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Gunslinger Class

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The Gunslinger

For those who want a dash of Renaissance flair, frontier adventure, or Victorian nightmare in their campaign world, this class contains options for a wide variety of gunslinging heroes. Drawing inspiration from various historical and fictional sources, this class supports a wide range of archetypes. From a long range support class to a high damage martial class, from a man with no name to a team leader, the gunslinger has the tools to fit your playstyle.

Will you ride under the big sky, lasso in your hand and pistols by your side as a frontiersman? Or take point on a scouting mission as a marksman? Will you duel for honor as a dashing musketeer? Or turn to the gods to hunt the forces of evil as a demon hunter? This class contains four specialties, each with its unique flavor and abilities.

Balanced for no misfires. Also compatible with crossbows for gunpowder free campaigns.

Class features include:

  • Targeting
  • Cover Fire
  • Lock & Load
  • True Grit
  • Rodeo Star / Saloon Drifter (Frontiersman)
  • Guerrilla Tactics / Eagle Eye (Marksman)
  • Renaissance Scholar / Rapier Wit (Musketeer)
  • Esoteric Apothecary / Channel Divinity: Reveal the Untrue (Demon Hunter)
  • And more...

In addition, this class contains an enhanced arsenal of firearms, including budget options for low level characters. Even more, it includes a brand new background - the engineer - to pave the way, and two firearm related feats to let other characters use and modify firearms.

This 13 page document includes:

  • Gunslinger Class
    • Frontiersman
    • Marksman
    • Musketeer
    • Demon Hunter
  • Gunslinger Weapons
    • Firearms
    • Combination Weapons
  • Feats
    • Gunner
    • Gunsmith
  • Engineer Background
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Reviews (2)
Discussions (10)
Customer avatar
Matthew C June 30, 2018 9:39 pm UTC
Two other ideas for subclasses:
-Pyro: This would be similar to the Grenadier, just with a flamethrower instead of bombs (IE, cone-attacks)
-Technologist: A Gunslinger that advances their firearm and upgrades it in some manner.
Customer avatar
Xavier L July 01, 2018 1:38 am UTC
Yeah, there are a lot of directions to take it. Personally, I think I'm done making additional content for this class, but if you want to give it a shot feel free to go ahead.

I played around with something similar to the Technologist, but I couldn't get the balance quite right. My main problem was that in a party with multiple firearm-proficient adventurers, the technologist was suddenly able to improve not just his or her own stuff but everybody else's. The Gunsmith feat shares this property, but since its benefits don't represent an entire archetype worth of features I was willing to accept it.

I had a similar problem with the Grenadier, which I solved by making half their progression due to crafting better bombs, and half their progression due to improving their skill at bomb-throwing. That way no rules prevent them from giving bombs to their teammates, but doing so doesn't make them or the party overpowered. It also helps you deal more damage with purchased or found explosives. It's...See more
Customer avatar
Matthew C June 15, 2018 4:43 pm UTC
I love this class!
If I may make a suggestion: Would you be interested in making a "Bolt Ace"-style gunslinger? Basically, this would be a "gun"slinger that specializes in the use of crossbows instead of guns.
Customer avatar
Xavier L June 16, 2018 6:08 am UTC
Thanks! I like your idea. I'm not sure what kind of features it would have though. That being said, I did try to make the class work about as well with crossbows as with firearms.
Customer avatar
Matthew C June 30, 2018 6:56 am UTC
One idea I'm considering is making it so guns can't be +1/2/3 weapons the way other weapons can, which is why someone might choose a +3 crossbow over a firearms. Though guns would have their equivalent of +1/2/3 weapons in the form of more advanced guns (they have bigger damage dice but don't have modifiers), with laser weapons in particular being a sort of holy grail.
Customer avatar
Xavier L July 01, 2018 1:18 am UTC
Good idea. If guns are a new invention, it's unlikely that there would be many magic ones out there yet.

