two of your other abilities that require you to spend grit points. The cost of both of those abilities is reduced by 1 grit point, to a minimum of 0 grit points (in which case it makes those abilities free). In addition, when you perform a daring act, you now regain 2 grit points.
Beginning when you choose this gunslinger archetype at 3rd level, you gain the ability to make unerringly deadly shots. Once per turn, when you take the Attack action and attack with a firearm, you can spend 1 grit point to deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature hit by your attack. This damage increases to 2d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 10th level, and 6d6 at 14th level.
At 3rd level, you gain the ability to spend a bonus action lining up your shot to gain advantage on your next attack roll.
Starting at 6th level, you can ignore the loading property of firearms.
HE SHOT ME!
Starting at 10th level, when you hit a target with your Careful Marksman ability, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency) or lose their next bonus action.
THREADING THE NEEDLE
At 14th level, you gain the ability to line up your shots with an uncanny level of precision. Once per turn, when you take the Attack action and attack with a firearm, you can spend 1 grit point to attack all enemies in a line, out to the maximum range of the firearm. You still suffer disadvantage on attack rolls on any targets outside the firearm’s normal range, unless you also use your Deadeye ability.
FANNING THE HAMMERS
Beginning when you choose this gunslinger archetype at 3rd level, you gain the ability to spend 1 grit point to make two attacks with a firearm as a bonus action. At 6th level this increases to three attacks and, at 14th level, it increases to four attacks.
FISTS FULL OF FIRE
Starting at 3rd level, when you engage in two-weapon fighting with firearms, you can add your Dexterity modifier to the damage of the second attack.
FAST AS LIGHTNING
At 6th level, you gain the ability to ready and/or drop as many firearms as you are able to attack with in a round, so long as those firearms are within your reach, without spending an action. For example, a 10th level pistolero who has a maximum of six possible attacks in a round, with four pistols in a gun brace and two pistols in waist holsters, can ready and/or drop all six pistols in one round.
THE WEIGHT OF HOT LEAD
Starting at 10th level, when you hit a single target with one or more attacks with a firearm in a single round, the target must make a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency) or be knocked prone.
HAIL OF BULLETS
At 14th level, you gain the ability to fill a cone shaped area with hot lead. Once per turn, when you take the Attack action and attack with a firearm that has at least five shots left, or when you have firearms within reach that have a combine minimum of five shots, you cause all enemies within a cone the size of the shortest normal range of those firearms to make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency) or take damage as if hit by an attack with the most damaging firearm used to make this attack, or half that amount on a successful save. For example, if a pistolero had a coat pistol in one hand and a repeating pistol in the other, the cone created by this ability would be 15 feet long (the normal range of the coat pistol) and damage taken on a failed saving throw would be 1d10 piercing (the damage of the repeating pistol).
When you select this gunslinger archetype at 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast spells. See chapter 10 of the Player’s Handbook for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 of the Player’s Handbook for the wizard spell list.
Cantrips. You learn two cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list. You learn an additional wizard cantrip of your choice at 10th level.
Spell Slots. The Spellslinger Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
For example, if you know the 1st-level spell shield and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast shield using either slot.
|Level||Cantrips Known||Spells Known||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
Spells Known of 1st level and Higher. You know three 1st-level wizard spells of your choice, two of which you must choose from the evocation and illusion spells on the wizard spell list.
The Spells Known column of the Spellslinger Spellcasting table shows when you learn more wizard spells of 1st level or higher. Each of these spells must be an evocation or illusion spell of your choice, and must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 7th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st level or 2nd level.
The spells you learn at 8th, 14th, and 20th level can come from any school of magic.
Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the wizard spells you know with another spell of your choice from the wizard spell list. The new spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots, and it must be an evocation or illusion spell, unless you’re replacing the spell you gained at 8th, 14th, or 20th level.
Spellcasting Ability. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your spellslinger spells, since you learn your spells through force of personality. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a spellslinger spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
At 3rd level, you learn a ritual that creates a magical bond between yourself and one firearm. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. The weapon must be within your reach throughout the ritual, at the conclusion of which you touch the firearm and forge the bond.
