Gunslinger, Variant (5e Class)

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Thunder rings across the battlefield, it is not the sound most of the combatants are used to, but the sound of a firearm. 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 of technology. Gunslingers can be few or many in a world, and can come from all walks of life.

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

Special Ammunition SourceThe Peace keeper archetype is/was based on a feature from the Pathfinder Inquisitor class

Creating a Gunslinger

The first thing to determine when creating a gunslinger is the origin of firearms which would be discussed with your DM. Are they common or a recent invention? Is your character their inventor or the apprentice of the inventor? What is driving you to be an adventurer?

Quick Build

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, Wisdom
Skills: Choose three


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

  • Two of the following;
    • Pistol: 200gp 5 lb. Range: 50/100, Reloading (1 shot), 1d10 Piercing, Light
    • Sniper Rifle: 500gp 10 lb. Range: 150/300, Reloading (1 shot), 1d12 Piercing
    • Shotgun: 300gp 15 lb. Range: 30/60, Reloading (1 shot or 2 shots for double barrel), 2d6 Piercing, burstfire (all targets within 5 feet take 1d6 piercing)
      • The reloading property is a variant of the loading property. A firearm has a number of shots it can make before needing to be reloaded. To do so you must spend your action or bonus action reloading the weapon.
  • Bullets (60): 100gp 1 lb. and a Duster: 5gp 2lb.
  • (a) A shortsword or (b) Two daggers
  • (a) Studded Leather armor or (b) Scale Mail
    • (a) dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack

Table: The Gunslinger

Level Proficiency
1st +2 Gunsmith, Grit, Deeds, Gun-Fighting
2nd +2 Defensive Cover, Gunslinger Instincts, Fire Back
3rd +2 Gunslinger Archetype Feature, Fast Reload
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Special Ammunition
5th +3 Extra Shots, Focused Aim, Improved Grit
6th +3 Gunslinger Archetype Feature, Gunslinger Expertise
7th +3 Evasion Hawk Eye
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Special Ammunition Improvement
9th +4 Clipping Shot
10th +4
11th +4 Extra Shots Improvement, Gunslinger Archetype Feature
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 Cheat Death
14th +5 Special Ammunition Improvement
15th +5 Improved Grit Improvement
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 Gunslinger Archetype Feature
18th +6
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement, Death's Shot
20th +6 Extra Shots Improvement


At the 1st level, you can create firearms and craft bullets for all types of firearms. You are not limited by the normal 5gp per day rule for crafting firearms and bullets.

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 50% of the price. Crafting bullets take 1 day of work for every 50 gp of ammunition.

Crafting Master Quality Firearms: You may spend an extra 100 gold and 2 days worth of work to make a master quality firearm, which is a +1 weapon and doesn't missfire on a natural 1.


At the 1st level, a Gunslinger has a number of Grit points equal to their level. The number of Grit points the Gunslinger has can never exceed their level. 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 may roll a d6. On a 6, they regain one grit point.
  • Archetype Grit Regain: See your Archetype Grit Regain for description.


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

Sniper's Mark: You spend 1 Grit point and, as a bonus action, mark a creature that you can an see.

  • 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 and a +2 to attack rolls.

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 + to AC equal to proficiency against the attack.

Point Blank Shot: You may spend a grit point and attack a target within 5ft of you, on a hit you deal an extra damage die. You ignore the 5ft attack disadvantage rule when using this deed.

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.

Dead Eye: You can spend 1 Grit Point to gain advantage on your next attack roll with a firearm.

Bonus Shot: You can spend 1 Grit Point to fire an extra shot from your firearm against a target within 5 feet of a target you previously attacked. You may only use this deed once per turn.

Dash: You can spend 1 Grit point to add 30 movement speed for a turn. This cannot be used more than once.

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 60ft, who can hear must make a Cha save DC= 12 + your proficiency + your charisma modifier.On a failed save, they become intimidated.

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.


At the 1st level, you gain one of the following benefits. At 7th level, choose another. At 13th level, choose your final gun fighting style.

  • Pistol: Your attacks with pistols gain a +2 to the attack roll. If you choose Pistol gun-fighting you may reload two pistols at once.
  • Rifle/Musket: Your attacks with a rifle can be made up to maximum range without disadvantage. You get +3 on the attack roll against any target beyond 30 feet with a rifle.
  • Shotgun/Scatter Gun: You get +1 on the attack rolls and damage rolls made with a shotgun/scatter gun. The Burst fire now adds your Dex mod to the damage roll of all targets within 5 feet of the initial target.

Defensive Cover

At the 2nd level, you can expend a bonus action to take cover behind any object within 10 feet without expending any movement, dodge, or disengage.

Gunslinger Instincts

At the 2nd level, you may add your Wisdom Modifier to all initiative rolls.