My thinking on balance was that crossbows give up a little damage to gain several benefits in usability and reliability:
- Crossbows are far quieter than firearms, making them better for stealth missions. While hiding as a bonus action after shooting should work same, firing a gun is going to alert a lot of the surrounding dungeon or area to your presence.
- Crossbows don't have disadvantage when wet, making them more reliable in inclement weather. You may be able to get around this with oil-skin wraps, umbrellas, etc., but those are going to have their own inconveniences (probably taking a turn to set up).
- Crossbows work underwater, making them the only option for underwater combat.
- Dungeons and monsters are more likely to have bolts than bullets, making crossbows more reliable for long mega-dungeon crawls.
- Crossbows and bolts are cheaper than firearms and bullets,...See more
Customer avatar
Morgan R March 01, 2018 1:32 am UTC
Hey quick question was shoulder shot supposed to be like stunning strike till next turn it currently says current turn not round so I just would lose some clarification ty
Customer avatar
Xavier L March 04, 2018 4:20 am UTC
Hi, the shoulder shot incapacitates until the end of current turn, not for a round. Its main use is in conjunction with the Ready action, enhancing the Cover Fire feature.

For example, suppose you ready an attack in response to any creature aggressing your allies. If a creature attacks, you can use the shoulder shot to stop its entire multiattack instead of just one of its attacks. And if it does something Cover Fire doesn't stop, such as using a breath weapon, you can still try to stop it using the shoulder shot.

It's a bit niche, but it fits a play style that likes preparing moves in advance and providing long ranged support. A long range stunning strike would be a bit too strong in my opinion, especially since this gunslinger isn't as dependent on grit as the monk is on ki.

Hope that makes sense. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Customer avatar
Raymond B February 17, 2018 8:42 pm UTC
I *think* the 7.1.0 and 7.1.0 Ink-Friendly files are identical at the moment? That is to say, they're both (nearly) black and white.
Customer avatar
John H February 20, 2018 9:25 pm UTC
Yeah seems the ink-friendly version is both files right now. I'm having the same issue.
Customer avatar
Xavier L February 25, 2018 3:30 am UTC
My apologies! Hopefully I fixed that issue with the latest release, but I'll double check the files now.

EDIT: You're right, the version 7 uploads are two copies of the ink friendly version. The easiest solution is to stick with 8.0.0, which not only fixes the issue but also resolves some of the balance issues introduced with the simplifications in version 7. I know the class has been pretty volatile lately, but I don't intend to touch it again for a while beyond fixing typos / grammar, so 8.0.0 should be pretty stable.
Customer avatar
Brandon M October 04, 2017 8:39 pm UTC
So Cover fire is kinda confusing now, the player would have to use their action to say their gonna cover fire (which is essentially readying an action), they still use their reaction to actually do it? just let it be their reaction as a special reaction for their class, it can still only be used once, it will kinda be like a counterspell for them but eventually be used for any attack.
Customer avatar
Xavier L October 06, 2017 12:50 am UTC
Hm, thanks for the feedback. It was actually intended to work like the Ready action, which normally takes both your action and reaction. The additional power, of course, is the fact that it lets you make spells and attacks fail, which the Ready action doesn't do.

Would it be clearer if I phrased it like this?

"Starting at 2nd level, ranged weapon attacks that you have prepared with the Ready action can cause other creatures to fail their attacks and spells. If you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack while it is making an attack or casting a spell that you can interrupt, its attack or spell automatically fails (without using a spell slot). The types of attacks and spells you can interrupt this way depends on your level, as shown in the Cover Fire table."
Customer avatar
Brandon M October 06, 2017 3:24 am UTC
No it makes sense, after re-reading it a few times I understood. Thanks for clarifying though.
Customer avatar
Brandon M October 06, 2017 4:48 pm UTC
What if it used just an attack and a reaction though? Cause after 5th level when they get extra attack I feel like most players won’t use cover fire much except in special circumstances considering it takes their whole action to ready. If the player could do an attack then with their second attack say I’ll provide cover fire. That would be better I think. It can still use their reaction to do so as well.
Customer avatar
Xavier L October 07, 2017 4:52 am UTC
Funny, that's actually the way I had it in the first draft.

