Artificer, Gunslinger Variant (5e Class)

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A version of the Artificer class focused on the Thunder Cannon and magical items.

Arcane Gunsmith[edit]

Creating an Arcane Gunsmith[edit]

Quick Build

You can make an artificer quickly by following these suggestions. First, put your highest ability score in Intelligence, followed by Constitution or Dexterity. Second, choose the sharp shooter background.

Class Features

As a Gunsmith you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6 per Gunsmith level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + Constitution modifier per Gunsmith level after 1st


Armor: light, medium
Weapons: simple,martial weapons
Tools: Smith's Tools
Saving Throws: Constitution, Intelligence
Skills: Choose three from Arcana, Deception, History, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Religion, Sleight of Hand


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a handaxe and a light hammer or (b) any two simple weapons
  • a light crossbow and 20 bolts
  • (a) scale mail or (b) studded leather armor
  • one set of tools (your choice) and a dungeoneer’s pack

Table: The Gunsmith

Level Proficiency
Features Overcharge
1st +2 -
2nd +2 1d6
3rd +2 Gunsmith Specialization Feature 1d6
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 1d6
5th +3 Overcharge Improvement 3d6
6th +3 Handcannon Modifications 3d6
7th +3 Gunsmith Specialization Feature 3d6
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 3d6
9th +4 3d6
10th +4 Gunsmith Specialization Feature 3d6
11th +4 Overcharge Improvement 6d6
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 6d6
13th +5 6d6
14th +5 6d6
15th +5 Gunsmith Specialization Feature 6d6
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 6d6
17th +6 6d6
18th +6 Gunsmith Specialization Feature 6d6
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 6d6
20th +6 Overcharge Improvement 9d6


At 1st level, you gain proficiency expertise with the smith's tools, allowing you to add twice your proficiency bonus on checks with it. In addition you learn the mending cantrip. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for this spell.

In addition, you start with two creations: the Hand Cannon and the Arcane Magazine, shown below:

Hand Cannon

At 1st level, you forge a Hand Cannon, a fantastical creation that combines magic and engineering to create a ferocious weapon.

The Hand Cannon is a martial ranged weapon you are proficient with, it deals 2d6 piercing damage on a hit and have the following properties: ammunition (150/500) and two-handed. After attacking with the cannon, you must use your bonus action to reload it.

You are proficient with this weapon. If you ever lose your cannon, you can craft a new one over the course of 3 days of work, spending 100 gp worth of metal and other raw materials.

Arcane Magazine

At 1st level, you also craft a leather bag to carry your tools and ammunition for your thunder cannon. You can use the arcane magazine to produce ammunition. At the end of each long rest, you can produce 40 rounds of ammunition with this magazine. After each short rest, you can produce 10 rounds.

If you lose your magazine, you can craft another one as part of a long rest, using 25 gp of leather and other raw materials.

Blast Monger[edit]

Also at 1st level, you learn to channel destructive energy into your Hand Cannon. As an action, you can make a special attack with your Hand Cannon, dealing additional 1d6 piercing damage on a hit. The additional damage increases as you gain levels in this class, as shown on the Overcharge Column on the Gunsmith table.


At 2nd level, you can concentrate arcane energy into a single powerful shot. You make an attack roll, and on a hit, you deal twice the damage of your Hand Cannon. You can use this ability in the same action you use your Blast Monger feature.

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

When you reach 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Handcannon Modifications[edit]

At 6th level, and again at 10th and 14th levels, you can add special modifications to your Handcannon, enhancing its power. Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace a modification you had previously chosen for a new one.

Versatile Shoots[edit]

At 9th level, you learn how to shape the firing of your hand cannon in multiple ways. You learn one additional at 13th level. All versatile shots require an action. If a shot requires a saving throw, you must

The shots have a save DC of 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

Blast Wave

You fire your hand cannon in a cone, forcing all creatures in a 15-foot cone to make a Strength saving throw . On a failed save, the targets take damage equal to half your Overcharge damage dice.

Piercing Round

You fire your hand cannon hitting targets in a line of 5 feet wide and 30-foot long. All creatures in the area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw, or take damage equal to half your Overcharge damage dice.