Fire Back

At the 2nd level, if an enemy misses you with a ranged attack, you can use your reaction to fire a shot back at it. By spending 1 grit point you can drop a bullet into your gun to perform this reaction if you do not have the bullets loaded, as part of the same reaction.

Gunslinger Archetype

At 3rd level, you chose an archetype. Choose between peacekeeper, and desperado, both detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 1st and again at 3rd, 6th, 11th, and 17th levels.

Ability Score Increase

When you reach 4th level, and again at 10th, 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. You can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Special Ammunition

At the 4th level, you gain the ability to craft special ammunition that adds 1d4 of the desired damage type. Only two-handed firearms are capable of shooting special ammunition, must have 250 gold worth of special modifications, and can only shoot one type of special ammunition chosen when you modify your firearm. Only good-aligned Gunslingers can add radiant damage, and they cannot add necrotic damage. All gunslingers can add fire, poison, or force damage. At 8th level this is upgraded to 1d6, and at 14th level this is upgraded to 1d8. Additional effects are added depending on what type of damage the ammunition has been crafted to deal.

Radiant/Necrotic: Add your WIS modifier on the damage roll of radiant/necrotic damage.

Fire: The Target must make a CON save on the start of its next turn or take an additional 1d4 fire damage and be ignited, along with any flammable objects the target is wearing.

Poison: The target must make a CON save on the start of its next turn or be poisoned for 1 turn.

Force: The target is knocked back 5 feet.

Extra Shots

At the 5th level, you may shoot twice, instead of once, every time you use the attack action to shoot a fire arm.

Focused Aim

At the 5th level, at the start of your turn you may plant your feet and to go to 0 movement for the turn. If you do, 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. You also ignore recoil penalty from using shotguns while in Focused Aim.

Improved Grit

At 5th level, you can add half your dexterity modifier to your total Pool of grit points. This increases to your entire dexterity modifier at 15th level

Gunslinger Expertise

At Level 6, choose two skills in which you have proficiency in. Your proficiency bonus for those skills is now doubled, you cannot choose a skill in which you already have double proficiency in.


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.

Hawk Eye

Beginning at 7th level, you now score critical hits with a firearm on a roll of 19-20. Upon reaching 15th level, this range increases to 18-20.

Quick Draw

At 9th level, your uncanny speed with drawing firearms knows no limits, you can spend 1 Grit point to draw and make an attack with a firearm against a creature simultaneously while initiative is being rolled. If you chose the Peacekeeper archetype you may add a Judgement to this attack. If you chose the Desperado archetype you may roll a slight of hand check while using Quick Draw. If your roll is higher than the targets passive perception you may apply your Cheap Shot bonus.

Elite Accuracy

At level 10, any time you have advantage on an attack roll with a firearm, you may reroll one of the two d20's and use either roll.

Firearm Juggler

Also at the 10th level, switching between any firearms is a free action (does not cost an action/bonus action).

Cheat Death

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

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, the target must succeed at a Constitution saving throw (DC 6 + your Dexterity modifier + your Proficiency bonus). 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

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

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

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


At the 3rd level, Peacekeepers are able to pronounce judgment upon their foes. 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 become 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 damage dice equal to the weapons damage dice.

Shared Judgement

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

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

Desperado Archetype

Bonus Proficiency

When you choose this archetype, you gain proficiency in Slight of Hand and Stealth. If already proficient, double your proficiency bonus.

Duel Pistol Fighting

You may add your Dex modifier to the attack roll of off-hand pistol attacks when you are wielding two pistols at once. You may also draw 2 pistols in the time it normally takes to draw 1 and may do so on a turn in which you store another firearm.

Cheap Shot

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 within 10ft away from an ally that they are aware of. Cheap shot also applies if you attack while hidden or the enemy is unaware of your presence via the "Unseen Attackers" rule. The attack must use a firearm to trigger Cheap Shot.

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.

At the 6th level you have mastered the art of ambushing your targets. Any successful attack against a surprised target counts as a critical hit and you have advantage on all attack rolls against targets that have not yet taken a turn in the initiative order.

Criminal Tongue

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

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

At the 17th level, you have learned exactly how to give the law the slip in a chase, whether ducking into an allyway 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.

Optional Class features, Maintenance and Daring Acts

At the 2nd level, you always keep your weapon maintained and as an action can fix minor problems, such as a jams or misfires (Natural 1s).

Jams and misfires are a recommended result for a natural 1. Some DM's feel nat 1s are already bad enough and this feature is not relevant, but for those that want to have them be more severe this is the ideal result for a firearm. The feature then shows how the gunslinger can repair their weapon in the heat of combat using an action.

Daring Act

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 the Gunslinger class, you must meet these prerequisites: Dexterity 14 and Charisma 12.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the 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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