But the more I thought about it and crunched the numbers, the more it seemed like it needed some drawback. At 6th level cover fire can save your fighter from a fire giant's greatsword (28 damage), or the entire multiattack (56 damage) with the shoulder targeting option. Doing only one attack in the round instead of two seems like a fair price to pay. After all, what's an extra 11 damage against a fire giant compared to a still-standing fighter capable of making more attacks and a cleric free from damage control duties?

I also like the fact that it's situational. It's not always the best move; extra attack is better when facing hordes, when the team doesn't have any strong damage dealers, or when you really want to induce a targeting effect. But it's better in some fairly common situations, such as fighting a strong enemy that mainly uses weapon attacks, or facing a spell caster at higher levels.

But please, feel...See more
Customer avatar
Ci S August 01, 2017 1:16 am UTC
Really cool class, hoping I get to play it in a future campaign
Quick question for the fighting styles, why is Dueling in there as written? Was it meant to be changed or is there something I'm missing...
Customer avatar
Xavier L August 02, 2017 4:08 am UTC
Hi, thanks! The main reason I included multiple fighting styles was to give multiclassing players options in case they already picked up Archery from somewhere else. But I still wanted each fighting style to fit with at least one of the subclasses.

The Frontiersman can use Two-Weapon Fighting with their two-pistol attacks.

Dueling is a viable (though perhaps not optimal) choice for musketeers. Musketeers are proficient with martial melee weapons and are much better suited to close range fighting than the other subclasses. For such a character, a rapier can be situationally more practical than a black powder musket or pistol - stealth, torrential downpours, underwater combat, honor duels, low ammo, nearby civilians, etc. can all come into play. Their Fencing Ace feature also gives them an additional extra attack, which due to loading constraints can only be made practically and repeatedly with a one-handed melee weapon, so it can potentially be the most damaging option for them against...See more
Customer avatar
Brandon M July 05, 2017 5:47 pm UTC
Hello, I love this class, couple questions are you replacing the Grenadier and Bombardier stuff (They are removed in v 1.1.) and when is the next revision planned?
Customer avatar
Xavier L July 07, 2017 7:11 am UTC
Funny you should ask... I just uploaded version 1.2, which is a relatively small revision. The main change is that it adds those features back in. I took them out because I was thinking they drifted too far from the core gunsligner skillset to be in the core class features, but looking at it again I like the way they fit the themes (gunpowder, mechanical warfare), reward higher Intelligence (using grit save DC for something other than Targeting) and offer more variety in combat without changing the power level much.
Customer avatar
Brandon M July 08, 2017 3:56 am UTC
Thank you. Another thing as well I noticed the 3rd option for the d10 roll in engineer is missing. Just letting you know.
Customer avatar
Xavier L July 08, 2017 4:37 am UTC
Ha thanks good catch. I'm running out of types of engineers and corresponding tools though. I guess in the next release I'll add... Cryptographic - Forgery Kit.
Customer avatar
June 14, 2017 8:44 pm UTC
I haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, but seems like an interesting class. I do have a question about the starting equipment. On the first equipment option it says: "(a) an arquebus or (b) a pistoletta, or (c) two crossbows". For option (c) does this mean choose any two crossbows(Hand, light, or heavy) or did you have a specific type in mind?
Customer avatar
Xavier L June 15, 2017 12:04 am UTC
Thanks. I meant two of any type. So two hand crossbows would work, as would one hand crossbow and one heavy crossbow.
Customer avatar
June 18, 2017 7:46 am UTC
Ah ok. Thanks for the quick reply.
Hopefully I will get to try this sometime soon and be able to give some more feedback.
Customer avatar
Fox B June 10, 2017 5:41 pm UTC
Not my personal cup of tea (guns aren't what I look in an D&D adventure), but good work.
Customer avatar
Xavier L June 03, 2017 3:52 am UTC
Hi, I'll address any rules questions that come up in the reviews or discussions here.

Loading property vs. Reload property: Thanks for pointing this one out. The class is balanced around single shot weapons with the Loading property. Lock & Load as written has no effect on multiple shot weapons with the Reload property. This was done by design, for the purposes of balance and simplicity. (Reload is described in chapter 9 of the DMG, and is only found on modern and futuristic firearms.)
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File Last Updated:
October 13, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on May 31, 2017.