Gunslinger, Historical Variant (5e Class)

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Thunder rings across the battlefield. Held in the hand of a charming or gritty adventurer, the firearm can be a new invention years ahead of its time or the product of a recent surge in technology. Gunslingers can be a select few or commonplace, and can come from all walks of life.

This class was created as a hybrid of various gunslinger class ideas including the official Gunslinger 5e Class, Pathfinder's Gunslinger Class, and other classes found on the internet.

The Peace keeper archetype is/was based on a feature from the Pathfinder Inquisitor class

Gun crafting in the Historical Variant is based on the evolution of gun technology. [1]

Creating a Gunslinger[edit]

The first thing you should do is discuss the origin of firearms with your DM. Are they common or a recent invention? Is your character the inventor, and if so what would drive an inventor to become an adventurer?

Quick Build[edit]

You can make a gunslinger quickly by following these suggestions:

First, put your highest ability score in Dexterity, followed by Charisma. Second, choose the Folk Hero background. Other good backgounds that may better fit the setting or way your gunslinger will play is charlatan, criminal, hermit, outlander, or soldier.

Class Features

As a Gunslinger you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Gunslinger level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Gunslinger level after 1st


Armor: Light armor, Medium armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, Firearms
Tools: Tinker's tools, Two gaming sets
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
Skills: Choose three


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

  • A Hand Cannon
  • Bullets (60): 100gp 1 lb.
  • A Duster: 5gp 2lb.
  • (a) A shortsword or (b) Two daggers
  • (a) Leather armor or (b) Scale Mail
  • (a) A Dungeoneer's Pack or (b) an Explorer's Pack

Table: The Gunslinger

Level Proficiency
1st +2 Gunsmith, Grit, Deeds, Gunslinger Archetype, Archetype Grit Regain
2nd +2 Defensive Cover, Arcane Infused Weaponry
3rd +2 Fireback, Archetype Feature
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 Extra Shots, Focused Aim, Improved Grit I
6th +3 Archetype Feature
7th +3 Deadshot, Evasion
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Special Ammunition Upgrade
9th +4 Clipping Shot
10th +4 Fast Reload
11th +4 Extra Shots, Archetype Feature
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 Cheat Death
14th +5 Special Ammunition Upgrade
15th +5 Improved Grit II
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 Archetype Feature
18th +6 Death Shot
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 Extra Shots


Your ability to craft more advanced weapons improves as you level up.

At the 1st level, you may craft Hand Cannons.

At the 4th level, you may craft Matchlock/Wheel Lock/Flintlock Firearms.

At the 15th level, you may craft Cartridge Firearms.

At the 19th level, you may craft Repeating Firearms.

Level to craft Name Cost Ammo Damage Weight Range Properties
1 Hand Cannon 50g 2g (20) 1d8 Piercing 10 lb. (30/60) Two-handed, reload 1, misfire 1
4 Pistol 100g 4g (20) 1d10 Piercing 1 lb. (60/240) Light, reload 1, misfire 3
4 Musket 200g 5g (20) 1d12 Piercing 10 lb. (90/360) Two-handed, reload 1, misfire 3
10 Carbine 200g 5g (20) 1d12 Piercing 5 lb. (90/360) Light, reload 1, misfire 3
10 Rifle 300g 5g (20) 3d4 Piercing 10 lb. (120/480) Two-handed, reload 1, misfire 3
10 Bayonet 2g - 1d4 Piercing 1 lb. - Light, Melee
15 Revolver 250gp 8g (20) 2d8 Piercing 5 lb. (60/300) Light, reload 6, misfire 2
15 Blunderbuss 400g 10g (20) 2d10 Piercing 10 lb. (30/60) Two-handed, reload 1, misfire 2
19 Double-Action Revolver 300gp 8g (20) 2d8 Piercing 5 lb. (60/300) Light, reload 6, misfire 2
19 Shotgun 500gp 10g (20) 2d10 Piercing 15 lb. (30/60) Two-handed, reload 2, misfire 2

Bayonet can be mounted on the Rifle or used independently.

All guns can be used as a club, but every firearm except the Hand Cannon has a 50% chance of breaking.


Firearm Properties

Firearms are a new and volatile technology, and as such bring their own unique set of weapon properties.

Reload. The weapon can be fired a number of times equal to its Reload score before you must spend 1 attack or 1 action to reload. You must have one free hand to reload a firearm.

