Arcane Gunslinger (3.5e Class)

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Arcane Gunslinger
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Arcane Gunslinger[edit]

((This is a somewhat drastic modification to the Gunslinger class (which I love), for those who desire a more punchy, magical option.)) The Arcane Gunslinger is the paragon of magic's destructive potential, wielding a personally crafted Gunstave to direct arcane power into blasts, beams, and barrages of deadly power. Many Arcane Gunslingers take up the Gunstave in answer to the threat of war, or as mercenaries, or even thieves, lending them a wide range of personalities and vast potential. Their immense power comes with the unfortunate effect of being somewhat fragile at lower levels, Arcane Gunslingers are a source of mighty damage and invaluable support, and with care can become impressive main-combatants.

Making an Arcane Gunslinger[edit]

Arcane Gunslingers are an excellent source of damage, but can be just as deadly to their friends as their foes. Out of necessity, an Arcane Gunslinger learns a small number of ranged healing and bolstering spells to fire from their Gunstave.

Abilities: Dexterity is crucial to an Arcane Gunslinger's maneuverability and aim. Intelligence is an important aspect of the creation of their unique weapons, and the vast number of upgrades available to them. Charisma aids an Arcane Gunslinger in the use of their spells and various magical devices.

Races: Elves, Gnomes, and Humans are most likely to become Arcane Gunslingers, but they are found among many races.

Alignment: Any Chaotic

Starting Gold: 5d10×10 gp

Starting Age: Simple.

Table: The Arcane Gunslinger

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Cast Rounds, Craft Gunstave, Gunbound, Magic Bullet 1 - - -
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Dodge, Combat Casting, Mage's Speedload 2 - - -
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Spell Rounds, Fast Movement 3 - - -
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Dexterous Dodge, Healing Dart 5 1 - -
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Shot in the Dark, Longbolt 5 2 - -
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Transmute Load 5 3 - -
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Mage's Bayonet 6 4 - -
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Purifying Dart, Concussive Shot 6 4 - -
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Uncanny Dodge, Gatling Bolt 6 5 - -
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Adrenaline Dart, Discern Weakpoint 6 5 1 -
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Enchant Gunstave, Improved Uncanny Dodge 6 6 1 -
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Defensive Field 6 6 2 -
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Shred 6 6 2 -
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 Greater Healing Dart 6 6 3 -
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Dead Shot 6 6 3 -
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 6 6 4 -
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Bonus Feat 6 6 4 -
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Superior Healing Dart 6 6 4 -
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 6 6 5 -
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Unearthly Dodge, Black Bullet 7 6 6 1

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Arcane Gunslinger.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Arcane Gunslinger is only proficient with their Gunstave. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield.

Crafting Gunstaves: The very first thing an Arcane Gunslinger must do is learn to create their signature weapon. The Arcane Gunslinger may take Guncraft as a Profession, and Craft Rounds/Gunstave. The Arcane Gunslinger can add their Guncraft Bonus to all of these Crafting checks. Gunstaves are difficult to create requiring a Craft Rounds/Gunstave according to the chart below, over time the gunslinger will become skilled enough to craft more powerful weapons.

Table: Crafting Gunstaves

Level Craft DC Bonus Damage Attack Bonus Additional Hardness Additional Health Cost
1st 16 850gp
6th 23 +2 +1 +2 +5 1450gp
12th 29 +4 +3 +4 +10 3850gp
18th 38 +8 +6 +8 +20 5450gp

Base Gunstave:

Size Medium
Critical 19-20/x3
Range Increment 60ft
Type Piercing
Scope +2 Attack Bonus
Weapon
Damage 2d8
Magazine 6 rounds
1 Round 1 bullet
Weight 9 lbs


Casting Rounds: Creating rounds is the second thing an Arcane Gunslinger must learn to do as it is hard to use guns without ammunition. The Arcane Gunslinger gains the ability to craft special rounds which, through advanced alchemical processes, store energy and explosive components that can cause great harm. There are 18 types of rounds, each varies in power and build components. Each round costs 2/3rds of an ounce of the associated material (Roughly the weight of 8 coins, or about 12 measures in a pound of material). Additionally, each round has a base cost of 3 silver worth of materials required by the casting process (this includes the led or other heavy metal). As the material each round is produced from improves, it improves the weapon bonus it receives in order to increase attack rolls as well as to bypass damage resistance. If a critical is made the extra damage is also multiplied.