Once you have bonded a weapon to yourself, you can’t be disarmed of that firearm unless you are incapacitated. If it is on the same plane of existence, you can summon that firearm as a bonus action on your turn, causing it to teleport instantly to your hand.
You can have up to two bonded firearms, but can summon only one at a time with your bonus action. If you attempt to bond with a third firearm, you must break the bond with one of the other two.
Starting at 6th level, you gain the ability to infuse your firearms attacks with magical power. Once per turn, you can spend 1 grit point to make an arcane shot attack when you make an attack roll with a firearm. If you hit with the attack, the target is also affected as if hit by one of the cantrips you know. If this attack is a critical hit, roll all the dice twice and add them all together. For example, a 5th level spellslinger that knows the ray of frost cantrip could use this ability to cause a target hit by an attack with a firearm to also take 2d8 cold damage and have its speed reduced by 10 feet until the start of the spellslinger’s next turn.
At 10th level, you can use this ability with your spells as well as your cantrips. If the spell has an area effect, such as a cone or sphere, the spell effect originates at the target. For instance, if a spellslinger uses this ability to cast the burning hands spell, the spell affects a 15 foot cone that spreads out from, and includes, the target.
At 14th level, you gain the ability to spend 1 grit point as a reaction when you are hit by an attack to teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see and you do not suffer damage or other effects from the triggering attack.
For characters who wish to multiclass as a gunslinger, the minimum ability score to do so is Dexterity 13.
Further, when you multiclass into the gunslinger class you gain proficiency in firearms and gunsmith’s kits.
Multiclass gunslingers with the Spellslinger feature add one third of their levels (rounded down) when calculating their available spell slots.
FIREARMS RULES FOR 5TH EDITION DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
Since 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons does not include firearms in the Player’s Handbook, I figured it would be best to include some rules for them with this class (after all, how can you have a gunslinger without guns?).
The Dungeon Master’s Guide includes suggestions for Dungeon Masters as to how characters can gain proficiency in firearms. For myself, in campaigns that include the Gunslinger, I will likely say that only Gunslingers start with proficiency in Firearms, though other characters can gain proficiency through the selection of Feats, multiclassing into the gunslinger class, or training in their downtime.
That said, it is worth noting that the firearms with the scatter property (the blunderbuss, the dragon pistol, and the hand cannon) don’t rely on your proficiency or ability bonuses to be effective, so they’d be equally useful to those trained in firearms as they would to those who have never picked one up before.
Unless stated otherwise, Firearms are treated as ranged weapon attacks and are subject to all the rules that apply to such attacks (for instance, they use Dexterity for attack and damage rolls, they suffer disadvantage on ranged attack rolls while in close combat, and they are subject to the Monk’s Deflect Missiles ability).
FIREARMS TWO-WEAPON FIGHTING (OPTIONAL RULE)
When you take the Attack action and attack with a firearm that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different firearm that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative. You cannot combine Firearms Two-Weapon Fighting with other forms of Two-Weapon Fighting.
- You ignore the loading property of firearms with which you are proficient.
- Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls.
- When you use the Attack action and attack with a one-handed weapon (such as the Gunslinger class’ Pistol Whip ability), you can use a bonus action to attack with a loaded firearm you are holding (note that this can be the same weapon).
FIREARMS WEAPONS AND GEAR
Firearms use special ammunition, and some of them have the cannon, misfire, reload, or scatter properties.
Ammunition. The ammunition of a firearm is destroyed upon use. Most firearms use bullets.
Cannon. A weapon that has the cannon property is designed to be fired only when braced on a bipod, gun carriage, or a hard, stationary surface, such as a low wall. A character must use an action or a bonus action (the character’s choice) to brace the weapon. If the character moves after bracing the weapon, the weapon is no longer considered to be braced (though see the rules for the gun carriage below). If the character fires a weapon with the cannon property that is not braced, he must make a DC 15 Strength saving throw or suffer disadvantage on the attack roll and be knocked prone. Weapons with the cannon property use cannon shots, instead of bullets.
