Gunwitch (5e Class)

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The Gunwitch[edit]

The night shudders with gunfire and peals of wicked laughter as a half-elf wrapped in crimson robes unloads round after glowing round from her dual pistols. A tiefling steadies his breathing and silently disposes of the goblin's vanguard, leaving them with searing runes where entry wounds should be. A gnome in an oversized wide-brimmed hat whistles gaily as one shot from her rifle darts around the battlefield, barreling through four enemies before it's done. This is the effortless power of the gunwitch, a sorcerer who focuses their arcane powers on improving the art and artifice of the firearm.

The Mystic Runes[edit]

Many students of the arcane have learned to warp the forces of magic to form ancient, immutable symbols. These are sometimes called glyphs or sigils. To the gunwitch, these symbols are called runes, and they are both tool and weapon. The majority of the gunwitch's power is funneled into creating and maintaining these runes, which they etch into the stock or barrel of their prize weapon: their firearm. Some runes cause a gunwitch's victim to burst into flames, and others suck the life energy from a dying foe; the one thing every gunwitch rune has in common is its unsettling appearance.

Creating a Gunwitch[edit]

Every gunwitch begins their journey differently. Some were expelled from more upstanding magical institutions because they were caught experimenting with dark magic. Some were foundlings raised by a gunwitch coven and instructed in their secretive ways. Some were hedge mages only able to control their sorcerous abilities through trial and error, developing runes through instinct and experimentation. What pushed your character out of polite society to live as the feared and reviled gunwitch? Does your character use their power to gain wealth, to strike down their enemies, or to protect themselves? What does your firearm look like and where did it come from?

Quick Build

You can make a gunwitch quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score followed by Charisma then Constitution. Second, choose the Criminal, Entertainer, or Sage background. Third, choose the rifle and the explorer's pack.

Class Features

As a Gunwitch you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

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

Proficiencies

Armor: light armor
Weapons: simple weapons, firearms
Tools: Tinker's tools
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
Skills: Choose three from Acrobatics, Arcana, Deception, Intimidation, Perception, Performance, Religion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.

Equipment

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

  • (a) A rifle or (b) two pistols

Table: The Gunwitch

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features Shot Damage Spells Known —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 Bonding Rune, Witching Shot 1d8
2nd +2 Runic Magic, Spellcasting 1d8 2 2
3rd +2 Rapid Reload, Style 1d8 3 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 1d8 4 3
5th +3 Style feature 2d8 5 4 2
6th +3 Runic Magic (x2) 2d8 6 4 2
7th +3 Style feature 2d8 6 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 2d8 7 4 3
9th +4 Martial Acrobatics 3d8 8 4 3 2
10th +4 Runic Magic (x3) 3d8 9 4 3 2
11th +4 Style feature 3d8 9 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 3d8 10 4 3 3
13th +5 Raw Potential 4d8 11 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Runic Magic (x4) 4d8 11 4 3 3 1
15th +5 Style feature 4d8 12 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4d8 12 4 3 3 2
17th +6 Witch's Hex 5d8 13 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Runic Magic (x5) 5d8 13 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 5d8 13 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Dark Deity 5d8 14 4 3 3 3 2

Bonding Rune[edit]

The firearm that you begin the game with is emblazoned with an ancient, magical rune. You can use a bonus action at any time to summon this runed firearm to your hands. If it was unloaded, and if you have bullets on your person that are compatible with that firearm, it’s magically loaded with a single bullet that is taken from your inventory.

A firearm etched with a bonding rune is indestructible through mundane means. If it is lost or destroyed, you may spend 1 hour etching the rune into a new firearm.

Witching Shot[edit]

At 1st level, when you hit with a ranged weapon attack using a firearm, you may empower the bullet with dark magic. You deal an additional amount of necrotic damage according to the “Shot Damage” column in the Gunwitch table. In addition, on a hit, the target must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or become Frightened of you until the end of their next turn. Creatures that cannot be charmed automatically succeed this saving throw. The DC is equal to the following:

Shot save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier. You regain all uses of this feature when you complete a long rest.

Spellcasting[edit]

By 2nd level, you have learned to cast Gunwitch spells.

Spell Slots

The Gunwitch 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.

Spells Known

At 2nd level, you know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the Gunwitch spell list.

The Spells Known column of the Gunwitch table shows when you learn more Gunwitch spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.

Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the Gunwitch spells you know and replace it with another spell from the Gunwitch spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

Spellcasting Ability

Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your Gunwitch spells. 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 Gunwitch 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

Spellcasting Focus

You use a runed firearm as a spellcasting focus for your Gunwitch spells.

Runic Magic[edit]

At 2nd level, you learn to channel your magic into complex runes. You can spend an hour to etch one of the following runes into a firearm; these runes are listed at the end of this feature. You etch an additional rune in this fashion at 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level. You may etch each rune on the same firearm or you may etch them on different firearms; in addition, you can etch the same rune up to twice on the same firearm. The effects, if they could reasonably stack, stack.