Creating rounds is a very intensive process, requiring meticulous and detailed alchemical work. To create rounds requires a Craft Rounds/Gunstave skill check (24) and a molding kit (250gp). Every hour (6 bullets) spent consecutively working past the first requires a concentration check (DC: 20) or the crafter must pause in crafting for 24 hours to relax, the DC increases by 5 for each additional hour spent crafting. Additionally, each hour past the first causes a -1 penalty to all ranged attacks. These points are recovered at a rate of 1 per every 2 hours provided the Gunslinger is no longer crafting rounds.

Further, firing a round is a harsh process on the pistol or rifle. Each round (6 bullets) fired deals damage to the Arcane Gunslinger's Gunstave equal to it's type number. So, a Type 5 round would deal 5 damage to the pistol, and a type 18 round would deal 18 damage to the pistol. The Arcane Gunslinger can counteract this damage by modifying and enchanting his pistol. With up-to-date reinforcement, an Arcane Gunslinger can keep his guns in good condition, never taking damage when discharging rounds he made himself. This damage stacks with other damage dealt to the weapon that round, making firing two or more consecutive rounds a dangerous prospect.

Table: Casting Rounds

Level Round Type Craft DC Bonus Damage Extra Materials Attack Bonus
1st Type 0 16 0 None +0
3rd Type 1 17 1d4 Copper +0
Type 2 19 2d4 Copper +0
Type 3 22 3d4 Copper +0
6th Type 4 25 2d6 Silver +1
Type 5 26 3d6 Silver +1
Type 6 27 4d6 Silver +1
9th Type 7 28 2d8 Gold +2
Type 8 29 3d8 Gold +2
Type 9 32 4d8 Gold +2
12th Type 10 33 2d10 Platinum +3
Type 11 35 3d10 Platinum +3
Type 12 36 4d10 Platinum +3
15th Type 13 37 5d10 Mithral +4
Type 14 38 4d12 Mithral +4
Type 15 39 5d12 Mithral +4


Gunbound: Arcane Gunslingers create a sort of bond with their weapons, much as a druid would have a bond with her animal companion, an Arcane Gunslinger can interact with his weapons on a deeper level then other characters. To achieve this bound the Arcane Gunslinger must have made the weapon he is bounding to and spend 24hours with his weapon. At the end of this period the Arcane Gunslinger must make a check 1d20+Gunslinger level (DC20) to successfully bound with the gun. This process will cost the gunslinger 250xp. The Arcane Gunslinger may bound with more then one weapon but the DC to do so increase by 5 with each successive gun and the experience cost increase by 50xp with each successive gun. When an Arcane Gunslinger has these bound weapons on him, he can achieve feats that he could not without, consult chart below.

Table: Gunslinger's Bounded Pistol Abilities

Level Hardness Hit Points Special
1-2 +1 +2 Alertness
3-4 +2 +3 Weaponized Allure
5-6 +3 +5 Bound Accuracy
7-8 +4 +7 Sighting Link
9-10 +5 +9 Call Pistol
11-12 +6 +11 Bound Accuracy +2
13-14 +7 +13 Scry Pistol
15-16 +8 +14
17-18 +9 +16 Bound Accuracy +3
19-20 +10 +20

Alertness: Whenever an Arcane Gunslinger is in physical contact with his bound pistol, touching it with his hand, he gains heightened senses and is treated as if having the Alertness feat.

Weaponized Allure: Whenever an Arcane Gunslinger attacks with his bound pistol he may add his Charisma modifier to his attack. The Gunslinger may draw two bound pistol's as a single move action. If he has the Quick Draw feat he may do so as a free action.

Bound Accuracy: An Arcane Gunslinger slowly learns every detail and characteristic of their weapon. At fifth level an Arcane Gunslinger gains a +1 to his attack roll. This increases at level 11 to +2, and then to +3 at level 17.