Misfire. A weapon that has the misfire property becomes jammed when you roll a natural 1 on the attack roll. Until the jam is cleared, by spending an action or bonus action to use a Gunsmithing Kit to make a DC 10 Intelligence ability check, attacks with the weapon are made at disadvantage. If you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll with a jammed weapon, the weapon explodes , dealing its damage to the wielder and destroying the weapon.
Reload. A limited number of shots can be made with a weapon that has the reload property. A character must then reload it using an action or a bonus action (the character’s choice).
Scatter. A weapon with the scatter property potentially deals damage to all creatures within a cone equal to the indicated length. All creatures within the cone must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take the weapon’s normal damage. Weapons with the scatter property can use normal ammunition, as opposed to scatter ammunition, in which case they are treated as a normal weapon attack against a single target.
|Firearms Ranged Weapons|
|Blunderbuss||500 gp||1d10 piercing||8 lb.||Ammunition (range 15/45), heavy, loading, misfire, scatter 15 ft., two-handed|
|Cannon Shield||750 gp||1d12 piercing||15 lb.||Ammunition (range 15/45), heavy, loading, misfire, special|
|Carbine||400 gp||1d8 piercing||6 lb.||Ammunition (range 40/120), loading, misfire, versatile (1d10 piercing)|
|Coat Pistol||200 gp||1d6 piercing||1 lb.||Ammunition (range 15/45), loading, misfire, special|
|Double-barreled Pistol||425 gp||1d10 piercing||5 lb.||Ammunition (range 30/90), misfire, reload (2 shots)|
|Double-barreled Rifle||800 gp||1d12 piercing||12 lb.||Ammunition (range 40/120), heavy, misfire, reload (2 shots), two-handed|
|Double Hackbut||1000 gp||2d12 piercing||20 lb.||Ammunition (range 50/150), cannon, heavy, misfire, reload (2 shots), two-handed|
|Dragon Pistol||250 gp||1d8 piercing||3 lb.||Ammunition (range 15/45), heavy, loading, misfire, scatter 15 ft.|
|Hand Cannon||1000 gp||2d10||40 lb.||Ammunition (range 30/90), cannon, heavy, loading, misfire, scatter 30 ft., two-handed|
|Pepperbox||750 gp||1d10 piercing||5 lb.||Ammunition (range 30/90), misfire, reload (4 shots)|
|Pepperbox Rifle||1500 gp||1d12 piercing||12 lb.||Ammunition (range 40/120), heavy, misfire, reload (4 shots), two-handed|
|Pistol||250 gp||1d10 piercing||3 lb.||Ammunition (range 30/90), loading, misfire|
|Repeating Carbine||2000 gp||1d8 piercing||6 lb.||Ammunition (range 40/120), misfire, reload (5 shots), versatile (1d10 piercing)|
|Repeating Pistol||1250 gp||1d10 piercing||3 lb.||Ammunition (range 30/90), misfire, reload (5 shots)|
|Repeating Rifle||2500 gp||1d12 piercing||10 lb.||Ammunition (range 40/120), heavy, misfire, reload (5 shots), two-handed|
|Rifle||500 gp||1d12 piercing||10 lb.||Ammunition (range 40/120), heavy, loading, misfire, two-handed|
|Slug Gun||1000 gp||2d10 piercing||20 lb.||Ammunition (range 25), cannon, heavy, loading, misfire, special|
|Bomb||150 gp||–||1 lb.||–|
|Bullets (10)||3 gp||–||2 lb.||–|
|Cannon Shots (10)||100 gp||–||20 lb.||–|
|Dragon’s Breath Shots (10)||150 gp||–||2 lb.||–|
|Entangling Shots (10)||150 gp||–||2 lb.||–|
|Flare Shots (10)||150 gp||–||2 lb.||–|
|Frost Shots (10)||150 gp||–||2 lb.||–|
|Gunpowder, keg||250 gp||–||20 lb.||–|
|Gunpowder, powder horn||35 gp||–||2 lb.||–|
|Salt Shots (10)||6 gp||–||2 lb.||–|
|Scatter Rounds (10)||3 gp||–||2 lb.|
Cannon Shield. The cannon shield also grants +2 to Armor Class.