Misfire. Whenever you make an attack roll with a firearm, and the dice roll is equal to or lower than the weapon’s Misfire score, the weapon misfires. The attack misses, and the weapon cannot be used again until you spend an action to try and repair it. To repair your firearm, you must make a successful Tinker’s Tools check (DC equal to 8 + misfire score). If your check fails, the weapon is broken and must be mended out of combat at a quarter of the cost of the firearm. Creatures who use a firearm without being proficient increase the weapon’s misfire score by 1.

All firearms require ammunition to make an attack, and due to their rare nature, ammunition may be near impossible to find or purchase. However, if materials are gathered, you can craft ammunition yourself using your Tinker’s Tools at half the cost. Each firearm uses its own unique ammunition and is generally sold or crafted in batches listed below next to the price.

Crafting Firearms: You can craft a firearm for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the firearm. Crafting a firearm in this way takes 1 day of work for every 100 gp of the firearm’s total price.

Crafting Ammunition: You can craft bullets and pellets for a cost in raw materials equal to 10% of the price. Crafting bullets takes 1 day of work for every 50 gp of ammunition.


At the 1st level, a Gunslinger has a number of Grit points equal to their Charisma Modifier (minimum 1). The number of Grit points the Gunslinger has can never exceed their Charisma Modifier. The Gunslinger can regain Grit points in the following ways:

  • Completing a short or long rest: Upon completion or a short or long rest, the Gunslinger regains all spent Grit points.
  • Critical Hit with a Firearm: Each time the Gunslinger scores a Critical Hit with a Firearm attack, they regain 1 Grit point.
  • Killing Blow with a Firearm: When the Gunslinger reduces a creature to 0 or fewer hit points with a Firearm attack, they regain 1 Grit point.
  • Gunslinger’s Charm: When the Gunslinger succeeds on any Charisma check on another person, they regain 1 Grit point.
  • Archetype Grit Regain: See your Archetype Grit Regain for description.

Trick shots[edit]

You learn two trick shots of your choice, which are detailed below. Many maneuvers enhance an attack in some way. Each use of a trick shot must be declared before the attack roll is made. You can use only one trick shot per attack.

You learn an additional trick shot of your choice at 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th level. Each time you learn a new trick shot, you can also replace one trick shot you know with a different one.

Gained at the 1st level, Gunslingers use Grit points to perform trick shots. Some trick shots are instant bonuses or attacks, while others are bonuses that can last for a period of time. Some trick shots last as long as the Gunslinger has 1 Grit Point.

Quick Draw: You can spend 1 Grit point to be 1st in initiative order and take your turn as normal if you were surprised.

Sniper's Mark: You spend 1 Grit point and, as a bonus action, mark a creature that you can an see. You have advantage on all attack rolls with firearms against that creature.

  • This lasts for 1 minute or until the creature has 0 hit points, when the creature reaches 0 hit points you may use your bonus action on your next turn to move the mark to another creature until 1 minute is up.
  • This ability gives you an additional 1D6 damage against the marked creature

Gunslinger’s Dodge: The Gunslinger gains an uncanny knack for avoiding danger. When an attack is made against the Gunslinger, they can spend 1 Grit point and their reaction to gain a +2 to AC against the attack.

Targeting Shot: You can spend a Grit point to target a specific location when you make a ranged attack against a humanoid. If the attack misses, the Grit point is still lost. If the Gunslinger has multiple attacks for their Attack action, they can make multiple Targeted shots for 1 Grit point each.

  • Head – On a hit, the target takes normal damage, and has disadvantage on attacks for 1 round.
  • Torso – On a hit, the target takes normal damage and is pushed back 10 ft.
  • Arms – On a hit, the target takes normal damage and the foe drops 1 item of the Gunslinger’s choice.
  • Legs – On a hit, the target takes normal damage, and must make a Constitution Saving Throw.

(DC = 5 + Damage Dealt) or is knocked prone.

  • Wings – On a hit, the target takes normal damage, and must make a Constitution Saving Throw.

(DC = 5 + Damage dealt) or plummet 20 ft.

Utility Shot: If the gunslinger has at least 1 grit point, he can perform all of the following utility shots. Each utility shot can be applied to any single attack with a firearm, but the gunslinger must declare the utility shot he is using before firing the shot.