If a firearm you own that is runed is destroyed or otherwise irretrievably lost, you gain the ability to etch the same runes as the lost firearm into another firearm or divided as you choose amongst any number of other firearms. You cannot choose new runes in this fashion.

  • Acid. Whenever you make a critical hit with this firearm, every creature within 5 feet of the target takes 2d6 acid damage.
  • Bonding. This rune operates in the same fashion as the Bonding Rune feature, allowing you to bond with multiple firearms at once. You can use a bonus action to summon any number of them to your hands, as long as you can wield that number of weapons.
  • Death. Whenever you kill a creature using this firearm, your next attack with this weapon deals an additional 1d8 necrotic damage.
  • Disruption. Whenever you hit with a ranged weapon attack using this firearm, if the target was concentrating on a spell, the DC of the next concentration check they make increases by 2.
  • Fire. This firearm deals an additional 1d4 fire damage with each ranged weapon attack.
  • Force. This firearm deals force damage instead of the damage it would usually do.
  • Hatred. Whenever you hit with a ranged weapon attack using this firearm, you have +1 to hit the target with attacks until the end of your next turn.
  • Ice. Whenever you hit with a ranged weapon attack using this firearm, the target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against your shot save DC or its speed is reduced by 5 feet until the end of your next turn.
  • Impotence. Whenever you hit with a ranged weapon attack using this firearm, the target has -2 to hit with the next weapon attack it makes.
  • Lightning. Whenever you hit with a ranged weapon attack using this firearm, the target can’t take reactions until the end of their next turn.
  • Rot. This firearm deals an additional 2d4 piercing damage to plants and undead.
  • Shadow. Whenever you make a ranged weapon attack using this firearm while hidden, make a Dexterity (Stealth) check with a DC of 15. If you succeed on this check, your attack doesn’t reveal your position.
  • Thunder. Whenever you hit a construct or inanimate object with a ranged weapon attack using this firearm, the target takes an additional 1d6 thunder damage.
  • Vampirism. Whenever you kill a creature using this firearm, you regain a number of hit points equal to half the damage dealt by the triggering attack.
  • Venom. Whenever you hit with a ranged weapon attack using this firearm, the target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against your shot save DC or take an additional 2 poison damage and become Poisoned until the end of their next turn.

Rapid Reload[edit]

Starting at 3rd level, you ignore the loading quality of firearms with which you are proficient.

Style[edit]

Also at 3rd level, you begin to develop your own personality as a gunwitch. Choose from the following styles, each of which is listed at the end of the class entry: Scattershot, Sniper, or Suppressor. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 5th, 7th, 11th, and 15th level.

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 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.

Martial Acrobatics[edit]

Starting at 9th level, you’ve grown incredibly limber through your experience in battle. This grants you several advantages:

  • 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.
  • You can sheathe and unsheathe firearms as a free action.
  • You can take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.

Raw Potential[edit]

Starting at 13th level, ranged weapon attacks you make with a firearm count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistances. Ranged weapon attacks you make with a firearm also bypass the Undead Fortitude feature like radiant or critical damage would.

Witchsight[edit]

Also starting at 13th level, you have tremorsense for 30 feet in every direction and your passive Perception increases by 5.

Witch's Hex[edit]

Starting at 17th level, if you are concentrating on a spell that has one target and that doesn’t target Self, you can maintain that concentration indefinitely.

Dark Deity[edit]

At 20th level, you have attained a level of mastery that is nearly unprecedented amongst Gunwitches. You gain 2 Dexterity and 2 Charisma, and the caps for these stats are each increased by 2. In addition, you may etch up to two total additional runes into guns you control. You can etch more than 2 runes of the same kind using this feature.

Styles[edit]

Scattershot[edit]

Witching Burst

Starting when you take this archetype at 3rd level, whenever you use your Witching Shot, you can cause any number of target creatures within 15 feet of the target to make a Dexterity saving throw or take half the damage of the Shot (rounded down).

Extra Attack

Starting at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Broadened Runes

Also starting at 5th level, every creature that takes damage from your Witching Burst feature is subject to the effects of any runes on your firearm that refer to “the target”. For example, if you have the Lightning rune, every creature that is damaged by your Witching Burst feature can’t use reactions until the ends of their next turns.

Improved Burst

Starting at 7th level, whenever you use your Witching Burst, you can force every creature that takes damage to make a Charisma saving throw or become Frightened of you, in the same fashion and under the same guidelines as the Witching Shot feature.

Style Rune: Ricochet

At 11th level, you gain an additional rune, Ricochet. It reads: “Whenever you hit with a ranged weapon attack using this firearm, the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw against your shot save DC or be pushed backwards 10 feet. Then, you may target another creature within 15 feet of that creature; that creature takes damage equal to the weapon damage of the original attack and the feature repeats until a creature within range succeeds on its Strength saving throw or you do not or cannot choose another creature to target.”

You may etch one Style Rune immediately. Style Runes don't count against the total number of runes you can maintain at once.

True Scattershot

At 15th level, you embody the Scattershot style both in physical and magical proficiency. As long as you target a creature within the short range of your firearm, ranged weapon attacks you make with a firearm target up to three separate creatures instead of only one. You make different attack rolls for each target.