Sighting Link: An Arcane Gunslinger's bond with his weapons is a unique and spiritual one, crossing over to the supernatural. By concentrating (DC 20), a gunslinger can instead see out of the sights of his weapon, as if looking right out of the barrel of the pistol. This ability allows the Gunslinger to preform some extremely impressive trick shots, such as shooting behind him or around corners with no loss of accuracy. Using this ability is a move action and negates all but 100% miss chance. It also allows the Arcane Gunslinger to fire around his own 100% cover as long as he is adjacent to a square with 0% cover.

Call Pistol: Upon reaching level 9, an Arcane Gunslinger can will his weapons to his hand. The Gunstave must not be gripped by anyone, so that it may fly free to it's master. Secondly, the Arcane Gunslinger must be able to see the bonded weapon or know its exact location to call it to him. This is a free action.

Scry Pistol: At level 13, an Arcane Gunslinger can scry (as the spell) on his weapons once per day per Int modifier. This is a spell-like ability requiring no material components or focus that allows the Arcane Gunslinger to see and hear his bonded weapons and their surroundings if they are ever separated. It has a casting time of 1 full round.


Spell Rounds: At third level an Arcane Gunslinger begins to create modified rounds which hold special magical and elemental projectiles. There are six different types of elemental rounds; Cold, Fire, Electrical, Sonic, Acid, and Poisoned. Additionally, the Arcane Gunslinger can create holy and unholy water capsule rounds which contain aligned water, powdered silver, and garlic (or other materials that could be suspended in small capsules) used against evil or good enemies. An Arcane Gunslinger may inscribe any touch-attack or area-of-effect spell they know on a crystal bullet, making it into a ranged touch-attack; successfully striking any surface with a crystal bullet will discharge the spell effect. Every hour, an Arcane Gunslinger can craft 6 rounds of any one element and requires materials detailed in the following chart. Additionally, each hour requires a craft (rounds) DC check to successfully create. Failure results in the loss of all crafting materials. These modifications can be made to any type of bullets the Arcane Gunslinger can and has made.

Table: Modified Rounds

Level Type Craft DC Bonus Damage Required Materials
1st Fire/cold 12 +1d6 fire/cold 1 flask of Alchemists Fire/1 Coldstone
2nd Holy/Unholy 15 +1d4 holy/unholy 1 flask of holy/unholy water
3rd Sonic 18 +1d6 sonic 1 thunderstone
5th Electric 21 +1d6 electric 1oz. acid
8th Acid 24 +1d6 acid 1 flask of chosen acid
11th Poison 27 +poison Chosen Poison (requires check for working with poison)
12th Crystal 30 +Inscribed spell's effect A flawless amethyst, emerald, ruby, sapphire or diamond.


Dodge: At second level the Arcane Gunslinger gains the dodge feat.

Fast Movement: At third level the Arcane Gunslinger gains Fast Movement as a monk would, increasing their movement speed by five feet every three levels.

Dexterous Dodge: Same as Dodge but +2 AC against the target rather than one.

Uncanny Dodge: An Arcane Gunslinger no longer looses his Dex modifier to AC when he is caught flat-footed. He does, however, still loose this bonus when immobilized.

Shot in the Dark: Arcane Gunslingers gain a version of Sneak Attack at fifth level; unlike rogues, Gunslingers may only use Sneak Attack whenever they are unnoticed by an enemy. This means if the creature fails to Spot the Gunslinger, then the Gunslinger may sneak attack it. At fifth level Shot in the Dark damage is 1d6. This increases ever other level by 1d6.

Longbolt (Sp): At 5th level Arcane Gunslingers can fire a long-range bolt of energy that never misses, once per day. 1d10 damage +1d10/level, 10% chance to kill instantly.

Enchant Gunstave: Arcane Gunslingers can enchant their weapons upon reaching eighth level. This means that they may apply any spell they are of sufficient level to cast (this spell does not have to be from the Arcane Gunslinger Spell list) upon their weapon, then apply a permanency spell. This costs 250 experience points and can only be done three times unless a Mage's Disjunction spell is used to remove the enchantment. Enchantments can include all manner of spells. Arcane Gunslingers may have no more than three enchantment on each weapon. If a spell not listed under enchantments is used (fireball for example), you may cast that spell by removing the correct level spell slot from that days spells per day.