  • Blast Lock: The gunslinger makes an attack roll against a lock within range. A lock's AC is decided by the DM. You deal double damage when you hit the lock with a firearm shot.
  • Shoot Unattended Object: The gunslinger makes an attack roll against a Tiny or smaller unattended object within the first range increment of her firearm. The AC of the object is determined by the DM.
As a recommendation, a Tiny unattended object has an AC of 5, a Diminutive unattended object has an AC of 7, and a Fine unattended object has an AC of 11.

Bonus Shot: You can spend 1 Grit Point to fire an extra shot from a firearm as a bonus action.

Dash: You can spend 1 Grit point to make a Dash.

Defensive Cover[edit]

At the 2nd level, you can take cover behind any nearby object or take the Dodge action as a bonus action.

Special Ammunition[edit]

Discuss with your DM what requirements are needed to craft magic bullets.

At the 2nd level, you gain the ability to craft special ammunition worth 1d4 of the desired damage type. At 8th level this is upgraded to 1d6, and at 14th level this is upgraded to 1d8.

Arcane Infused Weaponry[edit]

Discuss with your DM what requirements are needed to craft magical weapons.

At the 2nd level, your firearms deal additional weapon damage equal to half your Wisdom modifier rounded up (minimum of +1), and are considered magical for purposes of overcoming resistance.


At the 3rd level, if an enemy misses you with a ranged attack, you can use your reaction to fire a shot back at it.

Ability Score Increase[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of you 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.

Extra Shots[edit]

At the 5th level, you are able to fire two shots as an action. This increases to a total of three shots at the 11th level and four at the 20th level.

Focused Aim[edit]

At the 5th level, you can spend 1 grit point and not move this round to gain a bonus on all firearm attack rolls equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum 1) with all firearm attacks until the end of the turn.

Improved Grit[edit]

At the 5th level, your number of Grit points is now equal to twice your Charisma Modifier. At the 15th level, your number of Grit points is now equal to three times your Charisma Modifier.


Focusing their skill on making one important shot the gunslinger unleashes a single, deadly shot with a firearm. At the 6th level, you learn to take the Deadshot action. To do so, spend 1 or more Grit points and make a ranged attack roll. You gain a +1 bonus to the attack roll each Grit point spent. If the attack hits, it deals damage normally, with an additional dice of weapon damage per grit point spent. If the attack missed, Grit points are still expended. (ex: 3 Grit points = +3 to hit, +3d[firearm damage dice])


At the 7th level, 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.

Clipping Shot[edit]

At 9th level, your uncanny prowess with firearms knows no limits, you can spend 1 Grit point and make an attack with a firearm against a creature, any one creature within 5ft of your target must succeed a Dexterity Saving Throw (DC 10 + damage dealt) and on a failure that creature takes the damage dealt to your target, and half as much on a success.

Combat Roll[edit]

At the 10th level, as a bonus action you can roll 10 feet, ignoring any opportunity attacks that could occur and difficult terrain.

Fast Reload[edit]

Also at the 10th level, you can reload any firearm as a bonus action.

Cheat Death[edit]

At the 13th level, whenever the Gunslinger is reduced to 0 hit points or lower, the Gunslinger can immediately spend all remaining Grit points to instead be reduced to 1 hit point. This cannot be used if your hit points were 1 before you took the damage.

Death's Shot[edit]

At the 19th level, when the gunslinger scores a critical hit against a creature with less than 100 HP, you can spend 1 grit point to deal normal damage, and the target must succeed at a Constitution saving throw (DC 5 + damage dealt). On a failed saving throw, the target dies. This is a death attack. Performing this deed does not allow the gunslinger to regain grit from confirming a critical hit or making a killing blow.

Peacekeeper Archetype[edit]

When you choose this archetype at the 1st level, you may have your shots that would be lethal render the target unconscious instead.

Bonus Proficiency[edit]

When you choose this archetype, you gain proficiency with Manacles.

Weight: 1 lb. Cost: 1 gp. DC to break free: 20. DC to pick lock: 15.

Archetype Grit Regain[edit]

When you capture a target you may gain a grit point.


At the 3rd level, Peacekeepers are able to pronounce judgment upon their foes. At the 1st level, as an action choose a judgment to make and the Peacekeeper receives a bonus or special ability based on the type of judgment. At first, a Peacekeeper can use this ability once per Long Rest. With each archetype increase the Peacekeeper gains an additional use. Once activated, this ability lasts until the combat ends, at which point all of the bonuses immediately end. If the Peacekeeper becomes paralyzed, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated, the ability does not end, but the bonuses do not resume until they can participate in the combat again. When the Peacekeeper uses this ability, select one type of judgment to make. As an action, they can change this judgment to another type.