Coat Pistol. The coat pistol grants advantage on any Sleight of Hand or Stealth rolls made to conceal the weapon.
Slug Gun. The slug gun has a maximum effective range of 25 feet. It cannot be used to hit targets past its normal range.
Bomb. As an action, a character can light this bomb and throw it at a point up to 60 feet away. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 fire damage.
Dragon’s Breath Shots. These alchemical rounds can only be used in a weapon with the scatter property. They function as scatter rounds, affecting all creatures in a cone with a size equal to the weapon’s scatter, but instead of weapon damage, all creatures within the cone must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take the 2d6 fire damage and half on a successful save.
Entangling Shots. These alchemical rounds can only be used in a weapon with the scatter property. They function as scatter rounds, affecting all creatures in a cone with a size equal to the weapon’s scatter, but instead of weapon damage, all creatures within the cone must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be restrained and take half weapon damage.
Flare Shots. These alchemical rounds can be used in any firearm. A creature hit by a flare shot takes half weapon damage and must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be blinded until the start of the attacker’s next turn. These shots can also be used as signal flares.
Frost Shots. These alchemical rounds can only be used in a weapon with the scatter property. They function as scatter rounds, affecting all creatures in a cone with a size equal to the weapon’s scatter, but instead of weapon damage, all creatures within the cone must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take the 1d6 cold damage and have their speed reduced by 10 feet until the start of the attacker’s next turn. On a successful save the targets in the cone take half damage and their speed is unaffected.
Gunpowder, keg. Setting fire to a keg of gunpowder can cause it to explode, dealing 7d6 fire damage to creatures within 10 feet of it. A successful DC 12 Dexterity saving throw halves the damage. Setting fire to an ounce of gunpowder causes it to flare for 1 round, shedding bright light in a 30 foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet.
Gunpowder, horn. Setting fire to a horn of gunpowder can cause it to explode, dealing 3d6 fire damage to creatures within 10 feet of it. A successful DC 12 Dexterity saving throw halves the damage.
Salt Shots. These alchemical rounds can only be used in a weapon with the scatter property. This weapon does normal weapon damage, but, if you reduce a creature to 0 hit points, it is knocked out, rather than dying.
Scatter Rounds. These rounds are used in weapons with the scatter property.
Ammo Bandolier. This simple leather cross-belt features twelve leather loops suitable for holding bullets or cannon shots, enabling easy access to them. A character can wear up to two bandoliers or braces. Cost: 5 gp, Weight 1 lb.
Bipod: A bipod can be attached to any firearm with the two-handed or versatile property by using a Gunsmith’s Kit and making a DC 10 Intelligence ability check. As an action or a bonus action (the character’s choice), a character can set up the bipod so that the attached weapon counts as being braced until the weapon is moved. In addition, once a weapon is braced, a character can use a bonus action to gain advantage on their next attack roll with that weapon. Cost: 50 gp, Weight 5 lb.
Grenadier’s Bandolier. This heavy leather cross-body belt can hold up to six bombs and a character can wear up to two bandoliers or braces. Cost: 5 gp, Weight: 1 lb.
Gun Brace. This is effectively a heavy leather bandolier for pistols. A gun brace has enough sleeves to hold up to four pistols (including repeating pistols) and a character can wear up to bandoliers or braces. Cost: 5 gp, Weight: 1 lb.
Gun Carriage. This light, wheeled carriage uses a pair of struts to brace a weapon with the cannon property. As an action, a character can attach the gun carriage to a weapon with the cannon property. Until the gun carriage is detached as an action, the weapon counts as being braced. However, while the gun carriage is attached and the character is carrying the attached weapon, the character moves at half his normal speed and cannot move through difficult terrain. Cost: 100 gp, Weight: 40 lb.
Gunsmith’s Kit. A gunsmith’s kit contains all the tools needed to construct bullets, cannon shots, and firearms. Proficiency with this kit lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make to create or repair and such items (including clearing jams on firearms that have misfired). Cost: 50 gp, Weight: 6 lb.