Improved Uncanny Dodge: at 12th level the Arcane Gunslinger can no longer be flanked.

Dead Shot: Once per day an Arcane Gunslinger can make an attack with his rifle that is a guaranteed critical and has the chance of killing or incapacitating a target. After three rounds studying the target to line up a good shot, you may decide whether to kill or incapacitate the target before the shot is fired, and the target is entitled to a fortitude saving throw (15+1/2 gunslinger level+Int. If the target fails his fortitude save the target either dies or is incapacitated.

Unearthly Dodge: At 20th level, the Arcane Gunslinger is dexterous enough to dodge absolutely anything they can see coming. This means all attacks both melee and ranged and all spells that have a save also have a chance to be dodged with a reflex save (DC equal to Attack rolled). If the dodge fails versus a spell the Arcane Gunslinger is still entitled to a saving throw if one is normally allowed. This applies to all spells that require a ranged touch attack, all traps, all normal attacks, and anything else that the gunslinger can see coming. To use this ability versus a spell the Gunslinger must first see the spell being cast a second succeed on a spellcraft check to determine the nature of the spell. This ability can be used a number of times each round equal to the Arcane Gunslinger's dexterity modifier.

Magic Bullet(Sp): Starting at first level, once a day, an Arcane Gunslinger can emulate an enhanced Magic Missile spell through their Gunstave, dealing 1d6 force damage, +1 Magic Bullet per three caster levels. No more than five Magic Bullets can be fired simultaneously. Magic Bullet gains an additional use per day every class-level in Arcane Gunslinger.

Mage's Speedload (Sp): At 2nd level, an Arcane Gunslinger may cast Mage's Speedload as a standard action on themselves once a day, allowing them to use telekinesis to reload their Gunstave as a free action for one hour.

Transmute Load (Sp): At 6th level, an Arcane Gunslinger learns to instantly transmute improvised materials (metal or crystal) into unstable or low quality -1 bullets once a day. 3d8 per pound of material is created instantaneously.

Mage's Bayonet (Sp): Upon attaining 7th level, Arcane Gunslingers awaken the ability to temporarily adorn their Gunstaves with a force-blade as a full round action, allowing them to fight in close combat as though with a Short Sword for 1 minute per caster level. Attacking with the bayonet is a standard action, and cannot make critical hits.

Concussive Shot (Sp): At 8th level an Arcane Gunslinger may fire a magic explosive once a day, dealing 1d8/lvl across a thirty foot radius from the point of impact. The explosion cannot pass through any barrier that would not be destroyed by it. Subjects of this attack are allowed a Reflex save, DC 10+1/2 caster level +Cha (Negates).

Gatling Bolt (Sp): Once per day at 9th level the caster may unleash a vicious barrage of energy bolts from their Gunstave in a 30ft cone, dealing 2d10 damage (+1d10/lvl). Subjects are granted a Reflex save, DC 15+Cha (Halves). Additional uses per-day granted at 12th, 15th, 17th, and 20th levels.

Discern Weakpoint (Ex): Once per day at 10th level, an Arcane Gunslinger can assess the weaknesses of their opponent's body or armor, and either deal x2 damage against a designated opponent, or attempt to disable them for 1d4 rounds (DC 15 +Target's Constitution).

Defensive Field (Sp): At 12th level, the Arcane Gunslinger can erect a semi-real dome of energy with 5d8 HP to protect them once a day. If damage dealt to the barrier exceeds it's remaining HP, the HP value is subtracted from the damage and the remainder (if any) is conferred to the Arcane Gunslinger. The caster is immobile while this effect is active, and cannot attack from within without dispelling the barrier. The defensive field lasts until it runs out of HP or is dispelled.