Destruction: The Peacekeeper is filled with great wrath, gaining a +1 bonus on all weapon damage rolls.

Healing: The Peacekeeper is surrounded by a healing light, gaining fast healing 1. This causes the Peacekeeper to heal 1 point of damage each round as long as the Peacekeeper is alive and the judgment lasts.

Justice: This judgment spurs the Peacekeeper to seek justice, granting a +1 bonus on all attack rolls.

Protection: The Peacekeeper is surrounded by a protective aura, granting a +1 bonus to Armor Class.

Purity: The Peacekeeper is protected from the vile taint of their foes, gaining a +1 bonus on all saving throws.

Resistance: The Peacekeeper is shielded by a flickering aura, gaining 2 points of resistance against one damage type chosen when the judgment is declared.

Smiting: This judgment bathes the Peacekeeper’s weapons in a holy light. The Peacekeeper’s weapons deal an additional hit dice equal to the weapons hit dice.

Shared Judgement[edit]

At the 6th level, the benefits from a Judgement may now also affect a numbers of allies up your Charisma modifier within 30 feet.


At the 11th level, a Peacekeeper may now have 2 Judgements active at the same time.

Final Decree[edit]

At 17th level, Judgements are now restored after a Short Rest instead of a Long Rest.

Desperado Archetype[edit]

When you choose this archetype at the 1st level, you gain the Threatening Shot Deed.

Threatening Shot: As long as you have one unspent grit point you can shoot into the air in an attempt to Intimidate others as an action. Enemies within 40ft, who can hear must make a Wisdom save DC= 8 + your proficiency + your charisma modifier. On a failed save, they are frightened of you for a minute.

Bonus Proficiency[edit]

When you choose this archetype, you gain proficiency in Intimidation.

Archetype Grit Regain[edit]

When you successfully intimidate or steal you may gain a grit point.

Cheap Shot[edit]

At the 3rd level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe's distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if they are 10ft away from an ally. The attack must use a firearm.

At the 6th level, the bonus damage of Cheap Shot becomes 2d6.
At the 11th level, the bonus damage of Cheap Shot becomes 4d6.
At the 17th level, the bonus damage of Cheap Shot becomes 6d6.

Criminal Tongue[edit]

Thieves' Cant. At the 6th level with your desperado lifestyle you have picked up thieves' cant, a secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows you to hide messages in seemingly normal conversation. Only another creature that knows thieves' cant understands such messages. It takes four times longer to convey such a message than it does to speak the same idea plainly.

In addition, you understand a set of secret signs and symbols used to convey short, simple messages, such as whether an area is dangerous or the territory of a thieves' guild, whether loot is nearby, or whether the people in an area are easy marks or will provide a safe house for thieves on the run.

Criminal Eye[edit]

At the 11th level, you have learned to appraise the value of objects with a single glance. As a bonus action you can take note of an object and the DM will tell you how much you will be able to sell it for. You can also use a bonus action to figure out which object you can see is the most valuable.

Forever on the Run[edit]

At the 17th level, you have learned exactly how to give the law the slip in a chase, whether ducking into an alleyway or weaving through a crowd. You can't be tracked by nonmagical means, unless you choose to leave a trail and will almost always manage to escape when in a chase.

Additionally your criminal lifestyle has led you to improved haggling skills. When fencing stolen goods you should get a 50% to 100% increase in the price you sell it for.

Optional Class features:[edit]


At the 2nd level, you can spend an hour of down time keeping your weapons maintained to gain an advantage on misfire rolls for the next 24 hours.

Daring Act[edit]

The following method for regaining grit points requires a measure of DM's judgment, so it is an optional rule.

Daring Act: Each time a gunslinger performs a daring act, they can regain grit. 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 attempting a daring act, the player should ask the DM whether the act qualifies. The DM is the final arbiter of what's considered a daring act, and can grant a regained grit point for a daring act even if the player does not ask beforehand whether the act qualifies.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into this Gunslinger class, you must meet these prerequisites: Dexterity 14 and Charisma 12.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into this Gunslinger class, you gain the following proficiencies: Light armor, Medium armor, Firearms, Tinker's tools, and one of the class's skills (Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Perception, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth).

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