Explosive Round[edit]

At 17th level, you can create a powerful explosive to be launched from your Hand Cannon. As an action, choose one point within your hand cannon's range. All creatures in a 30-foot radius of the chosen area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw against your Versatile Shot save DC, or take fire damage equal to half your Overcharge damage dice.


Arcane Turret

Starting at 3rd level, you can use your bonus action to animate your hand cannon, turning it into a magical turret and command it to move to a unoccupied space you can see in 15 feet of you. The turret is a magical construct of small or tiny size, and can be made of any materials of your choice.

Despite of your choice, your turret have an AC of 10 + your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus and 1 hit point. It is immune to psychic and poison damage, and to the stunned, charmed, frigthened, stunned and poisoned conditions. Your turret has a movement speed of 30 feet, and can climb at the same speed.

In each of your turns, you can use your bonus action to activate your turret. You can command it to move and take one of the following actions:

  • As a bonus action, if the turret is within 15 feet of you, you can cause it to protect one creature within 5 feet of it. Doing so grants a number of temporary hit points to all allied creatures within 5 feet of it equal to 1d4 + your Intelligence modifier, until the start of your next turn.
  • When you can use your action to attack with your handcannon from your turrets position. Your turret doesn't have disadvantage from attacking at point blank.
  • You can command the turret to attack without taking an action, once in each of your turns, a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier, regaining your uses after finishing a long rest.

Being reduced to 0 hit points doesn't destroy the handcannon, merely causing it to deactivate. If you are within 15 feet of it, you can activate it again, as a bonus action.

Thunder Maker[edit]

The thundermakers are the gunsmiths dedicated to the crafting and use of the powerful Thunder Cannon, a masterful arcane firearm capable of shooting lightning and thunder.

Storm Magic

At 3rd level, you learn how to use your thunder cannon even when without ammunition to generate some small magical effects. While you have the Thunder Cannon on your hand, you can cast lightning lure, thunder clap and shocking grasp cantrips. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these cantrips.

Thunder Cannon

At 3rd level, you build a thunder cannon, a version of the Hand Cannon capable of unleashing devastating soundwaves and powerful charges of electricity.

Whenever you cause damage with the thunder cannon, you can choose to deal lightning or thunder damage instead of the normal damage.

Charged Rounds

Also at 3rd level, over the course of a long or a short rest, you can prepare two special rounds, called charged rounds.

Electric Arc

Starting at 7th level, when you hit a creature with a lightning round, you can use your bonus action to cause the lightning to leap on the direction of a different target within range. On a hit, that creature takes 1d6 lighting damage.

Thunder Generator

Starting at 15th level, if you roll initiative and have no Charged Rounds charged, you regain one.

Handcannon Modifications List[edit]

Penetrating Rounds

When you hit a creature with your Handcannon, you ignore resistance to damage dealt by it. In addition, whenever you roll damage with it, you can treat any 1 on the damage die as a 2.

Arcane Scope

You have a scope on your handcannon. As an Action, you can give yourself advantage on your next attack with the handcannon. If your next attack is successful, your damage is a critical.

The scope also gives you advantage on all your Wisdom checks that rely on sight, while looking trough it, and grants you darkvision up to the handcannon range if you spend your action looking trough it.

In addition, the arcane scope has 1 charge, which you can use to cast hunter's mark. The arcane scope regains charges on the next dawn.


Whenever you recharge the rifle after attacking with it as an action, you can use your reaction to make one additional attack with it.

Light Materials

You can modify your Handcannon to allow you to wield it in only one hand. When you wield your hand cannon, is considered a weapon with the light property.

In addition, you can engage in two-weapon fighting with the hand cannons.


Your handcannon has a bonus of +1 on attacks and damage rolls. You can choose this modification up to three times, and the effects are cumulative.

Improved Precision

Your handcannon score critical hits on a roll of 19-20 on the d20.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Artificer class, you must meet these prerequisites: Intelligence 13

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Artificer class, you gain the following proficiencies: one skill from the Artificer skill list, one tool proficiency, light armor, medium armor, simple weapons

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