Religious Smithing, Ray Gunslingers, and Robot Magic – Technological Class Options for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons


Since high technology and super-science plays such a significant role in the Iron Gods, I felt it was important to convert some of the unique technology-related class options that are found in the Pathfinder RPG for use in my 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons conversion.

As with the Gunslinger class, and firearms in general, these options may not be appropriate for all campaigns (particularly those without a technological presence). However, they should provide some tech-heavy options for PCs in the Iron Gods campaign that’ll let them bask in the high technology vibe that suffuses that adventure path.

But enough talk, let’s get to the tech options!


This domain functions the same as the divine domains listed on pages 59 to 63 of the Player’s Handbook.

Cleric Level Spells
1 shield, unseen servant
3 heat metal, magic weapon
5 elemental weapon, meld into stone
7 fabricate, stone shape
9 animate objects, creation

At 1st level, you gain the mending cantrip, which doesn’t count towards your total number of cantrips known.

When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor.

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to project an aura that shields you and your allies from harm. When you activate this ability with a bonus action, you and all allies within 30 feet of you gain resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons until the start of your next turn.

At 6th level, you can use your Channel Divinity to cast the spiritual weapon spell.

At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with destructive power. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 thunder to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Starting at 17th level, you can cast the wall of stone spell at will as an action.

This Gunslinger archetype functions the same as the archetypes found in the description of the Gunslinger class found here.

Note that many of this archetype’s abilities refer to rules for high technology items that can be found here.

Beginning when you choose this gunslinger archetype at 3rd level, you gain the ability to maximize the power of the shots you take with high technology firearms. Once per turn, when you take the Attack action and attack with a high technology firearm, you can spend 1 grit point and an extra charge to deal double damage to one creature hit by your attack. This damage increases to triple damage at 6th level, quadruple damage at 10th level, and quintuple damage at 14th level. This damage is doubled on a critical hit.

For example, a 12th level techslinger could spend 1 grit point and an extra charge when shooting with an inferno pistol to do 3d10 fire damage on a hit or 6d10 fire damage on a critical hit.

At 3rd level, you gain the ability to spend 1 grit point to use 1 charge fewer than normal when firing a high technology firearm.

Starting at 3rd level, you no longer need make any ability checks to understand high technology firearms. You automatically understand how to use any high technology firearms you find. This ability only applies to high technology firearms.

At 3rd level, you gain the ability to spend 1 grit point as a reaction to prevent a timeworn firearm from glitching.

Starting at 6th level, you can ignore detrimental glitches that are rolled when a timeworn firearm glitches. Instead, they are treated as if you had rolled no glitch.

At 14th level, you gain the ability to squeeze an extra shot out of a depleted high technology firearm. Once per turn, as a bonus action, you can spend 1 grit point to grant 2 temporary charges to a high technology firearm, even if that firearm normally cannot be recharged. This charge fades when you create a short rest or a long rest.

At 14th level, you gain the ability to use your Gunslinger abilities with high technology firearms with the Cannon, Support, and Artillery properties.

Prerequisites: Proficiency with Technologist and the ability to cast at least one spell.

Note that the abilities of this feat refer to rules for high technology items that are found here.

You mastered the art of blending magic and super-science and unlocked the secrets of technology from a lost age. You gain the following benefits:

  • You can spend 1 hour to recondition a piece of timeworn technology, after which the item no longer has a chance of glitching until you complete a long rest. You can perform this reconditioning while you complete a short or a long rest. At 5th level you can recondition two timeworn items in the same amount of time, at 11th level you can recondition three timeworn items, and at 17th level you can recondition four timeworn items.
  • You gain the ability to power technological items with your spell power and vice versa, as a bonus action, as set out on the table below. Once you use this ability you must complete a short rest or a long rest before using it again. For example, as a bonus action you could expend 5 charges from a battery to gain a 3rd level spell slot.
Spell Slot Level Charges
1st 2
2nd 3
3rd 5
4th 6
5th 7
  • Your spells that have charm effects can affect robots, ignoring their immunity to the charmed condition. Further, your conjure spells can now be used to conjure robots. For example, you could cast the dominate person spell on a gearsman robot or you could use the conjure elemental spell to summon a collector robot.

5th Edition D&D seems to have moved away from abilities and spells that have limited or specialized applicability (for example, spells that only work in certain environments or only target certain kinds of creatures), so I feel like these rules may represent a departure from some of the design aesthetics of D&D 5E.

That said, given that these rules are designed to be used in a campaign loaded with hi-tech items and foes, the limited nature of some of these abilities/options may not be as limited, in practice, as they seem at first glance.

With that bit of pre-emptive defence work out of the way, let’s talk about each of the options, in turn.

Of all the options presented above, the Artificer domain is the one most easily adapted for campaigns with a more traditional fantasy flavor. I patterned the domain abilities off the Artificer domain in the Pathfinder RPG and some of the divine options out of the Pathfinder supplement, Inner Sea Gods.

For the Techslinger, I tried to keep most of the abilities from the Pathfinder version of the Techslinger archetype introduced in the Pathfinder Technology Guide, but ended up adding several totally new abilities to balance it with the other Gunslinger archetypes. The 5E version of the Techslinger is too dependent on high technology to be appropriate for most fantasy campaigns (none of the abilities work without high technology guns), unless your DM is willing to keep you in particle guns and laser guns from 3rd level onward.

Finally, for the Technologist, I decided to go with an idea that I have been playing with for the past few months, which is to adapt Pathfinder Prestige Classes into one or more feats.  Feats in 5E are more substantive than those in previous editions of D&D, most often representing a bundle of related abilities, so they seem like an idea mechanism for replicating the kind of “niche” abilities that Prestige Classes represent.

The Technologist Feat’s abilities are mostly 5E versions of the key abilities from the Prestige Class, though I jettisoned the abilities that related to Pathfinder-specific crafting rules.

Moreso than any of the other 5E conversions I have done, or am likely to do, of the Iron Gods adventure path, these conversions are pretty difficult to reskin into other non-high technology versions, but if someone else has ideas as to how to do so, I’d be all ears.

While these options may not be appropriate for every 5th Edition D&D campaign, I think they would be great thematic additions to the Iron Gods adventure path, for both PCs and NPCs (how terrified would your players be when the Technic Leaguer they are fighting summons more robots for them to fight with her Technologist feat?).

To supplement these rules, I will be posting conversions of some of the spells from the Technology Guide in the coming weeks, but for now, I hope you enjoy the new abilities these options offer.

Until next time, I remain;

Religious Smithing, Ray Gunslingers, and Robot Magic – Technological Class Options for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

4 thoughts on “Religious Smithing, Ray Gunslingers, and Robot Magic – Technological Class Options for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s