Shred (Sp): At 13th level an Arcane Gunslinger may fire a corrupting bullet of their own crystallized blood, once per day, at the cost of 1d6 damage to themselves. The attack is made as normal. If the attack is successful, the subject must make a Fortitude save DC 10 +Caster Level to negate the bullet's virulent nature, or take 1d12 damage and become racked with disabling pain (losing their next action) every turn until a successful Fortitude save is made. Shred deals an additional d12 of damage for every turn it's effect continues.

Black Bullet (Sp): At 20th level, an Arcane Gunslinger may call upon help from an outsider to deliver them a deadly bullet once per day. A Black Bullet requires a full round to be summoned. The subject of a Black Bullet must make a Will save DC 15 +Caster Level or die. If the save is successful, the subject still takes 10d10 damage. Firing a Black Bullet drains the Arcane Gunslinger, reducing their speed to half for 1 round and forcing them to skip their next action.

Healing Dart (Sp): At 4th level, an Arcane Gunslinger may fire a magical needle of healing energy at a willing or unaware subject, inflicting 1d4 non-lethal damage and healing 2d8 damage +1/level (max +5). Once per day, +1 use per level.

Greater Healing Dart (Sp): At 14th level, an Arcane Gunslinger may fire a magical needle of healing energy at a willing or unaware subject, inflicting 1d4 non-lethal damage and healing 3d8 damage +1/level (Max 10). Once per day, +1 use per 3 levels.

Superior Healing Dart (Sp): At 18th level, an Arcane Gunslinger may fire a magical needle of healing energy at a willing or unaware subject, inflicting 1d4 non-lethal damage and healing 4d8 damage +1/level (max 15). Once per day, +1 use per 5 levels.

Purifying Dart (Sp): At 8th level, once per day an Arcane Gunslinger may fire a magical needle of cleansing energy at a willing or unaware subject, removing poisonous effects from them.

Adrenaline Dart (Sp): At 10th level, once per day an Arcane Gunslinger may fire a needle of pure life energy at a willing or unaware subject in critical condition, stabilizing them and healing 2d8 damage.

Spells[edit]

Spells: Arcane Gunslingers are adept at using illusion and trickery to achieve their ends. Gunslingers know and can use any spell off the following list. Every 2 levels they may also pick one spell from any school that they are high enough level to cast and add that to their spell list as well. An Arcane Gunslinger's spell selection works like that of a warlock; he need not scribe any of the spells, and can cast one at a moments notice without preparation. Gunslingers choose their spells from the following list:

0— Div

  • Detect Poison: Detects poison in one creature or small object.
  • Detect Magic: Detects spells and magic or enchanted items within 60 ft.
  • Read Magic: Read scrolls and spellbooks.

Evoc

Illus

Trans

  • Mage Hand: 5-pound telekinesis.
  • Mending: Makes minor repairs on an object.
  • Message: Whispered conversation at distance.
  • Open/Close: Opens or closes small or light things.

Univ

1st— Conj

Illus

Trans

2nd— Abjur

Conj

Evoc

  • Darkness: 20-ft. radius of supernatural shadow.
  • Blur: Attacks miss subject 20% of the time.

Illus

Trans

  • Spider Climb: Grants ability to walk on walls and ceilings.

3rd— Evoc

Illus



Ex-Arcane Gunslingers[edit]

If a Arcane Gunslinger should become any non-chaotic alignment, they cannot gain levels in Arcane Gunslinger until they return to a chaotic alignment.

Playing an Arcane Gunslinger[edit]

Religion: Arcane Gunslingers have a habit of collecting deities and discarding them at a whim, following whichever religion that seems appropriate at the time. Many, on the other hand, are known for their zealous devotion to a single god and way of life.

Other Classes: Arcane Gunslingers often poke fun at rangers and Gunslingers for using what they percieve to be inferior weaponry, and tend to get along well with any class that wields arcane magic, or keeps enemies off of them.

Combat: Arcane Gunslingers begin as ranged light damage dealers, and progress into competent support damage, before finally ascending to the status of living cannons and surprisingly capable healers.

Advancement: Arcane Gunslingers often take levels of Sorcerer, Warlock, or other spontaneously casting classes. It is possible to create an "Ranged Support Off-Tank" by taking levels in Cleric.



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