Sniper[edit]

Long-Range Shot

When you take this Style at 3rd level, you no longer have disadvantage when you target a creature within the long range of your firearm. In addition, the short and long ranges of firearms you use are doubled, and ranged weapon attacks you make using firearms ignore half cover and three-quarters cover.

Runic Empowerment

Starting at 5th level, ranged weapon attacks you make using a firearm deal an additional amount of piercing damage equal to twice the number of runes etched into the firearm.

Witch's Focus

Also starting at 5th level, you can spend one use of your Witching Shot to increase your precision. As part of an attack, roll 1d10 and add the result to your attack roll. You can do this only after you roll the attack but before you know whether the attack was successful.

Slow and Steady

At 7th level, you know how to control your breath to emphasize precision. Whenever you hold your action in order to make a ranged weapon attack with your firearm in the future, your held attack deals an additional die of damage.

Style Rune: Fixation

At 11th level, you gain an additional rune, Fixation. It reads: “Whenever you make a ranged weapon attack using this firearm, you may take -5 to your attack roll to choose to target a specific part of your target’s body. Choose from the following list:

  • Arm. The creature must succeed on a Strength saving throw against your shot save DC or drop whatever it’s holding in the arm you target.
  • Back. Melee weapon attacks have advantage against the creature until the beginning of its next turn.
  • Chest. The creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against your shot save DC or become Stunned until the beginning of its next turn.
  • Head. This attack deals an additional die of damage.
  • Leg. The creature falls Prone.”

You may etch one Style Rune immediately. Style Runes don't count against the total number of runes you can maintain at once.

True Sniper

At 15th level, you become the ideal Sniper in terms of raw precision and power. You have +5 to hit with ranged weapon attacks using firearms.

Suppressor[edit]

Hit the Deck

When you take this archetype at 3rd level, you learn how to throw off an enemy’s concentration. Whenever you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack using a firearm, the next melee attack made against that creature has advantage.

Extra Attack

Starting at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Stagger Shot

Also starting at 5th level, whenever you hit with a ranged weapon attack using a firearm, every creature of your choice within 5 feet of the target can use its reaction to move up to 10 feet in any direction without incurring an opportunity attack.

Reactive Shot

At 7th level, you have learned how to best control the battlefield. Whenever a creature you can see would move into or out of the melee range of an allied creature, you can use your reaction to make one ranged weapon attack against that creature using a firearm. It deals 1d4 force damage rather than the weapon’s damage and you cannot use your Witching Shot on it. If it hits, that creature doesn’t move and its speed is reduced to 0 until the end of its turn.

Style Rune: Prolificacy

At 11th level, you gain an additional rune, Prolificacy. It reads: “Whenever you use the Attack action to make one or more ranged weapon attacks using this firearm, you may make two additional ranged weapon attacks as a bonus action. They each deal 1d4 force damage rather than the weapon’s damage and you cannot use your Witching Shot on them.”

You may etch one Style Rune immediately. Style Runes don't count against the total number of runes you can maintain at once.

True Suppressor

At 15th level, you are the quintessential Suppressor, capable of magically releasing an absurd amount of attacks. You can attack three times, instead of twice, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Gunwitch Spell List[edit]

1st

bane, burning hands, cause fear[1], command, detect evil and good, detect magic, disguise self, disguise self, faerie fire, hellish rebuke, hex, inflict wounds, ray of sickness, witch bolt[2]

2nd

blindness/deafness, crown of madness[3], darkness, detect thoughts, enthrall, hold person, invisibility, mirror image, misty step, ray of enfeeblement, shatter, silence, spider climb, suggestion

3rd

animate dead, bestow curse, counterspell, enemies abound[4], fear, fly, gaseous form, hypnotic pattern, major image, speak with dead, summon lesser demons[5], thunder step[6], tongues, vampiric touch

4th

banishment, blight, charm monster[7], confusion, dimension door, dominate beast, elemental bane[8], greater invisibility, hallucinatory terrain, polymorph, shadow of Moil[9], summon greater demon[10]

5th

contact other plane, contagion, danse macabre[11], dream, enervation[12], geas, hallow*, hold monster, infernal calling[13], legend lore, planar binding, negative energy flood[14], scrying, synaptic static[15]

References
  1. D&D 5e XGtE p.151
  2. D&D 5e PHB p.289
  3. D&D 5e PHB p.229
  4. D&D 5e XGtE p.155
  5. D&D 5e XGtE p.167
  6. D&D 5e XGtE p.168
  7. D&D 5e XGtE p.151
  8. D&D 5e XGtE p.163
  9. D&D 5e XGtE p.164
  10. D&D 5e XGtE p.166
  11. D&D 5e XGtE p.153
  12. D&D 5e XGtE p.155
  13. D&D 5e XGtE p.158
  14. D&D 5e XGtE p.163
  15. D&D 5e XGtE p.167

Multiclassing[edit]

Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Gunwitch class, you must meet these prerequisites: 13 Dexterity and 13 Charisma.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Gunwich class, you gain the following proficiencies: firearms and one skill from the class's skill list.

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