Holster. This leather container is used to protect a firearm from the elements. It can be worn on the belt or across the back. Cost: 5 gp, Weight: 1 lb.
Wrist-Spring Holster. These holsters are leather bracers fitted with a spring-arm mechanism that holds a dagger or coat pistol in place and can project it immediately into the wearer’s hand when triggered. This allows the wearer to draw the weapon without spending any actions on their turn. The nature of this device enables it to be easily concealed beneath a loose, billowy sleeve, and grants advantage on Sleight of Hand and Stealth checks related to concealing the holstered weapons. Cost: 50 gp, Weight: 1 lb
DUNGEON MUSER’S NOTES
One of the biggest challenges with this particular conversion was that I wasn’t just converting a class over to 5E, I also had to come up with a set of rules for using firearms in 5E. It is true that the Dungeon Master’s Guide provides some examples and advice as to how to incorporate firearms into the 5th Edition game, but that discussion is quite short and really just provides a starting point for DMs to come up with firearms for their own campaigns. That said, the brief discussion of firearms in the DMG provided an excellent starting point for my own conversions.
One of the things I decided to jettison in the course of the conversion was Pathfinder’s approach to firearms as targeting the “touch” AC of the target. 5E doesn’t bother with the variety of AC ratings that Pathfinder does (normal, touch, flat-footed) and I didn’t want to introduce a new mechanic just to maintain the Pathfinder approach to firearms and the Gunslinger.
I should also note that, for much of this conversion, I drew a lot of inspiration from the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game. In particular, I snagged several ideas for equipment and new guns from the IK RPG.
Keen observers will also notice that I have added a couple unique weapons to the list of firearms weapons that don’t appear in either the Pathfinder or IK RPGs. These are the carbine and repeating carbine.
One bone of contention I’ve had with the IK RPG is that some of the larger guns can’t be used by small-sized creatures (like Gobbers, the setting’s goblins).
For the conversion, I decided to both keep the notion that some weapons are just too big for small creatures to use effectively. However, by using the versatile property from the Player’s Handbook, I included guns that can be used as a kind of rifle by small sized characters.
For the purpose of these conversions, I decided to just call the default two-handed gun a rifle, rather than a musket. I realize that there are a meaningful differences between a musket and a rifle in real life, but I don’t think those differences matter for the purpose of the game.
Finally, for the archetypes available to the Gunslinger, I decided to go with the three of the broadest concepts I could: a rifleman, a pistoleer, and a gun mage.
In an earlier draft, I included more restrictions for the musketeer and pistolero archetypes, making their abilities only work with two-handed and one-hand firearms, respectively.
However, in the end, I decided it wasn’t right to tell people how to play their characters so I removed those restrictions. If someone wants to play a rifle-wielding gunslinger who shoots with blazing speed or a pistol packing hero who makes careful, deadly shots, they can with these rules.
With some creative renaming, you could use the rules for the Gunslinger to represent a trick shooting archer or crossbow sharpshooter. In particular, the pistolero archetype could easily represent a hand crossbow wielding sharpshooter, though you may wish to use the stats for repeating pistols listed above to stand in for a repeating hand crossbow with the misfire property dropped.
TAKE AIM WITH A GUNSLINGER OF YOUR OWN
Moreso than any of the other classes in Pathfinder, I have been looking forward to working up a 5th Edition D&D version of the Gunslinger.
I am a huge fan of Spaghetti Westerns and Arthouse Action films, and I love bringing elements of those genres to my games (sweeping vistas and textured urban sprawl; a cast of broad and memorable sterotypes; wild and frenetic set-pieces; and, most importantly, chaotic, stunt-filled running shootouts that leave the players questioning how they lived through it, at the end).
The Iron Kingdoms RPG represents, to me, the best effort to date by a fantasy roleplaying game to incorporate guns in a fast and fun-playing way.
I am hopeful that these rules, built on the elegant but sturdy foundation of the 5E rules, will be even better, though I suppose there’s only one way to find out…so, if you need me, I’ll be behind my DM’s Screen.
Until next time, I remain;
- THE DUNGEON MUSER